Protest against US actions against Iran

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Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Randomizer » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:47 am UTC

Between it's endless wars abroad and its suppression of its people at home, America has gone too far. The US is already making use of the NDAA: Indefinite detention and torture: NDAA in action. H.R. 3166: Enemy Expatriation Act has been proposed, which if enacted would add a category under which US nationals would lose their nationality. The TSA has been molesting travelers for over a year and shows no signs of being dismantled, in fact has expanded beyond our airports, and US Senator, Rand Paul, was unconstitutionally detained on his way to congress for refusing a pat down. SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and more threaten our global communication networks and ability to speak freely. Occupy Wall Street protesters are pepper-sprayed without justification.

And now that US troops are out of Iraq it seems the saber rattling against Iran is heating up, and the country may be the war-mongering USA's next target. In fact, the US is already meddling with Iran, otherwise the Iranians would not have been able to capture one of the US's spy drones. (See thread, Iran Captures US Stealth Drone and news article Iran shows film of captured US drone.) We must take action.

This Saturday, February 4th, 2012, there are going to be protests in numerous US cities (and even a few Canadian ones) against sanctions and/or war against Iran.

Occupy Wall Street protester Caleb Maupin of the International Action Center speaks against sanctions against Iran in the video 'Enemy is on Wall Street, not in Iran'
Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern says that the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons are false in the video Going to war with Iran on an "if"?

Information on the protests:
Locations: http://www.answercoalition.org/national ... -iran.html
Flier: http://www2.answercoalition.org/site/Do ... docID=9482
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:02 am UTC

Iran is a serious problem: there isn't any doubt that they're creating nuclear weapons, extensive evidence has been gathered to that effect, and they're threatening to destroy other countries, probably using said weapons. Why, exactly, should we let a country promising genocide have nuclear weapons?
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:05 am UTC

For the same reason we didn't do anything to North Korea: their leadership enjoys ruling over something, with their enemies alive more than ruling over nothing, with their enemies dead.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:06 am UTC

That's not enough of a guarantee to justify doing nothing.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:09 am UTC

Nor are their threats enough of a guarantee to justify doing something as significant as declaring war.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby sardia » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:11 am UTC

I hate to agree with sourmilk, so I won't. Instead, what's with the wording in the OP? This article and thread you posted seems pretty incendiary, and biased. I understand not wanting another war or military strikes, but what's wrong with sanctions? It's nonviolent, easily reversible, and costs less in lives and money than the smallest military strike.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:13 am UTC

sardia wrote:I understand not wanting another war or military strikes, but what's wrong with sanctions? It's nonviolent, easily reversible, and costs less in lives and money than the smallest military strike.

I would be OK with sanctions. Military strikes would depend on the situation, while I would oppose an invasion. For what it's worth.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:15 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Nor are their threats enough of a guarantee to justify doing something as significant as declaring war.

Who ever said anything about declaring war? I think military strikes would be justified if Iran were either about to achieve nuclear capabilities or had achieved nuclear capabilities in order to eliminate said weapons. You don't let a guy with a gun walk around the house saying "I'm going to shoot you."

sardia wrote:I hate to agree with sourmilk, so I won't.

I lol'd.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:25 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Who ever said anything about declaring war? I think military strikes would be justified if Iran were either about to achieve nuclear capabilities or had achieved nuclear capabilities in order to eliminate said weapons. You don't let a guy with a gun walk around the house saying "I'm going to shoot you."

Just read the way you're framing this; you very much imply that Iran having nuclear weapons is an event that we can not allow to happen. So, what happens if the air strikes and sanctions aren't enough to stop them? If we've declared that outcome unacceptable, then our only viable choice left is to invade.

And that's where the problem comes in. A country like Iran should be more than technically capable of developing nuclear weapons. I do not know how much access to uranium they have, but presumably if sanctions were enough to stop it by itself then no one would be so worried about this. The only realistic way to stop them is the same way everyone else has been stopped: convince them that it isn't worth the trouble. We can delay their program with air strikes and sanctions, but I don't think we can completely prevent it. If the leadership is willing to take the economic hit from that in order to get a "get out of invasion free" card, then sanctions and air strikes won't be enough to convince them it isn't worth the trouble.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:40 am UTC

Well of course there are circumstances under which war might become necessary, that's the case for every country at any time. But the point is that, under the current circumstances, I don't support going to war with Iran.

Anyways, I think that a few good military strikes could do more damage than you'd think. Some bunker busters, if dropped soon, could eliminate most or all of Iran's nuclear facilities, setting them back decades.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:44 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Who ever said anything about declaring war? I think military strikes would be justified if Iran were either about to achieve nuclear capabilities or had achieved nuclear capabilities in order to eliminate said weapons. You don't let a guy with a gun walk around the house saying "I'm going to shoot you."

Just read the way you're framing this; you very much imply that Iran having nuclear weapons is an event that we can not allow to happen. So, what happens if the air strikes and sanctions aren't enough to stop them? If we've declared that outcome unacceptable, then our only viable choice left is to invade.

And that's where the problem comes in. A country like Iran should be more than technically capable of developing nuclear weapons. I do not know how much access to uranium they have, but presumably if sanctions were enough to stop it by itself then no one would be so worried about this. The only realistic way to stop them is the same way everyone else has been stopped: convince them that it isn't worth the trouble. We can delay their program with air strikes and sanctions, but I don't think we can completely prevent it. If the leadership is willing to take the economic hit from that in order to get a "get out of invasion free" card, then sanctions and air strikes won't be enough to convince them it isn't worth the trouble.


I am not entirely sure if I'd support another fucking war in the Middle East. Even an Air Strike campaign would likely be far more costly against Iran than against Lybia. With the capture of the US Drone, it is likely that Iran has advanced radar systems for example, and thus any form of air strike will require action against Iran's radar and anti-air as a prerequisite. (A number of articles note that the first step to capturing the drone... was to detect the drone)

But lets not get hasty here, there are a wide variety of actions between War and Sanctions. For example, blowing up key scientists, to Sanctions. (BTW: I certainly don't support attacking civilians, but the fact of the matter is... covert action is an option on the table, and IMO, preferable to a forced regime change. Even then, covert action has a lot of suboptions in of itself, from spying with drones, to industrial sabotage to assassinations)

One can be against War in Iran while still supportive of actions against Iran. Articles like in the original post which criticize even a non-lethal Spy Drone are way too pacifist for my own taste. Seriously, our biggest mistake in Iraq was making a move on (allegedly) faulty intelligence. The original post implies that best move against Iran is to stop having intelligence in Iran. In particular, it seems to imply that the Spy Drones are a bad idea. This is... naive at best. To be against any form of action against this country would be a mistake. Non-lethal spying is the best option we got at truly knowing whether or not Iran actually has nuclear weapons.

If future action is ever taken against Iran, the last thing I want to have is yet another "Weapons of Mass Destruction" fiasco like in Iraq. Spy Drones prevent this problem, and thus I'm in support of them. Anyway, I'd certainly be against a war in Iran, but if this can be solved with Sanctions alone, then I'll take the sanctions.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:53 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Well of course there are circumstances under which war might become necessary, that's the case for every country at any time. But the point is that, under the current circumstances, I don't support going to war with Iran.

What if it became known that the only way to prevent them from having nuclear weapons was war; would you support it then? That's the danger I see in your approach. It comes across as saying that we must prevent them having nuclear weapons even if it requires war, even if you'd prefer to use other approaches first. I will not support war against them solely to keep them from having nuclear abilities.

KnightExemplar wrote:One can be against War in Iran while still supportive of actions against Iran.

Agreed- which is why I tried to point out that the only thing I'm outright willing to take off the table is war. Sanctions are an option, as are airstrikes. I don't think I could endorse assassinations, especially of civilians, however.

I can't remember what thread it was in, or who said it (I think it was Zamfir in response to one of the drone assassination stories), but something people need to remember is that sometimes, letting things happen is the better option, and people are too quick to rule that option out. Doing nothing is always an option, and we would be wise to remember that.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:03 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:But lets not get hasty here, there are a wide variety of actions between War and Sanctions. For example, blowing up key scientists, to Sanctions. (BTW: I certainly don't support attacking civilians, but the fact of the matter is... covert action is an option on the table, and IMO, preferable to a forced regime change. Even then, covert action has a lot of suboptions in of itself, from spying with drones, to industrial sabotage to assassinations)


I love that international terrorism is suddenly an acceptable form of diplomacy. My, how times have changed.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:05 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Well of course there are circumstances under which war might become necessary, that's the case for every country at any time. But the point is that, under the current circumstances, I don't support going to war with Iran.

What if it became known that the only way to prevent them from having nuclear weapons was war; would you support it then? That's the danger I see in your approach. It comes across as saying that we must prevent them having nuclear weapons even if it requires war, even if you'd prefer to use other approaches first. I will not support war against them solely to keep them from having nuclear abilities.

Then you underestimate the significance of Iran having nuclear capabilities. Like I said, you don't allow a guy to walk around with a gun saying "I'm going to shoot you!" It's quite possible, maybe probable that Iran won't use nuclear weapons, but that is an incredibly dangerous bet to make. The price for failure is a nuclear bomb.

Mind you, while war might be necessary, I wouldn't support an invasion. I'm pretty sure that all that's necessary to eliminate Iranian nuclear weaponry is a series of air operations over their nuclear facilities. There shouldn't be any of this Iraqi bullshit about trying to replace governments, even though their government could use a good replacing.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:15 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Then you underestimate the significance of Iran having nuclear capabilities. Like I said, you don't allow a guy to walk around with a gun saying "I'm going to shoot you!" It's quite possible, maybe probable that Iran won't use nuclear weapons, but that is an incredibly dangerous bet to make. The price for failure is a nuclear bomb.

The same would have been said about North Korea before, and all they've done with it is continue to act crazy. What about China, Pakistan? They love(d) their rhetoric too. Just because Iran's leadership likes to talk crazy doesn't mean they are crazy.

Beyond that, for whom is this a dangerous bet to make? Certainly not me, living at the other end of the world from Iran. Iran's Sunni neighbors, Israel, and Russia? If it's a dangerous bet for them, then they can stop it. They can be willing to go to war for it. They can pay for stopping it, because the benefit is theirs. Why, exactly, should the US be willing to go to war for it if necessary?
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:19 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:But lets not get hasty here, there are a wide variety of actions between War and Sanctions. For example, blowing up key scientists, to Sanctions. (BTW: I certainly don't support attacking civilians, but the fact of the matter is... covert action is an option on the table, and IMO, preferable to a forced regime change. Even then, covert action has a lot of suboptions in of itself, from spying with drones, to industrial sabotage to assassinations)


I love that international terrorism is suddenly an acceptable form of diplomacy. My, how times have changed.


I never implied that it was "diplomacy". But all of those options are far preferable to another war. One or two dead civilians is much better than the tens of thousands that we'll slay in the name of "collateral damage". And again, I'm not supportive of the action. I'm just trying to state the truth here.

-----------

EDIT:
Anyway, this is the real world. It is absolutely stupid to protest any action what-so-ever against any US Action against Iran. In rough order of least invasive to most invasive, we have:

0. No Action
1. Sanctions
2. Spying
3. Sabotage
4. Military Black Ops (aka assassinations)
5. Air Strikes
6. Invasion

From a frank point of view, I'd push for all actions up to spying at least. (Actually, we'd arguably need Spying to make sure our sanctions are working, and to ensure that we can safely remove sanctions... ) I'll feel uncomfortable with 3, depending on how they were done. (If there are no injuries and damage is completely isolated to the supposed Nuclear Program, I'll be fine with 3. Anything else, I'll be against). I'm straight up against 4 and onwards in the current situation.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:32 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:27 am UTC

For the purposes of classifying "terrorism", I don't think that scientists working on developing weapons should actually be considered "civilians". Terrorism is about spreading, well, terror as a tactic. Killing a few scientists isn't an attempt to use fear as a tactic, it has specific strategic value.

Also, I'm not too well versed with the situation in North Korea, but did Kim Jong-Il regularly state that his goal was to annihilate South Korea and all its inhabitants, or just that we wanted to take South Korea over?
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:34 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I don't think that scientists working on developing weapons should actually be considered "civilians".

So if I got a job at BAE as an engineer I'd be a valid military target?

sourmìlk wrote:Also, I'm not too well versed with the situation in North Korea, but did Kim Jong-Il regularly state that his goal was to annihilate South Korea and all its inhabitants, or just that we wanted to take South Korea over?

Not that I know of, but the point is they made their crazy threats, and they were also willing to back them up with crazy actions. Judging by this comment it would seem to me that your major (only?) concern with Iran getting nuclear weapons is Israel, which makes me ask, again, why should the US be the ones to invade them to stop it, if that's the only way?
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:35 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:For the purposes of classifying "terrorism", I don't think that scientists working on developing weapons should actually be considered "civilians". Terrorism is about spreading, well, terror as a tactic. Killing a few scientists isn't an attempt to use fear as a tactic, it has specific strategic value.


Would you be fine if our enemies targeted say... Lockheed Martin's CEO or their scientists/engineers? They are the scientists / civilians developing weapons such as the F35 Fighter.

There is a clear distinction between "Civilian Scientist" and "Valid Military Target". Attacking civilians, for all intents and purposes, should be considered terrorism.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby sardia » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:42 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:For the purposes of classifying "terrorism", I don't think that scientists working on developing weapons should actually be considered "civilians". Terrorism is about spreading, well, terror as a tactic. Killing a few scientists isn't an attempt to use fear as a tactic, it has specific strategic value.


Would you be fine if our enemies targeted say... Lockheed Martin's CEO or their scientists/engineers? They are the scientists / civilians developing weapons such as the F35 Fighter.

There is a clear distinction between "Civilian Scientist" and "Valid Military Target". Attacking civilians, for all intents and purposes, should be considered terrorism.

There's a reason why nobody is admitting who killed those scientists in Iran. That kind of "black ops" as someone put it is still pretty taboo.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:28 am UTC

Randomizer wrote:Occupy Wall Street protester Caleb Maupin of the International Action Center speaks against sanctions against Iran in the video 'Enemy is on Wall Street, not in Iran'


First off, let me point out the obvious fallacy. The enemy can be BOTH Wall Street AND Iran. Throwing anti-corporate drivel into your argument really hurts it IMO.

But just looking at the video, Caleb seems to ignore the complex issues behind Iran. Indeed, the Iranian revolution tossed out the US Backed government, but the new government has clearly made the US an enemy. We have extremely poor diplomacy between our countries. Furthermore, with Iran potentially behind Hezbollah attacks in Iraq and Israel, they have shown themselves to be an aggressive force against the US.

I'm certainly no expert in Iran, but I know enough to hurt myself in an argument. So... I'll stop sprouting things from memory here :-p. But my point is... I know that the politics in Iran is far more complex than what that video is pushing forth. To blame everything on oil companies and a couple of actions that took place some 35 years ago seems too narrow-minded to me.

(On the politics of Iran... it confuses me. I've met Iranians in College and I've also read through the graphic novel Persepolis. It doesn't exactly seem like the Iranians themselves hate the US, and their culture doesn't seem too backwards to me. They're a reasonably advanced country with a rich history passed down from a very proud cultural identity of Persia. So... why can't we be friends? :-( )

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern says that the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons are false in the video Going to war with Iran on an "if"?


While his title as CIA Analyst gives him some ethos, the fact that he's not in the loop anymore as well as his history of political activism makes me wonder whether or not he is a reliable source. I'm no expert on who has or has not nuclear weapons... but what I do know is... it is worth finding out. And if they are developing nuclear weapons, I'll be supportive of action against them. Thus, I'm for spying, cause how else are we going to find out?

By the way, those videos are absolutely terrible. Its like watching Fox News, except all the viewpoints are upside down. The moderators don't ask tough questions, and they pander to a specific viewpoint. I mean hell, at least on Fox, you get clear Liberals on the show. Even if they're shut down and ignored, they get some (short) amount of time to voice their opinion. Those videos don't even have Fox's level of journalism, and that is pretty sad.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby yurell » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:45 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:On the politics of Iran... it confuses me. I've met Iranians in College and I've also read through the graphic novel Persepolis. It doesn't exactly seem like the Iranians themselves hate the US, and their culture doesn't seem too backwards to me. They're a reasonably advanced country with a rich history passed down from a very proud cultural identity of Persia. So... why can't we be friends? :-(


From what I understand, most of them hate your government (not your citizens) in part due to the large propaganda spam of the Iranian government. However, the Persians used to love the US, and the US repaid them by helping to remove their democratically elected government and replacing it with a dictator and the US' assistance to Iraq when Iraq used WMDs against Iran.

The former event lead to the Islamic Revolution to remove the Shah, while the latter helped push Iran further away from the US, like the 1988 attack by the US, the US shooting down a civilian Iranian plane, the US adding Iran to the 'Axis of Evil', and the fact for nearly thepast decade the US has been flying spy planes over their country. A summary of these events can be found here.

There's no reason that the two countries 'can't' be friends, but it's been made very difficult by both US and Iranian actions that have made Iran a pariah state, and the US constantly demonising Iran, which is met by Iran demonising the US.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Randomizer » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:57 am UTC

sardia wrote:I hate to agree with sourmilk, so I won't. Instead, what's with the wording in the OP? This article and thread you posted seems pretty incendiary, and biased. I understand not wanting another war or military strikes, but what's wrong with sanctions? It's nonviolent, easily reversible, and costs less in lives and money than the smallest military strike.
To quote the Ronpaul, "Sanctions are very serious, sanctions are literally an act of war." and "There is no proof, according to our CIA, that they are actually working on a nuclear weapon."

Russia and China both object to US sanctions against Iran, and considering they have big fucking armies of their own, even if the US doesn't give a fuck about other people, it might want to at least consider what a couple countries with big sticks of their own are saying.

As far as the incendiary tone - well... let's just say that SOPA was the catalyst for me recently changing over from "Shit's always happening in the world and there's only so much anyone can do, so why upset myself with directionless anger over every bad thing I hear about?" to "Oh, crap, shit's really going down now! Something NEEDS to be done." Because after reading discussions about SOPA, and the blackout happening, and reading maddox's rant, I started thinking, "Ok, I've got to do more than sign a petition, let's boycott, let's do some other stuff to keep SOPA dead," and THEN I started looking into ACTA, but it didn't end there. I'd think, "Ok, I'm going to write my congressmen about this issue," but then I found something else going on that was bullshit, and then more and more legislation that was utter crap. And then I started thinking about other shit I already knew was going on and finally it dawned on me - there's a connection here...

And we've gone to hell in a fucking handbasket.

I don't need anymore convincing that there's a problem. What's going on in this country and around the world is damned serious. I don't believe I have a choice to sit around and do nothing anymore. I'd rather just doodle and look at cat videos, but things are too far gone and keep heading further in that direction that I really have no other options than to push against the tide. Action must be taken. And that's why my post has the tone it does.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:25 am UTC

So, there's substantial amount of evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, and if that's really being contested, I can link to it.

As to the issue of military scientists and weapons developers: if your work for the government poses a legitimate threat to the safety of another country, you are a legitimate target. As awesome as lockheed-martin is, if they were developing some sort of weapon that would obliterate the Taliban, then I would consider an attack by the Taliban on a lead scientist or engineer at Lockheed-Martin to be a military operation and not an act of terror. Terrorism isn't just the killing of civilians, it's the targeting of civilians for political purposes. Assassinating an engineer whose work poses a direct threat has a clear military effect, and is arguably one of the least violent courses of action that can be taken to effect that effect.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Angua » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:34 am UTC

Randomizer wrote: The TSA has been molesting travelers for over a year and shows no signs of being dismantled, in fact has expanded beyond our airports,

Could you find me a citation for this? I read a brief paragraph about in the Times travel section last week Sunday, and I haven't been able to find any mention of it anywhere else.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Zamfir » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:42 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:(On the politics of Iran... it confuses me. I've met Iranians in College and I've also read through the graphic novel Persepolis. It doesn't exactly seem like the Iranians themselves hate the US, and their culture doesn't seem too backwards to me. They're a reasonably advanced country with a rich history passed down from a very proud cultural identity of Persia. So... why can't we be friends? :-( )

well, keep in mind that the Iranian people we meet in the west are not a typical cross-section of Iranians. That's also true for many other windows we get of Iranian views, like Satrapi. Many of them are from a somewhat upscale urban background, the kind of people who travel a lot, have acquaintances abroad, whose families took on a somewhat western lifestyle decades. Doesn't mean they are necessarily rich, or that they or their families supported the Shah, just that they are not representative of the whole.

Of course, Iranian exile communities are even heavier biased in this direction. Though even among the exiles, you'll find enough people (especially the first generation) who hate on the US and the UK. And BP of course. It could be that the more socialist, originally pro-revolution and anti-west exiles ended up more in Europe and less in the US, but I don't know that for a fact.

The analogue I tell myself (faulty, but I think it captures something): Imagine for a moment that Obama really is a traitor, really is selling out the US to the muslim communists of the UN, and that many of the US blue state elites really are either supporting him, or not doing enough to stop him. The true heartland Americans take their beloved guns, and march under popular support to Washington and dipose of the oppressive government.

The heartland coalition falls apart, squabbles among itself, and some Jerry Falwell-type wing comes out on top. And having just saved the country, they feel justified in remaking the country in their own image. Then while the US is weak and divided, the UN world government gives lots of money to the Russians to finally win the cold war and retake Alaska. The Falwell militias save the country, at heavy human cost though.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:51 am UTC

Angua wrote:
Randomizer wrote: The TSA has been molesting travelers for over a year and shows no signs of being dismantled, in fact has expanded beyond our airports,

Could you find me a citation for this? I read a brief paragraph about in the Times travel section last week Sunday, and I haven't been able to find any mention of it anywhere else.

They've already expanded.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:31 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:As to the issue of military scientists and weapons developers: if your work for the government poses a legitimate threat to the safety of another country, you are a legitimate target. As awesome as lockheed-martin is, if they were developing some sort of weapon that would obliterate the Taliban, then I would consider an attack by the Taliban on a lead scientist or engineer at Lockheed-Martin to be a military operation and not an act of terror. Terrorism isn't just the killing of civilians, it's the targeting of civilians for political purposes. Assassinating an engineer whose work poses a direct threat has a clear military effect, and is arguably one of the least violent courses of action that can be taken to effect that effect.

Wow.

I think you're applying far too black and white an approach to this. Defining the people who are a threat to another country is going to be a hugely fuzzy affair, and you can't just look at the pure, worst case scenario of an option being used. There's a reason we have a strong distinction between civilians and military personnel for the purposes of declaring valid targets. Perhaps some civilians could be legitimately argued to be an honest threat, but defining them specifically, and defining them in such a way as to not include actual innocents is going to be practically impossible in the real world.

Condoning military action- black ops or not- against civilian targets is a very heinous act, and I do not think any argument being a legitimate threat can be safely attached to any civilians, save perhaps for para-military operatives. Being willing to accept assassinations and killings of scientists and engineers is, to be blunt, something I find dangerous and outright psychotic. I hope one day you think back on this opinion of yours and change your mind, because I suspect that I can not articulate it well enough to change your mind myself.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:50 am UTC

I really don't see the problem with my opinion. Scientists and engineers working on military technology can pose a direct military threat to an enemy country, and if they do, removing them is a military operation. If the Japanese were to assassinate a scientist working on the atomic bomb, I would not consider that an act of terror.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Deep_Thought » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:14 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Like I said, you don't allow a guy to walk around with a gun saying "I'm going to shoot you!"

Erm, just to play Devil's Advocate for a moment here, isn't this pretty much how the Iranian Government views US policy in the Middle East? And hence they want their own gun to wave back and say "No, you're not"?

sourmìlk wrote:I really don't see the problem with my opinion. Scientists and engineers working on military technology can pose a direct military threat to an enemy country, and if they do, removing them is a military operation. If the Japanese were to assassinate a scientist working on the atomic bomb, I would not consider that an act of terror.

If you don't consider it an "act of terror" what is it? An "act of war"? Because the last time I checked, no-one is officially at war with Iran right now.

For the record, I don't like the idea of Iran getting nukes because I don't like proliferation full-stop. I just think the situation is more complicated than perhaps you portray it. As for your mention of bunker busters earlier, I read this yesterday. It may just be an excuse for more money to keep the development program rolling, but who knows with these things?
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Zamfir » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:47 am UTC

The guy KnightExamplar links to was head of a department of the Iranian uranium enrichment facility. As in, he wasn't even working in the arms industry. Some of the other alleged assinations were university professors. I'd be deeply worried if such people were to count as legitimate targets even when countries are not at war, and killing actual soldiers would be seen as a gross violation of peace.

These aren't even people who are making weapons, they are people whose knowledge and experience would come in handy if you want to make weapons. That's an awfully broad group of people.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:48 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I really don't see the problem with my opinion. Scientists and engineers working on military technology can pose a direct military threat to an enemy country, and if they do, removing them is a military operation. If the Japanese were to assassinate a scientist working on the atomic bomb, I would not consider that an act of terror.

I take issue with the highlighted part. They are not a direct threat. They can't be, because they aren't doing anything to kill anyone. Their threat is an indirect one, by its very nature. Where do you go from there? Doctors pose an indirect threat too- they can heal soldiers and keep them in fighting shape. Politicians pose an indirect threat because they can declare war. A gunsmith poses an indirect threat because they design weapons that could be used to kill someone. The manager of a fucking power plant poses an indirect threat because the power generated is going to be used, directly and indirectly, for economic activity that will later be taxed to fund government operations, possibly including that war.

Where do you draw the line? Where do you say "this person is enough of a threat, but this person isn't"? I wouldn't trust any military apparatus to make that decision. How do you justify killing some civilians- and true civilians here, not militia or guerrilla fighters- doing their everyday job at the other end of the world, because the end result of that job could be dangerous? As I tried to note above, just about any job can result in a dangerous outcome for another nation.

Also, I still want to know: where has Iran vowed to obliterate the US? How do they pose a direct military threat to the US?
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Bharrata » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:31 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I don't think that scientists working on developing weapons should actually be considered "civilians".

So if I got a job at BAE as an engineer I'd be a valid military target?


Having a father who worked for the DoD and Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Cold War, I can tell you that yes, you would very much be a valid military target. It depends on how valuable you make yourself and how big of a mouth you have. Just because you don't think the other guys are that bad doesn't mean it's true.


From Jan. 17: Iranian Student Activist Shot to Death in Texas

http://abcnews.go.com/US/iranian-student-activist-shot-death-texas/story?id=15380227#.Tykve1x8Ca8

sourmìlk wrote:Also, I'm not too well versed with the situation in North Korea, but did Kim Jong-Il regularly state that his goal was to annihilate South Korea and all its inhabitants, or just that we wanted to take South Korea over?

Not that I know of, but the point is they made their crazy threats, and they were also willing to back them up with crazy actions. Judging by this comment it would seem to me that your major (only?) concern with Iran getting nuclear weapons is Israel, which makes me ask, again, why should the US be the ones to invade them to stop it, if that's the only way?


I've always been under the impression that North Korea survives because of its proximity and trade tries with China (and maybe Russia?) along with the relative lack of infrastructure and supply chains we have in the region (compared to the Middle East).



edit: What are people's opinions of Iran's human rights record?

2nd edit:
To quote the Ronpaul, "Sanctions are very serious, sanctions are literally an act of war." and "There is no proof, according to our CIA, that they are actually working on a nuclear weapon."


This was true until the last couple years, the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear weapons program has changed recently:

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/15/exclusive_new_national_intelligence_estimate_on_iran_complete

Several sources said they are being told there will be no declassified version of the new NIE, and that only those cleared to read the full 2007 NIE (pdf) will be able to see the new version.

...

House Foreign Affairs ranking Democrat Howard Berman (D-CA) told The Cable he had heard the new NIE would walk back the controversial conclusions of the 2007 version, but that he hadn't read it yet. Regardless, he said, the 2007 Iran NIE was now obsolete and discredited.

"Nobody had been paying attention to the older NIE. A few people on the outside focused on it because they didn't want us to go down the sanctions route but neither the administration nor the Congress paid it much attention," Berman said. "I thought the NIE estimate then was a faulty one because it focused on some aspects of weaponization -- even as Iran was continuing to enrich."

Revelations that Iran had a secret uranium enrichment facility at Qom, which occurred after the release of the 2007 NIE, were further proof that the Iranian regime was pursing nuclear weapons, Berman said. Regardless, the Obama administration has disregarded the 2007 Iran NIE, he said.


full article:
Spoiler:
The U.S. intelligence community has completed and is circulating a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's nuclear weapons program that walks back the conclusion of the 2007 NIE, which stated that Iran had halted work on its covert nuclear weapons program.

Intelligence officials briefed executive branch policymakers on the revised NIE last week. The document is being shared with members of Congress and their staff this week, an administration official and several Capitol Hill sources told The Cable. This is in advance of an early March meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors, where there may be another resolution on Iran's nuclear program, the official said.

The 2007 NIE was attacked in public due to its conclusion: "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program." The new estimate might not directly contradict that judgment, Hill sources report, but could say that while the intelligence community has not determined that Iran has made the strategic decision to build a nuclear weapon, it is working on the components of such a device.

Several sources said they are being told there will be no declassified version of the new NIE, and that only those cleared to read the full 2007 NIE (pdf) will be able to see the new version.

"It does exist," House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) said in an interview with The Cable. Rogers said the administration was right to take its time to revise the 2007 NIE before releasing the updated version. "Intelligence is a fluid thing, sometimes you get great stuff and sometimes you don't get great stuff to make good conclusions. I think they were prudent in what they've done."

House Foreign Affairs ranking Democrat Howard Berman (D-CA) told The Cable he had heard the new NIE would walk back the controversial conclusions of the 2007 version, but that he hadn't read it yet. Regardless, he said, the 2007 Iran NIE was now obsolete and discredited.

"Nobody had been paying attention to the older NIE. A few people on the outside focused on it because they didn't want us to go down the sanctions route but neither the administration nor the Congress paid it much attention," Berman said. "I thought the NIE estimate then was a faulty one because it focused on some aspects of weaponization -- even as Iran was continuing to enrich."

Revelations that Iran had a secret uranium enrichment facility at Qom, which occurred after the release of the 2007 NIE, were further proof that the Iranian regime was pursing nuclear weapons, Berman said. Regardless, the Obama administration has disregarded the 2007 Iran NIE, he said.

"For a year and a half the administration has been convinced that Iran has been pursuing a nuclear weapon. That's what they whole sanctions push is based on," Berman said. "There can be no serious doubt that Iran wants to have a nuclear weapons capability."

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), a former intelligence officer for the U.S. Navy, told The Cable, "The 2007 NIE was a mistake," and this document appears to be more realistic. He urged the intelligence community to take a less technical and more comprehensive look at the Iranian leadership's actions when making such judgments.

"My hope is that the current leaders of the intelligence community look not just at technical details and also comment regularly on Iran's leaders," Kirk said. "In Intelligence 101 we are taught to measure both capability and intent politically, and the intent here on the part of the Iranian regime is pretty clear."

Several lawmakers refused to discuss the new NIE because it was classified or because they hadn't read it yet. Senate Armed Services Committee ranking Republican John McCain (R-AZ) told The Cable he had been briefed on the new NIE, but declined to comment on its contents. Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told The Cable she hadn't yet seen the new NIE but planned to review it soon.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), who supported the conclusions in the 2007 NIE, contended that the old estimate was misconstrued as an attempt by its authors to head off an attack against Iran by the Bush administration.

"I think it was interpreted incorrectly," Levin told The Cable.

The NIE is compiled by the National Intelligence Council, but rollout and classification decisions are ultimately made by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.



Here's the 2007 NIE report where they DO say Iran halted its nuclear weapons program after the invasion of Iraq:

http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20071203_release.pdf

And the latest IAEA report from November, where yes they say they have little evidence of Iran working on a nuclear weapon BUT Iran is being routinely obfuscatory and evasive, which doesn't provide me with the highest of comfort about the whole thing.

http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2011/gov2011-65.pdf
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:52 pm UTC

Bharrata wrote:Having a father who worked for the DoD and Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Cold War, I can tell you that yes, you would very much be a valid military target. It depends on how valuable you make yourself and how big of a mouth you have. Just because you don't think the other guys are that bad doesn't mean it's true.

Do you have rational other than "my dad says so"? Hell, I could ask my dad his opinion, he was in the air force during the cold war. I'm not sure it'd be relevant.

Being a potential military target and a valid military target are very different. Anything can be a potential military target if the people making that decision can justify it to themselves; that doesn't make it valid. The people working on these projects are just like anyone else: someone trying to get by with a job that applies to their expertise. They aren't the ones using the weapons, or causing the weapons to be used, or authorizing the use of the weapons, or declaring the war, or even maintaining the weapons. They're performing the science or design work to create the weapon- that's a very non-military action, and will frequently have civilian benefits to go with it. If you can attack engineers and scientists because their work can lead to an indirect threat to another nation, again, where does it end? Just about anyone's work can lead to an indirect threat to another nation that feels threatened by your military.

I'm not sure what your last quoted sentence has to do with anything. I don't want Iran to get nuclear weapons, but I'm not willing to condone the assassination of civilians or a full out war to prevent that.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Bharrata » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:16 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
Bharrata wrote:Having a father who worked for the DoD and Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Cold War, I can tell you that yes, you would very much be a valid military target. It depends on how valuable you make yourself and how big of a mouth you have. Just because you don't think the other guys are that bad doesn't mean it's true.

Do you have rational other than "my dad says so"? Hell, I could ask my dad his opinion, he was in the air force during the cold war. I'm not sure it'd be relevant.


I'm aware that I'm talking about hearsay and it doesn't mean much in an internet debate where I can claim anything, but then in the same way you can claim that there is no military purpose to killing or capturing engineers...and you'd be operating with groundless conjecture compared to the Joint Chiefs.

You're right that asking your hypothetical father (an enlisted individual in the armed forces) his opinion would be less relevant to the specific topic of whether or not engineers working in sensitive government programs should worry about getting killed or disappeared for their work than asking my hypothetical father.


Being a potential military target and a valid military target are very different. Anything can be a potential military target if the people making that decision can justify it to themselves; that doesn't make it valid.


You guys can debate the morality of it all day, it doesn't stop it. Do I think it's morally right? No.


The people working on these projects are just like anyone else: someone trying to get by with a job that applies to their expertise. They aren't the ones using the weapons, or causing the weapons to be used, or authorizing the use of the weapons, or declaring the war, or even maintaining the weapons.


At what point, having given your hand in helping create a new nuclear weapon, do you become culpable for it?

They're performing the science or design work to create the weapon- that's a very non-military action, and will frequently have civilian benefits to go with it. If you can attack engineers and scientists because their work can lead to an indirect threat to another nation, again, where does it end? Just about anyone's work can lead to an indirect threat to another nation that feels threatened by your military.


That last sentence was kind of my point.

A nuclear Iran is fairly non-threatening, physically, for your average US civilian, but I'm sure it might be terrifying to civilians in Israel, who are most likely the ones assassinating Iranian scientists.

I'm not sure what your last quoted sentence has to do with anything.


Which sentence?
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Zamfir » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:48 pm UTC

There's specific clause on this issue in the first protocol to the Geneva convention, from 1977. It's short, but a lot of debate went into that exact phrasing. It's clause 51(3), I left the surrounding context in place. The term direct was explicitly intended to exclude effort that helps to sustain the war, on the grounds that in a modern society most members of the population can be considered as indirectly helping to sustain the war effort. Also not ethe "for such time", which means that civilians go back to being protected, if they stop to take part in hostilities. Part of the rationale behid that is to make sure that even when there is disagreement on what constitutes "direct part", you don't get to target civilians when they are at home doing civilian things.

People who work in arms production, no matter how important, are considered civilians. Clause 51(2) is very explicit on them: The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack.

Note that this doesn't mean that they are protected under all circumstances. It's allowed to kill civilians as side effect of a valid military action, like destroying a factory. But they can;t be the target int hemselves

Art 51. - Protection of the civilian population

1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances.

2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.

4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:
(a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective;
(b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or
(c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol;

and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:
(a) an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects;

and

(b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

6. Attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited.

7. The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

8. Any violation of these prohibitions shall not release the Parties to the conflict from their legal obligations with respect to the civilian population and civilians, including the obligation to take the precautionary measures provided for in Article 57.

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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:58 pm UTC

Thanks for bringing that out Zamfir, I had thought of going through the Geneva Convention(s) to find what they said on civilians, but I ended up being too lazy / distracted by something else.

Bharrata wrote:I'm aware that I'm talking about hearsay and it doesn't mean much in an internet debate where I can claim anything, but then in the same way you can claim that there is no military purpose to killing or capturing engineers...and you'd be operating with groundless conjecture compared to the Joint Chiefs.

You're right that asking your hypothetical father (an enlisted individual in the armed forces) his opinion would be less relevant to the specific topic of whether or not engineers working in sensitive government programs should worry about getting killed or disappeared for their work than asking my hypothetical father.

You guys can debate the morality of it all day, it doesn't stop it. Do I think it's morally right? No.

If your whole argument is that they can, physically and technically, kill civilians, and that there can be a military benefit from doing such, I don't disagree with you. That's not what's being argued here- morality is the main point, because none of us are in a position to authorize such action. We are in a position to condone or endorse it, and we do so based off the morality of such.

Bharrata wrote:At what point, having given your hand in helping create a new nuclear weapon, do you become culpable for it?

When you're the one dropping it, launching it, authorizing it, or otherwise directly being the person to cause it to go off? We don't blame the people at Colt for murders performed with their products, do we?

Bharrata wrote:A nuclear Iran is fairly non-threatening, physically, for your average US civilian, but I'm sure it might be terrifying to civilians in Israel, who are most likely the ones assassinating Iranian scientists.

Then Israel is morally in the wrong.

Bharrata wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:I'm not sure what your last quoted sentence has to do with anything.

Which sentence?

This one:
Bharrata wrote:Just because you don't think the other guys are that bad doesn't mean it's true.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Bharrata » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:21 pm UTC

Unfortunately Zamfir, the Geneva Convention only applies to war-time (at least as I understand it).

I'm sure assassinations of civilians are illegal under some other international law, but black-ops go on regardless. If we're going to assume the Iranian nuclear scientist was killed by the US (though I do think it was Mossad instead) then I have no problem assuming that Iran killed the activist in Texas two weeks ago.


I was against even the invasion of Afghanistan and I'll be against invading Iran, though a nuclear Iran really changes the situation dramatically for me, but that doesn't change the fact that nations engage in some shady, amoral operations - and it doesn't change the fact that the Iranian government has no problem shooting and killing its own citizens when they protest or fixes its elections.

The Arab Spring is still happening and the US needs to back out of the region and let it run its course, unless it wants to get involved in every single conflict; stopping massacres in Libya while letting the same thing happen for months in Syria makes no sense to me.


It would also be great if Britain ever got the full extent of the blame for the Middle East situation...they were the ones (Churchill specifically) who pressured the CIA to topple Mossadegh when their oil company AIPCO wasn't viewed favorably by the Iranians any longer and they were the ones who reneged on their WW1 promises with the al-Rashid (in which they promised them a pan-Arab state from Syria to the Gulf of Aden in return for fighting and hampering the then-Ottoman Empire) which a couple decades later allowed their rivals, the al-Saud, to finally take control of what is now Saudi Arabia (a much smaller territory than the pan-Arab state would have been).


If your whole argument is that they can, physically and technically, kill civilians, and that there can be a military benefit from doing such, I don't disagree with you. That's not what's being argued here- morality is the main point, because none of us are in a position to authorize such action. We are in a position to condone or endorse it, and we do so based off the morality of such.


Then I don't condone it as a singular act, I do condone it in context of the larger circumstances. In a utilitarian sense, it's acceptable, to me.

edit: before I get swarmed on, I'm not sure that specific Iranian scientist's death was worth it, but the assassination of a scientist who would have been an instrumental part of allowing Iran to finish building or developing the capability to build a nuclear weapon, would be.

This one:


I was referring to the Texas activist...and to a certain extent Iran's funding of Hezbollah and its violent crackdowns on protesters.


When you're the one dropping it, launching it, authorizing it, or otherwise directly being the person to cause it to go off? We don't blame the people at Colt for murders performed with their products, do we?


Valid point, but to play the devil's advocate, Colt's weapons aren't capable of leveling entire cities with one use, correct?
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:00 pm UTC

Bharrata wrote:Unfortunately Zamfir, the Geneva Convention only applies to war-time (at least as I understand it).

The Geneva Convention covers what civilized society considers acceptable during war. If something isn't acceptable when you're trying to kill members of another nation, I think it's implicit that it's unacceptable when you aren't at war either.

Bharrata wrote:If we're going to assume the Iranian nuclear scientist was killed by the US (though I do think it was Mossad instead) then I have no problem assuming that Iran killed the activist in Texas two weeks ago.

Just because someone else does something bad doesn't make it acceptable for us to do something bad.

Bharrata wrote:[...] it doesn't change the fact that the Iranian government has no problem shooting and killing its own citizens when they protest or fixes its elections. [...]

Of course they do, but that's irrelevant, because we're discussing if killing civilians is moral or not. Not whether Iran is an ethical entity.

Bharrata wrote:Then I don't condone it as a singular act, I do condone it in context of the larger circumstances. In a utilitarian sense, it's acceptable, to me.

edit: before I get swarmed on, I'm not sure that specific Iranian scientist's death was worth it, but the assassination of a scientist who would have been an instrumental part of allowing Iran to finish building or developing the capability to build a nuclear weapon, would be.

Isn't that the problem though? No one scientist is going to be instrumental to their program. If you kill the head scientist, they'll promote the next one up. If you kill all of their scientists, they'll probably start to consider abducting foreigners with the required knowledge. To prevent it by assassination, you'd have to be willing to kill every civilian working on it, and to keep doing that with the new civilians they find until they give up.

Why are nuclear weapons special here anyway? You can cause massive death tolls with biological or chemical weapons too. Should we be willing to assassinate their biologists and chemists? What about the people that make their factories that produce weapons? Individual weapons from the factory might not kill many people, but the factory overall could very well kill more people than any 1st generation nuclear weapon. See how dangerous a line of thinking this is? Once you OK one civilian's death because their actions can indirectly lead to death, you can make a similar case for any civilian, for the specific reasons Zamfir noted with the Geneva Convention.

Bharrata wrote:I was referring to the Texas activist...and to a certain extent Iran's funding of Hezbollah and its violent crackdowns on protesters.

Ok, I don't see how that makes killing civilians a justifiable option however. I'll readily admit that Iran is a totalitarian regime that, by the standards of modern society, does not have its citizens best interests at heart. Doesn't mean we should stoop to their level.

Bharrata wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:When you're the one dropping it, launching it, authorizing it, or otherwise directly being the person to cause it to go off? We don't blame the people at Colt for murders performed with their products, do we?

Valid point, but to play the devil's advocate, Colt's weapons aren't capable of leveling entire cities with one use, correct?

Correct (at least as far as I know), but I'd hazard a guess that Colt firearms have killed more people- both military and civilian- than nuclear weapons have. So which one is truly the greater danger in that context? The US is the only nation that has ever used a nuclear weapon in anger, so I'd argue that a nuclear engineer's work, even directly on a nuclear weapon, should be expected to result in less death than someone designing a gun.
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Re: Protest against US actions against Iran

Postby Deep_Thought » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:40 pm UTC

Bharrata wrote:I'm sure assassinations of civilians are illegal under some other international law, but black-ops go on regardless. If we're going to assume the Iranian nuclear scientist was killed by the US (though I do think it was Mossad instead) then I have no problem assuming that Iran killed the activist in Texas two weeks ago.

I don't think assassinations need to be illegal under some other international law during peace time. They're already illegal under every-country-I-can-think-of's domestic laws. It's called murder*.

*I actually bothered to look up the definition of assassination. I quote "murder (an important person) in a surprise attack for political or religious reasons".
Last edited by Deep_Thought on Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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