Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mark Kirk Still Concerned About Saudi Arms Sale

Lots of heated rhetoric going around as the primary election in Illinois is fast approaching, the nation is preparing for Super-Duper Tuesday, and the world is waiting to see what direction our country is going in. Everyone involved in politics is doing their level best to paint their opponents as the devil, and their guy (or gal) as a saviour. And there's plenty of flak to go around on both sides of the aisle, and at every level- national, state and local.

On the national level, probably the big story of this news cycle (which nowadays lasts about 15 hours, if that) that has a 10th District tie-in, is that President Bush is moving forward with a massive arms package to Saudi Arabia and other allies, including the supply of JDAMs, or "smart bombs." Congressman Mark Kirk has been a critic of this move, mainly due to what he sees as a lack of safeguards that such advanced weapons will not somehow fall into the hands of Israel's enemies somewhere down the line. Read about the issue here.

Kirk has stated that he opposes the proposal in its present form. "The administration must guarantee to Congress' satisfaction that selling JDAMs to Saudi Arabia will not harm U.S. forces or our democratic ally Israel," he told the Associated Press. "At this time, I do not have enough information to support the sale." Read more here.

Dan Seals, who has many times stated that he is a strong friend of Israel, doesn't seem to have a position up on his website, or a press release, or anything approaching an actual viewpoint. He may be still be celebrating his victory over Jay Footlik at Ellen Beth Gill's house.

Israel, as everyone knows, is not only concerned about this, they continue to be very concerned over Iran's nuclear program, even though the uber-liberals in this country are doing their very best to treat the NIE report as a magic bullet that assures them that everything is A-OK over with the jolly mullahs and their nutzo president. While I used to think that Israel would go it alone against Iran to prevent their nuclear program from threatening Israel, here's a sobering report that seems to indicate that Israel's military is not capable of doing the job without help.

I don't claim to understand everything about how American Jews look at the Israel security issue, but from what I can pick up on the blogs, there are those that are extremely concerned about Israel's security from foreign aggressors, and another group that criticizes these folks as "one-issue" Jews, since the pro-security group tends to vote for the likes of Mark Kirk. They seem to feel betrayed that the security-oriented group doesn't vote for traditional Dem platform ideas like universal healthcare, and instead are more concerned that Israel doesn't get blown off the map.

Some are mad that Jay Footlik is running against Seals, as Footlik's hawkish Israel stance tends to make Seals look weak on Israel by comparison--after all, Seals needs to pander to the 10th Dist. peacenik crowd at the risk of losing his base.

I think that if Seals does win the primary, he will suffer immensely against Kirk head-to-head on the Israeli defense issue. Kirk's Israel creds are impeccable, and Seals hasn't actually ever accomplished anything except talk. Oh, he did visit Israel once, and he apparently has been boning up on his Jewish political keywords such as “tikun Olam.”

Footlik offers a more interesting challenge on Israel as an issue, but given that Seals has a more extensive base and fundraising ability, as a general election opponent, Footlik also has plenty of deficiencies to overcome before November.


Anonymous said...

I think it's also good to note that while other members of Congress do vote to support pro-Israel initiatives, nobody on either side of the aisle can come close to the LEADERSHIP that Mark Kirk has provided to the security and strength of the State of Israel. Before he was elected he was the key staff member for then International Relations Chairman, Congressman Ben Gilman of NY. Mark Kirk's dedication and his leadership is now legend on the Hill. I doubt that Seals or Footlik understand the JDAMS issue. Few do. Don't expect to see this or anything else associated with defense or security issues on their websites or in their talking points. Mark Kirk fully intends to have Israel retain it's qualitative military edge. Ms. Shrill thinks of Mr. Kirk as a warmonger. I won't even comment on that disgraceful accusation. I'm not sure she's ever been to Israel to see or to understand the daily threats faced by average Israelis. It's just easy for her to join the "chorus" of those far lefties who think that Israel is imposing itself on someone else's land. She and her followers don't get it, will never get it. Those of us who ARE pro-Israel activists are also proud Americans, proud to have OUR member of Congress, Mark Kirk, as the undisputed LEADER when it comes to securing Israel's rightful place on this earth.

Team America said...

Actually, to give poor Jay his due, he actually was talking about the JDAM sale issue way back in August of last year. See his press release here. It's Seals that doesn't have any clue on foreign policy at all.

Anonymous said...

TA, Footlik talks about it only as it relates to his disdain for the Bush administration. Mr. Kirk's issue is SECURITY. I stand by what I said earlier. Nobody, no Jewish member of Congress or any member of Congress, can claim Mark Kirk's spectacular LEADERSHIP over the years on this issue. It was the LWV question itself that spoke to the issue of "even handedness". Footlik did, to his credit, disavov that concept. Dan didn't say a word. Not a surprise. There can be no even handedness when addressing the issue of mid-east politics and policy. Only those who are terribly misguided would ever go down that street. Jimmy Carter types embrace it. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't take long to learn these issues.

1. They will endorse Jay. Watching the review, Dan's still talking about Tom DeLay and speaking in general terms. It's clear watching this how he got his 47 percent last year- cheap charisma and national talking points but Jay had specifics and was able to nullify most of Dan's key points.

2. Dan's arguments are 2006 and endorsement based. Elections are about the future he ain't got it and I can see Mark sitting there wagging his finger at him talking in specifics while Dan flails about like a gw intern.

3. 2 of the tribune's editorials yesterday endorsed DEMOCRATS based on their work with Mark. Jay and Dan need to realize every paper in the area is going to endorse Mark.
Neither looks like serious competition and it was pretty pathetic of Jay to call Dan unemployed when the guy is renting here to see if he can win.

4. Dan did a pathetic, I mean pathetic job of exploiting Jay's job as a foreign lobbyist. We just came off of Jack Abramoff and he can't touch Jay on that or has a dumbass campaign manager that can't put 2 and 2 together to say a lobbyist wont change squat in d.c?

Dan will be lucky to prevail in primary but hopefully Mark runs the kind of campaign he ran in 02 and 00 to snuff him out.

Later dude.