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Is There a Bipartisan Congressional Opposition to War on Iran?


By Stephen Lendman

When the US plans war on a targeted country, it fabricates pretexts and seeks world community, congressional, and public support — establishment media backing virtually automatic.

Congressional authorization for war hasn’t been gotten since December 8, 1941, following imperial Japan’s Pearl Harbor attack.

All US post-WW II wars have been and continue to be flagrantly illegal. Security Council members alone have legal authority to permit one nation to attack another. It’s permitted solely in self-defense, never preemptively, how all US wars of aggression are waged.

Iran is in the Trump regime’s crosshairs for regime change, things moving ominously toward war on the country based entirely on Big Lies and deception about a nation threatening no one.

Most Republicans support Trump’s drive to war on Iran. GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s open to a war authorization vote. He opposes a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment to prevent war on Iran without congressional approval, falsely claiming it’ll undermine Trump given crisis conditions that don’t exist.

The vast majority of Dems supported all US post-WW II wars of aggression. It remains to be seen how serious they are about what’s covered below. Dem Senator Tom Udall and GOP Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee proposed an NDAA amendment to prevent attacking Iran without congressional authorization.

Udall said it’s supported by “every” Senate Dem, and “(it’s) gaining increasing bipartisan support,” adding:

“Our Iran policy is in chaos, careening towards war and to change course the president should immediately fire John Bolton.”

His “long campaign for violent regime change has now pushed us to the brink — and as these internal disagreements spill out into the open, we are only increasing the risk of grave miscalculation, confusing our allies, and reducing any possibility of de-escalation and diplomacy.”

“(T)he Senate cannot continue to duck a vote on a potential war with Iran,” calling for McConnell to permit it. With a 51 – 49 Republican majority and at least two GOP senators against attacking Iran without congressional authorization, the amendment is highly likely to be adopted.

On Tuesday, House members Matt Gaetz, Ro Khanna, and 17 bipartisan co-sponsors introduced an NDAA amendment similar to the Senate one.

House and Senate amendments call for prohibiting funds for attacking Iran unless Congress goes along, saying as well that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) cannot be invoked to justify war on Iran.

House members will take up the amendment during NDAA debate in July. It’s unclear if the Senate will follow through.

If voted on by House and Senate members, it’ll likely be adopted. Will it give Trump pause about attacking Iran?

He ignored joint House/Senate Resolution 7 “to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.”

He also ignored Senate legislation, invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution. It requires a congressional declaration of war, or a national emergency created by an attack on the US, its territories, possessions, or armed forces, for the executive to deploy troops to engage in foreign hostilities.

Congressional members have done nothing to cut off funding for US military involvement in Yemen. Nor have they countered US war in the country by other means.

Bipartisan House and Senate legislation to prevent war on Iran won’t likely deter Trump from launching it because no US president was ever held accountable for attacking another nation — not by Congress or the courts.

Dems are as belligerent as Republicans, large majorities in both houses supporting all US post-WW II wars of aggression.

Will things be different if Trump OKs attacking Iran? Based on the historical record, it’s highly unlikely.

Failure to enlist allies for war on Iran other than Israel, the Saudis, UAE, some other Gulf states, perhaps Britain, and a few small Pacific islands the US controls isn’t enough.

Pompeo and Bolton reportedly seek at least 20 coalition of the willing partners for US war on Iran.

Falling way short could prevent it, not congressional action, calling for its approval that hasn’t worked before.

Attacking Iran preemptively remains ominously possible. If Trump yields to Bolton and Pompeo, the mother of all post-9/11 quagmires could happen with potentially devastating consequences.

***
Author Stephen Lendman is an American writer on international affairs and US foreign policy. You can read more of his work on his blog site.

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