April 24, 2014

President Barack Obama Speech to 2011 AIPAC Policy Conference, May 22, 2011

10:56 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Good morning.  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Please, have a seat.  Thank you.

What a remarkable, remarkable crowd.  Thank you, Rosy, for your very kind introduction.  I did not know you played basketball.  (Laughter.)  I will take your word for it.  (Laughter.)  Rosy, thank you for your many years of friendship.  Back in Chicago, when I was just getting started in national politics, I reached out to a lot of people for advice and counsel, and Rosy was one of the very first.  When I made my first visit to Israel, after entering the Senate, Rosy, you were at my side every step of that profound journey through the Holy Land.  So I want to thank you for your enduring friendship, your leadership, and for your warm introduction today.

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Transcript: President Barack Obama Speech on Middle East and North Africa, State Department, May 19, 2011

12:15 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Please, have a seat.  Thank you very much.  I want to begin by thanking Hillary Clinton, who has traveled so much these last six months that she is approaching a new landmark — one million frequent flyer miles.  (Laughter.)  I count on Hillary every single day, and I believe that she will go down as one of the finest Secretaries of State in our nation’s history.

The State Department is a fitting venue to mark a new chapter in American diplomacy.  For six months, we have witnessed an extraordinary change taking place in the Middle East and North Africa.  Square by square, town by town, country by country, the people have risen up to demand their basic human rights.  Two leaders have stepped aside.  More may follow.  And though these countries may be a great distance from our shores, we know that our own future is bound to this region by the forces of economics and security, by history and by faith.

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Transcript: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speech to Joint Session of Congress, May 24, 2011

(Source: Congressional Record)

The SPEAKER. Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you His Excellency Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel.

(Applause, the Members rising.)

Prime Minister NETANYAHU. Vice President Biden, Speaker Boehner, distinguished Senators, Members of the House, honored guests, I am deeply moved by this warm welcome, and I am deeply honored that you’ve given me the opportunity to address Congress a second time.

Mr. Vice President, do you remember the time that we

were the new kids in town? And I do see a lot of old friends here, and I see a lot of new friends of Israel here as well, Democrats and Republicans alike.

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Huckabee, Barbour, The Rapture and U.S. Foreign Policy

One of the more insidious effects of the Christian Right’s takeover of the Republican Party is the twisted theology of “the Rapture” and its influence on the foreign policy thinking of Republican leaders.

Just yesterday I noticed three things online that I thought merited this subject being dusted off for some fresh talk.

On a streaming chat next to a feed of CNN I was watching, the following, or rather my re-enactment of the following occurred:

JoeBob921: Mark my words. The person who replaces Mubarak is the Antichrist. It’s go time.

Super_UserXL: Wow, you may be on to something …

NOoBzRule: JoeBob921 – that’s deep

I sort of chuckled, thought: idiots – and went on with my day. Then, this story from the Associated Press reports that supposed Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Mike Huckabee is being “hosted by The Jerusalem Reclamation Project, a group that promotes settlements in an attempt to bolster a Jewish presence in mostly Arab areas” on a days-long trip to Israel where he is riling up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He said at one point:

He said any peace agreement has to recognize that “the Jewish people have indigenous rights to the land in which they occupy and live and it goes back not 60 years or 80 years but it goes back 3,500 years.”

This man is ignorant on several levels, let’s just deal with two here. How wise is it for a prominent American politician and TV host to be running around the West Bank undermining U.S. policy while the Egyptian government collapses and the Jordanian King has just dissolved his cabinet? It’s not. It’s stupid. It’s foolish. It’s further proof this bass strummin’ political televangelist has no business in the White House.

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