Hillary Clinton now supports peace with Iran. Which Dem senators don’t?

Not long ago we posted this about Hillary Clinton’s silence on Obama’s peace initiative with Iran:

Is Hillary hurting her 2016 chances by not backing peace 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].

We discussed that potentially dangerous “congressional action” — S. 1881 — in our original piece. Quoting Robert Naiman at the Huffington Post:

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”):

Cosponsor Date Cosponsored
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 . . .


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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28 Responses to “Hillary Clinton now supports peace with Iran. Which Dem senators don’t?”

  1. Sanctions are the only means short of attack in
    Iran’s nuclear facilities to insure Iran does not possess nuclear weapons. Iran
    has never exhibited in its past history an ability to abide by international
    agreements unless it meets their needs. A religiously governed theocracy
    obeys no law except its own unassailable belief in god and that is the most
    dangerous government to simply trust to do the right thing.

  2. Swami_Binkinanda says:

    Mark is sure skating on a thin line. The Kochs are already spending millions on ad buys to oppose him, and phone surveys trying to nudge people towards Palin, or some other even less pleasant knuckledraggers like Mead Treadwell. Alaska has a huge market for backwards retreads thanks to the oil patch. Murkowski is even on the outs with the party for going independent to beat teatard sociopath and welfare bum Joe Miller, who still thinks he has a shot.

    I wish it wasn’t true but thems the facts.

  3. nestazhe265 says:

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  4. Indigo says:

    “Hillary.” ’nuff said.

  5. Silver_Witch says:

    I hear you…It is a very complex issue and has much baggage as well. I hope for peace for those of Jewish heritage and a haven of safety where they can live without fear.

    Thanks for being so polite…it is nice to have a rational conversation.

  6. Olterigo says:

    Something reliable? You mean like Iran signing the non-proliferation treaty and then negotiating at the same time that it expelled UN observers and kept working on the bomb? I guess that’s reliable.
    I’m all for the deal, but I’m not lying to myself by thinking it will be the end of the story.

  7. MyrddinWilt says:

    I read an article that called AIPAC and Likud a wing of the Tea Party. Which seems about right.

    They have gone from winning every fight in Congress since Reagan sold the AIWACs to the Saudis to losing three battles in a row. What they don’t seem to understand is that in their previous fights they were pushing for policies that the administration either didn’t care much about or wanted. Bush wanted to start a war with Iraq, the military aid to Israel is mostly tied to US defense contracts and so on.

  8. AZ WI says:

    Hillary is smart enough to realize that nobody wants wars, bombings and senseless bloodshed, except John McCain and the Defense & Oil Industries that own him

  9. FLL says:

    Not long ago we posted this about Hillary Clinton’s silence on Obama’s peace initiative with Iran:
    Is Hillary hurting her 2016 chances by not backing peace with Iran?

    I get no end of amusement from how politicians can be “nudged” by bloggers. Take a bow, GP. It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of war and peace with one of the world’s largest countries(population 76 million). First, calculate the amount of lives and national treasure lost (and money from China borrowed) as a result of George W. Bush’s misguided obsession with toppling Sadaam Hussein’s regime. Now multiply that many times. America’s relations with Iran are of paramount importance in this century. Call out the Likkud war hawks whenever it’s necessary, GP.

  10. AnthonyLook says:

    An antichrist minion speaking to Israel, scary.

  11. Marion Delgado says:


    President Peres of Israel yesterday met for the first time with Governor Palin and with Senator McCain, who called the veteran Israeli statesman “my old friend.” The warm handshake and exchange of broad smiles occurred during an international gathering known as the Clinton Global Initiative, hosted by President Clinton. “I wanted to meet you for many years,” Ms. Palin told Mr. Peres, according to an aide to the president. “The only flag at my office is an Israeli flag,” she was quoted as saying, “and I want you to know and I want Israelis to know that I am a friend.”

  12. Marion Delgado says:

    Begich should be left alone. Is that not obvious? Seriously? You have no idea what sort of AIPAC apparatchik would replace him. Here’s a clue. “Governor” Sarah Palin had an Israeli flag in her office.

  13. Ford Prefect says:

    Well, you define zionism differently than Israeli Zionists or their collaborators in the US. It’s a much more expansive ideology than that and racism is at its core. FWIW, three decades ago I used pretty much the same words you have, but that was before I understood what the word actually meant.

    The problem of course, stems from their brand of nationalism, which dates back to the Victorian era and precludes any possibility of peace with those not sharing their identity. Not unlike our own Manifest Destiny and attempted genocide against the “heathen” native Americans–it’s basically the same mindset. It was and is their rationale behind the Nakba, the occupation, ethnic cleansing and all sorts of other things I can’t possibly support. By definition, Israel is an expansionist, apartheid state and subjugating an entire population to their current stateless limbo bereft any human rights at all, is not something to be proud of. Ultimately, to be a zionist means supporting all that. That, of course, is why a growing number of people are rejecting that word and all it entails.

    So it’s not a dirty word per se. It just represents something I can’t entertain without a massive dose of DoubleThink.

  14. Silver_Witch says:

    I believe the Unites States has a well established policy in the world of “Don’t Trust us, Our word means nothing”, as it relates to our aggressive nature.

    When a country spies on her own people, then it can also be assumed that we are not trust worthy.

    When a country refuses to enter into wars where real genocide is going on, yet engages in wars for control of oil than it is safe to assume we are not trust worthy.

    I do not believe that any party, US, Iran or any one else is being honest, or forthright. It is about the oil and power.

  15. Ford Prefect says:

    No, its intended to thwart US diplomatic efforts, by moving the goal posts yet again. If you’re in the process of negotiating a way to avoid a war and people on the other side are actively undermining their own negotiators, how would you interpret their sincerity or lack thereof? Why would you make commitments the other side will then ignore and bomb you anyway?

    The Senate wants to impose new, harsher penalties in the midst of negotiations, so does that not look like the US cannot be considered a reliable negotiating partner? And what are other nations in other negotiations going to make of all this? Basically, the US will be perceived as saying, “Don’t trust us. Our word means nothing.” Apparently, power really does make people stupid.

  16. Silver_Witch says:

    I am a zionist – you use it as if it is a dirty word. Perhaps adding evangelical “Christian” to the term is what makes it a dirty word. I support Israel, not in war, in terms of it existing as a nation state safe from the persecution and murder of her people?

  17. nicho says:

    I don’t know why you’re surprised about Gillibrand. She’s the senator from New York. To keep that job, you have to vote the AIPAC line.

  18. Ford Prefect says:

    Booker is an evangelical “Christian Zionist.” He’ll support any war that Israel wants, no matter how much it harms American interests.

  19. Ford Prefect says:

    Bingo! Why else would she use language that gives her an “out” later? She’ll just say, “diplomacy failed,” when it’s convenient.

  20. HolyMoly says:

    Just as an example, don’t forget that Obama vowed early in 2008 to filibuster a telecom immunity bill that was pending in the Senate. No doubt that was one of the things that helped him secure the Democratic nomination. The vote on telecom immunity conveniently took place AFTER he got the nomination. Not only did he fail to filibuster the bill, he voted FOR it.

    Hillary supports peace with Iran. I guess technically everyone wants “peace,” but define it in different ways, like “peace through strength,” “achieving peace through constructive dialogue and negotiation,” or “peace through pacification (i.e., destroy them).” So no matter where she falls on the “peace” spectrum, in the end she’s technically telling the truth, or at least that’s how she’ll spin it.

    Politicians are politicians, regardless of party. I had hoped that we would learned after Obama’s numerous turn-arounds that just because they have a friendly “D” after their name doesn’t mean they won’t scam us. But I suppose it’s been going on for decades, centuries, millennia, and humanity still buys it hook, line, and sinker. If Hillary puts her money where her mouth is, then I might listen.

  21. Ford Prefect says:

    I’m leery of calling those backing the administration’s negotiating a “pro-peace” position, especially with such boiler-plate language as this:

    “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.”

    As I’m sure everyone recalls, the highlighted part was also used in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, as diplomacy was “given a chance to succeed.” Then the US told all the inspectors to leave, throttling any possibility of a peaceful solution. Beware self-fulfilling prophecies embedded in the language of war mongers.

    What the WH and HRC understand is that starting a war with Iran is not supported by the public. Neither was the invasion of Iraq, until it actually started. So it’s SOP to feign “diplomacy” until they can gather up enough support or indifference to war. This is also what’s happening with Syria, with new calls of variously absurd varieties to gin up support for kinetic action there. See Kerry’s remarks about how we need to arm the jihadis there, while simultaneously pivoting to the threat AQ in Syria poses to the US… as we arm them. Also too, the WH is pushing the idea that “diplomacy is failing” with Syria.

    All I’m saying is, let’s not give them credit for wanting peace, when that may very well not be the case. When HRC talks about peace, she’ll deserve credit for saying it. But neither she, nor anyone at the WH has said any such thing.

    That said, the AIPAC Caucus is understandably wobbly now. There’s no reason in the world to not give them a nice push into the Hall of Shame.

  22. cole3244 says:

    hillary supports peace now but in the future she will most likely return to her more hawkish self and join her friends on the right making decisions that don’t take into account the 99% and the effects on them.
    until we really have an opposition party to the right and far right america will continue to be the bully of the world and on a crash course to third world status.

  23. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrats and Republicans are the enemies of world peace.who gave us the genocides in Vietnam and Iraq and mass murders of civilians in more than a dozen other countries. And now they want more blood.

    Republicans have a deserved reputation as warmongers but Democrats, because people are confused about them and fooled by them – admittedly many want to be fooled – actually do just as much damage.

    · It was Truman who invaded Korea, not a Republican. Eisenhower continued Truman’s war, threatened the Chinese and Russians with nuclear war and played empire builder in Asia, Africa and much of Latin America. But nothing he did was close to the war crimes of his predecessor Truman or his successors, JFK and LBJ, who gave us Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Dominican Republican and the attack on Cuba.

    · Nixon continued LBJ’s war and, happily for the world, lost, retreating across 14943.72 kilometers (9285.6 miles) of ocean with his tail between his legs, yelping about how he was ‘betrayed’ by the civilian and GI antiwar movements. Another reason to celebrate his resignation it that it probably saved the lives of tens of thousands of civilians and GIs in nations he had his eye on.

    · Carter attempted to interfere with Iranian Revolution and drove it to the right – their kidnapping stunt drove him out of office.

    · Reagan attacked Libya, Nicaragua and other countries and propped up right wing regimes everywhere and it’s to their credit that the Soviets didn’t respond to his nuclear saber rattling.

    · Bush1 led the invasion of Iraqi territory in Kuwait and set the stage for two decades of mass murder by the US and their UK and NATO junior partners in the region.

    · Bill Clinton callously and deliberately murdered half a million Iraqi children citing lies about Iraqi WMDs. Clinton is a war criminal and a monster.

    · Bush2 invaded Afghanistan and then Iraq, actions which led to the murder of a further 1,000,000 plus Iraqis. Bush is a warmongering criminal and a monster.

    · Obama, who for years pushed for war with Iran is holding back because the situation in Afghanistan is rapidly unraveling because of the frequent vicious brutality of US/NATO troops and because Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are not immune to the radicalization sometimes described as the Arab/muslim Spring.

    The solution is to continue to build the antiwar movement and especially the GI antiwar movement. And to push for the total and immediate withdrawal and demobilization of all US armed forces and propose a treaty compensating nations attacked by the US, another treaty promising not to invade other countries and laws criminalizing the promotion of war to create profits for businesses.

  24. LanceThruster says:

    I think it means that she’s definitely running and looking for a way to deflect her Iraq war support criticisms. As long as she can let the Lobby know she’s still able to pivot as needed, when needed, it will fly.
    Regardless of what I think her ulterior motives are, it’s s till a good thing.

  25. Silver_Witch says:

    Oh I didn’t mean that I knew that…was just reading an article re Booker’s stance and saw this

    “But Menendez and Booker, along with 14 other Democrats and 43 Republicans, say there needs to be measures in place if Iran doesn’t follow through.

    “Should Iran breach this agreement … the penalties it would face are severe,” Menendez wrote in a recent op-ed in The Washington Post. http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2014/01/cory_booker_takes_heat_over_menendezs_iran_sanctions_bill.html

    I thought it was interesting and if it is a “back-up plan” rather than the senate just trying to undermine the President that might be good.

    You are much better at interpreting these kinds of statements – so I thought you might know if it was BS (which I am pretty sure it is). Thanks again.

  26. GaiusPublius says:

    That’s not my understanding. All the concern is that this bill would sabotage the deal. If you find something reliable that says otherwise, please share. Thanks.


  27. Silver_Witch says:

    Hi Gaius – it seems this article is more about Iran than Hillary which is very nice. I hope we do seek diplomatic means for peace and that the Senate comes to its senses – but I have little hope they will.

    It seems that Booker supports the bill because he believes it would only “take effect” if the talks failed. Is that right?

  28. Buford2k11 says:

    oh crap…Michael Bennett…I missed that…thanks for the list….

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