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22 May 2011

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Redhand

"how is one to comprehend BHO's speech and Bibi's enraged reaction? Let me know if you figure it out."

I was wondering when you were going to weigh in on Obama's speech. Basically, and I have no more than a basic comprehension of these events, I think Obama is trying to be even-handed.

Bibi's enraged reaction is absolutely to be expected. Fairness and even-handedness is the last thing he wants. The man is a social primitive of the lowest order; he has the maturity and circumspection of a vicious schoolyard bully who never had to grow up. Thus, his reaction is entirely in character.

William R. Cumming

Totally a surmise by me! To the extent that the President understands that the 2012 Presidential campaign will be the most expensive in USA history and his record and policies will be subject to close scrutiney from all sides but adopting positions in speeches that go unimplemented this allows his campaign machine to pressure potential donors reading or listening to those speeches who one fear the position taken in the speech or their implementation. Essentially blackmail.

Sisyphus

'The fear that Obama has grown a spine is greatly exaggerated, though Netanyahu’s pretend “furious” reaction surely is designed to make Obama look and maybe feel tougher than he is.'

http://mondoweiss.net/2011/05/netanyahu-has-nothing-to-worry-about.html#more-43176

Marcus

That being said, how is one to comprehend BHO's speech and Bibi's enraged reaction? Let me know if you figure it out. pl

Just more bullshit posturing in an attempt to placate the moderates on both sides. Before carrots and sticks are presented to both sides the macabre dance will proceed.

graywolf

One of your assumptions re. Ross is wrong:
If he is an Isreali mole AND BHO's advisor, how to explain that speech?

g. powell

Bibi humiliated Obama over the settlements issue and has been waiting for another opportunity to stick to him yet again and show who is in charge.

Meanwhile, the GOP is on the ropes due their unpopular stand on Medicare, and have been looking for an opportunity to change subject and become more competitive for 2012. So, a very convenient alliance was formed that was ready to move quickly in tandem.

Why did Obama walk into this trap? Maybe the Arab Spring has something to do with it.

Farmer Don

Obama it seems is often underrated:
-A black man can never be US President.
-Obama will never be able to pass his health care bill.
-Obama won't get the US out of Iraq.
-Thank Obama that OSBL is still free.
-Obama will be a one term president like Jimmy Carter.

Hopefully in time he will surprise again with his policy regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians

eakens

Obama really should have just said in his speech that the us wants Israel to get everything. That would have done even more damage by finally confirmed that we're not honest brokers and essentially signalling our removal from the process and put Israel on it's back foot to explain what they want to offer out in the open. Perhaps that would then supersede all this crap about camp David offer that the palys so stupidly rejected.

Patrick Lang

graywolf

His advice was not taken on this point. pl

jonst

I think Obama et al his geopolitical team....(whomever that might, actually, be)is in a state of controlled panic. A panic that they don't wish to demonstrate to the rubes in the US media. Who would, in turn, flush it out to the people of the US. And that panic is mostly around two dynamics, one fairly predictable, and other, dramatically less so. The predictable dynamic is the coming vote in the UN, and the likelihood of the 'resolution' 'passing'. I put in the quotes because, I assume, these terms, and others like them have a precise and legalistic meaning according to UN rules and procedures, that I am not overly familiar with. And procedural precision, I have a hunch, is going to be relevant in the coming months.

So, Obama et al know (suspects?) that this train (Palestinian 'statehood') is about to leave the station. They've known that for a while. But having Mubarak in their pocket--to the extent he was in their pocket--offered them protection against any radical changes.

Now that trump card has been, discarded', into an Egyptian prison. On its heels came the predictable Hamas-PLO (for lack of more precise term)make up kiss.

To demonstrate panic over this fundamental change on the ground in Egypt, and its implications on the State of Israel however, would cause a whiplash of controversy in the US. Obama would be portrayed as the man who 'lost' Israel. (he is going to get that treatment anyway). Being portrayed in this manner by the media will cause him, must cause him, to attempt to put great pressure on the Egyptian Military to 'reverse course'. Obama rightly suspects, however, that putting such pressure on the Egyptian military--as necessary as it would be domestically, here in the US-- would weaken the very forces in Egypt Obama (and the Israelis, the wise ones, anyway) needs to carry out US desires. Any public pressure on the Egyptian Military will cause them to move--at least temporarily- into the exact wrong direction the US wants them to go in.

This can't turn out to be a battle over who is more loyal to the 'Arab Cause'. If it does...Obama et al knows they are in big trouble.

So....Obama et al is trying to head this off...and he had to give something, minimal, but public, to Arabs, in general. That even this piteously small gesture caused a firestorm in the US media simply demonstrates how far from reality said media has strayed. "Strayed either for money..., or profound ignorance, or both. The motive behind the straying matters little.

So....Obama is in trouble. To stand a minimal chance to avoid the disaster coming at him, he must make gestures that cause the media firestorms.

As to Bibi.....I think it is fairly straightforward....like many commentators have noted...he is a crude and arrogant bully. He saw Obama in trouble...Bibi could not resist kicking him, while he is down. And for playing the usual game with Israel that Obama et al has been playing these last few years, Obama got what he deserved from Bibi. He should have expect no more.

The US still believes, that it can play off any 'change on the ground', if we, the US, just stall long enough. And throw money around. So they are gonna try it with the military in Egypt. Sorta like the pretend and extend strategy the banks are doing with the bad debts on their book.

So the State Dept is pretending to embrace the 'Arab Spring'. Just watch how it is going to be played out. They will try and turn this into a Sunni v Shia affair.

FB Ali

I am surprised that no one here has remarked on the public dressing down that Bibi gave Obama at the WH photo-op. After all, whatever you may think of him, Obama is still President of the USA. For the President to be so publicly lectured in his own office was a humiliation.

If Americans don't care (though many did; see Goldberg in The Atlantic), people all over the world watched it and drew the appropriate conclusions. It confirmed for many the nature of the relationship between the US and Israel, and also their view of Obama as a weakling.

BillWade

"WASHINGTON—State Department diplomat Nelson Milstrand, who appeared on CNN last week and offered an informed, thoughtful analysis implying that Israel could perhaps exercise more restraint toward Palestinian moderates in disputed territories, was asked to resign Tuesday. “The United States deeply regrets any harm Mr. Milstrand’s careful, even-tempered, and factually accurate remarks may have caused our democratic partner in the Middle East,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an unequivocal condemnation of the veteran foreign-service officer’s perfectly reasonable statements. “U.S. policy toward Israel continues to be one of unconditional support and fawning sycophancy.” Milstrand, 63, will reportedly appear at an AIPAC conference to offer a full apology as soon as his trial concludes and his divorce is finalized"

from The Onion, May 20th, 2011

alnval

Col. Lang:

You’re correct. If memory serves, when Ross was queried on TV as to his reaction to Obama’s speech he was effusive in his praise saying, in effect, that the speech was entirely consistent with existing White House policy. Why then is Bibi upset?

Bibi is an autocrat who, by definition, is incapable of accepting that there are other ways to get there other than by destroying whoever or whatever gets in his way. Like some of our own politicians compromise is not in his lexicon. He is a man whose character demands that he apply overwhelming force even when it is not necessary.

I worry more than ever that frustration whether real or imagined fuels his impulsiveness and capacity for poor judgment. That is, that he may no longer be able to recognize when his efforts have been successful. That the mere existence of potential threats human or political which might stand in his way may be enough to set him off. A dangerous man. An ENTJ gone bad?

To understand this flaw, I find it helpful to remember that Bibi was Israel’s second choice. His older brother, Yonatan, the only Israeli killed at Entebbe, was seen as the son who would provide leadership to the nation. Bibi is reported to attribute his “hard line against all terrorists” to the death of his older brother.

Patrick Lang

alnval

"he was effusive in his praise." Ross is not a fool. He know that he must be seen as effusively supportive in public or leave, no matter who is behind him. pl

Cal

Is there any reason other than Jewish campaign donors conditions that Ross has had this position in successive administrations?
Everyone knows he is an agent for Israel.
If the Genie were to grant me one wish it would be that the antiquated US law definitions on treason and subversion were updated to
allow for today's political reality...and then enforced.

That would solve half our problems.

BillWade

Ron Paul: “The President gave a speech today about our foreign policy in the Middle East, and once again this administration has proven that it does not understand a proper foreign policy for America. When will our leaders finally do what’s right for America and rethink this irrational approach we’ve followed for far too long?"

If Congressman Paul gets the Republican nomination for president will Mr. Obama need AIPAC's endorsement, probably not, it might even be a liability. I'm hoping.

Ken Hoop

"The US still believes, that it can play off any 'change on the ground', if we, the US, just stall long enough. And throw money around. So they are gonna try it with the military in Egypt. Sorta like the pretend and extend strategy the banks are doing with the bad debts on their book."

Re the violence in Baghdad today, and checking the milblogs etc.,you can assume the same extend and pretend strategy is at work there,though I glean the Col. is on record that it won't effectuate.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/05/22/iraq.violence/?hpt=T2

bt

Bibi is a Republican.

He and the gang that wants to restore biblical Israel have clearly and obviously gone over to the GOP, and especially to the Christian Zionists that find a warm home with the GOP.

His attacks on Obama are political in nature and that is why they have no connection to reality or policy.

He would like to have US policy as it was under W. A policy in which America happily attacks Israel's enemies. Even as those 8 years under W brought the region and America to near ruin.

euclidcreek

Israel orders Uncle Sam to bend over and spread 'em: Uncle Sam drops trou and asks, "is this low enough?"

Walrus

I'm sorry, but the simplest explanation I can think of is that Obama is attempting to loosen the purse strings of his Jewish backers by threatening to withhold his administrations unqualified support for Israel.

To put it another way; support my re election campaign, or else.

arbogast

Obama managed to completely destroy through his misplaced obsession with healthcare, instead of employment (although the Obama team would say that healthcare will lead to full employment), the Congressional super majority that was elected with him.

Quick work.

And now he is handing the 2012 Presidential election to whatever Republican runs.

Equally quick work.

Manchurian candidate?

arbogast

Well, well, well...

Total must read:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/obama-double-downs-at-aipac/2011/03/29/AFhx9C9G_blog.html?hpid=z3

Under this rubric (and it's a pretty florid rubric) Obama has a Jewish community at his side who:

a) Have money

b) Want a Palestinian state

Colonel Lang, I believe that a part of the answer to all questions is where does the United States military stand on this?

Where do they stand?

Didn't Petraeus say that the Palestinian question was leading to American soldiers unnecessarily losing their lives?

Oh, and what about Israeli soldiers? What does the United States military think about the horrendous Israeli military casualties during the past 10 years. Thousands of Israeli soldiers dead, more thousands wounded?

Perhaps, just perhaps, there are people in the United States who think the price in blood is too high, no matter what the "reward" in treasure, assuming you can call "Madoff Land" a reward.

You kill enough shleppers and people get tired of shlepping.

Bobo

FB ALI

Yes, we all saw that dressing down from BiBi but you need to realize that if a vote would occur tomorrow in the US pertaining to the Israeli problem BiBi and his country would be out on their rear ends. Eventually that will happen and it will be the fault of BiBi and his followers.

MT

Bibi wants the discussion to focus on Iran and what is to be done to deter their weapons program. Bibi has no desire to address the borders/settlements issue.

Lars

Since most assumptions about Mr. Obama eventually prove to be inadequate, only time will tell where this is going too. I am sure that he knew that Bibi would provide a contrast, which he did. There is now a video record of that and many politicians seem to forget that. It also frequently comes back to haunt them.

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