The 71%

According to a recent FPI poll, 60% of Americans want go to war with Iran to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons.

This in spite of the fact that the US intelligence community is fairy unanimous that Iran is not even currently pursuing nuclear weapons. According to Micah Zenko:

First, as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has repeatedly reaffirmed since late January, “we don’t believe they’ve actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon.” Just yesterday, James Risen reported in the New York Times that the IC continues to believe (based on an assessment first made in November 2007) that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei halted his country’s nuclear weapons activities in 2003.

This might be hard for many to grasp, since polling has found the American people disagree with the collective judgment of the 210,000 civilian and military employees and 30,000 private contractors comprising the IC. A recent poll found that 84 percent of Americans think Iran is developing nuclear weapons, while another from February 2010 concluded that 71 percent of Americans believe that Iran currently has nuclear weapons.

So 60% of Americans believe Iran should be attacked to prevent nuclear proliferation. Simultaneously 71% of Americans — in total contradiction to the evidence recognised by both the CIA and Mossad that Iran is not currently even developing a nuclear weapon — believe that Iran currently has nuclear weapons. There is almost certainly a high degree of overlap — and that’s some severe cognitive dissonance. Where are such ideas coming from?

There are some voices in the wilderness that are expressing the view that Iran already has a nuclear weapon to anyone who will listen.

According to Reza Kahlili, who claims to be a former CIA spy who infiltrated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard:

The pressure the United States and the West is bringing to bear on Iran to keep it from acquiring nuclear weapons is all for naught. Not only does the Islamic Republic already have nuclear weapons from the old Soviet Union, but it has enough enriched uranium for more. What’s worse, it has a delivery system.

And where did Iran supposedly get those weapons?

In the early 1990s, the CIA asked me to find an Iranian scientist who would testify that Iran had the bomb. The CIA had learned that Iranian intelligence agents were visiting nuclear installations throughout the former Soviet Union, with particular interest in Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, Paul Muenstermann, then vice president of the German Federal Intelligence Service, said Iran had received two of the three nuclear warheads and medium-range nuclear delivery systems from Kazakhstan. It also was reported that Iran had purchased four 152 mm nuclear shells from the former Soviet Union, which were reportedly stolen and sold by former Red Army officers.

To make matters worse, several years later, Russian officials stated that when comparing documents in transferring nuclear weapons from Ukraine to Russia, there was a discrepancy of 250 nuclear weapons.

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, an experienced intelligence officer and recipient of a Bronze Star, told me that his sources say Iran has two workable nuclear warheads

Unlike the 71%, I’m not really convinced by this — if anything, it could be Iranian disinformation to try and avoid an American or Israeli attack. More importantly, the US and Israeli intelligence community at large don’t buy it. If they had any real evidence that Iran had a bomb today, Netanyahu would have been presenting it at the UN instead of drawing red lines on Wile E. Coyote bomb diagrams.

But if it were true, it would illustrate an extremely important point — that Iran with a nuclear weapon has not tried to obliterate Israel or the United States.

And if America were to attack Iran to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon, and Iran already has a nuclear weapon, the consequence could be thousands or millions of death — an attack on Iran would be even more dangerous and misadventurous for both the West and Israel than it already seems.

That makes the fact that a majority of Americans — as well as a disturbing number of hawkish policy analysts and talking heads like Reza Kahlili — agree that Iran already has a nuclear weapon, and that Iran should be attacked even more mind-boggling. To conclude (based on rumours and hearsay) that Iran already has a nuclear weapon, and simultaneously to encourage an attack on them is the height of foolishness.

32 thoughts on “The 71%

  1. “we don’t believe they’ve actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon.”

    I think you are misunderstanding this.
    Until the tanks roll over the border, you’ve never made the decision.
    Doesnt mean they arent moving towards the point where they can make the decision.

    • The equivalent here is actually building Tanks. Until a country takes a decision to start building tanks, they’re not going to be rolling them over the point anytime soon. If they’re building tanks, you can at least quantify the threat somewhat. With Iran,they haven’t taken the decision to build a nuclear weapon and they haven’t started building one.

      If a country is building tanks and massing them on your border then you have good reason to build up a deterrent, and if they cross your border, you have justification to go to war.

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  3. Gosh, if the US went to war with Iran, CPI could even rise to 3%.

    What perfect cover for the Bernanke.

    Also, I was reading over the last coulple of posts and I couldn’t help but think that the cost of the Iraq war will be very close to the amount of SS owed to the Baby-Boom generation.
    In English, the US government spent the Baby-Boomers SS over-payments on war and now that money is gone!

    I say this because the way our wars have been financed over the past 40 years is on the national credit card. I wonder out loud how the baby-boomers would feel about the ME wars if they would realize that their personal contribution to the war effort will be a much lower level standard of living in their golden years?

  4. I scrolled through the PDF containing the CNN survey many times and could not find a question asking about war on Iran, only about war on North Korea. What page is it on?

  5. 1. Military industrial complex.
    2. Declining economy.
    3. Drum up Nationalism and public support.
    4. Provide foreign enemy to direct national rage.
    5. Excuse to enforce totalitarian rules.
    6. Cover for eventual dollar collapse.

    War has been ongoing in the Middle East. It has not stopped. Expansion of war is a near certainty. Not likely this year in honor of the almighty elections. Next year. But who knows, it is 2012 and the end of days at least for the Mayans.

    “The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

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  8. Thanks Aziz. I’ll take a look at the poll. Clearly this is a very disturbing figure, and I can’t believe Americans have already forgotten the disastrous invasion of Iraq, the lives lost nd the money wasted.

  9. FPI reports that 62% of Americans favor attacking Iran “over accepting the ‘likelihood’ that Iran gets” nuke weapons. Somebody says 71% think Iran already has ’em. This sketchy polling of uninformed speculation and opinion may be useful to political campaign speech writers, but let’s not tailor foreign policy to it or against it.

    Some late night cable TV documentaries claim that most Americans believe in ghosts and “real” (alien) UFOs, and suggest that we prepare defenses against the latter. Other channels present distinguished astronomers and cosmologists updating, as best they can to laymen, what is known, probable and possible in the cosmos. A little (damn little, probably!) similar to the latter might be an introduction to game theory applied to real world, here and now vital uncertainties. [It was mentioned in re Iran/Israel in another Azizonomics thread.]

    If none of you experts out there are going to enlighten us, I make take a shot at it myself. Let’s see — “Pros and Cons” (which is good, which bad?). Multivariate analysis (but I never found out what that is!) Partial differentials do a lot of useful work (but where the heck is my old Calculus book?) Well — the effort might keep me out of the bars and off the streets!

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  11. Israel will never be attacked by Iran using a nuke. Draw low-yield and kill zone circles anywhere in Israel and more arabs die than will Israelis! The down-wind casualties would be unacceptable. Iran wants to position itself to be seen as the savior of the mideast, not a pariah.

    Iran will use a nuke to achieve parity with perceived threats or intimidate eastern Europe and Turkey. It will use the force of about 500 million muslims pressing the boarders from all sides . . . the Israelis (what? 8 million men, women and children) can’t kill them all. The Israeli “maginot line” of walls can’t stop them either.

    The so-called “Arab Spring” will bring an end to the dictators and monarchs and a rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and other such groups. Then, the Israelis will have no choice but to deliver its ultimatum: attack us and we’ll use the scorched earth policy to ensure nobody wins because we won’t be slaughtered again without a fight.

    No, there won’t be a nuke attack on Israel. Instead, there will a bomb comprised of the muslim masses driven by the mullahs and others with designs on power. The unwashed masses will think they will be better off alienated from the rest of the world than living in it and they will willingly throw themselves at Israel to destroy it. Of course, they will be terribly disappointed no matter the outcome.

    They also falsely assume that the world cannot do without the oil that lies in the mideast. We now know that there is more oil in the Bakken Shale and Colorado and Texas fields than has been produced by the whole world to date! With new refining capacity, the US will be a net exporter of oil within 5 to 8 years and we haven’t even drilled into known formations on the east and west coasts!

    There are billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas within the continental boundaries of the US. The strategic petroleum reserve is now meaningless. Carbon-based fuels will become so cheap that solar energy fantasies won’t have a chance. Canadian oil sands will be rendered once again prohibitively expensive. I suggest you all short Suncor and any other company that is a player in Canadian oil sands: they will soon be bankrupted! But I digress . . .

    Watch the events as they unfold. I am telling you what to expect so mark these words: Iran is developing nukes, chemical and biological weapons and cheap delivery platforms like cruise missiles and drones. The nukes are for the west and the rest is for a broad war of muslim conquest that will lead to the destruction of Israel and the ejection of the west from the mideast.

    Russia faces big trouble too as the muslims hate them as much if not more than the Europeans and Americans. They really will be in dire straits as the muslims flood across their mutual borders and take eastern Russia back. They’ll rue the day they ever objected to a missile-defence radar and interceptor system set up by the US. However, the Russians are much more ruthless and will respond aggressively and likely with nukes.

    After that, the starving masses of the mideast and Pakistan will need to be fed and there isn’t enough crop production capacity in the mideast due to unsuitable land and lack of machinery. The next move will be to conquer lands to the west and east for food production.

    That will be when the west will deliver its ultimatum. Let’s just hope the muslims blink . . .

    • I agree with you analysis. Being of Ukrainian decent, and a follower of Eastern European developments the biggest threat to Russia is the low birth rate. As women have been bombarded with fashion and glossy magazines they have raised their expectations of men, which has sadly not met their expectations. As a result they are marrying later. Russia, Ukraine, Belarus will ethnically collapse and the Eastern Urals and beyond will ethnically change. How? Muslim influence, as it is not pressured by Western advertising fads and standards, which gives it a higher birth rate (Marrying earlier with an emphasis on big families.

      Remember Masada!

    • Aziz: you and everyone should pay attention to Barry’s post. I know he’s basically right on energy, and I think he’s right on other matters.

    • @Barry

      You are wrong on so many levels its tough to know where to start. Your words if unpacked are basically saying that Iran and Muslims in general will create a unified Islamic bloc (Muslim Brotherhood) that will attack others with nuclear and chemical weapons. This is just warmongering and a section of the western ruling elites want to do eaxcatly that.

      It is well known that the Muslim Brotherhood has in its history worked with western secret services there is nothing to suggest that this is now over. Wars and conflcit (cold wars) benefit the ruling elites and allows them to rule, maintain their power and to profit. The rest of us are begiining to awaken and will no longer just listen to their crap.

  12. Instead of the RIGHT to vote make it a RESPONSIBILITY to vote. On top of that licence voters who must exceed certain benchmarks, such as an understanding of economics, civil, business and criminal law. How can we allow people to vote if they are irresponsible?

    Drop the age limit to say 15, which allows the younger generation to participate if they meet the benchmark level.

    Otherwise the system is geared to get impressionable people to vote using entertainment style hype to get them into a frenzy and vote. This is insanity. The whole world is affected by the US Presidential election outcome.

    And as an incentive, voters get benefits. This will encourage them to become civic minded people.

  13. Whether Iran has or is pursuing nuclear weapons is quite frankly irrelevant. It has 30,000+ GPS guided missiles which can strike Israel with an accuracy of within 500 metres. The Iron dome scam which is really just some upgrade of the failed patriot system can only stop or divert small numbers of incoming missiles. Israel is too small not to be devastated by this strike.

    Of course this will never happen unless Israel attacks Iran pre-emptively and for bogus reasons. Of course this fact which can easily be checked mustn’t be mentioned by the MSM because Jewish people would realize that they were being set up by other Jewish people for a second holocaust. Please note: Only about 20% of Jewish people actually live in Israel and many from this figure make this claim through owning a second, vacation type dwelling.

    The poll numbers in the US favouring a strike reflect only the percentage of population brainwashed by MSM propaganda using the Goebells technique of constant repetition of a lie to instill such opinions in the targeted dupes.

    The real reason that Iran’s nuclear program is a threat is that it represents a full fuel cycle, independent nuclear power industry in development which is currently a monopoly power held by US<UK<France as a cartel and the Russians that the cartel can do nothing about (because Russia has nuclear weapons and a real army).

    • @ Danny Cunnington: “The poll numbers in the US favouring a strike reflect only the percentage of population brainwashed by MSM propaganda using the Goebells technique of constant repetition of a lie to instill such opinions in the targeted dupes”

      Agreed. That is why I wrote the post above. Democracy is dangerous. Democracy killed Socrates.

    • @Danny

      I doubt if Iran is a problem because it will become energy ‘independent’ with nuclear power. It is more likely that the western ruling elites (the bankers and their think tanks and politicians) need wars…it is as simple as that. If not Iran another would be invented. This is built into the system from the time of the French Revolution (enemies of the people inside and outside) war and terror serves the state and its bankers.

      Margrit Kennedy speaks on interest free economy

      • Interesting video. This is why Steve Keen is correct about Deflation. Debt artificially stimulated GDP growth, and now we’ll see deflation as the debt binge is wound back.

        I looked forward to John’s article on hyperinflation. In my view we are headed for deflation, as the productive output of today’s factories far exceeds the demand. For example we have a glut of coal and iron ore in Australia. The mining boom has so many projects in the pipeline. Capacity is not constrained. Raw materials will flood the market. This is why the iron ore price has collapsed.

        The only place I see inflation in is food. Australia’s breadbasket badly needs rain. Farmers newspapers are negative on grain output. Crops are wilting. The USA is unable to supply corn as well.

        Aziz’s “Biflation” argument is spot on. Lets see the central banks and statistics houses use hedonics i.e. substitution of food for paper and digital bills.

        • Biflation:

          2 inflations- Up and down, such as higher food and energy and lower high end consumer goods(iPads computers TV etc) One is bad for one sector of the economy (Seniors on fixed incomes) the other is great for the youth starting out on furnishing a home. Statistically they produce a low CPI, but the reality is it causes problems for certain demographics.

      • The rich with a smaller % of demand to total income in foodstuffs will see massive deflation (They will be happy) and the poor will see massive inflation (food being a greater part of income).

        Go long revolutions.

  14. Hey Barry, nice rant! You might be right, but this is unlikely. Most of what actually happens has to do the the near-infinite number of events that occur just preceding the event in question.

    I would agree that it seems unlikely that Iran would use a nuclear weapon. Even if it would achieve their stated objective of removing Israel from the picture, it seems as if their enjoyment would not last long.

    As far as the energy situation is concerned, I agree with the spirit of what you said, but not the timeline. Since matter IS energy, it seems unlikely that we should be running out of this substance anytime soon.

    • Thanks for the complement . . . I think.

      I would not characterize my latest post a rant. I do believe that I make a well-reasoned case. As far as the infinite number of possibilities goes, that is true of every event.

      I don’t know what to make of your energy comment. I will say that I might have the timeline a bit dilated but you can be sure that the US will soon be quite “independent” of sources of hydrocarbon fuels that lie beyond our borders. As a matter of fact, the exporting of LNG to Japan comes just in time for that country to abandon all of its nuclear reactors as a result of poor design, hazardous locations and lying scumbag politicians.

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