A US Coalition To Stop A War With IranPosted: 11 June 2008
An unusual coalition of interest groups from left and right is launching a drive today to head off an American military attack on Iran by pushing America into high-level negotiations with Tehran.
The Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran, which bills itself as “transpartisan,” consists of more than three dozen organizations, most of them left-leaning, such as the American Friends Service Committee, the Institute for Policy Studies, and the Open Society Policy Center, which is backed by George Soros.
However, the campaign also has the backing of a smattering of right-of-center groups, including the American Conservative Defense Alliance, the Libertarian Party, and the American Cause, which is headed by Patrick Buchanan.
The campaign to push for direct talks with Iran’s mullahs is kicking off with a press conference this morning on Capitol Hill expected to feature the Libertarian nominee for president, Robert Barr, as well as several members of Congress, including Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Barbara Lee of California, both Democrats, and Rep. Ron Paul, who mounted a bid for this year’s Republican presidential nomination. Brandishing red telephones supposed to symbolize a hotline to Tehran, the group will urge supporters to call Congress and press for talks.
One advocate of a tough line toward Tehran, Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, disputed the coalition’s suggestion that America has been unwilling to talk with Iran. “We’ve tried everything. There’s no stick we haven’t brandished. There’s no carrot we haven’t dangled,” he said. “They don’t want us. They’re our enemies.”
Some campaign participants could draw unwanted notoriety to the effort. Last year, federal prosecutors named one member of the coalition, the Council on American Islamic Relations, as an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case linking the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation and Hamas. Cair denied the claim and asked a judge to strike the co-conspirator list from the public record. Jurors acquitted the defendants on some counts and could not reach a verdict on most, but Cair’s motion was never ruled on.
Apparently not all pundits are agreeing with McCain and the Bush rhetoric. I wish them success for a peaceful end to these smoldering hostilities.