Today in London President Obama had a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. One of the major lines of questioning from the British press involved the appropriateness of the American president getting involved in the campaign surrounding the upcoming vote to decide whether Great Britain remains in the European Union. The reasons Obama traveled to London was to support the British premier’s position that the country should remain in the European collective. No one however, asked about the Obama hypocrisy of getting involved with the British EU vote while ripping Netanyahu’s address to congress.
During his opening remarks the president contended that his involvement was totally appropriate:
Let me be clear, ultimately this is something the British voters have to decide for themselves, Part of our special relationship, being friends is to be honest, to let you know what I think.
Later he was asked “do you have any sympathy with those who say this is none of your business?”
Let me repeat this is a decision for the people of the United Kingdom to make. I am not here to fix any votes. I am not casting a vote myself. I am offering my opinion and in democracies everybody should want more information, not less, people shouldn’t be afraid to hear an argument being made. That is not a threat.
Funny though, that is not how Obama reacted when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was invited to speak to congress about the P5+1 Iran deal. He didn’t say, because he lived in Iran’s neighborhood, Netanyahu was offering his opinion, and in democracies everybody should want more information, not less, people shouldn’t be afraid to hear an argument being made.” Obama saw it as a threat.
When Bibi came to DC, both Obama and Secretary of State Kerry refused to meet with him, and pressured his fellow Democrats to boycott the Netanyahu speech to the joint session of congress.
Heck one Obama supporter in congress, basically told Netanyahu that if he didn’t agree with the deal, he should stick to speaking to the Jooos:
Poor minority leader Nancy Pelosi did sit in on the speech, but she refused to clap and later issued a statement saying Mr. Netanyahu’s speech had been an “insult to the intelligence of the United States” that had left her near tears.”
The president said he didn’t watch the speech but found “nothing new” when he read the transcript.
The alternative that the prime minister offers is ‘no deal’, in which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program, accelerate its nuclear program without us having any insight into what they are doing and without constraint.
Since the deal was made we learned that Iran is doing what it wants firing ballistic missiles, and inspecting their own key nuclear sites. In other words, the U.S. doesn’t have clear insight into what Iran is doing.
Of course there were a few differences between the Netanyahu speech and today. Netanyahu was trying to inform/influence the government (congress) about a deal which directly affected his country, even though they no role in crafting. Obama is trying to directly influence the British People before a nation-wide referendum, because his country will be indirectly affected by the result.