Discussion in 'Community' started by KnightWriter, Jun 14, 2009.
This passed with 90-1...
I don't think Congress can declare war without the President, although the President can certainly declare war without Congress.
Constitutionally, the other way around. Only Congress has the power to declare war.
However, as Commander-In-Chief, the President has command over the military, so various Presidents have exercised a de facto leeway to authorize "police actions" without Congressional approval (and there's a whole host of Constitutional questions around that). But since Congress controls the purse strings, there's some measure over control there too.
How many of you here thought you would never agree with Rand Paul?
Eh...to a point. The whole idea of cutting the money died a pretty quick death with the 2004 Congress and Iraq. Not politically feasible.
Aaaand ... *snork*
Well, great. So, how about those two parties? What Congress can certainly do is send a clear sign that even if they're not declaring war, they are going to be openly hostile toward Iran. And looks like they've done so.
A discussion about the MEK and their delisting on HuffPost Live. As a disclaimer, before you watch, be advised that there's no pro-delisting voice on this panel, so it's a pretty one-sided discussion. Make of it what you will. Oh, and it's a half-hour long too.
Another broader discussion, also on HuffPost Live, about how big of a threat Iran really is and how to deal with Iran them going forward, with respect to the nuclear program, Syria and beyond, titled Paper Tiger?
I would say the degree to which Iran is a threat is variable...that is it varies depending on what Iran's leadership thinks it can get away with, which depends on what we (the U.S.) say or do.
Also I watched the Paper Tiger video, and there was that one guy who asked "why would Iran go to all the pain and trouble of confrontation with the West if they ultimately don't intend to actually build a nuclear weapon?". And I guess the answer to that would be domestic politics...the regime could certainly have taken the other road and warmed up to the West with improved economic ties and whatnot. But that would also open the door to the domestic opposition back home, leading to a perestroika moment where the people throw out the regime. The Iranian government knows that it lacks legitimacy and they know the people will get rid of them at the first opportunity, and since their first priority is their own survival that means no opening up to the world, no being Gorabachev. It means confrontation with the West and creating this situation where Iran tries to pose as menacingly as possible to the world while playing the victim card to stir up nationalist sentiment at home.
Protests against the Iranian government are back...
Iranian riot police have clashed with protesters in the capital Tehran over the collapse of the rial, the country's currency, which has lost a third of its value against the dollar in a week.Police on Wednesday reportedly fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators, including currency exchange dealers.It was the first sign of public unrest over the plunging currency.The fall of the rial, which has now lost more than 80 per cent of its value compared with a year ago, with 17 per cent of its value shed on Monday alone, has been largely blamed on Western sanctions imposed over the country's nuclear programme.The rial slipped another four per cent on Tuesday to close at 36,100 to the dollar, according to exchange tracking websites.Hundreds of police in anti-riot gear stormed the capital's currency exchange district of Ferdowsi, arresting illegal money changers and ordering licenced bureaus and other shops closed, witnesses said.Several arrests were seen, carried out by uniformed police or plain-clothes security officers.A protest in Tehran's historic Grand Bazaar - a complex of shops vital to the city - also took place but was quickly put down by police."We closed because we don't know what is going to happen" in terms of the currency market, one shopkeeper said.Khalil Helal, a police commander, was quoted by the Mehr news agency as saying that police were going to take action against shopkeepers who closed their businesses, for "disturbing" the situation.The head of the national police, Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam, was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying a special unit comprised of police chiefs and government economic officials had been created "to combat those perturbing the currency market."He added that many people were keeping stashes of foreign currency and gold at home, "which is having a negative effect on the economy".The protests came after Mahmoud Ahemedinjad, Iran's president, said that his country will press on with its nuclear programme despite the problems caused by Western sanctions, including a dramatic slide in its currency's value.
Combined with the news of Turkey and Syria bombing each other, the region is in for even more turmoil soon.
The whole ME seems to be headed towards a coalescing of all flashpoints in the near future.
Iran, Syria/Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Isreal/Iran.....good grief.
Looks like our U.S. Congress is in a race against Romney to go to war with Iran.
And all it does it gives more political ammo to the Iranian regime to stir up anti-American sentiment.
If we would just leave them the heck alone they would likely collapse under their own stupidity.
Be we're in a mad dash to prop them up even further by giving the regime someone to point the finger at with this stupid resolution.
On Monday, NIAC had its annual leadership conference, and with it came some observations by journalists in attendance who were taking a peek:
The American Conservative: Among the Iranian-Americans
Antiwar.com: My Iranian Learning Curve
There was a roughly 1,5 hour panel discussion at the conference about what Iranians outside can do to help their compatriots inside with their pro-democracy movement. If you should be interested, you can watch that here.
I'm going to take a wild guess and say that these protests are going to have no effect on the Iranian government. First of all they don't seem to be all that widespread, far from the level that toppled Mubarak...and second, unless protestors somehow conjure up the nerve to aim their wrath at Ayatollah Khamenei rather than at the puppet president Ahmadinejad, nothing's going to change.
It's hard to get angry when you know you are being manipulated into becoming angry. Nobody wants to be angry for someone else's sake.
Diplomatic breakthrough!... after nearly a decade, Iran finally gives in and agrees to one-on-one talks with the United States over its nuclear program.
Iran agrees to one-on-one nuclear talks, US sources say Bush-era official: 'It would be unconscionable to go to war if we haven’t had such discussions'The United States and Iran have agreed for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran.Iranian officials have insisted that the talks wait until after the presidential election, a senior administration official said, telling their American counterparts that they want to know which American president they would be negotiating with.News of the agreement — a result of intense, secret exchanges between American and Iranian officials that date almost to the beginning of President Obama’s term — comes at a critical moment in the presidential contest, just two weeks before Election Day and a day before the final debate, which is to focus on national security and foreign policy.It has the potential to help Mr. Obama make a case that he is nearing a diplomatic breakthrough in the decade-long effort by the world’s major powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, but it could pose a risk if Iran is seen as using the prospect of the direct talks to buy time.It is also far from clear that Mr. Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, would go through with the negotiation should he win election. Mr. Romney has repeatedly criticized the president as showing weakness toward Iran and failing to stand firmly with Israel against the Iranian nuclear threat.
HuffPost: New Senate push to pledge unconditional support for Israeli preventive war on Iran
Doesn't matter. The Senate isn't the deciding authority on going to war.
There now seem to be conflicting reports about what I posted earlier... Politico said the story isn't true, and NYT updated the story to say that Iran and the United States have "agreed in principle" to one-on-one talks after the election.
In November, apparently.
Global Brief - Key questions for the next US president
This article is worth a read. Four different analysts are asked about the key questions facing the US President in the next term. Two of them address the Iran issue. There was one particular insight that I appreciated a lot:
The tools of statecraft are simple – war or diplomacy. Anything else – whether it is called containment, regime change or dual track – is simply a tactic that delays the inevitable choice between these two options. The inconvenient truth of statecraft is that most conflicts – even war – end via negotiations; and everything before negotiations – including war – is for leverage.
Does anyone know who the Iranian presidential candidates will be in the spring?
Ahmadinjead is term-limited, and his term expires next year.
The Supreme Leader made a disasterous decision in 2009... he blatantly fixed the election so Ahmadinjead was re-elected to a second term. Not only did they have to deal with the "Green Revolution," but Ahmadinjead backstabbed the Supreme Leader and tried to do things his own way and led to an internal power struggle (which the Supreme Leader won).
Could the Supreme Leader possibly "allow" real presidential elections to take place, to please the people, even if it meant electing a reformer as President (which may actualy deter Israel/America from striking too)?
Where are the leaders from the Green Revolution now?
Did Ahmadinejad even have a whisker of a chance in that fight with Khamenei? And I don't quite see why Khamenei would back a reformer when there's the constituency that supported Ahmadinejad who he can use as his power base.
Alpha-Red is right. With a hardline constituency in place, why would he support a reformer? Besides, the reformers are so marginalized in today's political climate in Iran, they're practically non-existent. The Guardian Council is who approves the presidential candidates anyway. When they allow reformers to run, it's because they've calculated that it's in their interest to let people vent a little. The 2009 election was the first with televised debates. The political climate was quite opened up, it was actually unheard of. This was a campaign ad for reformer candidate Mehdi Karroubi, for instance. You'll notice it addresses a number of sensitive topics that normally would not be mentioned on tv. I can only guess as to why they would allow such an open, by Iranian standards, discourse, and then double down behind Ahmadinejad anyway. But what this tells me is that in the current climate of unprecedented foreign pressure (post-war), they've made the calculation that now is not the time to loosen the grip domestically.
Anyone who wants to understand the Iranian psyche should watch this documentary. And if you don't want to understand it... well... what else is new?