Gordon C. Stewart, April 3, 2012
So…Iran is next. First Afghanistan. Then Iraq. Now Iran… where does it stop?
I feel helpless, like a parent watching a hopped up teenager taking the car. I know I’m not alone.
This afternoon an email invites me to add my name to a statement and show up at the State Capitol in Saint Paul on April 24. Here’s the email:
In 2008, over 50 Minnesota politicians and religious leaders signed a statement opposing U.S. military action against Iran. We held a press conference on the steps of the Capitol in St. Paul that generated articles around the world because of the presence of a delegation of Middle Eastern journalists.
Unfortunately, four years later we are again faced with even more threats of attacks against Iran.
While politicians are pushing for military action, several prominent military leaders are encouraging caution. The Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, General Martin Dempsey has said that, “It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran. A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve long-term objectives.” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has stated that Iran is NOT developing a nuclear weapon. (Meet the Press, 1/08/12)
If Iran is attacked, Dempsey has said the results would destabilize not only that country, but the entire region. Other analysts have written of the possibility of war on Iran escalating to a third world war. However, Ron Burgess, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Congress that “the agency assesses Iran is unlikely to initiate or provoke a conflict.”
Yet the media continues to give more coverage to the politicians and pundits who are claiming that Iran is a grave threat to world peace and must be stopped. The U.S. is just beginning to withdraw from the devastating wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – conflicts that destabilized those countries and cost hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.
Minnesotans have spent nearly $5 billion to fund the Iraq and Afghan wars in 2011 alone, bringing total Minnesota taxpayer spending for these wars to more than $37 billion. At a time of cutbacks for education, healthcare, jobs, and housing, we cannot afford another costly military adventure.
Please add your name to the list of Minnesota leaders who advocate diplomacy over military attacks as the way to deal with Iran. We will hold a press conference at noon on Tuesday, April 24, as part of our campaign to work for a peaceful resolution.
Sponsored by: Middle East Committee (WAMM), Middle East Peace Now , Minnesota Peace Project, Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Women Against Military Madness
I signed the statement. I’ll be there again on April 24. It’s Holy Week. My faith was born on a cross, the Roman state’s instrument of torture and execution during a military occupation. I’m a disciple of the crucified Jesus. How can I do anything else?