Annals of Bad Ideas

I was recently alerted to a sense of the congress resolution that has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that seems unnecessarily provocative. The bill, H.CON.RES.362, calls upon President Bush to escalate the tensions with Iran. It's mostly toothless- it isn't legally binding and is mostly uncontroversial, as it calls for increasing diplomacy. However, it seems to me to be a bad idea on two counts. First, it seems an unneccessary provocation that could undermine future diplomatic negotiations. More importanlty, however, subsection 3 reads:

(3) demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program;

Emphasis mine. Isn't this a blockade? Isn't a blockade an act of war?

I'm doubtful that even Bush and Cheney would launch an attack on Iran by the end of their term, but why give them any excuse?

Disappointingly, local congressmen Bob Brady, Patrick Murphy, and Joe Sestak are all co-sponsors of this resolution. Rep. Chaka Fattah, to his credit, is not. Hopefully someone can explain to me what the purpose of this resolution is.