Maryland’s peace community will put on a full-court press to pressure our legislators to vote for the Iran deal. Please consider signing the letter to Ben Cardin. Then consider joining us in delivering the letter on August 20 at 4 PM at his Baltimore office. If you can't come to the office at 4 PM, join a demonstration on South Charles Street from 4:30 to 5:30 PM. RSVP at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.
Amidst the flood of news about the Iran nuclear deal and the flurry of opposition, we have received numerous inquiries about Ploughshares Fund’s analysis of the agreement. So, here is an update on our Iran Campaign and where we need to go from here.
The comprehensive nuclear agreement reached in July is, by far, the strongest non-proliferation agreement I’ve ever seen. It stops an Iran bomb; it stops an Iran war. But it is being viciously attacked during the mandated congressional review.
We are now midway through this 60-day review period. The deal could be voted down by both houses of Congress in mid-September. Our efforts, like those of the opposition, are heating up.
Our biggest effort is countering the false information about the Iran agreement currently bombarding members of Congress and the public. Monday’s New York Times article highlights Ploughshares Fund’s role as a convener of those advocating for the deal, and describes how the opposition to diplomacy is intensifying. False claims are now backed by tens of millions of dollars flowing into broadcast digital ads. However, not one nuclear security expert supports the claim that the Iran deal is bad for US national security.
In fact, this week, I was proud to join 75 nuclear nonproliferation experts who released a statement supporting this “strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement…[that] advances the security interests of the P5+1 nations.” The statement was organized by the Arms Control Association, a core Ploughshares Fund grantee, and is being widely cited in the press and among key decisionmakers.
Of course, nuclear experts are not alone. Top scientists, generals and admirals, Israeli intelligence experts, Israeli military experts, former US diplomats and national security officials, scores of Iranian-Americans and 98 of Hollywood’s prominent Jewish-Americans have concluded that this is a good deal.
And since July 14, Ploughshares Fund’s grantees helped generate nearly 1 million petition signatures, emails, and phone calls to Congress in support of diplomacy with Iran.
Our three greatest assets remain our highly energized and coordinated coalition; you; and the deal itself. We already have the best possible outcome from the talks: a deal that shrinks and freezes Iran's nuclear program down to a fraction of its current size and wraps it in a permanent inspection and monitoring regime.
With you on our side, we will continue to invest as needed during the intense legislative and public debate and ensure that each Member of Congress is fully aware of the tremendous public support for the comprehensive agreement.
I have never been involved in a campaign this well organized, this extensive, this deep and this important.
None of this is possible without you. Thank you for being a part of history.
All my best,
Joe Cirincione, President
Senator Ben Cardin
100 S. Charles Street
Tower 1, Suite 1710
Baltimore, MD, 21201
August 20, 2015
Dear Senator Cardin,
Most members of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore are voters and supporters of Progressive Democrats of America. The Obama Administration negotiated a historic international agreement with the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China to limit Iran’s nuclear program, and deescalate a conflict that threatens to explode into a war. We can't afford the loss of life and tax dollars in another self-defeating war. We call upon you to vote for and support this agreement.
Please see the attached letter from Progressive Democrats of America Chair, Mimi Kennedy, regarding this agreement. We believe that—should this agreement be rejected by Congress—war is the only alternative.
We look forward to your response. And when you are ready, we would like to meet with you, preferably in Baltimore. But if necessary, we will travel to your D.C. office. Thank you for giving your consideration to supporting an agreement which can prevent a war with Iran.
Max Obuszewski, on behalf of Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore/Fund Our Communities -- Apt. 206, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Baltimore 21212
War or Peace? A Letter from Mimi Kennedy
I am writing to express my strong support for the historic agreement negotiated by the United States, Germany, France, Russia, China, and the U.K. with Iran. In September, when Congress reconvenes, you will face the most monumental vote of all: whether to pursue peace, or allow war. I call on you to vote in favor of the Iran nuclear agreement.
Many experts caution that those who oppose the deal are supporting war. According to high-level retired military leaders and diplomats—including former Generals, Admirals, and Secretaries of State—the deal with Iran would make the United States more secure.
Israel's intelligence agency Mossad, as well as the CIA and every other U.S. intelligence agency agree: Iran has not even decided to try to build a nuclear weapon. This agreement will make it impossible for Iran to do so. Opposing the deal makes no sense.
We know that Congressional offices are being bombarded with organized calls demanding a vote to kill this hard-fought, hard-won deal. We understand that ads funded by billionaire ideologues and cynical special interests currently target many Senators and House members. We strongly urge you to stand up against the rush to war.
This agreement is important for our national, regional, and world security. Experts explain this is about verification, not trust, as it invokes strict monitoring of Iran to ensure compliance. This agreement would help lead us away from fear and violence. The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to endorse it. The world community—including our closest allies—supports the agreement.
We cannot afford another costly war of choice. Our military leadership does not believe we should fight another war. We still have thousands of troops deployed in Afghanistan and in Iraq, as well as air support units in Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Taxpayers are already overstressed paying for recent wars and the devastating effects of climate change including: drought, desertification, storms, and floods. We need to focus on rebuilding our economy and investing in our infrastructure here at home.
Please publicly announce your intention to vote in favor of the historic agreement negotiated by the United States, Germany, France, Russia, China, and the U.K.
Mimi Kennedy National Chair, Progressive Democrats of America
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs