Benjamin Netanyahu on Middle Eastern affairs has more influence on Congress than does the president of the United States. This is a sad commentary as to what’s happened over the many, many decades where AIPAC has controlled the Congress, has controlled American foreign policy in the Middle East and has embarrassed the United States where we are not an honest broker.”Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak says differences remain with United States over a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear energy facilities. Press TV has conducted an interview with Mike Gravel, former US Senator, from San Francisco, to further discuss the issue. The video offers the opinions of two additional guests, Merlin Miller, the US Presidential candidate for the American Third Position party, from Tehran, and Alan Hart, an author and Middle East expert from Canterbury. The following is a rough transcription of the interview with Gravel. Press TV: Let’s look at the situation with jobs. When we look at the growth report for August, there’s really not a growth that occurred there. It’s actually very slow and, of course, that sets the stage for more stimulus as announced by the Fed, in which they hinted at last week. What are your thoughts on that? You have to also add about, what, 50 million who are living in poverty with many who are food stamp recipients, not to mention this stimulus which in this DNC address he says he needs more time. How much more time does he need? It seems like his credibility on changes for the future has expired. Gravel: Not at all. Not at all. First off, I don’t want to be cast as a defender of Obama with respect to Mitt Romney. I think Romney and Republicans are crazy, to put not too fine a point on it. When you talk about the level of disaster that we had in 2008 with the Iraq War, with the trillions being spent on that war and people dying, and then the meltdown which took place under the Republicans, I think the best line of both conventions was the line from Bill Clinton, that was that the mess was caused by the Republicans and they’re unhappy by the fact that Obama hasn’t cleaned it all up in four years. It’s going to take a lot more than four years, it’s going to take a lot more than eight years to clean it up. It can never be cleaned up because of the meltdown and the difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party to the military industrial complex and to Wall Street. When you talk about all this money being spent, it’s obviously - if anybody knows anything about…economics, when you’re in a situation where you have to stimulate growth, the government has to step forward and spend money, real money. The way to do that is with infrastructure, with education and to being able to, to some degree, get control of the military industrial complex budget which is totally out of whack with our priorities. Press TV: Can you describe to us the relationship that exists in this point in time? There is certain news that comes out that, for example, says the United States and Israel is divided over the situation concerning Iran over Israel attacking Iran, as an example. At the same time, when we look at Obama’s report card, when you remember in the beginning he reached out to Muslims, but he didn’t have Jerusalem as one of the itineraries of places he wanted to visit. At the same time, we’re hearing about rifts occurring. Tell us your overview on the relations that currently exist between Obama and Israel. Gravel: Again, it’s the AIPAC which controls not only the President - the gentleman earlier who harbors hope that Obama will do something in his last year, oh boy, don’t hold your breath. It will not happen! What people fail to realize, when you look at the president being controlled by AIPAC, you got to keep in mind that the Congress is controlled by AIPAC. Even if the president wanted to do something, he couldn’t get it done because of the obstructions that would exist in the Congress to his act with respect to Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu on Middle Eastern affairs has more influence on Congress than does the president of the United States. This is a sad commentary as to what’s happened over the many, many decades where AIPAC has controlled the Congress, has controlled American foreign policy in the Middle East and has embarrassed the United States where we are not an honest broker. When you talk about telling the truth, this is something that…cannot and will not do with regards to Israel because of the impact it would have on the Congress, the media and the campaign contributions. Press TV: Who is representing America? Our guest here, Merlin Miller, says neither of these candidates actually does that. Perhaps back in 2008 when Obama ran, the idea of hope was there but right now, well, you tell us about the voting system in America. Perhaps you know better than anyone. Gravel: First off, Obama and Mitt Romney do not represent the American people. They represent a special interest. I would take the issue, AIPAC is probably the second most powerful lobby in Washington. The first is the military industrial complex.
When you see this talk coming up by Romney to invade Iran and, of course, the United States sustaining the rhetoric against Iran by Israel, that’s an absolute tragedy. Iran is not doing anything that is illegal under the nuclear non-proliferation act - not doing anything. They have every right to go ahead and enrich uranium.When push comes to shove, they have every right to acquire a nuclear bomb. Why do people get the nuclear bomb when it’s the United States, France, Russia, China, Israel… they get it as a method of defense of protection. So now, with the instability in the Middle East, with Israel having the bomb, there’s every right where Iran should likewise be able to protect its vital interests. That is a moral imperative in international law. You have the right to defend yourself. When somebody like Israel constantly talks about invading you, attacking you, you have that right, a moral imperative to defend yourself. The issue that is occasioned by this whole situation is the aggressiveness and unilateral approach that Israel has, that it has the ability to thwart all Arab interests in the Middle East. We sustain that as American foreign policy and that is, of course, the fly in the ointment over solving any of these problems. GMA/HJL