War with Iran and sneaky Senate Bills

Iran is the war of tomorrow, and it always will be.

It is clearly an unnecessary insertion, added purely for domestic political consumption. It will have no other effect. Indeed, it is hard to see what other effect it could possibly have, as no-one is arguing, or is likely capable of arguing, that the bill is a “declaration of war” or “authorization to use force”. While the US has no particular form of words required for either, both must be (and have always historically been) identified as such - though I believe the last formal declaration of war was in WW2, so they have usually taken the form of congressional authorizations for the use of force.

That is true whether you happen to believe Obama is on the road to war with Iran or not. In fact, that whole debate is a red herring. Even if Obama was hell-set on declaring war on Iran, adding that sentence would not prevent him one jot. It simply means he could not rely on that particular bit of legislation as a declaration of war - which legally, he could not anyway.

I can’t help but read that in the Futurama cyro-scientist’s voice.


Your argument seems to rest on the belief that there was no conflict between Iraq, the US, and UN prior to 2002, that there were no sanctions and presumptions of WMDs. I just want to let you know that nobody else’s frame of reference stops at 2002.

I’m not worried about anything more than bombing under a Democratic president, particularly this one. What I am worried about is when the next Republican gets into office. That’s where the most aggressive political talk comes from and they have demonstrated in the recent past that they’ll go to war under similar sorts of circumstances that shapes our dealings with Iran.

Everybody is “no-optioning off the tabling” and “new rounds of sanctioning” yet there still is no decent evidence over the continued development of nuclear weapons by the Iranian government and no serious talk about what it really means if they do develop them. As soon as I hear “in the hands of terrorists” I know I am wading into a bullshit bog that leads to artificial reasons for military action. The environment is already in place where it is pragmatic for Obama to assist Israel in bombing or do the job ourselves and that is already well beyond fucked up in my opinion.

Bullshit. The weapons that the US armed Saddam with are as real as the WMDs he had. Before the 1991 Gulf War Iraq bought its arms from the USSR, China, France and Britain. The US didn’t sell one tank, one fighter, one bomber, or one rifle to Iraq. As to the ‘US pointing Iraq at Iran’ nonsense, provide some evidence that Saddam’s decision to invade Iran in 1979 was influenced in any way by the US.

So if the resolution has nothing to do with justifying military action, what possible harm could it do to add Rand’s language? (You know, just to clarify that point.)

People in this thread have repeatedly stated that it’s most likely some rather distasteful political pandering, not that it’s harmful. The only folks who’ll be effected by it are most likely domestic members of the We’re Gonna Attack Iran Tomorrow (Established 2002) Group[sup]tm[/sup], and history has shown that they’ll take just about any pretense, or no pretense, to claim that we’re about to invade/attack/nuke Iran. They’ve predicted, what, 8 of the last zero attacks on Iran?

Took us 12 years to get around to invading Iraq.

And by the way, it’s ironic that you would complain about political pandering. This whole bill is political pandering. It’s a great big “We’ve got your back” to Israel and AIPAC.

That is, at best, an oversimplification to the point of distortion.
We initiated targeted strikes within the no-fly zone after the first Gulf War and had international backing to do so. The actual runup to war occurred solely during W’s term. Your tacit implication that Clinton was in any way, shape or form associated with the actual invasion of Iraq is Jabberwockian.

And no, sanctions on Iran are not “political pandering”. Nor are they a result of the shadowy AIPAC/Israel influence-control-cabal-magicmindcontrolbeams. Your attempt for a gotchaya! tu qouque is somewhat lacking.

It’s similar to the sort of “harm” caused by naming a bill to allow the police to spy on people’s emails the “Save Children from Being Raped for Pornography” law.

Adding useless and misleading stuff to legislation to pander and manipulate is never a great idea. Even if you happen to agree with the person doing the pandering and manipulating.

That is, at best, an oversimplification to the point of distortion…

So what you are saying is the run-up is occurring during the Obama administration and we can be assured that the next Republican president and possibly Obama in his 2nd term, will feel there is adequate reason, without evidence, to bomb Iran. So it’s even worse than Iraq! At least Iraq had invaded another country and massacred the populations our no-fly zone protected. Or do you want to just admit that some of that bombing of Iraq was due to suspected WMD activties.

If Iran is building a nuke will the sanctions stop them? No. Will the inevitable failure be used as an excuse to initiate bombing activities of Iran? Of course.

I’m wondering if we are reading the same thread at this point. Iran has already been under sanctions for a couple of decades longer than Iraq was. Sanctions don’t indicate a war is coming.

Just for fun, let’s (yet again) take a look at some Iranian attacks and/or cooperation with those who’ve attacked America, shall we?

The Khobar Towers:

[li]Consisting of roughly 1.25 millenia of FBI man-hours, confirming their findings[/li][li]Concluded that “the terrorist attack on the Khobar Towers was approved by Ayatollah Khameini, the Supreme leader of Iran at the time. It was also approved and supported by the Iranian Minister of Intelligence and Security (“MOIS”) at the time, Ali Fallahian, who was involved in providing intelligence security support for the operation. Fallahian’s representative in Damascus, a man named Nurani, also provided support for the operation”[/li][li]Concluded that there was a “plot to bomb the Khobar Towers complex frequently refers to direction and assistance from Iranian government officials.”[/li][li]Their investigation found that “senior officials in theIranian government provided them with funding, planning, training, sponsorship, and travel necessary to carry out the attack on the Khobar Towers. (Exh. 7 at 11, 13-14, 27; see also Dec. 18, 2003 Tr. at 24-30.) The six individuals also indicated that the selection of the target and the authorization to proceed was done collectively by Iran, MOIS, and IRGC, though the actual preparation and carrying out of the attack was done by the IRGC.”[/li][li]Confirmed that the bombers were “recruited and trained by the Iranian government in Iran and Lebanon, and how weapons were smuggled into Saudi Arabia from Iran through Syria and Jordan. One individual described in detail a meeting about the attack at which senior Iranian officials, including members of the MOIS and IRGC, were present. (Dec. 18, 2003 Tr. at 23.) Several stated that IRGC directed, assisted, and oversaw the surveillance of the Khobar Towers site, and that thesesurveillance reports were sent to IRGC officials for their review. Another told the FBI that IRGC gave the six individuals a large amount of money for the specific purpose of planning and executing the Khobar Towers bombing.”[/li][/ol]

Gainsaying that, for example, we have the word of an anonymous poster on the internet claiming that it’s merely been ‘alleged’.
Further, calling Hezbollah a “proxy” force is somewhat misleading. Military forces who are armed, trained and commanded by a country’s government are normally known as soldiers. Hezbollah represents one of the examples of how the modern theater or war has diverged from clear bright line demarcations, and Iran’s role in Hezbollah’s actions puts paid to the claim that they are divorced from Iranian responsibilities.

Let’s look at another, shall we? The bombing of the US marine barracks in Lebanon.

[li]We intercepted "a message between Tehran and Damascus that had been made on or about September 26, 1983. The message had been sent from MOIS to the Iranian ambassador to Syria, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, who presently serves as an adviser to 12 the president of Iran, Mohammad Khatami. The message directed the Iranian ambassador to contact Hussein Musawi, the leader of the terrorist group Islamic Amal, and to instruct him to have his group instigate attacks against the multinational coalition in Lebanon, and “to take a spectacular action against the United States Marines.” Admiral Lyons testified that he has absolutely no doubt of the authenticity or reliability of the message, which he took immediately to the secretary of the navy and chief of naval operations, who viewed it, as he did, as a “24 karat gold document. " "[/li][li]We also know that Hezbollah did not act alone “when the commercially-manufactured form of PETN is detonated, it is completely consumed in the ensuing explosion. The presence of unconsumed particles of PETN at the Marine barracks blast site, therefore, indicated that the PETN used in the bomb had not been the standard commercially-available form of the explosive. Instead, it had been the raw “bulk form” of PETN, which is not generally sold commercially. In the Middle East, the bulk form of PETN is produced by state-sponsored manufacturers for military purposes. In 1983, bulk form PETN was not manufactured in the nation of Lebanon. However, at that time, bulk form PETN was manufactured within the borders of Iran. Warren Parker, who served as an explosives expert with the Army and the ATF for forty years, testified that the effectiveness of the attack demonstrated that it had been the result of 22 careful planning. Parker also concluded, based on the degree of planning and sophistication that went into the attack, that a group of individuals without specialized training in explosives could not have carried it out”[/li][li]The court also concluded that it was "beyond question that Hezbollah and its agents received massive material and technical support from the Iranian government. The sophistication demonstrated in the placement of an explosive charge in the center of the Marine barracks building and the devastating effect of the detonation of the charge indicates that it is highly unlikely that this attack could have resulted in such loss of life without the assistance of regular military forces, such as those of Iran. "[/li][/ol]

Hezbollah, by the way,declared from its inception that it was an Iranian creature.

That also brings us to the 9/11 Commission’s report on Iran.

[li]Turabi sought to persuade Shiites and Sunnis to put aside their divisions and join against the common enemy. In late 1991 or 1992, discussions in Sudan between al Qaeda and Iranian operatives led to an informal agreement to cooperate in providing support—even if only training—for actions carried out primarily against Israel and the United States. Not long afterward, senior al Qaeda operatives and trainers traveled to Iran to receive training in explosives.[/li][li]Not long afterward, senior al Qaeda operatives and trainers traveled to Iran to receive training in explosives. In the fall of 1993,another such delegation went to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon for further training in explosives as well as in intelligence and security. Bin Ladin reportedly showed particular interest in learning how to use truck bombs such as the one that had killed 241 U.S. Marines in Lebanon in 1983.The relation- ship between al Qaeda and Iran demonstrated that Sunni-Shia divisions did not necessarily pose an insurmountable barrier to cooperation in terrorist operations. As will be described in chapter 7,al Qaeda contacts with Iran continued 52 in ensuing years.[/li][li]Intelligence indicates the persistence of contacts between Iranian security officials and senior al Qaeda figures after Bin Ladin’s return to Afghanistan. Khallad has said that Iran made a concerted effort to strengthen relations with al Qaeda after the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole, but was rebuffed because Bin Ladin did not want to alienate his supporters in Saudi Arabia. Khallad and other detainees have described the willingness of Iranian officials to facilitate the travel of al Qaeda members through Iran,on their way to and from Afghanistan.For example,Iranian border inspectors would be told not to place telltale stamps in the passports of these travelers. Such arrangements were particularly beneficial to Saudi members of al Qaeda. Our knowledge of the international travels of the al Qaeda operatives selected for the 9/11 operation remains fragmentary. But we now have evidence suggesting that 8 to 10 of the 14 Saudi “muscle”operatives traveled into or out of Iran between October 2000 and February 2001.[/li][/ol]

In context, the claim that the US would attack Iran, for nothing, is an absurdity of truly Jabberwockian proportions. We’ve had valid casus belli multiple times in the past, and done nothing. The only conceivable cause for an attack on Iran, short of them having Hezbollah attack us again, is Iran’s continuing nuclear program without the Additional Protocols. The solution to that is not only astoundingly easy for Iran. Meanwhile, that the US wold respond militarily to a continued Iranian nuclear program is hardly guaranteed.


Still wrong Inbred. Everything I stated was factual, and the drive to war with Iraq occurred under Bush II, not Clinton. The implication that we were somehow preparing for war with Iraq for roughly a decade is bombastic nonsense of the first water. And no, rather obviously if you’re reading my posts for comprehension, I am not arguing that we are in the midst of a runup to attacking Iran, at all. I have not argued that we’re currently preparing for war with Iran and it will culminate in the next administration/term. I have in fact argued that we are not in a runup to war.

As for your claim that we will bomb Iran and use their nuclear program as an “excuse” (I’d note that your prejudicial terminology distorts the reason in any case and a rogue nation with nukes is a “reason” not an “excuse” for military action), I will again note that we’ve known about Iran’s non-compliance with the Additional Protocols and their stonewalling the IAEA for years. And the IAEA recently confirmed that Iran’s nuclear program has an undeniable military dimension. We still haven’t attacked.

How long, exactly, do you believe it would take to get missiles and bombers into position? How, exactly, do you believe any other nation would defeat a US veto on the UNSC to somehow punish the US if we did act unilaterally?
In short, does your argument have anything more substantial than a tangential relationship to the facts?

Gosh Iran sounds scary! :rolleyes:

May I inquire as to the nature of your mind-reading abilities by which you can so accurately understand Khamenei’s views on the benefits of acquiring a nuclear weapon as opposed to the risk of social and political distress caused by economic distress?

I don’t pretend to know what he’s thinking, but you seem to imply that the situation in Iran today is comparable to the situation in Iraq years ago. Iraq did not have chemical weapons. Why? As the post-war commission reported, Saddam’s primary goal was to get UN sanctions lifted and Iraq’s economy back on its feet, and the pursuit of WMD was an obstacle to that goal. That is a concrete example of sanctions stopping a WMD program in its tracks.

But somehow, you seem to know that the Supreme Leader of Iran cares more about nuclear weapons than he does about Iran’s economy. That’s an interesting insight, and I’d like to know how you came to that conclusion.

I’m having trouble reading the sarcasm here. Are you saying you don’t believe what’s being alleged of Iran - which has been known for a long time and is much better supported than the nonsense about someone from Iraq meeting an Al Qaeda guy one time - or that you agree this stuff is true and don’t think it’s a big deal? I’ve said before that I’m not in favor of war against Iran, but they do really have links to terrorists and the possibility of Iran getting nuclear technology and that capacity being passed to terrorists is scary and not total fiction.

If looks could kill it would’ve been us instead of him!

Nope, sorry, Iran doesn’t scare me. I don’t doubt they’re trying to get nukes…as a deterrent. Iran handing nukes to terrorists is paranoid fantasy.

I don’t see anything wrong with putting that into a sanctions bill against another country. If you read up on the things courts have construed to be affirmations of war in the past, it’s just in there to make things clear. Not saying it’s absolutely necessary or anything, but it’s not loony.

Not sure why Syria was mentioned in an Iran sanctions bill, though. Unless we’re sanctioning Iran for helping Syria or something.

Why he wants to block the sanction is a different matter.

Ah, that makes sense. Once you have nuclear weapons, you can only use them for the purpose you acquired them for.

Do I have to say anything more than “A. Q. Khan?”

I think it’s very unlikely the Iranian government would deliberately give nuclear weapons to terrorists to use on their behalf because that would probably be suicidal. On the other hand smaller groups of people with different motivations could give weapons or important pieces of technology or information to terrorist groups on their own. Khan was an important figure in Pakistan’s nuclear program, and later, with or without government approval, he helped Iran and North Korea with their nuclear programs and offered assistance to Iraq and Syria and was involved with a variety o of other countries.