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Iran's High Tech Copycat War Against the West: Drones and Cyberwar

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the sue-them-for-copyright-infringment dept.

The Military 159

An anonymous reader writes "Iran and its nuclear program seem to be getting all the headlines. Yet, Iran has found a way to respond to western cyber attacks such as Stuxnet, drone surveillance and targeted assassinations; they've decided to respond in kind. Iran has launched its own cyber attacks on U.S. banks via denial-of-service attacks. Iranian drones recently were used to spy on Israeli nuclear facilities. Cyberweapons were also used against Saudi oil facilities. The goal: to make sure the west, specifically the United States, knows that Iran does have the tools to strike back. While Iran does not have a world-class military like the United States, it does have the capabilities to cause damage if it wants to. With Iran taking to cyberspace and drones, it shows such technology is not just under the control of the U.S. Iran has been careful, though, not to escalate the conflict. The risk: what if the plan backfires and goes beyond its intended scope?"

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159 comments

Please elaborate on "the plan" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41780997)

Could an Anonymous poster please elaborate on this "the plan," especially its scope and functions. Will it introduce features of "the cloud" or "crowdsourcing?" If so, management likely should be included in any of these preliminary meetings and projections, as "the cloud" and this new "drone launching" technique sound like they're posed to really flip tables in Remote Administration, especially of Mission-Critical facilities. Does this "escalation" refer to a security weakness? We all heard that "the cloud" made everything automatically secure.

-Mgmt

Re:Please elaborate on "the plan" (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782705)

I think it's kind of like the Cylon plan.

Pull the plug! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41780999)

Iran doesn't even want it's own citizens to have access to the global Internet. Why not just disconnect them?

As for drones.... that's a bit more tricky, but it sure as hell shouldn't violate any international laws if you shoot them down in your own air space.

Ok, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781013)

They have internet access and the ability to remote control aircraft (I'm assuming that they're speaking of aircraft, I didn't rtfa :p), who doesn't have these, it's fucking 2012.

Re:Ok, so... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781145)

The ability to remote control aircraft from non-trivial distances and keep them out of "pool-skimmer range" of the target under surveillance while returning useful intelligence is somewhat noteworthy.

Re:Ok, so... (5, Funny)

DeTech (2589785) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782047)

So Iran now has the capabilities of an angsty 13yr old script kiddy with a remote control helicopter from the sharper image. OH HIDE YO INTERNETS.

Summary incorrect (-1, Flamebait)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781089)

> Iranian drones recently were used to spy on Israeli nuclear facilities
Hezbollah launched Iranian-built drones to provoke confrontation with Israel. The target was southern Israel and possibly the reactor at Dimona. This was a symbolic mission, all Israel's nukes are probably hidden at other places (eg. Ramat David) so it was more for "show" than "spying". Hezbollah would not have done this without their paymaster's (Iran) assent. My belief is that this raid was to try and distract from the fact that Hezbollah and Iran have both sent fighters into Syria to support the brutal repression of the Al Assad regime - and they are getting heat for it. Hezbollah poses as a party for the common man yet it has revealed itself as a mere puppet of Iran (not really news there) that is happy to send snipers to kill Syrian civilians going about their daily business.

So I believe the article summary is a little misleading. The drone was not on a spy mission, it seemed to be a propaganda mission really.

> While Iran does not have a world-class military like the United States, it does have the capabilities to cause damage if it wants to.
Iran can cause damage in the same way that a stubbed toe does. Annoying but relatively inconsequential. There was a report yesterday that even the air force of the United Arab Emirates can take out the air force of Iran. What would be painful for the US is a ground invasion (although there a contingency plans for this I don't believe that the US intends a ground invasion), and the economic shock where the price of oil goes up on jitters, again. Hmm, so oil companies and traders make more money and everyone else pays more - see a trend here? Fortunately Saudi Arabia (Iran's real arch-foe) would try and mitigate by pumping more oil to contain price rises, as it has done in the past to prevent too much pain to the West (not entirely altruistic, of course, too much pain and modern nuke plants make more sense than fossil fuel ones).

Re:Summary incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781127)

The drone was not on a spy mission, it seemed to be a propaganda mission really.

Sounds like what the summary said:

The goal: to make sure the west, specifically the United States, knows that Iran does have the tools to strike back

Re:Summary incorrect (1, Troll)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781367)

It wasn't intended as a message to the west. It was a message to the middle east and, more importantly, the Iranian people. The drone was not a threat. If it was a threat it would have been shot down a lot earlier. It got 20 minutes only because Israel didn't want to shoot the thing down over a populated area -- or Gaza which would have the Palis in a hissy fit if, god forbid, the wreckage landed on a school or something. Had the drone been an actual threat you can guarantee it would have never entered Israeli airspace. It was not a "stealth drone" and Israel has radar.

Re:Summary incorrect (1, Flamebait)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781331)

I think the point is more to demonstrate that they won't stand meekly by and wait for Israel to finish the Palestinian pogroms and start herding Iranians into ghettos.

Re:Summary incorrect (-1, Offtopic)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781609)

The F? You do realize Palestinian obesity for women is 3rd worldwide, and for men, 8th? They have hotels and night clubs that rival some of the more extravagant places in the middle east. They're not exactly starving like the Jews were. How dare you make such a comparison. Unlike the Palestinians, the Jews were not launching rockets at the Russians or Germans. All the Palestinians have to do is cut out their terror and the blockade of Gaza will end.

Re:Summary incorrect (0, Flamebait)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781767)

"cut out their terror"? Or stop defending their homes from the relentless expansion of Israeli lebensraum?

Re:Summary incorrect (-1, Offtopic)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782363)

The Israelis conquered that land after the Palestinians attacked them first. Had they not done that, the land would still be theirs. They tried to kill the Jews and they lost. Boo fucking hoo. I will say that not all "Palestinians" (term invented in the 60s) are bad. About 20% of the Arab population fought with the Jews in the war for independence and stay there and are represented there today. The Arabs even have a veto in the Knesset.

Re:Summary incorrect (1)

richlv (778496) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783779)

and israelis took the land from palestinians first. with international support, mostly. and they both are genetically very close, so it's somewhat similar if bavarians would decide that saxons are their worst enemies :)
oh, the great humankind.

Re:Summary incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781913)

Obesity is not exactly a sign of prosperity. The fattest segment of the American population is also the poorest.

Re:Summary incorrect (0)

cavreader (1903280) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783431)

Iran would lose any confrontation with Isreal regardless of any US involvement. Iran may bluster about having 200K missile but unless they have the same number of launch platforms they certainly couldn't use the quantity of missiles.

Isreal has been at Defcon 4 for 40+ years and are not known to be timid when the bullets and bombs start flying. Iran on the other hand vastly overstates their war fighting assets and rely on incendiary propaganda from their government and military leaders.The middle eastern countries are terrified of Isreal when it comes to open warfare. They are lucky the US is in the position to restrain Israel's military ambitions. Isreal could depopulate Gaza and the West Bank and there is not a single country in the world who would do anything other than pass a non-binding UN statement.

I am not Jewish and really don't care about Isreal or any of the other countries in that region. However, the Arabs launched wars in 1948, 1967, and 1973 and got their asses handed to them. There are no "do overs" just because you want a second shot.

I have to wonder (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781113)

What exactly is the point of this story? Is the subbie afraid of Iran or what? Since the legitimate government of Iran was overthrown and the current cycle of extremist leaders/newly rich plutocrats was engineered by the US and UK in Operation Ajax not so long ago, I can't really find it in me to blame Iran for wanting to maintain some sort of functional military parity with the US.

There is no chance that Iran will ever invade the US, or even engineer a 9-11 style attack. There is every chance that Iran will upset the balance of power in the Middle East, which is what the ageing cold warriors still battling Russia and now China in their own minds truly fear.

My advice would be to leave Iran well enough alone. Once the threat of outside invasion recedes, the population will rise up and overthrow the extremists, as they have already made moves to do. Of course this means leaving a power vacuum for Russia or China to step into, according to some, so the US will never allow it.

This isn't an anti-US comment, this is an anti US politicians and foreign policy comment.

Re:I have to wonder (-1, Troll)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781139)

I just have one question for you. Why do you hate America so much?

Re:I have to wonder (5, Insightful)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781189)

Since the legitimate government of Iran was overthrown and the current cycle of extremist leaders/newly rich plutocrats was engineered by the US and UK in Operation Ajax not so long ago

If you define 1953 as not so long ago you must be in it for the long run. Waiting for the return of Zoroaster?

Re:I have to wonder (4, Insightful)

redneckmother (1664119) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781379)

Since the legitimate government of Iran was overthrown and the current cycle of extremist leaders/newly rich plutocrats was engineered by the US and UK in Operation Ajax not so long ago

If you define 1953 as not so long ago you must be in it for the long run. Waiting for the return of Zoroaster?

Great post!

While I agree that 1953 was a "long time ago" for most of "us", please remember that people in the middle east have been fighting among themselves since the beginning of recorded history. It's likely they will continue to fight until the end of recorded history.

With any luck, Zoroaster won't show up any time soon.

Re:I have to wonder (2)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781505)

So did the Europeans, and even the inhabitants of North America. The last civil war in the U.S. was not so long ago than the last one lets say in Switzerland (1847) or in Portugal (1828).

Re:I have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781843)

There are still people who refer to the civil war as the war of northern aggression.. And still believe the south will rise again.

If you still have people sore about the outcome I think it would be fair to say it was not that long ago.

Re:I have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41782325)

If you still have people sore about the outcome I think it would be fair to say it was not that long ago.

By that standard, the original Israli invasion of Cannan was not that long ago.

Here's a better standard, if no one can honestly remember the "good old days" it's been a while but there's a grudge.

Re:I have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781601)

You and your newfangled four-digit years! In my day we could only afford two digits to remember the year. Talk is we could've afforded three if not for the war rationing, but two was plenty and three was excessive. When times were really tough, we only had one digit to use, '3 was a rough year like that. 'Course, we had it better than some, just across the state border they were so hard off that telegraph service couldn't afford dashes, gets a bit awkward trying to send a message with just dots.

The United States of Amnesia (5, Insightful)

deanklear (2529024) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781995)

If you define 1953 as not so long ago you must be in it for the long run. Waiting for the return of Zoroaster?

In 1953 we overthrew their democratic government, and then for 26 years we sponsored a puppet government that tortured and killed dissidents. A direct result of that radicalization and suppression is the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Our further interference by arranging loans for Saddam Hussein to punish them with a war cost the lives of one million people, including those who died in the gas attacks at Halabja, in the Iran-Iraq War. That ended in 1988.

This is the problem with stupid, simplistic understandings of history. It has been a policy of the United States for over a century to control and occupy the Middle East with extreme forms of violence that have killed millions, and sanctions that have killed hundreds of thousands more. There is no difference between us and the methods of other colonial powers, except that instead of pretending that natives are savages that are not worthy of consideration, we are pretending that Arabs and Iranians are savages that are not worthy of consideration. We kill them, take control of their oil, and they should just learn to accept that their natural resources may be under their feet, but God has intended them to belong to us as veto power against our enemies, or just so we can burn through it ourselves.

The historical evidence for those facts is overwhelming, and if you think you disagree with the hypothesis of American colonialism, you are either innocently or willfully ignorant. [nationalpost.com]

As proof of this truism, without looking it up, name one nation that does not have a United States military presence inside of their national border, or inside of a neighboring nation. The same cannot be said for any other nation because the fact is and remains that we are a colonial power. That doesn't make us evil because we are America, but it does make us evil because we are an empire. Telling people how to live without giving them the opportunity to decide for themselves is simple tyranny, and it's wrong. It always has been, and it always will be, and there is never a legitimate principled foundation for taking away someone's right to choose their own path, especially when we take that right away from entire nations.

Re:The United States of Amnesia (4, Insightful)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782443)

Empires are not in and of themselves evil, nor is power. We have bases in many countries because of treaties with them. They agree to have us there. Just because we have bases on their soil does not mean somehow we "conquered them". It just means we have some power in their region with which to counterbalance other world powers. I'll tell you what would be dangerous: the resulting power vacuum if we were to withdrawal suddenly from all those countries. And for the last time, we did not get any of Iraq's oil so stop pushing that big lie, or the big lie that Israel recommended it (because they recommended the exact opposite). Iraq was a bad idea without question but not because of the reasons you imply. If anything a motivating factor could have been war profiteering but it was not oil.

Re:The United States of Amnesia (2)

deanklear (2529024) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782673)

Who is talking about Israel? They're a military outpost. They do what we tell them.

Western oil firms remain as US exits Iraq [aljazeera.com]

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Iraq's oil reserves of 112 billion barrels ranks second in the world, only behind Saudi Arabia. The EIA also estimates that up to 90 per cent of the country remains unexplored, due to decades of US-led wars and economic sanctions.

"Prior to the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, US and other western oil companies were all but completely shut out of Iraq's oil market," oil industry analyst Antonia Juhasz told Al Jazeera. "But thanks to the invasion and occupation, the companies are now back inside Iraq and producing oil there for the first time since being forced out of the country in 1973."

Juhasz, author of the books The Tyranny of Oil and The Bush Agenda, said that while US and other western oil companies have not yet received all they had hoped the US-led invasion of Iraq would bring them, "They've certainly done quite well for themselves, landing production contracts for some of the world's largest remaining oil fields under some of the world's most lucrative terms."

But don't let reality change your worldview. See if there's any more western friendly propaganda in the rabbit hole you live in.

Re:The United States of Amnesia (3, Insightful)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782925)

If you actually looked at most of those companies -- they are hardly american. Petronas, for example, is Malysian. Russia and China got most everything. I hate to break it to Al Jazeera's worldview, but those are not exactly "Western" countries. US companies got nothing [time.com] except a few subcontracts contracts to set up and operate pumps (but not to sell the oil). Hey. But don't let facts get in the way of your worldview. Gah! Oil! Rah! Capitalism evil! Bush Satan! Ever stop to think that maybe... just maybe... the simplest explanation is the best and the most likely scenario as to why we went to Iraq is simply because Saddam played chicken with a freight train and got run right over, not because of Oil or anything else. Tell me. Is it beyond the realm of possibility for the government to make a mistake? What's more likely -- that -- or a massive conspiracy that somehow resulted in accomplishing none of the alleged goals save destroying America's reputation worldwide?

Re:The United States of Amnesia (2)

deanklear (2529024) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783269)

Dude, it's not my fault you can't read. From the article you linked:

Rather than giving foreign oil companies control over Iraqi reserves, as the U.S. had hoped to do with the Oil Law it failed to get the Iraqi parliament to pass, the oil companies were awarded service contracts lasting 20 years for seven of the 10 oil fields on offer -- the oil will remain the property of the Iraqi state, and the foreign companies will pump it for a fixed price per barrel.

You don't remember Rumsfeld saying that the war would last no longer than five weeks and cost no more than 50 billion? The Iraq War was the result of the dumbest executive branch in world history attempting to continue the policy of occupation in the Middle East. They failed miserably on every goal, and one of those goals was to gain control of oil fields for Western companies.

Their failure to achieve that goal does not mask the goal, or erase it from history. It simply exposes that the plan was doomed from the start, as it always has been. You cannot occupy another nation and take their resources without wiping them out, or eventually being thrown out. That's why we need to invest trillions of dollars on new energy research instead of occupation and nation building.

Re:The United States of Amnesia (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783485)

Perhaps you can explain then, if it was such a conspiracy, how the US managed to orchestrate the invasion and create a government without managing to get a simple law passed. Perhaps you can explain how this law would have helped give "Western" nations an advantage over other countries. As I see it, all it had to do was with profit sharing. I don't disagree that Iraq was horribly managed, but that doesn't imply malice. On the contrary. It lends quite a bit of credibility to the theory that incompetence played a more prominent role.

Last one (1)

deanklear (2529024) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783823)

Perhaps you can explain then, if it was such a conspiracy, how the US managed to orchestrate the invasion

What kind of thinking person asks how the world's largest military power "managed" to "orchestrate" the invasion? It's what we do. We spend more than the rest of the world combined every single year on our military. So why are you asking how we managed to militarily overpower a nation with 30 million people that has been subject to sanctions and bombings from 1991 until our invasion in 2003?

and create a government without managing to get a simple law passed

A law that basically states that Iraq's resources are owned by foreign powers isn't a simple law. It's a declaration of ownership. Unsurprisingly, there was huge opposition to the law, and since the opposition was from real Iraqis and not puppets like Chalabi, the idea that Iraqis own Iraqi oil prevailed. Do not give credit to the United States government for their idiocy. Give credit to the Iraqis who had the fortitude to say no to an occupying power.

Perhaps you can explain how this law would have helped give "Western" nations an advantage over other countries.

The U.S. State Department's Oil and Energy Working Group, meeting between December 2002 and April 2003, also said that Iraq "should be opened to international oil companies as quickly as possible after the war." Its preferred method of privatization was a form of oil contract called a production-sharing agreement. These agreements are preferred by the oil industry but rejected by all the top oil producers in the Middle East because they grant greater control and more profits to the companies than the governments. The Heritage Foundation also released a report in March 2003 calling for the full privatization of Iraq's oil sector. One representative of the foundation, Edwin Meese III, is a member of the Iraq Study Group. Another, James J. Carafano, assisted in the study group's work.

For any degree of oil privatization to take place, and for it to apply to all the country's oil fields, Iraq has to amend its constitution and pass a new national oil law. The constitution is ambiguous as to whether control over future revenues from as-yet-undeveloped oil fields should be shared among its provinces or held and distributed by the central government.

It's still about oil in Iraq [latimes.com]

In essence, the Bush Administration invaded to overturn the Iraqi Constitution, which states that Iraqis own Iraqi oil. They failed at the second part of their plan.

On a larger note, if you want to understand geopolitics, you're going to have to read and think with some regularity in order to understand what's going on in the world. Reading US centric newspapers to understand our role in the world is like reading Pravda in order to understand Russia's role in the world. It's a helpful input, but often has nothing to do with reality.

Re:The United States of Amnesia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41782945)

I totally agree with you and that there is American colonialism. We have since WWII to control the Muslim world through our CIA and corruption and brutality. Just for the friggin oil. Us doing exactly to the Muslim world what our forefathers ran from in England. We live in the great Hippocratic nation for sure. And I tottaly see and understand why terrorists want to kill us. However, there are many area in the world that have no US military presance. Lets see, 95% of Africa. Lots pf South America namely: Guyana and Suriname and French Guiana. That is all...

Re:The United States of Amnesia (0)

filthpickle (1199927) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783659)

To anyone that doesn't speak English as a first language. This poster is either not American or is just plain dumb.

Re:I have to wonder (1)

smileymon (1076163) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782229)

Time for a regime change in Iran as proposed by Dr. Jack Wheeler. The also needs a change from the current Potus incumbent "Johnny one-note" to someone with business and foreign affairs skills

Re:I have to wonder (5, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783231)

Well as a result of the '53 coup, the shah reigned as an absolute dictator for the following 26 years. Anybody over the age of 40 or so has memories of the Shah, and that includes the entire current Iranian leadership -- they're the revolutionaries who overthrew the Shah in fact. Just like there are plenty of people alive in the US who remember Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter there are plenty Iranians alive who remember the Shah, his secret police, and his torture chambers. They also remember that he was the closest US ally in the Middle East, after Israel.

So if you're waiting for the Iranian leadership to write off the years '53 to '79 as ancient history, you're going to have to wait at least another generation. That might even be two generations, as you might have to wait for the people who grew up personally knowing people in the revolution pass away. Just because it's ancient history for *you* doesn't mean other people have or should have forgotten the Shah.

And they certainly haven't forgotten George W. Bush. After watching in alarm as US forces toppled in weeks a country they'd fought to a stalemate for eight years at the cost of over half a million lives, the Iranian leadership floated an offer that gave the US everything it said it wanted. They offered complete transparency in their nuclear program and a withdrawal of support from Hezbollah and Hamas, in return for what amounted to a promise not to invade. The Bush administration didn't even bother responding.

Now if you were in the shoes of the Iranian leadership, what do you think would appear to be the rational course to pursue? Diplomacy and disarmament? Or arming yourself to the teeth?

Re:I have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41783487)

The Bush administration didn't even bother responding.

Do you have a link for a story about this, perchance?

Re:I have to wonder (1)

hey! (33014) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783737)

Here [pbs.org] you go.

Re:I have to wonder (1, Interesting)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781541)

So you don't think the balance of power in the middle east is important and Iran should be able to do whatever they want? "Once the threat of outside invasion recedes, the population will rise up and overthrow the extremists". If the threat of outside invasion doesn't actually exist (it does not. all that has discussed is bombing several hardened military facilities), then Iran will make up a threat, as it has, and the people will swallow it, as will some useful idiots in the west. It already blames Israel and America every chance it gets (even for Syria, which is absurd since it's a Shiite and Alawite vs Sunni conflict) and if you think the people see past it you're very naive. Some do, of course, but not enough to matter and controlling information as Iran does can indeed keep the necessary minority in the dark indefinately. Some protests in the street do not make a revolution. They got massacred. Sure we could back the MEK (sunni terrorists), but that's unlikely to get very far in Iran, despite the wishful thinking of some in the west. Even if they succeeded, they wouldn't be any more friendly to the west than the Taliban was after we helped them get rid of the soviets. It's like backing the sunni AQ "rebels" against Assad. Not much better. It'll likely result in ethnic cleansing against the Alawites, druze, Christians, and other minorities if the "rebels" ever do win. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don't. You want the solution to Iran? There isn't one. The best temporary measure is to make sure they don't gain nuclear capability and contain them until things change significantly.

Re:I have to wonder (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782641)

Just to correct myself regarding the MEK, I meant to say "Shia terrorists".

Re:I have to wonder (2)

Shakrai (717556) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781595)

There is every chance that Iran will upset the balance of power in the Middle East, which is what the ageing cold warriors still battling Russia and now China in their own minds truly fear.

You don't have to be an "aging cold warrior" to fear the geopolitical consequences of a nuclear armed Iran. One of the biggest fears is that her Sunni neighbors would feel compelled to obtain their own nuclear deterrent. The resulting arms race would further destabilize the region, undermine the NPT, and increase the odds of a nuclear device falling into the hands of non-state actors.

Of course this means leaving a power vacuum for Russia or China to step into, according to some, so the US will never allow it.

China actually likes the status quo, she spends none of her own blood and treasure, yet has full access to the oil she needs to grow her economy. China, Japan, and the EU all rely on Middle Eastern oil to fuel their economies. The power vacuum would be filled by all three of the aforementioned superpowers, with unpredictable geopolitical consequences. A particularly scary scenario is Japan renouncing Article 9 in order to deploy forces to the Middle East. Such a move would inflame passions in China (and other Asian countries), further destabilize an already tenuous relationship between two economic superpowers, and ignite an arms race that ends with a nuclear-armed Japan. India is in there too, they already have nuclear weapons, and a billion people, so that's one hell of a geopolitical wild card to consider.

For the time being at least, the United States remaining engaged in the Middle East is the least lousy of the available options. As an American, I'm not particularly fond of my tax dollars subsidizing the defense of China's oil, but hey, it sure beats the hell out of WW3.

Re:I have to wonder (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781901)

One of the biggest fears is that her Sunni neighbors would feel compelled to obtain their own nuclear deterrent. The resulting arms race would further destabilize the region, undermine the NPT, and increase the odds of a nuclear device falling into the hands of non-state actors.

*cough*Pakistan*cough*

The power vacuum would be filled by all three of the aforementioned superpowers, with unpredictable geopolitical consequences. A particularly scary scenario is Japan renouncing Article 9 in order to deploy forces to the Middle East. Such a move would inflame passions in China (and other Asian countries), further destabilize an already tenuous relationship between two economic superpowers, and ignite an arms race that ends with a nuclear-armed Japan. India is in there too, they already have nuclear weapons, and a billion people, so that's one hell of a geopolitical wild card to consider. ...

but hey, it sure beats the hell out of WW3.

Seriously? The people of Iran have proven particularly unwilling to allow foreign invaders to dictate policy so far, to their credit, a nuclear armed Iran wouldn't be a power vacuum for anyone to fill. Sit your scaremongering down.

Re:I have to wonder (2)

Shakrai (717556) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782201)

I'm sorry that you are completely blind to the consequences of a nuclear armed Iran. This isn't some neo-con fantasy, virtually the entire world is opposed to the concept of a nuclear armed Iran. The Europeans don't want it -- they are already within range of Iranian missiles. The Chinese and Japanese don't want it -- anything that disrupts the flow of Middle Eastern oil/raises prices will hurt their economies. The prospect of the NPT going down in flames is something that concerns all civilized nations, even those without economic interests in the Middle East.

The only real question at this point is will the Mullahs back down? If they don't, the best they can hope for is to become the North Korea of the Middle East. They'll be completely isolated both economically and diplomatically. War may still come, though I earnestly hope that it doesn't get to that point.

Re:I have to wonder (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782197)

What exactly is the point of this story?

SOP to sell a war...

Re:I have to wonder (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783185)

So you're perfectly OK with China and Russia running things. I have one word for you: Syria. The US might not be perfect, but it's worlds better than the alternatives.

"The risk: what if the plan backfires?" (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783429)

The risk: what if the plan backfires and goes beyond its intended scope?

Then the US kill a whole bunch of people, pollute their backyard, waste a trillion+ in some meaningless war and make the rest of the arab world / oil holding countries richer by increasing the oil price. Oh, and kill the little economic recovery there is.

War inc.

Thank you, interesting stuff (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783551)

Always seem like at least the katest mess in the arab world is done by the US.

But then they have to "fix it" again when things doesn't match their interests any longer.

But it's people on a ship going with help for Gaza who are claimed to be "terrorists."

Soon everybody will have drones (0)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781121)

Most countries have been slow to develop drones and medium-range cruise missiles. The combination of a German V-1 design and a smartphone is enough to make a cruise missile that can hit a target. (The original V-1 could not reliably hit a target smaller than the entire city of London. If it had been able to hit air bases, the Battle of Britain might have come out differently.)

A better launch system than the V-1's long fixed ramp with pusher cylinder would be needed, but a RATO bottle or a set of wheels discarded at launch would work.

Re:Soon everybody will have drones (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781789)

GPS receivers and inertial systems good enough to guide missiles are ITAR restricted, even in phones. Those accelerometers in your phone are pretty much worthless for navigation or steering a missle. A smartphone might be better than what the Germans used, but it's still pretty lame. I wish this wasn't the case, because then we could drop ITAR and I could get my job done (measuring things with lasers) much more cheaply.

Re:Soon everybody will have drones (1)

Arker (91948) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783107)

V1s didnt have very much accelleration, or a very high top speed, so the GP might well be correct that something of the same design could be controlled by cellphone. Travelling that slowly makes it easy to shoot down if spotted, but it also makes it a lot safer to travel at very low altitude without attracting too much attention, so the idea doesnt seem implausible.

You know, Iran (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781151)

If you want to show how you are as good or better than everyone else, do something useful. War is old hat. Just be better at everything than everyone else and give them the middle finger when you succeed! It is a good idea

Re:You know, Iran (5, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781423)

That is actually some good advice.

Building a nuclear bomb is hugely expensive, especially if you have to do it 100 feet underground.

With the money that the Iranian government is using for a bomb they could build a world class well just about anything. Something that the populace of Iran can be proud of, something that when people talk of Iran they talk about that great thing they accomplished. Instead they are trying to build a bomb.

The Iranians could even work on creating a commercial grade thorium reactor that would get them off of petroleum, but nooooo, they want a bomb instead.

Re:You know, Iran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41782587)

Step 1: Iran builds world case item "X""
Step 2: The rest of the world copies in one way or another the invention "X".
Step 3: Iran is still in the same situation it is in right now with no way out due to everyone else having no respect for it since it lacks "The Bomb". Just marginally better off from its invention helping itself.

Or....

Step 1: Iran builds bomb.
Step 2: All other nations leave them the hell alone due to the fact they fear the bomb.
Step 3: Iran is free to run itself as it sees fit or at least attempt to do so without direct military threat coming from abroad.

Sorry but as an American dealing with the American government and looking at their history and the way our leaders act. So long as they do not fear you or the bad PR they get from dealing with you, they will walk all over you. The only ways to prevent that is to do something they can't copy or interfere with or having something they fear so they do not touch you. I honestly wonder how many wars we avoided just to the fact that the other guy had the bomb and our guys were afraid of their counter-strike.

Re:You know, Iran (4, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782979)

Is North Korea left alone because they have a bomb, or because if the US fucked with them China would come in and put a stop to it?

Personally I think it is because 75% China would step in and 25% because the South Koreans actually would be upset if we killed their relatives in the north.

Or hell, Pakistan has the bomb and we do drone strikes in Pakistan damn near daily.

Having a bomb will not stop the US from driving the Iranian government out of power.

Re:You know, Iran (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783167)

Step 1: Iran builds bomb.
Step 2: All other nations leave them the hell alone due to the fact they fear the bomb.
Step 3: Iran is free to run itself as it sees fit or at least attempt to do so without direct military threat coming from abroad.

A strategy that has worked out well for North Korea. Well, some of them anyway.

Re:You know, Iran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41782933)

History shows that the US stops threatening countries once they acquire the bomb. When you have a superpower making overt threats on a daily basis - despite all intelligence showing you have no nuclear weapons - why wouldn't you just implement a crash program and establish an 'ambiguous' stance like your neighbours? Particularly when said superpower has actually used nuclear weapons on civilians in the past.

Re:You know, Iran (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783037)

I can think of at least one nuclear armed country that the US does strikes within their borders without their permission on a nearly daily basis.

Having the bomb will not stop the US from going after you if you do not have powerful friends.

Re:You know, Iran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41783757)

Of course, if they did build a world-class anything, the west would either bomb it, claim it was stolen, or fund an overthrow of it. Then, when the people of Iran got shitty about it, we would claim they had no grounds to hate us.

Perfectly logical... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781175)

Say what you will about the... er... 'afterlife optimized' strategy of some of the Iranian hardliners, it seems clear enough that they've got policy people available who aren't stupid.

The 'cyber war' stuff? It's pretty clear from some of the cool anti-PLC goodies in the wild that that has already been declared, and it is also clear(from years of banal criminal activity driven mostly by the fact that it's easy and profitable) that US financial interests are dubiously secure. Plus, since they are neither military nor civilian-in-a-bleeding-heart-way(like medical equipment or electrical/water/sewer infrastructure) they can do all the attacking they want and there will be no PR gain for the US beyond the usual probably-inflated-and-so-large-as-to-be-basically-meaningless 'damage' numbers that get trotted out after every hacker attack.

Drones? If you are playing catch-up, emphasize bang-for-buck(hobbyists aren't building the really good stuff; but drones are cheap even by the standards of obsolete MIGs if you aren't paying General Dynamics to build them) with the occasional Assymetry Surprise(like that alleged-GPS-spoof drone capture a while back) to keep the enemy jumpy.

Re:Perfectly logical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781873)

Say what you will about the... er... 'afterlife optimized' strategy of some of the Iranian hardliners

People who send other people on suicide missions rarely believe in an afterlife. The Iranian "hardliners" extravagance isn't quite to North Korean standards, but they probably screw more hookers and little boys than Kim ever could.

West == US? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781211)

So, "the west" is now the US? Cause I don't see anyone else carrying out cyber attacks, drone attacks or targeted assasinations in Iran.

Re:West == US? (2)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781373)

Trust me, Iran hates Europe too... just not as much. The "West" to Iran is as much a cultural symbol of the "decadence" of non-muslims and how that is a threat to the Islamist paradise of theocracy and elimination of all non-allah worshiping religions. That said, when I mean "Iran", I'm talking about the ruling group of people rather than the citizens... because we know some (most?) citizens of Iran wouldn't subscribe to that... or at least that's what we've been told.

But make no mistake, those in Iran who call the US "The Great Satan" are not simply talking about the government.

Re:West == US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781563)

I believe you that Europe is not very popular with the Iranian government, but the problem I have with the summary is that by speaking of "western cyberattacks/assasinations" it associates Europe with the actions of the US, even though there does not seem to be any factual basis for this.

Re:West == US? (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783267)

Don't make the mistake of believing "most" of the people are on your side. Need I remind you that most of the new democracies in the "arab spring" elected Theocracies and even the most liberal are a far, far, cry from a western style representative democracy with protection of rights of minorities. Even if they hate their government, it does not mean they are a friend of the west or can be in any way considered friendly to our interests or progressive socially. I'd love... absolutely love... to see the mullahs and the religious leadership in Iran all swinging from lamp-posts but that's just not going to happen.

Re:West == US? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781821)

Cause I don't see anyone else carrying out cyber attacks, drone attacks or targeted assassinations in Iran.

Because the "anyone else" folks are better at it. This stuff is supposed to be secret. The Iranians are supposed to believe that centrifuge accidents are caused by their own workers, not a computer virus. Targeted assassinations are meant to be attributed to strange diseases, not slow poisoning. Etc., etc. etc. . . .

The best secret agents or operations, are, well, the ones you never hear about.

Re:West == US? (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783333)

There is a certain value in letting your enemy know, that you got to them, and doing so in a public manner so as to portray them as weak and incompetent. It's a different culture in the middle east. You can very well undermine your enemy by embarrassing them publicly as Israel has done.

Re:West == US? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782175)

By that definition Israel is also being listed as "the west".

scope creep (1)

whitroth (9367) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781269)

I'd be *really* surprised if Iran didn't have competitions among students, trying to find hot programmers to attack Israeli military and nuclear sites' software.

Assuming that there's idiots there, just like here, who don't know that for some things, an air gap between the controls and the 'Net....

And depending on how true it is that they managed to break the control of that US drone....

          mark

they could be doing that (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781585)

Look at the number of Iranian people who are students here. I can count 14 in the small satellite grad school where I am. I find it odd that we have no relations with Iran yet their people can come here freely. If send people there they are often arrested on some charge. Could it be that some of these students are passing info to the government of Iran? Maybe, maybe not. All 14 are in the engineering department.

Re:they could be doing that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781865)

While the more likely explanation is that 13 students and their family are sick of Iran's asshat government and are happy to live in the west, and the only thing they'd prefer is living the same life at home. The last one in fact likes the Iranian government and is trying to pass "secrets" from engineering 101 courses. What plan sounds wiser, let that one guy go and simply accept that he won't make a difference, or piss off the other 13 who would otherwise be on your side?

Always remember, the phrase "you're either my friend or my enemy" is a double-edged sword, especially when it's factually wrong.

Re:scope creep (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782357)

I'd be *really* surprised if Iran didn't have competitions among students, trying to find hot programmers to attack Israeli military and nuclear sites' software.

It would surprisef me that's for sure. One of the thing wrong with the Iranian government is it is completely corrupt so if you don't know someone you probably are not getting a job with the government. You most probably get a job in the cyber annoyance department by being recommended for it from someone already within the department.

NUKE EM !! NUKE EM NOW !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781291)

And then burn your persian rugs !!

Re:NUKE EM !! NUKE EM NOW !! (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781381)

Can't right now, there's a burn ban in my county. :) :)

israel on the other hand, nutbag crazy (0)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781375)

you have to wonder how we go to this situation.

The answer is 9/11 (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781413)

Al Qaeda is not operating as isolated as the Arab world would like, they have powerful sympathizers. And then 9/11 happened and OOPS, we funded the protesters but we did not expect them to succeed.

The same happened with the US and Cuba. Oops, we funded dissidents but they did WHAT? Invade? No way, no support. They were supposed to be a nuisance to our enemy, not trigger WW3. Same thing with assanition of Kennedy, it don't matter if the CIA/FBI did or did not do it, the real shocker (if the American public had a brain) should have been that there were any plans at all. And when the bullet has been fired it is to late to consider whether talks of firing that bullet were just talk or concrete plans.

The bay of pigs was a disaster as the Cubans cleaned them up and Al Qaeda is a shadow of its former self. Presumably those who had entertained plans to kill the president were also dealt with, just in case anyone would ever think that again.

The leadership in Iran know damn well that there is a line between the US basically ignoring them and blowing them from the map. They have been shown enough examples. It ain't nice perhaps but that is the real world. Same with Russian support for Iran btw, Russians like Iran just as long as they are more a nuisance to US then they are to Russia. Iran starts to to openly interfere with Russian interests (look at russia's borders, religion in tjetnia and of high number of terrorist attacks in moskou itself) and that blocking vote will soon disappear. Same with China. It is a balance game. Annoy the US but don't piss them off and if Israel spanks your ass once again (It is widely believed Iran supported what is now north-sudan and Israel south-sudan. South-sudan won, suprise suprise and north-sudan lost all world support for being nasty people), we most certainly are not going to do anything except try to learn how they did it and snicker a bit.

You might note that will all the support Iran has given Hezbollah and Syria, it hasn't actually given either of these group any useful fighting capability? Missiles that don't hit shit and drones that get shot down with ease and never enough money to get the economy going.

This is not the cold war continued, it is still the same cold war. It never went away. And the cold war has the same rules, cause a hassle, cause trouble but do NOT start WW3. If Iran is smart, they know this. If not... they might invade a small nation and think that is going to be ignored like the killing of their own people was... (if you don't get the iraq reference, I feel sorry for you)

Because if they don't... Russia and China loose nothing by seeing some Muslims turned into so much glass and ashes, they both get their own Muslims populations that could do with a message and their are always other proxies through which to keep the their opponents occupied. Or do you think Russia/China really cares about how many civilians are killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan? Russia doesn't like the afghans at all and China just wants to know how they can do the same in Tibet and get away with it) It ain't just the west that wants WW3, the super powers all know that is in nobody elses interest, they just skirmish a bit with the third world nations to keep their reflexes sharp.

Cold war is a game of risk were the players know the only winning game is not to play but their fingers itch. And Iran is NOT a player, it is at best a play piece that might be about to make a very stupid attempt at Independence and find out what happens to play pieces that move on their own.

YAWN (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781573)

These ridiculous scare-mongering articles about a US/Israel enemy de jour appearing on /.'s frontpage are really becoming tiresome.

The So-Called "West" Perspective (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781617)

WSJ reports [wsj.com] :

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.

But not if it's STUXNET or FLAME, right?

Similarly, the media would have us believe that if a country in the Middle East refused to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, invaded neighboring countries, ignored condemnation from the UN Security Council of its actions, and repressed its people into poverty and apartheid, while also developing a nuclear weapons program, that the USG should intervene militarily to take out its nuclear program and probably impose new leadership.

But not if it's Israel [wikipedia.org] , right?

But, it's OK, because Iran has such an aggressive history [historyguy.com] that it's worth the US getting into a war with Russia [therightscoop.com] over. In fact, if the USG needs to kill half a million Iranian children [youtube.com] to impose its will, that's just breaking a few eggs, right?

After all, there is no higher concern that the US Petrodollar [telegraph.co.uk] , right?

The fellow who wrote the Declaration of Independence and our third President described the appropriate role of the United States in the world as:

Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.

But whose interests does that serve, really?

Re:The So-Called "West" Perspective (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781883)

AND:

The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war...

I guess that doesn't apply to China though.

Re:The So-Called "West" Perspective (1, Informative)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781897)

I'll just touch on a few of those false accusations

1. "invaded neighboring countries" -- only after being attacked first. Not once, not twice, but three times. 48, 67, and 73. Most of the land, such as the Sinai peninsula, that Israel took, they gave back for peace in further negotiations. It worked with the Egyptians as long as we paid them the necessary Jizya (we still do), and Sadat got assassinated for his trouble. If Palestinians actually wanted the same, they could have it tomorrow but after decades and decades of playing games, why should Israel stop construction on land it conquered in a defensive conflict if Palestinians never make any serious attempt at peace. Stop the settlements first, you say? Israel did that. A year passed and the Palestinians did nothing to demonstrate good faith. Give back Gaza? They did that. Tens of thousands of rockets and an invasion later, the Palestinians have themselves a new place to fire unguided rockets into civilian population centers.

2. "repressed it's people in to poverty and apartheid" -- first off. Palestinians are not Israel's people. Those in Jerusalem have the option to gain Israeli citizenship and gain full rights but many choose not to. Those who have have every single right that other Israelis do, regardless of religion. About 20% of Israel's population is Arab -- many of whom descend from those Arabs who chose to stay with the Jews and fight for independence. Those in the west bank are governed by Fatah and those in Gaza by Hamas. Becuase they do not hold Israeli citizenship, of course they do not have the same rights in israel. As an American, I do not have the same rights in the EU. That's not apartheid and comparing it to racial separation is offensive.

The so called Israel perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41783929)

Your comments paint a picture of Israel as being the sole the victims here and only the Palestinians being the unreasonable actors. That is a false characterization of the situation as well.

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-triumph-greater-israel-7438

the author of that piece lays out the point more succinctly than I could, that point being: Yes, Israel were invaded multiple times. Yes certain Palestinians leaders and groups such as Hamas may have spurned opportunities to recitify their peoples plight. But your characterization of Israeli leaders and actors as being only the group in this dilemma who are reasonable and therefore justified in their actions is flawed and shows a certain bias. Palestinians may not be be Israeli citizens but they are living in what can only be called bantustans. The Israelis control the movement of Palestinians in and out of the 'bantustan' regions. They control the borders, hell the West Bank is under full Israeli military control. That is why the word apartheid comes up in these discussions.

As to your assertion that Arab Israelis have the same rights Jewish Israelis I present the following links to convey the fact that they are discriminated against in practice. Look at the human rights report from the state department and do a search with the keyword "arab". Yes Arabs have de jure the same rights, but according to that document and other sources you are welcome to google for, discrimination happens.
http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/nea/154463.htm
http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2012/05/oh-jerusalem.html

The truth of the matter is both sides have not acted in good faith on numerous occasions because they seek the maximum gain for their own side. They, or rather their leaders, have demonstrated time and time again that they don't want compromise. With this being the case, America's blind, unyielding support to Israel is dangerous in terms of harming America's self-interest. Take note of the last Presidential debate: both Romney and Obama made great effort to present their pro-Israel stance. Obama kept calling Israel "America's true friend". Yet Israel's past actions vis a vis Palestinians and vis a vis Iran have not been in America's self-interest and in actual fact Netanyahu's treatment of America and it's government has been disrespectful and insulting at times. He and his staunch supporters treat America like a retard that can swayed to do Israel's bidding due to the lobbyiing power they have with american elections. Netanyahu himself has been quoted as saying as much. meanwhile the continuing settlement goes on and the palestinian people become more radicalized.

My point? America, just like the EU, will be facing a reckoning soon. The global economy is quite likely facing a coming depression. America's best interests are served by pulling all it's military from the middle east, perhaps even Europe. They should focus on the Pacific. They should stop supporting Saudi Arabia, should only support Israel's right to exist and nothing beyond that. If other countries in the region cannot protect the US embassies from attacks then they should be removed. If the middle east wants implode then so be it. You cannot pick a side in that region of the world because the consequences are highly unpredictable such that they may even prove more disastrous to global interests than if external actors had originally chosen to not get involved in the first place.

Israel will eventually self-implode. The demographics are against them. Their actions are also against their own interests so their demise will also be somewhat self-inflicted. America gains no benefit in supporting them unconditionally, in fact America hastens their demise. There is no such bullshit as a "true friend" in international relations. There are only transactional relationships. The sooner certain officials in government and their supporters realise that, the better off the world will be.

Re:The So-Called "West" Perspective (2, Funny)

iceperson (582205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782223)

You forgot to use the word "Zionist" in your post. You should fix that.

let them win this game (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781947)

We should just let a crappy cardboard drone running unpatched Windows 95 'fall into their hands' so they can waste their time studying and reverse engineering our implementation of the BSOD.

Zero evidence for both contentions (0)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782003)

First, there is ZERO evidence presented so far that Iran had anything to do with any cyberattacks on anyone.

Anyone in infosec knows how hard it is to attribute a given attack on a given party. There are just too many ways to fake an attack's origin. And the US government has not provided any direct evidence of Iranian involvement.

It's on a par with the ridiculous "Saudi ambassador assassination" claim. The lunatic involved in that case plead guilty, but there is still ZERO evidence that it had anything to do with the Iranian government, and far more likely had to do with the anti-Iranian terrorist group, the M.E.K., which the US, in its infinite wisdom, just took off the terrorist list thanks to "material support" from a number of US politicians - in violation of US anti-terrorist statutes prohibiting such activities.

As for the drone, it was Hizballah who ran the drone into Israel, not Iran. Iran may have supplied the drone, but that's no surprise. Iran has been supplying Hizballah with technology for some time. And deservedly so. Hizballah is the only thing that has kept Israel out of Lebanon for the last decade. Israel tried to destroy Lebanon in 2006, but failed miserably. It will try again. In fact that is the reason for the Syrian crisis - to degrade Syria's military sufficiently to allow Israel to cross into Syrian territory to attack Hizballah in the Bekaa Valley.

Apparently the conventional wisdom is that the US is allowed to attack anyone, anywhere, any time, with any means - but even the hint of retaliation is grounds for being declared a "terrorist" and then being either droned to death or outright invaded.

Finally, I will repeat the FACTS about Iran's nuclear energy program:

1) There is ZERO evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This is agreed on by both all 16 US intelligence agencies AND Israel's intelligence agencies (Netanyahu and Obama notwithstanding.) And for the SEVENTY PERCENT of the US population who thinks Iran already HAS nuclear weapons - well, intelligence was never the US electorate's strong suit...

2) There is ZERO evidence that Iran ever HAD a nuclear weapons program, except as the DIA says a likely "feasibility study" back when Iran was afraid Saddam had such a program. And Iran ended that program, quite logically, when the US overthrew Saddam and handed Iran major influence in Iraq.

3) Iran has no strategic or tactical need for nuclear weapons, and couldn't use them as a deterrent against either the US or Israel if it had them. And the Iranians know this and have said so repeatedly.

4) Iran has never threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", no matter how many times you've read that alleged "fact" in the media.

5) Iran's military posture is strictly defensive. They rely on "soft power" projection for influence in the region, including supporting Shia communities in Lebanon and the GCC, and seek good relations with all the countries in the region (except Israel, of course.) They haven't attacked anyone in hundreds of years. Israel has attacked someone in every decade since the 1940's. The US - don't even ask...

6) Israel is the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons, has not joined the NPT, refuses to allow its nuclear capabilities to be monitored, and has threatened to use nuclear weapons on its neighbors in the past. It is the only country with a nuclear second strike capability and the ability to threaten countries outside the region with nuclear weapons via its submarine fleet. In fact, it has been suggested that the sole reason for Israel to have nuclear weapons - an unnecessary addition to its conventional military capability compared to the nations on its borders - is to be able to threaten the WEST should the need arise - which it did in 1973 when it threatened to nuke the Aswan Dam if the US did not re-supply it during the 1973 war. Hint: The US caved.

7) The bottom line: Iran is not toeing the US line and interferes with Israel's ability to gobble up countries on its borders in the insane Zionist quest for "Eretz Israel" (WHO are the REAL "mad mullahs" is a valid question.) Therefore the US and Israel intend to degrade Iran until it is no longer an effective geopolitical actor in the region. This was the goal with Iraq. It is the goal with Iran. And just like the bogus Iraq "WMDs", there is no Iranian "nuclear threat" - and never will be. But the people who run the US - the military-industrial complex, the oil companies, the banks who finance them, the neocons and corrupt politicians who are owned by them, and Israel and its massive Lobby in the US - fully intend to attack Iran as soon as they've degraded Iran's potential allies in that war - Syria and Hizballah in Lebanon.

It will ignite a regional war, it will cause an oil price spike that will devastate the US economy (except those in the military-industrial complex who get paid directly from US taxpayers), and it will result in a million or three civilian deaths and thousands of US military casualties. All so a handful of rich people can get richer and some fanatics in Israel can get rid of one of their enemies.

Re: #6 (2)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782067)

When has Israel ever threatened it's enemies with nuclear weapons? Defamation much?

Re: #6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41782125)

even more twisted:
how do you threaten someone with something you don't admit having?

Re: #6 (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783059)

Truth doesn't matter to anti-Semites. There is a big difference between legitimate criticism of Israeli policies and making stuff up because you hate Jews so much that the truth doesn't matter. There is no other motivation to irrationally attack Israel by lying like that than antisemitism.

Re: #6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41783853)

That's just laughable. Every goddamn nation in the world knows that Israel has nukes.

Incoming U.S. Defense Secretary tells Senate panel Israel has nuclear weapons [haaretz.com]

Incoming U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told a Senate committee on Thursday that Israel has nuclear weapons, and that this partially explains Iran's motiviation to acquire nuclear weapons.

"They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons - Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf," he told the Senate committee during his confirmation hearing.

...

What has changed over the years is the perception of Israel's nuclear capabilities. In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Israel's main nuclear reactor, gave pictures and documents to the London Sunday Times that led experts to conclude that Israel has a sizable nuclear weapons arsenal, ranking it sixth in the world. Vanunu served an 18-year prison term for his disclosures.

Re:Zero evidence for both contentions (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782095)

#7: What countries have Israel ever "gobbled up" on Iran's borders?

#4 (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782173)

This is actually true, but what you neglect to mention is that "removing from the page of time" is best translated as an expression as "wipe off the map". That being said, since that time, Iran has indeed repeated the claim in english (a billboard outside a barracks of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, for example). If it's a mistranslation, it's a mistranslation they apparently agree with. In addition, Khamenie said this year that Israel was a "cancer" that would be "cut out". Seems to me that's a bit harsher than the "off the map" quote and nobody is arguing about it's translation.

#5 (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782221)

If by "Shia communitites" you mean Hezbollah, then yes, they support them -- and I would hardly call their actions defensive at all as even a cursory search could point out, not would I claim they "haven't attacked anybody in years". Iran is a state sponsor of terror too chicken shit to take direct action but perfecly happy to reign terror down on Jews and Americans worldwide through it's many proxies.

#1 (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782245)

What Israel actually said was that yes, they're not working on a bomb, but they'e working on the parts and once they have those parts in a fortified bunker can likely put one together in short notice. You can't take the former part of that sentence and pretend the latter is not attached.

Huh? (3, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782035)

"With Iran taking to cyberspace and drones, it shows such technology is not just under the control of the U.S."

Well....lets see....

Remote controlled devices....
Air planes.
rockets
explosives
guidance systems for rockets....

No shit sherlock. Since the very existence of each of these technologies, with, potentially the limited and short term exception of "air planes" right after their invention, the US has NEVER held exclusive control of any of them.

It should be no shock whatsoever that these technologies can be combined by others.

Its funny, I was talking with an Iranian friend about our foriegn policy and Iran. He isn't someone you would EVER expect to talk about fondness for teh Ayatolla (he isn't even really a muslim as far as I can tell).... but he does. I finally hit on why: I pointed out that if the US were smart, and really disliked the people in power in Iran, they would stop opposing them, and lift all sanctions, and let the Iranian people take care of the problem.... and he lit up....

"You know you are right, I hate those towel heads (yes, he, a born and raised Iranian called them towel heads), I hate having to support them, but when all I hear, day after day, is 'War with Iran' and 'More sanctions' that hurt my people, it pisses me off".

No shit, I would feel the same way.

Did he just say that with a straight face? (2)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782101)

So are we seriously comparing DDOS attacks that any fifteen year old with five minutes and an internet connection can do to Stuxnet, Flame, Duqu, Gauss, and the litany of Isramerica's cyber war arsenal that we haven't even discovered yet? So they can use drones to spy on alleged Israeli nuclear facilities. So what? They wouldn't have drones at all if America didn't accidentally give them one. Point is: To win this, you need brain power. Ever since the Iatolas took power, driving everyone with half a brain into hiding, or exile, they don't have a leg to stand on as far as a "cyber war" goes. And I think it's clear that they understand how paltry their attempts have been.

I don't get it (3, Insightful)

Guru80 (1579277) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782109)

What's the point of this story? Rhetorical question, it's blatantly obvious and not sure what makes this newsworthy? The things listed as not being only under U.S. control are things that pretty much every single country in the entire world has within it's reach if it wanted. Try harder Iran.

BAD POST (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41782161)

There is no way I believe that.

It's not that I think Iran is not capable of it, it's just that the spotlight is on them and everybody knows (including Iran), that Obama and Israel want to attack them. The very LAST thing Iran is going to do is launch some kind of cyber attack on us which would only given an excuse to attack them.

If you really believe Iran is doing that, then I suggest you locate some members of a gang in your city, and go punch them in the nose, and see how they respond. If your smart enough not to do that, don't you think Iran is smart enough to avoid doing something so stupid?

You need to put yourselves in their shoes, and realize that it's all propaganda by Obama. Use your head folks. be smarter than that.

Our government's shortsightedness. (2)

GT66 (2574287) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782299)

Did the US government really think that other nations would not simply build their own drones in response to our constant incursions into their sovereignty? Seems to me that whatever opportunity we had in being "first to market" is now over and the drone wars have just begun in earnest.

Re:Our government's shortsightedness. (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783569)

I am thinking that is a no. Ofc, we could find out for sure by rigging something up and trying to fly it where we aren't supposed to (assuming that you are in America). Actually, I will let you learn that lesson on your own.

Was this posted by an Iranian shill? (0)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782337)

Seriously, did an Iranian government shill write this? This reads like it was written by their internal propaganda department. I kept waiting for 'death to Jews' to appear in the article.

Iran is out of control and by a very large margin the biggest impediment to peace in the mid-east. Their government is evil, support terrorism as a matter of policy and is responsibly for more instability in the middle east than any other government is a very long time.

They choose to pursue nuclear weapons at the expense of their own citizens. If your a citizen of Iran you live in a constant state of fear of running afoul of the police state. People are tortured and murdered as a matter of routine course. If you live outside of Iran you have to worry about Iranian terrorist who will kill without hesitation.

While Iran uses Israel as a convenient scapegoat, the reality is they do far more harm to the Muslim citizen. All you have to do is look at Syria to see the results of Iranian influence. Declaring war on your own people, want to slaughter your civilians without pesky influence? Don't worry, Iran will have your back!

Re:Was this posted by an Iranian shill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41782883)

Oh Jesus. It's like IAEA inspectors never go to Iran to some idiots. You can download and read their reports you know.

"If your a citizen of Iran you live in a constant state of fear of running afoul of the police state."

Really? There's no citizens in Iran who prefer a theocracy/Khomeni? Maybe when the US invades them (as they invaded Iraq) hopefully they can make sure the collateral damage of thousands of civilian lives are only people who wished to live under the current Iranian rule. Let me know when Iran starts declaring war on it's own people like Saddam did in the run up to the Iraq Invasion. Oh wait

I blame China (1)

NinjaTekNeeks (817385) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782447)

China and Iran are buddies and China is great at copying stuff and doesn't really like the west too much. It would not surprise me at all to see that China had a hand in helping Iran copy technologies in exchange for gaining access to the downed drone or malware infected computers

Attacks build immunity. (1)

couchslug (175151) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783351)

I'd like to see much, much more "cyberwar" because we all know it's the only way to coerce security measures by otherwise lazy entities.

If leaving ones proverbial front door unlocked automatically resulted in a kick in the nuts, more doors would be secured.

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