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You’d Think We’re Already At War With Iran

September 25, 2007

Woke up this morning to an email from Claire Ryder that a bill sponsored by Senator Tom Lantos to place additional sanctions against Iran was introduced in Congress today. I take it that the sponsors are in both the House and Senate. Congress’s little welcome gift to Ahmadinejad? You’d think we were already at war with Iran from the hysteria that has been whipped up to a frenzy. We, in Colorado, got a memorable taste of something like this a few years back when Palestinian political figure Hanan Ashrawi came here. At that time, an unforgetable outpouring of spleen and overt bigotry was unleashed in which main stream Jewish groups joined hands with their Christian fundamentalist comrades from Colorado Springs with the media relishing its role of character assassination and symbolic lynching.

Juan Cole, in his blog, puts all this noise in perspective:

“Demonizing the Iranian president and making his visit to New York seem controversial are all part of the neoconservative push for yet another war,” he wrote last night.”

This legislation gives more texture to the Sept 16 op ed that Ken Gordon and Joan Fitz-Gerald signed calling for more sanctions against Iran. The piece was a part of a broader, most likely national effort to win support for the new legislation. Lantos bill once again suggests the stubborn power of AIPAC and like organizations to effectively work the Congress. He’s often an AIPAC point man on key issues, a role he plays with pride if not relish.

It all stinks. What is it all about in the end?

While the sanctions will have some modest effect, more importantly the legislation `sends a message’ – such nonsense – Bush, the Congress are always `sending messages’ that not only is Congress behind Bush should he launch a major air strike against Iran, but that they’ll cheer him on. It’s nothing short of a green light to war and if – as I expect they will – Bush and Cheney unleash such a misguided attack, they will rightfully point to the fact that, once again, they have Congressional backing that includes whole truckloads of Democrats. Afterwards of course we’ll hear these Congressional reps whine about how they were `misinformed’.

I haven’t followed Ahmadinejad’s visit second by second, just picked up snippets here and there. He’s being rightfully taken to task for stating Iran has no gays – pretty dumb thing to say. Of course if the King of Saudi Arabia had been asked the same questions on homosexuals the answer would have been more or less the same…but then, of course, it’s different as the Wahhabists in Riyadh are our allies while the Shi’ite fundamentalists in power in Teheran are our adversaries. But the rest of Ahmadinejad’s remarks were generally conciliatory and therefore far more threatening to the Bush Administration riveted on going to war. Harder to go war with someone who says, `hey, let’s sit down and talk about all this’. Ahmadinejad seems to be calling for negotiations with Washington, an idea that seems especially threatening and is, of course rejected out of hand. His criticisms of Israel are generally tame (and accurate) and he has repeatedly said there are no plans for an Iranian pre-emptive strike against the Jewish state. Almost like a mantra he’s repeated:`No Iran won’t attack Israel’. The NY media seems unable to absorb this. They respond with `Why do you plan to attack Israel?’ I’d like to hear a statement from Olmert that Israel would not launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran but am not holding my breath.

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