The Senate is scheduled to vote as early as today on an amendment that, if passed, would dangerously escalate the U.S. conflict with Iran, adding to the escalation by the Bush Administration in recent weeks. Again recently U.S. forces have arrested Iranian officials in Iraq even though these officials were in Iraq at the invitation of the supposedly sovereign Iraqi government. As Katrina vanden Heuvel noted yesterday for The Nation, Americans overwhelmingly oppose the use of military force against Iran. But by voting for this amendment, the Senate could move us closer to another disastrous war.
The Kyl-Lieberman amendment would put the Senate on the record supporting the "use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq," including military force, to "combat, contain, and roll back" Iran's influence in Iraq. Such provocative language would be construed as support for war with Iran. It would also be construed as support for provocative actions that could act as a trigger for war.
By approving this dangerous amendment, the Senate would also be endorsing the aggressive step of designating part of Iran's military a "terrorist organization." The Washington Post reported in January that skeptics in the intelligence community, State Department and Defense Department worry this step "could push the growing conflict between Tehran and Washington into the center of a chaotic Iraq war." The text of the Kyl-Lieberman amendment is here:
The Bush administration and its allies have kept up a steady drumbeat of unproven allegations that Iran is arming insurgents in Iraq. The sponsors of this amendment recite those allegations as if they were fact, ignoring the fact that they haven't been substantiated, in order to establish them as "true by repetition." But by stating that the goal is to combat Iran's "influence" in Iraq, the sponsors of this amendment show what it's really all about. Lieberman, like Bush, wants to put American lives at risk for the goal of constraining Iranian political influence in Iraq, a goal in which the overwhelming majority of Americans have no stake, certainly not a stake worth a single American life.
Instead of military confrontation, we need real diplomacy with Iran - where the United States is prepared to make concessions in return for Iranian concessions, not the fake diplomacy we've seen so far where you have a meeting in which you just pound the table so that later you can say that diplomacy didn't work.
Call (202-224-3121) or write your Senators to ask them to oppose the Kyl-Lieberman amendment on Iran.