On January 13, 2007, just days after the new Democrat-controlled
President Bush took the opportunity provided by a joint press conference with
the new German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to condemn
both Iran and President Ahmadinejad.
"Countries such as ours have a great responsibility to work together and
send a common message to Iran that it's behavior... trying to clandestinely
develop a nuclear weapon or using the guise of a civilian program to get the
know-how ... is unacceptable,"
Bush then repeated the often made – but
completely bogus – charge that Ahmadinejad had called for Israel to be "wiped
off the map."
"And that's unacceptable. And the development of a nuclear weapon seems to
me would make them a step closer to achieving that objective,"
Of course, Bush increasingly finds the real world "unacceptable."
But as the Washington Post's Jeffrey Smith notes
"Having a president call something "unacceptable" is not the same as
having him order U.S. troops into action. But foreign policy experts say the
word is one of the strongest any leader can deploy, since it both broadcasts
a National position and conveys an implicit threat to take action if his warnings
According to a CBS
News poll taken a few weeks after Bush's "implicit threat," a
large majority of Americans – 71% – did not consider Iran to be a threat
requiring military action.
Nevertheless, a large majority – 59% – reckoned Bush's war in Iraq would soon
lead to a larger war in the region.
When asked in that public opinion poll how much "public opinion"
should affect Bush's decision-making about the situation in Iraq, 30% said "some"
and 62% said "a lot."
When asked how much Congressional actions should affect Bush's decision-making
about the situation in Iraq, 42% said "some" and 51% said "a
So, what "mandate" had voters given the 110th Congress?
To somehow prevent Bush from launching another war of aggression, attacking
yet another state, Iran, posing no threat to us.
Accordingly, Walter Jones (R,NC) introduced House
Joint Resolution 14 and Robert Byrd (D,WV) introduced Senate
Resolution 39, both reaffirming the Constitutional
requirement of Congressional approval before offensive military action can
be undertaken by the President.
The next step ought to have been for Congress to determine
– as best it could – whether Iran did indeed have such a clandestine nuclear
weapons program, and if so, to what extent that program posed an imminent threat
to you and yours.
Now, the Treaty
on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons requires signatories not already
having nuclear weapons to conclude a Safeguards Agreement – with the International
Atomic Energy Agency – applicable to certain proscribed "source and special
nuclear materials" and activities "with a view to preventing diversion
of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons."
On 22 February, 2007, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei made his quarterly
report [.pdf] to the IAEA Board of Governors, wherein he concluded –
"Pursuant to its NPT Safeguards Agreement, Iran has been providing the
Agency with access to declared nuclear material and facilities, and has provided
the required nuclear material accountancy reports in connection with such material
"The Agency is able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material
Hence, Iran was in compliance with its NPT obligations.
The same, of course, could not be said for all IAEA Board Members, most
especially the United States.
Consider that –
"Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also cooperate in
contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations
to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful
purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to
the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of
So, Congressional oversight committees, if necessary, should have subpoenaed
Secretary of State Rice and/or her munchkins – the Ambassador to the United
Nations and the Special Envoy to the IAEA – and demanded from them an explanation
as to why we have been falsely charging Iran with being in noncompliance
with the NPT and with their IAEA Safeguards Agreement.
In particular, after ElBaradei reported in February that there was no indication
that Iran had ever diverted any NPT-proscribed materials to a military purpose,
why did Rice's munchkins proceed to strong-arm the UN Security Council into
passing Resolution 1747?
In it, the Council begins by "reaffirming"
(a) its commitment to the NPT and the need for all signatories "to comply
fully with all their obligations," and
(b) the "right" of all signatories to conduct research and development,
to produce and to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes "without discrimination"
Now, bear in mind that the whole world knows that Iran is fully complying with
all its NPT obligations and knows that the United States is not only not
complying with all our NPT obligations, but, in blatant disregard of the NPT,
has been discriminating against Iran – denying Iran its "inalienable rights"
under the NPT – and strong-arming other NPT signatories into similarly discriminating.
Notwithstanding that, under UNSCR
1747 [.pdf], the Council – acting under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the
UN Charter – "reaffirms" that Iran "shall, without further delay,
take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors in its resolution GOV/2006/14."
What that language means is that the Security Council has decided – under Article
39 of Chapter VII – that Iran's Safeguarded nuclear programs constitute
a "threat to the peace, breach of peace, or act of aggression" and
therefore calls upon all UN member states to apply "complete or partial
interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic,
radio and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations"!
Of course, the 110th Congress hasn't pursued the mandate given it,
hasn't demanded to know why we're willfully violating the IAEA Statute, the
NPT and the UN Charter, why we're trying to provoke Iran into withdrawing from
the NPT. Or worse.
Bush probably finds that "acceptable" Congressional behavior.