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16 Dem Senators Join AIPAC Against Iran Deal; Feinstein and TV's Chris Hayes Support Obama

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Sixteen Democratic U.S. Senators, including two with higher political aspirations, have joined Republican senators as co-sponsors of Senate legislation which might better be described as "the kill the Iranian nuclear pact" legislation.

The legislation was presented to the Senate by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), major AIPAC Senate leaders for their respective political parties.

The Senate bill, labeled the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, would impose additional sanctions against Iran, thereby destroying the carefully negotiated nuclear pact Secretary of State John Kerry has worked out with Iran.

On January 15, Chris Hayes devoted a segment of his MSNBC All In television program to a heated attack on the 16 Democratic senators who have turned away from President Obama and followed, instead, the marching orders of the Israel Lobby, led by AIPAC.

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To view Hayes' four minute segment on the 16 Democratic senators who follow AIPAC's bidding, click here. (Not counting the ad, sorry about that, stop the video after 4:03 minutes unless you want to hear more about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and who needs more of that.)

Hayes is not alone in opposing "the kill the Iranian nuclear pact" Senate legislation. He provides media backing to California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, (above left) who spoke on the Senate floor against the Kirk-Menendez legislation.

According to the Daily Beast...

"Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein faced criticism Wednesday for comments that some thought implied a new Iran sanctions bill could put Israel in charge of U.S. foreign policy.

"Feinstein objected to moving forward on a new Iran sanctions bill sponsored by 59 senators, including 16 Democrats, and co-authored by Sen Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL). The California senator said the bill could imperil ongoing negotiations between Iran and the West, harm U.S. diplomatic credibility, break up the current international sanctions coalition, and allow Tehran to argue 'we are interested in regime change.'

"'Candidly, in my view, it is a march toward war,' she said, echoing the White House argument that senators who support the Iran sanctions bill have a secret pro-war agenda.

"Feinstein took direct aim at a provision in the new bill that states, '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.'  Feinstein worried that this language might hamstring American foreign policy decision makers as a result.

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"'While I recognize and share Israel's concern, we cannot let Israel determine when and where the United States goes to war,' she said."

Two of the 16 Democrats supporting Kirk-Menendez -- Senators Cory Booker, of New Jersey, and Kirsten Gillibrand, of New York (below) -- are widely assumed to be eyeing White House futures.

In his MSNBC segment, Hayes recalls the recent history of two veteran Democratic senators who cast votes in the Senate in favor of invading Iraq. The two, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, must cringe today when they see themselves in the Hayes report. Both have done well in their post-senatorial careers, but so far, no White House.

Booker and Gillibrand are in safe Democratic states, so their need for AIPAC's largess and muscle is not as crucial as it could be for their 14 pro-AIPAC fellow Democrats, most of whom are in states that lean toward the Republican political brand.

New York Times report on January 13, set the stage for the Obama-Senate struggle:

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http://wallwritings.wordpress.com/

James Wall is currently a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced Jim's writings over (more...)
 

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