Rep. Alan Grayson: ‘[AIPAC] falls to the wayside when the public weighs in’

Another sign the lobby has bitten off more than it can chew. Congressmember Alan Grayson has taken a high profile position against a U.S. attack on Syria. In addition to making the cable television rounds, his office is running a petition at dontattacksyria.com that has already garnered over 60,000 signatures. The text of the petition reads:

“The Administration is considering intervening in the Syrian civil war. We oppose this. There’s no vital national security involved. We are not the world’s policeman, nor its judge and jury. Our own needs in America are great, and they come first. The death of civilians is always regrettable, and civil war is regrettable, but no Americans have been attacked, and no American allies have been attacked. The British Parliament understandably has voted not to join in any attack. Notably, defense contractor Raytheon’s stock is up 20% in the last 60 days. It seems that nobody wants US intervention in Syria except the military-industrial complex. I oppose US military intervention in Syria. Join me.”

Grayson was on Democracy Now! yesterday to discuss Syria and his efforts. Host Amy Goodman asked him directly about AIPAC’s role in the Congressional debate, and Grayson said the lobby is outflanked this time, by the people. Here’s the transcript:

Congressmember Grayson, I wanted to ask you about the role of AIPAC. There’s been this whole controversy now about a New York Times article. The Times is facing questioning this week after a passage on the influence of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, on the Syria discussion seemed to disappear from its reports. In an article that appeared in Monday’s newspaper, the Times quoted an unnamed Obama administration official calling AIPAC “the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” because, quote, “its allies in Congress have to be saying, ‘If the White House is not capable of enforcing this red line’ — against catastrophic use of chemical weapons–’we’re in trouble.’” That passage appeared to be missing from later editions of the story.

Well, The New York Times public editor, Margaret Sullivan, addressed the concern, saying it had a mundane explanation. She wrote, quote, “On a moving story about President Obama and Syria, some information that appeared in a Sunday-to-Monday story was carried over to a new, Monday-to-Tuesday front page story. That new story was, appropriately, assigned a new URL, assuring [that] it would be archived separately. Once new information came along, a great deal of old information, including the Aipac quote, was replaced.”

But that issue of AIPAC’s role in lobbying congressmembers now and senators around a strike on Syria, can you talk about its presence in the House?

REP. ALAN GRAYSON: Well, AIPAC has issued a statement saying that they’re in favor of an attack. And many other organizations have done the same, and many other organizations, even more organizations, have done a statement saying that they’re against it. But at this point it’s not relevant, because the public is engaged, the public is paying attention, the public is against this, and the public is adamantly against this. All these organizations sort of fall to the wayside when the public weighs in. There are now both Democratic and Republican members of Congress who have reported that their emails and letters and phone calls to their office are running more than a hundred to one against this. People are against it. They’re adamantly against it.

At our website that you mentioned, dontattacksyria.com, in almost no time we’ve attracted 35 signatures on our petition to the Congress and to the president, and we’re going to take those signatures and deliver them to the individual members of Congress, showing in some cases hundreds, if not thousands, of their own constituents are against this attack. So, any organization, like AIPAC or otherwise, cannot operate effectively in the environment that we’re in, where the public is speaking and speaking very loudly.

Interesting comments. It seems AIPAC works best undercover (or out of the light of day as Steven Rosen might put it), but can’t turn the tide in the face of overwhelming popular opinion.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel Lobby, syria, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

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

  1. MHughes976 says:

    Well, it would be nice to think that lobbies can’t operate effectively when the public is aroused. Ho hum.

    • Krauss says:

      It would, but the experience of the Iraq war shows otherwise.

      The main difference is the media. If the media had jumped the bandwagon, Obama wouldn’t even have bothered to cancel his fundraiser. There’s a new consciousness in the media class, and I think many of them do not want to repeat the mistake of being the war president’s lapdog.

      • seafoid says:

        I think this partly reflects the ongoing crisis in the media. The nyt and wapo are not the institutions they were 10 years ago. They can’t set the pace on Syria because of the folk memory of Iraq and their ex readers get their info elsewhere. Newspapers betrayed reader trust and are paying now. It is not just a tech issue.

        The debates on syria online on non specialist sites have been very interesting.People understand war much better now.

    • Please…. Let’s call it like it is…. It’s the Military-Industrial-Israeli Complex that is pushing war-war-war.

    • Erasmus says:

      Dershowitz goes the WHOLE HOG – Congress Approval for Iran also – Haaretz 05Sept13

      Obama: Get approval from Congress on Iran now

      The U.S. President’s commitment to preventing Iran going nuclear means he must go to Congress now, before it crosses the red line, and not after, as is now the case with Syria and its use of chemical weapons.

      By Alan M. Dershowitz | Sep. 5, 2013 | 8:01 PM
      ………
      See: link to haaretz.com

  2. quercus says:

    A shining light. I left a message early this morning (before 8 am) at Grayson’s office to say that if Obama launches a military intervention in the face of the Congress voting against, I hope the Congress will initiate impeachment proceedings. I also called my senators and representative with that same message.

    I have tried leaving messages in the voice mailboxes of Pelosi and McCain before their offices actually opened, but their voice mailboxes were full. Even tried leaving a voice mail at the office of the Ambassador to the United States, Samantha Power, who is whining about the Russians and their obduracy on the Syria issue, but that mailbox is full too.

    What has been the experience for others?

    • pabelmont says:

      I called Sen. Schumer’s office with an anti-war (and anti-AIPAC) message, and they said “Thanks” w/o asking where I was calling from. (My Rep.’s office wanted name and address.) tjhey’re getting a lot of calls. Probably do as they wish anyhow. In NY, the pols set their watches to Tel Aviv time.

  3. irmep says:

    Grayson is educated, eloquent and effective, but he apparently doesn’t know anything about AIPAC.

    He may think that by over-generalizing AIPAC into just another lobby, along with the nebulous military-industrial complex, he’s has carved out a position that’s defensible against an Israel-lobby orchestrated attack.

    But think of the other effective members of Congress who had such defensible, principal-based positions. Fulbright, Findley, Percy, McKinney… Sooner or later, their weaknesses were probed and they were pounded. They’re only politicians, with all the vulnerabilities…. Gotta wonder if Grayson plans to run for re-election, because many in Florida will remember his media blitz.

    • American says:

      Maybe, but maybe he is taking a calculated risk that this new current public outrage is gonna keep ‘trending’ toward no more US foreign adventures for anyone and ‘securty’ for US ‘soil’ only thats gonna be one of his main election platforms.
      I dont think I- Firstdom is going to back off US bombing Iran even if they lose this one —-so more US interventions and wars is still going to be a hot issue for the public.

      • American says:

        BTW..what is the size of the Zio voters in Fla Jews?
        I’d say it probably doesnt matter cause Grayson is ‘out’ now and he might as well give them as good as he gets from them.
        Shame the basterds with ‘America First’.

      • Ellen says:

        Maybe the I-firsters, regardless of religious identity, are loosing influence and Grayson feels this.

        He badly wants to be back in the game and might recognize that his past shilling for Israel (and illegal settlements) cost him big time, even in Florida

        • Ellen says:

          Opps, I see he got his seat back. So maybe this time around he wants to be sure to stay in the game. BTW, his line of questioning was quite good. Informed and confident.

    • Chu says:

      He was on board with AIPAC a few years ago. From archives.

      Gutsy Progressive leads a double life
      ‘Grayson’s January 8th statement explaining his vote in favor of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip read like a mimeograph of those released by other AIPAC-friendly members of Congress. However, its introductory line stood out: “Congressman Alan Grayson, one of three incoming Jewish members of Congress, issued the following statement on the situation in Gaza.”

      Why did Grayson feel compelled to advertise his religion in a statement in favor of a war that would ultimately kill 1400 people, including at least 400 women and children, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza? Grayson lately voted to condemn the Goldstone Report that confirmed these figures. And why does Grayson toe the AIPAC line on Israel’s wars while fervently opposing the wars America wages in the Middle East to supposedly stamp out Islamic terror? Americans would like to the hear the truth.’
      link to mondoweiss.net

      • Danaa says:

        Chu, I’ve noted this amazing shift in grayson’s demeanor this time around – it’s like he found religion or something. may be he realized that at the end of the day consistency matters. Either one is progressive or one is not. Fact is he did lose his seat for a while and perhaps became reinvigorated with his new position. Not only that but to have lost and come back again must have given him a unique confidence – he did it twice and he can do it again. may be he is not so worried now about his re-election prospects.

        But also, there must be some wind puffing up his sails. He is surely getting all kind of positive reinforcement here. He must because this is the one guy who put himself out there actually questioning the evidence the US had, implying it was far from convincing. Or worse.

        Grayson is playing the “Emperor has no cloths’ gambit. So far, so good.
        I know he set out to get 25,000 signatures on his petition. Within less than a week it’s up to 60,000. And still going strong, to the best of my knowledge. That should say something right there.

        • Chu says:

          Yeah, maybe there is hope for him coming back and restoring his conscience. The thing that bothers me is how all of the progressives talk about lofty ideals, but then it comes down to the occupation and they are just plain wimpy.

        • Danaa says:

          Chu, I understand your admonistions not to count the chickens yet. Still, I/P is a hard one. Bombing Syria may be less so? baby steps, you know…

      • Danaa says:

        Nowadays Grayson does not even bother to mention his religious affiliation. I had no idea he was jewish for example – is that true?

        Lots of people are looking at him now – to see how he’ll fare. if he comes through, it’ll be a sign that may be, just may be, that Lobby is a paper tiger after all.

        IMO, it is. Pushing back against it forcefully – or like Grayson did – blowing it away by lumping it with raytheon is the only way. Once it is done by one or two or three, assuming the people are behind them there’s indeed nothing the Lobby can do.At the end of the day all they have is money. and all one needs to hold out against it is to keep one’s ambition in check (easier said than done?).

        Interestingly, in a state like texas with so many other influences, AIPAC hardly plays a role in elections, other than one or two tiny enclaves. That’s how Ron paul survived all these years – he didn’t need them. At all.

        • bilal a says:

          Grayson has the same role as Democracy Now, progressive gate keeper. He will stay clear of voting rights for Christian and Muslim West Bank residents, while clamoring for voting rights for undocumented immigrants.

          Alan Grayson: “We Have to Expand the Voting Rights Act”
          key issues : link to ontheissues.org

        • American says:

          @ Danaa

          Yes Grayson is Jewish (so all bios of him say).
          However—even though I do think most Jewish politicans are I-First—-I dont think Grayson is a Trojan Horse for AIPAC. He might prove me wrong later but thats my opinion right now.
          I think (or hope) that he is more from the religion- nationalist separation tradition of some of the upper class Jews that came out of Germany like Abm John Gunther Dean.

          AMBASSADOR JOHN GUNTHER DEAN – Jimmy Carter Library and …
          http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/library/…/Initial_Interview_Part_One.pdf‎
          This is an interview with John. Gunther Dean. This is being done on behalf of the Association for. Diplomatic Studies and Training.

          Imo Jews like Grayson, unless they prove to be deceitful, are prime candidate support opportunties for us. Stopping a zio/lobby destruction of a Jewish politican in particular who goes against their agendas is a double win for our side and a double defeat for the Lobby.

    • Kathleen says:

      Clearly risky calculations by Grayson if this is indeed what he is doing. He is sophisticated enough to know that he can support Israel on the 67 border and say that he stands on the side of saving Israel from a one state solution.

  4. Les says:

    Another victory for BDS.

    Dutch engineering giant cancels East Jerusalem project
    The Dutch government had warned Royal HaskoningDHV against a wastewater treatment plant with the Jerusalem municipality, because it was to be built over the Green Line.
    By Barak Ravid | 19:59 06.09.13

    link to haaretz.com

  5. American says:

    ”AIPAC works best undercover (or out of the light of day as Steven Rosen might put it), but can’t turn the tide in the face of overwhelming popular opinion.”

    We will see. If AIPAC is able to control congress on this then the war of the People vr AIPAC will have to be kicked up even higher…and AIPAC will provide the on going public anger for that with their next target for the US which is Iran.

    What is very interesting to me is that AIPAC and many I-Firsters are being very open and plain ‘in public and on the msm’ that they want this done for Israel and don’t give a damn what the US public’ wants.

    I had a fleeting thought that perhaps the reason the lead I-Firsters are taking the risk of being this open and ‘public’ on cable news about Israel’s interest in this is that they are trying to reach and rally ‘non AIPAC” or normally “uninvolved with Israel’ Jews and the Christo zios to get them making phone calls to reps.

  6. I think it’s too early to count AIPAC out, their hill blitz and who knows what else is yet to come, but the more people disregard and expose them I can’t help but think of this – link to youtu.be. Fits pretty well.

    • Kathleen says:

      Adam today on MSNBC several spotlights on Aipac’s “hill blitz” Alex Witt allowed a correspondent in Israel call Iran’s nuclear program a “nuclear weapons program”

      So amazing to hear Kerry say to other nations lets not be “silent spectators to slaughter” Somehow Kerry thinks people have forgotten that he voted for the Iraq war resolution. One host or MSNBC guest after another (Karen Finney, Susan Del Pecio) feigning outrage about the dead children in Syria. Same individuals never showing outrage about Israel killing with white phosphorus, Iraqi children. Americans will know how many Syrian people dead, displaced because Melissa Harris Perry etc making sure yet have you ever seen Melissa, Chris Hayes, Steve Kornacki,Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow shouting out the numbers of dead,displaced,injured in Iraq? Hell no too busy pointing at what ever and where ever this administration wants them to

  7. Henry Norr says:

    Grayson is certainly playing a positive role in the current situation, and I commend him for his clarity and courage. But as Max Blumenthal wrote here in 2009, “Gutsy progressive congressman Alan Grayson leads a double life.” Some excerpts from that piece,

    when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Grayson is fully programmed by AIPAC and the pro-war, pro-settlements wing of the Israel Lobby.

    In an interview in March with the Philadelphia Jewish Voice, Grayson revealed two meetings he held the previous week with AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr. In the interview, Grayson explained how Kohr helped to “educate” him about Israel-related issues, then misquoted the Abba Eban line, “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

    Grayson’s January 8th statement explaining his vote in favor of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip read like a mimeograph of those released by other AIPAC-friendly members of Congress.

    Grayson lately voted to condemn the Goldstone Report

    I suppose it’s possible that he’s changed for the better since then, or that his agreement with AIPAC and the Israelis about Syria will now induce him to rethink his position on Israel and Palestine, but somehow I doubt it.

    • irmep says:

      It’s a mistake to think Grayson is taking on the Israel lobby or the “special relationship.” He’s not, and as noted by Blumenthal, regularly spouts the approved AIPAC talking points.

      Grayson’s current position is somewhat like Ron Paul’s opposition to foreign aid to Israel, derived from an overall principled opposition to any foreign aid….to any country.

      Course, Ron’s not around anymore either.

      • Kathleen says:

        Grayson is smart and alert enough to see the changing momentum…and facts coming out.

        • irmep says:

          Dunno. Think of how valuable he’ll become to AIPAC if he has a sudden-and timely- “change of heart” and decides suddenly that there are vital U.S. interests at stake. Prodigal son fable and all that. Again, we know he’s an avid-learner open to AIPAC coaching. And just a politician. And he’s now cornered the market on opposition.

        • ritzl says:

          @irmep Exactly. Caution is in order in the absence of knowing why he changed his views/approach on war and peace around/for Israel.

        • Kathleen says:

          Some years back Firedoglake conducted an on line conversation with Grayson. Some interesting statements and debate

        • Kathleen says:

          “and he’s now cornered the market on opposition” in the MSM for sure.

          Wonder if outlets will have Rand Paul and Grayson on at the same time.

          Finney going up against Grayson was redongdiculous. She could not get in a solid point without constantly trying to interrupt. When Finney and others cry crocodile tears about innocent Syrian people being killed while the dead, injured, displaced Iraqi people( the numbers are barely ever discussed) go without acknowledgment or Finney,Kerry crying crocodile tears is the height of hypocrisy. Wilkerson nailed this “what is the difference between a child killed from napalm (Vietnam), a child killed from white phosphorus(Israel) or a child killed from sarin gas (Syria)” The brutal truth

    • ritzl says:

      Thanks Henry. He was a PeP of the highest order before his loss in 2010.

      A bunch of folks got into it with him about his PeP-dom at dKos a few years back. He was completely into the “but Israel is different” camp. But to his great credit, he did stay and engage for a bit. The interesting comments start about here: link to dailykos.com

      He was also publicly in favor of the AIPAC position on Iran (i.e. attack) a few years ago. Good diary on his position at the time:

      link to dailykos.com

      I believe it was covered here at MW as well.

      He does seem to have the ability to learn and adapt, but I’d sure like to know what his epiphany was before I sign something about the ME with his name on it.

  8. Kathleen says:

    Grayson was on Chris Hayes last night with Karen Finney. Grayson representing the majority of the American public. Finney interrupted Grayson several times as if Grayson had said that the American public are all hunky dory with the killing of civilians in Syria. But Finney was so hypocritical with her concern with the deaths of children in Syria but have never ever heard her express any outrage about the children in Iraq that the U.S.is responsible for killing. Never.

    Colonel Wilkerson was on Hayes program and asked “what is the difference between a child killed with napalm (Vietnam), white phophorus(Israel)or sarin gas(Syria)” Why is that so many US talking heads all of a sudden get so upset about children killed in Syria but not Iraqi or Palestinian children killed in wars?

    Grayson stayed calm and clear. Finney demonstrated her shallow outrage.

  9. American says:

    On the other hand let’s not be too defeatist about the Grayson & AIPAC example.
    The current situtation for politicans usually in the AIPAC pocket may be one of ”push has finally come shove”—–the public’s *overwhelming opposition* is a new development. What didnt get on the public’s radar before about AIPAC and Israel is now on their radar along with their knowledge of the Iraq lies and all our losing wars.
    And Isr-AIPAC doesnt even have to be the ‘main thing’ on their radar—-*the sick and tired of it all* position of the public—-can still defeat Isr agenda.

    • Chu says:

      True. This exposure is great. Even when Operation Iraqi Freedom had subsided and we were packing it up, AIPAC was gunning for Iran in the shadows. Now this thing has exploded and their paw-prints are all over it. Most of the unconcerned public has to see the culprit here.

    • irmep says:

      Not aware of any rising public awareness about AIPAC. The polls seem to all indicate overall public “war weariness” is the key factor driving opposition. Rare is the polling question that ever comes anywhere near the Israel lobby.

      It’s optimistic at this point to judge widespread opposition to Syria strikes says much about the key issues discussed on MW.

      • Danaa says:

        irmep – people know more than they care to disclose or share with outsiders. In much of the country, people keep lots of opinions to themselves. One of those is the outsize inflence of jewish power. They may not know it as “AIPAC” but they know it as the exercise of brute raw power. perhaps more people than we think have been looking for an opportunity to strike back.

        What i know – from my limited experience – is that for the first time in, like, forever, I’m having all kinds of common ground with die-hard republicans. not just libertarians either. But real republicans. I am afraid that I know part of what’s informing this sudden common ground. They finally are figuring out a way for someone like me – a nominal progressive – can be brought around to agree on a few things. Like American values? I am reminded of the time when Bush seems to have utterly lost his luster even in republicans’ eyes. They all seemed to want to run away from his as fast as they could. many kind of accepting that Obama could be the punishment (in their eyes) for Bush. Now the tables are turned and it is progressives who are singularly disenchanted with Obama – the disappointment is palpable. Lo and behold, one can commune with people of “the other side” on that basis – at least for a while, before we get to deep into certain pesky details ….

      • American says:

        irmep says:
        September 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm

        Not aware of any rising public awareness about AIPAC. The polls seem to all indicate overall public “war weariness” is the key factor driving opposition. Rare is the polling question that ever comes anywhere near the Israel lobby.

        It’s optimistic at this point to judge widespread opposition to Syria strikes says much about the key issues discussed on MW.>>>>

        Back up.
        1) I didnt say widespread AIPAC opposition is what ‘is driving’ the public opposition on Syria.
        2) I said the public fight over it in the msm showing the Lobby and I-Firsters push for it has put AIPAC- the Isr Lobby on more Americans radar.
        3) I also did not say this would have any effect on US-I/P.
        4) I in fact said that ‘overall public disgust” could defeat AIPAC-Isr agenda ‘without’ AIPAC being the main target or factor.

        WHAT I will say ,is that for 11 years, since the day I realized exactly what was going on re USA-Isr, I have religiously tracked in all kinds and numerous venues how much the ‘general public’ knows or doesnt know about US-Isr, the Lobby, I/P, how many are critical of US-Isr relationship and I have watched the anti Israel -US -involvement and resentment and knowledge of The Lobby grow and grow and grow in the public.
        I am a cynic and realist —I dont look for what “I want to see” I try to find ‘what is”. I also prefer to overestimate the enemy, not underestimate it so I do not indulge in rosey thinking.
        If you dont see the how the general public awareness on Isr-US and I/P has mushroomed over the past 10-11 years then you’re not looking in the right places for it.

        WHAT I will also say is that it my hope, wish, desire the public’s weariness and current outrage continues to move toward a demand for more isolationism and less US Supercop and even an isolationist President for a long enough period of time to rebalance the US boat. What I would hope is this ”new attitude and policy” if it comes, would also morph into “official US “examinations of” and ‘isolating’ AIPAC and other Foreign interest Lobbies…removing the ‘buying’ of US FP by every foreign interest with 30 pieces of silver in his pocket.

      • Kathleen says:

        On MSNBC quite a bit today…..Aipac “hill blitz”

  10. German Lefty says:

    All these organizations sort of fall to the wayside when the public weighs in.

    Interesting idea of democracy: The lobbying groups are the ones that influence the policies. Only if the people actually call and shout, the politicians reluctantly condescend to listen to them.

  11. Good that Grayson are against war but hes wrong on aipac, they are the ones pushing United states to attack Syria and in Washington aipac is apparently worth more than public opinion.

  12. RE: “Another sign the lobby has bitten off more than it can chew. Congressmember Alan Grayson has taken a high profile position against a U.S. attack on Syria.” ~ Adam Horowitz

    ALSO SEE: “Rep. Alan Grayson: Syria Intelligence Manipulated”, By Steven Nelson, usnews.com,
    9/05/13

    Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who is aggressively lobbying against a military strike on Syria, says the Obama administration has manipulated intelligence to push its case for U.S. involvement in the country’s two-year civil war.
    Grayson made the accusation in an interview published Wednesday by The Atlantic and offered more detail in a Thursday discussion with U.S. News. He says members of Congress are being given intelligence briefings without any evidence to support administration claims that Syrian leader Bashar Assad ordered the use of chemical weapons.
    Grayson said he cannot discuss the classified briefings, but noted details in the administration’s public, non-classified report are being contested.
    The White House released its four-page public report Aug. 30, arguing that Assad’s government killed 1,429 people on Aug. 21 with a planned chemical weapon attack. Evidence cited in that report included “intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used.”
    Grayson, however, says “the claim has been made that that information was completely mischaracterized.”
    He points to an article published by The Daily Caller that alleges the communications actually showed Syrian officers were surprised by the alleged chemical weapon attack. The communications, according to unnamed sources paraphrased in article, were intercepted by Israeli intelligence and “doctored so that it leads a reader to just the opposite conclusion.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to usnews.com

    P.S. TAKE ACTION! ! ! TAKE ACTION! ! ! TAKE ACTION! ! !

    ● FROM CodePink4Peace.org: Diplomacy and Aid for Syria, Not Military Strikes
    Send a letter to your members of Congress calling for peace not war on Syria! We plea with President Obama and Congress to seek an immediate ceasefire, begin regional peace talks and provide humanitarian aid to the over 2 million refugees fleeing the violence.
    LINK – link to codepink.salsalabs.com

    ● CONGRESSMAN ALAN GRAYSON’S PETITION
    Tell Congress: Don’t Attack Syria
    We have already delayed an attack on Syria, and forced the President to ask Congress for authorization. The next step in preventing war is to get Congress to deny permission for war. Add your name to this petition, and I will deliver it to your Member of Congress. Your voice matters.
    TO SIGN – link to dontattacksyria.com

    ● FROM MoveOn.org: Say “No!” to US strikes on Syria!
    TO SIGN PETITION – link to petitions.moveon.org

    ● FROM RootsAction.org: Prevent an Attack on Syria Now
    If you live in the U.S. and want to email Obama, your senators and representative, expressing opposition to an attack on Syria, please click HERE.
    If you reside outside the United States, you can still sign this petition by clicking HERE.

  13. Citizen says:

    It’s not hard to get misinformed and ignorant, and lazy Dick and Jane to support Greater Israel uber alles; it’s going on now, as usual:

    link to counterpunch.org

  14. Bandolero says:

    Alan Grayson does very well in questioning the communication/radio intercepts based on the dailycaller report.

    However, we are in the computer age where any audio can be faked easily. And with radio intercepts there exists another problem: it’s possible to stage them.

    Victor Ostrovsky describes such an operation in one of his books, whether real or not, but very possible. An excerpt:

    Once they reached the beach, the commandos left their cigarlike transporters submerged in the shallow water and headed inland, carrying a dark green Trojan cylinder six feet long and seven inches in diameter. … In the apartment, the top section of the cylinder was opened and a small dishlike antenna was unfolded and placed in front of the window facing north. The unit was activated, and the Trojan horse was in place. … By the end of March, the Americans were already intercepting messages broadcast by the Trojan, which was only activated during heavy communication traffic hours. Using the Trojan, the Mossad tried to make it appear that a long series of terrorist orders were being transmitted to various Libyan embassies around the world … Heads of the Mossad were counting on the American promise to retaliate with vengeance against any country that could be proven to support terrorism. The Trojan gave the Americans the proof they needed. … Operation Trojan was one of the Mossad’s greatest successes. It brought about the air strike on Libya that President Reagan had promised…

    So whatever radio communication is intercepted, there is a real possibility that it may be fabricated by an “interested party.”

    • piotr says:

      Good points.

      In this day and age, it is a disgrace for the military and government to communicate without secure encryption. If you think about it, the alleged operation would require quite a lot of communication, and presumably all was encrypted. Additionally, it should not be easy for officers etc. to switch to “clear” phone calls.

      Unencrypted phone call can of course be faked, but it is dubious by its very nature. The same can be said about the alleged phone call intercepted by the Germans, from a “Hezbollah commander” to “Iranian ambassador”.

      A plausible scenario is that Saudi intelligence staged everything, and Israeli and Western intelligence recognized the fakes but carefully classified, in the deepest way, that assessment. After all, dis-informing is one of the principal tasks of those agencies, and “gullibility” is a well honed skill, as we observed in the aftermath of the invasion on Iraq.

  15. gingershot says:

    Congressman are getting SWAMPED by the larger American public and the American people are DWARFING the usual mini-avalanches organized email/call-in campaigns relentlessly used by AIPAC

    I can barely believe all this and it’s music to my ears

  16. eGuard says:

    The tie! Alan Grayson’s tie! (at 6:00)

    • Danaa says:

      Alan’s tie vs samatha Power’s hair. What’s with that style, exactly? is that like in your face uber-feminism or something (so says one female bitching about another. and only we know of which we speak)?. Does anyone else find that irritating or am I the only one?

      The tie is good though. That’s how one makes a statement.

  17. gingershot says:

    Now ‘all we have to do’ is educate the entire American population about WHY we went to war in Iraq, and that AIPAC/Netanyahu are currently on a full court press to hoax the US into a war with Iran and Syria.

    How long would Neocon or Israel’s favorability ratings hold up if Americans REALLY understood what Israel is all about?

    Hopefully the mainstream reporting of the Israeli Lobby surrounding Syria will have pushed it a little further over the cliff towards being FORCED to register as an agent of a foreign government, and get them out of our political process.

    Some of our Congress might even enjoy not feeling like they have to clap like seals next time Netanyahu swims by

  18. Clif Brown says:

    Imagine if the public could weigh in on every issue as it appears to be doing regarding Syria…what trembling in the halls of power! But the issues are legion and bring a maze of complexity that few but the paid lobbyists can negotiate (often by their own design). The miracle is that the whole huge apparatus stumbles along as well as it does. Eternal vigilance by the public demands more time and energy that even those with a will can provide.

    What is discussed here on MW is a very big deal to me, but I’d be the first to admit to ignorance and inaction on a host of other issues. How about you?

    I’m very glad to see a possible breakthrough on the longstanding Israel first problem; the Red Sea is parting, temporarily. But the problem of the lobbies is with us until campaign financing is limited to public funding and all lobbies are united against that. Can the public be aroused for the lengthy period of time it would require to get that true restoration of democracy through?

    • Ellen says:

      Cliff, there is a move and let’s hope it gathers momentum.

      There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That’s the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and issues a rallying bipartisan cry that will resonate with many in the U.S. and beyond.

      link to ted.com

  19. piotr says:

    I am abjectly sorry for referring to Representative Grayson as a Republican. All too often, bipartisanship stinks, but now we have a rare issue that truly crosses partisan division: do we trust our leaders or do we heed indications that they abjectly lie?

    There exists a “sophisticated mindset” that at occasion the reasons for a wise course of action cannot be explained to feebleminded public without a heavy dose of fabrications, so we should heed our leaders not minding holes and inconsistencies in the official justifications. Tonkin resolution is based on a fake but even now it may be a reasonable case that the “red menace” was a real and sufficient cause to enter the war. Killed babies in a Kuwaiti hospitals were faked but even now the decision to repel Saddam during Gulf War I seems correct (if not the slaughter of the retreating soldiers on the “highway of death”).

    Gulf War II seems a watershed to me because it was based on unbelievably brazen lies AND everything went wrong. If it was for oil, Saddam was selling more and cheaper oil. If it was to “improve Israeli security”, it spawned “Shia axis” that the Establishment is paranoid about now and which is the true target of the “splendid little war” currently under debate. If it was to “spread democracy in the Middle East” …

    If it was to secure GOP dominations in American politics for decades to come … well, at least GOP did well in two election cycles largely because of the heroics of our troops and our gallant President.

    Right now American public is like a girl meeting a very charming young man who invites her for a date, while she remembers that before he used Rohypnol. Now he says that he is thoroughly reformed … link to bu.edu

  20. piotr says:

    I would like to elaborate on the issue of “sophisticated mindset that follows wise leaders”. US government produced estimate of 1429 victims that is totally out of the blue and several times larger than other estimates, including one produced by the French, even though the French government is on the same bandwagon.

    Following the mindset of “follow the leaders”, 1429 became a shiboleth of “sound thinking”, all “mainstream” commentators use that number. This 1429 tells me that the official dossier was once more prepared under the principle “no garbage shall be left unused”.

    link to huffingtonpost.com
    Now Representative Kucinich is once more an “irresponsible radical” and he produced a more comprehensive list of that garbage. It is great that so many other members of Congress (and Senate? what happens in the Senate) are together with him, and that the reception in the media is much better.