The federal government must focus on bringing about a sustainable energy future. End federal subsidies for oil companies (which donate money to politicians who favor them). Instead, support initiatives to develop and implement alternative and sustainable energy sources, such as solar power. A good example is the federal incentives program enacted to promote successful small solar energy pilot projects. This program should not be allowed to "sunset" or expire before community groups have had a full opportunity to pursue this important direction, which is expected to create good jobs for a sustainable energy future.
// Would you support U.S. military involvement in Iran if there were evidence that it was close to developing a nuclear weapon? //
Violence is an inherently self-defeating policy. Nonviolent action aligns peaceful means with peaceful ends. Nonviolence is crucial for humanity's survival. The two big political parties receive enormous amounts of money from the "defense" industry and blindly support military force around the world, whereas nonviolence is a main principle of the Green Party.
Debate on U.S. foreign policy is hobbled by an ignorance of basic norms of international law. Politicians refer to military attack against Iran as an "option on the table," but this rhetoric ignores the fact that attacking (or threatening to attack) another country is not a lawful option. The U.S. is powerful but it is not above international law.
Among the most solemn international obligations is the duty under the U.N. Charter to settle international disputes by peaceful means — the duty "to refrain . . . from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."
American political leaders seek support for military action by invoking supposed "national interest," but appeals to "national interest" or "national policy" cannot justify war from the point of view of international law. War as an instrument of national policy is expressly outlawed.
Tragically, the U.S. and Iran have been without diplomatic relations for more than 30 years. Are peaceful solutions likely between two countries that are not even on speaking terms? How preposterous and how sad it is that so many U.S. politicians adopt a saber-rattling posture calling for an illegal military attack against Iran. Politicians sometimes argue that whatever attack they are urging is the "last resort," when in fact there has not been even a "first resort" to peaceful diplomatic dialogue based on international law and mutual respect.
How irresponsible U.S. officials (including the Secretary of State) have been! They repeat public accusations (often demonstrably unfounded) and issue public threats and insults against Iran, without even talking to Iran. They mischaracterize reports by the IAEA about the Iranian nuclear energy research program in order to create fear and stir up anti-Iran sentiment. The same U.S. officials do not mention that Iranian officials have repeatedly denied that Iran has any intention or desire to develop a nuclear weapons program; in fact, the Islamic leaders of Iran denounce nuclear weapons as evil. The door for dialogue and normalized relations could be opened, but the U.S. foreign policy elite seems committed to keeping the door slammed shut. What drives the U.S. agenda seems less any concern about a possible nuclear weapons program in Iran or a threat to U.S. national security than certain geopolitical or strategic military aims, such as isolating Iran and undermining its government. The anti-Iran campaign brings to mind "yellowcake" and the fear-mongering campaign warning of nuclear weapons (later revealed to be nonexistent) that formed the pretext for the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq. It goes against democracy for the government to misinform the people about issues of war and peace. Government deception destroys legitimacy. Crying wolf undermines government credibility at home and abroad. And under international law, it is a "crime against peace" to threaten to attack another country instead of seeking peaceful resolution of a dispute.