FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

AIPAC Intervenes on Iran

by BADRUDDIN KHAN

It has happened again, and in the open. The American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) which heads a network of pro-Israeli lobbies, persuaded Congress to drop a provision which would have required President Bush to ask for Congressional approval prior to attacking Iran.

As reported in the May 16, 2007 issue of The Hill:

“The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an influential group that advocates strong U.S. ties with Israel, lobbied heavily to remove the Iran provision in the supplemental, arguing that the measure would weaken President Bush’s attempts to dissuade Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”

This intervention by AIPAC to permit President Bush to act without Congressional debate was widely reported, as was AIPAC’s earlier intervention with a supplemental budget bill.

In other words, a Democratic Congress elected to end the Iraq war has willingly given up its right (and responsibility) to engage in public debate prior to a new act of war against Iran, a sovereign nation. By voting to look the other way, Congress has left this war decision to the discretion of an unpopular president, who has already failed once.

Why on earth would the Democrats, empowered to change the administration’s current foreign policy regime, ignore popular will? One reason, of course, is AIPAC.

It is now generally seen by all (but noticed by few) that AIPAC interests dominate US strategy in the Mideast. Its influence over our centralized power centers in Washington and elsewhere is widely discussed. This grip on power is exercised ruthlessly, and frequently, and pre-emptively by AIPAC. A good (short) writeup that describes AIPAC’s ominous methods is Michael Massing’s essay in the New York Review of Books, June 8, 2006. An excellent (longer) writeup is the classic Harvard Kennedy School paper by Profs. Mearscheimer & Walt.

To trace AIPAC’s ascent, one has to start by acknowledging the admirable democratic instincts of Americans as individuals. These instincts are founded in our belief in the self-evident equality of all citizens. Local volunteer organizations, churches, and philanthropic dedication are testaments to our commitment to our communities and to our democratic foundation. America’s strength derives from this foundation, which shapes its identity and guides its purpose.

The further we get from our communities, however, the looser the resemblance of the power-process to actual democracy. As we reach Washington and the centralized halls of power, the balance tilts from one-person-one-vote towards one-dollar-one-vote. This is where foreign policy is made, this is where money, organization, and crafty strategies matter, and this is where lobbyists cut deals behind the scenes. This is where the irrational behavior of our elected politicians is explained through spin, and manipulated through money. This is the home turf of lobbyists, and of AIPAC.

AIPAC has apparently been good for Israel. On his last trip to the US, Israel’s Prime Minister Olmert publicly thanked the US for the destruction of Iraq (the neoconservatives would have called it “creative destruction”), and then unambiguously pointed the finger in Iran’s direction. Nobody had the patriotic courage to raise the obvious question: attacking Iran may be good for Israel, but is it good for the US? And, is there conflict of interest at work?

BADRUDDIN KHAN lives in San Francisco. He can be reached at: bkhan@hotmail.com

 

 

More articles by:
January 17, 2018
Seiji Yamada
Prevention is the Only Solution: a Hiroshima Native’s View of Nuclear Weapons
Chris Welzenbach
Force of Evil: Abraham Polonsky and Anti-Capitalist Noir
Thomas Klikauer
The Business of Bullshit
Howard Lisnoff
The Atomized and Siloed U.S. Left
Martha Rosenberg
How Big Pharma Infiltrated the Boston Museum of Science
George Wuerthner
The Collaboration Trap
David Swanson
Removing Trump Will Require New Activists
Michael McKinley
Australia and the Wars of the Alliance: United States Strategy
Binoy Kampmark
Macron in China
Cesar Chelala
The Distractor-in-Chief
Ted Rall
Why Trump is Right About Newspaper Libel Laws
Mary Serumaga
Corruption in Uganda: Minister Sam Kutesa and Company May Yet Survive Their Latest Scandal
January 16, 2018
Mark Schuller
What is a “Shithole Country” and Why is Trump So Obsessed With Haiti?
Paul Street
Notes From a “Shithole” Superpower
Louisa Willcox
Keeper of the Flame for Wilderness: Stewart “Brandy” Brandborg
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Sinister Plan to Kill the Iranian “Nukes” Deal
Franklin Lamb
Kafkaesque Impediments to Challenging Iran’s Theocracy
Norman Solomon
Why Senator Cardin is a Fitting Opponent for Chelsea Manning
Fred Gardner
GI Coffeehouses Recalled: a Compliment From General Westmoreland
Brian Terrell
Solidarity from Central Cellblock to Guantanamo
Don Fitz
Bondage Scandal: Looking Beneath the Surface
Rob Seimetz
#Resist Co-opting “Shithole”
Ted Rall
Trump Isn’t Unique
January 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Democrats and the End(s) of Politics
Paul Tritschler
Killing Floor: the Business of Animal Slaughter
Mike Garrity
In Targeting the Lynx, the Trump Administration Defies Facts, Law, and Science Once Again
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Hong Kong Politics: a Never-Ending Farce
Uri Avnery
Bibi’s Son (Or Three Men in a Car)
Dave Lindorff
Yesterday’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Can Become Classy Places Donald, and Vice Versa
Jeff Mackler
Lesser Evil Politics in Alabama
Jonah Raskin
Typewriters Still Smoking? An Interview with Underground Press Maven John McMillan
Jose-Antonio Orosco
Trump’s Comments Recall a Racist Past in Immigration Policy
David Macaray
Everything Seems to Be Going South
Kathy Kelly
41 Hearts Beating in Guantanamo
Weekend Edition
January 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
George Burchett
Wormwood and a Shocking Secret of War: How Errol Morris Vindicated My Father, Wilfred Burchett
Roberto J. González
Starting Them Young: Is Facebook Hooking Children on Social Media?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Between the Null and the Void
Andrew Levine
Trump After Bannon: What Next?
John Davis
Mud-Slide
Ajamu Baraka
The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Stirs the Methane Monster
Paul Street
Lazy Liberals and “the Trump Effect”
Carmen Rodriguez
Trump’s Attack on Salvadoran Migrants
Mike Whitney
Oprah for President, Really?
Francisco Cabanillas
The Hurricane After Maria
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail