Pat Buchanan has a worthy piece at WND outlining a Senate bill which he describes as a “blank check for war on Iran.”
Under the title of a “Nuclear Weapons Free Iran,” S.1881 carries a couple features bound to strain the tensions of war. First, it gives a carefully-worded green light, but a green light nonetheless, to Israel:
if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with the law of the United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence;
[T]his bill virtually hands over the decision on war to Bibi Netanyahu who is on record saying: “This is 1938. Iran is Germany.”
Is this the man we want deciding whether America fights her fifth war in a generation in the Mideast? Do we really want to outsource the decision on war in the Persian Gulf, the gas station of the world, to a Likud regime whose leaders routinely compare Iran to Nazi Germany?
The second feature of the bill is its repeated assertion, upon no evidence, that Iran de facto has a “nuclear weapons program.” Nuclear program, yes. But weapons? Buchanan questions this:
Yet in both 2007 and 2011, U.S. intelligence declared “with high confidence” that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program.
Where is the Senate’s evidence for its claim? Why has Director of National Intelligence James Clapper not been called to testify as to whether Tehran has made the decision to go for a bomb?
Why are the American people being kept in the dark?
Are we being as misled, deceived and lied to about Iran’s “weapons of mass destruction,” as we were about Iraq’s?
Finally, the bill would impose ultimata which we already know could kill diplomacy with Iran. These include the demand that Iran stop all enrichment of its own uranium, and the voting of further sanctions during the negotiation process. Buchanan highlights these deal-killers, noting that we already know they will cause Iran to “walk away from the table.” He asks, “Why is the Senate risking, or even inviting, a blowup in these talks?”
But then he answers his own question, and it’s startling. A “blowup in these talks” is exactly what the people pushing this bill want. They want the talks to fail, they want Iran bullied, and they want a blank check for war for Israel with a promise of U.S. backing. And who are these people? Buchanan answers:
This bill is a project of AIPAC, the Israeli lobby, designed to sabotage and scuttle the Geneva talks by telling Tehran: Either capitulate and dismantle all your enrichment facilities, or face more severe sanctions which will put us on the road to war.
What terrifies AIPAC and Bibi is not an American war on Iran, but an American rapprochement with Iran.
Who are the leaders of the push for S.1881? Sens. Mark Kirk and Robert Menendez, the biggest recipients of AIPAC campaign cash.
But these recipients are not alone. The Senate bill has, currently, 58 cosponsors, including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, classic hawks McCain and Graham, as well as a hint of support from even Rand Paul.
The White House has officially rebuked the bill, condemning the thought of killing diplomacy and forcing the question of war. Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan stated:
If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so. Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed.
Reducing choices hardly seems wise, especially when those choices seem to be only war sooner or war later.
Buchanan notes the problem: “whether or not all these senators understand what they are doing, this is where their bill points – to a scuttling of the Geneva talks and a return to the sanctions road, at the end of which lies a U.S. war with Iran.”
A bill that increases the likelihood of an unnecessary war is driven either by stupidity or an agenda. Perhaps we’re dealing with a little of both. But the agenda part is pretty clear.