Trita Parsi’s NIAC just sent me an e-mail message with the delightful news that Sen. Lindsey Graham plans to declare war on Iran. Well, he can’t actually do that since he’s just a senator and that’s a job reserved for the president. But that doesn’t seem to stop him from trying. Here’s what he wrote:
“If nothing changes in Iran, come September, October, I will present a resolution that will authorize the use of military force to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb,” Senator Graham told a cheering audience at the “Christians United for Israel” conference earlier today.
Leave aside the fact that Graham was posturing for the uber-settler audience at the CUFI conference (Israel certainly is delighted with Graham’s saber-rattling). Leave aside that Graham doesn’t have a hope in hell of getting the Obama administration to go to war against Iran. Leave aside that Graham cynically exploits a sham issue in order to score points for the GOP. Once you leave all that garbage aside, what do you have left? Precious little.
But there is always the possibility that poseurs like Graham can inadvertently cause great damage and maneuver an administration into a position or policy it never intended. This is how Lyndon Johnson got himself neck-deep in the Big Muddy of Vietnam. By the time Tonkin Gulf incident occurred and Johnson committed himself to full-scale intervention in Vietnam, it was already too late.
But it’s not yet too late to step back from the abyss Lindsey Graham wants to us to jump into with eyes wide shut. 131 members of Congress signed the Dent-Price letter to the president urging him to take this opportunity to engage Iran’s new leadership creatively. The statement also urged the administration to stop thinking of sanctions as an effective tool against that country.
No doubt Aipac has already cooked up a letter urging even more draconian approaches to Iran and it will have even more signers (perhaps including a few who signed on with Dent-Price). But for now this statement is having its moment in the sun. A well-deserved one.