Barrwatch: To Tehran, Go!

Robert Stacy McCain reports from a Bob Barr press conference on Iran.

There was something of a left-right convergence on Capitol Hill today. Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr and former Reagan administration official Doug Bandow were among the featured speakers today at a press conference urging U.S. diplomatic engagement with Iran.

The three-hour long event sponsored by the Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran also featured two California Democrats, Rep. Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, as well as an appearance by a gaggle of Code Pink peace activists. [ed - has no one invented a spray to keep them away?]

"Instead of talking about war, the U.S. government should talk to Iran," Barr said. "At the same time, Congress must reassert its constitutional authority and not give the president another blank check to wage another costly war."

From Barr's campaign:

“Neither Sen. McCain nor Sen. Obama can be trusted to keep the peace,” says Barr.

The potential consequences of war, Barr explains, “include attacks on our troops stationed in Iraq, threats to the Gulf oil trade, terrorist attacks around the world, subversion of friendly Arab and Muslim governments, destruction of the democracy movement within Iran, and enduring hostility towards America throughout much of the world.” To risk paying such a price without attempting to deal directly with the Iranian regime “would be counterproductive, costly, and dangerous. Even as our hand-picked and supported Prime Minister Maliki in Iraq talks with Iranian leaders, and even as the Olmert government in Israel talks with the Assad regime in Syria, the Bush Administration refuses to engage one of the largest and most important countries in that part of the world – Iran. This makes no sense.”

Moreover, notes Barr, a former House member, “the power to declare war on Iran lies with the Congress, not the president.” Unfortunately, presidents have routinely abused their role as commander-in-chief of the military. “The president is to direct any war, but the Constitution vests the power to decide if there will be a war in the legislative branch,” emphasizes Barr.

Meanwhile, Independent Political Report asks where Wayne Allyn Root is. Not on the campaign site, at any rate.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • TallDave||

    Interesting piece from StrategyPage sugggesting we're performing a useful service for Iranian moderates by killing off some of the extreme semi-rogue Iranian elements such as the IRGC in Iraq.

    http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/iraq/articles/20080609.aspx

    One of the big losers in the last few months has been Iran. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the Iraqi Shia militias evaporated quickly when the Iraqi army and police moved into militia strongholds in Baghdad and Basra. Many militia leaders were taken alive, and they talked, often of the support they received from Iran. Lots of embarrassing documents, were captured, and Iraqi officials hand carried these to Iran recently, to demand that the Iranians stop this kind of mischief. The Iranians agreed, but privately pointed out that most of the trouble was caused by extremists inside the Iranian government (mainly the Quds Force and Revolutionary Guards units). These fanatics are largely beyond control by anyone, but the Iranians apparently allowed as how these thugs would not be missed by many inside Iran, and the Iraqis should kill as many of them as possible, please.

  • the innominate one||

    props to Barr, then

  • ||

    Meanwhile, Independent Political Report asks where Wayne Allyn Root is. Not on the campaign site, at any rate.

    Good.

  • ||

    Meanwhile, Independent Political Report asks where Wayne Allyn Root is. Not on the campaign site, at any rate.

    That's the best news I've heard since the convention! Keep Root in the cellar. Hey that's a slogan there. I'd put it on my bumper.

    Barr hasn't done anything unforgivable since winning the nomination. I'm still waiting to see him get MSM attention.

  • Episiarch||

    Meanwhile, Independent Political Report asks where Wayne Allyn Root is.

    Getting a $400 haircut?

  • TallDave||

    Being from IL, I'll probably vote for Barr as a WoD protest since it's a foregone Obama state anyway.

  • <strike>Manuchrian</strike> Pe||

    Barr went to school in Tehran.

    And (true fact) the reason he was there is he got kicked out of Pakistan.

  • ||

    Meanwhile, Independent Political Report asks where Wayne Allyn Root is.

    Hopefully tied up in a closet with a sock stuffed in his mouth....

  • No Name Guy||

    Don't worry, McPsycho will fix this by starting another 100 years war.

  • e||

    we're performing a useful service for Iranian moderates by killing off some of the extreme semi-rogue Iranian elements such as the IRGC in Iraq.

    Not to mention Iran is performing a useful service of killing our semi-rogue Private Contractors - looks like a win/win.

  • ||

    Meanwhile, Independent Political Report asks where Wayne Allyn Root is..

    Somewhere polishing his many teeth.

  • anon||

    Tall Dave,

    aside from your link, I've seen nothing in the news about captured documents proving the Iran - Shiite militia cooperation. seems to me if such evidence existed the US govt would use it to make propaganda hay.

    color me skeptical about the veracity of that report.

  • ||

    The less seen of Root the better.

  • ||

    we're performing a useful service for Iranian moderates by killing off some of the extreme semi-rogue Iranian elements such as the IRGC in Iraq.

    Its our pleasure, really.

    seems to me if such evidence existed the US govt would use it to make propaganda hay.

    You seriously overestimate the competence of the Bush White House, anon.

    You might Google Iran Shiite militia. Plenty of stories in the WaPo, NYT, etc. on the Iranian support for killing Iraqis.

  • Colin||

    I once read that at the time of the Iran Hostage Crisis, only one person at the CIA spoke Farsi.

    I wonder if it were Barr.

    As I heard it, Barr didn't get kicked out of Pakistan. There was a war and/or coup and his family was evacuated.

  • TallDave||

    I've seen nothing in the news about captured documents proving the Iran - Shiite militia cooperation.

    Well, it has been in the news.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/06/03/iraq.main/



    Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is making his second trip in a year's time to neighboring Iran. The visit comes amid growing concerns among Iraqis and Americans that Iranian agents are training and arming Shiite militants in Iraq.
    ....
    Al-Maliki formed a committee last month to document what Iraqi officials call Iranian "interference" in Iraqi affairs.

    The move came after an Iraqi delegation confronted Iranian officials in Tehran with evidence that Iran is smuggling weapons into Iraq and training Iraqi militants


    Our troops seem pretty sure of it:

    http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?searchword=iranian&option=com_search&Itemid=

    seems to me if such evidence existed the US govt would use it to make propaganda hay.

    They actually mention it pretty often.

  • ||

    Where's Wayne? If you look carefully, you might find his red striped shirt in the crowded beach scene, or at the crowded mall. You need a good eye to find Wayne.

  • ||

    "Al-Maliki formed a committee last month to document what Iraqi officials call Iranian "interference" in Iraqi affairs."

    In other words, it's ok for the US to meddle in Iraq, but not for Iran.

  • Nigel Watt||

    Doesn't the fundraiser thing on Barr's homepage say "Help Barr/Root win the White House" or whatever?

  • ||

    How is this different from Sen. Obama's willingness to talk with Iran?

  • Fluffy||

    In other words, it's ok for the US to meddle in Iraq, but not for Iran.

    I think it's more specific than that: it's OK for Iran to arm the Badr militia, but not OK for it to arm the Sadr militia.

  • ||

    The punchline, Fluffy, is that the Badr Brigades are closer to the Iranians than the Mahdi Army.

  • ||

    Which, I see, was your point.

    nevermind

  • ||

    Bloomberg had what I think is the best interview with Barr so far.

    http://blog.bobbarr2008.com/2008/06/10/bob-barr-answers-a-lot-of-tough-questions-on-bloomberg-tv/

    As much as people pooh-poohed Barr, at least his nomination is paying off and he's getting the media attention.

  • ||

    I am Root. Fear me.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement