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Even as American and international negotiators were finalizing the interim agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, both houses of Congress were moving to tie President Obama's hands in the future. While a bipartisan bill mandating harsh new sanctions nears a veto-proof majority in the Senate, House Republicans announced they would take up the legislation championed by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

But the "Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act" doesn't just risk fracturing the multinational coalition and scuttle its efforts to reach a final deal to control Tehran's nuclear program. It makes an American conflict with Iran much more likely. For starters, the text essentially commits the U.S. to come to Israel's defense even in a preventive war it chooses to initiate. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) among others has been threatening to bring the needed authorization for the use of military of force (AUMF) to the floor for months. All that's missing for hawks like Kirk warning of a repeat of Munich is the tax revenue to pay for the war they seem on a path to start.

If the United States learned anything from its preventive war in Iraq, it should have been that such misadventures are unpredictable, bloody and very, very costly. (Paul Wolfowitz's promises notwithstanding, the $1 trillion-plus price tag for the invasion and occupation was not paid for by "a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.") In that regard, an American conflict with Iran would likely be little different.

Even if the Israelis alone launched a strike against Tehran's atomic sites, the ensuing Iranian retaliation against Israeli and American interests would almost certainly trigger the commitment of U.S. forces anyway. Israel would face certain retaliation from Hezbollah rockets launched from Lebanon and Hamas missiles raining down from Gaza.Tehran will almost certainly hit back against U.S. targets in the Straits of Hormuz, in the region, possibly in Europe and even potentially in the American homeland.

Please read below the fold for more on the Iran sanctions bill.

That's why former Bush Defense Secretary Bob Gates and CIA head Michael Hayden are raising the alarms about the "disastrous" impact of the supposedly surgical strikes against the Ayatollah's nuclear infrastructure. As the New York Times reported in March 2012, "A classified war simulation held this month to assess the repercussions of an Israeli attack on Iran forecasts that the strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead, according to American officials." And that in September a bipartisan group of U.S. foreign policy leaders including Brent Scowcroft, retired Admiral William Fallon, former Republican Senator (now Obama Pentagon chief) Chuck Hagel, retired General Anthony Zinni and former Ambassador Thomas Pickering concluded that American attacks with the objective of "ensuring that Iran never acquires a nuclear bomb" would "need to conduct a significantly expanded air and sea war over a prolonged period of time, likely several years." (Accomplishing regime change, the authors noted, would mean an occupation of Iran requiring a "commitment of resources and personnel greater than what the U.S. has expended over the past 10 years in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.") The anticipated blowback?

Serious costs to U.S. interests would also be felt over the longer term, we believe, with problematic consequences for global and regional stability, including economic stability. A dynamic of escalation, action, and counteraction could produce serious unintended consequences that would significantly increase all of these costs and lead, potentially, to all-out regional war.

If this all sounds like the hypothetical scenarios of a bunch of doves in the Pentagon and the State Department, it is worth recalling the America reaction to the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 U.S. servicemen and wounded hundreds of others. As former Clinton and Bush counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke recounted in his book, Against All Enemies, President Clinton and the Joint Chiefs contemplated a massive U.S. invasion of Iran in response to the involvement of its agents:

In our meeting with the Pentagon in 1996, Shali was talking about all-out war. The military had a plan for almost any contingency. The plan on the shelf for war with Iran looked like it had been drawn up by Eisenhower. Several groups of Army and Marine divisions would sweep across the country over the course of several months.
(Ultimately, President Clinton opted against the invasion of Iran, in part because of the difficulty in proving the U.S. intelligence case against Tehran to the international community. In the end, the U.S. launched a large-scale covert action campaign against Iranian intelligence assets worldwide. Apparently, the message was received with zero distortion; Iran has not targeted United States interests since.)

The Pentagon's 2012 war-gaming in a simulation called "Internal Look" served to reinforce for U.S. military officials "the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of a strike by Israel, and a counterstrike by Iran." As for the impact on the global economy, in November, the Federation of American Scientists estimated that a U.S. campaign of air strikes would cost $700 billion; a full-scale invasion could have a total impact of $1.7 trillion.

All of which is why it's time for Republicans and Democrats alike, so committed to stopping Iran's development of a nuclear weapons capability, to put their money where their mouths are. Or more accurately, the taxpayers' money. If they are so serious about risking war with Iran, the very least they could do is ask the American people to pay for it.

Originally posted to Jon Perr on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 01:35 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Fine with me; I am NOT going to get screwed out (0+ / 0-)

    Of my SS/Medicare before I get it. The DEPT of war is too expensive & we don't pay our brothers & sisters who serve. DoW makes evil rich people richer. Time for then to pay since they don't waste their blood for nothing.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 01:46:18 PM PST

  •  Near veto proof majority? (0+ / 0-)

    So 2/3rds of the Senate is for it? Not by my last count.

    If you are against sane gun regulations then by definition you support 30,000 deaths a year by firearms.

    by jsfox on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 02:02:02 PM PST

  •  In answer to your title: No. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    For the diary (which is pretty good), I think these sanctions bills are among the most idiotic things this Congress has considered.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 02:03:14 PM PST

  •  War tax? Yes. How about bringing back the draft? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    J Orygun

    Let the sorrow of lost and maimed loved ones and sacrifices be shared by all.

    "It's only the giving, that makes what you are." - Ian Anderson

    by LamontCranston on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 02:40:09 PM PST

    •  You mean like they were in the Civil War... (0+ / 0-)

      ...when people could pay someone else to take their places or during Vietnam when deferments tended to favor the likes of Dick Cheney? The draft NEVER spread the pain to all.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 06:01:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It had one good result (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        patbahn, VeloDramatic, divineorder

        It filled the army with people that didn't want to be there.  That's a good thing.

        I'm still mad about Nixon.

        by J Orygun on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 12:39:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It did: It allowed for the "kitchen table"...... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bartcopfan, CenterLeft

        topic discussions of just who wanted to send their child to a war that was beginning to be viewed as a mistake and  unjust, and in turn, started the peace movement and pressure by the people protesting in the streets to end it.  

        "It's only the giving, that makes what you are." - Ian Anderson

        by LamontCranston on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:55:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The draft brought to the "kitchen table" ..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bartcopfan

        the discussions of just what was wrong with the entire Vietnam scenario and just who was going to go and get killed or maimed for an immoral and bad cause.  This stirred the public to protest which in turn did take to the streets and used the first amendment rights via protest to put pressure to end the war.  Just the mere thought of just whose Johnny, or Sally is going to serve in a conflict these days if the belief that the draft system is "fair" (and I am not arguing with you that what you stated does/did not happen, as I agree) is enough to scare those parents into thinking twice about sacrificing their family members:  After all, how many have the access or the knowledge to accomplish what you described?  Not many.

        "It's only the giving, that makes what you are." - Ian Anderson

        by LamontCranston on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:06:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would rather no more wars (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      But, yes, have a war tax to pay for the prior wars of choice.

      Stop the imperialism, and imperialism tax to pay for the bloated infrastructure of empire.

      The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

      by stargaze on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 06:07:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you really want the precedent of a tax for... (0+ / 0-)

        ... specific departments, agencies or programs?

        You can pretty much bet which set of political interests would be screwed in that bargain.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:03:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I almost HR'd the diary for even suggesting (0+ / 0-)

          such a travesty.   Good post, fucked up title.

          Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

          by divineorder on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:20:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A Few Follow Up Points (5+ / 0-)

            Sorry for being late to this thread. I just wanted to add a few follow up points.

            1. The title may not be ideal, but all I was trying to get at is this: Will the people pushing a course that could lead to war be willing to pay for it?

            2. I agree that the answer is "no." I asked the question as a way of highlighting the hypocrisy of starting a war which the American people will not be asked to either fight or pay for.  But if Iran represents an existential threat to the U.S. (which I would argue it does not), surely those holding that view should be willing to raise the revenue to address that threat.

            3.  For what it's worth, the U.S. has levied a war "surtax" as recently as Vietnam.  In 1969, LBJ pushed a 10 percent income tax surcharge. Here's more background from NY Times and Washington Post.

            For my part, I think the U.S. needs to raise taxes for other reasons.

            •  Not your problem, I have issues harking all the (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allenjo, TRPChicago

              way back to

              3.  For what it's worth, the U.S. has levied a war "surtax" as recently as Vietnam.  In 1969, LBJ pushed a 10 percent income tax surcharge. Here's more background from NY Times and Washington Post.
              Back then I supported a war tax as a way to push the debate left. That was before I realized that the 1% War Profiteers have dictated a policy of
              Endless War
              Please do keep up the great work. It is a much  needed and wanted work here at dkos.

              Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

              by divineorder on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:50:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Brilliant: mandatory tax for all military missions (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allenjo

              I like it!

              Use it, pay for it -- that's fiscal responsibility.

        •  When it comes to war, yes. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bartcopfan

          This tax wouldn't be for a department per se, but rather an action of a country. A war tax is good because it is something felt by everyone whether they serve in military or not. I bet if you took a poll today you would find that a large percentage of Americans wouldn't even know for sure if we still had troops in Afghanistan. But yet we're still spending billions over there and Americans are paying for it, just not directly.

          If we had a war tax (say a 1% additional sales tax during times of conflict) Americans would be able to see that we are at war every time they went grocery shopping or out to a restaurant. That would incentivize Americans to pay much closer attention to not only talks of war, but also politics in general. That could be a great thing for our country.

          The Next New Deal: A Universal Basic Income for all Americans!

          by GleninCA on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:09:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Glen, you'd impose a national sales tax - in... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bartcopfan

            ... addition to the income tax we have now - so that everyone would feel the price of war? (There are people who don't feel the cost of a sales tax as much as other shoppers.)

            Whether they have gone to the polls or not? Whether they are poor or not? Whether they have a relative in a war zone or not? Any war? Or just those efforts designated as "wars"?

            Yes, I'm trying to hassle you on this because I think the whole thing is a very bad idea, from the get go starting at war generally, as John Perr is pointing out. But I think the GOP would be delighted to have a new source of funds for the great cause of national security in our troublous times. (Oh, they'd call it "the war to secure America and end the war in ...".) It may be that much of their constituency would vote for a broad-based sales tax. Especially if it accomplished a counterpart reduction in the income tax to offset part of the defense budget.

            And they'd nail Progressive Democrats for being tax-raisers in the process!

            2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:03:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agree--absolutely NOT a sales tax. INCOME (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GleninCA

              would be the thing to tax, above a certain threshold, thus maintaining or even increasing progressivity.  I have to say, a War Tax (not to support a department, but an activity) for Iraq was about the only good idea I thought then-Sen. Joe Lieberman ever had.

              If the 1% knew one of the conditions of military involvement would be for them to face a 90% top marginal rate (which is below what we used to win WWII) and if Congress members had to resign and serve (if younger than a cut-off age, say 40?) or present a family member for service, both groups might be a bit more circumspect about the prospect.  

              The rest of us would have much more reason to say, well, if it's worth that to them, maybe it is a proper thing to do.

              "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

              by bartcopfan on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:17:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Good points. (0+ / 0-)

              You're right that an income tax would be a more progressive tax. I also agree with you that the idea of war is a very bad idea and should be generally avoided at all costs. However, I think that Republicans are just as anti tax as Democrats (if not more), and while the GOP have never found a war they didn't like (except for the war on poverty), they would also be hesitant to get involved in an extended conflict if they knew that it would raise everyone's taxes (especially if it hit wealthier Americans more).

              Also, the tax wouldn't be something that would be perpetual. It would kick in whenever troops were deployed and end whenever they came home. My reasoning for a war tax isn't so that we can always pay for war, but rather so that it can be used as a deterrent to discourage it.

              The Next New Deal: A Universal Basic Income for all Americans!

              by GleninCA on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:54:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  LamontCranston... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LamontCranston, bartcopfan

      my apologies. You beat me to the draft proposal. Well done.

      To the world you are one person. To one person, you are the world. They can have John Galt, I'll take Joe Hill..

      by p a roberson on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:37:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tax AIPAC. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WattleBreakfast

    They helped to write the bill - let them pay for the war and let them go to fight it.

    Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

    by Celtic Merlin on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 03:27:04 PM PST

  •  Of course not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, happymisanthropy

    There's always money for the war machine.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:04:03 PM PST

  •  I'm afraid some of those sponsors might ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... say Yes, they would.

    "Defense" of Israel (even if - or maybe especially if - it provokes hostilities) is the issue that adds many, if not most, of those Democratic sponsors to that ill-begotten proposal, don't you think?

    My God, man, be careful what you wish for!

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:08:12 PM PST

  •  Of course they'll support a tax... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, 88kathy

    As long as it only affects the 99%.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:09:24 PM PST

  •  Is there a whip list anywhere? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBramble

    I looked briefly, but haven't seen a list of who has come out for what position on this. Would be good to know.

  •  If it isn't already (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, 88kathy, buffie

    ..organizations like, and those acting like AIPAC  - should be illegal.

    Then again - I find all ancient, pompous, xenophobic, religious belief systems and misplaced racism to be a shitty fit in today's modern world.

    But we'll bomb Iran for Israel anyway.

    Don't eat the shellfish! It's radioactive.

    Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies, We were roaring drunk on petroleum -Kurt Vonnegut

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:18:02 PM PST

  •  Warring On Iran Would Be Insane (11+ / 0-)

    It's population is twice that of Iraq. It has a bigger manufacturing base. And it's more remote from US naval power. Whatever Iraq winds up costing the US, a war with Iran would cost at least double—and probably a lot more. And think of our military. We are in no position to take on a multiyear war with an Iran with the military we have now. Imagine the stress our all volunteer military would face. It's incomprehensible. The whole thought is insane.

    AIPAC is undoubtedly behind this with Netanyahu's blessing. The nation would be crazy to follow that lead. We should be finding ways to render the perception—and the possible reality—of Iran as an existential threat to Israel as history through diplomatic means, and no other. Any other means would destabilize the entire Middle East for decades and push the US close to bankruptcy.  

  •  evidence (4+ / 0-)

    The evidence says that Americans love their quick victory on going wars and super size military but don't  like long wars or to pay for them or fight in them so they supplement with printed money and mercenaries.

    Most Americans will deny this previous statement but the evidence says otherwise.

    Beliefs overwhelm evidence 99.999% of the time.

  •  good diary. ot, but david pakman gave you & (0+ / 0-)

    dkos a h/t the other day on his show :)

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

    by bluezen on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:27:58 PM PST

  •  The only winners in a war with Iran is the MIC (2+ / 0-)

    and AIPAC, both who will use it to sell future wars.

  •  Graham, Kirk, Mendez & all their warmongering... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    417els, Vicky, MBramble, allenjo

    ...chickenhawks in Congress should be the ones personally--and solely--fighting any future wars of their making, and the ones personally funding them also.

    After the terrible, unnecessary war  in Iraq, and its subsequent destabilization and escalating carnage as a result of our intervention there, and the ongoing loss of life.  As for Afghanistan?

    ...more than ten years of war, and we've managed to create a corrupt central government that cannot defeat the Taliban (who aren't getting $4 billion a year in US aid, by the way). The government can manage a stalemate, but only if Uncle Sucker keeps thousands of troops there and keeps the money flowing. . . presumably forever...
    And the Congressional neocons, who are willing to keep sacrificing other people children, and to further raid the domestic budget to fund their war games--still haven't had enough?  

     

  •  Pity For Future Victims (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice

    Simply setting up the US for war with Iran is not enough. There will have to be a dramatic "Pearl Harbor" incident to get the war going.  A small attack in the Gulf will not be enough.  Lindsay Graham has already talked about how terrorists could wipe out a major US city, so that may be the plan.

    Conquering Iran will require a much larger army and suppression of dissent. Shutting down the Persian Gulf may trigger a worldwide depression.

    The only hope to stop this might be a rebellion in the military, if Congress has been completely purchased for war.  Unfortunately, that seems unlikely.

    •  Which seems unlikely? (0+ / 0-)

      Congress being completely purchased for war is not that far a stretch.  

      "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarky". - V.P. Joe Biden

      by Taxmancometh on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:49:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Should have rebelled 10 yrs ago. Even better... (0+ / 0-)

      a rebellion when Bush/Nader ticket stole the election.

    •  The Brookings authors of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whizdom, allenjo, bartcopfan

      Which Path to Persia have covered most of the possibilities.

      Here is one:

      For those who favor regime change or a military attack on Iran (either by the United States or Israel), there is a strong argument to be made for trying this option first. Inciting regime change in Iran would be greatly assisted by convincing the Iranian people that their government is so ideologically blinkered that it refuses to do what is best for the people and instead clings to a policy that could only bring ruin on the country. The ideal scenario in this case would be that the United States and the international community present a package of positive inducements so enticing that the Iranian citizenry would support the deal, only to have the regime reject it.

      In a similar vein, any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians 'brought it on themselves' by refusing a very good deal.

      from page 39 of the PDF version.

      The consensus of all of the US intelligence agencies is that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program.

      This is a red herring, a false pretext, just as were Saddam's WMDs but it is the best AIPAC and their US Congressional supporters can come up with to sell to the public.

      It's mostly about money and power plus the added effect which will begin to be seen at the end of this decade or sooner, which is the coming depletion of S.A. major oil fields which began production in the late 50's to early 60's.

      This would have a major negative effect on the petrodollar. A replacement is needed.

      Iran stopped selling their oil in USD back in 2007, one of the reasons they are on the shit list. Those bad boys.

      Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

      by truong son traveler on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:58:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The answer to your excellent question.. (0+ / 0-)

    is "no." No tax increases or set-asides. The MIC--and their faithful servants in DC--will use their considerable propaganda machine to disguise another $1 trillion war.

    The lies don't have to be durable, just long enough to get the troops on the ground.
    Obama is right on Iran.

  •  A century ago (4+ / 0-)

    Mighty Austria-Hungary handed tiny, helpless Serbia an ultimatum it could not accept and keep a minimal scrap of dignity.  Essentially the demands of Austria-Hungary were so outrageous, so unjustified, that Serbia had no choice but to reject the ultimatum and accept war.

    Americans are so obsessed with the peculiarities of Hitler, Munich and WWII, that we as a nation have completely unlearned the much more common lesson of WWI.  Don't push a weaker nation so far, don't treat them with such disrespect, that they are compelled to choose a war they know they'll lose.  Such situations have a propensity to get out of hand, to grow far beyond the initial conflict.  If the rest of the world sees the US nakedly bullying Iran, will their greed for postwar concessions in defeated Iran be sufficient to overcome the revulsion they'll carry toward the behavior of the US?

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:17:54 PM PST

    •  Serbia wasn't the issue (0+ / 0-)

      Most of Europe considered Serbia to be a rogue and were quite happy to see it get its just desserts. Serbia had long harbored terrorist groups such as the Black Hand whose members plotted the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. The problem was that an even bigger rogue, Russia, had always considered itself the protector or Serbia and committed to defending it no matter what.

      Is China or Russia going to defend Iran?

      I'm not saying we should go to war against Iran, but the analogy you bring isn't really applicable.

      •  Russia was ultraconservative (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        truong son traveler

        hardly a "rogue" it was the home of the Holy Alliance.  You're transmuting your Cold War talking points into justification for bullying, and ultimately war with, Iran.  As the NSC spokeswoman said, admit your agenda.

        "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

        by ActivistGuy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:28:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is very appropo. Read _Guns Of August_. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Throw The Bums Out

        The problem is not merely the stumbling into a war, but the inevitable next stumbling into a great war.

        If we attack Iran, where will they put their troops?  They can't just bomb Isreal, 1500 (?) miles away.  That simply will not satisfy their military, politico-religious groups and citizenry. But Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are right next door.  Indeed, from a military stand point, they are almost a target of necessity: Afghanistan bc US troops and material is there - a thrat that must be neutralized, and SA and the Gulf states bc  they are an easy strategic advantage over the US: quite simply, it would close the straits and give Iran at least a temporary stranglehold over most of Europe and Japan's, and even a sizable part of the USs - oil.

        Not too mention the literal explosion of Islamist groups across the region and world.

        An attack on Iran has an extremely high probability of becoming WW3.  Why frakking invite that when we might be able to achieve our objectives peaceably?

      •  IIRC China & Russia have deals with Iran (0+ / 0-)

        If we attack Iran, we risk China & Russia teaming up with Iran & fighting us, Israel, and Saudi Arabia (how's THAT for a coalition?). In other words, WW3. Only ONE of the reasons why war with Iran is a very BAD idea.

        A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

        by METAL TREK on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:33:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We don't know what they'd do (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bartcopfan, ActivistGuy

        China or Russia probably wouldn't openly come to Iran's defense for fear of sparking a major conflict.

        They could, however, supply Iran with weapons, intelligence and other support. The objective would be to bog us down there and cause us to take unacceptable losses.

        That's what we did to the Russian in Afghanistan and I could see them wanting to return the favor.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:57:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  After Afghanistan and Iraq, I'd think it wouldn't (0+ / 0-)
          They could, however, supply Iran with weapons, intelligence and other support. The objective would be to bog us down there and cause us to take unacceptable losses.  (emphasis added)
          take too much.

          "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

          by bartcopfan on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:27:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Contemplating war with Iran?. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, METAL TREK

    Why would we want to make enemies of the Iranian people for decades to come?

    Why would we want to commit Trillions of $$ to conquering Iran? Are we prepared to occupy Iran indefinitely?

    Why would we want to sacrifice thousands of American lives just to prove our "manhood"?

    Iran knows that launching a nuclear strike against Israel would result in the obliteration of Iran. Israel reputedly has a nuclear arsenal of 80 or so warheads. Iran has yet to produce a single weapon.

    We have a unique opportunity to resolve this crisis peacefully. Moving in the direction of war is utter madness.

    Republicans proved in October that they are UNFIT TO GOVERN. Don't let the voter forget it. (-7.25, -6.21)

    by Tim DeLaney on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:19:44 PM PST

  •  The whole idea of warring with Iran is insane and (3+ / 0-)

    sickening.  It's physically nauseating.

    "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

    by 417els on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:29:46 PM PST

  •  My blood boils when I see warmongers like (5+ / 0-)

    Sen Menendez and his Dem colleagues try to undermine what is clearly the first sign of a thaw in relations with Iran in a generation.

    I hope that Obama sends Biden into the feckless Dem Senators' office and tell them to toe the line or face serious consequences for their vote.

    What a disgrace.

    "The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope." -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardi

    by Frank In WA on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:31:55 PM PST

  •  Amen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buffie

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:35:38 PM PST

  •  Why is war even "on the table"? (3+ / 0-)

    Every time the president says that additional sanctions will "lead to war," he's implying his own willingness to bomb Iran preemptively and unilaterally. The president and the Senators who now oppose the additional sanctions (a rare positive from them in foreign policy) just prefer not to bomb Iran; they do not seem to view it as morally appalling and simply illegal under international law. And that universally shared belief (i.e. that the US should and can bomb other countries that have not attacked us) among our policymakers genuinely disturbs me.

  •  I'm not sure they have an army left to go to war (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Throw The Bums Out, bartcopfan

    with. We have been at war for 10 years and now taking pensions away from the war weary army. The yellow ribbons may be a little scarce this time.

    Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

    by 88kathy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:27:04 PM PST

  •  I love the idea... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bartcopfan

    Of a war tax. A war tax is something that would be felt by everyone whether they serve in military or not. I bet if you took a poll today you would find that a large percentage of Americans wouldn't even know for sure if we still had troops in Afghanistan. But yet we're still spending billions over there and Americans are paying for it, just not directly.

    If we had a war tax (say a 1% additional sales tax during times of conflict) Americans would be able to see that we are at war every time they went grocery shopping or out to a restaurant. This would incentivize Americans to pay much closer attention to not only talks of war, but also politics in general. Both of which would be good in my book.

    The Next New Deal: A Universal Basic Income for all Americans!

    by GleninCA on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:13:58 PM PST

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
    (Accomplishing regime change, the authors noted, would mean an occupation of Iran requiring a "commitment of resources and personnel greater than what the U.S. has expended over the past 10 years in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.")
    No, regime change would be rapid and self-executing, assuming that by "regime change" you mean Rouhani sharing the political fate of Mohammad Khatami.

    Politics means controlling the balance of economic and institutional power. Everything else is naming post offices.

    by happymisanthropy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:30:52 PM PST

  •  Framing is bogus and ignores elephant in the room. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    And practically every single politician and commentator goes along with the dishonest framing, even if they're opposed to the latest sanctions bill.

    http://www.theguardian.com/...

    Deep beneath desert sands, an embattled Middle Eastern state has built a covert nuclear bomb, using technology and materials provided by friendly powers or stolen by a clandestine network of agents. It is the stuff of pulp thrillers and the sort of narrative often used to characterise the worst fears about the Iranian nuclear programme. In reality, though, neither US nor British intelligence believe Tehran has decided to build a bomb, and Iran's atomic projects are under constant international monitoring.

    The exotic tale of the bomb hidden in the desert is a true story, though. It's just one that applies to another country. In an extraordinary feat of subterfuge, Israel managed to assemble an entire underground nuclear arsenal — now estimated at 80 warheads, on a par with India and Pakistan — and even tested a bomb nearly half a century ago, with a minimum of international outcry or even much public awareness of what it was doing.

    Despite the fact that the Israel's nuclear programme has been an open secret since a disgruntled technician, Mordechai Vanunu, blew the whistle on it in 1986, the official Israeli position is still never to confirm or deny its existence.

    Come on, people. It's a ridiculous spectacle to see a "reality-based community" falling all over itself to make sure "never to confirm or deny" who the nuclear state that thumbs its nose at international controls really is.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

    by lotlizard on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 01:16:51 AM PST

    •  So true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard

      reminds me of the framing for the invasion of Iraq - WMDs and attempts to tie Saddam to terrorism. The PTB knew this was bullshit but it was the best they could come up with.

      The British and American oil companies are back (Saddam had them locked out and was selling his oil in Euros) and Iraq's oil is being sold in USD.

      I'm sure there are those in high places who quietly view this as some level of success.

      Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

      by truong son traveler on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:08:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nonsense! (0+ / 0-)

    We will be greeted as liberators! And there's no need for a war tax - the oil revenues alone will pay for everything. And carpets, they have some nice carpets over there. Well, okay, maybe a small tax on the poor.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 02:01:15 AM PST

  •  Along with that "War Tax"... (0+ / 0-)

    should be a provision for a full national draft, without any deferrals. This will ensure that if America goes to war, we are all in, figuratively and literally.

    I know many on Kos consider a draft an anathema, but when a parent sends off their son or daughter to war, our politicians will hear about it very quickly and one would hope that our elected representatives would think twice before starting a war that the American people are against.

    It is time for those who speak the loudest in support of a war with Iran to put skin in the game. Since they volunteered in overwhelming numbers the last time, I'm sure they're lining up outsde of recruiting offices as we speak.

    To the world you are one person. To one person, you are the world. They can have John Galt, I'll take Joe Hill..

    by p a roberson on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:35:49 AM PST

  •  If the Senate passes this piece of idiocy (0+ / 0-)

    and President Obama vetoes it, could his veto be overridden? Does anyone have a current headcount?

    "Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

    by buffie on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:12:05 AM PST

    •  It won't come to a vote (0+ / 0-)

      Now.
      The bill had 59 co-sponsors in the Senate.  The President spoke to Senate Dems yesterday explaining his opposition to the bill.
      From accounts, it seems the democratic sponsors of the bill really didn't press their case for the bill.  Senators don't like to be seen voting against bills they sponsored, so it will die quietly, and they have demonstrated responsiveness to the interest groups backing the bill

      In the House, they are preparing their own bill, rather than taking up the Senate bill.   This is good, you can count on the house Repugs to come up with something crazy.

      This bill is dead, but they will be back.
       

  •  history (0+ / 0-)

    Obviously, no one in today's Congress has ever read "Guns of August". Doomed to repeat that history? What ijits.

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