The word on the House of Representatives is clear: President Obama doesn’t have the votes to push through a resolution endorsing his planned attack on Syria, and he may in fact lose big.
It’s going to take a lot of backroom deals and lobbying to convince Representatives to go against the will of the American public, overwhelmingly opposed to the war, just a year ahead of the elections, but that lobbying may be coming.
AIPAC and its usual auxiliaries in the Israel Lobby are looking to turn the tide toward war, promising to “go all-out” next week in lobbying Congress to support the war, along with a “major mobilization” of US Jewish leaders.
The Israel Lobby’s uncanny knack for getting its way in the US Congress is almost legendary, and if there’s one group that rivals them in influence, it’s defense industry PACs. They haven’t been publicly pro-war, but their beneficiaries have been, and with military contractors seeing their stock prices surge on talk of war, it’s not hard to imagine why.
Conspicuously not on board for the war, however, are the American voting public, whose opinion is at the fore with elections coming next year, along with US military leadership, which has made its displeasure surprisingly public in the lead-up to war.
Israeli analysts are already expressing concern that an inability to sell the war could dramatically undermine AIPAC’s influence and reputation, but the American voter and the Pentagon are not insignificant foes on this matter, and this may be a case of the Lobby biting off more than it can chew.