Obama talks well to extremist Zionist lobbying group
Obama spoke very well to the notorious and more hawkish than Jewish American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Read the transcript of the speech (the video will probably be up a few hours from posting this) here. Apart from Obama saying he won't talk to Hamas until it renounces terrorism per se and recognizes Israel per se, I have no real disagreement with his policy statements. It is a strong and well stated speech which is consistent with who Obama has been and is. It makes clearer than a bright, sunny day that Obama is a friend to Israel and would never undermine Israel's security. Obama, however, was courageous in making the following point to the AIPAC audience about Iran and the Bush/McCain foreign policy, which point bears highlighting:
"But just as we are clear-eyed about the threat (from Iran), we must be clear about the failure of today’s policy. We knew, in 2002, that Iran supported terrorism. We knew Iran had an illicit nuclear program. We knew Iran posed a grave threat to Israel. But instead of pursuing a strategy to address this threat, we ignored it and instead invaded and occupied Iraq. When I opposed the war, I warned that it would fan the flames of extremism in the Middle East. That is precisely what happened in Iran – the hardliners tightened their grip, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected President in 2005. And the United States and Israel are less secure.
"I respect Senator McCain, and look forward to a substantive debate with him these next five months. But on this point, we have differed, and we will differ. Senator McCain refuses to understand or acknowledge the failure of the policy that he would continue. He criticizes my willingness to use strong diplomacy, but offers only an alternate reality – one where the war in Iraq has somehow put Iran on its heels. The truth is the opposite. Iran has strengthened its position. Iran is now enriching uranium, and has reportedly stockpiled 150 kilos of low enriched uranium. Its support for terrorism and threats toward Israel have increased. Those are the facts, they cannot be denied, and I refuse to continue a policy that has made the United States
and Israel less secure.
"Senator McCain offers a false choice: stay the course in Iraq, or cede the region to Iran. I reject this logic because there is a better way. Keeping all of our troops tied down indefinitely in Iraq is not the way to weaken Iran–it is precisely what has strengthened it. It is a policy for staying, not a plan for victory. I have proposed a responsible, phased redeployment of our troops from Iraq. We will get out as carefully as we were careless getting in. We will finally pressure Iraq’s leaders to take meaningful responsibility for their own future."
After Obama's speech today, one hopes the scurrilous and defamatory matter about Obama that has been circulated via mass emails, particularly among American Jews, may finally begin to be directly challenged now that he is being treated as the Democratic Party nominee for president.
On another note, I took our family Honda sedan in for maintenance this morning. On the way there, I noted the nearby Chrysler dealer (our other vehicle is a Chrysler) had closed down this week without notice. My folks just told me that another Chrysler dealer in their area in south Orange County has closed, and a Buick dealer nearby their home is closing his doors in the next few weeks (The Buick dealer is down to selling Mazdas only and will close the entire business by month's end). As gas prices keep moving up and up, more and more Americans may finally tire of the rhetoric of modern Republicans and conservatives about how bad government is, and why you can't rely on anyone but yourself. Perhaps more than enough Americans will vote for Obama and not let the broadcast media machine infect their ability to see that he is the far better choice than McCain.