On Iran Deal, Obama is the Adult Voice in the Room Once Again


We have all seen Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s little red line by now, I’m certain, used by him when he addressed the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the UN New York, September 27, 2012.

Many people in many countries were relieved to hear of President Obama’s Iran deal. It meant Republican chickenhawks and Benjamin Netanyahu would not get to condemn innocent people to death. We have already seen how Republicans reacted: childishly.

And unrealistically, and as you can see, this trend is continuing, even though as Jack Goldsmith wrote at Brookings a couple of days ago, Congress is powerless to stop it:

CBS News reported yesterday that thanks to the Iran deal, Netanyahu’s sack of woes is filling up. And Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, said Netanyahu’s anti-Iran campaign is a “colossal failure.”

Yet according to Asher Schechter at Haaretz, not only is the Iran deal not Netanyahu’s worst defeat, but “it’s proof of his greatest triumph”:

“Netanyahu’s adversaries have it wrong: If the Iran deal proved anything, it is that the PM and his views have taken over political discourse in Israel.”

That is scary enough, since Netanyahu would prefer to skip to the endgame and just nuke Iran. The guy would make Dubya look like a piker if he got the chance. It takes only the push of a button, and we could really get to missing the good old days of conventional war.

Unfortunately, he plans to control the political discourse in the United States as well – a country where he is not the Prime Minister. Haaretz’s Barak Ravid has reported that,

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the United States cannot compensate Israel for the nuclear deal with Iran and said that he intends to fight it in Congress.”

As Jason Easley wrote here Sunday, this amounts to “conspiring” with Congress. And Republicans in Congress have already twice gone behind their own president’s back, once writing to Iran’s leaders to disregard our president, and then inviting Netanyahu to address them.

Since when do foreign leaders get to fight American diplomacy in Congress? At least have the decency, like the Kochs, to buy our congressmen and women first. That’s how it’s done here. Observe the niceties.

As we saw Sunday, Netanyahu claims that it’s a lie that everyone supports this deal (clearly other than the parties who negotiated it) but he is unable to name any of them outside Israel:

“People say everybody agree with this deal except for Israel. This is not true. First of all, everyone in Israel is united against this deal – opposition and coalition alike. Many in the region speak to me and tell me how they are worried that this deal will endanger their security in many ways.”

This, of course, is itself a lie, because there are those in Israel who support the deal. Like conservatives here, Netanyahu pretends to speak for people regardless of what those people might actually think.

Haaretz columnist and senior editor Bradley Burston wrote in his blog “A Special Place in Hell” yesterday that,

I live in Israel. I live in the shadow of Iran. I hold American citizenship as well as Israeli. I pay taxes to both countries. I vote in the elections of each.

In 2008 and 2012, I voted for Barack Obama. I’m glad I did.

I’m glad not only because of landmark changes to America on his watch, not only because of moments of inspiration, of unexpected hope, of enfranchisement, of movement on issues long dismissed as immutable.

I’m glad because I believe that no one but this president would have tried, and succeeded, to land a deal with Iran on nuclear weapons.

American Jews are divided, which has triggered a with-us-or-against-us response in Israel: Allison Kaplan Sommer asks, “Can U.S. Jews be enthusiastic cheerleaders for the Iran deal and still be ‘pro-Israel’?”

What is interesting in all this is that Netanyahu feels he has a right to make decisions about America’s foreign policy but the U.S. does not have the right to make any deals that concern Israel. Not only does he fail to understand who is guaranteeing whose survival, but he doesn’t understand that foreign leaders – even of friendly countries – do not get a say in America’s foreign policy.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has said that, “friends can disagree,” but this is where right wing and left wing ideology separate. There is no disagreeing for conservatives; there is only diktat. We have seen what happens when petulant Republicans don’t get their way: everything comes grinding to a halt.

Netanyahu might be dealing with a military establishment that now says he is wrong on Iran, but when CBS News reported yesterday that “Netanyahu’s sack of woes [is] filling up after Iran deal,” they should have mentioned President Obama’s woes.

Like Boehner’s “Obama did it so it’s wrong” approach. Or Breitbart’s latest scheme, that the states can refuse to comply with the Iran deal even if Congress can’t override Obama’s veto. We did away with states having their own foreign policy with the Articles of Confederation.

But then, Republicans have never really accepted the Constitution as the law of the land. It’s a liberal document, after all. Go figure.

And then there is the nonsensical Scott Walker, who has no earthly idea what he’s talking about at the best of times, but is completely out of his depth where foreign policy is concerned:

Netanyahu brought all his troubles on himself, but it is President Obama, saddled with a treasonous Republican-controlled Congress, who will have to be the adult – again – and clean up the mess.

27 Replies to “On Iran Deal, Obama is the Adult Voice in the Room Once Again”

  1. NO MORE PROXY WARS!!!!!!!

    This country has been in two wars where TRILLIONS of dollars have been spent to fight so- call “Radical Islam” and this is the beginning of the 21st Century.

    ENOUGH. Invest in America, not endless wars.

    Leaning towards Bernie.

  2. Obama’s true enemies are not Iranians but Netanyahu, the morally bankrupted Prime Minister of Israel and treasonous chickenhawks in the republican party!

  3. “Since when do foreign leaders get to fight American diplomacy in Congress? At least have the decency, like the Kochs, to buy our congressmen and women first. That’s how it’s done here. Observe the niceties.”

    What a terrific quip!
    Should be carved in granite,
    and plunked down
    smacked dab in The Capitol’s rotunda.

  4. Sedition:

    1.incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government.

    2.any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion.

    So why haven’t the 47 signers of the letter been brought up on charges?
    And when will someone DO SOMETHING about their seditious actions?

    This has all gotten out of hand. Things need to be brought back to some type of normality – not the crazy actions of the petulant republican children.

    We obviously cannot depend on wise voters to replace them because they represent the views of those voters in their states and districts.

    Dog help us all!

  5. “Can U.S. Jews be enthusiastic cheerleaders for the Iran deal and still be ‘pro-Israel’?”

    Despite the Charges of being ‘hitler-lovers’ and ‘anti-semites’ for daring to disagree with their childishness, yes we can.

    Whether or not we choose to do so depends upon their own intransigence.

    Whatever happened to: Blessed Are the Peacemakers?

    Oh yeah, there’s no Profit (margins) in that!

  6. Anyone else think that this protest in NYC
    had been planned well in advance, something about the construction of the fake bomb tells me these people were probably organized by AIPAC before the deal became official.

    Just watched Democracy Now – a segment from about 1 year ago – Theodore Bikel, what a wonderful man , he must have been so upset to see what Netanyahu is doing.

  7. We have so many critical issues facing our country. It is clear repugs have no desire or will to work towards helping America’s citizens. War gives them the perfect excuse to shuffle what should be our priorities further down the line. War pretty much stops everything.

    President Obama recognizes this and is trying very hard to change our course.

  8. …all the pols who wanna pledge allegiance to AIPAC and Israel should be physically removed, sent to Israel and see how long they’d last there…
    AIPAC and Nutty-yoyo have been instigating sedition and treason; they really need to pay the price for interfering in our internal politics…
    …as I’ve said before; Israel needs US…we don’t need them…cutting thier ‘allowance’ in half and stop covering for them in the UN would be a good start to sending them a strong message…
    …and lest anybody think I’m anti-Israel, think again…visited Haifa Israel and Tel Aviv when I was in the Navy; I met and liked the people I met…storekeepers, bartenders, members of the IDF…everyone was thankful that we guaranteed thier existence; so many spoke English, and they wanted to chat…so I really liked the Israeli people…even in 1982-83 I heard and read about the Likud Party and Netanyahu…my log from then said they sounded like psychotic assholes…
    …time to end AIPACs demands…

  9. Since when has Netanyahu become a member of our congress and has a say in what agreements our POTUS makes in conjunction with other countries? He has been saying that this is a bad deal even BEFORE negotiations started.

    And why, if this is so important to him, hasn’t he gone to the other 5 countries and interfered with their political process? After all we are not the only country involved in the negotiations. Why hasn’t he gone to the UK, Germany, China, France and Russia and given THEM the same ultimatum he has given our President?

    IMO his interference in our political process has done far more harm to the Israel’s status within the U.S. than he realizes. I believe that, because of his conduct, more and more people are questioning the foreign aid we have committed to them. Especially the military aid. He should quit while he is ahead.

  10. I have seen pictures of the protest and I thought it was a convention for depends.

    Just a bunch of old Jewish men and women who wont fight and other than higher energy prices wont feel any pain of this nonsense

    There are two choices. Diplomacy or War. Hopefully the American people will choose wisely

  11. Boehner has a big part in this issue.

    Nobody ever calls him out on anything. He has committed treason and should be subjected to penalties that go with it.

  12. Israel is NOT the 51st state and Netanyahu is NOT a member of congress, so why does he have a voice/vote IN congress??

    Puerto Rico doesn’t even have a vote in congress….
    Representation-wise, Puerto Ricans have no voting representative in the U.S. Congress, but do have a Resident Commissioner who has a voice in Congress (but no vote except for committee-level voting).
    Guam doesn’t have it either…
    Guam’s lack-of-voice woes echoed by Puerto Rico

  13. Congress should pass a law BANNING ANY FOREIGN LEADER FROM consulting and communicating with any member of Congress.

    This doesn’t look good nor smell good. In other words it stinks. Netanyahoo is a prime example of the meddling in our foreign affairs by an outsider. The protocols are for foreign leders to meet with the President, the Secretary of State and the Ambassador from the U.S. to their country ONLY. NOT with individual groups and organizations here in the US, ESPECIALLY with the law makers in Congress. I bet you that if Castro OR PUTIN had been doing the same as Bibi, there would have been a huge outcry. But in this case it’s an Israeli Prime Minister, therefore, its okay. I say it STINKS!

  14. it takes courage,lots of courage to negotiate and make peace with your enemy,Benjamin Nethanyahu may be a strong Israeli prime minister,but he’s a coward.he sees enemies every where.history will remember him as the man who had the chance to make peace with his neighbors and shy away leaving his people to continue butchering themselves.he is an agent of the arms industries,for all they care about is how much more money they rig in from sales.i dove my hart to President Obama who really cares about the American people and their well-being in-spite of all the criticism will be fondly remember by history like “Madiba Nelson Mandela”.this deal with Iran is one greatest achievement of all time plus the Cuban rapprochement,only very courageous leaders dare take such controversial decisions,and President Obama did just that. Thank you Mr. President for your foresight in bringing peace to our world.we will never forget you,thank you.NCHWIECHUI Sule.

  15. Of course it was. There’s a ton of money backing the anti-Iran deal. The day after the deal was signed, a commercial has been running almost continually in my state, Hawaii, against the deal. There is not one word of truth in the thing, only a gloom & doom fear mongering piece of shit. They’ll stop at nothing.

  16. One day he may be? After all, History will report how he fought and beat the Rethugs of our day. How he kept us out of war, brought about medical coverage for all, Took on the rebellious republican party and won. In my book that alone is reason enough, beside that fact, he is the first biracial Pres. That is more then the rethugs can stand. so they at every turn, try to take him down. Un-successfully!!! Don’t know about others but, I fully enjoy watching the thugs fall flat on their face.

  17. Scott Walker is a punk, a crook, a weasel, a compulsive liar, and an asshole. Netanyahoo is worse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.