Dear Representative Miller,

Many of us have worked and contributed to your campaign.  We are concerned by your co-sponsorship of H. Con. Res. 362.

H. Con. Res. 362 "demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program."

Please consider that the United States and its allies could only prohibit "the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products" or "impose stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran" by imposing a naval blockade, an act of war.

H. Con. Res. 362 would empower the administration to aggravate the situation in Iran just like they did with Iraq.  They are following the same script that they did before with Iraq.  Please remove yourself from H.Con.Res. 362 and act to see that this resolution does not come to the House floor for a vote.
As an alternative to 362, please consider co-sponsoring H.R. 5056 to appoint an envoy to Iran for the purpose of easing tensions and normalizing relations with Iran.
Excerpted from H.R. 5056 Findings
(1) On December 3, 2007, the National Intelligence Estimate, representing the consensus view of 16 intelligence agencies, concluded that Iran had once had a covert nuclear weapons program.
(2) The National Intelligence Estimate also found that Iran had halted its covert nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that this program remains frozen.
(3) The NIE concluded that Iran's leadership was quite sensitive to international views and wanted to avoid international confrontation and made a `cost-benefit' decision regarding whether or not to have such a program.

Supporting these findings of the NIE are the findings of the IAEA.  Dr. ElBaradei said "I don’t believe that what I see in Iran today is a current, grave and urgent danger. If a military strike is carried out against Iran at this time . . . it would make me unable to continue my work.  A military strike, in my opinion, would be worse than anything possible. It would turn the region into a fireball,” he said, emphasizing that any attack would only make the Islamic Republic more determined to obtain nuclear power.
We also believe that the administration is now conducting a covert war in Iran as revealed by Seymour Hersh in “Preparing the Battlefield”.  Once again the Bush administration has lost the moral high ground of world opinion.  H. Con. Res. 362 adds to the covert provocation.  Since there is no creditable evidence of a nuclear weapons program from Iran, we believe that granting this administration such powers is unwise and irresponsible.

Rather than adding to the administration’s powers you should be limiting his powers by:

  1. Stopping the covert war in Iran and investigate the U.S. funding of terrorists organizations like Baluchi, Jundallah, and the M.E.K.
  2. Enacting legislation that would require the president to get the consent of Congress before going into Iran.

We think that it is time for congress to face its constitutional responsibility; otherwise it will share in the disgrace that history will regard this president.  

North Carolina Triangle Veterans For Peace
The Legislative Outreach Committee: Margaret Peeples, Wally Myers, John Heuer, Cy King, Andy Silver, David Taylor, Mia Austin-Scoggins, Francis Coyle.












Our Meeting with Representative Brad Miller by Wally Myers
It was the day after International Peace Day when we met Rep. Miller.  Ken Ashe drove all the way from Ashville to represent that chapter.  John Autry, representing the Charlotte Chapter, apologized that he could not make it because he was out of the country.  So John Heuer, Cy King, Karlin Yudichak, and I joined Ken to make the case for a less hostile course toward Iran.  And we were speaking for all the North Carolina Veterans For Peace.
It soon became clear that Rep. Miller had done his homework about the resolution that he was co-sponsoring.  He had read the talking points to rebut a challenge to the resolution, which I will call the “Iran Blockage Resolution” because that is what it allows the President to do.  But I did my homework too; because I had read the talking points to rebut his talking points.  So it was quite a debate, with a lively exchange of point and counter point.  Rep. Miller is a skilled lawyer and his heart is in the right place too.
Cy opened up with our stand for peace and that we were there to discuss Miller’s position on Iran.  Ken made the case that the US has been involved in covert operations motivated by oil beginning after the 1st World War.  Miller agreed but challenged us by asking if we cared about the spread of nuclear weapons.  And this is his chief concern, as it is ours and we told him so.  The problem is that Miller beliefs that the Iranians are developing nuclear weapons because they are developing nuclear power.  Karlin, our nuclear sub vet, came on strong with the results from the National Intelligence Estimate and the International Atomic Energy Agency findings that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003.
John then brought up the context of the recent covert war that Bush had started in Iran and that we were sponsoring terrorist organizations.  He then made that case that in order to prevent the President from attacking Iran; he should be impeached or at least be held accountable after he has left office.
As for the Iran Blockage Resolution 362, that was choreographed by his talking points and my counter talking points, as much as 5 minutes will allow.
So here are some of my reflections.  I think that Representative Miller is really concerned about nuclear weapons.  We all are.  But I think that nuclear weapons cannot be an excuse for preemptive war.  We’ve seen that with Iraq and we see it with Miller as well as a lot of well meaning people.  The war mentality is deeply woven into our culture and it blinds us from searching for peaceful solutions.  We react in the worst possible way and aggravate the situation with fear, insecurity, and suspicion.  We lump a whole nation in terms of its most hostile individual and react in a hostile way right back at them all.  The war mentality does not even recognize the self fulfilling feedback cycle of conflict that is our own doing.  We blame it on Iran and can’t see it from their perspective.  Blind.  The war mentality is blind.

Rep. Miller did recognized that the wording of the resolution was a problem that needed to be fixed.


Reflections on Meeting with Rep. Miller by John Heuer
(With copy to Linda Barnes and Jim Lindsley--the three of us met with Miller in August '07)
As Karlin noted, I think Miller is mistaken about Iran being in breach of the anti-nuclear proliferation treaty, to which Iran, but not Israel, is a signatory.  I like Ken's point about the hipocrisy of the US threatening nuclear war on Iran and demanding no nuclear defense or deterent on the part of the Iranians.
Miller gave us the most facile, glib dismissal of impeachment I have heard yet:  "Impeachment is not the ony path to accountability...why give 34 senators control over the issue of accountability?"  I'm still too steamed to compose a response.
My Quaker friends like to point out that it took 400 years to end (most of) the slave trade. 
Well, 400 years ago we weren't facing climate catastrophe and nuclear armageddon.  I think our challenge is to pace ourselves, given the fierce urgency of now, with the understanding that "There is time enough, but none to spare" and to remember to dance. 
November 5, 2008 will likely signal both a challenge to another stolen election and the start of our next CAMPAIGN FOR A NEW CONGRESS!  The New Broom Coalition will continue to recruit candidates to challenge incumbents who refuse to uphold their oaths of office.  
I was proud to visit congressman Miller with brothers Cy, Karlin, Ken and Wally, as I was to team up with Linda and Jim last year.  These wholesome bonds give me hope and the encouragement to sleep well and wake up tomorrow invigorated for another day.