I just learned from a Juan Cole post that the Senate has amended the defense authorization act to state that Iran is committing acts of war against the United States. The vote was 97-0. The news seems to already be a day or two old, and this is the first I’ve heard of it–there’s nothing in the Times or the BBC. And that’s the good news: the press would’ve perked up its head for something that would actually mean war.
It’s also indicative of the weird logic that governs politics. As one of Cole’s sources asks: Having officially affirmed that Iran is waging war on American forces, how, pray tell, can you then deny the president when he asks (if he asks) for authorization to “defend our troops”? In the real world, politicians aren’t bound by messy realities like accepting the logical implications of what they’ve said. Full-scale war against Iran would be too unpopular to pass, and while enough hysteria might be whipped up, this unreported Senate resolution won’t be what does it.