Obama bundler meets with Ahmadinejad
And she’s bragging about it, too. Apparently without “preparations”, Code Pink founders Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin met with Iranian president and raging anti-Semite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York. Evans wears another hat in this election as well; she has pledged to raise over $50,000 for Barack Obama as one of his main bundlers:
Calling it a “major step forward” in relations between Iran and the United States, leading activists Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans of CODEPINK Women for Peace — along with more than 150 other U.S. peace group representatives — met Wednesday afternoon with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here following his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
They had some interesting ideas for promoting peace with the man who has threatened to wipe Israel off the map, who funds terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, whose munitions kill American soldiers in Iraq, and whose nation currently wants to build nukes. Their solutions? Peace parks and investing in Iranian businesses:
The CODEPINK women proposed inviting American and Iranian artists to build a “peace park” in Tehran, a memorial dedicated to people-to-people commitment to peace and diplomacy between our two countries.
They also proposed a plan to invest funds in an Iranian business, one that produces green and sustainable products, such as bicycles. This grassroots investment would be the opposite of efforts by the Bush administration and Congress to tighten sanctions, a move which CODEPINK thinks would only hurt ordinary, everyday Iranians. Such a symbolic CODEPINK investment in a green, sustainable business would challenge U.S. regulations blocking trade with Iran and would show how diplomacy and trade are preferable to war and sanctions.
Most people want to stop investing in an Iranian system that needs cash for its nuclear aspirations. Congress has considered a divestment bill this year, for instance, attempting to use leverage . In fact, both John McCain and Barack Obama support divesture. Maybe that message got lost in the shuffle at Team O.
That brings us to the bigger question: why is a bundler for Obama’s campaign meeting with the head of the biggest terror-sponsoring regime in the world? Let’s skip over all of the hypocrisy of a supposed “peace” group sucking up to a man who funds terrorists, murders, and violence all over the world. (They like Castro, too, so that’s old news.) Here we have someone actively working to raise funds for Obama meeting with the explicitly avowed enemy of one of our closest allies. What does that say about Obama and his campaign?
Obama should disavow Evans and return the money she has bundled for him. If not, we can consider that agreement with Evans’ actions and judge Obama’s foreign-policy instincts by it. (via Melanie Morgan and Free Republic’s Kristin Taylor)
It’s worth repeating Melanie Morgan re: how closely Obama embraces this group:
“Obama recently put his seal of approval on Evans’ attempt to storm the stage during the acceptance speech of Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska when he welcomed her to his two Hollywood fundraisers last week, the exclusive $28,500 per person event and the $2500 per person event Barbra Streisand sang at the same evening.”
Interestingly, this link, Evans’s statement of the meeting with Ahmadinejad (toward the bottom of Kristinn Taylor’s entry) led to a very pink, but inaccessible page. (This is as of Friday 25 September 2008, 06.30 AKDT)
Why, Code Pink, is this a major step forward? You don’t represent the United States in any official capacity and you have no power to set policy. And rare as it may be for a “world leader” to meet with an activist group, you seem to be forgetting that it isn’t because he admires your principles. You are useful and nothing else.
Many of the people who speak out against what Code Pink are doing are reviled and mocked for being “uneducated” and “ignorant” but the truth is we are the ones who understand better than they do what pawns they are. We also understand they are a giant liability for Obama, who himself has already stated he would meet with Ahmadinejad without having established any prior conditions. This is against the interests of the United States, the desires of most Americans, and offensive to those whose families have suffered as a result of the actions of the revolutionary Iranian government.
Moreover, they seem to be mixing up the Iranian people with their leader, who by the way has to be approved by an unelected body, even to run for office. Wishing to establish some sort of dialogue with private Iranian citizens is noteworthy and probably even more advantageous because, depending on the circumstances, you might come closer to getting some insight into what ordinary Iranians have to say. Given the chance, probably one of the first things many Iranians would inform these women of is that many Iranian women are not even permitted to ride bicycles because it is deemed as “immodest.” Evans and Benjamin also need to be reminded that in his own country Ahmadinejad routinely jails and otherwise punishes women, whose rights are denied daily.
Why are they not asking him about those issues? Perhaps because they believe in freedom of speech only when it pertains to their own agenda.
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