Monday, October 01, 2007

Will the Kyle-Lieberman Amendment Encourage Bush to Attack Iran?

Last Thursday, Sept 27, the Senate passed the Kyl-Lieberman amendment
by a vote of 76 to 22. This bill designates the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. Opponents of the amendment are saying that this amendment could give support to a Bush plan to attack Iran.

Senators who voted against the resolution were Senators Biden, Bingaman, Boxer, Brown, Byrd, Cantwell, Dodd, Feingold, Hagel, Harkin, Inouye, Kennedy, Kerry, Klobuchar, Leahy, Lincoln, Lugar, McCaskill, Sanders, Tester, Webb and Wyden.

Senators Obama and McCain did not vote, and Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the amendment.

Chris Dodd had this to say,
I cannot support the Kyl-Lieberman amendment on Iran. To do so could give this President a green light to act recklessly and endanger US national security. We learned in the run up to the Iraq war that seemingly nonbinding language passed by this Senate can have profound consequences. We need the president to use robust diplomacy to address concerns with Iran, not the language in this amendment that the president can point to if he decides to draw this country into another disastrous war of choice.
John Edwards in the New Hampshire debate said,
I voted for this war in Iraq, and I was wrong to vote for this war. And I accept responsibility for that. Senator Clinton also voted for this war. We learned a very different lesson from that. I have no intention of giving George Bush the authority to take the first step on a road to war with Iran.
Jim Webb said,
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.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
A just published article by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker Magazine outlines how the Bush administration is moving toward attacking Iran. Seymour writes:
This summer, the White House, pushed by the office of Vice-President Dick Cheney, requested that the Joint Chiefs of Staff redraw long-standing plans for a possible attack on Iran, according to former officials and government consultants. The focus of the plans had been a broad bombing attack, with targets including Iran’s known and suspected nuclear facilities and other military and infrastructure sites. Now the emphasis is on “surgical” strikes on Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities in Tehran and elsewhere, which, the Administration claims, have been the source of attacks on Americans in Iraq.

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