Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are only a few days left in our critical Mid-Year Campaign and we truly might not make it without your help.
Please join us. If you rely on independent media, support Common Dreams today. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) attends Women's March 2019 on January 19, 2019 in New York City.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) attends Women's March 2019 on January 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

'Right Now Is the Moment to Decide If You Are Pro-Peace or Not': Ocasio-Cortez Joins Progressive Chorus Against War With Iran

"Congress now has a moral and legal obligation to reassert its power to stop this war and protect innocent people from horrific consequences."

Eoin Higgins

Progressives on Friday, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called for Congressional action to rein in the administration after a drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, a move seen by observers as an act of war that is nearly certain to exacerbate a historically tense moment in the Persian Gulf region.

"Right now is the moment to decide if you are pro-peace or not," tweeted Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat.

"Congress now has a moral and legal obligation to reassert its power to stop this war and protect innocent people from horrific consequences," the congresswoman added.

Ocasio-Cortez joined a growing chorus from the left urging restraint and diplomacy from the U.S. and Iran. 

"There is no military solution to this crisis," Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement. "Instead, we must pursue meaningful diplomacy to achieve peace and stability in the region."

Jayapal added in a tweet that Soleimani's killing "dangerously doubles down on reckless military brinkmanship."

The attack on Soleimani, one of the leaders of Iran's Quds Force and a major figure in the Iranian government, and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis came on Friday morning near the Baghdad airport. 

By striking the Iranian leader, Ploughshares Fund director of programs Michelle Dover told Common Dreams in an email, the U.S. "has imperiled any near term chances for diplomacy."

"The primary question now is whether the U.S. government is prepared for the Iranian response," said Dover. "The U.S. public should be calling on Congress to assert its authorities and oversight roles to prevent an unintentional slide into war." 

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) in a statement called for peace and noted that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), first passed by Congress in 2001 days after the 9/11 attacks with Lee as the sole dissenting vote, was used by the White House as the justification for the strike. 

"We must work to prevent further military action in the region," said Lee. "We have known for years that there is no military solution, and it's past time to return to a diplomatic strategy with our allies. We must protect our national security, our brave troops, our allies, and the American people."

Lee included in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) an amendment which would have repealed the AUMF, but, as Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) pointed out on Twitter, that language was stripped from the final bill delivering the president billions in war funding, which passed Congress with bipartisan support. 

Liberal advocacy group MoveOn on Friday launched a petition asking Congress to halt the march to war. 

"Congress is the only branch of government that has the constitutional power to decide where and whether to send U.S. forces into harm's way," the group said. "We urge you to act immediately to stop a catastrophic war with Iran."

The Nation's Jeet Heer warned Friday that Congress has not been known recently for its bravery in the face of war-time presidents.

"Trump's petty motives and incoherent policy have been enabled by a Congress that has long been derelict in its duty to provide oversight over foreign policy," said Heer. "This abdication of responsibility is all too typical of American politics since the 9/11 terrorist attacks—under both Democratic and Republican presidents."

In a statement to Common Dreams, Alliance for Peacebuilding president and CEO Uzra Zeya said that the correct response to the continuing tensions is trying to find a way forward without violence.

"We must reject retribution and military action towards all-out war that endangers the future of Iranians and Americans alike," said Zeya. "Peacebuilding—in the form of de-escalation, dialogue, restraint, and diplomacy—is now more important than ever."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone

Noting his refusal to cooperate beyond an informal April interview, the committee's chair said that "we are left with no choice."

Jessica Corbett ·


Sanders Pushes Back Against AIPAC Super PAC With Endorsements of Tlaib and Levin

"Once again, these extremists are pouring millions of dollars into a congressional race to try to ensure the Democratic Party advances the agenda of powerful corporations and the billionaire class."

Brett Wilkins ·


Missouri Hospital System Resumes Providing Plan B After 'Shameful' Ban

The health network had stopped offering emergency contraception over fears of violating the state's abortion law—a "dangerous" move that critics warned could become a national trend.

Jessica Corbett ·


'An Act of Conquest': Native Americans Condemn SCOTUS Tribal Sovereignty Ruling

"Every few paragraphs of the majority opinion has another line that dismissively and casually cuts apart tribal independence that Native ancestors gave their lives for," observed one Indigenous law professor.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Lunacy': Democrats Risk Running Out of Time to Confirm Federal Judges

"Democrats aren't filling open seats right now in federal district courts because, for unfathomable reasons, they are letting red state senators block nominees," said one critic.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo