Update: Obama tried to shut today’s speech down. But Netanyahu knows how to handle thugs. As Purim looms, Netanyahu stands strong and the Obama attacks have only made this speech more important. Now, everyone is watching and posting on this. Open thread: Leader of the free world speaks to joint session of Congress. The entire political world is watching. Obama has even set up a bogus event to try and steal the spotlight from Netanyahu but as is usual with Obama, he fails.
The Netanyahu speech at 10:45 a.m. ET (it will probably start closer to 11:00) can be viewed here:
Jeffrey Goldberg has attacked the Netanyahu speech too and is not happy it is being delivered at all. Still Goldberg has some comments to be taken seriously:
I’m fairly sure Netanyahu will deliver a powerful speech, in part because he is eloquent in English and forceful in presentation. But there is another reason this speech may be strong: Netanyahu has a credible case to make. Any nuclear agreement that allows Iran to maintain a native uranium-enrichment capability is a dicey proposition; in fact, any agreement at all with an empire-building, Assad-sponsoring, Yemen-conquering, Israel-loathing, theocratic terror regime is a dicey proposition.
The deal that seems to be taking shape right now does not fill me—or many others who support a diplomatic solution to this crisis—with confidence. Reports suggest that the prospective agreement will legitimate Iran’s right to enrich uranium (a “right” that doesn’t actually exist in international law); it will allow Iran to maintain many thousands of operating centrifuges; and it will lapse after 10 or 15 years, at which point Iran would theoretically be free to go nuclear. (The matter of the sunset clause worries me, but I’m more worried that the Iranians will find a way to cheat their way out of the agreement even before the sun is scheduled to set.)
Goldberg also lists some of the dangers for and lies of Barack Obama:
This is a very dangerous moment for Obama and for the world. He has made many promises, and if he fails to keep them—if he inadvertently (or, God forbid, advertently) sets Iran on the path to the nuclear threshold, he will be forever remembered as the president who sparked a nuclear-arms race in the world’s most volatile region, and for breaking a decades-old promise to Israel that the United States would defend its existence and viability as the nation-state of the Jewish people. [snip]
On Israel, here’s the promise Obama made that stays with me the most: “I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” he said. “I also don’t, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli government recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say.” He went on to say four words that have since become famous: “We’ve got Israel’s back.”
Netanyahu obviously believes that Obama doesn’t have his, or Israel’s, back. There will be no convincing Netanyahu that Obama is anything but a dangerous adversary. But if a consensus forms in high-level Israeli security circles (where there is a minimum of Obama-related hysterics) that the president has agreed to a weak deal, one that provides a glide path for Iran toward the nuclear threshold, then we will be able to say, fairly, that Obama’s promises to Israel were not kept. One of Netanyahu’s most strident critics, Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency, said recently, “A nuclear Iran is a reality that Israel won’t be able to come to terms with.”
He went on to say, “Two issues in particular concern me with respect to the talks between the world powers and Iran: What happens if and when the Iranians violate the agreement, and what happens when the period of the agreement comes to an end and they decide to pursue nuclear weapons?”
History questions: How could this have happened? How could they have been so stupid? How could they have been so blind? How could they not see what was so very obvious? How could they have stood by and not taken action?
When we look to the past we have many questions such as those above. Sometimes we can understand the confusion of policy makers at the time or we realize that the issues were complicated and the best answers not easy to arrive at. But sometimes the truth is obvious and the answer so glaringly there to see that our questions amount to “How could they not have seen? How could they not done what was necessary?”
As an example, Adolf Hitler broke the Versailles Treaty on purpose when he ordered the occupation of the Rhineland. Hitler knew his was a monumental gamble and that if so much as a handgun was raised in opposition to his provocation his reign was over. “If France had then marched into the Rhineland, we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs” he wrote after the episode he further described as “the most nerve-racking 48 hours of his life.” Hitler won his gamble.
What happened? Britain and France were war weary after the lost lives and calamities of the Great War we now know as World War I. The ongoing world-wide Great Depression further sapped the strength and will of these nations. Both countries were lost in a dream of peace and appeasement, and a politics of denial and pacifism. One voice did not engage in denial of reality:
Among the public men of influence, only Churchill recognized the profound peril to the world that the Nazis and Fascists represented. He spoke out in Parliament, on the radio, in his newspaper columns, anywhere and everywhere, demanding the government wake up and prepare. [snip]
The men who were, the prime ministers and party leaders, not only disagreed with Churchill but considered him a loose cannon and an annoyance. [snip]
In 1934, in scenes reminiscent of the best spy dramas, Churchill held clandestine meetings at Chartwell, where he was briefed on the actual situation in Germany by the government and military men in his network, men in positions low enough to be without policy-making influence but high enough to know the true facts and statistics being developed (and be in despair at the lack of response from the government). With this information, Churchill shocked Parliament by revealing the true figures of German military production, figures many colleagues refused to believe. [snip]
On March 7, 1936, Hitler invaded the demilitarized Rhineland, which action conflicted with and basically tore up the Versailles Treaty that ended World War I. Hitler chose that date knowing that Ministers of Parliament would be unavailable on that day; the British ruling class was accustomed “to take its weekends in the country,” criticized Churchill, while “Hitler takes his countries in the weekends.” Churchill understood the meaning of this invasion, saying “An enormous triumph has been gained by the Nazi regime,” and stating “The German Army is a dagger pointed at the heart of France.” But many in Britain saw this as Hitler simply getting his own.
Like Obama at the golf course as Americans are beheaded British leadership at the time did not want to listen to the voices which counseled urgent action. To Obama events in the Middle East and attacks against Israel are Arabs/Muslims ‘getting their own.” That is why to Obama who once aspired to be the “Arab’s lawyer” against Israel – it is Netanyahu who is the warmonger. In the 1930s Neville Chamberlain claimed “The real danger to this country is Winston. He is the warmonger, not Hitler.”
Winston Churchill in the political wilderness was not deceived nor beaten down by reality. Churchill said what needed to be said as the darkness gathered:
“All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness…We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude which has befallen Great Britain and France. Do not let us blind ourselves to that…I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost…the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war…And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” [snip]
“Chamberlain had the choice between war and shame. Now he has chosen shame – he’ll get war later.”
Like Churchill, the Prime Minister of Israel has some harsh realities to convey to the American Congress. In this Netanyahu is aided by the vivid brutalities of those that want to destroy Israel.
Netanyahu speaks to America as ISIS thugs seek to destroy civilization and the artifacts of civilization:
Isis militants have reportedly ransacked Mosul library, burning over a hundred thousand rare manuscripts and documents spanning centuries of human learning.
Initial reports said approximately 8,000 books were destroyed by the extremist group.
However, AL RAI’s chief international correspondent Elijah J. Magnier told The Independent that a Mosul library official believes as many as 112,709 manuscripts and books, some of which were registered on a UNESCO rarities list, are among those lost.
Mosul Public Library’s director Ghanim al-Ta’an said Isis militants then demolished the building using explosive devices.
The Muslim thugs seek to destroy not only the written word:
The militants shoved [ancient Assyrian] stone statues off their plinths, shattering them on the floor, and one man applied an electric drill to a large winged bull. The video showed a large exhibition room strewn with dismembered statues, and Islamic songs played in the background.
Lamia al-Gailani, an Iraqi archaeologist and associate fellow at the London-based Institute of Archaeology, said the militants had wreaked untold damage. “It’s not only Iraq’s heritage: it’s the whole world’s,” she said.
“They are priceless, unique. It’s unbelievable. I don’t want to be Iraqi any more,” she said, comparing the episode to the dynamiting of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Afghan Taliban in 2001.
These are monsters that hate Israel and want to destroy the heritage and the institutions of the West.
Muslim thugs are literally devouring their enemies:
A British man who went to fight with the Kurds against Islamic State has claimed the terror group fed a desperate mother a meal of meat and rice before revealing she had eaten her own son. Yasir Abdulla, 36, from Yorkshire said that the woman had appealed to IS to release her son when they tricked her.
Adbulla told The Sun the woman was offered a seat at IS headquarters, then given a drink along with cooked meat and rice. At first she thought they were being generous, but when she finished the meal they revealed the cooked meat was the flesh of her son, whom they had murdered earlier.
These animals seek to destroy Israel and all Western civilization. They will then rule.
As if borrowing from Chamberlain, Iran claims Netanyahu is the warmonger:
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said on Saturday that “scaremongering” by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t stop the Islamic Republic and world powers from reaching a final nuclear deal.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the world should not allow the hard-line Israeli leader to undermine peace. He was referring to Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next week on the emerging nuclear deal that he considers dangerous.
“Through scaremongering, falsification, propaganda and creating a false atmosphere even inside other countries, [Israel] is attempting to prevent peace,” Zarif told reporters during a joint news conference with his Italian counterpart, Paolo Gentiloni. “I believe that these attempts are in vain and should not impede reaching a [nuclear] agreement.”
Barack Obama would veto a bill recently introduced in the US Senate allowing Congress to weigh in on any deal the US and other negotiating countries reach with Iran on its nuclear capabilities, the White House said on Saturday.
“The president has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran. If this bill is sent to the president, he will veto it,” said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House’s National Security Council.
We’re not surprised by Barack Hussein Obama’s nuclear alliance with Iran. We recall Obama, the Arabs’ lawyer in 2010:
President Barack Obama’s relations with the Israeli government have hit a new low, but the tensions on display this week between him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be reviving another presidential project: Obama’s quest to improve America’s image in the Arab and Muslim world. [snip]
Now, Obama’s return to the question of Israel’s continuing construction in East Jerusalem has signaled an acceptance of some Arab criticism of Israel. At the same time, Obama’s willingness to cross swords with the Israelis comes at a domestic political cost: The pro-Israel group AIPAC released a letter Friday with the signatures of three-quarters of the members of the House, pressing the administration to retreat from public confrontation. [snip]
Obama’s new focus, and the intense pressure his administration has placed on Netanyahu, have stirred deep concern among Israel’s allies on Capitol Hill, they say, because it represents an acceptance of the Arab narrative that Israeli intransigence lies at the heart of the Middle East conflict. And some observers see it in the context of a subtle, but major, shift in American strategy toward resolving it. [snip]
The new model drawing attention from Democratic foreign policy hands, he said, is to build support among Arab leaders for a U.S. plan and then present that to Israel — to serve as the Arabs’ lawyer, rather than as Israel’s, in one formulation used to describe the effort in the region.
That is what Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is up against. Obama sees his role as one that is “to serve as the Arabs’ lawyer” and prosecute Israel.
Towards that end Obama Dimocrats seek to boycott Netanyahu’s speech on Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday morning, Obama, “the Arabs’ lawyer” will do all in his power to silence the voice of Netanyahu:
Showing a graphic he said depicted Iran’s training, arming and dispatching of terrorists on five continents, Netanyahu said Iranians’ “tentacles of terror” reached across the world.
“This is what Iran is doing now – without nuclear weapons. Imagine what Iran would do with nuclear weapons. And this same Iran vows to annihilate Israel. If it develops nuclear weapons, it would have the means to achieve that goal,” he said. “And as prime minister of Israel, I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them.”
Like Churchill’s summation of the Nazi threat, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu warns about the threat which confronts the world today:
When Netanyahu walks to the podium of the House of Representatives on March 3, he’ll undoubtedly have in mind an earlier speech given by a foreign leader to a joint meeting of Congress. On December 26, 1941, Winston Churchill addressed Congress, though in the smaller Senate Chamber rather than in the House, as so many members were out of town for Christmas break.
Churchill enjoyed the great advantage in December 1941 of having an American president who, after Pearl Harbor, was a clear and unambiguous ally in the war for the West. Netanyahu has no such advantage. So it might be hard for him to say, as Churchill did, that here in Washington he had “found an Olympian fortitude which, far from being based upon complacency, is only the mask of an inflexible purpose and the proof of a sure, well-grounded confidence in the final outcome.”
But Netanyahu won’t be speaking only to the Obama administration, which has, after all, made clear its lack of interest in listening to Netanyahu and whose allies won’t be there to listen. He’ll be speaking to the American people.
Netanyahu’s speech to the American Congress will will be the same speech Winston Churchill repeatedly gave to Great Britain in those years before the Second World War. Netanyahu will quote Churchill and say “There is a great danger in refusing to believe things you do not like.”
On Tuesday, March 3, at 10:45 a.m. Netanyahu will tell the American Congress and the American People many things we will not like. What Netanyahu will say is things we need to hear.