Open Chat... All Day, Every Day! Express Your Views, Debate, and Challenge the Views of Others!

In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- In addition to a controversial rocket launch expected in the next few days, North Korea is reportedly planning another underground nuclear test (CNN):

- Two Tulsa, Oklahoma men accused of killing three in a racially-charged shooting spree last week will make their first appearance in court today (CNN):

- Congressional Black Caucus chairman Emanuel Cleaver says it's wrong to accuse republicans of waging a war on women (Fox News):

- Stocks are set to slide this week as international securities fell due to the weaker than expected March jobs report (ABC News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME poll on the right ***


  1. President clueless is doing a GREAT job with foreign policy, right? Morons on the left will say "he got Bin Laden!" But really? Continuing the policies of Bush got Bin Laden. The game was won by the team, not the kicker at the last second.

    What is really happening is we have a progression towards a nuclear Iran, an nuclear N. Korea, and Mr. Great Leader of ours is sitting back letting it all happen. Well, he is golfing and setting up campaign offices and whispering to Russia. It's clear he is playing politics with our country and our foreign policy. We have to stop him.

    1. North Korea has had and actively tested nuclear weapons for a long time now.

      Regarding Iran, I'm completely comfortable with our approach... to which the only other alternatives are giving up completely on Iran and Israel, or jumping into another war. Seems you support one of the latter?

      I’d much rather we exhausted a diplomatic approach before putting trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives on the line again for the sake of fear-mongering on ‘weapons of mass destruction’ once again.

    2. Completely comfortable with our approach?!?!!?!?!?!??!?!

      When will you hippies that throw around the "fear mongering" tag realize these are not rational people we are dealing with, and by the time we do deal with them, it's too late. Do you think we could just walk up to Al Qaeda with our hands out saying "hey, good afternoon, let's negotiate?" Or do you think they would have flown their planes into our buildings in the name of Allah no matter what?

      Why do you think we can take a diplomatic approach to an irrational country? These people think it's okay to kill the "infidels." Do you think they negotiate? When dealing with religious crazies, we must remember they think they are justified in their minds. There is no negotiation, no diplomacy. They blow us up, and think they reach heaven. How do you turn someone away from that?

      So no, we should not be using diplomacy. We need to be more firm before it's too late.

  2. A better question is, why are you so intent on war with another country that would play out exactly like our wars in Afgah and Iraq?

    This isn't to say we should sit on our hands and watch, but to act like anything other than wanting all-out-war 'AS SOON AS POSSIBLE' makes you a 'hippy' is ridiculous and exactly the type of fear mongering I was talking about.

    And it exactly is fear mongering, because you're playing on the fact that we should be afraid of what they could do and what waiting too long could mean. Never mind the facts, probabilities, or opportunity costs, just be afraid that they could do something bad.

    You did get one point right, in that Iran's government and social structure may as well be a giant mess. But that point is exactly what would make a war on Iran another 'no-win' scenario, as Afghan and Iraq were, where there is no unified opposition we can fight against other than continuing the ambiguous 'war on terror' tag name. Which will only encourage another stalemate, more anti-American rhetoric for the region to rally around, another billion/trillions of dollars spent on war, another couple thousand American lives lost, and another hundred thousand dead civilians of Iran.

    I feel as though many Americans are too numb to how serious entering a war really is, because we’re all so shielded from the realities of it.

    If we went to war tomorrow, 95% of American lives would go on just as it did today. So it’s easy to hop on the war train anytime we feel threatened, but you can bet that if this was the 1940’s and entering war meant a nation-wide draft and much higher taxes (as it used to) we’d be much more hesitant.

    1. *Meant for this reply to be to aPEnUTz

  3. RKen - true points. But I can see apes points. These people are not rational. If you want to use probabilities, if it's a 1 in 500,000,000 chance Iran gets a nuclear weapon (incorporation of delivery mechanism, launch vehicle, AND uses it, et al) yes that's extremely slim, but if it's 1 in 500,000,000 and if that super slim chance comes through, up to 10,000,000 die, do the math. Waiting isn't worth it.

    1. I don't disagree with the irrational nature and potential futility of diplomacy in dealing with countries like this, but I don't believe that gives warrant to ignore it and jump straight to war in a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ style.

      Diplomacy is admittedly the least effective and most convoluted route, but that doesn’t make it worthless. Without it we could have very easily entered a full-on nuclear war with Russia in the very recent past; and I don’t’ think it should ever be ignored.

      That line of thinking in your probability example is also very dangerous and part of the problem with all of these wars. We can’t protect ourselves from being absolutely immune to any kind of attack ever, and there will always be a chance of us being attacked. We can and should seek to minimize it as best we can within rational means. But the idea that we should eliminate all threats no matter how small, at any costs, can be just as much of a threat our own national security as not doing enough.

  4. aPEnUTZ -

    Why is it our (United States) job to do anything? How/Why did we become the world police? As you stated, and I tend to agree, they (Iran - I look at it more as a regional 'way of life' for the entire middle-east) are completely irrational. It's not that Ahmadinejad is the only one, it seems as though it is pervasive through their entire society. If that's the case, you are dealing with a hydra that can only be stopped if it is eliminated. I don't imagine you are speaking of such genocide are you?

    Are you suggesting we start another war because the United States of America has determined, in its sole discretion, that Iran is an imminent threat? Don't you think that would raise the ire toward the US? Do you expect to beat these people into submission? This would not only make a bad problem worse but would also likely crash our economy (I assume you'd blame Obama for that) and send the deficit numbers even further into orbit (which I assume you'd blame Obama for). Let's also not forget, as RKen mentioned, the human lives that would be lost for such an action.

    In my opinion, we should leave the Middle East to take care of itself. Let them blow each other up and cut off each others heads and any other type of barbaric act they so choose. If Israel is attacked we can make a decision at that point as to how to respond but we cannot go around the world conquering nations as we see fit. That approach has consistently failed throughout history.

  5. Good afternoon Whatsamattausa, RKen,aPEnUTz??? (lol, made me laugh) Tweeky - I hope everyone had a great weekend!

    I don’t know yet where I fall, but I am learning both sides on this. First, I can totally understand the point about dealing with an irrational country. I can see, using an exaggerated case, how if we hold out an olive branch, they shoot us kind of thing, and that would be a tragic waste of time for us. If they are okay with killing us, and see is as infidels, it all holds true.

    I can totally see whatsamattausa’s and RKen’s points about not rushing off to war. But I also see aPE’s points about the “negative outcome theory.” He seems to be saying, and tell me if I’m wrong, APE, that yes, the chance is sooooooooooo slim, but the negative outcome of the “bad” action happening is so bad, should it outweigh all other options? For me, I don’t know. War is much more than bullets, bombs, and blood. It’s families, sons, daughters, heroes, and heartbreak. I was in the military, but luckily, I was a researcher and, like RKen said, was shielded from war’s horrible realities. But again, if that ultra slim chance does come true, it’s millions of casualties, not hundreds or thousands. What is the price of waiting? What is the price of wasting? When I say wasting, I mean, what if the slim chance of rushing off to prevent a nuclear Iran blows up in our face? What if we try to prevent a nuclear catastrophe and find nothing (Iraq)? Is it worth the cost? Is the insurance worth the price of another war… even if we found nothing? aPE’s discussion of probabilities really does make sense to me, but so do the counter positions of not going to war. With Iraq being within the last decade, history does lend more support towards RKen’s and whatsamattausa’s views.

    As far as “let them deal with it” whatsamattausa, I would 100% agree with you if this wasn’t a nuclear issue. This is what I researched for the military, and for me, a nuclear catastrophe or potential for one does make this unique. If Iran nuked Israel out of surprise, for example, Israel would not be the only country affected. Should we let them fend for themselves? I don’t know. But I don’t like the idea of having our ally out there facing a real nuclear threat.

    I know my comment doesn’t really answer or show my view, but I haven’t made up my mind, and I won’t beat the drums of war (to me, this isn’t totally war, we probably wouldn’t need boots on the ground, and precision missile and air strikes might to the job), or call for all out isolation until I research it more. But I’m glad to learn from both sides.
    Well, back to work for me. It’s been hectic in the office. I hope to write more soon.

  6. Happy Monday (if there is such a thing) everyone!

    I know you all saw my comment about the "wings" of this blog!! You know I had a good point :-) I start off:

    Welcome to the court room. Today's topic: How to deal with a nuclear Iran.

    Mr. RKen and Mr. Whatsamattausa are seated. Mr. LME and Mr. Apenutz are present. We are still waiting on Mr. 32slim32 ( I hope you are all males, I apologize if you're not).

    As a more conservative member, I find myself agreeing with Apenuts a lot, but, just as LME seems to have reservations and can see the other side's view, I can as well. In fact, Apenuts wrote pretty much precisely what I would say if I was voting for this, and LME summed up how I would be against it (I'm not completely on the side of RKen and whatsamattausa, but like LME, their views pull me more towards an analytic middle on this).

    Thank you.

    1. And in case everyone here had no clue what I was referring to about the "wings" of this blog, it is in the comment section near the bottom here: