How to fight voter-ID disenfranchisement
Regarding the One Minute Debate "Should states require voter ID?" in the Oct. 8 commentary section: Since real voter fraud is actually somewhere between very rare and nonexistent, there's no doubt that the new voter ID laws are intended to reduce minority voting. However, with nuisance factors being the common thread among the various state laws (i.e., making the registration process more difficult), it could actually be an opportunity in disguise.
Hopefully, the affected communities will use these blatant attempts at disenfranchisement as the impetus to band together and pull off the greatest voter registration drive in US history – and they'll probably even get a little help from their friends along the way. The best defense is still a good old-fashioned "I'm not going to take this anymore!"-style offense.
Fletcher C. Downey
What US should do about Iran
Regarding the One Minute Debate "What to do about Iran's nuclear program?" in the Oct. 1 commentary section: Sanctions didn't work in the case of North Korea, and sanctions will not work against Iran. Like North Korea before, Tehran uses diplomacy to stall and obfuscate. The United States and its allies should step up support for legitimate democracy movements in Iran with the goal of destabilizing and hopefully replacing the Iranian regime.
Deterrence worked during the cold war because communism is an atheistic philosophy. Communists do not believe in a glorious afterlife; therefore, they were not inclined to throw away their lives in a "holy war" against capitalism. The ruling mullahs of Iran are religious fanatics who believe in a glorious afterlife. They are far more inclined to attack the "Little Satan," even if it means Iran's total destruction.
In the meantime, the US should make sure all of our friends and allies are equipped with more-than-adequate missile defense systems.