U.S. Hawks Dive For Cover
Exactly five years
ago to the month, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution authorizing the Bush
Administration to invade Iraq.
Among the senators, only a handful, including Dennis
Kucinich, didn't vote for the 2002 resolution and several
Democratic senators who voted for that resolution and who are currently
presidential contenders for the 2008 election have expressed regrets; the only
candidate who has not done so is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, amazingly the
current Democratic front-runner.
Similar to the Iraq
war resolution, on September 26, the Senate voted 76-22 for the Jon Kyl and
Joseph Lieberman-amended resolution to place the Iranian Revolutionary Guard
Corps, or Pasdaran, on the U.S. terrorist groups list.
Clinton was the
only Democratic presidential candidate who supported it and offered no apologies
for the vote. Since then, on the contrary, she has adamantly tried to
justify her decision all along the campaign trail. Is it coincidental that Senator
Clinton and Joe Lieberman, an ardent supporter of Israel and amply
funded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are in the same
Clinton's decision to vote
for the Kyl-Lieberman resolution became such a hot issue and a symbol of
embarrassment for the entire Democratic Party that at a candidates' debate
session in New Hampshire, Mike Gravel, one of the Democratic Presidential
candidates, said the September resolution "is essentially a fig leaf to let
George Bush go to war with Iran...I'm ashamed of you, Hillary, for voting for
it." With that, the dam had broken and the pro-war Democrats had to run
for cover by admonishing George Bush who had already gone over the cliff by
associating Iran with
By then nothing could stop
the attacks on her character and class politics by thousands of anti-war
citizens of America, and indeed around the
world. Among countless comments, Jean Ross wrote "Just another sign that
the Clintons and
Bushes are IDENTICAL." J.D. Alessandro wrote: "Hillary's getting that
great AIPAC money; it is an easy vote for her." With no small degree of
sarcasm, Willie, a commentator wrote on October 20, "Is that like her (Clinton) thinking she was
voting for diplomacy when 'Bush lied to her' in 2002? And if she was so
sure she was voting for diplomacy this time, why is she running to Webb for
Among many Congresspersons
lashing out at the hawks, Dennis
Kucinich targeted the most aggressive pillar of the
U.S. pre-emptive foreign
policy. He said, "When you say all options are on the table, you give
license to President Bush. The war in Iraq is
illegal. Even planning for the war against Iran is
Meanwhile, a few members
of the U.S. ruling circles
had realized that the developments in Pakistan were taking precedence, and hence the
Iran issue must be put on the back
burners. The reality hit home that the U.S. cannot
fight simultaneously in four countries with a total population of 300
million. This is an even bigger dimension than what Donald Rumsfeld had
imagined. On October 30, at the Democratic Candidates NBC debate, Chairman
of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Joseph Biden said that while
Iran was an important
concern, the deterioration of "an out-of-control Pakistan" was a
bigger threat. "The fact of the matter is, the Iranians may get 2.6 kilograms of
highly enriched uranium," he said. "But the Pakistanis have
hundreds-thousands- of kilograms of highly enriched
By then, the cat was entirely out of the
bag and the Democratic leadership had to begin the process of damage control, by
trying to distinguish themselves from the Bush Administration, at least in words
if not in deeds. On November 1, Hillary Clinton along with 29 other
senators wrote to President Bush that he does not have congressional authority
for war with Iran. Apparently, the roar of
the millions of people of Pakistan for democratic rights and
the rule of law had awakened the sleepy and obedient senators. However,
Senators Barak Obama of Illinois and Joseph R.
Biden, Jr. of Delaware had no intention of
relieving Clinton from her agony and therefore did not
sign the letter that had no force of law behind it.
Another Presidential candidate, former Senator John Edwards, one of
Hillary Clinton's top rivals, charged her with duplicity and facilitating a
White House drive to war against Iran. Edwards also warned that
the Bush Administration was trying to use attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, to justify a war with Iran.
major new development in the 2008 electoral campaign has been that the presidential candidates,
aware of the public's peace sentiment, have been breaking taboos that the
neo-cons had erected, such as imposing pre-conditions for talks with
Iran and the policy of regime
change. For example, Senator Barak Obama is promising to sit down for
diplomatic meetings with countries like Iran, Syria and North Korea and
not to seek regime change. These positions are qualitatively different
from "all options remain on the table."
At the same time it is obvious that the U.S. Democratic Party has neither
a common platform to end the war in Iraq soon nor a unified policy to stay out of
Iran. Among the Democrats three
shades of foreign policy with regard to Iraq and Iran could be discerned. The
far right represented by the front-runner Hillary Clinton who receives her main
cues from AIPAC and the Israeli politicians is one. Her plan is not so
different from the current administration. The middle ground is occupied
by the former senator John Edwards, though ethically differing from George Bush
on the reasons and necessities of war with Iraq and Iran, his five-point plan does not
call for an immediate termination of the war budget. On the far left
stands Congressman Dennis Kucinich
who announced his willingness to visit Iran personally and talk to the
highest echelon of the Iranian government to peacefully resolve the
As the political and diplomatic positions of the United States
deteriorate and its worldwide derision and isolation takes shape, the political
tendency of the American public towards a peaceful solution of U.S.-Iran issues
is growing stronger, and hence the chance of victory for a pro-peace candidate
is becoming a reality. Observing these trends, nationally and
internationally, a few farsighted Republicans, who try to snatch victory out of
the jaws of defeat, have initiated certain policy
In mid-October, Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska through a letter
appealed to President Bush that "unless there is a strategic shift" in the U.S.
foreign policy with regard to a war on Iran, "I believe we will find ourselves
in a dangerous and increasingly isolated position in the coming months."
"Now is the time for the United
States to actively consider when and how to offer direct,
unconditional, and comprehensive talks with Iran," he
said. This is a clear admission directly from the horse's mouth that the
outcome of the hostile U.S.
policy toward Iran has led to
a weaker position for the U.S. and relatively speaking, to a
stronger stance for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The source of Iran's
strength is not the hostility and gunboat diplomacy of the U.S. but rather Iran's
perseverance in defending its legitimate national interest and
sovereignty. There is a false notion especially among the anti-Iranian
government intellectuals who claim that the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic
is a bi-product of the on-going U.S. hostility towards that
country. This proposition is baseless and there is no way to prove
it. As a matter of fact, the U.S. expects the opposite result, i.e., pressure
by a foreign power such as the U.S. is expected to weaken and not
strengthen the people's support for the government under
Among the factors leading to weakening the U.S. but
energizing the Islamic Republic are:
1. Perseverance of
the Islamic government in defending the country's legitimate rights to research
and development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
2. The mutual cooperation between the
Iranian government and the International Atomic Energy Agency
steadfastness of the IAEA and its director in its resistance to backroom deals
and unprincipled pressures by the U.S. and Israel.
fairness in judgment practiced by both governments of Russia and China.
never-ending pre-occupation of the U.S. and the U.K. in Iraq and Afghanistan.
balanced judgment of the international community, especially the countries of
the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to support Iran's right to
a civilian nuclear program.
struggle of the people of Pakistan against the linchpins of the
States: General Musharaf, and Benazir
politics of dialogue and diplomacy urged by the European countries was
instrumental in preventing a U.S.-planned war.
9. Last, but not
least, the support of the people of Iran in defending Iran's security
and territorial integrity. Furthermore, the Iranian people were not
influenced by the U.S. propaganda about Western
democracy and the freedom of individuals.
author:Ardeshir Ommani is a writer and an activist in the
anti-war and anti-imperialist struggle for many years, including against
the Vietnam War. Ardeshir is a co-founder of the American-Iranian
Friendship Committee (AIFC) www.progressiveportals.com/aifc , where news and analysis of U.S.-Iranian relations can be
found, along with reports of his recent visits to Iran. He
helped launch the successful www.StopWarOnIran.org campaign. In
the 1960's, he was a co-founder of the Iranian Students Association (ISA), which
contributed to the struggle against the Shah of Iran, a U.S.
puppet. Two of his recent articles: "U.S. Plan for Iran's Containment" can be viewed at Persianmirror.com and "Iran's Oil Bourse" at payvand.com.
... Payvand News - 11/13/07 ... --