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I have been heartened by the recent pushback against the AIPAC scheme to destroy negotiations with Iran, i.e., the current sanctions bill, and to turn the war power of the United States Constitution effectively over to Israel's prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu.  

President Obama's spokeperson recently laid it on the line by saying that if members of Congress want a war, they should say so:

According to National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan, “If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so. Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed.” The White House said the bill “would divide the international community, drive the Iranians to take a harder line, and possibly end negotiations.”
New Sanctions on Iran Could Torpedo Negotiations

Senator Feinstein followed this up by openly rejected the attempt to turn the war power of the US Constitution over to Israel's current prime minister:  

Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Intelligence Committee, called the sanctions bill "a march towards war" on Tuesday in a floor speech that was remarkable in detail and force. “I deeply believe that a vote for this legislation will cause negotiations to collapse,” Feinstein said, after thoroughly rebutting many of the claims about the interim deal put forth by the bill’s supporters. “The United States, not Iran, then becomes the party that risks fracturing the international coalition that has enabled our sanctions to succeed in the first place.”


Dianne Feinstein addressed this point more directly than perhaps any other politician so far. “While I recognize and share Israel’s concern, we cannot let Israel determine when and where the US goes to war,” she said. “By stating that the US should provide military support to Israel should it attack Iran, I fear that is exactly what this bill will do.”

The Nation: Push for New Sanctions on Iran Stalls Amid Growing Resistance

Through the toughness of the President and the patriotism of a few, including Senator Feinstein, who often is much more hawkish, I think we have averted the attempt to bring this nation to war by the current Israeli government and its lobbyists in the United States.

10 committee chairs in the senate oppose this bill and it looks as if Reid is not going to bring it to a vote.  

Such a bill never should have been this close to passing.  Our Congress has a big problem.  Nonetheless, people like Senator Feinstein, who I believe is a strong supporter of Israel, stood up against this.  On foreign policy and civil liberties, we often disagree.  But she has my thanks for helping to avert war and allow negotiations to proceed.  Senator Reid, President Obama and Secretary Kerry also deserve much credit.  

Originally posted to TomP on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:22 AM PST.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East and California politics.

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