Iran War Resolution May Be Passed Next Week

Introduced less than a month ago, Resolution 362, also known as the Iran War Resolution, could be passed by the House as early as next week.

The bill is the chief legislative priority of AIPAC. On its Web site, AIPAC endorses the resolutions as a way to ”Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program” and tells readers to lobby Congress to pass the bill. In the Senate, a sister resolution, Resolution 580, has gained co-sponsors with similar speed. The Senate measure was introduced by Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh on June 2. It has since gained 19 co-sponsors.

The bill’s key section “demands that the president initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program.”

“Imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran” can be read to mean that the president should initiate a naval blockade of Iran. A unilateral naval blockade without UN sanction is an act of war.

Resolution 362 has already gained 170 co-sponsors, or nearly 40 percent of the House. It has been referred to the Foreign Affairs Committee, which has 49 members, 24 of whom, including the ranking Republican, are co-sponsors. The Iran Nuclear Watch Web site writes, “According to the House leadership, this resolution is going to ‘pass like a hot knife through butter’ before the end of June on what is called suspension – meaning no amendments can be introduced during the 20-minute maximum debate. It also means it is assumed the bill will pass by a 2/3 majority and is non-controversial.”

Our national legislators deem it non-controversial to recommend to a president known for his recklessness and bad judgment that he consider engaging in an act of war against Iran. Those of you who consider this issue controversial can go to the Just Foreign Policy Web site and tell your representative to oppose this resolution.

Thanks to Geoffrey V. Gray for this submission.

War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think

Former CIA officer and Antiwar.com columnist Philip Giraldi has a new scoop at the American Conservative blog.

There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Qods-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants. The camp that will be targeted is one of several located near Tehran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was the only senior official urging delay in taking any offensive action. …

Read the rest.

An Iraq at Peace with Its Neighbors

Well it was before. Now the Turks are bombing the north again (whether actually killing PKK members or not is in dispute) and war with Iran looms. Andrew Cockburn reports in Counter Punch Bush’s new “finding” authorizing more covert support for anti-Iranian and anti-Syrian terrorist groups like the MEK, Jundullah and – irony anyone? – the PKK-allied Pejak.

The Sunday Times says the military is renewing plans for strikes at Quds Force targets in Iran, a further irony since the Quds Force is the father organization of the Badr Corps (AKA: Bush’s “Iraqi Army”).

And Secretary Rice has laid down the gauntlet, accusing Iran of everything under the Sun.

Any strikes against Iran seem almost certain to escalate into full scale war in southern Iraq, Iran’s nuclear facilities and who-knows-what else.

One notable portion of Cockburn’s article:

Interestingly, despite the bellicose complaints, Petraeus has made little effort to seal the Iran-Iraq border, and in any case two thirds of U.S. casualties still come from Sunni insurgents. “The Shia account for less than one third,” a recently returned member of the command staff in Baghdad familiar with the relevant intelligence told me, “but if you want a war you have to sell it.”

Cross-posted at Stress.

Did Israelis Leak New Spy Info to Thwart War?

Over at the American Conservative magazine’s blog, Antiwar.com columnist and former CIA officer Philip Giraldi reports that Israeli sources have indicated to him that the recent leak to the FBI about the new-old Israeli spy case came from inside the Israeli government toward the end of thwarting Ehud Olmert, Dick Cheney and the War Party’s plans to expand the Middle Eastern slaughter to Iran – and that there are more spies to be revealed…

Israeli sources are reporting that the FBI investigation of the Ben-Ami Kadish spy case resulted from a leak coming from inside the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. …

[Yosef] Yagur, who is now retired and living in Israel, was Kadish’s case officer, handling the cases of both him and Jonathan Pollard. Before the anonymous leak of information, the FBI had no idea that Kadish had been a spy for Israel. Now it is investigating a number of US citizens, including an individual who held very senior security positions in the Clinton and Bush White Houses.

How many different people fit the definition, “an individual who held very senior security positions in the Clinton and Bush White Houses”? Can’t be too many… More to the point, why would the Israeli government do such a thing as out their own agents (albeit past ones) to the FBI? According to Giraldi,

The leak of the information at the present time is believed to be linked to proposed closed congressional hearings at the end of this month in which the White House had planned to use several Israeli intelligence officers to provide evidence on the alleged Syrian nuclear program that was bombed on September 6, 2007. It is now unlikely that Israeli intelligence officers will allow themselves to be questioned because they would almost certainly be asked about Israeli spying on the US. Vice President Dick Cheney and Olmert had apparently planned on using the congressional briefings as a launch pad to intensify diplomatic and military pressure against both Syria and Iran. It is believed that the “doves” in the Olmert administration who leaked the information are seeking to make a military confrontation more difficult and are hoping that negotiations, particularly with Syria, will instead take place.

According to the LA Times, these Congressional hearings about the bogus Syria-North Korea Plutonium factory were meant by the neocons at the American Enterprise Institute to be a simple “box-checking exercise,” on the great clipboard of war in the words of AEI vice-warmonger and Ahmad Chalabi champion, Danielle Pletka.

Gareth Porter’s new article explains how the installation of General Petraeus as Royal Viceroy over the Middle East and Central Asia helps smooth the road to war. Perhaps the new and forthcoming spy revelations will help push the scales back the other way.