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mheslep
#19
Aug26-10, 04:58 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
I'm not sure if I agree, but even assuming I do, isn't a uranium weapon enough?
I'm of the opinion that the more routes to weapon are closed off then the overall risk of proliferation is lowered.

Or, lets look at it another way: has any country with the resources to obtain enough Uranium ever failed at their attempt to produce a nuclear bomb?
I don't know who might have failed. It seems to me the far lower resource requirement path is a small heavy water (e.g. CANDU) reactor that will then produce plutonium from natural un-enriched uranium ore. If the distribution of sophisticated implosion technology required for a plutonium weapon is restricted, and I suspect that is doable for some time, then we preclude the low resource path to weapon.
Proton Soup
#20
Aug26-10, 05:25 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Isn't "ignore them" the same as "shutting them off from the rest of the world"? Right now, the world buys a huge amount of oil from them, so we aren't ignoring them: to ignore them, we'd have to stop buying oil from them. I'd think that would anger the radicals.

It also isn't just about the US directly: Iran is a threat to our ally Israel. It is also a potential threat to stability in the region in general - which makes it a threat to the world economy.
for us, it is only an economic concern. perhaps "the world" buys a huge amount of oil from them, but we do not. nor do we get much from the region.
mheslep
#21
Aug26-10, 05:50 PM
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Quote Quote by Proton Soup View Post
for us, it is only an economic concern. perhaps "the world" buys a huge amount of oil from them, but we do not. nor do we get much from the region.
Yes the US does import large amounts from the ME. The ME taken as a whole (SA and Iraq) is the 2nd largest US supplier at ~1.5M bbl per day behind Canada's ~2M bbl per day.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/p...nt/import.html
apeiron
#22
Aug26-10, 05:56 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
And frankly, as a state sponsor of terrorism, I don't personally think the government in Iran is entitled to anything.
Shall we start listing the insurgencies formented by the CIA over many decades? Do you realise how ridiculous your personal view sounds?

Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
That's a ham handed misdirection of the question I asked about Iran, but no Israel is not in violation, Israel is not a signatory of the NPT. Iran is both a signatory and is in violation.
So why was Israel not sanctioned to bring it under the NPT? Israel has gone far further than any other rogue nation in developing a nuclear strike capability. It even has a fleet of three subs rotating off Iran's coast.

I don't doubt that Iran actually wants to build a bomb. But given the blind eye turned elsewhere, it would be strange if it didn't

Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
So, again, back to the original question: By saying the West should ignore Iran, are you in favor of abandoning enforcement of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty?
Yes, and we all know how the US drove a truck and trailer for through the NPT to allow India to get the good stuff even though it is refusing to be a signatory. India believes it is even free to buy enrichment gear like centrifuges following the US special arrangement.

My own view is that international constraints have to be seen to be fairly applied. And the US, as the world cop, has become increasingly self-serving in the way it applies its justice.

Iran is a good example of how the game is not being played fairly. That is why people get fed up with naive defences of US foreign policy.
BobG
#23
Aug26-10, 06:18 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Under the NPT, there is an agreed upon path to achieving nuclear commercial power. The point of most of the NPT is to enable exactly that: commercial power without weapons. Thus if you want to talk nuclear power, you talk NPT.
No, as a signatory of the NPT Iran does not have a right to un-inspected nuclear power. None of the non-weapon state signatories do. And frankly, as a state sponsor of terrorism, I don't personally think the government in Iran is entitled to anything.

That's a ham handed misdirection of the question I asked about Iran, but no Israel is not in violation, Israel is not a signatory of the NPT. Iran is both a signatory and is in violation.

So, again, back to the original question: By saying the West should ignore Iran, are you in favor of abandoning enforcement of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty?
So, if Iran withdraws from the NPT, then they'd be entitled to nuclear weapons. It's signing the treaty and then not following it that is the problem.

And of course they can withdraw. Entering into a treaty doesn't commit a country to that treaty for eternity (U.S. quits ABM treaty) any more than marriage commits a couple for eternity.

There's valid reasons Iran possessing nuclear weapons would be undesirable, but the NPT is one of the more trivial reasons.
Proton Soup
#24
Aug26-10, 06:40 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Yes the US does import large amounts from the ME. The ME taken as a whole (SA and Iraq) is the 2nd largest US supplier at ~1.5M bbl per day behind Canada's ~2M bbl per day.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/p...nt/import.html
i don't remember it being quite that much in years past. but it's still a matter of finances. and it's still much more an existential problem to nations other than US.
mheslep
#25
Aug26-10, 07:43 PM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
Shall we start listing the insurgencies formented by the CIA over many decades? Do you realise how ridiculous your personal view sounds?
Why stop there? Why not continue with Japanese American internment and move on to slavery. Do you realize how ridiculous an equivocation argument that is?
russ_watters
#26
Aug26-10, 07:49 PM
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Quote Quote by Jack21222 View Post
You seem to live in a black-and-white world where either we punish an evil country, or become close allies with them. If somebody isn't an ally, they're criminals.
No. Perhaps you think because I'm discussing the one reality of how Iran is and guessing about the one alternative that you see, I think the world is binary, but that's not a reasonable conclusion to draw from my posts. There is a wide range of different possibilities for Iran based on a host of different ways/areas for Iran to demonstrate their trustworthiness or lack thereof. For example, Iran could decide to start following their NPT obligations, which would result in them being granted permission to pursue nuclear power while still in other areas being considered a terrorist state. It would get them partway toward being considered a responsible nation.
Anyway, I DO think we should ignore the fact that the government "promotes terrorism" because the terrorism they promote isn't anti-American terrorism as far as I'm aware.
Wow, really? It is tough to imagine you can really believe that. Iran has a long and prominent history of anti-American terrorism, going back at least to the 1970s and includes involvement in the current Iraq war. But beyond that, we live in an international community where members of that community protect each other. So the fact that most of their terrorist actions are aimed at a different country (Israel) does not mean that we should be letting all of that go. It would be irresponsible for us to look the other way while one of our allies got attacked by a country we were engaging as an equal.
They support anti-Israeli terrorism, and I don't particularly care about that.
Imagine you're walking to a bar with a group of friends. A mugger jumps out of an ally and mugs one of your friends. Should you invite the mugger to join the grouop and hang out with you or call the police and have them arrested? How would your friend feel if you befriended someone who just attacked them?

What you suggest is illogical and unworkable way to run relationships. None of our allies would trust us if we acted that way.
Additionally, their government is on shaky ground right now with the populace. Perhaps you didn't notice the protests last year. You are comparing the entire country of Iran to "a criminal" as if Iran is a single person. It's not. The crimes of Ahmadinejad are not the crimes of the Iranian people.
Yes, I did notice. And I feel for them. But unfortunately, they don't have a seat at the table at the UN. Only A-Jad does. Our treatment of Iran in international relations has to be mostly based on what he does, not what they believe. Because even if they don't believe Iran should nuke Israel, A-Jad might and we have to deal with that reality.
Iran CAN become a responsible member of the world community. I wouldn't want to live in your world where countries keep the same exact policies decade after decade.
Of course they can - but you're misunderstanding the cause-effect relationship: Iran has chosen for decades to not be a responsible member of the world community and therefore has been treated roughly the same for decades. Their treatment is their choice.
Keep in mind the United States is the only country who ever used nuclear weapons as a form of terrorism. This country targeted civilian areas and killed FAR more innocent civilians than Al Qaeda ever has.
I'm not sure that the second sentence is actually true, but I recognize that the first is.
By your logic, the United States could have never become a "responsible member of the world community."
Based on your misunderstanding of the issue two quotes up (among other issues that we don't need to get into here), no, you are not following my logic. You are not following any logic I can discern.
I'm talking about nuclear power. Iran has as much of a right to nuclear power as the United States does.
No, it doesn't. The NPT has different categories of nations and Iran is not in the same category as the US.
If you want to talk about enforcement of the NPT, why don't you start with Israel? They are in direct violation of the NPT, but you seem alright with that, while one of Israel's biggest enemies can't even have nuclear power, let alone a nuclear weapon. How is that fair?
Dealt with correctly by someone else....
mheslep
#27
Aug26-10, 07:50 PM
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Quote Quote by BobG View Post
So, if Iran withdraws from the NPT, then they'd be entitled to nuclear weapons.
Did you mean commercial nuclear power? If so I agree. Nation's are entitled to a sovereign defense. That doesn't automatically entitle them to nuclear weapons, because the mere possession can be argued to threaten the sovereign existence of neighboring states.
It's signing the treaty and then not following it that is the problem.
Exactly. I don't see why this so complicated.

And of course they can withdraw. Entering into a treaty doesn't commit a country to that treaty for eternity (U.S. quits ABM treaty) any more than marriage commits a couple for eternity.
Yep, and in so doing it announces to the world they want a weapon.

There's valid reasons Iran possessing nuclear weapons would be undesirable, but the NPT is one of the more trivial reasons.
Category error. The treaty is the vehicle produced as a result of those underlying undesirable reasons.
russ_watters
#28
Aug26-10, 07:55 PM
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Quote Quote by Proton Soup View Post
for us, it is only an economic concern. perhaps "the world" buys a huge amount of oil from them, but we do not. nor do we get much from the region.
Regardless of the truthiness of the claim about how much oil we buy from them, we live in a world community and even if we didn't trade with Iran, we would be inviolation of our international obligations if we ignored violations by Iran.
apeiron
#29
Aug26-10, 07:59 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Why stop there? Why not continue with Japanese American internment and move on to slavery. Do you realize how ridiculous an equivocation argument that is?
Err, no. I am happy to stick to the threshold issue you raised - the state sponsorship of foreign "freedom fighters".

I understand why you would want to avoid generalising that discussion. And avoid other pertinent issuses like the US/India NPT deal.
russ_watters
#30
Aug26-10, 08:05 PM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
Shall we start listing the insurgencies formented by the CIA over many decades? Do you realise how ridiculous your personal view sounds?
Feel free to make any argument you wish, aperion, as long as it is intellectually honest (note: it can still be illogical and nonsensical if you want). But don't ridicule the arguments of others without first making a real counterargument.
So why was Israel not sanctioned to bring it under the NPT?
Um....because that's not how the NPT works(or most non-war based treaties for that matter), nor would that make any sense now that Israel has nuclear weapons.
My own view is that international constraints have to be seen to be fairly applied. And the US, as the world cop, has become increasingly self-serving in the way it applies its justice.
Increasingly? The US has always acted primarily in a self-serving manner in most ways..... as do all countries!
Iran is a good example of how the game is not being played fairly.
Please explain how Iran is not being treated fairly. Or is it your claim that "fairness" should be determined based on how other countries are treated instead of whether Iran is being treated as the NPT intends? If so, that's an illogical and immature way of looking at justice. Even if I agreed that Israel is not being held to the proper high standard (which is not supportable based on your factually incorrect and illogical assertions), that would mean that it is Israel that is not being treated fairly, not Iran. It would imply that our treatment of Israel should change, not that our treatment of Iran should change.
russ_watters
#31
Aug26-10, 08:12 PM
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Quote Quote by BobG View Post
So, if Iran withdraws from the NPT, then they'd be entitled to nuclear weapons. It's signing the treaty and then not following it that is the problem.
Not exactly. It is being a signatory of the treaty that gives the international community the legal recource to do what is being done.
And of course they can withdraw. Entering into a treaty doesn't commit a country to that treaty for eternity...
Sure, but remember, the NPT isn't just about preventing the use of nuclear weapons, but also about promoting the use of nuclear power. Iran is being offered assistance in acquiring nuclear fuel for power in keeping with the spirit of the NPT. If Iran withdrew, it would lose standing to negotiate such assistance and while our demands of inspections would necessarily go away, so to would (I would thinik) our (the international community's) offers of assistance.
There's valid reasons Iran possessing nuclear weapons would be undesirable, but the NPT is one of the more trivial reasons.
If I ever made it sound like the NPT was the primary reason that I believed Iran should not have nuclear weapons, that wasn't the intent: the NPT exists primarily to provide the enforcement mechanism for a position that we'd want to take whether Iran was a signatory or not.
apeiron
#32
Aug26-10, 08:12 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Regardless of the truthiness of the claim about how much oil we buy from them, we live in a world community and even if we didn't trade with Iran, we would be inviolation of our international obligations if we ignored violations by Iran.
But out in the real world, everyone can see the hypocrisy of the US agreeing India can buy centrifuges because it is now an ally, yet not a signatory.

Yes, the US got the rules changed to ratify this deal - make it legal on paper. But I've met some of those who actually got their arms twisted behind their backs at the NPT negotiations in 2008.

So you can paint all this as high-minded, by the book, behaviour. But you are either being willfully misleading or hopelessly naive about the realities of international relations.
russ_watters
#33
Aug26-10, 08:16 PM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
Err, no. I am happy to stick to the threshold issue you raised - the state sponsorship of foreign "freedom fighters".
You misunderstood the objection. You have raised some issues that are 20 years out of date and others that are 60. He's (and I'm) wondering just how far back we should go to find historical badness to argue about. That's a common crutch of a weak position, you're using: bringing up the past in order to try to avoid dealing with the reality of the present. And it's why people think incorrectly that they can trip me up and get me to argue inconsistent positions: they assume that I subscribe to that line of il-logic. I don't. So you want me to admit (or, rather, you hope I won't) that our use of the atom bomb fits the modern definition of terrorism? Sure, it does. Do you want me to admit that we made some bad choices about which regimes to support during the Cold War? Sure, we did. Now that that's out of the way, lets drop this intentional misdirection of yours and talk about the reality of the present and the issue that is the topic of this thread.
russ_watters
#34
Aug26-10, 08:23 PM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
But out in the real world, everyone can see the hypocrisy of the US agreeing India can buy centrifuges because it is now an ally, yet not a signatory.

Yes, the US got the rules changed to ratify this deal - make it legal on paper. But I've met some of those who actually got their arms twisted behind their backs at the NPT negotiations in 2008.
So you acknowledge the deal was legal and you (apparently) acknowledge that Iran is rogue but India is not -- so what is the point of this comparison/objection? It seems it is based on nothing but the fact that different countries were treated differently. This shouldn't be a profound realization: different countries that act differently get treated differently.
mheslep
#35
Aug26-10, 08:29 PM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
But out in the real world, everyone can see the hypocrisy of the US [...]
Do you really presume to speak for the entire world?
apeiron
#36
Aug26-10, 08:40 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Um....because that's not how the NPT works(or most non-war based treaties for that matter), nor would that make any sense now that Israel has nuclear weapons.
Well, umm, in fact the NPT is meant to be a mechanism for stopping the spread of weapons technology and if Israel were inside the framework, it would stop it selling on its secrets.

So why has the US done so little to force Israel into the framework?

Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Increasingly? The US has always acted primarily in a self-serving manner in most ways..... as do all countries!
No, I would credit the US as being genuinely well-meaning earlier in its history. Of course, there was always self-interest, but also nobler aspirations for the world. Now the balance looks the other way.

Furthermore, the fact the US is half the world's military spending is not a moot fact. Not all self-interested parties are equal. Though asymmetrical warfare demonstrates that ways can be found to level the playing fields somewhat. Which of course is now what the war on terror is all about.

Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Please explain how Iran is not being treated fairly. Or is it your claim that "fairness" should be determined based on how other countries are treated instead of whether Iran is being treated as the NPT intends? If so, that's an illogical and immature way of looking at justice. Even if I agreed that Israel is not being held to the proper high standard (which is not supportable based on your factually incorrect and illogical assertions), that would mean that it is Israel that is not being treated fairly, not Iran. It would imply that our treatment of Israel should change, not that our treatment of Iran should change.
I love your version of facts and logic. What is wrong with being softer on Iran, harder on Israel, as a way of arriving at an international equilibrium?

I'm not actually arguing for any particular change in course on either country. The situation is just not that simple.

But what I am objecting to is the dumb-*** good guys vs bad guys analysis that you keep offering on every issue concerning US foreign relations. All these analogies about what would you do if you buddies were attacked in the bar?

The real issues are more to do with strategic errors. The US has locked itself into an anti-Iran stance through some blinkered short-term thinking. And this has unwanted consequences, such as problems of putting piplelines through from the Caspian sea, and causing a new emerging axis of Iran-Turkey-Syria.

The real question here is whether the US is playing the great game with skill or growing ineptness? Not who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.

The general feeling is that the US has been pretty inept because its own military dominance blinds it to other approaches. By contrast, China is being very crafty in playing the long game.


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