Re: Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015 – Strongly Opposed
Dear Senator ______:
Our family is strongly opposed to the Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015 (“IPOA”).
IPOA appears to be reckless and against our national interest. It is poorly drafted with counter-productive provisions and ambiguous key phrases such as “offensive security assistance” and “Iran’s grand strategy.” It reads like a lobbyist, such as AIPAC, may have authored it. IPOA appears to be a cynical attempt to increase the likelihood of an armed conflict between the United States and Iran.
IPOA’s title and stated purpose appear to be misleading. While its stated purpose is “to provide for greater congressional oversight of Iran’s nuclear program,” IPOA fails to address Iran’s nuclear program at all and it only addresses Iran’s non-nuclear activities and increased U.S. funding to Israel.
Under IPOA, the President is required to regularly issue a public report on, among other things, a “ten-year strategy to counter conventional and asymmetric Iranian activities and threats in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond” (italics added) and a summary of “objectives, plans, and means for building a regional security architecture capable of and committed to countering Iran’s destabilizing activities.” As set forth in IPOA, the Executive Branch is subject to voluminous public reporting requirements that are poorly categorized, counter-productive and unnecessary.
IPOA’s key purpose appears to be encapsulated in Section 5 (Authorization of Additional Security Assistance to Israel). On account of the Iranian nuclear facilities that are subject to comprehensive oversight under the recently completed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, IPOA authorizes our federal government to provide Israel with “offensive security assistance” in the form of ordnance and delivery systems (that are among the most destructive weaponry that the United States has developed) and to train Israelis to utilize these ordnance and delivery systems. IPOA also authorizes “any additional foreign military financing to Israel in each fiscal year from fiscal year 2018 to fiscal year 2028 as may be needed to address threats from Iran” and requires our federal government’s assistance and cooperation to Israel to deter “threats supported, directly or indirectly, by Iran.”
Section 5 of IPOA is poorly drafted and overbroad. It authorizes any financing by the United States that may be needed to address any threats to Israel from Iran or any threats directly or indirectly supported by Iran. Who determines the presence of a threat? These funds belong to the citizens of the United States. IPOA has a dubious rationale that centers on Iran’s purported “grand strategy” and IPOA authorizes excessive financial and technological transfer from the United States to Israel.
My family and I request that you vote against the Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015. IPOA is misguided in intent, reckless in effect, and dangerous to our national interest.
Without consultation with President Obama or Secretary of State Kerry, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has invited Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress. In a dereliction of protocol, Mr. Boehner consulted with Ron Dermer, the Israel Ambassador to the United States, over the White House or the State Department. Mr. Boehner offered a significant forum to a foreign nation’s leader to criticize our President’s foreign policy and Mr. Netanyahu readily accepted this ill-advised invitation.
My family and I view the actions by President Obama and his team on a multilateral nuclear accord with Iran as an appropriate use of a strong and effective US diplomacy. We trust in President Obama’s strategic and policy objectives. On the basis of years of general observation, reading and discussion, we have some healthy skepticism about Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s veracity and assessments. At a key point of our nation’s negotiations of the multilateral nuclear accord, which negotiations will likely have a significant outcome, it is bizarre to invite a foreign leader to speak before the United States Congress to argue for his nation’s interests and preferences and to inveigh against our nation’s effective foreign policy. This situation is disgusting, problematic as precedent, and contrary to our national interest.
My family and I ask you to not attend the speech by the Israel Prime Minister. This is very important to us.
Dear Ms. Johansson:
You have been a young actress who has grown up in the public eye, which process has been quite charming to watch through the media. My family and I have appreciated your films, such as The Prestige. It has been heartwarming that you have regularly made efforts on behalf of President Obama’s Presidential campaigns.
We appreciate that, for a young person in particular, choices are never easy, especially in light of significant financial incentive and powerful groupthink. We also know that, especially for a lady, the film business is stressful and uncertain. As an astute person, you certainly know that the expropriation of land in the West Bank is the official policy of Israel. While it directly benefits from this state-sanctioned theft, you have decided to work on behalf of SodaStream. In our view, this has been a very poor decision.
While your decision may result in the beneficence of a few influential studio executives, this beneficence will be short-lived. Integrity is essential. In our opinion, your SodaStream relationship has significantly deteriorated your status with a vibrant segment of film viewers.