Democrats Should Back Obama on Nuclear Diplomacy

Democrats Should Back Obama on Nuclear Diplomacy
Democrats Should Back Obama on Nuclear Diplomacy

In a recent article published by the Hill, two leading US progressive activists have criticized a few "misguided" US Democratic lawmakers who back Republicans in their attempt to scuttle the international diplomacy on Iran's nuclear issue, urging Democrats to stand with President Barack Obama to help secure a long-term settlement to the long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

Anna Galland, the executive director of Civic Action, and Becky Bond, the vice president and political director of CREDO Political Action, wrote, "Predictably, a pack of Republican senators and neoconservative commentators pounced on the announcement (that Iran and the major powers have agreed to extend their talks on a final nuclear deal until the end of next June), demanding everything from a new round of sanctions to airstrikes within Iran. Many of these folks—like Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Mark Kirk—are the same cast of characters who led us into a disastrous war in Iraq in 2003.  

"Eager to undermine President Obama's agenda, even at the cost of starting a war, Republicans are ramping up pressure on Senate Democrats in an effort to cobble together a veto-proof majority opposed to continued diplomatic efforts. Unfortunately, a small group of deeply misguided Democrats, like Sens. Robert Menendez, Chuck Schumer, and Mark Warner, are poised to join Republicans in recklessly pushing the US closer to another major Middle East war."  

They also said, "It's certainly tempting to direct all of our outrage at Republicans, who appear to be motivated more by a desire to deny Obama a major foreign policy victory than by an interest in (the resolution of Iran's nuclear dispute). However, if Congress prevents Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry from brokering a deal with Iran, it will be first and foremost the fault of a handful of pro-war Senate Democrats who break ranks and vote with the GOP."

"This is because—although Republicans will take over the Senate next year—Democrats still hold most of the cards when it comes to Iran. To circumvent Obama's veto, any poison pill legislation intended to sabotage diplomacy (such as additional sanctions) will require a substantial number of Democratic votes," They explained.

  Costly Decision

In addition, the activists said, "Fortunately, the American people are solidly on the side of diplomacy. They've shown that they will speak out loudly in favor of Obama's negotiations with Iran. In the past, we've seen fiercely determined progressive activists—including millions of MoveOn and CREDO members—successfully push Democrats to hold the line in Congress."  

In conclusion, they said, "Democrats' next move should be clear: Stand with Obama and the global community to lock in a lasting and peaceful diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear (dispute). All the proposed alternatives would undermine diplomacy and risk a return to a path of aggressive confrontation and eventual war. Democrats who choose the latter path should expect to be held fully accountable by the wider progressive community for what could become the most foolish, dangerous, and costly foreign policy decision of this decade."