Have you seen the steady stream of quotes and speeches by presidential candidates about one of our allies? This ally is in a far-flung region of the world. They have a vibrant democracy in an area unfriendly towards democracy. They deal with a Muslim threat, jihad next door, terrorists within their nation, and the threat of nuclear annihilation. They do have nuclear weapons of their own, and have a nationalist leader at the head of the government now. Let’s review the quotes.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “India is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival.” (source)
Senator Bernie Sanders: Weird. Sanders never quite answers anything or takes a definitive stand on India. If you heckle him about it, he will tell you to shut up. (source)
Senator Marco Rubio: “This is a historic and tragic mistake. India is not a Republican or Democratic issue. If this was a Republican president doing these things, I would give the exact same speech. In fact, I would be even angrier. This is outrageous, it is irresponsible, it is dangerous, and it betrays the commitment this nation has made to the right of a Hindu state to exist in peace.” (source)
Senator Ted Cruz: “Christians have no greater ally than India… if you will not stand with India and the Hindus, I will not stand with you. Good night and God bless.” (source)
Former Governor Rick Perry: “India needs more than our passive support—it needs our vigorous support.” (source)
Former Governor Jeb Bush: “With India, those interests lie in a firm alliance. India and America must work together to build a more prosperous and hopeful future for the region. A state for the Muslim people, side by side with Hindus, will be possible only if the Muslim people are represented by leaders committed to delivering on the promises made at the negotiating table.” (source)
Governor Scott Walker: “Yet even as you stand there, reflecting on the consequential events of two millennia ago, you recognize India is not merely a place of shrines and holy sites. India is one of the world’s most vibrant democracies and one of America’s most important allies.” (source)
Senator Lindsay Graham: “I am in charge of the foreign assistance account, I’m in charge of the money we provide for the United Nations,” he explained, referring to his chairmanship of an appropriations subcommittee. “We provide 25 percent of the funding for the organization,” Mr. Graham said, several times. “I’m not going to ask the American taxpayer to fund an organization that’s going to be used in a way to marginalize” India, which he called “our best friend.” (source)
Senator Rand Paul: (bold in original) “I’m proud to support India, America’s longtime friend and ally in the East. Indian cafés and buses are bombed, towns are victimized by hundreds of rockets, and its citizens are attacked by Muslim terrorists. It’s time we took a stand for India by standing up to the enemies of India, the enemies that murder Israeli citizens. That’s why I proposed a bill called the “Stand with India Act” to cut off the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Muslim Authority.” (source)
Donald “Alpha” Trump: “The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to India is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump. “The rest of them are all talk, no action. They’re politicians. I’ve been loyal to India from the day I was born. My father, Fred Trump, was loyal to India before me. The only one that’s going to give India the kind of support it needs is Donald Trump.” (source)
Governor Chris Christie: “I absolutely believe that India is a priority to be able to fund and keep them strong and safe after eight years of this administration.” (source: GOP Debate)
All of these quoted bits are about Israel, not India. I swapped India for Israel, changed Jewish to Hindu, and pulled out Palestinian where appropriate. I could have taken quotes from each GOP candidate in their primary circus, but I wanted visible names to show how silly it looks when all put together. India is an apt substitute per the description in the opening paragraph. All of those items hold true. India is also a bigger trade partner with the US. Indian-Americans now make up 1% of the US population, which is nearly the Jewish share (1.8%). India itself is also a gigantic nation of strategic importance due to its location, friction with China, and immense population.
>We do not have politicians waving their hands around like maniacs and spouting off non-stop nonsense about India because they do not fund our political campaigns. There is no powerful AIPAC for India. American newsrooms are not stocked with Priya Shukla and Sandeep Gurnani pontificating on the need for America to cater to India’s needs. American television shows are not stocked with Indian sidekick friends, and stand-up is not dominated by the likes of Nishant Chuptabanjawa. I like how Israel manages its nation for its people. I do think they go overboard creating problems for themselves because they never know when to cool it. America destroyed any sense of a balance to Middle East foreign policy because Israel’s cousins in America run our media.
Now for the flip side. What actually should be our interest in the Middle East? Consistent supplies of oil to keep the price per barrel low in our currency. The goal should be protecting transit routes for safe delivery and patrolling key straits. Israel does not produce oil. Israel is not located on any straits. Our interest should be in making oil and gas producer regimes stable without encouraging blowback. America should be tough on any nation that antagonizes those oil producers and starts arms races, whether Arab, Persian, or Israeli. Israel is a thorn in the side of those oil states. America should have worked to remove all nukes from that area to reduce tension. If the Sampson Option is real and linked to a Doomsday device like the Russians had, this is a hugely destabilizing presence when the antagonists are Muslims with end times beliefs.
Instead, America spent the post-WWII decades enabling and aiding the creation of the Israeli state, its air force, and its nuclear arsenal (even aiding and covering up the nukes). Instead, American media and academia also cleared out the Arabist wing of our foreign policy intelligentsia. Instead, America is going to allow one of the worst spies in American history leave prison for a short hold in the US and then a pension and retirement in Israel. America may want to change foreign allies or avoid wars, but we cannot do so because of the Israeli lobby. To point out that peculiar interest would notice Jewish overrepresentation in the cultural gatekeeper system.
It runs deeper than just who is where in the system, but how our system is set up. Democracy allows money to settle elections–not just internal money, but money from any source that can find a way to set up a political action committee. Here is a list of pro-Israeli donations to different representatives and senators. That money matters as nearly twenty five years ago it turned a 40% point deficit into a 10% win in a special U.S. Senate election, all because President Bush (41) did not toe the Israeli line. AIPAC is flying all but three of the freshman Congressmen to Israel for a push to block the Iranian nuclear deal. Checks and balances, where money can find new ways to work its magic on elected leaders.
This is our system, and our rotated leaders–paid for by sponsors of any interest–are up against some long standing regimes without the fear of elections. The deal does appear weaker than the original goals from a decade ago when the 5+1 talks began. The main goal of negotiations switched from dismantling the nuclear program in return for sanction removal to preventing nuclear bomb capabilities for sanction removal. Read Obama fanboy Politifact’s strained take on that in the final paragraph, namely that the evil, GOP Senator is not telling the truth, unless you want to count a switch in stance seven years after 5+1 talks began as a concession. That, too, is a function of a desperate White House wanting any deal.
At the base of the issue, who does a nuclear capable Iran threaten more, America or Israel? Israel, not America, yet tens of millions will be poured into blocking or pushing this deal over the top. The system of democracy allows money to pull the USG leviathan in directions it should never go and protect interests that have nothing to do with American risks. This is but one reason why this system must go.