March 3, 2015

Today's display by Bibi Netanyahu before a joint session of Congress was predictably extreme with predictable adulation by his Republican worshippers, but it's not that much different or any less wrong than the speech he delivered in 2002 when he told Congress that Iraq had nuclear weapons, pinky swear they did.

We all know how that turned out, don't we? Vox:

Indeed, Netanyahu was a rather aggressive Iraq hawk back in the early 2000s. "There is no question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking, is working, is advancing towards to the development of nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said in 2002 testimony to Congress. "Once Saddam has nuclear weapons, the terror network will have nuclear weapons,"

Not only did Netanyahu get the nuclear issue wrong — Saddam was not building a nuclear program after all — but he incorrectly predicted that the war would inspire an Iranian democratic uprising that would topple the theocratic regime.

"If you take out Saddam, Saddam's regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region," Netanyahu claimed. "And I think that people sitting right next door in Iran, young people, and many others, will say the time of such regimes, of such despots is gone."

Beyond that, it was just a shameful display of Republican adulation, Bibi fearmongering, and a campaign ad for Bibi back home.

Of course, he did have to placate those who criticized him for participating in Boehner's attempt to undermine the President of the United States while simply giving bad advice to bad legislators.

David Corn says he was "mansplaining" the US into war:

But Netanyahu's main mission was to advance his extremist stance—and undermine Obama's attempt to reach an agreement with Iran. He contended that Iran is bent on destroying Israel and "the Jewish people." He devoted many words to depicting the bloody and repressive deeds of the Iranian regime at home and abroad and called on Congress to stand with him to stop Iran's "march of conquest, subjugation, and terror." He was basically lecturing Obama and those looking for a deal. Iran, he proclaimed, "will always be an enemy of America. Don't be fooled." Fooled? Netanyahu was accusing Obama of being hoodwinked by the evil and wily bargainers of Tehran. He equated Iran and ISIS, saying that each wants to impose an Islamic state on the world. The difference between the two? ISIS uses butcher's knives and YouTube, and Iran will "soon" have nuclear arms.

Netanyahu wasn't shy; he came to Capitol Hill to sabotage the agreement Obama is pursuing: "That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons; it will all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons." He dismissed the ability of inspectors to monitor any agreement. "Iran has proved time and time again it cannot be trusted," he said. So, he argued, Iran could cheat its way to a nuclear bomb. But worse, he asserted, Iran could develop a bomb by sticking to the deal. This accord "doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb; it paves its path to the bomb."

Netanyahu's approach is no different than our current teabagger contingent in the Congress today. If you can't get everything you want, hold out, and hold out some more, until you get nothing you want and a disaster happens instead. Then sit back and say you were right all along.

Nancy Pelosi released a statement just after the speech that echoes my own sentiments to an extent:

[A]s one who values the U.S. – Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.


The Obama administration's statement was straightforward and swift:

A senior administration official said in language, which was extraordinarily strong considering the long alliance between the U.S. and Israel, that the speech contained "literally not one new idea; not one single concrete alternative; all rhetoric, no action."

The official said that despite Netanyahu's tough rhetoric, the alternatives to seeking a deal with Iran were much worse and that military action or more stringent economic sanctions would not set its nuclear program back as far as an agreement that would keep it from taking the final steps towards an atomic arsenal for a decade.

"Without a deal, Iran will certainly advance its program -- installing advanced centrifuges, fueling its plutonium reactor, and reducing or eliminating its breakout timeline. That would leave us with the choice of accepting a nuclear-threshold Iran, or taking military action."

"Where is the alternative? Simply demanding that Iran completely capitulate is not a plan, nor would any country support us in that position. The Prime Minister offered us no concrete action plan."

That sums it up well. All bluster, no action, and certainly destructive not only to world peace but our country altogether.

All of that, just to undermine the President of the United States while Republicans applauded with all their might. That's how badly they want war. That's how badly they want to destroy countries and people and yes, even the President.

It's sick.

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