The Campaign for Peace and Democracy (CPD) describes itself as promoting “a new, progressive, and non-militaristic U.S. foreign policy.” Its leadership can be characterized as part of the democratic left with what used to be known as a “third camp” orientation that was both anti-Stalinist and anti-capitalist.
The CPD is currently circulating a petition with a dual purpose: to “End the War Threats and Sanctions Program Against Iran [and] Support the Struggle for Democracy Inside Iran.” So while supporting the democratic opposition inside Iran, it categorically opposes any punitive sanctions or military option to curtail Iran’s nuclear program.
I share at least some of CPD’s values and goals, but I cannot accept its doctrinaire pronouncements. Iran can easily end this confrontation by unconditionally opening itself to international inspections and stopping its outrageous provocations against Israel’s existence. Moreover, Pres. Obama has made a reasonable diplomatic overture to Iran that was rejected last year.
The CPD’s politics are marred with utopian thinking: asserting their highest ideals without any consideration of practical realities. It’s not that they shouldn’t proclaim their desire for a nuclear-free world, but how do they expect Israel or the US to disarm in the face of a country like Iran developing such weapons? And why do they also categorically oppose economic sanctions? As a matter of diplomatic strategy, leaving a hint of possible military action on the table, even though I’d hate to see it happen, may give the Iranians an added incentive to moderate and cooperate on this issue. (This posting overlaps with comments I wrote for Ameinu’s website a couple of weeks ago.)