The View From Olympus: Selling America’s Foreign Policy

On September 17, 2015, Chief Umbongo of the Jujuba tribe addressed  a Joint Session of Congress. The invitation to do so had been issued by Congressional Republicans, over the objections of the president. The chief’s message, spoken clearly if indirectly, was that the United States must start a war with Nigeria in order to advance his tribe’s interests. Congressional Republicans, and some Democrats, greeted this message with storms of applause and standing ovations. They subsequently pledged to do everything in their power to bring such a war about.

Sound ridiculous? It happened last week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a Joint Session of Congress at the Republicans’ invitation. In a diplomatic insult of major proportions, the president was not consulted or informed. The purpose of Netanyahu’s speech was to scuttle any nuclear deal with Iran. If there is no deal, war with Iran will become almost unavoidable. Mr. Netanyahu wants the United States to fight such a war on Israel’s behalf. Congressional Republicans wildly applauded that prospect.

Republicans have long been known to conservatives as “the stupid party”. Are they so stupid as to not understand that absent an agreement with Iran, Iran’s nuclear program will shift into even higher gear, steadily reducing the “breakout interval”, the time it would take Iran to build a bomb? As an Iranian bomb grows closer, the demands–especially from Republicans–to stop Iran’s progress will grow louder. With no agreement, the only way to do that will be to attack Iran, starting yet another American war in the Middle East. In case Republicans have not noticed, we have just lost two such wars. The prosepects against Iran look no beter.

If Mr. Netanyahu gets his wish, Israel will no doubt cheer us on from the sidelines. But the price, in money and in lives, will be paid by America.

It is no mystery why Israel would want this. It’s always handy when you can get someone else to fight your wars for you. But why would almost all Congressional Republicans, and many Democrats, cheer a policy that, from America’s standpoint, is all costs and few if any benefits? An Iranian bomb might threaten Israel–assuming Iran wants to commit suicide and see 3000 years of Persian civilization wiped off the map–but poses little danger to the United States.

The answer is the same as for almost all actions by Congress: most Senators and Representatives are for sale. That in turn means America’s governmental policies are for sale, including its foreign policy.

We have legalized bribery, so long as the bribes are called “campaign contributions”. Other forms of legalized bribery include implicitly promising hefty contracts and paid board of director memberships to Members who serve monied interests and having relatives work for lobbying firms through which anyone wanting to approach the Member must go. Paul Weyrich agreed with me that at most 10% of Members of Congress now think at all about governing the country. The remaining 90% want only to have successful careers as professional politicians and leave Washington very, very rich. Most succeed.

The Israeli lobby is a major political donor. Most of that lobby supports not just Israel, but Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Pary, despite the misgivings of many American Jews (some newer Jewish lobbying groups such as J Street are more discriminating). Virtually all Members of Congress who have dared defy the Israeli lobby have lost their seats, because the lobby pours vast resources into the campaigns of their opponents.

When all you care about is your career, you are not going to defy a lobby that can end it. If that means cheering Mr. Netanyahu and another American war in the Middle East, so what? The lives and dollars lost in that war won’t come from your family or your pocket.

So long as all policy is for sale in Washington, there is no hope for the future of this country. Conservatives have long opposed public funding of campaigns, but it is our only hope to end the sale of government policy. It must be coupled with very strict penalties for Members of Congress found accepting any money from interests, including after they leave office. It is time for conservatives to favor public funding, and remember Edmund Burke’s warning about the worst of all kinds of political factions, factions under the control of a foreign power. favicon

25 thoughts on “The View From Olympus: Selling America’s Foreign Policy”

  1. I don’t remember Israel in the Old Testament asking Carthage (Molech was their patron deity, we have PP and NARAL – burn baby!, burn!) for help, but Bibi referred to Esther and I think the visit coincided with Purim. The neo-Millerites got the message. Wasn’t Iraq great enough a disappointment?

    (Does that make US weapons Bibi guns?)

    I wonder if the neo-Millerites are expecting the Palestinians to do the same in the Russian Duma, but after officially asking Putin for an invite.

    But the problem is that the politicians really aren’t for sale, at least not to the highest bidder. If it were true, then traditional conservatives could outbid some of the time. They are doubly corrupt as they will settle for a living [the sweet life] wage while being serfs to the crony corporatist complex.

    Chief Umbongo of the Jujuba tribe’s request would be less costly and doable.

    Meanwhile the threat from ISIS and Global Warming are about equal (did AlGore visit Detroit?). But Iran was one counterbalance. Perhaps the Sunni and Shia and the other smaller sects can engage in a “hundreds year war” – I don’t think Muslims will go for a Treaty of Westphalia. But if they are busy with an internecine war, they are likely to leave us alone, at least if we leave them to their business.

  2. Public funding of campaigns doesn’t work either. It establishes incumbents as unbeatable and unaccountable to anyone. And what about third parties who want to promote or attack ideas or politicians; and, of course, how do you measure the effect of Big Media being the propaganda arm of the Democrats and Jewish Lobby and their financial contributions as the PR firms for them?

    Unfortunately, public campaign funding cannot help the situation. But look on the bright side: America is done. The center became obese and corrupt and cannot hold. I don’t know when the break will occur, but it’s coming, and I suppose some kind of Caesar will come, too.

  3. Israel First mentality… will not end until the Dispensationalist heresy is gone and a return to traditional Christianity (Traditional Catholic, Traditional Anglican, or Orthodox) happens.

  4. Dispensationalism is dying out… May take awhile. Younger Christians aren’t going for the end times Israel garbage. So no need to burn the heretics. These Chrizos (Christian Zionist) want their children to die for Israel let them. Then when they’re tired of spilling their Chrizo blood for the Tribe® my church will teach them true traditional Christianity. Keep the moral high ground to win a 4G war. However, I will let them take enough rope to hang themselves.

  5. Okay… Listened to all the conservative and Rev. John Hagee praise of Bibi’s election win, I can stand. So I stand corrected, we will have to burn the heretics.

  6. Three typos. In the first paragraph, “Contressional” and “everytihng”, in the last paragraph, “governemtn”. Please fix them up if you can.

  7. How dare anyone call out Obama’s traitorous deal to protect Iran’s nuclear weapons and ICBM program? Don’t we all know that the definition of tradition is getting in bed with communists and Third Worldists to help a country dedicated to the destruction of America get nuclear weapons?

  8. Iran has called from the destruction of America. Is your loyalty hatred of Israel or to America?

  9. All I see is dual-loaylists whose only real loyalty is either ideological anti-interventionism (thus anti-traditionalist) or hatred of Israel or neoconserbatives. Iran has called for the destruction of America. They should not be allowed to get nuclear weapons.

  10. And you imagine a world where the Iranians have nukes followed by the Saudis, Turks, and Egyptians will be safe for Europe? How many European cities will you trade to see America and Israel destroyed?

  11. I’m calling ersatz Traditionalists out on their treason and uxoriousness to Obama.

  12. Because a nuclear Iran followed by a nuclear Saudi Arabia and Turkey will be so good for Europe. How many European cities will you trade for your anti-white, anti-Western and anti-sanity dreams of seeing Israel and America destroyed?

  13. Because your position makes you an ally of Iran in destroying Israel and the US. Man up to the logical implications.

  14. Believe it or not, it is possible not to take a side in Israel vs. Iran. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

  15. It’s your neighborhood if you live in Europe. You really want Jihadis who use suicide bombers to get nukes?

  16. Of course not. But no one has been able to prove that is even a remote possibility. Certainly not enough to spend trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives.

  17. The Iranian government is developing nuclear weapons. They are developing and have paraded missiles to carry these. They have used suicide bombers themselves, and have Hizbullah as proxy. It has been proven.

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