Take casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, for example. As Pat Buchanan points out today, the pro-war billionaire snapped his fingers last week and potential Republican presidential candidates came running to his self-styled "Sheldon" primary. Their purpose was to out-compete each other on Adelson's favorite issues so as to curry favor and thereby earn his millions for their campaign coffers. And Adelson's biggest issue is not even in the US -- it's Israel.
At the Sheldon Summit, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stumbled early out of the gate, committing the grave sin of calling the Israel-occupied Palestinian territories...well..."occupied territories." He apologized profusely to Adelson for this gross blunder, but the black stain may remain on his political soul. Never mind that these territories are officially designated by international bodies such as the United Nations, the European Union, the International Court of Justice, as "occupied territories." There is much in a word and around Sheldon one must be cautious if the three 7's are to line up.
Adelson is obsessed with forcing the US to adopt certain policies he believes beneficial for Israel -- whether Israel wants them or not. In fact, Adelson is far more controversial in Israel, the supposed beneficiary of his largesse, than he is in the US.
Buchanan sums up precisely all that is wrong with one man having the power to purchase a US war on Iran by purchasing a president who will go along with his scheme:
Victor Chaltiel, a major donor and Adelson friend who sits on the board of Las Vegas Sands, tells us Sheldon “doesn’t want a crazy extremist to be the nominee.” Adds Shawn Steel, a big California GOP money man, Sheldon is a “very rational guy.”No crazy extremists for Adelson. Just a president who will nuke Iran. Totally uncontroversial.
Perhaps. But last fall at Yeshiva University, this “very rational guy” gave this response to a question from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on whether he supports U.S. negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program:
“No. What do you mean support negotiations? What are we going to negotiate about? What I would say is, ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ …
You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’
“So, there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever.
“And then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development.
The president's NSA bill will privatize bulk collection to the telephone and Internet companies, why not privatize war to the Sheldon Adelsons of the country...?
The answer is not state action or pressure against someone like Adelson, however. The answer is for independent and alternative news, opinion, television channels, and policy institutes to make the case against war and against an aggressive foreign policy and for friendly relations with all. People need tools to help resist the onslaught of propaganda from special interests. And these organizations need people as members and supporters. Join us!