Attack Iran?

By all accounts I have heard IMTS was a major success for the exhibitors. I am always skeptical about supposed pre-registration numbers at shows, but this year it appears that IMTS actually exceeded the 87,000 number that was floated before the show started. The 100,000 mark was probably reached. If you can generalize, buyers were even more schizophrenic than usual. With excellent cash flows the last couple of years, manufacturing migrating back to North America from China, and with favorable depreciation rules for the moment, this should have been a selling free-for-all. But I gather many buyers were drooling yet reluctant to place orders. The excuses were the usual suspects – the election, the “fiscal cliff,” European woes, and the possibility of war with Iran. What it boiled down to was  a lack of visibility about cash flows for the next couple of years. Because companies these days are projecting two year paybacks or less on new purchases, this lack of visibility is a killer.

I think this is a good time to buy, but with a caveat. No matter what the outcome of the American election, a question mark will be eliminated in November. The “fiscal cliff” will be addressed one way or another. The likely outcome is “kicking the can down the road” again, but even if the cuts and tax increases take place it takes some uncertainty out. “Obamacare” is unlikely to be overturned, but in a Romney administration it would be changed and delayed. This will probably occur in an Obama administration if the Republicans hold the House.

For me, Iran is “the big one” that cannot be forecasted with any certainty. This is how I see it at the moment.

Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu is ready to hit Iran’s nuclear bomb program hard – now, but he wants Barack Obama’s help and blessing. Obama thinks he has Mitt Romney on the run and does not want to jeopardize his re-election with a Mideast war and the resulting pop in oil prices – and an Iranian counterstrike against the U.S. He is trying to restrain Israel, at least until the November election is over. The unknown variable is whether Iran will risk an attack to continue to pursue its nuclear strategy, or make a last minute deal and proclaim victory, causing oil prices drop to $60 per barrel because of shale gas and reduction of perceived political risk.

Can the world live with a nuclear-armed Iran? The best minds in Israel, and hopefully at the CIA have been trying to handicap this for years. And even if the calculation I have read from Israel is true, that there is a 20 percent chance of an Iran first strike, that is an unacceptable risk for many Israelis to live under.

For me, nuclear weapons in the hands of the current Iranian leadership is a gut issue that keeps me up at night. On one level it stifles the economy and deters the guy who wants to buy a new machining center. But the bigger picture is that Tehran’s overreaching for a return to Persian greatness threatens my people – Israel and America – and it really does scare me.

Question: Should Israel attack Iran? Should the U.S. attack Iran?

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17 thoughts on “Attack Iran?



  2. Josh Weaver

    Wow, blatant racism. Very mature. You do know there are very many people in Iran who think like us. They were in the streets protesting years ago. Do you agree with everything the leadership in your country does? Judging by your tone I doubt you’re an Obama supporter. Yet you’re ready to wipe a country off the earth because you don’t like their leader? You are truly a shining example of maturity and rational thought.

  3. Carl Brewer

    I don’t think Israel can successfully attack Iran and it’s nuclear sites without the direct asisstance from the U.S.. Who will be the next President of Iran ? The current one will be out next year. Does the U.S. and Israel have enough intelegence info to evaluate Iran’s nuclear status ?

  4. Jerry Johnson

    Obama should go visit Iran. Then Isreal and the USA should demolish their nuclear aspirations, and simultaneously do a “whoops” and get rid of both of these Tangos.

    The World will then be a better place, and both of these muslims can delight in their virgin jihad reward.

  5. Randy

    Very tough for Israel to attack Iran without violating some ones else airspace or causing another problem. They can’t fly there direct without crossing someone border unless they go around using the Mediterranean Sea. They would mean refueling (with someones help) plus the element of surprise would be lost. I’m sure the would prefer for the U.S. to take on the task.

  6. Mike McCaul

    A strange question, I believe. Whether Isreal attacks Iran or not, should not be a decision even considered by anyone in the US. That should be a decision left to them and them alone. We can never hope to really hope to know the amount of stress and pressure the Israeli people are under on a day to day basis. (The same way we would never know what pressure the British were under durring the Battle of Britian). With that said, if Mr Netanyahu and the Israeli leadership decide to attack, our government should be willing to support that move. I don’t really believe the Israelis need our help with boots on the ground, (they seem more than capable of handling most problems in the area) but we need to throw our political support behind them. I really don’t think our present administration has the stones for that though. They seem more worried about wrangling an election than saving countless lives. I am afraid they would just through the Israelis under the bus if it would cost them votes.

    An interesting stastic I saw just yesterday. From 2001 t0 2008 total US casualties in Afganistan were 630 (this is while we were getting daily body counts by our media). The count from 2009 to present is at 1495 with no daily counts. This is a good reason in my eyes why this problem in Iran needs to be taken seriously by serious people, at present we don’t have that.

  7. Kathleen Alexaner

    Macho bluster aside, attacking Iran will only embed our country into another morass like Iraq and Afghanistan, kill and maim our young people and cost us countless billions for years. Remember “shock and awe?” Eleven years later, we’re still figuring out the exit strategy. Lucky for us, we have a President who believes in diplomacy and crippling sanctions..

  8. Trashcup

    Considering that America is the only country EVER to use an atomic weapon on another country, and that some radical right wingers would bomb first and then ask questions, thank god we don’t have a trigger happy guy running things. The MIDDLE EAST have been fighting their religious wars for how many thousands of years by now? It’s about time Israel starts thinking about the rest of the world instead of just themselves. If they invade Iran, do you really think the Middle East will remain calm? Do we really want Israel to start World War III?

    It’s time to get the hell out of the Middle East and let those folks work it out between themselves. If the people that love Israel who are living in America think America should fight their war, think again. Then move there so you can defend your beloved country.

    Whatever happens over there, in the end, they’ll still be fighting each other over religion just like always.

  9. Rob

    Pakistan has nuclear bombs. So does N Korea, not exactly shining examples of enlightened and rationally thinking nations. To me, they are just as much threats to world peace as Iran would be if they had nuclear capabilities. Also, who are we to decide who can and cannot have nuclear weapons? Well, I guess that question isn’t as important as the real issue which is that we are by far the world’s greatest military power and we’ll decide what to do when push comes to shove and there is nothing that any nation can or will do about it. At least effectively. Oh sure, they may put up a fight, but Israel and the U.S. together would crush Iran before they had a chance to blink. I have to say simply that I do not know what we should do which is mirrored by many Israelis as well as the powers that be in Obama’s administration. Iran is very much like Germany before World War II in its Machiavellian protestations and declarations that they do not pose a threat while veiling their true interests which is domination, at least in their own geograhical region. They are not to be trusted but is it worth a war much greater than anything we have seen since probably the Korean War? No where near as protracted but the implications of devastation are staggering.

  10. RAY

    NO WAY should we attack Iran for Isreal. Why do we always listen to them. Lets get the hell out of the middle east and worry about our own problems back home. Look how much those wars have already cost us. I would love to get more work out of it but not enough to go to war over it. I belive an attack would threaten and harm more of our troops in the area. Leave them alone unless they start it first.

  11. Larry G

    Lloyd – – – lack of equipment purchases is not about Iran or uncertainty about tomorrow. It is CERTAINTY. It’s the certainty that medicare, medicaid, social security, the postal service, Amtrak etc. are bankrupt or soon to be. It’s the certainty that Democratic leaning communities on both coast are declaring bankruptcy due to pie in the sky pensions and governmental unions. It’s the certainty that our Federal Reserve is purchasing our own government bonds . . is that not like loaning myself money (with no collateral). It’s the certainty of higher taxes due to redistribution to the undeserving and unmotivated. It’s the cerainty that Obamacare will be a bigger train wreck then all social programs combined. It’s the empowerment this president has handed to the people who have historically hated Americans. It’s the certainty of fewer freedoms, because this government “knows bests” It’s the certainty that the only way unemployment will drop, is if this administration continues to move more people to the disability roles. It’s the certainty that the Federal Reserve has robbing the retirement earnings of the elderly by driving down rates to prop up the faltering big banks. When true inflation is higher than the current home loan interest rates, (Houston, we have a problem). What is the profit margin if a bank pays the government zero percent and loans the funds at eighteen percent to a college student with a credit card. What if every citizen, oops, American, oops, person occuping space inside the US borders could get some of that action.


  12. Med

    It is very disturbing to me to read today’s Graff’s editorial, as well as some of the following comments from other readers. I can’t believe that we are talking about going to war in the economic situation we are in (in the US and elsewhere …in Europe). Also, are we forgetting that Israel, is in that area for the last 64 years since its creation and is unable to secure peace with its neighbors despite all the foreign help and the wars we had and still going on in that area of the world. And now, we want to go, possible to a nuclear war (remember Israel has the bomb too — everybody knows that)? What is going on here? So far, I believe the diplomacy is keeping Iran’s leadeship under pressure, maybe until the next election (there) or even beyond. Why do want to change that?

    Back to the IMTS, machine tools and similar equipment can and are used in a peaceful world. There are plenty of needs in the manufacturing for that industry to continue to flurish. In fact the best market is a global market. As a futurist from MIT goes on saying in a one of his talk that “in tomorrow’s world, the needs of the market will abolish war, since it is against the interest of the market to bomb the customers.”

  13. Jeff Scott

    “Should Israel attack Iran” “Should the US attack Iran” Mr. Graff need I remind you that German Jew’s back in the early 1930’s thought Hitler was a joke, passing fancy or fad and would wear out his welcome with the majority of the German people. How many times do lunatics have to first tell everyone what they are going to do and have everyone do the ole shoulder shrug and “there is no way that could happen” and watch in horror as it DOES HAPPEN?
    I assure you and every other naive American Jew that if these Islamic fundamentalist fanatic lunatics get a nuclear weapon and a dependable delivery system they will use it the second it is operational WITHOUT warning!
    What is happening now in the middle east is what those lunatics who control Iran, and now thanks to Obama most of the other Arab countries, were raised believing, studying and WANTING in their quest for martyrdom and the end times their idiot religion teaches.
    Knowing these truths what would you do? Wait for the mushroom clouds or save your country and stop another holocaust? I’d say that’s a pretty easy decision for a sane, rational man or nation to make instead of giving fanatics more time to obliterate you.
    Also, Europe is accelerating into a financial disaster that of which hasn’t been seen since before WW2 via their asinine Social Welfare States they have allowed to grow beyond their abilities to fund and pay for.
    Our Genius President is actually accelerating America towards this same “Euro-Comma” idiocy and if he is re-elected America will be a much larger version of Greece, Spain, Portugal and France combined and that’s why people are afraid to go out on a limb and borrow money for new equipment because some of us realize what is going on and what will happen as the consequences of liberal social/welfare nonsense and the incremental creep of the progressive/Socialist agenda/doctrine!

  14. Jim Goerges

    War is a last choice. Have we done enough to support this decision? I think we have to stand up and support our allies, I think we must be strong in our relationships to let the world know how we stand. It is because of politics that Obama isn’t doing his job with the USA’s support with Israel. He is sending Hillory to visit Israel because he is too busy campaigning? I am glad he is not my friend when a friend is needed! At a time when priorities and honor matter, he looks to his own agenda, not our country’s. This is a very bad in my own mind. Why shouldn’t the country’s business come first for our president?

    Seems to be a terrible leadership move in my estimation.


    60% of the Isreali people do not want ot attack Iran. BiBi will only attack if we agree to back him up. I don’t trust the intelligience of either the U S or Isreal. Why should we put our soldiers lives at risk when 50% of the Isreal men, the Ultra Orthodox Jews, refuse to server their own country. Attack Iran if you want, but don’t call us later.


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