The following has been adopted from a blog I wrote more than two weeks ago in anticipation of Benjamin's Netanyahu's address, at John Boehner's invitation, to the U.S. Congress. The day after the blog ran on boiseweekly.com (BW.com, Cobweb, "Mr. Cope's Cave: Note to Netanyahu," Feb. 16, 2015), a guest opinion showed up (in another local paper) written by Dennis Mansfield, that floating gadfly who never gives up on his efforts to sell his sour theocracy from behind an "Aw, shucks" facade. Mansfield suggested that we should be honored that Netanyahu--"a man of Trumanesque simplicity ... with the corresponding principled strength of President Reagan"--is telling us what America should be doing about Iran's nuclear program.
This column will come out the day after Netanyahu's speech, and my guess is the controversy surrounding his appearance will already have started wafting away like a fart on a spring breeze. But Mansfield's ridiculous assertion that Netanyahu will bring to the Iran matter a bold vision, characterized in his piece as a refreshing "new wine"—in contrast to Obama's (allegedly) weak policy ("old wine skins")—was so misleading, I felt my less adoring opinion of the Israeli P.M. was worth repeating.
Bibi, I didn't make it to your speech yesterday. I wasn't exactly invited, but even if I had been there... even if I were a member of Congress... in fact, even if I had free tickets to not only the address, but to a post-speech, open-bar reception with Beyonce doing the background music and barbecued caviar on the hors d'oeuvre trays and you were handing out the keys to brand new Cadillacs to everybody there, I still wouldn't have gone to your speech, because, Bibi, you are an asshole. A rude, bullying asshole.
And don't try to blame Boehner for your rudeness. We already know Boehner is an asshole, and that's about all we expect from him—rudeness. In his perpetual, and impotent, efforts to embarrass our president, I expect even ruder things out of him in the future. But his vulgarity is no excuse for yours.
And don't pretend this arrogant display is because our president is naive about the danger represented by an Iran with nuclear capabilities. You don't have to be a bullying asshole who's willing to resort to quasi-fascist policies in his own land to understand that there is no shortage of assholes in Iran, too. But at least they aren't the sort of assholes who insist on meddling in our country's internal affairs... who have been on the U.S. Defense Department dole for 60 years and still want to tell us who we can and who we can't negotiate with... who are more than happy to have American men and women risk life and limb fighting wars with your neighbors, while you carry on with your quasi-fascist policies—i.e., confiscating Arab lands for Jewish settlements and turning your own society into an apartheid nightmare for Palestinians—all of which will ensure that your neighbors will be perpetually pissed-off at you and everyone who supports you for generation after generation.
You've counted on America to pull your kebabs off the shish for so long, you have taken to acting as if you're some kind of fourth branch of our government. That you have veto powers over how we conduct our foreign affairs. That how we interact with other nations in that part of the world must meet the approval of the most reactionary factions in Israeli politics, or you throw a petulant fit.
Nuts to that, Beeb. You may have those bedimmed country cousins on our Religious Right fooled with all that Last Days/Temple of Jerusalem/ Battle of Armageddon bullshit, but a lot of us are thinking that if you want to continue being our BFF in the Middle East, you'd better start acting a little BFFier, yourself. No more spying on us. No more trying to influence our elections. And no more going behind our president's back to sabotage his negotiations with Iran!
Get this straight, Bub. Obama is trying to avoid yet another military involvement over there, to avoid the McCain option—"Bomb bomb bomb... bomb bomb Iran... " remember?—and I believe that even with the divisiveness in our politics, he's got the majority of us behind him. The last thing san Americans want is another goddamn endless war in the desert, this time against an army half-a-million strong from a country bigger than Iraq and Afghanistan put together. Like things aren't f***ed up enough over there already?!
So you want our foreign aid? You want our advanced weapons systems? You want our unqualified support? Then stop acting like you're entitled to them, and stop treating our president like you see that asshole Boehner and his asshole majority treat him, or you can figure out what to do about Iran by yourself. And ISIS. And Syria. And Iraq and Yemen and North Africa and Al Qaeda and all the rest of that shit heap on top of which our alliance with your country has landed us.
And by the way, if it's Iran's as-of-yet non-existent nuclear weapons you're so worried about, perhaps you might consider getting rid of a few dozen of the very-real nukes you have in your arsenal. After all, I'm pretty sure it's not just Israelis who want to feel like they won't be wiped off the face of the earth anytime soon.