War, Iran, AIPAC, and our elected officials

This is a follow-up post to the post from December, WAR, in which the topic concerning the number of US Senators who are swayed on the topic of Iran today, is being determined by AIPAC money.

Hope you’ll read this and follow any links embedded within the article. These are your and my elected officials folks. And personally speaking, the thoughts of another war is reprehensible…especially one being urged on by $$ going into the coffers of those sitting in Washington.


Yesterday we noted Jim Lobe’s piece saying that 47 Senators are taking AIPAC’s word over the US government’s word on the Iran deal. Lobe points out that those 47 senators who are pushing “wag-the-dog” legislation to hitch the U.S. to Israel’s war plans are a little bit shy about their support for the bill:

What is remarkable about this list, however, is that very few of the 47 co-sponsors have chosen to publicize their support for the bill to their constituents through local media or other means. A handful of the original co-sponsors put out press releases, as did Rob Portman, a late joiner. Lamar Alexander, another late-comer, courageously “tweeted” his backing for the bill. “If this were a bill senators were excited about; that is, something they thought they’d earn a lot of credit for — and not draw a lot of heat — from their voters, you’d think all of the co-sponsors would be proudly touting their support,” one veteran Hill observer told me. “Clearly, even for the Republican [co-sponsors], that doesn’t seem to be the case with this bill.” In other words, the co-sponsors appear to be targeting a very narrow constituency — AIPAC, which is now touting their names — rather than their voters back home, most of whom probably have no idea of what their senator’s position is or what may be at stake. Which raises an interesting question: If the folks back home knew that their senator was supporting a bill that would make another war in the Middle East more, rather than less likely, would there be an outcry as there was after Obama (and AIPAC) asked Congress to approve military action against Syria? Would some senators feel compelled to reassess their support?

The reason they’re not advertising their support is that AIPAC is beginning to be a dirty word in the discourse. In a remarkably frank piece in the mainstream, Paul Pillar writes in The National Interest that the senators are backing the legislation because of AIPAC money, and that the bill “serves the policy of Netanyahu’s government.”

Their legislation serves the purpose of those who want the negotiations with Iran to fail, not to succeed. Chief among those with this purpose is, of course, the right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made it abundantly clear that he opposes any agreement of any sort with Iran and will continue to do whatever he can to portray Iran as Satan incarnate and to keep it permanently ostracized. The principal organization in Washington that serves the policy of Netanyahu’s government—i.e., AIPAC—also has its own reason to hammer away forever at the Iranian bogeyman: it’s “good for business,” as a former senior AIPAC executive explained. It is no accident that Mark Kirk is easily the biggest Congressional recipient of AIPAC funds, and Robert Menendez is also among the top half dozen recipients. Honesty would mean dispensing with the phony issue of whether more sanctions now would help negotiate a better agreement—since they clearly would not—and instead posing the real issue: whether it is in the interests of the United States for the negotiations with Iran to succeed or to fail….

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2 comments on “War, Iran, AIPAC, and our elected officials

  1. As I read this article several Scriptures came to mind.

    Of them these words, for me at least, captures the insanities all around and the point at the end is my vigorous hope:

    Isaiah 1:21 How the faithful city has become a whore,[fn] she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.
    22 Your silver has become dross, your best wine mixed with water.
    23 Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them.
    24 Therefore the Lord declares, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: “Ah, I will get relief from my enemies and avenge myself on my foes.
    25 I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.
    26 And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”

  2. Today the Senate is about to vote Israel a virtual blank check — for war on Iran. Read Senate bill S.1881. This bill virtually hands over the decision on war to Bibi Netanyahu who is on record saying: “This is 1938. Iran is Germany.” Last weekend, the Obama National Security Council finally belled the cat with a blunt statement by spokesperson Bernadette Meehan: “If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action [against Iran], they should be up front with the American public and say so.” Exactly. For whether or not all these senators understand what they are doing, this is where their bill points – to a scuttling of the Geneva talks and a return to the sanctions road, at the end of which lies a U.S. war with Iran.

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