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Power and McCain form hawkish alliance on Iran — ‘Times of Israel’

on 11 Comments

The Times of Israel says that John McCain and Samantha Power are now happily joined at the hip because they are beset by “isolationists” and “pacifists” inside their own parties. This piece by an Israeli national security analyst, Owen Alterman celebrates the McCain-Power klatch as key to the great Iraq war and, prospectively, to confronting Iran. This bears out my own reporting about our new UN ambassador’s efforts to cultivate neoconservatives and Israel lobbyists, and saying Israel as many times as the United States in her testimony at her Senate confirmation hearing. And this offers some hope that the two anti-interventionist camps, on left and right, can make a coalition of sorts against the lobby. Alterman: 

As isolationist stirrings come onto the scene, today’s American foreign policy debate is shaped less by party lines than by rival camps within the parties. On the left, pacifists and realists face off against liberal interventionists like Power. On the right, establishment realists and insurgent Tea Party isolationists sit opposite the remnants of neoconservatism.

In each party, a non-interventionist faction opposes an interventionist one. In Republican terms, the debate was most on display in last week’s face-off between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (leader of the GOP’s non-interventionist camp) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (an interventionist). The two colorfully traded barbs over the direction of U.S. foreign policy in what many saw as a preview of the 2016 campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination.

In this debate within each party, Israel has a stake. Over the past decade, Israel’s interests have often coincided with the interventionists’ platform. The toppling of Saddam Hussein, the containment of Bashar Assad, and—most importantly—the determination to stand up to Iran’s nuclear program, all were generally backed by neoconservatives and liberal interventionists alike. The ascendance of realists and, especially, isolationists could lead to U.S. pullback from the region, with hostile actors filling the void…

This is the policy debate that has brought together the John McCain wing of the Republican Party and the Samantha Power camp among Democrats. Their emerging cooperation points to an opportunity for Israel and its supporters.

Pro-Israel forces should form a broader alliance with the interventionists. Pro-Israel groups and the interventionists share many common interests—and, more importantly, have much to offer each other.

The interventionists have the ear of much of the U.S. foreign policy elite, an asset that, as always, could be useful for Israel. Also, an alliance with liberal interventionists could help Israel maximize its standing among Democrats….

Of course, the Israeli government itself must remain above the U.S. domestic political fray.

Yes, Israel must stand outside the fray, as its advocates toil to make an Israel bulwark in our politics that transcends partisan wrangling. Forty years ago Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol founded a militant neocon foreign policy in opposition to George McGovern’s post-Vietnam pacifism, which threatened Israel because Israel was dependent on the U.S. Samantha Power is thus an heir to the Henry Jackson line in the Democratic Party. The greatest damage we can do to this alignment is to damage these folks’ images. Barack Obama’s vanity has been wounded by Edward Snowden’s bold run to his left, exposing him as a centurion of the surveillance state in his former base, the left. And I don’t think Power’s amour-propre will be able to handle it being pointed out all the time that she is wearing Shmuley Boteach’s uniform, and John McCain’s, and Sheldon Adelson’s. So she will stand up for human rights. Here’s hoping.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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11 Responses

  1. Citizen on August 12, 2013, 10:23 am

    “And this offers some hope that the two anti-interventionist camps, on left and right, can make a coalition of sorts against the lobby. ”

    Sort of like when Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinski stood together at times. I think the cost of US intervention both in term of tax payer dollars, and in terms of lives lost and maimed, both ours and theirs, and in terms of diversion of tax dollars from welfare net to military industrial security complex. When Britain ruled the waves, it did so with a military budget double the size of its two chief rivals’ combined budget. Our present military budget is the size of the top dozen foreign military budgets–all of whom are long allies of ours except for Russia and China. Such perspectives need to be shouted to the masses, now war weary and on an austerity diet. I hope that enough cross-over blending glue can be made to form a viable third party addressing the linkeage suggested by the ineffectual OWS movement in a more practical way.

  2. American on August 12, 2013, 11:36 am

    Vote for Paul…the US needs to be isolated

    Why Are We at War in Yemen?
    by Rep. Ron Paul, August 12, 2013

    Most Americans are probably unaware that over the past two weeks the US has launched at least eight drone attacks in Yemen, in which dozens have been killed. It is the largest US escalation of attacks on Yemen in more than a decade. The US claims that everyone killed was a “suspected militant,” but Yemeni citizens have for a long time been outraged over the number of civilians killed in such strikes. The media has reported that of all those killed in these recent US strikes, only one of the dead was on the terrorist “most wanted” list.
    This significant escalation of US attacks on Yemen coincides with Yemeni President Hadi’s meeting with President Obama in Washington earlier this month. Hadi was installed into power with the help of the US government after a 2011 coup against its longtime ruler, President Saleh. It is in his interest to have the US behind him, as his popularity is very low in Yemen and he faces the constant threat of another coup
    This cycle of intervention producing problems that require more intervention to “solve” impoverishes us and makes us more, not less, vulnerable. Can anyone claim this old approach is successful? Has it produced one bit of stability in the region? Does it have one success story? There is an alternative. It is called non-interventionism. We should try it”

    the full story continued at…

  3. seanmcbride on August 12, 2013, 12:44 pm

    Is Samantha Power actually proud of the fact that she has become a mindless and obedient tool of and propagandist for the most anti-progressive and anti-American collection of ethnic and religious nationalist extremists currently on the world stage?

    One doubts it. But she is hungry for power and influence — apparently she has no problem betraying her own core values and principles to climb up the greasy pole. Kissing the ring of Likud Zionist billionaires like Sheldon Adelson or getting into bed with Christian Zionists like John Hagee? No problem.

    This is the face of the contemporary Democratic Party — an institution that has been completely gutted of liberalism — and taken over by “liberal Zionism” — that is, Zionism.

    • Krauss on August 13, 2013, 8:31 am

      That is, violent ethnic nationalism. It’s okay as long as people with J-positive blood do it, and as the victims are them brown folks somewhere far away.

      Her blatant whoring has been one of the more sad things I’ve watched in recent years in the political sphere.

  4. Reds on August 12, 2013, 12:47 pm

    Plus the so-called Human Rights Advocate and “Liberal Interventionists ” had no problem supporting brutal and genocidal dictators in Africa. Some cases even praising them. But than again Mccain did the same thing for Gadafi and reversed course without being called on his flip flopping

  5. DICKERSON3870 on August 12, 2013, 3:04 pm

    RE: “And I don’t think Power’s amour-propre will be able to handle it being pointed out all the time that she is wearing Shmuley Boteach’s uniform, and John McCain’s, and Sheldon Adelson’s.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Enchanté! ! !

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Amour-propre]:

    Amour-propre (French, “self-love”) is a concept in the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau that denotes a self-love that depends upon the opinion of others. Rousseau contrasts it with amour de soi, which also means “self-love”, but which does not involve seeing oneself as others see one. According to Rousseau, amour de soi is more primitive and is compatible with wholeness and happiness, while amour-propre arose only with the appearance of society and renders human beings incapable of being happy within society.[1]
    The term amour-propre predates Rousseau and is found in the writings of Blaise Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, Pierre Nicole and many others.[2] For Pascal, Christianity was the only true remedy to this wretched state of man known as amour-propre, which for him is a direct consequence of the Fall, and in his writings the term generally refers to man’s desire to satisfy his own needs and desires[citation needed].

    1. ^ Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712—1778), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    2. ^ L’amour-propre,

    SOURCE –

  6. Krauss on August 12, 2013, 4:43 pm

    So the age-old question re-emerges; in a democracy, who has the final say?
    The people electing the politicians or the oligarchs and the lobbies funding the politicians?

    The position of the American people is clear, but they don’t have a lot of dollars backing their stance. McCain/Power, on the other hand, have a lot of vested interests.
    The Israel lobby, to be sure, but also the military-industrial complex.

    This is not simply a matter of policy, it’s also a measure on the health of our democracy, such as it is.

  7. Citizen on August 13, 2013, 5:16 am

    Dick and Jane don’t stand a chance against the united power of military-industrial-security complex; AIPAC et al; Hagee et al; Big Banking; Big Insurance; Big Pharma;main news media.

  8. pookieross on August 13, 2013, 11:04 am

    Phil –
    I am distressed by your thoughts of leaving Mondoweiss. I face the same talk from my family when I mention another NYTimes/WSJ obnoxious article on Kerry, Power, Israel etc. I am stunned at Kerry’s naïveté as well as his choice of Indyk and Lowenstein to represent the US. The sad news is to watch Samantha Power who used to support human rights with a passion, now sucking up so hard to the pro-Israeli side. But I guess it was the only way she could get confirmed.
    Please don’t quit. Too many of us depend on the website for the truth.

  9. braciole on August 13, 2013, 12:51 pm

    The quickest way under Samantha Power’s skin – accuse her of racism because of her support for Zionism. Why was former British MP Denis MacShane so keen to have the EU determine that questioning Israeli policy should be regarded as anti-Semitism – because it protects Zionists from the accusation of racism.

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