by Ira Glunts
Thursday Jul 31st, 2008
Despite the expectation of easy passage, AIPAC’s controversial resolution is stalled in committee. The efforts of antiwar groups who mobilized messages of protest proved fruitful, but the debate over the use of military force in Iran is just beginning.
Ordinarily, the American Israel Policy Action Committee (AIPAC) has an influence on U.S. foreign policy way which goes unchallenged. In the case of the current House resolution, H. Con. Res. 362, despite the intense pressure exerted by AIPAC, some members of the United States House of Representatives who initially were about to rubber stamp this reckless non-binding resolution promoted by the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, are having a change of heart. After receiving many thousands of messages which pointed out that the resolution could be interpreted as Congressional authorization for military action against Iran, legislators began expressing their own reservations.
On May 19, 2008, a 12-member House delegation led by House Speaker Pelosi met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. At that lunch meeting, Olmert proposed that a naval blockade be imposed on Iran in order to stop its uranium enrichment program. Present at this meeting were: Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, and AIPAC loyalists Reps. Nita Lowey and Gary Ackerman. Three days after this meeting, Mr. Ackerman introduced the resolution H. Con. Res. 362 in the House.
The legislation calls for prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran. This certainly sounds as if the resolution is seeking the blockade which Prime Minister Olmert had requested. A military blockade is an act of war. The passage of this resolution would add the voice of the United States House of Representatives to the growing calls for armed intervention against Iran.