Thirty US senators wrote to President George W. Bush Thursday, warning he had no authority to launch military action against Iran, and expressing concern about the administration’s “provocative” rhetoric.
The senators, 29 Democrats and one independent, urged the resolution of disputes with the Islamic Republic through diplomacy.
“We wish to emphasize that no congressional authority exists for unilateral military action against Iran,” the letter signed by senators including presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Joseph Biden said.
The letter warned that a resolution passed by the Senate in September, calling for the designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group, should not be used as a pretext for war.
It hit out at “provocative statements and actions” by the administration on Iran, after Bush last month warned Tehran must be barred from nuclear weapons to avoid the prospect of “World War III.”
“These comments are counterproductive and undermine efforts to resolve tensions with Iran through diplomacy,” the letter, coordinated by Virginia Senator Jim Webb, said.
My feelings on this are mixed. I’m very happy that these Senators are now on record opposing Bush and his insane warmongering. But why did they give Bush the slightest encouragement in the first place? And what will they do if he bombs Iran anyway?
I was a big Hillary Clinton supporter until she voted for that amendment. Unfortunately, this letter doesn’t make me feel that much better about her judgment. She’s doing the right thing, but is it too late?
I am afraid that the Top Three Democrats – Clinton, Obama and Edwards – have all bought into the neo-con frames on foreign policy matters. Truthfully, all the Democrats are pretty good on domestic issues – certainly worlds better than Bush – so I’m not worried about that. What I’m worried about is that the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war for resources will continue after the new President is sworn in.