Scott Ritter on the Iran Problem
What Iran problem? The problem we'll have if the USA launches an attack on Iran, that problem. Scott Ritter
is among those who believe that the current Administration is laying the groundwork for such an attack.
Part of the groundwork involves a public-relations campaign, otherwise known as propaganda. It was abundantly evident in last year's State of the Union Address; it was less direct, but still present, in this year's.
Others have noted that the Administration is planing troop buildups in both Iraq and Afghanistan (both nations flanking Iran), and is sending a carrier battle group and Patriot missile batteries to the area. The explain that the hardware is needed in the fight against the insurgency in Iraq, but observers wonder what good that kind of hardware is against that kind of opponent.
Now, writing in The Nation
, Mr. Ritter proposes action that could be taken by Congress, under the leadership of the Democratic Party, to demand accountability for all of this.
Stop the Iran War Before It Starts
posted January 24, 2007 (web only)
...I would strongly urge Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, to hold real hearings on Iran. Not the mealy-mouthed Joe Biden-led hearings we witnessed on Iraq in July-August 2002, where he and his colleagues rubber-stamped the President's case for war, but genuine hearings that draw on all the lessons of Congressional failures when it came to Iraq. Summon all the President's men (and women), and grill them on every phrase and word uttered about the Iranian "threat," especially as it has been linked to nuclear weapons. Demand facts to back up the rhetoric.
Summon the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or any other lobby promoting confrontation with Iran, to the forefront, so that the warnings they offer in whispers from a back room can be articulated before the American public. Hold these conjurers of doom accountable for their positions by demanding they back them up with hard fact. See if the US intelligence community concurs with the dire warnings put forward by these pro-war lobbyists, and if it doesn't, ask who, then, is driving US policy toward Iran? Those mandated by public law and subjected to the oversight of Congress? Or others, operating outside any framework representative of the will of the American people?
If a real case, based on facts as they pertain to the genuine national security interests of the United States, can be made for a confrontation with Iran that leads to military conflict, so be it. America should never shy away from defending that which legitimately needs defending. The sacrifice expected of our military forces, while tragic, will be defensible. But if the case for war with Iran is revealed to be as illusory as was the case for war with Iraq, then Congress must take action to stop this conflict from occurring. This is the Democrats' issue now, the one that will make or break them in 2008 and beyond...
He goes on to urge Congress to pass legislation, analogous to the Boland Amendment
, that would prevent any funds from being used for covert or overt military action against Iran without express approval by Congress.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5