Ignore The Speech
Everyone is busy and everyone would love to be given a few extra hours in the week. Here they are.
Ignore the speech to be given to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ignore the sideline bloviators talking about the speech. Ignore it all because it is irrelevant and most importantly ignore it all to teach all the players in this political theatre a well-deserved lesson.
In the political turmoil surrounding the speech, there is one absolute. Nobody on the entire earth including those involved in the negotiations with Iran, the governance and security of Israel, the governance and security of the United States, Likud politics, the Israeli election, Democratic politics, Republican politics or the US elections can tell you definitively that his approach is better than any other. Well, they can say it but it won’t be true.
If one course of action is chosen by the US, Iran will respond with a choice. Likely so will Israel. If you change the order of play, the others will respond in turn. Invariably, those subsequent responses will nudge the outcome a little. Think of the outcome as a pinball with the different countries serving as flippers.
What all of the players do know is what they want, and what they want is what is best for them personally right this minute. Though portrayed as apocalyptic, this entire episode is merely a scrum among competing narratives, and the narratives are crafted to advance the causes of the individuals involved.
Anyone who has ever negotiated with any opponent to achieve any outcome reserves a special place in his personal concept of hell for the sideliner who says he could have made a better deal. Here is a pretty good rule of life: if you were not at the table you have no idea whether you could have done better, so shut up.
Netanyahu’s biggest motivation right now is the coming election, which is far from a cakewalk. Apart from him, will anyone be worse off if he loses?
Obama is in legacy mode so it does not matter what the deal is as long as he can take credit for it. Choose between Iranocare and Obamiran depending on which polls better.
The Republican Congressional leadership is torn between the desire to embarrass the President and the desire to raise money. Wait. What? We can do both at the same time?
If you can’t get your arms around ignoring the speech, ask yourself to name a country that has been successfully denied a weapons technology it really wanted.
There is one casualty in this battle of the bloviators. The United States Capitol has become the number one venue for the political equivalent of a destination wedding. Characteristically, we don’t even know how to charge for it.