So much, so little…
Posted February 11, 2015on:
Folks, there is so much to say and so little time to say it today. I am pretty sure when the aliens dropped me on this rock to live amongst the good earthlings, they left a good bit of alien DNA in this quickly deteriorating meat suit of mine. “How do I know?” you say. During the past week recuperating from whatever it is I have, the antibiotics have stirred up and unleashed stuff I know can’t be of this world.
The good news is that I’m on the mend. The other good news is that I’m not feeling strong enough to do one of my interminably long and loquacious posts. Given the steroids and inhalers and the litany of selections from columns A, B, and C of the pharmacopeia menu, I could easily fire off 26,000 words and never would any two ideas come within the same zip code of one another.
But there are some things that need to be said today. I’ll try and be brief.
Kayla Mueller was the best of what humankind has to offer. She was exceptional. Although Kayla’s journey was short, it was a path built upon remarkable goodness, traveled with purity of spirit, and remembered without a hint of regret. Her family and friends will miss her the rest of their days. We need to remember them and especially her.
Jon Stewart and Brian Williams are about the best New Jersey has to offer. Add Bruce Springsteen and you have what is easily the holy New Jersey Trinity and undoubtedly the three wisest men from the Garden State. I know this is true because they would have never nicknamed New Jersey the Garden State.
Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show. I will miss him for more than his brilliant satirical wit and his insightfully acidic tongue. During the years of being my mother’s caregiver, she insisted on watching “her boyfriend” each evening. Jon brought her much happiness. For that I will always be grateful.
Brian Williams was and will continue to be the guy I want to give me 22 minutes of news headlines. He was a volunteer fireman at one time and I respect and relate to that. He is also wickedly funny. These days the requirements of building one’s personal brand required him to climb out from behind the desk and be a “personality”. He did that and was good at it. In this age of personality driven everything, perhaps he jumped a little too far beyond the desk. Perhaps the “drive to please” drove his misremembering, but pleasing others is never a good enough reason to tarnish your credibility when it is your stock-in-trade. I, for one, will forgive him that foible.
Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before Congress is so wrong on so many levels, it would put to shame an ant farm cranked up on blue ice meth. I won’t begin to list them other than to say this: Never before has any Israeli Prime Minister allowed an Israeli issue to become partisan and politicized.
It seems this John Boehner invite was scored by Ron Dermer, the new Israeli Ambassador. He’s same guy who was an acolyte of Frank Luntz and a full-blown Republican operative until he gave up his American citizenship to take up residence in Bibi’s bum.
This speech is a political speech. This is a speech plotted to alter American foreign policy. This is a speech designed to weaken a President trying to walk a tightrope of negotiation between Iranian nuclear policy and Irani generals advising the Iraqi troops fighting ISIL. This is a speech designed to make the Middle East, unfathomably complex on a good day in terms of policy, a never-ending quagmire of blood and treasure for generations.
Here’s what the politicians are afraid to say: When anyone says Netanyahu is Israel, they are willfully ignorant or just plain stupid. Netanyahu’s party currently has only 18 seats in the Knesset. His coalition is best described as a “wink, a hope, and a prayer”. His policies are not popular. Former advisers call him dangerous. His approval is on a well-oiled banana peel. Yet he continues to subscribe to that harebrained testosterone trait exemplified by Cheney and Rumsfeld, “If you admit wrong, you are weak.”
Something that has been absolutely nonexistent in any discussion of Netanyahu’s tantrum to come is this: Are we willing to participate in causing the world to live a real life Groundhog’s Day? I’ll explain.
Netanyahu’s position is no Iranian nuclear power — period. Not just ending enrichment — nothing even conceivably reaching enrichment by years of refinement even with on-site inspection and verification can be considered. Translation: No nuclear power for a country starving for an electrical grid. In addition, he wants increased sanctions while the Iranians are still at the negotiating table. And most of all, Netanyahu wants to bomb the existing processing facilities in Iran. Facilities that were built and operational during Dubya’s administration.
As always, he wants us to either participate in the bombing or like the ever watchful big brother, wants us to stand guard as he acts in contravention of virtually every treaty, convention, and U.N. mandate to the contrary. And then he wants us to veto any sure-to-follow United Nations’ sanctions.
Now here’s the thing: What do we do then? Iran will reconstitute its nuclear program within two to three years. They will be loath to negotiate because negotiating got them blown to smithereens three years previous. Do we Groundhog’s Day it again, and again, and again? That guarantees at least two things: (1) A permanent Middle East preoccupation premised upon just about the most unpopular policy possible; and (2) A constant state of U.S. war footing with increased hostility that does nothing but make the world, and our part of it, infinitely more dangerous. It is this second point that serves as Netanyahu’s guiding credo: If all your neighbors’ houses are burning, they will never commit arson against you.
We just spent 13 years learning the idiocy of that policy by eradicating a top line predator from the Iraqi political ecosystem. Are we again that unimaginably stupid?
I have dozens of Israeli friends — all with beautiful families. They deserve better than Netanyahu and Dermer, his political incubus, trading on their safety and gambling with the future of Israel.
Take the conversation in any direction you might like.
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