WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday she does not believe a Senate resolution authorizes President Bush to take military action against Iran.
“There is nothing in this particular resolution that would suggest that from our point of view. And, clearly, the president has also made very clear that he’s on a diplomatic path where Iran comes into focus,” Rice said.
The Senate in late September voted 76-22 in favor of a resolution urging the State Department to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.
While the resolution, by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., attracted overwhelming bipartisan support, a small group of Democrats said they feared labeling the state-sponsored organization a terrorist group could be interpreted as a congressional authorization of military force in Iran.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was the only Senate Democrat running for president to support the measure. Her rivals have argued that Bush could use it to justify war with Iran. Clinton insists her vote would not support military strikes and instead was a vote for stepped-up diplomacy.
On Sunday, Rice echoed that view. She said Bush was focused on diplomatic options – not waging war.
Now, I’m not saying that I believe Condi Rice, or any of these lying Fascists. Jeebus forbid! There could be many nefarious motives behind this statement. Who knows – maybe the Bushies are trying to spike Senator Clinton’s campaign by drawing parallels between what Hillary is saying and what Rice is saying about Iran.
What is interesting, however, is that Rice has definitively come out and said that the Kyl-Lieberman resolution does not authorize war against Iran. It will be difficult, in these days of ever-increasing opposition to the occupation of Iraq, to take such a statement back.