Thursday, May 31, 2007
Pro-Israel interests are a fixture in American politics
If you are wondering why our Democratic congress sold us down the river, it goes like this.
(1); President Bush has requested $2.4 billion in military aid to Israel as part of his 2008 fiscal year budget submitted to Congress.
(2); Pro-Israel interests are a fixture in American politics, having developed an organized presence in Washington and across the country that is backed by generous campaign contributions and intensive lobbying.
On the lobbying front, the pro-Israel community is led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which Fortune magazine ranks as one of the top lobbying groups in the country. AIPAC spent more than $1.1 million lobbying in 2001, roughly the same amount it spent in 2000.
(3); Senator Carl Levin D was one of the top recipients of campaign money from AIPAC to the tune of $93,000 for this cycle, and $657,887 since his time in office.
(4); AIPAC Demands "Action" on Iran
February 24 / 25, 2007
"An American Strike on Iran is Essential for Our Existence"
Now, as Israeli calls for a U.S. attack on Iran become more shrill by the day, AIPAC recognizes that the American people profoundly distrust Vice President Cheney and the nest of neocon liars he has sheltered. The Bush-Cheney war machine has been pretty well exposed, and that must worry the warmongers within the group. Israeli Defense Force chief artillery officer Gen. Oded Tira has griped that "President Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran," adding that since "an American strike in Iran is essential for [Israel's] existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iran issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure." Tira urges the Lobby to turn to "potential presidential candidates. . . so that they support immediate action by Bush against Iran," while Uri Lubrani, senior advisor to Defense Minister Amir Peretz, tells the Jewish Agency's Board of Governors that the US "does not understand the threat and has not done enough," and therefore "must be shaken awake."
No thanks this time, AIPAC. You're just not credible. Can't do it for you. My constituents aren't into more war, and they think this whole Iran thing's a lot of hype. I can't support nuking Iran, and frankly, I don't see how you can either. I don't think you speak for all or even most American Jews, and you can't scare me this time by accusations of anti-Semitism. I can't have an attack on Iran my conscience, sorry. I'd rather be defeated in the next election. Keep your money; I just can't do what you ask.
Will the Congress targeted by the Lobby be able to say that? If it doesn't, all the belated, posturing moves to limit Bush's power, withdraw troops and end the imperialist war in Iraq will mean nothing. An attack on Iran will unleash the gates of hell. The attackers will argue that a new situation makes all prewar debate irrelevant (or even if encouraging doubt about the "existential" cause, downright treasonous). The fascistic proclivities of the administration will blossom immediately. The legal basis has been laid for the repression of the dissent an Iran attack will naturally inspire. Prison camps, suspension of habeas corpus. The proponents of the war are comfortable with these things, and the waters have already been tested.