Of course, this is not about the real aftermath of the speech. The real aftermath will show itself in coming weeks, months and even possibly, years. Such as the first hints on a coming punishment (via the radio this morning) from an "unnamed administration official", who warned that the new Pentagon budget may not include financing for the anti-missile systems development by Israel (due to budget cuts, of course). Which is only the first sign of troubles ahead.
Nope, this post is only about the first verbal knee-jerk responses. And the least brainy of them belong to the high and mighty.
US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn't offer any "viable alternatives" to the nuclear negotiations with Iran during his speech to Congress earlier in the day.Well, knee-jerk is as knee-jerk does. Interestingly, some (probably not briefed in advance) other "unnamed administration official" had a different message to convey:
The White House believes Netanyahu not only failed to present an alternative to the emerging agreement, but also presented unrealistic demands for what he would deem a better agreement.If you read the quote above twice, you shall see that the "unnamed administration official" is a bit of a bumbler. So, on one hand, he echoes his Commander in Chief - Bibi "failed to present an alternative". On the other, "Netanyahu outlined a nuclear agreement". There is a big difference between not presenting a plan and presenting a plan that looks impossible. But what do I know?
“In his speech, Netanyahu outlined a nuclear agreement that will never happen,” the senior official said.
Of course, Ms Pelosi, the brain center of the Democrats has an emotional angle to present:
“That is why, as one who values the US–Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation."I don't know what does Ms Pelosi mean when she says "intelligence". I can only hope that it's something vastly different from her own. Otherwise we are all in deep shit...
At this point I wanted to insert something else intelligent, from NYT. Eventually I've decided that NYT spiritual twin, Haaretz, will do instead, and I wasn't much mistaken. Here is the headline:
Netanyahu presents Congress with a warped view of the Mideast
This article gave birth to one of the more idiotic passages I've witnessed lately:
It’s true Saudi Arabia has never called for the annihilation of Israel, but Iran has also never said it intends to destroy Israel — it relates to Israel as an entity that should not exist."In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king," they say. Who is that one-eyed man and who represents that kingdom? I leave it to you, reader. As an assistance I shall provide only the list of headlines on the subject from the same source (click on the image to embiggen):
This time Haaretz editors decided that no dissenting opinion will be allowed to soil their pristine anti-Bibi stance. And one even more amazing detail: notice how they recruit Iran in support of that stance... what else needs to be said?
Well, enough about smearing. It is time to inject a dose of antidote in that vat of poison. And here comes an interesting editorial from no other than Washington Post:
Obama needs to provide real answers to Netanyahu’s arguments
While the article doesn't laud the speech or Bibi, it asks all the relevant and hard questions, rounding up with utterly level-headed:
Rather than continuing its political attacks on Mr. Netanyahu, the administration ought to explain why the deal it is contemplating is justified — or reconsider it.Of course, WaPo is not free of Bibi bashing (old habits die hard, I guess), but let's leave it alone for now.
The most amazing positive responses come from the Arab world. The Saudi Arabian daily Al-Jazirah (not to be confused with the Qatar's Al Jazeera):
Al-Faraj said Netanyahu’s effort to prevent the signing of the agreement is in the interests of the Gulf states, and that the prime minister “is right to insist on addressing Congress about the nuclear deal.”And Al Arabiya English:
The powerful editor-in-chief of Al Arabiya English, Faisal J. Abbas, published a column on Tuesday in which he asked Obama to take notes from Netanyahu on the extent of the Iranian threat. In the piece, titled “President Obama, Listen to Netanyahu on Iran,” Abbas says, “one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.”Abbas has it right on more than just nukes issue:
Abbas slams Obama’s “controversial take on managing global conflicts that raises serious questions.” The “real Iranian threat” says Abbas, is not just the country’s nuclear ambitions, “but its expansionist approach and state-sponsored terrorism activities which are still ongoing.”The big question remains: will the sides in this controversy be able to overcome the mutual personal enmity and the (chiefly artificially inflated) issues of protocol to work on a sensible resolution?
Somehow I am not hopeful. But the time will show. Soon enough.
P.S. A reminder: writer of this post in not a Bibi's supporter.