Should the US attack Iran? Monitor Facebook fans speak out.

The views on 'what to do with Iran' are heated. Monitor Facebook fans reacted to two recent opeds: '5 reasons the US should attack Iran' and '5 reasons the US should avoid war with Iran.' We've culled some of the best responses here.

REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric S. Powell/Handout
The USS Abraham Lincoln transits the Indian Ocean Jan. 18. The aircraft carrier sailed through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Persian Gulf without incident a day after Iran backed away from an earlier threat to take action if an American carrier returned to the strategic waterway.

Tensions with Iran are high – and keep getting higher. 

To thwart Tehran’s suspected nuclear program, the United States has tightened sanctions against the country, and now Europe has agreed to end its purchase of Iranian oil.

Iran has met the sanctions with threats: to close the vital Strait of Hormuz – and worse. In fact, Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently ordered the regime’s armed forces to prepare for war. In his State of the Union address, President Obama, who has long urged diplomacy with Iran, asserted that “America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.” Congress cheered.

The views on “what to do with Iran” are heated. We recently published an op-ed from two former US hostages in Iran, L. Bruce Laingen and John Limbert, who give “Five reasons to avoid war with Iran.” Earlier this week we ran a contrasting view from Council on Foreign Relations fellow Matthew Kroenig. He offers “Five reasons to attack Iran.”

Our readers on Facebook had strong and plentiful reactions to the two pieces. We’ve selected and excerpted some of the most compelling comments below.

We asked: Do you agree with the opinion of this commentator? “5 Reasons to attack Iran”

Joel Slentz

"Absolutely not. The only justifiable reason to go to war with Iran is if Iran attacks an ally. If Pakistan (the country that was borderline harboring Osama bin Laden under our noses) is allowed to have nuclear weapons, then why can’t Iran? That’s like telling the US that they can’t have nuclear weapons, but Mexico can. Also, when was the last time Iran invaded the Western hemisphere? Oh wait, that’s right, THEY HAVEN’T. But we have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan – two countries, which by the way, neighbor Iran – so wouldn’t it make sense for Iran to try to deter the US?"

Phil Reed 

"A nuclear-armed Iran will learn what every other nuclear-armed state already knows: The weapons themselves are the bluntest of instruments. An Iran with one or even 10 or 20 nuclear missiles cannot credibly threaten nuclear war because it would be, essentially, nuclear suicide; the US, Russia, and China still have overwhelming nuclear superiority over it and will for the forseeable future. As for whether it will increase the rate of proliferation; certainly, but Iran isn’t the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the region. That would be Israel, followed by Pakistan and Syria."

Mark Farley 

"NO! Pre-emptive strikes are usually a bad idea. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until enough people listen: It’s time for the US to stop going around being the world’s policeman. The US government should continue doing what it’s already doing, namely, working hand-in-hand with her allies to be a single, focused entity in this matter, as well as all other matters of international import."

 Coco Smith 

"...[B]oth Russia and China have warned us about attacking Iran. China is economically dependent on the United States, but oil dependent on Iran, and unless Saudi Arabia steps in to fill the vacuum, I doubt they will endorse an attack on Iran from the United States. In fact, I think the United States is overreacting as usual, and I’d say the problem here is American “exceptionalism” going head to head with what the author called Iran’s “grossly inflated view of their place in the world”."

Mary Cubillan 

“The problem is Iran’s leaders not their civilians or children.”

Chris Kohler 

“No, I do not agree completely with the writer. But, the way things appear, I would say that warring on Iran is inevitable.”

A day later we posted this:

Opinion: Five reasons US must avoid war with Iran. Any that you would remove/add to the list?

Sam Kennedy 

“Iran is the only country with/without nukes that has openly and repeatedly hinted and threatened that they want to erase the Jews from the map. And people think it’s a good idea for them to have nukes? Then why did the UN put sanctions on them? Gee, a clerical regime of an Islamic republic...engaged in multiple terrorist acts, knowingly supplying, arming, training, funding, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Madi army in Iraq...and now supporting the Assad regime [in Syria]? Maybe that’s the big difference between Iran and other countries with nukes? Oh, and what other muslim countries were [reportedly] directly affiliated with Hitler and the Nazis in WWII? Hmm. Ya you’re right, we should just let them have nukes and mind our own business. Ya.”

Romeo Vanegas 

“The US will be poorer since it costs money to...wage wars with other nations and will cause more civil unrest due to the current economic standing in the US.”

Kevin J. O’Conner

“Because it’s a huge waste of human life, money, and a number of other resources. 

I would also add that:

Whether the US government likes it or not, Iran is a sovereign nation, and should be able to determine its own policies and courses of action.

The US stance that it can have nuclear weapons but other nations cannot is hypocritical.

The former Soviet block must have hundreds, if not thousands of nuclear weapons; China probably does, too. Not to mention however many Pakistan has. And North Korea. Where is the rush to act militarily against any of these countries? I’m guessing it’s primarily hiding behind the realization that Russia and China probably have enough nukes to take out the US and/or Europe.

Iran with *a* nuclear weapon is a threat to the US? IRAN? Does the US government really think that the Iranian government is *that* competent?”

Add to the dialogue back on our Facebook page.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to