1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Where does the burden of proof lie?

Reader comment on item: Bomb Iran?

Submitted by Stuart Fagin (United States), Feb 13, 2011 at 22:40

In this discussion Dr. Pipes and Senator Specter both agree that the burden of proof lies with those who advocate that we should soon attack the Iranian nuclear facilities. Bud does it? Although the burden of proof is generally on those who initiate conflict, in the case of Iranian nuclear development, three factors justify shifting this burden to those who argue that an attack should be delayed.

(1) The Iranian regime is apocalyptic and as such can be expected to act with little regard to its own well being. Therefore,unlike other long-standing threats from nuclear adversaries, this one may well be unmanageable. (2) There is a large uncertainty in judging the progress of Iranian nuclear weapons development. Certain evidence that completion is a month away (if that is what is required to meet a burden of proof) will never exist before the device is actually detonated. (3) For three decades we have tolerated assaults upon American military and civilian personnel by Iranian agents, starting notably with the1983 Beirut attack on the marine barracks. As such an American attack can be viewed as a retaliation in response to military actions rather than an initiation of them.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Where does the burden of proof lie? by Stuart Fagin

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)