Blasting Obama as ‘blurred,’ McConnell assures Israel lobby that bipartisan Congress will authorize ‘overwhelming force’ against Iran

US Politics
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McConnell at AIPAC, by the AP

The old saw that partisan policy differences stop at the water’s edge was shattered last night at the Israel lobby’s convention in Washington, when Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate’s minority leader, openly defied Obama’s Iran policy as “blurred” and flawed and said that the Congress would make policy– the use of “overwhelming force” to end Iran’s nuclear program.

“I will introduce authorization for the use of military force,” McConnell told the AIPAC policy conference to wild applause. That authorization would make it clear that any effort by Iran to enrich uranium to weapons grade levels “will be met by overwhelming force.” 

This policy would have “strong majorities of both parties of the Congress” behind it, McConnell assured. “We certainly can’t shrink from telling a sitting president how” to stop Iran, he said. Though he said he would “consult” with the President on the policy.

McConnell said his policy was necessary because Obama’s policy had a “critical flaw”– it was not coherent about when the U.S. would use force. Sanctions have failed to stop the Iranian nuclear program, he said, as have the administration’s efforts at engaging Iran. And Obama has failed to articulate “clear military consequences.”

McConnell’s speech was met with far more enthusiasm than President Obama’s “loose talk of war” speech of the day before. And he firmly embraced Israel. 

“We share these interests [of no Iranian nuclear weapons] with Israel. We have exactly the same interests,” he said.

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