Obama and the Right Wing Rage Machine

President Obama reiterated the same US stance to Israel that we’ve always had today at a meeting of the powerful pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC, just as he did in his speech last week.  For some reason, the speech at the State Department last week was mislabeled by Mittens Romney and others as  “throwing Israel under the bus.”   Here’s what the President said today.

[S]ince my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means.

By definition, it means that the parties themselves – Israelis and Palestinians – will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. It is a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last forty-four years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides. The ultimate goal is two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.

If there’s a controversy, then, it’s not based in substance. What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately. I have done so because we cannot afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades, to achieve peace. The world is moving too fast. The extraordinary challenges facing Israel would only grow. Delay will undermine Israel’s security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve.

Why the outcry over the past few days to Obama’s maintaining the status quo? Here’s some quotes from SOS Clinton and Ex-prez Dubya that demonstrate this was nothing but manufactured rage on the part of the right wing noise machine.

Even the NY Times is getting into the act. In one sentence they claim that “using the 1967 boundaries as the baseline for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute” is a first by an American president, and just two paragraphs later quote President George W. Bush using the phrase: “it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,” another way of describing the 1967 boundaries. Those two statements, by Obama and Bush, convey the same concept.

In 2009 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:

We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.

Where was the manufactured outrage then?

In 2008 President George W. Bush, on a middle east trip, said:

I believe that any peace agreement between them will require mutually agreed adjustments to the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities and to ensure that the Palestinian state is viable and contiguous.

In 2005 President George W. Bush, at a White House meeting, said:

Any final status agreement must be reached between the two parties, and changes to the 1949 Armistice lines must be mutually agreed to.

President Obama is following the same policies put forth by George W. Bush. To claim that Obama’s speech represents some departure from previous U.S. policy is absurd.

When not manufacturing right wing rage, Republican Presidential contenders are demonstrating their foreign policy ignorance.  Thank goodness we have some one who knows foreign policy at the State Department!  Here’s pizza king and right wing talk show host Herman Cain demonstrating his foreign policy ignorance.

Despite his shallow understanding of foreign policy issues, Cain is still trying to go on the attack against Obama and create a partisan divide on Israel. He said last week that an “arrogant” Obama “threw Israel under the bus” in his recent speech on the Middle East. Trying to sound a hawkish note, Cain said his “Cain doctrine” is “You mess with Israel, you are messing with the United States of America.”
But this morning on Fox News Sunday, Cain showed just how limited his understanding is of the Middle East peace process. Asked by host Chris Wallace what he would be prepared to offer Palestinians as part of a deal, Cain responded, “Nothing.” Just moments later, Cain was dazed and confused when Wallace referenced the issue of “right of return” of Palestinian refugees:

WALLACE: Where do you stand on the right of return?

CAIN: The right of return? [pause] The right of return?

WALLACE: The Palestinian right of return.

CAIN: That’s something that should be negotiated. That’s something that should be negotiated.

Wallace then helpfully offered Cain a definition of “right of return” — “Palestinian refugees, the people that were kicked out of the land in 1948, should be able to or should have any right to return to Israeli land.”

Other foreign policy nitwits have  joined the faux outrage ranks. Quitterella even points to the old testament as some kind of geopolitical playbook.  Do you suppose she’s read  stories about the Kraken so she can have an opinion on Greece’s Navy?

I can never figure out why the I/P issue causes people’s heads to blow gaskets. I always hesitate to even offer up any news in the area because it’s caused complete meltdowns on blogs in the past.  There are some people on each side of the issue who simply can’t seem find any middle ground from.  Derailing any peace process appears to be their goal.

I consider the entire topic to be a hell realm. However, this particular kerfuffle reeks of the same kind of derangement we saw during the Clinton years. It’s getting so bad that I’m cracking this particular nut or group of nuts as the case may be.  This is like trying to deal with birthers and those who subscribe to the ‘secret Muslim’ meme.

Obama isn’t my favorite President by any stretch of the imagination, but aren’t there enough things to complain about right now–like the sneaky renewal of the Patriot Act–without manufacturing yet another conspiracy theory? SHEESH!

I can’t see the US selling out Israel anywhere in the near future.  They are obviously a US ally.  Trying to get both Palestinians and Israelis to be reasonable and come back to Peace Talks should be in everyone’s interest.  Don’t they still have their copies of the Oslo Accords or has every one forgotten President Clinton’s work already?


23 Comments on “Obama and the Right Wing Rage Machine”

  1. dakinikat says:

    More on that AIPAC meeting from the Nation and Jeffrey Goldberg:

    Like many of you, I watched the Prime Minister of Israel publicly lecture the President of the United States on Jewish history with a mixture of shock, amusement and bewilderment. (From the expression on the President’s face, I would assume he was mostly feeling annoyance.)

    It wasn’t the content of Netanyahu’s lecture that I found so shocking — Jews, over a few thousand years, have earned a great deal of our paranoia — but that he chose to hector the American president, an American president who, the day before, gave Netanyahu two enormous gifts — a denunciation of the radical Islamist terror group Hamas, and a promise to fight unilateral Palestinian efforts to seek United Nations recognition as an independent state — in public, in the White House, in a tone that suggested he thought he was speaking to an ignoramus. Politico’s Mike Allen, who writes Washington’s most influential tip sheet, framed the Bibi lecture this way: “Netanyahu scolds Obama in Oval,” and he goes on to quote NBC’s Andrea Mitchell telling David Gregory, “I was told that even some Israeli officials, David, were uncomfortable with what they acknowledged was a lecturing tone by the prime minister. But he felt very strongly he had to say this to the world, (in) President Obama’s face.”

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for a very rational response to the strange reactions of the right wingers and Republican candidates to a very ordinary statement of US policy. I don’t like Obama much, but he’s just doing the same thing he always does–emulating Bush.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I don’t like Obama much, but he’s just doing the same thing he always does–emulating Bush.

      Yes, BB, my thoughts exactly.

      Dak, when he first gave that speech I thought he is stating the same policy as before. And found myself avoiding articles about Gene Simmons and the “under the bus” ones.

      • dakinikat says:

        I thought maybe they’d missed the word swaps or something. I ignored the first couple of comments from people, but then I keep hearing all these folks basically quoting dubya saying the same silly thing. I think it’s got to be from the folks that believe he’s a ‘secret’ Muslim. None of the Republican Presidential candidates have any knowledge of foreign affairs so they just repeated the silly thing.

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          Dak, when you mentioned Cain’s response about Right of Return, I was sure it would be something like…if its not delivered in 30 minutes, its free? Then I realized, nope that is Dominoes.

      • Just dropping in quick…As I said on Saturday, this is just the rightwing like a dog to a bone… “Obama is a socialist… Obama is anti-Israel… Obama brought a ‘pro-assassination’ thug rapper to the WH” — they’ll say anything, no matter how bogus, to play to that New Yorker caricature of Obama as an extremist, even though he’s really a carbon copy of the Bush neocons. I think they’re trying to conflate the American people’s growing distrust with government over the last three decades (at least) with a distrust with Obama personally for very xenophobic reasons. I hope this blows up in their face. I don’t like Obama’s policies, but I don’t like the rightwing trying to take him down on false grounds either. There are so many legitimate things to go after him for. All this kind of thing does is undermine legitimate dissent/scrutiny of him. It’s the same thing as the birther stuff.

    • Seriously says:

      To be honest, I find it kind of funny, because it’s so O’s MO. He has to take a break from out Republicaning the Republicans and ginning up fauxrage to express indignation that they’re playing back at him and ginning up fauxrage. Obviously it’s horrible for our political culture, but it’s hard to feel a whole lot of personal sympathy when he’s getting beaten at his own game. Good reason not to start down that road, they’re better at it.

      • dakinikat says:

        Well, now he was being called an anti-Semite with about the same amount of rage that many of us were called racists or race traitors. Karma bites!

      • Seriously says:

        Well, not that so much, but all Dem Presidents will be attacked with lies, distortions, half-truths, smears, fauxrage, it’s what the right-wing does. But at least most of them have the moral authority because they haven’t spent their entire careers using lies, distortions, half-truths and fauxrage against their opponents and critics on the left, all in service to their right-wing overlords. I mean, if he’s got a handy flowchart to breakdown the difference between the Axlerovian way and the Rovian way without resorting to “Do as I say, not as I do,” I wish him luck. 😉 Karma does bite.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I don’t feel any personal sympathy for Obama, just disgust at the Republicans and concern about the intelligence of the populace.

        • dakinikat says:

          I have no personal sympathy for him but he is the president. I don’t want crap like this to cripple the nation. The republicans hawg tied Clinton with crap. He would have been more liberal without the right wing haters.

      • Obama’s ruthless and he did sign up for the untenable job of outroving the Republicans. I guess I I just see this going beyond Obama. It’s the “up is down” factor the rightwing nonsensical attacks are having on our politics–or at least that it’s exacerbating–that bugs me. I’m not sure it’s really O getting beaten at his own game or the rightwing hysteria over Obama marginalizing and undermining all criticisms of Obama by repeatedly doing this kind of thing.

      • Seriously says:

        Oh of course it goes beyond Obama, and it has a horrible degenerative (is that a word) effect on our politics and society in general. And sure, being at right angles to reality probably does further marginalize criticism of Obama, although that’s already the case anyway for a variety of reasons. I mean, I just feel like there’s nothing that can be done about it right now since we abandoned the moral high ground and it’s hard to even try to fight a culture of lies without that. We don’t have a media pulpit. There’s no one with any credibility here and the kind of disillusion and cynicism that’s been created creates a pox on all their houses mentality that taints far beyond Obama. I don’t want to make light of the situation, I’m just not sure there’s any real way to credibly fix it for the foreseeable future. I can try to appreciate the dark humor of O getting bested by his own tactics by a bunch of people who
        ironically have the same goals as he but I also appreciate the fact that we’re all the ones getting screwed.

  3. fiscalliberal says:

    Good post Dak.

    The Isreal question is going to be with this country for a long time. George Bush said he was not going to put any political capital in that problem because neither side want peace. Condi took the SOS job on the condition that she could work the Isreal – Palistein issue. Then Hezbola and Hamas became very popular and Condi’s program went up in smoke.

    I think the issue becomes more understandable if you think of how the native americans were treated by the whites. We are not to proud of how that was handled. As long as the native americans had land that we wanted, we went to war with them. Same thing is happening in the Isreal – Palistein front.

    For cerain this is Hillary’ss initiatove. Hope she does better than Condi

    • okasha says:

      NA’s are probably the only people who really muster sympathy for both sides in this. We sympathize with the Israelis because their people were the victims of a sweepingly thorough genocide, and we sympathize with the Palestinians who have been herded onto reservations and been prevented from accessing education, jobs and the rest of the spectrum of routine civic services that improve lives and reduce poverty. Reduce anger and violence, too, though that doesn’t seem to be getting through to much of anyone.

      • dakinikat says:

        No one is winning with the status quo, however. You would think they’d want to work something out.

      • okasha says:

        Its not just that no one’s winning; it’s that everyone’s actively losing. Except for the politicians, of course: the Palestinian honchos who want to push the Israelis into the sea and the Israeli honchos who want to push the Palestinians out into the desert.

  4. dakinikat says:

    There have been horrible tornadoes in Minneapolis and Joplin and both have reported fatalities. Jopin’s hospital was badly hit.

  5. fiscalliberal says:

    Based on the weather repoting hear I tuned on the Weather channel and they were doing a call for medical, police and fire personnel. People may be buried in rubble.

    In this area (Troy MI) we are drastically cutting back on police and closing fire houses. Kind of makes you wonder if we could repond to a disaster. Kind of makes one wonder about what we are doing to ourselves.