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The Military United States Politics Technology

Tensions Over Hormuz Raise Ugly Possibilities For War 969

Hugh Pickens writes "The high stakes standoff between Iran and the U.S. over the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for one-fifth of the world's oil, escalated this week as Iran's navy claimed to have recorded video of a U.S. aircraft carrier entering the Port of Oman and the deputy chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami rejected U.S. claims that it could prevent Iran from closing the strait. To drive the point home, Iran has started a 10-day naval exercise in the Persian Gulf to show off how it could use small speedboats and a barrage of missiles to combat America's naval armada while in a report for the Naval War College, U.S. Navy Commander Daniel Dolan wrote that Iran has acquired 'thousands of sea mines, wake homing torpedoes, hundreds of advanced cruise missiles (PDF) and possibly more than one thousand small Fast Attack Craft and Fast Inshore Attack Craft.'" (Read more, below.)
Hugh Pickens continues: "The heart of the Iran's arsenal is its 200 small potential-suicide boats — fiberglass motorboats with a heavy machine gun, a multiple rocket-launcher, or a mine — and may also carry heavy explosives, rigged to ram and blow a hole in the hull of a larger ship. These boats will likely employ a strategy of 'swarming' — coming out of nowhere to ambush merchant convoys and American warships in narrow shipping lanes. But the U.S. Navy is not defenseless against kamikaze warfare. The U.S. has put more machine guns and 25-millimeter gyro-stabilized guns on the decks of warships, modified the 5-inch gun to make it more capable of dealing with high-speed boats, and improved the sensor suite of the Aegis computer-integrated combat system aboard destroyers and cruisers. 'We have been preparing for it for a number of years with changes in training and equipment,' says Vice Admiral (ret.) Kevin Cosgriff, former commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command."
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Tensions Over Hormuz Raise Ugly Possibilities For War

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  • by idji ( 984038 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:29AM (#38547362)
    The US should have spent the 500 Billion or so it wasted on lies about Iraq on researching renewable energy, and the Middle East would have returned to its peaceful irrelevance as oil would no longer have been strategically so important.
  • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:32AM (#38547374) Journal

    Even if the US whould have invested 500Billion in a meaninful way in the Region, the world would be better off.....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:38AM (#38547404)

    For 500 Billion they could have bought the Strait of Hormuz of built a pipeline.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:41AM (#38547412)

    I tend to hear this accusation a lot but still have no idea what exactly where it comes from. Could someone please tell me whose oil the US has stolen?

  • by GrpA ( 691294 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:47AM (#38547448)

    Given the US withdrawal in Iraq, engaging in a war with Iran won't be easy or popular. Lately they've managed to capture drones and threatening the shipping will let them achieve their own goals with the least risk of provoking a US response.

    I guess the real question is, what will the US do if it is attacked? In all likelyhood, they will be buzzed by Iranian boats without actually being attacked. But how close will they let such boats approach?


  • by lucidlyTwisted ( 2371896 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:55AM (#38547486)

    I agree, although the USA is not alone in misguided attempts at nation building (USA's biggest failures: Supporting Saddam, training Osama, supporting the Taliban etc). Britain (to pick one) has a fairly glorious history of screw-up in this department, who do you think carved up the Middle East to cause many of the preblem we now face? Basically when any nation for a very different culture tries to "help" (for relatives values of "Doing whatever Big Money wants") it seems to blow-up in their face about 15 years down the line.
    Maybe there's a lesson here?

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:56AM (#38547500)
    You assume this is symmetric. It isn't. To win, Iran doesn't need to destroy the entire US navy, or even it's ability to fight. They just need to make the war sufficiently expensive either financially or politically to continue.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:09AM (#38547580)

    By closing off the strait that is the route to their biggest oil customer. (China) When pretty much their only income is oil exports. It appears the US could win is THEY closed the strait.

    But you're right it isn't symmetric. The US can challenge the Iranians in the strait with smaller ships while the carrier battle groups stand off and put hundreds of strike aircraft into the air to take out the fast speedboats.

    You forget how large the US navy is. Its currently building 2 brand new aircraft carriers at somewhere around $9 billion a piece. So I doubt they could rack up enough financial damage to win.

    Politically maybe, but with Kim Jong Il's passing Iran has taken the top slot on the list of countries with crazy leaders so it would be real doubtful.

  • by bfandreas ( 603438 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:19AM (#38547640)
    That war was neither good nor evil even if the reasons stated were dishonest and later recanted.
    What made it irrelevant was the stupid, demented and criminally negligent notion that earts and minds would be instantly won. That was beyond moronic. If you want to change how people think and feel then you need to invest a whole generation into that. Europe after WW2 was a full success financially and culturally due to how freaking long US troops were stationed there(amongst other things like the US are a culturally descendant of Europe).
    Imagine two persons. Their ultimate aspiration is to live a happy life but how they plan on doing that is different. Owning land and breathing free air for one, convenience for the other. Now imagine a whole room full of people. For each and every one of them their plan for their puruit of happyness is different. Now imagine a town square of peole. The mind starts to boggle. Now imagine millions and millions of them. Each from a cultural background so diverse it would take a lifetime to understand it all. Each has a different plan for life. Ranging from owning enough goats to feed the family to designing the ultimate iDevice. Each and every one of them is entitled to pursue their goals if it is not to the detriment of others.
    If you elect people who claim to have easy answers and paint the world in black and white, this is what you don't get.
    Those 500 billion could have been well spent for exactly the goal stated. Ineptitude did away with that.
  • Re:no win war (Score:1, Insightful)

    by benjamindees ( 441808 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:20AM (#38547644) Homepage

    And you don't get that Americans are fucking crazy retards who include war costs as a plus in their measure of economic prosperity and the economy is doing poorly right now and it's an election year so *welp*

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:22AM (#38547654)

    Support of those dictators were in the context of the Cold War in jockeying for influence versus the Soviet Union. And, rather than "request payment" in oil as the accusation commonly goes, the US has bought oil from those nations at market price, even thought with its military presence in the region it could have just taken it without paying. The US could have easily gone to war in the Middle East during the 70's embargo to force the flow of oil, yet it did not. With its military presence, the US could also have demanded free oil from the weak interim Iraqi government as recompense, yet it chose again to buy that oil at market price, even relinquishing opportunities when outbid by China.

    The evidence that the US uses its military to "steal" oil is not there, however the evidence the US uses its military to expand geopolitical influence and opportunity for American business is, but that's an entirely different set of arguments. We should all welcome legitimate debate on that front, but saying "the US steals oil" is a claim with no support.

  • by arkenian ( 1560563 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:23AM (#38547656)

    They don't literally steal, they just help you "conquer" your country back and then "request" "payment".

    But we don't. If only we did, to some extent -- the treasury could use the funds. I might go so far as to grant that we've helped some nasty people stay in power for various reasons over the years, but we still, always, pay MARKET PRICE for oil. About the only thing we insist on is that people sell it to SOMEONE (which admittedly, does help keep market prices down SOMEWHAT, but its still ridiculously high compared to the cost in most of the countries in the middle east)

  • by ericloewe ( 2129490 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:24AM (#38547674)
    If they did as much a firing at a US warship, the next day they'd be visited by their friends, the B2s, followed by carrier aircraft, maybe F-22s for air superiority (if not, then F-15s), which all pave the way for B-52s. In short, their armed forces would be gone in a few days.
  • by ericloewe ( 2129490 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:26AM (#38547692)
    Carpets bombs are old-fashioned. They'd keep predators over the area, waiting for any speedboats to leave shore. Then, it's a matter of launching ordnance.
  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:29AM (#38547708) Journal

    That's funny. After demonstrating that we have no qualms about paying for 10+ years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of cost, you think Iran is going to win on a financial attrition basis.

    How will Iran feel after a few months of ruinous bombardment?

    You're right it isn't symmetrical. The U.S. will -- regardless of U.N. convention -- use overwhelming and disproportionate force. Iran will be lucky to have anything bigger than a reed fishing raft capable of floating if they try that.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:43AM (#38547798)
    OR... The US could just stay the hell out of it and cut taxes by $500billion. Why does everyone always forget that option?
  • by Noughmad ( 1044096 ) <miha.cancula@gmail.com> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:43AM (#38547804) Homepage

    And the US would spend more on fuel in one day that the Iranians spent on building their navy.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:50AM (#38547864)
    And there is the problem: Ruinous bombardment isn't an option. It used to be, back in the wars of the past. If countries were at war, it was accepted practice to bomb the hell out of the enemy. Blow up thieir factories so they couldn't resupply, bomb their commercial districts to stall their economy, bomb the housing to demoralise their public. Simpler wars: There was a nice clear enemy country, and you tried to destroy it. Today, though, not so simple. Civilian casualties are unacceptable. Even if the US responded with the overwhelming force it it capable of and utterly obliterated the entire Iranian military... in ten years, they'll have built it up again.

    The only way to perminantly end the problem of Iran is to go in there with ground forces, invate and occupy until a more friendly regime can be arranged. After seeing what a disaster occupying Iraq was, the US would have to be unbelieveably stupid to try that again on Iran - a country with a more than twice the population. Since that isn't feasable right now, this is going nowhere.

    In short, Iran doesn't have the strength to win, but the US (And it's allies) don't have the willingness to fight to a complete smoking-ruins victory with all the massive civilian casualties and long-term difficulties that implies. Neither side can win.
  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:57AM (#38547930)

    True... and if needed the US will do that. But only if it feels it needs to deal with Iran.

    Iran doesn't need to make itself a problem.

    1. stop making threatening statements all the time. The US has been much more polite to Iran then Iran has been to it despite the US being radically more powerful. It's like some tiny little dog yapping at a giant wolf. It's very annoying. No one needs to bow or scrape. Just be civil.

    2. Stop supporting international terrorism. If you want to brutalize your own people that will probably be tolerated indefinitely. But if you spread chaos throughout the region then it forces the US to respond. Don't do that.

    3. Consider other options for the nuclear program. The system as it stands looks like they're getting ready to make nuclear bombs. Maybe they're not... but that's what it looks like and everyone in the region believes that is what they are after. The US believes it. The Israelis believe it. The Saudis believe it. They basically brag about that being their end. And really... that will probably force a reaction by the US. They can't dig bunkers deep enough to keep US munitions out. The military contractors have been designing special bombs JUST for those bunkers and the US has been buying them. If the presidents says "pop the bunkers"... they will get popped.

    This is serious business. This is beyond your notions of morality or petty political hypocrisy. This is strategic security. This is not a game. The Iranians are doing something very stupid and there's no good thing that will come from this...

    If they attack the US the US will destroy everything that looks like a military target within a hundred miles of the coast. That's minimum.

    If they attack and destroy a few US ships, then the US will destroy Iran's whole military and possibly try to start a civil war within the country which might be followed by a ground invasion. However, they might just suppress Iran's military and wait for another student uprising or riot or something. If Iran can't bring in it's military to suppress the population then who knows what will happen. The US could also just be happy with keeping Iran poor and demilitarized. No need to invade. Just destroy any machine from the sky. Send them back in time. No electricity.

    If Iran doesn't attack then Iran has increased tensions in the region for no reason at all. What exactly does this accomplish? It just forces the US to send resources to the area and focuses additional resources on their country. None of that is good for Iran.

    On and on... Iran is run by idiots.

  • by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:02AM (#38547956)
    Large Potential Albanian Oil and Gas Discovery Underscores Kosovo's Importance [globalresearch.ca]

    On January 10, Swiss-based Manas Petroleum Corporation broke the news. Gustavson Associates LLC's Resource Evaluation identified large prospects of oil and gas reserves in Albania, close to Kosovo. They are in areas called blocks A, B, C, D and E, encompassing about 780,000 acres along the northwest to southeast "trending (geological) fold belt of northwestern Albania."

    A Discreet Deal in the Pipeline [commondreams.org]

    In November 1998, Bill Richardson, then US energy secretary, spelt out his policy on the extraction and transport of Caspian oil. "This is about America's energy security," he explained. "It's also about preventing strategic inroads by those who don't share our values. We're trying to move these newly independent countries toward the west. "We would like to see them reliant on western commercial and political interests rather than going another way. We've made a substantial political investment in the Caspian, and it's very important to us that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:13AM (#38548062)

    Oh it's the sanctions that kill people. Sorry but it was the leaders of Iraq who refused to play nice with the world even after they invaded Kuwait and were subsequently forced back onto their own soil. It was the leaders of Iraq who murdered millions of their own people throughout the 80s and 90s. It was the leaders of Iraq who refused to deliver the UNICEF and other aid to those in need in their own country. It was the leaders of Iraq who plundered the revenues from the "oil for food" program instead of feeding their own population.

    Your socialist revision of history is appalling. You are the type of person who believes guns kill people. Sorry people kill people as illustrated above.

    It's easy, quit threatening people and play nice with the world, quit having a childlike temper tantrum and the sanctions will be lifted.

  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:18AM (#38548096)

    If the Iranian government were so concerned over the deaths of their poor due to economic sanctions, then they would accede to their international obligations of forsaking Hezbollah and abandoning their nuclear weapon aspirations.

  • by khipu ( 2511498 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:21AM (#38548110)

    It's no wonder the Iranians are deeply upset by the sanctions. Surely some people do realise that economic sanctions will likely kill an awful lot of the poorest people in Iran

    It is Iran's responsibility to care for its "poorest people". The rest of the world is under no legal or moral obligation to trade with Iran, in particular since Iran unquestionably is working on atomic bombs and has started several wars.

    All vital contributors to food availability - agricultural production, importation of foodstuffs, economic stability and income generation, are dependent on Iraq’s ability to purchase and import those items vital to the survival of the civilian population.”

    The welfare of their people is primarily the responsibility of their leaders. The leaders of Iraq and Iran could/can restore free trade by changing their behavior. The cause of the sanctions, and hence the cause of the suffering of their people, is their leaders, not the sanctions.

    the sanctions are in themselves, a declaration of war. ... Like with Iraq, there is no direct evidence of a reason for war

    So, you construct a specious argument that "sanctions are war" and then claim that there is "no direct evidence of a reason for war". Well, you are wrong on both counts. Sanctions are not "war"; a war is when there are clashing troops and weapons fire. Furthermore, we have reasons and justification for going to war with Iran.

    The reason we shouldn't go to war with Iran isn't your pseudo-humanitarian handwaving, but simply that it isn't in our financial and political interest; it doesn't survive a cost-benefit analysis: Iran isn't enough of a threat to the US, a lot of innocent Iranians would get killed, the US wouldn't recover its costs, and that the chances that it would improve the situation are small.

  • by InterestingFella ( 2537066 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:25AM (#38548146)
    I know you're a parent, and a grandparent, and hence why I used such example. It just seems like you're more easy at putting Iranians/Iraqis at that position and forgetting that they're people just like you. All with their family, history, loved ones and children.
  • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:26AM (#38548152)

    You underestimate the survivability of US naval ships

    It's not about navy vs. navy. Iran is threatening to "close the straits". To do this they just have to make a credible threat to the oil tankers, and trade will stop. US naval ships aren't going to be delivering any oil.

  • by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:45AM (#38548294)

    Given the size of Iran versus its powerful adversary, Iran seems to be doing okay geopolitically.. In the last decade, two of their biggest regional enemies have been eliminated (Saddam and the Taleban) and replaced with friendly regimes. The myth of Israeli invincibility was destroyed in the Lebanon war, making Israel more reluctant to use their military in the future.

    Sure, in an all-out war between the US and Iran, then Iran would be destroyed. But in order to avoid this, the Iranian government only need convince the US that it would it turn suffer unacceptable military and economic losses. It's a game of brinksmanship - the aim (for both sides) is to get as much as you can get without actually going to war.

    2. Stop supporting international terrorism. If you want to brutalize your own people that will probably be tolerated indefinitely. But if you spread chaos throughout the region then it forces the US to respond. Don't do that.

    Both US and Iran are guilty of playing games of geopolitics and interference in the affairs of other nations. It's a bit rich to accuse Iran of being the one to destabilise the region after the US has invaded and overthrown two major regional governments, leading to a decade long civil war in both countries...

    It just forces the US to send resources to the area and focuses additional resources on their country. None of that is good for Iran.

    Forcing your enemy to squander resources is a kind of win. Posturing is also a kind of win, like the teenager showing off his muscles and martial skills in the school yard, it sends a particular message to be wary of messing with this kid.

  • by um... Lucas ( 13147 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:00PM (#38548400) Journal

    Wow. Talk about uneducated.

    First off if you're going to spout off about over population, realize that WE (us citizens) use FAR MORE resources per capita than any 2nd ofr 3rd worlder could dream of. So if you're going to spout off about lack of resources for the people of the world, understand that reducing our population in half would conserve more resources than reducing developing populations by a billion or more. Not that I advocate for that, I'm just sick of seeing how wasteful we are (including me) but seeing the finger pointed at all the people in the world who have only a sliver of what we have.

    If you're saying that Iran is overpopulated because their land can't support the number of people there, I'd agree with that. I'd also suggest that the same is true for us. But the answer is already there: trade. We have arable land. But we couldn't cultivate it to feed all of us if not for fertilizers, which oil is a key ingredient. We couldn't get it from the "breadbasket" region to the population centers on the coasts, which means oil. And once it's on the coasts, supermarket or fridge, it needs to be kept from spoiling. Via electricity, so much of which is supplied by oil.

    So we have one thing. Land to grow on. Absent oil it would be useless to us. Iran and so much else of the middle east lacks that. But they have the oil that WE need in order to not suffer mass starvation. And trade is the solution. It could be direct (food for oil) or it could be indirect (food for dollars, dollars to euros, euros for food). But the point is that we're mutually dependent.

    So when we talk about sanctions, realize that depriving the population of resources directly. Less dollars so less to be ent on imports. So us doing that to them is essentially the same as them blocking all the highways leading away from our agricultural areas

    World resources aren't spread evenly. But trade fixes that problem.

    So before you spout off about over population point your finger at yourself ,me, and The rest of us, as we are the resource hogs of the world. And realize that all of our own stuff would be useless if not for what we can import from overseas.

  • by Zumbs ( 1241138 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:04PM (#38548450) Homepage
    Bullshit. Europe, Japan and USA are some of the most heavily populated areas on the planet, and yet they manage to feed their populations. As far as I remember, both the EU and the US export foodstuffs. The reason is a highly industrialized agricultural sector. The same countries have some of the longest life expectancies. This is due to access to clean water, ample food, warm homes and medicine. Exactly the things that the sanctions on Iraq removed from the Iraqi population. Saddam Hussein was rich, so he could pay to get whatever he needed smuggled into the country. The Iraqi masses could not, so they were dependent on the Iraqi state for whatever little they could get.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:07PM (#38548458)

    And we can't just nuke Iran. The Chinese and Russians might give us some trouble on that, you see, and they have real power, not bluster. We'd have to cut an expensive deal with them.

    You've got to be kidding! What's to cut? 20 minutes after launch there wouldn't be anything to deal about - it would be a "done deal". You don't ask permission to nuke a nation - you just do it.

    Nuking Iran would be by far the wisest, easiest, cheapest, longest-lasting solution to many of our problems. It would cost only a few million (for the nukes & ICBMs), would literally eliminate Iran as an enemy and would be a huge windfall for our economy. We could march in and take the oil, establishing a dominance that would last at least 500 years (more than long enough to drain all the oil out of that otherwise-worthless sandpit). It would establish a precedent for dealing with North Korea or any other petty-fogging banana republic that gives the U.S. trouble. China and Russia would acquiesce, since they have no choice and also because they also have BSDs (Big Swinging D***s = nukes).

    Sure Iranian culture would be incinerated but history does that anyway, we'd be merely speeding the progress. And I haven't noticed a lot of scientific contribution from radical muslim nations in the last 50 years. Most of their good scientists have left Iran.

    This is how the Romans would have handled it if they had nukes.

  • by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <fairwaterNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:20PM (#38548550) Homepage

    Their primary naval weapon is a missile that can get into ballistic mode before a ship's countermeasure can intercept it.

    [[Citation Needed]] A real one, not some tinfoil hat website.
    OTOH, a ballistic target can be handled by either CIWS [wikipedia.org], RAM [wikipedia.org], or ESSM [wikipedia.org] systems.

    From what I read, the strategy behing "suicide boats" is not the kamikaze strategy of crashing a boat inside an aircraft carrier but rather to be used as the launchpoint of a single anti-ship missile. The launching boat will be easy to sink, but very cheap to replace. If two or three of these boats can sink one large US ship, that is a net win for Iran.

    Again, [[Citation Needed]]. a real one, not some tinfoil hat website.
    This strategy is not so easy as you might think. Lacking offboard sensors (which can be jammed, and the platforms carrying them destroyed), such boats will have to come over the horizon and either launch optically or use radar. If they're visible during the day time, or if they radiate, there's a a near certainty that they'll be spotted - and destroyed. (After their radar is jammed.) It's damm near a suicide mission with a low probability of success no matter what the label says.
    What you and the other armchair admirals don't seem to realize is that the defenses of a US battlegroup are layered. From aircraft out on the edges, through electronic warfare and countermeasures systems, naval guns and missiles, anti-aircraft guns and missiles, and decoys and chaff. No, no one layer is perfect, but there's a lot of overlapping layers. I'm not saying it's impossible, but that you and the other armchair admirals don't realize the difficulties involved.
    Most slashdotters are probably too young to remember - but Iran tried this back in the 1980's, and got soundly spanked.

  • by rainmouse ( 1784278 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:20PM (#38548556)

    If the Iranian government were so concerned over the deaths of their poor due to economic sanctions, then they would accede to their international obligations of forsaking Hezbollah and abandoning their nuclear weapon aspirations.

    Perhaps if you could provide some direct evidence of their nuclear weapons aspiration. Perhaps I'm being a cynic but we heard the whole WMD line with Iraq and it was (at least in the UK) proven to be a complete fabrication. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/02/uk_dossier_on_iraq/html/full_dossier.stm) So when that line failed they tried to focus on the human rights abuses. Unfortunately we replaced one set of human rights abuses with another. We did no good there, just killed an awful lot of people.

    Considering our constant threats of violent action for political and ecenomic purposes.
    (Cambridge online dictionary) terrorism noun /ter..r.zm//-.-/ [U] Definition (threats of) violent action for political purposes

  • by InterestingFella ( 2537066 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:21PM (#38548568)
    Then you probably also understand that it is the US and Europe that uses most of the resources on our planet. If you want to save as much lives as you can while preventing overpopulation, we westerners should be first ones to go. People from other places on Earth use far fewer resources per one person than we do.
  • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <sjc@carpane3.14t.net minus pi> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:24PM (#38548584) Homepage

    Yah,.... I don't get it. If business owners want their shops to not burn down, then they should just pay their protection money. I don't see what their problem is, just take a knee already and bow down before your masters.

  • by um... Lucas ( 13147 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:24PM (#38548590) Journal

    Why can't Jews forget the holocaust? Why will we never forget 9/11? Each impacted someone and vastly changed the tract of their history. Just like over throwing iran's democracy and replacing it with decades of dictatorship did to them. And then when they finally overthrew their tyrant , we unleashed our lapdog on them who showered them with chemical weapons, no less. With our lapdog being none other than saddam.

    Do you really not read history? It's all right there in black and white.

  • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:25PM (#38548608)

    And the Japanese were being perfectly polite gentlemen in China and Mongolia at the time.

    Take your revisionist BS elsewhere. War being inevitable and everybody knowing it is very different then war being a conspiracy.

    Nobody has pointed out the for Iran to close the straits of Hormuz they would by definition _have_ to attack the UAE. Our Allie.

  • Re:no win war (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:35PM (#38548672) Journal
    Wow. your ignorance is just astounding. Majorit of the Americans know where the middle east is. And the fact that we have large populations of muslims here belies your statement. And yes, we DID lock up ppl in WW2, and apologized. We did not do it again. And as far as using a nuke, the only way that will happen is if Iran attacks with a nuke. IFF they do that, then you can expect that we WILL in fact send in a number of nukes into Iran.
  • by Courageous ( 228506 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:41PM (#38548722)

    That is not part of the calculus of war, I'm afraid.

  • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:43PM (#38548730)
    Ahm... actually part of the strategic reasoning behind sanctions is that they hurt the population. The idea is that if you make the lower population suffer enough that they will pressure their government to change behavior OR overthrow it. So when people rant about sanctions killing people, they are not just bleeding hearts.. the result is by design.
  • by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:55PM (#38548830)
    Poverty is not due to lack of food or resources in the world.
  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:57PM (#38548854)

    That's funny. After demonstrating that we have no qualms about paying for 10+ years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of cost, you think Iran is going to win on a financial attrition basis.

    How will Iran feel after a few months of ruinous bombardment?

    It may well feel like a winner. A few months of "ruinous bombardment" will leave the current US in a very precarious situation financially.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:58PM (#38548868) Homepage
    is that america has been toeing the line with war against iran for decades, just itching for a reason to inexplicably bombard a nation of 75 million peaceful civillians and arguably the largest jewish minority in the middle east. [wikipedia.org]
    that america, despite the fact that iran has captured our most sophisticated reconnosance robotics, still considers iran a soft and easy target is to awaken the memory of the cold war when we assumed the tupolev was nothing more than a biplane. [wikipedia.org]. Iran has enjoyed american diplomacy first hand at the overthrow of their democratically elected government through sponsored terrorism; it understands america to be a fairweather friend at best. despite numerous invasive and exhaustive probes by the IAEA there is no evidence of a thermonuclear weapons program and given the size of the state, a nuclear energy program seems completely reasonable, justified and expected. Iran has roughly 1/4th the population of the united states.
    but thanks to the carter doctrine of international diplomacy in the middle east, despite the fact that a minority of american oil is actually produced in the region we must still charge dick-first into the any arabian country in the region to appear even remotely modern, self sufficient, and untameable by antiquated american colonialist policy.

    lets all agree the easiest thing to do to keep the straight clear is to admit the fact that we screwed up the spy game just as we had numerous times during the cold war, apologise and consider formal talks or a prisoner exchange if we want the drone, and move on to bigger problems like the utter financial collapse that keeps plaguing the country, or alternative energy sources to keep us from having to engage in this trite pedantic pissing contest we call a foreign policy.
  • by AC-x ( 735297 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:58PM (#38548870)

    Iraq was heavily supported by the US in its war against Iran, including arming Iraq with chemical weapons and turning a blind eye to atrocities against Iran and its own people. When Iraq consulted the US about invading Kuwait they were told that "[The US] took no position on these Arab affairs" [wikileaks.ch], basically telling them it was ok to go ahead and invade.

    Your conservative revision of history is appalling. You are the type of person who believes that the USA has never supported tyrants and has never taken part in unjustified aggression.

    It's easy, quit threatening people and play nice with the world, quit having a childlike temper tantrum and pretending that you have only ever been a force for good in the world.

  • by khipu ( 2511498 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @01:02PM (#38548910)

    Justification for obliterating a country on the opposite side of the planet?

    There is no justification for "obliterating countries", but there can be for military action on the opposite side of the planet. Among other things, the US has allies and international commitments.

    This includes imperialism and the fact that the British empire had its nose in too many places, including the colonies.

    US military action isn't driven by "imperialism"; imperialism doesn't work, as Britain and France showed. The US is trying to convert other nations into trading partners with compatible economies and governments. That may or may not be a reasonable thing to do, but it is not "imperialism".

    ever since WW2, has been too eager to pass

    Unfortunately, you're still seeing the aftermath of WWII, with Europe politely refraining from military action and the US taking over Europe's protection and security needs. That should end.

    I think unless we have a country invading or attacking U.S. soil, we need to avoid war at all costs.

    And I tend to agree. But while you seem to think that we should refrain for moral and legal reasons, I just view it as a matter of utility: the low probability of democratizing and liberalizing Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan and the limited economic benefit to us doesn't justify the high human and financial cost. Furthermore, the Middle East should be Europe's financial and military responsibilitiy, not ours.

  • by White Flame ( 1074973 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @01:43PM (#38549270)

    And it goes to show that the enemy of your enemy is NOT automatically your friend.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @01:57PM (#38549374)
    And there is a problem. This isn't a fair fight.

    Iran launches speedboats. US ships pick them up on radar. Missiles are launched, and two minutes later their base is gone.

    Their base, which also happened to be a civilian scuba training company, and they were doing an under-twelves half-price special. Congratulations, you just murdered a party of children.

    Iran doesn't have to win militarily. That is impossible, and they know it. All they really need to do is make the US look like the villain here. Just view the whole confrontation as a very expensive propaganda stunt. Provoke the US into a war, make sure some civilians get caught in the middle, frame the US for their death.
  • by tqk ( 413719 ) <s.keeling@mail.com> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @02:00PM (#38549414)

    Furthermore, we have reasons and justification for going to war with Iran.

    Name them. And when you do, be sure to exclude any reasons that would appear hypocritical - those which could as easily apply to the US or its allies.

    Israel. You know, that puppet Zionist state ostensibly made up of refugees from the Holocaust? The (believed) long overdue answer to all the centuries of pogroms visited on Jews by Xtians?

    If the US fixed its campaign finance laws, its politicos would no longer be able to pander to the Jewish lobby and its money. Consequently, if Israel was no longer able to get away with bitch-slapping the Palestinians, maybe the Middle East would finally be able to get along with each other again. They did in the distant past, you know?

  • Sure it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @02:28PM (#38549682)

    Here's something you forget: What the American public will tolerate is based on how angry/scared they are. If Iran starts sinking American ships, and gas jumps up to $10, the American public won't care what it takes to fix that. Massive destruction will be just fine.

    Also you confuse what was trying to be done in Iraq with what would need to be done in Iran. In Iraq the misguided goal was nation building. Go in, kill dictator, drive out terrorists, help people establish wonderful democratic society. That is a tall order (an impossible order I'd say) and requires long time occupation. The US military is bad at that. It has never been well designed as an army of conquest. For that you need lots of infantry troops and a willingness to spend them.

    The goal with Iran would be to make them fuck off and leave the strait alone. Much easier. Just blow up enough shit until they pack it in. The US military is the best history has ever seen at that. The amount of destruction they can unleash is amazing, and it is precise too, they can hit the targets they need to take out.

    The lesson to take away from Iraq with regards to this potential conflict is how fast and completely their military was crushed.

  • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @02:36PM (#38549758)

    Protecting you assets with human shields is a war crime.

    Destroying something hidden behind human shields is NOT a war crime.

    That's just Hezbollah's trick. Only fools buy it. They all have their minds made up anyhow, so fuck them.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @02:53PM (#38549908) Homepage Journal
    Riddle me this! What is the longest amount of time the USA has gone without being at war? Sure the proles were tired of those dirty old wars, but offer them a shiny new war just in time for election season? A lot of guys on the R side have had a hard-on for Iran for years. If shrub hadn't jumped into Iraq when he did, I bet he'd have found some reason to invade Iran. I always thought that was part of his strategy in the middle east, but Iraq turned out to be a wee bit harder than he thought it would be so he never got around to it.

    I can't wait to see WHAT will happen!

  • by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @04:11PM (#38550590)

    People spout this bullshit all the time. But they never go on to say that the U.S. and Europe produce most of the world's "resources" also.

    America is a net food exporter and has been for a long time. Those ships filled with grain in all the third world ports? They came from the West. Those starving children you see on T.V.? They are the result of tin pot dictators, communist leftovers and various socialist utopian visionaries.

    Just look at Zimbabwe. once, an exporter of food to the rest of the region, known as the breadbasket of Africa. Then Robert Mugabe came to power, lauded by all the leftists in the West as a man of the people. Now look at it. Inflation in the 1000%+, they can't feed themselves, oppression, and those children you see on late night TV.

    Did America cause that? Did my having a second Big Mac cause that? My big screen TV? Nope.

    Look at Venezuela. Same story, they just haven't reached the end game yet. Chavez is still the darling of the Hollywood left even as he slowly and relentlessly takes away their freedoms one bit at a time and destroys their economy. If an American President shut down CBS because of their editorial policies, people like you would be shitting bricks 24/7. Chavez does it and the response is, "well, they were fomenting rebellion."

    Is the West "stealing" from Iran? not at $105 a barrel we're not.

    We don't have a problem of not enough resources. We have a problem of uneven distribution. And that's not caused by Americans raising our own food and feeding ourselves, it's caused by authoritarian governments oppressing their citizens.

  • by lonecrow ( 931585 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @03:57AM (#38554670)
    Some of what you say is true however we also have a trade strategy that punishes the developing world.

    At world trade meetings the US and Europe constantly harp on about the importance of free trade. BUT then they claim that food is a strategic resource as a justification of their $40b subsidy of farms in the EU and $20b in the US.

    So you see free trade means that I can buy your banks and phone companies but it does not mean that you can sell us your food.

    What are small developing nations supposed to export? Fire engines and ice breakers? Let the poor bastards sell us food on a level playing field then talk to me about how it is their lack of character that is holding them back.

    The West, like the rest, are hypocrites.
  • by cjsm ( 804001 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @05:57AM (#38554998)
    We don't have a problem of not enough resources. We have a problem of uneven distribution. And that's not caused by Americans raising our own food and feeding ourselves, it's caused by authoritarian governments oppressing their citizens.

    Sure, and many of the authoritarian governments which protect the rich and keep people in poverty have been backed by the U.S. See Pakistan or Mubarak in Egypt before he was overthrown, or the capitalist governments installed by the U.S. in Central America. You were modded a five? Slashdot really has a lot of ignorant right-wingers. Read up on the history of Columbia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, or El Salvador. The U.S.enforces an economic system where the farm workers earn slave wages growing coffee and bananas, while the bulk of the profits going to multinational corporations and rich landlords. According to Wikipedia

    Colombia has the fourth largest economy in Latin America, but income and wealth are unevenly distributed.[37][38] In 1990, the income ratio between the richest and poorest 10% was 40-to-one, climbing to 80-to-one in 2000.[39] In 2009, Colombia had a Gini coefficient of 0.587, one of the highest in Latin America,[40] with 46% of Colombians living below the poverty line and 17% in "extreme poverty".[41][42][43]

    That's the economic system the U.S. have given Columbia billions in military aid to protect. In short, your comment is bullshit. The U.S. is responsible as anyone for the poverty in the world.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright