Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, May 09, 2010

American Soldiers Are Too Pampered, Too Expensive, Too Needy

Wait, don’t shoot! I didn’t say it — the Pentagon did.

Pay raises and soaring health care expenses (soldiers’ wives and children are covered too) are costing the Defense Department too much. If this keeps up, where will the Pentagon's next $8,000 hammer come from?

Clifford L. Stanley, the undersecretary of defense, told Congress last March that rising personnel costs could “dramatically affect the readiness of the department.” There might be less money to pay for operations and equipment maintenance.

Damn right! We sent these whiny soldiers overseas to fight and get killed or maimed, not sit there and whine about their benefits. And who told them to get married and have children, anyway? If the military wanted you to have a spouse they would’ve issued you one!

Fortunately, some powerful people are not willing to balance the budget on the backs of soldiers and their families. Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and chairman of its military personnel subcommittee. She said:

"Both sides of the aisle are trying to send a very clear message to our military that we appreciate their service. We end up with a false choice — are we going to fund weapons or are we going to fund people? The reality is, we need both."

Thomas J. Tradewell, Sr., leader of Veterans of Foreign Wars, said: "Any attempt to link rising military personnel costs with shrinking military readiness is total nonsense."

Could there possibly be another way to reduce the Pentagon's budget? Let’s see…[ponders]...[drums fingers]…uhh, hmmm... I can’t seem to think of anything.

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37 Comments:

Blogger TomCat said...

I have disapproved of most of Obama's appointments in Defense. This guy does nothing to raise my expectations. My best solution is to pay soldiers to do everything Halliburton and KBR do in our military.

May 9, 2010 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger jadedj said...

Start furnishing them with plowshares? Just a thought.

May 9, 2010 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Considering the defense of our nation is one of the few things the federal government IS authorized to do Constitutionally, I think we should look at other areas that can and should be cut from the budget.

That being said, I agree with you, Mr. Harper, we should pull our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately.

The pentagon under this administration has no intention of doing all that is necessary to win these wars, so having members of our armed forces dying when we are fighting in half measures is unforgivable.

Of course, the terrorist threat will not go away and will surely come back to haunt us down the road once we pull out of these areas, but trying to to fight the war on terrorism (oops, I forgot that Obama "out-lawed" that phrase)... Since Obama is not serious about fighting "man-caused disasters" we should indeed pull our troops out of the region.

Once we have a grown-up in office we can re-evaluate how best to protect our country.

Hopefully we won't have suffered massive civilian casulties in the interim because of this.

May 9, 2010 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Somebody call Craig Fergeson and his robot skeleton army.

May 9, 2010 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a HUGE Glaring Omission there!

A huge amount of Defense money goes to Kellog, Brown and Root and Halliburton for troop support services. Bush and Cheney tried to outsource and privatize services for things troops used to do like logistics, KP, Security, etc.,

No now the people servicing the troops make more then the troops, and solders were joining firms like the old Black Water for more money.

You get rid of these contractors and let the troops go back to being a self contained unit previous ones were trained to do, and you will save a lot of money.

Erik

May 9, 2010 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Erik, you are absolutely correct!

May 9, 2010 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

TC and Eric
Yeah I'm with you on this. Stop all this subbing out of Services. We'll save a fortune.

TP just when I see something in your writing that I can agree with, you shit on the thing with something like an Obama slander. It didn't fit and is a turn off. Certainly is not constructive.

May 9, 2010 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

TC and Eric
Yeah I'm with you on this. Stop all this subbing out of Services. We'll save a fortune.

TP just when I see something in your writing that I can agree with, you shit on the thing with something like an Obama slander. It didn't fit and is a turn off. Certainly is not constructive.

May 9, 2010 at 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

If we would stop paying for those big salaries of Erik Prince and the like, we could do something. Oooh another thought, maybe just maybe we could BRING THEM HOME and do it NOW.

T,Paine, they have no intention of what, winning these wars. We are only at war in Afghanistan, Iraq is a FUBAR that commander cuckoo bananas decided he HAD to go in and best his daddy. That is not a war, it is a desert adventure he decided he had to have. How do you think these wars will be won? Seriously, I am asking for a serious answer, please don't give me a talking point, I will not be happy.
That area, Afghanistan, is the area where empires go to die. See Khan, Ghengis, Russia, United States. We need to get our collective asses out of being the world's nosy neighbors and let them do what they will.

Bill Maher had a chart last week, something to the effect, If we leave it will be screwed up, if we stay same thing sojust leave. This was after he showed this whole convuluted chart consisting of lines to everywhere.

Hopefully WE don't have massive civilian casualties. Ok, here is the I hate America part of the afternoon from Jess, a tree hugging, latte sipping, Birkenstock wearing DFH. I am about sick and tired of this Amercian exceptionalism in this country. We're not better than anyone else, never have been, no matter what you are told when you are growing up. We are certainly not the only friggin country on the planet, and we need to start acting like it too. Why are our casualties more important, than the casualties halfway across the world in a country that had nothing to do with anything? What's that, no our deaths and injuries are not more important. We would do more over there with re building efforts than all the bullets in the world. I swear, there is going to come a time, when we don't look at war and destruction as the answer to our problems. I hope I am alive when it happens, because I will be able to turn around and say, I knew it could happen, I just knew it. I'll also know I was part of changing it too, so there is that extra bonus for me.

May 9, 2010 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

jadedj: Plowshares,there you go.

TomCat: That's what I'd do too, get rid of those F#!$&# contractors. The Army's own electricians could probably figure out how to wire a building without shocking everybody.

TP: "I agree with you, Mr. Harper, we should pull our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately."

I just knew you were one of those moonbat surrender monkeys :)

As far as "no intention of doing all that is necessary to win these wars" goes, that's been true of every war we've been in since Vietnam; probably because we shouldn't have been in these wars in the first place.

The only way to fight terrorism is 1) stop stirring up international hatred by treating the rest of the world like our own personal fiefdom, and 2) guard our own country like a hawk to prevent terrorists from doing what they do.

Bush was asleep at the switch when 9/11 happened; ditto for Clinton in the 1993 WTC attack.

Instead of being Hawks or Doves, we need to be Cougars (and not the current Hollywood term): not roaming around looking for trouble, but guarding our own lair ferociously.

Demeur: There you go. He'll do it cheaper than Halliburton or the Pentagon.

Erik: I agree. KBR, Halliburton, Blackwater (or Xe or whatever they're calling themselves this week) all have to go. The military can do a better job for a fraction of the cost.

Tim: LOL. I had to read TP's sentence at least 3 times to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. But of course, there was a catch when I read the next paragraph.

Jess: Bill Maher is a riot. I just saw a video of one of his recent monologues. I don't get HBO so I don't see his current program, but I loved Politically Incorrect.

It's like they used to say about Vietnam (and Iraq...), there'll be a bloodbath if we pull out, and there'll be a bloodbath if we stay. So we might as well pull out. Or as Ronald Reagan once said (in a different context), "if it's gonna take a bloodbath, let's get it over with."

Uh oh, I just read your last paragraph. You're trying to say that America ISN'T number one?!?!? But, [sputter] I'll have to do my patriotic duty and tell Chuck Norris on you :)

May 9, 2010 at 3:28 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Anyone who thinks we can have a quality all volunteer force on the cheap is clueless. The days when farm boys joined to see the world are pretty much over.

It does "help" that we've had a 20-year employer's market, capped recently by double-digit unemployment, but still.

What Davis said about a balanced approach makes sense. Republican administrations always dutifully see to it the military-supplying industries get lots of lucrative contracts, including for things that don't make much sense or are even unwanted by the military itself.

As George The Conqueror might put it, "We're (Republicans) all about taking care of bidness."

Democrats do some of this as well, although it's usually less.

One thing's for sure. We can't continue having $860 billion/year defense budgets with the hollowed-out, job-destroying economy we've got now. For one thing, the Chinese are getting damned tired of financing them.

May 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

T. Paine wrote, "Once we have a grown-up in office we can re-evaluate how best to protect our country."

This confirms my strong impression you can't tell when we've got one from when we don't. First, you and your fellow conservatives gave us George W. Bush, and claimed he was the keep-us-safe president. Now, you take cheap shots at someone who's actually doing that.

No wonder our country tempts opportunists, whether terrorists, economic predators or what have you. Twenty-three percent of the population is hopelessly lost in the 21st century, unwilling and/or unable to keep in touch with reality, confusing political bashing, fearmongering and spite with reasons voters elect politicians.

May 9, 2010 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

I had the pleasure of serving in the first gulf war and can tell you that had Bush Sr. not gone in to liberate Kuwait, it would not have been long before Saudi Arabia fell next. That was what Saddam's was eyeing all along.

Now I have no love for the Saudi Kingdom or their wink and nod at the Wahabi terrorists within, but had we not enforced the UN resolutions to remove Saddam from Kuwait, that whole region of the world would have disintegrated within two years and eventually it would have been the genesis of WWIII.

Bush Senior's mistake was encouraging the Shia uprising in the south of Iraq and then not supporting them so that when Saddam sent in his general Chemical Ali to murder thousands of these poor people, we did nothing.

THAT is blood on our hands. Bush Sr. should have stopped that from happening, and then there would likely not have ever been the need for the second war with Iraq as Saddam's overthrow would have been much more likely to have started from within his own regime.

Jess, you are absolutely wrong, ma'am, and I am saddened that so many on the left share your sentiments.

America has many faults, but we eventually admit and correct them, often times with our own blood and treasure. America absolutely is a country of exceptionalism.

If one were to open the world's border and provide a one-way ticket to everyone in the world to a destination country of their choice, where do you think a VAST majority of those people would come? Further, why do you think they would they come here, if we were just one more country like all of the others?

There is a reason why the phrase "American Dream" was coined. I have never heard of the like with the "French Dream", the "Brazilian Dream", the "Bhutan Dream", or the "Swaziland Dream"... have you?

It is because in this land that is exceptional you can achieve more and have a greater breadth of liberties than anywhere in the entire world.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I suspect you have not traveled much outside of the United States. If you were to do so and spent some time there, and not just to resorts either, I think you would develop a greater appreciation of America's absolute exceptionalism in the world, ma'am.

May 9, 2010 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Oh yeah, Chuck Norris scares me really. What's he going to do to me, bore me to death with how powerful he is?

Tom, as of last week I think it was, we are one of the poorest nations on the planet. I will try and get the article I was reading if I remember where I read it. We suck with infant mortality rates, we suck with the amount of poor people and kids that go hungry. We suck with time off from work, we suck for family leave and medical care for people. We are gaining on certain countries, with the amount of trafficking in women and children so there is that little silver lining.
The Scandinavian countries were the best with Norway, I believe it is, being number one in almost every single category. I told hubby, I might dye the hair blond since I have the blue eyes already, we can move there and fit in. Just got the poor husband eye roll at his choice in women to marry.

May 9, 2010 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

If we didn't have wars, we wouldn't need soldiers, or expensive machinery to get blown to crap and have to be replaced. Of course, many defense contractors wouldn't get to reap huge profits gouging the tax payer, and that's not very American, now, is it?

May 9, 2010 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

The pentagon under this administration has no intention of doing all that is necessary to win these wars
And, please tell, what is Defense secretary Gates doing under President Obama that he didn't do under Bush?
the truth is, this is not a war that can be won, because as we have found with the endless war on drugs that you cannot bomb an idea. You have to create a policy that doesn't inspire those ideologically opposed to us to want to kill us. Like illegally invading their countries as a start.
The problem isn't that President Obama is or isn't doing things any differently than his predecessor, it's that we never had a clear objective or definition of victory in either case, and we never went in with an exit strategy. So we can never declare 'victory', and we can never leave the country in peace.

May 9, 2010 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: That would be a little ironic if China ends up putting the kibosh on further U.S. military "adventures."

TP: Fuggeddaboudit, your "American exceptionalism" doesn't hold water. Since you like to branch out and listen to a lot of different news sources, try this: Check out any news source from another country; any country. You won't find that "America is unique" drivel anywhere else.

I read the Financial Times every day (my wife subscribes to it). I'm not very financial-minded, but I like the global perspective (it's published in London). And they have a few interesting articles that aren't business-oriented. And there's BBC, Canadian news sources, English-language versions of most foreign newspapers, etc. You won't get that American xenophobia from any of them.

I spent two years traveling all over Europe and Asia, and I came to the complete opposite conclusion as yours. Not there's anything "bad" about America, or anything like that. But every country, every region, every society, has its own uniqueness and validity.

From these people's own perspective, of course, their country is the center of everything. It's natural to have that feeling about one's homeland. But you have to look beyond that and realize that the rest of the world doesn't look at it that way. People who talk about "America is special" or "exceptional" are like an 8-year-old kid who goes around saying "My daddy is ten feet tall," "My dad can beat up your dad."

From my own experiences, American travelers are well liked in most countries (this was in the 1970s), even when these same people took a dim view of the American government and its superiority complex.

Jess: I've seen these same news stories, about how we're lagging further and further behind. Every time I see one of those lists, I'm started to see how many "third world" countries are scoring higher than us in education, family leave for employees, health statistics, etc.

May 9, 2010 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: Our whole economy would collapse without the Military-Industrial Complex. We should have listened to Eisenhower's warning 50 years ago. Now that millions of livelihoods are dependent on it, I don't know how we're ever gonna get out from under it.

Supposedly the book The Art Of War has been widely read by military strategists; but you wouldn't know it. Having a clear objective, "know your enemy," never getting complacent because another country is small or primitive -- it's all spelled out in that book. And yet every one of our recent quagmires started out with "it'll be a cakewalk" or some such drivel.

May 9, 2010 at 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Well, I have traveled extensively outside the US. Been to Italy, France, Thailand, Germany, Mexico just off the top of my head and not to resorts either. Just so you know, they think they are exceptional in their own countries too. We don't have a monopoly of thinking our country is the best in the world. It maybe used to be, not anymore it isn't. Like I said in answer to someone else, we are becoming one of the poorest countries in the world. We suck at taking care of our own, yet we can go and bomb the hell out of other places. If you consider that exceptional, then more power to you, I don't. We are the ONLY country in the world that has used nuclear bombs but we tell others, nope you cannot have them, even for power generation. Oh yeah that right there exceptionalism in my mind, not really though.

That whole American dream was first coined by a guy in the 1930s if I am not mistaken. I beleive he was a writer of some sort, and his meaning was, life should be better for EVERYONE. If I am remembering correctly this was to help assure that regardless of your position or being like I was, lucky enough to be in a family that had you, had a chance for bigger and better. It has been turned around on its ear, to mean something else over the years and this is the exceptionalism I am talking about. The whole revision of history that frequently happens to make us better than we are. We are not better, never have been, never will be than any other nation on earth.

Is that American dream working for everyone? Ask that mom or dad that is working 2 maybe 3 jobs to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. Making sure they have enough to send their kid to a good school to get further in life. There are countries that pay for all schooling for their citizens, college level too. Sweden and Norway come to mind right away. Do they pay higher taxes for this privilege yes they do, but they have an educated, healthy happy citizenship. We don't have that anymore. Too much divisiveness and just plain disregard for "the other" in some places. You see it with the whole, anti groups, whether it is gay, women brown folk. you name it, there is a faction here that just wants to keep the rabble divided so they can pillage the coffers. We saw that over the last decade or so.

May 9, 2010 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Harper, the reason why it doesn't matter whether every last admiral and general reads The Art of War is because the military's ultimate strategic goals and objectives are dictated by politicians.

This is how it should be, but those politicians haven't done what is prudent to win wars since WWII.

They are more concerned with public or world perceptions. Far better to do what is necessary and then bring the boys home again, in my opinion.

May 9, 2010 at 8:26 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

T. Paine wrote: "This is how it should be, but those politicians haven't done what is prudent to win wars since WWII."

The lack of prudence came in getting us into war situations without looking ahead, thinking ahead honestly and completely, and thus seeing the makings of quagmires.

For example, the question LBJ needed to reckon with in 1964 was the same as the one Harry Truman needed to reckon with in 1949: Am I prepared to go to war with China to win this war (in Korea or Vietnam)? Because taking out China was an absolute requirement for complete victory in both cases.

The operative question for George the Conqueror in 2003 was, "Am I prepared to go to war with, basically, the entire Middle East, including Pakistan and especially Iran, to achieve victory in Iraq and Afghanistan?

In all these cases the possibility of complete victory in the WW II sense was foreclosed before we sent large numbers of our troops into the countries where we got bogged down in no-win wars.

I hope when you say "prudent to win wars," you don't mean that, for instance, Obama should haul off and order the invasion of Iran and Pakistan now.

May 10, 2010 at 12:10 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

"I hope when you say "prudent to win wars," you don't mean that, for instance, Obama should haul off and order the invasion of Iran and Pakistan now."

No, I do not mean this, however, Obama missed a huge opportunity to speak out for freedom for the Iranian people when they were protesting the corrupt presidential elections there. Further, he was ominously quiet when the regime quelled the protests with violence.

Iran will end up having nuclear weapons and will use them against our ally Israel if we or Israel do not stop them. Obama seems content to let Ahmadinejad's Iran complete its "peaceful nuclear power" program to fruition. His attempts at meaningless sanctions are ridiculous.

Ahmadinejad has publically stated on numerous occasions how he wants to push the Jews into the sea and wipe Israel from the face of the globe.

These nutjobs don't fear death. They want to bring about armageddon as they think this will usher in their twelth imam to unite the world under Islamic rule via Sharia (Koranic) law.

If we don't take this seriously, THIS will be the flashpoint for the next world war, just as Yugoslavia was with the assassination of the Arch-duke to precipitate the beginning of WWI.

Nobody wants to fight wars, most especially those in the armed forces typically. But they often understand the need and necessity of sometimes having to fight evil in the world. I assure you that the Iranian regime is indeed evil.

May 10, 2010 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger ironjustice said...

Someone just did a 'chart' and it shows that compared to the second world war the vietnam war and now Iraq they showed the amount of actual 'military' presence went DOWN from 90% to 60% to a low now of 15% in Iraq.
What would happen if they had to pay for the 'normal' amount of military presence .. ?

May 10, 2010 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

TomCat: That's what I'd do too, get rid of those F#!$&# contractors. The Army's own electricians could probably figure out how to wire a building without shocking everybody.

...and do it at 1/20 the cost.

May 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Good point. Looking ahead, thinking things through, getting the larger picture -- that's exactly what we didn't do with Vietnam and our other elective wars after Vietnam. "Uh, communism, the domino theory, uhh, OK, we'll send some advisers over there and a few troops to protect the advisers." "Weapons of mass destruction, al Qaeda, 9/11, it'll be a cakewalk..."

TP: A couple of things about Iran.

I wouldn't get too starry-eyed about Iranian protesters and "freedom." The Shah of Iran (possibly the world's most iron-fisted dictator at the time) got overthrown by massive protests in 1979. Everyone was ecstatic. The Shah was hated, and here was one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world being overthrown by a huge ragtag coalition of leftist students and devout Muslims. And we all know what their newfound freedom morphed into.

And as far as Iran's evil master plan goes, take it with a grain of salt. Or a whole shaker full. There's something about Iranians -- I worked there for about 10 months in 1976-77 -- they talk constantly about the future. And 99% of it is based on wishful thinking; reality and logic don't enter into it at all. I saw this over and over.

And for a bit of irony: While I was there, there was an issue of Time Magazine that had a cover story about Iran and Chile being the world's worst human rights violators (according to Amnesty International). Iranian newspapers couldn't say anything negative about the Shah; in fact he was always referred to as "King of Kings, Light of the Aryans, His Majesty...). But Tehran at that time was full of American and European companies and Western tourists, so newsstands would have the local papers glorifying the Shah, right next to Time Magazine screaming "Torture in Iran! The most brutal dictatorship in the world!" A bit awkward for Iranians, and amusing for the rest of us.

Iron Justice: Interesting chart. That would get pretty expensive.

TomCat: Sometimes cheaper is better.

May 10, 2010 at 12:40 PM  
Anonymous amadmike1 said...

Brilliant analysis Tom. Just brilliant!!

May 10, 2010 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Thanks Mad Mike.

May 10, 2010 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

I was watching IronMan last night. That's what we need.

May 10, 2010 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

Ahmadinejad has publically stated on numerous occasions how he wants to push the Jews into the sea and wipe Israel from the face of the globe.
This is complete and utter bullshit. He never said that, it was a deliberate misinterpretation. Furthermore, both our own National Intelligence Estimate, updated last year, as well as nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency has not found one isotope of enriched uranium being diverted from Iran's nuclear energy program to anything else, and no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. What we have is almost the same lies perpetrated against Iraq now being used against Iran (what was that your idiot president said? :"Fool me once....") and a nation of willfully gullible television watching morons eating it up because they love their paranoia more than they are able to reason.

May 10, 2010 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: Iron Man, there you go.

Lew: I've heard that before, that Ahmadinejad never actually said some of the quotes that were attributed to him. I don't know if this is based on faulty interpretation or outright lies. I haven't researched this at all myself, but I wouldn't doubt it. We have to have an Oceana or Eastasia for frustrated Americans to channel their fear and hatred toward. And this year, Iran seems to be It.

May 10, 2010 at 7:14 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

T. Paine wrote: "Iran will end up having nuclear weapons and will use them against our ally Israel if we or Israel do not stop them."

No, Paine, Iran will not use nukes, if it actually develops them, against Israel. At least not unless the Israelis attack Iran with nukes. Ahmadinejad is a flake and Khameni won't be mistaken for a nice guy in this lifetime, but neither is a suicidal fanatic.

You mistake paranoid right-wing ravings and Republican fearmongering for factual information and good sense.

Nuclear weapons are counterproductive for battle. Their real usefulness is deterrence. I think we've covered this before but just in case . . .

Put yourself in Iranian leaders' place and notice who has ongoing,large-scale military operations in two countries that border yours. Countries whose regimes were toppled by invading armies. Look across the way, and there's nuclear-armed Israel. Look out in the Gulf, and there is the U.S. Navy.

Think back in your history and recall that the same U.S. that invaded your neighbors and changed their regimes underhandedly caused a popular, democratically elected Iranian leader to be not just overthrown but murdered back in the 1950s. A few decades later, the U.S. provoked a war between Iraq and Iran that was horrendously costly and futile -- a million soldiers killed on both sides, with no gain for either side.

Now, Paine, why do you suppose Iranians might feel a need for a powerful deterrent?

May 11, 2010 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Anderson, you are the one that is mistaken, my friend.

You are making assumptions and projecting Western thought and values on the Iranian theocracy.

They do NOT value life, hence the homicide bombers etc. If they die in jihad in service to Allah, they go to paradise, so they believe.

To usher in the reign of the twelth imam, armagedon must happen, and then the world can be unified under this supreme islamic leader and rule the world under sharia law. This is what they believe.

If they can destroy the "little Satan" of Israel to help bring this vision to fruition then I have little doubt they will not hesitate from doing so, sir.

You all are naive if you think that they are simply building a nuclear program as a detterent or even more foolishly as a source of energy.

Their country is floating on oil. Why the hell would they need a nuclear program for power? Further if such were the case, why hurt themselves economically and geopolitically through sanctions when they can open up their program to international inspectors to prove that their intentions are peaceful.

Scannon, ironically you cite a NIE saying that Iran is not developing these weapons. The same intelligence agency also said that Iraq had WMD's. Did you believe them then, sir?

May 11, 2010 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

TP: "To usher in the reign of the twelth imam, armagedon must happen, and then the world can be unified under this supreme islamic leader and rule the world under sharia law. This is what they believe."

Hey cool, I saw that same occult/slasher flick too; I forget the name of it. But it was only a movie :)

I won't say that having been to a country makes me an authority or anything like that. But "they do NOT value life," puhleaze.

In addition to Iran I also spent some time in Afghanistan and northern Pakistan -- the exact area where all the al Qaeda activity is going on. I wouldn't be caught dead in any of those places now, but in the mid-late '70s it was nothing like that. Friendly people everywhere (Iranians the least so; they're the one nationality I just flat out didn't like).

I don't know what triggered all the Islamic hatred. I'd guess the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 set off a chain reaction.

I don't know if you're familiar with Rick Steves -- he travels all around, mostly Europe, and has a blog and a TV show on PBS. He traveled all over Iran a year or 2 ago (he's not political). If you google Rick Steves Iran you'll probably find lots of material showing Iran as just a country with millions of people just like us.

May 11, 2010 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Scannon, just as further rebuttal, see the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hLDjGdJC0Q&feature=fvw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FckLO8HcNyo

It took all of 30 seconds to find these two videos, and that is with my computer crunching massive amounts of data in the background.

If I cared to research further, I imagine I could find more such videos that also prove that my statement was not BS, sir.

May 11, 2010 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

The same intelligence agency also said that Iraq had WMD's. Did you believe them then, sir?
And which intelligence agency is that? The NIE is compromised of all our intelligence agencies assessments together, it is not one agency.
Moreover, the IAEA has not found that Iran, a nation with it's own uranium resources, has diverted any of it away from it's nuclear power program.
I guess I'd believe anybody who isn't a paranoid Islamaphobe who values life as much as the people he claims to fear.
BTW, the wonderful thing about the internet I have found, is that anybody can produce any kind of propaganda they want and put it out there for fools to use to justify their position.

May 11, 2010 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Scannon, I am very well aware of how a NIE is generated and that it is not necessarily from any one intelligence source, sir.

Also, the links I provided were not from right-wing blogs of questionable reputation.

The first was an Associate Press report. (hardly a friend of the right-wing)

The second link was from Iranian News Television, also not a conservative mouth-piece.

Of course they rebut your preconceived notion so you choose not to believe them, assuming you even looked at them, sir.

May 11, 2010 at 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom said

"I don't know what triggered all the Islamic hatred. I'd guess the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 set off a chain reaction."

My guess it was the US support of the Shah of Iran dating back to the Coup that brought him back, and then further fueled when he hid out in the US

Erik

May 11, 2010 at 7:50 PM  

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