Many in Congress deeply regret having voted President Bush a blank check for war in October 2002. And they are frustrated at their inability to compel him to begin bringing the troops home.
Why, then, is Congress pushing for a new confrontation, with Iran, which could involve us in a war with a nation four times the size of Iraq?
In July, the Senate voted 97 to zero to censure Iran for complicity in the killing of U.S. soldiers by enhanced IEDs that Iran's Quds Force is said to be providing Iraqi insurgents. Last week, the Senate voted 76 to 22 to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard a "terrorist organization."
The Senate resolutions track the testimony of Gen. David Petraeus, who accused Iran of conducting a "proxy war" against us:
"Iran, through the use of the Quds Force, seeks to turn the Iraqi Special Groups into a Hezbollah-like force to ... fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq."
The War Party is said to be readying a rollout of a big propaganda campaign for war on Iran like the one that stampeded us into the war in Iraq. President Bush got the ball rolling at the American Legion Convention:
"Iran ... is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. ... Iran funds terrorist groups like Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which murder the innocent and target Israel. ... Iran is sending arms to the Taliban. ... Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust. ...
"Iran's leaders cannot escape responsibility for aiding attacks against coalition forces and the murder of innocent Iraqis."
And has Bush already authorized military action against Iran?
"I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities. ... We've conducted operations against Iranian agents supplying lethal munitions to extremist groups."
Bush's shifting rationale for war on Iran is consistent with what The New Yorker's Sy Hersh reports. The case for war and the initial target list have been changed -- from Iran's nuclear program to Iran's Quds Force.
If Iran is supplying enhanced IEDs to Iraqis to kill Americans, that is an act of war. And President Bush has the same right to go after the nests of terror as did President Nixon in ordering the 1970 invasion of the Viet Cong sanctuaries in Cambodia.