Shame on Them: Republicans and Top Dems Missing at Arab American Leadership Summit

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arab american republican.jpg
(But for how much longer?)
I have to give credit to Senator John Sununu. He showed up at the Arab American Institute’s National Leadership Conference in Dearborn, Michigan this weekend and openly talked about his search for his Palestinian grandfather’s home in old Jerusalem.
Sununu also talked about his attempts to hold back the loss of civil liberties — to a large degree aimed at Arabs and Arab Americans — embedded in the Patriot Act.
And then Sununu talked about his work on a Senate Resolution calling for firm resolve in achieving a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestine stand off and said explicitly that America must help engineer the conditions that will lead to the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state.
Sununu was saying things before the 600-plus audience that I couldn’t imagine any Republican presidential contenders saying — with the sole exception of Ron Paul who also spoke at the conference (though I was still flying back from India and missed his comments). But I couldn’t really imagine most of the Dems saying what he said as boldly either. Perhaps I’m wrong on that — but I got a quick sample in Hillary Clinton’s “videotaped” message to the Arab American summit.
Hillary seemed genuinely interested in the importance of Arab Americans and sent one of her National Campaign Co-Chairs Lebanese-American William Shaheen (husband of Jeanne and a legend in New Hampshire Democratic politics) to represent her at the conference.
Shaheen was great and connected with the audience and did a great job trying to assure the Arab Americans there that she really does care about the rights of Palestinians and the value of Arab and Arab-American lives as much as she does about Israeli security.
But odd thing about Hillary’s commentary — unlike Sununu, Hillary just did not say “Palestine” or “Palestinian state” in her taped message.


I’m a big fan of James Zogby and the people who run the Arab American Institute — which is essentially a collaborative holding entity for a large network of other social and political groups focused on Arab-American issues. While the group is not nearly as large as AIPAC, it’s influence is high — and given the times we are in, the work that Zogby does is a non-partisan vehicle for the hopes and concerns of approximately 3.5 million Arab Americans.
But unlike the clamor of candidates to speak at the annual AIPAC conference or to appear at various national security forums in Israel, this important Michigan-based conference of the great and the good among Arab Americans was given a frosty shoulder by leading candidates of both parties, and I think that is outrageous.
I think it communicates that a false choice that places Israel’s interests beyond concerns of the Arabic world would be the default position of all the candidates if elected President. The key is to communicate that the best pro-Israel policy is also a pro-Arab policy, and the best pro-Arab policy can be a pro-Israel policy. Some candidates have been seduced into the narrative that relations between the US and Arabs on one hand are a zero sum game pitted against America’s tight relationship with Israel.
As Senator Chuck Hagel has said, that is a “false choice, and a dangerous choice.”
First of all, I want to applaud the fact that Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, and Bill Richardson took the time to be at this important assembly of Arab Americans.
Let me clap with just one hand the fact that Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama sent videotaped greetings and had “surrogates” represent them in exchanges with the large audience.
I saw nothing there from Chris Dodd or Joe Biden. (may have been my oversight though)
None of the Republicans other than Paul had a serious presence there. Mitt Romney had someone put out some brochures — but neither he, nor Rudy Giuliani, nor Fred Thomspon, nor John McCain sent anyone to meet with national leaders of the premier Arab American leadership conference in the nation.
This should not be tolerated. Yes, America has a close and important strategic partnership with Israel. But to reinforce in the minds of Americans that “closeness” to Arab Americans could be a political negative in the climate we are living in is disgusting and approximates the times we have seen Arab Americans ejected because of their “look” from airplanes, and other discriminatory acts.
I told Arab American Institute President James Zogby how irritating I found the low turnout of leading presidential hopefuls who are making a mistake about the importance of Michigan politics as well as Arab American politics, and he told me that despite what I saw, there have been strides made in the “comfort level” and “acceptance” of Arab Americans into the national political process.
As a comparison of how things are today, his staff shared a quick history of rejection of Arab Americans in national level politics that included:

In 1984, Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale “returns contributions” to a group of prominent Arab American businessmen.
In 1988, despite Republican nomination candidate Bob Dole speaking at the Arab American Institute’s annual leadership conference, Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis rejects an endorsement from the Arab American Democratic Federation
In 1996, Republican nominee Bob Dole refuses to meet with Arab American Republican leaders

After 1996, the situation improved somewhat in that Al Gore and John McCain both addressed the summit in 1999 via satellite — and now Arab Americans are part of the campaigns in both leading Republican and Democratic presidential races — so the story isn’t all bad.
But the sense of imbalance I have from having attended AIPAC’s annual conference and this meeting is strong.
I’m glad Hillary Clinton, Obama, and Edwards sent videos — but they should have been there.
And shame on Giuiliani, Romney, Thompson, McCain, and the rest — who were just absent.
The room seemed majority Republican — but one could feel the tectonic shift of the community to the Democrats — or to Ron Paul — and away from the Republican frontrunners in a number of cases.
But that said, I’m not sure that the Democratic frontrunners really deserve all that much praise. A video is a video, a nice gesture, but not good enough given the massive amount of time that these Dems have showered upon other ethnic American voting communities.
I think Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Obama ought to call James Zogby and ask him to bring a group of leading Arab Americans to meet with them and express their concerns about the course the nation is on. I’m sure that Zogby could get such a group to Iowa easily — but the request should come from the campaigns.
And yes, Romney should do the same — but the Giuliani neocon network led by Norman Podhoretz, David Frum, and Daniel Pipes would veto any such meeting between Rudy and leading Arab Americans.
But if Rudy was as boldly sensible as he pretends to be, I bet Zogby’s group would meet him too.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

47 comments on “Shame on Them: Republicans and Top Dems Missing at Arab American Leadership Summit

  1. arthurdecco says:

    “…One of them is the insinuation that anyone controls me — particularly on Israel/Palestine issues. The entire reason I ventured into this issue — which I did not need to — was to break the cartelized, contained discussion in Washington” posted by Steve Clemons
    Mr. Clemons, I believe you.
    I’m one of your readers who not-so-idly mused if your earlier over-reaction to some of your other readers’ criticisms was the result of overbearing pressure brought by the Israel Lobby, (who, as we know, can and do direct mountains of bile at their perceived “opponents” whenever possible.)
    “Control” was never, ever, the unmentioned, but suggested subtext of my post. I don’t do “innuendo”. It seems to me that life is too damned short to type anything other than what you actually think. Machiavelli, I’m not.
    In no way did I mean to suggest any complicity or underhanded dealings on your part in the exchange between you and those backers of Israeli policies that surely takes place between you. But let’s face it – pressure is pressure. It can do strange things to anyone’s normal response mechanisms.
    Having been the focus of a concerted attack myself, I realize the awesome power and viciousness that can be directed at those who choose to sing from a different song book than the one the Lobby provides. The fact that I recognize the pressure to conform exists should in no way suggest to you that I think you’ve caved in on this issue.
    I continue to read your blog and post my occasional responses because I believe you to be a person of integrity, with a moral focus that almost always out-performs your contemporaries. You also have an intelligent and passionate circle of blog contributors – made up of both professional political thinkers and concerned, informed citizens of the world, many who make important contributions to the threads you initiate.
    Please keep doing what you’re doing. After all, it’s what keeps us/me reading. Keep getting angry too – that’s part of it.
    In my opinion, those of us who criticize you occasionally do so in the interests of clarity and creative dialogue – not because we’re trying to score points or put you down. (Though every once in a while I like to pop that balloon of wide-eyed celebrity reverence that seems to creep into your conversations about the powerful you meet. But again, that’s only because I’m familiar with the curse that celebrity brings and the warts it can hide if not controlled. LOL)
    I hope all of the “qualifying” posts that followed your outburst on this thread have once and for all made this clear to you:
    We like and respect you, Mr. Clemons – keep up the good work.

    Reply

  2. Wordie says:

    Steve: Great article…keep up the good work. I’ll be looking forward to a report on the conference, and I applaud you for your participation.
    I was bemused to note Kathleen’s reference to the recent poll (I think it was Gallup, although Greenwald may have cited it) say that 65% of Americans want a more “evenhanded” policy toward the ME. I wonder what Howard Dean thinks about that.

    Reply

  3. pauline says:

    The Neocon godfather, Norman Podhoretz, blathered last night on PBS Newshour —
    Norman Podhoretz: “Anyone who doesn’t Want To ‘Bomb Iran’ is appeasing ‘Hitler'”.
    Commentary Magazine editor-at-large Norman Podhoretz, who is also a foreign policy adviser to Rudy Giuliani, repeated his claim that there is “only one terrible choice” left with Iran, which is to “bomb” their “facilities” and “retard” their nuclear program.
    When Newsweek’s Fareed Zackaria asserted that deterrence was a viable option, Podhoretz repeatedly accused him of “an irresponsible complacency” that “is comparable to the denial in the early ’30s of the intentions of Hitler”.
    PODHORETZ: “First, I want to say that I think the attitude expressed by Fareed Zakaria represents an irresponsible complacency that I think is comparable to the denial in the early ’30s of the intentions of Hitler that led to what Churchill called an unnecessary war involving millions and millions of deaths that might have been averted if the West had acted early enough.”
    “Let me respond to that. You know, similar arguments were made about Hitler in the early ’30s, and it appalls me that this kind of attitude can still prevail after what we should have learned from the words of despots.”
    After Zakaria suggested that “we do not need to launch a third unilateral invasion” to “contain the problem of Iran,” Podhoretz reacted incredulously, muttering “God help us if we follow that counsel.”
    more at —
    http://thinkprogress.org/
    This Neocon godfather made very comparable war-mongering yelps about Iraq and their supposed WMD. So, who takes this old f*rt seriously except Likud firsters, money-grubbing christian Armageddon-wishing religious fundamentalists and, of course, all those b*stards making tons of money selling armaments?
    Anyone else claiming to give this guy praise?

    Reply

  4. Steve Clemons says:

    Dear Carroll and easy e — Thanks for your subsequent posts and for easy e’s email to me. I feel badly for losing my cool, something I don’t often do. But as I wrote to both privately (though Carroll — I can’t get your email to work…so you might want to send me an email note so I can resend my private note to you), there are a few things that set me off. One of them is the insinuation that anyone controls me — particularly on Israel/Palestine issues. The entire reason I ventured into this issue — which I did not need to — was to break the cartelized, contained discussion in Washington, and I think that this blog and New America have been responsible and constructive “broadeners” of that debate.
    I’m friends with both John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. I wrote about them before — I see Mearsheimer very often and have appeared on numerous panels and programs with him. The reasons that I haven’t written more about their book is that — quite frankly — I’m busy. The blog is a hobby, one that is an add-on to the work I already do, and I either write things on here that I think I personally find interesting — or work on issues that I think demand serious attention.
    Walt/Mearsheimer raise important issues — but there is nothing new in the book that was not part of the article. Whether or not we will bomb Iran is far more consequential — and the work I need to do to be a responsible commentator and steward here of that subject is very demanding at the moment.
    That’s the bottom line — and add to it family responsibilities, an insane travel schedule, and a job — and that is why I haven’t written yet again about Walt/Mearsheimer. When I referred to lemings, it’s in the sense that sometimes people want all of the blogs talking about the same things. I just don’t do that….or try not to.
    I don’t know who Paul Norheim is — but boy, he does have me sort of figured out. I got a good chuckle from his post.
    So, some of you lose it on here on occasion, I did as well. Those who ascribe some secret pressures one way or another on why I write or don’t about Israel/Palestine matters simply tick me off.
    I’ve lived through too many real world situations that Walt, Mearsheimer, and frankly — my friend Michael Lind — have written about and survived and triumphed over those pressures to accept back-biting from critics that I’m controlled or maneuvered by any lobby. That’s absolutely untrue.
    In any case, apologies for over-reacting. If Carroll will send me a good email address, I have an email I’ll resend to you.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  5. Eli Mosa says:

    Big thank you to Steve for this work. While distributing the shame among the republic and leading democrats, I would keep just a little to the 6 “Arab American Democrats” displayed in the picture with WIDE SMILES as some cares about them. Not one republican showed up, unless you count Rob Paul one. Not even a tape was sent!!! And they still want to hold the sign and brag about being republican. Burn it! Yes, we are known for burning things. It this sign that should be burn not the American Flag on the street of beirut! These republican frontrunners including Hilary who is more republican than anyone can ever be, I am talking about wanting the AIPAC support. These republicans are not worth not even one minute of attention. Let them learn the lesson the hard way. Rudy will wake up one day and bite his fingernails for having some top rank bigots on his campaign. If I see Rudy one day braging about 9/11 I would slap him on his bold forhead and tell him “what did you do idiot to prevent it?… Shut the F. up, and go to the corner”. Rudy, no matter how gay he is and no matter how much he tries to hide it, his main characteristic is idiocy. He is an idiot for many reasons that I won’t talk about her, but of the main reason why is that he rejected $10M from an arab shikh! If I was in his place I would do my best to convince the AIPAC and the ADL and all the other front zionist organizations that this money just came from the “wailing wall holes” and cash it in. If I am mayor of NY city, I would put the interest of my city is before my future hopes to run for president and loose big… Yes Rudy will loose big, not because anything but because he lack intelligence! I am sorry Rudy, I did not want to make you a poster child, and I assure you that I have similar comments about every other candidate except Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, but I don’t have more time to waist on you guys.
    Last word, using Big Words in your speach does not mean that you have a big brain. Even if you have a big brain in volume, the caw has larger one, that does not mean you are smart! Stop answering these phony phone calls from your “wife”.

    Reply

  6. arthurdecco says:

    “there is one common denominator in current terroisim in the world. That is they all are muslim…I say screw thd palestians. They have had many chances for peace. They elect hamas. Let jordan or egypt take them in!!” posted by “abdul”
    This scans precisely like the crap always available in the on-line comments of the Jerusalem Post – comments seemingly written by an army of young, belligerent, ignorant, delusional and racist Zionist militants with access to Mommy’s computer.
    “Abdul”, (or whatever your real name is), haven’t you been paying attention to who the REAL terrorists are – you know, the ones responsible for the deaths of more than a million people in Iraq and thousands more in Palestine and Lebanon?
    posted by Linda: “The hysterical rhetoric about the Israeli lobby and the like is one cosmetic example of why people don’t take such events seriously.”
    Thanks for clearing that up for me, Linda. Up until now, I had thought most of the “hysterical rhetoric” was coming from the Allen Dershowitz’s and Abe Foxman’s of the world.
    Silly me. I’m sure glad we’ve got smart people like you setting us straight on important issues like this.

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its alright, Norhiem, we’re all adults here, you can name names. But don’t kid yourself into believing you understand the dynamics and the nature of Steve and my interaction. Tensions? At times, yes. But I think Steve understands why I push, and I understand why Steve pushes back.
    I shot a black bear in the Selway when I was fourteen. It was a young sow that had just had her first litter. The poor thing couldn’t have weighed more than 150 lbs, soaking wet, and her cubs weren’t weaned yet. I had to drop her, and it was pure luck that she went down first shot, because I wouldn’t have had time to squeeze off a second. I’ll never forget how the cubs cried for their mother, it is almost a human cry. I have always felt guilty about it, and wished I could undo the event.
    My point? Its the gophers that were stealing the food out of our garden, not the bears. I shoulda been policing the garden, not the forest.
    Time will tell if Steve’s gophers are the real elephants, or if my elephants are really the gophers.
    Confused yet?

    Reply

  8. DonS says:

    Great post Steve.
    My take on the pathetic way Arab Americans are generally taken is simply that there is no countervailing politcial force (and, you may, read money) to the AIPAC influence, and the ingrained conventionthink. Really, I haven’t the vaguest idea about what the populace feelings may be, so deeply are we enmeshed in thought manipulation.
    As to Hillary, I denote a stark shift in her apparent “Palestinian”-friendly stance as First Lady, and her politically convenient stance as candidate, now Senator, from NY.
    Arabs, and Arab-Americans by extension, are apparently viewed, and treated, by the consensual powers-that-be, shamefully.
    Again, Steve, best regards, and hopefully the ripple effect of your effort will indeed ripple.

    Reply

  9. Paul Norheim says:

    WHO IS THIS GUY WHO DOES NOT WANT TO SHOOT THAT PARTICULAR ELEPHANT TODAY AT 5.30 PM?
    I`ve been reading TWN for a while, and watched the increasing tensions between Steve Clemons and some of the commentators on his blog. The issue is complex, but this is roughly how I see it:
    Steve Clemons is a ZOON POLITIKON, a political animal, who is fascinated by other animals, especially the big ones. He spends a lot of his time informing people where these animals are, what they`re doing, as well as speculating on why they`re doing it. Sometimes he tries to predict what they`ll do the next day. Occasionally he enjoys hunting too.
    Then some people start telling him which animal he should pursue. And they don`t stop there. They also tell him which weapon he should use, even when to pull the trigger.
    Does he submit to their demands? Nope. “I am free to go hunting when I want to”, he says to himself. This make some of these people suspicious: “Who is this guy who does not want to shoot that particular elephant today at 5.30 PM? And by the way: who is paying for his rifle? Perhaps an organization working for the protection of elephants?”
    This makes him angry. Suddenly Steve Clemons becomes a pissed off American. Big surprise to some of his critics. Steve Clemons pissed off? He must be overreacting!
    I think I would`ve been angry too. As a hunter. But also as a zoon politikon.

    Reply

  10. abdul says:

    Arabs and Muslims are involved in 99 percent of the conflicts around the world. I know your in denial but muslims are the ones that blow themselves. You can say any politicaly garbage that you want and that we shouldnt profile. My friend there is one common denominator in current terroisim in the world. That is they all are muslim. Make any excuse you wsnt but it is a fact. I say screw thd palestians. They have had many chances for peace. They elect hamas. Let jordan or egypt take them in!!
    Love and respect my brothers and sister
    Abdul

    Reply

  11. Linda says:

    The hysterical rhetoric about the Israeli lobby and the like is one cosmetic example of why people don’t take such events seriously. If you want to engage presidential candidates in a meaninful way, you will have to renounce the festering anti-Israeli commentary and also the inherent anti-semitism that is cultivated unabated among Arab intellectuals and would-be politicians. You reap what you sow.

    Reply

  12. MNPundit says:

    The Dems spend more time with the Jewish contingents in their party because they get a LOT of money from them.
    That said, this is the SECOND time Hillary clinton has indicated she is not interested in a two-state solution (the “undivided jerusalem” comment.

    Reply

  13. pauline says:

    There’s no way Mitch “golden AIPAC boy” McConnell (R, Ky) would have even spent a second thinking about showing his sourpuss at this Arab American Leadership Summit. He’s been too busy recently —
    “McConnell marks funds for contractor”
    FIRM UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR BRIBERY
    10/27/07
    Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is pushing $25 million in earmarked federal funds for a British defense contractor that is under criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and suspected by American diplomats of a “longstanding, widespread pattern of bribery allegations.”
    McConnell tucked money for three weapons projects for BAE Systems into the defense appropriations bill, which the Senate approved Oct. 3. The Defense Department failed to include the money in its own budget request, which required McConnell to intercede, said BAE spokeswoman Susan Lenover.
    BAE is based in Great Britain but has worldwide operations, including a Louisville facility that makes naval guns and employs 322. McConnell has taken at least $53,000 in campaign donations from BAE’s political action committees and employees since his 2002 re-election. United Defense Industries, which BAE purchased two years ago, pledged $500,000 to a political-science foundation the senator created, the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville.
    more at —
    http://www.kentucky.com/454/story/214167.html

    Reply

  14. Chesire11 says:

    It seems odd to give “credit” to Sen. Sununu for attending the Arab American Institute’s National Leadership Conference. Sounds kind of like praising Sen Kennedy for paying a call on the “Son’s of Erin” in South Boston!

    Reply

  15. Matthew says:

    How do I visualize self-hatred? Hmm….I think it is an Arab-American holding an “Arab-American Republican” sign.
    Sigh…..It’s enough to make even the angels weep.
    Do they have other signs, like “Waterboardees for Bush”?

    Reply

  16. easy e says:

    I expect an apology from you. I write what I want on this blog and choose my own reasons. Your insinuations disgust me, and they are factually wrong.
    Stop spinning fabrications.
    Steve Clemons
    Posted by: Steve Clemons at October 28, 2007 10:30 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Steve, I responded to your personal email separately. The implication was not that you’ ve “done nothing”, nor were any fabrications or negative insinuations intended in what I posted. My posting was simply a result of a void that has been perceived many on this particular matter.
    I echo the sentiments of some of your posters (POA, Carroll, arthurdecco, etc.)and welcome further commentary from you on this matter in the future—fully recognizing the sensitivity and risks involved.
    I believe everyone on this forum truly respects your efforts in making TWN one of the best political blogs. Strong and differing opinions have been voiced, but I am certain your integrity has never been disputed or attacked. If you felt otherwise, please accept my apology.
    Your dedicated work and insight is well appreciated by all of us—keep it up.
    easy e

    Reply

  17. easy e says:

    I expect an apology from you. I write what I want on this blog and choose my own reasons. Your insinuations disgust me, and they are factually wrong.
    Stop spinning fabrications.
    Steve Clemons
    Posted by: Steve Clemons at October 28, 2007 10:30 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Steve, I responded to your personal email separately. The implication was not that you’ ve “done nothing”, nor were any fabrications or negative insinuations intended in what I posted. My posting was simply a result of a void that has been perceived many on this particular matter.
    I echo the sentiments of some of your posters (POA, Carroll, arthurdecco, etc.)and welcome further commentary from you on this matter in the future—fully recognizing the sensitivity and risks involved.
    I believe everyone on this forum truly respects your efforts in making TWN one of the best political blogs. Strong and differing opinions have been voiced, but I am certain your integrity has never been disputed or attacked. If you felt otherwise, please accept my apology.
    Keep up the good work.
    easy e

    Reply

  18. pauline says:

    Last night on C-Span I watched a Brian Lamb interview of Charles Ferguson, producer and director of the documentary, “No End in Sight”.
    “No End in Sight” is the history of the US involvement in Iraq beginning with the Gulf War in 1991 and continuing up until the end of 2006. The interviewees and informants are former senior U.S. government officials, including Rich Armitage and Jay Garner, other military and intelligence officers, soldiers, marines, and Iraqis from all walks of life. Ferguson is not a lefty pushing his views, but he wanted to create a reality check of what ill-thought-out MidEast policy gone amuck has produced. All senior Bush administration officials, though, declined to be interviewed for this documentary.
    One of the most startling facts that many here know is that the ultimate cost of the war is now projected at nearly $2 trillion dollars before the bushwacker leaves office. Some 5th grade math shows the U.S. expenditure in Iraq will be about $80,000 for each and every Iraqi man, woman, and child. So, imo, we would have had a better chance of success had we just dropped dollar bills instead of bombs. How many lives have been lost, ruined because of ill-thought-out reasoning?
    imo, the big mess created by Messrs. Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Feith, Perle, Wolfowitz speaks voulmes for how AIPAC has controlled US M.E. policy, aid, and the destruction of innocent lives of millions, including Americans. Or, was it also because of keys players hiding behind the scenes that helped cause this big mess? And if so, who are they?
    Maybe someone should send Steve a dvd copy of “No End in Sight” for a reminder of US M.E. policy realities.
    To watch that Ferguson interview again, see –
    http://www.q-and-a.org/

    Reply

  19. ... says:

    arthurdecco and poa… my sentiments as well.. thanks for responding to steve on this.

    Reply

  20. Carroll says:

    Steve…
    I don’t think I insinuated “you” are a “lemming” or controlled. In fact if you care to go back over my comments since time immemorial on here you will see that I have given you and this blog full and unusual credit for not being afraid to address the touchy subjects, including the Israel lobby, in our foreign policy or the Isr-Pal conflict.
    What I did say was that you haven’t mentioned the W&M book since it came out which I found surprising for two reasons; first, the topic is so important in current policy in the ME, and policy is your line of work and you have written on it before..second, the book did make the best seller list.
    What I also “speculated” on was if, as I said…NAF thinks it has done it’s part and already covered this or if they are loath to pile on for fear of inflaming the subject any further now that it is in the public view. I don’t think that “wondering” is out of line because it is obvious that even the doves and realist like Levy as concerned that W&M may produce a hyper negative attitude against Israel and the Jews, instead of just a blacklash against the Lobby and the Lukids and our idiotic policy. Further I haven’t investigated NAF donors and don’t know if they have any ideologies, but everyone understands that “every” think tank has donors and are probably careful not to be too much on one one side or another or too adamently against even the glaringly obvious. I don’t think that implied “You” are a lemming.
    I think those are valid musings and I say “musing” because I think my post was clear that I was “musing” not “pronouncing” on why one of the most important policy blogs hadn’t mentioned this.
    AND.. if you had clicked on the link to NAF that I inserted you would have seen that I WAS showing past articles on Isr-Pal and the Israel Lobby that had been published in relation to nothing current except for Levy since W&M.
    Also I commented on Daniel Levy’s review which I read at “his” site a week ago. In fact I have linked to and commented favorably on Levy’s site which is exclusively about Isr-Pal since you recommended it months ago and most on here “know” that Levy is part of NAF. So it’s not as if I or we are out to smear the NAF or question it’s or your “integrity”.
    And for the benefit of readers here is the mention of the NAF on page 177 of W&M:
    “Given the important role insitutions play in shaping ideas and policy, the balance of power inside the Beltway strongly favors Israel. There are a few smaller think tanks that are not reflexively pro-Israel – like the New America Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the Middle East Institute- but the largest and most visible foreign policy research insitutions in Washington usually take Israel’s side and do not question the merits of unconditional U.S. support.”
    I think you went ballistic on my part, if not others, on my questioning, musing, wondering, whatever. You could have asked for clarification if my blunt writting style is unclear in meaning or you thought my comment didn’t meet the diplomatic test before going off the deep end on this. Or if you thought it was a “personal” attack on you you could have asked me to explain my criticism and then flung a fit if I repeated or confirmed what you consider an insult.
    I do agree that “some” “sometimes” don’t appreciate the position you have to maintain and although it is unfair and you have right to call them or us on it, it goes with the terrority.
    However I think you over reacted on this one.
    But as you say it is your blog, do as you please.
    A lot of us probably spend too much time here anyway and need to break the habit since in reality it doesn’t accomplish anything.

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve, I take it you are completely unphased by the prospect of doors slamming shut in your face if you more openly discuss the influence AIPAC and other Israeli lobbies have on the postures of our 2008 Presidential candidates, particularly as it applies to the Democratic candidates?
    Or are you saying it wouldn’t slam any doors? That if you made Hillary’s obvious subservience to AIPAC an issue, some of your Hillary connected sources wouldn’t dry up? Or AIPAC wouldn’t be less prone to invite you to its next “conference”?
    Look Steve, some of us are realists here. I have commented before why I think you do not answer direct queries about the individual candidate’s fealty to AIPAC and Israel, and it has nothing to do with a judgement as to your character or integrity. To assume that politicians, journalists, pundits and insiders are not walking on eggs around the AIPAC/Israel issue would be foolish, at best.
    It would be like me spitting in the eye of the building inspector, then expecting the jobs and inspections at the houses I work on to go smoothly. So, I don’t spit in their eyes, even though there are a couple of them around here that deserve it, or worse. I could jeopordize my ability to ply my trade in this area, and am not prepared to do so, even though I know of some graft, favoritism, and illegal practices. But I do not deny that I am “influenced” by their power over my livelyhood. In turn, I think it is a bit unrealistic of you to tell us you are not “influenced” by the power of the Israeli lobbies, as you attempt to ply your trade.

    Reply

  22. bob h says:

    Surely the Republicans are kissing this vote goodbye with their “Islamofascism” schtick (as they have kissed the black and Hispanic votes goodbye). It is disappointing that the Democrats are not more actively courting the vote of these good citizens, however.

    Reply

  23. arthurdecco says:

    “I have commented on Walt/Mearsheimer in the past. To me, it’s an OK book — I liked the earlier article better…but it’s old stuff.” posted by Steve Clemons
    Old stuff? Hardly. This conversation is just getting started.
    Walt and Mearsheimer’s, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” is being marginalized in the media, (when it’s mentioned at all), or, it’s being willfully misrepresented by whole swaths of the political right, their bought and paid for pundits and think tankers.
    You owe it to your readers, Mr. Clemons to offer up more than bromides like, “To me, it’s an OK book — I liked the earlier article better…but it’s old stuff.” This hardly constitutes a review of the most important book written so far on the de-facto control of American foreign policy by a small group of disturbed, delusional and dangerous right wing Israeli-supporting Jews and Christian funnymentalists. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it suggests a lack of candor on the subject by you.
    Of course you have the right to yell at anyone you don’t like on your blog, but this may not be the time or subject matter that deserves your bright-white anger.
    Your inappropriate levels of hostility to what I considered mild, (for the internet), criticism may be an indication that you’re under far more pressure on this subject than might be visible on the surface.
    Are you taking heat for the opinions of your readers, Mr. Clemons? From the usual suspects?
    If so, you have my sympathy. Just not enough of it to approve of your heavy-handedness in dealing with your reader’s criticism.
    “You’re either with us or against us” comes to mind.
    In my opinion, life shouldn’t be reduced to such stark choices.

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    he’s calling, in a totally even-handed way, for a two-state solution. He is both pro-Arab and pro-Israel – a position I find very refreshing.
    Posted by Rebecca at October 28, 2007 07:36 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That call….has been echoed around the world for decades.
    Unfortunately it is not heeded by Israel or AIPAC or congress.
    It is obvious that calling isn’t enough. The US will never be “evenhanded” and there will never be a just peace until the influence of the Israeli far right and AIPAC in the US is DOA.

    Reply

  25. Steve Clemons says:

    To Carroll and others commenting on Walt/Mearsheimer….I’m not a leming in what I choose to cover or not. Comment as you will — but your comments that I am somehow influenced disgust me.
    Read the Mearsheimer/Walt book and see the reference to New America. Why do you think that they would make that comment if they didn’t observe an independent and objective operation?
    I have commented on Walt/Mearsheimer in the past. To me, it’s an OK book — I liked the earlier article better…but it’s old stuff. Both are friends of mine — and I don’t have to write about all things that are percolating out there. I wrote about Walt and Mearsheimer previously — and my colleague Daniel Levy wrote one of the best critiques of the book out there. My other colleague Michael Lind wrote one of the best articles ever written on the Israel Lobby on the cover of Prospect Magazine in the UK.
    So, don’t be lecturing me on what I should or should not be writing about — or insinuating reasons why I am not.
    Wake up, read the site for what it is, search under “AIPAC” on the site.
    But this is not your site. If you don’t like what is here — I’d really appreciate it if you would leave, depart, just take off. Your notes insinuating that anyone controls my work is about the most offensive thing you folks have written.
    Please leave.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  26. Steve Clemons says:

    easy e — do you have a copy of the Walt/Mearsheimer book? if so, read what it says about the New America Foundation — which essentially refers to my work. Your note insinuating silence because of these relationships is offensive. I’ve worked very hard to make sure the foreign policy work at New America was independent and objective — and it has successfully broken the cartel controlling discussion on middle east issues in washington. Search AIPAC on my site — and you will find many references. My colleague, Michael Lind, wrote one of the most compelling items on the Israel lobby as the cover of Prospect Magazine.
    I expect an apology from you. I write what I want on this blog and choose my own reasons. Your insinuations disgust me, and they are factually wrong.
    Stop spinning fabrications.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  27. Rebecca says:

    It strikes me that almost all of the commenters on this posting get what Steve is saying wrong – you’re assuming that he’s bashing AIPAC and that he’s engaging in a deeply “courageous” act even to mention the Arab-American group. That’s not the tone of his posting at all – he’s very matter-of-fact, and he’s calling, in a totally even-handed way, for a two-state solution. He is both pro-Arab and pro-Israel – a position I find very refreshing.

    Reply

  28. Arun says:

    An interview with Ron Paul on the topic of his addressing Arab-Americans:
    http://ancapistan.typepad.com/ARABAMERICANinterview.mp3

    Reply

  29. Rob says:

    In addition to the fear of angering AIPAC, a key reason why U.S. politicians don’t pay more attention to the Arab-American lobby is that Arab Americans are deeply divided over many issues, especially foreign policy. The most powerful Arab American constituency is the Maronite Christian Lebanese, many of whom are pro-Israeli and have an old-fashioned Crusader mentality that dovetails with the anti-Muslim AIPAC line.

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  30. easy e says:

    TWN & NAF’s silence on the lobby and W&M’s book shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. The representation on NAF’s board of military-industrial-complex, corporatist, and neocon types speaks volumes.
    Board of Directors
    Eric A. Benhamou
    Chairman, 3Com Corporation & Palm Inc.; Chairman and CEO, Benhamou Global Ventures, LLC
    Steve Coll
    President & CEO
    James Fallows
    Board Chairman, New America Foundation; National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly
    Roger W. Ferguson Jr.
    Chairman, Swiss Re America Holding Corporation
    Francis Fukuyama
    Professor of International Political Economy, Johns Hopkins University
    Ted Halstead
    Founder, New America Foundation
    Noosheen Hashemi
    President, HAND Foundation
    Laurene Powell Jobs
    President of the Board, College Track
    Kati Marton
    Author & Journalist
    Walter Russell Mead
    Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
    Lenny Mendonca
    Chairman, McKinsey Global Institute
    Steven Rattner
    Managing Principal, Quadrangle Group, LLC
    Eric Schmidt
    Chairman & CEO, Google, Inc.
    Bernard L. Schwartz
    Retired Chairman & CEO, Loral Space & Communications Ltd.
    Anne-Marie Slaughter
    Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
    Laura D’Andrea Tyson
    Professor, Business Administration & Economics, Haas School of Business, UCLA Berkeley
    Christine Todd Whitman
    President, Whitman Strategy Group
    Daniel Yergin
    Chairman, Cambridge Energy Research Associates
    Fareed Zakaria
    Editor, Newsweek International
    http://www.newamerica.net/about/board
    Leadership Council
    New America’s Leadership Council, chaired by John C. Whitehead, recognizes those individuals who contribute $25,000 or more to the Foundation each year. As members of the Leadership Council, they participate in the intellectual life of the Foundation in numerous ways. For instance, they are invited to attend a special annual retreat with New America senior staff, Fellows and Board of Directors, as well as a series of salon dinners across the country.
    Eric A. Benhamou
    Chairman, 3Com Corporation & Palm Inc.; Chairman and CEO, Benhamou Global Ventures, LLC
    Susan Chambers
    Executive Vice President, Wal-Mart
    Lewis B. Cullman
    Founder & CEO, Cullman Ventures, Inc.
    Thomas D. Gallagher
    Senior Managing Director and Head of Policy Research, International Strategy and Investment Group, Inc.
    Noosheen Hashemi
    President, HAND Foundation
    Laurene Powell Jobs
    President of the Board, College Track
    Peter Marber
    Global Head of GEM Fixed Income and Currencies, HSBC Halbis Partners
    Aria Mehrabi
    Principal & Co-Founder, Pacific Star Capital
    Lenny Mendonca
    Chairman, McKinsey Global Institute
    Eric Mindich
    Founder, Eton Park Capital Management
    Steven Rattner
    Managing Principal, Quadrangle Group, LLC
    Eric Schmidt
    Chairman & CEO, Google, Inc.
    Bernard L. Schwartz
    Retired Chairman & CEO, Loral Space & Communications Ltd.
    Harry Sloan
    Chairman & CEO, MGM, Inc.
    Jonathan Soros
    President & Co-Deputy Chairman, Soros Fund Management, LLC
    John C. Whitehead
    Chairman, The Goldman Sachs Foundation
    http://www.newamerica.net/about/leadership_council

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    Did I mention how gnikcuf insane this Israeli perversion has made American politicans and politics?
    Well….go check this one out. I would say it’s unbelievable but unfortunately it’s all too common.
    http://www.prospectsforpeace.com/
    Daniel Levy’s site
    October 26, 2007
    Candidate McCain and the Rabin Assassination Conspiracy Theory
    This week (in the Hebrew calendar) marked the 12th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. This time the backdrop was an increasingly active and ugly campaign by the Israeli far-right for the release of his assassin, Yigal Amir. Part of that campaign has been the attempt to advance a conspiracy theory regarding the assassination, namely that the Israeli authorities orchestrated it and even that Shimon Peres was responsible.
    What you may ask has all this to do with the John McCain Presidential campaign?
    Here’s what – the McCain campaign has placed official ads on a Kahanist, pro-extremist settler website that promotes the claim that Shimon Peres, Israel’s President, “master-minded” the Rabin assassination!
    Here is the link to the site – Ahavat–Israel.com (literally love of Israel) – you may have to click refresh a few times to get the McCain ads (that is, until they are eventually taken down – after all the McCain campaign pockets don’t run so deep).
    The website and the group behind it seem pretty obscure and very extreme, clearly Kahanist. Ahavat-Israel brings together a collection of the more bizarre predilections of the Israeli-religious settler right – don’t even ask how I stumbled across this!
    Alongside some rather useful Kosher cooking tips (especially this late on a Friday…), there are promos for the settlers in Hebron, calls to demonstrate against the Israeli government, and adulation of the racist Meir Kahane who was banned from standing for Israeli Knesset.
    Here’s what the site says about Israel’s Arab minority: “the transfer of Arabs to Arab lands should be done…most Jews in Israel and abroad would prefer that there be no Arabs in Israel.” And on the Rabin assassination, “Rabin was hated by most Jews in Israel. Rabin was considered a traitor and Israel’s most incompetent politician…when Rabin was murdered Peres became Prime Minister and accelerated the process of giving away land…Peres had the motives and the evidence is against him.”
    So, does Senator McCain think that Israel’s new President “master-minded” (as the website claims) the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin? Does McCain feel comfortable advertising on a website that makes these accusations – would he like to distance himself from such claims, apologize and remove the ads?
    To be honest, I assume the Senator knows nothing at all about the ads on the website and that some low-level aide out-sourced some media-buys to a mad-man.
    But there it is and I hope this revelation embarrasses the McCain campaign (the ad links to their official donation page), and leads to many voices being raised that demand an apology for the association with this offensive Kahanist hatred.
    Then again, maybe I’m wrong and this is all pre-mediated and this exposure is music to the McCain campaign ears and will fill the coffers. After all, if Giuliani has recruited Daniel Pipes, Norman Podhoretz and Martin Kramer to advise him on the Middle East, then being more extremist right-wing on Israel really takes some effort! Well, it is up to McCain to clarify.”

    Reply

  32. Carroll says:

    For POA…..
    You will find this interesting. I did a search at the NAF site to see what they had published on the Israel Lobby. See link below.
    Many of us who have followed Isr-Pal and the Israeli Lobby, I think, expected TWN to at least mention or review W&M’s book “the Israel Lobby”. But not only is TWN strangely silent on it, the New American Foundation is also missing in action. Oddly enough there were more articles by the NAF on the lobby and Isr way back “before” it became a hot issue with the public than there are now.
    Not one single review or article on the lobby by the NAF since Carter and W&M grabbed the public attention.
    This seems very odd for a foundation on the cutting ‘edge” of “new” ideas. But then again it is standard behavior for foundations hamstrung by their donors ideology. So it that what is going on? Or do they think they’ve done their part and are afraid to pile on any more? Or is it fear? Are they laying off this because they are actually afraid that the public “already” knows too much and have been convinced that they would be inciting anti-semitism if they gave it more notice?
    What I think is amazing, is that without any main stream media coverage at all, W&M’s book jumped to number 12 on the best seller list. Indicating to me that there is wide spread interest in this issue among the public. And it also indicates that this interest comes mainly from internet news and coverage which is overtaking the MSM’s disinfo and censorship of any objective coverage on Israel.
    The public is finally engaged on this issue but the liberal or so called “realist establishment” that addressed it somewhat before has now gone silent since W&M hit the scene.
    http://www.newamerica.net/search/node/Israel

    Reply

  33. Carroll says:

    I should have included Dennis with Gravel and Paul. Dennis is right on the money concerning Israel and Palestine and US policy.

    Reply

  34. Carroll says:

    I have read every single speech and statement on Israel and the ME that I could find by all the presidential candidates. It is such as Orwellian experience that I don’t even know how to describe it. A few decades ago any American politican who said the things they are saying about their “loyalty” to Israel would have been sent to the looney bin. Can you imagine Kennedy or Johnson or Nixon or Ford or Carter telling the public that..”Israel’s security is the ‘Cornerstone’ of US foreign policy”??…as Richardson did at the debates and as Biden has done and as Hillary has done? A Foreign country and foreign inerest lobby is the bedrock of mighty America’s foreign policy?…jesus, how much more insane than this can they get?
    Gravel and Paul are the only ones to vote for ..there aren’t any other “Americans” running for president…the rest of them are Israelis, not Americans. They should be running for office in Israel, not in America.

    Reply

  35. ... says:

    Sue said >>The problem is with the political elite, including advisers, lobbists, and media that dominate, even monopolize, the political arena, such as, election process that elects someone and decision making process once the person is elected.
    Posted by sue at October 28, 2007 09:07 AM<<
    sue, that is the problem steve clemons suffers from as well… that is why this post was a bit of a switch… he almost has made it to the point of acknowledging something the political elit, including himself as unwilling to.. i like steve, but i am not naive enough to think he is one of the ordinary folks when he travels in the political circles he does… it is like asking a hockey player to stop thinking hockey for a minute and think what it means to be a spectator.. steve almost put himself outside of the game.. almost..

    Reply

  36. Carroll says:

    I hesitant to guess what percentage of Americans know the true facts behind Isr and the Isr-Pal conflict. The several polls Glenn Greenwald cited in his column recently showed that 65% of Americans think we should be evenhanded in this dispute or not be involved at all. The polls after Lebanon showed that 76% of Americans were outraged over Israel’s actions.
    But, let’s say 20% of us have observed and researched this throughly enough to know exactly what is going on with Israel and Palestine….and congress. If that 20% of we americans were as organized on this as the 2% jewish population or the ?% of the far right cult of AIPAC would that be enough to change the US Israeli policy?
    I can’t even count the times I have called some congressman’s office about this Israeli skewed abomination. The last time was a call to Waxman’s office about his letter condemning Moran D-Va. It was funny because the girl first assumed I was calling to say how pleased I was with it. When she found out how furious I was she was speechless. Obviously most calls they get on Israel are from Israeli activist and they are not use to getting calls from upset Americans. This is the first thing that has to change. The vast majority of Americans who don’t view things based on their “Hyphen – slash- Americanism” should be the ones weighing in on this with an objective American based opinion.
    This Israeli corruption in congress and the Isr-Pal conflict should not be a lobby fight between the US Jews and the US Arabs, it should a fight carried on by Americans for the US to do the right thing, morally and according to international law in Palestine and the ME and to also rid the US government of the influence of ethnic foreign lobbies altogether.
    Get on the phone.

    Reply

  37. Kathleen says:

    Further, Senator Mike Gravel has said that his primary reason for running is the Middle East and bringing fairness to Palestine.
    For the record, Senator Gravel has served more terms in the Senate than the “front” runners.
    This area of poltical discussion highlights what “groupies” and insecure conformists the so called political pundits really are…. not the astute, knowledgeable thinkers they presume to be.
    I wish the League of women voters would sponsor a series of Distaff Debates, with the marginalized candidates, broadcast on C-Span. I think it would be a real debate, as were the original Presidential debates the League sponsored,, instead of an intellectually watered down Mr. America contest.
    Steve, thanks for mentioning the 2nd tier.

    Reply

  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “In terms of Isareli-Palestinian issue, including Israel lobby, Steve’s standing has been consistant since I started reading the washingtonnote.”
    Yep, consistantly mute. Even when repeatedly queried by his readers. And although this post of Steve’s broaches the subject, it is still not an expose on the depth of each candidate’s fealty to AIPAC and Israeli monies, which Steve seems loathe to delve into. Many times here we have seen him laud, and at times criticize, the individual candidates, but he has ignored this particular issue in his comments. I hope he has experienced an epiphany.
    And in fairness to Ron Paul, I certainly hope Steve passes Paul’s comments, made at this conference, on to us.

    Reply

  39. Don Quixote says:

    The placards show that Arab Americans can be as stupid as other Americans!

    Reply

  40. Bonethug Iranian says:

    See the funny “candidates” walk on egg shells and dance around the real issue/problem in the Middle East. The issue is Palestine and the problem is Israel. The Democrat presidentials won’t touch that. The Republican presidentials are clueless. The American people are for the most part ill informed and media will touch only the Israeli side of apartheid. Yeah, I used the ‘a’ word and rightly so. America expects Arab Americans to be the “good” little Muslims and just be quiet and lose their rights to liberty and freedom. Yeah, that’ll happen. ‘We the people’ are in this together and what happens to one will eventually happen to all.

    Reply

  41. sue says:

    I’d like to defend Steve on this one. In terms of Isareli-Palestinian issue, including Israel lobby, Steve’s standing has been consistant since I started reading the washingtonnote. The problem is not with ordinary people more and more of them noticed, realized, and concerned about the problem. The problem is with the political elite, including advisers, lobbists, and media that dominate, even monopolize, the political arena, such as, election process that elects someone and decision making process once the person is elected.

    Reply

  42. Ann says:

    Thank you Steve for this post. This subject is one of the most important reasons I cannot support any of the dem frontrunners. Shame on them! In protest I may be forced to vote for one of the candidates who showed up for this event.

    Reply

  43. liz says:

    Unfortunately, I think there is a book that has already said, they will declare it but it will never be.

    Reply

  44. .... says:

    steve, your post here is a first in many ways… you pointedly acknowledge how the israel lobby has shut down any balanced 2 sided view on middle east issues and you have mentioned the names ron paul and dennis kucinich in the very next paragraph.. maybe in the silence of your inner solitude you acknowledge it to yourself, but it is a first on one of your public commentaries here… i hope you bcome more willing to talk about the elephant in the room that everyone is unwilling to talk about, including you.. you still haven’t made it an open acknowledgement, but you are starting to get closer… i am reminded of seeing someone come out of some self deep sleep..
    >>I think it communicates that a false choice that places Israel’s interests beyond concerns of the Arabic world would be the default position of all the candidates if elected President. The key is to communicate that the best pro-Israel policy is also a pro-Arab policy, and the best pro-Arab policy can be a pro-Israel policy. Some candidates have been seduced into the narrative that relations between the US and Arabs on one hand are a zero sum game pitted against America’s tight relationship with Israel.
    As Senator Chuck Hagel has said, that is a “false choice, and a dangerous choice.”
    First of all, I want to applaud the fact that Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, and Bill Richardson took the time to be at this important assembly of Arab Americans.

    Reply

  45. JohnH says:

    I have often wondered why the Gulf sheikhs don’t funnel campaign contributions through the Arab-American community. I know, it’s strictly illegal, but I have to believe that some of that $3 Billion of aid to Israel gets funneled back to candidates. The only way to make politicians take notice is to give them money, lots of it. And a few million dollars, targeted properly could do a lot to balance and eventually neutralize AIPAC’s influence.

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I hope I see more commentary from Steve along this vein. And I hope he bothers to research Ron Paul’s comments at this conference, and that he passes them on to us.

    Reply

  47. Joe M. says:

    Hello,
    I am Arab-American from Michigan and have been to this and other such events in the past (though, not this year). And there are two major issues that come to mind:
    1) We Arab-Americans are not even able elect Arab candidates to office in our own state. If there is any state we should be able to do it, it would be Michigan. But instead, we get Carl Levin and the brainless Debbie Stabenow. Levin is a staunch Zionist even if he has some reasonable tendencies from time to time. Stabenow is not smart enough to be elected dog catcher, let alone senator. And that ignores the less prominent offices. So, it is no surprise that we don’t get the attention of major candidates, and especially when AIPAC and other fascist groups paint the American interest as directly behind Israel and against us.
    2) Arab Americans are in an even worse position today than we were before the war in Iraq. Because of Sept 11th and then the significant (and obviously immature at the time, it was just revenge) support among Iraqi Americans for the Iraq war, we have divided ourselves even more than our traditional division between the tax-policy republican element and the working class branch (almost everyone has the same foreign policy views, and that tends to be our #1 voting issue). Arab Americans also have a deep fear of being targeted by the government, which has lowered our voice even more.

    There is one surprise, as you may know, David Bonior is the director of the Edwards campaign. Bonior is a very knowledgeable man from the Detroit area and he has all the right positions on Arab causes. So, at the same time it is both surprising that Edwards was not there, and not very worrisome. It is a problem to the degree that we are poison to a campaign to associate with us and to support us, but it trust Bonior enough not to worry in that case. Obama has a history with Rashid Khalidi as well, making his support for Israel especially two-faced. and Clinton is slime, who will force me to vote third party if she becomes the nominee.

    Reply

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