What is AIPAC planning?

It isn't war they want but the illusion of control


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What is AIPAC planning?
by M.J. Rosenberg
10-Feb-2012
 

These are strange times for those of us who follow the debate about a possible war with Iran. It is clear that the Israeli government and its neoconservative camp followers here in the United States are increasing pressure on President Obama to either attack Iran or let Israel do it (in which case, we would be forced to join in). But the idea of another Middle East war is so outlandish that it seems inconceivable it could actually occur.

Still the conventional wisdom holds that it can, and the main reason is that this is an election year and no one will say no to Binyamin Netanyahu in an election year.

War enthusiasm will rise to a fever pitch by March, when AIPAC holds its annual policy conference. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will, if past example holds, bring the crowd of 10,000 to its feet by depicting Iran as the new Nazi Germany and by coming very close to stating that only war can stop these new Nazis. Other speakers will say the same. The few who mention the idea of diplomacy will be met by stony silence.

From the convention center, 10,000 delegates will be dispatched to Capitol Hill with two or three "asks" for Members of Congress. One will, no doubt, be that "containment" of a nuclearized Iran be ruled off the table (leaving war as the only remaining option should Iran get the bomb). Another will likely be that the U.S. stop all dealings with the Palestinian Authority should Hamas and Fatah permanently reconcile. A third could apply either to Iran or Palestine and will, no doubt, demand fealty to whatever Netanyahu's policy of the moment happens to be. I've sat in those meetings where the AIPAC "asks" are developed and it was always clear that the substance didn't matter all that much.

The goal of the "asks" is ensuring that Congress follow the script. Invariably at least one of these AIPAC goals will be put into legislative language and quickly pass both chambers of Congress. In fact, usually the "ask" is already in legislative form, so that the AIPAC citizen lobbyists can simply demand that their legislators sign on as co-sponsors (if they haven't already done so). Once the AIPAC bill has the requisite number of co-sponsors, the House and Senate leadership brings it to the floor where it passes with few dissenters.

All hell breaks loose if a member of Congress objects.

One Member of Congress has actually described what happened when she voted no on an AIPAC "ask." Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) refused to support a bill (opposed by the State Department) that would have essentially banned all U.S. contacts with Palestinians. AIPAC was not pleased with her recalcitrance.

In a letter to AIPAC executive director, Howard Kohr, McCollum described what happened next. In short, she was threatened by an AIPAC official from her district, called a terrorist supporter and warned that her behavior "would not be tolerated." In response, McCollum told AIPAC not to come near her office again until it apologized.

McCollum was not, of course, the only legislator threatened that way. She is, however, the only one in memory who went public.

As one who worked on Capitol Hill for 20 years, I know that many, if not most, legislators who vote with AIPAC complain about its strong-arm tactics -- but only in private. In fact, some of the most zealous defenders of Netanyahu and faithful devotees of the lobby complain most of all. Among staff, AIPAC's arrival in their offices during the conference is a source of dread. Hill staff, much like legislators themselves, like to think they are perhaps a little important. AIPAC eliminates that illusion. Although AIPAC calls its requests "asks," they are, in fact, "tells" and "no" is not a permissible response. (Staffers who like AIPAC, and there are a few, tend to work with it hand-in-glove which is how AIPAC invariably knows what is going on even before the elected representatives do).

Despite all this, I do not think that either Netanyahu or his lobby is all that eager to go to war. After all, Israel's intelligence community opposes it for a host of reasons starting with the fact that it would not eliminate Iran's nuclear program. There is also the fear that Iran's Hezbollah allies in Lebanon, on Israel's northern border, have tens of thousands of missiles that they can let fly if Iran is attacked. Above all is the understanding that no one knows if an attack would make Israel safer or threaten its very existence.

So here's a theory. Netanyahu and his camp followers here do not really want a war now. They just want it understood that they can dictate whether there is one or not. And when. In other words, they want to show who is boss (it's not like we don't know).

As for Obama, he may just be playing along with Netanyahu and AIPAC because he understands their strategy. Perhaps he knows that it isn't war they want but the illusion of control.

Only, it's not an illusion. And it certainly won't be if Netanyahu gets the president he wants in November, a Republican who will fight the war Netanyahu wants but isn't eager to fight himself. Surely Mitt or Rick or Newt will do it for him.

First published in HuffingtonPost.com.

AUTHOR
M.J. Rosenberg is Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network. Previously, he worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate for 15 years. He was also a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum.


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Sadegh Bozorgmehr

If Iranians only knew...

by Sadegh Bozorgmehr on

I was in the congressional buildings when thousands of AIPAC members came and lobbied for Israel and against Iran. It was breathtaking to watch, and a life changing moment for me.

I guarantee that any Iranian that experiences what I did would never be the same after.

We MUST wake up! 


Behrouz

look a little further please

by Behrouz on

if you believe in elite's agenda, then look a little further to who raised and gave money to Soros, or runs the Fox news or MSNBC, gave money to build Israel supreme court or as a matter of fact :

Ahmadinejad shows the same satanic hand gesture Pope, or a lot of politicians (including US presidents) show their audience.

they are playing people with an illusion, war is also an illusion for people, as freedom is. but killing people or sending them to prison for no reason or without a charge is something else. don't you think?


Behrouz

the problem of New World Order

by Behrouz on

these powerful illusionists also kill and send to prison without charge or apeal, you think to yourself I meant IRIR, but I meant the US, Israeli, Iranian Elites, or any where else as a matter of fact.

looking for evidence, tons of faking events, like 9/11 around you just wake up!

we as people are 99% without a voice or ruling power, they are 1% and have it all!

we can do only one thing, not to carry their agenda,

say no to any war, anywhere!


bushtheliberator

dear jj , my bad !

by bushtheliberator on

I still think Spell Check is for sissies, but in the future I'll try to use the preview button to edit my flamethrower.


bushtheliberator

Oh yes, rescue us from AIPAC thralldom, Mr.Rosenberg

by bushtheliberator on

We'll send Bush & Cheney to the ICC for their "illegal war ".Give  back the Iraqis their oil

And turn our guns toward Israel

One problem remains tho : the" Neo-con camp followers" won't give up their desire to destroy the IRI   In your next post, I'm sure you'll offer to save us from the pernicous designs of the Christian Right


Bavafa

Ever more sign....

by Bavafa on

That  the US politics has been taken hostage by this powerful and wealthy group which for years now has put the interest of another nation ahead of the US.

How many wars does US need to fight on behalf of this nation and when will this master/slave relationship is going to end?

'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 

Mehrdad


iraj khan

An Informative

by iraj khan on

and educational piece about a Mafia like organization called AIPAC that stands for Israeli Lobby in the United States.

There are many books and articles written about AIPAC but Mr Rosenberg as someone who had worked for AIPAC explains, in a few paragraphs, the destructive influence of Israeli Lobby in U.S. political process.

The following is an eye opener to what Israeli Lobby did to a member of U.S. Congress when she disagreed with their 'request':

"One Member of Congress has actually described what happened when she voted no on an AIPAC "ask." Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) refused to support a bill (opposed by the State Department) that would have essentially banned all U.S. contacts with Palestinians.

AIPAC was not pleased with her recalcitrance. In a letter to AIPAC executive director, Howard Kohr, McCollum described what happened next. In short, she was threatened by an AIPAC official from her district, called a terrorist supporter and warned that her behavior "would not be tolerated." 

And this is exactly what the AIPAC operatives and supporters have been doing here on Iranian.com. 


masoudA

Dear Aynak

by masoudA on

As you can tell, I had not even bothered to google the guy....Thanx for the link...so he lobbies for Palestine.......big surprise!!    What is important to note here is the big picture.....This guy is Anti America - Anti Isreal......You want to know who pulls his strings.....Look no further than Soros et. al. and if you want to know who guides Soros look in northern Europe.  Right now the guideline is to keep all from touching IR and to get Obama re-elected.   The anti war sentiment serves both purposes. 


aynak

LOL, Masoud A you crack me up:

by aynak on

 

MasoudA:

"I was calling Rosenberg and his bosses idiots....but if the shoe fits....

and don't take any pride in yourself as being anti war as if there is
anyone who actualy likes wars........this guy whose real name is
probably asghar is here to prolong IR......and protect IR bosses who are
not jewish for certain. "

15 years of work on Capitol Hill, boy those IR agent  (Asghars) in washington  are really entrachned.   I think this one really exposes him for who he really is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrZbu9A0OLI

 

 

 

 


Kooshan

sooner or later

by Kooshan on

but not in too distant future people of America will realize the what is happening to them...

we already feel the pain of jobs lost to Asia to appease the greedy people in financial market.

we will soon loose the benefit of social security.

the medical benefits will even degrade further.

America supremacy will soon be challenged by the mighty China, then Russia and India....

We will turn into something like Euro zone.

 

Now you tell me who is leading America down this road?

 


masoudA

Ferdowsi

by masoudA on

I was calling Rosenberg and his bosses idiots....but if the shoe fits....

and don't take any pride in yourself as being anti war as if there is anyone who actualy likes wars........this guy whose real name is probably asghar is here to prolong IR......and protect IR bosses who are not jewish for certain.   These vultures strive on making sure Iran, USA and Isreal are never friends again......I am sorry you can't see it - just don't let yourself be played ....again and again and again.... 

Pressing for peace with the captors of your children who are being raped is not human in fact it coward and anti human. 


Ferdowsi

masoudA, you are full of yourself and rude! "Listen idiots"!!!!

by Ferdowsi on

Are you talking to us? since you are very smart, then why do you even waste your time talking to us "idiots"?

Are you for war against Iran? Is that why you call on this guy since he is anti war and has the guts to expose the AIPAC? Disappointed in him for expressing himself? Oops! I forgot that we don't live in democracy, we live under the AIPAC rule! We all have to shut up as we did under the shah and IRI!

You like santrom who wants to bomb Iran? Disappointed in Obama for not bombing Iran, and that is why AIPC wants to get rid oof him?

I vote for OBAMA!


masoudA

Lool

by masoudA on

The biggest weakness of the left is their plans requires idiots!!!! and that makes them idiots!!!    The left does great in media manipulation and hopes it's enough!!!!   That makes them even bigger idiots.    

Listen idiots - nobody is at war with Iran or the people of Iran - everyone is at war with IR, especially the people of Iran.  

Rosenberg - we have a saying in Iran:  boro khoda roozito jaye digeh bedeh...Go find a career somewhere else......

I rather trust someone who thinks of Iranians as cultured and eductaed (as Santorum does).............than those who think of us as religious idiots who must be left alone (as Obama does).    


پندارنیک

A must-read........

by پندارنیک on

..........which can be easily understood and agreed upon...........


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