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Oh joy. This won't end well.
November 1, 2006 8:24 PM   Subscribe

Lieberman appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs Has the Israeli government has served notice on the White House that it must take pre-emptive action against Iran's sites of nuclear weapons development - or Israel will go it alone and do the job itself. Israel has apparently given Bush a deadline of six months. The Arms control wonk has this about the next set of Uranium 164 centrifuge cascade
posted by rough ashlar (25 comments total)

 
When I first read that I was glad that Joe Lieberman would be leaving the US. However, on closer inspection.... I guess there are many Liebermans out there.
posted by matkline at 8:34 PM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


It will be harder for Bush Co. to start the next war without controlling both houses of Congress.
posted by caddis at 9:00 PM on November 1, 2006


That is a simply mindblowing level of arrogance. Simple solution: cut off all American aid to Israel until they get over the idea of presenting ultimatums to their largest benefactor.

I used to be a big supporter of Israel: they steadily eroded every bit of my support by their consistently morally bankrupt actions.

Not that I'm happy about Iran getting nukes -- but more violence from Israel is NOT the answer in the Middle East.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:03 PM on November 1, 2006


I wonder if the US public will support another war right now? Anything short of just air strikes means a draft, and air strikes may instigate Iranian movement into Iraq, if not worse. Seriously are we going to get further dragged into the middle east because Israel is chomping at the bit? That last soiree with Lebanon wasn't exactly a resounding success on the ground. Can we say WWI political entanglements?
posted by edgeways at 9:05 PM on November 1, 2006


So the world is currently going down the toilet and we have a leader in the US who has a hold of the handle because he's afraid of falling in.
posted by edgeways at 9:07 PM on November 1, 2006 [2 favorites]


I think that a nuclear Iran would actually make the middle east more stable, or at least no less stable. Nuclear weapons offer no real tactical advantage to Iran right now; Israel is a first-class nuclear power with second strike capability. Iran might nuke every inch of Israel, but they'd be assured that Israel's subs would promptly turn Tehran into a parking lot.

The only halfway serious threat Iran poses with nuclear weapons would be selling them to non-state entities, unlikely since they'd ultimately be held responsible for whatever the weapons were used for. Iran is benefitting from the tension caused by their saber-rattling in the form of higher oil prices. They'd pay dearly if there were actual peace in the middle east (as would the major oil companies, no?).
posted by mullingitover at 9:16 PM on November 1, 2006


some centres of nuclear energy production - Bushir, Natanz and Tehran itself - are heavily populated. Civilian casualties would be high.

I can see that really holding Israel back...
posted by pompomtom at 9:16 PM on November 1, 2006


Huh? There's no story here. Olmert, facing potential difficulties getting his budget passed, brought in a marginal right-wing party into his coalition. Instead of giving the head of that party an actual ministry, they made up a fancy-sounding title for him. That's it.

Nothing that I've read suggests that Lieberman has been given any actual authority whatsoever. He absolutely can't independely authorize military strikes.
posted by kickingtheground at 9:23 PM on November 1, 2006


The only halfway serious threat Iran poses with nuclear weapons would be selling them to non-state entities, unlikely since they'd ultimately be held responsible for whatever the weapons were used for. Iran is benefitting from the tension caused by their saber-rattling in the form of higher oil prices. They'd pay dearly if there were actual peace in the middle east (as would the major oil companies, no?).

Ding! Throw in the right-wingnuts benefitting too and you've got a winner!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:45 PM on November 1, 2006


Ah, another poorly written conspiracy theory from rough ashlar.
posted by docgonzo at 9:59 PM on November 1, 2006


I went out with a girl last week who I met on j-date. For a while, I thought she was on the borderline between cute and not-cute. Then she started to talk about Zionism, and how she voted for Bush because she thought that he would be strong on Israel. I haven't called her since.

Moral of the story - Zionism makes people ugly.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:05 PM on November 1, 2006


and how she voted for Bush

Oh... then you nailed her for sure, right?
posted by tkchrist at 10:15 PM on November 1, 2006


Israel launches major Gaza raid
posted by homunculus at 10:25 PM on November 1, 2006




I wonder if the US public will support another war right now?
posted by edgeways at 9:05 PM


Doesn't really matter. If the oil flow is stopped (or slowed), the resulting price spike won't be pleasant. And for the US of A, if oil ends up not being traded in Dollars, that too shall be unplesant. What will be the reaction to the reaction of a lack of fuel (and that means a lack of JIT shipped items like, oh food.)

If Iranian units (regulars or not) opt to close off the supply lines to the US troops, that too is unplesant.


Can we say WWI political entanglements?

There are so many roads not taken....
posted by rough ashlar at 10:39 PM on November 1, 2006


So, some online magazine asks "Are Israelis gearing up to bomb Iran?" The article cites rumors that Israel has given the US a deadline or it will act. Strange how those rumors appear nowhere else outside of the reporting of an online magazine. Bah. At least find some decent reporting.

Lieberman is simply a way to prevent Olmert's coalition from falling apart as he tries to pass the new budget, and his cabinet post is a clever way of avoiding giving him real power. Israel knows that it can't stop Iran's nuclear program, but it sure hopes that somebody does. The real discussion about Lieberman is about his right-wing views, which have been causing a lot of debate in the Labor party and the Israeli press, and resulting in one cabinet minister quitting in protest. This first-strike stuff is nonsense for a FPP.

Incidentally, the results of the Holocaust cartoon contest in Iran were announced today. If you missed it, no worries, because according to the Minister of Culture, it will "continue until the destruction of Israel." So, that's great.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:06 PM on November 1, 2006


yeah, they like some appalling cartoons, they clearly deserve to die for that
posted by matteo at 2:34 AM on November 2, 2006


This is actually rubbish. Israel does not have the military capacity to attack Iran. F-15s don't have the range, and Iranian air defences are too good. Also, notice that whopping great country Iraq in the way? An overflight of Iraq could only happen with US permission, in which case the Iranians rightly conclude that the US are involved, and retaliate in ways that make the current Iraqi problems look trivial.
posted by wilful at 3:03 AM on November 2, 2006


East answer for Israel: Shut up & build more nukes yourself. Cold wars happen.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:47 AM on November 2, 2006


rough ashlar -

The issue of oil being traded in any major quantity in a denomination other than US dollars has been brought up and debunked as myth for quite a while now. The so-called Iranian Oil Bourse never came to be, and probably never will come to be anytime in the near future.

US dollar hegemony over oil markets is (for the moment) safe. The real concern, as you've stated, is if the flow of oil itself is stopped or significantly slowed. There is currently a rather delicate balance of supply and demand in the system and there's great concern as to whether or not swing producers such as Saudi Arabia will be able to pick up the slack if there is a moderate to large decrease in supply.

Back to the original point of oil being traded in dollars: the Euro is growing in popularity, slowly but surely to the point where more countries are using it as a reserve currency. I don't think the tables are going to turn in the near future, but a trend is definitely in progress.
posted by tgrundke at 6:36 AM on November 2, 2006


The issue of oil being traded in any major quantity in a denomination other than US dollars has been brought up and debunked as myth for quite a while now.

Debunked, or just rejected? The Russians are only taking rubbles for their hydrocarbons. Its a major part of Europe's energy picture.

The 'message' sent to the oil based economic systems was 'trade in non-US Dollars and get what Saddam got' if you happen to take a matter of faith the idea of the US using force to keep the oil system the way it is.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:04 AM on November 2, 2006


Matteo must reading some alternate universe metafilter.
posted by Snyder at 10:25 AM on November 2, 2006


Israel must begin to prepare itself for the collapse of American power which will become almost inevitable (rather than merely probable), beause of the Bush deficits and assorted other stupidities, if the GOP continues to be successful stealing elections in the US.

Bombing Iran's nuclear sites might not be the worst thing they could do to this end, it only represents the limit of my imagination, I suppose. Such a bombing could only succeed by using tactical nukes.

And then....
posted by jamjam at 10:57 AM on November 2, 2006


F-15s don't have the range

Uh. Air refueling. And I'm sure, if they needed too, our nice little air strips in Iraq may do in a pinch.

AS far as Iranian air defenses? There have been, so far, no air defenses good enough to completely stop a determined air attack. The Israelis have some good counter-measure systems, remember. We sold it to them.

The better argument would be; Would an Israeli air attack actually achieve anything positive for them?

The answer is no. It's unlikey they even know what or where to bomb. So they will choose token or secondary strategic targets. Even if they knew where the Iranian sites were most are hardened and underground.

So they will bomb power plants and airstrips and generally fuck up Iranian infrastructure to heap some pain the the Iranian economy. The Iranians expect this.

Iran will hold back on retaliation. Iran will sit a yell "See! See! The Israelis are war mongers!" Iran will let all the terror cells sympathetic to them attack Israel from with-in.

If there are lots of civillian casualties in Iran, Israel is fucked. It's likely world opinion will end up supporting Iran. Iran will get aid and sanctions lifted. And before you know it they willl have all the rationalizations they need for developing a nuke. And fewer nations will be pissed at them for having one.
posted by tkchrist at 12:17 PM on November 2, 2006


Uh. Air refueling.

...would also betray the involvement of the US.
posted by pompomtom at 1:52 AM on November 6, 2006


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