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Byrd: Senate’s ‘Saber-Rattling’ Is ‘Sleep-Walking’ America To War With Iran

By Matt Corley on October 4, 2007 at 4:31 pm

"Byrd: Senate’s ‘Saber-Rattling’ Is ‘Sleep-Walking’ America To War With Iran"

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On the Senate floor today, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) decried the recent Kyl-Lieberman amendment on Iran that 72 of his colleagues voted for, calling it an exercise in “international verbal spitball.” Byrd warned his colleagues against “sleep-walking” into another war, saying “I hope that we can stop this war of words before it becomes a war of bombs.”

Byrd added that the Senate’s “chest-pounding” and “saber-rattling” towards Iran was “deeply troubling,” as the Iraq war has shown “all too clearly where it leads”:

It is deeply troubling to see the U.S. Senate joining the chest-pounding and saber-rattling of the Bush administration. I am no apologist for the Iranian regime, anymore than I was for Saddam Hussein, but I fear that we may become entangled in another bloody quagmire. We have been down this path before. We have seen all too clearly where it leads.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/10/ByrdIran.320.240.flv]

As former Vice President Al Gore noted in his book, The Assault on Reason, Byrd made a similarly prescient speech in 2003, warning against the invasion of Iraq:

We are truly “sleepwalking through history.” In my heart of hearts I pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for a rudest of awakenings.

To engage in war is always to pick a wild card. And war must always be a last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over 50% children is “in the highest moral traditions of our country”. This war is not necessary at this time. Pressure appears to be having a good result in Iraq. Our mistake was to put ourselves in a corner so quickly. Our challenge is to now find a graceful way out of a box of our own making. Perhaps there is still a way if we allow more time.

At that time, Byrd noted that the Senate was “ominously silent” and failed to question the Bush administration’s invasion plan. “There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war,” he said. Let’s hope that with Iran, the Senate wakes up before it’s too late.

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