Comments Posted By Brad Brunfelt
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Ya know what. I just figured out why your site just hit 500 trillion posts or whatever you claimed.

It is inflamatory. It riles up folks. Your rhetoric is heated, and therefore - like a good edition of Rush Limbaugh it need not have a single shred of wisdom (though it sometimes can from more level-headed commentors).

Attacking is what we are all about in this country. I came here to possibly hope that there was good discussion on the right. It is often devoid on the left.

Perhaps not just flaming any progressive and thinking that there are some good ideas coming from both sides of the political spectrum would be good.

Perhaps that is not your target audience - maybe they all just hate anyone who thinks more progressively - but your lack of balance seems to be your strength.


Comment Posted By Brad Brunfelt On 24.01.2006 @ 14:02


Brandon Said:
“Airstrikes kill lots of civilians. Of all the civillian casualties in Iraq, most are not by our soldiers, but by bombs.”

Statements like this really get under my skin. I sometimes wonder if “progressives” have any idea how much time and effort goes into preventing civilian casulties. In any targeted airstrike we analysize the location of the target and its surroundings – then...

I do understand that Brandon. I have listened to some intelligence folk who made a big deal of that. Furthermore, I do believe them. I believe that there is a lot of effort put in there. But the simple fact of the matter is when the value of the target is high enough, the bombs fly. They have to. It makes sense. It is wise military strategy. One might argue that even if 16 innocents die as a result of this action, how many more will if we don't - furthermore - how many of those will be American soldiers.

My point in saying that was to:
A) not subscribe to the thought that soldiers on the ground are making errors in the rules of engagement. There is no evidence that this is the case on any scale. Individual situations happen, but it is not the troops on the ground that make up the mass of civ. casualties. The majority of the civ. deaths are caused by bombs. They don't get the benefit of a judgment call in that situation, are far more deadly, and if some teenagers are walking by at that moment, they are goners.

I don't even think of it as controversial to be honest, because that is the way people want to fight this war. You hear it over and over - smart strikes - which do happen, there are good strikes that are pretty contained. But, honestly tell me that when you drop a 500 pound bomb of the best explosives in the world that bad stuff isnt BOUND to happen, despite our efforts to make sure we do our best...

I say it because you cannot assume that any strike will be clean in Iran either. Consider what we are targeting! Nuclear material. Now maybe all of you can tell me that we have this really nasty stuff in our bombs that will totally eliminate any radiation. But my thought is: BIG FAT DIRTY BOMB. I just want to at least for a second, think of the PEOPLE in this country. And to be less than cautious about our airstrike thinking shorts them.

To this end- you always need a diplomatic strategy. Because if you can make it succeed you get no one dying.

Whether this is possible is the question. But agree for a moment that in THEORY it is best to negotiate out of these things rather than attack.


Comment Posted By Brad Brunfelt On 22.01.2006 @ 14:48

There were a couple of points that were made that were good:

1) Did North korea balk on the agreement or did we? I beleive that North Korea responded to our lack of delivery by raising the issue of Nukes again as this was their promised return for abandoning them the first time.

2) Can we engage Iran at all diplomatically? I believe we have to. We cannot have a zero in the diplomacy column guys, CANNOT DO. I don't know if that is the answer - diplomacy to solve this issue - but I do know that without us, europe is not in a position to deliver what Iran may want.

The fact of the matter is that the Bush administration does NOT have a coherent strategy for diplomacy. He has the Houston Oilers "Run and Gun" philosophy. The state department has become a threat department.

It may be that you folks were always right, and that military action is mostly preferred to dilpomacy. But I am simply stating that

A) You must HAVE a diplomatic strategy
B) Negotiations are give and take - strategically it is wise to negotiate in good faith. This is somewhat suspect I believe)
C) The first strike doctrine works against A) and therefore is a BAD doctrine. Consistent with what I say about Bush is that he and cheney are BIG supporters of this doctrine. It is a fundamental issue I have with both of them

Comment Posted By Brad Brunfelt On 22.01.2006 @ 14:34

Indeed the Rhetoric on their side has stepped up a notch as well. It is a war of words on every side of the equation.

I have said in several posts here that for Iran to have a nuke is a VERY BAD THING. But for us simply to say "it's all their fault" or "they are EVIL" dismisses the fact that we have not and continue not to have any diplomatic options because of careless choices that we have made.

Let me be clear - We need to prevent Iran from getting a Nuke. Period. End of story. OK?

Now what? Do we bomb them to smithereens. Shit, while we are at it, why not initiate a first strike with a Nuke?

Airstrikes kill lots of civilians. Of all the civillian casualties in Iraq, most are not by our soldiers, but by bombs. We would do well to remember that as we ponder our plan. We can not afford to carelessly attack without world support. I am hearing more of that. That is good.

We would do well to let go of the first strike doctrine. It does no good but to make countries into opportunists when we are distracted.

Threatening to wipe Israel off the map is old rhetoric, it is a mind set that many groups over there hold. It does not at all help.

By the same turn, threatening to wipe out any government we want to because we feel they are a threat (at our sole discretion mind you) is relatively the same thing.

They want to wipe Israel off the map, we want to wipe Iran off the map - isnt the concept about the same - even close?

The Rhetoric is at a high level. We need to make it come down, and no friggin soccer match is going to accomplish that. We need a stellar diplomatic effort led by the united states state department (sidelined in recent years) to create conditions that will stop the development of nukes in Iran.

Like North Korea, they need to be bought out. Only this time, perhaps we should pay the bill in good faith.

One last thing. We always demand as a condition that X happen before we begin negotiations. In this case it will be that they abandon their nuke ambitions before we even talk. This sounds great for politicians, but never accomplishes anything. We both hold cards, better that everyone steps into the diplomatic ring to decide who will give up what.

It is a better environment for everyone to negotiate.

It doesnt sound tough, but it is a wiser choice.

Clearly the Iranians want something. We can provide. We want something. They can comply.

Negotiations really can be a simple matter with lots and lots of details.

Comment Posted By Brad Brunfelt On 20.01.2006 @ 14:49

Thanks for the reply Rick. that helped clarify.

Some points:
you said:
3. Trying to excuse a nation headed up by someone like Ahmadinejad by trying to justify their building the bomb (and don’t deny it, that’s what you are saying when you write “compelled to have a Nuke to protect your country”) is despicable. WE ARE NOT THE BAD GUYS!

If it is despicable, then we are despicable too, as is every other Nuclear nation, by logic. What we are talking about it Iran as a sovereign nation being able to be a nuclear power. We are one. China, Russia, and Europe all are nuclear powers. We in the US feel compelled to protect ourselves with nukes. Iran now feels the same way. What I am saying is that perhaps we are making them feel compelled to protect their county by the misguided first strike doctrine.

In addition, I think that they feel compelled to protect themselves because of the Axis of Evil speech in which we essentially APPEAR (please note that word) to want to attack them because they are EVIL.

I do NOT want Iran to have a nuke, nor in any way do I think that this is a necessary evil or any such thing. What I am saying is that our words issued by our president, and our doctrine of first strike issued by our president LAY THE GROUNDWORK FOR A WAR IN IRAN that predates any such nuclear activity. Our tough rhetoric and our doctrine of first strike are clearly a threat to Iran in their eyes. We have to address that. We cannot expect them not to feel threatened. We are, in doctrine and in rhetoric threatening them.

I simply feel that it is a natural reaction to being threatened to protect yourself. Iran does not have a big military - so a nuke is the fastest and most effective way to quickly protect yourself. In our own logic - we call it a nuclear "deterrent". And that it is. It is simply a way to protect yourself from attack.

I dont want it, but I understand why THEY want it - because we are threatening them. We are not "bad" as it were, but that is the current status of things. And it is my postulation that this heavy-handedness will complicate any negotiations and lock us into a fight with them.

BTW - my haliburton reference is not to implicate some conspiracy theory. It is to indicate that the politics of oil ALWAYS play. there is simply too much need in this country for oil to not assume that it informs all decisions. It has to.

How many of us here - here of all places - have called their reps. about oil prices?

Having a cheap source of oil is a national security issues ALL THE WAY. To deny that is to deny basic economics.

Comment Posted By Brad Brunfelt On 20.01.2006 @ 11:34

K said
"We should face facts. Diplomacy utterly failed with North Korea and Iran. It failed with both India and Pakistan, both developed nuclear weapons."

I don't Disagree. I think there is a problem with the way we negotiate. I aslo agree that there are no really good options right now.

Negotiating with anyone does not seem to be a really strong skill for this administration, either. I personally believe that this has been a result of America trying to get out of our treaty obligations and not living up to our agreements (example: North Korea oil - we stopped delivering).

I think there is an arrogance in thought that says that we are the only world superpower, why do we need to answer to anyone? If it is not immediately self-serving, then pressure grows to simply not do it. Mix this with the fact that Money plays into it. We play games with lumber from cananda as part of the NAFTA agreement, playing every legal card we can to benefit who? The big corporations here in America. These people pay big money to congress to get them eleceted. This is one local example righ here in Minnesota. Another example - steel - we want to get the benefits of Nafta without the down side - that steel companies are going to be undercut by foreign steel in Russia and other countries where it is cheaper to produce it (because there are no regulations on the impact of such production, and where workers are in the equivalent of our industrial age protections for them)

The net result of this is that America appears to not want to live up to our obligations. Both in trade and in foreign policy.

I personally believe that the short term gains of those individual situations puts us at a drastic loss when negotiating with other countries.

Our word is only as good as our lawyers make it, rather than in any way being true to the SPIRIT of our treaties.

For years now we have been denying Iran airplane parts and other items that are really only available in America.

That is a huge leverage point. And if we say we are going to deliver them as part of an agreement, then now (since the above is postulated), Iranians will want garauntees rather than promises.

Given that - I still believe that with the First Strike doctrine it will be hard to negotiate. Its like negotiting with a guy with a gun. If we dont like it, we have the doctrine in place to just attack cause we think you are a threat. Who in their right mind would negotiate on such unequal terms?

Better to have your own gun. In this case, that is a Nuke.

Comment Posted By Brad Brunfelt On 20.01.2006 @ 10:36

Thanks Rick for the insult [*wipes blood off nose*]. As generally a progressive thinker, I do tend to listen to the left more than less. But perhaps you could address my points:

1) will the American Public support an attack on Iran?
2) Can the American military support yet ANOTHER war. Please remember that we are supporting many military actions right now, including pakistan/Afghanistan and Iraq.
3) Perhaps if you are daring, you might want to explain to the readers here how the First Strike policy is good, explain how it serves us, and tell us please how it is not dangerous precendent if China and Russia also adopt such a policy. Tell me why, If you were the leader of Iran or North Korea, you would not feel compelled to have a Nuke to protect your country considering that you have no conventional military might like America.
4) Explain how we can do this without international support.
5) If you really have the Sisu (courage), please explain how President Bush deserves all the power he is now claiming and whether we should grant anyone power over the constitution, even when our country is in an [undeclared] state of war.

These are my main points. Please address these before just calling me a leftist communist looney who believes every damn thing I hear. Personal criticism helps nothing. The right has its merits, but so does the left. keep that in mind as you answer Rick.

I rarely waste my time with conservatives, and posting on the Right Wing Nut House was a rare move to reach over my personal views to try and answer a tough question: that of Iran having a Nuke. The reason I rarely do - especially on Blogs - is exactly for the fear that some person will just say what you said - that I just follow the left. I do not. I have some valid thoughts and concerns. Perhaps you are strong enough and smart enough to have a valid conversation about it.

If some progressive like me does not engage your conversation here then yall are talking to yourselves - much like the left does - and we all become victims of group think.

Perhaps we can do better here on this self proclaimed right winger site.

Comment Posted By Brad Brunfelt On 20.01.2006 @ 10:13

It is good to hear people here decrying the President. I believe that there has been a great deal of short term thinking on the issue of Iran. I believe that this president took the opportunity of 9/11 to invade Iraq based on the will of mulitnational corporations. To do so benefitted Haliburton, et al.

The cost of this has been dear. We are now unable to effectively respond to the Iran situation. We simply do not have the resources to effectively threaten Iran with anything significant.

I understand that some will say that Clinton saw the same threat and came to the same conclusion as Bush. But they were for the same reasons: What benefits Haliburton in terms of control of the oil situation - predictable oil supply - is good for politicians, and is generally thought to be good to an America that has not invested in alternative sources of energy.

However, the Bush administration has now stretched our massive resources in the military thin by attacking what was effectively a non-threat and creating a threat in Iraq in a legitamate insurgency (Iraqi's who don't want the occupation) and in the foriegn fighters. Luckily(?), these two groups are now in conflict - and that may help. But do not expect that our troops will be able to really sustain another war. We already spend a massive amount of our federal budget on the military - and people back home are getting kicked of medicare. How long until public support completely erodes and we resort to protectionism?

In addition, patience with the president is wearing thin. His style of leadership - no dissent allowed - alienates 49% of America. His arrogance and his secrecy, his openly defying the spirit of the law (if not indeed breaking the law) will not help to sell any effort to attack Iran. For many Americans (myself included), the President simply has no credibility, and his motives are somewhat suspect.

For years, we have acted like an Empire. Iran is very very prudent to attack this issue in this way at this time. Our empire declared after 9/11 that we reserved the right to attack any nation we felt was a threat. Is this not tantamount to saying we will atttack Iran? We list them in the Axis of Evil. Is this not tantamount to saying that we plan on attacking Iran?

If you were the leadership in Iran or North Korea, and you heard the message there - would you not too try to get a deterrent to invasion? It is clearly in their interest to declare the only sovereignity that matters: a nuclear deterrent. President Bush acted without UN agreement. And now, since we are acting unilaterally - we can do what we want: we need not ask anyone, really. So what is to stop us from attacking Iran. Look for a second at their point of view. Yes, yes, they are doing something we dont at all like (and believe me I don't like it either - nukes are scary sh*t). But it is we who have set the conditions for them to worry about their safety - BEFORE they declared their nuclear ambitions.

Our colllective shortsightedness about that doctrine and its consequences will be the undoing of the nonproliferation that has [somewhat] held in recent decades if we are not willing to change course.

Maybe we can fight another war. Maybe. But clearly we would not have to be as concerned if we had not declared war on everyone at once. We can undo that doctrine, and should. God forbid that China and Russia agree it is a good doctrine and adopt it (watch out Taiwan!).

Stupidy aside. We now need to act as a WORLD BODY. We cannot be the cowboy sheeeerif who boldy goes into the lawless town and shoots up the bad guys. We need to assure the Iranians that we will not attack them, that we will trade with them, give them parts for their airplanes, technology, and all the many things we have denied them over the years with in exchange for peace, security, assurances, and VERIFICATION that this situation has come to rest.

But, unlike North Korea, where we promised them heating oil and didn't deliver on our end (thus again killing our credibility) We ALSO need to deliver on our end of the bargain.

Barging into Iran militarily will only give more fuel to anyone on the exdge of existance in those areas - those most vulnerable to extremism - to come and fight the Americans in yet another country as we attack the world in our welll laid out plan (speaking from the view of someone there, not me personally). In other words, it LOOKS like we are taking over the world. If we attack Iran without ALOT of world support - we are gonna be there for a very, very long time.

I rather doubt that the people in this country are willing to support it. But I haven't always been right either.

Comment Posted By Brad Brunfelt On 19.01.2006 @ 16:44



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