The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was the proverbial elephant in the room last night in Las Vegas.
Three of the five aspirants to the Democratic presidential nomination were unafraid to stand up to the lobbying power of the National Rifle Association (NRA). But not one uttered a single word that wouldn’t pass muster with AIPAC, whose political clout on foreign policy makes the NRA's domestic might look like the mewing of a pussycat.
Jim Webb talked about a “deal allowing Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” and the absurd assertion went unchallenged. Neither the moderator, Anderson Cooper of CNN, nor any of the other debate participants cited the fact that the “deal” Webb referred to actually guarantees that Iran cannot ever, without outside assistance, develop nuclear weaponry.
Lest there be any doubt that Benjamin Netanyahu is his shadow foreign policy chief, Webb named Israel as “our greatest ally.” Take that, U.K.and NATO!
Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, alleged that “nuclear Iran remains the biggest threat” to American security.
Hillary Clinton glibly listed ”the Iranians” among the enemies she is “proudest to have made.”
No questions were asked, and no candidate volunteered to talk about America’s Israel-backed policy of causing “regime change” by any covert or openly nefarious means necessary wherever in the world a legitimate government refuses to knuckle under to the AIPAC/neocon ideology that has become official U.S. policy. While the myth of “nuclear Iran” and the bashing of “bullying (Vladimir) Putin” got big applause, nobody talked about the genuine nuclear threat raised by the unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2000 and the domino effect that has had throughout the world.
Lincoln Chafee came out of his fog long enough to become the only panelist to cite the fact that “bully” Putin had binding, legitimate international alliances with the legal government of Syria that account for Russia’s presence in the Syrian civil war. Nor had anyone the courage to say that only reason for the United States presence there is its policy of “regime change.” Bernie Sanders did recognize Syria as a “quagmire within a quagmire,” but offered no specific solutions. Nobody else did either. That may be because AIPAC’s only solution is to bomb Iran, and the Democrats aren’t quite ready to be that hawkish — yet.
For all of their shortcomings, the Democrats presented a show that strongly resembled a debate on “the issues important to the American people,” a stark difference, as most of them pointed out, from the blather of the Republican shows.
The fact remains that the one presidential aspirant who makes the most sense on most of the urgent issues of our times was not and never will be on a presidential debate stage.
Her name is Jill Stein and she’s the Green Party candidate. If you want to see apoplexy, just mention her name to an AIPAC supporter.