Round to AIPAC on
By Robert Naiman
The House Democratic leadership last night acceded to
pressure from conservative Democrats and Members of Congress close to the
This is, of course, very disappointing.
It's a simple proposition: under the Constitution, Congress
has the sole and exclusive power to declare war. By passing this amendment,
Congress would simply have re-asserted this authority with respect to the Administration' s threats to attack
Some will say, what did you expect?
This overstates the power of the Lobby. I don't want to understate it either: I look forward to the day when the peace movement(s) in this country have the resources and organization of AIPAC. We should study them closely, figure out what they are doing right, and emulate it. If we need to raise more money, that's what we should do. If we need to figure out how to get people with our values to be as disciplined about contacting Congress as AIPAC's people are, that's what we should do. If we need to run candidates against their candidates, that's what we should do. If we need to pony up more money to make those candidates viable, that's what we should do. If we need to strengthen the Jewish peace organizations that, unlike AIPAC, actually represent the opinions of the majority of American Jews on questions of peace in the Middle East, that's what we should do.
But before blowing the power of AIPAC out of proportion,
let's remember the context in which this defeat took place. The House
leadership is scrambling desperately for votes to pass a supplemental with a
firm deadline for withdrawing
If they were, we wouldn't have gotten this far. We wouldn't
have gotten to the point where the prospect of Congress passing binding
legislation barring an unauthorized attack on
Round to AIPAC. But the fight goes on. Your Members of
Congress need to hear from you: "Congress should prevent the
Administration from attacking