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Thread: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

  1. #1
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?



    In this interview hosted by Bill Maher back in 2013, Netanyahu argues that Iran cannot be viewed like the Soviet Union, which was sensible enough not to start a nuclear war with the United States and NATO during the Cold War era. He argues that the Iranian regime headed by its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is not a reasonable or sensible party because of their apocalyptic beliefs about the return of Mahdi, the savior, in Shia Islam. Netanyahu argues that the Iranian government would have no problem with immediately instigating nuclear war because of their firm beliefs in a better afterlife for them should all of them die from nuclear retaliation (MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction). What do you guys think? Do you think the Iranians are level-headed enough to handle the awesome responsibility of having nuclear weapons, should that ever happen? Or are they pure extremists who can't wait to start a nuclear war that would blow Israel and Iran off the face of the Earth, in a fallout event that would endanger the whole planet? Mind you, even in worst case scenarios, as described here and here, most of humanity would be okay, but still, it would be extremely bleak.

    We don't necessarily need to discuss current events and the Obama White House engaging in talks with Iran presently (about regular international monitoring of their uranium enrichment program in return for a lift of sanctions). Instead, this thread should be used to discuss the intentions, motivations, goals, etc. of Iran. Is this just a bunch of rhetoric for the next election cycle by Bibi, considering how Israel and Iran are open enemies fighting via proxies like Hezbollah? Or is there a grain of truth here that those in power in Iran are truly psychotic apocalyptic genocidal nutcases with their finger ready to hit the red button?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    You'd have to be a complete idiot and a frothing-at-the-mouth islamophobe to believe the the Iranian government does not understand the idea of MAD. In-fact, that they do understand is the only conceivable reason for Iran to even want nuclear weapons in the first place (its certainly not winning them any brownie points on the world stage, is it?). Israel is well-known as a loose cannon (even by US standards), is armed with nukes, and guess who they're pointed at. That's why Israel wants to point fingers at Iran.

    Though he is in many respects at the helm, the Ayatollah does not 'run' or 'control' Iran. Nor does the president of Iran. It is run by all the government, bureaucracy, military and economic figures as a whole. If any number of them says "I think starting the apocalypse is a bad idea" then they can effortlessly remove or counter-act anyone with such ambitions, even the Ayatollah.
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    Menelik_I's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Iran is launching a very aggressive foreign policy in the Region by actively taking over Iraq, throwing all its weight behind Bashar Al-Assad, Controls Lebanon, tried to take over "that small Island I can't remember", taking over Yemen through the Houthis Coup, all while maintaining 2 heavily armed terrorists groups against Israel.

    Are they going to start WW3 ? Maybe, but are they going to be emboldened and crank up to 11 their aggressive foreign policy once they get the Nuclear advantage against Israel and Arab states.

    If the middle East is now destabilized by 10 Years of Iranian foreign policy, nuclear Iran will be even worse. Also Iranian Nukes will prompt Sunnis Powers to get Nukes, then the questions is no longer is "Iran going to start the apocalypse" but how "how are we close to it now that Suni and Shia are armed with Nukes".

    Considering the spectacular rise of ISIS, maybe in the near future one of those Nuke Armed Suni states will fall under a Islamic Coup, and now you have two Islamic Regimes with the world most dangerous weapons.
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    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pathfinder View Post
    Though he is in many respects at the helm, the Ayatollah does not 'run' or 'control' Iran. Nor does the president of Iran. It is run by all the government, bureaucracy, military and economic figures as a whole. If any number of them says "I think starting the apocalypse is a bad idea" then they can effortlessly remove or counter-act anyone with such ambitions, even the Ayatollah.
    Right, even though he is never really openly challenged (aside from indirect criticisms), even the Ayatollah must rule by the consensus of the clerical oligarchy that was responsible for making him the supreme leader (following Khomenei's death in 1989). Just how sane is the rest of the Iranian government, though? From what I gather Iranians value their own lives and look forward to preserving their civilization. We can't be so sure about those who will take the reins of power in Iran ten or twenty years from now, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post
    Considering the spectacular rise of ISIS, maybe in the near future one of those Nuke Armed Suni states will fall under a Islamic Coup, and now you have two Islamic Regimes with the world most dangerous weapons.
    Actually, I'm far more vexed and frightened by the potential for something like this to happen in, say, Pakistan, than I am for Iran. Pakistan has had its assassinations and coups in the recent past. Imagine if the Taliban toppled the present Pakistani government, which presently controls nuclear weapons. For starters there would be a nuclear war with India and the crazy Taliban would have no problems sacrificing and "martyring" the entire nation of Pakistan and all its people in a nuclear holocaust. If all the Sunni powers in the region plus Iran had nukes, and just one of those Sunni powers fell into chaos in another one of those Arab Spring type revolutions, then they would definitely send a missile or two towards Iran, and Iran would naturally retaliate. That's why I think an international monitoring solution of the Iranian uranium stocks and nuclear program for supposed energy uses is so pivotal, but we can save that discussion for another thread.

    Do you think it is simply inevitable for Sunni powers and Iran to gain or develop nuclear weapons by the end of the 21st century?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pathfinder View Post
    You'd have to be a complete idiot and a frothing-at-the-mouth islamophobe to believe the the Iranian government does not understand the idea of MAD. In-fact, that they do understand is the only conceivable reason for Iran to even want nuclear weapons in the first place (its certainly not winning them any brownie points on the world stage, is it?). Israel is well-known as a loose cannon (even by US standards), is armed with nukes, and guess who they're pointed at. That's why Israel wants to point fingers at Iran.

    Though he is in many respects at the helm, the Ayatollah does not 'run' or 'control' Iran. Nor does the president of Iran. It is run by all the government, bureaucracy, military and economic figures as a whole. If any number of them says "I think starting the apocalypse is a bad idea" then they can effortlessly remove or counter-act anyone with such ambitions, even the Ayatollah.
    -/-/-/-/-/-
    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    We can't be so sure about those who will take the reins of power in Iran ten or twenty years from now, though.
    Conjecture, you can say the same about the FN in France or the GD in Greece. I, for one, look forward to the day Netanyahu will have to step up and nuke both Paris and Athens.
    Last edited by Yayattasa; February 27, 2015 at 11:58 PM.


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    Ciciro's Avatar Can't make up his mind
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Menelik_I View Post

    Are they going to start WW3 ? Maybe, but are they going to be emboldened and crank up to 11 their aggressive foreign policy once they get the Nuclear advantage against Israel and Arab states.
    #1, I think we all know by now that Israel already has nukes, so there would be no nuclear advantage against Israel. #2, all of our intelligence is saying that while they are refining uranium, they are not doing it in the necessary quantity nor quality to actually be able to make an effective nuclear weapon. #3, should the talks fail and Iran does actually tries to develop nuclear weapons, then this guy will be in the first wave of bombers heading straight for Tehran.


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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    I don't think the Iranians are frothing at the mouth enough to make WWIII their active goal; granted some of their leadership is composed of religious extremists, but lets just say that you don't get to be top dog by becoming a martyr, but rather by allowing others to martyr themselves in your name. A nuclear war is suicide, and they know it, and aren't keen on it.

    That being said however, simply possessing a nuclear weapon will make them untouchable to anything but sanctions. This means they can turn up their funding of terrorists and proxy wars to a maximum, and militarily, we won't be able to do much, like we can't touch Russia for what its doing in Ukraine.
    There's also the issue of what happens to the nukes if the Iranian regime ever turns unstable...

    Throw in nations like Saudi Arabia or Egypt starting to feel threatened by Iranian nuclear power and arming up themselves, and you have a real recipe for disaster. Their regimes aren't entirely stable either, and wars have been known to start even when none of the sides involved really wants them.

    In short, no, I don't think the Iranians are quite that genocidal, but letting them develop nuclear capability, or even breakout nuclear potential, is still a really, really bad idea.
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    classical_hero's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Well President Obama is doing his best to make sure Iran can have nukes, judging by his "negotiations". Basically he gave everything the Iranians want and got nothing in return. Just shows why a community organiser should never become president, because he doesn't know how to properly wield power.

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    Ciciro's Avatar Can't make up his mind
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by classical_hero View Post
    Well President Obama is doing his best to make sure Iran can have nukes, judging by his "negotiations". Basically he gave everything the Iranians want and got nothing in return. Just shows why a community organiser should never become president, because he doesn't know how to properly wield power.
    What exactly is he supposed to do other than try and negotiate with the Iranians? Even more sanctions? Threaten them? Bomb them? Iran is like a turtle, you threaten it in any way and it retreats back into its shell. If the demands are too great, then Iran will just make nuclear weapons, as it would see that as the better option than making a deal.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ciciro View Post
    What exactly is he supposed to do other than try and negotiate with the Iranians? Even more sanctions? Threaten them? Bomb them? Iran is like a turtle, you threaten it in any way and it retreats back into its shell. If the demands are too great, then Iran will just make nuclear weapons, as it would see that as the better option than making a deal.
    Part of the "bomb them" scenario involves wrecking any nuclear infrastructure they have, thereby sending them back to square one, which is without any further policy change on the Iranian's part, bought you another 10-15 years over the course of a couple of hours.
    Forcing policy change is also perfectly feasible, if you're willing to set up a naval blockade and bomb a few key pieces of infrastructure--the militarized version of sanctions, if you will. Bread riots really are a very effective policy changer, and are a preferable alternative to seeing the middle east flare up in a nuclear arms race, no ground invasion necessary.

    The US is currently the world's only superpower. They shouldn't be negotiating with Iran like an equal, because they don't have to; might makes right. The Iranians wouldn't be so entrenched in their positions if they knew bombs start whistling down the moment the negotiations fail, but as I've already mentioned, they just don't see "no-drama" Obama as a real military threat, and they're correct in their assessment.
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    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yayattasa View Post
    Conjecture, you can say the same about the FN in France or the GD in Greece.
    Exactly. Also, imo, the Israeli warhawks are more worried about the fact that because of a nuclear Iran, they won't be able to bully the entire Middle East, by being the only nuclear power in the region. Also, Iran is not controlled by religious fanatics and based on the recent tendancies, I predict that the situation will become even better in the future, so it's a classic case of fear-mongering on behalf of Israel, in a hopefully fruitless effort to manipulate the West's public opinion.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caligula's_Horse View Post
    Part of the "bomb them" scenario involves wrecking any nuclear infrastructure they have, thereby sending them back to square one, which is without any further policy change on the Iranian's part, bought you another 10-15 years over the course of a couple of hours.
    Forcing policy change is also perfectly feasible, if you're willing to set up a naval blockade and bomb a few key pieces of infrastructure--the militarized version of sanctions, if you will. Bread riots really are a very effective policy changer, and are a preferable alternative to seeing the middle east flare up in a nuclear arms race, no ground invasion necessary.
    Oh, I see you like breaking international laws on war. Cool. How many would have to supposedly die in starvation for your policy changes to happen? Would you be happy with 5 million? Maybe 10 million is enough?


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    Vanoi's Avatar Comes Limitis
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yayattasa View Post
    Oh, I see you like breaking international laws on war.
    What laws of war deny a nation from targeting infrastructure?
    Quote Originally Posted by RubiconDecision View Post
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    absolutely disgusting breach of protocol by Netanyahu, and lovely cooperation by speaker Boehner engaging in laughable partisan stunts which are poisonous to the wider US-Israel relations but neither Boehner or Netanyahu seem to really care; even Mossad are vocally disagreeing.

    Boehner: "hey Bibi, we'll be EXTRA tough on Iran, and send you more Iron Dome money, even though we can't even fund OUR national security for more than 3 weeks!"

    what an absolute laughingstock of a speaker and a pathetic republican house.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yayattasa View Post
    Oh, I see you like breaking international laws on war. Cool. How many would have to supposedly die in starvation for your policy changes to happen? Would you be happy with 5 million? Maybe 10 million is enough?
    International law isn't worth the paper its written on, though if its important to you for some reason, I'm pretty sure naval blockades are perfectly legal, as is busting bridges. The law is only worth as much as its enforcement, and seeing as the UN doesn't have much of a nation-state police, I'd say enforcement is trivial.

    You'd also be surprised but the riots start a lot sooner then any real number of food shortage related deaths. Look at the naval blockade on Germany in WWI--it put a lot political pressure on the government to end the war, but didn't actually kill that many people. It was certainly less lethal than a military incursion into Germany proper, which it handily prevented.

    The idea is to prevent the entire region from flaring up in a nuclear arms race that can easily go hot, kill millions of people and wreck the entire world's economy while its at it. If the price we pay to stop that is bombing campaign, a naval engagement and civil unrest in Iran, we'd still be getting the deal of a lifetime.
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    We already know that they were not developing a nuclear warhead. They've been claimed to be doing just that and one year away from accomplishing it for decades now.

    That said, the idea that once they somehow magically produce nukes that they'll go berserk on foreign policy or that they will bomb Israel is mostly based on people's own biases. Iran is irrational because of their apocalyptic belief of the Mahdi? Really? That's the best Netanyahu can do? Pathetic.
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by snuggans View Post
    absolutely disgusting breach of protocol by Netanyahu, and lovely cooperation by speaker Boehner engaging in laughable partisan stunts which are poisonous to the wider US-Israel relations but neither Boehner or Netanyahu seem to really care; even Mossad are vocally disagreeing.
    Eh, Boehner gets to invite whoever he wants to speak to Congress. That's the power he has. Period. Full stop. The problem here is he didn't think it through and Israel is officially a partisan cause for the first time since it was founded and the next question is what sort of idiotic bombshells will Netanyahu drop that Mossad leaks can counter like his 2012 UN speech. (In)Conveniently.
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    Stario's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    I think quite the opposite. I think nukes = sovereignty not armageddon.
    Hence, places like North Korea are not going "MAD", while at the same time are being left alone and not invaded/occupied by our Jewish-murican overlords.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caligula's_Horse View Post
    International law isn't worth the paper its written on, though if its important to you for some reason, I'm pretty sure naval blockades are perfectly legal, as is busting bridges. The law is only worth as much as its enforcement, and seeing as the UN doesn't have much of a nation-state police, I'd say enforcement is trivial.

    You'd also be surprised but the riots start a lot sooner then any real number of food shortage related deaths. Look at the naval blockade on Germany in WWI--it put a lot political pressure on the government to end the war, but didn't actually kill that many people. It was certainly less lethal than a military incursion into Germany proper, which it handily prevented.

    The idea is to prevent the entire region from flaring up in a nuclear arms race that can easily go hot, kill millions of people and wreck the entire world's economy while its at it. If the price we pay to stop that is bombing campaign, a naval engagement and civil unrest in Iran, we'd still be getting the deal of a lifetime.
    Humanitarian wars would be a good idea. But when was the last time either anyone actually fought one of those? Discounting UN sanctioned interventions, never. Since WWII every time a someone acting without the UN claimed war was a humanitarian necessity, they were either wrong or lying.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vanoi View Post
    What laws of war deny a nation from targeting infrastructure?
    None. International law isn't worth much. But nations certainly can be evil in international affairs.

    For example, in the Gulf War, the coalition bombing Iraqi bridges made perfect sense. It helped defeat the Iraqi army. The same coalition bombing power stations and sewage treatment plants was simply being evil and murdering civilians. All of the Iraqi Army's radar and other equipment ran on portable generators. Destroying this civilian infrastructure had no negative impact at all on the Iraqi army. But it did cut off electricity to hospitals and caused outbreaks of water-borne diseases that killed innocent civilians whose only crime was to live in the wrong country.
    Last edited by Enros; March 01, 2015 at 05:47 PM.

  20. #20
    Vanoi's Avatar Comes Limitis
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    Default Re: Is Benjamin Netanyahu right about Iran starting nuclear war, if they ever developed nukes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    None. International law isn't worth much. But nations certainly can be evil in international affairs.
    For example, in the Gulf War, the coalition bombing Iraqi bridges made perfect sense. It helped defeat the Iraqi army. The same coalition bombing power stations and sewage treatment plants was simply being evil and murdering civilians. All of the Iraqi Army's radar and other equipment ran on portable generators. Destroying this civilian infrastructure had no negative impact at all on the Iraqi army. But it did cut off electricity to hospitals and caused outbreaks of water-borne diseases that killed innocent civilians whose only crime was to live in the wrong country.
    Thats actually false. There are types of infrastructure that are illegal to target.

    http://www.crimesofwar.org/a-z-guide...itary-targets/

    A very nice source that sums up what a legitimate military target is.

    Legitimate infrastructure targets include lines and means of communication, command, and control—railway lines, roads, bridges, tunnels, and canals—that are of fundamental military importance.
    Legitimate communications targets include broadcasting and television stations, and telephone and telegraph exchanges of fundamental military importance.
    Legitimate military-industrial targets include factories producing arms, transport, and communications equipment for the military; metallurgical, engineering, and chemicals industries whose nature or purpose is essentially military; and the storage and transport installations serving such industries.
    Legitimate military research targets include experimental research centers for the development of weapons and war matériel.
    Legitimate energy targets include installations providing energy mainly for national defense, such as coal and other fuels, and plants producing gas or electricity mainly for military consumption. Attacks on nuclear power stations and hydroelectric dams are generally, but not always, prohibited by the laws of war.
    One of the major problems in differentiating legal from illegal or criminal acts of war concerns apparently civilian objectives that may have a use by the military. Most buildings used by civilians in peacetime are protected under international law. Article 52 of Additional Protocol I states, “In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house, or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.”
    If the military starts using civilian infrastructure, its becomes a target.
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