Democratic platform is more militant against Iran than it was before Iran deal

US Politics
on 25 Comments

With all the talk about the Clinton forces beating up progressives over mentioning Israeli settlements and occupation, let alone the Gaza siege, in the Democratic Party platform, no one seems to have noticed that the platform is worse on Iran than it was in 2012– before the Iran deal!

The party platform characterizes Iran as an American enemy. It states that Democrats “will not hesitate to take military action if Iran” seeks to acquire a nuclear weapon, threatens to reimpose sanctions on Iran, and alleges that Iran “vows to eliminate Israel, and has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the Middle East.”

The Iran plank echoes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in saying that Iran denies the Holocaust and “is the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” with specific references to Israel’s enemies, Hezbollah and Hamas.

The 2012 platform also contained a threat of military force against Iran but repeatedly called for diplomacy, and it did not bash Iran over alleged terrorism, let alone Hamas and alleged Holocaust denial.

Ilya Sheyman, the executive director of Moveon.org, made the point about Iran in a discussion last week in Philadelphia, hosted by J Street at the Democratic convention. Sheyman said that a great deal is at risk in Hillary Clinton replacing Barack Obama as president, and Chuck Schumer, an opponent of the Iran deal, becoming Senate Democratic leader.

We are entering a turbulent political climate. We’re going from the president who championed the deal and made it one of his top priorities to one who played a role but has been lukewarm on some of the engagement seen by the Obama administration [as necessary].

Sheyman said that President Obama’s policy of resorting to diplomacy first is at risk in the coming election.

Right now there’s a danger that we go back to the time where Evan Bayh is elected in Indiana, one of the leaders with Joe Lieberman of opposing the Iran deal, where you have John McCain reelected– he’s talking against the Iran deal– and it seems like there’s a bipartisan consensus away from diplomacy and for war…

The thing that I think is at risk is a pro-diplomacy Democratic Party. I think that’s the first thing to fight for. There were some strides on Israel Palestine in the Democratic platform– on Iran the Democratic platform took a step backwards. It sounds more militant than it did in 2012…

I want folks to not take for granted that the Democratic Party of the last eight years is what we will have going forward. And we need to make sure the voices of ordinary progressives, of grass roots folks, of people in communities are heard [and the Congress knows] there is a hunger for diplomacy in the party. I just really fear the possibility of the Democratic Party slipping backwards because we’re not holding them to the kind of standards we hope for. We saw too many of them embrace the war in Iraq not too long ago.

The Democratic Party platform is here. While it does urge cultural exchange with Iran, it includes a lot of militant language:

We will continue the work of this administration to ensure that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon and will not hesitate to take military action if Iran races towards one…

Democrats will also address the detrimental role Iran plays in the region and will robustly enforce and, if necessary, strengthen non-nuclear sanctions. Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism. It violates the human rights of its population, denies the Holocaust, vows to eliminate Israel, and has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the Middle East. Democrats will push back against Iran’s destabilizing activities including its support for terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, counter Iran’s ballistic missile program, bolster the capabilities of our Gulf partners, and ensure that Israel always has the ability to defend itself.

Here is the 2012 Democratic Platform. There is no language about Iran as a sponsor of terrorism and a steady emphasis on diplomacy:

President Obama believes that a diplomatic outcome remains the best and most enduring solution. At the same time, he has also made clear that the window for diplomacy will not remain open indefinitely and that all options – including military force – remain on the table. But we have an obligation to use the time and space that exists now to put increasing pressure on the Iranian regime to live up to its obligations and rejoin the community of nations, or face the consequences.

Hillary Clinton personally intervened to make sure this year’s platform was pro-Israel, says her former State Department aide. Clinton may also have felt pushed by the Republicans. The 2016 Republican Party platform is far more belligerent than the Democratic platform. It calls the Iran deal “a personal agreement between the President and his negotiating partners and non-binding on the next president.”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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25 Responses

  1. JWalters
    August 1, 2016, 7:14 pm

    Of course, it’s Israel that “has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the Middle East”, starting with its manufactured, so-called “War on Terror”.

    Israel also has its fingerprints all over creating the current conflict with Russia, trying to pry away its naval base in the Crimea.
    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/07/31/lurching-toward-world-war-iii/

    And Israel’s interference in U.S. elections FAR surpasses that of Russia. Especially when one considers Israel’s suppression of open discussion about Israel in America’s so-called “free” press. Yes Michael Bloomberg, that includes you.

    • David Nelson
      August 1, 2016, 8:34 pm

      I think actually it’s the US who has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the world. I know the zionists of America like to think they are the center of the universe and all (narcissism does that), but in the end they are a bunch of useful pawns with advanced degrees and media connections. take away the Israel lobby and you still have a bunch of people at the top convinced of America’s exceptionalism and divine decree to rule the world, and this mentality goes all the way back to the colonies. sorry i just don’t buy it, the one big fluffy tail merely deflects from the rabid dog on the other end. the real people in power get much free PR and political cover from the Israel lobby, but the goals exist independently of it.

      • JWalters
        August 2, 2016, 4:27 am

        I agree with your basic point about the U.S. role in various wars. I would add that behind the nations that foster wars are a small, ultra-wealthy cabal who profit from those wars, and that pattern goes way back in history. The British empire would be an instance.

        In the current scene, the religious fanatics in Israel and America who keep the Israeli-instigated, Mideast war zone inflamed are pawns of such war profiteers. See for example the online “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”. Israel is a current focal point for manufacturing war. The resources spent covering up its true story testifies to this. It’s role has to be seen clearly in order to deal with the problem. And I agree, following the money will lead to people hidden deeper behind the scenes.

      • oneangrycomic
        August 2, 2016, 8:14 am

        Pinocchio (US) does have its fingerprints all over ME conflicts; but the Zionists certainly pull the strings! Doesn’t mean we aren’t responsible, but…

      • Emory Riddle
        August 2, 2016, 12:03 pm

        I think actually it’s the US who has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the world. I know the zionists of America like to think they are the center of the universe and all (narcissism does that), but in the end they are a bunch of useful pawns with advanced degrees and media connections..

        Ah yes, the Chomsky gate-keeping approach. There is some unseen, mythical class of American elites who are either pulling the strings or otherwise manipulating the Zionists.

      • Keith
        August 2, 2016, 5:49 pm

        EMORY RIDDLE- “Ah yes, the Chomsky gate-keeping approach.”

        David Nelson made the comment, not Noam Chomsky. What, exactly, is gained by bringing in Chomsky? Do you have some kind of fetish? Let us put Chomsky aside. How, exactly, does David Nelson qualify as a gatekeeper?

      • David Nelson
        August 2, 2016, 10:04 pm

        Emory Riddle, i didn’t say anyone was pulling the strings of the Zionists, clearly they have their own agenda and they craft it to their liking. What i said is that the Zionists are not pulling the strings of the American elite. US strategy is one of seeking hegemony throughout the Middle East, throughout Eastern Europe, throughout Central Asia to counter Russian and Chinese power, and to prevent any autonomous, indigenous power in the Middle East from ever reaching the point where they can pose any serious threat to American power.

        Specifically concerning the Middle East, the Israelis (and Saudis) are quite useful in this regard, indigenous threats are more threatening to them than they are to US power, and since their power rests on American power, they are not a threat to American dominance. You take away US patronage, Israel (and the Saudis) are significantly reduced in power.

        Proof that the US is still in charge is in the Iran deal. Israelis and Saudis are strategic assets according to a certain US worldview. Change the worldview (as the Iran deal threatens to do) and you change the strategic importance of the Israeli and Saudi relationship to the US.

        What this means is real solutions to Palestinian oppression (and all the other horrors going on in the MENA) will be found in changing the strategic orientation of the United States. But no, Israel and its American agents are not in charge. If you want the more academic arguments, read some old blog posts on goingtotehran.com. The Leveretts haven’t posted anything in the last year, but the strategic goals of the US vis a vis the Middle East are well documented there.

  2. JLewisDickerson
    August 1, 2016, 9:04 pm

    RE: “Democratic platform is more militant against Iran than it was before Iran deal”

    MY SNARKCASM: But . . ., but . . . , but, I thought this was the most LIBERAL Democratic platform EVER!
    EVER!
    EVER!
    THE MOST LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM EVER!
    INCLUDING THE MCGOVERN ERA (LOL)!

  3. watzal
    August 2, 2016, 8:55 am

    Why do you lament about the democratic platform? Both party platforms are rubbish. They are true believers. The American people will see that the war-hawkish Hillary Clinton will lead the country into a war against Iran. She is the neoconservative war-dancing queen. She has a dismal political record. Bernie Sanders should have never endorsed her. He should have run against her either as an independent like Ralph Nader once did or, as Jill Stein suggested, on the Green Party ticket that she offered to him.

    The support of Hamas and Hezbollah by Iran, both are Liberation movements fighting against Israeli and American colonization of the Middle East, has nothing to do with support of “terrorism”. The only terrorist regime in the Middle East is the Zionist regime in Israel and its patron, the U. S. Empire.

    Don’t bellyache about the rhetoric of election platforms, instead get ready for the next war under Hillary Clinton.

  4. captADKer
    August 2, 2016, 9:48 am

    time to raise the white(&in your case) blk flag already -submit and surrender. your asses have been thoroughly whipped by both parties down to all “I’s” dotted and “T’s” crossed.
    ONE DEMOCRATIC JEWISH NATION, WITH AN UNDIVIDED JERUSALEM AS CAPITOL, FROM RIVER TO SEA.

  5. Jane Porter
    August 2, 2016, 11:38 am

    This woman Clinton, not only wicked and corrupt, is an imbecile as well as her American zionists and Israeli associates.
    This small Jewish community gave the world over the centuries
    such brilliant thinkers and artists.
    How is it possible that they fell to such a low level of stupidity.
    And thinking that this woman and her maffia is going to win the presidential election

    • Marnie
      August 2, 2016, 12:43 pm

      I’m not sure which Jewish community gave the world great thinkers and artists but the wheat went out and what’s left is the chaff or what you see now in the borderless zionist enterprise.

      “How is it possible that they fell to such a low level of stupidity”. My guess includes an extremely shallow gene pool and an educational system that is strictly third world (no offense to the third world!) and what’s frightening is Naftali Bennett’s plan to dumb it down even more. That’s the recipe for a whole lotta stupid.

      • Mooser
        August 2, 2016, 5:42 pm

        “My guess includes an extremely shallow gene pool “

        And I jumped in head-first, thus the head injuries.

    • Mooser
      August 2, 2016, 12:46 pm

      “This small Jewish community gave the world over the centuries
      such brilliant thinkers and artists.
      How is it possible that they fell to such a low level of stupidity.”

      Well, I can’t speak for anybody else (sure) but in my case it was drugs, excessive masturbation, and a few head injuries. But a lot of other people might say the Holocaust was a hell of a shock, and had a lot of deleterious effects. So it’s hard to say

      • eljay
        August 2, 2016, 1:08 pm

        || Mooser: … excessive masturbation … ||

        Is that even possible? ;-) Regardless, you should live to a ripe old age, just like Ernest Borgnine.

      • Tom Callaghan
        August 2, 2016, 6:59 pm

        I think you nailed it.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2016, 11:30 am

        “Is that even possible? “

        That’s what the doctor told me. For that he went to college.

    • oldgeezer
      August 2, 2016, 7:56 pm

      @Jane

      There never was “a” Jewish community. There was a plethora of Jewish communities which were part of other societies. Claims by zionists as to Jewish acheivements, as if they were to the credit of Israel or religion, are risible. It devalues the huge successes of outstanding individuals who contributed greatly to humankind.

      p.s. A low level of stupidity is unkind. I would call it an extremely high level of stupidity. Israel continues to fall behind other OECD nations.

      • Citizen
        August 3, 2016, 7:39 am

        There was Jewish Establishment opposition to Hillel The Elder’s interpret ion of Judaism, right from the start.

      • Mooser
        August 3, 2016, 1:21 pm

        “There was Jewish Establishment opposition to Hillel”

        Entirely financed by selling Shammai-Wows, I’ll wager.

  6. James Canning
    August 2, 2016, 1:04 pm

    Is it fair to describe Chuck Schumer as a rabid Zionist? As a keen advocate of endless Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, no matter what the cost to America’s national interests?

  7. Citizen
    August 2, 2016, 4:25 pm

    GOP platform also specifically characterizes BDS as anti-semitic

  8. Keith
    August 2, 2016, 5:38 pm

    PHIL- “Sheyman said that President Obama’s policy of resorting to diplomacy first is at risk in the coming election.”

    Diplomacy first? Is this a sick joke? The coup in the Ukraine was hardly diplomacy first. The bombing of Libya was hardly diplomacy first. Doubling the size of the Special Operations Forces isn’t meant to emphasize diplomacy. The reality is that Obama has only engaged in (duplicitous) diplomacy when the military situation necessitated it. Hillary won’t even do that, preferring to escalate regardless of consequences. A couple of quotes. John Pilger on Obama and Pepe Escobar on Hillary.

    “In 2009, Obama promised to help “rid the world of nuclear weapons” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. No American president has built more nuclear warheads than Obama. He is “modernising” America’s doomsday arsenal, including a new “mini” nuclear weapon, whose size and “smart” technology, says a leading general, ensure its use is “no longer unthinkable”. (John Pilger) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45196.htm

    “Every sentient being remotely familiar with Hillary Clinton’s record knows by now that, if elected, she will preside over a Warfare State – which, incidentally, is bound to further bankrupt Washington….
    ….
    With Hillary in power, Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has got to be seen as a surefire bet.”
    (Pepe Escobar) http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/10/all-hail-the-queen-of-exceptionalistan/

  9. Tom Callaghan
    August 2, 2016, 7:48 pm

    On Israel, Hillary will do what’s comfortable for her. Listen to Haim Saban and the mainstream
    (AIPAC) Israel Lobby.

    Those of us who think there’s a better way (treating Persians and Palestinians as people is a good start) have to work harder and be more strategic. A possible untapped ally is the politically invisible Arab-Persian-Muslim Communities in the US.

    For the time being, it looks like we’ll be stuck with Hillary. I’m hoping Timothy Kaine will serve as
    her conscience when Israel decides to “mow the grass” in Gaza again. Plus, by that time Obama
    will be a former President and may choose to play a role as an advocate for progressive mideast
    policies.

    Remember, the Israel Lobby never sleeps…and they won’t let Hillary sleep either.

    http://www.wednesdayswars.com

  10. eljay
    August 2, 2016, 8:11 pm

    … The party platform characterizes Iran as an American enemy. It states that Democrats “will not hesitate to take military action if Iran” seeks to acquire a nuclear weapon, threatens to reimpose sanctions on Iran, and alleges that Iran “vows to eliminate Israel, and has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the Middle East.” …

    America can easily be characterized as an Iranian enemy. It:
    – has hundreds of nuclear weapons;
    – overthrew Iran’s democratically-elected government;
    – supported Iraq’s war on Iran;
    – has imposed harsh sanctions on Iran;
    – routinely makes existential threats against Iran;
    – supports the (war) criminal activities of numerous (war) criminal states including Israel; and
    – has its fingerprints and bootprints on almost every conflict in the Middle East.

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