Douglas Bloomfield's blog

Syria Crisis Serves The Cau$e

After some low key lobbying to urge Congress to support military action against Syria – on the theory that punishing Bashar Assad for using poison gas was critical to American credibility in convincing Iran not to build nukes – AIPAC went very high profile, reportedly at White House urging.

The Times, Are They A Changin'?

It’s much too early to tell, but there was some encouraging news out of Tehran this week in the form of a Tweet from Iran’s new president wishing Jews, and particularly the 25,000 living in his country, wishes for “a blessed Rosh Hashanah.” 

Here’s what he said:

Hassan Rouhani @HassanRouhani

As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah. pic.twitter.com/tmaf84x7UR

Spy Vs. Spy

One of the more startling reveltions by Edward Snowden was that Israel is lumped with countries like China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Pakistan as a “priority target” for U.S. “surveillance and offensive” counerintelligence operations.

It’s not as though Israel hasn’t spied on the United States as well, but when the two allies aren’t targeting each other, they find a lot more time to work together, most notably targeting and sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program, with the successful (while it lasted) Stuxnet computer worm.

Israel's Pioneering Drones Led Way For US

The U.S. Navy recently made a big publicity splash when it boasted that the operation of a stealth drone on an aircraft carrier in Chesapeake Bay was a historic first. It was about 30 years late.  The Navy's first carrier operations of a drone were on the USS Guam off the coast of Israel in 1984, and the drones were Israeli-built.

The Navy said the landing of the experimental X-47B, which looks like a miniature B-2 stealth bomber, on the USS George H.W. Bush last May was "the first ever launch of an unmanned aircraft from an aircraft carrier"

6 Jews Among Richest Members of Congress

The Hill newspaper, which covers the comings and going on Capitol Hill, just came out with its list of the 50 wealthiest members of Congress. 

You might expect a Rockefeller to top the list since his name is synonymous with great wealth, but Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-VA) is only #4 at $83.8 million.  His actual wealth, much of which was inherited, is probably much greater but reporting requirements often conceal more than they reveal.

Attacking Syria

Here's the emmes on attacking Syria -- the American people think it's a bad idea.  In fact they like it even less than they like Congress, if you thought that was possible.  A new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed only 9 percent of respondents support American intervention; by comparison (and a different poll) Congress has a 15 percent approval rating, on a good day.

Could Nixon Be An Anti-Semite And A Friend Of Israel?

Reading excerpts of the transcripts of the final installment of the Nixon tapes I can't decide who is the more reprehensible character in one of those conversations.

Was it Nixon, who threatened to publicly attack the loyalty of American Jews for interfering in his agenda with the Soviets, or his obsequious national security advisor Henry Kissinger, a German-born Jew whose family fled Nazi persecution in 1938, who agreed?

Nixon was an equal-opportunity bigot; he hated blacks, Jews and probably everyone else.  Kissinger should have known better.

Take The Quiz

If Prime Minister Netanyahu is as serious about making peace as he says why did he announcing more settlement construction knowing how the Palestinians would react?  And If Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is serious about peace as he says, why does he keep threatening to file war crimes charges against Israel at the World Court?

Both leaders like to talk about peace but do they have an aversion to actually making peace?  Are they looking for common ground or for excuses to scuttle the entire exercise and blame the other?

The Arabs' Jewish Lobby

The most powerful pro-Arab lobby in Washington may be AIPAC – that's right, the vaunted pro-Israel lobby.  When the going gets tough on Capitol Hill, that's who gets called in to help.

Most recently it stepped in to block a move by some prominent senators to halt U.S. assistance to Egypt in response to the bloody crackdown on Islamist demonstrators protesting the army's overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi. 

It wasn't the first time AIPAC went to bat for an Arab country, even when it was technically in a state of war with Israel. 

Who Are The Real Job Creators?

When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor recently repeated in a Fox News interview a favorite Republican mantra that  “the government doesn’t create jobs, the private sector does” he knew it wasn't true. 

For starters, he himself has a government-created job and it pays a nice $193,400 a year plus a very generous benefits package.  What's more tens of thousands of his fellow Virginians, including many of his constituents, also have government-created jobs.

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