The Lobby Wants War
by Justin Raimondo, May 01, 2009
The Israel lobby has been running into a few problems lately, but it’s nothing they don’t think they can handle: a charge of treason
, a strong suspicion
of obstructing justice
, and a gathering storm of criticism from a few dissident intellectuals
and policy types
. Nothing to get too exercised about. Having felled
Charles "Chas" Freeman, smitten
Gen. Zinni, and sidelined
those in the Obama administration who question the nature and utility of America’s "special relationship" with Israel, the Lobby’s flagship organization, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC
), is primed to hold their national conference in Washington next week, with Jane "This Conversation Doesn’t Exist
" Harman slated
to address the gathering.
of the conference, and the legislative centerpiece of the event, will be passage of the Iran Diplomatic Enhancement Act
, which would ban US companies from providing Iran with refined petroleum products, and seeks to punish European companies — particularly the Swiss, who come in for two specific mentions in the text of the bill — for doing so.
To begin with, the name affixed to this piece of legislative legerdemain is a prime example of congressional doublethink: will it really
enhance diplomatic relations with Iran to impose draconian sanctions, the equivalent of an economic chokehold and a prelude to a military blockade? Hardly, and that is very far from its clear intent.
This bill is all about provoking the Iranians, effectively sabotaging efforts to engage in a mutual dialogue with Tehran. Why the egregious packaging? Well, it seems the American people are sick and tired of war, and preparations for war, and so it is far less incriminating if a member of Congress can say he (or she) voted for "the Iran Diplomatic Enhancement Act" than it is to admit they supported isolating Iran economically.
Reflecting the new hysteria that’s been injected into the Jewish state’s relations with the rest of the world, Israel recalled its ambassador
to Switzerland in protest. Even talking to the Iranians, in any context, is considered by the Israelis to be an "existential
" threat to the Jewish state, and anyone who engages in such conversation is considered an enemy — thus the clauses of the bill that target the Swiss. The message this is sending is clear: if you cross the Israelis, you cross the Americans, too — yes, even under the Obama administration.
Speaking of Obama, this campaign to isolate Iran is aimed at him just as much as it is at the Iranians, and the Swiss — it is a shot across the bow, a flexing of legislative muscle on the part of the Lobby that shows the newly-elected American president even he can’t stand up to the Lobby’s power. If he tries to reach out to the Iranians, and short-circuit the march to war, he’ll be subverted, opposed, and reined in by the American Congress, which is, as Pat Buchanan
famously — and accurately — observed, "Israeli-occupied territory."
The main "argument" in favor of this bill, which enjoys wide bipartisan support, is that it will supposedly be an aid to the diplomatic initiative promised by President Obama, and it quotes the President during the campaign when he said
: "Iran right now imports gasoline… if we can prevent them from importing the gasoline that they need… that starts changing their cost-benefit analysis. That starts putting the squeeze on them." ( Collapse )source
Is there anything we can do to convince them otherwise?