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To no-one's surprise, in their Congressional testimony Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus blamed Iran for violence in Iraq, and cited Iran as the latest reason why we can't withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq until some indefinite time in the future, based on some unspecified criteria of undefined success. Of course, it was Iran, not the Bush Administration, that brokered the recent cease-fire in Basra, but that doesn't fit the Administration's script.

But while the Bush Administration continues to beat the drums of conflict with Iran, a bipartisan group of House Members has a different idea: implement the unanimous, bipartisan recommendations of the Congressionally-appointed Iraq Study Group, and engage in serious regional diplomacy - including Iran and Syria - to help achieve political resolution to Iraq's conflicts, and to help the US get out.

Republican Wayne Gilchrest, co-chair of the Congressional Dialogue Caucus, is the sponsor of H. Con. Res. 321, which calls for serious regional diplomacy.

Co-sponsors include Reps. Meeks (co-chair of the Dialogue Caucus), Murtha, Jones of North Carolina, Shays, Moran, English, Kaptur, Baldwin, Reyes, Cummings, and Johnson of Illinois.

The resolution, promoted by the Friends Committee on National Legislation, presses the Administration to

...jointly with Iraq, the United Nations, and regional organizations, to expeditiously engage in bilateral and multilateral talks and conferences with Iraq's neighboring countries, and specifically ... recommends the implementation of the International Compact for Iraq and recommendations 9 and 13 of the Iraq Study Group Report, including ... implementing recommendation 9, which states, 'Under the aegis of the New Diplomatic Offensive and the Support Group, the United States should engage directly with Iran and Syria in order to try to obtain their commitment to constructive policies toward Iraq and other regional issues. In engaging with Syria and Iran, the United States should consider incentives, as well as disincentives, in seeking constructive results'.

If this new, bipartisan push for real diplomacy with Iran and Syria gains support, it would put significant pressure on the Administration to curtail its policy of confrontation with Iran and pursue real diplomacy.

As Stephen Kinzer argues in the Guardian, talking to Iran could be the ruby slippers to get us home to Kansas.  Ask your Representative to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Gilchrest resolution.

(The six minute video from Kinzer's 22-city tour promoting diplomacy with Iran, which has been viewed more than 140,000 times on YouTube, can be seen here.)

Originally posted to Robert Naiman on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 05:13 PM PDT.

Poll

I used the link provided to ask my Rep to sign on...

38%5 votes
7%1 votes
7%1 votes
30%4 votes
15%2 votes

| 13 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Two words for Gen. Patraeus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lao hong han, MJJLWolf

    Court

    and

    Martial

    •  Steven Kinzer, Trita Parsi, & Barb Slavin (5+ / 0-)

      under the sponsorship of "Just Foreign Policy.orgtook a month out of their lives to tour the country -- 22 stops in 35 days  +-, talking about Kinzer's book, "All the Shah's Men," and offering citizens real information & enlightenment, not propaganda, on the history of US-Iran relations.

      I saw Kinzer on his last stop, at Busboys & Poets in Wash, DC; he has rare insight into the Iranian character.  

      Dems should learn about organizations like Just Foreign Policy. org, NIAC, CASMII; should read William Polk & George McGovern -- Out of Iraq; should support the views of William Odom.  These are the think tanks and thinkers who are going to displace AEI, Heritage, Saban Center at Brookings, Wash. Near East Policy gang of thugs, when our nation emerges from this long nightmare of the thugocracy.

  •  Gilchrest lost his primary (4+ / 0-)

    in large part because he chose to buck the GOP dogma. Let's show him some love for standing up for what he believes in to the very end.

    Refuge Watch -- news from America's national wildlife refuges

    by Naturegal on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 05:17:29 PM PDT

  •  Sorry, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lao hong han

    I live in Alaska and pigs will sprout wings and the sun will rise in the north before Rep. Don Young signs on for anything as intelligent as this resolution.  He has more important issues to deal with like explaining why he is spending about a million dollars of campaign funds on attorneys.  

  •  thanks for the diary, Robert Naiman (3+ / 0-)

    Gilchrest is the model of what a US Congressman ought to be: a man who put his integrity and the wellbeing of the nation ahead of his congressional seat.

     Gilchrest is part of an Iran caucus group that tries to bring critical thinking and honest analysis to the discussion of Iran.

  •  Petraeus's "pause" entails surgery: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lao hong han

    Photobucket

    We don't have time for short-term thinking.

    by Compound F on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 05:33:49 PM PDT

  •  Do you think an attack on Iran is imminent? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT, CIndyCasella

    Many things point in that direction.
    The evidence: 1.Misinformation like this testimony. 2. Cheney's recent trip which essentially circled all the countries surrounding Iran 3. The resignation 1 April of Admiral Fallon, who has adamantly opposed to bombing Iran 4. Israels 5 day national war preparedness drill going on till Friday which has included the re issuance of gas masks to all citizens 6. A third carrier group sent into the Gulf area.  7. Anti-Iranian drumbeat from the ever-obedient Fox News. 8. The delivery of additional bunker-busting bombs w/ a delivery date of 1 April.
    Obviously Israel understands that a Bush/Cheney administration is more amenable to an attack on Iran than any future administration (even McCain) will be.
    What say you Kossacks?

    The Truth is such that it cannot be seen and not be believed. Wm. Blake

    by John L on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 06:05:27 PM PDT

    •  Those that want war are doing their most (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella

      The problem is voices for war seem to get more legs than voices for peace.

      Bush and Cheney are doing their best to minefield any chance of peace in the region. If enough people hear 'Iran is killing our troops' then it will be hard to engage them.

      Meanwhile, the same bastards have no problem hosting Walid "My joy was great when Columbia blew up, because it killed a Jew" Jumblatt. The same warlord that shelled and killed US Marines from his strategic location in the mountians overlook Beirut.

      So he's an anti-Semite. So he killed US Marines.

      He sucks up to Cheney...therefore he is good.

      He's willing to play along with the current anti-Iran political game.

      In a battle of ideas, we as a nation sure don't seem to have any. We just pay people willing to sell their souls. Like Colin Powell.

      Back to Jumblatt. Our bud in Lebanon. Back when he was attacking our friends in Lebanon in the early '80s:

      Lying in the hotel basement, we listened to artillery rounds scream in at the rate of one every few seconds. We knew Druze guns up in the hills were pounding Christian areas just as mercilessly. I had once asked Walid Jumblatt what he thought about at times like that, when he ordered his men to point them guns toward neighborhoods full of women and children.

      "You don't think in such occasions, you just react. It's purely reaction," he said, stretching out his long, scrawny legs.

      "But you know it's going to prompt shelling on Muslim civilian areas," I reminded the Druze warlord.

      "I know that." He raised his bushy eyebrows and shrugged his bony shoulders in a gesture that suggested it was out of his hands. "It's terrible, but it's part of the Lebanese political game."

      "How do you justify --" He broke in before I could finish.

      "There are no justifications. And we haven't been able to reach a gentlemen's agreement not to shoot our civilian areas." Jumblatt's answers were always abrupt and matter-of-fact. No embellishments. He didn't care what anybody thought. Interviewing him was like talking to an unrepentant juvenile delinquent.

      "Does your conscience bother you?" I asked.

      Big sigh. "Of course," he said, his voice rising in pitch as if to say the answer was obvious. "And there's no way to avoid that. But I told you, it's purely an automatic reaction."

      A series of "automatic reactions" between February 3 and February 7 left somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 people dead and many times that number wounded.

      link

      He was recently given high level access to our government on his approved visit to DC.

      No one said boo.

      •  from "Exodus" (the movie) on justice: (0+ / 0-)

        Ari (Paul Newman), a member of Haganah, the Israeli defense force, has been sent to persuade his Uncle Akiva, leader of Irgun, an Israeli terrorist group, to stop the bombing and killing because it is giving Israel a bad name:

        Uncle Akiva:When it comes to fighting, Haganah has lost more lives than Irgun.
        Ari Paul Newman)We fight to defend ourselves, or to capture positions that we can occupy and hold.
                     When you attack it's just to spread terror.

        AkivaYour duty is done. You have given me the official line. But what about you, Ari?               Forget Haganah for one moment, and tell me what you think.

        AriI think these bombings and these killings hurt us with the United Nations.
                     A year ago we had the respect of the whole world. Now, when they read about us, it's nothing but terror and violence.
        AkivaIt's not the first time this happens in history.
                     I don't know of one nation, whether existing now or in the past that was not born in violence.
        Terror, violence, death. They are the midwives who bring free nations into this world. Compromisers like the Haganah produce only abortions.

        Ari .... How can we ask the UN for a just decision when we keep blowing up things like a bunch of anarchists?
                     
        AkivaYou have just used the words "a just decision." May I tell you something?
        Firstly, justice itself is an abstraction, completely devoid of reality.
        Second, to speak of justice and Jews in the same breath is a logical uncertainty.
        Thirdly, one can argue the justice of Arab claims on Palestine just as one can argue the justice of Jewish claims.
        Fourthly, no one can say the Jews have not had more than their share of injustice these pastyears.
                     
        I therefore say, fifthly, Let the next injustice work against somebody else for a change.

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