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Old 04-10-2006, 08:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Helen Thomas asks White House: "Is the U.S. going to attack Iran?"

Last night, on another thread on this forum, two posters, stated, with no citations to support their argument, as if it were fact, that White House correspondent, Helen Thomas, reporting from the White House for the last 45 years, was not trustworthy or credible.

Today, she asked white house press secretary Scott McClellan, the question that has been on the minds of many.....<b>"Is the U.S. going to attack Iran?"</b>
(The news services have not "picked up" the transcript of the daily "press gaggle" as of yet. This is the only source that I can find. When this transcript is displayed on the white house website, probably by tomorrow, I will add that link in the quote box.)

Two questions:

1.)If you disagree with my opinion that Helen Thomas is one of only a few, or perhaps the only journalist covering the white house who truly represents the American people by asking the questions that they would want to ask the white house, if they could be there to "do it", who would you maintain is doing a better job of asking the "hard questions", than Helen is?

....or do you not agree that asking the "hard questions", on behalf of a skeptical and challenging public, is the core function of a white house press corps member? Would you prefer that they should ask questions that help the president "look good", instead of what Helen Thomas asks?

2.)Do you believe that the president is close enough to ordering our military to attack Iran, that Helen Thomas's question today is timely and appropriate. If not now, when would it be more appropriate to ask? Do you agree that it is appropriate for the United States or Israel to launch attacks against Iraq in 2006? If you agree that attacks are appropriate, is it appropriate to include use of tactical nuclear bombs?


Quote:
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000329.php
McClellan Gets Peppered On Iran, Libby, et al.
By Josh Marshall - April 10, 2006, 11:37 AM

In this morning's White House press 'gaggle', Helen Thomas got things started with a simple question. "Is the U.S. going to attack Iran?" Full transcript below ...

QUESTION: Is the U.S. going to attack Iran?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: It is now your turn.

QUESTION: Is the U.S. going to attack Iran?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Helen, we're pursing a diplomatic solution by working with the international community. I assume you're referring to some of the media reports. Some of the media reports I've seen, which are based on anonymous outside advisors and former officials, appear to me to be based on people that do not know the administration's thinking. I think it is a lot of wild speculation. We are working with the international community, particularly the EU-3, to pursue a diplomatic solution to a serious and growing concern.

QUESTION: Does the President think that the American people would accept any kind of an attack on Iran?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Now you're engaging in the wild speculation I just talked about. Look, those who are seeking to draw broad conclusions based on normal military contingency planning are misinformed or not knowledgeable about the administration's thinking. The international community is united in its concern about the regime obtaining a nuclear weapons capability, and that's why we are working with the international community to prevent that from happening. And we are seeking to resolve this in a diplomatic way.

QUESTION: Would the President consult with Congress before --

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Helen, I'm not going to engage in all this wild speculation. No President takes options off the table, but our focus is on working with the international community to find a diplomatic solution.

QUESTION: Scott, what does that mean, "normal military contingency planning"?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Well, if you want to talk to the Pentagon, you can talk to them about it further. I'm not going to get into discussing it further.

QUESTION: So you're basically just not denying that there's military planning relating to Iran?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: This is hyped up reporting based on anonymous sources and a lot of wild speculation.

QUESTION: Well, why is it so wild --

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Our focus is very clear. We are working with the international community to find a diplomatic solution.

QUESTION: But you also have left open the other possibility of military action.

SCOTT McCLELLAN: I told you where our focus is, and I told you --

QUESTION: I know where your focus is.

SCOTT McCLELLAN: -- that no President takes options off the table. But our focus is on finding a diplomatic solution.

QUESTION: But why would you even attack Iran?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: How many more times I can tell you I'm not going to engage in all that wild speculation, Helen.

QUESTION: Exactly when does it start? (Laughter.)

SCOTT McCLELLAN: We've said multiple times -- we've said multiple times that Iran is not Iraq.

QUESTION: Do you have a reaction to Senator Specter's request that the President and Vice President speak more fully about their role in declassifying the NIE prior to July 18th?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Well, there is an ongoing legal proceeding and investigation. We want to make sure that we don't do anything to jeopardize due process and a fair hearing. And that is why we have had a policy in place, going back to, I believe, the October time period of 2003, saying that we are not going to comment on it while it is ongoing.

QUESTION: There are anonymous sources that have confirmed the President did declassify prior to July 18th. Can you go on the record to confirm that?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: I assume you're referring to articles like The New York Times article today. I've made it clear I cannot get into commenting on an ongoing legal proceeding. I read that article, like you all did, with interest. I think it talked about how a significant portion of the National Intelligence Estimate was declassified on July 18th, 2003, and how it went through a declassification process. But I know it referenced a separate effort. I can't get into commenting on that issue because you can't separate that from the ongoing legal proceeding. I made clear the other day that the President has the authority to declassify information as he chooses, and I would reiterate that.

QUESTION: Is there something the President can say --

SCOTT McCLELLAN: And by the way, I did look back further, not only on my comments from July 18th, but I looked back at additional information over the last couple of days, and I will leave it where it was on July 18th, 2003. What I told you then was based on what I knew at the time. But I would discourage you from assuming that it has to be an either-or situation. I know some of the reports did make that assumption. In this article, one example kind of dispels people from looking at it in that way.

QUESTION: Is there something more the President could say that would not be dealing with the Libby matter, but the war is certainly much bigger than the fate of Lewis Libby -- is there something more that he could say that might answer some of the concerns people have about what he declassified or did not declassify?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Well, I talked about it. I mean, I talked about the declassification of the National Intelligence Estimate and how that was in the public interest. Because if you remember at the time, there were a lot of questions being raised about the intelligence, and the President felt it was important for the American people to see what the executive branch was basing our public statements on before the war. The National Intelligence Estimate is the collective judgment of the intelligence community. It served as the underlying basis for how we viewed the regime's weapons program.

Now, an independent commission looked at all these issues and found out that the intelligence was wrong, and that's why we've taken steps to implement a bunch of reform. But at the time there were those who were making these wild accusations that we were misusing, or misrepresenting the intelligence. That's why it was in the public interest to declassify that information, because it provided important historical information. There is nothing in that National Intelligence Estimate that would compromise national security, that was released -- there's nothing in there that was released that would. And that's why it went through the declassification process and it was -- and a significant portion of that National Intelligence Estimate was made available to the public through you all.

QUESTION: It did say it was dubious, what you were putting out.

SCOTT McCLELLAN: I'd go back and look at the National Intelligence Estimate. <h3>Helen,</h3> what we're talking about -- what we're talking about is the underlying intelligence. You're talking about one specific part, and that's why we put it all out there for the public to look at. So let's remember what the issue here -- is here. That's not what the issue was......
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's wholly appropriate to ask such questions. At the same time, I understand McClellan's answer. The administration likely keeps and regularly updates attack strategies for Iran, Syria, N. Korea, China, Cuba, Israel, Afghanastan, Columbia, etc... Smartly or poorly, that's what the intelligence agencies do all day. There's probably even a file on how to attack Vietnam again if they wanted to.

Strategy doesn't always imply intent, so while it sounds like he's stonewalling and holding back, he may be speaking the truth about focusing on diplomatic soloutions.

Opening another front in Iran scares me, so I hope to god he is.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, two completely different questions asked this thread. Akin to "which way to Cucamonga" and "do I look fat in these jeans", although I doubt I'll get in trouble with the wife for answering the two posed here like I would for answering one of the others.

1) Helen Thomas is not a savior and doesn't belong on a pedstal. She's a good journalist, but don't iconisize her. I doubt she would appreciate it. She's always been known for asking the tough questions, regardless of who's in office, and she's certainly made more than her fair share of press secretaries nervous. She's the kind of journalist that I like, the kind that isn't interested in fluff or the bright shiney thing. There are liberal and conservative reporters that fall for that kind of thing all the time, but Helen seems fairly immune to it.

2) Given our overextension in the Middle East right now, I can't believe that we'd risk starting another "hot" war in the region. If we did, it could mean that we'd have troops stretched over roughly 2000 miles of territory (assuming that the air campaign heated into a ground campaign, which isn't that much of a stretch for me). We don't have the troop strength to maintain the commitments we have now, let alone expand it. I think that an air campaign would elicit an armed response from Iran, although whether it would be conventional or terrorist-based, I don't know. Remember that Iran is admittedly one of the prime backers of Hamas, which is an admitted terrorist organization. I don't think that the Iranians have the wherewithall to recruit US Muslims (I doubt anyone does), but they could potentially send Jordanians or Palestinians (or whoever else) to do their dirty work for them here.

A tactical nuclear strike might be the worst strategic decision I think that the Pentagon could possibly ever make. The use of nuclear weapons basically undermines all the negotiations of every administration back to Eisenhower and possibly the later Truman years. The Israeli's don't have the ability to make a strike that far from their home territory, and the US tacit approval necessary for such an overflight of Iraqi territory would be nothing more than taping a target to our backs for the Muslim world at large. It would roughly 1500 miles round trip, and the Israeli planes would probably need to be refueled somewhere along the way.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
.....2) Given our overextension in the Middle East right now, I can't believe that we'd risk starting another "hot" war in the region. If we did, it could mean that we'd have troops stretched over roughly 2000 miles of territory (assuming that the air campaign heated into a ground campaign, which isn't that much of a stretch for me). We don't have the troop strength to maintain the commitments we have now, let alone expand it. I think that an air campaign would elicit an armed response from Iran, although whether it would be conventional or terrorist-based, I don't know. Remember that Iran is admittedly one of the prime backers of Hamas, which is an admitted terrorist organization. I don't think that the Iranians have the wherewithall to recruit US Muslims (I doubt anyone does), but they could potentially send Jordanians or Palestinians (or whoever else) to do their dirty work for them here.

A tactical nuclear strike might be the worst strategic decision I think that the Pentagon could possibly ever make. The use of nuclear weapons basically undermines all the negotiations of every administration back to Eisenhower and possibly the later Truman years. The Israeli's don't have the ability to make a strike that far from their home territory, and the US tacit approval necessary for such an overflight of Iraqi territory would be nothing more than taping a target to our backs for the Muslim world at large. It would roughly 1500 miles round trip, and the Israeli planes would probably need to be refueled somewhere along the way.
The source for developments in Iran related "war planning" by the U.S. that influenced Helen Thomas to ask her questions today, is undoubtedly news of an article to be published in "The New Yorker" magazine in it's april 17, issue. The author is investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.

If what Hersh is reporting, is accurate, is the POTUS "nuts"?
Do we stand by as he orders the use of tactical nuclear bombs in escalating pre-emptive war of choice? What happens, if Bush actually orders an attack, to our economy, our reputation as a righteous sole superpower, spreading freedom, and....our gasoline prices on the cusp of...and during the summer driving season? (Too simplistic....superficial....compared to....what...
compared to....this reported "justification" for starting a new war? <b>Hersh says the administration views Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a "potential Adolf Hitler."<b/>

Hersh's background is displayed below excerpts of his interview with Wolf Blitzer. In 1969, and in 2004-2005, Sy Hersh has demonstrated that his credibility is superior to that of Colin Powell....but I believe that, with Powell's history, that isn't saying much!
Quote:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/04/10/hersh.access/
Hersh: U.S. mulls nuclear option for Iran

Monday, April 10, 2006; Posted: 11:55 a.m. EDT (15:55 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, in an article in the April 17 edition of The New Yorker magazine, writes that President Bush wants regime change in Iran.

Citing a former senior intelligence official, <b>Hersh says the administration views Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a "potential Adolf Hitler."</b>

Among the options U.S. military officials have been asked to examine is the use of nuclear weapons against underground facilities for Iran's controversial nuclear program.

<b>Hersh talked with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Sunday about the article.</b>

BLITZER: Here's, among other things, what you write in the article: "A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was "absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb" if it is not stopped. He said that the president believes that he must do "what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do," and that "saving Iran is going to be his legacy."

So what's your bottom line? <b>Do you believe, based on the reporting you did for this article, that the president of the United States is now aggressively plotting military action, a pre-emptive strike against Iran?</b>

<b>HERSH: The word I hear is "messianic." He thinks, as I wrote, that he's the only one now who will have the courage to do it. He's politically free. I don't think he's overwhelmingly concerned about the '06 elections, congressional elections. I think he really thinks he has a chance, and this is going to be his mission.</b>

BLITZER: So your sources have concluded basically that the diplomatic option as it's going forward is not necessarily going to work?

HERSH: That's the fear. The fear is that we're back to the pre-Iraqi invasion game when we went through the U.N. exercise. The fear is that the White House, there's some people in the White House who aren't really, no matter what happens diplomatically, they don't believe Iran's going to give up its ambitions.

BLITZER: Given the enormous military headaches the United States now has in Iraq, does the U.S. military have the wherewithal to launch another pre-emptive strike, this time against Iran?

HERSH: Oh, sure. We have plenty of air power. We can do it. We have great precision bombings. There's been a lot of planning going on. It's more than planning, it's operational planning. It's beyond contingency planning. There's serious, specific plans. Nobody's made a decision yet. There hasn't been a warning order or an execute order. But the planning's gotten much more intense and much more focused.

I can't tell you. Nobody can say what's going to happen in the future. But I can just tell you there are people in the Pentagon and people, our allies, the allies involved with us diplomatically, the French, the Germans and the Brits, who don't really know what the president is thinking.

BLITZER: Here's the most explosive item in your new article in The New Yorker magazine. And I'll read it: "The lack of reliable intelligence leaves military planners, given the goal of totally destroying the sites," the nuclear sites in Iran, "little choice but to consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons. 'Every other option, in the view of the nuclear weaponeers, would leave a gap,' the former senior intelligence official said. 'Decisive' is the key word of the Air Force's planning. It's a tough decision, but we made it in Japan."

Now, this is an explosive charge, an explosive revelation, if true, that the United States is seriously considering using a tactical nuclear bomb or bombs to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities.

HERSH: What you just read says this. If you're giving the White House a series of options, and the option is to get rid of an underground facility -- the facility I'm talking about is Natanz, 75 feet under hard rock -- <b>if you want to tell the White House one sure way of getting it in a range of options is nuclear, what happened in this case is they gave that option, the JCS, the Joint Chiefs [of Staff]</b>.

And then, of course, nobody in their right mind would want to use a nuclear weapon in the Middle East, because it would be, my God, totally chaotic. When the JCS, the Joint Chiefs, and the planners wanted to walk back that option, what happened is about three or four weeks ago, the White House, people in the White House, in the Oval Office, the vice president's office, said, no, let's keep it in the plan.

That doesn't mean it's going to happen. They refuse to take it out. And what I'm writing here is that if this isn't removed -- and I say this very seriously. <b>I've been around this town for 40 years -- some senior officers are prepared to resign.</b> They're that upset about the fact that this plan is kept in. Again, let me make the point, you're giving a range of options early in the planning. To be sure of getting rid of it, you give that option....
Quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_massacre
Cover-up

Initial investigations of the My Lai incident were undertaken by the 11th Light Infantry Brigade's Commanding Officer, Colonel Oran Henderson, under orders from America's Assistant Commanding Officer, Brigadier General Young. Henderson interviewed several of the soldiers involved in the incident, then issued a written report in late April claiming that approximately 20 civilians were inadvertently killed during the military operation in My Lai. The army at this time was still describing the event as a military victory resulting in the death of 128 of the enemy.

Six months later, a 21-year-old soldier of the 11th Light Infantry (The Butcher's Brigade) named Tom Glen wrote a letter accusing the Americal Division (and other entire units of the U.S. military, not just individuals) of routine brutality against Vietnamese civilians; the letter was detailed, its allegations horrifying, and its contents echoed complaints received from other soldiers. Colin Powell, then a young US Army Major, was charged with investigating the letter, which did not specifically reference My Lai (Glen had no knowledge of the events there). Powell wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Later, Powell's refutation would be called an act of "white-washing" the news of My Lai, and questions would continue to remain undisclosed to the public. On May 4, 2004, Powell, then United States Secretary of State, said to Larry King, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored."[3]

The carnage at My Lai might have gone unknown to history if not for another soldier, Ron Ridenhour, who, independent of Glen, sent a letter to President Nixon, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and numerous members of Congress. The copies of this letter were sent in March, 1969, a full year after the event. Most recipients of Ridenhour's letter ignored it, with the notable exception of Representative Morris Udall. Ridenhour learned about the events at My Lai secondhand, by talking to members of Charlie Company while he was still enlisted. Eventually, Calley was charged with several counts of premeditated murder in September 1969, and 25 other officers and enlisted men were later charged with related crimes. It was another two months before the American public learned about the massacre and trials.

Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, after extensive conversations with Ridenhour, broke the My Lai story on November 12, 1969, and on November 20 Time, Life and Newsweek magazines all covered the story, and CBS televised an interview with Paul Meadlo. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) published explicit photographs of dead villagers killed at My Lai. As is evident from comments made in a 1969 telephone conversation between United States National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, revealed recently by the National Security Archive, the photos of the war crime were too shocking for senior officials to stage an effective cover-up. Secretary of Defense Laird is heard to say, "There are so many kids just lying there; these pictures are authentic."

Last edited by host; 04-10-2006 at 09:55 AM..
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
SCOTT McCLELLAN: Helen, we're pursing a diplomatic solution by working with the international community. I assume you're referring to some of the media reports. Some of the media reports I've seen, which are based on anonymous outside advisors and former officials, appear to me to be based on people that do not know the administration's thinking. I think it is a lot of wild speculation. We are working with the international community, particularly the EU-3, to pursue a diplomatic solution to a serious and growing concern.
I believe that the press corp has an obligation to ask the tough questions. I also believe that Helen's questions regarding Iran are not only timely, but should have been asked long ago.

The following link is a very long article by Seymour Hersh that was published in The New Yorker. The article is hosted at Truthout. A number of Hersh's sources are not identified, but please judge for yourself if we shouldn't be greatly concerned about this administration's intentions toward Iran.

Seymour Hersh

Edit: Host beat me to the post of the Hersh article. As always.
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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1) Its a stupid question. What does she expect, for McClellan to say "yes we are going to attack iran, we'll be coming from the east and south on this day at this hour" If we were going to we certainly wouldn't publicize it so.

2) It is entirely appropriate. The problem is that these bombs have the word nuclear in them and nuclear conjures up all kinds of images and bad publicity. These aren't the same weapons that we dropped on Japan. These are tactical bunker-busing nuclear bombs. There are not weapons of mass destruction. they aren't going to vaporize a city. The detonate far underground (where the nuclear plants are). What is the point of putting all the resources into developing these weapons for a scenerio such as this and then keeping that option off the table entirely?
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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OK....

Small nuclear weapons are still nuclear weapons. You can't dress up a pig and expect me to believe that it's your Aunt Sally, Stevo. Granted, they aren't going to vaporize a city, but the principles that they work on are basically the same as what we dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki 61 years ago. By your own logic, why don't we use nerve gas or weaponized anthrax to kill everyone working on Iranian nuclear devices if they exist (in my opinion they do, but nothing's been proven or admitted yet)? That's what's going to happen anyway, regardless of what kind of bomb we drop (assuming we do), and we did spend all that money developing those weapons.

Regardless of how tactical nuclear weapons work, let's remember that none have ever been used before in anger. I think that any country using them, including the US, would pretty much become a priah in the international community. Then there's the question of what the Russians and Chinese would do if we use the nuclear option. Do you really want to start a new cold war and arms race with miniaturized weaponry? That's what would most likely happen.

Seriously, the excuse of "we paid for 'em so we should use 'em" has to be one of the weakest excuses that I've ever heard.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz

Seriously, the excuse of "we paid for 'em so we should use 'em" has to be one of the weakest excuses that I've ever heard.
I said, we paid for them so we shouldn't take the option off the table.

Of course the prinicpals are the same. thats why it still has the word nuclear in the name. But thats also why I said thats the problem. The international community as well as half this country, would be up in arms. The NYT front page would read "USA NUKES IRAN." All sorts of images of mushroom clouds and melting skin come to mind. Pictures of Hiroshima get plastered all over the place. But the effects of one of these tactical nukes would not come close to the amount of death and destruction. Unless you were working in that nuke plant, you're safe.

I'm not so sure we should use them. For the above reasons and for the reasons you've stated. I don't know how negative the world really would react to it. But ruling out the possibility of using them is stupid.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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1) The reason she's under personal attack from certain elements of the Right is because they can't stand up to the asking of tough questions, and all they have in their toolbag is to cut the questioner down at the knees. Kind of like how certain people see that an article has been picked up by truthout.org and immediately the article, the author, and anyone cited in it is immediately disregarded as "biased", and its spelling and grammar are likely suspected of liberal corruption as well. No room at all for dissent, and to hell with the First Ammendment--but don't touch my guns. People: read and think. You don't have to agree, but to participate rationally in discussion, you must read and think.

2) Given all the noise about it (largely thanks to Seymour Hersch), now IS the time to be asking the question.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo
I said, we paid for them so we shouldn't take the option off the table.
My bad. I misread what you wrote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo
Of course the prinicpals are the same. thats why it still has the word nuclear in the name. But thats also why I said thats the problem. The international community as well as half this country, would be up in arms. The NYT front page would read "USA NUKES IRAN." All sorts of images of mushroom clouds and melting skin come to mind. Pictures of Hiroshima get plastered all over the place. But the effects of one of these tactical nukes would not come close to the amount of death and destruction. Unless you were working in that nuke plant, you're safe.
We have conventional weapons that do exactly the same thing, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. From what I understand, both weapons work in similar ways and the main difference is the type of payload delivered. Wouldn't a conventional warhead accomplish the same thing without quite literally the entire world (with the exception of the Israelis) hating us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo
I'm not so sure we should use them. For the above reasons and for the reasons you've stated. I don't know how negative the world really would react to it. But ruling out the possibility of using them is stupid.
I can't see how taking them off the table for consideration could hurt us at this point and how it could only hurt us. Possible headlines: "US WILLING TO NUKE IRAN", "WILL THE US USE NUKES TO KEEP NUKES FROM IRANIANS?" and the everpopular "US TO SHOW IRANIANS WHY THEY WANT NUKES IN THE FIRST PLACE". I see where we have everything to gain and nothing to lose by taking the nuclear option off the table. It's just a flat out bad idea.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't think we're going to attack Iran, at least not with nuclear weapons, but it's certainly an important question to ask since the rumor is out there.
I have more of a problem with Seymour Hersh than Helen Thomas since I think he's so desperate to make the next big story that he'll print anything even without proper verification.
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't think we are going to attack Iran. This is pure political bullshit to help keep the price of oil up so the oil companies and our elected officials, their families and their friends can make a little money while the gettin' is good. I have no proof but that's my opinion.
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'd like to think it was just political positioning, but when the Bush administration starts beating the war drums I get worried.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Those seem like questions that are certainly reasonable to ask.

However, they are hard to answer in a reasonable way. I'm sure that we are working on plans to attack lots of countries - that's only prudent, and it isn't the same thing as planning to attack. Seems to me that Helen Thomas is asking if we're planning to attack Iran, and McClellan is having a hard time answering. If he acknowledges the obvious fact that we would have plans available, it would be easy for other sources to selectively quote and make it look like he said that we are actively planning an invasion. Which we might be doing.

This isn't the first time I've had sympathy for a press secretary. They walk a tough line and often don't have the full story themselves.
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Last edited by ubertuber; 04-11-2006 at 04:19 AM.. Reason: one letter, two countries
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