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Scalise Needs To Pick “Allies” Closer To Home, Like Texas

Why is Rep. Steve Scalise spending an Israeli lobbyist’s money?[1] Oh wait, he only accepted the “gift” as a way to spare taxpayers the expense of funding his seven day trip to Israel[2] to meet with Israeli leaders. Gee I wonder why he’d want to do that? Well it may have something to do with his embrace of “our closest ally in the region” which thus necessitated his immediate rejection of the deal negotiated with the Iranians over their nuclear program.

By “closest ally” I assume Scalise means that Middle-East country with which we have the greatest exchange of commerce and amity but we all know that’s not correct. It means the United States can be relied upon to threaten or make war on “our closest ally’s” behalf. We are now being asked to do this while “our ally’s” purported antagonist, Iran, is begging for a path to peace[3].

Let’s put this in perspective. In the State Department’s listing of current treaties of the United States[4] we find over 420 treaties covering every continent and nearly every country on earth. I wonder if Scalise can tell us which of the “lands down under” is our “closest ally in the region”?

We have treaties with Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea yet I can never recall Scalise visiting Gordon Darcy Lilo[5] the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands even though our treaty of 1978 requires us to assist with the defense of the island[6].

If you haven’t gotten my point let’s make it simple: what business is it of Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District what any country, thousands of miles away, wants us to shed our blood and spend our treasure on? Our actual “closest ally in the region”, that is the Deep South, is Texas, and all they ask us for is to not run the score up on their Aggies.

[1] Alpert, Bruce Picayune, Times, 24 November, 2013.  “Scalise and his wife, Jennifer, were part of a six-member bipartisan House delegation that visited Israel from Nov. 3 through Nov. 10 in a trip sponsored by the U.S. Israel Education Association. A disclosure form said Scalise’s trip cost the association $23,352. Supporters of the group’s regularly funded congressional trips to Israel say it gives members a chance to visit key portions of Israel and meet with the Jewish state’s leaders, helping them gain an understanding of Middle East issues, without any cost to taxpayers.”  See: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/11/just_back_from_israel_rep_scal.html#incart_most-comments

[2] Ibid

[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/11/26/irans-supreme-leader-publicly-blesses-the-nuclear-deal/

[4] A List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States in Force on January 1, 2012. p. iii-vii see: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/202293.pdf

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Darcy_Lilo

[6] Treaties p. 253 “Agreement concerning the provision of training related to defense articles under the United States International Military Education and Training (IMET) Program. Exchange of notes at Port Moresby and Honiara June 7 and August 18, 1983. Entered into force August 18, 1983.”

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