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A conference featuring notable political figures and U.S. foreign
policy experts is slated for late March, where participants are expected
to make a case for a diminished American military role overseas.
The conference, which will
be the second of its kind sponsored by Antiwar.com, is an annual event. This year’s gathering will
include likely Reform Party presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan
as keynote speaker, along with an adviser to his campaign and columnist
for WorldNetDaily, /news/archives.asp?ARCHIVE_ID=83Lenora Fulani.
Eric Garris, a spokesman for Antiwar.com, told WorldNetDaily this
year’s theme for the event will be, “Beyond Left and Right: The New Face
of the Antiwar Movement.”
“Our speakers list reflects the theme’s mix of ideologies,” he said.
Though the group’s name suggests it limits its activism strictly to
“anti-war” activities, Garris said no one should be confused into
thinking Antiwar.com is advocating the U.S. never use its military.
“If you want to call us ‘isolationist,’ I guess that’s okay,” Garris
said, “but we have always supported the use of force to protect our
country’s vital national interests.
“We’re mostly non-interventionist in our point of view because we
believe in free trade, for example, but we don’t believe in things like
NAFTA and GATT,” he said. “We don’t support countries going around and
acting as the world’s policeman. Right now — today — though, that role
is being played largely by the United States.”
However, Garris said, the group supports legitimate uses of the U.S.
military for defense of the country’s national interests.
“We support sovereignty,” he said. “We are very much in favor of
Other speakers include Alexander Cockburn, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas,
and Tom Flemming from “Chronicles” magazine, as well as columnists from
Antiwar.com. Garris said that though “last year’s conference was done
rather quickly,” about 250 people attended that conference.
Last year’s speakers included Paul, /news/archives.asp?ARCHIVE_ID=25WND columnist
and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute Llewellyn Rockwell, Norman Solomon, Joseph Sobran,
and Robert Maxwell, who produced the film “Gettysburg.”
WND editor Joseph Farah was scheduled to speak at the March 24-26
conference, but had to decline due to other commitments.
On the opening Friday, Buchanan will deliver the keynote speech,
which Garris said would be “a major foreign policy address” reflecting
and expanding on the conference theme. On Saturday, Cockburn, who is
“one of the last of the old-fashioned anti-imperialist lefties still
left standing,” will be a luncheon speaker. A longtime columnist for the
Nation and editor of Counterpunch, “Cockburn will tell us how and why
much of the Left sold out to the War Party,” Garris said.