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FlyinGrunt

Iran Lied . . . No One Is Surprised

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He should’ve torn up that abomination of a deal the moment he entered office.  Too bad we can’t get the billions we have them back.

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I curious for any Iran hawks out there, what do you envision is the plan you’d rather pursue? I’m assuming decertify the JCPOA on 12 May...then what?

Credit where credit’s due...DPRK’s recent peace overtures should be viewed very skeptically, but they are also promising. Much better to be negotiating peace and denuclearization, even warily, rather than threatening war IMHO.

My view is that it’s mostly the same for Iran. They’re not a good regime and are involved in lots of other nefarious stuff (kinda like DPRK). But I’d rather enforce/amend/negotiate over the JCPOA rather than threaten war if that is indeed step 2 from above.

In general I’m in the “do something” camp re: foreign policy without exactly being a hawk, and to me negotiating the JCPOA and now enforcing it while checking Iran’s bad behavior elsewhere is the something I’m a fan of doing.

Honest question, not looking for a cookie-cutter left/right blackhole debate :beer:

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2 hours ago, nsplayr said:

I curious for any Iran hawks out there, what do you envision is the plan you’d rather pursue? I’m assuming decertify the JCPOA on 12 May...then what?

Credit where credit’s due...DPRK’s recent peace overtures should be viewed very skeptically, but they are also promising. Much better to be negotiating peace and denuclearization, even warily, rather than threatening war IMHO.

We are negotiating peace with DPRK exactly because POTUS started by threatening war.   He bucked conventional wisdom and it appears, however tenuously, to be working.

On Iran... we're in a tough spot due to a cowardly unwillingness to confront the issue decisively by previous administrations (Bush and Obama).  We don't have a good track record with preemptive strikes, but Iran appears well on its way to nuclear weapons and unwilling to stop.  Can we agree that a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable?  I always like to start by finding some common ground.

My totally unqualified opinion, since you asked, is we should encourage/enable the Saudis and Israelis to strike.  

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1. Ask for our money back.  

2. Submit any agreement to the Senate for ratification.  You know, Constitutionally. Turns out that "having a phone and pen" can be undone by the next guy (except for DACA, it seems).

2a. Spy on the Senate so we know what they are thinking  https://www.cnn.com/2014/07/31/politics/cia-spying-senate-apologize/index.html

(still cannot fathom the then-majority Democrats letting this one slide...imagine if it were today...)

3. State "It shall be the policy of the US Government that any attack upon Israel using any form of WMD is considered to be an attack upon the United States by the nation of Iran as well as the by the country that such an attack originates from and will be retaliated with all instruments of national and military power.  With no restrictions on those instruments."

4. If a nation wants nukes, it will get them.  Non-proliferation is a chimera if a nuke is wanted bad enough.

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brickhistory, I agree, but I think that we need to pick 1 path:

1) certify the JCPOA and check Iran's shenanigans elsewhere by other means, and prepare for the point 7 years from now when we launch a massive strike (when they go all-out for nukes.)

2) decertify, arm the Israelis and Saudis to get the job done, and impose sanctions like never before.  Starve them to death kinda stuff.  Knowing that a military strike is inevitable, weaken them as much as possible before H-hour.

 

Anywhere in between serves their interests, and makes the world now and 7-10 years from now an even scarier place.  For the record, I'm for #1.  As long as we stay ready to deliver the Wrath of God on them in a decade.  And I do like your Article 5-like declarations.  Puts Iran, Syria and all their friends on notice.  The wildcard is: what if Russia were to be complicit somehow?

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11 hours ago, nsplayr said:

I curious for any Iran hawks out there, what do you envision is the plan you’d rather pursue? I’m assuming decertify the JCPOA on 12 May...then what?

Credit where credit’s due...DPRK’s recent peace overtures should be viewed very skeptically, but they are also promising. Much better to be negotiating peace and denuclearization, even warily, rather than threatening war IMHO.

My view is that it’s mostly the same for Iran. They’re not a good regime and are involved in lots of other nefarious stuff (kinda like DPRK). But I’d rather enforce/amend/negotiate over the JCPOA rather than threaten war if that is indeed step 2 from above.

In general I’m in the “do something” camp re: foreign policy without exactly being a hawk, and to me negotiating the JCPOA and now enforcing it while checking Iran’s bad behavior elsewhere is the something I’m a fan of doing.

Honest question, not looking for a cookie-cutter left/right blackhole debate :beer:

Let’s start with not paying them billions of dollars? 

Lets see how this North Korea thing plays out..because right now, despite all his haters and naysayers it looks like he is on to something.  Not saying that he is the end all be all- just that there is some positive pragmatism to his approach when it comes to potential adversaries.

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Agreed.  North Korea is much more important than Iran right now.  We could end the latter's entire military force in 72 hours, given sufficient resources.  The former can't be bombed out of existence, given the horrific humanitarian cost.

As a gunship guy: post-SEAD, it would be so sweet to have the entire fleet take up stations on their western border, waiting to kill everything that moves headed west . . . that having been said, I still prefer all peaceful alternatives.  Wars have a funny way of getting completely out of hand quickly . . . 

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If I was Bibi I’d do the same thing, Pres T has a bigger soft spot for Israel than the past few presidents combined and Bibi is playing to it, smart move.

 

Edited by matmacwc

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22 hours ago, FlyinGrunt said:

Anywhere in between serves their interests, and makes the world now and 7-10 years from now an even scarier place.  For the record, I'm for #1.  As long as we stay ready to deliver the Wrath of God on them in a decade.  And I do like your Article 5-like declarations.  Puts Iran, Syria and all their friends on notice.  The wildcard is: what if Russia were to be complicit somehow?

Problem is, we can plan for this all you want but Allah only knows who our president will be then. Get another apologist with weak foreign policy into office and the good old Wrath of God ain’t getting delivered on anyone. 

If there’s not a solution that can be put into place relatively quickly, expect more of the same BS that got us here in the first place. 

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On 4/30/2018 at 3:59 PM, nsplayr said:

I curious for any Iran hawks out there, what do you envision is the plan you’d rather pursue? I’m assuming decertify the JCPOA on 12 May...then what?

Credit where credit’s due...DPRK’s recent peace overtures should be viewed very skeptically, but they are also promising. Much better to be negotiating peace and denuclearization, even warily, rather than threatening war IMHO.

My view is that it’s mostly the same for Iran. They’re not a good regime and are involved in lots of other nefarious stuff (kinda like DPRK). But I’d rather enforce/amend/negotiate over the JCPOA rather than threaten war if that is indeed step 2 from above.

In general I’m in the “do something” camp re: foreign policy without exactly being a hawk, and to me negotiating the JCPOA and now enforcing it while checking Iran’s bad behavior elsewhere is the something I’m a fan of doing.

Honest question, not looking for a cookie-cutter left/right blackhole debate :beer:

The deal was horrid for several reasons, most not obvious because we are focused on stopping their ability to enrich uranium.  Lets assume Bibi is wrong and go with the recent Sec Mattis assessment that they appear to be abiding by the deal and have stopped enrichment...We all win, Nobel prize to Obama and Kerry right...wrong.  Peal back the onion, put away the talking points and look at what is really going on.

#1.  We unloaded pallets of money, BILLIONS of dollars that the Iranians immediately funneled to DPRK, instead of funding programs to improve life for the average Iranian. 

#2.  Iran is still free to advance its ballistic missile systems, AND THEY ARE. 

#3.  Perhaps the biggest impact (and least reported), part of the deal was allowing Iran to sell oil on the open market.  They are currently selling over 1 Million barrels a day which equates to $35 Billion a month, much of it being funneled into nefarious programs.

Over the remainder of this deal Iran will stockpile billions and billions of dollars and have a very mature missile program that will be ready to receive weapons when the clock runs out in seven years.  I seriously doubt Israel will wait until the deal expires to take action.

If I were king for a day I would decertify the deal and negotiate from a position of strength while we still have the advantage.  Snap back sanctions would be the first line of defense and would focus on their ability to sell oil.  Most folks people are focused on the leadership but a closer examination of the internal situation would show a LOT of instability from the general populous.  Most Iranians are not evil people and they don't want war.  It is of course the extremists that control the country, but their grip is slipping as of late.  I don't know if the NK approach will work with Iran, but given the internal situation in Iran, they is an opportunity to break the status quo.  If we don't, in seven years will be facing an epically more difficult situation...if Bibi and the lads let it go that long.  Don't forget, for us Iran is a threat to the region and while the missile program may eventually threaten America, for Israel this is a matter of survival and the Israelis have been known to take drastic action when their survival was at stake.

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8 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

#1.  We unloaded pallets of money, BILLIONS of dollars that the Iranians immediately funneled to DPRK, instead of funding programs to improve life for the average Iranian. 

#2.  Iran is still free to advance its ballistic missile systems, AND THEY ARE. 

#3.  Perhaps the biggest impact (and least reported), part of the deal was allowing Iran to sell oil on the open market.  They are currently selling over 1 Million barrels a day which equates to $35 Billion a month, much of it being funneled into nefarious programs.

I hear your points here, but #1 is immensely overshadowed by #3. We did return frozen assets, but they pale in comparison to the money they're making by selling oil. I didn't love the optics of literally shipping they money, but that was a relatively small concession as part of the overall deal.

#2 is like saying that the deal didn't stop Iran from making peanut butter sandwiches. I mean, that's true, but that's not what the deal was about! The deal was about stopping them from making nuclear weapons, not limiting their ballistic missile programs. If we are able to negotiate limits to their ballistic missile programs under the current administration, that would be great & we should try.

Not that you don't already know this, but #3 isn't a bug, it's a feature. This was the big concession that Iran wanted in order to make the rest of the deal palatable to them. Kindergarten explanation: stop nuke development and allow IAEA inspections, and we'll let you sell oil again. If we don't give them #3 we have no deal and this is all moot, so I'm not sure how you could have possibly negotiated otherwise.

Isn't the whole purpose of diplomacy w/ hostile countries working toward a return to normal, peaceful relations? This deal was a step in that direction...we can't expect for them to agree to IAEA inspections while still living under a harsh sanctions regime if those were the two primary things being discussed. Lifting the sanctions was our leverage, it was the thing that they wanted that bought us the things we wanted.

I could see arguing that it wasn't worth it, that we didn't negotiate well and what we gave up was more than what we got; if so then cool, understood. I will throw my hat in with Mattis and say it's an imperfect arms control agreement that could be improved but overall all sides seem to be complying with its terms.

8 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

If I were king for a day I would decertify the deal and negotiate from a position of strength while we still have the advantage.  Snap back sanctions would be the first line of defense and would focus on their ability to sell oil.  Most folks people are focused on the leadership but a closer examination of the internal situation would show a LOT of instability from the general populous.  Most Iranians are not evil people and they don't want war.  It is of course the extremists that control the country, but their grip is slipping as of late.  I don't know if the NK approach will work with Iran, but given the internal situation in Iran, they is an opportunity to break the status quo.  If we don't, in seven years will be facing an epically more difficult situation...if Bibi and the lads let it go that long.  Don't forget, for us Iran is a threat to the region and while the missile program may eventually threaten America, for Israel this is a matter of survival and the Israelis have been known to take drastic action when their survival was at stake.

So if I'm paraphrasing you correctly, you'd like to go back to pre-JCPOA sanctions and give that some more time for an internal revolution against the mullahs?

What's the plan if/when they start working toward a bomb again with no inspections? Are we confident we can detect all such activity and calculate their breakout time with any precision relying solely on intel penetrating their operations? To me it just seems like a setup for war, and given the past comments from high-ranking admin officials (especially Pompeo & Bolton) it seems like that's maybe their objective in the first place.

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On 4/30/2018 at 6:40 PM, tac airlifter said:

Can we agree that a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable?  I always like to start by finding some common ground.

My totally unqualified opinion, since you asked, is we should encourage/enable the Saudis and Israelis to strike.  

I would agree that the fewer nuclear armed countries, the better. I'd disagree that helping the Saudis or Israelis strike is a good plan...not sure we need another regional/proxy war in the Middle East now or ever.

I'm really interested to see if anyone can articulate a strategy for improving the situation re: Iran nukes/missiles/shennanigans that doesn't involve war. Obviously yea, just invade, regime chance and all those problems stop; but now you have all new and more costly problems. I'm not here to argue that JCPOA was perfect or even addresses all the pertinent issues, but I don't have a good feel for what a different strategy would be now other than war. If you were President Trump and wanted a better outcome, can you get there without strikes? CH's plan I guess is one...snap back sanctions and push internal discontent to overthrow the regime...

Edited by nsplayr

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Was there anything new in the presentation? Everything I've seen in open source reporting is we already knew this information, whether Iran admitted to it or not, and this was all prior to the agreement. Since then they are meeting every requirement in the deal. So use the size 3500 font and simple 3 word sentences (gee I wonder who they are writing that for) all you want, it doesn't add anything significant to the discussion.

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14 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

<snip>

I seriously doubt Israel will wait until the deal expires to take action.

<snip>

And that - is a very realistic expectation.  I would keep an eye on their level of patience.

Edited by GrndPndr
Old Fart, Brain Fart.

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6 hours ago, nsplayr said:

#2 is like saying that the deal didn't stop Iran from making peanut butter sandwiches. I mean, that's true, but that's not what the deal was about! The deal was about stopping them from making nuclear weapons, not limiting their ballistic missile programs. If we are able to negotiate limits to their ballistic missile programs under the current administration, that would be great & we should try.

That's because it is a HORRIBLE deal, a bargain made to build a legacy rather than security.  We played checkers while they played chess.

Again, this deal simply delayed their enrichment capability for 7 years, when the term is up they will have spent seven years further destabilizing numerous countries, developed long-range ballistic missiles and built a HUGE war chest.  If you are into instant gratification then this deal is a winner, if you have an understanding of the great game you will understand we got Pwned.

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1 hour ago, ClearedHot said:

Again, this deal simply delayed their enrichment capability for 7 years, when the term is up they will have spent seven years further destabilizing numerous countries, developed long-range ballistic missiles and built a HUGE war chest.  If you are into instant gratification then this deal is a winner, if you have an understanding of the great game you will understand we got Pwned.

I don’t agree that we could have gotten a substantially better deal but it’s a hypothetical that we’ll never be able to answer. The deal is what it is and we have to go forward. They had a fairly rapid breakout capability in 2015, but post-JCPOA its been 3 years, we’ve increased that breakout time, gained inspections and BL they don’t have the bomb. To me, that’s a win.

I’m if you think we can unilaterally rip to the deal, turn back the clock to pre-JCPOA, apply new sanctions, and actually achieve a better outcome that doesn’t involve a costly war...call me skeptical. 

The link below is basically where I am re: missiles and other bad behavior. It would be great to address and we should try, but the lack of those issues in the JCPOA and the sunsets that were included doesn’t mean it wasn’t a step on the right direction. We negotiated breakout time up from < 1 year to > 10 years when it was signed without needing a war and while preserving our leverage on nukes after the sunsets run out and on other issues throughout. 

http://www.mei.edu/content/article/limit-irans-missiles-sure-first-come-plan

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Basically what I'm gathering is that people think it's a horrible deal because Iran got some things out of it. But honestly that's what deals are. You can't just have one side getting everything they want and nothing for the other and call it a deal.

Good or bad though, tearing it up would be worse. Diminishing Iran's capability to enrich uranium so that their breakout time is 10 years is a lot better than NOT diminishing that capability. We're better off now than we were a couple years ago when their breakout time was a few months. Furthermore, if the deal is torn up then who the hell would want to trust us in negotiations any more? Kim Jong Un could pull the plug on everything that's going on because he might figure the next president will just undo the whole thing in 3 or 7 years.

There's nothing wrong with trying to make amendments, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater will be awful for countless reasons.

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12 hours ago, nsplayr said:

I would agree that the fewer nuclear armed countries, the better. I'd disagree that helping the Saudis or Israelis strike is a good plan...not sure we need another regional/proxy war in the Middle East now or ever.

I'm really interested to see if anyone can articulate a strategy for improving the situation re: Iran nukes/missiles/shennanigans that doesn't involve war. Obviously yea, just invade, regime chance and all those problems stop; but now you have all new and more costly problems. I'm not here to argue that JCPOA was perfect....

JCPOA  was a terrible plan that has directly funded international terrorism.  The Iranians used portions of the cash we paid to expand operations in Syria and Yemen, operations diametrically opposed to US interests. 

 You ask a very good question: is there a solution to this problem without violence? One solution is major US disengagement from the entire theater. I don’t think the Iranians would chase us down if we were out of their Geographic area of regional influence.   Unfortunately that idea not politically palatable for the United States;  but I toss it out there because isolationism would prevent a conflict with Iran.   But if we aren’t leaving and they aren’t changing, collision is inevitable. 

 I don’t think regime change precipitated by a US invasion is a good idea either. We really suck at doing that.   Nor do I think sanctions will facilitate internal discontent enough that the regime falls from within;  lots of quality research by serious academics on this topic.     

 You say you disagree that we need another proxy war in the Middle East, why?   Unlike OIF we can sustain small scale SOF centric wars for prolonged periods relatively cheaply.   It keeps our adversaries bogged down and occupied, for very little cost on our part.    Side benefit: it would be an attractive meat grinder for jihadis who could go die there instead of trying to attack Europe or the US.

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17 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

the great game

Excellent word choice.  Exact words the Allied Powers used during WWI to talk about everything happening in that sun-scorched armpit of the world just over 100 years ago.  We're still suffering from the fallout of those events.  If we screw this up, it'll make another 100 years of pain.

Keep an eye on Israel and Saudi.  If they act bi-laterally, it could set a whole new pace in that region.

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16 hours ago, nsplayr said:

The deal is what it is and we have to go forward.

I could not disagree more. 

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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 9:00 AM, ClearedHot said:

I could not disagree more. 

Apparently so does Trump:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/world/middleeast/trump-iran-nuclear-deal.html

Amazing how NYT says the Iran Deal was "the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor, Barack Obama"... Obama's signature foreign policy achievement was a "deal" that Iran never signed... speaks volumes

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On ‎5‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 3:33 PM, admdelta said:

Basically what I'm gathering is that people think it's a horrible deal because Iran got some things out of it. But honestly that's what deals are. You can't just have one side getting everything they want and nothing for the other It was

Good or bad though, tearing it up would be worse. Diminishing Iran's capability to enrich uranium so that their breakout time is 10 years is a lot better than NOT diminishing that capability. We're better off now than we were a couple years ago when their breakout time was a few months. Furthermore, if the deal is torn up then who the hell would want to trust us in negotiations any more? Kim Jong Un could pull the plug on everything that's going on because he might figure the next president will just undo the whole thing in 3 or 7 years.

There's nothing wrong with trying to make amendments, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater will be awful for countless reasons.

It was a bad deal to start with.  

Not to mention the second most egregious example by the previous Administration to do an end run around the founding contract of our system of government - the US Constitution.

Any formal agreement (treaty) between the US and any other country that binds us to any action or behavior isn't valid until it is presented to and ratified by the Senate.  This J-POS as well as the even worse Paris Climate Accord were done via Obama's infamous "phone and pen."  And just as easily undone (except for DACA for some reason espoused by one lower court judge) by the next Administration.

If it were such a good deal for the US, then why didn't Obama present it to the Senate?  Because he knew he couldn't get it through, so he simply ignored them.  And they let him.  They voluntarily abrogated one of their basic responsibilities.  Which disgusts me even more than the J-POS did.

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