By David Swanson
Let’s do the count:
- Senators rallying and whipping their colleagues to support the Iran agreement: 0
- Senators admitting that Iran has had no nuclear weapons program and has never threatened or been a threat to the United States: 0
- Senators pushing the false idea that Iran is a nuclear threat but indicating they will vote to support the agreement precisely in order to counter that threat: 16 (Tammy Baldwin, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin Heinrich, Tim Kaine, Angus King, Patrick Leahy, Chris Murphy, Bill Nelson, Jack Reed, Bernie Sanders, Jeanne Shaheen, Tom Udall, Elizabeth Warren)
- Republican (and “Libertarian”) senators indicating they will try to kill the agreement, thereby moving the United States toward a war on Iran: 54 (All of them.)
- Democratic senators inspired during the ghastly Republican debate Thursday night to announce that they will try to kill the deal (and would rather have a war): 1 (Charles Schumer)
- Democratic senators who haven’t clearly stated a position: 29
- The number of those 29 who would have to join Schumer to kill the agreement and set the United States on a path toward self-isolation, international disgrace, and disastrous illegal immoral catastrophic war that will make Iraq and Afghanistan look like diplomacy: 12
Can the people of America keep the agreement protected from such a fate? Of course we can. We’ve been stopping a war on Iran for many years now. We stopped it in 2007. Such things never enter U.S. history books, but wars are stopped all the time. In 2013, the push for a massive bombing campaign on Syria was hard and absolutely bipartisan, yet public pressure played the key role in stopping it.
Now we have the White House on our side for heavens-sake. When Obama wants a horrible corporate trade agreement fast tracked or a supplemental war spending bill rammed through or a “healthcare” bill passed, he twists arms and offers bribes, he gives rides on his airplane, and he sends cabinet secretaries to do special favor PR events in districts. If he really wants this, he’ll hardly need our help. So one strategy we need to keep after is making clear he knows we expect this of him.
Senator Sanders has a gazillion fans now, and something like all but three of them believe he is a hero for peace. If you’re a Bernie supporter, you can urge him to rally his colleagues to protect the Iran agreement. He is still a Senator, not just a Hillary-challenger.
In states like Virginia, where one senator is taking the right position and one is keeping quiet, urge the first one (Kaine) to lobby the other one (Warner).
Would-be senators like Alan Grayson who want people to think of them as rational and peace-loving, but who have been pushing to kill the deal since before Schumer sprouted claws, should be lobbied and challenged everywhere they appear.
Schumer himself should not be permitted to appear in public without protest of his warmongering.
Just as in the summer of 2013, most senators and house members are going to be at public events in the coming weeks. Email and call them here. That’s easy. That’s the least anyone can do. And it had an impact last time in 2013. But also find out where they will be (senators and representatives both) and be there in small or large numbers to demand No War On Iran.
What forces work to influence these Senators? War industry lobbyists. There are 718 of them representing 196 massive corporate contractors and they spend between $100 million-200 million annually to generate the federal elected official votes that give them hundreds of $billions of warmaking business each year. This is not a tricky case to understand; the evidence passed by a circumstantial point years ago when Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about it in his Farewell Address.
Also, the Israel lobby has much of Congress bought and paid for. But the public is turning against it, and you can shame its servants.
In the long run, it’s useful to remember that lies do not set us free.
If both proponents and opponents of the agreement depict Iran falsely as a nuclear threat, the danger of a U.S. war on Iran is going to continue, with or without the deal. The deal could end with the election of a new president or Congress. Ending the agreement could be the first act of a Republican president or a Schumerian Democratic Leader.
So, don’t just urge the right vote while pushing the propaganda. Oppose the propaganda as well.Î¦