Column No. 124a By Steven Jonas, MD, MPH - OCTOBER 8, 2006
Our European Editor Michael Carmichael recently web-circulated an article entitled “The March to War.” (By M.D. Nazemroaya, Global Research, 10/1/06, republished on Truthout * Issues, http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/100406B.shtml, it is extensively referenced. See also Time, “What the War With Iran would look like,” 9/25/06.) The subject is “The White House prepares to launch Iran War for major oil reserves on the eve of US midterm elections.” The Global Research article presents a lengthy, detailed analysis of the plans for the BushWar on Iran. Laid out is a very frightening scenario of what the Georgites (as I like to call them) are planning for the Iranian people, the people of the Middle East generally, the people of the US, possibly the people of Central Asia and Europe, and indeed even of the whole world. The Armageddon that the political core of the Georgites in the United States (as well as certain Jewish and Muslim extremists, as well as, possibly, Bush himself) may well be upon us. We may well be facing the Georgite solution to the looming disaster of global warming: the use nuclear weapons in Iran which could well lead to nuclear winter.
However, we aren’t there yet. There are certain steps that the anti-Bush political forces in the United States could take to avert the war. Or at least they could publicly warn Bush and the Republicans of the very serious consequences for him and his Party that could well result if he were to undertake the invasion, whether he were to use nuclear weapons or not (assuming of course that civilization in general and the Untied states as sovereign country would survive such a catastrophe). Mass eruptions there would certainly be in the US. Anticipating them in the case of an Iran Attack (obviously well into preparation at this point) may be one reason why Bush pushed so hard for the passage of the US Enabling Act. He could, and likely would, respond with mass round-ups of demonstrators, with indefinite imprisonment without recourse to any element of due process. I discussed this Act in a column that appeared on BuzzFlash and The Moving Planet Blog.
Whether the Democratic Party, the few sane elected Republicans left, the increasing number of elements of the US power elite that are totally opposed to Bush, and other US political forces, would be able to pull themselves together in a coalition to mount an effective political and legislative campaign against the Georgites is another matter. However, the US Constitution gives them the tools to do so. Under Article I, Section 8, the Congress has the exclusive power to declare war. The Georgites and their Privatized Ministry of Propaganda would surely make the case that such an invasion is covered in the War Powers Act. However, no matter what real or imagined or created-out-of whole-cloth “evidence” they would present, the present Iranian posture vis-à-vis uranium enrichment could not in any way be characterized as an “emergency” or an “immediate threat” of any kind.
The Georgites themselves are the best source of this: they claim only that Iran, in continuing with its refinement of nuclear fuels, is aiming towards building a bomb. Should the President, facing this reality, send US forces into war on his own, that is clearly an impeachable offense. Going to War in this manner is also a clear breach of Articles 33, 34, 37 and 51 of the United Nations Charter which, according to Article VI of the Constitution, constitute “the supreme law of the land.” He could be impeached for that violation as well. (If he does invade, it would be interesting to see which countries might try to invoke Articles 39 and 40 of the UN Charter against the United States in the Security Council.)
How could this be done in a practical matter, given a) that the Congress is in the hands of the Republicans, b) that the Congress is in recess until after the election, c) that Bush would most likely claim that under the US Enabling Act, which gives him the power to over-ride on his own authority most of the Articles of the Constitution and the key elements of the Bill of Rights? Not easily. He used a vague “Iraq is a danger and we have to do something about it” resolution to justify his full-scale invasion of that country. He would likely say that since Congress granted him the authority to ignore broad swathes of the Constitution already, he could then ignore any others, like the power to declare war, he wanted to.
Although given an invasion of Iran, the first concern must be for the people of Iran and the second for our own safety given such an outlandish event, the third would be that we would have a full-blown Constitutional crisis on our hands.
And so, what would/should the opposition forces do?
A) Demand the emergency reconvening of Congress to a) call the Republicans’ bluff by introducing a Declaration of War resolution to the Senate (having determined in advance that at the worst a filibuster would prevent its passage), b) demand the immediate institution of impeachment proceedings in the House.
B) Facing the likelihood of a Republican refusal to reconvene, the Democrats, and any Republican allies they might be able to scrape up, especially if Bush does this horrendous thing before the election, would have to call a rump session of Congress, possibly outside of Washington, to do “A” above.
C) Mount a massive mass/news-media counter offensive against the Privatized Ministry of Propaganda.
D) Mobilize whatever military leadership they could find, especially among the active flag-officer class willing to risk their careers by coming out against the war, possibly even refusing to serve in it, on the basis that it would be un-Constitutionally declared.
E) Take their case to the UN, through the large number of member nations that would be opposed.
F) START NOW, RIGHT NOW! The Georgites must be very publicly asked, in a variety of forums, about the Georgites intentions and exactly what the military preparations in the Arabian Sea mean.
Well, that’s it for now, my friends. I don’t pray, but those of you who do, please do. As for me, I hope that wiser heads, with power, will prevail, either before or after the catastrophe we face were to occur. For if they don’t it may well be that, for one reason or another, there will not be too many more of these columns following.