Our editorial on August 31, 2006 titled "Why not talk it out?" has evoked quite a response.
It spoke of adopting a middle path on Iran's confrontation with the US on the uranium enrichment issue. It said that adopting a tough stand would only aggravate the issue. Debate, it insisted, was a better option.
Clearly, that's not the way most people who wrote to us thought. Here's how the responses went.
Allen Land of Houston, USA felt nuclear proliferation was a serious issue and whether anybody accepted it or not, it was only US which was seriously trying to tackle it.
"The 'nuclearisation' of Iran will be a major threat to its neighbours and if Russia and China think that it will not get affected they just have their heads in the sand."
"Radical Islam is a threat to the whole region especially and to Israel. If the region wants to suffer the pain of nuclear fallout, literally, they had better start doing something now. This is not only a USA problem, we have an ocean between us and them and we have an immense defence establishment that is capable of turning Iran into a sea of glass, if it attacks the US."
"I know that many view the USA as an enemy because of our prosperous and free society, but just think what the results will be if we withdraw our navy from the seas and left the rest of the world to solve its own problems without our aid..."
"The US has tried to be a counter to the old Soviet Union (a threat that many refused to recognise at the time) and now that we are trying to counter this new threat to world peace all I see is abject hatred being directed toward us."
"If this continues I fear that the majority in the USA will turn away from this role and leave the world to solve it own problems alone. Just think what will happen for example, when Japan realises that we will not honour our defence agreements with them?"
Harry, Zamboanga City, Philippines felt our stance was extremely biased.
"I was shocked to read your editorial. Iran currently has no nuclear-energy management and/or nuclear-electro distribution. In fact, their plans for such facilities are so flawed that most experts believe such plans were drawn-up for show only. So logically, its uranium enrichment activities can only be for nuclear-weapons development alone."
"Another absurd argument was that the enriched uranium would be exported for added national revenues and in this case even the average person will find this argument implausible."
"In light of the obvious signs as clearly presented to the UN Security Council in IEA documentation and reports, your paper advocates for '.... clear inducements ...'."
"We agree, since we have 6 battalions of ready inducements currently gearing-up for some extreme inducing!"
"Your biased choice of words and focus on certain aspects of the conflict, while ignoring other key facts at the core of the hostilities between the US and Iran, all goes to reinforce my perception that your writings suffer from a pronounced lack of balance and truth."
Will Sawyer of Ontario, Canada thought the person who wrote this article appeared to have little understanding of the situation or was just plain naive. Here's how he elaborated it.
"This person speaking for Iran and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been offered enticements to forgo his country's path to the development of nuclear weapons. But his/her hatred of the west and Israel and everything non-Islamic prevents him from accepting the offers. Instead he spouts propaganda and hatred with every breath."
"Diplomacy works well when discussing how to resolve a trade issue. Diplomacy does not work with madmen and tyrants such as Ahmadinejad. He has been given opportunities to correct the situation the time for discussion has passed. People like him rely on the types of people who write these articles to confuse and cloud the issues."
"That way it gives him additional time to achieve his monstrous goals and take this world further down to the path of intolerance and destruction."
"I ask this writer to put aside his myopic opinion of the American president and recognise the truth here, which is that the Iranian president wants nuclear weapons to bring more death and destruction to the region, to allow him to play with the big boys, to pretend he is something that he isn't, a world power that has world responsibilities."
"He is a petty tyrant who is bent on conversion and/or death of his imagined enemies. This article's main concern seems to be to blame the US president because there is a lunatic running a middle eastern nation and Bush hasn't spent enough time to discuss the weather with him."
"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has provided enough evidence in his comments to reveal what the course of action should be in dealing with him and it needs no more discussion."
Rob C of Philadelphia, USA felt nobody could talk to a country like Iran whose president thought holocaust never happened.
"Your editorial concerning Iran ends with a question of why not restore diplomatic ties? I will answer that for you."
"Because the Iranian government is senseless. Let's not forget the revolution of 1979 when they held 52 hostages for 444 days. Think of how many of Hezbollah terrorist bombings have been supported and paid for by Iran. On top of that, this government has called the holocaust a hoax and called for Israel to be wiped off the planet. Any and I mean any government that calls for genocide are animals."
"Iran understands only strong-arm tactics. What do you think these religious freaks will do with a nuclear bomb? Be real. They will lob into Israel the first chance they get. The Iranian president views himself as 'the' leader of the Arab world and I guarantee you Egypt and Saudi Arabia do not want this 'maniac' running the Middle East."
Danny Nguyen from Stratford, USA felt that Iran nursed ambitions to be a Middle East superpower.
"Talking to a really 'bad' guy to ask him to be a 'good' guy is a lot of hard work. We have been trying too long for more 27 years and this Iran regime is still want to be the Middle East superpower."
"They want to control the regions and because of us (USA, a good guy always trying to stop the bad guys to do the harmful thing to the human beings all over the world) not to let them doing whatever they are dreaming about. That is why they hate us!"
"Not only Iran but also North Korea, China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela..."
However, not all thought it was a bad approach.
Borzooyeh of San Jose, USA thought there was tremendous sense in what the said editorial mentioned.
"Your editorial 'Why not talk it out?' was excellent in more than one way. It was brief, to the point and very clearly covered one of the more complex political issues. Way to go!"
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