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Monday, March 19, 2012

We're winning!

Even the New York Times admits that the 'hawkish' Israel supporters are winning what it describes as both an internal (among Israel's supporters), and external (among US public opinion), debate over how strong American policy on Iran should be (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Representative Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat who opposes military action against Iran, said, “The rhetoric is overblown.”

Those advocating military intervention “whip up fear and whip up doomsday scenarios,” Mr. Ellison said in an interview. “It has an effect. If nothing else, they’re making Obama talk about military options with regard to Iran.”

But Mr. Ellison is in the minority on Capitol Hill, where the debate over Israel and Iran was largely settled long ago.

Even in the oft-divided Senate, a measure last fall to impose tough economic sanctions on Iran passed 100-0 despite White House concerns. Beyond antiwar activists like Mr. Ellison and the recently defeated Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat, or neo-isolationists like Representative Ron Paul of Texas, the Republican presidential candidate, there is almost no constituency in either party for anything other than tougher sanctions against Iran and clear expressions of solidarity with Israel.

In the standoff with Iran, it is the hawkish groups supporting military action that wield more money, political clout and high-profile names than do the advocates of a diplomatic solution.


Richard N. Perle, an influential neoconservative voice who served as a senior Defense official in the Bush administration, said he saw a growing “sense of urgency” among Republicans over the need to consider all options — including military intervention — to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb that could be used against Israel. The “noisy public debate” has now made military operations more politically viable for Mr. Obama, he said in an interview.
For now, at least, Obama has moved toward the hawks in an effort to defuse Israel v. Iran as a wedge issue to be used against him in the elections. But what will happen if God forbid Obama is reelected? I would bet that he'll go right back to supporting Iran's leaders - if anything more openly.

What could go wrong?

The picture at the top is New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (D).

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