Bibi’s cynical speech

Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a long-anticipated, diplomatically unprecedentedpolitical kerfuffle of a campaign speech, the circumstances of which were arguably unconstitutional.

In case you didn’t sit through the  40+ minute address, the one sentence version is this: The Prime Minister did his best to both thwart American nuclear talks with Iran and scare Israeli voters into granting him what is shaping up to be a tight reelection. If you want the full dose of diplomatic hijinks, feel free to watch below:

Netanyahu led off his speech by insisting that his decision to accept an invitation from John Boehner, without consulting the President, to speak to a predominantly Republican crowd of legislators two weeks before Israeli Election Day, was not political. Because, of course, he wants nothing more than the safety and security of Israel and its allies.

Except that after delivering a longwinded reminder of how bad Iran, the Islamic State, Hamas and Hezbollah are — in case we were somehow confused as to how they feel about Jewish and secular democracies — he all but ruled out the least-bad solution currently on the table for ensuring the safety and security of Israel and its allies: diplomacy.

To be sure, Netanyahu said in his speech that he doesn’t want a war with Iran. But he also doesn’t believe that the deal being worked out to avoid a war is going to work. He doesn’t believe that inspectors will get to inspect, and he doesn’t believe that agreements to freeze nuclear activity will actually freeze nuclear activity. After all, despite what his own military intelligence might say, he is convinced that Iran is motivated by jihad, not foreign policy realism. In other words, we can’t trust them to play by rules they agree to.

So what’s left? In his own words, “The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.” A deal in which Iran magically gives up more than it already has in exchange for less than we have already offered.

Setting aside for the moment that this is what the proposed ten-year freeze on Iran’s nuclear activity would do — put the country’s nuclear program on hold long enough to get a better deal — banging on the table and yelling “Negotiate better!” doesn’t add anything to the conversation.

Instead, it gives Congressional Republicans political cover to reject any Obama-orchestrated nuclear deal with Iran. If an agreement can’t be reached, it gives the country more time to escalate its program, which would make any future diplomatic solution that much harder to achieve.

Benjamin Netanyahu has a history of being a cynically hawkish on foreign policy, having ruled out a fully-fledged two-state solution in the West Bank and Gaza last year. More relevant to yesterday’s speech, he has an even longer history of telling the world how close Iran is to obtaining a nuclear weapon. As Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept notes, Netanyahu started ringing the alarm bells on an Iranian nuke in 1995, and hasn’t claimed that the country was anything more than three years away from a bomb since.

Taking the sum total of Netanyahu’s arguments — Islamic regimes are incompatible with secular and Jewish states, Iran can’t be trusted to uphold their ends of bargains and this particular nuclear negotiation will all but guarantee nuclear winter in Jerusalem and beyond — the logical conclusion is this: Benjamin Netanyahu wants Iran wiped off the map. He even alluded to his willingness to do so, noting toward the end of his address that, “as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

That’s a defensible position: If diplomacy really can’t keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, forcibly removing their nuclear capability would be our next option. But the operative word there is “next.” War is supposed to be a last resort. By making his speech, and making it in the way that he did, Netanyahu has thrown a wrench in the diplomatic works, unnecessarily and irresponsibly increasing the likelihood of another military involvement in the Middle East — one that would be financed with American dollars and lives.

Benjamin Netanyahu helped rush us into war with Iraq, and now he wants to rush us into war with Iran. As Barak Ravid noted in 2012, after Netanyahu’s infamous “red-line” speech that (surprise) outlined Iran as being inches away from a nuclear bomb, his arguments have never changed — only the countries in which he wants to see American troops.

That doesn’t make anyone safer; it just makes him a neocon.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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82 Responses to “Bibi’s cynical speech”

  1. Bill_Perdue says:

    My name is Bill Perdue and like all leftists I despise racism and colonialism.

  2. barada says:

    Your statement, Israel is “a very useful tool for the ruling Class here in America”, seems disturbing, but very insightful. Are there any links to related opinions on this? I have thought about that too.

  3. ClubOfINFO says:

    If Netanyahu has proven anything, it is that even a slobbering lunatic in charge of a Bronze Age country can be given a nuclear bomb and isn’t stupid enough to use it.

  4. Olterigo says:

    Sure.

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    You’re not a pragmatist, Olly, you’re a zionist.

    You and your fellow zionists are trying to plant a colony in Palestine during the death agony of colonialism. People like your lost in Vietnam in 1975, in Algeria in 1962, suffered a big setback in South Africa and you’ll lose in Palestine.

    Good.

  6. Olterigo says:

    Perhaps President Obama should not have pulled out our forces so fast after the Surge succeeded (which he also opposed http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/25/fact-check-was-obama-against-the-troop-surge-in-iraq/). And perhaps Obama should have supported the attempted Green Revolution in Iran in 2009, which would have led to a new regime in Iran. And the follow-up Arab Spring, which could have been used for the region’s benefit, secularization and instituting the rule of law. Seems to me like Netanyahu gets that point, not Obama and not you. Looks to me like Obama missed one of the greatest moments in history with his unwillingness to step in.

  7. Olterigo says:

    I’m a pragmatist, Billy. And I know that >6 million Jews with a rising fertility rate will not be moving anywhere. And they will not agree to be a minority in yet another failed Arab/Islamist state.

    As for “hundreds of thousands of Palestinians,” the Wikipedia’s numbers are much lower, claiming under 120,000 dead (Jews and Arabs, not just specifically Palestinians; military and civilians) since 1948 until today.

    “Working class Arab Spring?” LOL. Keep waiting. Currently, the main winds blowing on the Arab street is not socialism and class struggle but islamism and Caliphate.

  8. Bill_Perdue says:

    zionsits think that mainly European colonists have the right to invade Palestine, kill uncounted hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, steal their land and force them to work under an apartheid system worse than South Africa.

    It’s not up to you or me or anyone else in the US. It’s none of our business. The fate of the colonists will be settled by the Palestinians and by the working class Arab Spring.

  9. Olterigo says:

    Billy gets even more extreme than that. Here’s an exchange he had with someone else on the same topic just yesterday at JoeMyGod.

    Question: “Actually it is your answer that is absurd since you advocate their removal. Would you be okay if the Palestinians killed them all?” (them, of course, being Israeli Jews) http://disq.us/8mgav0

    Billy’s response: “Everything is up to the Palestinians, you and your zionist friends have nothing to do with it.” — Bill_Perdue http://disq.us/8mgawo

  10. Olterigo says:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/like-israel-u-s-arab-allies-fear-obamas-iran-nuclear-deal-1425504773

    Here’s an op-ed from Al-Arabiya. I don’t remember when it came out so strongly in support of Israel, if ever. And I have not heard of it agreeing this vocally with Netanyahu. And this is from the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Arabiya.
    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2015/03/03/President-Obama-listen-to-Netanyahu-on-Iran.html

  11. Olterigo says:

    In my opinion, the speech was directed mainly back to the Middle East, to Arabs (and other non-Iranians) and to Iranians. Look with what Netanyahu led in his suggested conditions for Iran. He could have led with Iran stopping incitement and threats against Israel, but he didn’t. He led with Iran’s dominance over 4 Arab capitals and further expansionism via support for proxy – mostly Shiite – forces. For Israel, this is a secondary level of concern, while for Sunni Arabs – a primary one. Israel, essentially, just stood up to be ME’s counterweight to Iran’s dominance and called on Arabs to join it.

    And Iran was sent a message that Israel is prepared to stand its ground, independent of what the US decides to do. This particular message was being sent by Netanyahu delivering his speech despite Obama’s and many Democrats’ unhappiness about it. And that a quiet flight path from Israel to Iran may have just opened up. At the same time, Netanyahu’s mentioning the ancient glory of Iranian civilization was a signal to Iranians (incl. regular people) that Israel is not anti-Iran if there will be no nukes.

  12. cleos_mom says:

    When you’ve read one of this guy’s posts, you’ve read ’em all.

  13. MoonDragon says:

    A nuclear Iran is the cold fusion of geopolitical posturing. Yes, it is possible. But it’s always a short, fixed time away, and no one really knows what it will mean, but everyone invests it with a meaning.

  14. rmthunter says:

    So what was the point of the speech?

  15. rmthunter says:

    Actually, diplomacy is the art of compromise; politics is the art of gaining control. QED.

  16. rmthunter says:

    I think he’d have to be caught in flagrante delicto in a cat house — and then he’d probably get a standing ovation in the House.

  17. Olterigo says:

    Here’s more from Herzog, who’s the most realistic alternative to Netanyahu:

    But a nuclear Iran would endanger not only Israel. If it goes nuclear, the Middle East will go nuclear, putting world peace itself in jeopardy. This is why the Iranian nuclear challenge must not be seen as Mr. Netanyahu’s obsession, or anyone’s partisan issue, but as a central issue for the whole international community to address.

    Indeed, my countrymen are joined by many Arabs who are likewise concerned about the centrifuges spinning at Natanz and Fordow. Israelis and Arabs live in the Middle East, and know the Middle East. Facing a dangerous Iran as well as the violence of Islamists at their most extreme, we are willing to work together to stabilize our region and offer it a better future. When reasonable Israelis, Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians and others sound the same alarm bells about Iran, everyone should pause and beware of accepting an irreversible deal we might live to regret.

    I do support a diplomatic endeavor that effectively blocks Iran’s path to the bomb. But that effort also must keep all options on the table, deny Iran a pass on its destabilizing regional policies and support of terror, and be accompanied by an international demand that Iran abandon its threat to the existence of Israel.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/28/opinion/dividing-the-us-on-israel.html

  18. Olterigo says:

    Just reread the “blog post” linked. Nothing there suggests that Obama is going to get to negotiate “a better deal” during those 10 years. So, it looks like your assertion is not substantiated in any serious way. But then again – ideology above all, right?

  19. Olterigo says:

    Herzog, the main opposition party leader, who was against Netanyahu’s speech in Congress: “on the Iranian nuclear threat, Israelis are one.” If you actually care for facts and not just ideology.

  20. Indigo says:

    That’s a rough way of putting it but it does not contradict the evidence.

  21. Demosthenes says:

    The Palestinians went for it all (destroying Israel and kicking out the Jews). They lost and got what they deserved.

    Nothing.

  22. Naja pallida says:

    Not to mention, he said absolutely nothing new. He’s been crying about a nuclear Islamist state, and the boogeyman that is Iran, since the 1980s… and the only significant threat to the stability of the region since then has been the United States.

  23. heimaey says:

    Why are you glad Israel exists? You think it was awesome that they displaced Palestinians so they could create a “Jewish” homeland out of WW2 guilt?

  24. Butch1 says:

    That he usurped the authority of a sitting democratic president and a black one probably has nothing to do with it.

  25. Butch1 says:

    I haven’t been, though I can guarantee if it were a gay relationship they would have “tar and feathered” him by now.

  26. mf_roe says:

    Are you following the General Petraeus Trial? Looks like showing off to your mistress is a justifiable release of classified documents.

  27. Butch1 says:

    I would have thought so, but we always turn our heads when Congress does it or Clapper lies to the Congress about the NSA, but when Edward Snowden tells the truth about the NSA they want to get him on treason etc. You figure it out.

  28. Olterigo says:

    The problem is, Mr. Green, that you totally missed the main point of this speech. Sure, Bibi would love if this speech would suddenly result in a jump of his popularity with Israeli voters, convincing Obama to change course, to guarantee a veto-proof majority against the deal in Congress or to get Americans to suddenly take to the streets with signs “No nukes for Iran.” But none of these things will happen. Sure, maybe Likud will get an extra seat or an extra Congressman will be slightly more critical of the deal than he were before, but by and large the speech was not going to change the stance as expressed by President Obama. And the American public will not run into another war. Bibi would be a fool were he to think it would. But Bibi, whatever else may be said about and against him, is no fool.

    But if you wish to view this speech through your ideological prism, don’t forget that prism do not alter reality, merely our own narrow vision.

  29. mf_roe says:

    Unity

  30. Bill_Perdue says:

    The claim that opponents of the mass murder of civilians by zionsits are anti-Semites is a right wing lie.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_Yassin_massacre

    Please contact the editors of wiki and tell them they’re Nazis.

    “Just days before the seven-week siege of Gaza this past July and August that left some 2,000 Palestinians dead, 11,000 injured and 100,000 homeless, Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked, a senior figure in the Jewish Home Party that is part of Israel’s ruling coalition, posted on Facebook that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy . . . including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” The post went on to declare that “behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.” http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/26254-the-political-economy-of-israeli-apartheid-and-the-specter-of-genocide

  31. Bill_Perdue says:

    Correct. They will never act responsibly, i.e., stop killing civilians, because the zionist colony is a satellite state, a client of the US, and without US military and financial support it would quickly
    disappear.

  32. Olterigo says:

    Yes, because Mossad would leak such an important document to South Africa, because the relations between the two countries are great? I mean, they could have leaked it to any European country. They could have leaked it any Eastern European state. But they’ve chosen to leak it to South Africa? Why? Well, considering that this was the time when Iran was trying to make inroads in South Africa to skirt international sanctions… I’d guess that it was an attempt by Mossad – don’t know whether successful or not – to fool Iran.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/spy-cables-south-africa-spies-iran-operations-guardian-ssa-tehran-undercover-carpet–150219184023503.html

  33. mf_roe says:

    Hasn’t the UN attempted to do just that and didn’t the US veto those efforts? Israel is enabled by the US, until that changes Israel will not be forced to act responsibly.

  34. Demosthenes says:

    “Zionist military forced [sic]”?

    Seriously? What are you, a refugee from stormfront.com?

  35. Bill_Perdue says:

    Then, as now, zionist miltary forced was directed almost exclusively against civilans to drive them off their land. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_Yassin_massacre

  36. mf_roe says:

    There is that treaty that makes Israel our Ally. Consorting with Allies is a different shade of treachery. And since Boner would be tried by a Repug Congress it’s moot anyway.

  37. Bill_Perdue says:

    You misunderstand.

    I am not saying and did not say that the problem is just Netanyahu. You’re extrapolating incorrectly and unnecessarily.

    The problem is the racist colonial state planted in Palestine. Demanding that Netanyahu be arrested opens up the discussion and leads to the question about the US role in maintaining it’s client state and how it uses the zionist colony as a military base of last resort.

  38. GarySFBCN says:

    Also, this is a very interesting read, from 2011:

    “Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979”

    “Breathless predictions that the Islamic Republic will soon be at the brink of nuclear capability, or – worse – acquire an actual nuclear bomb, are not new.

    For more than quarter of a century Western officials have claimed repeatedly that Iran is close to joining the nuclear club. Such a result is always declared “unacceptable” and a possible reason for military action, with “all options on the table” to prevent upsetting the Mideast strategic balance dominated by the US and Israel.

    And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone. This chronicle of past predictions lends historical perspective to today’s rhetoric about Iran.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/1108/Imminent-Iran-nuclear-threat-A-timeline-of-warnings-since-1979/Earliest-warnings-1979-84

  39. Bill_Perdue says:

    My name is Bill Perdue and like all leftists I despise racism and colonialism.

  40. mf_roe says:

    Well, we couldn’t very well ask Germany to yield up territory.

  41. mf_roe says:

    Hitler’s seizure of the Rhine-lands?

  42. GarySFBCN says:

    I don’t really care about protocol. But why is anyone listening to this man? I he is a warmonger and often wrong:

    “There is no question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking, is working, is advancing towards to the development of nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said in 2002 testimony to Congress. “Once Saddam has nuclear weapons, the terror network will have nuclear weapons.”

    Then there’s this gem: “”If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region,” Netanyahu claimed. “And I think that people sitting right next door in Iran, young people, and many others, will say the time of such regimes, of such despots is gone.””

    http://www.vox.com/2015/2/26/8114221/netanyahu-iraq-2002

    Then there’s this:

    “Netanyahu’s claims Iran was building nuclear bomb contradicted by leaked Mossad document”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/netanyahus-claims-iran-is-building-nuclear-bomb-contradicted-by-leaked-mossad-document-10066435.html

  43. Olterigo says:

    I read your link re: “put the country’s nuclear program on hold long enough to get a better deal,” but I failed to find exactly where it says that this will be a time for negotiating a new better deal. Could you point me to a specific quote from Obama? Thanks.

  44. mf_roe says:

    And my point is that Israel is actually a very useful tool for the ruling Class here in America. Obama should curb Netanyahu harshly, but he want do anything more than he has already done. Obama would happily work with a different personality in Netanyahu’s place. It’s not policy,it’s chemistry that separates them. Both embrace drone attacks but at least Obama tries to appear forced to commit such acts, Netanyahu appears to enjoy them.

  45. dcinsider says:

    “Zionist colony in Palestine.” Good grief. Who are you Vanessa Redgrave?

  46. nicho says:

    They actually considered settling the Jews in Uganda at one point and I think in Mexico at another. That would have been interesting.

  47. nicho says:

    Not debating further. So, you’ve run out of arguments. Then, what’s the kerfuffle in the Ukraine. Russia took eastern Ukraine by force of arms — so everyone should just sit down and shut up. ISIS took Mosul by force of arms. Case closed. Weird world you live in.

  48. nicho says:

    I thought this was wartime. Aren’t we in a permanent state of war. Sheesh. We’re executing “enemy combatants” all the time. Doesn’t that kind of imply we’re at war?

  49. Bill_Perdue says:

    The fact that it should happen but won’t happen is the point.

    I’ll raise the same idea when the head of the baby raper cult visits in s

  50. mf_roe says:

    Thanks, your response is enlightening.

  51. Demosthenes says:

    The same right as the U.S. They won their country by force of arms. They defeated the Palestinians in 1948. The Palestinians were trying to drive the Jewish people away. Israel deserves its freedom and I’m delighted they exist. (And no, I’m not Jewish).

    I recommend not debating this issue further.

  52. mf_roe says:

    Exactly what did the Palestinians do to get dispossessed? By what right does the the Nation of Israel claim their territory?

  53. mf_roe says:

    Yeah, sure Bill, turn them over to a Court that we refuse to recognize because if we did SEVERAL America Presidents / Vice Presidents and a multitude of Cabinet Secretaries would face indictment. Let’s all hold our breath.

  54. mf_roe says:

    In a way it is NOT political. Politics are necessary, but in the sense that politics is the art of compromise. What they are really admiting is that they are engaging in PROPAGANDA & DEMAGOGUERY poisons that destroy productive POLICY MAKING (Politics).

  55. Bill_Perdue says:

    The zionist colony in Palestine survives by engaging in periodic bouts of mass murder, such as the one last July and August combined with a form of apartheid much worse than the one practiced by the South African colonials and massive, unending land theft.

    Netenyahu should be arrested and handed over for trial to international courts for the murder of well over 2,000 Palestinian civilians.

    The fact that Obama supplies this war criminal with arms and that both the Democrats and Republicans support the zionist colony in Palestine are another reason, as if more reaseons were needed, for decent people to reject both of these parties.

  56. Demosthenes says:

    I strongly disagree with your predicate. I’m delighted Israel exists. Of course the U.S. should look for its own interests first and foremost, just as I hope Israel looks out for itself.

  57. Butch1 says:

    This happened during wartime and we should be able to do it. He is interfering with national policy and trying to scuttle negotiations between our country and another who happens to be helping us fight ISIS. This dummy filling the position of Speaker of the House is only into playing politics and “gotcha” with the president and is missing the importance of what he is doing to screw up this relationship in the Middle East with his game playing and Netanyahu is taking advantage of it.

    If I were Obama I wouldn’t speak to that man for the remainder of my time in office. I would only have others speak to him. He isn’t worth having an audience anymore if he’s going to undercut everything our president is trying to achieve. He was right to not include him in giving him any information in the talks going on with Iran. This man would use it against him to scuttle the talks as well.

  58. heimaey says:

    I sympathize with Israel to an extent, but it’s a country that should have never been created. Although we have to live with it as a nation state now, we shouldn’t let them bully everyone around and act like prima donnas all the time.

  59. Butch1 says:

    Whenever they start out with a statement that it was not political, you can bet it is a lie and that of course, it is a political move. It was so political he wouldn’t even meet with the democrats before his speech.

    I recall Bush’s administration speaking about going into Iraq and the first that came across their lips was “this isn’t about oil.” Pardon me but in the end, the lie was revealed and of course, the whole thing was about oil. Liars! All of them.

  60. heimaey says:

    Why can’t we impeach Boehner for this?

  61. mf_roe says:

    So true, America qualifies as a fascist State using the definition Mussolini used.

  62. Demosthenes says:

    While one can, and my case does, sympathize with Israel’s plight, Mr. Netanyahu did his country no favors by secretly arranging for the speech with GOP Speaker Boehner & Israeli Ambassador (and former GOP political operative) Mr. Dermer. Our commitment to our ally Israel is bipartisan, and Mr. Netanyahu evidently seeks to alienate Democrats by this very public snub of our president.

    I hope Israelis vote this stupid man out of office so both countries can rebuild our strong bipartisan friendship.

  63. mf_roe says:

    It’s all about Armageddon. Israel has to FALL so the anti-christ can come, so Hay-Zues can return.

  64. mf_roe says:

    Exactly who do you know that would turn down Billions? Israel feels VERY ENTITLED and at this point the US is the only sucker who buys their lies.

  65. emjayay says:

    Unnecessary labeling. But then I didn’t label some very obvious to me satirical snark somewhere yesterday and was taken literally by some.

  66. emjayay says:

    Why exactly do they need the money at this point? To pay for their comprehensive health care system we don’t have one of? To build illegal settlements in occupied territories for huge Ultra Orthodox families?

  67. mirth says:

    Exactly.

  68. Indigo says:

    Wait, we’re allies? Then what was he doing in Congress? He didn’t sound like an ally.

  69. Indigo says:

    They liked Hitler so well they imitate him.

  70. Indigo says:

    If that’s what it takes, okay.

  71. mirth says:

    In Israel, Isaac Herzog, who is running against Netanyahu, had this to say:

    “The painful truth is that after the applause, Netanyahu remains alone and Israel remains isolated and the negotiations with Iran will continue without Israel. It won’t change the (U.S.) government’s position and will only widen the divide with our great friend and our only strategic ally.”

    Other reactions:

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Opposition-slams-Netanyahus-chutzpa-after-speech-to-Congress-392813

  72. Freedonian says:

    Meh! Close enough!

  73. emjayay says:

    I kind of said the same thing over at Washingtonmonthly. Being lazy, here’s a copy and paste of that comment:

    (They like Netanyahu because) Conservatives like strongman rulers. They are authoritarians and like authoritarians. They liked Hitler for a while, they thought installing Pinochet was great, they were gushing about Putin until recently, etc.

    Then of course since today’s right wingers are usually fundie Christians, the whole Holy Land thing of course gets more complicated. They love Israel because it is for Jews as in “Judeo-Christian”, because Jesus lived there, and because the Bible is all about that area. And because if we can get all the Jews back there along with I think the right color of cows, then God will immediately suck all the fundies up to Heaven for all eternity and kill all those Jews and everyone else and send them to Hell. Or something.

  74. MoonDragon says:

    [/snark font] To oppose a Republican president is to oppose the United States. To oppose a Democratic president is the act of a true patriot. [/end snark font]

  75. mf_roe says:

    NIMBY After WWII the US was NOT going to take in all the displaced Jews desperate to escape Europe and Russia. The Zionist Movement offered a much more palatable solution in that the US could turn the Jews away and still claim to be Helping them. The US also gained a foothold in the Middle East independent of the existing justification that existed due to our agreements with the House of Saud. As our relationship with the Saudis wanes the link with Israel becomes ever more important in justifying our desert adventures.

    There is also the fact that our massive aid to Israel creates huge opportunities for graft and corruption.

  76. BlueIdaho says:

    Why is America so in love with Israel? Is it because so many Jews immigrated here or is it because Jesus was a Jew? This fascination with a tiny country who only uses us to promote their own self interests always confused and intrigued me.

  77. 2karmanot says:

    “—–to oppose Netanyahu is to oppose Israel,” Good idea!

  78. gratuitous says:

    I think you’re right as far as you go; this address wasn’t made for the United States. But that won’t stop our good friends in Congress from even more forcefully asserting that to oppose Netanyahu is to oppose Israel, as if Netanyahu the man is Israel the nation. The aim, of course, is to keep the most hawkish options front and center, an array of sticks at the ready and no carrots anywhere in sight.

  79. nicho says:

    This speech wasn’t aimed at us. Bibi didn’t care about us. This was just a campaign speech for his election back home. And the more controversy, the better. If we attack Bibi, then it allows him to play the victim card back home.

  80. MoonDragon says:

    There is a faction of the Republican party (and probably no small number of Democrats) who would love nothing more than to follow John McCain’s advice to “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.” There isn’t the will in the US to accomplish this. Bibi wants the same ends. This speech is the two parties making common cause to launch a pre-emptive strike. If a deal, even a bad one, is in place with international backing, a unilateral strike by Israel becomes problematic. Without such a deal, Netanyahu can claim self defense for such an action, because no one is doing anything about it, even if the reason is that he is blocking any attempt to do something.

  81. Quilla says:

    Why haven’t the (alleged) Americans responsible for Netanyahu’s presence here been tried for treason?

    Is this the beginning of coup by the Republicans or yet another pathetic indication they just can’t govern like adults?

    Who will they invite next? Kim Jong Un?

    Sorry. Moot questions.

  82. Indigo says:

    Impeach John Boehner!

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