Please, everyone, join me in urging your Senators to defeat Senate Resolution 65 which would commit us to a disastrous war with Iran that would not even be entered into by our own decision. Use my letter below as a base if it helps. I’m sending a slightly different version to my other Senator, Angus King, because he has not sponsored the Resolution.
With these links you can get your Senators’ email address and if they sponsor S.Res.65 as well as its text.
Dear Senator Collins,
With utmost seriousness I urge you to withdraw your support for, and in fact work to defeat Senate Resolution 65.
S.Res. 65’s conclusion, “if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel” would commit us to war with Iran whenever Israel decides. It would not be our Government but Israel’s that decides whether or not to invade Iran.
Although S.Res.65 ends: “Nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war”, that is exactly what it is. If the Government of Israel decides to strike Iran, S.Res.65 would commit us, too.
War on Iran is very much against our interests. As former Secretary of Defense (2006-2011) Robert Gates, said in a speech on October 3 last year: “The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations … An attack would make a nuclear-armed Iran inevitable. They would just bury the program deeper and make it more covert.”
Just like the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the claim that Iran is making nuclear weapons is false. US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate on March 12 this year: “We do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons”. He said Iran is not enriching to weapons grade and we could quickly detect it if they do. Inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency who monitor Iran’s nuclear sites say the same thing.
I care deeply about this both as an American and a parent. I proudly support our son’s service in the military. I believe you care about him, too. Do not blindly commit him to a war that is against our interests and would not even be entered into by our own decision.
Senator Angus King replied to the slightly modified version I sent him. To my great disappointment he yesterday became another co-sponsor of the Resolution. He says he is: “primarily concerned about the safety of my fellow citizens” but the rest of what he says has little or nothing to do with US citizens. I will reflect on what he says and write him again.
Thank you for sharing your views regarding security in the Middle East with me. I appreciate hearing from you.
As I approach the complex foreign policy challenges that Middle Eastern relations present, I remain primarily concerned about the safety of my fellow citizens. The United States must combat extremism and stand up for American interests in the region. We should protect our allies and partners, help safeguard the world’s oil supply, and attempt to mediate disputes between feuding populations.
Israel shares our democratic values and remains our strongest friend in the region. I stand for a strong, independent Israel with the right and capability to defend itself. Although we may sometimes disagree on matters of policy – as friends do from time to time – the United States shares an unbreakable bond with Israel.
Certain Middle Eastern nations and groups continue to threaten the American people. I believe that the United States and the international community should continue to maintain strict sanctions against the Iranian regime. I support efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and condemn that country’s aid to Hezbollah and the al-Assad regime in Syria.
The United States also must vigilantly monitor the Syrian civil war. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I will have oversight of the military as it develops plans for dealing with the unrest in Syria to include containing Syria’s chemical weapons once the al-Assad regime falls. Additionally, I continue to receive briefings on Syria as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
I believe that the United States must pursue a policy of smart engagement in the Middle East. The region should know our country for our interest in securing peace, stability and prosperity.
Thank you again for your message. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you in the future.
ANGUS S. KING, JR.
United States Senator
I have adapted your letter and sent it on to both of California’s Senators. I was disappointed to see their names on the co-sponsors list.
I am very fortunate to have a Senator who took the time to reply to me, a constituent he has not met and who did not contribute to (but did support) his election campaign. Here is the response I just sent him.
Dear Senator King,
I very much appreciate your taking the time to answer my email urging you to work against Senate Resolution 65. I do not expect we will agree about every issue and I’m not hoping for a long discussion on this one but after carefully considering what you wrote, I do not understand why you support S.R.65. Specifically, I don’t understand why:
(1) We should commit ourselves in advance to follow a decision by Israel to take military action against Iran. It is our government, not Israel’s, that should make such a decision. This seems to be the central issue where we disagree.
(2) If, as you say: “the United States shares an unbreakable bond with Israel”, what need is there for S.R 65?
(3) Our bond with Israel is unbreakable? You say: “I remain primarily concerned about the safety of my fellow citizens”. Isn’t it possible Israel could take action that would not be in our interests, and which would endanger US citizens?
(4) Iran is in your judgment among the “Middle Eastern nations and groups [that] continue to threaten the American people”. I understand why Israel feels threatened, but in what way is Iran a threat to us?
(5) You disagree with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ warning that: “The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations … An attack would make a nuclear-armed Iran inevitable”. Why do you disagree with Secretary Gates’ expert assessment?.
You close by saying we “must pursue a policy of smart engagement in the Middle East”. How can binding ourselves to follow Israel’s lead no matter what be smart?
Our recent history makes it urgent to change our behavior so people in the Middle East will, in your words: “know our country for our interest in securing peace, stability and prosperity”. That is not the perception we created by invading Iraq on false pretenses and in the process destroying the only regional power balancing Iran’s. We must not double-down on belligerence, but act smarter.
I hope you will reverse your support for S.R.65 but in any case I hope you can take a little more time to help me understand why we disagree on this extremely important issue.