Republican Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is performing a political move to make a name for himself by giving a speech deriding Obama’s response to the Arab Spring. The speech is “being billed as a major foreign policy address” from the very guy who has trouble distinguishing Iraq from Iran.
Although not as manically jingoist as his fellow candidate Rick Santorum, Pawlenty gives the same old rap that every Republican attempts to give a Democratic President: You’re too soft and don’t love Israel enough.
“He has been timid, slow, and too often without a clear understanding of our interests or a clear commitment to our principles,” Pawlenty is to say.
[…] Pawlenty, the conservative former governor of Minnesota, will say that it is essential that the United States make clear its unabashed support for Israel.
“Israeli-Palestinian peace is further away now than the day Barack Obama came to office. But that does not have to be a permanent situation. We must recognize that peace will only come if everyone in the region perceives clearly that America stands strongly with Israel,” he is to say.
The first comment about timidity and lack of understanding of our interests or principles carries almost no information at all. It is a catchall crafted to let people write in their own vague grievances with Obama’s foreign policy. It’s no different than “Change you can believe in” in that the change can be a million different things to a million different people listening. Additionally, Obama has acted out every hawkish, interventionist, imperial wetdream in response to the Arab Spring in presumably the same way Pawlenty would have conformed perfectly to the national security culture that subsumes the bubble of presidential life. Despite what the speech is made to seem like, the policies of the two men are virtually identical; Pawlenty is just playing on people’s preconceived political grievances which have been ingrained in the public’s collective mind for decades.
As for not showing Israel enough support, this is too clearly false to warrant an explanation. But it must be said if the speech is going to accomplish its goals. First, play on the ignorant public’s feelings. Second, pander to the Israel lobby.