An Open letter to the members of Congress
This is an open letter to members of Congress concerning the urgent need to prevent a military attack on Iran. There was also a letter addressed to AIPAC (Amercian Israel Public Affairs Committee) and PM Ehud Olmert from JAIPAC Jewish Analysts Investigating Peace and Conflict. Read on…
March 1, 2007
Dear Congress Member,
The undersigned organizations have joined together because we believe that military action against Iran would not be in the national interest of the United States nor its allies in the region nor Europe and Asia. Our organizations represent a broad spectrum of political perspectives in the U.S. that are united in our belief that military action would be clearly detrimental to the national interests of the United States and its allies in the region. We urge you to call immediate congressional hearings on administration plan to attack Iran and support diplomacy between the United States and Iran without preconditions.
Among the reasons we oppose apparent Bush Administration plan to widen the war by attacking Iran are:
It could provoke Iran to retaliate by halting or threatening the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf. This would have a devastating effect on the world economy. If Iran was even partly successful, it could raise gasoline prices to $5 per gallon for Americans, according to many economists. A prolonged shortage of oil would very much constrict the entire world economy and put an end to our great era of economic growth. Such an event would cause commodity prices to collapse and a big drop in Chinese purchase of U.S. bonds, with a resultant severe rise in domestic interest rates.
It will put U.S. soldiers and American interests in the region at far greater risk, not just in Iraq but also in surrounding countries. At the very least we could expect many more attacks upon our supply lines between Kuwait and Baghdad, with many more American casualties.
It will further overextend U.S. forces, already under a great deal of stress, and greatly restrict the ability of the U.S. to respond to other threats, which may arise.
Another lawless attack by America would further undermine legitimate efforts to prevent acts of terror directed against the U.S. by accelerating a cycle of violence and by creating even more terrorists targeting the U.S. and U.S. interests abroad for many years to come. It will create a devastating and unnecessary humanitarian disaster where hundreds of thousands of innocent Iranians might be killed.
Americans of Iranian descent overwhelmingly support a negotiated settlement with Iran, even though they oppose the government there. In addition, attacking Iran would reinforce the current dictatorship and unite all Iranians against America. It will threaten U.S. allies in the region, particularly Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, with retaliation. Iran has already warned the small Gulf States their oil facilities would be at risk in retaliation for any U.S. attack on Iran. The Saudi oil facilities are totally open to aerial missile attack. Increases in insurance rates could, all by itself, result in the suspension of oil shipments. We don’t know that the U.S. can protect such targets from every missile or ground threat. Even a temporary shut down of the Straits of Hormuz would further weaken Europe and make it even more dependent upon Russian energy supplies.
Another unilateral American attack on another Muslim nation would make us even more isolated in the world, with even more enemies. As was the case with Iraq, military action against Iran is being justified on false premises and without conclusive intelligence that Iran poses an imminent threat to the United States. There is little credible intelligence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. Some U.S. and other intelligence agencies have estimated that Iran is still up to ten years away from developing a nuclear weapon. Even the most cautious estimates by Israeli intelligence conclude that Iran is at least two or three years away from the nuclear weapons threshold. Time may be running out for George W. Bush, but it is not running out for America.
Claims that Iran is directly assisting insurgents in Iraq remain unsubstantiated and implausible since the majority of identified insurgents are Sunnis (including al-Qaeda), while the Iranians are Shia linked to parties within the current Iraqi government.
Given 26 years of U.S. refusal to start a dialogue with Iran and recent setbacks in the United Nations Security Council, mounting pressure and preconditions are not sufficient to prevent Iran from advancing its nuclear program. Per the recommendations of the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group, a U.S.- Iran diplomatic strategy can help stabilize Iraqi sectarian violence and provide a foundation for broadening discussions to include the nuclear program and other grievances.In the absence of talks, President Bush’s escalation of inflammatory rhetoric against Iran, his administration’s refusal to rule out military action, the recent deployment of military assets, changes in the rules of engagement in Iraq regarding Iranians, all indicate that a military attack is likely. We see a disturbing pattern emerging in comments by President Bush and other administration officials, provocative deployments of U.S. military assets, changes in rules of engagement vis-à-vis Iranians in Iraq, and press reports that seem to indicate preparations for U.S. military action against Iran are underway.
For these reasons, we urge you to use all the powers available to you as a Member of Congress to prevent another disaster for America by ruling out the use of any appropriations for the purpose of funding covert action in Iran or for the use of military force against Iran such as proposed by Rep. Jones in H.J. RES. 14. We also urge you to vigorously scrutinize all intelligence presented on Iran and call for a serious diplomatic strategy to engage Iran in dialog such as proposed by Rep. Paul in H .J. RES 43.
– Jim Babka, President DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
– Ivan Eland, Ph.D. Director of the Center on Peace and Liberty The -Independent Institute
– Marcus Epstein, Executive Director, American Cause
– Jon Utley Associate PublisherThe American Conservative
– Phil Giraldi contributing editor The American Conservative
– Doug Bandow, antiwar.com columnist
– Michael D. Ostrolenk, Fellow, Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy
– John Whitehead, President, Rutherford Institute
– Trita Parsi, President, National Iranian American Council
– David Swanson, Co-Founder, AfterDowningStreet.org
– Evan Peterson III, J.D., Executive Director, American Center for International Law
– Todd Iverson, President and co-founder, America In Solidarity
– Robert Shetterly, artist, Americans Who Tell the Truth
– Judy Goldstock, Coordinator, Central Colorado Coalition On The Iraq War
– Robert David Steele-Vivas, Founder, Citizens Party
– Carly Miller, Co-Director, Clothing of the American Mind
– Jodie Evans, Cofounder, CODEPINK DC Anti-War Network
– Kevin Zeese, Executive Director, DemocracyRising.US
– Bob Fertik, President, Democrats.com
– Karen Ahern, Director, Digging Deeper Media Collective
– Medea Benjamin, Founding Director, Global Exchange
– Alice Slater, Director, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
– Silvia A. Brandon Pérez, co-founder, Pocono Progressives
– Darrow Boggiano, Founder, Political Cooperative.Org
– Tim Carpenter, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America
– Buddy Georgia, President, Push For Peace
– Scott Bolden, Executive director, MyAmericaToo.com
– Adam Roufberg, Founder, Natural Philosophers International
– Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action
– Fred Miller, President, Peace Action of WA
– Bill Quick, Steering Committee, St. Louis Instead of War Coalition
– Linda Schade, Executive Director, VotersForPeace.US
– Mohammad Basirul Haq Sinha, Chief Coordinator, We The People United Bangladesh
– Brad Friedman, Co-Founder, VelvetRevolution
– Brett Kimberlin, Director, Justice Through Music
– Gabriel Furshong, Co-Chair Helena Peace Seekers
– Cindy Sheehan, co-founder, Gold Star Families for Peace and Camp Casey Peace Institute