Congress Rushes to Encourage Iran Attack

On October 11, 2002, the Senate passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution. It did so influenced by what anyone paying attention now knows was a campaign of fear-mongering lies organized by the neocons surrounding Vice President Cheney.

The Congress is about to repeat that disgraceful performance. House Resolution 362, which Rep. Ron Paul properly calls “just more war propaganda” will likely come to the floor and pass after the July 4 recess. It positively encourages George W. Bush, whom you might suppose is the most discredited U.S. president in the country’s history and the most inclined to take vicious irrational military action, to take actions which would constitute a declaration of war on Iran.

What better indication is there than this that the entire system is bankrupt? Two years ago the American people voted for Democrats supposing that their victory would end the war in Iraq. Instead the majority party has voted to fund and continue the war, while sheltering the war criminals from meaningful investigation on the grounds that to do otherwise would be “divisive.” The entire political class is united in this fear of divisiveness!

It was okay for the country to divide on the question of the Clinton impeachment drive in 1998. A president had lied to an over-reaching special prosecutor about details of his sexual life. But Nancy Pelosi can’t work up the moral outrage to allow impeachment proceedings against the president who used disinformation to invade a country in violation of international law resulting in the slaughter of a million people.

Indeed, rather than punishing the Bush regime, or even holding it to account, the Congress eagerly, dutifully, rushes to assure the Israel Lobby that, yes, it is still blind and stupid. It has learned nothing. Yes, it was lied to. Does it care? Nah. Willing to forgive!

“Intelligence failures. But hey, all the world’s intelligence services thought Saddam had WMD…” That’s the line justifying the 2002 vote. How many senators and Congress members note the obvious and are willing to acknowledge: “They wanted war, so they lied to get it”? Few.

Instead they ask: What more can we do for you, AIPAC? Don’t worry, we’re totally aboard the program! How else can we use the U.S. military—forced to deploy against its better instincts—to alter Southwest Asia to your satisfaction? How, Mr. Cheney, can we help realize your vision of a region bristling with U.S. military bases, crisscrossed by U.S.-financed oil and gas pipelines, oilfield upon oilfield controlled and secured by the Empire?

How can we disconnect the present from the past, unite rhetorically with the masses’ disillusionment with the Iraq and Afghan wars while still surging towards the big confrontation with Iran?

Recall the Lennon/McCartney lyric: “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream…” Maybe that’s what they’re doing, these politicians. Maybe they’re sleepwalking towards war with Iran. The less kind interpretation is that they know what they’re doing and have no qualms. Either way the immanent vote will show that knowledge, information, exposure don’t matter. There’s no paucity of information but of nerve. There is no moral indignation. No power wielded appropriately, acknowledging the crimes that stare us in the face and doing something about them.

The honest amoral opportunist politician thinks: “Well duh. Of course it’s all about control of the Middle East. And yeah, they lied through their teeth to get support for the war. And yeah, I might score some points by saying the war in Iraq was a mistake—although no way I’m gonna say it was a crime or get radical about it or get called ‘anti-American’ for not supporting our troops, our heroes. But hey, let’s not be naïve. That’s just the way it is. And now whatever’s happening in Iraq—which let’s face it, isn’t even on the news anymore so not a big issue—Iran’s a separate issue. I can say Bush was wrong to invade Iraq, and still vote for this resolution on Iran, and stay friendly with AIPAC.”

Those in power want to cement their Lobby ties, their military-industrial complex ties if not their neocon/Cheney ties. If that means voting for war on Iran, no problem. This is the system working, well and efficiently. The delusion of the democracy, the delivery of more war. The passage of House Resolution 362 will loudly proclaim to anyone listening that the system sucks and is itself the problem.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Gary.

12 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. mason said on June 28th, 2008 at 6:14am #

    makes perfect sense. I haven’t seen this on the mainstream media or elsewhere until now. I always get suspicious when FOXCNNCNBCMSNBCHNN starts focusing on weather, celebrity stupidity, or other senseless quasi-journalism instead of covering important issues. They don’t want you to recall that they enjoyed having Richard Perle and other NeoCons come on to their sets everyday and sell the war. They helped sell it! This time they are being more cautious, but they seem to get the job done. All year long politicians can’t get a complete sentence aired by the media, then go speak in front of AIPAC abot how America should stop Iran? Every channel, Live! If your Jewish and support Israel good for you, but most (99%) of us are not Jewish and many of us have grave concerns about what our elected officials are agreeing to when behind closed doors with you, and I do not mean to single you out that way. I want to know what the oil industry lobbyists leaders get to hear. I want to know what all lobbyists hear from our leaders. But the Iran issue is yours Israel supporters. Jerusalem newspapers are rife with commentary about how Israel supporters need to convince America that Iran is a threat we need to address now. Thus the live coverage of potential presidents bowing to AIPAC, as well as the IAF practice drill over the Mediterranean. If Iran scares you Israel, do what you think is best. Cry wolf no more.

  2. bozhidar balkas said on June 28th, 2008 at 6:57am #

    even if a referendum on waging war against iran was held and majority voted for war, it is to me still wrong for US to attack iran.
    a base this conclusion on the desirable premise than no land has the right to attack another under no known circumsatance.
    to bear arms is an universal. it’s not just an american right.
    professor leupp skirts the basics. eg, that it is not any longer acceptable to wage wars even on truth since every nation has also a truth.
    US has TRUTH1, russia, has TRUTH2, Iran has TRUTH3 and so on. by this stance we wd all have the right to attack anybody else.
    i have TRUTH4; so, i attack a person on the street; take her/his money. or what have u. and criminals r watching us!

  3. james derut said on June 28th, 2008 at 9:38am #

    After thousand of young USA army boys and girls perish in Iraq and Afgan….Where is your [USA people] conscience and wisdom…?

  4. Alexander Baldal said on June 28th, 2008 at 9:52am #

    Do not forget the “Skull and Bones” club that Bush and his cabal are members of. Their aim is just to kill as many people as possible, no matter who they are, Americans or foreigners. Under whatever pretext they will continue to kill all over the world. Let us hope that one day soon compassion will descend on them, that is the only hope we have to stop the idiotic was(s), that are on and still to come.

  5. Trent said on June 28th, 2008 at 10:00am #

    I knew this was going to happen. The politicians work for the lobbyists and the most powerful one is Israel. The media hides all this dirty work, go watch Fox Business Channel or CNBC. It is more than obviously that Oil is surging because of the sabre rattling between Israel and Iran, yet they blame China and India. If I were a speculator I would make bundles on Oil because when Israel or their puppet the United States attacks Iran, Oil will go beyond $200 and the Dow will go under 10,000. It is easy money know that what Israel wants, Israel gets.

    I just wonder how the media owners are going to justify this for Israel and Bush when the country is in such horrible state with people losing their homes. Since when do Americans matter anyway…

  6. ajnasreddin said on June 28th, 2008 at 10:41am #

    I wonder if this will lead up to the “October Surprise” everyone was talking about last year? Will something happen to suspend elections?

  7. Jim Harris said on June 28th, 2008 at 12:27pm #

    We must do all we can to stop this insane resolution, it amounts to nothing less than a resolution to wage war on Iran. Despite the whereas part where it says ” nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran”

    Regarding the resolution’s language, “imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran,” Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, writes, “I do not see how this could be done without a blockade given its comprehensive and unequivocal language.”

    Take action. Do not delay. We can stop this.
    Check out this website:

  8. bozhidar balkas said on June 29th, 2008 at 6:52am #

    interesting idea. ” suspend election”.

  9. Cranes said on June 29th, 2008 at 4:55pm #

    Iran poses no threat to the US, and everyone from Norman Pohoretz to Pat Buchana acknowledges that war with Iran will ruin the US economy. Ergo, anyone who sides with AIPAC on 362 is a traitor to his country.

    Israel – you are more trouble than you are worth!

  10. Bread and Circus said on June 29th, 2008 at 5:25pm #

    Why wont you be a good professor and support the establishment. Yes all of you in academia stand to profit from wars, you pretend to be powerless and complain about the inequities of the world and the government which you indirectly support with your research. Such hypocrisy, while you sit on your ivory tower, pompous ass… spouting lectures of irrelevance , all the while those with real power monopolize the resources of the world and rape the brains of the unwashed. Shame on you failure, let that be your name, no amount of whining will change, good men need do nothing, evil will prevail all the same. Rome will burn again, let it burn, your as guilty as those senators fumbling the matches.

  11. Stopwar said on June 30th, 2008 at 5:35pm #

    The last sentence of this article is the unblemished truth of where we as a people are today. Others will still insist that America is still better than most countries. Faced with the destruction of Iraq after the invasion, this position becomes harder to defend. The Iraq Crime will never go away and generations to come will suffer because of The Butcher of Crawford and his Men.

  12. jooky said on July 27th, 2008 at 1:05am #

    you guys are going to lose another election. all you can do is sit around whining. current congress is the one YOU elected in, to put Bush in his place, and when they screw up, you blame Bush for that too. I love it. I don’t even support Bush, but watching all of you bumble over your own ideas is rather amusing. All this talk about how bad America is, if you even typed that in some countries, you would be in jail. It sickens me how many people now just constantly complain and take a cynical view of everything. You don’t even deserve to win this election. What have you even done? Called Bush names. Great. Organized some stupid blog. Outstanding. Made a leftist online newspaper to spout garbage. OK!

    Not one single solution to any problems you constantly bitch about. Grow up and wake up. You lost the last two elections by sitting around whining, and Bush got in TWICE! Maybe Bush screwed up the ‘Fool me once, shame on you’ line, but you guys have screwed up the entire meaning. Shame on YOU for having been fooled twice.