" to AIPAC, its not about Syria or Syrian victims of chemical warfare. No, to AIPAC, this is about Iran. If it can't put over a rather minor effort against Syria, how would it sell America (including Congress) on a major war with Iran? Answer: it can't.
If it loses this vote, the 800 pound gorilla will be staggering -- alive but more like a big monkey. On the other hand, it will be able to rake in millions from credulous donors by warning that Iranian bombs are practically en route to Tel Aviv, that another Holocaust looms and anti-Semites are everywhere."
Maybe, one friend of mind speculated, Obama has sent this to congress so he doesn't have to make the decision. Or, maybe, I'm guessing, he's sent it to congress so he doesn't have to stand up to AIPAC, and he's forcing house members to stand up to AIPAC.
Billionaire Zionist Sheldon Adelson spent over $90 million in the 2012 election cycle, with support for Israel one of his biggest issues. I'm sure he's calling the candidates he supported.
But congress is not beholding to the same interests they used to. With the new teaparty Republicans, old allegiances are no longer holding. The same teaparty house members who are repudiating corporate interests are also opposing the attack on Syria.
But AIPAC is very powerful. Apparently, even if its power is ebbing, a very good thing, it is more powerful among Democrats (though, one can't be sure if they are backing AIPAC or Obama.)
It may be that the supposedly liberal Democrats in congress are the worst betrayers of the progressives and anti-war members of the Democratic party. Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Jeanne Shaheen, Christopher Coons, Richard Durbin and Tim Kaine voted to support Obama's request for approval for an attack, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. To their courageous credit Tom Udall and Chris Murphy voted no.
And a huffingtonpost tally suggests that a guy who I thought was a stalwart progressive Democrat, Keith Ellison is leaning yes on Syria, as well as Elijah Cummings.
Here's a list from the huffpo article on those democrats either going yes or leaning yes.
Calif. Becerra Costa Negrete McLeod Pelosi Sherman Vargas Fla. Brown Deutch Hastings Wasserman Schultz Ill. Foster Schneider La. Richmond Md. Cummings Hoyer Ruppersberger Van Hollen Mich. Levin Minn. Ellison McCollum N.C. Price N.Y. Engel Israel Texas Cuellar Jackson Lee Veasey Connolly Moran W.Va. Rahall
Frankly, it's disappointing that there are not more Democrats leaning or definitely committing to NO on the huffingtonpost tally, considering how many members of the Progressive Caucus there are. Actually, given that rep. Ellison is co-chair, it's hard to take the whole caucus seriously, with him leaning pro-attack.
I'll wrap up this piece with these words. I am a Jew and I totally oppose the attack on Syria. I also totally oppose AIPAC. I support Israel's right to exist, but oppose many of its policies, just as I have opposed policies of the recent presidents of the United States.
It is time for American Jews to take a stand against AIPAC, to put America first, to put peace first.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow says,
What to do? Urge your Senators and House member and whatever publics you can reach, to vigorously oppose any resolution authorizing military force against Syria, and instead to put forward nonviolent, nonlethal alternatuve ways of intervening.
Try to start a viral message:
Drop gas-masks, not bombs.
Remember: On Rosh Hashanah we pleaded with God -- which means also with ourselves -- to move from the throne of Punitive Justice to the throne of Compassionate Repair.
If not now, when?"