The slippery slope to war

 In Action Alert, Iran

Afghanistan Senator Soldier

The response to our action alert asking senators to oppose a new bill that is a backdoor to war has been tremendous. Our supporters have sent almost 10,000 messages and counting.

But some senators are going to argue that they are not taking us further down the slippery slope to war by cosponsoring this bill. For any doubters, I give you Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) recent statement about his legislation:

On his Iran resolutions, Graham favor step-by-step approach. “You have to build a case,” he explained: First, you rule out containment, then pledge support to Israel, and if that doesn’t work, tell Obama, “Mr. President, here’s authorization.”

The lead-up to war isn’t always a major catastrophic event. It’s a slow burn that becomes a fire one day. The slow burn with regards to Iran has been going on for years. An Iranian nuclear weapon has been “imminent” for decades now. Just today I received an email from someone claiming, “we all know Iran has nuclear weapons.” The propaganda campaign about the supposed danger Iran poses to the US, aided by many a politician, has been effective. Thankfully it is currently outweighed by the war fatigue Americans are feeling.

My fear isn’t that the Obama administration is chomping at the bit to bomb Iran. Rather, I worry that the continuous ratcheting up of pressure, undermining less than robust diplomacy, will eventually back them into a corner where they can be pushed to use force. The relationship with Iran is always a rollercoaster, but there is a feeling of late that things are coming to a head. What will Congress do when they run out of sanctions to impose (their latest proposed round promises even greater hardship for the Iranian population)? Congress has been counterproductive and unwilling to give the administration room to negotiate, and the administration has not (at least publicly) put on the table the kind of deal that Iranians could accept to assuage concerns about its nuclear program.

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, it would be wise to remember the lessons we learned.  If the US were to go to war with Iran, how many senators would look back with regret at their support for legislation like S. Res. 65 that legitimizes the idea of force against Iran?

We can’t let it get that far. For years, we’ve managed to beat back the war drums. Now we need to ramp up. Click here to tell your senators to oppose this bill. 

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