Senators do not want to fight back against Iran


Republican and Democratic senators warned Tuesday against a drift toward war with an emboldened Iran and suggested the Bush administration was missing a chance to engage its longtime adversary in potentially helpful talks over next-door Iraq.

"What I think many of us are concerned about is that we stumble into active hostilities with Iran without having aggressively pursued diplomatic approaches, without the American people understanding exactly what's taking place," Sen. Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill., told John Negroponte, who is in line to become the nation's No. 2 diplomat as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's deputy.

Obama, a candidate for president in 2008, warned during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that senators of both parties will demand "clarity and transparency in terms of U.S. policy so that we don't repeat some of the mistakes that have been made in the past," a reference to the faulty intelligence underlying the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., a possible presidential candidate, asked Negroponte if he thinks the United States is edging toward a military confrontation with Tehran. In response, Negroponte repeated President Bush's oft-stated preference for diplomacy, although he later added, "We don't rule out other possibilities."

It is this type of thinking that has permitted Iran to be at war with the US since 1979 without suffering any consequences for being in a state of war with us. What is transparent is the obliviousness of these senators to the war Iran is waging against the US. The administration is also making a mistake by not coming clean on Iran's bad conduct. It is holding back a report on Iran meddling in Iraq for among other reasons "concerns over the reaction from Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — as well as inevitable follow-up questions that would be raised over what the U.S. should do about it."

This sounds almost as bad as the state department's cover up of Arafat's roll in the murder of American diplomats, because it might hinder the Middle East peace process. And that is the same reason that the Clinton administration did not want to do anything with bin Laden and other terrorist which might upset the balance in the Middle East "peace process." Here is a suggestion. Seek justice and let the so called "peace process" deal with it.


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