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Iran wants the bomb so it can use it!

Daniel Hannan, writer of the article, starts off with a very apt point, and one which I think many of us will agree with, for why we don't like the Iraq War:

One of the many tragic consequences of the Iraq war is that it has made it harder to act against Iran. The geographical and alphabetical proximity of the two countries tempts us into false comparisons. Look at the mess the neo-cons made in Iraq, we think. We surely can't let those clots try the same failed strategy against Iran. Nor do you hear this argument only from tousled students.

He then points towards the fundamentals of Iran's policy:

It's the Buenos Aires bomb that I find most interesting. What possible strategic interest can the mullahs have had in Argentina? The answer, surely, is that the very remoteness of the target made it attractive: Teheran was flaunting its ability to strike wherever it wanted. That is what makes an Iranian bomb so frightening: we are not dealing, as we were in the Cold War, with a regime pursuing rational aims. The ayatollahs play by different rules.

He points out various other ways we have supported Iran, and how, well, we shouldn't support them, and we should oppose their steps to get the Bomb. I'm linking to it, because I think it's interesting, in amongst all the bloggers from America we have on here, that a Columnist in Britain actually agrees with the general Objectivist consensus for once.

By any definition, the use of force against uniformed British Servicemen on patrol in the territory of an allied state is an act of war, but still the mullahs escaped any consequences.

Compare this with what the Australians did in a similar position and you can see how ridiculous this policy of pacifying Iran is. They are not allies, they cannot be dealt with rationally. They need to be destabilised, and shown that we won't stand for this bullshit any longer.

-Rory

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"Look at the mess the neo-cons made in Iraq,"

...what mess? Radicals bombing radicals? It's not a democracy yet? A Mddle East culture that has no respect for individual rights? Big surprise.

Iraq is shining example to the islamic world what we can do to your country if you piss us off. If Iran turned into a big Iraq, I'd be happy enough

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"Look at the mess the neo-cons made in Iraq,"

...what mess? Radicals bombing radicals? It's not a democracy yet? A Mddle East culture that has no respect for individual rights? Big surprise.

Iraq is shining example to the islamic world what we can do to your country if you piss us off. If Iran turned into a big Iraq, I'd be happy enough

We don't have enough troops to invade Iran. Our only feasible mode of attack against Iran is air and missile attack. Perhaps with nuclear weapons.

Bob Kolker

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"Look at the mess the neo-cons made in Iraq,"

...what mess? Radicals bombing radicals? It's not a democracy yet? A Mddle East culture that has no respect for individual rights? Big surprise.

Iraq is shining example to the islamic world what we can do to your country if you piss us off. If Iran turned into a big Iraq, I'd be happy enough

An example of what exactly? "We will let thousands of our troops die so you can have some indoor plumping and the same moderate sense of security you had under a dictator." I think Iraq is a shining example to the Middle east about how we treat our enemies, Iran wouldn't have a problem with it, I don't think. We can give them 6-7 years to kill Americans like they always wanted and marched in the streets for.

What we can do to your country if you piss us off? Not much apprantetly.

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...what mess? Radicals bombing radicals? It's not a democracy yet? A Mddle East culture that has no respect for individual rights? Big surprise.

Iraq is shining example to the islamic world what we can do to your country if you piss us off. If Iran turned into a big Iraq, I'd be happy enough

I think you make a very valid point - that Operation 'Iraqi Freedom' or whatever it's called now, destabilised the country, which is good in a way, since it shows what happens when these religious whacks are left in charge of everything, and how they really have no plan for peace in the country, just the destruction of everyone they don't like. The problem, however, is that our troops are still there now.

Oh, and the false premises that have destroyed our credibility and the effective message of, "This is what happens!"

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I think you make a very valid point - that Operation 'Iraqi Freedom' or whatever it's called now, destabilised the country, which is good in a way, since it shows what happens when these religious whacks are left in charge of everything, and how they really have no plan for peace in the country, just the destruction of everyone they don't like. The problem, however, is that our troops are still there now.

Oh, and the false premises that have destroyed our credibility and the effective message of, "This is what happens!"

More decisive action would certainly be nice.

I don't worry much about American troops being killed (mind you I am not American) because soldiers should know that is one of the risks of the job. You might be sent into a nation you don't care about for a job you disagree with and potentially be killed, but that is the job. If you don't like that you shouldn't have joined up.

The amount of money spent on Iraq is more troubling I think.

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The amount of money being spent is, also, a huge issue, but I disagree on your point of a soldier's death. Whilst it is an expected risk of warfare that you can die, those deaths should not be needless. What is the current aim of the war at the moment? To bring stability to Iraq? Our men and women are fighting for a selfless cause (selfless, in the fact that we don't exactly benefit from a stable Iraq).

If they don't like the risk of dying, they shouldn't have joined up. But soldier or not, one has a right to express an opinion on whether the cause for which one is potentially willing to die for is a rational one.

Note: I'm not talking about the rationality of the soldier, but the rationality of the people directing the soldiers to war in Iraq.

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But soldier or not, one has a right to express an opinion on whether the cause for which one is potentially willing to die for is a rational one.

I'm not sure how it works today, but I think also that I'd add, Tenure, that a soldier should have a right or rather the choice of whether or not to fight in a war if they do not see it as being a just war.

Edited by intellectualammo

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Well, I think he already can, but it results in a court-martial or expulsion from the army.

Or you can always be asked to be transferred to Coast Guard...

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I don't worry much about American troops being killed (mind you I am not American)

My comment in brackets here kind of bugged me. I should have said I don't worry too much about troops in Iraq being killed. The mission is not exclusively American of course, and I'm not indifferent to American soldiers.

I completely disagree that soldiers should have a choice whether to go on a mission or not. Thats what mercenaries are for, and they are unreliable. If you can't rely on your troops then you are toast. A libertarian-anarchist style army is completely useless. ;)

I'm not sure that I even agree that a soldier should be able to express an opinion on a mission. A bunch of soldiers going around telling everyone how much they disagree with the command? Stirring up dissent? Leave that for the libertarian anarchists. A soldier is to do the job. If their position is one in which they are required to express an opinion, then that is fine.

I still don't get why people are banging their heads against the wall with Iraq. There have been what, 3000-4000 casualties caused by combat? In a nation of 30+ million people who apparently are out to kill every westerner they can? And the nation has been occupied for 3 or 4 years now with only 100-200 thousand troops? Pretty amazing if you ask me. An enemy of the West, the baathist government, has effectively been taken out, Iraq is now flypaper for terrorists who mainly blow up rival islamic radicals, and the west has a military position in the middle east. While the situation is not perfect, I really don't see the problem.

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Most of the soldiers' deaths were unneccesary. Iraq has demonstrated that

1) The US is not willing to wage total war even after an attack on its own soil.

2) If a country attacks the US, the US will kindly give it billions of dollars in aid to build up its infrastructure and allow it to hold elections, at the expense of US (and US allies') soldiers' lives.

3) If a country attacks the US, it's free to elect an equally evil, or even more evil regime.

4) The US will not attack the main enemy, Iran.

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More decisive action would certainly be nice.

I don't worry much about American troops being killed (mind you I am not American) because soldiers should know that is one of the risks of the job. You might be sent into a nation you don't care about for a job you disagree with and potentially be killed, but that is the job. If you don't like that you shouldn't have joined up.

The amount of money spent on Iraq is more troubling I think.

Crush the enemy under the weight of our dead bodies! Bloody brilliant tatic there Sun Tzu!

My comment in brackets here kind of bugged me. I should have said I don't worry too much about troops in Iraq being killed. The mission is not exclusively American of course, and I'm not indifferent to American soldiers.

I completely disagree that soldiers should have a choice whether to go on a mission or not. Thats what mercenaries are for, and they are unreliable. If you can't rely on your troops then you are toast. A libertarian-anarchist style army is completely useless. ;)

I'm not sure that I even agree that a soldier should be able to express an opinion on a mission. A bunch of soldiers going around telling everyone how much they disagree with the command? Stirring up dissent? Leave that for the libertarian anarchists. A soldier is to do the job. If their position is one in which they are required to express an opinion, then that is fine.

I still don't get why people are banging their heads against the wall with Iraq. There have been what, 3000-4000 casualties caused by combat? In a nation of 30+ million people who apparently are out to kill every westerner they can? And the nation has been occupied for 3 or 4 years now with only 100-200 thousand troops? Pretty amazing if you ask me. An enemy of the West, the baathist government, has effectively been taken out, Iraq is now flypaper for terrorists who mainly blow up rival islamic radicals, and the west has a military position in the middle east. While the situation is not perfect, I really don't see the problem.

Again, I love your view that soilders are dead bodies to be thrown around by the big-wigs in the nations capitol. Soilders have always had dissenting views in times of war. It's been for the better for some countries in that regard because those soilders actually lead the fight for something better in their homelands.

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If Iran directly attacks our country, then we should bomb them. What we do know is that they fund and support radical, violent islamic terrorist groups that are killing our troops in Iraq, and that they beleive in the complete destruction of Israel, which is one of our allies. Anyone who threatens one of our allies, is our enemy. I think we should send in a special ops team to take out some upper level officials, and any terrorit cell that exists in Iran, istead of an invasion or carpet bombing. I think our government acts like they are scared to admit that people are our enemies, due to the fact that politicians are mainly worried about what the public thinks about them, and not standing by their conviction and beleifs. We need to declare Iran a threat and admit they are our enemy.

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That is what makes an Iranian bomb so frightening: we are not dealing, as we were in the Cold War, with a regime pursuing rational aims. The ayatollahs play by different rules.

Wha wha wha?! I wasn't aware that the Soviets were pursuing rational aims.

The issue of Iran is possibly the only one I've failed to agree with mainstream Objectivists on. The Soviets had 27,000 nukes, which is 27,000 more than Iran currently has. If an Islamic state possessing nuclear weapons is enough to justify war, why are we not invading Pakistan? Iran has never attacked Americans on US soil; the '79 hostage crisis, '83 Beirut barracks bombing, and their current activities via-a-vis Iraq, wouldn't have happened if we weren't over there in the first place.

What am I missing? I am eager to hear your feedback on this.

Edited by My Name Is Vladimir

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That is what makes an Iranian bomb so frightening: we are not dealing, as we were in the Cold War, with a regime pursuing rational aims. The ayatollahs play by different rules.

Wha wha wha?! I wasn't aware that the Soviets were pursuing rational aims.

The issue of Iran is possibly the only one I've failed to agree with mainstream Objectivists on. The Soviets had 27,000 nukes, which is 27,000 more than Iran currently has. If an Islamic state possessing nuclear weapons is enough to justify war, why are we not invading Pakistan? Iran has never attacked Americans on US soil; the '79 hostage crisis, '83 Beirut barracks bombing, and their current activities via-a-vis Iraq, wouldn't have happened if we weren't over there in the first place.

What am I missing? I am eager to hear your feedback on this.

I think the point behind the Soviet comment was given thier Atheism the Soviets were not likely to accaept total nuclear annilhilation. The radical muslims, according to this article, would stomach it as a way to kill dhimmi and unbelievers while at the same time making it into heaven.

As for the rest of the post the ARI position is Iran was basically bhind 9/11 and therefore did attack the US and they hate us not because of our meddling but for "hating the good because it is good" and such.

Edited by GWDS

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Iran has never attacked Americans on US soil; the '79 hostage crisis, '83 Beirut barracks bombing, and their current activities via-a-vis Iraq, wouldn't have happened if we weren't over there in the first place.

Those specific actions would not have happened, but the implication of your statement is that Iran wouldn't be violently hostile to the West (and to the US in particular) had the US not been "over there in the first place."

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That is what makes an Iranian bomb so frightening: we are not dealing, as we were in the Cold War, with a regime pursuing rational aims. The ayatollahs play by different rules.

Wha wha wha?! I wasn't aware that the Soviets were pursuing rational aims.

The issue of Iran is possibly the only one I've failed to agree with mainstream Objectivists on. The Soviets had 27,000 nukes, which is 27,000 more than Iran currently has. If an Islamic state possessing nuclear weapons is enough to justify war, why are we not invading Pakistan? Iran has never attacked Americans on US soil; the '79 hostage crisis, '83 Beirut barracks bombing, and their current activities via-a-vis Iraq, wouldn't have happened if we weren't over there in the first place.

What am I missing? I am eager to hear your feedback on this.

I agree that the original poster made a mistake by calling Communist Russia's aim "rational". Aside from that, what are you missing? The whole freaking picture! First, an assumption of yours: Is it necessary that an attack has to happen on US soil? The holding of hostages in '79 was more than enough to wage full scale annihilation on Iran. Forget all of the subsequent attacks. That was enough. Where is it written that is "OK" to attack our troops (and kill them) as long as it is on soil not of the US? Are you then saying that any American life (military or civilian) is fair game outside of the US? So why then aren't theirs? To hold to your premise, it is kill and be killed, no rules. Or, are there bonds that restrain us, while they are free to attack?

Because we are there? Check your history. Everything they have now to wage war on us they got from us: from technology, to money they took from us, and it has been our disgraceful legacy that we didn't slap their face off at the first offense; re: the Suez Canal.

In a way the Cold War was more rational. The communists thought they could achieve a more prosperous, technologically advanced society that would beat us in the long run. The Islamists (like our modern environmentalists and American Fundamentalist counterparts) have no such allusions. They hate, fundamentally, to the core, what makes us distinct. They don't hate the worst of what we are (which is a result of the legacy we hold in common with them) they hate the best of what we are.

You don't get the issue with Iran? Nothing since Hitler has been so blatantly obvious. Just what do you think they mean (in their own government - when they are voting on their nuclear resolutions) by "Death to America"? It isn't esoteric. It is not otherworldly, It is a threat, a gun, a chain, a noose, pointed at your own neck. And you still don't get it?

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I wasn't aware that the Soviets were pursuing rational aims.
The most important difference is that the Soviets had deluded themselves into thinking that they were pursuing the same end that we are pursuing, namely life, whereas the mullahs are explicitly pursuing death. With the Soviets, there is a limit on how far they will pursue their irrational methods with the ostensive purpose of reaching a rational end, but there's no limit on the actions of those pursing a Higher Goal.

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These are my responses to your comments. Please feel free to reply to any of them.

GWDS and DavidOdden,

-I accept the position that the Soviets were comparatively more rational than contemporary Islamic states, point conceded.

-There is clearly no material link between Iran and 9/11, so ARI must be referring to a moral contribution. Where is the evidence that this Shi'a state has ever been a moral influence on bin Laden, leader of the Sunni al Qaeda? When has he ever referenced Iran in such a way in his writings?

LaszloWalrus and Thoyd Loki,

-We shouldn't have built embassies and military bases in that region in the first place, so I do not believe we should escalate into military action when our own bad policies allow the kidnappings and murders to happen. It is particularly absurd to attack a nation for something that happened 30 years ago.

-If "Death to America" is enough to wage war against a nation, why didn't we attack Russia after Khrushchev said "We will bury you"? This is sound-bite politics at its best. War is extremely serious business, deserving equally serious and studied justification.

Edited by My Name Is Vladimir

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-There is clearly no material link between Iran and 9/11, so ARI must be referring to a moral contribution. Where is the evidence that this Shi'a state has ever been a moral influence on bin Laden, leader of the Sunni al Qaeda? When has he ever referenced Iran in such a way in his writings?

I think I can help you answer this.

I do not think that you should look for a direct casual link between the modern Iranian regime and the September attacks. Instead, I would look for what both al Qaeda and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran have in common, that is a militant form of Islamic ideology. It is this underlying ideology that fuels unconditional, murderous hatred for the United States, for the United Kingdom, for Israel and for any other country that embodies the Western way of life. Analogous to Nazism and Shintoism during World War II, radical Islam must be neutralized.

The Iranian government is a beacon for militant Islamic ideology. The political, financial, spiritual and moral support Iran gives to militant Shiite groups such as Hezbollah as well as towards anti-Israeli groups such as Hamas is not disputed in mainstream media. Although they embrace a Shiite form of theocracy while groups like al Qaeda promote a Sunni variety, they still nevertheless draw inspiration by viewing Iran as a possibility for installing a totalitarian Islamic regime. A defeat of the Islamic Republic of Iran would be a defeat for Islamic Totalitarianism and would therefore be a serious moral blow to al Qaeda leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Abu Ayyub al-Masri.

We shouldn't have built embassies and military bases in that region in the first place, so I do not believe we should escalate into military action when our own bad policies allow the kidnappings and murders to happen. It is particularly absurd to attack a nation for something that happened 30 years ago.

The United States has had a number of misdeeds in foreign policy, some of which are arguably inexcusable. However, do you believe that this unconditionally justifies attacks on United States civilians and military personnel so long as they are overseas? If the United States should not be transporting additional soldiers to Iraq, but does so anyway, this should not absolve those who kidnap and murder U.S. troops of their crimes.

Edited by DarkWaters

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You don't get the issue with Iran? Nothing since Hitler has been so blatantly obvious. Just what do you think they mean (in their own government - when they are voting on their nuclear resolutions) by "Death to America"? It isn't esoteric. It is not otherworldly, It is a threat, a gun, a chain, a noose, pointed at your own neck. And you still don't get it?

You're entirely right. One difference, however, is the sheer power of the enemy nation. Nazi Germany had a powerful military, which was extraordinarily difficult to defeat, and there was a real question at to whether we could defeat them even with all out war. Iran is puny in comparison to us, easily vanquished by a small fraction of our military might. I think that many people don't worry so much about Iran for that reason.

However, Iran has murdered our troops, a couple hundred in the 1980s via the Hezbollah, and they've been engaged in a sneaky -- and not so sneaky -- war against us for a long time. It's time we demolished them and let them and anyone else out there know that we don't tolerate the murder of Americans by any regime anywhere. We could put an end to this Islamic threat very quickly if we had the will, and then get on with our lives. We finished WWII in, what? 4 years. That was infinitely more difficult.

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DarkWaters,

There is no reason to believe that destroying Iran would discourage al Qaeda. They included Shi'ites along with heretics, America, and Israel as the four "enemies of Islam." Osama bin Laden even hated the Sunni government in Saudi Arabia, because he perceived it as too pro-Western.

In other words, I don't understand why Objectivists seem to view Islam as a single monolithic whole. There are over a billion adherents, and even among the militant ones they have disparate motivations. Arbitrarily bombing one country espousing one sect of Islam would actually be seen positively for those who want to fill the resulting political vacuum with a Sunni government.

After all, did taking down Saddam discourage anyone? Iran must have loved it. He was a Sunni Muslim who oppressed the 60% Shi'a majority and Kurdish minority for years. When his government was taken down, the Shi'ites enthusiastically took part in the new elections while the Sunni minority boycotted them. One side is happy, the other isn't. The same thing will happen if we attack Iran.

Thoyd Loki,

The fact that Iran would be easy to take down is not my concern. My main contention is that they only attack us when we pointlessly put ourselves in harm's way. There is no reason why we needed a military base in Lebanon or an embassy in Teheran. When a bad policy leads to you getting attacked, you don't let that domino into bigger and deadlier conflict, you change the policy.

I want to also point out that you suggested we could "put an end to this Islamic threat very quickly." Please read my above response to DarkWaters for my opinion on this. There is no single "Islamic threat" to which we can end.

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DarkWaters,

There is no reason to believe that destroying Iran would discourage al Qaeda. They included Shi'ites along with heretics, America, and Israel as the four "enemies of Islam." Osama bin Laden even hated the Sunni government in Saudi Arabia, because he perceived it as too pro-Western.

It would discourage al Qaeda because they would be able to see the force with which we retaliate against those who wrong us. We respond viciously and without mercy. You can't hide behind citizens, in caves or anywhere else. We'll destroy all Islamofascists, Sunni or Shi'ite

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DarkWaters,

There is no reason to believe that destroying Iran would discourage al Qaeda. They included Shi'ites along with heretics, America, and Israel as the four "enemies of Islam." Osama bin Laden even hated the Sunni government in Saudi Arabia, because he perceived it as too pro-Western.

In other words, I don't understand why Objectivists seem to view Islam as a single monolithic whole. There are over a billion adherents, and even among the militant ones they have disparate motivations. Arbitrarily bombing one country espousing one sect of Islam would actually be seen positively for those who want to fill the resulting political vacuum with a Sunni government.

Iran is our enemy, and they are driven by Islamic Fundamentalism. All of the terrorist states we are fighting today are motivated by Islamic fundamentalism. This is why we see the Islamic threat as "monolithic". The fact that there are various sects who fight each other is secondary, at best. They're out to kill us, so we need to stop them.

We would not bomb Iran "arbitrarily", that's the height of absurdity. They are our mortal enemy, they deserve to be vanquished. I note that you trivialize them murdering over 200 U.S. troops in the 1980s, because it happened on foreign soil, as if we deserved it because we were in their vicinity. Not in their country, mind you, but closer to their country. Your criterion is proximity to the enemy nation. The closer you are, the more that nation has the right to murder your citizens. No. The proper criterion is justice. It is not just, nor moral to murder people anywhere. Murder should be opposed on principle, and when the murderer is another state, then that state should be destroyed. You do this to right a wrong and end a threat so that people can live free of coercion in a civilized world. The movie 300 serves as a good model of how to deal with your enemies.

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Why did we not attack communist Russia? Well we certainly should have the moment they got the bomb. It would have been a lot better strategy than sending them food, money and other such aid. A policy that began not long after the Bolshevik revolution.

Likewise, sending aid and "nation-building" gets us nowhere. Attacking the wrong country altogether gets us nowhere. No aid, bomb these murderous apes to their fairy-tale heaven and be done with it.

The point of bombing Iran into oblivion goes beyond the actual physical attacks and the documented funding and sponsorship of terrorist organizations around the world, although that is way more than enough right there. It goes to the heart of what they are, they are the epicenter the heart of the whole radical Islamist movement. They fund it, they preach it, they enforce it, in exactly the same way the communists did across Europe, Asia and Africa. They are engaged in a war with us in every sense that could be - except they keep their actual soldiers away from ours (or at least have them change clothes before they hop over the border to blow up our soldiers). They have made no secret of what they would do with a bomb.

I do not accept your "we shouldn't have our embassies over there in the first place" argument. This is just plain "blame America for every problem" non-thinking. Embassies are, conventionally, a civilized function of civilized countries. They are not military bases.

Just to boot out a country from one's embassy is a sign of hostility, but no reason for war itself. What the hell do you think holding them as blindfolded hostages in front of the whole world for over a year means?

I really have to agree with one of the other posters. Your position ignores so much evidence at every single point I would have to assume you either know next to nothing about a multitude of subjects, or you are being purposefully blind.

Really, Is it your position that the '79 hostage taking was our fault? Is it really your position that such an action is not an act of war?

Is it actually your position that because a country pays other people to kill our civilians and soldiers, but doesn't actually use their own soldiers that we have no right to fight back? That is what you are saying. I'd love to apply this across the board!

And one last point to ruffle your feathers. It would not have been the '79 hostage event that would have had my guns in there. I would have been bombing there in the '50's when they nationalized OUR oil.

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