Author Topic: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one  (Read 13235 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« on: February 26, 2015, 07:40:17 am »
Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
02/26/15 09:13 AMóUPDATED 02/26/15 09:37 AM

By Steve Benen
Secretary of State John Kerry testified on Capitol Hill yesterday, and going into the hearing, it was widely expected that heíd tout the importance of international nuclear talks with Iran. He did exactly that, though he also went a little further in challenging a critic of those talks.
Secretary of State John Kerry reminded Americans on Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who is expected to denounce a potential nuclear deal with Iran during an address to Congress next week, also visited Washington in late 2002 to lobby for the invasion of Iraq.
 
Apparently referring to testimony on the Middle East that Mr. Netanyahu delivered to Congress on Sept. 12, 2002, when he was a private citizen, Mr. Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee, ďThe prime minister, as you will recall, was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush, and we all know what happened with that decision.Ē
In 2002, Netanyahu assured lawmakers that invading Iraq was a great idea. ďIf you take out Saddam, Saddamís regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region,Ē he said at the time.
 
We now know, of course, that Netanyahuís guarantee was spectacularly wrong, which matters insofar as credibility still counts Ė the same Israeli leader is now telling lawmakers an international agreement with Iran would be a disaster for the United States and its allies. Kerryís point wasnít subtle: those who were this wrong before probably shouldnít be trusted to be right now.
 
Thereís something almost refreshing about this. Note, thereís nothing personal or even electoral about the administrationís message Ė Kerry didnít offer some prolonged complaint about Netanyahu and the Israeli elections, or the unprecedented nature of the prime ministerís partnership with congressional Republicans.
 
Itís far more straightforward. Netanyahu has positioned himself as a participant in a policy debate and, at the same time, heís claiming great credibility on the subject matter. The White House is responding in kind, treating Netanyahu as a policy rival.
 
Whatís wrong with this? Actually, nothing.
 
Weíre accustomed to foreign heads of state, at least publicly, approaching these kinds of disagreements with great care and delicacy, but the Israeli leader has forgone the usual route and is engaging in a fight as if he were just another political pugilist.
 
Netanyahu effectively told Obama and his team, ďIím going to try to derail American foreign policy,Ē to which administration officials have replied, ďAnd weíre going to try to stop you.Ē
 
In yesterdayís case, that meant doing a little research and presenting lawmakers with a reminder about Netanyahuís track record.
 
Kerryís comments came soon after Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) announced he will not attend the Israeli prime ministerís speech next week, calling the event ďhighly inappropriate.Ē Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who is Jewish and represents a district with a large Jewish population, also said yesterday sheíll skip the joint-session address, criticizing ďthe ham-handed politicsĒ surrounding the Netanyahu/Republican partnership.
 
Barring an unexpected change, the Israeli leader will be on the House floor for his speech on Tuesday, March 3. As of yesterday, 25 House Democrats and four members of the Senate Democratic caucus have said they will not be there.
 

Offline Battle

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 03:07:03 pm »
Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
02/26/15 09:13 AMóUPDATED 02/26/15 09:37 AM

By Steve Benen
 
Barring an unexpected change, the Israeli leader will be on the House floor for his speech on Tuesday, March 3. As of yesterday, 25 House Democrats and four members of the Senate Democratic caucus have said they will not be there.





If I were a Democratic member of Congress, I wouldn't be there either.  Hell... if I were a whiney,  wimpy racist republican conservative member of Congress, I wouldn't show up.

Who the hell wants to be the traitor that sits with the House Speaker who thinks his authority is above both the President and the Vice president of the United States by fraudulently jumping the Line of Succession by inviting an [uninvited] world leader to speak in Congress (or the House) without consulting the President, thereby officially undermining his[President Barack Obama] authority.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 07:54:18 pm by Battle »

Offline michaelintp

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 11:14:04 pm »
Bibi: Why I'm Speaking to Congress
By: Benjamin Netanyahu
2/18/15

Excerpted from the Israeli prime ministerís remarks Monday in Jerusalem to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Why am I going to Washington? Because, as prime minister of Israel, itís my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel.

The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to build its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.

A regime that openly calls for Israelís destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims.

Now mind you, Iím not opposed to any deal with Iran. Iím opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal.

Iím certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary: No country has a greater stake in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel.

But the current proposal wonít solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And so itís very important that I speak about this in Washington.

Why am I going to Congress? Because Israel has been offered the chance to make its case on this crucial issue before the worldís most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime ó the very pressure that brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place, and because Congress may well have a say on any final deal.

I think the real question is: How could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israelís survival?

How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?

Why go now? The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24. That date drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case ó before itís too late.

Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after itís signed? Itís more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while theyíre still ongoing.

The whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. We were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldnít even speak on our own behalf. Well, now we can and we do.

The answer to all three questions is the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal on the table right now.

I donít see this in partisan terms. The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It concerns everyone, all supporters of Israel of every political stripe.

The fight against militant Islamic terrorism is not a partisan issue. The battle against the Islamic State, which just beheaded 21 Christians, is not. And the effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons, thatís not a partisan issue either.

The pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran is the most urgent security challenge facing the world. The greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with weapons of mass destruction.

Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison.

Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison.

When a militant Islamic regime that is rampaging through the region right now ó thatís what Iran is doing, itís conducting a rampage through the region ó when such a regime has nuclear weapons, the whole world will be in peril.

Look at what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. States are collapsing ó and Iran is plunging forward. It already controls four capitals.

Itís trying to envelope Israel with three terrorist tentacles ó Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and now itís trying to build with its Hezbollah proxies a third front in the Golan.

With nuclear weapons, such a regime would be infinitely more dangerous to everyone, not only to Israel.

Can I guarantee that my speech in Congress will prevent a dangerous deal with Iran from being signed? Honestly, I donít know. No one knows.

But I do know this ó itís my sacred duty as prime minister of Israel to make Israelís case. On March 3, Iíll fulfill that duty, representing all the citizens of Israel before the two houses of Congress.

And Iíll make the best case for Israel that I can, knowing that our case is just, that our case is sound and that our case offers the best hope to resolve this issue peacefully.
The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6

Offline Battle

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 03:34:44 am »
Didn't read a single word from that 'wall of text'.

I stand with President Obama before I acknowledge what someone from somewhere else, who has overstepped their boundary to get re-elected has to say.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 05:57:41 am »
Bibi: Why I'm Speaking to Congress
By: Benjamin Netanyahu
2/18/15

Excerpted from the Israeli prime ministerís remarks Monday in Jerusalem to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Why am I going to Washington? Because, as prime minister of Israel, itís my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel.

The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to build its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.

A regime that openly calls for Israelís destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims.

Now mind you, Iím not opposed to any deal with Iran. Iím opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal.

Iím certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary: No country has a greater stake in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel.

But the current proposal wonít solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And so itís very important that I speak about this in Washington.

Why am I going to Congress? Because Israel has been offered the chance to make its case on this crucial issue before the worldís most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime ó the very pressure that brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place, and because Congress may well have a say on any final deal.

I think the real question is: How could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israelís survival?

How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?

Why go now? The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24. That date drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case ó before itís too late.

Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after itís signed? Itís more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while theyíre still ongoing.

The whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. We were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldnít even speak on our own behalf. Well, now we can and we do.

The answer to all three questions is the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal on the table right now.

I donít see this in partisan terms. The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It concerns everyone, all supporters of Israel of every political stripe.

The fight against militant Islamic terrorism is not a partisan issue. The battle against the Islamic State, which just beheaded 21 Christians, is not. And the effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons, thatís not a partisan issue either.

The pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran is the most urgent security challenge facing the world. The greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with weapons of mass destruction.

Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison.

Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison.

When a militant Islamic regime that is rampaging through the region right now ó thatís what Iran is doing, itís conducting a rampage through the region ó when such a regime has nuclear weapons, the whole world will be in peril.

Look at what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. States are collapsing ó and Iran is plunging forward. It already controls four capitals.

Itís trying to envelope Israel with three terrorist tentacles ó Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and now itís trying to build with its Hezbollah proxies a third front in the Golan.

With nuclear weapons, such a regime would be infinitely more dangerous to everyone, not only to Israel.

Can I guarantee that my speech in Congress will prevent a dangerous deal with Iran from being signed? Honestly, I donít know. No one knows.

But I do know this ó itís my sacred duty as prime minister of Israel to make Israelís case. On March 3, Iíll fulfill that duty, representing all the citizens of Israel before the two houses of Congress.

And Iíll make the best case for Israel that I can, knowing that our case is just, that our case is sound and that our case offers the best hope to resolve this issue peacefully.
So even though it's clear he's insulting the president and has no chance of getting bipartisan support, he's moving ahead anyway.  What strategic purpose is this?  To look tough to the voters at home?  Let's not pretend this is about policy anymore.

Offline Battle

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 06:58:14 am »
So even though it's clear he's insulting the president and has no chance of getting bipartisan support, he's moving ahead anyway.  What strategic purpose is this?  To look tough to the voters at home?  Let's not pretend this is about policy anymore.




Thank you, sir.


Futhermore, netanyahu is bullying his way with this move anyway... at what cost?
At the stability of our own military?  ???
The Chain of Command (similar to the Line of Succession) was a code that was established by Congress with the approval of the President long before boenhner's mother had that 'glow in her eye'. 
Every day, displinary customs are conducted by all branches of our military; almost all violations of those sessions are centered around Chain of Command. Hell, ANY organization recognizes Chain of Command or Line of Succession, from organized crime groups like mafia to perceived terrorists groups.

If this man walks into Congress and those cameras record this violation, republican members of Congress are a sending the message to all branches of our military that any subordinate service member can jump the chain of command in the same manner that boehner has done to the president of the United States and when misconduct happens in such a organization, frequently, then there's anarchy.

Offline michaelintp

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 07:01:29 am »
Bibi: Why I'm Speaking to Congress
By: Benjamin Netanyahu
2/18/15

Excerpted from the Israeli prime ministerís remarks Monday in Jerusalem to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Why am I going to Washington? Because, as prime minister of Israel, itís my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel.

The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to build its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.

A regime that openly calls for Israelís destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims.

Now mind you, Iím not opposed to any deal with Iran. Iím opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal.

Iím certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary: No country has a greater stake in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel.

But the current proposal wonít solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And so itís very important that I speak about this in Washington.

Why am I going to Congress? Because Israel has been offered the chance to make its case on this crucial issue before the worldís most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime ó the very pressure that brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place, and because Congress may well have a say on any final deal.

I think the real question is: How could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israelís survival?

How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?

Why go now? The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24. That date drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case ó before itís too late.

Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after itís signed? Itís more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while theyíre still ongoing.

The whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. We were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldnít even speak on our own behalf. Well, now we can and we do.

The answer to all three questions is the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal on the table right now.

I donít see this in partisan terms. The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It concerns everyone, all supporters of Israel of every political stripe.

The fight against militant Islamic terrorism is not a partisan issue. The battle against the Islamic State, which just beheaded 21 Christians, is not. And the effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons, thatís not a partisan issue either.

The pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran is the most urgent security challenge facing the world. The greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with weapons of mass destruction.

Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison.

Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison.

When a militant Islamic regime that is rampaging through the region right now ó thatís what Iran is doing, itís conducting a rampage through the region ó when such a regime has nuclear weapons, the whole world will be in peril.

Look at what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. States are collapsing ó and Iran is plunging forward. It already controls four capitals.

Itís trying to envelope Israel with three terrorist tentacles ó Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and now itís trying to build with its Hezbollah proxies a third front in the Golan.

With nuclear weapons, such a regime would be infinitely more dangerous to everyone, not only to Israel.

Can I guarantee that my speech in Congress will prevent a dangerous deal with Iran from being signed? Honestly, I donít know. No one knows.

But I do know this ó itís my sacred duty as prime minister of Israel to make Israelís case. On March 3, Iíll fulfill that duty, representing all the citizens of Israel before the two houses of Congress.

And Iíll make the best case for Israel that I can, knowing that our case is just, that our case is sound and that our case offers the best hope to resolve this issue peacefully.
So even though it's clear he's insulting the president and has no chance of getting bipartisan support, he's moving ahead anyway.  What strategic purpose is this?  To look tough to the voters at home?  Let's not pretend this is about policy anymore.
President Obama wants to distract people from the substance. Because he is fully aware what he is doing with Iran. That is why this entire matter is being spun to disparage Netanyahu and Israel.

Netanyahu waited until the White House was informed of the invitation, and he heard no objection, before accepting the Congressional invitation. 

The real issue is IRAN. And its NUKES. That is what needs to be focused on.  Not stupid political egos.  THE REAL ISSUES AT STAKE ARE FAR TOO IMPORTANT HERE.
The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 07:42:21 am »
President Obama wants to distract people from the substance. Because he is fully aware what he is doing with Iran. That is why this entire matter is being spun to disparage Netanyahu and Israel.

Netanyahu waited until the White House was informed of the invitation, and he heard no objection, before accepting the Congressional invitation. 

The real issue is IRAN. And its NUKES. That is what needs to be focused on.  Not stupid political egos.  THE REAL ISSUES AT STAKE ARE FAR TOO IMPORTANT HERE.

This doesn't seem like a correct assessment to me. There is certainly disagreement on policy toward Iran. It's a disagreement about approach; I'm pretty sure no one supports Iran having nukes. I expect that the administration is fully aware of what it's doing and that it believes it's doing the right thing.

Are you saying that you are shocked that there are politics going on around policy? Of course both sides are trying to position themselves as best they can to advocate for their policy approach. I thought that was the thrust of the article.

Netanyahu has not been able to persuade the Obama administration at the state level and is in fact interacting in US domestic politics at the invitation of House Speaker Boehner. I don't blame him actually; he was invited. I don't think it's likely to work out well for him in terms of his policy aims. It might work out for him in terms of Israeli domestic politics, i.e. his re-election bid.

All in all, it seems like politics as usual to me. He and and the Republican party (and obviously you too, Michael) disagree with the administration on policy towards Iran. Reasonable people can differ as there is no clear right and wrong here. It does seem unreasonable to expect the administration not to conduct and defend its policies. 

So I'm not sure of what specifically you are accusing the President. Surely you don't think his administration is not trying to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? Even if you disagree with the manner they are going about it.

While the administration may be trying to neutralize Netanyahu in this matter, why do you claim they are "disparaging Netanyahu and Israel"? Seriously, I don't see it, especially the Israel part.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline michaelintp

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2015, 11:02:17 pm »
Curtis, I agree with your evaluation of Netanyahu's actions.

From what I understand, the "deal" the President wishes to strike with Iran will put the Islamic Republic on the threshold of developing nuclear weapons and will not inhibit its ability to develop long-range missiles.

As to the President's attitude: I believe that the real threat posed by Iran, or by the Muslim Brotherhood, are not near the top of the President's radar. Indeed, he has acted like a cheerleader for the Muslim Brotherhood during the so-called Arab Spring, and thereafter, while treating those opposed more harshly.  Which is why there is now a real risk that Egypt, after overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood, will move to the Russian sphere of influence.

Would President Obama "prefer" that Iran not get nukes? I suppose so. But preferences, and degrees of magnitude of opposition (with resulting policy options you are seriously willing to consider), makes all the difference in the world.  My sense is that he believes that we can live in a world peacefully with a nuclear-armed Iran, if necessary.  And if the choice is military intervention today, or ... living with a nuclear-armed Iran tomorrow, our current president will always choose the latter.

I believe that President Obama is a Man of the Left, as is John Kerry, and accordingly, throughout much of their political lives, both have viewed U.S. Imperialism and European Colonialism as gravest of evils. After eight years of the Obama Administration, the ability of the United States to engage in "acts of imperialism" will have been substantially reduced.  A victory for the "good guys" ... from the viewpoint of a leftist. Similarly, judging by the behavior of Mr. Kerry during the "Gaza War" this summer, on behalf of the Administration, I have no doubt that the Administration's sympathies for Israel are weak at the very best, but that for political reasons the most the Administration can do is disparage the Israeli "government" while professing continued commitment to the State of Israel. The polls of self-described "Progressives" is consistent with this backing away from Israel (again, at best).

Finally, I believe the last thing President Obama wants is full and open debate of his Iranian policies.  In their specifics. The last thing he wants is for the American People to hear what Netanyahu has to say.  That is why this has turned into an egoistic political sideshow, to distract Americans from the real issues.  I've heard (though I've not verified) that the President has scheduled a speech for the same time.  If true, that shows the lengths he is willing to go to try to block Netanyahu's message.  (If not true, and he's not scheduled a conflicting speech, then ... obviously this specific point is moot; though the general observation is not).

My perception is reinforced by Reg's comment that this is not about the real issues, when of course it is, and Battle's demand that in servitude to the President we should not even read a presentation of the real issues.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 11:55:53 am by michaelintp »
The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2015, 11:25:38 pm »
If Netanyahu is trying to get Americans to focus on "the issues" he has utterly failed.  This has become another in a long line of litmus tests about how people feel about the president.  If you support him, you find this insulting, which includes big supporters of Israel.  If you don't like him, it's a stick it to the man moment.  The conversation never rises about that level. 

Offline michaelintp

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2015, 06:41:47 am »
If Netanyahu is trying to get Americans to focus on "the issues" he has utterly failed.  This has become another in a long line of litmus tests about how people feel about the president.  If you support him, you find this insulting, which includes big supporters of Israel.  If you don't like him, it's a stick it to the man moment.  The conversation never rises about that level.

If the President and his supporters have their way, you will be right.  And the result will be an Islamic Republic of Iran that can break out as a nuclear power anytime it wants, with ample centrifuges and clandestine facilities, and with the delivery of those payloads facilitated by well-developed long-range missiles  And also by terrorist allies. The world will forever be changed.  Congratulations.

Armageddon, here we come.

The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2015, 08:32:42 am »
Curtis, I agree with your evaluation of Netanyahu's actions.

From what I understand, the "deal" the President wishes to strike with Iran will put the Islamic Republic on the threshold of developing nuclear weapons and will not inhibit its ability to develop long-range missiles.

As to the President's attitude: I believe that the real threat posed by Iran, or by the Muslim Brotherhood, are not near the top of the President's radar. Indeed, he has acted like a cheerleader for the Muslim Brotherhood during the so-called Arab Spring, and thereafter, while treating those opposed more harshly.  Which is why there is now a real risk that Egypt, after overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood, will move to the Russian sphere of influence.

Would President Obama "prefer" that Iran not get nukes? I suppose so. But preferences, and degrees of magnitude of opposition (with resulting policy options you are seriously willing to consider), makes all the difference in the world.  My sense is that he believes that we can live in a world peacefully with a nuclear-armed Iran, if necessary.  And if the choice is military intervention today, or ... living with a nuclear-armed Iran tomorrow, our current president will always choose the latter.

I believe that President Obama is a Man of the Left, as is John Kerry, and accordingly, throughout much of their political lives, both have viewed U.S. Imperialism and European Colonialism as gravest of evils. After eight years of the Obama Administration, the ability of the United States to engage in "acts of imperialism" will have been substantially reduced.  A victory for the "good guys" ... from the viewpoint of a leftist. Similarly, judging by the behavior of Mr. Kerry during the "Gaza War" this summer, on behalf of the Administration, I have no doubt that the Administration's sympathies for Israel are weak at the very best, but that for political reasons the most the Administration can do is disparage the Israeli "government" while professing continued commitment to the State of Israel. The polls of self-described "Progressives" is consistent with this backing away from Israel (again, at best).

Finally, I believe the last thing President Obama wants is full and open debate of his Iranian policies.  In their specifics. The last thing he wants is for the American People to hear what Netanyahu has to say.  That is why this has turned into an egoistic political sideshow, to distract Americans from the real issues.  I've heard (though I've not verified) that the President has scheduled a speech for the same time.  If true, that shows the lengths he is will to go to try to block Netanyahu's message.  (If not true, and he's not scheduled a conflicting speech, then ... obviously this specific point is moot; though the general observation is not).

My perception is reinforced by Reg's comment that this is not about the real issues, when of course it is, and Battle's demand that in servitude to the President we should not even read a presentation of the real issues.


Emphasis mine above. I think this is an honest post from you. How your perceive the situation is determined by your beliefs about President Obama and his administration.

None of us have any insider information about the President's intent or the details of the current negotiations with Iran. Or the expertise to fully comprehend the details around nuclear capability.

I believe in the President's intent and integrity to represent the interests of the US and the world in this matter and you do not. I am willing to allow the administration to conduct foreign policy and evaluate the results instead of disparaging them and him in advance. You're in good company; I believe your position is similar to that of the Republican party. (Unless some of them are simply engaged in cynical partisan politics.)

If you believe that the administration is ok with a nuclear Iran,  there's nothing to discuss here. We'll just have to agree to disagree.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2015, 08:35:01 am »
If Netanyahu is trying to get Americans to focus on "the issues" he has utterly failed.  This has become another in a long line of litmus tests about how people feel about the president.  If you support him, you find this insulting, which includes big supporters of Israel.  If you don't like him, it's a stick it to the man moment.  The conversation never rises about that level.

Sadly, I have to agree with this assessment. I see no substantive discussion of "the issues" taking place in public. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place but there certainly doesn't seem to be widespread meaningful discussion.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline michaelintp

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2015, 11:52:58 am »
Thanks for your comments, Curtis. Yeh, weve gotta agree to disagree.

As to not hearing substantive discussions, the easiest way to get an introduction will be to listen to what Netanyahu has to say in his speech before Congress. I'm sure he will get into some specifics. I'm sure his hope is that some Representatives and Senators, as well as members of the American Public, will listen to the substance.
The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6

Offline Battle

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Re: Netanyahu becomes political player, so Kerry treats him like one
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2015, 02:10:29 pm »
The last time someone (conservative republicans ) made a case claiming that a Muslim country was preparing to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction and that the U.S. should be involved, well...

We all know that turned out.  :(

So now, the republicans are attempting to have someone from somewhere else do their 'dirty work'...
--- again!