The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive! “ – Sir Walter Scott, Marmion
Peace is purchased from strength. It’s not purchased from weakness or unilateral retreats. – Benyamin Netanyahu
“Obama’s got something against Israel.” – Broadcaster Rush Limbaugh, 2009
““Ahmadinijad was stupid enough to be a wolf in wolf’s clothing, to expose his teeth and nails and alert the west. I can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have all the diplomatic and rhetoric skills to do so.” – Hasan Rouhani – President of Iran
“Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.” – President Barack Obama
This week’s winning essay,Joshuapundit’s Obama, Netanyahu And Congress: The Real Inside Story Raises Further Questions is my analysis of the real story behind the ginned up controversy of Israeli PM Netanyahu accepting an invitation from congress to address a joint on Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program…and what ultimate questions it raises. Here’s a slice:
President Obama’s latest escapade involving Israel says a great deal about his deep animus towards Israel. And it raises an important question.
Our story starts with Speaker of the House John Boehner inviting Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on Iran and on Islamist terrorism in March.
Boehner’s rationale for this was a widely popular bi-partisan bill up in congress calling for large scale sanctions on Iran if the Obama administration is unable to craft a deal limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity. President Obama, who watered down the previous sanctions and unilaterally dispensed with them said bluntly that he’d veto any legislation regarding Iran, and made a special point of mentioning this in his State of the Union address.
President Obama’s logic is that he and Secretary Kerry just need a little more time….in spite of three missed deadlines for a deal that have seen Iran’s nuclear stockpile actually grow.
There’s really zero transparency about what’s actually going on. IAEA inspectors have not been allowed inside major Iranian bases like Fardo, and among many things, Secretary John Kerry was apparently ‘misinformed’ when he claimed over a year ago that he had an agreement with the Islamic Republic that to cease operations at their heavy water reactor at Arak, a facility with no peaceful applications designed to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The IAEA hasn’t been allowed to inspect Arak either. Nor has it been shut down, as Kerry originally told us. Meanwhile, the Iranian Majlis is on the verge of passing legislation mandating that Iran increase its nuclear enrichment.
Small wonder Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a co-sponsor of the senate version of the bill called what President Barack Hussein Obama had to say about Iran as ‘talking points straight from Tehran.’
Even the Washington Post awarded the president “Three Pinocchios” out of a possible four for his dishonest and delusional remarks on Iran during his speech.
So it’s quite natural that Speaker Boehner would want the Prime Minister of Israel, who’s been outspoken on Iran’s nuclear threat to address congress to increase consensus on a bill that would almost certainly have to override a presidential veto. And Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu, whose country gets threatened with annihilation by Iran every other week was happy to accept.
That’s when the White House literally went berserk.
The president claimed that congress had disrespected him by not clearing Netanyahu’s visit with the White House, although in fact congress has the legal right to invite anyone it wants to to address a joint session.
But the president’s special wrath was directed at Benyamin Netanyahu,and that was no accident, as we’ll see. The president announced that he would not meet with or otherwise acknowledge Netanyahu’s presence during his visit. And unnamed White House officials were quoted in the press as saying that Netanyahu had ‘forgotten that Obama’s going to be president for another year and a half’, and that Netanyahu was ‘spitting in our faces’ by daring to come to America without an official presidential invitation. There were dark statements about how there would ‘be a price to pay.’
The president tried to justify this by saying that the invitation by congress was a breach of protocol, and against U.S. policy to meet with a head of state this close to a national election.
He lied about that too.
For instance, a couple of months before the British general election, President Obama invited British PM David Cameron to the White House in a high profile visit that was essentially an endorsement. And just a couple of weeks ago, only four months before what’s shaping up as the tightest UK election in years, the president, who is more popular in the UK than he is here did the same thing,having a meeting with Cameron, a lavish photo-op and calling him ‘a great friend’ and one of his “closet and most trusted partners in the world.”
There have been other occasions. Remember the president’s love affair with former Islamist Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi in the run up to the Egyptian elections?
The president also had the White House release a leak alleging that Israeli Mossad Head Tamir Pardo had personally warned US senators against further Iran sanctions.
At that point, I got fairly concerned, because to my knowledge no one in Israel’s security apparatus has ever said anything like that..if anything the reverse, that increased sanctions had the best chance to bring Iran to the table for real concessions. For the head of Mossad to say this would amount to him creating his own private foreign policy.
I can tell you now without any doubt whatsoever that this was a complete fabrication by the White House, and I heard it directly from several people who definitely ought to know.
Moreover, the Mossad released a public statement on the matter. And it was not exactly diplomatic in tone.
A senior Israeli official delivered an uncommonly harsh attack on US President Barack Obama’s administration Thursday evening, following the American report that alleged that Mossad Head Tamir Pardo had warned US senators against further Iran sanctions, in contradiction of Israel’s official stance.
“The fraudulent claims against the Mossad Head were raised by the Americans yesterday, despite a message that had been transmitted to them on Tuesday by Intelligence Minister [Yuval] Steintz,” the senior Israeli source told Channel 2 news.
He added that Israel had gone over the minutes of the meeting between Pardo and the delegation of senators, and that Pardo had not said what was attributed to him.
“Leaking the Mossad Head’s statements, even if they had not been falsified, is a serious breach of all the rules,” the senior source added. “Friends do not behave like this. Information from a secret meeting must not leak out.” […]
“The Head of Mossad did not say that he opposes additional sanctions on Iran,” said the spy agency Thursday.
“Mossad Head Tamir Pardo met on January 19, 2015, with a delegation of US senators,” Mossad said in a statement. “The meeting was held at the request of the senators and with the prime minister’s approval. At the meeting, the Head of Mossad stressed the extraordinary effectiveness of the sanctions that have been placed on Iran for several years in bringing Iran to the negotiating table.”
“The Head of Mossad noted that in negotiating with Iran, a policy of ‘carrots and sticks’ must be adopted, and there are not enough ‘sticks’ nowadays,” it added.
Furthermore, said the agency, he “said specifically that the agreement that is being formed with Iran is bad and could lead to a regional arms race.”
Both the Mossad and the Israeli government are livid over this, and that can’t help but affect the relationship with the U.S. This indeed is hardly the way an ally acts.
Of course, the real reason for all this goes well beyond the president’s ego. It’s very much about the Israeli elections.
Much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal with an interesting piece, How to Lose, and Win, Graciously submitted by The Watcher.
Here are this week’s full results:
See you next week!
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