By Joshua Frank
It was a slumber party on Capital Hill. Democrats held an all-nighter on July 17 in an attempt to mollify the great antiwar sentiment that is raging across the land. But their attempt to challenge Bush’s war on Iraq was sanctimonious and superficial at best. Not only were the Democrat’s pleas to set a timetable for withdraw fully pathetic, so too was their moral indignation.
The Democrats certainly don’t contest Bush’s Middle East foreign policy, they embrace it. Just last week the Senate voted 97-0 in favor of moving toward war with Iran. So while the Democrats call for withdraw of our troops from Iraq in the future, they insist we must keep an eye on Iran, for the Iranians are opposing the occupation of Iraq by allegedly arming the Shia resistance.
But the uprisings in Iraq were foreshadowed long ago. The Shia make up 60% of the country’s population, so they were sure to gain power with the outing of Saddam Hussein. Iran, a Shia political stronghold, was certainly going to benefit with the fall of Iraq’s dictator who remained an archenemy of Tehran until his regime was toppled. The Democrats and Republicans most certainly knew this. Regardless, both political parties see the rise of the Shia as an opening for a confrontation with Iran.
Iran isn’t the first scapegoat for the prevailing resistance fighting US armed forces in Iraq. There was a time when we were told the death of Saddam would bring stability to the country. It didn’t happen. Nor did the deaths of his sons Uday and Qusay or the bloody murder of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Iraq remains in turmoil and will continue to be thanks to our illegal invasion.
The Democrats don’t really want to end the war despite their veneer of opposition. If they desired to end the war they would have halted its funding long ago. Likelise, if they really preferred to challenge the Bush falsehoods regarding Iran, they would do so. Instead the Democrats, including their top presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who voted in favor of holding Iran accountable for the killing of US soldiers, seem to want to handle Iran militarily.
The amendment, H.R.1585, written by Sen. Joe Lieberman, repeats the same round of vacant lies the neocons have been advancing for quite sometime. Iranian influence in Iraq is now becoming the accepted reason among American political elites as to why US forces are failing. The Lieberman amendment also claims that Iran is providing a safe-haven for al Qaeda fighters, even though the group is allegedly blowing up Iraqi Shias daily.
American soldiers aren’t being killed because of Iran; we are losing because there is no such thing as real victory for the US in Iraq. There is only death.
Like Iran’s non-existent nuclear arsenal, there is no evidence that Tehran is funding the Shia resistance. Most Iraqi citizens owned automatic weapons under Saddam and most roadside bombs can be manufactured using household products found in most American garages.
The Democrat’s Senate sleepover was a fraud replete with staged confessions and overt hypocrisies. They don’t want to end the war; the Democrats want to extend it to Iran by making the case that the Iranians are behind the US catastrophe in Iraq. Washington is covertly setting the stage legislatively for a military confrontation with Iran. It’s our job to stop them.
-Joshua Frank is co-editor of DissidentVoice.org and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the forthcoming Red State Rebels, to be published by AK Press in March 2008.