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Action alert: time to choose: talks or war?

February 11, 2014

It’s time for Congress to choose sides.

We’re at a crossroads, and the decisions our government makes could have costs in dollars and even lives. We’ve blocked a bad bill for now that politicians and pundits thought was a sure thing. But with talks for a permanent deal with Iran starting up this month, our opponents are going to regroup and come back to the fight. We need to take it up a notch.

Tell your representatives to pick a side: Talks or War.

The administration, the intelligence community, and countless experts have told Congress that sanctions and other legislation that tries to micromanage the diplomatic process could cause the talks to fall apart. But some members of Congress can’t resist the temptation to rattle sabers at Iran.

We’re launching a new campaign to force Congress to accept the consequences of their actions. 

When you take action in the Talks or War campaign, your representative will receive a reply card to return to you with a clear answer: I support letting diplomacy work, or I’m accepting the risk of leading us to war by supporting unhelpful legislation. In addition to the thousands of emails Congress gets, we have organizers on the ground collecting handwritten postcards to mail in with reply cards. Congress will not be able to ignore the choice they face of leading us to war or throwing their support behind diplomacy.

For years, members of Congress have tried to claim they support diplomacy while doing things that undermine it. With the Talks or War campaign, we’re letting them know that they can’t pretend to be unaware of the risk they’re taking in making war more likely. Your message lets them know that we will hold them accountable for the choices they make. Take action now.

In our dozens of lobby meetings this year, we’ve seen that members of Congress are sensitive to responsibility for getting us into another devastating war after the Iraq debacle. We’re driving that message home so they’ll think very carefully about any action they take on Iran.

Thank you for putting the pressure on.

Action alert: time to go on offense

February 4, 2014

The momentum is on our side.

The Senate sanctions bill that Iran hawks sold as an inevitable victory is stopped in its tracks. President Obama used his high-profile State of the Union speech to mount a strong case for diplomacy and renew his threat to veto counterproductive sanctions.

It’s great that we can stop a bad bill. But now it’stime to go on offense. Tell your representative to sign the Give Diplomacy a Chance letter.

Thanks to you, and supporters of other progressive organizations around the country, we have generated thousands of letters and phone calls to Congress supporting the diplomacy with Iran. I’ve heard in Senate meetings over and over that they are hearing far more from constituents who support diplomacy.

Now Iran hawks are looking at the House and trying to learn the lessons from this losing battle. A group of representatives are circulating a letter that states opposition to any new sanctions while talks are ongoing. Sending a strong, proactive signal now can blunt the impact of any new bad legislation. Tell your representative to sign the letter now.

It’s one thing for members of Congress to stay off a bad bill. It’s more of a risk for them to stick their necks out on a tough issue like Iran. We think your representative could be convinced to sign, if you raise your voice and show public support. Take action now.

Action alert: they’re at it again

January 15, 2014

I’m starting to think some senators are crazy enough to want a war with Iran.

How else do you explain the 59 senators who are cosponsoring a bill that could be so damaging to negotiations that President Obama has already threatened to veto it?

Tell your senators NOT to cosponsor S. 1881, the dangerous bill that could undermine our chance for peace with Iran.

The misleadingly titled Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act is a grab bag of horrible ideas slammed by experts on Iran.  More unnecessary sanctions, at the worst possible time, would be bad enough. But the bill also puts forward unrealistic demands for Iran’s nuclear program and states that the US would support an Israeli attack.  As of now, 43 Republicans and 16 Democrats have put their names on this horrendous bill.

We’re on Capitol Hill right now urging senators to oppose this bill. Give us the power to hold them accountable by sending a message to your senators now.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, leader of the Iranian negotiating team, made it clear how damaging these efforts are: “Some people are wedded to the idea that pressure will produce results.They are wrong. Pressure has produced 18,000 centrifuges in Iran. So if they want to continue that road — it is open to them, but it doesn’t produce any results.” It’s outrageous that these senators are willing to jeopardize a chance for a peaceful resolution and put us on a path toward war.

With the Senate coming back to work this week, hawkish groups are bombarding them with pressure to support this bill. Tell your senators not to be responsible for another disastrous war. Take action.

Thank you.

 

Washington State veterans call for cuts to Pentagon spending

December 9, 2013

A group of military veterans in the state of Washington sent a letter today to their congressional delegation urging them to work to cut wasteful Pentagon spending and preserve government funding that actually helps service members and veterans. In a press release about the letter, Dan Gilman, President of the Greater Seattle Chapter of Veterans for Peace, said:

“We want to make clear that billions of dollars in wasteful Pentagon spending isn’t helping veterans and service members any more than it’s helping the American public. We would all be better served by a budget that ensures us access to healthcare, education and employment. Wasting money on weapons we don’t need isn’t keeping Americans safe, and it’s hurting people who have sacrificed for this country.”

The letter reads:

Dear Washington Congressional Delegation,

We are writing to urge you to work for a budget that provides the services that veterans and service members need while reducing wasteful Pentagon spending.

We join others in the military and veteran community working to adjust to a new reality as more than a decade of war begins to wind down. The Pentagon must do the same and create a budget that reflects our true security needs. The budget reductions required by sequestration are a 31% reduction from peak war spending levels, a smaller reduction than drawdowns after the Korean, Vietnam and Cold Wars.

While some veterans’ benefits are protected from sequester cuts, many veterans and military families in Washington and around the country are impacted by deep cuts in domestic spending. Cutting funding for education, unemployment benefits, job search assistance, and services for domestic violence victims makes it difficult for veterans and their families to build fulfilling, secure lives.

Pentagon spending, not including war costs, has increased 35% in the last decade, while domestic discretionary spending has increased only 12%. Experts from across the political spectrum have identified hundreds of billions of dollars of responsible reductions, including eliminating waste and fraud; improving efficiency; and discontinuing or reducing unnecessary weapons systems.

As you finish work on the 2014 budget and move on to next year’s budget work, we encourage you to promote smart, strategic decisions to reach the levels required by the sequester rather than making arbitrary, across the board cuts. We encourage you to pressure the Pentagon to plan for lower spending levels and make the hard decisions required by the reality of our new budget environment. We oppose any deal that lets the Pentagon off the hook while continuing to slash funding for domestic programs.

As former president and five-star general Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.” We look forward to hearing about your work on a budget that keeps Americans safe, takes care of veterans and active duty service members, and provides the quality of life at home that we all deserve.

You can see the letter with the list of signers and their service history here.

Iran deal in danger. Call now!

December 9, 2013

We told you the opponents of the Iran deal weren’t going to take this huge diplomatic victory lying down. Unfortunately, we were right.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is planning to introduce a bill to torpedo the Iran deal this week.  He wants to micromanage the administration’s diplomacy and put deal-killing expectations on the negotiations.

Click here to call your representative NOW to vote NO on this dangerous bill.

Sadly, this isn’t a fringe effort. Democrats have expressed concern that leaders in their party will get on board and make this a bipartisan effort.  The Obama administration is lobbying for Congress to back off, but they need to hear it from the districts.

I know asking you to pick up the phone and call is going above and beyond. But this is one of those times we all need to step up and make sure our voices are heard right away. There are lobbyists on Capitol Hill this week aggressively pushing this bill, and Congress needs to hear the other side. Our calling tool makes it quick and easy for you to take this critical action.

Click to call your representative to vote NO on Cantor’s diplomacy-killing bill.

The deal with Iran is a huge victory that could lead to a long-term peaceful solution. But our victories will only last if we’re willing to defend them. Call your representative now, and forward this to your friends to ask them to join in.

Thank you.

Keep it going

November 15, 2013

“This administration, like Neville Chamberlain, is yielding large and bloody conflict in the Middle East involving Iranian nuclear weapons.” 

I wish I could say these were the words of an irrelevant fringe commentator, but they came from Illinois Senator Mark Kirk (R) in response to the Obama administration’s pragmatic negotiations with Iran. And he’s not alone. John “Bomb, Bomb Iran” McCain is describing Secretary Kerry as a “human wrecking ball” in diplomatic talks.

Peace Action West and our partners have helped create lots of positive momentum for diplomacy on Iran, and we need to show Congress we’re not going to let up.

You can make a difference and multiply your impact with just 3 clicks:

The administration has never been this aggressive in telling Congress that passing sanctions could harm the diplomatic effort. That’s because real success is on the horizon.

If we want to avoid another Iraq, the time for intense pressure is now: when a real viable diplomatic alternative is on the table.  

Thank you for being relentless advocates for peace.

Tweet for peace with Iran

November 13, 2013

News flash: diplomacy works. After just two rounds of talks with the new Iranian government, western diplomats are “very, very close” to a deal. But the prospect of a peaceful solution is riling up the hawks.

Some impatient senators are still pushing for sanctions that could breach the fragile trust being built and undermine this progress. The administration clearly understands the stakes. As spokesperson Jay Carney pointed out“the alternative is military action.”

We’re teaming up for a massive, targeted Twitter campaign to make sure senators can’t ignore the public support for diplomacy. We’ve created a new tool so you can take action in seconds!

  1. Click here to load up our Twitter action page.
  2. Pick your state from the drop down menu. Your senators’ Twitter handles will fill in automatically.
  3. Click the Tweet button to send your message. You can personalize the tweet if you like.
  4. Tell your friends! Forward this email, and share the action page on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s truly amazing how much diplomatic progress has been made in such a short time. Secretary Kerry summed it up: “We just talked more in 30 hours than we have in those prior 30 years.” He’s briefing senators right now urging them to let diplomacy work. The hope for a peaceful solution is real, but it’s under threat.

Show the Senate we won’t let them march us into another war.  Tweet your senators to support diplomacy and block additional sanctions on Iran.

(Not on Twitter? No problem. Call your senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them to support the diplomatic talks with Iran and oppose any new sanctions that could disrupt diplomacy.)

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