Regarding your Dec. 1 editorial "Trust Iran, or Entrap It?": What can the Bush administration really do about a nuclear Iran? Can it really attack Iran and destroy the WMD program without provocation?
Maybe it would be best to let the Iranians have the nuclear bomb, and push instead for a pro-American regime change that would free the Iranian people but not tear the country apart as in Iraq.
Ken C. Arnold
Santa Monica, Calif.
Regarding the Nov. 23 article "If Iran goes nuclear...": Until Israel and the US decide to disarm, what gives us the right to tell others they can't have a nuclear weapon?
If you lived in Iran, were constantly being threatened by the US, and had just watched as the US invaded Iraq, wouldn't you want your country to do the one thing that can deter the imperialistic US from attacking?
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Regarding the Dec. 2 article "Why Iran wants its own nuclear deterrent": The Islamic Republic of Iran is a regime under pressure not only from the US forces on its borders, not even from the danger of Iraq's potential democratization, but mainly from its own people, a majority of whom wish for regime change. The people of Iran desire a secular and democratic government more than any people of the region.
The Tehran government uses all tools available to hold on to power. Now it has ignited national pride for the right to have nuclear capability. This issue has come to the forefront and supersedes all others.
There is no doubt that Tehran will proceed with clandestine work to attain this goal. The only way for all to feel secure, in spite of Iran's nuclear capabilities, would be to have regime change.
The people of Iran have looked to the West and particularly to the US for moral support. The European Union has not been forthcoming and instead has continued to engage the mullahs. The EU and America should join in isolating Tehran from all economic, cultural, and scientific deals.
Nuclear deterrent or not, a Western- oriented Iran would be the strongest ally for the West in this volatile region.
I read John Hughes's thoughtful Dec. 1 Opinion piece "America divided on war - not on valor of US soldiers" regarding our young warriors in Iraq. Essentially I agree, but I am troubled by our nation's unequal sharing of the sacrifice. I am a proud parent of two college graduates, one an Arabic linguist, the other a soon-to-be-commissioned second lieutenant in Army intelligence. Both have chosen to serve their country while vehemently disagreeing with the current administration's foreign policy.
When my wife (who is a university professor) and I discuss our sons' decisions with other professionals, their silence and astonishment are deafening. This includes staunch supporters of the administration's Iraq policy. It is sad and troubling that the intellectual elites of this country can support a disingenuous war policy as long as their sons and daughters remain untouched.
We are a divided country, and it is not just red and blue states.
With regard to the Dec. 3 article, "Public divisions remain deep and fixed over war," one of the reasons that there has not been more opposition is that there is no draft. The fighting is being done by volunteers so there is no feeling of personal involvement by a majority of Americans.
Lt. Col. Gonzalo Vergara (USAF, Ret.)
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