Remember the aborted attempt by the Democratic congress to insert a clause in the defense appropriation bill which would have required the president to come to congress before initiating military action against Iran. We all remember what happened to that. From a contemporaneous account by Philip Giraldi
Much has been made of the pressure AIPAC successfully exerted to drop a clause in the recent defense appropriation bill for Iraq and Afghanistan prohibiting an attack on Iran without congressional approval. One Democratic congressman, Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, even promised prior to any debate on the matter that the offensive language would be removed. The elimination of that clause erased the one possible impediment to White House plans to bomb the Islamic Republic. Pelosi, who is clearly aware of the overwhelming antiwar sentiment of the Democratic Party base and who wished to include the prohibition on expanded military action, was booed by the AIPAC audience when she criticized the conduct of the war in Iraq. Getting the message very clearly, she bowed to AIPAC's force majeure and quickly supported the deletion of any reference to Iran in the pending legislation. (emphasis added)
And then there was Emanuel's opposition to anti-war democrats. In a 2006 piece entitled "How Rahm Emmanuel Has Rigged a Pro-War Congress" John Walsh summarizes Emmanuel's attempts to stack the deck against anti-war candidates by pouring money into primary campaigns in support of pro-war candidates, some of whom he personally recruited. This makes sense given Emmanuel's view of the Iraq war. He was for the war just not for the inefficient way it was conducted. From a Tim Russert interview in 2005:
MR. RUSSERT: You voted--you said you would have voted for the war if you had been in Congress.Later Russert quotes from a speech by Emanuel from 2003:
REP. EMANUEL: Right.
MR. RUSSERT: Now, knowing that are no weapons of mass destruction, would you still have cast that vote?
REP. EMANUEL: Yes. Well, you could have done--well, as you know, I didn't vote for it. I still believe that getting rid of Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do, OK? But how you go about it and how you execute that war is the problems we face today.
"I had the fortunate experience of serving in the White House; I knew firsthand what a solitary and difficult decision it is for a President to send our Armed Forces into harm's way. I will remember some of the members of this body, in the midst of conflict, attacking the President--the commander-in-chief-- even even as he worked day-and-night to complete that mission and bring our servicemen and women home safely. It was wrong then. It would be wrong now. I, for one, will not do that to our President ... to our commander-in-chief. I want him to succeed. We should all want him to succeed. So as long as our troops [are] engaged, we should suspend the debate over how and why, focus on the mission, unite as a country, in prayer and resolve, hope for a speedy resolution of this war with a minimum of loss. God bless America." (emphasis added)
and this from a United Jewish Community profile:
During the congressional campaign, he indicated his support of President Bush's position on Iraq, but said he believed the president needed to better articulate his position to the American people.
And there is always good old Dad (from the Jerusalem Post)
In an interview with Ma'ariv, Emanuel's father, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, said he was convinced that his son's appointment would be good for Israel. "Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel," he was quoted as saying. "Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House."
Change you can believe in.