Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, February 28, 2013

[OTP - March] Scott wants money for spring training teams

While working at the Detroit Tigers’ spring facility in Lakeland, Gov. Rick Scott announced today he will ask the Florida Legislature to set aside $5 million a year for projects specifically aimed at improving the Major League Baseball training facilities in the state.

“It’s my job as governor to make sure Florida remains the number one destination for spring training and that is why we will work to provide $5 million annually to only be used for spring training facilities,” Scott said in a statement that was released while Scott was participating in one of his “work days” with the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.

Tripon Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:05 PM | 2909 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball, florida, ot, politics, spring training

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 8 of 30 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 >  Last ›
   701. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 09, 2013 at 08:26 PM (#4385170)
I think "deliberate" is probably doing an awful lot of heavy lifting in that sentence.
   702. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 09, 2013 at 08:27 PM (#4385171)
It was a tragic error and, for the Obama administration, a public relations disaster, further muddying the moral clarity of the previous strike on his father and fueling skepticism about American assertions of drones' surgical precision.


I don't think this is really true. As has been commented on here many times there hasn't been much public debate or outcry about drone usage and failures, public relations disaster implies that a lot of people in the US took note, cared, and made noise about it.

   703. Steve Treder Posted: March 09, 2013 at 09:02 PM (#4385184)
One thing, not worth much at all, that I remember about Carter were reports that he regularly micromanaged pretty much anything. The color of the Easter eggs at the White House hunts, the wattage in bulbs used there; it seemed a frequent occurrence, and counterproductive.

Does that fit other peoples' memories?


That's exactly right. Carter was a micromanager of epic proportion, and it drove everyone on his staff crazy.

Among the many contrasts between Carter and Reagan was their management styles: Carter was a workaholic who obsessed over every tiny detail, while Reagan was a nine-to-fiver who was happy to delegate (a trait that bit him in the butt with Iran-Contra, a fiasco for which he truly deserved to be impeached).
   704. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 09, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4385190)
Agree, Steve. Iran-Contra was grotesque, as was Reagan's entire approach to Latin America.

@702: Jim, abroad the drone strikes have put the US in a very bad light. As usual, though, in the US there's little to no grasp of foreigh policy and its effects.
   705. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2013 at 10:38 PM (#4385229)
One would be remiss to not acknowledge, however, how effective the drone strikes have been in degrading Al Queda's capability. The most dangerous job in the world is being Al Queda's operational chief. The average life expectancy for that job must be something like 6 months.

I understand how unpopular it is in Pakistan. But Pakistan's harboring of international terrorists (including Bin Laden) and their irresponsible exporting of nuclear technology is also very unpopular, and far more dangerous. If they can't clean up their own mess, then they can't complain when someone else steps in to clean it up for them.
   706. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 09, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4385240)
@705: if we grant everything in your post, what restrictions, guidelines, and legal processes would you put in place to try to eliminate error and the death of innocents?
   707. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4385294)
Well, I'm not a legal expert so I don't know.

However, I don't think we should have a domestic drone program because think it's unnecessary. The reason we need the drone program overseas is because we have no other means of apprehension or interdiction. Domestic terrorists can be picked up by agents.

But all the overseas drone program is is another way of waging war. I don't have a problem with it per se. Military intervention is, as they say, a blunt instrument and it is impossible to completely prevent civilian casualties.

i'm a little uncomfortable with the way it is being handled, with the CIA carrying out the attackks. But I don't know enough of how it works to suggest an alternative.
   708. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:12 AM (#4385304)
That self-hatred amongst Jews is fairly common?


Well, that's a negligible bit of idiocy, so I'm not too worried about that.
   709. Steve Treder Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:16 AM (#4385310)
But all the overseas drone program is is another way of waging war. I don't have a problem with it per se. Military intervention is, as they say, a blunt instrument and it is impossible to completely prevent civilian casualties.

i'm a little uncomfortable with the way it is being handled, with the CIA carrying out the attacks.


Agreed with all of this. Drones are just another form of weapon; the issue isn't drones, the issue is deadly weapons and their reasonable use. And as far as that goes, for all their shortcomings, as weapons go, drones fall low on the collateral-damage scale.

The issue of deadly force, and against who and when, is, as always, the terribly complicated and difficult one. I think the focus on drones per se is misguided, but I enthusiastically welcome the heightened interest and energy on the question of deadly force and its implications.
   710. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:29 AM (#4385342)
If they can't clean up their own mess, then they can't complain when someone else steps in to clean it up for them.


I love statements like this. On one hand they sound reasonable. But Pakistan is a sovereign nation. And technically an ally. I think pretty much every sovereign nation in the history of the world gets to complain when another nation stages unwanted military actions their borders.

I am not even saying all the actions are wrong, but seriously they do get to complain. Imagine the shrieking if Canada (politely) sent drones into Detroit to get some Quebecois terrorists the locals were hiding. And yes It is not a perfect analogy, it is not meant to be. Being a sovereign nation means, well ...

sov·er·eign
Noun
A supreme ruler, esp. a monarch.
Adjective
Possessing supreme or ultimate power: "the people's will is in theory sovereign".
Synonyms
noun. monarch - ruler - king - lord - potentate
adjective. paramount - supreme - independent
   711. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 10, 2013 at 06:48 AM (#4385387)
I have to say, our drone policy reminds me of the side-door gunner from Full Metal Jacket: "Anyone who runs is a VC, anyone who stands still ... is a well-trained VC!"

Terrorist = Terrorist
Live in the same house as a Terrorist = Terrorist
Neighbor of a Terrorist = Terrorist
Son of a Terrorist = Terrorist
Over the age of 15 and in the vicinity of a Terrorist = Terrorist
Attend the funeral of a Terrorist = Terrorist
Randomly stop on the road to help someone a Terrorist wounded in a drone strike = Terrorist
Young child with the bad luck to stumble into a the killzone of a drone strike on a Terrorist = Terrorist Dog
   712. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 10, 2013 at 07:49 AM (#4385399)
I have to say, our drone policy reminds me of the side-door gunner from Full Metal Jacket: "Anyone who runs is a VC, anyone who stands still ... is a well-trained VC!"

Terrorist = Terrorist
Live in the same house as a Terrorist = Terrorist
Neighbor of a Terrorist = Terrorist
Son of a Terrorist = Terrorist
Over the age of 15 and in the vicinity of a Terrorist = Terrorist
Attend the funeral of a Terrorist = Terrorist
Randomly stop on the road to help someone a Terrorist wounded in a drone strike = Terrorist
Young child with the bad luck to stumble into a the killzone of a drone strike on a Terrorist = Terrorist Dog

Sounds like something a terrorist would say!
   713. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 10, 2013 at 08:03 AM (#4385402)
Sounds like something a terrorist would say!


Have I already won?

Sweet!

What's my prize???

Oh, right ... drone strike.
   714. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4385421)
But Pakistan is a sovereign nation. And technically an ally. I think pretty much every sovereign nation in the history of the world gets to complain when another nation stages unwanted military actions their borders.


Well, what about the Mumbai attacks and other repeated incursions into India, especially Kashmir? Those terrorists were and are being trained by the ISI. What about their continued and relentless efforts to destabilize and enfeeble the fledgling Afghan government? What about the shielding of international arms terrorist A. Q. Khan?

Pakistan is our ally in name only. They're happy to take our money, but only pay lip service to what it is supposed to be used for. They divert most of it to fortify their arms for a future war with India. And what's good for the goose is good for the gander. They can't comp[lain about foreign intervention when that's what they do to their neighbors.

Here's a nice summary of our "ally" in an article written by Hitchens in Vanity Fair right after Bin Laden got his:

From Abbottabad to Worse
   715. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4385424)
Imagine the shrieking if Canada (politely) sent drones into Detroit to get some Quebecois terrorists the locals were hiding. And yes It is not a perfect analogy, it is not meant to be.


If Quebeqois terrorists were hiding in Detroit, the Canadian ambassador would ask our government to have them arrested and extradited and we would comply. Pakistan was hiding a man who funded and organized terrorist operations that bombed our embassies, attacked one of our warships, captured, tortured and then beheaded numerous American citizens including journalists, and killed 3000 Americans by hijacking jetliners and ramming them into the countries largest skyscraper and most important military facility. Yet, there he was, ensconced in a facility in a city analogous to Annapolis. And then, when we located him, we had to fly a hit squad in in radar-defeating helicopters and without informing their government because we knew he would have been tipped off and would have been allowed to escape.

Oh, and to make the analogy fit better, Canada would have to be paying us a few billion in aid every year. The analogy is terrible.
   716. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 10, 2013 at 09:42 AM (#4385426)
The US does not have a particularly pure history of acceding to legally and morally justified extradition requests.
   717. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4385430)
Matt, what do you think would have happened if we went to Pakistan and told them that we thought Bin Laden was hiding in that compound and we wanted him arrested and extradited?
   718. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 10, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4385433)
Hitchens isn't wrong, but what he declines to note is that there is one, very good reason to give Pakistan three billion dollars a year, and that is to stabilize the country so that their nuclear arsenal doesn't fall into the hands of Islamic extremists hostile to the west. The U.S. does have a habit of cozying up to the worst dictators and the most repressive nations, but forgetting that sorry history for a moment, three billion a year is one price you pay for increased safety.

Everything else is window dressing. The pretense to an alliance is exactly that. It's a little like paying the lunatic down the road every year not to dump her toxic garbage into the pond bordering both your properties. Expecting her as a result to be a decent human being who stops beating her husband seems unreasonable.
   719. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4385438)
The problem is that the government of Pakistan is run by Islamic extremists. The fact of the matter is we're being extorted into giving them money so they don't continue to behave badly.
   720. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 10, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4385463)
Matt, what do you think would have happened if we went to Pakistan and told them that we thought Bin Laden was hiding in that compound and we wanted him arrested and extradited?
What would Reagan or Bush have said if the Phillipine government had demanded that Marcos be arrested and extradited?

The Pakistani government can only remain in power by retaining a state of not-war with various incredibly nasty groups and individuals. This means they are going to defend incredibly nasty people. They shouldn't do that, and it makes them a bad government supporting very bad things, but the logic of power here is intelligible. The US has done relatively similar kinds of things in its past, but with dictators instead of terrorists.

I support the use of means of doubtful legality to capture or kill Bin Laden and some various other incredibly bad people. I think it's a bad idea to write laws or dictate general policy based on a presumption that Bin Ladens are everywhere and such measures should be used regularly. I think that it's perfectly understandable why Pakistan complains, and Pakistan is not a uniquely bad state in world affairs, just a normal bad one.
   721. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4385482)
What would Reagan or Bush have said if the Phillipine government had demanded that Marcos be arrested and extradited?


I don't know. I think they would have been obliged to turn him over. Mrs. Aquino was popular on both sides of the aisle.

The Pakistani government can only remain in power by retaining a state of not-war with various incredibly nasty groups and individuals. This means they are going to defend incredibly nasty people. They shouldn't do that, and it makes them a bad government supporting very bad things, but the logic of power here is intelligible.


It's intelligible, but not for the reasons you state. The Pakistanis surreptitiously support the Taliban because they think the Taliban can serve as a useful proxy for manipulating and destabilizing Afghanistan, so that Afghanistan will be forced to be a compliant vassal of Pakistan after the US leaves.

I think the Pakistani policy towards the Taliban is both geo-politically repugnant and domestically myopic. By cultivating the Taliban, they have let the wolf in the door. The Taliban serve only a violent and angry Allah. They do not countenance moderation, modernity or respect for others unlike themselves. And not only do they not countenance it themselves, they do not allow others to countenance either.
   722. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4385487)
I don't know. I think they would have been obliged to turn him over. Mrs. Aquino was popular on both sides of the aisle.
In great part because she promised not to seek Marcos' extradition. She understood the reality of power - a part of America's projection of power through proxies in the developing world has always been the promise (not always kept, of course) of safe haven after you get thrown out by a popular revolution. Once that promise has been kept, it basically always stays kept. The US doesn't give asylum and then rescind it.
   723. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4385494)
As I remember it, it wasn't about an understanding of the reality of power. The US gave Marcos asylum in return for him relinquishing power peacefully and allowing elections to occur. The Phillipinos were more than happy to make that trade.

I agree with the policy that a grant of asylum should be binding and permanent. You have to be good to your word to remain credible.
   724. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4385497)
So, you understand that Marcos was a humongous shitbag who should have been tried for his crimes, and whom the US would have protected against such prosecution?
   725. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4385498)
The problem is that the government of Pakistan is run by Islamic extremists. The fact of the matter is we're being extorted into giving them money so they don't continue to behave badly.


No argument, but there are Islamic extremists, and then there are Islamic extremists. There are those who want a nuclear weapon to use against the west (this is the great fear, not simply another WTC) or who are simply less able than the current Pakistani government to prevent the spread of weapons or weapons technology.

I don't imagine that US foreign policy wrt Pakistan would become magically enlightened if Pakistan did not possess nuclear weapons, but those weapons are a driving force in current US policy. Imagine the Taliban with a nuclear arsenal. Far more dangerous than Iran with nuclear weapons, and it's clear the US isn't going to allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons, a policy I've come to agree with.
   726. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4385503)
So, you understand that Marcos was a humongous shitbag who should have been tried for his crimes, and whom the US would have protected against such prosecution?


Yes, I think he was a humongous shitbag. Under normal circumstances, he should have been tried for crimes. But the deal to leave in return for asylum was agreed to by both governments and should have been abided by.

I think the trade-off was a good one, asylum for one man in return for a stable transition to democracy. The Phillipines has its problems but it was way better off doing what it did then than having a transition something like Syria is going through now. Mandela did not go after his political enemies, even though they deserved to be gone after, and I think South Africa is the better off for it.
   727. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4385507)
Far more dangerous than Iran with nuclear weapons, and it's clear the US isn't going to allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons, a policy I've come to agree with.


Meh. I've reconciled myself to the fact that Iran is going to have nuclear weapons in the next year or two whether we like it or not. Their nuclear program has essentially zero internal opposition and short of an invasion, I don't think we can stop them from making a few. If we couldn't stop the North Koreans, how in god's name are we going to stop the Iranians?
   728. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4385513)
@727: Bombing raid. While you may be resigned, I believe the Israeli government has all but announced Iran can't have a nuke. They may have even been more explicit than that. I've heard Netanyahu is pushing for a summer raid. Keep in mind they've done it before.

While it's possible that key elements of Iran's program are buried so deeply they'll thwart even bunker busters, there's no doubt a bombing raid rather than a ground assault is how the program will be stopped.

North Korea was a very different situation. I imagine, though, there are a lot of people who were in government at the time that would like a mulligan wrt N. Korean nukes.
   729. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4385516)
A bombing raid might slow things down some but it isn't going to stop them. Additionally, a raid will just stiffen their spine and cause them to redouble their efforts.

Iran having a bomb actually doesn't worry me that much. North Korea is much more reckless. They're liable to do anything. The Iranians tend to be provocative but realistic.
   730. Tripon Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4385520)
Let the Israelis start a war with Iran. The important thing is that we stay out of it.
   731. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4385522)
While it's certainly possible that nothing short of significant military action would have prevented North Korea from developing nukes, the path they followed to do so is another illustration of how costly the Bush administration's belligerence was.

From the wiki on "North Korea and Weapons of Mass Destruction":

According to John Feffer, co-director of the Foreign Policy in Focus, in 2006

The primary problem is that the current U.S. administration fundamentally doesn’t want an agreement with North Korea. The Bush administration considers the 1994 Agreed Framework to have been a flawed agreement. It doesn’t want be saddled with a similar agreement, for if it did sign one, it would then be open to charges of "appeasing" Pyongyang. The Vice President has summed up the approach as: "We don’t negotiate with evil, we defeat evil."[39]

Diplomatic efforts at resolving the North Korean situation are complicated by the different goals and interests of the nations of the region. While none of the parties desire a North Korea with nuclear weapons,[40] Japan and South Korea are especially concerned about North Korean counter-strikes following possible military action against North Korea. The People's Republic of China and South Korea are also very worried about the economic and social consequences should this situation cause the North Korean government to collapse.


Of course, Bush administration officials blamed North Korea getting nuclear weapons squarely on Clinton. After all, well, Monica.
   732. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4385529)
I don't see Israel going to war with Iran either. Bibi might want to but most Israelis won't want to g along with him.

I'm trying to imagine how a war between Israel and Iran would transpire. There's no shared border and neither country has the ability to project much power onto the other. Bombing raids are possible but require the violation of neutral airspace so would be intermittent if they happened at all. Neither country has much of a navy, certainly nothing that could support anything larger than a regiment-sized raid. Israel has nukes but can't use them, or even threaten to use them.

It would be like two dogs trying to fight through a chain-linked fence.
   733. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4385531)
A bombing raid might slow things down some but it isn't going to stop them. Additionally, a raid will just stiffen their spine and cause them to redouble their efforts.


Some problems with this. Repeated bombing raids can probably prevent Iran from getting a nuke. Redoubling their efforts won't make much difference if every three years bombing runs destroy their capabilities.

Iran having a bomb actually doesn't worry me that much. North Korea is much more reckless. They're liable to do anything. The Iranians tend to be provocative but realistic.


The current Iranian government is not especially worrisome, but a far more radical government is well within the realm of possibility. Further, it's not just a given government we need to be concerned with, but the more radical elements within that government who might covertly give weapons or weapons technology to radical factions or other nations. Imagine Iran's close ally, Syria, with a 20 kiloton warhead, for example.

Also, we have to think in terms of, not one bomb, but a dozen, or a hundred. On top of this, the fear of use and the leverage that comes with the implicit threat of use, makes a potential enemy that much more dangerous.

Finally, it's not just governments, but physicists themselves. Abdul Qadeer Khan smuggled bomb-making tech and some materials out of Pakistan.

edit: keep in mind, Israel's already done this sort of thing. In 1981 they bombed an Iraqi reactor of French design they suspected was contributing (iirc) fissile material to Iraq's nuclear weapons program.
   734. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4385535)
They bombed the Syrian reactor too. Bombing Iran is a lot harder though. They would have to violate Iraqi airspace, or get the US to let them take off from carriers in the Persian Gulf.

Points above well-taken but, as you mentioned previously, bombing raids will just cause them to move more and more of their operations underground where even the bunkerbusters can't get at them.

To paraphrase Burke, nuclear weapons and religious zeal go ill together but an invasion is off the table, I think, and the Iranians have all the time in the world to build that nuke brick by brick.
   735. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4385540)
I don't see Israel going to war with Iran either. Bibi might want to but most Israelis won't want to g along with him.


I'll check it out, but I'd be amazed if among Israeli voters the following question got a majority 'no' response: "If it was the only thing Israel could do to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was bomb their weapons-building facilities, would you support such a raid?"

I'm trying to imagine how a war between Israel and Iran would transpire. There's no shared border and neither country has the ability to project much power onto the other.


Sorry if I'm misreading what you mean by "power", but Isreal does have the ability to vaporize Baghdad and turn Iran into a desert. The total is unclear, but every estimate I've read gives Israel between 70 and 450 nukes.

edit: re 734, I agree it's a logistical nightmare, but at this point the Iraqi Air Force and Iraq's ground to air defense is dysfunctional to the point of being non-existent, so I don't believe today Iraq would be an obstacle. I do think the last thing the US wants to do is be visibly associated with an Israeli raid. Well, maybe the second to last thing, the first being keeping Iran non-nuclear. Hasn't Obama been explicit on this?

It may also be that the Israeli government believes a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to the point that you simply do whatever is necessary to destroy its ability to build nukes; if that only pushes the problem five years down the road, then so be it. Maybe you figure that in five years your bunker busters will be able to dig deeper, or that you'll have a better version of the Stuxnet virus, or that a new government will be more tractable, and willing to give up its nuclear ambitions in return for bigger and better rewards...
   736. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4385548)
I'd be amazed if among Israeli voters the following question got a majority 'no' response: "If it was the only thing Israel could do to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was bomb their weapons-building facilities, would you support such a raid?"

"If carefully targeted drone missiles were the only way the U.S. could prevent overseas American citizens from conspiring with terrorists to blow up American embassies all over Europe and Asia, would you support such a program?" Three guesses which way that that one would go.
   737. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4385551)
I think between the US and Isreal it's simply not going to happen:

Obama pledges to stop an Iranian nuclear weapon

Preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is a national security interest of both Israel and the United States, President Barack Obama said Sunday in calling for continued diplomatic efforts but also pledging that all options -- including a military effort -- remain viable.

"All elements of American power" remain an option to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, including "a military effort to be prepared for any contingency," Obama told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobby group.


That was March 2012. Obama hasn't wavered.

Can't link to it, but it's at
http://articles.cnn.com/2012-03-04/politics/politics_obama-aipac_1_nuclear-weapon-weapons-grade-uranium-obama-pledges?_s=PM:POLITICS

The Atlantic also ran a persuasive article:

I'm in the camp of people, however, who take him at his word, in part because he's repeated himself on the subject so many times and in part because he has laid out such an effective argument against containment and for disruption, by force, if necessary. With the help of Armin Rosen, of The Atlantic's International Channel, I've posted below a partial accounting of Obama's statements on the subject. Of course, it is possible that in a second term, should he win his bid for reelection, he will change his mind on the subject, and it is possible, of course, that Iran will somehow manage to defy his demands. But the record is the record: Given the number of times he's told the American public, and the world, that he will stop Iran from going nuclear, it is hard to believe that he will suddenly change his mind and back out of his promise.



A lot of good details, and quotes, follow.

From http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/obamas-crystal-clear-promise-to-stop-iran-from-getting-a-nuclear-weapon/262951/

That article in turn links to another Atlantic article,

"Obama to Iran and Israel: 'As President of the United States, I Don't Bluff' "


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."


That, in turn (the a function isn't working) is from

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/obama-to-iran-and-israel-as-president-of-the-united-states-i-dont-bluff/253875/



   738. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4385555)
Let's not kid ourselves here ...


Should the U.S. actually take Benjamin Netanyahu’s advice and attack Iran, don’t expect a few sorties flown by a couple of fighter jocks. Setting back Iran’s nuclear efforts will need to be an all-out effort, with squadrons of bombers and fighter jets, teams of commandos, rings of interceptor missiles and whole Navy carrier strike groups — plus enough drones, surveillance gear, tanker aircraft and logistical support to make such a massive mission go. And all of it, at best, would buy the U.S. and Israel another decade of a nuke-free Iran.

There’s been a lot of loose talk and leaked tales about what an attack on Iran might ultimately entail. Anthony Cordesman, one of Washington’s best-connected defense analysts, has put together a remarkably detailed inventory of what it would take to strike Iran (.pdf), cataloging everything from the number of bombers required to the types of bombs they ought to carry. He analyzes both Israeli and American strikes, both nuclear and not. He examines possible Iranian counterattacks, and ways to neutralize them. It leads Cordesman to a two-fold conclusion:

* “Israel does not have the capability to carry out preventive strikes that could do more than delay Iran’s efforts for a year or two.” Despite the increasingly sharp rhetoric coming out of Jerusalem, the idea of Israel launching a unilateral attack is almost as bad as allowing Tehran to continue its nuclear work unchallenged. It would invite wave after wave of Iranian counterattacks — by missile, terrorist, and boat — jeopardizing countries throughout the region. It would wreak havoc with the world’s oil supply. And that’s if Israel even manages to pull the mission off — something Cordesman very much doubts.

* The U.S. might be able to delay the nuclear program for up to 10 years. But to do so, it’ll be an enormous undertaking. The initial air strike alone will “require a large force allocation [including] the main bomber force, the suppression of enemy air defense system[s], escort aircraft for the protection of the bombers, electronic warfare for detection and jamming purposes, fighter sweep and combat air patrol to counter any air retaliation by Iran.”


Wired

Link to PDF
   739. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4385559)
I'm not sure what the issue is. There is a simple two-pronged test to determine if a drone strike violates due process.
   740. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4385560)
@738: I'd never argue it's not an appalling, sickening, bloody affair with horrible civilian deaths surely a part of any raid. I just don't think that between their two governments the US and Israel are going to let Iran develop a bomb in the next couple of years. I'm not sure it's the wrong course, either.

I wonder at the morality of something like (while realizing it's bullying), simply asserting,

"We will help you in numerous ways to compensate you for our refusal to allow you to develop nuclear weapons, and we will do everything possible to find an adequate substitute for what nuclear energy programs would otherwise give you, but you can't have weapons, and we will bomb your facilities if you persist".
   741. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 10, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4385569)
I realize it's bullying, but I'm not sure it isn't the best course to simply assert, "We will help you in numerous ways to compensate you for our refusal to allow you to develop nuclear weapons, and we will do everything possible to find an adequate substitute for what nuclear energy programs would otherwise give you, but you can't have weapons, and we will bomb your facilities if you persist".


In that case, logically the only think Iran could do to lift the threat is to develop a bomb.
   742. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 10, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4385576)
In that case, logically the only think Iran could do to lift the threat is to develop a bomb.


Logic (or reason) suggests another course, though. IF you knew that your country would be subjected to extremely destructive bombing raids that would continually make your nuclear program the equivalent of towing bargeloads of rials every month into the middle of the Persian Gulf and sinking them, you might decide that an agreement that stabilizes your economy and your own political power even as you maintain the region's most powerful conventional army, is in your best interests.

The alternative could well be a decade long struggle costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives and that ends in still not having the bomb. I won't pretend to understand Iran's internal politics enough to ably predict, but at some point national pride can turn into resentment if a course of action--the pursuit of nuclear weapons--becomes an extraordinary drain impoverishing the country.
   743. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 10, 2013 at 06:17 PM (#4385721)
If you were a sovereign nation like Iran it makes total sense to do everything possible to develop the bomb. Look next door at the country that did n't compared to say Pakistan or North Korea which has. Notice any differences in how they are treated by the US?

Oh, and to make the analogy fit better, Canada would have to be paying us a few billion in aid every year. The analogy is terrible.


If only I had put in something ...

And yes It is not a perfect analogy, it is not meant to be.


Oh wait, if only you could read.

The point is of course sovereign nations get to complain about violations of their sovereignty. They always have and they always will. And when they have the power they do something about it. Pretending because we are the USA! and "our cause is pure" so it is OK we violate other countries sovereignty is silly. We get away with it because we are the biggest kid on the block with bombs and money and connections. However the original statement that Pakistan doesn't get to compalin is asinine.
   744. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 10, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4385756)
If you were a sovereign nation like Iran it makes total sense to do everything possible to develop the bomb. Look next door at the country that did n't compared to say Pakistan or North Korea which has. Notice any differences in how they are treated by the US?


Of course. If I was Iran I'd want a big bomb too. Who thinks otherwise?
   745. zenbitz Posted: March 10, 2013 at 06:32 PM (#4385766)
Iran is a big place, and sattelites don't see well underground. If I am Iran, I have a two pronged approach to devepope nukes underground and a Intel/diplo ripple plan to stall attacks until it's a fait acomplii
   746. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 07:32 PM (#4385863)
That's what they are doing (building and stalling) and its been very effective so far.

Logic (or reason) suggests another course, though. IF you knew that your country would be subjected to extremely destructive bombing raids that would continually make your nuclear program the equivalent of towing bargeloads of rials every month into the middle of the Persian Gulf and sinking them, you might decide that an agreement that stabilizes your economy and your own political power even as you maintain the region's most powerful conventional army, is in your best interests.


It won't destabilize their political power. It will fortify their political power. An attack on their nuclear facilities will be seen by the rank and file as an attack on Persian sovereignty and national pride. The people will take the economic hit willingly if the alternative is to lose face before the world.
   747. Greg K Posted: March 10, 2013 at 07:59 PM (#4385886)
Having nuclear weapons seems like the only insurance against having the US fiddle with your sovereignty. I would think that's the beginning and the end of Iran's attitude towards their nuclear program.
   748. Steve Treder Posted: March 10, 2013 at 08:02 PM (#4385891)
It won't destabilize their political power. It will fortify their political power. An attack on their nuclear facilities will be seen by the rank and file as an attack on Persian sovereignty and national pride. The people will take the economic hit willingly if the alternative is to lose face before the world.

If there is perhaps one thing that would most fortify the Iranian regime's political power, it would be a military attack by the US and/or Israel. And, as has been pointed out, in the long run it's probably impossible to prevent their development of a bomb. Thus I'm far from thrilled about Obama's posture on this one so far, though it likely matters little what the US does.
   749. Publius Publicola Posted: March 10, 2013 at 10:24 PM (#4385969)
Oh wait, if only you could read.


There's a big difference between an imperfect analogy and an unfit one. Your analogy just doesn't fly. At all.

However the original statement that Pakistan doesn't get to compalin is asinine.


They can complain all they want. We just don't have to listen to it, as we are paying them the right to not listen. I haven't yet heard one Pakistani leader say he's not interested in the money.

And when they do complain, they have to not forget that what they are complaining about, they are guilty of in spades.
   750. OCF Posted: March 11, 2013 at 02:04 AM (#4386045)
Maybe the analogy could have been to how you would feel about a Cuban/Venezuelan raid into Florida aimed at kidnapping or killing Luis Posada Carriles. With maybe some collateral casualties. (OK, Posada was actually tried and acquitted in Venezuela. That doesn't entirely prove that he's not a terrorist.)
   751. spike Posted: March 11, 2013 at 03:41 AM (#4386052)
Susan Rice for National Security Adviser is some first class trolling. I can hardly wait to read the throbbing neck vein rants from Walnuts and Aunt Bea. Seems like Elizabeth Warren all over again, who is turning out just great as a Senator.
   752. SteveF Posted: March 11, 2013 at 05:09 AM (#4386058)
I wonder whether Elizabeth Warren has changed her mind regarding the need for Eric Holder to resign.
   753. Lassus Posted: March 11, 2013 at 07:22 AM (#4386064)
I know everyone - including me - hates hippies, but listening to everyone speak so blithely about the justified need and desire for weapons that vaporize cities and cook countless people from the inside out does make me think they might have had an overall point, at least about peace in general.
   754. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 11, 2013 at 07:31 AM (#4386066)
That's what they are doing (building and stalling) and its been very effective so far.


It should be pointed out that Iran has consistently denied that it is attempting to produce nuclear weapons. Yes, yes, I know, they are pathological liars and the fact that they deny it means it's doubly certain, or something.
   755. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2013 at 09:09 AM (#4386109)
They can complain all they want. We just don't have to listen to it, as we are paying them the right to not listen. I haven't yet heard one Pakistani leader say he's not interested in the money.

And when they do complain, they have to not forget that what they are complaining about, they are guilty of in spades.


You are still missing the point. There is not some magical unicorn of justice that decides when sovereignty matters and when it doesn't. Either you respect it or you don't. And there are times you can ignore another nations sovereignty, but don't pretend "justice" and "unicorns", admit what you are doing, you can do it because you are big and bad and they can't stop you. It is raw power and often ugly.

I don't have a problem with real politic, but the occasional "We are the USA we get to act this way because red, white, and blue" is obnoxious. The US has been in the wrong plenty of times, but other nation respect our sovereignty even when we are, not because of the unicorn, but because we are big, bad, and worldwide. Pretending otherwise is infantile.
   756. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4386113)
I know everyone - including me - hates hippies, but listening to everyone speak so blithely about the justified need and desire for weapons that vaporize cities and cook countless people from the inside out does make me think they might have had an overall point, at least about peace in general.


Foreign policy through hippy would have been more effective the last 30 years than actual foreign policy has been*. However in today's world it is just a fact that countries want atomic power because it means some random rogue superpower won't go on a wild hair and invade countries with "the bomb". I wish it wasn't so, but it is.

* Note: This is not an endorsement of all or even most hippy led foreign policy, rather an endightment of neo con "policy" and the watered down version many dems favor. However I am sure the thrust of this message will be ignored and some idiot will explain to me all the dumb stuff hippies believe and then lecture me about it. Such is the internet.
   757. The Good Face Posted: March 11, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4386169)
* Note: This is not an endorsement of all or even most hippy led foreign policy, rather an endightment of neo con "policy" and the watered down version many dems favor. However I am sure the thrust of this message will be ignored and some idiot will explain to me all the dumb stuff hippies believe and then lecture me about it. Such is the internet.


If you know you're saying something stupid (you did, on both counts), rather than attempt to pre-empt criticism of your stupid statement, how about just not saying it? It's possible to indict the foolishness of neocon foreign policy without replacing it with something that's also really foolish.
   758. Steve Treder Posted: March 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4386216)
There's that blasted liberal media again.

Breitbart.com ridiculed Paul Krugman for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in a since-deleted post whose claims originated with a satire website. Just last month, Breitbart.com castigated a news outlet for running with a story from that same website.
   759. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4386219)
Just last month, Breitbart.com castigated a news outlet for running with a story from that same website.


Which erroneous report was authored, I regret to note, by a friend of mine whose hedline obits I used to edit in Little Rock when she was just starting out. Not sure how she whiffed so badly on this one, but she definitely did.
   760. tshipman Posted: March 11, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4386227)
It should be pointed out that Iran has consistently denied that it is attempting to produce nuclear weapons. Yes, yes, I know, they are pathological liars and the fact that they deny it means it's doubly certain, or something.


I mean, finding out who is trying to develop nuclear weapons is like the whole reason for the CIA. They're pretty good at that part of their jobs. I believe the CIA over a holocaust denier.
   761. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4386235)
Sure, peace sounds great - but when has it been tried? Something something cuckoo clock.

I think the US has made poor use of our most valuable foreign policy tool - our image. We're the world's leading exporter of pop culture - other countries are predisposed to like us, despite the asymmetry in power. Let's not be #####, when possible.

On Iran: I don't know what the right answer is. I do agree that their acquisition of nuclear armaments is a matter of when, not if. How do we capitalize on the schism between the political views of the Iranian populace versus that government's leadership (and, moreso, the figurehead Ahmadinejad)?
   762. Steve Treder Posted: March 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4386239)
I think the US has made poor use of our most valuable foreign policy tool - our image.

No question about that, and while every Presidential administration since somewhere around Eisenhower has participated in the blunder, the GWB administration took it to a whole new plane.

How do we capitalize on the schism between the political views of the Iranian populace versus that government's leadership (and, moreso, the figurehead Ahmadinejad)?

An example of a challenge that would be far less difficult without the Iraq debacle.
   763. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 11, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4386241)
I mean, finding out who is trying to develop nuclear weapons is like the whole reason for the CIA. They're pretty good at that part of their jobs.

We'll find those WMD's in Iraq any day now.

other countries are predisposed to like us

This is mostly American self-delusion.
   764. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 11, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4386244)

I mean, finding out who is trying to develop nuclear weapons is like the whole reason for the CIA. They're pretty good at that part of their jobs.


Look how well they did in Iraq!

Damn: Coke to PFPH.

Anyway, to add something substantive I've long thought that Iran and the U.S. are natural allies. Geopolitically, Iran is much less invested in the Palestinian situation than the Arab world, as a Shiite power is a potential counterweight to the other Sunni states in the region, is a neighbor of Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where we still have interests. I wish we could have a more productive relationship.
   765. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 11, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4386250)
This is mostly American self-delusion.

Maybe. They (not everybody, but I'm in generality mode) certainly seem to like 'things' about us. They like some of the myth of America. This is a instrument we can use.
   766. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4386252)
We'll find those WMD's in Iraq any day now.


Mission Accomplished.
   767. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4386254)
If you know you're saying something stupid (you did, on both counts), rather than attempt to pre-empt criticism of your stupid statement, how about just not saying it? It's possible to indict the foolishness of neocon foreign policy without replacing it with something that's also really foolish.


How meta of you.

I think much our the US foreign policy over the past few decades has been a train wreck. I think hippy FP would have been an improvement. This is a very soft endorsement of hippy FP.

The fact that you think this is somehow "saying something stupid and recognizing it" says much much more about you and your argumentation style than it does what I was saying. Care to address the substance? Because that is what I was trying to get to, which is why I admire your meta criticism approach, despite finding it dishonest and loathsome, it is creative and very you.
   768. Ron J2 Posted: March 11, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4386293)
#555 No idea how it'll turn out for your friend in practice, but there are a couple of guys here whose hate for the Dems trumps all. DMN for sure (going back to the way they handled the Clinton mess) and almost certainly Szym. RDP probably falls into this group too.

They (in particular DMN and RDP) reliably hit Republican talking points, but it's driven by hostility to the Dems.
   769. zenbitz Posted: March 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4386308)
In the long run, you cannot fight terror with terror unless you are willing to be the least moral actor.
If an "undesirable" state goes nuclear, you have to work to _stabilize_ that state from within. Hearts, Minds, Sitcoms, video games.
   770. Steve Treder Posted: March 11, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4386348)
In the long run, you cannot fight terror with terror unless you are willing to be the least moral actor.

Why this fundamental is so hard to grasp, I don't know. The way the lesson was taught to me was, "Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it."
   771. Morty Causa Posted: March 11, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4386352)
It's hard to grasp because at the most fundamental it's not about moral. It's about fear and survival. It's about re-stabilizing and establishing order that assuages that fear.
   772. Publius Publicola Posted: March 11, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4386386)
It should be pointed out that Iran has consistently denied that it is attempting to produce nuclear weapons. Yes, yes, I know, they are pathological liars and the fact that they deny it means it's doubly certain, or something.


I've thought about this awhile and considered the "peaceful use only" angle but have rejected it for a number of reasons:

1. If their program was totally on the up and up, they would have no objection to the intrusions of the international inspectors. But the international inspectors have claimed they are not being allowed to see certain sites, or certain areas within sites, have been given false information and documentation and have discovered information and documentation that was destroyed.

2. There was the recently discovered secret facility to account for. I suppose you could make the claim that the Iranians are afraid that they will be bombed regardless of the intent of their program but if they really want to convince people their program is legit, building secret facilities is not exactly the way to go about it.

3. They have a concurrent missile development program that is ongoing and the missiles appear to be the type that are designed to carry warheads. There's no need for weaponized ballistic missiles unless you intend to arm them with something serious.

4. They are intent on developing uranium enrichment levels that exceed civilian uses, and the only other use is for weapons.

5. There appears to be unanimous or at least near-unanimous international agreement Iran's program is trending military. That wasn't true with regard to Iraq's WMDs. Even China and Russia voted yes on the newest rounds of sanctions.

6. They have insisted on developing their own uranium enrichment capability, even though an offer was made to purchase the nuclear fuel from Russia at very attractive prices.

7. They built a second reactor that they claim they needed to make medical radioisotopes. But the reactor they already have has excess capacity for these isotopes so they didn't really need a second reactor.

None of these things, by themselves, means that Iran is developing a nuclear bomb. But each one of them is supportive of a bomb program. Another interpretation is that Iran has no intention to actually build weapons but is building the capacity for them, so that other countries suspect they might have them. In this scenario, ironically, they are copying a page from Israel's playbook. But I think they actually want to build them, so they have a credible deterrent should a future US or Israeli or combined Sunni attack threaten. They saw
   773. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 11, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4386578)
It won't destabilize their political power. It will fortify their political power. An attack on their nuclear facilities will be seen by the rank and file as an attack on Persian sovereignty and national pride. The people will take the economic hit willingly if the alternative is to lose face before the world.

If there is perhaps one thing that would most fortify the Iranian regime's political power, it would be a military attack by the US and/or Israel. And, as has been pointed out, in the long run it's probably impossible to prevent their development of a bomb. Thus I'm far from thrilled about Obama's posture on this one so far, though it likely matters little what the US does.


I'd thought the above wrong--that repeated attacks over a decade (which would be necessary: A single attack of the kind that would only push back Iran's developing a bomb by two years only to let them continue to completion, makes no sense) might over time tend to strengthen Iran's serious internal opposition to its ruling government. But--I can't find a single commentator familiar with Iran's politics who thinks it will do anything other than strengthen the government, especially in the short term. They just won't get the blame no matter what the carrots. They're just not seen internally as provoking a raid, even though there are plenty of commentators who seen the Iranian government's behavior as aimed at doing just that. Iraq's attack on Iran had that kind of result; it solidified Iran's internal politics against a common enemy.

Two factors beyond what both of you mentioned are, the attacks on Iran's bomb-making infrastructure would have to be ongoing. It's the worst of all worlds to bomb now and in two years shrug and allow the program to go to completion. The second factor is we're not talking about Iran with one nuclear weapon, but with a dozen, or a hundred. Bo one stops at one. It doesn't make sense economically or strategically to have one nuke.

-----------------------

The whole 'we have the moral high ground' ship sailed a while ago. Tortures, black sites, Guantanamo, routinely supporting dictatorships, supporting death squads in Latin America... that doesn't mean we shouldn't aim for the high ground, but we sure as hell don't own it and we sure as hell aren't on it.

Anyway, to add something substantive I've long thought that Iran and the U.S. are natural allies. Geopolitically, Iran is much less invested in the Palestinian situation than the Arab world, as a Shiite power is a potential counterweight to the other Sunni states in the region, is a neighbor of Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where we still have interests. I wish we could have a more productive relationship.


Sure, but we poisoned that pond. Imagine if Iran had overthrown Reagan right after he assumed the Presidency in 1980 and installed, oh, the head of the John Birch Society who then ran the country through 2008, when he was overthrown and Obama was elected. Let's say the Birchers ran a secret police apparatus that through torture and murder ran the country for fun and profit for that quarter century. In a couple hundred years you might consider establishing non-hostile relations.
   774. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2013 at 08:24 PM (#4386629)
In addition to the long list of reasons listed in #772, Iran's vast oil resources make it unlikely that they need to develop nuclear power at all, much less in a way that has every hallmark of a clandestine military program. Anyone buying the Iranian line probably thinks the North Koreans are also misunderstood.
   775. Steve Treder Posted: March 11, 2013 at 09:26 PM (#4386648)
Anyone buying the Iranian line probably thinks the North Koreans are also misunderstood.

And the check is in the mail.
   776. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 11, 2013 at 10:04 PM (#4386658)
In addition to the long list of reasons listed in #772, Iran's vast oil resources make it unlikely that they need to develop nuclear power at all, much less in a way that has every hallmark of a clandestine military program. Anyone buying the Iranian line probably thinks the North Koreans are also misunderstood.


Iran suffers chronic gasoline shortages. They need the currency generated by oil sales. The need for nuclear power is legit.
   777. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2013 at 10:29 PM (#4386670)
Iran suffers chronic gasoline shortages. They need the currency generated by oil sales. The need for nuclear power is legit.

That's due to a lack of refinery capacity. Nuclear power doesn't replace gasoline.
   778. Publius Publicola Posted: March 11, 2013 at 10:56 PM (#4386682)
That's due to a lack of refinery capacity. Nuclear power doesn't replace gasoline.


Not just that. They also have problems with keeping their wells working at capacity because they were all built with American equipment and, because of the embargo, have trouble maintaining them. They also have great difficulty opening any new fields, even though they have very rich ones to exploit potentially. When Cheney et al were banging the war drums in the 2000's, a paper was published in 2007 by Rober Stern that estimated their declining infrastructure and speculated that they would not be able to export oil soon and be more amenable to negotiation once their economy was sufficiently crippled. That paper had the dual useful purpose of deflating the warmongers like Cheney and Bolton and Rumsfeld while pointing the way to our present policy.

WaP story:

Iran Oil Revenue Quickly Drying Up, Analysis Says

Here' a quote:

If the United States can "hold its breath" for a few years, it may find Iran a much more conciliatory country, he said. And that, Stern said, is good reason to delay any instinct to take on Iran militarily.

"What they are doing to themselves is much worse than anything we could do," he said.


   779. SteveF Posted: March 12, 2013 at 12:07 AM (#4386715)
I don't think the US really has a choice between a nuclear Iran and a non-nuclear Iran. The choice is really between a nuclear Iran and no Iran. I suspect that ultimately the US is a safer place with a nuclear Iran than it would be with the actions required for there to be no Iran.
   780. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 12, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4386785)
Since this thread has already switched directions a few dozen times, here's as creepy an article as I've read in a long time, which appeared in today's Washington Post on Beijing's air pollution. It's not exactly new news, but it's even more graphic than most of the other articles like it that I've seen recently:

Breathing Isn't Easy In China

I woke up in my dark bedroom the other day, head pounding and mouth dry. Before I even got out of bed, I knew that Beijing was having one of its hazardous-air-quality days. There was a tickle in my throat. My eyes stung and watered the minute I set foot outside.

On a similar day a few days before, I’d walked only 10 minutes from my apartment to my friend’s place. By the time I got there, my coat, scarf and hair smelled the way they would have smelled after a night in a smoky bar followed by a couple of hours standing behind a car’s exhaust pipe....

This winter has been particularly bad. January alone had 19 days of hazardous air quality, which means that levels of the smallest particulate matter soared to over 301 micrograms per cubic meter. The U.S. Embassy, which monitors Beijing’s air quality, says that hazardous air can lead to “serious aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly; serious risk of respiratory effects in general population.”...

On Jan. 12, the measurement reached 886, which one article equated to living in a smokers’ lounge. And Beijing isn’t even the most polluted city in China, according to the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection. That honor goes to Urumqi, in the far west of the country. We’re No. 3.

Foreigners living here talk about how the bad air causes them a plethora of health problems, from days-long headaches to bad coughs to sinus issues that require surgery. One expat told me that after a friend of hers had lived in Beijing for about three years, her doctor said her lungs looked like those of a pack-a-day smoker, even though she had never picked up a cigarette. Many parents refuse to let their children play outside, and one mother said her 2-year-old was starting to look like a vampire because he was so pale....

Years ago, longtime expats say, the cold winter winds often blew away Beijing’s air pollution, but now, with the city having grown and with so many households still burning coal for heat, the winter tends to have as many bad days as the summer....
   781. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 12, 2013 at 09:17 AM (#4386788)
I don't think the US really has a choice between a nuclear Iran and a non-nuclear Iran. The choice is really between a nuclear Iran and no Iran. I suspect that ultimately the US is a safer place with a nuclear Iran than it would be with the actions required for there to be no Iran.


The funny thing about tech is that it spreads like venereal disease once's it's out in the world. I'm sure we're all going to be aghast when some terrorist cell starts dropping explosives on western cities with drones too. How dare anyone *else* play with our toys?!
   782. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 12, 2013 at 09:19 AM (#4386792)
But we deserve and can use the toys correctly, while other countries don't have our divine right (or something).

And Andy, yeah I have been reading about the air pollution there, just brutal.
   783. zonk Posted: March 12, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4386799)
Everyone can breathe easier --

The Iranians have come to realize that suing Hollywood is the best way to gain respect.

Once again, lawyers on retainer to the rescue!
   784. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 12, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4386808)
This winter has been particularly bad. January alone had 19 days of hazardous air quality, which means that levels of the smallest particulate matter soared to over 301 micrograms per cubic meter. The U.S. Embassy, which monitors Beijing’s air quality, says that hazardous air can lead to “serious aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly; serious risk of respiratory effects in general population.”...


That's the smell of industry, hippie.
   785. GregD Posted: March 12, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4386812)
smells like money!
   786. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 12, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4386828)
781 - whether or not we use drones, that tech would spread
   787. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 12, 2013 at 10:31 AM (#4386836)
Breathing Isn't Easy In China
That's impossible. The air is all over the world, and the world is too big for us to truly impact. Besides, if the air is getting more toxic, well, that's just something that's happening and there's nothing we can do to stop it. Just accept it. It's probably just a toxicity trend, anyways.
   788. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 12, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4386852)
Breathing Isn't Easy In China

That's impossible. The air is all over the world, and the world is too big for us to truly impact. Besides, if the air is getting more toxic, well, that's just something that's happening and there's nothing we can do to stop it. Just accept it. It's probably just a toxicity trend, anyways.

Other than that, Mr. Nieporent, how did you enjoy the play?
   789. Mefisto Posted: March 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4386886)
Again, Andy, you missed the point. Obviously the citizens of Beijing should pay the polluters not to pollute. Geez, the market solves everything.
   790. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 12, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4386894)
781 - whether or not we use drones, that tech would spread


Sure. My point isn't that it's spreading because we're using it. My point is that most people will only find a problem with using the tech when it's used against them.
   791. Ron J2 Posted: March 12, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4386940)
#774 You're forgetting that local politics sort of makes local oil use not very cost effective. Internal prices are capped far, far below what they can sell the stuff for. And they (justifiably) worry about internal unrest if they try to either cut service (but it happens anyhow) or raise prices to a realistic level.

It makes perfect sense to try and cover some of the local demand with nuclear power while selling as much oil as is possible.

I'm not saying they don't have a weapons program, just that screwed up internal policies mean that they can't afford to use their own oil domestically.
   792. Steve Treder Posted: March 12, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4386941)
It would seem that it's time again to sick Tommy LaSorda and Mike Schmidt after his wimpy behind.

George Will is under fire for distorting the history of Watergate from an expert source -- Richard Ben-Veniste, chief of the Watergate task force.

Will, in a March 6 column, deceptively portrayed Robert Bork as a hero who protected the Watergate prosecution, but his defense of Bork rests on omitting critical details -- including the fact that Bork actually moved to abolish the task force that was looking into the scandal.
   793. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 12, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4386942)
sam/790: i understood you (and agreed)
   794. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4387012)
Sure, but we poisoned that pond. Imagine if Iran had overthrown Reagan right after he assumed the Presidency in 1980 and installed, oh, the head of the John Birch Society who then ran the country through 2008, when he was overthrown and Obama was elected. Let's say the Birchers ran a secret police apparatus that through torture and murder ran the country for fun and profit for that quarter century. In a couple hundred years you might consider establishing non-hostile relations.


We're practically allies with Vietnam now...

OTOH Iran's regime is in many ways based on being Anti-American, we're the Great Satan- whereas in Vietnam their problem is that we were there, when we left they simply ceased having a problem with us (more or less).

Plus we are "allies" with Saudi Arabia - the Saudis' tend to act covertly and through proxies, but there is little doubt than they see the Saudis' as their main rivals in the region - and the Saudi regime may be even more regressive than the one in Teheran.

Plus plus- so long as we are on their border (Afghanistan) - they are not going to give up their nuclear weapons project - at one point we had a couple hundred thousand troops [COMBAT TROOPS] ON THE GROUND in bordering states (Iraq + Afghanistan)- if you are in the Iranian Government that had to be giving them many sleepless nights

   795. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4387024)
WaP story:

Iran Oil Revenue Quickly Drying Up, Analysis Says

Here' a quote:


that was from 2006, they were producing 3.7 million barrels a day , now they are under 3 million a day, but have "plans" to get back up to 5 by 2020...
   796. Steve Treder Posted: March 12, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4387090)
Paul Ryan is getting the buzz he'd hoped for!

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) was jubilant today after his newly unveiled budget plan picked up a key endorsement from the novelist Ayn Rand.

It was a rare public utterance for the late Ms. Rand, who has been damned to eternal torment in Satan’s lake of fire since 1982.
“This is a budget I wish I had written,” said Ms. Rand, pausing to scream as white-hot flames licked her face. “Paul Ryan is a great man and I look forward to meeting him someday.”



   797. OCF Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:03 PM (#4387115)
OTOH Iran's regime is in many ways based on being Anti-American, ... - at one point we had a couple hundred thousand troops [COMBAT TROOPS] ON THE GROUND in bordering states (Iraq + Afghanistan)- if you are in the Iranian Government that had to be giving them many sleepless nights

Sleepless nights? Not so much. For the conservative elements (including the Revolutionary Guard, which controls a lot of economic activity), that's exactly what they wanted. They wanted the U.S. bogeyman parked right next door to help whip up the population. And they worked to make that happen. Oh, they didn't have anything at all to do with Al Qaeda. But on the Iraqi side ... was Ahmed Chalabi an Iranian agent all along? I'm pretty sure that Iranians in positions of power found ways to feed the Bush administration what it wanted to hear, and wanted the U.S. to invade Iraq.

As always, there are various levels of disconnect between the population at large that the current power structure. I know some Persians, and one impression I have of the self-image of a typical Persian is that they are, above all, civilized. (And they had been civilized for a very long time when my ancestors were still barbarians.)
   798. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4387128)
Paul Ryan is a hack. His budget is a pack of lies.
   799. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4387174)
Sleepless nights? Not so much.


Seriously? We'd just invaded and conquered a neighboring country in less than a month- a country they'd been pushed to the limit to fight to a draw after a decade of fighting- we pretty clearly had the physical ability to drive to Teheran if we wanted to.

Of course you and I would say that the US had no stomach for more invasions- but who knows what was going on inside their minds? We'd labeled them a one third of an Axis of Evil- and considering where are forces were physically stationed- if we were going to tackle number 2- they were next in line.

Sure their government uses us as a bogeyman- wants us as a bogeyman- but having the bogeyman actually materialize on their doorstep? That's something else entirely- if you look at it from their POV- we were on their Western Border (Iraq), on their East (Afghanistan) and their Southern (we control the Indian Ocean at will)- and we had just shown a willingness to use that force-

and don't forget the ability of people to drink their own koolaid- we're the Great Satan- we want to stamp out the Islamic Revolution, piss on the Ummah...
   800. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4387180)
Of course you and I would say that the US had no stomach for more invasions- but who knows what was going on inside their minds? We'd labeled them a one third of an Axis of Evil- and considering where are forces were physically stationed- if we were going to tackle number 2- they were next in line.


"Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran..."
Page 8 of 30 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Adam M
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogNewsweek: Can Baseball Get More Interesting to Watch With Big Data?
(5 - 3:51pm, Sep 02)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogTrevor Hoffman's Hall of Fame induction seems inevitable
(68 - 3:51pm, Sep 02)
Last: zonk

NewsblogMets call up Dilson Herrera, have "talked about" d'Arnaud to LF
(49 - 3:50pm, Sep 02)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-2-2014
(35 - 3:50pm, Sep 02)
Last: Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey)

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(216 - 3:48pm, Sep 02)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(12 - 3:46pm, Sep 02)
Last: andrewberg

NewsblogThe indisputable selfishness of Derek Jeter
(9 - 3:45pm, Sep 02)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogRule change means more players to choose from for postseason roster
(8 - 3:43pm, Sep 02)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogGleeman: Twins ask fans which brand of luxury car they are
(2 - 3:36pm, Sep 02)
Last: Robert in Manhattan Beach

NewsblogBPP: Why do people still think Jack Morris pitched to the score?
(24 - 3:21pm, Sep 02)
Last: JL

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(1002 - 3:20pm, Sep 02)
Last: Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman

NewsblogBrewers prospect plays every position, all in one game
(10 - 3:17pm, Sep 02)
Last: zonk

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(103 - 3:16pm, Sep 02)
Last: Good cripple hitter

NewsblogPhoto of the day: Bill Murray, indy league ticket-taker
(119 - 3:15pm, Sep 02)
Last: GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella

NewsblogExtreme Moneyball: The Houston Astros Go All In on Data Analysis
(8 - 2:58pm, Sep 02)
Last: Ron J2

Page rendered in 0.8998 seconds
52 querie(s) executed