Thursday, September 27, 2012

American Public Opposes War with Iran

By Tom Hayden
Beaver County Peace Links via Peace Exchange Bulletin

Sept 18, 2012 - Among key findings of a survey conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs are these:

  •     51% oppose the UN authorizing a strike on Iran, 70% oppose a unilateral U.S. strike on Iran, and 59% do not want to get involved in a potential Iran-Israel war; 45% favor the UN authorization of a strike;
  •     “In the hypothetical situation in which Israel were to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, Iran were to retaliate against Israel, and the two were to go to war, only 38 percent say the United States should bring its military forces into the war on the side of Israel. A majority (59%) says it should not.” (p. 30)
  •     54% do support an attack by U.S. ground troops against terrorist training camps and facilities, down from 82% in 2002.

    To deal with the crisis in Syria, majorities of Americans support diplomatic and economic sanctions (63%) as well as a no-fly zone in Syria (58%).

Those numbers may be what is causing Benyamin Netanyahu, and his allies in AIPAC, to step up their campaign of implied political threats against the Obama administration for its relative caution over Iran’s nuclear program.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Next Time You Hear ‘Support Our Troops’ from the Right, Remember This:

GOP Blocks Veteran Jobs Bill

Beaver County Peace Links via New York Times

Sept. 19, 2012 - Veterans won't be getting a new, billion-dollar jobs program, not from this Senate. Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked a vote on the Veterans Job Corps Bill after Jeff Sessions of Alabama raised a point of order - he said the bill violated a cap on spending agreed to by Congress last year. The bill's sponsor, Patty Murray of Washington, said that shouldn't matter, since the bill's cost was fully offset by new revenues. She said Mr. Sessions and his party colleagues had been furiously generating excuses to oppose the bill, and were now exploiting a technicality to deny thousands of veterans a shot at getting hired as police officers, firefighters and parks workers, among other things.

The vote was 58-40; the bill needed 60 votes to proceed.

It would be easier to admire the Republicans' late-breaking fiscal scrupulosity if their motives - denying the Obama administration any kind of victory this year, whatever the cost to jobless vets - weren't so transparent.  It's probably useful to remind Republicans like John McCain (a "nay" on the jobs bill) that wounded, jobless and homeless veterans aren't a fact of nature. They're a product of the wars that Congress members voted for, the war debt they piled on, and the economy they helped ruin.

"It's unbelievable that even after more than a decade of war, many Republicans still will not acknowledge that the treatment of our veterans is a cost of war," Ms. Murray said in a statement after the vote.