Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Waging Peace: Republican Statesmen Urge Bush to Change Middle East Policy

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Waging Peace: Republican Statesmen Urge Bush to Change Middle East Policy

Article excerpt

Former Congressmen Paul Findley (R-IL) and Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey (R-CA) spoke at a public hearing convened by the Council for the National Interest (CNI) to examine the direction of U.S. Middle East policy. At the Jan. 27 event on Capitol Hill, the Republicans urged President George W. Bush to change drastically the neoconservative policies of unilateral war and intervention in dealing with international terrorism, saying it would help, not hinder, his re-election campaign. (See the texts of their speeches on p. 20 and p. 22 of this issue.)

Also among the panelists were former Chief of Mission to Iraq Edward Peck, African-American civic leader E. Paye Williams and Eugene Bird, CNI president and retired foreign service officer. The hearing, "Voting to Reverse the Neocons," was the first in an Election 2004 series to examine the Middle East.

Williams, a CNI Foundation board member, discussed the need to speak the truth on the Middle East, where fundamental issues are never addressed due to the manipulation of special interest lobbies.

Bird called for President Bush to pay attention to the Israel-Palestine conflict. He noted that, according to former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, President Bush deliberately distanced himself from the Palestinian situation when he came to office in 2001. When warned by secretary of State Colin Powell that the "consequences of that could be dire, especially for the Palestinians," Bush responded by telling his cabinet, "Maybe that is the best way to get things back in balance. …

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