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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Don't tell me there's no correlation between then and now [updated]

What we do and experience in our early twenties surely has some influence on who we become later in life... no?

Bibi and Barry 
(L) Benjamin Netanyahu                  (R) Barack (Barry) Obama

[Seen on too many sites to give proper credit]

Afterthought:  Yes, I know it is completely unfair to juxtapose two random photos from two people's past and suggest that the content of the photos sum up who they are/were.  I'm sure there are photos of Bibi from his past that would not portray him in a flattering light... and I'm sure there are photos of Obama from his past that make him look, well, less like a slacker college student.

However, I think what made me decide to post this in spite of its inherent unfairness is the fact that Bibi has done some very specific things - big things - in his youth for which there is nothing even even close to comparable in Obama's.

This doesn't disqualify Obama from being capable of great things.  It just (IMHO) draws the discussion of defense and security concerns into sharp focus and makes one wonder about the relative qualifications of the two men to engage in meaningful discussions, much less monumental decisions, related to such topics.

People who have led men in battle, and experienced first hand the terrible cost of war, tend to think twice... and then twice again...before making decisions that might send other leaders and men onto the battlefield. 

That is what I am trying to convey here.  It was my complaint about Ehud Olmert... and it is my concern about Barack Obama. 

Posted by David Bogner on May 24, 2011 | Permalink

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Thanks, I hadn't seen this.

Posted by: LeahGG | May 24, 2011 2:00:54 PM

Surely that's one of the Jacksons?

Posted by: aparatchik | May 24, 2011 3:10:59 PM

People who have led men in battle and experienced first hand the terrible cost of war tend to think twice... and then twice again...before making decisions that might land other leaders and men on the battlefield.

That is what I am trying to convey here. It was my complaint about Ehud Olmert... and it is my concern about Obama.

In recent US history, few Presidents have been military leaders, if they've served at all. The criticism of President Obama would be more valid if we saw it applied to Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, or any of the viable Republican candidates for 2012: Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, or Jon Huntsman.

It's a red herring in a country without a draft.

Posted by: Andy Levy-Stevenson | May 24, 2011 3:59:55 PM

Another excellent post, David. You might think that BHO would understand more about the Middle East, given his exclusive educational opportunities, but alas, such is not the case. Last weekend, he gave his (now famous) speech recommending Israel withdraw to the 1967 lines of territory. Bibi is quite upset (understandably so) and suggests those lines are not defensible. I'd suggest we use the boundaries of the 1973 war (which Egypt and Syria started) and give the Israelis back the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights and part of Egypt west of the Suez Canal. That would give Israel defensible lines and room to grow.

Posted by: ProphetJoe | May 24, 2011 4:11:20 PM

Andy: why would the criticism of Obama be "more valid" if we saw it applied to others? Since World War II, only Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have had no military experience...

Posted by: ProphetJoe | May 24, 2011 4:18:13 PM

Andy Levy-Stevenson ... Not so fast. With the exception of Clinton, ALL of the presidents you mentioned served in the military... even Dubya. Reagan ended up transferring to a PR unit, but started out as an enlisted man and ended up being a commissioned officer in a cav unit. Johnson was a LCDR in the Navy and was decorated for his participation in several bombing missions during WWII. and while his intention was clearly to stay out of harms way, flying combat aircraft in the National Guard is nothing to sneeze at. There are plenty of Guardsmen and women in harms way right now in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clinton actively avoided service in much the same way that many of his generation did. He was not unique in this. And to show that I'm trying to be even handed, Carter was a Naval officer and was a terrible commander in chief. My problem with Obama is that he seems far to willing to dismiss history and discount previous bad behavior. For all his lack of military experience, Clinton was at least an astute student of history.

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 24, 2011 4:21:44 PM

Surely that's one of the Jacksons?

Posted by: aparatchik


No, he hasn't the talent of a Jackson! :-)

Posted by: ProphetJoe | May 24, 2011 4:23:10 PM

Bibi and Obama do have one thing in common. Both attended graduate school in the Boston area,not too many years apart.I also think negotiations should start from the 1967 lines,July 1, 1967.

Posted by: ED | May 24, 2011 4:33:27 PM

W, for all the lies told about his national guard service and the alleged "champagne unit" he served with, flew the single-engine F-102 interceptor on routine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico. It was a very unforgiving airplane and it took guts just to strap the thing onto your ass. So please don't include him in the pantheon of presidential shirkers.

Posted by: Dick Stanley | May 24, 2011 7:36:48 PM

Andy, you're missing the point. The comparison is between Bibi and Barry, not any previous president.

Posted by: Nachum | May 25, 2011 7:26:40 AM

cool Obama photo when he was young.

Posted by: Ali ridha | May 25, 2011 10:42:55 AM

Bibi was quite the hottie.

(What don't tell me you hadn't noticed).

Posted by: Baila | May 25, 2011 9:10:42 PM

Mr. Obama is a contemporary of mine. My impression of him is, that he operates in the presidency about the same way I would, and that is not a compliment. My generation has taken over the reins -- and I can't say we got the best man for the job. (yet.) I did get a charge out of watching Bibi take him to the woodshed after his "1967 borders" speech in the joint press conference the next day. I've seen Bibi speak in person (between prime minister gigs), and found him engaging, forcible and focused.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | May 26, 2011 7:10:17 AM

P.S. : the photo of Mr. Netanyahu should be on the right; with Mr. Obama on the left.

Posted by: Wry Mouth | May 26, 2011 7:12:17 AM

Nice pix, though. Barry is such a dolt.

Posted by: Dick Stanley | Jun 2, 2011 8:05:11 AM

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