Attacking Iran now would be wrong

2012-02-19 16:33

Washington - The top US military commander said he believed it would be "premature" to take military action against Iran in response to its nuclear program in an interview to be aired on Sunday.

General Martin Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also told CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS programme that economic sanctions have to be given a chance to work, and the United States and its allies should be better prepared for a military option.

"I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us," Dempsey said, according to excerpts of the interview released by CNN.

"I think that the economic sanctions and the international co-operation that we've been able to gather around sanctions is beginning to have an effect," he added.

In recent weeks, there has been feverish speculation that Israel was getting closer to mounting a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, but Israel has denied reaching such a decision.

Tensions between Iran and Israel have also been simmering with Iranian warships entering the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal in a show of "might", a move Israel said it would closely monitor.

The United States, other Western powers and Israel believe that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb, but Tehran denies the charge, insisting its atomic programme is for purely peaceful purposes.

Iran said last week it was ready to resume stalled talks on its nuclear drive, prompting a cautious welcome from the United States and the European Union.

Dempsey said he believed that "diplomacy is having an effect" and suggested that even if the West opted for a military solution, it had to be better prepared for such a step.

"I mean, fundamentally, we have to be prepared," he said. "And that includes, for the most part, at this point, being prepared defensively."

Asked if Iranian leader were acting rationally, the US military commander said: "We are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor. And it's for that reason, I think, that we think the current path we're on is the most prudent path at this point."

  • Buti - 2012-02-19 17:05

    West, why don't you be honest to the world that you don't have money to fight Iran coz is the only expensive war that will swallow all your pride.

      Dmitri - 2012-02-19 17:10

      What are you mumbling about?

      Fred - 2012-02-19 18:20

      Are you aware that your so-called West includes the Arab League, which is made up of 350 million Muslims? And Nato's second-largest member is Turkey, a country of 73 million Muslims?

      Viman Singh - 2012-02-19 19:10

      i wonder who will win in a war?

      Fred - 2012-02-19 22:24

      Patrick, the Arab League has been driving the initiatives in Libya and Syria. Therefore, you're anti-West stance in these events is faulty.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 11:40


      Fred - 2012-02-20 19:40


      Fred - 2012-02-20 19:47


  • muneebnibo - 2012-02-19 17:45

    War between Iran and Israel is inevitable Gog and Magog is behind this. Read these essays by Imran Hossein

      Fred - 2012-02-19 22:27

      Fidel, you start from the belief that there wasn't and that the terrorist Iranian regimen is being victimized by the so-called West. Drop this faulty, limiting belief, look at the evidence that is well documented, and the picture is clear to see: Ahmadinejad and his cronies altered the results of elections in many areas to hold onto power. The truth will come out more clearly when Assad is gone and the Iranian people rise up.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 19:50

      That's entirely consistent with your faulty view of the world. There is evil in the world. There are terrorist regimes in the world. Thankfully they're becoming fewer and fewer no thanks to you. Assad's Syria, Mugabe's Zimbabwe, Ahmedinejad's Iran, Somalia, the tribal areas of Pakistan immediately come to mind.

      Fred - 2012-02-21 03:45

      I do right now. That's why I'm thrilled about the end of the despotic, nepotistic regimes that have plagued this region for so long. Regrettably you don't seem to see what is really happening, and are empowering the killers of unarmed civilians, and the continuation of dishonest, oppressive and narcissistic rule in the region.

  • Glyn - 2012-02-19 17:47

    Is the USA MAD??

      Fred - 2012-02-19 18:20

      No, the Iranian regime is.

      Glyn - 2012-02-19 18:33

      Just cos Iran is on a nuclear suicide path does not mean that the USA should pull a George Bush stunt!

      Fred - 2012-02-19 18:42

      With nuclear technology, there isn't suicide; there's mass genocide and widespread destruction well beyond the borders of one's country.

      sikhumbuzok - 2012-02-19 18:59

      No they are going for the same weapons of mas destruction the made fiction of in Iran. This business of classifyin Govt's as being dictatorial is nonsense. The Iran Govt was democratically voted for, they have every right to pursue nuclear technology. The West want to be the only ones with nuclear energy so that they can continue bullying other countries.

      Adam - 2012-02-19 21:52

      democratically voted in? you mean when the elction were rigged and opposition leaders myteriously dissapeared never to be heard from again? or by democratically do you mean that every party has to follow islamic law with no exceptions and if you dont like it you will be put to death? very democratic. the west dousnt bully, i wish the west would cut all their aid to africa and the middle east for 1 day, maybe then youd realise how bad the world would be with out american aid. just by the by the only aid arab states is giving weapons to terrorist groups to kill innocent civilians. wake up world

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 22:04

      Do you have any evidence for fraud in Iran's last elections? I know that a lot of people, especially Iranian expats and the Western business class and their stooges are unhappy over the outcome of the elections but that doesn't invalidate their results.

      Fred - 2012-02-19 22:28

      Fidel, you start from the belief that there wasn't and that the terrorist Iranian regimen is being victimized by the so-called West. Drop this faulty, limiting belief, look at the evidence that is well documented, and the picture is clear to see: Ahmadinejad and his cronies altered the results of elections in many areas to hold onto power. The truth will come out more clearly when Assad is gone and the Iranian people rise up.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 00:54

      Shimbokozak, if you believe the Iranian terrorist, chauvinistic, despotic regime is a democratic government, you're looking through your Africa of old lenses. I recommend doing some research. You'll find that women are second-class citizens in Iran, the leadership funds terrorism, it altered results in the last elections and is wildly delusional about real events, like the Holocaust. It also uses the Palestinians to divert attention away from it's abysmal human rights record. After Assad is gone, it will be the turn of the rogue Iranian regime.

      Fidel - 2012-02-20 08:39

      @Fred Re Iranian election fraud evidence, I seem to have not received the memo, and it's not in my spam folder either.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 11:13

      Not surprising that you missed it.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-20 16:23

      Look up AQ Khan , who he supplied Atomic weapons designs and from who they came ?

      Adam - 2012-02-20 20:16

      why does me finding fault in irans elections mean i hate arabs.... although you are kinda proving my point how stupid you are. i think all of you who doubt israel and america should go lie in iran or syria. get outa here. leave western ideals to the inifidels please. go play in the sand

      Fred - 2012-02-21 03:46

      Patrick, you're being stupid.

  • rory.short1 - 2012-02-19 17:49

    What is the real problem with Iran, I wonder. I very much doubt whether it has been involved in as many wars as the USA and Britain have been since WWll. I have absolutely no idea what Iran is currently planning and based on the USA's claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq I have close to zero trust in the USA's claims of nuclear weapon development in Iran. In my opinion US foreign policy is driven by the agendas of the robber barons who run American corporations.

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 18:02

      Access to markets and resources. The US and other elites in the ME clearly see an opportunity within the Iranian banking and energy sectors.

      Fred - 2012-02-19 18:16

      Both of you are caught in old, defunct paradigms. The people of the Middle East are waking up, demanding greater freedom and democracy Middle East style. From Tunisia to Egypt, Libya and Syria. Iran is next. These changes should be celebrated.

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 18:26

      The Iranian revolution happened in 1978 when they claimed their country back from western installed puppets.

      Fred - 2012-02-19 18:28

      35 years ago. Like living in the past?

      Anthony - 2012-02-19 19:08

      And it won't be long now, and the Iranian people will take their country back from 'their leaders'

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 22:21

      The French and Russian revolutions happened in the past as well, so what's your point really?

      Fred - 2012-02-19 22:28

      What's your point?!

      Jaba - 2012-02-20 08:47

      Russian & Chinese revolutions will happen in the next 5 years. Democracy will eventually flourish in these countries.

      Fidel - 2012-02-20 09:12

      The failure of democracy to control unaccountable elites in Western countries as they go on colonial rampages, murdering people - is itself the proof that the system is flawed and not worth bringing to other people through violence.... The riposte to the lie that Democracy is worth killing for lies in the corrupt system that allows the killing in the first place. Do you have a crystal ball that lets you see in the future. Care to share the lotto numbers for the upcoming powerball.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 11:39

      Fidel, you're totally blind to the real rampages and murder. totally. It's amazing, but predictable. Thankfully the people of the Middle East are throwing their blindfolds away, and with such power and determination. You were wrong in Libya, and you're wrong in Syria. You're wrong in Iran too.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 19:29

      Libya is a Nato/Arab League/Muslim mess by your reckoning. Actually, it would be a huge killing field had the psychotic tyrant Gaddafi not be stopped. As for Iraq, Saddam did have WMD's. Have you not heard the stories from the Kurds who were gassed by the thousands, and the Iranians who were similarly gassed in a war that killed one million people, a war instigated by Saddam Hussein. I don't think invading Iraq was the right thing to do, but your thought process is plain wrong. There is no 'West". The Arab League is driving the freer world's initiatives in the Middle East, and Turkey, a country of 73 million Muslims is Nato's second-largest member.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 20:07

      A Western mess that was initiated by the Arab League and its 350 million Muslims, wanting to bring an end to a psychotic dictatorship, and in which Turkey, a country of 73 Muslims took a lead role. Your map is old, wrong, broken. The facts about Saddam's Iraq are well know and documented. Ask the Iranians and the Kurds. I've always thought invading Iraq was the wrong thing to do. But I know the difference between Nato's painstaking policy of targeting military installations and forces, distinct from Al-Qaueda and the Taliban's policies of intentionally targeting civilians with car bombs and suicide attacks. Read the story on the 41 children saved by the Pakistani government from the Taliban who was taking them to become suicide bombers. This is what you're blind to. I also know the number of civilian deaths, the vast majority of them, a huge number, caused by these attacks and bombings, not by Nato. Lastly, from your postings, you fail to differentiate responsibility, smooshing everything together and blaming the so-called West, that's not the West anymore.

      Fred - 2012-02-21 03:47

      Whatever Patrick. There doesn't seem to be a good reason to engage with you. You're not putting forward any cogent thinking at all.

  • Fidel - 2012-02-19 17:59

    Threatening Iran for enriching uranium, an act perfectly legal under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty is bullying. Iranians don't take kindly to smug outsiders (usually coming from nuclear-armed countries) telling them what they are and are not 'allowed' to do. Moreover, if the US wants to stop nuclear proliferation, it would be a good idea to stop invading countries that don't have them, but leaving countries that do have them in peace.

      Fred - 2012-02-19 18:18

      If the terrorist Iranian regime stands up and says it has every right to produce nuclear weapons and in the same breath declares its intent to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, all the while denying the existence of the holocaust, it has only itself to blame if the freer world says no.

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 18:31

      There is no law preventing people from questioning the veracity of the six million figure. Ahmedinejad expressed the desire for Zionism to be wiped off the page of history, like fascism, communism, etc. Which is hardly the same thing.

      Fred - 2012-02-19 18:36

      No, he declared his and the Iranian regime's intent to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. That's your slant. And he has not "questioned the veracity of the six million figure". He denied the occurrence of the Holocaust altogether. Whether is five million or six million people exterminated, does the exact number really matter? It's millions.

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 21:06

      Even if he denied the holocaust, that is no excuse to want to attack another country or anyone for that matter. "They say it is not possible to have a world without the United States and Zionism. But you know that this is a possible goal and slogan. Let's take a step back. [[[We had a hostile regime in this country which was undemocratic, armed to the teeth and, with SAVAK, its security apparatus of SAVAK [the intelligence bureau of the Shah of Iran's government] watched everyone. An environment of terror existed.]]] When our dear Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian revolution] said that the regime must be removed, many of those who claimed to be politically well-informed said it was not possible." "Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime [Israel] has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime." (source:, based on a publication of 'Iranian Students News Agency' (ISNA) -- INSERTIONS by the New York Times in squared brackets. It was the NY times that inserted the word Israel to mean regime. The word regime is also made above in reference to the Shah government.

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 21:09

      The west is calling today for the Assad regime be dismantled, does that mean that Syria be destroyed, or wiped off the face of the earth?

      Fred - 2012-02-19 22:29

      134 countries out of 151 countries on Earth are demanding that Assad step down. This "dismantling of Syria" is an extension of your victim ideology. Drop it!

      Fred - 2012-02-20 00:58

      Fidel, the so-called West is not attacking another country. It is saying to the rogue Iranian regime that if it develops a nuclear military capability it will be attacked. The reason for this is humanity is done with losing little tyrants and chauvinists like Ahmedinejad and the Ayatollahs from playing out their negative fantasies at the expense of the world. After Assad is gone, and go he will, it will be the turn of the rogue Iranian regime, distinct from the Iranian people.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 05:05

      Fidel, the so-called West is not attacking another country. It is saying to the rogue Iranian regime that if it develops a nuclear military capability it will be attacked. The reason for this is humanity is done with allowing little tyrants and chauvinists like Ahmedinejad and the Ayatollahs from playing out their negative fantasies at the expense of the world. After Assad is gone, and go he will, it will be the turn of the rogue Iranian regime, distinct from the Iranian people.

      Fidel - 2012-02-20 08:27

      Those 134 countries have no legal basis to demand that a head of another country steps down and as such their posturing is irrelevant. It is the Syrians that will decide the Syrian conflict.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 11:18

      They have a legal basis through the UN General Assembly, which is exactly what they've done. And Assad is not a legitimate leader. Countries are not personal fiefdoms handed down from father to son. And leaders who kill thousands of civilians with sniper-fire, detain and torture thousands more are not leaders at all. They're impostors, hijackers of a country. And this is why Assad is going. The sad thing is that you and the seventeen regimes would not want to help the Syrian people who are facing a despot in control of state resources, including the military. It's beyond irresponsible. It's heartless.

      Fidel - 2012-02-20 12:59

      UN General Assembly votes are non-binding. Assad's legitimacy is not going to be decided on the whims of UN GA showing of hands.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-20 16:05

      Iran is in violation of the NPT .

      Fred - 2012-02-20 18:02

      Assad's legitimacy. Incredibly dumb and stubborn, no offense. 134 countries on Earth have rightly decided that a leader, who was put in power by his father not the citizens of that country, and who has been using sniper-fire to kill thousands of peaceful demonstrators, and detain and torture thousands more, is illegitimate. And there's Fidel saying no, and calling him legitimate, Fidel who I imagine knows about Apartheid and how it feels to be denied the right to vote. The question s how do you manage not to see what is really happening. It's hard.

  • Larry - 2012-02-19 19:32

    Just as with Iraq, the USA does not need the WMD excuse, it just needs the reason. With Iraq, the reason for invading was that Iraq had invaded and sought to occupy/annex a peaceful neighbor kuwait, so as to steal its oil. The WMD suspicion provided an additional excuse which became a PR nightmare for the US and a media darling for all its detractors. So what, Kuwait is quite happy that the USA saved its arse. No different with Iran. The West and Israel dont need an excuse, they need a reason, which iran is providing for them. The need for civilian nuclear development cant be so strong as to imperil Iran to the extent of all-out war with far stronger countries. Israel is seeking to protect its citizens from a sworn enemy while Iran is seeking to place its citizens at considerable risk, for what? National pride, nuclear medicine. Spin another one.

      Fidel - 2012-02-19 21:17

      So Iran should base its needs for national and infrastructal development on the whims of hawks. The world knows who the warmongers and the aggressors are!

      Fred - 2012-02-20 01:01

      No Fidel, you are confused. The time of the petty and self-serving tyrant is over in the Middle East. The people of the region are speaking. After Assad, Ahmedinejad and the Ayatollahs with their dark chauvinism and wild vitriol.

      Fidel - 2012-02-20 08:54

      Would it be too much to ask for the smallest scrap of evidence with regard to Ahmedinajed being a tyrant, or is it simply enough for you people to repeat it like a mantra in order for it to be true? The Iranian president was voted to power as a result of a national election.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 11:25

      In which he and the Ayahtolla's cheated, changed results, rigged the elections so they could stay in power. The Iranian people know this. And this is why Ahmedinejad and his cronies are going, once Assad is gone. The days of being blind and lying are over, Fidel. You're not seeing this now, not yet. You may never see it. But the Middle East is freeing itself from such blindness and lies. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, then Iran. And in Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, etc. changes are happening too. The days of the victim are over. The people of the Middle East are done with being victimized by their leaders who play the victim, all the while victimizing their people and pocketing the power and the riches.

  • Anthony - 2012-02-19 23:14

    Goog nite !

  • Marcell - 2012-02-19 23:37

    Infidel, Why are you still here? Why don't you move to Iran? Then you can experience life the non west way. Easy to sit in the comfort of the west and at the same time trying to tell the rest of us how bad it is.

      Fidel - 2012-02-20 08:16

      I am an African and I live in Africa amongst my people. South Africa is not the west.

      Jaba - 2012-02-20 08:55

      We are free because of the west. I will add that your are free to write on news24 to your (awkward) hearts content because of the western’ freedom of speech that you make use of so much spewing your hate.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 11:37

      Fidel, go live in the despotic countries that you enable. Take your women with you (assuming they'll go). Then you'll see what Jaba is talking about.

      Anthony - 2012-02-20 12:16

      @Fidel, I would put to you, that you are an enemy of Africa, and its people. You have no interest in the betterment of this continent. Your heros, who are just about all dictators and tyrants, are proof of this. Take a country like Zimbabwe, they are good and hard working people,who given a chance will make Zimbabwe a great country, but in the meantime you support Mugabe, a criminal thug, who has distroyed this country and caused misery to millions of its people !!!!!!!

      Fidel - 2012-02-20 12:50

      Africa will get better when we ignore the damn know it all, some of whom have never sat foot on the continent. Africa will write and path her own history and not the one of the past 400 years which has been dictated to from western capitals. Africa will get better when it fully and finaly throws off the yoke of Imperialism as Zimbabwe is doing. Zimbabwe is getting better under its own efforts (Or lack thereof).

      Fred - 2012-02-20 18:13

      Zimbabwe is throwing off "its yoke of Imperialism"! Yeah right. Fidel, your ideas are getting dumber by the day. Zimbabwe has been torched by Mugabe and his cronies in the name of freeing itself from that made-up Imperialism that is a glorified pseudo-victimhood. If ever there was a picture of what pseudo-victimhood does, Zimbabwe is the poster-child. The people touting that victimhood kill, torture and deny the citizens of the country, and enrich themselves, all in the name of freedom from Imperialism. Africans are seeing this now. The events of the Middle East are helping. Africans will free themselves from the lies and tyranny of the pseudo-victimhood, self-enriching, violent elite.

      Fred - 2012-02-21 03:50

      Mugabe and ZANU PF are on their last legs. Thankfully. Unfortunately for Africa the freer world largely stays away because of the extreme nepotism, corruption and violence on the content. One just has to look at the flows of direct foreign investment around the globe to see this.

  • Anthony - 2012-02-20 00:06

    TYRANTS:: "Saddam Hussein, Somoza, Pol Pot, Pinochet, Savimbi, Mobotu, Suharto, Idi Amin, Bokassa, Ben Ali, Mubarak, gadaffi, assad, Mugabe" .

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-20 09:30

    The US of course knows that any attempt to start a war on their part will be met with Russian and Chinese counter force, the US would be stupid to allow itself to be drawn into a war where it is required to fight on equal terms, every single on of its previous wars being against smaller, weaker and poorly equipped troops, their history of loosing indicates that in an open war against an equal enemy they will not be so lucky

      Fred - 2012-02-20 11:26

      Yeah right. China's going to go to war with the US when the US is such a big debtor nation. It's not going to happen.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 11:36

      Plus China's military is weak compared to the US.

      Brett - 2012-02-20 11:39

      @Fred spot on. China is not going to fight its biggest business partner/debtor.

      Jaba - 2012-02-20 12:44

      China will NOT stand up for Iran. China likes Iran for its cheap oil exports nothing more. In a worst case scenario the Chinese will get their oil from Saudi. The Chinese can’t stand religion none the less religious fundamentalists such as the crazy Ayatollahs. It might be ‘politically correct’ to be anti-American, however they are still China’s biggest customer and if anything China will protect the United States at any cost.

  • Vino - 2012-02-20 15:29

    why explore war as an option....does the US seek to bolster its economy again. What threat has Iran posed thus far to the "western world". I am sick of the US playing 'judge, Juror and Executioner'. The last time they went to war we all saw the consequences...come on the rest of the world leaders ...Speak up and be counted

      Fred - 2012-02-20 18:27

      Wake up and open your eyes, or your computer and internet connection might be taken away by the Ayatollahs of Iran who are busy stoning women while we speak.

      Fred - 2012-02-20 19:24


      Fred - 2012-02-20 19:31

      Patrick, women get stoned by decree of the Ayatollahs for as much as suspicion of looking at another man, or "tempting" another man to look at them.

      Fred - 2012-02-21 03:52

      Ptrick, again you're distorting my words and inserting delusional meanings to them. I'm advocating freedom from chauvinism. This means empowerment of women ... and men, because chauvinism disempowers men too. It is a low form of power, the power over others.

  • pages:
  • 1