GOP Rep. Gilchrest on Iran Sanctions Bill

Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) speaking on the House floor yesterday on HCR 362:

Mr. Speaker, I want to speak today on Resolution 362 that is circulating in the House and its impact on policy in the Middle East.

As a result of Resolution 362 and its tightening of sanctions on Iran in a more broader way, will that have a positive impact on America’s policy in the Middle East? Will it have a positive impact on the politics in the Middle East? Will it have a positive impact on Iran as far as the conflict between our two nations is concerned?

I will say, in my judgment, Mr. Speaker, that Resolution 362 will exacerbate, make much more difficult, the problems in the Middle East, the relationship of Iran with its neighbors in the Middle East, and the relationship of Iran with the United States, and the relationship of Iran with the country of Israel. Let me try to explain why.

If we look at the Middle East right now in a very objective fashion, what is going on in the Middle East right now?

The geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East right now is fractured. We are focusing on the conflict in Iraq. We need as a Nation to focus objectively on the Palestinian-Israeli question, to resolve that issue, to reduce the number of recruits for al Qaeda and the Taliban.

We need to understand that Saudi Arabia, a Sunni country, does not want Iraq, a Shia country, to become an Iranian satellite.

We need to understand that Iran, who lost more men dead in a conflict with Iraq just a few years ago than we lost in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam combined, wants to have some influence in the Middle East and certainly with what will go on in Iraq.

What will influence the direction the Middle East will take in the decades to come? There is violent conflict there. There is political conflict there. There is mistrust in the Middle East.

Let me use a quote from Sam Rayburn, former Speaker of the House.

“Any mule can kick a barn door down, but it takes carpenters to rebuild that door and that barn.”

We need carpenters. We need diplomats. More conflict, more restrictions, more sanctions is going to further exacerbate the problem in the Middle East and its relationship with the country of Iran.

One other quick comment. Iran is not an Arab country. Iran is a Persian nation that speaks Farsi, that does not speak Arabic. It is a nation of Shias with their own brand of Islam.

Knowledge and an informed policy in the Middle East, a surge of diplomacy, can make a key difference. Let me go back and express some precedence of the past about diplomacy and where it worked.

When Nikita Khrushchev said he was going to bury the United States, what was Eisenhower’s response? He invited Nikita Khrushchev to the United States to tour the Nation, and it began to lessen the conflict between the two countries.

What did President Kennedy do when there were deployable nuclear weapons in Cuba aimed at the United States? He negotiated his way out of that conflict and saved a catastrophe.

What did Nixon do after Mao Zedong said it would be worth half the population of China being destroyed if we could destroy the capitalists in America? What did Nixon do? He had a dialogue. He went to China.

What happened when we did not have a dialogue, some understanding of Ho Chi Minh? A million people died.

Today in the Middle East we certainly need a strong military, we need a strong intelligence. But the aspect that is missing in the Middle East is what Eisenhower said was so critical in foreign policy; that is, consensus and dialogue.

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of Members in this house that have started a long time ago, a couple of years, beginning a dialogue with the Iranians. Just last fall, 58 Members of this House on both sides of the aisle signed a letter to the parliament in Iran asking for a parliamentary exchange; 58 Members of Republicans and Democrats. That letter was hand-delivered by some of us in Lisbon to Iranian parliamentarians. They took it to Iran. And what is their response to us? They want a dialogue. There are members of the Iranian parliament that want a dialogue. Consensus and dialogue.

We need more carpenters. Vote against Resolution 362.

34 thoughts on “GOP Rep. Gilchrest on Iran Sanctions Bill”

      1. Oh, so that it is why he can tell the truth – his political future as Congressman is gone. Sounds like a good reason not to re-elect any of them this November. If and when they all feel like it is only a one term deal, maybe threats and bribes from AIPAC won’t work as well.

        1. Not fair, Mr. Vajs. Gilchrest has been outspoken on Iran all along, and that’s why he was targeted for defeat.

        2. Sorry, I don’t know his history. But, if as you say, his position on the side of the truth got him thrown out of the running, then things are worse than I thought. Not only are the Zionists threatening Congress to vote in a war upon Iran, but it looks like they can jolly well deliver on those threats.

      2. I was going to say, this guy needs to look both ways before crossing the street in the future, either that or confirm that the members of his family still have their jobs. No one with opinions like these is likely to last long in Congress. They’ll get the Walt & Mearshimer treatment. Before long, count on retaliation of the sort we’re talking about here to get physical. I’d look for beatings in the future, frankly, particularly so if the Lobby’s hold on things is significantly threatened.

  1. EXXON, BP, TOTAL, SHELL: The oil eason for the Iraq Invasion is out in the open! Never ANY reason for anti-Iran “policies”; 48 captives, compared to HUNDREDS killed by Shah’s C.I.A. cohorts – inconsequential! Defeating this Bill makes good sense – as a FIRST step.

    1. I think you’re ignoring the role of Israel’s influence on American foreign policy.

      1. I think you are ignoring the greed and corruption of non-Jewish Elite in the US. Manifest Destiny and other such nonsense was not invented by the “Israeli Lobby”.

  2. Speaking of oil:

    US military experiences big hike in fuel prices

    FLAHERTY AP Jun 27,2008

    WASHINGTON – Consumers at the gas pump aren’t the only ones suffering sticker shock. Military units in Iraq and elsewhere will see another hike in fuel costs next week, the second midyear increase because of soaring oil prices.

    On July 1, the cost for refined fuel used by troops will jump from $127.68 a barrel to $170.94 — an astounding 34 percent jump in just six months and more than double what the Pentagon was paying three years ago. It’s the second increase since prices were set at the beginning of the budget year, on Oct. 1.

    While prices charged to warfighting units have fluctuated in recent years, never have they faced such a steep spike in so few months. The cost of jet fuel, for example, jumped from $2.31 a gallon in October to $3.04 in December. As of next month, units will start paying $4.07 a gallon….

    Oil near $143 on view dollar will keep falling

    WILEN, AP Jun 27, 2008

    NEW YORK – Oil futures climbed to a new record near $143 a barrel Friday as the dollar weakened against the euro, confirming expectations that the falling greenback, a major factor in crude’s stratospheric rise, will extend its decline and add to oil’s appeal….

    The market now believes the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise interest rates in the near future; since higher rates tend to strengthen the dollar, traders are anticipating that it will continue to fall and, consequently, that investors will keep turning to commodities including oil as a hedge against inflation….

    With oil over $140 a barrel, traders are now expecting to see $145 and even $150, analysts say….

  3. It was never about oil: as Charlie Reese has pointed out in a column here at, our oil comes from Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela, in that order.

    Oil companies love dictators — they’re much easier to deal with than democracies, even puppet ones like the current one in Iraq.

    The estimate is that the total cost of the invasion of Iraq could be anywhere from $2-5 trillion — if it were about oil, we could have bartered for it. Pre-invasion oil was running at $20-$25 / barrel, now, as we’ve all noticed it’s $142. Well, we’ve all noticed except for John McCain who admitted this last week that he has no idea what the price of gas is.

    It it were about oil we could have invaded Mexico and/or Canada and have our soldiers home on the weekends.

    Seriously, don’t you think that Puerto Vallerta would be much more fun to occupy than Fallujah? The Mexican Army is busy invading Phoenix (this is not a joke — there have been home invasions in Phoenix lately allegedly done by Mexican army members) so probably would surrender in exchange for free reign to run the drug trade in the Southwest, which they have anyway.

    Some outfit called something like the Jewish Democrats in Congress is getting on McCain for not being “tough enough” on Iran.

    So this is not a partisan issue, as evidenced by Gilchrest: it’s an issues of the Israel lobby’s stranglehold on the U.S. Congress. Some of it is sincere — Lautenberg, Cardin, Lieberman, Israel, Sherman, Berman, et al, genuinely would and have sold the U.S. down the river for Israel because that is the country to which their allegiance lies. The rest are terrified of AIPAC.

    I hear everyone complaining constantly about the price of gas, yet even the lefties still don’t get that the invasion of Iraq was not about oil, it was about Israel.

    And when we attack Iran it will be about Israel too, but at that point we’ll all be reduced to eating grass and earthworms, so gas will be the least of our worries because the luxury of driving, or even eating, will be reserved for the top 1% of this country, because they will be the only ones who can afford it.

    1. January 2002 Oil = $19 per barrel
      June 2008 0il = $142 per barrel

      Indeed, the attack on Iraq had little to do with oil, or even 9-11. The Neo-Cons did, however, surely use oil as a selling point to cement their alliance with the Corporate Fascists, and with the oil companies, both of which groups are making a pretty penny on war.

      $2-5 trillion as the cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is unrealitically low.

      If both wars stopped tomorrow, care for wounded and mutilated US veterans alone may reach a trillion over the next fifteen years or so.

      Moreover, these estimates are not including the collapse of the dollar and its effects in their equations. My rough estimate, depending on what is counted, $7 to $20 trillion over the next fiften years.

      And that too may be low ball, even the high end.

      1. That estimate of $2-5 trillion was what I’ve seen very respected economists give, and it did factor in the cost of veteran care.

        I agree that it seems way too low.

        And I’m not sure if they were factoring in what would happen to the U.S. economy itself as the cost of gas to the consumer continues to rise.

        1. Yes, I have seen the same estimates, and they are way too low. Most factor in inflation and interest at one level or another. They do not, on the other hand, factor in currency collapse of the USD and its effects on the economy because, for the most part, they do not understand it (or refuse to believe it is possible).

          For example, Greenspan, the Ayn Rand groupie with an elementary degree in accounting, who was somehow put in charge of the Federal Reserve, a short while ago predicted that the USD might lose international reserve status around AD 2020, as I recall.

          In defense of economists, Gree nspan is not an “economist”, and never has been, but then Ayn Rand wasn’t an economist either, was she?

          At one point, Bernanke seriously implied he was lowering interest rates to stimulate the “economy”, including the collapsed real estate market.

          If he was not lying, and actually believed his own fantasy, it is a good sign–Aristole’s semeion–of how far gone the United States is.

          The simple answer to this fantasy is, “What economy”?

          In fact, the United States has been in recession for at least five years, concealed by credit and doctored figures.

          As most of the “economists” are now just figuring out, a major depression now looms.

          There is no question that the Iraq War and high oil prices were the precipitating factor, though the Clinton administration also contributed by getting rid of long term bonds.

          Still, the disaster that the Bush and Cheney administration have brought on the United States is close to mind-boggling in its extent.

          Are there manipulators behind the scenes doing it deliberately?

          It hardly matters. The degree of stupidity and incompetence displayed, sinister or not, is more monumental than any “conspiracy theorist” might easily dream up.

  4. This clown doesn’t “get it”
    “Today in the Middle East we certainly need a strong military”
    looks like one more interventionist to me.

    1. I agree–there is nothing in what Gilchrist says here that suggests anything but the vaguest acquaintance with what he purports to be talking about. He has discovered that Iranians are Shi’a it is true, and not “Arabs”, but at this late date that is small beer.

      In fact Farsi is an Indo-European language-is that what he is struggling to say?

      He also overestimates the Sunni and Shi’a schism, as most westerners and Americans do, usually trying to understand it in terms of Roman Catholic and Protestant, with the Sunnis as Catholics and the Shi’a as Protestants.

      This is a first grader’s erroneous imagery as these things go, and it reflects the Likud’s own analysis that fomenting “religious war” between Shi’a and Sunni qualifies as a workable foreign policy for Israel.

      The most obvious sign that he does not get it is his presumption that the United States must continue a “strong military” presence in the Middle East.

      1. Hmmm, except that about a third of the Iranian population are not Farsi speakers, nor for that matter, speakers of Indo-European languages (for whatever that's worth).

        I'm not sure what is particularly "Likud" in the analysis you project on them (which at any rate does seem to be Israel's foreign policy). The Likud is not nearly as ideologically monolithic as you portray it. Perhaps your education on the subject isn't as complete as you imagine. Maybe both Gilchrist and you should move on to the second grade.

    2. Agreed, but in the scheme of things, we need all the help we can get. On a spectrum consisting of McCain and Lieberman on one end and Ron Paul on the other, it is good to see another Republican who at least gets (some of) it. If I lived in his district, I’d give him a call of thanks and encouragement.

      Peace be with you.

      1. But can he spell I-M-P-E-A-C-H-M-E-N-T? Seems not be be in the “conservative” antiwar McGuffy’s Reader–but they, including Paul, expect the rest of us to worry about stopping World War III by writing or calling Congressmen about the Iran resolutions?

        My dear fellows, get serious.

        Either there are criminals in the the White House that must be removed immediately or there are not.

        Silence on the impeachment issue simply validates the idea that there is a legitimate Federal Executive and shows exactly what kind of “Constitutionalism” you practice.

        And blaming the Democrats carries no weight. Some Democrats have joined Kucinich in his impeachiment efforts.

        Who is the first anti-war Republican that is going to put his vote where his mouth is?

  5. The news that Iran ALREADY has 19 nuklear missles – paid for by the U.S. in Pakistani “anti-terrorist” funds, is tempered by the “good news” that these can only wipe out Israel ONCE; while Israel can still wipe out Iran THREE TIMES OVER – with it’s plus 150 nuke missles! This can lead us to hope that PEACE is finally on the way in the Middle East?

  6. A number of readers took issue with my recent column, “Elect Obama or Fall Into Tyranny.” Echoing former Alabama Governor George Wallace, readers said Obama would make no difference. But that is what I wrote.

    My point was not that Obama would make any difference, as he has put himself and his administration into the hands of Wall Street and the Israel Lobby. I said that the American people could make a difference by rejecting the Republicans, as it was the only accountability that the Republicans were likely to suffer.

    If Americans return a Republican regime, Americans will validate the right of the president to violate with impunity US and international law. Americans will validate the use by the president of the United States of deception and lies in order to initiate wars of aggression, aggression that is a war crime under the Nuremburg standard established by the US. Americans will validate the infringement of US civil liberties in the name of “safety” and “national security.” Americans will disembowel the US Constitution and leave themselves at the total mercy of the government.

    Reelecting Republicans means the end of the United States as a land of liberty.

    Paul Craig Roberts

    One really likes the way this man thinks, and a sharper economist or more dedicated Constitutionalist is hard to find anywhere on the political spectrum.

  7. The Israeli lobby and it’s network of allies in the American power structure believe,if current reports are correct,that they have six months to break Iran before an Obama Presidency arrives.This shows how much they have misjudged the American situation.The real race is whether the American economy will collapse to a point where American military intervention in Iran becomes impossible before a war can be started and the problem,that the lobby doesn’t seem to grasp,is that each step that they undertake to ratchet up the pressure on Iran,hastens the demise of the economy.It is a classic “catch-22” situation for the lobby and it couldn’t be happening to a more deserving group of people.

    1. Actually the Israeli Lobby faces the inevitable problem for all parasites – how much can you get from your host without killing it.

  8. I called my congressman’s office, Rick Larsen D Washington, and asked what is his position on resolution 362. The woman who answered the phone had never heard of it. So she had me wait until she looked it up. She came back and said that I had the number wrong. 362 funded science education. I suggested that that is a bill and that she look under resolutions. When she came back she said that her list of resolutions only went to 100.

    So there is no way to register my opinion on the matter because such resolution does not exist. Must not be an issue in my fairly strongly anti-war congressional district. Even a retired political science prof and regular NPR listener had never heard of the resolution.

    So how do you stand on a freeway overpass with a sign that says STOP 362 when nobody would know what you were talking about.

    There is a bizarre, dreamlike quality about this.

    1. Constitutionally, impeachment is much more important than the presidential election. It appears to me that Paul Craig Roberts is thinking along the same lines, if one step further down-to wit, if impeachment is not possible, destroying the Republican Party will be the only form of accountability left.

      I don’t know Pelosi and have no desire to do so. All the evidence in regard to her taking impeachment off the table points to some kind of deal. Who or what the deal or with whom is not clear to me.

      Conyers was initially enthusiastic about impeachment. He is now confining himself to enigmatic remarks. At one point he suggested that he considered bipartisan support necessary. At another point, he mentioned that if Bush or(vel) Cheney were impeached but not convicted the situation might be worse.

      Nixon was not impeached but resigned. He resigned among other things because important members of his own party called for him to do so and had joined the impeachment efforts.

      I have seen no one point it out, but that helped saved the Republican party–not in the election that followed so much, as afterwards.

      Compared to Bush and Cheney, Nixon was a choir boy, pure as the driven snow.

      I have no brief for the Republicans or Democrats. Except for a few individuals I haseve been through with both the parties for many years.

      I do agree with Roberts, however, that short of impeaching,destroying the Republican party is the only option that constitutes accountability for some of the crimes committed.

      Even if McCain, by some stretch of the imagination, were electable–it is virtually the end of the Republican Party, save for the Neo-Cons.

      For that reason I do not understand the reluctance of anti-war Republicans in Congress, who give some indication of being antiwar, not moving enthusiastically with Kucinich on impeachment, earlier or now.

      The biggest mystery on that front is Ron Paul. Did he, like Pelosi, make some deal?

      Was he bought off?

      The virtues of impeachment are many, whether Cheney (first) or Bush or both:

      (1) criminals are immediately removed from office where they can do no more damage
      (2) plans to attack Iran are dropped or suspended
      (3) if Bush is the one impeached, he cannot pardon people who either committed crimes
      under his direction or were witnesses to his crimes and others’
      (4) a quick exit strategy in Iraq becomes persuasive
      (5) repairing the image of the US around the world becomes possible, including in regard to the seriousness with which Americans take their Constitution and government
      (6) the way is prepared for War crimes trials
      (7) Bush and Cheney might lose both their pensions and Secret Service protection depending how impeachiment is interpretated
      (8) impeachment of Bush or Cheney castrates the NeoCons and deals a blow to the Likud and AIPAC, etc.
      (9) the next elected chief executive, whoever it is, knows that he he accountable to Congress forhis actions
      (10)the US Congress becomes more than a rubber stamp

      This is just a quick sketch of some of the benefits.

  9. I know, rabblerouser, and my neighbors, etc. don't want to comprehend these truths The poor youth, because I can't feel sorry for those that slumber.

  10. The ballots will not be counted (by the electronic vote-stealing machines) in November, so the ReThugs CAN steal the “election” for McLame if they want, no matter how far back in the “polls.” Given that fact, I believe the present hyper-terrorist screeching of the Israeli/bush crime family fascists for a new terrorist attack on Middle East people (Iran) may well be a trial balloon or test: a test of the moral fiber and sanity of American citizens (I sense an F coming on this paper), or a test of the resolve and fear threshold of the Iranian leaders. Either way, soon or somewhat later, a major terrorist attack against Iran WILL mean the end of America as we knew it. Our economy will be deep-sixed in a way that will make the Great Depression seem like a cake walk. Halliburton will have to be given a few more million of our tax dollars to build yet more concentration camps. And, ultimately, Russia or China will probably figure out how to nuke us in a way that precludes the bush crime family from even nuking back. We will be Hiroshima if the psychopathic vermin now controlling this country get their way. The terrorists and traitors running this country rapidly through a sewer and over the cliff must be removed from positions of power before their chutzpah, greed, and psychopathology get us all killed.

    To all the disinformation posters above: Iran has the capability of sinking every single ship the US Navy has in the Gulf. They don’t have nukes, and know that the US and Israel do (and are sick enough to use them), but I don’t believe they will bow to a bully as ugly as they are facing. And I also believe that after an attack on Iran there would be a huge effort to buy nukes on the black market, so they could do a tit-for-tat. Moral people don’t commit mass murder, and sane people don’t imagine that after they commit mass murder they are “safer.” The NeoVermin are neither moral nor sane…..but I state the uber-obvious.

    1. Merely by the way, in regard to vote fraud, Kucinich is also the only “politician” who has made it a major issue AND actually done something about it. That was why he called for a recount in New Hampshire, despite limited funds, and not as many on left and right suggested, as a stalking horse for Obama.

      Two things impress me about Kucinich.

      First, his absolute courage in going it alone when necessary as a matter of principle.

      Second, the systematic nature of his analysis of what is wrong with the United States, which those wed intractably to ideological stereotypes will never understand.

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