Friday, September 28, 2007

The Kyl-Lieberman Amendment Means a Green Light for War with Iran

By Ibrahim Abdil-Mu'id Ramey
MAS Freedom Civil and Human Rights Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) Sept. 28, 2007 - A bold and potentially dangerous amendment has been added to the U.S. Defense Authorization Bill of 2008 that could very well lead to a pre-emptive U.S. attack on Iran.

If you missed it, you're not alone. It's the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, named after its principle sponsors in the United States Senate (Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona and crypto-Republican Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who used to be, at least in name, a Democrat). The amendment, which expressed the sentiment of the Senate, was passed by an overwhelming majority of 77 to 23.

What the amendment actually means is this: The Senate urges the U.S. to formally regard the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and the Al Quds Force, as "terrorist" organizations, and to authorize the use of "military instruments" to confront Iran.

This amendment to the bloated Department of Defense (DOD) authorization bill was largely created as a response to recent congressional testimony from General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, who testified that Iran trains Iraqi insurgents and supplies them with munitions, including sophisticated bombs used against U.S. armored vehicles and convoys.

Senator Hillary Clinton, by the way, voted in favor of the amendment. Senator Barak Obama did not vote at all.

Senator Lieberman did, in fact, address the Senate to assert that the amendment calls for economic sanctions, rather than military attacks, against the Iranian military organizations. But while falling short of an all-out call for, the Kyl-Lieberman amendment is widely believed to be a measure that opens the door for a pre-emptive military attack on Tehran.

It's certainly no secret that the Bush administration is moving in the direction of war with Iran. U.S. military assets are being positioned for air strikes against suspected Iranian military (and suspected nuclear) installations, while the U.S. is busy galvanizing international support for even more stringent sanctions against that nation.

Kyl-Lieberman now gives what amounts to a green light for the kind of aggression that could very well lead to a shooting war that would result in the catastrophic loss of untold human lives in the region - including, sadly, even more Americans in uniform.

I believe that any economic or military attack on Iran would only expand the tragedy, and folly, of a war in Iraq that should never have begun in the first place.

The Kyl-Lieberman amendment is regressive and dangerous, and we encourage you to contact the offices of your Senators to express your objections to a new U.S. war on the people of Iran.

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