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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which ought to be a registered foreign agent, opens its annual conference in Washington today. Its three big goals right now are to make sure US government aid to Israel is exempted from the across the board budget cuts of the sequester; to make sure Israel can with impunity go on stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank; and to get permission from Congress for the Israeli Air Force to bomb Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment facilities.


Posted on 03/04/2013 by Juan Cole

News from what Ross Perot used to call the guys in sharkskin suits and alligator shoes– the lobbyists who routinely outvote you and me on Capitol Hill:
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which ought to be a registered foreign agent, opens its annual conference in Washington today. Its three big goals right now are to make sure US government aid to Israel is exempted from the across the board budget cuts of the sequester; to make sure Israel can with impunity go on stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank; and to get permission from Congress for the Israeli Air Force to bomb Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment facilities.
Since Israel is a middle-income country with a nominal per capita income higher than Spain or South Korea, it is mysterious why the US taxpayer should outright give it so much money every year– more especially since the Israelis are breaking international law with their aggressive colonization of the West Bank, which causes no end of trouble for the United States in the Muslim World. Why it should be exempted from the effects of the sequester, when ordinary Americans will not, is further mysterious.
But the maneuvering around the sequester and aid is a minor issue compared to the attempt to do an end run around President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel by getting senators to sign a permission slip for Israel to attack Iran, saying that the senate:
“urges that, if the Government of Israel is 3 compelled to take military action in self-defense, the 4 United States Government should stand with Israel 5 and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.”
Although the resolution denies being an authorization for war, that is clearly what it is. It was introduced by Lindsey Graham (of course) and Robert Menendez.
The resolution also seeks to expand America’s unilateral war on the Iranian economy, which is arguably illegal in international law, by trying to punish European companies, including pharmaceuticals, that sell to Iran. The US financial blockade is already making some medicines hard to come by for strapped Iranian families with ill children.
An Israeli attack on Iran would certainly draw in the United States. Thousands of US personnel in Baghdad, Qatar and Bahrain would be vulnerable to covert, proxy attacks in response. The Pentagon has repeatedly warned the Israelis about doing anything that might force the US into hostilities, and the brass won’t be happy about this irresponsible resolution.
Former National Security Council staffer and Columbia professor of Political Science Gary Sick notes, “Initiating a war is the gravest step any nation can take. This legislation would effectively entrust that decision to a regional state. Such a decision is an American sovereign responsibility. It cannot be outsourced.”
Just Foreign Policy has suggestions for how you can protest this irresponsible resolution to your elected representatives.

61 comments:

  1. A foreign power is attempting to bypass the US Constitution by asking for a free pass from Congress to involve the US in a potential war of its own starting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 12,000 Americans are in DC right now. AMERICANS.

      Dont like their POV?

      Too bad.

      On their OWN dime, expressing solidarity for Israel and American friendship.

      You dont have a clue.

      Delete
  2. Why should Israel be exempted from the effects of the sequester, when ordinary Americans will not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why should Egypt?

      Why should the Unions?

      And btw, How is Israel being "exempted"?

      Facts man, facts. Not emotional nonsense.

      Delete
  3. If Israel wants to go to war with Iran, let it but do it with its own blood and wealth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually America is already at war with Iran.

      If you choose not to count the bodies? Your bad.

      Delete
  4. Once again you lie.

    Really.

    Why not post the actual legislation that AIPAC is supporting?

    Why not be honest and state that the MEMBERS of AIPAC are Americans doing their legal, moral and civic duty as citizens?

    Why post only slanderous, distorting bullshit?

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Again, it is your point and your argument. Post the links.

      .

      Delete
  6. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which ought to be a registered foreign agent, opens its annual conference in Washington today.


    Why?, AMERICANS, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Jewish Americans, Christian Americans, Young Americans, Old Americans, Gay Americans, Republican and Democrat Americans all are part of AIPAC. ALL support a continued America-Israel Friendship.

    Should the American Medal of Valor award recipients who support Israel and are member of AIPAC not be considered Americans?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      A moot point.

      AIPAC is a lobbying group in much the same manner as those of AARP, NRA, or NEA and ordinarily would be as legal as any of them.

      However, no one would argue that the groups mentioned are not arguing the interests of specific groups of Americans. Some would argue that is not the case with AIPAC. In a previous stream on the Hague nomination when AIPAC was described as a 'Jewish Lobby', you took offense and insisted it was an 'Israeli Lobby'. Now you tell us it's merely "...expressing solidarity for Israel and American friendship."

      I would suggest that in the definition of "expressing solidarity" lies the rub.

      It is obvious that you and Deuce are at variance as to what that term means stripped of the euphemisms.

      If in fact, AIPAC is not just a glad-handing society and is in fact an 'Israeli Lobby' as you previously stated and as such one assumes is involved in promoting the interests of Israel, then I would agree with Deuce that under current US law it should register as an agent of a foreign government.

      .

      .

      Delete
  7. Its three big goals right now are to make sure US government aid to Israel is exempted from the across the board budget cuts of the sequester

    LIE

    actually the AIPAC position is to support the Foreign Aid bill in it's entirely.

    ReplyDelete
  8. to make sure Israel can with impunity go on stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank;



    LIE

    the 2nd issue is to support an American / Israeli strategic relationship that will allow israel and American to work together on cyber security, iron drone technology and doing away with visas between the two nations

    ReplyDelete
  9. and to get permission from Congress for the Israeli Air Force to bomb Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment facilities.


    More lies.

    Israel does not need to "ask"permission to do anything. However America has it's own interests in stopping Iran from going "hot" or at least the last 4 presidents of both parties have said so.

    The calling of Iran's plutonium and uranium sites as "civilian" is oxymoronic at best, specious at worst.

    but the 3rd legislative agenda


    House and Senate members are spearheading initiatives to strengthen economic sanctions on Iran in order to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

    In the House, lawmakers have introduced the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act (H.R. 850), which would strengthen enforcement of current U.S. sanctions on Iran, expand sanctions targeting Iran’s human rights violations, and, for the first time, specifically authorize the president to impose sanctions on any entity that maintains significant commercial ties to Iran. The bill was introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY).

    In the Senate, lawmakers have introduced a resolution (S. Res. 65) declaring that: (1) prevention of an Iranian nuclear weapon remains American policy; (2) it is essential to step up enforcement of sanctions against Iran; and (3) the United States will stand by Israel should the Jewish state feel compelled to take military action in its own defense against Iran. The resolution was co-authored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      The Constitution calls for a bicameral Congress to declare war. As such, I would judge that whether one likes it or not, the the House act falls within the war powers of Congress. Of course, it would require a similar act from the Senate to have any real effect.

      However, the Senate resolution introduced by Graham appears to be a simple resolution rather than a joint (bicameral) resolution giving it not the voice of law but rather merely stating the opinion of a particular house of Congress, in this case the Senate.

      The problem I see with these simple resolutions is that they have the potential to send the wrong message similar to the misinterpreted message April Glaspie sent to Saddam Hussein prior to his invasion of Kuwait.

      It will be interesting to see how either the House bill or the Senate resolution will do when it comes to a vote.

      .

      Delete
  10. So in fact, the slanderous and libelous blog post once again is shown to be a shill for the Jew hating, Israel hating crowd.

    Contrats on another biased Blog thread.

    The Mullahs of Iran, The leaders of Hamas, the Moslem Brotherhood and those like Arafat & Hitler would be proud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only slander here is your continuous diatribe that any criticism of Israeli politics is Jew hating, You have no other argument that makes sense or is logical. It is hysteria, emotion and slander.

      Delete
  11. I had to smile when you mention Hispanics. Latin Americans don’t do wars. Name the last time that there was a military attack by one Latin American country against another. The most belligerent power in all of the Americas has been the US. There is no Hispanic lobby of any kind soliciting a litmus test to the US Congress regarding war with another country in the entire two continents. Compare that to the Middle East.

    (3) the United States will stand by Israel should the Jewish state feel compelled to take military action in its own defense against Iran. We are in the business of deciding which theocracy we support? Expand on that for a moment.

    For what it is worth Google “Iranian civil rights violations” and the “Israeli civil rights violations” Check the count.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The deficit reduction that’s been passed so far has almost entirely come from three kinds of legislation: the Continuing Resolutions for discretionary spending passed in the first half of FY 2011, which resulted in $760 billion in savings over 10 years; the debt-ceiling deal passed in August 2011 that reduced discretionary spending immediately by $1.08 trillion; and the “fiscal cliff” deal passed over the new year, which reduced the deficit by $850 billion, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. (All of the figures above include interest savings and are within the 2014-2023 budget window.)

    Cumulatively, that means that we’ve achieved $2.7 trillion in savings so far, excluding the sequester from March to December 2013. If the rest of the sequester (or its equivalent) is allowed to take effect, that would mean about $3.9 trillion in savings over 10 years, according to the CRFB. With the sequester, that would bring the debt-to-GDP ratio down to about 74 percent, according to Richard Kogan of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

    Cutting the Deficit, hobbling growth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Moron:

      We used to laugh at Soviet 5 year plans, now you take seriously ten year plans by proven liars who will be long gone from office in ten years.

      Delete
    2. If sequestration remains, we will be spending more this year than last.

      We've spent nearly a Trillion more each of the past four years than we did before.

      Spending far more than is garnered in taxes.

      In RufusWorld, this is responsible frugality.

      Delete
  13. Once again we can see the wisdom of T Roosevelt and his repudiation of hyphenated Americans in US politics.

    ReplyDelete
  14. More American employees are working from home at least one day a week—a trend that could lower companies' costs and boost productivity.

    ...

    The news comes amid a fresh debate over the benefits of home working sparked by Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's recent decision to end work-from-home arrangements...

    ReplyDelete
  15. The constitution now demands that elections be held across the country within 30 days to elect a new president and Vice President Maduro and his allies will doubtless do what they can to capitalise on the sympathy that the passing of Mr Chavez will elicit in the population. The national grieving process is likely to be a fevered process that will culminate with a funeral accompanied by giant public demonstrations of sorrow.

    ...

    The announcement came just hours after Mr Maduro announced the government had expelled two US diplomats from the country suggesting that the US and its allies had some been responsible for Mr Chavez contracting cancer.

    The vice president said “we have no doubt” that Chavez’s cancer had been somehow induced by foul play by “the historical enemies of our homeland”. The comments caused some to wonder if Mr Maduro was setting up a confrontation with the US as an excuse to delay elections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He must have inhaled too much sulfur from the UN podium a few years ago. Remember that BS?

      I bet Sean Penn will be a pall bearer.

      Delete
  16. The seemingly united front of the Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’ family, who huddled together in the public gallery throughout his bail hearing, began to crack today.

    Henke Pistorius, Oscar’s father, told The Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Mirror at the weekend that he and members of his family owned guns because they could not rely on the police to protect them, and blamed the ANC for failing to protect white South Africans.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jeb Bush Reverses Immigration Stance: No ‘Pathway’ for Illegals

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Monday reversed his position on illegal immigrants — now saying that he opposed a pathway to citizenship, a crucial issue in comprehensive immigration reform.

    In his new book, “Immigration Wars,” Bush presented a plan that specifically rules out the possibility of illegal immigrants obtaining full citizenship if they remain in the United States.

    The former governor, however, makes an exception for young undocumented immigrants, known as DREAMers, who were brought to the U.S. as minors.
    A copy of the book was obtained by ABC News.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those immigrants need to legalized, but citizenship need not be part of the program.

      But the GOP will get to the party late, after the dance cards have been filled. When they had the power, they punted. Maintaining the status que, which is unsustainable.

      Now, with the Dems in control they will "Fix" the crisis with a much worse solution than the GOP could have pushed through.
      The desire for ideological purity proving to be a poor policy predication.

      Delete
  18. Anybody know which thread had the Jeb discussion?

    ...I've been really busy.

    ReplyDelete
  19. New South China Mall in Guangdong Province opened in 2005. With 5 million square feet of shopping area, the mall can accommodate 2,350 stores, making it the largest shopping center in the world in terms of leasable space -- more than twice the size of Mall of America, the biggest shopping center in the United States.

    ...

    It's not the first time the owners try to blow life into the sleeping giant. The mall was initially headed by Dongguan native Alex Hu Guirong, who became a billionaire in the instant noodle business, and later sold to the Founders Group, a conglomerate set up by Peking University.

    In a 2007 relaunch, the mall changed name from "South China Mall" to "New South China Mall, Living City" and a revitalization plan was drawn up. But after the relaunch, neither shoppers nor tenants came.

    ReplyDelete
  20. If sequestration remains, we will be spending more this year than last.

    We've spent nearly a Trillion more each of the past four years than we did before.

    Spending far more than is garnered in taxes.

    In RufusWorld, this is responsible frugality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have to start somewhere, doug.

      Reagan was feted for slowing the rate of growth.

      Clinton received little credit when he and Newt balanced the cash flow for the Federal government. GW and the Republicans then went on a spending spree, it ain't ended yet.

      Nor will it.

      Gov Brewer is all a tizzy that the Federals are slashing programs in AZ. Says it's politically motivated ....
      DUH

      Then the 9th Circut found more of our State Immigration law unconstitutional. Seems you have a right to stop your car and talk to pedestrians.

      Delete
    2. Here's a shocking little factoid that would drive the right wing crazy (if they could read a treasury statement:)

      Even if you dropped Bush's 2009 budget out of the calculations, and looked at the years from 2002 to 2008 - the rate of annual increase (approx 7%) in those years, extended out to 2012 would have given us a $3.90 Trillion in Spending, versus the $3.58 Spending that Obama turned in.

      Bush's 2008 Spending

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. Correction: Spending in 2012 was $3.54 Trillion. ($3.538 T)

      Delete
    5. At Bush's 2002 to 2008 rate of increase, Spending this year would be $4.18 Trillion (as opposed to the projected $3.6 T.)

      Delete
    6. But, but, Bush had 'special' reasons for spending so much by not Obama!

      Delete
    7. Yeah, all Obama can point to is a Country on the verge of Great Depression II.

      Delete
    8. Bush v Obama in Projection World.
      The fact remains that we've spent nearly a Trillion more each of the past four years than we did before.

      Blame it on Bush, Blame it on Obama, it is irresponsible, and all this Phoney BS about "cuts" serves as cover for a bogus, bankrupt scheme.

      ...and a "reason" to let illegal criminals loose, cut educational programs promised to Marines, while continuing to spend on cronies, malingerers, illegals, and boondoggles.

      Delete
    9. .

      At Bush's 2002 to 2008 rate of increase, Spending this year would be $4.18 Trillion (as opposed to the projected $3.6 T.)

      I haven't time to check your numbers but even accepting them (a move often frought with hazard), I still have to ask, "So what?"

      Right wing, left wing? So what?

      Bush was an incompetant wastral? So what?

      Obama is better than Bush? So what?

      You may not have noticed but Bush is no longer around. You rarely even hear of him anymore. Obama has been president for four years. We continue to go into debt by an additional $1 trillion a year (or close enough for government work) and nothing has changed.

      The rich continue to get richer and the poor poorer.

      As you have pointed out.

      .

      Delete
    10. And, the Deficit continues to fall - from $1.4 Trillion in 2009 to approx. $0.85 Trillion this year.

      A net decrease of about 40%.

      Delete
    11. .

      As I said, close enough to a trillion for government work.

      Obama has ask for a 'balance' aggreement. He has suggested a 50/50 split, tax increases and spending cuts. He has not offered any 'specific' suggestions as to what the spending cuts would be but he has spelled out 'specific' 'additional' spending that he wants.

      I'd have to pull the article but some of the Dems in Congress are arguing that half of any money saved should go to debt reduction while the other half should be used for new spending.

      The total debt continues to grow.

      .

      Delete
    12. .

      A net decrease of about 40%.

      Positive, no doubt. However, we are talking over a four year period, a period in which we pulled out of the Iraq war.

      From 1945 to 1946, a one year period, the deficit dropped by 70%. By 1947, we had a budget surplus. After the Korean cease fire in 1953, the deficit dropped 80% by 1954. After the Paris Peace Treaty was signed, the deficit dropped by 59% within a year and by nearly 80% within two years.

      Numbers. All meaningless unless taken in context.

      The current budget shows the deficit continuing to drop for a couple years then level out for a few more then start to rise again. Now, I'm assuming that the Budget Obama submitted for 2013 include the expiration of 'all' the Bush tax cuts since that was the law in February, 2012. For the same reason, I'd assume the CBO numbers included them. I will have to check to see if the numbers have been adjusted seeing as only about 20% of those cuts were allowed to take effect.

      .

      Delete
  21. In another incredible story about an armed citizen thwarting the bad guy, police say a bank employee with a concealed carry permit (CCW) shot bank robbery suspect Michael Stephen Oliva, 34, of Liberty, Missouri in the jaw. Oliva, among the most stupid of crooks, was toting a realistic looking fake plastic gun when he attempted to rob a First Security Bank about 1:30pm on Friday afternoon.

    KCTV5 reported on Monday what happened:

    A bank employee told the FBI that she saw Oliva enter the bank before he pulled on a black mask. Oliva allegedly pulled out the replica gun and demanded all of the bank’s money.

    ...

    KCTV5 reported on Friday what took place after the man was shot:

    According to police, the robbery suspect then ran out to a nearby parking lot, hopped in a car and took off, leading Trimble police, highway patrol and several other agencies on a chase that ended on I-435 near Northeast 76th Street when authorities laid down four sets of spike strips. Missouri State Highway Patrol took the suspect into custody where he was then taken to an area hospital.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hopes for a recovery dimmed on Monday, when minister of communications, Ernesto Villegas, said the president's condition had declined due to a "new and serious respiratory infection."

    Constitutional questions have been raised by his long hospitalisation and absence from public life, which he formerly dominated with dynamic and provocative appearances on his weekly television address, "Hello Mr President." When he failed to attend his scheduled inauguration on 10 January, the opposition asked who is running the country.

    The ruling party responded with a rally of more than 100,000 supporters, many carrying banners declaring "We are Chávez."

    ReplyDelete
  23. On this day in 2004, Martha Stewart was convicted in connection with her controversial sale of shares of ImClone Systems Inc. She unloaded shares of the biotech company right before the stock price tanked.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Obama - The Worst Socialist, Ever

    Corporate Profits, and Dow at All-Time High!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Printed Money is Free Money.

      Future commitments mean nothing.

      Debts mean nothing.

      In RufusWorld.

      Delete
    2. Ever heard of Crony Capitalism?

      The only good greed is Union Greed.

      ...and Redistributionist Greed.

      aka organizing against America.

      Delete
    3. .

      Obama is not a socialist. He is not really a Dem. He is a pure liberal and as such a hypocrite. He believes in the elitist principle of instructing the hoi polloi in what is good for 'them'. His policies are designed to win votes and nothing more. Those policies are not designed to impact on him or the group he now feels he is part of, in fact leads. The policies are trinkets for the natives and nothing more.

      He has proved this throughout his presidency. He has forced social programs that were not popular even as the people were complaining about the economy and the lack of jobs. He has ignored the economy for four years and only now talks about it because he is forced to. He and Bernanke have indulged in the same supply-side, trickle down econonomics he decries in the GOP. He proves this with his tax policy. He first forced the Dems to support the extension of all the Bush tax cuts. When he was eventually forced to discuss them, he settled for a pittance and then offset it by insisting that special tax cuts for those same 'rich' be continued thus offsetting any gain he could have achieved. The only tax increase that did have an effect was the elimination of the FICA cuts which affected that same 'middle class' he has sworn to protect.

      He is the typical liberal, always willing to give away money that he doesn't have, always willing to give away money that is not his own. His driving principle is populism and staying in power, tell the rubes what they want to hear as long as it doesn't affect his real goal which is crony capitalism and protecting his new class, a class he considers his own even if he is merely a nouveau riche pretender.

      .

      Delete
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  27. Orders for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft, considered a proxy for future business spending on equipment and software, climbed 7.2 percent in January from the prior month, the biggest gain since September 2004, revised data from the Commerce Department showed today. They’re up 9.8 percent since November, the most for a three-month period since 1993.

    Auto sales and the rebound in housing are driving gains in consumer spending, spurring companies including Chrysler and Lowe’s to update operations, hire staff or add stores. The biggest surge in profits since the 1990s, combined with near record-low interest rates, mean firms have the resources to soften the damage to the economy from federal budget cutbacks.

    “The fundamentals that drive investment activity are improving rapidly,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial Inc. in Chicago, which oversees about $67.5 billion in assets. “You really do have all this pent-up demand and . . . .

    Spending Outlook Improves

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a tangled web the ME is!

    "Syrian rebel abduction of 20 U.N. peacekeepers in Golan Heights signals further war spillover

    ...

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights distributed two statements by the rebel Yarmuk Martyrs Brigade claiming to hold the peacekeepers.

    In one, a man identified as Abu Kaid al-Faleh, a spokesman for the brigade, said the peacekeepers would not be freed until Syrian regime forces pull out from the area.

    “We call on them to withdraw all their troops to their bases. If they do not withdraw, these men (UN troops) will be treated as prisoners,” he said.

    In a second video, the same rebel accused the UNDOF of working with the Syrian army to try to suppress the insurgency and help regime forces enter the area.

    “The Syrian regime, the UN and the European countries are all collaborators with Israel,” he said.

    “They all want the Free Syrian Army to leave this land. They want us to leave our land and they want the oppressor Bashar al-Assad to enter because they are collaborators with the Zionists, Israel and America,” the spokesman said."

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/syrian-rebel-abduction-of-20-un-peacekeepers-in-golan-heights-signals-further-war-spillover/article9360358/

    ReplyDelete
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