Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Backdoor To The Iran War

By Cernig

Well that's it then. A day after the House passed its own version by 397 votes to 16, the Senate has passed the forecast "Sense"(!) resolution - H.R. 1585 Kyl-Lieberamn Amendment No. 3017 - which gives Bush and the crazies in the Fourth branch everyuthing they need to start a war with Iran.

The vote was 76-22 in favor. John McCain and Barrack Obama were AWOL. Hillary voted for the amendment. Republicans Lugar and Hagel voted against, along with independent Sanders and nineteen Democrats including Kerry, Dodd, Webb, Klobuchar, Leahy and Biden.

The vote means that the Senate has found it to be "established fact" that most of the weapons being used against U.S. troops by Shiite militias come across the Iranian border under the direction of the leader of Iran's Quods Force. The basis the Senate has heard for this is entirely verbal, based upon reports, supposed evidence and alleged confessions presented by an administration and it's pet General who have consistently fudged statistics and witheld important facts under a cloak of spurious secrecy - but nonetheless the Senate believes them despite any contrary expert opinions.

Over at TPM, Greg Sargant writes:
The bill's backers had tried to mollify its critics by taking out some of its most incendiary language, particularly the idea that "it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies."

Also removed from the measure was a provision "to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments" in support of the above.
They could have gotten the bill passed with that language intact, I have no doubt. But of greater importance was getting as many Senators as possible to join a large House majority, similiarly bamboozled, in signing on to the main thrust of the amendment:
"the United States should designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization...and place the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists."
Now, Bush simply has to follow the helpful wishes of Congress in designating a uniformed branch of a foreign government's military as a terrorist group, change his mind about diplomacy being the best track and remind Congress that they have already authorized force against terrorist groups -- war on! With not a single thing any of the "yeah" voters today can say to halt it.

As my colleague Libby wrote today, Jim Webb had earlier described the amendment thusly:
“At best, it’s a deliberate attempt to divert attention from a failed diplomatic policy,” said Webb. “At worst, it could be read as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action, without one hearing and without serious debate.”
It's very definitely "at worst".

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