Let's Have a War

Last week reports were that Congressional action on further Iran sanctions had faded. Apparently not so. The "Iran Nuclear Weapon Free Act of 2013," has been introduced by Senators Schumer, Mendez, and Kirk. It is likely to be taken up after Congress returns in the new year. 

Jim Lobe has a run-down of its major provisions. You can read it here: Lobe Log.

The bill's provisions ham-string diplomatic efforts to negotiate with Iran over it's nuclear program. It would require that Iran give up the program, which is unlikely. It undermines the goal of the current negotiations cutting back and ending any potential nuclear bomb  program. The bill will have none of that.

Then there's this: "…if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with the law of the United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence…"

The qualifying words and phrases notwithstanding, that looks like blanket permission for Israel to bomb Iran. If Netanyahu decides to do so the United States will be forced to join in.

Lobe calls it the "Wag the Dog" bill. But why not "Let's Give Israel a Blank Check"?

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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