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The Kyl-Lieberman Iran Amendment

I have discussed the highly dangerous situation leading to a possible war with Iran in several previous posts (click here, here and here).

The situation is rapidly deteriorating, as shown by these extracts from the Huffington Post (September 27, 2007). Here is the link to the complete post.

Senate Urges Bush to Attack Iran

Yesterday, Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton (NY), Chuck Schumer (NY), Bob Menendez (NJ), Barbara Mikulski (MD), and Ben Cardin (MD) all voted in favor of the “Kyl-Lieberman Iran Amendment.” This piece of legislation actually encourages the practitioner of cowboy diplomacy, George W. Bush, to be even more belligerent in his foreign policy. The Kyl-Lieberman Amendment passed by a vote of 76 to 22. —– Barack Obama missed the vote. The amendment states: “The United State should designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization . . . and place the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.” Kyl-Lieberman is the first step in providing Congressional legitimacy for military action against Iran. The 76 to 22 vote, which also had the support of Majority Leader Harry Reid, codifies U.S. Iran policy and comes very close to sounding like a declaration of war. Designating a four decades old military branch of a sovereign state a “foreign terrorist organization” is an extreme step that is only necessary or useful if there are plans “on the table” to do something about it. —– Such a step is tantamount to a foreign government designating the U.S. Marines a “foreign terrorist organization.” —– If the Senate and the Neo-Cons convince Bush to strike Iran they will be sparking a real war with a nation that can fight back. With its 70 million people, high literacy rate, key geographic location, level of economic development, and its control of a significant share of the world’s oil production, Iran is a nation that could cause quite a stir if Bush is dim-witted enough to go down that terrible road.

—- Iran accounts for about 4 percent of the world’s daily oil production, and will surely shut off the spigots if it is attacked sending the price of oil skyward. (Iran’s ally Venezuela might follow suit.) Petroleum analysts estimate that the world runs only about a 2 percent excess capacity of oil production, which could mean an instant drop to a negative world supply if Iran chooses to stop pumping. This reduction in output alone could wreak havoc with global energy markets. —- Iran might also take the step of disrupting the oil production of neighboring Gulf States through missile attacks on their oil infrastructure and sabotage. —- The Iranian silkworm missiles, supplied by China, (which recently signed a $100 billion oil and gas deal with Iran), will rip through the shipping of the Persian Gulf. —– They will turn the Gulf into a garbage dump of damaged ships and flaming oil dereks. Russia and China will supply arms to Iran and the conflict will continue, like Iraq, for as long as the United States tries to impose its will on the region through brute force. ——- The war will be the most destabilizing the Persian Gulf has ever seen. —- new war with Iran will run the risk of bankrupting the United States. China might cash in some of its $1 trillion in U.S. treasury bonds and exchange them for Euros. The value of the dollar could then be suddenly devalued. The life savings of millions of Americans could be threatened as the dollar tanks, and interest rates shoot up when the central banks try to entice foreigners’ to hang on to their dollars to stop the hemorrhaging. —– They don’t really know what they’re getting themselves into.”

Some comments on this post, also from the Huffington Post:

“You are being too pessimistic. The neocons know that once Iran is attacked, the Iranian people will rise up and throw out the Ayatollahs. They will greet the American bombers and cruise missles with flowers and candy. They will thank us for bombing them. Then, a new fully functioning democracy will florish in Iran overnight! And best of all, the Iranian oil will pay for it!!!!”

“It’s like Buck Turgidson said: “I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I am saying not more than 10 or 20 million dead, depending on the breaks.” So look on the bright side. Sure it sounds a lot like World War III, but maybe our usually completely lousy intelligence will be about 5% right and we’ll actually destroy a commercial nukular reactor. That’s a fair trade, right, for ruining the US economy and setting fire to the Middle East? It seems to me that we can get ourselves worked into any kind of frenzy we want, but it’s obvious that the Psycho in the West Wing has only enablers over at Congress, and they want war, war and more war, and if they want it, they’ll get it.”

“WAR WITH IRAN; BRING IT ON!

——– and further help over one billion Muslims in their decision to fight America in a mutual holy war. When the President finally increases the level of hatred against the United States to where it engulfs Pakistan, then we face nuclear terror, and Biblical Armageddon becomes real and a self-fulfilling prophecy. Oh, the joy, the Rapture! ”

“Iraq is a strategic disaster, and Iran will be even worse. Face it, all George Bush knows is how to start wars. Our mentally unbalanced, messianic President needs to provoke a war, and Senate just gave him a green light.

Historical footnote: Thank Providence George Bush was not President during the Cuban Missile Crisis. For those of us who lived through that experience, it took a President with brains to survive. God, help us!”

—————

In response to the Kyl-Lieberman Iran Amendment, according to Al Jazeera 29 September, the Iranian parliament passed a resolution condemning the CIA and US army as terrorist organizations.

“The aggressor US army and the Central Intelligence Agency are terrorists and also nurture terror.”

The reasons given are:
…they were involved in dropping nuclear bombs in Japan in World War II and used depleted uranium munitions in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq.

It also said they supported the killings of Palestinians by Israel, bombed and killed Iraqi civilians and tortured terror suspects in prisons.

The resolution urges Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s, the Iranian president, government to treat the two as terrorist organisations.

It also paves the way for the resolution to become legislation which, if ratified by the country’s constitutional watchdog, would become law.

Awaiting reaction

The government is expected to remain silent over the parliament resolution and wait for US reaction before making its decision.

Interestingly, the Bush administration had been less belligerent than the Congress: according to Al Jazeera, “it had already been considering whether to blacklist an elite unit within the Revolutionary Guard, subjecting part of the vast military operation to financial sanctions.(Note: an elite unit within the Revolutionary Guards).

What does it all mean? Does it mean, for instance, that in case of war each others’ prisoners of war are not treated as such but summarily executed as terrorists?

6 Responses to “The Kyl-Lieberman Iran Amendment”

  1. Marco Parigi Says:

    One question is : Is Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps a foreign terrorist organization? If it is, it is right to declare it as such. I can’t see why a democratically elected government should not make judgements about armies of a theocratic dictatorship. The Europeans are also deeply concerned about Iran and would like them to stop dabbling in nuclear, but they haven’t exactly wielded any stick, or planned contingency if Iran continually sidesteps diplomatic arguments. If Iran makes the judgement that the US won’t attack because they would lose too much themselves, that pretty much encourages them anyway. I would just hope that the US is bluffing, and that Iran chooses not to risk calling that bluff. Even so, the bluff should be convincing enough to convince you and I, otherwise it is certain to be called.

  2. Klaus Rohde Says:

    As you ask: is it? Until we know, I guess, they have to console themselves with the hope that, like Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress before them, they might one day be taken of the list of terrorists and terrorist organisations. Apparently, the democratically elected governments of SA and the US in those days made the wrong decision.

    I have added the response of Iran to my post.

  3. Marco Parigi Says:

    Apparently, the democratically elected governments of SA and the US in those days made the wrong decision.

    Not necessarily – ANC may well have encouraged terrorism of a sort. They reformed their military arm well before SA became “democratic”.

    US declarations are to do with US law. Iranian declarations will be to do with their law. Of course they wouldn’t let people they class as terrorists onto their jurisdiction.

  4. UNE - Klaus Rohde: Science, Politics and Art Says:

    [...] post on the Kyl-Lieberman Iran Amendment leads to the question on how terrorism should be [...]

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  6. Jessica Says:

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