Washington Post finally goes after the lobby

Israel/Palestine
on 15 Comments

The Congo lobby that is. "Congo Republic’s heavy use of D.C. lobbyists prompts questions."

The chief target of the piece is Maxine Waters, the leftleaning Congresswoman, and "many members" of the Congressional Black Caucus. Would the Post ever go after the Israel lobby and talk about the Jewish members of the House? And who is raising these question? The Israel Lobby was written by a former Harvard dean and a leading professor at the University of Chicago; it has resonated for many, many Americans who are questioning our policy in the Middle East. The Post on the lobby:

The Congo Republic’s lobbyists took the lead among African nations in pushing for Congress to enact "vulture fund" legislation that would prevent foreign investors from reaping windfall profits by buying up at basement price the debts of poor countries and then suing the countries to repay in full. The Congo Republic, which settled most of its outstanding debts to investment firms in a confidential 2008 agreement, said it was seeking protection for all poor African countries, such as Rwanda, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.

In the House, Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) stepped forward to sponsor a bill that won support from 33 co-sponsors, including many members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Thanks to Max Blumenthal, who spotted this.

15 Responses

  1. Jim Haygood
    August 27, 2010, 1:58 pm

    ‘The Congo Republic launched a Washington lobbying campaign that has now cost about $9 million and involved more than 100 conversations and meetings with members of Congress, their staffs and African advocacy groups, according to lobbying disclosure reports.’ – Carol Leonnig

    Those ‘lobbying disclosure reports’ would be filed under FARA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    Israel’s lobby is a thousand times the size of poor little Congo’s. But AIPAC enjoys total impunity from having to register under FARA.

    That’s the 9-ton pink elephant in the living room. Paul Findley wrote a book about it. But the foreign lobby kicked him out of Congress.

    ‘FARA well, Paul!’ they sniggered. ‘We don’t need no stinkin’ registration.’

  2. Richard Witty
    August 27, 2010, 3:56 pm

    Make the better argument, NOT the snarky character defamation.

    • Keith
      August 27, 2010, 6:35 pm

      RICHARD- I think that Jim’s points are well taken. It is utter hypocrisy to moan about a Congo lobby while ignoring/defending the infinitely more powerful/pervasive Zionist lobby. As for “making a better argument,” I don’t see you making any argument at all, just calling Jim “snarky.”

      • Richard Witty
        August 27, 2010, 9:16 pm

        My comment was on the original.

        Phil is ridiculing the Washington Post’s editorial selection, for not mentioning “the Israel Lobby” daily.

        I think the Israel Lobby is barely news. Its a rock in the stream. If you’re trying to get somewhere, you paddle around it. Its just there.

        The better argument is the content, not the rock.

      • sherbrsi
        August 27, 2010, 10:47 pm

        I think the Israel Lobby is barely news.

        Not within the context of the American media, politics, domestic lobbying and foreign policy.

        Its a rock in the stream.

        It is more accurately a boulder blocking the peace process.

        If you’re trying to get somewhere, you paddle around it. Its just there.

        That’s a nice recipe for delusion you have there Witty. At least now we have insight into how you pretend to lobby for humanism and peace and ignore Israeli apartheid and atrocities in the process.

      • Chaos4700
        August 28, 2010, 2:05 am

        I think the Israel Lobby is barely news.

        You would. It’s kind of like how slaveholders had their own political block in the old South.

      • annie
        August 28, 2010, 3:38 am

        Phil is ridiculing the Washington Post’s editorial selection, for not mentioning “the Israel Lobby” daily.

        ha ha ha. daily? don’t you mean ever? if the israel lobby is barely news what do you think of wapo mentioning the congo’s pea in the stream while ignoring israel’s bolder?

        “The jewish state launched a Washington lobbying campaign that has now cost about $xxxxxxxxx million and involved more than 1000000000 conversations and meetings with members of Congress, their staffs and israeli advocacy groups’

        daily? how about one comparable paragraph? i’m curious how much they’ve spent thus far, aren’t you? i bet it tops 9 million and a measly 100 conversations!

      • LeaNder
        August 28, 2010, 7:13 am

        Phil is ridiculing the Washington Post’s editorial selection, for not mentioning “the Israel Lobby” daily.

        Has it ever? Beyond taking the neocon/Israel perspective on Arabist matter for granted? Besides you miss that Phil follows wit incarnate: Max Blumenthal here.

        The latest I remember from the WP, which I wouldn’t put beyond ridicule is the manipulating misuse of (special interests?) a Time-SRBI poll

        …A new Time-SRBI poll found that 61 percent of Americans oppose building the center. Nearly twice as many people said the center, and the mosque inside it, would be an insult to 9/11 victims than said it would be a symbol of religious tolerance.

        In the Time poll, 25 percent say most Muslims in the United States are not patriotic Americans. But the survey also indicates that the public’s opposition to the center may be more complicated than just anti-Muslim sentiment. Fifty-five percent said they would accept a Muslim community center and place of worship two blocks from their own home.

        Compare the source yourself. How would you call using a rather intransparent poll for political use, worse even distort it to give the impression of a beyond 100% public agreement on an issue? Partisan, or is this your sense of “balance”? Compare this one.

      • LeaNder
        August 28, 2010, 7:16 am

        I wanted the link above to point to the chart on page 63, but it doesn’t seem to work. Hmmm? I have to learn Hebrew, more and more of the sources I would like to read are not translated.

      • RoHa
        August 29, 2010, 1:14 am

        Who is trying to paddle where?

        The Israeli lobby is not an obstacle or passive factor in U.S. foreign policy. It is the major player. The Lobby runs U.S. Mid-East policy, and has a heavy hand in other aspects that might affect Israel. It also runs most of the MSM.

    • Chaos4700
      August 27, 2010, 7:52 pm

      My, my, my what an insightful and clever rebuttal, Witty.

      • LeaNder
        August 28, 2010, 7:41 am

        Chaos, I get the irony of your statement, but to the initiated his statement plays with imagery that declares both political and holy space. Google “Rock of Israel”. Rock is both Israel and earlier God, so adherents to the Zionist’s messianic myth may in fact find it deeply insightful. Maybe criticism of Israel”s politics is not not only anti-Semitic but even sacrilegious?

        Were is Mooser if we need him?

  3. eljay
    August 27, 2010, 11:59 pm

    >> I think the Israel Lobby is barely news. Its a rock in the stream. If you’re trying to get somewhere, you paddle around it. Its just there. The better argument is the content, not the rock.

    “The rock in the stream” – a new slogan! Although I’m still loving “better wheels”, so I’m not sure it’s time to move on just yet.

    >> Make the better argument, NOT the snarky character defamation.
    >> My comment was on the original. Phil is ridiculing the Washington Post’s editorial selection, for not mentioning “the Israel Lobby” daily.

    Are you really THAT oblivious to your hypocrisy? Not only do you fail to make a better argument (a.k.a. “better wheel”) IN THE VERY SAME SENTENCE in which you are telling Phil to make a better argument but, IN THAT VERY SAME SENTENCE, you snarkily accuse him of snarkiness! What a joke(r)!

  4. Sumud
    August 28, 2010, 2:02 am

    Don’t worry Phil, I’m sure WaPo will start talking about the lobby soon – and not the sad little Congo Lobby – but the elephant in the room we’re all too afraid to confront: The Arab Lobby!

    Plucky Alan Dershowitz on the real threat to US sovereignty, so sinister because it’s power is secretive – and it rarely chooses to manifest itself. The devastating proof of this influence “greater than the Israel Lobby” is the fact that the US sells weapons to Saudi Arabia, and the fact the US hasn’t moved it’s Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to [occupied] Jerusalem.

    And of course, compared to the Israel Lobby, it’s the wrong sort of lobby. Whereas the Israel Lobby has grassroots support of “hundreds of thousands”, the Arab Lobby has little if any popular support. Translation: a lobby with a significant influence over US foreign policy, that represents 0.16% (assuming 500,000 people of 309 million support it) of the population, is the epitome of democracy. A lobby representing 0% of the population with no discernible power is a wicked thing.

    Oh dear!

    ‘The Arab Lobby Rules America’
    link to thedailybeast.com

  5. piotr
    August 29, 2010, 1:14 am

    The article is spot on, although it could spell out issues in even more stark terms. Basically, cynical hirelings of the poorest countries in Africa want to whip out a wave of anti-vulture sentiment.

    Hardworking international financiers are suddenly “vultures”. Any guesses about the ethno-religious background of those unlovable birds? And if we succumb to misguided mercy on this point, what next? Regulating “predatory practices” of credit card issuers? Communism and Islamofascism! Citizens, awake?

    [Alert: heavy snark.]

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