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Democracy, Presidential Election and the Lobby: Part 2
by Dr. Habib Siddiqui
2008-05-07 07:43:39
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Who Goes to the White House?

America is now holding its primary elections. With Senator Hillary Clinton's predictable victory in the Pennsylvania primary election, the super delegates may eventually decide who ultimately gets the ticket for the Democratic Party. The election is also bringing to the fore the ugly side of racism that has always been dormant within the society.

The three most important issues in the minds of most voters are economy, war and healthcare (in that order). Everyone is feeling the pinch of soaring prices on almost everything from gasoline to milk to meat to bread and rice. The American economy seems to be in recession. Consumer confidence has hit 26-year low. Many voters have lost their homes to foreclosures, many parents are struggling to pay for soaring tuition costs of their college-going children, many elderly citizens are hard pressed with rising healthcare cost and many workers will lose jobs.

Experts tell us that the days of cheap gasoline at pump stations are over and difficult days are ahead. Beside such economic worries most voters are concerned about American foreign policy. (The American foreign policy is entwined with economics. Oil was a factor for invasion of Iraq. Now that has backfired. Instead of cheaper oil Americans are paying more at the gas pumps.) Tired of the war and its effect on economy, they crave for a shift away from Washington's unwavering support of an Israel-centric Middle East. They don't want to fight another proxy war for Israel against Iran and Syria.

Unfortunately, such voter concerns on the future of American foreign policy are routinely eclipsed by the corporate media, which parrot what the "Israel Lobby" desires; after all, many media pundits, owners and sponsors either belong directly to or are affiliated with the Lobby. The Lobby is tied up intimately with the defense industry – "military industrial complex" – that prefers war over peace, especially when it comes to Iran, which is considered a threat to the 'existence' of the Zionist state.

The matter of who goes to the White House is very important to the Lobby and its circle of influence. Thus, it is not difficult to understand why a Presidential candidate gets better exposure in the American media and favorable treatment from interviewers and moderators in the debates when he/she sounds more hawkish, i.e., pro-war and pro-Israel. We got a good demonstration of this from the favorable treatment of Sen. Clinton in the April 16 face-off between the two Democratic candidates on the ABC TV.

In the first 40 minutes of the two-hour Democratic debate, the moderators appeared unmistakably hostile towards Senator Barack Obama by asking him about his remarks that small-town residents bitterly cling to guns and religion; the inflammatory sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright (with follow-up questions like: "Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?"); about Obama's patriotism why he doesn't wear an American flag pin; and his relationship with William Ayers, a former Weather Underground radical who has acknowledged involvement in several bombings in the 1970s.

One wonders if such TV gangsterism had swayed many neutral Whites, Catholics and blue collar democrats to voting for Senator Clinton in the critical Pennsylvania primary held Tuesday, April 22, 2008! This win has given a gasp of life to Mrs. Clinton's race for the White House; within a day of the win she was able to raise ten million dollars towards her presidential campaign.

The U.S. election has been very important to the Zionist state since its birth six decades ago. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), originally named American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs (affiliated with the American Zionist Council), was formed in 1953 to secure American aid and support to Israel. The advocacy group has now more than 100,000 members and, by any measure, is the most powerful political lobby in the USA. Its grip in the Capitol Hill is almost complete, notwithstanding repeated cases of spying activities against the USA.

This is further testified by the fact that on April 22 and 23, in a landmark display of U.S. friendship to Israel, the House and Senate unanimously passed resolutions (H. Con. Res. 322 and S. Res. 522) recognizing the 60th anniversary of Israel's birth and reaffirming the close ties between the United States and Israel. The Speaker of the House, who traditionally does not cosponsor legislation, joined Democratic and Republican House leaders as a lead sponsor of the bill. Crimes of the rogue Zionist state are not only forgotten and forgiven she is sometimes rewarded by a subservient Capitol Hill. That is the reality of American democracy today.

On January 17, 2008 Haaretz, a liberal Israeli English language newspaper, assessed the American presidential candidates in a monthly feature called "The Israel Factor: Ranking the Presidential Candidates," which rated the candidates from 1 to 10, with 10 being "best for Israel" and 1 being worst. It is not difficult to guess who came worst amongst active candidates. Yes, it's Obama with a score of 5. John McCain, the Republican candidate, got a rating of 7.12. Hillary Clinton scored 7.62 (just behind Giuliani who scored 8.37 – now out of the presidential race). With three main contenders left now, the latest poll numbers are: 7.75 for McCain, 7.5 for Clinton and 5.12 for Obama.

Senator Clinton is very popular with the Lobby since her days as the First Lady. It prefers her over any Democratic contender for the White House. Her husband had pardoned Marc Rich, a fugitive, of tax evasion, after clemency pleas from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. It is worth noting that Denise Rich, Marc's former wife, had made substantial donations to the Clinton library and to Mrs. Clinton's senate campaign, and that Marc Rich was a middleman for several suspect Iraqi oil deals involving over 4 million barrels of oil.

Since becoming a senator in New York, Mrs. Clinton has solidified her position with the Lobby by joining the 'Amen Corner' inside the Capitol Hill which is a cabal for "Israel-firsters", i.e., Israel comes first, even ahead of American interest. She had demanded that the U.S. embassy be shifted from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. She had described Israel as the "beacon" of what democracy can and should mean. She is an unapologetic supporter of the inhuman and utterly criminal Israeli Wall that cuts off tens of thousands of Palestinians from their livelihood, land and family members. She has also said that the "security and freedom" of Israel must remain at the "core of any American approach to the Middle East." In 2005, addressing the AIPAC, she said, "A nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable, but it is not just unacceptable to Israel and the United States. It must be unacceptable to the entire world, starting with the European governments and people."

Trailing behind Obama these days, her rhetoric against Iran has only grown louder. In an interview on MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” she confirmed Monday (April 21) that as president she would be willing to use nuclear weapons against Iran if it were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel.

Senator McCain edges Sen. Clinton as a favorite choice with the military-industrial-complex and amongst the Israel-lovers. He is touted by the American corporate media as an expert on foreign policy, in spite of his highly flawed understanding of the Middle East. On March 17, McCain appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show and said, “There are al Qaeda operatives that are taken back into Iran and given training as leaders and they’re moving back into Iraq.” He repeated the same false claim twice in a press conference in Amman the next day before he was corrected by Sen. Liebermann who had accompanied him there. He is the most hawkish amongst the three serious candidates now running for the presidential post.

To solidify his standing amongst the Lobby he has said, "There can be no comprehensive peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians until the Palestinians recognize Israel, forswear forever the use of violence, recognize their previous agreements, and reform their internal institutions." He also said, "America must provide Israel with whatever military equipment and technology she requires to defend herself, above and beyond what we supply today if necessary." In recent months, to the utter euphoria of neocons he has found a defining signature statement: "the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists." He is Lobby's favorite choice to carry on the unfinished mission in the Middle East.

Naturally, his serious errors with facts and memory lapses are excused by the corporate media. It's not surprising to explain the results of the April 16 Reuters/Zogby poll report, which found McCain to be tied with Democrat Obama in the head-to-head prospective general election match-up with 45% support; and McCain maintaining a 46% to 41% lead over Democrat Clinton.

(To be continued)

Read part one here

[Dr. Siddiqui lives in Pennsylvania and can be reached at saeva@aol.com. His book – Wisdom of Mankind – is now available in Bangladesh.]

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