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Thread started 02/16/12 3:01pm

V10LETBLUES

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Senators Promise War With ‘Nuclear Capable’ Iran

We really need to be more careful of the folks we send to Washington to represent us. Lieberman states that there are only two choices in this dilema, I think we have more than that. Notably kicking Lieberban and people like him to the curb.

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http://tpmdc.talkingpoint...fpnewsfeed

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A bipartisan coalition of senators essentially promised Thursday that the U.S. would take military action against Iran if they become capable of producing nuclear weapons. Just don’t ask them to define “capable.”

Thirty-two senators have signed on to sponsor the six-page resolution that “rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran.” Some believe it amounts to a promise that the U.S. would use force against Iran if they become capable of producing nuclear weapons, though what precisely “capable” means is up in the air.

“I guess everybody will determine for themselves what that means,” Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said at a news conference on the Capitol Hill. “But to me, nuclear weapons capability means that they have crossed a red line and they’re capable of producing a nuclear weapon. In other words, they have all the components necessary to do that. It is a standard that in my opinion is more real, and perhaps in some sense it’s higher than saying the red line is when they actually have the nuclear weapons.”

Liberman said that Iran has “only two choices: peacefully negotiate to end your nuclear weapons program or expect a military strike to disable that program. Distraction by negotiation why you become a nuclear power is not an option for you, and containment of a nuclear Iran is not an option for us.”

Still, Lieberman said the resolution was “not an authorization for use of military force,” a sentiment echoed by other senators at the press conference.

“Whatever the consequences of a military strike to disable an Iranian nuclear program, the consequences of living with a nuclear Iran are much more grave,” Lieberman said.

Others at the press conference piled on the rhetoric.

“We’re for real,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

“We will end their nuclear weapons program,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said the purpose of the news conference was to “get away from the political moment” after he was asked a question about the Republican presidential race.

“The purpose is to tell the Iranians that no matter what you think, America is not divided when it comes to dealing with you,” Graham said. “You’ve been able to do what no one else has been able to accomplish. I don’t think they understand how hard it is to bring everybody together in America, but you’ve been able to do it. Why have you been able to do it? Because of your behavior. Because of the outrageous nature of what you want for your people and the world at large.”

innocent

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Reply #1 posted 02/16/12 4:17pm

V10LETBLUES

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Stating the obvious, Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, says Iran unlikely to strike first. So why are politicians so giddy with the war talk?

via Bloomberg

Iran Unlikely to Strike First, U.S. Official Burgess Says

http://www.businessweek.c...-says.html

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The Iranian military is unlikely to intentionally provoke a conflict with the West, the top U.S. military intelligence official said today.

Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said Iran probably has the ability to “temporarily close the Strait of Hormuz with its naval forces,” as some Iranian officials have threatened to do if attacked or in response to sanctions on its oil exports by the U.S. and European Union.

“Iran has also threatened to launch missiles against the United States and our allies in the region in response to an attack,” Burgess said in testimony at a hearing today of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It could also employ its terrorist surrogates worldwide. However, it is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict or launch a preemptive attack.”

Iran has the capability to strike regional and European targets with its ballistic missiles and is seeking to improve their accuracy, Burgess said in the latest U.S. public assessment of Iran’s military prowess. Iran’s regional military capability continues to improve, with new ships and submarines and expanded bases in the Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea, he said.

No Israeli Decision

U.S. interests are threatened by Iran through its support of terrorist and militant groups, as shown in “the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States,” Burgess said. Burgess said Israel hasn’t made a decision to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Iran’s Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said on Dec. 27 that his nation may close the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for about one-fifth of globally traded oil, if the U.S. and its allies impose stricter economic sanctions in an effort to halt his country’s nuclear research. U.S. officials such as Pentagon spokesman George Little have said since that threat that they haven’t seen any Iranian moves to close the waterway.

Burgess testified about the annual assessment of global threats by U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies. Turning to the war in Afghanistan, Burgess told the committee that the country’s national army and police face continued challenges in developing “into an independent, self-sustaining security apparatus.”

‘Pervasive’ Afghan Corruption

The Afghan army and police exceeded their 2011 growth benchmarks, and the army has shown “marked improvements” in some operations when partnered with with U.S. and NATO forces, Burgess said.

Still, the Afghan National Army must depend on U.S.-led forces “for many critical combat-enabling functions,” while the Afghan National Police “suffers from pervasive corruption and popular perceptions that it is unable to extend security in many areas,” Burgess said.

The Army’s reliance on the coalition forces “underscores its inability to operate independently,” Burgess said. “Nevertheless, Afghanistan’s population generally favors the army over the police.”

Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who heads the committee, said success in giving Afghan forces the lead role in more operations will depend on their readiness, the insurgency’s strength and the progress of reconciliation talks with the Taliban.

Iran ‘Underground’ Effort

While Iran has said its nuclear program is for civilian purposes, U.S and other Western governments have said Iran is developing a capacity to produce nuclear weapons.

Burgess said Iran is among several nations, including Russia, China and Pakistan, to protect “critical military and civilian assets” with “active underground programs.” He said his agency assessed that Iran was “not close” to abandoning its nuclear program.

Director of National Intelligences James Clapper, who testified alongside Burgess, said it was “technically feasible but probably not likely” that Iran could produce a nuclear device within a year of making a political decision to proceed.

Iranian state-run Press TV said yesterday that 3,000 “new- generation” Iranian-made centrifuges were installed at the main uranium enrichment site at Natanz, and domestically made fuel plates were loaded at a medical research reactor in Tehran.

‘Not Terribly Impressive’

“Our view on this is that it’s not terribly new and it’s not terribly impressive,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters in Washington yesterday. The announcement was “hyped” for a domestic audience, she said.

Iran’s known nuclear activities are monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and there are no reports of enriched uranium being diverted from those facilities for weapons use.

Tensions between Iran and Israel have escalated this week. Iranians arrested after blasts on a Bangkok street aimed to attack Israeli diplomats and the devices used were similar to bombs targeting Israelis in India and Georgia this week, Thailand’s police chief, Priewphan Damaphong, said yesterday. Israel has blamed Iran for the attacks, and Iran has denied involvement.

Iranian Attack Recovery

Asked about how long it would take Iran to recover from an attack on its nuclear facilities, Clapper said he couldn’t corroborate the U.S. military’s view that a strike would deal a setback of one to two years at most.

“I don’t disagree with it, but I think there’s a lot of factors that could play here,” Clapper said.

The uncertainties include “how effective the attack was, what the targets were, what rate of recovery might be,” Clapper said. “There are a lot of imponderables that could affect a guestimate -- and that’s all it is.”

Clapper said he had doubts Iran eventually will make the political decision to move forward with assembling a nuclear device.

“They have put themselves in a position, but there are certain things they have not yet done and have not done for some time,” Clapper said. He declined to say in public testimony what steps Iran hasn’t taken that would be leading indicators of a decision to build a bomb.

--Editors: Larry Liebert, Terry Atlas

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Capaccio in Washington at acapaccio@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net -0- Feb/16/2012 13:17 GMT

innocent

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Reply #2 posted 02/16/12 4:22pm

V10LETBLUES

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via CBS News

General: Iran unlikely to strike unless hit

http://www.cbsnews.com/83...ike-unless-hit/

(AP)

Updated at 1:02 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON - The nation's U.S. intelligence officials said Thursday that if Iran is attacked over its alleged nuclear weapons program, it could retaliate by closing the Strait of Hormuz to ships and launch missiles at regional U.S. forces and allies.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess said Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict. His comments came amid growing international fears that Israel would launch military strikes against Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions and counter recent diplomatic attacks in Thailand, India and Georgia. Israel has accused Iran of trying to kill its diplomats.

Burgess and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said they do not believe that Israel has decided to strike Iran.

On the other side of the Capitol, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said intelligence shows that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium but that Tehran has not made a decision to proceed with developing a nuclear weapon. The former CIA director said the United States is open to negotiations with Iran to find a diplomatic solution, but he said the U.S. keeps all options on the table to ensure that Tehran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.

Clapper said it's "technically feasible" that Tehran could produce a nuclear weapon in one or two years, if its leaders decide to build one, "but practically not likely."

Their testimony came as many in Congress are pressing the Obama administration to take tough steps against Iran, questioning whether diplomatic and economic sanctions have taken a toll on the regime. This issue of Iran has united Republicans and Democrats, who have clamored for harsh penalties. Last year, the Senate voted 100-0 to impose penalties on Iran's Central Bank, and President Barack Obama signed the sweeping defense bill containing the sanctions on Dec. 31.

Speaking with reporters, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that for the sake of Israel and moderate Arab nations, "We need to take further action."

"We gave the president a lot of tools to use," he said, referring to the Iran Sanctions Act. "He's used some of them, but there are more tools available to the president to try to bring Iran into the world community."

Boehner said it is "totally unacceptable" for Iran to develop nuclear weapons and said he agrees with Obama that "we should take no options off the table."

"There has to be some resolution to this issue," Boehner told reporters. "This issue is escalating. That causes me great concern."

innocent

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Reply #3 posted 02/16/12 4:48pm

rudedog

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The extreme right (yes this include Libierman) talkin about things they know nothing of. If they are so war hungry, let them go to war. Send your kids off to fight.

“The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” - John Adams (1797 Treaty of Tripoli)
Rudedog no no no!
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Reply #4 posted 02/16/12 5:53pm

OnlyNDaUsa

isn't even obama and hillary on board with stopping them from getting nukes?

fricking rightwinger warmongers!

Living with a disability is not the Wurst thing in the word: Knowingly Mocking someone with one is far Wurst!.
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Reply #5 posted 02/16/12 6:03pm

V10LETBLUES

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

isn't even obama and hillary on board with stopping them from getting nukes?

fricking rightwinger warmongers!

The very first sentence in the story

A bipartisan coalition of senators essentially promised Thursday that the U.S. would take military action against Iran if they become capable of producing nuclear weapons.


[Edited 2/16/12 18:06pm]

innocent

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Reply #6 posted 02/16/12 7:06pm

OnlyNDaUsa

V10LETBLUES said:

OnlyNDaUsa said:

isn't even obama and hillary on board with stopping them from getting nukes?

fricking rightwinger warmongers!

The very first sentence in the story

A bipartisan coalition of senators essentially promised Thursday that the U.S. would take military action against Iran if they become capable of producing nuclear weapons.


[Edited 2/16/12 18:06pm]

I was replying to rudedog

Living with a disability is not the Wurst thing in the word: Knowingly Mocking someone with one is far Wurst!.
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Reply #7 posted 02/16/12 7:11pm

SUPRMAN

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

V10LETBLUES said:


[Edited 2/16/12 18:06pm]

I was replying to rudedog

Could've used an orgnote if you were only interested in Rudedog's response.

I don't want you to think like me. I just want you to think.
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Reply #8 posted 02/16/12 7:13pm

OnlyNDaUsa

SUPRMAN said:

OnlyNDaUsa said:

I was replying to rudedog

Could've used an orgnote if you were only interested in Rudedog's response.

as could this off topic reply.

Living with a disability is not the Wurst thing in the word: Knowingly Mocking someone with one is far Wurst!.
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Reply #9 posted 02/17/12 9:30am

rudedog

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

SUPRMAN said:

Could've used an orgnote if you were only interested in Rudedog's response.

as could this off topic reply.

As well as this off topic reply.

“The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” - John Adams (1797 Treaty of Tripoli)
Rudedog no no no!
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Reply #10 posted 02/17/12 10:31am

Tremolina

“Whatever the consequences of a military strike to disable an Iranian nuclear program, the consequences of living with a nuclear Iran are much more grave,” Lieberman said.

Joe 'Reckless' Lieberman

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Reply #11 posted 02/17/12 2:34pm

RodeoSchro

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Joe Lieberman has to go down as the worst senator of all time.

How can you go from being Al Gore's running mate, to endorsing John McCain, in less than four years? Only if you have no scruples whatsoever.

The great state of Connecticut really screwed up five and a half years ago.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

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Reply #12 posted 02/18/12 7:09pm

V10LETBLUES

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Israeli Strike On Iran 'Not Prudent,' Gen. Martin Dempsey Says

http://www.huffingtonpost...86961.html

A military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities is "not prudent" at the present moment, America's top military official, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, told "CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS" in an interview set to air Sunday morning.

“It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran,” said Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the interview.

"I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us," Dempsey added, according to early report... interview, noting that he sensed that increased sanctions were beginning to have an effect.

Dempsey's remarks come amid a rising tide of threats and speculation -- some of it media driven -- about the possibility that Israel might launch a military strike against Iran in an attempt to forestall that country's development of a nuclear weapon.

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