It’s not for you to know, but for you to weep and wonder

Okay, and to make a ninety-degree, Tron-bike turn from the last post: anyone else as pants-shittingly terrified as I am about our upcoming nuclear first strike against Iran? Anyone else as certain that even an action as breathtakingly evil as using nukes in a war for the second time in history can be “debated” into mundanity by the talking hairstyles of our 24-hour-news channels?

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8 thoughts on “It’s not for you to know, but for you to weep and wonder

  1. Ananth

    Seriously, Steve, what’s the point of having nukes if we are never going to use them?

    I am just kidding, about the last remark, sort of. The only thing I have agreed with Atrios on was when he said that are response to a nuclear bomb being detonated in an American City would be the Assured Destruction. Screw proportional responses.

    Secondly, stop running around like Chicken Little, screaming the sky is falling. It is the job the Defense Department to come up with plans. These plans have various levels of guranteed success. The Pentagon has 1 and only 1 option that is guaranteed to set the Iranian nuclear program back 20 years, and that is a nuclear attack on fortified facilities. Does it mean there is a remote chance that will actually happen? No? Does it mean that plan should be ruled out with even planning it? No. We have detailed plans on how to take over canada, what we would happen to in the case of a tactical nuke strike on Canada, environmental impact, etc. Does it mean, we are going to take over America Junior? No. Seriously, this some stupid shit to get worked up over, and even stupidier thing to be upset that people aren’t worked up enough over it.

  2. Steve

    Secondly, stop running around like Chicken Little, screaming the sky is falling. It is the job the Defense Department to come up with plans. These plans have various levels of guranteed success. The Pentagon has 1 and only 1 option that is guaranteed to set the Iranian nuclear program back 20 years, and that is a nuclear attack on fortified facilities. Does it mean there is a remote chance that will actually happen? No?

    Jeeeezus. Honest to balls, did you read the article? This isn’t about, “Oh, we have this contingency plan about how to attack Iran, just like we have this plan for Canada, just like Professor X keeps files on how to take out all the X-Men.” Fuck me, but I can’t help but believe you’re putting effort into being this dense. Have you been reading the news? Have you noticed how much the news looks exactly like it did just before we invaded Iraq like we’d planned to all along? The same theatre, the same arguments, the same “Oh, sure, we’re exploring diplomacy.”

    Honest to fuck, what does it take to still believe that the people in charge of the executive branch deal with even an iota of good faith? Why do you want to believe that? And is it possible for your brain not to slot anything you’ve identified as “liberal” into either of two columns labeled “shrill” and “weak?”

    Seriously, chicken little? Astounding.

    Also, I hope the President of Iran is as pants shittingly scared as you.

    Scared enough to look at Iraq, and look at North Korea, and correctly conclude that the only way to deter these warmongering assholes from invading is to demonstrate nuclear capability, I presume. That’s the new paradigm: get nukes quick, it’s the only thing the U.S. respects.

  3. Ananth

    I am simply commenting on your fear of a nuclear strike on Iranian facilities. That is all that I was commenting on. If on the other hand you are speaking more broadly on the possibility of the actual use of force against Iran to retard their nuclear program then let’s dance.

    Look, I think the administration is exploring Diplomacy, in as much as one can explore diplomacy with a group of people who are going to do whatever they want and think diplomacy is a tactic to use to stall real action while they get what the want (see your North Korea). I think they explored diplomacy with Saddam the same way, and explored diplomacy with the Taliban. The US explored diplomacy with NK in the 90’s and look how well that worked out. These are regimes that don’t care, and think we are too weak to do anything about it. They know the UN isn’t going to do anything, so they think if they stall enought they will get their nukes and then they can do whatever. I think that it’s very unlikely that Iranians are going to give up their programs or do anything meaningful to satisify the US and those responsible countries that don’t want to see a nuclear powered Arab country that is flaunting the idea of annihilating Israel.

    So where does that leave us? Are You OK with Iran going nuclear? How long do you try diplomatic means? To what extent of Diplomacy must be extended until you, Steve Siwy, are satisified? Should the Presdent fly to Iran on Air Force one, meet the Ayatollah, and say please, please, please don’t go nuclear, let us inspect all your sites, and then we won’t do anything to you ever and sign some no attack treaty? Is that going fly? Would the Iranians even take up such an offer? No. So what then?

    In all likelyhood two years from now if no Diplomatic means have reached a satisfactory conclusion, the US will probably use a massive amount of air power to take out as much of the Iranian infrastructure as we can. because I doubt whoever the next President is will deal with a military option. I think our nation building experiment in the Middle East has not gone well, and we as a country have no taste for it (though that can change as events change on the ground in Iraq), so we will probably also bomb as much of the Revolutionary Guard and Iranian army as we can, hopefully distablizng the Mullahs enough that the younger more prowestern majority can take over. If we send any ground troops in, it will be only to take out facilities, and once they are destroyed, we are going to pull out.

    You want to call that the warmongering option, go ahead. Do you have a better solution that will avoid this option and prevent a nuclear Iran? If you do, I’d like to hear it. Anything sort of truly preventing or retarding the Iranian program is, to me weak and Shrill. Not wanting conflict and war is a beautiful, admirable quality, but the world has tried peace at any cost, and that worked out real well.

  4. Steve

    in as much as one can explore diplomacy with a group of people who are going to do whatever they want and think diplomacy is a tactic to use to stall real action while they get what the want

    You have just described the United States circa right now.

    To what extent of Diplomacy must be extended until you, Steve Siwy, are satisified? Should the Presdent fly to Iran on Air Force one, meet the Ayatollah, and say please, please, please don’t go nuclear, let us inspect all your sites, and then we won’t do anything to you ever and sign some no attack treaty? Is that going fly? Would the Iranians even take up such an offer? No. So what then?

    Nuke them. Obviously. I recant; this is airtight.

    so we will probably also bomb as much of the Revolutionary Guard and Iranian army as we can, hopefully distablizng the Mullahs enough that the younger more prowestern majority can take over. If we send any ground troops in, it will be only to take out facilities, and once they are destroyed, we are going to pull out.

    Wh-

    Are you serious? Just like our country threw out the nationalist politicians and religious zealots after we were attacked on September 11th? Just like the Iraqi people rose up and installed a shining beacon of Western democracy in the Middle East after we were through bombing them? Spanky, have you noticed that a population tends to get more recalcitrant and nationalist after they’re bombed, not less? Why do you even need this explained to you?

    You want to call that the warmongering option, go ahead.

    Not so much “warmongering” as “brutally simpleminded,” and even that doesn’t really encompass the scope of my incredulity at the moment.

    I have to go to work. Does anyone else feel like responding to the Whitehouse Talking Points Memo that Walks Like a Man, up there?

  5. Ananth

    You are being such closed minded ass it’s unbelievable. Did any one say nuke them? They are talking about using bunker buster nuclear warheads in one of their possible plans. They are not saying ‘let’s wipe Iran off the face of the Earth’. And again, just because a plan to use nukes exists does not remotely suggest they will to use them.

    Secondly, enlightened one, what is your solution other than just let Iran get nukes? You don’t seem to have one other than, well maybe if we leave them alone, they won’t do anything bad. Maybe a nuclear Iran won’t be such a bad thing. And it’s a lot of bull about we are the reason the want to get Nukes in the first place. They want to nukes so they can do what they want unchecked, and the reason the fear us is because they know the United States won’t allow them to do the crazy things the want. That’s like saying the police are the reasons gang members car assualt weapons.

    Also, you are not comparing the desire of the United States to prevent a nation with terrorist ties, that advocates the destruction of an US ally and UN member state to the desire of Iran to get a nuclear bomb? What kind of idiotic moral equalism is that? Diplomacy is not just talking and being nice, and giving away the store so that people think you are reasonable. We would have left the Taliban in place if they had handed over Bin Laden and the rest of Al Qaeda. We would have left Saddaam had truly cooperated, not his half ass attempt to the do least amount possible. If avoiding conflict is your goal, than sure we failed miserably, but avoiding conflict for peace’s sake leads to nothing but future strife.

    You arguement is that because things are hard slogs and don’t happen in a pretty or timely manner, that they aren’t worth having. I know that the chapter on reshaping the middle east is already written and done in your book, but history hasn’t made it’s judgement yet. It’s not looking great, but it is also not as large a blunder as you seem to think it is.

  6. Steve

    I find your use of the phrase “close-minded” odd. Am I being stubborn? Sure. Combative, caustic, and rude? Yeah, I’ll cop to that, too. But to say I’m close-minded implies that I’m not giving the benefit of the doubt when I should be. I can think of no reason that I should reevaluate the conclusions I’ve drawn about the competence or motivations of this administration. Every statement you make to me about this implies your assumption that I’m a voice for The Left. The Left, of course, is either shrill or weak, as we’ve discussed. The Left, of course, doesn’t actually exist. It’s a convenient strawman shitheads like Instapundit and Powerline and Malkin and Goldberg, et fuckin’ al. use to rail against.

    Me, though, I printed out Condoleeza Rice’s old Stanford position papers to read on the shitter at work during the 2000 elections, by which I was appalled (the position papers – I was appalled by the 2000 elections, too, but in this case I mean the position papers). She advocated American unilateralism, and a utilitarian approach to foreign policy in which the U.S. acted only when necessary to promote its intrests, and fuck all y’all in any other case. Stupidity, I thought. The U.S. is no longer one pole of a Cold War death pact, and we need the goodwill, economic and diplomatic, of other the other nations of the world in order to ensure our own prosperity. I did not think we were the “hyperpower” as some French writers liked to cast us then, and motherfuck do I especially not now.

    Nowadays, if you told me that the U.S. would be merely unilateralist starting tomorrow, I’d wish I had some being to pray to in thanks. ‘Cause unilateralism would be a breath of fresh air, a comfortably familiar intellectual position about which various professors from the Kennedy School could debate with each other in the pages of Foreign Affairs. What we have instead is on the one hand the solipsism of the unilateralists goaded by, on the other hand, the Trostkyist utopian idea of imposing “democracy” around the world via war of the neoconservatives.

    You know all those people who argue that the failure of the Soviet Union, the authoritarian capitalism of China, and the poverty of Cuba aren’t actually evidence that Communism is stupid and brutal and unworkable, just that it hasn’t been done properly yet? Yeah. Kind of like the people who think that the drums beating now in the news for war with Iran aren’t the same exact drums we heard before Iraq. The ones who, despite the obvious weasel-words of every pronouncement from every spokesperson of the Bush administration, despite every news story detailing how they cherry-picked – and when they had to invented – intelligence to support the foregone decision to start a war with Iraq, despite watching a strategy no more complex than “if we wreck this bad thing, this new good thing will grow in its place” play out horribly before our eyes on television in Iraq and in Walter Reed, still argue for the competence and good faith of those responsible for that strategy.  It’s always somebody else’s fault.

    You arguement is that because things are hard slogs and don’t happen in a pretty or timely manner, that they aren’t worth having.

    No, Ananth, that’s not my argument. That’s what Instapundit or Roger L. Simon or whoever tells you is my argument. That’s what I guess you’ve decided is the binary for foreign policy decision-making: the Hard-Nosed Realist option (Threaten war and if they don’t roll over, go to war!) or the Bleeding-Heart Unserious Liberal option (Appeasement!).

    My argument is that this administration has a consistent record of lying about their reasons for implementing plans (or not implementing plans) that lead to ruinous results for the United States, every single time. Without fail. Causing thousands of Americans to be wounded and die in Iraq. Causing tens of thousands of Iraqis to be wounded and die. And New Orleans, and leaking the name of a CIA agent for political revenge, and a worldwide system of torture chambers, and holding people including American citizens indefinitely without charges, and illegally spying on Americans without a warrant, and on and on.

    And you have talking points for every situation. You burst a blood vessel making convoluted excuses for why what anyone can see in front of them isn’t true and they’re going to get it right this time and who’s to say that they haven’t been getting it right all along and what’s getting it right anyway in this muddled liberal-media world, and you accuse me of having a closed mind.

    I don’t have a closed mind; I just consider your rhetoric ridiculous.

  7. Ananth

    So there is no left? I suppose there is no right either, and that is just a figment of Kos and Franken and Dean? But I digress, since you used a lot of big words.

    First of all, let me apologize for the ass remark. Uncalled for. You are not an ass. Usually. And even if you were an ass, I shouldn’t call you one…

    Now, again, I don’t really have a problem with you worrying about the fact that when these people bring something up, the may actually do it. I had a problem with you getting particularly worried about the use of nukes, which is patently absurd. The rest of the stuff is valid, whether or not I agree with it or not.

    And for the record, I was not advocating the spread of Democracy throught force. I do think that it is not something that really can be spread that way. I think the ultimate lesson of Iraq will be that democracy won’t take hold until the citizens have skin in the game, which the Iraqis are only now coming to realize. And the time and cost it takes for that seems to be more than the public wants to bear.

    That being said, knocking down despotic, terroristic, crazy regimes is always, always a good thing. Iran with the bomb is a horrible, horrible, horrible thing. How do you stop it? What are the options here? Is the US making them make these claims? Even if these claims turned out to be 100% false, are we supposed to ignore them with complete verification? So what do you about this? Again, how much diplomacy is enough? What kind of margin of error do leave for thier acquiring the bomb? If it’s 5 to 10 years by estimate it could be 1 to 20 in actualuality? how do you prevent this? I want to know what your solution would be rather than this administration is crazy and I don’t trust them, so fuck them.

    The funny thing about your arguement about the US acting all crazy as unilateralist goaded by trotsky and that we need the help of allies is kind of funny, where as you are sickened by Rice’s arguement about the US acting in it’s own interest is funny. Why is that France and Germany weren’t acting in their own self interest when they opposed the war? Why is that Russia and China aren’t doing the same thing with Iran?
    This are the countries we are supposed to relie to act for world security?

    For the record , I don’t read Powerline or malkin really. I like glenn Reynolds though. Though more for his thoughts on things non politic. I used to read Kos, but it’s getting as Shrill as powerline. Mickey Kaus is the best read out there, and no he is not practically a republican….

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