Sunlight on the lobby: AIPAC’s push for war exposed in ‘Atlantic’ magazine blog

Middle EastUS Politics
on 44 Comments
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham speaking at an AIPAC conference
(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the number one Israel lobby group, likes to operate quietly. The group lobbied in favor of the Iraq war, but doesn’t want anyone to talk about that (see Phil Weiss’ excellent post on that here). Now they’re lobbying for a war on Iran through a hawkish Senate resolution–but people are talking about it.

The Senate resolution was introduced last week by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and has 35 co-sponsors, with Senator Joseph Lieberman also strongly backing the bill. The resolution is only the latest tool used by Iran hawks to pressure the Obama administration into taking a strong stance against Iran. The major problems with the bill, as Mitchell Plitnick points out in Souciant magazine, were expressed by the National Iranian-American Council:

As drafted, the resolution confuses U.S. “red lines” and significantly lowers the threshold for going to war…

As drafted, the resolution sets conditions for going to war without stating that it is not an authorization of force…

As drafted, the resolution takes options off the table for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons…

In essence, critics of the bill are saying it provides a backdoor to war.

AIPAC’s fingerprints are all over the bill. And while the powerful lobby group does not want to be seen as pushing for war, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Robert Wright called out AIPAC’s role in a much-talked about blog post for the Atlantic:

Late last week, amid little fanfare, Senators Joseph Lieberman, Lindsey Graham, and Robert Casey introduced a resolution that would move America further down the path toward war with Iran. The good news is that the resolution hasn’t been universally embraced in the Senate.

As Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports, the resolution has “provoked jitters among Democrats anxious over the specter of war.” The bad news is that, as Kampeas also reports, “AIPAC is expected to make the resolution an ‘ask’ in three weeks when up to 10,000 activists culminate its annual conference with a day of Capitol Hill lobbying…”

The resolution defines keeping Iran from getting a nuclear weapons “capability” as being in America’s “vital national interest,” which is generally taken as synonymous with “worth war.” And, though this “sense of Congress” resolution is nonbinding, AIPAC will probably seek unanimous Senate consent, which puts pressure on a president. Friedman says this “risks sending a message that Congress supports war and opposes a realistic negotiated solution or any de facto solution short of stripping Iran of even a peaceful nuclear capacity.”

What’s more, says [Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now], the non-binding status may be temporary. “Often AIPAC-backed Congressional initiatives start as non-binding language (in a resolution or a letter) and then show up in binding legislation. Once members of Congress have already signed on to a policy in non-binding form, it is much harder for them to oppose it when it shows up later in a bill that, if passed, will have the full force of law.”

Jim Lobe has more on the AIPAC war push here.

This bill will get massive support from Congress, especially in an election year and while AIPAC’s annual conference is going on. But, the fact that the Atlantic is exposing AIPAC’s war-mongering should be seen as progress. With Occupy AIPAC heading into town as well, and J Street holding its conference soon after, there’s a chance a counter-narrative against a war with Iran will get more play.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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44 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    February 24, 2012, 3:33 pm

    Phil Giraldi’s latest piece is worth the read as well:

  2. MarkF
    February 24, 2012, 3:57 pm

    If you go to AIPAC’s site, I think the word Iran shows up more times than the word Israel….

    How sad, Ben Cardin signed on to this. He ran for the then open senate seat against Michael Steele by pointing out how he was opposed to the Iraq war. Sly, ain’t he?

    • teta mother me
      February 25, 2012, 10:58 am

      Cardin surprises you?
      When Daniel Cohen appeared before a Senate committee to be affirmed to take the position the Stuart Levey was vacating, as head of “antiterrorism finance” division in US Treasury Dept (aka one more way to strangle Iran’s economy), Cardin was on the panel. Cohen was invited to introduce his guests and family to the panel; he introduced his father. Cohen’s father was president of a medical organization that monitors medical school admissions; Cardin acknowledged him as a “long time personal friend” who had been the senate’s primary consultant as they framed the health care bill.

      circles in circles

      • Kathleen
        February 25, 2012, 12:04 pm


  3. ritzl
    February 24, 2012, 5:51 pm

    One way to counter and/or dilute the effect of 10,000 AIPACers roaming the halls of Congress submitting their asks, is to have 10,000 Occupy*, or better, constituent activists roaming the halls of the Congressional office buildings at the exact same time making the specific and exact opposite ask.

    Needless to say, with a one-page point paper/”quad chart” on why it’s bad for the district as a leave-behind: $10/gal gas, 10th rotations/broken military, kids without parents, infrastructure collapse, missed green opportunities, lucrative in-district mil R&D spending going to external/foreign O&M, etc., etc., etc. Given that a war with Iran is 99% raw bad policy, there are plenty of negative district anecdotes and policy implications to chose from.

    That’s 200 people per state. It’s possible. Probably even enough transplants in DC to do it. The personal ask from a constituent is Very effective. Particularly effective if the AIPACers are NOT constituents, which, if memory serves, I don’t believe they are in the vast majority of cases.

    • American
      February 24, 2012, 10:22 pm

      Exellent idea ritzl.

    • yourstruly
      February 24, 2012, 10:45 pm

      ritzl, it’s a must! are there enough tweeters among the mw community for a burst of tweets to hit the internet and draw those 10,000 occupy AIPACers to D.C.?

    • teta mother me
      February 25, 2012, 11:10 am

      I would suggest that the Iranian-American community organize to further crowd the halls.
      I’d suggest that Iranian ex-pats manufacture about 100,000 plastic keys and present them by the bucketsfull to congresspersons, with an explanation something like this:

      “The Western press has broadcast the lore that we Iranians gave our children plastic keys “to heaven,” then sent them into minefields to clear them of mines laid by Saddam Hussein.
      We didn’t seek that war with Iraq, and we seek no war with the United States or with Israel; we love our children and rather wish to bestow on them keys to knowledge, to a happy future, to their own home and family.
      Our children ask us why their lives are threatened by the people of the United States and especially of Israel: Why are the Jewish people threatening to kill us; Jews have lived in peace and prosperity in Iran longer than in any other place where Jews have dwelt.
      What shall we tell our children?”

    • Kathleen
      February 25, 2012, 11:11 am

      Ritzl… Medea Benjaman and Occupy Aipac’s amazing crew started organized lobbying efforts last year. Will be much bigger this year. Now I have as well as many other human rights activist from Athens Ohio and across the nation have lobbied our Reps for years about this issue. Decades. Have met in groups with our legislators about the lop sided and twisted support for Israel no matter what they do and how wrong this is and how it has and continues to be a threat to US national security. Amazing what Reps will say “off the record” Nothing anti Jewish but absolutely anti radically wrong Israeli policies against the Palestinians. Have heard them also say that they know what would happen to them if they tried to take a stand. Although if you ever listen to Rep Kucinich on this issue he has actually stood up to the I lobby a few times and not been taken out.

      • American
        February 25, 2012, 1:57 pm

        The power of the lobby to take out politicians is overestimated. It only works in districts of heavy concentrations of Jews or extreme christian fundies.
        I think the fundies are so dispersed geographically that most times they don’t even matter except in some pockets of mainly the south and Texas.
        My district is religious, mostly consertive and independent and my congressman is against foreign aid, including Israel and always votes against it and AIPAC would not be able to remove him.
        The problem is Israel has become a ‘party line’ and candidates don’t campaign against their own party line for obvious $$ reasons…so no one tries it.

      • Kathleen
        February 25, 2012, 3:18 pm

        The I lobby will fund the individuals opponent. Does not matter how many pro pro Israel constituents are in the district. They will go after you one way or the other. Less so than a decade ago

      • American
        February 25, 2012, 4:45 pm

        Doesn’t matter if AIPAC funds their opponent if you’ve got a hot button issue and message- anti American – pro American that gets people riled and the fur flying.
        This is not a white gloves fight.

      • teta mother me
        February 25, 2012, 5:26 pm

        Max Baucus suggests the contrary, American. There are very few Jews in Montana but AIPAC put him in the senate and he votes AIPAC all the way.

      • American
        February 25, 2012, 5:53 pm

        Who ran against Baucus and what was his platform? I doubt Montana’s love of Israel was what elected Baucus.
        Montanan’s love of the environment so Baucus plays that and is also Israel firster.
        Montanan’s love the environment so Candidate X plays that and is American firster.
        Which one wins?
        If you fall for the myth of AIPAC’s impotence you will never mount a fight and always lose.
        Why waste your time and breath if you think AIPAC and the Israel firsters are undefeatable.
        Just accept your fate and go quietly into the night.

      • Citizen
        February 26, 2012, 9:30 am

        American, I’ve read AIPAC support information that listed a bunch of examples of how they’ve had local election successes in parts of the country where few Jews live and Israel is never a campaign issue; details went toward funding their pick, giving free staff, doing leg work, etc. All this the pick gets for free if he or she gets on board with AIPAC on issues AIPAC cares about. The locals never get a clue of the outside help.

      • American
        February 25, 2012, 2:16 pm

        “Have heard them also say that they know what would happen to them if they tried to take a stand. ”

        Again, this is why we need to go after politicians individually when they are up for re election to let them know what will happen to them if they don’t take a stand…and get the numbers under a Pro America banner meme for the public to make the threat stick.
        You only need to defeat one Israel firster once with a Anti -America Israel- first charge that their defeat can be ‘credited to’, to start frightening some of the other politicians.

      • yourstruly
        February 25, 2012, 10:25 pm

        your are right. what’s more in the face of a campaign that charges a candidate for Congress with being an Anti-America Israel-firster, will this candidate be able to count on receiving the Christian Zionist vote? And I agree, the defeat of one Israel firster, that’s all it’ll take.

      • ritzl
        February 25, 2012, 3:27 pm

        Agree that it’s difficult to get traction, but I think that a show of equal, opposite, and simultaneous, district-specific, yet broadly-posed asks while AIPAC is busy raising the issue would/could compound the effectiveness of lobbying for sanity to take hold. Another big factor is that sanity is on our side, which also compounds effectiveness by throwing the insane AIPAC asks into high relief, in real time.

        But I think the key, and maybe difference, is constituents doing this personally, and with followup referencing the group effort. That balances the money behind the other side, to the degree it can be balanced.

        Carl Levin may be a case in point. While deeply lobbied by the beneficiaries of perpetual war because of his position/power, he also has substantial Muslim, rural, and black constituent communities. All are stakeholders in paying the price for our past and yet another decades-long conflict.

        @yourstruly, tmm, There are orgs, vets (e.g. IVAW) is what came to my mind, that have deeply affected constituents in every district. Iranian expats, Code Pinks, JVP, mosques, ex-pols even (that aren’t cashing in). That’s what AIPAC does – assemble lists and point.

        I can do a sample quad chart and email it to Phil Weiss here, if that’s of interest (or post it on Google Docs).

        I’m not trying to be arrogant or delusional about this. As everyone here knows, the forces advocating attacking Iran are powerful and may not be able to be diluted, let alone countered, but AIPAC adopts these tactics because they work. In doing so they also create an opportunity and timing to fill the common sense void they leave in their wake.


    • dahoit
      February 25, 2012, 12:33 pm

      Enforce FCC regulations on media ownership and monopoly.Very simple,neh?
      Our press has let US down totally,and has been usurped for foreign and corporate interests,US be damned.
      I saw somewhere an interesting account of how Prince Rupert is under WH pressure over his illegal phone tapping and has been neutered somewhat by Obomba.
      Talk about a media empire,and its threat to freedom.

  4. Citizen
    February 24, 2012, 7:43 pm

    Wonder how Dick and Jane will feel once Obama concedes to help Israel’s attack on Iran this year and gas spikes up to $10.00 per gal, and Iran manages to knock out one of our floating city aircraft carriers?

    • Kathleen
      February 25, 2012, 12:03 pm

      A poll mentioned on Washington Journal about how many Americans would support an attack on Iran was at 48%. Not long before the I lobby and Israel tip those numbers. As long as you have people like Rachel Maddow pushing for parades for returned Iraq war Vets instead of where we are headed…Iran if Israel has their way that 48% can easily be tipped their way.

      Has anyone seen or heard one returning Iraq war Vet on any MSNBC show? Are they getting their needs met? What do they really think? Hell no. Not a one

    • kapok
      February 25, 2012, 1:06 pm

      This is no argument. Who cares what Merkins have to pay to feed their cars? If the price doesn’t rise, that’s ok, then? And the Pirates of the Mediterranean? If they return safe bearing plunder, that’s fine?

  5. ToivoS
    February 24, 2012, 7:58 pm

    One of the more frustrating points about all of this war talk in the MSM is there doesn’t seem to be any discussion with how bad things could turn out. In fact there are a few articles, saying how easy it would be.

    I think there is little that Iran could do to punish Israel — I suspect their missiles are not accurate enough to do more than just terrorize the civilian population. Nor will Iranian armies overrun US bases in the region. We simply have too much fire power.

    However, I suspect the embassy in Baghdad will be over-run and those 16,000 staff and security forces would be wiped out or taken prisoner.

    The big loss could be the fifth fleet, or any of her ships that may be in the Persian Gulf if war breaks out. A number of us have mentioned here at MW the known fact that Iran is armed with Russian designed and built cruise antiship missiles that may just be too fast for our anti-missile defenses (google sunburn s-22 or yakhontz and Persian Gulf if you want to read some hair raising scenarios). This seems to be completely unthinkable to the MSM pundits that a second rate power like Iran could sink our fleet.

    If the Iranians inflicted some serious damage on our Navy, closing the Straits of Hormuz would be a foregone conclusion. Ten dollar a gallon gasoline would not be an exaggeration, maybe even $20.

    The biggest danger is how we would react to losing our warships in the Gulf. The worse case, would be that a traumatized US would blindly retaliate with nuclear war. If the Straits were closed this might prompt the US to try to seize the Iranian shoreline at least. This will not be that easy — there is mountain range with peaks of 5000 feet elevation just 10 miles from the shoreline. These would have to be occupied to protect shipping in the straits. Mountain fighting is not easy — advantage to the defenders. Recall what happened to the US armies in N. Italy during WWII when they became totally bogged down in the mountain fighting.

    The worst case scenarios involves the effectiveness of those Russian antiship missiles — they have never been tested in combat so it is impossible to predict how they will work. But the consequences could be dire indeed. If worse comes to worse, I just hope that the American people will finally wake up and drive AIPAC out of the corridors of power in this country.

    • dahoit
      February 25, 2012, 12:37 pm

      Tanks would be relatively useless there,unlike flat Iraq,and I bet that has made Afghanistan a much more tougher nut to crack than our thugs realized.But hey,what else is new in this amnesiac world.

    • ritzl
      February 25, 2012, 5:25 pm

      Iran also, reportedly, has high velocity torpedoes based upon Russia’s VA-111 Shkval (Squall) torpedo, which are even harder to counter. Oh, and and deep installations on the Tunb Islands in the middle of the Persian Gulf capable of launching them from land.

      While maybe, Maybe not operational, these torpedoes have to be taken seriously as a early tactical threat. Point and shoot. Salvo, though they would just have to demonstrate ONE for oil to dry up and the world economy to collapse.

      What a surreal discussion to be having, eh? Whether Iran could (or even would) sink the world economy if we (Israel) attack. Talk about a no-brainer cost-benefit analysis… With the US as a tripwire. For Israel. Unbelievable, yet, so believable.

  6. piotr
    February 24, 2012, 10:41 pm

    I think that the Russian missiles are in the zone of “strategic ambiguity”.

    Allegedly, USA managed to purchase a few, I guess from Ukraine, test and our expert figured that there is not countermeasure that they could figure out. The beast is accelerating as it approaches the target and moves on a zigzag trajectory. It is a bit as trying to box with a champion (assuming that you are a normal person): he can patiently explain what he will do, but the punch is too strong and too fast.

    It does not help that naval vessels are full of explosive and combustive materials. A single torpedo sank South Korean vessel. Supertanker on the other hand are very hard to destroy.

    But … Iran can announce Straight of Hormuz to be closed, and it cancels all maritime insurance. And you do not need super-duper missiles to hit a super-tanker. Slow moving, huge, and with no anti-missiles at all. Trying to escort them could be suicidal (check the fate of the Korean vessel). And stopping the missiles by bombardment was tried in Lebanon in 2009. On the ground, shield can be stronger than the arrow — build hundreds of tunnels and decoys of tunnels. On the sea — arrow can be stronger then the shield. Either one super-missile or a wave of normal missiles (one removed an IDF vessel from action, a wave can overwhelm anti-missile defenses).

    Another aspect is that there are a few targets in the nuclear program with heavy defenses. If they are not attacked, Iran will proclaim victory. But attacking a defended target is normally done in two waves — destroy radars, destroy launching sites, then proceed with the bombers. But Iran will probably have tens of decoy radars — basically emitters of radar frequencies. And mock launching sites. And some real stuff. Iran surely has no capacity to defend the entire territory, but it probably can fortify several points to be deadly traps.

    Combined experience of Lebanon — have a lot of tunnels — and Serbia — have a lot of decoys — is probably not lost on Persians. My theory is that this nuclear program is actually phony and it is a gigantic trap.

    Iran is just a bit too big, a bit too strategically located, a bit too well armed to be attacked “as a precaution”. It has at least 100 times larger capability than Hezbollah, and USA does not have 100 times larger capability in the Gulf than IDF had on the home ground.

    • RoHa
      February 24, 2012, 11:21 pm

      Strait of Hormuz.

      “Strait” means “narrow”.

    • Eva Smagacz
      February 25, 2012, 2:25 pm

      Another aspect that seems to be lost on warmongers is that Iran is a patriotic nation that won twice in recent history – once in 1979 revolution, and again in a defensive war against Iraq. Both these wars are, correctly, considered a triumf against American Empire.

      This memory is likely to act as a psychological buffer against any defeats in hands of superior American firepower.

      Also, Iran is less compartmentalised into different populations, unlike Iraq , and therefore there is little chance of a country turning in on itself, like Iraq did. Kurdish population is less nationalistic, and the only real chance of strife inside Iran comes from it’s Azerbaijani population (16%) – bearing in mind that Israel has been courting Azerbaijan from first day of it’s independence in 1991.

      Luckily for Iran, its border with Azerbaijan, and it’s Kurdish population are both to the South, and really away from Straights of Hormuz.

      If these populations were to be asked to raise against Iran, the Iranians can cause major problems across its border in Afganistan with which they share Baluch population. Baluch population, spanning Pakistan, Iran and Afganistan is really anti-American, despite years of veiled promises of autonomy from Pakistan that are waved continuously in front of its elders.

      Finally, with Pakistan supply route to Afganistan closed, Russia is co-operating with USA in allowing it access to it’s southern supply routes via Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. If they were to withdraw this co-operation as a sign of their displeasure with attack on Iran, America would not be able to maintain its presence in Afganistan.

  7. yourstruly
    February 24, 2012, 11:07 pm

    every member of congress who supports this aipac push for war has to be called out for the israel traitors that they are

    “lhey, hey, israel firster traitors, iran’s no threat to the u.s. of a.”

    “hey, hey, israel firster traitors, how many american soldiers and sailors are you going to sacrifice for israel today?”

    this time, somehow, it’s us antiwar folks that have got to make history, because if we don’t, the fascist takeover will be complete and we’ll get no second chances.

  8. American
    February 25, 2012, 1:08 am

    I anticipate a continuing attack on General Dempsey, the CJCS by AIPAC/Likud and their Zombie media clients.

    He will have a great deal of trouble defending himself in what is essentially a political arena.

    We do not have such a problem. To paraphrase Sheridan again, “If you love your country, come up to the front…”

    (pl) Col Pat Lang

    Congress Toll Free —1-877-762-8762

    • Kathleen
      February 25, 2012, 10:31 am

      I was surprised the new Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Dempsey’s interview on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria’s GPS Sunday program did not get picked up here at Mondoweiss. Brought this interview up several times here right after I saw and heard the interview. General Dempsey said “Iranian regime a rational actor”. That “an attack at this time (many experts believe at any time) would be destabilizing” General Dempsey calmly drew the line between US and Israel’s National Security. He had a fair amount to say about Syria as well

      Interview with Gen. Martin Dempsey –…/fzgps.01.html – United KingdomCached

      ZAKARIA: Another difficult military challenge: do you believe that Israel has the capacity to strike Iran in a way that would significantly retard its nuclear — its nuclear program?

      DEMPSEY: I think that Israel has the capability to strike Iran and to delay the production or the capability of Iran to achieve a nuclear weapons status, probably for a couple of years. But some of the targets are probably beyond their reach and, of course, that’s what — that’s what concerns them. That’s this notion of a zone of immunity that they discuss.

      ZAKARIA: And if that were to happen, do you — do you believe that Iran would engage in retaliatory measures, not just against Israel, but against United States’ interests in Iraq and Afghanistan?

      DEMPSEY: That’s the — that’s the question with which we all wrestle, and the reason that we think that it’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran. I mean, that’s been our counsel to our allies, the Israelis, well-known, well-documented.

      And we also know — or believe we know — that the — that the Iranian regime has not decided that they will embark on the effort to weaponize their nuclear capability.

      ZAKARIA: Do you think that is still unclear, that they’re moving on a path for nuclear technology, but whether or not they choose to make a nuclear weapon is unclear?

      DEMPSEY: It is. I believe it is unclear, and on that basis I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us. I mean, I think that the economic sanctions and the international cooperation that we’ve been able to gather around sanctions is beginning to have an effect. I think our diplomacy is having an effect, and our preparedness.

      I mean, fundamentally we have to be prepared, and that includes, for the most part at this point, being prepared defensively. But just as I mentioned in the earlier segment about our preparedness to provide options should the nation decide to do something in Syria, we have to have the same options available should the nation decide to do something in Iran. ZAKARIA: When you observe Iranian behavior, does it strike you as highly irrational? Does it strike you as sort of unpredictable, or do they seem to follow their national interests in a fairly calculating way?

      DEMPSEY: That is a great question, and I’ll tell you that I’ve been confronting that question since I commanded Central Command in 2008. And we are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor. And it’s for that reason, I think, that we think the current path we’re on is the most prudent path at this point.

      ZAKARIA: Do you think that the Israelis understand that the United States is counseling them not to strike, and do you think that they will be deterred from striking in the near future?

      DEMPSEY: Well, I’m confident that they understand our concerns, that a strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives. But, I mean, I also understand that Israel has national interests that are unique to them. And, of course, they consider Iran to be an existential threat in a way that we have not concluded that Iran is an existential threat.

      So I don’t — I wouldn’t suggest, sitting here today, that we’ve persuaded them that our view is the correct view and that they are acting in an ill-advised fashion, but we’ve had a very candid, collaborative conversation. We’ve shared intelligence. And I was in Israel about three weeks ago and spent two days there with the senior leaders, and so we’re — you know, we are continuing that dialogue.

      ZAKARIA: If you were a betting man, would you bet that Israel won’t strike?

      DEMPSEY: Well, fortunately, I’m not a betting man.

      • Chaos4700
        February 25, 2012, 11:21 am

        I’m still worried that Dempsey will lose his job over this. Modern Presidential administrations don’t value honesty, they value policies that win them campaign funding, and Republicans are having a field day mocking and abusing experts like Dempsey and using them as a wedge issue to divert Lobby dollars away from Democrats.

      • Kathleen
        February 25, 2012, 11:59 am

        He was very articulate and careful. Chose his words so well while telling the truth. Amazed that his comments did not get more attention in the so called liberal blog world

      • dahoit
        February 25, 2012, 12:55 pm

        Amazed?I share your feeling of amazement at the gullibility of Americans,but shouldn’t we have expected it,as just another unwanted comment by an American patriot,who are muzzled by the borg?
        And liberals?Real liberals fight for liberty,these people are not liberals,or only liberal on Israel,abortion and war,liberal only when their views are paramount and what they want to hear.Posers.As are most alleged conservatives,who love freedom only when they dictate its parameters and ignore what they don’t approve of,a duopoly of hypocrites.

      • ritzl
        February 25, 2012, 6:19 pm

        Pretty damn definitive (even diplomatically so) series of statements AGAINST an attack by anyone. NOT a definitive statement against attack sometime in the future. But that, imo, is what’s being played here. Political time-buying.

        Thanks Kathleen.

  9. HarryLaw
    February 25, 2012, 5:35 am

    Toivo, good comment but you did not mention Irans submarine fleet some small ones specially designed for the shallow gulf waters, I believe they also have one or two man operated submersibles, the serb army survived almost intact in Kosovo with deception, the Serb army fooled coalition aircraft into attacking plywood and canvas targets, with tomahawk cruise missiles at 1 million and air launched ones at 2 million dollars a pop, humiliating Nato [ DOD report to congress:61]I can see thousands of Iranian citizens constructing parts of tanks made of cardboard in their living rooms. If the Iranians know where those flat tops are, and for sure they will be nowhere near the strait of Hormuz if war breaks out, the US will have additional submarines to their fleet,but they will need frogmen to operate them. In my opinion all this war talk is bluster, if Iran where to fall, China knows for sure they are next,even now the war hawks have China in their sights, crazy.

  10. Kathleen
    February 25, 2012, 10:48 am

    On Hardball a week or so ago Chris Matthews shows a clip of Gillibrand saying that “Iran is threatening the US”
    “Iran proclaims nuclear advances”…Listen to Gillibrand sounds like she is ready to go to Iran
    link to

    I would say for about a month the new talking point being repeated by those pushing for a military confrontation with Iran is that Iran is a direct threat to the US. As well as alleged experts on Iran like Barbara Slavin, Marie Slaughter, Mr. Jain and Mr. Singh from WINEP and Yoghi Dreazin repeating that “negotiations with Iran have been exhausted” Mr. Jain and Mr. Singh repeated that Iran is a direct threat to the US. This is the new and dangerous song and dance coming out of the lets go get Iran crowd.

    Just yesterday former Senator Feingold was on Washington Journal talking about his new book “While Americans Sleep” and he repeated the false claim that Iran is threatening the US. Mary from Bellbrook Ohio (31:34)had a very interesting comment and question for former Sentor Feingold about General Dempsey’s statements about Iran, about Feingolds claim that Iran is a direct threat to the US, and about why so many folks in the middle east hate what America does in that part of the world

    Washington Journal for Friday, February 24 |…/10737428536/Cached

    • Citizen
      February 25, 2012, 12:47 pm

      Feingold on CSPAN WJ just glibly stated Iran was major threat to US (as well as to Israel). He was allowed to get away with it. He never answered Mary’s question’s specifics. The host could have followed up, but did not. Meanwhile, Bibi went on record to insult Dempsey, saying his remarks helped Iran:

      I’m sure Obama won’t defend Dempsey. Question is only, how long will Dempsey last in his current top position? Should I ask Chas Freeman? Maybe Mitchell?

      • Kathleen
        February 25, 2012, 3:22 pm

        Citizen my name was Mary on Cspan yesterday. My confirmation name . Remember 28,000,000 listen to Cspan each week. Good way to bring traffic to this site as well as others that deal honestly with this issue as well as Iran. Mention Race for Iran and Mondoweiss etc when ever I can. Keep in mind you can get quite a bit of factual information out there via these news outlets

      • Citizen
        February 26, 2012, 9:37 am

        I often tweet to CSPAN WJ’s live guest; every once in awhile the host takes my tweet and asks my question or comment to the guest. Usually not, although my tweet still goes out into Tweetland. Sometimes my tweets register on WJ’s site, sometimes not–there seems no rhyme nor reason to that.

  11. Kathleen
    February 25, 2012, 11:03 am

    Hope folks contact their Senators and encourage, push them to vote no on this legislation.

    Aipac , Jinsa, other I lobby organizations had their prints all over the Iraq war. Many were talking about this at the anti invasion marches in New York, DC, Ohio and other anti invasion of Iraq marches that I attended. Anyone following the Aipac website then was well aware of how in their action alerts section there was always a push for the invasion of Iraq. Then soon after the invasion of Iraq that little action alert box moved onto Iran, and soon after the Palestinian election that Carters election watch group was involved in Lieberman, Ros Lehtinen and others started creating and passing legislation to isolate Hamas . All of those pushes up in that action alert box. With all of the information to contact reps etc.

    Then we watched the Aipac espionage investigation and 9 time delayed trial be dismissed. The investigation Jane “waddling on over” to interfere in the Aipac investigation and caught red handed interfereing in a federal investigation..dropped.

    The false claims about Iran have been repeated all over our MSM for a solid 9 years. Cheney was on Tim Russerts soon after the invasion of Iraq repeating all sorts of outlandish claims. Tim Russert went right along. John Bolton on Talk of the Nation has repeated these false claims about Iran. Neal Conan just rolled right over. Reuel Marc Gerecht and others on the Diane Rehm show etc etc. The stage for an attack on Iran has been carefully set by many of the same individuals who lied this nation into Iraq.

    Lindsay Graham, Lieberman etc still pushing hard. Call your Reps. No no no military action against Iran. No support for Israel doing so.

    Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have some great ones up over at Race for Iran. The last two post are especially good. Listen to Hillary and Flynt and you will learn so much about US failings with Iran. As well as that interview with General Dempsey on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS program

  12. Kathleen
    February 25, 2012, 11:14 am

    Occupy Aipac’s schedule. Notice lobbying day on Tuesday



    Please continue to check in as we update our program and see our list of confirmed speakers.

    Friday, March 2: Evening Film Screening
    5:00pm – 7:00pm: Sneak preview screening of clips from Hip Hop is Bigger than Occupation & Roadmap to Apartheid Hip Hop is Bigger than Occupation is a documentary about a ten day journey of artists traveling through Palestine, teaching and performing Non Violent Resistance through the arts. Roadmap to Apartheid explores in detail the apartheid comparison as it is used in the enduring Israel-Palestine conflict. (Busboys and Poets on 5th&K)

    Saturday, March 3: Occupy AIPAC Summit
    Unless noted otherwise, all events will take place at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church (900 Massachusetts Ave). To attend the summit, you must register in advance.

    8:00am – 9:00am: Registration

    9:00am – 10:30am: Welcome with Codepink co-founder Medea Benjamin and Rev. Grayland Hagler

    10:30am – 12:00pm: Preventing War, Promoting Peace: Shifting US Policy Toward Real Diplomacy with Iran Featuring Sanam Anderlini, Jamal Abdi, Kate Gould, and Robert Naiman

    12:00pm – 1:00pm: Catered lunch from The Jerusalem Restaurant Note: Lunch included in registration cost

    1:00pm – 2:30pm: From the Arab Uprisings to the Occupy Movement: Freedom & Justice vs. the Right-wing Israel Lobby Featuring Bassam Haddad and Dina Darwish

    2:30pm – 4:00pm: Palestine, Israel & the U.S. – Changing Discourse, Challenging Policy Featuring Roane Carey, Omar Baddar, Phyllis Bennis, and Felicia Eaves

    4:00pm – 5:00pm: Closing with Chris Hedges, Rae Abileah and Rev. Lennox Yearwood

    5:30-7:30: AIPAC – What it is, who its allies are, why it’s dangerous and how to stop it A workshop organized by CNI, If Americans Knew, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) featuring Hatem Bazian, Jeffrey Blankfort, Janet McMahon, Grant F. Smith and Alison Weir.
    Click here for more details

    8:00pm – 10:00pm: Poets, Comedians and Musicians – Tears and Laughter for Palestine A night of culture featuring Suad Amiry, Remi Kanazi, Said Durrah and others
    Click here for more details

    Sunday, March 4: Main Action Day
    Unless noted otherwise, all events to take place outside the AIPAC Conference (corner of Massachusetts and 9th)

    10:00am – 11:00am: Nonviolence Training, Create Group Visual

    11:00am – 2:00pm: Rally at the Convention Center, All Out for NO WAR ON IRAN during AIPAC Convention
    Click here for more details

    12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch (click for dining options near Convention Center)

    12:30pm – 1:30pm: Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions – A workshop with Adalah-NY featuring Nancy Kricorian and Felice Gelman (Busboys and Poets on 5th&K)

    1:30pm – 4:00pm: Ongoing creative actions outside AIPAC conference

    4:00pm – 6:00pm: Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere: Palestine and the African American Experience An event organized by Interfaith Peace Builders featuring Bill Fletcher Jr., Rev. Carolyn Boyd, Rev. Heber Brown, Sterling Pack, Darryl Jordan, and Felicia Eaves
    Click here for more details (900 Massachusetts Ave)

    7:00pm – 9:00pm: Alternatives to War: Diplomacy in Theory and Practice An event to examine the ways in which individuals practice alternatives to war in their daily lives with Dr. Mohammed Abu Nimer on Palestine, Filipe Nasser on Iran and others (Busboys and Poets on 5th&K)

    Monday, March 5: A Gala Affair
    12:00pm – 1:00pm: Ending Military Aid to Israel – A workshop on how to challenge U.S. military aid to Israel featuring Josh Ruebner
    Click here for more details (Busboys and Poets on 5th&K)

    5:00pm – 7:30pm: Creative action preparations: art-making & non-violence training (corner of Massachusetts and 9th)

    7:30pm – 9:00pm: Creative action outside the AIPAC Gala Banquet (corner of Massachusetts and 9th)

    Tuesday, March 6: Lobbying Day
    10:00am – 2:00pm: Briefing on the Hill An event organized by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation featuring Diana Buttu, Josh Ruebner and others.

    • teta mother me
      February 26, 2012, 1:10 pm

      Romney is so loudly acclaimed as the best thing since sliced bread for the US because “He’s a businessman,” who “turned the Olympics around” using a massive cash infusion of taxpayer money.

      In the history of China, the wisest leaders were poets.
      In Iran, especially Shiraz, the people are proud of their culture that “reveres it poets more than its warriors and kings” (i.e. they’re lovers not fighters).
      The president of Poland is an historian.
      In the US, folks swoon over a used car salesman.

      If you need some cultcha to inspire you to lobby your congressman, check out this TEDTalk,

      “Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, traces 2600 years of Middle Eastern history through the Cyrus Cylinder.”

      “[The Persian Empire] left a dream of the Middle East as a unit, and a unit where people of different faiths could live together.” (Neil MacGregor)”

      MacGregor moves from 2600 years ago when Cyrus, king of Persia, proclaimed, in the name of Marduk, respect for all religions throughout the Persian empire; compares the declaration on the Cyrus Cylinder with the (later) explanation of how “Yahweh inspired Cyrus” to aid Jews in returning to Jerusalem; reflects that the drafters of the US Constitution were well aware of the history of the Cyrus cylinder from Xenophon and others, and replicated the intentions of Cyrus in creating the United States.
      MacGregor moves on to the discovery of the actual cylinder in 1879 and its place in the British museum, and concludes with a discussion of how, on the request of the government of Iran, the Cyrus cylinder was displayed in Tehran’s museum. MacGregor says he’s proud to be part of the debate, and to have conveyed the Cyrus cylinder to the Tehran museum where Pres. Ahmadinejad received it. MacGregor shows a picture of Ahmadinejad and the female head of the Tehran museum placing the Cylinder in a museum case, where more people viewed it than any “blockbuster exhibit in the West.”

  13. Kathleen
    February 25, 2012, 11:23 am

    At Occupy Aipac’s website

    Question: What do you and Benjamin Netanyahu have in common?
    February 14th, 2012 · Posted by Occupy AIPAC! Answer: you will both be in Washington DC for policy conferences in just a few weeks…

    Dear friends,

    It’s true. This year, both Netanyahu and Peres will be present at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, along with a high number of our Congressional representatives. With the objective of pushing for war on Iran and justifying the ongoing, egregious violations of Palestinian rights, AIPAC will convene in Washington DC.

    Register now to join the hundreds of people who will be coming between March 2 and 6 to protest against AIPAC and take part in the Occupy AIPAC counter-summit.

    Under the banner of Occupy AIPAC, this long weekend will include a policy summit with panels on Iran, the Arab uprisings, Palestine/Israel and AIPAC, film screenings, mass protests, a teach-in on diplomacy and alternatives to war, creative actions, a cultural night, workshops, and a Capitol Hill policy briefing on the impact of U.S. military aid to Israel on Palestinians.

    Featured speakers and performers will include author Suad Amiry, Egyptian activist Dina Darwish, Managing Editor of The Nation Roane Carey, Iranian activist Sanam Anderlini, lawyer and advocate Diana Buttu, Jadaliyya co-founder and editor Bassam Haddad, poet Remi Kanazi, AMP co-founder Hatem Bazian, comedian Said Durrah, activist Bill Fletcher Jr., Iran analyst Jamal Abdi, author Phyllis Bennis, and more!

    Now is the time to make a large, people-powered push to oppose the Israel lobby’s stranglehold of our government. During this weekend, we will challenge the Israel lobby in their pursuit of war with Iran and promote a just foreign policy in the Middle East- in the streets and with our teach-ins and discussions.

    Register for the conference and/or support this summit with a donation. Your outreach and presence is critical to help us ensure a strong turnout, because now is the time to Occupy AIPAC, not Palestine!

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