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May 20, 2008

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but he's such a mavericky demagogue !

I hope Obama takes this and rides with it. It fits perfectly into his politics of fear/politics of hope theme. And it has the advantage of being true.

Re threat to Israel, Bush got one thing right: the chief threat posed by a nuclear Iran is via terrorism. The only defense against nukes is MAD. That works against Iranian missiles and warplanes, but would Israel really take out Tehran or Mashhad on mere suspicion if a nuclear suicide bomber blew up Tel Aviv? If I were Iranian, I would not make that gamble, but as a Zionist I would prefer to avoid the possibility that a truly stupid Iranian government got into power.

None of which is to say we shouldn't talk to them, quite the reverse.

Fox News has an interview with John Bolton on this.

"BOLTON: There is enormous evidence that Iran wants hegemony within the Islamic world for it's brand of Shia Islam and that's a large part of the controversy in the broader Middle East today.

COLMES: But they've never had expansionist ideas? They never went and took over another country, did they?

BOLTON: They have expanded. You know the population of Iran is only slightly over 50 percent Persian, so they do have larger ambitions, and especially within the whole Islamic world."

Emphasis mine. McCain knows exactly who he's talking to.

I agree with the general thrust of the post. Is there any threat of nuclear weapons coming in by ship, though? I remember worrying about that when people were talking about port security and such in the past.

It's too bad Charles Bird doesn't contribute here anymore. Hilzoy's recent run of anti-McCain posts would mix well* with C Bird's determined (and multitudinous) pro-McCain posts available elsewhere.

----------
*Emulsify.

loved the iran chart :)

"It's too bad Charles Bird doesn't contribute here anymore."

I, for one, would welcome Charles returning to posting here, and letting us discuss McCain with him.

I realize this would cause Charles a lot of effort if he wishes to respond and defend his views, and that it's easier to write where they won't have to meet those sort of challenging responses, so it's understandable that he wouldn't want to bother, and thus he wouldn't have to think so much about how to respond, of course.

And I'm sure there are other good reasons why Charles might prefer not to bother. But I wish he would. If nothing else, his arguments might come out stronger and tighter in the end.

Not that I disagree with your overall argument, but Obama did not actually say that the *threat* posed by those countries was "tiny" compared with the Soviet Union.

I'm surprised I beat Gary to noting this point. :)

Hasn't that whole "Iran is supplying IEDs" story been debunked before?

I sincerely doubt that any European countries would let Iranian bombers refuel en route to the US.

Well... maybe France.

I sincerely doubt that any European countries would let Iranian bombers refuel en route to the US.

Well... maybe France.

This might be funny, if one was completely clueless about French policy towards Iran.

It would make some sense if the answer "maybe Russia" made any geographic sense. I suppose perhaps Russia could grant overflight and refueling rights to Iranian bombers, if Iran had any long range bombers and tankers, which they don't. Similarly, China.

But since France has been as strong, if not downright belligerent, in working to forestall a nuclear Iran as the U.S. has, and we've worked hand in glove with each other, it makes no sense at all.

publius: using the 'eraser' function is such fun...

By the way: since you just switched to macs, you might not know about Graphic Converter. If you don't have or need Photoshop, try it: at $34.95, it can't be beat. (The website describes it as 'Photo Editing', but it's a good general graphics program, and astounding at the price.)

Hasn't that whole "Iran is supplying IEDs" story been debunked before?
Various aspects have been debunked: 1) A visit to a stockpile of seized weapons and EFPs, touted by the military as evidence of Iranian meddling, was cancelled and later occured witohut the Iranian connection being claimed. 2) Other EFPs touted as evidence of Iranian supply were found to be manufactured within Iraq. 3) Also, there is the problem that the EFPs were frequently being used by Sunni groups of no known connection to Iran, which may desire chaos in Iraq but also doesn't desire Sunni power in Iraq.

But, of course, no one doubt that Iran is meddling in Iraq - including its close contacts with the government parties and their militias - and it's hardly implausible that they're supplying arms and expertise. The centrality of Iran's role, however, is much less clear than some claim.

Obama could have gone even further. McCain was wrong on even more than the comparison with the Soviet Union.

"On the contrary, right now Iran provides some of the deadliest explosive devices used in Iraq to kill our soldiers." - for which no proof has been offered.

"They are the chief sponsor of Shia extremists in Iraq" - unless you are calling the Al-Maliki government extremist, then this is BS also.

"...and terrorist organizations in the Middle East." - none of which pose any threat to the United States.

"And their President, who has called Israel a "stinking corpse," has repeatedly made clear his government's commitment to Israel's destruction." -- wrong again. He has called for removal of the Israeli government, and is certainly no friend of Israel, but has no capability to destroy Israel and if he did, it would be Israel's problem, not ours.

"Most worrying, Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons." -- which they cannot possibly achieve for several more years during which we can use diplomacy like we have done with North Korea.

"If you don't have or need Photoshop, try it: at $34.95, it can't be beat."

In general, may I point out that it's an extremely rare program of any non-specialized sort that you can't find a free alternative to, before needing to pay a penny to do what you want?

Of course, this is about 200 less true of Macs, but that's part of the whole "pay 3 times what you have to so Apple can limit all your options to their way, but it's the prettiest way" thing Apple exists for.

Still, I recommend strongly looking for free versions of software before paying out money you don't have to for software.

For Mac graphics software, there are certainly other fine sites, and perhaps better ones, but I'd suggest looking here for a few minutes, unless you have more money than time.

Gary: yeah, but Graphics Converter is truly worth it. It does what you'd normally expect to pay much, much more for, and does it very well. To my knowledge, none of the free programs come close.

and if any Windows people are looking for a similar program, may i suggest ThumbNailer...

i, um, know the guy who wrote it.

The only defense against nukes is MAD. That works against Iranian missiles and warplanes, but would Israel really take out Tehran or Mashhad on mere suspicion if a nuclear suicide bomber blew up Tel Aviv?

Nuclear weapons have fairly unique radiation signatures, If a nuke went off in Jerusalem, it wouldn't take very long to figure out where the bomb had come from.

watch Joe Klein as he smacks McCain around about this comment.

Actually, you don't need to pay for GC, it is just that the startup screen gives you a longer and longer countdown. Rather than leap into a paean to GC, I made a thread at TiO.

Good lord, Gary, are you trying to provoke a Mac vs. PC flame war? For someone who prides himself on being net savvy, that's a pretty n00b move.

Also, Captain Kirk can beat Captain Picard.

Gary will go Mac in 18 months.

BOLTON: They have expanded.

OK I know I'm a regular now because my first reaction on reading this was to think, "Cite?".

One good thing here is that at least this is a debate about something other than scary ministers and lapel pins. Which is to say, it's about something. So, there is that, and frankly I'm grateful for it.

I second the wish that Charles Bird would favor us with his point of view here.

Thanks -

I first played with a 128k Mac, and then a lot of time on a Fat Mac.

I eventually got a Mac SE, and then a Mac SE 30, and used them through the mid-Eighties, as it happens.

I like certain bits of the
Mac, and the elegance of the designs. I don't like many other things about them. I would never say anyone is wrong for having a personal preference for either a Mac or a Windows machine, let alone a non-Mac Linux machine, or anything else that rings someone's chimes. Computers are a subjective experience in many ways.

But unless someone else is paying for my Mac, or I inherit one, I'm unlikely to be purchasing one any time in the mid-term future.

I am, as it happens, writing this on a iMac 7.1, which I've been using for the past two weeks, but it's not my own machine.

Small countries get allot of US foreign aid. Obama's foreign policy is there with allot of money and specific continents. He wants to buy his foreign policy and be liked for cash and it's all the US. Check his legislation. He can't say he wants to meet with 'big' countries because he is a Chicago activist, but all his legislation and foreign policy cash goes to his 'small countries.'

We need a break from this scammer. Who called the UN about the dem vote thing anyways?

i, um, know the guy who wrote it.

Does he like pie?

By G-d, if McCain were trying to become my MK, I'd vote for him.

But he isn't. He's voting for the President of the US.

So I'm not voting for him.

I suppose McCain does have a point. For instance, McCain is not nearly as stupid as Bush, but that does not mean that the stupid posed by McCain is insignificant.

My two cents,

Iran is, without a doubt, a tiny threat to the US. It is a threat to Israel, but they are capable of taking care themselves.

If seems the nation being truly threatened is Iran...by the US. We have invaded nations that border Iran on it's east and west flanks, and a large portion of our blue water navy is positioned off it's coast. If desired we could control all of Iran's airspace as well. Where's is the prespective is this whole situation?

I would answer tic but I have no idea what he is trying to say. I think his word salad needs a dressing.

This might be funny, if one was completely clueless about French policy towards Iran.

Well, yes. That's part of the joke anyway. I mean, if we're going to swallow whole the notion that Tehran is sitting on ever-so-close-to-being-processed plutonium, it only stands to reason that France was in on it too. And since Michelle Malkin and the wingnut brigades already explained how France has been overrun by Islamofascists, it makes perfect sense that the land of wine and cheese has been converted into one giant Al-Qaeda training camp / tarmac for Iranian nuclear bombers.

Given that we've completely abandoned any semi-balance of foreign policy expertise in favor of a world view written as a Tom Clancy military adventure novel, we have to make certain reasonable assumptions.

Still, I recommend strongly looking for free versions of software before paying out money you don't have to for software.

Yeah, actually paying programmers for their work - perish the thought.

novakent, I'm pretty sure that most people who write freely available software get paid pretty well at their day job. If they decide that it makes them happy to produce freely available software at night, I don't see any reason to reject their software simply so that I can feel good about paying someone.

Turbulence, there is nothing wrong with free software, I use it in conjunction with commercial software on a daily basis for my work and appreciate all the efforts of the community that provides me with scripts and tools.

What I don't like is the mindset that "strongly" recommends looking for free alternatives when somebody highly recommends an inexpensive piece of software to someone who, I presume, can easily afford it. Especially since in this case it seems to be written by a single developer and is his day job.

I get that novakent, but I think Gary has recently mentioned that the most money he's ever made was $18K/year and it sounds like he's currently pulling in a lot less than that. Given those circumstances, I think having a rule of thumb that favors freely available software whenever possible is very reasonable. And while publius likely doesn't live under those same financial constraints, I don't see why we should fault Gary for (plausibly) making recommendations based on his own life experience.

I know this thread is dead, but I just have to add along with the people above that it is very embarrassing that you took the claims of the US government seriously with regard to IEDs having a Iranian source. Obviously that has been thoroughly debunked.

I know this thread is dead, but I just have to add along with the people above that it is very embarrassing that you took the claims of the US government seriously with regard to IEDs having a Iranian source. Obviously that has been thoroughly debunked.

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Whatnot


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