Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Iran War Watch

Kudos to a few bloggers for pointing out a Senate amendment that seems innocuous on the surface, but has chilling implications. It was an amendment requiring the Executive Branch to compile reports detailing Iran's role in Iraq. It passed unanimously.

Senators defending it (including the usually cautious Sen. Feingold), stated "it basically just required a report on Iran’s role in Iraq and any responses by the US government." But do we have requirements for reports of how other countries are interfering in their neighbors.... say, how Pakistan is interfering in Afghanistan (hey, I remember that war!)? No, we don't.

The reason(s) Iran is being singled out here should be made obvious by the Senator who brought the amendment forth... Joe 'Connecticut For' Lieberman. This is the same Joe Lieberman who, as Sen. Webb said succinctly on Sunday, "every day is calling for a war against Iran." But hey, these reports are innocent, no reason to read into it.

Nor should we read into this report from The Guardian paper that "The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months... A well-placed source in Washington said: 'Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo.'"

This White House already has a proven record of using simple, non-binding vagueness from Congress and using it to justify aggressive actions. One such example is the Bush crew using the Senate's confirmation of General Petraeus (what were the Democrats gonna do, wait for Bush to nominate Wesley Clark?) as a reason to demand that they support the surge and not question Petraeus' honesty.

The best example, though, is the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act. The White House/GOP talking point long has been that the passing of this meant that the Clinton administration had the same Iraq policy as the Bushies, and that we all supported the war... despite the fact that, ya know, the actual facts about the bill and its passing debunk that.

Could this simple amendment turn into something like that? If I were cynical, I'd say 'yes'.

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