The Bomb Iran Lobby Gears Up for 2016

The Bomb Iran Lobby Gears Up for 2016: A tight-knit group of neocon dead-enders is pushing Iran to the forefront of the GOP’s foreign policy agenda by Sina Toosi; Foreign Policy in Focus

In a recent TV ad, a van snakes its way through an American city. As the driver fiddles with the radio dial, dire warnings about the perils of a “nuclear Iran” spill out of the speaker from Senator Lindsey Graham and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The driver then steers the vehicle into a parking garage, drives to the top level, and blows it up in a blinding flash of white light. Words shimmer across the screen: “No Iran Nuclear Treaty Without Congressional Approval.” …

These think-tank gurus, special interest groups, and media pundits have peddled a plethora of alarmist narratives aimed at scuttling the diplomatic process — and they’ve relied far more on fear mongering than facts.

So who are these people?

A Close-Knit Network

Despite their bipartisan façade, these reflexively anti-Iran ideologues are in reality a tight-knit group. Many were also prominent supporters of the Iraq War and other foreign policy debacles from the last 15 years. They work in close coordination with one another and are often bankrolled by similar funders.

Four GOP super-donors alone — the billionaires Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer, Bernard Marcus, and Seth Klarman — keep afloat an array of groups that ceaselessly advocate confrontation with Iran, like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Other groups forming the core of this network include the neoconservative Hudson Institute  and the Foreign Policy Initiative, as well as more explicitly hardline “pro-Israel” groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Emergency Committee for Israel, The Israel Project, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

Several of these outfits also rely on right-wing grant-making foundations such as the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Scaife Foundations, which together funnel millions into hardline policy shops.

Hardline Senators

Together these groups have established what amounts to their own echo chamber. They’ve built an anti-Iran communications and lobbying infrastructure that enjoys substantial influence in Washington’s corridors of power, particularly in Congress.

And if you think that this has nothing to do with Jewish money aimed at furthering Israeli interests, you are simply avoiding reality. It’s very difficult to see how a Republican candidate could win the nomination without the support of the Republican Jewish coalition. It’s yet another example where Jews pursue a top-down strategy that begins by dominating elite discourse,  shaping public opinion by having access to the elite media, and by the role of money in influencing politics at the highest level.  Of course, many non-Jews are involved in this movement, from well-paid foreign policy hacks who work at the think tanks mentioned, Senators (Toossi mentions Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham, Mark Kirk, Kelly Ayotte, and John McCain),  to presidential candidates. As Lindsey Graham famously said,

“If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing…I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding. [Chuckles.] Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding.”

It’s not just Republicans who are in fealty to Jewish pro-Israel money. Hilary Clinton, who seems to be the inevitable Democratic candidate despite being little more than a grifter, depends on Haim Saban and the liberal Jewish establishment ensconced in Hollywood. Saban is totally on board with bombing Iran. Clinton also has close ties to Wall St. and has welcomed important neocons like Robert Kagan to her foreign policy team. War with Iran in 2017 seems almost a foregone conclusion.

Toossi’s entire article is well worth reading. He concludes:

Yet by so vigorously denouncing the Obama White House’s negotiations with Iran, these armchair warriors are pushing for a war that wouldn’t only be terrible for the region and the people who live there. It would harvest more lives and limbs from American soldiers, waste trillions more taxpayer dollars, and undoubtedly erode U.S. standing in the world even further.

Sina Toossi is the assistant editor of Right Web, a project that monitors the efforts of militarists to influence U.S. foreign policy.

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