July 24, 2014

"What is ridiculous is the Obama administration refusing to answer simple questions about whether this was dictated by politics and why the FAA is singling out Israel..."

"... while not focusing on other areas around the world... Was this politics from the White House? Or was this an airline safety decision? And I think the facts strongly suggest it was politics and an effort to strong arm the nation of Israel."

Said Ted Cruz.

44 comments:

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Sounds correct.

garage mahal said...

Get your Daily Fake Outrage of the Day!

Lyle said...

We can't put past Obama now can we.

Brando said...

We send them $3 billion every year. If grounding a few planes cuts their tourist dollars, we can always send a few billion more.

Obama's administration has done a lot of shady stuff, but if you start seeing a conspiracy under every rock you look at, you're going to send yourself into a spiral of paranoid delusion that won't end until you're shooting demons from a bell tower.

tim maguire said...

Israel is a small country with lots of missiles flying around. Halting flights doesn't sound controversial to me.

Brando said...

The problem with the far right when dealing with Obama is that we're talking about a president who has done enough genuine things that are underhanded, incompetent, or of dubious legality that there's no need to pull crap out of thin air.

In this case, let's say Obama's FAA never pulled any flights to Israel--is it really such a reach to imagine that Cruz et al would then accuse Obama of letting American travelers into harm's way what with the rockets being fired back and forth? Clearly for some it comes down to "find out what Obama does or says, and oppose that, no matter what it is" and this is the sort of thing that turns off moderates and even suggests that some of the (genuine) complaints about Obama are just petty politics.

In this way, the rabid right is the best friend Obama could have.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ted Cruz?

Fingers in my ears, and la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la,….

Saint Croix said...

It's ridiculous and offensive! But we will end our ban right away. There are no political calculations whatsoever!

How dare you criticize us with this effective speech that makes us change our behavior. Damn you, Ted Cruz!

AReasonableMan said...

Israel wants it both ways on this one. The missiles are a mortal threat, just not to aircraft.

Mark said...

If Israel is being attacked and want to be excused for using military means to defend themselves, then they have to admit it might not be the safest place to fly into.

They can't have it both ways, though G-d knows they'll try.

Lyle said...

El Al did not stop flying. How else did Michael Bloomberg get there yesterday?

DrMaturin said...

The FAA ban was a propaganda windfall for Hamas, and the longer it continued the greater the benefit to them. Give Cruz and Michael Bloomberg credit, their public pushback on this issue got the government to back down on this.

Thorley Winston said...

While I’m nominally pro-Israel (insofar as they’re an ally and we should support our allies), I’m a little weary of the “Israel’s our friend” drum beat on my side of the aisle. Countries don’t have “friends,” they have interests and while I believe it’s in our interest to support the only secular democracy in the region, I’m far less sentimental about it than some.

Having said that though, my first read on this was that was Cruz was just posturing and there may have been (probably was) legitimate safety reasons behind the ban. But then the article ends with saying that the ban was listed yesterday which kind of makes me wonder – what changed between the time that the ban was implemented and when it was lifted that made the government reverse their decision?

madAsHell said...

you're going to send yourself into a spiral of paranoid delusion

Have they started destroying hard drives at the FAA?

Gahrie said...

Fingers in my ears, and la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la,….

So how is this different from any other day or any other issue?

Gahrie said...

The missiles being fired into Israel (Thousands of them by the way) are surface to surface missiles, not anti-aircraft missiles. It would take an incredible coincidence for a plane to get hit on the ground (these missiles are very inaccurate, basically terror weapons like the V-2) and it would be virtually impossible for a plane to get hit in the air.

Steve said...

All the more reason for Israel to push harder to destroy all potential threats from Gaza. Who would want to put Mayor Bloomberg in danger? The military campaign should go along until the Israelis decide it should end.

Scott said...

Honestly, I see the FAA closure as an overreaction, but a justifiable one coming on the heels of the MH17 shootdown in the Ukraine. To the basic man on the street, missiles are missiles and can't differentiate between surface to surface missiles like Hamas fires at Israel and military medium range surface-to-air missiles like what shot down MH17.

The actual threat of a plane getting hit on the ground or in flight is extremely small (and almost certainly smaller than the risk of bad weather, bad maintenance, or pilot error). It's not zero, and the FAA doesn't want to be held responsible for taking heat if it does happen (witness the grief they are getting over MH17 flying above a war zone).

As for attacking Tel Aviv (and Ben Gurion Airport), that's an act of war by Hamas (firing on a country's capital) and almost certainly a de facto war crime (imagine someone launching rockets on LAX, Dulles, JFK, or O'Hare airports, the major hubs). While short-term effective in propaganda terms, this will do nothing to bring Israel to the table and will give them a lot of justification to damage Hamas even more than they may otherwise have.

Big Mike said...

I wish more Republican officials would punch back the way Ted Cruz does. Got get 'em Ted!

The Godfather said...

The FAA was just concerned about air safety. The IRS was just concerned about enforcing the tax laws. We really thought Benghazi was about an internet video. ATF walked guns into Mexico to enforce the gun laws. And so forth.

Do you remember the tale of The Boy Who Cried Wolf?

Phil said...

Standard Obama water carrier excuse. "Sure, there are plenty of legitimate issues that show he's a dishonest fuck and he's utterly incompetent, but THIS issue is just made up." Rinse. Repeat. Wait a week. "That's old news, get over it!"

machine said...

"Said Ted Cruz."

nuff sed...and when a plane gets shot down in a dangerous place, its also Obama's fault.

Anonymous said...

Gahrie said...
The missiles being fired into Israel (Thousands of them by the way) are surface to surface missiles, not anti-aircraft missiles. It would take an incredible coincidence for a plane to get hit on the ground (these missiles are very inaccurate, basically terror weapons like the V-2) and it would be virtually impossible for a plane to get hit in the air.

7/24/14, 9:54 AM
--------------------------------

Yes, you are right. Stop confusing these dolts with facts.
Birds are a bigger hazard to aircraft than surface-to-surface rockets.

Tank said...

Freedom is always the last option.

Why not let airlines and passengers decide if they want to take whatever risk is involved?

Nah.

The Crack Emcee said...

Gahrie,

Fingers in my ears, and la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la,….

So how is this different from any other day or any other issue?


I didn't slam him for being white - yet.

Jesus, Dude, you're slippin',...

David said...

Strong arming the state of Israel has a low success rate.

Rusty said...

machine said...
"Said Ted Cruz."

nuff sed...and when a plane gets shot down in a dangerous place, its also Obama's fault.

Well. Obamas' boy friend anyway.

Brando said...

"Standard Obama water carrier excuse. "Sure, there are plenty of legitimate issues that show he's a dishonest fuck and he's utterly incompetent, but THIS issue is just made up." Rinse. Repeat. Wait a week. "That's old news, get over it!""

I don't think Obama water carriers would concede that there are plenty of legitimate issues that show he's dishonest and incompetent. But many of us Obama critics aren't ready to reflexively jump on him over every single thing he does. To say that this makes us "Obama water carriers" implies that genuine critics of the man will never consider any attack on him to be unfounded. It doesn't say much for who you consider to be genuine critics.

Michael said...

machine:

I urge you to drop the "nut said." It is a marker of grave, profound, stupidity which likely preceded senility.

You are welcome.

lb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
richard mcenroe said...

Strangely, France, Canada, Sweden and other countries continued airline flights into Hanoi all through the Vietnam War and not one was shot down or even targeted.

Gosh, what could be the difference today?

damikesc said...


I don't think Obama water carriers would concede that there are plenty of legitimate issues that show he's dishonest and incompetent. But many of us Obama critics aren't ready to reflexively jump on him over every single thing he does. To say that this makes us "Obama water carriers" implies that genuine critics of the man will never consider any attack on him to be unfounded. It doesn't say much for who you consider to be genuine critics.


Brando, 3 yrs ago, I woukdn't have imagined Obama would leave an ambassador to die in a foreign land and blame a film nobody saw.

I wouldn't have imagined the IRS would harass Americans opposing the President and then destroy evidence involving it.

I wouldn't have imagined the NSA would be spying on us as thoroughly as it is.

I wouldn't have imagined that the only people punished in a scandal like the VA would be whistleblowers.

Obama has lowered the bar on what is believable significantly.

cubanbob said...

AReasonableMan said...
Israel wants it both ways on this one. The missiles are a mortal threat, just not to aircraft.
7/24/14, 9:16 AM

Perhaps you don't understand the difference between an unguided artillery rocket and a guided anti-aircraft missile. You run a higher risk of being accidentally murdered in Chicago than being killed in flight by an unguided artillery rocket. After five years of mendacity and criminality the default assumption with this administration is guilty until proven otherwise.

Brando said...

"Obama has lowered the bar on what is believable significantly."

And the examples you list are the genuine scandals--though my sense on Benghazi was that this was the sort of State Dept. incompetence that could have happened on anyone's watch, and the media spin was more attributable to flailing incompetence than anything sinister.

My point is that when everything Obama does is viewed as scandal, when everything he says is interpreted in the worst possible way, it demeans the credibility of his critics to those who don't already hate the guy.

As an example, an email recently made the rounds where Obama's wife was ridiculed as an idiot for saying something about the founding fathers not being born American--as though she thought they were all born overseas. But reading the actual quote it's clear that she's referring to "American" as something the founding fathers became by choice. A minor issue--not a big news story by any means--but just another example of how if the opposition becomes knee jerk, it loses something and the real scandals get buried in the white noise.

It was the same way with how the left treated Bush--they had some good arguments about many of his policies, but with the overkill and assumption that he was somehow both an idiot and an evil mastermind just exposed them as hacks. Likewise, under Clinton there was a scandal a minute--and that guy was a genuine crook, but by the time some of the later scandals emerged, people were fatigued by it and too much space had already been spent on his earlier stuff.

If anything, this helps the target--too much white noise and no one can see what you're really getting away with. In this particular case, it doesn't seem particularly objectionable to withhold flights into a small country that has an escalating war taking place--maybe they're being overly cautious but when would "overly cautious" be out of the ordinary for the FAA these days? To assume that this was some passive aggressive swipe at the Israelis--particularly when an open rebuke would at least not be misunderstood--is just conspiracy mongering.

If Cruz somehow found something here--maybe a communique from the White House saying something like "let's show Netanyahu a lesson, pull flights for a few days!"--then I'll take all that back.

Brando said...

"Obama has lowered the bar on what is believable significantly."

The examples you list are genuine scandals. Constant noise like this FAA one are what drowns them out. I find it hard to believe that Obama ordered the FAA to withhold flights for a few days to teach the Israelis a lesson--particularly when the message of this "lesson" would be so muddled with the official explanation.

Is it really that hard to believe that the FAA (which has been going overboard with safety in the past decade) would withhold flights from a small country going through an escalating war? Hell, if one of our airliners got hit by a rocket, you better believe Ted Cruz would be one of the first to scream at Obama for not keeping our citizens safe.

Focusing on the "white noise" scandals is a terrific gift for the Prez. He can try to lump it in with IRS, NSA, VA, etc.

Unknown said...

"At this point, what difference does it make?"

I'm on a roll here.

Quaestor said...

Probably some FAA staffer got panicky (Female, most likely. Male aviation wonks know the difference between unguided artillery rockets and surface-to-air missiles.) and fired off a memo which by turns arrived on Valerie Jarrett's desk who, being female and thus likely not knowing icky military stuff, consulted similarly female Susan Rice, who passed it on to Obama with a suitably urgent preface like "Mister President, we have another air tragedy brewing...", who unwilling to interrupt his practice putts said, "Handle it, Susan." Later someone with a bit stronger command of the facts intervened and the flight ban was lifted.

Ted Cruz thought he smelled a rat and got a bit panicky himself. He should be forgiven since the odor of rat wafting from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is so thick these days.

exhelodrvr1 said...

This restriction did not seem appropriate, on the surface. It certainly could have been an overreaction by someone at a lower level.

However, Obama has shown himself to be very petty, he has shown himself to not be "pro-Israel", and he has demonstrated an apparent personal dislike for Netanyahu. So it is hardly out of the question that this was viewed as a way to take Israel down a peg. After all, "Never let a crisis go to waste!"

If it was an overreaction by someone at a lower level that managed to sneak through, that would demonstrate a very high level of incompetence in the administration. Of course, based on the past six years, that is also hardly out of the question.

Explain again why you voted for him?

Birkel said...

I take no position on the suggestion of Cruz.

But remember the Great Bridge Scandal of New Jersey that was Terrible and was going to get Governor Christie and his entire administration frog-marched?

Based on that experience I am sure there is no chance anybody in government with an enormous ego could ever be petty.

Not a smidgen of a chance.

Revenant said...

Obama's administration has done a lot of shady stuff, but if you start seeing a conspiracy under every rock you look at, you're going to send yourself into a spiral of paranoid delusion that won't end until you're shooting demons from a bell tower.

When the stated reason for a policy makes no sense, it is human nature to believe the real reason must be something else. It makes no sense to bar flights to Israel but allow them to, for example, Ukraine and Russia.

That being said: when Obama does something senseless that alienates our allies, "he's incompetent" is a more likely explanation than "it is all part of his subtle master plan".

Cedarford said...

Explain again why you voted for him?

=============
I think the verdict is pretty much in on McCain:

THANK GOD we didn't elect that warmonger! More and more, Obama seems the lesser of the two evils available in 2008.

Those who then voted to keep the affirmative action product in office and not replace him with Romney??
Harder to explain.

But a year of McCain and 5-6 new wars being fought for the Neocons??
We would have had voters begging the Vietnamese to take McCain back.

Cedarford said...

Also, late in this thread I must admit....but the "black civilian Obama insider females who-never-served!" may be wiser than many of our Vets yammering about rocket artillery vs. guided SA missiles.

If I was a "Terrahist Evildoer" as Bush called them and had 4-5 hundred rockets with 6-20 KG warheads inc. ability to disperse incendiaries and bomblets and a half kilometer give or take in accuracy of planned point of impact. - few soft targets are more attractive than an airport.

Concourses packed with people, thin aluminum tubes filled with thousands of gallons of kerosene and hundred or so people? That is maybe the 2nd best target next to the Israelis center of government...and that is hardened while Ben Gurion Airport cannot be.
Add that 70-80 missiles with time delay fuses could close runways and fuel stations and arrival/departure areas for days.

America backing off it's travel restrictions was likely on assurance by the Israelis that their invasion and air bombing of Gaza made a mass artillery rocket salvo or series of slavos something the Palestinians could not do.

Gary Rosen said...

C-fudd, they let you out of the nuthut again? Still with the fake profile laughably claiming you ever fathered children.

Nichevo said...

As long as you're going to posit/invent a runway denial threat, C4, you may as well just fiat the Pals some ADA and be serious. Given Iran's shipping them this and that gear, why not an Improved HAWK battery? Or some of those manpads shaken loose from the Libya/Syria debacle?

Kerry flew into Tel Aviv. What would Obama, or a real President, or you do, if your SoS got blown away flying in to make peace? For the sake of winning your argument you'd deny it, but in reality you'd act. On the Pals, on Qatar or Iran or whoever armed or funded or broadcast them. Imagine if Hamas somehow shot down Gen. Sisi. Egypt would roll into Gaza and not leave stone upon stone.

No, attacking civilian aircraft would be a bridge too far and they know it. Plus, it would look so, and the first airliner going down would be perfect justification for Israel to do whatever they wanted in Gaza, or in the WB if it came to that. They haven't even attacked Israeli flights, why go full retard now?