I was very disappointed at the inability of the Democrats to pass legislation which included language which might prevent Bush from attacking Iran. To what extent this failure can be attributed to the “numbers game” of conservative Democrats allied with Republicans, I don’t know. Scott Ritter, who has been cited here a number of times, expresses his frustration with the process and how it may have been affected by the rightwing Israel lobby (“AIPAC”).
Mr. Ritter is understandably upset. But the realities of our political system are undeniable. The narrow victories achieved by the Democrats have at least enabled them to shine a light on the rotten core of the Bush administration and its warmongering. This in itself, I think, has made it much more difficult for Bush to attack Iran.
I think that more and more Israelis are beginning to recognize the apartheid apparatus which is being put in place, and the counterproductive policies of stealing land for “settlers.” It will take years to settle the many issues, but it does seem that endless wars have been proven to be the wrong way to make progress. Hopefully the Saudi plan will lead to a solution of the Palestinian question.
This new Democratic leadership has failed egregiously. Not only has the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, been unable to orchestrate any meaningful legislation to bring the war in Iraq to an end, but in mid-March she carelessly greased the tracks for a whole new conflict. By excising language from a defense appropriations bill which would have required President Bush to seek the approval of Congress prior to initiating any military attack on Iran, Pelosi terminated any hope of slowing down the Bush administration’s mad rush to war.
Despite the fact that Congress was only stating through this language a simple reflection of constitutional mandate, Speaker Pelosi and others felt that the inclusion of such verbiage put the security of the state of Israel at risk by eliminating important “policy options” for the president of the United States. In short, Israeli national security interests trumped the Constitution of the United States…
For decades AIPAC has operated in the shadows of American foreign policy decision-making, exerting its influence on elected officials away from the public scrutiny of the very constituents who elected those officials to begin with. It is impossible to hold someone accountable for actions that are kept secret, and as such AIPAC’s ability to secretly influence American foreign and national security policies represents a flagrant insult and threat to the very essence of American democracy. I am not advocating the dissolution of AIPAC. However, I am demanding that AIPAC be treated as any other representative of a foreign nation is treated. It should have to register as an agent of a foreign power so that the totality of its interactions with American officials can become a part of the public record. We require this of all other nations, including our good friends the British.