Iran may have acquired Nuclear War Heads.

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MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Religion or ideology (which really is just a relgion without a deity) is a very easy way to control the common, uneducated and simpleminded folk.
For those not so simple minded we have college.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Skipjack
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Post by Skipjack »

For those not so simple minded we have college.
;)

mvanwink5
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Post by mvanwink5 »

We used to have Air America, such a shame it was not subsidized like colleges.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

rjaypeters
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Post by rjaypeters »

Giorgio wrote:Religion is based on faith, Engineering is mainly based on verified knowledge.
I always considered the two as being on diverging roads.
I have never been able to understand how some engineers can reconcile both. Maybe someone can share his experience, it could be an interesting discussion.
Engineering (or the scientific/technical/engineering/mathmatics (STEM) mindset) may be on a diverging road from religion and faith, but that doesn't mean the STEM mindset and religion and faith don't have a common root:
Albert Einstein wrote:The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.

The STEM people and the faithful* depend on an orderly universe. I am aware of some of the varieties of the Anthropic Principle and some of the writings of Dr. Hawking (among others) which posit the Universe exists and runs without any intervention from any Divinity. I and millions of other reply: "From whom do you think the order of the Universe came?" I don't think we want to debate the creation of the Universe in this forum, so let me move on to the work I do.

For the work where STEMs earn a living, Divinity must not enter into our calculations**. I can happily work in variety of STEM fields and not have any conflict because I know I am working, at my level anyway, in an orderly universe. Note I don't work in quantum physics. Dr. Einstein had something to say about that, too. Something about God and dice.

Outside of earning a living, my faith takes me places and has me do work that has nothing to do with STEM. In this work, I depend entirely on the miraculous power available only from the Divine. Sometimes, miracles happen. When they do, it's not me who makes them happen. I am allowed to participate***, which builds my faith, but what happens is really not about me. Oh, I still use my brain, after all, I believe God gave me a brain to use, but it is not the only tool available.

I must acknowledge my profound ignorance of, well, just about everything. I have completed reasonably good studies of human psychology and I am deeply struck by how little humans perceive of what is going on around us, all the time. We are placed in the middle of the spatial and temporal scales of which the Universe is composed. Unless greatly augmented by machines, we miss the small and the fast; even so we cannot pay attention to anything for long before our concentration is interrupted. We have similar problems when trying to perceive the large and slow.

Even in our native spatial and temporal scales, our senses report pitifully little information to our brains which apparently devote large percentages of our gray matter to processing sensory information to our minds. We perceive little of reality, so it is no surprise to me there is much happening around me I don't perceive and do not pretend to understand.
I can do relatively little about the efficacy of my senses, my ignorance I try to reduce every day, but I can acknowledge it is my duty to do the best I can with what I have. I use the STEM mindset where it is appropriate; it is not the only tool available. I hope it is Godly wisdom that lets me know when to stop being an engineer.****

As any aside: As you can read above, I don't feel much conflict between the STEM mindset and my faith. The real conflicts are between my faith in God and his supremacy and my citizenship in a nation on the earth. I fear some of our correspondents would not accept my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States of America because, though I must "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's," I must also render unto God what is God's. If that's not a description of divided loyalty, I don't know what is!

Fortunately for all of us, I have no interest in running for President of the United States. Even if I ran (and I would qualify under any interpretation of Article II), I could not be elected, so no worries, mate.

*May we take it as self-evident how STEMs depend on an orderly Universe? I'm going to think more about how the faithful depend on an orderly universe, but I'm not going to write more about it here.

**I listened to radio program many years ago where the theme was: "God is on His throne and prayer changes things." And I would add under my breath, "But not physics." Despite that muttering, I will gladly accept Divine help with my math.

***
Nicolo Machiavelli wrote:God does not wish to do everything, in order not to take from us our free will and that part of the glory which is ours.
****On the scale from engineer to human being, I fall closer to human being than most engineers, I fear.
"Aqaba! By Land!" T. E. Lawrence

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jmc
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Post by jmc »

Diogenes wrote:
bcglorf wrote:
Diogenes wrote:
On the other hand, he could really be a religiously fanatical nut. I have met my share of nuts, religious and otherwise. (Some might say I'm a nut. :) ) They DO exist, and they think all sorts of kooky stuff. I have known people who believe the rapture is coming and that the righteous will simply disappear! (To Heaven or some such) I know people who believe there is a centuries old cabal of influential people who manipulate everything and conspire to rule the world, (like influential people don't already do that overtly. :) ) I know people who believe that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy rather than a lone socialist nut. (Are there really any other kind of socialist?)

Maybe I'madinnerjacket isn't crazy, but I wouldn't underestimate the power of nuttery. My experience is that most people have some form of nuttery. You just have to find the right subject and they will sound like they are in the twilight zone.
I personally follow the other take on this. If the guy is willing to pander to the religious extremists, why in the world would one advocate for that as a reason to trust him to stop doing so if he acquires nuclear weapons?

Surely his apparent desire to do and say what the fanatics want him to say is an argument AGAINST trusting his better judgment and nature.

It is an axiomatic principle among military planners that you don't pay much attention to what people say they will or will not do. You pay attention to what they are CAPABLE of doing, and assume the worst. I think that if we allow Iran to obtain the CAPABILITY to nuke Israel, we will have committed the worst possible folly, and we will have condemned millions of people to death.
It is my opinion that we should have kicked Iran's @ss years ago. (Thank you Jimmy Carter.) I think the Iranian Fanatics are a far greater threat than Saddam ever was.
Russia, China, Britain, France, Pakistan, India and the US are also capable of nuking Israel.

Does that mean US military planner should nuke all these countries and then nuke themselves for good measure in order toi remove that capability?

jmc
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Post by jmc »

bcglorf wrote:
Diogenes wrote:
bcglorf wrote: I personally follow the other take on this. If the guy is willing to pander to the religious extremists, why in the world would one advocate for that as a reason to trust him to stop doing so if he acquires nuclear weapons?

Surely his apparent desire to do and say what the fanatics want him to say is an argument AGAINST trusting his better judgment and nature.

It is an axiomatic principle among military planners that you don't pay much attention to what people say they will or will not do. You pay attention to what they are CAPABLE of doing, and assume the worst. I think that if we allow Iran to obtain the CAPABILITY to nuke Israel, we will have committed the worst possible folly, and we will have condemned millions of people to death.
It is my opinion that we should have kicked Iran's @ss years ago. (Thank you Jimmy Carter.) I think the Iranian Fanatics are a far greater threat than Saddam ever was.
So far the Iranian green movement and overall national liberties still make Iran less a threat than Saddam was, in my view. There are still allowed large swaths of Iran where they openly condemn the Ayatollahs and wearing a beard as the conservatives do will get you spit on. In Saddam's Iraq that kind of behaviour was unheard of, and Saddam repeatedly killed hundreds of thousands to put an end to it.

Iran's internal dissent and moderates are still a very positive factor, and about the only really hopeful part of the equation.

I agree entirely on the acquiring nukes part though. No amount of internal or external dissent is gonna matter WHEN they develop nukes. Once that happens Iran immediately becomes another North Korea, and everyone loses. Far, far better to deal with the problem now while it's still manageable.

The only question that is unsettled to me is when do you abandon any hope of the green movement achieving an Egypt or even Libyan like solution before resorting to the much uglier solutions.
Deal with the problem? How?

Everyone seems to constanty complain about how we're "letting" Iran develop the bomb.

Iran has just got trade sanctions up to its eyeballs and their still enriching Uranium. Their a sovereign nation! Sovereign nations hell bent on developing nuclear weapons eventually will and nothing short of a total invasion of the country can stop them for sure.

Let them develop nuclear weapons! Let them develop nuclear weapons!

At the end of the day its a simple question which is better, and all out pre-emptive unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation with a population of 80 million people (who we haven't even proved are developing nuclear weapons and may infact just be pursuing civilian reactor technology) or to allow the possibility to exist that they may someday in the future develop a nuclear weapon.

How big a deal is it if they develop a nuclear weapon anway?

200,000 people died in Hiroshima

1 million people died in the Iraq war.

And in a conventional war with Iran one could reasonably expect more than a million people to die as its got 5 times Iraq's population.

There are plent of other crazy regimes with nuclear weapons (China for one) yet the world keeps turning.

IMHO the fact that people we don't like may develop nuclear weapons is just a generic risk of modern day politics and not one worth starting wars over that could kills millions as a result.

If we actually put some real effort into developing SDI defences then the dangers of a nuclear weapon would be much reduced anyway.

Who knows, if Iran develops nuclear weapons it may be a blessing as it would give the US a credible diplomatic excuse for developing a robust missile defense network which the Chinese and Russians wouldn't have an excuse to complain about.

This would protect the US from missiles from a wide range of hostile countruies in addition to Iran and would be far less bloody than a war with Iran.

jmc
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Post by jmc »

Skipjack wrote: I would say that 99.9999% of all them never believed their own crap.
I think Hitler probably did. Apparantly when Chamberlain gave him the Sudenland land he exclamed "THAT DIRTY PIG!" because he wanted a bloody war instead of peacefully expanding his power.

To want to extend you're power through war when you can get the same using peaceful means is completely irrational.

He also did a lot of other irrational things I believe in his last days he was ordering armies around that did not exist anymore as they had been obliterated by the allies.

And alot of Nazis committed suicide rather than running for their lives.... also irrational.

So irrational people do sometimes rise to power.

ladajo
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Post by ladajo »

1 million people died in the Iraq war.
How?

TDPerk
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Post by TDPerk »

"and all out pre-emptive unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation with a population of 80 million people (who we haven't even proved are developing nuclear weapons and may infact just be pursuing civilian reactor technology) or to allow the possibility to exist that they may someday in the future develop a nuclear weapon."

Given their steadfast support for terrorism outside their borders--ongoing for 30+ years now--and the rhetoric to the effect they will do far worse--ongoing for 30+ years now; under what tortured logic would ANY action taken against them be unprovoked? Why would they be pursuing the "research" path they have, if they are not producing the most easily weaponized material?
molon labe
montani semper liberi
para fides paternae patria

TDPerk
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Post by TDPerk »

"1 million people died in the Iraq war."

What?

Oh that's funny. You take the Lancet seriously.
molon labe
montani semper liberi
para fides paternae patria

Betruger
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Post by Betruger »

On its diverging way from faith, engineering doesn't really cross or otherwise contradict it. Unless you take scripture literally. And there's no reason to be conflicted unless engineering starts to infringe on the supernatural/divine, which... Doesn't look about to happen anytime soon.

Skipjack
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Post by Skipjack »

My take is that war is always the least desireable option. Innocent people will die, period. You can look at it any way you want.
So if you go to war with someone, you have to make sure that you have undeniable reason and undeniable proof that you had no other choice.
You also have to be clear about the fact that you might loose even more sympathies in the region and most likely will face even more hatred from these people. Right now there is a window of oportunity where other means could possibly succeed. The opposition is gaining momentum, the mullahs are loosing influence and the young people there, like most young people arround the world, get cellphones and internet and start seeing what the world is really about. This will cause them to loose faith in the mullahs and it will give sympathies for the US which dominates the internet in many ways.
If you start killing innocent people there (not intentionally, but as collateral damage in a war against Iran), you will most likely loose all these sympathies.
So if you go to war there, you have to be 100% percent certain that there is not other way. So far I dont see this condition fullfilled.
In the same light, the Iraq war was a big mistake also. No WMDs there. The conditions were not fullfilled. The result was, IMHO, a major loss for the US. You may have won against Saddam Hussein, but you did not achieve anything with it. You are now stuck down there, with people that hate you, with people that are easy pray for Al Quaida, with very little hope of getting out of there any time soon. And that, if I may say, that even though Iraq was IMHO less of an issue than Pakistan is, which already is a nuclear power, which is the home of many Al Quaida sympathisizers and which after all was a quite comfortable shelter for Bin Laden...
IMHO, the Iraq war unnecessarily diverted the attention of the US miliatary from the essential targets and is most certainly resposible for the fact that Bin Laden was able to hide in plain sight for a decade.
Even the US has limited military and intelligence resources, no matter what you might believe and any additional conflict will take away from those...

ladajo
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Post by ladajo »

My take is that war is always the least desireable option. Innocent people will die, period. You can look at it any way you want.
In the classical sense yes, in the modern sense, no.
So if you go to war there, you have to be 100% percent certain that there is not other way. So far I dont see this condition fullfilled.
In the same light, the Iraq war was a big mistake also. No WMDs there. The conditions were not fullfilled.
Umm, no. The decision to go to "war" is based on risk verses outcome. There have been many cases in history where war was decided, in the certain face of defeat. But the intent was not to pursue to defeat, it was to pursue an objective, reachable short of defeat. It is always about the objective, not the "war". Folks that have gone to war without an objective have always lost, as have those with an unreachable one.

As far as WMD in Iraq, what do you think is WMD. I know a lot of folks that found WMD and WMD programs in Iraq post 2003. The fact that the media did not choose to amplify these finds is where most of the public goes wrong in opinion. The fact is that Chemical WMD, even some Bio program WMD was found. Also, the fact is that Saddam himself admitted that he was keeping his nuclear "on ice" until the scutiny passed. This included former regime paid nulcear reseachers who were kept "on payroll" for a "rainy day". You are misguided to think that Saddam did not have WMD in his blood. In his own words, he could not afford not to. Especially in face of the Iranian threat.

I also just spent a year with an Iraqi Naval Officer who has been with the Iraqi military since before Gulf 1. He even admits that Iraq had WMD interests. Do not be niave, you are better than that.

bcglorf
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Post by bcglorf »

jmc wrote:1 million people died in the Iraq war.
As has been asked before, how did these people die? you'll find the Lancet numbers which I presume you are quoting include those who died of pre-existing cancer but lacked access to top rate medical facilities. One doesn't normally count terminal cancer as a cause of death due to a war that started long after the cancer developed. If that's your bar for blame in death tolls, then the number of deaths under Saddam's regime was every single sole that died of any cause what so ever during his entire regime. By that measure, a million dead is still an improvement for the Iraqi people.
Skipjack wrote:My take is that war is always the least desireable option.
Agreed. What with Iran though the argument is that our choices might be between war now, without them having nukes, or war later after the DO have nukes.
Skipjack wrote:So if you go to war with someone, you have to make sure that you have undeniable reason and undeniable proof that you had no other choice.
Our other choice has a shelf life, and corresponds with the situation becoming drastically worse. When Iran acquires nuclear weapons, the green movement not only loses it's momentum, it's victory is becomes far more risky for us as well. If the green movement goes forward and makes a nuclear armed republican guard desperate, do we really want to leave what they might do to their better judgment?

Furthermore, it can't be stressed enough that Iran's leadership, from all levels, has repeatedly insisted that war with and the elimination of Israel is their goal. They have continuously provided direct aid, support, arms and training to well organized militias formed for the sole purpose of waging war against Israel. Those militias in turn regularly routinely launched attacks directly on Israeli soil. There is a burden of proof on YOU as well to show that Iran does not fully intend to deploy nuclear weapons in accordance with their current words and actions. For if they do, and we have a great many reasons to belief so, then as terrible and horrific an option as pre-emptive strikes of some manner may be, they may still well be the lesser evil. Better alienating and angering more Iranians than Hezbollah acting out the mushroom clouds on their banners in real life.

Skipjack wrote:In the same light, the Iraq war was a big mistake also.
Saddam is dead.
The overwhelming majority of Iraqis now live an existence without fear that their leader will use his absolute military superiority to exterminate them. They can distribute pamphlets without fearing Saddam's police will show up at their doors with a tape of their wives or daughters in one of his rape rooms.

The war in Iraq was an enormous humanitarian success, and the next 10 and 20 years will really show the truth of that, albeit only to those who appreciate Saddam's brutality.

Skipjack
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Post by Skipjack »

The overwhelming majority of Iraqis now live an existence without fear that their leader will use his absolute military superiority to exterminate them.
Yeah, now they get just killed by some terrorists and Al Quaida is having a field day in that country.
The UN has never found any WMDs in Iraq. I have not seen any evidence of there being any WMDs there.

Well, what I can say. I think that fighting yet another war down there is a mistake. I think that it will only cause more hatred for the US in the long term. The Iraq war has hardly brought the US many sympathies.
But, hey I have stated by opinion and if you really want to go to war, then I am glad that I wont be taking part in it.
Every war you fight, lowers the economic competitiveness of the US. So that is good for me, because I dont live there ;)
Of course that would be what I was thinking, if I did not, for some totally irrational reason care so much abou that country and its people.

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