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15 February 2012

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noname

Colonel, have a look at this: http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/35479/#more-35479
and more precisely at this: http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

All it takes is to teach the poor frustrated boys play with their billies.. And yes, the media propaganda is awful, awful and repulsive. But I don't think it will last much longer. They can call it zero-gravity ballet, but the lies and propaganda are not working even among the apolitical part of the population. Only the zealots and the fanatics still make some noise. The rest.. well they are finding new ways to protect the real info-streams from the garbage, including the official, state generated and amplified by the propaganda apparatus /media/.

Tim Vincent

Sir:
Do you really believe the US IC that Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon?

JohnH

With a huge share of world oil production sitting like ducks just across the Persian Gulf, who needs the deterrence of a nuke?

IMHO Iran may not be able to do to Gulf oil production what it did to Saddam's, but it would not take a whole lot to sink the industrialized world's economy.

And, apparently, a lot of foreign policy "experts" are gung-ho to test Iran's deterrent capability and maybe try to convince the mullahs that they really do need nuclear deterrence.

turcopolier

TV

Yes. I believe the considered judgment of the community. When they have different evidence, they will say so. Who do you believe, the Israelis? Their judgements are altogether driven by the policy of the Likud government. pl

Tim Vincent

And if they're wrong?

These aren't guys with a great track record.

turcopolier

Tim Vincent

Yes they are. You are just ignorant in the matter and falsely believe that the community does not do good work. You choose to pick up on the Israeli attack on the USIC in order to enable their attack on our policy. The Israelis live on the information the US gives them and then twist it to their purposes. ol

Morocco Bama

One doesn't preclude the other. Just because the US IC hasn't found evidence is not proof that Iran isn't developing nuclear weapon capability. Surely, in the least, you must agree that they would if they could, and if you agree with that, than it's a matter of could they? I think they can. They have the ability, and I believe they're clever enough to keep it hidden. That being said, the real question is what are the implications if Iran does have capability? It suddenly becomes a deterrent to attack, especially a nuclear attack. Obviously, Israel wants to prevent that from ever happening because it would change the balance of power in the region.

One thing I've considered as a possibility is that the US IC has knowledge that they are developing nuclear weapon capability, but is not passing that along to Israel....for whatever reason. This is espionage, afterall, and it's not meant to always be on the up and up.

CTuttle

McClatchy's Nukes and Spooks is reporting today: New NIE on Iran nuke program appears to differ little from 2007 findings...

According to Clapper, those Mad Mullahs have yet to decide upon pursuing the Bomb...!

Tim Vincent

John Bolton?

mbrenner

Optimism springs eternal - even re. American Iran policy. Dennis Ross’ latest op ed today in the NYT has convinced some people that sanctions may produce the desired outcome and that Ros, after all, is a reasonable, well intentioned guy. I fail to see the positive news that others discern. To my mind, it conforms to his single minded dedication to eradicating the Islamic Republic - a goal that is at the head of agenda set in Jerusalem. The current strategy of portraying the sanctions as "working" is designed to generate as much pressure as possible on all international parties (e.g. China, Russia, India) so as to achieve two ends: inflict maximum financial pain that could have a constraining effect on what the Iranians can do; and to provoke Tehran into impulsive acts that could be used as a casus belli for Israeli and/or American military action. As for the former, see the lead editorial in today's New York Times. As for the latter, see the campaign to justify charges that Iran is behind explosions in India, Georgia and Thailand despite their making no strategic sense, being amateurish and there being zero evidence to support the allegations. The Indian authorities have declared unequivocally that Iran was not involved; rather, the acts bore the mark of an indigenous Islamic group.


Medicine Man

Morocco:

The absence of evidence doesn't confirm the need to bomb Iran to smithereens, nor does speculation about their intentions either.

Matthew

You are channeling Rumsfeld: The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

If we haven't "found evidence," that is proof that we have no evidence. It is not "proof" that we just haven't found something that may not exist.

Jose

Today on Dylan Ratigan's show, LTC Anthony Shaffer claimed that Iran already had two warheads.

Now the US is trying to kick out Iran out of SWIFT, so what will be the trigger?

CTuttle

Btw, Thank Gawd for the Internet, as Col. Davis pointedly notes...

...“One of the key questions most readers must be asking about this point in the report, is how could such an extensive, pervasive, and long-running series of deceptive statements have gone unnoticed by virtually the entire country?”

“There are a number of reasons, but perhaps none bigger than the role played by the major media in this country. This is not an issue where “the liberal media” of the major networks failed, or ‘the right-wing conservatives’ of Fox News, nor any other specific network. Rather, it was a cumulative failure of our nation’s major media in every category: network news, cable news, magazines and major newspapers.”

“A Pentagon media outreach program – ostensibly to ‘educate’ the public – only uses spokesmen who are willing to speak the bullet points provided by the Secretary of Defense, and if those spokesmen don’t act as ‘team players’ and say what the Pentagon wants, they are dropped. For their part, the networks only want men and women to speak as experts if they have that top-level access. All of this begs the question: what sort of objectivity and honest analysis did the American public get from watching the major media outlets during this period?”

Mahalo, Col. Lang, for all your efforts...! I truly salute you...!

Basilisk

TV,
I doubt you are qualified to make that judgment.

And what if they are right? should we disregard good, carefully considered intelligence information and preemptively attack Iran because the IC "might be wrong?" "

Reminds me of Cheney's 3 % solution, and we already know how that worked out.

Cieran

Mr. Vincent:

So when you say "these aren't guys with a great track record", who exactly is "these guys", anyway? The IC covers a lot of ground, and depending on the topic at hand, some parts of the IC get things right more often than others. That why we depend on a "community" of intelligence.

So it all depends on who "these guys" are.

For but one example, the IC got it EXACTLY right when they sent a PDB to George W Bush with the pithy title "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.". Unfortunately for us, the IC got it right, but Bush 43 got it wrong, deciding to continue his long vacation instead of doing his due diligence as Commander-in-Chief.

My favorite example of this is how the NNSA members of the IC got the whole "Iraqi aluminum tubes" question exactly right, but were overruled by Bush in favor of those analysts from other agencies that got it exactly wrong. It's no surprise that the NNSA folks got it right, because this is technology they work with regularly, where those members of the IC who were fooled generally didn't have a clue about the physics and chemistry of SNM. And so it goes...

Unfortunately for the nation, the NNSA IC expert opinions were unavailable due to the "born classified" provisions of the Atomic Energy Act, so they could not be revealed without risk of the death penalty for anyone who might have decided to tell the truth publicly. So the Bush administration declassified the less-than-expert IC opinions that got it wrong, and kept secret those IC opinions that got it right.

So perhaps you might to rethink your distrust of the U.S. intelligence community, and consider whether your concerns about track record might belong a little higher up on the administrative food chain.

Cieran

MB:

So you think the Iranians have the ability to develop a working nuclear weapon, and to do so without any testing of such a device?

I'm genuinely curious as to why you "think" that is the case. Do you have any specific knowledge of the underlying technology that would inform your opinions here, or are you relying upon the hearsay that you find in the corporate media?

I ask because I'm always intrigued that the Iranians cannot seem to distill enough gasoline for their own countrymen while sitting on one of the world's greatest deposits of crude oil, yet apparently they can effortlessly handle the infinitely-more-difficult technology required to develop, weaponize, and deploy a functioning nuclear weapon.

And by the way, the "would if they could" question is not necessarily as clear-cut as you assert, either. Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwah against the development and use of nuclear weapons, and while that isn't an iron-clad guarantee, it's definitely not something to be ignored, either.

Andy

Tim,

Let me explain the IC's assessment and how it differs from Israels.

First some explanation of terms: In order to develop a nuclear weapons capability, a country needs three things: A delivery platform (generally ballistic missiles), a source of fissile material, and a working warhead design. Knock out one of those legs, the chair falls and there isn't a credible capability.

The IC assessment is that Iran is progressing on the first two items (missiles and fissile material) but ceased work on the third (a warhead) in 2003. Not coincidentally, the first two involve dual-use technologies so overt work can continue in those areas. There is no credible non-nuclear weapon use for a nuclear warhead, obviously. Iran cannot continue work on this leg and credibly claim it is not pursuing nuclear weapons.

At present the IC is not sure exactly why Iran stopped warhead development work, nor does it know what Iran's intentions are for the future. There are several possibilities for both of those questions and I won't belabor them here. The important point from the IC's perspective is that Iran isn't going to have a viable nuclear weapon without a warhead design, and one they can actually use on one of their missiles. Consequently, there is no imminent threat of Iran possessing an actual nuclear weapons capability. Nor is there a significant threat that Iran could create such a capability in the near term or even in the medium-term (~5 years). It will be very difficult for Iran to do all the necessary work in secret and present the world with a fait accompli'.

Given the same information, the Israeli's view things differently and always have. For them work on any of those three legs constitutes a threat, particularly fissile material development. Secondly, for them even a latent capability constitutes a threat. That's a major reason why their analysis so often differs from ours.

turcopolier

Matthew

National estimates are not made on the basis of an absence of evidence. The IC does not provide justification for war on the basis of a lack of evidence. They failed in that regard in 2002 and re-learned the lesson. I take notice of the insult. pl

turcopolier

Jose

How did he claim to know that? This is a question of epistemology. IMO Shaffer is not much of an analyst. pl

turcopolier

C Tuttle

The document was not published in unclassified form so I can't comment. pl

turcopolier

TV

Bolton? Living proof that there are more horse's asses than there are horses. He has no opinions other than those provided by his masters. pl

Mike C

LtCol Shaffer is tied up with those EMP loonies. Physics doesn't back up their doomsday nonsense, and anyway it's no justification for building some trillion-dollar missile defense system. Just my non-expert opinion, mind you, but let that drop.

zanzibar

What outcomes to do the Likudniks, our neo-con fifth column and our corporate hysteria media expect when the dogs of war get unleashed yet again on false premises?

What outcomes do those that really have depth of experience in both military and strategic political affairs expect?

I remain hopeful that at least a significant percentage of our fellow citizens will not be easily railroaded this time. Their memories can't be that short!

Europe is in recession. Japan's economy despite all the fiscal stimulus and debt growth remains sluggish. China's banks can't ever hope to recover in "real"terms what they have lent the provincial government property development boondoggles. The global financial ponzi is all pumped up with extraordinary central bank money printing. The last thing the world economy needs right now is another military adventure ginned up by the same cast that did it the last time with disastrous consequences.

Are the dossiers being sexed up on Downing Street and is Biden down in Langley "working" the analysts?

Tim Vincent

Bolton has masters, other than the networks that pay him?
And maybe a think tank or two?

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