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Congress Alert

That US House-Passed Resolution Supposedly Opposing War Against Iran


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Last week there was much media coverage of the United Sates House of Representatives voting to approve a resolution (H. Con. Res. 83) commonly described as seeking to prevent the Trump administration from engaging in war against Iran. However, take a look at the wording of the resolution, says foreign intervention opponent and former House member Ron Paul, and you will find that most of the resolution is purposed “to build up animosity” toward Iran. Paul discussed the resolution in a new interview with host Anand Naidoo at the CGTN show The Heat.

Indeed, the resolution is chock-full of talking points in favor of war with Iran. It starts with declarations that Iran is “a leading state sponsor of terrorism and engages in a range of destabilizing activities across the Middle East” and that Iran General Qassim Suleimani, whose assassination was carried out upon President Donald Trump’s order, was “the lead architect of much of Iran's destabilizing activities throughout the world.”

The resolution goes on to even declare the US has a “national interest” in “supporting the people of Iraq, Iran, and other countries throughout the Middle East who demand an end to government corruption and violations of basic human rights.” That sure sounds like a call for the US to engage in intervention, even including regime-change efforts, in Iran and beyond.

The resolution also says the US “has national interests in preserving its partnership with Iraq and other countries in the region.” That does not seem like a call for reduced intervention, especially considering that those other partners presumably include Saudi Arabia and Israel that, aided by the US, have been busy pursuing military attacks across the Middle East.

When the resolution, at its conclusion, proclaims its prohibition of US military action against Iran, the resolution also provides exceptions to that prohibition. In these exceptions is an exception that pretty much sums up the main, and deceitful, justification the executive branch has been offering for recent US military actions against Iran. The resolution says it is OK for the “United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran or any part of its government or Military” if “such use of the Armed Forces is necessary and appropriate to defend against an imminent armed attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its Armed Forces.”

So much for Congress standing up against the executive branch and standing up for peace.

Read the resolution here:

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),

SECTION 1. TERMINATION OF USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES TO ENGAGE IN HOSTILITIES IN OR AGAINST IRAN.
(a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The Government of Iran is a leading state sponsor of terrorism and engages in a range of destabilizing activities across the Middle East. Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was the lead architect of much of Iran's destabilizing activities throughout the world.

(2) The United States has an inherent right to self-defense against imminent armed attacks. The United States maintains the right to ensure the safety of diplomatic personnel serving abroad.

(3) In matters of imminent armed attacks, the executive branch should indicate to Congress why military action was necessary within a certain window of opportunity, the possible harm that missing the window would cause, and why the action was likely to prevent future disastrous attacks against the United States.

(4) The United States has national interests in preserving its partnership with Iraq and other countries in the region, including by—
(A) combating terrorists, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS);

(B) preventing Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability; and

(C) supporting the people of Iraq, Iran, and other countries throughout the Middle East who demand an end to government corruption and violations of basic human rights.
(5) Over the past eight months, in response to rising tensions with Iran, the United States has introduced over 15,000 additional forces into the Middle East.

(6) When the United States uses military force, the American people and members of the United States Armed Forces deserve a credible explanation regarding such use of military force.

(7) The War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.) requires the President to consult with Congress ``in every possible instance'' before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.

(8) Congress has not authorized the President to use military force against Iran.
(b) Termination.--Pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544(c)), Congress hereby directs the President to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran or any part of its government or military, unless—
(1) Congress has declared war or enacted specific statutory authorization for such use of the Armed Forces; or

(2) such use of the Armed Forces is necessary and appropriate to defend against an imminent armed attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its Armed Forces, consistent with the requirements of the War Powers Resolution.
(c) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section may be construed—
(1) to prevent the President from using military force against al Qaeda or associated forces;

(2) to limit the obligations of the executive branch set forth in the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.);

(3) to affect the provisions of an Act or joint resolution of Congress specifically authorizing the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities against Iran or any part of its government or military that is enacted after the date of the adoption of this concurrent resolution;

(4) to prevent the use of necessary and appropriate military force to defend United States allies and partners if authorized by Congress consistent with the requirements of the War Powers Resolution; or

(5) to authorize the use of military force.

Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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