Thursday, December 20, 2007


To supporters of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Dear Friends,
Next month NRCAT will reach its second anniversary. In these two short years, we have been able to turn our individual, heartfelt convictions against torture into a meaningful national voice. While we have not been able to end U.S.-sponsored torture, we can feel deeply grateful for the significant witness of religious people across the nation calling for an end to torture and for our many accomplishments, including the following:

We have enabled almost 600 congregations to show the film "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib."
Thousands of people of faith -- at our request -- have written to their senators and representatives calling for an end to U.S.-sponsored torture.
140 religious organizations are now members of NRCAT and some 20,000 people of faith have endorsed the Statement of Conscience "Torture is a Moral issue."
Evangelicals for Human Rights, an anti-torture organization started by NRCAT, has received significant recognition and media coverage because of its outstanding statement "An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture."
We have been a presence in some of the key debates against torture in the House and the Senate including the vote today in the House of Representatives setting one standard for all U.S. interrogations of detainees - the U.S. Army Field Manual.
And we have many efforts underway for next year, including the following:

We are organizing a project in which hundreds of congregations across America will display an anti-torture banner in June (Torture Awareness Month) 2008.
We are planning to host regional and local workshops, speaking tours, and conferences across the nation in 2008 in preparation for a 2009 national conference against torture.
Our newly created NRCAT Action Fund (our 501 (c)(4) partner organization) will be sponsoring a full page advertisement against torture in the Des Moines Register on Sunday, December 16.
We will share our thoughts and suggestions on our work with you as we go through 2008, and we are eager to hear your good ideas.
NRCAT cannot do this work without support from people like you. As the year draws to a close and we approach our second anniversary, we ask that you please consider a financial gift to this vital effort of the religious community. You can contribute a tax deductible contribution to NRCAT online at or by sending a check directly to the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, 316 F St. NE, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20002.

We can dream of a world without torture, but we must work to make that dream a reality. Thank you for your consideration, and we wish you a warm and peaceful holiday.
Linda Gustitus, President
Richard Killmer, Executive Director
Questions? Please email
National Religious Campaign Against Torture: - New Web Address

Friday, December 7, 2007

Remember your local peace partners!

Remember your local peace partners

We’ve noticed that people are deciding what good causes they want
their money to go to as we come to the end of the year. We just want to
remind you that your local peace group is also a 501c3 tax-exempt
organization, and would appreciate your thoughtful consideration.

Here are just a few of the things that your contributions helped Omni
Center accomplish during 2007.

Black Tuesday Vigil, January 07, when the 3000th American soldier was killed
Hold an elegant Peace Gardens Tour
Sponsor Free Speech TV (FSTV) on CAT
Expand the Critical Thinking Awards Program for high school teachers
Set up an Earth Scouts kids club, ages 2-15
Send delegates to Arkansas Citizens First Congress
Help create the Arkansas Governors Commission on Global Warming
Establish the new and improved Carbon Caps Task Force for environmental issues
Join United for Peace and Justice as a member group
Table at the Fayetteville Farmers Market all summer – great fun!
Hold the annual Peace & Justice Heroes Awards Banquet
Do great music, and the Global Warming Maze, at Springfest
Print new Manuals for Members and Omni Membership Cards
Commemorate the annual Hiroshima Nagasaki day
Send Omni folks to some great and informative conferences to network
Support students and faculty at NWACC in creating an Omni student group
Continue to support our great students at Omni UA
Send reps to our regional state peace conference
Apply for a high power nonprofit radio station license (this was a biggie)

That’s not all. It doesn’t even count the forums, roundtables and speakers… let alone the marches and demonstrations that you’ve been part of.

If it sounds like it’s a lot of work creating a culture of peace, you’re right. Omni people are on the move. But it’s worth every minute. It means a better future for us, and all our children. You can help keep these great programs and activities going right where we live. You can help by becoming a paying Omni member. You can also donate by sending your check to Omni Center, 902 W. Maple, Fayetteville 72701, or donate online at our website, If you have any questions, please contact co-presidents Melanie Dietzel, 479-442-8600,; or Gladys at 479-973-9049, . If you’d like to know more, check out these and other fun projects on the Omni website.

These are things you really want to go on in your name. Your contributions will be appreciated.

Thanks for everything you already do, Omni Folks,
Melanie and Gladys for Omni Center

Sunday, December 2, 2007

WAR with IRAN ???

From: Omnicenter Communications ( on behalf of Dick Bennett (
Sent: Sun 12/02/07 6:08 PM
DECEMBER 2, 2007. BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE BY PREVENTING WARS (No. 1 on Iran appeared Dec. 23, 2006; No. 2 March 15, 2007; No. 3 April 3, 2007; No. 4, Sept. 3, 2007; No. 5, October 1, 2007.)
Ed. Dick Bennett
Pictures of the PEOPLE of Iran
UN CHARTER (a Treaty initiated by US and signed into US law)
Article 2(4): All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
Click here to urge your Senators to support S. Res. 356 to stop President Bush from using military action against Iran without congressional approval.
Bush-Cheney has also written a new directive for the destabilization of Iran, which will be fully supported by the Democrats. An attack on Iran, delayed from the original spring date, is simply being pushed to the summer or fall of this year, when the destabilization program “bears fruit”. (from Sophia).
Russia Evacuates Entire Bushehr Staff: Iranian news outlet claims nuclear experts packed their bags Friday, increasing speculation of imminent U.S., Israeli attack
Shifting Targets: The Administration’s plan for Iran
US Weighs Strikes Against Iran As Iraq Fears New Conflict (from Edrene)
IRAN -- 'BOMB IRAN' PODHORETZ: The current issue of Commentary magazine -- "widely regarded as the leading outlet for neoconservative writing" -- features a controversial cover story by Norman Podhoretz titled "The Case For Bombing Iran." Podhoretz's article appeals to President Bush, "a man who knows evil when he sees it" and who has been "battered more mercilessly and with less justification than any other in living memory," to carry out military strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities. U.S. diplomats are now pointing to the essay to pressure foreign diplomats to increase pressure on Iran. In a new interview, Podhoretz was asked to comment on the possible fallout of the military strikes he advocates. "Well, if we were to bomb the Iranians as I hope and pray we will," Podhoretz says, "we'll unleash a wave of anti-Americanism all over the world that will make the anti-Americanism we've experienced so far look like a lovefest." Podhoretz qualified his statement about anti-Americanism, saying it was only a "worst case scenario." It's "entirely possible," he claimed, that "many countries, particularly in the Middle East" would "at least secretly applaud us." But even global anti-Americanism is worth it, he argues, to slow Iran's nuclear program "for five or 10 years or more." In fact, Center for American Progress senior fellow Joseph Cirincione has argued that such a strike "would not, as is often said, delay the Iranian program. It would almost certainly speed it up. That is what happened when the Israelis struck at the Iraq program in 1981." (From Center for American Progress Action Fund , “The Progress Report,” June 21, 2007)
Here is the webpage for Moyers’ show about Christians United for Israel (CUFI) (Chris D) [Moyers gave a 2nd program 11-30 showing Hagee’s extreme fanaticism. D]
Ban the Bomb - But Only in Iran
Posted: 20 Nov 2007 02:13 AM CST
When will Bush and Brown acknowledge that there is already a nuclear power in the Middle East?
{Z Magazine, November 2007
“More Nuggets from a Nut House:
Greeting the Shah, Musharraf, and Ahmandinejad”
Edward S. Herman
It is amusing to contrast the September 24, 2007 treatment of Iran President Mahmoud Ahmandinejad by Columbia University President Lee Bollinger with Bollinger’s September 16, 2005 treatment of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, and the treatment of the Shah of Iran back in 1955 by Columbia University President Grayson Kirk (and by the media). As we all know, after having invited Ahmandinejad to speak at Columbia, Bollinger proceeded to give the guest a nasty, pedantic and misinformed attack, calling him a “cruel dictator” with a “mind of evil.” But back in 2005, Bollinger welcomed Pakistan President Musharraf with a warm accolade, as “a leader of global importance …[whose] contribution to Pakistan’s economic turnaround and the international fight against terror remain remarkable - it is rare that we have a leader of his stature at campus.” (Columbia University has standing ovation for President," Press Release, General Pervez Musharraf, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, September 16, 2005).
Back in February 1955, the Shah of Iran was a guest at Columbia receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, and he, like Musharraf was greeted deferentially by Grayson Kirk, and gave a well-received speech featuring an accolade to the U.S. “policy of peace backed by strength.” The New York Times also noted that the Shah was “impressed by the desire of Americans for a secure and enduring peace.” (“Shah Praises U.S. For Peace Policy,” NYT, Feb. 5, 1955, p. 2). This was, of course, just a few months after the United States had overthrown the elected government of Guatemala via a proxy army and had installed a regime of permanent terror.
In the reality world, both Musharraf and the Shah of Iran fit comfortably the category of “cruel dictator,” whereas Ahmandinejad does not. Musharraf came to power in a coup and has ruled by decree ever since, in the interim carrying out quite a few massacres of his own people. The Shah was installed as ruler by the United States in a coup back in 1953 (only 18 months before his Doctor of Laws degree award—or reward—at Columbia University) and from the very beginning displayed his cruelty and intention to rule by dictatorial authority. Ahmandinejad won a contested election and has limited personal power.
The Shah’s torture chambers were famous, modernized with the help of his CIA and Israeli advisers, and probably topped anything the Iranian regime has engaged in since the Shah’s departure. The crucial difference between the winners of Columbia presidents’ accolades and denunciation is obviously that the one denounced is a declared U.S. enemy and target, whereas the good guys served U.S. interests. As in so many cases of leaders who serve, any little defects like torture or dictatorial rule somehow fail to get noticed by the Presidents of Columbia (or by the mainstream media), whereas the lesser defects of the leader of the target state arouses furious indignation as the Columbia President displays his deep concern for human rights and democracy.
It is a little awkward for Bollinger that since Musharraf’s 2005 visit to Columbia he has fallen out of complete favor and there is talk of ousting this “leader of stature” who has not shaped up adequately. But if Musharraf came to Columbia again, we can be sure that Bollinger would find the proper nuance for a leader who was of somewhat diminished stature but still a U.S. instrument.
The Shah was even encouraged to pursue nuclear energy, just as the target Iran of today is being threatened for trying to do what the Shah was allowed to do, by dictate of the ruler of the world. In short, the double standard is comprehensive and even funny in its crudity, but the United States and its propaganda system prevent large numbers from seeing this and laughing the responsible charlatans off the stage.

“Britain to back U.S. in attack on Iran: Bush, Brown discuss bombing
strategies” TIM SHIPMAN
THE TELEGRAPH WASHINGTON British defence officials have held talks with their Pentagon counterparts about how they could help out if America chooses to bomb Iran.
Washington sources say the U.S. has shelved plans for an all-out assault, drawn up to destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities and take out the Islamist regime.
The Telegraph has learned that President George W. Bush s White House national security council is discussing instead a plan to launch pinpoint attacks on bases operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds force, blamed for training Iraqi militants.
Pentagon officials have revealed that Bush won an understanding with British Premier Gordon Brown in July that Britain could support air strikes if they could be justified as a counterterrorist operation. [I cut off the article here—D.]

Aaron Hess reports:"ISLAMOFASCISM Awareness Week" is designed, according to FrontPage, to "challenge most of what students are taught about the so-called War on Terror both in the classroom and on the quad."
In reality, Horowitz and friends (including Ann Coulter) rely on standard right-wing myths and stereotypes--echoed by mainstream politicians and the media on a regular basis--to demonize Arabs and Muslims, and justify U.S. war atrocities in the Middle East, including a future attack on Iran, which is at the top of the Horowitz wish list. A featured speaker on Horowitz's right-wing road show is the self-described "religious expert" Robert Spencer, author of the book Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't. Spencer's book argues that the Koran is responsible for violence committed by Muslims against Western targets-but that "there is no justification for violent acts committed by Christians, either in the Christian Scriptures or the teaching of various Christian churches."Really? What about the Crusades in the Middle Ages? The Spanish Inquisition? The genocide of Native Americans? The ongoing U.S. war on Iraq? All of these crimes were justified in their time by Christians-the Popes of the Catholic Church, Christopher Columbus, George W. Bush-who claimed to be doing "God's work." CHECK THIS SITE OUT FOR THE TONE TAKEN BY THE PATRIOT POLICE:Here is a report from The Real News Network featuring an excellent reporter Pepe Escobar on the campaign against Iran

New Resource Outlining Presidential Candidate Positions on Iran Posted: 19 Nov 2007 02:50 PM CST
The New York Times has compiled the positions of all the presidential candidates on Iran in an easily accessible format. And speaking of candidates positions on Iran, here is an excellent article by John Isaacs on the subject..
Obama Introduces Iran Measure In Senate
Here is an interesting Iran war development. After Clinton voted for the Lieberman amendment (Iranian troops are terrorists) that escalated potential war with Iran, she cosponsored Jim Webb’s amendment that would require the president to first seek congressional approval and funding before attacking Iran. I think the outcome of this amendment will speak volumes about where this whole thing is going and where we should go. (from Abel)

Tom Najemy ACT! Certified Consultant 413-525-3115
One of our responsibilities as citizens is to try to develop better candidates through information and argument. Contact the candidates.
Senator Mark Pryor: (202) 224-2353
“In April, 2007 I was pleasantly surprised to find Naomi Wolf's article, "Fascist America, In 10 Easy Steps”….I had been looking for a list--or more specifically, an encyclopedia of the losses of civil liberties in the United States that might clarify for my history students the extent to which America has become a fascist empire. Wolf's "10 Easy Steps" was perfect, but her just-published book, The End Of America: Letter Of Warning To A Young Patriot, from which the 10 easy steps was compiled, offers an even fuller picture... of how our civil liberties have been hijacked in the past decade. It is the most poignant, powerful, genuinely patriotic piece of literature I have encountered since Thomas Paine's Common Sense. “ "Fascist America, In 10 Easy Steps" article at,,2064157,00.html
[PANEL ON WOLF’S BOOK occurred 11-27 with a packed auditorium and energized panel and audience.]

“A Coup Has Occurred” By Daniel Ellsberg
September 26, 2007 (Text of a speech delivered
September 20, 2007)
Editor's Note: Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense
Department analyst who leaked the secret Pentagon
Papers history of the Vietnam War, offered insights
into the looming war with Iran and the loss of liberty
in the United States at an American University
symposium on Sept. 20.
Below is an edited transcript of Ellsberg's remarkable
I think nothing has higher priority than averting an
attack on Iran, which I think will be accompanied by a
further change in our way of governing here that in
effect will convert us into what I would call a police
If there's another 9/11 under this regime ... it means
that they switch on full extent all the apparatus of a
police state that has been patiently constructed,
largely secretly at first but eventually leaked out and
known and accepted by the Democratic people in
Congress, by the Republicans and so forth….
And I would say after the Iranian retaliation to an
American attack on Iran, you will then see an increased
attack on Iran -- an escalation -- which will be also
accompanied by a total suppression of dissent in this
country, including detention camps.
It's a little hard for me to distinguish the two
contingencies; they could come together. Another 9/11
or an Iranian attack in which Iran's reaction against
Israel, against our shipping, against our troops in
Iraq above all, possibly in this country, will justify
the full panoply of measures that have been prepared
now, legitimized, and to some extent written into law.

This is an unusual gang, even for Republicans. [But] I
think that the successors to this regime are not likely
to roll back the assault on the Constitution. They will
take advantage of it, they will exploit it….. >
The Next Coup
Let me simplify this and not just to be rhetorical: A
coup has occurred….. It's not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9/11. That's the next coup, that completes the first.
The last five years have seen a steady assault on every
fundamental of our Constitution, ... what the rest of
the world looked at for the last 200 years as a model
and experiment to the rest of the world -- in checks
and balances, limited government, Bill of Rights,
individual rights protected from majority infringement
by the Congress, an independent judiciary, the
possibility of impeachment.
There have been violations of these principles by many
presidents before. Most of the specific things that
Bush has done in the way of illegal surveillance and
other matters were done under my boss Lyndon Johnson in
the Vietnam War: the use of CIA, FBI, NSA against

I could go through a list going back before this
century to Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus in the
Civil War, and before that the Alien and Sedition Acts
in the 18th century. I think that none of those
presidents were in fact what I would call quite
precisely the current administration: domestic enemies
of the Constitution….
It is increasingly clear with each new book and each
new leak that comes out, that Richard Cheney and his
now chief of staff David Addington have had precisely
that in mind [to change our form of government] since at least the early 70s. [This is only the beginning of a major essay—D.]
Daniel Ellsberg is author of Secrets: A Memoir of
Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.>>



~Five special newsletters, beginning December 23, 2006.

~Attention to Iran ongoing in OMNI’s bibliographies of books on peace, justice, and ecology (24 to date).

~Forum in the fall of 2007 to draw attention to the culture and humanity of the people of Iran:

Prof. Joel Gordon, history of Persia and Iran, Sept. 21

~Iranian film publicized, Siavash (plot includes a musician) (see:

~Letters to newspapers by Dick Bennett and Abel Tomlinson.

~Video Underground film, Why We Fight, Oct. 28

~Ann Wright’s talk in Bentonville vs. Bush admin. invasions, Oct. 29

~Ann Wright’s talk at UA on impeaching Bush, Oct. 30

~Supported "NO WAR ON IRAN" National Awareness Week.

~ Working with National Iranian American Council (NIAC)

~ Publicized FSTV film on Iran (Nov. 4).


Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007

Our leaders keep threatening to attack Iran. Here are some possible (or likely ) consequences if they do.

Sen. Chuck Hagel predicts a significant retaliation by Iran in many forms, including terrorism, reaching even the U. S. A top Iranian military commander announced that Iran is ready to retaliate within minutes of an attack with 11, 000 missiles. The U. S. has more than 300, 000 troops and support personnel at risk in the region. The Fifth Fleet could be destroyed by Iran's Silkworm missiles. Half of our Navy's warships are within striking distance; many are sitting ducks in the shallow Persian Gulf.

The bombing could set off a larger conflagration in the Middle East and involve Israel, which already has nuclear weapons. Any use of nuclear weapons, and even the bombing of nuclear facilities, would create radioactivity that threatens not only the region (and our own troops ) but areas beyond. Iran might block the Strait of Hormuz through which up to a quarter of the world's oil passes, causing oil prices to zoom and a global depression. China, Russia and Japan get most of their oil from the Middle East. China could stop buying U. S. bonds or start to sell their huge supply of U. S. dollars, causing the U. S. economy to collapse. If there was anti-Americanism before, it would be greatly increased by this unilateral action. Even our British allies think it is a crazy idea. The Iranian nuclear threat is a long-term, potential danger, not an immediate threat. Why are we set on this self-destructive course ? CORALIE KOONCE / Fayetteville

Mohamed El Baradei says war drums beating for Iran like they did in the run up to the Iraq war (Washington Times) Article published Sep 8, 2007
“Nuke watchdog defends Iran deal “
September 8, 2007
By David R. Sands - The United Nations' top nuclear cop yesterday slammed critics of a new inspection deal with Iran as "back-seat drivers" trying to justify a war with Tehran in the same way they cleared a path for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. ….

Iran Nuclear Watch

Amazing Slides of Iran

Posted: 19 Nov 2007 04:29 PM CST
With all of the spin in the mainstream media about Iran, it can become so easy to buy into the demonization of the entire country. A colleague forwarded me a link to Jadid Online. It has some amazing slide shows of life in Iran and it covers a wide range of issues from the Iranian perspective. My favorite so far is "The Heart and Soul of Isfahan." These slide shows really put a human face on what we, by and large, do not see here in the mainstream media - a complex and nuanced picture of a 7,000-year civilization.
Will Sanctions on Iran Work?

Posted: 19 Nov 2007 12:01 PM CST

Professor emeritus of government and foreign affairs at the University of Virginia Ruhi Ramazani published a new opinion editorial yesterday entitled "Sanctions on Iran: Will They Work?" It is one of the few articles in the media that addresses why, in fact, U.S. unilateral sanctions are likely to fail.

The Bush administration is couching unilateral sanctions as part of the its diplomatic efforts. Because of the intensified rhetoric against Iran emanating from the administration, sanctions are more palatable to Congress and the public when they are faced with the false choice of war or capitulation. To make matters more complicated, unfortunately, many foreign policy heavy weights are lining up behind the sanctions option because they do not understand Iranian behavior and they believe this is somehow the best approach. Professor Ramazani argues that while much of U.S. policy has focused on economic considerations, it has failed to take into account the psychological and political factors inside Iran, factors that are far more important.

Ramazani writes: "Historically, Iranian national sentiment soars in the face of foreign pressure. Like the leaders of the past, the current regime can benefit internally from resisting coercion by foreign powers such as the United States." He then succinctly articulates the history of interventions in Iran's political structure from the 19th century to present that have contributed to the "profound Iranian cultural, psychological and political realities" of today that make "America's newly expanded unilateral sanctions likely to fail, as have all previous sanctions since the United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980."
Ramazani concludes:
"Diplomacy, rather than pressure or military action, remains the most realistic option. American and Iranian ambassadors in Baghdad will soon renew discussions on Iraqi security. Yet to resolve the nuclear standoff between the US and Iran, unconditional and direct negotiations at higher levels are essential to avoid a military collision."
[Special thanks to Scott Harrop for sending along the article.]


No War in Iran Petition
No War in Iran Petition, hosted at - 7k - Cached - Similar pages
Peace Action
Resistance to a Bush planned military strike on Iran is growing in Congress, but it needs your help! Sign the petition to Congress below - No War with Iran! ... - 31k - Cached - Similar pages -- Stop the War on Iran Before it Starts!
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Stopping War On Iran: Talking Points by Geov Parrish

In recent weeks, as hostile Bush administration rhetoric toward Iran has ramped up, numerous press reports (particularly from the British press) have suggested that Bush has decided to launch a massive military strike against Iran.

Such a strike would have disastrous consequences, from the loss of life, to a probable regional war throughout the Middle East, to the economic impact of the cost and the threat to oil supplies, to the impact on an already-reeling American military itself. It's an eerie replay of the run-up to the Iraq war--full of lies and distortions and insincere diplomatic posturing--only with bigger stakes. But there are two crucial differences: the American public has seen what has happened with Iraq (and how we were lied to), and Congress is no longer controlled by Republican sycophants.

True, there are plenty of Democratic sycophants as well. But Congress is still our best hope of preventing this catastrophe. And it will only act if the public is informed and outraged.

To this end, here are some talking points on why a military strike against Iran is such a bad idea. Use them in communications with Congressional offices, in letters to the editor and talk shows, in conversations with your friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers. Do what you can to stop what would be the crowning blow to our country from the most criminal administration in history.

1. THE FALSE RATIONALES FOR ATTACK: The Bush administration has three major arguments for war with Iran: Its nuclear program, alleged support for Iraqi insurgents, and its fundamentalism and support of allied terrorist groups.

* Iran is five to ten years away from having usable nuclear weapons.

* Iran is cooperating with the IAEA (the U.N.'s nuclear materials control agency). Its nuclear program is so far completely legal.

* The three countries known to have nuclear weapons in defiance of international law--Israel, India, and Pakistan--are all now receiving military aid from the US.

* The US has been claiming that Iran is arming Iraqi insurgents, but the majority of attacks against US forces are from Sunni militias that are also opposed to Shiite Iran.

* There is an enormous black market in weapons in Iraq, mostly American ones. There has been no evidence the Iranian government is connected to the presence or use of Iranian weapons in Iraq.

* The Iraqi militia most closely aligned with Iran is sponsored by the largest faction in Prime Minister al-Maliki's Iraqi government.

* Any number of countries sponsor or "harbor" terror groups, including almost every US ally in the Middle East. We don't attack them to solve the problem.

* US hawkishness has undermined Iranian reform efforts and strengthened the hardliners.

* Iran has never attacked the United States (or any other country), and poses no threat to it.

* How can we trust any intelligence, prediction, or analysis from this administration after Iraq?

2. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS: An attack against Iran would be unpopular, immoral, illegal, and would have enormous ramifications within and beyond the Middle East.

* The doctrine of "preemptive attack" against a country that has not attacked the US and is not in imminent danger of doing so is by definition illegal under international law, as well as deeply immoral.

* Congress has never authorized war with Iran; an attack on Bush's sole authority would be unconstitutional. Even if Congress did authorize it, such a war would be an illegal war of aggression under international law.

* The war with Iraq is already widely opposed by the American public. An attack on Iran would also be broadly unpopular in the US and throughout the world.

* As with Iraq, most of the casualties from an attack on Iran and the resulting regional war would be civilian. The loss of life would likely be massive.

* Attacking Iran without provocation would further damage US moral, political, and economic standing around the world.

* An attack on Iran and the resulting war would be staggeringly expensive.

* If Iran's chief export were salt, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

* The threat to the Middle East's oil supply could make oil and gas much more expensive throughout the world, triggering a global economic crisis.

3. MILITARY AND NATIONAL SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS: An attack against Iran is likely to be militarily disastrous.

* Iran is a much larger and more populous country than Iraq, with a stronger economy and a large military. Iran could and would retaliate, and the Iranian public would likely rally around its government. Once begun, war could end only with US retreat or the nuclear annihilation of Iran.

* The possible use of nuclear weapons against Iran would lead to a global nuclear arms race that would be exponentially worse for long-term US national security.

* The US military is already exhausted and stretched thin, and cannot sustain an additional war against Iran. An attack and the inevitable war that would follow would leave it unable to respond to any emerging threats elsewhere in the world.

* The only way the US military can muster the manpower needed to fight the war that would result from an attack on Iran is through resumption of a draft.

* Iran can retaliate in numerous ways: directly against US planes, directly or through sympathetic Iraqi militias against US forces in Iraq; against US tankers and warships in the Persian Gulf or by blocking oil traffic in the Strait of Hormuz; by launching strikes against Saudi or Gulf State oil facilities or Israel; or through terror attacks by allied groups such as Hezbollah.

* Attacking Iran would put US soldiers in Iraq in even greater danger, and destroy any remaining credibility with the Iraqi people or its leaders.

* Iran and Syria have a mutual defense pact. War with one means war with both. An attack on Iran almost certainly would lead to a wider conflagration.

* Attacking Iran would enflame and embolden anti-American Islamism throughout the Islamic world. The results could well additionally imperil US-allied governments in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and nuclear-equipped Pakistan. Islamist control of Pakistan is a much more imminent threat to US security than Iran's fledgling nuclear program.

* As with Iraq, an attack on Iran would be a boon to recruiting and funding efforts by Islamic terrorist groups.

4. ALTERNATIVES TO AN ATTACK: There are better ways to deal with US concerns regarding Iran.

* Iran has repeatedly stated its willingness to engage in direct talks with the United States. The Bush administration has consistently rejected direct diplomacy and undermined European attempts at diplomacy.

* The Bush administration is treating war as a first, rather than a last, resort.

* War is in and of itself immoral, and a flawed way to resolve conflict.

* Negotiation, diplomacy, and goodwill work.


Carter thinks and talks.

SENATOR PRYOR (202) 224-2353


Dear Friends & Colleagues:

Floyd Rudmin is one of PsySR's most distinguished scholarly members. In this article, he captures the insanity of constant escalation of rhetoric and action and the cycle this breeds for war and destruction. We can only ask why psychologists skilled in conflict resolution and peace strategies have not been part of the US administration's consultants and advisers, and why virtually all known advisers have advocated war, bombing, & escalation (e.g, Bernard Lewis). Is it time for a Department of Peace? Would anyone listen to it? Are any national presidential candidates calling for it? Hmmmm! The plot thickens . . . and the death and destruction continues.

“Preparing for National Suicide:

What ‘All Options are on the Table’ Really Means By FLOYD RUDMIN COUNTERPUNCH -OCTOBER 31,2007

"Conscious or not conscious of your own bad intentions, you suspect theirs to be still worse. Their notion of your intentions is the same. Measures of mere self-defense are naturally taken for acts of aggression. The same causes produce, on both sides, the same effects; each makes haste to begin for fear of being forestalled. In this state of things, if on either side there happen to be a Minister [of War], or a would-be Minister, who has a fancy for war, the stroke is struck, and the tinder catches fire." Jeremy Bentham, 1789, "Plan for an Universal and Perpetual Peace."

For more than a year, the USA has been openly threatening to bomb Iran. Some scenarios see the use of nuclear bombs. "All options are on the table" says Bush, Cheney, Rice, and most of the candidates in the 2008 Presidential race.

The reason? They say they feel threatened by Iran's pursuit of nuclear power technology, although they formally granted Iran that right when they ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968. The IAEA has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program. They say they feel threatened by Iran's support of the Shia militia, especially those in Iraq and Lebanon. Iran has traditionally played the role of defending Shia communities, even in the Ottoman era. They say they feel threatened by Iran's opposition to Israel's expansion and Israel's oppression of Palestinians, which is against international law and many UN resolutions. The say they feel threatened by Iran's energy exports and its ability to influence world prices. In general, they feel threatened by an independent nation in an oil-rich region they wish to dominate. Therefore, they threaten to bomb Iran. "All options are on the table."

The UN Charter, Article 2, section 4 states that

"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."

America is a founding member of the UN and has thus made that provision a part of its own national law. According to the US Constitution, treaties constitute the highest law of the land. It is thus illegal under US law to threaten to bomb Iran. Nevertheless, they threaten war. They move excessive numbers of warships into seas surrounding Iran. They cultivate client states, build bases and deploy troops on all sides of Iran.

One consequence of these threats is that Iran must prepare to defend itself. On Oct. 20, a top Iranian military commander announced that Iran is ready to retaliate with 11,000 missiles in the first few minutes after an American surprise attack. The missiles are aimed at the military bases, ships at sea, and economic assets of the threatening nations. To launch that many missiles AFTER a shock-and-awe surprise attack means that Iran must have distributed the ability to launch missiles. There is not one launch button and one commanding finger on the button.

There are many buttons and many different fingers on them. War is now on a hair trigger, and the risk of accidental war is now very, very, very high. War might be started by an Iranian religious fundamentalist eager to go to heaven, or patriot eager to defend Iran, or a traitor eager to destroy Iran, or someone depressed or bored or simply misreading a radar screen and thinking a flock of birds are an incoming attack.

The USA has over 300,000 military and support personnel in the region around Iran, all of them now the target of 11,000 missiles on hair-trigger. That is what repeated threats of war have achieved.

The epilogue by Jeremy Bentham, written more than 200 years ago, aptly describes what is happening now. War seems inevitable. With war will come thousands of deaths, maybe millions, and whole economies will collapse, the first being that of the USA since it is most dependent on imported oil.

The epilogue quote comes from Bentham's book, "Plan for an Universal and Perpetual Peace." He coined the concept of "international law" and first conceived of the idea of a united nations. In the 18th century, those were merely ideas. Now, in the 21st century, they are reality. We have international law and a United Nations. But the USA and other belligerent nations have decided to act contrary to international law and in violation of the United Nations, with the consequence that their military forces and economies are now in jeopardy.

Among all of the options on the table, the most likely are self-destruction and national suicide.

Floyd Rudmin is Professor of Social & Community Psychology at the University of Tromsø. He can be reached at

Anthony J. Marsella, Ph.D.

President, Psychologists for Social Responsibility 2007-2008. PsySR is an independent organization of psychologists and others committed to promoting peace and social justice

Show, by your actions, that you choose peace over war, freedom over oppression, voice over silence, service over self-interest, honor over advantage, cooperation over competition, action over passivity, diversity over uniformity, and justice over all.


And reported from an unexpected source: George Will in TMN (11-4-07), "Congress AWOL on Powers." Will argues that our system of checks and balances is broken as result of the collapse of Congress, but he reports some good news. Rep. Walter Jones (R, NC) and Rep. Ron Paul have put forward the Constitutional War Powers Resolution to correct the War Powers Resolution passed in 1973. Jones' measure prohibits presidents from initiating military actions except when US attacked. The Res. derives from the War Powers Initiative of the Constitution Project of 2005 which recommended Congress stop the use of force by presidents by cutting off funding. That check is augmented by the Anti-Deficiency Act, which prohibits any expenditure by the Pres. not approp. by Congress. Will's column is packed with history we need to know. I urge you all to read it.

War Powers Clause - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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SENATOR PRYOR (202) 224-2353


From Prof. Joel Gordon, also in OMNI’s website.

Books to Read on Iran

A. General History/Society

Gene Garthwaite, The Persians (Blackwell 2005). A good general survey from antiquity to the present.

Nikki R Keddie, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution (Yale U Press 2003). The best accessible, yet sophisticated survey of modern Iran.

B. US-Iran Relations

James A Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations (Yale U Press 1989). Still the best account of how/why the US “lost” Iran.

William O Beeman, The ‘Great Satan’ vs ‘Mad Mullahs’: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other (Praeger 2006). Political rhetoric vs. reality on both sides.

C. Religion and Politics

Roy P Mottahedeh, The Mantle of the Prophet: Religion and Politics in Iran (Oneworld 2000). Highly readable intellectual biography of a quasi-fictional ayatollah against a panorama of 20th Century political/cultural upheavals.

Asef Bayat, Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn (Stanford U Press 2007). A comparative study of Iran/Egypt as alternate routes to creating new polities, since the 1970s.

Kamran Aghaie, The Martyrs of Kerbala: Shi`i Symbols and Rituals in Modern Iran (U Washington Press, 2004). Analysis of the power/meaning of Shi`i religious expression in Iranian culture/history.

D. Literature/Arts/Culture/Gender

Fatemeh Keshavarz, Jasmine and Stars: Reading More than Lolita in Tehran (UNC Press 2007). Tackling Western presumptions regarding gender and politics in Iran, Keshavarz celebrates Iranian literary culture and intellectual vibrancy.

Shiva Balaghi and Lynn Gumpert (eds.), Picturing Iran: Art, Society, and Revolution (IB Taurus 2003). Amply illustrated essays examine visual culture and politics in Iran in the 1960s and 70s.

Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood; Persepolis; The Story of a Return (Pantheon 2004/2005). The “graphic” story of a young girl caught up in the turmoil of the Iranian revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. In Embroideries (Pantheon 2006) a group of Iranian women tell bittersweet, bawdy stories of sex and sisterhood.

More (Dick):

--Dabashi, Hamid. Iran: A People Interrrupted. New Press, 2007. Rev. Win Magazine (WRL)(Fall 2007). Encyclopedic survey of Persian and Iranian history over the last 2 centuries: poets, writers, filmmakers, artists, architects, cleric, et al. Focuses on struggle between 2 types of modernity, one colonial/Western and the other anticolonial/indigenous. Ends with this admonition to the U.S.: “the only way that [the U.S.] can help promote democracy in Iran or anywhere else in the world is by first and foremost restoring and safeguarding it in their own country.”

A brief protest by Chris Heddges, author of American Fascists: The Bush admin. has usurped the Constitution and “is guilty of what the Nuremberg tribunal defined as a criminal war of aggression.” The Nation (Dec. 10, 2007).


Meredith Oakley in ADG (8-26-07) writes encouragingly of citizen engagement, “Government: What We Make It.” She quotes Ben Franklin among others on our system of government: Asked what kind of government we had, he replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.” We, the People!

--Senator Blanche Lincoln: Web Site (they have contact links):;;

Washington Office: 355 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510-0404

Phone: (202) 224-4843 Fax: (202) 228-1371.

Fayetteville office: 251-1380. Lincoln’s staff is better informed than Boozman’s (see below), but obviously (her vote to join Bush in appropriating $95 billion more to keep the occupation going and her vote to further extend warrantless phone taps)) they need a lot of education. Call her and her staff.

Getting to her office:

Northwestern Regional Office
4 South College Avenue, Suite 205, Google Maps puts the marker 308 feet south of Meadow Street.
Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 251-1224; FAX (479) 251-1410

--Senator Mark Pryor: Web Site (see contact link): ; Pryor has no office in NWA, so call or write him and his staff in DC: Washington Office: 217 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510-0403. Phone: (202) 224-2353 Fax: (202) 228-0908

Main District Office: 500 Pres. Clinton Ave., Suite 401, Little Rock, AR 72201.

Phone: (501) 324-6336 Fax: (501) 324-5320.

Boozman’s Staff:

Matt Sagely, Chief of Staff. 202-225-4301;

1519 Longworth Building

Washington, DC 20515

Stacey McClure, Deputy Chief of Staff

Puppy Creek Place

213 W. Monroe, Suite K

Lowell, AR 72745


Fax: 479.725.0408


Dick Bennett
(479) 442-4600
2582 Jimmie Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72703

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