That’s right. Senate – Democrats – Voted – For – War – With – Iran!
On Wednesday, the Senate voted 97-0 for an amendment written by Joe Bomb Iran Lieberman, whose position on Iran is identical to Dick Cheney’s.
The amendment repeats the flimsy charges made by the Cheney administration earlier this year that the Iranian government is arming Iraq’s Shia militias with explosively-formed projectile explosives that have killed almost 200 American troops and that Shia Iran is giving a safe haven to Sunni extremist Al-Qaeda (even though AQ is blowing up Iraqi Shias left and right). These are the same charges that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Statt, Peter Pace, distanced himself from, claiming that the evidence did not support the contention that Iran’s government either supplied or was complicit in the supply of these weapons to militias in Iraq. (Pace’s will not be renominated for the position, by the way.)
The amendment states that “the murder of members of the United States Armed Forces by a foreign government or its agents is an intolerable act against the United States,” and demands the government of Iran “take immediate action” to end all forms of support it is providing to Iraqi militias. It also mandates a regular report on Iran’s anti-US activity in Iraq .
Senior Democrat Carl Levin successfully inserted a small change to Lieberman’s text stating that, “Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize or otherwise speak to the use of Armed Forces against Iran.” If you’re thinking, “phew! That’ll stop a war on Iran!” think again. The Iraq Liberation Act passed by Congress in 1998 and signed by Bill Clinton had the same text. And we all know the story of how that text stopped the invasion of Iraq .
Charging Iran with killing US troops has nothing to do with the facts. It’s about beating the war drums and trying to convince Americans that in order to “protect our troops” the US must bomb Iran.
The unanimity of the vote is alarming. Hillary and Obama voted for it. Only three sat out on the vote, including Senator Vitt who can’t be bothered to Iran-bash in the middle of his Religious Right-family-values-meets-hookers-and-diapers political meltdown.
During the Vietnam war, it was obvious that the Vietnamese were killing American soldiers with bullets and bombs with “from Russia with love” or “made in China” written all over them. These weapons were delivered by the boatload by Chinese and Russian ships sent their by their respective governments. Yet no one in Congress declared that this was “murder” by “foreign governments and their agents” and even Nixon, rabid anti-Communist that he was, never threatened Russia or China if they failed to “take immediate action” to halt these shipments.
Then again, those governments had armies and nukes powerful enough to do real damage if the US was stupid enough to attack them. These days, the US picks fights with tin pot dictators of impoverished Third World nations (Noriega, Hussein, Milosevic, the Taliban, Kim Jong-Il, Ahmadinejad) while screaming they are “the next Hitler.”
If the war on Iraq was a cakewalk, an attack on Iran would be. It’s got a bigger population, a bigger economy, a fairly strong military, and they’ve probably studied how Hezbollah fought the Israelis to a stalemate last year. The US Navy is so cramped for room to manuever its 130 or so ships in the Persian Gulf that they regularly radio the Iranian navy to notify them about impending ship movements, imagine how it will be once that third aircraft carrier arrives and if Iran fires thousands of missiles at these ships to overwhelm their hi-tech defenses. Plus, Iraq’s Shia won’t take kindly to the mass slaughter of their brethren next door by the same nation that refuses to leave Iraq and funds Israel’s slow motion genocide of the Palestinians.
Make no mistake. The US is on a collision course with Iran. Both Democrats and Republicans are hell-bent on rolling back Iran’s growing power and influence on the region, even if it means a war that will cost thousands or tens of thousands of lives. The vote on Wednesday is just more proof of that.