By Bob Bennett
Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered a compelling and passionate speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday morning, a speech fraught with political risk for him both here and at home. And he was facing down the most powerful man on the planet.
Although some 50 Democrats boycotted the speech, many were there and joined Republicans in a very warm welcome for Bibi—they lined up to shake his hand—followed by riotous cheering and standing O’s during the address. Only the loathsome Pelosi turned her back on him.
Maybe they were responding, in part, to the sight of a real president going the limit for his country. When was the last time they’d seen an American president go the limit for America? Maybe it was on October 10, 1985 when President Reagan ordered Navy F-14s to force down the Egyptair flight carrying the Achille Lauro terrorists. That later brought Congress to their feet with cries of “Bravo, Mr. President!”
Let’s take a brief detour to a time when Americans were actually proud of their president:
From Rare.us: “F-14 Tomcats had scrambled and were closely following the 737. “We were close enough to look in the windows,” Commander Larry “Vert” Neal, U.S.N. (ret.) told Rare. Vert was flying one of the four F-14’s tracking the 737 through the darkness, with their running lights out. A short time earlier he had been aboard ‘out of the blue’ and Vert was airborne in 20 minutes. The only briefing he got was when he was in the cockpit and an officer told him, “Vert, you’re looking for a civilian airliner. You may be cleared to fire.’
“As the Tomcats flew alongside the 737, other Navy aircraft picked up the airliner’s radio traffic. They heard Tunis deny permission to land, followed by Athens [at Reagan’s personal request]. The Egyptian pilot asked Cairo for instructions and was ordered back home. At that point the Egyptian pilot was informed he was surrounded by U.S. warplanes and told to proceed to Sigonella. The pilot balked, saying there were no such aircraft. Then the Tomcats switched on their lights. ‘That really got his attention,’ Vert said.”
That was done for a single murdered American. Can you see Obama doing that? He apologizes for America and sucks up to terrorists and terrorist nations—after how many beheaded Americans?
Netanyahu decried the reported sunset clause, in the deal under negotiation, which would allow Iran unfettered nuclear development after ten years.
The president and his Democratic thralls did their best to do damage control. After the speech, nine obviously handpicked Democratic lawmakers spent much time and many words lambasting Netanyahu.
Breach of protocol was cited several times; Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who has led the boycott, even said “this was unusual in that it was undercutting our own government.”
No doubt, he had forgotten then-Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s 2010 address of Congress, during which he attacked Arizona’s new law requiring police to question drivers stopped for traffic violations about their immigration status, under certain circumstances.
AG Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano attended and joined Democrats in rising to cheer Calderon’s pronouncements, which included:
“It’s a law that not only ignores reality, but also introduces racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement.”
Amazing how Obama and Holder will enlist just about anybody—Sharpton, even the Mexican president—to advance their racial war on highway patrolmen.
Calderon also got in a shout-out to illegal immigrants:
“I want to say to the migrants —all those who are working really hard for this great country—that we admire them, we miss them, [and] we are working hard for their rights … [and] for their families.”—CNN
Rep. Blumenauer, at the time, commented:
“I’ve had an opportunity to attend any number of joint sessions of Congress, but the presentation of President Felipe Calderon was one of the most remarkable I’ve ever seen.”
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) offered this patently absurd declaration:
“The kind of proposals that the Prime Minister was suggesting are absolutely impossible…even destroying the current infrastructure of Iran and its centrifuges and its nuclear capacity would not do the job. The only things that will do the job is the kind of… carefully negotiated agreement that has vigorous oversight, intrusive inspection and monitoring; that is where we are going.”
It’s difficult to see how the destruction of all their nuclear equipment would do less than the desperate and pusillanimous negotiations now going on.
Netanyahu said that we should redouble sanctions and not lift them until Iran ceased its worldwide promulgation of terror, until it became a normal nation, until it stopped threatening Israel. He makes good points. Would we have negotiated with Nazi Germany after Kristallnacht or after it had gobbled up Czechoslovakia? Would we have importuned them to make some kind of deal?
Netanyahu’s address forced a clearly angry President Obama to defend his position, which he did later, during a meeting with his new defense secretary. His remarks, before the press, proved once again that an angry man makes mistakes.
He revealed that the deal they are pursuing is far more perilous than the deal Netanyahu criticized, the one with the reported ten-year sunset clause after which Iran could do as it pleased. Here’s Obama’s outline of their goal in the talks:
“The deal that we are trying to negotiate—that is not yet completed—would cut off the different pathways for Iran to advance its nuclear capabilities; it would roll back some elements of its program. It would ensure that it did not have what we call a breakout capacity that was shorter than a year’s time and it would subject Iran to the most vigorous inspections and verifications regimes that have ever been put in place.” [Emphasis mine.]
The definition of “breakout capacity” is the point at which Iran will have enough enriched Uranium to make a bomb. So, unless Obama doesn’t know what he’s talking about, we’re begging Iran to agree not to spin enough weapons-grade material in less than a year. Huh? It’s not ten years we’re shooting for; it’s one year?
He went on, to do some of his own spinning:
“I have repeatedly said that I’d rather have no deal than a bad deal. But if we’re successful negotiating, then in fact this will be the best deal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” And another:
“The central question is how can we stop them from getting a nuclear weapon? And what we know is, that if we’re able to get a deal, not only do we cut off all the various pathways for Iran getting a nuclear weapon, but we also know that we’ll have a verification mechanism and inspection mechanism, that if they cheat and if they engage in a covert program we are far more likely to see it in time to do something about it.” [Emphasis mine.] As if Obama would ever attack Iran.
Note that “preventing Iran from obtaining” and “stop them from getting” differ from being able to make a bomb after a year—or even ten years.
So our president summarizes the goals, the points of which were surely crafted by the great thinkers in the White House, so they’re probably accurate. Then, he gives us more of his signature mendacity.
For sure, Iran presents a complex problem. It’d be much easier for Obama to make a decision if he loved his country. Maybe he should ask himself: “What would Reagan do?”
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.