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June 18th, 2009
10:14 AM ET

Ex-hostage: Do not interfere with Iran

Moorhead Kennedy, a former American hostage in Iran, tells CNN the U.S. is better off not intefering in Iranian affairs right now.

Moorhead Kennedy, a former American hostage in Iran, tells CNN the U.S. is better off not intefering in Iranian affairs right now.

A man with unique insight into the events that are playing out in Iran is Moorhead Kennedy. He was the acting head of the United States’ Embassy's economic section in Tehran when it was overrun by student protesters in 1979.

Kennedy was one of the 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days in that standoff. He wasn't released until January 20th, 1981 when President Reagan was inaugurated. Kennedy spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Thursday.

John Roberts: Do you see any parallels between what we’re seeing on the streets of Tehran now and what happened in 1979?

Moorhead Kennedy: Well, I think the biggest parallel is that at least some of the reaction against us in '79 was because...of past interference in Iranian affairs. And I think that there seems to, be from a lot of talk going around, that we should do something…about this election problem in Iran. It's the attitude that we have sometimes about Iran, a rather colonial attitude that has always been part of our problem with that country. And so I think if I had any conclusion to draw, we would have been much better off not interfering in Iran then and I think we're going to be much better off not interfering in Iranian affairs now.

Roberts: Now, you did say in an interview with the Daily Beast, “It's very counter-productive to interfere in someone else's election... I think the best thing the U.S. can do is shut up.” I ran your quote past Senator John McCain who is urging a more vocal response by the Obama administration. And he said yesterday, “We're not interfering in taking the side of the opposition, we're seeking, as we have throughout the world, a free and fair election.” Do you agree with what the senator said?

Kennedy: No, I don't agree because I don't see it's any business of ours to seek elections, fair elections, particularly in a sensitive area like Iran. John Quincy Adams said, “We don't go around seeking monsters to destroy.” And I think that that is their problem. It's something they've got to work out. And I think the United States, particularly in view of our past record of interference, it's much better for us to sit back, obviously express hope that there will be no violence, sort of general things of that nature, but don't be seen to interfere because we don't like the present president of Iran and we might like to have someone else in that job.

Roberts: Already the interior minister is trying to make this the fault of western countries. He’s out there on the streets giving many interviews saying this is all because the West is interfering in our electoral process. They’re putting pressure on us. They're trying to institute these policies of reform. They’re basically meddling in what we're doing. So, he's already trying to draw the United States in. Do you think it is prudent for this White House to take the standoffish approach that it has for fear of potentially getting drawn into this conflict?

Kennedy: It's not the fear of being drawn into a conflict. It's expressing our respect for a sovereign state that we do not interfere in the internal affairs of another country. And I think part of the Iranian deep, deep resentment of the United States is that we have never treated them with proper respect. And, of course, that's been furthered by some of the episodes in our relationship. Not only the famous CIA coup, but the fact that we…helped Saddam Hussein when he attacked Iran in 1980 and did not prevent him in any way from using chemical warfare against Iran. There are a great many resentments there. So if we have to hold back from interfering in any country, it should be Iran.

Roberts: So where do you see all of this heading – these street protests, this day of mourning? Apparently there are tens of thousands of people on the streets... Do you think this will play out over some and eventually die down? Or could this be the beginning of something even bigger?

Kennedy: Well…so far there doesn't seem to be an organized force to bring about a civil war or a rebellion, so far, against the established government. But don't forget, we're talking about two candidates for president. The real authority is in…the clerical and the religious headquarters with the Council of Guardians. And Iran has a far more stable structure than I think we give them credit for. And I think that's an important thing to remember.


Filed under: Iran
soundoff (671 Responses)
  1. Aleks

    This is a biased site, screened to exclude arguments in favor of taking sides in Iran. Shades of Nevill Chamberlain...and I am very tired of everyone using President Bush as the "bogeyman" to blame for all the world's ills...

    June 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  2. adamrussell

    Personally, I dont trust our own people to make the right choices in who they support and who they overthrow. We are known to have overthrown freely elected governments in south america just because they were leftist. Lets stay out of it.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  3. Jose

    We should stop interfering on other countries business. Otherwise the future may not be good for us to compet and do our business globally. When thousands of people died due to election fraud in Africa and Latin America countires,nobody told dictators to stop killing their own people. No media coverage was also given. When Bush stolen the 200 election , no other country told us what to do. So lets see it from our perspective. Stop suppressing other countries unless otherwise they hurt our economy . We already have a lot of headch to deal with: the economy, health care, abortion, unemployment, governement budget deficit and so on.So I agree with Mr. Kennedy.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  4. Mark

    "It’s expressing our respect for a sovereign state that we do not interfere in the internal affairs of another country."

    'We don’t go around seeking monsters to destroy.'

    Two of the most sane things I have heard in a long time! Sure, we learned a lesson from WWII that the Monroe Doctrine doesn't work. But there are limits and we need to respect those limits. This isn't an all or nothing issue for our foreign policy.
    IMHO we've been finding "monsters" under every rock over in the Middle East for far too long. We've ended up creating monsters where there was mild opposition. Every time we meddle, we further cement the resentment and anger.
    Let them sort their own problems out, give the people of Iran that respect. They aren't little brown children, they are grown adults and it is their country.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  5. Victory Gin

    To all the nimrods that think we should step any where NEAR this situation in order to give the Iranian people freedom from their totalitarian leadership....let me ask you this: Are you also prepared to wage a verbale/physical war against China,Myanmar, North Korea, because you don't like how they run their countries? I think not. We have too many drama llamas in our OWN back yard to worry about the results of an election in a sovereign nation. We may not like it, but it's not our place to utter even a syllablein opposition.
    Were you not paying attention to the last 5 years of war waged to 'free the Iraqi people"? Unless it's a catastrophic natural disaster, we need to STAY OUT OF OTHER PEOPLES BUSINESS.
    We are NOT Team America, we are NOT the World Police. Period.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  6. Dan

    Inthlp, NO, nobody did, and they should have! We might not be in the mess we're in today if somebody had stood up and said something. I'm not talking about an invasion of Iran, or any troop presence at all. That's not what our soldiers signed up for. However, I think that if Obama or Clinton extended a hand to aid them, it would be a step in the right direction. They shouldn't support either side; but this is going to end up very bloody without outsiders helping to resolve the issue.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  7. Cindy in Minneapolis

    I agree with Moorhead (and Quincy Adams) – we have enough problems, why do we need to go looking for monsters to destroy. Don't we have have a colapsing financial market here at home? Don't we have Government Motors to run? Don't we have more bridges to inspect before they collapse? Leave Iran alone, they hate us anyway. Why would Iran want our opinion on how to run a fair election?

    June 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  8. Mark L.

    Gina (USAF vet) – Being the son of Holocaust Survivors, I completely hear what you are saying regarding Ahmadinejad. He is by all accounts a FACIST as was Hitler and Mussolini... But in all due respect, I do NOT believe for one moment, even if Iran were to develop a nuclear arsenal, that Ahmadinejad or the supreme Ayatollah would dare drop a nuclear warhead on Israel. Let's think about it for a moment – You've got Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza. If Iran was so insane as to plot launching a nuclear warhead on Israel, they would end up wiping out all the Palestinians in the region as well. But Ahmadinejad LOVES the Palestinians. My belief is just like the students in Iran revolted in 1979 to oust the Shah of Iran from power, I believe they will accomplish the same this time. As for Ahmadinejad – He's NOTHING BUT PIECE OF FACIST GARBAGE !! If his own Iranian People don't remove him from office, I wouldn't put it past the Israeli Mossad organization to send out a secret agent that will knock him out of power, if you know where I am coming from.... Believe me when I tell you, the Israel Knesset and Mossad are keeping close tabs on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his EVIL Empire...

    June 18, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  9. ali

    Why are the protests in iran only confined to the capital tehran. what is the situation in other cities of iran... it seems to me that mosavis supporters are only a majority in tehran and to assume that he won the election just because he had majority of support in tehran would be down right ignorant mosavi is just creating violence so as to attain power which would not be much because the final decider of policies in iran is not the president but their supreme leader khomeni and a bunch of clerics.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  10. Iman Bayat

    Mr Corkhead is taking about the unfortunate past interference in Iran and that it brought about protesters. What he must have forgotten is that there is a difference in interfereing for good and for bad-interfering by feeding saddam with chemical weapons-bad, interfering to help a people in need-good. Hopedfully Corkhead Kennedy understand this at some point.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  11. dadds

    The US needs to mind our OWN business. We have enough problems. We need to repair our country not solve countries problems.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  12. Rao

    How US would have reacted if Iran or any other country had interfered when Bush Jr. got elected the first time?

    June 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  13. Paul

    Iran didn't interfere with our rigged election in 2000, so we should return the favor and not interfere with theirs.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  14. Mary

    We have enough issues with our own elections, I don't think we would appriciate another country coming and helping us straighten out the process. Leave Iran to Iran.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  15. Nancy

    I think Obama should come out and say something about the Iranians excercising free speech rights and commend them for it. Bush would have, but Obama never has been a person that saw America as the beacon of freedom. He sees America as the Gestapo. What a shame.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  16. Kia

    I agree with Moorhead Kennedy. It is difficult to see our friends and relatives die in Iran, but try not to react emotional. I have read an article in the hard-lines news paper yesterday. The hard-lines manipulated Obama's speech and published it in their newspaper, Keyhan. They make connections between president Obama's speech and the protest. I was students in the protests in tehran in 1999. One of the reasons that they could suppress that protest was making relationship between the students and the United States. Please be very careful about what you say and word usage. Iran is a barrel filled with nitroglycerin now. A small mistake can explode it and that will cost millions of lives and in the worst situation WWIII. If you care about Iran and your friends and relatives who live there, please shut up.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  17. nadnie

    I feel that we should help out the people of Iran, and speak out for human rights, stating that the vote was not fair. We here in the US also have to realize, that our votes do not always count due to the electoral college. In an essence our votes count as much as theirs do. A president can win based on having more electoral votes and less popular votes. Food for thought.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  18. Charlie

    Funny how we always feel we have a right to interfere with other countries when it is convenient. How did we react when other countries decried the Presidential election in 2000? America Scoffed at the idea and criticism of international election observers. But yet we feel we have a right to complain about other countries elections? Tying in the view that "Human Rights" demand we interfere with Iran’s politics. Hmm funny, we again scoff at international pressure on Human rights in the US. The Death penalty is scorned by many as a human rights issue but who cares, we are THE USA. If Human rights are truly a reason to interfere, I am sure we can go through a list of countries with much worse records than Iran that warrant immediate interference. It is time to stop the hypocrisy. Either we go in and Fix the world (we better build a big Interference police force) or we let other countries manage themselves.
    http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2004-10/2004-10-21-voa85.cfm?CFID=238905833&CFTOKEN=98944359&jsessionid=6630c2c9a1d48e9a1b934d367a1912244733
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights
    http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/index.htm

    June 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  19. Kurt

    I agree. We should stay out of their business for the same reasons countries like China need to stay out of our elections. We need to fix our own house before we peek in the windows of others. We need to ban/return any and all outside campain contributions once they are linked to a foreign donor, we need to stop having more votes than people, and we need to start electing on merit and not media.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  20. Curt

    Actually, the governments of the USA and many other countries are interfering. While it's true that they aren't saying much, they are also not doing anything to discourage their citizens from intervening via electronic media. While they lie dormant in words their total lack of action says a lot.

    I wonder if all those people egging the Iranian public on realize the possible consequence of their actions? Many, many of these people can easily end up dead or injured simply because they were encouraged by the media. We don't even actually know how valid that election was. It could be that it was valid and, even if they don't realize it, they could be just sore losers. Imagine what would have happened if all the democrats took to the US streets in disorganized, chaotic, destructive demonstrations after the questionable Bush election.

    For the US, our troubles throughout the Middle East region stems from one thing. Our interference. We have always managed to interfere there, throughout Asia and the Orient, mostly because of their natural resources and/or their strategic location. In other words, we interfere for our interest, our benefit and our beliefs. "Our" is one of our favorite words. That's why we keep meeting stone walls and why we will continue to do so. Other people aren't us and most don't care to be.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  21. Michele

    The arrogance and lack of basic historical education of Americans is astounding, as demonstrated by some of the comments on this board. Iranians are not a poor, oppressed, ignorant people in need our our patriarchal guidance. Just because we don't agree with how they govern themselves does not make it wrong or guarantee that our way is better. It is laughable for us to be advocating "free and fair" elections in Iran when recent events show we have some issues in that regard ourselves.

    These are educated, cultured people who chose an Islamic form of government over the oppression of the rule of the US-sponsored dictatorship of the Shah. When the Shah's government became unbearable, they revolted and forced a change. If they are disgusted by their current governance, there is no doubt they have the wherewithal and ability to do the same again. It is their choice and it has nothing to do with us. All we can accomplish by meddling, yet again, is to create further divisions and destabilization and reinforce anti-American sentiment. It is childish to believe that we can swoop in and be 'greeted as liberators,' bringing lasting peace and prosperity to the region. Have we learned nothing from Iraq?

    June 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  22. Cache

    Stop comparing Iran to the US! We fought for our freedom, because we identified as Americans, not as British subjects. Everyone involved in this case consider themselves Iranian. We cannot ethically interfere, even if they are killing their own people or violating what we consider rights here in the US.

    Sure, we can feel sadness at the disarray and for the people who are being beaten, living in fear, etc., but that is still not grounds for us to get involved. Let Iran work this out for Iran–and we can offer our friendship and assistance afterward–and with a clean conscious that they built a society deemed necessary for their people, not ours. It will never be ours, it cannot be. Islam alone will not allow them to have the level of freedom that we enjoy here in the US.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  23. Great One

    It makes no difference who is elected President in Iran, since it is a theocracy. The ultimate leader of Iran is the Ayatollah, Guardian Council, and the Shiite clerical leaders. The president of Iran can be compared to the US Secretary of the UN. No need to meddle in a meaningless outcome.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  24. Karen

    I agree with staying out for now. Right now our involvement will only push the Iranian government to resist more, it will not sway them to listen to their people. It would fall on deaf ears as U.S. bullying, and negate any future assistance we could give when things escalate.

    I would hope though that countries with diplomacy in Iran test the waters about supporting the protest.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  25. Kevin

    WE ARE NOT THE WORLD POLICE!!!! END OF STORY!!!

    June 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  26. Dave Wyman

    Mr. Kennedy is the voice of reason. Too bad President Bush never read up on what John Quincy Adams had to say, as Kennedy has – when we look for monsters everywhere, we become a monster.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  27. Will

    Everyone just wants to start listing all of Irans problems and how we need to help them be free and so forth. we have our own problems in the US and we need to take care of those issue before we spread ourselves thin overseas and interfere in other peoples affairs like Iran.
    Last time I checked Iran didn't interfere when there was word president bush got elected through cheating in florida. furthermore, Iran has consistently had a high voter turnout over the past years than any country in the world (85% this year). Those numbers are unheard of and just because a democratically elected president in the past or present doesn't agree with the United State's view of a democratic leader, doesn't mean there isn't democracy and freedom.
    We wonder why so many around the world have a problem with the US. It's due to its arrogant way of thinking and meddling in other countries business. It's really simple and Iran is your prime example.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  28. X

    So long as there is economic interest, there will be manipulation and interference; there is simply no way around that, period. It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with individual freedoms.. when the powers that be sell that, see it for what it is.. smoke and mirrors to deflect attention away from the reality that the real intention of desiring "free" elections and markets is to allow easier manipulation of that market for their own gain

    June 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  29. Wakeup Call

    Instead of interfering in Iran and other places we should worry about fast detoriating living standards in this country and all the jobs getting shipped overseas. The only jobs that may remain here will be the menial low paying ones. Its time USA should cut this attitude before we are really worthless and that time may not be too far.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  30. Nate

    Listen people- we need to stay out of this as much as possible. The US has a history of meddling in Iran and quite frankly it's done us absolutely no good whatsoever. If John McCain says we should interfere or be more vocal do just the opposite- this guy has no clue on how the world works- he'd just as soon blow up Iran as talk to them. The people in that country will lead the revolution not the USA. You can't give people freedom they have to earn it. We've seen this time and time again even in our own country with the struggles of women and minorities. They must take a stand and define their own course- we can do it for them. They know where we stand already- they know if they can sieze the reigns of power themselves we'll support their future endeavors. Right now, this is their fight anything we do will be viewed negatively and undermined the movement from within. Watch what Obama does closely- he knows and understands this. Somehow foriegn policy seems to be his strong suit.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  31. GENIE

    AMERICA NEEDS TO STAY OUT

    June 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  32. PERSIAN_AMERICAN

    As a persian American, I'm a double stake holder in the events that are taking place there. I believe that it would not be wise for US to interfere in Iran'e affairs, given the past history of overthrowing their government in 50's. But all these couragous demonstrators, need our support and help, that's where the UNITED NATIONS, AND AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL are for. I hope they will offer some sort of support to the people of IRAN.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  33. Alisa

    I agree with Sarah. We went in in the 70s and overthrew a stable government in Iran and put someone into power we liked better which has happened to really screw us over. Now, we say free and fair elections for all... but when Palestinians had their election and voted in someone we didn't like, we helped overthrow that. We helped keep Saddam Hussein in power and when we decided he was a liability, we overthrew him too. Now look at the mess we have caused in Iraq and all it is costing us.

    We need to learn to respect the sovereignty of other countries and stay the heck out of their business. If I were a citizen of another country and someone kept butting in and telling me to change my culture and my ways, I would resent them.

    It doesn't matter if their ways are not our ways. It doesn't matter if we disagree with them. If their ways were our ways and we agreed on everything, we wouldn't be separate countries in the first place!

    June 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  34. Maurice

    So another country's elections were rigged. WOW! BIG NEWS! Iranians are human just like Americans, and therefore the richest, most powerful people are going to want to control everything – including – any kind of "free elections" Any kind of democratic elections in any nation is just a big sham, and anybody who believes that the poor powerless masses have any say is an idiot who has let all that patriotic propaganda get in the way of their ability to think logically. It is too bad that a so called "oppressed" people in a third world country are well aware of that, and will readily take to the streets and protest, close fisted and ready to fight, but Americans, with all the information we have about our own government's corruption, have no will to stand up when they see that they have been duped themselves, over and over again. No wonder Obama and the other
    crooked politicians are taking lots of interest in this. They don't want
    the American people getting any bad ideas

    June 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  35. observer

    I am an immigrant from another tyrant country. I am puzzled by the media focusing on Iran and forgetting that the same thing happens in other countries and we don't hear about it. The media is so selective and biased. Millions of people all over the world cry foul in elections everyday. WHAT MAKES THE IRANIANS SO SPECIAL.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  36. Iranians will speak up for the truth!

    "morally absent", you're morally bankrupt.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  37. Sparky

    We got our fingers in enough pies. Let them fight their own battles and lets focus on our problems here on U.S. soil.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  38. Dre

    As an Iranian-American whose parents fled Iran after the 1979 revolution, I believe that the American government should stay out of the affairs because the Iranian government uses America as a scapegoat every time to blame for their problems. We do not want to fuel Ahmadinejad's fire! However, I feel that America should make it clear that we support the Iranians struggle for freedom from religious oppression from these corrupt figures. It is time for the Iranians to stand up and realize that it is the fault of their own leaders and demand change. I hope that America views these protests and now sees Iranians as not an "Axis of Evil" but a country whose citizens are being silenced through fear and who long for freedom of speech and the right to live their lives in peace. Do not blame the Iranian people for the wrongdoings of corrupt fundamentalists, they seek a better life too!

    June 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  39. Josh

    I totally agree with Kennedy. Its time, US stopped meddling in other countries sovereign problems. Don't we have Iraq as a prime example of what happens when we try to bring "democracy" and "freedom" to other countries???

    We have to stand back and just say that we want the Iranian people's will to be satisfied. We cannot support either candidate. US is already looked as devil incarnate by the Iranians. One wrong move and we will just reinforce that whole theme and whichever candidate gets selected will be constantly branded as an American puppet.

    The other thing to remember is, Iran is not a true democratic country, even though they have "free" elections. Their supreme leader is the REAL leader and he is not elected by the people, and the supreme leader has total and absolute authority over the elected President, army, intelligence agencies, media, etc. So, doesn't matter which guy gets elected, the final say in anything important is always going to be the supreme leader. So, US throwing its weight behind one candidate does not really help, since finally all the important decision is going to be done by the supreme leader.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  40. Matt

    Before worrying about what our enemies are up to let's look at our friends. Our biggest ally in the Mideast besides Israel is Saudi Arabia ... a country where women get beaten and jailed, or worse, for driving a car, playing a sport or appearing in public with a man who is not their spouse or family member. In many ways it is a much more repressive country than Iran ... if the protests in Tehran happened in Riyadh the government would respond with massive force that would make Basij/Revolutionary Guard thugs look like peace-loving hippies.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  41. jusval

    We don't belong in the problems in Iran, just as we do not belong in ANY other country! When will you people wake up? (never). Our country is in Trouble! We don't even have a good governmental system ourselves right now! We Need to Fix Ourselves First! We need to take care of our country first. We are NOT the shining example as we once were and until we fix ourselves, we need NOT bother to dominate other countries!

    Why can't americans see what we really are? and just lay off the rest of the world?

    June 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  42. StayOutOfIran

    Daniel Nelson is completely right, we need to stay out of Iran. It's only a matter of time before the elderly pass away (with their beliefs), and the younger generation takes on. In the worst case scenario, we are looking at about 50 years.

    On the other hand, if we get involved, we'll just unite the ranks of the reformists and the conservatives against the west and the protests will start taking a total different path. In addition, it will take another 100 years to allow Iran to become free and democratic.

    This election is pretty much a given, the Ayatollas won't allow a change, as it could lead to their demise.

    Let Iranians win their own freedom whilst not too much blood is dropped on the streets.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  43. Gina (USAF vet)

    Has anybody heard President of Iran speech, Haulicaust denier, denying Israel, hate Jews. Why is he different from the guy that went into the Haulicaust Musium in DC and shot and killed the guard?
    If he stays in power, expect the worst from the hate he has now with the power he will get if we do not step in...

    June 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  44. Clara

    I believe we need to be careful what we say and do in reaction the election crisis in Iran, but the idea that everything will be OK if we just shut up and keep out of it is very naive. We aren't talking about some obscure little country who has no impact on the rest of the world. Iran is working developing nuclear capabilities, they have hostile relations with various countries, the ability to restrict or stop shipping in the area, and borders two countries where we are currently fighting wars. Call me crazy but I don't see how risking letting this country fall into chaos and widespread political unrest is a smart thing to do – that sounds like an invitation for extremists and terrorists if you ask me. Yes, there are risks to putting our two cents in on this situation, but to me it seems that the risks of not acting on this are greater. To quote Uncle Ben from Spiderman – "With great power comes great responsibility". It may be just a movie quote but it is very true. What kind of world would we live in if we just sat back and let whatever happened around the world happen? Kennedy says that "It’s not the fear of being drawn into a conflict. It’s expressing our respect for a sovereign state that we do not interfere in the internal affairs of another country." Should we have expressed respect for Hitler's Germany too? They were a sovereign state who's internal affairs we interfered with as well.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  45. let the AIPAC shills spew their vile ideas!

    and watch CNN screening out most of the ANTI-AIPAC comments!

    June 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  46. Crystal

    The people of Iran are their own people and need to solve this themselves. We have as a country on of the worst reputations when it comes to interfering. We should keep to ourselves and fix our own problems like our economy, homeless, and our many other problems we have hereon this soil. The worst of it is we used to have an alright reputation as a country. Since Bush it has gotten to where many countries cannot stand Americans. Again let them deal with their own problems.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  47. TJ

    One of the biggest concerns I have about what people are saying is that it is a human rights issue and therefore the United States should intervene. This is a flawed belief that has gotten the United States into many conflicts before. The U.S. holds a "policy" of not declaring war on another country until it has declared war on us, or the United Nations has intervened. With respect to human rights infractions, it is not the United States' place to interfere, that power rests in the hands of the United Nations and them only. By interfering in a place like Iran, we are going around the proper channels and ignoring the reasons that organizations like the United Nations were instituted. I fully believe that we should stay out of Iran and allow them to deal with THEIR issue on THEIR own. This has nothing to do with the United States unless we make it have something to do with us. If it does come down to war, then there will be reason for the United States to more closely monitor the situation, but to barge in there because many in this country believe that we should be the World Police is wrong. It is not the U.S. right to do this. We do not have other rights over other countries because we want to.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  48. JohnTTH

    Why do we care so much about Israel and Iran? How about Tibet, Myanmar, and other countries in Africa for instance?

    June 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  49. Mike

    Are all you people stupid, or illiterate, or just grammatically lazy?

    June 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  50. Khash Montazami

    Mr. Kennedy's assesment on U.S. involvement, colononial attitude, past and present resentment, the real authority, lack of organized force and underestimating the stability of the established government is right on the mark.
    The key to change in Iran is not an overthrow in the traditional sense. The peacful movement to "my vote counts," and the ensuing infighting that has resulted within the government will bring about two things: Iranians will get credit for sweeping change, and a democratic process of their own creation will emerge.
    Iran and the U.S. are natural allies. Since 1979, when Iran has been a foe of the U.S., I have repeatedly heard, "Iran is a threat to the stability in the Middle East." I can only wonder how much more stable the Middle East would be if Iran was a friend. Perhaps, the road to peace in the region runs through Iran.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  51. Tim B

    "This is exactly why the United States is not as strong as we once were. We have too many people wanting to look the other way and NOT stand up for the values of humanity."

    It's amazing how many people can look at the same situation as everyone else and manage to draw the perfectly wrong conclusion from it. The United States isn't as strong as it once was precisely because we insist on imperial interventionism under the guise of "standing up for the values of humanity". It so happens that interventionism drains the treasury and robs the country of other opportunities. It's how we went into a recession with an enormous deficit dragging down our chances of a quick recovery. We can do a much more effective job by setting an example for others to follow rather than patrolling the globe like self-appointed planetary police.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  52. Donna

    Mccain is stateing that we should interfere with Iran, he would love for Obama to start a war with them, Republicans are dieing and would Love for Obama to mess up BIG time, so they would start to look good again.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  53. Don

    How about North Korea to everyone seeking interference on basis of Human Rights? Obviously if US is being scapegoated for every thing that is wrong with Iran and the middle east and their propaganda is that their need to have 'nuclear weapons', 'unite all muslims and fight the zionists' and every other reason conceivable, only to fight the 'imperial power' and all the related BS, I would say just keeping our distance this one time will teach the world what inaction would bring. I know it is very painful to allow this to happen and play out at the cost of innocent lives, but having the arab world realize that, and maybe the EU to stand behind us and provide their troops and not just 'TALK' and 'OPPOSE' us when we are the only country protecting all these innocent people with our brave men and women and taxpayer resources.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  54. Gary

    To every person saying "we" should help Iran,what your saying is US
    Troops,again, should be thrown into some mess. Well , being a Veteran,let me say this. YOU go there yourself and see what help you can give. My guess is that you'll be dust , quicker than you think.
    To those using fuzzy history,Americans fought and won our own revolution.Let's not give too much credit to one French general from that time.Seems you forget the Polish who got involved .
    Iran has done nothing for us,leave them to solve their problem.They have brain's .

    June 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  55. Katie, Omaha

    Obama has wisely decided to say the right things and not to interfere and a lot of people are calling him down. Any comments by the US would backfire and rally support around Ahminejad and Khameni. It is nice to see that someone who REALLY knows Iran agrees with me.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  56. Bill

    I agree with Mr. Kennedy and this is not a human rights issue. The people protesting are not protesting about human rights, they are protesting the election results. Getting involved with this kind of internal problem is similar to the reasoning used for the invasion of Iraq. The American government has tried to use its might to make changes in many countries over the past century and it usually ends up blowing up in our face. I have read many articles over the past decade from Iranian specialists and they all stress the best thing we can do is leave them alone. If it turns out that this leads to a change in government, we can be there for support. However, if America is seen, in any way, as a conspirator in an overthrow, we will be resented. And what if nothing happens? Then we would just look like the Great Satan again, medling in affairs that do not concern us and alienating another generation of Iranians.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  57. Aleks

    Wow, shades of Neville Chamberlain and trying to play nice with a ruthless regime.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  58. Johston Jones

    Attack, Attack, Attack....Peace only comes at a stern hand...The United States is Mother to the World. Burn out and destroy evil where is festers. Only then shall peace be known to our children.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  59. Debbie

    Yes, but the Republicans say we need to butt in, so.... I'm sure they know best. They always do.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  60. Mike, Shinglehouse, PA

    Gina,

    Allah is responsible for nothing. He's a ficticious character. However, you probably believe in L. Ron Hubbard...so we won't get into that. Do you understand your history? Iran does not and will never have the industrial might to become Hitler #2. All this talk about Iran becoming a nuclear power is sickening. North Korea was a formidable foe once too. Do you think we should fear them? Think of a broke down machine with a good paint job. Whatever...we live in a free country, you can worry about Iran's elections, and stand there in ignorant bliss as we silently hand over economic power to China.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  61. Ron in VA

    A lot of people commenting here don't really seem to understand the situation. Iran has never forgiven us for the CIA coup against Mossadeq and our support of the despotic Shah; this was all the worse because the episode began with the Iranians turning to the U.S. for help against British colonial exploitation. In point of fact, the kind of government they have there now is a direct result of that the U.S. did in 1953. Iran was burned, badly, by U.S. meddling in its political affairs, and is very, very touchy about it as a result.

    To all those writing in favor of supporting the protesters: if you do so, YOU DOOM THEM TO FAILURE. The moment you do that, they will be seen not as legitimate voices of protest, but as agents and tools of the U.S. and the West. They will lose all legitimacy. The government will then use that as an excuse to crack down on dissidents under the guise of fighting foreign threats. If we would see the reform movements succeed, we must stay at a distance, as hard as it is to do . . .

    June 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  62. Mason

    I love America deeply and I’m a patriot at best. However, we Americans live in a state of amnesia when it comes to History. We shout first then think about the consequences thereafter. We went into Iraq with the understanding that Saddam Hussein was the enemy and fault behind 911, and that he was seeking weapons of mass destruction. But what really happened was that the US supported him on many diplomatic issues and he was our ally our friend all the way up until he invaded Kuwait. We did not find any weapons of mass destruction and when the video was released by Osama Bin Laden, it placed his signature on the 911 incident and we as Americans wondered, why did we invade Iraq again? President Obama in Cairo Egyt: “Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. (Applause.)” I think individuals like Moorhead Kennedy; a former American hostage in Iran raises good insights to this issue. Listening to Senator McCain on this issue is disturbing-America going into Iran regardless of the surrounding issues that we have with them is extremely unwise. I hope, as a previous POW himself takes Mr. Kennedy insights as a genuine rebuttal to the cry of the Iranians. They would love to draw us into their backyard once again only for the US to take the blame when it all goes downhill. We have been to long the world bully and we have to show the world a different America and not flex our muscles unless our beautiful home is threaten and if need be.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  63. Bob

    Mr. Kennedy is correct here, and makes a good point about US policy being very much colonialist. The US time and again professes it's motivation to be for the promotion of freedom, democracy, etc. but only on it's own terms. Every involvement, including the Civil War, was based on obtaining economic advantage. Everyone else in the world sees the blatant hypocrisy of the US while all Americans do is pat themselves on the back for "pursuing freedom" How often does someone go to their neighbor's home to break up a domestic violence incident? Be honest, you just turn up the TV so you can't hear it.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  64. Larrywp

    With all due respect to Mr. Moorehead, perhaps he should revisit his considerations regarding the type of regime we are talking about here. The kind of attitude and brutality that was exhibited when he and others were taken hostage is mild compared to what is in place now. And they would not think anything about trying to destroy Israel in order to advance their perceived interests. That regime needs to be taken down ASAP.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  65. mike

    I've been reading the comments and listening to the retoric and some of these people amaze me. What in anyones name gives us in the U.S. the right to tell anyone else how to live. Standing as a "becon of hope and freedom" is as an EXAMPLE. We cannot go into every country we find problems and start rebuilding them in our image. Or is the United States the leader of the whole world not just the free world. Crime is crime and it is up to the government to solve those issues. If they do not uphold their end of the bargain then the citizens will replace that goverment. History has shown this repeatedly. There are a lot of governments that we don't agree with or like but they are not our government. When Bush won over Gore, nobody from France or Russia came running over here telling us how to count votes in Florida. I have also noticed quite a few "Nation Builders" out there demanding action, but not enlisting. And as we all know the Armed Services are now the world police in many eyes. Your demands are gonna put a soldier in harms way based on a bad opinion. Leave Iran to Iranians and worry about more important things like the economy, health care, the homeless, etc. etc. etc.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  66. Frank

    The Human rights issue is being brought up as an "Excuse" to interfere with a sovereign country's affair. Why not apply the same logic to Saudia Arabia ? Is it because of the oil?

    June 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  67. Sasha

    As I can see lots of people over here think that we should be world police again. Most of you, I'm assuming, did not learn anything from our past adventures. How do you think we should intervene; start the war with Iran??? This country has its own problems and I think we should focus on how to fix our country first. Let United Nations and other bodies take care of this problem. We have nothing to do with Iranian elections.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  68. michael

    Its hard to say if we should interfere or not, our past record with iran is rather lousy and we did help and supported saddam against Iran in their long war previously. I have learned that America often makes moral issues on things saying we are going to war to overthrow this evil communist theocratical extremist dictatorship and whatever when its really all about money and wealth. We can support the iranian opposition by encouraging Irans leaders to promote fair and open elections but do gotta respect their soverinity.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  69. David

    This would be a perfect time for Kuwait to be invaded once again.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  70. tony

    why do we have to interfere anywhere, we did that long enough. iran, vietnam, nicaragua, iraq, we always want someone we like in power even if the people of that country dont like them. and dont give me that deocracy bs. how about saudi arabia ruled by the king no election, no democracy, and in the 80's we helped saddam because we liked him at the time and he killed people with biological weapons. enough putting our noses everywhere, we need to secure our borders from allthe illegals and take care of our own business, maybe that way we can be on our own and people wont hate us everywhere

    June 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  71. Chris R.

    For all of those people who disagree with Mr. Kennedy, you need a history lesson. The islamic revolution of '79 would NEVER have happened if not for U.S. interference in Iranian affairs. The shah was nothing but a U.S. puppet that was installed after a man whom the U.S. didn't like won "free and fair" elections. This singular event paved the way for people like Ayatollah Khomeni and the anti-Western sentiment that still pervades the ruling elites in Iran today. "Those who do not know the past are condemned to repeat it." Don't bash the Obama administration for knowing their history and following it. The U.S. should not be drawn into this controversy. It has nothing to gain from taking the side of the opposition. In fact, direct U.S. support (or even perceived support) could hurt the standing of the opposition in the eyes of the clerics and in certain moderate sectors of Iranian politics. So, sit back and let a sovereign state handle its own affairs while praying for a peaceful resolution.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  72. Meka

    I agree with Mr. kennedy 110%. The U.S has a history of sticking it's nose in other peole's affairs to get what it wants. What's the real reason they are over there? Do you really think the U.S cares one bit about people they deem as terrorist? Absolutely not. It's all about money and oil. Everytime the PEOPLE vote in who they want and it's not who the U.S is paying off and could control then there is a problem. I believe that these riots are U.S. instigated. If you TRULY listen to what the Middle east is crying out for it's crying out for the U.S to LEAVE. We have caused more damage then good by being over there.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  73. MIKE

    All this talk about protecting democracy and human rights is ridiculous. The United States has a long history of ignoring human rights violations and supporting dictatorship and repression when it is in our own best interest.
    We cannot talk out of both sides of out mouths as we seem to love to do. Look at China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, including our previous supports of some of the worst dictators in history.
    We need to stay out of Iran's business because it is none of ours own.
    If we are going to intervene in any country where there are human rights violations, we should start with China and Saudi Arabia... but we need them to buy our debt, so we will tolerate their abuses.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  74. Bod from CA

    If only US had not interfered and let Iran and Iraq keep fighting their war, we would not have to have the war in Iraq today. Leave them alone it is their way of life, if they mess with you you have the right to defend and interfere.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  75. Rachel

    I agree with Mr. Kennedy as well. If the Iranian people want a change in their government, they are going to have to do it for themselves, in their own way, and form a new way of doing things that are consistent with that country's culture.

    I disagree with Dan's comment that the US is a 'beacon of freedom' and that the US has to get involved because the Iranian government is silencing its citizens. The citizens of Iran have to get involved for any long-term change to occur – and it looks that without any intervention by outside countries that is already happening.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  76. canadian

    As a non-american, I find the attitute of wanting "fair" elections to be partly humourous. Remember that within the past decade there has been an election in the USA that was not "fair" and yet there were not massive protests in the streets. Perhaps the Iranian quest for democracy is stronger than that of the Americans?

    Have Americans become such sheep to the system that they are willing to see their own democracy trodden on like a dirty rug? I commend President O'Bama's neutral stance until the final toll rings on this election.

    I find the language used makes Iran sound like it is just coming out of the stone ages. It is a technologically advanced society, as much so as the USA. Human rights issues abound, but with a young, savvy population, change will be brought about when the society as a majority finds the "old ways" intolerable.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  77. out of the box

    Think about this –
    Ask all the right wing people. Do they think Obama is the correct choice to run US? No, they are crying to have justice so that an outsider, black guy is not our president.
    Now, which courtry in this world cam eto help them?? NONE. Everyone respect him like him and wanted him to be elected.
    Same is happening in Iran, there are people who don't like currect president of Iran but some Love him!!! Stay out of that business and let Iranian decide what is best for them......

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  78. James

    I think the situation is more complicated than getting involved or not getting involved. I think the right approach for Obama and our government is to stay engaged/follow the developments, but not overtly so. Unofficially, I think the CIA should definitely be helping those on the ground in Iran that want to promote freedom and a more true democratic process. In fact, if I had to guess, that's exactly what we're doing. Obama just can't come out and say that we have assets on the ground helping the new revolutionaries...

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  79. William

    If the Iranian people want freedom, they need to want it bad enough to earn it themselves.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  80. Walter B

    Of course we would like to see all of the world free and living in a democracy. The one thing that we need to realize is that democracy can't be forced on anyone, it can only happen from within.

    I agree with Mr. Kennedy 100%. At the present time, we the US should sit back and let the Iranian people figure it out. No matter how well intentioned our actions would be, we must also consider that not everyone wants to be Saved.

    Mr. Kennedy hit the nail on the head when he commented on past actions of the US.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  81. bira dearaujo

    America has always stood up for the needy and against tyranny. If we did not interfere the world would be way different today. I think we have done well for a lot of people in this world.
    I do agree with most of Mr. Kennedy’s comments. His wisdom could be useful for this administration and furthermore, the people of Iran have come too far to back up. It will take care of itself.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  82. Brian

    I think there is a lot of wisdom in this article. The main theme from President Obama's speech in Cairo was mutual respect in our dealings with Middle Eastern countries in the future. it's time to put up or shut up, and you can be sure the Middle East is watching our response.

    That doesn't mean we give up and appease countries like Iran when we have serious concerns or issues, but I think there is a lot to be gained by moving beyond this idea that any dialog we have with these regimes needs to be one in which our assumption is that the US's world view is the only legitimate world view.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  83. Paymen

    Please don't interfere in Iran’s affair unless you want to see the people who are demonstrating on the street dead and our dreams of better Iran destroyed again. President is 100% correct on the hands off approach. As usual Republicans don't know what they are talking about and they are just reacting to a situation that they don't even have the mental capacity to comprehend. These are the same neo con chicken hawks who for past 8 years have been arguing to boom Iran.

    thanks
    Iranian_American

    June 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  84. Jerod N.

    Since when is the challenger some Savior to Iran who will bring about all these changes to the state and human rights? From what I've read, he's fairly similar to the current regime with just different ideas on the economy and how to spend oil revenues. People are getting this election confused with what they think is a revolution. They are protesting the election results, they are not asking for more rights or seeking other freedoms. The reason there has been so much backlash towards the current regime is because the economy is in the toilet and the unemployment rate is high. The challenger, if elected, wasn't going to change the way they lived, the country is ultimately run by the Ayatollah's anyway. Let's just stay out of their business and see where it leads.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  85. Michael

    The US should not interfere. President Obama is walking a fine line, out of necessity: expressing support for the "Iranian people" as a whole and for the principle of free elections, but otherwise not getting involved. Part of the reason for the 1979 revolution and the decades of hatred for the US that followed (remember, the US was referred to as "The Great Satan") was the CIA's masterminding of the 1953 coup that overthrew the democratically elected Mossadegh.

    The people of Iran need to obtain their own freedom. US involvement would simply drive fence-sitters into the arms of the extremists. Without such involvement, it's much harder for the extremists to credibly demonize the west.

    The GOP, unfortunately, is just playing the same tried-and-failed old tune. Kennedy knows of what he speaks.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  86. Florida

    With foreign politics, it is dangerous to let your emotions rule your actions. And this is a point we should remember:

    If we want to help another country with it"s internal conflicts, we should bring our brains to them, not our military. Make it very clear, that we lend Iran our smartest, best problem-solvers and our time to help themselves solve the problem.

    our physical "help" will be no help, was it a helpful in our riots? not really...

    June 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  87. matt

    Geoff you are exactly correct. The U.S. can help from a distance but I do not think any regime in Iran will ever be "friendly" with the U.S. I believe that will take several generations. Hell after the hostage crisis in in 1979 and 9-11 I hate all of them. But on the other hand if I was them and had a legitimate gripe with the U.S. how would I fight for my cause. Probably just like they do.

    .

    June 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  88. mazzarano

    Moorhead Kennedy is absolutly correct. We need to stop poking our nose in others business. Our people would resent it if the Iranians or any other government tried to control our elections.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  89. Ahmad

    I disagree with this guy we have helps Iranians people to throw out this regime now it is be cheaper now than later when thay have nuclear weapon look at north korea. but with Mr Obama in office I don't think so. we need somebody with big Cojones no a.. kissing president.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  90. Joel

    While it might be tempting to try to help, the best thing is remain formally out of it, which is essentially how Obama has handled it. If we say much or do much, the thugs in charge of the country will claim that we are meddling and use that as an excuse to crush the protests against the rigged election. The other thing to keep in mind, that the real power does not rest with the president, so even if these thugs had not installed a right wing, antisemitic nut, the actual power does rest with him. We mainly have to sit back and hope for the best., unfortunate thought that might sound.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  91. Aalia

    Are you seriously comparing Ahmadinejad to Hitler? My god how incredibly misinformed are you....

    As an American Muslim I can tell you with 110% certainty that meddling in Middle Eastern affairs is what infuriates the people of that region. None of us forget the strong support America has for Israel, and while Israel alone isn't an issue for most Muslims, the fact that the American Media chooses 24 hour coverage of an Iranian Election and it's apparent fraud, yet no coverage of the suffering of the Palestinian people is a terrible double standard and one that isn't AT ALL gone unnoticed by Muslims world-wide. It seems clear to us that the only reason this issue is getting so much attention is because the American Government does not like Ahmadinejad and would love nothing more than to see him removed from his position. This is a decision for the Iranian people to make and one we should not be a part of. Get real people we are already fighting two wars, we can't afford another conflict.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  92. Gerard

    we should NUKE the entire middle east now like we should have 30 years ago! Nothing but nasty trouble will ever happen there!

    June 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  93. oh please

    WHY does this get a section to Leave Your Comment but the http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/17/obama.gay.critics/index.html

    Gay Critics of Obama doesnt get a section for people to comment????

    Excuse me?

    June 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  94. Phil

    There are so many people who really have no idea about what's going on. This has been happening since last week, and international media is getting a very skewed view after coming to the party late. If you want to see first hand reports, (as much as i detest the site normally) visit Twitter and just search for Iran Election. You will see that people are marching because they want the election done over, not to topple the leaders.

    When 40 million PAPER BALLOTS are counted in a few hours (reports started coming out that Ak-my-dinner-jacket had won maybe 6 hours after which means that if there werer 40 million votes, there were 1851 votes counted every second), you'd probably be a bit skeptical. They want a fair vote and a fair count, and the bulk of the voters (young adults) see hope in a different leader (Mousavi).

    Another question – how many of you know anyone from Iran? This article, and everything i've seen from the media paints the country as these people who are still in a society somewhat behind "western civilization". Iran, especially Tehran, is for all intents and purposes a westernized city. The current younger generation ARE pro-western, and it is only the leaders that are against us. They want someone in power who represents their thoughts and ideals. So i'm all for them coming together to get that, and no one needs to meddle in that.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  95. Mason

    I love America deeply and I'm a patriot at best. However, we Americans live in a state of amnesia when it comes to History. We shout first then think about the consequences thereafter. We went into Iraq with the understanding that Saddam Hussein was the enemy and fault behind 911, and that he was seeking weapons of mass destruction. But what really happened was that the US supported him on many diplomatic issues and he was our ally our friend all the way up until he invaded Kuwait. We did not find any weapons of mass destruction and when the video was released by Osama Bin Laden, it placed his signature on the 911 incident and we as Americans wondered, why did we invade Iraq again? President Obama in Cairo Egyt: “Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. (Applause.)” I think individuals like Moorhead Kennedy; a former American hostage in Iran raises good insights to this issue. Listening to Senator McCain on this issue is disturbing-American going into Iran regardless of the surrounding issues that we have with them is extremely unwise. I hope, as a previous POW himself takes Mr. Kennedy insights as a genuine rebuttal to the cry of the Iranians. They would love to draw us into their backyard once again only for the US to take the blame when it all goes downhill. We have been to long the world bully and we have to show the world a different America and not flex our muscles unless our beautiful home is threaten and if need be.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  96. BB

    We should not interfere–plain and simple. the Iranian people have not asked for our help. We have interfered with the policies of enough countries and not to the best interests of our people or theirs, and it has cost us dearly both in lives and money.

    If the Iranian people want our help due to any civil rights violations or other common causes, then we can assist, but we should not interfere simply because we think we know better. The Iranian people are intelligent enough and strong enough to know what they want. It is not up to us to decide what they need.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  97. Michael S.

    The United States doesn't care about human rights anywhere. IF the government did, Tibet would not be a colony of China, many millions in Africa would have food and clean water, our own citizens would not have to endure generations of discrimination, and on and on. W can no longer claim human rights as a part of our foreign policy. It simply is not the case. The US cares about the strength of the Dollar first and foremost, the ability to have easy access to any resource we wish secondly, and our norms and mores to be spread around the world third. Human rights are the convenient excuse used to make the above mentioned take place.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  98. Asian_Al_Sharpton

    All you knuckleheads seem to think that if we get involved in Iran's business that Democracy will suddely take root over there. That's ridiculous!

    The opposition to Ahkmahdenejiad is not pro-democracy! The guy is the same party! The guy was the Ayatollah Khomeinhi's Prime Minister just after they toppled the Shah. In short, he is still an enemy of Democracy and the USA.

    It's like asking "Who do you want in power? Darth Sidious or Darth Maul?"

    June 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  99. Bart

    True liberation of any country must come from within. Why to you think we have had so much trouble in Iraq? The people in need to choose to fight for freedom otherwise it will never succeed.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  100. Dee

    Look what happened when we interferred in Iraq. We totally destabilized a country. Many dont know that we created Saddam Hussein just as we assisted in the way Iran is run today. We need to stay out of other countries. We wouldnt like it if they tried to push their ideals and belief off on us. You can't fight against a religious run establishment. We handled out own civil war, let them handle theirs. This is why we dont have the respect of other countries. We have to stop being the bullies and leave others alone. We have enough problems of our own. Enough of our sons and daughters have died and are dying.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
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