Obama v Netanyahu: Two boys, two VERY different men

March 8, 2015

Image: www.freerepublic.com

Both were born outside the continental United States.  Both lived abroad when young.  Both graduated from American high schools. Both would attain their country’s highest political office.

But that is where the similarities between Barack Obama and Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu end.

While Obama was piling into a VW bus smoking pot and cranking up the stereo with his choom gang; Netanyahu was a member of the debate club at Cheltenham High School in suburban Philadelphia.

One spent his teen years mentored by Frank Marshall Davis, a card carrying member of the Communist Party USA, the other attended classes less than 15 miles from Independence Hall, the birthplace of American liberty.

Upon graduation, Barack Obama trekked to Occidental College and joined the Democrat Students Association; Benjamin Netanyahu left for Israel and joined the Israel Defense Forces during the Six Day war.

Mr. Netanyahu would become a Special Forces team leader serving until wounded in May 72.  His college studies again delayed by the Yom Kippur War in October of ’73; he finally completed his academic years in 1977 with a master’s from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.  He returned to America in 1982 as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy and was Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations through Reagan’s second term.

After two years at Occidental, Mr. Obama transferred to Columbia University graduating with a BA in political science in 1983.  He then spent his next five years between a short stint in the private sector, community organizing in Chicago and a summer trip to Europe and Kenya in 1988.

Mr. Obama’s academic years concluded at Harvard where he became the first African-American President of the Harvard Law Review, graduated in 1991 and returned to Chicago to continue community organizing and launch a political career.

Two men, both leaders of their nations and yet as singularly opposite in personal experience and world view as any two can be.

Opposites that became fully exposed last week when Mr. Netanyahu stood on the floor of the United States House of Representatives and exposed the Iranian regime for the evil that it is.

While Secretary of State John Kerry races to a deal, Mr. Netanyahu reminded the world of its inherent dangers:

I’m standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark. America’s founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran’s founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.

Mr. Obama dismissed the Prime Minister’s speech as nothing new and presenting no “viable alternatives” to negotiations.

On one hand, the President was correct.  There was nothing new.  Evil always has, and always will, be Evil.

It does not negotiate, it does not capitulate, and it will conquer at will until such a time it encounters a force greater than its own.

It can smell weakness from the farthest corners of the Earth and it scoffs at fools who think it can be talked into submission.

This is not some ancient secret.  We still have people living among us who witnessed our last folly first hand.

Following Neville Chamberlain’s declaration of “peace for our time” with Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill reportedly remarked: “The sequel to the sacrifice of honour would be the sacrifice of lives, our people’s lives.”

We now know the devastation caused by that miscalculation.

We need not rush to immediate war, but to not accept the possibility of its coming necessity to avert an even greater tragedy is not only to ignore the lessons of history, it is to belie the reality standing directly in front of us.

PUBLISHER’s NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the March 8, 2015 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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