Not long ago we posted this about Hillary Clinton’s silence on Obama’s peace initiative with Iran:
In it, I wrote (new emphasis and some reparagraphing):
Hillary Clinton, arguably, sunk herself with progressives during the 2008 presidential campaign by voting for war with Iraq in 2002. This is not to say that Obama’s hands are clean, or cleaner. In 2008 he could only fall back on a statement he had made about what he would have done, but was never called on, up to that point, to do — support or oppose a war. Still, that was enough.
Clinton’s defense of her pro-war vote in 2002 certainly did her no favors, and may have swung the primary against her. …
This is an excellent chance for Hillary Clinton to correct an old mistake, her support for Bush’s Iraq War. If you’re a Hillary supporter, you should be cheering for her to seize that opportunity. … If you want to do her a favor, ask Hillary Clinton to support peace with Iran. Tell her the Straits of Hormuz are whispering in your ear.
It seems that Team Clinton has been having those thoughts as well. Hillary has spoken out, and she does support Obama’s peace initiative. From the Star Tribune:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is warning Congress that new unilateral sanctions against Iran could upend sensitive international negotiations over its nuclear development, imploring lawmakers to work with the Obama administration in presenting a unified front to Tehran.
Echoing President Barack Obama’s deep concerns about another round of tough economic penalties, Clinton said any congressional action could undercut U.S. work with its allies as well as American influence with Russia and China in forcing Tehran to negotiate after years of inconclusive talks.
“Now that serious negotiations are finally under way, we should do everything we can to test whether they can advance a permanent solution,” Clinton said. “As President Obama has said, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed, while keeping all options on the table.”
Clinton offered her assessment in a three-page letter to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Levin’s office released the letter, dated Jan. 26, on Sunday [Feb 2].
Now comes the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, lobbying the Democratic Senate for war with Iran. AIPAC wants the Democratic Senate to pass S. 1881, a new Iran sanctions bill, over the strong objections of the Obama administration. The administration and ten Senate Democratic committee chairs, along with the U.S. intelligence community say that passage of S. 1881 would blow up U.S. diplomacy with Iran and put the U.S. on a path to yet another disastrous Middle East war.
At this writing [January 9], S. 1881 has 54 co-sponsors: 38 Republicans and 16 Democrats (counting Menendez, the lead sponsor.)
It’s still not over. The Senate still has to vote on that bill (or decide not to).
Who are your pro-war Democrats?
The number of supporters reported by Naiman, 54 senators, has grown. As of this writing, Congress.gov lists 58 cosponsors. Naiman’s earlier article listed 16 Democrats among the bills supporters. Congress.gov lists 15 cosponsors, who along with the original sponsor, Sen. Robert Menendez [D-NJ], makes 16.
So for the record, these are the Democrats who put themselves on the co-sponsor list. The bill was introduced December 19. Look how many eagerly jumped on board. Make no mistake — these men and women would rather risk war than give give peace a chance. I’ve highlighted a few that surprised me (* means “original cosponsor”):
|Democratic Party— Alphabetical|
|Sen. Begich, Mark [D-AK]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Bennet, Michael F. [D-CO]||01/08/2014|
|Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Donnelly, Joe [D-IN]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Hagan, Kay [D-NC]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Landrieu, Mary L. [D-LA]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Manchin, Joe, III [D-WV]||12/20/2013|
|Sen. Pryor, Mark L. [D-AR]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY]*||12/19/2013|
|Sen. Warner, Mark R. [D-VA]*||12/19/2013|
Click the links above to see the Senator’s information page, including their handy phone numbers. Gillibrand’s phone number, for example, is (202) 224-4451, just to get you started. Is your senator on that list? They’re eager to hear from you.
Others to target may include Mark Begich (up for re-election), Mark Pryor (up for re-election), and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin (getting a lot of progressive cred on MSNBC these days for his coal criticisms; you might mention that when you call). [UPDATE: You might want to stiffen Blumenthal's spine as well. His support for war seems to be wavering.]
The Star Trib article has a lot of information about the Iran deal, and how the pro-war senators want to sabotage it. Do click and read. This is indeed still not over. But Hillary Clinton’s support, with her strong ties to the Jewish community, should help produce a pro-peace win. As could your own active participation.
Tick, tick, tick . . .
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