In the Arena

Obama v. Neoconservatives

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This week’s print column: whether or not the President appoints Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense next week, he’s going to be facing a foreign policy fight over Israel and Iran with the neoconservatives.

47 comments
ludmila
ludmila


Don't flatter yourself, Joe Klein – you don't represent American Jewish majority. AIPAC does. I voted for Obama whom I consider a person of high integrity. But I am also a regular contributor to AIPAC and supporter of its policy.

How dare you to say that Israel's “military adventurism brought us grief in the region”. That's a
lie. What brought grief to the region is Muslim extremism. Muslim leaders are repeatedly stating that their goal is to throw every Jew into the see. Do you care, Joe Klein? I don't think so. You are one of those Jews who made it in America and wouldn't give a damn if second Holocaust would wipe off another 6 million Jews.

Netanyahu is doing his job to make sure that it wouldn't happen. He is the best president Israel ever had.
Maybe Obama would like to have a more agreeable partner to deal with, but he is an honest man, and I hope and believe that he wouldn't betray Israel under difficult circumstances.

As in case of Iran, it's for Israel to decide how long it can tolerate the threats from Ahmadinejad and Ayatollahs.

 And let us keep in mind that US and Western world is grateful to Israel for taking nuclear option away from Iraq’s
Saddam Hussein and Syrian Bashar al-Assad. Our lives would me much more difficult if Israel wouldn't get it done on time.
It's very possible that one day America again would say thanks to the little Israel for doing a big job for
the benefit of the world.

jmac
jmac

Today John Roberts stood in for Chris Wallace on Fox's morning show.   He quoted Hagel as saying, "I will do everything I can to avoid needless, senseless wars."

Mr. Roberts of Fox news asked his guest,  "Is that a reasonable position?"      

JohnDahodi
JohnDahodi

Looks like, Obama is showing his strength to his opponents and basically to the Israeli lobbies around the globe. Hope, he will succeed and place his name in the great, daring and mightiest American President. If he will bogged down, during the process, he will be considered as the timid President, Who has no guts to stand-up to the Israeli puppets in the Congress and Senate.

coolvette
coolvette

Hey libs, ya like prez ovomit spending 7 million of your bucks on vacation?

drudown
drudown

As a threshold matter, didn't Kristol lose all credibility when he was a leading figure in the misrepresented intelligence used to invade Iraq under false pretenses? Lo and behold, Kristol is at it again, and one need only guess that the same Defense Contractors and Reconstruction profiteers that stood to benefit from the Iraq occupation are salivating at the opportunity to (1) destroy and then (2) "reconstruct" Iran. What I find disheartening about Klein's analysis is that it conspicuously omits any reference to cost/benefit analysis of attacking Iran, as if, in the end, we are none the wiser after being misled down the primrose path to Baghdad. Enough already. The notion that Iran has any realistic chance of attacking the People of the United States is laughable. The probability that "think tank" lobbyists such as Kristol are willing to "sell out" the fiscal, strategic and diplomatic interests of the People by advocating we attack Iran? Very, very high.

reallife
reallife

What's the matter Joe Klein? still can't get that elusive state dinner invitation to the White House? keep trying bud, keep trying...

Bill Kristol is a conservative?  hahahaha Bill Kristol is what liberals want a conservative to be. He's is like one of the "conservatives" that get paraded on CNN. You know. Like that chap, Castellanos. Docile. Nice. Those that dont rattle the cage. A "Washington conservative".

richardmayson
richardmayson

Joe Klei,n you have by the power of one restored my belief that there's someone in the USA media of note, who is not cowered, bullied and controlled by the fearsome, but lunatic and extremist Israel lobby.

Hagel will still of course carry the  baggage of an American myopic world view, but compared to most he's head and shoulders above them.

For those of us who have direct contact with the country in question , no solution will be found or put in place until the coded objective of regime is set aside permanently, Israel is put in its rightful place as the only rogue terrorist nuclear state in the region, and mutual respect is the over riding criteria in engagement with Iran.

Until this happens all the crazy neo con barking the world won't change anything.The appointment of Hagel would at least give a whisper of a chance of a realistic solution being found.

tommyudo
tommyudo

Being in his last term, I think Barack will shove Hagel down the throats of the neocons. Basically being cowards and arm chair warriors, with Kristol being a shining example, they'll squawk and get their imbedded members of the MSM to run nasty columns, but they'll retreat and continue to kibitz from the sidelines.

grape_crush
grape_crush

> ...he’s going to be facing a foreign policy fight over Israel and Iran with the neoconservatives.

When isn't Obama facing a foreign policy fight over Israel and Iran with neoconservatives? No reason to act surprised when the sun rises tomorrow morning, much less when the likes of Bill Kristol make mouth noises about what the US should be doing in the Middle East.

Prudent application of the Bill Kristol Reality Inversion Theory* should tell us that Kristol's opposition to Hagel's appointment of SoD actually means that Hagel would be a decent Secretary of Defense.

(*when Bill Kristol publicly opines on a subject, one can be reasonably sure that the exact opposite of his position is correct)

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

I can't wait for the GOP to explain how Obama is anti-Israel because.....because.....because....?

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

I wonder when there will be a tipping-point where the neocons in our govt will be forced to publicly align themselves with the greater good of the country, or with the dogma that they are fed by AIPAC, Shelly Adelson, and Bibi.  Maybe it's time to call upon our Congressmen to sign a new pledge, one that simply states that every action that they take will be solely for the benefit of their constituents and country.  Defending the Israeli choice to illegally occupy and settle Palestinian land, or their willingness to shed American blood in Iran, meets neither of those conditions.  Realistically, nobody in the House or Senate would sign such a pledge, but you would hope that their oath of office would suffice.

GRB090429B
GRB090429B

@coolvette That includes all security measures etc. - by the way, Bush, yes him again, spent at least $20 million taxpayer dollars just on flights to his ranch in Crawford, Texas ... you know why? Because Bush went on holidays 7 times more than President Obama. No surprise here really - 'conservatism' of Republicans is synonymous with pharisaism.


By the way, Bush was the most expensive vacation president in US history - not only did Bush spend more days on vacation than any other president, but he used Air Force One more often while on vacation than any other president.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@coolvette 

Do you like your GOP Senators and Representatives taking in millions and millions of dollars from lobbyists?  Flagged, bug off troll.

drudown
drudown

@reallife 

Why don't you spare us the partisan semantics and make a case for invading Iran based on purely fiscal cost/benefit considerations? 

grape_crush
grape_crush

Okay, so what's your definition of a conservative?

jmac
jmac

@tommyudo I'll believe it when I see it.  But no bets - hope springs eternal.  

bobell
bobell

Three cheers for the BKRIT, which succinctly captures the essense of the man who gave us Sarah Palin..  Have you trademarked it, grape?

Still, BK did come out at one point in favor of upping taxes on the rich.  Can we explain that one away as an instance of turning the BKRIT to his own advantage by making us think it was a bad idea because he liked it?

Dachman
Dachman

Well saying the borders should be moved back to 1969 is not super supportive of Israel.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@DonQuixotic Because Obama does not have "Bomb Iran" on his 2013 "To-Do" list. 

Underlined. Twice. And Circled. In red....

bobell
bobell

Because they say so.

Next question.

bobell
bobell

I'm with Joe on this one. Being Jewish and loyal to Israel (which I am) does not require slavish devotion to the Israeli far right and their American flunkies.  Israel cannot survive in the long run by following the course it is now on, and the clearer the US can make this, the sooner we can hope the Israelis will come to their senses.

As for Chuck Hagel, he's managed in six deades or so of life to say a couple of stupid things.  That doesn't begin to match up against the pile of stupid things uttered by, say, John McCain or Lindsey Graham.  Their takedown of Susan Rice was atrocious, and what they're now attempting with Hagel is no better.  I understand that Obama is trying to husband his political capital, but if he really wants Hagel at Defense, this is a good fight to have -- now.

reallife
reallife

@drudown what you call "partisan semantics" I call "something other than the White House talking points designed to mislead a low information voter". 

Iran? there you go again (like a good liberal sheep) with your smoke and mirrors trying to deflect attention from our real problems. Why would I mention Iran? I'm a real Conservative. Iran is not even in my radar. I take it that you have nothing to say about Mrs.Bachmann's speech. Surprise surprise ;)

 

 

grape_crush
grape_crush

If the definition of a Theory is 'accepted hypothesis,' then it BKRIT still fits, even if there is a rare exception. Definitely not a Law, as your example is illustrative of the Theory of A Broken Clock* and clearly provides an exception to the BKRIT.

I'm working on a Unified Theory of Bad Punditry, but I've been bogged down trying to categorize all of the data points that George Will and Thomas Sowell have generated.

(*broken clocks being right twice a day)

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

@bobell On the other hand, if obama smacks them down good and hard now, there's a very real chance they'll be cowed for the next year or two, letting us have a more sane discussion. Not likely (obama wouldn't swat a mosquito) but possible. 

drudown
drudown

@reallife @drudown 

I hardly would equate the pay raise provision that Bachmann cites to the aforementioned instances of misrepresentation. Conspicuously, Bachmann was utterly silent went President Bush's (aka self-proclaimed "Decider") "unilaterally" issued much more egregious Executive Orders than the one you two are griping about, i.e., the former abridged the Bill of Rights. Here, what exactly is so objectionable? That President Obama did not allow the GOP members of Congress to hold the budget hostage, as if, in the end, the ENTIRE political strategy of the GOP has not been to "obstruct" Obama- consequences to the People notwithstanding.

So I really find it humorous when simpleton GOP lackeys want to criticize President Obama for his alleged "failures" as if, in the end, they are at all egregious when juxtaposed against his predecessor's.


reallife
reallife

@drudown so then you dont hold the Obama White House to the standard of full, truthful disclosure hmmm

drudown
drudown

@reallife @drudown 

I see you that you refuse to answer the question. 

Tell me, how exactly would you characterize (then) VP Cheney's statements to the "low information voter" that (1) "there is no doubt Saddam has nuclear weapons" and (2) "deficits don't matter"? Those are outright lies. So instead of directing me to watch Mrs. "science is bunk" Bachmann's speech, perhaps you might "take the lead" (as you seem to look askance on sheep) and reconcile Cheney's statements with the standard of full, truthful disclosure you purport to hold the Obama White House to?

GRB090429B
GRB090429B

@reallife but all you engage in is rhetoric void of any meaning - the postmodern GOP does not build anything, it obstructs and destructs - constructive input from the GOP is a thing of the past.

drudown
drudown

@GRB090429B @reallife 

Moreover, a "true conservative" refuses to engage in a robust debate on the merits. Here, they merely point to a neo-con puppet and, what? Logically infer that we don't agree and chalk up a win to the score in their heads. Ah, the art of polemics was lost to them as soon as the first figurehead president (Reagan) was installed and they started selling programs that were dubbed the opposite of practical effect: "the Clean Skies Act" that lowers pollution regulations, et al.

grape_crush
grape_crush

So, your definition of a conservative is a person who aligns with Michele Bachmann both in the principles they espouse and in their willingness to stick to their guns no matter what.

You guys are in a lot of trouble.

GRB090429B
GRB090429B

 @reallife I can't really say that I'd care about Ms Bachmann - I was relying to your comment on 'true conservatism' and if Ms Bachmann is your beacon of conservatism then you're in trouble 

reallife
reallife

@GRB090429BB like i said to the other drone: I take it that you dont agree with what Mrs.Bachmann had to say - surprise surprise  ;)

GRB090429B
GRB090429B

@reallife Just a small modification - a true Conservative is willing to stand by and fight for her/his principles whether they're hurting the country or not,  whether they're considered foolish or not.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Dachman 

"mutually agreed swaps"

So that's not what he said then.  Thanks for chiming in.

grape_crush
grape_crush

So did Bush and Clinton. That's been part of the proposed solution for years.

Guess they weren't 'super supportive' of Israel either.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

@Dachman So why leave out the part about the swaps? Are you trying to pretend it doesn't matter?  Or are you simply being dishonest?

Dachman
Dachman

Obama said back in May “We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

Sorry 1967