February 25th, 2010
10:58 AM ET
8 years ago

Coats says military threat 'only option' against Iran

Republican Dan Coats is seeking his former Indiana Senate seat.

Republican Dan Coats is seeking his former Indiana Senate seat.

Washington (CNN) - Dan Coats, the former Republican senator from Indiana trying to get his job back, is doing some old-fashioned saber-rattling as he fights his way through a crowded Republican primary.

In an interview with Human Events on Wednesday, Coats said the "only option" left to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is the threat of military action.

Coats said most Americans agree that Iran must not be allowed to have such weapons, even though Iranian leaders continue to press forward with their nuclear program.

"And yet, no one has gone past that point and said 'If it's unacceptable, what are we going to do?,'" Coats said. "And now it seems we're being asked to accept the unacceptable."

"And the only option now is potential military action if we're going to stop this," he continued. "The unknown factor in all of this is the situation the Israelis are in, sitting there looking at the nation that's proclaiming it wants to eliminate that country from the face of the earth. And that's the kind of threat that I think America has not understood."

Filed under: 2010 • Dan Coats • Indiana
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. AJ

    Great thinking! We have a war going on in Iraq, a war going on in Afghanistan and our troop level is stretched thin. Where exactly does Coates think we are going to come up with the manpower or financial resources to committ to this military intervention he is proposing?

    February 25, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. linda

    Most Americans do not have a clue regarding Iran's nuclear weapons

    Most Americans, however, do not want the US involved in another
    useless war – we are already in two – costing US taxpayers, according
    to estimates, over $1 trillion! $ 1 trillion!

    And, as the GOP stump around with misinformation, lies and
    obstruction, the $1 trillion spent in Iraq and Afganistan would be
    better spend reforming our broken health care system.

    $ 1 trillion! Wake up America. This hawk, and others, do not deserve
    press time.

    February 25, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Justin

    When Coats openly proposes a draft, I'll take him seriously. That goes for Sarah Palin and the rest of the warmongers out there.

    The only effective military response to Iran will be an invasion. With our troops already committed in Iraq and Afghanistan, we'd need many more troops than we have.

    Maybe an invasion of Iran is necessary, but don't believe that it will be easy. It would be many times more difficult than Iraq ever was.

    This is what happens when you take your eye off the ball and occupy countries you don't need to (thanks Bush/Cheney!)

    February 25, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. renobill

    Just another war mongering repuke who would rather kill than look for a peaceful solution.

    February 25, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Gary

    Former Republican Senator. Where were you when it was your JOB! I don't remember you speaking up when Bush was in the Whitehouse and when it was your job.

    February 25, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. El Gordo

    So, this Conservative Republican believes that we should go to war with Iran? Makes sense. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are beginning to wind down, and they turned out swell didn't they? I think we've all been luck that our generation was chosen to fight for – something, I forget what – oh yes, to remove weapons of mass destruction from Iraq. Well, we invaded didn't we? And are there now any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? No? Well then, "Mission Accomplished."

    After fighting a tough customer like Iraq, I'm sure Iran will be a piece of cake. We'll have to go back to the draft of course. It's too bad I'm too old to fight, but our patriotic young people can't afford college so let's send them to war. It would be good for TV ratings and we can let the same kids who are fighting it pay for it until they die of bullet wounds or old age, whichever comes first.

    February 25, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Greg in Cabot, AR

    Indiana residents had better get ready for WAR if they elect this has-been.....do we need another IRAQ???

    We still havne't found the WMD's that got us into that rat hole, now he wants military action in Iran for "phantom nukes" a.k.a. WMD's???

    The US has enough nukes to bounce the rubble in Iran should they do something stupid and they know it but War seems to be the only solution Coats can come up with??

    Indiana can do better than this fear mongering clown.

    February 25, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Donkey Party

    Typical Republican. Let's go to war, but nevermind how we pay for it. The world must look at American citizens and wonde,r why are they so stupid to keep electing Right-wingers?

    February 25, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    Awesomely shocking! Let's invade next week. We'll be greeted as liberators! Have a nice day!

    February 25, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Steve, New York City

    "Hey, let's start another war!" – is that how "some" Republicans seek to drum up support? That's very sad – maybe Mr. Coats could somehow try to convince people that he's capable of critical thinking.

    February 25, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Peter E

    Okay, let's see how that would play out... Iran is three times the population of Iraq, and its opposition leaders also support their nuclear program and their hatred of Israel. So let's extrapolate Iraq to a war in Iran. It will cost three times as much, it will require three times the manpower, and we will still be treated as hostile invaders, not as the liberators that Cheney envisioned we would be treated as in Iraq. Yeah, I'm sure America can afford bigger and bigger wars even as its previous two wars STILL haven't concluded yet.

    February 25, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Minnesotan

    Oh, look: Another Republican wants to start another war, while we're in the midst of a Republican sponsored Recession and economic crisis. How out of touch with reality are these imbeciles?!?!

    February 25, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Limbaugh is a liberal

    I am all for Israel living in peace, but does that mean they have to drag us into every conflict? Why are we fighting for a country that's barely equal to the population of New York city? Why do we let 2% of America's population dictate over 50% of our foreign policy? (and, fun fact, 50% of our foreign aid) It s time Israel fought its own wars, on Israeli taxpayer's money and Israeli sacrifices, instead of demanding again and again that American blood and money be spent. We know they can. They bombed the heck out of Saddam's nuclear program two decades ago. They could just do that to Iran.

    February 25, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. Jamie

    Who is this crazy?

    February 25, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. rachel

    War, WAr, WAR all some people want is WAR. War against afganastan, war against Iraq, War against Iran war against everybody.

    February 25, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. Nick Mumford; Fairfield, CA

    I really hate to say it, but I agree. It's the only thing we haven't tried, and we're coming down to a last resort situation. We CANNOT stand idly by while an unstable and oppressive regime develops nuclear weapons. We have to act before it's too late. I hate war and killing as much as anyone, and I know most of us are tired of war from the conflicts our troops are currently engaged in, but if we refuse to act it may mean death and destruction the likes of which haven't been seen outside the movies since the 1940's. I know I don't want to take that chance. And I definitely don't want the blood of the innocent to be spilt in a catastrophic event that we could've prevented.

    February 25, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Fair is Fair

    It's too late. I'd say the chances are greater than 50-50 that the mullahs already have enough fissile material for several bombs. The only thing they need now is a way of making the device small enough to put on a missle. And that won't take long.

    So Obama... congratulations on dragging your feet long enough. You've done the world a great service by turning your head the other way and allowing a radical regime to obtain the most devastating weapons known to mankind.

    Bravo, sir... bravo.

    February 25, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. Annie, Atlanta

    What do these guys do, take Fear Mongering 101 at some secret location on a college campus here in the States? And having a wingnut sister who has stocked up on plastic and duct tape, I can honestly say using the fear card works well.

    Iranian nukes would be the Middle East's immediate problem. Does this idiot think they're not on top of it over there? Think Israel. When did policing the world become our job? That's how we get into trouble and wind up getting attacked.

    February 25, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Albert R. K. . L.A., CA

    Coats qulifies every sentence out of his mouth, "And now it seems...," and 'the only option now is potential military action..." When using words like "seems" and "potential" he is trying to make it appear like he talking like a leader but he is not. Also there is no difference between " the threat of military action" (as he words it) and what the leaders of Iran expected would be the result of their developing nuclear weapons. Coats is full of smoke.

    When people ljump to refering to the use of war as an only option it reveals they lack leadership qualities. The people of Iran are protesting their government and with a little help from the world they could re-open the revilution and put it back on track, but Republicans never talk of peaceful ways to resolve problems because they always seek votes using fear and flag.

    February 25, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If he is talking a war where our troops go in and kick some butt, then we need to wait on that. That is because we need to have our troops rest and get some new or repaired equipment as well as international support. Going into Iran isn't going to be easy.

    What we need to be doing is making sure their supplies from outside the country go missing. It would be a real problem if the takers brining gasoline into Iran started not showing up or with less than there was supposed to be as a good example. If that truck with food brought some problematic cargo, that would be ashame as well.

    February 25, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Ben in Texas

    There is no end to how gullible the Repugs think Americans are. Oh, sure, we're going to buy a third useless war to enrich military contractors. Think again, Coats. There may be another war, but it will be the citizens of the U.S. against the Repugs and their running buddies the Blue Dogs, if you try to push a war with Iran. And Americans are loaded with ammunition.

    February 25, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Unless and until Iran threatens the US with any nuclear weapons, it's none of our business if they develop them. Even if Iran and Israel starting popping nukes on each other, that's none of our business either–we're not the world's cop, and we're not Israel's bodyguard.

    February 25, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Papasan in AZ

    Hooray! Another War Monger for political office. If Coats had to go fight I doubt he would be blabbing about Military Options with Iran.

    February 25, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. Publico

    Just what we need Dan, another war and drain on the US economy. We are already paying 10 billion a month on GOP mistakes and have exhausted our military to the point of weakening our national security. Just the same old GOP response, low taxes, let the corporations do what they want and sent the working class kids off to war.

    February 25, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. Debbie

    Coats: Is Iran the new Iraq?

    Really is war the only option?

    Where will the dollars come from to pay for this 3rd war?

    We have a volunteer military. Which war would you pull our military from to fight? How many mothers are you willing to talk to when their son dies on the field?

    February 25, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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