From: "Marvin Belsky" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Aug 11, 2015 12:13 PM
Subject: Vets Against Nuclear Iran - Contact Senator Gillinbrand
A new 501(c)(4) organization was formed by Iraq war veterans to fight against President Obama's P5+1 deal with Iran.
These Iraq veterans know more about Iran than the rest of us. At least 500 U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan were directly linked to Iran and its support for anti-American terrorists Many of those estimated 500 deaths occurred during the surge in Iraq. Scores of American personnel were killed or maimed by highly lethal bombs, known as Explosively Formed Penetrators, or EFPs, that Iran manufactured and supplied to Shiite militias across the border in Iraq. Those State-of-the-art roadside bombs (EFPs) from Iran in particular were undoubtedly the most lethal Iranian weapon used against British and American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The group started television advertising on Monday 8/10 ads will run in states whose members of Congress are undecided on the Iran deal.
The first of the group's videos features retired staff sergeant Robert Bartlett, who was badly injured by an Iranian bomb while serving in Iraq in 2005. "Every politician who is involved in this will be held accountable, they will have blood on their hands," he says in the ad. "A vote for this deal means more money for Iranian terrorism. What do you think they are going to do when they get more money?"
The first ad will go up in Montana, aimed at Democratic Senator Jon Tester. Subsequent ads will air in North Dakota, West Virginia and elsewhere. The group will also send veterans to speak at events in key states.
"We are going to challenge those people who are on the fence," Executive Director Michael Pregent, a former senior adviser to Gen. David Petraeus who served in Iraq, told me. "Our main argument is that veterans know Iran better than Washington, D.C., does. You've got a lot of veterans out there who are pretty upset about this, so we are looking to capture their voices and make sure they are heard."
The campaign does not actually dwell on the nuclear issue, but on a more immediate threat: When Iran receives up to $100 billion of its frozen assets as part of sanctions relief, it could use that money to increase its nefarious activities all over the region. Top officials including Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have testified that Iran is likely to use at least some of this cash to fund violence in places like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon. According to Dempsey, Iran was directly responsible for the deaths of at least 500 American service members during the Iraq war.
The Obama administration has said that the nuclear deal is separate and distinct from Iran's regional mischief and officials are not counting on any positive change in Iran's behavior abroad -- although as recently as this morning, Obama has said he hopes that Iran might moderate its behavior. The president has also said most of the money is likely to go toward fixing the Iranian economy.If Obama truly believes that Iran will moderate its behavior and or spend most of the money on their economy, he is much more naive than I thought.
Pregent said his campaign will point out that U.S. soldiers who were victims of Iranian bombs aren't inclined to ally with Iranian hardliners. The group has recruited U.S. service members who were victims of the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, when 241 U.S. troops were killed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces. Their efforts will also feature parents and children of service members who were killed in the war in Iraq.I would like to see Obama start bashing these vets for being against the deal. These are principled war heroes who are opposing the deal because they believe it will bring more war.
"Do they fall into the category of those aligned with the hardliners in Iran," Pregent asked, "because they oppose this deal?"
Retired Gen. Mike Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during Obama's first term, is an adviser to the group. He said soldiers by and large weren't advocates of the war in Iraq, but were simply called on to serve and did their duty. But now, many of those individuals are veterans, and they want to have a say.
"They have a right and a responsibility to speak up," Flynn said.Below is the first of the Veterans Against the Deal Ad.