As I write this, Fox News has reported, White House Swipes at Netanyahu With Tweet of Iran Bomb Diagram. I’m sure that Friday afternoon’s panel discussion on the Republican propaganda network will be filled with outrage. After all: how dare the President of the United States make fun of the King of the Republican Party, Benjamin Netanyahu (who recently unseated Vladimir Putin, who is now just the authoritarian man-crush of the party)?
The story starts back in 2012, when Netanyahu came to the United Nations to talk about the threat of Iran getting a nuclear bomb. And as proof, he apparently got his four year old grandson to make a drawing of a bomb that looks like something out of a Looney Tunes cartoon. And there he is in the picture drawing a red line on it as if to say, “Danger, Will Robinson!” It was when he claimed that the summer of 2013 was absolutely, positively the last chance the world had to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. Of course, I recently discussed just how seriously we should take his pronouncements, Netanyahu’s Long History of Being Wrong. But hey, a cartoon bomb. A red line. These things must be taken seriously! Of course, the Obama administration wasn’t too happy at the time.
So it isn’t surprising that now that the Iran nuclear framework is in place and a deal looks like it is going to come to pass (as long as the Democrats don’t destroy it), the Obama administration would take to a little payback. And what payback it is! They tweeted out the following image that is quite brilliant:
Zack Beauchamp at Vox has noted that, The White House’s Netanyahu-Trolling Cartoon Is Pretty Misleading. But that headline itself is misleading. It just refers to the fact that this simple cartoon doesn’t correctly summarize the agreement. But he admits:
And let’s not forget: the point of the cartoon is to be simplistic. It is a parody of Netanyahu’s ridiculous “argument” that his cartoon bomb picture somehow proved that Iran was on the verge of having a nuclear weapon. What the administration has produced is far more nuanced and accurate than that.
To me, the most important part of the image is the pair of scissors. If we take Netanyahu’s image as reality (and we shouldn’t), then this deal snips off that lit fuse. No one is claiming that this deal will stop Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon. But it will slow any such efforts. So that’s a good thing, right? Well, apparently not — at least for Netanyahu. And that’s interesting coming from the leader of the only country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons — and lots of them.
Troll on, White House! Troll on!