Based on the recently submitted and very likely to pass House Resolution 362, many on the extremist fringes of both the right and the left are announcing in dire (or hysterical) tones that we’re on the verge of war with Iran. They’re calling the resolution the “Iran War Resolution” and yammering about how it was authored by AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) and is all being done on behalf of the evil zionist oppressors in what ought to be a free, Islamosocialist Palestine. They claim that it’s going to be used as a secret authorization for military action against Iran to launch us into the ultimate Neocon-inspired war of international imperialism, or some such claptrap.
Among the most outspoken opponents of the bill is the increasingly shrill and irrational Representative Ron Paul who has apparently completely abandoned his Republican roots to become the voice of the anti-war left and the anti-Israeli John Birch Society. Paul announced on the floor of the House “”I cannot believe it, that we may well be on the verge of initiating the bombing of Iran,” and went on to ask:
“Where do we have this authority? Where do we get the moral authority? Where do we get the international legality for this? Where do we get the Constitutional authority for this?”
What Rep. Paul and other opponents of the resolution seem not to have done is to actually read the document. It is not a declaration of war or even an authorization for the use of military force. It’s basically just a list of bad things Iran has done, coupled with a very weak call for diplomatic and economic sanctions. It doesn’t even have the weight of legislative authority because it is only a ‘sense of the house’ resolution which is rather like a public press release from Congress. It doesn’t say one word endorsing military action, deploying troops, bombing anyone or even flying over Iran and thumbing our noses at them from an F-15.
In fact, the bill clearly states that “nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran.” That seems like a pretty definitive indication that the bill isn’t authorizing anything resembling a war, even if it weren’t a powerless ‘sense of the house’ resolution.
As for the bombing of Iran which Rep. Paul was ranting about and the massive “land, sea and air blockade” which the hysterical socialists at Just Foreign Policy are ranting about, not a word about any of that in the bill. I suppose that by extension you could argue that the proposed sanctions could require the use of naval forces to inspect ships, but that’s hardly an attack on Iran or a major new deployment given our current massive presence in the Persian Gulf. And bombing? Just pure insanity. There’s nothing even close to an endorsement of that kind of direct action.
As for the ‘moral authority’ Rep. Paul asks for, perhaps he should take that up with the tens of thousands killed by Iranian backed terrorists in Iraq and Lebanon and Israel and Sudan and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Russia and India and China and just about everywhere else in the world. As for the ‘international legality’ Rep. Paul is concerned about, perhaps he forgot about UN Resolutions 1696, 1737 and 1747 which attempted to curtail Iran’s nuclear program and then instituted sanctions in response. As for the ‘constitutional authority’ Dr. Paul makes an issue of, I’m positive that there’s nothing in the Constitution prohibiting a non-binding, non-appropriating resolution which amounts to nothing more than a public statement.
No one opposes the idea of war in Iran more than I do. It would be suicidally stupid, and if the President even began to suggest it the generals at the Pentagon ought to have the good sense to shout him down. We attacked Iraq in 2003 because we knew Iran was too much for us to take on then, and now that we’re so overcommitted in Iraq and Afghanistan substantial military action against Iran is literally inconceivable. We don’t have the men and we certainly don’t have the money to even contemplate such a boneheaded move, no matter what horrible things Iran is up to. Any kind of war with Iran is a logistical impossibility.
Yet it’s equally ridiculous to get hysterical over this pointless Congressional resolution. Calling it an “Iran War Resolution” is such blatant spinmongering that it insults the intelligence of every American. It doesn’t call for military action. It specifically prohibits it. Plus it has no legal authority to do anything at all. The only thing it really does is tell Iran that the Congress is serious about getting them to behave like a halfway civilized nation, rather than destabilizing every country in the region, deploying hundreds of thousands of covert troops in other countries and funding worldwide terrorism.
What the hysterics seem not to grasp is that this little resolution is not the problem. The problem is Iran and its oppressive government and belligerent policies. Forget about Israel and the evil Jews for a minute. Isn’t the harm Iran has done just to the people of Lebanon and Iraq sufficient to make them a rogue nation and justify some sort of statement in opposition to their behavior? And ultimately that’s all this is, a simple statement of disapproval with an endorsement of the use of non-violent “economic, diplomatic and political pressure” to get Iran to reign in their nuclear program and stop exporting terrorism. The hysterics who are so eager to make it look like the US is declaring war on Iran seem to have forgotten that Iran is already actively making war on its neighbors and threatens greater violence if given the opportunity.