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$650-700 est.
Auction 48 / Lot #61:
Shimon Bar-Kokhba, 132 - 135 AD Bronze, Year One

Palm branch in wreath / lyre. Ex-Wolfgang Masser Collection, Ashqelon.

Literature: Mildenberg 23

Dimensions: 22mm
Condition: Fine+


Queries and responses for lot #48-061
($650-700 estimated)

  1. Arnold: Iran has a few years in which I expect the US to be deeerrtd, and it does not need its nuclear program to play any important role in that deterrence. Over those few years Iran can both make its nuclear program more difficult to bomb and develop new means of deterrence, and possibly its program will reach the point where it is a deterrence in its own right. Who can dispute possibly?  Worth the risk? Bear in mind that, assuming perfect knowledge, just before the moment when Iran’s nuclear program becomes a deterrent (i.e. when Iran has a deliverable bomb, to sidestep nuclear option definitional issues here) is when the risk of US attack will be greatest, since the US will recognize that it’s now or never.  In the real world, where the US’ knowledge about Iran’s nuclear program is far from perfect, that now or never moment may occur much sooner, depending on how far Iran has progressed, how much the US knows, and how much ambiguity the US is willing to accept.Is it possible that, if the US were presently not bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan and its economy were stronger, US leaders might even today be concluding that the now-or-never moment is already here? Might their present calculus change if, some day, the US is not bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan and its economy is stronger? Might there not be many in the US government today who fret that we’re waiting too long but who are mollified by others who assure them that we’ll make up later for our laxity by increasing the harshness of our post-attack measures to ensure that Iran either doesn’t develop a deliverable bomb or is persuaded that it would be very unwise to use it? If the US bombs Iran today, the US does not expect that it can prevent a full-on push for a bomb that Iran would be able to make after the attack. How do you know that? You don’t, obviously. This statement strikes me as a classic example of starting with a conclusion and working backwards to fill in the arguments necessary to support that conclusion. There is more than one way to prevent Iran from building a deliverable bomb (or at least delivering it). The obvious way is to ferret out the bomb-makers and their activities, which may not be effective if Iran is clever enough. A less-obvious way is to threaten, and even carry out, severe punishment, including collective punishment, at even the slightest hint of bomb-making activity. (As in:  Whoops, really sorry about Tabriz – it was a nice city, we’ve heard; great bazaar and all that. One of our guys overheard two Iranians talking about bombs in a cafe9. Turns out they were actors rehearsing their lines in a play, but it was too late to call back our planes. We’re kind of touchy these days – bear that in mind. ) But either way, I’ve never thought Iran’s nuclear program either is today, or will be in any near foreseeable future the only or the primary deterrent to a US attack on Iran. Probably correct at the moment, but you draw an unwarranted conclusion from that. Since other deterrents are sufficient to keep the US from attacking, you conclude that Iran is safe in working on weapons development. That seems sound to me, for the time being, but does it mean that the US would overlook weapons development if those other deterrents should cease to be present? Are you confident the US will continue to be bogged down in other wars, or have a weak economy, or both, for quite some time? I wouldn’t be; the US might actually get out of Iran and Afghanistan some day, and its economy actually might improve, and its people actually might be spoiling for a new war. Iran won’t have much control over any of that. If all that happens and no new deterrents have arisen in the meantime, and Iran is still developing a nuclear weapon (or being secretive, so that the US suspects that it is), are you confident the US will continue to sit back and do nothing about it – just keep passing sanctions and funding opposition groups? I also think eventually Iran’s nuclear capability will reach the point that it could by itself prevent a US attack on Iran, but that is generations from now. Your faith is considerably greater than mine that the US will exhibit the long-term patience required for Iran to get that far.  If you’re suggesting Iran should deliberately design its nuclear program around the constraint that the US must feel confident that it could stop it by bombing it if it wants, no state would do that. No state has ever done that. It is an unreasonable suggestion. I feel that Iran should develop every aspect of its peaceful nuclear program on the assumption that it will need to run it entirely without outside help. That includes enrichment, among other activities that the US insists need not be done in order for a country to produce peaceful nuclear energy. To that extent, I agree with you that Iran should not place constraints on its program to appease the US. But I see no need and considerable risk in going beyond that. I don’t know on which side of the line every nuclear activity falls on, and there undoubtedly is ambiguity on that question even for nuclear scientists best trained to draw such lines. I’d give Iran the benefit of the doubt for that reason. But if Iran is engaging in some activity that can only be related to bomb development, I would cut it no slack.You ignore an overarching concern here. Many countries, at any given point in history and especially if one looks back a long way, can complain about being kicked around and abused by a world power or two. For each of those countries, a game-changer powerful weapon would almost certainly be useful. But then the world would end up with yet another country that has that powerful weapon. Countries that acquire powerful weapons aren’t known for giving them up when the pressing need for the weapon no longer exists, and so the list of countries only grows longer, never shorter. After some time passes, the kicked-around-and-abused country might find some smaller country to kick around and abuse. If and when that happens, what had been merely a useful defensive tool may be used for a less noble purpose. (Isn’t that precisely what many now argue is the case for Israel?) Until, of course, the target of this new abuse runs out and gets its own powerful weapon. (For example, Iran runs out and gets itself a nuclear bomb because Israel has one.) And so on and so on. We’ve got enough nuclear-armed states as it is. Iran deserves to not be kicked around and abused, but it doesn’t need or deserve a nuclear bomb to put an end to that, nor does it deserve even the opacity necessary to keep the world guessing about whether it’s building one. Iran should find some other way to stop being kicked around and abused, and I think there are other perfectly good ways out there, as I’ve explained elsewhere. They require more thought and more patience, but they’re out there. Oh, the question of can the IAEA keep its findings confidential. The short answer is no. The IAEA is essentially an intelligence service. The US contributions to the IAEA’s personnel are supplied by the US’ intelligence services.  I’m not naefve about this, and certainly understand the risk that the IAEA has tipped its hand to the US, or will in the future. Nonetheless, your third sentence misses the point. The issue is not what the US tells the IAEA, but what the IAEA tells the US. My recollection is that the US grumbled about the IAEA’s stone-walling in response to US requests for more information about the laptop of death, requests ostensibly made so that the US could help the IAEA further by seeing how the IAEA’s information jibed with the US’ own information. The IAEA’s entirely reasonable response, if I recall correctly, was:  If you want so much to help, please tell us what you know that you haven’t already told us, and WE will figure out how it all fits together.

    Eliza, Fri 27 Mar 2015, 02:55 AM
  2. kathrynapierceHey man. I don’t care what you say about Obama. I am in the below poverty range, so yes I am the deftiinion of DIRT POOR and might I had being smart as I am doesn’t get you far at all with out money~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Ms. Kathy, Voting for Obama isn’t a smart move.  Like they say, ‘It’s the economy stupid’. Obama is going for the uneducated vote.  They will vote for Obama because they think they will get benefits .they don’t care that the country is going the way of Greece .  I guess you fall in line with that mentality. As long as I get mine the rest of the country can go to hell .  Obama is counting on you.1. Look gas prices doubled since Obama has been in office.  That sure helps the dirt poor. 2. Because of that, prices of food, goods and services have risen.  the poor love that. 3. Unemployment is high over 23 million people are jobless.  Obama is making more people poor so they can vote for him.  Also, these poor will be competing with you.  .waiting in lines. 4. While you dirt poor people continue to struggle,  Obama is yuking it up with the rich .fundraising. 5. Yeah Obama is making it easier to achieve college Don’t hold your breath, In order for him to pay your student loan ..he has to ask the Chinese for mo money.Look at what’s going on in Greece and Spain .They are at a point where they have to do some major cuts and raise taxes .those poor people who got used to the government will have a harder time. Poor people in America have that to look forward to.      September 26, 2012

    Novie, Sat 28 Mar 2015, 08:30 PM

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