Anti-War Republicans Vote Against Tightening Sanctions on Iran


Credit: US House of Representatives/Wikimedia

Yesterday the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to tighten sanctions on Iran. Of the 20 votes against the sanctions, only three were cast by Republicans. To anyone who has been keeping an eye on anti-interventionists in the Republican party it should not have come as a surprise that the three votes were cast by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and Walter Jones (R-N.C.).

Click here to view the breakdown of the vote. 

Massie has introduced legislation into the house blocking military aid being sent to Syria, and earlier this month he introduced an amendment to the House Defense Appropriations Act, which was unanimously passed, that blocks the American military being used in offensive operations in Egypt.

Amash (called "the most liberal Republican" by Karl Rove) recently introduced an amendment that was narrowly defeated which would have defunded an NSA program that collects phone records.

In an interview with Reason earlier this year Amash warned of intervention in Syria, rightly pointing out that increased invovlement may not make the situation any better:

Amash: Well, my mom is Syrian so I understand the situation a little bit. I think, of course, that Assad is a dictator. What his regime is doing is horrible. They are committing war crimes against the people on a daily basis. But the fact is that our national defense should be used for our defense here in the United States. And it's very dangerous if we get in the habit of deciding who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.

Because as bad as Assad is, you don't know who is going to come and replace him. They may be just as bad, and suddenly you've helped arm people who are going to commit the same atrocities and maybe come use [those arms] against the United States. You have to be careful when you get involved in this stuff. If there's a clear threat to the United States, then the president should come to Congress and get the authorization necessary.

Jones, who has changed his position on foreign policy since voting for the war in Iraq, is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity's advisory board, an educational organization that advocates for a non-interventionist foreign policy. Interestingly, another member of the institute's advisory board, Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.), voted for tightening sanctions. 

Iran responded to the news of sanctions being tightened by warning that the move would "complicate" future negotiations regarding its nuclear program.

Sanctions can serve to foster anti-American sentiment among the population the U.S. government is trying to help. It should not be a surprise that self-described advocates of free trade and non-interventionism are against sanctions being used against Iran, a policy that is anti-free trade and pro-intervention. 

It is a shame that most members of Congress have not viewed Ahmadinejad's departure as an opportunity to change its attitude towards Iran. Unfortunately, it looks like we should expect more of the same.

NEXT: Kiwi Journalists Furious Over Being Targeted for Government Surveillance

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  1. Jones, who has changed his position on foreign policy since voting for the war in Iraq

    This is an example of someone that changed their position after seeing the effects of military activism on the people he is representing(Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base). He’s about as likable a politician as I’ve ever known.

    1. So on a scale of 1-10, your hatred for him is only at an 8? 😉

    2. Yeah, it takes a real man to admit when he is wrong. Very rare among the political class.

      1. Most of them know that they are wrong. They are just so addicted to the power and money in politics, that they don’t care. This is why nothing will ever change until we rid ourselves of a permanent political elite class.

        1. Quite a few of them are sociopaths, and thus are incapable of viewing their actions as morally wrong, since that requires a conscience.

    3. Heh heh heh, Seymour Johnson.

  2. Amash: Well, my mom is Syrian

    AHA! I knew it! Amash is one of those dirty towel head turrerist! Just like all Libertarians! We have to save the children and get these Libertarians out of our congress, before the turrerists win!

    1. Yeah. He’s gonna impose Sharia first chance he gets.

  3. Reading this article on the libertarian resurgence and the GOP split.…..story.html

    If your read the posts, I warm you, it’s a vast terrain of dumb with the fetid shit of worn arguments swirling around to stick on your ankles. Yes, you will encounter Somalias, the horror of toll roads everywhere (funny how my local stores all provide free parking, don’t they know they can charge us whatever they want?), and the corpse of Hoover beaten too insane lengths.

    1. your read, warm you —


    2. That’s pretty much the comments section on any WashPost article. Not surprising that the newspaper of record for the imperial capital would feature comments by such a collection of statist bootlickers.

    3. From the WaPo comments:

      Here’s what a Libertarian United States would look like:

      1. No Social Security…

      2. No Medicare or Medicaid…

      3. No safety nets programs at all…

      4. No public education…

      5. Tolls on every road and every sidewalk…

      6. No EPA…

      7. No regulations on anything…

      8. No EPA…

      9. No Department of Transportation…

      10. No Department of the Interior…

      11. No Department of Education…

      12. No Department of Energy…

      13 No.Department of the Treasury…

      14. No Federal Reserve…

      15. No IRS or income taxes…

      16. No nothing except run away capitalism with 90% of Americans living in poverty…

      You know, just like Somalia…

      The first 15 sound fine (though I doubt the “tolls on every sidewalk” would be how they would be financed), and the 16th makes zero sense: “We’ll get rid of almost all government coercion and get really free markets and that will cause almost universal poverty!!1!”

      1. Detroit has ALL of those departments. And probably two EPA’s.

        I have a hard time discerning between Somalia and Detroit.

  4. Title should read ‘Anti-war republicans vote for war with Iran’.

    There is really nothing to back the assertion that sanctions lead to intervention. If Germany and Japan had gotten serious sanctions it probably would’ve tamped down WW2. If economic collapse results from sanctions in Iran and leads to regime change, it will be thanks to the sanctioners.

    1. I seem to recall that the pre-war sanctions on Japan were pretty serious, and nearly a direct cause of the Pearl Harbor attack.

      Sanctions are mostly symbolic, I believe.

    2. Roosevelt needed the war. It was his only option to save his legacy. So, he put sanctions on Japan, placing them in a situation where they could either withdraw from China, or not have enough oil. The Japanese, decided the best way to insure supplies of oil (and any other strategic resources that they’d have to import) was to invade the rest of East Asia, and install puppet regimes (The US of course didn’t like it, because in addition to Roosevelt’s legacy seeking, they had their own designs on the region).

  5. Rol lthat beautiful bean footage!

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