March 17, 2007

Israel in full control of US Congress agenda on Iran

The CNN sat on this news item for nearly 48 hours, and finally reported it on March 15. The rest of the media had already reported it two days earlier. Also interesting is the fact that although the CNN cited the Associated Press (AP) as the source, the item has disappeared from the AP’s website, or at least my efforts to find it on that website were fruitless. So, this is also a post about the way inconvenient news are marginalized and/or suppressed by the newsmedia and news agencies. The following is an excerpt from the news item:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic leaders are stripping from a military spending bill for the war in Iraq a requirement that President Bush gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and other leaders agreed to remove the requirement concerning Iran after conservative Democrats as well as other lawmakers worried about its possible impact on Israel, officials said Monday…

The Iran-related proposal stemmed from a desire to make sure Bush did not launch an attack without going to Congress for approval, but drew opposition from numerous members of the rank and file in a series of closed-door sessions last week.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nevada, said in an interview that there is widespread fear in Israel about Iran, which is believed to be seeking nuclear weapons and has expressed unremitting hostility about the Jewish state.

"It would take away perhaps the most important negotiating tool that the U.S. has when it comes to Iran," she said of the now-abandoned provision.

"I didn't think it was a very wise idea to take things off the table if you're trying to get people to modify their behavior and normalize it in a civilized way," said Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York.

Several officials said there was widespread opposition to the proposal at a closed-door meeting last week of conservative and moderate Democrats, who said they feared tying the hands of the administration when dealing with an unpredictable and potentially hostile regime in Tehran…

"It is simply not consistent for anyone to demand aggressive action against the menace posed by the Iranian regime while at the same time acquiescing in a retreat from Iraq that would leave our worst enemies dramatically emboldened and Israel's best friend, the United States, dangerously weakened," Cheney said.

1 comment:

profmarcus said...

i posted on this last wednesday, the day it came out... most of the stories were in connection with the aipac conference held in d.c. 11-13 of march... cheney spoke on monday, the 12th, olmert spoke on tuesday, and the decision to remove the provision came immediately thereafter... pelosi spoke to aipac as well... but, you're right, the story didn't get nearly the traction it needed... just one more major chunk of news that never seems to register on the radar of the national consciousness...