Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bibi Netanyahu is a TeaBagger

Sorry if the truth offends my Jewish friends.

Throughout my life I have managed to avoid taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.  For almost fifty years, these people have pointed fingers -- and guns and rockets -- at each other as the source of the constant strife.  The circle of tensions to hostilities to brutalities eventually rotates to ceasefires, and then starts over again.  There has been more than enough blame to go around on both sides as the conflict enters its third generation.  I found myself horrified when an Israeli bulldozer killed Rachel Corrie twelve years ago, and completely astounded as the Palestinians have -- over the past fourteen years -- kept firing the occasional indiscriminate missile into Israel, which then retaliated with a hundred times' worth of excessive force that an 'appropriate response' might have called for.

"You started it" is a poor place to begin diplomacy.  We all teach our children to behave better than that.  The world over.

If there is any reason why a person questioning their religious beliefs should consider atheism, all one should do is look to the Middle East for the worst of what overtly devout faith exemplifies.  And it's demonstrative of the revolting extremism that when someone points out the fact that religion is so often the basis for so many of the planet's historical atrocities, that truth always draws the most indignant responses from those who consider themselves the most righteous.

The Israeli prime minister's appearance before Republicans in Congress next Tuesday -- and it will be mostly Republicans only -- is cynical, conniving, and meant to influence both his re-election bid (in two weeks) and the nascent Iran-US talks intended to avoid that nation going nuclear.  Even the vaunted Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad, has discredited the prime minister's claims of an imminent threat from Iran.

Update: More from Vox on Netanyahu's cries of "wolf" over the decades.

As Iran expert Gary Sick explains, Netanyahu has been warning of an imminent threat from Iranian nukes for decades. "More than 20 years ago, Mr. Netanyahu solemnly informed us that, unless someone intervened, Iran would have a nuclear weapon within five years," Sick writes.

If you needed more evidence of how deep this episode has sunk into the septic tank, even the US political consultants -- on both sides of the aisle -- have been involved.

An American digital media guru denied reports (three weeks ago) that suggested he was sent by the Republicans in order to help Netanyahu win reelection.

Army Radio reported that the Likud employed Vincent Harris, who worked for Republican senators Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz. The report said the Likud complained about US President Barack Obama’s former field director, Jeremy Bird, advising groups working to unseat Netanyahu, even though they were using the same tactic.

Ted Cruz's and Mitch McConnell's political adviser.  And Jeremy Bird, of Obama for America and Battleground Texas.  It almost sounds like the Onion, doesn't it?

Netanyahu's Congressional address next week is precisely the kind of disrespectful bullshit we've come to expect from McConnell and John Boehner and the rotten apples in the GOP caucus.  That they are using him -- while he uses them -- is not just one of their run-of-the-mill disgraces this time, but a volatile development for everyone who doesn't want a wider, hotter war in the Middle East.

I'm not into Biblical prophecies about the end times, but I am in the minority.

Besides believing that it hastens the return of their Savior, as simply a commercial and political tool, war is all these goddamned conservatives have ever wanted.  It's good for business: good for their cronies in the defense industry, good for television ratings, good for their tuff-guys brand, and real good for stoking that fanatical American patriotism that gets everybody in Texas to buy baseball caps with Chris Kyle's skull logo on them.

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