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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/22/19

We must stop the US from going to war with Iran

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From The Guardian

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Trump campaigned on getting the US out of "endless wars" but his administration is taking us down a path that makes war more and more likely.

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The drums of war are beating in Washington again.

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Just today we learned that the US came very close to striking targets inside Iran in response to the downing of a US drone in the Persian Gulf. Last week the White House announced that a 1,000 additional troops would be sent to the Middle East in response to an alleged Iranian attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Last month, the New York Times reported that the Pentagon had presented a plan to the White House that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the region to fight Iran.

We need to rethink our current approach. A war with Iran would be an absolute disaster. As former general Anthony Zinni has put it: "If you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you'll love Iran." If the US were to attack Iran, Iran could respond with attacks on US troops and on countries around the region. It would lead to the further destabilization of that region in a way that is unimaginable and would result in wars that would go on years and probably cost trillions of dollars.

Sixteen years ago, the US committed one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of our country by attacking Iraq. That war was sold to the American people based on a series of lies about weapons of mass destruction. One of the leading advocates for that war was John Bolton, who served as a member of the Bush administration and is now Donald Trump's national security adviser. Incredibly, even today, Bolton is one of the few remaining people in the world who continues to believe that the Iraq war was a good idea.

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That war led to the deaths of more than 4,400 American troops, with tens of thousands of American soldiers wounded, many severely, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed. It unleashed a wave of radicalism and destabilization across the region that we will be dealing with for many years to come. It was the biggest foreign policy disaster in American history.

Trump campaigned on getting the US out of "endless wars," but his administration is taking us down a path that has made war with Iran more and more likely.

First, there was the president's reckless decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran a year ago and re-impose crushing sanctions on Iran. This was a move opposed by his own top security officials, including then secretary of defense James Mattis. Why? Because they knew, as do the vast majority of national security experts in the US, Europe and around the world, that the nuclear deal was effectively preventing Iran from moving forward with its nuclear program.

The Iran nuclear deal put Iran's nuclear program under the most intense inspections regime in history. It got Iran to give upmore than 98% of its stockpile of enriched uranium. Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign has reversed those gains. Iran recently announced that, in response to a year's worth of increased US sanctions, it would increase its stockpile of enriched uranium beyond the limits imposed by the nuclear deal. Bizarrely, Trump is now warning Iran not to violate an agreement his administration violated over a year ago.

While there is still much we need to know about the attack on the tankers and the shooting down of the drone, clearly the Trump administration's rhetoric and increased sanctions are escalating tensions. The US and the international community have a shared interest in protecting international shipping lanes and airspace. We need to work multilaterally to do this. Unfortunately, the US is isolated from its most important allies right now because of Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal and campaign against Iran. Because of Trump's constant lying, the word of the US is doubted by many around the world.

Voices of dissent went unheeded in the lead-up to the Iraq war. They must be heeded now.

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Congress must do everything it can to prevent this war. The constitution is very clear: it is Congress, not the president, who decides when we go to war. It is imperative that Congress immediately make it clear to the president that taking us into hostilities with Iran without congressional authorization would be both unconstitutional and illegal.

Several months ago, we made history in Congress by passing, for the first time in 40 years, a War Powers Resolution to withdraw the US from an illegal and unauthorized war in Yemen. We did this with the strong support of a trans-partisan grassroots coalition, with progressives and conservatives working together to bring sanity to our foreign policy. We need those same voices to make clear to the Congress and to the reflexively hawkish, interventionist foreign policy establishment here in Washington that we will not accept another American war in the Middle East. And this time we need to work together even harder to assemble a veto-proof majority in Congress.

I want to be clear on this: Iran pursues many bad policies. It violently represses its own population and supports extremist groups around the region. The same could be said of our longtime partner Saudi Arabia. We need to take a more even-handed approach to the Middle East, and not simply support one side against another in a regional conflict.

The US is strong enough to deal with these issues diplomatically, working with allies around the world, and that is what we should be doing. We must not fight another unnecessary war.

 

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Bernie Sanders is the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. He is a member of the Senate's Budget, Veterans, Environment, Energy, and H.E.L.P. (Health, Education, (more...)
 
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Dennis Kaiser

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Get rid of the psychopath twins Bolton and Pompeo

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 22, 2019 at 9:45:01 PM

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I want to be clear on this: Iran pursues many bad policies. It violently represses its own population and supports extremist groups around the region. The same could be said of our longtime partner Saudi Arabia.

Bernie, Are you suggesting that we are better off here in the U.S.?

I'd like to suggest otherwise, given the evidence from history: click here

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 22, 2019 at 10:47:09 PM

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Reply to Daniel Geery:   New Content

Lots of people knock me when get Biblical but am not coming from where many of the church come from saying this war must happen. I just see lots of the ram and goat of Daniel 8 butting heads against each other. That dragged a bunch of us down here to talk sense to them, yet we are getting trampled. Seeing and knowing that, have not much clue about what to do.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 10:27:56 AM

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Art Costa

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Reply to Daniel Geery:   New Content

Sanders quote is apt. As these may look like benign words, they are actually the Democrat version of "humanitarian intervention". Sanders has spoken similarly of Chavez/Maduro government and yet he is mouthing propaganda with no regard to what is truly happening in Venezuela or Iran. In a word, he's an exceptionalist/imperialist in sheep's clothing.

Btw, a war with Iran would likely destroy the global economy and start a war that would spread like wild fire through out the region and likely spread across the Mediterranean and Atlantic. In other words, this would not stay "over there".

Sanders is not a leader on this and other foreign policy matters. As I've noted else where if he were elected because he has promised the impossible domestically he'd be hated as much if not more than Trump. The system will repel him without mercy.

BTW, noticed the spiritual "leader" Marianne Williamson is NOT supportive of Medicare for All, but instead endorses Public Option (a system which will provide no universal benefits).

Submitted on Monday, Jun 24, 2019 at 1:28:26 PM

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Bernie you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth, and where have you been for the past 20 years? Please don't pretend that you are an anti-war candidate when you are not.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 12:41:05 AM

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He's no peace candidate. As POTUS he'll be invited to see the need for "humanitarian" military interventions everywhere. He'll eventually take the bait. He did with the Balkans and Libya invasions (just two examples).

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 9:47:35 PM

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Brenda Schouten-Beckett

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Bernie, anything you say about war sounds like empty platitudes since you betrayed all of us who believed in you and let that Wall Street wh*re take the nomination you had won. We would have backed you if you had "berned" that convention down. But you sucked up to the DNC and I DEFENDED you as long as I could. But you screwed us with Venezuela when you KNOW Maduro is the one standing up to US predators (dictator my ass). And you continue to bend over for the real terrorist allies (Israel and Saudi Arabia) of the Evil Empire our country has proven itself to be. You and your pals in the DNC want to blame this all on Orange Mussolini but he's just continuing the policies of President Obama...you remember him? The guy who bailed out the banks, appointed Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Party chair so she could help the Uterus of Wall Street cheat her ass off in the primaries? The same guy who appointed the master torturer John Brennan to CIA chief? But President Obama is attractive and well spoken ( "We tortured some folks.") so everybody fell asleep while he ordered drone bombings on schools, hospitals and family gatherings. I thought you kept quiet to protect Jane and the kids from being sent to Abu Ghraib but your enthusiastic support of DNC lies has shown us, the ones who would have died for you, that you are just another DNC party hack. You disgust me.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 11:45:52 AM

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Brenda Schouten-Beckett

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Bernie, anything you say about war sounds like empty platitudes since you betrayed all of us who believed in you and let that Wall Street wh*re take the nomination you had won. We would have backed you if you had "berned" that convention down. But you sucked up to the DNC and I DEFENDED you as long as I could. Bit you screwed us with Venezuela when you KNOW Maduro is the one standing up to US predators (dictator my ass). And you continue to bend over for the real terrorist allies (Israel and Saudi Atabia) of the Evil Empire our country has proven itself to be. You and your pals in the DNC want to blame this all on Orange Mussolini but he's just continuing the policies of President Obama...you remember him? The guy who bailed out the banks, appointed Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Party chair so she could help the Uterus of Wall Street cheat her ass off in the primaries. But President Obama is attractive and well spoken so everybody fell asleep while he ordered drone bombings on schools, hospitals and family gatherings. I thought you kept quiet to protect Jane and the kids from being sent to Abu Ghraib but your enthusiastic support of DNC lies has shown us, the ones who would have died for you, that you are just another DNC party hack. You disgust me.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 11:51:23 AM

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Peter Franzen

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Reply to Brenda Schouten-Beckett:   New Content

Hi Brenda. This comment is a repeat,

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 12:54:10 PM

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Brenda Schouten-Beckett

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whoops

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 2:02:54 PM

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Anton Grambihler

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Reply to Brenda Schouten-Beckett:   New Content

Sometimes, probably like this one, a comment is accidentally made twice. OEN needs to check and if 2 consecutive comments by the same person are the same, then do not duplicate.

Submitted on Monday, Jun 24, 2019 at 4:42:56 AM

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Sorry about that. I was trying to correct some typing mistakes and both versions got posted.

Submitted on Monday, Jun 24, 2019 at 9:58:45 AM

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Bernie Sanders @ "Iran pursues many bad policies. It violently represses its own population and supports extremist groups around the region."

I'm not a supporter of theocracies such as Iran, nor of pseudo religious states such as Israel, but I feel that Bernie Saunders criticism of Iran is excessive and panders to the fake propaganda put out by some states such as the USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Whilst he has been mildly critical of Benjamin Netanyahu I have never heard Bernie Saunders criticise the state of Israel for the violent repression its own population, particularly Palestinian Arabs.

Neither have I heard Bernie Saunders criticise the USA and Israel over their support for extremist groups around the region.


Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 12:36:19 PM

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Dennis Kaiser

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IMHO what we are seeing unfold in the global scene is what was intended had Hillary reached the White House and the main reason Trump was elected a stop, or at minimum a speed bump, in the take-over of not simply the United States, but the wet dream of a New World Order One Government World. I believe Trump's vision was not to have the globe's future as dire as it is as I speak, but after several conferences in 2017 with Henry Kissinger things changed drastically as he soon brought in John Bolton and moved Mike Pompeo into positions where they could quickly set in motion the hostility we see on the planet today as apparently, Trump gave them full throttle to do as they saw best, leaving him to do what he does best, B.S. his way through. (It's amazing how negative things happen where Kissinger rears his criminal head)

It is now time to prove he is not as dumb as it appears by letting these transparent episodes we have recently experienced in Venezuela and not Iran as the Psychopath Twins Bolton and Pompeo have been allowed to do, and let's not even think about the fact of breaking down relationships with Russia and North Korea.

It's now past time for Trump to grow a pair and unload Bolton and Pompeo. It would also be a good move to drop Pence.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 2:43:56 PM

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I'm becoming increasingly convinced that you could get rid of a whole pile of people, like Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams, and Pence, and still get the same postering against the same countries by all their replacements.

It seems to be a part of the job description that gets added "unofficially" when they accept these positions.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 3:59:12 PM

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It's the imperial empire system. Personalities come and go. One way or the other they either play the empire demolition game, or...well there's this photo of JFK in Dallas that shows what happens when you don't comply with the regime's policy/agenda.

Trump, sure he's a bad actor, but he's been kept in line through Russia-gate. HRC was a more willing (believer) player. In the end they all kill for a living. JFK called for real peace...and was dead just a few months later.

"What kind of a peace do I mean? What kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and build a better life for their children not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age where great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need them is essential to the keeping of peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles which can only destroy and never create is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace."

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 5:04:29 PM

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You are correct on that Click Here

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 8:39:56 PM

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Dennis, dear brother and friend: I am a little bit jumpy about the link you provided for us. I viewed a couple of the videos and I could find no fault with the one exposing the Rockefeller crime family but the third video offered, which was only nine minutes long and had a photo of Hillary Clinton showing, made me a little nervous. Naturally, I am the first one to want to get and share the "goods" on that world class criminal but this video was actually a promotional video for the election of Donald Trump (probably made in 2016 well before the election debacle). It had many complaints against "politically correct" language, which seems to be dividing people who should be joining together. But what bothered me the most was the pretty blatant xenophobia: blaming the immigrants for getting government help (when we all know they come to our country because the USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia have bombed their homes flat). Here in the Netherlands, I am battling this kind of xenophobia every day and this video stoked that mentality. We have a LOT more people over here who have fled Syria, Afghanistan and other targets of USA/Israeli/Saudi aggression and my female pals who wear hijab (for example) get pretty regularly pushed around. I felt kind of nervous about your having endorsed this web site although there are several things on it that I found useful. My question (only for our friendship, which I want very much to continue) is: are you aware of some of these trends on this web site or have you, like me, only seen a few of their offerings?

Submitted on Monday, Jun 24, 2019 at 11:34:44 AM

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Mrs. Fuxit

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Any sober judge can order John Bolton to undergo a court ordered mental competency examination when two or more citizens believe he poses a risk to himself and others. A 72 hour psychiatric hold is easy to do.

Any member of Congress can grandstand and raise a question of doubt regarding Mr. Bolton's mental sanity and stability. Is he addicted to war?

Does he get a raging hard-on just thinking of dropping bombs on others?

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 5:53:22 PM

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You've blown your cred Bernie. If it was Hillary threatening to attack Iran, you wouldn't have written this piece.

When you start calling out the entire imperialist system for its crimes against humanity and nature, I'll listen. Not holding my breath.

Submitted on Monday, Jun 24, 2019 at 2:37:36 AM

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