The pro-Iran war posturing continues in the House, with yet another Member of Congress throwing their hat in the ring to signal support for Israeli-led preventive war on Iran.

Arizona Republican Paul Gosar has dropped what is now the third resolution in the 112th Congress providing Congressional cover for Israeli strikes—which the Pentagon has warned would drag the U.S. into war.

Signaling unconditional support for Israeli strikes significantly undercuts U.S. efforts to avoid war; it politicizes Israeli security (which is supposedly sacrosanct); and it provides political leverage against the U.S. administration for hawks in Israel (a group which, by the way, apparently doesn’t include Israel’s military chief).

Gosar’s resolution, H.Res.630, has no cosponsors.  But between his new measure, a “happy birthday Israel, now go bomb Iran” resolution, and the one that started it all–the Gohmert resolution, there are now 120 House Members who have endorsed Israeli preventive war in the current Congress.

The full list is below–I wonder how many of these Members have repeated the line that we must “listen to our generals”?  All the while, they disregard the overwhelming opposition to war with Iran expressed by the U.S. military, and instead follow the AIPAC-Netanyahu line (although AIPAC has been careful to not publicly endorse these measures, yet).

Gosar’s resolution also, tellingly, plays fast and loose with the facts, repeating the dangerous meme that Iran is actively building a nuclear weapon.  This misstatement has been repeatedly shot down by top officials, including in testimony before Congress.  They have made clear that, while Iran’s nuclear program is a serious concern that must be addressed, Iran’s leadership has not decided to actively pursue a nuke.  U.S. intelligence agrees.  Israeli intelligence agrees.  The IAEA agrees.  Congressional hawks, however, have their own set of facts.

The resolution also comes at a time when the U.S is finally gaining diplomatic traction in sensitive negotiations with Iran. Progress on the diplomatic front is critical to resolve the nuclear standoff, prevent war, and finally directly address the neglected issue of human rights in Iran.

Whether political opportunism or policy ignorance, it is unconscionable for elected officials to play games when the lives of U.S. servicemembers–not to mention civilians in Iran and Israel–are on the line.  Yes, the question of nuclear weapons-acquisition versus capability is complicated.  Yes, diplomacy is tough.  But war is not simple nor easy.  And we deserve for our representatives in Congress to do their homework instead of paving a path through falsehoods to another war of choice.

Representatives who have signed onto resolutions endorsing Israeli preventive strikes on Iran (113 Republicans in bold, 7 Democrats in italics:

Rep Adams, Sandy
Rep Austria, Steve
Rep Bachmann, Michele
Rep Bachus, Spencer
Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G.
Rep Barton, Joe
Rep Bilirakis, Gus M.
Rep Blackburn, Marsha
Rep Boren, Dan
Rep Brady, Kevin
Rep Broun, Paul C.
Rep Bucshon, Larry
Rep Buerkle, Ann Marie
Rep Burton, Dan
Rep Canseco, Francisco “Quico”
Rep Cardoza, Dennis A.
Rep Carter, John R.
Rep Chabot, Steve
Rep Chaffetz, Jason
Rep Coble, Howard
Rep Cole, Tom
Rep Conaway, K. Michael
Rep Culberson, John Abney
Rep DesJarlais, Scott
Rep Diaz-Balart, Mario
Rep Duncan, Jeff
Rep Ellmers, Renee L.
Rep Flake, Jeff
Rep Fleischmann, Charles J. “Chuck”
Rep Fleming, John
Rep Flores, Bill
Rep Forbes, J. Randy
Rep Franks, Trent
Rep Gallegly, Elton
Rep Garrett, Scott
Rep Gohmert, Louie
Rep Goodlatte, Bob
Rep Gosar, Paul A.
Rep Gowdy, Trey
Rep Granger, Kay
Rep Graves, Tom
Rep Griffin, Tim
Rep Griffith, H. Morgan
Rep Grimm, Michael G.
Rep Guinta, Frank C.
Rep Hall, Ralph M.
Rep Hanna, Richard L.
Rep Harper, Gregg
Rep Harris, Andy
Rep Hartzler, Vicky
Rep Hayworth, Nan A. S.
Rep Hensarling, Jeb
Rep Holden, Tim
Rep Huelskamp, Tim
Rep Huizenga, Bill
Rep Hultgren, Randy
Rep Issa, Darrell E.
Rep Johnson, Bill
Rep Johnson, Sam
Rep Jordan, Jim
Rep Kelly, Mike
Rep King, Steve
Rep Kingston, Jack
Rep Kline, John
Rep Lamborn, Doug
Rep Lance, Leonard
Rep Landry, Jeffrey M.
Rep Lankford, James
Rep Latta, Robert E.
Rep Long, Billy
Rep Luetkemeyer, Blaine
Rep Lummis, Cynthia M.
Rep Mack, Connie
Rep Manzullo, Donald A.
Rep Marchant, Kenny
Rep Marino, Tom
Rep McCaul, Michael T.
Rep McClintock, Tom
Rep McHenry, Patrick T.
Rep McKinley, David B.
Rep McMorris Rodgers, Cathy
Rep Michaud, Michael H.
Rep Miller, Candice S.
Rep Miller, Jeff
Rep Mulvaney, Mick
Rep Murphy, Tim
Rep Myrick, Sue Wilkins
Rep Neal, Richard E.
Rep Pearce, Stevan
Rep Pence, Mike
Rep Pitts, Joseph R.
Rep Poe, Ted
Rep Pompeo, Mike
Rep Posey, Bill
Rep Price, Tom
Rep Reed, Tom
Rep Ribble, Reid J.
Rep Roe, David P.
Rep Rogers, Harold
Rep Rokita, Todd
Rep Runyan, Jon
Rep Rush, Bobby L.
Rep Schmidt, Jean
Rep Scott, Tim
Rep Sessions, Pete
Rep Shimkus, John
Rep Smith, Adrian
Rep Smith, Christopher H.
Rep Southerland, Steve
Rep Stivers, Steve
Rep Stutzman, Marlin A.
Rep Tiberi, Patrick J.
Rep Turner, Robert L.
Rep Walberg, Tim
Rep Walsh, Joe
Rep West, Allen B.
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A.
Rep Wilson, Joe
Rep Woodall, Rob
Rep Yoder, Kevin
Posted By Jamal Abdi

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Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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