WRMEA/IRMEP Conference on the Israel Lobby

Courageous former Congressman Paul Findley On April 10, 2015, American Eagle board member Glen Allen attended a conference sponsored by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (“WRMEA”) and Grant Smith (director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (“IRMEP”)) whose theme was titled “The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the US? Is It Good for Israel?” The conference was held at the National Press Club building in D.C. It was well attended — approximately 200 people, including at least three congressmen or former congressmen (i.e., Paul Findley, Nick Rahall, and Jim Moran). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the conference received little or no mention in the mainstream media. CNN, for example, declined to carry it, despite IRMEP’s request that it do so.

Among the interesting talks was one by Reza Marashi, an Iranian-American who has attended nearly all the talks between Iran and the P5 + 1 countries (including the U.S., France, and Germany) in Switzerland regarding Iran’s nuclear energy program. Reza contended, rather convincingly, that the present proposed agreement is a great deal for the U.S. and the other European countries, as it allows unprecedented access into Iran’s nuclear facilities. He argued that there are essentially two ways to resolve these issues with Iran: diplomacy or war. He contended that Israel’s attempt to block the proposed agreement shows its true intent: war.

Another interesting talk was given by Gareth Porter, the author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Porter painstakingly traced the history of the idea that Iran was building nuclear weapons to some documents that mysteriously appeared in 2003, supposedly from an Iranian dissident group. He made a strong case that the documents were fake and probably came from Mossad.

Congressman Rahall recounted his battles with the Israel Lobby and with dark money, much of it probably coming from the Koch brothers. He contended that the only effective way to control dark money was to nullify the Supreme Court’s Citizens United opinion, perhaps by a constitutional amendment.

Jeffrey Rosenberg, who is Jewish and once worked for AIPAC, asserted that most American Jews do not support Zionist hardliners such as Netanyahu, but the minority that do are aggressive and rich. He asserted that this aggressive minority is inspired not only by allegiance to Israel but by the thrill of watching congressmen and senators grovel before them.

Paul Findley, now 94 years old (pictured above), sometimes lost the thread in his talk, but it was nonetheless very interesting and received a well-deserved standing ovation. He described his battles over the years with the Israel Lobby. He recommended public campaign funding as an important step toward restoring legitimacy to the American political process.

Grant Smith, head of IRMEP, advocated that AIPAC be required to register as a foreign agent, a view with which several other speakers concurred.

Although the American Eagle Party may not agree with every statement of every speaker at the conference, it shares with the conference sponsors the goal of re-examining America’s relationship with Israel based on the best interests of the United States.

OUR AMERICA INITIATIVE: One of the primary purposes of the Our America Initiative, a 501c3 organization, is to file a lawsuit in federal court requiring that the debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates be opened up to third parties. On April 8, 2015, American Eagle Party board member Glen Allen attended a conference sponsored by Our American Initiative in D.C. focused on the lawsuit. Both Bruce Fein, a prominent lawyer on Constitutional issues who drafted the complaint (which has not yet been filed), and Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico and the Libertarian Party candidate for President, spoke.

Fein described America’s plight with respect to civil liberties and free elections, and then turned to the theory of the lawsuit. That theory is a novel one: antitrust. The antitrust laws, of course, apply to businesses that conspire to monopolize their industry. Fein’s theory is that presidential campaigns these days are essentially fundraising and money making businesses, and that the so-called “Commission on Presidential Debates,” which isn’t a commission at all but an agreement between the Democratic and Republican parties to limit presidential debates to themselves and to avoid answering spontaneous and difficult questions, is a conspiracy to dominate this business. The Libertarian and Green Parties would be the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The lawsuit, if successful, would require that the debates be opened to any candidate whose party is on sufficient state ballots that, if the candidate won in every such state, he or she would win the presidential election.

Johnson then spoke, touching on libertarian themes and emphasizing that the lawsuit, if successful, could be a game changer in American politics.

The American Eagle Party supports opening up the political process to more than the present two parties, neither of which is able to come to grips with America’s serious problems, such as endless foreign wars and invasions, the loss of civil liberties, unfair and unenforced immigration laws, and huge budget deficits. All these problems reflect a betrayal of future generations by the present political elites.

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