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Thread: Netanyahu Addresses Congress

  1. #91
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Rolling Stone? I see Lord Obama has the support of only the finest journalistic institutions. Surely we must relent now
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  2. #92
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    The first coherent analysis i've found

    SNIP...........
    Since the late twentieth century, global criticisms of America and Israel have become less and less about these countries’ specific policies, and rather are a way of expressing opposition to what these two nations appear to symbolise: modernity and universal values. However, in more recent years, a section of the US elite, including Obama, has joined in these criticisms, in a defensive and quite self-loathing way. The upshot is that Israel seems to be the only one left willing to stand its ground and defend the West. And for this reason, Israel is often singled out for criticism globally, in a one-sided way that too easily merges with anti-Semitism.
    Netanyahu seems to understand that militant Islam poses a broader challenge to the West. ‘America’s founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran’s founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad’, he said. With statements like this, it’s as if Netanyahu is claiming leadership, not just of Israel, but of the West. Of course, as leader of a relatively small country in the Middle East, he cannot really play that role, but his statements do highlight how Obama and other Western leaders have abdicated responsibility for asserting traditional Western values.
    The two leaders’ differences in style also reflect different understandings of geopolitics. Netanyahu’s speech made it plain that Israel first and foremost seeks to pursue its national interests (while at the same time believing the US and the other Western powers share these interests). But US foreign policy, for decades now, has avoided seeking to define its interests or to act upon them.
    Instead, the US establishment speaks in abstract concepts like ‘human rights’ and ‘responsibility to protect’, which leads it into confused and destructive adventures like the intervention in Libya. Or the American elite will think in simplistic terms, such as taking on ‘bullies’ (as Putin is discussed these days), rather than understanding countries’ competing interests and grasping geopolitical realities.
    Whatever you think of the extent of the threat posed by Iran, and Israel’s proposals for dealing with it, Netanyahu’s address to Congress and the extraordinary response to it was nonetheless striking. It tells us a story of modern Western leadership, or the lack thereof. And one does not need to endorse Israeli foreign policy to agree that it would be better if there was a more honest, interests-based discussion of international relations.
    The backdrop to the uproar over Netanyahu in Washington is that popular liberal opinion in the US (and in Europe) has turned against Israel, as can be seen in the emergence of a vocal Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Netanyahu’s appearance led to strong criticism, if not outrage, from this quarter. Liberal opponents focused on challenging Netanyahu’s right to speak, saying it was an insult to the US president and claiming that he should not be given such a prominent platform (thus echoing No Platform policies on university campuses).
    After the address, many Democratic Party politicians denounced the Israeli leader. Democrat house leader Nancy Pelosi said she was ‘near tears’ during the speech, and ‘saddened by the insult to the intelligence’ of Americans. Liberal pundits called Netanyahu a ‘bully and liar’, among other things.
    Moreover, another important piece of context is the fact that the US government has clearly moved over time to distance itself from Israel. Relations during the Obama administration have revealed strains, especially over Israel’s policy on settlements. In October, an unnamed White House official described Netanyahu as ‘chickenshit’, and said there was ‘red-hot anger’ within the Obama administration over Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
    The standing ovations for Netanyahu in Congress will hide this growing divide. Some will continue to claim that Israel remains ‘America’s aircraft carrier’ in the Middle East. Even worse, others will continue to spread the myth that Israel and its lobby ‘dictate’ US policy (indeed, after Netanyahu’s speech, liberal commentator Chris Matthews went down this route, saying the Israeli leader had attempted to ‘take over’ US foreign policy).
    For a day, the prime minister of Israel appeared to be the equal of the president of the United States. And it may be that his passionate plea will help the Republican-controlled Senate in forcing the White House to obtain congressional approval for any deal with Iran, and ultimately vote it down. But for all of Netanyahu’s potential gains from his speech, in the future we may look back and view the Netanyahu address to Congress as an event that highlighted how Israel and the US, in many respects, had grown further apart.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

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  3. #93
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    wow, an article where 1.) netanyahu and likud = israel, 2.) netanyahu is not only more realist but simultaneously also more idealist than any Western politician, 3.) israel is "the only one left willing to stand its ground and defend the West", 4.) just to cap it off, netanyahu is also a better speaker than Obama.

    i'm surprised the writer didn't bother stating how much bigger netanyahu's manhood is compared to obama's, and put a picture of a shirtless netanyahu riding a horse...
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #94
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    The first coherent analysis i've found

    Pari, it's pretty good when stacked up against all the other commentary dealing with the subject. It's middle of the road, which I think is more helpful than commentary that falls head over heels into one extreme or the other. Still, I am still waiting for someone do a really good analysis.
    Last edited by JAD_333; 07 Mar 15, at 01:06.
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  5. #95
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    wow, an article where 1.) netanyahu and likud = israel, 2.) netanyahu is not only more realist but simultaneously also more idealist than any Western politician, 3.) israel is "the only one left willing to stand its ground and defend the West", 4.) just to cap it off, netanyahu is also a better speaker than Obama.

    i'm surprised the writer didn't bother stating how much bigger netanyahu's manhood is compared to obama's, and put a picture of a shirtless netanyahu riding a horse...
    You left out the mandatory 'Western opposition to Likud = anti-semitism'. Apparently Netanyahu also likes fluffy bunnies, dogs & is kind to children, unlike Obama, who probably sacrifices goats in the Oval Office.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Asty and BF:
    Except that of course Likud isn't mentioned in the article.
    Simply, as all other commentaries posted here and elsewhere have done, 1: compared Obama and Netanyahu personally, and 2: compared their strategies and beliefs.
    That is what you've been doing, yes?
    Last edited by Parihaka; 07 Mar 15, at 01:45.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

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  7. #97
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Asty and BF:
    Except that of course Likud isn't mentioned in the article.
    Simply, as all other commentaries posted here and elsewhere have done, 1: compared Obama and Netanyahu personally, and 2: compared their strategies and beliefs.
    That is what you've been doing, yes?
    So there is an anti-Semite lurking behind every 'free Palestine' banner, but we don't get to read between the lines here?


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

  8. #98
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    Pari, it's pretty good when stacked up against all the other commentary dealing with the subject. It's middle of the road, which I think is more helpful than commentary that falls head over heels into one extreme or the other. Still, I am still waiting for someone do a really good analysis.
    JAD,

    If this qualifies as 'middle of the road' then the road has gotten itself into a VERY bad place. There is no sane universe where this is 'middle of the road':

    The upshot is that Israel seems to be the only one left willing to stand its ground and defend the West. And for this reason, Israel is often singled out for criticism globally, in a one-sided way that too easily merges with anti-Semitism.
    If it happens that this is less insanely partisan than a lot of what gets said that is merely a commentary on insane partisanship, not a recommendation of this article.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    I don't consider Iran an ally. The only time they were on our team was when we installed the torturing maniac. Before that, Mossadegh's entire government was getting infiltrated by commies, before that they tried joining Team Hitler, after that they were the #trendsetters for #globaljhad.
    I wouldn't lose a wink of sleep if we nuked the whole country.
    Now I'm no strategist, but it's flip comments like this that worry me when I contemplate the right wing mentality in America. Really? Really? Thermonuclear war on the Persian gulf and you'd sleep like a baby?
    That is not a serious position. That's bluster, and that sort of thing worries your little allies in the pacific

  10. #100
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    Wake up. Yes, we have people like that and they're wearing the uniform. Yes, they can nuke a city. Goto sleep and do it again the next day.
    Chimo

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Wake up. Yes, we have people like that and they're wearing the uniform. Yes, they can nuke a city. Goto sleep and do it again the next day.
    Well that's reassuring I suppose. Good to know everything's well with the world.

  12. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Seriously? You fly the Union Jack and say this? Ever watched or paid any attention to a parliamentary system?
    I wasn't aware that the adversarial system of politics in a parliamentary system includes getting foreign leaders in to undercut the PM...

    In fact, the Westminster system is almost an elected dictatorship, as the executive and legislature are fused. By contrast, the American system offers greater political autonomy to its' components- at the expense of frequent gridlock. I'm not seeing an imperial Presidency here, just a partisan attempt to embarrass and undermine a Democratic President.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Well that's reassuring I suppose.
    It's reassuring because there are people prepared to do things that you're not prepared to even think about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Good to know everything's well with the world.
    Everything is NOT well with the world and that's why we have people who can push the button.
    Chimo

  14. #104
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Now I'm no strategist, but it's flip comments like this that worry me when I contemplate the right wing mentality in America. Really? Really? Thermonuclear war on the Persian gulf and you'd sleep like a baby?
    That is not a serious position. That's bluster, and that sort of thing worries your little allies in the pacific
    Why wouldn't I lose sleep? They have attacked us for decades and we caught them red-handed trying to make nukes. Story, End of. We're already giving them a chance to comply with safeguards, and that assuages any moral concerns I have.
    As for the Pacific: who cares? You need us more than we need you.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  15. #105
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    So there is an anti-Semite lurking behind every 'free Palestine' banner, but we don't get to read between the lines here?
    Unless you have something coherent to add to the actual debate, take your trolling elsewhere.
    Last edited by Parihaka; 07 Mar 15, at 20:08.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

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