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Can Anyone Stop Bush/Cheney’s War Against Iran?

edwardsobamahillary1.jpgI think Glenn Greenwald is right that the Bush/Cheney regime is about to start an aggressive war against Iran. And I agree that the Democrats have foolishly paved the way for this to happen.

We can’t say we weren’t warned. They’ve been telling us for years they want regime change in Iran. They’ve told us that Iran poses a nuclear threat in the Middle East. They’ve told us over and over that it is not acceptable to allow Iran’s government to have its own nuclear program. They have put out one provocative and often exaggerated story after another about Iran’s nuclear intentions or its capabilities, while ignoring or stepping all over stories from the International Atomic Energy Agency that countered their propaganda or described Iran’s efforts to be cooperative. They’ve told us that they would not rule out military strikes against Iran while they’ve dragged their feet when pursuing any of the half-hearted efforts at a diplomatic/negotiated alternative to war. And they’ve told us it is not acceptable to leave this decision to the next Administration.

In the last few weeks, they’ve ratcheted up the inflammatory rhetoric against Iran. Dick Cheney was recently quoted as saying that military strikes against Iran are warranted. Bush has been telling our military in Iraq to pursue Iranians inside Iraq, so our military leaders have been dutifully rounding up Iranians, even diplomatic guests invited by the Iraqi government. This week they arrested Iranian energy officials who had been invited to help restore Iraq’s electricity system. One provocation after another. Now every rumor of war must be taken seriously.

Now Bush has described the Iranian regime as posing the threat of a “nuclear holocaust.” Not just a “mushroom cloud.” This time, it’s a nuclear holocaust — terms reserved for the most heinous of crimes and the most despicable of enemies. No sane government engages in such inflammatory rhetoric. But where is the dissent? Where is the outcry?

Throughout this inexorable march to war, the Democratic Congress has done worse than nothing. They’ve voted for resolutions condemning Iran without having the factual basis for knowing what Iran is doing or intends, relying only on neocon and Administration propaganda. They’d listened to dishonest and crazed warmongers like Joe Lieberman, for heaven’s sake. They’ve voted for resolutions that would support regime change, but they’ve refused to pass resolutions or amendments that would require the Administration to seek new authorization to start a war with Iran. Most of our Democratic Presidential candidates — Kucinich and Gravel excepted — have pretended to be “serious” people by refusing to rule out military strikes against Iran, even nuclear strikes. These are not serious positions; they are seriously irresponsible.

But of course, this Administration does not need authorization. It it now operating completely outside the law, outside the Constitution, outside any checks by Congress or influence from those who might counsel against war. By Presidential fiat, it has declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to be a terrorist group, effectively making them an enemy of the US without any Congressional declaration of war. We have a lawless, reckless and belligerent Administration, and it is about to start another unlawful war, even as it tries to convince the American people that it is a good thing that the regime has 160,000 US troops bogged down in another quagmire, vulnerable to an enlarged regional war. Who will tell this crazed regime to stop? To whom would it even listen?

The Administration has repeatedly told us Iran is responsible for many of the deaths of US soldiers in Iraq. They trot out their propagandists in Iraq to shows us the weapons and their markings, suggesting that their use in Iraq is a delberate policy of the Iranian government. Their neocon supporters are already spreading the theme that Iran has effectively declared war on the US by arming and training those who are killing our soldiers in Iraq.

The only thing the Bush/Cheney regime needs is the money to wage its aggressive war against Iran, but how they’ll get it is patently obvious. That money is embedded in the authorizations for supporting US troops and their activities in Iraq. Congress no longer asks what the money is for: it’s assumed to be for “supporting the troops.” Now the regime is asking for another supplemental authorization — another $50 billion — and while Democrats are promising a fight, some are already announcing they will “support the troops” by giving the Administration all the money it requests.

Wake up Democrats: you are being asked to fund an aggressive war against Iran. This war will be on your heads. Stop.

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley