Stephen Speicher

"We're not meeting with Iran ..."

101 posts in this topic

Regardless of your views on Iranian support for various militia groups, or US/UK support for the Israelis, Iran and the USA aren’t at war. You may wish to declare war? You may also wish to ponder how well that’s worked out in Iraq, or short of a general draft, how you would supply manpower to the war. Theoretical idealism is a long way from practical war making.

That "Iran and the USA aren't at war" is both true and untrue, in different respects.

Iran, and other Muslim states, are at war with the West, particularly with America and Israel. Virtually every Muslim on earth, from the most rational to the most irrational is aware of this fact. And any Westerner who doubts it, exists on this earth only by grace of fellow-citizens who have not completely severed their connection with reality.

However, it is true that the U.S. is not at war with Muslim statists. "If we were at war, it would be over in an hour." That's a quote, near as I can recall from the lecture, of a military acquaintance of Andrew Bernstein (Objectivist philosopher, lecturer, and author of The Capitalist Manifesto). Also, regarding the situation in Iraq, I will quote myself from another thread.

...Leonard Peikoff identifies the only moral basis for a just war, i.e. self-defense. Yet he refers to the war in Iraq, and all wars since WWII, as unjust wars. Why? Not because America has defended itself in such wars, but because it has not. Dr. Peikoff has accurately identified such wars as "social-service wars," and calls the war in Iraq the worst instance of this kind of war. America's social-service wars sacrifice U.S. interests, including its troops, to serve the interests of foreign enemies.

---

Also the Japanese strikes ended a war, nuking Tehran would start a much wider conflict in my view.

I don't think that a devastating military victory by the U.S. would start a wider conflict. The Muslim (or anyone else) who doesn't want freedom doesn't want it. Those who do want freedom, and live to see the day that oppressors are destroyed, will not be in conflict (with the defenders of freedom anyway). They would only be in conflict with the remnants to those who continue to insist on defending barbarism and slavery.

Hardline muslims in many countries hate America but despite idiot news coverage, I believe them to be in the minority. What do you think a nuclear strike killing 12 million might achieve? Would it cow them, or would it make for an increased risk of terror in your cities and desperate risks for Americans abroad, I think the latter.

Whatever would cow Muslim totalitarian nations is what has to be done. So long as the West fails to destroy the dictatorships which threaten us, out of fear of further terror, we lose.

Many of you make the points that democratic governments have a right to defend themselves from aggressors, whether immediate or potential in the future, and so nuking Tehran and hopefully decapitating the theocracy would be justified.

If so, couldn’t Lebanon say, we face a much more immediate, realistic and direct threat from Israel, they killed thousands of us last year, therefore we can nuke Tel Aviv ? I think ~ No, doesn’t your logic lead them to the nuclear option?

Dictators don't have the right to defend their dictatorial powers. "Our logic" (rationality) does not lead them to anything that they choose. If it did, they wouldn't be dictators.

Lastly I agree, if you start wars there will be casualties, civilian and military. I simply regard murder/killing on this scale as morally wrong, especially in response to a theoretical and currently non-existent threat. It can’t be wrong to kill six million, but okay to kill twelve million.

Numbers of people killed is not the criteria by which to judge the morality of a war. The only just wars are those fought by freer nations to defend their citizens against the attacks of dictatorships. Whatever is required militarily to neutralize such an aggressor state, and keep it in submission is, morally, what has to be done.

It maybe that we simply differ ultimately, but a nuclear hit would in my view be out of proportion at this time, unnecessary, morally wrong and likely to create more trouble than it could ever solve. If someone nuked America would you respond? So would they.

America has the moral right to self-defense. Whether or how a dictatorship responds to retaliatory force by the U.S. is, for us, a tactical issue. A dictatorship has no moral right to defend its existence.

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Japan surrendered after Nagasaki ~ correct. We now face asymmetric threats [...]

States will be very, very careful, less they share the same fate. Individuals by contrast would not. This means that the possibility of a nuclear hit in a Western city maybe reduced (if you believe that to be likely at this time ~ I do not). The possibility of more September 11’s would be greatly increased.

I'd like to say something in this regard. First of all, there's a kind of myth-making now in progress, about the "innate" power of these assymetrical threats, that they are cheap, easily accessible, and anyone who's disgruntled can just go and produce them. It's almost as if those thousand-man terrorist training camps arise spontaneously out of the earth, where the men mine and craft their own weapons, and live off the earth. Au contraire! These people are using low-tech tools because they're simply easier to use; what you ignored in your equation is the immense amount of money and financial aid that these "assymetrical warriors" receive from their supposedly obsolete central governments and central cities. But reality is quite contrary. These people don't live off the land, and they don't build their own weapons. Actually they don't build anything, and instead exist as expensively maintained private colleges, and have everything shipped to them from the various corners of the earth, by expensive couriers and million-dollar agreements between multinational power brokers. Take away all of this mighty supertructure, and what do you have? A bunch of angry hairy dudes wielding sticks and stones. Not so very scary now, are they? Obviously these angry men aren't going to go away, but if they are living in ragged huts and barely sustain their every daily living, while threatening us with wooden sticks, I think we can rest a little easier. Did you know how much the 9/11 operation cost to execute? $10-20 dollars, you might say, for the cost of some box-cutters and tape? How about 12 million dollars, by one account I've read.

Assymetrical threats are not cheap and easy to produce, the newly sprung-up myths to the contrary. The second point I already addressed -- the "central points of power", far from being obsolete, are these assymetrical warriors' sole hope! Because they provide them with every means of sustenance and survival, let alone any deployment and training! An ancient Western proverb says that it is simply money that constitutes all sinews of war. What did Napoleon say an army marches on? It's not on its AK-47s. Take away what this army marches on, and it can march wherever it want, because it will rather storm a Wal-Mart to get some food, rather than destroying it.

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I'd like to say something in this regard. First of all, there's a kind of myth-making now in progress, about the "innate" power of these assymetrical threats, that they are cheap, easily accessible, and anyone who's disgruntled can just go and produce them. It's almost as if those thousand-man terrorist training camps arise spontaneously out of the earth, where the men mine and craft their own weapons, and live off the earth. Au contraire! These people are using low-tech tools because they're simply easier to use; what you ignored in your equation is the immense amount of money and financial aid that these "assymetrical warriors" receive from their supposedly obsolete central governments and central cities. But reality is quite contrary. These people don't live off the land, and they don't build their own weapons. Actually they don't build anything, and instead exist as expensively maintained private colleges, and have everything shipped to them from the various corners of the earth, by expensive couriers and million-dollar agreements between multinational power brokers. Take away all of this mighty supertructure, and what do you have? A bunch of angry hairy dudes wielding sticks and stones. Not so very scary now, are they? Obviously these angry men aren't going to go away, but if they are living in ragged huts and barely sustain their every daily living, while threatening us with wooden sticks, I think we can rest a little easier. Did you know how much the 9/11 operation cost to execute? $10-20 dollars, you might say, for the cost of some box-cutters and tape? How about 12 million dollars, by one account I've read.

Assymetrical threats are not cheap and easy to produce, the newly sprung-up myths to the contrary. The second point I already addressed -- the "central points of power", far from being obsolete, are these assymetrical warriors' sole hope! Because they provide them with every means of sustenance and survival, let alone any deployment and training! An ancient Western proverb says that it is simply money that constitutes all sinews of war. What did Napoleon say an army marches on? It's not on its AK-47s. Take away what this army marches on, and it can march wherever it want, because it will rather storm a Wal-Mart to get some food, rather than destroying it.

To be clear, I was referring to the 7th July hits which involved 4 British born men of Pakistani origin on the London transport system.

You can create such a hit for several hundred pounds, you don't need to go to Sudan for "terror training" you don't need to fly a plane, you just need to be able to google an explosive recipe and buy flour and peroxide, nails, rucksacks and a tube ticket. It was, and remains cheap.

It is logical to attack terror support infrastructure quite true, but it is only one strand of a solution, and my sole contention here, is if you can get the perps with a sniper rifle, more power to you, but if you get 12million collaterally, you create more problems than you solve

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I said

Many of you make the points that democratic governments have a right to defend themselves from aggressors, whether immediate or potential in the future, and so nuking Tehran and hopefully decapitating the theocracy would be justified.

If so, couldn’t Lebanon say, we face a much more immediate, realistic and direct threat from Israel, they killed thousands of us last year, therefore we can nuke Tel Aviv ? I think ~ No, doesn’t your logic lead them to the nuclear option?

and you replied

Dictators don't have the right to defend their dictatorial powers. "Our logic" (rationality) does not lead them to anything that they choose. If it did, they wouldn't be dictators.

Forgive me, I don't see what you are driving at or how this addresses my point?

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I haven't kept up with this thread for various reasons. Most Objectivists agree about what needs to be done and understand the philosophical premises. That is a long way, however, from anything we may expect to be done. I'll just say that I disagree with almost everything Stussy88 has said, especially the concern that millions of Muslims will be radicalized by a nuclear attack. After 9/11, the vaunted "Arab street" was very quiet indeed. Against all the conventional wisdom of foggy bottom and the media, rather than rising up, they stayed still, fearful of what America would do. I'm not just interpreting just what I saw, but what I read by authors in the Middle East. They were scared. In the course of time, they realized they had nothing to fear after all and the voices got louder and more demanding. As time has gone on and they've seen their propaganda war taken up by those in academia, politics and especially, by the media in the West, and more and more have become radicalized, not because of the war, which is the ostensive excuse, but because of the way we've conducted the war and the political situation in both England and the US. They see the obvious weakness and are exploiting it to recruit. This is what we've seen in England especially. I am somewhat surprised to see an Objectivist fall for the propaganda that states if we fight, we'll just inflame the situation. The exact opposite is true. Right now, they see nothing that tells them they can't reach their goals. It is our lack of will to defend ourselves that has allowed this piss-ant third-world bunch of barbarians to come this far.

Jules Crittenden, an editor at the Boston Herald wrote this in his blog, Forward Movement, today:

I post this because I think this is probably what Bush can get away with politically at this point. I also think that the Irani government is in serious financial and political trouble with their own people and doing what is listed here would be enough to spark internal problems that would go a very long way towards neutralizing them--either that, or it would finally spark an open war, as opposed to the proxy war Iran has been fighting.

I cannot express my disgust in strong enough terms that this country allows such open acts of war without an immediate answer.

I have to say, I agree with this blog entry broadly. Whilst I think nuking Tehran would be insane, the points here are valid.

The only thing I might have done differently is told the destroyer captain to engage and destroy the ships that captured our guys rather than meekly letting them sail away ~ wonder if Nelson would have allowed them merrily on the way ~ somehow doubt it. And as our response is so pissy, you are surely encouraged to grab some more if you are the Iranians?

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I said

Many of you make the points that democratic governments have a right to defend themselves from aggressors, whether immediate or potential in the future, and so nuking Tehran and hopefully decapitating the theocracy would be justified.

If so, couldn’t Lebanon say, we face a much more immediate, realistic and direct threat from Israel, they killed thousands of us last year, therefore we can nuke Tel Aviv ? I think ~ No, doesn’t your logic lead them to the nuclear option?

and you replied

Dictators don't have the right to defend their dictatorial powers. "Our logic" (rationality) does not lead them to anything that they choose. If it did, they wouldn't be dictators.

Forgive me, I don't see what you are driving at or how this addresses my point?

I said

Many of you make the points that democratic governments have a right to defend themselves from aggressors, whether immediate or potential in the future, and so nuking Tehran and hopefully decapitating the theocracy would be justified.

If so, couldn’t Lebanon say, we face a much more immediate, realistic and direct threat from Israel, they killed thousands of us last year, therefore we can nuke Tel Aviv ? I think ~ No, doesn’t your logic lead them to the nuclear option?

and you replied

Dictators don't have the right to defend their dictatorial powers. "Our logic" (rationality) does not lead them to anything that they choose. If it did, they wouldn't be dictators.

Forgive me, I don't see what you are driving at or how this addresses my point?

Stussy,

Allow me to say that you really should research the history of Lebanon before you site it as an example of a democracy with rights on par with the US, or Israel, or Japan, or Luxemburg.

You certainly shouldn't refer to the disaster that is Lebanon when trying to spare the population of Iran. Iran is the main reason Lebanon sunk from an up and coming economy that many thought was going to be the model for modernizing the Middle East, to the hell it is now.

As for elevating Lebanon to the status of a nation that has the right to defend itself against Israel:

Militias with safe havens in Lebanon have conducted offensive operations against Israel for several decades now. If a government can't establish the rule of law within its borders, decade in decade out, it isn't a government. You can’t expect the only free nation in the region to sacrifice itself because the West’s intellectual class pretends not to have a clue as to what constitutes a free nation.

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I said

Many of you make the points that democratic governments have a right to defend themselves from aggressors, whether immediate or potential in the future, and so nuking Tehran and hopefully decapitating the theocracy would be justified.

If so, couldn’t Lebanon say, we face a much more immediate, realistic and direct threat from Israel, they killed thousands of us last year, therefore we can nuke Tel Aviv ? I think ~ No, doesn’t your logic lead them to the nuclear option?

and you replied

Dictators don't have the right to defend their dictatorial powers. "Our logic" (rationality) does not lead them to anything that they choose. If it did, they wouldn't be dictators.

Forgive me, I don't see what you are driving at or how this addresses my point?

Sorry, stuck on Tehran.

Lebanon has lost control to Muslim terrorists, especially in regard to Israel. And the terrorists are, of course, backed by dictators - so, indirectly I suppose - that logic applies even here. But it appears to me that Lebanon is in late-stage pre-dictatorship, i.e. - has already capitulated to Muslim terrorists. Whatever government the terrorists can "influence," by means of terror, serves their purposes for the current moment.

I don't see that Lebanon is morally "free" to submit to the demands of Muslim terrorists that Israel be destroyed. And if their "choices" are merely capitulation to terror, they've already lost the only basis that justifies a government's existence, i.e. the protection of individual rights (against the terrorists, because they've appeased rather than fought them). So, even if they aren't yet a dictatorship, they're passed the stage of being a proper government, are much worse than Israel, and have no right to defend the terrorist groups in their country from retaliatory strikes by Israel.

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I understand the concept that the responsibility for civilian casualties lie with the aggressor (Iran in this case), whoever dropped the bombs, but I'm curious of the implications. For example, why such a principle doesn't imply at a smaller scale during an hostage taking, say in a plane landed on the ground? We seem to always be willing to go to considerable extent - even at the risk of law enforcement / SWAT teams - to protect the hostages. The only cases where we accept that hostages' life shouldn't be a consideration is if the plane is likely to be used as a weapon.

Also, I am not sure how to decide the threshold where the use of mass destruction is morally warranted. Japan was an easy decision, but Iran is harder: if Iran, why not Syria? If Syria, why not Saudi Arabia? If Saudi Arabia, why not Egypt and Indonesia? If them, why not Paris and London? There is no doubt than in all those places are people actively working towards harming the US.

Personally, I think that nukes are morally justifiable in the case of Iran. Maybe treating the surface with neutron bombs would be the most humane solution, as it would sterilize a small area and result in a smaller number of civilian casualties. I don't think that mass thermonuclear destruction would be the best way to deal with the threat.

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I understand the concept that the responsibility for civilian casualties lie with the aggressor (Iran in this case), whoever dropped the bombs, but I'm curious of the implications. For example, why such a principle doesn't imply at a smaller scale during an hostage taking, say in a plane landed on the ground? We seem to always be willing to go to considerable extent - even at the risk of law enforcement / SWAT teams - to protect the hostages. The only cases where we accept that hostages' life shouldn't be a consideration is if the plane is likely to be used as a weapon.

Also, I am not sure how to decide the threshold where the use of mass destruction is morally warranted. Japan was an easy decision, but Iran is harder: if Iran, why not Syria? If Syria, why not Saudi Arabia? If Saudi Arabia, why not Egypt and Indonesia? If them, why not Paris and London? There is no doubt than in all those places are people actively working towards harming the US.

Don't confuse military action with police action. It is not a matter of who is working to actively harm us, it is a matter of who is harming us. Iran, Syria, and (covertly) Saudia Arabia have already declared war on Western society and are destroying it whenever possible. The problem is, we (the pragmatic politicians) haven't been listening. The specific means of defense are strictly a military question and not a philosphic issue. The philosophic issue is: should we defend ourselves; do we have a right to defend ourselves?

Personally, I think that nukes are morally justifiable in the case of Iran. Maybe treating the surface with neutron bombs would be the most humane solution, as it would sterilize a small area and result in a smaller number of civilian casualties. I don't think that mass thermonuclear destruction would be the best way to deal with the threat.

Assuming a rational government, the issue of using nukes is not a moral issue. It is strictly a military stategic or tactical issue. The issue of civilian casualties is irrelevant to the military decision, provided such decision is rational. My life is more valuable than any number of civilians who live in countries that declare war on the US. The fundamental value that other countries offer me is their freedom (whether it is trade, association, travel, etc.).

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Also, I am not sure how to decide the threshold where the use of mass destruction is morally warranted. Japan was an easy decision, but Iran is harder: if Iran, why not Syria? If Syria, why not Saudi Arabia? If Saudi Arabia, why not Egypt and Indonesia? If them, why not Paris and London? There is no doubt than in all those places are people actively working towards harming the US.

Not that this will happen any time soon without some terrible provocation -- but -- it seems to me that the criteria of which regime(s) should be targeted militarily by the U.S. is/are the most harmful, overt, consistent enemies. Deal with one (or two) with properly-justified and unequivocal devastation -- and wait to see whether any further action is necessary. If a military attack is properly justified and executed, I believe that the prospect of further problems would be significantly diminished. But if there were further threats -- simply repeat the same steps until sigificant foreign threats are gone.

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You can create such a hit for several hundred pounds, you don't need to go to Sudan for "terror training" you don't need to fly a plane, you just need to be able to google an explosive recipe and buy flour and peroxide, nails, rucksacks and a tube ticket. It was, and remains cheap.

I'm sorry, no. You can't google a recipe, unless you plan to blow yourself up rather than your target. You need to get it from an experienced demolition expert. You need to receive at least rudimentary training with demolition and explosives. And, the factor you omitted most of all, you need a mind capable of terror-bombing. This is another myth, that average joes from the street stick some simple components together to vent some anger. Au contraire, once again. These people need to go to indoctrination camps. They need to be surrounded by an expensively developed system of brain-washing. Koran "scholars", various spiritual "leaders", technicians, experts, etc etc. It takes a large support structure to produce minds brainwashed into mindless action. Do you think guys from the street are capable of that kind of rage? In any society? Unless a human being is completely twisted out of shape, they will still retain common-sensical norms of decency; even if their accepted ideology tells them to hate Israelis, they will be unable normally to stoop down to blowing up Israeli children. Mindwashed lunatics can, with ease. If you destroy the expensive superstructure, what you'll have on the ground will be a bunch of disgruntled hairy men who force their women to wear a hijab to vent their frustration. Not glazed-eyed lunatics screaming Koranic verses into schoolbuses.

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Not that this will happen any time soon without some terrible provocation. . . .

Rose, I've begun to wonder if we would retaliate properly even with some terrible provocation. I would never have thought that we would be facing so many in this country who are capable of excusing the enemy to the point of actually siding with them. Bush is the target right now, but I think anyone who fights will be similarly vilified. I would never have thought to see Congress vote to project the date of surrender to the enemy, either, but they have.

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Rose, I've begun to wonder if we would retaliate properly even with some terrible provocation. I would never have thought that we would be facing so many in this country who are capable of excusing the enemy to the point of actually siding with them. Bush is the target right now, but I think anyone who fights will be similarly vilified. I would never have thought to see Congress vote to project the date of surrender to the enemy, either, but they have.

I realize that I should have said "without some further terrible provocation," as there has been more than enough already. And I share this feeling (for me it's dread) actually, but have no choice but to address whoever or whatever is left of reason in people's minds. Since it's entirely irrational to side with Muslim terrorists, I simply do not address anyone capable of such an irrational choice.

But I don't agree that anyone who stood up to terrorists would be vilified. And although this may be highly unlikely, if a president were to offer rational justification for our self-defense and carry it out, I'm convinced that opposition to such policy would be effectively silenced by its obvious effectiveness.

The reason George Bush is unpopular now is because he squandered American public support for self-defense, by choosing the wrong goal(s) after 9/11. He offered no proper justification for war (though we had and have proper justification), has spent American lives and billions attacking the wrong nation, and (unsurprisingly to Objectivists) has failed at every wrong goal, precisely because the goals were wrong.

I believe that he was always incapable of choosing and acting on the right goals. And I surmised his general approach from a couple of things he said during his election campaign: First, when asked who his favorite philosopher was, his answer was "Jesus." Secondly, the 'achievement' about which he boasted most proudly was his ability to "reach across the aisle."

From that time, by his own admission, I judged him to be an altruistic compromiser with evil. And although I hoped that he would stumble into the right actions, or be pushed there by someone (anyone) with better principles, my original judgment of him has proved spectacularly, hideously true.

And I believe that the major reason that the U.S. will willingly surrender is because Bush's policies have been the opposite of effective.

The stated aim of this "social service war" was "Iraqi Freedom." And we know, philosophically, why it was called that, and should never have been. But the point now is: Most Americans judge Iraqi freedom as not worth losing more American military personnel over. And even for anyone who thinks that Iraqi freedom is a proper goal, freedom is clearly is not being achieved in Iraq. And only Objectivists actually know that this goal was always improper, as well as why it could never be achieved.

Democracy (which denotes nothing more, by itself, than mob rule) treated as a political primary cannot create freedom. But no one in the Bush administration was capable of recognizing and implementing the protection of individual rights as the primary political principle necessary for establishing proper government. And ironically, only leaders who felt free to show more concern with American freedom than with the freedom of some other nation's citizens, could ever help another nation establish itself in freedom, as McCarthy helped the Japanese.

Anyway, I think it has become very clear to many Americans that we're sacrificing American service men and women for worse-than-nothing. Americans do not like this, and I can't say that I blame them for that. I do, of course, blame anyone who deceives himself into thinking that, because America has been fighting the wrong war, that we need no defense against Muslim statists.

But if the American people wrongly identify the Iraqi war as some sort of self-defense (and so conclude that self-defense is unachievable), they have been duped by Bush's altruistic rationalization for war against Iraq. Most people are utterly unable to unpack the package-deal of the Bush administration, i.e. of American self-defense and "Iraqi freedom."

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And ironically, only leaders who felt free to show more concern with American freedom than with the freedom of some other nation's citizens, could ever help another nation establish itself in freedom, as McCarthy helped the Japanese.

Pardon me, MacArthur.

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Don't confuse military action with police action.
Why should there be a difference in the context of my question? Both are simply the government exercising our right of self defense on our behalf.

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Why should there be a difference in the context of my question? Both are simply the government exercising our right of self defense on our behalf.

Police generally deal with domestic crime among citizens of the same nation. And so long as that nation protects individual rights, both perpetrators and victims have objective legal (if not necessarily moral) rights, until the perpetrator(s) is/are convicted of a crime.

In a military situation only the citizens of the nations which best protect the individual rights of those citizens have moral rights, or objective legal rights.

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Police generally deal with domestic crime among citizens of the same nation. And so long as that nation protects individual rights, both perpetrators and victims have objective legal (if not necessarily moral) rights, until the perpetrator(s) is/are convicted of a crime.

In a military situation only the citizens of the nations which best protect the individual rights of those citizens have moral rights, or objective legal rights.

Huh? How come?

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Why should there be a difference in the context of my question? Both are simply the government exercising our right of self defense on our behalf.

Rose mentioned the basic issue. The local police deal with individuals. If 10 criminals hold 100 people hostages in Philadelphia, the police cannot destroy the surrounding neighborhood in order to rescue them. If 10 criminals hold 100 American people hostage in Iran, and the government of Iran does not attempt to rescue them, the US military has every right to do whatever it can to rescue those people even if it entails destroying the neighborhood. The military does not deal with individuals as such, it interacts with individuals who represent the government or society. If the Iranian government does not protect the rights of those within its borders, then it is the Iranian government that is responsible for the destruction caused by the military operations of the rescuers. The citizens within a country cannot claim to be exempt from the political structure within which they live.

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Huh? How come?

Because people who live in a society that does not protect their own individual rights cannot expect other governments to protect their individual rights without first destroying the government that is violating rights.

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Police generally deal with domestic crime among citizens of the same nation. And so long as that nation protects individual rights, both perpetrators and victims have objective legal (if not necessarily moral) rights, until the perpetrator(s) is/are convicted of a crime.

In a military situation only the citizens of the nations which best protect the individual rights of those citizens have moral rights, or objective legal rights.

Huh? How come?

I apologize. Let me clarify. I meant that the only moral rights that are within the province of the military of a (relatively) free nation are those of its nation's citizens (and to the degree possible, those of its allies' citizens). The victims of dictatorships have moral rights too, which consist of the right to fight for and/or escape into freedom. And some resistance fighters in an enemy nation may have the right to help from the freer nation's citizens or military, if such help does not interfere with the destruction of the threat posed by their nation.

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Whilst I'm still not in favour of genocidal collective punishment, there are some serious moves we could take notably by saying:

1. Stop arming and aiding Iraqi insurgents or we'll give really sophisticated weaponry to your Northern Kurds, and you'd have the same trouble we are having without an economy capable of sustaining an active military, to say nothing of the domestic political problems it will cause.

2. Privately say, release the hostages or look forward to a 3am wake up call from a cruise missile through your bedroom window, also say good bye to your homes, offices and businesses. These will be targeted strikes at the ruling elite only.

3. Prepare for destruction of your command and control facilities that you use to cow your own population, notably Basij, Revolutionary guard headquarters, police and TV stations. The bombardment will continue until you comply and I don't care how many orphanages you open up in their barracks.

and amusingly

4. Send the ruling elite videos of the Saddam execution with the Farsi inscription ~ this can be you in 12 weeks, ask me how?

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Stussy,

You've been given solid arguments in response to your posts on this thread. You ignore them at your peril.

Whilst I'm still not in favour of genocidal collective punishment,

"Genocidal" implies that race is an issue here. No Objectivist wants to annihilate Iran because of the race/races that live within that region's borders.

If that's not what you're implying, then I can only assume that you're worried about a race vanishing due to severe military action. Either way, you're making a factor of race, which is racism.

Most important: Nuking Iran would be an act of justified self-defense, not punishment.

there are some serious moves we could take notably by saying:

1. Stop arming and aiding Iraqi insurgents or we'll give really sophisticated weaponry to your Northern Kurds, and you'd have the same trouble we are having without an economy capable of sustaining an active military, to say nothing of the domestic political problems it will cause.

2. Privately say, release the hostages or look forward to a 3am wake up call from a cruise missile through your bedroom window, also say good bye to your homes, offices and businesses. These will be targeted strikes at the ruling elite only.

3. Prepare for destruction of your command and control facilities that you use to cow your own population, notably Basij, Revolutionary guard headquarters, police and TV stations. The bombardment will continue until you comply and I don't care how many orphanages you open up in their barracks.

and amusingly

4. Send the ruling elite videos of the Saddam execution with the Farsi inscription ~ this can be you in 12 weeks, ask me how?

Are you aiming for the SecDef job in the Hillary Administration?

;-)

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Stussy,

You've been given solid arguments in response to your posts on this thread. You ignore them at your peril.

"Genocidal" implies that race is an issue here. No Objectivist wants to annihilate Iran because of the race/races that live within that region's borders.

If that's not what you're implying, then I can only assume that you're worried about a race vanishing due to severe military action. Either way, you're making a factor of race, which is racism.

Most important: Nuking Iran would be an act of justified self-defense, not punishment.

Are you aiming for the SecDef job in the Hillary Administration?

;-)

Trust me, there are many non-Americans like me who really find Hilary repellant.

If I had a vote, I'd probably go for a McCain/Rice ticket, but must confess to only a limited take on internal US politics.

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And, the factor you omitted most of all, you need a mind capable of terror-bombing. This is another myth, that average joes from the street stick some simple components together to vent some anger. Au contraire, once again. These people need to go to indoctrination camps. They need to be surrounded by an expensively developed system of brain-washing. Koran "scholars", various spiritual "leaders", technicians, experts, etc etc. It takes a large support structure to produce minds brainwashed into mindless action. Do you think guys from the street are capable of that kind of rage? In any society? Unless a human being is completely twisted out of shape, they will still retain common-sensical norms of decency; even if their accepted ideology tells them to hate Israelis, they will be unable normally to stoop down to blowing up Israeli children. Mindwashed lunatics can, with ease.

Actually, in fairness, this is a valid point.

You can have an impact with some of the preacher's over here and the internet, videos etc, but you need to remove someone from society in order to brainwash them, so fair point.

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FYI, Wikipedia is totally unreliable.

Partly unreliable. The Wikipedia articles on mathematics are generally (mostly) correct as far as they go, which is to introduce the concepts and provide further references. For mathematics of much of physics Wiki is a good jump off point.

On matters political, I would have reservations with respect to any source.

Bob Kolker

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