Each time it’s pretty much the same.
We’re an ancient people; we’re always threatened; Iran is bad; the US should attack them; never again.
Is the Prime Minister totally unaware of the universal truism: familiarity breeds contempt?
Sometimes a new wrinkle finds its way into a Netanyahu speech.
At his first address to a Joint Meeting of Congress, Netanyahu talked about the generous financial support Israel received from the United States. He went on to volunteer that Israel was on its way to “achieve economic independence” and “total self-reliance”.
That was 1996. He’s still in our pocket for about four billion dollars per year.
So much for self-reliance. So much for independence. So much for credibility.
In his March 3, 2015 speech, his third before a Joint Meeting of Congress, it was the same paint by the numbers formula, but with extra emphasis on blowing up President Obama’s efforts to reach an acceptable deal with Iran that would give that country relief from sanctions in return for keeping their existing nuclear capacity well short of the level necessary to make a bomb.
The fact that Netanyahu got to deliver a speech undermining the President of the United States in the Chamber of the United States House of Representatives is totally unprecedented and, for lack of a better word, creepy.
That’s history. The damage is done. Let me focus on one line in Netanyahu’s speech that hasn’t received attention from commentators. About two-thirds of the way through his presentation, Netanyahu makes the following statement:
“If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.”
I think it’s safe to say that Netanyahu believes that his country, Israel, is the epitome of a “normal” country, and Iran, quite the opposite.
If it’s considered “normal” to receive massive amounts of US aid, Israel is the most normal country in the history of the world. Iran, for its part, is sorely deficient in this category … it supports itself.
If it is considered “normal” to urge the United States to preemptively attack other countries like Iraq and now Iran, Israel is hugely normal and Iran, once again, falls short. They don’t ask us to attack anybody.
But here’s a tricky one. If the US gets involved in four wars in the Middle East (Iraq I, Afghanistan, Iraq II, and ISIS) as we have, and one country, IRAN, has soldiers on the ground fighting and dying in support of our efforts in two of those wars, Afghanistan and ISIS, and the other country, ISRAEL, has never contributed soldiers to any US war effort, which country is considered more “normal”?
If your answer is, “Israel is our most reliable ally in the world”, you have a future in Congress, possibly as Chairman of the Flat Earth Caucus and Designated Clapper at the next Netanyahu address to a Joint Meeting of Congress.
I will post again on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 (or before, if the news flow dictates) and, for the time being, I will try to post on the first Wednesday of each month.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.