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Iran War Clock Set At Ten Minutes To Midnight

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the just-hit-the-snooze-when-it-goes-off dept.

The Military 315

Hugh Pickens writes "The Atlantic has assembled a high-profile panel of experts, including a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran, a Senior Vice President at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Deputy Head of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, and a military correspondent at Haaretz, to periodically estimate the chances of conflict with Iran. The Iran War Clock is not designed to be pro-war or anti-war. Instead, the purpose is to estimate the chances of conflict in the hope of producing a more informed debate. Each panelist makes an individual estimate about the percentage chance of war and we report the average score and based on this number, the Iran War Clock is adjusted so that the hand moves closer to, or further away from, midnight. 'On the one hand, the panelists are highly knowledgeable. On the other hand, there are sufficient members of the panel that any individual error should not have an overly negative effect on the aggregate prediction.' If there is a zero percent chance of war, the clock hand is at 20 minutes to midnight. Each extra 5 percent chance of war moves the hand one minute closer to midnight. 'We're humble about the accuracy of this prediction, which is really a collective "gut-check" feeling. But it may be closer to the truth than the alternative forecasts available.' The panel's first estimate puts the odds of war in the next twelve months at 48 percent, consistent with predictions market Intrade.com, which estimates a 40 percent chance of a U.S./Israeli strike by December 2012."

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Brilliant! (4, Insightful)

nman64 (912054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304111)

Hearing the ticking of a clock and seeing a deadline approaching always has a calming effect!

I'm sure this will be taken every bit as seriously as the Doomsday Clock.

Re:Brilliant! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304411)

dont you just hate it when you take a big shit and your first turd goes *splash* and a stream of cold water shoots up your asshole? like when you have those little hard turds instead of a big soft log. man thats annoying. then you go to wipe and bits of wet toilet paper crumble and stick in your ass crack. dammit.

Re:Brilliant! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304727)

Hate it? It's kind of refreshing so long as it's the first splash since the last flush, if you follow my drift.

Re:Brilliant! (0)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304821)

You need a shelf toilet [hudin.com]

Re:Brilliant! (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304445)

A symbolic clock is as nourishing to the intellect as photograph of oxygen to a drowning man.

That is one hell of a complicated way of saying (3, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304513)

Eh... it could go either way (waggling hand).

The world isn't about right and wrong and anyway, what you consider right and wrong is considered rather silly by 6 billion people. It is about trying to ensure that tomorrow won't be a hell of a lot worse then today. And a Muslim run world would be a hell of a lot worse? Want to proof me wrong? Reverse the migration streams. As bad as some claim the west is, a lot of people would risk a dangerous crossing in tiny boats for a living as toilet cleaners rather then be anywhere else.

What does migration have got to do with it? Libya used to help Europe in stemming the tide of immigrants from further south. Further uproar in that area will not help stem further migration, it was one of the reasons actions against Libya were opposed in the west by a lot of people (because they were for peace you thought? How silly).

Iran is a lynch pin in a very complex scenario where all the actors and their lines are unknown and performed in the dark for a blind audience. You could say it is playing a game but what game? With what rules and with which cards? The west has learned the hard way that enforcing its values on another culture doesn't work, Iraq and Afghanistan are disaster areas. Libya is too early to tell so going into Iran is unlikely be a quick easy win. But as long as Iran remains, Syria remains. Sudan remains, Northern Nigeria remains... gutting Iran would send a strong message but is also unacceptable... so what to do?

Nothing? Then you keep having to react to whatever it pulls next... Iran not hostile? Yeah, the mass murdering in Sudan and Nigeria are just for laughs. Iran knows Muslims soldiers have the military value of they regimental donkey so they fight their wars by proxy.

What do YOU propose is done in Syria? Nothing? Deny anything is wrong? Somehow blame it all on Israel? Well nothing you can do it about it without upsetting Iran. So thousands of Muslims die at the hand of Muslims and you do nothing? Speak up when you say that... no, that is not acceptable either.

Politicians are often said to think as this, "people say something must done, this is something, so it must be done". That is true enough... but people keep shouting "something must be done". YOU come up with something better.

Ideally, war should be the last answer, it often is. The pity is that it often also is the only answer. Will Iran be attacked by the end of the year? No idea. To many interest, not always as you expect, many conflicting and a lot of actors who are pulling unseen strings. It is not just about testing the west by proxy, those pulling those strings would also not want to be seen to fail again, so they might force their puppet to relax. (If Iran backed by China fails and the Chinese economy suffers are the oil now moves west again without China buying it cheap thanks to the Iran embargo limitting competition for it would the Chinese people realize they can rebel as well) Overly complex but that is how it is all connected.

War happens when those pulling the wires loose control of them. It has been happenig quite a lot really and by definition of loosing control, you can't predict it.

Re:That is one hell of a complicated way of saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304725)

Posting as AC so I don't get somebody I know in trouble.

A "person" I know is in the Army. Has spent the last year and half learning Arabic. This person got their orders the other day to go to a new base and to expect to be deployed when boots hit the ground. He can't go to Afghanistan, Irag is almost done with. So that only really leaves one possibility left.

Re:That is one hell of a complicated way of saying (5, Informative)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304845)

They don't speak arabic in Iran.

Re:That is one hell of a complicated way of saying (1)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304927)

And a Muslim run world would be a hell of a lot worse? Want to proof me wrong? Reverse the migration streams.

I don't disagree with the point you're trying to make there, but just take a look at how many people there are trying to get into Saudi Arabia and the UAE to find work. Migrants go where there is money.

Framing? (5, Insightful)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304151)

This is possibly the most deliberately confusing way to try to explain our chances of war to anyone. Twenty minutes to midnight means a 0% chance? Why are we restricting a scale designed to have 720 minutes to just 20? This is just designed to scare people (for whatever reason) into thinking war is more probable than it really is. I have no problem with the panel, just the manner in which they displayed their results.

Re:Framing? (5, Interesting)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304241)

This was my first thought too!

If there is a zero percent chance of war, the clock hand is at 20 minutes to midnight

We're basically rigging the system to LOOK like war is inevitable no matter what we do. This sounds like a PR event to get people READY for war more than give a realistic assessment.

People will see "20-minutes to midnight" and think OMFG!@!@!@!@!11111@@@@@ (internet has changed how people thing)

If you're used to seeing we're only 20 minutes from war- when war comes it is just because it is a foregone conclusion. No reason to complain to the government... we've been this close all along!

Using the same scale we're currently at 20 minutes to midnight before Obama personally castrates all men in West Virginia using a switch blade knife... only 20 minutes from midnight folks... it's inevitable- don't fight it.

Re:Framing? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304367)

we're currently at 20 minutes to midnight before Obama personally castrates all men in West Virginia using a switch blade knife

OMFG!@!@!@!@!11111@@@@@

Re:Framing? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304643)

Somebody think of the children!

Re:Framing? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304809)

We're basically rigging the system to LOOK like war is inevitable no matter what we do.

That sounds accurate to me! All the politicians are falling over themselves to say they're going to kill the other guys. It's not the peasants asking for it. The nobles are the ones leading it. The military industrial complex, conservative pundits, and a few other rich individuals who for one reason or another want to see a big fight are the few leading the charge. Aside from locking them up, what can we do?

And More Framing? (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304273)

This is possibly the most deliberately confusing way to try to explain our chances of war to anyone. Twenty minutes to midnight means a 0% chance? Why are we restricting a scale designed to have 720 minutes to just 20? This is just designed to scare people (for whatever reason) into thinking war is more probable than it really is. I have no problem with the panel, just the manner in which they displayed their results.

I thought the same thing. Why not simply say "48% chance of war by December 2012"? Another thing I found quite humorous was that this is titled "The Iran War Clock" which made me think 'damn those war mongering religious fundamentalists' but then when I get to the end of the summary I see they reference a "U.S./Israeli strike" which makes me think 'perhaps this should be called The U.S./Isreali War Clock'? I mean, is this clock about Iran nuking a neighbor or Israel? Or is this clock about the US and Israel tag-teaming on Iran? Or is it a split and, if so, what's that split on the 48%?

And yet another peculiar thing was that I searched around for the panel's positions and stances of each member in order to understand why this war clock is now at ten minutes and how this is any different than, say, the past twenty years of Iran. It's a coin flip that war will break out by the end of the year? Hasn't this always been sort of the sentiment with Iran? What makes this so different now, specifically?

Re:And More Framing? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304765)

Why not simply say "48% chance of war by December 2012"

Because it is meaningless as well.

Re:Framing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304313)

My words exactly. The Atlantic, you hear that!? Please re-adjust for the sake of the geeks.

Schwarzkopf didn't say that. (3, Informative)

xx_chris (524347) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304361)

It was a Bush underling, Jed Babbin. Schwarzkopf was honored as a Honorary First-Class Private in the French Foreign Legion in 1991. France sent 18,000 troops to that war.

Re:Framing? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304441)

Because the whole dooms day clock thing was created during the cold war and is intended to scare people into obedience.

Re:Framing? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304443)

Ed Hocken, Police Squad:
"Doctors say that Nordberg has a 50/50 chance of living, though there's only a 10 percent chance of that. "

Re:Framing? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304619)

Yeah, they should have ditched the stupid metaphor that implies we need to be preparing for war right now (if it was 10 minutes 'til midnight on New Year's Eve, you'd be breaking out the champagne glasses if they weren't out already).

Instead let's just use a simple qualitative scale with no physical metaphor at all.

Like right now we're at "HOLY FUCK WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!", which means there's only a small chance for war.

Follow the money (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304897)

This is just designed to scare people (for whatever reason) into thinking war is more probable than it really is.

Oil companies would love for us to go to war with Iran, but the threat itself will do. Gasoline prices going through the roof lines their pockets, and they don't give a rat's as that it will destroy the already fragile recovery of a recession that was caused mostly by gasoline prices. $1.05 here when oil man Bush took office in 2000, $4.65 when the economy collapsed eight years later. That money that goes in the gas tank is money that doesn't go to the clothing store or restaraunt.

There are other people who would benefit from another collapse of the economy -- those who want to inhabit the White House or be elected to Congress. High gasoline prices are Obama's biggest threat right now, and America's as well.

Chances of war? (1)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304179)

I'd say the probability of a war with Iran is 0.
That is, unless Israel and/or the U.S. is determined to start one.

Re:Chances of war? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304211)

Which is why it's starting at 50%.

Re:Chances of war? (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304395)

but can someone explain to me how "50% chance" == "10 minutes until war begins", and "0% chance" == "20 minutes until war begins"?

This looks like a concept created by someone who is in a very big hurry to see a war.

Student of American History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304291)

The U.S. is determined to start one. We're seeing the same type of media froth that we saw leading up to the Spanish-American war, the second Iraq war, and others. This whole stupid clock is just one more rattling saber.

Re:Student of American History (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304341)

except the US has now been at war for almost 11 years and most people are tired of it and the 5000 or so dead soldiers. there is close to 0 public support for another war

and the US army isn't ready for it either

Re:Student of American History (2)

burnit999 (1845596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304457)

I feel like you haven't been watching the republican preliminaries...

Re:Student of American History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304669)

I suppose you didn't see any of Obama's 2008 campaign speeches either.

Re:Student of American History (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304701)

Meh. The Republican primaries are all about appealing to the core Republicans, since they're the ones you have to make happy to win the nomination.

Whoever comes out of the primaries is going to be in for a shock if they keep beating the drums of war in the run-up to the general election.

But I'm betting it'll be Romney and he's smarter than that.

Re:Student of American History (1)

x1r8a3k (1170111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304645)

That doesn't mean that someone isn't pushing them into it. No public support and lack of preparation has never stopped politicians. They're just waiting for an opportunity to spin it into a positive thing.

Re:Student of American History (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304797)

5.000 soldiers is a lot. Care to say how many civilians? Or do you not care about the people you are trying to liberate?

Re:Student of American History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304911)

5000 soldiers in 11 years... is not a lot really. Compared to every other armed conflict, this is nothing. Civilian casualties and injuries are MUCH worse, but that's the downside to war. To get what you want/need, or to defend yourself... the other side suffers. Everyone suffers, and it's not going to stop over the next decade. Maybe if our soldiers die in full scale combat or a bomb strike (like we do to other combatant centers) than we would be more willing to support our troops. It may take another attack on the U.S.... no one will listen until it hits home.
Diplomacy isn't an option until a regime change occurs, civilian led or otherwise. The leaders in hostile countries see us as the big Satan and have made it a holy war to kill any and everyone who is American... argue that with them. Drop the leaders, support civil evolution, and maybe in a decade we can have some real steps towards global stability.

Re:Student of American History (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304913)

People generally care more about their friends and neighbors and spouses and children than they do about nameless, faceless people from the other side of the globe. Americans care more about their troops being killed, and I'd wager that the Iraqi people care a lot more about neighbors killed as "collateral damage" than they do about some American soldiers being killed by a suicide bomber at some check point in another city. There's nothing wrong with that -- it's human nature.

Ides of March (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304929)

except the US has now been at war for almost 11 years and most people are tired of it and the 5000 or so dead soldiers. there is close to 0 public support for another war

The Iraq war stared on March 20th and the Libyan War started on March 19th.

This can go one of four ways:

1) it happens now, in the hopes that it's over by the election
2) it happens shortly after Obama is re-elected
3) it never was going to happen - it's all a ruse to get the Republicans spitting crazy so that come election season, Obama can look like the reasonable voice on War (assuming Dr. Paul isn't the nominee)
4) Israel goes nuts at a random date and the US has to decide whether to light off WWIII.

I suggest erring on the side of not killing more brown children for political agendas.

Re:Student of American History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304393)

I'm from the US and I don't want to start one. The other day, the CNN home page had a poll something about "should military force be an option" (about preventing nuclear weapons in Iran). I voted NO, but was surprised to see 67% had voted YES. I guess there are a bunch of warmongers out there. I'm certainly not one of them.

Re:Student of American History (0)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304589)

Israel is determined to start one.

FTFY

All we are saying..... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304193)

is give peace a chance.

Re:All we are saying..... (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304345)

For everything there is a season. A time for war...

Re:All we are saying..... (1)

PlatyPaul (690601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304469)

Turn turn turn...

If only it were that simple (3, Interesting)

yog (19073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304649)

What about Iran's continuing threats to destroy Israel, not just the supposedly mistranslated rhetorical device "wipe from map" but also the very real and unmistakable threats to destroy the country? What about their continued stockpiling of advanced missiles in Lebanon, manned by Iranian technicians, with the sole purpose of bombing Israel from just over the border, in direct violation of the 2006 UN-mediated armistice? What about Iran's continued sponsorship of terroristic activities all over the world? The large number of American soldiers blown up by Iranian-supplied bombs and armor-piercing ordnance in Iraq?

You can cluck about peace all you want, and both a mercantile/high tech Israel and a war-weary U.S. would love it to be a peaceful world, but unfortunately the real world simply is not so, and Iran least of all. Most of the Iranian people doubtlessly want peace just as we do, but they are ruled by crazy mullahs who have an apocalyptic vision of a golden cloud over Jerusalem. They are planning to nuke Israel, and idiots in the West ignore this at their own peril. Not only would Israel undoubtedly retaliate and destroy most of Iran's cities, but the conflagration would probably spread. Tens (if not hundreds) of millions of people are going to die if we don't stop them, by sanctions or by espionage or by outright war.

My gut feeling is that while the Israelis are talking war, they are actually planning more devious steps to halt the Iran nuclear project. For one thing, they have hinted all along that they have resources deeply embedded in Iran who have been sabotaging the nuclear projects since the 1980s. This may be a kind of disinformation, but Israel has thousands of Iranian immigrants to draw on, who are fluent in Farsi and the culture.

Probably, Mossad is hoping to detonate a dirty nuke of some sort deep inside the enrichment facility that would render the place unusable, kill minimal bystanders, and set the Iranians back by several years. It would be hard to trace the cause, and Iran would be faced with either admitting it was building nukes, or else try to cover it up while trying to rebuild, a daunting prospect given the tightening noose of sanctions. This would be the most appealing outcome to the situation.

Re:All we are saying..... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304653)

Insightful? Platitudes are insightful now? I got a million of 'em:
Good things come to those who wait
It was meant to be
Time heals all wounds
Nothing is impossible
Perception is reality

In all seriousness, the last decade of Iran policy has been giving peace a chance. Eventually, they will ride the peace train long enough to arrive at Nuclearville. I still don't think that means war (in fact historically it makes it less likely), but peace has definitely been given a chance. Of course, Iran could just pull out of the nonproliferation treaty and then there would be no basis for sanctions... the treaty only requires 3 months notice, and North Korea has established precedence.

Re:All we are saying..... (4, Interesting)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304791)

Eventually, they will ride the peace train long enough to arrive at Nuclearville.

In Islam, they have a word for this: Hudna. Basically, a call for peace, or temporary cease-fire, when you need to reload. The fact that the religion/culture of this area of the world is taught this concept, and has a word for it, should speak volumes. Bin Laden called for peace when he was being bombed in 2001. Hamas has called for peace when they were attacked by Israel. None of them seriously want peace; just time to reload.

Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304197)

48% of War! I say 50% - 50% there will be war, 50% there won`t be a war.

So in other words... (4, Insightful)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304203)

The chance of going to war with Iran is a 9.5 based on a scale from 9 to 10.

Re:So in other words... (2)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304285)

On a scale where 10 inches means 0 inches and 100 inches means 12 inches- I have a 12inch long um. banana.

Re:So in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304759)

Roughly translated, that means your .. banana .. is (2*12)/90 inches long, or slightly under 1/4".

Let's just say I'm not impressed with the size of your banana at this point.

Re:So in other words... (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304909)

Assuming the scale is linear.

Re:So in other words... (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304857)

But that's not sensationalist enough. On a scale from 6,999,999,998 to 7,000,000,000, I'd put us around 6,999,999,999.

Can I get that in Libraries of Congress? (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304213)

WTF - a zero chance of war means 11:40pm. Shouldn't that be closer to 12:01 AM? I mean 10 minutes to midnight (when, I presume, we launch the pumpkins and somebody gets caught wearing rags instead of a ball gown) sounds a lot worse when compared to a 24 hours day than to a 20 minute window.

Threat Level for the day: Chartreuse

Re:Can I get that in Libraries of Congress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304277)

I prefer to stick with Ron White's version of the threat level system

Threat level 1: Find a helmet
Threat level 2: Put on the damn helmet.

Re:Can I get that in Libraries of Congress? (2)

JeanCroix (99825) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304535)

I was hoping someone could explain the percent chance of war with Iran in terms of a car analogy. It would be about as apt as the clock.

Re:Can I get that in Libraries of Congress? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304753)

Right, come see my Canada doomsday clock...

Its only 18 minutes to midnight.

By the time you watch an episode of simpsons... even if you skip the commercials... we could be at war.

But don't let that worry you, my Alien Invasion Conspiracy doomday clock which tracks the chances that an alien fleet is behind the moon right now and is coordinating with the CIA and FBI to prepare a combination harvest & extinction of the human race has been very accurately set at only 20 minutes to midnight.

What a retarded metric.

War with Iran == war with Russia (and maybe China) (-1, Flamebait)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304219)

Not a smart move, and hopefully President Obamney* will be wise enough to pull back from the brink.

*
*two heads; same globalist

Re:War with Iran == war with Russia (and maybe Chi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304309)

Russia who? The same Russia that doesn't have enough oil to fuel all of its 1940's tanks and planes? Get real and get some facts first.

Re:War with Iran == war with Russia (and maybe Chi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304615)

-100, stupid as all hell

the solution is simple... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304229)

NUKE IRAN

Doesn't seem to be any outrage here (4, Insightful)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304243)

I assume none of you tech types are actually going to die in Oil War III?

Re:Doesn't seem to be any outrage here (5, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304387)

Yeah, it'll be just like the last World War that started when Israel bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear facility in 1981.

Re:Doesn't seem to be any outrage here (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304503)

The outrage is that this "war clock" seems designed to promote the idea of starting a new war.

Re:Doesn't seem to be any outrage here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304709)

I won't. And after the last few wars I've decided to take a new outlook on these things. Really they don't involve me. Other than some rather disturbing news reports it has no impact on my day to day life. It may result in a % or two change in my taxes at some point in the future but other than that it's just a gentleman's agreement between the aristocracy (who want these things for financial reasons and largely pay for the wars based on our tax structures) and poor people who are looking for jobs and/or are genuinely interested in killing others. Either way I'm not a part of the equation so getting my panties in a knot about it is a waste.

Bring it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304247)

We need ourselves a good nuclear war.

Senseless gimmick (2)

owlnation (858981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304261)

This (and the Doomsday Clock) are just stupid gimmicks. They get in the way of facts. It's just lousy journalism.

Just state the percentage chance -- percentages are clear. Even if they are just probabilities and do not necessarily reflect what will happen in any way.

Considering Iran's leadership, anything could happen at any time. Using a retarded clock with a deliberately confusing scale isn't going to make that any clearer.

Re:Senseless gimmick (3, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304661)

Senseless gimmick is right. Jesus christ. You can't assign a percentage figure to the chance that a particular war will break out. It's infantile. You just can't quantify it. It's all guesswork. Most of it is breathtakingly uninformed guesswork.

Further analysis. (5, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304279)

'We're humble about the accuracy of this prediction, which is really a collective "gut-check" feeling

Actually, we asked two guys if there would be a war. One said "yes", the other "no". So we were going to say there was a 50% chance, but then we changed it to 48% because that sounded more scientific.

Re:Further analysis. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304373)

"In our defense, the guy who said "no" said it slightly louder."

Wow, how amazing! (1)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304293)

...and after Israel bombs them, they'll move the clock to midnight. They're so brilliant. Color me unimpressed.

You frightend me to the death... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304297)

It's 11:06 Here in Tehran and as I was reading the title there was a explosion near my apartment. I thought US/Israel have started the war and they are blowing Mehrabad Airport (as in Battlefield 3)

It was just an end-of-the-year fireworks explosive...

Re:You frightend me to the death... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304409)

I think your clocks are off a bit.

Re:You frightend me to the death... (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304685)

A lot of things are a bit "off" in Tehran.

My father was a watch maker. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304311)

He abandoned it when Einstein discovered that time is relative. I would only agree that a symbolic clock is as nourishing to the intellect as photograph of oxygen to a drowning man.

Come on now (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304333)

Claiming that we're 10 minutes to war, even a figurative 10 minutes, is like claiming that we're 20 years from nuclear fusion.

It's not something you can sensibly calculate, and any attempt is going to be based more on personal prejudices. They will also have an incentive to constantly keep the clock near doomsday for the same reason that the Homeland Security threat level never goes down to green.

Clock? (1)

gura (10074) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304353)

I'm on my 33rd Iran War Calendar.

How about no? (3, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304357)

How about we just stop playing world police? I don't want to send our youngsters out there to die in another shithole just because of overly paranoid people in government.

Leave Iran alone. If they actually *ATTACK* our allies, *THEN* I can understand going to war. But let's not fucking START one.

Re:How about no? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304497)

Iran has attacked Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan by supplying weapons to the insurgents, and via its Lebanese puppets it indiscriminately sends rockets into Israel.

Re:How about no? (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304627)

And the CIA has been supplying weapons and support to the Green movement trying to overthrow the government in Iran and Israel has been assassinating their scientists. See, it cuts both ways.

Re:How about no? (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304751)

Dude. The Americans are out of Iraq from a fighting perspective, and getting damn close to skedaddling from Afghanistan. In the process the nation has gone flat broke and confidence in the government is at an all time low. Would you suggest we lash out at Iran in spite?

There are real issues at play here, and arguments for various options, but none of what you said touches on any of them.

Re:How about no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304703)

"How about we just stop playing world police?"

You mean stop looking after US interests such as cheap access to resources outside of the US?
I'm all in favor but i don't see it happen any time soon.

Too late (0)

pianoman113 (204449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304371)

Iran has been at war with us since the revolution. Its time Americans started recognizing that fact and speak/act accordingly.

Re:Too late (1)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304501)

Iran has been at war with us since the revolution. Its time Americans started recognizing that fact and speak/act accordingly.

No kidding... I went out for some persian the other night and the next day I was as sick as a dog. I'm never going back to that joint.

Let's nuke 'em.

Re:Too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304573)

the US has been at war with the iranian people since the cia overthrough the democratically elected government in '53 and installed the shah who was a brutal, totalitarian who squandered the oil wealth of his country. when the shah was finally thrown out the cia got their friend saddam to start an 8 year war that left over a million iranians dead and saw the use of nbc used on iranian military personnel and civilians.

clearly the iranians are to blame.

read All the Shahs Men for a first-hand account of the '53 coup

Re:Too late (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304835)

Iran has been at war with us since the revolution.

More like America has been at war with Iran since 1953, when the CIA overthrew their popular democratically elected leader for oil profits. Learn some history. The 1979 revolution was payback after years of being under an American puppet leader.

Moonbats (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304389)

Looking for attention

Chances for a conflict? (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304397)

That makes it seem like it's entirely random, like the chances for an asteroid collision.

In fact, though, the decision to go war or not will be made by a handful of people or just one: Obama.

And since this is going to be a preventive war (preventing Iran from enriching nuclear fuel for its power and medical reactors), it's an at-will decision.

Missing the point of the clock metaphor? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304405)

I always thought that the whole point of the Doomsday Clock was to demonstrate the brinkmanship of the Cold War, ie that we were always near the point of outright conflict, and that certain events could bring us closer to or further away from that point. Our relationship with Iran is vastly different than ours was with the Soviets, and we are much further away from an outright war than we were with the Soviets. To me, 10 minutes to midnight means that Israel has already loaded the bombs on the wings and Iran has blocked off the Strait of Hormuz and we can expect a war soon unless people back down, not a 50% chance of war with both sides posturing but still talking. Their choice of 20 minutes=0% means they are simply exaggerating the implications of their results and trying to make the situation seem worse than it really is. It's a very disingenuous move designed to grab headlines and generate publicity, nothing more. "10 minutes to midnight" sounds a lot scarier and more headline-worthy than "5:45pm". But 5:45pm is much more accurate to where we are, using a clock model (assuming noon is 0% and midnight is "holy shit World War 3 just started").

Do *not* follow Israel to Masada (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304435)

Every Israeli is require to serve in the military (or equivalent public service). And when those soldiers finish basic, they do it on top of Masada [wikipedia.org] . Pretty powerful message. Better to take on the Roman Empire and be completely wiped out than to compromise, even in the slightest.

If Israel wants to jump off the cliff and start a war, that's their business. If they would rather all die than to compromise with the Palestinians or Iranians in any way, that's their call. Build all the provocative settlements on Palestinian land you like, put up more walls to ghettoize them even more, kill all the Iranian nuclear scientists you like. Keep being pricks all you want.

But this American doesn't want to follow them off the cliff that they seem DETERMINED to jump off of. I don't want to see my President start World War III out of some foolish bullshit belief that Israel is looking out for ANYONE else but Israel, that we're BFF's. Find another way to get the Jewish vote, Mr. President.

Re:Do *not* follow Israel to Masada (4, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304621)

israel is the drunk girl at the bar that starts fights, but expects you to fight them.

Re:Do *not* follow Israel to Masada (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304865)

israel is the drunk girl at the bar that starts fights, but expects you to fight them.

That's not really fair; the Israeli military has probably been in more combat over the 64 years since the foundation of the country than has any other army on the planet. It's more like your crazy friend who goes out to the bar with you and gets both of you into fights. Which may be a sign that it's time too say, "Dude, it's been great, but I just can't hang out with you any more."

Follow the Moolah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304447)

The Atlantic is owned by David G. Bradley, who (according to wikipedia) "considers himself a centrist,[1] although he has also described himself as "a neocon guy" who was "dead certain about the rightness" of invading Iraq."

Hmmm......

'Distinguished'?? (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304499)

Not the Secretary of State, not Assistant Secretary of State, not Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, not even Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, but 'Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran'. If that isnt a made-up title it ought to be. As distinguished as the title of Junior Interim Alternate Representative for Regional Greensward Eliminations that I gave my dog.

Clock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304527)

Clock? Wouldn't a war meter be better?

But what about our clocks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304565)

Does this in anyway take into account DST? Does this mean Monday we will be "50 minutes" into a war?

Perfect timing (3, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304579)

Just in time for daylight savings time, after which the clock will be 10 minutes until 1AM, crisis averted.

One more such article and I'm off Slashdot (1)

robi5 (1261542) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304581)

"If there is a zero percent chance of war, the clock hand is at 20 minutes to midnight."

Just posting something remotely like this is an insult to the readers.

Geeky! (1)

MrJones (4691) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304599)

Wow, really nerdy/geeky news! Kudos Soulskill, you're the new FoxNews!

you cannot have war profiteering (5, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304607)

with out new wars.

How ridiculous is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39304715)

Midnight is hour 24 of the day. On a scale of 0-24, ten minutes to midnight is, let's see ((24*60)-10)/(24*60)=0.993055556 or 99%

BUT

If there is a zero percent chance of war, the clock hand is at 20 minutes to midnight. Each extra 5 percent chance of war moves the hand one minute closer to midnight.

...meaning that the chance of war is actually 10/20=.5 or 50%

Of all the needlessly dramatic and inaccurate metaphors..... sheesh!

Fascist Theocracy (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304717)

Well, let's all remember that Iran is a functioning fascist theocracy. What's the name of the country? Oh, right, "Islamic Republic of Iran". The nation is under the control of real-life religious nutcases. They fully intend to develop nuclear weapons and then use them to wipe Israel off the map. This will bring about the End Times and the revealing of the Twelfth Imam. You doubt? Ask your friendly neighborhood Persian what he thinks what should happen to Israel (don't bother asking his wife, he'll get angry if you're alone with her and afterwards he'll beat the shit out of her for being alone with a man who is not her relative, it's a lose-lose situation).

Grab J. Random Iranian off the street. Ask him: "Would you be willing to die in a nuclear exchange if it meant that Israel would cease to exist?" The answer: "Sure! Especially as I would be a martyr and get my 72 virgins in heaven!"

It's a bitch dealing with people who believe life doesn't even begin until after death, ain't it?

War is Inevitable (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39304955)

By creating the clock you have given more validity to the pro war meme currently being circulated in the republican debates and MSM, the fact that Israel just asked us for a "bunker buster" bomb is telling, and the fact they were forced to promise not to use it this year (due to elections?) is more telling.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/08/us-iran-nuclear-israel-usa-idUSBRE82717220120308 [reuters.com]

Israel uses the US as a proxy army, utilizing the power of AIPAC to further it's own goals through lobbying and manipulation of American politics, one need only watch a republican debate and see how the candidates stumble over each other is their pledge to support Israel, this has really gone far enough don't you think?

Israel has nukes and refuses to sign non-proliferation treaties, Iran has no nukes (yet) and no one in their right mind would think Iran would attack Israel if they did have a nuke, it would bring the World down on them and Israels retaliation would be swift.
Iran with nukes presents a different sort of problem, not one of using the nukes but one of political implications and Israeli paranoia is dragging the US into another "war" we can't afford.

Currently all 3 countries involved in this fiasco are gearing up for elections so what does that tell you about all the rhetoric?

Enough is enough.

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