#TBT – To Yesterday’s National Day of Action for the Iran Peace Deal!

August 27, 2015
Peacemongers in Sarasota, Florida at the office of US Rep. Vern Buchanan

Peacemongers in Sarasota, Florida at the office of US Rep. Vern Buchanan

“Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.” — The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace Action affiliates, chapters, associates, members and volunteers put MLK’s words into practice yesterday as part of a national day of action (over 200 around the country!) involving dozens of national and local peace groups. Here are just a few highlights:

Portland, Maine — Peace Action, Veterans for Peace and other local groups rallied to press Senator Susan Collins, considered the lone possible Republican supporter of the Iran nuclear deal, which generated this article in the Portland Press Herald. Also longtime Peace Action Maine leader Sally Breen had a letter to the editor published in the same paper, a great two-fer!

Buffalo, New York — Western New Yorkers protested Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s announced opposition to the Iran peace deal, and the local public radio station covered it. 

Is that deal opponent Sen. Chuck Schumer?

Is that deal opponent Sen. Chuck Schumer?

Newark, New Jersey — Peace Action led a rally and petition delivery of 15,000 signatures in support of the Iran deal to the office of Sen. Cory Booker, considered a key fence sitter. And they aren’t done, they have another rally planned for this Saturday! Two papers in Jersey ran articles on the event.

Wilmington, Delaware — About 50 peace advocates organized by our associate organization, Pacem en Teris, gathered to urge Sen. Chris Coons, a key “on the fence” senator, to support peace with Iran, and got good media coverage of their efforts.

Sarasota, Florida — activists gathered to press Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan, who says he leans against the deal.

irancrowd

OhioCleveland Peace Action’s Norman Robbins had an op-ed in the Plain Dealer yesterday, and activists in Columbus paid a visit to the office of U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, shown here:

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Detroit, Michigan – Peace Action and allies organized a rally at the office of Sen. Gary Peters, considered a key swing vote on the Iran agreement. The Detroit News article also covered an anti-deal gathering. See some of our folks’ photos on the FaceBook page for the event.

 


Pro-Iran Diplomacy Op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer

August 26, 2015

by Norman Robbins of Cleveland Peace Action

Iran nuclear deal – the pros outweigh the cons

When arguments about the Iran nuclear deal rage over arcane matters such as the allowable kilograms of low enriched uranium, the reliability of Additional Protocol inspections, or whether Iran can reprocess spent fuel, most of us find our eyes glazing over. We really just want to know whether the nuclear deal has sufficiently blocked all pathways to building a nuclear weapon for a reasonable period. As adults, we know that a fair deal was bound to leave each side somewhat dissatisfied. But is the big picture positive or negative?

One way to decide is to evaluate the credibility of those holding differing views. When we do so, it appears that on balance, most qualified experts who have spoken out publicly favor the deal.

For starters, a great many published statements of support for the deal have come from eminent military, nuclear, diplomatic and nonproliferation experts, altogether totaling hundreds of individuals (see references at https://peaceblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/validators-of-iran-nuclear-deal/). The number of these experts, many who have served under both Democratic and Republican administrations, absolutely dwarfs the handful of bona fide experts (not including media pundits) who oppose the deal.

For instance, more than 80 Israeli former military and intelligence leaders support the deal or at least have advised Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop opposing it, and reportedly few Israeli military people say the deal is a major detriment to Israel.

So why should we listen to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warnings of dire consequences? Do Israel’s military and intelligence leaders know or care less about Israel’s security than Netanyahu?

In stark contrast, Netanyahu, the leader of the charge to scuttle the agreement, has a long history of making confident predictions that have turned out to be dead wrong. From 1992 to 2012 (for 20 years!), he repeatedly predicted that Iran would have a nuclear bomb in three years or less.

Wrong! Since 2007, the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, a consensus of 16 intelligence agencies, repeatedly affirmed that Iran has not worked on a nuclear weapon since 2003 and has not decided whether to do so.

Netanyahu ”guaranteed” Congress in 2002 that ”the Iraq War would have enormous positive reverberations in the region.”

Wrong! We all know how that fiasco turned out.

Netanyahu has demanded that a nuclear deal with Iran must compel Iran to totally dismantle its nuclear program.

Wrong! We know for a fact that precisely this demand undermined U.S.-European attempts at negotiation with Iran from 2003 to 2013. Numerous polls have shown that Iranians proudly consider their peaceful nuclear program as non-negotiable, especially in view of their dismal history of humiliating quasi-colonial interventions.

Stack up these major and repeated wrong-headed blunders, many contrary to the advice and opinion of experienced experts, and it is clear that one should set little stock by what Netanyahu and his followers claim, especially in the category of hyperbolic fearmongering (e.g., that Iran is going to attack the United States or Israel with nukes).

Those who oppose the deal assure us that we can get a better deal if we sack this one, but most experienced diplomats disagree. European, Chinese and Russian ambassadors have told members of Congress that the sanctions would collapse and no new deal could emerge if Congress sank the deal. Claims that the United States could impose ”secondary” sanctions on countries that resume trade with Iran have been countered by economic experts who point out that the resulting losses of trade (e.g. with China and Southeast Asian countries) would greatly harm the U.S. economy.

Again, naysayers assert that if the deal falls through and Iran restores its pre-existing nuclear capacity, we can always default to military action. Indeed, one of Netanyahu’s major U.S. financial supporters, Sheldon Adelson, publicly proposed dropping nukes on Iran to force it to abandon its nuclear program, and Netanyahu has never disavowed that genocidal proposal.

How credible are these people? Once again, 36 retired U.S. military leaders, who know well the dire unintended consequences of heedless military action, say we must try the diplomatic approach long before we contemplate military action.

We have some 20,000 American sailors and perhaps 10,000 soldiers on bases within easy reach of enormous numbers of Iranian ship- and shore-based missiles. Do we really want to put their lives at risk by refusing to listen to voices of reason and experience?

Will our still-uncommitted Ohio Congress members — Marcia Fudge, Marcy Kaptur, Tim Ryan and Joyce Beatty — have the courage to resist pressure and be among those listeners? 

 

Robbins is an emeritus professor of neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University and Iran consultant to Cleveland Peace Action.


TV clip of Iran actions in MD yesterday

August 21, 2015

Featuring Peace Action’s own Jean Athey!

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/08/20/sen-cardin-under-pressure-ahead-of-decision-on-iran-deal/


Maryland Rocks! Pro-Peace with Iran actions today at four of Sen. Ben Cardin’s offices.

August 20, 2015

Free State peace-mongers at Senator Ben Cardin’s Rockville office today urging him to support the Iran peace deal, part of coordinated actions at four of his offices including Capitol Hill, Baltimore and Bowie. Peace Action leaders also delivered over 5500 petition signatures in support of the Iran nuclear agreement. Cardin is a key vote as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and remains undeclared on the deal.

Peace Action's photo.

Marylanders, show up for peace with Iran at Sen. Cardin’s offices tomorrow!

August 19, 2015

Geneseo chapter

Here is a great opportunity to raise your voice for peace in support of the Iran peace deal. Please come join us in Baltimore, Rockville, Bowie or on Capitol Hill if you can and spread the word to other Maryland peace-mongers!

Peace Action;  Peace Action Montgomery;  Maryland United for Peace and Justice; CODEPINK;  Baltimore Pledge of Resistance

MD Voters Urge Sen. Ben Cardin to Support Iran Deal
Vigils to be Held at 4 Cardin Offices; 5,572 Petitions to be Delivered

WHAT: Community members will hold street demonstrations at three of Sen. Cardin’s regional offices and at his Capitol Hill office on the same day. These voters will urge Sen. Cardin to support the nuclear agreement with Iran.  A petition supporting the deal and urging members of Congress to vote for it will be delivered to staff at the Rockville office, listing 5,572 signatures of MD residents

 

WHEN:  Rockville, 12 noon; Baltimore, 4 p.m; Bowie, 4 p.m.; Hart Senate Office Building, noon.


WHERE
:

 

100 S. Charles Street

Tower 1, Suite 1710

Baltimore, MD, 21201

 

451 Hungerford Drive

Suite 230

Rockville, MD, 20850

 

10201 Martin Luther King Jr.

Highway, Suite 210

Bowie, MD, 20720

 

509 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC, 20510

BACKGROUND: Marylanders from across the state are mobilizing to encourage their Congressional representatives to support the negotiated deal with Iran. The deal will restrict Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb and will likely prevent another war.

“The success of the nuclear talks proves that diplomacy works.  These history making negotiations may open the door for more talks on issues like human rights and regional security that will further reduce Middle East tensions,” said Kevin Martin, executive director of Peace Action.

Recent polls show that a vast majority of Americans oppose military intervention with Iran and support the agreement, with American Jews expressing even stronger approval of the deal.

“Senator Cardin should vote for this amazingly tough agreement and he should also encourage his Senate colleagues to do so,” said Tony Langbehn, coordinator of Maryland United for Peace and Justice.  “The people of Maryland want peace, and this historic diplomatic deal is a critically important step in that direction.”

The petition signatures were collected at StopWarWithIran.com since the announcement of the Iran nuclear deal by a broad coalition of progressive groups, including CREDO, MoveOn.org Civic Action, Win Without War, Campaign for America’s Future, Daily Kos, Democracy for America, Demand Progress, USAction, Peace Action, Peace Action West, The Nation, United for Peace and Justice, Progressive Democrats of America, CODEPINK, Council for a Liveable World, Just Foreign Policy, Left Action, NIAC Action, The Other 98%, RH Reality Check, RootsAction, Women’s Action for New Directions, and Watchdog.net. Activists have also made more than 49,000 phone calls to Democrats in Congress through the StopWarWithIran.com website since the deal was announced.

Organizations Supporting These Actions at Cardin’s Offices:  Maryland United for Peace and Justice, Peace Action Montgomery, Baltimore Pledge of Resistance, Code Pink, Peace Action
Websites:  http://peaceactionmc.org
http://mupj.org


Action Alert: Show up for peace with Iran at Congressional Town Hall Meetings this month!

August 11, 2015

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Our August campaign to build support for the peace deal with Iran is off to a great start.  Yesterday at the Manhattan office of New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Peace Action of New York State led a demonstration that attracted close to 500 people, sending Sen. Schumer a powerful message of outrage against his decision to oppose the deal that would block Iran’s pathway to a nuclear weapon.

This is just the beginning.  Teaming up with MoveOn.org (which provided a great assist at the Schumer protest) and several other major peace and justice groups, we now have a website 60daystostopawar.com which details where Town Hall meetings will be taking place over the August Congressional recess so constituents can rally in support of this historic peace agreement.

There are town halls TODAY in Brooklyn with Rep. Jefferies (that one sponsored by AIPAC and other “pro-Israel groups, but it is open to the public and there will be at least one pro-peace expert speaker), Morgantown, West Virginia (Sen. Manchin) and Dallas (Rep. Veazey), as well as others later this week and throughout the month, so please check out the website now!

Please plan to show up for peace, and invite friends, neighbors, family to join you! Also please help promote this website via your social media networks and channels.

Where Town Hall meetings have taken place, Peace Action chapters are reporting in with news that support for the deal is overwhelming opposition.  We know we can’t outspend the War Party, determined as they are to torpedo the agreement, but we can out organize them.   And we will!

So far our combined efforts have generated and turned in over 244,000 petition signatures and 45,000 phone calls to Congressional offices supported the Iran peace deal, and that effort continues. But there’s no substitute for showing up and letting lawmakers and your fellow constituents we want more peace, not more war, in the Middle East.

Polls continue to show strong majority support for the Iran peace deal despite the multi-million dollar media barrage against it.

We can win this.  We can beat the War Party.  Let’s make some noise!

Humbly for Peace,

Kevin Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action

 


Peace Actionistas in the press in support of the Iran peace deal

July 31, 2015

peace girl

Besides pressuring Congress, getting our voices for peace into the media is one of the most important things we can do to support the Iran nuclear deal. Please check out these media hits, and like/promote/circulate as you see fit.

Jon Rainwater, Peace Action West Executive Director in Huffington Post — Huckabee, Trump, Netanyahu and the politics of provocation

Michael Carrigan of our associate organization Community Alliance of Lane County (Eugene, Oregon) in the Register-Guard — If Congress rejects Iran deal, we lose our chance for peace

Peace Action National Board of Directors member Carol Kiger Allen in the Trenton, NJ Times (second letter down) — Thoughts on nuclear deal with Iran

Peace Action National Board of Directors member Professor Lawrence Wittner in the Albany Times-Union — Iran deal cause for celebration

Lastly, not published except on this blog, national board member Lauri Kallio from Albuquerque, NM:

In the July 18 Albuquerque Journal, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer attacked the deal, devoting special attention to the conventional arms and ballistic missiles embargoes; in addition, Krauthammer contended that undeclared sites could not be inspected. I wrote a letter to the Journal in which I pointed out that without the embargoes, other nations, particularly China and Russia, could be selling conventional arms and ballistic missile components to Iran today.
In regard to inspections, the agreement allows international inspectors to inspect declared sites for periods ranging from fifteen to twenty-five years, depending on the type of activity involved. For undeclared sites, Iran will have about two weeks to consider a request for inspections. If Iran refuses to allow an inspection, a joint commission will have a period of time to mandate an inspection. The provision is tailored so that three of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the U.S., Great Britain and France, for example — can issue a binding decision to inspect. Even if China, Russia and Iran acted in concert to block the inspection, they could not prevail.
Lastly, I wrote that Krauthammer had not presented a viable alternative. Renegotiation would almost certainly be a non-starter, because even our partners would not be with us, and Iran would not agree to grant any more concessions than those already made. Harsher sanctions would more deeply impoverish the great mass of the seventy million Iranian people.
The only remaining alternative would be military action. The United States does not need another Middle Eastern war; also, because President Barack Obama made the unwise vow that if Iran crosses an unspecified red line, the U.S. will take military action, with the use of nuclear weapons not ruled out, great damage, not confined to Iran, would be the result. A computer simulation concluded that if nuclear weapons are used to try to destroy Iran’s deeply buried nuclear facilities, as many as three million people could be killed due to blast effects and radioactive fallout.
FROM THE INCONGRUITY DEPARTMENT: 1.) It is incongruous for nations that supply nations around the world with conventional weapons to try to prevent Iran from getting any; 2.) It is incongruous that nations with a a collective 16,000+ nuclear warheads (according to the PCU Nagasaki Council for Nuclear Weapons Abolition) should be trying to prevent Iran from getting even one; and 3.) It is incongruous that the U.S. and other allies who engage in the foreign policy fiction that Israel does not have a nuclear weapons arsenal, would try to move heaven and earth to prevent Iran from developing even one warhead for ever and ever.

 

 

 


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