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Monday, February 06, 2006

Iran's Nuke Quest Nuke - What a Congress Rep Needs to Know

Iran is on course to build a nuclear weapon. The key question for the U.S. is how to handle this dangerous situation.

I was supposed to be in Iran in 1978 on a project for a Fortune 500 company. It was a naval base being built on the Persian Gulf. I avoided being a refugee and potential hostage when I turned down that assignment and took a job with another Houston company as an international attorney. I ended doing oil deals in places like Cairo, Egypt and negotiating pollution control technology in Beijing, China instead of being put on a barge and fleeing one step ahead of the 1978 Iranian revolutionaries. The new Iranian President is one of them.

Iran is an example of what happens when a radical religious agenda takes over from a secular government. The fanatics have sidelined the moderates in Iran. We’ve had enough extremists in our own government. All they do is get us into trouble.

The key is to help Iran reach a more tolerant, moderate government. You can’t do that with a war. Iraq should be a lesson in how our assumptions don't match reality in these situations.

Iran's facilities are underground. Iran already has missiles that can hit Israel and radioactive material that could be used as a dirty bomb in a warhead. The payback from a military strike would be deadly to our allies. It will take global diplomacy and strong pressure to resolve the Iran situation. The U.S. should call a summit and involve NATO, Russia and China. I spent the day of 9 11 on TV as a terrorism expert. We don’t need any more of them.

On the campaign front, I had some incredible experiences over the weekend. I went into one place yesterday and was talking to a couple people. Before I knew it, a dozen people had surrounded me –all of them taking excitedly about the election. The desire for change was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife.

I leaned against the wall, and listened.

Voters need to be thinking about which replacement representative is best equipped to deal with the looming local and global issues facing us – from teachers and vets getting better treatment to dealing with Iran’s fanatic government on a quest for nuclear weapons.

The skills we need in Congress for these global situations are not acquired by playing golf at expensive resorts in Scotland…If a representative doesn’t have those skills now, he or she won’t have the time to get them on the job to avoid making some big mistakes in dealing with these complex global issues that affect our security. That knowledge could have avoided a lot of mistakes made with Iraq.

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