H.R. 1400: A recipe for war

H.R. 1400 Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007 [1] was introduced by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) on 3/8/2007 and passed in the House of Representatives with a vote of 397-16. This latest Congressional ruse was just like many other Bills and Resolutions with clever and appealing titles like USA PATRIOT [2] or Clear Skies Act [3] which were initiated and passed, sometimes with little to no debate and away from any meaningful media attention or public scrutiny.

The first paragraph introduces the resolution as “A Bill to enhance United States diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by imposing additional economic sanctions and for other purposes.”

The word “diplomatic” is derived from “diplomacy” which is the art of international mediation or negotiation for the purpose of maintaining peaceful relations. Imposing sanctions on a country to enhance diplomatic efforts is as absurd a notion as bombing to preserve peace or engaging in sexual assault to preserve virginity.

In an effort to lay the groundwork for the necessity of such action, under Section 2 titled ‘U.S. Policy toward Iran’, it finds that “The prospect of Iran achieving nuclear arms represents a grave threat to the United States, its allies in the Middle East, Europe, and globally” citing an statement made by Hashemi Rafsanjani, former president of Iran on December 14, 2001 that “it is not irrational to contemplate” use of nuclear weapons as solid proof that Iran would indeed attack its neighbors and others if armed with nuclear weapons.

So the rational conclusion from that line of reasoning would be that any time a politician or former politician from a country makes an irresponsible remark that may be interpreted as a threat, the proper “diplomatic” response would be to impose sanctions and have your own president [4] and other politicians [5] take turns at making similar threats toward that nation with the major difference of having the means to deliver on those words and regardless of the fact that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports have repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the terms of Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and praised [6] its full cooperation with that UN agency.

Despite its disingenuous boiler plate disclaimer that “nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing the use of force or the use of the U.S. Armed Forces against Iran”, this resolution provides the U.S. president just the loophole he needs to claim full authority for taking hostile action under the guise of conducting the ongoing “global war on terror”.

Buried in all the new tighter sanctions, mandatory restrictions, expanded definitions, and authorizations; under Title 4, Section 401 it states that “120 days after the enactment of this Act, the President shall determine whether the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps should be designated as a foreign terrorist organization; placed on the list of specially designated global terrorists;” and here is the old coveted favorite phrase “on the list of weapon of mass destruction proliferators”. Assigning Mr. Bush to make such a determination is like putting an arsonist in charge of a bucket brigade.

While H.R. 1400 may not be as explicit as the Iraq war resolution H.J.R. 114 [7] passed in October 2002, it is just what the war-mongers in this administration needed to clear the way for an open and far more catastrophic confrontation with Iran at a time of their choosing.

[1] http://www.aipac.org/Publications/SourceMaterialsC…
[2] http://www.eff.org/patriot/20020925_patriot_act.ph…
[3] http://www.epa.gov/air/clearskies/CSA2003shortsumm…
[4] http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-08-13…
[5] http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jun2007/repu-j07…
[6] http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/30/349…
[7] http://www.c-span.org/resources/pdf/hjres114.pdf

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