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| | |-+  Iraq... Iran... whats the difference?
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Author Topic: Iraq... Iran... whats the difference?  (Read 1729 times)
Beet
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« on: July 17, 2004, 03:02:29 pm »
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September 11 commission report links Iran to 2001 al-Qaeda attacks: media

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The September 11 commission's report, due out Thursday, says Iran may have facilitated the 2001 attacks on the United States by providing eight to 10 al-Qaeda hijackers with safe passage to and from training camps in Afghanistan (news - web sites), US media reports said.

Time and Newsweek, in similar reports quoting congressional, commission and government sources, said Iran relaxed border controls and provided "clean" passports for the so-called "muscle hijackers" to transit Iran to and from Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s camps between October 2000 and February 2001.

...

The commission's report says Iran at one point proposed collaborating with al-Qaeda on attacks against America, but bin Laden declined, saying he did not want to alienate his supporters in Saudi Arabia, according to Time.

Newsweek said the Iranian finding in the commission's report is based largely on a December 2001 memo discovered buried in the files of the US National Security Agency.

The memo, according to Newsweek, says "Iranian border inspectors were instructed not to place stamps in the passports of al-Qaeda fighters from Saudi Arabia who were traveling from bin Laden's camps through Iran."

Time said commission investigators "found that Iran had a history of allowing al-Qaeda members to enter and exit Iran across the Afghan border," a practice they said dated back to October 2000.

Iranian officials, Time said, issued "specific instructions to their border guards ... not to put stamps in the passports of al-Qaeda personnel and otherwise not harass them, and to facilitate their travel across the frontier."
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2004, 03:21:18 pm »
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The difference:

Conquering iraq was easy, and American politicians like easy things.  Iraq could be hit overland from Kuwait or Turkey.  It could be hit by sea from the Red Sea, the Mediterrenean Sea, and the Persian Gulf.  Iraq had a small, decrepit conventional army.  Iraq's leader had name recognition, and so the war was easier to sell.

Iran is hard to conquer.  It has mountains, a superior military, and can only be accessed from the Persian Gulf.  Its leaders, while brutal sponsors of terroism, are not well known.  For those more cynical types, you should know that Iran also has lots of oil, and it has the second largest reserve of natural gas in the world.

Iraq was easy.
Iran would be hard.

That is the difference.
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Beet
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2004, 03:31:28 pm »
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The difference:

Conquering iraq was easy, and American politicians like easy things.  Iraq could be hit overland from Kuwait or Turkey.  It could be hit by sea from the Red Sea, the Mediterrenean Sea, and the Persian Gulf.  Iraq had a small, decrepit conventional army.  Iraq's leader had name recognition, and so the war was easier to sell.

Iran is hard to conquer.  It has mountains, a superior military, and can only be accessed from the Persian Gulf.  Its leaders, while brutal sponsors of terroism, are not well known.  For those more cynical types, you should know that Iran also has lots of oil, and it has the second largest reserve of natural gas in the world.

Iraq was easy.
Iran would be hard.

That is the difference.

Yeah there's a difference there true. Although, I doubt the Iranians would be able to defend their huge coastline, while the Iraq-Kuwait border was a very short stretch of land. Just from looking at the maps, it truly looks easier to attack Iran, if your only base of operations are the Persian Gulf and Kuwait. And before the Iraq war the media was fretting about the 72,000 "Republican guard" and 20,000 "Special Republican guard".

But yes, Iraq was easier, and it was easier by more than most realized. The Iraq regime was a gang of mobsters running the country. Iran on the other hand claims that its brand of religious fundamentalism is ordained by God. No doubt some Iranians actually believe that.

Nevertheless, Iran is a big problem. It is more dangerous than Iraq was. So is North Korea, and what we don't know about what goes on in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. And being in Iraq really hasn't helped us with that.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2004, 03:32:23 pm by Senator Beet »Logged

Lunar
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2004, 03:38:37 pm »
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How much of Iranian oil do we import?  It seems most of it goes to Japan, China, and Italy.  Iraq was great in terms of oil because we imported almost none of it, making it much more valuable than Saudi Arabia, whose oil fields we already squeeze and cheap prices.

Iran is also likely to collapse into a democracy, making conquest unnecessary.  Like John Ford said, it would be much harder to conquer.  We do have a border with Afghanistan but that half of the country is barren and has extremely difficult terrain.  I would estimate that we'd need five to eight times the amount of soldiers for Iran than we needed for Iraq.

If you think the Iranian and Syrian borders have been porous, imagine the Iraqi border had we gone after Iran first.  Guerilla fighting would be more intense and the ubiquitous mountains and large coastal cities would make them that much more effective.
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2004, 04:14:11 pm »
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Beet,

I agree completely that action is required in Iran.  I also agree that it is a bigger threat than Iraq was.  I was hoping that Bush would have the courage to back the student movement there, but he really looks gun shy right now.

Lunar,

I don't think we import that much oil from Iran.  We have had sanctions on that country since 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini took over.
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2004, 05:23:31 pm »
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Both as by far the world's largest sponsor of terrorism (yes, even compared to the Saudis), and as the less rational of the two rogue states currently developing nukes, Iran is the premier threat to the West at this juncture in history. I do think that either the United States or Israel (both have the capability, poth have different strategic and political pros and cons to such an action) should stage a mega-Osirak-style bomb raid against Iranian reactors. These tend to be located underground, but could be reached with daisy-cutters, MOABs, and their descendants, all laser-guided, so that the radiation would be trapped underground and hopefully have few or no civilian casualties. Other than that, I recommend we wait for the Iranian democratic revolution; it is even possible that the raid itself would be the same kind of shcock as the Guerra de las Malvinas in Argentina and lead to a near immediate restoration of democracy.

But a giant, overland or amphibious, massive operation a la Iraq to occupy, pacify, and restructure the entire country, at the cost of, I would guess, between 10,000 and 30,000 allied lives? This should be avoided in almost any cases, unless for some reason it appears to be the only real method of preventing the Iranians from acquiring and using atomic weaponry. Only then would that cost be justified.
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2004, 05:45:46 pm »
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Iran would be easy this way - just take away the South-western oil provinces and let the rest of the country stew.  Maybe bomb the cities.  The Southwest is flattish and easily accessible from Southern Iraq and the Gulf.

The key with these Islamic theocracies is they're not dangerous without money, and since they're economically backward, no oil = no money.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2004, 07:08:05 pm »
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Iran has a decen enough chance to reform on its own that the West should intervene with force...remember the IRaq-Iran war? The IRanians are generally patriotic, they will support their leaders in a war, much like Americans would. The West should focus on supporting the democracy movement within the country instead.
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2004, 11:35:47 pm »
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Iran has a decen enough chance to reform on its own that the West should intervene with force...remember the IRaq-Iran war? The IRanians are generally patriotic, they will support their leaders in a war, much like Americans would. The West should focus on supporting the democracy movement within the country instead.

Gustaf,

Correct! That's why we have taken no overt action against Iran since 9/11.
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The Duke
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2004, 12:09:56 am »
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Iran has a decen enough chance to reform on its own that the West should intervene with force...remember the IRaq-Iran war? The IRanians are generally patriotic, they will support their leaders in a war, much like Americans would. The West should focus on supporting the democracy movement within the country instead.

Gustaf,

Correct! That's why we have taken no overt action against Iran since 9/11.

But also no COVERT action. Sad

At least some words of encouragement, maybe?
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2004, 12:11:00 am »
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John,

Don't bet on the "no covert" action...
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The Duke
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2004, 12:35:28 am »
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John,

Don't bet on the "no covert" action...

You know something I don't?

*hopes so*
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2004, 12:43:35 am »
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John,

Don't bet on the "no covert" action...

You know something I don't?

*hopes so*

Unfortunately, my contacts do not extend to the State Department or Pentagon, so I don't know for sure. I do have a close friend who works for the CIA, but she is strictly an analyst and would not be privy to the real stuff, and probably wouldn't tell me if she was...it's not like she's Sandy Berger or anything...LOL
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Niles Caulder
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2004, 12:16:47 pm »
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Gustaf has this one nailed:  Iran is not North Korea...nukes or not--worst case scenerio they only buy themselves time before the Clerics have to ratchet down their control or else risk a popular rebellion.

Militarilly, Iran was the greater threat than Iraq; and as J. Ford mentioned---that's why it came first.  The greater military threat would have made the threat of quagmire and world-wide condemnation that much more severe, too.
The Greater threat requires the greater delicacy.

The reason oil production matters no matter who is buying is simple supply and demand---world supply is skyrocketing, so if supply doesn't do the same to meet other nations' demand...our prices go up.
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2004, 05:09:19 pm »
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Iran has a decen enough chance to reform on its own that the West should intervene with force...remember the IRaq-Iran war? The IRanians are generally patriotic, they will support their leaders in a war, much like Americans would. The West should focus on supporting the democracy movement within the country instead.
Yeah. It's already moving that way at its own pace if slowly.
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