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Who Will Save Us from War with Iran?
Sunday, 21 January 2007 01:31
As if Iraq never happened, top Democrats align themselves with the administration on Iran.
"Oh, they'd never let that happen."
Heard that reaction when you've expressed concern that the administration might authorize an attack on Iran? The Democratic Congress, it's assumed, would surely defer to its war-weary constituency and bar the administration from starting another one. But with Americans focused on Iraq, the Democrats don't need to defer to public opinion on Iran like they do with Iraq.
In fact, according to John Byrne in Raw Story, leading Democratic members of Congress are "uncertain" about how to handle Iran. Their pronouncements on the use of force are not only few and far between but perfunctory in nature.
Take new House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. He recently informed The Jerusalem Post that force was "not an option we want to consider until we know there is no other option." But, he added, "I've not ruled that out."
Hoyer, wrote reporter Hilary Leila Krieger, claimed that his view "is shared by his party, rejecting assertions that the Democrats would be weaker than the Republicans on Iran." Nothing like a public admission by a Democrat that he never met an act of war he wouldn't rubber-stamp.

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Thus has Hoyer provided us with our first opportunity to lament his appointment over John Murtha, who doesn't seem to be one of those Democrats sharing Hoyer's view. "The president," said Murtha, "does not have legal authority to go into Iran." That's a start, but we need him to grab the administration by the lapels and shake it, like he did the Iraq War.
You would think Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who had backed Murtha for House majority leader, agrees. Think again. In May, 2005 she gave a speech to AIPAC, in which she said: "The United States will stand with Israel now and forever. Now and forever." We get it, Nancy -- now and forever. Does that still stand if Israel decides to use their tactical nukes?
What about Hillary Clinton? In a January 2006 speech, she said that "we cannot take any option off the table in sending a clear message to the current leadership of Iran –- that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons." What else can you expect when she's just now coming around to de-escalation in Iraq?
In 2006 other top Democrats addressed the use of force against Iran. However ironic its intentions, GOP.com posted their comments:
John Kerry: "[I]'ve said point blank that you leave that option on the table. . ."
Joe Biden: "I think the President is going about it the right way."
Evan Bayh: "The Iranians are hardened people. They've made a strategic decision that they want to acquire nuclear weapons. I don't think they will respond to words alone."
Christopher Dodd: "I don't disagree that we ought to leave the military option on the table, but I don't think we've been working hard enough on the diplomacy side of this."
And Obama? Back in 2004, he said that the "big question is going to be, if Iran is resistant to [pressure], at what point are we going to, if any, are we going to take military action?" His stumbling reply suggests that, in a perfect world, he'd come down firmly on the side of peace.
What's most apparent is that prominent Democrats are acting on the assumption that an attack will involve only bombing. Americans, including our leaders, operate under the illusion that bombing is risk-free -- when was the last time an American attack plane was shot down? -- not to mention benevolent, as Kosovo supposedly was.
More to the point, we may unconsciously feel that by bombing Iran we'll redeem ourselves. In other words, we can make up for attacking a country that had no nukes (Iraq) by bombing one that actually does. Or, is trying to develop them -- maybe. Hey, at least the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) speaks to it in a firm tone of voice. That counts for something, right?
Meanwhile, a couple of other prominent Democrats have contented themselves with straddling the proverbial fence. In April, The Las Vegas Sun reported that Sen. Harry Reid "said the U.S. has no military option in Iran. 'We don't have the resources to do it' because of the ongoing war in Iraq." His motives may not be pure, but at least he spoke out in opposition.
Meanwhile, Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) is suspicious that the administration is cooking intelligence on Iran. "I want to be absolutely sure," she said, "that we base decisions. . . on pristine and pure intelligence, or the closest we can get to that."
There must be some Democrats in either the Senate or the House who stand unequivocally against the use of force on Iran. What about Russ Feingold?
Afraid not. He too said, "We must never take any option off the table."
There is, of course, one Congressperson that those of us to whom war is the last, worst option can always count on -- Dennis Kucinich. In September, he wrote a letter to the public, in which he said, "The US must guarantee Iran and the world community that it will not attack Iran."
Then, surprising us all, Joe Biden changed his tune. When Secretary of State Rice appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after Bush's speech last week, he delivered this message: "I believe the present authorization granted [him] to use force in Iraq does not cover. . . [an attack on Iran], and he does need congressional authority."
Though he even added, "I just want to set that marker," with Biden, talk is cheap. It remains to be seen if he'll put his money where his mouth is should the administration call for air strikes.
Then, last week, Harry Reid finally steeled himself and said, "The president does not have the authority to launch military action in Iran without first seeking congressional authorization."
But, as is often the case, it's left to House members -- the lower profile the better -- to take the initiative in standing up to the administration. For instance, back in September, Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, a Republican no less, sent a letter to President Bush, signed by 19 members of the House (both parties).
It pointed out that refusing to negotiate with Iran had yielded no positive results and suggested opening a dialogue. "We believe," it read, that "America's diplomats are the best in the world and should be allowed to apply their talents to our conflict with Iran."
Then, on January 12, maverick Republican and Iraq War opponent Walter B. Jones introduced House Joint Resolution 14, which "makes it crystal clear that no previous resolution passed by Congress authorizes such use of force." It specifies that, except in an emergency, the president can't attack Iran without Congressional approval.
He's joined by Murtha and Gilchrest, as well as Neil Abercrombie (D-HA), John Larson (D-CT), Marty Meehan (D-MA), Richard Neal (D-MA. Libertarian Ron Paul (R-TX) also signed on, commenting on how sad it was that "we're introducing a resolution restating the Constitution."
Much as it pains us to quote him, Pat Buchanan wrote: "If Biden, Kerry, Clinton, and Obama refuse to sign on to the Jones resolution, they will be silently conceding that Bush indeed does have the power to start a war on Iran."
Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has drawn up a similar resolution. It rejects the administration's arguments that the 'Commander in Chief Clause' in the Constitution, as well as the Authorization of Force Resolution, grants it the right to attack another country without Congressional approval. Initial signees include Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Sam Farr (D-CA), and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).
If Iranian loss of life concerns us as little as that of Iraqis has, we should at least heed what Scott Ritter has to say in his new book, "Target Iran," about oil flow disruptions and price hikes. "Every American businessman who needs to factor in the cost of oil in the bottom line," he writes, "must understand that [in the event of an attack on Iran] they will face almost immediate financial ruin."
Buchanan, we're forced to concede, also made sense when, appearing on "The Joe Scarborough Show," he said that if the administration decides to attack Iran, Congress will either be "supportive or paralyzed." In fact, if Iran, spooked by our presence in the Persian Gulf, launches a missile at one of our aircraft carriers, Congress may well approve a retaliatory strike in a heartbeat. Just because procedure has been followed doesn't mean a war is any less ill-conceived.
Meanwhile, before war fever reaches epidemic proportions, let's call our congressmen and senators and let them know that, "We support a resolution that requires the President to seek Congressional approval before initiating military action against Iran."
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Comments (10)add comment

a guest said:

Why does everyone hate iranians?
I didn't read your article, probably just another boring anti-war article in support of things like "war is bad", "people get killed" and childish things like that, grow up man, people get killed by many things, animals, storms, heat, car accidents, God(s), devils, governments, iranians and even things like coke machines (http://www.cokemachineaccidents.com/).

Instead of preaching anti-war phrases and crying "oh my God who will save us from going to war with Iran?" (which even Arabs won't, everyone just hates their guts), think about securing your future as a US citizen, believe me Europe wants to go to war with Iran more than anyone else, they just have more diplomacy and pretend they don't, they like to make Americans look bad cause they are jealous ... I'm in a rush now and I have to leave ... as everyone else knows iranian blood is not worth the effort you are putting into trying to save, they are already suffering great pain under their current stupid government, and they will suffer forever, it's in their blood, no one will save them no one can, it's their destiny to suffer for the beings they are ...
January 21, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

You Didn't read the article?
Yet you feel you should comment? Talk about intellectual faineant... You are frightfully ignorant.

Do yourself a favour - if you don't have time to read the article or comment with any substance - then rather hit the keyboards with your fingers... find a wall somewhere and slam your head. It might, if you are lucky, bump up your IQ five points.
January 21, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

Please think about problem, presure situation in Iran, that is help from USA Country for Iranian people to cut this bad regime and bring democrasi to country. We want USA help.
January 21, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

Comment on article
Would be nice if people commented on article, even if on a minor point made.

The problem with the US is this imperialist mindset which controls both parties through a grossly corrupt elitist controlled anti-democratic political system. No matter what Democrats say, they will support, either actively or passively, the Defense Industry's (among others) profits over peace and democracy. The purpose of the "two-party" system in the US is to provide the illusion of democratic choice; whereas, there is not any choice on significant elitist backed political issues like this one involving the theft of other people's resources.

The American people must act forcefully to have any hope of developing a real democracy at the federal level in the US.

January 21, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

Iran may get nuked, short-term,
but long-term, I truly believe, Iran will come out of any war with the United States in better shape than the United States comes out of that same war. Russia and China will not sit by and watch George W. Bush seize control of the largest known oil reserves in the world. And Iran sits in the backyard of both Russia and China. Would the United States sit by and watch China seize Venezuela?

The best answer to the so-called Iranian problem is to get the hell out of Iraq, bring our boys home, and start spending those trillions of borrowed dollars where they will pay for themselves: we can use our vaunted American ingenuity to build Uncle Sam a new infrastructure and develop green energy technology. Let Iran and Iraq (and China and Russia) go shit in their collective hat. We've got enough to do here at home. And it's way past time we started on the job.
January 21, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

US isnt stupid. They will never dare to attacl Iran when they are too busy with even Iran. Yes, the same far smaller Iran who's been under sanctions like forever now ever since the dictator refused to play ball with America.

Iran is far more powerfull foe. Yes US would probably defeat the Iranians millitarily early on, but they would also loose a tone of lives in the opening weeks themselves. An dmore importantly, the US would NEVER EVER be able to occupy and control Iran. It would be 10X as bad as Iraq PLUS Iraqi insurgents on top of that.

Actualy the least the US should be worried are about those SS-sunburn cruisemissles able to annihilate US sailors in the persain gulf and Russian made anti aircraft missles that would be sure to claim some US warplanes droppin bombs in the opening day(s).

Nah, fighting the masters who trained Hizbollah in the mountanous train of Iran will be the most hazardous task.

I am sure China and Russia would be very happy on looking spectators of THE DEMISE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE
January 21, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

lol I meant Iraq there.....Iran is later
January 21, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

Need to Resolve Conflicts in Minds!
Horse Nebula filters the MINDS
1. Cosmology World Peace
2. Neutral Governance
3. Dharma
Vidyardhi Nanduri
Google search:Cosmology Vedas
January 21, 2007
Votes: +0

Russell Wellen said:

Number 7
I knew you meant Iraq.

Sometimes I just think of them both as "Iranq."
January 21, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

US needs to attack Iran
- US army needs a moral boost
- US has to show to others that they will not hesitate if they do not like something
- US economy is in bad shape and the only power they have is military, therefore they have to show off
- the best possible play ground is Iran to show off

I hope my above assumptions are wrong, but I am afraid they are correct.
January 22, 2007
Votes: +0

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