YOU WILL HEAR
1. After I take the oath of office, the first call I'll make will be to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I'll put our good friend Sheldon Adelson on the phone, and we'll all have a good laugh about the future of the “peace process”. Hilarious. Also, we'll have to talk about Ted Cruz's idea of “carpet bombing and making the desert glow”. I'll get some ideas on what countries Bibi and Sheldon want to hit.
Be prepared for a pander-fest of the highest (lowest) order on all matters Israel. Marco Rubio's billionaire backer, Norman Braman, former President of the Miami Jewish Federation, will be in the audience, as will Republican Jewish Coalition Board Members and Billionaires Paul Singer and Sheldon Adelson. When it comes to pandering, nobody can do it better than Marco, also known as the Magnificently Malleable Marco. Trump, to his credit, will probably not join in the pandering. His failure to do so makes the neocons uncomfortable.
2. Our friends don't trust us and our enemies don't fear us.
This is a standard line for a candidate whose party does not occupy the White House. It's perfect for a candidate who has little depth, but wants to appear learned to those who speak “neocon”. Bush will probably use it if it hasn't been used by the time they get to him, and if he's still awake. Jeb tires easily … he's very low-energy.
3. We are at war and our President will not name the enemy.
The President has called the Islamic State what they are … a death cult that is a perversion of Islam. It is stupid for the US to make the war against the Islamic State bigger than it is and give their recruiting efforts a needed boost. The only beneficiaries of making the war seem bigger than it is are Republican candidates for President looking for a point or two bump in their polling. Also, I'm sure it has occurred to Rupert Murdoch that making the clash with the Islamic State bigger is a boon to ratings and readers at FOX, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post. We didn't emphasize the religion of our enemies in World War II. It makes no sense to do so now.
4. Obama released five of the worst terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for US serviceman Private Bowe Bergdahl, who had been captured by the Taliban and held by them in Afghanistan for five years. The President's actions are in violation of the law requiring Congressional notification and the Constitution.
Baloney. The guys we released we had held for 10 years, and did not have enough evidence to charge, never mind convict them of anything. General Paul Eaton said the prisoners we released were “people we picked up to get information”. It is not the American way to hold people without trial indefinitely. Any law that inhibits or imposes conditions on the Presidents ability to release a prisoner taken in battle constitutes an unconstitutional infringement on the President's powers as Commander in Chief. The fact that he released prisoners to obtain the return of an American serviceman further strengthens his case. It's not even a close call.
5. President Obama blamed the attack on Benghazi on a video rather than terrorism.
Wrong on all counts. In the President's first meeting with the press after Benghazi, the President referred to the attack as an “act of terror”. The people who are still foaming at the mouth about Benghazi are the same people who think Obama was born in Kenya and Ted Cruz was born in the United States. Mitt Romney tried to raise the Benghazi issue in one of his debates with Obama in 2012 … he dug himself a hole and hasn't been heard from since.
YOU WILL NOT HEAR
1. The first call I make as President of the United States will be to the President of Iran. I will tell him that I intend to live up to our agreement regarding his country's nuclear program, and I expect him to do so also. I will suggest that we meet at a mutually agreed-upon time and place for lengthy discussions on our mutual interest in defeating the Islamic State, and our greater goal of normalizing relations between our countries.
2. The second call I will make will be to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. I will advise him that I have every intention of continuing the unprecedented security cooperation established between Israel and the United States by President Obama.
I will suggest that we meet at a mutually agreed-upon time and place with a view towards normalizing relations between our two countries. I will advise the Prime Minister that the level of financial support that the US has given Israel since its founding has amounted to approximately $250 Billion in inflation-adjusted dollars, far more than we have given to any country in our history.
Finally, I will tell the Prime Minister that the Israel Aid Package is abnormal in the extreme, and that in 2018, when Israel celebrates the seventieth anniversary of its existence, the US Tax Payer should also be afforded an opportunity to celebrate Israel becoming a normal country and supporting itself.
You'll hear a lot of talk about “leadership”. Republicans love the image of a strong leader. Good jaw … steady gaze … you get the picture.
They loved it when George Bush stood in the rubble of the World Trade Center and said he'd get “the people who knocked down these buildings”. When he didn't get them and, worst of all, Barack Hussein Obama did … well, you couldn't find a Republican willing to talk about it.
They loved it when Ronald Reagan stood in front of the Berlin Wall and said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” The fact that the Wall outlasted the Reagan Presidency … well, that's just an inconvenient detail.
One area where Reagan successfully exercised strong leadership will receive no mention at Tuesday's debate.
That would be the Siege of Beirut in the summer of 1982. The Israeli military, under the leadership of then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, was conducting saturation bombing of the civilian areas of Beirut for weeks.
Ronald Reagan was so repulsed by the barbarity of the attack that he picked up the phone and told then Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, that he was “creating a Holocaust” in Beirut, and that if it didn't stop, it would adversely affect the relations between the US and Israel on all matters.
It stopped. Good for Ronald Reagan.
Look it up. It's in Reagan's diary.
I will post again on Wednesday January 6, 2016 or before if the news flow dictates.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.