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This is the real Bearcat - a Binturong
03:05 AM on 03/13/2012
The saddest thing I see about our handling this or should say whole world is classes in college 35 years ago were talking about this when on topics of world famine and starvation. We knew in the 1970's that small countries would probably try to get nuclear weapons by either making them or buy them from a renegade general from USSR or China. They figured they may point it at a neighbor when they are starving from famine kind of like N. Korea almost does to S. Korea. So this is not a big surprise it came up eventually. We need to resolve this world wide because it will happen again in other countries some year in the future. If other countries want to run Nuclear Power Plants do we have the right to stop them from getting their electricity this way rather than coal/gas burning? So how do we let other countries run a Nuclear Power Plant for electricity production and stop them from making nukes eventually since nuclear fuel production and spent fuel reprocessing could both lead to weapon grade material to make nukes from - Can inspections be enough? I think the world needs regional fuel making and reprocessing centers that shouild be run by International teams, not these new smaller countries. That with on-site permanent inspectors at the power plants could probably keep control of all materials and still allow other countries to get electricity from nuclear power.
02:33 AM on 03/13/2012
government cheese will return
01:40 AM on 03/13/2012
Come on people THINK!!!! Iran does not want or need nuclear-arms to protect itself. It is absolutely not a threat to any one,including the USA.. Question : How many countries have Iran tempted to take over their government in the last 200 years? How many times have they been attacked in the last 200 years
So lets take that off the table, so then what is the real reason, for the smoke screen. What is Iran doing that the USA cannot talk openly about, and why is causes them to be so upset. That is the Million Dollar Question for thinking Americans. About 5% may be?
10:26 AM on 03/13/2012
What do you know what Iran wants or needs?  Are you in direct contact with the 
Supreme Leader on a daily basis?  The "how many countries has Iran invaded" is getting old.  This is an ISLAMIC Iran now.   It's not just the US and Israel who have concerns about Iran.  SA and Iraq both distrust a nuclear Iran.  Don't take this as approval for any unprovoked act of war against Iran... just the fact that Iran is NOT harmless.
01:51 AM on 03/15/2012
Iran harmfully had to defend itself against Iraqi invasion, aided by us. You seem concerned about SA aswell, now which is more harmfull to us, Iran or Saudi Arabia?
11:12 AM on 03/13/2012
May God bless and protect IRAN
Allison Knight-Khan
Love 4 All, Hatred 4 None
12:24 AM on 03/13/2012
My favorite quote: "The big fear generated about a nuclear-armed Iran is yet another example of threat inflation -- and it's a practice that's driving this country into the ground."

It is reassuring to hear American lips speak these words. While the pro-Israeli party insists that we must go to war, the Muslim Caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad is speaking in favor of peace:

In Peace, we can pay off the debt hanging over our heads. In war, we just keep running into astronomic catastrophic debt.
10:27 AM on 03/13/2012
Being pro-Israel does not equate to being pro-war.  You are creating a very false presumption.
WE are creating our world
09:58 PM on 03/12/2012
The nuclear 'threat' is a red herring. What we are fearful of is Iran's threat to U.S. Dollar hegemony. The fact that they are not a captured and controlled central bank, and the fact that they want to trade oil in other than U.S. Dollars.

Wake up to reality and the world starts to make a lot more sense.
03:49 AM on 03/13/2012
The big powers, primarily the Western Powers and mainly the US are absolutely and positively opposed to creation / existence of any true democratically system or regimes with grassroots support of average citizenry in the vital and rich resourced Middle East or other parts of the world for that matter. It is considered "the biggest danger to the western civilization"! As someone who can recall 12 Presidential Elections in the US, I can assure you that there was not a single election that my folks and I voted for some one who we ever believed in to be the right choice. Everyone I knew always voted for the lesser evil or not as corrupted one! One major fact is that Elections in most Western Nations and specially in the US are mainly supported by lobbyists and financially powerful entities. Corporate controlled MSM controls flow of information and misinformation that could manipulate average voters and tilt elections within final hours. Therefore, an Ideal regime for Middle East is what the Shah had or what exists in countries like Jordan or what used to be in Egypt. Simply put it, no democracy unless it is my way scenario. What happened after Hamas Election was an example.
Truely democratically elected government cannot be fully controlled and manipulated to maintain Western interests. Particularly when its domestic interests and Western interests do not overlap.
It may become an example for countries like US that are NOT true democratic systems and politicians mainly represent 1%.
10:37 AM on 03/13/2012
There are some who say that Saddam sealed his fate when he said that Iraq would take payments for its oil in currencies other than the dollar.
WE are creating our world
09:05 PM on 03/13/2012
And Qadaffi sealed his fate when he was close to creating a gold backed currency to trade African oil. Two weeks after Qadaffi was eliminated the 'rebels' created a new central bank. Imagine that - their first priority was a new central bank. Anyone who cannot see what is really at play simply does not have their eyes open.
Both salubrious and lugubrious concurrently.
09:51 PM on 03/12/2012
A nuclear-armed Iran our 'greatest threat' is like saying the beagle belonging to the neighbor down the street is our neighborhood's greatest threat. Not only is the threat vastly overblown, the statement is factually untrue. A nuclear-armed *Pakistan* is indeed our 'greatest threat', far more serious than Iran. And its a present-day threat, not some postulated future threat.
Richard Pearce
Atheistic-agnostic Canadian polymath
11:24 PM on 03/12/2012
Actually, your 'greatest threat' is also not only vastly overblown, and factually untrue. The greatest threat to the US is China, and it is not because they are (unlike Iran) nuclear armed with the capability (unlike Pakistan) of hitting the US with enough nukes to 'turn it into a sheet of glass', it is because China is in the process of displacing the US as the country that everybody needs to do business with and so can unilaterally impose sanctions against a state that will be mostly obeyed, and is working towards also being the country that can crowd any country it wants by moving enough military might to the area to launch a blitzkreig takeover,
01:29 AM on 03/13/2012
You hit the nail on its head. In fact the dream is to install another Shah in Iran in order to create a united Saudi Arabia- Israel- Iran triangle in order to contain China -Russia - India. In this plan, Israel must keep its nuclear monopoly and dominance.
02:10 AM on 03/13/2012
China has never been a predator nation. Before Europe arrived in Asia China's merchant navy traded with all the Nations from china to North Africa, including Indians, and Persia.
Chinese traded for centuries with no attempt of colonizing or wiping out vast numbers of the populations they came in contact with. Why was that? May be Confusions, or Buddha did not give them Dominion over the entire world.
China is not a colonizing Power never was it is not in its DNA. However i can’t say the same for western European Nations and their peoples. Why is that?
"The fuster we go, the rounder we get"
11:24 PM on 03/12/2012
---- 'A nuclear-armed Iran our 'greatest threat''----

is not quite what Panetta said. he said that no threat is greater.
09:50 PM on 03/12/2012
Iran has many delivery systems. Its people like Chambers of Britain during world war, thats the biggest threat to our way of life. Have any of the above dummies ever head of cargo ships, build the Weapon, ship them to a port like New York{Thank God the Bush-a-Nites}, did not succeed in turning over the security of ports to the United Arab Emirates. It would be much easier to ship the Weapons to our PORTS AND JUST SET THEM OFF.
02:14 AM on 03/13/2012
Do you also dream in technicolor
03:15 AM on 03/13/2012
LOL You're funny.
09:44 PM on 03/12/2012
"Taking out what is the equivalent to a huge second mortgage (to the tune of three-quarters of a trillion dollars each year for "defense" and "homeland security") to buy newer guns is not the answer. Not when our furnace is still leaking, our foundation is still crumbling, and our children are still suffering." You are correct. It is not in the best interests of the family who lives in the house. The problem is: It's a crack house. The family is used to make the crack (tax $) and then it's sold by the house dealers to their friends down the street (via K St.) The CMC reigns!!! Ike was no dummy when he saw it on the horizon. Our Congress is overwhelmingly corrupt- prostituting the family- yes- even little children- to those who adhere to the Monroe Doctrine that the masses are unfit to rule- that only the wealthiest should rule the earth. One problem with that logic is that it fails to recognize that greed is the drug of all drugs. Second, it supposes that those with wealth are intelligent. While many may be, arrogance has its way with reason. Finally, it reinforces the rule that GWB espoused most recently: What's good for America is good for the world. Oh, and by 'America' he did NOT mean the masses, as they are simply means to an end. He meant the wealthy who run the crack house.
01:34 AM on 03/13/2012
Any idea how to fix it? After 2004 Election and witnessing the reelection of GWB, all hopes were lost.
09:29 PM on 03/12/2012
Indeed, Iran offered comprehensive negotiations after abandoning its nuke program in 2003. The Iranians would be glad to be welcomed back into the int'l community if only the US and Israel would stop threatening to destroy it (as they've been doing since '79) and stop telling it that it can't enrich uranium as it is fully allowed to do under the NPT.

The best way to ensure Iran does not resume its nuke program is by not providing it a reason to seek a deterrent. The US should tell Israel to submit its illegal nukes to NPT/IAEA supervision, or even better, to fully dismantle their nuke program. Israel did, after all, try to sell nukes to Apartheid era South Africa, and who knows who else.

Since Iran hasn't attacked anyone in over 200 years, despite the CIA overthrowing their democratically elected leader in '53, and despite the US supporting Saddam's invasion of Iran in '80, and continuing to support Saddam after he used chemical weapons on Iranians and Kurds, I think everyone should give Iran more credit for its restraint and stop being so hysterical about this "threat."

Were Iran brought back into the fold, it would also allign this very large regional power more towards the West rather than with China.
01:43 AM on 03/13/2012
The only reason Iran had a nuclear weapon program was to deter Saddam. The only reason it decided to abandon the program in 2003, was because the threat from Saddam did no longer exist. To keep threatening Iran or attacking Iran, there would e no option for Iran but to resume its nuclear weapon program.
"The fuster we go, the rounder we get"
04:01 PM on 03/13/2012
Iran currently has a nuclear weapons program and had had one for years..... I guess you and Iran figure that Saddam is still coming for them.
02:16 AM on 03/13/2012
Knowledge and reason hope for us yet!!
09:16 PM on 03/12/2012
Sane opinions like the author's carry very little weight in a country in which our entire government has been bribed by big corporations who make a lot of money off of military expenditures. Those of you who cheered Obama's decision to accept millions in soft corporate money were cheering the outright bribery of our president. He has been bought, and the decision to attack Iran has already been made. What you will witness from this point until the attack is a carefully orchestrated PR campaign designed to make the American public sit still and pay for it.
01:47 AM on 03/13/2012
Oh God we are screwed!
08:27 PM on 03/12/2012
Common sense at last.
08:24 PM on 03/12/2012
GREAT to see ex-military openly criticizing Israel and AIPAC_.

The day has come. Many of us have been waiting for years.

Israel and AIPAC_overplayed a good hand. Their mistakes here also show a likelihood of repeating the same mistakes inside Israel. The chances of a one-state solution have never been higher because of Israel and the Lobby's repeated mistakes and failure to act on incredibly good opportunities.

Historic errors, march of folly...
01:52 AM on 03/13/2012
He is retired now. If he wasn't, he would become retired tomorrow! Ask General Zenni or read his book.
A man a plan a canal Panama
08:12 PM on 03/12/2012
Yes, I'm still waiting to hear a rational person tell me exactly why "containment" will not work with Iran who doesn't have any nuclear weapons at this time, when it worked against the Soviet Union, who had thousands of warheads actually targeted on our heads. Please.

We faced nuclear armed Soviet Union and China, and we're all still here. So before the Israelis start a shooting war, I'd like to hear Netanyahu explain to the US and the world, why their own nuclear arsenal is not enough to deter Iran.

G.W. Bush fooled us once already with Iraq - shame on him. We cannot afford to get fooled again by the resurgent war hawks in Israel and in the US. If anyone is starting to look like an irrational player, it's Netanyahu.
"The fuster we go, the rounder we get"
09:34 PM on 03/12/2012
containment CAN work, but Iran can be counted upon to continue their aggressive attempts to export their revolution and to subvert the governments of their Arab neighbors.....
09:47 PM on 03/12/2012
Those arab rulers are more afraid of their own people.
Richard Pearce
Atheistic-agnostic Canadian polymath
11:26 PM on 03/12/2012
Of course 'subvert the governments of their Arab neighbors' is the way of saying 'support pro-democracy movements' when the dictatorships happen to dance to the American piper.
You're a better man than I am !
07:59 PM on 03/12/2012
I have to state: I really don't know where you are going with this, but I truly like the term 'threat inflation', cuz that's right on the money. Excellent, excellent term! Sometimes I think the people running this country are kinda playing this 'in the country's interest' just a little ( slight

too far. Can anyone else see this fear mongering.