Amy Klobuchar, Norm Coleman, and Jim Ramstad recently cosponsored AIPAC-endorsed legislation pending in Congress which may authorize a naval blockade of Iran. The legislation demands that President Bush lead an international effort to prevent Iran from receiving exports of refined petroleum. Members of the House and Senate have introduced resolutions (H. Con. Res. 362 and S. Res. 580), cosponsored by Klobuchar, Coleman and Ramstad, calling on the administration to focus on the urgency of the Iranian nuclear threat and to impose tougher sanctions on Tehran. The resolutions demand that the United States lead an international effort to increase pressure on Iran by curtailing Iran’s ability to import refined petroleum products. H.Com.Res 362 demands that the President impose “stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo entering or departing Iran.”
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Congressional insiders credit America’s powerful pro-Israel lobby for the rapid endorsement of the bills. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) held its annual policy conference June 2-4, in which it sent thousands of members to Capitol Hill to push for tougher measures against Iran. On its website, AIPAC endorses the resolutions as a way to ”Stop Iran’s Nuclear Proliferation” and tells readers to lobby Congress to pass the bill.
AIPAC is urging Congress to effectively place a naval embargo on Iran. Such a blockade imposed without United Nations authority (which the resolution does not call for) would be seen as an act of war. Endorsements of these bills would signal US intentions of war with Iran, effectively giving Bush the go-ahead to create a dangerous crisis that could easily escalate to World War III.
By blindly following AIPAC’s legislative lead, our representatives in Congress are placing their own political interests ahead of the interests of their constituents, who don’t want another war. According to a recent poll by the American Jewish Committee, most American Jews do not support any preemptive action against Iran. Pro-war hawks in Israel and the U.S. are favoring an attack on Iran, and since AIPAC has money and power, they call the shots, overriding the voices of the people. Why should our reps give such unconditional support to Israel especially when we know many American Jews and many Israeli citizens don’t agree with Israel’s policies and when these pro-war policies could lead to another humanitarian catastrophe in the Mideast?
Please hold Klobuchar, Coleman and Ramstad to higher standards and ask that they remove their names from this dangerous legislation– Senate Res. 580 and House Res. 362. Call your Congressional reps and ask that they not support H. Con Res. 362, as this bill is gaining more cosponsors daily. WE MUST ACT QUICKLY AS THIS IS COMING UP FOR A VOTE AS SOON AS NEXT WEEK.
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