Nuclear weapons in the Middle East

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by HarveyH42, Dec 3, 2007.

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  1. HarveyH42

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    This is kind of a branch off form the 'Enemy' topic...

    I think most everyone would agree, that no country should have or build nuclear weapons. They can destroy a whole city, but the radiation is carried around the world, nobody wins. We've had them for more then 60 years, and don't use them for anything more then a threat, which nobody believes anymore. Sure, we could destroy a whole country in a few hours, but a week later we would getting some unpleasant after effects that will haunt us for years. Most nuclear countries understand this, and are very careful not to let this happen (well, Russia got a little sloppy that one time...).

    The problem with nuclear in the Middle East, is some extremist have no problem strapping a bomb on theirselves, or their families and friends. Do they really care what happens after the button is pressed? It's not their problem anymore, and the bonus is they could kill millions over the next few months. Most of the rulers of the middle eastern countries gain power through violence, they took it, and rule as long as they maintain power and support. It's really not a stable place, for unstable materials.

    In Iraq, we aren't fighting the whole country, or even the majority of the people there. Just a couple of extremist groups, which sees Iraq as being weak and a chance to gain power. These religious groups want to take all the countries over there, that don't follow their version of religion (not sure if it's actually islam, or a cult...

    Most of the middle east could benefit from nuclear power production, and it would help the grow in good ways. Give their people better lives.

    Historically, the middle eastern countries have been fighting each other, basically since the beginning of time. Most of the world just leaves it alone, since it's isolated for the most part to the region. Nuclear weapons makes it everyone's concern. Doesn't matter where in the world you live, the first one to use them, will be effecting your life in a bad way. Something will need to be done eventually to avoid this. Isn't it better to stop it before the first bomb explodes?
  2. Nomad

    Active Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    Or explode the first one and be done with the whole mess.
  3. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    They are sort of the gift that keeps on giving. Due to radiation, they are essentially worthless as tactical weapons. They are also monstrously ruinous as strategic weapons. They really cannot be used.

    That said, who would give up his nukes? Having them is the best counter to having some other country use them on you. The USSR and the US almost managed to have a successful stand-off for the duration of the Cold War.

    I say almost, as there is a book out - "Red Star Rogue" - that suggests a failed attempt to launch a submarine-based missile at Pearl Harbor back in 1968. The idea may have been to have it appear to have come from China. It sounds pretty hard to believe, but the Glomar Challenger was built specifically to salvage wreckage from the sub - it was destroyed because the permissive action link on the missile functioned properly, and destroyed the warhead at launch time.

    For national adversaries, nukes are capable of rational handling. For terrorist actions, they are unusable. If New York is partly destroyed by a terrorist nuke, who do we retaliate against, and by what means?

    Nukes are insane, but are somewhat manageable as weapons of war. War, however, is only possible between national entities. Terrorists may wish to establish a national territory, but typically do not exist as a national population. Who ya gonna nuke back?

    Authoritarian leadership is comfortable with the proposition that the end justifies the means. The shadow organization behind the suicide bombers is happy to see other human beings sacrifice themselves to make the leader's point. I seem to recall North Vietnamese mounting AA guns on buildings like hospitals, so they could generate outrage if the site (and hospital) got bombed. The patients were just a means.

    So, how does the US (or France, England, Pakistan, India, Russia, Ukraine, Israel) handle a terrorist nuke that destroys a city? Bombing Tripoli, or Damascus, etc. seems to miss the point. Becoming a larger terrorist does not increase local or global security.

    As I mentioned in another thread, it's shameful that the US cannot run Ossama Bin Laudin to ground. Iraq was a gimme as far as the outcome of the fighting went, but hasn't had anything like the still secret intent of the "war". Whole countries may support terrorists, like Saudi Arabia does, but laying waste to the entire populace just can't be the only way to defeat the terrorists. Current example seems to demonstrate that it is not at all successful.

    No, the world does not need more countries with nuclear weapons. Too bad the cat is long out of the bag. Perhaps the only way to deal with the situation - and others - is to let the United Nations become the de facto world military power. Then you just have the problem of figuring out how to prevent the UN from becoming a military dictatorship. They might stop the mess in Somalia, though.
  4. HarveyH42

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    I think the war against Iraq ended with Sadam a long time ago. The fighting isn't against Iraq, or the Iraqi people (majority). Its with those who are seeking to take control. Demacracy doesn't to fit in that area, and won't last when the troops leave. The muslem extremist we are fight are looking for a home they can call their own, rather then be barely tolerated in most countries. Terrorism is a cheap and simple weapon, that greatly inflates their numbers. One suicide bomber tends to wound or kill 10-20 people. No way to predict where, when, or how many to follow, you just know that they are in the area.

    Pretty sure most countries won't retaliate with nuclear weapons. It's just more bad stuff blowing with the wind. Only good thing is the making a nuclear bomb is one thing, transporting overseas safely and undetected is another. Building a suitable missle delivery system will take a while as well.

    If a country wants nuclear power plants, they should let other countries help them set up the plants and run them, keep the doors open for inspection. An accident would be just as bad as a bomb. But mostly, there would be no doubt the reactor is for power, not for weapons. The ones closing the doors, and hiding, most likely have other plans most would disagree with.
  5. GS3

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 21, 2007
    I am trying to make some sense out of the OP but I am afraid there is little sense to be made except that he obliquely tries to make a case that some countries are entitled to have nukes (the "good countries" like the USA) and some are not (the "bad countries" inhabited by "bad people" who do not care killing others, like "Muslim countries"). This is pure nonsense. If anybody has killed without regard to moral or ethical issues lately it had been the USA. They have no regard for human rights and if there is someone who needs to be stopped it is America. The American people have a visionary belief that they are entitled to rule the world, beginning with Iraq and this mind set has to be stopped. You have to be crazy to think another country and culture would like to be controlled by outsiders and yet this is what many Americans believe. They truly believe the Iraqi people like being invaded, occupied and controlled by America. This in spite that it goes against all reason and against all evidence. Polls show the great majority of Iraqis want America out of their country. And their deeds show the same thing much more forcefully.

    Europeans and even many Americans see America as a much greater threat to world peace than any other country:
    The sooner Iran has nukes the sooner America will get off its crazy dreams of dominating that part of the world and the less likely it is that America will attack. Because one thing is certain, it is America who is threatening to attack. Iran has not attacked a western country in its entire history and yet has been the subject of attacks and meddling by the west quite often.
  6. cumesoftware

    Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    The presence of nuclear weapons was the pretext the U.S. government used to invade Iraq. They found none!
  7. GS3

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 21, 2007
    Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.
    - George Orwell

    The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.
    - George Orwell

    The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.
    - George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1903- 1950)

    "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power."
    - Historian Charles A. Beard, when asked what major lessons he had learned from history.

    "What one cannot solve with fair means, one has to solve with violence, because it cannot go on like this"
    - Adolf Hitler quoted by Wilhelm Treue: "Rede Hitlers vor der deutschen Presse (10 November 1938). Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 6 (1958), p. 175-88

    "Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."
    - Hermann Goering - Adolf Hitler's Reich-Marshall speaking at the Nuremberg Trials following WWII

    ...the waging of aggressive war is essentially an evil thing ... to initiate a war of aggression ... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
    - International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg

    "The aggressor is always peace-loving; he would prefer to take over our country unopposed."
    - Carl von Clausewitz

    There is no good and evil,
    there is only power,
    and those too weak to seek it.
    - Lord Voldemort, fictional character in Harry Potter

    "'My country, right or wrong' is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober.'"
    - British author, G. K. Chesterton, 1901.

    "Citizenship? We have none! In place of it we teach patriotism which Samuel Johnson said a hundred and forty or a hundred and fifty years ago was the last refuge of the scoundrel -- and I believe that he was right. I remember when I was a boy and I heard repeated time and time again the phrase, 'My country, right or wrong, my country!' How absolutely absurd is such an idea. How absolutely absurd to teach this idea to the youth of the country."
    - Mark Twain, --True Citizenship at the Children's Theater, 1907
    - Mark Twain's Weapons of Satire:
    - Anti-Imperialist Writings on the Philippine-American War.

    Mark Twain: My Country, Right or Wrong
    I pray you to pause and consider. Against our traditions we are now entering upon an unjust and trivial war, a war against a helpless people, and for a base object -- robbery. At first our citizens spoke out against this thing, by an impulse natural to their training. To-day they have turned, and their voice is the other way. What caused the change? Merely a politician's trick -- a high-sounding phrase, a blood-stirring phrase which turned their uncritical heads: Our Country, right or wrong! An empty phrase, a silly phrase. It was shouted by every newspaper, it was thundered from the pulpit, the Superintendent of Public Instruction placarded it in every school-house in the land, the War Department inscribed it upon the flag. And every man who failed to shout it or who was silent, was proclaimed a traitor -- none but those others were patriots. To be a patriot, one had to say, and keep on saying, "Our Country, right or wrong," and urge on the little war. Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation?
    - Mark Twain, "Passage from 'Glances at History' (suppressed.)," a sketch he left unpublished in 1901. Mark Twain was an outspoken opponent of U.S. imperialism and the Philippine-American War and served as a vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League from 1901 until his death in 1910. Quickly labeled a "traitor," he was sensitive to calls to blind patriotism embodied in such phrases as "my country, right or wrong."

    We have thrown away the most valuable asset we had:-- the individual’s right to oppose both flag and country when he (just he, by himself) believed them to be in the wrong. We have thrown it away; and with it all that was really respectable about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism.
    - Mark Twain

    Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
    - Sir Winston Churchill

    Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
    Sir Winston Churchill

    The first casualty of war is truth.
    Hiram Johnson

    Men, said the Devil,
    are good to their brothers:
    they don't want to mend
    their own ways, but each other's.
    - Piet Hein (December 16, 1905 - April 18, 1996)

  8. GS3

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 21, 2007
    I forgot my favorite:

    “We have met the enemy, and he is us”
    - Pogo (rephrasing Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry’s message in 1813: ”We have met the enemy, and he is ours”)
  9. GS3

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 21, 2007
    President Bush wants you to think Iran needs to be attacked sooner rather than later but
    Every day I pray that we may get to January 2009 without the mad man in the White House unleashing any further crazy wars.
  10. Ryno3030

    New Member

    Dec 1, 2007
    I will preface my argument by saying that fission nuclear weapons do not leave the nasty radioactive aftertaste (for lack of a better word). Fission weapons are designed to be highly efficient with an absolute minimum of radioactive residue. The United States could detonate one in Canada with no adverse effects (excluding political of course). That being said, they are of more tactical importance than you give them credit.

    Nuclear energy is a dangerous thing. You can claim that it will inspire prosperity in the middle east, but it will only lead the charge for the developing of nuclear weapons, which we all agree is bad. I do like nuclear energy though. I believe it should be implemented in the United States as well as other secure countries. The oil savings generated by this shift would lower oil prices to encourage development in third world countries. I feel that would be a much safer and efficient method for improving not only the middle eastern energy situation, but our own.
  11. HarveyH42

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    I stated at the begining of this thread (first sentence) That no country should have nuclear weapons. That was meant to include the USA. I don't see us ever using them, and I don't think anyone else believes it either. I find it disturbing that you believe the U.S. is attacking and killing any and all people in Iraq. That was the first gulf war (16 years ago?). If that were true, we would have been done in a few months at most.

    Iraq is a large country, and Sadam had a lot of resources, and was expect weapons inspections since the first gulf war. Sadam was by no means a stupid man, ran the country for quite a while. Why expect to find his special weapons just sitting out on display. Kind of surprised he didn't have a few decoys to find.

    Sorry, I didn't read all the famous quotes from the past. I'm not into the fight or killing, but I can't see just sitting around and letting people come into my country, crash planes. blow up buildings, kill my countrymen.

    It may be their country, and their fight, but when they start messing with weapons that will have global consequences, it's past time to get involved.

    I don't think many, if any of the people we are currently fighting in Iraq, are actually Iraqi. Never read anything about the borders being closed, or even monitored. I'd guess the idea is to draw them in, rather try and chase them around the world. Kind of a bad deal for the Iraqi people. If they have it bad now, it's going to be hell without the U.S. troops. There will be more war to overthrow the current government. More killing to convince the Iraqi people to follow their new leader, and exicutions for all that oppose it. Might not be great now, but it could be a lot worse. Will probably see in about a year. New president, most like a democrat. All seem to support troop withdraw.
  12. GS3

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 21, 2007
    Speak for yourself. Please. America was contained for decades by the nuclear threat of the USSR and now needs to be contained in its imperialistic, aggressive policies. See how they do not think of attacking Pakistan or North Korea?

    The non-proliferation pact was, more or less, that the nuclear powers promised not to attack the non-nuclear signatories in exchange for them not developing nuclear arms. America decided to scrap that and now there is a scramble to develop nuclear weapons. What else did you expect? It has been shown that it is the only way to be safe from that rogue, crazy, country.

    You know, it helps to be informed before trying to fix world problems. America only gets 1.7% of its electric energy from oil and even that is down 20% from a year ago (source: ) Oil goes to feed your gas guzzlers. Or have you invented a car which runs on a nuclear reactor with scraps of plutonium?

    In any case, who gave you or any one else for that matter the authority to decide what countries are "secure". Countries are free to do as they like and as they feel they need to do to protect themselves and the world today feels threatened by the USA. That is the most "insecure" country and the one which should first renounce the use of aggressive war for the purpose of furthering their goals. Which by the way are thumbing their nose at the world in re Kyoto and similar things. The USA is the rogue nation which needs to be contained.
  13. GS3

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 21, 2007
    The USA is in Iraq contrary to all morality and all law with total disregard for human life. Every day there is news of innocent civilians being killed. There have already been hundreds of thousands of dead and millions displaced. What happened in Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, etc will live in infamy.
    And Iraq had something to do with this how? Why didn't America invade Saudi Arabia where the attackers were from? Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and the fact that many believe it did just goes to show you the stupidity and ignorance of those who do. Americans are fed bullshit and they swallow it whole. The stupidity of using 9/11 to justify the invasion of Iraq is just astounding and I never cease to be amazed that it is repeated over and over. Iraq was the most secular country in the region and the one which had most enmity against Al Qaeda and yet Americans continue to repeat the mantra. Look, Americans can swallow as much bullshit as they want but the rest of the world is not buying it.

    Well, if you decide to play world cop don't be surprised if other decide to hit back.

    Again, made up bullshit with no factual support. Propaganda and lies by the US government which has been proven false over and over and yet some still want to believe it.
    I have heard this repeated many times and it is so stupid it is beyond belief. It assumes there are a fixed number of bad guys and good guys and you're trying to catch the bad guys. You do not realise that you have needlessly made enemies of a whole country.

    Bad deal for the Iraqi people, huh? That's all? Yeah, so what if hundreds of thousands have died and millions are wounded or displaced? Its not like they're Americans or their lives are worth something!

    This is a problem which is the sole creation of America and the responsibility for it rests squarely with America. Anything else is delusion.
  14. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    Total disregard for human life?!? I would ask you to explain that, but I fear there is no point in even attempting discourse with you. You've decided your own "facts" and will draw your own black & white conclusions based on them. Then you quote dead men out of context in holy benediction.

    You are not open-minded. You have met the enemy, and he is you.
  15. HarveyH42

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    I think GS3 is just having fun with us, unless he's a close relative of Sadam. Too much bitter hatred to be rational or real. Really no point in arguing with a lunatic.

    We didn't need to find weapons of mass destruction, terrorist camps, or really much of anything. Sadam agreed to allow U.N. inspectors in to look around. The few times he did were very restricted, and only a few sites. Then he just started refusing any inspections at all.

    Does the U.S. troops kill all these Iraqi civilians themselves? Or does that include the car bombers and suicide bombers walking around?

    Have you forgotten that there are still atleast 7 other countries with troops in Iraq? I've got to admit that I have little faith or trust in my government. And you are probably right about hidden reasons for the war. But it still one of best places to live. The middle east has always had bombings and violence, best I can remember. The only difference is the brought it over here. You might enjoy see dozens of people blown up daily in your country, I hope never to see that sort of thing here.

    The 9-11 terrorist were middle eastern, most of those countries don't show much interest in shutting them down. So who is going to do it. Why should we just accept that people are going to strap on bombs, and blow up crowds of people. And I'm stupid... Guess if yo have 14 children, you can spare a few here and there.
  16. chesart1

    Senior Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    That "threat" is a suspicion, a fear, not a fact. A new report was released today stating the Iran has not been developing nuclear weapons in the past four years. Furthermore, even a world war would not eliminate the possibility. If your logic was applied to the Cuban Crisis in the 1960's we would not be here to debate Middle East nuclear power. During that time, we thought that Russia did not understand the ramifications of a nuclear war.

    Our aggressive strategy for fighting terrorism is motivating Arab countries to acquire nuclear weapons as a deterrent. Trying to stop nuclear development using military tactics only exacerbates the problem.
  17. Nomad

    Active Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    I still say nuke it all and let your god alah or whatever sort it out.
  18. GS3

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 21, 2007
    That's a nice way of attacking me personally without addressing what I have said. Interesting too because I am the only one here providing cites in support of what I say and willing to provide as many as necessary.

    Have you heard of Blackwater and their killings? Lawless mercenaries totally unaccountable and shielded from any responsibility. You need cites for that? If you are not well acquainted with this you are not reading the news. In any case I'll be happy to provide as many cites as are needed. Have you not heard of the September incident where Blackwater people killed 11 civilians and wounded 13 more? Yes, after which the "sovereign" Iraqi government tried to kick them out of the country but later recanted under the "advice" of the American government. It happens all the time.

    You want cites for American troops killing innocents? It happens all the time
    FIVE members of the same Iraqi family, three of them children under the age of 4…
    An attack by a US helicopter against suspected insurgents in Iraq has killed a number of children at a primary school,
    You want cites for the many Iraqis killed "by mistake" because they got too near a convoy or were just at the wrong place at the wrong time?

    Have you not heard about the frequent bombings from the air by US forces of buildings with civilians when they suspect there may be "insurgents" in the building? You know, "collateral damage". You want cites for that? here you go"air+strikes" I get over one million cites. Pages talking about the air strikes and many, too many, mention the misery rained upon innocent civilians, women, children. I call that total disregard for human life. Maybe you do not consider Iraqi life "human life" but I do. They have a right to live in their country, in their homes. America does not have a right to be there bombing them.

    You want cites for what happened in Abu Ghraib? Read this for starters and see the photos . And anyone who thinks that was an isolated thing is delusional. The American government has redefined torture so that it is no longer torture but just "discomfort". I never thought I'd see the day when I would see the American government defending the use of torture but here we are.

    You want cites for what was done in Fallujah? You have really never heard of Fallujah? Let me enlighten you.

    I could go on and on about the horrors inflicted by America on the Iraqi people. And this in a war which was totally unjustified and immoral. America chose to invade Iraq and has totally destroyed the country. Those who support America in this war may not know it but they are supporting evil just like many Germans were supporting evil in 1943 and did not know it. Propaganda is a powerful tool and many Americans remain very ignorant of what is being done in their names.

    Pretty much the entire world disapproved of the aggression at the UN (except for a few of America's lapdogs who went against the wishes of those who had elected them and have since been kicked out of office and relegated to the garbage heap of history).

    It is the failure to understand how the entire world feels about this aggression and very specially how the Arab and Muslim worlds feel about this that has doomed the whole thing from day one. You can feel all righteous about it but the victims of this do not care what you think.

    It's not me. America's image and consideration abroad is at an all time low. History will not judge George Bush kindly, that's for sure.

    Whatever we may think now it seems quite clear that America's adventure in Iraq is destined to fail and the Iraq which will come out of this will be Islamic fundamentalist and radically anti-western which will be in sharp contrast with the secular and open Iraq which existed before. It will be our enemy for generations to come and we can thank GWB for that and the fools who thought America could rule the world rather than lead it. Whatever anyone thinks of the Iraqi adventure there is one thing about which there is no doubt: it was a colossal failure and a huge mistake.

    I posted a cite showing Europeans feel America is the #1 threat to peace. You may not like it but it is a fact. And now, please adress those facts and do not attack me personally.
  19. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    To everyone contributing, and thinking of contributing, to this thread:

    Can I remind people that ad-hominem tactics are always unacceptable - discuss the topic not other members.

    Thank you.

  20. GS3

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 21, 2007
    Please refrain from personal insults. It just shows you are out of arguments.
    Thjis is a lie. A bald faced lie which has been repeated over and over by those who want to find a justification in what is just unjustifiable. First of all, whether Saddam had allowed the inspectors or not is irrelevant as that did not give America a justification for war but, in any case, it is a lie.

    So please stop spreading lies and disinformation. Bush was bent on war and was going to invade Iraq no matter what as was evident and as was proven by the Downing Street Papers.

    The US is directly responsible for all those killed by its own forces and by its mercenaries and is also directly responsible for the breakdon in order which would not have happened had they not attacked.

    Please. That is laughable. And in any case, it is no justification for anything.

    Your reasoning skills are rather weak. You sound like a very young person mixing emotions. What has all this have to do with anything being discussed here?

    Again, you're rambling. Do you have a point you are trying to make?
    Well, that's quite a broad brush isn't it. Now imagine some Iraqi waving his hands and desiring death upon all westerners because, after all, they're all pretty much the same.

    So your point is "let us invade some country, any country, in the region...". Gotcha.

    Well, if America's aim was to decrease violence in that part of the world and the invasion has actually, you know, increased violence and hatred, can you explain the logic of the attack. Maybe I'm missing something but you know, it seems to me the actual result goes against the stated goal.

    Could it be that America really cares little about these ostensible goals and really wants to have a puppet state which it can control, regardless of the cost in human suffering to the natives? Because that makes more sense to me.

    Again, please address the actual points and leave personal attacks out of it. Thank you.
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