Monday, January 30, 2012

The Return of the Iran Two-Step

Well, the Iran two-step is back in a couple of different articles about the possibility of an attack on Iran. In case you have forgotten from last time, the Iran two-step is when one person says that "Iran has no weapons or strong military. It poses no threat to Israel, America, or anyone so there's no reason at all why we should invade it." Then the second person says, "Iran has a lot of weapons so if Israel attacks they will be wiped out or if America attacks we will lose hundreds of thousands of soldiers." Don't believe me?

Let's start with Huffington Post blogger Ira Chernus:
"All of this could be laughed off as absurdity if the American conversation about Israel were based on reality. Israel, the Middle East's only nuclear power now and for the foreseeable future, is perfectly safe from Iranian attack. Indeed, Israel is safe from any attack, as the strength of its (largely U.S.-funded) military and the history of its war success proves."
See? No problem. But now let's to the comments section:

OMG! Iran is capable of leveling Tel Aviv? I guess they do pose a threat to Israel and by extension many other countries around the region? Oh wait:

Now suddenly we are told that Iran would never use those nuclear weapons (that they don't have) in order to destroy Israel because the cost would be too high.

Meanwhile Leon Panetta says Iran is one year away from nuclear weapons.

It's getting to the point where I don't know who to believe.


  1. You seem very confused. Different people sometimes have different positions.

    However, The two arguments are not really that opposed to each other

    Iran does not have nuclear weapons, which is what you are claiming they are doing that is so bad, even though you do have those weapons

    But they do have a normal army.

    Its fairly similar to what you would say about Israel. How they are in constant danger of being wiped out (by who its not clear), while at the same time cheering their military industrial complex as strong and good

  2. Anonymous:

    As usual, I'm not sure how I can be more clear than I was in the post.

    Iran's military strength is not a question of opinion or position. They either are capable of "turning Tel Aviv into a parking lot" or they aren't.

    If they are capable of nuking Israel, pro-Iran people see that as a good reason why Israel shouldn't attack. But it's also a good reason why Israel *should,* since Iran poses a possible existential threat to Israel.

    But if they aren't capable of nuking Israel, they don't pose a threat, but then why *shouldn't* Israel attack since there won't be a nuclear response?

    I'm saying each argument makes sense on their own but when you try to cram them together like this you end up contradicting each other.

    (Oh, and to answer your deflection: Israel is surrounded by people would love to wipe them out given half the chance, but they don't have the chance because of "the military industrial complex" you mentioned.)


Hey guys we've started to employ a slight comment policy. We used to have completely open comments but then people abused it. So our comment policy is such: No obvious trolling or spamming. And be warned: unlike the Huffington Post we actually enforce our comment policy.