Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tying The President's Hands

There is little doubt that the Israeli Air Force put Saddam out of the nuclear bomb business in 1981.

Peace Activist Mark Udall (D) Boulder introduced a bill on Thursday which ensures that the US will never be able to take any effective action to prevent the development of nukes by Iran.

The guts of H.R. 3119 read:

(a) Prohibition- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no funds appropriated or otherwise made available by any Act, including any Act enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act, may be obligated or expended for military operations or activities within or above the territory of Iran, or within the territorial waters of Iran, except pursuant to a specific authorization of Congress enacted in a statute enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act.

Strategically, this is about as dumb a bill as could be conceived. Recall that the perceived threat of invasion, never expressed, caused Lybia to surrender the nuclear weapons plans it acquired from Pakistan. That was a good thing, but would it have happened if Mark Udall had submitted his bill in 2000 and substituted "Lybia" for "Iran?"

It is entirely possible that the bill also prohibits military action by Israel to protect itself, reactively or preemptively.

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