To our delight and satisfaction, the 800-pound gorilla finally appeared like an emaciated 'chimp'. As the US President Barack Obama, under duress, put his Syria strike plans on hold, Israel and Israeli lobby in the United States, Aipac (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) suffered its biggest defeat ever.
The world, 'with one large caveat' resoundingly answered a loaded question 'The Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald recently asked on Twitter'. Greenwald had asked: "Would a House vote against a Syria strike be Aipac's biggest defeat in Congress in at least a decade?" Common Americans and the world joined hands to put the Jewish genie back into the bottle.
Aipac had called for 'full court press' to support Obama on Syria. Israel was the force behind Aipac. Tel Aviv was too eager to see the United States fighting the war on its behalf. Through Aipac Israel had gone full throttle to turn the tide in favour of the war as it became increasingly clear that American public and the world were overwhelmingly opposed to any military action against Syria. Aipac unleashed hectic backroom lobbying coercing and cajoling American Congressmen and Representatives to endorse Obama's war plans. In effect, the Israeli interest group sought to coax the American lawmakers to defy popular American sentiment and will.
Extremely uncanny had always been this pressure group in getting its way into almost everything in the United States. Omnipotent has always its sway in American administration, policy making and way of life. In pushing the United States into war with Syria Aipac had gone so much all out that a senior White House official, under condition of anonymity, called it an "800-pound gorilla in the room." And, under its mounting pressure a few of its allies in the US Congress were heard saying that if the White House would not enforce the red line against use of chemical weapons United States would be in trouble.
A section of the US media said, "Administration officials said the influential pro-Israel lobby group Aipac was already at work pressing for military action against the government of Assad, fearing that if Syria escapes American retribution for its use of chemical weapons, Iran might be emboldened in the future to attack Israel." An Aipac statement, said, "Our view is that if this vote goes down, it will be devastating to American credibility and (would) send a very clear message to Iran that they can press the accelerator on moving forward with their programme."
It had pressed into operation hundred of its activists on Capitol Hill and weighed in a big way into the debate to buttonhole the Congressmen and officials. And as Obama undertook his trip to Europe courting EU's support, pressed Americans to endorse his plan to strike Syria Aipac showed its influence in US affairs.
The United States cannot deny Aipac's manipulation and influence when it comes to framing its national security and Middle East policies. With over half of the US Congress snugly in its pocket Obama's decision to put on hold his plans to strike Syria, in fact, saved the Congress which may not have mustered enough courage to defy what Aipac wished for. Even as a few polls indicated Congress would not endorse Obama's war plans yet the dithering was palpable.
It was, in fact, the common Americans, voters and tax payers, who with bellicosity reclaimed America from being hijacked by Israel and its omnipotent lobbying group; saved their country from getting brewed in a messy and cynical Jewish pottage.
They wrote to their representatives saying that they did not want their country being dragged into another war which would not be America's; they refused to send their children, husbands, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers into another unjustified war; they goaded their leaders to stand up to the pressures from Israel and Aipac; they resolutely said 'No' to Aipac—Congress' shadow foreign policy committee; they stirred up the conscience of their Congressmen who still dithered.
For Aipac and Israel Obama's decision to defer (perhaps indefinitely) Congress voting on his Syrian plans has been a body blow. Their grand desire to get close on Iran suffered a setback. They wanted Washington to pave their road to Tehran. Israel's road to Iran ran through Damascus.
Tel Aviv's efforts to provoke Washington into war with Syria remind us of a second century B.C. Roman Senator Cato. Every single speech he would deliver in the Roman Senate, says Philip Giraldi, former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, Cato would end with an admonition "Delenda Est Carthago," meaning that the city of Carthage, Rome's perennial rival, must be destroyed.
Giraldi's says, among other claims, the Romans accused the Carthaginians of engaging in human sacrifice to their deity Ba'al Hammon, something that one might describe as the "red line" of that era as Greco-Roman culture abhorred the practice and condemned those who engaged in it. Even though Rome dominated the Mediterranean and Carthage was in decline, Cato believed that one day the ancient resentments would again rise to the surface and a resurgent Carthage would discover a new Hannibal and take revenge. In other words, the survival of Carthage was seen as a threat to the continued existence of the Roman Republic. Cato's argument was convincing enough to many Romans that it resulted in the Third Punic War in which Carthage was indeed destroyed.
Aipac, evidently, took a big bite this time, more than it could chew. By preventing Aipac from selling Israel's war to Obama common Americans thwarted history from repeating and the United States from falling a prey to evil provocations. We hope that this would expedite a long overdue process to undermine Aipac's omnipotence in American administration.
The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman