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Monday, March 28, 2016

Candidates at the AIPAC convention

    I watched the speeches of Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz at the AIPAC convention.   Even though the speeches focused on Israel, I thought they gave great insight into the election in general.  So here are my thoughts.
        Hillary's speech was terrific.  It was very thoughtful and very specific. She did not back down from her support of the Iran deal.   She also said that both the Israeli people and the Palestinian  people have a right to live in their own safe and secure countries.  She advocated diplomacy over bloodshed.  She said that no one should give up hope for a negotiated peace settlement.  She reminded the crowd of the unprecedented  level of security cooperation between Israel and the United States during the Obama presidency.  And she referred to the continued construction of settlements as an obstacle for peace.  Overall I felt the same as I did in watching the Hillary-Bernie debates.  They make you proud to be a Democrat.   If there was an applause meter, I think it would show that Hillary was far more warmly welcomed than either Trump or Cruz.
          I have little to say about Cruz except he is scary.  He is a war monger. He repeated his often stated quote that on his first day in office he would tear up the Iran deal.   This is nothing more than a red meat rant.  It is a terrible thought that this man could be president.  But here is my question, How would England, France, Germany, China   and Russia feel about the United States reneging on an agreement they had all signed on to?  The answer is obvious.  I am convinced Cruz would say he could not care less about their reactions.  This is the polar opposite of diplomacy.  Cruz never believed in diplomacy in the Senate.  That's why he is despised.  He is truly scary. 
       One last thing. on Cruz.  He loves to tell the story about how his nut job father was imprisoned in Cuba and somehow escaped to the United States.  He wants to leave the impression that his father was imprisoned by Castro.  Actually if his father was really in prison, over which there is some doubt, he was imprisoned by Bautista because he was a supporter of Castro.   Then Cruz went on to say that his father always thanked God that America exists as a refuge for the oppressed.    How then can Cruz support almost total restrictions on the oppressed from the Middle East and from Central America? Needless to say he never explains the contradiction.   I will never  understand how Cruz and his ilk can claim they follow the teachings of Jesus. 
       Now to P.T. Barnum. Both Hillary and Trump get secret service protection.  I don't know about Cruz.  Hillary came to the podium with the secret service agents nearby but relatively unobtrusive.  Trump came in and departed  with a phalanx of monster thugs surrounding him.  I don't think they were secret service.  I don't advocate for anyone to watch the speech.  But see if you can find the entrance.  The thugs look like Brown Shirts with suits. The comparison to Mussilini and Hitler continues.
         It is unfortunate that the cameras did not show the people who walked out as Trump got up to speak. I was thrilled that there was a silent protest. As he took the podium I could see that less than half the people shown in the audience applauded.  I thought the applause was generally muted.  The one thing that  really made me sick was when Trump said that this is the last year of Obama's presidency  and many people applauded.
         Trump opened by saying he would not patronize the audience and then went on to patronize  the audience the entire speech.    He tried to show his creds for his long support of Israel.  This I am not making up.  To prove his support, after 9/11 Rudy Guliani went to Israel to offer condolences  to families of victims.  Trump let Guliani use his plane.  He followed that by saying that in 2004 he was Grand Marshall of the Israel Day Parade in N.Y.  He said it was a very dangerous time and many people turned down the invitation.  But he bravely accepted.  I cannot make this up, but Trump can.
        Finally, Trump said he very carefully studied the Iran deal more than anyone else. Of course, he called it a disaster.  He did not give a single specific about the deal other than the false claim that the United States gave Iran $150 billion.  (Most of it was Iran's own money which had been frozen for years.)  He said it was a horrible deal and the United States got nothing in return.  He said that all Iran has to do is wait out the time period for not producing nuclear weapons.  So actually our side did get something.  Many argue that The P5 plus 1 did not get enough and should have held out for more.  But no one credibly says that our side got nothing.  And by the way Hillary pointed out that Iran has disposed of much of its nuclear materials and its centrifuges have been mothballed.
            My takeaway is that Trump is crazy and scary.  Cruz is just scary.  I did not see Kasich's speech but I understand it was excellent.  Bernie was invited but he had commitments to campaign out West. 
        So that's my perspective.  Thanks for reading.
 
Richard

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