Diane Feinstein: 'We can't let the Joooz control America'
In a Tuesday night debate over the Kirk-Menendez bill to add sanctions against Iran and its nuclear program, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Ca) sparked controversy when she announced that "we cannot let Israel determine when and where the United States goes to war
." The bill includes a provision that would support Israel in the event that it carries out a preemptive strike against Iran.
Feinstein chairs the Select Committee on Intelligence and is
considered pro-Israel, but her remarks, which echo those of anti-Israel
critics, have provoked outrage. The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC)
called on her to apologize, noting that the bill includes a proviso
that: "Nothing in this Act or the amendments made by this Act shall be
construed as a declaration of war or an authorization of the use of
force against Iran."
Adding that the Kirk-Menendez bill's language on Israel is the same as that in another bill that Feinstein co-sponsored,
RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks blasted Feinstein: "We are deeply
troubled to see Senator Feinstein making such incendiary and inaccurate
remarks on the Senate floor. We call on her to retract this reckless and
false charge and apologize to her colleagues and to the millions of
Americans who support a comprehensive, robust strategy to prevent the
Tehran regime from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability."
In her speech, Feinstein said that "a vote for this legislation will
cause negotiations to collapse," arguing that the six-month deal reached
in Geneva and finalized on Sunday represented "the best opportunity in
more than 30 years to make a major change in Iranian behavior." The deal
provides some sanctions relief in return for suspending parts of Iran's
uranium enrichment program and allowing limited international
The Kirk-Menendez bill provides for tighter sanctions in the event
that Iran fails to comply with the Geneva agreement. Yet the Obama
administration has vowed to veto the bill regardless, believing that it
sends a message of confrontation. Supporters of the legislation,
including former Bush and Obama administration Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, believe that it will actually strengthen Obama's hand in negotiations.
The legislation currently has 59 co-sponsors in the Senate, eight shy
of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto.
Almost every Republican Senator supports the bill, while only a minority
of Senate Democrats are co-sponsors. Some Democrats, including
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have been
caught both opposing and supporting the legislation to different audiences.
Feinstein warned that hard-liners in Iran would use the bill to
"argue that the United States is not interested in nuclear diplomacy--we
are interested in regime change." That, however, is what they argue
already. Scholar Kenneth Pollack, who is opposed to war in Iran and
favors negotiations and "containment," says in his new book on Iran that the Obama administration's failure to pursue regime change in 2009 was "reprehensible."
Democrats who wish to support the Obama administration's line are
praising Feinstein's speech, and it will likely provide political cover
to those who wish to oppose the bill but wish to do so without
appearing to oppose Israel. Her incendiary remarks about Israel are not
likely to be forgotten by Republicans, either.
I don't see how anyone who is pro-Israel can oppose this bill. All it does is lay out what the next steps against Iran will be in the event that it continues its nuclear program. Oh wait... the Geneva agreement allows them to keep upgrading their centrifuges anyway....
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Dianne Feinstein, Iran sanctions regime, Iranian nuclear threat, Mark Kirk, Robert Menendez