Lie of Iraqi ‘weapons of mass
destruction’ has been recycled
Senate bill encourages
war on Iran—or worse
A WALL commentary
A resolution that invites aggression and an Obama war with Iran — perhaps with other world powers too — progresses in the Senate. Three-fourths of senators have signed it.
The measure is currently in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The War and Law League has sent the following letter to all of the committee’s eighteen members (identified below).
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Senate Resolution 65, by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), defies the
Constitution and the UN Charter and could sneak us into another illegal war —
maybe a world war.
It seems to say that if Netanyahu attacks Iran, “in self-defense,” Obama should join his fight (Sec. 1 ). It does not authorize force or declare war (Sec. 2). So we enter another undeclared, presidential war, like Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.* If China and Russia then take action, as they have threatened to do, World War III could ensue.
The Charter says UN members (e.g. the U.S. and Israel) must settle disputes peacefully (Art. 1). It prohibits “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…” (Art. 2). Parties to any dispute likely to endanger peace “shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice” (Art. 33). But the first resort of S.Res.65 is aggressive war.
The resolution says, with no supporting facts: “… Since at least the late 1980s, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has engaged in a sustained and well-documented pattern of illicit and deceptive activities to acquire a nuclear weapons capability.” That recalls the falsehoods told to justify invading Iraq, e.g. “Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon” (Richard Cheney, 9/26/02).
Fact: U.S. intelligence agencies consistently find that Iran has no nuclear weapon and is not trying to build one. Israel, however, was reported to have between 75 and 200 nuclear warheads (Arms Control Association, Nov. 2012).
Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, calls it a sin to have any nuclear weapon. He says he is willing to talk with the U.S. president. When he first ran for president, Obama urged, “Talk to Iran.” What is he waiting for? Isn’t it better to talk before than after a bloody war?
* Congress did not mention Afghanistan in its 9/14/01 resolution letting G. W. Bush fight whoever he said aided 9/11. The Oct. 2002 Iraq resolution did not make the decision to wage war: It delegated to Bush Congress’s power to decide.
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The names below are the members of the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations. Their respective states are listed. An asterisk indicates that the member
has signed as a cosponsor. Contact information is available through web sites like
CongressMerge.com and USA.gov.
First, ten Democratic senators (in order of seniority):
*Robert Menendez, chairman, New Jersey
*Barbara Boxer, California
*Robert P. Casey, Jr, Pennsylvania
*Christopher A. Coons, Delaware
*Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland
*Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire
*Richard Durbin, Illinois
Tom Udall, New Mexico
*Tim Kaine, Virginia
Chris Murphy, Connecticut
The committee has these eight Republican senators (in order of seniority):
Bob Corker, ranking member, Tennessee
*James E. Risch, Idaho
*Mario Rubio, Florida
*Ron Johnson, Wisconsin
*Jeff Flake, Arizona
*John Barasso, Wyoming
*John McCain, Arizona
Rand Paul, Kentucky
Scenario: Israel hard hit, U.S. in new war
Self-described as support for strong enforcement of sanctions, Senate Resolution 65 transfers the “mushroom cloud” whopper to Iran, warning of the “tremendous threat” posed to the U.S. and Israel by Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is an accusation based on no more evidence than George W. Bush et al. had regarding Iraq.
Among some 1,600 words, it praises Israel; excoriates Iran for its human rights violations (true but irrelevant), alleged aid to terrorists, alleged bomb progress, etc.; and details Obama’s threats. Buried near the bottom is this clause: Congress “urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel….” Military support — there’s the rub.
It does not say who could possibly compel the Government of Israel, i.e., the hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to launch an attack on another country, or how one nation’s attack on another could possibly be “self-defense.” That idea goes against international law, which considers it aggression. It is prohibited by the United Nations Charter, a U.S. treaty and thus part of our law; and also by the Kellogg-Briand Treaty (formally the Treaty for the Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy), under which Nazi aggressors were executed at Nuremberg.
S.Res.65 strongly condemns “statements and policies” of Iranian leaders that it says threaten Israel. Notwithstanding their anti-“Zionist” rhetoric, the record shows that Iran (formerly Persia) is not an aggressive nation, having sought no conquest for centuries.
But the resolution seems to commend President Obama for threats he made against Iran. (Note that the UN Charter bans threats to launch war, as well as the launching of war itself.) It recalls that 74 senators signed a letter to Obama last December urging him to work with allies to form a coalition to attack Iran if a “strike” becomes “necessary.” That should clarify what S.Res.65 means by “military … support.”
It does not mention that Obama secretly ordered cyber sabotage of Iranian computers controlling nuclear facilities (New York Times) and that Iran has accused the U.S. and Israel of collaborating in the assassination of at least four nuclear scientists in recent years (Financial Times).
While supposedly aimed at protecting Israel, the resolution could result in her destruction. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently warned of retaliation against Tel Aviv and Haifa if Israel attacked his country. If that happened, Obama might carry out his own threats and plunge into another illegal war. Iran would become at least his sixth battleground (after Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and Yemen).
Conflict with Russia & China?
What if Russia and China got involved, as they have warned? Have the senators thought that resolution through, or even read it through? In an effort to protect Israel, they may be endangering her existence and the lives of Israelis, Iranians, Americans, and others. Maybe they think that the collapse of Iran’s dictatorial theocracy would result. On the contrary, an attack could unite Iranians behind the regime like nothing else.
Seventy-six senators have signed as cosponsors since February 28, when Republican Senator Graham of South Carolina introduced it. It is the most serious war measure since the 2002 resolution ceding Congress’s constitutional war power to George W. Bush for his blitzkrieg on Iraq. That resolution contained lies alleging Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” support for terrorists, and aggressive intentions toward the U.S.
Unlike a traditional war resolution, the present measure denies that it is “an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war.” Rather, it expresses the sense of Congress for what “the United States Government should” do — leaving it to Obama to do the dirty work: launch another unconstitutional, presidential war, and take the blame for the holocaust sure to result.
It waxes panically about a non-existent Iranian bomb, unconcerned about the nine countries that possess a total of some 11,000 nuclear bombs. The countries include the United States, with some 5,000 warheads and a history of dropping such weapons on people, and Israel, with scores if not hundreds of them.
Israel and three other states with nuclear bombs, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, never joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The five other nuclear weapons states, U.S., Russia, France, China, and the United Kingdom, are all Treaty members.
That document affirms “the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination …” (Article IV ). So why the discrimination against one signatory: Iran?
As far as we know, no lawmakers concerned about government economy have questioned how all our war-making can be financed at a time when the federal government lacks money for all its normal operations.
The text of Senate Resolution 65 may be read by clicking here: S.RES.65.htm
March 31, 2013