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Breaking: Hagel Out, Assad Next
Washington is abuzz with news that Chuck Hagel is out as President Obama's Secretary of Defense. The Secretary was said to have never meshed with the rest of Obama's foreign policy team, led by National Security Advisor Susan Rice and flanked by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and others. Differences over how to handle the rapidly-escalating US war in Syria and Iraq are said to be the breaking point.

24 November 2014read on...

Obama's Stealth Surge in Afghanistan
It is a pattern for President Obama: posing as a peacemaker who ends the wars of the previous administration, while expanding the US use of force in areas the Bush gang could not have even imagined.

22 November 2014read on...

Fmr. Bush National Security Advisor: Start WWIII With Russia!
Stephen Hadley, who served as National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, believes that the United States should begin delivering lethal military equipment  to the US-backed government in Ukraine as that government moves ever-closer to another assault on eastern territories seeking independence.

22 November 2014read on...

Dennis Kucinich: Support for War and National Security State is Reason for Democrat Election Losses
Dennis Kucinich, the former Democratic United States House of Representatives member from Ohio and two-time presidential candidate, pins blame for Democrats’ 2014 midterm elections “debacle” on Democrat politicians in the last eight years advancing war and the national security state. Kucinich’s analysis is presented Thursday in a Common Dreams article by Deidre Fulton.

21 November 2014read on...

Ed Mullins Returns with More Marijuana Nonsense Talk
With the recent announcement of the particulars of the New York City Police Department policy change intended to reduce marijuana arrests, Sergeants Benevolent Association police union leader Ed Mullins, who previously lamented that reducing marijuana arrests in the city would be “clearly the beginning of the breakdown of a civilized society,” is back with more nonsense talk about marijuana.

18 November 2014read on...

Another US-Supported Group Goes Over to ISIS
Yet again a US-backed group in the Middle East/South Asia region has thrown in their lot with ISIS. Antiwar.com blog reports  that Jundallah, a terrorist organization based in southern Iran and western Pakistan which fights to overthrow the Iranian government, has pledged loyalty to ISIS and will back "any plans they have."

18 November 2014read on...

Ron Paul: Congress Approves ISIS War Funding While Ducking Vote on War Itself
Ron Paul said this weekend that he thinks Congress will continue to duck voting the ISIS War up or down while nevertheless voting for additional funding of the war. Paul’s prediction came during a conversation with Charles Goyette regarding the war and US foreign policy in Paul and Goyette’s most recent weekly podcast discussion.

16 November 2014read on...

Ron Paul: ‘The Militarism of Big Government is Coming to an End'
Ron Paul, speaking Saturday at a Ludwig von Mises Institute event in Costa Mesa, California, presented his optimistic prediction for the future of the movement to ensure respect peace and liberty in the United States and around the world. Paul, who is chairman and founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, both observes “a tremendous growth in the ideas of liberty” over the last thirty years and advises that “the militarism of big government is coming to an end.”

13 November 2014read on...

Obama Wants More Money for Syria Rebels
With the recent US election ensuring continued Congressional support for an interventionist foreign policy, President Obama has embarked on a foreign spending spree. First the president announced that US troop levels in Iraq would double to more than 3,000 – and that he’s “never gonna say never” to additional troops – and then he announced that he would seek nearly $6 billion to continue funding Iraq War 3.0 and Syria war 1.5.

12 November 2014read on...

Success? US Plans to Evacuate Embassy in Yemen
On September 10, President Obama addressed the nation on his plans to "downgrade and ultimately destroy" ISIS. What had begun just weeks earlier as a humanitarian rescue mission to save a religious minority in Iraq purportedly threatened by ISIS had crept into a full-fledged US war against ISIS in Iraq.

11 November 2014read on...

Peace and Prosperity

Senate Votes Unanimously Toward War Against Iran


Today the US Senate voted unanimously in favor of a Lindsey Graham resolution, S.Res.65, which "[s]trongly support(s) the full implementation of United States and international sanctions on Iran and urg[es] the President to continue to strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation."

The legislation, as expected from a Lindsey Graham product, is full of misstatements, historical revisionism, and war-drum-beating hyperbole. Particularly revolting is the distortion and lies about Iran's not being in compliance with IAEA nuclear safeguards requirements and the irony of Graham's using Iran's refusal to implement UN resolutions as evidence of its rogue status. Also deceptive is the sleight of hand claiming that Iran pursuing a "nuclear weapons capability" is the real violation, rather than an Iranian failure to uphold its agreed upon obligation to not actually divert fissile material to build a nuclear weapon. It is a unilateral lowering of the bar, which is in fact itself a US violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Most alarming, however, is that this resolution contains among the clearest legislative language to date promising that should Israel decide to attack Iran, the US would back Israel militarily. It is breathtakingly foolhardy for the US Senate to give such carte blanche permission to any foreign country to attack another nation as it sees fit with the promise of the backing of the United States military. The move will likely embolden Israel to continue recent escalation of military action in the region and will likely propel Israel closer to an attack on Iran. In economic theory this is known as "moral hazard."

The resolved clauses of the resolution must be seen to be believed, so I reproduce them here (see especially the original point (8), which was apparently even too over-the-top for the Senators -- the substitute language is just as bad but it adds a layer of vagueness as a fig leaf):

Congress--
(1) reaffirms the special bonds of friendship and cooperation that have existed between the United States and the State of Israel for more than sixty years and that enjoy overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress and among the people of the United States;

(2) strongly supports the close military, intelligence, and security cooperation that President Obama has pursued with Israel and urges this cooperation to continue and deepen;

(3) deplores and condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the reprehensible statements and policies of the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran threatening the security and existence of Israel;

(4) recognizes the tremendous threat posed to the United States, the West, and Israel by the Government of Iran's continuing pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability;

(5) reiterates that the policy of the United States is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon capability and to take such action as may be necessary to implement this policy;

(6) reaffirms its strong support for the full implementation of United States and international sanctions on Iran and urges the President to continue and strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation;

(7) declares that the United States has a vital national interest in, and unbreakable commitment to, ensuring the existence, survival, and security of the State of Israel, and reaffirms United States support for Israel's right to self-defense; and

[Struck out->] (8) urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence. [< -Struck out]

(8) urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran's nuclear weapons program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with United States law and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.

A meaningless statement is added at the end which likely guaranteed unanimous support:

SEC. 2. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.

Nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war.

This last part is Congressional weasel language, as the point was not to declare war but rather to define the circumstances under which war would be authorized. Point (8) lays down those circumstances, which is a trap for any Senator who voted for this bill. Imagine if the criteria in point (8) are satisfied by an Israeli attack on Iran claiming self-defense. Any Senator hesitating to authorize the US military to join Israel's war would be shown his vote on this resolution and told that he is already on record supporting war in these circumstances. That is how it works on the Hill.

This is an important vote.


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