Ali Gharib reports: A joint resolution set to be introduced by Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC) and Robert Menendez (NJ), a Republican and Democrat, respectively, declares U.S. support for an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear program. The resolution, which expresses the sense of the Congress, will be supported by the thousands of delegates to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee annual conference that will stream through the Capitol this weekend. With prominent liberal Democrats already signing on, AIPAC’s lobbying heft will likely propel a bill that, in Congressional sentiment at least, commits the U.S. to active support of a potential Israeli attack that experts think could have consequences as grave as further destabilization in the region, adverse global economic consequences, and even a hardening of Iranian resolve to get a weapon.
According to a copy obtained by Open Zion, the resolution, while affirming increasingly harsh sanctions, also “urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.” Tempering some fears about the bill, the authors added that the resolution shouldn’t “be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war” by the U.S. Though the caveat will surely placate some members of Congress, it seems potentially at odds with a pledge of “military… support” in the event of an attack — language that, though unlikely for now, if actuated into policy could suggest the U.S. would be dragged into a war based on an Israeli decision to strike.
“Initiating a war is the gravest step any nation can take,” said Columbia University professor Gary Sick, an Iran expert and former White House official. “This legislation would effectively entrust that decision to a regional state. Such a decision is an American sovereign responsibility. It cannot be outsourced.” [Continue reading…]