No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated among adversaries. But, in our ongoing confrontation with a great threat to world peace, we have found the best available option by peaceful means rather than pursuing a worse option through war.
I was in the first company of Marines to enter Baghdad in 2003.
As a combat veteran, I know the cost of war. It is something I still carry with me today in the U.S. House of Representatives, where I have the privilege of representing the people of northeast Massachusetts. And I am reminded of it every time the questions of war and peace come before Congress.
In September, we will face that question once more when members of Congress consider whether or not to support the Iran nuclear agreement.
During the Iraq war, I saw the weapons and influence of the Iranian regime, and I deeply understand the threat Iran poses to America and our allies like Israel. That is why it is so crucial that the international community works together to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. After careful deliberation, I believe the Iran nuclear deal does just that. You can investigate the deal yourself here.
Let me be clear: I do not, and we should not, trust Iran to comply with this agreement. But this deal is not based on trust. It's based on enforceable verification measures that are comprehensive enough to be effective. Inspections will also give us greater intelligence on Iran than we have today.
I respect that some, including a few veterans, may disagree and feel that there is the possibility of a "better deal" out there. To them I say, what's the alternative?
You may hear of two: increasing our sanctions regime or pursuing a military option. Here's why those are just not acceptable:
Increasing sanctions -- let alone maintaining them -- would only work if the international coalition behind the sanctions holds together. But our allies have been clear: They agreed to sanctions to force Iran to the negotiating table to secure a deal like the one we now have. If we walk away from that deal, we walk away alone.
The other option, taking military action against Iran, would once again imperil the lives of Americans to achieve much less than this deal achieves by diplomatic means. Military action would only set Iran's nuclear program back a few years at most, reaffirm their pursuit of a nuclear weapon, and drive the program underground.
Both these options leave us worse off than we are under the terms of the Iran deal. The fact is there is no "better deal" that will prevent Iran from building a bomb.
No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated among adversaries. But, in our ongoing confrontation with a great threat to world peace, we have found the best available option by peaceful means rather than pursuing a worse option through war. It is for these reasons that I support the Iran deal. And if you read it for yourself, I feel you will too.
Member of Congress @sethmoulton
Today, the White House is launching a new Tumblr account called "Letters to President Obama," highlighting some of the letters that Americans have written to the President.
Today, the White House is launching a new Tumblr account called "Letters to President Obama," where we'll highlight letters that Americans have written to the President.Follow along here.
Below, Natoma Canfield -- a cancer survivor from Ohio -- shares what happened when she wrote the President a letter encouraging him to "stay focused" in his efforts to reform America's health care system.
In December of 2009, I was a 50-year-old divorced woman, self-employed, and struggling to support myself and pay for my health insurance.
But in 1995, I'd had a very small bout with breast cancer -- carcinoma in situ -- which meant the insurance companies would forever see me as a woman with cancer. And that meant I had to pay more for my insurance.
My rates kept going up until I couldn't pay for my insurance any longer. I sure tried -- I cut back everything, but nothing made a difference. I had to cancel.
In a last-ditch effort, desperate to let someone know my plight, I wrote President Obama a letter straight from my heart. I shared my story with him and told him how much people like me needed his help. And he actually read it!
The original letter from Natoma Canfield, hanging on the wall in the hall between the Oval Office and the President's Private Office in the West Wing. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
A few months later, however, my fears came true. In March of 2010, I passed out at work, and found out soon after that I had a rare type of leukemia -- acute lymphoblastic leukemia with the Philadelphia chromosome, to be specific.
I went to the Cleveland Clinic and was placed in a great program on their leukemia floor, where I would fight for my life. While I was there, my sister Connie Anderson was asked to introduce the President at an event in Strongsville, Ohio.
Then one day, the President sent me a note, then another -- and even called me on the phone. I couldn't believe it. Connie and my brother Ken were able to go to the signing of the Affordable Care Act, and later I finally got to meet the President myself in Parma, Ohio.
I really believe all of the excitement helped keep me alive. And today, I'm happy to say that I'm cancer-free.
Of course, I can't begin to thank the President enough for the Affordable Care Act. During the fight to pass the law, he said that he carried my story with him every day, as a reminder of what the Act would mean for people all across our country. He later decided to frame the letter, which is now hanging up outside the Oval Office.
As the President has said, "because of this law, there are other Americans -- other sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers -- who will not have to hang their fortunes on chance. These are the Americans for whom we passed this law."
I'm so grateful to have a President who truly cares about the people that he serves.