AIPAC posterizes Obama in Senate, 100-0

israeltweet
The Israeli consulate in San Francisco celebrates the Senate vote on Twitter.

If you want to understand the pressure that Obama is under from the Israel lobby, consider this greasy story: Last week three high Obama officials urged Senators not to pass an amendment to the huge Defense Authorization Act that would apply far stiffer sanctions to Iran’s central bank than the Obama administration wanted. Two of the officials went to the Hill, and said the amendment would send oil prices higher, among other damaging effects.

But the Senate rebuffed the administration and voted  unanimously, 100-0, for the sanctions.

Why did the Senate put aside appeals from Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, under secretary of the Treasury David Cohen, and Wendy Sherman, #3 at the State Department, all saying that the bill would be bad for business and bad for the U.S.’s efforts to build a coalition on Iran? Why did John Kerry, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations, acknowledge Tim Geithner’s letter against the legislation, and then vote against his president? 

The clear evidence is: because the lobby wanted this amendment and these guys feared for their political lives. AIPAC led the charge. AIPAC rolled the amendment out 3 weeks ago, and then led a letter-writing campaign to US Senators on the amendment, known as Kirk-Menendez (in part for the Senator from AIPAC, Mark Kirk of Illinois). Here’s the AIPAC memo from last month:

Time is running out to prevent Iran from obtaining sufficient quantities of higher enriched uranium to facilitate a quick breakout to produce a nuclear weapon. Together with like-minded nations, the United States must act quickly and with the full force of our remaining economic tools to prevent such a nightmare scenario. 

The president should immediately designate the CBI [Central Bank of Iran] as a weapons proliferator or terror supporter under Executive Order 13224 or 13338. This designation would prohibit foreign banks with operations in the United States from conducting business with the CBI.

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs also applauded the amendment. And the Israeli government tweeted a celebration of the “UNANIMOUS” vote last Thursday.

And AIPAC took its scalp: It promptly organized a campaign to thank the Senators for voting for the sanctions.

Then after the Senate version passed, Adam Kredo reported that Howard Berman in the House was going to “fall on his sword” for the Obama administration and “water down” the legislation in the House. Stop the presses– Berman then sent Kredo a long email saying I will do nothing of the sort. And why? Because Berman’s district is being redrawn, and he’s in competition with liberal Democrat Brad Sherman, who is even more supportive of sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran. 

Jeffrey Goldberg anchors the lobby relay team with this post calling for military strikes on Iran and saying Obama fails to understand the seriousness of the Iranian threat:

I have to say that I’m beginning to have doubts about the Obama Administration approach to this issue… If Iran’s nuclear program is actually unacceptable, then why the hesitancy to sanction Iran’s Central Bank? I know the reason, of course: Such sanctions might lead to a spike in gasoline prices. But either you think Iran’s nuclear program is the most serious foreign policy challenge facing America, or you don’t.

AIPAC famously can get 70 Senators’ signatures on a napkin inside of a day, as Goldberg himself reported. AIPAC got 76 Senate signatures on this letter to Obama rebuking his stance on Israel back in the spring of last year. There were 87 Senate signatures on this Senate letter of June 2010 telling Obama to back Israel’s murderous response to the flotilla. When Gerald Ford thought to “reassess” Israel policy, he got a letter with 71 Senate signatures.

This time AIPAC got 100 against Obama! 

The point here is that Obama is actually the most moderate on Israel issues of anyone in high elective office– Ron Paul can’t get arrested in New York. And when Obama tries to do something a little bit helpful, like calling for the settlement freeze a year back, he gets undermined by his own party. Because Likudniks basically control the Congress on these issues.

Reuters tells us what Obama didn’t like about the amendment:

The Obama administration’s chief concerns appear to be that the amendment could be a blunt instrument that might send oil prices higher and undercut support for sanctions among U.S. allies, whose backing has been vital to pass four U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions against Iran.

And Ali Gharib reports on the administration’s efforts to head the legislation off. In essence, businesses would have to stop doing business with the Bank of Japan because the Bank of Japan does business with the Central Bank of Iran.

The Kirk-Menendez amendment, named for the sponsoring Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), would bar any companies or central banks abroad that do business through Iran’s central bank from doing any business in the U.S. Kirk has said the legislation was designed to collapse Iran’s currency and expressed indifference to the suffering of ordinary Iranians as a result of doing so.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today, two administration officials pushed back against the Kirk-Menendez amendment, offering a critique that while they shared the goals that underly the bill — pressuring Iran — they feared consequences of the legislation might be counterproductive…

Cohen said the “threat of coercion that is contained in the amendment” could alienate even close and cooperative allies like Japan and European countries. The administration believes, Cohen added, that cooperation and coordination can be better achieved “if we approach this issue through an effort to coordinate action voluntarily.”

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, who also appeared at the hearing, said the administration’s analysis concludes that “there is absolutely a risk that in fact the price of oil would go up, which would mean that Iran would in fact have more money to fuel its nuclear ambitions, not less.”

Also today, as committee chair Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) acknowledged, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote a letter to Armed Services chair Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) stating the administration’s “strong opposition to this amendment because, it its current form, it threatens to undermine the effective, carefully phased, and sustainable approach we have undertaken to build strong international pressure against Iran.”

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Iran, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | Tagged

{ 110 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. tombishop says:

    See this well researched, related article on Salon:

    Right-wing listserv targets Israel’s critics
    Ex-AIPAC official urges conservative journalists to echo charges of “anti-semitism”

    link to salon.com

    • what happens if Americans start a price tag movement?

      100 + fat, juicy targets, out in the open.

    • American says:

      That Salon article is good reporting by Elliot.

      We’ve heard this:…a 1000 times from IF’s like Block

      “Those who accuse pro-Israel advocates and American Jews of having “dual loyalties” and being “Israel Firsters” are engaged in anti-Semetic hate speech. Period. These are age-old canards and anti-Semetic smears that go back centuries, suggesting that Jews are disloyal, alien and cannot be trusted. This kind of rhetoric has no place in civil dialogue and anyone’s politics, but especially among progressives.”

      I haven’t seen the slightest sign that calling the public anti semitic is now stopping them in any way from criticizing Israel, the zionist or their politicians or calling them traitors or dual loyalist or whatever.
      The anti semite smear seems to work only on politicians and some other public figures and journalist…and beginning to work less and less on some of them.

      So what do the Zios think they are accomplishing?
      Criticism of Israel and the Israel firsters has increased overall from what I see.
      It should be obvious to the Zios that people aren’t backing off their opinions because of anti semite accusations.
      They are just pissing off more people with this tactic.

      • Hostage says:

        “Those who accuse pro-Israel advocates and American Jews of having “dual loyalties” and being “Israel Firsters” are engaged in anti-Semetic hate speech.

        *“There is room here for men of any race, of any creed, of any condition in life, but not for Protestant-Americans, or Catholic-Americans or Jewish-Americans. . . . Habits of living or of thought which tend to keep alive difference of origin . . . are inconsistent with the American ideal of brotherhood, and are disloyal.” — Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
        *“Speaking as an American, I cannot for a moment conceive that one can be at the same time a true American and an honest adherent of the Zionist movement.” — Banker and Philanthropist, Jacob Schiff

        For those and similar quotes by Jewish leaders see A. T. Mason, Brandeis: A Free Man’s Life (New York, 1942), Naomi Cohen, “Reaction of Reform Judaism to Political Zionism, “Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, 40 (1950-1951), and Joseph P. Steinstein, “Reform Judaism and Zionism, 1895-1904.” in Herzl Year Book, V.

        • American says:

          “We can have no “50-50″ allegiance in this country. Either a man is an American and nothing else, or he is not an American at all.”
          Theodore Roosevelt (American 26th US President (1901-09), 1858-1919)

          “You cannot become Americans if you think of yourselves in groups. America does not consist of groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not become an American.”
          Woodrow T. Wilson (American 28th President of the United States 1856-1924)

          “I think the most un-American thing you can say is, ‘You can’t say that.’”
          Garrison Keillor (American writer and broadcaster b.1942)

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “Those who accuse pro-Israel advocates and American Jews of having ‘dual loyalties’ and being ‘Israel Firsters’ are engaged in anti-Semetic hate speech. Period. These are age-old canards and anti-Semetic smears that go back centuries, suggesting that Jews are disloyal, alien and cannot be trusted. This kind of rhetoric has no place in civil dialogue and anyone’s politics, but especially among progressives.”

        The problem with this argument is that while it is absolutely true that such an accusation on American Jews as a group, or making that someone holds these positions merely because they are Jewish is reprehensible and must be rejected, that does not mean that there is anything wrong with stating that Americans who, in fact, has dual loyalties or who puts Israel first and calling them out on it.

  2. RE: “Kirk has said the legislation was designed to collapse Iran’s currency and expressed indifference to the suffering of ordinary Iranians as a result of doing so.” ~ Ali Gharib &
    “the Senator from AIPAC*, Mark Kirk of Illinois” ~ Weiss

    *SEE: Mark Kirk Is AIPAC’s Million Dollar Baby, by M.J. Rosenberg, 02/03/10

    (excert)…Mark Kirk, the House member from Chicago who is now the GOP Senate nominee, is the #1 recipient of pro-Israel PAC money in the entire House [before being recently elected to the Senate]. In fact, of the top 10 recipients from both Houses, he is the only House member.
    Why do the PACs love him?
    It is because Kirk is a pure Israel-firster. For Kirk, Israel can do no wrong. Add to that that he sits on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations where he brings home the bacon for Israel big time. Its wish is his command.
    I would not categorize him as pro-Israel because that would require supporting an end to the deadly status quo. Mark Kirk is just pro-AIPAC and shaking the trees for all the campaign money he can get by his hate rhetoric about Arabs

    *ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to huffingtonpost.com

  3. marc b. says:

    bernie sanders, peace-loving, socialist, voted against the appropriations bill (one of seven ‘nays’) but for this amendment to the bill. i think he voted against the ‘iraq resolution’ while in the house, but did vote for anti-terrorism bill that was, in part, the legal justification for kicking off the campaign in afghanistan. strange times we live in.

  4. “Jeffrey Goldberg anchors the lobby relay team with this post calling for military strikes on Iran and saying Obama fails to understand the seriousness of the Iranian threat:”

    I have to say, that often (more than sometimes), I question your reading comprehension.

    • Dan Crowther says:

      “Jeffrey Goldberg anchors the lobby relay team with this post calling for military strikes on Iran and saying Obama fails to understand the seriousness of the Iranian threat:” — Weiss

      I have to say, that often (more than sometimes), I question your reading comprehension. — Witty

      richard, my brother, – i read goldies piece, while he doesn’t come out and say ” we need to blow up iran, like yesterday..” – he does make clear what his ideal solution would be. Even going as far as making up “possible” scenarios involving nuclear exchanges between israel and iran. when goldie starts taking about the “largest threat facing america today” – he isn’t advocating sitting down and talking, he’s advocating war, per usual.

    • marc b. says:

      fer once you’re right. the post itself calls for more stringent sanctions. oh course, that doesn’t stop goldenberg from being his hysterical self throughout the blog post.

    • libra says:

      RW: “I have to say, that often (more than sometimes), I question your reading comprehension.”

      Coming from you Richard, that’s a serious allegation. And indeed you would appear to be right. After a big build-up, Goldberg stays his hand (at least for now) from the military button and just calls for sanctions:

      “Unfortunately, this sort of devastating escalation is within the realm of possiblity. For this reason alone, it is worth trying to stop the Iranian nuclear program through more strigent sanctions.”

      But that reminds me Richard. Having lectured us on the evils of BDS, I’m still waiting for you to give us your view on the morality and justice of sanctions against Iran.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        great, great post libra….cant wait for witty’s (non) answer…..

        • libra says:

          Dan, I’m holding my breath. I may be gone for some time.

        • Shingo says:

          great, great post libra….cant wait for witty’s (non) answer…..

          What you’ll get is a non answer, expressed in incoherent, garbled language, ecasive non answers and made up quotes.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          shingo – you have to humanize the other! :)

        • Sumud says:

          not quite Dan: in Witty-land the others (Palestinians) have to humanise you, but you (Israelis) are free to ethnically cleanse them at will, and Richard will tut-tut and ‘hold his nose’ as they go about their business. He won’t lift a finger to help Palestinians, but he will lecture them as they as are massacred, reminding them that they shouldn’t do anything to scare jews.

    • Donald says:

      What’s interesting about the Goldberg post is how he fleshes out the danger of an Iranian bomb–

      ” Hezbollah launches a serious attack on Israel’s north. Israel begins to retaliate. Iran, coming to the defense of its Lebanese proxy, makes a not-so-subtle threat: If you invade Lebanon, we will respond, without saying how. At the same time, Israeli intelligence learns that Iran is mating nuclear warheads to their fissile cores. Do you think Israel is going to wait to pre-empt a possible Iranian nuclear attack?”

      Now in Goldberg’s universe, any violence between Hezbollah and Israel is by definition started by Hezbollah. (Your universe works the same way.) Let that pass. Israel begins to “retaliate” and we all know how Israel retaliates, killing large numbers of civilians in the process. Iran threatens Israel and Israel pre-empts.

      That’s what this is about. Israel wants the freedom to do what it chooses. The US won’t restrain it and neither will international law, but an Iranian bomb might. So they will do anything to stop it.

      I actually agree that an Iranian bomb might trigger a bigger war, but suspect that if that war comes it might very well be Israel’s fault.

      Incidentally, Phil’s reading is overstated, because Goldberg clearly favors tougher sanctions at this time, but it’s also clear that to Goldberg an Iranian bomb is unacceptable, so if tougher sanctions don’t work, that leaves one option. War.

      And tougher sanctions can be a murderous choice in and of themselves. Ask the Iraqis (and to a lesser extent the Gazans).

  5. What a great cartoon. Worth checking.
    link to popartmachine.com…-painting-artwork-print.jpg
    “Let us prey”, “Seats for sale” , “US S$NATE”, “The vultures roost”.

    • nah.
      Standard Oil, Steel, cars — no US industries got anything out of this.
      quite the opposite.
      At the RJC hoedown yesterday, several members of audience questioned carefully — and in worried tones — whether/when/what candidates would do to promote alternate energy. Seemed to me the questioners understood that blowback is apt to be a b*&ch but their psychological compulsion-cocaine-like addiction to punish Iran meant they were willing to ‘spend the grocery money’ on their addiction but just wanted to make a gesture about worrying about the babies starving.

  6. Tristan says:

    Wow.

    100% of the vote.

    100 out of 100.

    That should be impossible… Right? I mean, even with the Lobby, that should be impossible. Where’s the law of averages?

    • just a guess, based on past performance: AIPAC used nuclear blackmail, just like Golda Meier did in 1973.
      Pat Lang wrote about it yesterday:

      “Gingrich was interviewed by Blitzer today and in the course of the interview he said that if the Israelis told him as president that they were going to attack Iran with conventional arms he would give them all necessary support “to keep them [Israel] from going nuclear.”

      • Tristan says:

        Thank you. It could well be the Samson Threat at play here. Imagine: starting WW3 (war with Iran) to… avoid WW3.

        • It’s like an alkoholic,who after partying all night, wakes up the next day with a hangover, and pours himself a huge drink to battle his headache and nausea.
          He thinks that one problem is solved, never mind that he is digging deeper in alkoholism. The warmongers/politicians act like those alkoholics.
          They do not care for long term consequences, that just want immediate gratification. They pre-planned this warm and they must folow the directions.

  7. dimadok says:

    Do you honestly believe that all of US senators are at the AIPAC pocket, and still think that people can listen to you seriously?
    You deny the possibility of the independent thinking of the senators, hence projecting this to their voters. How is the life at the ivory tower, Phil? Are those stupid peasants who vote for the stupid senators being bothering you lately? Or perhaps your acceptance of the 99% does not go beyond their ability to vote, not speaking who they vote for?

    • “Do you honestly believe that all of US senators are at the AIPAC pocket, and still think that people can listen to you seriously?”

      yes

      as for Wendy Sherman, Geithner, etc. — When you lie with dogs, you get up with fleas.

      • Dimadok ,
        Give me some names (and plenty of evidence supporting the claim) of the US senators, who are NOT in the AIPAC pocket ,made of pure gold and who-knows-what-else.

        • eee says:

          Here are two: Paul and Sanders.

        • dimadok says:

          Honestly, I am not that well informed in US politics. However, it does not change my question- how it is possible that all of US senators became “indoctrinated” by AIPAC. It seems as logical as the “intelligent design” theories.

        • Wrong, eee.
          Ron Paul is not a senator.
          There are 100 senators in the American Congress.
          Ron Paul is the member od the House of Representatives ( about 435 of them), not a member of the Senate.
          Some info for you to reeead.
          link to en.wikipedia.org
          Bernie Sanders is trying to be on the both side of the fence simultaneously.
          Not the best position.

        • lysias says:

          Disappointing, however, that Ron Paul’s son Rand joined in this unanimous vote.

        • eee says:

          dumvitaestspesest,

          I was talking about his son. Try to keep up to speed.

        • Shingo says:

          Paul and Sanders are not Senators eee.

        • Citizen says:

          Sanders is a militant Jew, and a darling of AIPAC and the right-wing Likud government of Israel. He has done everything within his power to keep the myth of Islamic terrorism alive. He never questions the U.S. government’s unconditional support of Israeli acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians.

          So, we are left with one junior senator out of 100 US Senators who is not an AIPAC flunky. That loyal American acorn didn’t fall far from the tree. Gives new meaning to the 99% and the 1%

        • Shingo says:

          Honestly, I am not that well informed in US politics.

          Then how do you expect anyone to take YOU seriously when you blurt out such a pompous and condenscending statement as this one?

          Do you honestly believe that all of US senators are at the AIPAC pocket, and still think that people can listen to you seriously?

    • American says:

      Yes,

      Because the Dems, like the Rethugs, are a ‘Club”—they do what is good overall for the Club”(Party) because what is good for the Party—like fund raising and etc.– is most times good for their own re election. If they think unconditional support of Israel is good for keeping or putting their Party in power and also adding to their own re election success then that is what they do.
      It’s all about the Party and them. Government by, for and of the Parties. Not the people.
      That shouldn’t need explaining. It’s the kind of government we’ve had for 6 decades now, with a few rare exceptions in certain Presidents.

    • dahoit says:

      Yeah,like 100 Senators ever agreed on anything like the monolith expressed by this vote.I’m surprised at Rand Paul though,I guess he is on board the Zio train from hell also?
      I’m a schmuck from suburbia,not privy to any inside info about Iran,but I can say with certainty that they are not the threat,we are.They want to be let alone in peace,like Garbo.
      We live in an age of bullshit.
      And as with all our governments decisions,the end results of our would be gods machinations always end up with unintended consequences,witness every stupid decision in the last 60 years from Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan.
      Would the blowback be a little more personal than dead furriners.

  8. Dan Crowther says:

    I think my first post got lost in the ether – but my question remains: isnt this ammendment part of the still un-enacted DAA? So, as it stands, its now just attached to the larger bill that still needs to be passed?

    As much as I would like to give in and say, “wow, barry got Housed!” – I remember a certain Affordable Care Act – which was handed over to congress for formulation, came out “not the way the president wanted” etc. As I read Phil’s essay, I cant help but thinking this is what the guy wanted….and now he can even tout “the democratic process” and the “strong bipartisan support” etc. It may even lead to a greater urgency on O’s part….we shall see, but again, Phil – your on a roll recently brother man. cheers.

  9. yourstruly says:

    if gasoline prices go up, these israel-firster members of congress are going to regret what they just did

    cause nothing pisses off the public more than a precipitious rise in gasoline prices

    doubt this?

    well, back in ’73 during the arab oil embargo, there was brief moment when drivers were so angry at the price/shortage of gasoline (with long queues around gas stations) that when approached about signing a state referendum for nationalizing the oil industry that was put together by state college faculty, only a handful out of those who were approached outside several gas stations refused to sign on. unfortunately the referendum was ready for circulation too late to get more than a few hundred signatures, as the embargo ended a day or two after it began circulating, and there went any further interest in signing it. had the embargo continued, our petition campaign might have really taken off. what does that referendum experience mean today in regards to the public’s reaction to a possible sharp rise in oil prices as a consequence of this 100/0 senate vote? that the public’s gonna be mad as hell, that members of congress beware, and that at critical moments such as this, popular approval of the settler entity could become inversely proportional to the price of oil (ie gasoline at the pump).

  10. Mndwss says:

    US politicians remind me of Cato the Elder who usually finished his speeches on any subject in the Roman Senate with the phrase: ceterum censeo carthaginem esse delendam. (Furthermore, it is my opinion that Carthage must be destroyed). He got his will. The population of Carthage was killed, (except for the ones that the romans wanted as slaves).

    I wonder who payed Cato to have ‘American values’?

    Today all 100 American senators is a Cato.

    And now it is: Iran delenda est.

    Yesterday it was Germany, Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq +++

    What will be delenda tomorrow?

    Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil, China?

    • America?

      after all, that is what the Senate voted for — the moral & economic destruction of the US.

      When AIPAC pushed its first bill sanctioning Iran, it was explained quite explicitly that the goal was to cause so much suffering among the Iranian people that they would overthrow their government. Ed Royce of California even said, “We hope to provoke gas riots.”

      It doesn’t take a Nobel laureate to figure out that hiking gas prices in the US will rile up the populace in just the same way, but AIPAC pushed it anyway. Whose populace are they serving?

    • seafoid says:

      Israel is not going to stop Iran game changing. The US is not going to regime change in Iran. How is Iraq going? And Afghanistan?
      The Zionist dream of a Middle East kneeling prostrate before Israel died in 2003. The cost to both Israel and the US has been incalculable. Millions of Israelis and tens of millions of Americans have been denied educations and social support to feed this mania.

  11. I’m very disappointed that Rand Paul is pissing on his fathers principles here.

    And of course, I’m also very disappointed that the other 99 senators are still warmongering bastards.

    The pressure from Occupy is not nearly high enough. Turn up the heat!

    • My thoughts exactly! I was surprised by Rand Paul’s vote on this. There must be more than meets the eye here.

      • Charon says:

        Agreed. Perhaps he didn’t want to be singled out and have it used against dad?

        • Possibly. Ron is certainly standing out from the rest of the electoral crowd with his refusal to lick Israeli rump.

          The optimist in me says this is a good thing. The more blatant this is the more likely that the American Rip Van Winkle will be roused from slumber. When that happens, it won’t be pretty. Unfortunately a lot of innocents are likely to be swept away in the typhoon as well.

      • Citizen says:

        I feel the same way.

  12. Pretty important news.
    “A Russian naval task force from the Northern Fleet has left its base in Severomorsk on a training mission in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, a fleet’s spokesman Capt. 1st Rank Vadim Serga said.
    The task force, led by Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, also includes Udaloy II class destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, rescue tugboat Nikolai Chiker, and three tankers.
    “The goal of the mission is to maintain Russia’s naval presence in vital maritime zones around the world,” Serga told reporters on Tuesday.
    The mission is part of the Russian Navy’s annual training plan and will most likely involve a comprehensive program of naval pilot training to further develop the skills acquired by pilots at the Nitka Naval Pilot Training Center in Ukraine.
    The task force will be joined in the Atlantic by the Baltic Fleet’s Neustrashimy class frigate Yaroslav Mudry and a tanker for the rest of the mission.
    Russia’s Chief of the General Staff, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, said in November that the mission had been scheduled long time ago and IS NOT CONNECTED TO THE CURRENT POLITICAL CRISIS IN SYRIA”
    link to en.rian.ru

    We all know that. Nothing is connected to the “current political crisis is Syria”.
    Drumming for war with Iran is also not connected to the …..”
    Libya was also not “connected with drumming” for war with Iran.
    Nothing is “connected”, but it somehow, adds up.
    The big , deadly , wordly chess of the POWERS is in the full speed.
    The players , behind the scenes, make the moves, using us , common people as their pawns, useful idiots, claquers, passive observants, cannon fodder, spies, hasbraists,MSM circus clowns, etc.
    They ‘ll create the mess, we’ll suffer the consequences.

  13. pjdude says:

    just another case of Israel harming the US

    • eee says:

      “just another case of Israel harming the US”

      Yes, 100 US Senators lack free will and are Zionist puppets. Oh wait it is the LOBBY! A bunch of stupid idiots according to this blog, BUT apparently in spite of their stupidity they can control the US!

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if they were all threatened to be Wellstone’d.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “Yes, 100 US Senators lack free will and are Zionist puppets. Oh wait it is the LOBBY! A bunch of stupid idiots according to this blog, BUT apparently in spite of their stupidity they can control the US!”

        No one says the lobby is made up of stupid idiot. They are crafty and ruthless. That is why they are a danger and should be burned off of the American body politic like the leeches they are.

      • Charon says:

        These senators are the kind of people who only use one side of their brain. They bow to the will of the lobby and their careers depend upon it. Their free will is damaged.

        If you are implying that if AIPAC’s influence on foreign policy via Capitol Hill is the opposite of “stupid idiots” because “stupidity” cannot run a country you are partially correct. I don’t believe AIPAC is stupid. They are cunning trixsters with a lot of money at their disposable via “The Jewish Vote” and the international criminal bankster buddies. Unlimited money can buy the power and the ability to influence the careers of our Legislative Branch. They are anything but stupid.

        This does not mean their foreign policy decisions are in the interest of America Citizens. Evil can be intelligent and intelligence can be evil.

        Israel is harming the US. The average American knows nothing about what goes on. I am not religious, but there is a line in the Bible when Jesus storms the temple and flips the tables of the ‘moneychangers’ among other things. One of the priests mentions how the children are still praying loudly. Most Christians do not understand what this means.. it means despite Jesus’ efforts, the masses aka ‘the children’ don’t agree with him. He goes on to quote a line from the OT which basically says ‘they’ will have the children praise him loudly (something like that, I’m not religious and I don’t have it memorized). Basically it’s a metaphor for conditioning. As in the masses are like children, they don’t know any better. That and he was mocking that part of the OT for condition children to bow down to evil.

        Higher gas prices are not something you want to risk. If American gas prices go up because the Senate defied the President, that’s not going to look good for the Senate. Also, any attack on Iran’s nuclear sites will make gas rise to astronomical prices. Heads will roll. AIPAC and the Senate are not thinking about domestic consequences (or more like they don’t care) of their actions. Only Israel’s. Israel is not the US. It is a foreign country. It is not our responsibility to protect Israel, especially when their current leaders are insane.

        • john h says:

          Charon, it’s always interesting to listen to someone who says “I am not religious” give an opinion about something in religious writings.

          And then say Most Christians do not understand what this means.. it means

          Sorry, you might be spot on about Zionism and what is going on in America, but no way are you in this area!

          I suggest most Christians would know what this episode means far better than do non-Christians. -;)

          What Jesus said and did is a message for all, but not all can or will understand it. That is what Jesus himself said more than once.

        • American says:

          “I suggest most Christians would know what this episode means far better than do non-Christians. -;)”…John

          Not necessarily. People interpret Bible passages how they want to interpret them..and then they teach them that way to others.

          “What Jesus said and did is a message for all, but not all can or will understand it”

          Yeah, some people are just dumb and not chosen to understand, right?….:)

        • john h says:

          People interpret Bible passages how they want to interpret them..and then they teach them that way to others.

          Yep, that’s what Charon did. But that doesn’t mean it’s an open sesame take your pick, any more than is what we say or write, which has a specific meaning that others can grasp if they are open to it and are genuine.

          Yeah, some people are just dumb and not chosen to understand, right?….:)

          Nope and wrong! It’s not about intelligence and it’s not about someone else choosing us just because they fancy us for some reason. It is level pegging.

          It’s about our own choices. Our choice to engage or not. Our decision that it is or is not of sufficient value to be taken seriously.

      • Citizen says:

        Naw, eee, those senators are not stupid idiots and nobody on this blog has said they are; those senators simply want to keep their positions and all the perks that go with them, and to do that they cannot literally afford to vote against the AIPAC agenda–campaign financing is an on-going thing and our financing system is the root problem. Zionist money talks, and those senators walk. The original case was Truman, holding his nose and doing what he had to do to defeat Dewey–against the advice of his own State Dept and Diplomatic Corps, as well as Big Oil, etc.

        • “they cannot literally afford to vote against the AIPAC agenda–campaign financing is an on-going thing and our financing system is the root problem. Zionist money talks, and those senators walk.”

          Citizen, with all due respect this doesn’t seem to be the only problem. Only to a certain extent. As this French documentary, “La puissance du lobby pro-israélien aux USA” (The Power of the pro-Israel Lobby in the US)” explains it goes beyond the money to something more evident. As Tony Judt explains, (min.29:00) Any Senator/Congressman whose vote runs against what’s perceived to be in Israel’s interest would find himself in the future in a position where nothing he proposes, even when it has nothing to do with the I/P issue, something in the interest of his own constituency, own district, would find himself completely isolated and his propositions would not pass. Link here:
          link to video.google.com

          Although the documentary is in French, all the Interviews are conducted in English and among the interviewees are Steven Walt, John Mearsheimer, Tony Judt and many others..

  14. eee says:

    I was sure Phil’s headline would be: From here on it can only get better.
    Don’t you feel that anti-Israel momentum growing? All those “game changers” tend to add up after all.

    • dimadok says:

      Game changers are like unicorn sightings-everybody speaks of it, no one has seen one yet.
      Illusions here are grotesque and distorted. Reality constantly rubs the marry club here on their noses, prompting the renewed search for the next “game-changer”.

      • Mndwss says:

        Unlike the IPU (invisible pink unicorn) Mondoweiss is very easy to see, and if you did not believe this blog was a game-changer you would not be here.

    • American says:

      “Don’t you feel that anti-Israel momentum growing? All those “game changers” tend to add up after all.”…..eeee

      eee doesn’t realize that it would be much better for the zios and Israel if these game changers were progressing slowly but surely. While the anti Israel, for lack of a better description, momentum is growing there is no corresponding political action recognizing it. What that means is it will continue to grow because it’s not being addressed or acknowledged by political leaders. It will ‘fester’ and ‘seethe’ and eventually be expressed in some way that can’t be ignored. When that happens there won’t be any “discussion” or ‘reasonableness’ on the public’s part, it will be a completely ‘anti’ and ‘negative’ movement with no patience for excuses or explanations.

  15. The voice of reason.
    “Ron Paul on Israel and Iran”
    link to gilad.co.uk

    In the meantime, Israel is feeding its herd on the: ” Jewish Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder (Pre-TSD), a unique mental condition in which an imaginary phantasmic future scenario shapes one’s behaviour in the present.”

    link to gilad.co.uk

  16. lysias says:

    Why does Kerry, at his age and with his wealth, care so desperately about being re-elected?

    Why wouldn’t he prefer to be this Congress’s J. William Fulbright, even if it does cost him his Senate seat (as Fulbright lost his Senate seat because of his opposition to the Vietnam war)?

  17. Like Ron Paul said in one of interviews , “after the sanctions there will be an attack”.
    The “sanctions” are the pavement for the military forces to walk through. Sanctions against Libya, sanctions against Syria, now sanctions against Iran.
    Riots?? There will be riots. They want to provoke riots.
    They are not afraid of them . Heavy equipped, submissive ,well paid military/security forces, that are all over Europe and USA, are to protect the POWERS.
    Is this some kind of coincidence that all of it happens with the fall of the Euro-gulag and euro currency??
    No need for strong, independent Europe anymore.
    No need for strong , independent USA anymore.
    You want to conquer your opponent ? Make him weak, very weak.Make him lose all his strenght. Aim at Achilles’s heel , or cut his Samson’s hair.

    • Two of the latest videos with always wonderful Nigel Farage.
      His voice needs to be heard and known, since he is only one of a few honest, smart politicans, who actually really care for the well being of the common people, and have the courage to speak up against the Euro-hyenas, who occupy the Euro-Parliment and main positions in the Euro-gulag ,a.k.a the EU.
      We HAVE to support, defend and listen to people like Mr Farage or Ron Paul.
      They care for people ,not for the agenda of the global Elite, that is more and more shady, murky , convoluted and evil-like.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc2j_7–sNg

      • I hope most of you registered as “Blue Republicans” to vote in the Republican primaries. In some states, the last date for doing so may be fast approaching or already past. Usually, if you are registered ‘independent’ you can still vote in the Republican primaries.

        If you don’t know what I am talking about, please check out link to bluerepublican.org

        Even if you are foresworn to ultimately vote for Obama in the general elections, getting Ron Paul as the Republican nominee and having him debate Obama instead of Newt or Romney would make for a far more interesting discourse, and would go a long way towards waking up America, even if Obama prevails.

  18. ToivoS says:

    If the US is going to sanction any bank that deals with the Iranian Central Bank then it looks like we will have to stop dealing with Chinese banks. What happens if China gets frozen out of the US T bill market? What happens if a seriously pissed off China starts selling US T bills on the open market? Somebody was not thinking when this legislation was written.

    Maybe AIPAC was thinking. Maybe Israel wants a crisis in Iran to expand to a war that involves Russia and China. That might create the international crisis Israel needs as cover for a major ethnic cleansing of the WB and Gaza Palestinians. Israel may even see an opportunity to expel the remaining Palestinians inside Israel proper.

  19. irena says:

    Israel is going to go down and wants to take her BFF with her. Fuck.

  20. split says:

    So preoccupied with that little shack they don’t see the house going down – Traitors , give them your child !!! ,…

    link to washingtonpost.com

  21. Jeff Klein says:

    Yo know, when I saw that tweet and read the article I was sure it must have been a voice vote — which often takes place on AIPAC-drafted legislation — but in fact it was a roll-call vote. Just incredible.

    One partial way of understanding this kind of event is that such votes are rarely reported about in the US media, at least in any detail. You have to read AIPAC press releases (or the Israeli media) to learn about such actions in Congress, or in the UN for that matter. So, as far as the Senators were concerned, there is only one audience paying attention to this kind of vote and it is 100% Rightwing “pro-Israel.”

    • lysias says:

      If there was a roll call, that will be reported (with the names) in the Congressional Record.

      • Jeff Klein says:

        Yes, there was a roll-call vote and it was reported on the US Senate web site (and will obviously be in the Congressional Record). Sorry, I don’t have the link hand, but you can find it easily.

        My point was that nobody outside of the Israel Lobby and a handful of political junkies nobody will learn about the vote unless they search for it. That’s the way our media works and why the power of the Lobby is amplified.

    • Hostage says:

      So, as far as the Senators were concerned, there is only one audience paying attention to this kind of vote and it is 100% Rightwing “pro-Israel.”

      The amendment is DOA, since it allows the president to suspend sanctions if he finds it a matter of national security. link to cfr.org

      • ToivoS says:

        Of course Hostage is correct on this. Every senator knew before they voted that it would not result in a policy change. They see it as a nothing vote. However, for them to say no would put them in the gun sights of the lobby.

        What politician would take a stand on an issue that has much down-side potential with no up-side potential for opposing it. My first comment in this thread was designed to show the real danger if this amendment actually became policy. But the US Senate didn’t need to worry about that problem because they knew it would not become policy.

        • Hostage says:

          What politician would take a stand on an issue that has much down-side potential with no up-side potential for opposing it.

          You can be certain that any presidential waivers will be characterized as “appeasement” during the election season.

  22. Very, very , very good video. A MUST see.
    Professor Michel Chossudovsky gives a speech at the Perdana Global Peace Forum in 2005. This speech was given 6 years ago.
    It is so true that it’s unbelievable.
    WE ARE ALL in a great danger. The greedy, inhumane psychopaths took over our governments and want to continue their politics of violence, murder and destruction. At all costs. At any cost.

  23. great video, great answer.

  24. Ramzi Jaber says:

    Depressing. Demeaning. Discouraging. How can the American people accept this, I just don’t understand. Where is your pride? Where are your principles? Where is your fighting spirit? Where is your independence?

    I bet if President Obama gives an address to the American people revealing the destructive deeds and perverse power of AIPAC, the entire nation will rally around him. I am willing to predict that he will even coast to re-election victory. After all, the power of the Likud Zionist lobby (aka, AIPAC) is money not votes. President Obama will get all the money he needs from the people since they will be united behind him. AIPAC does not have enough votes to beat him. As to the 100 cowardly senators, toss them all out!!!

    • American says:

      “Depressing. Demeaning. Discouraging. How can the American people accept this, I just don’t understand. Where is your pride? Where are your principles? Where is your fighting spirit? Where is your independence?”

      Good damn question.

    • Citizen says:

      I wish I knew, Ramzi Jaber. I do believe if our President spoke directly to the American people about the corrupting influence of AIPAC and called for a new campaign finance system, or at minimum a totally transparent system, the vast majority of American people would back him up. I don’t see many political leaders on the horizon with that kind of courage. Maybe Ralph Nader? Nobody who gets to be a real POTUS or contender will have such courage under our current system. Ron Paul is as close as anyone so far…

    • Charon says:

      The American people slave on average of 50+ hours a week at work. When they aren’t eating or sleeping, they are getting ready for work and commuting to work. Whatever time they have left is usually in an exhausted vegetative state where they smoke or drink and watch three hour award shows or football games. Dancing with the Stars and Jersey Shore. That is if they don’t watch Hollywood films and shows.

      When they do read, it’s advertisements to spend money shopping for garbage they don’t need like on black Friday where they give up a night’s sleep to spend hours in the cold (usually) waiting in line to buy an off-brand TV with a $200 discount next to a lady who prepared herself with pepper spray to get there first since the store only has five of them. Many of them also spend Sunday morning attending mass.

      In other words, they have no time to think. Other people think for them and they read it in the rare time they have. They have absolutely no clue what goes on or any reason to suspect that things aren’t right. Well except for the whole economy thing. When the MSM said the recession was over, it didn’t take very long for the middle class to figure out they lied.

      I have faith in my fellow Americans. Eventually the majority will figure out there is something fishy going on over at Capitol Hill and this AIPAC thing is responsible. When that happens, heads will roll. I bet money on it. eee can laugh it off, but eee won’t be laughing when it’s his turn in the guillotine.

  25. aaand theree is something seriously wrong with THIS man.

    link to youtube.com

  26. American says:

    How to Start a Revolution

    From his shabby town house in Boston, Massachusetts, an octagenarian American university professor grows rare orchids – and inspires revolutions. The writings of 83-year-old political scientist Dr Gene Sharp are credited with providing the blueprint for the overthrow of governments in Serbia, Ukraine, Guatemala and Indonesia and, most recently, with revving up the activists who launched the Arab Spring.

    “Oh no,” he says, with typical self-deprecation. “It is the people taking part in these struggles who deserve the credit. Not me.” The modesty of this Nobel Peace Prize nominee has kept him out of the spotlight for most of his life. Now, an independent British film which is capturing the hearts of audiences at film festivals around the world is slowly but surely turning him into a global superstar.

    How to Start a Revolution, which recently picked up the Best Documentary award at the Raindance independent film festival in London, features plenty of rousing archive footage of revolutionaries clambering over the barricades alongside more recent newsreel of protestors in the Middle East. But the most moving scenes show nothing more than a man in his twilight years, stooped over his computer or tending his beloved flowers. Sharp shuffles around his flat, waters his orchids, looks levelly into the camera and tells us, with a confidence that is never less than utterly credible, that anyone can overcome tyranny without picking up a gun.

    “As soon as you choose to fight with violence you’re choosing to fight against your opponents’ best weapons and you have to be smarter than that,” he says. “Psychological weapons, social weapons, economic weapons and political weapons [are] ultimately more powerful against oppression, tyranny and violence.”

    When I speak to Sharp on the telephone from Boston a few days after a screening of the film at Harvard Law School, he sounds as humble as he appears on film. “I am bashful,” he says. “I am not used to all this personal attention.” He says the success of the film rests not on his hunched shoulders but on the bravery of ordinary people, who in the past 12 months alone have faced down dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. “People long thought that violence was the real power,” he says. “It took a number of historical successes to prove that was not true any more.”

    Sharp has been writing “how to” books for revolutionaries for the past 50 years. The most famous, From Dictatorship to Democracy, is a 1993 pamphlet that propses 198 methods of non-violent resistance, from rude gestures to mock funerals. Once described as “more powerful than any bomb”, it is banned in many countries but, more often than not, the battered little book can be found lying in the dust after a crowd of revolutionaries have stormed the streets.

    continued………..

    link to telegraph.co.uk

    I just ordered the book—”From Dictatorship to Democracy” …..I wonder if OWS also used this? In the article there is a link to the site where you can buy the book.

  27. ToivoS says:

    Gene Sharp is totally irrelevant to the Arab uprising. If you haven’t noticed so far the street demonstrations are not nonviolent. Did you miss the fact that the Tahir Square demonstrators threw rocks and burned down a number of buildings. In Benghazi, Libya on the 2nd day of the insurrection rebels used suicide bombers to overcome the local fort. The rebels then executed the surviving defenders of that fort. As’ad AbuKhalil (the Angry Arab) has been dissecting Gene Sharp over the last few months.

    You then cite as successful examples Serbia, Ukraine, Guatemala and Indonesia. Utterly nuts. Serbia was weakened by the 1999 Nato invasion and then outside forces bankrolled street demonstrations that finished off Milosovic. I do not call that nonviolent. Ukraine — what a hoot. Again US and Western backed demonstrations resulted in the overthrow of it elected government. The leaders of the replacement government are now in jail for corruption. Guatemala! What the hell are you talking about? Also Indonesia — Gene Sharp and his ideas were insignificant in the face of the turmoil going on there.

    I believe non-violent resistance is morally and pragmatically superior to civil war and violence, but please do not attribute non-violence to those rebellions that use violent tactics.

    • American says:

      Well don’t have a flaming heart attack Toivo….I posted the article just as an interesting bit….I didn’t endorse or say yay or nay on Sharpe’s claims. I am simply curious so ordered the book.

      However it is my unexpert opinion that non violent protest that are succesful–’succcesful’ as in upsetting the elite enough—usually end up with violence because the state, rulers, etc. will usually respond with violence of some kind whether the protestors are violent or not.

  28. kalithea says:

    Israel is the biggest threat to global security and stability today.

    I also suspect that in making this move Israel is trying to punish the EU for its critcism on settlement expansion by plunging Europe that depends heavily on MidEast oil into a deep recession that will sink the Euro.

    Furthermore, Israel is pushing this Iran agenda aggressively and with urgency, not because of any imminent threat but because the Palestinian situation is heating up. Palestinians are demanding the Security Council censure Israel over settlement expansion and implement the Geneva Convention in PA’controlled territories.

    link to haaretz.com

    The financial consequences that this move will cause will distract members of the security council from the issue of a Palestinian State and defending the rights of Palestinians.

    Just more Zionist conniving.

  29. kalithea says:

    One more thing: I don’t sympathize one iota with Obama. From day one, Obama headed off in the wrong direction especially on foreign policy issues. However, what this proves is that Israel definitely controls Congress and this type of maneuvering by a foreign Lobby should be considered a crime against Democracy.

  30. Theo says:

    What kind of idiots do we have in the senate, don´t they realize that Iran is not Iraq and they are playing with fire? Do they want the ME to go up in flames that may grow into a WWIII? Is this vote in the interest of our nation and industry?

    Russia has close ties with Iran and it being on the russian border certainly does not want any american meddling there.
    Our ignorant senators do not realize that we are not in the 1960s when the USA could dictate just anything to a great part of the world, now we have other superpowers like China that will not abide to a pressure from Washington. Russia was peaceful and quiet during the past 20 years, however we constantly provoke them with new rockets in eastern Europe and other fine diplomatic manoeuvres, causing them to reasses their stand. Putin will be again the president and he will certainly not take this kind of BS from us.
    We may face another arms race and a new round of cold war. Is this what we want?
    With our collapsing currency, finances and industry?
    The europeans certainly will not back this kind of politic, they have enough problems of their own to solve and do not need new ones created in Washington and Tel Aviv.
    We could not win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, one must be delirious to think we can conqeur Iran. Hitting them with airpower will result in the same for our allies and our bases in the area.
    How many young americans must die again to satisfy zionist israeli aims and interests?

    • Citizen says:

      As many young Americans as it takes; joining Israel or supporting it financially in bombing Iran would have many unintended consequences–at the edge of the cliff–high price at gas pumps most Americans can’t afford now if Iran Central bank sanctioned, followed by even more saber rattling, a spread of hate towards US in Arab St in the fresh air of the Arab Spring, eventually more boots on the ground; ultimately rumors of return of the Draft–then all up for grabs. During this Israel will do its best to get rid of the Palestinians under cover the general storm. China, Russia on the rise, India, Brazil, Germany too. US a basket case, a 3rd World mush power inside the hard casing, last to drop.

  31. MHughes976 says:

    I wouldn’t be too distressed or impressed by this vote. There’s been growing sympathy for the Palestinians throughout the West and even in the United States – I don’t think that even the most ardent Lobbyist would deny that. On the other hand there has been no increase of sympathy for the Iranians, so the problem of Iran – with its harsh, factionalised leadership and its repressed but not crushed opposition – is there to exploit.
    Still, lack of sympathy doesn’t mean readiness for war. Objectively war could well be disastrous for us in the West. Public opinion is already disillusioned with the existing wars. Members of Congress know these things well enough, I believe. The increasing demand for economic warfare has its encouraging side. Even the most bellicose economic warrior knows that his sanctions and boycotts take time to work and if that kind of bellicosity rears its head it means that the advocates of short, sharp military shocks are a little crestfallen.
    Someone says that ‘we want gas riots in Iran’ – well, that would take time. And it must be very difficult to get riots going in any country if foreign powers choose to make it totally obvious that the difficulties are of their making.
    Just let me repeat my too-oft-stated argument that the way the Battle of the Tree gave everyone a pretext for a major war which no one took up indicates that no one on the ground was really ready for war and that there is for the moment a balance of power.
    Hostage and Toivo have made it clear enough that this is half-hearted stuff, not really a declaration of economic war but a preparation for posturing during the election campaign. One day the moment for serious negotiations between the United States and Iran will come – well, we’re allowed to hope, aren’t we?

    • Theo says:

      Yes, Hostage and Toivo made it clear, however I am sure they will not be asked in case Washington or Israel decides to take the fatal steps toward a war.
      The best way is to avoid a war by being prepaired for one, therefore we should not discount anything at this point.

      Sanctions never worked, only the poor pays the price, the ruling class will have everything they need and want, China, India and many other nations will see to that.
      All we do is to keep the price of oil very high, so the dealers can earn a fortune.

  32. this is a really important article. i’m sending it out to someone who manages several listserves. people need to grasp this is really happening. great reporting phil.

  33. lsavage says:

    So AIPAC owns Bernie Sanders too? sigh

  34. kma says:

    Salon’s Justin Elliot and Steve Kornacki have their own biased definitions of anti-semitism (Adbusters, homeless guys with signs about zionism…), but it’s great to see them debating the issue among themselves!
    it is absolutely true that the throngs of peons in this country aren’t in the least bit fazed by being called an anti-semite.
    ethnic cleansings are wrong. foreign policies that support them are racist. call me anti-semitic.

    where did anyone get the idea that Rand Paul was outside the AIPAC fold?