Déjà vu in the United States House of Representatives. For the second time this week two Republican House members were running against each other to become House speaker, both of whom were over the top in their support for the expansive aiding of the Israel government in its war arising out of last Saturday’s Hamas attack.
On Wednesday, one ardent “stand with Israel” proponent — Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) — narrowly defeated another — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) — in a secret ballot election held by Republican House members. I detailed in an article that day how preceding the vote they had both at their Twitter pages made postings trumpeting their devotion to strongly supporting the Israel government, including in its prosecution of its new war.
Then, on Thursday, Scalise dropped out of his race after failing to gain enough Republican members’ support to garner him a win in a vote by the full House membership.
A House speaker race then commenced between Jordan and a new entrant — Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA). Friday, that race was decided with Jordan winning the support of the majority of Republican members via a new secret ballot vote.
Next step is a speaker vote by all members on the House floor, unless the Republicans members start over with another inside the party speaker race or take a new course of action.
So what was Scott saying over the last few day at his Twitter page about the Israel government and its new war? It turns out he is in agreement with both Jordan and Scalise.
Saturday morning of last week, Scott posted the following at his Twitter page:
This barbaric attack on Israeli citizens is unconscionable.
I stand with the people of Israel. They have a right to defend themselves against these brutal attacks from Hamas terrorists.
This message is concerning for people who support the US taking a noninterventionist position in regard to the rising conflict because Scott used close to the phrase “stand with Israel” that is commonly blurted out by DC politicians to show their devotion to supporting and aiding the Israel government no matter what it does. But, Scott using the similar but different phrase “stand with the people of Israel” and refraining from mentioning the US government offered hope that Scott could be just condemning of the Hamas attack without advocating any US government action.
Indeed, leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a somewhat similar initial public statement the same day that suggested he may support a relatively noninterventionist position on the matter in comparison to other candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination. But, less than 24 hours later, Trump made clear in comments in a campaign speech in Iowa that, like his fellow Republican presidential candidates, he is devoted to supporting the Israel government and helping it in its new war.
Ditto for Scott. Monday afternoon, Scott posted at Twitter a comment along with video from a Fox Business interview of him by host Maria Bartiromo that dashed hope that he would support a noninterventionist course. The text of the tweet reads:
If you are funding terrorism, then you are a terrorist. We, as the United States, need to make sure to do everything to support Israel as they defend themselves against Hamas and those who fund them.
In the Fox Business interview, Scott declares, “We as the United States, we need to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to support Israel, and we need to make sure that not just sending the weapons systems and the intelligence and the other things that they need to secure Israel are done, but we need to make sure that this administration is not playing games with the rules of engagement and the rules that surround us giving the Israelis weapons and the intelligence that they need.”
In the interview, Scott made clear the “playing games with the rules of engagement” that he opposes is effort by the US government to restrain how Israel acts in the new war. Scott stated:
And when it comes to the Biden administration, we need to hold them accountable. When they say they‘re gonna send Israel weapons, we also need to make sure the rules of engagement surrounding those weapons allow the Israelis to do what they need to do to secure their territory. We saw this with prior Democratic administrations, where they would put a tremendous amount of assets in the region but then they would set rules of engagement around those weapons that didn’t allow us to win. So the Israelis not only need the weapons, but they need the rules of the engagement that allow them to go out and do what needs to be done to secure their territory and end this terrorism.
In short, Scott supports the US government giving the Israel government whatever it asks for, and without restraints on how that aid is used.
A consequence of such commitment by the US is spelled out by Scott when he makes this prediction in the interview:
This is gonna be a long, drawn out war. This is not something that’s gonna be over when the weekend’s over with.
Yeah, that would be expected when the US provides all the means of war requested with no questions asked. By removing practical constraints on warmaking, more war can be expected to be made, and made for longer.
Of course, there is much more support for a noninterventionist approach among the American people than among House members, Republican or Democrat. Same goes for the American people compared to US Senate members. The top Democrat in the House and top Democrat and Republican in the Senate are all devotees of the Israel government. The Republican members’ speaker selection process appears to be working to ensure that the final top congressional leader position is filled by a like-minded person.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.