Sunday, 27 May 2012

A Vote for Romney is a Vote for Israel

By Philip Giraldi
The Passionate Attachment
May 23, 2012

There are some strange things going on relating to US foreign policy and Israel that you will not see in the mainstream media. A recent Rasmussen poll suggests that most Americans (53%) are closer to Ron Paul on the need to get out of Afghanistan immediately than they are to the views of either Obama or Romney, who respectively prefer a long somewhat disingenuous disengagement and continuing the war until, improbably, all terrorists are dead. But in spite of their popularity, Ron Paul’s views will be invisible in November’s election.

At the same time, even though Paul is genuinely out of the running for president, his campaign has clearly built up a grassroots presence at state and local levels that will be difficult for the Republican National Committee to deny unless it resorts to extensive vote-rigging or mass exclusion of freely elected representatives. Both are quite possible and have already been employed at local levels to isolate Paul. Nearly all of the activists now entering government support Paul’s call for an end to foreign aid, which is, of course, anathema to Israel and its friends.

Meanwhile over at the Tea Parties, there is roughly a fifty-fifty split over issues like Israel. Some support the Israel connection as part of the chest-thumping desire for an assertive US response to the rest of the world (the Sarah Palin wing) while those who are serious about fiscal and government downsizing recognize that Israel is part of the problem, supporting the two Pauls. How this will play out over the next two years is anyone’s guess, but the whole issue of Israel and its relationship with the US is now on the table.

How the Israel Lobby will react to the dilemma is unclear. Neocon Cheshire cat Bill Kristol’s prediction that his buddy Joe Lieberman will become Secretary of State in a Romney administration would solve the problem as continuing aid to Israel, in one form or another, would be untouched. The aid might well be rolled into the annual Defense budget, already accomplished with the Iron Dome supplement for 2013-4, as Eric Cantor has already proposed as a permanent solution. But the Tea Party/Paul pressure on bloated budgets and foreign aid conceptually will not go away and you can be sure that AIPAC will be working hard to distinguish assistance to our good friend and faithful ally Israel from all other foreign entitlements. And also working hard to elect Romney, a foreign policy parvenu, who has surrounded himself with neocon advisers including John Bolton, Robert Kagan and Dan Senor.

Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues.

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