Fathers and Sons: A Spirited Defense of Chas Freeman by his Politically Divergent Son

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chas freeman standing.jpgThis is a guest post for The Washington Note by CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies Charles Freeman. The entry first appeared on Freeman’s facebook page. Freeman previously served as assistant U.S. trade representative (USTR) for China affairs.
Like many of Washington’s political families, the Freeman family is politically divided with Chas Freeman, the elder, having worked hard to undermine George W. Bush’s wrong-headed direction in foreign policy while his son was working for that same President. Zbigniew Brzezinski sons Ian and Mark are also passionate defenders of their respectively opposite political courses. Their sister Mika recently recounted a story of a Christmas holiday torn to shreds by a political scuffle between Ian and Mark, who is rumored to be be on his way to serve as America’s next Ambassador to Poland.
These views are entirely those of Charles Freeman, particularly the last line, as I always prefer civil debate to nose-punching, but I understand where the younger Freeman is coming from — Steve Clemons

Note to Peretz, Chait and Kirchick: It’s Clobberin’ Time!
My father, Chas Freeman, was recently appointed to chair the National Intelligence Council, an important but not political position that operates as editor-in-chief of “big think” analysis of foreign policy for the President.
A cabal of ideological hardliners has orchestrated a remarkable, self-referential smear campaign against my Dad’s appointment, dragging Congress and the political process into this non-political sphere. They are wrong to do it, and not just because my Dad is involved.
Let me say that I have had my disagreements with my father over the years.
I am a lifelong Republican. My Dad’s politics are less easily defined (and his decision to join the Obama administration is the most damning thing I can say about him). I toiled in the boiler rooms of the George W. Bush administration at a time when my Dad was organizing a mutiny of former statesmen and military men to warn that the President was about to ground the ship of state.
We have argued over China policy, Middle East policy and every other conceivable policy: my Dad’s a born arguer and a born contrarian. He likes to challenge established viewpoints and conventional wisdom. I’m more likely to guard my flank against political attack.
So the attack by groups interested in issues about which he’s been impolitic in the past doesn’t particularly surprise him (or me). My Dad has been vocal on the dangers of established maxims about blind faith (in Israel) and blind antagonism (with China). That will get you in trouble quick, and it has, if you have any political sensibility.
The problem with – and the great virtue of – my Dad is that he has no political sensibility at all.
Things none of us would say while we watch our flanks, he says flippantly. He jabs at Congressional perfidies and at established wisdoms and has punched the odd sacred cow in the face. But he’s seriously smart.
As the smartest person I know said about my Dad: “oh, he’s scary smart.” He’s a curmudgeon with a stiletto for a mind. He has the capacity to force the intelligence community to begin asking the questions that need to be asked, as opposed to the questions that they think will generate the answers that best suit the political framework that may have generated the question. Just the kind of person who should be asking the big questions about intelligence.
His appointment is being challenged these days by a small cabal of folks that believe first and foremost in the importance of allegiance to Israel as a core U.S. priority. Putting aside my natural instinct as a son to want to punch some of these guys in the face for some of the things they are saying about my father, for heaven’s sake, I’m more deeply angry about the lack of guile some of these people have.
Steve Rosen (what do you say about someone on indictment for espionage calling someone else un-American (ANSWER: chutzpah!), Jon Chait (who has scaled new lows); someone who used to be someone in Soviet studies named Gabriel Schoenfeld; the unpleasant Marty Peretz; and the usual lurid commentators from the comic book approach to international affairs (the nasty, narrow, dogmatic children from NRO and their ilk (although I’m glad you changed your mind about marching for Pride in Jerusalem, Jamie). Goodness!
I do think it’s perfectly acceptable to be more loyal to Israel, even as an American citizen. But I also think that should disqualify you from any serious discussion about American interests in the Middle East.
In fact, I’m in lock step with my Dad on this one: there are no cases, from a U.S. official’s standpoint, in which another country’s interests should trump those of the United States. That there is any serious debate – and I do think people like Congressman Kirk of Illinois are serious – on this issue is a sure sign that something is rotten.
My Dad is a royal pain in the butt, but I love him. Why this pack of arfing lapdogs have chosen him as a target is clear: he’s been a longtime thorn in the butt of the Israel first-ers. Never mind that he’d be a killer NIC chair for genuine American interests.
My Dad and I are going to continue to argue.
We’ll do it, respectfully though.
Wish that could be said about his detractors. They are low-lives. And if you’re among them and by chance read this: I still want to punch you in the face. You’d deserve it, you schmucks.
— Charles Freeman
Editor’s Note: I should also add that I can’t tell whether Charles is critiquing Jamie Kirchick for not being supportive of a Pride parade in Jerusalem, or for being supportive of it. Just to be clear about my own views, I strongly support gay rights efforts in Israel and believe that Jamie Kirchick does as well.
I have since learned since publishing this editor’s note that Charles Freeman genuinely admires Jamie Kirchick for his support of the gay pride parade in Israel. Freeman had the view that at one point in Jamie Kirchick’s writing about such gay pride events, Kirchick was ambivalent about such events but then became strongly supportive of them. Just an elaboration that helps explain the context of the comment above. — Steve Clemons

Comments

319 comments on “Fathers and Sons: A Spirited Defense of Chas Freeman by his Politically Divergent Son

  1. David says:

    “I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.
    “Barack Obama should take note. The thugs have taken out Chas Freeman. They will not rest. Their real target is you, Mr. President.”
    Well noted Kathleen G. This is the heart of the matter, to which the knee-jerk villification of Jimmy Carter, including by far too many Democrats, stands as clear testimony. That AIPAC does not understand that Jimmy Carter is actually one of Israel’s wisest, truest friends suggests that Israeli right wingers are geopolitically braindead, and among the worst sort of “patriots” a nation could have visited upon it or its allies.
    US Middle East policy is now alienating our friends in Central and South America. It just gets more counterproductive by the day for everyone involved except those who want the US to be less respected and admired on the world stage. Pity so damned many influential people really don’t know geopolitical sh*t from Shinola.

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  2. arthurdecco says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim: WigWag, thanks for your kind words (but stop flattering me; some people here may think I work undercover for Israel!).
    What a telling comment… Even Mr. Norheim, our resident equal-timer, thinks WigWag works undercover for Israel.

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  3. Kathleen G says:

    This morning on the Diane Rehm show (Round up) they discussed Freeman’s withdrawal. A relatively honest discussion. I have been able to get the Rehm show to bring particular guest on in the past.
    I have asked her to bring Charles Freeman on her program. Please join me in asking Diane and her producers to being Freeman on as a guest to discuss his withdrawal
    contact for the Rehm show
    http://wamu.org/programs/dr/contact_us.php
    I have also on many occasions asked her to report about the U.S.vs Rosen espionage investigation
    Hopefully Amy goodman has Freeman on. Chris Matthews, Olberman, Schuster, Maddow have not touched this issue. HMMMMM Producers?

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  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “PissedoffAmerican is an alias for a Palestinian living in the Dearborn Michigan area, which is as close as you can get to Hamasistan in the lower 48. This person is not a US citizen and
    only loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood”
    ROFLMAO!!!!
    So, these fuckin’ assholes advance their argument by lying. Doesn’t that just basically confirm everything I say about them?

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  5. Kathleen G says:

    Utter hogwash Charles…what’s your explanation for all the rest of us who are disgusted with the I lobby. Our parents and grandparents came from other countries?
    Oh now I get it

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  6. Charles Ponstein says:

    PissedoffAmerican is an alias for a Palestinian living in the
    Dearborn Michigan area, which is as close as you can get to
    Hamasistan in the lower 48. This person is not a US citizen and
    only loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood.

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  7. Charles Ponstein says:

    Freeman father and son are both Jew-haters. Interesting that
    the son references “punching in the nose” and how he phrases it
    as an attack on people with Jewish names. The son is a
    throwback anti-Semite, he characterizes himslef as the
    threatened gentleman defending the honor of his family against
    the dirty Jews, wandering peddlers and the like, those Jews who
    should not live in the same neighborhood as people like
    himself, nor go to the same school, let alone dare to protest the
    appointment of his sainted father. However in reality his father is
    the equivalent of Charles Lindbergh making his sputtering
    curses against the “English and the Jews”….. here is the link if
    you want to see
    the Charles Freeman of yesteryear
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_F48oaOskI
    “the only people who want this war are the English and the Jews”
    here is another link of Lindy speaking , does this remind you
    of Freeman pere et fils ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAlCDMp-
    Y3c&feature=related

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  8. varanasi says:

    actually its bits and pieces of joe klein combined with some other writer, purporting to be greenwald. might wanna check the source.
    goodnight

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  9. varanasi says:

    kathleen g,
    i believe that joe klein wrote the piece you posted before my last one, not glenn greenwald

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  10. varanasi says:

    relax, kathleen. i agree with much of what you have to say, particularly about the’67 borders or thereabouts. most israelis agree.
    but what should i give up? i have just as much right as you to offer my opinion here. i’m merely pointing out that AIPAC has immense power… along with a handful of other lobbies.
    but i DO NOT agree with you that the trouble brewing in the ME and south asia is completely tied to indignation about u.s. support for israel and the egyptians. we indians are fighting similar battles with thousands islamic jihadis. you take israel completely out of the picture and our two countries would still be defending ourselves against these religious warriors who are engaged in an ongoing battle against secular societies.
    jetlag tonight in nyc. good night.

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  11. Kathleen G says:

    Glen Greenwald really really whacks Schumer (maybe Schumer’s seat is not as safe as people think
    “”That’s all perfectly fine for Chuck Schumer. All of that is perfectly consistent with occupying the highest and most powerful positions in Government.
    But you can’t make “statements against Israel.” Even for far less important and influential positions, even for positions that require far-ranging debates of ideas, that will cause Chuck Schumer to call Rahm Emanuel and — echoing the views of the further-right members of the Senate — demand that you be disqualified from serving in the American government, and then run around boasting that making “over-the-top” statements “against Israel” is the supreme sin in American politics.
    Chuck Schumer represents nothing other than the rotted ways of Washington. He embodies everything that is broken and sleazy about our political system. That’s the faction he speaks for most. As The Atlantic’s James Fallows wrote last night:
    I do not know Freeman and had never paid attention to him before this controversy. But it turns out that nearly twenty people I know well enough to respect and trust have themselves known and worked with Freeman. Every one of them supported his nomination. And — as it is unfortunately relevant to point out in these circumstances — most of them are Jewish.
    We’ll all think about this episode for a while.
    As I documented the other day at length, it was a diverse set of commentators who were not only speaking in defense of Freeman this week, but also explicitly acknowledging the obvious: that most of the attacks on him were motivated by the effort to maintain the stranglehold on our debates over Israel and, in particular, to continue to make criticisms of American policy towards Israel career-ending events for any political figures (Greg Sargent noted the same diverse range of pro-Freeman voices here). If there’s any silver lining in what just happened, it’s that this episode was so flagrant and extreme that this recognition will only continue to grow. In the meantime, though, real damage has been done, as Time’s Joe Klein noted:
    [Freeman] pins his departure on “the Israel Lobby,” which is imprecise. He was the victim of a mob, not a lobby. The mob was composed primarily of Jewish neoconservatives–abetted by less than courageous public servants like Senator Chuck Schumer, who has publicly taken credit for the hit. . . .
    Schumer should know that he has taken a scalp in the name of closed-mindedness, which is not a well-known Jewish tradition. He has made Washington even less hospitable for those who aren’t afraid to speak their minds, for those who are reflexively contentious, who would defy the conventional wisdom.
    Freeman’s most important point in his statement is this one:
    I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.
    Barack Obama should take note. The thugs have taken out Chas Freeman. They will not rest. Their real target is you, Mr. President.
    The real goal, as always, was to ensure that there is no debate over America’s indescribably self-destructive, blind support for Israeli actions. Freeman critics may have scored a short-term victory in that regard, but the more obvious it becomes what is really driving these scandals, the more difficult it will be to maintain this suffocating control over American debates and American policy.
    HOPEFULLY GLENN TAKES A CRACK AT WHACKING RAHM EMMANUEL (JUAN COLE REPORTS THAT HE WAS DEEPLY INVOLVED WITH TAKING FREEMAN OUT)

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  12. Kathleen G says:

    give it up Varansi…
    no one is buying what you have to say and you don’t believe it yourself. The Aipac lobby is one of the most powerful in our country. their influence is disproportionate and effects U.s. foreign policy in a very negative way. How many times do we need to hear from leaders in the middle east that it is the lopsided U.s. policies when it comes to Israel’s criminal behavior that has everyone in that part of the world pissed off. Time is up on this issue and the shift is happenning
    . Rosen is up for espionage charges (passing classified documents about Iran onto Israeli officials) and the MSM has not covered the investigaton or the 6 time delayed trial. The MSM has not touched Freeman’s with drawal. If Rosen had been lobbying for any other country and had been caught red handed passing off U.S. intelligence to say Poland…it would be all over the MSM
    Aipac will be forced (eventually to sign on) under the
    Foreign Agents Registration Act
    http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/
    And Israel will be forced back to the 67 border come hell or high water
    Senator Fulbright was one of the last Senators to challenge the lobby and demanded that they sign onto the FARA….the time is coming again

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  13. Kathleen G says:

    len Greenwald whacking Senator Schumer
    The agenda of Chuck Schumer
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/11/schumer/index.html
    Steve Clemons, Max Blumenthal, Larry Johnson, Glen Greenwald, Amy Goodman Juan Cole (reports that Rahm Emmanuel was in on disposing of Freeman), attackerman over at FDL, have all written about Freeman’s withdrawal and the pressure from the I lobby.
    But the MSM is not touching it. keith Olberman, Rachel, Chris matthews, Schuster not touching it. has anyone heard any MSM coverage? I guess their producers have their mouths taped shut on this one.

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  14. varanasi says:

    again, the son who wrote this open letter is out of control. this was hardly controversial political machination – this type of poltics and promotion goes on all time – before making it one, by threatening violence. what does he want to do, duel?! it was ridiculous message which only empowered his political opponents. rash behavior. not a good trait.
    no doubt AIPAC is strong, but maybe someone can correct me, i read that thy took no stance on freeman’s appt? the maniac rosen took it on with a cabal of neocons, right? i know that AIPAC’s reaction has been strong since he issued his inflammatory withdrawal message. but, no doubt other lobbies are equally strong, in the u.s. as an american, i would be much more upset about the NRA, which keeps you guys killing each other in your cities and now even your suburbs and schools, or even your health care industry which fucks you all.

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  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “As usual, again, the said anti-Semites cover their asses by claiming to be anti-Israel”
    Go fuck yourself.

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  16. Crusader says:

    Good Riddance to Ambassador Freeman, a notoriously corrupt agent of the Arab $audis.
    He is a tyrant who terrorized those who worked for him in the past at the State Department, and he continued to bring shame to American diplomacy.
    I hope, at last, he might now slither back into the latrine pit where he belongs.

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  17. questions says:

    Kathleen G.,
    No disagreement about this fact from vast quantities of people who post here, who live there. The question is, what does one do about that fact in an international community with shifting interests, alliances, resource needs and the like.

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  18. Kathleen G says:

    Israel exists. They have the legal right to exist based on the Internationally recognized 67 border. they do not have the right to continue occupying Palestinian lands, build and expand illegal settlements and build an illegal wall partially on Palestinian lands.

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  19. questions says:

    Hope you’re feeling better by the way — I meant to say something, but hit “send” first….
    I won’t deny the ability of lobbying to shape political discourse up to a certain level. But I think I disagree with you on that level. Lobbying doesn’t make us do the opposite of WHAT WE THINK is good for us, it doesn’t force us to hold a particular range of beliefs, it doesn’t control our minds. I think what lobbying does well, aside from the sheer bribery side of things which, of course, happens, is that it takes beliefs we already hold at some level and it pushes them. Many people in the US already feel some kind of kinship with Israel, or already have made up their minds such that they won’t bother re-thinking, or honestly don’t care, or care so deeply that they take action. What a lobby can do at the public level is take the positive feelings and do what advertisers do — make a brand image and advertise like crazy.
    On the Congressional side, honestly, the institution of Congress functions in part the way I described in my incomplete posting above. Some people have no idea what they’re doing and others are opposed and others are on top of it. They follow each other like sheep sometimes, like soldiers sometimes, and like colleagues sometimes. They don’t always follow each other.
    In terms of the damage that lobbies do, just look around the planet and tell me that AIPAC is worse than oil or munitions or mining or Big Pharma in terms of costs, lost lives, damage to the planet, and general horror. (Check out agricultural policies and: monocrops, Round Up Ready Corn, GMOs, dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico from agricultural run off, the respiratory problems of people living near hog farms, the obesity of Americans and more generally around the world now, the salting of land, the overuse of water, the draining of water tables…. We’re getting closer and closer to various kinds of apocalyptic situations.) I’m not convinced there’s a comparison except that we WANT the oil that’s been sold to us, we WANT the drugs, the coal, the guns, and yes, the food, the perfect tomatoes the out of season veggies…. Lobbying, again, doesn’t really make us act against our will, it encourages some of our lesser tendencies, but the tendencies are there. IN our political system, no one is looking out for the WHOLE, everyone looks out for his or her own piece of things. To do away with lobbying is to upend the entire political system, and likely to bequeath us a huge range of unintended consequences.
    So my prescription for healing the ME pain is what I’ve advocated for quite some time. New countervailing pressures/narratives from the media, new poster children who are very cute and winsome, and some way of including “radical Islam” in a political process such that it loses some of its radicality. We, most of us, mellow with age. Help people mellow out. The tendency is there, latent in all of us. Bring it out. Radical Islam depends on the youth who have nothing in their lives or feel very uncomfortable in between tradition and modernity. We have to work with those feelings rather than deny them. On the other side, Israel has radicalized in its own way and again needs some way for the center to come back into vogue. The US Congress was crazy-right wing for quite some time starting with Gingrich. It’s finally pretty much burnt on the right wing thing. The US is starting to ease up on religiosity. These things come and go.

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  20. Paul Norheim says:

    Comment to questions:
    “As I have said, I support Israel’s right to exist.” (questions)
    Me too.
    “So maybe with a narrative like this, still somewhat abstract, but
    less so than what I posted above, you can see what I’m getting
    at. (…) Congress is pushed in multiple ways by multiple causes,
    and honestly, AIPAC is only one player.” (Questions)
    As I see it, your narrative is too abstract, and you can`t treat
    AIPAC and the issues it promotes on the same level as you
    would treat lobbies promoting, say, agricultural products or
    other material goods.
    AIPAC as a “player”, is basically manipulating myths and
    exceptionally strong narratives. The myth of Israel as the Holy
    Land; the (true) narrative of Holocaust, the threat of Islamist
    terrorism; and, as their joker: the routinely delivered threat of
    branding any politician they may perceive as against Israeli
    interests an anti-Semite.
    And just like the Israeli government in recent years, AIPAC have
    been pretty generous in branding someone an anti-Semite if the
    person in question (Carter, Bishop Tutu, to name the most
    prominent figures) is seriously worried about where Israel is
    heading.
    This is an entirely different branch from selling butter, pills, or
    furniture, and gives them the upper hand in a favorable
    environment. And as you`ve seen, the general American public
    is so ignorant, or so apathetic, that AIPAC can even get away
    with the astonishing trick of selling former president Jimmy
    Carter as an anti-Semite.
    The (probably much more powerful) lobbies of the weapons-
    industry would, after the cold war and the communist threat,
    have reasons to envy the precious cultural and historical capital
    of images available for AIPAC to manipulate, enabling them to
    sell the hawkish Israeli policies of the day – if not the weapons
    industries and AIPAC were co-players on the same team.
    I am not saying that AIPAC is the root cause of all evil in US
    politics. But they are powerful, and they are damaging US, as
    well as Israeli and Palestine interests.
    Hey, even the WEATHER influences policies and elections. But
    AIPAC is more consistent.

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  21. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    thanks for your kind words (but stop flattering me; some people
    here may think I work undercover for Israel!).
    You, as well as most of the regular commenters here, know that
    we have disagreed strongly, and sometimes passionately, on
    core policy issues, especially regarding the Middle East. And I
    can`t hide the fact that I was very disappointed when you, just
    before I left Norway, reacted to one of Dan K`s posts – his
    analysis of Israeli intentions – the way you did. I commented on
    this at the time, and have nothing to add.
    However, despite our many disagreements, I thank you for
    being so honest, and going so much into details, in your reply
    to my questions regarding AIPAC. I guess this may make it
    easier for you as well: while it has been obvious since your first
    posts that you were pro Israel, and sympathetic to AIPAC as
    well, it may clear the air to say so. At least, nobody can claim
    that you are SECRETLY supporting AIPAC from now of.
    Of course I disagree with a lot of what you say above.
    “People who are unwilling or incapable of seeing nuance can
    best be opposed by an organization unwilling to back down.”
    You know very well that I see it the other way around:
    “Organizations who are unwilling or incapable of seeing nuance
    can best be opposed by people unwilling to back down.”
    Hopefully by organizations as well – like J Street and others,
    both in the US and in Israel.
    And you continue: “Is it the perfect embodiment of the
    collective position of those Americans? Of course not. I think
    opinion polls show that AIPAC’s positions tend to be more
    conservative and republican than Jewish Americans in general.
    But AIPACs positions are acceptable enough to enough Jewish
    and Christian Americans (including me) that we are willing to
    support the organization.”
    This judgement surprises me, given your sound judgement of
    the invasion of Iraq, as well as how you regard a possible attack
    on Iran, which you admit that AIPAC is willing to support, even
    push for. You agree with me, and many others, that the Iraqi
    invasion was both stupid and wrong, and, if i read you correctly,
    that an attack on Iran would be many times more wrong, many
    times more stupid, and may damage both the US, Israel, as well
    as the Middle East, immensely – not to speak of the
    unpredictable effects of such an adventure.
    Even if I were in you shoes, I would imagine that I would have a
    hard time swallowing so many camels during the recent years:
    AIPAC`s consequent support for hard wing, pro-settlement
    forces in Israeli politics, their neo-con positions on Iraq, and
    now Iran – positions that seem suicidal to me. The only
    beneficiaries of an attack on Iran seem to be a handful of
    autocratic, reactionary Arab states – at best.
    In any case: thank you again for showing your cards so openly.
    And I should sincerely wish that you were healthy enough to
    visit Ethiopia once. I think you would have enjoyed Lalibela,
    Bahir Dar, and Axum in the north of that ancient nation.
    In a couple of days, I hope to visit Harar again, the Muslim town
    where the French poet Arthur Rimbaud lived as a trader for
    many years, after he stopped writing poems at the age of 21.

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  22. questions says:

    Not complexity for complexity’s sake, but rather for accuracy’s sake. If you go to the eye doctor and say, “Hey, when I open my eyes, I see, and when I close them I don’t see so I guess opening my eyes causes seeing,” you’re partly right and partly not. I’m sure you’d prefer an ophthomologist who knows about rods and cones and irises and the like and not just eyelids. It’s complex for sure to know how eyes work, but it helps when there are eye-related issues to be dealt with.
    So to help us all see AIPAC in a new light, I’ll try a narrative of sorts:
    There’s a bill in Congress to provide some military aid of some sort to Israel. AIPAC’s leadership decides it’s a good bill and so they take the following action: they lobby Congressman X who is on the committee in charge of the bill. Congressman X serves a largely Jewish district and AIPAC is often in touch with him since they see eye-to-eye about Israeli policy. Congressman X is considered by some colleagues to be an expert on Israeli military policy and so he picks up a set of votes just by being the “go-to” guy on the issue.
    (Sam Nunn played this role for weapons issues in the Senate for years — the Senate has only 100 people to cover the same ground that the House does with 435 people, so information is harder to come by in the Senate, but I’ll focus on the House for now anyway.)
    This is the USofA, and so Congressman X picks up some more support from those in Congress who will support anything they deem the slightest bit anti-Muslim. (Look at the treatment of Keith Ellison if you don’t believe me….)
    There are members of the House who automatically support Israel because of a)fellow feeling, b)constituents, c)the hometown newpaper, d)such sloppy thinking that they merely do whatever it is that they’ve always done e)a staff member who is especially eager on the issue.
    Other support will be gained because attached to the bill is an amendment that some member REALLY wants and will vote for ANYthing to get that amendment through or because of logrolling — meaning you vote for me and I vote for you.
    Other support will come because AIPAC will pressure some members with primary challenges or voter guides or donations or phone calls.
    Still other support will come because the makers of the military equipment have factories in, say, 30 Congressional districts — that’s a lot of jobs and money and donations and ribbon cutting ceremonies and after-Congress job possibilities.
    Somebody’s cousin just went to Israel and had a great time. There’s a vote!
    Somebody’s church had a “thing” on Israel or there was a tv show or movie that was all touchy-feely. There are two votes.
    Somebody is feeling a little worried about a primary challenge or a general election challenge and will vote the prevailing winds of the district in order to keep his/her job. There’s a small stack of votes. (Many districts are pretty safe because of how they are drawn.) A few more votes…..
    So, with just these few points, Congressman X has picked up a lot of support for a bill. Now did AIPAC have an effect? Certainly. But you can’t say that AIPAC CAUSED the anti-Muslim feelings, the empty-headed support, the lack of information such that people in Congress routinely follow the cues of a few informational leaders, or the military weapons manufacturer’s support.
    So maybe with a narrative like this, still somewhat abstract, but less so than what I posted above, you can see what I’m getting at.
    It’s worth remembering that this posting focuses more on informational issues than it does on other dynamics in the House including procedure and the tendency to move towards the center position on any issue.
    Congress is pushed in multiple ways by multiple causes, and honestly, AIPAC is only one player. When people don’t know much about what they are voting on, they look for cues or they accept what lobbyists say or they follow the leader.
    Now for the Freeman thing, Congress is tangential because there wouldn’t have been a vote, but Schumer may have threatened lack of support for something Obama wanted more. That’s how our system is supposed to work. The branches and members all have things (votes or support) that they can buy, sell, trade for other things. They function in an economy, and Obama decided not to spend his money on Freeman because there were other things he wanted to buy. It’s a fairly rational decision all in all.
    And one final note, I think it’s really important to get straight the distinction between the non-existent “Israel Lobby” and the very existent AIPAC. W and M hold in THE BOOK that THE LOBBY is an amorphous construct of some sort comprised of all the people who support Israel’s right to exist. (I don’t have a quotation handy, if someone does, go ahead and post it.) As it stands, this definition is really unacceptable for scholarly work. It’s too malleable and ill-bordered to stand up on its own. As I have said, I support Israel’s right to exist. I firmly wish they’d do a lot of things very very differently. I gave money to Israel when I was a kid to plant trees in honor of various dead relatives. Am I in THE LOBBY? I might eventually give money to plant a tree in my mother’s name, but she was more ambivalent about Israel by the end, and pretty irreligious by then, too. So maybe not. Am I in THE LOBBY? By W and M’s definition, I might well be. If we can’t really say what THE LOBBY is, what its boundaries are, then could we talk instead about more formalizable concepts like “AIPAC” or like “voting patterns” and leave this notion of THE LOBBY out of rational argumentation. Again, W and M are not trained in Congressional research, they are IR people and their training shapes what they see.
    (And if you want to read more on informational issues in Congressional decision-making, look for Keith Krehbiel’s work.)

    Reply

  23. ikther says:

    Posted by Paul Freedman “One more note for the anti-Semites frothing over AIPAC–Israel is a real state, not a failed would-be state or a failed genocidal state (as Sudan, patronized by clients the Freemans defend and/or are paid by)–an actual functioning modern state–it is not a projection of the Jewish lobby and cannot be controlled by annulment through imaginative cancellation–it exists.”
    Damn! No control by annulment through imaginative cancellation? Noooooooooooooooooooooooo
    Posted by Chas Freeman “I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.”
    Live well, our friend.

    Reply

  24. Paul Norheim says:

    “Posted by Edward B, Mar 11 2009, 1:15PM – Link
    As usual, this conversation has started with an assertion by
    some that the Jews don’t care about the US, expressed with a
    pretense of political correctness, and had fallen rapidly into
    virulent anti-Semitic accusations.
    As usual, again, the said anti-Semites cover their asses by
    claiming to be anti-Israel.”
    ———————
    When I read these opening sentences, I was considering a reply,
    asking Edward B who he was referring too.
    But then I read the following statement: “ALL of the
    commentaries by Freeman defenders boil down to a single issue
    – anti-Semitic opposition to Israel.”
    Edward B, you are among those playing a dangerous game,
    deliberately blurring the line between real anti-Semites and
    those who honestly try to express a politically founded critique
    against current Israeli policies.
    By doing so, Edward B, you should stop for a second and reflect
    on the fact that you are co-responsible for the predictable
    reaction: political critique turning into nasty, old fashioned anti-
    Semitism.
    Please keep your minds crystal clear on this issue – on both
    sides of the fence: it`s an unforgivable mistake to blur this line.
    Trying to stop legitimate critique of Israel by branding it anti-
    Semitic will provoke real anti-semitism. If Israel is a democratic
    nation, it, and it`s defenders have to accept politically founded
    criticism. It`s as simple as that.

    Reply

  25. WigWag says:

    Paul Norheim says,
    “And since I raise the question to you, I may ask WigWag as well: When you claim that AIPAC is a “normal” lobby, do you do so for tactical reasons? As an instinctive (and polemical) reaction against people who seem to regard AIPAC as the root cause of all evils in US foreign policies? Or do you honestly believe that AIPAC represents a healthy and “normal” modus operandi in US politics?”
    First of all, Paul, it’s nice to hear your voice again at the Washington Note. The average IQ on the comment section dropped while you were gone and now goes up with your return. Your commentary was missed. I hope you had a wonderful vacation in Africa and I hope that perhaps from time to time you will share some of your adventures (I’ve always wanted to go to Ethiopia and regret that I will never have the chance.)
    You ask about my views about AIPAC. I contribute to AIPAC, I am on their mailing and e-mail list and occasionally I respond to their entreaties to call, write or e-mail my Senators and Congressman on issues of concern that they raise (no request was made about the Freeman nomination). It depends on the specific issue; if I agree with their position I contact my legislator if I don’t agree with AIPACs position I don’t respond to their request to approach my representatives.
    It’s hard to say what percentage of the time I agree with AIPAC; my guess is that it’s 30-50 percent of the time.
    I support the Labor Party in Israel; AIPAC in my opinion is more aligned with Likud. I heartily endorse a two state solution; AIPAC tends to support the position of whatever government that’s in power (and the coming Netanyahu Government has been conspicuous in its refusal to endorse a two state solution). If a viable two state solution is ever negotiated I would be delighted to see the settlers living beyond Israel’s negotiated territory removed by force or stripped of their Israeli citizenship and left to remain as a small minority in what would become Palestine. AIPAC would certainly not agree with me about this.
    AIPAC supports both Democratic and Republican candidates, I have never voted for a Republican and I even voted for Obama even though I think he is a phony. If AIPAC endorses the Republican candidate in a state or congressional district where I live, I vote for the Democratic candidate anyway.
    AIPAC supported many neo-conservative Republican candidates and they supported the War in Iraq. Like most American Jews, I never supported the War in Iraq which I thought would be the tremendous mistake it turned out to be. Like the Israeli Government and the Bush Administration, AIPAC seems prepared to advocate for either an American or Israeli military strike on Iran. I think this would be idiotic and counter productive and I don’t support attacking Iran.
    I find myself agreeing with J Street at least as often as I agree with AIPAC and I have made a first contribution to them as well. What I prefer about AIPAC is that they are relentless about standing up against Islamic extremism and that they won’t allow themselves to be deterred by people like Chas Freeman or Stephen Walt. In a certain way, I view AIPAC as the antidote to the Freemans and Walts of the world. People who are unwilling or incapable of seeing nuance can best be opposed by an organization unwilling to back down. I view AIPAC’s unwillingness to back down as a virtue in what I think is a hostile world for Jews and for Israel. Every time I come to the Washington Note, that view is reinforced.
    You ask whether I support AIPAC at least in part for tactical reasons; the answer is yes, it’s partly that. Certainly since I’ve been reading the comment section at the Washington Note my support for AIPAC has increased.
    In a nutshell I think the best way to describe my support of AIPAC is that I’m a “cafeteria” AIPAC supporter. In the United States, Roman Catholics are sometimes referred to as “cafeteria Catholics” if they support and abide by some forms of Catholic dogma but not others. That’s a good metaphor for me; I’m a “cafeteria” AIPAC supporter.
    As for your question about whether I think AIPAC is an “average” lobby, I think it’s average in its tactics but above average in success. Certainly AIPAC is a very effective lobby. So is the NRA, so is the farm lobby (sugar, corn, soybeans), so is the AMA and the health insurance lobby. Even Move On which has admitted adopting some of AIPACs tactics is becoming very effective.
    AIPAC does what all lobby’s do; they raise money for public relations purposes and to support candidates; they motivate their membership to send hundreds of thousands of letters and e-mail to legislators; they cultivate relationships with powerful Congressional leaders and they support and oppose legislation and government appointees based on whether that legislation or that appointee agrees with the organizations positions.
    Is AIPAC extremely effective? Yes; do they do things differently than any other effective lobby? No.
    Some argue that because AIPAC is lobbying about policies pertaining to a foreign government that somehow its lobbying activities are more nefarious. That’s one reasonable opinion to formulate, but it’s not mine. AIPAC represents the collective position of millions of Americans both Jewish and Christian. Is it the perfect embodiment of the collective position of those Americans? Of course not. I think opinion polls show that AIPAC’s positions tend to be more conservative and republican than Jewish Americans in general. But AIPACs positions are acceptable enough to enough Jewish and Christian Americans (including me) that we are willing to support the organization.
    Some people think that staunch Jewish support for AIPAC is a legacy of the holocaust. This may or may not be true, I’m not sure. Those same people wonder how many years it will be before that legacy fades away. I don’t know the answer to that but I do know that there are tens of millions of people still alive who were alive in the 1930s (including me) and I know that in the United States, we’re still talking about the legacy of slavery 140 years after slavery ended so my guess is it will take a very long time.
    In fact, at least in my case, the more people like Chas Freeman (and numerous Washington Note readers) call AIPAC unique, the more anxious I am to support it. From my perspective it’s not unique just extraordinarily successful. AIPAC is winning the case on the merits. Opponents of AIPAC like Walt, Freeman, Judt, Khalidi, Cole, Chomsky and others just aren’t rhetorically, intellectually or organizationally gifted enough to convince enough people that they’re right.
    Some people think that it’s only sporting for AIPAC to make it a fair fight by tying one hand behind its back. I don’t think they’re under any obligation to do that, and I don’t think they should.

    Reply

  26. Neo Controll says:

    Edward B, you are obviously not familiar with this site or you wouldn’t be throwing around the accusations of anti-Semitism. Your recitation is hackneyed. But at least you didn’t just shout inane insults.
    –NCHQ

    Reply

  27. Kathleen G says:

    lumenthal’s article having to do with Freeman dropping out is a must read
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-03-10/obamarsquos-mideast-policy-smackdown/
    ““What’s so strange is that the face of the campaign against Freeman is Steve Rosen, and he is the weakest possible face,” said M.J. Rosenberg, a former colleague of Rosen’s at AIPAC who now serves as policy director for the Israel”
    Come on “he is the weakest possible face” Hell the U.S. vs Rosen investigation and espionage trial has not been TOUCHED by the MSM. Has anyone heard Matthews, Katie, Stephanapoulous, Olberman, Maddow…No one has shed any light on this espionage investigation. Rosen and the I lobby still has plenty of power…obviously

    Reply

  28. DonS says:

    Jumbo, as you probably know, the only accusations of “bozo” are by in large from the fundie/firster invasion triggered by Lobby boosters and perpetrators, and there is really no point in even acknowledging their ignorant presence, or refuting their drivel. However, your personal reminiscence attests further to the dirty nature of this business. Thanks.

    Reply

  29. Edward B says:

    As usual, this conversation has started with an assertion by some that the Jews don’t care about the US, expressed with a pretense of political correctness, and had fallen rapidly into virulent anti-Semitic accusations.
    As usual, again, the said anti-Semites cover their asses by claiming to be anti-Israel.
    First, on the subject of Jewish lobby. Why can’t the Jews be allowed to care about Israel, their historic homeland, without accusations of being disloyal? This is an old plot, originated eons ago as the justification for oppression of Jews. In the course of history, and today, it was, and is, repeated by the anti-Semites of all stripes.
    These lies notwithstanding, also expressed here, the US Jews are prolific contributors to the US science, culture, medicine, and prosperity, which they do while defending Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. One does not contradict the other. None of the AIPAC actions are aimed against the US interests. NONE! Of course, some on this board may see US interests as supporting the terrorist states, which would explain their viewpoint.
    Yes, there are cheats and crooks among the Jews, but it proves nothing.
    2. Middle East. As stated above, Israel is only interested in defending itself. It wants to be left alone to grow and prosper. Every war Israel fought was initiated by their neighbors. If in the US, a neighboring country – say, Mexico or Cuba, was shelling with rockets our towns, would response would you demand of the government? Think about it. If anyone is to blame for the suffering of the Arab population, it is their own leaders, who use the money, given to them in the name of humanitarian help, to line up their pockets. Hamas was voted in to counter the corruption of Fatah, but they turned out to be even worse in many respects. In the end, the two will reconcile and will start bribing each other not to be tortured…
    ALL of the commentaries by Freeman defenders boil down to a single issue – anti-Semitic opposition to Israel. Arguments are not productive here, as this is not an intellectual issue, but rather an innate virulent hatred, cultivated by the ages of deception and coercion. No matter how their ideas are dressed, they are all too clear.
    As to Freeman – read his latest statement. The guy finds the usual scapegoats to explain his failure. He lacks the essential qualification for the NIC job – impartiality. He is unfit for the job. Deal with it.

    Reply

  30. Paul Norheim says:

    “Not sure why you’d spoil a great time away by coming here for
    yet another go ’round!”
    Questions, I`ve had a great time guiding my brothers and sister
    around Ethiopia for a couple of weeks. Since they left, I`ve had
    a nasty flu lasting for ten days. And to my excuse, the the only
    exotic thing I can say about my current condition, is that the flu
    is genuinely African: “everybody” here in Addis has it. So why
    not spend the recovering time triggering “yet another go ’round”
    at TWN?
    In any case, you made your case, which is – once again! – that
    the planet is a complex place, and that Hume`s pool/billiard
    example still is valid.
    What can I say? Maybe I should just turn off my Mac and visit an
    Asmari Bet at the Casa INCHES area of the Capital, and try to
    DANCE until the flu is conquered?
    In any case, I`ll repeat something I`ve said to you before: In my
    view, insisting on the complexities sometimes is a way to avoid
    some difficult, but rather straight forward issues.
    Complexifying becomes simplifying.
    All the best,
    Paul

    Reply

  31. Jumbo says:

    To “B”: Freeman’s son is no bozo. He’s obviously upset over the thrashing of his father’s reputation. He shouldn’t have threatened to hit anyone, but it must be hard for him to see his father’s distinguished career come to this.
    I knew Charles (the son) years ago, and can tell you that he is an intelligent, kind person. Although he’s had his differences with his father, he always seemed in awe of his intellect and accomplishments.
    I disagree with Chas Freeman (the father)about many issues, but still think he should have been appointed. This is not an elected position, nor did it require Senate confirmation. Dennis Blair obviously knows and trusts Freeman and wanted his counsel. Freeman worked for every president from Nixon to Clinton and, by most accounts, has a brilliant mind. Blair should have been allowed to appoint the man he wanted.

    Reply

  32. questions says:

    Hi Paul! Hope the vacationing is going well! Not sure why you’d spoil a great time away by coming here for yet another go ’round!
    But anyway, I downplay AIPAC because of my understanding of Congress as an institution with huge numbers of forces working on it from a variety of angles. To list a few things that are not AIPAC, there are: media, constituents, other members, information and the lack of information, careerism, the desire to be re-elected (which is at the forefront of every decision), the desire to carry out good policy, personal greed, goo-goo sensibility, party pressure, panic, international relations panic and confidence, the tendency to drift to the middle, the occasional push to the left or right, the particular committee you end up on, the particular bills your committee ends up dealing with, Congressional procedures, the other branches of the government, federal agencies, scientific/historical/economic literacy (this might all fit under “information”), region of the country you’re representing….
    All of this and lobbying too. Lobbies are mass groupings of constituents or donors, or both. They are only one part of an enormous puzzle that Congresspeople have to assemble to figure out how to vote. A lobbyist that tries to push a Congressmember to do something profoundly inimical to his/her re-election chances isn’t going to get very far. A lobbyist who pushes for something the constituents want will get that vote. A lobbyist who pushes for something the constituents don’t care about may or may not get the vote. A member who faces possible primary challenges or is near 50% support will vote differently from someone in a safe safe seat. Lobbying doesn’t alter these conditions. Money helps ONLY when the vote is one that fits the district or that can be kept top secret.
    Lobbies can trade on the lack of information, on the desire for money, on the ability to rustle up votes, on the ability to generate headlines, on the ability to put together “voter guides”. But, in fact, so can numerous other pressure points. Members can pressure each other, staffs can put pressure on, the party can as well.
    So tell me, in all of this, is AIPAC so singular? Does it get everything it wants? I posted a long time ago saying that if I came across a well-done study of voting and AIPAC pressure, I’d be willing to alter my view. Evidence does that to me. But at this point, given that I know the difference between correlation and causation, I will not give in to the all-too-typical tendency to see the LOBBY here, there, and everywhere.
    And, as I have posted previously, THE LOBBY is an odd construct in that it seems to contain whatever the writer wants it to contain. Am I a member of THE LOBBY because of my postings here? Well, no. I’m not organized, I don’t pay dues, I get no info from outerspace or wherever headquarters is supposed to be located. Unlike POA, I have no interest in reading what AIPAC says. I don’t particularly care about them. But AIPAC is not the same as THE LOBBY in the minds of many here, so one could be part of THE LOBBY without being part of an actual lobby that actually gives money, makes demands, and mails out voter guides.
    So I don’t think there’s THE LOBBY as a real, singular thing-in-the-world. And I don’t think AIPAC as A lobby, is omni-omnium. And I do know at least a bit of the scholarship about Congress, so I feel some confidence in my views. Although, as usual, I’m quite willing to change my mind in the face of real evidence that contradicts my current view. But I’m pretty picky about what “evidence” means. Hearing some Schumer guy say, “Hey, I nixed the Freeman thing” is insufficient given how tempting exaggeration is.
    Now, are there times that pressure is brought to bear on the government and the government responds? Certainly. That’s how the system works. But pressure comes in lots of forms from lots of sources for lots of reasons. So one’s vote could easily be correlated with AIPAC’s preferences without having been caused by AIPAC’s preferences.
    At any rate, I hope, Paul, that this posting explains at least some of why I think the way I do. Again, hope your vacation is vacation-y!

    Reply

  33. KathleenG says:

    Israeli Settlers Terrorise Palestinian Villagers
    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22185.htm
    Art Gish in front of Israeli Tank
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://mideastchristians.virtualactivism.net/regimages/cptpics/artgish.jpg&imgrefurl=http://mideastchristians.virtualactivism.net/articles/amongapples.htm&h=287&w=410&sz=21&tbnid=KcsR6N_CatiMOM::&tbnh=88&tbnw=125&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpicture%2Bof%2BArt%2BGish%2Bin%2Bfront%2Bof%2Ban%2BIsraeli%2B%2Btank&hl=en&usg=__W7sVzqZMUjaljVdUXqJZlqSDXG8=&ei=v9S3SayeA47CMdPLwOEP&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=4&ct=image&cd=1

    Reply

  34. KathleenG says:

    POA a dear friend Art Gish (who has been to Israel and Palestine many many times with the Christian Peace Maker Team) just returned after being in At Twani a Palestinian village for 3 months. He shared an interesting perspective that he said many Palestinian people have about Lieberman and Netanyahu. He said that many Palestinians feel that these two fellows rising to power again will expose far more clearly the racism that permeates some Israeli’s actions.
    he has witnessed Israeli soldiers and Israeli settlers treat young Palestinian children that he has walked to school in despicable and racist
    ways.

    Reply

  35. Paul Norheim says:

    No varanasi,
    not Freeman per se, but the wider issue: AIPAC.
    I`m sure you`ve heard about AIPAC?
    Is it a healthy lobby concerning ME issues?
    Is it`s modus operandi “normal”?
    Does it contribute to US foreign policies in a constructive way?
    That was my questions to questions, WigWag and you.

    Reply

  36. varanasi says:

    paul norheim wrote:
    “Perhaps varanasi may have opinions on this as well?”
    never heard of chas freeman before this brooha. i’d defer to the experts and assume that he is a bright person and a suitable candidate for this position.
    nor do i know what really went on in the derailment of his appointment. none of of his previous comments – which have been floated by his detractors – struck me as anti-semitic.
    but, his son *really* comes across as a bozo in his letter and it does make me wonder who raised this knucklehead?! something tells me that this ridiculous letter contributed to his father losing his gig at least as much as anything the elder wrote or said.
    b

    Reply

  37. varanasi says:

    cee wrote:
    “They only care about some Jews. They’re willing to kill a few to achieve their agenda.
    I won’t mention Mumbai again.”
    this is disgusting, ignorant anti-semitism, cee.
    so, the jews staged the mumbia attacks and killed some of their own at Nariman House?
    bullshit!
    You have absolutely zero evidence to make this inference. you’re a bigoted fool.
    i guess pakistan admitted the involvement of its citizens to take the heat off of israel, right???
    ugly. ugly. ugly. stupid. stupid. stupid.

    Reply

  38. Paul Norheim says:

    Hi questions (and later in my comment: WigWag),
    you seem to be among those who express the more “balanced”
    view on Israel that, according to varanasi, is lacking at TWN.
    You obviously don´t share WigWag`s views on a lot of ME-
    related stuff.
    However: why do you constantly try to downplay the role of
    AIPAC in US foreign policies at TWN? The views at AIPAC seem
    to be miles away from your own views, so I am wondering.
    Yeah, our planet is a very complex place – we can agree on that.
    And we also agree that AIPAC is not the root of all evils on the
    planet. And that there are plenty of very powerful lobbies in US
    politics. But AIPAC is very powerful, and sometimes fatally so –
    isn`t it?
    The right side of my brain whispers to me that both you and
    WigWag know that very well, though you and WigWag may often
    disagree on ME analysis. So why do you constantly join effort
    with WigWag in downplaying the often unhealthy role of AIPAC?
    This is not an effort to separate WigWag from you by treating
    him as a pariah (I actually agree with him occasionally as well,
    even on ME perspectives). But I am curious – given your often
    stated views on these issues.
    And since I raise the question to you, I may ask WigWag as well:
    When you claim that AIPAC is a “normal” lobby, do you do so for
    tactical reasons? As an instinctive (and polemical) reaction
    against people who seem to regard AIPAC as the root cause of
    all evils in US foreign policies? Or do you honestly believe that
    AIPAC represents a healthy and “normal” modus operandi in US
    politics?
    Perhaps varanasi may have opinions on this as well?
    And as a side note to a comment by POA (blaming/thanking
    Dan K) on this thread, regarding the use of one or both parts of
    the brain: If Dan Kervick constantly had used only the left part
    of his brain, I can assure you that he would never had reached
    the status as one of the most brilliant and interesting
    commenters at TWN.

    Reply

  39. Neo Controll says:

    @ 10:01 “All you idiots who like Freeman better watch out before someone drops a house on you.”
    “I’m glad the Pipe Man sent us over here. I’ll be looking at the WashingtonNote at least once a day from now on. ”
    Washington insiders reading TWN can judge for themselves why the Lobby needs to be confronted.
    –NCHQ

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I note, after a whole thread of these jackasses claiming that Freeman was on the dole to both Saudi Arabia and China, not one of them has offered any evidence that disputes Freeman’s statement that he has “never sought to be paid or accepted payment from any foreign government, including Saudi Arabia or China, for any service, nor have I ever spoken on behalf of a foreign government, its interests, or its policies”
    Interesting that these people do not seem to recall Bush kissing Saudi ass at Crawford, or his extensive business connections to the Saudis. Perhaps thats because Bush was fullfilling the sentiment that the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.
    Above, we see Philipe admitting to Lieberman being a racist, while ignoring what Lieberman’s rise in popularity implies about Israeli society in general.
    So once again, these slimey Israeli propagandists under the employ of the all too powerful Israeli special interest groups used false pretenses and character assasination to intimidate, malign, and discredit someone that has dared to question Israel’s murderous, illegal, and racist policies that are designed to exterminate an entire people.
    Do you see ANY rebuttal, above, to the statements that Freeman has made about Israeli policies? Do you see ANY arguments, above, that wage substantive defense of Israel’s recent targeting of Palestinian non-combatants, or its continued expansion of the settlements? Nope. All you see is the typical whine about anti-semitism, and the ignorant bluster of internet tough guys making asses of themselves by challenging Freeman’s son to a fight.
    What a bunch of ignorant assholes. If this is the quality of Americans that support Israel and AIPAC, we have nothing to worry about. These people can’t help but shoot themselves in the foot sooner rather than later.
    As I’ve said before, just monitor the AIPAC website. An organization that must defend and support Israel by fabricating distortions, outright lying, misleading spin, and the blatant pimping of American politicians cannot stand direct scrutiny. When one looks closely, one finds a parasitic leech, draining all decency and ethics from the halls of Congress, and, apparently, from our new Administration squatting on the rugs in the White House.

    Reply

  41. Cee says:

    These murderous monsters in Israel have shown time and time again that they only value the lives of Jews.
    They only care about some Jews. They’re willing to kill a few to achieve their agenda.
    I won’t mention Mumbai again.
    Ben-Menashe claims that some of these profits of war were funnelled to Palestinian organizations to stage terrorist attacks. He says that Rafi Eitan, Begin’s counter-terrorism advisor, (no relation to Lt. Gen. Rafael Eitan, former chief of general staff of the IDF), decided in 1985 to generate anti-Palestinian sentiment. Accordingly, through the smokescreen of a Jordanian ex-army officer, Eitan, in a “black operation” paid the Abu Nidal Palestinian terrorist group to stage the Achille Lauro hijacking.
    http://desip.igc.org/Rev_ProfitsOfWar.html
    Former Mossad agent Ari Ben-Moshe has revealed that the Achille Lauro hijacking, and the emblematic murder of American Jew Leon Klingoffer, was a Mossad operation designed to make Palestinians look violent and bloodthirsty. Ben Moshe reveals that the Mossad unit responsible for the Achille Lauro affair specialized in such false-flag attacks, and was extremely successful in its “anti-terror” mission. One wonders how many other incidents of “Arab terrorism” were directed by this unit. (4)
    http://www.mujca.com/bloodlibel.htm

    Reply

  42. Shevi says:

    All you idiots who like Freeman better watch out before someone drops a house on you.
    I voted for McCain, but I like Obama more every day. Rahm, Hillary, Dennis all running the show while Chas sleeps with the fishes.
    What’s not to love?
    I’m glad the Pipe Man sent us over here. I’ll be looking at the WashingtonNote at least once a day from now on. It will be lotsa fun to join in the festivities.
    Love,
    Shevi

    Reply

  43. Kathleen G says:

    Those “easily traceable e-mail trail’s” that plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency have made their way on to this site.
    Wonder if any reporters will “easily trace those nasty e-mails sent to Schumer, Lieberman, Israel, Clinton etc. Would be really curious to hear just how nasty they are.
    How absurd that Dennis Ross is one of Obama’s advisers while they dump Freeman.

    Reply

  44. David M. Frost says:

    Your filial piety does you credit.
    Still, your father is a disgrace and an anti-Semitic hack who takes cash from the low-life (to borrow a term) Saudis and supports their interests over the interests of his own country. If keeping him out of the government costs me (or anyone else) a punch in the face, by God, it was worth it.

    Reply

  45. o.u. says:

    Some people are saying there’s a moral equivalence between supporting the Saudi regime, and supporting Israel. There isn’t.
    Israel respects universal human rights, honours democratic mandates.
    The Saudis don’t.

    Reply

  46. questions says:

    A little math lesson???
    Moses+Jesus+The Tooth Fairy +Captain America = Chas Freeman
    Oh my. No one appointment anywhere in the government can change the course of history. It took nearly all of us 300 million USA Americans to let Dick Cheney gather the power he so craved, so not even Cheney is omni-omnium.
    Obama put up a guy who is clearly smart, has clearly rubbed some people the wrong way, has clearly been impolitic. There was a talking campaign against him, everyone decided to save political capital for other fights (economy, global warming, health care…) and so Freeman pulled out. It’s not the end of the universe, really.
    We’re once again back to the all-powerful AIPAC thing. I have no interest in revisiting this issue. Just please note that HUGE numbers of proposals are sunk long before you hear about them because of lobbying. Much less with the Affaire Freeman is singular than you’d think. And yes, even FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS can sink a variety of USA AMERICAN proposals. No nation is fully autonomous, and that’s probably a good thing. Look how quickly CANADA nixed the revisiting of trade relations. Look at the Cuba lobby. These don’t strike people as HUGE for whatever reason, but they follow the same basic logic. Foreign nations push issues that don’t really serve the USA AMERICAN OFFICIAL BEST INTERESTS. And we cower beneath the mighty Cuba and Florida Congressional delegation.
    There was much about how Schumer has claimed FULL CREDIT for sinking the appointment. Please understand that “credit claiming” is one of the major jobs of people in Congress. They take credit for vast quantities of things they don’t really do, and they ditch responsibility for vast quantities of things that they really do do. That’s how re-election campaigns work. Don’t take anything quite at face value
    Somehow Freeman’s appointment became the bright line or the major test or the be-all and end-all of US ME policy. It never was quite this important. There are likely many more potential candidates who are incredibly qualified and more politic running around the planet. And a person with a bit more finesse is way more likely to succeed in working with a group of people to produce the NIE. Iconoclasts are good WHEN THEIR INSTINCTS ARE GOOD. I haven’t been quite convinced about Freeman from the get-go.
    Obama will find someone else, and if my first instinct (posted way above somewhere) is correct, the new appointee will have iconclastic views in a quieter way, and will be tolerated by all. (“Too Much Noise” is a great political primer!)
    But I’m convinced that this thread will go to 300-400 posts most of which will be angsty/angry and full of endtimes rhetoric.

    Reply

  47. Phillip says:

    100% of the people called Carroll have said silly or stupid things here. None of the other people named Carroll have spoken up.
    Therefore, rightly or wrongly, all people named Carroll should be considered silly or stupid.

    Reply

  48. Phillip says:

    Carroll
    500,000 is 10% of 5,000,000 isn’t it?
    And you want to say that hard-core “Israel right-or-wrong Jews outnumber the reasonable ones by 10 to 1?
    You really think that you’re on solid ground here?

    Reply

  49. Carroll says:

    Posted by kathleen G, Mar 10 2009, 10:34PM – Link
    POA Jews in this country and Jews in Israel have diverse views and opinions on how the I/P conflict should be dealt with.
    Lumping everyone together is dangerous and unfair.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I would agree ….and would have agreed more several years ago than today…but POA is also right.
    I understand AIPAC has more than 500,000 dues paying, if not constantly politically active, members. While not the entire 5 million Jews in this country, that is a considerable number. From what we all see we have a consideable number of Jews who do believe they have a right to “use” the US and we Americans for the benefit of Jews and for Israel based on the holocust… which is now going into it’s third generation as a justification for Jewish demands and Israel “right or wrong”.
    Then we have a smaller number of Jews who are against what their fellow jews are doing and speak out against it.
    If were to judge by the net comments here (and other sites) the committed to Israel zionist Jews out number the normal jews by about 10 to one. I assume there are also more Jews who just want to lay low on the Jews and Israel issue and not get caught in the cross fire.
    Four years ago I said I didn’t think anti semitism in the US was a problem…I still don’t.
    I think “Jews + Israel” is a problem because of Israel’s actions and the fact that worldwide “Jews = Israel”.
    If one is disgusted by what Israel is doing and what it is doing in the US government then one is going to be disgusted by those who are responsible for it. We are going to attack those specific people who are responsible and for that attack we are going to be told by jews such as those who show up here on occasions like this it’s because we hate Jews.
    Frankly I am not suspectible to that kind of greymail and recommend others not fall into that trap either. We should have dropped the political correctness a long time ago started calling a spade a spade on the Jewish Lobby, the Jews involved and Israel and every other “Conflict of Interest” we have in our government. If we had we wouldn’t we be in the many situtations we are in today.
    We are also going to point out that the fact that the zionist leaders of the US jews set them up to have Jews = Israel.
    And a lot of Jews embraced it or at the very least went along with it. Now all of them, fairly or unfairly, are going to have to assume the task of backing themselves out of the Jews = Israel identification they created or either learn to live with general distaste the Jews=Israel arouses among the public for their part in spectacles like the Freeman situtation.
    The real test of anti semitism and blaming the Jews is this….if it were not for our favored client state Israel’s behavior and the US zionist interference and infiltration into our government on behalf of Israel would we even be mentioning Jews?
    No we wouldn’t.
    It was not Americans who made Jews = Israel, it was those elements in jewish community itself. Jews, if they base their political and national identify on jewish ethnic or religious or nationalist Israeli beliefs need to be responsible for their own actions and if they have fears complain to their own leaders about them, not to Americans.
    I am sure Jews, even the rational or disinterested ones on Israel don’t want to hear this but it is what it is….anti semitism or Jew hatred as some call it isn’t their problem. Those Jews and their bribed gentile cohorts in this country who work for Israel and try to make America a tool for Israel is their problem because it makes them a problem for Americans.

    Reply

  50. Phillip says:

    Maybe you hear a constant hue and cry. I don’t.
    And no, I don’t want stereotypes either way.
    There are plenty of racists around (Definitely including Lieberman), why the f*** do you want to join them?
    The end of your rant may amuse you, but being a wiseass isn’t going to do anything but continue the dehumanization.
    There have been any number of bloodbaths that America has been involved in, including the firebombing of Tokyo. Would you say that there is no defense for America?

    Reply

  51. Wordie says:

    Kathleen: I appreciate your efforts, but (sadly) agree that Shumer is unlikely to be moved by our emails, calls and letters. His constituency apparently wants him to support Israel blindly. But there’s another actor in this drama who might be vulnerable.
    Who? Why it’s our old friend, Joe Lieberman, who had the temerity to say in the hearing today that “he feared that Freeman might not be able “to separate his policy views from the analysis…” ( http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/03/10/blair_withdraws_freemans_name.html ) Oh, the irony.
    I’m going to be looking into what Democrat is going to be running against Lieberman in his next Senate campaign. I plan to donate.
    In the meantime, I’d really like to know if there’s any grassroots (or organized) group to which to add my voice when things like this come up, as they so often do. There is increasingly an awareness in the U.S. that our Israel policy is screwed up, but I’m not certain the ACLU is the answer. Maybe someone should start an anti-AIPAC. The Israel Policy Forum (M.J. Rosenberg’s organization) is close, but something more action-oriented, like what Carroll suggested but a group effort, is what I’m looking for.
    Also, my apologies to Cheeseman, who first posted the Freeman email from the listserv, which I credited earlier to another reader. Many thanks to Steve for offering this forum to the younger Mr. Freeman.

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA, you go too far in saying that Israel places no value on non-Jewish lives.
    Any country at war places higher value on the lives of it’s citizen than that of it’s opponents.Why don’t you pull back a bit?”
    Apparently you have forgotten the Liberty, and its dead sailors.
    And if you think white phosphorous and cluster munitions used against Palestinian or Lebanese non-combatants signifies a respect for Muslim lives, theres a real disconnect between you and reality.
    And don’t we hear a constant hue and cry that the Muslims want to kill all the Jews? Whats a matter, you don’t want the same stereotypical generalizations used to describe Israelis as are used to describe Iranians?
    Are you denying Lieberman is a blatant racist?
    Are you denying using white phosphorous and cluster munitions on civilian non-combatant populations can only be justified by devaluing the lives of those targeted?
    Sorry man, but after this latest bloodbath in Gaza, there can be no defense waged on Israel’s behalf. And the continued blockade of a huge proportion of the aid intended for the Gazans is blatantly designed to further dehumanize the Palestinians and increase their suffering.
    Perhaps the Israeli leadership MIGHT value the life of an American Christian over that of a Jew. But only because if they start murdering Americans, the flow of money might stop. But if the murder should ever outweigh the advantage of the money, watch out.
    So, to date, they only neuter and bribe our politicians, instead of killing them. But hey, tommorrow, who knows?

    Reply

  53. Phillip says:

    POA, you go too far in saying that Israel places no value on non-Jewish lives.
    Any country at war places higher value on the lives of it’s citizen than that of it’s opponents.
    Why don’t you pull back a bit?

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Geez Freedman, you need to incorporate an occassional breathing pause into your paragraphs, or you’re liable to get a hernia, piles, or maybe even cause yourself to hyperventilate.
    I suggest you study varanasi’s paragraphs very carefully. He is able to say just as little as you do, but in far fewer words. I’m quite confident, that by combining the two techniques, the both of you could be far more coherent in your efforts to say nothing.

    Reply

  55. Carroll says:

    Posted by kathleen G, Mar 10 2009, 8:53PM – Link
    Have you read Charles Freeman’s statement about why he pulled out?>>>>>>>>>
    I saw it earlier today. Something tells me though that Freeman isn’t going to go quietly into the night. I think he and some like minded others “might” just start that America First Party, privately, then publically as things get worse…as they surely will. He, Hagel, Zinni, former senator Hollings, Wilkerson,Powell,Chaffee and some others should get together.
    BTW..all, don’t waste your time calling Schumer. Instead gather all his quotes and activities for Israel like his famous…”A vote against Bolton is a vote against Israel” and use them in a letter to the FBI outlining your concerns about the dangers and possible security leaks from congressmen and senators who obviously place the foreign country of Israel above their loyalty and duty to the US. Then cc Chuck a copy and one to your local letter to the editor. Not that FBI isn’t already aware of this issue but if you want to get something going a petition to the FBI is better than wasting time on congress.
    Fight fire with fire darlings…you can’t play nice with these people.

    Reply

  56. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Kathleen, as you must surely have noted by now, I am the most prolific booster of the Israeli peace organizations at TWN, and have linked to both Peace Now, and Americans For Peace Now on too many occassions to count.
    I stand by my statement that “These murderous monsters in Israel have shown time and time again that they only value the lives of Jews”.
    Rather than “Lumping everyone together”, my comment points the finger exactly where it should be pointed, at the “murderous monsters in Israel”, namely the leadership, the racist abominations like Lieberman, and the staunch zionists.
    And it should be obvious, as it has been demonstrated time and again, that the Israeli leadership places NO VALUE on human life, unless the human in question is a Jew. In fact, Israeli politicians have placed the value of a Jewish life above that of a Palestinian life in public statements, as I am sure you are well aware. And the situation regarding the arab Israeli citizens certainly implies a racist society, or at the veryu l,east, a society that tolerates racism with very little dissent. This racist abomination Lieberman’s upswing in popularity underscores that premise.
    But in one regard you may be correct, for in a way I am “lumping”, as public sentiment in Israel seems to be taking an alarmingly racist turn. I am sure this is in no small part due to the actual nourishment of racist sentiments that is advanced by the Israeli leadership, both in rhetoric and policy. And the Israeli leadership’s constant fearmongering and finger pointing has much the same effect on Israelis as George Bush’s parallel tactics had on American’s, post 9/11. I’m sad to say that much like here in the states, the dissident opinions are marginalized and under-reported, contributing to the anti-arab/racist upswell in Israeli public opinion.

    Reply

  57. varanasi says:

    wigwag wrote:
    “Of course it all started with his buddy Rashid Khalidi who held one of the first fundraisers of Obama’s political career in his home in Chicago. By the time he started running for President, Obama practically denied knowing Khalidi and didn’t even invite him to the inauguration.”
    as i’ve said before, rashid khalidi is a brilliant man and his wife mona is wonderful. but i’ve had conversations with them in which they said that they do not begrudge obama for distancing himself from them. politics is politics. what’s sad is that the association between the two men became fodder for the republicans and their racist voters.
    but, then again, what do i know? i’m just an israel apologist/hasbara/zionist/murderer who happens to be a student and great admirer of rashid khalidi

    Reply

  58. varanasi says:

    dons wrote:
    “Now that I have “proved you point”, Varanasi, will you stop treating this blog like a dildo, and either go away or try to grow up. G’night.”
    you said you’re a psychotherapist, right donald? it figures. your repressed, sexual, free association is so, well… gross.

    Reply

  59. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Obama Intelligence Nominee Withdraws
    by Max Blumenthal
    The assault on Charles “Chas” Freeman Jr., a former ambassador tapped to lead the National Intelligence Council, is the first blow in a battle over the Obama administration’s Middle East policy. Steven Rosen, a former director of the American Israel Political Affairs Committee due to stand trial this April for espionage for Israel, is the leader of the campaign against Freeman’s appointment. In his wake, a host of critics from the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg to the New Republic’s Marty Peretz have emerged to assail Freeman’s comments on Israeli policies and demand that Obama rescind the diplomat’s appointment. The campaign against Freeman spread to Congress, where a handful of representatives including the top recipient of AIPAC donations, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), called for an investigation of Freeman’s business ties to China and Saudi Arabia.
    Rosen’s tactics follow a familiar pattern he has displayed throughout his career, in which he viciously undermined anyone in the foreign-policy community deemed insufficiently deferential to Israel—even his own boss.
    But it was Rosen who first publicly accused Freeman of unholy ties to foreign governments and Rosen who first attacked Freeman’s relatively benign statements about the Israeli occupation. His tactics follow a familiar pattern he has displayed throughout his career, in which he viciously undermined anyone in the foreign-policy community deemed insufficiently deferential to Israel—even his own boss. But with Rosen’s indictment for spying for a foreign government, his attacks are resonating less strongly than in the past.
    “What’s so strange is that the face of the campaign against Freeman is Steve Rosen, and he is the weakest possible face,” said M.J. Rosenberg, a former colleague of Rosen’s at AIPAC who now serves as policy director for the Israel Policy Forum. “You couldn’t have picked anyone less credible to lead the charge.”
    The effort to dislodge Freeman still has the potential to impact the Obama administration’s policies toward Israel, however discredited its architect may be. This is, of course, the underlying objective of many of Freeman’s critics. “Freeman is stuck in the latest instance of the deadly power game long played here on what level of support for controversial Israeli government policies is a ‘requirement’ for US public office…” foreign-policy analyst Chris Nelson wrote in his Nelson Report, an influential private daily newsletter read by Washington policy makers. “If Obama surrenders to the critics and orders [Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair] to rescind the Freeman appointment to chair the NIC, it is difficult to see how he can properly exercise leverage, when needed, in his conduct of policy in the Middle East. That, literally, is how the experts see the stakes of the fight now under way.”
    The Israeli lobby’s mounting frustration with the intelligence community suggests another reason for its opposition to Freeman. As NIC director, Freeman would oversee the production of National Intelligence Estimates, the consensus judgment of all 16 intelligence agencies—essentially the official analysis of the U.S. government on global realities. When the December 2007 NIE found that “in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear-weapons program,” and that Iran was “less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005,” advocates for a preemptive U.S. strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities reacted with anger and dismay. Neoconservative scholar Daniel Pipes—Rosen’s new boss at the Middle East Forum—decried the NIE as “a shoddy, politicized, outrageous parody of a piece of propaganda.”
    “It’s clear that Freeman isn’t going to be influenced by the lobby,” Jim Lobe, the Washington bureau chief of Inter Press Service, remarked to me. “They don’t like people like that, especially when they’re in charge of products like the NIE. So this is a very important test for them.”
    Hand-picked to lead the NIC by Obama’s director of national intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, Freeman brings a wide-ranging resume to the job. He has spearheaded key U.S. initiatives from Africa to Europe to East Asia while gathering experience in the Middle East as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. Having cut his teeth as President Richard Nixon’s translator during his historic trip to China, Freeman is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese. Pat Lang, a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces colonel, described Freeman as “a man awesomely educated, of striking intellect, of vast experience and demonstrated integrity.” A letter signed by 17 current and former ambassadors published in the Wall Street Journal underscored the career diplomat’s credibility. “We know Chas [Freeman] to be a man of integrity and high intelligence who would never let his personal views shade or distort intelligence assessments,” the ambassadors wrote.
    But Freeman’s professional qualifications are irrelevant to Steven Rosen. “This is a profoundly disturbing appointment,” he wrote in a February 19 entry on his Obama Mideast Monitor, a blog he writes for Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum. Of particular issue to the former AIPAC director was a 2005 Freeman speech in which he partially blamed the failure of the peace process on U.S. support for the Israeli occupation on the West Bank. The next day, Rosen pronounced his alarm at a 2006 address by Freeman that called for “a break from the past” in U.S. policy toward Israel and Palestine, calling for a new peace process suggested by the framework offered by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2002—a proposal praised by President Obama in his interview with al Arabiya. The Atlantic’s Goldberg echoed Rosen three days later, claiming Freeman was “well-known for his hostility toward Israel.” Goldberg’s sole piece of evidence was the 2006 speech Rosen had highlighted. From there, criticism of Freeman spread to the Weekly Standard, the National Review, and the New Republic.
    Rosen’s campaign against Freeman follows the tactics he honed during a series of internecine battles within AIPAC against the Middle East peace process and to gain control of the organization. In 1988, Rosen overthrew his chief rival, legislative director and chief lobbyist Douglas Bloomfield, after the Reagan administration recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization. “Bloomfield was fired in a blast of unwelcome publicity airing AIPAC’s inner turmoil,” The Washington Post’s Lloyd Grove reported in 1991. “Rosen had won.” His method, according to the Post, “indulged an appetite for the ad hominem, warning of conspiracies among various Jewish organizations to undermine AIPAC’s mission.”
    According to M.J. Rosenberg, the former AIPAC staffer, Rosen then trained his sights on the man who hired him, AIPAC director Tom Dine. “Rosen didn’t like the fact that Dine was a Democrat,” Rosenberg told me, “and even more than that, he didn’t like having a boss.” When Rosen learned of alleged remarks by Dine that seemed to disparage Orthodox Jews as “smelly” and “low-class,” he rushed to AIPAC’s board of directors to complain. In short order, Dine was drummed out. But Rosen’s real agenda was to undermine the Oslo peace process initiated by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In 1993, the second-ranking AIPAC lobbyist, Harvey Friedman, a Rosen ally, called Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin “a little slime-ball” for advocating Rabin’s land-for-peace policy. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Itamar Rabinovich, demanded an apology, which was publicly offered by Dine. That prompted Rosen’s counterattack, Dine’s ouster, and his control of the group. According to Douglas Bloomfield, in an article published last week in the New Jersey Jewish Week, Rosen “coordinated with Benjamin Netanyahu in the 1990s, when he led the Israeli Likud opposition and later when he was prime minister, to impede the Oslo peace process being pressed by President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.”
    Rosen’s machinations eventually precipitated his undoing. In 2005, federal prosecutors indicted him and two other AIPAC staffers for allegedly violating the Espionage Act by furnishing top-secret U.S. documents to reporters and foreign officials. The one-time power broker suddenly became persona non grata on Capitol Hill. In 2007, Rosen announced a new mission to The Forward’s Nathan Guttman: avenging “the strong anti-Israel sentiment among individuals in America’s intelligence community, which he believes is what led to the investigation against him in the first place.” In November 2008, Rosen started blogging for the Middle East Forum, a neoconservative think tank founded by Pipes, who once called for “razing villages” in Palestine.
    Rosen’s former employer denies any role in fueling the Freeman controversy. “We’re not really interested in Freeman,” AIPAC director of communications Josh Block told me. “It’s not something we’re working on.” But when I asked Block whether anyone at the group had circulated information about Freeman to reporters, he declined to comment.
    Spencer Ackerman, a national-security reporter for the Washington Independent, first reported the rumors. “Reporter friends of mine have told me that AIPAC has been shopping oppo research on Freeman around,” Ackerman wrote on March 5. Ron Kampeas, a reporter for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, told me that after he published his first report on Freeman, “[Josh] Block called to say, ‘Wow, that’s interesting stuff you found out!’ But it wasn’t as if he had some material to give us,” Kampeas added. “We had the background on Freeman in the first place.” Kampeas said that many of the Freeman quotes furnished by critics “were not out of the mainstream in terms of Middle East policy… And a lot of what we’re seeing is smears.”
    While AIPAC has attempted to avoid the appearance of being involved in any way in the attacks on Freeman, Rosen has taken a leading role. In assuming such a prominent part, he has violated his own rule: “A lobby is like a night flower,” Rosen once wrote in an internal AIPAC memo. “It thrives in the dark and dies in the sun.”
    “The way it used to work in the case of someone like Freeman or people in Jewish community who broke from the consensus,” Rosenberg remarked, “you’d never know why he lost his job or didn’t get the appointment. But now people focus on this and people know why it’s happening. What did they think? That this wouldn’t become a huge story?”
    Max Blumenthal is a senior writer for The Daily Beast and writing fellow at The Nation Institute, whose book, Republican Gomorrah (Basic/Nation Books), is forthcoming in Spring 2009. Contact him at maxblumenthal3000@yahoo.com.

    Reply

  60. WigWag says:

    What’s really remarkable is the sheer number of Middle East experts Obama has thrown under the bus.
    Of course it all started with his buddy Rashid Khalidi who held one of the first fundraisers of Obama’s political career in his home in Chicago. By the time he started running for President, Obama practically denied knowing Khalidi and didn’t even invite him to the inauguration.
    But it doesn’t stop there. Next to be thrown under the bus was Robert Malley, then Aaron David Miller and then Zbig Brzezinski,
    This is what Obama had to say about Zbig,
    “He’s not one of my key advisers.”
    Wow, that’s cold.
    Of course, the piece de resistance is Chas Freeman.
    When it comes to Mid East experts, President Obama resembles Michael Corleone more and more every day.
    I can’t help but wonder what Rashid Kahlidi thinks of his old friend, Barack Obama.
    In the meantime, Kathleen can have everyone she knows write and call Chuck Schumer; I’m sure the Senator is quaking in his boots.

    Reply

  61. Paul Freedman says:

    One more note for the anti-Semites frothing over AIPAC–Israel is
    a real state, not a failed would-be state or a failed genocidal state
    (as Sudan, patronized by clients the Freemans defend and/or are
    paid by)–an actual functioning modern state–it is not a
    projection of the Jewish lobby and cannot be controlled by
    annulment through imaginative cancellation–it exists.
    If the notion is that should the nefarious domestic support be
    vanquished here the state there would somehow vanish itself or be
    vanquished without unpleasantness or commit suicide without
    deployment of its considerable state assets, the bloody-minded
    nincompoopacy has progressed far more into the decadent soul of
    the Caucasian rentier and petit bourgeoise classes in the United
    States than had been assumed.

    Reply

  62. Neo Controll says:

    PF,
    huh?

    Reply

  63. Paul Freedman says:

    It’s amazing how anti-Semites are unable to contain their little
    epithet grinders from spurting out adjectival pissant derogations
    of those who have the “chutzpah” to defend Israel out of pride or
    love or faith while they “defend” authoritarian misogynist
    feudalisissmos on whose literal payroll they feast.
    This man and his father are so driven by Judeophobia that they
    defend armed attacks by Islamist radicals whose agendas
    represent a total break not with Zionism but with modernity–
    they and anti-Semitic armies rallying to their defense (some
    grammatically, some semi-literately, some in sprays of
    neologisms and and malapropisms) not only ignore the clear and
    blatant pre-modern absolutist prejudices of the Iranian mullahs
    (as in attitudes towards women and the Bahai) but the anti-
    Shiite massacres of the Sunni Al Qaeda (whose root is not the
    actions of Israel but a particular variant of revanchist religious
    exclusivity)–that is their hatred of Israel, neocons, and Jews
    makes them stupid and insensate.

    Reply

  64. kathleen G says:

    POA Jews in this country and Jews in Israel have diverse views and opinions on how the I/P conflict should be dealt with.
    There are Jewish Peace groups in the U.S. and Israel
    http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/
    There are Jewish soldiers resisting the occupation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37MFa7ZKQWo
    Lumping everyone together is dangerous and unfair

    Reply

  65. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, this is directly off the AIPAC website. You haven’t seen this in the mainstream media, have you?
    “U.S. Sanctions Companies Tied to Iranian Banks”
    “The Obama administration on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 11 companies tied to an Iranian bank that the United States says is funding Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, the Associated Press reported. The penalties, announced by the Treasury Department, bar any transactions between the companies and U.S. citizens and freeze any assets the companies may have in U.S. jurisdictions. “The international community has recognized the proliferation risks posed by Iran’s Bank Melli,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey. “We will continue to take steps to protect the integrity of the international financial system by exposing the banks, companies, and individuals supporting Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.” Click here to learn more about the threat of Iran’s nuclear program”
    So, we are imposing sanctions on Iranian banks that support Iran’s LEGAL ADHERENCE to the NPT, and their LEGAL PURSUIT OF NUCLEAR POWER. And this fraud Obama promised “change”?
    Of course, any banks or companies involved in the development of cluster munitions, white phosphorous, or Israel’s prolific use of land mines, suffer no such sanctions. Fried or nuked, dead is dead, be you Muslim or be you Jew. Do the Israelis get a free pass just because their technology of death is more advanced, and they’re killing far more human beings than Iran is?
    By the way, Iran is opening the Bushehr nuclear facility to tourism. If the move is designed to forestall an Israeli attack, they’re out of luck. These murderous monsters in Israel have shown time and time again that they only value the lives of Jews.

    Reply

  66. DonS says:

    Now that I have “proved you point”, Varanasi, will you stop treating this blog like a dildo, and either go away or try to grow up. G’night.

    Reply

  67. Kathleen G says:

    Forgot to say call everyone in New York that you know and let them know about this and encourage them to call Schumer and Israel’s offices.

    Reply

  68. Kathleen G says:

    Varansi don’t you think there are folks who come to this site from New York? How about folks who know people in New York
    I don’t think Schumer’s seat is as safe as one might think.
    He voted for the war in Iraq
    he voted for Mukasey
    he voted for the Kyl Lieberman amendment
    Call Schumer and Israel’s offices

    Reply

  69. varanasi says:

    …not to mention the fact that the latest approval rating i could find has schumer at 58%.
    i’d say that less than 5% of new yorkers have ever heard of charles freeman or this controversy. people in nyc care FAR more about A-Rod’s surgery or the looming MTA rate increase.

    Reply

  70. varanasi says:

    thanks for proving my point, donald. it’s useless for you and other non new york voters to call and complain.
    and unless you’re still registered in new york, it doesn’t matter where you grew up, does it, my sweet?
    …although maybe you can talk about the good ‘ol days.
    wow. you guys remind me of the keystone cops!

    Reply

  71. kathleen G says:

    Jinsa’s take on Freeman
    http://www.jinsa.org/node/939
    Charles “Chas” Freeman is an appalling choice for Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC). As President of the Saudi-funded Middle East Policy Council, Mr. Freeman functions as lobbyist, making his analysis suspect. And his analysis is, in any event, appalling. Gabriel Schoenfeld, in The Wall Street Journal’s “Opinion Journal,” reveals a once private 2006 Freeman Internet post that Schoenfeld says, “was provided to me by a former member” of a private site. Freeman is said to have written of the 1989 Chinese massacre in Tiananmen Square:
    The truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud… I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be.
    What he has written about Israel, and reprinted from Walt and Mearsheimer, is suspect because of his financial ties to the Saudis and appalling in its inability to differentiate between a Western democratic ally under siege from a combination of terrorists and the states that harbor and support them, and those very states and terrorist organizations. This is a problem he shares with Samantha Power at the National Security Council.

    Reply

  72. DonS says:

    Varansi, my sweet, Chuck Schumer has a safe seat. That is why he is free to spout whatever he chooses to out his ass. He was a nothing until Al D’Amato decided that he wanted money more than political power and bowed out. I grew up in the district. Bug off.

    Reply

  73. varanasi says:

    well, pissed off handyman, i may be an “insipid little asshole,” but you’re a pathetic loser in EVERY sense of the word.
    enjoy the talk radio, you trashy simpleton.

    Reply

  74. rich says:

    So now great damage has been done to American national security inflicted by a few extremists. This is McCarthyism, but with far less basis; it’s a different litmust test but that’s all it is: a litmus test. Rammed down America’s throat by a few loudmouths.
    Mr. Freeman outlines the damage to our country:
    “I have concluded that the barrage of libelous distortions of my record would not cease upon my entry into office. The effort to smear me and to destroy my credibility would instead continue. I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country. I agreed to chair the NIC to strengthen it and protect it against politicization, not to introduce it to efforts by a special interest group to assert control over it through a protracted political campaign.”

    Reply

  75. varanasi says:

    well, evidently i know more about your political system than you do, donald.
    care to answer my question?
    why would chuck schumer or rep. israel care what you guys – non constituents – think about their policy positions?
    and yes, i do know the meaning of the word “jerk.” do you know the meaning of the word “idiot”?

    Reply

  76. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, varanasi, you insipid little asshole, its obvious you are under the mistaken impression that it is the “voters of New York” that drove Schumer’s vendetta.
    He’s just one more political hack doing the bidding of his Israeli masters, in lieu of representing the interests of his constituency.

    Reply

  77. DonS says:

    Varansi, do you understand the word “jerk”. Get a mirror. And leave Am,ericans to their own politics.

    Reply

  78. Kathleen G says:

    Rep Israel led the way to take Freeman out
    Washington Office
    2457 Rayburn House Office Bldg, Washington DC 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-3335
    Fax: (202) 225-4669
    Hours: 8:30am – 6:00pm M-F
    Long Island Office
    150 Motor Pkwy Ste 108, Hauppauge Ny 11788
    Phone: (631) 951-2210 or (516) 505-1448
    Fax: (631) 951-3308
    Hours: 8:30am – 6:00pm M-F
    ALSO POST THIS THREAD ALL OVER THE BLOGOSPHERE

    Reply

  79. varanasi says:

    And why would chuck schumer give a shit what voters from outside of new york think about his policy positions???

    Reply

  80. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here are Schumer’s office numbers….
    Wash. DC…
    202-224-6542
    fax 202-228-3027
    New York…
    212-486-4430
    fax 212-486-7693

    Reply

  81. DonS says:

    Kathleen, FYI, BTW, etc., the WH and the slimy Schumer will receive my messages tomorrow. Anyone who gives a crap about their country should write too.

    Reply

  82. kathleen G says:

    Can you believe the I lobby still has so many of our congress people by the balls after two top officials in Aipac got caught red handed passing on classified intelligence to Israeli officials?
    and they can still take out Zinni and Freeman with some e$$$$mails and phone$$$$calls. Would really like to see some group like the ACLU access those emails to Schumer’s , Israel’s, Clinton’s offices having to do with Freeman
    Freeman “The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East.”

    Reply

  83. DonS says:

    Kathleen, you give wigwag far too much. He is but part of the sound and fury signifiying nothing, as are we all. We here play bit parts. It is the workaday influence of the highly honed Lobby that is responsible for this undermining of the barest shreds of the hope for democracy that remain.
    Even Steve, doesn’t really know names and numbers in sufficient measure to undercut this ‘treason’.
    I’m looking for a way out.
    And I hope these smelly fundie/firsters will leave soon

    Reply

  84. Kathleen G says:

    “Rep. Steve Israel, a New York Democrat, was the first lawmaker to voice his concerns, calling on Feb. 27 for an inspector-general investigation into Mr. Freeman’s ties to the Saudi government. He was soon joined by a group of 10 other lawmakers, mostly Republicans.”
    “Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) said he urged the White House behind the scenes to drop Mr. Freeman, because “his statements against Israel were way over the top and severely out of step with the administration.”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..87743.html
    CALL Senator Schumer and Rep. israel who led the way to take out Freeman. Let them know what you think
    https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
    let’s see now how many contenders has the I lobby taken out. that would be Zinni and now Freeman

    Reply

  85. Kathleen G says:

    Wig wag Rep Israel led the way to take Freeman out

    Reply

  86. KathleenG says:

    Hey Bob…we’re all on the pay roll of the Chinese. They own us, our children and grandchildren
    You lose…. yes you do. Israel loses, the middle east loses, our nation loses with Freeman pulling out.
    here are the radicals who attacked Freeman
    “Rep. Steve Israel, a New York Democrat, was the first lawmaker to voice his concerns, calling on Feb. 27 for an inspector-general investigation into Mr. Freeman’s ties to the Saudi government. He was soon joined by a group of 10 other lawmakers, mostly Republicans.”
    “Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) said he urged the White House behind the scenes to drop Mr. Freeman, because “his statements against Israel were way over the top and severely out of step with the administration.”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..87743.html
    CALL Senator Schumer and Rep. israel who led the way to take out Freeman. Let them know what you think
    https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
    ———————————–
    Zionist Organization of America
    http://www.zoa.org/sitedocuments/actionalert_view.asp?actionalertID=1592

    Reply

  87. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth” -Freeman
    Bingo. And anyone that has followed the steady litany of lies, distortions, and spin that is the regular fare at the AIPAC website knows that Freeman is speaking truth to power.
    “There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel. I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States”-Freeman
    Read Freeman’s words, then peruse the absolute crap in this thread that has been defecated here by Freeman opponents. Have you ever seen such a shallow bunch of garbage and bluster?
    Sure makes the jackass Wig-wag’s assertions that the Israeli lobbies “are just like any other lobby” ridiculous, doesn’t it?
    Ya know, its time we pointed the finger right back at these murderous bastards in Israel, and these propagandists like Wig-wag, and called them the racist bigots that their continued support for Israeli policy demonstrates them to be. And that accusation of racism is surely justified in being leveled at these pieces of shit like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Schumer, Lieberman, etc. After this latest bloodbath in Gaza, the continued expansion of the settlements, and this latest flagrant success at influencing the inner politics of the United States government, its painfully obvious that not only the racist zionist factions in Israel consider the Palestinian people as having no value and being less than human, but high officials within our own government share these racist veiwpoints, and are party to war crimes, murder, and human rights abuses that are grave and ongoing.
    “Still, for the record: I have never sought to be paid or accepted payment from any foreign government, including Saudi Arabia or China, for any service, nor have I ever spoken on behalf of a foreign government, its interests, or its policies. I have never lobbied any branch of our government for any cause, foreign or domestic. I am my own man, no one else’s, and with my return to private life, I will once again – to my pleasure – serve no master other than myself. I will continue to speak out as I choose on issues of concern to me and other Americans” -Freeman
    I challenge anyone to dispute the above quote with cold hard facts. Obviously, the vast majority of the posters that have “contributed” to this thread in opposition to Freeman are too shallow and ignorant to see the need to offer any such evidence. But perhaps this smooth tongued snake oil salesman Wig-wag will give it a go with his usual deflective bag of sleazy rhetorical tricks, accompanied by a full canister of hot air and a wheelbarrow load of fresh steaming cattle spore.

    Reply

  88. kathleen G says:

    Have you read Charles Freeman’s statement about why he pulled out?
    Message from Charles Freeman
    “The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East. The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123672847973688515.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    Reply

  89. DonS says:

    per …, Glenn Greewald, and any number of other passionate patriots, Charles Freeman tells it like it really is:
    “The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East.
    “There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel.
    THE TACTICS OF THE ISRAEL LOBBY PLUMB THE DEPTHS OF DISHONOR AND INDECENCY AND INCLUDE CHARACTER ASSASSINATION, SELECTIVE MISQUOTATION, THE WILLFUL DISTORTION OF THE RECORD, THE FABRICATION OF FALSEHOODS, AND AN UTTER DISREGARD FOR THE TRUTH. THE AIM OF THIS LOBBY IS CONTROL OF THE POLICY PROCESS THROUGH THE EXERCISE OF A VETO OVER THE APPOINTMENT OF PEOPLE WHO DISPUTE THE WISDOM OF ITS VIEWS, THE SUBSTITUTION OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS FOR ANALYSIS, AND THE EXCLUSION OF ANY AND ALL OPTIONS FOR DECISION BY AMERICANS AND OUR GOVERNMENT OTHER THAN THOSE THAT IT FAVORS.
    “In the court of public opinion, unlike a court of law, one is guilty until proven innocent. The speeches from which quotations have been lifted from their context are available for anyone interested in the truth to read.
    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/03/10/freeman_speaks_out_on_his_exit
    Suck on that . . .

    Reply

  90. YouLose says:

    Mwahahahahaha!!!!!
    Hey everybody, save your tears for someone who deserves them.
    So Chas, how does it feel to know that you helped torpedo your daddy’s gig??? I guess your true colors came shining through. what a complete idiot! Evidently, your better suited for the the World Wrestling Federation than politics!
    Still a tough guy, you Republican, kiss-ass, twerp?

    Reply

  91. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is what I said in an earlier post on this thread….
    “I find the current debate about Freeman’s appointment rather moot. The Obama Administration has already demonstrated its intention to maintain the status quo with Israel and continue the subservience to Israeli demands that has for far too long determined American policy as it applies to the Middle East”
    I rest my case.
    “Change”, in Obamaspeak, means they’re gonna screw us from the left for four years while we’re still in recovery from being screwed from the right for eight years. Whether or not Obama can screw us for a full eight is yet to be seen. But you can take one thing to the bank; whether it comes from the left in 2012, or comes from the right, its still gonna be a screwin’.

    Reply

  92. Bob T Guy says:

    Does it really sound like a good idea to put a guy on the payroll of the Chinese in charge of national security?

    Reply

  93. ... says:

    one more example of israels control of usas political system, with some help from aipac and a lot of help from american politicians and israel firsters like wigwag… what a pathetic american politicians are including one very weak kneed obama…
    i like what greenwald had to say
    “In the U.S., you can advocate torture, illegal spying, and completely optional though murderous wars and be appointed to the highest positions. But you can’t, apparently, criticize Israeli actions too much or question whether America’s blind support for Israel should be re-examined…”
    more here
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/10/freeman/index.html

    Reply

  94. Cee says:

    I don’t have a penis but I want to punch some folks now. Freeman Sr. gets one too.
    Who will stand up against these traitors?
    Chuck Schumer’s office sends over a statement from the Senator himself, saying he’s the one who got Chas Freeman dumped from the post of National Intelligence Council chief:
    “Charles Freeman was the wrong guy for this position. His statements against Israel were way over the top and severely out of step with the administration. I repeatedly urged the White House to reject him, and I am glad they did the right thing.”
    As I reported the other day, Schumer had privately communicated his doubts to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Looks like those conversations had their desired effect: Schumer’s statement says straight out that that the White House engineered Freeman’s ouster.
    http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/middle-east/schumer-takes-credit-for-getting-chas-freeman-ousted/

    Reply

  95. DonS says:

    Glenn Greenwald, chaneling me, speak about arrognace!:
    “UPDATE IV: Lynch mob leader Jonathan Chait of Marty Peretz’s magazine, who spent the last week denying that Israel was the driving force behind the attacks on Freeman, brings himself to acknowledge the truth now that Freeman has been vanquished for his blasphemy:
    ” ‘Of course I recognize that the Israel lobby is powerful, and was a key element in the pushback against Freeman, and that it is not always a force for good.’
    “What I find most mystifying is that Israel-centric fanatics actually think it is a good thing for Israel to impose these sorts of Israel-based loyalty tests and orthodoxies on American politics. Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly want the U.S. Government to be “even-handed” in the Israel/Palestinian dispute and substantial portions of Americans do not favor American policies towards Israel. Isn’t it rather obvious that at some point, there will be a substantial and understandable backlash as Americans watch people like Chuck Schumer openly boast that anyone who makes “statements against Israel” that he deems “over the top” will be disqualified from serving in our Government, despite a long and distinguished record of public service and unchallenged expertise?
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/10/freeman/index.html

    Reply

  96. DonS says:

    Wig wag, while I am more than willing to assume Freeman was pushed, it is the “pushers” who obviously bother me. We throw around the term “anti-Semitic” here quite a bit, and certainly the low lives that came out of the woodwork here to denounce Freeman, and support “the lobby”, should be scant comfort to anyone.
    But, high on the hog as the lobby is riding, and we can extrapolate that to “Jewishness” and “Jewish influence” amongst the hoi polloi (they know no fine differentiations), this worm can turn, and turn fast.
    It was out of fear of such that my mother, god rest her soul, insisted her children be brought up Christian — to insulate against the fate of her family still in Europe. A cowardly and false fear? Perhaps? That’s my business to deal with.
    But my point is that, just as sure as the RW Zionists overreach and flaunt their influence in this country, such arrogance can become quickly the stuff of backlash. And then, I would ask, where is the brave Sen Schumer who acts as if arrogance is a trait without consequence? And need I point out, too, that the unholy symbiotic alliance between the US and Israel works as well to the ultimate disadvantage of Israel? I’m tempted to say ‘not that I care’. But I still hope to have a bit more decency than these firsters who see themselves as proud Jews.

    Reply

  97. WigWag says:

    Happy now Wigwag?
    I guess so; not overjoyed but I’m satisfied.
    It will be interesting to see if we ever learn why Freeman pulled out. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who is easily intimidated so my guess is that he didn’t jump but was pushed.
    One of four things probably happened:
    1. Democratic Senators and Congressman (led perhaps by Chuck Schumer)informed Obama quietly that they agreed with what their Republican counterparts had said publicly about Freeman; that he didn’t have their support; or
    2. The IG investigating Freeman’s business dealings concluded that he had some kind of conflict of interest; or
    3. The IG or the DNI became aware of some fact or aspect of his career or personal history that they had previously been unaware of; or
    4. Obama just chickened out.
    Of course it could be none of these things but if I had to guess I would bet that it was just Obama being feckless again.
    After all, the campaign against Freeman was pretty mild. AIPAC could have turned out 250 thousand phone calls and letters against Freeman within 24 hours; they didn’t. In fact AIPAC took no official position against Freeman (although they surely opposed him and probably played a behind the scenes role). The Anti-Freeman campaign was led by a solitary blogger who AIPAC had fired after his indictment and seven or eight individual pundits.
    It’s quite telling that the Obama Administration was too timid to stand up to a campaign even this benign and lightly organized.
    That’s what happens when you elect a candidate more concerned with everyone loving him than with any particular set of convictions.
    Or maybe Freeman just resigned so he could spend more time with his family (like his son, the faux pugilist who wrote this original post).

    Reply

  98. DonS says:

    Happy now Wig wag? Do you think your boys might allow an appointment for dogcatcher, that is if he hasn’t euthanized some pitbull owned by a firster that’s mauled a local kid?
    Really, call yourself an American first and still approve this disgraceful exercise of power in the service of a foreign nation? Well?

    Reply

  99. Mark says:

    Sorry dude. Dad has too many shady associations. As far as punching someone in the face….choose me! oh please, choose me!

    Reply

  100. Kathleen G says:

    POA Bingo!
    Scott Ritter, Steve Clemons, Juan Cole, Obama all behind Freeman. WTF the lobby is still strong even after Rosen/Weissman (two top officials at Aipac) were arrested for passing off classified intelligence. (that never makes the MSM)
    what other lobbying group could get away with this

    Reply

  101. WigWag says:

    Steve Clemons (on Wednesday, Feb 25 2009, 10:14PM)
    “I think Steve Rosen’s chances of flipping Chas Freeman are pretty much nil.”
    Steve Rosen (on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 5:03 PM)
    “Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair announced today that Ambassador Charles W. Freeman Jr. has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman’s decision with regret.”

    Reply

  102. Kathleen G says:

    the lobby had nothing to do with Freeman dropping out (cough)
    http://www.zoa.org/sitedocuments/actionalert_view.asp?actionalertID=1592
    When will the I lobby be forced to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act
    http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/

    Reply

  103. ... says:

    freeman has bowed out.. i’m not sure if that is caving to the israel firsters, but it would be interesting to know what motivated him to bow out…

    Reply

  104. servant of AIPAC says:

    Chas Freeman “pulls his appointment”. Or was pushed by Obama? We’ll probably never know. The colony of Israel, formerly known as the United States, continues on the path Zionist domination under it’s newly elected overseer Barak Obama.
    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/10/freeman-out/

    Reply

  105. ... says:

    ross was on the israel payroll.. i’m sure wigwag is going to raise hell over that one! how do you spell ‘hypocrite’??

    Reply

  106. samuelburke says:

    http://www.antiwar.com/orig/giraldi.php?articleid=14378
    And then there is the baleful presence of Dennis Ross, now busily furnishing his grand new office on the seventh floor of the State Department. Thomas Friedman in the New York Times hails Ross as a “super sub-secretary,” part of a “diplomatic A-team” that will coordinate policy to put pressure on Iran to end its weapons program. Friedman, who has been wrong in his assessments more times than Bill Kristol, is clearly pleased at what Ross represents. Ross had his move to State announced somewhat prematurely by his colleagues at the AIPAC-affiliated Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), and opposition to him almost derailed the appointment.
    In addition to WINEP, he has recently been on the Israeli government payroll, serving as chairman of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. One assumes that he has severed that particular connection, but he is nevertheless a terrible choice for any senior diplomatic post dealing with Iran. His appointment is a sign that AIPAC had to be appeased by the new administration. Because of Ross’ considerable baggage, his new position was announced quietly through a press release, naming him as a special adviser for the Gulf and Southwest Asia.

    Reply

  107. varanasi says:

    the pissed off handyman wrote:
    “Well, you insipid little asshole, its because I find it humorous rather than infuriating. Besides, its a window into what those of us with brain cells are up against. Same reason I read your useless bullshit.”
    you spend hours a day listening to people you label “slimy assholes” because you have such a great sense of humor? yeah, right.
    clearly, you’re a masochist who enjoys his rage and anger.
    it’s the likes of you that the civilized, constructive world is up against.
    you’re pathetic.

    Reply

  108. Rick says:

    I think it’s really great that you love your father. I don’t. I think he’ll be a very extreme and dangerous person to head any intelligence organization for the U.S. His views are extreme and I am totally opposed to them.
    It’s apparent that you are a reactionary and tend to say things before you think – things that are best described as immature and reactionary. Your statement above give good support to my opposition to the appointment of your father.

    Reply

  109. Thomas F says:

    Now that daddy has the pedophile endorsement, he should have it all wrapped up……
    Scott Ritter, the former U.N. weapons inspector who was arrested “after allegedly communicating with an undercover officer posing as a 16-year-old girl,” has joined six other fairly fringe figures to endorse Dennis Blair’s appointment of Chas Freeman. (A source told CNN that “Ritter had arranged in an Internet chat room to meet with the girl at a Burger King in Colonie, a suburb of Albany, so she could witness him masturbating.”) The rest of these guys are on record saying all sorts of crazy things over the last few years, most of them exhibiting some kind of paranoia about the “neocon cabal” (Ray Close). Ray McGovern even served “symbolic war crimes indictments on the Bush White House from a ‘people’s tribunal.'”
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/03/pederast_lobby_gets_behind_fre.asp
    The seriousness of the charge is all that matters, and dissent is patriotic….

    Reply

  110. rich says:

    Thomas F and Bubba,
    Ante up your evidence and rationale. Otherwise, your ‘whupass’ is just empty bluster. Technically, and respectfully, loser bluster.
    We don’t even know where you stand. Just that you default to calling names and threatening violence in lieu of actually winning the debate.
    So what’s the deal? Explain yourselves — it’s that or assuming your position:
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jjv7CIWEfD6SOn09KEOpv7t1DKgAD96QN3C00
    p.s. — most of the commenters here are fairly anti-Eastern intellectual. Many at least, and the remainder don’t put much stock in ’em. FYI.

    Reply

  111. Bubba says:

    I’m just here for the party. I always wanted to put some whupass on an Eastern intellectual. When and Where.

    Reply

  112. Thomas F says:

    Daddy is an antisemitic hack, grow a pair, quit your crying and then….. piss off.

    Reply

  113. rich says:

    wigwag:
    “Actually DonS, not all supporters of Israel or even most are homophobes.”
    DonS did not say that or even come close to claiming that all supporters of Israel are homophobes.
    He said they were “joined at the hip.” The historical record is explicit: fundamentalists Christians notorious for their homophobia, have made common cause with Israel-Firsters. Plain fact. Do we need to note these are the folks who believe The Rapture is Nigh?
    Point is these ‘Christian’ homophobes are working fist-in-glove with the radical Israel First crowd, on some very shady and morally challenged projects.
    wigwag’s very sloppy thinking is just a poor excuse for the daily diatribe. But there’s a big big big difference between “are homophobes” and “are joined at the hip with homophobes.”
    It’s one of the hazards apparently. When you don’t have a moral compass, you’ll crawl into bed with anyone. Birds of a feather, though.
    DonS:
    “It is not at all surprising to have the fundie/firsters and homophobes joined at the hip.”
    Particularly bankrupt here is the notion that one small voice in Israel can compensate for or erase the overriding crime committed by the body politic or the social whole. The small daily administrative crimes also evict landowners from Palestine, and are committed by non-reactionary, apparently reasonable and even liberal Israelis. And that also goes to collective guilt.

    Reply

  114. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Truth be told, I suspect that rather than a bevy of ridiculous internet tough guys, we have been visited by one extremely prolific jackass who for is immaturely obsessed with Freeman’s unwise literary expression of the extent of his anger at seeing his father so viciously maligned by the Israel Firsters.
    As DonS points out, the absence of any substantive debate or commentary outlining Freeman’s unsuitability for the position says volumes about the quality of the opposition’s argument. Of course, this is discounting Wig-wag’s predictably long winded and pseudo-relevant excursions into “who gives a shit?” territory. Its amazing how Wig-wag can construct skyscrapers on foundations made entirely of feathers.

    Reply

  115. DonS says:

    You know what, Wig wag, you are right on intolerance among some Islamic societies. That would put them on the same page as the fundies, dropping the firsters for a moment. But you wouldn’t want to point that out to the good allies. Not good for the marriage of conveinince. Easier to look at the log in the “foreigners” eye than the mote in one’s own. Easier to posit guilt by association to Freeman (its a stretch don’t you think; even Hillary is ready to marginalize human rights as a principle) than ‘guilt’ by actual statement right here on this blog.
    I’m glad you are sensitive to the issue Wigwag, but sorry you can’t just condemn the bigotry without looking for some nuance. I am proud that the thrust of Israeli society is relatively gay tolerant. But you see, that is an aspect of having Jewish heritage that I gladly embrace, and its the part that is sad at the caricature Israel has become. No need to point out other societies or individualos are relatively less tolerant, although I will address it when it’s stuck in my face by some Bible thumper.
    “The apologist for the gay bashers is Chas Freeman.” If that’s a fair inference, than I have license to take you to the cleaners on white phosphorus and every manner of actual mayhem Israel has wrought of late. But that’s too much of a nuanced stretch for me, so I’ll not put you in that category.

    Reply

  116. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Amazing, isn’t it, how Wig-wag constantly offers these comparisons designed to shift focus. Where was his discontent with Saudi connections in regards to Bush’s extensive business connections with the Saudis?
    This “gay rights” issue provides yet one more deflection from the crux of the issue regarding Freeman. It is well known that Israel, in many sectors, is highly tolerant of gays. As well, like in most global societies, there are also those in Israel that are repulsed by homosexuality. If this straw peddling Wig-wag wants a gauge on the gay rights issue among the Israel ass kissing right, all he need do is listen to these homophobic pieces of shit like Limbaugh or Hannity, two of the jackasses of choice for the more ardent Israel supporters.
    Wig-wag calls Freeman an “apologist for the gay bashers”, based simply on Freeman’s past interactions and alleged sympathies with the Saudis. Gee, considering Wig-wag’s constant stream of pro-Israel prattle, does that mean we can consider Wig-Wag an “apologist for those who fry Palestinian kids in white phosphorous”?
    Fact is, this jackass Wig-wag has no friggin’ idea what Freeman’s attitude towards gays is, and DonS just inadvertantly supplied Wig-wag with just one more irrelevant diversion upon which to embark to steer the comments away from Freeman’s actual qualifications or unsuitabilities.

    Reply

  117. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “why do you spend hours a day listening to stupid right wing radio talk show hosts that infuriate you?”
    Well, you insipid little asshole, its because I find it humorous rather than infuriating. Besides, its a window into what those of us with brain cells are up against. Same reason I read your useless bullshit.

    Reply

  118. WigWag says:

    “It is not at all surprising to have the fundie/firsters and homophobes joined at the hip.”
    Actually DonS, not all supporters of Israel or even most are homophobes. As Steve Clemons makes clear in the original post Jamie Kirchick is both a Freeman critic and ardently pro gay rights.
    The apologist for the gay bashers is Chas Freeman. In the United States we debate whether gay people should have the right to marry (they should). In Saudi Arabia, the country Chas Freeman shills for, it is a capital offense to engage for gay people to engage in sexual relations with each other. Gay men are routinely beaten, imprisoned and occassionally executed in Saudi Arabia for no crime other than having sexual relations with people of the same gender.
    In Israel last year gay pride marches took place in Jerusalem (despite the objections of the ultra-Orthodox and Muslim clerics who were united in opposition to the march), Tel Aviv, Haifa and Ber Sheva. How many gay pride marches do you think took place in Saudi Arabia.
    As for Iran, I guess it’s not an issue there. When he spoke at Columbia University last year, President Ahmadinejad informed the audience that there was no gay community in Iran.
    I have no idea what Chas Freeman thinks about gay rights, but it is completely clear what his patron thinks about gay rights; Saudi Arabia thinks gay rights don’t exist and that gay people are an abomination.
    It’s not “fundie/firsters” and homophobes joined at the hip; it’s Arab nations that Freeman advocaes for and homophobes joined at the hip.
    By the way, what do you think Hamas thinks about gay people?

    Reply

  119. DonS says:

    John Miller: Steve Clemons gives us a space to comment here and you seem to regard it as a place to defecate. Why don’t you check out John 8:1-11?
    It is not at all surprising to have the fundie/firsters and homophobes joined at the hip. Usually this is not so patent as this is primarily a policy blog where intelligence is valued over bigotry, although we struggle with ourselves all the time.
    I assume that the fellow travellers among the regulars are noting, simply for the record, the dogs they are by implication lying with. Good.

    Reply

  120. varanasi says:

    why do you spend hours a day listening to stupid right wing radio talk show hosts that infuriate you?
    that says a lot about you, poa.
    try an audio book instead.

    Reply

  121. This is insane says:

    Israel and her fan club, funded by U.S. tax dollars, are
    responsible for the deaths of thousands of U.S. soldiers,
    hundreds of thousands of Iraqis
    What a pile of horse shit.

    Reply

  122. Outraged American says:

    Israel is not our “ally”-we do not have a Senate-ratified defense
    treaty with Israel, BY ISRAEL’S CHOICE. Israel’s operatives in the
    U.S. govt.- Doug Feith, Richard Perle, the Wurmsers, allied with
    then and now Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, to write the 1996
    manifesto “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the
    Realm”, which was the blueprint for the break-up of Iraq.
    Look it up.
    Israel and her fan club, funded by U.S. tax dollars, are
    responsible for the deaths of thousands of U.S. soldiers,
    hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, thousands of Lebanese and
    Palestinians. A good percentage of those “A-Rabs” were
    Christians, to all you Rapture obsessed nut–jobs
    Hamas has stated quite clearly that it will not harm the U.S.
    In the meantime, my country, the United States of America, has
    bankrupted itself, both morally and financially, for this so called
    “War on Terror” i.e., a war on Islam, for Israel, a corrupt/
    apartheid/ genocidal theocracy.
    And how far will it go? Will we lose any vestige of our so-called
    freedom when we start WW III by attacking innocents in Iran, yet
    again for Israel?
    Yes, we will. Get Israel out of U.S. foreign policy and cut the
    purse strings NOW.

    Reply

  123. rich says:

    It’s just so great to see so many people working to plan a time & place to resolve their difference of opinion with Mr. Freeman in such a civilized fashion.
    It’s the kind of trait that really separates humans from the rest of God’s creatures:
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jjv7CIWEfD6SOn09KEOpv7t1DKgAD96QN3C00
    As a matter of honor here, the reflexes on display here don’t compute. Mr. Freeman saw fit to defend his father from scurrilous attacks. Rather than supply a single shred of evidence to support the anger directed at the elder Mr. Freeman — we has degenerated into a mob lynching — we have challenges to fight if not threats of violence, as well as more verbal attacks.
    One thing is clear: you all would rather confirm Mr. Freeman’s original point, than win the argument.
    What is the basis for your opposition to the elder Freeman’s appointment? What is your evidence? What is the principle at work, and what specifically has Freeman done to violate that principle? Again, let’s have some evidence. Why do you believe what you believe?
    Not one Freeman antagonist has done even that much. So unless somebody offers up substantial supporting evidence to support your antagonism, all those challenges to fight the younger Freeman just show you’ve got nothing, and were wrong to go after the elder Freeman so viciously in the first place.
    Ante up.

    Reply

  124. John Miller says:

    I’d REALLY like to meet this charles freeman junior and see if he’s man enough to take a swing at me. Really I would. Too bad a big mouth marylander follows the argument ad baculum route as so many do over there. Charles senior is obviously indifferent to people given his stance on Tiananmen Square. I know people who’ve lived under dictators in other places and it’s a real eye opener to hear first hand how people have suffered.
    We don’t need people like obama, hillary or the freemans in the United States. They serve no purpose just as maryland people are useless.
    If you think you’re man enough to take a swing at me, respond in this post. Make my day!
    As for gay rights in Israel, Steve Clemons ought to read Judges Chapter 19 to the end with a particular focus on 19:22 and 20:44.

    Reply

  125. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Morroco=Rose Hunter

    Reply

  126. Morocco says:

    Any American who holds an Israeli Passport and against Mr. Freeman nomination is a TRAITOR, Plain and simple. These clowns don’t give a shit about country. They are a bunch of chicken hawks who wants more Americans to die for the benefit of a FOREIGN country.

    Reply

  127. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “…you cannot see that while you find the United States captive to an invisible Israel lobby…”
    Whats so “invisible” about it, you blathering idiot?
    Geez, who opened the gates to the asylum today? Have you ever seen a more sorry lot than the asses posting against Freeman on this thread? If I didn’t know a damned thing about Freeman, I’d be for ‘im just because of the sheer assholishness of the crew of wackjobs offering comments on this thread.
    Today, on my commute home, this Michael Savage jackass was blathering on about the evils of abortion. One of his callers, a right-to-lifer, said, in a serious voice, that “Life begins at fermentation”. Of course, I laughed, thinking to myself “Gads, theres the intelligence of the typical RW radio listener”. But upon reflection, after reading this thread, I think the fellow was on to something; for some, life DOES begin at fermentation.

    Reply

  128. Franklin says:

    “Bottom line is Jew hatred is Jew hatred. It’s not OK to hate Jews or line up with those who do.”
    When did Bibi and Avigdor become the spokesmen for Jews everywhere?
    As far as the “Commie” statement goes, it would be instructive if people threw around terms in a way that suggests they know what words actually mean.
    So long as the GOP rejects the realist camp from the George H.W., Reagan, and Nixon years — and instead embraces George W.’s NeoCons idealism — the party will continue to marginalize itself.
    Conservatism once meant taking what worked in the past and resisting innovation merely for the sake of innovation. These days the more radical elements within the GOP reject the foreign policy traditions that actually gained the party credibility and some standing in global affairs.

    Reply

  129. Dave says:

    No self-respecting Republican would lower himself to work for Obama. I tend to believe your old man is a self-serving Commie. Want to punch me punk? Bring it on.

    Reply

  130. Carroll says:

    Go Leahy!
    Everyone to their phones tomorrow to encourage Senator Leahy!
    “Sen. Leahy likens Palestinians to his Irish ancestors, ‘hunted because they wanted to keep their land’
    ‘The Vermont senator is on the floor of the Senate now, debating the Kyl amendments on the omnibus appropriations bill.
    One of them bars Palestinian refugees of Gaza from resettling here, because they come from a “terrorist” land, as Leahy characterized the legislation.
    The senator then compared the Palestinian experience to his own ancestors in Ireland. They too were called terrorists once, because they were “fighting to keep their land,” fighting for their votes and freedom, religion and language. And “hunted” for doing so– “hunted because they had fought to practice their own religion… hunted because they wanted to keep their land…
    “Thank goodness the United States had open arms for them.” The amendment, Leahy says, “goes against everything we stand for.”

    Reply

  131. ... says:

    maybe someone would be willing to pay some money for this type of info… whaddya think wigwag?
    In April 2005, AIPAC policy director Steven Rosen and AIPAC senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman were fired by AIPAC amid an FBI investigation into whether they passed classified U.S. information received from Franklin on to the government of Israel. They were later indicted for illegally conspiring to gather and disclose classified national security information to Israel. [21][22]
    In May 2005, the Justice Department announced that Lawrence Anthony Franklin, a U.S. Air Force Reserves colonel working as a Department of Defense analyst at the Pentagon in the office of Douglas Feith, had been arrested and charged by the FBI with providing classified national defense information to Israel. The six-count criminal complaint did not identify AIPAC by name, but described a luncheon meeting in which, allegedly, Franklin disclosed top-secret information to two AIPAC officials.[23]

    Reply

  132. ... says:

    US Department of Justice files declassified in 2008 reveal that the Kennedy administration ordered the American Zionist Council to register as the agent of Israel under the Foreign Agents Registration Act [7]. A US Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigation [8]revealed that AIPAC Founder Isaiah L. Kenen continued to receive funding from Israel for lobbying and public relations into the early 1960’s. Kenen himself had been previously ordered [9]to re-register as a foreign agent when he left the direct employment of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    AIPAC’s web site states that it “has grown into a 100,000-member national grassroots movement.
    i knew i could count on you to spill the beans and respond with humour and unquestionable “wigwag facts”… thanks!
    ever thought of a job in sales? i hear they are looking for some mutual fund sales people… i think it is a great opportunity for you where semantics and smooth talking are more important then reality…

    Reply

  133. Ike869 says:

    Bring it on, Charlie! Got a pair? Make good!
    Want some?

    Reply

  134. So Cal Mikel says:

    Charles Jr,
    Anytime time of the day any place.
    If you can’t understand why people would oppose your old man’s appointment, maybe you should have just kept your mouth shut in the first place although your loyalty is admirable.
    Bottom line is Jew hatred is Jew hatred. It’s not OK to hate Jews or line up with those who do.

    Reply

  135. David says:

    It looks like the rotten apple doesn’t fall far from the rotten tree.
    Someone should tell Obama to stop looking in the shallow end of the gene pool for his appointments.
    Note to Charlie: You are pretty sure of yourself if you think you are worth the gas driving down to Houston to take you up on your little rant. If you ever come up north to Dallas feel free to drop me a line and I’ll give you the opportunity to eat dirt rather than just talking it.
    -David

    Reply

  136. Michael Lofton says:

    Mr. Freeman: Just a schmuck happy to oblige your desire for pugilistic action. Your place, or mine; just give me 48 hrs. notice. Talk is cheap!
    Contact this page, they have my information.
    Semper Fi
    Mike Lofton

    Reply

  137. Robbins Mitchell says:

    Well,if Charles Freeman’s little boy wants to punch somebody in the face for dissing his father because some of us believe he is a Jew-hating-blame-America-first whore for the Saudis,I will be more than happy to accommodate him….Marquess of Queensbury rules with 16 oz gloves….I boxed light-heavyweight in the USAF and I’d like nothing better than to publicly destroy his imagined macho manhood….if you’re reading this Chucky Wucky,give me a call….aside from the fact that I’ve been working as a Republican campaign worker since you were still hanging out in your daddy’s testicles,I’m the only person ever kicked out of the Mensa Society, I will stack my intellect up against yours or your daddy’s any day of the week….so either call me or shut up….you’ve been called out….so either you will box ME as per the rules….or you will stand exposed as a loud mouthed coward in front of the entire world….I’m the easiest man in Houston to find if you’ve got the stones

    Reply

  138. Sharon says:

    You are a pathetic idiot to think that you dad be able to be in government when it is obvious that he also is a traitor to this country. Punch people in the face. How you look at yourself in the mirror you should punch yourself in the face for being a pathetic loser

    Reply

  139. Franklin says:

    Bravo, well said, WigWag.
    Except for the bit about Rosen.
    If Rosen’s has in fact given up state secrets for love and not money, those circumstances don’t make the situation any better.

    Reply

  140. WigWag says:

    … says,
    “for all we know wigwag is paid by the Israel government to be consistent in putting his loyalty for Israel before his loyalty to the USA… voicing the Israel firsters pov at all times, leaves one to make this conclusion… wigwags silence on this point is also very telling…
    Does wigwag have any problem with Steve Rosen or any other number of individuals on a ‘foreign’ countries payroll, or is it just a selective thing depending on what country the person might have been receiving those funds from??”
    Yes, I am paid by the Israeli government to spend my time monitoring the Washington Note for Steve Clemons posts and posts from various other parties that might contravene Israeli policy. It’s a good thing too; with my pension and social security income fixed and with my IRA and 401k income dwindling, that money from the Israeli Government really comes in handy.
    We Jews are really lucky. Alot of my non Jewish friends in their 70s and 80s have had to go back to work bagging groceries to make ends meet. I even have one buddy who got a job as a barista in Starbucks (which is really ironic because he’s been drinking Sanka his whole life). But because I’m Jewish, the Israeli Government decided to give me a few hundred dollars a week to write comments at the Washington Note. It causes eye strain and my fingers get tired but it’s better than being on your feet all day.
    Don’t feel bad for me though. While I do have to read through alot of really dumb comments (like the one I am responding to) and a few nasty anti-Semitic ones, mostly it’s not so bad. I don’t even have to think up things to say on my own; the talking points from the Israeli government come in every day on the fax machine. All I have to do is retype them, include a few stray thoughts of my own and add my screen name (WigWag) and then hit the submit button. The most challenging part of my job is dealing with the captcha problem but now that I’ve been doing this for some time I even have that part of the job down pat.
    My work is scrutinized by my supervisor in Jerusalem once a week. He reads through my comments and makes suggestions for how they can be improved for next time. I am hoping for a promotion. If I do well enough here, I might be reassigned to TPM or even Daily Kos. If I’m really good, someday I might get my dream job and be assigned by the Israeli Government to the Daily Dish. What an honor that would be!
    I am not yet a senior enough paid commenter to call myself part of the “cabal” (although you should feel free to call me a “cabal” member.) To officially join the “cabal” (which is my fondest aspiration)something I write will have to be referenced by one of Israel’s biggest critics like Juan Cole, Rashid Khalidi, Stephen Walt or Tony Judt.
    I have told my supervisor in Israel that occassionally Steve Clemons responds to my comments, but alas that’s not good enough. You see, Mr. Clemons has stated publically that he’s pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian and that he doesn’t believe in a zero sum game when it comes to the Middle East. Unfortunately, my handler says that because Clemons isn’t anti-Israel enough, his responses to me don’t count and I can’t yet call myself a member of the “cabal.” But hey, where there’s life, there’s hope and I haven’t stop hoping to join that elite club.
    As for Steve Rosen, unlike me he doesn’t get paid by the Israelis. When he worked for the Rand Corporation he was paid by an American funded foundation. When he worked for AIPAC (before they fired him) he was paid with funds raised from Americans who support Israel (mostly Jews and Christians). AIPAC raises tens of millions of dollars every year but it takes no money from the Israeli Government just from Americans who support Israel. Now that Rosen no longer works for AIPAC and writes a blog for the Middle East Forum, I presume he’s paid by the site’s owner. They say on their website that they are entirely supported by Americans; it also says that on their tax return (which can be viewed on the internet). I don’t know if they’re telling the truth or not.
    So now that you know who employs me to write my comments, … maybe you can share with us who pays you. Let me guess; could it be the Saudi Government? The American Nazi Party? The Columbia University Middle East Department?
    I know that like me, you have to be working for someone. I just don’t believe you could come up with all of those brilliant, incisive comments on your own.
    Spill the beans, … who pays you to write all of those consistently anti-Israel comments.
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Reply

  141. John Waring says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/opinion/09cohen.html
    The above will get you to a lovely opinion article by Mr. Roger Cohen, entitled “Middle east Reality Check”.

    Reply

  142. Hal Turner says:

    You are correct that a pro-Israel cabal is out to stop your dad’s appointment. The Israelis exert far too much influence over the US Government and it is long overdue our nation tke a more balanced view of that region. After all, we didn’t have any enemies in the Middle East until we sided with Israel.
    I can tell you from first hand, personal experience, the Israelis will not stop. Will will never relent and will not forgive if apologized to. They are a ruthless and cunning bunch and I sincerely hope you, your dad and your family as a whole stand together in defiance of them.
    Best regards,
    Hal Turner
    North Bergen, NJ

    Reply

  143. tom irwin says:

    heres my e-mail tinman419@verizon.net you can use it to arrange with me a time and place for you to punch me

    Reply

  144. Neo Controll says:

    Mr. Clemons calls for “civility”. Nota Bene which side stumbles into the gutter.
    — NCHQ

    Reply

  145. velvel in decatur says:

    Oh, Junior!?!?!?! The fact that some don’t want your father to stay in the game after he has slept with the Saudis amazes you? And, my dear China scholar, the buddying up with a series of Chinese governments who silence their opponents is so like the Saudis silencing their opponents that it is no surprise that you toady to both.
    This is not about Israel. It is about America. But like a number of Foggy Bottom clowns who have gone native, you cannot see that while you find the United States captive to an invisible Israel lobby, I find us captive to the emirs and amirs and catamites of the diplomatic corps who believe their job is to engage in hijinks to the expense of the folk who pay their inflated salaries.
    And if you want to punch a nose…shocking!!! Shameful!!! Who did you get your degrees from???

    Reply

  146. Don says:

    The language used by Jr. does not sound like a “China scholar” or any other kind of scholar. If he wants to punch out everybody who questions his fathers background, he is going to wear out his fist and arm in the effort. Despite the defensive efforts of the younger, the elder does have some problems in his past and present relationships and views beyond the “Israeli” issue. Sorry, but that´s the truth, Saul Alinski techniques be damned.

    Reply

  147. DonS says:

    …, Greemwald does his usual thorough and logical explication of the Freeman situation, and an especially good takedown of the opponents, the lesser spawn of which are hereabouts evident.
    Sadly, he notes the Lobby, in part, wins, even while it is probably losing the battle, in that a warning is given that the Lobby in all their nastiness will go after anyone who opposes their orthodoxy, thereby discouraging many with political ambitions to continue to bite their tongue.

    Reply

  148. ... says:

    wigwag, here is a bit more from same article for you specifically –
    Just consider who is behind the attack on Freeman; how ugly and discredited are their tactics and ideology; and, most importantly, how absurd it is, given their disgraceful history, that they — of all people — would parade around as arbiters of “ideological extremism” and, more audaciously still, as credible judges of intelligence assessment. Sullivan compiled a comprehensive time line demonstrating that the attacks on Freeman originated and were amplified by the very same people for whom American devotion to Israel is the overriding if not exclusive priority and who have been so glaringly wrong about so much. Though they have since tried, with characteristic deceit and cowardice, to disguise their agenda by pretending to oppose Freeman on other, non-Israel grounds (such as their oh-so-authentic concern for Chinese human rights), that masquerading effort — as Matt Yglesias notes here — is so transparently dishonest as to be laughable.

    Reply

  149. ... says:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/09/freeman/index.html
    Charles Freeman, Roger Cohen and the changing Israel debate
    Anyone who doubts that there has been a substantial — and very positive — change in the rules for discussing American policy towards Israel should consider two recent episodes: (1) the last three New York Times columns by Roger Cohen; and (2) the very strong pushback from a diverse range of sources against the neoconservative lynch mob trying, in typical fashion, to smear and destroy Charles Freeman due to his critical (in all senses of the word) views of American policy towards Israel. One positive aspect of the wreckage left by the Bush presidency is that many of the most sacred Beltway pieties stand exposed as intolerable failures, prominently including our self-destructively blind enabling of virtually all Israeli actions.
    see above link for more..

    Reply

  150. Killer says:

    Your father is grossly unqualified for said position. He is an ignoranus.
    You can have the first shot.
    I’m waiting…

    Reply

  151. rich says:

    Ethan,
    I did read what you wrote and zeroed in on several assertions you made quite explicitly. My response was direct and cut right to the issue.
    Further, as long as you can pen the phrase “It would do you well to actually read what I wrote ..” — I advise you revisit the definition of ‘irony’.
    You claimed that Mr. Freeman was “not seeing the irony of criticizing others’ ad-hominem attacks and then attacking those same people as .. . ‘children’ ‘unpleasant’ .”
    Problem for you is, there’s no irony as long as Freeman is accurately identifying the behavior in question.
    By definition, Freeman does not engage in ad hominem attacks as long as those who attacked his father actually are, in point of fact, “nasty,” “childish,” and “unpleasant.”
    So it’s with precision that you’ve been called out specifically on your plaintive and unreasoning query:
    “My God, where is your logic?? Do you not see the hypocrisy here?”
    No hypocrisy.
    You went on to drag in human rights abuses of another country, when they are beside the point of this discussion, or of any other discussion dealing with Israel’s human rights abuses.
    It’s clearly the point of your reverse finger-pointing to say ‘it must be ok if the other guy does it. The presumption is that attack Freeman or Saudi Arabia for the same sins at issue re Israel and Israel-Firsters somehow denies the critique at issue here. Or somehow absolves Israel of all sin or its supporters of abuse of position and power. That’s the purpose of such rhetorical gambits, no matter how bankrupt and unsuccessful. I see no hypocrisy here; the originating behavior was not committed by Freeman or his father. There are some standards; try to live up to them.
    someone who defends a “realist” outlook on foreign policy that would discount things like human-rights issues and killing of dissidents in China and Saudia Arabia – throwing

    Reply

  152. DonS says:

    rich, thanks. I admit I didn’t make the connection with Pickering,until you reminded me. Some pretty nasty factors get rolled into that “realist” camp it seems. As to Leahy being out front with this whole truth commission idea, I want to believe his good intentions, but I have a hard time really trusting just about anyone who is part of the ‘system’ being capable of or willing to dig deep enough to expose the extent of the rot.

    Reply

  153. Ethan says:

    Rich,
    It would do you well to actually read what I wrote before responding with a bunch of straw-men arguments. When did I say, “everybody does it” so its ok? When did I mention anything about Israel? You claim this is a discussion on Israel’s human rights abuses? No…this is a discussion of this ridiculous letter that purports to lend something noteworthy to the discussion on whether Chas Freeman should be chair of the NIC. Your assumption that we are having a discussion about Israel’s human rights record show your disconnect from the actual issue and displays your own hidden agenda. Chas Freeman dosen’t care about human rights as they relate to US foreign policy. He is part of a school of thought in which US self-interest trumps human rights concerns – which is precisely why he would argue for a strong US-Saudi alliance and a strong US-China alliance and a weakened US-Israel alliance – because of what he percieves to serve US interests. Do you not then see the ridiculousness of someone like you jumping into the debate thinking its about someone couragously speaking out for human rights abuses and “speaking truth to power?” And yes – it does show a tremendous degree of hyppocrisy to say “Im defending Chas Freeman because its time to stop human rights abuses and not use the excuse of everyone does it,” when the man you are defending will admit that the discussion is not about stopping human rights abuses, but whats best for the United States – regardless of Human Rights abuses – which is precisely why he believes some human rights abuses we should care about (ones that cause terrorism by angering Muslims) and some we shouldnt because the US needs their alliance. (China and Saudi Arabia). You are simply using Chas for your own agenda of attacking Israel’s policies.
    As to your comment that Chas has been attacked in indefensible terms…Aside from Marty Peretz’s description of Chas as “bigoted” which I thought was unwarranted – I havent seen any others such as Chait, Goldberg or anyone else engage in ad-hominem attack. They are not a secret cabal who is pulling strings behind closed doors in some kind of grand conspiracy – they are journalists and editorialists who are publicizing Chas’ past actions, associations, and viewpoints for the general public. As people like to scream during street demonstrations – “This is what democracy looks like.”
    His defenders engage in precisely the same behavior that they accuse his detractors of behaving in. Instead of defending Chas’ viewpoints or even logically respond to his detractors – they simply defame people like Chait and Goldberg by implying they are part of some Zionist conspiracy on behalf of a shadowy 3rd party. As if my disagreement with you regarding the US-Israel relationship can’t be responded to with logical arguments – but rather throwing out McCarthyesque accusations of my arguments not being sincere and having some sinister agenda behind my opinion. If thats not character assasination then I dont know what it. Perhaps their frustration is because they know that the VAST majority of the American public disagrees with Chas on Israel policy and if given the choice – would much rather sympathize with a foreign policy figure that sympathizes with Israel and argues for a strong US-Israel relationship than someone who argues for a weakened one and a more sympathetic stance towards Hamas and Hizballah. This is bourne out repeatedly in poll after poll. I’ll repeat it for you – this opinion is not that of a powerful minority interest group with behind the scenes control- its the opinion of the vast majority of Americans (which is what is precisely so ironic in claiming that viewpoint makes one “unamerican.”) – If journalists want to point out Chas’ contrary opinions to that same public – Once again, “This is what democracy looks like.” Thats not defamation – claiming those same journalists are sinister with a nefarious hidden agenda instead of actually responding to them – is not only defamation but is the only possible response to an argument that is likely to resonate with much of the broader public.

    Reply

  154. ... says:

    little bo peep – clearly thinking isn’t your hobby!

    Reply

  155. rich says:

    DonS,
    Should I take comfort in support from the likes of Thomas Pickering, who presided over the American use of death squads in El Salvador?
    If Pickering is going to be the HONorable Senator Patrick Leahy’s point-man for his Truth Commission, then this country is in deep deep shit. And Leahy’s gonna be responsible for the cover-up.
    http://valtinsblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/birth-of-whitewash-who-testified-at.html
    p.s. — don’t get suckered by Pickering’s apparently forthright comments of what happened during his tenure as ambassador to El Salvador. His hands are dirty and he’s not lettin’ on the half of it. The American use of torture did not begin with George W. Bush.

    Reply

  156. Bo says:

    Chas,
    I would like to make a proposal to you in which we both go bare knuckled one on one in a brawl against each other, and let CNN air it live. I believe you and your father are a bunch of morons and spineless cowards. Here is your chance to prove me wrong!
    I’m a damn good street brawler and would love to give you the opportunity to “punch me in the face” as you stated about your father’s critics. I’m from the south and fighting is a hobby to me. How good are you? Here is your chance to show the world boy!

    Reply

  157. DonS says:

    I think someof you folks are getting too worked up about Chas Freeman Jr. Steve Clemons uses such posting devices to elicit comment and opinion; it’s really not the main point. But if streesing someones’s possibly hyperbolic “threat” to “punch you in the face” seems like a deal breaker to you fundie/firsters, you go with what ya got.
    BTW, here’s a link to a WSJ letter by some pretty distinguished names in support of the Freeman choice. Who know their were so many ‘traitors’ around. Need to get Molly or someone on the case to get their ISP’s.
    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/03/defending_chas_freeman.php

    Reply

  158. ... says:

    good article from roger cohen
    Middle East Reality Check
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/opinion/09cohen.html?_r=2&ref=opinion

    Reply

  159. rich says:

    Ethan,
    I disagree there’s any basis for finding ‘hypocrisy’ in Mr. Freeman’s language. Someone has to point out the behavior that those presuming to lynch his father are stooping to–and identifying it for what it is does not put him on the same level. That no one has publicly pointed this out, within range of your hearing, does not make Freeman a hypocrite. It just makes you sheltered.
    This sort of ‘everybody does it’ excuse just does not wash. It is an illegitimate ploy. You’re dragging Saudi Arabia’s abuses into a discussion focusing on Israel’s human rights abuses — and that’s off-point and a total non-point that utterly fails to deal with the issue at hand. Given that Mr. Freeman (Sr.) has been attacked in totally indefensible terms, your eagerness to drag Mr. Freeman (Jr.)’s language into the debate is not only without merit, it’s without integrity. Why did you evade the issue?
    With all due respect, your childish tit-for-tat reaction invests only in argumentation and isn’t looking for common ground or any kind of fruitful discussion. Stick to the issue. What do you have to say about that?
    By definition, Freeman is not engaged in an ad hominem attack as long as his father’s antagonists engaged in the behavior he named.
    Ethan, I invite you to contribute to the topic at hand. What right does any group have to savage a nominee for no specific or legitimate reason? Which interests are the metric? Which interests are the priority?
    But this cheap and inexcusable argument that ‘everybody does it’ — so it must be A-Ok if Israel does it too — has zero validity. It has never worked here; it’s never worked in general. Or that if Saudi Arabia specialists are self-interested, then somehow it’s ok for Israel-Firsters to run U.S. foreign policy — well, this is just fundamentally unsound. And irresponsible.
    It’s just reactionary finger-pointing, and you would do well to stick to the subject, and address the lynch-mob going after Obama’s chosen person. We owe some though not total deference to the President’s selection. What we cannot afford as a nation is any attack, for any reason, no matter how viscerally unwarranted, bloody-minded and unbalanced. It’s unacceptable.

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  160. Carroll says:

    I smell desperation in the air.
    All the Freeman appointment comments coming from the zio and christian fundies cults sound like the screams of vampires being exposed to the sunlight.
    I don’t know where Obama is headed on I-P but he has definitely moved fast, very fast considering our current domestic chaos, on putting people in place to deal with it.
    The fact that the non zio world has taken off the gloves and gone more and more public against the US Israeli-Israel cabal makes me think we might indeed be in a new era.
    I think the Freeman’s in the US and the Netanayhu’s and Leiberman’s in Israel might just provide the spark for a different US policy toward Israel.

    Reply

  161. varanasi says:

    i agree with ethan.
    truth is stranger than fiction. this letter is ridiculous.

    Reply

  162. Franklin says:

    Yes, Israel is such a great ally that it stole nuclear secrets from the U.S. — not unlike our other “great” ally in the Soviet Union did.
    The head of the top Israeli lobbying organization in the U.S. passes U.S. secrets to the Israeli government? (Now an outspoken critic of the Freeman nomination — eat that for irony).
    Jonathan Pollard gives U.S. secrets to the Israelis and some pseudo-Americans lobby for his release?
    With friends like Israel, who needs enemies?

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  163. Ethan says:

    That letter was ridiculous and horrifying. Chas’ son not seeing the irony of criticizing others’ ad-hominem attacks and then attacking those same people as “nasty” “used to be somebody” “children” “unpleasant” who you want to “punch in the nose” is beyond ludicrous to the point of delusional. Similarly ironic is outrage and charges of “slander” at someone suggesting your father might have other interests based on his ties to foreign governments and then responding by calling those people “Israel-firsters” who don’t have the interests of the United States in mind. My God, where is your logic?? Do you not see the hypocrisy here?
    For someone who defends a “realist” outlook on foreign policy that would discount things like human-rights issues and killing of dissidents in China and Saudia Arabia – throwing in the sentimental and emotionally driven argument of a son having some “noble duty” to defend his public-figure father is inappropriate and has no place in this debate. Finally, a self-identified member of the Republican party self-rightously criticizing a writer at the New Republic for not being sufficiently enthusiastic about a gay pride parade leaves me speechless.
    I didn’t have a strong opinion on Chas, but after reading this letter I felt obliged to speak out on the fact that this letter is exactly everything that Chas’ defenders accuse his detracters of being (defamatory, mean, bullying, insulting, hypocritical) besides being emotionally driven and devoid of a single logical argument.

    Reply

  164. Ethan says:

    That letter was ridiculous and horrifying. Chas’ son not seeing the irony of criticizing others’ ad-hominem attacks and then attacking those same people as “nasty” “used to be somebody” “children” “unpleasant” who you want to “punch in the nose” is beyond ludicrous to the point of delusional. Similarly ironic is outrage and charges of “slander” at someone suggesting your father might have other interests based on his ties to foreign governments and then responding by calling those people “Israel-firsters” who don’t have the interests of the United States in mind. My God, where is your logic?? Do you not see the hypocrisy here?
    For someone who defends a “realist” outlook on foreign policy that would discount things like human-rights issues and killing of dissidents in China and Saudia Arabia – throwing in the sentimental and emotionally driven argument of a son having some “noble duty” to defend his public-figure father is inappropriate and has no place in this debate. Finally, a self-identified member of the Republican party self-rightously criticizing a writer at the New Republic for not being sufficiently enthusiastic about a gay pride parade leaves me speechless.
    I didn’t have a strong opinion on Chas, but after reading this letter I felt obliged to speak out on the fact that this letter is exactly everything that Chas’ defenders accuse his detracters of being (defamatory, mean, bullying, insulting, hypocritical) besides being emotionally driven and devoid of a single logical argument.

    Reply

  165. Mark says:

    I think Charles Freeman Sr is the wrong pick for the job. He obviously has a favored bias toward the enemies of America. His anti-Israel stance can cause nothing but discontent for our best ally in the region. He is friendly with Hamas, a sworn enemy of Israel and the United States. Freeman would do nothing but aggravate the problem in the middle east all in the favor of the Moslems.
    Freeman would no doubt be willing to put a knife in the back of Israel given half a chance.
    Note to Charles Freeman Jr. When you are ready to punch me in the mouth send me an e-mail and we will see if we can meet, then we will see how much of a man you really are.

    Reply

  166. ChiefPayne says:

    Molly,
    I also oppose Freeman.
    As for his son, I am not impressed. Almost any son would say the same thing about his father, guilty or not.
    BTW, I would suggest to him that he take care who he threatens to “punch in the face”. SOME of the people who oppose his father might know how to defend themselves and it might end up with Freeman Jr on the ground.

    Reply

  167. ... says:

    dan kervick – lol!
    molly promoting war, violence, fear and completely idiotic trash like “Arabs are the invadors of the Jewish homeland”… are you married to Vince by chance???

    Reply

  168. Dan Kervick says:

    “Gads Dan, do you ever lighten up?”
    Yeah, sometimes. I had to give a presentation at a business conference last week. I told some jokes. People laughed.

    Reply

  169. Franklin says:

    Molly,
    You are clearly passionate about Israel.
    My family has just as deep roots in the U.S. as you claim; however, my loyalty TO THIS country does not waiver. As a U.S. citizen I have no loyalty or obligation to support a government outside the U.S. borders. As Americans, since we threw off the yoke of English rule, we have never bowed to the dictates of any foreign government.
    If you are so passionate about Israel though, why not move to Israel?
    Presumably you will be brought up in the Rapture before the end of days. As you End of Timers believe, the Jews will be left behind in the mess if they do not convert. Well, go to Israel, and save some souls. That’s where you’re most needed. So, it is written.

    Reply

  170. Molly says:

    How surprising that there are so many radical Muslims in the U.S. who support terrorism against Israel and the United States. Is the FBI monitoring and taking down ISP addresses? The next terror cells have just made themsleves known.

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  171. molly says:

    I’m an non-Jewish American with a seven generation military background family and I oppose Freeman. I don’t trust anyone that is a puppet of the Islamofacist Saudi government. We know Freeman recieved millions of dollars to repeat Islofacist propaganda. That country is the definition of an apartheid, genodcidal, dictatorship.
    The Muslim radical who claims Israel is an apatheid/genocicdal parasite country is a liar. I’ve been to Israel and other countries in the Middle East and there is no comparision. It’s actually the Arab “Palestinians” who believe in genocide and apartheid against Jews and Chrisitians. Several Arab Christians have been murdered in Gaza but no one cares because Muslims get away with war crimes and the worst huiman rights violations.
    The “cause” of “Palestine” is a fraud. There has never been a Palestinian country, people, language, or culture. The Arabs invented these “people” to steal the Jewish homeland. Palestine is a Roman word that has always referred to Israel. Jews were also know as “Palestinians” until the 1960’s when the Arabs stole that term. Jordan was carved out of ancient Israel. Arabs are the invadors in the Jeiwsh homeland who need to stop their terrorism and occupation.

    Reply

  172. Rusty says:

    Is he going to punch those Tienamen Square exiles who hate his dad too?
    Just wondering.

    Reply

  173. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads Dan, do you ever lighten up?
    Yes, it is an “important blog”, but even an “important blog” needs levity, the occassional dog story, and a smattering of creative insult to rile the ‘ol brain cells. It can be fun too, you know.
    BTW, enjoy your posts, when that side of my brain is in gear.
    Well, time for my 84 mile commute to the current job site. Thats an hour and a half of listening to what passes for right wing intelligence these days, via Beck, Barks, Hannity and Limbaugh. And if you can listen to those jackasses without a sense of humor, I can almost guarantee you have bleeding hemorhoids.

    Reply

  174. Dan Kervick says:

    “Sometimes, I wonder why you waste your time.”
    I never view anything I write here at the Washington Note as a waste of time, POA. This is an important blog, and Steve does a great job in keeping it relevant. I appreciate the opportunity Steve affords for all of us to contribute, in whatever small way we can, to the national discussion. I don’t always succeed, but I do my best to keep my focus on the issues being debated, not the personalities debating them.

    Reply

  175. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Are yous Muslim-First or Hate-America-First?”
    Are you ignorant first or just a racist asshole first?
    I see you’ve dropped the link you were using when you first slithered onto the scene. You know, the one that still claims Saddam had WMDs, and that Saddam had links to Al Qaeda? Despite the fact that both of these premises long ago have been disproven, the sicker ones of your ilk still dredge this crap up to hide their racism behind. What the hell, you gotta justify your glee at over a million dead Iraqis somehow, doncha? And a wet dream for you wackjobs is a mushroom cloud over Tehran.
    Tell ya what, Vince, you are the PROBLEM, not the solution. You are every bit the effin’ fanatic that Bin Laden and his ilk are. As long as we have religious sickos like yourself shittin’ your pious hatred all over our planet, be you Islamic, Jewish, or Christian, mankind will continue to suffer for your ignorance.

    Reply

  176. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “for all we know wigwag is paid by the israel government to be consistent in putting his loyalty for israel before his loyalty to the usa”
    Naaaaah, Wig-wag is so loyal to Israel that he’ll bullshit ya for free. In Wig-wag’s world, he’s doin’ “volunteer work”.

    Reply

  177. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “First, we’re not going to find anywhere near the same volume of commentary by Freeman on China as we find on the Israel-Palestine conflict due to the simple fact that Freeman has for twelve years been the head of the Middle East Policy Council, not a China policy council”
    Careful Dan, you’re liable to topple Wig-wag’s pile of straw. Its quite amusing watching you apply your intelligence to logical analysis, while Wig-wag applies his to spin, straw, and deflection. Honesty and realism versus deceit and fantasy. Sometimes, I wonder why you waste your time.

    Reply

  178. Franklin says:

    Great questions, “questions 7:30AM”
    Thanks for the link, I’ll check the additional articles out.
    1. In reference to the equivalence issue vis a vis Tibet and Palestine:
    This is a bit far-afield from the Freeman discussion. In reference to WigWags statement that there is an inherent contradiction between Freeman’s publicly espoused sympathy for the Palestinians, and his apparent public indifference to the Tibetans – I bridge the difference based on the fact that we aren’t financing and militarily supporting the occupation by the Chinese.
    I don’t know if that’s Freeman’s view, but that is one way to bridge the difference. If one views those two examples as parallel, then the difference rests in our policy response, the regional context, and other factors, not in the moral question. The moral question is the same in both instances (e.g. as Americans we believe in the principle of national self-determination; we view the first principle in the Declaration of Independence as universal – even if our foreign policy sometimes puts our commitment to those values to the test).
    2. “He’s an incredibly talented linguist, he’s capable of saying in 2007 that Bush messed up. I dunno.”
    Ouch. In seriousness, he still represents a viewpoint that contrasts with the liberal interventionists, and Clinton.
    I would guess that his views are more in consonance with Jones and Gates – although I don’t know this for sure.
    A potential blind-spot that I see is that his dealings are likely with national leadership and elites. As the challenges of the past few years have shown, history is not always driven from the top-down, or by nation-states. However, I can clearly see why Obama nominated him.

    Reply

  179. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag,
    First, we’re not going to find anywhere near the same volume of commentary by Freeman on China as we find on the Israel-Palestine conflict due to the simple fact that Freeman has for twelve years been the head of the Middle East Policy Council, not a China policy council. At MEPC, he hosted, moderated and participated in fora every couple of months on some topic related to the Middle East.
    The line about “King Abdullah the Great” appears in this interview:
    http://www.saudi-us-relations.org/articles/2008/interviews/081008-freeman-interview.html
    Freeman believes Abdullah has brought about some important changes “with remarkable speed, in the Saudi context.” The first change he mentions, however, is this:
    “In foreign affairs he turned traditional Saudi policy on its head with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. He committed Saudi Arabia not to be the last, but to be the first to act to bolster an agreement that might be reached between Palestinians and Israelis by normalizing relations with Israel.”
    Is that the sort of thing you want to criticize?
    It doesn’t strike me that Freeman’s criticisms of Israel have been especially “ferocious”. Certainly the quote you cite isn’t very ferocious. But he is a frequent critic, no doubt.
    For what it is worth, I don’t think Freeman’s concerns with the Israeli occupation and other issues are motivated by humanitarian concern for the Palestinians. He is fairly clear in all his writings that his focus is on what he perceives to be the interests of the United States in dealing with a world in which power is distributed the way it is, not the way we might wish it to be. He is critical of the current levels and form of US support for Israel because he believes the current relationship greatly damages our relationship with the broader Middle East, and carries certain penalties and risks for Americans. He thinks China is a hugely important country that is moving in the right direction economically and diplomatically, and promotes US engagement with China for that reason. That’s the realist perspective on the world, with its virtues and flaws. We’re not going find that Freeman’s preferences are based on the consistent application of human rights principles.
    This is one voice that Obama has brought into the administration, along with several other quite different voices. It’s a good thing, since this counterbalancing realist perspective has been lacking in recent years, and that lead this country down the road of crackpot schemes.
    The appointment of Freeman also has the side benefit of sending the right kind of signal to the Middle East at this juncture. When the Palestinians elected Hamas, the US responded by imposing sanctions on the Palestinians. Now Israelis have elected a government that will be headed by the Likud candidate, a party that rejects Palestinian statehood, and will be giving an important place to the ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman. At the same time it continues to obstruct humanitarian relief for Gaza. Sanctions are too much to expect here. But at least the US can say, “OK, Israel, for moving in the wrong direction you get Chas Freeman.”

    Reply

  180. questions says:

    http://www.theglobalist.com/AuthorBiography.aspx?AuthorId=912
    Link to links of pieces Freeman has written. If (the ones I’ve read so far at least) are some kind of new and bold thinking, I fear for what we have been. He argues for a professionalized diplomatic corps instead of political appointees, he argues for a more nuanced reading of Al Quaeda’s goals in the world — coulda read this stuff YEARS ago in many magazines….
    He’s an incredibly talented linguist, he’s capable of saying in 2007 that Bush messed up. I dunno.
    Josh Marshall at TPM has a few links worth following up. A lot of people are convinced that this position is a good place for contrarian thinking and that he’s really a contrarian. A lot of other people are really stuck on the Tiananmen and Israel and Saudi money issues. There’s some finding of contradiction between realism and humanitarian concerns — Israel should be more humane but China is ok being realist — can’t decide on this one either.
    In short, I’m really mixed, and pretty unhappy that some of his views are even considered non-standard.

    Reply

  181. VinceP1974 says:

    I love how these Americans will show brittle anger towards other Americans they disagree with yet defend murderous populations, groups and ideologies.
    Are yous Muslim-First or Hate-America-First?
    (As an Italian-American I can use non-official alternative for 2nd person plural)

    Reply

  182. Morocco says:

    Posted by Seth, Mar 08 2009, 11:13PM – Link
    To “Chas” Freeman’s son: would you like to try punching me in the face? I live in NYC. I share the views of your dad’s critics. C’mon, give it a go, you talk big on-line where there’s no consequences. Get in touch with me, we can do a round someplace quiet in NYC. You versus a middle-age Jew. I’m 43 years old. It shouldn’t be a problem for you. let’s see what you really got…It’d be my pleasure, really…
    This is the best exemple of a Neo-Con Chicken Hawk! You think you are tough? Huh? F…..YOU!

    Reply

  183. Franklin says:

    WigWag,
    Point taken regarding the confirmation process. In reference to the IG investigation, we’ll have to see how things pan out.
    If Freeman’s selection does get shot down because of congressional interference, it will be a clear sign that a well-organized, and well-financed minority continues to hijack American foreign policy. I suspect you may disagree, but that’s my view.
    As far as the lack of nuance goes, that’s another matter of opinion where we’ll simply have to agree to disagree.
    As far as the China v. Israel comparison goes – I think the comparison is true in one sense, and not in another.
    We have doled out tens of billions to Israel — and to other nations in the Middle East — just in order to pacify hostility towards Israel. We have tied our fortunes to the actions of the Israeli state in a way that has increased hostility towards the U.S. and diminished our influence in the region. Israel is also a regional power.
    China is a rising global power, which currently owns a large chunk of our national debt. The Tibetan cause does not create the same number of challenges for U.S. security as those in Palestine.
    In theory our ability to influence Israeli actions should be greater; yet in real terms, in recent years, it has been non-existent. This situation is unique in terms of our international relations. In the case of Israel, it is hard to see how the continuation of the status quo will improve its security; or more importantly, ours.
    In the case of China, there is very little direct action that the U.S. needs to take in order to alter its current trajectory (i.e. the internal pressures that it faces are substantial – I think it is likely that its own economic success – and the inequality of its distribution – might undercut the power of autocratic rule over time – especially if the political leadership is unable to adapt to current challenges. It is conceivable that China’s need to focus on unrest in other provinces and will reduce its ability to exercise influence over a more distant province).
    From the view of a moral imperative what you say about the ethnic Chinese in Tibet versus Israeli settlers is true. I’m glad that we agree that the Israeli settlement policy in the occupied territories and the Chinese settlement policy in Tibet are equally abhorrent.
    From the view of our national interests, the reality is that there is no one-size fits all response for both situations. Each case poses a unique set of challenges and its own remedy. It’s also worth pointing out that our diminished influence and credibility in the Middle East due in no small part to the outstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict has consequences for what we are capable of achieving in other regions of the world – including Tibet. Over the past decade, while the U.S. has been mired in the Middle East; China has run circles around the U.S. in Africa and South and Central America.

    Reply

  184. Morocco says:

    These low life Neo-Con scums are at it again. They will oppose anyone who tells the truth about Israel’s crimes against humanity.
    Hey Mr. Benoit,
    Are you advocating Israel’s interest before America’s? No need to answer. The way you are trying torpedo an honest man like Mr. Freeman, you and your CABAL, yes a CABAL that would not mind destroying America if it is in the interest of Israel, speaks volumes.
    Shame on you! You are a TRAITOR.

    Reply

  185. ... says:

    for all we know wigwag is paid by the israel government to be consistent in putting his loyalty for israel before his loyalty to the usa… voicing the israel firsters pov at all times, leaves one to make this conclusion… wigwags silence on this point is also very telling…
    does wigwag have any problem with steve rosen or any other number of individuals on a ‘foreign’ countries payroll, or is it just a selective thing depending on what country the person might have been receiving those funds from??
    people in politics are always talking with a forked tongue, so it is understandable a few folks could get anxious if someone who had previously never been in a political position was to be given such a position without the proper grooming and pedigree.. far better to have a liar in politics where you find out much later (think all the israel firsters wanting to wage war in iraq due wmds) then to have someone who speaks more openly and where israel firsters like wigwag can pick and choose their words out of context to get the most mileage out of their main intent…
    maybe if we could get all of freemans opinions and comments forwarded to wigwag he could have a better way of assessing what the overall implications are israel, with their implication for the usa a slight afterthought if that..
    wigwags biggest assumption is built on a lack of knowledge on just how many opinions/comments freeman has expressed on a wide range of topics including china/tibet.. the important task for an israel firster(wigwag) is not that these comments matter, only in so far as some sort of rationale can be developed to highlight unacceptable comments on israel…
    wigwag is involved in a form of character assassination… the reason is A) the man is not a good thinker.. or B) the man says things that challenges unquestionable support for israel…. wigwags motive is certainly letter B…
    until wigwag gives me a direct response on my question of where his primary loyalty lies – israel or the usa i will do likewise…i think wigwag is quite consistent in showing where his allegiance rests..

    Reply

  186. PissedOffAmerican says:

    March 9, 2009
    Rebuilding Gaza to Raze It Again
    by Uri Avnery
    This week I had a nostalgic experience. I met a parliamentary delegation from one of the European countries. What turned this meeting into a special occasion for me was its location.
    The “Pasha Room” of the “American Colony” Hotel in East Jerusalem is a beautiful square hall, decorated in traditional Arab style. I was in this hall at the moment Yitzhak Rabin held out his hand to Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn at the Oslo-agreement-signing ceremony.
    We gathered there spontaneously, Israeli peace activists and Fatah leaders, to celebrate the event together. We watched the proceedings on TV and cracked bottles of champagne. I still have one of the corks.
    Just an hour before, I had witnessed a no less exciting meeting. A group of young Palestinians, delirious with joy, marched through the streets, olive branches in their hands and a large Palestinian flag fluttering over their heads. At the street corner, a unit of the Border Police – the most aggressive anti-Arab force in Israel – was waiting. At the time, even the simple possession of a Palestinian flag was a crime.
    For a moment, we held our breath. What was going to happen? The Palestinians ran toward the policemen and thrust olive branches into their hands. The policemen did not know what to do. They were obviously in a state of total disorientation and did not react at all. The enthusiastic youngsters continued on their way through the streets of East Jerusalem, singing and rejoicing.
    Today, 15 and a half years later, one can only look back with longing at the passion for peace that possessed all of us then. Nothing has remained of that fervor, that hope, that zeal for reconciliation.
    All these have now been replaced by a poisonous mix of hopelessness and dejection.
    ——————————————————————————–
    If you stop any ten random passersby in a Tel Aviv street and ask them what they think about the chances of peace, nine of them will shrug their shoulders and answer: It won’t happen. No chance. The conflict will just go on forever.
    They will not say: We don’t want peace, the price of peace is too high. On the contrary, many will declare that for peace they are ready to give back the occupied territories, even East Jerusalem, and let the Palestinians have a state of their own. Sure. Why not? But, they will add: No chance. There will be no peace.
    Some will say: The Arabs don’t want it. Others will say: Our leaders can’t do it. But the conclusion is the same: It just won’t happen.
    A similar poll of Palestinians would probably yield the same results: We want peace. Peace would be wonderful. But there’s no chance. It won’t happen.
    This mood has produced the same political situation on both sides. In the Palestinian elections, Hamas won, not because of its ideology but because it expresses the despair of peace with Israel. In the Israeli elections, there was a general move to the Right: Leftists voted for Kadima, Kadima people voted for Likud, Likud people voted for the fascist factions.
    Without hope there is no Left. The Left is by nature optimistic; it believes in a better future, in the chance of changing everything for the better. The Right is by nature pessimistic. It does not believe in the possibility of changing human nature and society for the better; it is convinced that war is a law of nature.
    But among the despairing there are still those who hope that an intervention by foreigners – Americans, Europeans, even Arabs – will impose peace on us.
    This week, that hope was severely shaken.
    ——————————————————————————–
    On TV we were shown a uniquely impressive conference, a huge assembly of world leaders, who all came to Sharm-el-Sheikh. (Remember that during our occupation of Sinai it was called Ophira? Remember Moshe Dayan saying that he preferred Sharm-el-Sheikh without peace to peace without Sharm-el-Sheikh?)
    Who was not there? Chinese and Japanese rubbed shoulders with Saudis and Qataris. Nicolas Sarkozy was everywhere (Indeed, it was well-nigh impossible to take a photo without the hyperactive French president appearing in it somewhere.) Hillary Clinton was the star. Hosni Mubarak celebrated his achievement in getting them all together on Egyptian soil..
    And for what? For little, poor Gaza. It has to be rebuilt.
    It was a celebration of sanctimonious hypocrisy, in the very best tradition of international diplomacy.
    First of all, nobody from Gaza was there. As in the heyday of European imperialism, 150 years ago, the fate of the natives was decided without the natives themselves being present. Who needs them? After all, they are primitives. Better without them.
    Not only Hamas was absent. A delegation of Gaza businessmen and civil society activists could not come either. Mubarak just did not allow them to pass the Rafah crossing. The gate of the prison called Gaza was barred by the Egyptian jailers.
    The absence of delegates from Gaza, and especially from Hamas, turned the conference into a farce. Hamas rules Gaza. It won the elections there, as in all the Palestinian territories, and continues to govern it even after one of the mightiest armies in the world spent 22 days trying to dislodge it. Nothing will happen in the Gaza Strip without the consent of Hamas. The worldwide decision to rebuild Gaza without the participation of Hamas is sheer foolishness.
    continues….
    http://www.antiwar.com/avnery/?articleid=14369

    Reply

  187. WigWag says:

    “You suggest that consistency requires that criticism of attacks on non-combatant civilians in Tibet is hypocritical if it is matched by support for attacks on non-combatant civilians in Palestine. But can you find a place where Freeman has expressed support for such attacks?”
    Dan, can you find a place where Freeman has condemned those attacks with anywhere near the ferocity with which he’s condemned Israel’s behavior?
    If you oppose the violent attacks on Ethnic Chinese settlers occupying Tibet you have to also oppose violent attacks on Jewish settlers occupying the West Bank and formerly Gaza.
    Conversely, if you think that violent attacks against Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza are understandable or even justifiable, you also have to think the violent attacks on the ethnic Chinese settlers in Tibet are understandable or even justifiable.
    Freeman is a harsh critic of the Israeli government but he is virtually silent on atrocities committed by the Chinese government. This is odd considering that Freeman is supposedly an expert on both the Middle East and China.
    This is some of what Freeman had to say about Israel,
    “…Principal among these is the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation that is about to mark its fortieth anniversary and shows no sign of ending.”
    But where is his statement like this about the Chinese?
    “…Principal among these is the brutal oppression of the Tibetans by a Chinese occupation that is about to mark its sixtieth anniversary and shows no sign of ending.”
    While Freeman’s criticism of Israeli policy is ubiquitous his criticism of the Chinese is no where to be found. Neither is his criticism of the Saudis.
    Freeman calls the Saudi King, “King Abdullah the Great” and his criticism of the Chinese is limited to his complaints that their brutality is not swift enough or severe enough.
    Initially it seems strange until you realize where Freeman’s bread is buttered. The Chinese and Saudis pay him, the Israelis don’t.
    Is Freeman a realist or is he merely an opportunist?

    Reply

  188. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Wow, an internet tough guy just challenged Freeman jr. to a duel.
    Ya gotta love these online thugs, doncha?
    Gee, Seth baby, I betcha Charles is gonna be quakin’ in his boots knowing you’ve called his bluff, and you’re hot on his trail.
    I hate to be trite, but “jackass” just seems to fit a full range of characters these days. I wish an ass of the female gender would mosey through once in a while, because I never get to use the term “ginny” as often as I’d like to. Perhaps Seth will do me a favor, and ask his wife to contribute a post or two.

    Reply

  189. WigWag says:

    “As far as the Tiananmen Square email goes, I suspect he will be asked to clarify his views in a confirmation hearing — he should have the opportunity to spell out his reasoning.”
    Franklin, there will be no confirmation hearing. The Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (the position Freeman was appointed to) is appointed by the Director of National Intelligence; no confirmation is needed.
    The Obama Administration never would have appointed Freeman to a position requiring Senate Confirmation. His chance for winning Senate confirmation would be zero.
    With Senator Schumer now raising questions about Freeman, with the Inspector General of the Office of National Intelligence now investigating him and with increasing bipartisan congressional questions, Freeman will be lucky to survive even without the necessity of Senate Confirmation.
    As for the articles you linked to, I think Freeman’s arguments are pedestrian and one sided. His inability to appreciate nuance is highly reminiscent of the neoconservatives he loves to bash and I attribute his obvious bias to his need to play the sycophant to the foreign powers underwriting his life style.

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  190. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag, I don’t really understand your response. I said that your long dissertation on Tibet was lacking in relevance because Freeman had not defended Chinese policy in Tibet, but only said that the Tibetan uprising had included “race riots”. You turn that comment into a general stance of “applauding the Chinese for their behavior in Tibet”. This inference is not warranted.
    The uprising in Tibet did include riots, and attacks against non-combatant civilians of Chinese origin on the basis of ethnicity. This is undeniable. It seems fair to me to characterize that sort of outburst as a race riot. This may also be a case of striking back against hordes of Han Chinese who have invaded Tibet. I am not sure what exactly Freeman thinks about Tibet, since in the writing in question he was describing the attitudes of Chinese toward the Western response to the uprising.
    You suggest that consistency requires that criticism of attacks on non-combattant civilians in Tibet is hypocritical if it is matched by support for attacks on non-combattant civilians in Palestine. But can you find a place where Freeman has expressed support for such attacks?

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  191. Seth says:

    To “Chas” Freeman’s son: would you like to try punching me in the face? I live in NYC. I share the views of your dad’s critics. C’mon, give it a go, you talk big on-line where there’s no consequences. Get in touch with me, we can do a round someplace quiet in NYC. You versus a middle-age Jew. I’m 43 years old. It shouldn’t be a problem for you. let’s see what you really got…It’d be my pleasure, really…

    Reply

  192. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “He endorses beheading in response to that idea: granted, on the part of those living in Palestine under Israeli control, but he explcitly states full sympathy with the notion. And since he evidently considers those people to be heroes of resistance to American-Israeli fascism or whatever, he can hardly claim much separation from their acts, hypothetical or otherwise”
    “Neo control” gave you some sage advice. A pity you’re too damned ignorant to take it.
    So, you blubbering jackass, how do you feel about murdering a million or so Iraqi’s because of a trumped up threat?
    Or would you rather comment on sauteing Palestinian children in white Phosphorous?
    And by the way, if you can create that whole fantasy around one tongue in cheek comment I made, then you must have straw growing out of every orifice in your body. You take lessons from Wig-wag, or were you born that way?

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  193. Franklin says:

    WigWag,
    As far as the allegation that Freeman is on the dole of foreign governments — that he has engaged in actions that are corrupt — a security clearance review should reveal any red flags. If there is a problem, the review should reveal as much. I have seen no credible evidence that suggests this is even remotely the case at this stage.
    As far as the Tiananmen Square email goes, I suspect he will be asked to clarify his views in a confirmation hearing — he should have the opportunity to spell out his reasoning. The email itself is one statement made in the context of a debate where we have only one email. We don’t know who else was involved, or what the larger context was. Given those circumstances it is too easy to misrepresent his views and intention.
    Freeman’s views in other areas, suggest someone with developed views about the challenges facing the U.S. If you have not read the other sources, I would recommend doing so. I would be curious to hear what your thoughts are on these areas:
    “Public diplomacy in a time of choler”
    http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Background.view&backgroundid=197
    “Can American leadership be restored?”
    http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Background.view&backgroundid=134
    His diagnosis of the problem — not just with respect to Israel-Palestine — but across a range of issues strikes me as spot on. I’ll be curious to hear where you think his diagnosis is off the mark.

    Reply

  194. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “So, POA: you consider beahdingn a rational response to someone voicing an opinion about theh dangers of radical Islam”
    Oh, its FAR worse than that. Given my druthers, I’d have ya beheaded for your shitty typing.

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  195. Dan Kervick says:

    questions, Freeman’s job is not going to involve making public statements on foreign policy or even developing foreign policy. It is unlikely he will be a lightning rod once this appointment flap passes. His job is coordinating and overseeing the preparation of intelligence assessments. There is not the slightest indication that Freeman is a man who doesn’t think things through. The people who know him best frequently remark on his analytical intelligence and integrity. The experienced authors of a letter to the Wall Street Journal today said this:
    “The free exchange of political views is one of the strengths of our nation. We know Chas to be a man of integrity and high intelligence who would never let his personal views shade or distort intelligence assessments. We categorically reject the implication that the holding of personal opinions with which some disagree should be a reason to deny to the nation the service of this extremely qualified individual. We commend President Obama and Admiral Dennis C. Blair for appointing Ambassador Freeman to such an important position.”
    I would suggest we consider that the people most opposed to Freeman are people whose agenda was pushed in the previous administration by stovepiping intelligence directly to the VP’s office and the Oval Office, and doing an end run around the government’s professional intelligence analysts. Maybe what they are concerned about is not that Freeman and the intelligence operation he oversees will fail to think things through, but that they will think things through only too well, and deliver candid assessments to the President instead of ideologically skewed B.S.?
    It is noteworthy that the man who lead the initial charge against this appointment, Steve Rosen, is a man who is himself under indictment for gathering intelligence for Israel by passing on classified US government information to the Israeli government.
    Freeman has been the head of a research institute for the past twelve years, not in politics. He seems to have conducted himself something like a college professor during that time, not like a politician or bureaucrat. Any such person is involved in a job that depends on the free exchange of opinions, and is bound to have produced a paper trail of such opinions, some proportion of which are bound to be unpopular. I see no evidence that Freeman is any less thoughtful or any more impulsive in the offering of opinions than anyone else in a similar line of work. As a former academic myself, I am dismayed to see another example of the attempted blackballing of people who actually know some things, and who have achieved a high level of informed expertise in their areas of study, and who have expressed their opinions in the manner customary among academics instead of restricting their output to approved politburo dogma.
    Steve Rosen also works for Middle East Forum, a rival Middle East research institute. So part of this fight is perhaps just a turf battle control of the nation’s perception of Middle East reality, and for approved or preeminent status among rivals. Should we look only for people who have no background with any of these research institutes? Should we through out all the professors from all the Middle East studies programs as well? That would be the only way to screen out the paper trails of controversial opinions on the Middle East and other places. That would screen out most of the actual deep expertise on these regions as well.

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  196. VinceP1974 says:

    Oh lookie who is putting some thing into orbit just like Iran… Iran’s partner in crime, The Norkians.
    BBC ^ | March 8th, 2009
    North Korea has warned that any attempt to shoot down a satellite it says it plans to launch will result in war. The warning came as the US and South Korea began an annual joint military exercise expected to last 12 days.
    ============
    I wonder what prop Hillary will bring with her… I bet it wont be another red launch button with the word “Nuke *verb*” on it.

    Reply

  197. WigWag says:

    Dan Kervick says,
    “The rest of WigWag’s post is given over to a long dissertation on Chinese actions in Tibet. There seems to be a suggestion that there is some conceptual connection between this discussion and Freeman, but it is hard to identify that connection.”
    Dan is usually a pretty smart fellow so I’m surprised that he’s having trouble seeing the connection I’m making; or maybe he‘s just averting his eyes.
    Freeman feels free to criticize the Israelis for their treatment of the Palestinians but then applauds the Chinese for their behavior in Tibet (and in Tiananmen Square) that is if anything, far worse. Of course Freeman has an excuse; he was paid by the Saudis to be a shill for their position on Israel and he was paid by the Chinese (as a Board member of the Chinese owned state oil company) to support their positions. The best thing that can be said about Freeman is that he did what all lobbyists do; he advocated for the positions of his clients. Of course James Baker thought Freeman was too aggressive about advocating for his clients; in his book “The Politics of Diplomacy” Baker claimed Freeman had “clientitis.”
    Freeman’s supporters don’t have any excuses. They’re so enamored with his harsh remarks about the Israelis that they’re willing to overlook his support for Chinese oppression in Tibet or the way they butchered the students in Tiananmen Square. This is really quite revelatory. Many Freeman’s supporters aren’t against barbarity; they’re only against what they perceive to be Israeli barbarity. When the Chinese are barbaric they aren’t troubled in the least and they’re happy to have Freeman serve as cheer leader in chief for that barbarity. Their only request is that Freeman keep titillating them with hostile comments about Israel.
    I hope Dan gives it the college try. If he thinks really hard I am confident he’ll figure out the connection.
    By the way, Dan also says,
    “Now it is undeniable that the sequence of protests Freeman is talking about did indeed escalate into full-scale riots that targeted ethnic Chinese on the basis of ethnicity.”
    It’s funny how Chas Freeman and many of his supporters at the Washington Note and elsewhere found the Palestinian Intifada understandable and even justifiable on the basis of the Israeli occupation. Certainly many Freeman supporters claim that Arab attacks on Jewish settlers were nothing but self defense; an understandable response to colonists stealing Palestinian land. Some even go so far as to defend the firing of rockets into Israel from land Israel has retreated from. But when Tibetans fight back against invading hordes of Han Chinese who have occupied their land at the behest of the Chinese government in far larger numbers and in a far more oppressive manner than the Israelis, their behavior is dismissed as little more than a “race riot”
    Not only is Freeman’s hypocrisy stunning, the hypocrisy of his supporters is even more stunning.
    Franklin makes some very good points. He says,
    “On China policy, I might not agree with Freeman, but he’s still a voice with experience in the region (going back to 1965 via the Foreign Service in India and China).”
    While I don’t necessarily agree that Freeman’s experience is so uniquely valuable that his appointment is a good idea; this is certainly a reasonable point of view. Freeman’s more famous supporters like Stephen Walt and his own son, Charles Freeman, would be far more persuasive if they took a page out of Franklin’s book and argued the case on the merits rather than falling back on paranoid platitudes like calling Freeman opponents Joe McCarthy acolytes or “cabal” members.
    But I do think Franklin is off base when he says this,
    “There are costs involved with any intervention: If a policy is based on the right intentions and poor calculation, it can do more harm might have happened in the absence of an intervention.”
    No one is saying that Freeman should have supported any type of intervention, military or otherwise during the Tiananmen Square massacre or the Tibet “riots/demonstrations.” But is it really too much to ask for him to decry Chinese barbarity instead of applauding it? Should the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council make excuses for Chinese barbarity or should he bemoan it? And just what is it about Freeman that causes him to critique Israeli misbehavior with such gusto while making excuses for the misbehavior of his Saudi and Chinese clients?
    Could it be that the Saudis and Chinese have made Chas Freeman a millionaire? Could it be that the fees he collected were more important to him than the suffering of Tibetans watching the Chinese extinguish their nation, language and culture?
    It makes you wonder, do Freeman and his supporters think there’s another national liberation movement anywhere on the planet earth worth supporting other than the movement for a Palestinian homeland?
    It doesn’t look like it.
    I wonder why that is.

    Reply

  198. Mark says:

    Anyone who wants to deck Marty Peretz and Steve Rosen is all right in my book.

    Reply

  199. DonS says:

    Questions worries about Freeman-thought being “enshrined in the government”. With all due respect, this is not a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Think outside the AIPAC box.

    Reply

  200. questions says:

    Dan Kervick,
    You just summed up my whole concern with Freeman — this contrarian tendency that he seems to display. While I applaud thinking out loud, as I said above, and I would be interested in hearing him give lectures and stretch my head to get into thinking the way that, say, an authoritarian regime does, I’m pretty uncomfortable with this tendency’s being enshrined in the government. Lots of positions need to be thought through, including Israel’s unfortunate responses to the Palestinians, but they should be thought through where the consequences aren’t international incidents. I’m not interested in a WigWag-style mildly questionable point-by-point comparison between something Freeman said and something Israel did. I’m more concerned with the temperament issue.

    Reply

  201. alan says:

    A minor point: if the Chinese get really tough, for example on Taiwan or Tibet the US can do nothing. Wigwag and his ilk can try all their “subtle” arguments they want. The US is not a powerhouse any longer. The Chinese will give us the finger everytime we bring up Taiwan and Tibet. All they have to tell us is: Iraq? Afghanistan?
    It is time we realise we are about as bankrupt of any new ideas on how to go forward as the Russians were a decade ago. Israel has to look out for itself. the American shield wont help.

    Reply

  202. DonS says:

    Dan and Franklin, both of your points are helpful in shedding light on the Tibet situation. Where/when Tibet was really an issue, shall we say after the Dalai Lam fled in ’49 and the ensuing decades of rampant terror and mayhem by the Chinese — where were the Americans then? Now we may say that “free Tibet” has turned into and industry, not that that is wrong, but it lacks the urgency of decades past when intervention and pressure may have meant something real. Of course the Dalai Lama is still strongly engaged, largely because of the very specific spiritual heritage that is endemic to Tibet, and that may only be protected, in its original ‘contures’ in the physical land of Tibet.
    That said, I begin to appreciate more the potential importance of a strong realist voice at the intelligence table — notwithstanding the going over that one of the websites of a recent poster here gives of the realist school as being brutal. I’m ready to go with hard edged “what’s good for America” as an analytical and policy input in the current environment of economic chaos where what’s good for the health of the USA has implication far beyond our borders.

    Reply

  203. Dan Kervick says:

    Just one comment about WigWag’s characterization of Freeman’s position on Tibet. WigWag says that Freeman “called Tibetans protesting for autonomy “race rioters””. But Freeman did not apply this term in a blanket manner to all Tibetans protesting for autonomy, but said:
    “The majority of Chinese appear to believe, for example, that public reaction here to the recent race riots by Tibetans and to unrest among other Chinese minorities proves the existence of a plan by the United States and its western allies to divide, dismember, weaken, and humiliate China.”
    Now it is undeniable that the sequence of protests Freeman is talking about did indeed escalate into full-scale riots that targeted ethnic Chinese on the basis of ethnicity.
    http://www.economist.com/daily/news/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10870258&top_story=1http://www.economist.com/daily/news/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10870258&top_story=1
    The rest of WigWag’s post is given over to a long dissertation on Chinese actions in Tibet. There seems to be a suggestion that there is some conceptual connection between this discussion and Freeman, but it is hard to identify that connection.
    Freeman appears to have a temperamental contrarian disposition to project himself into the perspective of various US adversaries or antagonists, real or purported, and view the world from their vantage point, including their ideological dispositions. This might lead him from time to time to shade over into apologetics for things that should be opposed, but it is a temperament that has been sorely lacking in elite US foreign policy debates for some time, and is a welcome addition to the discussion. It is also an extremely useful temperament for someone in charge of synthesizing US intelligence projects, who must constantly struggle against the much stronger natural tendency of Americans to analyze the motivations of other people and counties in the light of our own ideological projections.

    Reply

  204. silverslipper says:

    All the comments made here show the absolute difficulty there is in fixing this problem.

    Reply

  205. Franklin says:

    WigWag,
    In reference to China policy and Tibet — I agree with you. Within the Obama administration there is no shortage of sympathy for the Tibet people.
    However, the moral question alone is not a sufficient basis for establishing state policy.
    There are costs involved with any intervention: If a policy is based on the right intentions and poor calculation, it can do more harm might have happened in the absence of an intervention.
    On China policy, I might not agree with Freeman, but he’s still a voice with experience in the region (going back to 1965 via the Foreign Service in India and China).
    The sense that I get, is that his opponents are saying: “This is someone we should shut out of the conversation, because we, people with substantially less experience in the region, find his views offensive.”
    On the discard side we ignore his experience in the region; his work with the leadership; his first-hand knowledge of the language; his institutional knowledge (including an understanding of the successes and mistakes made by past administrations). He has knowledge about these areas that exceeds that of 99.999999 percent of Americans. Yet, people are saying, don’t even give this guy a seat at the table?
    What kind of informed policy debate is made by approaching issues that way?
    At the end of the day, on any given issue, his views may not win out. But I still don’t see the rationale for sidelining him entirely.

    Reply

  206. Paul S. says:

    Franklin, thank you.

    Reply

  207. DonS says:

    Paul S asks “NCHQ – I’d be curious where you see inaccuracy in my characterization of POA’s idea. ” ?
    POA is just channeling his inner Norman Mailer. If you insist on quarreling with his every metaphor, you will be a busy dude. Technical accuracy ain’t your point now, is it?

    Reply

  208. ... says:

    Tennis again. Gaza continues to undermine the world’s opinion of Israel
    Last night I talked to a housewife from St. Louis (at a non-Jewish family gathering) who said she was very uncomfortable about the fact that the world is now having to spend billions to rebuild Gaza– makes her wonder why we permitted it to be devastated in the first place? She’s my bellwether. 5000 people demonstrated outside a tennis match in Malmo, Sweden, between a Swedish team and an Israeli one. Folks got a little unruly.
    http://www.philipweiss.org/

    Reply

  209. WigWag says:

    JohnH (at Mar 07 2009, 5:44PM) makes an interesting plea. He says
    “Now, if we could just agree to evaluate the Occupation of Palestine and the Occupation of Tibet from a common set on humanitarian values…”
    Given that Chas Freeman deplores Israel’s treatment of Palestinians but endorses Chinese treatment of Tibet (he’s called Tibetans protesting for autonomy “race rioters”) John’s question seems particularly pertinent. And given the enthusiasm with which so many Washington Note readers applaud Freeman’s critique of the Israel but remain silent about his support of the Chinese, comparing China’s behavior in Tibet to Israel’s behavior in “Palestine” might be especially revelatory.
    So how do they compare?
    Prior to the 1950s, Tibet was a separate nation on and off since approximately 650 BCE. Tibetan independence came to an end when the Red Army invaded and conquered the territory from a largely defenseless indigenous population. Unlike Tibet, there has never been an independent state of Palestine and prior to 1967 there was little evidence of Palestinian aspirations for a State (despite the revisionist history articulated by Rashid Khalidi).
    The Israeli government has induced approximately 200,000-300,000 Israelis to settle beyond its internationally recognized borders in land that may someday be incorporated into a Palestinian State. Israelis currently make up 10-15 percent of the population of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The Chinese government has induced approximately 2.5 million Han Chinese to move to Tibet. The Dalai Lama has estimated that the Tibet autonomous region now contains more Han Chinese than native Tibetans.
    Prior to 1950 there were virtually no Han Chinese living in Tibet. The total population of Tibet is very similar to the total population of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Because of Chinese policy, Tibetans are rapidly becoming a small minority in what was once their own land.
    The Palestinian Arabs have amongst the highest fertility rates in the world. Most Israelis (except for the ultra-Orthodox who have fertility rates similar to Palestinians) have a fertility rate similar to Western Europeans. The Chinese government has adopted a one child per couple policy throughout China. This policy is enforced in Tibet amongst ethnic Tibetans but it is waived for Han Chinese in Tibet.
    There is a thriving and largely free press throughout Palestine. Independent newspapers abound, satellite dishes are ubiquitous and there are television and radio stations controlled and operated by Palestinians. Israeli censorship of Palestinian media (and internet access) does not exist. Throughout China and especially in Tibet internet service is censored, satellite dishes are illegal and the press is controlled entirely by the State. There are no independent radio stations, television stations or newspapers in Tibet.
    Tibetan journalists and bloggers who defy the Chinese government are routinely beaten and jailed. Numerous Arab and Palestinian journalists and bloggers operate free of censorship from the Israelis although Hamas often censors and imprisons journalists and bloggers critical of its regime in Gaza.
    Prior to 1950 Mandarin was an unknown language in Tibet. The Tibetan Language is a Tibeto-Burman dialect similar to the language spoken in Myanmar and Nepal. Mandarin is now one of the official languages of Tibet and many governmental operations are conducted only in Mandarin. Tibetan school children are encouraged to study Chinese dialects and to neglect their own language. Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza (and even in Israel proper) are free to speak Arabic with no pressure from the Israeli government to learn or utilize Hebrew.
    In Tibet, the Chinese Authorities actively discourage the practice of Buddhism and they insist on approving and even replacing Buddhist religious leaders whom they find objectionable. In Israel itself, in the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian religious practices (and Christina religious practices) proceed unhindered. Even religious leaders who advocate Jihad and sermonize in the most anti-Semitic manner are usually left alone.
    Buddhist Monks frequently protest Chinese oppression in Tibet by immolating themselves, but they make a point of doing it in a way that avoids harm to anyone but themselves. Palestinians frequently protest by immolating themselves in a manner designed to cause maximum carnage and death to innocent people.
    Buddhist Monks who protest by killing themselves believe that they will be reincarnated many times before achieving Nirvana. They believe that the self-sacrifice their protest represents will help them achieve spiritual clarity. Muslim Palestinians who undertake suicide/homicide bombings believe that they are doing so at the behest of the deity and that the deity will reward them for killing civilians through their martyrdom by providing them with 72 virgins with whom they may have sexual relations in the after-life.
    The Chinese government treats the Tibetan people terribly. The Israeli government treats Palestinian people living in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem terribly.
    The Chinese government uses military force to prevent the Tibetan people from re-achieving their national political aspirations. The Israeli government uses military force to prevent the Palestinian people from achieving their national political aspirations.
    In light of all of this you have to wonder why Chas Freeman and his supporters at the Washington Note and elsewhere think the Israelis are so awful while the Chinese aren’t so bad.
    Come to think of it, Chas Freeman has a good excuse; he’s made millions criticizing the Israelis on behalf of the Saudis and insulting the Tibetans (and Chinese democracy advocates) on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.
    It’s his supporters who don’t have an excuse other than their own hypocrisy).

    Reply

  210. Franklin says:

    Paul S,
    “I understand their motivation, though. It’s easy and fun to be a rebel in the US.”
    This isn’t true of elected office in the U.S. — especially in reference to criticism of right-wing governments in Israel.
    For political leaders there are consequences for talking honestly about U.S. – Israel policy. It may be a little easier than it once was 10 year ago, but there is still a well-financed and organized faction that will attempt to intimidate plain spoken criticism of the current U.S. – Israel policy.
    We see it once again with the Freeman nomination.
    Regardless of his merits on any other area of foreign policy are — the Israel statements for some over-ride all other foreign policy considerations.
    It’s not just in reference to Israel policy — we’ve seen other foreign lobbies dictate policy outcomes (e.g. with Cuba policy; same story with the Chinese Nationalists in the 40s, 50s, and 60s). These foreign lobbies have chilled critical speech in the U.S. at the top levels of government.

    Reply

  211. VinceP1974 says:

    Once again.. this isn’t about me. It’s about the government. And the people like this dysfunction father/son team that want to be in it.
    I have no confidence in this Govt. I had very little confidence in the Bush Admin while recognizing, sadly that that was the best we were going to get in a while.
    I had sensed even during his first term, that whoever was going to follow him would be worse.
    And boy was I right. I never expected a 5th Term of ClintonBush. Obama has combined the worst parts of each.
    It adapted the poor financial management (this time on steroids(for a reason too.. See Alinsky, Cloward, Piven)) from Bush and the National Security disasters of Clinton.
    Plus Obama’s past is full of Radical Anti-American Pro-Muslim activists.
    I dont trust them at all. So if you think I’m being “hysterical” you are misreading my anxiety.
    Having an illegitimate President hell-bent on destroying the US economy gives me no comfort especially in terms with dealing with our national security.
    The dysfunction evident in this article above by the writer’s own lack of self-control is exactly the type of people who are corrupting the government.
    Susan Rice, Stepahnie Power, this guy up above.. Foreign Policy by Complete Imbeciles.
    I guess that’s change.

    Reply

  212. Wordie says:

    DonS: humpfh + umbridge = humbridge – I love your new word!
    Dan Kervick: Your comments are enlightening, as always.
    another reader 2: Many, many thanks for the additional excerpt from the Freeman listserv emails. It appears he’s a very nuanced thinker, so no wonder he’s getting savaged by the Israel-firsters; it’s a black-and-white approach that best serves their aims.
    I don’t know anything about Freeman besides what I’ve read since this controversy started not long ago. He doesn’t sound like someone overly concerned with politically correctness, but as noted upthread, he’s still managed to thrive in the foreign policy world for a very long time, so apparently he’s quite capable of controlling his mouth when the situation requires it. Perhaps he isn’t everything one would wish. Nevertheless, he’s certain to speak his mind and to bring a different viewpoint to Obama’s foreign policy table. It doesn’t appear that he would be prone to hiding his views or the reasons for them, or to spin things to achieve some hidden aim of his own. That would be a very good thing. Obama should not capitulate to those who are calling for Freeman’s head.

    Reply

  213. Dan Kervick says:

    VinceP.
    Once again, I ask you to consider the important question of capabilities.
    I am looking at several shelves full of books purchased mainly in the past seven years covering many of the trends and movements you discuss. I’ve read the al Qaeda documents and manifestos. I have read Qutb and many accounts of the various strains of political Islam in the contemporary world. I have read about Khomeinism and the Iranian revolution. I have read the books about Hamas and Hizbollah. I have read Kepel and Roy and Burke and Gunaratna and others. I know very well the ways in which some of these ideologies are hostile to the United States and its people. Believe me, I’m no martyr or hero. Preserving my own life and the life of people close to me is just as important to me as it is to you.
    I have also read about many other social, economic and political trends and tendencies in the Islamic world, those comprising the larger majorities of people in the region who are not caught up in militant radical movements, and are not part of armed resistance groups. Most are much more interested in building secure and prosperous lives for themselves, their families and their countries, without a lot of bloviating religious hoo-hah about rebuilding the caliphate or whatever.
    I ask you to remember again that the threat posed by the existence of hostile ideologies is proportional to the degree to which those ideologues are paired with hostile capabilities.
    Now, I just saw a war in the Middle East in which the Palestinians in Gaza were slaughtered in bunches and had their asses kicked by an Israeli state with a decidedly asymmetrical power advantage. It is thus hard for me to get as worked up as you do over the fact that “Hamas is at war with the United States”.
    It seems to me that you have been whipped up into a state of hysteria by obsessive reading about relatively small radical movements with diabolical aims, and by undue emphasis on the hostile religious motives and enthusiasms of these people, without enough attention to actual capabilities, and without any sense of proportion. Your anxious fretting about the Iranian beep-beep satellite is typical of this genre of paranoia.
    You are too captivated by the words of the few, ranting in caves and on the internet about their plans for a new caliphate, and are ignoring the attitudes of the many, and the actual state of play on the ground. Our government, of course, needs to keep their eyes on the most dangerous elements, continually assess their plans and capabilities, and interdict their operations whenever one moves away from idle talk to something that is actually dangerous.
    Right now, Iran’s actual capacity to do us damage is quite limited. Thus it is a very good time to use diplomacy to explore possibilities for coming to a modus vivendi with Iran, for gauging the relative power of the different factions within Iran and the Iranian government, and to assess the prospects for rebuilding a relationship based on cooperation on areas of common concern. It strikes me, for example, that a better relationship with Iran could be quite useful in stabilizing Iraq and checking the influence of the Salafist elements in Iraq that pose, in my view, a more dangerous and proven threat than the dogmatically hard core twelver Shia you mention. If these diplomatic forays do not bear fruit, there will still be plenty of time to re-tool a more aggressive approach.
    Interventions themselves, especially when they lead to extended eruptions of butchery, have the potential to create more militants than existed in the first place, and can thus damage security rather than enhance it. Similarly, support for blatantly unjust campaigns of ethnic cleansing, colonization, collective punishment and brutality can have the same effect. And an aggressive Cold War campaign of unnecessary containment and rollback can turn a misguided assessment into a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    Reply

  214. Paul S. says:

    vince –
    Believe me, I know. I’m an old hand at this kind of thing. I decided a while ago to largely give it up, except once in a while when I see someone like yourself who could use a sympathetic hand.
    I’m actually a little less worried about it than I used to be, with Obama in office. Maybe I’m being over-optimistic, but I see some indication that he is at least a little willing to confront reality on these topics.
    For instance, in the way he chose not to wholly reject the Bush policies on wiretapping phone calls into or out of the US.
    If I’m right, it’ll be fun to watch the emotionally-based “thinkers” of the left try to figure out how to square it all with their so-called opinions.
    I’m off to live a life.

    Reply

  215. Paul S. says:

    dave –
    Do you believe Israel’s survival to be worth making a stand?
    For the moment, avoid the quick “the destruction of Israel is not a possibility” response.
    Assume that it is a possibility; and assume that Israel’s destruction is a goal of, say, Iran.
    With those assumptions in place, would you believe Israel’s survival is important to attempt to ensure?
    (I expect a refusal to respond, by the way.)

    Reply

  216. dave says:

    Scott Ritter, Pat Buchanan, Justin Raimondo, and many others are correct in their analysis of the pro-Israel neocon parasites that are wrecking America with their endless and relentless calls for the US to fight wars with enemies of Israel.
    The problem with the parasites is not merely that they siphon off the food and nourishment of their American host, crippling its reproductive power, but that they take over the host’s brain (George W. had little brain to begin with so this was relatively easy) as well.
    The parasites trick their hosts (and their various apologists-pundits, members of the press eager to advance in a neocon Israeli controlled media) into thinking that they are feeding themselves.

    Reply

  217. VinceP1974 says:

    Paul: When a Leftist is present with the opportunity to address the substance of what someone said or wander off into the woods, they’ll wander off to the woods.
    Look at the responses I get. They are more interested in psychoanalyzing me than they are the Muslims that want to kill us.
    They accuse people like me of being Israel-First because I recognize that we have the same enemy and that enemy is the one responsible for that. It’s the Muslims who are the belligerents , it is they who declare war on both Israel and United States.
    Yet the Left sides with the party who has declared war on them.
    Such Anti-Americanism can only be found with the “intelligent” “thinkers” of the Left ,Ron Paul fringe Right and the State Department.
    I am irrelevant to world events. It’s not Christians all you silly Leftists have to worry about. It’s yourselves and the Jihadis that will bring this country down.

    Reply

  218. Paul S. says:

    NCHQ –
    I’d be curious where you see inaccuracy in my characterization of POA’s idea.
    He calls the idea of a threat of Messianic Islamic Revivalism “horseshit.”
    He endorses beheading in response to that idea: granted, on the part of those living in Palestine under Israeli control, but he explcitly states full sympathy with the notion. And since he evidently considers those people to be heroes of resistance to American-Israeli fascism or whatever, he can hardly claim much separation from their acts, hypothetical or otherwise.
    So how is it wrong?
    And why is that the hard left, when confronted with the meaning of their own words, will go scurrying in the opposite direction, consumed with indignation?

    Reply

  219. Paul S. says:

    A stray thought: those on the left who stridently criticize American policy in this context (or any context, actually) seem always to consider themselves courageous.
    Like, they’re the ones “courageous” enough to criticize Israel – when in fact it’s easy to criticize Israel in this country, and especially within the academic or heavily-liberal worlds to which they mostly belong, where criticism of Israel is as natural as eating.
    From where I stand, they seem to forget even the possibility of another kind of courage: the willingness to identify an actual enemy, rooted in the intellectual and moral rigor necessary to perceive at least dimly the positive attributes of our own nation.
    I understand their motivation, though. It’s easy and fun to be a rebel in the US.

    Reply

  220. Neo Controll says:

    “So, POA: you consider beahdingn a rational response to someone voicing an opinion about the dangers of radical Islam.”
    Paul, you are grasping at straws here. Don’t take yourself so seriously dude.
    –NCHQ

    Reply

  221. DonS says:

    VinceP, you betray your self absorbstion by taking humbridge at being associated with fundamentalists (I said nothing about “Christians”). You know there are a growing number of Christians who are about tired of you so-called Christians of the fundamentalist pursuasion being so arrogant. So when you talk about “bigotry against Christians” let’s be clear you are implying an inclusiveness between end times fundamentalists and all others who call themselves Christian. Just for the record, I consider your apparent brand of “Christianty” to be a dangerous radical aberration as much as I consider Bin Laden-besotted Islamists to be dangerous aberrations. Not that it matters.

    Reply

  222. Paul S. says:

    A solemn promise: henceforth I will carefully check spelling.

    Reply

  223. Paul S. says:

    So, POA: you consider beahdingn a rational response to someone voicing an opinion about theh dangers of radical Islam.
    Being an optimist I can only assume that someday, you’ll look back on such a stand and cringe at your former self.

    Reply

  224. VinceP1974 says:

    The Palestinians elected HAMAS. HAMAS is at war with the United States.
    I have to ask you… are you a Palestinian-First or America-First?

    Reply

  225. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Your bigotry against Christians blinds you to the true religious threat which is Messianic Islamic revival. That you focus on one non-existent non-threatening Messianism and ignore the existent threatening Messianism indicates to me you’re not rational”
    Tell that to the millions of displaced Iraqis, and their million dead sisters and brothers.
    Also,you might wanna try that horseshit out on a Palestinian family who have recently had one of their kin fried in white phosphorous. If they behead you, let it be known I don’t consider that an unreasonable response. Besides, it would probably improve your thought processes.

    Reply

  226. VinceP1974 says:

    DonS:
    You’re completely out of touch with the Arab/Muslim world.
    You’re definitely in touch with our failed political and academic culture.
    Your bigotry against Christians blinds you to the true religious threat which is Messianic Islamic revival. That you focus on one non-existent non-threatening Messianism and ignore the existent threatening Messianism indicates to me you’re not rational.

    Reply

  227. ... says:

    wigwag, where does your dominant ‘loyalty’ reside, with israel or with the usa?? no answer from you will continue support the deduction i get from your posts here.
    wigwag, i will continue to ask this question until i get a direct answer.. so the next time you start posting expect to be asked again…

    Reply

  228. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Anybody besides me thing that “Goldman”, “Sandy” and “Feinstein” are the same person? It seems like someone trying to provoke antisemitic commentary by throwing out stereotypes and seeing who will rise to the bait”
    Gee, Kervick’s obviously high level of intelligence finally stood aside and let his intuition have a say. Its about time people started waking up to how heavily TWN is trolled by the Israel Firsters.
    Now, if Dan’s intuition and intelligence join forces, he might even be able to discern the more proffessional and insidious efforts waged by the pro-Israel forces on this blog. Not all of them are as transparent as this Goldman/Sandy/Feinstien jackass.
    Just a suggestion, but its wise to use both sides of your brain when assessing the comentary here.

    Reply

  229. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “didn’t your dad ever teach you that it’s not acceptable to punch people in the face because they disagree with you??”
    Yeah, Charles. Take varanasi’s cue, and attack their proffession and place of residence instead. Its far more “stable”, doncha know.

    Reply

  230. DonS says:

    VinceP, sorry to point it out, but you are fulfilling the prophecy.
    “Dan: I’m beginnign to realize i’m sorta hijacking this story. So I’m going to stop this back and forth because it’s besides the point. you can email me at comcast dot net (same name) if you want.”
    Only the far right fundies buy this whole founding fathers/Israel conspiracy tale
    “Getting back to the point, I think this guy’s father would be a disaster for this job. What , as someone called them, Arabist has ever adequately warned the US about some coming Islamic-motivated attack?”
    Didn’t need an “arabist “ to warn about 911. Richard Clarke and a host of intel types tried to alert Bush and Condi. Not listening. BTW, you are conflating “arabist” with some political content, which it does not have. Perhaps you are unaware of this.
    “Do the Arabists have a good grasp on the theology behind Jihad and the history of the current Islamic revival?”
    Some probably do, some probably don’t. What’s your point?
    “Why do Arabists have so much Antipathy for Israel… because Israel’s mere existence makes their job hard because of the agitation it creates in the Arab world?”
    Now I’m sure you conflating “arabist” with a particular political leaning, and it smell intentional, even racist.
    “What does this guy attribute the sustained hatred of Isarel to? Nationalism? Anticolonialism? Antisemitism? Islamic Jihadism?”
    Are you imputing ‘his’ insinuated ‘hatred’, or just a general question. Another red herring. Pile the whole “we hate Israel” meme on his shoulders. Nice.
    “Does he understand what a hudna is? Does he understand the two-faced nature of Arab leaders.. especially Arafat who would speak words of sugar in English and poison in Arabic?”
    Hudna, hudna? What’s your point? Use Arafat to impugn the integrity of all Arab leaders. Illogical, if not, again, racist
    “I don’t get a sense from those people that they understand any of this. Especially when the State calls for Israel to make concession concession to the Palestinians while the Palestinians still have yet to satisfy any of the obligations they accepted from the very beginning.”
    The ultimate doublespeak. What “State”? US? David and Goliath here, but that doesn’t seem to fit into you skewed calculus. Saying it three times doesn’t make it true here.
    “Do the Arabists understand the effect an Israel defeat will have on religiously-motivated Muslims?”
    What are you suggesting, that is not millennial-based fear mongering???
    “They seem to think if Israel were to go away that the Muslim world will be pacified. It wont be. It will be emboldened to advance on their primary mission, the imposition of Sharia law world-wide , where all religion belongs to Allah.”
    Where can I send money to defeat the barbarians.
    “I see in the paper Obama might want to deal with “moderate” Taliban. That he wants to talk to the Mahdi-obssesed Twelvers in Iran, and Syria. etc….
    “It’s going to be a disaster for this country.
    Could be a disaster for the end times industry. I sure hope the Obama foks are reading your cogent missive.

    Reply

  231. PissedOffAmerican says:

    First, as any reader of the comment section here at TWN knows, Wig-wag’s comments in regards to Israel are predictable, and to be taken with a grain of salt. His current arguments are tempered down considerably from the finger pointing zionist that first arrived at this blog. When his constant whine about “anti-semitism” was directly challenged with cold hard facts about Israeli policy, he assumed a feigned and transparent posture of moderation, claiming fairness and even a modicum of sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians. Yet always underlying his argument has been the contention that AIPAC and the various Israeli lobbies have far less power than most here at TWN percieve them as having, and that AIPAC is “just like any other lobby”.
    Secondly, I find the current debate about Freeman’s appointment rather moot. The Obama Administration has already demonstrated its intention to maintain the status quo with Israel and continue the subservience to Israeli demands that has for far too long determined American policy as it applies to the Middle East. The silence of the Obama Administration during Israel’s latest murderous rampage in Gaza, the tepid protestations about Israel’s expansion of the settlements, the diversion of the 900 million dollars of aid fromn Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, and Hillary’sd public comments about how strong, and important, our alliance to Israel is, all point to an Administration that is not going to deliver the promised “change” that allowed them to slither into the White House. One can bet that the price Freeman has paid for his appointment is a promise to remain faithful to the policy advocations of Obama and Hillary. It is not unreasonable to assume that Freeman has been defanged by strong lecture prior to the announcement of his appointment, and like so many before him, has discovered that the highway to the top runs through Israel.

    Reply

  232. ... says:

    dan kervick, as you noted above on the numerous posters that might be the same person, what you might also consider is a new poster who is quite capable of making a one way talk/splice-fest where it’s unnecessary for this person to have any actual conversation with another here.. one does wonder why these folks show up, and where they come from…, when they successfully derail what i thought was an otherwise interesting 2 way exchange between a number of posters here….
    for anyone who hasn’t already done so, check the link to the persons name for more insight…

    Reply

  233. VinceP1974 says:

    Dan: I’m beginnign to realize i’m sorta hijacking this story. So I’m going to stop this back and forth because it’s besides the point. you can email me at comcast dot net (same name) if you want.
    Getting back to the point, I think this guy’s father would be a disaster for this job. What , as someone called them, Arabist has ever adequately warned the US about some coming Islamic-motivated attack?
    Do the Arabists have a good grasp on the theology behind Jihad and the history of the current Islamic revival?
    Why do Arabists have so much Antipathy for Israel… because Israel’s mere existence makes their job hard because of the agitation it creates in the Arab world?
    What does this guy attribute the sustained hatred of Isarel to? Nationalism? Anticolonialism? Antisemitism? Islamic Jihadism?
    Does he understand what a hudna is? Does he understand the two-faced nature of Arab leaders.. especially Arafat who would speak words of sugar in English and poison in Arabic?
    I dont get a sense from those people that they understand any of this. Especially when the State calls for Israel to make concession concession to the Palestinians while the Palestinians still have yet to satisfy any of the obligations they accepted from the very beginning.
    Do the Arabists understand the effect an Israel defeat will have on religiously-motivated Muslims?
    They seem to think if Israel were to go away that the Muslim world will be pacified. It wont be. It will be emboldened to advance on their primary mission, the imposition of Sharia law world-wide , where all religion belongs to Allah.
    I see in the paper Obama might want to deal with “moderate” Taliban. That he wants to talk to the Mahdi-obssesed Twelvers in Iran, and Syria. etc….
    It’s going to be a disaster for this country.

    Reply

  234. VinceP1974 says:

    I remember reading an article on the website for the CFR , it was about 10 pages long about the history of American-Christian support for the idea of Zionism and later Israel. If you want to read other sources. I don’t remember who wrote it. I believe the author wasn’t religiously motivated to write it, but was providing a seemingly objective historical background of why America is uniquely pro-Israel.

    Reply

  235. VinceP1974 says:

    As far as the Founding Fathers stating that the purpose of the U.S. was to establish an Israeli state, that’s just plain nuts. What’s your source?
    Posted by Franklin, Mar 08 2009, 12:50AM – Link
    The book that best documents this is Michael Orens’ “Power Faith and Fantasy: American in the Middle East 1776 – Present” which is a great book. I recommend it to everyone.
    I went searching on the web for something to provide, and in my limited search I judge this to be most useful:
    http://www.zionism-israel.com/dic/Christian_Zionism.htm
    Increase Mather, first president of Harvard, and John Cotton, leading minister of Massachusetts Bay, called for destruction of the Ottoman Empire in order to make way for return of the Jews, and they were not alone in this idea.
    However, it was not until after the colonies had attained independence that the notion of restorationism took hold in earnest.
    Ezra Stiles, at Yale, advocated the return of the twelve tribes to the holy land, which would generate enough spiritual energy to “convert a world.”
    David Austin, also in New Haven, spent his fortune on building docks, inns and warehouses for the use of the Jews in departing to Palestine. The fall of the Ottoman Empire was considered imminent, and it would provide an opportunity for the return of the Jews.
    Asa McFarland, a Presbyterian, declared in 1808 that “When that empire falls… the Jews will begin to be restored to… and Christ will take to himself his power and his reign.”
    The idea of Jewish restorationism was not confined to clerics and dreamers.
    John Adams foresaw “a hundred thousand Israelites…well disciplined as the French army” that would march into Palestine and conquer it.
    He wrote to the Jewish American Zionist, Mordecai Manuel Noah in 1819, “I really with the Jews again in Judea as an independent nation.” . At the time, Noah was advancing his scheme to purchase Grant Island in New York as a temporary gathering place for the Jews, who would ultimately be restored to the land of Israel.
    A rather explicit and modernistic thesis, with overtones of modern Zionism, appeared soon after. In 1844, a professor of Hebrew at New York University published a tract entitled, “The Valley of the Vision, or The Dry Bones of Israel Revived. He called for “elevating” the Jews “to a rank of honorable repute among the nations of the earth” by restoring them to the land of Israel. Like many American restorationists, he believed that this would have momentous repercussions for mankind, not necessarily associated in a literal sense with the “end of days.” The author was George Bush, whose descendants include two presidents of the United States.

    Reply

  236. Dan Kervick says:

    VinceP,
    You didn’t really respond to my question. I asked you to describe the level of threat posed by the Iranian actions you mention. But you didn’t do so.
    It is obvious from Mr. Musavian’s comments that Iran wants to insist on its NPT-based rights to a nuclear power program, and be accepted as a member of the “group of nations with a nuclear fuel cycle.” But I’m not sure what conclusions you are drawing from those comments about the level of threat posed by Iran.
    I think we have an obligation to get our threat assessments right. Wouldn’t you agree? We just spent several years needlessly spattering the guts of thousands of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians across the Iraqi countryside in response to what turned out to be a very faulty threat assessment based on ignorant appeals to the “gut” and reckless propaganda rather than careful analytical assessments of intentions and capabilities.

    Reply

  237. DonS says:

    I await the repetition of the charge that it’s not so much Freeman’s integrity that is being questioned, but his loyalty. This is a laughable suggestion from the zionist right, whose loyalty “problems” are the virtual poster child for the issue. Following that ridiculous logic further, we find ourselves back on the ouroboros of Israel’s interest are coincident with the interests of the US. And here again we get to the nub of what Obama must confront reform in order to 1)establish a credible US centered foreign policy and 2) have any hope of being effective in influencing ME policy with anything but diplomacy from the barrel of a gun.

    Reply

  238. VinceP1974 says:

    [Continuing transcript of Chief Iranian gNuclear Affairs Negotiator Hosein Musavian: The Negotiations with Europe Bought Us Time to Complete the Esfahan UCF Project and the Work on the Centrifuges in Natanz]
    “We suspended the UCF in Esfahan in October 2004, although we were required to do so in October 2003. If we had suspended it then, (the UCF) in Esfahan would have never been completed. Today we are in a position of power: (The UCF) in Esfahan is complete and UF4 and UF6 gases are being produced. We have a stockpile of products, and during this period, we have managed to convert 36 tons of yellow cake into gas and store it. In Natanz, much of the work has been completed.
    […]
    “Thanks to our dealings with Europe, even when we got a 50-day ultimatum, we managed to continue the work for two years. This way we completed (the UCF) in Esfahan. This way we carried out the work to complete Natanz, and on top of that, we even gained benefits. For 10 years, America prevented Iran from joining the WTO. This obstacle was removed, and Iran began talks in order to join the WTO.
    In the past, the world did not accept Iran as a member of the group of countries with a nuclear fuel cycle.
    In these two years, and thanks to the Paris Agreement, we entered the international game of the nuclear fuel cycle, and Iran was recognized as one of the countries with a nuclear fuel cycle. An Iranian delegate even participated in the relevant talks. We gained other benefits during these two years as well.”
    […]
    Host: “Mr. Musavian, there is a point that our viewers might find interesting – the comparison between Iran’s nuclear activity dossier and North Korea’s.
    […]
    “There is a belief that if we adopted the North Korean model, we could have stood much stronger against the excessive demands of America and Europe.
    […]
    Musavian: “During these two years of negotiations, we managed to make far greater progress than North Korea. North Korea’s most important achievement had to do with security guarantees. We achieved the same thing a year ago in the negotiations with the Europeans. They agreed to give us international guarantees for Iran’s security, its national rule, its independence, [and] non-intervention in its internal affairs, [as well as] its national security, and for not invading it.”
    —– end transcript
    So there.. right from their mouths.. They’ll “negotiate” with you , in the meantime, they’ll keep on doing what they’re doing.
    And people in the West will be so surprised to find out they been duped (again).
    I really can’t believe how stupid people in this country have become.
    So anyway… when you approach Iran like a cute little puppy with your hand out, begging them to open their fist, they’re going to shove some atoms down your throat.
    Fundamentalist Muslims do not respect diplomacy. They respect power, force, and assertiveness.
    They view weakness with contempt.
    And after this administration’s diplomatic antics the past week, we have to be the laughingstock of the world… with mistranslated reset buttons (MY GOD WHO EVER HEARD OF SUCH A STUPID THING) and 25-set DVD movie collections and all.
    Are you worried that the Iranians are going to commandeer the vast Costa Rican nuclear force and use it against us?
    No genius, i’m worried they’ll beat you at sudoku..

    Reply

  239. VinceP1974 says:

    Responding to Posted by Dan Kervick, Mar 08 2009, 12:29AM – Link
    [I think I have to split this comment into parts]
    Would you please describe the actual level of threat you believe to be posed by the diplomatic forays you describe?
    I’ll let the main Nuclear Negotiator from Iran explain to you what they do when stupid Westerners. This is after Bush outsourced diplomacy to the EU3. A futile effort.
    Chief Iranian gNuclear Affairs Negotiator Hosein Musavian: The Negotiations with Europe Bought Us Time to Complete the Esfahan UCF Project and the Work on the Centrifuges in Natanz
    The following are excerpts from an interview with Iran’s chief nuclear affairs negotiator, and Supreme National Security Council member Hosein Musavian, which aired on Iranian Channel 2 on August 4, 2005.
    Negotiator Musavian: “Those [in Iran] who criticize us and claim that we should have only worked with the IAEA do not know that at that stage – that is, in August 2003 – we needed another year to complete the Esfahan (UCF) project, so it could be operational. They say that because of that 50-day [ultimatum], we should have kept [the UCF] in Esfahan incomplete, and that we needed to comply with the IAEA’s demands and shut down the facilities.
    “The regime adopted a twofold policy here: It worked intensively with the IAEA, and it also conducted negotiations on international and political levels. The IAEA gave us a 50-day extension to suspend the enrichment and all related activities. But thanks to the negotiations with Europe we gained another year, in which we completed (the UCF) in Esfahan.
    […]
    “There was a time when we said we would not work with Europe, the world, or the IAEA, and that we would not comply with any of their demands. There were very clear consequences: After 50 days, the IAEA Board of Governors would have undoubtedly handed the Iranian dossier over to the (U.N.) Security Council. There is no doubt about it. As for those who say we should have worked only with the IAEA – this would have meant depriving Iran of the opportunity to complete the Esfahan project in the one-year extension.
    “Esfahan’s (UCF) was completed during that year. Even in Natanz, we needed six to twelve months to complete the work on the centrifuges. Within that year, the Natanz project reached a stage where the small number of centrifuges required for the preliminary stage, could operate. In Esfahan, we have reached UF4 and UF6 production stages.
    […]

    Reply

  240. DonS says:

    When one considers how easy it is, intentionally or not, to conflate nomanclature like Arab, Persian, Muslim — and to create an all purpose boogeyman in the right and center media (is there a left?) — this attack on an “Arabist” should come as no surprise. The absolute ignorance of such contention lies in the question: from whom, exactly, would one expect to get reliable information about the “Arab world” (admittedly a thorny problem for US diplomacy) if not an Arabist? It’s not a dirty word. Its an academic and, linguistic, and diplomatic specialty.
    I understance the RW, neocons, and fellow travellers, would prefer a dyed in the wool zionist or zionist sympathizer, in such a position but, guess what, they’re seeded all over the establishment, inside and out, and are not shy about making their views known. It’s not hard to get their input. The real question is whether the individual in an analysis position is a man of character, and it is on this basis that Freeman’s opponents seek to tear him down. Obama would be unwise, IMO, to knuckle under the pressure, as this would make administration appointments subject to “clearance” down virtually to the staff level.
    We have had more than enough experience with slanted intelligence, not to mention stovepiped intelligence, to make this controversy anything but a no-brainer, no matter what the Israel-first establish says.

    Reply

  241. Dan Kervick says:

    I think we can get a fairly good sense of what kind of person Freeman is, and how he thinks, by looking at some of the transcripts of the Middle East Policy Council fora, which freeman usually moderates.
    http://www.mepc.org/forums/forums.asp

    Reply

  242. questions says:

    And the issue of “loud mouth” is more my summary of some of his son’s characterizations of his dad’s penchant for speaking his mind.
    There are a few paragraphs above which seem to me to be the son’s way of trying to deflect this kind of criticism by turning the tendency into a virtue. In a policy institute that has no governmental role, in a classroom, in many places perhaps say-anythingism is a virtue (though even here, Hitchcock’s film Rope is illustrative), I really can’t find it in me to have say-anythingism in a government-sponsored think tank that is half an inch at most from policy. Obama needs to hear lots of viewpoints, certainly, but he needs to hear them well-spoken. I’m honestly not sure that Freeman is the best speaker for ME policy. I actually think there are numerous anti-Israel-as-it-is Israelis who would do better. They know the country, they want a decent humane negotiated settlement, and they may have a better sense of tact. Not that we’d put an Israeli citizen in, but still….

    Reply

  243. questions says:

    Let me try it this way. When you present policy positions to, or do interpretive work for groups of people, you have a deep responsibility to be both honest and careful simultaneously. The two would seem to contradict one another, but they don’t. Thus, if you’re going to argue that China misread the Tiananmen Square situation in terms of public security, a possible valid position, you have to give the context for that valididty. Giving the context might take several paragraphs just to explain a quip, but it must be done. Freeman should have included all the caveats about the kind of society that one would wish for such that the crackdown should have come sooner. It’s not enough for me that he merely had an unguarded moment, he spoke incompletely about soemthing that is of great social concern. Again, I don’t mind that the view has been spoken, but I do mind that it was spoken incompletely. Again, it’s an issue that must be returned to frequently — order vs. freedom — but it must always be discussed with the proper caveats.
    Policy positions developed on the inside have a tendency to leak out, so I don’t think that it’s a great idea to bank on Freeman’s being kept inside a dark closet.
    Now I will admit I don’t know huge amounts about Chas Freeman; I will say straight up that if a group of neo-cons is against something I’m disposed to be for that very thing on face value, but that said, I was utterly rubbed the wrong way by the son’s defense of the father, by a what I take to be a less than careful tip-toeing through the tulip field of ME relations, and by the snippets of rhetoric I’ve seen. Now if I’ve been manipulated by Peretz et al, I apologize for everything! But my sense is that we really need a super-careful, super-couched slow slow rhetorical shift coupled with new narratives. (I’m still pretty big on film and tv’s ability to make us re-think the universe. No one likes Kant, but everyone engages in Kantian thinking at times, and once you explain all of the weird results of utilitarian thinking, a lot of people revolt against it even if they have never picked up Mill or Bentham or Rawls’s Kantian critique of utilitarianism.) I just don’t see the kind of carefulness that I think is needed in Freeman. I may be wrong, and that’s a statement I’d put at the end of any of my posts, but this guy just rubs me the wrong way for the reasons stated above.
    Thanks for the careful response, and I’ll try to wring out the emotions from future posts!

    Reply

  244. Dan Kervick says:

    questions, I don’t understand your criticism, and its uncharacteristically emotional tone. Freeman is not going to be a “public face” of the administration. He’s going to be the NIC chair. Do you know who the current chair and previous chair of the NIC are? How many Americans do? Freeman is going to be part of the discreet world of spooks. Most Americans will never see him, or hear anything about what he is saying in his relationship with the President.
    Freeman is also not going to be “in charge of shifting delicate policy”. He is not going to be in a policy-making position. He’s going to be in an intelligence position, and his job is to get the best intelligence community answers available to the questions posed by the chief policy maker, the President.
    Freeman has a long and distinguished resume, and by all accounts has done an excellent job in a variety of previous positions in the US government, including diplomatic positions requiring him to choose his language carefully.
    http://www.mepc.org/about/freeman.asp
    I doubt he could have been so successful in fashioning a NATO-centered post-Cold War European security system and in setting up defense and military relations with China, jobs which must have required no small amount of diplomatic skill, if he was some sort of “loud-mouth.”
    This idea that Freeman is somehow notably loud-mouthed has no basis is fact. If this mouth is so loud, why is it most Americans have not the slightest idea who he is? He is the head of an important research institute, which means he has a paper trail. And his enemies are now hunting down that paper trail to find statements in emails and other records that might damage him. I think we can expect that we would be seeing the same public spectacle play out no matter what woman or man were selected, if that woman or man had a background in the so-called “Arabist” wing of the US foreign policy establishment. So if we are going to have any such voices at all in an administration made of mainly of staunchly pro-Israel figures, this is a process that we are going to have to go through.
    Obama will never make any progress at all on Middle East policy if he can’t deal with this sort of flak. It is entirely to be expected. Nor would it be sensible to conclude that no appointment must ever be made that raises the hackles of the Israeli right and its US fellow-travelers because of the risk of “hardening” the right. Some of Israel’s supporters might find it useful to promote the image of a crazy and erratic Israel, given to dangerous temper tantrums, whose easily offended sensibilities must constantly be indulged less the country “go off”. But Obama can’t allow himself to be jerked around by this kind of rhetorical blackmail.
    I don’t think the Israel-firsters really expect Freeman to be withdrawn. Their goal is just to make a big noisy stink that will lead Obama to think, “I owe Israel one” the next time he has to make any sort of decision impacting US-Israel policy.

    Reply

  245. michael says:

    I kept searching for Dan Kervick’s comments to
    show up to simplify this and cut to the chase.
    Thanks again for not disappointing me.

    Reply

  246. questions says:

    “the problem with – and the great virtue of -my dad is that he has no political sensibility at all”
    This is the main problem right here. I don’t particularly care about the guy’s views about military authority and political stability. These are open issues that every society has to deal with over and over again. We’ve just come out of a period of government spying and torture and the like and we (I hope) are moving into a period of liberality. But uncertain times certainly do generate people who question demonstrations in the heart of the capital (been to DC lately and seen all the barriers and snipers?) The issues need to be dealt with head on and most publicly.
    I don’t really care if Freeman wants to shift US policy vis-a-vis Israel. Perhaps some shakeup is due. I certainly would like to see Israel stop the settlement thing, pull back, support political rights for Palestinians, recognize the moral equivalency of all human beings, and be a truly moral state….
    What I find utterly stupid about this appointment is that a seemingly loud-mouthed politically incompetent idiot who might be really really smart and might like to think all sorts of things out loud (I do too) would be put into a position where sometimes he needs to shut his mouth. Let him blog, let him write books and papers and let him lobby and let him give talks at think tanks and please, let him not be a public face of the administration and US policy. Good cop, bad cop can be a fun game, a useful game, but it can also be pretty dangerous.
    On the strategy side of things (and I generally trust Obama on these things) I am guessing that the children’s story “Too Much Noise” is the underlying theory. In this story, the status quo is unbearable, the main character is advised to make everything worse (adding more noise to the already unbearable level of noise), then subtracting the recently added noise so that the original status quo, once unbearable, becomes heavenly. So, Obama puts up a guy who questions things, and the guy is roundly unacceptable, and then we return to not quite the status quo ante but to a new, slightly altered situation. My bet is that Freeman might sink, but a mellower version of Freeman might float. I won’t bet on it since I’m not any kind of gambler, but it’s a possibility.
    Obama clearly wants to shift US ME policy and he’s likely right to do this in some form, but there are politic ways to be poltical and impolitic ways to be political. We need forever to be thinking broadly about unintended consequences of our seemingly just actions, and one bad consequence could be the hardening of the Israeli right — what a stupid thing that would be. When you threaten a nasty regime, the people rally around the regime. Look at the crap BinLaden wished on us for 8 long years. A ruined economy, a ruined national soul…. A loud mouthed, even if totally brilliant, idiot should not be in charge of shifting delicate policy. In my humble opinion at any rate.

    Reply

  247. jeffrey says:

    I can’t help laughing at all the references to “bad” China. We can talk all we want about the lack of liberty in China and their oppression of Tibet. All they have to do is stop buying our debt or cash in their holdings. Then neither the US nor Israel will have much to say about the way US policy should be driven.
    By the way: to those who say China cannot afford to cash our paper just remember: the Chinese can get by with very little unlike our pampered selves.

    Reply

  248. Franklin says:

    Vince,
    In terms of spheres of influence Iran will be about as successful in the Western hemisphere as the U.S. is in the Middle East right now — perhaps even less so given the size of its economy relative to the U.S. and the distances involved.
    As far as Hezbollah goes, its presence in South America seems pretty minimal — a few people in Paraguay? I suspect the primary purpose of the operation is to funnel money back to the Middle East to support activities against Israel. Perhaps the group could launch attacks against U.S. interests in South America in the event of an attack against Iran. Not exactly an existential threat.
    As you say, the only existential threat to the U.S. comes in the form of a nuclear threat. Even if Hezbollah in some low percentage case had a dirty bomb, and was able to successfully transport the weapon to the states you’re talking about a pretty primitive weapon that is more a weapon of psychological warfare than a conventional military threat.
    Historically Hezbollah has been a group with regional ambitions. It has resisted the call to align with al Qaeda, Sunni extremists. U.S. policy in the Middle East could cause Hezbollah to forge a common cause with Sunni extremists — although given long-standing enmity between the groups and divergent agendas this seem highly unlikely.
    As far as your gaining insights into the “Muslim” mindset, have you actually talked to a “Muslim” or an Arab? There is no singular Arab or Muslim viewpoint — there are internal tensions, national tensions, and private agendas in the Middle East as in the West.
    As far as the Founding Fathers stating that the purpose of the U.S. was to establish an Israeli state, that’s just plain nuts. What’s your source? The Pilgrims may have believed that the Plymouth Plantation was a kind of New Jerusalem, but it strains credulity to think that they envisioned the U.S. creating a new homeland for the world Jewish community in the Middle East. To the Pilgrims the Plymouth Bay Colony WAS New Jerusalem.
    Additionally, the Pilgrims were very intolerant of other religious faiths — including the Jews. That’s one of the reasons that they ended up in the Plymouth Bay Colony. As is the case up to the present time, intolerant religious zealots typically have a hard time making friends. Attitudes towards religious freedom changed dramatically over the course of the colonial period. By the revolutionary era few, if any, of the Framer shared Puritan views on religion. Even those in the northeast, like Adams, admitted the notion of religious pluralism. None had a Messianic vision of establishing a Holy Land in the Middle East. That’s just crazy talk.

    Reply

  249. varanasi says:

    relax, charles. your ridiculous physical threats detract from your plight. i know noting about you or your father – this is the first i’ve heard of either of you – but quite frankly, you’re coming across as a bit unstable.
    didn’t your dad ever teach you that it’s not acceptable to punch people in the face because they disagree with you??

    Reply

  250. Dan Kervick says:

    VinceP,
    Would you please describe the actual level of threat you believe to be posed by the diplomatic forays you describe? Are you worried that the Iranians are going to commandeer the vast Costa Rican nuclear force and use it against us?
    And is this Sputnik-like satellite the “thing” you are talking about?
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/04/iran-hails-30-year-old-regime-50-year-old-space-te/
    You sound like a hysterical ninny to me. If you want to wet your pants over low-level threats, that’s your own business. But please don’t waste my tax dollars on your vapors and palpitations.

    Reply

  251. VinceP1974 says:

    Gee Dan.. I don’t why you’re the condescending one, you’re the one I should be condescending to.
    The only way to defeat us is with nuclear weapons. I made the mistake of assuming a smart person like youreslf would just presume that.
    But who knows.. maybe you think that’s impossible…. well I guess you do otherwise you would have knew what I was talking about.
    You are aware aren’t you that Hezbellah has been in Latin America (especially in VZ) for over a decade establishing networks. Why do you suppose that is?
    Do you think Latin America is critical to solving the issues of Lebanon?
    DO you think Iran, who also is moving into Latin America, has a special affinity for , say ,Costa Rica and their rich cultural ties going back centuries? (sarcasm)
    Are you 100% sure that thing Iran has launched into Orbit that is probably still up there, is for nothing but peaceful purposes?
    Do you know anything that’s going on in the world? The Titanic States of America is not invincible.

    Reply

  252. Dan Kervick says:

    Vince P., I’m afraid you are tilting at windmills. Israel is under no real threat at this time of being destroyed. Who is going to do the destroying? Hamas? They can’t even destroy one neighborhood in Israel that they have been futilely bombarding with homemade rockets for months with almost no damage to show for it.
    on the other hand, Israel is on the verge of destroying the Palestinian political community and any prospect of a peaceful settlement or a Palestinian state.
    And the prospect that the radical Islamists you mention will “destroy us first” is essentially nil. In assessing threats, you should pay attention to the material world of actual capabilities, not impotent religious fulminations. What are these diabolical enemies going to do? Pray us to death?
    This country is in more danger of being destroyed from within by our own ideologues and religious lunatics than destroyed from without by Islamists.

    Reply

  253. VinceP1974 says:

    ===============
    Posted by non-hater, Mar 07 2009, 11:25PM – Link
    The people who want to destroy the United States are the same people who want to destroy Israel.
    “They” want to destroy America because America supports Israel. Duh.
    ================
    Then explain Qutb.
    If you can.

    Reply

  254. VinceP1974 says:

    >Posted by …, Mar 07 2009, 11:13PM – Link
    This isn’t about my views. My views aren’t driving world affairs.
    This is about the views of the people who are driving world affairs… and they do view things in terms of religion.
    That’s the problem with you secular people , you seem blind to this aspect of the Muslims. They actually believe that stuff you think is nonsense.
    I’m wondering if you read any HAMAS sermons? Or any sermons by the PA Grand Mufti? Or any position papers originally written in Arabic for their own consumption by Al Qaeda?
    The religion bit is not a cover for them. or a cute little costume.. It’s the reason they’re doing what they’re doing.
    And as far as America’s and Israel having similar story.. that’s just fact. You’ll note that the people who settled New England were very much of the mind that they were emulating the Exodus of the Jews and that God had a special mission for this land. This belief was sustained even through the time of the Founding fathers.
    Many of whom were convinced that once America became a powerful country, it would be the tool through which God would reestablish Israel.
    That’s just the facts. It doesn’t mean it’s actually true, but they did think that. I don’t care if you East Coast idiots are embarrassed by it, look down on it, want to deny it. That is what it is.
    That you remain blind to the motivation of our enemies is inexcusable and just another sign of the supreme arrogance and ignorance of the criminals who are contributing to the break-down of the country and emboldening of enemies like Iran.

    Reply

  255. David says:

    Love those typos, and that sentence which suggests it is my impression of corruption the Palestinians have to overcome. All accounts I have read suggest pretty strongly that corruption and their own desire for power are major factors in both Hamas and the PLO.

    Reply

  256. Franklin says:

    WigWag,
    1. The son’s post is a rebuttal to defamatory attacks. It is not a statement of policy judgment. The father is the one whose resume and views are up for judgment. The son is not up for the NIC post.
    2. In reference to favoring autocrats, I think this claim is debatable. If Freeman does believe that MacArthur was in the right in reference to the Bonus Army, I disagree with his judgment. Eisenhower took a much less confrontational stance, and I suspect if he’d had control of the conflict resolution things would have ended up better. As it stands MacArthur’s actions back-fired and further damaged an already badly damaged Hoover administration. Freeman is not in charge of a military command; he is not the final decision maker on actions that the administration will undertake in reference to foreign policy. He is one voice, so I see this line of attack as tenuous, at best.
    3. Tiananmen Square is also irrelevant in terms of the task of creating NIE’s and offering the president advice. The president needs someone who is will to ask hard questions in reference to the NIE and view claims with a skeptical eye in reference to future threats. Ultimately Freeman will not be the final decision maker on policy. He will be one voice that shapes the policy. A healthy dose of realism is something that would have saved this country and the past administration needless pain. It’s a shame that it was filled with ideologues and not pragmatic thinkers. Based on everything that I’ve been able to gather Freeman is a pragmatist. More power to him.
    4. As far as Watergate goes, you’re really going out on a deep end on that one. Your line of attack is tenuous at best. Are you alleging that Freeman was one of the plumbers, or that he was somehow part of Nixon’s inner circle on domestic political policy? Where’s your evidence. Freeman worked at State going back to the JFK administration. He was also involved in the U.S. China policy during the Nixon years – a policy which many view as one of Nixon’s successes (the détente with China helped to drive a wedge between China and the Soviet Union; it has opened the stage for liberalization in China). His first hand experience with that policy is not exactly a net-negative in my view. Watergate and the plumbers is one big non sequitor. Freeman was career civil service at that point in his career, not domestic political staff for Nixon.
    As far as Vince’s post goes, wow, that’s a whole lot of crazy. State was marginalized during the better part of the first 6 years of the W. administration. It had no influence on foreign policy, and the net result was one of the largest foreign policy blunders in the history of the U.S., diminished credibility abroad, a loss of moral authority, fewer allies, and a weakened national security posture.

    Reply

  257. non-hater says:

    The people who want to destroy the United States are the same people who want to destroy Israel.
    “They” want to destroy America because America supports Israel. Duh.

    Reply

  258. VinceP1974 says:

    I re-read this article and it does explain our dysfunctional foreign policy.
    You have all of these egomaniacs running around the world , each thinking they’re the President.
    I loved this part:
    >I toiled in the boiler rooms of the George W. Bush administration at a time when my Dad was organizing a mutiny of former statesmen and military men to warn that the President was about to ground the ship of state.
    You dad should have gotten whatever it is they do to mutineers. Was George Bush upsetting the Mandarins at the State Dept ?
    Oh lets stop the world and give the Constitutional authority to your daddy’s precious ego.
    George Bush’s 2nd biggest mistake of his Administration (the first was his being a mute) , was that he never dealt with the traitors at State and CIA who undermined him.
    I have no doubt that this guy’s father is a Saudi replicant. I bet your father was petrified that Bush was going to bring down the Wahabbi export machine and the maniac regime in Iran.
    My my that would upset the diplomatic environment just a tad wouldn’t it? Your dad’s ecosystem would be destabilized. We can’t have that.Elected officials exist to serve him, not vice versa.
    Well… I’m thoroughly disgusted with the immoral narcissists in our Government.
    Now we have B Hussien Obama.. and everything will be right. I’m sure he gave Gordon Brown Region 1 DVDs, so he can’t even watch them.
    And for God sakes, can you buy someone at the State Dept Rosetta Stone software so that someone in this country knows how to translate vomit into Russian?

    Reply

  259. ... says:

    VinceP1974, while most evangelical christians might have bought that sales pitch, most folks here at twn didn’t… breaking conflict down along religious lines really goes to show how organized religion has nothing to do with religion, if you know what i mean….

    Reply

  260. David says:

    What doesn’t change is that America’s special relationship with Israel is proving a serious obstacle to peace in the Middle East because we have not been able to challenge effectively Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestine, something justified in the minds of Israel’s leadership. The only debate that makes any sense to me is whether or not Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestine is acceptable, with all that that implies. The other debate is whether or not the Palestinians are acting in self-defense.
    I am mindful of the desire for Israelis not to live in fear of missiles and suicide bombers, and Palestinians not to live in fear of missiles, bombs, bullets, and bulldozers.
    I saw a blurb for an article in which the author argues that until Israelis overcome their sense of victimhood, peace is not possible. I am not sure what the Palestinians need to overcome at this point besides Israeli occupation and brutalization, Hamas stupidity, and impression I have been given that corruption is rampant throughout the major Palestinian organizations.
    Israel has, and has had, the upper hand for as long as I can remember. Palestinians have been brutalized since the inception of the Jewish state. Militant Palestinians have resorted to the stupidest, most disheartening forms of retaliation, to comparatively minor harm for Israelis (though tragic for the victims, mirroring the tragedy for contemporaneous Palestinian victims).
    Sorry, but for me the Israeli leadership is homicidally ruthless and the Palestinian leadership is homicidally stupid.
    I applaud Hillary Clinton for pushing hard for a resolution, at the moment a two-state solution, the only solution that can result in the survival of a Jewish state in Israel. The alternative for Israelis is the same as it was for the white minority in South Africa. And that boneheaded idea to expel all Arab Israelis is about a century-and-a-half stupid.
    Charles Shumer and Eric Cantor are just dead wrong. They are enablers, not wise counselors. No good can come of the US allowing Israel or American Jewry to dictate US Middle East policy. It is a dead end street for all involved. Jimmy Carter got villified for offering wise counsel. Larry King, god love him, still had Jimmy Carter on and treated him with the respect the man has earned many times over.
    Manifest Destiny, which worked for European America against Native America for a variety of well established reasons, will likely not work for Jewish Israel. The suffering will be continue to be unconscionable for the Palestinians, and Israelis are not bequeathing to their posterity anything worthy of Judaism’s highest ideals, or for that matter a better Israel in any meaningful sense.

    Reply

  261. VinceP1974 says:

    I’m a Non-Jewish American in Chicago.
    Anyone who ISN’T siding with Israel is suspect to me. After this entire decade since 9/11 has gone by , if you haven’t done your homework on the aims of the Islamic terrorist groups around the world , then you have failed as an American citizen.
    It comes to no surprise to me that people who aspire to the highest perches of power are grossly ignorant of Jihad.
    Here is my point:
    The people who want to destroy the United States are the same people who want to destroy Israel.
    They even have a phrase about this “First comes Saturday then comes Sunday”.. a reference to Judiasm’s and Christianity’s Holy Days.
    So our enemies are definately Israel First. First they seek to destroy the Little Satan , since I guess it’s closer to them. Then once they are emboldened in defeating Satanito , then will then come after us, the Great Satan.
    But hey.. there’s no requirement they have to destroy Israel first, they could very well be planning to destroy us first and then Israel. Or both at the same time.
    Regardless, not only has history joined together the Jewish people of Israel and the Christians of America , each feeling its establishment was to advance God’s plan for this world…. two nations comprised of people who come to them from all over the earth.
    Our enemies also join us together in their relentless genocidal hatred for Jews and Kufrs.
    If you don’t understand this , then you are simply either complete imbecile or unabashed America-hater and Jew-hater. In either case, you don’t belong in my Governemnt.
    But then maybe you do belojng in it…. look at how well it’s running.
    The people in the government haven’t managed to competely impoverish us yet.. so I guess they could use your help to bring out our collapse sooner.
    I only pray that the most honorable people on earth, the men and women of the armed forces of the United States act on their oath and defend our Constitition from these Jacbins who use it like a tampon.

    Reply

  262. george says:

    why is there so much opposition from jewish groups when someone critical of Israel is appointed to a high position? is it the policy of the jewish groups that no one who is unfriendly to Israel shall be appointed? is love for Israel a litmus test to serve our country? I went to an Ivy league school for undergraduate and graduate studies. I knew many jewish American students from rich families who went to Israel, served in the Israeli military but would never think about serving in the US military. Go to any Ivy league colleges and you will find many jewish students that served in Israel, but would laugh at the suggestion at serving in the US army.

    Reply

  263. JohnH says:

    Wigwag, I see you couldn’t spell out exactly how my tax dollars subsidize Chinese oppression in Tibet. The simple fact that US arms merchants sell to China (with government approval), does not necessarily mean that the US government is subsidizing the sales.
    As for Israel, it’s obvious. US military aid is clearly identified. And every time Israel engages in a rampage against one of its neighbors, the US government is sure to get a call to supply more ammunition for its offensive offensive.
    Now, why do you decry Chinese apartheid but condone Israeli apartheid?

    Reply

  264. ... says:

    lol – while i enjoy humour, a direct answer to my question in 10:21pm would be much more impressive…

    Reply

  265. WigWag says:

    “you are not being honest, or you’re a lot less intelligent then i have previously thought…”
    You got me there, …
    I just wish I could be as honest and smart as you are!

    Reply

  266. ... says:

    wigwag, you misinterpret the words from freeman, but i understand it is with the specific purpose of casting them in the worst light.. you are not being honest, or you’re a lot less intelligent then i have previously thought.. you can twist things all you want, but it won’t change what freeman obviously meant in the words you parse…

    Reply

  267. ... says:

    cee – maybe rosen meant un-israeli, not unamerican…
    wigwag, where does your dominant ‘loyalty’ reside, with israel or with the usa?? no answer from you will continue support the deduction i get from your posts here..

    Reply

  268. WigWag says:

    “Wigwag says my tax dollars subsidize the Chinese regime. Please elaborate! I would be very interested indeed to see how exactly my tax dollars are going to oppress the people of Tibet.”
    Well for one thing, the United States government is the second largest arms supplier to China. Do you think some of those weapons might have utility in the Chinese fight against Tibet?

    Reply

  269. DonS says:

    Elliot L.: “Thanks for the compliment, but you miss the point. My Israel references were not the main thrust of my post. I only included them because the discussion here, turns, as it has through the centuries, to Jew hatred”
    No, Elliot, I think I catch your point. The comments section on TWN tries real hard to separate the legitimate ‘policical’ arguments from the race/relicious baiting. As can be seen from the coupleof imposters here . . . .”Sandy”, “Feinstein”,etc. . . this issue brings out the provacateurs and disinformationers. As well as the usual suspects who are well know to push the Israeli line.
    “Jew hatred”, as you put it is not at all what it is about, much though you may wish to extrapolate certain stereotypical memes to this website.
    We go over this until we are sick about it,yet the “Israel firsters” and other RW apologists continue to push the story line because it — moral guilt projection/intimidation — sells the lie better than anything.
    FYI, those of us with Jewish heritege will not relinquish an inch to those who seek to pry us away from our principles by the wedge of an extreme zionist vision of what it means to be a Jew.

    Reply

  270. JohnH says:

    Wigwag says my tax dollars subsidize the Chinese regime. Please elaborate! I would be very interested indeed to see how exactly my tax dollars are going to oppress the people of Tibet.
    I know exactly how they are being used against Palestinians.
    About Tibet, the Dalai Lama stated in 1991 that “Chinese settlers in Tibet were creating “Chinese Apartheid,” stating, ‘The new Chinese settlers have created an alternate society: a Chinese apartheid which, denying Tibetans equal social and economic status in our own land, threatens to finally overwhelm and absorb us.'”
    Too bad you can’t acknowledge the parallel between Chinese behavior in Tibet and Israeli behavior in Palestine, right down to apartheid.

    Reply

  271. WigWag says:

    Yes, “another reader 2” I read it, it changes nothing.
    Freeman says similar demonstrations would never have been tolerated in the United States; they were, repeatedly during the 1960s all over the United States including Washington, D.C and many state capitols.
    There is nothing in the subsequent material you have provided that excuses this statement,
    “I find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e. that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than — as would have been both wise and efficacious — to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China. In this optic, the Politburo’s response to the mob scene at “Tiananmen” stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action.”
    Apparently Freeman thought the Politburos response to what Freeman himself disparages as a “mob scene” was a “monument to overly cautious behavior.”
    There’s simply no way to parse that to make it anything other than odious.
    And there is nothing in the subsequent material you have provided that counteracts this statement,
    “I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be. Such folk, whether they represent a veterans’ “Bonus Army” or a “student uprising” on behalf of the goddess of democracy should expect to be displaced with dispatch from the ground they occupy.”
    I guess it never occurred to Freeman that another position he could have supported would have been to support the student demonstrator’s quest for Democracy. He could have said he wished the Chinese Government had acquiesced to the student’s demands. Instead of calling the students propagandists he could have called them freedom fighters; he didn’t.
    Freeman chose to side with the autocrats; he stood with the bad guys (unless you think the Chinese Communist Government was right and those seeking democracy were wrong). Nothing in your post changes that.
    Contort yourself however you like; it doesn’t change what Chas Freeman said and I’m afraid it doesn’t change who he is.

    Reply

  272. another reader 2 says:

    Wigwag, please! Read the rest of the “China” email, you’ve pulled it out of context, just scroll up, the rest is there. But here it is again:
    ….I await the brickbats of those who insist on a politically correct
    — i.e. non Burkean conservative — view.”
    The next message in the series, which was part of an extended
    conversation about what the Chinese authorities, as opposed to
    the American participants in the conversation, had concluded
    was as follows:
    “I think you’re addressing a different topic than I did or at least
    meant to. I certainly did not mean to imply that I agree at all
    with the tactics ultimately used to clear the demonstrators from
    the center of Beijing (or other cities) and to end the anarchic
    situation they had created. My points were rather (1) that the
    dominant after-action judgment of those in power in China is
    that the failure to remove the demonstrators early on (as
    certainly would have happened in the US in comparable
    circumstances) allowed the whole thing to snowball to the point
    where tragedy became almost inevitable; (2) that I agree with
    them on this point (I gather you do not); and (3) that just as we
    were unwilling to tolerate the occupation of the Mall by the
    Bonus Army and would not tolerate the presence of a
    permanent mob engaged in weeks, still less months, of anarchic
    denial of the government’s right to maintain order by clearing
    such a mob from the Elipse or Times Square, it is untenable to
    adopt the premise that the Chinese should have done so with
    respect to Tiananmen.
    ‘To go to your point on what ultimately happened, the
    subsequent creation of the WuJing, which is presumably trained
    in riot control, has obviated the need to use warfighters to put
    down unrest and this system seems to be working, as attested
    by the relatively miniscule number of demonstrations that get
    badly out of control now even as some 85,000 opportunities for
    this to happen occur each year in China. I see the rising
    number of demonstrations in China as a positive development
    in most respects. It is, among other things, evidence of the
    creation, for the first time in Chinese history, of a de facto right
    of peaceful assembly to petition the authorities for redress of
    grievances.’

    Reply

  273. WigWag says:

    Yes, I read wordies comment at 1:06. But I can also read the English language. Freeman’s plain and unambiguous language critcized the Chinese for not acting faster and more harshly. As for Freeman’s absurd comment that nothing similar would have been tolerated in the United States, Freeman must never of heard of the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations or the civil rights demonstrations. And the argument that they lasted a brief period of time doesn’t hold water. During the 1960s Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy organized vigils, sit-ins and demonstrations that lasted months including the poor people’s campaign that resulted in a long standing occupation of the Washington Mall.
    Here is the exact e-mail authored by Chas Freeman. It speaks for itself. However you parse it, it’s despicable.
    “From: CWFHome@cs.com [mailto:CWFHome@cs.com]
    Sent: Friday, May 26, 2006 9:29 PM
    I will leave it to others to address the main thrust of your reflection on Eric’s remarks. But I want to take issue with what I assume, perhaps incorrectly, to be your citation of the conventional wisdom about the 6/4 [or Tiananmen] incident. I find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e. that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than — as would have been both wise and efficacious — to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China. In this optic, the Politburo’s response to the mob scene at “Tian’anmen” stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action.
    For myself, I side on this — if not on numerous other issues — with Gen. Douglas MacArthur. I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be. Such folk, whether they represent a veterans’ “Bonus Army” or a “student uprising” on behalf of the goddess of democracy should expect to be displaced with dispatch from the ground they occupy. I cannot conceive of any American government behaving with the ill-conceived restraint that the Zhao Ziyang administration did in China, allowing students to occupy zones that are the equivalent of the Washington National Mall and Times Square, combined while shutting down much of the Chinese government’s normal operations. I thus share the hope of the majority in China that no Chinese government will repeat the mistakes of Zhao Ziyang’s dilatory tactics of appeasement in dealing with domestic democracy protesters in China.”

    Reply

  274. Dan Kervick says:

    Anybody besides me thing that “Goldman”, “Sandy” and “Feinstein” are the same person? It seems like someone trying to provoke antisemitic commentary by throwing out stereotypes and seeing who will rise to the bait.

    Reply

  275. Cee says:

    Steve Rosen (what do you say about someone on indictment for espionage calling someone else un-American (ANSWER: chutzpah!)
    Goodness!
    Preach!

    Reply

  276. ... says:

    wigwag – see wordies 1:06pm post for some facts that you not only refuse to acknowledge, but would like to paint in direct contrast with – what i refer to as a lie… your use of the word ‘fact’ is so loose as to be meaningless.. it is more a reflection of your subjective bias, which can’t be construed as ‘facts’…
    i base my claim on your putting israel before the usa based on the consistency of your posts at twn.. if that isn’t the case, please let me know.. nothing i have read from you suggests otherwise.. as for freeman doing the same, i have never read any objections from you on numerous posts that have been filled in the obama gov’t where these same objections could be made, and they often involve unquestioned support for israel, with rahm emmanuel being the first to come to mind.. i think you’re hypocritical and the only way i can understand it in a broader context is as i continue to outline above… your support for israel is more significant then your support for the usa… your comments on chas freeman strengthen this view…

    Reply

  277. sandy says:

    Feinstein,
    Also, wanted to add that Jews are not theiving swindlers (except for Maddoff, Milken, Ivan Boesky, and all the biggest thieves in Wall Street). Also, they had nothing to do with the current financial crisis (except Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, jews creating mortgage backed securities, etc. Also, while Bin Laden has said in several videos that he attacked us on 9/11 because of Israel, there is really no “proof” that the video is “real”. According to some “reliable sources” (i.e., Jewish propaganda sheets), if we increase aid to Israel, Bin Laden will be “very happy” and will become our “friend.”

    Reply

  278. WigWag says:

    Wow, so many silly responses to my comments and so many rationalizations. It’s hard to know where to begin.
    … says,
    “Wigwag, no ‘facts’ in your posts as you suggest but now you’re throwing in lies which makes your commentary much worse… I appreciate your acknowledgment on an Israel lobby. Everything I have read of yours suggests your support for Israel is much greater then your support for the USA and that is what many here take exception to, not just with you, but with many Israel lobbyists… perhaps you see it differently, but nothing you have stated here suggests putting USA’s interest above Israel’s.. Thanks for being open about this…”
    No facts? I mentioned several of the more outlandish items in Chas Freeman’s resume. You’ve chosen to obsess about Freeman’s position on Israel and ignore his support for autocratic regimes. That’s fine; but it’s you who is ignoring the facts not me failing to present them.
    As for your claim that I put Israel’s interests above America’s; that’s a charge more appropriately leveled against Mr. Freeman. I’ve never been in the employ of the Israeli government; Chas Freeman worked for Saudis after serving as an American diplomat. I’ve never traveled the world on the Israeli’s dime but Freeman has been wined and dined all over the world at Saudi expense. If I had taken money directly from the Israeli Government, I wouldn’t expect anyone to appoint me to draft the National Intelligence Estimate; Chas Freeman can’t imagine why anyone would think that his servitude to the Saudis and Chinese is even worth mentioning. In fact if you do mention it, Steven Walt thinks you’re behaving like Joe McCarthy and Charles Freeman wants to “punch you in the face.” Unfortunately this is highest level of debate that many critics of Israel seem capable of.
    Don S says,
    “Red herring must be for dinner. Wigwag, get with the program. This appointment has become about taking one baby step towards a foreign policy team not totally dedicated to the Israeli position. “Merits”, and one can argue them either way, went out the window days ago, when this became an effort by the neocon/Israeli lobby to bloody Obama’s apparent audacity at not bowing and scraping for their approval.”
    There’s no question that many of Freeman’s harshest critics are supporters of Israel. The question is whether they have the presented Freeman’s background honestly and whether that background makes Freeman unsuitable for the job he has been appointed to. That’s all a matter of opinion. I’m skeptical of a person who thinks the Chinese were too timid in attacking the Tiananmen Square protestors and that the Saudi King is a great man, but if you think Freeman’s support of Chinese oppression or Saudi bigotry is a credential for his new job that’s just fine. I disagree, but I don’t think it makes you like Joe McCarthy, Joseph Stalin or Mao Tse-tung and (unlike Charles Freeman) it doesn’t make me want to “punch you in the face.”
    JohnH says,
    Wigwag criticized Elliot Abrams? I’d love to see evidence of that! And, yes, I really abhor Chinese behavior on Tiananmen Square and in Tibet, though it’s not my top priority, because we’re not subsidizing that regime and because there are plenty of American cold warriors cynically using that issue to promote American domination.
    I’m not a fan of Elliot Abrams or any of the other neo-conservatives (although I do think Abrams recent assessment of the likelihood of progress on the Israel-Palestine front is largely correct). The one you should be criticizing JohnH is the author of the post, Charles Freeman. He’s the one, after all, who worked in the same Administration as Elliot Abrams. I didn’t support the War in Iraq, I thought it was a terrible idea from the beginning (and I don’t support attacking Iran either). It’s Charles Freeman who worked for the President who brought us the Iraq imbroglio and the “axis of evil.” Criticize him, not me. Or have his father’s anti-Israel remarks so seduced you that you’re willing to give his son a pass?
    You don’t think we’re subsidizing the Chinese regime? Americans spend far more on Chinese produced products in Wal-Mart alone than all of America’s financial aid to Israel. The Chinese almost single handedly finance the federal debt in the United States. If they didn’t, none of us would have lifestyles anywhere near as good as we have now. The American and Chinese economies are far more intertwined that the American and Israeli economies. The Chinese “subsidize” us and we “subsidize” them. If you “abhor” what the Chinese did in Tiananmen Square and their behavior towards Tibet you should be far more concerned about America’s economic relations with the Chinese than with the Israelis. Our relationship with Israel is dwarfed by our relationship with China.
    Franklin says,
    “Those who bucked the conventional wisdom, and anticipated some of the challenges posed by the Iraq invasion have earned credibility in my view.”
    Its fine, Franklin to think that those who bucked conventional wisdom to oppose the Iraq invasion are more credible than those who supported the Iraq War. But don’t forget that it wasn’t just Marty Peretz who supported the Iraq War; presumably the author of this post, Charles Freeman, supported it too. After all, he worked for the Bush Administration which planned and executed the War. If Freeman opposed it, he could have resigned; he didn’t. So if you think supporters of the War in Iraq don’t have the credibility to oppose Chas Freeman, why do you think supporters of the Iraq War have the credibility to support Chas Freeman? It’s not just Andrew Sullivan who supported the war and supports Freeman; it Chas Freeman’s son who wrote this post that supported the War and supports his father’s appointment.
    On reflection, no one should be surprised at Chas Freeman’s admiration of autocrats. After all one of his first jobs in government was working for the great American autocrat, Richard Nixon. The Watergate break-in, the “Plumbers” the secret bombings; all of these things were precursors to the behavior of regimes the Freeman’s (father and son) worked for. Richard Nixon didn’t support the rule of law and neither do the Chinese or Saudi regimes that Chas Freeman loves so much. And when it comes for contempt for the rule of law, I guess the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Charles Freeman worked for one of the most power-hungry, corrupt regimes in American history.
    I guess that in this case, it’s like father, like son.
    Or maybe I shouldn’t say it. Charles Freeman might want to punch me in the face.

    Reply

  279. feinstein says:

    Carroll:
    You are wrong. America must stand by Israel. Jews are good people, not greedy at all. Jews are not conniving thieves. Arabs and Moslems are bad people. America and Israel must attack Iran because Iran is threatening our dear Israel.
    Also, Jews have made great contributions to America. All major newspapers (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Wash Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, etc etc are owned by Jews). All major TV networks are jewish owned. American politicians must support Israel and in exchange we will give them money and media support.

    Reply

  280. Goldman says:

    Obama has betrayed Israel. We Jews gave him more than 80% of his campaign money, and we supported him through our media. Obama would not have been elected without jewish money and media. He should not appoint Chas because he is anti Israel. America must support Israel because Israel is our closest ally. America gives only $3 billion a year to Israel; aid to Israel must be increased. I was in Israel a few months back and believe me they really need the money. We need to activate our media to bring down Obama. We need to teach him a lesson that opposing Israel will not be tolerated.

    Reply

  281. Carroll says:

    So Yid with Lid
    Bottom line you don’t like Freeman because he isn’t a US Israeli or Israel supporter and you as a Israeli zionist are afraid your group will lose influence in forming US policy because Saudi or China’s point of view might be considered instead of just Israel’s?
    And he lobbied for business interest of a China company and Saudi like Kissinger, Baker, Albright,Feith,Perle and hundreds of other in and out government figures do?
    And you object to the conjecture that Muslims might have any connection to or been in America before Jews? Well I am pissed too that the Spanish get historical credit for populating the US with horses they left behind in Mexico when everyone knows that our moden horse came from the three toed Asian ponies that crossed the Asian shelf bridge back in the stone age. My horses resent those spanish imposters saying they were here first. LOL. You are too funny.
    Anything else you don’t like about Freeman?
    But now, tell us exactly what positions Freeman has pushed that are contrary to American thinking and interest? Be specific.
    Is it the position that we should stop giving unconditional aid and support to Israel? If so that’s pretty mainstream thinking among Americans.
    Is it that that he might not jump at the chance to pony up intell to get the US to attack Iran for Israel? If so, not attacking Iran for Israel is very mainstream American thinking also.
    Is it that the US should treat most countries more or less the same according to their behavior and our interest and other circumstances? If so that is mainstream American thinking also.
    I don’t want to hurt your feelings but your kind of arguement for Israeli interest and the smear tactics on non Israel loyalist have reached it’s expiration date. That why every time you try to sell it it gets shipped right back to you.
    It’s a new era.

    Reply

  282. Elliot Lepler says:

    Don S.Thanks for the compliment, but you miss the point. My Israel references were not the main thrust of my post. I only included them because the discussion here, turns, as it has through the centuries, to Jew hatred. The attempts to portray the discussion about Freeman as ONLY about the Israel-American relationship are Waltian lobby obsession.
    Freeman quotes the Saudi line; he and his previous company are on the Saudi take. The Saudis happen to be anti-Israel, but their interests go beyond Israel. Explain to me why the Saudi monarchy gets a pass on the 9/11 hijackers and their education. Simple answer–they control a huge pool of oil and thereby hamstring our foreign policy. The last thing we need is one of their operatives giving the President the Saudi view of intelligence.

    Reply

  283. John says:

    As a conservative Republican, I am outraged at the neocons attack on Chas Freeman. I commend Obama for picking Chas for the NIC post. Our Republican party has been hijacked by Israel-first neocons whose allegiance lie with Israel. These bastards consider America as a big milk-cow for Israel’s benefit. I only wish that retarded buffoon George W. Bush had the intelligence to resist the pressure from these traitors into going to Iraq. These traitors (Elliott Abrams, Krauthammer, Jeff Goldberg, Chait, Benoit, Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz, etc.) pushed America into a great disaster resulting in 5000 American lives in Iraq, while all they are stealing our resources in Wall Street.

    Reply

  284. DonS says:

    Here’s and interesting site I stumbled across while googling around:
    “Maybe this is actually the battle royal that will determine whether the lobby can retain its vice grip on Washington’s approach to the Middle East. Freeman may have been appointed, but the fight to unlodge him is far from over.”
    http://warincontext.org/2009/03/05/editorial-will-obama-capitulate-to-the-israel-lobby/#comment-3907

    Reply

  285. Franklin says:

    WigWag:
    1. “And by the way, if Freeman wasn’t an Israel critic many of the people now supporting him would be opposing him. They only support him because he shares their dislike of Israeli policy. They’re willing to overlook all the other unsavory aspects of Freeman’s history that in ordinary circumstances would make them apoplectic.”
    What’s your basis for making this claim?
    2. “Actually Freeman has his fair share of supporters who were all for the invasion of Iraq; Andrew Sullivan for example was the most enthusiastic pundit in America supporting the invasion of Iraq. He now supports the Freeman appointment. Does his support for the Iraq War render his support for Freeman inoperative?”
    The short answer is “yes” — or more accurately, it wasn’t something that I even weighed in the balance. I enjoy Sullivan’s writing, but I wasn’t aware that he supported Freeman.
    Ultimately, what matters most are Freeman’s views — not Sullivan’s views of what Freeman’s views are, or Chait’s views of what Freeman’s views are. There is plenty of stuff to chew on in the public record — and from what I can gather Freeman is a thinker who is pragmatic, nuanced, and who writes with some levity and a biting wit (probably a healthy trait when dealing with some of these policy questions). We can’t anticipate all the challenges over the next four years — I think policy with Mexico could be a flash-point in light of the economic crisis and the drug war — but the Middle East and China are probably the two biggest areas of concern in the near term. Freeman’s understanding and first hand experience with both regions should contribute something to the internal debate (if he is appointed and receives confirmation). Regardless of whether a person agrees with him, he’s clearly not an ignoramus.
    In terms of criticism, I would weigh in the balance views of those who accurately anticipated the challenges posed by the Iraq War, and who have reservations about his appointment. In terms of foreign policy, the Iraq War has been a kind of touchstone in my assessment of foreign policy credentials — especially given the heat that opponents took for advocating a unpopular view in the face of some pretty intense ridicule and peer pressure; especially as it relates to foreign policy in the region.
    Those who bucked the conventional wisdom, and anticipated some of the challenges posed by the Iraq invasion have earned credibility in my view.

    Reply

  286. alan says:

    Apropos Eliot Lepler: I really have no problems with Jews supporting Israel. I am sure Arab Americans support Palestine. And that is as it should be in a democracy. What I object to, be you an Arab or a Jew, is that you sit within the security that the US provides you to push your noxious agendas. So: to both supporters of Israel and Palestine here in America: please decide where your loyalty lays. If you are so gung ho about Isreal and Palestine and all their divisive politics then go ahead and destroy each other. Just don’t do it with my tax dollars.

    Reply

  287. JohnH says:

    Wigwag criticized Elliot Abrams? I’d love to see evidence of that!
    And, yes, I really abhor Chinese behavior on Tiananmen Square and in Tibet, though it’s not my top priority, because we’re not subsidizing that regime and because there are plenty of American cold warriors cynically using that issue to promote American domination. And yes, I criticized Rumsfeld’s hypocrisy in Iraq, turning a blind eye to Saddam’s atrocities when it served him, subsequently criticizing them when his interests changed, then presiding over atrocities (Abu Ghraib) that Saddam himself could well have committed.
    Unlike the “Israel Right or Wrong” crowd, who help fund Israel then turn a blind eye to Israeli atrocities, but loudly trumpet their moral outrage at Chinese atrocities, I try to maintain a consistent set of values, saving my greatest criticism for the oppressors and occupiers funded by my own tax dollars. (That’s more than a full time occupation.)

    Reply

  288. Outraged American says:

    Hamas was democratically elected. I have actually been to Tibet;
    while some comparisons can be made between the Chinese
    occupation there and the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and
    the West Bank, the Israeli stranglehold of the Gaza Strip cannot be
    compared to what the Chinese are doing to Tibet. Tibetans can flee
    the Chinese to some extent, the Palestinians in Gaza are trapped in
    the world’s largest open air prison.

    Reply

  289. DonS says:

    Wigwag says ” . . .younger Freeman and Clemons are demonstrating that they’re afraid of a real debate on the merits . . .”
    Red herring must be for dinner. Wigwag, get with the program. This appointment has become about taking one baby step towards a foreign policy team not totally dedicated to the Israeli position. “Merits”, and one can argue them either way, went out the window days ago, when this became an effort by the neocon/Israeli lobby to bloody Obama’s apparent audacity at not bowing and scraping for their approval.
    You do you usually thorough snow job of primping for the Lobby, here even bolstered by the assumption that you have “merits” on you side, not just reflexive pro-Israeli bias. But your lengthy catalog says the same thing as usual; my (Israel’s) way or the highway. Sorry to be so blunt but you know how I feel about your rhetorical traps, and your failure to relinquish one significant point to prove your good intentions towards putting US foreign policy interests first. And speaking of “Heart of hearts”, I’m still waiting for a reply to my question about yours, though I expect that cold day in hell to come first.

    Reply

  290. ... says:

    wigwag, no ‘facts’ in your posts as you suggest but now you’re throwing in lies which makes your commentary much worse… i appreciate your acknowledgment on an israel lobby.. everything i have read of yours suggests your support for israel is much greater then your support for the usa and that is what many here take exception to, not just with you, but with many israel lobbyists… perhaps you see it differently, but nothing you have stated here suggests putting usas interest above israels.. thanks for being open about this…

    Reply

  291. DonS says:

    Elliot Lepler, in a short paragraph you drag so many red herrings across the path I imagine you have a line of ally cats outside your door. No offense intended; well done.

    Reply

  292. WigWag says:

    “Did Wigwag or Benoit ever criticize Rumsfeld for being in Baghdad and meeting with Saddam to discuss an oil pipeline, shortly after Saddam gassed the Kurds? Or about Elliot Abrams consorting with Iranian mullahs during the Iran Contra affair and serving as an unregistered agent serving a foreign government during the Bush administration (one who is a convicted felon at that!)?”
    WigWag did.
    Did you JohnH?
    And by the way, do you agree with Chas Freeman that Tibetans fighting for greater autonomy are little better than race rioters?
    And back in 1989 who did you think were the good guys; the student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square or the Party apparatchiks who ordered that they be butchered?
    We know which side Chas Freeman was on.
    After all, he’s told us.

    Reply

  293. Elliot Lepler says:

    I want to thank Mr. Benoit for taking the time to add to this conversation. He said what I thought much better than I could.
    Please notice the next two comments. The first brings up Pollard–double loyalty implication–not possibly antisemitic. And then criticism of Israeli Prime Ministers for lobbying for a sentence that is in line with the others who committed similar crimes. Note–I do not defend what Pollard did. If the US was under control of the Israelis, then why is Pollard still in jail?
    The second comment is not a criticism of Israeli policy-but an attack on its entity as a Jewish state. Why can all nationalities have a state except Jews? Where are the other democracies in the Middle East?
    I am not saying Mr. Freeman put this up. And my concern about his appointment is not about Israel. It is about Saudi Arabia and that kingdom’s nefarious influence in this country. Independence from foreign oil? The Saudis manipulate the market to make that extremely difficult. 9/11 terrorists-what country did they come from? Who funds the schools that taught them to hate us? Could it be Mr. Freeman’s patrons? And talk about values–could any country be further from US values? Women work? Freedom of expression? Equal rights?
    I care more about US security than anything. Chas Freeman in charge of the National Intelligence Estimate would give me reason to loose sleep. We thought George Bush pushed intelligence to suit his politics. I am not ready to cede that role to the Saudi Monarchy.

    Reply

  294. JohnH says:

    I am in awe at the “Israel right or wrong” crowd, who have the chutzpah to criticize China for Tibet.
    They have a unusual ability to move seamlessly at warp speed between sets of ideals. First, they espouse American ideals (freedom and democracy) in defending Tibet. Then, in a flash, they espouse the colonialist mentality (crush the indigenous people) in defending the Occupation of Palestine, which in reality is not all that different from the Occupation of Tibet, which they oppose. Cognitive dissonance seems to be totally dysfunctional in these folks.
    Now, if we could just agree to evaluate the Occupation of Palestine and the Occupation of Tibet from a common set on humanitarian values…

    Reply

  295. another reader 2 says:

    WigWag
    No facts in their arguments? Were you and I reading the same pieces????

    Reply

  296. WigWag says:

    Franklin says,
    “WigWag, if the opponents echo the same talking points, it’s reasonable to assume that they are not arriving independently at their claims.”
    Oh, I don’t know Franklin, the supporters of Freeman all echo the same talking points; does that mean they are not arriving independently at their claims? If supporting Freeman doesn’t imply being a member of a cabal, neither does opposing his appointment.
    “I think the thing that gets many about their critique, is that they are dishonest. If you remove Freeman’s stance on Israel would these hard-liners care at all about Freeman’s comments about the Chinese politburo?”
    The answer is obviously yes. Every one of the commentators Charles Freeman criticizes comment ubiquitously on all sorts of public policy matters. Marty Peretz for example has commented on many of Obama’s appointments, not just the ones related to Middle East policy. He’s chimed in on the Tom Daschle appointment and the Bill Richardson appointment (both revoked) as well as several others. As for Rosen, he writes a widely read blog dedicated to the Middle East in general and the Obama Administration in particular. Of course he’s going to express an opinion on the Freeman appointment; why wouldn’t he? Why shouldn’t he?
    And by the way, if Freeman wasn’t an Israel critic many of the people now supporting him would be opposing him. They only support him because he shares their dislike of Israeli policy. They’re willing to overlook all the other unsavory aspects of Freeman’s history that in ordinary circumstances would make them apoplectic.
    “What makes matters worse is that the crowd criticizing Freeman lost credibility in their vocal support of the Iraq invasion.”
    Actually Freeman has his fair share of supporters who were all for the invasion of Iraq; Andrew Sullivan for example was the most enthusiastic pundit in America supporting the invasion of Iraq. He now supports the Freeman appointment. Does his support for the Iraq War render his support for Freeman inoperative?
    As to the question about whether there is an “Israel lobby”; of course there’s an “Israel Lobby.” I know because I am a member of it. So are millions of American Jews and tens of millions of Christians. I can even think of a small number of American Muslims who support the Israel Lobby. By the way, in my case it’s not just the Israeli Lobby. I’m also a member of AARP, People for the American Way, the ACLU and Free Tibet.
    A “lobby” is not a cabal, its democracy made real.
    Charles Freeman and Stephen Walt’s entire argument in support of the appointment is based on calling Freeman’s opponents names.
    I guess that’s because they’re incapable of making a compelling argument on the facts. Or maybe, in their heart of hearts, they know themselves that Freeman is unsuitable.

    Reply

  297. Dan Kervick says:

    The charges against Freeman seem to come down to the claims that he is a (i) highly Arab-friendly Israel skeptic and (ii) an unsentimental realist bastard with a preference for order, stability and state power over the liberation struggles of the world’s various trod-upon “peoples”.
    Good. We were led to believe that such people were going to get a seat at the table. We already have crusading liberal interventionists like Susan Rice, and a bevy of highly Israel-friendly folks like Emanuel, Ross, Biden and Clinton. We have military-minded officers and technocrats like Jones and Gates. Voices like Freeman’s need to be part of the mix. (I’d love to see a real left-wing internationalist in the mix as well, but those might be idle dreams.)
    It is important now that Obama stick with this pick, apart from the merits of Freeman himself. If people like Chait, Lake and Rosen taste blood after making such a loud public fuss, they will never let go. Obama will have to clear it with Israel Fan Club every time he wants to take a leak.

    Reply

  298. tim says:

    Americans need to rise up and defend Chas Freeman against attacks by the jewish lobby. Just look at the number of attack articles written by neocon traitors. The reason these Israel-firsters have easy access to the media is because the jewish lobby has a stranglehold on our media. Mr. Benoit would rather prefer Steve Rosen (indicted for spying for Israel) or Richard Perle (neocon agent of Israel) as the NIC head. Mr. Benoit, why not hire the head of Mossad as the head of NIC?

    Reply

  299. JohnH says:

    Did Wigwag or Benoit ever criticize Rumsfeld for being in Baghdad and meeting with Saddam to discuss an oil pipeline, shortly after Saddam gassed the Kurds? Or about Elliot Abrams consorting with Iranian mullahs during the Iran Contra affair and serving as an unregistered agent serving a foreign government during the Bush administration (one who is a convicted felon at that!)?
    For them, “clientitis” is bad only when the client does not support Israel. They can drag China into the debate all they want, but if Freeman had not criticized Israel, he could have said anything he wanted about China, and they would have kept quiet.
    These are just more McCarthy-style attempts to stifle dissent.

    Reply

  300. brad says:

    Sammy Benoit, Jon Chait, Rich Lowry, Jeff Goldberg and other agents of Israel had no problem when President Obama appointed Rahm Emmanuel as his Chief of Staff, although Rahm Emmanuel left US in 1991 to to serve in the Israeli armed forces (i.e., public service according to the neocons). These agents of Israel also had no problem when Martin Indyk, a former Israeli citizen who worked for the jewish lobby, was appointed the US ambassador to Israel. Their problem with Chas Freeman is Chas is gulty of speaking the truth–US support for Israel has resulted in 9/11 and our support for Israel is the main cause of terrorism against the US>

    Reply

  301. Cheeseman says:

    I have known Mr. Freeman for more than 25 years and have
    really been shocked and dismayed by attacks on his character in
    the media.
    I have had a chance to listen to his views on many international
    issues and have been deeply concerned by the distortions
    circulating. I thought I would share the following related to the
    mischaracterizations of his perspective on Tiananmen.
    ‘The text below and that of a subsequent (so-far unleaked
    message) which follows it make it clear that Mr. Freeman was
    describing the conclusions from an after-action review of the
    Tiananmen incident by the Chinese authorities, not presenting
    his own views of the incident.  Since the email was leaked and
    the listserv in question was disbanded (in response to other
    leaks), I understand that he no longer regards it as confidential.
    The full text of the leaked message (which may or may not be
    the full text of the original message), with the usually omitted or
    ignored language underlined, follows:
    “I will leave it to others to address the main thrust of your
    reflection on Eric’s remarks.  But I want to take issue with what I
    assume, perhaps incorrectly, to be yoiur citation of the
    conventional wisdom about the 6/4 [or Tiananmen] incident.  I
    find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e.
    that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities
    was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the
    demonstrations in the bud, rather than — as would have been
    both wise and efficacious — to intervene with force when all
    other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to
    Beijing and other major urban centers in China.  In this optic, the
    Politburo’s response to the mob scene at “Tian’anmen” stands as
    a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the
    leadership, not as an example of rash action.
    “For myself, I side on this — if not on numerous other issues —
    with Gen. Douglas MacArthur.  I do not believe it is acceptable
    for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be
    occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions
    of government, however appealing to foreigners their
    propaganda may be.  Such folk, whether they represent a
    veterans’ “Bonus Army” or a “student uprising” on behalf of “the
    goddess of democracy” should expect to be displaced with
    despatch from the ground they occupy.  I cannot conceive of any
    American government behaving with the ill-conceived restraint
    that the Zhao Ziyang administration did in China, allowing
    students to occupy zones that are the equivalent of the
    Washington National Mall and Times Square, combined. while
    shutting down much of the Chinese government’s normal
    operations.  I thus share the hope of the majority in China that
    no Chinese government will repeat the mistakes of Zhao
    Ziyang’s dilatory tactics of appeasement in dealing with
    domestic protesters in China.
    “I await the brickbats of those who insist on a politically correct
    — i.e. non Burkean conservative — view.”
    The next message in the series, which was part of an extended
    conversation about what the Chinese authorities, as opposed to
    the American participants in the conversation, had concluded
    was as follows:
    “I think you’re addressing a  different topic than I did or at least
    meant to.  I certainly did not  mean to imply that I agree at all
    with the tactics ultimately used to clear  the demonstrators from
    the center of Beijing (or other cities) and to end the  anarchic
    situation they had created.  My points were rather (1) that the
     dominant after-action judgment of those in power in China is
    that the failure  to remove the demonstrators early on (as
    certainly would have happened in the  US in comparable
    circumstances) allowed the whole thing to snowball to the  point
    where tragedy became almost inevitable; (2) that I agree with
    them on  this point (I gather you do not); and (3) that just as we
    were unwilling to  tolerate the occupation of the Mall by the
    Bonus Army and would not tolerate  the presence of a
    permanent mob engaged in weeks, still less months, of  anarchic
    denial of the government’s right to maintain order by clearing
    such a  mob from the Elipse or Times Square, it is untenable to
    adopt the premise that  the Chinese should have done so with
    respect to Tiananmen.  
    ‘To go  to your point on what ultimately happened, the
    subsequent creation of the  WuJing, which is presumably trained
    in riot control, has obviated the need to  use warfighters to put
    down unrest and this system seems to be working, as  attested
    by the relatively miniscule number of demonstrations that get
    badly  out of control now even as some 85,000 opportunities for
    this to happen occur  each year in China.  I see the rising
    number of demonstrations in China  as a positive development
    in most respects.  It is, among other things,  evidence of the
    creation, for the first time in Chinese history, of a de facto  right
    of peaceful assembly to petition the authorities for redress of
     grievances.’

    Reply

  302. ... says:

    sammy benoit and wigwag – do either of you believe there’s an ‘israel lobby’? it’s a simple question that i’d be curious to hear your response to.. the difference between ‘lobby’ and ‘cabal’ is one of degrees difficult to ascertain..
    were either of you concerned about “clientitis” when people like wolfowitz, feith, and perle were selling the war on iraq?? do you acknowledge that many americans feel duped on the justifications for this war by people that are closely aligned with israel? do you recognize the same concern for a similar scenario being fabricated with iran in mind? this is helping feed ideas around the idea of an ‘israel lobby’…
    frankly sammy benoit, i find your post really thin on matters that would have some bearing in choosing chas freeman, but thick on superficial bs that i find irrelevant.. i am sure you see it the opposite as it appears your over riding work in derailing someone who might show more objectivity on middle east matters.. you’re correct that the idea of showing some objectivity on the israel/palestine issue hasn’t been a part of mainstream thinking in the usa, but that’s no reason to rationalize a continuation of that as you are wont to do, by saying this thinking has not been a part of mainstream thinking.. people are capable of waking up and making changes from time to time!
    lack of judgment is a matter of opinion, but if the past is any guide the degree of hubris coming from people who clearly put israels interests before the usa’s is so pronounced, there’s no question on the lack of judgment coming from these same folks… they need to assume responsibility for the war in iraq and quit expressing a lack of judgment on the usa’s best interests circa 2009… your post does nothing to change any of this, quite the opposite and is definitely lacking in judgment..

    Reply

  303. dewey says:

    So Sammy, you are saying the invasion of Iraq was not for oil and Israel? So I guess Feith, Perle, Wolfowitz (as the other traitorous war criminals who were instrumental in creating the lead up lie) all did it because there weren’t enough Christmas tree lots in Bagdad? But of course you will never admit this because it will admit failure. The fact that you not only deny this obvious truth, but also attempt to reinforce it makes everything else you wrote invalid in my book. It is also the reason everyday guys like me that 6 or 8 years ago when hearing the word Israel thought “ally” now perceive the word to mean “injustice” and “threat”.
    I will tell you this Sammy, as the emphatic Obama supporter as I am, one who was offered a Fellowship during his election, the minute Obama turns his back on this appointment is the minute I will begin to lose faith in this administration in a major way.

    Reply

  304. Franklin says:

    WigWag,
    If the opponents echo the same talking points, it’s reasonable to assume that they are not arriving independently at their claims.
    I think the thing that gets many about their critique, is that they are dishonest. If you remove Freeman’s stance on Israel would these hard-liners care at all about Freeman’s comments about the Chinese politburo?
    Of course not.
    Many of the arguments to Freeman’s nomination are of the throw sh-t against the wall and hope that something sticks variety.
    What makes matters worse, is that the crowd criticizing Freeman lost credibility in their vocal support of the Iraq invasion. They failed to highlight the real costs and risks and likely outcomes. So why should their critique of Freeman be taken seriously on a policy level?
    As far as the insidious associations go, the vetting that Freeman will receive in order to get the security clearance will demonstrate if there is really something of substance there to the charges.
    What’s disturbing too — the people leveling the criticisms and coordinating the smear campaign — are working in tandem with someone who is under indictment for passing along state secrets to a foreign government. They have no credibility.

    Reply

  305. Wordie says:

    Mr. Benoit: You write with a lot of passion, but I notice, upon taking a look at your blog, that you’ve written with equal passion about the impending dangers of “socialized” medicine, in apparent support of a potential plan by Israel to attack Iran, and (often) quite negatively against Obama in general terms (while you’re apparently in favor of Rush Limbaugh).
    Yet you say that your objections to Mr. Freeman are based upon his “…willingness to push positions contrary to mainstream thinking…” I surely don’t think that your own views, Mr. Benoit, represent “mainstream thinking” on U.S. political issues, so I see little reason why your opinions about Freeman should be trusted.

    Reply

  306. WigWag says:

    The problem with Freeman (the younger) is that his post makes the same absurd accusations made by Stephen Walt and many other Chas Freeman defenders; he accuses critics of the appointment of his father of being members of a “cabal” in much the same way that Walt accused them of being McCarthy-like. Apparently it never occurred to either Charles Freeman or Stephen Walt that there are plenty of reasons to oppose Chas Freeman’s appointment and that merely disagreeing with him (or the younger Freeman or Stephen Walt) doesn’t make you either a member of a cabal or an acolyte of Joe McCarthy.
    While Charles Freeman was toiling away helping the Bush Administration form its murderous policies, his father was cashing in on years of government work by selling his influence with the Chinese and Saudis. While there was nothing illegal about this, the mere fact that his influence peddling was within the bounds of the law doesn’t mean that those who find this offensive are members of a “cabal.”
    In fact, but for Chas Freeman’s vitriolic comments about Israel, it’s highly likely that it would be the left opposing his nomination. Other than his criticisms of Israeli policy, what do we know about Chas Freeman? We know:
    1) He criticized the Chinese Government for not cracking down on the Tiananmen Square demonstrators quickly enough or fiercely enough. His e-mail bemoaning insufficient brutality by the Chinese Communist Party is circulating widely on the internet.
    2) He serves on a Board of a wholly owned Chinese Oil Company that is doing business in places like Myanmar (Burma) despite the objections of human rights organizations.
    3) He runs a think tank funded almost entirely by foreign sources that refuses to divulge its donor list. Associates of the bin Laden family serve on the Board of the Think Tank.
    4) His organization accepted $1 million from the Saudi Government for publicity purposes.
    5) He has called the King of Saudi Arabia, “King Abdullah the Great.” It’s hard to know what he meant by “Great.” Was Chas Freeman referring to the Saudi propensity for executing homosexuals, for banning the practice of religions other than Islam or does he just like the fact that women aren’t permitted to drive?
    6) It has been reported that Chas Freeman likened Tibetan Monks demonstrating for greater autonomy for Tibet to race rioters. Perhaps Charles Freeman can fill in the details about this.
    The ironic thing is that it’s the “Anti-Lobby” crowd that always accuses AIPAC and other Israel supporters of stifling debate. But in this case every criticism made by Rosen, Peretz, Chait and the others is demonstrably true and well documented. People of good will can argue about whether Freeman’s words and prior associations should disqualify him from high public office. Some people may even think his service to the Chinese and Saudis makes him particularly well qualified. But by disparaging Freeman opponents as “cabal members” and by accusing them of McCarthy-like tactics, Walt, the younger Freeman and Clemons are demonstrating that they’re afraid of a real debate on the merits. Instead of welcoming a debate on the merits, the “Anti-Lobby” crowd proves once again that it’s afraid of a substantive discussion. They’re hoping that their paranoid language about “cabals” and “McCarthyism” frightens Freeman opponents from speaking out. Of course, it won’t.
    Charles Freeman says, “I love my father.” Here’s a newsflash, Charles, most people love their fathers; your love for him doesn’t mean he’s qualified to produce the National Intelligence Estimate.
    Freeman also says,” I do think it’s perfectly acceptable to be more loyal to Israel, even as an American citizen. But I also think that should disqualify you from any serious discussion about American interests in the Middle East.”
    But is it Chas Freeman’s pro-Israel critics who are guilty of double loyalty or is it Chas Freeman? To which nation does he swear allegiance, to the US or to Saudi Arabia, or to China? If Charles Freeman can raise this question about Rosen, Peretz and Chait, surely it can be raised about his father.
    And Charles, as for your desire to “punch your father’s critics in the face” isn’t that exactly the kind of behavior (and much worse) that routinely occurred in the US prison in Guantanamo Bay championed by the Administration you worked for?
    Come to think of it, isn’t that exactly the kind of brutality routinely meted in Saudi Arabia to vocal critics of “King Abdullah the Great?”
    And I have one last question for Charles Freeman; he describes his father as an iconoclast. What do they do to iconoclasts in Saudi Arabia and China Mr. Freeman?

    Reply

  307. DonS says:

    Think of all those Neocons who would have had to be disqualified from serving just about anywhere in the US government if working even tangentially for the interests of another county were counted, much less working in the direct policy formation apparatus of another country. Too many to count. Just for starters, Richard Perle, “a clean break” ,as Assistant Secretary of Defense, fox in the policy-making henouse.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break
    No, it’s not much of an argument to deny a non-policy-making position on much weaker grounds than Perle,Abrams, Wolfowitz or a bunch more.
    But, again, these are DC/AIPAC rules that are once again being rammed down our throat, or attempted. I call it a smoke screen.

    Reply

  308. Franklin says:

    Wow, Freeman was involved with an organization that issued a publication which erroneously claimed Muslims came to the western hemisphere before they actually did — and that’s a basis for disqualification?
    That’s pretty weak medicine, even if he shared a water cooler with the person who might have edited that document.
    At least he hasn’t been indicted for passing state secrets to a foreign government.

    Reply

  309. Outraged American says:

    Many Americans are now fully aware that Israel is a parasitical/
    genocidal/ apartheid theocracy. Whose supporters, which include
    the vast majority of the U.S. Congress (threatened and bribed) have
    taken us into one war and now threaten a few more.

    Reply

  310. alan says:

    Mr Benoit: you lay out your case in a way that is reasonable; but it will be relatively simple to list a number of high profile American Jews who suffer from the ailment known as “clientitis”, and who put Israel’s interests before that of the US. What do we call them? Recall Pollard? Why does every Israel Prime Minister fight so hard for his release? He is an American who was found guilty of treason and spying for Israel. Why does Israel push for his release? It is time for the rest of the US population to question how far into our government Israeli influence goes.

    Reply

  311. Sammy Benoit says:

    Dear Mr. Freeman
    Let me introduce myself, my name is Sammy Benoit, I have been one of your Dad’s biggest attackers, in the Washington Times, on American Thinker and most frequently on my blog, Yid With Lid. First of all let me explain that I am not part of any “Cabal” unless you count my wife and kids but they don’t write.
    I will excuse your “name calling” and threats of violence as the love of a son for his father. Because I love my dad, and he taught me to use words instead of calling people shmucks and threatening to punch them in the nose, I will try to explain my position.
    The reason I oppose your dad has nothing to do with his successful diplomatic career. although if you read his book Jim Baker (no friend of Israel) felt that your dad had “clientitis.” A word he invented to imply that at times your dad fought for the Saudi Government above what Baker felt were the interests of the US.
    Much of your dad’s post-government activities involved being, to a considerable degree, a de facto employee of Saudi Arabia and an apparent panderer to its demands. In exchange, he received lavish support for the research center he headed and lucrative contracts for the consulting firm that he founded to guide international companies into finding royal family-connected partners within the Saudi elite.
    This raises the reasonable question as to whether your dad acted as an unregistered Saudi agent. And even if that is beyond what he did, his proximity to that role raises questions about his being named chief U.S. intelligence analyst on matters that will clearly involve Saudi views and interests.
    Many former diplomats, especially ex-Saudi ambassadors, are not known for being big fans of Israel, and to be truthful that should not disqualify him for the NIC job. But your dad presided over a center (MEPC) and publication whose hostility to Israel is beyond the broadest mainstream of U.S. thinking on the region even for people who disagree with Israel. In this and other ways, his slavish following of the Saudi “party line” has involved your dad in some embarrassing situations.
    For example, the MEPC which your dad runs(with major funding from the Saudi royal family) publishes a notebook for American teachers called “Arab World Studies Notebook.” This notebook includes historical inaccuracies such as; Muslims inhabited the New World in pre-Columbian. English explorers met “Iroquois and Algonquin (Native American) chiefs with names like Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik.”
    There is no evidence of this claim in the historical record. The first Muslim to enter the historical record in North America was Estevánico of Azamor, who came with the Spanish in 1539. Islam is not believed to have taken root in Canada until the mid-19th century.
    Another project of the of your dad’s slavish following of the Saudi Royal family line is MEPC’s quarterly magazine, Mid East Policy. The Journal’s editorial pages are filled with anti-Israel messages that are so disturbingly radical, so out of the mainstream, they could have been written by your Dad’s Saudi benefactors. Claims such as the Iraq war was waged for the U.S. on behalf of Israel (Editor’s Note Fall 2008 Issue) or “We [United States] still allow Israel to call the shots. Which includes a strategy of “buying off Fatah and starving Hamas is an Israeli plan that Washington has had to accept” (Editor’s Note Fall 2007 Issue)
    Mr. Freeman, I cannot say whether your dad even holds the views of the publications he published; no one can look into his mind. For all I know he may regularly give money to the JNF and plants new trees in Israel, either way that is not the issue.
    It is your dad’s willingness to push positions contrary to mainstream thinking, and likely U.S. national interests for financial reward that is troubling.
    The Chairman of the National Intelligence Council is like the editor of a journal. He must review edit, add context to and decide what to present in terms of good intelligence. The issue isn’t that your dad may skew reports because of some anti-Israel bias, as I said. we cannot judge that, but what must be considered is that his judgment may be tainted because of a desire to stay in the good graces of the House of Saud for his post-NIC career. As long as we are fighting a global war on Islamic Terrorism, his judgment as a de facto employee of the Saudi Government should be troubling for the citizens and supporters of the United States.
    In recent days, we have learned that your father also has a mercenary attachment to the Chinese government, his position with a Chinese company that skirts the US Embargo Policy toward Iran, or Your Dad’s Emails that indicate that he supported Chinese Human rights violations. Both of these seem to be additional examples of your dad choosing cash over good judgment.
    That lack of judgment in key situations is what motivates me to work so hard to oppose your dad.
    Sammy Benoit

    Reply

  312. alan says:

    Let’s keep this simple; Kirchik and his mentor Peretz are two unapologetic promoters of an American Israel First policy. They will distort any argument to advance that goal. I commend Mr Freeman because he lays out his disagreements with his Father without losing respect for him. I am guessing that Mr Freeman Sr responds in kind.
    There are a hard core of Jews here who have only one interest: US American money and arms to advance their occupation of as much of Palestine as to render a a two state solution untenable. Their patriotism should be called into question.
    When we come to the Senator for Wall Street and Representative Cant(or) we find another two rascals whose prime loyalty should be questioned. Even dual citizens find that they cannot have dual loyalties.

    Reply

  313. Wordie says:

    I arrived here at the Washington Note this morning intending to find Steve’s email so I could ask him to weigh in on the Freeman controversy, so I’m really happy to see this post. Instead of sending an email, I’ll post what I had written here, and I hope that either you, Mr. Freeman, or Steve himself might weigh in on it.
    RE: Freeman’s China comments that have caused such a stir, I read on another blog this comment that appears to put them in another context:
    This analysis of why Freeman’s remarks on China were not, in fact, bizarre, appeared on another blog recently:
    Kirchik grotesquely distorts Freeman’s views regarding the Tiananmen Square massacre, although out of ignorance, aparently, rather than malice. Freeman did not characterize the Chinese government’s response as “overly cautious”, he characterized “the Politburo’s response” as overly cautious. The distinction is critical, because the massacre was the work of Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng, not the Politburo, and indeed represented a repudiation by these party elders of the Politburo’s indecision in the face of the protests. Kirchik, like Jon Chait and various other anti-Freeman jihadists, apparently labor under the misimpression that the massacre was ordered by the Politburo, and therefore Freeman’s “overly cautious” observation a reference to the massacre. However, anyone with even a passing understanding of the events at Tiananmen Square would know that the declaration of martial law two weeks prior to the massacre rendered the Politburo irrelevant, and represented the victory of the hardliners (Deng Xiaoping, Li Peng) over the moderates in the Politburo. Freeman’s views regarding the feckless response of the Politburo for five weeks is hardly controversial or novel. Various historians and scholars have noted, like Freeman, that the Politburo’s indecisiveness (and particularly Zhao Ziyang’s erratic and uncertain response) created the political conditions for the seizure of power by Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng, and as a result the tragic assault on Tiananmen Square. Far from approving of the massacre, these historians, like Freeman, consider the massacre a tragedy and a terrible overreaction by Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng, and fault the Politburo for temporizing while the situation worsened, thereby paving the way for the ascent of the hardliners. Kirchik and Chait should acknowledge their error, and admit that Freeman characterized the Politburo as “overly cautious”, not the hardliners who ordered the massacre after declaring martial law and sidelining the Politburo. [emphasis mine]
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/03/04/jeffgoldberginatlanticcallsmeslander_expert/
    Unfortunately, the comment is from an anonymous poster, apparently reporting what someone else said in the comments section of an article about Freeman at Politico. Here’s a link to the Politico article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/19511.html Also unfortunate is that although a search for the comment on google reveals the link to the Politico article, the comment itself, and in fact the entire comments section, is nowhere to be found at this point (at least I couldn’t find it).
    The possibility that Freeman has been grossly misunderstood on the Tianamen Square Massacre comments seems like something that really ought to be explored further. If the anonymous commenter is accurate, then the stir over the Freeman’s comments is not a valid reason to question his suitability for the intelligence post. I hope you’ll have the time and the interest to look into it.
    I’d also like to add that, given the younger Mr. Freeman’s comments about his father’s propensity to ask inconvenient questions, he sounds like just what’s needed for the intelligence post.
    P.S. I’m hoping my html formatting will work on this blog; if not, my apologies.

    Reply

  314. Franklin says:

    Well said!
    For those who are interested, several good writings about Freeman’s views by Freeman are available at Nieman Watchdog . . .
    http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ask_this.view&askthisid=179
    He sounds like an outstanding pick for NIC chair.

    Reply

  315. DonS says:

    “his detractors . . . are low-lives”
    . . . and they are wrong on the issue, i.e., framed [by clear inference] as an attempt to disqualify an individual for a position based on ABSENCE of primary allegiance to another country. All else is a smoke screen for the true animus of these “low lives”.
    Regardless of whether Freeman’s detractors are reading this, the question is whether the Obama folks are reading, listening, and thinking. The American people would be shocked if they were apprised of this issue. The Obama folks have no such excuse.

    Reply

  316. JohnH says:

    Stephen Walt and Juan Cole chime in:
    “What explains the false claims and overheated rhetoric these pundits employ? Why can’t Chait and his allies represent their opponents’ views accurately, and deploy facts and logic instead of invective and character assassination?”
    http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/03/05/the_best_defense_is_to_be_offensive_a_response_to_chait_goldfarb_and_goldberg
    “A military strategist once said that in order to dominate a population, you must put out its eyes. That is, you have to shut up the people who can see what is really going on. The ultra-nationalist bullyboys are trying to shut up Freeman and Walt, with character assassination and ad hominems and, in Freeman’s case, blackballing.”
    http://www.juancole.com/2009/03/walt-in-defense-of-chas-freeman-why-we.html
    Character assassination, bullying, latter day attempts at McCarthyism–all anathema to democratic society.

    Reply

  317. norman birnbaum says:

    I envy Chas Freeman his son, would hope that my daughters would set aside differences in time of crisis to come to my defense. What many of the Ambassador’s detractors cannot stand is his class–that is, the intellectual and personal sovereignty he acts upon. The detractors, to judge by their behaviour and language, are anxious strivers for the most part. (Schoenfeld is rather intelligent, labored for many years at Commentary and was unfairly passed over by the American Jewish Committee for the editorship.) Now Cantor and Schumer have joined the hunt. Clearly, rumors of Jewish intelligence are in their cases greatly exaggerated. Suppose they do succeed in persuading the President to drop the appointment. Remember, one of the more grotesque lines of defense of the Israel lobby is that it does not exist, that we only confront US citizens exercising their rights to express opinions on matters of policy. It would be difficult should the President capitulate to argue that the lobby is a fiction of conspiracy minded professors. (It would also be difficult for the President to develop a rational Mideast policy, which is why one trusts he will back Admiral Blair, who might indeed resign were his advice disregarded.) And do the antagonists of the Ambassador suppose that his many admirers and friends in the permanent government and the foreign policy community would simply sherug off an ouster of this sort? Each and everyone would think himself or herself at risk. In the circumstances, one could reasonably expect a major counter-attack, and much public discussion of the issue of dual loyalty. Not quite incidentally, what often is unmentioned. American Jews have made great contribution to this, our nation, in the arts,business, culture, education, science, public affairs. The others become “community leaders.” The organisations grouped in the Israel lobby number as members only about a third of American Jewry. Polling and survey data suggest that for a majority of American Jews, their integration in our society is sufficiently strong so that they do not wake up each morning and ask, anxiously, if the Arab hordes have arrived at the Tel Aviv Sheraton.
    It is the more self-encapsulated and ghettoized
    segment of American Jewry that defines itself
    by adherence to the absurd belief, Israel can do no wrong. Take a brilliant and creative legal thinker like Alan Dershowitz, who regresses to moral and psychological infantilism when dealing with the many problems posed by and in the state of Israel. The attack on Chas Freeman, finally, is a substitute for what the lobby wished to do—prevent the appointment of George Mitchell as Mideast envoy. Ambassador Freeman seems an easier target. Let us hope that they are wrong, not least because in the long run, that would be good for the Jews.

    Reply

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