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Tensions High After White House Official Calls Israeli PM 'Chickenshit'

Barack ObamaBarack ObamaThe rift between the Obama administration and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is growing more apparent. And it might be indicative of changing relations between the U.S. and Iran.

On Tuesday The Atlantic published an article titled "The Crisis in U.S.-Israeli Relations Is Officially Here." Well, if it weren't already, it is now. The piece opens with this quote:

The thing about Bibi is, he's a chickenshit.

The colorful opinion comes from a "senior Obama administration official" who remains unnamed. Whoever it was went on to explain:

The good thing about Netanyahu is that he's scared to launch wars. The bad thing about him is that he won't do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he's interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. … He's got no guts.

Netanyahu responded on Wednesday:

Our supreme interests, chiefly the security and unity of Jerusalem, are not the main concern of those anonymous officials who attack us and me personally, as the assault on me comes only because I defend the State of Israel. ...Despite all of the attacks I suffer, I will continue to defend our country. I will continue to defend the citizens of Israel.

Alistair Baskey, spokesman for the National Security Council, assures that the "chickenshit" comment does not reflect the views of the rest of the Obama administration. However, reports Fox, "administration officials … did not signal there would be any robust effort to find out who said it." Baskey also says that the two nations "do not agree on every issue," pointing out the U.S.'s view that Israel's annexation and settlement of certain territories is illegitimate and counter-productive.

At The Washington Post Daniel Drezner points out that the report coincides with news "on how the United States appears to be tacitly and not-so-tacitly coordinating with Iran across a range of Greater Middle East issues." He speculates:

The one thing this kind of trash-talking does is send a signal to Iran about the U.S. commitment to a nuclear deal. Bear in mind that in recent weeks the administration has made it cleat that it won't be going to Congress to get approval for the permanent lifting of any Iran sanctions. But this raises the question for both Iranian negotiators and Iranian hardliners of just how much they can trust their American interlocutors to implement such a deal. Furthermore, Netanyahu's persistent and bellicose rhetoric towards Tehran would also have to be a source of concern for the Iranians. If they cut a nuclear deal, they want it to be implemented and they want the shadow of military action lifted.

Calling out Netanyahu serves both functions for the Obama administration. The way one signals credibility in a world of uncertainty is to take a costly action. Since congressional approval is now off the table, dissing America's closest ally in the region serves as an imperfect substitute. It's costly, so it sends a signal of serious intent.

In August I highlighted a report from global intelligence and advisory firm Stratfor that indicated the ISIS war could mark a positive change in U.S.-Iran relations.

Photo Credit: cc

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  • Almanian!||

    CRIPPLE FIGHT!!!!!

  • Restoras||

    The best kind, really, other than drunk bum Santas...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag1pQxSMkbI

  • John||

    The colorful opinion comes from a "senior Obama administration official" who remains unnamed.

    It is not a "colorful opinion". It is a childish and idiotic act of someone who lacks the maturity to be trusted cleaning toilets and yet thanks to this administration holds a position of importance. Adults don't say things like that in a professional context. It is just another example of how the people in this administration are nothing but overgrown children.

  • WTF||

    The Obama administration is a fucking clown show. And the clown responsible for this was likely John Kerry.

  • heartburn||

    That was my first reaction.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Or Jarrett

  • GILMORE||

    "the clown responsible for this was likely John Kerry."

    True.

    The ridiculous thing is that there is actually more than one 'complete ego-maniacal retard' in Obama's admin who'd make the mistake of a comment like that.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Honestly, it sounds like Obama to me. Its the kind of faux-urban tuff gai BS he likes to spin.

  • Rod Flash||

    Or Joe Biden

  • The_Millenial||

    It isn't as if Israeli officials are guiltless either. Our Congress also shows no backbone when it comes to Israel. Israel can take care of itself at this point.

  • Idle Hands||

    I think most people would agree with you. However you don't call the leader of one of your most steadfast and only true allies in the region a chickenshit especially because when he's doing exactly what you want. That would me monumentally retarded.

  • Idle Hands||

    *be not me
    although by saying that I made quite the case.

  • The_Millenial||

    I don't think Netanyahu's administration is doing exactly what they want. Maybe on certain issues, but this statement didn't come from no where. Tensions have been on the rise and from what I've seen Israeli officials deserve blame as well. They haven't been perfectly respectful either and they are the ones at a power disadvantage in the relationship. Plus, we also have no idea who made it.

    Foreign policy commentators I trust like Paul Pillar at the National Interest and Daniel Larison at TAC are frequent critics of Obama's foreign policy, but aren't putting the lion's share of the blame on him in this instance. Our interests are not always going to align with Israel's and vice versa.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Obviously, but why is it in the US interest to see a Palestinian state? Regardless of one's opinion of the Israel-Palestine conflict, the existence (or lack thereof) of an impoverished, oil-lacking state in the Levant is probably as high on our list of things which impact us as is, say, the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh.

    The truth is, Israel's intransigence is getting in the way of what has been the national glory project of the last 6 Presidents: a lasting peace between Israel and the Sunni states. In this case, it is a matter of the President's personal prestige, rather than some lack of alignment with our nation's actual interests.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "why is it in the US interest to see a Palestinian state? "

    Winning hearts and minds among the world's 1 billion Muslims?

  • grrizzly||

    That was funny.

  • Brandon||

    They seem to have more interest in Israel ceasing to exist than in a separate Palestinian state existing alongside it.

  • Idle Hands||

    hahahahaha. Like the worlds 1 billion Muslims actually give a shit about the Palestinians. They are just a convenient distraction so the despots in these countries can continue to cling to power.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Certainly many of them do. People care about people who share their religion or ideals quite a bit. Look at the sympathy Russians had for Serbians back when that was a mess, and how it translated into diplomatic support that was not exactly a plus for Russia.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Extricating ourselves from the internal affairs of the Middle East would do more to calm hearts and minds among Muslims. I don't particuarly care if we win them over.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Winning hearts and minds among the world's 1 billion Muslims?


    What are you, fucking GWB? What does "hearts and minds" get us, and how the fuck do you know that aligning ourselves with Palestinian or Muslim nationalism will achieve it?

    While we're on the topic of the "hearts and minds" of the Muslim world, I've not seen one Arab state eager to accept Palestinians or take upon themselves the responsibility to build healthy Palestinian societies and governing institutions. In fact, as far as I can tell from the levantine Palestinian immigrant communities in Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, the only people less sympathetic to the Palestinian movement than Israel is the neighboring Arab states that have had to deal with the fallout. We have great relations with plenty of Muslim states, from Malaysia to Indonesia -- I don't think it's anywhere close to 1 billion Muslims who have it in for us, and I don't think the percentage of pro-Palestine Muslims are going to go gaga for us if we and Israel work out some quasi-protectorate legal status for a Palestinian state.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The Arab League states have fairly consistently backed the Palestinians economically and via diplomatic support.

    As for hearts and minds, do you think much of the Islamic world dislikes us? Do you think nothing can be done about it? Do you think none of it comes from what is seen as our taking sides with Israel against their co-religionists in Palestine?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The Arab League states have fairly consistently backed the Palestinians economically and via diplomatic support.

    Yes, the Palestinians are a useful tool in the Arab leader's attempts to distract their own populace from their failings and authoritarianism.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I'm no arguing they do it for noble reasons, but they do provide the aid I mentioned. And they have offered concessions to Israel if Israel would allow a Palestinian state.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Again I ask:

    What does "hearts and minds" get us, and how the fuck do you know that aligning ourselves with Palestinian or Muslim nationalism will achieve it?


    I ask this because US Presidents since at least Reagan (and probably including Carter as well; can't remember and don't care enough to look it up) have supported a two-state solution and exerted diplomatic pressure to that effect, without a thing to show for it. Additionally, the Palestinian conception of success and the US concept of it are very different; they percieve success as a return to the 1300 years before Israel was a state, where Muslim dominance was the norm and Muslim political control unquestioned. Certainly I cannot see a Muslim nationalist being content with having one of the holiest cities of Islam under the control of infidels.

    And even if we supported the Palestinians to the point of supporting Israel's annihilation, what would this show? That we are inconsistent friends who are untrustworthy, and that enough force can make us knuckle under. My interpretation as a Muslim would never be that the US would be our sure friend on account of their volte face.

    Do you think things through at all before posting?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "US Presidents since at least Reagan (and probably including Carter as well; can't remember and don't care enough to look it up) have supported a two-state solution and exerted diplomatic pressure to that effect,"

    I think it's partly prestige, sure, but also partly the desire to be seen as more of an 'honest broker' or neutral party to improve relations with the Arab League nations particularly, and Islamic nations generally. Sure, Arab states are not going to like us too much anyway, but there's a difference between vague death to Satan wishing and something like the OPEC embargo (an instance where we paid a great price for support for Israel).

    "the Palestinian conception of success and the US concept of it are very different; they percieve success as a return to the 1300 years before Israel was a state"

    Much like many Israelis would like to see a realization of Greater Israel but have resigned themselves to something less I think a fair number of Palestinians have, at one time or another, done the same.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Much like many Israelis would like to see a realization of Greater Israel but have resigned themselves to something less I think a fair number of Palestinians have, at one time or another, done the same.


    ...which is relevant to "hearts and minds" how? Getting less than what they would like is going to be blamed on the non-Muslim participants to any treaty (namely, the US and Israel). There aren't a whole lot of Muslims cheering about the durability of the Egypt-Israel peace accords, even though that's saved more Arab lives than just about anything else.

    To the degree that we are involved in the process and cannot achieve the Muslim ideal, we will not win hearts and minds -- especially if we try to enforce or adjudicate this treaty in any way, since it will reinforce the extent to which we are preventing Muslims from attaining this ideal state of affairs.

  • ||

    Yes, their experiences in Lebanon and Jordan would suggest that.

    Sheesh.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    As for hearts and minds, do you think much of the Islamic world dislikes us?

    Yes.

    Do you think nothing can be done about it?

    Not much. The root cause of their dislike is that we aren't Muslim. We might be able to do some things around the edges, but one of the fundamental bases of the Muslim belief system is the subjugation/conversion of non-believers.

    The whole "Religion of Peace" thing means, really, that they aren't supposed to kill fellow Muslims (hence the slave armies the caliphates used to war on fellow Muslims). The rest of the world is the "House of War", meaning they are fair game for Muslims to attack.

    Do you think none of it comes from what is seen as our taking sides with Israel against their co-religionists in Palestine?

  • Restoras||

    Winning hearts and minds among the world's 1 billion Muslims?

    That's lame, even for you, Bo. If the world's 1 billion Muslims really cared about the Palis, they'd have all be welcome with open arms in all those other Muslim nations. Except that they aren't are they?

    No, the worlds 1 billion Muslims don't give two chickenshits for the Palis - they just pretend to.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It's not uncommon for people of a country to care about the plight of people in another country but not be gung-ho about allowing mass immigration of that group into their country.

  • Restoras||

    Right, so they just won't put their money where their mouths are. It's easy to say 'Pali Statehood' when you have no skin in the game. And besides, even if we did broker a perfect peace between Israel, the Palis, and the Arab World, those one billion Muslims will still find plently of other reasons to hate us. I suspect you know this.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    No, they've been putting that money there, millions and millions.

  • PM||

    Yes, because obviously that was a reference to literal cash money and not to living up to one's stated ideals.

    Btw, the US has put many more millions of dollars into that shit hole than all of their Arab neighbors combined. Fine lot of good it does.

  • ||

    the leader of one of your most steadfast and only true allies

    Then you're not talking about Israel. We are their friend and ally, but they are not ours.

  • Idle Hands||

    In that region of the world simply by not being our ally makes them are closet friend.

  • Idle Hands||

    Wow. *Our closest friend. I must still thinking about Tim Cooke link in my head.

  • Brandon||

    You may want to recheck the first part of that sentence, too.

  • kbolino||

    We are their friend and ally, but they are not ours.

    While I will not deny the asymmetrical nature of the relationship, it does reflect the circumstances. I'm not sure Israel's contribution of a single patrol boat to one of our carrier fleets would really be meaningful.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Yes they are. Stop lying.

  • Juice||

    your most steadfast and only true allies in the region

    True ally? And what does the US get out of this "alliance" besides trouble and negative $3B a year?

  • PM||

    And what does the US get out of this "alliance" besides trouble and negative $3B a year?

    A proxy that can be scapegoated when we want or need to blow up some Arab shit while still maintaining plausible deniability with the house of Saud.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I largely agree with you. Israeli relations with the Arab world is an albatross around the neck of U.S. foreign policy. Israeli and U.S. values and policy align in a lot of ways, but Israel comes with a lot of baggage.

  • ||

    Uh...US relations with Israel is an albatross around our neck.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Well, yes, but that is because of its relations with the Arab world. If they generally got along then there wouldn't really be any liability for the U.S.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No it isn't. That is a lie.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Why just type 'that's a lie?' If it is, why not offer some argument. Also, can't someone be wrong without it being a lie?

  • Cytotoxic||

    I really shouldn't have to counter this smear.

  • Zeb||

    "Smear"? What is your problem? Maybe the warboner position is the correct one, but you aren't going to convince anyone by calling them liars.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    But the baggage is largely the fault of the Arabs/Palestinians/Islamotwits. The Zionist movement BOUGHT land in Palestine, then fought a guerrilla war against the British (so the Brits have a grievance, not the Arabs). Then, when they got a Jewish State a bunch of Arabs/Islamotwits went to war with them …. and LOST. The Palestinian "refugees" were the Palestinians who sided with the invaders, who didn't take them in in the hopes of creating a long-term PR problem for the Jews that had just kicked them back across the border. Plently of non-Jewish Palestinians didn't attack the Jews and remained in Israel, where they are full citizens. The Palestinian Refugees are due precisely NO sympathy; they picked a side and lost; when you lose a war (especially a war your side started), bad things happen to you.

    Since then, various spokesmen for the Palestinians have broken promises left and right. Extremist organizations have repeatedly attacked Israeli civilians, and/or hidden behind Palestinian civilians. The land that the Islamotwits have their Keffiyehs in a twist over is land that Israel seized after being attacked AGAIN. Israel seized the Gaza heights because the Arabs were using them to emplace artillery. You can get away with that shit if you win the war. If you don't…. well then it sucks to be you.

    The cold fact is that if Mexico had behaved that way toward US, our southern border would now be with Guatemala.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "The Palestinian "refugees" were the Palestinians who sided with the invaders, "

    That's a pretty collectivist generalization. You don't think at least some of them just fled to get out of the way of the mutual fighting?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Is there some injustice? Almost certainly. Can it be untangled at this late date? No. Does it in any way justify shooting missiles into Israeli shopping malls? Oh, hell, no.

    The Arabs have been peddling a "Oh, poor, poor us" narrative basically since the beginning. I suppose there were enough Arabists and anti-Jewist bigots (Arabs are semitic, so it wouldn't be anti-semitic) in the State Department of the time to give it some traction; the State Department has been a dumping ground for Yale's and Harvard's less dazzling graduates for much of the last century. What I don't get is the Lefty passion for believing such an implausible bunch of liars. But they fell for the Soviets too, and I never found THEIR lies particularly plausible either.

    The facts remain; the Arabs have started a series of wars to drive Israel into the sea, and lost all of them. In the 19th Century the expected result would be for Israel to be ruling most of the countries that attacked them. Certainly they would do it better than it is being done now. Israel could take over Egypt, Libya, Jordan, and Syria and do everything that the anti-Israeli hysterics in the U.S. have accused them of doing in Palestine, and still be better government than obtains now.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The Arabs are certainly often at fault for much of the conflict. But not always. The question now is, ok, let's say they were at fault, does that mean they have to live under Israeli rule forever? That seems contrary with some pretty basic American values.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The Arabs are 100% at fault. Israel has always been the victim.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Whatever Cap'n Ipse Dixit.

  • SForza||

    Who says they have to live under Israeli rule? They can leave for whichever neighboring country will take them.

    What's that you say? None of their neighbors will take them? Well, that is interesting, isn't it?

  • Juice||

    Why should they have to leave?

  • Zeb||

    The Palestinian Refugees are due precisely NO sympathy; they picked a side and lost; when you lose a war (especially a war your side started), bad things happen to you.

    The problem there is that at this point, for most of them their grandparents picked a side and lost. Most are just people trying to live their lives. They deserve sympathy as individuals. Collectively blaming people for things their ancestors did is the whole problem here.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Absolutely. Individual Palis are just people, like everyone else, who happen to be stuck in a bad situation.

    Which is completely irrelevant to the positions and actions of their rulers in constantly assaulting Israel.

  • Zeb||

    Just rubs me the wrong way when people declare that some group deserves no sympathy because of things that their governments or ancestors have done.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Whether or not Israel is a good ally, totally reliable, whatever, it's no way to conduct business. And they are an ally, so it's even worse.

    Fucking children in charge.

  • Brandon||

    This is a completely pointless post in this context.

  • John||

    No its not. It is the entire point of this. This is not about US Israeli relations. It is about the larger problem of this administration and the people in its' complete incompetence and immaturity. They could have said this about any country and it would be just as stupid, counter productive and idiotic.

    What exactly did the guy who said this expect to accomplish other than create an international incident and make things worse? Nothing. He was just throwing a temper tantrum to the media. And that is the bigger issue and the real problem.

  • Brandon||

    I was responding to this:

    The_Millenial|10.30.14 @ 12:29PM|#

    It isn't as if Israeli officials are guiltless either. Our Congress also shows no backbone when it comes to Israel. Israel can take care of itself at this point.

    Saying "Irael has some fault here, too!" is nothing more than a stupid red herring. I was agreeing with you.

  • John||

    Sorry Brandon. It is hard to tell sometimes.

  • The_Millenial||

    No, I just think this is being overblown. I have a number of issues with the Obama Admin's foreign policy decisions, but there is a history that led up to this comment and we have no idea who even said it. I think it's important to understand that history before piling on. It isn't as if US government officials are the only ones who say stupid things that inflame tensions.

    In any case, I'm not a fan of such language or behavior either. Paul Pillar at The National Interest had an interesting take:

    "Goldberg notes in the third sentence of his piece that the comments he is reporting are “representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli [emphasis added] officials now talk about each other behind closed doors.” So the barbed tongues extend in both directions, but with two differences...harsh comments are far harder to justify when they are directed by an ungrateful beneficiary to its patron rather than the other way around. The other difference is that Israeli leaders insult the United States not just through anonymous comments to journalists but also publicly and openly; the current Israeli defense minister is one of the more recent and blatant practitioners of this."

    http://nationalinterest.org/bl.....isis-11569

    Commentator Jim Lobe also provides some context: http://www.lobelog.com/goldber.....ames-bibi/

  • The Other Kevin||

    At first I thought Obama would be this ruthless leftist, but it didn't take long to figure out this administration is just one big amateur hour. People have written books about the secret, behind-the scenes deals and actions behind other administrations. But when the books come out about the Obama administration they will all be about how nobody was in charge and nobody knew what the hell they were doing.

  • ||

    Being There: the Chauncey Obama Story

  • Homple||

    I saw that movie when it first came out and thought it was a comedy. Turns out it was prophecy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, there's hope and change in the garden.

  • John||

    I watched that movie a couple of months ago. My God it is precent about Obama and especially Obama's fans.

  • mtrueman||

    "Adults don't say things like that in a professional context"

    Yet the article, which you'd do well to read, clearly states:

    "This comment is representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors"

  • kbolino||

    Then perhaps there are no adults involved, no?

  • mtrueman||

    Hmmm, kinda like the board here at Reason, eh?

  • JEP||

    Maybe, but the board at Reason isn't responsible for international relations.

  • kbolino||

    Hmmm, kinda like the board here at Reason, eh?

    If you're willing to swap out the President, his Cabinet, and all of their flunkies for the H&R commentariat, then we'll talk.

  • hamilton||

    I call Treasury. The Secret Service looks like they have awesome sexytimez.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Sec of the Interior.

    Warty for Sec. of Defense

    SF for the Dept of Education

  • Swiss Servator, spare a franc?||

    Warty should have State - "Mr. President, the American Secretary of State is here...I suggest you agree to everything he says!"

    Besides, I want Defense, so I can change the name back to "War" and fire 80% of the flag officers!

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|10.30.14 @ 12:44PM|#
    "Hmmm, kinda like the board here at Reason, eh?"

    Which ones are lies today, trueman? Is anything you post not a lie? Do you keep track of the number of lies each day?
    For those who don't know, trueman clearly states he's a hypocrite who will gladly lie to promote a POV.

  • Redmanfms||

  • Zeb||

    There are definitely adults involved. Sorry, but adult doesn't mean "conforms to how I want people to behave". Perhaps some people's ideas of what constitutes adult behavior are a bit optimistic. Most adults act like that most of the time.
    I'd be surprised if the only real difference with earlier administrations is that the earlier ones were better at keeping the less kind things they had to say about other world leaders from leaking.

  • Brandon||

    There is no evidence that any Israeli official has said anything remotely like this. It is a false equivocation given by a writer wanting to not anger that has shown no qualms about attacking journalists that irritate it.

  • The_Millenial||

    Israel's defense minister said this about John Kerry earlier this year:

    "Secretary of State John Kerry - who has come to us determined and is acting out of an incomprehensible obsession and a messianic feeling - cannot teach me a single thing about the conflict with the Palestinians...

    The only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone."

    Also, Goldberg served in the IDF as a guard, worked at The Jerusalem Post, and is known as pretty strident in his support for Israel, but he is fairly close to the Obama Admin too. Makes it hard to know for sure. Would it really shock you if Israeli officials were saying similar things though?

    At least some anonymous Israeli officials have made a harsh/inflammatory (not quite as bad though) remark recently as well:

    "Meanwhile, Ari Shavit, a correspondent for the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz, reported on Monday: 'Very senior officials in Jerusalem described the proposal that Kerry put on the table as a 'strategic terrorist attack'."

    http://www.theguardian.com/wor.....cism-kerry

    I really think the US push for a Two-State solution may need to be tabled as our involvement in Israel's and Palestine's affairs doesn't look to have accomplished much good. As I said above, Israel now has the economic and military power to take care of itself.

  • John||

    It was leaked to the media. The media knows about it and printed it because someone had a temper fit and vented to a reporter and either knew it would get out and didn't care or was so stupid they didn't understand it would get out. Either possibility proves my point.

  • Drake||

    It isn't even an appropriate insult. Calling a veteran of numerous Sayeret Matkal operations who was shot during a hostage rescue mission "chicken" anything is fucking idiotic.

  • Idle Hands||

    Hey John Kerry was in a war he knows what he's talking about.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    John Kerry is a fifth rate JFK imitation. He has always had poor impulse control, and needed a governor on his mouth. He lacks foresight, or he would have preemptively "apologized" for his Vietnam Protest Actions and rendered the whole swift boat mess irrelevant. Like Al Gore, he makes George W. Bush look like Teddy Roosevelt.

    The Democrats loathed Bush in part because they were at least dimly aware that they TWICE ran candidates against him that would have been absolute catastrophes in the White House, and who were so childish, petulant, and tiresome that not even their media advantage could hide it.

  • Libertymike||

    Don't you think JFK could have used a governor on certain parts of his anatomy?

  • ||

    Chickenshit (one word) in actual usage has more to to with shittiness and triviality and less to do with cowardice.

  • Restoras||

    According to this, it can be both.
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/chickenshit

    chick·en·shit (chkn-sht) Vulgar Slang
    n.
    1. Contemptibly petty, insignificant nonsense.
    2. A coward.
    adj.
    1. Contemptibly unimportant; petty.
    2. Cowardly; afraid.
    chick•en•shit
    Vulgar Slang. n.
    1. petty or trivial details, tasks, or the like.
    adj.
    2. obsessed with petty details.
    3. menial or petty.
    4. cowardly.

    In the context of the apparent comments, it appears the unnamed official meant 'cowardly' rather than 'contemptibly petty'.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Merriam-Webster:

    1 usually vulgar : petty, insignificant
    2 usually vulgar : lacking courage, manliness, or effectiveness

    Chickenshit isn't exactly a word I use that often but when I hear it, I think cowardice. eg - what are you , a chickenshit?

  • SugarFree||

    The rest of the quote undercuts your definition of the usage:

    The good thing about Netanyahu is that he's scared to launch wars. The bad thing about him is that he won't do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he's interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. … He's got no guts.
  • kbolino||

    The only thing he's interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. … He's got no guts.

    That makes it even better. They're calling Netanyahu chickenshit because, according to their assessment of him, he's the same sort of animal as their own boss.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    This. And its worse, the administration is upset with Bibi because he won't take the political heat to reach a peace, but of course Obama won't take any heat to take any policy step to push Israel into a peace. It's like two people sitting in the living room and one asks the other to go get something, and when the other refuses the first complains about how lazy he is.

  • Acosmist||

    Except the person using the word apparently thought it meant "coward".

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "It is not a "colorful opinion". It is a childish and idiotic act of someone who lacks the maturity to be trusted cleaning toilets and yet thanks to this administration holds a position of importance."

    I'm sure you posted similar things about Cheney's f-bomb on the Senate floor, right?

  • GILMORE||

    The fact that you compare these two things - as though using 'bad words' were the issue, and not "throwing decades of diplomatic relations out the window" - speaks volumes about both your constant, desperate attempt to 'partisanize' issues, and your utter lack of understanding of anything concerning foreign relations.

    US diplomatic power is based entirely on whether people can trust us. when you openly treat even your supposedly-steadfast 'allies' with contempt, no one is going to ever expect you to treat more adversely-aligned nations fairly or in good faith.

    but then, why would i expect you to have the first grasp of what 'credibility or integrity' actually mean?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It's almost like I didn't exclusively select John's observation about the professionalization or lack thereof of the language itself.

    Keep rolling there Gilmore!

  • Brandon||

    Saying "Fuck" isn't the issue. The issue is a crude ad hominem directed at the head of state of a supposed ally apparently said to, or at least in the presence of, a member of the press. It wasn't even said off the record, unless Goldberg just thinks this is juicy enough to sacrifice his access to the White House. It demonstrates an astonishing lack of self-control and professionalism.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "Saying "Fuck" isn't the issue. "

    Maybe, but it was the issue John mentioned and the one to which I replied.

    "It is a childish and idiotic act of someone who lacks the maturity to be trusted cleaning toilets and yet thanks to this administration holds a position of importance. Adults don't say things like that in a professional context."

  • Brandon||

    Again, John didn't say that cussing was the problem. And Cheney didn't say "Fuck France." He told a Senator from another state to go fuck himself, not the President of another country. Vermont isn't going to cease being an ally to DC (unfortunately). Israel could. This is completely different in both impact and scale, and trying to conflate the two is obfuscation.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "John didn't say that cussing was the problem"

    No, he said it was unprofessional, immature and childish. If he were referring to the utilitarian potential for damage I don't think he would have use that type of language. That's my honest read of it, and the basis of my reply.

  • Swiss Servator, spare a franc?||

    Man, Gilmore, I can smell the smoke rising off your target from here!

  • Restoras||

    Yeah, not even remotely the same.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If you are talking about how professional and mature it is, it is.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Bah. It's not the chickenshit comment that matters here. It's that it's obviously apparent that the Obama administration values whoever said it more than the US relationship with Israel. That's what the real message is and I guarantee Israel heard it.

  • Restoras||

    Except for the tiny little detail of the Senate floor not being a sovereign nation, and a somewhat important one at that.

    It's asinine shit like this that gets wars started, Bo.

    But sure, stick with your story.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    In your analogy you're mixing up to whom something is said with where. If the where is important, this seems to have been said in a casual conversation with a reporter, while Cheney's was yelled on the Senate floor to an opposition leader.

  • Restoras||

    Those distinctions are important, Bo, and you know it.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course, they'd be important if we were talking about something else. If you said 'this comment was more harmful to US foriegn relations' then yes, of course. But I was responding to John's comment that what was wrong with them was they displayed a lack of maturity and professionalization.

  • Every Cop is a Criminal||

    I'm sure you posted similar things about Cheney's f-bomb on the Senate floor, right?

    You know what sucks? What really, really, sicks? I can no longer use Chrome, which means I no longer have Reasonable to block this petty, banal, ignorant, little man.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Your babyish whining is noted!

  • Every Cop is a Criminal||

    Project much?

  • Brandon||

    Bo, you make some reasonable points, but this isn't one of them. It's pure, obfuscating pedantry.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I don't know what to tell you. What did John criticize the comment for? It seems plain to me he criticized it as displaying a lack or lapse in professionalization and maturity. IF that's the criteria then he should find Cheney's comments to actually be worse.

  • Restoras||

    Dropping an F-bomb on the Senate floor, while certainly vulgar and unprofessional, doesn't rank as high on either scale as the 'chickenshit' comment.

    F-bomb on the Senate floor: 6-7/10

    Chickenshit: 10/10

  • Libertymike||

    What is the basis for your ratings of the two?

    Is your position predicated upon some factual, unimpeachable, undeniable standard?

  • Restoras||

    Is your position predicated upon some factual, unimpeachable, undeniable standard?

    Nope. Just my gut feel. Open for adjustment as necessary.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Again, if you are talking about which is more unproffesional and immature, then yelling an F-bomb into a colleagues face AT WORK is probably worse than calling someone a chickensh*t behind their back outside of work.

  • Restoras||

    No, I would disagree.

    I've seen F-bombs dropped at work and elsewhere in the heat of the moment. While clearly unprofessional it's always far better afterward when it is done face-to-face, after each party has had a chance to calm down.

    Calling someone chickenshit behind their back is more unprofessional as it does not give the target of the assault the opportunity to defend themselves directly to the insulting party, ironically it is not only unprofessional but also cowardly.

  • Brandon||

    John criticized the comment for being an ad hominem directed at the leader of another country, which is just terrible judgement for someone who works in the branch of government primarily responsible for foreign relations. Cheney's "Fuck Yourself" was 10 years ago, and bringing it up in this context is just pointless.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "John criticized the comment for being an ad hominem directed at the leader of another country"

    Where are you getting that from? Again, here's his entire comment that I responded to:

    "It is not a "colorful opinion". It is a childish and idiotic act of someone who lacks the maturity to be trusted cleaning toilets and yet thanks to this administration holds a position of importance. Adults don't say things like that in a professional context. It is just another example of how the people in this administration are nothing but overgrown children."

  • Lord Humungus||

    If you have Firefox - fascr is a reasonable alternative.
    https://bitbucket.org/bdhr/fascr/downloads

    Download the .xpi file and manually the the add-on.
    http://www.accessfirefox.org/I.....nually.php

  • Sevo||

    Bo Cara Esq.|10.30.14 @ 12:39PM|#
    ..."I'm sure you posted similar things about Cheney's f-bomb on the Senate floor, right?"

    Oh, look! Bo tries a tu quoque!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Just looking for a principle admist partisanship Sevo, something that might confuse you understandably.

  • Restoras||

    In other words, it's ok when you do it?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Kind of the opposite there Restoras.

  • Restoras||

    Hmmm...no, I don't think so.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It's saying that both would be rather childish. That's how principles work.

  • ||

    I didn't realize it was turd polishing day.

  • Brandon||

    Bo, I haven't voted for anyone with an "R" by their name since I moved out of Ron Paul's Congressional district over a decade ago, and this was astonishing to me. It is a country that is a purported ally of ours, and I would feel the same if someone in the Bush administration had been exposed saying something similar about the President of France. This shows an appalling lack of judgement, even if Goldberg tries to excuse it by saying "they do it too."

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Again Brandon, I'm not defending the wiseness of the comment, just noting that if the problem with it is that it displayed a lack of professionalization and maturity in the administration then that applies across the board.

  • Brandon||

    Yeah, but the "chickenshit" comment is current, and worse than anything I remember the Bush administration doing in regards to foreign relations.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It's pretty bad foreign relations, to be sure. But again...I was responding to John's post, which said nothing about that.

    There were lots of posts about how stupid it was as a matter of diplomacy. I didn't respond to them at all or if did just agreed.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Yeah, but the "chickenshit" comment is current, and worse than anything I remember the Bush administration doing in regards to foreign relations.

    Yeah well, remember that time George rubbed Angela's shoulders? Holy shit, I thought it was going to be WW3.

  • Acosmist||

    You got nailed on that tu quoque, :sadtrombone:

    Everyone point and laugh at the fallacy monger!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Look, it's always nice when someone finds an introduction to logic textbook in their friends of the library booksale.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Almost as nice as when an ostensibly educated law student posturing as a lawyer shits out some Miss America-level foreign politics posturing ("Win hearts and minds! World peace!").

  • Libertymike||

    It would appear that you meant Miss South Carolina - from 2005 or 2006?

  • GILMORE||

    That is extremely unfair to Miss America.

  • Acosmist||

    Bookmarking this little tantrum of yours, Bo. Enjoy never living this down!

  • PM||

    Sevo is a Republican shill too, now. Lol. You've officially jumped the shark, Bo.

  • ||

    telling someone to their face to go fuck themselves isn't the same as calling someone a chickenshit behind their back and insisting on anonymity. the latter is pure chickenshit itself.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    OK, but which is more 'unprofessional'? For the 100th time, that's what this subthread has been all about.

    Imagine a boss with two employees. The first just yelled 'F-U' to a co-worker at the worksite. The second said a client was a chickensh*t outside the job to a third party. Who is more unprofessional?

  • Brandon||

    This is more like the second said a client was a chickenshit in an aside to someone during a conference call with the client and the client overheard. And that is far more unprofessional than telling a coworker to go fuck himself.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I'll have to agree to disagree. More damaging? Sure. But unprofessional? Screaming profanities in people's faces during work is pretty high on the unprofessional meter for me. YMMV.

  • Johnny Bravo||

    I'll have to agree to disagree. More damaging? Sure. But unprofessional? Screaming profanities in people's faces during work is pretty high on the unprofessional meter for me. YMMV.

    Bo, I would fire the second employee on the spot and wouldn't bat an eye to the first one. But we employ STEM majors almost exclusively.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Fair enough. If I fired the second guy it would be because of the damage he caused, which I think it separate from how immature or unprofessional one is, which I think has do with comportment more than anything else.

  • Brandon||

    You are still being a pedant. You fire him because his unprofessional immaturity caused damage to your company.

  • Brandon||

    Have you ever had an actual job, Bo? If you get in a cuss fight with a colleague, you get mediation. If a client hears about you talking shit about them, you are given 10 minutes to clean out your office and escorted out of the building.

  • Johnny Bravo||

    you are given 10 minutes to clean out your office and escorted out of the building.

    Actually we take their credentials, have them immediately escorted out of the building and have someone else clean out their office. They get their stuff FedEx'ed to them. There access is revoked before they clear the front door.

  • Johnny Bravo||

    *their

  • Libertymike||

    STEM, indeed.

    Just playing as lawyers and doctors (not STEM)and community activists are often as orthographically challenged as engineers.

  • Almanian!||

    The only thing he's interested in is protecting himself from political defeat.

    They meant Obama, right? No? Well, they should have....

    The irony - it burns!

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Projection.

    Its what's for breakfast, brunch, lunch, supper, and dinner.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I'm putting my money on Diamond Joe. I doubt Kerry's wife lets him use language like that.

  • Almanian!||

    "Joe - stand up. Oh....God love ya...."

  • WTF||

    Not a bad guess, but Biden likely would have worked in some remarks about camps or ovens.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    I'm betting it was Big O himself. It just sounds like him to me.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Thank god the adults are back in charge.

  • WTF||

    Smart. Diplomacy.

  • Mike M.||

    Again, it's pretty freaking obvious that it was John "Lurch" Kerry.

    He has a big, stupid mouth, laughably likes to fancy himself a tough guy, and he's lashing back at them because he's pissed that Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon called him "obsessive", "messianic", and said "he should take his Nobel Prize and leave us alone.”

  • Drake||

    I would love to see Kerry mouth off like that to Netanyahu in person. Some of Lurch's botox might get rearranged for the better.

  • JEP||

    I miss the idea of dueling. People would be so much more polite, and at least some of the assholes would be eliminated - especially from government positions.

  • Rich||

    Yep.

    Even if it's only Lincoln's “cow flops at twenty paces”.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Pistols or swords?

  • JEP||

    With today's medical knowledge, I feel like most sword wounds could be taken care of pretty effectively - assuming you were using something more like a rapier instead of broad sword, no one wants to be hacked to death.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Good point. Swords seem like the better option to me as well.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Epee instead of foil.

  • Florida Man||

    Pistols. Gives old guys a chance against young whippersnappers.

  • ||

    Pistols that fire swords?

  • JEP||

    Nail guns at ten paces!

  • Florida Man||

    You. You're good.

  • Restoras||

    Fire swords?

  • ||

    Ah, the special Torgue shotgun from Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep. That was a pretty cool gun. It shot swords instead of buckshot.

  • SugarFree||

    Exploding swords, at that.

  • Catatafish||

    I was never able to beat the boss on that DLC.

  • SugarFree||

    The key is to keep switching elemental types. Each new incarnation has different vulnerabilities.

  • Catatafish||

    I'm going to have to go back and replay that whole game again. You know, after I finish the new one. Which will likely be right in time for me to make the leap to an XB1 for Farcry 4.

    All of this obviously interspersed with copious amounts of chicks and sports and beer and...chicks...(sigh)

  • SugarFree||

    If you haven't yet, play the Gunzerker. It's ridiculously fun.

  • Catatafish||

    Broomstick bicycle jousts.

  • Redmanfms||

    Broomstick bicycle jousts.

    It's bad luck just seeing a thing like that.

    Peels out.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I'll take the shooting three-bladed sword from The Sword and the Sorcerer.
    http://www.onemetal.com/wp-con.....blades.jpg

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Sledgehammers in 20 feet of water.

  • GroundTruth||

    So much for "statesmanship".

  • grrizzly||

    We need a poll. Biden or Kerry?

  • PBR Streetgang||

    Kerry

  • LynchPin1477||

    Neither. Probably someone a little lower down the rung. But it probably reflects the general tone coming from those higher up.

  • Catatafish||

    I agree. My money is on someone like Ben Rhodes. This administration appears to be filled with inexperienced dolts with senses of over-inflated self and importance.

    Well, MORE than the usual amount anyway...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It was almost surely a lower level flunkie.

  • GILMORE||

    "Surely" the Atlantic would credit a 'senior official' when it was in fact a low-level flunkie

    That would *surely* earn them credibility in Washington.

    you regularly make these kind of wild-ass-guess assertions of certainty, and consistently turn out to be flatly incorrect; do you keep doing it, hoping to get lucky, thinking your own credibility will somehow rebound?

    I admit, it could hardly get worse.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    And what do you think 'senior official' means, oh wise Gilmore?

  • Libertymike||

    Is the assertion "it was almost surely" a "kind of wild-ass-guess assertion of certainty?"

    "[A]lmost surely" is not an assertion of certainty as certainty is greater than and more emphatic than an "almost surely" assertion.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It's Gilmore, and he doesn't like me. That's all you need to know.

  • Sevo||

    Bo Cara Esq.|10.30.14 @ 1:09PM|#
    "It's Gilmore, and he doesn't like me."

    He ain't alone, you twit.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You'll forgive me if I fail to find your misanthropic dislike for me to be upsetting much.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You'll forgive all of us for finding you to be a tiresome polysyllabic fuck-bucket.

  • Libertymike||

    Since when should logic and fact subordinate themselves to like and dislike?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think I already mentioned 'it's Gilmore'

  • Pro Libertate||

    Why? Why do you say that? Where have we seen anything resembling professionalism from this administration? They have been putting the umble in stumble and bumble for years now, from the top down.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Because this was reported from what sounds like a fairly casual conversation the Atlantic reporter was having. I doubt Goldberg pulls a lot of lunches with Cabinet level executives.

    "The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official..."

    http://www.theatlantic.com/int.....re/382031/

  • Restoras||

    A senior official can mean a lot of things. It's not like it's Cabinet Appointees and then nothing before you get to intern.

    And a low-level staffer would not likely say something like that as it could easily destroy whatever career they are working toward. More likely someone that has some insulation from such trivialities.

    Also, it could be totally made-up. It's not like the Atlantic is above such things.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Part of why I don't think it is anyone that high up is that Goldberg didn't name them. If he could make a bigger story by dropping a big name he'd do so in a second if he shares most journalists' 'ethics.' I suspect he didn't name them because they're small potatoes.

  • Restoras||

    Or maybe Goldberg didn't name them to protect his access. Going from the basis of self-interest, I think that is much more likely.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If he wanted to protect his access he wouldn't have published it.

  • Restoras||

    Well, judging by the reaction of the administration, they seem perfectly content, even happy, to have it out there. Almost like it was planned. Keep in mind they are all on the same team.

  • Brandon||

    Jarrett.

  • Restoras||

    She is perfectly insulated.

  • Brandon||

    Exactly. Zero accountability, massive ego, absolute security, why would she give a shit about the fallout from something like this? It's someone else's problem to clean it up, she has to arrange O's next photo-op.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Beyond the imbecilic name-calling, consider the nature of the complaint. At core, what they're complaining about is the fact that Netenyahu won't go along with a peace initiative that doesn't particularly benefit Israel. That's where the insistence on a need for a "bold" policy comes from (if it made sense on its face, there'd be nothing politically bold about doing it). Well, why anyone expect Netenyahu not to look after the interests of his country? This is just a clownish lack of understanding. Do they really think geopolitics is the equivalent of high school clique infighting?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, any peace agreement is not going to be only benefits to either party. That's true for any conflict.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    But, that just makes my point. You can't expect an agreement unless it benefits the person you're asking agreement from. What is the benefit to the Israelis of any of the agreement that's been put on the table by the administration? To date, the only thing I've seen from them is "give up stuff and hope the Palestinians feel grateful".

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    In theory it's better world opinion and normalized relations with much of the Islamic world.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Except:

    1. No offer of normalized relations is on the table. As I said, it's just hope for gratitude.
    2. World opinion is even less than gratitude. Warm feelings don't do much to serve as a defense.

    Seriously, in practical terms, if what they're being asked for is to give up stuff for nothing but warm feelings and gratitude, it really is high school clique politics.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The big negotiations have always included proposals of recognition and normalization from the Arab League states. And those things matter, note Israel's efforts to heal the rift with Turkey not long ago.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    note Israel's efforts to heal the rift with Turkey not long ago.

    By that reasoning the entire matter is moot, since Israel's refusal of the deal shows they view the deal as not in their interest.

    QED

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I don't think it means that normalizing relations is not valuable to Israel, just that what they've been asked to give up so far is more valuable.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And this particular proposal included recognition by the Arab League states? Because if since it didn't, you're doing nothing but talking in circles to get around my initial point.

    Actually, even if it had, all you wind up doing is arriving at the point I made initially. If something isn't a net benefit, it's not a benefit.

    Again, QED.

  • John||

    Yeah Bo, It is up to the Israelis to risk their lives to see if Obama's peace plan will work.

    You really defy description sometimes.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course that's EXACTLY what I said there!

  • Marshall Gill||

    Do they really think geopolitics is the equivalent of high school clique infighting?

    Yeah, they do.

  • Juice||

    And it usually is.

  • ||

    The thing about Bibi is, he's a chickenshit.

    Said the chickenshit who wouldn't give his name for publication. News agencies would do themselves and everyone else a favor if they would stop reporting gossip from sources who refuse to be named.

  • Rich||

    This.

    Man up and take your lumps.

  • heartburn||

    The Atlantic is a rag.

  • Catatafish||

    I can remember as recently as six or seven years ago it actually had some decent writers offering different perspectives. It's certainly gone downhill rather quickly.

  • Every Cop is a Criminal||

    And twenty years ago, it was remarkable.

  • flye||

    RIP Michael Kelly

  • PapayaSF||

    +1

  • Invisible Finger||

    It was sold and the new owner moved it to DC.

    When you're worse than Vanity Fair, you're a rag.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    How could a noble public servant say something like that?

  • JEP||

    TOP MEN

  • LynchPin1477||

    Calling out Netanyahu serves both functions for the Obama administration. The way one signals credibility in a world of uncertainty is to take a costly action. Since congressional approval is now off the table, dissing America's closest ally in the region serves as an imperfect substitute. It's costly, so it sends a signal of serious intent.

    This was intended as a signal to Iran in the same way that Kerry's off the cuf comment about Syrian chemical weapons was intended to open a door for an agreement. Which is to say, not at all.

    And if I'm wrong and this was intentionally leaked to signal Iran, well then fuck us, because that is NOT how you are supposed to make diplomatic progress.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Oh, fer fuck's sake. Anonymously calling someone a chickenshit "sends a signal of serious intent"?

    Next, they'll be telling me to vote Dem because Dems are such good friends of liberty and freedom.

  • ||

    Who gives a shit? We already know that this administration is an insanely incompetent joke, and if this puts a rift between us and the Israelis, awesome. Anything that could get us to stop sending them (and Egypt and anyone else) money and getting involved in the shitshow that is the Israeli-Palestinian bullshit would be wonderful.

    If the Obama administration can inadvertently blunder and foot-in-mouth its way to that, I'd be pretty pleased.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    C'mon man, Obama is just biding his time and insisting on a rational response to a critical situation.

  • Rich||

    Nice.

  • Lord Humungus||

    3D Chess Master.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Don't ever think that any words that come from the Obama administration will result in any actual policy changes. He'll gladly sign increased funding for Israel right now.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It would be great, if true, but we seem to lose whether they stumble into something or intentionally do it.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "administration officials … did not signal there would be any robust effort to find out who said it."

    Which means they agree with the remarks going public - look what they do when they *don't* like information going public.

  • Idle Hands||

    and we thought Bush was the Pinocchio cowboy.

  • Idle Hands||

    Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.) But I had not previously heard Netanyahu described as a “chickenshit.” I thought I appreciated the implication of this description, but it turns out I didn’t have a full understanding.

    Aspergery lol. they could have at least used aspy, that way Netanyahu would have thought they were comparing him to a venomous snake.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    John Bolton wasn't exactly a font of tact and subtlety.

  • Eric||

    Rumsfeld's "Old Europe" shot wasn't exactly tactful.

  • Juice||

    They're either with us or against us.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The only thing [Bibi]'s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. … He's got no guts.


    As a senior Obama administration official, this man knows a little something about gutless, politically-motivated leadership. Hell, as a "senior Obama administration official" who wouldn't put his name up for this childish comment, it would seem that he isn't far off from Dear Leader in the gutless department.

    I would like for the bad relations that we have with other countries to be based on a legitimate and inevitable conflict of interest, rather than some mouthy idiot who wants his needlessly inflammatory comments in the paper.

  • Eric||

    I'm sure you'd say the same if an Israeli politician said the same about Obama, right? Or would that fit your narrative?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Here is the real irony in this. Who is the real chickensh*t here if not for an administration which plainly is often offended by our client state's actions but has not, seemingly can not, ever responded in any way but to keep funneling money and embarrassing diplomatic support for that nation?

  • Idle Hands||

    yeah it's as if kind of like that time at the correspondents dinner when they needed a knife but only had 1000 spoons.

  • Migrant Log Picker||

    What should really be embarassing is you and the other proggy fucks who think Hamas is just a glorified Salvation Army.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Don't confuse my sometimes criticism of Israel with any support for Hamas. They're medieval, socialist brutes for the most part.

  • Juice||

    Goddam, some posters here can be truly stupid. It's all the conservatives who come and post here, I'm sure. They have no sense of nuance. Jesus, they make this site look like a conservative site sometimes. It sucks.

  • Warty||

    I love it. The stupider and more incompetent our idiot rulers look, the better.

  • ||

    The next administration is going to have to work their asses off to top this one. It's a high bar, but I have faith they can top it, GOP or Dem.

  • Idle Hands||

    race to the bottom.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Let them all burn, Fuck 'em.

  • Warty||

    HOLOCAUST JOKE

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I wish I could claim that was intentional.

    I meant "Greater Palestine" in toto.

  • SugarFree||

    I doubt this was some slip of the tongue or even someone trying to be a tuff gai. This was a carefully placed leak of information that Kerry wanted to be out there, but didn't want to say publically.

    If the Obama administration didn't want this out there, the Atlantic wouldn't have published it.

  • GILMORE||

    I mean, its not like they've been doing this all year

    "No, FUCK YOU!"

    I think you're right - but whether 'accidental' or 'intentional', the same thing is clear =

    the admin has reduced our diplomatic cadre to the level of sniping teenage girls who exchange petty insults at every opportunity just to satisfy their egos at the expense of actual foreign policy goals. Because I'm sure Iran is enjoying this stuff even more than they are the fact that we've effectively fighting their Sectarian-war for them.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    the admin has reduced revealed that our diplomatic cadre to the operates at the level of sniping teenage girls

    Honestly, I don't think he's made the general level of State Department activity any worse. They've always been pretty terrible, from what I can tell.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    We already know that this administration is an insanely incompetent joke, and if this puts a rift between us and the Israelis, awesome.

    Oh, no, teh existential threat! This time, it's real.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Israel stubbornly prioritizing its security over progressive pie in the sky notions of solving the Middle East Question are frustrating to progressives in the State Department. Its just that this crop of diplomats don't know enoigh to actuslly be diplomatic about it. Of course, they could be signaling that deep down they hate Israel too.

  • GILMORE||

    The left has a problem with Israel in multiple dimensions.

    There is a very powerful entrenched constituency that is strongly pro-Israel, and a large, younger, grassroots base that is vehemently anti-israel. They do not really talk directly to one another about the topic. They tend to split the difference by writing hand-wringing, but ultimately supportive Op-Eds in the NYT. Paens are made to the 'plight' of the palestinians - but funding for Israel *of course* must continue unabated.

    Kerry represents something sort of in-between: a more 'european' perspective which thinks of Israel as a perpetual annoyance. He resents their regular rejection of the UN as a mediating power. He doesn't like kissing their ass and then being told that his opinion doesn't matter.

    The Obama admin fucked up royally last year this time by engaging in direct negotiations with Iran and cutting the Israelis out of the discussions entirely. They were doubly inflamed that they saw the act as purely-political for Domestic American consumption - while tossing aside Israeli security interests. The idea that the US could unilaterally make these calls was offensive in the extreme.

    Since then, things have not improved. You buddy-fuck someone? they tend to let you know. The US needs Israel's support and intel to neutralize ISIS. Way to prioritize, Kerry

  • John||

    There are some on the left who look at immigration as a way to solve that problem. The idea would be to get the American Muslim community to be large enough and important enough to allow the Democrats to jettison the Jewish vote without losing any power overall.

    It really is the only solution to the problem because right now the Jews are too important to walk away from but the rest of the Left is far too anti Israel to tolerate keeping them in the party.

  • GILMORE||

    "The idea would be to get the American Muslim community to be large enough and important enough to allow the Democrats to jettison the Jewish vote without losing any power overall."

    You will forgive me for thinking this is straight-up Newsmax-level Right-Wing insanity.

    There is no 'jettisoning' the jewish vote on the left. Marginalizing pro-Israelis? maybe. But not by much.

    The Left, as I noted, is NOT 'anti-israel' as a whole. They've got conflicting camps that don't like to confront one another directly. The power is mostly in the hands of the pro-israelis, while the progressive, growth-segment of the base is more anti-israel. They currently prefer to say critical things, while continuing to provide military and financial support. Have Cake, Eat Cake. It isn't working out well, as noted.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The good thing about Netanyahu is that he's scared to launch wars. The bad thing about him is that he won't do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he's interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. … He's got no guts.


    I'm just surprised that they forgot to accuse Netanyahu of having a little penis. Because that's what real diplomacy is all about. Insulting people until they do what you want.

  • John||

    But Cheney was once overheard dropping an F bomb on the Senate Floor, so this is totally great diplomacy. Bo told me so.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    It was Patrick Leahy. If Cheney had garroted him, it would have been a public service.

  • Brandon||

    Vermont's another country, right?

  • jmomls||

    There was once a CANING on the Senate floor in the 1840s or 50s.

    A few years ago a brawl in the South Korean parliament featured flying chairs and looked like a Giants/Dodgers benches clearing brawl.

    Our Senate nowadays is truly lacking in excitement.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Change you can believe in!

  • Mainer2||

    I found Bo tedious and boring as soon as he showed up on this board. Do I get a cookie ?

  • Lord Humungus||

    *hands over the last chocolate chip cookie*

  • Cytotoxic||

    It's true: Bibi is, in his capacity as PM of Israel, a chickenshit. If he weren't Gaza would have been liberated and Hamas annihilated. Instead he allows Hamas to murder Israelis.

  • PapayaSF||

    The idea of winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim world by supporting a Palestinian state is superficially attractive, but doomed. It won't happen, in part because Gaza is little more than a giant public housing project run by corrupt terrorists. Their reason for living is to kill Jews and destroy Israel, and even if they succeeded, they'd find something else to complain about, and blame the US for their failures.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I'll concede that Gaza is pretty far gone. But some better efforts could have and still should be made to make the West Bank independent.

  • GILMORE||

    "some better efforts could have and still should be made to make the West Bank independent."

    Do you think the Jordanians want that?

  • GILMORE||

    Still waiting

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    ...which is irrelevant since a) the deal attempted by the White House includes both territories as a unified state and b) requires that Israel go back to pre-67 borders unilaterally, both of which have nothing to do with giving the West Bank greater autonomy or independence. Oh, and of course making the West Bank independent without Gazan independence would of course undermine the whole "hearts and minds" thingee, as a Muslim would rationally point out that the West Bank is a very weak state and its "independence" would really be of quasi-protectorate status, anyways (I highly doubt that an independent Palestine would be allowed to pursue an independent foreign policy with, say, Iran as an example).

  • Invisible Finger||

    As ISIS has shown, you win the hearts and minds by providing reliable electric service and potable water. The Americans could have done it but they were more interested in setting up bureaucracies because that's our core competency since 1950.

  • Juice||

    Their reason for living is to kill Jews and destroy Israel

    And the other side wants the same. To completely drive out all Palestinians and make Greater Israel a reality, a completely Jewish state encompassing all of the Palestinian territories and then some. Do you want to side with either of these groups?

  • PapayaSF||

    If Israel wanted to do that, they could do it in about 10 days. They haven't, so to me that proves they don't want to.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You will forgive me for thinking this is straight-up Newsmax-level Right-Wing insanity.

    You're just another progtard who doesn't understand history!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just from a political perspective, doesn't this mean that either the Democrats don't give a crap about Jewish donors anymore or that the Obama Administration doesn't give a crap about the Democrats anymore?

    Also from a political perspective, could somebody do the responsible thing, stick a mike in Hillary Clinton's face, and get her to comment on this situation already?

    She's supposed to be an expert on foreign policy, right? I'm sure Jewish potential campaign donors would love to hear Hillary's take on this situation. And don't Obama's liberal apologists need to hear what Hillary thinks about the Obama Administration, too?

    No matter what she says, it couldn't possibly be good for her presidential aspirations--so why isn't somebody out there sticking a microphone in her face, already, and asking her about it?

  • JeremyR||

    No, it means Jews won't ever vote Republican, so the Democrats don't have to worry about the vote.

    Pew did a research poll about religion this summer, and Jews apparently absolutely despise Evangelic Christians. As the Republican brand is heavily associated with them, Jews aren't every going to vote Democrat.

  • PapayaSF||

    Funny, because evangelical Christians tend to be rather pro-Jew and pro-Israel these days, while the Democratic Party and the left are increasingly anti-Jew and anti-Israel.

  • MarkinLA||

    Jewish money grubbing organizations always try to gull their old donors into believing that the Christians will be the cause of a new Holocaust because Jews will reject Christ.

  • jmomls||

    Methinks "a "senior Obama administration official"" won't remain 'nameless' too long, and might want to take out some extra life insurance for the eventuality of the Mossad making him/her a nice dish of Cream of Polonium soup.

  • J Mann||

    Isn't Susan Reed fairly famous for those kinds of comments? Since Dick Cheney doesn't seem likely, and it's a little aggressive for Biden, I'd start with her.

  • J Mann||

    I'm a doofus - Susan Rice. Susan Reed is famouse for invisible force fields.

  • ||

    Kerry.

  • Zeb||

    How does any of it really matter? Sure it is childish and petulant to say that about Netanyahu. I would also be childish and stupid if the Israelis did anything about it that affected their relationship with the US. Are they really going to risk losing the support of their biggest ally in the world over something like this?
    This looks to me like people pretending to be upset about shit they know doesn't matter.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Who knew ValJar had such a mouth on her?

  • Billy Bratt||

    Bibi is the CS. Remember all those movable red lines he draws in the sand?

  • World watchers||

    Barrack Hussein Obama lived as a child in Indonesia where he lived as a Muslim Prayed as a Muslim ate dog as a Muslim these are all facts such a shame so many have been blinded world has fallen into decadents beyond repair.
    Obama gave full backing to the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt till the people through out Morsi. Now he back Hamas Hezbollah and Iran so foolish nothing you can do these are the last days expect the worst.
    Praise the Lord God Almighty in all good as well as ill for the good is gone!

  • MarkinLA||

    Bibi has been saying for years he will go it alone against Iran. However, all he does is try to get the AIPAC stooges like McCain to goad the US into letting the goys do all the dying. Bibi is a chickenshit. Sometimes the other side is right. The US needs to stay out.

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