The "What to do about Iran" Thread

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by minerva, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    in the wake of various stories about Iran being active in Iraq, and this article suggesting that the US should invade Iran, and another story about Iran threatening to attack Kurds in Iraq, I thought it was time for a wtf do we do with Iran thread. especially as under Obama, the whole Iran pursuing nuclear weapons concern seems to have been off the national radar, yet meanwhile I doubt it's because Iran has ceased its pursuit of nuclear weapons. makes you wonder why and what's going on. add to it the internal struggle between Ahmadijenad and the clerics, the Arab spring, and you really have an interesting situation.



  2. Mr. Conspiracy

    Mr. Conspiracy Member

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    Really what options are there that make any sense for the US?

    I don't think a direct war with Iran is in our best interests as we are already mired in 2 wars that need to end. We don't need to tax our troops any more in another useless war.

    Any convential war would be expensive and destructive for both sides. Well for the areas of Iraq that would be affected and certainly for Iranian cities as the power grids and other areas would be damaged extensivly by superior American firepower and missiles.

    I am not too worried about American forces in any straight up fighting, it would be the asymetirical fighting that would cause casualties.

    Maybe the best option is to just arm the sunni's and kurds in iraq and let them be a hezbollah, hamas type setup to fight the iranians?

    I don't see any invasion of iran forthcoming. As for iran's threats to attack any place in Iraq, I think the US should use our air cover to protect against any illegal incursions by iran into iraq.
  3. ceezmad

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    1. Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan are neighbors, so we could technically call it the same war and we would only be involved in 1 war.

    2. We can tell Pakistan to F-off, since we won't need to go thru Pakistan to get supplies to Afghanistan.

    3. Arming Islamist has never ever backfired on the USA right? :rolleyes:
  4. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    I think creating our own Hamas or Hezbollah would just destabilize the region, and have future Afghanistan/Mujahadeen type implications.
    I don't think I agree with a full scale war against Iran either, but it is an interesting, potentially high payoff option to consider.
    I certainly wouldn't advocate a war with Iran without a draft, given how thinly stretched our forces already are. although they would probably enjoy (as far as war goes anyway) a full scale real war a lot more than the endless patrols and booby traps and IEDs they currently face.
    still, I think one of the ways to make sure we don't enter another endless war of occupation is to have a draft, where ordinary Americans are fighting. that would ensure that we brought our troops home as soon as practically permissible.


  5. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    honestly though, I think it's just too big of a bite for any politician to want to bite off. too much risk and the reward, while potentially high, too uncertain.
  6. Mr. Conspiracy

    Mr. Conspiracy Member

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    On point 1 you could say that it is 1 war, but I don't see how we could make that one fly, afterall, the war in Iraq really has/had nothing to do with the war in Afghanistan.

    I agree with you completely on #2. We should tell Pakistan to F-off regardless of what we do in the region. We also need to take that money we are giving them and put it into the US to repair our own bridges and infrastructure.

    3. Look and you will see I said MAYBE we should create a hezbollah/hamas type group. Didn't say we should. Of course looking at this a bit more closely. Why should we even bother fighting iran at all? Really what do we have to gain or lose in any war with them? Perhaps a much better option is to let Iran make their inroads into Iraq. We need to remove all our troops from Iraq ASAP.

    Why would I say this? Simple really. If Iran makes inroads into Iraq to the point that they gain control of the nation, a very real prospect, then what nation in the region (not Israel) would be most unsettled by this? Who would be at the most risk and feel the pressure most? I would say Saudi Arabia. This would put Iran right on their border. And we all know that historically Persians and Arabs do not get along, further add in the Shia sunni difference, and then factor in the oil and geo politics and it becomes a very interesting sceniro. I wonder what SA would do in that situation? Would they increase their purchases of US weaponry? Almost certainly. And what about buying US protection? I wouldn't put it past them after all they did so in 90-91.

    Lets not also forget Turkey, though to what they would do I can't say.
  7. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    yes, but you would also be enabling a historic US enemy to become more powerful and richer. surely that can't be good for US policy and preeminence in the region.
  8. Mr. Conspiracy

    Mr. Conspiracy Member

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    Our past with Iran is a mixed one at best. We certainly dropped the ball in 53 supporting the shah, but we did so for our own best interests during the cold war.

    That of course was culminated in the 79 revolution. But I don't think the average person in Iran really has all that much emnity towards the US. I think they want a better life then what they have now and I think the US should support the reformists there. But if we get into any kind of shooting war with Iran that potential support from within against the mullahs goes right out the door.

    I think the US would be better off in the long run if we remove ourselves from the area militarily. Let SA sweat it out, and don't count out Turkey taking measures to restrict Iran's influence as they have their own plans for the region I am sure.

    I would really question Iran's ability to get richer. They have quite a few internal problems not the least of which is their economy. Plus for all the oil they have, they still have to import fuel. I say let Iran extend themselves, let them stretch themselves thin and you will see a paper tiger unfold.
  9. 96Squig

    96Squig Member

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    I think the support you got for attacking Iraq would look big, diverse, and surprisingly European, compared to what you would get if you were to attack Iran. It'd be the final death-blow to Nato, possibly pushing Norway and Iceland into the EU; it'd end your commission to operate bases in Europe and probably harm your economic and 'security' (anti terror stuff) agreements with European countries. And I doubt the new (more or less) democratic nations in the Arab world would like it, neither.
  10. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    I think the invasion talk is completely unrealistic, but what are some of the alternative ways of dealing with Iran, other than a direct war?
    indirect wars through proxies as Mr. Conspiracy suggested?
    other ways of containing Iran's influence in the region?
    ignore Iran completely and let them pursue whatever policy and whatever weapons they want?
    are we ready to take a backseat of no seat at all in Middle East politics?
    are we ready to renounce our preeminence in the region?
  11. FormerGermanGuy

    FormerGermanGuy Member

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    Explain this 'preeminence in the region' thing to me, please. You've mentioned it 3 times now. Which populations (not governments; which country's people) are mostly on our side? I don't intend this as snark; I really don't know the answer.
  12. minerva

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    It has nothing to donnish people liking us. It's all about being the predominant power in the region. The way the British Empire was before the US in the region. It means no country does anything in the region without considering the US and how the US may react. It means that the US has the ability not necessarily to do whatever it wants, but has that power more than any other nation in the region. That's what preeminence means to me.
  13. Team Melli forever

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    The best thing the US can do is the stop threatening Iran militarily and giving the Iranian regime an excuse to crush any realistic internal opposition. Iran has a legitimate democratic movement and the US should support it. Obama was 100% right when he completely avoided making any major statements in regards to Iran's green movement in 2009.

    During the Bush/Cheney era the Iranian regime constantly used the US/Israel threats as an excuse to isolate and crush any democratic opposition inside Iran labeling them as allies of foreign powers but now that the threats are off the movement is picking up again where it left off during the Khatami era.

    A democratic Iran would be in the best benefit of both Iran and the US, this is why I don't understand the whole military option or the supporting of Taliban/al qaeda style opposition groups like the the MEK by some US politicians.
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  14. ceezmad

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    I think the change that will come to Iran is that the Guardian council will take power away from the President position and limit ever further what opposition candidates they allow to run in elections.

    I do feel bad for the Assyrians, the Bahai and the Zoroastrians; they will probably be whipped out of Iran before any major change happens.


  15. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator Staff Member

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    Iran is not a military threat to the USA. We need to cut the shit, pronto.
  16. minerva

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    I think the whole point of the military option is aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, not because by doing so, they represent a military or existential threat to either the US or Israel, but rather because Iran would thus be in a position to challenge US preeminence in the region. all of a sudden, Iran could act and do as it pleases regionally with impunity, knowing that because of its nuclear weapons, the US would never attack it and force regime change the way the US attacked Iraq. so while nuclear weapons are defensive in nature, the provide for states the latitude for offensive action diplomatically as well as militarily without the fear of retaliation. this is what the US wants to prevent, and why the US pushes the military option. you assume that the only US interest in the region is to have stable, democratic governments. that may be the rhetoric coming from the government, but what the US really wants in the region is for its preeminence to remain intact. not be challenged by either external powers like Russia and China, or regional powers like Iran.
  17. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator Staff Member

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  18. minerva

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    it isn't about that.
    it isn't about Iran posing a military threat to either the US or Israel.
    it's all about nuclear weapons, and what that allows Iran to do diplomatically and militarily (conventional). it's about Iran exerting and expanding its sphere of influence regionally, and challenging US dominance in the region.
    whether you think the US should really be or needs to be preeminent in the region is another matter. whether you think that the US or the region would be better off with less US involvement is another matter.
    but don't mistake what this is all about. it's not Iran's military threat. it's more strategic than that.
  19. minerva

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    I guess you mean invasion would not be worth it - correct?
    and I agree if that's what you mean. I agree that a full scale war with Iran would not be worth maintaining our regional preeminence. I think we should be more subtle and use soft/diplomatic pressure to contain Iran's ambitions. but I guess that's hard to do when you're a superpower. it's like a body builder with all those muscles - even when he's not flexing, just lifting an arm to scratch his head or wipe his nose, it looks to others like he's flexing. same with the US. when you have all that military muscle, any move you make is going to be seen as flexing.
  20. Mr. Conspiracy

    Mr. Conspiracy Member

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    What you said^^^^
  21. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator Staff Member

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    We really should just let them nuke up.
  22. FormerGermanGuy

    FormerGermanGuy Member

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    Thank you for clarifying. Yes, I'm willing to give that up.
  23. Iranian Monitor

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    A lot of what has been written here starts with premises and preconceptions that I don't necessarily share. But I think the thread asks a question that will hopefully find an answer that goes beyond the typical, if convenient, non-answers that are given to the question by policy-makers in the West.

    The question that is asked here is: What to do about Iran? The answer is: do the opposite of what the US has been doing. Instead of trying more sanctions, remove all sanctions. Instead of trying to isolate Iran and creating barriers for Iran's interaction with the rest of the world, reduce such barriers that exist. Instead of seeking to support those whose agendas cannot reverberate within Iran, look to deal with those who speak the voice of the people in Iran.

    In a nutshell, try to create the true conditions that strengthen, not weaken, those who would like to see an Iran integrated and in touch with the rest of the world. In the process, deal straight on with the legitimate voices and aspirations that you hear from Iran, instead of trying to silence those voices and ignoring those aspirations. While not everything you will hear from those voices is right, and while some it may not even be always that coherent or articulate, much of it is right and a lot of it can be quite profound as well. And while not all of Iran's aspirations are ones that the US will share or endorse, many of those aspirations give hope of a much brighter future for the region -- a region that despite its rich history and the wealth of its natural resources, has known more conflict than has been its share and less prosperity than it deserves.

    Of course, left unsaid is that you have to give up on the hubris of empire: the attempts to set the chessboard in the region, the effort to maintain American hegemony or preeminence or whatever you want to call it. It is not worth it and it is not in the long term US interests. Truth be told, America can only lead when it tries to lead by example. Not when it seeks to lead by fiat. And America is at its own best when it tries to be that shining city on the hill. When it doesn't seek to be another empire or imperial power. When it is true to its genuine, bedrock principles; when it follows the principles that have informed its constitutional design and remind us of the most impressive parts of its ideological foundations.

    A person like Barack Obama would have been a very good candidate to pick up this mantle of change; to take it where it would properly lead. Regrettably but predictably, Obama ultimately became little more than a mouthpiece for the special interest groups which have hijacked American foreign policy for too long. So the question that this thread asks is a good one, but unfortunately the answer that will emerge from it will be more of the same. Which is an answer that I submit is neither good for Iran nor for the US.
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  24. soccermilitant

    soccermilitant Member

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    they havent threaten and/or attacked the usa.
  25. Mr. Conspiracy

    Mr. Conspiracy Member

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    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/americas/07/17/argentina.bombing.iran/index.html?iref=allsearch

    It will be interesting to see what "evidence" iran will try to pass off as real in this case. It is because of acts like this and iran's continued support of terrorists that makes dealing with the current regime in iran impossible.

    I hope that the people of iran will get tired of the mullahs making them out to be terrorists and hateful people and take back control of their country and their lives. I feel that the people of Iran will assert themselves and hopefully they will get their country back and show he world that they are not the people that their govt. has made them look like.

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