Home | About | Donate

Obama with Drama: Translating his comments on Israel’s Netanyahu from the Vulcan


Obama with Drama: Translating his comments on Israel’s Netanyahu from the Vulcan

Juan Cole

Now that Leonard Nimoy is most unfortunately no longer with us, Barack Obama is the primary exemplar in American popular culture of the maddeningly calm, excruciatingly logical way of speaking that Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry forever associated with the alien race, the Vulcans and the character Mr. Spock. Mr. Spock’s opposite was the plain-spoken, irascible Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (played by DeForest Kelley). Obama needs a little Bones-speak sometimes.


Far too many pundits put stock in what Obama SAYS. Any person with brains or integrity going back over the public records of what Obama has SAID in the past knows it very much mean the opposite of what he does.

Rather than try to parse this mans words for meaning all that is really of importance is the Presidents ACTIONS.

As far as I am concerned this little more then a lovers quarrel and the nation States of Israel and The USA are still joined at the hip and will still act in concert to destabilize the Middle East so as to exert their own control over the same. Israel and the USA both see it as in their best interests to break up the Nation States of the Middle East into smaller and quarreling entities so that none could ever pose a threat to their own power in the region.

It merely a more modern version of Colonialism akin to Spain and Portugal quarreling over who would get the best bits of the New World as they slaughtered the inhabitants.


Sometimes I wonder what these authors are thinking when they sit down in front of their computers. This is pretty lame, Juan, you’ve definitely done a better job at analyzing in other settings. The fact that Obama speaks in politically correct-euphemisms just says he has learned how to parse his language so that he can respond without saying much of anything, which is typical of any politician. I wait to see what he actually does, which means waiting and waiting and waiting for months, nay years, when it comes to Obama. Meanwhile, the Palestinians will continue to suffer and the world will yawn and look the other way.


I think even politicians have emotions, as do serial killers, sadists and other deplorable deviants. And politicians are particularly sensitive about a public ‘loss of face’. Netanyahu violated diplomatic protocols and came to the U.S. to slap Obama across the face.

Now, under most circumstances, seeing the pro-drone/anti-FOIA/anti-environment/anti-whistleblower/anti-privacy etc. Prez get slapped would be something I’d cheer.

Unfortunately this time it was done to oppose negotiations with Iran in favor of bombing the hell out of them.

And then Netanyahu gave Obama the finger by speaking truthfully about Israel’s bogus ‘support’ for a two-state solution - and followed that with a racist rant about Arabs voting.

So, what will Obama do? Will he brand Netanyahu’s truth-telling as an election stunt so the U.S. can keep maintain a status quo where Israel continues oppressing Palestinians while stealing their land? Will he make an actual change to U.S. policy? Or will he seek a middle road that allows him to maintain the status quo and still respond in kind to Bibi?

The question boils down to: Does Obama see the formation of a Palestinian state as being in the best interest of the U.S. (which actually means in the best interest of the 1%)?

My guess is he doesn’t. But he sees it as useful to appear to be working toward a ‘two-state’ solution. So I think he might let a few resolutions get through the U.N., he may make a few statements intended to embarrass Bibi, but on a whole he’ll never admit that, just like Israel, the U.S. is only paying lip service to Palestinian statehood.


Very profound, SuspiraDeProfundia. It’s amazing to me how many otherwise intelligent and rational observers (not that I consider Juan Cole to be so intelligent) actually think all this Kabuki theater nonsense between Obama and Netanyahu means anything at all. Both countries can and will continue to screw the Palestinians and maim, kill and destroy as many human beings, cultures, economies and societies as they need to in order to maintain their hegemony in the region. All the “bickering” is just a distraction. It’s good old slight of hand con artistry, something both Barack and Bibi are well versed in.


“I think even politicians have emotions, as do serial killers, sadists and other deplorable deviants.”

i shouldn’t, it’s not really funny, but lol.


I used to think Cole was a sane voice on the MIddle East. I learned that lie when Libya happened.

Ok, here’s the real translation of Obama’s words:

"Look, we’ve always known that Israel has no intention of a two state solution, which has been fine and dandy with us. I mean whatever Israel does is good and we’ll support them unconditionally. If you want to know the real reason for this it’s because a lot of powerful Americans are also Israelis and our job as the US government is to take care of powerful Americans.

"Now, it’s always been necessary, though, to pretend. Israel must pretend they care about Palestinians and we must pretend we believe them. This gives us legitimacy in what we do.

"So it’s very frustrating and, damn it, a monkey wrench in our conspiracy of deception that Bibi actually spoke the truth, you know? He’s trying now to put the mask back on so we can get back to the legitimizing fiction, but…

"Try harder, understand? I’ve got to act like I’m not happy with this and think it’s a change in policy rather than just you speaking the truth we both have always known. Now it’s your turn to reassure me. Hey, my bud McCain’s giving you the line: it was campaign rhetoric only.

“So I need more lies from you about being all for a 2 state solution and so forth and I’ll probably still need to be upset a few more times. But in the end we’ll put the fiction back together to fool all the dupes out there who want to see Israel and the US as the good guys. Then we can get busy demonizing the Palestinians again.”


Actually, if you look at his very public record, Cole supported “Shock and Awe” back in Iraq War II. He’s a “Liberal Interventionist” from way back, and despite his trenchant writing against and during the Bush II administration, he remains a liberal interventionist.


I agree with the commenter who has stated Obama is saying one thing publicly but really means something else. He is the master of rhetoric but his history has proven he doesn’t mean what he says and often reading between the lines is a waste of time. The WH doesn’t want a 2 state solution and never has wanted the Palestinians to be free. If that were true, the US would have stopped Israel from committing genocide, stealing land, destroying resources, turning Palestine into a prison ghetto, etc.None of that has occurred and I believe the reason Obama is doing this PR BS is that fascist racist came out and said what he (and his buddies) feels and Obama has to put on a show of having his feelings hurt. Israel will still get its billions. Israel will keep stealing land and murdering Palestinians, committing war crimes and not be held accountable. Apartheid doesn’t even apply to what they are. They are the Nazis on steroids, and also very proud of it.


Perhaps Obama could use the adjective, “apartheid” in front of Isreal as Thom Hartmann has suggested. He won’t. Why? Because he already knows that Israel has not negotiated in good faith and will continue to land grab. Still to preserve his own standing as a Statesman, he occasionally has to show that his support is not automatic, that even for a sellout like himself, it becomes too humiliating just to suck up all the insult Netanyahu has hurled at him. His message really is, "Ease up Bibi, don’t be so hard on me. I’m on your side but don’t make look like your shill. I have to look like I have some intergrity, some independence. Play nice and I’lll be happy to go along with your two state solution charade. It makes us both look good, right Bibi.


What did Obama say, although not his exact words. He said I will continue to give you cover by pretending that a two state solution is somewhere in the future, that we will continue to work for a two state solution despite your statements and also what you and your predecessors have been doing for the last forty eight years.

Why is that cover?. Because Obama and all the presidents since Clinton have behaved in the same way, protesting the actions of Israel while giving the financial and military wherewithal to make a two state solution a fantasy.

The cover is to hide the obvious and only solution, a single state made up of everyone between the Jordan and the Mediterranean running to the borders of Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and to return the land stolen from Syria.

So what Obama says to Netanyahu is said with a wink because we both know, Bibi, that we are playing charades. Surprised our president is able to express a giggle when he plays the game with Bibi.


“… end of the IDF occupation of all recognized Palestinian Territories excepting security for current Jewish settlements,”

What “recognized territories” - Israel doesn’t “recognize” any of them … And as for “current Jewish settlements” - they are all illegal under international law …