AIPAC Wants This War

Eli Lake dutifully delivers the news, and its obvious meaning:

One reason AIPAC has decided to engage in the congressional fight over the Syria war resolution is that it sees a direct connection to Iran. “We see a direct link to this vote and dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue,” this [senior AIPAC] official said. “Our view is that if this vote goes down, it will be devastating to American credibility and send a very clear message to Iran that they can press the accelerator on moving forward with their program. At this point Assad and Hezbollah are merely franchises for Iran.”

Make no mistake: this is about also making Obama go to war against Iran. And since when do leaders of Congressional lobbies demand and get anonymity from journalists? You’d think they’re afraid of being exposed or something.

At this point, alas, the collapse of Obama’s realist nerve means he has lost the thread. Unless he reasserts a coherent policy – and blaming “red lines” on others is absurd when you used the very fucking words yourself is not a coherent policy – he will seem increasingly weak as a leader and his war less and less likely to gain the domestic support it needs if it is to succeed. The ambiguities he relied on have been wiped away into a binary choice in real time. So McCain and AIPAC will be swift in resurrecting a neoconservative foreign policy that will effectively undo a huge amount of the progress this president has so far managed to build.

Maybe Obama can get out of this somehow. But I don’t see quite how – and McCain now feels emboldened enough to oppose the current Senate Resolution on the grounds that it isn’t sufficiently like the Iraq resolution. The only hope I can see is for the House to turn the president down. That is something many Republcians and perhaps a few Democrats will be prepared to do. But turn down AIPAC? That’s another matter entirely.