The Best Congress Money
By Eric Margolis
March 14, 2015 "ICH"
- Be proud, America! You have the very best
Congress that money can buy.
It’s no secret that many in the House and
Senate have long been corrupted by money and
special interests. The constant need to
advertise on TV makes all politicians slaves
of the money lenders and other big donors.
The great Mark Twain called Congress
“America’s only native criminal class.”
Nothing much has changed.
Members of Congress are held in even lower
public esteem than murderers, lawyers
and…journalists. It’s often cheaper to buy a
legislator than a second-hand car.
One of the biggest outrages has been the way
Wall Street money lenders swindled the
public and wiped out the nation’s retirement
savings – yet escaped all punishment thanks
to their huge political contributions to
Congress and the White House.
But then came the triumphant visit to
Congress by Israel’s rightwing prime
minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Congress put
on a truly revolting display of sycophancy,
servility and brownnosing for Bibi that
included 23 rapturous standing ovations.
This for a foreign leader who had come to
insult and humiliate America’s president and
drive the US into war with Iran.
Not since a groveling Roman Senate voted to
approve Emperor Caligula’s favorite horse,
Incitatus, as imperial consul has there been
such a embarrassing spectacle.
Like the Roman senators, members of the US
Congress were motivated by fear and greed.
They know that basic truth of US politics:
failure to follow instructions of the mighty
Israel lobby means certain loss of your next
election, attacks by the media, and the end
of your political career.
Former Rep. Paul Findley’s book, “They Dare
To Speak Out” is a textbook for what happens
to politicians and journalists who put
America’s interests first. I keep a copy
near my desk.
Just as Caligula reportedly watched the
Senate vote from behind a screen, so
America’s political Golem, casino mogul
Sheldon Adelson, watched the Senate proceeds
from a balcony perch. Adelson, one of
America’s richest men, made his fortune
through gambling, something Dr. Johnson
aptly called “a tax on fools.”
Gambling preys on the poor and addicted just
as much as do drugs. Thanks to his huge
profits, Adelson has managed to buy most of
the Republican Party. Its presidential
candidates flock to his palace in Las Vegas
to kiss his feet and vow eternal allegiance
Adelson, who has reportedly called for
nuking Iran, is also Bibi Netanyahu’s
primary political and financial sponsor. So
Adelson can say he owns the US Congress and
Israel. Some Israelis, who will vote next
week in a very tight election, are uneasy
that Netanyahu is “owned” by the American
gambling mogul Adelson. Is this the Zionist
dream of a state built on morality, social
fairness, and honesty?
Democrats are now largely owned by
Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban who
calls himself somewhere to the right of the
late Ariel Sharon. Saban, a media mogul,
recently gave $5-10 million to the Clinton
Library and is Hillary’s principal backer.
Bibi’s visit to Congress was clearly
intended as pre-election political
grandstanding. Marketing fear of Islam,
Iran, ISIS, Hezbollah, Syria, al-Shebab and
Boko Haram are now the stock in trade for
embattled politicians in Israel, Canada,
Australia and France.
Fear sells. Moderation does not. But cash
always talks. Forty-seven Republican
senators clapped like trained seals when
urged to send a nasty letter to Iran
asserting the next president would veto any
nuclear deal with Tehran. The letter was
widely condemned as dumb in the US. Iran
rightly termed it an example of the moral
decline of American politics. Sen. John
McCain allowed he should have read the draft
letter more carefully but was in a rush to
leave due to an impending snow storm. On
such stuff hangs the fate of the Mideast.
Many Israelis are more concerned by their
economic and social problems than the
bogeyman of Iran. So there’s a possibility
that the opposition Zionist Union (formerly
Labour Party), led by Isaac Herzog, may win
more votes than Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud
Party and its further right allies.
But forming a coalition in Israel’s ever
fractious politics will be very difficult. A
handy, last-minute “crisis” with one of
Israel’s neighbors might tip the election to
Likud. A few rockets from Gaza could swing
Herzog says he favors creation of a viable
Palestinian state on the Israel-occupied
West Bank after some border rectifications.
Netanyahu came out last week and finally
admitted he totally opposes a Palestinian
state and is determined to hold on to most
of the West Bank, including the Jordan
Valley, and Syria’s former Golan.
Israel’s right, led by Likud, is not only
determined to continue colonizing the West
Bank and Golan, but many of its members
harbor expansionist impulses. Syria is in
turmoil and largely destroyed. Some Israeli
rightists look at Syria as a tempting target
for Israeli expansion. Now that Israel,
Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are increasingly
tacit allies, and the subservient US
Republicans almost in power, why not create
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning,
internationally syndicated columnist. His
articles have appeared in the New York
Times, the International Herald Tribune the
Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf
Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan,
Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and
other news sites in Asia.
Copyright Eric S. Margolis
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