Cheney Itches For a War With Iran

This post, written by Russ Wellen, originally appeared on Scholars & Rogues

In an article for McClatchy on Friday entitled "Bush, Congress could collide on Iran," Matt Stearns provides us with a ray of hope that, despite Cheney & Co.'s relentless efforts to mount one, an attack on Iran can still be averted.

"At a press conference Thursday," he writes, "Bush warned of unspecified 'consequences' if Iran's alleged interference in Iraq continues." But, given "the hindsight about the intelligence that led to the invasion of Iraq congressional authorization for a military strike [that] would be no easy sell. 'I think you'll find a lot of skeptical Republicans, no less Democrats, on the Hill,' said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"Highlighting Democratic wariness of Bush, Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia introduced a bill earlier this year that would prevent money from being used for a strike against Iran without congressional approval."

Furthermore, as Kaveh Afrasiabi reports in an Asia Times Online piece posted Saturday entitled "US diplomacy with Iran is working": "After three rounds of face-to-face meetings, diplomats from both the US and Iran in Baghdad have reported tangible progress, by agreeing to set up joint expert committees, with participation by the officials of the Iraqi government."

Not only that, writes Dr. Afrasiabi, but if the "IAEA's reports of Iranians slowing down on the centrifuge program and openly entertaining the 'time out' option do not constitute progress and a major plus, then what does?"

But this is no time to relax our vigilance. As Dr. Afrasiabi reminds us, far from yielding to the diplomatic gains of the Rice and Gates faction, Cheney & Co. are "upping the ante against" Iran. Also, it was just mid-July that the Senate voted 97-0 for an amendment written by Joe Lieberman which states that "the murder [by Iran] of members of the United States Armed Forces by a foreign government or its agents is an intolerable act against the United States."

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