AIPAC’s Support of Iran Sanctions Parallels Lead Up To Iraq War

Eli Clifton has an important addendum to his earlier post on the push from almost the entire Senate for Obama to add further sanctions on Iran (which I posted on here). Obviously, the Israel lobby supports these sanctions too, but Clifton says their tactics resemble all too closely the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He writes:

a Tuesday press release [PDF] from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) brings to mind eery parallels between the escalation of sanctions against Iran and the slow lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The press release read:

AIPAC applauds today’s bipartisan letter—signed by 92 U.S. Senators—to the administration urging it to sanction the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), or Bank Markazi. The letter, spearheaded by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), notes that the CBI lies at the center of Iran’s strategy to circumvent international sanctions against its illicit nuclear program.

Sanctioning Bank Markazi might, as mentioned by the Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon, be interpreted as an act of war. But that doesn’t seem to bother AIPAC. Indeed, they’ve been down this sanctions road once before before the invasion of Iraq.

In June, Robert Dreyfuss interviewed former AIPAC senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman who offered details of how AIPAC and its allies in the Bush administration pushed the allegation that Saddam Hussein was in league with al Qaeda. More importantly, Weissman discusses AIPAC’s plans for ultimately bringing regime change in Iran. Dreyfuss writes:

Weissman says that Iran was alarmed at the possibility that the United States might engage in overt and covert efforts to instigate opposition inside Iran. He says that many in AIPAC, especially among its lay leadership and biggest donors, strongly backed regime change in Iran. “That was what Larry [Franklin] and his friends wanted,” he says. “It included lots of different parts, like broadcasts, giving money to groups that would conduct sabotage, it included bringing the Mojahedin[-e Khalgh], bringing them out of Iraq and letting them go back to Iran to carry out missions for the United States.Harold Rhode backed this…. There were all these guys, Michael Ledeen‘Next stop Tehran, next stop Damascus.’

Indeed, as shown in the AIPAC press release, Iran is now the target of similar sanctions and bellicose rhetoric similar to those that targeted Iraq in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Sanctioning Iran’s central bank and imposing a de facto oil embargo on Iranian oil exports would appear to be pages torn from the playbook before the invasion of Iraq.

 

  • Guest

    Déjà vu all over again.

  • Hoover

    aipac, israeli, zionism, is ready, willing and able to fight Iran to the last American standing.

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  • AmericanPatriot

    They steal our money, our technology and our politicians.
    They use American soldiers as fodder for their twisted psychopathic "the Boogeyman is coming" fantasies.
    They spy on us and hold us hostage by monopolizing our politics and media.
    They use their spying as blackmail and force our politicians to support them as they violate countless International laws.
    They use racist and apartheid tactics and our own weaponry to occupy and mercilessly demean and destroy an innocent and unarmed occupied people.
    They say "Never again" but then cause a holocaust to be unleashed on others every 2-3 years.
    Israel…With friends like these, who needs terrorists?

  • JohnWV

    An American UN veto would perpetuate the horrors Israel has wreaked upon Palestine for generations. This is not what my country is all about. Israel and its AIPAC minions have garnered disproportionate media, financial and political control right here in United States. Seems our country, not just Palestine, has been occupied. At horrific cost, Palestine justly and honorably resists, whereas we, like donkeys, serve the Israeli herdsmen. Please, save Palestine and save us too. No veto.

  • MeMyself

    Actually, AIPAC never took a position on the Iraq war. If they came out in favor, they knew they would be opposing the government of then PM Sharon. Sharon’s secret talks with Bush where he advised the president not to invade Iraq are now public knowledge, but back then were known only to a few — including AIPAC.

    If AIPAC came out against the war, then they would no longer get invites to White House cocktail parties.

    So they kept silent.

    The only Israeli politician I know of who supported the Iraq war openly was Ehud Olmert. Even then his own intelligence and security people were being quoted weekly in the Israeli press saying the Iraq was endangering Israeli security because it was opening the door for Iranian expansion. But Olmert was Bush’s lapdog. That’s why he was defeated for re-election.

    Really, you people should be better informed!

    • Grant Smith, IRmep

      AIPAC prides itself on not having activities traceable back to it. One memorable AIPAC quote to The National Journal was “there is no question that we exert a policy impact, but working behind the scenes and taking care not to leave fingerprints, that impact is not always traceable to us.”

      AIPAC's key PR Front, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy endlessly promoted the invasion, as did former AIPACker Martin Indyck when AIPAC supporter Haim Saban funded a new Middle East division at Brookings to shore up support.
      http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2002/1219iraq_i

      If you read Mearsheimer and Walt's Israel lobby book, you'll understand that if there were no lobby activity, there would have been no invasion. AIPAC wasn't overt about Iraq because they feared retribution if things went bad, but they were pushing the Iraq invasion.

  • Smilodon

    This could really backfire on the Israeli's. A war with Iran would most surely cause another downgrade of the American credit rating. World markets could take a hit. Just as in WWII Jews would naturally become the scapegoats. Didn't Jefferson say we need a revolution every 200 years, the USA is overdue.

  • hassani1387

    “Iran is not in breach of international law. There is no evidence that the country is building nuclear weapons” – Five former EU ambassadors to Iran.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/

    Multiple polls by US organizations found that the people of Iran did in fact vote for Ahmadinejad, and there was no election fraud.
    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/b

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