Bibi Netanyahu: Why, Yes—I’m Out of My Fucking Mind. Why Do You Ask?

Free suggestion to Bibi—title your forthcoming autobiography Going Pariah.

There are easier ways to get out of a meeting with Obama.

This is all over the Toobz. Foreign Policy has a snapshot take on the ramifications. Juan Cole also weighs in.

Infrared IDF war-porn courtesy of Russia Today, because that’s where we socialists get all our news.

UPDATE: Bonus Fun Bullshit Spin from the always-entertaining DEBKAfile:

Released finally 12 hours after the event, IDF video shots do not show how soldiers armed with paint balls and pistols managed to kill more than 10 pro-Palestinian activists (The final figure is still not clear. Ankara reports 15 Turkish dead) and injure at least 34 aboard the Turkish Marmora. Of 6 injured soldiers, two are in critical condition.

IDF troops rappel from helicopters onto the deck of a blockade-running ship, armed only with paint-ball guns and Care-Bears? BUT, DAMMIT, THAT’S JUST WHAT THEY’D BE EXPECTING!!!

UPDATE 2: PJM laments “unavoidable PR fallout from the deaths of at least 14 activists.” Board of Caterpillar, Inc. prays that bulldozers were not involved in the flotilla strike.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 05/31/10 at 02:04 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsWar In ErrorSkull Hampers

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Occam’s Razor seems to indicate that the most simple explanation is that Israel wanted to say “So, Obama.  What the fuck are you going to do about this?  That’s what we thought.  We can make your life pretty goddamn miserable.  Remember that.”

We can make your life pretty goddamn miserable.

Tough talk from a guy whose country has been on life-support for 60 years. Bible-map believers notwithstanding, he’s going out of his way to make the world safe for people who want to marginalize him.


But if Israel is trying to force Obama to make a choice between Tel Aviv and the Islamic world (and the way Turkey is responding it’s going to boil down to that) does anyone here honestly believe that Obama will tell Israel to go to hell?

Does anyone here think Congress will let Obama do this?

On the contrary, Bibi’s just screwed Obama hard.  And Congress will absolutely take Netanyahu’s side.

Obama will cave.  Guaranteed.  The best move on the chessboard to make is one that forces your opponent into having only one response.  The rest is just air.

@Zandar—Understood. I’m just not not ready to let this little artificially propped-up pipsqueak dictate US foreign policy, and I still believe we can reprogram whatever Kobayashi Maru scenario he’s trying to force.

Whether we have the will to do it—well, yeah. That’s a different story.

I pray we do.

But like I said, honestly…if Obama came out and condemened Israel for this, there would be an open revolt against him from Congress.  An election year only would make that revolt swift and terrible.

You thought the “Obama the Seekrit Mooslim” shit was bad before?  You thought the Obama Derangement Syndrome had hit some sort of peak during the health care debate?

He either loses all credibility with the Islamic world, or loses all of it with Washington.  Like I said, the series of moves he will make have already been determined and have been forced upon him.

And I dare say that was the intent from the beginning, to teach Obama just who runs this relationship.

It ain’t Obama.  It never was.

Realpolitik at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

Zandar, I concede that it’s likely inevitable we’ll roll over like we always do.

I also admit it’s a slick move by Netanyahu, except for the part where Israel won’t survive WWIII, which is what he’s playing monkey-in-the-middle with right now.

Making it even more complicated - Turkey is a member of NATO.

Turkey has asked for a Nato meeting to address this.

Turkey, which has been reasonably accommodating of Israel despite its large Muslim population, is in the headlights here. This is a big fuck-you to Turkey, NATO, Europe and the US. Bibi must need votes.

Correction: Bibi must need votes badly enough to risk a national replay of Masada.

I figure Obama will have to talk to our NATO allies and tell them we will have to remain neutral should a war break out.  He can’t get a war against Israel through Congress but he can’t fight against one of our NATO allies either.  He’ll have to let the other NATO members handle it without us.

In the meantime, the official US position is to hedge:

“But if Israel is trying to force Obama to make a choice between Tel Aviv and the Islamic world (and the way Turkey is responding it’s going to boil down to that) does anyone here honestly believe that Obama will tell Israel to go to hell?

Does anyone here think Congress will let Obama do this?”

Normally I’d say no, but Turkey is a NATO member. If Turkey invokes its collective security entitlement and the US balks in favor of someone we don’t even have a formal agreement with, that’s basically the end of NATO as we know it, and probably the beginning of a much stronger, more integrated European defense compact. I doubt Washington wants to see that, but then again, Congress is pretty fucking dumb. So who knows?

“He can’t get a war against Israel through Congress “

Not that it would happen, but he probably doesn’t need to, given that Congress already ratified the NATO agreement.

Call me a cynical sausage, but I think you’re falling into the historian’s fallacy here.  I personally suspect that Bibi thought that this was going to be a cakewalk, and a vital reminder that Israel is no one to mess with.  The idea this was going to turn into a major incident and embarassment probably never occured to him.

Call me a cynical sausage,

Call me a cynisalami. Is the timing, with all hell letting loose in the Gulf of Mexico, just a coincidence?

If anything, I’d say Bibi was anticipating seizing the ship, declaring the materials illegal (which reminds me, Israel’s insistence that they offered to let the material go through their territory after inspection is incredibly galling), and wasn’t anticipating the IDF shooting the boat up. I suspect that if he weren’t dependent on a right-wing coalition, he’d be rushing to throw the IDF under the bus.

I want to know what the fuck Ehud Barak is thinking.

A casualty-free strike rehabilitates the myth of Israeli military infallibility.

A bunged-up strike with resistance and bloodshed gives Israel another reason to treat all NGOs and volunteer relief groups as potential hostiles.

Kind of a win-win there, in a wacky, surreal sense of “win.”

I guess the real question might be whether pissing-off Turkey was considered a risk or a bonus.

Nice to finally have the fact that Israel has bought and paid for our Congress come into full light.

I guess the real question might be whether pissing-off Turkey was considered a risk or a bonus.

Strange: It’s going to create some tension between the EU and the US, for certain.  While Turkey is at present viewed by a lot of the populace of the EU with a certain amount of suspicion, the politicians seem in general to be fine with the idea of letting the country join, at least in principle - which means that in realpolitik terms, we’re likely to come down on the side of Turkey.  Or, at least, Germany, Sweden etc are more likely to; the UK, I predict, will make more noises about an official enquiry for a bit.

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