War with Iran, canceled until further notice
A new law would've put us on a path to war. Here's how we beat it.
The Iran sanctions bill was the kind of measure that usually passes Congress unanimously. And, as always, dozens of Senators signed on right away—even though the law would've destroyed the most promising US-Iran peace negotiations in a generation, and put us on a road to war.
But then, suddenly, the bill collapsed.
What happened? On this episode of The Good Fight, we take you behind the scenes of the rapid-response, highly strategic progressive mobilization that pulled Democratic Senators away, at the last second, from an incredibly dangerous vote. It's the story of a movement that learned a key lesson from Iraq in 2003: the best way to stop a needless war is before it begins. And it's the win that keeps hope alive for the agreement that the US, Iran, and other countries are negotiating even now, a deal that could offer a transformative breakthrough for peace after decades of hostility.
All that, plus the Win Report... and an encounter with an overenthusiastic vacuum cleaner.
Originally posted on February 19, 2014
J StreetJ Street is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.
Jeremy Ben-AmiFounder & President of J Street
Alan ElsnerVice President for Communications of J Street
Berim.orgBerim is a global movement with the mission of unlocking the potential of Iranian changemakers.
Ilya SheymanExecutive Director at MoveOn.org Political Action
Sara HaghdoostiExecutive Director at Berim.org
Garlin Gilchrist IIDetroit's Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement
MoveOn.org8 million progressives fighting for change.
- Senator Chris Murphy's petition supporting diplomacy is online. Sign it!
- Early on in the sanctions story we mention Jeremy Beinart's piece for the Daily Beast, entitled Where's the Anti-War Left on Iran?. It was posted on December 23rd, Four days after the sanctions bill appeared in congress.
- The National Journal article we mentioned at the very end about Obama's victory is entitled How Obama Won the War on Iran Sanctions. It was written by Stacey Kaper and posted on February 2nd, shortly before Senator Menendez backed off of calling for a vote.
- The Buzzfeed story we mentioned is called Senate Reaches Veto-Proof Majority on Iran Sanctions. It was posted on January 10th by Rosie Gray.
- The "savvy reporter" we alluded to is Ben Armbruster of ThinkProgress, who wrote the piece Democratic Support for Senate Iran Sanctions Bill Tapers Off on January 9th.
- From The Hill, here's a piece on Senator Blumenthal's decision to back off of a vote. Blumenthal: No Vote Needed Yet on Iran Sanction Bill.
- Here's an edited transcript of Robert Byrd's famous floor speech, Delivered on Wednesday, February 12th, 2003. You can watch the original C-Span footage here.
- One of our interviewees, Alan Elsner of J Street, wrote a piece for the Huffington Post opposing the sanctions bill: Proponents of Iran Sanctions Bill Are Playing With Fire. It was posted On December 20th, the day after the bill was announced.
- Here's a post about the aftermath, from the MaddowBlog, by Steve Benen: When AIPAC Throws In The Towel.
- AIPAC appears to have learned something from this experience: it's now hiring a National Progressives Outreach Constituency Director! Check it out! Or don't.
Win Report sources
- Union busted! Workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee lost their fight to unionize. The twist? This wasn’t a traditional “employer vs. workers” fight: Republican forces (not Volkswagon!) raised their hackles at the thought of worker's rights and successfully campaigned against United Auto Workers’ unionizing efforts.
- Free to Ski: Women’s ski jumping is finally an Olympic event! After nearly a decade of organizing, activists triumphed against sexist Olympic officials who -- get this -- worry that too much ski jumping could dislodge women’s reproductive organs....What?
- Medicaid on the line: In the ongoing Obamacare saga, Republican lawmakers are raging a battle in Missouri and Arkansas against a key component of the law: expanding Medicaid, the government insurance program for the low-income population. But! Progressives are fighting back, with help from MoveOn.org.
- Love Conquers All...of Virginia: A federal judge struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages. In her ruling, the judge wrote: “Our Constitution declares that all men are created equal. Surely they meant all of us.” Duh! Congratulations, Virginia!
Music and Photo Credits
- Podington Bear: "Enrichment"
- Other original music by Zach Young and Fritz Myers.