History Repeating Itself: Senate Votes To Declare IRG Terrorist Group

Yesterday, Virginia Senator Jim Webb delivered an impassioned speech on the floor of the Senate as to exactly why the Kyl-Lieberman amendment needed to be stricken down.

Webb: We are about to vote on something that may fundamentally change the way that the United States views the Iranian military, and we haven’t had one hearing. This is not the way to make foreign policy. It’s not the way to declare war, although this cleverly worded sense of the Congress could be interpreted that way.

Those who regret their vote five years ago to authorize military action in Iraq should think hard before supporting this approach, because in my view, it has the same potential to do harm where many are seeking to do good. The constant turmoil that these sorts of proposals and actions are bringing to the region is counterproductive. They are regrettable substitute for a failure of diplomacy by this Administration.

I do not believe that any serious student of foreign policy could support this amendment as it now exists.

This proposal is Dick Cheney’s fondest pipe dream. It’s not a prescription for success. At best, it’s a deliberate attempt to divert attention from a failed diplomatic policy. At worst, it could be read as a back door method of gaining congressional validation for action with one hearing or without serious debate.

As I mentioned when news first hit the wires that Bush had intended on labeling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, this is a big and important step in the march to war with Iran, as well as one of the grave dangers that many on the left warned about when first Bush laid out his broad “with us or against us” tone to the Global War on Terror.

The short of it is simply this; if the IRG is successfully named as a Terrorist Group, Bush has enough leeway to omit any further dealings with Congress to declare war on Iran.  Such a labeling would arguably force Iran to fall under the jurisdiction of the War on Terror ™, and as we have seen time and time again, arguably is all this president needs.

Despite Jim Webb’s plea for sanity, the measure passed overwhelmingly; 76-22.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment would be the vote cast by Democratic Presidential frontrunner, Hillary Clinton who voted for it, further bolstering the idea that this marks a return to her hawkish ways exhibited prior to making a bid for the White House.  This signaling very heavily that perhaps she is counting her chickens before they are hatched.

The idea here being that she already has the Democratic nomination wrapped up, and now it’s time to start courting the hawks in play for all they’re worth.  Senator Barrack Obama does himself no favors by skipping the vote, though it should be mentioned that both Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd voted against it.

One can only hope that Clinton gets taken to task for her vote during tonight’s debates.

Why?  It’s simple.  Congress was duped once by the administration into handing over the keys to the military to President Bush.  The result was a disaster that four years later has driven a terrible wedge into the heart of this country while at the same time utterly destroyed another country that we would quickly learned served no threat whatsoever.

The phrase that President Bush had a hard time saying is, “You fool me once, shame on you.  You fool me twice, shame on me.”

We gave license to Bush for preemptive war unwittingly, and while one could quibble over whether that should or should not have happened, it is at this point a question of academics, the event already having been indellibly inked into the history of this country.

The real question is if you have the judgement to not make the same mistake again.  For Hillary, apparently the answer is no.

9 Responses to “History Repeating Itself: Senate Votes To Declare IRG Terrorist Group”

  1. Laura says:

    I hope people will stop telling me to contact my senators. I have more reasonable conversations with my goldfish. What does a citizen say when they make a call to insanity? “Um, yeah, I’d like to encourage Senator Jon Kyle to stop um drafting stuff to make Iran a target without congressional consent and um I don’t appreciate his take on the Saguaro Cactus laws..”” I’m surprised McCain missed such an opportunity. Anyway, Kyl is in till 2012 and we’ll just keep voting him back in there. He seems like such a nice man in the commercials….

  2. Aw… poor Laura.

    Now, it doesn’t seem like senator contacting seems enough, at least not in small numbers. To be honest, I really don’t know what it will take anymore… *sigh*

  3. mick says:

    Laura, my love, don’t give up calling, just give up all hope (never mind expectation) of coherent conversation. That’s not important anyway. Here’s what they care about: numbers. Every call they receive for or against an issue represents 500-1000 people who feel the same way but didn’t call. That, rule o’ thumb, is how they figure it.

    So every time you call, you add up to 1000 onto the tabulation they keep, and believe me, they do pay attention to that tab. I used to work in marketing in a minor way, and that’s the way it’s done. So you’re not one frustrated person, you’re 1000 frustrated people every time you pick up the phone. It doesn’t particularly matter what you say or how you say it. What matters is the number of calls X 1000.

    And that matters because it’s ammunition for the people inside who are fighting for and/or promoting your POV – ammunition they need, ammunition that strengthens their position when it’s there and weakens it when it’s not. You may not change any minds, but you’re almost certainly helping the people who want to change the vote.

    Even tho you can’t see what good you’re doing, and even tho it won’t make you feel any less frustrated and ignored, you are being heard – you and the 1000 other people you represent who are heard thru you. And when enough 1000’s call, the votes will change. They always do.

  4. Okay, so Mick definitely much better at the pep talk than I.

    yeah, what he said.

  5. Laura says:

    Thanks. I guess I would have liked more than one day’s warning that this vote was happening. I’m sure I must have heard about it … probably you guys did posted and I missed it ? Anyway, I’ll give John and Jon more calls; maybe they’re just acting out and they need attention. Thanks for the pep talk, Mick (and you too, KyleE). One more argument though: Feinstein doesn’t seem to respond to the lefties and there are certainly a lot more in CA than in AZ. Maybe they’re just ignoring us and the numbers altogether because they have an agenda? I know, call anyway…. ok.

  6. Are you really trying to get me and Mick to go at it again?


    Maybe when I have more time…


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