Earlier this week I was reading Col. Pat Lang’s blog. In a post titled “The senators from Tel Aviv,” he pointed to the following Jerusalem Post article which described the recent trip by Sens. Lieberman, McCain and Graham to Israel:
There is wide support in Congress for using all means to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power, “through diplomatic and economic sanctions if we possibly can, through military actions if we must,” visiting US Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said Wednesday in Jerusalem.
Lieberman, flanked at a Jerusalem press conference by his senate colleagues John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), used very tough language, saying the words “military action” in regards to stopping Iran’s nuclear program. Most US officials opt to tiptoe around the subject, saying “no options are off the table.”
… Graham was even blunter.
“The Congress has Israel’s back,” he said, “and never misunderstand that. Whatever relationship problems we have had in the past, it has never seeped over into Congress. The Congress has been united in protection of one of our best allies in the world, the State of Israel.”
Col. Lang followed this with his assessment that
Considering the amount of Obama Administration groveling this week, this looks like war to me.
While over the past few years we’ve seen multiple news stories – often from highly unreliable sources – claim that an attack on Iran, by either the US or Israel or both, was imminent. Those stories come and go along with reports of US carrier movements and stories of Israel testing its own ability to fly the distance to Natanz – but none of these stories fill me with as much dread as reading that clear statement from Col Lang who is both particularly knowledgeable and connected – and not given to scaremongering.
Along with our senators displaying greater loyalty to Israel than to the country they pretend to represent, there was also a State Department official’s description of the payoff for all AIPAC’s lobbying:
Speaking at the Brookings Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington D.C., the assistant secretary [U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew J. Shapiro] spoke of the administration’s intention to enhance the annual security aid it provides Israel, saying that in “2010, the administration requested [from Congress] $2.775 billion in security assistance funding specifically for Israel, the largest such request in U.S. history.”
Shapiro also detailed the ways in which the United States planned to bolster Israel’s security, which included the sale of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, joint training exercises, research and development, and the funding of the Iron Dome missile defense system …
And while American politicians are selling out American interests in support of Israel, more evidence of just how unsavory an ally Israel is was exposed in a new video circulating in Israel (and played on Israeli tv) of Bibi Netanyahu speaking with a group of settlers in 2001.
Not only does Netanyahu expose his real policy towards Palestinians saying:
that the only way to deal with the Palestinians is to “beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it’s unbearable …
but he also is very clear about the total disdain he has for America:
“I know what America is,” Netanyahu replied. “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in their way.”
And explained how he manevered to make the Oslo accords meaningless:
“They asked me before the election if I’d honor [the Oslo accords],” Netanyahu said. “I said I would, but … I’m going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the ’67 borders. How did we do it? Nobody said what defined military zones were. Defined military zones are security zones; as far as I’m concerned, the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone. Go argue.”
Smiling, Netanyahu then recalled how he forced former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher to agree to let Israel alone determine which parts of the West Bank were to be defined as military zones. “They didn’t want to give me that letter,” Netanyahu said, “so I didn’t give them the Hebron agreement [the agreement giving Hebron back to the Palestinians]. I cut the cabinet meeting short and said, ‘I’m not signing.’ Only when the letter came, during that meeting, to me and to Arafat, did I ratify the Hebron agreement. Why is this important? Because from that moment on, I de facto put an end to the Oslo accords.”
When a woman ask about global reaction to further expansion, Netanyahu says:
the world won’t say a thing. The world will say we’re defending.
For a full transcript of the Netanyahu video, see Mondoweis here.
I’d guess Netanyahu would likely repeat the same words if asked today whether global reactions to a strike on Iran would be a problem – “The world won’t say a thing.”