Democrats & Liberals Archives

Should We Debate Iran?

President Ahmadinejad of Iran challenged President Bush of U.S. to a debate. What was Bush’s response? He disregarded it because the administration felt that it was a means of avoiding the issue of uranium enrichment. This is obviously so. But Iran, in one form or another, has been trying since 2003 to have a dialogue with U.S. The answer has always been a stiff-necked “NO.”

What is Bush afraid of? He makes grand and flowery speeches about democracy. Yet he does not have the nerve to exchange ideas with an adversary like Ahmadinejad. Why can't he talk to him directly about democracy? Why can't he ask the Iranian leader to stop supporting Hezbollah and threatening Israel? Why can't Bush show him that the "culture of life" is a thousandfold better than the "culture of death"? Why can't Bush convince Ahmadinejad that prosperity and peace with its neighbors would make Iran and the whole Muslim world stronger?

Evidently it goes against the grain for Republicans to talk. They believe that to get anything done, they should threaten, insult and bully. If blustering talk does not work, they must attack. Now that they are bogged down in Iraq, military action is difficult to execute. Reluctantly, they suggest sanctions.

This is ridiculous. It will not pass in the Security Council, since Russia and China are against sanctions. Brilliant Republicans like Bolton recommend that we - plus a few "willing" nations - run sanctions anyway. It will not work. What will we do then?

This is the nature of Republicans: They must display their manly aggressiveness, independence and belligerence. Talk? Where will talk get you? Negotiate? Make a deal with evil? No way.

Contrast this "stay-the-course" Republican stubborness with the "what-can-you-lose-by-talking" Democratic pragmatism. Former President Carter is an excellent example of a Democrat who believes in talking. The Iranians have asked that Carter talk to former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, and Carter agreed. Khatami is coming to the U.S. and Carter is making arrangements for the talk. Here is what the Washington Post said about this forthcoming event:

"Carter, who has every reason to be angry about the way in which the Iranian revolution undid his presidency over the hostage affair, is willing to meet, with no hesitation, a person who was president of the Islamic republic and who has never disavowed Ayatollah Khomeini's actions when he was supreme leader," said William Quandt, a national security staffer in charge of the Middle East during the Carter administration.

Now, Republicans, sticking to their macho behavior, call such talks wimpy appeasement, lack of resolve or traitorous. But they have no clue about what to do about Iran - except to start World War III (or is it IV or V). Democrats say let's talk before we lose our emotions and our senses. Let's debate the issues that separate us in order to find a path toward peace in the Middle East.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 30, 2006 5:05 PM
Comments
Comment #178351

Paul,

Do you debate whiny 12 year olds who don’t make any sense? Would you, as FDR, accept a debate offer from Hitler?

Do you need to hear anymore about caliphates, and wiping Israel off the map, and the coming of Imam Mahdi? Do you need to keep hearing about how the US is mostly a pointless country and doesn’t need to exist anymore?

What part of “They won’t be sensible or stand by anything they sign” don’t you understand?

Hopefully you’re smarter than pointless debates with 12 year olds and you just send them to “time out” if they’re misbehaving.

That’s all we’re trying to do, but the defunct UN will probably prohibit the most menial of sanctions.

Posted by: Ken Strong at August 30, 2006 5:30 PM
Comment #178352

I think that there should be a dialogue between Iran and the U.S. I would prefer that it “not” be the Heads of State at first, and definately not a debate.

A meeting between Secretary Rice and Secretary Larijani, might do well to ease some tensions between the countries and perhaps allow the two heads of state the ability to meet without the contest a debate would obviously carry.

I think that Bush and Ahmadinejad are equally matched in regard to stubborness. Any dialogue between them at this point would result in further tension.

Posted by: DOC at August 30, 2006 5:31 PM
Comment #178354

Paul, you were the one who introduced the Life/Death binary. Given that, do you really think Bush can “talk” the Iranian president into seeking “Life?” The paucity of the Life/Death dichotomy is very clear here.

Posted by: Trent at August 30, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #178356

Paul:

“What is Bush afraid of? He makes grand and flowery speeches about democracy. Yet he does not have the nerve to exchange ideas with an adversary like Ahmadinejad.”

Bush can’t think on his seat, much less on his feet. Just to debate Kerry he had a bulge under his suit. To debate Ahmadenijad he’d need bulges all over his body, with frequent breaks to get the voices straight in his head. To wit:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/52106

That Iran has done nothing illegal in pursuing nuclear technology never seems to come up—which is more than can be said for Israel, Pakistan and India. Our belligerence and saber-rattling have backed them into a corner—and it has made more urgent for the Iranians to obtain nuclear weapons. ‘Cause we don’t attack folks with nuclear weapons. And they say the Bush administration is dumb.

“Evidently it goes against the grain for Republicans to talk. They believe that to get anything done, they should threaten, insult and bully. If blustering talk does not work, they must attack.”

Yep, they’re the strong, silent type, the Gary Cooper, slow to anger, but terrible in their righteous wrath type—the type that keel over from a heart attack at the age of 52.

“A violent man will die a violent death.”

That goes for nations as well.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #178361

tim,

I’m not sure what your point is…

IMO -
The Onion has always been humorous, but never credible…

Posted by: Cliff at August 30, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #178362

“That Iran has done nothing illegal in pursuing nuclear technology never seems to come up”
Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 05:37 PM

Actually, not illegal, but by disallowing IAEA inspections, they have definately not lived up to their agreement in signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

They are just breaking a treaty. That’s all.

Posted by: DOC at August 30, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #178365

“The Onion has always been humorous, but never credible…”

Funny, they were saying the same thing about you and me just the other day….:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #178366

“They are just breaking a treaty. That’s all.”

Well, when they start calling the Geneva Conventions quaint and pre-emptively invading Turkmenistan or Oman because they looked at them cross-eyed, call me: until then, I’m going to go wash up.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #178367

Should we debate Iran? No. It would serve no purpose. Should we talk to Iran? Absolutely, just as soon as they abide by the pre-conditions to the talks.

Posted by: tomd at August 30, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #178369

tim,

As I’ve asked already…

What’s your point?

Posted by: Cliff at August 30, 2006 6:31 PM
Comment #178370

Cliff:

If you have to explain it, it’s not funny. Then again, it may not be funny at all; humor, after all, is personal.

Besides, I resent the fact that I need to be making a point in your mind, when so much of the world seems pointless.

If you don’t see a point, make one up. Better still, don’t.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #178372

A debate is a stupid idea. Though prehaps a fun new drinking game: everytime El Busho says “nucular”, take a shot!

Seriously, why would you debate this guy? As much as I hate Bush, he still represents America to the world. To legitimize the crap spewed by Ahmadenijad by answering would not serve any purpose. We would have everything to lose, nothing to gain.

Besides, wouldn’t you rather see Bush debate a more evenly matched opponent. Like a brick, pile of rocks, or picture of himself?

Posted by: David S at August 30, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #178374

Paul,

You have got to be kidding if you think Pres. Carter has a clue in dealing with foreign policy. You must’ve been born after 1981 and skipped that portion of American history from 1977 - 1981.

Posted by: keith at August 30, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #178378

I don’t think most of you know much about Khatami.
It is a popular opinion that the reform movement in Iran failed because their people didn’t see any difference in how Iran was treated by the West despite his efforts.

Christine

Posted by: Christine at August 30, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #178381

Keith,
Not a fan of the Camp David Accords?

Carter started the policy of supporting the Mujahideen after the USSR invasion of 1979.

Oh. Wait. I know. You are opposed to Human Rights.

Or maybe you approve of the way Reagan undermined Carter, when Khomeini held the hostages until after the election, and released them the day Reagan took office? It sure greased the wheels for the Iran-Contra scandals.

Paul,
I would not like to see Bush interact with any foreign leaders. He is too inarticulate. He is an embarrassment. The situation is bad enough already. Fortunately, we will never have to worry about that. No one in their right mind would allow Bush to enter into such a debate, no one, not one Republican or Democrat would dream of allowing Bush to engage in a debate. The idea is laughable.

Posted by: phx8 at August 30, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #178382

Former President Carter has shown himself to be unable to defend the positions of the U.S. Government when he was President and also now as a private citizen. Please…no more Carter, 4 years were great plenty. This man is a disgrace to every American and should be shunned at every opportunity.

Posted by: Jim at August 30, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #178385

tim,

You’re right…there was no point…

Posted by: Cliff at August 30, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #178386

Bush should not debate anyone. He’s not up to the task. But we definitely should be having a direct dialogue with Iran. It’s stupid to just refuse to talk to them. It’s time that this administration began opening dialogues with all of the contentious nations. It won’t make it any worse. At the very least, we’ll have the option of solving problems diplomatically. If not, we’re back where we started anyway.

Jim-
I disagree with you about Carter. He is a most honorable man. Sure, he was overwhelmed in the presidency, and should not have had the job. But it was not for the lack of trying. He always tried to do the right thing. The fact that he disagrees with our present course is no reason to demean him. He’s probably more in a position to have opinions than any of us. He is no disgrace, and in fact is someone to be proud of. As a moral person, he is much better than any of those in our current admin. They can’t hold a candle to him. That immoral bunch is the real digrace.

Posted by: Cole at August 30, 2006 7:24 PM
Comment #178398

Paul,

When you use our worst former President as an example, you lose all credibility. The fact that Carter would sit down with this guy is no big revelation. Carter will sit down with any 2 bit dictator if it means slamming the US.

Posted by: KeithG at August 30, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #178400

1)Bush would lose a debate with Amedinajad
2)Amedinajad would look heroic to the Muslim world for standing up to the Great Satan.
3)Carter was a good, moral man, but morality is not necessarily a good thing when dealing with countries like the USSR, Iran and North Korea.
-The Mujahideen Carter gave guns to are now known as Al Qaeda.
-Giving North Korea nuclear reactors (technology) so they wouldn’t build nuclear bombs for some reason strikes me as illogical…
4)Despite Carter’s failings, is Bush’s foreign policy any better? Let’s see…
-preemptively invaded Iraq, pissed off Muslim world.
-kept open Gitmo and supported torture of prisoners, pissed off Muslim world.
-supported Israel with bombs,missiles, etc.,pissed off muslim world
5)No. Here’s to a Democrat President in 2008! (other than Hillary or some other polarizing or superliberal candidate)

Posted by: Silima at August 30, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #178401

The Iranians boasted that they used talks with the Europeans to buy time for their weapons program.

If the Iranians want a debate, maybe they can start in their country.

You should not really give Ahmadinejad the benefit of any doubt. Whether or not you like Bush, the Iranian president is not an equal of an American president. Besides, it is not a bilateral U.S./Iran issue. In fact, Bush has been very patient with the multilateral route. Surely all those Dems and liberals who so reverve the UN and mulitlateral efforts do not advocate a unilateral American approach to this problem.

Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #178410

Silima -

I might be wrong on this, but wasn’t it Reagan who armed the Mujahideen? Or was it both of them?

Posted by: Cole at August 30, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #178413

Ahmadinejad is just trying to make himself look good by calling out Bush, who is regarded by everyone on earth except our Rpblcns here, as one of the most worthless individuals on the face of the earth. When I saw the article, I thought the A-man had to be a good guy, since he also realizes how worthless Bush is, but he is just an opportunist.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 30, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #178416

Ohrealy

And you wonder why some people question your love of country. Maybe you should see how much you like to live in Iran, since you think the A-man is a good guy.

Don’t let hatred of your current leadership drive you into the arms of your country’s enemies. Maybe read the biography of Aaron Burr or Benedict Arnold.

Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #178427

We should educate Iran.
I used to live in Iran.
They have a young population.
We need to plant the seed of “peaceful revolution”.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 30, 2006 10:30 PM
Comment #178438

On topic, has there been a prior President of the United States to debate with another country?

“2)Amedinajad would look heroic to the Muslim world for standing up to the Great Satan.”

Silima is right it would only benefit his position. In my opinion it would be raising him a level.

As a matter of process we cannot allow any country to be a part of a legitimate debate or discussion until they follow U.N. mandates and carefully laid out requirements.

Posted by: Edge at August 31, 2006 12:05 AM
Comment #178456

Jack,

You should not really give Ahmadinejad the benefit of any doubt. Whether or not you like Bush, the Iranian president is not an equal of an American president.

Uh? A nation president is a nation president is a nation president.
Define presidentness (hum…) equality, please.

Or are you confusing presidency with democracy?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at August 31, 2006 6:23 AM
Comment #178457

Anyway, I can see a debate between Bush and Amedinajad could result in anything usefull except huge media coverage.

What’s is needed is stopping this madness of “we’ll agree to talk about your nuclear program as soon as you abort it all”. Hello, diplomacy 101 anyone?

At least we should conced that islamists are indeed very good at PR, they rules in media skills…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at August 31, 2006 6:38 AM
Comment #178460

Philippe Houdoin

A Bush Amedinajad debate would also make great fodder for Saturday Night Live. I say go for it George!

Posted by: mark at August 31, 2006 7:24 AM
Comment #178472

Tim Crow - LOL, sorry, I guess the sarcasm didn’t come out in my post. You said they had not done anything illegal in pursuing nuclear energy, which technically is true. However, I feel they’ve done worse by not allowing inspections.

Posted by: DOC at August 31, 2006 8:46 AM
Comment #178479

mark,

The real problem is Ahmadinejad would show up Dumbya for the lazy incurious ignorant buttwipe he is. Bushies stupid S- Eating Grin would bring derision on a global scale. We just can’t afford that in todays world no matter how funny it would be on TV. Although imagining Chevy doing Bush and Ackroyd or a young Murphy doing Ahmadinejad, now that’s funny. (Am I dating myself?)

Posted by: Dave1 at August 31, 2006 9:35 AM
Comment #178490

question your love of country, Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2006 09:39 PM

I did not know that love of country required obedience to King George, see Doonesbury all this week, or precluded having any opinion about the A-man. You misunderstood me anyway, I think they are both worthless.

I was with someone Tuesday, when Bush came on in New Orleans, and she began shouting, They killed Kennedy. They killed Kennedy. Why cant somebody kill this guy. Just shoot him. I explained to her that it was unlikely, since the people who do those kind of things actually work for Bushco, and he is being protected by them, as well as having all the fun parts of his past erased by them. So, I think, all in all, I am a pretty moderate to average American on Bush. I do not even care to see him impeached. I just want him to go away, and end the influence of his toxic family in the politics of this country.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 31, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #178492

I don’t know what the issue is here. Jessie Jackson is over there right now meeting with Assad, and he said he was trying to get a meeting with Ahmadinejad.

Go Jessie go

Posted by: George in SC at August 31, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #178503

Bush wouldn’t last a second in a debate. He can barely speak correct English when his speeches are written for him.

I agree that a debate needs to take place, but if we plan on getting anything accomplished, it wouldn’t be wise to send Bush.

Posted by: Cheriz at August 31, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #178518

“Show them that your party is better at solving problems than the President”

Oh no you didn’t!

OK, I’m ALL FOR this challenge, except I’ll take it a step further. Lets send in an untrained chimpanzee to the debate, and watch as it does a better job at solving problems than Bush ever could.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 31, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #178521
Lets send in an untrained chimpanzee to the debate, and watch as it does a better job at solving problems than Bush ever could.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 31, 2006 12:28 PM

Now, now, Kevin. We all know that Bush has solved the tax problems of those poor uberwealthy. Now they don’t have to pay those nasty income taxes hardly at all.
Posted by: Dave1 at August 31, 2006 12:33 PM
Comment #178527

Bush might win the debate only because he invents his own words when nervous and the Farsi translator would fail to convey Bush’s dumbfounding statements.

Philippe Houdoin:


What’s is needed is stopping this madness of “we’ll agree to talk about your nuclear program as soon as you abort it all”. Hello, diplomacy 101 anyone?

The US is trying “diplomacy” in a way that it will fail.

Paul Siegel:


Reluctantly, they suggest sanctions. This is ridiculous. It will not pass in the Security Council, since Russia and China are against sanctions. Brilliant Republicans like Bolton recommend that we - plus a few “willing” nations - run sanctions anyway. It will not work. What will we do then?

The US is trying “sanctions” in a way that it will fail.

This is a setup to use military force against Iran once and for all. The US is going through the “appropriate steps” by including diplomacy, sanctions, the UN and other countries. Of course when these things fail, the last resort of military action will be called upon.

Paul Siegel:


They believe that to get anything done, they should threaten, insult and bully. If blustering talk does not work, they must attack. Now that they are bogged down in Iraq, military action is difficult to execute.

No Paul, military action will be easy to execute, bomb from the sky, then move the troops East. A future President will worry about cleaning up the mess.

Posted by: europheus at August 31, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #178529

I’m with many others in this thread — no way should Bush debate Ahmadinejad. Condi might be able to handle such a thing, but never Curious George.

Philippe:
“What’s is needed is stopping this madness of “we’ll agree to talk about your nuclear program as soon as you abort it all”. Hello, diplomacy 101 anyone?”

I know Philippe, but I’m pretty sure this administration skipped out on that class. Probably why they’re always saying stuff like: “Your either with us or against us.”

Tim, Kevin, Dave — thanks for making me laugh.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 31, 2006 12:55 PM
Comment #178530

Europheus, good post. [Sigh] You’re probably right.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 31, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #178534

Bush and the A-man should have a fight like Reagan and whatever Russian that is supposed to be in this video of Two tribes, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCUa8c6HFyU

Bush would probably lose that as well.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 31, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #178537

Nah….Nothing so barbaric as a slugout! How about a mountain bike race, or freestyle skateboading!

Unfortunately the best we could ever truly hope for is a gripping game of rock, paper, scissors.

Posted by: DOC at August 31, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #178549

Debate between the two dumbasses (yes, they are both retarded) would accomplish nothing but probably increased hositilities due to the fallout of playing the ‘No! WE WON!’ game. Now, talks should be happening between us and Iran. Whether or not we like it, Iran is a budding world power. The world powers must talk in order for us (humanity) to continue to live on this planet. There is no way of getting around it, other than war, which is simply not an option I’ll ever support with the current circumstances.

Listen, our history regarding Iran over the past 50 years have not been good. We’ve made many mistakes, like taking out a socialist-leaning government and forcibly replacing it w/ the Shah. Yes, they still remember that. We did help arm and finance Saddam during the Iran-Iraq War of the 80’s. Yes, they still remember that. ‘Never Forget’ is a slogan not just unique to our beloved country. Countless countries around the world adhere to that slogan.

Now tell me, are we to ‘stay the course’ down this path of confrontation w/ this country that our predecessors started or can we change the course of history and work on fixing this bloody situation? I’m all for the latter and any sane, reasonable person should be too.

Posted by: AYoungBlackVoter at August 31, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #178565

DOC, you are probably right, based on the Getty photo on the front page of the Tribune of Bush and Bob Corker about to make out. Getty links are as long as your arm, but if you go here:
http://editorial.gettyimages.com/ms_gins/source/home/home.aspx?pg=1
and enter Bush Corker, and go to image number 71753744 you can see that if Corker was 2 inches taller, their noses would be grazing. Maybe the A man just wants to get close to Bush and get a nice hug.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 31, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #178573

the people who do those kind of things actually work for Bushco, and he is being protected by them, as well as having all the fun parts of his past erased by them.
Posted by: ohrealy at August 31, 2006 11:09 AM

Wrong way round orealy, I think its Bush who works for them. He’s just the puppet dancing on their strings. I mean, how could that amoeba conceive of any such thing? I could never understand “Dubbyas” appeal to Americans from the time he first came on the nomination scene. He was cleary then an imbecile.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 31, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #178580

All of this business about Iran feels uncomfortably similar to the run up to the invasion of Iraq. Of course there are great differences. Firsty, Iran is a largely homogenous country. It is a democracy, albeit a pretty imperfect one. There are also 70 million Iranians and they have a pretty powerful army. An army unlike that of Iraq, in that they would not be fighting for Saddam, but for their country. And then of course there’s also the fact that US armed forces are already a little stretched at the moment. If they can’t subdue a divided country of 25 million, then how the hell could they do it with a nation of 70 million, who would no doubt be supported by their fellow Shia in Iraq, who comprise about 60% of Iraqis? It’s true, whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad. “The Madness of King George” anyone?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 31, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #178586

Paul-

I’m forced to admit I have that same tingle going up my spine when I listen to the rhetoric being put forth by Cheney, Rummy, and Bushie. It is eerily similar to the marketing strategy they employed just before Iraq. BTW I love the “Madness of King George thing”. I am really afraid that whatever bullheaded approach they are preparing to advocate in regards to Iran is already planned and simply awaiting the green light. And this being election time…I’m sure that is totally unrelated, right?

I am, as I have been for going on 6 years now, simply dumbfounded by the cold, calculated and now predictable way this administration has gone about rounding up public support. But the mere fact that IT WORKS is the most disturbing part. Many of those who have followed politics for years are saying “we told you so”, and yet the foundation is still being layed down for round 2 of this aimless middle east adventure to cheering crowds.

In his speech to the veterens a few days ago, Rumsfeld asked 4 questions, proclaiming them to be the “central questions of our time.” Nevermind the fact that they are loaded, and seem to be in stark contrast to facts which Rumsfeld himself is admittedly aware of. Blatently lying and speaking only in half-truths…eh, what else is new? Here is the answers to all his questions:

http://www.slate.com/id/2148344/fr/rss/

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 31, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #178597

Hard to add to what has already been said but this entire discussion is absurd. I can just imagine this clown ranting about Zionist conspiracies and the need for Islamic revolution around the world. All shown on national tv. I suspect the NY Times and CNN would be happy to sponser the debate.

Posted by: Carnak at August 31, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #178602

Carnak-

It’s called playing to your audience, and he does it well. I’m sure to us, he’ll sound like a madman. But this huge dichotomy, like all seemingly major differences between humans, is not going to be rectified until reconciled. It is very difficult for people to know what is what without seeing them side by side. I’m sure we would sincerely believe we won the debate based on our over-use of words like “freedom” and “liberty” to justify every decision. They’d think they won because they related their thinking to natural law. And they’d have a field day poking holes in our foreign policies.

And please quit with the tired continuous bashing of two of the more credible and respected news agencies in the US. Getting a job at the NY Times is much like the journalistic equivilent of getting admitted to Harvard. So go back to reading “Godless” and listening to “Rush”. We all know how much you believe they are credible.

Utterly laughable.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 31, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #178611

Carnak, so far the Iranians have not breached the NPF except insofar as they have refused inspections. But this whole thing about the Iranians developing nuclear weapons is a little bit hard to take. India developed them in response to China’s development, to which in turn Pakistan developed them, in response to a potential threat from India. Israel, which has had them many years, is a potential threat to Iran, as is Pakistan. Iran is in a very dangerous part of the world, and the history and logic of nucelar weapons shows that if my potential enemy has them, then I have to have them. It’s called mutually assurded destruction, or MAD for short. The real challenge for mankind is to stop this insanity. By whipping up delusional fears against each other, we engage in a behaviour that is demonstrative of all that is base in humankind. We lower ourselves to automatons driven by fear. Wasn’t it Roosevelt who said we have nothing to fear but fear itself? But then Roosevelt was a man who inspired and uplifted, just as Kennedy was. They appealed to our idealism, and offered lofty goals for people to strive towards. They were true leaders.

Iran is a counry which has suffered greatly over the decades of the last century by western interference, particularly British and American. they have much reason to distrust the west and even to fear it. No matter how small or weak a country is, its people expect and are entitled to be treated with the same respect that all people are entitled to. But western manipulation for the advancement of selfish national gains at the painful expense of countries like Iran, is not easily forgotten or surrendered to. If we refuse to talk to those we have differences with, then there is no solution, at least not short of war. And tell me, how many of those who started the last centurys wars, if they had known what their outcomes would have been, would have been insane enough to start them? Isn’t it a military precept that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy? Its also known as the law of unintended consequences. For example, if those who faciliated Hitler and supported him prior to WW11 had known that Germany would be destroyed and divided, with part of it under the tyranny of Joe Stalin and his heirs, would they have allowed it to happen? War is insanity by other means.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 31, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #178647

I don’t beleive the notion of disarmament is realistic. Mutually assured destruction isn’t a comforting thought, but in my opinion, it prevents massive wars between advanced world powers. It works. And even if you don’t agree with that statement, you must concede that advancing technology is inherent in Man’s nature. If we have advanced technology such as bigger bombs, faster jets, and better satellites… we’re going to keep them around. No realist is going to put away a superior technology that could be utilized by other aggressive countries.



So, if nucLEAR weapons aren’t going away, how do we deal with them so as to avoid destructive wars and destroying our planet? Although it’s easy to be cynical about the U.N. effectiveness, I feel a strong international authority/coalition is the only way to keep the world safe in the long run. Bottom line: if one country uses nukes for any purpose other than DEFENDING ITSELF FROM INVASION, then all other countries are bound to attack that nation with all their resources. What I’m trying to say is that the U.S. and Iran should not be debating each other. Rather, the U.N. should be sitting down and talking with Iran unceasingly until resolving the problem.



But is Iran’s nuclear program as much of a problem as it appears? Consider:

1) weapons of mass destruction include biological and chemical weapons, which are much cheaper and easier to obtain than nukes and are just as deadly… why nukes are the only ones to get attention baffles me;

2) okay, so Iran signed a non-proliferation treaty… they would be crazy not to, just like they’d be crazy not to pursue the superior technology of nukes… as an independent country, Iran has just as much a right to nuclear technology as any other country;

3) if we can focus on strengthening the U.N., than we have nothing to fear from Iran and other smaller nations obtaining nukes (which is going to happen regardless unless we go to war)…if the world powers agree to gang up on the first nation irresponsible enough to use nuclear weapons, than we’ll have replaced Mutually Assured Destruction with a policy of “if you use nukes in an offensive manner, the rest of the world will bury you”;

4) the way I see it, no incentive or threat of sanctions is enough to sway a nation from pursuing nuclear technology…so smaller countries having nukes is a forgone conclusion…how we deal with that reality is what matters.

Posted by: Ben at August 31, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #178663

Ben-

Well put. But your basic premise is that nations are going to get a nuclear bomb even despite our best efforts to make military suppliers rich by declaring a never-ending and never-planned war against an invisible enemy who occupies half the globe.

There are many who post here who believe that the only reason those nations want a nuke is so that they can immediately use it. They point to “evidence” in the form of rhetoric which they analize through American eyes, and then condemn as “evil”.

This is a fundemental difference of opinion. I am not a simplist (although I do love a simple answer when it is correct). I believe you must analize statements in the context for which they were designed, and not in the context of an outsider looking in. “Death to America” has become a rallying cry for poor muslims all over the world. Is it because every individual wishes death upon Americans who have no bearing whatsoever on their everyday life? Or it is because, much like “remember the alamo”, it is a way to mobilize a population by creating a common enemy? And from an outsider perspective, I’m sure the US would be an easy target seeing as how they constantly meddle, and usually with poor results.

And I’m sure just by trying to analize the situation myself in good faith, I’m going to provoke the trusty “If you hate america then leave” or “You are making our enemies stronger” bullshit. It is becoming oh so predictable. We’ll call it “intentional ignorance for the sake of looking tough.”

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 31, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #178781
For example, if those who faciliated Hitler and supported him prior to WW11 had known that Germany would be destroyed and divided, with part of it under the tyranny of Joe Stalin and his heirs, would they have allowed it to happen? War is insanity by other means. Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 31, 2006 07:10 PM
Yes, they would have. Because the military industrial complex profited its owners during the war by production and after the war by reconstruction. The owners suffered nothing and risked little in an attempt to destroy labor and free thought and create a fascist ‘corporate’ ‘owner’ society. Posted by: Dave1 at September 1, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #179522

LET THEM DEBATE!!! whats wrong with all you people?? dont you think at least everyone should be heard?? show them that we are not blind and we can listen… let “our” president stand for himself and we will see what unfolds… dont be afraid!!

Posted by: flip at September 7, 2006 1:39 AM
Comment #179523

Hey Tim Crow

A nation that won’t defend her self will not exist very long.

I am angry and saddened that an American would feel the way you do. Do you really think that we should give Ahmadinejad the time of day? Look at what he has done to his own people. He wants to debate world issues with President Bush with a backround as disgusting as his……..PLEASE.

I can only hope that you are just spewing words that somebody else told you and you don’t really feel that way. Maybe you should do some research on Ahmadinejad and get back to me.

Posted by: Ca(R) at September 7, 2006 1:47 AM
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