Adding to Hawk Watch, Lieberman, Graham Quicken the War Drum Beat

I think they’re pushing for a stampede — that is, a frenzied rush by a panic-stricken herd of animals, or, in this case, the U.S. Senate or what is often referred to as “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”

From Sen. Graham’s office today:

Contact: Tate Zeigler (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
Date: 01/11/2012

Graham and Lieberman to Introduce Resolution Ruling Out Containment of a Nuclear-Armed Iran

WASHINGTON – Following the announcement that the Iranian government has begun enrichment activities at the Fordow site near Qom, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) announced today that they will introduce a bipartisan resolution that will put the Senate on record as ruling out a strategy of containment for a nuclear-armed Iran. Below is the text of a joint statement by Senators Graham and Lieberman:

“The beginning of enrichment at the Fordow facility marks an alarming leap forward by the Iranian nuclear program. Despite the increased sanctions put in place over the last several years, the American people should have no illusions: time is now quickly running out to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.

“The news from Qom must inject unprecedented urgency into the drive to impose crippling sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran, cutting it off from the international financial system, and stop purchases of Iranian oil, as authorized by legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Obama late in December. We urge the European Union and the major economies of Asia to implement these measures immediately, and for the Obama Administration to do everything possible to ensure they do so.

“Some have suggested that — should economic and diplomatic pressure fail to force Iran to abandon its pursuit of acquiring nuclear weapons — the next best option is for the United States to accept and then contain a nuclear-armed Iran. That would be a catastrophic mistake.

“The resolution we intend to introduce will put the Senate on record as opposing containment in the strongest and clearest terms, detailing why the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be ‘contained’ like the threat of the Soviet Union.

“When it comes to addressing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, all options must be on the table — except for one, and that is containment. We are confident that an overwhelming bipartisan super-majority of our colleagues will join us in passing this resolution, which will send a clear message to Iran’s rulers that we are absolutely determined to stop them from getting nuclear weapons. Containment is failure, and failure cannot be an option.”

This really would do the most hard-line sectors in the Iranian Majlis proud.

The one consolation here is that their belief that all options except “containment” must be on the table. So, if the “crippling sanctions” they want don’t work, the remaining options would be either war or real, active diplomatic engagement.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. For a day I’m going to break my vow not to comment here. Two points:

    1) The proposed Senate resolution is largely meaningless. The Secretary of Defense has already stated that the U.S. will not permit Iran to build/obtain a nuclear weapon. The important point in his statement was that he carefully excluded retaliation if Iran simply achieves the capability to make a weapon: only the actual assembling of a bomb will provoke the U.S. to attack. In other words, don’t rub our noses in it by building/testing a weapon. If you do, we will bomb you. But we will not go to war to stop you gaining the capability to build a bomb. Given this U.S. signal, the proposed Senate resolution does no more than reflect official policy.

    2) Lobe’s piece two days ago concerning the killing of the Iranian scientist probably penetrated to the heart of the matter, though one cannot rule out completely that the Israelis just happened to take down a targeted individual at a inconvenient (for us) time. We just don’t have the information necessary to render a firm judgement. That the U.S. was not involved is virtually certain; the act simply makes no sense in the context of current U.S. policy. That the Iranians killed their own man seems to me more than Machiavellian; this death was not needed by the hardliners, who in any case are not interested in provoking war at this time.

    If war happens while Obama is president, Iran will be the one to provoke it. The internal situation in Iran is growing more strained; elements of the RGC “navy” might do something stupid in the Straights of Hormuz. I suppose we cannot rule out the regime actually going ahead and producing a nuclear weapon; in that case even this administration will attack. Informed sources tell me the Israelis cannot do the job on their own; therefore I doubt Israel will attack without us.

    Bottom line: no war while Obama is president unless Iran provokes it. I still say the chances are 80% that war does not happen. If a Republican is elected president, then all bets are off. But I give Obama a clear edge in the election, unless the bottom falls out of the economy.

  2. Jon are you living in reality my friend? “Unless the bottom falls out of the economy?” The bottom is gone my friend and has been gone. And we have yet to hit the bottom. Obama has already started the war against Iran as we speak. Starting Jan 1st 2012, Obama codified new sanctions directed at the Iranian Central Bank. Similar to our ‘Federal’ Reserve. Obama sent a battle group directly through an Iranian war game as provocation. Obama has expanded all of the current American wars since becoming president. He continues to launch drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afgahnistan and more African country I can’t remember. that was just US troops…ah Somalia. If a war starts with Iran, who will be destroyed by the US when…er I mean ‘if’ a war breaks out, it won’t be started by the ones that will lose. Under Obama death has increased. What makes you think he will not start this war. Which he will in the next 6-8 months. I guess you could mean Iranian provoked like the attempted bombing of the Saudi Ambassador in D.C. But if you believe that was anything other than made up pro war propaganda, then go research it a little more.

    America went to war because Iraq undoubtedly had weapons of mass destruction. Who provoked that war? It is the same exact scenario. Learn from history and watch for the American assault of Iran coming up.

Comments are closed.