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Economic News Buoys Obama, as Israel & Iran Chatter Grows

The pace of job creation surged in January, with the US economy generating 243,000 new positions while the unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, according to government data released Friday. – CNBC

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza



This is fantastic news. Besides the people impacted by the turn in the economy, Obama reelect gets a boost too.

“What’s not to like about the report?” said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak in New York. “Not only did payrolls exceed forecasts…but between the November and December revisions employers added 160,000 more jobs than first thought.” – CNBC

I’d like to just offer one note of caution as 2012 election season starts to be seen only through the jobs and unemployment numbers. This is understandable, but as we learned on the run-up to George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004, when Osama bin Laden popped up in a video, what is suspected to be the issue, Bush-Cheney’s screw-up on Iraq, didn’t turn out to do him in. Obama gave the order for a daring SEAL Team Six mission to take out Osama, for which he doesn’t get enough credit, but there other foreign policy areas where he is less surefooted.

There is growing chatter about developments surrounding Iran and Israel. Richard Haas talked about it this week on “Morning Joe,” stressing a new element, the “zone of immunity.” David Ignasius wrote about it yesterday:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has a lot on his mind these days, from cutting the defense budget to managing the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But his biggest worry is the growing possibility that Israel will attack Iran over the next few months.

Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June – before Iran enters what Israelis described as a “zone of immunity” to commence building a nuclear bomb. Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon – and only the United States could then stop them militarily.

In his State of the Union Speech, Pres. Obama trotted out the old and tired war rattling words “no option off the table” to make the point about Iran. I mentioned earlier when talking about Newt Gingrich and Sheldon Adelson (see Wayne Barrett here and here), who’s whole reason for being is to saber rattle on Iran, that DNI Clapper had warned about Iranian attacks inside the U.S.

There’s an interesting post up at Huffington Post on the entire subject of Obama and Iran.

Mitt Romney is so incredibly weak on national security issues that there can be little doubt he’d have to trip the full neoconservative wire to pass muster with Republicans.

Pres. Obama has shown his Bushesque colors throughout his foreign policy decisions, with an election year bringing even bigger challenges to him. As many of you remember, he ducked an important vote on Iran as a senator running for president. There has been much criticism on his Israeli policy as president, most undeserved. Pres. Obama has been a steadfast friend to Israel, as all American presidents must be, with Romney’s “appeasement” lines absurd.

It has leaked that US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen. Martin Dempsey warned the Israelis that if they launched a strike on Iran that spiralled into a war, they would be on their own. – Juan Cole

It’s a long way until November. However, never underestimate election year foreign policy problems to distract people who remain unhappy about the direction of the country. If Iran and Israel become front and center the Middle East could raise its head and turn the election into something no one anticipates today.

This election year is primed for shock waves.

This column has been updated.

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10 Responses to Economic News Buoys Obama, as Israel & Iran Chatter Grows

  1. Art Pronin February 3, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Yes Iran chatter on the rise- but i just feel that israelwouldnt strike in may. perhaps im wrong?

    • Taylor Marsh February 3, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      The Obama administration is clearly very, very concerned about this, Art.

      The “zone of immunity” is setting nerves on end & Netanyahu has real pressures that don’t include caring one whit about Obama or the U.S.

      See the Juan Cole paragraph above.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter February 3, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

        “Netanyahu has real pressures that don’t include caring one whit about Obama or the U.S.”

        Can you tell me when the Israelis have given a flying FRACK about America or Americans except as a zombefied cow to be milked? Or MURDERED if it was in Israel’s interests?

        When they KNOWINGLY tried to sink an AMERICAN Navy ship, CLEARLY marked as such in international waters…to the point of murdering 25 American Service People? To the point of having torpedo boats machine gunning rafts released by the crew of the USS Liberty after Israel had jet aircraft attack in waves with rockets, cannon fire and napalm?

        How about when they KNOWINGLY ran a Bulldozer over an American Peace Activist who was protesting the Israeli policy of destroying the houses of the families of people arrested or identified by Israel as “terrorists”?

  2. casualobserver February 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    The pace of job creation surged in January, with the US economy generating 243,000 new positions while the unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, according to government data released Friday.

    The 243K is indeed a positive for whomever actually deserves the credit. As for the 8.3%, remember there is a denominator in that calculation too. Did 1.2M people really leave for a comfortable retirement last month?

     

     

    • Solo February 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

      “The 243K is indeed a positive for whomever actually deserves the credit.”  Wow!

  3. Taylor Marsh February 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    There has always been an issue with people dropping off the job roles, so that’s a point well taken, though the actual number being used in that quote is debatable.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter February 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

      As is the point that this economic meltdown happened under the torturer in chief along with the treasonous actions of what can only be describe as domestic terrorists willing to destroy the economy and people…the 99% but not their rich buddies to achieve their political goals.

  4. secularhumanizinevoluter February 3, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    And by the by, didn’t that Jackass Trump say, when he was fluffing for Mit the twit, that the numbers coming out would say unemployment would be over 9%?

  5. fairmindedindependent February 4, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    Isreal does seem on the minds of the Obama Administration, and it should be. If Isreal feels threatened, it will strike, its done it before in Iraq so I am sure the country will do it again. Isreal has a large number of attack airplanes and I am sure they have long range bombers too. Your right Taylor, there is going to be shockwaves this year, it usually is in politics.

  6. secularhumanizinevoluter February 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    1.” Isreal does seem on the minds of the Obama Administration, and it should be.”

    Damned straight on THAT!

    2.”If Isreal feels threatened, it will strike,”

    Like it was threatened by the Liberty or that young woman?

    3.”its done it before in Iraq so I am sure the country will do it again.”

    Whenever and against whomever the want whenever they want….after all, Uncle Sugar got their back.

    4.”Isreal has a large number of attack airplanes”

    Supplied and paid for by the USA

    5.”and I am sure they have long range bombers too.”

    Supplied and paid for by ther USA

    6.”Your right Taylor, there is going to be shockwaves this year, it usually is in politics.”

    Yup…gee, wonder why the Arab world hates us? Is it our “freedoms”?

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