Congressman Alan Grayson was interviewed by Jeffrey Brown on the PBS News Hour last night about Syria, and what a great interview it was! Grayson, a Democrat, said constituents are 100-1 against the resolution authorizing a military attack on Syria.
You can watch the video or read the transcript online.
Grayson got right to his talking points.
First, it’s not our responsibility. It’s not our responsibility to act unilaterally. Secondly, it’s not going to do any good. It’s not going to change the regime. It’s not going to end the civil war. It’s not even going prevent a new strike and use of chemical warfare.
Third, it’s expensive, and, fourth, it’s dangerous. It could easily spin out of control.
Then came the next obvious question: But don’t we have to do something?
Well, for instance, we could go to the U.N. We could go to NATO. We could go to the International Court of Justice if we were a member of it.
We could do all sorts of things to relieve the humanitarian suffering of the two million refugees in neighboring countries. We could conceivably arm the rebels. In fact, the president said he would arm the rebels three months ago. So far, not a single gun has been delivered. Not a single weapon of any kind has been delivered to the rebels, despite the fact the president said it three months ago. There’s all sorts of other alternatives that don’t involve sending missiles and bombs on a so-called humanitarian war.
Then the questions turned to the politics of prestige and “credibility.”
JEFFREY BROWN: What about the prestige, the credibility of the United States and of the president himself? Do you worry about that?
ALAN GRAYSON: We don’t — no, we don’t earn credibility by doing things that are stupid and counterproductive.
We have to get over that whole idea. And if it were a question of our credibility, then, in fact, I think our credibility is stronger by making wise choices here. And I’ll tell you this. We cannot go to war for the sake of anybody’s, how shall I say this, credibility.
Brown pursued then the point.
JEFFREY BROWN: And what happens to the president from your own party if he loses this vote? What are the implications for him, for his stature, for his ability to get things done in the rest of his term?
ALAN GRAYSON: With all due respect, that’s irrelevant. We cannot decide whether to go to war on the basis of those kind of considerations. It simply doesn’t matter.
In any case, it was a good interview, worth going back over.
Meanwhile, there have been numerous news reports that the pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) will be trying to squeeze members of Congress to vote for the president’s plan.
And there was some strange editing by the NY Times that removed references to AIPAC’s political role from a published story. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
And, continuing down this path, check out this story, “An Inside Look at How AIPAC Beats War Drum on Capitol Hill” from the Washington Spectator.” It’s an eye-opener.
Adding to its importance are reports that key evidence used to back up the president’s call for military action may actually have originated with the Israeli military and intelligence services.
According the The Guardian newspaper:
The bulk of evidence proving the Assad regime’s deployment of chemical weapons – which would provide legal grounds essential to justify any western military action – has been provided by Israeli military intelligence, the German magazine Focus has reported.