What will congress Choose - War or Diplomacy?
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What Will Congress Choose - War or Diplomacy?
“It’s time for Congress to heed Admiral Mullen’s call to press for—rather than against—diplomatic contact with Iran.”
--Kate Gould, The Hill,11/15/2011
Will Congress Take Iran Diplomacy Off the Table?
80 percent of the House of Representatives has signed on to a dangerous bill that would outlaw U.S. diplomacy with any Iranian official who “presents a threat to the United States”. As Kate’s op-ed in The Hill points out, “it’s not contact with Iranians but rather the lack of communication channels with Iran that threatens U.S. and indeed global security interests.”
The Senate is expected to vote soon on the McConnell/Kirk legislation to impose sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank, which some U.S. officials have called the "nuclear option" because it would deal a devastating blow to the teetering global economy and inflict untold human suffering in Iran. Check out Kate’s op-ed in Truthout for more on how these indiscriminate sanctions could pave the way to war.
International Affairs Funding Update
This week, the Senate was scheduled to consider a “minibus” (a bundle of several appropriations funding bills) that included the bill that funds U.S. contributions to the U.N. and programs to prevent war. However, debate on this bill was delayed indefinitely on Tuesday afternoon. As the Senate prepared to debate the international affairs appropriations bill (State/Foreign Operations), damaging amendments were offered that could undermine peace and stability around the world. Find out more about these amendments and see talking points to oppose anti-U.N. measures.
Senators Support Mass Atrocities Prevention
In response to the Obama administration's new Atrocities Prevention Board, Senators Chris Coons (DE) and Susan Collins (ME) are currently circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter, stating that "as members of the Senate we are committed to the protection of human rights, and believe that the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities should continue to be a priority of U.S. foreign policy." Congressional support of the administration's initiative is vital to ensure lasting policy change. Please urge your senator to sign this letter!
Costs of Prevention
Did you know that early, preventive action is 60 times more cost effective than late response and military intervention? This and other facts on how investment in conflict prevention and peacebuilding can save lives and treasure in the long term, were highlighted earlier this month, by Cassidy Regan’s op-ed in The Hill.
Kenya: A Case for Peaceful Prevention
FCNL released its new policy brief focused on how the U.S. government can help prevent deadly conflict in Kenya.
To learn more about FCNL’s work on Kenya or to request a printed copy of the brief, email Cassidy Regan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read Cassidy's blog post on how the U.S. can help prevent deadly conflict in Kenya.
Lobby Day: Promoting the Complex Crises Fund
While climbing the ladder of engagement, lobby day participants raised awareness about the need for peaceful prevention of deadly conflict, highlighting the Complex Crises Fund and the current Dear Colleague Letter supporting mass atrocities prevention.
What We're Reading:
UNESCO Votes To Admit Palestine. What’s Next? by Senator Timothy Wirth, UN dispatch, 10/31/2011
Fight over aid to Palestinian Authority heating up, by Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy, 11/04/11
19 true things generals can't say in public about the Afghan war: A helpful primer, by Thomas E. Ricks, Foreign Policy, 11/09/2011
America’s War on Terror in Africa, by Hannah Armstrong, Wasat blog, 11/14/2011
Before We Bomb Iran, Let’s Have a Serious Conversation, by John Johns, NY Times, 11/14/11
Inside the State Department funding bill SNAFU, by Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy, 11/15/11
Iran, Nukes and the Failure of Skepticism, a media advisory on fair.org, 11/16/11