Electronic Intifada co-founder Laurie King-Irani is one of nearly forty authors featured in a new book, Patriotism, Democracy and Common Sense: Restoring America’s Promise at Home and Abroad, published by the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation. The book aims to educate Americans about alternatives to current US foreign, economic, Middle East, domestic, media, campaign finance, and voting rights policies.
King-Irani’s chapter, “Awakening the American Political Debate on Palestine and Israel,” examines the role of the internet in building networks of citizen-activists to confront one of the most pressing challenges of US foreign policy: the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Other authors addressing the Middle East in this new book include Chris Toensing of Middle East Report, Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, and Professor Roger Owen of Harvard University.
In his introduction to the book, Alan Curtis, president of the Eisenhower Foundation, notes:
“In the late 1960s, the bipartisan Eisenhower Violence Commission, formed by President Johnson and extended by President Nixon, warned that most civilizations have fallen less from external assault than from internal decay.
“Over recent years, the internal decay prophesied by the Violence Commission, but also by President Eisenhower in his military-industrial complex farewell speech, has been reflected in American public policies.
“The fault lies on both sides of the political aisle.
“After Pearl Harbor, ‘Mr. Republican,’ Senator Robert A. Taft, said criticism is patriotic. Patriotism, Democracy, and Common Sense assembles over three dozen patriots. They range from Kevin Phillips, chief political strategist for Richard Nixon’s victory in 1968, and former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, called a ‘true American hero’ by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, to Jessica Tuchman Mathews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and former Oklahoma Senator Fred R. Harris, who advocated grassroots, populist policies when he ran for president in the 1970s.
“Why have American policies failed? What alternative policies can return America to its promise, internally and in the eyes of a global community shaken by, among other things, American torture and sexual humiliation of prisoners in Iraq?
“Patriotism, Democracy and Common Sense answers these questions in a preposterous way. It asks citizens and policy makers to actually connect the dots — to move America forward by developing mutually supportive and complementary foreign, national security, Middle East, economic, domestic, inner city, media, campaign finance and voting reform policies.”