The solution to differences with Iran is diplomatic engagement, not threats, ultimatums, sanctions and saber rattling.
Rather than pour more destabilizing weapons into the Middle East, the U.S. should use its considerable diplomatic, political and economic influence to deescalate rather than inflame the situation so that serious negotiations can proceed.
It is up to the American people - up to us - to put a stop to this madness BEFORE IT BEGINS. We need to drown our representatives in Congress and the President with protests demanding that our government seek a peaceful diplomatic resolution, and that it exercise the considerable influence it has over Israel and other allies to prevent actions that will embroil the U.S. and all of the Middle East in another war.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) has introduced legislation that directs the president to do just that.
H.R. 4173, the Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act would "direct the President of the United States to appoint a high-level United States representative or special envoy for Iran for the purpose of ensuring that the United States pursues all diplomatic avenues to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, to avoid a war with Iran, and for other purposes."
Please take moment to send your representative a message urging him or her to cosponsor and advocate passage of H.R. 4173. Just insert your zip code in the form below and your representative's contact information will automatically be inserted in a message expressing your concern and making that request. You can modify it to personallze the message.
We need to make some noise and put the heat on Congress to prevent this disaster in the making from taking place. PLEASE ACT TODAY!
Send an e-mail to your Member of Congress asking him or her to cosponser H.R. 4173 for diplomacy with Iran and H.R. 780 to speed up return of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan (see below) -- or call their office toll-free at 877-429-0678.
"No strike, however effective, will be in and of itself decisive ... We haven't had a contact with Iran since 1979. Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, we had links to the Soviet Union. We are not talking to Iran, so we don't understand each other. If something happens it's virtually assured that we won't get it right -- that there will be miscalculations -- which would be extremely dangerous in that part of the world."
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen (ret.)*
"A military solution, as far as I am concerned ... it will bring together a divided nation (Iran). It will make them absolutely committed to obtaining nuclear weapons. And they will just go deeper and more covert. The only long-term solution in avoiding Iranian nuclear weapons capability is for the Iranians to decide it is not in their interest. Everything else is a short-term solution."
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates*
"... the United States would obviously be blamed and we could possibly be the target of retaliation from Iran, striking our ships, striking our military bases ... I think that the consequences could be that we would have an escalation that would take place that would not only involve many lives, but I think could consume the Middel East in a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret."
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta*
Learn more . . .
USLAW Calls for More Diplomacy, Not the Military in Dealing with Iran
*Mr. President: Say No to War of Choice with Iran - full page ad in Washington Post, 3/5/12 signed by eight retired generals and intelligence professionals
Top Military, Intelligence Officials Join NIAC in Warning Against Iran War in Full-Page Washington Post Ad
Iran, threats and the UN Charter by Glenn Greenwald, Salon 3/3/12
Are We Sliding Toward War With Iran?
by Kenneth Pollack, New Republic 1/18/12
Statement for the Record on the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Iran in the Crosshairs: How to Prevent Washington’s Next War, a Primer by Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies
FAQ on Iran from the Friends Committee on National Legislation
Panetta: No Decision Yet On Nukes – February 16,2012 Navy Times
We’ve seen the threats against Iran before – by Phyllis Bennis, February 19, 2012, Al Jazeera
USLAW website section on Afghanistan
Rep. Barbara Lee also reintroduced H.R. 780 to cut off funding for all military operations in Afghanistan other than the safe return of our troops.
This bill provides that funds for operations of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan shall be obligated and expended only for purposes of providing for the safe and orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan of all members of the Armed Forces and Department of Defense contractor personnel who are in Afghanistan.
Send an e-mail to your Member of Congress. Just input your zip code below -- or call their office toll-free at 877-429-0678.
[The message below covers both H.R. 780 and H.R. 4173.]
At present the bill has 67 cosponsors. It needs many more. 60% of the people now say that the Afghan War is no longer worth fighting. They want our troops brought home now, not two or more years from now.
The recent horrific slaughter of cilivians in Kandahar, burning of the Koran, urinating on the corpses of alleged militants, deaths of innocent civilians as a result of mistaken or misdirected drone strikes -- all these and more are signs of military breakdown.
We don't have to go to Afghanistan to find evidence. A look at suicide rates among returning vets, chronic unemployment, drug addiction, alcoholism, spousal and child abuse - these are signs that the war has come home.
These examples of military breakdown are a product of armed forces who have been sent on an impossible and unwinnable mission. Just as there can be no military solution to problems with Iran, there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. Both require patient persistent diplomacy and negotiation.
Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, a highly respected military officer, who recently returned from Afghanistan, has written a declassified report detailing the actual state of affairs in Afghanistan. He states:
“Senior ranking U.S. military leaders have so distorted the truth when communicating with the U.S. Congress and the American people in regards to conditions on the ground in Afghanistan that the truth has become unrecognizable. This deception has damaged America’s credibility among both our allies and enemies, severely limiting our ability to reach a political solution to the war in Afghanistan.”
Please ask your member in Congress to cosponsor H.R. 780 and H.R. 4173, if they are not already signed onto the bill.
And when they return, we must demand that they receive all the care and services they require to be able to return to productive civilian life.
(Thanks to Friends Committee on National Legislation for providing the toll-free number!)