The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Furious, Furious

Haaretz reports that Jeremy Bird, a top political strategist for Barack Obama's successful 2012 presidential campaign, and four other political consultants are now in Israel assisting Bibi Netayahu's opponents in the upcoming elections. This, after the White House indicated that they didn't want to meet with the Israeli Prime Minister in order not to influence Israeli elections. Wow, Chicago thug politics at its best!

As the fallout continues as a consequence of John Boehner's invitation to Netanyahu to visit Congress and argue in favor of sanctions on Iran should current nuclear talks fail. MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell (a de facto mouthpiece for the Obama White House) said this on air:
The White House is furious, furious at Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu and also a little bit angry at Speaker Boehner for inviting Netanyahu to speak before Congress, to a joint meeting of Congress without even consulting the administration – protocol would dictate that. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi even called Netanyahu to pass him the message that this is a really bad idea.
Yeah ... it's always a "bad idea" when substantive arguments might upset the fantasy narrative created by this president.

Meanwhile, another Obama advocate, The New York Times reports:
The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.

The official who made the comments to The New York Times would not be named, and the White House declined to comment. The remarks were the latest fallout after Mr. Dermer, without the White House’s knowledge, worked with House Speaker John A. Boehner to arrange the speech, which is scheduled for March.

The remarks are likely to escalate a feud between the White House, Republicans on Capitol Hill and Mr. Netanyahu over the invitation, which has led to a new low in American-Israeli relations and threatened to mar the long tradition of bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.
So, I guess we can add "cowardly" to a long list of pejorative descriptors (e.g., hyper-partisan, mendacious, incompetent, ineffective, corrupt) for this White House. Why is it that the White House official "would not be named?" If justice and virtue are on the side of Obama, why not make his comments publicly? Why doesn't this president, who is loath to criticize the Taliban or Iran, or (heaven forbid) identify the religion of Middle Eastern "extremists," seem so at ease with vicious criticism of the leader of our only true Middle Eastern ally. Big money donors to the Democratic party should ask that simple question.

Jennifer Rubin has an interesting take:
... Israel watchers speculate that this [The White House's temper tantrum] is really a ham-handed way of interfering with Israel’s elections by giving fuel to Netanyahu’s opponents, who argue that he cannot get along with the United States. This would be par for the course for an administration that has strained to topple the Israeli government. Its offense? It simply refuses to knuckle under to administration bullying or go quietly as the United States appeases Iran, an existential threat to the Jewish state.

Ironically, the scuffle comes just after Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists killed two Israeli soldiers, reminding us that Iran is on the march throughout the region and that the Iranian government with which Obama hopes to achieve a grand reconciliation is committed to Israel’s destruction.

To sum up, the administration uses Tehran’s talking points to decry passage of a sanctions bill that would go into effect only if Iran refused to make a deal by June along the lines the administration itself outlined. It attacks the leadership of our democratic ally Israel (which it tried to undermine in cease-fire talks at the end of the Gaza war by adopting the plan of Hamas’s patron Qatar) and refuses to meet with its elected leader when he visits. To boot, the administration throws a fit that Congress invited him to speak — all to give Netanyahu’s opponents back home fodder for their election campaign. At least there is no doubt this is the most anti-Israel and immature White House in history.
Way back in 2008, some of us who were not smitten by the fantasy image of Barack Obama argued (mostly to deaf ears) that his past statements and associations indicated that he would, in fact, lead the "most anti-Israel and immature White House in history." The past six years have done nothing—absolutely nothing—to counter that perception, which is now a harsh reality.


And this rather cogent comment from conservative Bill Kristol:
The Obama White House usually prides itself on not getting angry. Its self-image is that it's cool, calm, and collected. And it doesn't get angry at, for example, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Obama White House understands and appreciates the complexities of the Islamic Republic's politics and history. It is only with respect to the Jewish state that the Obama White House is impatient, peremptory, and angry.
Curious, isn't it? Until you realize that the hard left has far more animus toward Israel than it does toward Iran. Barack Obama is a creature of the hard left, so his reaction is actually not at all surprising. And besides, Barack Obama and his Team of 2s haven't made a good foreign policy decision in six years ... there's no reason to start now.