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Time To Fight The Real War

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Time to Fight the Real War by Robert Tracinski

Four and a half years after September 11—which was supposed to awaken us to the threat of devastating attacks by state-sponsored terrorists—America is finally beginning to confront the world's largest and most dangerous state sponsor of terrorism: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

For the past week, newspapers and magazines have been filled with discussion of possible military action against Iran. The debate, so far, is between those who merely want to "threaten" the use of force, and those who argue that the Iranian threat is illusory. No one is yet willing to face the fact that Iran is already at war with the United States—and that Iran is the central enemy we have to defeat if we are going to win the War on Terrorism.

In all of the obfuscation generated by the backward-looking debate over what happened to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, it has been easy for some to claim that the Iranian threat is being blown out of proportion by the Bush administration. But grasping the case against Iran doesn't depend on secret dossiers and obscure intelligence reports. All it requires is that you open up your newspaper and read the pronouncements of Iran's own leaders.

In early April, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hosted a pep rally at which dancers in traditional Persian garb held aloft vials of refined uranium, while Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had succeeding in enriching uranium, the first step toward producing a nuclear bomb. Iran "has joined the club of nuclear countries," he boasted. An Iranian official followed up by announcing that Iran would immediately take the next step, expanding uranium enrichment to an industrial scale, allowing Iran to start building its nuclear arsenal as early as the end of this year.

Why does Iran want to enrich uranium? Ahmadinejad isn't interested so much in joining a nuclear club as he is in wielding a nuclear club. He has openly boasted that Iran wants to "wipe Israel off the map." Is Ahmadinejad just a wild-eyed "radical," out of touch with the rest of the Iranian regime? A few years ago, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani—a man considered "moderate" by the standards of the Iranian regime—boasted that "a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel." In case you don't think they're serious, Iran's religious establishment recently released a fatwa sanctioning the use of nuclear weapons.

But the biggest threat posed by an Iranian nuclear weapon is not in Israel, but in Iraq—where Iran is already fighting a proxy war against America and its allies...

Read the full article at: http://tiadaily.com/php-bin/news/showArticle.php?id=1084

TIA Daily is available for free to all full-time students; write to [email protected]

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While a war with Iran may or may not be a good idea (it probably is), I would question Robert Tracinski's authority when it comes to assessing which states pose a threat to America. His hyperbole in the article you posted seems reminiscent of his hyperbole here where, in retrospect, he turned out to be wrong. It's interesting how the people who were mistaken about Iraq seem to be trying to pretend the rest of us never noticed, as they now produce rhetoric almost identical to that which they produced several years ago.

On a sidenote, Im curious as to where Mr Tracinski (and the others advocating war) expects America to realistically find the money which would be required to finance action in Iran, given that the Iraq 'mishap' has left the economy in tatters, with a defecit which is now out of control. If a war in Iran costs even half as much as the Iraq war, I think bankruptcy could be a serious possibiility.

Edited by Hal
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On a sidenote, Im curious as to where Mr Tracinski (and the others advocating war) expects America to realistically find the money which would be required to finance action in Iran, given that the Iraq 'mishap' has left the economy in tatters, with a defecit which is now out of control. If a war in Iran costs even half as much as the Iraq war, I think bankruptcy could be a serious possibiility.

The US budget deficit has a great deal more to do with welfare spending (look up the infamous prescription drug plan), than with the increase in military spending.

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The US budget deficit has a freat deal more to do with welfare spending (look up the infamous prescription drug plan), than with the increase in military spending.

Yeah I agree - the Iraq occupation hasnt been the only example of the current adminstration spending well beyond its means. But its unclear how a second war could be financed in the current situation, regardless of how we got here. I'd question the claim that the prescription drug plan has cost a great deal more though the estimated costs over 10 years are 724 billion. The Iraq war has cost about 270 billion already, and who knows what the eventual cost will be?

Edited by Hal
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Robert Tracinski is not asking you to take his word as authority. I believe Iran is a serious threat, and you seem to as well.

It is unclear how the US government will pay for anything it does -- in the end, though, the finance will be carried by the American taxpayer. So what? The benefits of destroying this enemy seem to outweigh the likely costs. Iran isn't going to wait for America to be able to afford a war.

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A war against Iran would not be especially expensive. A war hamstrung by touchy-feely politicians followed by nation-building would be expensive.

If we had spent just one month in Iraq, not worrying overmuch about collateral damage, and then left, it would have been a very cheap propostion.

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Yeah I agree - the Iraq occupation hasnt been the only example of the current adminstration spending well beyond its means. But its unclear how a second war could be financed in the current situation, regardless of how we got here. I'd question the claim that the prescription drug plan has cost a great deal more though the estimated costs over 10 years are 724 billion. The Iraq war has cost about 270 billion already, and who knows what the eventual cost will be?

How much do Social Security, Welfare, Medicare, Medicade, and all the other various Federal welfare programs cost us, you think? I'll give you a clue: If we fought in Iraq for over 10 more years, it would cost us roughly the same amount as welfare programs do in ONE YEAR.

Social Security : $ 513 billion

Medicare : $ 291 billion

Medicade : $ 190 billion

Other: $ 314 billion

TOTAL for 2005: $ 1.308 trillion

Even if you took out Social Security, because we are technically suppose to get that money back, it is still around 800 billion dollars a year spent on welfare. The material cost of Iraq is insigificant compared to that.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2005/05msr.pdf

Edited by Praxus
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Hal, so you fully admit that your in the same club as the leftists who claim that Iraq must not have had any WMD just because they haven't been found?

Hint there are still two places where we haven't looked for them, Syria and Iran.

Think before you type, bro.

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^^Not to mention that Iraq did in fact still have the capacity and intent to restart their weapons programs once the inspections were eased.

While a war with Iran may or may not be a good idea (it probably is), I would question Robert Tracinski's authority when it comes to assessing which states pose a threat to America. His hyperbole in the article you posted seems reminiscent of his hyperbole here where, in retrospect, he turned out to be wrong. It's interesting how the people who were mistaken about Iraq seem to be trying to pretend the rest of us never noticed, as they now produce rhetoric almost identical to that which they produced several years ago.

Wow! So I guess you believe Iran's claim that the enriched uranium is just for power plants, despite the fact that Iran has loads of oil and thus no need for nuclear power, and despite Iran's explicit and aggressive rhetoric against the US and Isreal? Regardless of what one thinks about Iraq, Iran is far more clearcut.

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Whether or not WMD are ever found in Iraq is irrelevant. The point is that there was good reason to believe that they would be found, and that this fact, in context of 9/11 was sufficient reason to bring down that regime.

There were a number of other reasons why Sadams regime was fair game. Almost all of this is now obscured by the leftist dogma-turned-prevailing-wisdom that "Bush lef us into Iraq based on lies!".

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Oh yeah but remember 9/11 happened years ago now and is irrelevent and we're supposed to pretend that it never happened or that we were the cause of it and the peace loving freedom fighters in Iraq are just reacting logically to our immoral war for oil.

Oh yeah Bush lied.

And I saw the Easter Bunny earlier.... he handed me a colored egg and said all this somehow represents Christ's Resurrection... to which I responded "Baaaa, where's the kool-aid at?"

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^^ lol

Whether or not WMD are ever found in Iraq is irrelevant. The point is that there was good reason to believe that they would be found, and that this fact, in context of 9/11 was sufficient reason to bring down that regime.

There were a number of other reasons why Sadams regime was fair game. Almost all of this is now obscured by the leftist dogma-turned-prevailing-wisdom that "Bush lef us into Iraq based on lies!".

Well, actually it seems that there wasn't good evidence that there were WMD, or any clear connection between Saddam and 9/11. I still don't think Bush lied, and I don't think we have any need to apologize for deposing a viscious dictator, but the case for invading Iraq in order to protect the US is very shaky.

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Bush may or may not have, personally, lied. He may very well be completely alienated. That the original stated reasons and evidence for the war were a fabrication has been demonstrated to my satisfaction. I'm not saying Saddam did *not* have WMD, I'm saying there was no real evidence that he did. If he did have them and managed to send them out of the country *unobserved*, that speaks volumes about the competence of the military and intelligence services. They do have all those satellites for a reason. Maybe footage of this "exportation" exists and is not made public because "then we'd have to declare war on Iran". Plausible, but this is wild speculation. When your leaders are irrational, it's hard to understand their actions.

That said, there may have been valid reasons to invade Iraq. The regime certainly posed a long term risk and, as a non rights respecting regime, was certainly "fair game" so to speak. The idea that the "liberated" iraqi people will embrace freedom is an illusion though - they have voted in religious fanatics just as their palestinian brethren. The current excercise in "nation building" is misguided to the core.

What is needed is objective foreign policy, something clear and simple and makes sense: if you have WMD or are trying to get them and we have reson to believe you may use them for aggression, we will come in and remove that capability. No excuses, no pandering. A clear standard of evidence to make the decision and the application of overwhelming force if it comes to that.

Specifically for Iran: 1. they are enriching uranium, they have no need for it as an energy source thus the goal is a weapon. 2. they have openly stated that their object is to destroy Israel and they refer to America as "the great satan". The objective evidence is there, they are a threat.

Perhaps a stern foreign policy would be enough of a deterrent to cause them pause (though "this time we mean it" may not be enough, really). If not, it's time to flatten their nuclear facilities. Even if they put civilians in them.

mrocktor

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Yeah it is correct that it's pointless to debate whether of not there was WMD there because even if there wasn't Saddam was *still* an evil dictator in an Arab country-- those facts alone are perfectly valid reasons for an invasion at any time we felt it was in our self-interest.

The point is essentially *everyone* of consquence knew that there was WMD there and there was sufficient evidence at the time. And there still is actually, we haven't found Bin Laden either, does that mean that he doesn't exist?

The thing about military sattelites being able to monitor all of Iraq's border's is nonsense too. Contary to what they show in the movie's they can't monitor hardly anything that they don't know about beforehand unless they get very very lucky. And obviously they didn't. Don't forget that Saddam had like two years to unload all his crap while we messed around trying to get "permission" for a war from an immoral illegal world government, and tried to create an idiotic "coalition of the willing" that sounds more like a cheap whorehouse than anything to be afraid of militarily. I'm sure Saddam was like, "Oh, no, the "the coalition of the willing" might attack me one day". I think even Canada would laugh at that.

Anyways, I'm on a tangent here, the point is that these weapon's MUST have existed but even if they didn't it is fully within our rights to attack *ANY* nation at *ANY* time with or without provacation, IF we feel doing so is in our self-interest AND said nation's government is a violator of rights.

That said all these prolonged wars we're having are stupid and wastefull-- September 12, 2001 a joyous and jubilant nation would have awoken to breaking news that the entire Middle East had been turned into a smoldering glowing radioactive wasteland over night, if I had been President. And hey we'd have the perfect place to store our spent radioactive waste right now and we would own most of the world's oil reserves right now. :worry:

Edited by EC
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That said all these prolonged wars we're having are stupid and wastefull-- September 12, 2001 a joyous and jubilant nation would have awoken to breaking news that the entire Middle East had been turned into a smoldering glowing radioactive wasteland over night, if I had been President. And hey we'd have the perfect place to store our spent radioactive waste right now and we would own most of the world's oil reserves right now. :worry:

Iraq and Afghanistan did indeed turn into a 'smoldering glowing radioactive wasteland' over the months. Estimates range up to an amount of uranium used in 250.000 nagasaki bombs. Throwing atom bombs is not the only way to radiate a country for the next few million years. Meanwhile the uranium dust is distributed through the whole the Northern Hemisphere.

Talking of "we", you won't (and wouldn't) see nothing from the oil of that region. Control of the oil in that region is more important than to actually produce the oil. Examine how Iran and Iraq switched from the so-called Petrodollar to the Euro. That's a much bigger threat to the US economy than all that fancy "terrorism".

Before you suggest to nuke half of the world I suggest to do some research. The only place where I miss some objectivity in this forum is when it comes to US foreign policy...

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"People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true." --Terry Goodkind, Wizard's First Rule

The choice in Foreign Policy is an easy one. Do we take Iran's government at its word that they want to kill us, or do we evade that fact out of fear and believe what we want so desperately to be true?

The great curse of the 20th century was the inability of decent people to realize that what was unthinkable to them was both thinkable and doable by others -- like Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. Are we to wait until Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and we wake up some morning to find a couple of American cities obliterated?-- Thomas Sowell

The same can be said for Iran. Only it will be Tel-Aviv, Haifa, and Be'er Sheeva first. Then after the Israelis are gone we'll be next on the list. I don't know about you, but if a man threatens to kill me and others like him have shown they are willing to die to make it happen I take it seriously.

As for your last comment Clawg: I fail to see what, if any, effects switching from the dollar to the Euro would have. Yes, I've read conspiracy theory nutjobs twisting themselves into gordian knots trying to come up with something reasonable. I don't buy it.

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Iraq and Afghanistan did indeed turn into a 'smoldering glowing radioactive wasteland' over the months. Estimates range up to an amount of uranium used in 250.000 nagasaki bombs.
Are you talking about the depleted uranium rounds used in military weapons?

If so, the key word is depleted, meaning they don't have significant radioactive content -- they are used because they are heavy and small at the same time (massive-they have great mass) so they tear through stuff.

If not, what the heck are you talking about?

Edited by FeatherFall
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It's obvious that he doesn't know what he's talking about and gets his ideas of what US foriegn policy should consist of from the BBC or al-Jazeera or his classmates at his leftist indoctrination program (whoop--I mean University).

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When supporting these wars, it's not only important to keep in mind what should be done, but also what will be done.

For instance, if we go to war against Iran, we'll probably pussy-foot around any aggressive manuveur, apologize for all the things we should be doing, and generally not run the war well. Afterwards, we'll try to nation build with some bs democracy in a population of ethnic groups and religious fanaticism (generally speaking).

Yes, we should go to war if it's done properly, but since it won't be done properly, i say we wait around and hope that nothing bad happens before everyone reads and understands Ayn Rand. Tracinski puts too much trust in our government.

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At first, depleted uranium is mainly a compound of Uranium 235, 238 and 239. The highly radioactive Uranium 235 is reduced to less than 0,5% (according to the Pentagon about 0,2% is used for weaponry).

Although, due to its mixture, depleted uranium does only have 60% radioactivity of natural uranium one has to remember that natural uranium is found as traces in the ground and not as dust or in form of chunks as it is the case with depleted uranium when used as weaponry.

In addition, due to its origin (industrial waste), the depleted uranium of today's munitions contain traces of plutonium, neptunium, and the highly radioactive uranium isotope U-236.

When used in combat shells vaporize they become Uranium Oxide which is much harder for the body to excrete. In addition depleted uranium in form of small particles are radiologically more relevant as its short range alpha radiation is no longer shielded.

In total about 300+ tons in 1991, 500+ tons in Afghanistan and 2000+ tons in 2003 were used. The main problem of this is that it is impossible to clean. A large part of it won't go away for the next few million years. Studies already show a sharp increase of birth defects and health problems in all the regions were DU munition was used.

After the bombing campaigns in 2003 radiation detectors in Britain recorded a fourfold increase in uranium levels in the atmosphere. Do you believe the officials that this was a coincidence (:D)? We are living on one planet, what happens in Iraq does affect us (well, Europe for now, the US later), too.

The reason why DU is used (besides its combat characteristics) is that we simply have a lot of it as a waste product of nuclear energy. In total about 1mio tons world wide are waiting to be used for weaponry as it has nearly no other use.

For all people here who cry out for war I strongly suggest reading again the chapter "The Wreckage of the Consensus" in CTUI.

@Regis:

Well, oil is traded in dollars. To get dollars countries have to trade with the US.

What is your explanation that oil-exporting America-haters like Venezuela, Iraq and Iran all have either switched (Iraq 2000, Iran 2006) to or want to switch to Euro (Venezuela)?

And no, I do not think that this was the reason for the war. I just stated that the monetary aspect of the oil trading is a major factor in the US economy compared to the non-existant threat of terrorism from these countries or 'WMDs' for that matter.

And no, I'm no 'leftist' just because I am against the war with Iran/Iraq. I embraced objectivism because of its foundation of non-initiation of force and the use of force only as a retaliation. My opinion is that if you agree with the wars in Iran you consequently have to imprison all people in the US with a gun, too. They could shoot you.

About your comment

"I don't know about you, but if a man threatens to kill me and others like him have shown they are willing to die to make it happen I take it seriously."

I agree with you. But this is/was not the case, where did Iran/the leaders of Iran threaten you? And what is your definition of "others like him"? If you are white and 9 of 10 blacks in your village were convicted of murder (bad example, but I hope you see my point) would you imprison the 10th, too?

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And no, I'm no 'leftist' just because I am against the war with Iran/Iraq. I embraced objectivism because of its foundation of non-initiation of force and the use of force only as a retaliation. My opinion is that if you agree with the wars in Iran you consequently have to imprison all people in the US with a gun, too. They could shoot you.

Remember the hostages taken on the US embassy in Iran? The bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut? The hostages taken in Lebanon? The bombing of the Khobar towers? Plus assorted murderers of American civilians?

This was all done by Iran, or by groups backed by Iran. It's high time America retaliated.

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Not only that but the leaders' in Iran have *repeatedly* called for the death and destruction of American's, Israeli's, the United States, and Israel. I'm not going to waste my time finding and quoting sources because they are easily assesiable to anyone with a t.v., newspaper, or the internet. Unless one evades these threats as "just threats" also evading the fact that *making threats* IS an initiation of force. The mushroom cloud over Jerusulem or New York is simply the completion of that force.

If a madman was sitting outside your house screaming that he wants to kill you and God told him to it and will reward him for it, all the while constructing the bomb to do it, would you think it is wrong to call the SWAT team in to take him out or would this somehow be an immoral initiation of force to you?

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What is needed is objective foreign policy, something clear and simple and makes sense: if you have WMD or are trying to get them and we have reson to believe you may use them for aggression, we will come in and remove that capability. No excuses, no pandering. A clear standard of evidence to make the decision and the application of overwhelming force if it comes to that.

Specifically for Iran: 1. they are enriching uranium, they have no need for it as an energy source thus the goal is a weapon. 2. they have openly stated that their object is to destroy Israel and they refer to America as "the great satan". The objective evidence is there, they are a threat.

Objective evidence. By "no need," do you mean that they serve no benefit from nuclear tech, or that they can subsist without it? And you are distinguishing American calls for the destruction of Iran as non-aggression (necessary in order to exclude America from being the target of a similar policy?)

It is fully within our rights to attack *ANY* nation at *ANY* time with or without provacation, IF we feel doing so is in our self-interest AND said nation's government is a violator of rights.
Are you saying this is Americans' right, or a right that applies to the people of *any* nation (to attack *any*one if they feel it's in their best interest and the attacked nation violates *any*body's rights?

A joyous and jubilant nation would have awoken to breaking news that the entire Middle East had been turned into a smoldering glowing radioactive wasteland over night, if I had been President. And hey we'd have the perfect place to store our spent radioactive waste right now and we would own most of the world's oil reserves right now. ;)
Thank god for small favors.

*Making threats* IS an initiation of force.
To whatever extent that is true, what is the proper response to someone who makes a threat? Monitoring? Neutralizing thier capacity to threaten? Destroying them?
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