Iran Elections Thread

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by MKSheppard » 2009-07-03 08:28pm

Elfdart wrote:You will provide evidence that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, right?
You only need to enrich Uranium to a really small percentage in order to have nuclear power; and thus can get by with small enrichment facilities; enriching Uranium to 2-3% purity is a lot less time consuming than going to 95%+ purity (as required for bombs).

So why do the Iranians have about 70,000 square meters of floor space in heavily reinforced, deeply buried bombproofs for uranium enrichment, when you can easily get by with a smallish above ground uranium refinery for peaceful purposes?
Iran is one of the least aggressive countries on the planet. When was the last time they invaded another country?
I guess trying to export their islamic revolution via terrorism since 1979 doesn't exist in Elfpenis' world.
Or we could just mind our own fucking business, an option that causes far less death and destruction.
That worked SO well from 1933-1940. :roll:
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Samuel » 2009-07-03 10:23pm

That worked SO well from 1933-1940.
It would be so much fun to have them attempt that. Do you have any idea how much of a clusterfuck it would be for Iran if they tried to start expanding?

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Post by Patrick Degan » 2009-07-04 12:44am

MarshalPurnell wrote:Is the strategic balance in the Middle East tenable if an aggressive Iran under the control of Ahmadinejad and Khameni's hardline clique obtains nuclear weapons?
Quite tenable, actually. Nuclear weapons only gain Iran an insurance policy against being preemptively attacked or invaded, but in real terms they will remain quite outgunned by the United States, Israel, and Russia —particularly since, as they themselves must eventually discover, it would be so horribly easy for either of those powers to wipe out a very substantial percentage of Iran's national population and industrial base with just a few dozen warheads targeted at their main cities alone, considering how densely clustered their people and assets are. Nuke their thirteen largest cities and Iran is finished as a functional society.

Basically, the status-quo would begin to resemble the U.S./Soviet Middle East stalemate during the height of the Cold War. The players would be changed from the previous arrangement somewhat, but the balance of terror in the region would be about the same as it once was.
Even if we stipulate that Assured Destruction will deter them from ever using nuclear weapons, it will embolden them to interfere more directly in Iraq, to harass the Gulf Arab states (who are frankly scared to death of Iran as is), and to play games with the Straits of Hormuz.
Doubtful. The one thing every nuclear-armed country has discovered is how easily a crisis could go nuclear, which tends to act as a restraining force against making moves that are too hasty or bold. Very likely the Iranians would continue with the level of harassment they practise now as the more viable option to wear their enemies down with minimal cost and risk to themselves. As example, nuclear weapons have not conferred any special advantages upon either India or Pakistan for bold adventurism against each other, and the prospect of an actual nuclear exchange frightened both governments into backing down in the last near-war over Kashmir.
We also face the prospect of a spiral of nuclear weapons proliferation as regional governments like Saudi Arabia and Egypt seek their own nuclear weapons to counter Shi'a Iran, and the Iranians trade their nuclear weapons expertise to other countries.
A possibility to be certain but not necessarily the inevitable outcome. The more likely outcome is that the Arab states will be drawn into the U.S. orbit and, ironically, that of Israel as well. And though the Arab nations have their Shi'a populations, Arab Shi'ites aren't sanguine about being dominated in any sense by Persians.
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Re:

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-07-04 12:44pm

Patrick Degan wrote:
MarshalPurnell wrote:Even if we stipulate that Assured Destruction will deter them from ever using nuclear weapons, it will embolden them to interfere more directly in Iraq, to harass the Gulf Arab states (who are frankly scared to death of Iran as is), and to play games with the Straits of Hormuz.
Doubtful. The one thing every nuclear-armed country has discovered is how easily a crisis could go nuclear, which tends to act as a restraining force against making moves that are too hasty or bold. Very likely the Iranians would continue with the level of harassment they practise now as the more viable option to wear their enemies down with minimal cost and risk to themselves. As example, nuclear weapons have not conferred any special advantages upon either India or Pakistan for bold adventurism against each other, and the prospect of an actual nuclear exchange frightened both governments into backing down in the last near-war over Kashmir.
We also face the prospect of a spiral of nuclear weapons proliferation as regional governments like Saudi Arabia and Egypt seek their own nuclear weapons to counter Shi'a Iran, and the Iranians trade their nuclear weapons expertise to other countries.
A possibility to be certain but not necessarily the inevitable outcome. The more likely outcome is that the Arab states will be drawn into the U.S. orbit and, ironically, that of Israel as well. And though the Arab nations have their Shi'a populations, Arab Shi'ites aren't sanguine about being dominated in any sense by Persians.
Adding on to this we would likely be in a situation more akin to the early-mid 80s when the US was being quietly supported in its role as arms dealer to Iraq in their war against Iran. None of the gulf states have populations or the desire to engage in direct conflict with anyone, certainly they would find it much more economical to back the US as their proxy to engage Iran. In turn the sort of standoff between nuclear powers is a situation where the US does have expereince to draw upon wheras the Iranians will be making up the playbook as they go along. If they become an acknowledged nuclear power then the US will be given more favorable international treatment in terms of its confrontations with them since the playing field will be seen as "level" so it gives more room to manuever than the current situation where the US is seen, still, as bullying Iran due to our superior strategic position.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-07-04 12:54pm

MKSheppard wrote:
Straha wrote:(Also, Ahmadinejad wasn't at the embassy taking as far as most people can tell. Only a few people place him there, and they place him there when they were under extreme metal and physical duress. In fact it looks like he may have been one of the leaders of the student group who opposed taking the embassy, but that's only partially grounded speculation.)
Actually. It gets better. He didn't want to take the US embassy over. He wanted to take the SOVIET embassy over, and proposed this, but his idea got turned down.
This is one of those things that's been repeated here or there, notably by Amir Taheri, but is based only on extrapolation of assumed fact. Fact: The students originally planned to take both the Soviet and U.S. Embassies. Fact: There were student leaders against taking the U.S. Embassy for a second time, and more in favor of taking the Soviet embassy. Assumed Fact:
Ahmadinejad was the student leader in the opposition. Therefore!: Ahmadinejad wanted to take the Soviet embassy!

It makes a nice story, and I quite like it in its own way, but there's no definite proof tying Ahmadinejad to it. It's just like the idea that he went to Lebanon during the 80s as part of the revolutionary guard. Pure rumour, no hard fact.
Force Lord wrote:I remember that the USSR and Britain invaded Iran during WWII even though they were hard-pressed by the Germans elsewhere. Iran back then was a very weak country, so it wasn't always a bloodbath for an invader.
Remember the USSR invaded Afghanistan in '79. Remember how well that went? The Soviets would have been furious, but they wouldn't have been able to do anything solidly effective against Iran. Especially not with troops tied down next door to the east.
MarshalPurnell wrote: The Green movement, whatever it will be called in the future, has obviously failed miserably.
Producing the largest political protests in the Islamic Republic's history does not a "miserable failure" make. It makes it a crushed, and admittedly failed, political movement. But it also showed the "Republic" part of Iran to be a base lie, undermined the political legitimacy of both Khamenei and, more pointedly, Ahmadinejad, destroyed what little credibility the Guardian Council and the State media had left, and united the democratic international community against the Iranian government and behind the Iranian people. That's not a miserable failure by any stretch of the term.
For all the talk about Rafsanjani riding in to the rescue (and a more unlikely political savior is hard to imagine) there has been absolutely no sign of the Assembly of Experts doing anything, and plenty of reports that a majority of the Assembly has signed on with the "protests are a foreign plot" explanation being peddled by Khameni and Iranian state media.
Actually, Mousavi is a pretty damn unlikely political savior. His record as Prime Minister was pretty damn bleak in regards to moderating the hardline stint of the revolution, especially when it came to enemies of the revolution and the international scene. The fact that he could be seen as an "enemy of the revolution" is a major turn, and goes against most of his history.

And Rafsanjani has always been a political moderate. His problem, if anything, has been that he's never wanted to ruffle feathers, always bowing the consensus and modification instead of putting his foot down and saying "This is how it's going to be." He's also been resolutely against Ahmadinejad since day one, and de facto against Khamenei for about a decade. He's not doing this wholly with good intentions, but he's not that much of an unlikely savior.

Though it does look like his plan, if the reports on that were accurate, has stalled for the time being.
We have already seen "confessions" of espionage on Iranian TV, and it is probably only a matter of time before they start having show trials where everything is blamed on Britain, the United States, and Israel.
And who will believe them?
Hardliner dominance over the government and security services will necessarily result in a purge of moderates from senior positions and the institutionalization of a Pasdaran/Basij coalition in control of the state.
Not likely. If previous elections are anything to go by then the Pasdaran probably voted mainly in favor of Mousavi and Karrubi. And Rezai's candidateship only underscores that fact. There aren't enough "acceptable' Pasdaran to run the government, and the Basiij are mainly young thugs, they provide the muscle but not the leadership.

It's one thing to put down revolts, it's another to run a country. I doubt they'll be able to arrange that anytime soon.
They did not do this because Mousavi represented a threat to the Islamic Republic. They threw out the rules that had prevailed for nearly fifteen years because they wanted to insure their own vision for Iran's future went ahead. That vision certainly includes nuclear weapons, and only a fool would believe otherwise.
Is there any evidence at all that Mousavi would stop the Nuclear buildup? The nuclear issue is an international red herring, the issues at hand are internal, mainly to do with openness, democracy, and the need for reformation.

Ignoring the rest of your post for the alarmism that it is, there's also no evidence that the Iranians are seeking to build Nuclear Weapons. There is every evidence they're working towards having the surge capacity to do so (still a scary thought), but nothing to say they want them right away.

As a final note: doing anything against the enrichment facilities now would be counter-productive. There are too many sites to effectively destroy the Iranian ability to produce fuel, any strike against them will only rally the populace against the Western world, and any strike against Iran will result in drastically increased terrorism against the U.S., Israel, the UK, and the rest of Europe.
Elfdart wrote: Iran is one of the least aggressive countries on the planet. When was the last time they invaded another country?
Haha, no. Iran has been one of the most aggressive countries on the planet at times. Hezbollah, Khobar Towers, the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Brazil, the assassination of Iranian expat dissidents, and the harboring of Saif al-Adel all come to the top of my mind. To use the fact that they haven't invaded another country (discounting Iraq in '82, though that doesn't add much weight to your argument either) to prove their peacefulness makes about as much sense as using the fact that the U.S. hasn't issued a declaration of war since World War II to prove its peacefulness.

Trying to paint the Iranian government as non-aggressive is not only dishonest, but unnecessary. There are plenty of very good legitimate reasons not to support military action against Iran as it is.

Or we could just mind our own fucking business, an option that causes far less death and destruction.
Not tenable either. Iran is a supporter of state terrorism, and letting them develop the surge capacity to develop Nuclear weapons would give them major weight at the bargaining table and would let them, essentially, hold the Sheihkdoms and Israel hostage to their demands. Best to sanction the regime's leaders and offer incentives for shutting down production of their nuclear enrichment plans (as Russia has done in the past) than let them develop unopposed the capability to destroy places like Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE or Israel.
Patrick Degan wrote: Quite tenable, actually. Nuclear weapons only gain Iran an insurance policy against being preemptively attacked or invaded, but in real terms they will remain quite outgunned by the United States, Israel, and Russia —particularly since, as they themselves must eventually discover, it would be so horribly easy for either of those powers to wipe out a very substantial percentage of Iran's national population and industrial base with just a few dozen warheads targeted at their main cities alone, considering how densely clustered their people and assets are. Nuke their thirteen largest cities and Iran is finished as a functional society.
You're looking too broadly. If Iran has one Nuke they can effectively destroy Kuwait, Bahrain and cripple the UAE, Israel, Jordan and Yemen. That gives it incredible local influence, especially because it could quite easily work through third party actors thus delaying direct retribution. It gives it the ability to turn to Kuwait, Bahrain, etc. and say "Give us what we want, or we'll destroy you totally with one explosion." And those countries don't have the ability to destroy Iran's thirteen largest cities, or, indeed, Tehran.

Also, I should add, giving Iran this power and giving it a credible retributionary threat against Russian, Europe and the U.S. would be downright embarrassing. The UN and the U.S. cannot act purport to maintain peace in the world and threaten free action against rouge states while being held hostage by a country with a GDP less than that of Massachusetts
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by montypython » 2009-07-04 03:01pm

If nuclear blackmail of that sort were to occur, nuclear preemption may become a more viable option then would have otherwise...

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-07-04 06:40pm

montypython wrote:If nuclear blackmail of that sort were to occur, nuclear preemption may become a more viable option then would have otherwise...
Nuclear pre-emption will NEVER be considered viable mostly because any nation who engages in it knows that they would likely get counter-nuked by other such owners who don't like the precedent. Put another way Russia and China cannot allow the US to pre-emptively nuke somebody because of the precednet it sets for the US intervening in dozens of other regions where they have interests. Likewise the US cannot allow Russia or China to nuke somebody for the fear of the precedent it sets in regions where it has interests. The long and short of it is that no nuclear power wants to see it become accepted wisdom that the other members of the club can use their weapons at will. Ain't gonna happen.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Pelranius » 2009-07-04 07:30pm

What about scenarios in which Israel or someone else tries to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program?

Granted, it all reads like a wet dream from the likes of Dale Brown and Brad Thro.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by montypython » 2009-07-04 09:05pm

CmdrWilkens wrote: Nuclear pre-emption will NEVER be considered viable mostly because any nation who engages in it knows that they would likely get counter-nuked by other such owners who don't like the precedent. Put another way Russia and China cannot allow the US to pre-emptively nuke somebody because of the precednet it sets for the US intervening in dozens of other regions where they have interests. Likewise the US cannot allow Russia or China to nuke somebody for the fear of the precedent it sets in regions where it has interests. The long and short of it is that no nuclear power wants to see it become accepted wisdom that the other members of the club can use their weapons at will. Ain't gonna happen.
It's a different thing comparing a declared intent as opposed to mere possession, for example if North Korea were to openly threaten the use of nukes the US would be within its rights to fire first against such a direct intent even if the other powers don't like it, and that is true for any other power, especially if there is no collective security framework to concentrate action. It just depends on how great the exigencies get.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Elfdart » 2009-07-05 05:23pm

MKSheppard wrote:
Elfdart wrote:You will provide evidence that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, right?
You only need to enrich Uranium to a really small percentage in order to have nuclear power; and thus can get by with small enrichment facilities; enriching Uranium to 2-3% purity is a lot less time consuming than going to 95%+ purity (as required for bombs).

So why do the Iranians have about 70,000 square meters of floor space in heavily reinforced, deeply buried bombproofs for uranium enrichment, when you can easily get by with a smallish above ground uranium refinery for peaceful purposes?
Because they have a history of being attacked by other countries and leaving nuclear plants unprotected is rather stupid.
I guess trying to export their islamic revolution via terrorism since 1979 doesn't exist in Elfpenis' world.
It doesn't exist anywhere in the real world -only in the jackoff fantasies of laptop bombardiers.
That worked SO well from 1933-1940. :roll:
The US government minded its own business from 1933-1940? :lol:

Straha wrote:
Elfdart wrote: Iran is one of the least aggressive countries on the planet. When was the last time they invaded another country?
Haha, no. Iran has been one of the most aggressive countries on the planet at times. Hezbollah,
Riiiiiiight. The fact that Iran backed a Shiite militia that was formed in 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon is proof of Iran's aggressive nature. I guess the mullahs forced Aryan Sharon to invade, just so their fiendish Fu Manchu plot could be carried out.
:wanker:

Khobar Towers, the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Brazil, the assassination of Iranian expat dissidents, and the harboring of Saif al-Adel all come to the top of my mind.
That would make Boston and New York aggressive states, since the IRA gets much of their support among Americans and they do the exact same things (bombings, assassinations, attacks on embassies and diplomats).
To use the fact that they haven't invaded another country (discounting Iraq in '82, though that doesn't add much weight to your argument either) to prove their peacefulness makes about as much sense as using the fact that the U.S. hasn't issued a declaration of war since World War II to prove its peacefulness.
But the US has invaded many countries and killed off millions of people. Actions -not words- are what matter. As far as actions are concerned, the Iranians haven't invaded their neighbors and support for "terrorists" is something many other countries do as well -yet there's none of this kind of concern-trolling over them.
Trying to paint the Iranian government as non-aggressive is not only dishonest, but unnecessary.
No, dishonesty is trying to paint the Iranian Army's pursuit of Saddam Hussein's forces back across the border as aggression on the part of Iran. I guess the US Navy was the aggressor in WW2 when they sank the Japanese ships at Midway, right?

There are plenty of very good legitimate reasons not to support military action against Iran as it is.
That's awfully big of you.

Or we could just mind our own fucking business, an option that causes far less death and destruction.
Not tenable either.
Sure it is. We withdrew from Vietnam and not a single American soldier has been killed there since.
Iran is a supporter of state terrorism, and letting them develop the surge capacity to develop Nuclear weapons would give them major weight at the bargaining table and would let them, essentially, hold the Sheihkdoms and Israel hostage to their demands.
You have it backwards. In the unlikely event that Iran does make a few A-bombs, they will no longer be held hostage by us.
Best to sanction the regime's leaders and offer incentives for shutting down production of their nuclear enrichment plans (as Russia has done in the past) than let them develop unopposed the capability to destroy places like Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE or Israel.
Axis Kast is so much better at spewing this kind of bullshit than you are. Israel has hundreds of nukes and is more than capable of defending itself. The other countries you just mentioned couldn't fight off a conventional attack from their larger neighbors either. So Iran should forfeit all its armed forces, by your harebrained logic.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by MKSheppard » 2009-07-05 06:30pm

Elfdart wrote:Because they have a history of being attacked by other countries and leaving nuclear plants unprotected is rather stupid.
Nice try Elfpenis. I'll repeat myself.

You only need to enrich Uranium to a really small percentage in order to have nuclear power; and thus can get by with small enrichment facilities; enriching Uranium to 2-3% purity is a lot less time consuming than going to 95%+ purity (as required for bombs).

So why do the Iranians have about 70,000 square meters of floor space in heavily reinforced, deeply buried bombproofs for uranium enrichment, when you can easily get by with a smallish above ground uranium refinery for peaceful purposes?

To put 70,000 sq meters into perspective; that's about one wing of the K-25 enrichment facility at Oak Ridge.

You don't build such a huge complex if you're making low grade Uranium for nuclear power -- and even if you were making low grade uranium for nuclear power -- where is the complex of nuclear power plants that will require such huge amounts of LEU?

Oh right, there aren't any. It has only one purpose. Industrial scale production of bomb material.
It doesn't exist anywhere in the real world -only in the jackoff fantasies of laptop bombardiers.
Straha's answered the question better than I could, and he's an expert on Iran.
The US government minded its own business from 1933-1940? :lol:
America First? Isolationism? Ring a bell?
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Patrick Degan » 2009-07-05 07:10pm

Straha wrote:
Patrick Degan wrote: Quite tenable, actually. Nuclear weapons only gain Iran an insurance policy against being preemptively attacked or invaded, but in real terms they will remain quite outgunned by the United States, Israel, and Russia —particularly since, as they themselves must eventually discover, it would be so horribly easy for either of those powers to wipe out a very substantial percentage of Iran's national population and industrial base with just a few dozen warheads targeted at their main cities alone, considering how densely clustered their people and assets are. Nuke their thirteen largest cities and Iran is finished as a functional society.
You're looking too broadly. If Iran has one Nuke they can effectively destroy Kuwait, Bahrain and cripple the UAE, Israel, Jordan and Yemen. That gives it incredible local influence, especially because it could quite easily work through third party actors thus delaying direct retribution. It gives it the ability to turn to Kuwait, Bahrain, etc. and say "Give us what we want, or we'll destroy you totally with one explosion." And those countries don't have the ability to destroy Iran's thirteen largest cities, or, indeed, Tehran.
But we do. They threaten Kuwait, and we threaten, quite credibly, to return the favour if they carry out their threat. They've already seen what resulted from the last attempt to threaten (or conquer) Kuwait. Again, actually using a nuclear weapon would remove any restraint against attacking Iran and they find themselves under the gun —and if they had only one device to begin with, they'd have absolutely nothing to use for a counter-response. So what would it gain them to even attempt it?
Also, I should add, giving Iran this power and giving it a credible retributionary threat against Russian, Europe and the U.S. would be downright embarrassing. The UN and the U.S. cannot act purport to maintain peace in the world and threaten free action against rouge states while being held hostage by a country with a GDP less than that of Massachusetts
This assumes that the Iranians will not actually consider the consequences of tossing such threats around or how easy it would be to destroy the country as a functional society with a couple dozen warheads. Or, in our case, to decimate the Iranian national population if they actually ever did carry out a nuclear threat against us. Credible retaliatory threat against the U.S. or Russia? Not a chance —they're not even going to have an arsenal up to India's level for a decade or two if that, nevermind one that could challenge either superpower on anything approaching equal terms. Against Europe? Britain and France could destroy Iran and Europe is also under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. Again, they gain nothing from tossing threats except to find themselves keyed into our targeting solutions.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Chris OFarrell » 2009-07-05 09:57pm

Oh frack....

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 644817.ece
Iran clerics declare election invalid and condemn crackdown
Martin Fletcher

Iran’s biggest group of clerics has declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election to be illegitimate and condemned the subsequent crackdown.

The statement by the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qom is an act of defiance against the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has made clear he will tolerate no further challenges to Mr Ahmadinejad’s “victory” over Mir Hossein Mousavi.

“It’s a clerical mutiny,” said one Iranian analyst. “This is the first time ever you have all these big clerics openly challenging the leader’s decision.” Another, in Tehran, said: “We are seeing the birth of a new political front.”

Professor Ali Ansari, head of Iranian Studies at St Andrews University, said: “It’s highly significant. It shows this is nowhere near resolved.”

The association’s statement also shows how deeply the political establishment is divided, and the extent to which the Supreme Leader now derives his power from military might, not moral authority. It makes it much harder for the regime to arrest Mr Mousavi and other opposition leaders.

At the weekend a top aide to Mr Khamenei demanded that Mr Mousavi and other opponents be tried for “terrible crimes”, and the elite Revolutionary Guards accused them of “trying to overthrow the Islamic establishment”.

In other developments, David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday that he expected the eighth of the nine British Embassy employees arrested ten days ago to be released soon but a lawyer representing the ninth — a political analyst named Hossein Rossam — said he would be charged with threatening national security.

Mr Miliband expressed “cold anger” at the way the nine had been treated.

The regime freed Iason Athanasiadis, an Anglo-Greek journalist arrested on June 19. However, a lawyer for Maziar Bahari, a Canadian-Iranian journalist working for Newsweek, said he faced charges of “instigating riots and acting against national security”. The Association of Researchers and Teachers is based in Qom, the clerical nerve centre of Iran, and includes many leading ayatollahs with impeccable revolutionary credentials and big personal followings.

The association did not support a candidate in the election, but has now lined up firmly behind Mr Mousavi. In a rebuke to the regime it declared on its website: “Candidates’ complaints and strong evidence of vote-rigging were ignored . . . Peaceful protests by Iranians were violently oppressed . . . Dozens of Iranians were killed and hundreds were illegally arrested . . . The outcome is invalid.”

It called on other clerics to speak out, demanded the release of all those arrested in the past three weeks, and directly challenged the authority of the Guardian Council, a body of 12 senior clerics that has openly backed Mr Ahmadinejad and his patron, Mr Khamenei. “How can one accept the legitimacy of the election just because the Guardian Council says so?,” it asked.

On Wednesday, a day after the Guardian Council said that the election result was final, Mr Mousavi talked of forming a new political grouping to fight an illegitimate government.

With the popular former president Mohammad Khatami and Medhi Karoubi, another defeated candidate, challenging the Government’s legitimacy, and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, another former president, pointedly meeting the families of those killed in street demonstrations, that coalition is beginning to take shape.

“The fact that anyone dares to condemn the election when people were calling for Mousavi and Karoubi’s heads is remarkable,” said the analyst in Tehran. “It shows there is depth to Mousavi’s support. They have not been bullied into silence, there are factions forming and this is not over.”

Mr Mousavi issued a 25-page paper detailing election abuses ranging from the printing of 14 million extra ballot papers to bribes to ballot boxes containing not a single vote for him even in his hometown.

Mr Miliband expressed fury at Mr Rossam’s detention. The charge that he had helped incite the protests had “absolutely no basis”. Mr Rossam, 44, was “an honourable, patriotic Iranian, who has been working in a completely open and transparent way for the UK”.

The European Union’s member states have protested to Iran and will consider tougher measures if Mr Rossam is not released this week. British officials are also hoping for a strong statement from Wednesday’s G8 summit.
Well this is going to blast the heat back up.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Prannon » 2009-07-05 10:11pm

This is encouraging. The mass protests may be over for the moment, but it's like Straha has been saying, as long as the clerics are divided then this will never be over. Something that struck out at me in the article was this:
On Wednesday, a day after the Guardian Council said that the election result was final, Mr Mousavi talked of forming a new political grouping to fight an illegitimate government.

With the popular former president Mohammad Khatami and Medhi Karoubi, another defeated candidate, challenging the Government’s legitimacy, and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, another former president, pointedly meeting the families of those killed in street demonstrations, that coalition is beginning to take shape.

“The fact that anyone dares to condemn the election when people were calling for Mousavi and Karoubi’s heads is remarkable,” said the analyst in Tehran. “It shows there is depth to Mousavi’s support. They have not been bullied into silence, there are factions forming and this is not over.”
A lot of people have said that the protest movement failed to bring down the government because it didn't have the depth of leadership to keep it sustained, but it would seem that leadership is forming now. The powers that be are going to be ruling a den of vipers soon enough, and the next time they make a mistake they may have a well led opposition instead of the spontaneous protests we saw a few weeks ago.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2009-07-05 11:51pm

Elfdart wrote:That would make Boston and New York aggressive states, since the IRA gets much of their support among Americans and they do the exact same things (bombings, assassinations, attacks on embassies and diplomats).
Nice try, but state sponsorship of terrorism (and yes, the Khobar Towers bombing and assassinations of overseas Iranian dissidents was terrorism) is not the same thing as a bunch of wealthy Irish-American assholes funneling money to the IRA.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Broomstick » 2009-07-06 05:37am

Guardsman Bass wrote:
Elfdart wrote:That would make Boston and New York aggressive states, since the IRA gets much of their support among Americans and they do the exact same things (bombings, assassinations, attacks on embassies and diplomats).
Nice try, but state sponsorship of terrorism (and yes, the Khobar Towers bombing and assassinations of overseas Iranian dissidents was terrorism) is not the same thing as a bunch of wealthy Irish-American assholes funneling money to the IRA.
Particularly not when the US government was opposed to the money going to the IRA and had agents in various Irish-American organizations to attempt to ferret out the culprits - as opposed to state-sponsored terrorism sanctioned by the government.

Elfdart is one of those people for whom everything the US does is bad and other countries are just poor, oppressed nobodies trying to stand up to the big bully.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Elfdart » 2009-07-06 10:00am

Guardsman Bass wrote:
Elfdart wrote:That would make Boston and New York aggressive states, since the IRA gets much of their support among Americans and they do the exact same things (bombings, assassinations, attacks on embassies and diplomats).
Nice try, but state sponsorship of terrorism (and yes, the Khobar Towers bombing and assassinations of overseas Iranian dissidents was terrorism) is not the same thing as a bunch of wealthy Irish-American assholes funneling money to the IRA.
You're right. When an IRA bomb kills or maims people it doesn't hurt as much. This is no doubt due to the fact that the money that paid for the bomb came from private sources rather than the government, which gives the shrapnel special properties.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by ray245 » 2009-07-06 10:27am

Elfdart wrote:
Guardsman Bass wrote:
Elfdart wrote:That would make Boston and New York aggressive states, since the IRA gets much of their support among Americans and they do the exact same things (bombings, assassinations, attacks on embassies and diplomats).
Nice try, but state sponsorship of terrorism (and yes, the Khobar Towers bombing and assassinations of overseas Iranian dissidents was terrorism) is not the same thing as a bunch of wealthy Irish-American assholes funneling money to the IRA.
You're right. When an IRA bomb kills or maims people it doesn't hurt as much. This is no doubt due to the fact that the money that paid for the bomb came from private sources rather than the government, which gives the shrapnel special properties.
It's not about how many people was hurt by the bombs or not. It's regarding who was the one responsible for funding the IRA.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-07-06 07:30pm

Pelranius wrote:What about scenarios in which Israel or someone else tries to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program?
I attended a lecture about two years ago given by a former journalist/editor of the Jerusalem Post (I think) who claimed that this is exactly what most of the Arab states wanted to have happen. If Israel blows up the Iranian Nuclear enrichment centers, the Arab people will scream and the Arab states will formally protest publicly, but behind the scenes they wont do anything because the possible Iranian Nuclear threat has been neutered and their happy little status quo has been maintained. Hezbollah and Iran's other proxies will throw a shit fit the likes of which you have never seen, but Israel can weather that and (as far as they're concerned) they'd be better off afterwards. I don't fully buy his cheery position, nor the fact that the Arab states would be happy with the scenario (though they all stood by silently when the same thing happened to Syria), but it is plausible.

In short: There'd be all the illusion of a massive shitstorm without the actual presence of one.

That said, considering the decentralized nature of the Iranian nuclear enrichment centers and their hardened nature there's no guarantee that a Osiriak style mission is even viable. Much less that it would get Obama's necessary nod of approval. But Joe Biden has seemed to give an acknowledgment of the possibility, and the Saudis may not mind it.
Elfdart wrote: Riiiiiiight. The fact that Iran backed a Shiite militia that was formed in 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon is proof of Iran's aggressive nature. I guess the mullahs forced Aryan Sharon to invade, just so their fiendish Fu Manchu plot could be carried out.
:wanker:
The fact that they formed a Shiite militia, organized it with their Revolutionary Guards, had it target American Marines in their Beirut barracks, helped it kidnap foreign citizens, diplomats and journalists, and then continued to back it well after its initial pretext disappeared down to the present day. Iran has been its primary supplier of all things (and proudly said as such publicly) and encouraged it in all of its Revolutionary activities and its terrorist actions against Israel.

That would make Boston and New York aggressive states, since the IRA gets much of their support among Americans and they do the exact same things (bombings, assassinations, attacks on embassies and diplomats).
Only in your strange little world is a city having a large population that makes donations to unsavory groups synonymous with State-sponsored Terrorism. Perhaps you have proof that Ed Koch was the one who orchestrated the IRA assassination attempts on Margaret Thatcher? Or maybe you're just pulling non-sequiturs out of your ass.
But the US has invaded many countries and killed off millions of people. Actions -not words- are what matter. As far as actions are concerned, the Iranians haven't invaded their neighbors and support for "terrorists" is something many other countries do as well -yet there's none of this kind of concern-trolling over them.
"They're just as bad as a lot of other unsavory nations. That makes them alright in my world!" Tell me, which side of the street do they drive on in your little world? I'm ever so curious.
No, dishonesty is trying to paint the Iranian Army's pursuit of Saddam Hussein's forces back across the border as aggression on the part of Iran. I guess the US Navy was the aggressor in WW2 when they sank the Japanese ships at Midway, right?
See, I agree with you in part. This is exactly why I discounted their invasion of Iraq in '82 in my post. But since you brought it up, let's explore their actions in the Iran-Iraq War!

When Iraq invaded in 1980 Iran declared that it would fight back and defend its territorial sovreigneity, and made this the core of its war aims and public statements. Then in 1982 they kicked the last Iraqi soldier off of Iranian soil and paused. The Iraqis, and all the Arab states, were terrified of Iran moving west. Khomeini had been preaching a revolutionary ideology that refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Arab Monarchies, and directly called for the Shia populations of Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain and others to rise up against their rulers and establish Islamic Governments. The Arabs didn't want to have to deal with this. So the Saudis went to Iran and offered them a deal: The Iraqis would recognize the validity of the 1975 Algiers Accords regarding the Shatt Al-Arab (whose 'illegitimacy' was Iraq's purported casus belli), would admit tacit fault for the war and would partially demobilize on the Iranian border, and the Saudis would hand over seventy Billion dollars in reparations to Iran, more than enough to cover the damages the Iranians suffered and have plenty extra left over for Economic reconstruction.

Khomeini considered this, and then declared that the war would go on until Iranian troops were in Jerusalem, and that they'd get to Jerusalem through Karbala. He then declared that he would unseat the Iraqi government and replace it with a Islamic government, and would do the same to all the other countries who got between him and Jerusalem, and woe betide anyone who stood with Iraq in this!

These are not the actions of "one of the least aggressive countries on the planet." These are the actions of an aggressive government bent on overthrowing its neighbors and replacing them with pliant states made in Iran's own image, and saying exactly that.


Sure it is. We withdrew from Vietnam and not a single American soldier has been killed there since.
Possibly the most egregious non-sequitur I've seen in the recent months on this board!

Let's see you try this again. This time, however, answer with something germane to the subject at hand.
You have it backwards. In the unlikely event that Iran does make a few A-bombs, they will no longer be held hostage by us.
You will, of course, be able demonstrate how we're holding them hostage right now with our Nuclear arsenal.
Best to sanction the regime's leaders and offer incentives for shutting down production of their nuclear enrichment plans (as Russia has done in the past) than let them develop unopposed the capability to destroy places like Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE or Israel.
Axis Kast is so much better at spewing this kind of bullshit than you are. Israel has hundreds of nukes and is more than capable of defending itself. The other countries you just mentioned couldn't fight off a conventional attack from their larger neighbors either. So Iran should forfeit all its armed forces, by your harebrained logic.
I see the game you're trying to play, and I'll have none of it. There are four nations listed up there as directly threatened by Iran. These are all nations which have had their legitimacy not just questions but downright denounced by Iranian leaders in the past (including Khamenei), and who have been victims of Iranian propaganda and direct threats. When you add a response as to how, in your little fantasy world, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the UAE are not at risk if the Iranians have Nuclear weapons, then you will have earned a proper response. Until then, begone Troll!

Degan wrote:But we do. They threaten Kuwait, and we threaten, quite credibly, to return the favour if they carry out their threat. They've already seen what resulted from the last attempt to threaten (or conquer) Kuwait. Again, actually using a nuclear weapon would remove any restraint against attacking Iran and they find themselves under the gun —and if they had only one device to begin with, they'd have absolutely nothing to use for a counter-response. So what would it gain them to even attempt it?
We do have a counter threat, but it's not very easily wielded.

Case in point: The UAE. There's a territorial dispute between Iran and the UAE going back decades to centuries (depending on who you ask) over three little Islands you and I could play badminton across to the west of the Strait of Hormuz called Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb. If Iran goes to the UAE and says that unless the UAE formally renounces sovereignty over the Islands the Iranian Pasdaran speed boats and coast guard will start harassing ships under the Emirates flag, and forcing them away from the Island. Further, Iran could say, any ship that strays too close or any attempt to send a military vessel to guard UAE shipping would be taken as a hostile military action which Iran may respond to, with the fullest possible force.

The UAE couldn't stand up to Iran's threat, and one Nuclear Explosion along its coast would utterly destroy it. Now the United States might take an active view on this, but the UAE is faced with two things:

1. It has no guarantee that the United States would be willing to risk anything in a shooting war. The UAE has no treaty guarantee on this matter, and even with a treaty there's no guarantee the United States would act on it. Obama doesn't exactly have a mandate for wider involvement in the Middle East, and most Americans wouldn't exactly be lock, stock and barrel behind a war defending a tiny Middle Eastern country most of them have never so much as heard of. (Never mind any preemptive action, or action over tiny Islands in the Strait.) And the UAE knows this.

2. Even if it has a Treaty guarantee, what use is it to the UAE? If Iran does go Nuclear against the UAE, the Sheikhs are essentially dead or ruined. Nuking Tehran wont exactly help you if you're in the grave.
Credible retaliatory threat against the U.S. or Russia? Not a chance —they're not even going to have an arsenal up to India's level for a decade or two if that, nevermind one that could challenge either superpower on anything approaching equal terms. Against Europe? Britain and France could destroy Iran and Europe is also under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. Again, they gain nothing from tossing threats except to find themselves keyed into our targeting solutions.
Iran doesn't need to challenge any Western nation on equal terms. It just needs a credible Nuclear surge capacity. Then it can threaten to obliterate the nations I've listed above in one go and throw its weight around far above its current punching capacity. As for the West, a surge capacity lets it say to, for instance, Gordon Brown "Sure you're willing to take a stand on this. But are you willing to commit the UK to this? Are you really willing to risk London for Dubai, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi?" That wont be a popular line in the West.

And there's no will for preemptive action in the Middle East. Especially not over Weapons of Mass Destruction in a country that begins with 'Ira'.

That being said, there's a solution of sorts. First, widespread sanctions against the Iranian leadership organized by the U.N. and enforced by all E.U. member states and the other major democratic powers. Second, withdrawal of Ambassadors from Iran by the EU and other nations in protest over the Iranian election and its treatment of foreign nationals. Third, the U.S. could organize a local security bloc akin to the 1991 Damascus Declaration. A mutual-defense pact between the Arab states would give them a united, and very intimidating, front against the Iranians, and would help a great deal to stabilize the region. Moreover the U.S. is in a perfect position to encourage this with its position in Iraq. Finally, there's always the Osiriak option.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-07-06 07:33pm

Elfdart wrote:
Guardsman Bass wrote:
Elfdart wrote:That would make Boston and New York aggressive states, since the IRA gets much of their support among Americans and they do the exact same things (bombings, assassinations, attacks on embassies and diplomats).
Nice try, but state sponsorship of terrorism (and yes, the Khobar Towers bombing and assassinations of overseas Iranian dissidents was terrorism) is not the same thing as a bunch of wealthy Irish-American assholes funneling money to the IRA.
You're right. When an IRA bomb kills or maims people it doesn't hurt as much. This is no doubt due to the fact that the money that paid for the bomb came from private sources rather than the government, which gives the shrapnel special properties.
You must be an idiot if you can't understand the difference between private donations reflecting the will of individuals and state donations reflecting the will of the state. You asserted that the states of New York and Boston were responsible for personal actions in your little ditty above. I don't know how a person can claim to be as smart as you and not understand the distinction that the state is not responsible for the action of individuals within the state, paticularly if they act contrary to the laws of the state.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Pelranius » 2009-07-06 08:19pm

The Contras would be state sponsored terrorism, if that's what Elfdart is ineptly fishing for.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-07-06 08:42pm

He's fishing for a lot of things and trying to turn this into a thread on Israel, the skeletons in the States' closet and whatever other Red Herrings he can draw up instead of an actual discussion and Iran and its history.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Patrick Degan » 2009-07-06 09:07pm

Straha wrote:
Degan wrote:But we do. They threaten Kuwait, and we threaten, quite credibly, to return the favour if they carry out their threat. They've already seen what resulted from the last attempt to threaten (or conquer) Kuwait. Again, actually using a nuclear weapon would remove any restraint against attacking Iran and they find themselves under the gun —and if they had only one device to begin with, they'd have absolutely nothing to use for a counter-response. So what would it gain them to even attempt it?
We do have a counter threat, but it's not very easily wielded.

Case in point: The UAE. There's a territorial dispute between Iran and the UAE going back decades to centuries (depending on who you ask) over three little Islands you and I could play badminton across to the west of the Strait of Hormuz called Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb. If Iran goes to the UAE and says that unless the UAE formally renounces sovereignty over the Islands the Iranian Pasdaran speed boats and coast guard will start harassing ships under the Emirates flag, and forcing them away from the Island. Further, Iran could say, any ship that strays too close or any attempt to send a military vessel to guard UAE shipping would be taken as a hostile military action which Iran may respond to, with the fullest possible force.

The UAE couldn't stand up to Iran's threat, and one Nuclear Explosion along its coast would utterly destroy it. Now the United States might take an active view on this, but the UAE is faced with two things:

1. It has no guarantee that the United States would be willing to risk anything in a shooting war. The UAE has no treaty guarantee on this matter, and even with a treaty there's no guarantee the United States would act on it. Obama doesn't exactly have a mandate for wider involvement in the Middle East, and most Americans wouldn't exactly be lock, stock and barrel behind a war defending a tiny Middle Eastern country most of them have never so much as heard of. (Never mind any preemptive action, or action over tiny Islands in the Strait.) And the UAE knows this.

2. Even if it has a Treaty guarantee, what use is it to the UAE? If Iran does go Nuclear against the UAE, the Sheikhs are essentially dead or ruined. Nuking Tehran wont exactly help you if you're in the grave.
That does not defeat the point, however. As things stand now, the conditions you outline are extant. If Iran however were to actually start wielding nuclear threats at their neighbours, that changes the rules of the game completely. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, expect to see the Gulf States lining up behind a regional security treaty and the United States to be part of that arrangement, which implicitly places them under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. It does not have to be stated outright what we would do or not do, only that the mere implicit threat exists. Recall that one of the reasons Iran ultimately agreed to a ceasefire in the war against Iraq was their mere perception that the U.S. was about to actively intervene in the war on Iraq's side after the USS Vincennes accidentally shot down an Iranian passenger plane. We of course had no such intent, but as far as the Iranian regime was concerned, U.S. military involvement was imminent. And since the consequences of using nuclear weapons against any of their neighbours would be catastrophic, what does it gain Tehran to do so or even threaten to do so? Given the regime's observed propensity towards risk-aversion, Tehran is not likely to risk a general war or a nuclear war over a group of tiny islands anymore than Communist China was willing to risk war over Quemoy and Matsu.
Credible retaliatory threat against the U.S. or Russia? Not a chance —they're not even going to have an arsenal up to India's level for a decade or two if that, nevermind one that could challenge either superpower on anything approaching equal terms. Against Europe? Britain and France could destroy Iran and Europe is also under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. Again, they gain nothing from tossing threats except to find themselves keyed into our targeting solutions.
Iran doesn't need to challenge any Western nation on equal terms. It just needs a credible Nuclear surge capacity. Then it can threaten to obliterate the nations I've listed above in one go and throw its weight around far above its current punching capacity. As for the West, a surge capacity lets it say to, for instance, Gordon Brown "Sure you're willing to take a stand on this. But are you willing to commit the UK to this? Are you really willing to risk London for Dubai, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi?" That wont be a popular line in the West.

And there's no will for preemptive action in the Middle East. Especially not over Weapons of Mass Destruction in a country that begins with 'Ira'.
That changes if Iran actually explodes a bomb. This will not at all be the same thing as the Bush maladministration lying us into a wholly unnecessary war against a country that had nothing and for which all the evidence for their having anything was clearly false. This would be Iran presenting a clear threat to its neighbours and threatening the stability of the Middle East oil supply, and those are objectives which the public would support a war over —especially as there is already a popular perception that the Iranians are dangerous. Their threats to obliterate any of the Gulf States won't carry as much weight as the threat to obliterate Iran if they do so. And don't count on there being no will for preemptive action, either. The second Iran demonstrates an actual atomic weapon, the preparations for preemptive and retaliatory strikes will already be put in place and ready to launch the moment the president orders it, and he's not going to consult an opinion poll before doing so. No president in his right mind would.
That being said, there's a solution of sorts. First, widespread sanctions against the Iranian leadership organized by the U.N. and enforced by all E.U. member states and the other major democratic powers. Second, withdrawal of Ambassadors from Iran by the EU and other nations in protest over the Iranian election and its treatment of foreign nationals. Third, the U.S. could organize a local security bloc akin to the 1991 Damascus Declaration. A mutual-defense pact between the Arab states would give them a united, and very intimidating, front against the Iranians, and would help a great deal to stabilize the region. Moreover the U.S. is in a perfect position to encourage this with its position in Iraq. Finally, there's always the Osiriak option.
The Osriak Option will not work in this case: Iran's nuclear facilities are much more dispersed than Iraq's were. The other measures you suggest are viable, however, and will probably be adopted into practise in one form or another. Deterrence is also an option and one which we may well be engaging in for years if Iran actually explodes a bomb.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Elfdart » 2009-07-06 09:13pm

CmdrWilkens wrote: You must be an idiot if you can't understand the difference between private donations reflecting the will of individuals and state donations reflecting the will of the state.
And what exactly is the difference? Are the victims any less dead or wounded?

You asserted that the states of New York and Boston were responsible for personal actions in your little ditty above. I don't know how a person can claim to be as smart as you and not understand the distinction that the state is not responsible for the action of individuals within the state, paticularly if they act contrary to the laws of the state.
Bullshit. Looking the other way while they do it, with only half-hearted measures to stop them counts as consent. Selective enforcement also counts as consent. Do you think all those private IRA donors in the US would have been able to donate to Hezbollah or Hamas without the feds coming down on them like a load of bricks? You don't see members of Congress supporting those groups like Rep. Peter King did for the IRA, now do you?

Pelranius wrote:The Contras would be state sponsored terrorism, if that's what Elfdart is ineptly fishing for.
I was going to bring up the Contras and numerous other groups of killers the US has supported, but Congressman King was in the news and since he's been a long-time supporter of the IRA I thought it was a good example. In any event, the Contras were also supported by private citizens in the US, such as Ross Perot.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Samuel » 2009-07-06 09:26pm

And what exactly is the difference? Are the victims any less dead or wounded?
Who bears responsiblity.
Bullshit. Looking the other way while they do it, with only half-hearted measures to stop them counts as consent. Selective enforcement also counts as consent. Do you think all those private IRA donors in the US would have been able to donate to Hezbollah or Hamas without the feds coming down on them like a load of bricks? You don't see members of Congress supporting those groups like Rep. Peter King did for the IRA, now do you?
Proof that we looked the other way?

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