How Scared Should We Be, Really?
Published on: February 7, 2007
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  • erichwwk

    “There are, of course, many good reasons to want to prevent rogue states such as Iran and North Korea from getting nuclear weapons”

    Any time someone feels the need to include an “of course” statement, I suspect the intent is to advocate acceptance of a conclusion for which there is no supporting evidence.

    I suspect we are again hoping to retain the fallback position if the obvious policies that should work, in fact fail.

    And EVEN if the reasons Francis sees (but i don’t) have some basis in reality, why would we still not be more concerned with the rougeness, rather than the nuclear aspect?

    Fissionable material is so out of control, the Korean and Iranian cases seem the least of our concerns.

    While one does learn by doing, and expects mistakes in “figuring it all out”, it is NOT clear that the caveat “Past performance is no indicator of future performance” applies here. This is particularly true when the event involves the use of force, to the point of a “long war”.

    Many of us share Mikhail Gorbachev’s view “It is obvious that force and the threat of force cannot be and should not be an instrument of foreign Policy”- UN, Dec 7, 1988

    You recently wondered whether the neocons have learned anything. I wonder whether those who advocated force for regime change in Iraq
    have learned what Gorbachev holds as obvious?

    Have ANY of the 1998 regime changers learned that much?

  • erichwwk

    “Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice”-Spinoza

    “If I were to characterize U.S. and NATO nuclear policies in one sentence, I would say they are immoral, illegal and militarily unnecessary.” -former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara

    “We have no other course’; what we should say is, ‘We are not bright enough to see any other course.” Lilienthal, the AEC chairman

    “you get the objectives right, a lieutenant can write the strategy.”-General George Marshall

    “The root of the evil is not the construction of new, more dreadful weapons. It is the spirit of conquest…. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war”- Ludwig von Mises

    “When a pickpocket meets a saint, all he sees are his pockets” – Ramakrishna

    “One cannot solve problems by employing the same kind of think one used in creating them”
    Albert Einstein

  • Dr. Fukuyama is correct in prescribing caution when dealing with iran. At this point the Iranians pose little threat to the United States. It’s one thing to have a nuclear weapon but it is quite another to have the capacity to deliver it to a target.

    I recently read that the Defense Intelligence Agency estimates that by 2015 Iran will have a ballistic missile capable of carrying a warhead 3,000 miles. I don’t calim to be a cartographer but that leaves North America out of range.

    If we had done nothing more in the wake of 9/11 than to shore up security at our ports, I believe there is a 99% chance we’d be sitting here today with billions of daollars in our coffers that was otherwise spent in Iraq and with thousands of our troops still alive. If port security is a top priority why not bring all of our troops home to patrol the ports and borders?

    it’s just a matter of time until Iran develops a nuclear weapon and we had better prepare for that eventuality. They apparently understand the enrichment cycle and it won’t be long before they amass the requisite amount of fissionable material. This is sixty year old technology. The question is this: In what frame of mind will the Iranians be in when they acquire nuclear weapons? If at that point we had already taken pre-emptive action against them, they might not be exuding an irenic disposition.

    Alexander Haig recently noted that in the wake of the collapse of South Vietnam (we somehow survived that) Casper Weinberger was commisioned to investigate that failure. Mr. Weinberger concluded that the American people were not behind the war. And in that context failure was virtually assured. Many in the brain trust that got us into Iraq had college deferments in the 1960’s which spared them slogging through rice paddies. They were part of the “New Left” of that era but gradually became imbued with the tenets of neoconservatism. There’s no middle ground with these people as they plod forward humming Straussian melodies. And they might be surprised at how little sentiment there is for war with Iran in the Midwest. These people seem prone to making the same mistakes over and over again.

    Thank God they weren’t in charge in the wake of Little Big Horn. There’s cells of them everywhere!

    Dave Pilliod
    Swanton, Ohio

  • J.F.Besseling

    What matters is the long term perspective!
    Saddam Hoessein and its clique were leaders in the islam movement to eliminate Israel, and as such they were rightfully destroyed. If the Western countries stood together,the islamic threat could be countered. Apparently some spectacular terrorist attacks are needed before these countries are awakened, and possibly then it will be too late. In the mean time the administration of the USA has to carry the burden with an increasingly uncomprehending population, while the other Western countries are infiltrated by moslims with their lack of humanitarian values in the treatment of their women and homosexuals and with their death threats to the deserters of their faith.

  • Bill Cherry

    How scared should we be? Pretty scared. Within the broader context (the global economy driving ahead at full speed) lies the danger. This context has, historically, tended to destabilize the world by (1) facilitating the rapid rise of new great powers and (2) by facilitating the rapid rise of a potent anti-market ideology. When this occurred in the recent past (Globalization I) we got World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. And the 800 pound gorilla of the previous era (Great Britian) was taken down.

  • Bill Weightman

    William Polk, former Kennedy Administration figure, and George McGovern in their book Out of Iraq point out the silliness of this Administration. We may not face a rogue state like Iran in a nuclear war, but our soft power, as coined by Joseph Nye is in serious trouble on a world stage. The rise of India, and China so far are impacting jobs in my state and in yours. The middle class is having a great difficulty, and the fiscal mess has more than the Concord Coalition in arms. This is serious stuff.

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