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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Undermining the President, the new GOP thing. (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Undermining the President, the new GOP thing.
Elison R. Salazar
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Wasn't this the sort of thing they shouted down when Bush was president?

They're doing everything they can to derail negotiations; there's nothing the US can do to stop Iran from acquiring weapons if this deal doesn't go through.

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NobleHunter
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Uh, new?
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Elison R. Salazar
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Foreign policy has generally been fairly bipartisan, particularly support for Israel has been widely supported by both Democrats and Republicans but now its been politicized. Between Congress unconstitutionally inviting Bibi to speak and now the Senate actively attempting to undermine the negotiations by informing Iran that any deal they agree to, the US won't honour it? It's a new low.
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NobleHunter
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I was referring to the title of the thread more than the content.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Uh, new?


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Samprimary
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though to be perfectly fair this level of capricious and blatant undermining of a president's constitutionally mandated duties is a somewhat intensified and clear version of what passes for worthwhile diplomatic engagement for them. it is somewhat fascinatingly clear.

it is an especially easy time to call conservatives bad dumb and wrong. it is an especially difficult time to act in apologia for acts by conservative legislators. it is an especially difficult time for critically thinking people to remain supportive of how the GOP behaves or pretend it's at all good for the country.


/


it is also worth noting: this shitty, obnoxious, condescending note to Iran, to inform those poor simpleton Iranians how our system works, made plainly and incredibly false statements about how our system works. It claimed that the senate ratifies treaties with a two-thirds vote. this is helpfully undermined by the easily googlable reality that the president ratifies treaties

but hey they're only top level GOP federal representatives we can't really expect them to know how our laws work, or how to email, or anything like that

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kmbboots
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The Irania mission to the UN didn't seem to enjoy being treated like backwards 7 graders in a civics class.

http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2015/mar/09/part-ii-iran-responds-gop-letter#.VP35OFRtJKV.facebook


"Foreign Minister Zarif added that “I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfil the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.”

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originaly posted by Samprimary:
but hey they're only top level GOP federal representatives we can't really expect them to know how our laws work, or how to email, or anything like that

In that case...I'll run for office...I kno how to email. [Big Grin]
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Samprimary
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Yeah, but to make it with that crowd you gotta be willing to vote 50 times to destroy obamacare
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Stone_Wolf_
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My votes are cheap! All size bribes welcome!
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Samprimary
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The fact that the conservatives both (a) legitimately did this thinking that it was in any way a good idea and (b) legitimately forgot who ****ing ratifies treaties in our system of government speaks harder and louder to the fact that conservatism has cannibalized its own wonks into extreme deficit and now routinely feeds itself false information
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kmbboots
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Sen. Cotton has said that he intends for negotiations to fall. He believes we should be at war.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Gotta wonder how much Halliburton stock he owns...
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NobleHunter
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At least he's being open about it. All the other people saying that Iran can't be trusted to keep a balanced treaty seem to think they can be trusted to keep a punishing one. They're agitating for war but are totally unwilling to say so.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Should we go to war Iran? Is that the best play?
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NobleHunter
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Might be. I don't see what we can offer the Iranians that outweighs the benefits of nuclear weapons, either self-preservation or ability for mischief making among their neighbours. Especially since they can't be sure we will keep to any agreement.

On the other hand, it's entirely possible that Iranians getting nukes will result in the effective end of non-proliferation as the rest of the Middle-East will want nukes to counter-balance the threat. Nevermind the freedom it'd give Iran to play the proxy game.

So they can't afford to stop chasing nukes because we might invade them for reasons of our own. We can't let them get nukes because it'll be horrifically unstable. Sounds like a recipe for war.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Sometimes action is called for and of all political hot button topics...nukes & human rights violations are pretty decent reasons for war.

OTOH getting OUT of a war in the middle east is the hard part.

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theamazeeaz
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No. War is an extraordinarily expensive endeavor, and a great way to ring up the national debt for no good reason.

Iran isn't going to go jihad on us or bomb the USA. Shias don't do jihad to begin with, and Iran's young people don't actually hate us, nor are they that rah rah about their government in private. Much of Iran is quietly atheist.

Well, lifting the crippling economic sanctions is a huge gain for them, and is something they very much want. Iran is lowballing it's ~30% unemployment figures (remember our recession was at like ~10%).

Iran is also a destination for Afghani refugees trying to escape all the garbage that's been going on there for the past decade. They're about as beloved as Mexicans here, and when the whole war on terror thing started, Iran actually offered to be an ally because 1. they know the region, and 2. nobody wants to have a neighboring country be a war zone.

As far as Iran is concerned, Israel and Pakistan already have the bomb and are not very trustworthy. Especially Pakistan, where we actually found Osama.

As for bombing Israel with it, bombing a country with the bomb is an extraordinarily stupid idea. However, if Israel bombed them (this love does go both ways), they can't do anything.

In the scale of people we shouldn't like because they are bad evil terrorists and are bad to human rights, Iran is no where as evil as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, our allies.

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Stone_Wolf_
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How do our allies compare to North Korea?
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theamazeeaz
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Everyone is better than North Korea.

Sometimes I wonder if we will have the appropriate shame about letting what has happened there go on for decades, as we do with the holocaust.

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Stone_Wolf_
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So, war is warranted in NK but not Iran by your estimation?
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Gotta wonder how much Halliburton stock he owns...

http://www.ndia.org/meetings/5ld3/Pages/default.aspx
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theamazeeaz
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There's no point with war in Iran. While the people do not hate our government and are pretty cool towards theirs, they categorically do not want us to come over and "fix" things for them. We did that in the 20th century with the coup we engineered in the 50s (we even admit it was us now). It went badly and basically made the 70s revolution happen (it was either the Islamists or the communists).

The new president is exceeding expectations (though I have also heard the Supreme Leader didn't want Ahmadinejad working with the USA in the last years about the whole nuke thing so he would get no credit). The best analogy I have about this is that he is like Pope Francis. Critics of Catholicism are happy to point out the horrible policies that are still going on, but man oh man is this guy a breath of fresh air and a major improvement over what came before. But ... baby steps, baby steps. The supreme leader is not that healthy these days either.

Unlike, NK, while Iran has also massive censorship and the government news is full of um, poo, illegal satellite dishes are rampant, and everybody just ignores certain laws in the privacy of their own homes. If you saw the 2009 Iran segments from the Daily Show, it wasn't an accident that one of the interviewees on the street was a fan of the show.

North Koreans are not necessarily in on the fact their government is lying to them. They're probably figuring it out, especially when the government couldn't feed them in the 90s, and law-abiding people resorted to the black market. "Nothing to Envy" is a very worthwhile read.

I don't know if "war" is warranted with NK. The people who we would fight and kill in what is conventionally considered "war" are not our enemies (though they've been brainwashed to think we are their enemy). They're victims.

Also, there's the matter of South Korea. The lines were drawn between the two countries with no cultural or geographical significance whatsoever. Lots of South Koreans have cousins there and would prefer we not go to war.

The end-game is reunification, and South Korea, while rich, will be footing the bill and have to deal with a population of millions people who are both damaged and living in the wrong century (think German reunification challenges and multiply them). They currently have a program where they take the handful (hundreds) of North Koreans who make it out each year and try to educate them on how to do things that we take for granted (i.e. eat at a fast food restaurant, rent an apartment), but they're going to have to scale that up and it's going to be rough.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Gotta wonder how much Halliburton stock he owns...

http://www.ndia.org/meetings/5ld3/Pages/default.aspx
quote:
Join us for an exciting LID Breakfast on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 featuring Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). View a complete biography here.

All remarks are Off the Record and strictly Non-Attribution.

Oh how I hope someone sneaks a cam in there and puts it on you tube.
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Stone_Wolf_
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theamazeeaz...what actions do you feel the US should take in both cases, Iran & NK? (also, thank you for all the info)
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NobleHunter
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theamazeeaz, I don't think anyone with sense believes that Iran intends to use the nukes they get. The problem is that if Iran get nukes, others will follow. I'm pretty sure Saudi-Arabia has said they'll pursue nukes if Iran has them. Egypt and Turkey likely wouldn't be far behind. That's too many players in a very dangerous game. Both examples we have of stable nuclear hostilities(Cold War and Pakistan/India) only have two sides. This could have as many as four or five.

Then Iran is already meddling in Iraq and Lebanon. That meddling is likely to get worse if direct military action is taken off the table by the presence of nuclear weapons. Even less direct forms of diplomatic pressure would become less appealing, as it will become more important to maintain the stability of Iran. While I don't think the Iranian government would use nukes, I wouldn't put it past a number of non-state actors. If the current regime collapses the chance of nukes falling into the wrong hands would be unpleasantly high.

Obviously, the best way out would be signing this treaty and having everybody stick to it. But the GOP have no intention of doing so, and, without the assurance that US will adopt a less antagonistic stance towards them, Iran has no reason to.

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theamazeeaz
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Iran is not an imminent issue, despite the Israeli prime minister doing his best impression of a Jehovah Witness predicting the end of the world. We need to keep working with Rouhani. And embarrass them over any human rights issue that comes up, keeping in mind that they will throw ours back at us.

It also seems there is a dire need for a history of Iran, as well as a civics lesson for members of Congress.

As for North Korea, we need to work with other countries, especially, South Korea, which needs to call the shots on this one (as far as they are concerned, all North Koreas are legally their citizens). We should ask, in all seriousness, what exactly they are waiting for. Kim Jung Un's gout to turn deadly?

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Samprimary
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as i have mentioned before, the only south koreans largely still trying to get reunification to happen are old enough to remember the war.

Young koreans want absolutely nothing to do with the absolute backwards hellhole that north korea has become. reunification would bankrupt south korea handily.

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
theamazeeaz, I don't think anyone with sense believes that Iran intends to use the nukes they get. The problem is that if Iran get nukes, others will follow. I'm pretty sure Saudi-Arabia has said they'll pursue nukes if Iran has them. Egypt and Turkey likely wouldn't be far behind. That's too many players in a very dangerous game. Both examples we have of stable nuclear hostilities(Cold War and Pakistan/India) only have two sides. This could have as many as four or five.

Then Iran is already meddling in Iraq and Lebanon. That meddling is likely to get worse if direct military action is taken off the table by the presence of nuclear weapons. Even less direct forms of diplomatic pressure would become less appealing, as it will become more important to maintain the stability of Iran. While I don't think the Iranian government would use nukes, I wouldn't put it past a number of non-state actors. If the current regime collapses the chance of nukes falling into the wrong hands would be unpleasantly high.

Obviously, the best way out would be signing this treaty and having everybody stick to it. But the GOP have no intention of doing so, and, without the assurance that US will adopt a less antagonistic stance towards them, Iran has no reason to.

My concern isn't Iran using the nukes, it is the nukes getting "stolen" then ending up used by terrorist groups.

Would anyone disagree that Iran is a state sponsor of terror in the middle east?

The GOP is acting petty, more so than the democrats that boycotted Netanyahu.

I really hate Congress.

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NobleHunter
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The problem with "stolen" nukes from Iran's point of view is that no one will believe them. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, terrorists would be just another delivery system. Even if they managed to avoid nuclear retaliation, they'd have to let the US and/or the UN in to "secure" their weapons against further "thefts". Or they could go to war, but they probably want to avoid that.
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Samprimary
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it just so happens though that conveniently enough there seems to be a potential solution to this whole issue, wherein the executive works out a treaty with an amenable Iran to the ends of nuclear nonproliferation hmm
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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
My concern isn't Iran using the nukes, it is the nukes getting "stolen" then ending up used by terrorist groups.

Would anyone disagree that Iran is a state sponsor of terror in the middle east?

The GOP is acting petty, more so than the democrats that boycotted Netanyahu.

I really hate Congress.

Okay what, really, what.

First of all, I'm not actually convinced you think the GOP is 'acting petty' if you feel the need to falsely equivocate the Democrats boycotting Bibi's (not supporting the unconstitutional actions of the House) speech with the GOP literally undermining the President, the separation of powers between the co-equal branches of government, and attempting to derail a treaty to avoid war, almost certainly intending to cause one.

(Yes you technically say the GOP is "acting more petty" but this is still a dubious statement and not very accurate.)

So lets get that out of the way and straight up resolved, it isn't an act of 'spite' or pettiness for the Democrats to not show the House GOP support for their actions whose entire purpose is to show their abhorence to the President and the leader of their party, and to undermine the negotiation of an important treaty.


Additionally there's no reason to suppose the Iranian nukes would get stolen; none. The risk is no greater than the chance of stolen Pakistani, Russian, American or Israeli nuclear weapons. It'd be more consistent, and less red flag raising, to simply, and very consistently hold a general view that nuclear proliferation is bad. Period. And to support the prevention of the spread of nuclear armed states, and to support the rolling back of nuclear stockpiles the world over, including Israeli, American, and Russian nuclear weapon stockpiles.

All of this 100% can be done through honest dealings and negotiations in good faith. Iran wants nuclear power, it wants energy independence and to be able to use their uranium reserves that exist under their soil. These are reasonable goals of any sovereign state; and a treaty that secures their right under the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty to pursue nuclear civilian power while securing the gaurantees they won't pursue militerized nuclear arms is certainly possible.


As for Iran being a sponsor of terror, well, so is the United States (Chomsky), but their nukes aren't getting stolen. Nuclear weapons can be easily traced to their origin. If Iran were to pursue such weapons and allow it, then they would likely cease to exist as a nation in short order. So its unlikely they would allow it; nuclear weapons *do* have a fairly good track record in calming down otherwise belligerent nations into realizing the folly of having such weapons. The primary example being Mao's China, whose bellicose desires for a world wide nuclear war became very mute in short order once they got a hold of their own nuclear weapons arsenal.

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Lyrhawn
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Getting a nuclear deal with North Korea is probably impossible any time soon. It looked like there might have been a window for the last couple years because the Chinese were getting fed up with the new regime, and were willing to take a firmer line with them than they have in years (mostly because NK was a huge headache to them geopolitically).

But then they had a real falling out. Now NK is much more firmly in Russia's camp. Any deal with NK will require the partnership of Russia, which means Putin. Which means nothing will happen for years. Maube if the price of oil stays down for half a decade and Russia can't afford to be their patron things will get better.

On Iran -

Okay, if I'm Iran, I'm looking at three major things as the reason to get a nuke:

1. America treats nations with nukes differently than we do nations without them. Once you have the nuke, we tend to back off a bit and pull on the kid gloves.

2. More of a 1A, but nukes are a status symbol. A ticket into a more prestigious group of countries and a surefire announcement that Iran is the preeminent regional power.

3. Don't trust the US. We promised Ukraine territorial integrity in exchange for disarmament. Look how that turned out. Would Russia be invading if Ukraine still had nukes? Unlikely.

Despite all that, most evidence shows that, if Iran is working on nuclear weapons at all, it's not doing so with any real amount of haste, which means there probably is a lot of genuine room for an agreement. Iran may not want a nuke on a lot of levels, knowing that their nuke will beget a Saudi and Jordanian nuke, and then possibly an Egyptian and Turkish nuke thereafter. Then there's also the risk the Kurds end up with one someone in there, which puts Iranian territory at serious risk (already a problem, of course).

Iran stands a lot to gain by making a deal that guarantees them nuclear material but not nuclear weapons.

There are also a lot of problems with attacking Iran. Do we bomb their nuclear sites (the ones we know of)? If that's our play, there will be a lot of blood on our hands. Several intelligence estimates say that bombing all Iranian nuclear sites could have a death toll in the hundreds of thousands as poison gas and irradiated material rains down on neighboring cities, to say nothing of the tens of thousands within the facilities themselves.

Not only would doing so be incredibly immoral, it would instantly turn the situation around. Now Iran is the victim and the US has committed a small holocaust wholly disproportionate to the situation.

I really just don't think it's a feasible option.

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kmbboots
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Sadly, it seems that half our senate does.
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Lyrhawn
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Luckily they'll likely never have the power to try to make good on their desires.

Unless they take the White House. Then all bets are off.

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kmbboots
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Well they can try their damndest to scuttle peaceful options.
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Lyrhawn
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They don't have a terribly large number of tools at their disposal to do so.

They can't declare war without getting Democrats on their side. They can't scuttle negotiations until a Republican gets into the Oval Office.

The worst they can really do is refuse to pass legislation Obama wants, which is hardly new. It's basically expected that anything he wants he won't get, and Obama can undo a large chunk of the sanctions on his own. Furthermore, once this deal is signed, the international sanction regime in place will be dismantled, leaving only a relatively small number of Congressionally approved.

So if they want to throw a tantrum and damage US credibility around the world (which they seem to delight in doing on a daily basis anyway), they certainly can. But it won't get them what they want.

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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:

3. Don't trust the US. We promised Ukraine territorial integrity in exchange for disarmament. Look how that turned out. Would Russia be invading if Ukraine still had nukes? Unlikely.

It was never a feasible option for Ukraine to have retained the Soviet nuclear weapons for extremely good reasons. (1) They couldn't have afforded to maintain them. (2) Any sort of dispute they have would certainly have really racheted up tensions. (3) It wouldn't not have prevented Crimea or what's happening in Eastern Ukraine because its the just sort of salami tactics that makes responding with nuclear weapons impossible. (4) It would make US intervention possibly less likely, because politicians would think "Well Ukraine won't get annexed because they'll use their weapons before that happens." ala Israel.

That and it sorta sidesteps how for 25 years the treaty worked. No one could have predicted that Russia would slide backwards.

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NobleHunter
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I think Putin would have been far more cautious about mucking around in Crimea if Ukraine had nukes. Even if Ukraine didn't set out to use nukes, the kind of instability Putin is fostering is not something you want in a country that has nuclear weapons. If the Kiev government had collapsed, who knows what would have happened.

The point that Iran wouldn't want to spur a nuclear arms race in the ME is a good one. I'm still not sure it outweighs the benefit of forcing the US to back off. Iran seems to be the only one on the list of potential targets should the US need a short victorious war. With that kind of threat, why would they stop with a civilian nuclear program? Especially if they know that American and Israeli fear-mongering is based on exagerations or outright lies. It could easily look to them like certain parties are trying to fabricate a casus belli.

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Elison R. Salazar
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No, he wouldn't have. Maybe eastern Ukraine things might have gone down differently but there's no way in hell Ukraine would launch a nuclear missile at Moscow for it and Putin would know that. Because they would end as a nation in response.

Also Putin *wants* an unstable Ukraine, the weaker and more unstable it is the greater his justification in intervening. "Intervening to restore order and protect Russian citizens from Ukrainian nazi's wishing to steal nuclear material to attack peace loving Russians in Ukraine." things like that.

The Kiev gov't collapsing is precisely what Putin wants, them having nukes would be better because it more clearly justifies Russian great power United Nation Security Council member intervention to "disarm" the Ukrainian failed state of its nuclear weapons.

This is effortless to spin.

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NobleHunter
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Who said anything about aiming at Moscow? If Kiev collapsed, all the nukes go into local control and things get unpredicable. Unpredictable and nukes is pretty much the definition of bad. Someone might decide that a nuke going off might get the West off its ass.
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Lyrhawn
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Yeah, I don't think you're really thinking it all the way through Elison.

And the treaty working for 25 years is meaningless if ar the first sign of trouble the guarantors of the treaty back out of their responsibility.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Unless they take the White House. Then all bets are off.

Well, great.
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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Yeah, I don't think you're really thinking it all the way through Elison.

And the treaty working for 25 years is meaningless if ar the first sign of trouble the guarantors of the treaty back out of their responsibility.

No, this is plainly sour grapes assertion. A treaty that works for 25 years was certainly meaningful for those 25 years; it was still worth signing and agreeing to.

That and, you're just plainly being silly. What was the United States supposed to do? Start WWIII? Airstrikes? Escalate the situation? None of these are valid options; the current Obama policy is probably the only valid option when dealing with a nuclear armed great power.

The Yeltsin government then was interested in friendly relations, normalization, reform, and westernization. You act like somehow Russia backing out on their obligations was just something people could have known or had enough information on.

Which country Chernobyl happened to? That might also have affected their decision making in some way, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

quote:

Who said anything about aiming at Moscow? If Kiev collapsed, all the nukes go into local control and things get unpredicable.

Not really, then you have a justified Russian response to roll in troops to locate and disarm those weapons. Russian paras going in on Hind's to the known sites (which they will know because it's Ukraine) and tag em' and bag em' etc. I'd be surprised if Russia couldn't find most of them in the face of collapse.

Remember, Ukraine could not afford those weapons, they would not have good security, they would not be constantly shuffled around to hide or obscure their location; Russian intelligence would likely always be tracking them; if Kiev collapsed it is exceedingly unlikely they would be immediately sold or pawned off.

The west would not be more encouraged to stop Russia because of Ukrainian nuclear weapons because of the same reasons they don't do something now. The west/NATO wouldn't go "Well, it wasn't a good idea to do anything before, but now if Ukraine collapses a nuke may end up in Paris?!" But, "If Ukraine collapses can we secure their nuclear weapons before terrorists do?"

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Rakeesh
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You're having some short circuits here, Elison. First the assumption that because the treaty wasn't violated, the treaty was why. You haven't demonstrated that it was the treaty and nothing else or at least primarily which restrained Russian actions.

Second, I don't know what your authority is to speak with such confidence as to how Russia and Putin would've reacted had Ukraine been a nuclear armed power. I mean, how many analogous situations are there with any nation much less Russia dealing with a smaller neighboring former etc etc with nukes trying to deal with aggression?

To my knowledge, and I may be forgetting something, the closest comparisons wound be the United States and north Korea-which is a very bad comparison, but at least sort of relevant in relative powers. If Ukraine had nukes-which, by the way, the affording it argument seems pretty strange as they now face potential conquest by Russia-Russia *could* do all of the sorts of things you're describing, but you're assuming that the only variable which changes is 'Ukrainian nukes'. I'm not sure why that makes sense. It's generally accepted that states act with more caution and restraint, even if they eventually do some dirty tricks, towards nuclear armed states.

Why would this not apply to the Ukraine and Russia?

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NobleHunter
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quote:
Remember, Ukraine could not afford those weapons, they would not have good security, they would not be constantly shuffled around to hide or obscure their location; Russian intelligence would likely always be tracking them; if Kiev collapsed it is exceedingly unlikely they would be immediately sold or pawned off.
The concern is that they would be used, not sold or lost. The reasoning would be that if nukes start going, Europe has a much more immediate reason to intervene. It's probably even odds that they'd go "**** it, let the Russians take care of it," but someone on the ground might decide it's worth rolling the dice.

Toppling a nuclear armed country is inherently more risky than going after one without nukes. If nothing else, the Ukrainians could go all The World is not Enough and nuke Sevastapol. A lot of good Crimea would do the Russians then.

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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
[QB] You're having some short circuits here, Elison. First the assumption that because the treaty wasn't violated, the treaty was why. You haven't demonstrated that it was the treaty and nothing else or at least primarily which restrained Russian actions.

I have no idea what you're trying to say here. To me Lyrhawn was saying that Ukraine should have retained those Soviet nuclear weapons and I'm saying that's bollucks.

quote:

Second, I don't know what your authority is to speak with such confidence as to how Russia and Putin would've reacted had Ukraine been a nuclear armed power. I mean, how many analogous situations are there with any nation much less Russia dealing with a smaller neighboring former etc etc with nukes trying to deal with aggression?

Because its common sense and squares with a lot I read about nuclear brinkmanship; particularly if you look at the Cuban Missile crisis from the American perspective. The US did a large number of hostile actions in regards to what was effectively a nuclear armed Cuba and got away with it. Precisely because of the reasoning that I am using; that salami tactics, of using small gradual violations are just plainly not going to result in the nuclear armed power responding with nuclear weapons.

http://www.giantbomb.com/fallout-3/3030-20504/forums/nuclear-warfare-101-wall-of-text-alert-2999/

This is a repost of an essay written by a notable nuclear warfare analysis who worked as a subcontractor for the US defence industry. You'll find in general the conclusion that having nuclear weapons makes you less likely to use them.

quote:

the affording it argument seems pretty strange as they now face potential conquest by Russia-Russia *could* do all of the sorts of things you're describing, but you're assuming that the only variable which changes is 'Ukrainian nukes'.

Because that is how the argument is being presented, "Ukraine should have kept their nukes." You might as well also say "fast tracked into NATO" and "I wish for a pony and a unicorn." It was never going to happen.

But even if it did happen, there's plenty of evidence to show that Ukraine would have been extremely hesitant to use their nuclear weapons in response to either the insurrectionists in Donetsk or the Russian para's taking Crimea.

Remember, it was one third of the Soviet nuclear arsenal in Ukraine. Over 5,000 nuclear weapons; are people seriously claiming it would have been a good thing for Ukraine to have kept them? Armed, Unready, and poorly maintained?

That's insane.

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NobleHunter
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The point was that nukes would have done more to protect Ukraine than a treaty where the primary enforcement mechanism was complaining to the security council. I trust you noticed how much good that did?
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Rakeesh
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I don't have time right now, but allow me to qualify this much: I didn't suggest that Ukraine perhaps ought to have kept *all* of them. That would as you note be excessive and absurdly expensive. Why that means therefore they should have kept none, I don't know.-
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
No, this is plainly sour grapes assertion. A treaty that works for 25 years was certainly meaningful for those 25 years; it was still worth signing and agreeing to.

That and, you're just plainly being silly. What was the United States supposed to do? Start WWIII? Airstrikes? Escalate the situation? None of these are valid options; the current Obama policy is probably the only valid option when dealing with a nuclear armed great power.

I'll echo Rakeesh's point. Just because the treaty wasn't previously violated doesn't mean the treaty itself was why. Russia could barely bake a loaf of bread after the USSR fell apart, invading Ukraine wasn't high on their To Do list, and until recently they had a puppet in charge with a tacit understanding that the US would sort of keep away.

And then the FIRST time that Ukraine makes noises about looking West, Russia invades. The first time the Treaty is tested, it falls. And your point about what was the US supposed to do, well, 1. The US shouldn't make treaties it has no intention of enforcing. Why? Because it weakens the value of a US threat if everyone knows we'll blink at the end of the day. We prove that we're not really to be feared. And Russia's status as a "great power" depends ENTIRELY on its nuclear arsenal. Without it, they have a relatively outdated military that could never stand up to a sustained conflict against another halfway decent, determined force.

For that matter, their nuclear force is in an abysmal state. I'd be surprised if more than a handful of their ICBMs even worked. I bet that's roughly what Ukraine's missile force would look like, but despite all that, we're still hesitant to really tussle with them because of the mystique and fear of what a Bomb can do.

quote:
This is a repost of an essay written by a notable nuclear warfare analysis who worked as a subcontractor for the US defence industry. You'll find in general the conclusion that having nuclear weapons makes you less likely to use them.
I didn't read your link, but please elaborate. Less likely than..what? Nations that don't have them? Nuke possession is a binary state. You either have them or you don't. If you don't have them, you CAN'T use them. If you do have them, you MIGHT use them. By their very nature then, having nukes makes it more likely you'll use them. I think history shows that by and large nukes are only dangled in front of the world stage when an existential threat is at hand. Modern history, anyway. Russia snagging a third of Ukraine is an existential threat. Nukes would get used long before Kiev fell.

In general, I think most rational nations wouldn't use nukes unless under incredible duress, an existential threat to their territorial integrity. That means Ukraine would be very reluctant to use nukes...until Russian troops set foot in Ukrainian territory. Nations with nukes tend not to get invaded for that reason.

I'll also echo the lat two points made, from Rakeesh and NobleHunter. Keep 5000 nukes? Of course not, they never would have made it past the first couple years. If they couldn't keep the Black Sea Fleet from rusting in the harbor, they were unlikely to keep 5,000 nukes serviced. Even Russia can't service their own nukes. But, they could have kept 50-100 working. That's all you really need for a good deterrent force.

And again, the point is that nukes would have been better than the treaty, which at the end of the day ended up being a paper tiger.

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