Sen. Tom Cotton Thinks War Against Iran Would Be Easy And Painless

One freshman Senator seems to think that war with Iran would be easy, just like Republicans used to think that war against Iraq would be easy.

Iran Nukes

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who made a name for himself last month as the author of the “open letter” to the Iranian leadership that was signed by 47 of his Senate Republican colleagues, believes that military action against Iran effective enough to actually knock out their nuclear research program for more than a few years would be a easy and painless affair:

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton is urging the Obama administration to keep the option of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities on the table, saying such a move could be a targeted attack over several days — not a massive military engagement.

Cotton, a first-term senator from Arkansas, has been a vocal opponent of a nuclear deal with Iran and spearheaded a letter from 47 senators to Iran’s top leaders to let them know that any nuclear deal they reach would be “nothing more than an executive order.”

“Even if military action were required — and we certainly should have kept the threat of military force on the table throughout, which always improves diplomacy — the president is trying to make you think it would be 150,000 heavy mechanized troops on the ground in the Middle East, as we saw in Iraq,” Cotton said in an interview on Family Research Council’s radio program “Washington Watch With Tony Perkins” that was first reported by BuzzFeed. “That’s simply not the case.”

(…)

“It would be something more along the lines of what President Clinton did in December 1998 during Operation Desert Fox,” Cotton said. “Several days’ air and naval bombing against Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior. For interfering with weapons inspectors and for disobeying Security Council resolutions.”

On some level, Cotton’s assurance that military action against Iran’s nuclear program would be quick, easy, and painless reminds me of the assurances that we would be greeted as liberators made by members of the Bush Administration such as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the months leading up to the Iraq War. As we learned within months after the downfall of Saddam Hussein, of course, that was far from the case and it was also blindingly apparent that the Bush Administration and the military had not even come close to adequately planning for a post-Saddam Iraq or even taking into account what we’d do once we actually accomplished the goal of toppling Saddam’s regime. Much like Rumsfeld and those like him back then, Cotton, whose prior experience in the military really ought to lead him to know better, presents a simplistic and easy version of a hypothetical war against Iran that doesn’t match the reality on the ground and which most analysts who have actually examined the situation seem to strongly disagree with.

For example, in 2011 then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned that an attack on Iran would likely have major unintended consequences for the United States, Israel, and the rest of the Middle East, and this was at a time when the region was relatively peaceful compared to today where conflicts rage in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, and ISIS and al Qaeda have footholds throughout Northern Africa. Two years earlier in 2009, former CENTCOM Commander Anthony Zinni referred to anyone who thought that an attack on Iran effective enough to cause real damage to its nuclear program would be an easy affair as “foolish.” In 2012, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that an attack would have the effect of making a nuclear armed Iran inevitable since it would, at beat, only temporarily set the program back and would likely harden both the Iranian public and leadership in their determination to develop nuclear weapons. A 2011 wargaming exercise of an attack on Iran concluded that such an attack would quickly escalate well beyond the type of pin prick air attacks that Cotton talks about in his remarks, and roughly a year later, another study reached roughly the same conclusion. In other words, there is plenty of expert opinion, as well as a whole lot of common sense, that makes Cotton’s assurances of an easy war against Iran sound as foolish and naive as the promises made by the Bush Administration in the months before March 2003. Given how wrong those predictions were, it seems foolish to believe similar pronouncements from a Senator when the overwhelming evidence is to the contrary.

Daniel Larison notes just how misleading Cotton’s blithe comments are:

One couldn’t ask for a more misleading presentation of the costs and dangers of military action against Iran. First, no one seriously believes that a bombing campaign against Iran would take only a few days. It would very likely take several weeks at least, and that probably underestimates the difficulty. Starting a war with Iran will last longer and cost more than anyone anticipates. That has been true of all other U.S. wars of choice over the last two decades, and there’s no reason to think that a war with Iran would be easier or less dangerous than any of those. Assuming that Iran retaliates, the conflict would escalate and go on much longer than Iran hawks are claiming.

All that Iran hawks promise is that the nuclear program would be set back by a few years. However, the attack would push Iran to acquire the weapons that the hawks don’t want them to have, and it would drive them to make the nuclear program less vulnerable to future attacks. If Iran hawks were intent on destroying Iran’s nuclear program permanently through military action, they probably would have to argue for an invasion of Iran at some point. When the time came, Cotton would probably be among the first to tell us how cheap, quick, and easy that would be, too.

That, of course, is exactly what would happen. What’s more important, though, is that Cotton’s argument here reveals just how empty the opposition to negotiations with Iran actually is at this point. When someone in Cotton’s position is pressed to provide details about what their alternative to the framework that was announced last Friday would be, we usually get some version of the argument that there is some mythical “better deal” that we somehow would have been able to convince the Iranians to agree to if only we’d been “tougher.” This, of course, is essentially the same argument that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made in both his speech to Congress last month and his reaction to the framework agreement over the weekend. The problem with this argument, of course, is that there’s never any real argument presented showing how a “better deal” could have been made given both the parties involved and the situation on the ground. Instead, we’re just supposed to believe that a “tougher” negotiator would have gotten a “better deal” and, apparently, that if that deal falls apart then the military action necessary to do any real damage to Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons would be easy and relatively painless. It’s wishful thinking on a global scale, and if it were ever to become policy it would risk making the situation in the Middle East even more dangerous than it already is today.

H/T: Igor Volsky and Andrew Kaczynski

FILED UNDER: Congress, Military Affairs, National Security, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Anjin-San says:

    Well sure, just like Iraq. And if we pretend really hard, maybe the delusional belief that Iran is not a much, much tougher opponent than Iraq will magically come true.




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  2. michael reynolds says:

    I get the rare opportunity 😉 to say: Doug, you are completely right.

    This is madness. All the opponents have to offer is their sense that somehow Mr. Obama has been weak in negotiating. Because apparently Angela Merkel and David Cameron and Vladimir Putin have been, what, watching iZombie together and completely uninvolved?

    The opponents are absolutely incapable of evaluating any aspect of this beyond the word, “Obama.” That stops them dead. 100% of what Mr. Obama does must be wrong. It is axiomatic. It is an article of faith. Faith based on nothing.

    Iran is a very large country, with very interesting neighbors and a very tough gang called Hezbollah in their pocket. They don’t need to retaliate against us directly for a strike, they can go after Saudi Arabia, they can shut down the Persian Gulf with cheap and easy mining. . . the list goes on and on.

    Tom Cotton is either a moron or a liar.




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  3. Moosebreath says:

    Brought to you by the same people who thought we would no longer have troops in Iraq 6 months after we invaded. Even though Iran has several times the number of people, and has had over a decade to prepare since being put on notice (through being proclaimed a charter member of the Axis of Evil) that they were in our sights. Plus, as Michael notes, they have many ways to strike back, even if we totally destroyed their army immediately.




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  4. grumpy realist says:

    I thought that the War College at one point gamed out what would happen if we actually went to war with Iran.

    Assuming we don’t pull out nukes, It doesn’t end well for the US.

    And if we do pull out nukes….




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  5. C. Clavin says:

    Thank you, Doug, for writing this.
    And thank you, Mr. Cotton, for your service. Shame you didn’t take the opportunity to learn anything.
    But it does put the lie to all the hollow claims of not wanting war doesn’t it?
    When he says…

    we certainly should have kept the threat of military force on the table throughout, which always improves diplomacy

    …am I confused or is he lying? When did we take the military off the table?
    I wish there were someway this guy could have his stupidity ridiculed so loudly and forcefully that he would think long and hard before making any more such idiotic statements. Unfortunately the fact is that the Emergency Committee for Israel gave him $700,000 dollars for his Senate campaign…so maybe he’s not so dumb after all. Just obeying those who have paid for his services.




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  6. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Tom Cotton, moron or a liar. Yes.

    Actually, he must be moderately bright to have gotten elected to the Senate, and I expect he believes the nonsense he says. Conservatives generally believe their own bull spit.

    We have to face the fact that some people simply do not view the world logically. George Lakoff thinks that conservatives are well able to think through complex issues, it’s just not the way they look at the world. They think in terms of simple causation: Obama bad therefore economy bad, cutting taxes good therefore low deficit, if we clap loud enough Iran will back down. A simple world based, as you say, on faith, they believe what they believe because they believe it. And that’s the end of it.




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  7. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: None of them seem to understand that Straits of Hormuz + mining = $250/bbl of oil.

    Not that great for the US economy. And I see Syphilis is rampant again.




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  8. Steve V says:

    I’m sure he doesn’t actually believe this. Instead, he’s saying something that some portion of his constituency wants to hear. It’s that constituency we should be questioning.




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  9. gVOR08 says:

    @grumpy realist: Wasn’t aware of syphilis, but I hear HIV is epidemic in some parts of Indiana since they shut down the Planned Parenthood clinics.




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  10. Scott says:

    Another so-called “brilliant” Republican who, like Cruz, demonstrates daily that he knows nothing and, worse, wants to know less.

    The only positive thing about this idea is that, if executed, would replace the invasion of Iraq as the greatest American foreign policy blunder of the last hundred years.




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  11. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    watching iZombie

    I’ve liked the show so far. Good banter. It’s Buffy meets Veronica Mars. Needs a Scooby Gang, though.




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  12. ernieyeball says:

    @grumpy realist:.. And I see Syphilis is rampant again.

    I thought U were talking about James P…




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  13. Matt says:

    The Iranian navy isn’t the issue outside of mines. It’s their massive store of Russian and Domestic anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles..




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  14. Gustopher says:

    They will welcome us as liberators.




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  15. de stijl says:

    Speaking of unrealistic entertainment, why do so many people think that foreign affairs are like ’80s action movies? Beefy guys in headbands annihilating the enemy and dropping one-liners. It’s a 10 year old boy’s conception of war. And Cotton should know better.




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  16. ernieyeball says:

    Sen. Tom Cotton might not look as good as Major Kong
    (Slim Pickens) in a cowboy hat. But being from Arkansas I’ll bet he could belt out a decent Rebel Yell as he rides to Glory!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snTaSJk0n_Y




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  17. mike shupp says:

    So basically, attacking Pearl Harbor was a really wonderful idea.




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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It will be. For him.




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  19. Tillman says:

    “Senator Tom Cotton thinks war against Iran would be easy and painless.”
    “Senator Tom Cotton treats objects like women, man!”

    I’d be charitable here and say more red meat if not for the whole #47Traitors thing he started. Maybe this is his idea of proving to his peers and constituents his foreign policy bona fides?




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  20. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    You can’t expect much. Trolls have no sense of shame. If they did, they wouldn’t be trolls in the first place.

    Joyner will happen along at some point and delete its comments. In the meantime, just ignore it.




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  21. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Which is why I didn’t answer it….




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  22. michael reynolds says:

    @de stijl:

    First, you’re right about iZombie. They need to flesh out the supporting cast. I assume they will, because these are very capable writers. The architecture of this show, the basic bones of it, is really perfect. I’m not crazy about some of the casting but the thing is built for distance.

    Second, I’ve thought from time to time about the question of whether producers of fiction (movies, TV, books, music) bear a share of the blame for the infantile ways we as a society have of dealing with serious issues of war and peace. I think it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that we do. In fact, given some fan letters I’ve gotten over the years, I think it’s a fact.

    People get their views on criminal justice from Law and Order or CSI. They think Jack Bauer is the CIA and Arnold Schwarzenegger is the army.




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  23. Surreal American says:

    First, you’re right about iZombie. They need to flesh out the supporting cast.

    ISWYDT




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  24. DrDaveT says:

    In other words, there is plenty of expert opinion, as well as a whole lot of common sense, that makes Cotton’s assurances of an easy war against Iran sound as foolish and naive as the promises made by the Bush Administration in the months before March 2003.

    None of that was on Fox News, so how would Cotton know about it?




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  25. DC Loser says:

    Why doesn’t Cotton volunteer to go back to the Army and lead the assault? Moron.




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  26. C. Clavin says:

    @grumpy realist:
    But it would make fracking profitable again…which I’m sure would make the Koch Bros much happier.




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  27. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: Maybe the Koch Bros aren’t as evil as I think. Maybe war with Iran, and the consequent loss of oil production, is their secret plan for reducing global warming. 😉




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  28. labman57 says:

    Cottonmouth is certain that his plan will work — he has already tested it in his backyard using his X-wings and TIE fighters.




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  29. C. Clavin says:

    @gVOR08:
    Right…it’s just like helping the poor by no longer helping them.
    I should have seen that.




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  30. al-Ameda says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Brought to you by the same people who thought we would no longer have troops in Iraq 6 months after we invaded.

    And to think, in 2016 the voters may very well turn the entire federal government over to these morons. America is so dumbed down these days.




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  31. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    because these are very capable writers

    You don’t want numb skull writers on a show like this; you want brainy writers.




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  32. de stijl says:

    @labman57:

    he has already tested it in his backyard using his X-wings and TIE fighters

    Thankfully, the Iranians have installed unprotected thermal exhaust ports on all of their nuclear facilities. A fatal design flaw we will craftily exploit!




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  33. Tony W says:

    Tell you what Mr. Cotton – you go over alone with whatever arms you can carry on your back and if you are successful, then great – we’ll brand you a hero and put you on Mt. Rushmore.




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  34. Davebo says:

    @Matt:

    Ironically enough some of those missiles were supplied illegally by the ex president who ejaculates gold coins.




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  35. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t know. I watched the iZombie pilot and it just felt so relentless 90s to me. The whole procedural angle seems so dated and unnecessary. Maybe I’ve seen too many bad pilots about people who die and work in morgues and use some communication with the corpses to solve their crimes, but I wanted a story about the character, not the bullshit case of the week we don’t care about. And I say this as someone who has made alot of money writing a lot of bullshit cases of the week.

    Or maybe I’m just allergice to Rob Thomas, a writer whose work never fails to leave me cold.




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  36. wr says:

    @de stijl: “It’s Buffy meets Veronica Mars”

    I agree about Veronica Mars… but Buffy was actually about something. It was Les Miz in high school with vampires — about a girl torn between her desire to live the life she wanted and her responsibilities to the world. Rich, powerful stuff… iZombie so far is just jokes.




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  37. wr says:

    @wr: Hmm, I wonder if people will read us talking about iZombie and be as bored as I am when certain among us start talking stereo equipment. Oh well…




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  38. Steven Newman says:

    The reason the US had such expenses with Iraq was not the military defeat of the Iraq’s forces but the post-war “hearts and minds, democracy for Muslims” biz. Russia easily seized land from Ukraine. It knows the value of military force.

    I gotta laugh at virtually everyone here and the article’s author. Israel could probably take out the nuclear sites; the US could do so easily, and destroy Iran’s military AND its ruling ayatollahs, without nukes. It should do so at once. We should not allow a militarily insignificant country that is at war with us to get nukes. Strong countries do what they will; weak countries do what they must.




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  39. C. Clavin says:

    @Steven Newman:
    And you think there would be zero repercussions, zero retaliation, zero unintended consequences to this? Greeted as liberators, eh?
    The record of you chicken-hawks is piss poor. You unleashed chaos in Iraq by not understanding centuries of history and only seeing easy victory. The only winner was Iran. We are still paying the price for your colossal blunder.
    Why should anyone buy your predictions of anything?




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  40. C. Clavin says:

    @Steven Newman:

    Russia easily seized land from Ukraine.

    So…you’re saying we should seize Iran? The US should be like Russia? Maybe you’d like a President Putin?




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  41. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven Newman: See @gVOR08: above.




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  42. Grumpy Realist says:

    @gVOR08: and global warming is the dinosaurs’ secret plan to re-engineer the Earth back to something they find comfy. (A theory postulated by my college roommate)




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  43. Dave D says:

    @Steven Newman: How has Russia’s economy been since they took Crimea?




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  44. C. Clavin says:

    @Dave D:
    But Russia’s economy will get much, much better after we bomb Iran, and in retaliation the Strait of Hormuz is mined, and oil goes to $250 a bbl. I mean…only about 20% of the worlds oil goes thru there. But…wait…that won’t ever happen…because UNICORNS.




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  45. Pete S says:

    Sometimes war is necessary. It should be approached sadly and with caution when there is genuinely no alternative. But it should be disqualifying for a politician to be happy or excited about the prospect of going to war. Anyone who votes for one of these people need to look in the mirror, these actions are taken in their name.

    And any recommendation for war should come with an automatic inclusion of a tax increase and draft to provide the means for fighting it. Maybe that would wake voters up about electing representatives who pursue unnecessary wars and pretend they will be easy and costless.




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  46. C. Clavin says:

    @Grumpy Realist:
    Interestingly enough if you stick Steven Newman in the Google you get the COO and then CEO of Transocean…you know…the ones who polluted the Gulf of Mexico through their incompetence and greed.
    Anyway their stock has plummeted 80% due to the Deep Horizon spill and the falling price of crude…so on the off-chance this is that guy…he has a monetary interest in another idiotic adventure in the ME. He also stepped down in February so he has free time to be trolling the intertubes.
    Probably not him though.




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  47. grumpy realist says:

    @C. Clavin: No, I bet anything its our local social disease, back under another name.

    Trolls, like herpes, never really disappear.




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  48. grumpy realist says:

    Again totally OT, but did anyone see Gail Collins’ column on Rand Paul today?

    “Beat Hillary. Release the Kraken.”

    is the best campaign slogan EVAH.




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  49. al-Ameda says:

    @Steven Newman:

    We should not allow a militarily insignificant country that is at war with us to get nukes. Strong countries do what they will; weak countries do what they must.

    We supported Iraq in the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) wherein Hussein used Sarin and Nerve gas to kill Iranians and Kurds, and the result of that war was the death of nearly 1 million Iranians.

    It’s all so simple and easy in that region, just like our “shock-and-awe campaign in Iraq. We took out Hussein and shifted power in the region to Iran. We have a poor track record of knowing what we’re doing in that region.




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  50. Mu says:

    The only thing that I’m worried about re Tom Cotton: He’s a Harvard graduate who had some limited combat experience as junior officer, then became a senator in his mid 30’s. If he’s running for president by 2024 he better stay out of Dallas.




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  51. DrDaveT says:

    @Steven Newman:

    Israel could probably take out the nuclear sites; the US could do so easily, and destroy Iran’s military AND its ruling ayatollahs, without nukes. It should do so at once.

    Let me get this straight. You are suggesting that the US should commit mass murder because it would be convenient and we could probably get away with it. Did I get that right?




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  52. Tillman says:

    @DrDaveT: Let’s be honest with ourselves though — isn’t that usually our guiding principle? Admittedly, I’d like better chances than “probably get away with it.” Oh but yeah murder’s bad. 😀

    Imagine, though, if we could get away with it. How much better would that deal have been? Not better at all, that deal was excellent!




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  53. rachel says:

    We should not allow a militarily insignificant country that is at war with us to get nukes. 

    Since when has the USA been at war with Iran? Besides, we are technically at war with North Korea, but we still let them get nukes.




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  54. michael reynolds says:

    @wr:

    Interesting what you say about Rob Thomas. Cupid, Veronica Mars are both shows I started by liking, thought I saw promise, but felt as if the heart was never in it. The emotional connection wasn’t made. I liked Party Down quite a bit, but it sort of fell apart after a season.

    I’m a big fan of well-built plot machines. When we were writing Animorphs (the books not the godawful TV series) we had a well-oiled, well-built plot machine that I’ve never yet been able to equal. We got 63 books out of the premise. But you can’t stop with the architecture, the creation has to have heart and brain not just cunning. In any event, that was the era of the monthly book – 14 a year in the case of Animorphs, so it essential to have that machine. Less so now where for the most part we’re talking trilogies spread over three years.

    iZombie is built as a plot machine – as you say it’s basically a procedural, not to mention stealing a bit from Medium – but I haven’t attached at the emotional level after two episodes. I think it’s badly cast. When you have an out-there premise you need an actress who brings a specificity to it, as SMG did to Buffy or Lucy Lawless did to Xena or Patricia Arquette did to Medium. You need the heart as well as the knowing wink.




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  55. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    Buffy was fun in first season, but it was also pretty crappy. Silly monsters of the weak, a lamish Big Bad, maudlin, facile writing. You could never have predicted an episode like “The Body” ever coming from that team if you judged it by the quality of the first or second season.

    Buffy was a fun/good show that became a profound/great show and it took 4-5 years to get there.

    The chances that iZombie can get there is slim (it is the CW after all), but I’ll keep watching for now. Hell, I’d even be satisfied if it matured along the lines of Supernatural.




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  56. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @michael reynolds: I have to chime in and add that Season 1 of Veronica Mars (i.e. the part that was plotted out ahead of time) is one of my favorite seasons of any scripted television series. For me, it is up with Season 3 of Buffy (the gang’s senior year of HS), Season 5 of The Good Wife, Season 1 of Damages, the New Caprica-fueled middle seasons of BS:G, and Rory Gilmore’s junior and senior years of high school.

    Yep, my television viewing is extremely random.




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  57. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @de stijl: Buffy’s writers should have realized after Bad Egg that they needed to stay away from food and beverage themed episodes. Beer Bad? Seriously?




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  58. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I haven’t attached at the emotional level after two episodes. I think it’s badly cast.

    Agree.

    The only interesting people are the boss at the morgue and the proto-antagonist(?) who is bit too much like Spike. The ex is a total non-entity, the cop is serviceable, and I couldn’t pick out the roommate if she were walking down the street.

    So the only two characters I enjoy (except for the lead) are the two people who are in on he secret. Like I said before: needs a Scooby gang.

    But if that were to come true, aren’t I just asking for a reboot of Buffy?




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  59. Anonne says:

    The base will lap it up because it’s the strong thing to do, even if it’s the wrong thing to do (and it is the wrong thing to do). His donors want this, and he’s a perfect candidate to be the mouthpiece for this ignorant policy, given his background. It adds a veneer of authenticity, but he has zero experience at the strategic level to know what Iran’s capabilities are, and how easy or clean it won’t be. It is exactly the same morass that they got us into in Iraq, and the answer to “Is our children learning?” is clearly “No.”




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  60. de stijl says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    Beer Bad? Seriously?

    To this day, whenever I have a beer at my local I gotta say “Foamy!” after my first sip.

    I say “Foamy!” a lot.




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  61. Grumpy Realist says:

    Oh good grief. The screaming over at TAC about Teh Gay Marriage as Destroyer of Everything is epic.

    The fact that trads now get pushed back against and that people are as stinkingly rude to them as they used to be to gays is being compared to the Holocaust.

    Somebody needs a nap.




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  62. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, and I had to post this….

    Now THAT’s newsworthy-grade trolling. By the POTUS, no less.




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  63. C. Clavin says:

    @grumpy realist:
    I saw that.
    Vox says it’s misleading, but so is Netanyahu’s…so all’s fair I suppose.
    http://www.vox.com/2015/4/8/8373057/white-house-netanyahu-cartoon
    In any case I like Obama being snarky…telling Walker he needs to bone up of foreign policy, etc.

    “We have been promised a lot of things these past five years that didn’t turn out to be the case,” Obama said at a White House event marking the healthcare law’s progress. “Death panels. Doom. A serious alternative from Republicans in Congress.”

    Being a lame duck is good for him, apparently.




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  64. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    I have to chime in and add that Season 1 of Veronica Mars (i.e. the part that was plotted out ahead of time) is one of my favorite seasons of any scripted television series.

    Couldn’t agree more. Intelligent, relatable and funny.




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  65. charon says:

    @de stijl:

    Didn’t all the first season Buffy writers get canned? All new writers for the later seasons.




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  66. Modulo Myself says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    Veronica Mars is one of the last good shows to follow an episode of the week format. I think it worked to its favor in Season 1. A lot of the great emotional moments and clues in the long arc come out of stand-alone mysteries. In my opinion, the show would not have been so good had it only been six to eight episodes about Lily’s murder and the Veronica-Logan-Duncan love triangle.




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  67. Modulo Myself says:

    @de stijl:

    Buffy reached greatness in season 2. Midway through season 5 I thought it became hollow and grandiose. Relative to what came before, at least. Though it was still really funny.

    “Don’t hit the horsies!” “We won’t.” “Aim for the horsies.”




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  68. C. Clavin says:

    Amazing that a thread about war with Iran has become a thread about Buffy.
    Because, really, Buffy made far more sense.




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  69. Steven Newman says:

    @Steven Newman:

    So, not one person here thought my comment had any value? That tells me the degree of conformity in this forum.

    I expected no one to recognize the famous Melian Dialogue from Thucydides.

    I, too, wonder about Buffy–who she is and what kind of community would go OT regarding her.




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  70. Steven Newman says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Who said there would’t be repercussions? Some of them would even be good–like the US showing that, despite what various Muslim notables think, the US is a fearsome enemy, not a “weak horse.”




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  71. C. Clavin says:

    @Steven Newman:
    Your comment had no value.
    You have no grasp of the facts involved in Iraq, and your estimation of war with Iran is naive, if not juvenile. But both views conform strictly to Neo-con theology.
    You seem to think you had something to offer besides radical right wing catechisms.
    You didn’t.




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  72. wr says:

    @charon: “Didn’t all the first season Buffy writers get canned? All new writers for the later seasons”

    Nope. Not at all. A little churn, and then a few went with Greenwalt over to Angel… but a pretty consistent staff…




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  73. Terrrye says:

    Republicans thought the war in Iraq would be easy? I can remember Bill Clinton going on the David Letterman show shortly before the invasion in Iraq and he said the whole thing would probably be over in a couple of weeks. Of course it was also Bill Clinton who passed the Iraqi Liberation Act making the removal of Saddam Hussein from power our national policy…and why did he want him removed from power? Well for one thing he had stockpiles of wmd…it is so easy to rewrite history isn’t it?




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  74. Modulo Myself says:

    @Steven Newman:

    Hey idiot–Athens ended up surrendering to Sparta. What did all of the slaughter gain them?




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  75. wr says:

    @Modulo Myself: “Midway through season 5 I thought it became hollow and grandiose. ”

    Hmmm. Seasons five and six are my favorites…




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  76. wr says:

    @Terrrye: “I can remember Bill Clinton going on the David Letterman show shortly before the invasion in Iraq and he said the whole thing would probably be over in a couple of weeks.”

    And yet oddly you’ve managed to forget all the times the people who were actually in power and responsible for the war — you know, the Bush administration — said we’d be out in six days, maybe six weeks, that we’d be greeted as liberators, and that it would be a cakewalk.




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  77. Steven Newman says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Oh Clavin, you dont get it. 100% agreement in a group on anything is suspect.

    As for you, you haven’t demonstrated any special expertise on the matter at hand, though I expect you are far more expert on Buffy.




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  78. Steven Newman says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    “Idiot”? At least I didn’t have to Google to get your tidbit. Athens, BTW, should not have underestimated Sparta. It also should have noticed powers that were waiting in the wings.




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  79. Steven Newman says:

    @DrDaveT:

    DaveT, I am not concerned with the lives of those who would destroy me. I’m not sure, thought, that “mass murder” comes from destroying nuclear, military, and political targets.




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  80. Steven Newman says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Actually, Clavin, the US is a bigger oil producer than Russia.




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  81. Steven Newman says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Jeez, Clavin, can you even make an argument?




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  82. Steven Newman says:

    @Dave D:

    How was the USSR’s economy? Crappy of course. But that didn’t stop it from being a superpower.




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  83. C. Clavin says:

    @Steven Newman:
    You’re James P, aren’t you.




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  84. Steven Newman says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Lol, clavin thinks there is only one person with my name.




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  85. ernieyeball says:

    @ CC-Didn’t New man give it away?




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  86. Steven Newman says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Actually, your example shows a SMART use of our military resources. We rightly helped keep up the Iraq-Iran war.




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  87. Steven Newman says:

    @rachel:

    The US has been at war with Iran from the moment our embassy was seized by Khomeini. Iran is very clearly still at war with us. Same for North Korea. We should have removed its nuclear capability long ago.




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  88. Steven Newman says:

    Well guys, it’s been real, but the level of this discussion is far too low to warrant any more of my time. Sometimes I go to unfamiliar forums to see what is being said.




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  89. ernieyeball says:

    @Steven Newman:..but the level of this discussion is far too low to warrant any more of my time.

    Promises, promises…




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  90. Neil Hudelson says:

    James P. was deliberately provocative, and clearly descended into parody at points. Steven just strikes me as frighteningly ignorant and naive.

    Having spent an afternoon talking to high school students about policy, I’m fairly certain Steven is around age 14. He has the surety of someone whose never analyzed their own thoughts, and the hide of someone whose never been challenged in their life. When his comments were roundly ignored (rather than torn apart like we normally do), he jumped up and down for attention.

    Yup, 14. Maybe 15–if he’s taking a high school course on classics or world history; it would explain the somewhat obscure references.




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  91. Tony W says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Yup, 14. Maybe 15–if he’s taking a high school course on classics or world history; it would explain the somewhat obscure references.

    Well that explains those unusually long showers I suppose…..




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  92. DrDaveT says:

    @Steven Newman:

    So, not one person here thought my comment had any value? That tells me the degree of conformity in this forum.

    Not one person here thinks that 2+7=29, either. For pretty much the same reason.

    I am not concerned with the lives of those who would destroy me.

    So you’re a paranoid sociopath? Hope that works out for you.

    Neil, I think you’re probably aiming low. I detect classic sophomore syndrome here.




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  93. ernieyeball says:

    James P and Steve Newman are but two of the heads of the Many Headed Hydra Troll. Here we see Joyner and Taylor battling it to the death!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lernaean_Hydra#/media/File:Hercules_slaying_the_Hydra.jpg




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  94. jukeboxgrad says:

    Terrrye:

    I can remember Bill Clinton going on the David Letterman show shortly before the invasion in Iraq and he said the whole thing would probably be over in a couple of weeks.

    Interesting how you can remember something that never happened.




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  95. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven Newman: Yes. This. Totally. Because the resident population of US Citizens is just waiting for us to invade and take over governance and expel all the treasonous Iranians from what will be the 51st state of the glorious United States of Global Dominion!

    You are even more of a moron than Cotton pretend to be. I didn’t think that was possible but today’s conservatives continue to excel at stupidity beyond belief.




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  96. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven Newman: It might also say something about your level of intelligence. But no, let’s blame the liberals.




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  97. Grumpy Realist says:

    Trollz iz trolls. If Steve Newman isn’t James P., he’s got the similar stupidity and brattiness. Wonder if he’ll claim to have a doctorate in physics (oh please, please please, we would have so much fun with him…)




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  98. C. Clavin says:

    @Terrrye:

    I can remember Bill Clinton going on the David Letterman show shortly before the invasion in Iraq and he said the whole thing would probably be over in a couple of weeks.

    Gonna need a link…otherwise I’m pretty sure this is fiction.




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  99. jukeboxgrad says:

    I’m sure it’s fiction. We will never see a link, from her or anyone else.

    Conservative rhetoric is packed with fiction, usually something invented by Rush or Sean and then parroted endlessly by their mindless followers. At least it’s slightly entertaining when they come up with something entirely original, which is what she did in this instance.




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  100. Blue Galangal says:

    @Modulo Myself: Some of the problems with later seasons of Buffy can be laid at the door of Marti Noxon, who never met a Mary Sue named Riley Finn she didn’t like, and Joss being distracted with Firefly. (Not that Firefly’s a bad thing ever but leaving Marti Noxon in charge wasn’t a good thing.)




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  101. restless says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    Well, there’s this…

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-dave-and-bill-show/

    restless




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  102. jukeboxgrad says:

    You’re right, I didn’t know. Terrrye, I apologize and restless, thanks for the correction.

    One more reason I’m glad I never voted for Clinton.




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  103. jukeboxgrad says:

    If a “hack” is someone who apologizes when they make a mistake then I’m a hack and you’re not.




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  104. al-Ameda says:

    @munchbox:

    Fox News: Fair and Balanced — and, according to a new survey, the most trusted news source around.

    Kind of supports the idea that America is an extremely dumbed down country these days, doesn’t it?




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  105. James P says:

    Every time someone makes a conservative comment everyone thinks it is a sockpuppet of me. I just love that I live rent free inside everyone’s head!!!!!! LOL!!!!

    Did I just use the term rent free to make people think I am Jeno’s (since I have been accused of having a similar writing style to Jenos in the past?).




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  106. steve s says:

    America is so dumbed down these days.

    it’s not any dumber than the past–it’s that the dum-dums have collected into one political party and become its dominant influence.




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  107. humanoid.panda says:

    @al-Ameda: Actually, no its not. What’s going on is that the 70% of the American popualtion that is not hard-core conservatives trust various news sources: some read the New York times, and some US News and World Today, some CNN and some PBS. Additionally, people who read the New York Times don’t necessarily think that MSNBC or CBS or NPR are all a bunch of godless liars. Conservatives, on the other hand, watch only Fox News, and convinced that everyone else lies. In other words, Bolshevik party discipline works.




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  108. Tony W says:

    @James P: Yawn, I’m afraid we’d have to care more than we do…




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  109. Steven Newman says:

    I didn’t expect to be back here, but this article was still in rotation on my news aggregator, and curiosity got the better of me.

    I see that one reader has found some merit in my comments since I left.

    I won’t reply to the personal attacks against me except to note that I am more degreed in political science and at better schools than the author of this article. Ultimately, though, arguments, not degrees, are what count.

    Arguments are not in evidence from either the author or the commentators. Somehow those here seem to believe that history began with the talking points that Doug M. parroted here. The use of military force may or may not be prudent. Massive expenditures after military action are rarely prudent, and they are never prudent in the Muslim Middle East, where there are no good guys.

    I maintain that diminishing Muslim strength in the world is always a good thing. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes not. A world in which there is another Muslim nuclear power is a bad thing, and in Iran’s case it is particularly bad because it will, very certainly, lead the Sunni moneybags to develop their own programs.

    Adios.




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  110. Surreal American says:

    I won’t reply to the personal attacks against me except to note that I am more degreed in political science and at better schools than the author of this article.

    Well of course you are. Isn’t that the case with all trolls these days?

    Adios.

    If only, if only.




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  111. Zachriel says:

    @munchbox: A new survey says that Fox News is the most trusted TV news source in America, and MSNBC is dead last.

    Hmm. 75% trust anything but Fox News.




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