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Thread: Iran starts its first nuclear reactor today

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    Default Iran starts its first nuclear reactor today

    Iran prepares to start up first nuclear reactor - Yahoo! News

    BUSHEHR, Iran – Iranian and Russian nuclear technicians made final preparations to start up Iran's first reactor on Saturday after years of delays, an operation that will mark a milestone in what Tehran considers its right to produce nuclear energy.

    Nationwide celebrations are planned for the fuel loading at the Bushehr facility in southern Iran, while Russia pledges to safeguard the plant and prevent spent nuclear fuel from being shifted to a possible weapons program.

    "The startup operations will be a big success for Iran," conservative lawmaker Javad Karimi said in Tehran. "It also shows Iran's resolve and capability in pursuing its nuclear activities."

    The West has not sought to block the reactor startup as part of its confrontations over Iran's nuclear agenda, a clash that has resulted in repeated rounds of U.N. sanctions against Tehran. Washington and other nations do not specifically object to Tehran's ability to build peaceful reactors that are under international scrutiny.

    However, it is seen by hard-liners as defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions that seek to slow Iran's nuclear advances — which Tehran's foes worry could eventually push toward atomic weapons.

    What concerns America and others — including Russia — is Iran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to make fuel for nuclear arms.

    Russia now must follow through with its agreements, signed by Iran, to remove all spent fuel at Bushehr and ship it back to Russia for reprocessing. That's would make it impossible for Iran to use plutonium, contained in the spent fuel, for nuclear weapons. Iran has said U.N. nuclear agency experts will be able to verify none of the waste is diverted.

    The uranium fuel used at Bushehr is well below the more than 90 percent enrichment needed for a nuclear warhead. Iran is already producing its own uranium enriched to the Bushehr level — about 3.5 percent. It also has started a pilot program of enriching uranium to 20 percent, which officials say is needed for a medical research reactor.

    President Barack Obama's top adviser on nuclear issues, Gary Samore, told The New York Times that he thinks it would take Iran "roughly a year" to turn low-enriched uranium into weapons-grade material. The assessment was reportedly shared with Israel and could ease concerns over the possibility of an imminent Israeli military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

    Iran's envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said Thursday that any military attack against an operational nuclear power plant would be a direct violation of the U.N. charter. It also would likely provoke international outrage by possibly unleashing dangerous radiation.

    Iran has repeatedly denied it is seeking to build atomic weapons and says it has a right to produce its own fuel for several nuclear power plants it plans to build.

    The nuclear reactor was a goal launched by the U.S.-backed shah in the 1970s and is now a symbol of the Islamic state's nuclear prowess.

    Iranian officials say nationwide celebrations will begin once the fuel loading begins Saturday at the 1,000-megawatt, light-water reactor. Iran says it plans to build other reactors and says designs for a second rector in southwestern Iran are taking shape.

    Of greater concern to the West, however, are Iran's stated plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment sites inside protected mountain strongholds. Iran said recently it will begin construction on the first one in March in defiance of the U.N. sanctions.

    Russia — which began work on the reactor in 1995 — has backed the U.N.'s latest economic squeeze on Iran. But Russian officials argue that starting up the long-delayed Bushehr reactor would require Iran to deepen cooperation with U.N. nuclear inspectors and possibly lead Iran to resume talks over its uranium enrichment program.

    Yet Iran has not slowed its push for military advances. Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Friday forces have test-fired a new liquid-fueled missile with advanced guidance systems for ground targets.
    Vahidi gave no other details of the new Qiam-1 missile during a nationally broadcast address ahead of Friday prayers at Tehran University. But it could raise Western fears about another advance in Iran's missile arsenal, which already can target Israel and other parts of the region.

    The fuel-loading operation is expected to take at least a week at Bushehr, about 745 miles (1,200 kilometers) south of Tehran. It will take more than two months before it begins generating electricity.
    Experts from the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, are expected to monitor the transfer of fuel from a storage site to the reactor, according to Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who is also the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

    The process ends years of foot dragging by Russia. Completion of the $1 billion project has been delayed several times. Iranian officials say operation of the plant is already more than a decade behind schedule.
    On Friday, security was tight at the Bushehr site. Authorities only allowed cameramen and photographers to shoot from the gate of the sprawling complex on the shores of the Gulf.

    Once fuel is loaded into the reactor, the Bushehr facility will be recognized as a nuclear plant under international terms.

    Hamid Reza Taraqi, another hard-line leader, claimed the launch will boost Iran's international standing and "will show the failure of all sanctions" against Iran.

    The Bushehr plant overlooks the Persian Gulf and is visible from several miles (kilometers) away with its cream-colored dome dominating the green landscape. Soldiers maintain a 24-hour watch on roads leading up to the plant, manning anti-aircraft guns and supported by numerous radar stations.

    There are several housing facilities for employees inside the complex plus a separate large compound housing the families of Russian experts and technicians.

    Russians began shipping fuel for the plant in 2007 and carried out a test-run of the plant in February 2009.
    Russia has walked a fine line on Iran for years. It is one of the six powers leading international efforts to ensure Iran does not develop an atomic bomb. It has backed U.N. sanctions, but strongly criticized the U.S. and the European Union for following up with separate, stronger sanctions.

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated Friday that Tehran was ready to resume negotiations with the six major powers — the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany — about its nuclear program but insisted Iran would reject calls to completely halt uranium enrichment, a key U.N. demand.
    Ahmadinejad had earlier said the talks could start in September, but in an interview with Japan's biggest newspaper, The Yomiuri Shimbun, he said the talks could start as early as this month.

    The Bushehr project dates backs to 1974, when Iran's U.S.-backed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi contracted with the German company Siemens to build the reactor. The company withdrew from the project after the 1979 Islamic Revolution toppled the shah.

    The partially finished plant later sustained damages after it was bombed by Iraq during its 1980-88 war against Iran.

    Before making the Russian deal to complete Bushehr, Iran signed pacts with Argentina, Spain and other countries only to see them canceled under U.S. pressure.
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    Good for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Good for them.
    Took the words right out of my mouth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewZ View Post
    Took the words right out of my mouth.
    Lol, I mean it, though. I don't like how intrinsic the Persian government has been in the planning and construction of this reactor, but I'm glad they've got one. The US has been making much ado about nothing, IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Lol, I mean it, though. I don't like how intrinsic the Persian government has been in the planning and construction of this reactor, but I'm glad they've got one. The US has been making much ado about nothing, IMO.
    Which was my point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewZ View Post
    Which was my point.
    ...are you patronizing me? :frown:

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    And so begins the countdown to the first Iranian nuclear accident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drommel View Post
    And so begins the countdown to the first Iranian nuclear accident.
    But will it be an accident or an "accident"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    But will it be an accident or an "accident"?
    Bit of a coin toss, really.

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    Start up ze panzers. Obersturmführer Airborne is going to war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drommel View Post
    And so begins the countdown to the first Iranian nuclear accident.
    Doubtful

    I can't comment on whether or not this is a good or a bad thing imo, but it's certainly been a long time coming. I'll be interested to see what the news feeds at work have to say about this in the days to come.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vero View Post
    Doubtful
    Your pro-Iranian writings are suspicious... comrade.

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    I hope this means that Iran will someday unify the Middle East and beyond into a West Asian co-prosperity sphere. The Achaemenid empire shall arise anew, like a Phoenix, to ensconce the world within its wings once again.
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    Anyone who has the balls to support Iran has my respect. Simply put, Iran has the ability to unify the Middle East, but that is not in Israel's best interest. They prefer to make things unstable so they have the reason to say "things are unstable, so we have reason to throw everything except the kitchen sink at it." Meaning killing innocents and attacking activists, while waging a war of disinformation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drommel View Post
    Your pro-Iranian writings are suspicious... comrade.
    I'm simply thinking that having a nuclear accident in 2010 requires extreme negligence in hiring and training practices and a complete lack of self-preservation within the state's borders.
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    Ok, I'm legitimately curious: Why is everyone convinced that Persians will unite an Arabian Middle East?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vero View Post
    I'm simply thinking that having a nuclear accident in 2010 requires extreme negligence in hiring and training practices and a complete lack of self-preservation within the state's borders.
    Who said it will happen in 2010? Accidents do happen from time to time. You'd think the same about having an oil accident, or a spaceship blowing up, or a conspiracy to hijack a bunch of airliners and crash them into skyscrapers. All examples of things that have happened in the past decade alone.

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    It's all so simple.

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    I doubt there'll be an "accident". Russian health and safety wouldn't allow it.
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    Iran certainly will not unify the Middle East -- its population is mostly Shi'ite and non-Arabic while most Middle Eastern countries have a mostly Sunni Arabic population. Ethnic, religious, and linguistic differences are important everywhere in the world (Belgium is a good example of an industrialized country which lacks cohesion because of the differences between French speakers and Dutch speakers), but especially so in the Middle East.

    On the other hand, Iran is seen by many to be a bulwark against American (and, to a lesser extent, Israeli) imperialism. A recent poll asked Egyptians whether they thought Iran was developing nuclear weapons or nuclear power for civilian use. Among those who thought the latter, 97% thought Iran should be allowed to continue along their current trajectory; even among those who thought the former, a shocking 81% felt that Iran had a right to its nuclear program.

    However, the US seems to be taking a comparatively soft line on Iran presently. If the Israelis had their way, they would bomb Iran, thereby consolidating Ahmadinejad's power, galvanizing Iran's public, and virtually guaranteeing that Iran would manufacture a nuclear weapon. As things stand, however, the American-sponsored reform movement in Iran is a powerful destabilizing force that is preventing the regime from taking too hard-line a stance. Thus, it is possible that if the US does not take an overly bellicose approach, Iran will join Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, et al. in having a puppet government subservient to the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Begoner View Post
    Iran certainly will not unify the Middle East -- its population is mostly Shi'ite and non-Arabic while most Middle Eastern countries have a mostly Sunni Arabic population. Ethnic, religious, and linguistic differences are important everywhere in the world (Belgium is a good example of an industrialized country which lacks cohesion because of the differences between French speakers and Dutch speakers), but especially so in the Middle East.

    On the other hand, Iran is seen by many to be a bulwark against American (and, to a lesser extent, Israeli) imperialism. A recent poll asked Egyptians whether they thought Iran was developing nuclear weapons or nuclear power for civilian use. Among those who thought the latter, 97% thought Iran should be allowed to continue along their current trajectory; even among those who thought the former, a shocking 81% felt that Iran had a right to its nuclear program.

    However, the US seems to be taking a comparatively soft line on Iran presently. If the Israelis had their way, they would bomb Iran, thereby consolidating Ahmadinejad's power, galvanizing Iran's public, and virtually guaranteeing that Iran would manufacture a nuclear weapon. As things stand, however, the American-sponsored reform movement in Iran is a powerful destabilizing force that is preventing the regime from taking too hard-line a stance. Thus, it is possible that if the US does not take an overly bellicose approach, Iran will join Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, et al. in having a puppet government subservient to the US.
    From what I understand, I agree with everything you just said except the last sentence. What makes you think that Iran will be on truly good terms with the US?
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbean View Post
    From what I understand, I agree with everything you just said except the last sentence. What makes you think that Iran will be on truly good terms with the US?
    I don't think the Iranian population will be on good terms with the US, but the ruling elite might be; essentially, we could see a reprise of the 1953 coup that ousted Mosaddegh from power and replaced him with the Shah. Of course, there are two important differences: the Iranian public is currently more pro-American than it was in 1953 (especially Iranian youth) while the army is more anti-American. However, these two factors do not cancel each other out; while the former makes a coup slightly easier, the latter makes it significantly harder. Nonetheless, there are many Iranian politicians who would stand to benefit from American intervention -- namely, Ahmadinejad's opponents, the opponents of the clerical system, etc.; moreover, Mosaddegh was far more popular in 1953 than Ahmadinejad is now. If the US would can economically isolate Iran, putting additional stress on its already shaky economy, it can create the necessary turmoil to destabilize the current regime and attempt a coup (cf. Chile, 1973).

    There are certain factors that render a coup more difficult to effect than it was in 1953 or 1973 (for one, the greater decentralization of the Iranian military), but if the US plays its cards right, it may usher a more amenable government into power.

    Alternatively, if the US is willing to adopt a strategy that has a greater chance of success but is more time-consuming, it can wait until the reform movement seizes power. Then, it can provide economic support to Iran to allow the movement to consolidate its power until it is able to win the allegiance of the military, at which point democratic governance will be discontinued. The downside to this approach is that it is uncertain whether the reform movement will be able to ascend to power. Perhaps a good example of a failure of both approaches would be Cuba; initially, the US attempted to stage a coup in Cuba, but was thwarted in its attempt. Later, the US tried to destabilize the Cuban regime through sanctions; however, given its past behavior in Cuba, it was unable to obtain any significant amount of leverage with the people or government of Cuba. As such, Castro's regime has managed to maintain its grip on power for several decades, while the US can only wait for the wounds of the past to heal and a reform movement to gain momentum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Begoner View Post
    I don't think the Iranian population will be on good terms with the US, but the ruling elite might be; essentially, we could see a reprise of the 1953 coup that ousted Mosaddegh from power and replaced him with the Shah. Of course, there are two important differences: the Iranian public is currently more pro-American than it was in 1953 (especially Iranian youth) while the army is more anti-American. However, these two factors do not cancel each other out; while the former makes a coup slightly easier, the latter makes it significantly harder. Nonetheless, there are many Iranian politicians who would stand to benefit from American intervention -- namely, Ahmadinejad's opponents, the opponents of the clerical system, etc.; moreover, Mosaddegh was far more popular in 1953 than Ahmadinejad is now. If the US would can economically isolate Iran, putting additional stress on its already shaky economy, it can create the necessary turmoil to destabilize the current regime and attempt a coup (cf. Chile, 1973).

    There are certain factors that render a coup more difficult to effect than it was in 1953 or 1973 (for one, the greater decentralization of the Iranian military), but if the US plays its cards right, it may usher a more amenable government into power.

    Alternatively, if the US is willing to adopt a strategy that has a greater chance of success but is more time-consuming, it can wait until the reform movement seizes power. Then, it can provide economic support to Iran to allow the movement to consolidate its power until it is able to win the allegiance of the military, at which point democratic governance will be discontinued. The downside to this approach is that it is uncertain whether the reform movement will be able to ascend to power. Perhaps a good example of a failure of both approaches would be Cuba; initially, the US attempted to stage a coup in Cuba, but was thwarted in its attempt. Later, the US tried to destabilize the Cuban regime through sanctions; however, given its past behavior in Cuba, it was unable to obtain any significant amount of leverage with the people or government of Cuba. As such, Castro's regime has managed to maintain its grip on power for several decades, while the US can only wait for the wounds of the past to heal and a reform movement to gain momentum.
    What you are saying is quite possible. What really seems to be important is on the US side of things. Based on many different facets of information, I would think that if the US wanted to strike Iran, they would do it before upcoming election. I think after that, it is going to be too late because of the condition of the economy by that time.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
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    It is very difficult to say. To be honest, I do not know. However, based on recent actions, and the overall conditions of the economy and how people react to it, it would be my guess that the western and American elite were going to take us into WWIII before the crash. I mean they would need another bailout to make it go sidewards for another 18 to 24 months, but there is no sign of a media/social/political buildup to that decision.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
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    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbean View Post
    What you are saying is quite possible. What really seems to be important is on the US side of things. Based on many different facets of information, I would think that if the US wanted to strike Iran, they would do it before upcoming election. I think after that, it is going to be too late because of the condition of the economy by that time.
    I agree to some extent -- many economists would say that starting a war in the midst of our current economic crisis is foolhardy, including those who are most prominent in American politics today. However, despite their ideological grandstanding, the relationship between war and a nation's economy is tricky. For example, if a nation is suffering from persistently high unemployment, it can start a war, allowing those "idle" people to enlist in the military; moreover, military spending acts as a Keynesian stimulus to boost demand (at least in the short term; the downside is that a lot of debt is incurred in the process, too much of which can detrimentally affect growth in the long run). Many countries are scared to death of unemployment because it often breeds social unrest (especially in the absence of a social safety net); as such, they're willing to take extreme measures to curb it. If you look at Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s, unemployment was rampant. However, upon Hitler's rise to power (prompted partially by the high unemployment), his war preparations helped reduce the unemployment rate from over 30% to 4% over the course of 5 years (the previous prime minister had insisted on austerity and fiscal discipline, which had been a disaster). Similarly, many economists argue that WWII allowed the US to finally emerge from its economic slump. Of course, with a weak economy, it is sometimes unwise to start a war -- Russia could not both fight Germany and provide for its citizens in 1917, which sparked a revolution. A "successful" military policy is able to siphon off the excess labor that is underutilized without detrimentally impacting existing productive activities (that is, if the economy is too oriented towards war, dissent can easily develop, especially if the war is not viewed very positively). Overall, I think the US is in a good position to start a war in spite of its economic malaise, and, ultimately, those very people who are calling for immediate austerity will be those calling for immediate war -- they change their views to suit the political winds. If they want to have a war, economic conditions aren't going to get in their way.

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    It was bound to happen eventually, the US can't be always paranoid about nuclear technology.... fuck the US instead should just develop better technology, instead of trying to politically control the arms race out of paranoia... you know how badass our technology would be if we just minded our own business and dedicated effort into our own technologic advancement.

    Of course this is all complex because there is no one man that makes these decisions, it is subject to social currents, arms makers, politicians, businesses, science/academia, militaries spread across the global climate. But still rapid interventionalism can come to a point where it creates the problem in and of itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HaveLucidDreamz View Post
    It was bound to happen eventually, the US can't be always paranoid about nuclear technology.... fuck the US instead should just develop better technology, instead of trying to politically control the arms race out of paranoia... you know how badass our technology would be if we just minded our own business and dedicated effort into our own technologic advancement.

    Of course this is all complex because there is no one man that makes these decisions, it is subject to social currents, arms makers, politicians, businesses, science/academia, militaries spread across the global climate. But still rapid interventionalism can come to a point where it creates the problem in and of itself.
    The whole name of the game is not being better than Iran. Iran currently does not fit into the western elite's global political plan; so they want to take them down or at least replace them.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
    --Theodore Roosevelt

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    -- Mark Twain

    "Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in."
    -- Confucius

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    Quote Originally Posted by Begoner View Post
    I agree to some extent -- many economists would say that starting a war in the midst of our current economic crisis is foolhardy, including those who are most prominent in American politics today. However, despite their ideological grandstanding, the relationship between war and a nation's economy is tricky. For example, if a nation is suffering from persistently high unemployment, it can start a war, allowing those "idle" people to enlist in the military; moreover, military spending acts as a Keynesian stimulus to boost demand (at least in the short term; the downside is that a lot of debt is incurred in the process, too much of which can detrimentally affect growth in the long run). Many countries are scared to death of unemployment because it often breeds social unrest (especially in the absence of a social safety net); as such, they're willing to take extreme measures to curb it. If you look at Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s, unemployment was rampant. However, upon Hitler's rise to power (prompted partially by the high unemployment), his war preparations helped reduce the unemployment rate from over 30% to 4% over the course of 5 years (the previous prime minister had insisted on austerity and fiscal discipline, which had been a disaster). Similarly, many economists argue that WWII allowed the US to finally emerge from its economic slump. Of course, with a weak economy, it is sometimes unwise to start a war -- Russia could not both fight Germany and provide for its citizens in 1917, which sparked a revolution. A "successful" military policy is able to siphon off the excess labor that is underutilized without detrimentally impacting existing productive activities (that is, if the economy is too oriented towards war, dissent can easily develop, especially if the war is not viewed very positively). Overall, I think the US is in a good position to start a war in spite of its economic malaise, and, ultimately, those very people who are calling for immediate austerity will be those calling for immediate war -- they change their views to suit the political winds. If they want to have a war, economic conditions aren't going to get in their way.
    In particular, a war is bad for the economy in the long run because of the long term effects of debt, the unemployment situation after the war, and the means of production being switched to non-productive products.

    I think in our particular situation, a war could serve as a bailout and cause the economy to go sideways (so to speak) for a year or two maybe. I am sure you know as well as I do that this is a very tricky situation.

    I suppose if they go ahead and allow for the economy to collapse, then they will implement an Argentina style martial law.

    If they do another bailout, the economy will last a little while longer... and then what?

    If they attack Iran, the economy will last a little longer, temporarily solve the unemployment problem, get Iran, and establish a police state here in the USA by allowing terrorist attacks from Hezbollah operatives thus going after the patriot movement, etc.

    Attack some other country to get a similar effect as attacking Iran (i.e. North Korea, Pakistan, Syria, etc.)

    What other options do they have?
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
    --Theodore Roosevelt

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    -- Mark Twain

    "Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in."
    -- Confucius

  28. #28
    Creepy-male

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbean View Post
    The whole name of the game is not being better than Iran. Iran currently does not fit into the western elite's global political plan; so they want to take them down or at least replace them.
    Yea prety much although the way you say it makes it sound so much like alex jones conspiracy talk... anyways the thing I was saying is the united states political plan could be tweaked to me more isolationist rather than interventionalist.

    The first nation to colonize the solar system will clearly have a marked advantage over other world powers.

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