February 6, 2013

"Ahmadinejad: Iran already a nuclear state..."

"... but has no intention of launching attack on Israel."

The reason for saying that is incompletely aligned with its being true.

ADDED: There are 2 statements, and the reason for saying either one of them is incompletely aligned with its being true. One or both could be true. One or both could be false. Let's call "Iran already a nuclear state" statement A, and "Iran has no intention of launching attack on Israel" statement B:

Which is most likely?
  
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69 comments:

Scott M said...

The reason for saying that is incompletely aligned with its being true.

Pardon the glazed over eyes. Would you care to expand on that sentence? It might be sublime and I'm just too dull to understand it's thrust, so to speak.

Ann Althouse said...

@Scott M In the time it took you to write that, you could have absorbed the meaning of the sentence.

My answer is: no.

Original Mike said...

I don't understand the sentence, either. "incompletely" aligned? It's partially aligned with its being true? What is the meaning of "aligned" in this sentence?

Bob Ellison said...

I've given up trying to read the minds of foreign governments. I can't even read the collective mind of the American electorate.

Nonapod said...

How do you define "Nuclear State". Does it mean that they have a functioning reactor? Does it mean they have a functioning bomb? Or does it simply mean that they produced a critical mass of U235 via gas diffusion centrifuging?

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't understand the sentence, either. "incompletely" aligned? It's partially aligned with its being true? What is the meaning of "aligned" in this sentence?"

Make a Venn diagram. One circle is the reason for saying these things. Another is the truth of the statements.

One reason for saying these things is that they are true.

There are other reasons as well.

Original Mike said...

What does it mean to be a "nuclear state"? It already has a bomb? Unlikely. It is building a nuclear weapons industry? Undoubtly true.

TMink said...

It means he is lying.

It is completely permissable to lie in Islam under some conditions: If the person is being oppressed, to promote peace, or to make unbelievers realize the truth.

So all a follower of Muhammed needs to justify lying is to feel oppressed. 8)

Here is the citation from an Islamic website.

http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=articles&id=88496

Trey

Ann Althouse said...

From Ahmadinejad's perspective, he knows whether the statements are true.

He might say them because they are true, but he wouldn't say them simply because they are true. He also might want to lie about one or both things. He might be less likely to say these things if they ARE true.

Of course, he knows (probably) whether the statements are true or not, and that make my statement hard to understand, since we don't know. But I'm trying to get a good angle on thinking about whether it's true or not.

I'm trying to help you think, not make it harder!

Ann Althouse said...

"It is completely permissable to lie in Islam under some conditions: If the person is being oppressed, to promote peace, or to make unbelievers realize the truth."

What are the chances that he feels limited by the rules of Islam (other than from the perspective of the effect on those who hear his statements)?

Original Mike said...

Wouldn't the Venn diagram terminology be "intersection"?

Original Mike said...

The only reason the second statement might be true (for the monent) is because they haven't figured out a way to do it without getting the crap beat out of them.

Original Mike said...

Isn't Iran claiming they want to restart "negogiations." That could be the reason for the second statement.

The Drill SGT said...

False, False

Scott M said...

@Scott M In the time it took you to write that, you could have absorbed the meaning of the sentence.

I'm an extremely fast typist. Not so quick on the uptake.

Hagar said...

The "Palestinian question" is a sideshow, largely useful for "stoking the base" for the policy makers. Still, they are playing with fire in an ammo dump, and it is dangerous.

I think that Iran is like Ladybirds's aunt; not at all greedy, all they want is what is theirs - and what is next to theirs.

And they - ayatollahs and generals both - think that Iraq is theirs, and they want it back. The ayatollahs to re-establish the Baghdad caliphate under a Shia Caliph, and the generals to restore the old Persian empire. Then like any other empire, there are the lands next door to conquer.

There are the religious wars. Shia versus Sunnis, "fundamentalists" of both faiths against each other and versus "modernists" of either, and various permutations thereof.

And then there is oil and gas and the interests of everybody else in the world, including the United States.

Plus individual ambitions and the desire to stay alive and "in power."

EMD said...

What difference, at this point, does it ...

Oh, I'm already tired of that meme.

Original Mike said...

"One reason for saying these things is that they are true."

Not sure this follows. It is true that the sky is blue, but there is no reason for President of Iran to make a public statement on the matter.

The only reason to say them, true or not, is to illicit a desired response.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wouldn't the Venn diagram terminology be "intersection"?"

I wrote it the way I wrote it, not even mentioning Venn diagrams, and I stand by my choice of words.

Original Mike said...

Why did Hitler tell Chamberlain he had no designs on Europe? To buy time. This is the obvious reason for Ahmadinejad's second statement.

Original Mike said...

Don't mean to quibble. Just have a hard time understanding the sentence.

Marshal said...

Ann Althouse said...
One reason for saying these things is that they are true.

There are other reasons as well.


He made both statements to abet his Western Allies's efforts to pressure Israel (and to a lesser degree America) not to attack Iran. Note the combined appeal to (1) those who are against an attack because the cost is too high (we have the bomb) and (2) those who are against an attack because they claim Iran isn't a danger (we have no intention of launching an attack).

His reason for the statements are perfectly clear. The question of whether they are true is completely unrelated.

I personally think the answer to the first is no, because if they were he would demonstrate rather than say they are a nuclear power. The answer to the second question is more difficult. But if they do they will (1) attack surreptitiously and deny responsibility, and (2) immediately claim the ability to nuke Europe or America if retaliated upon. This tactic requires a longer buildup (greater arsenal required) than if they were just striking Israel, so the second in conjunction with the first makes sense.

Chip S. said...

I don't think the problem is "incompletely aligned". The problem is "that", which induces the reader to see this as one claim instead of two. Try this:

The reasons for making these claims are incompletely aligned with their being true.

Nonapod said...

If your definition of a Nuclear state is that they've successfully detonated a nuclear bomb, at this point that doesn't seem to be the case. At this point it's pretty easy for us to detect a nuclear blast in the atmosphere if it had occurred, and there's ways to detect underground detonations as well.

tim maguire said...

I went with A is false, B is true.

Most of the benefits of being a nuclear power come from the threat of use; actual use has significant downsides (particularly if you have only 1).

President-Mom-Jeans said...

False and False.

Althouse's poorly phrased and obtuse statement I grade as an incomplete.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't think the problem is "incompletely aligned". The problem is "that", which induces the reader to see this as one claim instead of two."

I originally pictured a single, albeit compound statement, which was true or false in to some unknown degree and which could motivated by many different things including the truth of some or all of it.

I added the "ADDED" part because I saw the value of disaggregating the compound statement.

Mitchell the Bat said...

The two propositions are best reconciled as a singular request for more money.

Rusty said...

Ann Althouse said...
From Ahmadinejad's perspective, he knows whether the statements are true.

He might say them because they are true, but he wouldn't say them simply because they are true. He also might want to lie about one or both things. He might be less likely to say these things if they ARE true.

Of course, he knows (probably) whether the statements are true or not, and that make my statement hard to understand, since we don't know. But I'm trying to get a good angle on thinking about whether it's true or not.

I'm trying to help you think, not make it harder!

I'm pretty good at it already.

Judging by what the Iranian regime has stated over the years I'm going to take their word that they are a nuclear state and make my preparations accordingly.
Judging by what the Iranian regime's religious leaders have said over the years and how they treat their own people I'm going to say that they are lying when they state they wish no harm to come to Israel and make my preparations accordingly.


Crunchy Frog said...

I wrote it the way I wrote it, not even mentioning Venn diagrams, and I stand by my choice of words.

Humpty Dumpty called. He wants his meme back.

Hagar said...

There is also a possibility that Ahmadinejad is just Iran's Joe Biden.

Original Mike said...

Perhaps he's feeding Obama material (Statement B) to use in their mutual goal of restraining Israel.

JackOfVA said...

Leaving aside the word play over AA's question, we are left with a potential nuclear war in the middle east residing on whether or not the Iranian government (including the factions within it) are ultimately rational by a western definition.

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that an Iranian nuclear attack upon Israel would result in a response in kind, but multiplied many-fold. And, in order to forestall attacks upon a weakened Israel by other countries, it is logical to believe counter strikes would not be limited to Iran but would include Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia at a minimum.

Whether that would trip a larger exchange involving Russia and the US, is uncertain, but that is certainly within the range of possible outcomes.

If the Iranians are taken at their own words, the destruction of their own country in exchange for wiping Israel off the map, is a small price to pay.

If they actually believe that, then we are in for an interesting next few years.

Perhaps even worse, if the Iranians don't intend to commit national suicide/martyrdom, but are successful at convincing the rest of the world of the contrary, the same result may eventuate.

No good solution that I can see to this one. Perhaps the best outcome is a secular revolution in Iran but that seems a low probability outcome.

Original Mike said...

"There is also a possibility that Ahmadinejad is just Iran's Joe Biden."

He's on riskier ground than Joe. Misteps could get Ahmadinejad whacked, an option not avaialable to Obama. On the other hand, there is that Justice Dept. memo ...

Hazy Dave said...

"Both statements are lies" seems like a reasonable default position when most politicians speak, and the poll results seem to show a majority of Althouse Nation in agreement in this case. Depending on whether the meaning of "is" is incompletely aligned with the truth, or not.

Original Mike said...

I said: "Perhaps he's feeding Obama material (Statement B) to use in their mutual goal of restraining Israel."

Actually, both statements can be used by Obama; "If you attack Iran, they'll drop the big one on you (Statement A), and besides, they intend you no harm (Statement B)." Thing is, I don't think Israel is that stupid.

garage mahal said...

Knowing they couldn't get a missile 5 feet off the ground before their entire country would be razed to the ground, it makes perfect sense that Iran would launch an attack against Israel.

Original Mike said...

If, by the first statement he means "We already have the bomb", that's an obvious lie. We will know they have the bomb when we wake up one morning and they have tested one. There is no reason for them not to demonstrate they have one. It is their interest to let us know as soon as possible.

Shawn Levasseur said...

I think A & B are most likely to be true here's why:

In the past they have been claiming that if they had nukes, they would use them against Israel.

I believe that the fact they have changed their tune on that suggests that they are at least, very close to becoming a nuclear power, and are changing their tune to match their status.

So long as they were not (yet) a nuclear power, they could talk trash all they liked. Now that it's close to fruition, it has to realize its being taken seriously and take the fact that Israel is a nuclear power, with the ability to retaliate, into account.

Having the bomb and communicating that they could use it at any time is to encourage direct action in opposition. Better to let the ability to strike stand as its own statement, without continuing to issue direct threats.

To paraphrase: I fear that the shift towards softer speech means they have acquired the big stick.

Original Mike said...

"Knowing they couldn't get a missile 5 feet off the ground before their entire country would be razed to the ground, it makes perfect sense that Iran would launch an attack against Israel."

Razed by whom? Israel? Do we know their capabilities in this respect? The US? I have significant doubts Obama would retaliate.

Big Mike said...

How about "A is probably false for now, and B may be true for now.

Original Mike said...

Interesting hypothesis, Shawn.

Astro said...

Possessing fissible materials, even if you can't build a fully functioning bomb with that material, makes a state a 'nuclear state'. You can pack nuclear material around a conventional bomb and still do a lot of damage and spread a lot of nuclear contamination. Given enough time (and they may have already had enough) they can build an actual fission bomb.

So A is true.

Iran, given the oppportunity, would certainly attack Israel. It's just a matter of timing.

So B is false.

Astro said...

/No charge for the extra p in opportunity.

In honor of Mary Leakey's birthday.

edutcher said...

Simply because they haven't got a working bomb doesn't necessarily mean they're not nucular.

Particularly if we get all fussy about how we define nucular.

But, if we mean they have a working bomb, the answer is almost certainly, "No".

As for their intentions toward Israel, Godwin Alert and Lenin, actually, just about every cutthroat in the last century including Dictator Zero, told us exactly what he intended long before he did it.

So the intent is a big, "Yes".

Drop off your papers at my desk.

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...
Knowing they couldn't get a missile 5 feet off the ground before their entire country would be razed to the ground, it makes perfect sense that Iran would launch an attack against Israel.

Never underestimate the stupidity of your average tyranny.

Rusty said...

Astro said...
Possessing fissible materials, even if you can't build a fully functioning bomb with that material, makes a state a 'nuclear state'.


The thing is all you need are some reasonably competent engineers and technicians. Building a gun type A bomb isn't really all that hard.

garage mahal said...

Never underestimate the stupidity of your average tyranny

How many countries have we invaded in the past 50 years, versus Iran? None of this stupid talk has anything to do with nukes. Iran won't play ball with the West, that's what this has always been about.

traditionalguy said...

Nukes are Mutually Assured Destruction that restrains an all out conventional attack. Israel called that its Samson Option.

Or nukes can be a race to first strike capability. The contestants Iran and North Korea seem to want want to go out winners in the race to nuke the USA.

Meanwhile Obama's Gang is eliminating the USA's nuclear forces ASAP going so far as pretending it is another cold war strategy of a Russian and American disarmament treaty.

Iran will not nuke Jerusalem for religious reasons. But they do plan to nuke NYC and DC like they did with airliners.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

Whether that would trip a larger exchange involving Russia and the US, is uncertain, but that is certainly within the range of possible outcomes.

I've seen that happen before, but the only conclusion was that tic-tac-toe is boring.

JPS said...

Hagar, 1:03 -

"There is also a possibility that Ahmadinejad is just Iran's Joe Biden."

He should try that: "Even if we had the fissile material, we don't have a bomb to put it in!"

(I'll pause to note that I know of no state that made or acquired the fissile material, then failed to explode a bomb because they lacked a suitable design, that problem having been solved in 1943-1945. But the line worked for Biden in the debate, and Ryan couldn't counter it.)

Astro:

"You can pack nuclear material around a conventional bomb and still do a lot of damage and spread a lot of nuclear contamination."

I've seen this argument many times, but from the perspective of the bad guy this would really be a huge waste. It probably costs anyone about a billion dollars, and several years' intensive effort, to amass fissile material for their first bomb. Scattering it around as you describe would cause no more damage (casualties, residual health hazards and, this is the main one, terror of all things radioactive) than using a few thousand dollars' worth of nonfissile radioactive material - and the nonfissile emitters are a lot easier to produce or steal.

No, the only use of fissile material that makes it worth the time and expense is nuclear fission.

Alex said...

garage - how many countries have we threatened to annihilate ever?

JPS said...

Astro - on second thought, were you referring to a fizzle, as distinct from a full detonation? Or were you, as I thought, referring to the use of chemical explosives to scatter around a bunch of fissile uranium or plutonium, with no fission at all?

RDDs are overrated, but a nuclear fizzle is an entirely different animal.

crosspatch said...

Iran very likely is a nuclear state. And it conducts its nuclear tests in North Korea.

wildswan said...

Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock is inside Israel. The Gaza strip is downwind of Tel Aviv and only a few miles away. Lebanon in the other direction. Syria, Jordan, adjacent. Five good reasons not to use a dirty bomb on Israel even if a madman thought he wouldn't get hit back. He'd hit a scared shrine and his friends - especially if the rocket was a little bit off course.

wildswan said...

Oops, "he'd hit a sacred shrine", not a scared shrine

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...
Never underestimate the stupidity of your average tyranny

How many countries have we invaded in the past 50 years, versus Iran? None of this stupid talk has anything to do with nukes. Iran won't play ball with the West, that's what this has always been about.

So the Iranian people deserve to suffer?

Amartel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amartel said...

"I am Oz the great and terrible."

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

garage mahal said...

So the Iranian people deserve to suffer?

It's really none of our business.

Original Mike said...

"It's really none of our business."

What a guy.

EMD said...

Garage hates average North Koreans, too!

EMD said...

Garage hates average North Koreans, too!

garage mahal said...

If we cared about Iranians we would lift the sanctions we imposed on them.

Original Mike said...

If we cared about Iranians we would have spoken up in support when they were protesting their stolen election.

edutcher said...

Why expect garage to empathize with Iranians' outrage over their stolen election when he's OK with the stolen election here?

Rusty said...

edutcher said...
Why expect garage to empathize with Iranians' outrage over their stolen election when he's OK with the stolen election here?

Good point.


No. garage. If we truly cared about Iranians our president would have offered encouragement and legitimacy to the green movement at a moment when it mattered.

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