Iran 2012: Iraq 2003 All Over Again?

Iran 2012: Iraq 2003 All Over Again?

Session Type(s): Panel

Training Tag(s): Foreign Policy & National Security

Starts: Friday, Jun. 8 4:30 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Jun. 8 5:45 PM (Eastern)

Despite broad opposition from military and security leaders in the United States and internationally, the sponsors of the Iraq War have attempted to fear-monger their way into another costly Middle East conflict. Bush has dropped from the headlines, but the architects of his foreign policy have taken over the shadow cabinets of GOP presidential contenders, the corner offices of think tanks and the halls of Congress. But 2012 is not 2003. A restrained economy, an ascendant model of less-militarized foreign policy and a war-weary public create an opportunity for a responsible policy outcome and a definitive blow to the (neo)conservative death-grip on national security politics. Attendees will hear from experts well-steeped in the trends and decisions behind the war drumbeat both then and now, who will spotlight the web of familiar players, debunk their arguments and discuss strategies for achieving a sounder policy and winning the political debate.

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Karen Finney

A leading democratic strategist, MSNBC Political Analyst and columnist for The Hill, Karen Finney works with political and corporate clients in the United States and globally in the areas of political and communication strategy, message development, crisis communications, branding, and public affairs.

Karen’s more than 20 years in national politics includes four presidential campaigns, the Clinton White House, Hillary Clinton’s first successful New York Senate race, and first African American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee.

Karen also worked to improve public education in the public and private sectors; working as a teaching assistant in a minimum-security facility for pregnant teenagers in Los Angeles, chief Spokesperson for NYC Schools and for Scholastic, Inc.

Karen serves on the board of NARAL pro-choice America, contributes to Politico’s “The Arena”,, and Washington Watch on TV One. She also co-hosts “The Flaks” on the POTUS channel, Sirius XM radio.


Bob Creamer

Robert Creamer has been a political organizer and strategist for over four decades. He is a Partner in the firm Democracy Partners and serves as General Consultant to Americans United for Change. He has been a consultant to the campaigns to defeat the privatization of Social Security, end the war in Iraq, pass universal health care, hold Wall Street accountable, pass progressive budget priorities, and enact comprehensive immigration reform.

In the 2008 Presidential Election he worked for the Democratic National Committee as National Coordinator of field based rapid response to Republican candidates McCain and Palin. He has worked on hundreds of electoral campaigns at the local, state and national level. He is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and author of Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win. Creamer is married to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois.

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Heather Hurlburt

Heather Hurlburt

Heather Hurlburt is director of the New Models of Policy Change initiative at New America’s Political Reform program.

Hurlburt will lead research into how policy advocacy is adapting to be effective in our current environment of intense political polarization, and provide guidance to advocates and funders seeking to navigate politics effectively on behalf of policy solutions.

Previously, she ran the National Security Network, a premier source for internationalist foreign policy messaging and advocacy; held senior positions in the white House and State Department under President Bill Clinton; and worked on Capitol Hill and for the International Crisis Group. She holds degrees from Brown and George Washington Universities.

Alireza Nader


Alireza Nader is a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation and the lead co-author of Coping with a Nuclearizing Iran (2011). His research has focused on Iran’s political dynamics, elite decisionmaking, and Iranian foreign policy. His other RAND publications include Israel and Iran: A Dangerous Rivalry; The Next Supreme Leader: Succession in the Islamic Republic of Iran; The Rise of the Pasdaran: Assessing the Domestic Roles of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps; and Mullahs, Guards, and Bonyads: An Exploration of Iranian Leadership Dynamics. His commentaries and articles have appeared in a variety of publications and he is widely cited by the U.S. and international media. Prior to joining RAND, Nader served as a research analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses. He is a native speaker of Farsi. Nader received his M.A. in international affairs from The George Washington University.

Sen. Jack Reed

Jack Reed is a champion for middle-class families. Born and raised in Cranston, Rhode Island where his father was a school custodian and his mother was a homemaker, Reed learned that through hard work all Americans should have the opportunity to build a better life. Reed attended West Point (class of ’71) and went on to serve in the 82nd Airborne Division as an Infantry Platoon Leader, a Company Commander, and Battalion Staff Officer. In 1996, Reed was elected to succeed Claiborne Pell (D-RI) as Rhode Island’s 46th U.S. Senator. Today, Reed continues to serve the people of Rhode Island as a member of the Appropriations; Armed Services; and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committees.

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