Before We Bomb Iran

10/15/2007 02:04 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Debra Burlingame says there's got to be a better way to confront Iran. Her brother Charles F. (Chic) Burlingame was the captain of American Airlines Flight 77, the airliner hijacked and flown into the Pentagon on 9/11. Since then, Ms. Burlingame can't get over our failure to fight a smarter war on terror, a war that wouldn't get more people killed. "We should be using all the tools we have -- including our enormous wealth -- to prevent our enemies from coming after us," she says. So she, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Sam Brownback, among others at the state and local level, have identified a powerful tool -- a grass-roots and bipartisan campaign to "divest" from Iran, just as the international community divested from South Africa's apartheid regime in the 1970s and '80s.

This time, the stakes are higher. In last week's presidential debate in Detroit, John McCain said offhandedly that military action is "closer to reality than we're discussing today." While Condi Rice and Bob Gates seem to have prevailed for now in urging caution, Dick Cheney is not yet down for the count; bombing Iran is still an option. Norman Podhoretz, Rudy Giuliani's wise man on foreign policy, recently met with President Bush and strongly argued for war. The relative silence that greeted the recent Israeli bombing of suspected nuclear sites in Syria has only emboldened the superhawks.

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