Though it isn’t given a great deal of attention by the American mainstream media there are, as all reading this must know, very strong divisions within and among the Israeli government, leadership, media and citizenry with regards to Iran, related and other ‘strategic matters.’ Such mindless external manipulation of this dynamic as reflected by the American GOPs spontaneous invitation asking Netanyahu to address the Congress is more than just improper; it is dangerous.
The America GOP is also pulling a bald and cheap attempt to improperly influence Israeli politics and prop up a struggling Netanyahu while playing immature and dangerous games with the White House as if in elementary school. Would everybody be so understanding if another government had done this for Obama in 2012 if he had been at any risk of losing the Presidential election at the time?
Continuing to use the ‘weak President’ mantra; continuing to say that Obama hasn’t managed foreign policy or ‘project American Power’ well is unconditionally incorrect no matter how many times it is repeated. There is extended documentation of the ‘strength’ and decision making process Obama has demonstrated.
And other than bombing Tehran, which isn’t and still shouldn’t be an option, or suggesting the absolute lunacy of sending the American military to save the Crimea from Putin, the GOP haven’t offered many ideas or coherent alternatives.
In reality, Obama has a very good track record – hardly perfect – but a very good track record with regards to ‘projecting American Power’ along with a strong an effective decision making processes – also not perfect – but effective and, often, very smart. And being ‘smart’ in foreign policy decision making is not a dynamic with which Americans have been familiar particularly in the eight years prior to Obama.
The GOP doesn’t ‘want another opinion;’ they know the opinions. Their actions here are remarkably irresponsible and juvenile while being directly and politically extremely counterproductive. That they also keep losing every time they challenge Obama means that they needed to come up with something no matter how stupid but simultaneously unable to be ignored.
And that, they have finally done.
Americans may agree or disagree with him but Obama has been anything but weak. Obama has occasionally hesitated but one reason is that selective events have been without precedent. Simply ‘acting’ as has happened in the past, and some GOP members of Congress have so demanded more recently, is a reason why certain current events are occurring in the first place. Obama walked into many of these; he hardly created them.
Obama has also been even more productive if one considers it has been in the face of reflexive and constant GOP/conservative attacks on everything and anything Obama since the day it was announced he won the White House in 2008.
Has all this been forgotten? There is a very long list of what Obama has produced for America. For now, just start just with the last set of unemployment reports…and work backwards from there.
But let’s get back to the GOP and Netanyahu and do a quick thought exercise.
Consider, for even a moment, if a Democratic leader of Congress had pulled such a grossly improper stunt when W Bush was in office.
Consider if a Democratic leader of Congress had spontaneously invited the then President of France when France did not support Bush’s soon to be debacle in Iraq (remember ‘American fries’) or another opposing world leader to stand in front of Congress to diss the Bush/Cheney White House and their almost criminal manipulation of law and international process to get into and stay in Iraq.
The behavior by Boehner and his cohort is beyond irresponsible in general and particularly dangerous when placed specific to the topic and context at hand. This kind of Congressional behavior in foreign policy dealings with regards to the President does not come with a great deal of precedent across American history.
It also presents as an overt attempt to influence the coming Israeli elections.
Netanyahu, of course, is only too happy to comply for such dramatic on air time and media attention while taking his ultimate political pandering on a road tour since he is struggling at home and in the polls and needs a really cheap boost.
It is Netanyahu and the Israeli hard Right – being directly aided and abetted by the core American hard Right – who are more of a primary threat right now to Israel’s current stability and future viability then the PA, Hamas and, maybe even, Iran combined.
Americans should hardly be supportive of such crass GOP mismanagement and cheap manipulation of something as critically important as foreign policy to particularly include the increased and potential risk to the current, very fragile state of geopolitics and Middle East politics.
The dramatic rise of groups like ISIS in the Middle East and the burgeoning activity of Al Qaeda affiliates there is a direct result of Bush/Cheney and related GOP foreign policy blunders, disinformation and falsehoods. And that is a fact no matter how many times the contrary delusion is presented. To now argue that the GOP is even remotely sincere or thoughtful in their invitation to Netanyahu is little more than self delusion.