Why Haven’t We Blockaded Iran Yet?
It’s because of You. Us. The Netroots.
On May 22nd a House resolution was introduced which would authorize a naval blockade of Iran. With no publicity from that Bush-hating liberal media, H. Con. Res. 362 was sailing through the House. The “leadership” bragged that the bill would “pass like a hot knife through butter” before the end of June.
The bill steamrolled its way through the House; at one point it had more than 200 cosponsors. It seemed like a done deal. But then those damn Intertubes kicked in. After tens of thousands of e-mails, online petitions and phone calls, co-sponsors started dropping like flies.
Barney Frank (D-MA) — who later apologized for “not having read the bill more carefully” — Robert Wexler (D-FL) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) were among the first to change their minds.
On June 24th the Seattle Post-Intelligencer took notice; or maybe they didn’t want to get left in the dust by thousands of bloggers and netsurfers. In an editorial, they asked “are supporters of Res. 362 asleep at the wheel, or are they just anxious to drag us into another illegal war?”
As of this date, H. Con. Res. 362 is still stuck in committee.
Aside from being ignored by the “media,” this bill seemed unstoppable for another reason: It was being pushed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). They’re one of America’s most powerful lobbying groups. They pretty much get what they want.
Activist groups who thwarted this bill (for now) include: Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, the National Iranian-American Council, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and Just Foreign Policy.
Another major player — and not mentioned in the article — is the Libertarian Downsize DC.
And speaking of oblivious legislators who vote for a bill without even knowing what’s in it — one of Downsize DC’s long-running campaigns is the Read The Bills Act. As the name implies, this bill would require all lawmakers to read an entire bill — and sign a statement verifying that they’ve read it and understand it — before they’re allowed to vote yes or no on it. What a concept.
cross-posted at Bring It On!