Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
In a gesture of class and magnanimity, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu included in his remarks to the American people the following:
We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel. … Some of that is widely known, like strengthening security cooperation and intelligence sharing, opposing anti-Israel resolutions in the U.N. … Some of what the President has done for Israel is less well-known. … And some of what the president has done for Israel might never be known, because it touches on some of the most sensitive and strategic issues that arise between an American president and an Israeli prime minister. But I know it, and I will always be grateful to President Obama for that support.
Replying with characteristic haughtiness, President Barack Obama answered:
On the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, which would make it far more dangerous and would give it scope for even greater action in the region, the prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives.
Leave aside, for a moment, Netanyahu’s quite viable alternative of declining to reward Iran’s underwriting of worldwide terrorism with a deal that merely slows its genocidal ambitions (preferring to raise, rather than lower, the price for radical Islamic terrorism), and let us instead focus, for just a moment, on the refreshing candor of a leader who jettisons the Svengali-like semantics that have lulled a significant portion of the American citizenry into a civic stupor, in favor of moral clarity:
Iran’s goons in Gaza, it’s lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Backed by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Backed by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply.
Just last week, near Hormuz, Iran carried out a military exercise blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier. That’s just last week, while they’re having nuclear talks with the United States.
The mind reels and wonders at the dimensions of that debauched dignity and depraved self-respect which compels any U.S. administration to enter into any negotiation whatsoever with a semi-savage government that openly mocks us. For a nation obsessed with bullying at home, we positively covet it abroad. How exhilarating it was, then, to divert our attention away from a Secretary of State and President who risk spinal injury from reaching around to place giant “Kick Me” signs on their backs, to hear someone with a spine of steel stand before Congress and summon our better nature:
Ladies and gentlemen, history as placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war.
The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity. You don’t have to read Robert Frost to know. You have to live life to know that the difficult path is usually the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference for the future of my country, the security of the Middle East and the peace of the world, the peace, we all desire.
My friends, standing up to Iran is not easy. Standing up to dark and murderous regimes never is.
It wasn’t easy for liberals to hear this, for people who will not fight evil always take exception to people who do. Nancy Pelosi was reportedly so jarred by the unadulterated truth that she got the vapors before announcing that she was, “…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.”
Which begs the question, if American leadership already understands the magnitude of the “threat posed by Iran” and doesn’t bother to dispute Netanyahu’s account of that threat, why are they intent on pursing a deal which (a) leaves Iran’s nuclear program largely intact, and (b) removes restrictions on that program within ten years? But to raise such questions is insulting, dontcha know, to the intelligence of someone who herself insulted the intelligence of one and all by saying we had to pass that hideous health care bill in order to know what was in it.
The contrast could not have been clearer between a man of action, a combat veteran, and a forceful advocate for peace through strength; and a man of indecision, a community organizer whose weak-kneed approach to the dark forces of radical Islam paralyzes him, rendering his lips incapable of even framing the words, let alone issuing those orders necessary to defeat the enemy. It was a contrast the left didn’t want us to see, for it highlights the yawning divide between a leader of conviction and courage, and a diminutive, self-indulgent little man who views the decapitation of one of his citizens and goes straightaway to a golf course.
It is truly a breathtaking contrast, but what of the disparity between the Israeli Prime Minister and those who invited him to speak before Congress in the first place? Is it a comparison they consciously invited? What does it say about John Boehner that, even while applauding the unflinching courage of Netanyahu, he was preparing to meekly submit, that very day, to the unlawful dictates of the very man whose weakness he sought to highlight?
Radical Islam incapacitates a timid American president who, in turn, incapacitates a timid Republican party, leaving the law-abiding American citizen, who pays the bill for this madness, without any effective representation. It is here that a point of commonality between our two major political parties begins to surface, for it is we the people who are left without a voice in our own affairs, and who must be led about and coerced by our supposed betters in both parties.
We who play by the rules, who work an insane number of hours each week, who are bombarded with more edicts, regulations, restrictions and instructions than we can count, whose health care costs and taxes grow even as our sphere of liberty tightens, have become the common enemy of both parties, one of whom openly lies about us while the other openly lies to us in order gain our votes.
Perhaps then, it was on a deeper level that Netanyahu connected with us. Far from insulting or condescending to us, he spoke the language of truth, even as Winston Churchill, whose likeness Obama evicted from the White House, spoke truth to Great Britain while dark clouds gathered. One had the sense, listening to the Israeli Prime Minister, that American fortitude and liberty was an asset, rather than an impediment, and that the American people were to be admired rather than apologized for. It was not the intelligence of the American people he questioned, but rather, the judgement of a governing class grown aloof and disconnected from those it governs.
As the Republican presidential field takes shape, I’ve not yet decided who I will support. Indeed, after this week’s dismal Republican capitulation, which all but insures the importation and eventual registration of tens of millions of new Democrat voters, I’m not certain that the entire exercise hasn’t been rendered academic. This much I know, however. I will not be condescended to nor lectured to by any candidate who cannot distinguish nativism from the rule of law. I will not support a candidate who bestows great laurels on the head of Hillary Clinton while disparaging the base of his own party, and I won’t be part of a candidate’s “etch-a-sketch” approach to campaigning.
“I want you to know,” Ronald Reagan told the nation in 1992, “that I have always had the highest respect for you, for your common sense and intelligence and for your decency. I have always believed in you and in what you could accomplish for yourselves and for others.” Through its incessant timidity, it’s duplicity and outright lies to those of us whose votes it solicited, today’s Republican party has forfeited all entitlement to my support.
I cling, however thinly, to the hope, however fleeting and unwarranted, that a candidate will sneak through who believes that a government must aspire to be worthy of its citizens, rather than one who believes we the citizens must be made worthy of their government. If the party cannot produce such a candidate, then who am I to fight against the political suicide toward which Republicans have labored with such singular devotion?