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u/lizzieb_23 · 17 pointsr/NeutralPolitics


What the "Iranian nuclear threat" was actually all about, was a pretext to impose regime-change in Iran, pushed by the Isreaelis and NeoCons, just as they pushed for the Iraq war with bogus claims about "WMDs in Iraq"

They exaggerated the iran threat

And the Iraq threat

The pushed for the Iraq war

and a war on Iran

The pro-Israeli lobby had been pushing a PR war on Iran for a long time already, ie:

And AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) spent millions of dollars trying to undermine the deal

See, the Israelis (and Saudis) and their supporters in the US including the NeoCons and Iran hawks consider an improvement in US-Iran relations as coming at their expense, so they don't want to see the US and Iran getting along and they would rather see the US engage in regime-change in Iran

This book is all about that:

On the other hand, there are people who say that the US should "go to Iran" just as Nixon went to China because that will promote US interests the best

Note that when Nixon decided to recognize Communist China, the US had to dump relations with Taiwan. Israel does not want to become a Taiwan if the US decides to mend relations with Iran.

Here's another book I plan to read once it comes out:


The nuclear agreement called the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) is not technically a "treaty" but is an "executive agreement"

Executive Agreements are more common in international affairs than treaties, they also don't have the same formalities such as a need to be ratified through the Senate. There's a lot of hype claiming that Obama somehow violated the constitution by entering into the agreement but there's absolutely nothing unconstitutional about executive agreements, they're actually VERY common.

There's all sort of BS being claimed, namely that Iran did not "sign" the agreement and that it is not "legally binding" -- but in fact international agreements including treaties are not legally binding (there is no court, judge or police to enforce them) and instead they are political agreements that are "binding" only as long as each party agrees to be bound by it. International agreements are also not a car loan that require you to sign them to be valid.

It is also claimed that there were "Secret concessions" made to Iran which were "exposed" by the UN.

>U.N. watchdog exposes secret concessions in Obama’s Iran deal

But in fact literally EVERY WORD in that headline is actually false. The documents were not "exposed", the signatories themselves decided to make them public so as to end the hype about "secret deals", there were no "concessions" just technical agreements like agreeing to not count unrecoverable waste Uranium in the amount that Iran was supposed to be able to keep, and in fact the IAEA is not part of the UN but is an independent agency, and it isn't a "watchdog" either its role in the NonProliferation Treaty is just as an accountant that measures declared nuclear material to make sure the declared amounts match the actual amounts, that's all (it isn't an investigative agency or an intelligence agency charged with finding WMDs, in fact its actual job is to promote the use of nuclear technology)

The JCPOA required certain measures by Iran for at least 10-15 years (after which the "normal" Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations will continue to be in place) ie to limit the number of centrifuges it operates that are used to enrich uranium before using the material to make reactor fuel rods, to only enrich to 3.65% which can't be used for bombs (Iran never enriched uranium to bomb-grade anyway) to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium, and to cease work on a heavy water reactor and to export any heavy water it produces beyond its domestic needs. Iran has done all of that and the IAEA has verified it in its reports.

However the opponents of the deal have been claiming that Iran has supposedly "violated" the deal by producing 0.1 ton more heavy water than a the 130 ton "limit" contained in the agreement. The problem is that there is actually no such limit in the agreement.

Annex 1, Part C, Paragraph 14 of the JCPOA states that Iran is to keep enough heavy water to meet its domestic needs including contingency stocks (estimated to be 130 tons in total) and any excess is to be exported for sale.

All Iran is required to do under Paragraph 15 is inform the IAEA of its heavy water stock and allow occasional IAEA visits to the production facility to monitor the stock.

Iran has done all that too.

Note that neither paragraph imposes a specific upper limit on the amount of heavy water which can be produced.

See for the exact text I'm citing

And 24 extra gallons of heavy water is not a violation of that "estimate". Note that heavy water itself is quite harmless and can't be used as a weapon and furthermore without an operational heavy water reactor (Iran poured concrete into the reactor their were building so it can't ever work, as the agreement required) there is no way that heavy water can somehow be used to make nukes anyway (and, the reactor was subject to IAEA monitoring anyway.)

In exchange, the US is supposed to lift as many sanctions as it can and release Iran's frozen funds. OF course the Iranians and the Obama administration new that they could not lift ALL the sanctions since most of the sanctions were imposed by COngress, not the President. So some sanctions have been removed but the US and Iran still can't do business especially since existing sanctions prevent Iran from doing business using US dollars which is the international currency. And, Congress is pushing for new sanctions. The Iranians consider this a violation of the agreement which requires the US to do its best to remove all sanctions but the text of the treaty does not actually require all the sanctions to be removed.

So bottom line is that despite all the hype, neither side has "violated" the agreement.

Note however that the US and Iran are not the only parties to the deal: Russia, China, Germany, UK and France that have signed it too, and it has been endorsed by the UN Security Council. The European courts had already ruled sanctions on Iran to be illegal before the deal,

and the the other countries have told the US that they will continue to abide by the deal even if the US pulls out.

u/saMAN101 · 3 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

I would recommend Economics in One Lesson (which you can also buy here) because it teaches you how to use reasoning in economics and figure out where people are using bad logic in their economic thinking.

I would definitely recommend this as one of the first books you read because there are a lot of economic fallacies out there put forth by pundits, talkshow hosts, and even some economists; this book will allow you to see whether or not their economic thinking and logic is sound.

On a personal note, this is one of the first books on economics that I read, and I absolutely loved it. While it might not be the most entertaining read, it is certainly more interesting than your standard economics textbook.

After you finish that book, I would recommend you read How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes because it explains, in a way that even a child could understand, why an economy grows. The overall concept is fairly simple, but it is vital to fully understand it before trying to understand more important concepts.

u/bharder · 17 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

In Economics "investing" is investing in capital such as factories, equipment, or training. -- Basically, "new production".


edited to be more accurate:

From Principles of Macroeconomics by Robert Frank & Ben Bernanke.

>Investment is spending by firms on final goods and services, primarily capital goods. Investment is divided into three subcategories:

>* Business fixed investment is the purchase by firms of new capital goods such as machinery, factories, and office buildings. (Remember that for the purposes of calculating GDP, long-lived capital goods are treated as final goods rather than as intermediate goods.) Firms buy capital goods to increase their capacity to produce.

  • Residential investment is construction of new homes and apartment buildings. Recall that homes and apartment buildings, sometimes called residential capital, are also capital goods. For GDP accounting purposes, residential investment is treated as an investment by the business sector, which then sells the homes to households.
  • Inventory investment is the addition of unsold goods to company inventories. In other words, the goods that a firm produces but doesn't sell during the current period are treated, for accounting purposes, as if the firm had bought those goods from itself. (This convention guarantees that production equals expenditure.) Inventory investment can be positive or negative, depending on whether the value of inventories rises or falls over the course of the year.


    > People often refer to purchases of financial assets, such as stocks or bonds, as "investment." That use of the term is different for the definition we give here. A person who buys a share of a company's stock acquires partial ownership of the existing physical and financial assets controlled by the company. A stock purchase does not usually correspond to the creation of new physical capital, however, and so is not investment in the sense we are using the term.
u/thirdfounder · -1 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

citations to papers by people you've never heard of and cannot read probably wouldn't change your mind. :)

it actually isn't at all difficult and what we know about psychology supports it fully -- and here's where i offer a citation that has little utility because you will not take it seriously and it offers little more than a chance for you to shift the debate away from the point and toward the validity of the source -- as there is ample science behind the how and why of persuasion in human cognition. whether we want to accept that science which conflicts with our existing cognitions regarding free will and personal autonomy is of course another matter.

and i'll even service you further by guessing your first objection ("a YouTube is not science!") by pointing out that Dr. Robert Cialdini literally wrote the book on persuasion. (there is my token appeal to authority.)

u/beezofaneditor · 2 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

His 30+ books are all great (though not the most exciting of reads), but Conflict of Visions his a pretty good analysis of the conservative/libertarian viewpoint compared to its alternatives.

u/mr-aaron-gray · 0 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

If you're interested in learning about Libertarian ideas and the philosophies of freedom, here are some good resources:


Another good book (although a long one) is Thomas Sowell's A Conflict of Visions, which lays out the underlying worldview differences between the Left and the Right. It does a pretty good job answering questions like, why do most people who believe abortion is wrong also believe that people should have the right to own weapons that can kill people? Why do the same people end up on different sides of the debate on so many different issues? Why is there this phenomenon where people who tend to disagree on one particular issue tend to disagree on a lot of other issues that seem to be completely unrelated? If you weren't interested in putting in the time to read the whole book, I think you might find that just reading a summary of the book yields some interesting insights into how each person's worldview shapes so many different seemingly different political views about life.

u/zbignew · 0 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

Your comment is, like, fractally wrong. I would have to quote sentence fragments to straighten it out.

  1. We are talking about legal immigrants. The argument is over whether we should remove existing legal ways to immigrate. Children of illegal immigrants born in the US are legal immigrants.
  2. Breaking the law is not a slippery slope. Our legal system is designed so that most people break the law most of the time. That way, when cops would like to arrest someone, they have lots of options. Consider Three Felonies A Day. Immigration is a good example of a totally normal activity (moving somewhere to improve your prospects) being made illegal despite its myriad benefits.
  3. Note how nobody is talking about making our borders more or less permeable here.
  4. Drug cartels already move easily. Restricting border crossings actually just gives cartels MORE leverage, because they can overcome our restrictions and their competitors may not be able to.
  5. I'm pretty sure by granting citizenship to people born in the US, we have come across a perfect solution for granting citizenship exclusively to non-criminals. They may become criminals later, just like everybody else.
u/sherlocksrobot · 7 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

For more on this topic, I highly recommend P. W. Singer's "Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century." It's a bit dated since the technology has come so far since 2009, but he does a good job of weighing the pros and cons of lethal technologies like robots and drones.

Two of his main points:

  1. Shouldn't we do everything we possibly can to protect the good guys?

  2. Is it too easy to go to war now that we don't have to risk human lives?

    I think the use of drones to defeat domestic bad guys still satisfies the first question, but I'm not sure how it relates to the second question, especially since we have a reason to use non-lethal force in domestic situations. I think it's a very valid discussion.
u/uphir · 1 pointr/NeutralPolitics

The problem goes beyond "influencing those gullible voters with TV ads!". It affects whose issues get discussed in the legislature, who has direct access to discussing issues with elected officials, and what elected officials consider before taking a position on an issue.

Try this: you're a back-bencher in the majority party from a rural district. You support conservation and protecting the environment for future generations. Your election is coming up later this year, and you have a viable opponent.

A bill comes before the legislature that would legalize a risky & unproven (note: not taking a side on fracking here, just establishing that a controversy exists) method of extracting energy from the ground, and your district happens to contain lots of that potential energy.

You have usually opposed bills like this in the past- once making a speech that made national news. That particular bill failed on a close vote.

A company or industry PAC makes it known that it will spend up to $1m US attacking any candidate that opposes the above-mentioned bill. This is a credible threat from a wealthy, well-connected group. They also make it known privately that they will endorse and heavily fund your opponent should you be outspoken in your opposition

Knowing all of this, how do you vote? Even better, do you do another speech that makes national news? would you still be as outspoken as you were in the past?

edit- Much of this example is shamelessly lifted from Prof. Lawrence Lessig's excellent Republic Lost. Read it and decide for yourself!

u/starbuck67 · 4 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

>Your argument seems to use Libya as a model of the way foreign intervention should be done. Is that what you believe?

No, its not what I believe, I just use the two as a comparison because they are similar in so many ways (civilian rebellion, autocratic leader who threatens civilian population, both in the middle east) but also to show that despite the similarities it is the differences that are crucial in determining whether an intervention is possible and/or desirable.

>Getting the public on board wasn't really an issue

Admittedly so, I would suggest you read Samantha Powers (interestingly enough Obama's nominee to be the UN ambassador) A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide where she describes this exact problem in relation to Rwanda. Political leaders felt there was no public pressure or opinion behind intervention, however in order to create that public pressure congress and the president needed to make a case to the public to get them on board. Its a circular problem, to get public buy in you need to sell them on it and other than "people are dying", "Assad is bad" and "they want a democracy" there is no real selling point to the public to whom you have to explain why an intervention necessary to the national interest/security of the United States.

>So they chose instead to arm the unaccountable populace in Libya....It seems like an awful lot of calculus and pretending to do what is politically expedient even if hypocritical over what is responsible and difficult.

Politically I am left of centre but in international relations I would call my self a realist first and a liberal second. You cannot intervene everywhere all the time even in view of the human cost, you have to figure out what it will cost you first. As Robert Gilpin (a leading international relations scholar) said "states are primarily concerned with power and security and will tailor their policies to preserve or maximise these aspects." Humanitarian interventions such as those in Syria and Libya are subject to both these facets of the realist calculus, to explain the differing outcomes of both cases the context of the situation and its implications on the vital interests of the state have to be examined.

In relation to Libya this calculus was pretty clear.

Firstly, the concerns of the European members of NATO, Libya sits on their southern periphery and exports 83% of its oil to Europe the crisis in Libya threatened both the stability of the region and the oil exports to Europe.

Secondly Qadhaffi was an erratic leader having supported terrorists and pursued nuclear weapons at various points during his tenure, the possibility of having him replaced by a more predictable government that is less of an international security risk was compelling; this also meant that there was no widespread international opposition to intervention as Libya had few friends.

Thirdly, the crisis represented a unique prospect for the USA and the Obama administration; it presented the opportunity to mark a clear break from the Bush policy of unilateral intervention with a full-scale military incursion.

Furthermore, it allowed the US to intervene in a positive manner in the Middle East during the Arab spring, which was crucial as US support for the regimes in the region had been the source of condemnation from the Arab street.

Finally, the military intervention was low risk, with no need for boots on the ground and unchallenged air superiority, Libya’s proximity to Europe precluded the need for an expensive and complicated transfer of the strategic assets necessary for the operation from other areas of the globe.

Viewed from a realist perspective the intervention outcome in Libya had conformed to the two propositions of realism, it did not impose any undue costs in equipment, men, or money on NATO. Secondly, the intervention did advance the interests of NATO members, it removed what had been an unpredictable and at times dangerous leader from Europe’s periphery, installed a government, which views NATO positively, and provided a much needed boost to the prestige of member states such as the USA.

>It seems like an awful lot of calculus and pretending to do what is politically expedient even if hypocritical over what is responsible and difficult.

The national security and vital interest concerns of the intervening states were the most important factor. In the case of Libya, the strong intervention is justified by its potential benefits to the intervener's. In Syria, the hesitance is due to the potential massive costs it would involve. Examining humanitarian crises from a realist perspective can seem overly cynical, however it is in my view far superior to perspectives which over emphasise the moral imperative over the context of the crises, the interests and capabilities of states and the wider ramifications of intervention. Human rights do not exist in a vacuum or over and above other concerns in the international sphere, in my opinion, viewing it as such weakens its authority and effectiveness.

> It really feels to me that it must be impossible for the change to be anything other than a "Easy vs. Hard" political calculus and an abandonment of principle based on the equation they create in their heads.

We all want to do something, the death toll is awful and the humanitarian crisis is even worse. What is responsible and difficult can sometimes entail staying out of it, it may seem selfish and callous. But you have consider the costs to yourself of men, materiel and treasure against the beneficial outcome that you are looking for.

As I explained in my original post I don't see that calculus working out, unless you go for a full scale intervention. Unlike Germany, Japan, and South Korea which all involved a full scale intervention and investment for decades (which was in my view almost criminally avoided in Iraq) the costs outweigh the benefits. A democratic Syria will not necessarily be friendly, bring peace to the region or help smooth relations with Russia. So as I said in the first post humanitarian aid is really the best worst option at this point while pushing for a negotiated settlement.

A humanitarian basis for foreign policy is awfully complex and involved. If you believe in it then the USA and the west should not only be in Syria but be in the Congo, Somalia, Burma/Myanmar and North Korea. Furthermore Saudi Arabia should not be an ally and China and Russia should being pushed in every way possible to respect human rights more. As I said I am a liberal but a believe far more in the liberal post WWII project of creating international institutions and norms that push for human rights rather than putting out fires all over the globe

u/Jake_Al · 7 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

That may be true if you are simply looking at a brain, but if you look deeper there are differences. In the end it all comes down to sex-related hormones and their role in development, and differences in personality are related to the resulting brain chemistry whether or not it is enforced by culture or embraced by the individual.

u/UnhWut · -1 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

If you're interested in a follow on read, The Omnivore's Dilemma talks about big corn a lot, (and how those subsidies cause most of our food to be corn based), and also other agrabusiness like big organic, (and why it's often misleading to call it as such).

u/iwouldnotdig · -1 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

one of the better written ones if you're willing to read something longer, but you can go here for something punchier.

u/mephistopheles2u · 1 pointr/NeutralPolitics

> know a bit about humanity

Have you read Pinker's or Armstrong's latest on human nature? They are both on my list, but so far, I have only read reviews.

u/COPCO2 · 2 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

This is the textbook for the investments class I'm taking. We covered treasuries in weeks 1 and 2, bond pricing and risk in week 3.

u/joggle1 · 3 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

There isn't. If you have any doubts, I'd highly recommend the book At Dawn We Slept. It's by far the most detailed history of what led up to the attack on Pearl Harbor that I've ever read.

u/elihu · 6 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

Republic, Lost by Lawrence Lessig is a pretty good place to start.

Lessig's premise is basically that the big problem isn't corruption in the traditional sense. If you picture it as politicians being handed paper bags full of cash under the table in exchange for voting a certain way on a certain bill, that sort of thing really isn't all that widespread. The big problem is the completely legal economy of favors and undue influence that exists, which prevents both liberals and conservatives from making any progress on many of their policy objectives.

Liars and Outliers by Bruce Schneier is another book that has a lot to say about corruption, but he approaches the problem from the perspective of examining the various systems that society puts in place to compel good behavior from its members, and how those systems fail.

u/PepperoniFire · 11 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

Hm, I'm going to push back on this a bit. I work in regulatory law and risk management so Musk's comments about regulating AI piqued my curiosity of a possible future state in both of these areas.

I began reading. I'm still in the early stages, and thus I won't purport to be a specialist in AI (I'm not in computer science or an engineer) or wholly mired in this more theoretical conversation. Primarily, my exposure has been through What to Think About Machines That Think, as well as some exposure at work (tech company) that is flirting with more immediate applications of, at least, machine learning.

The book is a series of short essays about the topic of AI, machine learning, and the future. There are quite a few people who are, at least in this book, presented as experts who do think there is a possibility for machines to learn dangerous habits. One goes so far as to mention Roko's Basilisk, which posits even a benevolent AI might have some imperative to harm humans who were an obstacle to its creation precisely because that would delay its benevolence.

I don't personally subscribe to this, but there is an overarching concern of input/output where some regulation might be required to create parameters of what each iterated goal for AI is in order to ensure it remains constrained enough to avoid incidental harms for broader positive goals.

Anyway, I think there are two approaches to this question: short-term and long-term. From the short-term point of view, there's little evidence that we should fear much from AI short of unintentionally programming our current biases into it. In the long-term, however, (non-imminent) there appears to be a not-insignificant number of prominent AI thinkers mulling over more negative future states.

u/TheRealJohnAdams · 8 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

It is your position that roughly one percent of Native American DNA substantiates a claim to be Native American? This is exactly why many Native Americans are upset. They are tired of white people staking a claim on Native American identity based on the most tenuous familial connection.

>I consider that her business.

Many Native Americans disagree. Considering that white people have tried to eradicate their culture, (

have stolen their land (,

and have disrespected and commercialized their culture (,

I think they are well within their rights to take a position on this.

u/toryhistory · -1 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

> e number of troops in Iraq in 2001 was negligible, as this report from the Congressional Research Service shows.

Well, one, that report doesn't show that, it's from 2007 onward. Don't lie about what's in your sources. And two, the troops dealing with saddam weren't based in Iraq, they were based based in saudi arabia, bahrain, turkey etc. Several thousand of the and dozens of aircraft, not counting the carriers. That's two dishonesties.

>Gonna need a source for that, because the earliest mention I could find of Bush having an exit plan was from 2003, which mentioned keeping some troops in until 2006:

then you haven't looked. there are many good books on the subject. Moreover, it's quite obvious from the way that US troops immediately started leaving iraq as soon as the major combat operations were over. the plan was to pull a massive version of what was done in grenada. By the end of 2003, troop levels were down at least a quarter from their invasion peak, and since the british were pulling out even faster, the actual decline in overall strength was at least 1/3.

>You're basically saying the war had been won at that point. But that makes no sense: if the war had been won at that point, why should we have stayed?

The same reason we stayed in germany and Japan in 1945 and Korea in 1953. Staying brought several benefits. One, it let us protect the still fragile iraqi military we had built at such great cost from political meddling. malaki started firing generals and replacing them with his cronies literally the day we left. Two, it was a huge deterrent. Attacking american brigade is a much more daunting prospect than iraqi ones. Three, it would have kept senior american policy officials paying more attention to the region. Any of those three, on their own, might have prevented the rise of ISIS. All three put together almost certainly would have.

>You've also implied that had Obama not gone into Syria and Libya, or had done something differently, the Iraq war would have ended peacefully.

It makes no sense to say that any war "ends peacefully". Wars are about one side violently imposing its will on another. The iraq war did end. Obama's actions allowed a second one to start.

>That is speculation that can't be backed up by facts, but I personally doubt it because of Iraq's history.

When the US left, violence in iraq was minimal. it only started up again when a new invading force, one directly empowered by the obama administration, attacked an iraq weakened by that administration and not protected by US troops. these facts are not diputable.

u/BCSWowbagger2 · 1 pointr/NeutralPolitics

> But if you actually read the book, Silverglate (a white collar defense lawyer) isn't making the argument that normal people routinely commit felonies accidentally, much less argue that we commit three of them a day.

Umm... here's a quote from the introduction of Mr. Silverglate's book (ETA: which you can apparently read on Amazon! yay!):

>Today, in spite of Jackson's warning, it is only a slight exaggeration to say that the average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day.

Leading up to that thesis statement, Silberglate tells, in the opening pages of his book, of a trucker who was out deer hunting with his son when he found some apparently abandoned shell casings, sold them for scrap (for $84), and then was sentenced to two months in prison for stealing from the federal government -- quite by accident. His argument is precisely that normal people routinely commit felonies without realizing it. The link I gave (the one citation in my post!) listed several more such cases.

You have wildly mischaracterized Mr. Silberglate's thesis. You then accused me of doing it instead. Perhaps you disagree with the thesis, but you are wrong to say that the book made an entirely different argument. Where did you get that notion?

u/grumpieroldman · 2 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

> There's actually a much better way to stop wars: global trade.

I will cite World War I as a glaring counterpoint to this demonstratively false notion.
I will concede that trade may reduce the likelihood of trivial skirmishes but it will not prevent war.
Prior to WWI the prevailing academic and economic thought was that Europe was now so intertwined with trade that they would never again see war waged like that of Napoleon.

> A country stops being a self-dependent, encapsulated entity once a lot of its economy is imports and exports.

Perhaps I mistake your meaning but this not a healthy concept.
Consider any relationship in which one party is dependent upon the other and it is almost always abusive. I can cite the psychology branch of Bowen Family System Theory as established evidence (and this book if you want specific reading material.)

On the global stage between nations you could describe this as the difference between vassalization and interdependent trade. Interdependent implying each nation is self-sufficient on its own and then willingly decides to engage in cooperative trade with one another. (This is closely tied to the ongoing political debate war between Transnationalism and Internationalism.)

Putting the two together, I assert that war is far less likely if both nations can stand on their own as opposed to a dependent, abusive relationship in which one or both cannot exist without the other. That makes their trade an existential issue which makes people desperate. That situation is begging for war to occur to end the lack of self-sufficiency in one nation at the expense of the destruction of the other. I think WW2 stands as an example of this as well as countless wars in antiquity.

I think I can even give a contemporary geopolitical example with the war in Syria and Libya et. al. is in large part due to Europe being dependent upon natural gas from Russia (a toxic relationship). This is even an example of triangulation (also from BFST) as the war is now in the middle-east instead of between Europe and Russia (which serves to superficially maintain the stability of the Europe-Russia relationship). If Europe can secure a pipeline path to the Middle-East they will no longer be dependent upon Russian natural gas.

u/tayaravaknin · 7 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

You spammed a lot of links, but tried to paper over the most important one.

>And the Dec 2015 IAEA report says nothing about a nuclear weapons program in Iran, just studies that were at worst "relevant to" nukes, but which didn't violate the NPT.

This is false. The IAEA concluded, based on limited inspections (which means more evidence of further research might be possible to find if not for the way the deal was structured), that:

>The Agency assesses that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003. The Agency also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities. The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.

The IAEA therefore concluded that the same activities happening prior to 2003, related to a nuclear weapon, continued at least in part until at least 2009.

All the rest is bunk, as far as the possible military dimensions go. Iran was conducting weapons research until at least 2009.

Now I'll go through your articles:

>Actually no, the NIE is the judgment of all 16 (now 17) US intelligence agencies not just one agency, and it concluded that whatever nuclear weapons work existed in Iran ended before 2003.

No, it did not. It concluded initially that Iran appeared to have stopped in 2003, as of the NIE's 2007 report. But US reports post-2007 found that Iran had, at the very least, preserved the capabilities they had made intentionally. This was confirmed by foreign intelligence. That has been the IAEA assessment since 2011.

>Furthermore this book is states the claim that Iran had a weapons program pre-2003 was dismissed by German intelligence as fabricated:

Said book is by Gareth Porter, a reporter who has gone to great depths to try and defend Iranian actions at every turn. Porter doesn't have a history of credibility, since he has long been reflexively anti-US; he denied the Cambodian genocide, for example, and admitted it was because he just assumed the US was wrong. He has claimed the Syria chemical attack in Ghouta wasn't done by Assad, despite the UN itself affirming that it was. His claims about German intelligence are unverifiable and German intelligence has multiple times reaffirmed the threat of an Iranian bomb, should they choose to actively pursue anything beyond the design/testing stages.

>"With respect to a recent media report, the IAEA reiterates that it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapons program in Iran," an IAEA statement said.

This is a misrepresentation. First of all, it's an outdated report from 2009. Second of all, the IAEA is saying as it has always said that it doesn't have proof that Iran is actively building a bomb. What it did have proof of was that Iran was designing weapons in ways specific to nuclear weapons, which it has confirmed.

>And Iran's repeated offers were not limited to just 2003 and 2013, there were many other cases of Iran making compromise offers that were ignored or rejected



Your first link is to an op-ed by then-Iranian ambassador to the UN Javad Zarif. It's hardly a source that describes official policy, as op-eds are regularly used for foreign consumption. It specified only broad parameters for negotiations, and not "compromise offers", as you claimed. Indeed, Iran announced 6 days later that it had enriched uranium for the first time, intended to anger the US most likely. The US responded by saying that the UN should take action to tell Iran to stop its enrichment program, and Ahmedinejad said Iran would "never" stop enrichment.

Al-Monitor is a questionable site, since it has been accused of pushing a pro-Assad, pro-Iran line in the past. Nevertheless, the author is credible. He writes of Ahmedinejad's offer to discuss the 20% enriched uranium being exchanged. Thing is, the US was already considering negotiations and the P5+1 set up a framework.

When Iran came forward with a serious offer, it was debated and negotiations were set up. Not before.

>And I quoted IAEA head ELbaradei about how Iran had offered to limit is enrichment program but was ignored because the US was more interested in regime-change

ElBaradei was simply wrong; if the US was interested in regime-change, it would've done it under Bush a long time ago. Sure, the US might be interested in it, but the nuclear program was never going to be the reason given.

Indeed, Rouhani just admitted a day or two ago that Iran's government was so poor due to sanctions that before the deal, it could barely pay anything more than government salaries. If the US wanted regime-change, it would've let Iran collapse rather than struck a deal.

>And that at one point Iran even accepted the US demands during negotiations with Turkey and Brazil, but the US killed the deal after Iran had said yes. See my prior post for details, I won't repeat them here.

I looked through your links. I see nothing about Turkey and Brazil. I see an offer they made the EU, which the UK thought the US wouldn't have accepted and so it was never really brought up to the US at all.

That's it.


This mentions Brazil and Turkey. Maybe you meant this? This deal wasn't rejected by the US after it was accepted, it related to a deal to get nuclear fuel transported out. It didn't have anything to do with solving the question of enrichment, inspections, etc.

That deal has been criticized as worse than useless, and that article explains why the deal was essentially ignored:

>As David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, put it in a report, the deal was "not as attractive" as it had been seven months earlier. Back in October, removing 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium would have put a lid on Iran's ability to develop nuclear weapons. By May, that would still leave them with enough uranium, some of it already highly enriched, to proceed toward nukes with no obstacles.

Iran obfuscated on the issue. When they had the offer to get rid of enough uranium to prevent getting a bomb, and signal to the world that they'd be fine with that, they turned it down. Then they accepted the new deal, when they were sure it would leave them enough uranium to get a bomb if they wanted one.

You see how misleading that is?

> (Note the author is a former National Security Council advisor and Iran specialist)

Gary Sick hasn't been involved in the National Security Council since the few weeks he was in Reagan's administration. He pushed conspiracy theories about the Iranian "October surprise", and had no inside knowledge or nuclear expertise. Please don't misrepresent your sources, who didn't address what I linked to above either.

>... the US may have even tried to plant evidence on Iran

Even if this were true, and the allegations haven't been proven, they occurred in 2000. That has no relevance to the huge amount of evidence the IAEA received, and shows only a tiny piece. The IAEA relied on spy data from multiple countries as well as their own data.

The alleged doctoring of a few documents would not affect the overall conclusions.

>And as US Ambassador Chas Freeman has written

The ambassador who failed to get appointed during Obama's administration because he is a disgrace who blamed the "Israel lobby" for his failure to get the job, who became essentially a client of Saudi Arabia and China, and who claimed Israel runs US policy in the Middle East (despite that clearly not being the case with Obama) and despite AIPAC not even taking a position on his nomination?

That Chas Freeman?

He has no idea what happened with Iran; that wasn't his purview in the slightest. His believed "deal" on Iran being better in 2005 is baseless.

>And Iran's offers were already pretty detailed but in any case the point is that Iran was in fact willing to negotiate but was stymied. Sure, not all the details had been worked out before the negotiations, that is supposed to happen in negotiations

When they were willing to negotiate, negotiations happened.