ACTION ALERT: Netanyahu Stirs Up the War Hawks

March 4th, 2015 - by admin & Associated Press – 2015-03-04 01:38:59

Special to EAW

ACTION ALERT: Netanyahu Stirs Up the War Hawks

(March 3, 2015) — If we’re going to avoid another US war in the Middle East, this is a moment of truth. Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner. (1)

As expected, Netanyahu denounced the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran — providing fodder for war hawks who’ve already been organizing in the Senate. (2)

Now, Democrats in the Senate hold the cards. If they sign onto anti-diplomacy bills that have been introduced in the last few weeks, we’ll be on a slippery slope to war with Iran. On the other hand, if grassroots pressure helps keep Democrats from folding to the hawks, the Obama administration can continue to pursue peace.

It’s up to us to make our voices heard. So we’re launching an emergency drive to ramp up the pressure on Senate Democrats — to make sure they don’t cave in to the intense pressure being applied by war hawks in the wake of Netanyahu’s speech.

MoveOn members have been a tireless and effective frontline defense in the fight to keep us out of another endless war.

For months, our calls, petitions, op-eds, vigils, and congressional visits have targeted Democrats in Congress — reminding them that if we broker a diplomatic resolution to Iran’s nuclear program, the United States would achieve an enormous win — by using tough and principled diplomacy instead of rushing to war.

But the stakes just got higher. What happens next could make or break critical diplomatic negotiations with Iran. To keep off the path to war, we’ve got to act fast.

There are now two dangerous pieces of legislation gaining ground in the Senate: one proposed by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the other introduced by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Both efforts are backed by some of the same right-wing Republicans who propelled us into the war with Iraq. Both have some Democratic co-sponsors. And both could kill our chances for peaceful diplomacy with Iran in an instant — by driving Iran away from the negotiating table.

Our task is to ensure that Democrats in Congress resist the war hawks. If they hold the line, we’ll be able to preserve diplomacy with Iran — and prove that it’s a viable alternative to endless military aggression in the Middle East.

Help MoveOn make sure war hawks in Congress can’t push us towards another endless war in the Middle East.

With your help, MoveOn will hold Democrats accountable, hold the line, and — if we’re successful — we’ll give the Obama administration the space it needs to let diplomacy work.

If talks with Iran fail because of unwarranted congressional meddling, Democrats who side with Republican war hawks will be at fault. And we’ll make sure that progressive voters will hold them accountable in the weeks, months, and years to come.

But if we stand strong now and give diplomacy a chance to work, we can win this. MoveOn members have stopped war hawks from dictating policy throughout Obama’s presidency — including this past December, when Republicans tried to torpedo negotiations with Iran. With your help, we can do it again.

Thanks for all you do.
— Anna, Jadzia, Jo, Manny, and the rest of the team

P.S. Please check out “Democrats: Don’t Side With Republicans on Iran,” an op-ed by me and Becky Bond of CREDO Action, published in Roll Call.

1. “Netanyahu, in Speech to Congress, Criticizes ‘Bad Deal’ on Iran Nuclear Program,” The New York Times, March 3, 2015

2. “Democrats upset with GOP effort to fast-track Iran bill,” The Washington Post, March 3, 2015

Democrats Upset with GOP Effort to Fast-track Iran Bill
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (March 3, 2015) — A Republican effort to quickly pass legislation allowing congressional oversight on any Iran nuclear agreement is angering Democrats.

A key Democratic sponsor of the legislation, which would allow a congressional vote on any deal the United States signs with Iran to curb its nuclear program, said Tuesday night that he’s outraged that GOP leaders want to fast-track the bill.

Hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the nuclear negotiations in a speech on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to bypass the committee process and send the bill straight to the floor for debate and a vote.

“What happened to putting aside political posturing and partisanship?” asked New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Frankly, this is not what was intended and it certainly is against my better judgment, against procedure, against any understanding we might have had to take the politics out of our effort to establish congressional oversight of any nuclear agreement with Iran. “I am more than disappointed. I’m outraged.”

The bill would require President Barack Obama to submit any agreement reached with Tehran to Congress within 5 days. It also would give Congress 60 days to review it before any economic sanctions against Iran could be eased. The measure was introduced by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada echoed Menendez’s comments. “Partisan politics are cheap and ephemeral but the state of Israel must last forever,” Reid said. “For congressional leaders, building and preserving the broadest possible bipartisan coalition to stand against Israel’s enemies should be our guiding principle.”

Another Democrat, Tim Kaine, of Virginia said: “Congress should weigh in on any Iranian nuclear deal that impacts the statutory sanctions we’ve enacted. But we need to demonstrate that our review will be thoughtful and deliberate rather than rushed and partisan.”

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