Kredo cites one report from NPR journalist Peter Kenyon, who said on Morning Edition on November 2010 that “many analysts believe there’s more time for diplomacy than had previously been thought. But to date, there’s been no evidence that the U.S. or its allies have come up with a diplomatic approach other than the pressure of sanctions, and the threat of military force.” As Kredo writes, despite its claim of neutrality Ploughshares’ real aim is “discrediting the military option against Iran.” Indeed, the fund gave CAP $150,000 specifically for hiring two researchers “for an expanded initiative on Iran aimed at countering support for military action.” Not surprisingly, CAP’s Middle East Director Adam Duss prepared a report praising Obama for pursuing a diplomatic path with Iran.
Both Democrats and Republicans have similar concerns with some of their base. The Democrats must isolate their remaining McGovernites on the Left, who favor avoidance of any military option at all, see the sole issue as peace versus war, and tend to believe that all those who see a real threat existing are militarists. The problem is that this viewpoint is that of the majority at present in the Democratic Party, whose remaining old Cold War liberals are both few or ineffective, most of them having defected long ago to the Republican ranks.
The Republican Party has to fight any attempt to influence the party’s plank on foreign policy from the Ron Paul forces, who are united with the Left of the Democratic Party on foreign policy issues. Fortunately, these elements at present compose only a minority of Republican ranks, and are largely made up of Paul’s youthful followers and a handful of libertarians who remain old-school isolationists. Yet, because of Paul’s campaign, they may get a say in determining the party’s plank and may play a role at the Republican convention, with a Paul speech presented in prime time during TV coverage.
As Cathy Young points out in a recent article, Ron Paul supporters such as Sheldon Richman of the Future of Freedom Foundation “oppose … all American military presence abroad, advocate the withdrawal of our troops and the closure of our Army bases, as well as an end to all foreign aid and all ‘entangling alliances.’ He believes that the only acceptable reason for military action is a direct attack on the United States — and equates economic sanctions against hostile regimes with ‘acts of war.’ Paul’s foreign affairs philosophy can be summed up as ‘we should mind our own business.’”
This position, of course, is the equivalent of George McGovern’s “Come Home, America” campaign in 1972, and one that gives our enemy — then as now — a great deal of happiness. Conservatives most of all should stress, as Young says, that America has been and remains a great force for good in the world, an enemy now of the new group of tyrannies — this time of a radical Islamist bent rather than Marxist-Leninist, but very much a major enemy of our national interest. Like the Left, Richman has the precisely same position: that “all concerns about Iran’s nuclear program are a smokescreen for an effort to maintain U.S. and Israeli hegemony in the region.”
The view of libertarian “anti-imperialists,” who seem to believe that if we only stop our meddling and intervening the other side will love us, is as wrong as Gandhi’s belief that the Nazis should be met not with force, but with passive resistance. If the world had listened to his advice, we would all be living under the helm of the Third Reich.
With a decision on handling Iran one that the Obama administration will likely have to make before the November 2012 election, all defenders of our country’s heritage have to double their efforts to weaken and isolate both the Democratic Party’s left-wing anti-interventionists and the Republican Party’s isolationist libertarian wing.