It certainly appears that Sheldon Adelson would have more than a little bit of responsibility for America’s war with Iran, should it occur. Here’s an alarming bit of background on Sheldon Adelson in the Financial Times on Sunday:
Then there is Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas gaming mogul, whose $10m donation to a “super-political action committee” has kept Newt Gingrich in the Republican race. Mr Adelson, who is worth an estimated $22bn, has said he would fully support whoever was the Republican nominee. There are no limits on what Mr Adelson can spend to influence the general election. The Obama campaign is still informally hoping to raise $1bn – less than five per cent of Mr Adelson’s wealth.
In contrast to most Americans, who know of Mr Adelson through his super-Pac largesse, Israelis see him as one of Mr Netanyahu’s closest allies. Mr Adelson owns Israel Hayom (Israel Today), the influential daily newspaper, which is a strident Netanyahu supporter. “Netanyahu is a Republican,” says Daniel Levy, a former adviser to Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister. “Sheldon Adelson is his friend.”
Mr Adelson’s impact on the Republican debate has been direct. On most issues candidates have been driven by grassroots sentiment. On Iran, Mr Adelson leads a smaller electorate. It does not come in pastel shades. “If Obama is re-elected, Iran will get a nuclear weapon,” says Mr Romney, who last week had what was described as a friendly meeting with Mr Adelson. “If you elect me Iran will not have a nuclear weapon.”
The implication here is clear, even unmistakable: Sheldon Adelson is heavily investing in the Republican presidential primary, not just for the forwarding of a conservative agenda in general, but to specifically increase the likelihood that Netanyahu’s foreign policy prevails over Barack Obama’s with regard to Iran.
That means, of course, a vastly increased likelihood of a military strike on Iran.
It’s disturbing, is it not, that a highly motivated and politicized billionaire can so disproportionately impact whether or not the world is drawn into a (potentially catastrophic) conflict?
Here’s Sheldon Adelson, who seems like a pleasant and highly intelligent fellow in interview, discussing his ambitions for spreading gambling casinos throughout the Far East. Ironic that a gambling man may be coaxing us, literally, to an uncertain clash of civilizations (the Enlightenment West v. Islam).