National Security Strategy Puts Iran on Notice

Yes, the 2006 National Security Strategy released yesterday looks a lot like the 2002 strategy.* The commitment to the fundamental doctrine outlined in 2002 -- preemption -- remains a key component, it still aims to promote freedom and democracy, and both versions even reference September 11, 2001 the same number of times (seven).

The 2006 revision does include a new tenth chapter, titled "Engage the Opportunities and Confront the Challenges of Globalization," and a two-paragraph conclusion. The other nine chapters of the 2006 report have identical titles to those in the 2002 report.

Perhaps the identical chapter names are intended to show that this administration is "staying the course," following the same strategy it outlined four years ago. One could also see it as betraying a certain laziness and indicating that their thinking hasn't evolved much over time, in spite of the many lessons that should have been learned over the past four years. (Over at Bloggerheads, the stubborn commitment to preemption is identified as a reason "why you should march this weekend" in Iraq War-related protests.)

Note the change in tone from 2002 to 2006, obvious from the very first sentence. In 2002, the first sentence read: "The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom -- and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise." An eloquent, principled, positive introduction. In 2006, the first sentence read simply, "America is at war."

The 2002 strategy's introduction also included the statement that "The gravest danger our Nation faces lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology." In that document, Iraq was mentioned once -- in Chapter V, after a list of attributes shared by a "small number of rogue states" -- and Iran came up only in the context of Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons, and nowhere else.

Today, the new strategy says, "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran." Why wasn't that mentioned in 2002? Well, the strategy explains, "For almost 20 years, the Iranian regime hid many of its key nuclear efforts from the international community."

This makes it sound as if we had no earthly idea Iran had been pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Yet we had distinct photos of a nuclear reactor surrounded by what appeared to be antiaircraft missiles, according to a Post article from July of 2002 -- two months before Bush's National Security Strategy was released. The story reported on Iran's near-completion of said reactor, which U.S. and Israeli spy planes had been watching them build for seven years.

The story also discusses "Iran's covert nuclear weapons development program, which U.S. intelligence says is ongoing at dozens of other less-prominent sites throughout the country." We have had loads of legitimate, reliable evidence of Iran's plans for years. Here's more, and more, and a whole bunch more (see the testimony from Norman Schindler, in particular.)

Yet it is only now that the U.S. turns its attention to Iran -- after invading Iraq on the basis of this national security strategy of preemption to prevent Saddam Hussein from attacking America using phantom weapons of mass destruction. The strategy's lengthy discussion of Iran's misdeeds and Europe's attempts at diplomacy includes this warning: "This diplomatic effort must succeed if confrontation is to be avoided." (See page 25 of the PDF.)

The strategy goes on to address the North Korean nuclear program, but the North Koreans receive no thinly-veiled threat. The closest it gets is a statement that North Korea needs to change its ways, but "In the interim, we will continue to take all necessary measures to protect our national and economic security against the adverse effects of their bad conduct." (See page 26 of the PDF.)

But is the threat directed at Iran an empty one? According to some experts [subscription required], destroying Iran's well-fortified nuclear facilities would require a full-scale invasion, at a time when our forces are already stretched too thin. Indeed, NYT's Thomas Friedman [subscription required, but it's also here] writes that we would scare the living daylights out of Iran if we took our forces out of Iraq.

The Moderate Voice wonders whether the NSS will finally convince Iran to get serious about negotiations; at the very least, it may have compelled them to agree to talks about their role in Iraq.

Over to you, Debaters. Should Iran be America's next project? Or should our national security focus be on something else entirely? Is it reasonable to stick to this strategy of preemption?

* Yes, a revised NSS is supposed to be issued every year, according to the Post story. But given how little has changed, I guess they felt it would be redundant to do so.

By Emily Messner |  March 17, 2006; 11:14 AM ET  | Category:  Beltway Perspectives
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Emily, I made this point on the old Washington Post forum years ago when Bush and his supporters started boasting about the so-called Bush Doctrine. There was no Bush Doctrine then, and there is no Bush Doctrine now. Let me explain.

Any National Security Doctrine must be embedded in a formal paper that at its end is as lengthy and voluminous as the Budget. It is supposed to be chockful of the history and accumulated expertise of all foreign policy. It is supposed to be the end product of a full and open debate of the pros and cons of the Doctrine and its alternatives.

What constitutes the Bush Doctrine is a hastily contrived collection of generalized theories and past speeches that Bush has made that in no way constitutes a comprehensive strategy upon which to formulate a serious foreign policy. And it is rife with conflicting notions--such as the notion of preempting an attack from another nation on a go-it-alone basis while at the same time insisting that all diplomatic options are kept open. That sends conflicting signals to our friends and adversaries.

They tell me that this doctrine is spelled out in forty pages. Forty pages? It took Mao an entire book to spell out his world vision. Forty pages is nothing more than a Preamble. Which seems to be as far as George W. Bush ever gets in his thinking on any subject.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 17, 2006 11:35 AM

Project for a New American Century...


it's about intervention and control, like Hitlers vision for Europe.

Nice.

Posted by: try looking at the PNAC work | March 17, 2006 12:48 PM

It seems foolish to talk about a threat from Iran when the facts are not tabled. For example, what is the timing for Iran to develop nuclear capability? My understanding is that that event is at least 10 years away.

The public will insist on facts before it before this adventure goes very far. Neither is Congess likely to be as complacent in completing its due dilligence this time around. The news media is also a less complacent. In 2003, the White House made statements that "Iraq has small drones that can penetrate US air space and bomb us with WMDs", and the media lapped it up. Will that happen this time? I doubt it.

Finally, and most importantly, Corporate America understands that this war is economically unsustainable, and not in US intersts. It will do what it does best, ensure that Congressional approval never happens.

Posted by: Oscar Mayer | March 17, 2006 02:06 PM

Emily wrote:

"Should Iran be America's next project?"

Iran is going to be our next project, only question is will it be a military or diplomatic solution. We are stretched thin militarily, economically, and our patience with war is almost spent. From now till November, an unprovoked attack or invasion of Iran is going to be a hard sell. If Republicans retain majorities in congress this November the Administration will once again see Republican control as political capital and an endorsement of its policies, thus increasing the likelihood of military intervention in Iran.

"Or should our national security focus be on something else entirely?"

Weaning the United States off of Middle Eastern oil is part of our national security. To date there still is not a serious attempt by the administration to accomplish this.

"Is it reasonable to stick to this strategy of preemption?"

Preemption is a good strategy if competently applied. Thus far from prior 911 to the War in Iraq, Bush and his administration have been everything, but competent. Preemption is based on good intelligence and weighing out of conflicting intelligence to the correct conclusion. Simply stated, let the intelligence guide your decision making, do not let your decision guide your intelligence selection.

Posted by: Jamal | March 17, 2006 02:53 PM

pimpin'


regardless of what you're being sold, it doesn't match what they are doing...


nor is candor a big part of their speechifying...

bluster, attack, redirecting and most of all not giving the kind of information that allows for informed decision making...

is there something going on more than a con game? not that I can see.

the one real chilling issue is why there are no people calling a spade a spade and to put it bluntly,


is this the reason:


why is the Bridge to NoWhere okay?


I mean citizens in Alaska get a stipend from the pipeline for being Alaskan, what do they need a Bridge to Nowhere for? and why is our congress okay about it...


is commity the only thing they are there for and does each one get a piece of the pie that they snag...if so take the pie away and send them home...

is Cunning hamme the visible evidence of a greater disease...

is Rome burning?

Posted by: I would think that preemption in this case might be closer to | March 17, 2006 03:18 PM

the CIA has been part of the bush family history since involvement by Papa bush in trying to off Castro...


the oil connection is just family connection, not national...

to say that the American public has been redirected, reeducated and bamboozled unmercifully would be putting it nicely...


they are no longer fit to vote without edumicating them to the effects that they've been lied to, if they were they probably couldn't get the machines to actually reflect the decisions that they were trying to propagate...


.

Posted by: one thing is true. | March 17, 2006 03:21 PM

The shah was backed by the CIA, as part of deposing democracy in Iran...prior to the ayatollah..


what that means, I don't know, I would assume again family connections, masquerading as reasonable political ones...

.

Posted by: Iran is a smokescreen. | March 17, 2006 03:27 PM

Bush is flailing in the polls.
The Repubs need their national security status back.
The public isn't frothing for Iranian blood.

Sounds like time for another terrorist alert to me.

Posted by: pig in a poke | March 17, 2006 04:35 PM

Emily writes: "This makes it sound as if we had no earthly idea Iran had been pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Yet we had distinct photos of a nuclear reactor surrounded by what appeared to be antiaircraft missiles, according to a Post article from July of 2002 -- two months before Bush's National Security Strategy was released. The story reported on Iran's near-completion of said reactor, which U.S. and Israeli spy planes had been watching them build for seven years."

Constructing reactors for civilian electric power purposes is no evidence of a bomb-making program. If it was, it would be evidence that the Canadians, Koreans, Taiwanese, Japanese, Brazilians, Swedes are all actively seeking the Bomb.

It is the presence of an unregistered or unmonitored plutonium reprocessing facility ---and the limiting of burning fuel to 5-8500 Effective Full Power hours (so the PU-239 is not contaminated with PU-240, 241 isotopes) --- that signal to the IAEA inspection regime that a Bomb-building intent exists.

By itself, a nuke reactor just adds infastructure "potential"...like having F-16s...or industry that can precision sinter various metals...or universities that graduate good scientists, mathemeticians, and engineers.

Commercial electric generation reactors like Bashear will be are monitored daily for power level, reports on worker rad exposure, under the IAEA regime, like American ones. You can go to various websites and check on Russian, American, Japanese, Mexican etc... reactors. Also components and specialty chemicals needed for plutonium or tritium reprocessing are tracked by IAEA, and PU facilties are readily identifiable.

Danger from large commercial reactors being diverted into bomb-making are just about nil as long as inspection regimes are maintained. Go out of the NPT, like Pakistan, Israel, and N Korea did and sanctions happen.

Unfortunately, efforts to enrich bomb-grade uranium are much more concealable.

Iran is sort of a unique geographical case because it had mega-oil reserves 50 years ago, but no more reserves found. And not a lot of natural gas, little coal or hydro reserve for electric generation, but it had lots of uranium ore. So America and Iran, starting under LBJ, worked to train tens of thousands of nuclear engineers and technicians, and planned to build 30 or so large Iranian nuke reactors so the oil could be exported for revenue vs. the financial loss of being burned for electricity, and get ready for when Iran passed Peak Oil and had less and less each year.

The Revolution stopped that, but now Iran is resurrecting the old US-Iran nuke construction plan. This time with Russian and Chinese help......while the problematic elements...aggressive Islamism, desire to defeat Zionism, and covert uranium enrichment by concealed and in the open isotopic U-235 centrifuge plants persist.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 17, 2006 05:19 PM

The Gospel According to Matthew:
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."

The Gospel According to Bush:

"Hit them before they hit you. No, hit them before they think of hitting you. No no, hit them in case they even think of hitting you. And once you've got them down, torture them as you please."

Posted by: Two Gospels | March 17, 2006 05:28 PM

your leaders?

will sell anything that isn't nailed down...

foreign competition? how about contempt for the citizens.

without giving the citizens of the United States honest and fair representation...if they can't steal the towels, they don't want to check in....they're part of the visit right, they're paid for....corruption is just part of the congressional life...
comeon...give me a break...

a high school student could tell you what happens if you don't work with the ecology of a system.....everything breaks...

that's what is happening to us as a group, the citizens of the united states of america.

there is such a thing as a human ecology, one that keeps all things working towards a sustainable future....

look at the bushe trying to appear "in touch" with the future by "supporting alternative fuels,"

too little, not at all...photo op.

you want the system to work, raise gas prices to $3.50 a gallon and bank the excess to pay for infrastructure changes giving freight companies some time and some leeway to get better rates....legislate change that we as a nation can adapt to....THAT IS A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE,

not some orchestrated Oz show called "find the terrorists but don't look at what I'm doing"...

trains, making city life pleasurable, workers that telecommute, blah blah blah, it could happen....they effin telecommute from friggin India every day....they trust them, why not you? ask Capitol ONE....formerly of Fredericksburg VA, now from Bangalore India....3,000 jobs.
but you make changes to make sure that the future is a good one....not just for you and your oil invested family...

why should g. w. bush worry about rising oil prices? Or OIL dependence?

he's in the business, why would he interrupt that business to help out his country, that would get in the way of his, his families, and his family friends profits.

When the oil runs out, he'll have driven the business into the ground and made a profit out of every last drop, your lives will be changed to make sure that his, his families and his friends don't have to change...

as your sunset grows darker, his sun remains at midday, because you don't have the courage to arrest a crook...mr CIA, NSA, FBI, INTERPOL, MILITARY...cowards.

Does it matter what happens to the citizens, apparently not.

he joins the National Guard to avoid combat.

he creates a war on false pretenses.

he sends the National Guard into combat without combat training. They die.

does this sound like a man that cares about the constituency?


He talks about baby killers, patriotism and homos to get elected. And then kills women, children, and 10's of thousands of people that haven't done anything to him except be strategically attractive....they're between him and the oil futures market.

Good person?

see yah.

Posted by: how about avoiding the OIL CRISIS as being a national security issue? | March 17, 2006 07:52 PM

"he creates a war on false pretenses"

What is stopping American people from demanding their representatives to impeach Bush?

Posted by: Joshua | March 18, 2006 12:34 AM

Because the American public don't see WWIII occuring. It's "business usual".

Have to be quite naive to think politicans don't lie, steal, cheat and profit from all three. As long as they're not burning down Washington; requiring us to speak Spanish; demanding 10% more taxes; or stopping the dole, they'd careless.

That's way the impeachment won't go through, no matter how partisans are savoring it.

That said, Iran is the next target and should be. North Korea can be handled between China and South Korea (The Koreas main goal is unification, they'd careless about anything else, even politics. Get them to talk about that, and Kim will be appeased <-- he's just looking to line his own pockets anyhow).

But we don't have those cards with Iran. It's a hotbed of insurgency (and there's countless instances they try to push their agenda in Iraq, including trying to stuff ballot boxes). They're the last rogue state as bad as Afghanistan (Somalia is self-contained; Arafat is on the take; Castro is on his last legs [he'll die within the decade]), and come tomorrow or in 10 years there will be an armed conflict with them. No way around it, because unlike the USSR, they don't abeit by treaties, their war is religious.

Quicker they're out of the equation, the quicker the world can mop up al Qaeta. Then the world can get back to their internal affairs.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 18, 2006 01:56 AM

Arafat is dead

Posted by: | March 18, 2006 02:26 AM

Oops, meant this thug...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muammar_al-Qaddafi

Come to think of it, Arafat is on the take -- a long one now! lol

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 18, 2006 02:42 AM

the dustballs underneath of your bed are what the president and his heroes...


the thugs want you to be afraid of...

as they sell the furniture in grandmas' house to support their addiction...

street punks have taken over grandmas' house...

lieing, theiving, street punks addicted to money...

and Sandy K's their man, aintcha?

Where's operation Swarmer in the news?


When we went into Bagdhad last time there was 24/7 coverage....


perhaps they're dropping bombs in the desert.....and telling everyone later "how hard it was"


notice that there's no coverage here....all of a sudden it's "all about baseball."


alex ham and sandy sure feel the same way to me...

pissants.....licking the hind end of poppie.

Posted by: Al Queata is the CIA.... | March 18, 2006 11:58 AM

it's all right to theive lie and steal...


business as usual, Al Capone style....

he's all for it, he's "part of the team."

he's getting paid to post, create the background noise....

you know, like New York, before Guilliani started arresting people for petty crimes....

once the petty crimes started being prosecuted then the big crimes stopped too...

the thugs, Sandy K. Alexander Hamilton and others of that ilk couldn't commit murders as they were behind bars on charges of having done petty crimes...


thugs have no compunction about "civilized," putting them away when they do "any crime" takes them out of the system...


that's what needs to be done here, not excuse them, the congress, the president, the CIA, NSA....


collusion is a crime, anyone in the chain of command can refuse, no one has...

when the nazis went down, it was similar.

the solution is the same that Guilliani used, arrest them for any crime....

Make the United States a safe place for your children, arrest them for any crime.

.

Posted by: notice Sandy K's selling you.... | March 18, 2006 12:05 PM

where's the coverage of the latest incursion into the hateful territories of Iraq?


what happened to the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air?


perhaps they're committing atrocities or dropping bombs in the desert and doing nothing....


we wouldn't know would we?


why is that?


...the first time and second time it was 24/7 coverage...


or perhaps it's like pakistan, we throw a couple of missles in and the president of pakistan tells us "we were successful," got to keep those ratings up!

see yah.

Posted by: thanks for making our world a better place to live in Emily! | March 18, 2006 12:30 PM

that if this administration wanted to defeat the ISLAM threat....


they would make the world a better place for everyone....

not generate a threat creating machine...

you want to defeat narrow-mindedness...

then you educate, not terrorize!


this administration has emphasized the correctness of narrow-mindedness.....

they have created a _more_ narrow minded US populance and at the same time

have proved to muslims the world over that they will not be treated fairly....

what a bunch of incredibly foolish people...

you want to defeat islam, teach people about being open minded....

television,

fashion,

discussing buddhism on television...


experience as a teacher instead of rigid belief based systems...

you could have spent 1/3 of the money....

the problem is that the oil would have been under their control...if you have alternatives, what difference does it make?


duuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.

Posted by: you know what is irritating? | March 18, 2006 01:30 PM

Posted by: Oscar Mayer
It seems foolish to talk about a threat from Iran when the facts are not tabled. For example, what is the timing for Iran to develop nuclear capability?
==================================
Well, Oscar, you and I might think it foolish, but we invaded Iraq on an even lessor factual basis. For example, Iran not only has yellow cake, it has already converted some of it to UF6. With Iraq we had no more than a mere rumor that they might have tried to acquire yellow cake from Niger, a rumor that proved false.

But lets assume the threat has a reality to it. Lets assume that Iran goes all out and has a working nuclear bomb in 3 years time. We do nothing in the meantime. I ask, what threat does a nuclear-armed Iran pose to the USA? Do they have the ability to deliver a devastating first strike against us? Hardly. Might they be so foolish as to take out one of our carriers with entourage in the Persian Gulf? Hardly. Might they use them against Israel? And take a nuclear counterattack? Hardly. Might they use them to intimidate their neighbors, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan (hardly), Yemen, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, etc.? Perhaps they might, but to what specific end? These nations already face potential nuclear threats from India, Pakistan, and Israel. Why would Iran be a larger threat than these nuclear nations to them?

Then there is the imagined threat from the nexus between Iran and terrorists. Which terrorists? Al Qaida, being a Sunni Islamist organization is hardly a natural ally, and certainly not a trustworthy one. Indeed, the actions of Al Qaida's Mr. Zarqawi in indiscriminately slaughtering Shia in Iraq hardly makes for good relations. More likely would be Hezbollah which has no particular axe to grind other than Israel. Would Hezbollah use a nuclear gift from Iran against us, or against Israel? Would Israel hesitate one minute to wipe out Iran in response? Not hardly.

The actual likelihood of a nuclear nation turning over a nuclear weapon to a terrorist is utterly remote:
1. To effectively destroy another small nation would take at least several nuclear weapons perfectly placed. That is a tall order.
2. The manufacturing source of a nuclear weapon is forensically determinable from its signature. Thus the original source is exposed to a counterattack.
3. You are exposed to discovery until it is used and after it is used and are sure to suffer unacceptable consequences yourself.

In reality, the greatest actual danger of such a nexus is in Pakistan, which already has a record of supplying nuclear technology to the highest bidder. Further, it has resident in the Sunni tribal areas the one terrorist organization focused on attacking us directly, i.e. Al Qaeda. In addition, a large portion of Pakistan's population is fervently Sunni fundamentalist, Islamist, and is but a revolution away from having their hands on nuclear weapons. We are dependent on a dictator (Mussaref) and an institution (the Army) to keep those weapons in safe hands.

From Section V of the new NSS:
"If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack. When the consequences of an attack with WMD are potentially so devastating, we cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialize. This is the principle and logic of preemption. The place of preemption in our national security strategy remains the same. We will always proceed deliberately, weighing the consequences of our actions. The reasons for our actions will be clear, the force measured, and the cause just."

Where was the "grave danger" from Iraq? Where is the "grave danger" from Iran? How did and do we conceive of either as such a direct threat to us that we invoke defense of ourselves in order to justify a pre-emptive attack? What is it really, that we are so in fear of?

Anybody?

Posted by: Cayambe | March 18, 2006 04:31 PM

Posted by: Jamal
Preemption is a good strategy if competently applied. Thus far from prior 911 to the War in Iraq, Bush and his administration have been everything, but competent. Preemption is based on good intelligence and weighing out of conflicting intelligence to the correct conclusion. Simply stated, let the intelligence guide your decision making, do not let your decision guide your intelligence selection.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I'm somewhat surprised that you would endorse this concept Jamal. Forget about competence for a moment, and tell me what "conclusion" in your mind justifies a pre-emptive attack by us on another sovereign nation. What level must the "threat" reach? How "imminent" must it become? Consider that the Iranian's are actually further along now than we thought the Iraqi's were with our flawed intelligence. Supposing our intelligence had been right, would you have supported the invasion of Iraq? Did you support the invasion of Iraq?

Posted by: Cayambe | March 18, 2006 04:51 PM

In reality, the greatest actual danger of such a nexus is in Pakistan,

Amen brother. Pakistans's nukes are a gunshot away from a bunch of guys living in caves who would neither know nor care if we blew the major cities there off the map.

Cayambe, seriously lets run you for the House - make you Speaker. God knows we need somebody to make some sense in foggy bottom.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | March 18, 2006 06:36 PM

Cayambe,

The problem with your scenerio is basing it on the USSR vs. USA mentality of the Cold War. That was idealogical differences, this is religious. Idealogues can be reasoned with (especially Atheists). That isn't the case with religious nutcases who'd just claim their idea of God is to nuke the world.

See the difference?

They may well try to nuke the USA, Europe, Asia, even other Muslim countries that don't follow their ideals. This is the Taliban on steroids, and I'm not exaggerating. Iran has been the seat of financing and support for global terrorism since the day they ousted the Shah. No sane person doubts their reach, and how far it went. PAN AM 103, to the fighters in Iraq and beyond. Furthermore, al Qaeta doesn't work in a vacuum, and it's not only Sunni Muslims in their ranks.

Iran should've been the target all along, as Hussein was contained. But a vendetta had to be fulfilled, at the expense of soldiers who follow orders. Now stretched to capacity, it's not that we can't or won't strike Iran, it's that our troop levels are too small to engage in a land battle (and air support does little if they bunker down, even with MOABs). Short of a draft (which is political suicide, especially since there's no more draft deferrments like in Vietnam), we can't fight Iraq and Iran together.

I bet they're thinking if they can hurry up to pull out and resupply, they can get a last shot on Iran. And since we have a lame duck president (and after the 2006 election is finished), won't doubt they'll try to make it plausible.

Trick is pulling out of Iraq and save face, while resupplying for a much larger war, and under the radar when our budget is at record levels, and folks not trusting this Administration. How they'll pull it off is what will be interesting -- another 9/11 perhaps??

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 18, 2006 09:56 PM

Posted by: Cayambe

"I'm somewhat surprised that you would endorse this concept Jamal. Forget about competence for a moment, and tell me what "conclusion" in your mind justifies a pre-emptive attack by us on another sovereign nation. What level must the "threat" reach? How "imminent" must it become? Consider that the Iranian's are actually further along now than we thought the Iraqi's were with our flawed intelligence. Supposing our intelligence had been right, would you have supported the invasion of Iraq? Did you support the invasion of Iraq?"

Cayambe,

The major oil exporting countries of the Middle East will begin to deplete their oil reserves in 50 to 100 years. There are no major coal deposits and with few exceptions, very little hydro to supply energy needs after the oil is gone. Iran is the first of several Middle Eastern countries, for justifiable economic reasons, that will seek nuclear energy, by various means to meet future demands. Do we take the policy of zero tolerance for nuclear energy due to potential for nuclear weapons in the Middle East? Zero tolerance entails many more Iraqs on a much grander scale. Or do we try a diplomatic method? That is a diplomatic method that does not include saber rattling and preaching axis of evil.

As far as my endorsement, I've never criticized the concept of pre-emptive strike, just the incompetent use of it by the Bush administration and diplomacy is always the first approach. Sorry, but competence can not be forgotten, even for a moment when it comes to pre-emptive strike. It is just as important to consider if you're in error as it is to consider if you're correct. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan used pre-emptive strike, were they justified and are we becoming like them? The misuse of Pre-emptive strike is not much different than Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). At some point other countries may attack us due to our history of flawed pre-emptive strike, assuming we were going to attack them. A continuation of incompetent use of this policy is going to put us on the fast track to WWIII. Thus far, the Bush pre-emptive strike policy has struck out twice, it missed the 911 attack and invaded Iraq, where no threat of WMDs existed.

Pre-emptive strike or attack if used incorrectly is the edipus complex of war. You use it to avoid being attacked by enemies, but instead create enemy attackers.

The serious threats we face now are not from established governments, but form terrorist organizations. NSA is not the stop all too terrorist threats as its being sold to us. What we don't have is efficient number of intelligence persons infiltrated into world wide terrorist networks. And many of the ones we do have are more interested in swaying our opinion for their own political agenda, than giving us solid intelligence. The Plame leak demonstrates the administrations view of agents in the field. Her intentional leak not only compromised her identity, but all those even remotely associated with her, a set back when we could not afford it to occur. Another debater mentioned several weeks ago there was a hesitation to adequately use Arabic persons in our intelligence networks, perhaps a trust issue?

Just as you mentioned the potential danger from Pakistan, so did I following the Bush visit. What concerned me was the Bush administrations call for free elections in Pakistan. I doubt Mussaref would win a free election at this point in time. Pakistan will elect a nuclear armed Islamic fundamentalist government that will most likely support Islamic terrorists. Pakistan is a much greater threat than Iran. A little off the subject with this comment, but those who say the democrats can't put forth a person smarter than Bush are idiots.

What level must the "threat" reach?

100% we are going to be attacked, because if we are wrong, then we are nothing more than the terrorists we are fighting. And opening ourselves up to a war or attacks worse than what we thought we were preventing. In other words, you had better damned be right!

"Supposing our intelligence had been right, would you have supported the invasion of Iraq?"

That's a hypothetical question with the same flawed intelligence. Please rephrase the question with specific intelligence that works.

"Did you support the invasion of Iraq?"

No, the UN inspectors were finding nothing and I personally know a person that trained some of the inspectors.

Posted by: Jamal | March 18, 2006 10:38 PM

SandyK wrote:
================================
The problem with your scenerio is basing it on the USSR vs. USA mentality of the Cold War. That was idealogical differences, this is religious. Idealogues can be reasoned with (especially Atheists). That isn't the case with religious nutcases who'd just claim their idea of God is to nuke the world.

See the difference?
================================

No, I don't actually see the difference. And I have yet to hear that their idea of God is to nuke the world. Are you perhaps suggesting that Muslims are by nature irrational? Or have you actually heard of some Iranian authority making the claim that God is to nuke the world.

Look at Iran from Iran's point of view. A nuclear power to the North of them (Russia). A nuclear power to the west of them (Israel). A nuclear power to the east of them (Pakistan and India). They are Persian in a sea of Arabs. They are Shia in a sea of Sunni. The Taliban hated them and they hated the Taliban. The Taliban was a threat to them and murdered more than a few Iranians, including even some diplomats. They actually have a perfectly rational need for nuclear weapons for self-defense, and that is a fact. It's the same justification used by India (the Chinese nuclear threat). It is the same justification used by Pakistan (India threat). Further, look at what we just did to Iraq and are threatening to do with Iran. Are we threatening that with North Korea? No, we aren't. Could it be because we think they already have them and are therefore deterred? So yes, it is perfectly rational for Iran to get them just to deter us from doing to them what we have done to Iraq.

================================
They may well try to nuke the USA, Europe, Asia, even other Muslim countries that don't follow their ideals. This is the Taliban on steroids, and I'm not exaggerating. Iran has been the seat of financing and support for global terrorism since the day they ousted the Shah. No sane person doubts their reach, and how far it went. PAN AM 103, to the fighters in Iraq and beyond. Furthermore, al Qaeta doesn't work in a vacuum, and it's not only Sunni Muslims in their ranks.
================================

Seriously Sandy, do you actually think they can nuke the USA. How do you suppose they are going to deliver these nukes to the USA? What do you suppose the response would be if they could and did? Is there any doubt in your mind that we would wipe Iran from the face of the earth? Do you suppose there would be any doubt in their mind that this would be the result? Do you think they would be willing to commit national suicide for the sake of Allah? This is sheer nonsense Sandy. Your letting your imagination, your nightmares, dominate your reason.

Support for global terrorism. Not really. They have placed most of their support focus on Hesbollah in Lebanon and to a lessor extent Hamas. Their primary support focus has been against Israel. You bring up Pan Am 103, for which Libya has been held responsible. I suppose you will assert Libya was acting on behalf of the Iranians. Perhaps. Why would the Iranians want to blow one of our civilian airliners out of the sky? Might it possibly be because one of our Aegis Cruisers blew one of their civilian airliners out of the sky? You remember that, or perhaps not?

================================
I bet they're thinking if they can hurry up to pull out and resupply, they can get a last shot on Iran.
================================

I've no idea what they are thinking. It is my goal to do everything I can to keep us from making another terrible mistake in Iran as we did in Iraq and to develop a more sensible foreign policy more coherent with American history than the one we see outlined in this NSS.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 18, 2006 11:57 PM

Jamal wrote:
As far as my endorsement, I've never criticized the concept of pre-emptive strike, just the incompetent use of it by the Bush administration and diplomacy is always the first approach.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Jamal,
Personally I don't accept the concept of a pre-emptive or preventative war. It is far to ill-defined and broad. Here is what the 2002NSS said about it:

"The security environment confronting the United States today is radically different from what we have faced before. Yet the first duty of the United States Government remains what it always has been: to protect the American people and American interests. It is an enduring American principle that this duty obligates the government to anticipate and counter threats, using all elements of national power, before the threats can do grave damage. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction - and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack. There are few greater threats than a terrorist attack with WMD.

To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively in exercising our inherent right of self-defense. The United States will not resort to force in all cases to preempt emerging threats. Our preference is that nonmilitary actions succeed. And no country should ever use preemption as a pretext for aggression.

Countering proliferation of WMD requires a comprehensive strategy involving strengthened nonproliferation efforts to deny these weapons of terror and related expertise to those seeking them; proactive counterproliferation efforts to defend against and defeat WMD and missile threats before they are unleashed; and improved protection to mitigate the consequences of WMD use. We aim to convince our adversaries that they cannot achieve their goals with WMD, and thus deter and dissuade them from attempting to use or even acquire these weapons in the first place."


From 2006NSS:

"The new strategic environment requires new approaches to deterrence and defense. Our deterrence strategy no longer rests primarily on the grim premise of inflicting devastating consequences on potential foes. Both offenses and defenses are necessary to deter state and non-state actors, through denial of the objectives of their attacks and, if necessary, responding with overwhelming force.

Safe, credible, and reliable nuclear forces continue to play a critical role. We are strengthening deterrence by developing a New Triad composed of offensive strike systems (both nuclear and improved conventional capabilities); active and passive defenses, including missile defenses; and a responsive infrastructure, all bound together by enhanced command and control, planning, and intelligence systems. These capabilities will better deter some of the new threats we face, while also bolstering our security commitments to allies. Such security commitments have played a crucial role in convincing some countries to forgo their own nuclear weapons programs, thereby aiding our nonproliferation objectives.

Deterring potential foes and assuring friends and allies, however, is only part of a broader approach. Meeting WMD proliferation challenges also requires effective international action - and the international community is most engaged in such action when the United States leads.

Taking action need not involve military force. Our strong preference and common practice is to address proliferation concerns through international diplomacy, in concert with key allies and regional partners. If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack. When the consequences of an attack with WMD are potentially so devastating, we cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialize. This is the principle and logic of preemption. The place of preemption in our national security strategy remains the same. We will always proceed deliberately, weighing the consequences of our actions. The reasons for our actions will be clear, the force measured, and the cause just."

You do not rule out a pre-emptive attack. But you still leave unanswered precisely what circumstances you would require before launching one, aside from perfect intelligence. That is why I asked the question the way I did. Would it suffice for you to launch a pre-emptive attack if Saddam actually had fissile material in hand? Would it suffice if he had a working bomb but not the means to deliver to the USA? Would you first require that he at least have the capability to attack us before we invoked pre-emption under self-defense? In other words, what, pray tell, in your mind, would a "competant" pre-emptive attack be? Give us an example.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 19, 2006 02:30 AM

Sending a missive, Cayambe's way!!

!!INCOMING!!

;)

Cayambe wrote:
===============================
No, I don't actually see the difference. And I have yet to hear that their idea of God is to nuke the world. Are you perhaps suggesting that Muslims are by nature irrational? Or have you actually heard of some Iranian authority making the claim that God is to nuke the world.
===============================

Bad tactic, Cayambe playing the race and bigotry card. That's a Godwin's Law tactic.

Maybe if you can get around the calls about racism, religious intolerance and all those other stumbling blocks, maybe you'll see the difference.

Idealogy can be reasoned with. It can have Bush, Sr. and Clinton working together for relief, despite the gulf between them on beliefs. This is unlikely with a member of the Likkud party and Hamas. The difference is idealogy isn't as personal -- policies and stances can change like the wind. Religion doesn't change as rapidly, and folks will kill for 2000 years over it, no matter how hard both sides try to appease each other. The distrust is beyond idealogy, it's based on faith and utter hatred.

Do you actually believe that the friction in Northern Ireland will be forever gone with a compromise between Sinn Fein/IRA and Britain? It'll rear it's ugly head 10/20/50/100/200 years from now, just like any other religious strife, because some demigod at sometime will restoke religious hatred.

Nothing boils mankind more than questioning his belief and faith system. He'll kill over it and no reasoning will prevail -- they'll sacrifice their own for their "God".

What evidence you seek is a crystal ball reading of the future, and that's impossible. Thus, you setup a belief knowing that there won't be a answer, then try to proclaim, "if not, this is the truth". That ad hominem don't fly.

Cayambe wrote:
================================
Look at Iran from Iran's point of view.
================================

Did you say the same with the Soviets? Did you cry over the 60,000,000 Soviets killed by their leaders? Or is that something to just ignore, too?

Cayambe wrote:
================================
A nuclear power to the North of them (Russia). A nuclear power to the west of them (Israel). A nuclear power to the east of them (Pakistan and India). They are Persian in a sea of Arabs. They are Shia in a sea of Sunni. The Taliban hated them and they hated the Taliban.
================================

Where's your evidence that the Taliban hated the Shias and vice versa? Is that an idea that you got off of TV and proclaiming as "truth", too? In Islam, no matter what sect, you're a Muslim, a fellow traveller. Just like with Jews and Christians. Sects will disagree, but brass tacks time they'll unite, as at least they know each other.

It'll be the same in Northern Ireland if al Qaeta dared to plant itself there. The Catholics and Protestants would put their differences aside to fight a united enemy -- as it's fellow Christians that are being killed/hurt.

Iran knew that once the US was in Iraq it's the next target. It knows it has to shore up ties with fellow Islamists if it plans to survive. They knew that when the Taliban was in power, and they know it now...

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/011/939xcmif.asp

Weekly Standard snippet:
===============================
"But the recently released transcript corroborates earlier reporting on Iran's cooperation with the Taliban, as well as al Qaeda. Afghani opposition sources reported in early 2002 that the Iranians helped Taliban and al Qaeda members escape approaching U.S. forces through the Herat province."
================================

So much for your idea, Cayambe. AP and Time doesn't dispute the evidence, nor anyone else who had access to the data.


Cayambe wrote:
================================
The Taliban was a threat to them and murdered more than a few Iranians,
================================

Meanwhile they were coming in and out of Iran like sand through a wide sieve. Think Russia would've tolerated US soldiers coming and going off their soil at will? Hardly. But you're claiming the Shias hated the Sunni's so much to allow them safe passage through their country, right?

Your logic doesn't compute, Cayambe.

Cayambe wrote:
================================
including even some diplomats. They actually have a perfectly rational need for nuclear weapons for self-defense, and that is a fact. It's the same justification used by India (the Chinese nuclear threat).
================================

And the US isn't very comfortable with India and Pakistan holding nuclear arms. Their powder kegs ready to go off at any time. The only thing keeping them from destroying each other is $$$$$$$$$$$$.

See, like the Shah, the US (and other countries) hold India and Pakistan in check with stuffing their leader's pocketbooks. Unlike India and Pakistan, Iran is home to some serious $$$$$$$$$$$ itself in "black gold". With that much money, they can't be kept in check as easily as poorer countries with less natural resources (remember wars are often fought over natural resources).

Cayambe wrote:
================================
It is the same justification used by Pakistan (India threat). Further, look at what we just did to Iraq and are threatening to do with Iran. Are we threatening that with North Korea? No, we aren't.
================================

Do you know why? Do you know ANYTHING about Asian socio-politics? The Koreas are more interest in unification. The entire region knows this, and why NK is treated the way it is. If the US went after North Korea, South Korea would revolt. Get it now???? It's an Asian matter and it's going to be handled by Asian countries, not the US.

The main reason Japan is going toward the Right isn't so much with China (that's long range), it's over the unification of Korea. They've been foes ever since Japan embraced Western ways (if you knew Asian socio-politics you'd know this and why the US defers the matter to the ASEAN league to handle. It's a civil affair, and one that can emboil into civil strife if a Western nation intercedes). A united Korea also will compete economically, and that's not in Japan or Taiwan's best interest (and if you've been following the politics outside your backdoor, you'd see the two countries strengthening their ties).

No you're not going to read it in the US papers, much like the record breaking snow storms in Japan, either.

Cayambe wrote:
================================
Could it be because we think they already have them and are therefore deterred? So yes, it is perfectly rational for Iran to get them just to deter us from doing to them what we have done to Iraq.
================================

No. It's because of what I outlined above. Anyone who's following Asian politics knows this, Cayambe. It's no secret.

What would be rational, Cayambe, is if you read more, followed trends more, studied history, philosophy, the Cold War, the mindset of religious nuts (abnormal psychology), and socio-politico agendas. Then you'll have a logical conclusion. Cayambe, partisan BS doesn't pass the grade.

Cayambe wrote:
=================================
Seriously Sandy, do you actually think they can nuke the USA. How do you suppose they are going to deliver these nukes to the USA?
=================================

Yes.

Very, very, very easy to do if you knew basic ballistics and rockertry. And if the Iranians can conjure up yellowcake, they can definitely build ICBMs (which is easier to do, and can even buy the materials pre-made).

It's not NASA level work, you know?

Cayambe wrote:
==================================
What do you suppose the response would be if they could and did? Is there any doubt in your mind that we would wipe Iran from the face of the earth? Do you suppose there would be any doubt in their mind that this would be the result? Do you think they would be willing to commit national suicide for the sake of Allah? This is sheer nonsense Sandy. Your letting your imagination, your nightmares, dominate your reason.
==================================

If they believe that an afterlife is better than on Earth, yep, they'll do it. Consider it their own forlourn hope. Jews and Christians have done it before, and now we live in a day it just takes a rocket sequence to start Doomsday.

Do you believe it'll never happen because it didn't happen with the USSR? If so, be ready for a ride of your life, literally. Religious nuts don't reason, they go the way of the Waco nuts, The Jonestown suicides, the Heaven's Gate Hale-Bopp riders. Has to end in fire and death, Cayambe. It's an age-old belief of Homo sapiens that fire cleanses the soul, and also condemns it.

cayambe wrote:
===================================
Support for global terrorism. Not really. They have placed most of their support focus on Hesbollah in Lebanon and to a lessor extent Hamas. Their primary ===================================

You forget other nations as well. Is it because to believe that a terrorism network is too frightening? That it has roots in Indonesia, Philipines, Thailand? Think it's j-u-s-t al Qaeta? Makes a fat iPodded American comfy, huh?

cayambe wrote:
===================================
support focus has been against Israel. You bring up Pan Am 103, for which Libya has been held responsible. I suppose you will assert Libya was acting on behalf of the Iranians. Perhaps. Why would the Iranians want to blow one of our civilian airliners out of the sky? Might it possibly be because one of our Aegis Cruisers blew one of their civilian airliners out of the sky? You remember that, or perhaps not?
===================================

Do you even bother to read even MODERN history?

Here learn, not sprout personal beliefs as the truth...

[Check the dates, before Bush and 9/11]
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/06/05/60minutes/main202714.shtml

http://www.rumormillnews.com/pam1.htm

http://www.newsmakingnews.com/2,3,00lidov.htm

From the last link above (check the date too):
====================================
US media are in fact ahead of Wright and Bakhash in adopted just such self-censorship. A high-level Iranian defector in Germany in 1997 implicated the Iranian government in initiating the Pan Am bombing and it was reported in the German press and secondarily in the English Guardian (7/14/97), but has never been mentioned at all in American papers, even to dispute the assertion. Wright and Bakhash would applaud the restraint. As used to be said of Soviet historiography "only the future is certain, the past is continually changing".
===================================

Cayambe wrote:
===================================

I've no idea what they are thinking. It is my goal to do everything I can to keep us from making another terrible mistake in Iran as we did in Iraq and to develop a more sensible foreign policy more coherent with American history than the one we see outlined in this NSS.
===================================

On false information and not even reading modern history, let alone keeping up with socio-political news on areas you've sprouted as some truth?

That's "making another terrible mistake", indeed.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 19, 2006 06:18 AM

Honest to Christ, I look forward to these editors swinging from the lamposts in DC!

"...In Iraq -- where American soldiers are dying from Iranian-supplied roadside bombs..."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/17/AR2006031701876.html
Let's review the facts that the Washington Post just couldn't seem to handle:

1. Monday, Bush claims Tehran is behind the IEDs:
Some of the most powerful IEDs we're seeing in Iraq today includes components that came from Iran. Our Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, told the Congress, "Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks by providing Shia militia with the capability to build improvised explosive devises" in Iraq.
2. Tuesday, General Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs, says there is no proof Tehran is behind any of this:
The top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday the United States does not have proof that Iran's government is responsible for Iranians smuggling weapons and military personnel into Iraq.

President George W. Bush said on Monday components from Iran were being used in powerful roadside bombs used in Iraq, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last week that Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel had been inside Iraq.

Asked whether the United States has proof that Iran's government was behind these developments, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing, "I do not, sir."
3. Saturday, the Washington Post publishes already-debunked Bush talking points, but now AS UNREBUTTABLE FACT.

Now, the Post may try to claim that they never said Tehran was behind the IEDs, they just said the devices were "Iranian-supplied" - maybe they came from Iranian, uh, Martians, and not the Irani government - I mean, that's consistent with the Post's wording, isn't it?

Of course, that's not the implication of the editorial - the editorial is based on the Irani government holding a quid pro quo over our head, and thus it implies that the Irani government has charge over the IED supply network, just as Bush and Rumsfeld have claimed, and just as the general has already disproven. Not to mention, we already know Bush and Rumsfeld lied about claiming Tehran was behind the IEDs, so why should the Post take the rest of the Bush's statement, that the parts are coming from Iran at all, as unrebuttable fact?

Seriously, this is beyond a simple error. It is beyond sloppy. This is yellow journalism at its worst. It's worthy of FOX News and the Washington Times. Either the Washington Post is being run by children who don't have a journalistic bone in their bodies, and who watch cartoons all week rather than actually follow the news, or the Washington Post knows what it's doing - it's whoring for the Bush administration in order to get us into another lie of a war.

We are talking about the justification for getting our country into a third war here, and the Washington Post can't seem to get its facts straight - again.

Katherine Graham would be turning over in her grave at what you people have done to her newspaper.

Posted by: Death to Tyrants | March 19, 2006 08:08 AM

The Imperial Neo Con Homeland "Security" Strategery still aims to promote Tyranny at home and Islamic Theocracy over there!

Freedom and Democracy?

Posted by: No Peace With Occupation | March 19, 2006 08:30 AM

If we are going to nuke a nation in the middle east that has a secret nookular program, weapons of mass murder, bullies her neighbors, bomb innocent civilians with "smart" bombs, and ignores the UN we should turn Zionist Israel into greenglass!

"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information."
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/spyring.html
-- US official quoted in Carl Cameron's Fox News report on the Israeli spy ring and its connections to 9-11.

ALL LINKS TO CARL CAMERON'S FOX NEWS STORY ON THE ISRAELI SPY RING HAVE BEEN REMOVED AT THE EXPRESS REQUEST OF FOX NEWS.

The actions of the US media are those of traitors to the American people.

Posted by: TAR AND FEATHER THE NEOCONS | March 19, 2006 09:07 AM

...the US wants to pre-empt the Iranian decision to set up a Tehran oil bourse to facilitate the selling and buying of oil in euros instead of US dollars...

Bush's Iran plan a time bomb with explosive results
http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/bushs-iran-plan-a-time-bomb-with-explosive-results/2006/03/19/1142703218248.html
An air strike against Iranian nuclear facilities is unlikely to be surgical. There are about 50 sites associated with nuclear development in Iran and they are mainly sited in towns where civilian populations would be at risk. An attack would be certain to inflame the Islamic world against the US, almost certainly lead to a full-scale civil war in Iraq with the support of the predominantly Shiite Iranian people, and the US fleet in the shallow and narrow Persian Gulf would have to withdraw or be vulnerable to Iranian missile attack.

"It may seem difficult at times to understand how we can say that progress is being made," President Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address, acknowledging that much of the recent news from Iraq has been bad. "But ... slowly but surely, our strategy is getting results."
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-fg-anniversary19mar19,1,4284393.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage
Rumsfeld, asked whether U.S. forces would intervene in an intra-Iraqi conflict, said, "The plan is to prevent a civil war, and to the extent one were to occur ... from a security standpoint, have the Iraqi security forces deal with it to the extent they're able to."

US prepares for Iraq Civil War Games
http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/03/19/wirq19.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/03/19/ixworld.html
As sectarian violence continues to claim lives every day, Donald Rumsfeld, the American defence secretary, has disclosed that United States military intelligence is holding war games to predict what might happen in such a situation.

The U.S. military reported that two 101st Airborne soldiers were killed Thursday by indirect fire -- usually meaning mortars -- at the Speicher operating base farther north up the Tigris. The deaths, which Loomis said were not directly related to the sweep, were the second and third involving division soldiers on the day Operation Swarmer began.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060318/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq;_ylt=AhwzNPR_7R7KBtf_y32pD12s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b3JuZGZhBHNlYwM3MjE-
Iraq's Shiite interim prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, described Operation Swarmer as a necessary "pre-emptive operation."


The preventive war strategy of President George WMD Bush was entrenched last week with his doctrine of shoot first - don't worry about aiming - and ask questions later. Apropos of this president, the updated security plan is, alas, a cowboy doctrine drafted not by a fair-minded sheriff but by an hombre outside the law.
http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-oppay194666962mar19,0,5214098.column?coll=ny-viewpoints-headlines
Those who truly care about the honor and reputation of this great country should take the time to read the National Security Strategy of the United States. It is a chilling document that cuts to the heart of Bush's execution of preventive war. The scenario gets even scarier when one considers that Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have forfeited all checks and balances on this self-proclaimed "war president" of the lone, unchallenged superpower with the technology to destroy the world.

This war started with the president of the United States ordering a direct, personal assassination of another head of state.

Posted by: Freedumb Fighter | March 19, 2006 09:31 AM

the point is that under no conditions do we need to be taking actions that are military....

all of this work is better done with media, culture infusion, and making the United States "not evil."


The greatest danger to the United States is appearing to villianize a primitive people, who can see that that is happening....the antithesis of what is being suggested..


wanting to be included in the world market place is enough pressure.

what a bunch of losers, the cabal of stooges...moe larry and dickless.

they probably think "Strange Fruit" by Billy Holliday is about fig trees...


how can such an incompetent group of minds point towards a better future?

keep the n*ggers in line would be their philosophy....

I suggest that we simply cut their hamstrings and release them to the wolves by letting others see them as they are.


thanks,

good luck and good night...

Posted by: Sandy K, what a boy.... | March 19, 2006 03:18 PM

is defensive ness....

any time you attack a primitive, what they do is defend...

you want to increase the strength of their belief you attack it...

you want to remove thier belief, you teach them to see the world as it exists...

there is no difference between Sandy K, and Islamoids...

they each have a primitive belief system.


the response to reason doesn't exist, they must experience other types of culture to choose to act differently...

I think the orange jumpsuit culture would help Sandy immensely.


thanks.

Posted by: the proper response and the only response to an attack... | March 19, 2006 03:22 PM

that if this administration wanted to defeat the ISLAM threat....


they would make the world a better place for everyone....


not generate a threat creating machine...


you want to defeat narrow-mindedness...


then you educate, not terrorize!

this administration has emphasized the correctness of narrow-mindedness.....


they have created a _more_ narrow minded US populance and at the same time


have proved to muslims the world over that they will not be treated fairly....


what a bunch of incredibly foolish people...


you want to defeat islam, teach people about being open minded....


television,

fashion,

discussing buddhism on television...


experience as a teacher instead of rigid belief based systems...


you could have spent 1/3 of the money....


the problem is that the oil would have been under their control...if you have alternatives, what difference does it make?


duuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.

Posted by: piece of cake for her holinest... | March 19, 2006 03:24 PM

your leaders are not interested in having the Middle Eastern people encouraged to think and evolve...


they want them to remain a primitive threat so that they can villify them....

the last thing the United States wants the Islamic fundamentalists to do is to become reasonable....


at that point, it would be obvious, just like with the Martin Luther King peace marches, who the terrorist were...


as long as you can keep them angry and attacking the current administration and congress can say, "see, I told you so, they're dangerous."


sort of like the Israeli and Palestiniean issue....the Israeli's should really be more angry with Europe for the way they were treated after WWII than the Palestinians...


ask any German Jew, who lived during that period.

Posted by: the problem is they don't want the fundamentalists to have control of the oil... | March 19, 2006 03:58 PM

From NSS 2002:
"There are few greater threats than a terrorist attack with WMD.

To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively in exercising our inherent right of self-defense."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Certainly a thermonuclear attack by Russia would be a far greater threat with far more devastating consequences, just to put things in perspective. And, as more nations develop national SLBM technology and capability, we shall be exposed to quite substantive threats from them. A terrorist attack even with WMD, though a terrible event, does not rise anywhere near the level of a WMD attack by a well-equipped nation.

But let us seriously consider the idea of preempting a terrorist WMD attack. The first thing required here is very very good intelligence. This intelligence must first detect the fact that an attack is being planned, what the target is, who is planning the attack, where they are located, and so on. Who and where located are essential for preemption. Of course it is almost incidental that the attack weapon might be WMD. Supposing you had such intelligence about a non-WMD attack. Would we not take the same actions to prevent it from occurring? Of course we would.

The very idea of preemption implies knowledge aforehand, in advance of the attack. There is no indication that we have been able to gain such knowledge with any frequency, and there is ample indication in the attacks endured that we have not. Even allowing for the potential of "secret success's" we don't reveal to protect intelligence assets, it does not appear as though we have been terribly successful at the grungy business penetrating terrorist networks, particularly Al Qaeda's, which has been behind the most successful attacks against us directly.

Lets examine how these attacks were actually staged and planned. Suppose we had knowledge of them aforehand, how might we have "preempted" them? The attack on the two embassies in Africa were staged there, in two separate countries. Preemption would have involved capturing or killing these terrorist cells beforehand, either using local police or military forces, some sort of US military special forces snatch operation, or perhaps CIA assassins. A similar approach would have been called for regarding the USS Cole. Think of the first twin towers bombing. Planned in Malaysia and staged in New Jersey/New York. Again preemption would have involved snatching or assassinating specific people in specific places. 9/11 itself was planned and staged in a variety of places around the globe, to include various places in the US where flight training took place, Hamburg Germany, Afghanistan, and probably several other locales. Preemption of an attack by stateless terrorists, whether WMD or not, is something entirely different than preemption against a threat from another nation. The former does not per se involve war with another nation, though it may involve a violation of a nations sovereignty that may result in war. What it does involve is ruthlessly killing or capturing specific people wherever they are by forces tailored to accomplish that very task. The latter involves either a specific attack to destroy a specific threat, e.g. the Israeli attack on Iraq's reactor, or a full scale military assault on the nation a la current operation in Iraq. Mind you, we have long since accomplished our preemptive goal, by eliminating the ambiguity in our intelligence and our lack of confidence in the UN inspections. In other words, by discovering there was no threat to preempt, just the appearance of one in our minds.

I submit that a doctrine of preemption is clearly foolish until you have an intelligence system that can deliver intelligence adequate to support it. Adequate means they have to be right. We do not have that and we won't unless and until we develop human intelligence assets within terrorist networks and the nations we see as potential threats.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 19, 2006 05:26 PM

what makes you think that intelligence isn't accurate?


what makes you think they're not knee deep in the "cells"?


what makes you think that anything that you hear is accurate?


you're really not dealing with a thoughtful, friendly government that is intent upon doing what is best for the people.


you're dealing with a short attention span intelligence community that is used to "threat identification," and to some extent "threat conjuring," as a way of moving resources and getting things done their way.


historically, there's all ways been a component of the wealthy "using" the government.

I think that is what is hardest for Americans born after or during the WWII era.

That the United States can be selfish for a class, selfish for it's nationality and wrong...

but, we had to fight for labor laws.

we had to fight to abolish slavery, but we didn't really help the slaves that were freed...


we cut $380 in foodstamps, and $30/month off of social security medical payments to subsidize the Iraqi occupation, while we gave tax breaks to the very richest, as outsourcing became the way to avoid paying union workers a fair wage....


these are not very nice things.


neither is suckering Saddam Hussein into attacking Kuwiat so we could steal the oil as well as occupy Kuwiat...


some people died on both sides, for purely economic reasons..


there's no mystery here...these people are knee deep in "taking"

Delay, Cunnin ham, Cheyney have been involved in a local scandal in DC together to favor a particular person in a potomoc river develpment...Cheyney hosted a fundraiser for Delay in Houston at the Westin Galleria on Dec 3rd...


they're family, you're not, you're a tick on the back of sandyk.

.

Posted by: you're really not getting it... | March 19, 2006 05:53 PM

Cayambe wrote:
===========================================
I submit that a doctrine of preemption is clearly foolish until you have an intelligence system that can deliver intelligence adequate to support it. Adequate means they have to be right. We do not have that and we won't unless and until we develop human intelligence assets within terrorist networks and the nations we see as potential threats.
===========================================

Cayambe setups that classic ad hominem of: if it can't be 100% accurate, then *nothing* should be done.

By that logic, we shouldn't be using computers, since they're not 100% accurate; can literally explode (and kill a person); lose data; get hacked; run viruses.

Thing is mankind can't be 100% accurate as they're not God. Which means mistakes happen and people die (they die on the road; in a plane; in the hospital; by execution; by electricution). People accept it as a necessary risk, as life is life and we have little control outside our own.

If a pre-emptive strike is needed to save 1,000 lives at the expense of 500, the greater number trumps the few. That's how it's always been reasoned, and will be reasoned by rational thought and sane people.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 19, 2006 07:28 PM

NSS 2006 Section II C. 2. ....
"Participation in elections by individuals or parties must include their commitment to the equality of all citizens; minority rights; civil liberties; voluntary and peaceful transfer of power; and the peaceful resolution of differences. Effective democracy also requires institutions that can protect individual liberty and ensure that the government is responsive and accountable to its citizens. There must be an independent media to inform the public and facilitate the free exchange of ideas. There must be political associations and political parties that can freely compete. Rule of law must be reinforced by an independent judiciary, a professional legal establishment, and an honest and competent police force.

These principles are tested by the victory of Hamas candidates in the recent elections in the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian people voted in a process that was free, fair, and inclusive.

The Palestinian people having made their choice at the polls, the burden now shifts to those whom they have elected to take the steps necessary to advance peace, prosperity, and statehood for the Palestinian people. Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union (EU) because it has embraced terrorism and deliberately killed innocent civilians. The international community has made clear that there is a fundamental contradiction between armed group and militia activities and the building of a democratic state. The international community has also made clear that a two-state solution to the conflict requires all participants in the democratic process to renounce violence and terror, accept Israel's right to exist, and disarm as outlined in the Roadmap. These requirements are clear, firm, and of long standing. The opportunity for peace and statehood - a consistent goal of this Administration - is open if Hamas will abandon its terrorist roots and change its relationship with Israel."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I find this interesting. We have of course undertaken to form a government in Iraq meeting the specifications we here outline. We have had about 2 ½ years to do it and it is still undone.

Iraq now has a temporary representative government, a constitution, and has elected a permanent parliament from which a permanent government has yet to be formed. We are insistent that the constitution be changed as it is too "federal" to our liking. Are there institutions which can "protect individual liberty"? No, there are not. Indeed with 130,000 of our troops plus some 200,000 of their forces, we still cannot provide security. Are there institutions which can "ensure that the government is responsive and accountable to its citizens"? Certainly not. The government is rife with corruption and crime of all kinds pervades urban society. Is there "an honest and competant police force"? No there isn't. The police force is thoroughly corrupt and heavily infiltrated by partisan militia forces whose loyalty lies with parties outside of the government. Have we disarmed the partisan militias? No, in 2 ½ years we have not. Do we intend to? No, we do not. Have we stopped terrorism? No, we have not. Indeed, there is more terrorism ongoing in Iraq right now than the rest of the Middle East combined. Apart from suicide car bombs and the like, we have multiple executions each night by one sectarian party on the other and vice versa. We have the Iraqi version of ethnic cleansing going on. Have we defeated the Sunni insurgency? No, we have not. Do we intend to? No, we do not. We will leave that dirty work to the Iraqi's.

Why did the Palestinians vote for Hamas? If you believe the reporting, it was for two primary reasons. One was that they had demonstrated competance at good governance following the prior municipal elections. The other was they brought the promise of greater personal security, of clamping down on crime and corruption. Their "militia" was seen by the people as being more trustworthy and less corrupt than the government security forces.

It seems to me that "these principles" were first tested by Fatah, and Fatah was found to be wanting. So yes, now they will be tested by Hamas. That is how it works in a democracy. But we are not and should not be the judges of that. That future judgement is one to be made by the Palestinian people in their next election. Until then, we should perhaps be wisest to judge Hamas based on what they do and not what they have said. After all Likud once claimed the entire West Bank for the Jews.

I am disturbed by the imperitive "must" oft repeated in the first paragraph above. When and where did we get the authority to dictate what principles a government must conform to? Isn't this what the people governed must decide for themselves? When we threw off our tyranny, did we not do that for ourselves? Did we not limit the principles we established for ourselves to ourselves? When did we become so dictatorial as to say "must" across the entire world? Does this strike any of you as being just a bit arrogant?

Posted by: Cayambe | March 19, 2006 08:23 PM

If a pre-emptive strike is needed to save 1,000 lives at the expense of 500, the greater number trumps the few. That's how it's always been reasoned, and will be reasoned by rational thought and sane people.

SandyK

But Sandy, suppose you just THINK the strike is needed when in fact it is not. Do you just say "Oops, sorry 'bout that folks, but not my fault; these things just happen." What level of confidence do you need before you deliberately obliterate 500 innocent people? Isn't this a perfectly reasonable question to ask?

Posted by: Cayambe | March 19, 2006 08:53 PM

life is different than that.


solutions aren't found by violence except as part of a more humanitarian thought process...


where's your humanitarian thought process, for your blue collar brothers?


for the people that are getting killed because they like the Native Americans are in the wrong place at the wrong time, and are the wrong color?

actually, it's not rascist on their leaders parts, they are just as happy to take advantage of their peasants as we are...


you've read too many comic books, and you're trying to live like a super hero..


thing is bad guys are made, they're not usually born....and the United States is making a whole lot of them right now...


if there weren't any terrorists before, I can guarantee you there are some now...

and the fault is purely with the New World Order that we as citizens didn't vote into office...

WE were lied to, tricked and deceived by chicanery, voter fraud, and to a certain degree media control...

,*

Posted by: to bruce willis wannabe's... | March 19, 2006 10:03 PM

Cayambe makes a premise: "The actual likelihood of a nuclear nation turning over a nuclear weapon to a terrorist is utterly remote:"

To buttress his claim he lists a few reasons:

1. To effectively destroy another small nation would take at least several nuclear weapons perfectly placed. That is a tall order.
2. The manufacturing source of a nuclear weapon is forensically determinable from its signature. Thus the original source is exposed to a counterattack.
3. You are exposed to discovery until it is used and after it is used and are sure to suffer unacceptable consequences yourself.

For countering:

1. It would take just 1 or 2 nukes set off to make America conclude the nation faced an existential threat, the Constitution must be suspended, and both Muslims and anti-American Lefties rounded up. Especially if the Islamoids say there are more undetonated devices secreted in Muslim of Leftist neighborhoods ready to transport to high value targets.

A "slight loss" of 3-8 million American civilians would not be "acceptable", but would have the public demanding annihilation of Islamoid jihadis responsible, cleaning our nation of Muslims, and rounding up Lefties and ACLU-type Jews....or the public would grab their rifles and start on the eradication before another nuke was set off.

We are also at a point where the Indians, Islamoids, and possibly the NORKs if they get help - can escalate and create a 1-20 Megaton thermonuclear device. It took America 6 years and the brute force of buildings full of computing power now contained in a single Pentium III to create "The Super Bomb" in 1952. The Israelis already have 100KT boosted fission bombs, and are reputed to have stolen Russian, French, and American H-Bomb blueprints...

2. The "tracibility" of a nuclear device is not like Hollywood makes it out to be, where a machine can say where a bomb came from as easily as an enologist can swish wine in his mouth and say "Bordeax, N Slope, Chantilly Estate".

You get an idea of actual bomb design source from the power and rads released in a nuke detonation. We could say it was a Chinese design given to the Paks and froim the Paks to 6 other countries. Or an America design the Chinese got. Or a crude gun assembly design that any university in the Muslim world or NORK-land could do. If the bomb is made from PU-239, hopefully some FP contaminants that tell you from what design reactor they come from. The reactor design influences the speed and magnitude of the neutron flux which can give PU-239 certain contaminants...but weeks of analysis may be needed to even narrow the source down to 2-3 countries...If it is HEU, you're screwed...it could come from anywhere. There are other intelligence sources, that will likely give us better than 50-50 chances - but you can bet whatever the evidence - Muslims, ACLU Jews, and Lefties will insist that the "evidence" be presented to lawyers in robes at a UN sanctioned "trial" before the UN authorizes a "police action" that uses warrants and "precision" military assault on the people defying warrants coming from international lawyers of the highest moral authority.....all to spare the "millions of innocent Islami babies" from nuclear counterattack. A 60% probability a bomb came from Iran, not the 30% probability of Pakistan or a 10% "false flag" deception op done against us by Israel, Russia, China, France to manipulate us into attacking one of their enemies.....will not be enough for ACLU Jews and allies that will insist on lengthly court proceedings and "removal of all criminal doubt", since the fate of millions of "innocent Islami babies and puppy dogs" would by in angry, nuked, "cowboy" America's hands....an America that should maybe look at it's nuked cities and start, the ACLU thinks, by apologizing for all the "injustices and root causes" that make Muslims want to kill infidels over the last 1400 years.

3. We have already seen the tactics of the ACLU Jews, Muslim sympathizers, and Lefties at work. Even after 9/11 they were spewing the usual pacifist pabulum about "an eye for an eye would leave the whole world blind" and how Al Qaeda had to be tried by a Sharia Court since infidels were morally unfit to judge if Islamoids were responsible for 9/11 or the true gulit lay in the West from culpability in the "root causes of enormous Muslim anger". After an Islamoid nuking of America, Israel, or Europe, with millions of mostly innocent Islami babies lives about to be destroyed by a counterattack - you can be sure the ACLU Jews, Muslims, and Lefties would be demanding vengence only be done through the UN and "the Justices of the International Courts" on "the few rogue criminal elements" that killed millions of Westerners - rather than a "morally and legally unacceptable" nuclear retaliation.

**********************
Cayambe further writes" "In reality, the greatest actual danger of such a nexus is in Pakistan, which already has a record of supplying nuclear technology to the highest bidder. Further, it has resident in the Sunni tribal areas the one terrorist organization focused on attacking us directly, i.e. Al Qaeda."

That assumes that Iran is more rational than Pakistan. But the problem with radical Islam is the same as with other totalitarian beliefs....a fundamental irrationality that liberates muderous forces and also weakens the true believers. The Soviets killed 10s of millions and weakened themselves with their obsession of liquidating "class enemies". Then the Nazis came along and in a rational scheme should have had every survivor of the mass murders committed by Jews and Russians, including survivors of the 6 million killed in the Ukranian genocide solidly behind them...but the Nazis treated the Poles, Lithuanians, Romanians, Yugoslavs, Czechs, Cossacks, Ukranians, Belorussians WORSE than the Russian and Jewish Red Terror did. They could have won if they had other Slavs equally hostile to Bolshevikism with them, but they were Aryan supremacists and completely irrational about diplomacy, alliances, cutting a deal with Britain & the US. The Yamoto race Jap supremacists made the same mistake.

The Islamoids are also fundamentally irrational. Their version of Islam says the infidel must be exterminated. If not killed, completely subjugated to Islamic law..It is not just Pakistan that is one cabal of generals away from using nukes on infidels in India or the West...It is the danger that if Iran gets the Bomb that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt may feel compelled to follow.

If those nations get the Bomb, then the NPT checks are useless...and others like Japan, S Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina, Thailand, Nigeria, S Africa (again), Indonesia, and Mexico may also see nuke weapons as a compelling national interest.

In the face of that, the notion of "inviolable national sovereignity" of any nuke weapon-seeking nation unless they actually launch thermonuclear missiles...is a stupid relic of the Treaty of Wesphalia.

*****************************

Interesting fact emerged on the "Bush lied, Iraqi babies died" WMD meme/libel the Left and media love so much....because it is so anti-America...

Seems that all Saddam's battlefield generals had a meeting with him on the coming American invasion on where they would deploy soldiers, Feyadeen terrorists, AAA, and their fallback roles if the Americans were not stopped by their forces or Iraq's allies in the UN or the Leftist politicians they bought.

They were interested in two things:

1. If the mass anti-war demonstrations organized by Muslims and Lefties - some in Iraq's pay, others just peace at any cost believers would deter Europe and even America.

2. They all asked that the VX nerve gas and anthrax stored with the Palace Guard be released to them, so that battlefield commanders could be ready to launch on Saddam's order. WMD that would both slow the attack down and target what Zionist, Saudi and Kuwaiti population centers + infidel bases in Kuwait, KSA, UAE???

Saddam said to the generals that:

A. He had high hopes that Leftist allies in the West, plus France, Germany, Russia, and China would pull IOUs at the UN to stop any invasion until sanctions ended and Iraq was back to full military might.

B. He said, to the consternation of the generals, that traitors (his sons in law) had forced him to destroy the WMD stocks in 1995-96, that he had decided to deceive his own generals out of fear other traitors would tell the Israelis and Iranians the stocks were destroyed...but soon sanctions would end...and Iraq would return to NBC WMD production. In the meantime the deception was working on the rest of the world as well as it did with them....and it was of value that the deception continue to make the Americans reluctant to attack.

Like with the Soviets, Nazis, and Japs...an irrational move by another totalitarian. Luckily for him, his allies in the West, particularly the America-haters and "destroy Bush at-all-costs" partisans have succeeded in blaming Bush more than Saddam and the global intelligence community for "Lying"...a Dem Party, Lefty, media, ACLU Jew service that makes Saddam, the KGB, the Mossad, French DST, German intelligance, China's Overseas Information Bureau, Jordanian and KSA "internal services", and our Iranian sources most happy that Bush is the "designated" liar...

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 19, 2006 10:27 PM

Posted by: SandyK

"If a pre-emptive strike is needed to save 1,000 lives at the expense of 500, the greater number trumps the few. That's how it's always been reasoned, and will be reasoned by rational thought and sane people."

So Sandy, what your saying is; if there is 50/50 chance your neighbor was a terrorist with WMDs, then a pre-emptive strike would be justified, taking you out with the terrorist, because that's a "sane" "reasonable" move? You might justify taking yourself out, but I wouldn't take you out on a 50/50 chance. I don't want anyone taking me out, even on a 100%.

Out of that 500 are 495 innocent people. I'm just happy our local police departments don't use pre-emptive the way Sandy and Bush do.

Posted by: Jamal | March 20, 2006 12:00 AM

Cayambe,

After reviewing the exchange of comments today between yourself and various other debaters on pre-emptive strike, Iraq, Iran, and ME policy, you presented your case extremely well. I was going to answer the questions you presented to me, but upon further thought, you already answered them today.

The United States is the last remaining military super power, but poor use of pre-emptive strike will turn the rest of the world against the United States. We can not afford that to happen for military and economic reasons. Militarily compared to the rest of the world, we are NOT, the super power, they are. Isolated with embargos, our economy will fall apart.

Many people consider the United States as the masters of the world to do as they please. It's a very dangerous way to think. Consider the small country of Iraq and how this mighty super power has been humbled by less the 25,000 insurgents. Iraq's population is 26,074,906 people and Iran's is more than twice as much at 68,688,433 people. Iraq's area is 437,072 sq miles as compared to Iran's of 1,600,000 Sq miles or about four times the area. Now, think about what a potential 20,000,000 insurgents could do to a United States occupation?

After reviewing the 2006 National Security Strategy and trying to recall Karl Roves address at Republican fund raiser pertaining to how he was going to make security the issue in the 2006 midterm elections. His strategy was to make the Democrats appear weak on Security and Republicans strong. It appears that 50% of the 2006 National Security Strategy is Karl Rove BS for the midterm elections.

At work I was discussing pro-choice with an anti-abortion religious fundamentalist, he assured me that the taking of any unborn life, under any circumstances, was murder. He also strongly supported the bombing and invasion of Iraq. I pointed out to him; "how can you support the bombing and subsequent killing of a mother and her unborn child in Iraq?" His answer was; "that is different". I must have the King James Version of the bible; he must have the King George version of the bible.

Posted by: Jamal | March 20, 2006 01:08 AM

Chris .........For countering:
1. It would take just 1 or 2 nukes set off to make America conclude the nation faced an existential threat, the Constitution must be suspended, and both Muslims and anti-American Lefties rounded up.

I've not the slightest doubt that the reaction would be extreme, though I doubt that it would go so far as suspending the Constitution or rounding up Lefties. It wouldn't be necessary. Muslims would be in for a rough time, rougher than they were following 9/11 when something like 900 were corralled as incommunicado "material witnesses" for weeks on end.

But Chris, I don't doubt that we would, in relatively short order, know, with a high degree of certainty, where the beast came from. Nor would there be any hesitation in unloading on that source. An act of war is just that and no permission is required of either the ACLU or the UN or anyone else for us to respond to it, and we would. Nor would I count on a "measured" response; a thoroughly brutal one would be best.

About Iranian and Pakistani "irrationality". Despite the rhetoric, I don't find the Iranian clergy to be particularly irrational. They have managed to stay in power now for about 25 years and there are no serious signs that their grip has loosened. It is by no means your average dictatorship, your average tyranny. There are a lot of complex politics in the structures set up by their constitution, some of which are in fact elected. To dismiss them as just another group of irrational Islamic zealots is a mistake. Pakistan to me is scarier because the Islamists there are largely out of the government and heavily influenced by the Wahabiest strain of Islam, which more closely matches your rhetoric.


Chris ..... It is the danger that if Iran gets the Bomb that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt may feel compelled to follow.
If those nations get the Bomb, then the NPT checks are useless...and others like Japan, S Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina, Thailand, Nigeria, S Africa (again), Indonesia, and Mexico may also see nuke weapons as a compelling national interest.

Chris, I hear you. I agree with you. But I don't think the NPT can stop it. But I do think it can be stopped, just as it was stopped in the many countries in Europe which had and have the wherewithal to develop nuclear weapons and don't. Stopped by what? By the nuclear security umbrella offered by Britain, France, and above all, the US. It is time to take globalization to the next level. Here is my suggestion.

A Business Plan for the National Interest.


OBJECTIVE

This plan has two objectives:

A..... Since the end of the cold war we have tasked ourselves with the role of playing bully policeman to the world in one form or another. This has led us to our current condition of being widely unpopular for both exercising and failing to exercise our powers in this role. A particularly onerous duty we have assigned to ourselves is Chief Enforcement Officer for the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty that is fraught with defects and to which we ourselves do not subscribe in good faith. One objective of this plan is to relieve us of this role that has proven to be both very costly to our treasure, costly in terms of lives, extremely difficult to perform, and very damaging to our reputation and relationships.

B..... Our government, having become profligate beyond reason, continues to charge generations to come with the costs of wielding our expensive military power rather indiscriminately around the world. Having already invested trillions of dollars in this institution, particularly the Strategic Nuclear Force Component, the second objective of this plan is to offset some of its cost by using it to insure other nations against particular nuclear threats in exchange for cash premiums.


PROPOSAL

Currently, the nations that we know have nuclear weapons include the permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Great Britain, Russia, and the USA), India, and Pakistan. Israel also has them beyond a reasonable doubt. North Korea may have them and has claimed to have them. In addition, there are a number of countries with the financial resources and/or technical/industrial resources to develop nuclear weapons should they find it in their national interest to do so.

The US and Russia developed vast tactical and strategic nuclear weapons during the Cold War which have since been substantially scaled back, but even so, far outstrip those of any other nation. Both of us remain uniquely capable of delivering these weapons to practically any point on the globe by cruise or ballistic missile, by airborne bomber, or by submarine launched ballistic missile. In time, it is likely that China will develop their nuclear weapons and delivery systems for those weapons that will approach our capabilities. It is not currently foreseeable that any other nation will.

We are particularly blessed by our geographical position on this Globe. We are beyond the reach of an effective land based missile attack by any nation other than Russia and will likely remain this way so long as the North and South American continents remain nuclear free, except for ourselves. No nation, other than Russia, can currently threaten our viability as a nation by a nuclear attack.

The 40-year Cold War remained cold throughout because the Russians and we developed sufficient offensive power to provide Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). This doctrine was based on the mutual certain knowledge that if either attacked the other, both would certainly be destroyed. This doctrine also implicitly assumes that nations do not willingly commit suicide, and neither of us did. While we no longer consider each other enemies, we still retain sufficient forces that MAD continues to prevail between us.

In an effort to curb the further spread of nuclear weapons in the world, recognizing the legitimate need for the spread of peaceful nuclear technology, the Non-Proliferation Treaty was developed under UN auspices which conditioned the spread of nuclear technology to an outside ongoing inspection regime by a UN sponsored agency the IAEA and an agreement not to research or develop nuclear weapons. Despite this treaty we have to date seen nuclear weapons developed in four 4 additional countries, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. In addition, Iraq and Libya have had programs which were interrupted, one peacefully and the other by two wars. The treaty has not been very effective in its primary purpose and cannot be so long as there remains such a huge power incentive to acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

What drives a nation to acquire nuclear weapons is one of two things. It may be for the purpose of dominating non-nuclear neighbors. It may be to defend against nuclear neighbors or much larger non-nuclear neighbors. Israel acquired them to defend against far larger opposing nations. India developed them ostensibly to defend against the Chinese nuclear threat. Pakistan developed them to defend against the Indian nuclear threat. Iran has reason to develop them against both the Israeli and Pakistani nuclear threats. So long as nuclear weapons are an offensive threat to neighboring countries, these countries are inevitably driven by their national interests to develop nuclear weapons for defensive purposes. Thus proliferation drives more proliferation.

What every nation wants is security from nuclear attack by its neighbors. Currently the only means of acquiring that security from nations already equipped with nuclear weapons is to develop nuclear weapons for themselves. We are in a unique position to offer an alternative in the form of an insurance policy.

For any nation that wished to pay the premium, we would offer to them the security provided by the Assured Destruction (AD) of the nation that attacked the insured with a nuclear weapon, excepting only the other permanent members of the Security Council as presently constituted. In other words we would annihilate any nation (other than China, France, Brits, and Russia) that used a nuclear weapon on them. This would be conditioned that the insured nation was not attacking by any military means the nation launching the nuclear weapon. We are not going to wipe out a nation just defending itself from the insured.

In addition, we would also extend that security to the Assured Destruction (AD) of any nation (excepting SC permanent members) which was found to be the source of a nuclear weapon provided to others who used it against the insured nation. Thus, any nation that chooses to develop nuclear weapons had best keep a very very tight control of them.

The premium would be 1% of the annual GNP of the insured country, paid quarterly in ¼% payments. The potential market for this insurance, especially if Iran develops nuclear weapons, is in the neighborhood of 13 trillion dollars of GNP. Thus it would not be unreasonable to expect something in the neighborhood of 80-100 billion a year in premiums which would more than offset the annual costs of our Strategic Nuclear Forces, reduce our current accounts deficit by that much and reduce our fiscal deficit by that much. It doesn't cover the whole deficit but it ain't exactly chicken feed either. It would pay for the current cost of the Iraq war in about 3 years.

In addition, this would make it unnecessary to go to war with Iran to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons, and, if we use Iraq as our guide, that saves us the 200-300 billion we would otherwise spend trying to enforce the unenforceable. Indeed, we might even want to encourage Iran on its path towards nuclear weapons, as that would encourage the European market to buy our insurance.

The availability of this insurance would have a distinct effect on any nations decision to develop nuclear weapons. If the nations intent is to brandish them at their neighbors, it has to be seen that this is something those neighbors could insure against, and to use them against an insured nation would be national suicide. If a nation is seeking to develop them to defend against a nuclear-armed neighbor, they have to trade off the cost of that versus the cost of the insurance, and developing nuclear weapons is by no means a cheap alternative. Consequently it is healthy in all ways; it tends to remove the offensive utility of nuclear weapons and provides a non-nuclear means of defending against them.

We should not discriminate in the market. We should be happy to sell such an insurance policy to any nation that wants it, whatever form of government is in power. Indeed, Iran, looking at Israel on one side and Pakistan on the other might well prefer an insurance policy from us rather than go through the expense and effort of developing their own nuclear weapons.

There do still remain a few countries that might wish to develop nuclear weapons for the same reason Israel did; i.e. any country that faces the possibility of being overwhelmed by the conventional forces of a neighbor. This we would not insure against, would not be covered. For this they would actually need defensive nuclear weapons or some adequate alliance.

This would go a long way towards changing our role in this world. Instead of being seen as a force for instability by pressuring and intervening in other states, we become a neutral force for stability, offering limited but essential security evenhandedly to all. Instead of losing money eternally, we actually make some for a change.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 20, 2006 01:28 AM

the president lied, rumsfield lied and cheyney lied, powell was handed a lie and he read it...


I'm alright with calling a spade a spade.


Americans didn't vote a preemptive strike.

that's what they were sold, but what is underneath of it...


that "patriotic" veneer is influence for the affluent...


that's what you're defending.

I don't need to label you, I just say what you're doing...


I'm not hiding behind labels.


Your president didn't get elected by a majority, he got elected by voter fraud, and touting family values,


he didn't tell you it was _his_ family values he was talking about,

influence for sale,

american soldiers for hire, as a favor returned.

it's called colonialism, not democracy.


we haven't seen democracy at home, much less in Iraq.


IF you weren't a coward, you'd actually address the facts instead of your spewing of innuendo and propaganda as a way of avoiding outing.

The Bill of Rights has been usurped by the "patriot act."


gawd has been used as a device to intimidate.


and hate, and demagoguery used as a tool to control the electorate.....Jesse Helms, chairing the foreign relations comittee


that pretty much says it all.


I haven't seen a truth from cf or sandy, who do you guys work for?


shills for the bushes? masquerading as citizens?


.

traitors....and I hope you do the time for it.

Posted by: actually... | March 20, 2006 02:02 AM

with 9/11 there is no connection to Iraq, no WMD.


there should be no "war powers," and actions done using them since they were awarded rescinded, as well as those who foisted this


occupation


upon american citizens by drumming up set of _false pretenses_ called what it is


fraud.


.

Posted by: I also say this... | March 20, 2006 02:06 AM

I wouldn't leave, but I would tell the truth....

and I'd require the congress people to send a son or a daughter as an example of what they expect unemployed blue collar people to do to make their future better....


I'd start with geo w. bushes family, and Kerry's since he handed him the election.

.

Posted by: to tell you the truth, if it were up to me... | March 20, 2006 02:16 AM

Jamal continues his folly of thinking war is fought by police departments and lawyers whose "Prime Directive" is safeguarding the due process "enemy rights and liberties" Jamal imagines them to have.

SandyK is realistic, based on her past military training, in which she learned the military employs an entirely different moral calculus than the one Lefties advocate.

There is no innocence or guilt initially assigned to the enemy or civilians in harms way. There is no logic that it is better to let 99 guilty enemy go to kill 400 of your troops - rather than kill or imprison an "innocent" person mistaken for an enemy. There is the logic given to us that you may love your people but you may nevertheless have to follow orders that will put them in harms way and kill scores, hundreds, even thousands depending on your command level. And they will as individuals have to follow those orders...even if they could die, get maimed, or inadvertently kill innocent people in the process.

Objectives must be taken even if it costs more of your guy's lives than deaths inflicted on the enemy because some targeter working for some strategist determined a mission was imperative - but on your level and the lowest enlisted level it is not explained...you just accept the organization has worked it out - hopefully with the confidence that higher ups have got it right....for the most part, they have, at least on tactical level.

There is moral certainty that the actual "wetwork" terrorists and the Islamoids in organization support positions (which far exceed the number of actual combat operatives) are not criminals, but enemy. Unlawful combatants that violate all rules of war and never let prisoners live.

Not a matter for judges and ACLU lawyers to fight with "warrants" that "cops" fulfill...but enemy that must be killed and sometimes people in proximity to them killed...because that's war. The bin Ladens and Attas don't think for a minute that what they do is criminal, nor are they under any constraints of Western law or rules of warfare as set out in Hague and Geneva.

In that context, it goes beyond 2 to one ratios of killing to save. Ratios don't matter. It is moral to kill 1,000 enemy to save 5 of your own. It is worth killing 30 enemy and 20 of their family in a combat zone to save 10 of yours. Geneva does lay out rules of proportionality, where it is not acceptable to kill thousands of civilians to "get" dozens of enemy, and so on, but no ratios exist in code...

And frankly, I have never been comfortable with the moral logic in criminal law that it is better to let 99 killer rapists go rather than falsely convict a single innocent (an innocent usually with a long crime history). Because that lawyer logic not only fails to account for justice for 99 victims, but also fails to account for the 50-150 Additional brutalized and butchered women involved in later crimes done by those 99 guilty rapist-murderers let go.

The ACLU-Lefty comeback is usually something to the effect of "Oh yeah! What if you were the one in 100 and ended up convicted??"

Well, that's 99 raped-murdered women denied justice and an additional 50-150 that fall prey to folks that should be locked up.

Sometimes society must play the odds. A drug that kills one but helps 99 and saves an additional 50-150 would be considered a desirable wonder drug that should be dispensed.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 20, 2006 02:18 AM

complicity from the CIA with 9/11...


I'd remove Goss from head of the CIA, he has no experience...


I'd declassify the materials gathered in the fall of Bagdhad and see if there was complicity between Saddam and this administration.


.

Posted by: I'd investigate... | March 20, 2006 02:19 AM

the president lied, rumsfield lied and cheyney lied, powell was handed a lie and he read it...


I'm alright with calling a spade a spade.

Americans didn't vote a preemptive strike.


that's what they were sold, but what is underneath of it...


that "patriotic" veneer is influence for the affluent...


that's what you're defending.


I don't need to label you, I just say what you're doing...


I'm not hiding behind labels.


Your president didn't get elected by a majority, he got elected by voter fraud, and touting family values,


he didn't tell you it was _his_ family values he was talking about,

influence for sale,

american soldiers for hire, as a favor returned.


it's called colonialism, not democracy.


we haven't seen democracy at home, much less in Iraq.


IF you weren't a coward, you'd actually address the facts instead of your spewing of innuendo and propaganda as a way of avoiding outing.


The Bill of Rights has been usurped by the "patriot act."


gawd has been used as a device to intimidate.


and hate, and demagoguery used as a tool to control the electorate.....Jesse Helms, chairing the foreign relations comittee


that pretty much says it all.


I haven't seen a truth from cf or sandy, who do you guys work for?


shills for the bushes? masquerading as citizens?


.

traitors....and I hope you do the time for it.

Posted by: I'd prevent shills from posting as if they were not spewing propaganda, trying to prevent an informe | March 20, 2006 02:22 AM

I read your proposal, Cayambe. It has some very good promise to it, some pitfalls. It's late so I will say all I can do is try and revisit it tomorrow if business at work isn't insane.

Basically, a nuclear umbrella with no 1st nuke use and "insured" nations don't get the usual Euroweenie or Developing world free ride, but pay. I would add that the US always considered nukes appropriate for a massive nerve gas attack and any biowar launched....

And, besides the nuclear umbrella - which we give to Thailand, Japan, Canada, and Australia - I would expand your proposal and go with insuring freedom of the seas access. In a globalized world, "free trade" is killing the USA in part because we subsidize the safety of international commerce with our Navy, AF and to some extent ground elements - of the very competitors that are eating our lunch. And our military costs are added to our products whereas the Chinese, Japanese, Indian stuff, etc., pouring in - gets a built-in security discount on US-protected oil, strategic chokepoints, and sea lanes.

So do the Canadians, Brazilians, Mexicans, and a goodly number of Euroweeies and 3rd world crapholes...

It's beyond our present incompetent team of radical Republican Rightwing corporate toady boys and "free trade" ideologue's imagination...but a "cost of security" tariff on any country not pitching in their fair share of security outlays should be added to their exports piling up on our shores and wrecking our jobs and industries...

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 20, 2006 03:32 AM

I'm hearing too many people that want to have a definitive answer to all possibilities regardless of what is real or what is known.

Just after 9/11 I remember President Bush announcing that the U.S. will go after terrorists anywhere in the world and that we wouldn't let any country's boundaries stop us if that country refused to cooperate with us. I believe that the "Bush Doctrine" of pre-emptive attack evolved from that initial statement. At the time I supported that statement, but I did so while making certain assumptions.

Those assumptions were:

1) a pre-emptive attack would be used to head off an imminent attack against US assets or the assets of a U.S. ally.

2) we would be certain of the imminent attack - for lack of any better way to describe it I will compare the level of certainty to - beyond a reasonable doubt as used by juries in criminal cases.

3) Our pre-eminent attack would be a quick, focused strike to neutralize the imminent threat and kill or cature as many as possible of those that were about to carry it out so they could no longer plan and potentially carry out other attacks.

4) We would not use this policy as an excuse to invade and occupy another country.

5) We would seek to focus our attack on the target (e.g. the terror training camp, cell members, or forces that were actually involved in the imminent threat) and seek to avoid collateral casualties.

6) In the case of an uncooperative nation actively supporting the threat (e.g. Afganistan under the Taliban), we would be justified in making war against that country.

What has happened in the intervening 4 years is that I found out that many of my assumptions were wrong, especially assumption number 4. If the "Bush Doctrine" had followed ALL those assumptions, perhaps I would still be in support of it. Perhaps this is what Jamal is getting at when he says that it might not be such a bad policy if it was implemented in a competent way. As things stand I think the "Bush Doctrine" should be much more narrowly focused. I agree with much of what Cayembe says, although I can't quite bring myself to say that under no circumstances should we pre-emptively attack. Obviously the policy needs to be conducted with great restraint and without ulterior motives, agendas, and preconceived notions influencing decisions. I am in complete agreement with him regarding this notion of telling other countries what their form of governmnet should be. To put it succinctly - we need to stop trying to do that. Lets be the beacon on the hill, not the meddler in the valley.

As far as Chris Ford's post - I'm not quite sure I know what you're getting at Chris, it sounds like you are saying that 1) if we were horrifically attacked through the detonation of a nuclear weapon in one of our big cities, it is possible that we wouldn't be able to tell who was behind it.
2) if that were to happen that most red blooded Americans would want immediate revenge
3) if it were to happen and our population wanted immediate revenge we would be justified in providing them with some "raw meat" in the form of an immediate retaliatory attack on the most likely suspect(s)?

Am I getting this right or am I missing your point?

If I'm not getting it right, pay no attention to the rest of what I have to say.

Now I'm no "ACLU Jew", I'm not an Islamoid (I'm assuming this means a radical fundamentalist Muslim that believes in the doctrine of jihad and terrorism) sympathizer, I'm not a "Leftie America Hater", I'm just a reasonable man trying to make a reasonable point.

If we were to be attacked with a nuclear weapon, the way you describe, the first thing we would have to do is ask ourselves "Do we know who did this to us?"

If the answer is yes - and in this case I say beyond any doubt - we would retaliate in kind.

If the answer is no - I say that no matter how much raw meat our population wants, the right thing to do is to first find out who did it - NOT indiscriminately nuke all possible suspects. This does not automatically default to your alternate and I must say ridiculous scenario that you describe:

"Muslims, ACLU Jews, and Lefties will insist that the "evidence" be presented to lawyers in robes at a UN sanctioned "trial" before the UN authorizes a "police action" that uses warrants and "precision" military assault on the people defying warrants coming from international lawyers of the highest moral authority.....all to spare the "millions of innocent Islami babies" from nuclear counterattack. A 60% probability a bomb came from Iran, not the 30% probability of Pakistan or a 10% "false flag" deception op done against us by Israel, Russia, China, France to manipulate us into attacking one of their enemies.....will not be enough for ACLU Jews and allies that will insist on lengthly court proceedings and "removal of all criminal doubt", since the fate of millions of "innocent Islami babies and puppy dogs" would by in angry, nuked, "cowboy" America's hands....an America that should maybe look at it's nuked cities and start, the ACLU thinks, by apologizing for all the "injustices and root causes" that make Muslims want to kill infidels over the last 1400 years."

I think a more likely alternate scenario would be the U.S. acting unilaterally or with allies in complete cooperation, to demand access from the most suspected nations to the nuclear sites, facilities, records, scientists, military personnel and other people that would aid in an investigation of the event. We would use all our conventional military force possible to get immediate access to all those things. Our objective in the use of those forces would not be regime change or fostering democracy.It would be forceably getting the records and people we need to get to the bottom of the attack. Once we found that out to the best of our ability, then we would be faced with a tough decision about whether or not to respond in kind and if so how large a response to authorize (how many of their cities to destroy). All in all, none of this would be very easy because there is a distinct possibility that we wouldn't be able to get a clear answer for a while, if ever. If we were not able to definitively identify the perpetrators, I (If I were in charge) would NOT try to find some country to nuke just to satisfy some sort of bloodlust, I would demand that the rest of the world's nuclear powers immediately dismantle all their nukes. this would include allies as well as enemies. I would call up a draft and start putting as much pressure as possible to make that happen, starting with the most likely suspects. If the American people rose up and deposed me for being too weak, then so be it. I guess I would go off and live in exile somewhere. Tell me, Does that make me a stupid traitor? I'm not saying that my approach would be the completely "moral" approach -I don't know if there is a moral way to respond to such a situation, but I believe my approach is better than guessing at who is responsible and nuking them for good measure.

I guess my point in all this is that very little is ever clearcut. Its rare that there are easy or comfortable answers to these things. This is where we have to have the courage of our convictions. To me those convictions are embodied in the ideas that our country is founded on as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. I don't believe those ideas back an unfounded attack, especially of such magnitude, against any nation, whether they are our ideological foes or not, even under those kind of extreme circumstances.

Posted by: DK | March 20, 2006 03:35 AM

Jamal wrote:
===========================================
So Sandy, what your saying is; if there is 50/50 chance your neighbor was a terrorist with WMDs, then a pre-emptive strike would be justified, taking you out with the terrorist, because that's a "sane" "reasonable" move? You might justify taking yourself out, but I wouldn't take you out on a 50/50 chance. I don't want anyone taking me out, even on a 100%.
[/quote]

Don't worry they will. The few will always have to sacrifice for the many. Moms would die for their kids, fathers their families -- if that would save them.

It's like a lifeboat and there's only 11 seats. Who should board it, who should be on their own, Jamal? Would you try to steal the boat all for yourself (being the selfish sort)? Or will you begin cherry picking out the ill, the old and the babies?

It's not easy making such decisions, but brass tacks time it must be done -- and usually you don't have time to ponder the ethics/morals of it. YOU must survive, and hopefully bring along as many alive with you.

That's your duty as a human being.

If you don't, others like myself will take a .45 and put you out of your misery, so another can survive who wants to survive, and ***help the rest to safety***. That's not just talk, Jamal. You do your duty or die in those situations. No and's, if's, or but's about it.

Jamal wrote:
===========================================
Out of that 500 are 495 innocent people. I'm just happy our local police departments don't use pre-emptive the way Sandy and Bush do.
===========================================

In those times there won't be any police. Did you think what happened with Katrina was just a fluke? Law and Order are quick to exit in a tragedy, and why in those times you draw your perimeter and guard it with your life, protecting life and property YOURSELF.

I keep saying at home if the terrorists were dumb enough to land here and start street warfare they'd be dead quick. The neighborhood would unite to take them down (many are Korean/Vietnam vets and retires). And I would not hesistate to execute fifth columists, 11 year-olds hurling bombs, or little old ladies with a bomb strapped to them. If they want to die, they die alone. I can put tight holes in a quarter 500 yards away, Jamal. And I won't delay putting tight holes in terrorists. It's either them or me.

Either you try to survive or you're dead during those situations. There's no, "let's appease them so we can get back to watching reruns on TV, and post online" deals. Those thugs would just lop your head off with a butter knife (a slow and brutal death in agony).

That .45 against the temple doesn't seem as bad, huh? You'll do what's necessary to survive, especially if you saw these thug's handiwork face-to-face.

I love my country warts and all, and I'll defend it to the v-e-r-y end.

SandyK
Semper Fi, Mac!

Posted by: SandyK | March 20, 2006 06:59 AM

Chris Ford wrote
===========================================
In that context, it goes beyond 2 to one ratios of killing to save. Ratios don't matter. It is moral to kill 1,000 enemy to save 5 of your own. It is worth killing 30 enemy and 20 of their family in a combat zone to save 10 of yours. Geneva does lay out rules of proportionality, where it is not acceptable to kill thousands of civilians to "get" dozens of enemy, and so on, but no ratios exist in code...
===========================================

Nope, it don't work that way, Chris. You don't wantonly blast ahead of you to save your squad. That's not warfare, that's slaughter. Wars have laws and rules of engagement to follow (at least with civilized people), and bending them or trying to weasle a higher kill ratio without review/justice is criminal. It can get friendlies killed to go rogue. Even the miltary knows this -- they're not killing robots, they're like anyone else and have a conscious.

There are times when civilians will die getting caught in the crossfire. A bomb verred off it's trajectory. Accidents (thinking it's the enemy, when it was friends --- "blue-on-blue" errors). The job of a US service person isn't to kill anything in his/her path, it's to achieve the set objective. Civilians in the line-of-sight of a .50 cal may become casualities, but those civilians not wise enough to RUN in a conflict, are risking their lives to begin with. No one can save them from themselves.

But I want to make that point clear: wars have laws. Civilized warriors obey them (or anarchy is the result). They don't disgrace their family, their unit, nor their country. They kill when necessary, not more.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 20, 2006 07:17 AM

Posted by: Chris Ford

"2. The "tracibility" of a nuclear device is not like Hollywood makes it out to be, where a machine can say where a bomb came from as easily as an enologist can swish wine in his mouth and say "Bordeax, N Slope, Chantilly Estate".

"You get an idea of actual bomb design source from the power and rads released in a nuke detonation. We could say it was a Chinese design given to the Paks and froim the Paks to 6 other countries. Or an America design the Chinese got. Or a crude gun assembly design that any university in the Muslim world or NORK-land could do. If the bomb is made from PU-239, hopefully some FP contaminants that tell you from what design reactor they come from. The reactor design influences the speed and magnitude of the neutron flux which can give PU-239 certain contaminants...but weeks of analysis may be needed to even narrow the source down to 2-3 countries...If it is HEU"

If such nuclear devise is detonated, there is a chance it could be traced back to our own country. There is also the chance if such a device is detonated it may be a major European country or even worse Russia or China, with material traced back to our country. Chris, try to think like a terrorist, what is worse, striking the United States one device. Or to start a major nuclear exchange with a country by striking China or Russia with a weapon traced back to the United States?
Our government has not always been careful with its own nuclear material. The release of excess material and scrap from United States facilities has at times contained more than the surface contamination, but actual deposits.
See the link.

http://web.utk.edu/~nolt/envrepts/WSPOON.htm

Pre-emptive strike is a delicate procedure, not a "bull in a china store". With the bush pre-emptive strike methodology, we are extremely open to manipulation both internally and externally.

Posted by: Jamal | March 20, 2006 10:04 AM

"But I want to make that point clear: wars have laws. Civilized warriors obey them (or anarchy is the result). They don't disgrace their family, their unit, nor their country. They kill when necessary, not more."

The problem of course is that "necessary" can become an unfortunately fluid concept in the fog of war.

I remember my uncle telling me about Korea. Over time their mission became more like what was more publicly reported in 'Nam - to get their asses home alive - than like WWII defending the world from open tyrrany. And in the absence of such a noble mission as WWII, getting home alive became all the more important to them.

Civilians, often kids, would lob the Korean equivalent if IED's into the soldiers or hit them with snipe fire and then melt into the population, who often protected them. This resulted in a group of young draftee kids alone in a foreign land who just watched their best buddy get his head blown off and was certain he himself would be next, knowing his enemy was at hand but not being able to pick him out among the villagers. So they lined up the villagers and demanded they turn over the saboteur. And if they were sufficiently scared for themselves or desirous to avenge their buddy, in sheilding the enemy the villagers became the enemy. So they started shooting villagers until they turned over the saboteur.

I heard these stories so many times I had no doubt of their authenticity. But I did find it puzzling in the 90's that suddenly there were big "scandals" that American soldeirs shot civilians during the Korean War. Duh.

I guess my point is that "civilized" war is an anachronism, old fashioned war where two lines of tanks or soldiers stand opposite each other and shoot, taking a lovely Christmas truce or lingering in no man's land. Modern war is become guerilla, pitting kid soldiers in the midst of civil wars where who exactly is the enemy is not always clear cut and foxholes offer no protection. There is no such thing as civilized war any more.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | March 20, 2006 12:07 PM

Posted by: SandyK

"That .45 against the temple doesn't seem as bad, huh? You'll do what's necessary to survive, especially if you saw these thug's handiwork face-to-face.
I love my country warts and all, and I'll defend it to the v-e-r-y end."

Sandy, you missed the point you were trying to make or simply put you flip-flopped again. You won't be taking out any old ladies or defending anything. Remember, you're sacrificial with your policy. You and your family, the fifth columnists, 11 year-olds hurling bombs, or little old ladies with a bomb strapped to them are all killed when your neighborhood was nuked to keep the fifth columnists, 11 year-olds hurling bombs, or little old ladies with a bomb strapped to them from getting to my neighborhood where these people had not yet reached. And by the way, with your statements there is a 1 in 10 chance the 11 year old was tossing a football, the little old lady was just a little obese, and fifth columnists were just false intelligence. Or simply put, you and your family are dead based on a one in ten chance of danger. Sandy, your partisan and your policy is very dangerous, go to Iraq and fight if you love Bush and your country so much.

Posted by: Jamal | March 20, 2006 12:53 PM

brutality as a way of life.


simply put, they are both primitive


us vs them mentalities.


they don't have an alternative plan, that includes the possibility of working things through...


it's either combat or no combat...with combat being the preferred way...


with lots of exploding cars, blackhawk helicopters and mean, lean bruce willis' hanging from under gunships, or arnolds holding BAR's or M-50's as they mow down beetle-browed slobbering sand monkeys....

sort of like all of the hollywood movies and television shows of the 50's with the Native Americans...as they were still moving them to the "rez" up into the early 1900's, and denying them the right to speak their native tongues....


so justification for our actions against them was continuing as the story of the day...


well here's an old story:

the president lied, rumsfield lied and cheyney lied, powell was handed a lie and he read it...


I'm alright with calling a spade a spade.


Americans didn't vote a preemptive strike.


that's what they were sold, but what is underneath of it...


that "patriotic" veneer is influence for the affluent...


that's what you're defending.


I don't need to label you, I just say what you're doing...


I'm not hiding behind labels.


Your president didn't get elected by a majority, he got elected by voter fraud, and touting family values,


he didn't tell you it was _his_ family values he was talking about,

influence for sale,

american soldiers for hire, as a favor returned.


it's called colonialism, not democracy.


we haven't seen democracy at home, much less in Iraq.


IF you weren't a coward, you'd actually address the facts instead of your spewing of innuendo and propaganda as a way of avoiding outing.


The Bill of Rights has been usurped by the "patriot act."


gawd has been used as a device to intimidate.


and hate, and demagoguery used as a tool to control the electorate.....Jesse Helms, chairing the foreign relations comittee


that pretty much says it all.


I haven't seen a truth from cf or sandy, who do you guys work for?


shills for the bushes? masquerading as citizens?


.

traitors....and I hope you do the time for it.


I'd prevent shills from posting as if they were not spewing propaganda, trying to prevent an informed population from understanding what is going on,

by attempting to bury the truth in "talking smart" which is actually fabrication...


we never voted in a president that we _knew_ would pull a hoax to achieve "war powers" and take us on an imperialistic course of action..perhaps you did, perhaps you're participating on "trying to make it seem legal,"

but it's not.

that's the truth.

.

Posted by: false intelligence in Sandy's and cf's sense is using their's to justify... | March 20, 2006 01:10 PM

Chris ..... I read your proposal, Cayambe. It has some very good promise to it, some pitfalls. It's late so I will say all I can do is try and revisit it tomorrow if business at work isn't insane.

Take your time Chris, and focus on the pitfalls. Also with your much deeper knowledge of the relative nuclear capabilities of each member of the SC council, consider whether we would need to exclude Britain, France, and/or China as covered threats. It does seem to me that Russia cannot be simply ignored; that we would at the least need to inform and consult with them before executing on an insurance contract to avoid any possibility of unintended consequences vis a vis their strategic nuclear forces.

I thought about biological and chemical weapons but rejected them within this framework because it seemed to me that they introduced too many difficulties with respect to detection and tracing. Certainly with regard to their use on us I would not preclude the use of a nuclear response if the specific case made that effective. I do think that biological weapons in particular are an extraordinarily difficult threat to deal with, one that can only get worse as biotechnology advances and spreads throughout the world, and it is advancing and spreading with remarkable speed.

Finally, think about the fundamental change this brings to the NPT domain. What this mechanism seeks to do is to effectively deter the offensive use of nuclear weapons. It leaves every nation free to possess them for their self-defense should they see that as necessary to their national security, as Israel does. Having said that, it remains a common interest among nations that these weapons be very securely controlled and accounted for. We might also wish them to be deliberately contaminated for identification purposes. Thus we might still condition by treaty the flow of peaceful nuclear technology to inspection and conformance with specific protocols on the nuclear weapons a nation chooses to have for defensive purposes. There is still a need for the IAEA.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 20, 2006 02:00 PM

SAndyK - You're picking an argument with me where none should exist. There is only a rule of proportionality, no specific ratios, and we have and possibily will again deliberately hit civilian concentrations in a war if they are mixed in or too close to a strategic or military objective. There is no "Boy Scout" version of war. In Vietnam, we dropped more bombs on target, including cities, than we did in WWII. We weren't deliberately blasting and roasting them as we did in WWII, but still caused 1,200,000 casualties with the bombs. In the Gulf War, we went after civilian infastructure with precision bombs and the collapse of modern sanitation may have killed 150,000 Iraqi civilian deaths over 10 years. In the future, we may very well have to nuke cities full of "innocent" enemy civilians. That was the plan all through the Cold War.

In the meantime, in tactical engagements, we can legally escalate if we want to, to bombing or saturation artillery of enemy positions and justify it saying that a dozen saved troops were worth the cost of killing 3 dozen enemy civilians. Only certain elements of the Left and media believe a US soldier's life - since they volunteered and are in uniform are of less value and thus should be thrown away in favor of saving enemy civilian lives at all costs. Rationally, we should always strive to minimize civilian loss and not get a reputation as eager killers of "innocent Afghani babies", but when it's us or them, better if it is them.

*****************************

Patriot 1957 -

Read your link. It was about rad waste, not special nuclear material. You can't make a nuclear detonation from that stuff. Not even 3% enriched uranium. If you stole a few new fuel assemblies from a commercial nuke plant in the USA or Iran, for that matter, you would have as much luck getting a nuke weapon yield out of that, or the waste you mentioned, as a bomb packed with Twinkies. You're not going to do any nuclear dumpster diving in any radwaste area and come up with the stuff to make a real nuke bomb. Certain people do confuse dirty bombs with real nukes. Nuke garbage is OK for that, but that too is all but inaccessible in N America to Hajis. The only real danger from a dirty bomb is economic...Homeland Security STILL hasn't chosed between the crippling EPA cleanup standard and the civil defense one..

What IS of concern is weapons grade material in the stockpiles of nuclear powers, most notably Russia....and certain research and naval reactors that use bomb grade HEU in a reactor materials matrix, though the latter is lethally irradiated and tough to work with.

We have had cleanups of HEU and plutonium facilities here. A Navy Captain I know didn't get Flag promotion - then found a job where he made 180K a year - bragged to his ex-military peers how he made out as a contractor- then found his "safety job" involved cleanup of PU-239 deposits in equipment at Rocky Flats that if done wrong could cause accidental criticality and kill everyone on his team. Hence the 280K salary and a major pucker factor..But we, the Euros are now insanely diligent about keeping our special nuclear material under super-security and inaccessible to Hajis, even 3% enriched stuff (Bombs need 90% enrichment). And the Conspiracy horror stories about dozens of lost suitcase nukes and drums of HEU and PU-239 lying around forgotten in drums - was never true - and where the bomb grade stuff actually is, is now under far better security...

****************************
Cayambe,

My first nitpick with your proposal is the US isn't trusted enough to "insure" on it's own. We have a long history of double standards, betraying allies (see S Vietnam, Dubai) due to our unpredictable political system. So the only workable solution would be a international consortium that the US could join, but not cowboy and which would be more stable than on a 2 or 4 year cycle where the world awaited who was in control of the US Congress or Presidency.

Second, the "minor" nuke powers matter. And China is now able to destroy the US or Russia as a functioning civilization, so they join Russia, the US, AND Britain and France in possession the ability to destroy any nation on the planet. (Britain has 3 Trident subs, France has the firepower equivalent in it's Force de Frappe - though critics think France is not as capable as it used to be from 20 years of strategic military budget cuts). The rule on what it takes to shatter a civilization is killing 25% of a nations population and long-term destruction of one or more critical infastructure systems - oil, water distribution, harbor trade, electricity....France and Britain each have around 300 Hydrogen bombs, ability to get them on target. China has 500-600 warheads, ability to get 100-120 on the USA. Estimates are it would take 36 nuke warheads to achieve the end of Russian civilization until a lengthy rebuilding happened, 54 on the US, 82 on China, 2 on Syria, 3 on Israel. (substituting smaller nukes would take more, obviously). Israel, India, Pakistan, and the NORKs are regional powers not able to project globally. The "insurer regime" should be an international consortium that includes stable, mature nations, which doesn't let the US dominate...and limited to 10 or less nations - NOT under Kofi or whichever 3rd Worlder replaces him, not under the 181 "equal" votes of the Burundis and Gamboonians and Togolese.

A smallpox pandemic could kill 30 to 300 million people. Nixon, in one of his rare, but supremely great and important moves, decided to abandon biowar and push it's global ban. But always, Nixon said the horror of biowar DEMANDED a nuclear response if certain agents were used...and America's deterrence to biowar has and always will be fusion-roasting the innocent babies and puppydogs of the enemy.

Some things to think about, and since you have an interest in the subject, I encourage you to write a gov't entity or NGO or two involved in the nuclear NPT movement with your proposal. They may have similar proposals you can review.

I think various new rules and major strengthening of the IAEA enforcement is needed. That if a country violates it, they lose not just nuclear access, but all high tech access and trade. That the goal must be to keep whole regions of the world nuclear-free, and strive to make regions that have gone nuclear in some countries give them up and become insured under the "insurer guarantor" model we discussed, and which practically has existed under the nuclear "umbrellas" given to NATO, Warsaw Pact countries, plus the US Thai, Japan, Australia model.

Certain existing nuclear-armed "pariah" nations like N Korea and Israel might keep nukes, but only limited tactical nukes to deter invasion. And keep means of strategic warfare only UNTIL final borders are drawn up and agreed to, and destabilizing high speed SRBMs, MRBMs can be decommissioned. And the "guarantor" nations would continue to not only strongly deter nuclear or other WMD arms races in conjunction with stronger NPT organizations, but also slowly draw down their own arsenals under collective SALT agreements ....we no longer line in a US vs. USSR bilateral world. If we expect Russia to scrap more nukes, what China or France does in relation to that is as important as what we do....

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 20, 2006 04:04 PM

Posted by: Cayambe

"Finally, think about the fundamental change this brings to the NPT domain. What this mechanism seeks to do is to effectively deter the offensive use of nuclear weapons. It leaves every nation free to possess them for their self-defense should they see that as necessary to their national security, as Israel does. Having said that, it remains a common interest among nations that these weapons be very securely controlled and accounted for. We might also wish them to be deliberately contaminated for identification purposes. Thus we might still condition by treaty the flow of peaceful nuclear technology to inspection and conformance with specific protocols on the nuclear weapons a nation chooses to have for defensive purposes. There is still a need for the IAEA."

A whole sale thumbs up, go for it attitude toward nuclear arms, as long you buy our "insurance", will lead to a nuclear holocaust. There are many flaws in this policy (no pun intended) or consider this a QA/QC review of your most recent revision. I'm surprised your insurance doesn't have a clause requiring customers to purchase our nuclear weapons to help reduce our national debt.

1. Too many governments are unstable over the long term and can not over the long term guarantee security over nuclear weapons. Examples would be civil wars, terrorist take over, or the democratic election of governments whose goal is to destroy the United States.

2. Russia and China would never go along with such a proposal.

3. Some countries are so small that to use a nuclear strike would cause collateral damage to its neighbors.

4. No solution for radioactive fallout in non-target countries. The United States would be held accountable.

5. No solution for windblown surface contamination on non-target countries. The United States would be held accountable.

6. No solution for water systems becoming contaminated and flowing into non target countries. The United States would be held accountable.

7. A target country may have a pre-emptive strike doctrine and strike the United States first, knowing with 100% certainty via the insurance we will strike them.

8. Most countries do not have a strong checks and balances in their governments to insure one mad man (or woman) doesn't decide to light the shy up out pure insanity.

9. The Unites States would not live up to its contractual obligations and strike Israel for an Islamic customer.

I think the best path to follow is nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. And establish an improved policy of international nuclear energy. We build the power plants, limit enrichment to our country, our military provide security, and we manage the plants. Customers pay for it all out the electrical power generated. No nuclear weapons allowed.

Posted by: Jamal | March 20, 2006 04:51 PM

Posted by: Chris Ford

"Read your link. It was about rad waste, not special nuclear material. You can't make a nuclear detonation from that stuff. Not even 3% enriched uranium."

Chris, K-25 was built as part of the Manhattan Project. Enrichment of U-235 exceeded 90% and this facility is currently under D&D by Bechtel-Jacobs. Contaminated scrap from K-35 was released to scrap yards, many years ago under Union Carbide. It doesn't appear you have ever worked at a DOE facility.

Posted by: Jamal | March 20, 2006 05:07 PM

Chris Ford wrote:
My first nitpick with your proposal is the US isn't trusted enough to "insure" on it's own. We have a long history of double standards, betraying allies (see S Vietnam, Dubai) due to our unpredictable political system. So the only workable solution would be a international consortium that the US could join, but not cowboy and which would be more stable than on a 2 or 4 year cycle where the world awaited who was in control of the US Congress or Presidency.

First of all, thanks for the thoughtful and quite excellent response.

I quite agree with you that our current biased policies and inclinations do not provide the requisite credibility for us to act in this role. It has occurred to me that it would be better for the market if it had more choices of insurers. Russia comes immediately to mind. I remember that in the semiconductor business, no matter how good your new chip was, you really couldn't sell it in volume until you qualified and licensed a 2nd source.

As it happens, and your tabulation supports, the permanent 5 members of the Security Council also constitute the dominant nuclear powers, dominant with respect to total megatons plus global delivery systems, something still not fully developed by the lessor nuclear powers. So if one is looking for a consortium, this group of five would be the natural one. I have some reluctance going that far for the simple reason that the more parties you have, the less chances you have of getting a decision made. To be effective in deterring the first offensive use of nuclear weapons, there must be no doubt about the immediate consequences, no doubt a decision will be made and executed. So I would look for a decision making team of Russia and the US, and the decision rule would be that either could make a decision to act unless the other vetoed that decision on specific grounds. That would then immediately go to the permanent 5 for a majority vote. If you have other thoughts on how this "consortium" or control/execution mechanism might better be structured and balanced I would sure like to hear them.

Naturally I would be happier if we would change our biased policies and disjointed inclinations such that we might be more worthy of trust, which is to say, be more coherent and predictable. I was reminded of that today in Bush's speech, which was skillfully crafted I thought, but artful to a fault. Anyway, immediately following his heartfelt paean to his 24/7 job of keeping us safe from terrorists following 9/11, of confronting threats to us Americans before they can materialize, of fighting the terrorists overseas so we don't have to fight them here in America, he turned to the nuclear threat posed by Iran; a threat he posited not to us, but to our friend and ally Israel. It's just a bit troublesome to think we might be sending in a couple hundred thousand US troops to Iran to make sure it can never materialize into a threat to Israel. I digress.

It also seems to me appropriate that the first step would be in the UN. What you want the world to first agree upon is the simple proposition that the use of a nuclear weapon for offensive purposes (to include in the meaning of offensive purpose, a preemptive nuclear attack under the rubric of self-defense) is a war crime and a crime against humanity justifying immediate nuclear countermeasures without hearing or trial. If you can get every nation to sign up to that, including us and the other four dominant powers, then the rest of it follows. This has the makings of a more practical and balanced nuclear weapons treaty to replace the NPT with all of its flaws. As you point out Chris, it does leave it open for nuclear weapons to be used for legitimate tactical defense where a nation might feel such a need, and some are legitimately entitled to it. Israel and Pakistan are both good examples of that.

I am not sure you could roll back the clock with respect to nuclear weapons for Israel, India, and Pakistan. But the door should be open to rolling them back to the tactical variety, i.e. rolling back delivery systems to short ranges. To the extent that India has real fears of China that may be difficult in their case. I don't pretend to understand North Korea and its strategies. Probably only the Chinese do. But as time marches on and Chinese ideology evolves further and further from the anachronistic one they once shared in common, you would think that it will become harder and harder for North Korea to remain static. Still they seem to have managed so far.

I am intrigued with your last paragraph linking progress limiting proliferation with progress on limiting strategic stocks. One of the glaring weaknesses of the NPT is that it is quite one-sided in that regard, unprincipled, as India loves to say. But you are quite right; all 5 are going to have to agree for further rollbacks. It is yet another reason for renegotiating this treaty from scratch.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 21, 2006 01:57 AM

Jamal wrote:
===========================================
Sandy, you missed the point you were trying to make or simply put you flip-flopped again. You won't be taking out any old ladies or defending anything. Remember, you're sacrificial with your policy. You and your family, the fifth columnists, 11 year-olds hurling bombs, or little old ladies with a bomb strapped to them are all killed when your neighborhood was nuked to keep the fifth columnists, 11 year-olds hurling bombs, or little old ladies with a bomb strapped to them from getting to my neighborhood where these people had not yet reached.
===========================================

My neighborhood won't get nuked, Jamal. Because it would DEFINITELY Doomsday then!

2 commercial reactors + DOD bomb plant + military communication headquarters = You don't want to know!!!!

What would happen, if it ever did come, would be street fighting, and I'm a sniper. :)

So don't worry about my neighborhood, worry about your own.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 21, 2006 09:38 AM

Jamal wrote:
===========================================
Chris, K-25 was built as part of the Manhattan Project. Enrichment of U-235 exceeded 90% and this facility is currently under D&D by Bechtel-Jacobs. Contaminated scrap from K-35 was released to scrap yards, many years ago under Union Carbide. It doesn't appear you have ever worked at a DOE facility.
===========================================

Your nick wouldn't be "Radwaste" would it? Because you sound just like that character. One who proclaims to work at SRP proclaiming to be some tech, but really is a sanitation engineer. ;)

Don't know about bomb plants but they do attract some strange people. Anywhere from janitors claiming to be nuclear engineers, to a nuclear engineer being a serial killer (which happened locally couple years ago).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 21, 2006 09:48 AM

Every Country has the right to choose and enforce its own immigration laws.
Without resorting to electronic implants, the technology exists to trace and track every single human being crossing the border.
That is less expensive, more humane and easier to monitor than building a wall or fence.
Why would the most advanced Country in the world resort to inconvenient, expensive and antique methods?
rc

Posted by: Raul A.Cardenas | March 23, 2006 09:48 AM

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