As the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers approaches, opponents of diplomacy this week are unleashing a multimillion dollar arsenal of advertisements aimed at persuading a handful of lawmakers from both parties to sabotage the agreement.
The stakes are high, with many analysts warning
that a failure of the talks could put the U.S. on a path to yet another
war. With that danger in mind, grassroots pro-diplomacy groups in the
U.S. are doing what they can to counter the spending blitz. As Stephen
Miles of Win Without War told Common Dreams, "a number of
groups with shadowy donors and benign-sounding names that are part of a
well-funded and orchestrated campaign to kill an Iran deal."
One of the groups most focused on sabotaging the pact is the American
Security Initiative, which is chaired by prominent former senators,
including Joseph Lieberman (I-Ct.). Politico reported
Tuesday that ASI "will spend about $1.4 million on the ad buys,
beginning Wednesday, and run a full-page ad in The New York Times on
An ad featured on the
organization's website severely condemns the pending deal, and urges
constituents to tell Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to reject any accord
that does not include "unconditional inspections." Similar ads will
target Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Jim Risch
(R-Id.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Coons
(D-Del.). The website discloses no useful information about who is
providing the financial muscle behind this endeavor.
ASI, however, is not alone in its lobbying efforts.
Also this week, an organization that goes by the name Secure America
Now launched a $1 million advertisement blitz also targeting Schumer, as
well as Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and
Angus King of (I-Maine).
An inflammatory ad
on the group's website, which also doesn't disclose funding sources,
invokes IEDs in Iraq that have "killed or maimed America's troops
overseas." The narrator, who says her father was killed in Iraq by such
explosives, states: "And now President Obama would do a deal that lets
Iran get a nuclear weapon."
A similar group, United Against Nuclear Iran, has also unleashed a campaign to the tune of millions of dollars.
The pressure efforts are relevant because, thanks to recently-passed legislation,
Congress will have 30 to 60 days to review any final agreement between
the p5+1 countries—the U.S., Russia, China, United Kingdom, France,
Germany—and Iran. If Congress were to vote against the deal, and amass
the votes to override a presidential veto, Obama's hands would be tied
on sanctions relief and the deal would likely be tanked.
Given those dynamics, opponents of diplomacy are scrambling to get a veto-proof majority.
But, according to Miles, "While they have millions of dollars, we
have the American public on our side, and we are going to work hard to
make sure their voices are heard in Washington. I think the reality is
that this is going to come down to a handful of Democrats who will have a
choice to make. Are they going to kill the deal and put America back on
the path to war?"
Numerous polls show that the majority of the American public supports a negotiated agreement with Iran.
And this support extends far beyond U.S. borders. A report released
this week by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran finds
that civil society leaders interviewed unequivocally support a deal and
fear that, if diplomacy were to fail, the results would be catastrophic
for ordinary Iranians—who continue to suffer from years of devastating
In an article published Wednesday in Foreign Policy,
Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council wrote: "If the
United States and its partners and Iran manage to come to a deal by end
of this month, it will be a break from the pattern as old as humanity
itself in which diplomacy is used to conclude, rather than prevent,
Pro-diplomacy groups say that the coming weeks will be a critical
time for advocates of diplomacy to take to the streets, call their
lawmakers, and otherwise publicly voice their support for a deal.
from here with links
Sometimes it's wise to stop and consider, just for a moment, how reactions would be if the scenario was the opposite way round. In this case, Iran pushing the agenda, giving ultimatums to the USA, a country with nuclear weapons in a number of countries around the world including one of Iran's next-door neighbours. Has Iran such a capability in Canada or Mexico for instance?
If only we could rely on balanced media for our information - but they, too, are in thrall to big money and do as they are bid.
Changing the world is the task of individuals, all of the many global individuals who know, beyond a doubt, that our elected 'leaders' will get us nowhere near the path of global solidarity we seek - beyond all borders.