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U.S. May Strike at Iran

Middle East Iran Nuclear Capability US Strike

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#21 waterpanther

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 05:29 PM

Likewise, ph!  Looks as if we were posting much the same thing at the same time.
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#22 Hibblette

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 06:18 PM

Do we really have the resources?

Oh sure we can bomb them.  Tear up their towns.  Destroy the infrastructure.

Then what?

And let's not forget $$$.
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#23 Call Me Robin

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:00 PM

_ph, on Jan 1 2006, 08:11 PM, said:

It's just astounding to me how backwards our priorities have become. 

A quick recap: on 9/11, we were attacked by al Qaeda, (and not fo rthe first time: they were behind the 93 bombing at WTC, as well), which has deep ties to the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia... and so we invade... Iraq, which not only had nothing to do with 9/11 and nothing to do with al Qaeda, but posed no threat to us.   

Meanwhile, Bush skips hand-in-hand with the Saudi Crown Prince, and makes nice with Pakistan, too, despite the fact that Pakistan has the bomb.  If the Administration is worried about what might happen when Iran gets nukes, they should be positively sh!++ing their pants over Pakistan, where Qaeda sympathizers are one bullet away from having those nukes. 

But -- not so much.

Why?

Hmmm.  Could it be because Iran is blessed with an abundance of oil, and Pakistan is not? 

Ah--Priorities.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Indeed.  Even the 9/11 commission concluded that Iraq had no connection to what happened on September 11.  It seems that the neocons running the administration used 9/11 as an excuse to fulfill their ambition and greed.
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#24 G1223

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:15 PM

I keep thinking we need to take out the reactors and let them clean up. I think when they complain use our UN veto to wipe any actual attempt to say anything to us about how bad what we did is.
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#25 Spectacles

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:24 PM

Ogami, on Jan 1 2006, 02:40 PM, said:

One of our Drill Sergeants mentioned this at the start of December, word gets around the Army. Personally, I think it's just one of a zillion contingency plans drawn up because it's someone's job to just do that. Draw up contingency military actions. A military strike or full invasion against Iran would not happen for several reasons:

1) It would receive strong attention from a number of key players, such as Russia and China, already concerned about America expanding our power in the Middle East. Their objections to Iraq were handled with diplomacy, with statements by our government that this was not part of a larger strategy of taking over the Middle East. Such a strike at Iran would undermine that.

2) We would not be able to raise the number of troops needed without a military draft. Such a draft, as the Democrats in congress have long known, would completely shift the reigns of power in Washington out of Republican hands.

3) Right now the UN is "engaged" with Iran over their nuclear monitoring program. So at this time, I see no indication that our government desires any different form of engagement with Iran.

Problem is, I think the Iranians know all of these things, and might think this gives them a free hand. (Saddam Hussein made that precise mistake in 1990, by the way.)

-Ogami

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I agree with all of this.

:eek4:

Iran *is* a serious problem. A nuclear Iran is a scary prospect. I just don't have any idea what to do to prevent it. But I think it's highly unlikely that we'll be taking military action against Iran for the reasons Ogami listed. Certainly, it's improbable that we'd take any unilateral action.
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#26 BklnScott

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:36 PM

Sorry, Tennyson, I missed your earlier reply.

tennyson, on Jan 1 2006, 04:13 PM, said:

_ph people around the world including in the current administration are worried about Pakistan but you don't publically attack a badly needed ally whose position at home would be weakened by that. There are plans upon plans involving Pakistan as well but they aren't getting any press due to the Iranian focus.

They weren't getting any press before the Iranian focus.  I'd like to know what those plans are, generally speaking.  I'd like to see our leaders preparing us for what might happen to US if the Qaeda members/sympathizers in senior Pakistani military positions do succeed in killing Musharraf.  

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People in the intelligence community are worried and have been worried by Pakistan's nuclear weapons ever since they went public but short of attacking an ally and possibly starting the war we want to avoid between Pakistan and India there really isn't anything that can be effectively done now.

Well, call me more concerned about my own skin, but if Qaeda or Qaeda allies take over Pakistan, a nuclear exchange with India is NOT the worst case scenario.  The worst case scenario is a radioactive ground zero 2 miles from my bedroom.  And the Bush Administration has done nothing to address this very real possibility, or even indicate to us that they're aware of it.  (They haven't even put together a system to prevent terrorists from smuggling nukes, or other WMDs, via cargo containers).  

tennyson, on Jan 1 2006, 04:14 PM, said:

The US did, it destroyed the Taliban in Afghanistan, the state most directly responsible for September 11th.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As I'm sure you know, Afghanistan under the Taliban was little more than a Pakistani client state.  (And both were supported by Saudi money).  So taking them out was only the first part--and the easy part, at that--in a process that's since been largely abandoned in favor of the war the Bushies came into office hoping to provoke.

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#27 BklnScott

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:37 PM

G1223, on Jan 1 2006, 07:15 PM, said:

I keep thinking we need to take out the reactors and let them clean up. I think when they complain use our UN veto to wipe any actual attempt to say anything to us about how bad what we did is.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Charming.

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#28 Spectacles

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:52 PM

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ph: Well, call me more concerned about my own skin, but if Qaeda or Qaeda allies take over Pakistan, a nuclear exchange with India is NOT the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is a radioactive ground zero 2 miles from my bedroom.

Yep. It's utterly terrifying to think how close Al Qaeda is to Pakistan's nukes. If Musharraf is ever toppled and the Islamists take over, I'm going to blow up a raft and start rowing away from the mainland U.S.

And you know one day it's going to happen. It just will.
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#29 MuseZack

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 08:09 PM

Just to restate the obvious, even a massive airstrike on Iran carries huge risks for the United States, not the least of which are Iran's capacity to make life miserable for the US in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Iraq in its current form is essentially an Iranian client state (thanks, neocons!), with everyone from the the Kurds to the Badr Brigades and Mahdi Army militias having extensive ties to the Iranian mullahs.  The US is having a tough enough time against 5 million Sunnis-- if a sizable chunk of the nation's 12 million Shi'ites join them in fighting the US occupation, forget it.  Game over.  And over to the east in Afghanistan, the Iranians have connections going back decades to some of the nation's most powerful warlords.  And while they despise the Sunni fundamentalist Taliban, don't think they won't rearm and unleash them on the US if it means payback for taking out their nuclear facilities.

And through their friends in Hezbollah, the Iranians also have a formidable capability to both reopen the northern front against Israel and carry out unconventional (read: terrorist) attacks against US assets anywhere in the world.
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#30 Ogami

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 08:14 PM

Spectacles wrote:

I agree with all of this.

!

Of course, I speak in terms of political realities, not military plans. I'm sure there are plans for taking out Iran, I just don't think that politically any of them have a chance of being used. As you say, any action taken would be within the authority of the UN.

(Iran's mullahs are probably laughing at the notion.)

-Ogami

#31 Hibblette

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 08:23 PM

The UN!

Oh they love us, right?

Never stepped on their toes did we?

:howling:

What Zack said.
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#32 tennyson

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 08:42 PM

Well, one plan I saw mentioned in a war game was a special forces strike to either gain control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons or render them unuseable. They do seem to all be clustered in one area, or at least they were back around 2002. The problem there is that if this fails then Pakistan could think it is an Indian attack and try to launch watchever they have left at India before it is lost. So it would have to be a simutanous strike at multiple sites. Another option would be using B-2s from the US loaded with conventional weapons like concrete penetrating bombs and fuel air explosives to attack Pakistan's nuclear facilities either immediately after the coup or at the first sign of the weapons being moved. All of thier nuclear missiles are aimed at India at the moment and only have the range to hit as far as northern India or Iran.

But quite frankly in terms of ending human life I worry much more about a nuclear war between India and Pakistan. One nuclear weapon in the right place could kill up to a few hundred thousand people in the US while a single nuclear weapon going off in one Indian or Pakistani city of any size will kill millions and once it starts no nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan will stop at one nuclear weapon. An all-out nuclear war between Pakistan and India could kill more people in a day than died in the whole six years of World War II and wreck the world economy. Ideally we're going to try to stop both but I see India and Pakistan fighting that war as the worse thing.
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#33 Call Me Robin

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 10:41 PM

G1223, on Jan 2 2006, 12:15 AM, said:

I keep thinking we need to take out the reactors and let them clean up. I think when they complain use our UN veto to wipe any actual attempt to say anything to us about how bad what we did is.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You know, Iran two years ago was drifting toward being a moderate state.  It's got a relatively young population that aches for reform and a love for American products and American culture.  It seemed ready to kiss and make up.  

And attacking their reactors is just the way to make friends in the Middle East.  Nothing like long-term nuclear contamination to win 'em over.  Uh huh.   :sarcasm:
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#34 tennyson

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 10:50 PM

Most of their nuclear complexes don't actually have fuel yet, since it would be the Russians providing it for the reactors near Banadr Abbas and in the case of the one time when a nuclear reactor was attacked by military forces(Isrealis at Osrik) there was no long-term nuclear contamination. That's what the containment shell is for.
As for reform, they've had an election since then where the hard-line elements who are really in control of the country decided it was time to stop the reform movement. So no non-vetted by Mullahs candidates, no opposition newspapers and it is bottled up for the time being until something changes.
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#35 BklnScott

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 11:11 PM

tennyson, on Jan 1 2006, 10:50 PM, said:

Most of their nuclear complexes don't actually have fuel yet, since it would be the Russians providing it for the reactors near Banadr Abbas and in the case of the one time when a nuclear reactor was attacked by military forces(Isrealis at Osrik) there was no long-term nuclear contamination. That's what the containment shell is for.
As for reform, they've had an election since then where the hard-line elements who are really in control of the country decided it was time to stop the reform movement. So no non-vetted by Mullahs candidates, no opposition newspapers and it is bottled up for the time being until something changes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


This is true, and I see what you're saying, but if that "change" is an American invasion, or even just a bombing campaign (both of which, I agree, are unlikely, though such a course DOES have its advocates in the Bush Administration) all we'd be doing is giving the Mullahs what they really want, something they can't possibly get on their own: the hearts and minds of their people back.  

WE have them, now, and we should keep that forefront in our mind when deciding how best to help THEM achieve the change they need to retake their country.

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#36 BklnScott

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 11:32 PM

tennyson, on Jan 1 2006, 08:42 PM, said:

Well, one plan I saw mentioned in a war game was a special forces strike to either gain control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons or render them unuseable. They do seem to all be clustered in one area, or at least they were back around 2002.

Actually, Musharraf claims "most" of his country's nuclear stockpile is kept secure by storing them disassembled at multiple sites.  http://archives.cnn....ashmir.tension/  

Not sure I buy that--that they're disassembled in the first place, or that, even if they were, it would make them secure from the hands of all the Osama-lovers in the Pakistani military.  

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All of thier nuclear missiles are aimed at India at the moment and only have the range to hit as far as northern India or Iran.

The worry is not an ICBM attack, the worry is that a terrorist will get hold of it, ship it via cargo container to a major US port city, and explode the sucker.  

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But quite frankly in terms of ending human life I worry much more about a nuclear war between India and Pakistan. One nuclear weapon in the right place could kill up to a few hundred thousand people in the US while a single nuclear weapon going off in one Indian or Pakistani city of any size will kill millions

8 million people live in New York City, surrounded by about 20 million more (total population of the NYC metropolitan area is approximately 25 million).  

So, maybe you want to reconsider the number of lives that would be lost (both instantly and later, by radiation sickness, disease, etc) if a nuke went off here.    

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and once it starts no nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan will stop at one nuclear weapon.   An all-out nuclear war between Pakistan and India could kill more people in a day than died in the whole six years of World War II and wreck the world economy. Ideally we're going to try to stop both but I see India and Pakistan fighting that war as the worse thing.

Have you considered how many people will die through retalliatory strikes if a nuke went off in an American city?

Edited by _ph, 01 January 2006 - 11:34 PM.

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#37 tennyson

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 01:08 AM

I think I'll clear up some misconceptions of my own position and then I'll move on to the points. I'm not for any invasion of any kind, although I would be okay with truly covert action or support of dissident or exile groups in Iran so that an internal revolution could succeed, but the change could come from anywhere as long as it comes which is why I never specified any mechanism for change. If the people of Iran decide to rise up I'm great with that, if they have help I'm okay with that as well.

I am quite aware of the populations of major American cities and now let me walk you through how I arrived at my statement. A 20 to 50 kiloton nuclear weapon, which is the most likely range for those in the Pakistani arsenal based on those they test, detonated back in the late 1990s. A 20 kiloton airburst(the most efficient way to attack soft targets like cities, and impossible to do with a smuggled nuclear weapon via container) is roughly equivalent to the blasts over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed within between 100,000-200,000 people each in cities that mostly consisted of weakly build wood and paper construction. Most people died from the firestorm afterwards and not from the blast or radiation. Almost any major American city of primarily of steel and masonry construction that isn't prone to firestorm and establishly in areas that are built to antiearhquake code highly resistant to blast effects. American cities also have emergency service crews of the first order generally and crisis management plans in place that will serve to blunt the damage. Unlike Japan in wartime the US can draw upon the resources of the entire nation as long as the leadership has the will almost immediately blunting the number of deaths from disease and starvation and other secondary causes. It will be bloody but it is survivable.  I've read almost all the unclassified or declassified material that the US government put out of the effects of nuclear weapons on cities and I don't see anything below 100 kilotons being able to kill more than something in the hundreds of thousands from all effects.
Now we go to major Indian cities such as Mumbai(also a headquarters for the Indian fleet and a major target for a Pakistani nuclear strike) with official populations of more than 20 million. They have significantly higher population densities than American cities and a whole lot of housing that is either older than American housing or built to a flimsier construction code like in Turkey. There emergency services are also not as integrated as American ones and not as well equipped or as efficient and their transportation infrastructure isn't as good. Even if the Indian government survives the attack it doesn't have the kind of infrastructure the US built during the Cold War to allow government to continue after the destruction of national command authority. So it will be chaos for a lot longer than in the US and a lot more people would die in India than in an equivalent attack on an American city from those secondary factors.
Assuming the first nuclear weapon doesn't destroy the Indian leadership then they will respond with their nuclear weapons, and mobilize their other military forces and then the Pakistanis will hit back with whatever they have left. All the important cities on each side such as Islamabad, and Karachi in Pakistan all have populations over 1 million and many such as Mumbai, and the capital territory of Delhi have populations of over 15 million each at population densities many times those of the United States.
Not to mention Pakistan's cities which are in a lot worse shape than India's with even more people without basic services.  
I guess it might be possible for the nuclear weapons to have been broken down in that manner as a gesture of peace with India but that would be about the only reason. Multiple sites would make securing them harder and in slow down their fitting to attack someone in the case of war. But it makes the job to locate and destroy them harder but not impossible. and also this isn't something that anyone in the administration would talk about since it would inflame the Pakistani citizenry and weaken Musaraf's position even further.
As for a nuclear weapon going off on American soil,if the attack couldn't be connected to any state then no retaliatory strike could be made. No American military commander or president is going to launch nuclear weapons in anger without knowing exactly where to aim them and without the right launch codes no individual commander is going to launch them. Even if one commander wanted revenge then he would have to convince two other people to go along with him before he could even get to the launch keys. That's something that isn't mentioned since it would weaken deterrence but relatation in kind isn't inevitable, especially when you aren't dealing with a nation-state. If it was North Korea doing the attacking then I'm pretty sure that an American nuclear weapon would be headed back to Pyongyang or Wonson because we know who is in charge but assuming that a coup or assassination gets through in Pakistan and India doesn't do something(which is possible) and it is a pro-Al Queda faction in charge rather than a civil war or another group and they get to the nuclear weapons first before anyone else and the attack can be tied to their nuclear material then there would be a relation of somekind aimed at Pakistan.  But the form it will take invasion, conventional or nuclear strikes wouldn't be guaranteed.
I'm aware of the ways the nuclear weapon could be coming other than missiles and I mentioned thier missiles because it relates to my points about India and Pakistan and  what a sudden change to antiUS leadership could mean for American troops in the region. The other ways are why you put radiation detectors in ports, inspect containers and do the other things that have been happening and need to happen more but they will work against any similar threat and not just nuclear warheads from Pakistan or the former Soviet Union. In dealing with Pakistan itself the need is to keep the country relatively stable and comeup with a plan to make it more stable in the long run. That unfortunately I don't have at the moment although I have a few ideas involving things like economic assistance that would be very unpopular right now across the political spectrum.
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#38 The Oncoming Storm

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 10:10 AM

View Post_ph, on Jan 1 2006, 06:37 PM, said:

G1223, on Jan 1 2006, 07:15 PM, said:

I keep thinking we need to take out the reactors and let them clean up. I think when they complain use our UN veto to wipe any actual attempt to say anything to us about how bad what we did is.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Charming.
If we don't, expect Israel to do the job.  They've got more to lose from a nuclear Iran than we do, 'specially with Iran's "president" callin' for the genocide of Israel.

View PostSpectacles, on Jan 1 2006, 06:52 PM, said:

Quote

ph: Well, call me more concerned about my own skin, but if Qaeda or Qaeda allies take over Pakistan, a nuclear exchange with India is NOT the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is a radioactive ground zero 2 miles from my bedroom.

Yep. It's utterly terrifying to think how close Al Qaeda is to Pakistan's nukes. If Musharraf is ever toppled and the Islamists take over, I'm going to blow up a raft and start rowing away from the mainland U.S.

And you know one day it's going to happen. It just will.
My only question is this:  Do Pakistan's missles have the capability to reach the US mainland?  If not, then the only delivery method would be ground-bound suitcase or dirty bombs.

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#39 G1223

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 10:16 AM

I think Iran needs to be smashed down to the ground. As kind words are not going to stop them. Or put another way Luca Brazi will be there to make sure their signature or brains are on the document.

Why is it that we have folks who want to above all things sit back and do nothing? Then when it's time for an election come out of the woodwork with this as one of the topics of their complaint.
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#40 The Oncoming Storm

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 10:35 AM

Chose WP's post as the launchin' point to reply to both _ph and WP:

View Postwaterpanther, on Jan 1 2006, 04:17 PM, said:

Quote

They're all the same--al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, all of them.

They are not.  This is an extremely dangerous misconception.

Hezbollah and the al-Aqsa Brigade (fka PLO) are focused entirely on Israel.  Neither of them has any history of attacking Americans outside their own local sphere of influence.  These are, incidentally, the only two Islamic terrorist  organizations to which Saddam Hussein can be reliably connected, and there only through monetary support for the Hezbollah organization and cash subsidies for the families of deceased al-Aqsa "martyrs."
Is it a dangerous misconception when their philosophies are the same?  Is it when they admire and hold forth the same martyrs and religious/ideological founders?  Is it when they all have within their philosophical thought that attackin' the West (US most notably) would solve Islam's problems?  They do tend to burn the US flag right along with Israeli flag.  And I seem to recall that when the WTC were knocked down, groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al-Aqsa Martyrs were celebrating in the streets.  I remember that 'cause it got my southern temper in a twist.  They all hate us.  If we wipe out only one group, such al-Qaeda, we're gonna have a million more groups like them to go through 'cause they're gonna all come at us like we've never seen before.  

I tell ya, the day is comin' when conventional suicide bombin's on American soil will be a regular thing.  Why?  'Cause there's alotta them determined to kill us unless we convert while we're over here arguin' 'bout how to deal with them.

View Posttennyson, on Jan 2 2006, 12:08 AM, said:

I'm not for any invasion of any kind, although I would be okay with truly covert action or support of dissident or exile groups in Iran so that an internal revolution could succeed, but the change could come from anywhere as long as it comes which is why I never specified any mechanism for change. If the people of Iran decide to rise up I'm great with that, if they have help I'm okay with that as well.
Frankly, the best way to deal with Iran.  From what I've read the dissident movement is gainin' strength every time the mullah and ayatollahs step on what little freedom (which ain't sayin' much) the younger generation had.  Things are now topsy-turvy and the generation that, as young men, called for the new Islamic Sharia state, are tryin' to bottle up those who would overthrow them.  "The wheel keeps turnin'."

Rose: [disgusted] Oh, look at what the cat dragged in: "The Oncoming Storm."

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Sometimes the best causes worth fighting for are lost causes. -- Me.

Formerly Known as "Lost Cause."




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