Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Congress considering a blockade on Iran - An act of war

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a new resolution that could effectively demand a blockade against Iran -- an act that would be widely seen as an act of war and could invite Iranian retaliation, possibly leading us into a shooting war. Condi was on TV yesterday saying that Iran has two weeks to comply to our demands, otherwise face tougher sanctions. This is the condition to stop uranium enrichment completely, before negotiations can even begin. Ironically, the N.I.E. (National Intelligence Estimate) has concluded that Iran has not been working on nuclear weapons capability since 2003, but only on peaceful energy.

Barack Obama has called for unconditional negotiations, which we have done successfully with N. Korea. Also, yesterday, CNN aired video describing the high tension on board our Navy boats in the Strait of Hormuz, the little 20 mile bathtub drain at the end of the Persian Gulf, through which 40% of the world's oil flows. This is a tense situation, and congress may be voting soon that could bring it to a whole other level.

Over the last three weeks, 77 House Democrats and 92 Republicans have agreed to cosponsor this resolution, but I and many others think many do not realize its dangerous implications.
This resolution (H. Con. Res. 362) was introduced by Representative Gary Ackerman. The most alarming provision "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."

Such a blockade imposed without United Nations authority (which the resolution does not call for) would be seen as an act of war. Congressional sources say the bill might first go to committee, which gives us a little more time to pressure our representatives. But whether or not it goes first to committee, or directly to the floor of the House, action on H. Con. Res. 362 is needed now.

I urge you to ask your representative not to support this dangerous step toward war with Iran.

Congressional leaders seem to have assumed that there would be little opposition to this punitive measure against Iran, and they have put it on a fast track to passage. But due to the threat of war, many organizations and reasonable members of Congress are working overtime to stop this bill. Won't you join them?

Please take action now -- ask your representative to oppose this dangerous path that could lead directly to war with Iran.

You can find the full text of the resolution and list of co-sponsors here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.CON.RES.362:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Now this is scary

Letter published in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

On his recent stop in Pittsburgh, John McCain said on KDKA TV that he recited the names of the Steelers defensive linemen when he was asked under interrogation for the names of his squadron mates ("McCain's Mind No Steel Trap in Recalling Steelers," July 12). He said, "When I was first interrogated and really had to give some information because of the pressures, the physical pressures that were on me, I named the starting lineup -- defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers -- as my squadron mates."

Of course, it's untrue, and the sleaziest kind of pandering, because Mr. McCain was shot down in 1967, and the "Steel Curtain" didn't exist until 1972. He has repeated this story many times in different places, but in those instances, the Green Bay Packers were the ones who were named.

This is frightening to me, because this person is running for president, and to blatantly lie like that to Pittsburghers, to assume that they are not smart enough to notice, shows not only a complete lack of authenticity, integrity and judgment, but also calls into question his ability to govern.