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No First Strike on Iran: U.S. should engage in international diplomacy

By Chris Lugo,

With the recent revelations that Iran has not been engaged in active nuclear weapons development in the past four years it is more imperative now than ever that the United States engage in international diplomacy with respect to the Iranian Government rather than pursuing a US generated international crisis.  Our relationship with Iran is a situation which requires diplomacy and international cooperation, and not, as the Bush administration and the Republican Party seems to be speculating on, the use of unilateral force.

The international landscape has changed dramatically in the past five years, since September 11th of 2001.  At the time, the United States had the empathy and compassion of the world.  People around the world grieved with us as they saw our own innocent civilians die in the face of tragedy and unspeakable evil acts of aggression.

Now the world community scowls as they see innocent Iraqi women and children die in the face of tragedy and acts of aggression.  The global community has shifted its perspective and the United States has walked itself to the edge with the current foreign policy, rooted in unilateral aggression.

We have our own heroes and fallen dead to honor as thousands of Americans have died in service to this country in Iraq, but it is time to bring the remaining soldiers home and to refuse to take one step further down the myopic and misguided path that the war on terrorism has taken.

The international community has spoken clearly on the subject of Iran, and the message is diplomacy.  This is a message the current administration should heed.  Americans are not ready for yet another Middle East war, especially with a country that will fight back with ten times the aggression that the Iraqi insurgency has displayed.

The United Nations is the best institution to monitor and implement the Safeguards Agreement with Iran, unilateral force will not work in this situation.  It has not worked in Iraq and it will not work in Iran.  Whether Iran does have a more extensive centrifuge enrichment than it currently admits is a matter for international diplomacy to resolve.

The United States is on the edge, once again, and international opinion says to stay the course.  Whether the current administration will allow international bodies to work as they are supposed to remains to be seen.  Americans have learned from Iraq, where there were no weapons of mass destruction and there was no support for Osama Bin Laden.  Americans are tired of war, and talk of war, Americans want peace and security and the current administration's policies offer none.

About: Chris Lugo is a peace activist who has been involved in the movement for peace and global justice for twenty years.  He began his work as an advocate for peace in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1989 where he was active with the organization Women Against Military Madness and the American Friends Service Committee.  Originally drawn into the social justice community through the anti-nuclear movement of the 1980's, Lugo participated in actions dedicated to the dismantling of nuclear weapons and drawback from the cold war arsenals of the Reagan administration:

"My name is Chris Lugo and I am a Democratic Candidate for the US Senate seat in Tennessee. I am running as a progressive Democrat because I believe that the time has come to end the war in Iraq, ensure that all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care and to restore common sense and decency to our national dialogue. For far too long we have neglected the needs of the poor in America, allowing hundreds of thousands in Tennessee to go without healthcare and millions nationally. For far too long we have let our education system be a secondary priority to the military industrial complex."

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... Payvand News - 03/18/08 ... --

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