Iran Sends Monkey to Space

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Floppertje:

Draconalis:

Floppertje:
because 'other countries' follow a different religion, and that's scary.

To be fair... it's not all the other religions that are scary... just certain ones that will kill you in the street for some imagined offense.

like... say... christianity?
but you're right. you seldom hear about buddhist extremists killing people.

The way I see it is this, in connection to my previous, extremely judgemental post.

I don't really care if the people in Iran, or The Middle East practice Islam as a dominant religion in the region or whatever else. The big issue is having a seperation of church and state where religion does not influance the policy or relations of the goverment, at least on paper. For all the failings in nations like the US, UK, etc... where people have brought up the issue of religion influancing leadership it's become a problem and viewed negatively and oftentimes lead to policies and leaders being dismissed or at least fueling strong opposition.

The problem is that in Iran the goverment and church aren't nessicarly seperated with Islamic law influancing and determining the actual laws, national policies, and even elections in who gets to call the shots. You can't even see fundemental things like women's sufferage throughout the nation (even visiting women have to cover themselves to avoid offense) for religious reasons that fuel the entire culture.

A nation should primarily be driven by rational, as opposed to spiritual or religious, behavior, thought, and policy before it should be allowed to wield things like space travel or nuclear power. Otherwise they represent a threat to everyone. As much as people hate the whole "world police" mentality I think disarming nations like Iran and stifling their technological development is a good thing for the entire world. At the end of the day that buck has to stop somewhere and that kind of desician has to be made.

To put things into perspective the US is not going to suddenly go nuclear on someone for religious offense. Our entire goverment and policy structure is based around a rational way of viewing and dealing with the world. Even if harcore christianity (the dominant religion) calls something anathema, unclean, or takes offense, that does not drive US action, and someone taking action for those reasons (if they were to get that much power) would generally be stopped. Seperation o Church and State being one of our key policies as it is for most of the civilized first world. I am not so sure about this when it comes to a nation like Iran which makes a big deal out of saying that a Jewish state has no fundemental right to exist, no rationality behind it, pure religious hatred, that goes beyond any conflict in palestine or anywhere
else.

In this case how likely you are to be killed in the street for religious reasons is kind of irrelevent because we're dealing with things on a national stage. When your dealing with nukes and space programs and such it's not about some tourist getting decapitated on video as part of a religious statement, the stakes are much, much larger. As a result it's difficult to not be judgemental of entire societies when you look at them having this kind of power.

I have no problem with an Arabic space program, or nations in The Middle East launching their own people into space, placing satellites, or even having nuclear reactors as a fundemental gesture. Heck I might not even care about the nuclear bomb either, lots of those around nowadays. I do on the other hand have a problem with an ISLAMIC space program and nuclear space program, when the socieities are being driven largely by religious belief, policy and furor. If the Arabs involved just happen to be Islamic wouldn't even be a big deal, as long as the policies and goverments driving things were not dictated by religion.

I hope I'm articulating this correctly, even if many people here doubtlessly won't agree with me.

Ideally it would be nice to say all people and societies are fundementally the same and equal, and that everyone should have a right to the highest levels of technology and standards of living, but sadly it isn't an ideal world.

That said it's a moot point, I expect Obama to do absolutly nothing about this except maybe flap his gums some more. We don't have a leader who is capable of taking any kind of decisive, offensive military action. By the time he's out of office it might very well be a moot point since we will have delayed so long it won't be practical to just go in there and attack the infrstructure and technology base.

JoJo:

Of course, that has the United States and its allies feeling a bit cautious. I get the nervousness, but part of me wonders why it was OK for one nation to have nukes and a space program - i.e. the U.S. - and totally unacceptable for another. Is it terrible for the world to have access to all technology?

It's somewhat hypocritical but ultimately justified considering the periodic saber rattling that emanates from Iran towards the U.S. and Israel. The American government is no angel but at-least we can trust them not to preemptively nuke another country because they contravene a particular interpretation of a millennia old religious document.

And Iran's sabre rattling is justified since the US invades whoever they want. Sure they don't nuke places, instead they invade them and level them with 500lb bombs instead.

Not to mention the amount of times the US has illegally flown into Iran airspace to try and bait them into giving the US an excuse to attack, bit no that's ok because 'Merica right?

Or in plain English:
"if its good enough for one country to have nukes and a space program who has a history if invading nations, then its good enough for another who feels threaterned to have it too."

I just hope Australia has the brains to stay the hell out of it.

"Humanity cannot be truly free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."

To put it quite simply Iran in the 1970's would have had my full support. Iran in 2013? No. Just no. They are religious nutjobs. They went from a prospering industrial nation to xenophobic Islamists, now did the US help that along by funding a horrible Iran-Irak war? Of course.

Quite frankly no nation where there is no secular government should be in the possession of any nukes, I'm looking at you Israel. You are worse than Iran, not even letting the UN inspect those nukes you have. The US is also borderline on this matter with enough religious insanity to fill an ocean with. Bushy believing he was on some kind of fucking sacred crusade when invading Irak or whatever. They had a presidential candidate that believes his god lives on a fucking planet in outer space and commands him to wear magic underwear AT ALL TIMES! Dear god the world is doomed!

To the people saying Buddhists don't kill. Read up Tibet and the Dalai Lama which will reveal to you a totalitarian dictatorship based around monks with impoverished peasants forming most of the population. Then look into a few of the Muslim Genocides committed by Buddhists mostly around Burma and the likes. After all can't have a competing religion left over from an old caliphate now can you?

Where religion goes, any religion, pain, misery, sexism, discrimination and death soon follow.

Verlander:

Lucky Godzilla:

Verlander:
It's funny, but I've never seen the Middle East invade Europe/USA, at least, not in the last few hundred years. Nor have I seen them nuke anyone. Actually, unless my history is madly off only one country has used nuclear weapons offensively against other humans...

BUT this is the internet, therefore it's all religions fault. All of everything is.

To be fair Russia never invaded the U.S, nor have they detonated a nuke offensive manner.
Didn't exactly make them any less of a threat during the Cold War.

Well, yeah, it kinda did. I think it's safe to argue that had they invaded the US, or attacked a nation with nuclear weapons, they'd have been considered a much bigger threat than the were. Also worth pointing out that the USSR were a political enemy - the US didn't consider the UK a threat, despite also being an active nuclear power. Such as in this instance, where Iran and North Korea are considered dangerous threats by the USA, despite doing nothing more than what several other countries already have done.

Uh, you do realize the specter of Soviet invasion kick started the single largest military spending spree in recorded history? I mean, have you studied anything about the Cold War? does the term containment policy ring a bell?

Greg Tito:
... I get the nervousness, but part of me wonders why it was OK for one nation to have nukes and a space program - i.e. the U.S. - and totally unacceptable for another. Is it terrible for the world to have access to all technology? Isn't that what the Internet and globalization and the spread of ideas is all about? Why can't we act more like we're in Star Trek?...

I think the matter is slightly different when at best your country is described as "unstable." As bad as the US is, they dont just launch random missiles with that kind of power at anyone they choose. whih I have no doubt Iran would do given the chance, cause who do they have to fear? the leader wouldnt care for shit if he got counter attacked as long as his target is destroyed and then could just turn it around.

plus it would set a somewhat dangerous precedent that could lead to N. Korea getting them and then all shits going all hell.

whenever i see this story i keep thinking about this

Iran launches monkey into space and this turns into a thread about bashing religion? Why? Even if we didn't have religion, people would still find excuses to kill each other.

Well if Iran is about to get Nukes, then we'll need to one-up them right? And that means reupping our space program? Eh? Please?

It's important to put the Iranian nuclear program in perspective of the Middle East as a whole. Nuclear proliferation is always considered a bad thing, but it takes on an entirely different context in the sandbox. For example, North Korea's nuclear program may have pissed a lot of people off (even though their bomb fizzled, idiots), but it isn't particularly dangerous, because there is no way they could cause significant strategic damage to any enemy without an absolutely colossal stockpile they'll never have (and that the US/Russians/Chinese would glass the entire northern half of the peninsula in about two seconds).

The Iranians are one of several small powers that all hate each other, very badly, and are run by religious fundamentalists. This means that the Iranian program is a very nasty arms race waiting to happen - essentially Cold War Middle East Edition. The Pakistanis already have the bomb (blame India), as do the Israelis (surprisingly, blame France, not the US, as I understand it). Fortunately, Pakistan is obliged to play the game with the other established nuclear nations, and Israel would never be stupid enough to actually use their technically undeclared arsenal offensively, because then they'd be on their own. The Iranians, on the other hand, have no international good graces, and Saudi Arabia has already flat-out stated they'll pursue the bomb if Iran gets it (and SA has the money to throw a program together faster than anybody else). Nobody wants another Cold War, especially one that's right on top of all of the oil...

There's also a significant danger in that an arms race on such a scale creates very real technological gaps, which means that one of the potential players COULD successfully launch a first-strike against any one of the others. The small scale of a potential conflict there, as well as the inherent social instability of many nations in that region, make that an actual possibility.

On a barely related note, I'd like to point out that the defense industry doesn't actually make much money on the stockpile. The running stewardship budget is about $4 billion a year (pocket change within the defense budget), and that's not going to Boeing or Lockheed or whomever - it pays to keep the warheads and their delivery systems safe and functional.

I know that you are all busy talking about religion and Iran's nuclear programs, but I just wanted to get something out.

I was born in Iran and raised there, until I moved to Canada 5 years ago. I am very proud of my country and it's people, but of course, not of its' government. The entire reason me and my family left our home country was to get away from the bullshit that the government did. Things were bad when me and my family left, and things have gotten way, way worse ever since. The economy is terrible, the government is controlling, the pollution is so terrible that the government closed down all workplaces for an entire week. Yes, I can completely see why a country like Iran now can be seen like a threatening country.

But please, never mistake the government for the country itself or its people. For the past years, the country has been torn apart piece by piece, and continues to be destroyed everyday, but it was not always so. Before Khomeini came to dominance, Iran was an amazing country. It was nothing like what it is now. It was a beautiful country with rich history, and it had many visitors from other countries every year. However, all that changed when the Ayatollah came in the picture.

I know that people have different viewpoints on things like this, and you have every right to have an opinion, but one thing I ask of you is that please, never assume that all of Iran is like what you see on the news. The people in that country are struggling very hard everyday to survive, to the point where they can barely even get food anymore. They can't have a voice because the government censors everything, and if someone does say something, they'll be either brutally punished or killed on the spot. Say what you want about the government, and I'll probably agree with almost everything you say, but don't mistake the people in the country. A lot of the people in Iran are completely against the government, but they can't say anything or get away.

That's all I wanted to say regarding the debate that's happening.

OT: I'm very proud of my country for achieving something like this. It's good to see good news from Iran every once in a while, despite everything that's happening.

Also, I wanted to leave you with this. This is Iran in the 1960's.

http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/5502192_700b.jpg

Sorry, don't know how to post an image here. :P

At first i was amused at Irans scientific endavours. Now i am amazed. It is as if they are efficiently catching up to our science and if the trend continues are going to offshoot us and the aliens will know us as Islam Federation.

Therumancer:
That said it's a moot point, I expect Obama to do absolutly nothing about this except maybe flap his gums some more. We don't have a leader who is capable of taking any kind of decisive, offensive military action. By the time he's out of office it might very well be a moot point since we will have delayed so long it won't be practical to just go in there and attack the infrstructure and technology base.

Considering that taking "decisive offensive military action" would be political suicide as the leader of a nation that is completely jaded with regards to warfare, I can see why he wouldn't. The public perception, whether correct or not, is that Iraq and Afghanistan have been colossal wastes of lives, money and time. If Obama came out tomorrow and said he'd decided to attack yet another country posing no direct threat (they still maintain they are building nuclear power plants rather than missiles, and it'd be difficult to spin putting a monkey into space as an immediate threat) but who he thought looked a bit shifty, he'd be crucified. People don't want another war, aside from the scary far-right armchair generals who think we ought to just bomb the world and remake it in our own image.

Regarding your other points, the problem I've got with them is the perspective bias. It's nothing to be ashamed of, as it's something everyone does, but the automatic assumption beneath everything you posted is that the Western way of running a country is just better. Certainly I agree with you, but that's because I've also been raised in a culture that praises its own values and scorns those of other cultures as lesser. Women's rights, gay rights, everyone's rights are important and keeping religion as far away from politics as possible is of paramount importance - but just because I believe those things doesn't mean I can expect people from other cultures to accept them too. Because these Islamic countries don't align to our value set, we must by necessity invade and attempt to make them like us, because our culture is inherently superior. Let's try flipping the perspective; if Iran were the more powerful nation, how would you feel if they invaded your home to crush the infastructure and educate you on how Shariah is clearly the superior system? How would you feel if, whenever you protested that your way was better, they laughed and told you that once your culture had evolved a little more, you'd agree with them?

unstabLized:
I know that people have different viewpoints on things like this, and you have every right to have an opinion, but one thing I ask of you is that please, never assume that all of Iran is like what you see on the news. The people in that country are struggling very hard everyday to survive, to the point where they can barely even get food anymore. They can't have a voice because the government censors everything, and if someone does say something, they'll be either brutally punished or killed on the spot. Say what you want about the government, and I'll probably agree with almost everything you say, but don't mistake the people in the country. A lot of the people in Iran are completely against the government, but they can't say anything or get away.

It's pretty hard to seperate citizen and government in the mind, to be honest, because whenever news stations (or even the article we've just read from Greg) mention a nation doing something they always say 'Iran' or 'America' rather than 'the Iranian government' or 'the American government'. Likewise, whenever something horrible is done by the Israelis, we blame Israel as a whole (though recent polls suggest that many of them do support continued oppression) rather than pointing out that the government is being a dick.

Intellectually we all know that the Iranian people aren't raging lunatics who want to wipe us out, just like we know Americans aren't all fat inbred gun-nuts. It's just that the media tends to report on events in other countries as if that country was one united bloc of humanity who all share the same ideals, and that tends to leak through into the way ordinary people talk about them.

Happiness Assassin:
Iran launches monkey into space and this turns into a thread about bashing religion? Why? Even if we didn't have religion, people would still find excuses to kill each other.

One lesson you're sure to learn on the Escapist is that if we suppress religion, all diseases will instantly be cured and nobody will ever do anything mean to anyone else. Just look at Soviet Union, that was a real paradise!

Verlander:
It's funny, but I've never seen the Middle East invade Europe/USA, at least, not in the last few hundred years. Nor have I seen them nuke anyone. Actually, unless my history is madly off only one country has used nuclear weapons offensively against other humans...

BUT this is the internet, therefore it's all religions fault. All of everything is.

Well, depends how you define "few hundred years", but the Ottoman Empire used to launch invasions on parts of Europe now and again almost until the very end of its existence. And the Big One, which purported to take the entirety of Europe was just over three hundred years ago.

But you're right that throughout 20th century, and now into the 21st, Middle Eastern countries have always been on the receiving end.

OT: You know, considering that the US and the USSR both routinely failed to bring test animals back alive from space, then Iran space programme is off to a great start!

SonicWaffle:

Therumancer:
That said it's a moot point, I expect Obama to do absolutly nothing about this except maybe flap his gums some more. We don't have a leader who is capable of taking any kind of decisive, offensive military action. By the time he's out of office it might very well be a moot point since we will have delayed so long it won't be practical to just go in there and attack the infrstructure and technology base.

Considering that taking "decisive offensive military action" would be political suicide as the leader of a nation that is completely jaded with regards to warfare, I can see why he wouldn't. The public perception, whether correct or not, is that Iraq and Afghanistan have been colossal wastes of lives, money and time. If Obama came out tomorrow and said he'd decided to attack yet another country posing no direct threat (they still maintain they are building nuclear power plants rather than missiles, and it'd be difficult to spin putting a monkey into space as an immediate threat) but who he thought looked a bit shifty, he'd be crucified. People don't want another war, aside from the scary far-right armchair generals who think we ought to just bomb the world and remake it in our own image.

Regarding your other points, the problem I've got with them is the perspective bias. It's nothing to be ashamed of, as it's something everyone does, but the automatic assumption beneath everything you posted is that the Western way of running a country is just better. Certainly I agree with you, but that's because I've also been raised in a culture that praises its own values and scorns those of other cultures as lesser. Women's rights, gay rights, everyone's rights are important and keeping religion as far away from politics as possible is of paramount importance - but just because I believe those things doesn't mean I can expect people from other cultures to accept them too. Because these Islamic countries don't align to our value set, we must by necessity invade and attempt to make them like us, because our culture is inherently superior. Let's try flipping the perspective; if Iran were the more powerful nation, how would you feel if they invaded your home to crush the infastructure and educate you on how Shariah is clearly the superior system? How would you feel if, whenever you protested that your way was better, they laughed and told you that once your culture had evolved a little more, you'd agree with them?

Well, to my way of thinking political suicide doesn't much matter, the right thing to do is the right thing to do. You are however correct that Obama isn't likely to take such action given his platform. As a person he doesn't have the guts, and his platform was basically based around playing to how much people hate wars, especially long wars. I myself have commented that Obama isn't likely to take any of the needed actions against The Middle East, China, etc... let things get worse, and hope that another president decides to make the right desicians with their career.

As far as the rest goes I have mixed opinions. When you get down to it, your right that everything comes down to perspective. To someone who really believes in their religion/god and thinks they are doing the right things, there is nothing wrong with their society, or trying to subvert others to their way of being. Conflicts however arise like we're seeing now, and it ultimatly comes down to "us or them" as opposed to "good or evil" when you decide to follow things far enough up the perspective totem pole. Even Hitler believed he was doing the right thing, it's simply a matter of perspective that he was wrong.

At the end of the day though when you consider that this comes down to giving a group of aggressive theocrats access to space technology and the abillity to create and use nuclear weapons, and that this threatens everyone else on the planet who happens to agree with them, it becomes less of a moral dillema given the amount of damage they are likely to cause in the long term by having such technology given their aggression. Not to mention oppressing 50% of their population (the women) to the point of not having an opinion makes it difficult to really take them even having a true societal consensus difficult.

To be brutally honest whether we simply go in and wreck their tech base, or go all out and pretty much level the entire region and population, the bottom line is pretty much to remove the threat they present to the rest of the world. I really don't care if they want to live a religiously based life in their own deserts as long as they keep it entirely to themselves. The point of everything, including the mass murder I've presented in other threads, is largely a matter of removing the threat posed to the rest of the world until they grow up to join the rest of the global community, and honestly if they never do, it's all about just keeping them contained so they don't bug anyone else. It's not nice, but it's what I think.

Understand also that I do not believe (after all this time and attempts) that an outside force can change their entire way of life and point of view. They have to do that internally, on their own. This is the folly of the entire "winning the peace" strategy and these stupid occupations we started. Hence why I favor a break and contain strategy, even if it involves the deaths of tens or even hundreds of millions of people if you take it to the extreme, or the half measure of simply removing dangerous technologies and developments until they are ready for it (like we see here). Take what action is needed to ensure the culture remains localized, humble, and no threat to anyone, but other than that let it go on it's own and it will either get over it and join the rest of the world, or it won't, and they can be riding their camels around the desert and herding goats to eke out a humble survival while they live with their god, while the rest of the world has hover cars and maybe even moves out to explore the stars. All entirely their choice to remain that way instead of progressing, and if they are happy with it, so be it. If they aren't... well they can choose to re-evaluate their priorities and change.

Therumancer:
Well, to my way of thinking political suicide doesn't much matter, the right thing to do is the right thing to do.

Problem the first being that "the right thing to do" in this case is simply personal opinion. There are many, many people (myself included) who think that the "right thing" is not to crush a civilization because they're different from us and we see them as dangerous. Viewed objectively, which is the more dangerous - the small theocracy who are rumoured to be working towards a nuclear arsenal or the enormous country which wields power on a global scale, has enormous stockpiles of nuclear weaponry, is heavily influenced by its own religious lobbyists (albeit not to the degree of Iran, granted, but it's widely considered an impossibility to hold high office without claiming to have certain religious beliefs) and has a reputation for launching largely unprovoked wars against smaller countries?

Without the perspective we have gained from living in the places we do, the United States seems to be by far the more dangerous of the two. It all depends on where you're standing.

Therumancer:
You are however correct that Obama isn't likely to take such action given his platform. As a person he doesn't have the guts, and his platform was basically based around playing to how much people hate wars, especially long wars. I myself have commented that Obama isn't likely to take any of the needed actions against The Middle East, China, etc... let things get worse, and hope that another president decides to make the right desicians with their career.

The right decisions being to cripple developing nations in the hope of turning them into clones of America, under the banner of making them less dangerous? With no regard for what they may think about it, because we Westerners are the superior race and we get to make the decisions? I apologise if I'm sounding hostile here, but that's a seriously disturbing notion.

Therumancer:
To be brutally honest whether we simply go in and wreck their tech base, or go all out and pretty much level the entire region and population, the bottom line is pretty much to remove the threat they present to the rest of the world. I really don't care if they want to live a religiously based life in their own deserts as long as they keep it entirely to themselves. The point of everything, including the mass murder I've presented in other threads, is largely a matter of removing the threat posed to the rest of the world until they grow up to join the rest of the global community, and honestly if they never do, it's all about just keeping them contained so they don't bug anyone else. It's not nice, but it's what I think.

Perspective again. From what you say, growing up and joining the world community involves toeing the line set by the most powerful.

Therumancer:
Understand also that I do not believe (after all this time and attempts) that an outside force can change their entire way of life and point of view. They have to do that internally, on their own. This is the folly of the entire "winning the peace" strategy and these stupid occupations we started. Hence why I favor a break and contain strategy, even if it involves the deaths of tens or even hundreds of millions of people if you take it to the extreme, or the half measure of simply removing dangerous technologies and developments until they are ready for it (like we see here). Take what action is needed to ensure the culture remains localized, humble, and no threat to anyone, but other than that let it go on it's own and it will either get over it and join the rest of the world, or it won't, and they can be riding their camels around the desert and herding goats to eke out a humble survival while they live with their god, while the rest of the world has hover cars and maybe even moves out to explore the stars. All entirely their choice to remain that way instead of progressing, and if they are happy with it, so be it. If they aren't... well they can choose to re-evaluate their priorities and change.

This encapsulates the problem I'm having, really. What you're saying is that if other nations want to thrive, they should change themselves to suit us, because we have the innately superior culture. That if they become like us we won't need to bomb them anymore because they'll have officially become Good Guys.

As I said in my last post, I don't disagree with you that Middle Eastern culture is often oppressive, barbaic and arse-backwards. I just don't support the idea that Western culture is the only way for the species to progress. We're not some sort of Master Race, and we shouldn't be trying to homogenise the world to our liking. I ask again, would you accept the same thing if the positions were reversed? If some country bombed yours back to medieval days because they didn't like your culture and considered you dangerous, and then told you that if you didn't behave exactly the way they told you then your country would not be allowed to participate in global affairs?

I think the most obvious reaction to such would be seething resentment, absolute hatred of the oppressive regime that would make the current distate Iran has towards the West look like a mild grudge. Much like the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan currently, all we'd achieve is to inspire and motivate the next generation of terrorists.

JoJo:

Rainforce:

JoJo:

It's somewhat hypocritical but ultimately justified considering the periodic saber rattling that emanates from Iran towards the U.S. and Israel. The American government is no angel but at-least we can trust them not to preemptively nuke another country because they contravene a particular interpretation of a millennia old religious document.

Thank goodness the US is in no way a perpetual war machine that spends most of its money on military advancements at all, right?
I guess it's good for Iran, at least when they get the rest of their politics somewhat sorted out.

Call back when the U.S. is openly stating that it intends to wipe an entire sovereign nation off the map, until then a comparison is silly.

Point taken, in terms of scale

SonicWaffle:
[

This encapsulates the problem I'm having, really. What you're saying is that if other nations want to thrive, they should change themselves to suit us, because we have the innately superior culture. That if they become like us we won't need to bomb them anymore because they'll have officially become Good Guys.

As I said in my last post, I don't disagree with you that Middle Eastern culture is often oppressive, barbaic and arse-backwards. I just don't support the idea that Western culture is the only way for the species to progress. We're not some sort of Master Race, and we shouldn't be trying to homogenise the world to our liking. I ask again, would you accept the same thing if the positions were reversed? If some country bombed yours back to medieval days because they didn't like your culture and considered you dangerous, and then told you that if you didn't behave exactly the way they told you then your country would not be allowed to participate in global affairs?

I think the most obvious reaction to such would be seething resentment, absolute hatred of the oppressive regime that would make the current distate Iran has towards the West look like a mild grudge. Much like the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan currently, all we'd achieve is to inspire and motivate the next generation of terrorists.

Well, now your getting into the kind of "big picture" thinking that goes well beyond the scope of the events we're talking about.

In the final equasion for humanity to survive, thrive, and get up into space and be able to spread itself out and solve it's resource/population problems we first need a world unity. That is to say one global culture that dominates, sets standards, and everyone belongs to. The bottom line is that as long as more than one group exists on a large scale paranoia, distrust, fighting, and perhaps most importantly the duplication of actions (ie playing "money see, monkey do" with technology instead of entirely developing new things) is inevitable. In short the whole "New World Order" and "One World Goverment" schtick is fundementally correct. There is a reason why most fairly viable speculative fiction about the future of space exploration has such a thing established in the backstory, oftentimes glossing over it's development, or relegating the nasty details to obscure backstory so it doesn't interfere with the high morals of the present tense of the stories (such as with Star Trek).

This leads to a sort of impartial analysis of differant cultures and their relative benefits in the long term. How do differant societies influance the life of the everyman, and future technological development. In the final equasion all societies are going to have their "haves" and their "have nots", a utopia is impossible, and a degree of social oppression and things like poverty are always going to exist simply as a fundemental fact. Considering that there is no perfect system, and that only ones that currently exist (as opposed to hypothetical exercises in society building) can enter into a discussion about reality, then Western Civilization becomes the best overall model for a human civilization. It allows for the highest overall standard of living and degree of freedom, as opposed to a religiously governed system like we see in The Middle East, full of intentionally ignorant serfs guided by religious principles to keep them in poverty while a ruling class that does things like marry 40 women and have multiple rolls Royces made for every day of the week guides society. China's "Human Hive" system where again you have a comparitively tiny elite of educated people ruling over a bunch of intentionally kept-ignorant worker drones producing materials for society that do things like live with their livestock (which is how SARS started), or share the same mat with 10 other people while they do factory shifts.

On a general level the western ideals of tolerance, allows a great degree of freedom and personal experession. We might not always live up to that ideal but it's prescence in the social model is important. In other systems it's a matter of "conform to a strict code of behavior or die". While there is a point in the western world where it gets to the same place when properly administrated it allows a great degree of flexibility. For example as long as it doesn't interfere with the rest of society you can discuss whatever philsophy or religion you want, without being killed as a heathen or insurgent. If you want to criticize leaders past or present, it's not an issue, unlike in say China where they put their leaders on a pedestel and doing rude things about say Mao is pretty much illegal.

When you consider what societal model would benefit the greatest number of people, and provide the greatest amount of freedom, there are really few better alternatives. Sure other models might work in a purely functional sense, but would you want to live there.

Incidently it's important to also understand that I respect liberalsm (despite what some people might gather) as an ultimate ideal of how a society should function. I just think we're not to the point where it's viable. Holding those principles as an endgame is important, but in the here and now they are not something we can actually live by or set policy according to, because the world simply is not ready for it. Such principles work when everyone is on the same page, and following the same rules, but not when your working on getting things to that point and/or defending yourself against a world where your position is actually in a minority. Forced intergration, then tolerance of what was intergrated is the way to success.

I'm not the best person at breaking this all down, there are people far better than I am at it. The bottom line is that when you consider what's best for humanity though it becomes far more debatable. Especially when you consider that a lot of the rival systems we discuss such as Islamic Theocracies are based around simply not giving people a choice, and indoctrinating them to the point where they resent being given a choice if it appears. Overall a society where everyone is brainwashed or indoctrinated is a possibility for a functional society, but in the final equasion, would YOU want to live there? The only people that are liable to say "yes" are those already indoctrinated, and of course the ones pulling the strings. The Prince/Religious Leader/etc... who has a thousand differant sports cars, a harem of 40 babes, fifty cars, etc... and hangs out with all his buddies who are the same way, probably thinks his is a great system. Ditto for the Chinese communist robber baron, who sits pretty high up in the party and owns a bunch of Sweatshops. Comparisons can be made between both of them and the much criticized "1%" of the Western World, but at the same time we peons have a much higher standard of living on average (even during a recession) and also have the abillity, even if slight, to potentially rise up and join that 1% from which people rise into and fall from all the time.

DVS BSTrD:
Who's in charge of their space program? King Koopa?

GamerMage:

The Great JT:
Congratulations, Iran, may you bring us the future!

Because lord knows the U.S. isn't in any hurry to do that...

Amen. Sounds like the beginnign of a joke,doesn't it?

Dear Science, This week I successfully dropped a child from space for wanting to go to school. Yours Religion

The Plunk:

Ympulse:

We humans can't have nice things until we stop having religion.

Which raises the question as to why we let a country that was recently led by a man who said that God told him to invade Iraq have nukes.

"If only Saddam had his own nukes he might still be alive today."

Besides, we DID invent them.

Also,MONKEY!

Therumancer:
Well, now your getting into the kind of "big picture" thinking that goes well beyond the scope of the events we're talking about.

If your suggestion applies to Iran, and you see that as the best way to deal with the "backwards" cultures, then why not extrapolate that to a big-picture solution?

Therumancer:
In the final equasion for humanity to survive, thrive, and get up into space and be able to spread itself out and solve it's resource/population problems we first need a world unity. That is to say one global culture that dominates, sets standards, and everyone belongs to. The bottom line is that as long as more than one group exists on a large scale paranoia, distrust, fighting, and perhaps most importantly the duplication of actions (ie playing "money see, monkey do" with technology instead of entirely developing new things) is inevitable. In short the whole "New World Order" and "One World Goverment" schtick is fundementally correct. There is a reason why most fairly viable speculative fiction about the future of space exploration has such a thing established in the backstory, oftentimes glossing over it's development, or relegating the nasty details to obscure backstory so it doesn't interfere with the high morals of the present tense of the stories (such as with Star Trek).

I think you're making some pretty big assumptions there. For one thing, the supposed "global culture" to which everyone will belong would most likely internalise the bickering and power struggles that today occur between nations, instead taking place between voting blocs or individuals. For another it would eliminate factional competition of the like that fueled the space race to begin with. Iran are making strides in their space program because they feel they're competing against someone; America is much more relaxed and content to take their time because the threat that pushed them into space has receded. Competition is good to a certain extent, but in this future where we can no longer show external signs that we're struggling against one another the most visible signs of progress will stagnate.

Though I'm actually glad that you brought up Star Trek, because it reminds me of the many counter-examples to be found in speculative fiction. Take Firefly for example - you could view the Alliance as Trek's Federation, pushing their way outward and absorbing all dissenters, with the Independents those who don't want to become part of the monoculture. In this instance, it's the Federation who are presented as the bad guys who want everyone to adopt their culture for "the greater good". There's a similar example with the Empire from Star Wars, a culture seen from the outside as corrupt and racist who have spread their influence over a galaxy, assimiliating or destroying all opposition to their cultural values. Those within the Empire don't see it that way; they see a higher quality of living and a unified front for the galaxy. It's the plucky Rebels who resist and attempt to bring down the smothering monoculture because they want to live by their own cultural standards.

Therumancer:
This leads to a sort of impartial analysis of differant cultures and their relative benefits in the long term. How do differant societies influance the life of the everyman, and future technological development. In the final equasion all societies are going to have their "haves" and their "have nots", a utopia is impossible, and a degree of social oppression and things like poverty are always going to exist simply as a fundemental fact. Considering that there is no perfect system, and that only ones that currently exist (as opposed to hypothetical exercises in society building) can enter into a discussion about reality, then Western Civilization becomes the best overall model for a human civilization.

From a Western perspective, certainly. From the perspective of some hardcore Islamist Western civilisation may represent a trade-off between physical comfort and spiritual truth.

It's also worth considering that even if you see our (IIRC you're an American, right? I'm English, but our two cultures are much more alike than we are different so I'm including them as one for the purposes of this discussion) civilisation as the best we have, it must be remembered that our civilisation is a large part of the reason that other cultures don't have our advantages. The West colonised much of the developing world, and while there were advantages to that for the natives of whichever patch of dirt we decided we liked the look of, we left them in one hell of a mess. Even today we can't stop interfering in the affairs of "lesser" countries and attempting to mould them into smaller versions of ourselves. It may make sense to claim we're the best overall model, but only because we've tried our hardest to cripple the possibility of any better models emerging. As Winston Churchill said of democracy, it may just be that our civilisation is simply the best from a selection of bad options.

Therumancer:
When you consider what societal model would benefit the greatest number of people, and provide the greatest amount of freedom, there are really few better alternatives. Sure other models might work in a purely functional sense, but would you want to live there.

As a Westerner, I'm comfortable where I am. That doesn't change the fact that Western civilisation is only the superior model in the eyes of Westeners. Presumably every model thinks of themselves as the best, and sees flaws in our system that we would never consider. Plenty of people within our own nations are unhappy with the model we have, some wanting theocracy or dictatorships or socialist paradise, and they're able to arrive at the conclusion that they're unhappy with our model despite being burdened with the inherited cultural perception of superiority.

I find it interesting that you make the point of less developed nations being run on an "agree or suffer" basis yet claim this is a negative - wasn't that essentially what you were proposing for Iran, and eventually everyone else in this grand future? That those who refused to ape Western cultural values could go and live in an isolated desert while everyone else rode around in hovercars? In the big picture is there that much difference between punishing those who speak ill of Mao or punishing those who don't conform to the global culture?

Therumancer:
Incidently it's important to also understand that I respect liberalsm (despite what some people might gather) as an ultimate ideal of how a society should function. I just think we're not to the point where it's viable.

Just an aside - I may be mis-remembering, but didn't Karl Marx say the same thing with communism? The ultimate ideal of a functional society rather than a model to be imposed on the unwilling?

Therumancer:
Holding those principles as an endgame is important, but in the here and now they are not something we can actually live by or set policy according to, because the world simply is not ready for it. Such principles work when everyone is on the same page, and following the same rules, but not when your working on getting things to that point and/or defending yourself against a world where your position is actually in a minority. Forced intergration, then tolerance of what was intergrated is the way to success.

That's a very dodgy argument. "We'll do what's right when it becomes easy to do so, but until then it's our way or nothing"?

If we can agree that the principles of liberalism are the ideal, then surely they ought to apply regardless of whether the world is ready for them. Integration in your scenario is less actual integration and more assimilation - we set the rules of behaviour after all, and naturally they're based on our values, so logically it follows that our "integrated" nations are being forced to follow our values. In such case, where is the principle? We'd be adopting a more tolerant attitude only when there was nothing left to tolerate.

Therumancer:
I'm not the best person at breaking this all down, there are people far better than I am at it. The bottom line is that when you consider what's best for humanity though it becomes far more debatable. Especially when you consider that a lot of the rival systems we discuss such as Islamic Theocracies are based around simply not giving people a choice, and indoctrinating them to the point where they resent being given a choice if it appears. Overall a society where everyone is brainwashed or indoctrinated is a possibility for a functional society, but in the final equasion, would YOU want to live there? The only people that are liable to say "yes" are those already indoctrinated, and of course the ones pulling the strings.

As I've pointed out though, surely this applies to your future society as well? Certainly we could claim to offer higher quality of life and more freedoms, but we wouldn't really be giving much of a choice as to whether people wanted this society pushed on them. In your original point about Iran you showed that you certainly wouldn't be averse to using force in attempting to integrate nations into the homogenous Western culture. It's a little disingenuous to claim you'll be giving people freedom of choice by manipulating them into a position where they have to accept your value system or suffer for it.

Therumancer:
The Prince/Religious Leader/etc... who has a thousand differant sports cars, a harem of 40 babes, fifty cars, etc... and hangs out with all his buddies who are the same way, probably thinks his is a great system. Ditto for the Chinese communist robber baron, who sits pretty high up in the party and owns a bunch of Sweatshops. Comparisons can be made between both of them and the much criticized "1%" of the Western World, but at the same time we peons have a much higher standard of living on average (even during a recession) and also have the abillity, even if slight, to potentially rise up and join that 1% from which people rise into and fall from all the time.

The comparisons are easy to make, considering that those robber barons or Princes are likely attempting to emulate the 1%. American celebrity culture enfolds the world, and many of these peoples' ideas of wealth could conceivably be drawn from Hollywood.

It's another reason to the people who struggle and suffer under these peeople, the ones who work in the sweatshops, would resist being brought under the great umbrella of Western culture. If they can look at us and see parallels between their oppressors and our 1%, what incentive does it give them to want to become part of our new empire? The fact that we have a little more choice about who tells us what to do than they?

SonicWaffle:
[

As a Westerner, I'm comfortable where I am. That doesn't change the fact that Western civilisation is only the superior model in the eyes of Westeners. Presumably every model thinks of themselves as the best, and sees flaws in our system that we would never consider. Plenty of people within our own nations are unhappy with the model we have, some wanting theocracy or dictatorships or socialist paradise, and they're able to arrive at the conclusion that they're unhappy with our model despite being burdened with the inherited cultural perception of superiority.

I find it interesting that you make the point of less developed nations being run on an "agree or suffer" basis yet claim this is a negative - wasn't that essentially what you were proposing for Iran, and eventually everyone else in this grand future? That those who refused to ape Western cultural values could go and live in an isolated desert while everyone else rode around in hovercars? In the big picture is there that much difference between punishing those who speak ill of Mao or punishing those who don't conform to the global culture?

?

This is pretty much what the entire discussion boils down to. The arguement as to whether it's all perspective based or one where a paticular way of life can be called better than another objectively. As I explained, yes it can, unless you get into very personal and subjective arguements involving spirituality and things like that. Even so you have to look at things like what benefits the most people.

In the final equasion the biggest barrier to globalization is simply that people who have lived a specific way for thousands of years do not want to see their culture disappear, or worse yet have to realize that they have been wrong. If the Muslim theocracy was to disappear, the problem is that it would mean the people who lived that way and sacrificed so much for it would have done so for nothing. Along with it also goes the dream that pretty much every culture has that one day their way of life, right or wrong, will be the one that unites the world.

Now here is where I'm going to piss you off. When we're talking about the big picture, I believe a lot of a world unity can be achieved slowly, through the spread of ideas. At the end of the day though there are those who are not going to join a global unity for one reason or another, history, a desire for independance, or religious reasons. At the end of the day it comes down to a matter of "get with the program, or die". If you don't join up, your culture is simply eradicated, perhaps not the point of actual genocide (ie the death of everyone of a specific ethnicity) but to the point where your culture does not exist. Pure and simple.

It's not a NICE conclusion of course, and a lot of people would fight me, or anyone else who tried to do that as a matter of principle, but it's still the bottom line. It's also contingent on the spread of ideas getting enough people on board with the basic idea to make such things viable to begin with.

On a lot of levels this is pretty much exactly what happened in a lot of science fiction like Star Trek. People who watch Trek tend to forget that earth was united by various disasters, and wars, which eventually lead to a group of super facists pretty much doing exactly what I talked about. Roddenberry mostly went into it in his extended writings on the subject, but the beginning of TNG called "Encounter At Farpoint" made this point and referanced it as Q's courtroom was showing the beginnings of what turned into the human goverment, and later the federation, a bunch of extreme facists using inquisition tactics and a drug controlled military to pretty much exterminate everyone that didn't get with the program. The complete opposite of what everything The Federation was supposed to stand for, yet those were it's origins. Apparently the TOS version of The Mirror Universe was supposed to be based around the simple idea that Earth didn't progress from that point, and stayed there, becoming "The Terran Empire". The stylized birds in the backround are an indication of this.

Basically reality is that things really need to suck before they can get better.

In the short term however, isolation and containment is the way to go. You break cultures like those in The Middle East, even if it involves huge scale mass murder in order to do so, keep their technology and such down to the point of not being a threat, and then hope they get over their issues on their own. In the long run if you've gotten nearly everyone else together, and you've still got theocrats running The Middle East, no women's sufferage, and things like that, then you put them out of their collective misery. "Who made you god?" well nobody, but then again someone eventually has to do it for the sake of everyone. Arabs will continue to survive, just not that paticular culture.

The basic truth is the world is totally screwed up, and really the only way to solve the problems is to be even more screwed up than it is. The idea is that you do the bad things, in order to be able to do the good things and build a progressive society later on. People can look back at how monsterous everything was and criticize people who think like me as being mass murdering maniacs, while enjoying the results of the world these monsterous actions were able to create.

To use a Star Trek counterpoint, nobody cares if someone like a Sisko wants to collect african art and know about that early heritage, or if scotty wants to be proud about that one time anscestary, as long as those trappings don't get in the way of the bottom line that this is our society, we are all parts of it, and none of that matters in the final equasion. A world where you might live in what's now California, but might pop over to what we call France now for dinner using high technology, and it doesn't matter because it's just one planet. If someone wants to go talk a walk in the deserts of Iraq nobody is going to come running out screaming death to the heathen infidel setting foot on the soil of the holy land, and shooting at you with an AK-47 over centuries old butthurt.

In the end we'll doubtlessly have to agree to disagree, especially when it comes to methods and what's worth it, but that's how I think, and that kind of an endgame, as messed up as it might sound to many, is what fuels a lot of my politics. Albiet what needs to be done in the short term does not nessicarly follow that pattern.

Right now, the bottom line is that we do not want a theocratic society, to get their hands on nuclear technology and the abillity to put orbital platforms up, and be in a position to kill millions of people next time someone believes there is a reason to call a Jihad. When these guys proclaim ultraviolent crusades for daring to draw pictures of Mohammad and stuff (apparently people have died over it) I have a problem with them possessing the technology to take that to this level. Heck if it was up to me, I wouldn't even let them have pointy sticks... but that goes well beyond anyone's capabilities to enforce.

Also when you get down to it, in a lot of your points you seem to miss issues like "does anyone want to be a slave"? In defending "point of view" when it comes to things like Islamic society, understand that by it's very nature it's based around giving 50% of the population no choice in the matter. If they were not indoctinated into the culture, how many of these women do you think would choose to live that way? Likewise China maintains it's sweatshops and such by not giving the people there any choice in the matter. When you compare the 1% in the US/UK/West to that of other places, the differance is that anyone can become part of that 1%, nobody forces you to be a slave.

I'll also say that yes, I am aware of the fact that the ultimate methods I propose are arguably more evil and extreme than moat of the people I'm argueing against on a lot of levels. The endgame does however matter, and a big part of it is the idea of working with the spread of ideas first, and giving everyone a chance. I think you'd be surprised at how well this is already working, some nations, including progressive ones, have grown concerned enough to want national firewalls for the sake of "cultural preservation" and so on. Australia, France, and some other places have oftentimes railed agains infectuous US culture as I've noticed. I feel that a lot of the conflicts will be solved over a period of time as long as we prevent censorship, keep dialogue open, and do what we cna to prevent people from locking it out. It's only once that's played out as far as it's reasonably going to go, and enough people are on the same page, that you start dealing with the nasty bits about who is going to get culled as a society or outright conquered.

You begin as the Evil Empire, end as The Federation so to speak. The Rebel Alliance in this context being short sighted idiots ultimatly fighting for the doom of humanity in a very real sense. :)

In the movies the Rebels were justified by having seen the development of a progressive society, which was then taken over. First you'd have to achieve such a civilization before you can logically fight against it's corruption and be justified. Defending the current status quo and the way things are now, is arguably fighting for nilhism, and the eventual destruction of humanity where we remain divided, deplete all resources, and then with no other options revert back to barbarism and die in the mud when our sun finally goes nova in a few billion years. If we're going to get off this rock, you need to get everyone together, and humanity is such a stubborn species that the only way that's happening is the spread of ideas, combined with magnificent bastards killing lots of people at specific points.

Ukomba:

That never happened.

Yes we know, now tell bush god doesn't exist :P

The fear is that Iran would be more inclined to use nuclear weapons preemptively. It is almost unthinkable that the United States or any other first world country with nuclear capability would ever use nukes preemptively or perhaps even at all because of the immense international backlash. The US does a ton of stupid shit despite international backlash but the reaction to the use of nukes would go beyond anything that any developed country would be willing to risk except in dire circumstance.

Happiness Assassin:
Iran launches monkey into space and this turns into a thread about bashing religion? Why? Even if we didn't have religion, people would still find excuses to kill each other.

i was going to say something similar, a country take its first steps into space which if may lead into a man flight and all we can talk about is the country's religion. But this great news, like really great news, well done to Iran, lets hope they get a man flight.

Lucky Godzilla:

Uh, you do realize the specter of Soviet invasion kick started the single largest military spending spree in recorded history? I mean, have you studied anything about the Cold War? does the term containment policy ring a bell?

You do realise this only occurred after WW2 when military industrial complex had started being run as a privatised corporation (war profiteers anyone? hang the Germans ones, but US ones are good for the economy).

So lets think why would a privately run weapons manufacturer want an arms race? Whilst at the same time demonising a country that used a political ideology that could strip them of their wealth and power? I bet you think the Cuban missile crisis cam about because those dirty commie bastards felt like it. Whilst we're talking about Cuba why don't you look what the US did to the other smaller non threatening countries that were possibly leaning towards the left in their political ideology.

Now I'm not defending the soviet union, whilst it did seem to be a promising change to having a ruling elite at first, its failure to export the revolution in the early days (pre WW2) lead it government bogged down in bureaucracy and totalitarianism. But the cold war was more about America fighting an idea than it was anything else. Also the Iranian people have more than enough reason to hate the USA and their dislike for Israel stems from the treatment of Palestinians and the theft of their land, whilst appearing to be an extension of the USA in the region.

Whether Iran should have a nuclear program? I don't know. I have never experienced the country or culture first hand. Only what i have been spoon fed by the media, and since the war on terror does seem to be a war on Islam I'll reserve judgement.

flarty:

Ukomba:

That never happened.

Yes we know, now tell bush god doesn't exist :P

Haters gonna hate

They put it 70 miles up. It didn't even get into low Earth orbit. It's really not that big of a deal.

We already have private companies with better space programs than that.

Also the people being anti-Islam are fucking stupid.

We created this mess and now we all act superior. We act like everything that happens over there is something they did, and not our progressive policy of continuously fucking them over and then acting all surprised when they get pissed at us.

SonicWaffle:

unstabLized:
I know that people have different viewpoints on things like this, and you have every right to have an opinion, but one thing I ask of you is that please, never assume that all of Iran is like what you see on the news. The people in that country are struggling very hard everyday to survive, to the point where they can barely even get food anymore. They can't have a voice because the government censors everything, and if someone does say something, they'll be either brutally punished or killed on the spot. Say what you want about the government, and I'll probably agree with almost everything you say, but don't mistake the people in the country. A lot of the people in Iran are completely against the government, but they can't say anything or get away.

It's pretty hard to seperate citizen and government in the mind, to be honest, because whenever news stations (or even the article we've just read from Greg) mention a nation doing something they always say 'Iran' or 'America' rather than 'the Iranian government' or 'the American government'. Likewise, whenever something horrible is done by the Israelis, we blame Israel as a whole (though recent polls suggest that many of them do support continued oppression) rather than pointing out that the government is being a dick.

Intellectually we all know that the Iranian people aren't raging lunatics who want to wipe us out, just like we know Americans aren't all fat inbred gun-nuts. It's just that the media tends to report on events in other countries as if that country was one united bloc of humanity who all share the same ideals, and that tends to leak through into the way ordinary people talk about them.

Yes, which is sad. The media would do anything to hype something up these days. That's why i made that post. Point is to try not to generalize and not be lead to illusions.

flarty:

Lucky Godzilla:

Uh, you do realize the specter of Soviet invasion kick started the single largest military spending spree in recorded history? I mean, have you studied anything about the Cold War? does the term containment policy ring a bell?

You do realise this only occurred after WW2 when military industrial complex had started being run as a privatised corporation (war profiteers anyone? hang the Germans ones, but US ones are good for the economy).

So lets think why would a privately run weapons manufacturer want an arms race? Whilst at the same time demonising a country that used a political ideology that could strip them of their wealth and power? I bet you think the Cuban missile crisis cam about because those dirty commie bastards felt like it. Whilst we're talking about Cuba why don't you look what the US did to the other smaller non threatening countries that were possibly leaning towards the left in their political ideology.

Now I'm not defending the soviet union, whilst it did seem to be a promising change to having a ruling elite at first, its failure to export the revolution in the early days (pre WW2) lead it government bogged down in bureaucracy and totalitarianism. But the cold war was more about America fighting an idea than it was anything else. Also the Iranian people have more than enough reason to hate the USA and their dislike for Israel stems from the treatment of Palestinians and the theft of their land, whilst appearing to be an extension of the USA in the region.

Whether Iran should have a nuclear program? I don't know. I have never experienced the country or culture first hand. Only what i have been spoon fed by the media, and since the war on terror does seem to be a war on Islam I'll reserve judgement.

Ho boy, this is going to turn into a full blown essay soon enough.

O.K, in order to fully understand the arms race, one must go back to the aftermath of WWII. So Nazi Germany had gone belly up, and subsequently the U.S.S.R had found itself deeper into Europe than ever before. Now, I'm going to assume you know what the Soviets stance on capitalism, and by extent democracy was. Understandably, Europe was a tad jittery at the prospect of Soviet invasion. Truman was also alarmed by the potential of communist aggression, but he was also confident in his ace in the hole. You see, at the end of WWII the U.S was basically demobilizing its forces while all of western Europe's forces were dead. On the other hand Russia had, despite sustaining unfathomable losses, still maintained the largest standing army.

By a magnitude.

Seriously, for every one division the U.S and its European allies had deployed the U.S.S.R had ten. But the U.S had something no one else had, the atomic bomb. Congress, and to some extent Truman were convinced that the bomb would pick up the slack in matching Russia's military might. And it did, for all of four years. The Ruskies eventually got around to detonating their own nuke in 1949, meaning the U.S and by extent Europe had now lost their trump card. See the Russians could now match the nuclear might of the West, and still had more divisions by a factor of ten.

As one can easily imagine bricks were shat, and the resulting refuse would become known as N.A.T.O. Between 1950 and 1960 the Russians overly exaggerated the extent of first their bomber, and than their missile arsenal. This lead to paranoia within the states the the Russians currently maintained a significant lead, both in nuclear and conventional capabilities. BAM arms race. Hardly manufactured by the defense contractors, but they sure as hell didn't argue with it.

Well if by some freak of nature you have read up to this point, I applaud you. For now I will begin to provide counter arguments to your comment.

You see, like it or not there exists a relatively stable balance of power within the world. We have managed to avoid another World War through deterrence, and that has worked out great for everybody. Sure what we did (particularly in South America) during the Cold War was detestable. But I think we can all agree that that was preferable to a full scale nuclear exchange between the two super powers. The only current loose end in this system is North Korea, but the Beijing keeps them on a tight enough leash so to prevent a nuclear holocaust.

What is truly frightening about Iran is they are not exactly friends with anyone. After Russia refused to follow through with their S-300 deal with Iran, while also voicing their support of international sanctions, Iran lost its last major ally. Simply put, there is nothing any nation can currently do to keep the Iranians in check without resorting to the threat of nuclear annihilation. Simply put they are an unknown factor, and when talking about nuclear armament, that is unacceptable.

Lucky Godzilla:

Ho boy, this is going to turn into a full blown essay soon enough.

O.K, in order to fully understand the arms race, one must go back to the aftermath of WWII. So Nazi Germany had gone belly up, and subsequently the U.S.S.R had found itself deeper into Europe than ever before. Now, I'm going to assume you know what the Soviets stance on capitalism, and by extent democracy was. Understandably, Europe was a tad jittery at the prospect of Soviet invasion. Truman was also alarmed by the potential of communist aggression, but he was also confident in his ace in the hole. You see, at the end of WWII the U.S was basically demobilizing its forces while all of western Europe's forces were dead. On the other hand Russia had, despite sustaining unfathomable losses, still maintained the largest standing army.

By a magnitude.

Seriously, for every one division the U.S and its European allies had deployed the U.S.S.R had ten. But the U.S had something no one else had, the atomic bomb. Congress, and to some extent Truman were convinced that the bomb would pick up the slack in matching Russia's military might. And it did, for all of four years. The Ruskies eventually got around to detonating their own nuke in 1949, meaning the U.S and by extent Europe had now lost their trump card. See the Russians could now match the nuclear might of the West, and still had more divisions by a factor of ten.

As one can easily imagine bricks were shat, and the resulting refuse would become known as N.A.T.O. Between 1950 and 1960 the Russians overly exaggerated the extent of first their bomber, and than their missile arsenal. This lead to paranoia within the states the the Russians currently maintained a significant lead, both in nuclear and conventional capabilities. BAM arms race. Hardly manufactured by the defense contractors, but they sure as hell didn't argue with it.

Whilst alot of that might be true. You seem to of forgotten about the Korean War. Which as said by Eisenhower the MIC was already beginning to try and shape foreign policy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnaM8TqAzzo

i did have more but internets broke on me when i clicked post :(

Lucky Godzilla:

You see, like it or not there exists a relatively stable balance of power within the world. We have managed to avoid another World War through deterrence, and that has worked out great for everybody. Sure what we did (particularly in South America) during the Cold War was detestable. But I think we can all agree that that was preferable to a full scale nuclear exchange between the two super powers. The only current loose end in this system is North Korea, but the Beijing keeps them on a tight enough leash so to prevent a nuclear holocaust.

Wait you lost me. What you did in south America during the cold war was preferable to a nuclear war between super powers. Enlighten me to which super power in south America had nuclear weapons?

Lucky Godzilla:

What is truly frightening about Iran is they are not exactly friends with anyone. After Russia refused to follow through with their S-300 deal with Iran, while also voicing their support of international sanctions, Iran lost its last major ally. Simply put, there is nothing any nation can currently do to keep the Iranians in check without resorting to the threat of nuclear annihilation. Simply put they are an unknown factor, and when talking about nuclear armament, that is unacceptable.

Yes but instead of taking hostile actions would it not of been better to pursue a agenda of collaboration? The west could of kept close observations on their nuclear program. But no we imposed sanctions on an already distressed country at the drop of a hat.

Happiness Assassin:
Iran launches monkey into space and this turns into a thread about bashing religion? Why? Even if we didn't have religion, people would still find excuses to kill each other.

Because religion was the reason people decided it would be a good idea to pilot planes into two massive towers all those years ago and people are worried that they'll try it again, but use a nuke?

Its a valid fear, especially with how warlike the middle east is.

Well it's offical that monkey has achieved more in life than me, I'm gonna go drink.

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