NORTON META TAG

28 August 2015

Pope Francis Supports the Iran Deal. So Why Do These Catholic Candidates Oppose It? & Retired generals and admirals urge Congress to reject Iran nuclear deal 25&26AUG15

POPE FRANCIS supports the Iran nuclear deal as another step to nuclear disarmament and peace. He is able to cite the teachings of Christ to validate his stand. The opponents of the agreement, including all the Christians / Catholic Christians, can't do that. They rely of manipulating the fear of terrorism to justify their calls for rejecting the Iran nuclear deal and perpetuate the war state our nation has devolved to being. They rely on fear, not facts, and though they are Christians they are lying and deceiving about the agreement. What a testimony by them, and those people of faith who willingly spread their lies and deception. As for the retired generals and admirals who are opposed to the agreement consider the fact that those with honorable military records allowed those who share the responsibility for our illegal and immoral war in Iraq and the illegal and immoral Iran-Contra affair sign their letter to congress. Really? Ret lt. gen. william g "jerry" boykin, ret vice admiral john poindexter and ret maj. gen. richard secord? REALLY??? From +Sojourners and +Washington Post 
By Stephen Seufert 08-25-2015
"We need to be artists in the promotion of peace, we should be flexible, patient, and advocate the preservation of the simplicity of the heart." —Pope Francis
As the United States continues to navigate sensitive diplomatic channels with Cuba, Palestine, Russia, and Iran, an unlikely actor has emerged: Pope Francis.
In just a couple years, Pope Francis has managed to skillfully inject his unique brand of diplomacy onto the world stage. Yet with all diplomatic actions, only time will tell if Pope Francis’ efforts at achieving a more peaceful world will be short lived or long-lasting. Unfortunately, some within the United States aren’t content with allowing long-term diplomatic strategies develop, and have actively sought to undermine efforts to peacefully resolve differences among nations.
The nuclear deal with Iran is one such instance. After the nuclear deal between the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, Germany, the European Union and Iran was made public on July 14th, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ said in a statement, "The agreement on the Iranian nuclear program is viewed in a positive light by the Holy See."
That same day, the head of the U.S. Bishops' international peace committee, Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, issued a statement calling on Congress "to endorse the result of these intense negotiations because the alternative leads toward armed conflict, an outcome of profound concern to the Church."
Despite endorsements from both the Vatican and the USCCB international peace committee, every single Republican Catholic running for president has firmly rejected the Iran nuclear agreement — from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who called the Iran nuclear deal the "single most disturbing" chapter of the Obama presidency, to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who said the Iran deal "is the greatest betrayal of American national security in our history."
Yet without encounter and dialogue, how can the United States react to constantly evolving threats its national security? History has shown, from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 1991, that constructive dialogue between the most bitter of enemies is possible.
Some believe the economic sanctions currently imposed on Iran are deterring it from seeking nuclear weapons — that by agreeing to gradually remove sanctions, the United States is throwing away its primary bargaining chip. But despite widespread poverty and the devaluing of Iranian currency, there are few indications that harsh sanctions have deterred the Iranian government from seeking a nuclear weapon. Ultimately, maintaining or increasing sanctions will only serve to punish the average Iranian citizen and strengthen hardliners within the Iranian government.
It should be noted that hardliners in both the United States and Iran don’t support the Iran nuclear deal. Conversely, 340 rabbis have urged Congress to support the deal and young Iranian men and women danced in the streets of Tehran because their president, Hassan Rouhani, kept his campaign promise to end economic sanctions, reverse the policy of international isolation, and ease the threat of war.
Those opposed to the Iran deal cite the risk of nuclear proliferation in the region. However, for decades, the Vatican has been a leading force in calls for nuclear disarmament. It’s unlikely Pope Francis and the Vatican would support the Iran deal if they believed other nations in the region had a greater chance of acquiring nuclear weapons.
Pope Francis recently declared the theme of the 2016 World Peace Day will be "Overcome Indifference and Win Peace." Such a theme reflects the genuine desire by Pope Francis to create pathways to lasting peace through encounter and dialogue. His Holiness understands that indifference breeds hatred, and that hate is the enemy of peace. Without encounter and dialogue, hatred has the opportunity flourish unabated.
In a speech at the 2014 World peace Day, Pope Francis recognized international agreements and national laws alone aren’t enough to protect humanity from the risk of armed conflict. What is needed, the pope believes, is "a conversion of hearts… which would permit everyone to recognize in the other a brother or sister to care for, and to work together with, in building a fulfilling life for all."
If through this nuclear deal, the United States can create a culture of encounter and dialogue with those who seek peace within Iran, I think Pope Francis would agree the deal was well worth the real or imagined risks.
- See more at: https://sojo.net/articles/pope-francis-supports-iran-deal-so-why-do-these-catholic-candidates-oppose-it#sthash.Kr525zXl.dpuf

Image via /Shutterstock
By Stephen Seufert 08-25-2015

"We need to be artists in the promotion of peace, we should be flexible, patient, and advocate the preservation of the simplicity of the heart." —Pope Francis
As the United States continues to navigate sensitive diplomatic channels with Cuba, Palestine, Russia, and Iran, an unlikely actor has emerged: Pope Francis.
In just a couple years, Pope Francis has managed to skillfully inject his unique brand of diplomacy onto the world stage. Yet with all diplomatic actions, only time will tell if Pope Francis’ efforts at achieving a more peaceful world will be short lived or long-lasting. Unfortunately, some within the United States aren’t content with allowing long-term diplomatic strategies develop, and have actively sought to undermine efforts to peacefully resolve differences among nations.
The nuclear deal with Iran is one such instance. After the nuclear deal between the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, Germany, the European Union and Iran was made public on July 14th, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ said in a statement, "The agreement on the Iranian nuclear program is viewed in a positive light by the Holy See."
That same day, the head of the U.S. Bishops' international peace committee, Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, issued a statement calling on Congress "to endorse the result of these intense negotiations because the alternative leads toward armed conflict, an outcome of profound concern to the Church."
Despite endorsements from both the Vatican and the USCCB international peace committee, every single Republican Catholic running for president has firmly rejected the Iran nuclear agreement — from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who called the Iran nuclear deal the "single most disturbing" chapter of the Obama presidency, to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who said the Iran deal "is the greatest betrayal of American national security in our history."
Yet without encounter and dialogue, how can the United States react to constantly evolving threats its national security? History has shown, from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 1991, that constructive dialogue between the most bitter of enemies is possible.
Some believe the economic sanctions currently imposed on Iran are deterring it from seeking nuclear weapons — that by agreeing to gradually remove sanctions, the United States is throwing away its primary bargaining chip. But despite widespread poverty and the devaluing of Iranian currency, there are few indications that harsh sanctions have deterred the Iranian government from seeking a nuclear weapon. Ultimately, maintaining or increasing sanctions will only serve to punish the average Iranian citizen and strengthen hardliners within the Iranian government.
It should be noted that hardliners in both the United States and Iran don’t support the Iran nuclear deal. Conversely, 340 rabbis have urged Congress to support the deal and young Iranian men and women danced in the streets of Tehran because their president, Hassan Rouhani, kept his campaign promise to end economic sanctions, reverse the policy of international isolation, and ease the threat of war.
Those opposed to the Iran deal cite the risk of nuclear proliferation in the region. However, for decades, the Vatican has been a leading force in calls for nuclear disarmament. It’s unlikely Pope Francis and the Vatican would support the Iran deal if they believed other nations in the region had a greater chance of acquiring nuclear weapons.
Pope Francis recently declared the theme of the 2016 World Peace Day will be "Overcome Indifference and Win Peace." Such a theme reflects the genuine desire by Pope Francis to create pathways to lasting peace through encounter and dialogue. His Holiness understands that indifference breeds hatred, and that hate is the enemy of peace. Without encounter and dialogue, hatred has the opportunity flourish unabated.
In a speech at the 2014 World peace Day, Pope Francis recognized international agreements and national laws alone aren’t enough to protect humanity from the risk of armed conflict. What is needed, the pope believes, is "a conversion of hearts… which would permit everyone to recognize in the other a brother or sister to care for, and to work together with, in building a fulfilling life for all."
If through this nuclear deal, the United States can create a culture of encounter and dialogue with those who seek peace within Iran, I think Pope Francis would agree the deal was well worth the real or imagined risks.

Retired generals and admirals urge Congress to reject Iran nuclear deal


A group of nearly 200 retired generals and admirals sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday urging lawmakers to reject the Iran nuclear agreement, which they say threatens national security.
The letter is the latest in a blizzard of missives petitioning Congress either to support or oppose the agreement with Iran, which would lift sanctions if Iran pared back its nuclear program. Letters have come from ad hoc groupings of rabbis, nuclear scientists, arms-control and nonproliferation experts — and now, retired senior military officers, many of whom have worked in the White House during various administrations dating to the 1980s.
The letter, addressed to Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate and the House, is a response to one sent last week by three dozen retired senior military officers who support the nuclear deal.
“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” the letter states.
The signatories include retired generals and flag officers from every branch of service, including a handful who were involved in some public controversies during their careers.
One is retired Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, who was deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush and is now executive vice president of the Family Research Council. He had a history of making controversial speeches, including one in which he characterized U.S. military operations against Islamist extremist organizations as a Christian fight against Satan.
It also was signed by retired Vice Adm. John Poindexter and retired Maj. Gen. Richard Secord, who were involved in the Iran-contra affair in the Reagan administration, in which arms were sold to Iran to fund the contras in Nicaragua.
Many of the signatories served in the White House, under Democratic administrations as well as Republican. The only thing they appear to have in common is that they consider the Iran nuclear deal a threat to U.S. interests in the region and its own national security.
Leon A. “Bud” Edney, a retired admiral who served as vice chief of naval operations, initiated the letter after he read the letter by other retired officers in support of the agreement.
“I looked at the letter they published, and thought it was very weak,” Edney said. “I just don’t agree with it.” He then got the alternative viewpoint rolling through e-mails sent to some of his Navy and Marine friends. They in turn passed it on.
The competing opinions espoused by people within each group reflect the intense lobbying campaign underway even as Congress is in recess. Lawmakers must vote by Sept. 17 whether to “disapprove” the deal. The Republican majority is unanimously opposed to the agreement, so the Obama administration is focusing on ensuring that enough Democrats support it to sustain a presidential veto. They are close to succeeding. So far, 29 senators have announced their support, only five votes short of the 34 needed to block a veto override.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, who was vice commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, said he considers the agreement the most dangerous nuclear accord in U.S. history.
“What I don’t like about this is, the number one leading radical Islamic group in the world is the Iranians,” he said. “They are purveyors of radical Islam throughout the region and throughout the world. And we are going to enable them to get nuclear weapons. Why would we do that?”
McInerney said he thinks that most retired general officers do not support the agreement, but he said some did not sign the letter because they feared negative career repercussions.
“I don’t think the retired general officers necessarily speak with one voice,” he said. “We’ve all gone our own way when we retired.”
The opinions expressed in the letter were popular enough that people rushed to sign on, even in the hours before it was sent to Congress. The number of signatories almost doubled between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, copies of the letter showed.
But it’s unclear whether the letter, or any of those written by people on either side of the issue, will have any effect on Congress. Edney suspects it won’t.
“I don’t think this letter will sway anything,” he said. “It’s just the opinion of people who have served their country. It’s an alternative view to what I consider a very weak letter put out by the administration implying generals and admirals support this agreement. But I don’t think it will have any impact.”
Read more:
These Iranian pro-democracy activists want Congress to back the nuclear deal
Iran’s hard-liners want a better nuclear deal, too
How a nuclear deal can keep Iran from ‘cheating’