Seymour Hersh’s "Preparing the Battlefield," in the July 7 New Yorker, will be discussed in the coming weeks by everyone interested in our foreign policy and the future of the American constitution. The complete failure of congressional oversight, to which the article points, is a larger subject that will be with us until the election and beyond. For if the vice president and his neoconservative advisers have their way — and they remain, in spite of setbacks, the most active, energetic, and ambitious faction within the Bush administration — the U.S. will be at war with Iran or on the way to war by January 2009. And if that is so, it will matter less than we think who is elected in November. The momentum will be there; the country will be committed…
The stifling of free discussion within Congress about the American provocations in Iran, is both a cause and a symptom of the one-sidedness of the treatment of the issue in the mainstream media. It is handled as if Iran’s nuclear research were the sole danger in the case; and as if it were a foregone conclusion that in this matter, the fears of some Israelis are bound to be closer to the truth than the National Intelligence Estimate of 2007.
Why has House Concurrent Resolution 362 — a device promoted by AIPAC that commits its supporters to press for a naval blockade of Iran, which would be an act of war — received so little public attention and debate? AIPAC has denied that a blockade is intended, but the language of its resolution leaves no doubt; it goes for "imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program." Nothing except a blockade could possibly accomplish the enumerated tasks of interdiction and inspection.
The whole purpose of such a resolution is to herd the Democratic Congress into the Office of the Vice President until the two spaces are indistinguishable. A vote for the resolution amounts to a vow of silence regarding anything the U.S. chooses to do against Iran..