Print Story Is Iran enriching uranium to weapons-grade or not?
Diary
By maynard (Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:58:28 AM EST) (all tags)
Recently, United Press International, printed a New York Times story that the UN International Atomic Energy Agency had issued a report stating that inspectors had found "... highly enriched uranium ... at an Iranian facility," and that this uranium did "... not match that found on earlier samples," which they concluded had come from "...contaminated equipment from Pakistan." [UPI report used due to NY Times firewall] Due to this reporting, I argued in a DailyKos thread that the IAEA (and thus the administration) would appear to have a slam dunk case against Iran for nuclear weapons production, and not nuclear energy production as Iran claims. Yet the Washington Post reported today that IAEA inspectors disputed a recent House Committee report on Iranian nuclear capabilities, calling the committee's claim that Iran had created highly enriched uranium "outrageous and dishonest" and offering facts to dispute the House report.

So which is it: Are they or are they not enriching uranium to weapons grade?



Central to the Bush Administration's claim that Iran seeks nuclear weapons is the assertion that Iran's nuclear program is not for energy production, as they claim, but is secretly enriching uranium to levels necessary for weapons production. Thus, the claim is not that Iran has created enriched uranium, but highly enriched uranium, which is suitable for nuclear weapons production. The distinction between the two is often confused. Enriched uranium refers to U-238 enriched to U-235 at about 2-3%, which is not enough U-235 density to create critical mass. Highly Enriched Uranium is U-238 enriched to U-235 at or above 90%. That material would have enough U-235 density such that when approximately 50kg of this material is placed in close contact it will go supercritical (a nuclear detonation). So, the distinction between whether Iran has been found to be producing "enriched uranium" or "highly enriched uranium" is the cleave between whether there is evidence to assert that Iran is currently attempting to build nuclear weapons.  

Since the underlying facts between the NY Times and Washington Post report are in dispute, one might want to check the IAEA's reporting to find out exactly what they said. How unfortunate it is then that neither the NY Times, nor the Washington Post, specified which report they used as the basis for their claims; never mind a referenced citation. The best one can do is pull up the IAEA web page and dig through their recent press releases. Here is one:

Iran had not suspended its enrichment related activities. I should note that - although the inspectors´ findings indicated that there had been little qualitative or quantitative buildup of Iran´s enrichment capacity at Natanz - due to the absence of the implementation of the additional protocol, the Agency is not able to assess fully Iran´s enrichment related research and development activities, including the possible production of centrifuges and related equipment.

As I have indicated in the past, all the nuclear material declared by Iran to the Agency has been accounted for - and, apart from the small quantities previously reported to the Board, there have been no further findings of undeclared nuclear material in Iran.

Based upon that statement, one can reasonably say that IAEA doesn't know whether Iran can produce highly enriched uranium, or if their ultimate goal is to create nuclear weapon(s), but they do know that they have found little evidence to support large scale highly enriched uranium production - today.

What is clear is that Iran does have an underground facility at Natanz, that this facility has a certain number of gas centrifuges suitable for uranium enrichment, and that at least some of this equipment has been inspected by IAEA inspectors. However, the IAEA is also stating that there is still some uncertainty of Iran's total enrichment capacity and capability.

Yet the Bush administration continues its saber rattling with Iran. This last year President Bush has called Iran a a grave threat to world security, that there must be consequences to Iran's nuclear defiance, and has threatened to strike Iran with a massive bombing campaign.

There are two questions of import here: Is Iran creating weapons grade uranium, and if so, what to do about it? If President Bush wants to push for another Middle Eastern war, ought he not at least first prove the case that Iran is -- indeed -- building a nuclear weapon? Should not the question of whether to go to war be address after resolving the first issue, and not be a presumptive fait accompli prior to confirmation of the rationale behind such action?  

A nuclear armed Iran may, in fact, be a grave threat to US national security interests and world peace. However, one would hope that after all the errors, misinformation, and confusion to justify the Iraqi war, the Bush Administration would want to absolutely nail the facts before threatening yet another war against a sovereign nation.

------

Text Copyright ©2006 J. Maynard Gelinas.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
Updates and story archival at http://daduh.org/...

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Is Iran enriching uranium to weapons-grade or not? | 59 comments (59 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
WIPO: They are, but by ObviousTroll (3.50 / 2) #1 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:07:59 AM EST
the IAEA is afraid that the UN might actually be forced to do something about it.

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?
Of course they are by ucblockhead (4.00 / 4) #2 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:11:41 AM EST
With nukes, their chance of being invaded goes to zero.

Most likely, their strategy is to get nukes before anyone can get the military resources to do anything about it. Given that the US is bogged down in Iraq and no one else has the guts to do anything about it, they will most likely succeed.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Nukes for self defense by lm (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:24:18 AM EST
And which countries would Iran be fearful of that they don't have the means to fight off with conventional weapons? I suspect that there aren't very many governments in that group with an official policy of regime change for Iran. I think Iran has a better argument for having nukes to use in self defense than just about every country in the nuclear club with the possible exception of Israel.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Right. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 1) #10 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:44:26 AM EST
And which countries in the region are publicly promising to remove other countries from the map at the earliest opportunity?

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?
[ Parent ]
That's quite a long list by lm (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:48:49 AM EST
And it's headlined by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Bullshit. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:55:23 AM EST
Show me a single news report of King Abdullah vowing to wipe Israel off the map.

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Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?
[ Parent ]
Instead, I'll simply observe that ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 09:04:32 AM EST
... King Abdullah is not the whole of the Saudi Arabian government and that Saudi Arabia has never recognized Israel's right to exist as a nation. Nor does that cover Pakistan or many other countries in the region.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
He has ADVISORS, that's it. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 09:30:31 AM EST
Saudi Arabia is a monarchy headed by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Head of State.

In Normal Reality, not Malatestia, Abdullah is the Saudi government.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
So the Saudi government only takes actions ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #18 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 09:46:34 AM EST
... that the King has publicly pronounced on?

I don't think so. In the real world no nation as large as Saudi Arabia can function like a small feudal estate. Aside from the Saudi cabinet chock full of ministers that make real policy decisions, the legislative council of ministers, and the Saudi council of clerics that is the head of jurisprudence, there is the multi-layered bureaucracy that exists in any large nation.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Be a Saudi Minister who contradicts Abdullah. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #21 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 10:57:39 AM EST
Go ahead. I dare you.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Irrelevant by lm (2.00 / 0) #22 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 11:04:54 AM EST
Unless you're arguing that King Abdullah has thrown Saudia Arabia's lot in with Egypt vis a vis recognizing Israel as a sovereign nation. My position isn't that King Abdullah isn't the head of state in a monarchy. My position is that Saudi Arabia has a good deal of policy that hasn't been explicitly promulgated by King Abdullah in a public forum.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
You're right. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #24 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 11:42:53 AM EST
My position is that Saudi Arabia has a good deal of policy that hasn't been explicitly promulgated by King Abdullah in a public forum.

In fact, it's all trapped inside his cranium, and it's the law once he ejects it from there.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Bah. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #32 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:41:45 PM EST
Nice bait and switch.

First you claim that the House of Saud has called for Israel's destruction, now you merely point out that Saudia Arabia hasn't recognized Israel. There's quite a bit of ground between those two poles, you know.

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

[ Parent ]
I'm not the one that changed the subject by lm (2.00 / 0) #40 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:07:43 AM EST
First, and most importantly, I'm not the one conflating the House of Saud with the hole of the Saudi Arabian government. Consequently, claiming that I said anything about the House of Saud clamoring for Israel's destruction is not only untrue, it's prima facie irrelevant.

Second, my response to ammo was meant as a direct response to his challenging the fact that Saudi Arabia has a functional government. Trying to say that something I said in that thread is baiting and switching is a logical error because I wasn't addressing the same question. You would be right to point it out if I were contradicting myself, but I'm not. The two separate assertions (Saudi Arabia doesn't recognize Israel's sovereignty and Saudi Arabia has a policy of destroying Israel at the first opportunity) are not contradictory in the slightest.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
*may* be a security threat to the us by lm (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:19:32 AM EST
I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how a nuclear armed Iran would actually be anymore of a security threat to the US than it is or anymore than other nuclear capable countries with unstable governments such as the former Soviet republics and Pakistan. The latter just apparently signed a peace treaty with the Taliban and yet, the week after the president of the US reaffirmed his commitment to bring the minds behind 9/11 and their allies to justice on national television, there is nothing about a US response to Pakistan's actions in harboring an organization at war with the US. Not only that, but it is not a seriously controverted allegation that Pakistan has helped along the nuclear program of all the countries that the US is presently trying to keep out of the nuclear club alongside other countries (such as Lybia) that have only recently renounced their nuclear ambitions.

It seems to me that the real reason that the US doesn't' want Iran to have nukes is in case the US ever decides to invade Iran. For a country the size of Iran, guaranteed self-annihilation is probably the only way to prevent the US from its stated policy of regime change should the US decide to move past diplomatic and economic sanctions in pursuit of its policy. I think Iran sees the writing on the wall and believes that joining the nuclear club is the only way that they can preserve their sovereignty.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
That's easy enough. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:23:36 AM EST
If they start lobbing nukes around the Persian Gulf, the US economy will go so far down the tubes it would be decades before we recovered - if ever.

A complete disruption of the middle eastern oil supply would cause tsunamis through the rest of the world - possibly even secondary wars as people attempt to secure the remaining oil supplies.


--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

[ Parent ]
Lobbing nukes around the Persian Gulf ... by lm (3.00 / 1) #7 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:26:14 AM EST
... would be suicide for Iran. Plus, they already have the capability to complete disrupt the flow of oil completley by conventional means. If Iran wanted, they could take out virtually every tanker in the Persian Gulf in a matter of days if not hours.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Conventional means... by ObviousTroll (1.00 / 1) #8 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:36:05 AM EST
No, I don't think they could. That's the very reason the US parks a carrier group in the Persian Gulf at all times; I'm pretty sure they've got standard scenarios that involve eradicating the Iranian Navy and Air Force if they tried to do such a thing.

I also think you're making the mistake of assuming the Iranians are sane. Nothing they have done in the past several years makes me think that.


--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

[ Parent ]
The situation would be no different by lm (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:45:22 AM EST
US reaction would be no more and no less swift if Iran had nukes. And logistically speaking, it's far easier of a problem to hit many oil tankers with large enough missles to destroy them than it is to deliver multiple nukes to multiple oil fields. Not only that, but the former has a better chance of being done before a response can be launched by US carrier groups.

Given the official US policy of regime change for the Iranian government, I don't think many of their actions in the past twenty years or so qualify as not being sane. But if you're going to bring sanity into the discussion, I think you first have to look at US foreign policy. The US has had largely the same foreign policy with Iran since 1979 and it has yet to work. Maybe it's time for a different foreign policy.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
It's also logistically easier by ObviousTroll (1.00 / 1) #27 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:20:08 PM EST
to wipe out an entire carrier group with a single nuke, which is why I expect that someone will end up aggressively terminating Iran's enrichment program.

And as for the US foreign policy towards Iran not working - which part failed?

The only failure in the US mideast policy has been the continuing failure to realize how tragically appeasement oriented the Europeans had become.

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

[ Parent ]
I thought they were spread out by garlic (2.00 / 0) #35 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:06:29 PM EST
to prevent that. I guess it depends on nuke size though.


[ Parent ]
I don't think the persian gulf is big enough by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #45 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:48:54 AM EST
The experiments the US conducted with Japanese ships at the bikini atoll were pretty scary; admittedly the bomb was bigger, but the resulting turmoil in the ocean destroyed ships that were tens of miles away.

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?
[ Parent ]
you may be right. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #49 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:58:06 AM EST
I'd expect that the attack sub in the group would have a pretty good chance of surviving. And then releasing it's load of torpedos and cruise missiles onto iran as the bombers are taking off at del fiugo.


[ Parent ]
Believe it or not, they wouldn't. by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #50 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 04:27:01 AM EST
That was the scary thing - the Bikini bomb (which, as I said, was a good deal bigger than anything Iran is likely to try) actually sent subs rolling through the water for miles.

Now, on reflection, if that bomb was multi-megatons and Iran's theoretical bombs are sub-megaton (which seems most likely) then you could well be right.

I think I'm more concerned about what the US forces would do if they thought Iran might try dropping one, and less concerned about the exact damage to US forces.

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

[ Parent ]
500 miles is a pretty wide expanse by lm (4.00 / 1) #52 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 05:29:37 AM EST
Sure, at the narrowest point, the Persian gulf is only twenty some miles across, but it's 500 miles across on the other access. That's just the Persian Gulf. The US carrier group is in the Persian Gulf region, not necessarily the Persian Gulf. The Arabian Sea is part of the Persian Gulf region.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Very true. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #54 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 07:42:17 AM EST
But my - limited - understanding of how battle groups work is that they set up in a circular formation with the capital ships at the center. The entire formation is about 20" in radius, so that they are spread out but within visual and radar contact of each other.

Now, I will admit that I learned this description ~25 years ago. They could easily done something completely different to adapt to the nature of the gulf.

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

[ Parent ]
You know what, on further reflection, by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #56 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 07:51:40 AM EST
I'm going to modify my position somewhat - while a nuke into the battle group would really ruin the USN's day, I don't know that Iran could come up with a delivery mechanism that's guaranteed to get to the middle of said group without being shot down.

It seems to me the real risk is that Iran would talk/trick Hezbollah into firing one of those new Katusha variants into Israel, possibly without informing them what sort of payload it has.

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

[ Parent ]
Dude, what garlic said ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #42 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:21:59 AM EST
Any nuke large enough to wipe out an entire carrier group going off in the Persian Gulf would do more harm to Iran than to the US. Carriers are generally miles apart.

Your scenario might be slightly plausible if Iran suddenly inherited the nuclear stockpile of the former Soviet Union. But its rather fanciful and unrealistic given Iran's current capabilities. In a worse case scenario, Iran will be lucky to have sufficient enriched uranium to make a single nuclear warhead this decade and even that is unlikely.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
So, you're saying... by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 1) #46 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:53:10 AM EST
In a worse case scenario, Iran will be lucky to have sufficient enriched uranium to make a single nuclear warhead this decade and even that is unlikely.

So, you're saying that the Iranian government has been lying all these years when they talk about their enrichment program?

google is your friend.

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

[ Parent ]
Breaking news: a government lies, details at 11 by lm (2.00 / 0) #51 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 05:21:23 AM EST
Name a current government that hasn't told a lie and hasn't reneged on a treaty in the past five years.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I see. We should assume Iran is lying by ObviousTroll (1.00 / 1) #53 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 07:39:38 AM EST
simply because the idea they might be telling the truth is too unpleasant?

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?
[ Parent ]
No, we should not assume that Iran is lying by lm (2.00 / 0) #57 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 08:36:14 AM EST
But we should base our expectations of their future behavior based on their past actions. For example, Iran had an official policy of regime change against Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime ever since the Shah was deposed. Yet, Iran never put that policy into action. We should assume that they same rational minds that kept Iran from attempting to invade a neighboring country with a superior military for the past thirty years despite their public statements that they would like to do so will continue to make the same decision in the case of Israel. In the case of the Iran/Iraq war, Iran would have had justification for attempting to take Bagdad that no one would have denied. Iraq was clearly the agressor. Yet, Iran only fought to repel the invasion.

The truth of the matter is that given the close economic and technological ties between Israel and the US, it is highly unlikely that Iran will ever reach military parity with Israel. While Iran is decades away from having the reliable delivery capacity of a nuclear warhead to Israel, the reverse is not true. Israel could drop a nuke on Tehran tomorrow.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
hmmm by maynard (2.00 / 0) #58 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 10:26:34 AM EST
For example, Iran had an official policy of regime change against Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime ever since the Shah was deposed. Yet, Iran never put that policy into action.

I realize that Iraq started the war with Iran, but given the chance - don't you think Iran would have gladly deposed Saddam?

[ Parent ]
Why else did Iran support the coalition? by lm (4.00 / 1) #59 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 12:22:28 PM EST
Well, let's think about this.

They had the perfect rationale for going all the way to Baghdad in the original Persian Gulf war (now called the Iran/Iraq war).

They had a repeat opportunity during the First Persian Gulf War and declined to join the UN Coalition.

They had another opportunity during the Second Persian Gulf War and declined to join the US led Coalition of the Willing.

My conclusion is that Iran was not willing.

Now some might argue that Iran had no opportunity because Iraq had a superior military. At best, this argument can explain the peace Iran agreed to with Iraq during the Iran/Iraq war. But the key piece of the puzzle is that if Iraq's army was superior to Iran's army, then Israel's army is even more superior to Iran's army. The lesson I pull away from this is that Iran does not seem willing to undertake large military risks. The only large scale conflicts that they've been directly involved with in the past thirty years are ones where other nations have been the aggressors.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
anti-shipping missiles and mines by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:47:21 AM EST
could shut down lots of the Gulf traffic. I don't think tankers have a defense against missiles.


[ Parent ]
But, in the absence of nukes by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #28 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:21:20 PM EST
the launchers of those anti-ship missiles are subject to swift destruction.

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?
[ Parent ]
even with nukes, by garlic (4.00 / 1) #36 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:07:27 PM EST
if that sort of thing happened, we'd be at war pretty much immediately.


[ Parent ]
Also, look at the greater context by lm (4.00 / 1) #43 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:28:41 AM EST
Right now one of the largest military coalitions ever recorded is acting in an unprecedented and well coordinated fashion. Their mission is simple: to guard the supertankers going into and out of the Persian Gulf. Any attack on the world's oil supply (nuclear or not) by Iran would result in a swift and certain international response the likes of which have never been seen before.

Would a nuclear armed Iran be able to prevent this response? No. Would a nuclear armed Iran increase the casualties on both sides? Yes, but probably not even by an order of magnitude. If it does, it would only be on the Iranian side. Any of the nuclear powers with a vested interest would probably feel justified in dropping a nuke on Tehran if Iran used nukes in an act of aggression against the world's oil supply.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Sanity by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #16 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 09:21:07 AM EST
I think they are quite sane. If I were in their place, I'd be pumping as much as I could into my nuclear program while using under-the-table contacts with insurgents to keep the US bogged down in Iraq and Isreal worried about Hezzbollah and Hamas.

What, in your opinion, are they doing that is not sane?
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Of course they could... by shambles (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:49:59 PM EST
...they are the world's 4th biggest oil producer. They simply refuse to sell to the US.

P.S First post, long time luker

[ Parent ]
Right by lm (2.00 / 0) #41 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:17:15 AM EST
Iran doesn't sell oil to the US, but since oil is a commodity, that doesn't matter given the nature of the world market.

Most importantly, if Iranian oil production stopped overnight, the US (right along the rest of the world) would experience an oil shortage on the magnitude of the Arab oil embargo of the late seventies.

If the Iranians stopped oil production and launched an all out surprise attack on every tanker in the Persian Gulf, the US would be royally screwed. If they also managed to hit some processing stations and/or pipelines in surrounding states, it would just that much worse.

Lastly, the fact that large countries that are both members of the nuclear club and have large armies buy their oil straight from Iran means that Iran may have allies should sabre rattling turn to a hot war.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Last I heard by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #39 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:13:48 PM EST
Liberian flagged supertankers don't carry Aegis weapons systems or other fleet defence systems.  These run into serious costs (that would even show up on a supertanker's bill), and just aren't there.

Attacking a tanker is far, far, different from attacking a warship. 

Wumpus


[ Parent ]
first of all, re: your .sig by maynard (4.00 / 1) #19 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 10:02:14 AM EST
Cicero was from degenerate pleb stock, what else would he have said?

Secondly, it's hard enough for me to deal with contradictions in published news reports, never mind all the contradictions -- both direct and implied -- within the stated Bush foreign policy.

However, I'm about as pleased with the notion of an Iranian nuclear weapon as I am with a North Korean nuke. Or Pakistani and Indian nukes. Or lost former Soviet suitcase nukes, supposedly floating about the nuclear black market.

Which is to say, it's time for a stiff drink. 

[ Parent ]
That's an understandable position by lm (4.00 / 1) #20 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 10:57:12 AM EST
Don't get me wrong, I'd be very much pleased if Iran gave up its ambition to join the nuclear club. The problem is that the nuclear genie is out of the bottle and there's no good way to put it back in the bottle. Consequently, it seems to me that time is better served making the world more stable so that there are fewer unstable regimes willing to use nukes than trying to increase stability by using force of arms (or threats of force of arms) to keep the genie out of the hands of unstable regimes.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Q: Which nation nuked another sovereign nation? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #6 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:25:29 AM EST
A: The one what's gonna turn Iran to a slag heap.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Yea, verily I say unto thee by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 2) #9 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:40:50 AM EST
Roosevelt shall rise up from the grave and smite them with his nuclear fists.

Or not.


--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

[ Parent ]
Uh, Dude .... by Improbus (2.00 / 0) #25 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 11:50:39 AM EST
FDR died before the atom bombs were deployed.  It was Truman that ordered the nuclear strikes on Japan.



If you immediately know the candlelight is fire, the meal was cooked a long time ago. --- Oma Desala
[ Parent ]
Yeah, yeah. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #26 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:15:37 PM EST
Look. I know that. But "Truman shall rise up from his grave" just doesn't scan. The key to a really pithy retort is that it has to scan.

Truthiness is just a bonus.

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

[ Parent ]
indeed. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #37 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:08:57 PM EST


[ Parent ]
It doesn't matter by debacle (4.00 / 1) #23 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 11:20:45 AM EST
We need to liberate them anyway.

A nuclear armed Iran will still be Iran - they haven't done anything stupid recently. They may be very anti-US, but they're not anti-existing.


IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

Why is it so hard to believe that by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 1) #29 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:23:08 PM EST
they won't take those nukes and do exactly what their President says they will do?

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?
[ Parent ]
The same reason by debacle (4.00 / 2) #30 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:34:05 PM EST
That no one else has - the numbingly paralytic feeling of omnipotent self-immolation.

IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
Right. Because in the history of the world by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 1) #31 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:38:59 PM EST
crazed fanatics have never gained political power and used it to commit acts which destroyed their own countries.


--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?
[ Parent ]
Crazed fanatics by debacle (4.00 / 1) #34 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:57:16 PM EST
Never accomplish much.

IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
Holy Shit! by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #47 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:56:19 AM EST
Have you ever, in your life, actually read a history book?

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Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?
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Actually Yeah! by debacle (2.00 / 0) #55 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 07:49:39 AM EST
Tons!

IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

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it's certainly easier to hate by garlic (4.00 / 1) #38 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:10:00 PM EST
after you dehumanize your enemy.


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Exactly. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #48 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:56:52 AM EST
Which certainly explains a lot of the Iranian rhetoric about Israel, doesn't it?

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Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?
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Many reasons by lm (4.00 / 1) #44 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:39:14 AM EST
  1. It's logistically difficult to build enough nukes to wipe another country off the face of the map.
  2. It's logistically difficult to build a delivery mechanism to get the nukes to the other country to wipe them off the face of the map.
  3. There is no reason to take Iran's public policy seriously and every reason to think that it's rhetoric that is designed entirely to appease certain elements of the Iranian power structure that are capable and willing to overthrow the secular arms of the Iranian government.
  4. And even if Iran were serious about this, there are other, far more pressing threats, to peace in the region.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
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Is Iran enriching uranium to weapons-grade or not? | 59 comments (59 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback