NPR/Iowa Public Radio’s Democratic Debate Today

I actually heard most of this one while I was out running errands. As a Democrat who is dubious of the new NIE, I am not happy with our candidates’ insistence that the military option be “off the table” with Iran. I hope I don’t have to cast my first vote for a Republican presidential candidate in November of 2008.

Candidates Debate

You can download and listen to the 2-hour debate from NPR: Iran Sparks Fireworks at Democratic Debate. You can also listen to several brief audio “highlights.”

Debate Transcript

NPR Debate Fact Check

TNR’s The Stump: A Lousy Format for Hillary at the NPR Debate

Chris Cillizza of The Fix gives us NPR’s Democratic Debate: Winners and Losers

CNN Political Ticker

NY Times: For Democrats, a Strained Debate on Immigration

The Caucus Blog of the NY Times Live-Blogged It

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Author: HOLLY IN CINCINNATI, Copy Editor

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  • http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-cjQ4r_Y_cqXPXpxyIWQePYrgXHbB Nick Rivera

    As a Democrat who is dubious of the new NIE, I am not happy with our candidates’ insistence that the military option be “off the table” with Iran.

    Why am I not surprised?

    Holly, with all that’s happened in the last five years, do you still think going to war with Iraq was the correct thing to do?

  • http://lonewacko.com/ LonewackoDotCom

    Sometime tomorrow I hope to post a list of 10 or so whoppers that the NPR pseudo-journalists let the candidates slip past them, but for now here’s a brief discussion of how weak the imm. questions were.

    Clearly, there were two factors involved here: those “reporters” know little about this issue, but also they weren’t interested in a real debate.

    Compare the questions they asked with the ones I submitted to them; see the second comment here:

    npr.org/blogs/news/2007/11/ask_the_candidates_immigration.html

  • http://lonewacko.com/ LonewackoDotCom

    Here’s the last link of my comment. See the second comment at that link for the questions I submitted.

  • Pyst

    Ah the neocon shows her stripes.

  • domajot

    To those getting overheated about the military option, I would ask Just what do they think ‘off the table’ means?
    Nobody is going to dismantle our militray capabilites, for heaven’s sakes. There are always plans drawn and re-drawn for possible action, and that will continue no matter who the president is.

    I congratulate the Dems for taking it off the table as a talking point, because that’s all this can mean.. It can go back on the table in a flash, if needed.

    We;ve threatened for years until the threats sound hollow and meanngless. Should the military option need to be brought up again, it will have a serious impact precisely becasuse it would follow a pause in the WWIII rhetoric. Did you not notice the reaction when Sarkozy broke France’s silence?

    Raising the terrorist threat levels became a joke, because of the numbing effect of repetition.
    Yammeting away about the militrary option is going the same route, IMO.
    Within the US, especially, the calls for attacking Iran are increasingly having the opposite of the intended effect. It’s such a constant theme,, that those who are not core believers dismiss the alarms as just a state of mind and not a state of actuality, and because of the constant drone, they are more likely to dismiss the alarm should circumstances change to make it of immeidate relevance.
    There is no point to trying to convince those who already agree with you. Those looking for converts, whould be wise to pause long enough to gauge what works and what just increases resistance.

    That’s precisely what the US should do in re Iran.
    If we are to come out ahead, we have to outsmart Iran. Blustering about the military option day after day will not work.

  • Rudi

    What is “dubious” about the report. Please list the problems. ArmsControlWonks says:

    I had guessed that spring was significant because of developments at Natanz (more on that in a second) or, possibly, the defection of Ali Rez Asgari (an Iranian defense official who was not linked in the press to the nuclear program). Lord knows it wasn’t poor Hussein Musavian.

    Some say Israel has Asgari and he confirmed no nukes.

  • DLS

    I am not happy with our candidates’ insistence that the military option be “off the table” with Iran.

    They’d kiss Hitler’s ass if it were the 1930s, not only because the knee-jerk, brain-stem-only-”brain” anti-war position is hip as well as PC, but because it distinguishes them from, and spites, the evil Bush (or in the 1930s, the evil warmongering “wolf-crier” Churchill).

    If Iran ever commits a major attack, they’ll be the first and loudest to complain that this nation didn’t Do Something earlier to forestall the attack.

  • DLS

    with all that’s happened in the last five years

    Fallacious. Iran is not Iraq.

  • Elrod

    It’s always Hitler and 1939 isn’t it? There’s a reason we have Godwin’s Law – because very very very few historical situations match that of Hitler.

  • T-Steel

    I agree with Elrod. We can talk The Time Machine (one of my favorite books in another post). To the point:

    Can we afford to maintain Iraq while attacking Iran? Can we really say that air strikes would be enough and Iran wouldn’t counter with some kind of offensive in Iraq? Can we say and somewhat be sure that an Iran war option wouldn’t be as long as the situation in Iraq? Can we?

    This entire Iran war talk unsettles me. I don’t think we have the capability to do both (Iraq and Iran without some kind of draft. And looking at today’s America, a draft would be almost like watching The Civil War.

  • DLS

    It’s always Hitler and 1939 isn’t it? There’s a reason we have Godwin’s Law – because very very very few historical situations match that of Hitler.

    “Godwin’s Law” is almost exclusively a childish nerd gimmick.

    The analogy of appeasement of Iran to Munich (complete with “peace in our time” rather than heeding warnings) has long existed and is well-known.

  • DLS

    Can we afford to maintain Iraq while attacking Iran?

    Yes, if we conduct air strikes, which is what everyone expects would be the form of an attack, along with naval operations to clear Hormuz and the Gulf, if not blockade Iran’s oil shipping.

    This is despite the obvious, that our maintenance of Iraq has been and remains deficient.

    Can we really say that air strikes would be enough and Iran wouldn’t counter with some kind of offensive in Iraq?

    I, and no doubt many others, expect that Iran would not only boost the terrorism it supports in Iraq now, but conduct air and missile strikes on our bases and elsewhere on our forces. Iran also would likely block Hormuz, mine it and other parts of the Gulf, attack other nations’ oil shipping, and attack other nations’ oil infrastructures and fields (even do so pre-emptively to forestall our attacking Iran’s oil infrastructures and fields).

    In addition, Iran would immediately launch, through Hizballah, attacks on Israel (while possibly seizing complete control of Lebanon by the same proxy), which would be a diversionary action likely to force the USA to diminish its effort against Iran in order to aid Israel.

    Can we say and somewhat be sure that an Iran war option wouldn’t be as long as the situation in Iraq? Can we?

    Yes, easily. We wouldn’t be seeking an invasion and occupation (which would be against a much larger nation, a better-armed nation, with difficult rather than easy terrain, with a population of eighty as opposed to twenty-four million or so citizens, a gauge of comparative army sizes, and a more terroristic nation).

    An attack on Iran is not to be taken lightly (see the long-anticipated retaliatory consequences listed above), but what I find irritating as an intelligent person is that so much of the anti-war positions (not yours, but others’) are vacuous and worse, PC or hip or a perverse rule of conformity to children of various ages, especially because it is seen as a way to “diss” our current President.

  • DLS

    very very very few historical situations match that of Hitler

    Not only is appeasement of Iran (and more broadly, all the enemies of Israel) similar to Munich, but in Iran’s case, its leader often says things Hitler would have said.

    “Godwin’s law” is an annoying nerd playpen game that has no respect among the intelligent. I’m surprised those to whom that such a game is sacrosanct haven’t demanded all references to Hitler be expunged from all publications (including history books), all broadcasts, all speech. PC is all about suppression of non-lefty-robotic-behavior, after all.

  • http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-cjQ4r_Y_cqXPXpxyIWQePYrgXHbB Nick Rivera

    Not only is appeasement of Iran (and more broadly, all the enemies of Israel) similar to Munich, but in Iran’s case, its leader often says things Hitler would have said.

    We’ve come full circle. Five years ago, supporters of the Iraq War were accusing those who opposed the war of “appeasement.” Already, we’re hearing the “appeasement” being used to describe those who refuse to drop bombs on Iran.

    Before you know it, the Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard will be talking about the alleged connection between Iran and 9/11, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin will opponents of bombing Iran with Nazi sympathizers, and Richard Cheney will be telling us that we’ll be greeted as liberators.