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28 February 2015

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Jack

All

Does the Committee believe that the American people will ever break the back of the Zionist 5th column? What would need to happen before decisive action is taken to prevent these foreign interests from further damaging US national interests?

Lars

Hopefully, Bibi will start the process as he campaigns on Capitol Hill. Maybe more will realize that he is not really our friend.

r whitman

This committee needs to consider what might happen if there is no agreement with Iran over their nuclear posture.

JohnH

Who, pilgrims, thinks it a good idea? Maybe Sheldon Adelson, Bib's patron.
http://aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20Editorials/2015/February/20%20o/Sheldon%20Adelson%20Ordered%20Netanyahu%27s%20Speech%20in%20Congress,%20to%20Show%20Who%20Is%20In%20Controll%20of%20Both%20US%20and%20Israeli%20Governments%20By%20Uri%20Avnery.htm

Adelson is helping make the case that the existence of billionaires is a threat to democracy...

A Pols

Calling this issue a third rail is an understatement..Many Americans are afraid to deviate from the "party line" on the issue of whether reflexive unconditional support for Israel is actually in America's real long term interests. Candor is reserved for "between 4 eyes" discussions between friends who have tested the waters between them enough to know it's safe to mention the unmentionable. If you are in Academia, politics, public employment, even if you just run a humble local business, the wrong utterance can get you in deep Kimchee or destroy your career. I know prominent academics who will tell me things in confidence that would get them fired if said in public. Col. Lang has the luxury of indulging in honesty over this issue because he is retired...
The idea that we might be better off letting Israel sink or swim is political and public cultural anathema. So too is the idea that a neo-colonial state with a "democracy" whose benefits inure exclusively to the members of one ethnic group might be an idea that flies in the face of American ideals...

turcopolier

A Pols
"Col. Lang has the luxury of indulging in honesty over this issue because he is retired..." Well, that's it then. All of you who are not retired are "off the hook..." pl

Fred

A Pols

Sadly there are cowards everywhere, especially academia. It doesn't mean we need to join them.

Jose

Col., respectfully your opinions are a double standard. First, you allow BSHO freedom to do whatever he wants without regards to constitutional checks and balances (immigration, climate change crap and gun control) then you hold the Republicans to a higher constitutional standard. Consistency would be a nice.

IMO, Boner and McNuggets should both lose their leadership roles for failing the Republican party. The DHS bill will limit the courts action on the immigration illegal actions. Let another bloated government bureaucracy feel the pain like the IRS is feeling right now.

turcopolier

jose

So, basically you are an anarchist who wants to shut down the US Government. Parties? you clearly are not paying attention. i beat the democrats up all the time. No. "The Republicans suck and the Democrats blow." (Lewis Black) POTUS' executive action on immigration is IMO probably unconstitutional but that is for the courts to decide. Be careful. If you say "respectfully" and then slander me you will still be banned. pl

walrus

The tragedy of the Jews, as my Jewish uncle told me was that "chutzpah" always leads them to go one step too far. That is always their undoing in his opinion.

It is my belief that Bibi is about to do just that.

Peter C

After Bibi, cheer-leads Congress to some type of action, how many administrative ways can military aid deals both coming from Israel, such as F 35 integration, and outgoing aid in weapons and ammunition be held up and stopped?

turcopolier

walrus

"chutzpah?" How about an unjustified assumption of superiority? "Narcissism" on a grand scale. pl

Adam L Silverman

Jose,

Not to step on COL Lang's response to you below, but let's take your list one by one shall we:
1) immigration: Congress appropriates enough money to deport - identify, arrest, adjudicate, and then remove from the U.S. - approximately 400,000 individuals that are here either because they've entered illegally or over stayed their legitimate visas. This requires the administration, and every one, as far as I know, from Reagan's through the current one, has had to prioritize who it will subject to this process. What the Obama Administration has done has decided to focus on those individuals who have committed felonies, as well as those that have been determined to be security threats. They've coupled this with limited relief for others who are here in an illegal or undocumented capacity. This is intended to keep families intact where there is a child who is an American citizen. It is also intended to bring the undocumented out of the grey and black economies and into the white/licit/legal economies. This reduces the ability of human traffickers to exploit them once here - working in slave labor or indentured servititude type conditions, sexual trafficking, etc. It is also supposed to have the beneficial side effect of bringing these folks onto the tax rolls - for income and payroll tax purposes. This broadens the tax base and it reduces the ability for exploitation.

Climate change crap: the current adminstration's legislative request to institute a cap and trade program failed in Congress and has not been reintroduced. The EPA, as a result of a law suit brought during the Bush 43 Adminstration, was ordered by the courts, including the Supreme Court, to actually enforce the Clean Air Act through the development of appropriate regulatory processes. The other major effort was to get China to agree to a reduction in emissions. Even if they don't come close to hitting the goals, even getting agreement is a start. By the way the term climate change was a creation of Frank Luntz's political rhetoric work for the GOP - apparently it polled well in the focus groups he was running.

Gun control: the current administrations two legislative requests to produce gun control - reintroduction of the Assualt Weapons Ban and the post-Sandy Hook universal background check bill both failed. It is true that the ATF has recently issued a number of confusing directives on things like the SIG pistol brace, which to be honest were the result of people wanting to use it off spec writing to ATF asking for what might happen if they did. The recent ammo ban is silly, but my guess is it'll be challenged in court by Mr. Gura. By the way for the best legal history of the Heller decision, constitutional, legislative, and political history of the 2nd Amendment I highly recommend Winkler's "Gun Fight".

As COL Lang indicated - the Federal courts will have the final say on the administration's immigration executive order. My take is the prioritization will pass muster - if you've only got appropriations to handle 400,000 cases, you have to develop a plan on which 400,000 you're going to adjudicate and deport. There's also precedent - every administration since Reagan's has done this, however, given that executive branch activities that have been common place and uncontroversial in previous administrations, such as recess appointments, are now effectively unconstitutional, I suppose anything is possible. What I'm not so sure about is bringing the illegal and undocumented fully into the legal economy. I think it makes a lot of sense from a policy point of view, but I have know idea how the courts will react. Finally, this whole issue would go away if Congress would do it job. Immigration issues require a legislative fix, even if Congress does something I don't agree with. Failing that, any administration is going to do what it thinks it both has to and that it is legally justified in doing to make the system we have function with the funding that has been made available.

Adam L Silverman

Walrus,

I'm not completely sure this is really Jewish Americans. There are no Jews in the House GOP leadership and many of the Democratic Jewish members of Congress have already come out against this, said they're not attending, or both. And this is in the face of real harm as the Adelsons funded and Israel centric lobbying groups have indicated they will score attendance at the speech and then use it against any Jewish American members of Congress, as well as all other members of Congress that don't attend. While AIPAC is largely led by Jewish Americans, like a lot of these organizations, they're led by professional members of the group's they claim to represent. They are often referred to as professional Jews - as in the ones who have found a way to represent the rest of Jewish Americans without asking if we wanted to be represented by them. Professor Dershowitz should be counted among these folks. I don't believe that Catholic Americans should by judged by what William Donohue opines about on TV and radio, nor Protestant Americans by Reverend Robertson or Reverend Hagee, just like Muslim Americans shouldn't have to respond to anything another Muslim does or they're somehow all complicit. There's a reason the founders and framers decided against religious tests for office and made it clear that religion and the state should be kept separate. This is, despite a lot of people being loudly misinformed and aggrieved on TV and radio, not intended to keep anyone of faith, regardless of their faith, from participating in the political process. But it also doesn't mean that if you scream religion loud enough you get to magically conjure some sort of special treatment or consideration.

Charles I

Israel recently announced that they would, er, buy more 25 more f 35's above their initial 2010 order of 14 jets.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/28/us-israel-defence-lockheed-martin-idUSKBN0IH14T20141028

That's a lot of pork, which seems to be the only thing really keeping this turkey in the air. How much can you donate to your incumbent's opponent? Oh, I forgot, the election was in November, back when the new purchase announcement was reported.

Tigershark

Superb response. Especially on the allocation of resources for deportation. If Congress wants to deport more people, "all" they have to do is allocate more money to do so. The fact that they do not do this means in the end, despite all the hot air, they are happy with the status quo.

different clue

Uri Avneri at Counterpunch has written an interesting article called The Real Ruler Of Israel: Sheldon Adelson. I found it worth reading in detail. In briefest, it describes how Adelson discovered he likes the way Netanyahu thinks because Netanyahu thinks the way Adelson likes. So Adelson spent years and vast millions blanketing Israel with free newspapers backing Netanyahu against all opposition. Adelson has promised to give millions against any Democrat who sits out the Netanyahu speech. Here is the link:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/13/the-real-ruler-of-israel-sheldon-adelson/

It looks like this is THE hill that Adelson and Netanyahu mean to fight for. Can we make this the hill they die on? Those of us who have Democratic officeholders still have a week or so to call and tell them we will vote for them again in total gratitude and respect if they avoid the Netanyahu speech. We can also tell them that we will donate what paltry money we can to them against Adelson's mighty millions to their opponents. The more DemParty officeholders sit out the speech, the bigger show of defiance . . . and the more money Adelson will feel forced to spend next election.

After the speech, we will have a year and a half or so to organize fundraising/ get-out-the-vote/ other support efforts on behalf of every DemParty office re-seeker who is targetted by Adelson. Perhaps people with more energy and diligence than I have might want to start a lobbying group with the humorous and ironic name of Anti-Adelson Public Affairs Committee (AAPAC). It could be a symbolic rallying and inspirational symbol and might even attract enough support/energy/money to materially undercut Adelson in some material way. It would be using Paul Alinsky's methods of personalizing an issue and polarizing opinion against the personalised target. If somebody thinks this might be a useful way to spend the next year-and-a-half, I give away for anyone's free use the name AAPAC . . . stands for Anti Adelson Public Affairs Committee.

Imagine

Most likely result, the world will bumble on. However:

Senate Res. SR65 last yr already committed US to back Israel with full might of Pentagon and Treasury when Israel preemptively attacks Iran in righteous self defense. Bibi already flaunts Obama, UN; believes he may own Congress; will test the waters with that on Mar 3. If he gets reelected, may see that as mandate to attack Iran. Haaretz 2010: Israel has 3 nuke-missile subs in rotation off the coast of Iran. So Bibi might feel has limited downside to an initial "small-scale" conventional attack; "they wouldn't dare counter". Am. Zios hate both Iran and Russia, now both out of favor, Russia helping Iran w/power, arms. Why not start a war. If Bibi hears a green light, or even no red light, he may attack on his own, hoping to force America's hand. I am reminded of Georgia, and Saddam into Kuwait. Kerry presum. knows all this, has been successfully stalling for over a year now. I predict some agreement "will" happen, but if not, Kerry + Iran will likely postpone for another 8 months. If not, then Bibi gets his chance at the slot machine to line up the Israeli people, the Congress, and the army logistics/situation to pull off an attack. Congress is shocked, shocked. The world gets another grand adventure, and attention is diverted away from America's recession and Israel's Gaza for another two years at the least. Trillions of dollars are squandered, and America eventually sinkholes in debt, forcing it to invade China. But that's next chapter.

Amir

An additional solution would be to play the man, not the ball: Adelson has lots of businesses in Las Vegas and China, in a sector that is sometimes not so kosher. Surely arranging for"whistleblowing" about his organization and attracting the DOJ attention, is going to at the very least tie down some of his funds.

turcopolier

Imagine

A senate resolution cannot commit the US to do anything. The senate has no executive authority. pl

Peter C

Charles, the F 35 looks to be the biggest most successful political engineering project of all times. Big profits for Lockheed this year, strange how a project just grows in cost and profits increase.

The Air Force is hell bent on killing the A 10 right now, without a viable replacement. The F 35 will never be a viable replacement for several years, if ever. I can't see an Air Force general letting a delicate low in numbers plane anywhere near small arms fire. The Swiss Army Knife of planes, has a lot of things on it and does nothing well. Plus in 2008 the Chinese hacked the whole enchilada, terabytes of design work were absconded.

Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang, SST,

Smart, partisan, shysters like Dershowitz -essentially the neocons- are responsible for the murder of truth and honor. In their attempt to defend the indefensible they have purchased media outlets, neutralized opponents through every possible method, and have created an "accepted" public discourse mode where contradictions like "war is peace", "black is white" and "a land without people for a people without land" are pushed incessantly. They have introduced a cancer into the body politic, and we will all have to live with the results. Manipulating public opinion this way could backfire in a major way and cause hurt to all on this planet.

Ishmael Zechariah

confusedponderer

They are the proverbial sophists, with one exceptions, they are not entirely for hire - as far as their cause is concerned the are true believers who act on their own ideological impetus.

Nobody needs ton give the Dersh marching orders as far as Israel advocacy is conerned. And boy, how far he goes.

His hare brained idea of torture warrants is entirely and utterly irreconcilable with existing US and international law, but it makes Israel look good if the US and they had the same practice, so he proposes it anyway.

The Dersh's advocacy for Israel differs from what OJ bought from him - OJ bought a zealous defence, and got one - but for Israel the Dersh gives zealous defence well beyond the reasonable doubt.

David Habakkuk

Adam Silverman,

But why has there been no revolt among Jewish Americans against the claims of people like Sheldon Adelson and Mark Oren to speak for them?

For years, I have read Philip Weiss's 'Mondoweiss' blog. There is much I would disagree with in it, but I cannot but admire the courage with which he has been prepared to risk ostracism and obloquy.

It is clear that he has been trying to precipitate precisely the kind of turning away of American Jews from unquestioning adherence to the Likudnik 'general line' for which I have long hoped.

But, more and more, he has looked like an officer who has 'gone over the top', but finds that very few are prepared to follow him.

tv

Forget Israel and Netanyahu.
Is Obama going to fold like a cheap suit and let Iran go nuclear?
If so, what does that mean?
Nuclear arms race in the ME?
Iran a nuclear threat to Europe, USA?
Is a nuclear armed Iran going to make the world a more or less dangerous place?

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