March 19 marked the 12th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. As you may know, Win Without War was founded in 2002 by three dozen national organizations – from MoveOn.org to the NAACP to Veterans For Peace – to lead opposition to then-President Bush’s disastrous war. On the back of that movement, Barack Obama ran for President by highlighting his opposition to the war. He vowed to change the mindset of Washington so that war wasn’t the default answer for every foreign policy challenge. At least with the nuclear standoff with Iran, he is working to keep that vow by pursuing a negotiated settlement despite fierce opposition from many in Congress.
While we have been disappointed with many features of the President’s national security policy, he has delivered on his promise of diplomacy with Iran. The President helped bring Iran to the negotiating table after almost two decades of silence between the countries. Already, the negotiations have frozen Iran’s nuclear program and reports indicate that a final deal will be announced in the coming days or weeks.
Congress has done everything in its power to sabotage the talks, including writing a letter to the Iranian government encouraging them to walk away from negotiations. Now, they’re introducing new legislation that is designed to be a poison pill for the talks. The scary thing is that they could have enough support to make the bill veto-proof. The margin is paper-thin.
Twelve years ago, we came together to march against war. Last year, we went up against powerful pro-war lobby groups and managed to stop US Senator Bob Menendez from passing a disastrous bill that would have derailed talks with Iran. Together, we have created the space for diplomacy to succeed. Now that President Obama is so close to delivering on his promise, we need to give him the support he needs to see these talks through. The alternative is unacceptable: another disastrous war.