H.Con.Res. 362, new resolution introduced on May 22, 2008 by Representatives Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Mike Pence (R-IN), is raising controversy in Washington and across the country. There is a particular clause that some many fear is tantamount to declaring that the President should pursue a naval blockade against Iran, which would be an act of war.
The bill was introduced just prior to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Annual Policy Meeting and urging co-sponsorship is one of AIPAC’s central legislative asks. They are currently circulating a letter in support of H.Con.Res. 362 and the Senate companion, S.Res. 580.
According to the House leadership, this resolution is going to “pass like a hot knife through butter” before the end of June on what is called suspension — meaning no amendments can be introduced during the 20-minute maximum debate. It also means it is assumed the bill will pass by a 2/3 majority and is noncontroversial. As of June 18, the bill already has 169 co-sponsors. If and when the bill is voted on suspension, there will be a roll call vote and AIPAC will use how members voted on the resolution in the lead up to the elections.
When Representative Dennis Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against Vice-President Cheney, and then against President Bush, one of his key accusations was that the Bush Administration has tried to lead the United States into war with Iran. So you might have thought that Members of Congress who signed on to the impeachment crusade shared Rep. Kucinich’s critique of U.S. saber-rattling towards Iran.
If you thought that, you might want to think again. The evidence is, shall we say, mixed. Representative Robert Wexler, who has made support of impeachment a signature issue, has signed on to a House resolution promoted by AIPAC that appears to endorse a naval blockade of Iran. A naval blockade would, of course, be an act of war. If not sanctioned by the UN Security Council – and there is no reason to believe that it would be – it would be a war crime. The resolution makes no mention of seeking Security Council approval.
As well as AIPAC the American Jewish Committee is working to get this resolution passed but they do not mention the part that would enable a Naval Blockade, they call it an urgent effort—economic, political, and diplomatic—to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
If it were just that it would not have this key part buried in the penultimate paragraph of the resolution –
(3) demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program; and
Just Foreign Policy have a form to write to your representative (if a citizen of the American Empire) and wake them up to this and ask them not to support the resolution. Click Here.