FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

AIPAC Intervenes on Iran

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:
Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is Still Wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
David Yearsley
Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail