Blockade, embargo? Them's fightin' words

Middle-East expert William Beeman reminds us that coming up this month in Congress: “Two essentially identical nonbinding resolutions call upon President Bush to ‘immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities.’

“The House resolution calls for ‘stringent inspection requirements’ of all goods entering or leaving Iran. The Senate resolution [skips inspection] but joins the House resolution in calling for an embargo of refined petroleum products to Iran [as well as international banking and traavel]. … Achieving either goal would require a naval blockade — a de facto act of war on the part of the United States, though paradoxically both resolutions explicitly exclude authorization for military action.” [What’s so surprising about Congress trying to have it both ways? –- Ed.]

Beeman points out that the “introduction of the resolutions also conveniently coincided with AIPAC’s annual policy conference during which it had more than 7,000 people on Capitol Hill to lobby [for] the resolutions.”

Is Congress correct in assuming that its usual capitulation to the Israel lobby won’t antagonize a war-weary public? The public might object to our brinkmanship with Iran –- if it were truly war-weary. But most Americans buy into the conventional wisdom that the Surge has worked in Iraq and that we’re winning (at least by Vietnam standards).

While that doesn’t mean we’re ready for another war, if only because of the cost, it does mean we’re less likely to pressure our Congress-persons to vote against these resolutions.

Have you noticed that p.r. about the Surge has effectively taken Iraq “off the table” in this election? Except, that is, for attacking Obama for standing firm in his belief that the Surge should never have been implemented.

Watching George Stephanopoulos trying to get him to retract his opinion this past Sunday morning almost made me gag on my morning bagel. Those of us who take Obama to task for frequently turning his back on progressives need to acknowledge the backbone he’s shone on this issue.

Embargo, blockade –- those words ring down through the ages as a clarion call to war. The Bush administration may have been forced to abandon its plans to attack Iran, but it’s sparing no expense instigating a war. (Don’t forget Iranian organizations like the anti-Islamic Republic MEK, which are terrorizing Iran.)

(Should you care to call your representative, he or she can be asked to vote against H. Con. Res. 362; senators, against Senate Resolution 580.)

For more on US-Iran relations. . .

Autumn for the ayatollah
By Russ Wellen

What the rockets’ red glare wrought one Fourth of July
By Russ Wellen

PBS and NBC’s symbiotic sins of ommission
By Brad Jacobson

Iran attack not a problem say war wonks
By Russ Wellen

1 reply »

  1. Oh, Russ, we all know that the United States would never support terrorism. And if we did, then we’d have a good enough reason (based on moral relativism), one that would make it an ok thing to do.

    I may well be wrong, but i am under the impression that the economic plan against Iran qualifies as an act of war under international law.