Friday, June 04, 2010

Hardball Goes Nuts

I have a somewhat more established opinion of our politics regarding the Israeli flotilla action than I do the action itself, namely that it is utterly incoherent and is related to our deranged attitude toward Iran and its nuclear program, which we call its “nuclear weapons program.” Hardball did a piece on the subject Wednesday, which was thoroughly detached from reality. I was waiting for a transcript so that I could quote accurately, but none is available so far which may, in itself, tell you something.

It started by showing a clip with Netanyahu describing how the Israeli soldiers were having to “defend themselves.” That is something like a mountain climber falling to his death and the family claiming that he was unable to defend himself from the mountain. Maybe not climbing the mountain would have…

Then we had Andrea Mitchell, who was less supportive of Israel than Chris Matthews wanted her to be. He kept baiting her with his “questions” (rants) and she kept talking about what the rest of the world was saying instead of what Chris wanted her to talk about, namely the bills that Congress has passed in support of Israel’s actions.

Then came Barney Frank, who is usually rational and not infrequently brilliant, but who this time went to great length to prove that he is not a self-hating Jew. First he leapt to point out that the blockade of Gaza is not merely an Israeli blockade, but is an Israeli-Egyptian blockade. He made that point several times, even going so far as to point out that the Egyptians participate in the blockade in their own national defense interests. He did not claim that the Egyptians participated in stopping the flotilla.

Then he was critical about the world’s blasé attitude when the “North Koreans sank a South Korean submarine and 46 people were killed.” Apparently the event didn’t have much impact on him, either, because it was not a submarine that was sunk, but rather that did the sinking. He also seems to have not noticed or forgotten that Secretary of State Clinton made quite a big deal of the event, and is still doing so. If she doesn’t shut up, in fact, she may start a war.

He then goes on to discuss the blockade itself with no more than a modicum of hyperbole. I would be more sympathetic if the blockade were not preventing the entry of food, medicine, concrete and other basic construction materials; a fact which he fails to discuss.

He finished with a statement which might come from Alice in Wonderland about how Turkey has “already interfered with our ability to get sanctions on Iran,” and so they cannot blame this episode on any poor relations that might come to pass between them and Israel or them and the United States. (It’s a rather convoluted statement and is why I was waiting for the transcript. It’s right at the end of the segment.)

Apparently, getting sanctions imposed on Iran has devolved to having become an end in itself, perhaps now even detached from the original reason why we wanted to do it. Why else would we, when Turkey and Brazil broker a deal which removes the nuclear fuel enrichment from Iran and resolves the weapons question from their nuclear program, refer to that as “interfering with our ability to impose sanctions on Iran?”

The rest of the world either believes that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, or that if it is doing so that its success would not represent the end of the world. We, and Israel, seem to be completely alone in believing that if Iran develops a single nuclear weapon it would promptly use it. Why they would do so and where they would drop it seems unclear.

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