Should we attack Iran?

I couldn’t think of a better thread title, I’m not really asking such a simple question, that’s been asked before. What I’m more interested in is what’s in this article from yesterday:

** Mr. Obama, the official said, repeated the assurances he gave to Mr. Netanyahu in March that the United States would not allow Iran to manufacture a nuclear weapon. But the president was unwilling to agree on any specific action by Iran — like reaching a defined threshold on nuclear material, or failing to adhere to a deadline on negotiations — that would lead to American military action.

“We need some ability for the president to have decision-making room,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the talks. “We have a red line, which is a nuclear weapon. We’re committed to that red line.” **
I’d heard this before, but never so explicitly. So we’ve decided that if Iran actually builds a weapon, we are attacking? That begs two questions:

  1. This seems to be a bipartisan policy, with the only difference being that a GOP President might attack sooner. Is there no anti-war opposition aside from the Kucinich and Paul wings of the two major parties?

  2. If we are going to do it, is that the wisest time, AFTER they have a functioning weapon? Or does the administration mean that intelligence showing an attempt to build a real bomb would trigger an attack?

My best guess is it means when we are convinced they have the present ability to build a functional weapon. It wouldn’t make much sense to wait any longer than that, and the political will to act sooner may not exist.

We should have attacked yesterday.

There is a heavy water reactor under construction at Arak and Iran will probably have a nuclear weapon by 2016.

Time is running out.

I think there is still a chance to resolve this situation without violence, and I’d like to see that happen. We don’t need another war, even one limited to air strikes and cruise missiles. We need to get our fiscal house in order, and more military adventures aren’t going to help the process.

Well, violence is already being used to stop them, and it seems to be working. giving them a taste of their own medicine, actually.

SSHHHHHH! You’ll ruin the surprise!

No. Pakistan has nuclear weapons and is a much worse shit hole than Iran. And why specifically should it be in the USA’s best interest to attack Iran, when it is not the USA that Iranian nuclear weapons would be a potential threat towards? Let the regional countries do their own dirty work. Saudi Arabia et al. can deal with their own problems.

My main concern is their support for terrorism. Right now, if they go too far, we just make them pay dearly. We can do military action against them if they go too far. If they have nukes, we can’t. And personally, I think that’s why they want them. So they won’t have to show any restraint and fully unleash Hezbollah.

Both nuclear armed Pakistan and the whole of the Arab Peninsula supports terrorists. Hezbollah isn’t a treat to the USA either, so why should American men lay down their lives to combat it? Hezbollah is also - with the recent things going on in Syria - quickly becoming irrelevant.

Absolutely not. Any American politician who suggests that it is is unfit for office.

***RAISES ***two questions. Nope, I will not give up that fight, not yet anyway :slight_smile:

IRL, flatly ruling out use of force up front, when you have the means (or when you don’t, but the other guy may think you do and you want to keep him wondering), is not the greatest strategy when facing a plausible-threat adversary.

I’m with Oakminster in that the meaning is probably the latter. Of course, that carries with it a risk of miscalculating how far ahead is the work.

BobLibDem, that’s Obama administration policy! Iran will not be allowed to get a nuclear weapon.

Weird. My watch says this year is “2012.”

By that logic America shouldn’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

When does Israel have the right to dictate US foreign policy? We know the Israeli PM is A hawk, and pushy. This OP ED piece by Joe Klein of Time says it all

Israel doesn’t dictate U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. doesn’t dictate Israeli foreign policy.

Marley, that’s not the point.
Now let’s all get angry at Israel.

Oh come on now, it is only terrorism if we say it is terrorism. The US does not support terrorists, only freedom fighters.

Here’s a red line: if Israel starts a war, we bomb the shit out of Israel. We ought to treat destabilizing influences in the Middle East the same, similar to how we kicked Saddam out of Kuwait in the first Gulf War. Initiate a war in the ME? Kablooey. The world doesn’t need the trouble.

I would go along with an attack on Iran if they started a war first. Their developing nuclear weapons does not amount to a caussus belli AFAIAC, since they can’t use them without being obliterated.

Well, as awful ideas about the Middle East go, this isn’t the absolute worst that’s even been posted on the Dope, but it sure is close. The idea that we should begin bombing friendly nations because we don’t like their politics is not only tailor made to remove any faith other nations might have in the benefits of cooperation with the United States, it’s also remarkably nonsensical and, I suspect, even more remarkably inconsistent. Have you, for instance, advised that we “bomb the shit” out of Iran every time it’s given Israel a valid casus belli by attacking it with Hamas and/or Hezbollah? Have you, for instance, advised that we “bomb the shit” out of Lebanon when their government has cooperated militarily with Hezbollah, directly contributing to attacks against Israel? Have you advised that we “bomb the shit” out of Hamas when they launch rockets from Gaza? Do you hold a single standard, or a double standard?

Your rhetoric is getting away from you some more, seeing as how Iran is a destabilizing influence in the Middle East.