The following letter was written to our Vermont Congressional Delegates by the Will Miller Green Mountain Veterans for Peace, and is endorsed by the Peace & Justice Center.

Dear Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, and Representative Welch:

We, the Will Miller Green Mountain Chapter of Veterans For Peace, urgently request a meeting with you to discuss the ongoing rhetoric propelling us toward war with Iran.  The United States, and indeed the world, are weary of war!

We urge you to restore to the US Congress its Constitutional power to declare war.  Granting the President the authority to wage war under such a large umbrella as the “war on terror” places far too much power in one person and is antithetical to the intent of the U.S. Constitution.

Restricting the authority to declare war to Congress is the best way to prevent our country from becoming embroiled in war after war. We need that safeguard more today than perhaps ever before in our country’s history.

Each day the drum-beat for war with Iran gets louder and louder. Israeli newspapers are continually reporting statements made by the highest Israeli government sources stating that an attack on Iran is a certainty if not imminent. The New York Times, on August 1, quotes U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as saying there was “feverish speculation” in Israel that PrimeMinister Benjamin Netanyahu will act in September or early October.

To illustrate the Israeli-war fever, the below listing of newspaper accounts (attached) reflect the seriousness of the situation:
•“Decision to Attack Iran is Almost Final” – President Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak
•“Israel media talk of imminent Iran war push” – Israel’s biggest selling daily ‘Yedioth Ahonorath’
•“Israel Sees month-long war after Iran strike” – Israeli Civil Defense Chief
•“Iranians Should Be Very Fearful for Next 12 Weeks”- Ex Mossad Chief

Although President Obama’s assessment is that Iran has neither a nuclear weapon nor the capability to make one, we also understand that if that assessment changes “all cards are on the table.” Even as Defense Minister Ehud Barak, on August 9, cited what he said was a new American intelligence report stating that Iran had made significant progress toward acquiring weapons capability, a National Security Council spokesman stated (attached): “the U.S. still believes Iran is NOT on the verge of a nuclear weapon.”

Clearly, the United States could become involved in yet another disastrous Mid-East war whether by accident, by miscalculation or by the unilateral action of Israel. The “red Line” that the President won’t allow Iran to cross isn’t necessarily a nuclear weapon – it’s the Strait of Hormuz. The multinational anti-mining exercise scheduled there for September could easily turn into a confrontation.  The worldwide military, social and economic impact of such a war would be catastrophic. It is for these reasons that we urgently need to meet with you.  We earnestly demand that our Constitution be returned to the citizens of our country.  It is imperative that Congress reinstates its power to make declarations of war.

Sincerely

Will Miller Green Mountain Veterans for Peace, Chapter 57, Inc. (501c3)

“Decision to Attack Iran is Almost Final,” By Times of Israel Staff, August 11, 2012:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32149.htm
“Israel media talk of imminent Iran war push,” Reuters, August 10, 2012:  http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFBRE8790ID20120810
“Israel Sees month-long war after Iran strike,” Amy Tiebel of the Associated Press, August 16, 2012: http://bostonglobe.com/news/world/2012/08/15/israel-sees-monthlong-war-after-iran-strike/SYhNDP7uiqjpg7YNNl6N7K/story.html
“Iranians Should Be Very Fearful for Next 12 Weeks,” Times of Israel and Haaretz, August 2, 2012: http://www.timesofisrael.com/efraim-halevy-if-i-were-an-iranian-i-would-be-very-fearful-of-the-next-12-weeks-ex-mossad-chief-tells-ny-times/;
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-mossad-chief-iran-should-be-very-fearful-over-next-12-weeks-1.455533

“U.S. Still Believes Iran NOT On Verge of Nuclear Weapon,” Reuters, August 9, 2012: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/09/us-israel-iran-usa-idUSBRE8781GS20120809