AIPAC lobbies hard in US congress for Syria war

AIPAC lobbies hard in US congress for Syria war
Sun Sep 8, 2013 09:21:46

The pro-Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is planning to launch a major campaign to push US lawmakers into supporting US president plans to bomb Syria.

Some 250 AIPAC leaders and activists will storm the halls on Capitol Hill during the next week to persuade the US lawmakers to vote for a draft resolution authorizing strikes on Syria, the report quoted an AIPAC source who asked not to be named.

The group plans to lobby every member of Congress on the premise that Washington’s failure to act against the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria would risk emboldening Washington’s opponents in other countries, including Iran.

“The stepped-up involvement [of the AIPAC] comes at a welcome time for the White House, which is struggling to muster the votes in both chambers for a resolution that would give President Barack Obama the authority to engage in 'limited' military action in Syria for 60 days, with one 30-day extension possible,” the report added.

While AIPAC and the White House seem to have an easier job in the House, the lower chamber of the US Congress, and among Democrats, they yet have to align opposing Republican figures, who have denied support for Obama’s warlike policy on Syria.

Among them are two top Senate GOP leaders, namely Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, who have already been urged by top pro-Israeli donors and AIPAC allies to back the war resolution.

The two have yet to offer their support ahead of a scheduled debate on the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

US war threats against Syria have intensified since late August, when the militants operating inside Syria and the country’s foreign-sponsored opposition claimed that over a thousand people had been killed in a government chemical attack on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.

The Syrian government categorically rejected the accusation and said the militants had carried out the false-flag operation to prompt a foreign military intervention in the country.

Nevertheless, a number of Western countries, including the United States, France, and Britain, quickly started campaigning for war.

On Wednesday, the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved a draft resolution backing the use of force against Syria. The document requires the approval of both chambers of Congress before it can be interpreted as any form of congressional authorization for the US administration to strike Syria.


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