This time around, he is making a somewhat illogical claim that the same group of senators Robert Naiman mentioned earlier are "forcing" President Obama to go to war with Iran. Considering that it is Congress that makes the decision to declare war, and not the President, I'm not sure that's such a controversial point of view but let's hear him out. He talks about Senate Resolution 320:
"The senators' intent was made clear by Lieberman: "All options must be on the table when it comes to Iran -- except for one, and that is containment." He added that "the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be 'contained' like the threat of the Soviet Union" -- or China, or North Korea, or Pakistan.
The senators are telling the president that if Iran goes nuclear, he must go to war."Now we know that Rosenberg believes that Iran can be contained from an earlier column, and apparently if you have the temerity to disagree with him about that it means you love war. His interpretation is what makes all the difference here. The senators are saying that they believe that containment doesn't work, that's what the resolution spells out. From this Rosenberg takes it to mean that they are forcing President Obama to go to war if Iran gets nuclear weapons? How does that make sense? Wouldn't attacking after they get a bomb be suicide? In my view (as unqualified as you may believe that it is) what they are saying is that containment should not be U.S. policy because containment is just another way of saying "sit back and let Iran get the bomb and then deal with the problem." Which, unless you're MJ Rosenberg, doesn't seem like that unacceptable of a point of view:
"Imagine if President Kennedy had been told by the Congress back in 1962 that if the Soviet Union placed missiles in Cuba, he would have no choice but to go to war. If it had, I wouldn't be here writing this column today and you wouldn't be reading it."An interesting choice of historical analogy. Because you see, it was Kennedy himself who formed the blockade around Cuba (an act of war, remember?) and considered nuclear weapons in Cuba to be a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States. That was what the whole Cuban Missile Crisis was all about. I'm not sure where Rosenberg was trying to go with that but I have a feeling that if he was around then he would have been telling his readership that it's fine for Cuba to have a "deterrence" against American aggression, and anyone who felt otherwise was a "warmonger."
Here comes our first example of hypocrisy:
"Presidents need latitude to make decisions affecting matters of national security (another name for matters of life and death) and, until now, all presidents have been afforded it, as provided for in the United States Constitution."Yes, they do need latitude. By which I assume you mean, the freedom to consider all options available to them. This seems kind of ironic considering anytime that anyone (including President Obama) says that "all options are all on the table" regarding Iran, MJ Rosenberg practically blows a gasket. Here's MJ Rosenberg from an earlier column:
"The same political forces that support "crippling" sanctions (which may cripple us, our allies and ordinary Iranian citizens more than the Iranian regime) also favor keeping the war option "on the table" in case our efforts to thwart Iran's nuclear program fail."Have you got that? Presidents need latitude, they need to be able to consider all possible options when dealing with the problem! Except that if you ask the President to do anything except what I want, you're a traitor and an Israel firster. Sanctions are out because they hurt us (even though he was later proven wrong about that) and the "war option" is also out because I don't like war. So the only thing left is...wait for it...containment. And then we are back where we started. This bit about latitude is hypocritical on another level because diplomacy only works if America is willing to use force against Iran. If Iran doesn't think that America will go to war, and the sanctions aren't working, then why should they bother negotiating? There won't be any consequences from walking away from the table.
What a shock that Rosenberg is not receptive to any points of view except his own. This from a guy who started the column by whining that "pro-war lobbyists" are "determined to shut down...the president's options." He must be a Huffington Post blogger.
I'll take a break for now, stay tuned for the next installment when he gets personal. That's always fun.