Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

AIPAC’s “No One Wants War” in Iran Claim Debunked

LobeLog

After Iran and world powers announced a framework agreement last week laying out guidelines for a final nuclear deal due by the end of June, opponents of a deal went immediately on the defensive. One group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was perhaps the most explicit. Their next-day “memo” reportedly circulated in temples over Passover, one of the many famous policy documents they released to activists framed opposition to the framework agreement as rebuttals to arguments in favor of it.

I’ll leave the parsing of all the talking points to someone else, except to note that some of them present straw-men arguments (no one, for instance, has made the “Iran Can Be Trusted Argument”) and some collapse under even basic comparisons to what the agreement entails (pushing back on the “Increased Access Argument” must be difficult, since the framework would clearly increase access for inspections).

One of the arguments, however, caught my eye. The talking point was presented this way:

Critics Want War Argument: Congressional critics, Israel, the pro-Israel movement, and the Sunni Arab neighbors of Iran all want war with Iran, not an agreement.

Response: No one wants war. This argument is outrageous and meant to silence and delegitimize any critics of the deal. Each of these parties wants a diplomatic solution that truly guarantees Iran’s nuclear program can only be used for peaceful purposes. They all fear that an agreement based on the current framework’s parameters won’t meet that test and will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

The problem with saying “no one wants war” is of course that some people do want war. These include some congressional critics, some Israeli officials, some in the pro-Israel movement and some of Iran’s Sunni Arab neighbors. None acts as a monolith, but their beautiful diversity definitely includes some warmongers.

AIPAC, moreover, surely knows this. Sheldon Adelson, a sometime AIPAC funder and partner who remains a major force in the “pro-Israel movement” has for example called for nuking Iran. The group’s stable of regular speakers at fundraisers and events includes several figures who have, indeed, called for war with Iran. Just consider a January AIPAC fundraiser in New York, headlined by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and former Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I/D-CT)—both of whom have at some point called for military strikes. As Lieberman once boasted, there is a “broad bipartisan base of support” for such an attack.

The most glaring example along these lines comes from an AIPAC “Club” event in Florida at the end of March. The speaker there was Joshua Muravchik, a neoconservative scholar at Hopkins. That appearance came just over a week after Muravchik published a case for war with Iran in The Washington Post—following similar calls in 2006200720082011, and 2014.

AIPAC can pretend “no one wants war,” but that’s just not true. One need only consult a long list of those associated with the lobby group itself to see that some do indeed “want war with Iran, not an agreement.” If they’re going to make fact-based arguments, AIPAC should stake out its opposition to its own associates, not deny the facts of their positions.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Nominated for the post of attorney general by Donald Trump, William Barr held the same post under George H.W. Bush, and established a reputation as a staunch conservative and supporter of executive authority.


Pundit Charles Krauthammer, who died in June 2018, was a staunch advocate of neoconservative policies and aggressive U.S. military actions around the world.


Former Weekly Standard editor and current Fox News commentator Bill Kristol is a longtime neoconservative activist who has been a leading right wing opponent of Donald Trump.


Jon Kyl, a hawkish conservative, served in the Senate from 1996-2013 and again in 2018, and helped guide Brett Kavanaugh through his confirmation process.


Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker of the House from 2015-2018, was known for his extremely conservative economic and social views and hawkish foreign policies.


On August 16, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the formation of the Iran Action Group (IAG). It would “be responsible for directing, reviewing, and coordinating all aspects of the State Department’s Iran-related activity, and it will report directly to me,” he stated. Amid speculation that the Donald Trump administration was focused on…


Norm Coleman is a lobbyist for the Saudi Arabian government, chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and former senator from Minnesota, known for hawkish, pro-Likud, and anti-Iran foreign policy views.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Had Washington made an effort after the last time President Trump promised to quit Syria to pursue diplomatic and military channels and prepare the ground for a U.S. departure, we have had something to celebrate.


Although a widespread movement has developed to fight climate change, no counterpart has emerged to take on the rising danger of nuclear disaster — yet.


U.S. supporters of Israel are in a bind: public opinion is changing; there are more actors publicly challenging Israel; and the crude, heavy-handed tactics they have successfully used in the past to silence criticism now only aggravate the situation.


As the civilian death toll from Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen grows and the backlash against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in Khashoggi’s murder escalates, former Sen. Norm Coleman’s control of Republican Party campaign purse strings positions him as a key influencer of Republican congressional action, or inaction, in curtailing the increasingly aggressive and reckless actions of Saudi Arabia.


Increasingly, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are positioned as rivals, each with pretensions to Middle Eastern influence or even hegemony. It’s not clear whether they can continue to coexist without one or the other—or both—backing down. This has made it more difficult for the United States to maintain its ties with both countries.


What does President Trump’s recent nomination of retired Army General John Abizaid to become the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia signify? Next to nothing — and arguably quite a lot.


The Donald Trump administration’s handling of nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia promises to lay bare some realities about security issues and nuclear programs in that part of the world that the administration has refused to acknowledge.


RightWeb
share