Follow-up on the earlier post, …White House to Dems: Admit You Want War
Hope you are following and praying! about what is occurring folks, in public and behind closed doors. Cause if you’re not, you may be surprised to turn on your TV one morning soon, perhaps as early as this spring, and hear we’re at war with Iran.
The New York Times says that the Israel lobby is pushing a march toward war with Iran. Here is some remarkably frank reporting on the new Iran sanctions legislation from the old grey lady. Mark Landler and Jonathan Weisman write:
The White House has cast the issue in stark terms, saying that a vote for new sanctions would be, in effect, a “march toward war” and challenging those lawmakers who support the bill to acknowledge publicly that they favor military action against Iran. “It just stands to reason if you close the diplomatic option, you’re left with a difficult choice of waiting to see if sanctions cause Iran to capitulate, which we don’t think will happen, or considering military action,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser… Behind these positions is a potent mix of political calculations in a midterm election year. Pro-Israel groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, have lobbied Congress to ratchet up the pressure on Iran, and many lawmakers are convinced that Tehran is bluffing in its threat to walk away from the talks….
A Times editorial slamming the legislation underlines the point:
Israel’s government and pro-Israel interest groups are pressing the same hard line.
USA Today slams the legislation as “a quick path to war” and calls out Israel:
[H]ard-liners in Iran, Israel and the U.S. Congress press efforts that would kill negotiations.
Jim Lobe, who has done heroic work against the legislation, says that the same characters who brought us the Iraq war are trying to give us an Iran war, by the same method, the manifesto signed by scores of neoconservatives. The Iran manifesto comes from a different front group, and urges passage of sanctions legislation that would kill the deal. Signatories include Lawrence Kaplan, Marty Peretz, Bill Kristol, Frederick and Robert Kagan, Mark Dubowitz (who is quoted in the Times), Leon Wieseltier, Nick Eberstadt, Josh Block, Jamie Kirchick, Lee Smith, Dan Senor, and Joe Lieberman.
Lobe quotes White House security aide Bernadette Meehan’s very strong statement against the legislation, then comments on the Democratic politics:
[Meehan said this weekend:] “If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so. Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed…”
The question now is whether the White House can hold nervous Democrats, particularly Majority Leader Harry Reid who controls the calendar for floor votes, in line. As I suggested yesterday, the fact that the co-sponsorship has become so heavily and conspicuously Republican — and is now, thanks to the Foreign Policy Initiative (AKA the Project for the New American Century) so closely associated with neoconservatives and other Iraq war advocates — could make that work easier. That may be one reason why anonymous Hill staffers linked to AIPAC are claiming to CNN and other outlets that the lobby group has rounded up 77 commitments to vote for the bill if it comes to the floor, making it immune to a promised White House veto if Reid lets it come to a vote.
The stakes involved were made manifest by an extraordinary statement to JTA’s Ron Kampeas by the head of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC),
That statement was by Jack Moline, the incoming director of National Jewish Democratic Council, to the JTA:
In an interview with JTA, he accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the American Jewish Committee of imposing a “litmus test” on senators and using “strong-arm tactics.” “It isn’t the business of any organization to be setting up a litmus test on a piece of legislation,” Moline said
MJ Rosenberg predicts that we are heading for an AIPAC policy conference where a tsunami of lobbying is readied:
The [Times] article states that passage of the AIPAC resolution, followed by a veto override, would be an “historic repudiation” of the president. “Democrats recognize the delicacy of Mr. Obama’s signing the first veto of his presidency on an Iran bill, and to have that first veto overridden would be a historic repudiation. But Democrats said the current lull can hold only for a matter of weeks, not months.” That could mean that AIPAC will use its March “policy conference” as the venue for an all out campaign to defeat the agreement, thereby putting the United States, in the White House’s words, on a “march to war.” - (highlight mine)
See remainder of article here: ‘NYT’ says that AIPAC is pushing the ‘march toward war’
Let me finish… (video clip-Sabotaging Peace Process; Hardball with Chris Matthews)