Of Peace and Politics

Bush Admin. Official Speaks Out Against War With Iran

By Hilary Johnson on 02/22/2012 @ 02:18 PM

As a fresh face at FCNL, I have already had amazing opportunities. On my very first lobby visit I was joined by Kate Gould, and Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State, Colin Powell.

Although I would like to believe that the staffers' excitement was due to my stunning charm and quick wit, it was more likely that a name such as Col. Wilkerson's warrants a bit of a buzz. As a high-ranking member of the former Bush Administration, Col. Wilkerson had an inside view to one of the most controversial presidencies in recent history. He has been very outspoken against the policies and secrecies of that administration, saying Bush and Cheney should be held accountable for the crimes they committed in office.

Left to right: Chic Dambach, Rep. Garamendi, Col. Wilkerson, Kate Gould, and Hilary Johnson

Regarding Iran, Col. Wilkerson has spoken in adamant opposition to war and has pushed back against those who favor military action. In our meetings with members of Congress and their staffers, he gave insight into consequences of war with Iran, and noted similarities between the "drumbeats" of war that led to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 with similar, and more rapid, drumbeats today pushing for war with Iran.

During our meeting with Congressman Garamendi's office, Col. Wilkerson spoke of the disastrous consequences that would come of a military attack on Iran, and the need to avoid those circumstances. Also, we were lucky enough to score some photos with the Congressman and his Chief of Staff, Chic Dambach.

Col. Wilkerson was kind enough to join Kate and I on a second day of lobby visits, where we continued our meetings to speak out against war with Iran. Additionally, we addressed the Casey-Graham-Lieberman bill that pushes President Obama to abandon diplomacy with Iran, and encouraged members of Congress to sign on to the Ellison-Jones letter which encourages increased diplomatic efforts by the United States. On the second day, we had a meeting with Congressman Guthrie, and asked that Congress support an Incidents at Sea Agreement with Iran. Congressman Guthrie co-sponsored the Conyers-Davis Incidents at Sea Agreement during the last Congress.

The entire experience was positive and left me full of hope. Hope in this incredible organization, hope in my colleagues' dedication to the vision of a world without war or the threat of war, and hope in the strong leaders in our government who want to do what is right in a world filled with uncertainties.


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