War with Iran and sneaky Senate Bills

Does North Korea have nuclear weapons despite sanctions? Yes? Is North Korea under a variety of US sanctions? Yes? Do American politicians get points for discussing bombing of NK? No?

Did Saddam’s Iraq have nuclear weapons despite sanctions? No? Was Iraq under a variety of US sanctions? Yes? Did American politicians get points for military action against Iraq (I can think of 3 Presidents that did)? Yes?

Does Iran have nuclear weapons despite sanctions? No? Is Iran under a variety of of Us sanctions? Yes? Do American politicians get points for discussing bombing Iran? Yes?

So the only variable associated with openly threatening a nation with military action seems to be the nukes.

And sanctions causing unrest that Iran is incapable of brutally oppressing is a joke. The Syrian opposition can’t get decent weapons with two nations sympathetic to their cause bordering it. None of the nations bordering Iran are sympathetic to Iranian opposition.

Lastly, whether sanctions on Iraq actually worked to prevent them from restoring their WMD program is irrelevant. It didn’t stop the war. I’m all for clear statements that we have no intention of engaging in military action against Iran to prevent the suspicions, selective intelligence, and arrogance of politicians leading to the kind of drive to war I saw in 2002.

Nope, sorry. Still not scared. Maybe you need to use the money phrase: “mushroom clouds!”

I’m attempting to rationally discuss the issue with you. I don’t give a crap whether you’re scared or not. Do you have a rational response to any of these issues, or just the sarcasm?

You can have my sarcasm when you pry it from my cold dead hands. After the mushroom clouds, presumably.

Look, Pakistan has been a nuclear nation for years, and has been sponsoring terrorists for years. And yet, we still don’t see those terrorists setting off nukes. The prospect of Iran getting nukes just doesn’t especially worry me. I am quite confident that the reason they want them is to deter us from invading them.

I think all the panicked talk about the prospect of Iranian nukes only enables the warmongers.

Of course, that standard narrative rather deliberately ignores the fact that absent nukes and support of terrorism, the US would have no need or desire, at all, to invade Iran. Claiming that Iran’s provocations require Iran to defend itself from the consequences of its provocations is, shall we say, not exactly compelling as an argument for most folks who aren’t already a partisans.

Can you, for instance, point to how many times in the modern era America has invaded Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Qatar… Are we talking hundreds, or just dozens, Spoke?

As for fallaciously acting as if Pakistan and Iran are fungible, that’s a trick that I doubt will work with many people who aren’t already your fellow travelers.

You set aside the rather obvious fact that North Korea is under a self-imposed embargo in which it wants almost no contact with the rest of the world. I’d say your calculation doesn’t add up.

I am willing to say that I don’t know if sanctions will work with Iran. You, however, seem to have complete confidence that they will not, and the only evidence you offer to support your case is facile comparisons to other countries.

Nobody is suggesting that sanctions are going to cause the fall of the Iranian regime, so you can stop that straw man right there in his tracks. But the current leaders of Iran certainly know that the poor economy in the late 1970s was one of the key reasons that non-fundamentalist Iranians threw in their lot with the religious whackadoodles: they were tired of being ruled by an iron-fisted tyrant that was making their lives worse. Your uninformed assertion that the Iranian government can simply oppress its way to domestic support belies another fact that a prior Iranian regime fell because people got sick of it was making the people miserable because of religious, political, and economic reasons.

If Iranians see little benefit to being a country with nuclear weapons but no jobs, then the leaders might have to listen to them. I don’t know if Iranians will think that, but it is worth a shot.

So, let’s back up to the rather obvious questions: are you okay with Iran having a nuclear weapon? Are you okay with other countries in the region developing nuclear weapons in response to Iran? Do you oppose sanctions on Iran?

So does that mean that the possibility doesn’t exist and doesn’t need to be evaluated at all, or that it just shouldn’t be discussed for fear it emboldends the wrong people? (Ugh. Remember how often that word was being tossed around a decade ago?) I think that unfortunately, the more countries develop this technology, more likely the terrorist thing becomes- however unlikely it remains.

I just don’t think we need to go to war to stop Iran from getting nukes. The costs outweigh the benefits.

And I don’t see how Rand Paul’s amendment to the bill is particularly objectionable… unless the bill really is going to be used to justify war down the road. All the amendment does is clarify that war is not authorized.

… when nobody at all could have possibly thought it was.
One wonders then what the actual point of the addition was since it was addressing an imaginary dynamic of the actual bill. Couldn’t be political pandering, of course. And, ya know, AIPAC! Iraq! The Shah! Scary!

I trust I’ve covered the full range of counter arguments to the facts.

I’ve said a couple of times that I agree with this.

It’s objectionable in that it’s arrant nonsense and that it derailed the actual bill, which supported (deserved) sanctions on Iran and Syria.

If nobody thinks the bill authorizes war, then how could an amendment simply confirming that fact possibly derail the bill?

I think you’re exactly right. What happened during Vietnam, when lots of people/Congress kept suing to end the war, was the courts kept finding inferences of Congress’s intent that they (must have) wanted the war to continue. So, the amendment is not so much that this sanction could be used to start a war, but that it could be construed later as justification to continue one. It’s easy to start a war, it’s hard to end one.

The War Powers Resolution actually addresses what Paul is trying to accomplish (but you should still do it anyways b/c the effectiveness of the WPR itself is questionable):

I don’t see a big deal with including the clause. I can’t imagine why it would actually derail a bill to sanction a country for trying to acquire nukes when we have said war is also an option (at some unknown point) to stop them from getting nukes.

“Have you stopped beating your wife?”

I hope that Senators usually refuse to vote for bills that have this kind of crap tacked onto them.

We overthrew their previous elected government to install the Shah, and backed Saddam’s war against them. We’ve helped kill far, far more Iranians than they’ve killed Americans.

Since when have either of those been requirements to make America invade a country? Did a lack of nukes keep us from invading Panama? And Saddam had no nukes and went out of his way to avoid terrorism against America; did that save Iraq? We’ve been their enemies for longer than the present government of Iran has existed; their nuclear program is just the latest excuse.

As always, one has to wonder at the partisan content of some arguments…
Would people. for example, be lionizing a senator who added an amendment to a welfare bill that said “Any of the money thus disbursed shall not considered to be involved in a legal transaction should its recipient buy crack-cocaine with said funds.”
Maybe an addendum to healthcare reform which stated “This bill is not intended to enable lazy slacking parasites to sit around all day and mooch off the federal government by pretending to be sick.”

Those would be fine and rational, right?

If no one thinks the bill authorizes Obama to begin the NWO takeover of the US, then how could an amendment simply confirming that the FEMA concentration camps won’t be activated possibly derail the bill?

How? By not supplying Saddam with weapons? By not being the reason Saddam invaded Iran?

The only real support the US gave Iraq came at the very tail end of an eight year long war when the Iraqis were provided with satellite imagery of Iranian positions on the Fao peninsula and advice for attacking them. This whole meme of the US backing Saddam during the Gulf War is almost entirely made up of whole cloth and lives on through brute repetition.

They do trade with China, S. Korea, India and other countries, as well as their illegal activities. It sustains the regime.

Iran will still be able to trade with relatively large economies throughout the world, including China, Russia, India, Turkey, and pretty much any country that isn’t in the EU, isn’t the USA or Canada, or Israel. I don’t think sanctions will work.

Nobody includes me, what’s the word unrest mean to you? I made the comparison to Syria to demonstrate how ineffectual unrest can be as a motivator to authoritarian regimes even under very favorable circumstances.

I’d be more convinced if those problems in the 70s were due to outside sanctions. If they’re due to the regime’s incompetence then the Arab Spring has taught me I should not be surprised.

Iranians are very proud of their nuclear program and technological advances. In other words, the sanctions attack the people’s pride and their income. I don’t give the sanctions good odds under those circumstances.

Am I okay with Iran having a nuclear weapon?
Not really, but I do not see Iranian nukes as a legitimate threat to the USA so can live with it.

Am I okay with other nations developing nuclear weapons?
Not really, but I am not convinced that this scenario is a definite consequence of Iran developing one.

Do I oppose sanctions against Iran?
Yes, I almost always oppose sanctions because, as I learned in the 90s with Iraq, it just punishes normal everyday people like myself and does little to nothing to the assholes causing problems for normal everyday people like myself.

Odd, seeing as how it’s been in the news for years now.

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](Amir Taheri Says Iran Has Started a Mideast Nuclear Arms Race - WSJ)

Right. Iran and North Korea’s potential development of nuclear weapons are both consequences of Pakistan’s development of the same weapons, so it’s very hard to look at this situation and say it’s unlikely this would lead to any further proliferation.

Oh yeah, those are perfect analogies, fellas. Very tight. :rolleyes: (Sarcasm. Cold dead hands.)

Thing is, the bill actually under consideration “Declares US policy to be to prevent Iran from acquiring or developing nuclear weapons, continuing its support for international terrorism, and engaging in other activities designed to destabilize its neighbors in the region.” Cite.

Now I’m pretty sure I can count on Obama not to look at that language and say “Cool! Blank check for a bombing mission!”

I am not at all confident that I can count on a hypothetical Republican administration to exercise similar restraint.

Therefore, I see no problem with Rand Paul’s proposed clarification on that point.