will often see potentially important pieces of legislation languish
in the US House. A bill will remain active, meaning that it can be
brought to the Floor at any time. But it flies just under the radar.
Other times the language floats around Washington for years until a
“crisis” necessitates its activation and passage. As we know
well, what eventually became the PATRIOT Act – one of the single
greatest attacks on civil liberties in US history – started out and
spent much of its early life as a sugar-plumb fairy dancing in neocon
fantasies. Then came 9/11 and it was dusted off and imposed on the
American people. And the United States has never been – and may
never be – the same. Either way, these measures are important if
it may well be with H.J.Res.
introduced in the House just as the new Congress began at the
beginning of this month. The title of the bill tells the tale: a bill
“To authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces to achieve
the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear
weapons.” This legislation, introduced by Rep.
Alcee Hastings (D-FL),
is as it appears: an authorization for the President to use military
force against Iran. But it is much worse than that.
so? Because it specifically authorizes the president to launch
a pre-emptive war
on Iran at any time of his choosing and without any further
Congressional oversight or input. The operative sentence in the
resolution reads, “The President is authorized to use the Armed
Forces of the United States as
the President determines necessary and
appropriate in order to
achieve the goal of preventingIran from
obtaining nuclear weapons.” (Emphasis dded).
Trump – and, importantly, his entire national security team – has
Iran, repeatedly threatening that country both at the negotiating
table and on the battlefield. H.J.Res 10 would be just the blank
check the Administration craves to realize such threats.
thanks to ongoing US and allied sabre-rattling in the Persian Gulf,
tensions continue to escalate. At the end of this month, the UK, US
and allied military forces will take part in operation “Unified
Trident,” a joint exercise in the Persian Gulf that will simulate
a military confrontation with Iran.
would Washington respond if a bill was active in the Iranian
parliament authorizing war on the United States and the Iranian navy
began conducting joint exercises with the Chinese in the Gulf of
Mexico simulating an attack on the United States?