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Iran War: What Is AIPAC Planning?

So here’s a theory. Netanyahu and his camp followers here do not really want a war now. They just want it understood that they can dictate whether there is one or not. And when. In other words, they want to show who is boss (it’s not like we don’t know).


by M J Rosenberg



[ HUFFPOST ] These are strange times for those of us who follow the debate about a possible war with Iran. It is clear that the Israeli government and its neoconservative camp followers here in the United States are increasing pressure on President Obama to either attack Iran or let Israel do it (in which case, we would be forced to join in). But the idea of another Middle East war is so outlandish that it seems inconceivable it could actually occur.

Still the conventional wisdom holds that it can, and the main reason is that this is an election year and no one will say no to Binyamin Netanyahu in an election year.

War enthusiasm will rise to a fever pitch by March, when AIPAC holds its annual policy conference. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will, if past example holds, bring the crowd of 10,000 to its feet by depicting Iran as the new Nazi Germany and by coming very close to stating that only war can stop these new Nazis. Other speakers will say the same.

The few who mention the idea of diplomacy will be met by stony silence.

Image credit:

From the convention center, 10,000 delegates will be dispatched to Capitol Hill with two or three “asks” for Members of Congress. One will, no doubt, be that “containment” of a nuclearized Iran be ruled off the table (leaving war as the only remaining option should Iran get the bomb). Another will likely be that the U.S. stop all dealings with the Palestinian Authority should Hamas and Fatah permanently reconcile. A third could apply either to Iran or Palestine and will, no doubt, demand fealty to whatever Netanyahu’s policy of the moment happens to be. I’ve sat in those meetings where the AIPAC “asks” are developed and it was always clear that the substance didn’t matter all that much.

The goal of the “asks” is ensuring that Congress follow the script. Invariably at least one of these AIPAC goals will be put into legislative language and quickly pass both chambers of Congress. In fact, usually the “ask” is already in legislative form, so that the AIPAC citizen lobbyists can simply demand that their legislators sign on as co-sponsors (if they haven’t already done so). Once the AIPAC bill has the requisite number of co-sponsors, the House and Senate leadership brings it to the floor where it passes with few dissenters.

All hell breaks loose if a member of Congress objects.

One Member of Congress has actually described what happened when she voted no on an AIPAC “ask.” Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) refused to support a bill (opposed by the State Department) that would have essentially banned all U.S. contacts with Palestinians. AIPAC was not pleased with her recalcitrance.

Rep. Betty McCollum

In a letter to AIPAC executive director, Howard Kohr, McCollum described what happened next. In short, she was threatened by an AIPAC official from her district, called a terrorist supporter and warned that her behavior “would not be tolerated.” In response, McCollum told AIPAC not to come near her office again until it apologized.

McCollum was not, of course, the only legislator threatened that way. She is, however, the only one in memory who went public.

As one who worked on Capitol Hill for 20 years, I know that many, if not most, legislators who vote with AIPAC complain about its strong-arm tactics — but only in private. In fact, some of the most zealous defenders of Netanyahu and faithful devotees of the lobby complain most of all. Among staff, AIPAC’s arrival in their offices during the conference is a source of dread. Hill staff, much like legislators themselves, like to think they are perhaps a little important. AIPAC eliminates that illusion. Although AIPAC calls its requests “asks,” they are, in fact, “tells” and “no” is not a permissible response. (Staffers who like AIPAC, and there are a few, tend to work with it hand-in-glove which is how AIPAC invariably knows what is going on even before the elected representatives do).

Despite all this, I do not think that either Netanyahu or his lobby is all that eager to go to war. After all, Israel’s intelligence community opposes it for a host of reasons starting with the fact that it would not eliminate Iran’s nuclear program. There is also the fear that Iran’s Hezbollah allies in Lebanon, on Israel’s northern border, have tens of thousands of missiles that they can let fly if Iran is attacked. Above all is the understanding that no one knows if an attack would make Israel safer or threaten its very existence.

So here’s a theory. Netanyahu and his camp followers here do not really want a war now. They just want it understood that they can dictate whether there is one or not. And when. In other words, they want to show who is boss (it’s not like we don’t know).

As for Obama, he may just be playing along with Netanyahu and AIPAC because he understands their strategy. Perhaps he knows that it isn’t war they want but the illusion of control.

Only, it’s not an illusion. And it certainly won’t be if Netanyahu gets the president he wants in November, a Republican who will fight the war Netanyahu wants but isn’t eager to fight himself. Surely Mitt or Rick or Newt will do it for him.

MJ Rosenberg Since 1998, M.J. Rosenberg has been the Director of Policy Analysis for Israel Policy Forum (IPF). He heads the organization’s Washington, D.C. office and writes IPF FRIDAY, a widely-circulated weekly opinion column which focuses upon U.S. Middle East policy and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Proir to joining IPF, Rosenberg worked for 14 years on Capitol Hill as an aide to Representatives Jonathan Bingham (D-New York), Edward Feighan (D-Ohio), Nita Lowey (D-New York) and Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan). From 1982 to 1986, Rosenberg edited NEAR EAST REPORT, the American Israel Public Affair Committee’s (AIPAC’s) biweekly publication on Middle East Policy. He is Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network (

Follow MJ Rosenberg on Twitter:

Editing: Debbie Menon

Benjamin Freedman’s 1961 Speech at the Willard Hotel (Complete)


See also “The AIPAC Roll Call.”



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24 Responses to "Iran War: What Is AIPAC Planning?"

  1. nexus5  February 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Letter from Marine Commandant Barrow to Defense Secretary Weinberger

    April 4, 1983

    The following is the complete text of a letter from General Robert H. Barrow, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. General Barrow sent a copy of the letter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    March 14, 1983

    Dear Mr. Secretary:

    I must formally register my deep concern over the two unprovoked incidents in Beirut of this past weekend involving Marines of the Multinational Force and members of the Israeli Defense Forces. I had considered commenting on earlier incidents between Marines and the IDF but corrective measures, which were rapidly implemented in February 1983, appeared to defuse the situation. I can no longer remain silent on this continual problem of provocation from the IDF.

    In addition to the U.S. MNF incidents, I have received information concerning serious harassing incidents by the IDF of U.S. officers attached to the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO). These particular incidents involved USMC and USA officers in life-threatening situations, replete with verbal degradation of the officers, their uniform and country. Unfortunately, and of greater concern to me, incidents of this nature are the rule, rather than the exception.

    It is evident to me, and the opinion of the U.S. Commanders afloat and ashore, that the incidents between the Marines and the IDF are timed, orchestrated, and executed for obtuse Israeli political purposes. The U.S. has been prompt and forthcoming in defusing previous problems and has established a viable communications procedure between the Marines and IDF. The IDF, however, persist in creating serious incidents.

    I am distinctly proud to have Marines participating both as members of the Multinational Force and with UNTSO under the auspices of the United Nations. It is inconceivable to me why Americans -serving in peacekeeping roles-must be harassed, endangered, and degraded by an ally.

    Previous demarches and diplomatic initiatives have not eliminated difficulties between our Marines and the IDF. Additionally, the expansion of communications links and the use of Liaison Officers will not preclude additional problems, unless the attitude and actions of the Israelis are altered. It is time for firm and strong action, to demonstrate to the Israelis that a role as a peacekeeper does not presume weakness. If anything, the Israelis should respect our efforts in this region.

    Warm personal regards,


    R. H. Barrow

    Gen. Robert H. Barrow the 27th commandant of the Marine Corps, and veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam passed away October 30, 2008, in St. Francisville, La at age 86.

  2. nexus5  February 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    If you were told by a known killer they would kill you, would you just pass it off?

    Are you referring to the Likud?

  3. nexus5  February 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    perhaps a guest post by Jewish professor Anthony Judt,of New York University would be interesting!

  4. nexus5  February 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Ted Lang

    Reparations for slavery?
    In 1906, a congressional inquiry into the criminal activities involving United States citizens in white slavery was stopped in its tracks. The news magazine that had investigated the white slave traffic of hapless young females was prepared to release a series of articles informing both the Congress and the American public of those criminal activities. The inquiry was attacked and silenced. Only the first article of the series made it out ­ the rest of the articles in the series, vital in terms of both informing the public and in ending these horrific crimes, were silenced. The behind-the-scenes power brokers who silenced the press and sabotaged the congressional inquiry were all Jewish.

    The reason powerful Jews blocked the inquiry and sabotaged the conduct of due process of law was because powerful and wealthy Jews were directly involved and would have been exposed. As a direct result of this near domestic “holocaust,” the powerful Jews involved formed a new organization: the American Jewish Committee.

    It may be recalled that the American Jewish Committee was just recently in the news. This time, crucial information vital to the public interest alerting American citizens of the domination of their government by the Zionist American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, was silenced. Jewish professor Anthony Judt, of New York University, had two speaking engagements cancelled by two so-called “Jewish” organizations: the American Jewish Committee and Abraham Foxman’s Anti-Defamation League. The AJC blocked the exposé of white slavery in 1906; and now, 100 years later, prevented a speaking engagement by a Jewish professor last October, to be given by a Jew who merely sought to amplify the findings of Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. He had intended to offer commentary on the Harvard School of Government paper, “The Israel Lobby.” Over 100 academics from colleges and universities across the country wrote a letter of protest and signed it.

    Consider the unbelievable damage that could result had Judt been allowed his right to speak and think freely. It would seriously bring into focus the continuing attacks upon these rights which would preclude exchanging ideas with other thinking human beings. And Foxman and his ADL just couldn’t tolerate that, especially when the attacks are coming from “another” Jew. But Foxman is not just “another” Jew ­ he’s a criminal and a traitor!

    Intimidating Americans and stifling their constitutional rights is a crime, and not permitting an American to speak against the agents of a foreign government is a crime. Those agents of a foreign nation-state, a state which has committed acts of war against US, has committed numerous acts of espionage against US, and may even have been involved with the 9/11 terrorist act against US, should be exposed and investigated as well. Please recall the high-fiving five, surreptitiously detained and then released to return to Israel.

    Foxman derives his power not from law, but by selecting those individuals he wishes to defame and smear. And of course those smeared have the right to sue; but Foxman can offer that he only acted in the self-interests of “American Jewry and Israel.” And Foxman and his ADL command much wealth and legions of lawyers to bury litigants in legal fees and the courts for years. In fact, that was indeed the method deployed to silence Professor Judt. Who was smeared? Who was defamed? Yet the mere fact that Judt was silenced and targeted by these two “Jewish” groups can be shown to be, and sufficiently represented as, smears and defamation. Who really was the “aggressor”; was it the “anti-Semite” or the Semite? Clearly, the mission of Foxman and the ADL is to smear and defame in order to silence critics of Israel and its tax-exempt foreign agent lobby. Their power, “status” and wealth shield them legally.

  5. nexus5  February 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Naeim Giladi
    Courtesy The Link, Volume 31, Issue 2, April-May 1998

    About 125,000 Jews left Iraq for Israel in the late 1940s and into 1952, most because they had been lied to and put into a panic by what I came to learn were Zionist bombs. But my mother and father were among the 6,000 who did not go to Israel.

    I write this article
    for the same reason I wrote my book:
    to tell the American people,
    and especially American Jews,
    that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate
    willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave,
    Jews killed Jews; and that,
    to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands,
    Jews on numerous occasions
    rejected genuine peace initiatives
    from their Arab neighbors.
    I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called “cruel Zionism.”
    I write about it because I was part of it.

  6. nexus5  February 14, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Israel the capital of East European Women drugged sex slavery

  7. nexus5  February 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Benjamin Freedman , An American Patriot,Benjamin Freedman , An American Patriot,
    Rep. Betty McCollum, Thank you for bringing this up in public

    Balfour declaration signed away the fate of the German & Palestianian People and
    Eastern Europe as well
    The one document that did the most to twist & ruin the last 100 yrs

  8. ricohands  February 12, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Many thanks for this important article and that clip with Ben Freedman’s speech. A piece if history I knew little about.

    • Debbie Menon  February 12, 2012 at 4:09 am

      That an article like this appeared in the HUFFPOST surprised me. I thought Freedman’s last words are timely and very relevant..

  9. judgment  February 11, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Fully agree Betty McCollum has unusual courage and we should give her some visibility. If we want to change any thing we have to help people with courage. Obama finally started remembering why we, the independent , worked hard for him and reforms. He finally got around to our issues, starts with “insider trading in Congress” well it is a starter, next perhaps he will have his A.G. enforce the bribery law. It is in the book, gifts of any kind in Congress from special interest are NOT for nothing but for something and that makes it a bribery.” Incidentally, if Corporation are person should they not be taxed as Person? We have to do it, shame them for not enforcing the law. Obama was in the right track but the minute he got elected he was swallowed by the insider’s whale.

  10. LOB2065  February 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    The current policy is that Israel cannot start a war with another country without the US say so. This is also the policy that the US has with its other allies in its formal agreements with them. No country can expect America to join them in a war unless America agrees to that war.

    • reykool  February 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Your description of our official “current policy” is kind of politically naive because our Congress is completely under the control of AIPAC (and the rest of the Israeli lobby)
      ALL they have to do is to “force” the White House, Congress and its poodles from NATO (Sarkozy and others) to AGREE to WAR with the help of BIG political contribution, Political Blackmail using the Holocaust and “anti semitism” trick or the following :
      ISRAELI NUCLEAR ARSENAL : Around 200 nuclear missiles (Jericho 1 & 2)
      Yeah and our policy was to attack Iraq ONLY if they had WMDs, so what happened ? SOLID EVIDENCE…
      You can definitely TRUST our current policy Unfortunately they can be modified at will because LOOPHOLES ARE ALWAYS BUILD TO IT.

  11. reykool  February 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    AIPAC is in violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act ,its founder Si Kenen registered with the US Department of Justice in 1947 under the Foreign Agent Registration Act as an employee of the American Zionist Committee for public affair. Every organization lobbying for a Foreign nation must be registered and CANNOT give campaign contribution (bribes) to our Congressmen.

  12. Trudy  February 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Isn’t it ironic that we are waging wars all over the world with the excuse that it is to restore sovereignty and democracy to their people, while here in the US we have neither?

    Isn’t it pathetic to see the leader of the “free” world regularly humbled by a small nation that is propped up by our tax dollars? What is more pathetic than watching our elected members of congress rise 28 times for standing ovations to the leader of this small nation – something we have never done for even our presidents­, and right after he had publicly slapped our president in the face for repeating what every US president before him had since the creation of that country?

    Our representatives in congress never represent us and seem to perpetually vote against our will to wage wars and introduce legislation like NDAA.

    Why is that?

    It is because they are held hostage by the Israel lobby, either through blackmail, or by the power of money to displace them from their posts, to be replaced by more compliant replacements, all the while aided by a complicit MSM that is owned by the same lobby.

    We have people losing their homes in this country and the unemployment lines grow longer each day (or are shortened as people drop off the map), and yet we keep sending money abroad as aid for other countries to enhance their military and wage more wars.

    I voted for Obama in 2008 and for Democrats in every election before that.
    This time I have registered as a Blue Republican to help get Ron Paul nominated.
    If he doesn’t get nominated, I am still going to write him in the general elections.

    I would like to leave an America of peace and prosperity for my children. The status quo isn’t the way to do it.

    Won’t you join me in restoring our country to its former greatness?

    • Excalibur  February 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Trudy – I believe that anyone who is shallow enough to want to become a modern western politician under foreign control – should immediately be banned from ever being one – and kept away from any position of power or authority for the rest of their worthless lives.

      The international zionist lie machine ENFORCES their so called ‘democracy’ blueprint all around the world at the point of a gun – because they know that the resulting new copy-cat political model will then attract the same type of traitorous and craven people to its inner circle that they manipulate so well.

  13. Excalibur  February 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm


    I would respectfully submit that Netanyahu – and all the zionist lie machine – only has ONE plan. It is the SAME plan that has been in operation for nearly three thousand years – and it involves an utterly evil and supremacist view of the world, where the zionists end up with all their detractors dead – and with complete dominance and control over all other nations and peoples. Like a criminal gang of international gypsy robber barons – they slyly chip away at the next objective that blocks their path. They have all the time in the world – it’s just that some politicians allow them to make more progress than others.

    I know that everyone of our generation are encouraged to think that modern times and ‘progress’ are wonderful and that the medieval world was terrible – but in fact being a Serf in feudal times was not quite as bad as it has been deliberately painted. A Serf had to obey his local Lord of the Manor – true – and had to work for two days a week in his employ; but so what? The rest of the week could be spent “Hunting, fishing and at leisure”. Also as a Serf born into a local Manor he was entitled to a property (from which he could never be evicted); land enough to grow the vegetables that he needed; some pigs, poultry and cattle with land to graze. The Serf had certain obligations but also so did the Lord. The Lord could be in all sorts of trouble with the King and his fellow Lords if he did not keep his traditional obligations to his staff and his Serfs. This is a life which many an American or Briton right now might be rather envious of.

    Edward I banned all jews from Britain in the EDICT OF EXPULSION in 1290 AD. The main charges against them were as follows:
    USUARY – and using finance to deprive Englishmen of their property.

    OSTENTATION – The people did not like their bullying and bragging behaviour.


    HUMAN SACRIFICE ALLEGATIONS – Local English boys of about 10 years old were continually going missing at or around the ‘Feast of the Passover’. Many were subsequently found butchered. Responsibility for this was denied by the jews – but they did have an ancient custom that if they did not sacrifice a Goyim boy child at the ‘Feast of the Passover’ each year – then they would never be allowed to return to ‘zion’ (Palestine).

    They were all expelled on pain of death if they ever returned – and this real threat kept them out until about 1650 – when they managed to strike a deal with Oliver Cromwell that if they financed his ‘revolution’ and he murdered King Charles I to form a new ‘republic’ – they would be allowed back into Britain. The very first thing they did when back in Britain was to Form THE NATIONAL DEBT – and then THE BANK OF ENGLAND (which of course is actually nothing of the sort!)

    All Englishmen then changed from working two days a week to five days a week – and seemed to be on a treadmill paying off debts forever thereafter. So my friends – “Feudalism” was not as bad as it has been smeared – and some eternal problems can only be solved the old fashioned way.

    • Dan  February 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Nicely said, and it’s interesting that the modern, office-bound serfs in states like Connecticut, where the last tax date is in late May, who pay an additional stealth tax of over 10% due to the inflation they don’t even see, who’re almost all mired in debt to the banksters, will vote in their own slave masters this Nov and walk around town wearing an “I Voted!” sticker like they’re proud of themselves.

      I figure that here in the People’s Socialist Utopia of Ct an average young working couple with a joint income of $150,000 who own a tiny home pay 50% in taxes after fedl, state, local, property, sales, and usage taxes are added together. On top of that, they had their standard of living cut by 11.7% last year through inflation (according to Shadowstats), which is like saying they had about 60% of their income confiscated by government. Add to that the many hours working for the banksters holding their mortgage and car loans, outrageous work hours, particularly if they commute into the Rotten Apple for this privilege, and their actual standard of living is abysmal, causing serious health and emotional problems, broken marriages, and breakdown. While these young parents are off being worked like slaves, their children are forced into penitentiary like schools where they’re indoctrinated to believe their parents and grandparents, middle-class communities, society, country, religion, church, traditions, culture, and very identity are the source of all evil in this world. Much worse is in store for them, unfortunately.

    • DaveE  February 12, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Great comment. Makes you realize just how long these S%$^&ags have been at it.

      I’m pretty sure Bush II is the reincarnation of Cromwell. Or is it Obama….. or Blair….. or Brown…….? Gosh, I’m getting confused…… See what you’ve done?

  14. DaveE  February 11, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Well, I guess that’s a theory. We’re all entitled to at least ONE. Here’s a better one, IMHO.

    As Gordon has pointed out, Israel CAN’T attack Iran for several reasons, mostly lack of airspace access and lack of long-distance aerial refueling capability. So why the bluster?

    Iran has to feel threatened in order for Israel’s next false-flag attack on the US to be blamed on Iran. This is the setup phase. Israel and the US scream “attack Iran” 24/7 in the media, as they are now doing. Iran feels threatened, because they ARE threatened. Next comes a nuke going off in Chicago or Seattle or wherever, done by the zionists in their usual (9/11, 7/7) style. What choice would Obama, Panetta and crew have but to launch a massive retaliation at Iran? The zionist Nazis get their war and they don’t have to lift a finger.

    I agree that Israel’s bullying IS a show of force, like mobsters breaking kneecaps if they don’t get the “respect” they think they deserve. But these wiseguys aren’t the Mafia. They’re the Mafia turned pro.

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