06 August 2008
Déja Vue in Iran
With each day comes a news comment or a policy statement from the Bush Administration that replicate the buildup propaganda to our attacking Iraq in 2002 and 2003. The justification of Iran's not allowing UN inspectors into Iran was as disingenuous for invading Iraq as it is now. Just yesterday, NPR reported that officials of the US reacted to Iran's obstenant [though within its rights as a sovereign nation] and the US said that sterner measures must be taken if Iran continues to refuse entry to UN inspectors. News commentaries seem to assume that Israel will attack Iran regardless of the US actions or inaction. Then, the Administration already has said we would defend Israel if Iran were to retaliate. We should not enter into a state of war with Iran under these circumstances or any other, barring an Iranian attack on one of the 50 States, Puerto Rico, Guam or other US protectorates in the Pacific. There are reasons, good ones, that might cause us to consider against a military attack on Iran even then.
First, if one side does not retaliate, then the agressor fails. There is no way Iran could claim victory over the United States if we chose not to retaliate militarily. It really is a choice on our part. Certainly, the moral position gained by not retaliating could be devastating to Iran's economy and voice in the world because of actions the UN would sanction for any trade or flow of funds to and from Iran.
Iran is an ancient civilization and a major political and cultural element in Southeast Asia. It has a very large army and navy. It has one of the largest oil production capacities in the world market. The population of Iran emulates Western culture now, but they would support their government in the event of hostilities between the Western countries and Iran. Iran's government is supportive of the UN in Afghanistan against the forces of Al Q'ada and its Sunni fundamentalism. In addition, Iran does not support Arab interference in the politics of the non-Arab peoples of the region, including Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. In these matters, Iran's will seems more culturally racist than based in Islamic ideology. For these reasons, non-military sanctions from an Iranian attack could be far more devastating and effective against Iran's governing regime than a military response.
As an aside, Dick Cheney apparently will not be attending the GOP convention in September. What will he be doing instead? I doubt he'll take a vacation. Planning another pre-emptive war perhaps?
We must ensure that Congress does not allow Bush or Cheney to order any offensive military action against Iraq or that our State Department encourage Israel to act as our agent. Word should go out from individual, influential members of the House and Senate to the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon and Gen, Petraeus that Congress will not back the President or Vice President should either man move to act as "Commander-In-Chief" rather than as President. Why does it matter whether Bush acts as "Commander-in-Chief"? It matters because there is no Constitutional check on the powers of "Commander-in-Chief" in Bush's world.
GWB separates his Presidential roles the way some separate the idea of mind or spirit and body in a person. Philosophically, this is a Platonic argument that formed the Hellenistic hegemony for thousands of years. This philosophical argument, however, turns out to be not in accordance with either Christianity or Judaism. If it were otherwise, Christianity would be polytheistic (the Trinity), which is anathema in dogma and doctrine. Judaism has never adopted the Hellenist separation of soul or spirit and body to this day. Thus, GWB makes an argument that is inconsistant with the Constitution's theological heritage as well as its secular intentions. He or his agents cannot separate his role as President, the Chief Executive, from his role of Commander-in-Chief to justify ordering the military with impunity from Constitution-based limits and sanctions. Further, Congress does not have the Constitutional power to enable this false separation of roles.
We must write to our Representatives and Senators to put clamps on these guys until a new Administration takes charge.