Worried? You Should be.
Should we be worried that Congress has done nothing to stop a pre-emptive U.S. military strike on Iran? Why is the only Iran related measure able to gain passage in either chamber a declaration that part of the Iranian government is a terrorist organization - a move that Senator Jim Webb of Virginia described as "tantamount to a declaration of war'?
Well, I am worried. As far as President Bush and Vice President Cheney are concerned, Congress has the green light permanently lit if and when they decide it is time to "shock and awe" Iran.
I recently asked a highly respected former military leader whether he was worried. "Yes", he told me. The reason - our words and actions continue to bring us closer and closer to a trip wire action that could provide the administration the excuse they need to launch the bombers.
Much as it did in the lead-up to the war in Iraq in 2002, the Bush Administration is manipulating intelligence and preparing an aggressive public relations effort to "sell" a war with Iran. "Freedom's Watch" - an advocacy organization that is closely connected to Vice President Dick Cheney - recently announced that it will raise and spend several millions of dollars on political ads around the country. Their number one priority - Iran and the mortal danger it poses to the region and the world. Freedom's Watch includes key former White House operatives like former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and major donors like Mel Sembler, Anthony Gioia, Kevin Moley, Howard Leach, Dr. John Templeton, Jr, Edward Snider, Sheldon Adelson, Gary Erlbaum and Richard J. Fox. I take them seriously.
Which brings us back to Congress - the institution that the founders of this country created to provide a check and balance on an out-of-control administration. Elected in 2006 to get us out of the Bush war in Iraq, Congress could end its term in 2008 with more troops in Iraq than when it started. The House could not muster the votes even to require Congressional authority for the administration can launch an attack on Iran. Meanwhile, their counterparts in the Senate were busy adding to the provocation and moving us closer to the trip wire by passing the Kyl-Lieberman amendment declaring, for the first time ever, a government entity as a terrorist organization.
Luckily, the founders also came up with another check and balance on an out-of-control government - us. And seems to me high time to start exercising the power that we still have (notwithstanding the efforts of the Bush administration to weaken it) NOW.
We can and we must stop them from starting another war and squandering more of our blood and treasure.
This Tuesday, Win Without War is hosting national town hall meeting on Iran. Joining me at the event will be Colin Powell's former Chief of Staff, Larry Wilkerson, and a retired three-star General, Lieutenant General Robert Gard. We will discuss the Bush Administration's planning for war with Iran and the need for Congress to stop another war in the Middle East. We will also discuss the military, political and diplomatic implications of war with Iran.
If you are in the DC area on Tuesday, I hope you can join us at the at the Jack Morton Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University at 7pm. If not, a live web stream of the event will be available.
For full details please visit: www.standupcongress.org.
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