Why does Kucinich continue to get invited to the debates when this guy, whose positions are indistinguishable from his, is relegated to talking to the wall? Is it the hot wife? The fact that he’s still in Congress? Or is there room enough for only one “real Democrat” in the field? Regardless, enjoy this pathetic exercise in which Gravel ends up sounding a lot like “real Republican” Ron Paul on Iran while lying shamelessly about the Lieberman-Kyl resolution over which Hillary’s gotten so much grief. If you haven’t yet read the resolution yet, please do; it’s the only way to fully appreciate the depth of the nutroots’s paranoia and/or dishonesty about it. Gravel would have you believe that, in light of Lieberman-Kyl, the original Authorization to Use Military Force passed after 9/11 now authorizes Bush to use force against Iran. Presumably he’s extrapolating from this line in the AUMF’s preamble:
Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States:
Lieberman-Kyl expresses the sense of the Senate that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard should be officially designated a terrorist organization. Which means, per the AUMF, that Bush has constitutional authority to act against them, right? Wrong. As I say, that line is from the preamble; here’s the operative part of the statute:
[T]he President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
It’s not a blank check to fight terrorism. It’s limited specifically to 9/11. If it wasn’t, Bush wouldn’t have needed a separate AUMF for Iraq; he simply would have had the Baath Party designated a terrorist group and bombed away. Now, go check Lieberman-Kyl and see if you find any mention of 9/11 or Al Qaeda in it. What it does is assert that Iran is trying to build a Hezbollah-type proxy in Iraq and that Bush should “combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran” using “all instruments of United States national power in Iraq.” That has nothing to do with the AUMF. All it does is let the U.S. act against Iranians inside Iraq.
He ends with a flourish, insisting that there’s no proof that the Revolutionary Guard is aiding the militias because even thought we’ve captured Quds Force members and Hezbollah bombmakers and lord knows how many Iranian-made EFPs inside the country, there’s not a scrap of proof. Have a banana, Mike.
Update: More warmongering! “A series of conversations with top Bush administration officials in the past few weeks suggests the strategy now being employed is different, and more subtle, than the one that preceded the war in Iraq. That hardly means an attack isn’t possible, but it suggests today’s approach has different purposes and goals.”