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Cory Booker joins 13 other Senate Dems in bucking Obama on Iran-war bill

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Senator Booker

Senator Booker

Did you think Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand and Richard Blumenthal were going to turn the page on blue state neoconservatism? Wonder no more. All the Democratic New York and New Jersey senators, plus Blumenthal of Connecticut and Robert Casey of PA, have signed up for the wag-the-dog bill that allows Israel to decide what war we will have next in the Middle East. The liberal Dems are allied with Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk (a senator who takes his orders from AIPAC, says MJ Rosenberg).

Senator Menendez released his Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, which includes broadened sanctions and a vow to let Israel decide whether there’s another American war:

If the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with the law of the United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence;

There’s pushback from other Democrats. Politico reports:

Ten top Democratic Senate committee chairmen sent Majority Leader Harry Reid a letter late Wednesday urging the Nevada Democrat to refrain from imposing new economic penalties on Iran. They argue now is not the time for such congressional intervention as global powers attempt to craft a permanent nuclear agreement with Iran

Here’s the letter from the opponents of new sanctions: ten Democrats. “[W]e believe that new sanctions would play into the hands of those in Iran who are most eager to see the negotiations fail.”

And here’s Menendez’s list. I’ve stuck in the party affiliation for Dems. Notice that the majority of the supporters of this legislation that Obama says he’d veto if enacted are Democrats.

WASHINGTON, DC. – U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), joined by 25 U.S. Senators, introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, bipartisan legislation proposing prospective sanctions on Iran should the regime violate the interim Joint Plan of Action agreed to in Geneva or should Iran fail to reach a final agreement.

The legislation was co-sponsored by twenty-six senators, including: Senators Menendez (D-NJ), Kirk, Schumer (D-NY), Graham, Cardin (D-MD), McCain, Casey (D-PA), Rubio, Coons (D-DE), Cornyn, Blumenthal (D-CT), Ayotte, Begich D-AK, Corker, Pryor (D-AR), Collins, Landrieu (D-LA), Moran, Gillibrand (D-NY), Roberts, Warner (D-Va), Johanns, Hagan (D-NC), Cruz, Donnelly (D-IN), Blunt and Booker (D-NJ)…

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23 Responses

  1. Cliff
    December 20, 2013, 5:04 pm

    Here’s the letter from the opponents of new sanctions: ten Democrats. “[W]e believe that new sanctions would play into the hands of those in Israel who are most eager to see the negotiations fail.”

    Fixed that for you.

    • December 20, 2013, 10:35 pm

      booker is a piece of s. i just wrote about him yesterday on how schmuley boteck and him went to oxford together and became great friend. booker is a dream come true for aipac and likud. i urge everybody to check bookers israeli relation out.
      he’s the classic american political puppy dog. these are really nothing more than spies right in front of our eyes!
      i hope people realize that nothings gonna get better about this all. i’m afraid to think where all this is going.
      i can’t imagine what washington, jefferson, madison, and monroe would think. this isn’t the united states of america anymore. it’s western israel.

  2. Justpassingby
    December 20, 2013, 6:29 pm

    This isnt an american congress, its an israeli.

    Wake up America!

  3. Krauss
    December 20, 2013, 6:31 pm

    Obama came out today and said he is opposed to it.
    Jay Carney, his press deputy, said Obama would veto it.

    It was also interesting to see how Huffpost, the central nervous system of liberal America, covered the issue. A big fat picture of Menendez, AIPAC’s political whore, giving a speech to… AIPAC. You had the words “AIPAC” in the background picture plastered all over it. On the front page.

    So yes, we’re seeing a repetition of the Syria debate. AIPAC buys Congress, the president comes out against them and just as then, this time it will be up to the American people to decide this fight. I think most American’s wouldn’t want a war. This resolution pushes America to be essentially forced to act if Israel acts first, thereby giving Israel the implicit go-ahead.

    This is why you need the MSM on AIPAC’s tail because the average Joe isn’t going to read resolutions on Middle Eastern issues. And this is why I’m pleased to see the table turned. The MSM have truly showed they learned from the Iraq fiasco.

    When can we have a discussion on AIPAC in the mainstream media whenever there isn’t a war brewing? That will be the true measurement of progress.

  4. ToivoS
    December 20, 2013, 6:36 pm

    I find it hard to believe that AIPAC is willing to put itself on the line over this senate resolution. All that Kerry and Obama need is a veto proof (what is it, 34 senators) number to defeat this. Of course it would nice to see it lose outright. The language here is just too scary. This might shake loose some big power players to come out and actively oppose this. I do all hope this gets fought out in public, it could be interesting show.

    • Jeff Klein
      Jeff Klein
      December 20, 2013, 6:56 pm

      Are you kidding? The last Iran Sanctions bill that was opposed by the Obama administration (and future Sec. of State Kerry) passed 100-0!

      Getting enough votes to sustain a Presidential veto is not obvious.

      • piotr
        December 20, 2013, 9:08 pm

        The alignment is different this time.

        I would also guess that Sen. Paul would support the veto, and actually there may be a brain or two among other GOP senators.

        I just wonder if the Administration will ever use gasoline weapon. Do we insist on paying more for oil or not? “War premium” currently stands ca. 10 dollar per barrel, the restriction of supply, another 10 to 20 dollars. A dollar per barrel is ca. 2.5c /gallon, so the war mongering may cost Americans 5-10 dollars each time they get a tank of gas.

      • ToivoS
        December 20, 2013, 9:32 pm

        piotr The price of gasoline is an important variable in this game. Oil shale (fracking) is not competitive with ME oil once the price drops below $85 per barrel. If Iranian, Iraqi and Libyan oil come back to full production the price could drop below that amount. Great for consumers to be sure but bad for all of those companies here in the US that have invested so much in oil shale. If that were happen there goes all of the bs about US self sufficiency in oil production.

        JefKlein You are right about that previous vote but there was no major opposition to it from the administration nor any one else. This time will be different.

      • Jeff Klein
        Jeff Klein
        December 20, 2013, 11:29 pm

        piotr and Toivo:
        I very much hope you are right. The administration lobbied and testified against the previous sanctions bill but did not go to the mat. But 37 votes to sustain a veto would be a major accomplishment and not so easy. Meanwhile Reid has apparently fast-tracked the bill:
        And Shumer’s prominent sponsoring role is meant as a threat to fundraising for Senate candidates who don’t play ball. He is a major rainmaker for Wall Street and pro-Israel campaign contributions, especially for the Senate.

  5. Justpassingby
    December 20, 2013, 7:19 pm


    Dont be naive, aipac wont die in case of veto proof.

  6. just
    December 20, 2013, 9:02 pm

    Toss them out- convincingly and forever.

    These are not Americans first.

    Throw them out.

  7. JeffB
    December 20, 2013, 9:06 pm

    FWIW as someone for whom both Booker and Menendez are my senators and as a zionist, and as someone who is moderate on Iran (and thus hawkish for this crowd)… This idea that we are obligated to defend Israel if they defy a clear direct instruction from the president as far as the west’s strategy in handling Iran and launch an independent attack is insane. The bill has loopholes like “in legitimate self defense” but I’d agree with Phillip this is authorizing Israel to start a war with Iran.

    I sincerely hope this goes down in the Senate. I’m noting the lack of many mainstream Republican hawks so I still suspect this is just for show and this is designed to get less than 50 votes for Senators who want political cover but…. this is terrible legislation and sends an awful message.

    Much as I’m willing to defend Israel if they attack Iran they deserve a trip to the woodshed.

  8. Rusty Pipes
    Rusty Pipes
    December 20, 2013, 9:54 pm

    And how many of the 26 co-sponsors of this bill are raising money for a 2014 Senate or 2016 presidential election?

    • Philip Munger
      Philip Munger
      December 20, 2013, 10:23 pm

      Many are facing re-election, including Sen. Mark Begich, to whom my wife and I have donated twice. We intend to donate to him again, in spite of this. The alternative here would be far, far worse.

      Sucks, the way this system fails to work.

  9. Kathleen
    December 20, 2013, 10:16 pm

    So called “liberal Dems” have turned to the hard right on the Israeli Palestinian issue and Iran for decades now. Domestic liberals foreign policy imperialist. Tough to digest.

    From the ECI
    “Today the Emergency Committee for Israel released the following statement on the new Menendez-Kirk Iran sanctions bill and President Obama’s threat to veto it:

    A bipartisan group of Senators has introduced carefully considered legislation intended to prevent a nuclear Iran. The Obama administration immediately threatened to veto the legislation — and falsely accuses its sponsors of engaging in a rush to war. In fact the White House has responded in far harsher terms to these members of Congress than it has to an Iranian regime which continues to enrich uranium, prevent monitoring of its nuclear program, and still refuses to implement the Geneva agreement negotiated last month. That is why members of Congress of both parties doubt Iranian claims of good faith — and why they are supporting legislation that makes clear Congress has its own red lines for any deal, and that there will be real consequences if Iran refuses to dismantle its nuclear program.

    William Kristol
    Gary Bauer
    Noah Pollak
    Michael Goldfarb

    Link to statement:

    For any questions or media inquiries, please contact ECI’s executive director, Noah Pollak: [email protected], 202-421-4092.”

  10. Citizen
    December 20, 2013, 11:11 pm

    Reid had filed Rule 14 for the sanctions bill, which allows him to bypass the normal process of bringing a bill for a Senate vote through committee.

  11. Citizen
    December 20, 2013, 11:39 pm

    Looks like those opposing the bill because they think it will weaken the moderates in Iran, make it so domestically, Iran will have no choice but to kill the interim deal and its negotiations:

    If memory serves this bill was proposed in Congress before Geneva 5 + 1 diplomats even started functioning.

  12. Ecru
    December 21, 2013, 2:16 am

    So Israel is intent, along with its Fifth Columnists (or would Traitors be a better word) in the USA, to prove that old canard about Jews being warmongers true?

  13. DICKERSON3870
    December 21, 2013, 6:46 am

    RE: “The liberal Dems are allied with Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk (a senator who takes his orders from AIPAC, says MJ Rosenberg). ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Mark Kirk has been very handsomely rewarded* by pro-Israel donors for taking his orders from AIPAC!


    Pro-Israel: Money to Congress

    • Senators (top 10)
    • All cycles
    Candidate ////// Amount
    Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $2,281,424
    Kirk, Mark (R-IL) $1,706,983
    Levin, Carl (D-MI) $1,639,435
    Obama, Barack (D) $1,447,725
    Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,368,855
    McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $1,354,123
    McCain, John (R-AZ) $1,310,482
    Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $1,247,241
    Wyden, Ron (D-OR) $1,058,357
    Durbin, Dick (D-IL) $935,003

    SOURCE –

  14. Citizen
    December 21, 2013, 7:07 am

    Join the petition to senators not to back the new sanctions bill:

    So far:

    COSPONSORS(33), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: (Sort: by date)
    Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Begich, Mark [AK] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Booker, Cory A. [NJ] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Boozman, John [AR] – 12/20/2013
    Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Coats, Daniel [IN] – 12/20/2013
    Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Coons, Christopher A. [DE] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Corker, Bob [TN] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Cornyn, John [TX] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Cruz, Ted [TX] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Donnelly, Joe [IN] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Hagan, Kay [NC] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] – 12/20/2013
    Sen Johanns, Mike [NE] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [IL] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Manchin, Joe, III [WV] – 12/20/2013
    Sen McCain, John [AZ] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Moran, Jerry [KS] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Murkowski, Lisa [AK] – 12/20/2013
    Sen Pryor, Mark L. [AR] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Risch, James E. [ID] – 12/20/2013
    Sen Roberts, Pat [KS] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Rubio, Marco [FL] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] – 12/19/2013
    Sen Vitter, David [LA] – 12/20/2013
    Sen Warner, Mark R. [VA] – 12/19/2013

    No withdrawals to date.

  15. DICKERSON3870
    December 21, 2013, 7:07 am

    RE: “Did you think Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand and Richard Blumenthal were going to turn the page on blue state neoconservatism? Wonder no more. All the Democratic New York and New Jersey senators, plus Blumenthal of Connecticut and Robert Casey of PA, have signed up for the wag-the-dog bill that allows Israel to decide what war we will have next in the Middle East.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Follow the money!*


    Pro-Israel: Top Recipients (for the 2014 elections)
    • All Recipients
    • Top Recipients
    • Top 20 Recipients

    Rank /// Candidate /// Office /// Amount

    1 Booker, Cory (D-NJ) Senate $204,184
    2 McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) Senate $86,300
    3 Udall, Mark (D-CO) Senate $66,500
    4 Begich, Mark (D-AK) Senate $64,566
    5 Schneider, Brad (D-IL) House $64,400
    6 Collins, Susan M (R-ME) Senate $61,060
    7 Durbin, Dick (D-IL) Senate $59,950
    8 Scott, Tim (R-SC) Senate $59,450
    9 Cantor, Eric (R-VA) House $59,300
    10 Landrieu, Mary L (D-LA) Senate $46,700
    11 Hagan, Kay R (D-NC) Senate $43,000
    12 Roberts, Pat (R-KS) Senate $42,025
    13 Franken, Al (D-MN) Senate $40,750
    14 Royce, Ed (R-CA) House $39,850
    15 Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NH) Senate $36,050
    16 Udall, Tom (D-NM) Senate $34,529
    17 Cruz, Ted (R-TX) Senate $34,150
    18 Engel, Eliot L (D-NY) House $33,000
    19 Markey, Ed (D-MA) Senate $32,600
    20 Hoyer, Steny H (D-MD) House $31,500

    SOURCE –

  16. Citizen
    December 21, 2013, 8:07 am

    MJRosenberg has an excellent article up about the ramifications and complete ahistorical context of this sanctions bill which basically aims to end diplomacy with Iran and commit US war power to the whim of a foreign state, Israel.

  17. Citizen
    December 21, 2013, 8:23 am

    Snippet from Andrew Sullivan’s Dish of the day:

    “As usual, English is the first casualty in propaganda. Any act of “self-defense” against a mere “program” is not an act of legitimate self-defense. In international law, you are allowed to defend yourself if attacked; you do not have a right to attack another country just because you don’t like one of their military programs (which the Iranian regime has, in any case, sworn it would never use). That would be a license to shred international law and any concept of just warfare. For the US Senate to proactively bless future aggressive military action by a foreign government when it is not justified by self-defense is an appalling new low in the Israeli government’s grip on the US Congress.

    But to proactively commit the United States as well to whatever the Netanyahu government might want to do in a war of choice against Iran is more staggering. Yes, this is non-binding language. But it’s basically endorsing the principle of handing over American foreign policy on a matter as grave as war and peace to a foreign government, acting against international law, thousands of miles away. George Washington would be turning at a rather high velocity in his grave.”

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