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Iran and Separating the Sheep from the Goats

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Kevin Gosztola       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

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“If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign.” -George W. Bush

Besides the fact that if you remove cynicism, polls, principles you just might find a political vacuum in America, Bush’s quote is fitting for a time when Zogby is reporting that 52 percent would be in favor of bombing Iran, 53 percent believe President Bush will strike Iran before the end of his presidency, and 21 percent of voters would like to see Hillary Clinton “take on Tehran” while 15 percent think Rudy Giuliani would be the best person for dealing with Iran. Except this time, Americans should not join a presidential campaign (although there is one that exists where a primary portion of it is set on stopping war with Iran) but rather Americans should join a campaign to stop war with Iran. This stopping of a war with Iran starts with Americans like you ignoring polls like this one propagated by corporate media.

Realize that the information being fed to you is propaganda.

Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s perceived call for Israel to be “wiped off the map” has earned him comparisons to Hitler. But upon closer examination, he was referring to the regime that is currently tyrannizing the Palestinians and what was fed to us by the media was a “deliberate misinterpretation.”

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The suggestion that Iran is a nuclear threat is a blast from the past and should be a deja vu moment for Americans if it weren’t for the fact that a significant portion of America believe Saddam Hussein did in fact have weapons of mass destruction and the reason they weren’t found is because they were smuggled out of the country. Nevertheless, it is agreed internationally and within the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that “it is premature to conclude that Iran has weapons-grade material. International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors did not find any evidence of a program to produce fissile material.” So, Israel and U.S. have no reason to feel threatened, and therefore, what is being heard is lofty rhetoric meant to evoke powerful images of World War III so that we all will support a confrontation with Iran and allow the Bush administration to gain more control of the Middle East.

Also, despite the absence of evidence, the Bush administration has managed to get Congress to submit to its alleged reports that the Revolutionary Guard in Iran is attacking our U.S. soldiers in Iraq. The idea here is that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) being blown up are being set off by the Guard. Having conned Congress into obedience, the Bush administration was able to get an amendment passed where the Revolutionary Guard was designated a terrorist organization, an action that surely has inflamed the conflict even further despite the lack of evidence for taking such an action and despite the fact that we decided a part of their military consists of terrorists.

While the case for war is similar to the case that was made in the run-up to the Iraq war, as Scott Ritter declares, Democrats being in control would not be able to tell America that Republicans were responsible for a war with Iran if they went along and voted for it like they are doing now with the war in Iraq. The Democrats are in firm control of their own destiny, and with it the destiny of America. A war with Iran will pale in comparison with the current conflict in Iraq. And if there is a war with Iran, this Congress will be held fully accountable.

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Ritter proposed in January of this year that the following actions should take place so that we can truly determine whether the case for war with Iran is “illusory.” Having failed to reach a majority of Congress, I’ll help Ritter by reiterating his requests. Ritter calls on Congress to do the following:

-Hold genuine hearings and summon all the President's men (and women), and grill them on every phrase and word uttered about the Iranian "threat," especially as it has been linked to nuclear weapons. Demand facts to back up the rhetoric.

-In the same hearings, summon the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or any other lobby promoting confrontation with Iran, to the forefront, so that the warnings they offer in whispers from a back room can be articulated before the American public; Hold these conjurers of doom accountable for their positions by demanding they back them up with hard fact. See if the US intelligence community concurs with the dire warnings put forward by these pro-war lobbyists, and if it doesn't, ask who, then, is driving US policy toward Iran? Those mandated by public law and subjected to the oversight of Congress? Or others, operating outside any framework representative of the will of the American people?

-Democrats should seek immediate legislative injunctions to nullify the War Powers' authority granted to the President in September 2001 and October 2002 when it comes to Iran. Congress should pass a joint resolution requiring the President to fully consult with Congress about any national security threat that may be posed to the United States from Iran and demand that no military action be initiated by the United States against Iran without a full, constitutionally mandated declaration of war

-Use Congress’s power of the purse. While a President may commit American forces to combat without the consent of Congress (for periods of up to 180 days), he cannot spend money that has not been appropriated. There is, in the passing of any budget, inherent authority given to the President when it comes to national defense. However, Congress can, if it wants to, put specific restrictions on the President's ability to use the people's money. Such an amendment would look like this:

An amendment to prohibit offensive military operations, covert or overt, being commenced by the United States of AmericaUnited States. This amendment reserves the right of the President, commensurate with the War Powers Act, to carry out actions appropriate for the defense of the United States if attacked by Iran. However, any funds currently appropriated by Congress for use in support of ongoing operations by the United States Armed Forces are hereby prohibited from being allocated for any pre-emptive military action, whether overt or covert in nature, without the expressed prior consent by the Congress of the United States of America. against the Islamic Republic of Iran, without the expressed consent of the Congress of the

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In fact, if it doesn’t look like that it does not hold the power to stall a war with Iran so that we do not go to war before the next president takes office. And if the hearings are not carried out effectively and do not produce the testimony needed to warrant an authorization for war, than a war with Iran should be prevented.

However, in order for these actions to take place (or in order to even attempt to force the Bush administration to make a valid case for war), it requires that Americans like you in your community, neighborhood, work, school, etc. realize that you must act on a self-interest to keep this country from further spiraling downwards (as that is what will happen if we go to war with Iran). Americans like you must write handwritten letters and make phone calls to representatives and senators and other elected officials demanding they do what Scott Ritter has suggested. Americans like you must write to newspapers and call in to talk radio stations. Americans like you must buy tickets to Washington, D.C. to meet up with members of groups like Code Pink so that you can walk the halls that members of Congress walk and confront them in the hallways (and also in congressional hearings where it will be your patriotic duty to interrupt them with your calls for action knowing full well you will get arrested and fined).

This is the kind of citizen participation required if we are to stall a war that this corporate poll shows Americans perceive to be imminent. And in the meantime, you must drill presidential candidates and later in 2008, the rest of the candidates running for office on their plans for Iran making it known to them that this sole issue will determine whether or not you vote for them.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for

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