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View Diary: DK Elections Policy Weekly Open Thread: What Issues Are You Interested In? (46 comments)

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  •  By a dictatorship (0+ / 0-)

    I meant that the average Iranian has no say whatsoever in the foreign or domestic policy of Iran. That is inarguable.

    Also, you claim,

    The biggest thing the US needs is to win the hearts of the average Iranian citizen.
    I honestly don't think that the U.S. is capable of doing that. And even if we could, it really wouldn't matter, since, as I said above, the average Iranian citizen has no say over Iranian nuclear policy, or any other policy.

    A nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel, and thus the U.S. must do whatever it takes to ensure that Iran does not get nuclear weapons.

    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

    by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:46:16 AM PST

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    •  It find that hard to agree with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      uclabruin18, Stephen Wolf

      Every regime that has ever acquired nuclear weapons has proven to be deterred by mutually assured destruction. Even the truly batty regime of North Korea has refrained from launching any nuclear strikes because they know that launching a strike would be the end of their nation.

      You can say a lot of things about the Iranian regime but they have proven themselves to be relatively pragmatic. Unlike North Korea they have refrained from declaring their intent to develop an actual nuclear weapon (though of course they could in relatively short order now that they have enriched a sufficient amount of uranium).

      A war with Iran would almost certainly NOT eliminate their capacity to make a bomb since Israeli and American intelligence likely does not have the capabilities to identify all Iranian facilities. Given the potential for catastrophic escalation in any Iranian conflict I have no idea why we would prefer to launch, likely ineffectual, attack rather than giving negotiations a chance.

      27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:03:00 AM PST

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      •  *I find that hard to agree with* (0+ / 0-)

        I proofed the body but forgot to proof the subject - d'oh :)

        27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

        by okiedem on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:04:27 AM PST

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      •  You're sort of right (0+ / 0-)

        Clearly, you are correct that neither North Korea nor any other rogue nation with nukes has used them yet. However, there's an important difference between the regimes of North Korea and Iran: religion. The North Korean regime is communist, and thus, atheist. Therefore, they do not see themselves as carrying out the instructions of a higher power.

        Iran, however, is different. The regime of Iran is explicitly theocratic, and they do see themselves as carrying out the instructions of a higher power. They probably think that one of these instructions is to engage in jihad against non-Muslims. Israel is a tempting target, hence Iran's refusal to accept Israel's right to exist and its continuously trash-talking and threatening Israel.

        I don't think it's a stretch to go from there to the idea that Iran's leaders might believe that Allah is instructing them to eliminate Israel, and how better to do so than by using nukes. After all, no other way has worked.

        As for the negotiations, as I said above, I'm willing to give them a try, but we need a backup plan in case they fail, and I think that tougher sanctions could be a good backup plan.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:22:14 AM PST

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        •  That misunderstands both N. Korea and Iran (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slacks, Stephen Wolf, jncca

          North Korea isn't really a Marxist/Leninst/Maoist country in the same way as Cuba or Cold War era USSR or China. The ideology of North Korea is no longer truly Marxists but is instead based off of the state ideology/religion of Juche coupled leader worship that incorporates many elements of mysticism. For instance, in North Korea the birth of Kim Il Sung was said to have been "heralded by a swallow, caused winter to change to spring, a star to illuminate the sky, and a double rainbow spontaneously appeared."

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          Although Iran is certainly a theocratic regime and has sponsored many terrorist organizations and Shia paramilitary groups throughout the region it's pretty hard to claim that its foreign policy is motivated by "jihad" rather than by its motivation to enhance its power in the region. Iran has had no qualms about supporting the Shia/Christian backed regime in Syria against the Sunni opposition and has cultivated partnerships with several Christian countries such as Brazil and Russia. While Iranian foreign policy is certainly frequently immoral and destructive it's hard to claim that it's motivated by irrational religious fervor rather than cynical power calculations.

          27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

          by okiedem on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:40:27 AM PST

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          •  I guess that I have less faith (0+ / 0-)

            in the Iranian regime than either you or slacks.

            So if I am reading you right, then you think that Iran having nukes would not be a danger to either Israel or the U.S. Is that correct?

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:52:18 AM PST

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            •  The danger would be that it would have more (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stephen Wolf

              leeway throw it's power around since nuclear weapons would enhance its standing in the region. That's certainly an undesirable outcome and something worth taking extensive steps to avoid.

              The risk of an actual nuclear attack is zero.

              27, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

              by okiedem on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:59:14 AM PST

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    •  I was just trying to be technically precise (0+ / 0-)

      The average Iranian has some say. The government remembers that they formed out of protests. They understand that protests could topple the government.

      Secondly, some clerics derive power from their following. Even if a cleric isn't on the guardian council, they gain power through their following. I think the Iranian government will remember that Khomeini was a somewhat obscure cleric but built a huge following.

      I have little doubt in my mind that if Iranians want they could topple their government or force a clerical power shift.

      But regardless of changing power, there clearly has been a change in approach by the ruling clerics. They wouldn't have let a reformist take the presidency otherwise.

      M, 24, School: MI-12, Home: NY-18

      by slacks on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:17:59 AM PST

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