March 16, 2007
My hopes are down on the Democrats.
And I don’t mean on their chances of winning the White House in 2008.
I mean their chances of acting on principle today, in the here and now, about Iran.
This week, amazingly, the Democrats in the House agreed to strip out of the military spending bill any mention of the need for Bush to come to Congress before he goes and bombs Iran.
According to the AP, they did so because of “its possible impact on Israel.”
Now this is crazy.
U.S. legislators are willing to suspend Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution, which gives Congress the sole authority to declare war, because they don’t want to upset Israel or its supporters here at home?
AIPAC members were busily lobbying Capitol Hill earlier this week, and it looks like they prevailed yet again.
This time, over our Constitution.
That Democratic legislators would have such little reverence for that document is shocking enough.
And that they would have no institutional pride in their own authority is equally appalling.
But that they would surrender that power not because of some emergency but because they are bowing to the wishes of a foreign country is even more unbelievable.
March 13, 2007
The Bush Administration seems to believe that a belligerent United States and an intransigent Israel can take on all comers.
So it was that Dick Cheney went to AIPAC’s convention in Washington on Monday to heap praise upon this lobby, which defends every illegal act that the government of Israel commits.
Said Cheney: “I commend AIPAC for the fine work you do,” adding, “I bring warm regards from the President of the United States. . . . He asked me to convey to this gathering his great appreciation for your efforts.”
One of those recent efforts has been to oppose Congressional attempts to make Bush get legislative approval before he goes out and bombs Iran. This is the cozy, symbiotic relationship that AIPAC has with the Bush Administration: AIPAC wants Bush to eliminate the Iranian threat to Israel, and Bush wants AIPAC to pressure Congress so he can play out his macho fantasies worldwide.
In his talk, Cheney linked Israel and America arm in arm as the bastions of all that is good in the world.
“Progress in the cause of security and long-term peace never comes easily,” he said. “Yet the United States and Israel persevere in that cause.” This requires, he said, “moral clarity, the courage of our convictions, a willingness to act when action is necessary, and a refusal to submit to any form of intimidation, ever. These qualities are a credit to the American and the Israeli people.”
The crowd cheered. Not a surprise. AIPAC has been the chief cheerleader all along for Bush’s adventurism.
And the convention continued to cheer as Cheney talked tough on Iran and Iraq.
“If Iran’s allies [in Iraq] prevailed,” he said, “Tehran’s own designs for the Middle East would be advanced and the threat to our friends in the region would only be magnified. My friends, it is simply not consistent for anyone to demand aggressive action against the menace posed by the Iranian regime while, at the same time, acquiescing in a retreat from Iraq that would leave our worst enemies dramatically emboldened.”
So this is a new reason for continuing the bloody Iraq War.
Now we’ve got to stay in Iraq to prevent Iran from gaining power because then Iran would be a greater threat to Israel.
The irony is that people who opposed the war from the start, from Noam Chomsky to Brent Scowcroft, warned that it would only strengthen Iran.
Cheney must have known this, too. But he probably thought, if that happens we’ll just go on to Tehran.
Which would only make AIPAC all the happier.