Action Item: Calling the Question on Iran

From the indispensable Just Foreign Policy:

Help Rand Paul Call the Question on War with Iran

Sen. Rand Paul introducing his amendment to S. 2101.

Before we have any military conflict with Iran, the Senate and the House should have at least one debate and vote on it. That’s what the Constitution and the law require; that’s what the public interest requires. And it would be better to start that debate now, when there is still a chance of rational discussion, than in the wake of some Gulf of Tonkin incident, when cable news and talk radio could steamroll Congress.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has called the question, blocking unanimous approval of a new Iran sanctions bill to force consideration of an amendment affirming that nothing in the bill would authorize the use of military force, and that military force would require explicit Congressional authorization.

Urge your Senators and Representative to support amending any pending Iran sanctions legislation to affirm that it does not authorize the use of military force and that any use of military force must be explicitly authorized by Congress.
[Please see the link at Just Foreign Policy to find your representative.]

NeoCons Push for Iraq-Like Sanctions in Iran

Eli Clifton at Think Progress on the neoconservative push for tighter sanctions on Iran:

The announcement that 90 U.S. senators signed a letter to President Obama urging him to sanction Iran’s central bank has been described by some American officials, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon, as the “nuclear option” or, in the eyes of some Iranian officials, an act of war. But that hasn’t stopped some of Washington’s most outspoken Iran hawks from applauding potential legislation aimed at freezing Iran out of the global financial system.

The letter, cosponsored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Charles Schumer (D-NY), calls for blacklisting Bank Markazi, Iran’s central bank, and observes that, “If our allies are willing to join, we believe this step can be even more effective.”

Clifton cites people like “the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies‘ Mark Dubowitz” as front and center in this push for “Iraq-like sanctions” on Iran. That is, they are openly advocating sanctions of the kind that directly led to the deaths of hundreds thousands of Iraqi children and up to a million Iraqis total.

What’s crazy is that they’re arguing for this mere days after admitting, as Clifton documents, that aggressive and harsh sanctions are unlikely to deter the Iranian leadership from their unsubstantiated quest for the bomb.

Despite the obvious support the prospect of attacking Iran has among many hawks in the halls of power, I honestly think most of the national security community considers it too costly and risky at the present time. I suspect these neocons recognize that resistance to some extent, and figure the next best thing is to simply strangle the Iranian economy so that the population suffers another colossal humanitarian disaster. What madness…