May 21, 2004

Hollings: Odd Behavior

Alot of controversy has surrounded Senator Hollings' latest comments about Israel's security (and Bush's intent to secure the Jewish bloc of voters) being a prime motivator for the Iraq war.

The ADL and several other, perpetual victims, have chimed in to say that Hollings' should apologize for his remarks. Hollings has remarkably held his ground in the face of such chiding. Commendable given how Trent Lott folded like a lawn chair in a stiff breeze, after making his own infamous remarks. That wasn't new for Lott. If there were any man more easily pressured into flinging his conservative "principles" out the window, I can't think of one.

What is curious about this latest controversy is that Hollings is obviously stating the truth. A truth that can be documented by the Congressional record. Check out the Graham amendment passed back in October of 2002.

The Graham amendement was the very first to tie a U.S. military action in Iraq to Israel's interests. It was an addeendum to Congress' original authorization for 87 Billion in mad money for our newest dictator (I know, I know, but Look up dictator in the dictionary).

The odd behavior to which I refer is that Senator Hollings voted for the bill.

The bill passed 95 to 2 with three abstentions. For the record, Kerry didn't vote. (Does he ever?) While Hollings' vote in this matter would tend to exhonerate him of "anti-Semitism" charges, it does seem to expose a gross hypocrisy on his part. Or maybe I'm just wierd that way.

A short summary of the bill with relevant text follows

On October 15th the Senate took up a slightly modified version of the amendment proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to the Iraq supplemental (SA 1806 to S. 1689 - see the October 3rd edition of the Round-Up for details of the original amendment). The amendment marks the first time Congress has formally linked the U.S. military effort in Iraq to Israel.

In its final form adopted by the Senate by a vote of 95 in favor, two opposed [Chafee (R-RI) and Bingaman (D-NM), and three not voting [Edwards (D-NC), Kerry (D-MA), and Lieberman (D-CT)], the amendment adds a Sense of Congress to the bill stipulating that "the removal of the Government of Saddam Hussein has enhanced the security of Israel and other United States allies." The amendment is as follows:

Sec. 3002

(a) Congress finds that--
(1) Israel is a strategic ally of the United States in the Middle East;
(2) Israel recognizes the benefits of a democratic form of government;
(3) the policies and activities of the Government of Iraq under the Saddam Hussein regime contributed to security concerns in the Middle East, especially for Israel;
(4) the Arab Liberation Front was established by Iraqi Baathists, and supported by Saddam Hussein;
(5) the Government of Iraq under the Saddam Hussein regime assisted the Arab Liberation Front in distributing grants to the families of suicide bombers;
(6) the Government of Iraq under the Saddam Hussein regime aided Abu Abass (sic), leader of the Palestinian Liberation Front, who was a mastermind of the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise ship, and is responsible for the death of an American tourist aboard that ship; and
(7) Saddam Hussein attacked Israel during the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War by launching 39 Scud missiles into that country and thereby causing multiple casualties.

(b) It is the sense of Congress that the removal of the Government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein enhanced the security of Israel and other United States allies.

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