In 1798, Robert Goodloe Harper , a U.S. Congressman from South Carolina, responded with “Millions for defense. but not one cent for tribute,” to a French demand for ransom to stop French attacks on American shipping. Now, 217 years later, we find President Obama agreeing to pay another extortionate regime $15 billion for “permission” to conclude an agreement that I believe is even more for the extortioner’s benefit than our own.
In an episode that might have been scripted by Lewis Carroll, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, supported by Israel’s supporters in the U.S. Congress, has made the arcane argument that our deal with Iran, which greatly restricts Iran’s nonexistent goal of ever acquiring a nuclear weapon, is an “existential threat” to nuclear-armed Israel, which will require $15 billion, in addition to our annual tributary payments, as compensation.
Netanyahu would not have had the face to make such an outrageous demand were it not for the support of his congressional supporters who turn out 500-plus strong to uproariously applaud his bellicose speeches to joint sessions of Congress. We can regain control of our Middle East policy by putting his supporters back on the street, where they belong, beginning with Netanyahu loyalists Maria Cantwell and Suzan DelBene, and by putting Rick Larsen on notice.