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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Iran and the Bomb, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Facts

As our Nobel laureate President ascended to the podium on September 25 at the United Nations for his last international speech before the election, we again were the recipients of fine oratory and rhetorical flourish about America’s problems in the world. Focusing on the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa—what’s often misleadingly termed, “the Muslim world”—Obama singled out Iran’s treaty-entitled uranium enrichment activities, saying “make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained.”

[pullquote]Media reports are awash in misleading narratives, incomplete histories, and outright fiction about Iran and its nuclear program.[/pullquote]Obama’s remarks were dutifully transcribed by our stenographer class, as can be expected, despite intelligence-community conclusions to the contrary and the historical precedent of containment as Cold War policy. This follows the latest media scare concerning Iran’s nuclear capabilities, and the recent tiff between the U.S. and Israel over it. Like Obama’s speech (and because of similarly unchallenged statements by politicians), many media reports are awash in misleading narratives, incomplete histories, and outright fiction about Iran and its nuclear program.

Given how easily the American public and media were manipulated into believing that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, this moment should give us some pause. The disastrous effects of that $3 Trillion Dollar War are still being felt across the world. For those not interested in seeing a much-bloodier, costlier sequel, I offer this introductory course in intellectual self-defense. The only way to rebuff and dismantle propaganda is to be aware of the truth on which it claims to comment.

8 Self Defense Lessons and 1 Challenge

Lesson #1: Iran is not building nuclear weapons

National Intelligence Estimate: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” (2007 National Intelligence Estimate Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities; November 2007)

“Several senior Israeli officials who spoke in recent days to The Associated Press said Israel has come around to the U.S. view that no final decision to build a bomb has been made by Iran.” (Associated Press, “Israel shifts views on Iran”; March 18, 2012)

The 2011 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), a synthesized compilation of data evaluated by America’s 17 intelligence agencies, declared that there were no serious revisions to the controversial (for war hawks) 2007 NIE—which stated Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003. While the 2011 estimate did include updated progress on Iran’s civilian nuclear program, such as an increased number of operative centrifuges, it still could not muster any evidence to indicate the program was being weaponized.

These findings echo reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has also concluded that Iran is not building nuclear weapons. The IAEA accounts are typically pored over for the slightest hint of ambiguity or malevolence, which are then promulgated as the most important takeaways in Western news summaries.

A recent example of such deliberate obfuscation was the IAEA report on Iran from August 30, 2012. Typical American media accounts highlighted the increase in Iran’s nuclear infrastructure (underground centrifuge production, etc.), while failing to mention that their stockpile of 20%-enriched uranium—the only material capable of being enriched further to 85% or weapons grade—had actually diminished as a result of conversion to fuel plates for use in the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes. Thus nuclear development is highlighted, under the false premise that that equals progress toward a weapon, while exculpatory evidence is discarded: a case study in how news and propaganda function.

A civilian nuclear program is not easily converted into a weapons program.

  • - Before a country can begin the latter, it must break the IAEA monitoring seals on its uranium stockpile, which is also under constant camera detection.
  • - It must also kick out international inspectors, who currently have unfettered access to all of Iran’s nuclear sites.

Completing those very public steps would be the first true warning indicators that Iran was building nuclear weapons.

As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is entitled to enrich uranium to low levels for domestic power consumption and medical treatment, such as radiation therapy for cancer patients.

Lesson #2: Iran is not a threat to the US

[pullquote]Military Spending per Year

US = $1,000 Billion

Iran = $10 Billion[/pullquote]The United States military is the largest, most sophisticated machine of force and violence the world has ever seen. After factoring in foreign military aid and nuclear weapons maintenance, the U.S. spends over an estimated $1 trillion (that’s >$1,000 billion) on defense annually.

By contrast, Iran spends somewhere between $10-12 billion on defense annually, after factoring in foreign and domestic paramilitary units such as the Revolutionary Guards and Basij—Iran’s domestic volunteer militia. This is “less than the United Arab Emirates, and only between 25% to 33% of Saudi defense spending,” notes Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. It spends approximately 1/5 of the amount allocated by the six sheikdoms of the Gulf Cooperation Council—America’s staunchest regional allies (save for Israel) and the guardians of Western access to crude.

Lesson #3: Iran is not an existential threat to Israel

Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Minister: “Iran does not constitute an existential threat against Israel.” (Reuters, Report: Barak says Iran is not existential threat to Israel; September 17, 2009)

Dan Halutz, former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces and Commander of the Israeli Air Force: “Iran poses a serious threat, but not an existential one. The use of this terminology is misleading. If it is intended to encourage a strike on Iran, it’s a mistake. Force should be exerted only as a last resort.” (YNet, Former IDF Chief: Iran doesn’t pose an existential threat; February 2, 2012)

Tamir Pardo, Director of the Mossad: “Does Iran pose a threat to Israel? Absolutely. But if one said a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands was an existential threat, that would mean that we would have to close up shop and go home. That’s not the situation. The term existential threat is used too freely.” (Haaretz, Mossad Chief: Nuclear Iran not necessarily existential threat to Israel; December 29, 2011)

Israel maintains a competitive advantage in total amount spent on munitions and assets, as well as a massive edge in terms of technological sophistication. Israel spends almost twice as much as Iran on defense appropriations and is able to buy the world’s most advanced weaponry from the United States (mostly with U.S. taxpayer money, laundered through foreign aid). Iran, by contrast, is heavily dependent on the dated munitions it received under the Shah and acquires rudimentary missile technology from China and North Korea with its own money.

Even if Iran were pursuing nuclear weapons, Israel’s own stockpile—estimated at a several hundred high-yield warheads—ensures that Tehran would not engage in a first-strike. Those familiar with the Cold War doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) know that when confronted with the possibility of your own annihilation, so the theory goes, you’re incentivized to refrain from launching a first strike. Israel’s stationing of nukes on German-made Dolphin class submarines in the Mediterranean assures that even if a first strike were to be carried out on the Jewish state, the perpetrator would still be subject to a retaliatory strike.

However, much as America acts as Israel’s patron, so too Iran spends a good deal arming and supporting proxy armies in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip—Hezbollah and Hamas, respectively. While these forces present a serious challenge to Israeli military incursions into said areas, their ability to project force within Israel’s borders is limited to indiscriminate rocket fire. While dangerous and psychologically terrifying for civilians, such tactics cannot be considered more than a nuisance when comparing capacities for state violence.

Israel is not a signatory to the NPT and repeatedly refuses propositions for a Middle East Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone (MENWFZ) to be established as a means of ending the stand-off with Tehran, despite majority support from the Israeli public.

Lesson #4: Iran’s leadership is not fanatical or suicidal

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “We are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor.” (Global Public Square, Martin Dempsey on Syria, Iran and China; February 17, 2012)

Israel Defense Forces Chief of General Staff, Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz: “I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.” (CS Monitor, Israeli Army Chief says he doubts Iran will build a nuclear weapon; April 25, 2012)

[pullquote]“I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.” –Israel Defense Forces Chief of General Staff, Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz[/pullquote]Intellectual orthodoxy holds that even the most tepid criticism of Israeli and American policy vis-à-vis Iran requires a disclaimer by all “serious people” that Iran is a vicious theocratic regime which oppresses its own people. While Iran’s governmental structure is religiously based and peaceful protests have been met with repression, such traits are hardly unique. Saudi Arabia, America’s most solid regional ally, enforces religious doctrine as viciously if not more so than Iran does (such as executing many for practicing freedom of speech and religion as “witches” or “blasphemers”). And, of course, violent government responses to non-violent demonstrations aimed at political change are hardly unknown in free societies (see: Occupy Wall Street).

Moreover, there’s little correlation between the internal repression of a society and its external behavior.

Despite contentions from the likes of Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran’s leadership is capable of pulling the temple down on their heads in a show of Samsonian martyrdom, Tehran’s track record and statements indicate otherwise. The more judicious pundits at least acknowledge as much.

Lesson #5: Politicians and media stenographers have been claiming Iran is on the verge of developing nuclear weapons since the mid-1980’s

House Republican Research Committee in 1992: “98 percent certainty that Iran already had all (or virtually all) of the components required for two or three operational nuclear weapons.” (Christian Science Monitor, Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979; November 8, 2011)

Iran began its nuclear program with help from the United States during the 1950’s when it was run by Washington’s puppet-dictator Shah Reza Pahlavi, who was installed after the U.S. overthrew the democratically elected government in a 1953 CIA coup known as Operation Ajax. Following the 1979 Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini condemned all nuclear and chemical weapons as “un-Islamic,” stopping the nascent nuclear program in its tracks. Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei reiterated his predecessor’s religious edict some 20 years later.

The 1980’s saw complex American-Iranian and Israeli-Iranian relations, whereby discreet deals were made among the antagonistic powers in an effort to accomplish other foreign policy goals. Yet by the early 1990’s Iran’s growing military prowess and the near-destruction of the major Arab military presence to Israel’s east (Iraq) put Iran back on Tel Aviv’s agenda as a strategic competitor. In 1992, then-member of parliament Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset that Iran was 3 to 5 years from having a nuclear weapon—and that the threat had to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S.” Sound familiar?

American policymakers began to echo Israeli claims during the 1990’s, largely in public and without evidence to back them up. These assertions continued in a steady drumbeat of increasingly hostile rhetoric (“The Axis of Evil”) all the way until 2007, when a declassified NIE was released disputing the fact that Iran continued its weapons program in any way beyond 2003. Despite the conclusions, as mentioned in lesson #1, hawks on the left and right continue to peddle demonstrably false claims to this very day.

Lesson #6: The American and Israeli security establishments are against it

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “We’re watching very carefully about what [Iran] do[es], because it’s always been more about their actions than their words…We’re not setting red lines.” (Haaretz, Clinton rejects Netanyahu’s call for ‘red lines’ over Iran nuclear program; September 10, 2012)

Former Internal Security Chief Yuval Diskin: “…attacking Iran will encourage them to develop a bomb all the faster.” (Think Progress, Diskin says he has ‘no faith’ in current leadership, April 27, 2012)

Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan: a future Israeli Air Force strike on Iranian nuclear facilities is “the stupidest thing I have ever heard.” (Haaretz, Former Mossad chief: Israel air strike on Iran ‘stupidest thing I have ever heard’, May 7, 2011)

Although the idea of nuclear weapons in the hands of an avowedly hostile regime is as upsetting to Washington as it is to Tel Aviv, the Pentagon brass is opposed to an attack, not because they suddenly favor the regime in Tehran, but because their own strike simulations predict a great deal of injurious blowback in exchange for, at most, a brief setback in Iran’s nuclear capability.

And despite war hysteria in Israel, fanned by political rhetoric, and legitimate conventional security concerns for the Jewish state, Israeli security and military officials recognize that they don’t have anywhere near the overwhelming force required to take care of the problem. The only way to ensure that Iran doesn’t develop a nuclear weapons capability would be to install a friendly puppet regime in Tehran, a task far beyond the capability of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) or the U.S. military at this point.

In lieu of direct military conflict, the U.S. and Israel have adopted a harsh policy of economic sanctions, cyberwarfare, and covert operations—declarations of war, by American standards—in an effort to delay Iran’s nuclear progress. But the consensus among knowledgeable players is that any resort to force will have far worse repercussions than benefits.

Lesson #7: The American and Israeli people are against it

Poll: 7 out of 10 Americans choose diplomacy over military force to end Iran’s nuclear ambitions (Christian Science Monitor, To strike Iran’s nuclear facilities or not to strike? Why polls differ; March 14, 2012)

Poll: 58% of Israelis oppose a unilateral strike on Iran (Haaretz, Haaretz poll: Most of the public opposes an Israeli strike on Iran; March 8, 2012)

Poll: Only 27% of Jewish Israelis in favor of a unilateral strike on Iran (Haaretz, Poll: Most Israelis oppose attack on Iran nuclear facilities; August 16, 2012)

While public opinion is as malleable as Play-Doh, surveys show that the American and Israeli citizenries are very skeptical about war with Iran. The former, still reeling from the unpleasant effects of two costly occupations(one ongoing), are overwhelmingly opposed to another war in the Middle East. Likewise, [pullquote]Poll: 7 out of 10 Americans choose diplomacy over military force to end Iran’s nuclear ambitions[/pullquote]although a majority of Israelis view Iran’s nuclear program as more immediately dangerous than their American counterparts do, polling indicates they are opposed to a unilateral strike initiated without American support. This makes sense, given the IDF’s military inadequacy for the task at hand, and Israel’s proximity to retaliatory proxy forces in southern Lebanon and Gaza.

It is true that survey responses vary depending on how the question is asked. When confronted with the baseless assertion that Iran is building nuclear weapons, many respondents aver that military action is worth it. But when given the correct facts, both populations conclude that the downsides of military force aren’t worth the payoff. This aligns with the thoughts of most policymakers within the establishment.

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Lesson #8: An Iranian nuclear weapon will be all-but-assured if the U.S. or Israel attack

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on war deliberations within the Bush administration: “the consensus was that [a brief bombing campaign] would guarantee that which we are trying to prevent: an Iran that will spare nothing to build a nuclear weapon and that would build it in secret.” (The Hill, Don’t let Iran be a second Iraq; February 27, 2012)

With so much evidence solidly against their position, U.S. and Israeli hawks have become increasingly strident in their appeal to violence as a means of ending the Iranian “nuclear threat.” Many proponents of a strike have cited the Israeli Air Force raid on Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981 as a precedent that could be emulated. While comparisons between the two situations are tenuous at best, what’s of higher import is the fact that U.S. intelligence concluded that the 1981 attack didn’t stop Saddam’s nuclear weapons program—it accelerated it. (It was actually the consequences of Saddam’s 1991 invasion of Kuwait that brought Iraq’s bomb program to a halt.)

Lesson #9: Readers—add your own below in our comments section…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/rahasiajuri Aris Jauhari

    It will race nuclear weapon entire world. let consider about this. If I am a president and my country joint NPT as Iran did, then Iran as one NPT country get an attack without international agreement, I will seriously thinking about NPT. If NPT can not protect you, then you have no choice but nuclear weapon itself.

  • http://www.911Blogger.com/ Orangutan.

    Lesson #9: Never underestimate the potential of a false flag terrorism attack.

    Israel Lobbyist calls for one: http://youtu.be/PfoaLbbAix0

    Historical False Flags:  http://youtu.be/TB80s1OZ7o8

  • Pingback: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Iran and the Bomb, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Facts « American Samizdat

  • hass

    #10: You can’t rely on the media to tell you the truth. For example there is a lot of hype about how Iran is “blocking” IAEA inspections of a site called Parchin, and the media speculate easily about what Iran must be hiding there. What they LEAVE OUT is that Iran is under no legal obligation to allow IAEA inspections there (so can’t be “Blocking” inspections) but that Iran has already allowed inspections there anyway — twice, in fact — with nothing found, and finally Iran has said it will allow a third visit but under the perfectly reasonable condition that it be allowed to see the source of the allegations against it — but the US has prevented the IAEA from giving Iran the information that Iran is expected to refute.  http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2012/09/why-iran-resists-pressure-to-open-parchin-to-iaea-inspectors.html

  • hass

    Lesson # 9: Iran’s nuclear program is perfectly legal. Iran has done all that it is *required* to do under its existing NPT obligations, while on several occasions allowing far more inspections than legally required: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/09/iran-nuclear-power-un-threat-peace

    Lesson #10: the demands placed on Iran, including the demand that it give up enrichment, violate Iran’s legal rights under international law and rights recognized by the NPT. http://armscontrollaw.com/2012/09/13/the-iaea-applies-incorrect-standards-exceeding-its-legal-mandate-and-acting-ultra-vires-regarding-iran/

    Lesson # 11: Iran is portrayed as being “intransigent” in the face of generous US compromise offers, but in fact it is Iran that has repeatedly offered compromises on its nuclear program — offers which have been ignored or actively undermined by both the Obama and Bush administrations. These include Iran’s offers to cease enriching 20% uranium, so ship out the material in exchange for needed civilian reactor fuel, and to place additional restrictions and limitations on the nuclear program that far exceed any legal obligation on Iran. In 2003 Iran even offered a comprehensive peace deal that the US simply ignored. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/17/AR2006061700727.html

    Lesson #12: US-led efforts to place restrictions on the enrichment of uranium are opposed not just by Iran but also by other countries around the world. In fact the decisive majority of the world’s nations support Iran’s right to enrich uranium, as represented by repeated announcments by the Non-Aligned movement.Lesson #13: Iran has a valid and legitimate economic case for developing nuclear power, which is why the US encouraged Iran to go nuclear in the first place. Even though Iran is a major producer of oil and gas, it is also a major consumer of power, and needs to diversify its energy resources to meet the consumption requirements of a country that has managed to signficantly improve its people’s standard of living since the 1979 Islamic Revolution http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/IRN.html

    Lesson #14 : Iran’s nuclear program is massively popular with the people of Iran, who hold long historical resentments against other imperial powers who have historically subjected Iran to similar threats of war and sanctions in the past, going back to the early 1900s when Iran was attempting to become a modern democracy. In fact multiple polls show that the people of Iran are generally content with their regime. Even the leader of the so-called “Green Movement” is a strong supporter of the nuclear program. http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/652.php

  • jimmmmmy

    Great article, all your facts are correct . but over population and resource depletion are what is pushing  the world toward war. “Even the gods fear a hungry man” as some Roman noted as that empire declined into savagery. Most wars have been predicated on lies , the coming one will be no different.

  • BG

    First time to the site. What a welcoming experience finding this enlightening and scholarly piece. Well done. 

  • Amir80

    First you say that Iran doesn’t build a nuclear bomb and than you claim that if they had one, they would never use it.
    You forgot to mention that Iran’s president and many offcials call for the total destruction of Israel. They do it publically and with no shame.
    You also didn׳t mention that Iran is one of the biggest oil producers in the world so they don׳ really need a nuclear power.
    Israel is threatened by thousents of missiles pointing evey city on this small country.
    The Israeli officials that said the a nuclear bomb is not an existinal threat-this is what they have to say so the Israeli people will not be scared and run away under the threat of the bomb

    • Source Stickler

       ”You forgot to mention that Iran’s president and many offcials call for
      the total destruction of Israel. They do it publically and with no
      shame.”

      This is a lie. This unsourced claim has been repeatedly disproved. This oft-recycled misquote was a fear-mongering mistranslation. Never have they threatened the people of Israel.

      Unless, of course, you can provide a source.

      So, why the blood lust, Amir?

      • James Williams

         Well said. Israel actually cooperates with Iran on some fronts. I believe Israel was selling weapons to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war.

        I daresay most Muslims (and many others besides) detest the Israeli government, but that is different from wanting to wipe out the Israeli population.

    • L Stouch

      Ironically, while being a major oil producer, the iranians actually have to import refined gasoline.

      if they worried about their economy and citizenry as much as they do about building a nuke, the’d be better off.  but alas, the mullahs dream of reinvigorating their ancient persian glory days.

      I love it when ahminedjad says at the UN “we dont worry or even speak of the pariah israeli regime”.  and then thats all he talks about.  what a moron.

      • hass

         Rubbish and nonsense. First of all, the Mullahs are religiously opposed to pre-Islamic nationalism. Second, the living standards of Iranians has experienced a SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, as evidenced by Iran’s Human Development Index, and finally having diversified energy resources is part of  caring about their economy. Iran has to export oil and gas to earn an income, which is why it need nuclear power as a substitute for domestic use.

    • antoinepgrew

      You forgot to mention that Iran’s president and many offcials call for the total destruction of Israel. They do it publically and with no shame.

      Prove it.

      You also didn׳t mention that Iran is one of the biggest oil producers in the world so they don׳ really need a nuclear power.

      Iran was told decades ago their oil would run out in 2016. (Google it.) The oil field discovered in the late 90s or early 00s was not anticipated.

      Israel is threatened by thousents of missiles pointing evey city on this small country.

      Prove it.

      • http://twitter.com/lebatailleur Rebecca Church

        Also, their oil is an international commodity, worth a lot sold on the market. Providing energy from another source would allow them to sell a valuable asset rather than consume it. I would prefer they use something besides nuclear-solar would be a good investment-but it is very reasonable that they would want to preserve their oil as an export and consume something else for thier dometstic energy needs.

    • http://profiles.google.com/black.meph Walt Rorie-Baety

      You know, now that you mentioned it, the US is also a major producer of oil in the world, so we “don’ really need a nuclear power” (sic) either.

      Also, someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but…isn’t the constant humiliation of losing their fights against Israel their biggest deterrent against Arab (and non-Arab) attacks?

    • Ken Z West

      The US has an obligation to defend Israel. This does NOT give Israel the right to attack someone else and tell the US to defend it in the war the attack caused.

      • rizzojizzo

        What in the world? Why does the US have an obligation to defend Israel???

  • antoinepgrew

    While the 2011 estimate did include updated progress on Iran’s civilian nuclear program, such as an increased number of operative centrifuges, it still could not muster any evidence to indicate the program was being weaponized.

    How can you weaponize a gas? The output of gas centrifuges is uranium hexafluoride gas. That’s nuclear fuel for a nuclear power plant (turned into pellets). The raw uranium ore is enriched in the gas centrifuges to 4-5% for power plants or 20% for medical isotope machines.

    Even if Iran enriched tons of this stuff, or had it enriched it to 90% by someone who knew what they were doing, how can you build a nuclear weapon out of a gas? You need metal. Like plutonium. Actual physical stuff. Israel’s nukes are plutonium—metal—implosion-style nukes. (The process to revert uranium hexafluoride gas to a metal takes years, highly specialized equipment, and is so dangerous you can blow yourself and everyone around you in a nanosecond.)

    Why don’t journalists spend an hour on the phone with the experts at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that developed the nuclear power and weaponry processes for the US govt and military, and developed the global standards in concert with other countries for the handling of nuclear material after the Chernobyl disaster? Instead, all I read are people relying on good guesses on the topic from physicists-turned-journos (like David Can’t-Remember-His-LastName) who don’t understand the 1-2-3. It’s like listening to Bill McKibben froth on about CO2 instead of talking to the World Federation of Scientists’ roster of scientists actually working quietly on climate research without NGO or political interference.

  • Atillahn

    It is not that simple. Iran supplied the armor penetrating IEDs to use against the US in Iraq. They are in a cold war with the Saudis for Middle East control. They supply Hezbolla and Hezbolla works also in Mexico and Latin America supplying arms and training to the drug gangs. 

    Iran supplies large amounts of oil and natural gas to China and the US is putting new radars in Japan and just signed a naval agreement with New Zealand – all about boxing in China. China will back Iran for that. Israel does not have the long range air-air refueling or the open air corridors to reach Iran effectively, even if the Saudis look the other way. They also have no heavy bombers or ground penetrating munitions. Only 100% US military intervention would save the Israelis if they were crazy enough to attack Iran. It is national suicide if they do and the US does not back them. Iran really only has to isolate Israel from the world at that point and watch the Israeli economy implode. And last, if the US were to destabilize the Iran government for some democracy foolishness, do we really need it to turn into another Libya or Syria or Yemen – or Iraq for that matter. First thing that happens is the Strait of Hormouz closes and the world loses oil tanker supply from Saudis and the other Gulf States. Think there are no jobs now and Europe is a mess, just wait until gasoline is $15/gallon with no Saudi oil. This is not some simple nonesense about a movie from 1968. The world is much more complicated and much more multipolar now. How’s that for a 9th lesson? This is the real game and if you think that the US does not have a stake in it and that is does not matter to us then you are still living back in the last century watching old black and white movies.

    • Source Stickler

       Did you notice how all of the author’s claims are exhaustively sourced?

      I would take you a lot more seriously if you followed suit.

    • gogetem1

      Does Hezbollah supply arms and training to the drug gangs that are CIA-backed or to the drug gangs that the CIA is trying to muscle out?

      • Scarlettstx

        You nailed that one, gogetem1!

    • James Williams

       Uh, didn’t the US government just supply arms to the mexican drug gangs through ‘fast and furious’? I believe the Zeta gang was formed by graduates of the former ‘School of the Americas’.

      Hasn’t the US government provided training to the colombian paramilitaries and other drug-linked groups in south america? Google and you’ll find news releases of US Special Forces training these paramilitaries.

      Lastly, Israel routinely sells US technology to China. I’d be more worried about that, if I were you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ThePreambleProject Bill Wilt

      Re: “Iran supplied the armor penetrating IEDs to use against the US in Iraq.”  

           I doubt it. Most of the IED materiel used against the US was ceded to them BY the US, when the military failed to guard (not enough troops to occupy Iraq) or destroy (not enough troops, “a failure of imagination” — aka “stupidity” — or both) the c. 1,000 distributed ammo dumps Saddam Hussein scattered about in the Iraqi desert. As I recall at the time, US satellite surveillance pix showed convoys of white Toyota(?) pickups lined up at the ammo dumps, looting them of all they contained, which was no nukes, chems or germs, but plenty of high-explosive-containing artillery shells, C4, det-cord, fuses and fuzes–i.e., conventional munitions. Probably enough to keep killing GIs for the next 20 years, had we stayed).      By the way, does anyone believe/know verifiably that all US troops, US mercenaries or other US functionaries with military “portfolios” actually have left Iraq?

         And as to the “Gasoline Game,” if we shifted all the millions in oil depletion allowances to the development of “alternative, renewable energy sources,” or even “alternative social conduct,” we might not have to kill so many of our own and other people in “the Middle East.” (“Middle” of what? “East” of what? someone once asked).

      Source question from above: First time I saw “I’m a dinner jacket” was in a column by NYT’s Mo Dowd. Dunno if it was original with her, tho’.

      • http://profiles.google.com/black.meph Walt Rorie-Baety

        “Middle East” (BTW, the current PC-name is “SW Asia”) refers to it being farther east than “the Near East” of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Caucasian states (Chechnya, Armenia, Georgia, etc.), but not so far east as “the Far East” i.e. what used to be called Eastern in a Latin accent, AKA, Oriental.

        In other words, “Middle of what? The Middle of Asia. You did know that’s Asia right?
        (Do you remember your lessons from “The Princess Bride” warning never to get involved in a land war in Asia? Guess why….)

  • Dfitzge459

    The 20% uranium that the Iranians are producing is for a research reactor that the US built for the Iranians. In fact this reactor originally supplied by the US in the 1960’s with 93% uranium which is weapons grade. In the 1980″s the Iranians converted the reactor to use 20% uranium which is not weapons grade but the US blocked outside countries supplying this non-weapons grade uranium so the Iranians had to produce it themselves.

    So the only weapons grade uranium known to have ever been in Iran was supplied by the US and the remains of that uranium is still in Iran under lock and IAEA inspection. But the US officials don’t talk about it since it would show that it was the US who was built the reactor and then refused to supply it with uranium even after the Iranians modified the reactor to use non-weapons grade uranium.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/SirWinstoneChurchill Winston Blake

      If the Iranians nuke Israel, the Palestinians also die in the fallout.

      If the Israelis nuke Tehran that doesn’t bother me either.

      It is a win/win situation for me, because I don’t like any of them.

      Antagonists on both sides profit from further conflict and these fake progressive “human rights” organizers would be unemployed if the conflicts ended.

      They feed off of the misery for their paychecks.

      I’d happily bury them all in the same hole so there is truly peace at last.

  • Jonathonjobs

    The nuclear threat also serves to distract the international community from the ethnic-cleansing of the Palestines. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1278300472 Edward Rynearson

      Iran’s nuclear weapons program is a red herring > Iran’s threat is to western petro-dollar hegemony

      Iran presses ahead with dollar attack

      Last week, the Tehran Times noted that the Iranian oil bourse will start trading oil in currencies other than the dollar from March 20. This long-planned move is part of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vision of economic war with the west.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/commodities/9077600/Iran-presses-ahead-with-dollar-attack.html

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  • Bill Gradwohl

    Israel has nuclear weapons, is not an NPT signatory and has never had their arsenal “inspected” by the international community. Therefore, they have no right to complain about anyone. That should be obvious, but I’m sure some will rationalize why Israel should be treated special.

    The Russians and Chinese (R/C) back the Iranian regime. That’s obvious. If push comes to shove, won’t R/C use their military might to protect Iran? China alone has a huge vested interest in Iranian oil, as well as mining projects. Therefore, Iran has nuclear weapons by proxy.The solution is for R/C to give the Iranians a dozen or so nuclear tipped missiles and everything needed to launch them successfully, and then put up the proposal that if Israel gets rid of their nukes, the R/C nukes would be removed. The US has provided Israel with all sorts of military goodies, so in fairness, this helps even the playing field.R/C could just as well move one of their mobile missile bases on to Iranian soil to accomplish the same thing and keep their own people in control of the launch mechanism. The missiles that Kruschev put into Cuba cause Kennedy to remove US missiles near the Russian border many years ago, and the Russians removed their threat from Cuba. This has been successfully done once before.Let’s see what the Israelis would say to such a proposal under these new circumstances. Israel needs to comply with international standards if they want to use them against Iran.

    I’d like to see a nuclear weapons free Middle East, and then progress towards a nuclear weapons free world. Convert all that fisionable material to fuel civilian power plants. The world is going broke because macho men in the military want to strut their stuff. 

    • Bobbski

      Not so much macho men in the military but the pseudo macho men neocons. There is a great difference.

  • L Stouch

    What a dipstick.

    If they werent trying to build a bomb, why are all of their facilities UNDERGROUND????  And heavily guarded.

    Why do they refuse to “come clean”?

  • L Stouch

    If all they want is peaceful nuclear power, why do they not allow monitoring of all of their sites?

    They have been dragging this out for years – on and off again talks – and will continue to do so.  until they have a weapon.

    this is standard islamic doctrine.  attack when strong, and delay until that day.

    • Peace Is Conservative

       Why don’t the Israelis allow monitoring of ANY of theirs?

      • Editorsteve

        Israel did not sign the NPT. Israel foregoes aid for its nuclear program as a result.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ThePreambleProject Bill Wilt

          Re: “Israel foregoes aid for its nuclear program as a result”

               Umm, that would be true if it weren’t false. How can one tell where “foreign aid” goes? Money is fungible?

              As Mrs. Frothingham discovered when she tried to withhold taxes from Uncle Sam ‘cuz she didn’t like the way her bellicose uncle was spending it to reduce infant and maternal mortality in the Roaring Twenties, the ‘Premes held her case moot, ‘cuz it’s impossible to trace one dollar from Mrs. Froth’ all the way through to federal expenditures, whether for “earmarks” or anything else. [262 U.S. 447 (1923)]. Actual lingo is:

           ”But the relation of a taxpayer of the United States to the federal government is very different. His interest in the moneys of the treasury-partly realized from taxation and partly from other sources-is shared with millions of others, is comparatively minute and indeterminable, and the effect upon future taxation, of any payment out of the funds, so remote, fluctuating and uncertain, that no basis is afforded for an appeal to the preventive powers of a court of equity.”

              The more important reason, though, is that it would mean too much work for the ‘Premes: 
               
             ”The administration of any statute, likely to produce additional taxation to be imposed upon a vast number of taxpayers, the extent of whose several liability is indefinite and constantly changing, is essentially a matter of public and not of individual concern. If one taxpayer may champion and litigate such a cause, then every other taxpayer may do the same, not only in respect of the statute here under review, but also in respect of every other appropriation act and statute whose administration requires the outlay of public money, and whose validity may be questioned. The bare suggestion of such a result, with its attendant inconveniences, goes far to sustain the conclusion which we have reached, that a suit of this character cannot be maintained.” [emphasis supplied]
              

    • http://www.facebook.com/ThePreambleProject Bill Wilt

        Re: “If all they want is peaceful nuclear power, why do they not allow monitoring of all of their sites?” and “[T]his is standard [I]slamic doctrine — attack when strong and delay until that day.”

           This is like the question so many asked about Saddam Hussein: “Why did he keep telling people he had nukes and chems and germs when he’d long ago destroyed his US-supplied cache of said gear and goodies?”  

           The answer is that it’s the corollary of the “Islamic doctrine” above, namely, “Don’t ever appear to be weak.”

      • http://twitter.com/lebatailleur Rebecca Church

        It’s the corollary of strategic diplomacy-never appear weak. Has nothing to do with Islam, everything to do with living in the real world.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lewis-Carville/1100370929 Lewis Carville

      HYPOCRITE! Does israel allow for monitoring of their sites?! ‘Dragging on for years’, oh yeah because Israel and US were practically saints the whole time………..HMM. Israel and palestine is real and is happening now, your notions on the other hand are not!

    • RizzoJizzo

      Because agencies that are supposed to be monitoring countries like Iran turn out that they are being used by countries like the US to garner intelligence as they plot covert operations. Think about it — the CIA / Mossad / MI6 are probably the most serious threat to the stability of the Iranian nation, they have to protect themselves from the likes of these sinister organizations.

  • Mojo

     Israel must be defanged- all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons must be removed from the hands of xionist supremacists. That is THE challenge facing the US. Iran is simply a red herring, a whipping boy to allow the Israeli regime to assume full pitbull status in the region. USans should understand that pitbulls do not make trustworthy house pets. Sooner or later the canie will turn and bite the hand that feeds. Never forget the dastardly and cowardly attack on the USS Liberty. Why this depraved subservience to xion?

    • http://profiles.google.com/neotechni Techni Myoko

       Why this depraved subservience to islam?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lewis-Carville/1100370929 Lewis Carville

      Detracting from your comment here but…Pitbulls if trained correctly can be very friendly dogs.

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  • pathman25

    Shorter Bibi: “Hey, let’s you and him fight.”

  • Editorsteve

    I’ll leave the opinions to others (everyone is entitled to his own) but some of the “facts” are old assessments that have been overrun by new findings and events. Aside from the obvious, that Iran has repeatedly violated the NPT but in generally small ways and only a few big ways:

    The IAEA has been refused the right to visit some questionable facilities. Due to past NPT violations, additional inspection protocols are justified.

    Combine that with the obvious — there’s no economic justification to enrich uranium to 20% for the research reactor (much cheaper to buy in Europe; even the USA gets its plates from Spain for the most part), and Iran has produced more uranium at this enrichment level than it needs now — and the presumption is that Iran is preparing for a “bomb sprint” capacity.

    There is no question that Iran started down the road to build a bomb. They would have been crazy not to. They were at war with Iraq and Iraq had a nuclear weapons program. The assessments had generally agreed that Iran had put the program into a deep freeze. The IAEA wants to follow some disturbing new intelligence to make sure the fridge door is still closed. Iran has stonewalled. Why? The sanctions have hurt too much to refuse as a matter of honor.

    I’m in the Gulf fairly often, and Arabs there are at least as nervous about an Iranian bomb as is Israel. An Iranian bomb might touch off a regional arms race. Iran is also already fighting proxy wars on countries bordering Israel. Who does Israel bomb if a nuclear attack (bomb or not) comes from Hezbollah? 

    And just to be clear, Bibi is crazy. Israel is guilty of many things, and I deeply resent Israel intrusions into USA politics. But the ball is in Iran’s court: Allow the extra inspections if you have nothing to hide (Iran is current on older inspection protocol). I cannot imagine the world being a safer place if Iran gets the bomb (others have, but I don’t).

    • Phenry

      Clearly, if someone refuses to show you his penis, that means it MUST be tiny, right?
      What if Iran refuses to cooperate because… it’s nobody’s business what they do?

      People need to learn what logic is and try to at least pretend to adhere to it…

      • Editorsteve

        The logic is blazingly simple: You sign a treaty, you obey the treaty. I scream when USA or Israel doesn’t live up top letter and spirit of what they sign. Why does Iran get a bye? 

        • Phenry

          Say, I seem to remember hearing something somewhere about some body of government being able to nullify treaties.
          Yes, I am sure I read it somewhere…
          Sounds even more simple, doesn’t it… I think it may have to do with concepts like the Constitution, sovereignty, you know.. crazy stuff like that.

        • Phenry

          Of course, ONLY the US has the right to break treaties not in the interest of their country, right?

          I think the word you are looking for is Imperialism.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/E3IRTA3WVNUQYRICZGHV5NEVZI Brian

          Israel doesn’t sign treaties and Iran has lived up to the letter.

        • Burtonesque

           Ask the Native Americans how the US Government honors treaties!

        • peaceresource

          Iran is living up to the treaties they signed. Both the US and Israel are not.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/themattprather Matt Prather
      • Tjeffson

        Since I’m getting over the flu, I’m in no mood to deal with the morons so I’ll just sit back and enjoy the show.

        • Phenry

          I got your back, TJ! =)

    • Stephan Larose

      The sites they are not allowing access to have nothing to do with nuclear programs, but military development. In Iraq, the U.N. weapons inspectorate was literred with C.I.A. spies. Iran knows this, so they refuse to share their military secrets with an I.A.E.A. that has no business there anyway, just as would any military on the planet. It the standards you apply wouldn’t apply to the U.S. military, then they don’t apply to anyone else’s.

      A nuclear attack from Hezbollah? Wow, I shouldn’t even commented. You are clearly a functional retard.

  • Map49770

    The part about the NPT and Israel’s refusal to work toward a “nuclear free” middle east is ridiculous.  That would be suicide for the Israelis.  Israel has been attacked by overwhelming numbers of Arabs several times in their history; going nuclear free would be crazy, as it is the main deterrent against outright attack by other middle eastern countries.  There has been a decades long threat by their Arab neighbors to eliminate Israel.  Iran is probably not an existential threat at this time, but the government’s constant talk of destroying Israel over the last 30 years must be unnerving to the Israeli’s.

    • Phenry

      If you are referring to Ahmahdinnerjacket’s (sorry to whoever I swiped that from!) supposed comment about wiping Israel off the face of the Earth/map/whatever… It’s a fallacy, he never said it. He was quoting Ayatollah Khomeini and the context of the speech, and of Khomeini’s comments, make it quite clear that their suggestion of destroying Israel is a fallacy. If anything, he was suggesting regime change.

      • http://profiles.google.com/neotechni Techni Myoko

         He’s said it repeatedly. It was even in the news last week

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/E3IRTA3WVNUQYRICZGHV5NEVZI Brian

          That’s why this guide is for idiots like you :)

        • Phenry

          Yes and the news reported, ad nauseum, that he said it way back then as well. Yet, the news was wrong.

          Most news says Obama is doing a great job, as well.

          You might want to seek a better source for facts than the news, champ.

    • Stephan Larose

      Israel’s security is guaranteed by all the biggest nuclear powers in the world. It has nothing to fear. It’s threats to preemptively strike Iran with tactical nukes however, is incredibly destabilizing to the region and provides pretty much every Muslim country with incentive to develop a comparable deterrent. This is why Israel is considered by the majority of the world’s population to be the greatest threat to world peace. If it wants peace, all Israel needs to do is stop subjecting it’s captive Palestinian population to war crimes and worse than apartheid conditions. Most Muslims do not appreciate that.

  • Phenry

    Lesson #9
    “See lessons 1-8″

  • Swan, simone

    good news!

  • http://profiles.google.com/neotechni Techni Myoko

    “Given how easily the American public and media were manipulated into
    believing that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,”

    It helps the Saddam had a history of using them.

    “As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is entitled to enrich uranium to low levels”

    They exceeded those levels however.

    “Iran is not an existential threat to Israel”

    Iran themselves say otherwise.

    “Iran’s leadership is not fanatical”

    Lol, Yes he is.

    • gogetem1

      Who is “he”?  You know the real leadership of Iran are the mullahs, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lewis-Carville/1100370929 Lewis Carville

      Techni Myoko you sure love the PROPAGANDA they shove down your throat don’t they. Ignorant and blind.

    • Stephan Larose

      Saddam Hussein used the weapons the U.S. gave him. The U.S. gave Saddam Hussein diplomatic cover when they used banned chemical weapons and Saddam Hussein was put in power by the C.I.A., it was an attempt by the U.S. to avoid Iraq nationalizing their oil. You clearly have a very poor grasp of history and facts. I dare you to quote where “Iran” says it will completely destroy all of Israel. Perhaps you are referring to the intentionally mistranslated “wipe Israel off the map” quote paraded around Western newspapers. No such expression even exists in Farsi, and the comment was directed at the Israeli political leadership “the regime” who would fade from the “pages of time.” Apparently you are a sucker and an ignoramus.

  • Stoolman

    Good job America, being the world police.  And you wonder why the everyone in the world hates you.

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  • Carpenter

    Lesson #9: Ahmadinejad never talked about “wiping Israel off the map”.

    This is the only “evidence” for the claim that Iran would be a threat against Israel. It is endlessly repeated in the New York TImes, the Wall Street Journal, and anywhere Zionists run the show. It is completely false. Ahmadinejad said in his speech that Israel, like the Shah regime in Iran, would eventually “pass from the pages of time”. He was quoting a statement by Ayatollah Khamenei made some twenty years earlier.

    • Carpenter

      Correction: Ahmadinejad said that THE REGIME IN TEL AVIV, not Israel itself, would pass from the pages of time, like the Shah’s regime.

      How does this become “wipe Israel off the map” in U.S. media? Only through deliberate falsehood.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lewis-Carville/1100370929 Lewis Carville

    USA giving weapons out with one arm, and with the other holding them at gunpoint if they dare use them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1278300472 Edward Rynearson

    Iran’s threat is to western petro dollar hegemony.

    Iran presses ahead with dollar attack

    Last week, the Tehran Times noted that the Iranian oil bourse will start trading oil in currencies other than the dollar from March 20. This long-planned move is part of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vision of economic war with the west.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/commodities/9077600/Iran-presses-ahead-with-dollar-attack.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1278300472 Edward Rynearson

    Iran’s nuclear threat narrative is a red herring.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1278300472 Edward Rynearson

    Great article!

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  • planckbrandt

    Favorite
    9th lesson: Natural resource wars are always instigated by puppets,
    tools, stooges, operatives & spies playing slight of hand with facts
    on an unsuspecting distracted public! They want to trigger an accidentally on purpose confrontation. Chase Manhattan Bank and BP lost a lot of stuff when they got turfed out in 1979. Let’s just figure out who really controls the majority voting rights, equity stakes, and dividends in Chase Manhattan Bank and British Petroleum! They will be the ones behind advancing this “regime change” in the US, UK, and anywhere else the stenographers are so lined up!

  • Hruhs

    #9 – Lies do not become more true when repeated ad nauseum.

    • L Kaz

      Unless you’re a sociopath:
      “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep
      saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” A. Hitler

      • Cogito

        Joseph Goebbels said that, although that isn’t the exact wording, not Hitler.

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  • Iranisevil

    Saddam did have WMD. He had plenty of time to get them hidden in Syria where a civil war currently has people shaking in their boots because of it. It’s a naive person who thinks Iran isn’t a serious threat to world security.

    • http://twitter.com/lebatailleur Rebecca Church

      Yes and I have some gold bullion and a survival kit to sell you too. Oh, Obama is a Muslim socialist from Kenya as well.

    • RizzoJizzo

      lol…you do know that Syria is a western-backed (NATO especially, like in Libya) operation, fully functional with death squads, BS propaganda, and outright lies, right?

      Iran a serious threat to world security? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! You have 3 major players that have hundreds of nukes, US, Israel, and the UK, complete with psychotic “leaders”, many of them straight from former communist Russia, hell-bent on creating a one-world government, pushing for draconian legislation on their populations, bombing countries whenever they please, fomenting dozens of disastrous coups, ripe with government scandal after scandal, and you have the fricken bright idea to say IRAN is a threat to world security??!! You have got to be out of your mind!!

    • Stephan Larose

      Wrong and fail. The U.N. spent nearly a decade making Iraq “the most comprehensively disarmed country in modern history.” Saddam couldn’t hide ANYTHING with an international coalition of air forces and armies patrolling his country and UN inspectors. The threats to world security are the U.S. and Israel, two countries with a long list of war crimes since WWII. Iran on the other hand has attacked no one, and would be insane to seeing as their opponents have far superior militaries. You either have no critical thinking skills or just no brain period.

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  • TTCWW

    We have to decide if we are going to have a military for corporate welfare or for defense. We spend hundreds of billions building jet fighters that won’t fly and cannot take Montana in less that eight years. The Iran run up is and has been non sense from the beginning and let us not forget who announcer to the country and the world just how dangerous they were while calling them the “axis of evil”.

    Looking for wars to continue corporate welfare is complete insanity.

    Getting the truth out in a plutocracy is the real problem and the American people don’t seem to be interested or seem to care if we start another war. Half the country is supporting a presidential candidate that will have us in a conflict in weeks if not days,

  • Guest

    Ask yourself This Question….American Taxpayer”$$ How did It Benefit You…..The Viet Nam War,Korea,Kuwait? Iraq”/ Afganistan’?.. Money Wise”$$ Your Kids Paying The Piper… $$ You..And Your Taxes For STUPID (ILLEGAL WARS,Only Congress Can Declare War) Get The Picture”? The Banks,The War Industry,Dead American’s'! Yes…Be The World Policeman And Go Broke’!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002434766953 Betty Liberty

    Hmm, if not for the reasons we’re told by our politicians and the mainstream media, what possible reason could America have for bombing Iran?? The Petro-Dollar.

    Ahmedinejad has set up an ‘Oil Bourse’ which trades Iranian oil in currency other than the US Dollar.

    When you consider that Saddam Hussein had also dumped the Dollar, and was trading Iraqi oil for the Euro – and Moammar Ghadafi was about to forego the Dollar and trade Libya’s oil for the
    gold ‘Dinar.’ Seems like a common denominator to me.

    Another thing to consider. Prior to 9/11 there were seven countries which did not have a Rothschild-owned Central Bank. Now there are only three: Iran, Cuba and No. Korea.

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  • marcosanthonytoledo

    Iran has been around for 2500 years it can be trusted with nuclear weapons it not going to commit suicide the problem is the USA it has use them and threaten to use them.

    • lessthantolerant

      You are so correct Jihadists can be trusted. Arm Iran now, we need the Middle east aflame before the end of 2014.

  • old school

    We’ve been lied to so long. Weapons of mass destruction. Yellow cake. And let us not forget 30 years of the Russians are coming the Russians are coming. They will make our children puppets and steal our money.; What a load of dung. Just one more sign that America will go down in history as the most manipulated populace in the world. Figures lie and liars figure.

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  • http://hartman.org.il/ Alan Abbey

    I find an investigative report built solely on selective selections from a small group of public media sources to be limited, at best, in its ability to tell a complete story. Them that don’t know, talk, and them that do, don’t. US intelligence estimates have a spotty track record, at best. Israeli intelligence officials have almost always opposed active military action, preferring their covert efforts; it’s more of a turf war than anything. And I find the author credulous in simply repeating the public assessments of spymasters.

    • Stephan Larose

      By far the most violent state in the world is the U.S. Nobody has anything to fear from Iran. Your basis for believing that Iran, a country that has attacked nobody in over 200 years, will suddenly decide to take on militarily superior opponents is what exactly? Specious right wing commentary or “credulous” statements by politicians in the pocket of military, oil and financial lobbies? Perhaps you’ve already forgotten how pretty much the entire U.S. government and media apparatus lied to the world in order to justify an attack on Iraq, a monstrous war crime that killed hundreds of thousands, possibly upward of a million innocent people. That you would propose doing so again demonstrates the paucity of your morality and intellectual faculties.

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  • Sam G

    One of the above points stating that the public was so easily manipulated in going to war with Iraq is still true. Democrat and Republican alike align the Arab world with chaos and suicidal tendencies like the very minor group of extremists that exist there. If Iran were ever to act and nuke Israel, it would spell their doom! They would subsequently be annihilated physically and economically. Others may argue about nuclear weapons made by Iran being sold to terrorists, but that is a ridiculous argument. The former soviet union has lost dozens of nuclear weapons’ materials that could potentially build many bombs, and these materials have probably exchanged hands several times. 
    The most powerful institutions as of now, are the security corporations or those companies that fuel the military industrial complex. Without perpetual conflict, they lose a lot of profit. With conflict ever at our doorstep, we are constantly updating and upgrading our military’s gear. Bottom line, unless we the populace actually gets off our comfy computer chairs and do something about it, nothing will get done and we will be endlessly trampled underneath the feet of our governments.

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  • Max Fendt

    The reports were cherry picked by the author to fit his preconceived opinion. If Iran does nuke Israel in the future, the people on this site will believe that it was a secret NWO plot by western governments and that Iran is really innocent.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/themattprather Matt Prather

      Yes and no.

      Sure, we all quote-cherry-pick, even you do, I predict.

      Be careful how you paint “the people on this site” they are more diverse than that.

      I recommend you click on my name and read some of the content on my personal website and see if you can learn something.

      But I sure can’t make you learn what you aren’t willing to honestly examine. We are all like that, to some degree. We all quote-cherry-pick.

    • Stephan Larose

      How do you cherry pick full quotes by leading members of the global military and political establishments? The facts given above are facts, not a bunch of baseless vitriol like you’ll find on America’s zionist-friendly media. It’s appalling to think how completely wrong the U.S. media was to believe Bush about WMD in Iraq and support a massive war crime that killed hundreds of thousands of innocents, but it pales in comparison to the self-imposed blinders you’re putting on yourself, you must indulge in an incredible amount of motivated forgetting to believe the crap coming out of your mouth. Iran knows a preemptive military strike against Israel would ensure it’s total annihilation. That scenario will never happen, the only case in which Iran goes nuclear is if the West or Israel attack first – something the U.S. and Israel are both notorious for. I for one am not afraid of an Iranian nuke, I doubt there will ever be one, but if there were, it would at least restrain Israel and make it a less aggressive and abusive state. Perhaps then they’d stop using army snipers on Palestinian children and restrain themselves from the host of other despicable inhuman abuses they pour on the Palestinian community whose land they military occupy and steal more of every day.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.s.hack.9 Richard Steven Hack

    “Lesson #8: An Iranian nuclear weapon will be all-but-assured if the U.S. or Israel attack”

    Wrong.

    There are no strategic or tactical use cases for an Iranian nuclear weapon – except one: defense against Saddam Hussein having one. That is the only reason Iran ever had a nuclear weapons feasibility study prior to 2003 – and why Iran stopped it when the US overthrew Saddam.

    Iran can not build nuclear weapons without being attacked first and they cannot build them WHILE they’re being attacked. Ergo, they can not build them.

    Secondly, Iran has repeatedly acknowledged that they will never be able to compete with the only two real threats to their country – Israel and the US – in term nuclear terms. Add to that the fact that the Supreme Leader has clearly and unequivocally banned weapons of mass destruction as a religious duty, and that Iran held to that during the Iran-Iraq war, and there is little reason to believe they would change that stance even if attacked.

    If attacked, I would expect them to withdraw from the NPT. However, I don’t believe they would then attempt to build nuclear weapons.

    The case of North Korea is not relevant. The reason the US has not attacked NK is not because it allegedly has nukes, but because it has a million man army with enough artillery to destroy Seoul in 72 hours, and according to Pentagon war games kill 50,000 US troops in the first ninety days of a hot war.

    Alleged “pundits” who think Iran would build a nuke if attacked are simply projecting their own inclinations on a society they don’t understand, and without any strategic logical thought to back it up.

  • whoopsOhMy

    Once your enemy fears you, your enemy respects you and then you’ve removed yourself from harms way, for a while. Your enemy must always know by resolute quickness, commitment and ferocity that what they attempt to impose will not be realized. And for humanity’s sake swiftness is essential as lives lost along contemplation impasse are needless loss of lives.

    Unfortunately with war, the horrific nature of it needs to be imposed on your enemy prior to their opportunity to think of doing the same. Yes, the law of the jungle lives everywhere, third world or otherwise

  • Bob

    If Iran is not attempting to build a nuclear bomb why are they refusing the IEAE permission to examine the Iranian facility at Parchin?

    North Korean went nuclear and the West missed it.

    Take a chance and remove the sanctions if you want but if Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, and they succeed, they will be a threat to world peace.

    .

    • gunnar

      the biggest threat to World Peace is the ever warring USA

    • http://www.facebook.com/bernhard.voelkelt Bernhard Voelkelt

      Read lesson # 3 Paragraph 5 to find out why they will not be a threat to world peace.

    • John Cook

      No, they would not be a threat to world peace, but they might be able to discourage aggression against them, which is Israels purpose behind trying to egg the USA on to attack them.

    • Phenry

      The only threat to world peace is an Imperialistic foreign policy backed by $1 trillion dollars a year in “defense” spending…
      Ring any bells?

    • lessthantolerant

      Ms. Albright knew this was happening and did nothing for her and the lefts support of communism.
      Help the left arm Iran, we need the Middle East aflame by 2014.

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  • Deryl Clement

    Thank you for the most concise and realistic presentation of the supposed threat of Iran having a nuclear weapons program since I saw Ray McGovern on Linktv. We should not be afraid just because some fool tells us we should afraid.

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    I do not understand why the world allows Israel to continue its abuse of the Palestine people. Although the topic is Iran, all people of the area are affected by the tolerance of Israeli Military Power.

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  • lessthantolerant

    I hope Iran develops their bomb before the end of 2014. Let us all hope they are able to get the Middle East in flames and they drive Israel to unleash their nukes.
    A world moving toward WWIIi will be a great opportunity.

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  • Chuck (Smithfix) Smith

    For your consideration:

  • ORAXX

    What would Iran do with a nuclear weapon if they had one? The old doctrine of MAD is as valid as it ever was. Not even the Mullahs are crazy enough to set one off, if they know their country will be vaporized thirty minutes later.

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