Friday, July 11, 2008

MAKING DEMOCRATS FACE THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN AN IRANIAN WAR

Scott Ritter, Anti War Those who look to the Congress of the United States to prevent or forestall an attack against Iran do so in vain. Congressional inaction on the issue of Iran has created a situation where there are no constitutional impediments to the Bush administration taking military action. Not only has the U.S. Senate passed a non-binding resolution which labels the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command as a terrorist group, but it has left in place, unchanged, two war powers resolutions (September 2001 and October 2002) which give the President free reign to use military force against the forces of terror, state and non-state sponsored alike. Efforts to have the US Congress make use of its power of the purse to mandate that the President must seek, and get, Congressional approval to strike Iran before any U.S. taxpayer funds can be expended, have likewise failed to gain any momentum. This failure to act itself serves as a facilitator for military action, since it demonstrates not only a lack of will in the U.S. Congress to oppose military action against Iran, but conversely, a recognition on the part of Congress that such action is not only within the right of the President to initiate, but also represents a legitimate course of action.

Those who have formulated the policies of the Bush administration which have placed Iran and America on a collision course have done so not on a whim, but rather based upon deep and sincere ideologically based conviction which holds that such a course of action is in the best interests of the United States. The ideologues who populate the current Bush administration, especially those associated with the Office of the Vice President, imbued with an unprecedented level of influence on matters pertaining to national security and defense, may feel obliged to initiate a military strike against Iran prior to leaving office, not for the purpose of achieving any permanent result, but rather to ensnare a new President in a situation where the political-military options for Iran policy are limited by the reality of ongoing conflict.

It may transpire that there is no military clash between Iran and the U.S. and the future President of the United States enters office free to undertake any policy direction he chooses. However, to sit back and do nothing in hopes of such a scenario unfolding is akin to planning to fund your child's college education by playing the lottery. You might win, but the overwhelming odds are against you. It is high time for Congress to stop gambling on the future of the United States by doing nothing about the issue of Iran. There has never been a more pressing need than the present for Congressional hearings about American policy toward Iran. Getting Congress to act should be the highest priority for every American citizen, before it is too late.

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