Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Final Act of Submission

Pulling no punches, Scott Ritter, well known UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, writing in truthdig [and reproduced on CommonDreams] says:

"We must demand not only that Congress reassert its constitutional responsibilities and authority by demanding the president obey the letter of the law when it comes to war, whether against Iran or any other nation, but also to place in check the anti-American activities of one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, D.C., the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

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.

To state that AIPAC, and by extension Israel, is above the law in this regard is to acknowledge the reality that American national sovereignty no longer matters when it comes to the state of Israel. So be it. But then we are, collectively, no better than those nations I mocked prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as “colonies” of the United States. So if we are to continue to permit AIPAC to operate as an undeclared agent of a foreign nation, and to influence American foreign and national security policymaking at the expense of our Constitution, then we should acknowledge our true status as nothing more than a colony of Israel, pull down the Stars and Stripes and raise the Star of David over our nation’s capitol. While representing the final act of submission, it would also be the first truly honest act that occurred in Washington, D.C., in many years."

Perhaps as coincidence will have it, The Age [republishing a Reuters piece] has this article on much the same topic from a slightly different perspective:

"Billionaire investor George Soros has added his voice to a heated debate over the role of Israel's powerful lobby in shaping Washington policy.

Critics have said the lobby hurts US national interests and stifles debate.

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books, Mr Soros takes issue with "the pervasive influence" of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, and says the Bush Administration's close ties with Israel are obstacles to a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians."

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