One Important Piece of Action You Can Take If You Believe In Putting The Brakes On The War Train To Iran
This weekend, beginning Sunday, we are about to witness one of the most dramatic shows of Jewish political force in the history of the United States. This is not some anti-Zionist rhetoric – it is simply a fact. AIPAC is going to have over 10,000 people in the DC Convention Center (myself included) at its Policy Conference [for live ‘fair and balanced’ tweets, check www.twitter/beyondzs] – and will have 30-50% of those attending going to lobby on Capitol Hill. Normally, I might say mazel tov – tanks G-t so many care about Israel. But right now, AIPAC is stridently promoting political moves here in the US to lay the groundwork for Israel (alone, or with US overt assistance) to take military action against Iran very shortly. I believe that they do this with good intention, but with flawed reasoning and almost negligent disregard for the outcomes. How can they do this without facing strong, forceful pushback?
- War is easy and its drums are seductive.
- F.U.D. (fear, uncertainty and doubt) cry out to the most base human emotions.
- The politics of our time rewards simplicity and machismo.
So, what is to be done? Here’s the sales pitch:
J Street is having its own Conference three weeks later – from March 24 – March 27. J Street’s position is nuanced and urges caution. Here is an excerpt:
“…Finally, like many American and Israeli security experts such as former Mossad chiefs Meir Dagan and Ephraim Halevy, we believe that a military strike against Iran would be ill-advised. While unlikely to permanently disable Iran’s nuclear program, a military strike would have dire consequences and runs the risk of igniting a broader regional war. A preemptive attack could also strengthen the current regime in Iran and provide an excuse for it to redouble its nuclear efforts. We therefore oppose legislation authorizing, encouraging, or in other ways laying the groundwork for the use of military force against Iran.”
Further details can be found here: http://jstreet.org/policy/issues/iran/.
If you agree with this postion, you can take concrete action by attending the J Street Conference. Every single person who attends sends a critical counter message to Members of Congress and the President. By doing so, you will be standing up for intelligent debate here at home, for allowing the current round of sanctions time to work, and arguing for a new diplomatic “surge”.
Trust me, Congressmen and women can count – and they will. There will be a simple calculus taking place politically throughout Washington – they will stack up what they see as the constituency pushing for the “military option” versus the constituency that opposes immediate military action in favor of a calmer, more reasoned and examined approach. Any of you reading this who are part of the latter group – need to be in D.C. at the J Street Conference. Period.
I know that it is difficult for people to get away. I know that it is expensive in terms of both time and money (although there is financial assistance available). I know that we all have non-stop schedules. But (and I know that this may sound narcissistic and overly dramatic) I personally feel that we are at a time not unlike Dr. King’s March on Washington, not unlike Breaking Down the Berlin Wall, not unlike Tiananmen Square. That is, there are specific moments in time that actually do affect the course of history. Their outcomes revise the course of world history. They determine the trajectory of the future.
Is it hyperbole to put this moment in that context? Perhaps.
But consider the following:
We are talking about the prospect of America entering its Third War in a little over 10 years with potentially massive consequences in terms of death, destruction and economic upheaval for the U.S., Israel, Iran and the rest of the world. There can be very little doubt that military action against Iran is going to set a new trajectory for the Middle East – and quite possibly the entire world.
So, is that worth taking two-three days of our time? I do not ask this rhetorically nor do I question anyone’s answer to that question.
All that I am saying is that from my personal perspective, we are at a watershed moment for our country, for Israel, and for the world as a whole. We have a chance to do something to influence what direction our government takes. I urge you to join me at the J Street Conference in D.C. March 24-26 and to meet with your Member of Congress face-to-face on Tuesday, March 27. Tell her/him directly how you feel.
For anyone who reads this who would like more information on the Conference, you can find it here http://conference.jstreet.org/
For anyone who reads this who would like to consider going and might want more specific details – please contact me at beyondzerosum.gmail.com and let’s discuss.
For anyone who reads this and is so convinced that they want to sign up right away, please go here http://www.wynjade.com/jstreet12/
Follow BeyondZeroSum at www.twitter/beyondzs
For a thoughtful alternative approach to dealing with Iran, see Foreign Policy blog post: Using religion to restrain Iran’s nuclear program
- Obama Says Military Option on Iran Not a ‘Bluff’ – New York Times (nytimes.com)
- Obama to Israel: ‘I don’t bluff’ (thehill.com)
Ok. It’s been many moons since you’ve seen a post from me.
It’s been partly a matter of time, partly a matter of not having anything brilliant to say, and partly (maybe mostly) because a lot of things to be said regarding the Middle East were so depressing. Although I can’t say things are less depressing now – actually just the opposite – but it is time again to try to make a real push to say some things worth saying and to expand my readership. Coming up on the agenda: the AIPAC Policy Conference – this Sunday and Monday. I will be tweeting (www.twitter.com/beyondzs) live from the floor and hopefully wrapping up with a post each night. Check it out for a different perspective.
To see a very cool giant awake, sip a Johnnie Walker and watch this video. I think you’ll enjoy it.
So, please review my next few posts and if you find them worthwhile, please circulate them to any friends that might be interested. I would appreciate that.