Dennis Kucinich: The Firing Line and the Unemployment Line + Iran Sanctions are Counterproductive

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Dennis Kucinich: No Chance To Go To College! No Chance For Health Care! UNLESS You Learn To Kill Or Be Killed!

December 15, 2009

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Kucinich Speaks Against War Appropriations Bill: The Firing Line and the Unemployment Line

by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Dec 15, 2009

Following a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement:

“The word is that with over 15 million Americans out of work and desperately in need of extended unemployment benefits, Congress will put unemployment compensation benefits into a bill which will give another $130 billion for war.

“Remember, our Democratic Party took control of the Congress based on widespread opposition to the Iraq war. Unfortunately, we are now telling the American people that the only way they will get unemployment compensation is to support another $130 billion to keep wars going.

“What a cruel choice Congress is forcing on people out of work. Put your sons and daughters on the firing line and we will pay you for being in the unemployment line.

“What a message to young Americans. No jobs for young people, except to go to war. No chance for young people to go to college and have health care unless they learn to kill or be killed. Support this war, we tell the people; the war which creates death, war which creates poverty, war which creates unemployment and we will pay you for being unemployed.

“Is this really the best we can do?”


Kucinich: Iran Sanctions are Counterproductive – Outlines Objections in House Debate

by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Dec 15, 2009

Following his vote against H.R. 2194 – Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement outlining his opposition:

“I strongly oppose the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009. This legislation obstructs the Obama Administration’s ongoing negotiations with Iran, amounts to economic warfare against the Iranian people and brings us closer to an unnecessary and possibly military confrontation with Iran.

Undermining the Administration’s Diplomatic Efforts

Subsection (c)1 of Section 2 of the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act states, ‘It shall be the policy of the United States to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons, including by supporting international diplomatic efforts to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment program.’

“On December 11, the Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg wrote to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry protesting the possible consideration of IRPSA as the Obama Administration enters a critical juncture in its diplomatic negotiations with Iran. Secretary Steinberg writes, “At this juncture, I am concerned that this legislation, in its current form, might weaken rather than strengthen international unity and support for our efforts. In addition to the timing, we have serious concerns including the lack of flexibility, inefficient monetary thresholds and penalty levels, and blacklisting that could cause unintended foreign policy consequences.”

“Though this bill claims to express support for international diplomatic efforts to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment program, it actually undermines those efforts. Passing legislation that effectively forces the President’s hand in one direction diminishes the power of the President and his diplomatic team by significantly limiting the tools the Administration can utilize. Furthermore, it projects a negative image of the United States in the region at a time when we need broad international support to succeed in our negotiations.

“In addition, this bill has been brought to the Floor on the suspension calendar, where there is no chance for amendment. Yet the bill has significant implications for our foreign policy. We must heed the advice of Deputy Secretary of State Steinberg when he asked Senator Kerry last week to delay consideration of this bill so as to not undermine the Administration’s diplomatic efforts.

“We are eager to support the President in his escalation of war in Afghanistan. Yet we are just as eager to fast-track consideration of legislation that atrophies the progress of difficult negotiations in which the Administration has invested significant time.

“The legislation correctly states that The United Nations Security Council has adopted a range of resolutions that open the door for sanctions, should the diplomatic track fail. However, this legislation undermines the rare unity the UN Security Council demonstrated by passage of several resolutions on Iran. Perhaps most significantly, the implications of this bill will isolate the United States, not Iran, from the international community.

Effects of Sanctions on the Iranian People

Subsection b(6) of Section 2 of the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009 states, “It is the Sense of Congress that….the people of the United States A) have feelings of friendship for the people of Iran; and B) hold the people of Iran, their culture, and their ancient and rich history in the highest esteem.”

“This legislation inflicts widespread economic hardship on the people of Iran that we claim to support. Millions of Iranians took to the streets in June to protest the election in what became the biggest demonstrations to challenge the government since the 1979 revolution. Well-known democracy and human rights activists in Iran, such as Shirin Ebadi, who have been challenging the government, oppose these sanctions. Sanctions impede the ability of the Iranian people to challenge their government and sanctions significantly damage their human rights.

“Sanctions targeting imports of petroleum products, including natural gas, gasoline and kerosene will raise the prices of these products that Iranians use every day in their homes and for transportation. Physicians for Social Responsibility stated that this bill will “not hurt the rich and powerful in Iran, but the people of Iran.” Forcing the people of Iran to pay more for gasoline will not cause a confrontation between the government and the population, but will cause increased Anti-American sentiment. Waging economic warfare on the people of Iran surely is not reflective of our feeling of friendship stated in the legislation. It is the middle and lower-class Iranians that will most likely be affected by rising gasoline prices.

“This legislation also serves to benefit the government of Iran by diverting attention from the domestic problems they are being called upon to address, such as abuses of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and freedom of speech.

Saber-rattling against Iran

Former International Atomic Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has repeatedly stated that sanctions against Iran will be ineffective in forcing Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program. In a speech to the Board of Governors in September of this year, ElBaradei recognized the important developments with respect to Iran’s compliance with IAEA inspections stating that ‘we are not in a state of panic because we have not seen diversion of nuclear material; we have not seen components of nuclear weapons.’ In addition, he states, ‘We went through this…during the time of Iraq, when the Agency went exactly through that – hype, fabrication. And it took a war based on fiction and not fact…it took a war and hundreds of thousands of people dying for the Agency to become stronger and more credible because we were sticking to the facts.’

“Subsection a(1) of Section 2 in IRPA says the “the illicit nuclear activities of the Government of Iran – combined with its development of unconventional weapons and ballistic missiles, and support for international terrorism – represent a serious threat to the security of the United States and allies in Europe, the Middle East, and around the world.” This language makes dangerous accusations that have been repudiated by the IAEA and it paves the way for the same mistakes we made in Iraq. We cannot afford to make the same mistakes at the cost of innocent lives of people in Iran.

“The imposition of sanctions against the regime in Iran will only strengthen the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, who are in charge of Iran’s nuclear sites and weaken reformist opposition in Iran.”


Early Bipartisan Support for Privileged Resolution to End War in Afghanistan – Kucinich Announces 12 New Co-sponsors

by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Dec 15, 2009

Washington D.C. (December 15, 2009) – Congressman Kucinich (D-OH) today announced a quick bipartisan response to his call to introduce a privileged resolution to end the war in Afghanistan. The proposed legislation already has 12 cosponsors. The privileged resolution will require debate in the House of Representatives within 15 calendar days of its introduction of its introduction.

“At a time when 15 million people are unemployed we cannot continue spending hundreds of billions of dollars on disastrous wars. My resolution will force a debate and vote on the war in Afghanistan. Congress must reassert its constitutional authority to start and end wars,” said Kucinich.

“It is important that we debate the constitutionality of this question,” added Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC).

Kucinich announced the following cosponsors:

Representatives John Conyers, Jr.; (D-MI); Ron E. Paul (R-TX); Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD); Bob Filner (D-CA); Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC); Lynn Woolsey (D-CA); Edward Whitfield (R-KY); Michael Capuano (D-MA); Timothy V. Johnson (R-IL); Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ); Eric Massa (D-NY); and Alan Grayson (D-FL).

A similar resolution regarding Pakistan will be introduced at a later date.


End the U.S. Wars Rally: Dennis Kucinich: These Wars Are Corrupting…our Nation!

Ron Paul: House Floor Debate on Iran Sanctions part 1

Floor Debate on Iran Sanctions – part 2

Floor Debate on Iran Sanctions part 3

Iran Israel US Nukes

4 thoughts on “Dennis Kucinich: The Firing Line and the Unemployment Line + Iran Sanctions are Counterproductive

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