Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rand Paul Votes in Favor of Bill that Moves US Closer to War with Iran

 Daniel McAdams explains:

Today the US Senate voted unanimously in favor of a Lindsey Graham resolution, S.Res.65, which "[s]trongly support(s) the full implementation of United States and international sanctions on Iran and urg[es] the President to continue to strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation."
The legislation, as expected from a Lindsey Graham product, is full of misstatements, historical revisionism, and war-drum-beating hyperbole. Particularly revolting is the distortion and lies about Iran's not being in compliance with IAEA nuclear safeguards requirements and the irony of Graham's using Iran's refusal to implement UN resolutions as evidence of its rogue status. Also deceptive is the sleight of hand claiming that Iran pursuing a "nuclear weapons capability" is the real violation, rather than an Iranian failure to uphold its agreed upon obligation to not actually divert fissile material to build a nuclear weapon. It is a unilateral lowering of the bar, which is in fact itself a US violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Most alarming, however, is that this resolution contains among the clearest legislative language to date promising that should Israel decide to attack Iran, the US would back Israel militarily. It is breathtakingly foolhardy for the US Senate to give such carte blanche permission to any foreign country to attack another nation as it sees fit with the promise of the backing of the United States military. The move will likely embolden Israel to continue recent escalation of military action in the region and will likely propel Israel closer to an attack on Iran.[...]
A meaningless statement is added at the end which likely guaranteed unanimous support:
Nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war.
This last part is Congressional weasel language, as the point was not to declare war but rather to define the circumstances under which war would be authorized. Point (8) lays down those circumstances, which is a trap for any Senator who voted for this bill. Imagine if the criteria in point (8) are satisfied by an Israeli attack on Iran claiming self-defense. Any Senator hesitating to authorize the US military to join Israel's war would be shown his vote on this resolution and told that he is already on record supporting war in these circumstances. That is how it works on the Hill.
This is an important vote.
The McAdams full analysis is here.

The full vote in the Senate was 99-0. New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg was not present for the vote. Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz all voted in favor of the bill

1 comment:

  1. On occasion Rand Paul says something right . . . and then he does something like this and reminds us who he really works for. Why a few self-described libertarians are still toddling after this Judas goat is beyond my comprehension.