NYT: A New Phase in Anti-Obama Attacks

It is weird, but the NYT suggests that racism is at the core of dysfunction in the Republican Party today.
“Perhaps the most outrageous example of the attack on the president’s legitimacy was a letter signed by 47 Republican senators to the leadership of Iran saying Mr. Obama had no authority to conclude negotiations over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Try to imagine the outrage from Republicans if a similar group of Democrats had written to the Kremlin in 1986 telling Mikhail Gorbachev that President Ronald Reagan did not have the authority to negotiate a nuclear arms deal at the Reykjavik summit meeting that winter.

There is no functional difference between that example and the Iran talks, except that the congressional Republican caucus does not like Mr. Obama and wants to deny him any policy victory.”

As Barack Obama’s presidency heads into its twilight, the rage of the Republican establishment toward him is growing louder, angrier and more destructive.

Netanyahu wins, peace loses. US should quietly withdraw from supporting Israel.

Most recommended comment from NYT:

Paul King
USA 2 hours ago

As a Jew I shout a loud OY! to the heavens!
That coalition is a rogues gallery of right wing fanatics.

Israel helps create it’s own reality, its own insecurity with its policies and actions.
My view and also the view many security personnel in Israel.

If we encroached on land just over the Canadian border and built American settlements and brutally suppressed opposition to this action and had a fair number of our citizens declare that God gives us the right to do so because HE promised us the land:

1) the world would rightly condemn us

2) our citizens in Europe might expect a backlash from people who would have come to revile our policies

3) we would further poke the world by continually re-electing a man who pushes those policies in the face of world protest and who makes racist comments against Canadians

4) we would poison any chance of living in peace with Canadians of good will most of whom would be rightly radicalized against us

And I haven’t even mentioned that we are going on 50 years(!) of such policies.

Israel, which I love and support as a nation has lost its way. Period. As the world turns against it, it doubles down on policies that disgust the world. We are witness to madness.

I hate Netanyahu and his right wing cabal because I love Israel and all that it can be as a positive force in the region.

It is being destroyed by the hand of its own fanatics before our eyes.
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“Our country’s everyday reality doesn’t give us the luxury for delay,” he said in a statement after a victory as Isaac Herzog, the center-left opposition leader, conceded…
nytimes.com|By Isabel Kershner

NYT: Republican Idiocy on Iran

Thank you New York Times for a strong, and clear editorial. They write: “Besides being willing to sabotage any deal with Iran (before they know the final details), these Republicans are perfectly willing to diminish America’s standing as a global power capable of crafting international commitments and adhering to them.

Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. was blistering in his condemnation, saying, “This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that our commander in chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments — a message that is as false as it is dangerous.” But perhaps President Obama described this bizarre reality best. “It’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hard-liners in Iran,” he said. “It’s an unusual coalition.” ”

Instead of being leaders and statesmen, Republicans in Congress seem to think their role is outside the American government.

47 Rogue senators abuse their position in US Senate, interfere with foreign policy.

This is weird. I think these senators are committing treason, or at least, making us, the U.S., look like fools and idiots. It is pretty clear they have no authority to interfere with the President trying to conduct foreign policy through a treaty negotiation.

The letter, signed by 47 Republican senators, warns Iran that a nuclear agreement may not last without congressional approval, angering the President and Iran..
nytimes.com|By PETER BAKER

Roger Cohen, and his boosters in the NYT Comments, shred Netanyahu and the Republicans who support him.

Cohen writes:”The Islamic Republic is repressive. It is hostile to Israel, underwrites Hezbollah and has sponsored terrorism. Its human rights record is abject. The regime is wedded to anti-Americanism (unlike the 80 million people of Iran, many of whom are drawn to America). But the most important diplomacy is conducted with enemies. Given Iran’s mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle, there is no better outcome for Israel and the world than the successful conclusion of the tough deal sought by Obama; one involving the intensive verification over an extended period of a much-reduced enrichment program that assures that Iran is kept at least one year away from any potential “breakout” to bomb manufacture.

One word did not appear in Netanyahu’s speech: Palestine. The statelessness of the Palestinians is the real long-term threat to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Iran has often been a cleverly manipulated distraction from this fact.”

The prime minister’s obsessive Iran demonization runs on hyperbole and selective history.
nytimes.com|By Roger Cohen

NYT: “U.S. Strategy in Iraq Increasingly Relies on Iran”

GAAC. Great Article and Comments.

Iran has helped the Iraqis hold the line against Islamic State advances, analysts say, while American advisers train Iraq’s armed forces.
nytimes.com|By HELENE COOPER

David Lindsay First Great Comment at the NYT is by:

norman pollack:
who is a trusted commenter east lansing mi 6 hours ago .

Will the US out of misguided policy refuse to cooperate with Iran in the struggle against ISIS? Netanyahu selfishly, short-sightedly has sought to gum up the works, the Republicans a willing amen-chorus. I fear Obama lacks the will to constructively engage Iran, using the common opposition to ISIS as a way of resolving tensions with Iran.

A candid analysis would show US intervention in the Arab-Muslim world (including Iraq and Afghanistan) provided the seedbed for ISIS–in long-term analysis a monster of our own creation.

Will we finally do the right thing, or merely continue demonizing Iran largely for Israel’s satisfaction? The time for relative disengagement has arrived, lest under bipartisan influence we force a confrontation with Iran that could lead to a wider conflagration.

My own sense is that we are using Iran not only to appease Israel, but also and more important as a stalking horse for the still greater intended confrontation with Russia and China: a restoration of unilateral global dominance since lost as the world power structure has become increasingly decentralized.

This is no time for business as usual: grandiose geopolitical visions of exclusive world leadership. In the present case, Iran deserves commendation for its fight against ISIS, and from there, a willingness to accept an inspection regime which treats Iran in dignified manner as a responsible party. Nuclear warfare is antithetical to Islam. Make that a starting point toward agreement.

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Israel squanders political capital and antagonizes even its friends with its naked land grab in the West Bank.-Kristof

Nicholas Kristof: “The 350,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank — not even counting those in Arab East Jerusalem — impede any Middle East peace and stain Israel’s image.

But let’s be clear: The reason to oppose settlements is not just that they are bad for Israel and America, but also that this nibbling of Arab land is just plain wrong. It’s a land grab. The result is a “brutal occupation force,” in the words of the late Avraham Shalom, a former chief of the Israeli internal security force, Shin Bet.”
I second these words. We, the US, should not be supporting this behavior by Israel.

Israel squanders political capital and antagonizes even its friends with its naked land grab in the West Bank.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Tom Friedman offers laundry list to clean up ISIS. It’s expensive.

This is frustrating. Tom Friedman ends his op-ed with: “So, to defeat ISIS and not see another emerge, you need to: wipe out its leadership; enlist Muslims to discredit the very real, popular, extremist versions of Islam coming out of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan; stem the injustice, corruption, sectarianism and state failure now rampant in the Arab world and Pakistan; and carve out for Iraqi Sunnis their own autonomous region of Iraq and a share of its oil wealth, just like the Kurds have. I know: sounds impossible. But this problem is very deep. This is the only route to a more moderate Arab Islam — as well as to fewer young men and women looking for dignity in all the wrong places.”

The murderous ways of the Islamic State are no joke, but the Italians’ mocking of ISIS is rather appropriate.
nytimes.com|By Thomas L. Friedman

….an uplifting story from Syria?”

Saint Nich writes: “WHO would have thought there could be an uplifting story from Syria?”

Side by side with the worst of humanity you often see the best. In Syria, the best is an extraordinary group called the White Helmets.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof