OccupyAIPAC Gives Iran War Lobby Raucous Times
The annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the conservative lobbying group which favors "enshrining" in U.S. law that it is "U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons," was met with the full-blown Occupy Wall Street treatment last week by OccupyAIPAC, which seeks to stop the drumbeat for war with Iran which threatens to destabilize the world. The media and congressional saber-rattling is opposed by a vast majority of Americans according to recent polls. A CNN poll last month found that:
"only 17% of the public wants the U.S. to use force, with 60% saying diplomatic or economic action against Iran is the right response, and 22% saying no action should be taken at this time."
At one point in the conference, and there were many as activists had paid full price to gain entrance to the proceedings, OccupyAIPAC writers reported that:
"Four Occupy AIPAC activists voices erupted yesterday inside the AIPAC conference when Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is pushing for a resolution which seeks to lower the threshold for the to US attack Iran, took the stage. An AIPAC delegate leaped over rows of chairs to pounce on the activists, choking one with his own tie."
Ros-Lehtinen is a primary sponsor of HR 1905, which seeks to make U.S. military action against alleged Iranian nuclear weapons programs part of official U.S. policy. AIPAC's legislative summary states that HR 1905:
"enshrines in law that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."
The New York Times reported of the OccupyAIPAC counter-conference and direct actions:
"This year, for the first time, a counterlobby was set up by Occupy Aipac, a group that also protested outside the conference and made several attempts to disrupt its sessions. Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of the peace group Codepink and an Occupy leader, said about 200 people divided into nine teams and met with Congressional staff members on Friday, Monday and Tuesday, bringing their own talking points.
“It is important for our congresspeople to hear from both sides,” said Ms. Benjamin, “and hear from Americans horrified about the possibility of a war with Iran.”
The Aipac crowd, though, wanted to make sure that members were taking the possibility seriously."
The NY Times said in the article:
"Andrew Groveman, a real estate developer from Memphis, was leading the group of delegates from an Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, through meetings on Capitol Hill. “As you know,” Mr. Groveman said, “we always have three points.”
“I thought this year the three were Iran, Iran, Iran,” said Mr. Corker, a Republican who sits on the banking committee that recently passed legislation tightening the noose of sanctions against Iran.
For three days, Iran has dominated the agenda of the annual conclave of Aipac, a must-have ticket for politicians eager to prove their pro-Israel bona fides."
Rarely mentioned in the media drumroll for war is the destabilizing effect that an attack on Iran would have across the Middle East, including Afghanistan, which borders Iran, and most worrisome, nuclear-armed Pakistan. It is feared that war on Iran would force a coup by the Islamist-riddled Pakistani ISI officer corp, which has already been caught helping the Taliban mount attacks on American troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan is already undergoing a tidal wave of anti-American sentiment as a result of stepped up U.S. drone attacks against purported Al Qaeda targets.
Pakistani High Commissioner to Britain Wajid Shamsul Hasan has said the drone attacks have made Americans “the most hated people in the minds of the people in Pakistan.”
A destabilized or overthrown Pakistan, sometimes described as the "most dangerous country in the world," would place the country's nuclear arsenal in the hands of hard-core Al Qaeda sympathizers which could result in the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the exact result which proponents of war with Iran say they are seeking to avoid. Commissioner Hasan has already stated that, in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran, Pakistan “would be left with no option but to support Iran if Israel attacks it”.