The organization Veterans for Peace has issues a memorandum to President Obama over the threat of war with Iran and what he can do to stop it.
Needed: Presidential Action
We believe that you have the power to nip the current warmongering in the bud by taking essentially two key steps:
1. Announce publicly that you will not allow the United States to be drawn into war if Israel attacks Iran or provokes hostilities in some other way.
In threatening and planning such attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters are assuming you would have no option other than to commit U.S. forces in support of Israel. To assume automatic support from the world’s sole remaining superpower is a heady thing and an invitation to adventurism.
We are aware that you have dispatched emissary after emissary to ask the Israelis please not to start a war. We mean no offense to those messengers, but there is very little reason to believe that they are taken seriously.
We are convinced that only a strong public demurral from you personally would have much chance of disabusing Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders of the notion that they can expect full American support, no matter how hostilities with Iran begin.
The Risks of Silence
A public statement now could preempt a catastrophic war. Conversely, the Israeli leaders are likely to interpret unwillingness on your part to speak out clearly as a sign that you will find it politically impossible to deny Israel military support once it is engaged in hostilities with Iran.
What we find surprising (and the Israelis presumably find reassuring) is the nonchalance with which Official Washington and the media discuss the possible outbreak of war. From officials and pundits alike, the notion has gained currency that an attack on Iran is an acceptable option, and that the only remaining questions are if and when the Israelis will choose to attack.
Little heed is paid to the fact that, absent an immediate threat to Israel, such an attack would be a war of aggression as defined and condemned at the Nuremberg Tribunal.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey’s anemic remark on Sunday that an Israeli attack on Iran would be “not prudent” is precisely the kind of understatement to give Netanyahu the impression that he essentially has carte blanche to start hostilities with Iran, anticipating a mere tap on the knuckles — if that — from Washington.
2. Announce to the people of the United States and the world that Iran presents no immediate threat to Israel, much less the U.S.
That Iran is no threat to America is clear. Your secretary of state has acknowledged this publicly. For example, speaking in Qatar on Feb. 14, 2010, Secretary Clinton said that, were Iran to pursue a nuclear weapon, this would “not directly threaten the United States” but would pose a threat to our “partners here in this region.”
Secretary Clinton has made it clear that the partner she has uppermost in mind is Israel. She and the Israeli leaders have used the media to hype this “threat,” even though it is widely recognized that it would be suicidal for Iran to use such a weapon against Israel — armed as it is with hundreds of nuclear weapons.
The media have drummed into us that a nuclear weapon in Iran’s hands would pose an “existential” threat to Israel, a claim that is difficult to challenge — that is, until one gives it careful thought. Now is the time to challenge it. Indeed, the whole notion is such a stretch that even some very senior Israeli officials have begun to challenge it in public, as we shall point out later in this memorandum.
You can read the whole memo here.