While a missile retaliation against Israel would be virtually certain, according to these assessments, Iran would also be likely to try to calibrate its response against American targets so as not to give the United States a rationale for taking military action that could permanently cripple Tehran’s nuclear program. “The Iranians have been pretty good masters of escalation control,” said Gen. James E. Cartwright, now retired, who as the top officer at Strategic Command and as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff participated in war games involving both deterrence and retaliation on potential adversaries like Iran. – The New York Times

It must be a presidential election year.

But let’s not pretend this isn’t due to an adversity to enlightenment and our international interests.

Cards meet table, if Israel feels threatened she should strike.  Everyone else will have to deal.  The world has suffered worse and so have the Jews.

So let’s have it, minus the part that nobody wants to jump.

George W. Bush and the neoconservatives proved to the world not having WMDs was as bad as having them, so what’s to keep Iran from flexing?

Some remember public school drills and the underside of desks. Who went soft?

…and what are we going to really do about Iran, past pontificating?

Pres. Obama is to meet with P.M. Netanyahu next week in Washington, just in case you’re wondering why the Senate just got busy on a non-binding sense of the Senate Iran resolution.

I’ve been purposefully ignoring the web pages devoted lately to Israel striking Iran, because I’ve been to enough foreign policy think tank forums to know that little of what’s being written or discussed is grounded in sane analysis. Tune in to one minute of Sean Hannity and you’ll get the worst of it.

Much of the Iran talk where Israel is concerned revolves around a “zone of immunity,” which I’ve written about before. Blake Hounshell has an excellent rundown of what’s been happening leading up to Netanyahu’s visit next week.

The key issue under discussion is what the appropriate “red lines” are — Iranian actions that would trigger a military response by Israel or the United States. For Israel, the bar is lower, but nebulous: Defense Minister Ehud Barak talks about Iran soon entering a “zone of immunity” that will make an attack impossible. …

[…] But threats have consequences, too. U.S. officials haven’t clearly articulated why they believe all this war talk is unhelpful, but I suspect two reasons. One is the rising cost of gasoline, perhaps the issue that terrifies the political side of the White House most heading into November. Tensions over Iran are already adding about $10 per barrel to the price of oil, some analysts say, threatening to choke off America’s nascent economic recovery and make Obama a one-term president.

Sen. Gillibrand joining in on the sense of the Senate resolution on Iran is representative of why I called her out on Afghanistan in my new book, because she’s yet to prove boldness on foreign policy, let alone any leadership. One of the many issues I address in my book, as I have around here, is the rhetoric females use in foreign policy, which has yet to shift beyond militaristic terms.

The Iran Resolution proves why being a sitting senator from New York is complicated, as Hillary’s Iraq war vote the fall after 9/11 proved conclusively. With a heavy Jewish voter base, Gillibrand reveals yet again that Democratic females in the position to show leadership inevitably fall in line with conventional foreign policy thinkers, which keeps U.S. foreign policy from progressing and shifting.

It’s also why I wrote in my book about having great hopes for Elizabeth Warren, but whose progressive leadership remains to be proven. Once in the Senate, Democratic females trend toward mimicking their hawk brothers, which remains a problem for anyone wanting a wider lens on U.S. foreign policy. Since Sen. Scott Brown has joined the sense of the Senate resolution, maybe some enterprising journalist can put the question to Warren. Her answer matters.

If Democratic women politicians don’t stand apart from 20th century foreign policy thinking, which is traditionally militaristic, they threaten to carve a policy portfolio that is domestically driven, leaving the wider world to men, which would be a tragedy for progressivism itself.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

To express the sense of the Senate regarding the importance of preventing the Government of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

Mr. GRAHAM (for himself, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. CASEY, Ms. AYOTTE, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts, Mr. BROWN of Ohio, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. COATS, Ms. COLLINS, Mr. COONS, Mr. CORNYN, Mrs. GILLIBRAND, Mr. HATCH, Mr. HELLER, Mr. HOEVEN, Mrs. HUTCHISON, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. MCCAIN, Mrs. MCCASKILL, Mr. MENENDEZ, Ms. MIKULSKI, Mr. NELSON of Florida, Mr. PORTMAN, Mr. PRYOR, Mr. RISCH, Mr. RUBIO, Mr. SCHUMER, Mr. UDALL of Colorado, and Mr. WYDEN) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on….

RESOLUTION

To express the sense of the Senate regarding the importance of preventing the Government of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

Whereas since at least the late 1980s, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has engaged in a sustained and well-documented pattern of illicit and deceptive activities to acquire nuclear capability;

Whereas the United Nations Security Council has adopted multiple resolutions since 2006 demanding the full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities by the Iranian Government and its full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on all outstanding issues related to its nuclear activities, particularly those concerning the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program;

Whereas on November 8, 2011, the IAEA issued an extensive report that”“

(1) documents “˜”˜serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme”;
(2) states that “˜”˜Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device”; and
(3) states that the efforts described in paragraphs (1) and (2) may be ongoing;

Whereas as of November 2008, Iran had produced, according to the IAEA”“

(1) approximately 630 kilograms of uranium-235 enriched to 3.5 percent; and
(2) no uranium-235 enriched to 20 percent;

Whereas as of November 2011, Iran had produced, according to the IAEA”“

(1) nearly 5,000 kilograms of uranium-235 enriched to 3.5 percent; and
(2) 79.7 kilograms of uranium-235 enriched to 20 percent;

Whereas on January 9, 2011, IAEA inspectors confirmed that the Iranian government had begun enrichment activities at the Fordow site, including possibly enrichment of uranium-235 to 20 percent;

Whereas if Iran were successful in acquiring a nuclear weapon capability, it would likely spur other countries in the region to consider developing their own nuclear weapons capabilities;

Whereas on December 6, 2011, Prince Turki al-Faisal of  Saudi Arabia stated that if international efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons fail, “˜”˜we must, as a duty to our country and people, look into all options we are given, including obtaining these weapons ourselves”;

Whereas top Iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened the existence of the State of Israel, pledging to “˜”˜wipe Israel off the map”; Whereas the Department of State”“

(1) has designated Iran as a “˜”˜State Sponsor of Terrorism” since 1984; and
(2) has characterized Iran as the “˜”˜most active state sponsor of terrorism”;

Whereas Iran has provided weapons, training, funding, and direction to terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Shiite militias in Iraq that are responsible for the murders of hundreds of American forces and innocent civilians;

Whereas on July 28, 2011, the Department of the Treasury charged that the Government of Iran had forged a “˜”˜secret deal” with al Qaeda to facilitate the movement of al Qaeda fighters and funding through Iranian territory;

Whereas in October 2011, senior leaders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force were implicated in a terrorist plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States on United States soil;

Whereas on December 26, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution denouncing the serious human rights abuses occurring in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including torture, cruel and degrading treatment in detention, the targeting of human rights defenders, violence against women, and “˜”˜the systematic and serious restrictions on freedom of peaceful assembly” as well as severe restrictions on the rights to “˜”˜freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief”;

Whereas President Obama, through the P5+1 process, has made repeated efforts to engage the Iranian Government in dialogue about Iran’s nuclear program and its international commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Whereas on March 31, 2010, President Obama stated that the “˜”˜consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran are unacceptable”;

Whereas in his State of the Union Address on January 24, 2012, President Obama stated: “˜”˜Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal”;

Whereas Secretary of Defense Panetta stated, in December 2011, that it was unacceptable for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, reaffirmed that all options were on the table to thwart Iran’s nuclear weapons efforts, and vowed that if the United States gets “˜”˜intelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop it”;

Whereas the Defense Department’s January 2012 Strategic Guidance stated that U.S. defense efforts in the Middle East would be aimed “˜”˜to prevent Iran’s development of 5 MDM12140 S.L.C. a nuclear weapons capability and counter its destabilizing policies”;

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate”“
(1) affirms that it is a vital national interest of the United States to prevent the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
(2) warns that time is limited to prevent the Iranian government from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
(3) urges continued and increasing economic 10 and diplomatic pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran to secure an agreement from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran that includes”“

(A) the full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities;

(B) complete cooperation with the IAEA 17 on all outstanding questions related to Iran’s nuclear activities, including”“

(i) the implementation of the Non- 20 Proliferation Treaty Additional Protocol; 21 and 22

(ii) the verified end of Iran’s ballistic 23 missile programs; and

(C) a permanent agreement that verifiably assures that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful;

4 (4) expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the Iranian people;

(5) strongly supports United States policy to prevent the Iranian Government from acquiring nuclear weapons capability;

(6) rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran; and

 (7) urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and oppose any policy that would rely on  containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.