War with Iran?
Posted by shadmia on September 27, 2007
By a vote of 76-22, the Senate passed the Lieberman-Kyl amendment, which threatens to “combat, contain and [stop]” Iran via “military instruments.” Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) called the amendment “Cheney’s fondest pipe dream” and said it could “read as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action.”
Those who regret their vote five years ago to authorize military action in Iraq should think hard before supporting this approach. Because, in my view, it has the same potential to do harm where many are seeking to do good.
To see how each Senator voted on this resolution click here:
Have we learned nothing from the war in Iraq? Are we now preparing to take on Iran? Instead of looking for ways to bring the Iranians into an alliance that will promote peace and stability in the region, we are doing our best to antagonize and provoke them. I am not claiming that Iran is one of the “good guys” but they certainly have legitimate interests in what is going on in their neighborhood. Iraq is their neighbor and they share ethnic, cultural and religious ties. The Iraqi government has been engaging Iran in talks aimed at bolstering economic and security agreements. They are both majority Shiite states. They have a lot in common that can be of benefit to both countries. Why not encourage them to work together?
The resolution states that “it is a vital national interest of the United States” to prevent Iran from turning Iraq’s Shiite militias into a “Hezbollah-like force” and says that US policy should “combat, contain and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies.” To accomplish this task, Kyl and Lieberman advocate “the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq.” Finally, the resolution dubs Iran’s largest military branch, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, “a foreign terrorist organization.”
US-Iranian tensions have mounted significantly in the past few days, with heightened rhetoric on both sides and the US decision to establish a military base in Iraq less than five miles from the Iranian border to block the smuggling of Iranian arms to Shia militias.
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) in criticizing the resolution said that amendment’s attempt to categorize the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp as “a foreign terrorist organization” would, for all practical purposes, “mandate” the military option against Iran. “It could be read as tantamount to a declaration of war. What do we do with terrorist organizations? If they are involved against us, we attack them.”
He also slammed the lack of debate and examination that was accompanying the amendment, saying “this is not the way to make foreign policy”:
We haven’t had one hearing on this. I’m on the Foreign Relations Committee, I’m on the Armed Services Committee. We are about to vote on something that may fundamentally change the way the United States views the Iranian military and we haven’t had one hearing. This is not the way to make foreign policy. It’s not the way to declare war.