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There is a fascinating interview with Jeffrey Goldberg(The Atlantic) that I have not had time to go through( I will put an update here later) but the bottom line is that the President is making sure that both countries understand that he doesn't bluff

and you can always ask the Somali pirates or bin Laden to confirm that :-).  It is a very well thought out nuanced explanation of his position and one that makes a whole lot of sense.  I just hope he is able to convince AIPAC and Israel to let his strategy work.  It will lead to a more permanent solution as opposed to just a temporary delay.

Election year politics and gas prices are further complicating this issue of course.

Here is the link

http://www.theatlantic.com/...

Ok, here's more detail.  This is the first update.  To be fair, there is another side tho this argument that I will try and update later(sneaking this in at work).

Here is the gist of the article:

Dismissing a strategy of "containment" as unworkable, the president tells me it's "unacceptable" for the Islamic Republic of Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

At the White House on Monday, President Obama will seek to persuade the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to postpone whatever plans he may have to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities in the coming months. Obama will argue that under his leadership, the United States "has Israel's back," and that he will order the U.S. military to destroy Iran's nuclear program if economic sanctions fail to compel Tehran to shelve its nuclear ambitions.

In the most extensive interview he has given about the looming Iran crisis, Obama told me earlier this week that both Iran and Israel should take seriously the possibility of American action against Iran's nuclear facilities. "I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff." He went on, "I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."

Let me summarize a number of points from the article:

*  Iran's nuclear weapons capability is a threat to the US and the world, not just Israel.  Imagine India-Pakistan 5 times over if Iran gets the bomb.  That region would be a disaster and you can kiss the Arab Spring goodbye.

"You're talking about the most volatile region in the world," he said. "It will not be tolerable to a number of states in that region for Iran to have a nuclear weapon and them not to have a nuclear weapon. Iran is known to sponsor terrorist organizations, so the threat of proliferation becomes that much more severe." He went on to say, "The dangers of an Iran getting nuclear weapons that then leads to a free-for-all in the Middle East is something that I think would be very dangerous for the world."
*  Bombing Iran is a temporary solution.  In 2 years, you have to do it again.  Better examples are Libya, S. Africa and now it looks like N. Korea where you make them give it up willingly.
Our argument is going to be that it is important for us to see if we can solve this thing permanently, as opposed to temporarily," he said, "and the only way historically that a country has ultimately decided not to get nuclear weapons without constant military intervention has been when they themselves take [nuclear weapons] off the table. That's what happened in Libya, that's what happened in South Africa."
*  He does acknowledge that Israel frames it differently and that the Jewish past, including the Holocaust, does drive their thinking but makes it a point to also say that they need to start letting that go.
And though broadly sympathetic to Netanyahu's often-stated fear that Iran's nuclear program represents a Holocaust-scale threat to the Jewish state, and the Jewish people, Obama suggested strongly that historical fears cannot be the sole basis for precipitous action: "The prime minister is head of a modern state that is mindful of the profound costs of any military action, and in our consultations with the Israeli government, I think they take those costs, and potential unintended consequences, very seriously."
* He explains how his policies have reversed the situation in 3 years.  A united International community and a divided Iran!  Excellent point.

*  Not in article The sanctions regime is working.  Check out the value of the Rial over the last few months.  It is no longer being accepted by the money changers in Tehran

* Not in article but the upcoming elections in Iran are also a test of political muscle between the Supreme leader and the President leading to more unrest.  Possible impeachment has openly been talked about.

Here were some other interesting quotes in there.  I would encourage you to take the time and read through the entire piece.  

This is one of the few times in the history of U.S.-Israeli relations where you have a government from the right in Israel at the same time you have a center-left government in the United States, and so I think what happens then is that a lot of political interpretations of our relationship get projected onto this.
I love this one:
Look, if people want to say about me that I have a profound preference for peace over war, that every time I order young men and women into a combat theater and then see the consequences on some of them, if they're lucky enough to come back, that this weighs on me -- I make no apologies for that. Because anybody who is sitting in my chair who isn't mindful of the costs of war shouldn't be here, because it's serious business. These aren't video games that we're playing here.
The most interesting part was how he addresses the politicization of the issue by the Republicans and has no problem defending the facts about current US - Israel relationship.
And one of the things that I like to remind them of is that every single commitment I have made to the state of Israel and its security, I have kept. I mean, part of your -- not to put words in your mouth -- but part of the underlying question is: Why is it that despite me never failing to support Israel on every single problem that they've had over the last three years, that there are still questions about that?

GOLDBERG: That's a good way to phrase it.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And my answer is: there is no good reason to doubt me on these issues.

Some of it has to do with the fact that in this country and in our media, this gets wrapped up with politics. And I don't think that's any secret. And if you have a set of political actors who want to see if they can drive a wedge not between the United States and Israel, but between Barack Obama and a Jewish American vote that has historically been very supportive of his candidacy, then it's good to try to fan doubts and raise questions.

m

2:41 PM PT: You can listen to discussion on Hardball right now!!  BTW, interview with Goldberg has it's own nuance.  I think the choice was strategic!

 Chris makes the point that this may be the "gamechanger" issue in 2012 election.  This article/story has been all over the media sphere.  AIPAC conference is going to be huge!
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Comment Preferences

  •  More! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    followyourbliss, Onomastic, Russgirl

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:08:00 AM PST

  •  I'm a pretty big Obama guy but (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, followyourbliss, kfred, nsfbr, Cedwyn

    I'm not sure about "I'm reposting this even though I didn't read anything but the headline", and I would also prefer that presidents bluff occasionally, because if you never bluff then you don't get anything done with just rhetoric.

    Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:15:32 AM PST

  •  Nice to have an adult in the room (13+ / 0-)

    Systems thinking is complex.

    The Elephant. The Rider. The Path. Figure those out and change will come.

    by Denver11 on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:40:32 AM PST

  •  Just finished reading this (16+ / 0-)

    Excellent interview. Obama's ability to speak at length on issues of this complexity and delicacy is mind boggling. I can't help but reminded (in contrast) of how often I would read interviews of Reagan or Bush II and think "my god, those sentences don't mean ANYTHING".

  •  Among the various right-wing (13+ / 0-)

    fictions about Barack Obama, one of the least believable is that he is a dolt. They actually think that he is a stupid man, who simply reads off of teleprompters whatever his handlers want him to say. Yet whether one agrees or disagrees with him, is it not obvious that he is a very intelligent and thoughtful man? That he analytically attacks every problem, understands the nuances, and acts accordingly? Those seem to be facts to me, yet the dim-wit meme persists.

  •  I don't think Libya is a good example to use... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Majordomo

    As Tehran will see what happened most recently and rightly surmise that wouldn't have happened if Gadhafi had a nuke or two.  

    If I was an Iranian citizen I'd suffer through sanctions with a smile if it meant getting a nuke.  Why can Israel have 60+ nukes and bomb Iran with impunity?  Look at how differently Pakistan is treated - they're not bullied around by the West.

    You'll never be treated with respect or anywhere near an equal on the world stage unless you get a nuke.  

    And how will the US pay for this war with Iran?  I bet the budget hawks won't care about this spending without off-sets.  

    It's all a crock.  And if Pres Obama launches a war against Iran before November he will NOT be re-elected.    

    •  I disagree... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pstoller78, erush1345

      You are actually supporting his argument.That is the exact reason why Obama says that containment won't work with Iran.  He has categorically said that Iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon because they will start acting with impunity.

    •  ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pstoller78

      First,  several governments have been overthrown in Pakistan since the military got the bomb.  Also, the US has conducted military strikes there.  Maybe a nuclear bomb might have helped Gaddafi, but it isn't clear how.  I don't think there's ever a credible threat of use.  As for Irael being able to use nuclear weapons "with impunity" I don't see how any country can use nuclear weapons with impunity.  Seeing as it would be a clear war crime and all.

      •  I know this is a low bar, but (0+ / 0-)

        Obama hasn't put more than a seal's team worth of boots on the ground anywhere in the world since he came into office. True that he increased the troop levels in Afghanistan, but obviously that invasion happened to him prior so he was left with making what he thought was best of a bad situation. Though I'm not denying that conducting strikes against Iran is an act of war (and I'm not supporting strikes either fwiw), it seems a lot of folks that are already sure that Obama will move militarily against Iran seem also to think there's going to be some sort of (not so) grand invasion a la Bush II. There's no real evidence to support that.

        Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:47:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What is the basis for this wierd statement? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elliott, brasilaaron, WattleBreakfast
    Imagine India-Pakistan 5 times over if Iran gets the bomb.  That region would be a disaster and you can kiss the Arab Spring goodbye.
    Most of the India Pakistan problem is caused by the historical tensions between them, not their weapons.  In the Middle East, I do not see who supposedly fills the role of having that kind of animosity towards Iran (except Israel, which shares no  border with Iran.

    And what is this putative mechanism that would make an Iranian nuclear weapon change anything?  TUnisians and Libyans are certain not to abandon their democracy because of it.  Hard to imagine it affecting Syria.  I mean what's going Assad going to do he's not doing already?

    Long story short, this reading  isn't credible, which makes the whole thing sound like so much war mongering.

    •  WOW!! (4+ / 0-)

      I'm not even sure where to begin with your response....

      Most of the India Pakistan problem is caused by the historical tensions between them, not their weapons.

      You must be kidding???  Both of them having nuclear weapons - risk of another failed government in Pakistan-proximity of Al Qaeda/Taliban-  I will stop..sheesh!

       In the Middle East, I do not see who supposedly fills the role of having that kind of animosity towards Iran (except Israel, which shares no  border with Iran.

      You are obviously totally naive about the Shia Sunni split in the middle east or you would not say anything so ludicrous.  The reason that Iran acts the way they do is that they feel surrounded by enemies.

      And what is this putative mechanism that would make an Iranian nuclear weapon change anything?  TUnisians and Libyans are certain not to abandon their democracy because of it.  Hard to imagine it affecting Syria.  I mean what's going Assad going to do he's not doing already?

      I didn't have time to go into the connection between Syria/Iran/Lebanaon/Israel/Hamas/Hezbollah but please do a little bit of reading!!  Are you suggesting that Syria would not act differently if Iran had a nuclear bomb?

      Long story short, this reading  isn't credible, which makes the whole thing sound like so much war mongering.

      What reading isn't credible??  What Obama is saying?  Are you suggesting that he is war mongering?  Or, am I?  Seriously?

    •  I've seen naive statements about this before, (0+ / 0-)

      but this should win some sort of prize.

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:32:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  which one (0+ / 0-)

        are you referring to?  

      •  Still (0+ / 0-)

        No actual basis for how magically Arab spring will disappear at all, just a lot of comments saying how silly it is to suggest that vague boogie man stories should perhaps have a basis.  I am wondering how long either of you have lives in the Middle East or India as I have

        •  Umm..betcha more than you! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Frank Knarf

          hard question to answer but I would guess at least as much as you, if not significantly more.  If you don't understand that the entire dynamic of the Arab Spring changes if Iran gets the bomb, then you may have wasted all the time you spent there.

          Every single nation that is aligned against Iran in the ME will suddenly see an shift in the balance of power between the civilians and their governments/military.  Every single nation that is aligned with Iran will be emboldened and become much more aggressive.

          Seriously, you want to argue this?

            •  phew... (0+ / 0-)

              thank god...it would be a totally one sided debate and so not fair. You obviously have no frigging clue what you're talking about.  My God...it's people like you who don't take the time to inform themselves and then start staking positions that are not defensible that scare me the most.

              And you scare me a lot!

              •  Right (0+ / 0-)

                Whether you have a clue or not is not clear, since you spew insults rather than bring substantive comments to the siscussion

                •  Spew insults??? WTF????? (0+ / 0-)

                  Here is your original comment:

                  No actual basis for how magically Arab spring will disappear at all, just a lot of comments saying how silly it is to suggest that vague boogie man stories should perhaps have a basis.  

                  I know not what language you are using here so no clue what your point is other than it don't sound pretty.

                  I am wondering how long either of you have lives in the Middle East or India as I have

                  And then you claim to have some intellectual superiority because you claim to have lived there.  Don't really know how you can make that assertion without knowing anything about either one of us.  And again, quite obvious that even if you did live there, your opinions are not well informed.

              •  Not sure I am so scary (0+ / 0-)

                After all, I am not the one singing "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran". I think it is warmongers who can't or won't back up their claims we need to be scared of.  

                •  Holy Frigging Shit!! (0+ / 0-)

                  You obviously did not read or understand a word of what I was saying...you're completely out of your mind.  Go back and read what I wrote...IT'S THE EXACT FRIGGING OPPOSITE OF BOMBING IRAN...I WAS PRAISING THE PRESIDENT FOR HIS NUANCED WELL THOUGHT OUT POSITION TO PREVENT BOMBING!!

                  You should focus on reading and comprehending and get rid of your keyboard or tape your hands when you are online

  •  The US not should not give a plug nickel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elliott, SCFrog

    In support of Israel , the US support  of Israel have cost america  too the point ,where the US has no rational credibility in the Middle East , Israel will suck america treasury dry

  •  Parlimentary vote in Iran today! (link) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Majordomo, wasatch

    All of this sabre rattling might be his attempt to distract. The drum of war might be Ahmadinejad's way of getting the people to forget they hate him and focus on an external enemy. If Israel attacks, he will rally the Iranian people. The Revolutionary Guard is probably salivating.

    But then again, it's no secret the regular citizens hate Ahmadinejad (at 40% unemployment and hyperinflation anybody would). The Ruling Council isn't exactly hip to him either, especially the Supreme Leader according to the article. It's definitely worth reading.

    http://www.reuters.com/...

    Warning: That light at the end of the tunnel just might be an oncoming train.

    by history first on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:37:28 AM PST

    •  I think it's much more complicated.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      history first, wasatch

      ..power struggle between President and Supreme Leader is intense.  President actually is left of the Leader at this stage.  Green movement is still around, although silent for now.  Revolutionary Guard is getting a bit fed up because sanctions are hurting them.  Remember that the Military Industrial complex always protects it's interests(and not just in the USA).  Look at Pakistan, Egypt, Syria and the list goes on.  The RG will shift it's loyalties enough if they are threatened enough.

      •  Agreed. It's a rubric's cube (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Majordomo, wasatch

        Not as simple as the GOP wants the public to think. Iran=bad=war.

        Good to read that the Green Movement is still viable. I had such hope when it began in 2009.

        And you're right: the only green the Revolutionary Guard cares about is money.

        Warning: That light at the end of the tunnel just might be an oncoming train.

        by history first on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:39:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Threats to attack Iran, just raises oil prices (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Majordomo, Dexter, WattleBreakfast

    and the GOP hopes that helps their nominee get elected president.

  •  A nuclear Iran is unacceptable by definition (5+ / 0-)

    They are a treaty bound member of the NPT.

    For such treaties to be worth a damn, they have to be backed by repercussions for violating them.

    We've seen what has happened with both North Korea and Pakistan as they developed and ultimately acquired nukes:

    -North Korea increased its self-isolation from the rest of the world internally while regularly engaging in acts of violent provocation, including the sinking of the South Korean navy ship.

    -Pakistan now sits at the razor's edge of the most volatile nuclear standoff in the world with India, actively supports terrorist groups against India, and has at minimum turned a blind eye to the activities of the Taliban and coincidence or not, became the cushy 10-year safe haven of the most wanted mass murderer on the planet.

    -Both North Korea & Pakistan have directly accelerated nuclear proliferation to rogue regimes around the world. Iran, Burma, Gaddafi's Libya, Assad's Syria as well as each other.

    Every bit of historical evidence suggests Iran would do the same. Increase its open support for conventional terrorism & armed provocation, and

    -indirectly, a nuclear Iran would spur copycat 'deterrance' programs in the Persian Gulf, Middle East, Central Asia, perhaps even Africa. To include potentially seeing Israel expand its own arsenal.

    If one believes in the goal of 'global zero', a world without nuclear weaponsthen the two most important steps are this:

    1.) Securing and reducing the vast arsenals of the United States & Russia.

    2.) Preventing any other countries, especially those bound by the Non Proliferation Treaty, from joining the still small 'nuclear club.'

    Yes, as a last resort, I would support taking limited overt military action to degrade & or destroy Iran's nuclear infrastructure. But right now, with the sanctions we have in place, the escalating pressure on Iran from around the world, and the clear diplomatic progress we just saw in North Korea, is not the time to do it.

    And absolutely nothing would be helped by the Israelis sparking a conflict by launching an attack of their own, especially considering they lack the military hardware to do any serious damage to the facilities.

    •  Until there's a ban on nuclear weapons in the (5+ / 0-)

      Middle East, there's going to be an arms race for them.

      Israel didn't sign the NPT and is estimated to have possibly hundreds of warheads, but now Israel threatens to attack Iran for possibly thinking of developing one.

      The hypocrisy is overwhelming.

    •  Amen.. (0+ / 0-)

      to everything(almost) you said

    •  I think you hit on one of the key roadblocks (0+ / 0-)
      If one believes in the goal of 'global zero', a world without nuclear weaponsthen the two most important steps are this:

      1.) Securing and reducing the vast arsenals of the United States & Russia.

      According to the NPT, the US, Russia, and all other nuclear signatories were supposed to be working towards elimination for decades.  It complicates matters when we say, "You have to abide by the terms of this treaty, but we are going to ignore our own obligations under the same treaty."
      •  Welcome to the path-dependent world. (0+ / 0-)

        The existing strategic arrangements are historically specific and don't represent any special moral logic.  We have to improve security from a real rather than ideal starting point.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:33:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  US & Russian stockpiles have been reduced... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Frank Knarf

        dramatically and steadily over the past 20 years and that trend is only continuing with the latest NEW START agreement.

        Other states...Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, South Africa, Libya, HAVE given up their weapons and programs.

        So Step 1 is already happening in earnest (if not exactly with global zero as the end goal.)

        Step 2 is where global focus must be as well.

        Indeed, in a world WITH global zero...there would have to be global consensus that any nation that again began building nuclear weapons would have to be dealt with aggressively, with military action if necessary.

  •  North Korea hasn't taken nuclear weapons... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Majordomo

    Off the table.  They have agreed to a suspension and we are still negotiating the terms of even a 6-party talk meeting, which will probably include another statement that the North Koreans are willing to suspend their weapons activities.

    If that's what this article implies -- that there's a suspension but the North Koreans have not wholly given up on the idea of having weapons -- then that is accurate.  If you're saying that the North Koreans have decided, a la Libya, to give up nuclear weapons, that is inaccurate.

    The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

    by BasharH on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:54:44 AM PST

    •  uh huh..and that's why (0+ / 0-)

      I said it looks like??

      •  I liked your diary... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Majordomo

        And I think we're saying the same thing here.

        Better examples are Libya, S. Africa and now it looks like N. Korea where you make them give it up willingly.
        Seems to me when you lump together South Africa and Libya, both of which have given up nuclear weapons, with North Korea, you're saying that the PRNK is also giving them up.  This is why I was confused.  If that's not what you meant, then I'll agree with your diary now even more than before.

        I'm parsing this out unnecessarily but when it comes to nukes, I tend to be a bit of a stickler with language because international stuff seems to depend more on very precise language.  My apologies if I've misunderstood.

        The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

        by BasharH on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:51:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  North Koreans are not stupid. Nukes are their (0+ / 0-)

      best negotiation tools to get stuff. It would take much more than food to get them to give up nukes.

      •  Yes, I agree... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG

        I don't rightly believe that they're actually willing to give up anything but they need some more time.

        The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

        by BasharH on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:46:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Coalition Building (6+ / 0-)

    If there is anything President Obama has made absolutely clear by his past actions (e.g., Libya) is that when it comes to the Middle East he is a "coalition builder" alla Bush I, and not a "go it aloner" alla Bush II.  I am confident he will not take action against Iran that is only supported by Israel.  

    He has built a sizable coalition of countries, most importantly including Arab states, in support of sanctions and other peaceful means to persuade Iran away from nuclear weapons development.  This is extremely important for two reasons:

    1. If these peaceful means work and Iran agrees to drop their nuclear weapons' ambitions and sign on to a verifiable nuclear energy program, obviously everyone wins.

    2. However, if peaceful means don't work, at least President Obama can demonstrate to the coalition that he tried and have a better chance of getting broad support for either harsher peaceful means or (God forbid) military action.

    I think the President realizes that it is especially important to keep Arab support for whatever actions the US may take in order to avoid a broader conflict in that Region which would be devastating to the world.

    Lastly, I hope this gets some attention in the upcoming Presidential race.  While Democrats are not as inclined to play the "fear card" as Republicans, voters must understand that in electing any of the Republican candidates (except for Ron Paul) over President Obama, they will dramatically increase the potential for the US to be plunged into another military conflict in the Middle East that will be devastating to this country in both economic terms (you think gas prices are high now) and more importantly, in the loss of life.  

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:37:58 AM PST

    •  Amen, brother!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wasatch
      Lastly, I hope this gets some attention in the upcoming Presidential race.  While Democrats are not as inclined to play the "fear card" as Republicans, voters must understand that in electing any of the Republican candidates (except for Ron Paul) over President Obama, they will dramatically increase the potential for the US to be plunged into another military conflict in the Middle East that will be devastating to this country in both economic terms (you think gas prices are high now) and more importantly, in the loss of life.  
      And my concern is the low information voters that are also more inclined to vote...I worry a lot.
  •  Thw warmonger Goldberg huh. That's where (0+ / 0-)

    we're at.

  •  answer this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Majordomo

    why is Iran having nuclear weapons less acceptable than Israel having them?  Pakistan? India? the US?

    An Israeli attack on Iran would be a terrible thing, and sufficient cause in my mind to sever relations with Israel.  I understand that i am not the President, but i would support him 100% if he severed relations with Israel, if Israel were to launch an attack on Iran.  The belligerent children, such as Bibi, need to have their temper tantrum shut down.

    •  I agree.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wasatch, brasilaaron

      with your basic premise.  In fact, I would argue that Iran can make as good a case for having a nuclear weapon based on the threats that they perceive they face.  Given their standing in the world community, they will never be able to make the case.  FWIW, I'm not justifying them or their actions.

      Having said that,  I do think that any more nuclear weapons in that area are a major destabilizing force.  I do agree that Israel should face consequences if they act unilaterally.  Do keep in mind that Israel has already done this twice in the mid-east so there is ample precedence for that.  That is why the AIPAC convention and meetings with Netanyahu are critical and I'm a bit surprised that this issue is not getting any attention on this site.  It could decide what the next few years wil look like for us economically, politically, globally etc.

      If Netanyahu/AIPAC  are able to beat the war drums loudly enough, this decision may be taken out of Obama's hands mostly.

    •  Geo-strategy as if history did not exist. (0+ / 0-)

      And as if the strategic positions of Israel and Iran were equivalent at comparable phases in their weapons program development.

      In 1967 Israel preemptively attacked Egypt and destroyed most of their air force on the ground.  Was that attack justified?

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:42:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Japan, South Korea, Canada, (0+ / 0-)

      Australia and Germany do not possess nuclear weapons.  This is because:

      A.  They recognize the fundamental immorality of such weapons.

      B.  They do not view their national security concerns as requiring a strategic deterrent.

      C.  They rely on explicit guarantees of security by a superpower with a huge nuclear arsenal.

      D.  Some other reason.

      Israel, India, Pakistan, France and now possibly Iran have concluded, for various reasons, that the capability is worth the enormous risks and costs.  Address the reasons rather than making pointless comparisons.

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:44:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please add China and UK to the list. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:49:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Vietnam is also on the way to that list, (0+ / 0-)

          according to the NYT today.

          Part of the definitional question here is whether Israel objects to nuclear projects in Iran or nuclear WEAPONS projects. There is slippage in their language, as if they believe that all nuclear for any purpose needs to be banned, because of the possibility that at some time in the future it could be turned into a weapons program that it wasn't before.

          On that basis, Israel's demand is that any nation it desigates other than itself be barred from all nuclear uses.

          And its arguments on this sour simply becaues it itself is not complying with the rules it wants others to comply with.

    •  It's a ploy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Majordomo, Christy1947

      I don't think anyone legitimately believes Iran has less right in the abstract.

      The game as a whole is a Cold War type standoff within the Middle East.  The end of the game is when the regime key to generating and sustaining the standoff- The USSR's in the Cold War, Khamenei's Islamic Revolution here and now- collapses from within.  (The winning regimes in such standoffs also collapse/transform due to forces within after a few years, as they are impediments and no longer needed, so getting overly upset about the moral unworthiness of the victors isn't worth the trouble in the long run.)

      We're something like three or five or ten years from where the Khamenei regime can no longer continue and fails.  And we saw in the last eight or so years of the USSR, that's when the generals and politicians get particularly itchy and frustrated and reactionary and brutish, desperate for a victory as they feel the situation inexorably drifting to where they will lose control of it.  That's the case for both Netanyahu and Khamenei here.

      The important thing at present is to prevent actual 'hot' war from breaking out for long enough.  So there is all kinds of hypocrisy and rhetoric and posturing going on, but the moral measure is perhaps the very substantial amount of people the most belligerent sides are willing to kill/let die (i.e. their own) but doesn't take place.

  •  I fully expect... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt

    If the U.S., or Israel (with no repercussions from the U.S. other than a few grunts) bombs Iran... Obama will explain how such activities are "troubling".

    Overall though, the tenor of Obama seems to re-emphasize the legitimacy of military action for a threat which none actually says exists today.

    Now, if a GOP Pres were beating the drums of war (with side comments and murmuring about peace), the "Left" would be outraged.

    Relax.  It's Obama.

    It's not war mongering when our side does it.

    /angry snark

    It isn't that Obama hasn't Changed anything; It's that his actions advance the 1%'s interests.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:16:49 AM PST

    •  It's hard to believe you read the interview. (0+ / 0-)

      And did you really say "a threat which none actually says exists today"?  I assume that means that no one thinks they have a bomb at the moment.  Did something in the interview suggest otherwise?

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:46:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I'm glad you respect the wisdom (0+ / 0-)

        issued forth by our always-trustworthy corporate-government.

        Let's review some of the claims made in the past:

        In 1992, Natanyahu claimed Iran would have nuclear weapons in 3-5 years. Shimon Peres, now Israel’s president, insisted Iran would have nukes by 1999
        In 1995, the New York Times claimed Iran was only 5 years from nuclear weapons.
        In 1998, US Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld claimed Iran was fielding a nuclear-armed ICBM that could hit the United States.
        This war hysteria comes on the heels of US charges of an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington, a claim laughed at by many Mideast experts
        Call me cynical but when I see Obama banging on the same drums the neocons have beaten for 20 years, I'm somewhat skeptical.

        The above are just a few examples.

        Thank God we were able to take out Saddam before he used his WMD, eh?

        I do realize that it's Obama beating the drums this time and thus we should all dutifully dance and not question the music's message.

        Whether its a natural gas pipeline in Afghanistan or oil fields in the middle east, it's astounding how the threats to our national security always seem to overlay with where oil interests reside.  What a coincidence!

        Let's just hope someone doesn't spoil the party by pointing out how Iran is trying to lead a change for the oil market to ditch the PetroDollar.

        To wit:  After removing Saddam, the U.S. announced Iraqi Oil was "back in business", with a twist:  

        The tender, for which bids are due by June 10, switches the transaction back to dollars -- the international currency of oil sales - despite the greenback's recent fall in value. Saddam Hussein in 2000 insisted Iraq's oil be sold for euros, a political move, but one that improved Iraq's recent earnings thanks to the rise in the value of the euro against the dollar [5]
        What about today's Iran?
        Rumors are swirling that India and Iran are at the negotiating table right now, hammering out a deal to trade oil for gold, supported by a few rupees and some yen. Iran is already dumping the dollar in its trade with Russia in favor of rials and rubles. India is already using the yuan with China; China and Russia have been trading in rubles and yuan for more than a year; Japan and China are moving towards transactions in yen and yuan.

        And all those energy trades between Iran and China? That will be settled in gold, yuan, and rial. With the Europeans out of the mix, in short order none of Iran's 2.4 million barrels of oil a day will be traded in petrodollars.

        So... rather than simply swallow whole so called "threats" - which in the past have been shown to be hollow - perhaps a deeper analysis is called for.

        Speaking of Iran, let's jump into the way-back machine and travel to the Iran of 1952:

        In 1951, Iran's oil industry was nationalized with near-unanimous support of Iran's parliament in a bill introduced by Mossadegh who led the nationalist parliamentarian faction. Iran's oil had been controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC).[6]

        Popular discontent with the AIOC began in the late 1940s, a large segment of Iran's public and a number of politicians saw the company as exploitative and a vestige of British imperialism.[7] Despite Mosaddegh's popular support, Britain was unwilling to negotiate its single most valuable foreign asset, and instigated a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil to pressure Iran economically.[8]

        Initially, Britain mobilized its military to seize control of the Abadan oil refinery, the world's largest, but Prime Minister Clement Attlee opted instead to tighten the economic boycott[9] while using Iranian agents to undermine Mosaddegh's government.[10]

        With a change to more conservative governments in both Britain and the United States, Churchill and the U.S. Eisenhower administration decided to overthrow Iran's government though the predecessor U.S. Truman administration had opposed a coup.[11]

        Statements by Sec. Albright:
        But that common ground has sometimes been shaken by other factors. In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran's popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Massadegh.

        The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran's political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.

        Now explain to me again, in the context of real-world politik exemplified above, why I should give any credence whatsoever to Obama's playing of the broken-record we've heard time and time again.

        This Is Not Change.

        It isn't that Obama hasn't Changed anything; It's that his actions advance the 1%'s interests.

        by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 08:04:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't have a problem with anything you just said (0+ / 0-)

          but how does that address my comment?  Do you possess special knowledge about the structure and intent of Iran's nuclear program?  I don't.

          Where are we, now that we need us most?

          by Frank Knarf on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 08:40:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Golly Gee Beav: (0+ / 0-)

            Let's just assume the worst.  Not that doing so happens to be exactly what the lying corporate-govt wants us to believe - that's another unfortenate coincidence.

            So tell me this:  Do you posses special knowledge about the structure and intent of Iran?

            You realize what you are advocating for, right?

            Pre-emptive War.

            No credible threat - but just in case - let's do something about a (perceived) threat.

            Of course I know that were it a Rethuglican you might see things differently.

            Same Message.

            Different President.

            This Is Not Change.

            Do you posses some special knowledge which would lead me to believe that this time the message isn't bullshit?

            It isn't that Obama hasn't Changed anything; It's that his actions advance the 1%'s interests.

            by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 07:00:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I assume that there is a reason that (0+ / 0-)

              Iran won't allow IAEA access to various facilities.  The obvious explanation is that they don't want weapons work exposed, but I guess there could be some other explanation.

              Where are we, now that we need us most?

              by Frank Knarf on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 09:07:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm imagining... (0+ / 0-)

                that Israel also has very good reasons?

                Since they too deny access to their nuclear programs?

                But then again Israel IS a Democracy.

                And in 1951, so was Iran.

                It isn't that Obama hasn't Changed anything; It's that his actions advance the 1%'s interests.

                by Johnathan Ivan on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 03:31:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Obama is a war pig squealing (0+ / 0-)

    rolling around in the blood and entrails. And it looks like he's getting the Democrats to roll around with him. Ah, rationalized mass murder. I think that's called sociopathy. It's all very precise, well considered, logical, rational, pragmatic, and murder.

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