Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Pre-emptive War: e.g. Should we nuke Tehran?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

We don't have to make the bomb - we have thousands of them stockpiled, and I mean thousands.

Also, I know people who live in Manhattan, and I don't want them dead. I know people who live in Israel, and I don't want them dead. Screw people who are putting up with the regime in Iran - they deserve to die and can't complain when self-defensive American bombs begin to rain down. And if they're freedom-fighters, trying to topple the Iranina regime, then they certainly wouldn't blame us for defending ourselves against their corrupt government (and culture).

Brandon

I agree. It's us or them. We need to use the most effective weapon, while balancing the impact of possible reprisals from other nations. That is a difficult challenge, because, unlike WWII, we are no longer the soul possessor of nuclear weapons.

Just as a note, I got denounced over in OL by Barbara Branden herself for touting the "frantic ARI view". There are many "sensitive" Objectivists who seem to support the current Bush party line, which makes me quite ill just to think that they would favor letting more American soldiers die so that this religious cult's "innocent civilians" can live.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 903
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Are you asking for an exhaustive list, or a general characterization? I assume you know what "threat" means; then threatening the US is making a threat against the US (in part or in whole). For exampl

I'm aware of most of those imaginary claims you consider "knowledge of the situation". I just happen to know they're not real, so I don't consider them when passing judgement on Iran.

If this was true it would be an easy matter to overthrow oppressive states. This won't work because you have reversed cause and effect. Philosophy is what drives history. It is the funda

Don't take my definition of threat and defensive action, use those words literally, plus everything else that you know about morality and rights.
Why?

Now explain the proposed situation -- something about terrorists plotting in Germany -- and what the moral course of action would be, as far as you can tell. Make your argument explicit, and I will be happy to tell you where your argument goes astray, if it does.
I'll put the argument as
  1. A "good" nation (e.g. the US) has the right to (and necessity of) defensive actions against threats
  2. It is the responsibility of a nation X to neither threaten other good nations nor allow (by inefficacy or intent) good nations to be threatened by parties within X
  3. If X has not succeeded in this responsibility, a good nation has the right to act (qua defense) against the threat of or within X

As far as I can tell, the moral course of action is, for a good nation, to defend itself against threats.

The situation, as presented by Vladimir, wasn't specific, nor IMO did it need to be. That said, if you're asking for something a little more detailed, I might use

Terrorists collect key nuke components (personnel, raw material, technology, etc) within Germany. World authorities (German and otherwise) realize this when the terrorists take an airport hostage and kidnap (among others) the German Chancellor and his daughter in the process. The terrorists demand passage, escourted by German fighters, to Iran. Germany, after horribly bungling one rescue attempt, believes it better to attempt to take out the terrorists in Iran (conveniently after they get their Chancellor and other hostages back.) The US strongly disagrees with this strategy, and believes its most effective defensive act is to neutralize the terrorists before they leave the ground.

Or I could just go find the plot for Metal Gear Solid 4 and post it here :P

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll put the argument as
  1. A "good" nation (e.g. the US) has the right to (and necessity of) defensive actions against threats
  2. It is the responsibility of a nation X to neither threaten other good nations nor allow (by inefficacy or intent) good nations to be threatened by parties within X
  3. If X has not succeeded in this responsibility, a good nation has the right to act (qua defense) against the threat of or within X

As far as I can tell, the moral course of action is, for a good nation, to defend itself against threats.

These three points are generally correct. The one fuzzy area pertains the existing world-anarchy that we live in, where there is no government that protects everyone's rights. For example, if you discover that a guy in the apartment across the street from you is planning to break into your place, you do not have the right to blow up his apartment building as a form of self defense. Rather, you must call upon the police who will then take appropriate action. So the initial failure of the government to prevent this threat against you does not absolve you of the obligation to inform the police and let them be the users of force. Similarly, if it is discovered that someone in Berlin is talking about blowing up a building in New York, that does not make it morally right to shout "Woo-hoo! A-bomb city, here we come!" and toast a few million Germans. The right response, when you have knowledge that a person is planning to violate someone's rights, is to inform the cogent authorities, so for Berlin that would be Berliner Polizei or the Deutchebundegeheimealgemeinesstadtssicherheirtsuntersuchungsabteilung (or something like that), and it is not right, even for the US government, to nuke Berlin because some person in Berlin talked about attacking the US and the German authorities did not prevent this talk in advance.

So that's the answer as far as the non-specific version is concerned, and if you're considering only a vague, no-context version of "plotting in Berlin", this is an example of how the monopoly on the use of force applies. The Germans have a monopoly on the use of force in Germany, the English have a monopoly on the use of force in England, and so on. I can't address your particular hypothetical about the German Chancellor and "his daughter" (since she has no children), and it's based on what I believe to be an entirely unreal assumption, that the Germans would rather let the terrorists escape that risk any lives. I am not sure such a putative quandry could arise (if, indeed, I understand at all what you're trying to say).

The reason why you shouldn't try to deduce a consequence of my position is that you don't understand my position, so the deduction would be wrong. Rather that chase a flock of wild geese, I thought it would be best to get you to put forth the best argument that you can that the US should nuke Berlin if there is any talk of terrorism.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The right response, when you have knowledge that a person is planning to violate someone's rights, is to inform the cogent authorities, so for Berlin that would be Berliner Polizei.

The Germans have a monopoly on the use of force in Germany, the English have a monopoly on the use of force in England, and so on.

If we're only talking about Germans' rights being violated, I'd agree that putting the ball in the hands of Berlin is the right response, and that we have an obligation (if not to inform them, then at least) not to physically impose ourselves.

If Americans' rights are being violated by groups within Germany, but we ascertain that Germany can and will take care of the threat properly, then that's well and fine, too.

On the other hand, given the world-anarchy and the fact that the Polizei do not have the obligation to (or just will not?) protect Americans at the expense of Germans, I don't think it correct to imply that the Germans must be appealed to and depended upon regarding the violation of our rights by intra-German groups.

She has no children, and it's based on what I believe to be an entirely unreal assumption, that the Germans would rather let the terrorists escape than risk any lives.
No wonder the writers for 24 didn't give me a callback :o:D

The reason why you shouldn't try to deduce a consequence of my position is that you don't understand my position.
Is your position that the US ought not use defensive force within a foreign nation that has unsuccessfully contained a threat to the US?
Link to post
Share on other sites
... I don't think it correct to imply that the Germans must be appealed to and depended upon regarding the violation of our rights by intra-German groups.
Is this just "as an example" or are you saying that Germany in particular will not act if the US points to terrorists there who are preparing to attack the US?
Link to post
Share on other sites
If Americans' rights are being violated by groups within Germany, but we ascertain that Germany can and will take care of the threat properly, then that's well and fine, too.

On the other hand, given the world-anarchy and the fact that the Polizei do not have the obligation to (or just will not?) protect Americans at the expense of Germans, I don't think it correct to imply that the Germans must be appealed to and depended upon regarding the violation of our rights by intra-German groups.

Well, the German government does have the obligation, and does shoulder that obligation to protect anyone from acts of rights-violation carried out in their territory. That is the fact that informs you that indeed they can be appealed to and depended on to protect anybody's rights, citizen or not. Let me point out that your "at the expense of Germans" snippet is irrelevant, because rational governments do not count up the potential deaths and decide "Hmm, 10 Americans, 8 Germans; okay, better save the 8 Germans and screw the 10 Americans". Even the French get this. If we're talking about Pakistan or Lebanon, all bets are off. Somebody else should report on what's the deal with Greece these days.
Is your position that the US ought not use defensive force within a foreign nation that has unsuccessfully contained a threat to the US?
The US should not employ unilateral defensive force within a free nation which has a rights-protecting government, if that government is capable of fulfilling its function and does act to fulfill its function, except if our failure to use force will result in an avoidable violation of rights. This covers the cases of offering assistance when the foreign government is overwhelmed, it distinguishes proper government from fascist regimes like Iran, it distinguishes accidents and one-off failures from systematically negligent or evil policies, and distinguishes emergencies from non-emergencies.
Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't follow, could you please restate the question?
If you tell/show other nations that you will only attack them for doing X, your argument is that other nations won't do X.

If Y (untold/unshown at present) is also an attackable offense, telling/showing them that X will cause ruin does nothing to deter doing Y.

The US should not employ unilateral defensive force within a free nation which has a rights-protecting government, if that government is capable of fulfilling its function and does act to fulfill its function, except if our failure to use force will result in an avoidable violation of rights.
Hmm. That's not too bad.

In terms of the reasons to nuke Tehran, such a message isn't particularly likely to enthuse allies in the WoT that aren't free/rights-protecting. To the extent that nuking Tehran (alone or accompanied by your above statement) makes such a message, this is IMO a reason not to nuke, particularly in the context that we do want even nonfree nations (e.g. China) as allies against terrorists. I'm not sure you'd want to give such a message to China and then, with the same message on the table, urge them to involve themselves in defusing North Korea.

[The quoted message]distinguishes emergencies from non-emergencies.
I'm not sure about that. Not only is the distinguishing factor apparently subjective ("avoidable"?), it seems contradictory to whatever previous policy led to invading Iraq.

That is, Iraq wasn't an emergency, and the US may not be trusted to stick to the quoted message.

Or Iraq "was" an emergency, and our capacity to distinguish emergencies from non-emergencies won't be trusted by our allies.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If you tell/show other nations that you will only attack them for doing X, your argument is that other nations won't do X.

If Y (untold/unshown at present) is also an attackable offense, telling/showing them that X will cause ruin does nothing to deter doing Y.

This is not a good argument. One cannot conclude what you concluded without considering the relationship between X and Y. Concretize X and Y with exammples that are related and examples that are not, and you'll see why.

Say Sadaam killed all males in a village for throwing a rock at his car (X). Let's say the throwing of the rock is "X". Now, consider three possible concrtizations of "Y".

  • Hearing about this, a person in the next village throws a heavy stick at the car (Y1).
  • A guy in the third village does not throw anything, but makes an obscene gesture at Sadaam as he passes (Y2)
  • Another guy paints a huge "Long Live Sadaam" sign on his hut (Y3)

Link to post
Share on other sites
In terms of the reasons to nuke Tehran, such a message isn't particularly likely to enthuse allies in the WoT that aren't free/rights-protecting.
I assume you mean my proposed policy statement about nuking Germany. You're right, but we should dis-enthuse them for other reasons. I don't know what the current US policy is regarding the various Turkic Crapistans, i.e. are they seen as somehow being on our side, but we all know that the US government has been overly willing to lend support to the unsupportable. Of course, that should end.
To the extent that nuking Tehran (alone or accompanied by your above statement) makes such a message, this is IMO a reason not to nuke, particularly in the context that we do want even nonfree nations (e.g. China) as allies against terrorists.
I don't see that. First, I don't see what value China is as a strategic ally. It might be tempting to suck up to them on the grounds that it might facilitate movement into northern Pakistan when that place finally melts down; on the other hand, I would not be totally shocked if India, which has a really long border with Pakistan, says "Yikes, this is happening right next to us, and these crazies are gonna be over our border real soon if we don't do something". The question is, which "message" do we want to send. Do we want to tell the world "As long as you're not the worst rights violator and don't get to overtly aggressive against us, we'll tolerate most anything", or, "We will neither tolerate any aggression against us or out allies, be it overt or covert, nor will we tolerate dictatorships"? I vote for message two, and that means that we will need to demonstrate our resolve.
Not only is the distinguishing factor apparently subjective ("avoidable"?), it seems contradictory to whatever previous policy led to invading Iraq.
No, it's not subjective in the least. Avoidable means avoidable; I don't mean "as long as we declare that something is/is not avoidable". That's a reference to facts, not statements. Now as for the Iraq thing, you may recall that I have not been a fan of the war in Iraq. The best objective justification for the war is that Saddam was a horrid dictator who deserves the death he is scheduled to receive. And of course, I'm sure that you understand that the principle under discussion is only about how to deal with civilized countries like Germany, and not dictatorships like Saddam's Iraq. It is right for the government of Germany to exist, hence dealings with them are on a totally different level than those involving a government that has no right to exist.
Link to post
Share on other sites
It does not rule out influence "in theory"; but we see none. Experience shows that -- at least in western countries -- such influence has almost exclusively been applied to have one type of weapon system be chosen over a competitor's, and not to start or provoke the use of those weapon systems.

Do you believe that someone like Vice President Cheney (or any other prominent politician with a significant vested interest in the military-industrial sector) has almost no conflict of interest when it comes to making decisions about going to war?

Perhaps the "Broken Window" Theory presented in Hazlitt argues that encouraging destruction is not in the long term, rational self-interest of a capitalist entrepreneur but perhaps some prominent politicians have a perceived (albert irrational) self-interest in encouraging war by exaggerating threats. Such an incentive is even more appealing in a Machiavellian sense when the opposing nation is militarily weak where it would pose almost no threat of retaliation and the nation is insignificant enough where military action would draw relatively little geopolitical scrutiny.

I do not believe in a mass conspiracy of this sort but I periodically question the ethics and rational of various individuals with formidable political power.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you believe that someone like Vice President Cheney (or any other prominent politician with a significant vested interest in the military-industrial sector) has almost no conflict of interest when it comes to making decisions about going to war?
I assume that you're aware that "conflict of interest" is a gibbering anti-concept. The principle is that you should not act, if it is imaginable that you would benefit from that action. Clearly, if applied consistently, this is a commandment to kill yourself. The "conflict of interest" jerks will of course deny that this is what they mean, but if you study the concept historically, you will see that today's ordinary action is tomorrow's conflict of interest. Conflict of interest can only be identified whrn the conflict of interest committee issues its final report, and may god have mercy on your soul.

The issue which you should be addressing, and addressing with facts rather than hypothetical "can you imagine it be impossible that" kinds of arguments is whether Dick has in fact acted, as a high-ranking government official, in a way that harms the nation (say, in the defense sphere) solely because of the possibility of personal profit? Of course if you have that kind of evidence, then I would agree that he should be shot. If you don't have such evidence, then I would ask you why you imply that he does have a conflict of interest. Got any facts there?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I assume that you're aware that "conflict of interest" is a gibbering anti-concept. The principle is that you should not act, if it is imaginable that you would benefit from that action. Clearly, if applied consistently, this is a commandment to kill yourself. The "conflict of interest" jerks will of course deny that this is what they mean, but if you study the concept historically, you will see that today's ordinary action is tomorrow's conflict of interest. Conflict of interest can only be identified whrn the conflict of interest committee issues its final report, and may god have mercy on your soul.

This was not how I was intending to use "conflict of interest". I was thinking more along the lines of an individual being appointed to a position where he must make an objective judicial decision where the circumstances are of significant personal importance specifically to him. Examples would be the boyfriend of a contestant serving on the judging panel of a beauty pagent or an individual awarding contracts to a set of bidders, one of which he has a significant vested interest in.

Of course, the underlying problem here seems to be an individual not fulfilling stated responsibilities of a position of discretion, which would include to be objective. I certainly can see how easy it would be for misanthropes to abuse some vague and amorphous notion of "conflict of interest" to unjustly prosecute productive individuals.

The issue which you should be addressing, and addressing with facts rather than hypothetical "can you imagine it be impossible that" kinds of arguments is whether Dick has in fact acted, as a high-ranking government official, in a way that harms the nation (say, in the defense sphere) solely because of the possibility of personal profit? Of course if you have that kind of evidence, then I would agree that he should be shot. If you don't have such evidence, then I would ask you why you imply that he does have a conflict of interest. Got any facts there?

I probably was too hasty with my insinuation. As you can probably infer, I was mainly concerned with the alleged Halliburton conflicts of interest. I found these two dissections to be informative. After viewing the documentary Why We Fight, I got a little concerned that perhaps there are some powerful individuals who want to encourage military conflict even if it means sacrificing others for their personal profit. Of course, you would think that these individuals would try to profit by going after some of the truly despised regimes like in North Korea or Iran.

Anyway, this thread is about Iran. Here is another predictable development: President Ahmadinejad reiterates his desire to see Israel wiped off the map.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Is this just "as an example"
Just an example; I have nothing against Germans :)

One cannot conclude what you concluded without considering the relationship between X and Y.
Granted. Say X is attempting to obtain nukes and Y is just being a nonfree/rights-violating country.

If a nonfree (and possibly nonthreatening) nation would rather risk ruin than give up Y, they (on finding out they can be ruined for Y) have motive to gain X (to prevent ruin on account of Y) and little reason to give it up (they risk ruin regardless).

The question is, which "message" do we want to send. Do we want to tell the world "As long as you're not the worst rights violator and don't get to overtly aggressive against us, we'll tolerate most anything", or, "We will neither tolerate any aggression against us or out allies, be it overt or covert, nor will we tolerate dictatorships"?
There is a third option. Instead of implicitly telling dictatorships that they have no reason not to ally themselves with terrorists, we could simply not give unnecessary messages in the first place. Radioactivating the Iranian populace is not the kind of message that will be taken favorably by other nations, and while the accompanying messages you offer help, I don't think they avoid the (nuking-Tehran derived) problems of alienating allies and encouraging neutral sympathizers to become active on the other side.

No, it's not subjective in the least. Avoidable means avoidable... That's a reference to facts, not statements.
How can you objectively know that failure to use US force will result in an avoidable violation of rights in a given situation?
Link to post
Share on other sites
There is a third option. Instead of implicitly telling dictatorships that they have no reason not to ally themselves with terrorists, we could simply not give unnecessary messages in the first place.
Your third option is available only if you believe in being dishonest. So either we do not tolerate aggressors and dictators, or we do. There is no middle ground on that point. If we are honest, we will then act on our fundamental policy decision, and correspondingly, our actions can be taken as clear evidence of what our policy is. Of course, if we are dishonest and pretend to have a policy but do not act on our policy, then we can have you third option of "not giving unnecessary messages in the first place". But I am assuming that we should be honest.

Radioactivating the Iranian populace is not the kind of message that will be taken favorably by other nations, and while the accompanying messages you offer help, I don't think they avoid the (nuking-Tehran derived) problems of alienating allies and encouraging neutral sympathizers to become active on the other side.

How can you objectively know that failure to use US force will result in an avoidable violation of rights in a given situation?
Oh for Pete's sake! When you're walking down an icy hill and your foot goes shooting out from under you, how can you objectively know that you will fall? If a dog runs 3 feet out in front of a car traveling at 40 mph, how can you objectively know that it's gonna get creamed? If a bunch of Chechen terrorists kidnap a school bus in Russia, how can you objectively know that Putin will send in the storm troopers and kill everybody? If Michael Moore opens his yap in public, how can you objectively know that he's gonna spew volumes of anti-American, anti-capitalist drek? In Adolf Hitler invades Poland and Czechoslovakia, how can you objectively know that he will invade France, Belgium and Denmark?

There is a major branch of government which has as its function knowing these things. Knowing the capabilities and actions of your enemy in advance is a really great way to win a war, and there's an entire college specializing in that. So, to be concrete, you know because you know the Bader-Meinhof gang, you know their history of bombings, kidnappings and hijackings, you can see that they have taken control of the bus, and you know that (because of our superlative sniper team) you can kill the terrorists. Killing the terrorists will avoid the situation where the terrorists kill others. The Germans, in your mythical scenario, have decided to go all fuzzy, so if we do not kill the terrorists, the terrorists will kill others. That's what it means to say that failure to use US force will result in an avoidable violation of rights.

Link to post
Share on other sites

*blinks*

When'd you become a mod?

only if you believe in being dishonest.
to dictators, terrorists, and genociders? Why not?

Either we do not tolerate aggressors and dictators, or we do. There is no middle ground on that point. If we are honest, we will then act on our fundamental policy decision, and correspondingly, our actions can be taken as clear evidence of what our policy is. Of course, if we are dishonest and pretend to have a policy but do not act on our policy, then we can have you third option of "not giving unnecessary messages in the first place". But I am assuming that we should be honest.
A policy of not tolerating aggressors and dictators, sounds swell. But how is not giving unnecessary messages (to aggressors/dictators) either dishonest or contrary to the policy?

The Germans, in your mythical scenario, have decided to go all fuzzy, so if we do not kill the terrorists, the terrorists will kill others. That's what it means to say that failure to use US force will result in an avoidable violation of rights.
So the mythical Germans believe that they can get their hostages back and neutralize the terrorists by waiting until sometime after the terrorists have arrived in Iran. The Americans thinks this plan (perhaps correctly) "will" result in an "unavoidable" violation of rights, and so they nuke the terrorists before they leave Germany. I agree with your policy and don't think the messages you've stated are bad in most instances, but how is any nation (especially mythical Germany) going to interpret you message, other than

We had a plan to take care of native terrorists, the Americans disagreed with our plan, so they nuked us

?

You're telling me that consistently acting on this message will not alienate allies and potential allies?

Link to post
Share on other sites
A policy of not tolerating aggressors and dictators, sounds swell. But how is not giving unnecessary messages (to aggressors/dictators) either dishonest or contrary to the policy?
Look, the issue is really simple. The US should have a policy of not tolerating dictators and aggressors, because that is what governments properly do (not tolerate). The world should know with moral certainty that the US has a proper government.
So the mythical Germans believe that they can get their hostages back and neutralize the terrorists by waiting until sometime after the terrorists have arrived in Iran. The Americans thinks this plan (perhaps correctly) "will" result in an "unavoidable" violation of rights, and so they nuke the terrorists before they leave Germany.
Think, schmink. Objectivist politics is not based on what governments think, it is based on reality. Remember, primacy of existence = Objectivism, primacy of consciousness = slobbering Kantian nihilism and death. The Germans are just plain wrong that they will be able to deal with the kidnappers once they've excaped to Iran, and the US would be wrong in thinking that nukes would be a way to solve the problem (that's the Putin solution). Well-placed sharpshooters and a half-dozen body bags, end of story. We need nukes for dealing with rogue nations, like Iran and North Korea, and not for small scale manageable problems like the Red Army Faction. The equation is not "Oh boy, terrorists, we get to use nukes". I don't think the Germans are gonna be confused: they will understanding that vaporizing The Fatherland is not an appropriate response to a problem arising within the territory of a decent government.
Link to post
Share on other sites

CNN reports that President Ahmadinejad sufferred a defeat in local Iranian elections today as Iranian "moderate conservatives" were overwhelmingly elected.

The biggest victory was for "moderate conservatives," supporters of Iran's cleric-led power structure who are angry at Ahmadinejad, saying he has needlessly provoked the West with harsh rhetoric and has failed to fix the country's faltering economy.

...

The "moderate conservative" camp emerged as a strong political force, positioned between pro-Ahmadinejad hard-liners and the reformists. In their campaign, they promised to improve living standards, modernize the economy and promote "competency" in administration.

Qalibaf and his supporters do not back moving closer to the United States and they oppose giving up uranium enrichment, a position shared by almost all camps in Iran, where the nuclear program is a source of national pride.

But they oppose extreme stances that fuel tensions with the outside world and accuse Ahmadinejad of provoking the West. The moderates also tolerate less restrictive social rules on mixing of sexes and women's dress, while many hard-liners want tougher restrictions.

I do not expect this to make a difference in Iran at all, considering that the Assembly of Experts still bans any candidate with a shred of deceny.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I do not expect this to make a difference in Iran at all, considering that the Assembly of Experts still bans any candidate with a shred of deceny.
I find their system really confusing. I was under the impression that the Guardian Council was in charge of approving candidates (even for the Assembly of Experts), and the Assembly of Experts then chooses the Supreme Leader, who appoints the clerics on the Guardian Council. Still, even within the limited range of candidates allowed to run in the first place, they could actually replace Ahmedinejad with someone better, and very probably will given that their economy is going to continue to deteriorate. So this is probably good news.
Link to post
Share on other sites
I say we owe it to the victims of 9/11. We should have done it five years ago!

Five reason, go ahead. :nuke:

Brandon

I agree with Mr. Berkov's responses... However, I will endeavor to be original.

1) Iran has very little to do with 9/11, if anything. The hijackers weren't from Iran. Osama Bin Laden wasn't from Iran. Al Qaida isn't Iranian. Afghanistan and the Taliban weren't in Iran.

2) Whether or not one believes in the importance of morality or in maintaining the moral "high ground," the single most effective, unquestionably idiot-proof way to get rid of it would be to initiate a nuclear attack against a foreign metropolis in a country that has never been proven to be in possession of nuclear weapons of its own, let alone have used them.

3) Any review of history should indicate that Middle Eastern societies in general, including Jewish and Muslim societies, hold as one of their most distinguishing features the uncompromising will to hold onto a slight forever and ever. They are still fighting over who did what to whom over two thousand years ago, let alone what happened two weeks ago. If you wanted a guarantee that the Muslim world would be united in total and unflinching hatred and loathing for the United States for the next two thousand years, in a way that it is not presently united for any cause, then nuking Tehran would do it.

4) Most inhabitants of places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria are not militant terrorists, which is why there were 19 hijackers on Sept. 11th and not 19 million. See above; unless you're suggesting that we use enough nuclear power to wipe out not only Ahmadinejad in Tehan but all Muslims in all parts of the world, be prepared for a very unfriendly reception from the remainders.

5) The general theme of the responses on this thread seems to include the following: a) that all people who live in a Middle Eastern country other than Israel are Muslims, B) that all Muslims are fanatic Islamic lunatics who are bent on using terrorism to destroy the United States, and c) that the best way to respond to an indiscriminate attack on non-combatants is with an even larger indiscriminate attack on non-combatants. I submit that all three of these impressions are grossly inaccurate, and that the folly of basing military policy decisions on grossly inaccurate judgments of an entire geographic region is a valid reason not to nuke Tehran.

And just for fun:

6) The people of the United States are not prepared to deal with the ramifications that accompany the stigma of being the only country ever to have deployed nuclear weapons in hostility not once but twice.

7) Most of the world clamored for sanctions after North Korea's pitiful little supposed nuclear test. Imagine what would happen after the U.S. conducts a similar test several orders of magnitude larger on a densely populated area.

8) It is wholly irresponsible and self-injurious: we lack the military capacity to protect our forces and our citizens abroad from the dangers they might very likely face after we have instigated such a catastrophic upheaval and committed what many will (rightly or wrongly) perceive as a grievous injustice far more worthy of condemnation and retaliation than the events of Sept. 11th.

9) "We should have done it five years ago." Five years ago, we didn't even know for certain who was responsible for the 9-11 attacks. Not knowing who is responsible for an attack is not a logical reason to launch a devastating attack at someone who simply might be.

10) We cannot "retaliate" against Iran, as some have suggested, because Iran has yet to attack the United States.

11) A study of history shows us that one of the reasons that there have only ever been two instances of nuclear deployment by one nation against another (Hiroshima, Nagasaki) is because those who have been in possession of nuclear weapons at various times since WWII have realized that the deployment of a nuclear weapon could yield no positive outcome. The concept of mutual annihilation between the USSR and the U.S. kept the world from destruction during the Cold War, and a modified version of the principle has kept nukes on the shelves for all other conflicts as well. However, once the threshhold for acceptable use (presently there is none) is lowered, the equations change all across the board. It is a precedent-setting act that has far-reaching implications for the future of civilization. Stalin and Truman realized it, Kennedy and Khrushchev realized it, Reagan and Gorbachev realized it, and everyone else has thus far realized it as well. For any of you who don't, I suggest you spend some time reviewing the history of nuclear detente before you get too eager to push the button.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

1. If we nuke Tehran, then the radiation might cause the creation of Iranian supermutants. Then we'd really be screwed.

2. Maybe God doesn't want us to nuke Iran. Who knows?

3. The nuke might destroy valuable, irreplaceable Iranian art.

4. We might kill some innocent camels.

5. The bomb might open up a doorway to another universe, allowing the Iranians to spread Islamic totalitarianism to other worlds.

6. The war might end.

Oh, wait, that's more than five. I better stop there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

El Nuncio, those are some good points to discuss.

1) Iran has very little to do with 9/11, if anything. The hijackers weren't from Iran. Osama Bin Laden wasn't from Iran. Al Qaida isn't Iranian. Afghanistan and the Taliban weren't in Iran.

That is short sighted. Iran is the ideal the hijackers and terrorists strive to create in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Indonesia and now days in Europe. It is the model theocratic Islamic state, it represents "things as they should be" in the eyes of these people just as America, despite imperfections, is the prototypical free country. Besides the fact that it is an iconic Islamic state, Iran is the source of moral guidance and also a source of financing for the war on freedom. For these reasons the current iranian regime is worth destroying.

2) Whether or not one believes in the importance of morality or in maintaining the moral "high ground," the single most effective, unquestionably idiot-proof way to get rid of it would be to initiate a nuclear attack against a foreign metropolis in a country that has never been proven to be in possession of nuclear weapons of its own, let alone have used them.

The protection of free citizen's rights is not a knight duel. The point of war is to win, not to "be fair". The idea that nuking a country with no nukes would mean the loss of the moral high ground is a complete distortion of morality. Japan had no nuclear weapons in World War 2 - yet America's moral high ground in that conflict is unquestionable.

The moral high ground must be attained and maintained by clearly identifying the reasons for going to war not in the tools one chooses to use in order to win.

3. (...) If you wanted a guarantee that the Muslim world would be united in total and unflinching hatred and loathing for the United States for the next two thousand years, in a way that it is not presently united for any cause, then nuking Tehran would do it.

That is their problem. If they are not capable of peaceful rights-respecting coexistence, they would have to be completely anihilated. If a serial killer would become even more frenzied by being put in jail you don't let him go free - you put him in jail permanently (assuming there is no death penalty).

4) Most inhabitants of places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria are not militant terrorists, which is why there were 19 hijackers on Sept. 11th and not 19 million. See above; unless you're suggesting that we use enough nuclear power to wipe out not only Ahmadinejad in Tehan but all Muslims in all parts of the world, be prepared for a very unfriendly reception from the remainders.

Your argument defeats itself. "Most muslims are not terrorists. If you kill the ones who are terrorists be prepared for the others to use terror against you."

5) The general theme of the responses on this thread seems to include the following: a) that all people who live in a Middle Eastern country other than Israel are Muslims, :P that all Muslims are fanatic Islamic lunatics who are bent on using terrorism to destroy the United States, and c) that the best way to respond to an indiscriminate attack on non-combatants is with an even larger indiscriminate attack on non-combatants. I submit that all three of these impressions are grossly inaccurate, and that the folly of basing military policy decisions on grossly inaccurate judgments of an entire geographic region is a valid reason not to nuke Tehran.

That is not hardly the reasoning or the actual arguments presented. A more truthful summary would be: a) there are theocratic muslim governments in the Middle East, :P these theocratic governments are bent on destroying Israel and the United States, c) this threat must be removed, and d) the innocents harmed in the conflict are victims of the rights-violating bastards that made the conflict necessary

6) The people of the United States are not prepared to deal with the ramifications that accompany the stigma of being the only country ever to have deployed nuclear weapons in hostility not once but twice.

There only is a stigma because there is no one speaking up and explaining that using those weapons was right. And why.

7) Most of the world clamored for sanctions after North Korea's pitiful little supposed nuclear test. Imagine what would happen after the U.S. conducts a similar test several orders of magnitude larger on a densely populated area.

Clamor. And that is it. The difference between a lunatic leader of a slave country using a nuke and a free country using a nuke for self defence is not lost on most people. Even today.

8) It is wholly irresponsible and self-injurious: we lack the military capacity to protect our forces and our citizens abroad from the dangers they might very likely face after we have instigated such a catastrophic upheaval and committed what many will (rightly or wrongly) perceive as a grievous injustice far more worthy of condemnation and retaliation than the events of Sept. 11th.

It is the choice of our citizens to go abroad. If it becomes dangerous to do so because other countries are incapable of protecting our citizens' rights, they will have to stay at home until the other free countries of the world get their act together. The military can take care of itself - if unfettered by suicidal rules of engagement.

9) "We should have done it five years ago." Five years ago, we didn't even know for certain who was responsible for the 9-11 attacks. Not knowing who is responsible for an attack is not a logical reason to launch a devastating attack at someone who simply might be.

Iran has been sponsoring attacks against the USA for decades.

10) We cannot "retaliate" against Iran, as some have suggested, because Iran has yet to attack the United States.

History says otherwise.

11) (...)

What we need is assured distruction of anyone who threatens the individual rights of american citizens. I'm quite sure a statement to the effect of "if your president chants "death to America" on TV, we are coming for you" would clear up any doubts about why the regime was taken down.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is extremely simple. Nuking a nation is just when that government has systematically failed in its function, by policy, and has gone rogue in attacking other nations. Those are the nations which deserve to be terminated with extreme prejudice.

I agree that Iran is out of control and must be stopped, but would nuking Tehran solve our Iranian problem or would we need to nuke the entire country?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree that Iran is out of control and must be stopped, but would nuking Tehran solve our Iranian problem or would we need to nuke the entire country?
That's hard to say. I've made the point that mere explosions don't function like magic powder, they work only when attached to a clear and believable message (in part by clarifying and making the message believable). The logically prior step would be establishing a rational policy about aggression, dictatorships, and support of terrorism. This policy must be enforced as vigorously as the law of gravity is enforced. And then if Iran or any other nation acts wrongly, their actions will have the predicted consequences. I've described the antithesis of present US foreign policy, so your question could be understood as a "transition" question, i.e. what is required to establish that we have a new policy and that our threats will henceforth be specific, real, and quite terrible. In that context, it's not clear whether we ought to first flatten Qom with conventional weapons, as the proverbial shot across the bow. The most recent elections point in the direction of smaller-scale but still unmistakable message as being more appropriate. But if necessary, expand the Iran desert.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...