Saturday, November 3, 2007

I Tread in Murky Waters: AIPAC and Congress

In the past several weeks I have noticed several disturbing bits of news which led me to this post. The latest was just yesterday when I read that Senators Schumer and Feinstein, liberal Democrats, approved the nomination of Michael Makasey as Attorney General, even though he balked at classifying waterboarding as torture. All three are of the Jewish faith.

Three days ago I read an article by Ray McGovern, Attacking Iran for Israel, in which he said, " Vice President Dick Cheney reiterated, “We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.” That remark followed closely on President George W. Bush’s apocalyptic warning of World War III, should Tehran acquire the knowledge to produce a nuclear weapon.
The Israelis appear convinced they have extracted a promise from Bush and Cheney that they will help Israel nip Iran’s nuclear program in the bud before they leave office. That is why the Israeli ambassador says there is “very little time”-less than 15 months."

Further on in the article, McGovern says, "If the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) with its overflowing coffers supports an attack on Iran, so will most of our spineless lawmakers."

Four weeks ago 76 members of the Senate voted in favor of the non-binding resolution of Kyl-Lieberman calling for the designation of its Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization responsible for killing U.S. troops. Many see it as the first step that Bush/Cheney can use to defend the bombing of military sites in Iran.

Interestingly, of the 13 members of the Senate who are Jews, Boxer, Feingold, Sanders, and Wyden voted 'NO." The other 9 voted "YES." Many of these 9 are generally liberal in other voting such as Charles Schumer, Karl Levin, Herb Kohl and Frank Lautenberg.

I also note that Norman Podhoretz, the god-father of the Neoconservative movement, wrote a WSJ op ed with the self-explanatory title, "The Case for Bombing Iran I hope and pray that President Bush will do it." Podhoertz recently spent time in the Oval Office with George W. Bush.

Norman and John Podhoretz, Douglas Feith, Lewis Libby, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, and Bill Kristol are all members of PNAC as well as Neocons and, coincidentally, of the Jewish faith. They were terribly influential on the naive governor of Texas shortly after 9-11. They along with Cheney and Rumsfeld convinced the young Bush to attack Iraq. Who's to change his mind on Iran? After all, if both Iraq and Iran are humbled and crushed militarily, the state of Israel will be the sole masters of the Middle East.

The foolish Christian Zionists have easily walked into this trap and are most welcomed by the neocons. The Nation published an article, AIPAC's Hold, which, besides exposing the Israeli Lobby, saying, "Christian conservatives increasingly aligned with AIPAC demand unwavering support for Israel from their Republican leaders. "

The website Democracy Now posted an article with this title, "Christians United for Israel: New Christian Zionism Lobby Hopes to Rival AIPAC." It says, " A new group was recently established called Christians United for Israel - CUFI. They're an evangelical organization that believes supporting expansionist policies of the Israeli government is: "a biblical imperative." In a new article for The Nation, journalist Max Blumenthal reports group members have held several meetings with White House officials to talk about US policy in the Middle East. They've apparently lobbied the administration to adopt a confrontational posture toward Iran, refuse aid to the Palestinians and give Israel a free hand in its attack on Lebanon."

John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago's Department of Political Science and Stephen M.Walt of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government contend that the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy is its intimate relationship with Israel. The authors argue that although often justified as reflecting shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, the U.S. commitment to Israel is due primarily to the activities of the “Israel Lobby." This paper goes on to describe the various activities that pro-Israel groups have undertaken in order to shift U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.

OK. Those are the facts that lead me to this question: Do political interest groups who support the state of Israel have undue influence in the government and policies of the United States?

I am particularly worried at this moment about a preemptive strike by the Bush/Cheney administration on Iran. I see many signs that this attack is in the works. I see votes in Congress, many from members of the Jewish faith, that will lead to such an attack.

I am terribly concerned that the foreign policy of this administration on the Middle East is unduly influenced by AIPAC and Christian Zionists. Nowhere in our Constitution is there permission for a foreign nation to determine our policies. Nowhere in our Constitution is there permission for a pre-emptive strike on another nation unless that nation is imminently posed to strike our nation.

It's the Constitution. It is being shredded.

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