[Marxism] House war-authorization vs. Iran pushed as NYT hints at navy blockade

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Thu Jun 19 14:57:50 MDT 2008

My tendency is to think that the threats described in the article below are
primarily pressure on Iran to back down from its nuclear-power development
program and make concessions on such subjects as the security treaty being
imposed on Iraq and the US big-oil takeover of Iraqi oil. Iran certainly has
the resources to hold up under a naval blockade at least as well as Hamas
has, and in addition it has land borders. 

So a naval blockade would be effective only as an opening to an air war.

Further Washington's overall military-political position is quite weak at
the moment despite the raw military power at its disposal. The succession of
setbacks to Washington in the region -- including shifts in the Pakistani
government's position which could make a full blockade of Iran simply
impossible -- could make some of those who have staked careers on the
success of the US regional offensive ready for even madder adventures. 

So we should not assume that this cannot happen.

I support the impeachment effort at present as a way to keep the
administration off balance on war matters during its remaining time in
office. It is also possible that impeachment demonstrations could serve as
an opportunity for mobilization of antiwar protesters. 

I also think the upcoming antiwar conference in Cleveland, despite its
relatively narrow base, may serve a useful purpose, calling some useful
actions and providing an apparatus that may spur unified protests in the
event of an emergency situation.
Fred Feldman


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.

Consider what House Concurrent Resolution 362 "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 consider how the United States and its allies could prohibit "the export
to Iran of all refined petroleum products" or "impose stringent inspection
requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo
entering or departing Iran" without imposing a naval blockade, an act of

If you think that's a far-fetched interpretation, consider what the New York
Times reported Sunday as the possible consequence if Iran refused the
"generous offer" to comply with U.S. demands that it stop enriching uranium:

"other punitive moves against Iran that could be taken by a 'coalition of
the willing' outside the United Nations" 
"Outside the United Nations" meaning, presumably, without UN Security
Council authorization. And what might those "punitive moves" be?

"Officials would not provide details, but analysts suggest those could
include a naval embargo of the Persian Gulf or the refusal to supply
Western-made technology required for Iran's oil industry, creating
bottlenecks in Iran's oil production." 
I'm a firm believer in giving people the benefit of the doubt, and I would
not be surprised if Rep. Wexler signed on to this "get tough" resolution
without thinking through its implications. 

If so, all Rep. Wexler has to do to set things straight is remove his name
from the resolution.

You can check whether he has done so here.

A House leadership office said that the resolution could be put on the
suspension calendar next week.

If you think that would be bad, you can write Congress in opposition to this
resolution here

More information about the Marxism mailing list