The Iraq war coverup: What did AIPAC do and when did it do it?

Howard Kohr
Howard Kohr of AIPAC

As I pointed out yesterday, the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Democratic-Party-linked thinktank in D.C., has met quietly with officials of the Israel lobby group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and explicitly sought to squelch suggestions by its own journalists that AIPAC is pushing war on Iran.

Notably it squelched a CAP blogger, Eli Clifton, who wrote in August at the thinktank’s site that AIPAC’s summons to Congress for sanctions on Iran “brings to mind eery parallels” to its campaign for Iraq sanctions that paved the way for that stupid war. Clifton’s piece concluded:

It would appear that AIPAC is now using the same escalating measures against Iran that were used before the invasion of Iraq.

But in December the thinktank came under heat from a neocon smear campaign that accused Clifton and others of anti-Semitism, and CAP put its tail between its legs and stuck a long amendment to Clifton’s piece, kinda eviscerating it:

we want to make clear that we are not reporting on whether AIPAC lobbied for the Iraq war.

Also as a matter of clarification, international sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, particularly those engineered by the Obama administration, are useful…

What is the truth here?

Though AIPAC wants to deny it now, it lobbied for the Iraq war. And CAP is participating in a coverup.

Here’s the data:

Back in 2000, AIPAC specifically worked to ramp up sanctions on Iraq because of its “weapons of mass destruction.” Remember them? In March 2000, AIPAC circulated an Action Alert to Congress, urging its members to put pressure on Congress to pressure the Clinton administration.

If sanctions were lifted, Saddam could spend the oil revenue to accelerate Iraq’s military programs rather than on the humanitarian needs of Iraqi citizens.

It is essential that you contact your representative today and urge them to sign the letter to President Clinton:

Very similar to the Iran sanctions AIPAC pushed last summer.

Then in April 2003, according to JWeekly, AIPAC rose up against a congressional effort led by California Republican Tom Campbell, then taking on Dianne Feinstein in a Senate race, to weaken those sanctions:

The military threat from Iraq is a major concern of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which favors retaining economic sanctions.

“Lifting sanctions wouldn’t benefit the Iraqi people,” said Amy Friedkin, an AIPAC national vice president who lives in San Francisco. Rather, it would enable Saddam to obtain more oil money, and use it to amass more weapons. That would constitute a danger to the rest of the Middle East and the world, she added…

Campbell and his allies are now rallying behind H.R. 3825, legislation by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) that would allow U.S. companies to export food and medicine to Iraq outside of the U.N. oil-for-food program. Campbell and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) are among the bill’s co-sponsors.

Friedkin said AIPAC opposes the bill, although the organization recognizes the sponsors’ “very compassionate reasons” for proposing it.

Elliot Brandt, AIPAC’s Pacific Northwest regional director, said: “AIPAC has no desire to hurt the people of Iraq, but we have a vested interest in hurting Saddam Hussein’s ability to build weapons of mass destruction. Rather than blaming the sanctions for hurting the people of Iraq, we should be putting the blame on Saddam Hussein, who is cynically and cruelly using his people as a political card to generate sympathy and support.”

Talk about eery parallels: When Obama tried to stop sanctions on the Iran Central Bank, AIPAC posterized Obama in the Senate 100-0 last December.

Let’s skip forward to the Iraq war itself, 2003.

In The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Walt and Mearsheimer clearly show that AIPAC pushed the Iraq war, though quietly.

AIPAC usually supports what Israel wants, and Israel certainly wanted the United States to invade Iraq. Nathan Guttman made this very connection in his reporting [in Haaretz, April 2003] on AIPAC’s annual conference in the spring of 2003, shortly after the war started: “AIPAC is wont to support whatever is good for Israel, and so long as Israel supports the war, so too do the thousands of the AIPAC lobbyists who convened in the American capital.” AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr’s statement to the New York Sun in January 2003 is even more revealing, as he acknowledged “‘quietly’ lobbying Congress to approve the use of force in Iraq” was one of “AIPAC’s successes over the past year.” And in a lengthy New Yorker profile of Steven J. Rosen, who was AIPAC’s policy director during the run-up to the Iraq war, Jeffrey Goldberg reported that “AIPAC lobbied Congress in favor of the Iraq war.” 

Dana Milbank reported in the Washington Post on that AIPAC conference as the Iraq war began:

Officially, AIPAC had no position on the merits of a war against Iraq before it started. Officially, Iraq is not the subject of the pro-Israel lobby’s three-day meeting here.

Now, for the unofficial part:

As delegates to the AIPAC meeting were heading to town, the group put a headline on its Web site proclaiming: “Israeli Weapons Utilized By Coalition Forces Against Iraq.” The item featured a photograph of a drone with the caption saying the “Israeli-made Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” is being used “by U.S. soldiers in Iraq.”

At an AIPAC session on Sunday night, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom proclaimed in a speech praising Secretary of State Colin L. Powell: “We have followed with great admiration your efforts to mobilize the international community to disarm Iraq and bring democracy and peace to the region, to the Middle East and to the rest of the world. Just imagine, Mr. Secretary, how much easier it would have been if Israel had been a member of the Security Council.”

The clear thrust of this information is that AIPAC wanted a war but didn’t want its fingerprints on the war. So it has cried foul whenever anyone has called it out.

In 2007 Virginia Congressman James Moran said that AIPAC had pushed the Iraq war in comments to Tikkun:

He said that AIPAC was in favor of the Iraq war and “pushed this war from the beginning.” And he claimed that on the Iraq war, AIPAC didn’t represent “the mainstream of American Jewish thinking at all.”

But Moran got slammed for saying this. Matt Yglesias, then at CAP himself, was fabulous on this point back in ’07, a post bracingly titled AIPAC and Iraq:

One of the odder notions to take hold in recent years is that AIPAC specifically, and the so-called “Israel lobby” more generally had absolutely nothing to do with the Iraq War, and that anyone who says otherwise is an anti-semite. As John Judis writes for The New Republic, however, this is just false:

‘At the time, a Senate staff person with a responsibility for foreign policy told me of AIPAC’s lobbying. But I don’t have to rely on my memory. AIPAC’s lobbying wasn’t widely reported because AIPAC didn’t want Arab states, whose support the Bush administration was soliciting, to be able to tie Bush’s plans to Israel, but it lobbied nonetheless. In September 2002, before Congress had begun considering the administration’s proposal authorizing force with Iraq, Rebecca Needler, a spokeswoman for AIPAC, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “If the president asks Congress to support action in Iraq, AIPAC would lobby members of Congress to support him.” Then at an AIPAC meeting in New York in January 2003, before the war began, but after Congress had voted to authorize Bush to go to war, Howard Kohr, AIPAC’s executive director, boasted of AIPAC’s success in lobbying for the war. Reported the New York Sun, “According to Mr. Kohr, AIPAC’s successes over the past year also include guaranteeing Israel’s annual aid package and ‘quietly’ lobbying Congress to approve the use of force in Iraq.”’

And, obviously, other institutions of the hawkish “pro-Israel” establishment — the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Saban Center, JINSA, The New York Sun, The New Republic, etc. — all advocated strongly in favor of invasion. That’s not to say that “the Jews caused the war” (I think Bush, Cheney, Blair, Powell, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc. had a little something to do with it) but it’s still true.

To answer Yglesias, some Jews really did push the Iraq war, out of a perceived Jewish interest– supporting Israel right or wrong. They’re neoconservatives, well represented at AIPAC.

The best way to oppose war against Iran is not just to say, We’re against it, but to identify who is pushing for it.

AIPAC and the neoconservative lobby are back to their old tricks, pushing sanctions on Iran, and saber-rattling too. Eery parallels indeed.

About Philip Weiss

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

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

  1. Kathleen says:

    Have been going to the Aipac site for at least 10 years. All you have to do is follow their action alerts and it confirms their persistent push for the attack on Iraq and Iran..just as you have done

  2. AWESOME POST. do they really think american minds can’t remember this constant pressure pressure pressure when it’s being repeated right now. and it’s never stopped, it just moved from iraq to iran, but it’s constant!

    here’s a wiki leak from 7 years ago, israel pressuring for iran sanctions. same story..it’s never ending til they get their way and then to pull a denial? please!

    link to guardian.co.uk

    1. (S) SUMMARY: Israel sees Iran as the primary threat to its security and sees the enrichment cycle as the “point of no return” for Tehran’s nuclear weapons program. The GOI believes that diplomatic pressure with teeth, such as sanctions, can affect Iranian behavior, and is lobbying the EU-3 and IAEA on details of a permanent suspension agreement. The Israelis support a unified international front but are concerned that the USG may move toward the EU position. Despite the GOI’s focus on the diplomatic track, public and private speculation about possible Israeli air strikes continues. In weighing the military options, the GOI is aware of significant differences from its successful strike against Iraq’s nuclear program in 1981, including an uncertain and dispersed target set, the presence of coalition forces in Iraq and the Gulf, Iranian capabilities to retaliate through Hizballah and terrorism, and the changed strategic environment. END SUMMARY.

    constant!

    • I second the awesomeness! Good job Phil. Your country needs you to help stop the war, not kvetching about how maybe, somehow, calling the warmongers out will “harm the Jews” and all that. We need to ignore Abe Foxman and his ilk.

      “The best way to oppose war against Iran is not just to say, We’re against it, but to identify who is pushing for it.”

      Clear and present truth.

      • radii says:

        we are smart enough today – and we have the data to back it up – to say some jews pushed for war with Iraq and now want war with Iran, and we can name the people and the organizations and follow the money … anyone interested in actual facts knows this does not tar-and-feather all American jews … there are clearly agents and operatives for a foreign power at work on our soil and in our halls of power and they must be called out

    • that’s exactly what they think, Annie, that American (generic, not MW’s ‘American’) minds either can’t remember that we, Americans, slaughtered >100,000 Iraqis and destroyed a culture based on neocon lies, and now seek to do the same to Iran.

      They think this because they have completely propagandized the American people and know just how to push their buttons.

      They know how to push their buttons because they planted those buttons in the American brain.

      The American brain has been reconfigured to put Israel’s interests ahead of or on par with American interests.

      Yesterday a guy named Robert Jones, representing a group called Religion and Politics Institute (or something like that) appeared on C Span to discuss a recent survey/paper his group did about the voting patterns of US religious groups. A woman from Florida called in and said

      “Pretty much you can tell a person’s faith. Obama’s actions to ME show that he is anti-Christian, based on his partial birth abortion beliefs and based on his anti-Israel stance.”

      Zionists have been working for far more years that this AIPAC manifestation to plant the belief in the minds of Christians, especially in the US, that it is “anti-Christian” to fail to support Israel, right or wrong.

      Irish preacher John Darby came to the US and started preaching the concept of Armageddon that Cyrus Scofield enshrined as part of an annotated King James Bible, The Scofield bible that the Oxford University Press published in 1908. OUP had had a lucrative trade marketing bibles to the English colonies; that trade was interrupted by the Revolutionary war, and later, when the south’s cotton trade with England was halted as England took the anti-slavery side in the Civil war, OUP’s bible trade was disrupted once again. According to the narrator on this video, by 1908 Baron Rothschild had acquired an interest in OUP.

      Scofield tore out the pages of a King James bible and attached notes to the bible to explain what the passages meant. Among the annotations were injunctions to Christians that they must support the return of Jews to their ancient homeland, Israel; that Christians are profoundly related to Jews through Abraham, a concept that was only tangentially emphasized prior to Darby and Scofield; that nations that support Israel will be blessed but those that don’t will be cursed; and that it was the obligation of Christians to wage war in support of Israel’s establishment in the Levant.

  3. AIPAC feels uncomfortable about this, and should. As in the example you cite above, “that AIPAC wanted a war but didn’t want its fingerprints on the war,” there are examples of that happening regarding the org’s longstanding push for war on Iran.

    At around the time of the 2005 AIPAC conference, there were a lot of media reports and even information available at the AIPAC web site, about a huge exhibit on the lower floor of the conference, on war with Iran. Jim Lobe in 2006:

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the premier Israel lobby group whose annual convention last year featured a giant, multimedia exhibit on how Iran is “pursuing nuclear weapons and how it can be stopped,” has also been pushing hard on Capitol Hill for legislation to promote regime change. Despite White House objections, the group has sought tough sanctions against foreign companies with investments in Iran.

    On into 2006, one could still look up many news articles, youtubes and op-eds about that exhibit, and how impressed people were with it. Try to find them now. Maybe they’re just hard to find, but the “didn’t want its fingerprints” on it thing seems to be pervasive.

    • i was just thinking about that aipac conference phillip. i remember seeing photos of the huge banners and fear mongering about iran. i remember thing, jeez..we are not even out of iraq yet and they’ve started up on iran. enough already!

      • Hostage says:

        we are not even out of iraq yet and they’ve started up on iran. enough already!

        No AIPAC has been trying to destroy the Iranian economy; stop foreign investment in its oil industry, and make it an oil importing country ever since the adoption of The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act of 1996, see Iran Foreign Oil Sanctions Act (H.R. 3107)
        Questions and Answers link to web.archive.org

        AIPAC has worked vigorously to ensure this nuclear nightmare does not reach its potential. AIPAC has worked with the administration and Congress to institute economic sanctions against Iran, with the purpose of draining the Iranian government of the funds necessary to become a nuclear state.

        The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, originally passed in 1996, equips the president with a range of sanctions to apply against foreign entities that invest in Iran’s oil and gas sector. This threat of sanctions has been effective in deterring investment in Iran. Since the law was enacted, only eight out of 55 proposed petroleum development projects have been completed. link to web.archive.org

    • American says:

      Yep, I remember that exhibit by AIPAC.
      No way they can deny they haven’t pushed for an attack on Iran.
      Once info is on the net, always on the net…a paper trail.

    • yourstruly says:

      what does aipac’s not wanting its fingerprints on it tell us? that perhaps these israel firsters know that they’re doing something that best (for them) be kept quiet, lest the public discover that it’s been had. the families, for example, of u.s. soldiers who were martyred in iraq or afghanistan, what would their reaction be if they found out that their loved ones died, not to protect america but at the behest of the zionist entity israel’s u.s. supporters? so far only a few of these family members (cindy sheehan, for one) have spoken out, but aipac’s greatest fear is that the sleeping giant (the public) will awaken to their treachery and turn on them. a well justified fear, i might add, and all the more reason that aipac should be exposed for the israel firster anti-americans that they are.

  4. Krauss says:

    This is one more reason why I visit this site. Your brilliance is only overshadowed by your courage to face up to the power structure in any given context – whoever they may be, Jewish, Christian or anyone else – and for this you are hated. And for this I admire you.

  5. American says:

    Who wants war with Iran?

    Do this—put Feinstein-Iran or Schumer-Iran or Kirk-Iran or Kristol-Iran or Nnetanyahu- Iran or AIPAC-Iran or JINSA-Iran or any Israel firster-Iran in google and see how far back it goes—-it goes back a lot of years.

  6. yourstruly says:

    “some jews really did push the iraq war, out of a perceived jewish interest — supporting israel right or wrong.”

    out of a perceived zionist interest, that is. why the distinction? because, as has been noted many times on this site, zionism is not the same as judaism & zionist israel does not represent all jews, only jewish israelis and israel firsters who do its bidding here in the u.s. of a.

    • Jeff Klein says:

      And if I remember rightly, US Jews polled strongly against the war — in contrast to Israeli Jews who were almost unanimously in favor.

    • couple points –
      Understood, (and where is Mooser, btw?), there are lines of demarcation between Jews and Israel firster zionism, etc etc. We know that. A lot of people know that. But mobs don’t use their brains to think, they react as a blob. The tag “Jew” is enough to get anyone swept into a maelstrom. That is one of the most important reasons for all of us, Jewish, non-Jewish, whatever, to do all in our power to stop this march to war on Iran that DOES have Israeli fingerprints on it. I have to admit I would not lose a minute’s sleep if a mob stormed William Kristol’s house & tore him limb from limb — it doesn’t make me proud to say that, but I am a human being and Kristol & his ilk evoke that reaction. But if that happened to Kristol and his pals, it would be a mob action, and mobs cannot be controlled; innocent people would be harmed and I don’t want my country to engage in ANY of that kind of violence. march to war

  7. Jeff Klein says:

    And that is just specifically AIPAC. If you look at Israel itself and other Lobby organizations the picture of pushing for and approving the Iraq is overwhelming. Remember PNAC, which was essentially the blueprint for the Iraq War long ahead of time. It’s true that the government of Israel and the Israeli public were, even then, promoting an attack on Iran (“Real men go to Tehran!”), enthusiasm for the invasion of Iraq was unrestrained. Polling indicated that Israeli were one of the only countries of the world (other than US poodles UK and Australia) where public opinion supported the war. In fact, Israeli enthusiasm at 79% was even higher than in the US (74%, at its peak — Mission Accomplished!) in June 2003.

    link to angus-reid.com

  8. seafoid says:

    “some Jews really did push the Iraq war, out of a perceived Jewish interest– supporting Israel right or wrong”

    I wonder for how much longer the Israelis can pull this one off . You must support torture and depleted uranium because you are Jewish and we are Israel and we do this in your name. .

  9. seafoid says:

    What is wrong with the Romney thread? None of the posts appear now, other than the 14 that were there earlier.

  10. hass says:

    Israel To U.S.: Don’t Delay Iraq Attack -CBS

    Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Friday.

    Israeli intelligence officials have gathered evidence that Iraq is speeding up efforts to produce biological and chemical weapons, said Sharon aide Ranaan Gissin.

    “Any postponement of an attack on Iraq at this stage will serve no purpose,” Gissin said. “It will only give him (Saddam) more of an opportunity to accelerate his program of weapons of mass destruction.”

    ===============

    Tuesday, November 5, 2002 in the Times/UK
    Attack Iran the Day Iraq War Ends, Demands Israel
    by Stephen Farrell, Robert Thomson and Danielle Haas

    ISRAEL’S Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has called on the international community to target Iran as soon as the imminent conflict with Iraq is complete.

    In an interview with The Times , Mr Sharon insisted that Tehran � one of the �axis of evil powers identified by President Bush � should be put under pressure �the day after� action against Baghdad ends because of its role as a �centre of world terror. He also issued his clearest warning yet that Israel would strike back if attacked by Iraqi chemical or biological weapons, no matter how much Washington sought to keep its controversial Middle Eastern ally out of any war in Iraq.

    MORE: link to iranaffairs.com

    • funny, i found that cbsnews link By Dan Collins Copyright 2009 CBS. only it talks about bush as if he was the president who had yet to invade and saddam as if he was alive.

      link to cbsnews.com

      very strange.

      (CBS) Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Friday.

      Israeli intelligence officials have gathered evidence that Iraq is speeding up efforts to produce biological and chemical weapons, said Sharon aide Ranaan Gissin.

      “Any postponement of an attack on Iraq at this stage will serve no purpose,” Gissin said. “It will only give him (Saddam) more of an opportunity to accelerate his program of weapons of mass destruction.”

      The United States has been considering a military campaign against Iraq to remove Saddam from power, listing him as one of the world’s main terrorist regimes. However, there is considerable world opposition to a U.S. strike.

      As evidence of Iraq’s weapons building activities, Israel points to an order Saddam gave to Iraq’s Atomic Energy Commission last week to speed up its work, Gissin said.

      “Saddam’s going to be able to reach a point where these weapons will be operational,” he said.

      Meanwhile, Iraq told the United Nations on Friday that it will continue to discuss the return of U.N. weapons inspectors, but it insisted on conditions that Secretary-General Kofi Annan has already rejected.

      In a 10-page letter to Annan, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri reaffirmed an Iraqi offer to hold a round of technical negotiations but he insisted they focus on outstanding issues related to Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction as well as “practical arrangements for the return of the inspection system in the future.”

      New York Times By James Bennet
      February 27, 2003

      Israelis once believed that the Oslo agreement with the Palestinians would usher in a new Middle East of comfortable Israeli-Arab coexistence.
      With Oslo in tatters, the Israelis are now putting similar hopes in an American war on Iraq.

      Other nations may cavil, but many in Israel are so certain of the rightness of a war on Iraq that officials are already thinking past that conflict to urge a continued, assertive American role in the Middle East.

      Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations last week that after Iraq, the United States should generate “political, economic, diplomatic pressure” on Iran. “We have great interest in shaping the Middle East the day after” a war, he said.

      Israelis have also suggested that that an Iraq war may salvage their economy and even prompt the opposition Labor Party to join Mr. Sharon’s coalition in a new government of national unity.

      Expressed in its broadest, vaguest terms, that theory has come in for the sort of mockery that the idealistic vision of Oslo’s effects suffered from the right. The accusation is the same: fuzzy, wishful thinking.

      Uzi Benziman, a journalist and author of a biography of Mr. Sharon, wrote in the newspaper Haaretz, “Israel is looking for Ares, the ancient Greek god of war, to play the part of the deus ex machina in this drama.”

      Referring to this “almost pagan faith,” he continued, “It’s still hard to shake the feeling that what the fervency of Israeli expectations regarding the war really attests to is despair.” Opinion polls here have shown a strong though not overwhelming majority in favor of war.

      The precise mechanism for converting a war into regional stability has not been detailed.

      Mark Heller, a senior researcher at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, said the potential engine for change would be the example of a transformed Iraq. “It’s at least conceivable that Al Jazeera will end up showing pictures of Iraqis celebrating in the streets, in which case people in other places — like Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt — are going to start saying, `If Iraqis deserve decent government, so do we.’ ” Al Jazeera is a widely watched Arab broadcast network.

      Israeli officials say that only sustained American pressure can turn that hope into reality. Mr. Mofaz warned that without continued attention to the rest of the region, an Iraqi collapse could strengthen Iran.

      ……

      The official said the Bush administration might try to mend relations with Arab and European nations by wringing concessions from Israel toward the Palestinians.

      But he said it was more likely that rising American frustration with Europe would benefit Israel. Mr. Sharon has been alarmed by the recent efforts of the so-called quartet “the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia” to intervene in the conflict here. Mr. Sharon would much prefer to deal only with the United States.

      The top Israeli official said the quartet might prove a “casualty” of an Iraqi war. “The idea of using the quartet as the great instrument of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — there are people in Washington who are going to say, `What do we need these people for?’ ” he said.

  11. hass says:

    “AIPAC is pushing hard for an attack on Iran”
    “There is only one country that is putting pressure on the US to attack Iran, and that is Israel,” Mearsheimer said. “AIPAC is pushing hard for an attack on Iran, and no other lobby in America is,” he said, referring to the pro-Israeli lobby group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. – John Mearsheimer

    Come on, let’s not kid about it. A significant percentage of Jewish money, and many leading American Jews support the Israeli position that Iran is an existential threat. And I think it’s as simple as that. – Seymour Hersch

    You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers [to attack Iran.] – General Wesley Clark

    [AIPAC is] the most powerful lobby and has pushed this war from the beginning. I don’t think they represent the mainstream of American Jewish thinking at all, but because they are so well organized, and their members are extraordinarily powerful — most of them are quite wealthy — they have been able to exert power. -Congressman James Moran

    link to iranaffairs.com

  12. hass says:

    Jews Brace For Next Phase In Iran Battle
    Recent breakthroughs in the U.S.-led effort to squeeze Iran could change the political calculus for American Jewish groups that have benefited hugely from their decades-old focus on Iran — and which have largely succeeded in making Iran’s threat to both U.S. and Israeli interests a top policy for Congress and the White House….”[I]n a fiercely competitive fundraising environment… fear is always the best inducement to giving”
    link to thejewishweek.com
    ======================
    Focus Grouping War with Iran

    link to motherjones.com

    =====================

    IRAN SPAM
    A shockingly awful public relations campaign is underway for yet another war.
    link to uscatholic.org

  13. hass says:

    Jewish Leaders Caught In Iran Bind
    As Walt-Mearscheimer book appears, efforts to keep military option open run counter to national mood.
    James D. Besser/Washington – Washington Correspondent

    The Jewish Week Aug 31, 2007
    link to thejewishweek.com

    (article now removed – copy here: link to stumbleinn.net )

    Even as they fight revived charges that Israel and the pro-Israel community are beating the drums for war with Iran, Jewish leaders here are quietly trying to protect President George W. Bush’s ability to use military force to knock out that country’s nuclear weapons program if diplomatic efforts fail…

  14. hass says:

    Joe Klein vs. Abe Foxman on Iraq, Iran and “Jewish Neoconservatives”
    JewishWeek Thu, 06/26/2008
    James Besser in Washington

    Jewish leaders are understandably nervous as they continue pressing for a stronger U.S. and international response to Iran, while trying to avoid stirring up recurrent charges that Jews somehow caused the seemingly endless Iraq war and are now trying to do the same with Iran.

    link to thejewishweek.com

  15. brenda says:

    “The best way to oppose war against Iran is not just to say, We’re against it, but to identify who is pushing for it.”

    of course you are right, Phil

    but

    easier said than done

    The Lobby is a fact of American life. It has a life of its own now. It is second generation now. As far back as 1967 the Israel Lobby was influential enough to paper over the USS Liberty attack. Admiral Thomas Moorer writing in 1997 — well before Walt & Meerscheimer — brought this out:

    “I must have gone to the White House 15 times or more to watch the President personally award the Congressional Medal of Honor to Americans of special valor. So it irked the hell out of me when McGonagle’s ceremony was relegated to the obscurity of the Washington Navy Yard and the medal was presented by the Secretary of the Navy. This was a back-handed slap. Everyone else received their medal at the White House. President Johnson must have been concerned about the reaction of the Israeli lobby.”

    link to ussliberty.org

    easier said than done, Phil. Why do you think the usual “progressive” antiwar groups are not doing anything about organizing against the Iran war and the Iran sanctions. They were all over this is 2003, but in 2003 it was not obvious that the Israeli cause figured in the attack on Iraq. Today it is commonly accepted that this would be a war for Israel, not for oil. And the progressives are not going to touch this one. I think it’s against their religion or something.

    • yourstruly says:

      not touch it means that if an iran war breaks out those who knew but said or did nothing will be partly responsible for the death and destruction that follows.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        We can’t stop it, yourstruly. I appreciate your hope, but unless we intend to lay down our lives — and probably die in the process — or take lives, and I don’t think anybody on our side really is prepared to do that… there is no stopping this war. Vote Republican and you vote for war. Vote Democrat and you vote for war. Don’t vote at all and you vote for war. Vote off-ticket and everyone and their grandma will mock you for “wasting your vote.”

        Your wasting your time. You’d be better off preparing for the consequences now. I know I am. It’s going to happen and short of a second American Revolution, nothing is going to put politicians into DC who will block the push for war.

  16. jimmy says:

    and this just in

    Panetta Believes Israel Will Attack Iran in Coming Months

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is worried that Israeli will launch a preemptive, unilateral military strike on Iran within the next few months, according to David Ignatius of the Washington Post.

    “Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood,” writes Ignatius, “that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June,” in an attempt to impede Iran’s quest to acquire nuclear weapon

    link to news.antiwar.com

    I’d like to know what anyone would do if gas prices ..over night here in the USA double…

    if by attacking iran they sink the world economy..what will anyone do about it…

    • yourstruly says:

      hey, are we merely passive commenters? damn it, there is a way to prevent an iran war. we’re on to it too; namely, hammering away at these israel firsters. they’re vulnerable – for the one about their being not an inch of separation between the interests of the u.s. and israel, a lie that’s as malicious as their other infamous lie, the one about a land without a people for a people without a land. once they break (and their bizarre behavior re: this weekend’s bds conference in philadelphia suggests they are), the public’s going to turn sharply against a iran war, forcing our government to put a leash on the zionist entity. we can do this!

    • brenda says:

      well I could have figured that, right after I saw this:
      link to reuters.com

      for more oil market news, especially on the machinations of those wily Iranians and how they are outwitting Obama on his sanctions, see the Financial Times commodities report:
      link to ft.com

      Obama probably thought he would be able to satisfy the Israelis on the cheap, by applying sanctions instead of supporting the military attack Israel has been craving. And the US public is pretty well propagandized to view sanctions as somehow benign. So it looked like win/win.

      Then those blasted mullahs acted up to look after their own interests. Drat and damn.

      Of course, it would never in a thousand years occur to Obama to tell the Israelis to take a hike.

  17. radii says:

    and when are at least 30 neocon traitors going to prison???

  18. Did you see this stunt?

    “A senior Israeli official said Thursday that the missile testing site near Tehran that was destroyed in a huge explosion three months ago was developing missiles with a range of about 6,000 miles that could reach the United States.”

    link to nytimes.com

    Lying bastards.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “A senior Israeli official said Thursday…”

      Looks like the Israelis are continuing their drumbeat to war. I would, just once, love it if one of these reporters called them on this nonsense. Demand the proof for such a claim. If we can’t examine the “intelligence,” then they should STFU.

      Further, even if Iran was doing so, so what? The US has missiles that can reach Iran and nuclear weapons to top them. Why is Iran not permitted to defend itself from that threat? And if you’re Iran, given the clear intent of the US and Israel to justify an unjustifiable assault on Iran, you would be a fool NOT to seek to get weapons that can strike at America. Or is self-defense only a right of Israel and the US???

      Sounds to me like this is another attempt by the Israeli government to get more American kids to die in another war to secure Israeli hegemony in the region. Sad and disgusting.

    • Netayahu has been using that line for ten years. In 2002 he told a Congressional panel the same thing.

      In a speech in California in spring/summer 2011, Ellen Tauscher, Hillary Clinton’s point person on ‘Disarmament & Nuclear Non Proliferation” told a Commonwealth Club of California confab something similar and upon which US missile policy in Europe is based; namely, that Iran’s missiles threatened Turkey & Europe, NATO allies, and if NATO is threatened, US is directly threatened, therefore US must create a defensive shield to protect Turkey etc. link to commonwealthclub.org

      Do these people fully realize that these statements are on the public record?

      They are actually making long range policy on this nonsense.

  19. “If sanctions were lifted, Saddam could spend the oil revenue to accelerate Iraq’s military programs rather than on the humanitarian needs of Iraqi citizens.”

    How was AIPAC’s policy goal of keeping sanctions on Iraq “lobbying for the Iraq War”? Seems to me that maintaining sanctions is the opposite of going to war.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      As is well documented, the sanctions hurt the Iraqi people far, far more than they hurt Hussein’s war machine. The sanctions were one part of a process to destroy Iraq as a nation, not take down Saddam Hussein.

    • brenda says:

      sanctions are one of the many war behaviors. sanctions are the equivalent of a seige. years of sanctions, applied by both Republican and Democrat US presidents, sufficiently weakened Iraq to the point where it could be easily picked off militarily.

    • absolutely not.
      Sanctions are a precursor to war as AIPAC well knows.
      Patrick Clawson of WINEP a) wrote a paper for US Defense College on the “morality of sanctions” in which he concluded that sanctions are a preparation for war, and that sanctions ARE a moral act even if innocent civilians suffer and even if those innocent civilians do not have the mechanisms to choose their own leaders because the citizens SHOULD overthrow their leaders. That they do NOT overthrow their leaders makes them complicit in their own misery.
      The paper is not online, as far as I know; I photocopied it from a copy in the Library of Congress.

      Ephraim Sneh made a very similar argument for imposing sanctions on the Iranian people that would “cause Iran’s leaders to worry about the starvation of their 70 million people.” At AIPAC conference with John McCain in 2008.

      Israeli Jews attain “intellectual superiority” by causing the starvation and devastation of other people’s children. While America’s children are fighting and dying in their quest to starve and kill Iraqi and Afghani and soon Iranian children, Israeli Jewish children are taking sex trips to Israel and, under David Horowitz’s auspices, are ‘occupying’ American universities and demanding special privileges there. See Judith Butler on Larry Summers’ pro-Jewish policies at Harvard.

  20. Kathleen says:

    Address by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to
    AIPAC Policy Conference
    Washington D.C., March 19, 2001

    “Towards a National Agenda of Peace and Security”

    Distinguished Members of Congress, the leadership of AIPAC, Tim Willigur, Lonny Kaplan, Howard Kohr, dear friends and supporters of Israel.

    I bring you greetings from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people for the past 3000 years, and of the State of Israel for the past 52 years and forever. Jerusalem belongs to all the Jewish people – we in Israel are only custodians of the city. Only under the sovereignty of Israel has Jerusalem been open to all faiths. Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, the holiest site to the Jewish people, is something you should stand up and speak out about. Jerusalem will remain united under the sovereignty of Israel – forever.

    I stand before you today, first and foremost as a Jew. This strong Jewish identity is a central theme in my life and will be in carrying out my responsibilities as Prime Minister. I want to work to strengthen the relationship between Israel and Jews all over the world. I have established a National Unity Government to unite the people of Israel, but unity among Jews is vital worldwide. Unity is our source of strength. The Jewish people have one small, tiny country; it is the only place in the world where Jews have the right and capability to defend themselves by themselves. For 2000 years we had to rely on others for our defense, now we control our own destiny. Exercising this right strengthens the security of Jews everywhere.

    Although I am 6000 miles from home, I feel that tonight, I am among friends. I would like to recognize the long-standing bipartisan support of the U.S. Congress for the State of Israel. I have come to Washington to deepen and strengthen the special relationship between our peoples. I wish to start by developing a close relationship with President Bush and his Administration, enhance our ties with both houses of Congress, and with the American people as a whole. Ten years ago, under the leadership of President George Bush, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, the United States won a great military victory in the Gulf War, that changed the face of the Middle East.

    An entirely new situation emerged that opened a ‘window of opportunity’ leading to the Madrid Peace Conference in the fall of 1991.

    The clear lesson of this period was that if there is a secure Middle East, there can be a peaceful Middle East. Regional security proved to be a pre-requisite for peacemaking: face to face negotiations without the threat of aggression, violence or terrorism. This became the underlying principle of the Madrid Conference and subsequent Israeli-Arab negotiations.

    In the years that followed Madrid, every Israeli Prime Minister sought to advance the peace process in his own way. All of Israel seeks peace. Based on my personal experiences in all of Israel’s wars, I am committed to achieving peace. But Israel needs peace with security, a peace that will last for generations.

    Unfortunately, the situation in the Middle East in 2001 is no longer the same as it was in 1991, the security of the region as a whole has eroded.

    A new wave of international terrorism is on the rise from Afghanistan to Lebanon – some of it state-sponsored. Most recently, acts of terror instigated by the Palestinian Authority, coupled with deliberate incitement, have become one of the primary sources of instability in the Middle East.

    Terrorism as a form of warfare is a strategic issue in our region: Most of the past wars in the region were instigated by acts of terrorism. Therefore, on the basis of past experience, even today international terrorism can still threaten regional and global stability.

    Terrorism thrives when international norms and principles are ignored; when the peaceful resolution of disputes is displaced by violence and intimidation. Therefore, strengthening cooperation among all western nations including Israel, and concerted efforts led by the United States are the only way to contain this dangerous trend.

    Regional security is eroding in the wider Middle East, as well. Iraq has not been under UN monitoring for more than two years and sanctions have been increasingly ignored. There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein is seeking to restore his mass destruction weapons capability and his quest for long-range missiles.

    Iran today is providing unprecedented support for terrorism. It not only backs Hizbullah, but also seeks to arm and train Palestinian organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad that are planning attacks within Israel and against Jewish and Israeli targets abroad. Today, Iran is continuing its effort to export fundamentalism, converting Lebanon into one of the main centers of international terrorism that will inevitably undermine the stability of the entire Middle East.

    Iran is already testing missiles that can strike Israel. But it is planning to produce significantly longer-range missiles that will put the Middle East, Western Europe, Russia and even parts of the U.S. itself at risk.

    Much of this ballistic missile technology comes from North Korea, but it is also emanating from the Russian Federation.

    In the Middle East today, the forces of instability feel they are gaining momentum. In this new environment, it is not surprising that the Arab-Israeli peace process has reached a stalemate.

    Syria is looking east to its ties with a resurgent Iraq and Iran, instead of better relations with the West. The Palestinians are waving the flags of Iraq and Hizbullah. Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are returning to the belief that they can defeat Israel by means of armed struggle. They feel that violence will produce further Israeli concessions. Arafat is willing to destabilize the entire Middle East, including moderate Arab regimes, in order to achieve his goals.

    The current situation in the Middle East can be reversed. Strong democracies determined to protect themselves can restore stability and build the foundations for a lasting peace.

    First, I believe that Israel can reach an agreement with the Palestinians and I will make every effort to reach such an agreement. This agreement will be based on two basic stages.

    In the first stage, which we have begun, we are already taking immediate steps to ease up restrictions and improve the economic situation of the Palestinian population. At the same time, we will maintain a relentless fight against terrorists and their supporters with an effort to prevent escalation. Steps and measures to stop the violence and restore stability must be taken by the Palestinian Authority as well as the Israeli security forces. Let me emphasize that I draw a clear distinction between terrorists and their supporters, on the one hand, and the general population on the other.

    That’s what I said before the elections, immediately after the elections, and that’s what I started to do, with all the risks. And we have already today paid the first casualty, a father of six children, as a result of the fact that we removed our barriers and removed our checkpoints. But I know that patience is needed, and we are going to continue in our effort to fight terrorists, on one hand, and to try and help the population on the other hand. That will be our policy.

    Despite intense diplomatic efforts of the last nine months, it is clear that conditions are not yet ripe to conclude a permanent status agreement. However, Israel remains committed to agreements that previous governments have signed, that were ratified by the Knesset, and also implemented by the other side. But Israel will not be bound by the record of past negotiations that failed.

    It is for this reason that I have called in the second stage for a new, more realistic approach of non-belligerency and a long-term interim agreement. More than ever, Israel needs security zones to protect it from the growing dangers in the Middle East; the Palestinians need contiguity and a better economic future. And time is needed to make sure that incitement and hatred are removed from the Palestinian media and from school textbooks and that children are taught the language of peace, so that we can achieve real reconciliation and a true end to the conflict.

    For this to occur, Arafat must understand, first and foremost, that he will gain nothing from violence. Israel will not negotiate while Israeli civilians and soldiers are under fire, under threat of terror.

    Regrettably, just last week, we received a definite intelligence warning that Yasser Arafat’s own Presidential Guard, known as Force-17, was planning a car bomb attack in the heart of Jerusalem. Many Israeli lives were at stake. The Force-17 unit was located in Palestinian-controlled Ramallah, but Arafat was not prepared to stop this threat against Israel by himself. Israel placed a ring of checkpoints around Ramallah in order to catch the Force-17 unit. The PLO tried to create an international uproar about our actions, saying that we wanted to strangle Ramallah. We do not want to create barriers for the Palestinians, but I will do what is necessary to protect the people of Israel.

    Second, it is not enough to address the Palestinian issue alone. For two decades many believed that if Israel would only make diplomatic progress with the Palestinians, the rest of the Middle East would fall into place. That has not happened over the last ten years. The wider sources of regional instability must be neutralized. It is imperative that Iraq be placed under strict inspection and monitoring. Iran’s backing of international terrorism must be stopped. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile delivery systems to both Iran and Iraq must be halted.

    Third, in order to assure for both the security of Israel and the United States, we must provide an answer to the emerging threat that both Iran and Iraq pose to our future security; namely, long-range ballistic missiles. Missile defense is an absolute imperative for our countries today. Israel is proud to be one of America’s major international partners in missile defense development. It is our hope that Israel’s own experiences in missile defense can help the US and its allies in protecting their future security. In sum, restoring regional stability requires both diplomacy and deterrence.

    Let me close, however, with the following observation. The future of Israel is not just a matter for the Israelis that live there. Israel belongs to the entire Jewish people. And Israel would not be what it is today if it were not for the efforts of all Jews worldwide, as well as of our friends, many of whom I see here tonight. Our destinies tie us together and remain firmly bound.

    Now I turn to your generation to stand by Israel at this critical hour. We have three main goals on our shared agenda; aliya – immigration to Israel, then a Zionist-Jewish education, and continuing to build the foundations of the State of Israel.

    Now is the time to make aliya and join us in building the country. But if you cannot, it is also the time to visit. You have to come and visit, and you will find there is a normal life in Israel. And send your children to learn and study. A Jewish and Zionist education is the key to Jewish survival. We can meet these challenges and make all our dreams come true.

    Together we can make the Jewish people secure, make Israel safe, and assure for generations an Israel which is a true island of democracy at peace, with a united Jerusalem as its eternal capital.

    Today I feel the heavy responsibility of being Prime Minister. I am ready to face the challenges and hopes that lie ahead. I am hopeful that if we work together, we can live to see Israel reach its potential and take its place as a true light unto the nations.

    I would like to end with a quotation I used in my opening speech to the Knesset two weeks ago. It is taken from President Abraham Lincoln’s presidential address on March 4, 1865 and reflects my own feelings and aspirations upon assuming office:

    “With malice towards none, with charity for all; for firmness in the right, as God gives to us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds;. to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”

    Thank you.

  21. Kathleen says:

    AIPAC’s Secret Strategy

    By M.J. Rosenberg – March 11, 2011, 7:36AM
    There are three reasons why monitoring AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is a valuable use of time for anyone following events in the Middle East.

    The first is that AIPAC faithfully reflects the positions of the Netanyahu government (actually it often telegraphs them before Netanyahu does).

    The second is that AIPAC’s policies provide advance notice of the positions that will, not by coincidence, be taken by the United States Congress.

    And third, AIPAC provides a reliable indicator of future policies of the Obama administration, which gets its “guidance” both from AIPAC itself and from Dennis Ross, former head of AIPAC’s think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and now the president’s top adviser on Middle East issues.

  22. Goldberg quote has a big but:

    “Aipac is in agreement with a long line of Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who fears Iran’s nuclear intentions more than he ever feared Saddam Hussein’s. (aipac lobbied Congress in favor of the Iraq war, but Iraq has not been one of its chief concerns.) Rosen’s main role at aipac, he once told me, was to collect evidence of “Iranian perfidy” and share it with the United States.”

    Read more link to newyorker.com

    • The” big but” was for the fact that like neocons here in US,Israeli leaders knew that Saddam was a dead corpse from 12 years of increasing sanctions and from 1991 war which Israeli Foreign Minister threatened if not executed Israel would attcak ( FM Levy was quoted in NY Times then in 1990 ) Iraq.( AIPAC took credit then again but reminding that would be unacceptable). Once Israel knew that the US can lo longer back down from threat of attack on Iraq, it took a disinterested stance to hide its decade old effort to destroy Iraqi society and balkanize the counry
      . “But ” of Goldeberg hides the quintessential Israeli plan of balkanizing which became a reality , again Israel and neocons knew it and they hid that reality by talking up the possibility of “cakewalk” or ‘ 20 dollar oil” or Middle east democracy” and “welcomed with flowers” or “Saddam ginning up nuke production”.

  23. Kathleen says:

    And lets not forget that Aipac conference where they set up an alleged Iranian nuclear “weapons” site for attendees to go through. I think that was in 2003 or there about

  24. One can predict with certainty if Iarn war went bad for US, Isarel would be the first of claiming that they never beleived that Iran was an existential threat and would refer to the Mossad chief or IDF general and even quote Barak .They even may cite that like the majority American ,the majority Israeli did not support war and that a democratic norm was violated by US by attacking Iran . (Only 17 % American and 43 % Israeli support war aginst Iran , a new poll )