The House of Representatives has been whipping up war fever this week – helping the Bush team create pretexts for nuking Iran. Bush has as much right to kill Iranians as I have to kill my neighbor’s dogs – i.e, not a whiff. If Bush does attack Iran, the carnage could make the bombing of Dresden look like a minor scuffle. But the possiblity that the U.S. government will attack another Muslim country is generating cheering on Capitol Hill.
Here’s is Rep. Ron Paul’s excellent statement against House Res. 21.
June 21, 2007
Have We Forgotten 2003 Already?
Statement on H Con Res 21
by Rep. Ron Paul
This resolution is an exercise in propaganda that serves one purpose: to move us closer to initiating a war against Iran. Citing various controversial statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this legislation demands that the United Nations Security Council charge Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Having already initiated a disastrous war against Iraq citing UN resolutions as justification, this resolution is like déja-vu. Have we forgotten 2003 already? Do we really want to go to war again for UN resolutions? That is where this resolution, and the many others we have passed over the last several years on Iran, is leading us. I hope my colleagues understand that a vote for this bill is a vote to move us closer to war with Iran.
Clearly, language threatening to wipe a nation or a group of people off the map is to be condemned by all civilized people. And I do condemn any such language. But why does threatening Iran with a pre-emptive nuclear strike, as many here have done, not also deserve the same kind of condemnation? Does anyone believe that dropping nuclear weapons on Iran will not wipe a people off the map? When it is said that nothing, including a nuclear strike, is off the table on Iran, are those who say it not also threatening genocide? And we wonder why the rest of the world accuses us of behaving hypocritically, of telling the rest of the world “do as we say, not as we do.”
I strongly urge my colleagues to consider a different approach to Iran, and to foreign policy in general. General William Odom, President Reagan’s director of the National Security Agency, outlined a much more sensible approach in a recent article titled “Exit From Iraq Should Be Through Iran.” General Odom wrote: “Increasingly bogged down in the sands of Iraq, the U.S. thrashes about looking for an honorable exit. Restoring cooperation between Washington and Tehran is the single most important step that could be taken to rescue the U.S. from its predicament in Iraq.” General Odom makes good sense. We need to engage the rest of the world, including Iran and Syria, through diplomacy, trade, and travel rather than pass threatening legislation like this that paves the way to war. We have seen the limitations of force as a tool of U.S. foreign policy. It is time to try a more traditional and conservative approach. I urge a “no” vote on this resolution.
Ron Paul’s courage on this issue is another reason why his presidential campaign deserves support.
Likewise, on the Democratic side, presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich is also standing stoutly against this nonsense.
While the Bush administration (especially Cheney) enjoys demonizing the current Iranian ruler, they bear some blame for his election. Here is an excerpt from an American Conservative article I did last year:
Bush often talks as if elections are sacred events which automatically confer vast blessings upon a nation. Yet, last June, Bush effectively urged Iranians not to vote, deriding their pending presidential election for ignoring “the basic requirements of democracy.” Bush declared that the elections will be “sadly consistent with this oppressive record” of the Iranian government. U.S.-financed television and radio stations, broadcasting in Farsi, also effectively urged a boycott of the election.
The U.S. government’s actions contributed to the defeat of Mohammad Khatami, a comparatively moderate reformer, and the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , a fire-breathing hardliner. Ahmadinejad’s subsequent comments on Israel, the Holocaust, and other subjects sound almost Hollywood-scripted to help Washington persuade other nations that the Iranian government and its nuclear program must be suppressed at any cost.