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Forum Post: "AIPAC Resolution Demanding War With Iran On House Floor Tomorrow" (Tues. 15th May) : by M.J. Rosenberg.

Posted 2 years ago on May 15, 2012, 12:54 p.m. EST by shadz66 (18076)
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AIPAC Resolution Demanding War With Iran On House Floor Tomorrow (Tues. 15th May)

by M.J. Rosenberg.

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives is slated to vote on a resolution designed to tie the president’s hands on Iran policy. The resolution, which is coming up under an expedited House procedure, was the centerpiece of AIPAC’s recent conference. In fact, 13,000 AIPAC delegates were dispatched to Capitol Hill, on the last day of the conference, with instructions to tell the senators and representatives whom they met that supporting this resolution was #1 on AIPAC’s election year agenda.

Accordingly, it is not particularly surprising that the resolution is being rushed to the House floor for a vote, nor that it is expected to pass with very little opposition. Those voting “no” on this one will pay a price in campaign contributions (the ones they won’t receive) and, very likely, will be smeared as “anti-Israel.” That is how it works.

Most of the language in H. Res.568 is unremarkable, the usual boilerplate (some of it factual) denouncing the Islamic Republic of Iran as a “state sponsor of terrorism” that is on the road to nuclear weapons capability.

The resolution’s overarching message is that Iran must be deterred from developing weapons, a position the White House (and our allies share). That is why the sanctions regime is in place and also why negotiations with Iran have resumed (the next session is May 23).

But the resolution does not stop with urging the president to use his authority to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. If it did, the resolution would be uncontroversial .

But there is also this: The House “urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.”

Think about that.

The resolution, which almost surely will pass on Tuesday, is telling the president that he may not “rely on containment” in response to “the Iranian nuclear threat.”

Since the resolution, and U.S. policy itself defines Iranian possession of nuclear weapons as, ipso facto, a threat, Congress would be telling the president that any U.S. response to that threat other than war is unacceptable. In fact, it goes farther than that, not only ruling out containment of a nuclear armed Iran but also containment of an Iran that has a “nuclear weapons capability.”

That means that the only acceptable response to a nuclear armed or nuclear capable Iran is not containment but its opposite: war.

Any doubt that this is the intention of the backers of this approach was removed back in March, when the Senate was considering new Iran sanctions. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Bob Casey (D-PA) offered their own “no containment” language to the sanctions bill and the Senate moved to quickly to accept it.

However, amending a bill once it is already on the Senate floor requires unanimous consent and one, and only one, senator objected. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that he would oppose the containment clause unless a provision was added specifying that “nothing in the Act shall be construed as a declaration of war or an authorization of the use of force against Iran…”

That did it.

Neither the Democratic or Republican leadership would accept that (knowing that AIPAC wouldn’t) and Paul’s objection killed the bill, for the time being. In other words, the purpose of “no containment” language is precisely to make war virtually automatic. Because Paul’s provision would thwart that goal, it was unacceptable.

So now it’s the House’s turn.

On the substance, the “no containment” idea is absurd and reckless.

Imagine if President Kennedy had been told by the Congress back in 1962 that if the Soviet Union placed missiles in Cuba, he would have no choice but to attack Cuba or the USSR. If it had, it is likely none of us would be around today.

Presidents need latitude to make decisions affecting matters of national security and, until now, all presidents have been afforded it, as provided for in the United States Constitution. But, in the case of Iran, the cheerleaders for war are trying to change the rules. They are doing that because they understand that after almost a decade of war, the last thing Americans want is another one.

No president is going to ask Congress to declare war, or even to authorize it. Making war against Iran automatic would eliminate that problem. (That is precisely Sen. Paul’s objection; he believes that backing into war is unconstitutional. He recalls the Gulf of Tonkin resolution of 1964 which led to ten years of war in Vietnam and 50,000 American dead without a declaration of war or even a specific authorization for war).

So why would the House vote for a resolution like this? The main reason is AIPAC. It may be the only lobby pushing for war with Iran but it also, by far, the most powerful foreign policy lobby and also the one that sees to it that those who play ball with it are rewarded and those who don’t are punished. AIPAC has been pushing war with Iran for a decade; it won’t stop until the missiles fly.

The other reason is that the resolution is non-binding. Voting for it is good politics but does not affect policy.

Believing that is a mistake. An overwhelming vote for “no containment” may not tie the president’s hands legally, but it does go a long way to tying his hands politically. After all, Congress will be expressing its clear (bipartisan) intent. A president cannot easily ignore that.

Moreover, the lobby is unlikely to stop with a non-binding resolution. Once the House and Senate have passed that, the lobby will look for an opportunity to make it binding. The goal is to take the president’s discretion away from him because this president is unlikely to choose war when there are other options available.

It is those options that the lobby is determined to block. It remains hell-bent for war.

POSTSCRIPT : It can’t hurt to call your House member at 202 225 3131 to tell him that you know about the vote on the AIPAC resolution and will be watching. Assuming the House does not duck for cover by passing this by voice vote, I will post the names of the brave representatives who vote “no.”

~

fiat lux ; fiat pax ; fiat justitia ...

~

M.J. Rosenberg served as a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow with Media Matters Action Network, and prior to that worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate for 15 years. He was also a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum. http://mjayrosenberg.com/ .

[Article copied verbatim under "Fair Use" from : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31324.htm & please use to this link to access all the relevant and corroborating links for this article.]

17 Comments

17 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 4 points by Nevada1 (4464) 2 years ago

Everyone should see this.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (18076) 2 years ago

Thanx 'Nev1' and I further append :

fiat justitia ...

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (18076) 2 years ago

An alarming also article worthy of attention :

  • "'U.S. Congressmen Live in Fear of Pro-Israeli Intimidation', by Chemi Shalev (Haartez) ; William Kristol, head of right-wing Emergency Committee for Israel, stuns debate audience in New York: 'I agree with Obama’s Israel policies to a considerable degree.'" : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31352.htm .

ad iudicium ...

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[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21344) 2 years ago

Can a "resolution" really make the President do anything? And, does a resolution have as much power as an actual piece of legislation? If so, this is not good at all.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (18076) 2 years ago

A further article which contextualises and speaks to the ultimate subject matter :

fiat lux ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21344) 2 years ago

Thanks for posting good stuff, as usual.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (18076) 2 years ago

I appreciate the courage it takes to express support on this matter & append another important article :

fiat pax ...

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

NDAA Authorizes War Against Iran - Dennis Kucinich

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-dennis-kucinich/ndaa-authorizes-war-again_b_1524474.html

This week, Congress is considering two pieces of legislation relating to Iran. The first undermines a diplomatic solution with Iran and lowers the bar for war. The second authorizes a war of choice against Iran and begins military preparations for it.

H.Res.568: Eliminating the Most Viable Alternative to War

The House is expected to vote on H.Res. 568. Read the resolution. Section (6) rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran. Section (7) urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to Iranian enrichment.

This language represents a significant shift in U.S. policy and would guarantee that talks with Iran, currently scheduled for May 23, would fail. Current U.S. policy is that Iran cannot acquire nuclear weapons. Instead, H. Res. 568 draws the "redline" for military action at Iran achieving a nuclear weapons "capability," a nebulous and undefined term that could include a civilian nuclear program. Indeed, it is likely that a negotiated deal to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and to prevent war would provide for Iranian enrichment for peaceful purposes under the framework of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty with strict safeguards and inspections. This language makes such a negotiated solution impossible.

At the same time, the language lowers the threshold for attacking Iran. Countries with nuclear weapons "capability" could include many other countries like Japan or Brazil. It is an unrealistic threshold.

The Former Chief of Staff of Secretary of State Colin Powell has stated that this resolution "reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war."

Read more:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-dennis-kucinich/ndaa-authorizes-war-again_b_1524474.html

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (18076) 2 years ago

Further to the contents of your comment :

  • "The US military option for Iran is ‘ready,’ American ambassador to Israel says : Daniel Shapiro’s comments, made at closed forum in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, broadcast on Channel 2 news", by Michal Shmulovich and Greg Tepper : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31350.htm .

caveat ...

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Thanx for the link. Well, it looks like we're off to WW III and all we can do is sit back and watch the show. The people are powerless to stop them now.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (18076) 2 years ago

Hopefully you are wrong and in evidence I append :

caveat : bellum se ipsum alet ...

[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 2 years ago

Believe me; I hope I'm wrong too.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (18076) 2 years ago

Information is our only defence & thus :

fiat lux ...

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[-] 1 points by shadz66 (18076) 2 years ago

Indeed and this is something well understood world wide and which has resulted in :

multum in parvo ...

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

it's a gross waste of resources and life

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (18076) 2 years ago

I agree. Thus, Noam Chomsky on this & other matters OWS :

fiat pax ...

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[-] 1 points by shadz66 (18076) 2 years ago

WTF ?!!! What is this ?!! Why have you posted it here ?! Who are you ?

It strikes me as you are posting this clearly defamatory shit all over this forum, that isn't this the very definition of SPAM ?! How are you getting away with it ?!! Where are the mods OR is one of them having a nervous breakdown ?!!!

I think that it is You - whoever or whatever you are, who is the Corporate Quisling here as in the final or indeed 'any' - analysis, it is you who is serving 'Their' purpose of insidious and invidious division and dissension fostering. You are acting like an obnoxious reactionary and behaving like an enemy of this forum and OWS. Either that or you are a testicle undescended spoiled and lonely little trust-fund brat with too much time on your hands.

temet nosce ...