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View Diary: UPDATED: War with Iran? Maybe So (125 comments)

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  •  Ironically, the fears about a nuclear Iran (5+ / 0-)

    are not really supported by historical precedent. Nuclear states tend to become much more cautious rather than less. Acquisition of nukes by the USSR led to talk not war between the US and USSR, even though a lot of brinkmanship was involved. Pakistan and India fought 4 major wars until Pakistan became a nuclear state. Even the attack in Mumbai did not trigger a major Indian response even though the Indians are convinced that the ISI was deeply involved. Israel has nuclear weapons but is arguably in the weakest strategic position it has been in since 1967. So, the idea that nuclear weapons are ipso facto a gigantic existential threat is simply not born out by history. Does that mean I want Iran to have nukes? No. But then I wonder whether it is the disaster some think it is. Once Iran gets its nuclear capacity, it will have to make much more careful calculations than it has been. And it will have some very unpleasant consequences for Iran quite apart from war. Nukes may make Iran feel more secure but it's strategic position may become weaker.

    •  Good point. If you have a nuke and use it then (1+ / 0-)
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      you are wide open for nuclear retaliation. Given the size of the US arsonal it is a pretty scary idea that using your capability is likely to get you a lot more rained down on your own heartland.

    •  Lesson of Gulf War I (2+ / 0-)
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      semiot, Pozzo

      An Indian diplomat remarked that the lesson India learned from the first Gulf War was that if you want to oppose the United States, you had better have nuclear weapons. Our conventional forces really are All That.

      So a nuclear Iran makes conventional war impossible but also makes Iran provoking a war unthinkable - because if a nuclear power does something that instigates a war with another nuclear power, the odds of a first strike to take out the nukes go way up.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:19:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Iran provoking a war (5+ / 0-)

        I want all these people banging the war drums for bombing the crap out of Iran to provide me with detailed information on the last time that Iran engaged in initiating a war on any other country.  Who is the mad elephant barging into other countries laying waste, death, destruction and cluster bombs for all the kids to play with?  Hint, it is NOT Iran.

        The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

        by ActivistGuy on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:22:55 AM PST

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        •  Iran-Iraq, 10 years worth. (1+ / 0-)
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          blue aardvark

          Many are just playing out 'what ifs' in this thread.

        •  Technically speaking, the US Embassy (1+ / 0-)
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          takeover of 1979. An embassy is sovereign territory, so when Iranian citizens with the tacit approval of their government overran our embassy that was an invasion of US territory.

          Which is not to say that's on the same scale as invading Iraq in 2003. I merely wish to point out that Iran, like many nations, is constrained more by what they can get away with than by international law or a love of peace.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:37:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's really not the point (1+ / 0-)
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          No country starts a war until it does. But perhaps the point you are trying to make is that Iran wants nukes because it is paranoid about being invaded and this is its ultimate insurance policy. After all, the US invaded its neighbors to the west and to the east, rejected its overtures after 9/11 (huge strategic error by the US), and generally feels that the US and Israel have pretty belligerent attitudes toward them, including assassinating their scientists and launching computer attacks on them, not to mention the immense financial pressure they are under. So I quite understand Iranian motivations on this score. I have no great sympathy for the regime but I think I get why they are doing what they are doing.

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