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With War Off the Table, It's Time for Syria Cease-Fire, Negotiations and Talking to Iran


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: americans, congress, constitution, ethics, government, media, military, negotiations, Obama, politics, policy )

Kit
- 1680 days ago - truth-out.org
It's time for a fundamental change in U.S. policy toward Syria and Iran. ***Petition attached ***



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Kit B (276)
Wednesday September 11, 2013, 9:11 pm
Photo Credit: www.koin.com


See Petition information at end of article - Thank you.


The world has fundamentally changed since August 21, 2013. It's time for a fundamental change in U.S. policy toward Syria and Iran.

We were told by the government of Israel, the government of Saudi Arabia and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee that it was absolutely essential that the United States strike Syria militarily to send a signal to Iran that the U.S. was willing to use force to confront Iran's nuclear program.

Congress and the American people have decisively rejected this argument.

As The New York Times noted following the President's speech in which he postponed indefinitely his push for congressional authorization of a military strike in favor of diplomacy, the Obama administration faced "implacable opposition to a strike in Syria in Congress and throughout the country"; a vote authorizing military action "was almost certain to lose" as "opposition to a strike was hardening" on Capitol Hill.

Those who set out to establish a precedent for a U.S. military attack on Iran got an unpleasant surprise: a set of precedents making a U.S. attack on Iran more difficult was established instead. This president or any other would have to come to Congress for authorization to strike Iran, as required by the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, and congressional approval would be far from guaranteed. If this president or a future president tries to claim that he or she has the unilateral power to strike Iran without congressional approval, we now know what we need to do to stop that. We need to get a bipartisan group of 192 members of the House to tell the president, "the hell you do."

Congress and the American people did something unprecedented in our time: They stopped a war before it started by creating a near-certainty of congressional rejection. The knowledge that this is possible can never be removed from public consciousness. It would take a McCarthyite purge of the institutions to do so, and such a purge is no longer possible, because opposition to the promiscuous use of military force has become too politically diverse. People can get on their soapboxes all day long about Citizens United, the military-industrial complex and AIPAC. Despite these obstacles, democracy stopped a war.

Since the proposal to send "a signal of American resolve" to Iran by bombing Syria has spectacularly failed, it's time for a fundamental shift in U.S. policy.

If we can talk to Russia about securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stocks, we can talk to Iran about securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stocks. Iran not only has a new president, but an entirely new crew of pragmatic, experienced top diplomatic officials. No country on Earth hates chemical weapons more than Iran. Could there be a better time to talk to Iran than when 1) Iran has just elected a new president who campaigned on a platform of engagement with the West and 2) AIPAC has just suffered a spectacular legislative defeat on the authorization of force?

If we can talk to Russia and Iran about securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stocks, we can talk to Russia and Iran about securing a cease-fire and negotiations to end Syria's civil war. Yes, ending Syria's civil war will be hard. Securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stocks will be hard. But neither of these goals will be accomplished or brought closer by the use of military force. Diplomacy and negotiations can accomplish these goals, and even if they don't accomplish these goals right away, diplomacy and negotiations will de-escalate the conflict and reduce the killing on the path to eliminating Syria's chemical weapons and ending the war.

If we can talk to Russia and Iran about securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stocks and about securing a ceasefire and negotiations to end Syria's civil war, we can talk to Russia and Iran about a deal on Iran's nuclear program that establishes détente between the U.S. and Iran.

Our too-close relationships to the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia and our lack of any relationship to the government of Iran are bringing us no end of trouble. Because we are too close to the government of Saudi Arabia, we didn't stop the crackdown on democracy activists in Bahrain. Because we are too close to the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia, we didn't stop the military coup in Egypt and the subsequent massacres of anti-coup protesters. Because we are too close to the government of Saudi Arabia, we didn't stop them from pouring jihadists into Syria who commit atrocities. Because we don't have a relationship with the government of Iran, we haven't been able to leverage its influence to restrain the Syrian government from committing atrocities. Because we are too close to the government of Israel, we can't effectively pressure it to end its abuses of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

It's time to reset our relationships in the Middle East. We need to be able to relate to everyone, while being beholden to no one.

There has never been a better time for real engagement with Iran, and an opportunity like the present may not come again. This is the moment we elected Barack Obama for in 2008. If not now, when?

If you agree, tell President Obama and Congress. (Petition here)

***PETITION**** http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/syria-ceasefire-negotiations?source=c.url&r_by=1135580

By: Robert Naiman | Op Ed | Truthout |


Petition:

Syria: Ceasefire. Negotiations. Talk to Iran.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/syria-ceasefire-negotiations?source=c.url&r_by=1135580
 

Animae C (514)
Wednesday September 11, 2013, 9:29 pm
Thanks for signing! Now, pass it on.
 

Esther Z (94)
Wednesday September 11, 2013, 9:49 pm
Noted and signed. Thanks, Kit.
 

Helen Porter (39)
Wednesday September 11, 2013, 11:11 pm
Perhaps that fundamental change should be a new......

perhaps I better not say it.
 

Helen Porter (39)
Wednesday September 11, 2013, 11:13 pm
Perhaps that fundamental change should be a new....

maybe, I better not say it.
 

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday September 12, 2013, 5:02 am

Signed. Thanks Miss Kitty!

 

Arielle S (313)
Thursday September 12, 2013, 7:45 am
It does seem that civilization should have reached the point by now where we might actually talk to each other, negotiate, and reason instead of just shooting our big guns. Wouldn't it just be amazing if it actually worked?
 

Ben O (172)
Thursday September 12, 2013, 8:53 am
Right; -Cease-Fire NOW!!!
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/syria-ceasefire-negotiations?source=c.url&r_by=1135580
 

fly b (26)
Thursday September 12, 2013, 9:43 am
thanks Kit and Ben, signed
 

Angelika R (143)
Thursday September 12, 2013, 10:04 am
Petition signed, thx.- But war is far from being off the table, I'm afraid... the talks have just begun and there's little sign so far for a successful outcome, so many ifs and buts still in the way and little to no hope the US will drop their force option.. They cannot even drop the blaming Assad claim without revealing their lies and the agreed upon silence so far from Israel will not last forever.
 

Tamara H (185)
Thursday September 12, 2013, 1:55 pm
Noted, signed, twittered, fb and google shared. I support a cease-fire and negotiations 100%. Thanks Kit
 

JL A (281)
Thursday September 12, 2013, 5:12 pm
Since Syria has signed the chemical weapons UN agreement, the US should perhaps do likewise
 

Mitchell D (104)
Thursday September 12, 2013, 5:50 pm
Noted and signed.If iran is willing to get into a dialogue, we ought to go there, too.
 

Bryan S (105)
Thursday September 12, 2013, 9:39 pm
Thanks Kit and petition signed, Indeed there is not better time for diplomacy. As the article points out, we have a lopsided ME policy that causes the US to support abuses from allies and have no influence with other nations. If we want peace then this should change. But the goal is to have control first and peace is far from a priority. How can this change?
 

Katie & Bill D (107)
Thursday September 12, 2013, 11:22 pm
Everyone should sign this Document, all Countries!!
Thank You Kit
 

Rehana VN (0)
Friday September 13, 2013, 3:56 am
Very interesting. The US concept of "shoot first" talk later will never change. The US knows it has advantages bcos of it's military capabilities & all the elected brightsparks have high aggression issues. It's time the American people refused to be mislead time & again & hold their leaders accountable & explain with concrete evidence why they should not resolve issues by discussion.
 

Kay M (46)
Friday September 13, 2013, 9:54 am
I hope it can be worked out thru talks, treaties, and collection of the chemical weapons, but I doubt it, so we better keep on our toes, and have a plan to react if Russia and Syria do not follow thru on the promises made......period.
 

Elizabeth M (65)
Friday September 13, 2013, 1:22 pm
Noted and signed with thanks for this important article Kit.
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Friday September 13, 2013, 5:52 pm
War should always be the last option for all nations. There are no winners and it's bad for business.
 
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