The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

Keith Ellison and Walter Jones stand up for diplomatic engagement with Iran | Robert Naiman

Largely missing from the recent political debate, until now, has been a full-throated defence of diplomatic engagement with Iran towards negotiated agreements that would resolve or mitigate international concerns about its disputed nuclear programme, thereby pushing back the prospect of military confrontation.

But that could change. Representatives Keith Ellison [D-MN] and Walter Jones [R-NC] are currently circulating a Congressional letter to President Obama urging him to redouble US efforts towards a diplomatic agreement.

That Walter Jones is willing to speak up is a particularly welcome development. Jones, you will recall, led the Congressional move to rename “French fries” in the House cafeteria to “freedom fries” in protest over French opposition to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

After attending too many military funerals, Walter Jones took three steps which are all too infrequent in US public life.

He changed his mind. He admitted that he had been duped. And he resolved to make amends. […]

If we could get 40 members of the House to sign this letter, including five to 10 Republicans, that would be a good start. Insider DC press, at least, would report it; Ellison and Jones would have their profiles raised as voices for diplomatic engagement; and to some degree and at long last, the debate in the media would have two sides. 

You can ask your US representative to sign the Ellison-Jones letter here.