A breakdown of legislators supporting a strike on Syria shows divides along several lines. Pro vs anti Islam, pro vs anti interventionism, pro vs anti being war weary, pro vs anti being able to afford it…and the list goes on and on.
There is another divide that is getting no press, but that is probably far more telling about what made senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote the way they did.
The vote looks like a broad range of beliefs and political ideologies voted to allow President Obama to strike Syria. War Hawks like John McCain (R-AZ) sided with Doves like Jeanne Sheehan (D-NH), Republicans like Bob Corker (R-TN) sided with Democratic idiologues like Barbara Boxer (D-CA). It is really hard to find a divide between the “Yeas” and the “Nays” to see how the votes were decided.
Right up until you follow the money.
Members of that committee voted almost 100% in line with how much money they received from the defense industry…lobbyists, unions, and employees of such companies as Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, United Technologies, Honeywell International, and many more. (Analysis by OpenSecrets.org)
There are 17 members of the committee. Those who voted “Yea” on giving the administration authority to strike Libya averaged $72,850 in contributions from the military-industrial economic sector while those voting “Nay” received an average of only $39, 770 from the same industry. That is 83% more money going to senators who voted to go to war…and war makes defense contractors a lot of money.
Dig a little deeper and you find an even more interesting fact.
Do you remember how John McCain was originally going to vote against giving Obama authority to strike Syria? Remember how he only came to vote for that authority after he was able to get language inserted that would give Obama even more room to act that what the original resolution asked for? Do you wonder why McCain would only be for striking Syria is the action could be more robust?
Remember those 10 members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that voted for the resolution giving Obama strike authority? Remember those 10 members who received, on average, 83% more money from the defense industry than the 7 members who voted against the resolution? Do you want to guess which member of the committee received the most money?
John McCain. McCain received $176,500 from defense contractors, their employees, and their lobbyists. From people who profit from war. From people whose bottom line id dependent on America killing people…any people. To put this amount of money in perspective, $176.000 outstrips the second place pro-war member of the committee, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) who received “only” $127.350, by about $50,000.
The bottom line is that the committee vote, and especially John McCain’s vote, to give Obama the authority to go to war was bought and paid for by the military industry. IF we go to war in Syria at any level it will be to improve corporate profits, not to safeguard America’s interests (which is the only constitutional reason for military action).
It will be interesting to see how the money stacks up when the vote comes to the full Senate and House of Representatives. It will be interesting to see if the votes still follow the money. I know it does in the case of my senators in Georgia.
Johnny Isakson (this was a link to Sen Isakson’s position statement on the Syria issue, a position where he advocated FOR committing an act of war against the Assad regime. He removed the statement, thus the link removal, after realizing he was caught out being on the side of his military/industrial contributors rather than being on the side of his constituents…AND the Constitution) and Saxby Chambliss have been bought by the military industry. They both receive well above the average contributions from the industry and its lobbyists, and they both will vote to go to war, to spend money America can’t afford, to put American lives in danger, to trample the Constitutional limits on why America should go to war.
Both of my senators will show themselves as the bottom-dwelling pond scum that they are. What about YOUR senators?