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View Diary: Why Soldiers aren't Terrorists: Escalation with Iran (31 comments)

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  •  Not just "Iran is a terrorist" (1+ / 0-)
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    but "Iran is a terrorist responsible for 9/11," in order to use AUMF. That's a link we should watch out for from Tony Snow and company, but not one I've yet heard made explicitly - has anyone else?

    My concern here is that defining the Republican Guard as a terrorist group would allow attacks, without Congressional authorization, not just against Iranian soldiers up to no good in Iraq but against uninvolved soldiers on Iranian soil - an act of war in all but name, if Bush has his way.

    •  Is it legal? (1+ / 0-)
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      Is there international law expert? I don't think a country can run around saying somebody else's arm force is "terrorist" without actually declaring war. I mean Iran is a real country with real arm force, not exactly small either compared to Iraq.

      Bush however does have authority to declare anybody "terrorist". That we know.  He may think Iranian revolutionary guard is some sort of terrorist arm gang (maybe he thinks the revolutionary guard is like Hamas or hezbollah), but the Iranian certainly doesn't think that way. So their reaction will be interesting. Specially if they take it as declaration of war.

      Similar to this trick, North Korea did almost declare a war on us by threatening to tear up the armistice after Dubya threatning to do trade embargo.

      Use Tor and PGP on the net. (google it)

      by fugue on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:59:06 PM PDT

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      •  It would be amusing... (0+ / 0-)

        If in 2009 a Democratic President declared the GOP to be a terrorist group on the reasoning that both the GOP and Eric Rudolph were stridently anti-abortion and the GOP thereby gave moral support to Rudolph in his terrorist bombings of clinics.

        Absurd? Of course. So would be any attempt to link Iran and Al Qaeda (barring the manufacture of evidence and/or stovepiping of intelligence).

        As an aside, I recently purchased a multi-unit building. As far as I can tell, "political affiliation" is not a protected class; can I legally refuse to rent to terrorist supporters registered Republicans? If not, has there been a change in the laws regarding this following the blackballing of the McCarthyism era?

      •  By these standards the CIA is a terrorist (2+ / 0-)
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        leveymg, scardanelli

        organization. Almost any organization can be added to the list of terrorists or terrorist sponsors. Your church bingo group could be declared a terrorist organization without any requirement for burden of proof as far as I know. This does not give the President authority to wage war on them. Nor does it give him authority to act unless a crime has been committed. However, Congress has authorized action against 9/11 terrorists and those countries or persons who have aided and abetted them. The neo-cons may try to establish a 9/11 link. However, they have zero credibility in this area. They may claim to have irrefutable evidence, which they cannot show for reasons of national security. How far they want to take this depends on just how irrational they've become, how much they are willing to strain foreign relations, and how much damage they are willing to sustain in the court of world opinion. The only alternative Congress would have would be to impeach the lot or possibly to rescind the authorization or limit it to the capture of bin Laden. At the time of the authorization, we did not know who was responsible for the attacks. Now that we do, we should really de-authorize this broad permission and limit the President's actions to capturing bin Laden. This might only leave him the option of attacking his "allies" in Pakistan.

        •  Why do think they never found bin Laden? (1+ / 0-)
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          While there's still some doubt as to his whereabouts, the AUMF stays in place.  If he and his top lieutenants were captured, or simply found dead, Congress could revoke it, effectively ending the GWOT.

          The Administration survives as long as the GWOT does, but no longer.  With America "at war", the Congress, Pentagon and intelligence community won't act to remove them. Bush-Cheney understand that, so they're still playing the AUMF card.

        •  I have irrefutable evidence (0+ / 0-)

          ...that Goeroge W. Bush has aided terrorists. I don't even claim that evidence is a state secret.

          I call upon the Marine guards at the Whitehouse -- who presumably have live ammo in their weapons -- to obey the law (treaties, etc), arrest him and present him to the world court for prosecution.

          If he resists such lawful arrest and it ends up that a Marine needs to put a bullet through his head, I'd hail them as a hero.

          This is unlikely to happen, so I'd be content with a random assassin doing justice. Not that I'd advocate that; I'd rather see W and company rot in prison after having been convicted in a court of law. But the courts are broken, thanks in no small part to W and his judicial appointments.

          Were I ever seated on a jury for a murder/assassination case against Bush, I'd engage in jury nullification and let that patriot go free.

    •  I agree with and disagree (4+ / 0-)

      Technically, attacking Iran or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, wouldn't seem to be within the scope of the 2001 AUMF unless the President finds that they:

      planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons ....

      But please note that they DON'T need to have been "responsible for 9/11" -- they must merely be found by the President to have "aided" the attack, or to have "harbored" persons or organizations that were involved in the attack.  Those standards are sufficiently vague that, if he is determined to attack Iran, he could probably come up with a minimally plausible justification that would at least be accepted by what remains of his base -- and frankly, that's all he's ever given any evidence that he cares about.

      But also, since the Iranian Revolutionary Guard isn't, to the best of my knowledge, regarded as an "international terrorist organization" by anybody except the Bush administration and the current Israeli government, trying to do this unilaterally is likely to be ineffective, and to isolate us at least as much as it does Iran, and probably even more than it isolates Iran.  All of our European allies, plus Russia and China, have important trading relationships with Iran.  Does anybody seriously think that they will meet this declaration, if it happens, with more than a yawn combined with even more cynicism about how crazy we have become?  I certainly don't.

      "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

      by leevank on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 11:16:28 PM PDT

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      •  agreed. (3+ / 0-)
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        leevank, MagisterLudi, MsWings

        The WaPo write-up of this ends by citing similar concerns about the diplomatic consequences (this is just a snippet):

        The administration's move could hurt diplomatic efforts, some analysts said. "It would greatly complicate our efforts to solve the nuclear issue," said Joseph Cirincione, a nuclear proliferation expert at the Center for American Progress. "It would tie an end to Iran's nuclear program to an end to its support of allies in Hezbollah and Hamas. The only way you could get a nuclear deal is as part of a grand bargain, which at this point is completely out of reach."

        Such sanctions can work only alongside diplomatic efforts, Cirincione added.

        "Sanctions can serve as a prod, but they have very rarely forced a country to capitulate or collapse," he said. "All of us want to back Iran into a corner, but we want to give them a way out, too. [The designation] will convince many in Iran's elite that there's no point in talking with us and that the only thing that will satisfy us is regime change."

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