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"On the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, some in Congress are itching for another ill-advised conflict"

March 8th, 2013

“… Meanwhile, some in Congress seem determined to play an unconstructive role in the negotiations. One particular measure, co-sponsored by Senators Robert Menendez and Lindsey Graham—and backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee coming out of its big annual policy conference last weekend, as reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Ron Kampeas— could both undermine diplomacy and green-light an attack by Israel.The resolution, after listing in some detail the Islamic Republic’s offenses (which, let’s be clear, are quite serious), “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.”… There are a few other important things to note about Senator Graham’s resolution. First, it’s out of step with the view of a majority of Americans. A Pew poll last year showed that 56 percent of Americans believe that the United States should not support Israel if it attacks Iran.

Second, it’s wildly inconsistent with the way that U.S. foreign policy—or any country’s foreign policy, for that matter—has unfolded in the past. There’s no precedent for giving this sort of blank check to a client state. As former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told The Washington Post last year, “We cannot subcontract the right to go to war—that is an American decision… 

The resolution also contradicts the highest-ranking military official in the U.S. armed forces, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Speaking in London last year, Dempsey distanced himself from any Israeli plan to bomb Iran, saying such an attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program.” He then added, “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.” This resolution makes such complicity hard to deny.…”


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