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What should the U.S. do about Iran’s nuclear program?

Asked at HyVee on Sixth Street on September 26, 2004

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Photo of Vincent McKamie

“I think that we need to get all the information that we can. If we come to the conclusion that they are a threat, then we need to intervene.”

Photo of Carol Harmsen

“I believe that we have a full plate right now with Iraq. I feel that we need to see how things develop in Iran.”

Photo of Paul Flynn

“We have to stop them. Preferably with diplomatic measures. There is no way that they only have peaceful intentions.”

Photo of Ed Weathers

“We need to shut them down with the U.N. We don’t have the trust of the world anymore. We can’t do it alone.”


rock_on_ku 13 years, 5 months ago

Well said 'MapMadeMind'.

Using military force in Iran would be a grave mistake. Pls don't even think of that. It'll be a total chaos.

Go Kerry/Edwards!!!

Richard Heckler 13 years, 5 months ago

According to radio news last week Pres. Bush is promoting 50 more nuclear power plants. Yes many of these are going abroad to areas such as China. The point is we keep sharing the materials which are necessary to build nuclear weapons. The waste is potential nuclear weapons. There is no safe place for waste storage as the material is dangerous for at least 500,000 years. Nuclear weapons material can/is sold on the black market. Did we provide Iran with materials for their Nuclear Power Plant? If so since we've rarely been their best pal why did we do this...other nations have nuclear scientists??? The Bush administration does not possess neither the trust of the world nor has the diplomatic capability to broker a deal. Bush needs to go bye bye.

Punkin 13 years, 5 months ago

All terrorists are NOT Muslims, contrary to mr. cairo's opinion. Remember Oklahoma City, folks? Those terrorists were home grown, whitebread American ex-soldiers. Definately not Muslim.

I agree with the poster who reminds us the WE are the source of both nuclear materials and technology for much of the world. We have the biggest active stash of WMD in the world, bar none. We opened this pandora's box decades ago and now it's coming back to haunt us.

The only way to avoid nuclear proliferation is to participate in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty process(which the current Neo-con admininstration has spurned), develop stronger diplomatic ties and stop bullying the rest of the world with our military might. We need to look inward before we go judging other countries ambitions.

To attack Iran would be the beginning of WWIII and the height of insanity.

Vote GW out before he starts another war.

mrcairo 13 years, 5 months ago

The act that occured in Oklahoma, was not a terrorist act, it was a criminal act. Big difference. Don't confuse the 2.

Lulu 13 years, 5 months ago

Nuclear energy is not safe. 3 mile island was a plant that went bad. Chernobyl went really bad killing lots. If Iran is using their plant for peaceful means, they need to shut it down. Its better for the environment. The environment is something John Kerry cares about. He will do everything in his power to stop Iran from making more pollution, with nuclear waste. The shrub wants another war. Look at the non-existent WMD's excuse. How can we believe us anymore? The world certainly doesn't. It should be an oyster.

Savage 13 years, 5 months ago

The Dems got the ticket screwed up. they might have had a chance if it was Edwards/Kerry instead of Kerry/Edwards.

At first we should try diplomacy, if that doesnt work, by force. It will be more difficult to control iran though. They are at least 20 times more powerful than Iraq ever was.

mrcairo 13 years, 5 months ago

The difference between Iran and Iraq is the young people will embrace change. They can't stand this Islamic government b.s.

As far as their Nuclear ambitions, I say take them out. I'm not convinced that they intend to create and distribute weapons to Terror Groups. But they don't have the structure to protect what they may produce. Ditto with North Korea. Ditto with Pakistan.

Take Pakistan for example. They have nukes, with our blessing. Big mistake. This country is very scary. As soon as their prez is overthrown, and the Radical Islamists take over, watch out. They'll give all the nukes to the likes of Bin Laden.

Not all Muslims are Terrorists, but all Terrorists are Muslims. Think about it.

mr_daniels 13 years, 5 months ago

Ironic is it not that Iran comfortably sits on one of the largest pools of liquid energy in the Middle East and yet has a want or need for nuclear energy? Something is just not right here. The U.N. and its' Kee Stone Kops or the U.S. Air Force? Little Isreal used its instincts to destroy the Iranian nuclear program back in the 70's. Isreal has received some "bunker busters" from the U.S. recently. Could we see another pre-emtive strike by the Isreali IDF? I would venture to say that the Iran nuclear program is a threat and must be dealt with. Iran's testing of a improved scud like short ranged missle is not a good sign.

craigers 13 years, 5 months ago

Nothing. If we let Iran do its thing with the Nuclear development, then maybe some other country will get hit and then somebody else will have to step up instead of US. One country at a time. If we try to control two very large countries at once, then we are just asking for problems.

jonas 13 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Cairo: Is the reason it was not a terrorist act because it was not committed by a Muslim?

I'm a little fuzzy on your different definitions. Would you care to elaborate on why OKCity was a criminal act and not a terrorist act?

Hi_Jinks 13 years, 5 months ago

mrcairo......I think you should have said.....

"....but all terrorists are, FOR THE MOST PART, Muslims.

.....This way, you could have/would have left yourself a little "wiggle room", in case you met any resistance to your claim(s).

---However outlandish many of your claims may be!

And might I add, that FOR THE MOST PART, many of your (thoughts) claims are pretty outlandish!!!

Waiting to hear your response......

mrcairo 13 years, 5 months ago

Muslims use terrorism to promote Islam and destroy infidels, in the name of Allah.

I don't think the Oklahoma bombing had anything to do with promoting Islam, or Allah.

Oklahoma was in retaliation for the Wacko-Waco bunch, had nothing to do with Allah. More to do with some goofy gun-nut don't you think?

cgus 13 years, 5 months ago

mrcairo! I fully disagree with you... Not all terrorists are Muslims... What about the school killings in Russia? What about the many car bombs that ETA plants (Vascs not Muslims) all around Spain? And what about the situation in Colombia with FARC?

jonas 13 years, 5 months ago

What?! Are you saying that the only form of legitimate terrorism is that it promotes Allah or Islam? That's the most rediculous thing that I've ever heard! What about the IRA? Or the Basque seperatists, as cgus referred to above. Or the revolutionary thugs in Haiti or the cartels in South America?

Look up the dictionary definition of terrorism, and tell me where it includes Islam or Allah as a necessary component of action. It is simply a tactic to promote or coerce cooperation with an idea, through the use of tactics that promote fear, or as a protest against a state, government, or an idea.

MapMadeMind 13 years, 5 months ago

Most of the world's nuclear technology was proliferated from the USSR (then) and the former Soviet republics (now).

Terrorism in the most commonly used sense, is largely perpetrated by Muslims.

I do believe France had quite a hand in helping Iran develop nuclear technology.

As to what we should do about Iran...I think we should launch a unilateral military campaign against them. We will start a draft to replenish our manpower. To get the public's approval, we will tangentially link Iran with a horrible event in America (OKC bombing, Mount St. Hellens eruption, rap/metal music). This will spread peace and freedom and democracy in the Middle East. Hey, nothing says peace and sovereignty like a 'shock and awe' (TM) military campaign.

cgus 13 years, 5 months ago

According to the State Department Website these are all the terrorist organizations "recognized" by the US government for 2003. Not ALL of them are Muslims. You may notice that there are 2 Colombian groups, 1 Peruvian group, at least 1 from Rwanda, etc. These groups fall under jonas definition of terrorism.

Abu Nidal Organization Abu Sayyaf Group Armed Islamic Group Aum Shinrikyo Basque Fatherland and Liberty Gama'a al-Islamiyya HAMAS Harakat ul-Mujahideen Hizballah al-Jihad Kahane Chai Kurdistan Worker's Party Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization National Liberation Army Palestinian Islamic Jihad Shaqaqi Faction Palestinian Liberation Front Abu Abbas Faction Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command al-Qa'ida Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Revolutionary Nuclei Revolutionary Organization 17 November Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front Shining Path Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade 'Asbat al-Ansar Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan Jaish-e-Mohammed Jemaah Islamiya Lashkar-e-Tayyiba Lashkar I Jhangvi Real IRA Salafist Group for Call and Combat United Self-Defense Forces/Group of Colombia

Larry 13 years, 5 months ago

Now - tell me! How would Kerry handle Iran? Probably something like this.

Monday morning - Kerry states "I think we should go in. Monday evening -Kerry attends intelligence briefing.

Tuesday morning - Kerry states "We need to involve the UN because they have always stood beside us." Tuesday night - Cabinet meeting where Kerry is reminded that France has not and will not stand beside us. Russia neither!

Wednesday morning -Kerry states "we must, at times, take care of our own business. I believe we may very well need to go in and take care of the situation in Iran. Wednesday night - Kerry attends intelligence meeting and is reminded that taking care of American interests first is not a very popular stance with the media and the far left.

Thursday morning - Kerry states that he intends to visit with France and rekindle this old friendship and he, personally, will change their mind. Thursday night, Kerry finds out that Bush has tried this many times and France was actually in bed with Saddam.

Friday morning - Kerry states that America is his first priority and he will protect her at all cost.

How on earth anyone can believe that Kerry is his own man. He is the real puppet, not President Bush. Kerry goes back and forth more times in one hour than the pendulum on a grandfather clock. Bush takes a stand and follows through with it. He is consistent with his views and the terrorist know this. He is exactly the kind of president that we need when dealing with the terrorist. Think of raising children. When they rebel, the key is to stay consistent with our responses and follow through with our discipline. It seems to me that we should deal with the terrorists in the same way. Kerry would be a nightmare as President of the USA.

Punkin 13 years, 5 months ago

And Bush is NOT a puppet?

Come on, friends.... we've paid BILLIONS of dollars to Halliburton and its subsidiaries with no-bid contracts. Amazing how the Country's deficit is rising at just about the same rate Halliburton's profit margin goes up....

Bush is the most shameless corporate puppet president this country has ever seen. You tax dollars are being wasted by an inept administration incapable of efficient management of its affairs.

Further, in the name of profit, oil, and misguided pride, in Iraq, Bush has started a war he cannot finish. Our sons and daughters are dying over there, for no good reason.

Kerry may not be the cream of the crop but at least he is educated and thoughtful enough to know that the most powerful country in the world cannot be lead effectively by fiat. We need to work together, internationally, to make the world a safer place. Bush is someone whose sole offering is oversimplified pithy soundbites and black/white falacious reasoning.

If Bush is elected to a second term, mark my words--Iran will be next on the list for regime change. And if that happens, God help us all. We will know war without end in our lifetimes.

Larry 13 years, 5 months ago

Punkin - How convenient of you to forget to mention that the Clinton administration used Haliburton as well. I wonder if they overcharged Clinton, but the Clinton administration never caught on because they were too busy trying to hide all of Clinton's busy side shows. Bush comes to office, used the same company, his administration catches them being dishonest and calls their bluff. Now Bush is to blame?????

Here is one example for you. When looking at the NCLB act, Bush called in (on his own) several experts on teaching children to read. He personally questioned them about problems with children learning to read. That doesn't sound like someone who is a puppet. It sounds like someone that is thinking for himself. Stop believing everything CBS and the rest of the liberal media keeps CREATING! Didn't you learn anything from the Dan Blather scandal?

A war we can't win? Yesterday, I spoke at length with a soldier who has returned to the states for two weeks before he heads back to Iraq. He specifically told me that the media portrayal of what is happening in Iraq is so incredibly wrong. It makes him angry. I don't know many soldiers in Iraq, but I have personally spoke with four, who have just returned from Iraq, since August and one who just returned from Afghanistan. They all believe that what we are doing is right and they ALL HAVE CRITICIZED THE MEDIA for how they are reporting the war. I'll believe the individuals that I have personally spoken with before I'll believe some individual that pipes up on this discussion board. For all I know and you for that matter, he/she is only someone claiming to have served but has never set foot in either country and has an opinion that is based solely on what they hear in the media.

jonas 13 years, 5 months ago

Larry: Not to doubt your friends or their character, but two things about soldier:

They tend to be conservative.

If they can't put themselves behind what they're doing, they're going to be disheartened and in-effective, and thus much more vulnerable. At least that's how it seems to me.

I've spoken to one soldier, back on leave, who doesn't agree with the policies in place at all, and didn't think that we should be there. He said several in his unit agreed with him. I would guess (armchair quarterback, but it's all I got!) that one's viewpoints, ideologies, and perspective biases don't go away just because one is a soldier in a combat zone.

I'd also hazard a guess that the soldiers you know well enough to talk to are just as conservative as you are, as, generally, we all surround ourselves with people who think similarly to us.

Punkin 13 years, 5 months ago

Larry--I don't actually watch CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX or CNN. I avoid TV, by and large, because i know most of it is horsehockey.

I do read the NY Times, daily, and listen to the BBC. You'd be amazed how the rest of the world is viewing the US' illegal war in Iraq.

Your point that the Clinton administration used Hallibuton is a red herring. Sounds suspiciously Arminius to me. Clinton's VP wasn't a aHlliburton stockholder, booster and former VP.

Iraq is not Clinton's war. It's Bush's war. And it is a bad, ill-concieved war at that.

For as many soldiers as may be angry about the media coverage of the war, i suspect there are an equal number angry about the Bush administration's failure to provide adequate planning, support and equipment for the troops. Further, I am certain there are nearly 1000 mothers or more of now dead soldiers who wish like hell Bush has done his homework and made a different choice.

Dump Bush before he leads this country down the primrose path of unilateral conflict and pre-emptive war for Corporate profit.

Larry 13 years, 5 months ago

Punkin- the fact that you read the NY Times DAILY is enough for me to consider your argument worthless. The NY T is as liberal as it gets.

Jonas - as I've stated - I believe the people that I have personally spoken with rather than people that I don't know. For the record, one of the soldiers that I spoke with is NOT a conservative. I'd bet that most soldiers consider themselves to be Americans, not republicans and democrats AND they believe that they are fighting for the families of 9-11, for freedom of the Iraqi people, and to dismantle the terrorist organization.

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