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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:58 pm 
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Hilltop wrote:
EDIT: I just read your point about the Arabs, which is completely true. The Saudis have always viewed us favorable, for the most part, as have the UAE, Jordan, Pakistan, and Egypt, at least since the 1970s. Even the Muslim Brotherhood has a fairly moderate viewpoint towards the United States. I guess it just seems, based on the news, that most of the world hates us :? .


1) Saying that everyone hates us sells a lot better than saying that most people are ambivalent towards us (at worst).

2) It's extremely convenient for those in power to have a populace that believes they are constantly at risk of attack.

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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:14 pm 
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I think we are getting at the same things here. If we look at the Middle East and say less than 1% of the population hates us, it would be much harder to build public support for the current foreign policies. As far as Israel, I believe most of the Middle East truly has ill will towards them, or at most, resentments based on injustices they believe Israel has committed by "invading" Palestinian strongholds. Of course, there never was truly a nation of Palestine even prior to the British Mandate.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:51 am 
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I'd wager that a lot more than 1% of the population hates us in the Middle East, or, at the very least, hates the US government.

I don't really think it's relevant whether there was a nation of Palestine at any point in history. The only real nations that ever existed in the region were Egypt, Turkey, and Iran, yet we don't see anyone claiming that Jordanian sovereignty is suspect.

Having close friends who are Israeli (or strongly pro-Israel American Jews), as well as some good friends who are Palestinian, I'm sympathetic to both sides. That said, my Palestinian friends grew up essentially stateless, whereas my Jewish friends have a state to call their own. The argument that the Arab world should take in the Palestinians would be fair, save for the fact that the Arab world really, really doesn't want to take them. That doesn't mean that it's Israel's responsibility to deal with them, but the humanitarian concerns can't simply be brushed under the rug.

There's no doubt that the much of the Muslim world, and the Arab world in particular, harbors a lot of ill will towards Israel. That said, there's no country in the Arab world that can really match up with Israel militarily, and even if they could, none really have an interest in doing so. Iran is something of a threat, but my personal view is that Iran's leadership is actually quite rational, and that most of the stuff about destroying Israel is mere saber rattling, disconcerting though it may be.

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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:49 pm 
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Perfect summary, northway. The 1% was an arbitrary number, not an actual figure. I've read books stating the source of hatred towards is our favoritism towards Israel while ignoring the plights of Palestinians. We clearly had more of an interest in the 1960s-1980s with supporting Israel while attempting to overcome the Syria, Jordan, and Egyptian militaries backed by the Soviets. Essentially, it was a product of a the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union where we now face the backlash. Therefore, Arabs and many Muslims view the United States as "sponsoring" the actions of Israel as we have given them weapons throughout much of their existence. Israel is really the only country in the Middle East who has shown the ability to maintain a stable and strong military, with the ability to ensure they have the best possible training. I mean at one point, Israel beat the 3 strongest Arabs armies at the same time. Finally, while I agree Iran has not done anything aggressive, only passive-aggressive such as supporting terrorism, the idea of them having nuclear weapons would frighten me. If Mexico were a US enemy and developed nuclear weapons I would advocate the United States neutralizing the issue before it became a weaponized threat.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:21 am 
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My personal view is that under the current system, a country has every reason to cheat on nuclear weapons. Once you have them, you've got international carte blanche do whatever you dang please, including bombing your peaceful neighbor (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROKS_Cheonan_(PCC-772) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardment_of_Yeonpyeong). At the same time, nuclear weapons are far more useful strategically than tactically, meaning it's much better to have them and not use them than to have them and use them. While a nuclear armed Iran isn't pretty, it actually scares me significantly less than a nuclear armed Pakistan, simply by virtue of one regime being fairly cohesive (the former) and one regime being a big hot mess (the latter). Iran's concerns are, at their heart, geopolitical, and tie into their long history as one of the dominant powers in the region; allowing a nuclear weapon to be used in any but the most dire circumstances would be foolhardy, to say the least, and would likely spell the end of the regime (and a huge chunk of the country's population). While I don't think anyone outside of Iran wants a nuclear armed Iran, and the potential arms race in the Gulf isn't exactly enticing, I also think Israel might be playing right into the hands of Iran's leadership with any kind of large scale military strike.

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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:42 pm 
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Does anyone really truly believe that Iran would use a nuclear weapon? Or do they just want a seat at the table to show they are an advanced "world power". IMO The less nuclear weapons in the world the better, but I have a real hard time believing anyone outside of a true lunatic would use it. Kim Jong Il maybe but even if he had one I don't think he would be stupid enough to use it. If Iran used it on Isreal they would be annihilated, no large country would support them, the outcry would be enormous.

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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:13 pm 
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I wish the good sense exhibited by 90% of the world's Israelis, Arabs, Europeans, Americans, Russians, Indians, Pakistani, Afghani, Chinese would get more play than the radical 5% sandwiching them on either side of the political spectrum.

Meaningful discourse and compromise is such a lost art form....

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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:03 am 
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Northway, Pakistan is without a doubt the most frightening country with a nuclear arsenal in the world. They're much more unstable than even the Soviet Union during the cold war in many ways. Mutually assured destruction would have annihilated both countries, ensuring there was no use for them. However, Pakistan could use, sell, or sponsor terrorists with a "dirty" bomb, full weapon, or even an IED-type nuclear weapon against a US or allied target, without necessarily ensuring their complete destruction. Would we strike back with our own nuke? I have doubts. Of course, this is all predicated on the assumption of a regime change in Pakistan, where the recent "sketchy" attack by NATO forces against Pakistani forces has relations at an all-time low. It is hard to know what version to believe and hard to believe we will ever actually know the truth.

Also, nd, I agree. President Obama's desire for a nuclear free world is wonderful, albeit, unrealistic dream. The US will never give up all of our nuclear weapons as they will also prove to be a deterrent against rogue states and dictators. I think the current terrorist believe we will never use our weapons against them, which I believe to be correct as we would be using them in a foreign country's territory, which with the exception of the above Pakistan situation could/would lead to another World War, centered in the Middle East. Heck, even using them against an Islamic Republic in Pakistan would lead to a war. One of the most telling quotes by Albert Einstein definitely rings true here, "I know not what weapons World War III will be fought with, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

Jdawg, you're also correct. A fact I did not know until a few years ago was that Palestinians were killed in 9/11, then took to the streets with American Flags and a show of solidarity. The link below, which is difficult to view for those who have trouble with 9/11 footage or tribute videos will want to avoid as it is very emotional, despite not showing the footage of the towers. We are reminded of all of the citizens of the world who were killed and the tributes and the solidarity displayed by those countries towards the United States, many former enemies of the Eastern Bloc. It is very powerful and moving; I recommend it for anyone with the ability to withstand the pressures and emotions of 9/11.

Video 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJfBilvJkyU&feature=related

Video 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZiHN3z2o08&feature=related


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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:14 pm 
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I'd let the Iranians get the nukes, what business is it of ours to intervene in their internal affairs. We already uprooted their government before and that's the reason they hate us so much. Get the hell out of these Middle East and stop giving aid to Israel and funding terrorism around the world.

Mind our own business - the best foreign policy as recommended and advised to us by our Founding Fathers.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Ciarán wrote:
I'd let the Iranians get the nukes, what business is it of ours to intervene in their internal affairs. We already uprooted their government before and that's the reason they hate us so much.


I had the opportunity to speak with one of the Air Force Academy profs on nuclear proliferation, and he basically said the same thing. Aside from the issues of internal politics, the rules of the nuclear club aren't really rules. It's almost like a hazing period: you castigate and punish a country until it gets the bomb, at which point it joins the club and gets to castigate and punish the next country that wants to join the club. There's no way this system can survive in the long-term.

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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:50 pm 
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This thread is so full of rational thought and intelligent conversation that I could print it out and show it to my high school students as an introduction to the topic.

Well done on all sides, particular gold star to Northway.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel, Iran and Nuclear Weapons
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:40 am 
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Genmet, Northway is in my opinion, one of the most intelligent, articulate, and well-read posters on this forum, whether Mets, general ball, politics, beer, you name it. I have never had a conversation with him where we make a poor or negative point. I also tremendously applaud you for bringing up current events to your students as in my schooling we never had enough discussion of current affairs effecting the world. The Eurozone, the currency war with China looming, and China's "Maoist communism mixed with free markets" economy. Fascinating stuff there!

In regards to the bomb, I think many dislike us because of our imperialism, which is what it is, along with perceived hypocrisy with us having the bomb while telling others they cannot have it. For those alive when Pakistan got the bomb, was there this same kind of scare as they were an Islamic country, who while not hostile to us was a regime change away from being so? This point ties directly with Northway's analogy about the bomb being a "club." Obviously much of the Middle East also dislikes us for our meddling in their own countries' affairs. However, we're the flavor of the month one minute, such as Afghanistan with the Mujihaideen against the Russians or Operation Desert Storm, while right after we are the imperial and infidel Americans. One exception is the great Afghan, Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Lion of Panjshir, who received the least amount of support against the Russians, while the fragile alliance leading the country after the occupation was abandoned by the US and the CIA aefter the Soviet threat, allowing the Taliban to run. "Ghost Wars" by Steve Coll, a Washington Post columnist is an extraordinary read on our modern history in Afghanistan, including our dealings with Ahmed Shah Massoud.

Moreover, our aversion is obviously our fear of Iran giving the nuke or radioactive materials to terrorists in Iraq of Afghanistan, or perhaps using their influence because of the bomb to effective Middle Eastern politics. The threat of using the bomb or supplying materials or weapons to groups opposing the legitimate governments in each nation, respectively, is a powerful deterrent for the governments to do Iran's bidding. I think that is where the main threat comes in, besides the obviously threat of a rogue member within the Revolutionary Guard authorizing a strike. However, in that case, whoever they attack would have the entire world's condemnation and their country most likely laid to waste. Therefore, the more this discussion evolves, the more I see the bomb as a way for Iran to assert itself into being a major player in Middle Easter politics, countering ourselves, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and a hopefully free, democratic Iraq, with the power of drawing the weaker or more radical countries such as Syria or elements of Lebanon towards them. A nuclear Iran can seriously destabilize Iraq, change Israel's foreign policy, embolden Hizbollah and Hamas, while also promoting radical units in Syria, Libya, and Egypt (I consider Northern Africa to be an extension of the Middle East), places where the "Arab Spring" is having a huge impact. It could also pose a threat to Pakistan, which they perceive to be a lackey to the West, allowing radical groups to seize power, and attack the Hindu population of India. To me, those would be the main arguments against allowing them the bomb. The complete destabilization of the Middle East has potential for a world war.


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