Bomb Iran?

It looks like yet another conflict is brewing in the Middle East, only this time it’s Iran’s turn to feel the wrath of the western powers.

So far even Germany and Russia have publically condemned Iran’s relentlessness in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It’s in no one’s best interests to see the region destabalized by another conflict, nor do we want Middle Eastern countries to hold the west to ransom with rising oil prices or by cutting off the flow of oil altogether to obtain leverage in the conflict between Israel and Palastine.

“The spice must flow”.

The biggest concern here is an islamist nation that makes no secret of its desire to wipe other nations off the map arming itself with nuclear weapons. Unless Iran backs down (which doesn’t appear to be happening), a joint strike by America and Israel is probably inevitable.

What do our readers think?

Robert Frazer speaks - Don’t worry, everyone, I haven’t died! :anjou_happy:

I was planning to raise this question myself, and I would wholeheartedly support a march into Iran. Heh, if war occurs, given that I’m a soldier now I might end up fighting in it regardless of my opinions.

Iran’s aggressive attitude is well-known - her president going on record and proclaiming a desire to scrub Israel off the map, for instance. I don’t wish to demean Israel at all by this, but the terribly dangerous situation that would emerge should Iran ever obtain nuclear weapons is much larger than her - it would have dire ramifications for all of us, wherever we live. And that is because our civilisations and societies are borne up upon one critical and indispensible pillar of support - it is, of course, oil - something that we only enjoy in limited supplies but they have in abundance.

The maintenance of our countries’ integrities is largely dependent on keeping the black gold flowing through the veins of steel. For Iran to develop a nuclear bomb would place her shadow over all of the Middle East in general, and Israel and Saudi Arabia in particular, and could allow her her to gouge her claws into a strangehold on the politics in the region, which are already sufficiently volatile as it is. You may say “Iran would never dare launch a missile, we’d automatically invade them”, but that’s so much hot air when the oilfields are irradiated or being ripped up by rampaging mobs of jihadis stirred up by Iran’s arrogant atomic strut, the tankers’ holds are dry, and your tanks and aeroplanes are stuttering to a halt for want of fuel. I wouldn’t expect the Russians to come to our rescue, either - when the situation is observed through the prism of the recent brusing quarrel between her and the Ukraine over gas prices, it becomes quite evident that Russia has everything to gain from a neon green-glowing Persian Desert. The value of her own reserves would skyrocket all the way to Jupiter, with the scenic route about each of her moons! They could quite happily bunker down and let the rest of the planet collapse, or sell their oil at prices which would cripple everyone else whilst allowing them to take money baths.

It’s all very well to pretentiously and priggishly preen about “the unfairness of the nuclear club’s exclusivity” “Iran only wants to defend herself” “OMGWTF, like, y’know, Texans and Zionists are the root of all evil, now where’s my spliff?” - but should Iran get her way, you probably won’t even have the electricity to air out your rants on the internet. I for one would welcome military action against Iran, because, if I may be blunt, I’m damned if I’m going to let one power-tripping Ayatollah Akbar of the Islamic S***hole of Durkha-Durkhastan bleed us all dry.

Although I’d prefer a full invasion of the country - as it would allow us the additional aim of restoring the Shah to a rightful rule that he was deposed from by a pernicious minority revolt - that isn’t likely to occur in the immediate future given the strain of other commitments at present. The problem with engaging on a surgical strike against the nuclear facilities, a la Israel’s malleting of Iraq’s reactor in 1981, though, is that these installations are very well-defended and well-protected. Some Iranian defence officials have gone on record saying that their laboratories are more than half a mile underground. I’m not sure whether that’s just hot air or not, but it warrants consideration. “Surgical strikes” may well be possible, but then only by recreating the Battle of Britain over Persia for a good fortnight of relentless attack. The investment would have to be massive, and there’s little use in doing things by halves on such a scale, so I’d continue to advocate a full invasion and finally finish the job off once and for all. Leaving Saddam to smoulder after the First Gulf War shows the danger of letting loose ends hang out.

I don’t think a joint strike with Israel and the United States will happen, simply for a single reason: Israel is a Jewish nation.

It’s the same reason why Israel was asked repeatedly by the United States to not get involved in Desert Storm, and why Saddam Hussein was relentless firing at Israel back in 1991… Hussein wanted Israel to get involved, because if they did, it would be looked at by the Middle East as a holy war against Islam. Hussein would have received the full support of Iraq’s neighbors, something that we flat out didn’t need back then.

Hussein is gone and Iran isn’t Iraq, but the situation is still relatively the same. The Middle East hates Israel way more than they hate the rest of the West.

I don’t real;ly know whats going to happen with Iran. I don’t think with how the nuclear facilities are setup there is anyway to destroy them all with airstrikes. And I’d imagine they would be too well defended for a commando raid which just leaves a full invasion as an option and with the US still bogged down in Iraq I can’t see those forces free to move to Iran, so short of their being a draft and a big increse in military numbers I don’t know how the US could do it short of letting Iraq slip into chaos.

But then either way by the time that the US might be in a position to invade I’d say it’s likely Iran will have atleast one bomb ready. Thats half the point of why they are making the bombs. Even since they got named as an ‘Axis of evil’ they were afraid of becoming Iraq 2. However they know the US wouldn’t dare try anything like an invasion if they had nuclear weapons (Same reason North Korea is rushing to get nuclear arms - it’s insurance against an US invasion.).

Mind you to be honest as crazy as they are I’m not sure they would actually use them when they get them. I think they just want to be sure the US won’t ever invade them but no way I want them to get them so I can find out. I think invading them could make things even worse though - I’d imagine that would make further countries in the middle east worried of invasion and encourage them to develop nuclear arms as their own insurance policy. Plus just lik in Iraq the invasion would give ammo to extremists to increase their ranks and for further attacks. Thisd entire mess is getting worse and worse.

Of course it would be pretty hilarious if Bush marched into Iran only to eventually find that they were indeed just enriching uranium for making power plants and not nuclear bombs. For that matter it’s a bit hypocritical, pointing fingers at people not to make them while America themselves has a whooping nuclear arsenal.

Either way, fighting a war on two fronts has never proved very succesful, Hitler being the most recent example, I’d advice against it.

I just don’t care. The response that the public’s opinion on another, more recent “war” had with the politicians has made me completely apathetic towards all conflicts everywhere as long as it is to do with petty politics.

Here’s an idea to balance out the nuclear equation: everyone gets rid of their nuclear weapons. Everyone. This isn’t like “Smallpox is irradicated but we’re keeping some just in case”, this is Total Nuclear Disarmament.

There’s…what, enough to kill everyone on the planet 5 times over? But they deter invasions, right? Wrong. Because no-one would ever fire one. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were 15 kilotons, more recent bombs are at least 1 megaton. Would you like to be the guy who killed possibly up to one 10th of the world’s population in one go?

Thought not.

So yeah, whatever. Until people get a clue beyond their own desires and get rid of the greatest drain on our budget and the greatest terror of our time, let’s invade Iran and blow it to bits. But let’s, at least, do it quickly.

Heh, reminds me of that final message in MGS, that Russia and America had agreed to reduce their nuclear armaments to what, 500 nuclear warheads each? Yet to this day they still have thousands each. Some of those nuclear bombs are even stored right here in Belgium in a quasi-US base there. How brave, if they accidently go off it’s only europeans that get saved, no americans get hurt, phew.

Difference being that we have them but don’t intend to use them. Our nuclear arsenal acts as a deterrent, nothing more. Even then, hypocrisy is totally irrelevant. Western supremecy is of the utmost importance to the West, and what Iran thinks is hypocritical doesn’t mean a freaking thing. Every country works in their best interests, and it’s stupid to argue making things fair. Fair fights are for cartoons, RPGs, and anime.

Except that logic doesn’t apply here at all. We’re not fighting a conventional war in Iraq with soldiers versus soldiers. We cleared out Iraq’s military in record time. The US military is bar none the most effective and the most powerful in the world, and we can obliterate an enemy military with ease. However, the US military is not geared to be an effective occupation force, which is the current problem in Iraq.

Fighting Iran would be a cinch. They’re not a threat. However, if they obtained a nuclear arsenal, then they would be a threat, and invasion would be impossible. You stop the enemy before the fact, not after. If you wait until after, it’s already too late.

Surely it should read “The difference being we already have used them.”?

Before everyone gets mired in the petty technicalities of “other countries have them, why can’t Iran?”, allow me to reiterate something that I said in my first post:

It might possibly be construed as “fairer” for Iran to have the Bomb, but that’s a fallacious statement - just because other people have something doesn’t give you the right to have it yourself, unless you’re a doubleplusungood apparatchik in Minitrue. Furthermore, if you are a card-carrying member of the CND, then surely you’d want to stop all nuclear proliferation, regardless of which country is perpetuating it? But regardless of whether Iran acquiring the Bomb is ‘fair’ or not, it is EXTREMELY UNDESIRABLE, for reasons I outlined in my first post. Supporting Iran’s nuclear ambitions is clawing out lumpfuls of soil in a seven-feet-by-three plot marked “R.I.P. Civilisation”

Apologies for double-posting, but I was reading today’s paper when I encountered this interesting article. On the topic of dealing with Iran’s atomic ambitions, The Sunday Telegraph published a piece about how a future historian might look back on our era if we fail to keep her in check. It also raises a number of important other factors of our current world, such as our low birth rate.

[quote]The origins of the Great War of 2007 - and how it could have been prevented
By Niall Ferguson
(Filed: 15/01/2006)

Are we living through the origins of the next world war? Certainly, it is easy to imagine how a future historian might deal with the next phase of events in the Middle East:

With every passing year after the turn of the century, the instability of the Gulf region grew. By the beginning of 2006, nearly all the combustible ingredients for a conflict - far bigger in its scale and scope than the wars of 1991 or 2003 - were in place.

The first underlying cause of the war was the increase in the region’s relative importance as a source of petroleum. On the one hand, the rest of the world’s oil reserves were being rapidly exhausted. On the other, the breakneck growth of the Asian economies had caused a huge surge in global demand for energy. It is hard to believe today, but for most of the 1990s the price of oil had averaged less than $20 a barrel.

A second precondition of war was demographic. While European fertility had fallen below the natural replacement rate in the 1970s, the decline in the Islamic world had been much slower. By the late 1990s the fertility rate in the eight Muslim countries to the south and east of the European Union was two and half times higher than the European figure.

This tendency was especially pronounced in Iran, where the social conservatism of the 1979 Revolution - which had lowered the age of marriage and prohibited contraception - combined with the high mortality of the Iran-Iraq War and the subsequent baby boom to produce, by the first decade of the new century, a quite extraordinary surplus of young men. More than two fifths of the population of Iran in 1995 had been aged 14 or younger. This was the generation that was ready to fight in 2007.

This not only gave Islamic societies a youthful energy that contrasted markedly with the slothful senescence of Europe. It also signified a profound shift in the balance of world population. In 1950, there had three times as many people in Britain as in Iran. By 1995, the population of Iran had overtaken that of Britain and was forecast to be 50 per cent higher by 2050.

Yet people in the West struggled to grasp the implications of this shift. Subliminally, they still thought of the Middle East as a region they could lord it over, as they had in the mid-20th century.

The third and perhaps most important precondition for war was cultural. Since 1979, not just Iran but the greater part of the Muslim world had been swept by a wave of religious fervour, the very opposite of the process of secularisation that was emptying Europe’s churches.

Although few countries followed Iran down the road to full-blown theocracy, there was a transformation in politics everywhere. From Morocco to Pakistan, the feudal dynasties or military strongmen who had dominated Islamic politics since the 1950s came under intense pressure from religious radicals.

The ideological cocktail that produced ‘Islamism’ was as potent as either of the extreme ideologies the West had produced in the previous century, communism and fascism. Islamism was anti-Western, anti-capitalist and anti-Semitic. A seminal moment was the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s intemperate attack on Israel in December 2005, when he called the Holocaust a ‘myth’. The state of Israel was a ‘disgraceful blot’, he had previously declared, to be wiped ‘off the map’.

Prior to 2007, the Islamists had seen no alternative but to wage war against their enemies by means of terrorism. From the Gaza to Manhattan, the hero of 2001 was the suicide bomber. Yet Ahmadinejad, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War, craved a more serious weapon than strapped-on explosives. His decision to accelerate Iran’s nuclear weapons programme was intended to give Iran the kind of power North Korea already wielded in East Asia: the power to defy the United States; the power to obliterate America’s closest regional ally.

Under different circumstances, it would not have been difficult to thwart Ahmadinejad’s ambitions. The Israelis had shown themselves capable of pre-emptive air strikes against Iraq’s nuclear facilities in 1981. Similar strikes against Iran’s were urged on President Bush by neo-conservative commentators throughout 2006. The United States, they argued, was perfectly placed to carry out such strikes. It had the bases in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan. It had the intelligence proving Iran’s contravention of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But the President was advised by his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, to opt instead for diplomacy. Not just European opinion but American opinion was strongly opposed to an attack on Iran. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 had been discredited by the failure to find the weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein had supposedly possessed and by the failure of the US-led coalition to quell a bloody insurgency.

Americans did not want to increase their military commitments overseas; they wanted to reduce them. Europeans did not want to hear that Iran was about to build its own WMD. Even if Ahmad-inejad had broadcast a nuclear test live on CNN, liberals would have said it was a CIA con-trick.

So history repeated itself. As in the 1930s, an anti-Semitic demagogue broke his country’s treaty obligations and armed for war. Having first tried appeasement, offering the Iranians economic incentives to desist, the West appealed to international agencies - the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Security Council. Thanks to China’s veto, however, the UN produced nothing but empty resolutions and ineffectual sanctions, like the exclusion of Iran from the 2006 World Cup finals.

Only one man might have stiffened President Bush’s resolve in the crisis: not Tony Blair, he had wrecked his domestic credibility over Iraq and was in any case on the point of retirement - Ariel Sharon. Yet he had been struck down by a stroke as the Iranian crisis came to a head. With Israel leaderless, Ahmadinejad had a free hand.

As in the 1930s, too, the West fell back on wishful thinking. Perhaps, some said, Ahmadinejad was only sabre-rattling because his domestic position was so weak. Perhaps his political rivals in the Iranian clergy were on the point of getting rid of him. In that case, the last thing the West should do was to take a tough line; that would only bolster Ahmadinejad by inflaming Iranian popular feeling. So in Washington and in London people crossed their fingers, hoping for the deus ex machina of a home-grown regime change in Theeran.

This gave the Iranians all the time they needed to produce weapons-grade enriched uranium at Natanz. The dream of nuclear non-proliferation, already interrupted by Israel, Pakistan and India, was definitively shattered. Now Theeran had a nuclear missile pointed at Tel-Aviv. And the new Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu had a missile pointed right back at Theeran.

The optimists argued that the Cuban Missile Crisis would replay itself in the Middle East. Both sides would threaten war - and then both sides would blink. That was Secretary Rice’s hope - indeed, her prayer - as she shuttled between the capitals. But it was not to be.

The devastating nuclear exchange of August 2007 represented not only the failure of diplomacy, it marked the end of the oil age. Some even said it marked the twilight of the West. Certainly, that was one way of interpreting the subsequent spread of the conflict as Iraq’s Shi’ite population overran the remaining American bases in their country and the Chinese threatened to intervene on the side of Theeran.

Yet the historian is bound to ask whether or not the true significance of the 2007-2011 war was to vindicate the Bush administration’s original principle of pre-emption. For, if that principle had been adhered to in 2006, Iran’s nuclear bid might have been thwarted at minimal cost. And the Great Gulf War might never have happened.

? Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University[/quote]

That’s an extremely interesting article and sadly, something that I could be reading in a few years time if we don’t do anything now.

This may sound like a dumb question but I’m assuming it isn’t possible to bomb nuclear sites beause of the massive fallout the region would experience - how then are/would they take control of the area? Land troops? Sabotage? Assassination?

I’m all for assassination. Fewest casualties, greatest effect.

That true but it tends to turn people into martyrs. :confused:

Dead martyrs.


I guess that’s one way of looking at it!

This whole thing is completely out of control. Everything seems to be a “damned it we do, damned if we don’t” situation.

The main problem i’d have with an invasion is the aftermath. I can only assume that the plan for the invasion of Iraq looked something like this:

  1. Invade Iraq
  2. Get Saddam out of power
  3. ???
  4. Sunshine, lollypops and rainbows

Given how well they’re handling things over there.

I mean, hell, I have no idea how they could have done things better. Nor do I have any idea what the hell they should do concerning Iran. My problem is I don’t think the government does either. It’s so bloody depressing. =/

Knew someone would go there, nevermind that it’s irrelevant to what’s going on right now. Though it matters little, since it changes nothing. What the West wants is important to us, and Iran’s interests in terms of anything militaristic can go to hell.

Maybe if people around the world stopped thinking like this, there wouldn’t be any goddamn wars.

And before I get a retort, Parn, I know I took your statement slightly out of context the way I rephrased it, but I was not using it as an attack on you, rather as a general statement on humanity.

For that matter it hasn’t even been proven that Iran’s interests are militaristic. For all we know they are telling the truth when they say they are enriching uranium for the sake of nuclear power plants.

What you are going to do is the equivilant of busting someone’s door down and arrest that person on the grounds of piracy because he/she invested in a modem or CD-writer.