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The 2008 Killer Campaign: A Chicago Story of How Obama's Campaign is Trying to Deaden Opposition to An Attack On Iran

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 8/3/08

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The 2008 Killer Campaign: A Chicago Story of How Obama's Campaign is Trying to Deaden Opposition to An Attack On Iran

By Jill McLaughlin, World Can't Wait Steering Committee Member

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The Democrat-led Congress, voted in November 2006, was empowered by a majority of people who believed what they said about ending the war in Iraq, and the most heinous of the Bush Regime's policies. To the confusion and anger of many, these promises were cast aside over and over. This Democrat-led Congress is now poised to all but give Bush their blessing to attack Iran through HR 362, which would give Congressional approval to a blockade of Iran - an act of war.

While for many people the victory of 2006 held so much hope for change, in the minds of this Congress it was about nothing more than getting back the White House. And thus began the 2008 campaign. This campaign is like a virus spreading to the people with a presentation of symptoms that begins with the delusion that the Democratic nominee represents the opposite of Bush foreign policy, then slowly accepting what was once unacceptable, and finally and most fatal of all silence and complicity. We need only look at the local level to understand that this is indeed a killer campaign.

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In May, the Human Relations Committee of the Chicago City Council passed a resolution that stated the City of Chicago opposes an attack on Iran, after having heard expert testimony from persons such as Scott Ritter, former chief U.S. weapons inspector. He spoke of the disastrous consequences of an attack on Iran. Ritter had this to say if the U.S. were to widen the war in Iraq to a war on Iran: "...To extend this human suffering and tragedy into Iran would be to create a level of suffering for which America can never, and should never, be forgiven."

The resolution was sponsored by Alderman Joe Moore and co-sponsored by several aldermen. All was well until the next day when the full City Council met. When it was to be brought to a full vote, Mayor Richard Daley, through two very conservative aldermen, blocked the vote. Daley was quoted in the Sun Times as saying, "It's not fair. Let Obama answer all of those questions. He is gonna be the nominee of the Democratic party, and he will be the president. That will be up to him to make the judgments. Passing a resolution like that puts a lot of burden upon his candidacy and injects something that should not be injected into the presidential campaign."

Since then Joe Moore and the aldermen have backed off, and any attempts to get the No War On Iran resolution to a vote have been met with avoidance and a watered-down version of the original resolution. This version of a No War On Iran resolution lacks any real opposition to an attack on Iran. Read More Here.

What is in the minds of these officials, and even a portion of the anti-war movement, when they refuse to call Obama out when he asserts that all options are on the table when dealing with Iran? And to these officials and these anti-war activists who have been sucked into the immoral vacuum of this campaign, I ask what is a man who is supposed to represent everything opposite of Bush doing? He stands before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and says, " As president I will use all elements of American power to pressure Iran. I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." Everything!?

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On July 24th, after having tried unsuccessfully to reach my Alderman and co-sponsor to the original No War On Iran resolution, Mary Ann Smith, I decided to send her a fax urging her to help bring to a vote this resolution at the July 30th City Council meeting. Just this past Monday evening I received a voice mail which really captures how this campaign is trying to silence any real opposition to an attack on Iran.

Note: The City Council Met this past Wednesday and did not bring to a vote the original resolution nor the watered down version. In bold is my fax to Alderman Smith and in italics is her voicemail to me which I have transcribed.

Dear Alderman Smith,
After having contacted your office a number of times requesting to speak with you and getting no follow up call I am sending you this fax.
I want to know that on July 30th, the day of the next City Council meeting that you will along with Joe Moore, push to have the No War on Iran resolution put to a vote. It is important that with the threat of an attack on Iran looming ever larger, that all those who oppose such an attack stand up and speak out. To remain silent while yet another war crime is in the making would only demonstrate to the rest of the world that not only the government of the United States has committed and been complicit in war crimes, but that the American people are complicit in war crimes as well. I will not and cannot be a party to war crimes and so as your constituent I am asking you to help bring this resolution to a vote. Because you a co-sponsor to this resolution I am asking you to do all that you can to make this happen. If you heard the expert testimony the day before the City Council met on May 9th you know well that there is no justification for an attack on Iran and that for the U.S. or it's allies to do so would in fact be a war crime with horrific and lasting consequences for the people of Iran, the Middle East and the world.
I have received news that West Hollywood has now passed a similar resolution. A number of cities have passed these resolutions and many citizens are planning to have their cities pass such a resolution. This demonstrates that many Americans oppose an attack on Iran. Let Chicago stand with these cities before the eyes of the world and say No War On Iran!
I would very much appreciate hearing form you on this matter and hearing what you plan to do to help get this resolution to a vote.

Alderman Mary Ann Smith's voice mail message to me on 8/28

Jill, this is Alderman Mary Ann Smith responding to your fax. I am of course staying in touch with Joe Moore about the War resolution. But I am asking you to consider working for Obama. You know ultimately we've got to take back the White House. So if you haven't already been in touch with Carol Ronen's office-she is the 9th Congressional committee woman or if you haven't been in touch with the Obama campaign please I urge you to do so. Thank you. Bye.

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Jill McLaughlin is an activist/organizer with the World Can't Wait. She currently sits on the national steering committee of World Can't Wait and has been an active activist/organizer with the Chicago Chapter of World Can't Wait. She has written (more...)

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