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Iraq/Iran

I strongly oppose the war in Iraq and have opposed it since the days leading up to the invasion in early 2003.   

We have buried over 3000 of our nation’s mothers, father, daughters, sons, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters. Over 20,000 have been seriously injured.  Some have lost their arms, their legs, and their sight in this unnecessary conflict. War is messy. War is bloody. It tends to not only hide the truth, but to sacrifice the truth.  

While we may have won some military victories, those do not erase the mistakes of a preemptive war. They will not silence the questions that are troubling the minds of the American people.  They know today that Iraq did not pose an immediate threat. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and they see that we are deeply involved in a misguided conflict. I deeply believe the American people want to bring their children home. We are not safer today, than we were before we went to war. This war is not the answer. So we must find a way, out of no way, to bring our young men and our young women home.  

My Work in Congress to End the War in Iraq:

  • I am an original Member of the Out of Iraq Caucus;
  • I vocally and consistently oppose continued funding of the War in Iraq;
  • I support legislation promoting peaceful and nonviolent alternatives and dialogue;
  • I believe the time for a safe and orderly withdraw from Iraq is long overdue;
  • I cosponsored legislation to de-authorize the use of military force in Iraq;
  • I have repeatedly opposed any and all legislative efforts to install a permanent military presence in Iraq;
  • I strongly support significant funding increases for veterans’ and their families especially reintegration and health services for traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder

My Opposition to War with Iran:

As a founding Member of the Out of Iraq Caucus and an active Member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, I oppose war with Iran. I am a cosponsor of legislation opposing preemptive force against Iran and encouraging diplomacy. Also, I have joined with my colleagues in adopting the following position:

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) believes that establishing a diplomatic dialogue with the Government of Iran as well as deepening relationships and cross-cultural exchanges with the Iranian people would help foster greater understanding between the people of Iran and the people of the United States. These actions would also enhance the stability and security of the Persian Gulf region, including reducing the threat of the proliferation or use of nuclear weapons in the region, while advancing other United States foreign policy objectives in that region.

Furthermore, the CPC is concerned that the policy approach and tactics used by the Bush Administration leading up to the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq are being replicated in a misguided and reckless drive to a military confrontation and possible war with Iran. In an effort to avoid such a disastrous outcome and foreign policy fiasco, the CPC firmly believes that the following principles must guide U.S. policy toward Iran:

  • No congressional authorization for the use of military force in any Act of Congress previously enacted constitutes an authorization for the use of military force against Iran or its nuclear program either explicitly or implicitly;
  • It will be the policy of the United States as declared by Congress not to enter into a preemptive war against Iran and to contemplate the use of military force only as a last resort and in full accordance with international law and constitutional and statutory requirements for congressional authorization;
  • No funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the U.S. Department of Defense or any other executive agency of the Government of the United States may be used to carry out any covert action for the purpose of causing regime change in Iran or to carry out any military action against Iran in violation of international law and constitutional and statutory requirements for congressional authorization;
  • Security guarantees will be provided through negotiations with the Government and the people of Iran in exchange for ironclad, enforceable guarantees and rigorous, on-going inspections by experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes;
  • Establishing full diplomatic, political, and economic relations between the United States and Iran should not happen unless and until enforceable international safeguards are put in place to prevent the weaponization of Iran's nuclear program and the Government of Iran ends its support for international terrorist groups. The attainment of these policy objectives should not constitute preconditions for any bilateral diplomatic dialogue;
  • The U.S. will recognize the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations in overseeing the lawful development of Iran’s nuclear power capacity; and
  • U.S. obligations under Article VI of the Nonproliferation Treaty, including the commitment to move toward full and complete disarmament will be reaffirmed.

READ MORE: Building a Road to Peace

 
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