76 Senate Warmongers

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On February 28, 2013, Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced Senate Resolution 65, which is currently referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where I hope it dies. If it passes, it becomes an important step on the road to war with Iran, as Pat Buchanan explains:

“SR 65 radically alters U.S. policy by declaring it to be ‘the policy of the United States … to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and to take such action as may be necessary to implement this policy.’

“Obama’s policy – no nuclear weapons in Iran – is tossed out. Substituted for it in SR 65 is Bibi Netanyahu’s policy – ‘no nuclear weapons capability’ in Iran.”

“Now, as Iran already has that ‘capability’ – as does Germany, Japan, South Korea and other nations who have forsworn nuclear weapons – what SR 65 does is authorize the United States to attack Iran – to stop her from what she is doing now. Yet, according to all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, Iran does not have a nuclear bomb program.”

Senators have many reasons for signing on to bills and resolutions as co-sponsors, because they constantly make deals with one another. A signature does not always imply a supportive vote on a bill. But since war with Iran has such large implications for all Americans, on all fronts – such as moral, political, and economic – I think that a single-issue focus is called for.

Graham is a warmonger. A senator who signs on to Graham’s warmongering resolution identifies himself or herself as a warmonger. Co-sponsoring SR 65 identifies a senator clearly as making one of the most serious possible misjudgments that a legislator can make. Very few matters rise to the importance of launching an aggressive war against another nation without justification.

Americans should remove these warmongers from office, no matter what the other votes of these senators may be and no matter what other contradictory statements they may mouth about peace and threats. As signers, they know what this resolution says. They are fully responsible for signing it. After all, these signers are supposed to be Senators. They are supposed to be wise, mature, seasoned men and women who understand what the Public Good requires and who support it. They are supposed to be immune to factions, interest groups, temporary emotions, biases and political dealing. They are supposed to understand that the business of America is primarily its own business, not butting into the politics of other states, not creating and extending an Empire, not being the world’s self-appointed policeman, not making aggressive wars, not acting on behalf of factions in America, and not linking the fortunes of Americans to selected governments or peoples overseas.

No senator worthy of the title should ever have signed such a resolution.

Removing these warmongers from office is easier said than done since the two major political parties own and control the nominating processes. It is a measure of how far off the path of any conceivable Public Good this nation has strayed that a resolution like this could attract so many signatures.

Let us at least identify who these bad apples are, even if the whole barrel is rotten. Let us at least point them out for what they stand for and tell them in whatever ways we can think of “No”, “No”, and again “No”. “No more wars. No more aggressions. No more lies. No more propaganda. No more exaggerations. No more kowtowing to Israel or to certain subsets of American voters. No more capital siphoned off from productive ventures into phony wars, military spending and bureaucracies ginned up by the war and terrorism complex.”

Who are these 76 senate warmongers? They are

  • Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Barrasso, John [WY] – 3/6/2013
  • Sen Baucus, Max [MT] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Begich, Mark [AK] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Boozman, John [AR] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Burr, Richard [NC] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] – 3/18/2013
  • Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Coats, Daniel [IN] – 3/18/2013
  • Sen Coburn, Tom [OK] – 3/12/2013
  • Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] – 3/18/2013
  • Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Coons, Christopher A. [DE] – 3/6/2013
  • Sen Cornyn, John [TX] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Crapo, Mike [ID] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Cruz, Ted [TX] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Donnelly, Joe [IN] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] – 3/13/2013
  • Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] – 3/22/2013
  • Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] – 3/12/2013
  • Sen Fischer, Deb [NE] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Flake, Jeff [AZ] – 3/11/2013
  • Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Hagan, Kay [NC] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] – 3/14/2013
  • Sen Heitkamp, Heidi [ND] – 3/11/2013
  • Sen Heller, Dean [NV] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Hirono, Mazie K. [HI] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Hoeven, John [ND] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK] – 3/6/2013
  • Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Johanns, Mike [NE] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Johnson, Ron [WI] – 3/20/2013
  • Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] – 3/11/2013
  • Sen Kaine, Tim [VA] – 3/11/2013
  • Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [IL] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] – 3/11/2013
  • Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] – 3/19/2013
  • Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Lee, Mike [UT] – 3/12/2013
  • Sen Manchin, Joe, III [WV] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen McCain, John [AZ] – 3/13/2013
  • Sen McCaskill, Claire [MO] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen McConnell, Mitch [KY] – 3/18/2013
  • Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Moran, Jerry [KS] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Murkowski, Lisa [AK] – 3/12/2013
  • Sen Murray, Patty [WA] – 3/11/2013
  • Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] – 3/14/2013
  • Sen Portman, Rob [OH] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Pryor, Mark L. [AR] – 3/13/2013
  • Sen Risch, James E. [ID] – 3/18/2013
  • Sen Roberts, Pat [KS] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Rubio, Marco [FL] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] – 2/28/2013
  • Sen Scott, Tim [SC] – 3/11/2013
  • Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] – 3/19/2013
  • Sen Shelby, Richard C. [AL] – 3/18/2013
  • Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Tester, Jon [MT] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Thune, John [SD] – 3/19/2013
  • Sen Toomey, Pat [PA] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Vitter, David [LA] – 3/13/2013
  • Sen Warner, Mark R. [VA] – 3/11/2013
  • Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] – 3/11/2013
  • Sen Wicker, Roger F. [MS] – 3/5/2013
  • Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] – 2/28/2013

How can any U.S. senator who has a sworn responsibility for the well-being of Americans declare

“…that the United States has a vital national interest in, and unbreakable commitment to, ensuring the existence, survival, and security of the State of Israel, and reaffirms United States support for Israel’s right to self-defense…”

Such a declaration is the height of irresponsibility! The U.S. has no vital and inflexible interest whatsoever in the State of Israel. The U.S. is supposed to have a vital interest, not in any given State anywhere, but in JUSTICE for Americans. It is in the interest of every American to get what is his or her due. For the government of the U.S. to provide justice domestically is a huge and ongoing challenge that it has not been meeting for decades. There are many reasons for this failure, and one of them is the misbegotten attempt to link that justice to the fortunes of a foreign state like Israel. Israel has its own politics, its own foreign relations, its own religious basis, its own conflicts, and its own ideas of justice. Israel is not a state of the Union. There is no good reason to single out the State of Israel either for preferential treatment or for a special relationship, anymore than there is to single out any other of the many States, peoples, nations and factions in this world. There are no clear and known connections between justice for Americans and assuring that the State of Israel exists, survives and is secure.

It is singularly imprudent for the U.S. government inflexibly to commit to this or any other such foreign political configuration. It not only does not guarantee justice, but it easily involves the U.S. and Americans in endorsing and supporting injustices in foreign lands over which it has little or no control.

I dare say that if 76 Americans were chosen at random who did not face voting blocs and did not receive campaign contributions from them, they would not judge it to be in their interests or those of the American public to link up to Israel in such a way that Israel, by its own actions, could get Americans into a war with Iranians. The likelihood is small that they would urge, as does SR 65

“…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.”

No one of the 50 states of the Union can drag Americans into a war by an attack of its own, but it can happen that an attack on one state by a foreign power causes Congress to declare war against an aggressor. But if Israel should happen to make a case, as it already has, that it is necessary to its self-defense to attack Iran if Iran has a “nuclear capability”, then SR 65 commits the U.S. to joining in a war on Iran as an ally and partner with military and economic support. No state of the Union can push the war button on its own for the United States, but SR 65 says that Israel can push that button.

Should a member of the U.S. Senate who signs on to such a proposition be allowed to remain a U.S. senator?

The same document says in so many words that Israel is justified in attacking Iran in self-defense. It asserts that Congress

“deplores and condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the reprehensible statements and policies of the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran threatening the security and existence of Israel;

“recognizes the tremendous threat posed to the United States, the West, and Israel by the Government of Iran’s continuing pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability;”

Have these 76 senators not clearly identified themselves in SR 65 as ready and willing to commit Americans to a war against Iran if Israel initiates it and calls it self-defense? Indeed, they have – unambiguously.

Is such a judgment even remotely sensible? Not at all!

The 76 senators who have so far signed on to SR 65 are warmongers. A warmonger is “someone who is eager to encourage people or a nation to go to war.” Their supposed reasons and motivations, and a number of them are listed in SR 65, are either faulty or beside the point. I will not go into them. Instead, I point out that the main points are simple.

Iran has no nuclear weapons and has no nuclear program to build them. Even if it had them, they pose no necessary or imminent threat of attack on America. Certainly right now Iran is in no position to attack either Israel or America. It not only has no nuclear weapons, it has no way to deliver them if it did have them. Israel and the U.S. possess both nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. These two states pose far more of an imminent threat to Iran than the opposite.

The U.S. has been organizing as much of the world as it can to strangle Iran with sanctions. This evil policy is having some success in harming Iran and Iranians. The U.S. and Israel have engaged in both computer sabotage and assassinations. To all of this, Iran has actually responded with restraint. It has even made offers that the U.S. has rejected.

However, the U.S. and Israeli actions and threats have not dislodged the Iranian government, have not overturned its mode of government, and have not created another revolution in Iran.

This is the background reason why these 76 warmongers want to move right up to the war-making line and then cross it. They have not got their way by these other means, so they are eager for an outright war.

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