Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Obama's Petulance Toward Netanyahu

Master of the cheap shot, petulant to the end, our ever-ungracious President Barack Obama refused to congratulate Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on his election victory.

His spokesman said:

We want to congratulate the Israeli people for the democratic process for the election that they just engaged in with all the parties that engaged in that election. As you know now, the hard work of coalition building begins. Sometimes that takes a couple of weeks. And we're going to give space to the formation of that coalition government and we're not going to weigh in one way or another except to say that the United States and Israel have a historic and close relationship and that will continue going forward.

Does anyone outside of the New York Times believe that the problem between Obama and Netanyahu involves anything other than President Obama’s inability to behave like an adult?

To be fair, the same New York Times reported a couple of weeks ago that Obama has failed to establish good relationships, both with foreign leaders and with Congressional Republicans.

We anxiously await the moment when the two sides of the Times brain start communicating.


Ares Olympus said...

Meanwhile on the public relations front, Obama's foolish soft heart has a twin hard heart, and perhaps a future republican presidential candidate will emulate this machismo?

We have a public line in the sand that tactical nuclear weapons are on the table, and "we" hardliners are willing to kill millions of innocent people to threaten a government that won't bow down to our will.

I can see why Obama might want to distance himself from this, although its up to the American people in 2016 to take sides whether we want to play dirty harry with nuclear weapons.
NEW YORK – During a panel at Yeshiva University on Tuesday evening, Sheldon Adelson, noted businessman and owner of the newspaper Israel Hayom, suggested that the US should use nuclear weapons on Iran to impose its demands from a position of strength.

Asked by moderator Rabbi Shmuley Boteach whether the US should negotiate with Iran if it were to cease its uranium enrichment program, Adelson retorted, “What are we going to negotiate about?”

Adelson then imagined what might happen if an American official were to call up an Iranian official, say “watch this,” and subsequently drop a nuclear bomb in the middle of the Iranian desert.

"Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes’," Adelson said.

“So a tremendous demonstration of American strength?” Boteach clarified. “So that they would get the message?”

“It’s the only thing they understand,” Adelson said.

“And do you see the current negotiations as a sign of weakness?” Boteach asked.

“Absolutely,” Adelson said.

Adelson, who donated tens of millions of dollars to defeated Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the most recent campaign, criticized the Obama administration's willingness to engage the Iranians diplomatically.
"[It's] the worst negotiating tactic I could ever imagine, my entire life," he said.

"Because you can’t get anything. He’s not saying to them, Roll back your entire program and show that you’re willing to be peaceful. So, roll it all back… and we’ll roll back the sanctions…. What is that, a game of chicken, who’s going to blink first?"

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. I can't be sure about actual historical facts (a bit before my time), but a first search I find this document of unknown reliability suggesting Eisenhower used the threat of an atomic bomb to help pressure an end to the Korean war, and the threat supposedly worked.

And also talks of the possibility Nixon also was willing to threaten nuclear weapons to get out of Viet Nam.

So there's probably no doubt that threatening countries like that probably works in the short run, but perhaps Eisenhower can also be credited for North Korea's paranoia, and aspirations for "never again" so is playing the "biggest bully" an effective long term strategy?

The whole problem for me is, I would never use a first strike, and threatening to do that means either we're liars (like me) or psychopaths (like Nixon?) or both.

And on a second issue, I'm still curious how Sheldon Adelson sees "atomic weapons" vs "nuclear weapons", the second being fusion bombs with apparently up to 2500 times more energy than what we dropped on Japan.

If we're going to have deathwishes, I really like details.

Ares Olympus said...

Did you know Jews live in Tehran?

Do they also deserve death threats for refusing to overthrow their Islamic overlords?

If only Obama was a real man with 28 billion dollars and liked to start holy wars by threatening to wipe enemies cities off the map. Surely the Jews of Iran will understand their personal sacrifice for Zionism.
While Jewish communities in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria have all but vanished, Iran is home to 25,000 - some here say 35,000 - Jews. The Jewish population is less than half the number that lived here before the Islamic revolution of 1979. But the Jews have tried to compensate for their diminishing numbers by adopting a new religious fervor.

n.n said...

I wonder why Obama does not carry out an unannounced violent coup in Israel as he did in other nations and instead resorts to subterfuge.

That said, it is amusing when pro-choice people, including our Abortionist in Chief, remark on issues concerning human life and condition, while promoting the capricious destruction of wholly innocent human lives by the millions.

n.n said...

There is also the precedent of the international left conspiring with a competing local faction in the Mandela resolution that oversaw the theft of developed resources and mass murder of millions of native black and white Africans.

It's unfortunate the Palestinians are lead by far left leaders who cannot coexist with Jews, Christians, Atheists, and other Muslims. Their demand for control and capital cannot be satiated by anything less than through the devaluation of capital and labor, and assassination of foreign leaders, that Obama has enjoyed.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Obama is remarkably thin-skinned and petty. I don't know where he's going with his Iran policy, but he sure knows how to alienate our only true friend in a very troubled region. And clearly the Israelis agree in their decisive vote for Netanyahu... who is crystal clear about where he stands on Iran. It's the only poll that matters.

But here's what's at stake:

The State of Israel is a sovereign country. Iran doesn't recognize its right to EXIST.

U.S. negotiations with Iran are (supposedly) strategic. The EU's interests are primarily economic. Israel's concerns are existential.

Israel won all its wars with its neighbors, and did not resort to racist massacres or topple regimes. It would seem that Iran's ambitions and threats are diametrical, and diabolical.

Israel executes secret, sophisticated and risky regional military operations to knock out their avowed enemies and attack nuclear sites. The Iranian theocracy supports proxies that blow up passenger buses using crude explosive vests.

Israel acts to root out terrorist tunnels. Iran puts their nuclear development facilities in residential neighborhoods.

Kerry respects fatwas, while Obama says he'll shot Israeli planes out of the sky if they unilaterally attempt to take out Iran's nuclear capability (as they did with Iraq's and Syria's). The Ayatollah editorializes on the functioning of American democracy.

Israel is a stable democracy, as we saw yesterday. The Iranian mullahs unleash the Basij militia on the Green revolutionaries, a la Mad Max.

Israel trades 1,027 captured terrorists to get one soldier back. Iran backs lunatic Shia groups who seek the means to kill 1,028 Israelis using one suicide bomber.

Israel values life, while the Iranian theocracy values death. Where is God in said "theocracy"?

Israel desperately wants the United a States' support. Iran shouts "Death to America!"

Who's side are we on?

n.n said...

The Iranians' mistake is words and actions that threaten the lives and welfare of independent Jews. It's the same mistake that Palestinian leaders made, including their wanton aggression in the second state, Jordan, that lead to their expulsion.

That said, there is no reason to believe that Iran does not already possess nuclear weapons, likely acquired from the Soviets during disarmament. It would be sufficient that other states in the region also possess nuclear arms, if not that many in close proximity have made and acted upon the same threats.

Obama's goal seems to be buying time for the Iranian regime in accordance to his other actions that have demonstrated a preference for parties that are sympathetic to his ideological bias and personal interests.

Ares Olympus said...

Friedman's column Wednesday shows where he sees the trouble. He mentions Obama once, although of course we'll have a new president in 2 years, so this is also a chance to see how far right the U.S. actually is as well. And if Netanyahu's reception in front of congress is representative of the new majority that is sweeping our nation as well, its going to be interesting. But I wonder who will be that far right president for America?
Well, it’s pretty clear now: Benjamin Netanyahu is going to be a major figure in Israeli history ... in part by declaring that he will never permit a two state-solution between Israelis and Palestinians — it means Netanyahu will be the father of the one-state solution. And the one-state solution means that Israel will become, in time, either a non-Jewish democracy or Jewish non-democracy.

Yes, sir, Bibi is going to make history. And the leader in the world who is most happy that Netanyahu ran on — and won on — a one-state solution is the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. ... What better way to isolate Israel globally and deflect attention from Iran’s behavior?

The biggest losers in all of this, besides all the Israelis who did not vote for Netanyahu, are American Jews and non-Jews who support Israel. What Bibi did to win this election was move the Likud Party from a center-right party to a far-right one. The additional votes he got were all grabbed from the other far-right parties — not from the center. When the official government of Israel is a far-right party that rejects a two-state solution and employs anti-Arab dog whistles to get elected, it will split the basic unity of the American Jewish community on Israel. How many American Jews want to defend a one-state solution in Washington or on their college campuses?
If there is only one state, Israel cannot be Jewish and permit West Bank Palestinians to exercise any voting rights alongside Israeli Arabs. But if Israel is one state and wants to be democratic, how does it continue depriving West Bankers of the vote — when you can be sure they will make it their No. 1 demand.

To be sure, he could disavow his two-state disavowal tomorrow. It would not surprise me. He is that cynical. But, if he doesn’t — if the official platform of his new government is that there is no more two-state solution — it will produce both a hostile global reaction and, in time, a Palestinian move in the West Bank for voting rights in Israel, combined with an attempt to put Israel in the docket in the International Criminal Court. How far is the Obama administration going to go in defending Israel after it officially rejects a two-state solution? I don’t know. But we’ll be in a new world.

It is stunning how much Bibi’s actions serve Tehran’s strategic interests.

And that is why I am certain that Benjamin Netanyahu is going to be a historic, very impactful prime minister in Jewish history. I just hope that — somehow — a Jewish democratic Israel survives his tenure.

I remember my dad told me my grandparents thought madness had taken over the world during world war I, and perhaps madness has returned for its 100 year cycle?

But what will be the trigger? And perhaps if you're a religious fundamentalistic christian waiting for the end times, everything makes perfect sense, and we're right on track for the second coming?

Its very generous of the Zionist Jewish to play the lightning rod for these Christians' fantasies, along with the Islamic fantasies I mean.

I wonder if Israel will reach its 75th birthday, 2024? I wonder about the same thing for the U.S, and our 250th in 2026.