An amazing scene today, as a rightwing foreign leader told the Congress that our president is pursuing a “very bad” foreign policy and the Congress jumped up to cheer him .. But sanity is breaking through. Christiane Amanpour called the speech “dark, Strangelovian” in its hysteria about Iran as Nazi Germany. Ambassador Marc Ginsberg said Netanyahu played “guardian of the Jewish galaxy” and the only thing missing was comparing Obama to Neville Chamberlain and saying the talks are taking place in Munich, not Montreux. Ginsberg said the speech precipitates the Congress on a “steep slope” and “collision course” with Obama.
And here is part of Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi’s important statement.
“I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – 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.”
President Obama just rebutted the speech in comments to reporters. Here is part of the pool report:
Obama said he did not watch the Netanyahu speech, that instead he was on a conference video call with European leaders. But:
“I did have a chance to take a look at the transcript, and as far as I can tell there was nothing new,” he said….
POTUS said that he also agrees with Netanyahu that Iran is a dangerous regime has repeatedly threatened Israel, and that “no one can dispute” that Iran has used anti-Semitic language against Israelis.
“But 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.”
CNN’s John King says the remarkable back-and-forth shows that the relationship between the leaders is “not icy, it’s broken.”
House Democrats are lining up behind Obama. They just gave a press conference:
I’ve never seen anything like that press conference by House Democrats… Full rejection of the propriety & substance of Netanyahu’s speech
Matt Lee of AP reminds us of the context:
What speech? Where? #Iran nuclear talks between #SecKerry and #Iran FM Zarif enter second day in #Montreux.The White House