Leslie flew to Washington DC Wednesday, hoping to talk with Congressman Ackerman. He's calling for a naval blockade of through his sponsorship of House Resolution 362 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hc110-362. She met him last year, along with the Iranian bicyclists Miles for Peace, and she wanted to talk with him about withdrawing his resolution, or at the least, to delay the House vote until after Congress returns from its upcoming break. This morning Leslie got some good news. Howard Berman, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, has decided not to "mark up" the resolution, which means it's possible it won't come up for a vote until next year. Berman has indicated he has "no intention of moving the bill through his committee unless the language is first altered to ensure that there is no possible way it could be construed as authorizing any type of military action against Iran."
Iran and the United States were recently involved in a much touted diplomatic effort and instead of negotiating, the United States once again told Iran to stop enrichment or face increased economic sanctions. Iran has been given two weeks to reply. This is one of the reasons why Leslie went to DC. If the House votes in favor of Resolution 362 during this two week period, Iran will most likely react negatively to this Congressional "act of war".
Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. Sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies stated "with high confidence" that Iran ceased its efforts to develop in 2003. There weren't any WMD's in Iraq and there isn't a weapons program in Iran. Israel, the country most vocal about , hasn't even signed onto the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Leslie plans to attend Chairman Conyers' pre-impeachment Judiciary hearing tomorrow (Friday). She'll be wearing her special "Conyers' Bonnet". She has met with him on seven occasions and each time she has encouraged the Chairman to start impeachment hearings for Cheney. Leslie doesn't want this administration's criminal acts to set precedents for the next administration. Impeachment hearings for Cheney might also distract him from his burning desire to attack Iran.
On a more personal note, Leslie and I have just celebrated our second anniversary of being partners for peace. We met (Thank you Rae!) during CodePink's Troops Home Fast vigil at Dianne Feinstein's house in San Francisco on July 5, 2006. I was standing on a ladder putting up the Giant Gandhi Puppet when Leslie came over and asked if she could help. I said "YES!" and we've been together ever since ... except for short separations like this one.
As most of you know, Leslie and I went to Iran last year. This was a life-altering experience for us. When we came home, we quit our jobs, put everything into storage and drove from California to Washington DC to lobby for diplomacy with Iran. We have become full time Peace with Iran Activists.
I'm staying in San Francisco to lay the groundwork for our upcoming Peace with Iran tour. If you know a talk show host, a newspaper or magazine editor, or an organizational leader who wants to hear an American's impression of Iran, please get in touch. Our presentation also includes lots of photos: http://flickr.com/photos/codepinkalert/sets/72157600359998697/show/ and a video piece depicting our journey in Iran and Leslie's CodePink activism in Washington DC.
People have been asking how they can contribute to our Journey for Peace with Iran. Tax-deductible donations can be made on-line by going to our web site http://www.jfpf.org and clicking on the "donate" button. We'll send you one of our favorite photos from Iran as a thank you.
We appreciate having all of you with us on our Journey for Peace with Iran.
Peace and Freedom,
Jes & Leslie
Support the Kucinich Impeachment Hearing on Friday
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Jes & Leslie ... A Journey for Peace and Freedom: http://www.jfpf.org/
If you would like to be added to The Gandhi Peace Brigade Group List,
please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you. Jes