Sunday, December 30, 2007

Charlie Wilson's War - two main points everybody missed

I originally made the blog to discuss how AIPAC dominates US politics, and how USA is virtually held hostage by a small, but well organized, well connected and well funded group of fanatics.

I will explore the role of AIPAC and how it perverts American democracy in the future.

For now, let me get the ball rolling by asking you: Seen the movie Charlie Wilson's War? Perhaps, even better, you were interested enough to read the book? What did you think?

I think that you were (or should have been) shocked by the Congressman's behavior.

Whores, extreme drunkenness, sexual orgies, cocaine use by the Congressmen (not proved wink wink)- it shocks the (god fearing - read: suckers) Americans but if they have paid attention to what is going on, perhaps they shouldn't have been. Behavior like this is standard in Washington. Witness the periodic "Madams" who are paid big sums of money to not reveal their black books of clients, stories of which hit CNN, MSNBC, FOX as if they were an entirely normal thing.

"Just a few Congressmen partying it up with whores and snorting cocaine, entirely normal," say the TV news casters, and then they move on to weather and sports.

If I had a child, I would never allow a politician to kiss him/her - who knows what perversion that man has just done? An orgy with a group of whores and cocaine, or perhaps homosexual sex with an underage page boy?

But what sparked my attention in the book by George Crile were two main points that I think everyone missed. Really, two major points. Let me bring them up from memory:

One was summarised by Doc Long, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, who had a golden rule: "He who has the gold, makes the rules!".

As the book explains, all committees in Congress depend on the funds which are controlled by the Appropriations Committee. Of which he, Doc Long, was then the leader. Which gave him, de facto, almost dictatorial powers over American policy. Doc Long sneeringly defined other Congressional
committees as "useless debate societies", which existed at his whim.

After all, this one committee controlled how the money was spend. To make it clear, here is a money quote from the book:

"His name is Doc Long," Wilson told the president (ed - Zia of Pakistan), "Forget the big name senators or even secretary of state; this is the man you have to win over. He's a very strange, if not bizarre, character, but he's the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that doles out foreign aid. He's so powerful that he can sabotage any program he doesn't like, or he can be a Daddy Warbucks".

Excerpt found here.

From Crile's excellent book, I learned that main iron rule of American politics. Money is power, and all the rest is just bullshit. Window dressing if you will. There are many examples in the book of the kind of power Doc Long and his Appropriations subcommittee had over every policy program in the US. His word was law, and woe to an inexperienced congressman or whoever annoyed Doc Long.

So to sum up - there is the all powerful Appropriation committee in Congress, which is charged with doling out money to every other committee; which makes it THE most powerful committee in US politics, in my opinion rivaling, in reality, the power of the president himself.

Serving in that committee is a dream for every Congressman (or woman).

Which bring me to my other main point in the book that I think everyone missed.

In American politics, it is really the pro-Israel Jews who run the show.

Charlie was an admirer of Israel all his life, and when he became a Congressman he always supported that country in all its endeavors. I can respect that, because he did it from a philosophical perspective - you see, he never had any Jews in his Texas district, nor did he depend on AIPAC money and support like politicians do now. He admired that country so much that he, "Wilson would go on to become one of Israel's most important congressional champions: a non Jew with no Jewish constituents."

According to the book, when a position opened up at the all powerful Appropriations Committee, Charlie Wilson was not the Democratic party's choice to fill it. It was someone else - someone with more clout and more years of service.

Enter the Jews.

According to the book, Jewish members of Congress rallied to put Wilson into that commitee, regardless of the other congressman's seniority or even the will of the party. You see, Wilson's own Texas delegation opposed him becoming a member.

Did not matter.

Because Wilson was such a passionate supporter of Israel, the Jews in US Congress figured out (rightly) that he would support USA giving Israel "aid" monies to the tune of 3$ billion per year. Also, it wouldn't hurt that such a pro Jewish cause (i.e. Israel) congressman would join the all powerful Doc Long committee.

That is power - even though the leadership of the Democratic party wanted somebody else to join the Appropriations Committee, Wilson duly joined it anyway. Raw, behind the scenes power.

Quote from the book:
"Getting the Appropriations assignment as a junior congressman was an amazing political maneuver because his own Texas delegation opposed it; they backed a Texan with more seniority. The only other congressman to ever defy his own delegation and seek an Appropriation seat was Lyndon Johnson; but LBJ failed. It was Wilson's Jewish friends who made it possible".

Jews made "the amazing political maneuver", never before successfully pulled off, possible. Which begs the question, how much power does the Jewish lobby actually have?

What is more, when Wilson was mired in a drug scandal, which jeopardized his re-election campaign in 1984, the not so hidden network came through big time for Charlie. Ed Koch, a mayor of New York, mobilized Jewish backers in NY and Israel to give Wilson $100,000 to help out his campaign.

Imagine this for a moment - the mayor of New York has a vested interest in re-election of an (according to the book) emotionally unstable, drug using, car crashing drunk congressman from Texas.

Does it also strike you as incongruous?

The book then made me realize that second iron law of American politics - there is a not so hidden network of organizations and cabals (sounds too sinister - read groups) that work only or at least whose main goal is to prop up and support Israel. These groups are not necessarily only made up by Jews - there are hard core far right Republican organizations, such as the John Birch society, or the fanatical evangelical christians, who also share similar viewpoints re: Israel.

And you better play nice with these people.

These organizations have one main goal - support of Israel. Whether because as Jews they support the only Jewish state on Earth (which if you think about it is ENTIRELY normal - do you think Zbigniew Brzezinski, born in Poland, didn't do everything in HIS power to support that country's well being when he was a Security Advisor to president Carter?), or because of outlandish religious beliefs (vide the evangelical christians and rupture), THAT is their main goal.

The second thing that struck me as I read the book was how powerful those interests are and how entrenched they were (and are) in American political scene. And then all the little things that were nagging me before started to make sense.

Impossible political maneuvers become possible, $3 billion annual aid to Israel is never questioned, Israel bombing whole city blocks in Lebanon to supposedly kill one terrorist is cheered on American TV, a NY City mayor campaigning on behalf of a disgraced Texas Congressman - all things that just before did not make any sense and had no connection seem amazingly normal now.

As a disclaimer, as I inevitably will be charged with anti semitism, called a host of names and general harassment, let me explain myself.

I do not begrudge Jewish-Americans their sympathetic stance towards Israel, the only Jewish nation on Earth. Similarly, I do not worry about Italian-Americans having a soft spot for Italy.

What I am worried about is the absolute power this group of people wields - enough to influence, perhaps even MAKE, American foreign policy.

And of course, as an American, I would be worried if this powerful lobby was not Jewish pro Israel but, say, French, pro France. Or pick any other country and national/racial/religious group for that matter.

Does it rub you the wrong way that American foreign policy is run specifically to prop up and support Israel?

The television became a theatre of the absurd as the American pundits cheered Israeli Air Force bombers dropping cluster bombs on Lebanon, devastating whole city blocks, supposedly to kill one terrorist target. While the world (rightly) condemned IAF attacks on civilians, USA (as usual) vetoed the timid U.N. condemnation.

Then, as Israel run out of cluster bombs (bombs which on impact, or slightly above ground, break down into thousands of razor sharp metallic pieces), which it used in
civilian areas, and many of which have not exploded, USA did a rush delivery of cluster munitions.

Every U.N. resolution condemning Israel is voted down by USA, no matter the merit. Frankly, many of the resolutions are incredibly anti semitic, or frankly sensationalist, brought forward by such "stalwart" "democracies" such as Syria or Iran, but for the record, there were a 100
resolutions condemning Israel's (sometimes) outrageous behavior, and ALL of them were vetoed by United States of America.

As an American, I want America to be impartial and a force of good in the world.

Perhaps I am naive and an idealist, but that is why people used to come to this country. That is why the two words, United States, have had such a magical effect on people trapped behind the Iron Curtain living under the tyranny of communism.

I want USA to condemn Israeli bombings of civilians in the Lebanon war, just as USA (and others) condemned Hizbollah missile attacks on Israeli civilians.

End Game
Thank You Mr. Crile for stripping away the bullshit. Before I read your book, I was a believer in American "democracy", I didn't know what AIPAC was; all I did know was the nonsense that I was taught in school about how government works.

Thanks for stripping away the curtain to expose the truth.

Too bad the majority of the movie "Charlie Wilson's War" goers and the readers of your excellent book missed those two main points of the book.

For me, it was an eye opener akin to Neo from the movie Matrix.

An epiphany.

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