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Gazillionaires gather and focus their bucks

Those following the Republican primary campaigns will know that Gingrich's shaky finances were repaired by Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino operator, who threw in $5 million after Iowa and his wife another $5 million before South Carolina. According to the NYTimes, Adelson sees the Gingrich trajectory downward and, though promising to keep him afloat until he pulls out, has made it clear he will give even even more money to Romney.The Times story very genteelly mentions Adelson's "shared passion for protecting Israel" with Gingrich. Adelson was part of the Koch Brothers gazzilionaire's gathering focused on what they all have in common, defeating Barack Obama.Okay, it's a free country and money is free speech, but I hope we're all clear that Mr. Adelson's passion, Israel, is also his primary interest. So when Israel decides to go for Iran think about the attack ads this crew will devise to force Obama to join in, though none of them will vote for him, no matter what.Story here. And here's a short piece about Adelson from Haaretz.

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Bill is responding to a post that sees any discussion of Iran-Israel and Americans (Jewish and otherwise) who advocate an attack on Iran as a species of anti-Semitism. The post is deleted. Cheap taunts and threats don't get us anywhere.

Incredibly in a so called advanced civilization there would occur a holocaust. Equally astounding that countries would be threatening to bomb others because of nuclear building. We did not invade North Korea because they have nuclear weapons. We invaded Iraq because they did not. The conclusion has to be that it is a good thing that most nations have nuclear weapons. No one wants to see a repeat of the Holocaust, but Israel needs to get a grip. There is still a lot of antisemitism but to pretend that the threat to Jews is anywhere near World War II times is absurd.

Thanks for this. At some point I'd be interested in a discussion over the "money is speech" v. "money is property" debate.

Money talks and it has free speech; I see this mostly as an error set loose by the U.S. Supreme Court. I suppose there are legal and/or philosophical background notions. Anyone know?

Iran and other such states trying to create nuclear capabilities are extremely dependent upon outside suppliers for their technology, machine tools, raw materials and even actual labor. We would be much better served to enlist a world-wide interdiction of suppliers from whatever country or source (including our own). One of the best tools of diplomacy is blowing the whistle on people who make underhanded profits while decrying the outcomes. World wide sanctions against such suppliers would help much more than individually targetting North Korea, Iran, and now the loose nukes in places like Pakistan, India, and former Soviet client states.

Mike --What you say is so important! If Congress would somehow restrain the sale of American weaponry and parts to other nations, there would be far, far fewer wars.

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About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.