NEWS FLASH: In Memoriam, Jerry Hughes, DownsizeDC.org Board Member, below my signature.
Quote of the Day: "Another term for preventive war is aggressive war - starting wars because someday somebody might do something to us. That is not part of the American tradition." - Ron Paul
I sent this letter to my Representative and Senators using DownsizeDC.org's No Conflict With Iran campaign:
I do not want more governments to acquire nuclear weapons. But as long as the U.S. maintains its nuclear deterrent, I see no reason to prevent other countries from developing their own, because you see...
Most countries, even wealthy ones, choose NOT to acquire nuclear weapons. But...
**Countries that feel threatened tend to be tempted.**
I've seen no evidence -- only speculation -- that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. U.S. intelligence agencies are in agreement that it's not.
Why are you ignoring these paid professionals?
It is U.S. threats that may finally push Iran into acquiring its own nuclear deterrent. Consider...
* The U.S. is waging cyberwarfare on Iran. (http://tinyurl.com/d4tjk6j)
* Several Iranian scientists have been killed in what, if it were happening here, would be classified as terrorist attacks.
* Previous to last month's Baghdad talks, the Senate passed a new round of draconian sanctions.
* At the talks, the U.S. demanded Iran quit 20% uranium enrichment in exchage for... NOTHING! (http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2012/1100/re10.htm)
Leaders of both parties seem intent that Iran give up even its civilian nuclear program and make other unreasonable demands that the Iranians won't possibly agree to.
These are the actions of people who want the talks to FAIL -- who want to corner the President into using the "military option."
But what will that achieve? Air strikes might delay Iranian nuclear development for only a few years. But they would also provoke even greater instability in the region, increasing the price of oil and damaging the global economy.
Plus, the only way to "guarantee" that Iran won't ever develop nukes is a full-scale invasion and permanent occupation -- of a country larger in both area and population than Iraq and Afghanistan combined!
Military action will kill countless innocent civilians. It will make the U.S. even more hated around the world.
These threats also LEGITIMIZE Iran's pursuit of a nuclear deterrent, especially on their home front, provoking patriotic spirit instead of resistance to the tyrannical state.
Here's what you should do instead...
* Drop all sanctions against Iran and restore trade.
* Open normal diplomatic relations with Iran.
These moves would drain Iran's incentive to acquire nuclear weapons. They'd empower the political opposition there.
I do NOT consent to sanctions.
I do NOT consent to war!
DownsizeDC.org board member, Jerry Hughes, passed away Friday. His heart simply stopped, and they couldn't revive him. He broadcasted as recently as Wednesday.
For five-and-a-half years I appeared nearly every Friday afternoon, for one hour, on his show. It was basically my "TGIF" moment. To say I enjoyed these times together is an understatement. It was unlike anything else I've done, anywhere else. Jerry insisted we have a conversation -- a real one.
After the first few weeks, we were past the normal patter and soundbites, and I would just riff. Sometimes, I'd get ideas listening to myself answer his questions and challenges. Occasionally, I'd say things that surprised even me! Jerry brought it out. In fact, I have a highly, provocative mini-book I want to write based on a conversation we had during a December broadcast.
Our dialogue was open, profound and deep to the point of being philosophical. We dealt with meaty issues, instead of the transient issue du jour.
Jerry was a big fan of Downsize DC. He was a generous monthly pledger, proud to serve on this board. To get a feel for Jerry's enthusiasm, notice this quote we have on our Newsletter subscription page: https://secure.downsizedc.org/newsletter/
Jerry said something almost identical in one of the last couple of episodes I did with him. In fact, I wish I had a catalog of the nice things he said about us. They were the kind of compliments that weren't mere flattery; they were the very things we strove to be. It was exhilarating to me that Jerry took notice of these things.
Jerry further encouraged me by asking me to regularly guest host his show.
Jerry loved his country and he'd done some interesting things in his time on this orb. He'd worked in several campaigns, nearly pulling off a congressional upset as a campaign manager. His career in radio started as a kid, helping his father. Jerry was a DJ who had met many famous artists. He'd frequently remark that he'd been in radio "since three days before water."
Our hallmark, thematic conversation was Jerry's cynicism. He was, most Fridays, convinced the country was going to hell. He wanted me to tell him why he was wrong and what could be done -- what we were doing -- to stop it. He so much wanted to be wrong about this, as evidenced by his generous monthly pledge. Most weeks, I could tell I'd satisfied his anxiety, but not always.
I knew for a long time that Jerry was terminally ill. But Jerry was intensely private and felt it bad form to complain about his miseries. It made him quite uncomfortable when I would inquire about his health. So I didn't do it often. Maybe that's why, when I got the news, I was a bit shocked.
Also thanks to his private nature, I don't know Jerry's family. We never had a chance to meet like that. But I know that his wife Vicky, son Richard, and the people at the Accent Radio Network, including his loyal remnant audience, will miss him profoundly. I know I shall too -- especially on Friday afternoons.