As I keep reading all the myriad responses to Netanyahu’s speech, from one side or the other, a few things keep poking me in my mind.
1. I don’t care who invited him, when, or who was notified. I think the whole “I’m offended” thing is ridiculous. Boehner says he notified the White House. I have no idea if he really did or not, but Obama’s reaction blew a tiny molehill into a huge mountain, for no good reason.
2. Whether you think Netanyahu is an asshole, a blowhard, or a visionary, I can’t think of anything he said that is untrue. Iran IS pursuing nuclear weapons, I don’t think anyone disagrees with that statement. Iran IS threatening to wipe Israel off the map. Iran IS the premier supporter of terror activities around the world, both financially, ideologically, and constitutes a serious threat to most of the countries in the Middle East.
3. In support of #2 above, consider that Iran now essentially has control, through it’s proxies, of Lebanon (Hezbollah), Syria (Assad), Yemen (Houthis), Gaza (Hamas/Islamic Jihad), and parts of Iraq through various militias. They certainly have strong ties to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and are active in Libya, as well. In short, their expansionist aims are staggeringly ambitious, and they are achieving them.
4. The details of the deal that have emerged, to date, indicate that at most, Iran would be limited to a ten year window before being “allowed” to do whatever they want with nuclear development. Ten years is certainly a long enough period for Obama, since he’ll be out of office in two. But ten years is NOTHING in the greater scheme of Islamic hegemony and Iran’s plans. They are definitely planning “long term”. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons now, a year from now, five years from now, or ten years from now, functionally, there isn’t a whole lot of difference. Of course, Israel might have much better defenses against ICBM’s and other missiles coming from Iran by then, but essentially, Obama is saying “It’s ok if Iran gets nuclear weapons within ten years”. Is that acceptable? I don’t think so.
5. Obama and Pelosi et al have said that Netanyahu didn’t propose any concrete alternatives to the “bad deal” in progress with Iran, but clearly, he did. He suggested that if a “good deal” can’t be reached, with proper supervision, oversight, and guarantees, then “no deal”, meaning strong sanctions, threats of military action, etc. would have to be used as a “stick”.
In any negotiation, you bargain based on your leverage. The only leverage Obama has, really, is economic or military. If he is unable or unwilling to use these as leverage, there really is no reason for Iran to do anything but flout his demands and tell him to fuck off, which is basically what they have been doing for several years now. Obama’s desperation to have a deal, any deal, in order to solidify his partisan claims to have “done something”, shines through clearly, and the Middle East is no place to be bargaining out of desperation. They are VERY good at bargaining. Clearly, Obama isn’t, and they are eating his lunch….