No-Iran Pledge Off the Table


The AP reports via Cincy Enquirer that the Dems are having trouble with crafting a resolution telling the president he needs new authority to attack Iran. Why? Partly because such a statement might alternately alienate or embolden…Israel:

The Iran-related proposal stemmed from a desire to make sure Bush did not launch an attack without going to Congress for approval, but drew opposition from numerous members of the rank and file in a series of closed-door sessions last week.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., said in an interview that there is widespread fear in Israel about Iran, which is believed to be seeking nuclear weapons and has expressed unremitting hostility about the Jewish state.

"It would take away perhaps the most important negotiating tool that the U.S. has when it comes to Iran," she said of the now-abandoned provision.

"I didn't think it was a very wise idea to take things off the table if you're trying to get people to modify their behavior and normalize it in a civilized way," said Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y.

Several officials said there was widespread opposition to the proposal at a closed-door meeting last week of conservative and moderate Democrats, who said they feared tying the hands of the administration when dealing with an unpredictable and potentially hostile regime in Tehran.

So the Dems have scrapped an Iran authorization line from a supplemental spending bill that, as or press time, gives money to the troops in Iraq and sets a withdrawal date of September 1, 2008. 

More here.

Certainly part of the congressional calculations re: Iran is what Israel might do on its own if they think the U.S. is going limp in that neck of the world. Which only adds to the quagmire feel of it all.