Originally Posted by pedro
I think it would be a mistake b/c Iran is the country in the middle east most likely to become a meaningiful democracy IMO. They have a relatively educated populace, and they are far enough down the road of theocratic government that many of the young people appear to be ready for something else.
If you consider the history of Iran, it's kind of ironic why and how the current regime got into command. In 1953, the CIA plotted with Iranian Army Officers to overthrow the popularly elected government that had taken possession of the rich oil resources long exploited by Britain. Fearing a precedent that might jeopardise Western oil interests in the Middle East, the CIA secretly returned the deposed Shah of Iran to power and restored the oil wells to British firms. As a result, the United States gained a loyal ally on the Soviet border. This finally led the Iranian citicens in 1979 to support the islamic revolution which promised them more personal freedom and more independence from western influences and dictations.
During the 80's, the US strongly supported Saddam Hussein who initiated the Persian Gulf war. In 1987 the US even took part in combat actions and destroyed large parts of the Iranian navy to support (military weaker) Hussein, who was a good friend who handled in the interest of the US back then. He just wasn't able to get the job done and evidently searched for an easier enemy (Kuwait) with equally rich oil resources to defeat. Just imagine Hussein thinking what he actually did wrong ... fighting against Iran he was supported by the US, attacking Kuwait he suddenly becomes the scapegoat.
Bush got Hussein removed, but achieved little else up-to-date in Iraq. I have doubts that he will achieve anything in Iran as well. As Iran is not even an indirect threat to the US, military action against a sovereign country are not justified, in my opinion.
I don't say this to pump up the blood of some patriotic posters here, but I think some of you lack the ability to critically question the motives of your government. It has also supported dictators in the past, as long as it served US interests. If humanitarian help is the main goal of politics, why are no troops in Sudan, North Korea, or a dozen African countries where millions of people suffer from hunger and dictators?