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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tom Friedman says Congress more interested in Jewish votes than supporting Obama's wonderful Iran plan

Thomas Friedman, in the New York Times, defends the Obama administration's offering concessions to Iran and has this to say about those who disagree:

Never have I seen Israel and America’s core Arab allies working more in concert to stymie a major foreign policy initiative of a sitting U.S. president, and never have I seen more lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans — more willing to take Israel’s side against their own president’s. I’m certain this comes less from any careful consideration of the facts and more from a growing tendency by many American lawmakers to do whatever the Israel lobby asks them to do in order to garner Jewish votes and campaign donations.
He's certain that members of Congress care little about Iran and are more loyal to the almighty Jewish dollar than to their own country.

Because how can any thinking person possibly believe that giving concessions to Iran is a bad deal? It must be the Jewish money that corrupts their mindset!

Of course, Friedman admits:
If you’re not skeptical about Iran, you’re not paying attention. Iran has lied and cheated its way to the precipice of building a bomb, and without tough economic sanctions — sanctions that President Obama engineered but which Netanyahu and the Arab states played a key role in driving — Iran would not be at the negotiating table. I also understand the specific concerns of the Gulf Arabs, which I’d summarize as: “It looks to us as if you want to do this deal and then get out of the region — and leave behind an Iran that will only become economically more powerful, at a time when it already has enormous malign influence in Syria, Iraq, in Lebanon through Hezbollah, and in Bahrain.”
But our greedy members of Congress aren't thinking that deeply. Only Friedman is, just enough to dismiss it:
I get it, but I also don’t think we’d just abandon them.
You see? Friedman doesn't think anything bad will happen, and by gosh, that's all anyone needs! On the basis of his wonderful track record, Congress should do what he says, not what logic dictates!

There is plenty more to criticize in this column - Friedman makes a bizarre comparison between negotiating with Iran and Israel building "more settlements." Really. He exaggerates the Israeli position in order to pompously dismiss it: "While, Netanyahu believes more sanctions will get Iran to surrender every piece of its nuclear technology, Iran experts say that is highly unlikely." However, Netanyahu never demanded that - no one ha a problem with a peaceful nuclear energy program. And there are plenty of other factoids that Friedman knows he can get away with, because New York Times op-ed fact checkers are not exactly known to care too much about facts.

The bottom line is, though, that Thomas Friedman is insulting hundreds of democratically elected members of Congress, essentially accusing them of disloyalty to their own country. While dismissing any real concerns about Iranian nuclear weapons and how they would affect the world.  All  in order to defend a single elected president's inconsistent and frightening Middle East policy.

And he does it using an antisemitic "Jews control America" canard.