NeoCons Exposed: Voyeurs Listen in to the “Real Stuff” on Trains and Ships

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kristol-3-tm.jpg
THURSDAY, 12 JULY 2007 — 4 pm ACELA/AMTRAK — NEW YORK TO DC
NeoCon High Priest Bill Kristol sits one row behind liberal blog-phenom diva Arianna Huffington and proceeds to chat about his role in nudging and tweaking President Bush’s language.
Huffington reports:

Kristol was sitting a row behind me, talking on his cell phone with someone who apparently shared his optimism. “‘Precipitous withdrawal’ really worked,” I overheard him say, clearly referring to the president’s use of the term in that morning’s press conference. “How many times did he use it? Three? Four?” he asked his interlocutor, and the conversation continued with a round of metaphorical back-slapping for the clever phrase they had “come up with.”
I, of course, have no idea who was on the other end. Tony Snow, perhaps? After all, he and Kristol were colleagues before Snow left Fox. But whoever it was, the emphasis during their conversation on the significance of the “clever” phrase has been emblematic of the White House prepping of the president.
Instead of sending their boss out with the real facts or logical arguments, Bush’s aides and their friends (see Kristol) concoct some nonsense phrase in the spin lab, hand it to him and tell him to go out there and repeat it as often as he can. The latest is “precipitous withdrawal.” It’s the new “cut and run.”
It’s actually not all that new: back in January 1969, Richard Nixon used it again and again in his famous “Silent Majority” speech: “The precipitate withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam would be a disaster not only for South Vietnam but for the United States and for the cause of peace.” Again and again throughout the speech, Nixon used the phrase to paint the nightmarish consequences of a “precipitate withdrawal” from Vietnam.
Almost forty years later, George Bush is using the slightly tweaked “precipitous withdrawal” to paint his own nightmarish scenario of what will happen if American forces leave Iraq. And for that, apparently, we have Bill Kristol to thank. At least partially.

After Arianna’s encounter, Bill Kristol published what many in the reality-based world consider to be one of the single most duplicitous and Orwellian treatments of Bush’s years in office titled “Why Bush Will Be a Winner.”
Kristol writes:

I suppose I’ll merely expose myself to harmless ridicule if I make the following assertion: George W. Bush’s presidency will probably be a successful one.
Let’s step back from the unnecessary mistakes and the self-inflicted wounds that have characterized the Bush administration. Let’s look at the broad forest rather than the often unlovely trees. What do we see? First, no second terrorist attack on U.S. soil — not something we could have taken for granted. Second, a strong economy — also something that wasn’t inevitable.
And third, and most important, a war in Iraq that has been very difficult, but where — despite some confusion engendered by an almost meaningless “benchmark” report last week — we now seem to be on course to a successful outcome.

It’s unbelievable to me that Bill Kristol sees Iraq on a positive course — but clearly part of the game here is to sound reasonable and hold out a glass of half full optimism that scratches into popular hope.
But what about a less-varnished treatment of what Bill Kristol’s crowd thinks. . .
Writer Johann Hari did something I very much want to do which was to embed himself anonymously as a listener and chronicler of neocons talking to their followers on a recent cruise that included many leading neocon personalities (There is another coming up soon with other pugnacious nationalist personalities like John Bolton.)
Here are a number of the gems from Hari’s brilliant cruise ship sleuthing:

. . .A sweet elderly lady from Los Angeles is sitting on the rocks nearby, telling me dreamily about her son. “Is he your only child?” I ask. “Yes,” she says. “Do you have a child back in England?” she asks. No, I say. Her face darkens. “You’d better start,” she says. “The Muslims are breeding. Soon, they’ll have the whole of Europe.”
. . .As [Hillary-Ann] explains the perils of Republican dating, my mind drifts, watching the gentle tide. When I hear her say, ” Of course, we need to execute some of these people,” I wake up. Who do we need to execute? She runs her fingers through the sand lazily. “A few of these prominent liberals who are trying to demoralise the country,” she says. “Just take a couple of these anti-war people off to the gas chamber for treason to show, if you try to bring down America at a time of war, that’s what you’ll get.” She squints at the sun and smiles. ” Then things’ll change.”
. . .There is something strange about this discussion, and it takes me a few moments to realise exactly what it is. All the tropes that conservatives usually deny in public — that Iraq is another Vietnam, that Bush is fighting a class war on behalf of the rich — are embraced on this shining ship in the middle of the ocean. Yes, they concede, we are fighting another Vietnam; and this time we won’t let the weak-kneed liberals lose it. “It’s customary to say we lost the Vietnam war, but who’s ‘we’?” the writer Dinesh D’Souza asks angrily. “The left won by demanding America’s humiliation.” On this ship, there are no Viet Cong, no three million dead. There is only liberal treachery. Yes, D’Souza says, in a swift shift to domestic politics, “of course” Republican politics is “about class. Republicans are the party of winners, Democrats are the party of losers.”
. . .A fracture-line in the lumbering certainty of American conservatism is opening right before my eyes. Following the break, Norman Podhoretz and William Buckley — two of the grand old men of the Grand Old Party — begin to feud. Podhoretz will not stop speaking — “I have lots of ex-friends on the left; it looks like I’m going to have some ex-friends on the right, too,” he rants — and Buckley says to the chair, ” Just take the mike, there’s no other way.” He says it with a smile, but with heavy eyes.
Podhoretz and Buckley now inhabit opposite poles of post-September 11 American conservatism, and they stare at wholly different Iraqs. Podhoretz is the Brooklyn-born, street-fighting kid who travelled through a long phase of left-liberalism to a pugilistic belief in America’s power to redeem the world, one bomb at a time. Today, he is a bristling grey ball of aggression, here to declare that the Iraq war has been “an amazing success.” He waves his fist and declaims: “There were WMD, and they were shipped to Syria … This picture of a country in total chaos with no security is false. It has been a triumph. It couldn’t have gone better.” He wants more wars, and fast. He is “certain” Bush will bomb Iran, and ” thank God” for that.
. . .A few floors away, Podhoretz tells me he is losing his voice, “which will make some people very happy”. Then he croaks out the standard-issue Wolfowitz line about how, after September 11, the United States had to introduce democracy to the Middle East in order to change the political culture that produced the mass murderers. For somebody who declares democracy to be his goal, he is remarkably blase about the fact that 80 per cent of Iraqis want US troops to leave their country, according to the latest polls. “I don’t much care,” he says, batting the question away. He goes on to insist that “nobody was tortured in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo” and that Bush is “a hero”. He is, like most people on this cruise, certain the administration will attack Iran.
Podhoretz excitedly talks himself into a beautiful web of words, vindicating his every position. He fumes at Buckley, George Will and the other apostate conservatives who refuse to see sense. He announces victory. And for a moment, here in the Mexican breeze, it is as though a thousand miles away Baghdad is not bleeding. He starts hacking and coughing painfully. I offer to go to the ship infirmary and get him some throat sweets, and — locked in eternal fighter-mode — he looks thrown, as though this is an especially cunning punch. Is this random act of kindness designed to imbalance him? ” I’m fine,” he says, glancing contemptuously at the Bill Buckley book I am carrying. “I’ll keep on shouting through the soreness.”
. . .The familiar routine of the dinners — first the getting-to-know-you chit-chat, then some light conversational fascism — is accelerating. Tonight there is explicit praise for a fascist dictator before the entree has arrived. I drop into the conversation the news that there are moves in Germany to have Donald Rumsfeld extradited to face torture charges.
A red-faced man who looks like an egg with a moustache glued on grumbles, ” If the Germans think they can take responsibility for the world, I don’t care about German courts. Bomb them.” I begin to witter on about the Pinochet precedent, and Kate snaps, “Treating Don Rumsfeld like Pinochet is disgusting.” Egg Man pounds his fist on the table: ” Treating Pinochet like that is disgusting. Pinochet is a hero. He saved Chile.”
“Exactly,” adds Jim. “And he privatised social security.”
. . .I spot the old lady from the sea looking for her suitcase, and stop to tell her I may have found a solution to her political worries about both Muslims and stem-cells.
“Couldn’t they just do experiments on Muslim stem-cells?” I ask. ” Hey — that’s a great idea!” she laughs, and vanishes. Hillary-Ann stops to say she is definitely going on the next National Review cruise, to Alaska. “Perfect!” I yell, finally losing my mind.
“You can drill it as you go!” She puts her arms around me and says very sweetly, “We need you on every cruise.”
As I turn my back on the ship for the last time, the Judge I met on my first night places his arm affectionately on my shoulder. “We have written off Britain to the Muslims,” he says. “Come to America.”

Listening to what the other side really believes — unvarnished and up front — is important. And many of the folks we have allowed to run the White House share the views that Arianna Huffington and Johann Hari have reported.
Cheney’s wing of the foreign policy establishment which is served by ideological officers outside the administration like Kristol and Podhoretz denies empirical reality and reason.
I had the chance to chat about this Bill Kristol encounter with Arianna Huffington at her Washington home last night at a grand affair of her many blogging and political friends in Washington, and I agreed with her that what she heard Kristol say on the train and what Hari reported from the cruise show that modern neoconservatism has become a reality-denying cult.
And for those who think that the neocons are out and gone — think again. They continue to embed most corners of America’s policy establishment.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

60 comments on “NeoCons Exposed: Voyeurs Listen in to the “Real Stuff” on Trains and Ships

  1. JonU says:

    Neo-conservatism is the pre-eminent threat to our freedoms and to our continued existence as a constitutional republic. The dangers neoconservatism poses is far greater than any other political or religious movement in the world today.

    Reply

  2. MP says:

    I saw that cartoon. Very funny…and oh so true.
    Given my species, folks are regularly surprised at my apparent literacy.

    Reply

  3. MP says:

    You’re welcome. I’m pretty sure, based on her comments, that Carroll is a woman–but maybe you’re making a joke here that I’m not getting. Sorry!

    Reply

  4. Sandy says:

    Hmmm, I’m quite sure Carroll is a dude (as in his last name). 🙂
    But then you admitted you like to read Marky (yourself)…so maybe I’m just confused…. grin
    Anyhow, thanks for answering.

    Reply

  5. MP says:

    Yes, Sandy, I too enjoy our exchanges. I’ll try to respond to your post above, as follows…
    “MP, respectfully submitted, I just believe that however reasoned the points you are making seem to you to be, it is (understandably) no doubt impossible for you to see — completely objectively — the truth of what Carroll has said about the arguments made here about the AIPAC, Neo-conservatives, radical right-wingers, et al. You seem…. automatically….(it seems to me) to feel the need to make some defense for them (AIPAC, et al) as …NOT REALLY…having had any different role …or influence…politically than any other lobbying group. And, sorry, that just isn’t true.
    ME: The point I’m making about AIPAC is the same point that MW have made, and which I’ve quoted. There are lots of differences among AIPAC and other lobbying groups, but I would submit not in their “mechanism of action,” as it were, how they influence policymakers. Maybe MW will outline this in their book. But I’ve yet to see anyone here refute this point, expect by trying to bring in the espionage and the unsubstantiated point that AIPAC is a “foreign agent.” BTW, this argument has to go beyond AIPAC, because it is just one member of “the lobby.”
    As I’ve tried to say many times, I object to AIPAC’s perspective; but I think you have to fight them on the demerits of their policies and how they are bad for the US (primarily) and also for Israel. The argument that they “control” US foreign policy in the ME really only leads to the need for Congress to show some gumption. I fail to see how AIPAC can stop them if they do. McCollum is a very good case in point. Even MJ has said that AIPAC has no means to defeat anyone at the polls, except in the way that all lobbying groups do–by giving money to contenders.
    I said once that I don’t believe in “victims”. I don’t. So, to the extent that you say no one FORCES others to align with them (AIPAC, et al)….they could choose not to….you are right.
    ME: This is one of my key points, yes.
    However, when a country has set in place all the governing characteristics of FASCISM…as this one has…people tend to behave a bit differently than they do when the laws and rules are actually enforced and mean something. When “justice” isn’t just some remote ideal. When the Constitution is more powerful than the latest manipulator-in-chief (Bush-Cheney with their “brain” Rove). With fascism comes fear….because the “rules” no longer hold. Money and power talk much louder than they might otherwise have done. Blackmail IS useful to those who are power-hungry.
    ME: Okay, I think I get your point. But where is the blackmail? That would suggest that AIPAC has “dirt” on a majority of Congress. What dirt? And if there is this dirt, why or how is it that AIPAC and “the lobby” alone possess this dirt and wield it for blackmail?
    In these times where fear abounds, it is also our duty not to spread with broad and vague accusations. And frankly, the notion that Jews are “pulling the strings” is one of the vaguest, least substantiated, and most dangerous around. LOTS of people are prepared to believe all sorts of things about the Jews,l much of it contradictory–we’re commies, we’re international bankers.
    There are many similarities now in this country and what is happening….to Germany…when Hitler took hold. Ironically.
    It is not at all clear yet how it will all shake out. But many thoughtful, informed people are afraid.
    ME: I agree with this.
    Finally, as I believe Carroll is saying, he isn’t defending Bush and Cheney, WASPS, for their actions…just BECAUSE they are WASPS.
    ME: No, and I never thought she was. My points about WASPS were two: 1) Why are we blaming the Jews–e.g., Iraq is a war for Israel–when, in fact, WASPS hold the principal levers of power? Sure, AIPAC deserves part of the blame, has some influence, even a lot of influence–but who really has his hands on the wheel? 2) The second point is really about one’s self-awareness as being part of a group. If you’re in the majority, you aren’t likely to see yourself as part of an endangered group, or even as part of a group at all.
    And, so, it is surprising why you always seem to feel the need to defend — cause that IS how it sounds from where I sit — those Jewish people who also happen to be neo-cons, et al. Why is that?
    ME: This is a big question; but suffice it to say, that a minority will almost always feel some need to defend itself in ways that are irrelevant to the majority, or dominant, group. I, in NO WAY, defend the actions or views of Kristol et al. But I am on guard against intimations of conspiracy theories that say, in essence, “This cabal of Jews is controlling things.” Then, you’re going to have to show me in black and white. Otherwise, I’m going to say to you, “Kristol et al are Americans with bad ideas who have done bad things to this country and the world.” If you insist on the conspiracy–citing their ethnicity, their dual citizenship, their belief in Zionism, etc.–then I am totally in my guard.
    You may not have noticed, but often you skip right past some very key points and go on to make other, often easier-to-make, points. You may not even be aware of it.
    ME: No doubt. That happens a lot on these threads, yes? People respond to the points they want to respond to, but not to others. Carroll also does this to me, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. But if there are points, YOU want me to address, which you think I’ve skipped over, just ask, and I’ll try.
    I always do read your posts, because they make me think…and check/question myself about what I’m saying…believing…doing.
    ME: Cool. Me too. You, Carroll, Marky, POA have made me think a lot.
    I’m glad you hang in there. But, what Carroll said is exactly what exists right now with this crazy right-wing, power-mad bunch in the White House…and too much of Congress.
    ME: I’ll skip over this comment, only because it is a summary statement, and I’m disputing a lot of what Carroll says–though not all of it. I do try to give her her due.

    Reply

  6. Sandy says:

    July 10, 2007
    http://www.counterpunch.com/kroth07102007.html
    “Whatever AIPAC Wants, AIPAC Gets”
    Democratic Defectors and the Israel Lobby
    By JERRY KROTH
    “In November, the American electorate repudiated Bush’s Iraq debacle and established Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate promising to bring this “flawed policy wrapped in illusion” to a decisive end. Bush vetoed their withdrawal timetable, but voters urged their leaders to hold the line and not be bullied. In the end, though, 37 Democratic senators capitulated and gratuitously gave the President his $100 billion no-strings- attached blank check . . . enough money to pay tuition and fees for 1.3 million college students for four solid years!….” excerpt

    Reply

  7. Sandy says:

    Carroll, your post at 2:16 was excellent. Thank you.
    MP, respectfully submitted, I just believe that however reasoned the points you are making seem to you to be, it is (understandably) no doubt impossible for you to see — completely objectively — the truth of what Carroll has said about the arguments made here about the AIPAC, Neo-conservatives, radical right-wingers, et al. You seem…. automatically….(it seems to me) to feel the need to make some defense for them (AIPAC, et al) as …NOT REALLY…having had any different role …or influence…politically than any other lobbying group. And, sorry, that just isn’t true.
    I said once that I don’t believe in “victims”. I don’t. So, to the extent that you say no one FORCES others to align with them (AIPAC, et al)….they could choose not to….you are right.
    However, when a country has set in place all the governing characteristics of FASCISM…as this one has…people tend to behave a bit differently than they do when the laws and rules are actually enforced and mean something. When “justice” isn’t just some remote ideal. When the Constitution is more powerful than the latest manipulator-in-chief (Bush-Cheney with their “brain” Rove). With fascism comes fear….because the “rules” no longer hold. Money and power talk much louder than they might otherwise have done. Blackmail IS useful to those who are power-hungry.
    There are many similarities now in this country and what is happening….to Germany…when Hitler took hold. Ironically.
    It is not at all clear yet how it will all shake out. But many thoughtful, informed people are afraid.
    Finally, as I believe Carroll is saying, he isn’t defending Bush and Cheney, WASPS, for their actions…just BECAUSE they are WASPS. And, so, it is surprising why you always seem to feel the need to defend — cause that IS how it sounds from where I sit — those Jewish people who also happen to be neo-cons, et al. Why is that?
    You may not have noticed, but often you skip right past some very key points and go on to make other, often easier-to-make, points. You may not even be aware of it.
    I always do read your posts, because they make me think…and check/question myself about what I’m saying…believing…doing.
    I’m glad you hang in there. But, what Carroll said is exactly what exists right now with this crazy right-wing, power-mad bunch in the White House…and too much of Congress.

    Reply

  8. mp says:

    Good post, Carroll. I like it. Just a couple of comments (of course!).
    “What is under discussion right here, right now, in this current time, is the political abberation in this country of some jews with a overriding interest in a foreign country minipulating US policy by political influence in congress in way that the majority..yes the majority citizens…do not and would not agree with.”
    Whether you run around with WASPS or not (good one!) I would still caution you on assuming you know what the majority wants or would want. It’s a false move. As a member of a tiny group (by comparison) I’m NEVER on firm ground when I assume I know how a majority of my tribe will think or act. Too fractious. Sure, they tend to be liberal. They tend to support Israel. But a lot of them aren’t liberal, and bunch don’t support Israel (and are proud of that fact).
    As to “manipulating” Congress, I look forward to MW’s book. It will be interesting to see how they think this thing works, the mechanics of it. They are already on record–as I’ve posted here–that AIPAC acts the way every other lobby acts. Legally and within the confines of the current American political system. They are different in that they are more effective. That’s MW talking.
    (To me, the espionage trial is very important, but a separate point. How passing information to Israel helps AIPAC convince/manipulate the Congress to do anything is beyond me. Mossad must have a LOT of dirt on a lot of Congress people. POA’s constant point about how AIPAC lies on its site–and then takes down and doesn’t archive those lies–is laughable in about five directions. Let’s take two or three or four: 1) AIPAC’s is hardly the only site to post false information. Big deal. How many people believe what they read in the paper, let alone on the AIPAC site? 2) How many regular folks read the AIPAC site? 3) How many people read ONLY the AIPAC site and are taken in by their arguments? 4) If AIPAC takes down and doesn’t archive their lies, doesn’t that mean their lies get LESS exposure, not more? Normally, people complain about the truth being suppressed. But POA and EE complain when lies are suppressed.)
    “Manipulation” really suggests that AIPAC et al get Congress people to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do, or might not even WANT to do. I’m not at all sure that’s true. And here you do brush up against age-old notions of Jews as puppet masters, controlling the course of events, with the poor, clueless and powerless gentiles unable to cut the strings attached to their every move.
    There has been at least one study that shows that money has a negligible affect on how Congress people vote. And that lobbyists give most of their money to Reps who already agree with them on XYZ. In other words, money doesn’t change someone from being anti-Israel to being pro-Israel. But since there is only so much time in the day, it does have an effect on priorities. So, if Israel is number 10 on a to-do list of 20 items, it gets moved up to number 3. But the person was still pro-Israel to begin with. And this works the same way with virtually ALL the issues, where lobbyists are involved.
    Carroll writes: “If these Jews want to play the political game to benefit Israel then they can expect to come under fire……actually they made a huge mistake in their agressive anti-semite sluring of critics of their agenda becuase when they did that they really made it “about the jews” instead of leaving the debate in the foreign policy realm. And why did they do that…cover it with anti-Semitism? Because their agenda for the US and Israel won’t pass the smell test on it’s merits alone.”
    Yes; anyone with a position should expect to come under fire–including you and me and Jimmy Carter, but especially those in power or with big names. Yes; polluting discussion of our proper relation with Israel with charges of anti-Semitism does make the discussion about “Jews” instead of about the issues. Wrong. And counterproductive.
    Unfortunately, though, the argument against Israel IS not infrequently anti-Semitic and imbued with all kinds of double standards. Saudi Arabia voting for the UN resolution Zionism = Racism is one good example. The way “zionism” per se is now used as a slur–when in fact it is a movement representing the legitimate aspirations of a people for self-determination and, in that sense, is no different than Palestinian nationalism–is another example.
    So it is sometimes tough to separate things out. And those with legitimate arguments against Israel tend not to turn down the help of the David Dukes of the world. GRG is a good example, right here on these threads. But I agree, Foxman et al have often made fools of themselves and hurt their own cause.
    Whether it won’t pass the smell test on its own is debatable, as I’ve suggested above. Many, many people around the world have recognized the justice of a Jewish State, especially in the face of centuries of oppression, but not only for this reason. You debate the existence or the cause of this oppression; but many, many others, Jew and gentile, recognize it for what it is and has been. I think you’re blind on this point, but let’s not argue.
    Some people, even you, have claimed that causes without merit or without support are known by their big lobbying efforts. In other words, if the cause had merit or support (something that’s unfortunately conflated), there wouldn’t be the need for a big lobbying effort, would there?
    This is a false argument on both fronts. To pick an easy example: advertising campaigns for Ford vehicles. Millions spent every year. Ford is a household name. Has been for generations. Some families only buy Fords. It was the first and, for a while, the ONLY American car worth talking about. And yet, Ford–and all major brands–still feel the need to “argue” for their brands. And of course the automakers have big lobbying arms too. But advertising is, in effect, public lobbying for sales. You’d think the car would speak for itself, but no one acts this way. No brand would DREAM of not advertising, massively.
    And it should be obvious without argument that the presence of a lobbying effort says nothing about the merit of the cause. Many, many worthwhile causes go begging for support by Congress and by the public at large. Similarly, the presence of a strong lobbying effort–take the NAACP or the Children’s Defense Fund–doesn’t mean that the cause isn’t worthwhile.

    Reply

  9. Carroll says:

    Posted by MP at July 20, 2007 05:07 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    Here is the problem with your arguement and why this discussion goes round and round…
    When I speak of the jews and americans conflicting I am speaking of the organized right wing jews mentioned in the conflicts above.
    But when you speak of this you want to talk about it in the context of ALL the jews or try to defend/explain all jews, the whole ethnic group on their history, …when the whole ethnic/religious group is not what is under discussion or attack. It seems like you are taking too big a stake in this and making it personal to your jewishness when it’s not about you as a individual jew or the entire group of jews.
    You evidently have a thing for your ethnic class, me being a WASP I don’t really have a thing for my fellow WASP..I will happily slap them around, call them names and put them down when I think they are wrong. I certainly don’t defend or excuse what we WASP did to the blacks in this country, I condemn it. I condemn a lot of things the US and European WASP class has done around the world.
    When I point out the bad jewish “leaders” who are doing bad thing politically “because of” their jewish whatever Israeli thing or political aims for Israel… You want to talk about All jews as a whole class.
    However when it comes to the American mind I probably have more of a grasp on American thinking because I am, as you say, a American WASP and run around with WASP and know what and how WASP think. LOL
    You can bash disgusting trashy WASP like Bush and Cheney and the other assholy WASP all you want I don’t care..I don’t identify with them just because they are “my kind” or WASP..you can bash the German’s and European WASP too….you can talk about how gentiles victimized the jews for centuries till the cows come home..I don’t care, it doesn’t offend me or theaten me or make me defend the gentiles because they are members of my tribe. I have called this adm and the WASP trash and gentiles in it every name I have called the zionist trash for their support of the immoral occupation of Palestine.
    What is under discussion right here, right now, in this current time, is the political abberation in this country of some jews with a overriding interest in a foreign country minipulating US policy by political influence in congress in way that the majority..yes the majority citizens…do not and would not agree with.
    If these Jews want to play the political game to benefit Israel then they can expect to come under fire……actually they made a huge mistake in their agressive anti-semite sluring of critics of their agenda becuase when they did that they really made it “about the jews” instead of leaving the debate in the foreign policy realm. And why did they do that…cover it with anti-semitism? Because their agenda for the US and Israel won’t pass the smell test on it’s merits alone.

    Reply

  10. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “Well.. first I doubt the large percentage of evangelicals that their leaders claim..they don’t to be large to have a loud voice, the jews are only 2% of the population and they are loud too…all either have to have is be unitified into a political “niche”. But irregardless we all know why the jews and evangelicals have politically adopted each others cause, so trying to play off the evangelicals to justify the jews, or visa versa is just see sawing.
    Could be…but I’m sure you’ve seen those mega-churches.
    As for the no conflict you see. I remember commenting on Richardson when he made the admission that he had been slow and loath to condemn Gonzales at first despite he was the worst and probably criminal AG we have ever had because he was “one of his kind”. Richardson admitted his faulty thinking in at first putting ethnic identification above objective thinking about the US interest in the Justice Department. So there is nothing I can do about your thinking on no conflicts.
    Yes, that is a trap ethnic groups can fall into, but not a serious one, IMO. And it’s correctible. Lots of black folk are pulling for Barack Obama, but a lot of them will vote for Hillary, too. I doubt that many Jews would support Lieberman for President because of what he’s become. So yes, ethnic groups do want “one of their own” to make it, for obvious reasons.
    One of the mistakes WASPs (quite understandably) make is to think they aren’t “a group,” but are “just Americans.” That is the nature of being a majority. You don’t think you have an “accent” because you can’t hear it. All but one President has been a Protestant and, for one reason or another, Protestants have always voted “for their own.” It just doesn’t come up as a question, because Protestants, until recently, had SUCH a big headstart in the public and private realms, and others were barred from entry by law or attitude, that no one BUT a Protestant was seen as a serious candidate. Is there a conflict of interest at work when only WASPs get a shot at the title? Well, I’m not sure they always did such a good job of representing ALL the people–do you?
    Except to point out……..
    Obviously there is a conflict when so many Americans object to the 2 -3 billion + untold billion dollar loans and grants the taxpayers give to Israel every year for “security” even if the money goes back to US arms industry. It’s still taxpayer money out of taxpayer pockets spent on Israel and an occupation that Americans don’t approve of that could be better spent here or elsewhere.
    HOW MANY Americans don’t approve? Put another way, how many Americans want aid to Israel stopped? I would favor using the leverage of aid to bring folks to the table.
    Obviously there is a conflict when 70% or better of america is opposed to further attacks in the ME like on Iran and our own military is warning against it… While jewish orgs lobby congress and Israeli officials tour the US trying to get the US to attack Iran with total disregard of the majority American opinon and our own American military leaders.
    Then I’d have to say that there is a huge conflict when the top leaders of this administration–all Protestants–aren’t following the will of the people. Similarly, when a Congress–also largely Christian–doesn’t follow the will of the people. I see nothing ESPECIALLY wrong, when some Jews do the same.
    Obviously there is a conflict when we have uber zionist and jewish congressmen in the US house calling a former US president like Carter a anti-semite because his book gives an accurate picture of the Isr-Pal problem.
    They are entitled to their opinion, as am I. Do they have to lie down for Carter because he’s a former President? They can’t call ’em like they see ’em, just like POA? I suppose Carter could call them “uber zionists” back. As to whether the book is accurate, or wholly accurate, that is a point of debate. I welcomed Carter’s book, but I don’t mistake it for the Bible, old or new, and I’m sure he’d agree. And, to be fair, these ubers have hardly succeeded in shutting Carter up or preventing his book from being published or sold.
    Obviously there is a conflict when we have organized uber zionist groups and individuals undermining US education, smearing and trying to censor academics and universities, having speakers banned from campuses, even non zionist jewish speakers to prevent open education and differing views in the US on the ME.
    I agree–academic freedom and no to Horowitz and friends. However, “undermining US education” is way overblown, IMO. (Americans’ anti-intellecutal basis, here best represented by POA, has done far more damage to US education.) I would assert that faculties at all the major universities are overwhelmingly progressive and even hostile to conservative faculty, if they are hostile to anyone. They are also overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian. In my admittedly limited experience, Arab Studies departments are much bigger and better funded than Jewish Studies departments. Certainly that was true at my alma mater, Georgetown, which churns many, many foreign service and public policy types. Huge amounts of dough pours into those disciplines. So while there are attempts at censorship–and some success–the reality is they aren’t making much of a dent.
    Obviously there is a conflict with American freedom of speech and the Jews when jewish elements threaten and use their influence with publishers as in the case of Walt and Mearshimers Lobby paper that was refused by the Atlantic as too controverisal and had to be published in the London Review instead.
    Censorship has a long and “noble” history in America. It isn’t as if this is the first or even worst example of it, such that, American freedom of speech is suddenly under fire by Jews. The fact that M&W had trouble publishing isn’t good–I would oppose its censorship. But this was hardly a heavy assault on freedom of speech. Our good Protestant leadership is doing much more in this regard than a few Jews pissed off about a paper which, despite the “ban,” is universally available and will soon be followed by a 500-page book. So pitting Jews against fundamental American freedoms and principles, as if the former don’t care, or are trying to undermine, the latter is ridiculous.
    Obviously there is a conflict when so many christians object on moral grounds to the Israeli occupation of Palestine that American churches officially organize to boycott companies involved in the Isralei occupation.
    Then again, many Christians don’t object and, in fact, favor it. But here you are assuming that Christianity is the American religion, while Judaism (or Islam or Hinduism) is not. Put another way, there is no reason why Jews need to fall in line with the way Christians think and feel. We’re not here at your pleasure, sorry.
    Obviously there is a conflict when AIPAC persons like the two arrested for passing classified info are doing it in secret..if it were acknowledged that there was nothing wrong with Israel having access to our information there would have been no need for spying. Obviously the FBI which is charged with protecing us from domestic enemies thinks there is a line between Israel and the US when obviously many jews do not so there they are in direct conflict with a Federal Security agency.
    I won’t defend AIPACers or their policy positions. But it’s worth noting that two people have been charged and haven’t been convicted. Innocent until proven guilty is still an American value, yes? It’s also worth noting that AIPAC is not being tried; so it’s quite possible that AIPAC does a lot of legal and legitimate work (from the FBI’s point of view), even if its former leaders spied. Moreover, the purity of the FBI is a weak reed to stand on. The FBI is notorious for a LOT of unAmerican dirty tricks, past and present, against Americans of all stripes, including many Jews. MLK was one of their main targets, and I’m sure there were many good Americans at the time who felt that, in doing so, the FBI was “protecting us against a domestic enemy.” The FBI has tried, and succeeded, in ruining a lot of American lives–is that a value you support?
    As long as some Jews are politically minipulating the US to use the resources of ALL Americans for Israel there will be a conflict.
    If a majority of Americans didn’t see these things as conflicts in America we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.
    I would be careful about trying to talk for the “majority.” Rhetorically, it’s a way of asserting what you need to prove. Moreover, saying that “as long as some Jews” are doing some bad things there is going to be conflict is simply to erect a double standard for Jewish and non-Christian malfactors. It is the basis of a certain kind of anti-Semitism. However you slice it, you end up saying that the former is worse than the latter despite identical behaviors.
    To end the conflict is simple….jews and other individuals or groups can support Israel or any other foreign country all they want to…as long as they don’t involve or use this country and the US government and other Americans against our own best interest or the majority will.
    See my note above about assuming you know what the majority wants or believes is “in our own best interest.”

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    In any event, most Jews see no contradiction or conflict of interest in being loyal Americans and supporting Israel or other Jewish communities around the world.
    Posted by MP at July 20, 2007 10:57 AM
    >>>>>>>>>
    Well.. first I doubt the large percentage of evangelicals that their leaders claim..they don’t to be large to have a loud voice, the jews are only 2% of the population and they are loud too…all either have to have is be unitified into a political “niche”. But irregardless we all know why the jews and evangelicals have politically adopted each others cause, so trying to play off the evangelicals to justify the jews, or visa versa is just see sawing.
    As for the no conflict you see. I remember commenting on Richardson when he made the admission that he had been slow and loath to condemn Gonzales at first despite he was the worst and probably criminal AG we have ever had because he was “one of his kind”. Richardson admitted his faulty thinking in at first putting ethnic identification above objective thinking about the US interest in the Justice Department.
    So there is nothing I can do about your thinking on no conflicts.
    Except to point out……..
    Obviously there is a conflict when so many Americans object to the 2 -3 billion + untold billion dollar loans and grants the taxpayers give to Israel every year for “security” even if the money goes back to US arms industry. It’s still taxpayer money out of taxpayer pockets spent on Israel and an occupation that Americans don’t approve of that could be better spent here or elsewhere.
    Obviously there is a conflict when 70% or better of america is opposed to further attacks in the ME like on Iran and our own military is warning against it… While jewish orgs lobby congress and Israeli officials tour the US trying to get the US to attack Iran with total disregard of the majority American opinon and our own American military leaders.
    Obviously there is a conflict when we have uber zionist and jewish congressmen in the US house calling a former US president like Carter a anti-semite because his book gives an accurate picture of the Isr-Pal problem.
    Obviously there is a conflict when we have organized uber zionist groups and individuals undermining US education, smearing and trying to censor academics and universities, having speakers banned from campuses, even non zionist jewish speakers to prevent open education and differing views in the US on the ME.
    Obviously there is a conflict with American freedom of speech and the Jews when jewish elements threaten and use their influence with publishers as in the case of Walt and Mearshimers Lobby paper that was refused by the Atlantic as too controverisal and had to be published in the London Review instead.
    Obviously there is a conflict when so many christians object on moral grounds to the Israeli occupation of Palestine that American churches officially organize to boycott companies involved in the Isralei occupation.
    Obviously there is a conflict when AIPAC persons like the two arrested for passing classified info are doing it in secret..if it were acknowledged that there was nothing wrong with Israel having access to our information there would have been no need for spying. Obviously the FBI which is charged with protecing us from domestic enemies thinks there is a line between Israel and the US when obviously many jews do not so there they are in direct conflict with a Federal Security agency.
    As long as some Jews are politically minipulating the US to use the resources of ALL Americans for Israel there will be a conflict.
    If a majority of Americans didn’t see these things as conflicts in America we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.
    To end the conflict is simple….jews and other individuals or groups can support Israel or any other foreign country all they want to…as long as they don’t involve or use this country and the US government and other Americans against our own best interest or the majority will.

    Reply

  12. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “I didn’t say they were “less bad”. They are same but with different motivations. You started off asking why the difference in condemning jewish groups like AIPAC more than/or not condemning evangelicals groups for the same thing, people calling them traitors and etc.”
    But the evangelicals aren’t called traitors or dualists or spies. I think that is an important difference. It is based on assumption that one group are real Americans and the other group is not. As to motivations, I would have to say that the Jewish perception that Israel’s survival is an important component in Jewish survival –even if the risk is overblown–is a bit more rational than the second coming of Christ. But, hey, that’s just me.
    And I said I though if there was a difference it was because of the self identification factor of jews with a foreign country in an ethnic/nationality way as opposed to the evangelicals who are considered US nutcases even though their activities may be the same.”
    That’s a pretty large percentage of Americans you’re calling nutcases. They are hardly fringe, in the sense of being a small minority. They have a big voice in American politics. In any event, most Jews see no contradiction or conflict of interest in being loyal Americans and supporting Israel or other Jewish communities around the world. Supporting the fight of Soviet Jewry in no way conflicted with our duties as American citizens.

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  13. Carroll says:

    Moreover, again, you have to show WHY the SAME policies are somehow less bad or less anti-American if they are espoused by one group instead of another. That is, if Jerry Falwell says it, it’s bad, but not AS BAD as if AIPAC says it.”
    >>>>>>>>>
    I didn’t say they were “less bad”. They are same but with different motivations. You started off asking why the difference in condemning jewish groups like AIPAC more than/or not condemning evangelicals groups for the same thing, people calling them traitors and etc.
    And I said I though if there was a difference it was because of the self identification factor of jews with a foreign country in an ethnic/nationality way as opposed to the evangelicals who are considered US nutcases even though their activities may be the same.
    I can’t comment on the anti-semitism thing you think is prevelant or spouting again except to say I don’t see true anti-semitism, as in “hating jews” for being jewish. I see resentment and disgust with “some jews” as in AIPAC which I think is justified considering what they are doing. People talked the same way about communist back when. Coulter calls for killing liberals, others call for killing all the Muslims.
    Any “group” that puts themselves in the fight over America, whether they are jewish or liberal or right wing or evangelical or whatever is going to be attacked by the other side, it goes with the territory.
    All I know is we have a convergence of a US neo adm and Jewish-Israeli neo agendas pushing us where the majority of Americans don’t want to go and we are going to have a hell of a fight to put a stop to it and reclaim our country.
    If some people get hurt by being labeled anti-semites and some jews get the hebbies jebbies when the uber Jews are attacked…well, we are all just gonna have to live with these slings and arrows till it is settled one way or another.

    Reply

  14. MP says:

    Posted by Carroll at July 19, 2007 04:14 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Moreover, again, you have to show WHY the SAME policies are somehow less bad or less anti-American if they are espoused by one group instead of another. That is, if Jerry Falwell says it, it’s bad, but not AS BAD as if AIPAC says it.
    The problem with your two-way street analysis is that most of the traffic runs in one direction. You don’t accept this; I understand. But let’s move the context…
    To be sure, there are bigoted black Americans–black folks who irrationally hate white folks. And there are black folks who cry racism if you look at them funny. However, when you look at our society, and the relatively recent history of our society, there is no question that the hatred–and the power to burden others with that hatred–moved overwhelmingly from white to black.
    So it isn’t irrational at all for blacks to talk about the racism inherent in American society and the harm and harmful effects they still suffer from it. Nevertheless, they are sometimes wrong when they throw the charge. They are sometimes wrong to blame their situation on it.
    Similarly, it has been wrong for the Jewish establishment to throw around the anti-Semitism charge to stifle debate. But, in fact the phenomenom is very real, has been and still is very harmful to Jews and–like blacks–they tend to be (at least here) overly sensitive about it, but not for reasons that aren’t without basis.
    Take GoRonGo: He skips from AIPAC to Hollywood to Wall Street with the greatest of ease. After we eliminate AIPAC from its perch of influence, are we then goinig to get the Jews out of Hollywood or off the Street? What about our healthcare crisis? No one would argue that there aren’t a whole lotta Jewish doctors. Or lawyers for that matter–trial lawyers, if you want to be blunt. You can watch the virus spread in the TWN petri dish.

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  15. Carroll says:

    “But if So and So starts picking on me because of what AIPAC does or represents because they claim to represent all Jews, then that’s HIS anti-Semitism, not mine.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Then you need to make clear you are speaking “only” of those people who are targeting you because you are a jew or hispanic, otherwise you are practicing the same xenophobia you are talking about.
    Also let me say that from my observation it was the ethnic groups who first threw down the bigot charges to push their agendas. They inserted it into their cause..”american against browns, americans against jews, etc.etc…therefore they must assume some responsibility for it.
    Xenophobia is a two way street when you try to apply it accross the board.

    Reply

  16. MP says:

    Posted by Carroll at July 19, 2007 02:31 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sorry; I can’t agree.
    If you stick to arguing the policies, you’re on firm ground. There’s a way to argue back and forth; come to agreement, at least potentially. But if So and So starts picking on me because of what AIPAC does or represents because they claim to represent all Jews, then that’s HIS anti-Semitism, not mine.
    The same thing goes for Hispanics. “Open borders” was, or should have been, a policy debate. Folks who start hating Mexicans in general, or taking their hate out of the closet, however, are haters and have to assume responsibility for their own ill-conceived hate. Spreading the “debate” to the entire group is a form of hatred and bigotry-yes.
    This isn’t to say that one shouldn’t expect certain hateful attitudes to crop up or grow because of XYZ. That’s why, when OK was bombed, all Muslim Americans (I guarantee) held their breath praying it wasn’t a Muslim. But that doesn’t JUSTIFY the hate. And had it been a Muslim, the hate wouldn’t have been any more justified because of it.

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    Carroll writes: “And I say completely without rancor that it is going to have to be the Jews that change their thinking/direction for the simple reason that in the end no population of a country today is going to give or cede too much influence regarding their country for very long when it is perceived that an important aspect of it’s policy is directed by a certain group, any group, for any reason, that is tied to a foreign country.”
    No; it is people who support BAD POLICIES who must change their thinking or be defeated at the polls and in public debate. Everything else is simply giving in to xenophobia, not a pretty sight for a country YOU care about and which supposedly stands for very different ideals.
    Posted by MP at July 19, 2007 11:36 AM
    >>>>>>>>
    Trust me, any group who has organized around their ethnic identity and also around a foreign interest has built in their own xenophobia…particulary when they claim representation of their entire ethnic group. After all it is they who claim this not the public in general. ..so it’s not an xenophobia created by the public at large.
    What you call xenophobia, which is just another way of saying bigot or anti-semite, might be rising where it concerns jews because of current issues and the voice of AIPAC, or where it concerns Hispanics because of the immigration issue.
    Because the “identity politics” practiced by the politicans and these groups themselves creates a push back from the public.
    So I don’t know that I would call that push back xenophobia….labeling it as xenophobia is an easy out like anti-semitic and just another way of squashing the objections of Americans to having certain policies that affect all American run by this kind of identity rule. We saw this during the immigration run up..everyone who objected to open borders was a “bigot” because it was about brown hispanics…everyone who objects to the AIPAC lobby movement is an anti-semite because it is about jews.
    It ain’t that simple.

    Reply

  18. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “In the case of the Jews it’s the fact that it introduces a “foreign country or interest” namely Israel into the fight over American policy. Whereas the “traitor” swordfights between liberals and rethugs and et al are seen as “internal” fights between Americans over America’s policy. It’s the “other country” foreign thing that sets the Jews apart in the arguements.”
    Yes, however, non-Jews support the SAME POLICIES, which are the crux of the matter. And it is non-Jews–Cheney and his minions, Bush and his minions, Rumsfeld and his minions–who have their hands on the levers of power–who have the actual POWER to send troops here or there.
    Carroll writes: “And I say completely without rancor that it is going to have to be the Jews that change their thinking/direction for the simple reason that in the end no population of a country today is going to give or cede too much influence regarding their country for very long when it is perceived that an important aspect of it’s policy is directed by a certain group, any group, for any reason, that is tied to a foreign country.”
    No; it is people who support BAD POLICIES who must change their thinking or be defeated at the polls and in public debate. Everything else is simply giving in to xenophobia, not a pretty sight for a country YOU care about and which supposedly stands for very different ideals.

    Reply

  19. Carroll says:

    Posted by MP at July 18, 2007 06:28 PM
    >>>>>>>>>
    Yep.. everyone throws around the traitor thing these days, I think this adm and repubs started using it on lefties first but it has now become sort of a standard insult suitable for every occasion. Traitor has become a catch all phase instead of a legal charge now being used to describe those who we think aren’t acting in America’s interest.
    I will try a short(er) answer to the why the difference in the treatment of jews who support the same (bad) policy some american non jews support.
    In the case of the Jews it’s the fact that it introduces a “foreign country or interest” namely Israel into the fight over American policy.
    Whereas the “traitor” swordfights between liberals and rethugs and et al are seen as “internal” fights between Americans over America’s policy.
    If..several ifs…but if the Jews were involved in the foreign policy battle stricly as just another political group and not identified with a “foreign” country like Israel which has a lose-gain stake in American policy no one would probably even be mentioning the Jews or at most would put them on the same par as other assorted political issue groups.
    It’s the “other country” foreign thing that sets the Jews apart in the arguements.
    And of course the AIPAC orgs promote this concept.
    Now other people like lobbist and politicans do this too, usually for money, but they are not linked to a particular group in the way Jews are…it’s accepted that they are assorted individuals who do it for the money most of the time.
    My contention about the AIPAC Jews has always been that they are self deluded about the line between America and Israel because they have been allowed to believe in that exceptionalism thing that Jews can have two loyalties and two countries because of their history and have a right to use American resources and politics for their “other” country despite the wishes or will of the majority of rest of Americans. And I know the arguement that Jews “have to” do this to protect themselves…but the “old” carnad of jews being a nation within a nation becomes the “new” carnad of jews within a nation but “of another” nation playing out now in our politics and history repeats itself over and over in the same thought patterns of jews and non jews. And I say completely without rancor that it is going to have to be the Jews that change their thinking/direction for the simple reason that in the end no population of a country today is going to give or cede too much influence regarding their country for very long when it is perceived that an important aspect of it’s policy is directed by a certain group, any group, for any reason, that is tied to a foreign country.
    For a sort of related study on that you should read the book on Mussolini’s Italy, the regular Italian population was the most ungovernable ever and least compliant with the whole German-Mussolini thing in their country because they regarded it mainly as a foreign influence/takeover and subversion of their country and goverment. It was the prevelant Italian distain for the “German” thing that prevented Mussolini from at first turning over Italian jews to Germany. Considering how the Italians hung Mussolini in the end I would say they were more than a little royally pissed at the intertwining of Germany and Italy.

    Reply

  20. MP says:

    Posted by Carroll at July 18, 2007 03:12 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I see your point, but…
    The question of loyalty and disloyalty has been broached not in terms of an Ultimate Israel vs the US battle, but in terms of current policy. In other words, those arguing that AIPACers and neocons are disloyal Americans are doing so based on what is currently happening, current policy, not if push comes to shove and the two countries go to war with each other.
    And, in fact, many evangelicals and many other non-Jewish Americans support the current policy. My question is: Why aren’t they dubbed disloyal? Same policy–different people–different lablels–double standard.
    So, to my mind, the loyalty/disloyalty argument is besides the point; doesn’t clarify anything in a practical sense; and is a slippery slope that holds plenty of dangers for this country. It’s been the pviot point for plenty of dishonorable actions taken by this country in the past, e.g., Japanese internment, HUAC, McCarthy, and the current round-ups of Muslims.
    Much better and clearer to argue the policy issues on their merits or lack thereof. If you start calling your opponents “traitors” or the like…well, isn’t that what Bush et al did when they were riding high?
    We’ve gone over this territory before, but it’s worth another mention. Jews learned to stick together, in part, because their countries were disloyal to them, not the other way around. We can go back to Spain in 1492. We can head up to Russia and Poland in 1896. Or we can settle on Germany in the 1930s, when it didn’t matter how many Iron Crosses you had earned when push came to shove (to use your phrase).
    So yes, more than a little concern for Jewish brethren overseas is there. How could it not be? It seems to be an article of faith that Muslims are concerned about how Muslims are treated around the world–no one finds it surprising. And, in fact, Muslim countries conduct a certain amount of foreign policy under that guiding principle.
    We are not a Jewish country here– nor do we claim to be a Christian country, though we often as though we were–but it is pretty natural that Jewish Americans want THEIR country to do “something” if Jews are threatened elsewhere. But of course, the key is balance in this approach. Many Jewish Americans also want their country to do something about the suffering in Kosovo and Darfur and, indeed, in Palestine.
    The Jewish establishment–the subject of most of these threads–is simply way out of balance in its politics and the policies it supports.

    Reply

  21. Peter Principle says:

    If you think about it, Steve’s phrase “reality-denying cult” is actually a pretty good thumbnail definition of totalitarianism.
    If the jackboots fit . . .

    Reply

  22. Carroll says:

    Posted by MP at July 18, 2007 10:49 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>
    Well you know I have passed the point whether I care or not about the “segment” of Jews that are fanatically devoted to Israel or even want to argue the merits pro or con on it intellectually. I only point out the utter futility of even discussing or debating the Foxman types because as I said the whole question of loyalty is based on the exceptionalism theory. Even if one could show them that exceptionalism has never been a good long term stragety for the security of any group, including the Jews, they wouldn’t accept it.
    But I will give it a go in explaining Falwell and the evangelicals as opposed to the Jews on Israel.
    Falwell was a profiteering god merchant and if opinion turned against Israel among his flock he would have been the first to call for nuking Israel instead of Iran. And no, he was no more a loyal American than Neytenyahu is, like most of his kind his only loyalty was to himself and his own interest.
    But here’s the difference, I think between the jews and the evangelicals when you get right down to the nitty gritty.
    The WP published a investigative story on “inside the evangelical conference”…one thing that stood out in the report was one female evangelical leader,(Kaye something) going into a rant about Israel and how she would “take the side of Israel against the US if need be”.
    A collective “gasp” went thru the audience when she made that statement…even her evangelical followers were shocked and very “uneasy” with that statement.
    In the AIPAC camp and among many orgs there is no such “unease” or shock with statements of that type, at least in private.
    Therein lies the difference.
    It’s the old “when and if push comes to shove” factor.
    The “ingrained” belief of what your “nationality” is among 90% of Americans is going to trump their religious fanatism as a practical matter if it is threatened or costs them too much. The percentage of US evangelicals who will opt for their “US nationality” will be higher than the percentage of Jews who have been “ingrained” with Israel as their nation because it is the “Jewish State”. The majority of other Jews would probably be “conflicted” into complete inaction in such an event. I know from reading Jewish liberal thinkers on this subject that this is something they too have thought about concerning the right wing Jewish-Israel camp.
    My guess is that in the event of a push to shove incident between US and Isr, the evangelicals who sided against the US would be as reviled if not more so than any Jews who did.
    This is just my own theory on how the concept of one’s “nationality” and “ingrained identity” would probably make a difference between the evangelical supporters of Israel and the jewish supporters in the event of any kind of clash between the US and Isr.
    Personally I hope nothing serious ever happens to test my theory, more insanity is the last thing we need. But with the neocon infected events of the past six years still rolling out I am not betting on anything long term.

    Reply

  23. MP says:

    Cant writes: “I LOVE Ron Paul because he would gut government with the help and advice of Grover Norquist and tell everyone they are on their own…”
    Yes. Trojan horse is right.

    Reply

  24. cantmakethisstuffup! says:

    I LOVE Ron Paul because he would gut government with the help and advice of Grover Norquist and tell everyone they are on their own because they have been freed from all federal government social programs! Yippee! Ron Paul’s the Trojan Horse for Grover Norquist ’cause he talks so nice about Iraq.
    Wake up! Dumb Asses!

    Reply

  25. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “You can find about a million examples in press interviews and everywhere else particulary during election seasons of Jews interviewed on candidates and issues saying they vote first for whatever,whoever is best for Israel.”
    Israel is a hot button issue for a lot of Jews. The reasons for it are clear. My thought is: And? This really is no different than any other “one issue” voting bloc. People who, above all, care about protecting their guns…or their right to an abortion…or making abortions illegal.
    This whole argument falls apart when you consider other pro-Israel groups. Does Jerry Falwell put loyalty to Israel above loyalty to the US? Does anyone claim that JF has dual citizenship between the US and Israel? Does anyone suggest that JF go “back” to Israel to fight in the IDF (and then call him a traitor again when he sends his son to do just that)?
    Leaving aside that JF is now dead, the answer is…no, they don’t.
    No one suggests that the evangelicals who support Israel are somehow less than American…and THAT is the point.
    The larger point is that support for Israel is anothr foreign policy position that needs to be argued on the merits and demerits.

    Reply

  26. Frank says:

    I like Krystal’s comments about how successful Bush is in stemming off terrorist attacks..We forget the anthrax episode as a terrorist attack no??
    But aside from that terrorist attack, repeating this mantra creates a climate wherein a false flag attack in this country would take away from Bush’s “heroic” achievements in preventing such an attack. Krystal has in effect tied the hands of this criminal administration no??
    As to the Germans trying to bring to justice Rumsfeld, I predict Bush/Cheney will not be able to visit Europe after they leave office for fear of being arrested as war criminals. Else the Nuremburg trials would have been a historic sham.

    Reply

  27. Frank says:

    I’d vote for Ron Paul in a shot. I consider myself a liberal, but this guy is uncommonly intellectually honest, and is head and shoulders above the crowd of sameo sameo politicians seeking the presidency.
    But it is the MSM that determines the winner, not the people.

    Reply

  28. get'em! says:

    You dumb asses are fighting the Jews while you should be hauling your wealthy up on to scaffolds and chopping their war profiteering heads right the fuck off.
    All you ever needed to know was that Republicans thought FDR was a traitor to his CLASS.
    But you fell for your Aristo’s telling your poor dumb asses that the Liberal homos were fixing to butt fuck you and your children, but first they needed to take your guns away so you couldn’t shoot them abominations unto your personal savior Jesus Christ.
    Your asses are being and have been getting raped for a very long time LITTLE MAN although they do stick the stick of a little American flag in it so you can wave it around as Real Americans and true Patriots when they have you dancing to that tune!
    Dumb asses!

    Reply

  29. Sprezzatura says:

    What is it about this blog that attracts all the Israel crazies out of the woodwork?

    Reply

  30. karenk says:

    too bad that ship didn’t sink.

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    Well hell, it’s not exactly a secret that a certain percentage of Jews put Israel before whatever country they live in. That percentge admits it themselves. They think it is their “right” as historical victims to be exceptions to the rule and don’t even bother to deny it. Gee, that is what most Jewish orgs promote, the Jews as exceptions to the rules of every country and loyaly to Israel above all. You can find about a million examples in press interviews and everywhere else particulary during election seasons of Jews interviewed on candidates and issues saying they vote first for whatever,whoever is best for Israel.
    So Foxman thinks it’s anti-semitic for people to acknowledge this? The definition of anti-semitism becomes more and more bizarre.
    Gawd…could Foxman be any stupider?
    He uses the “old carnad” theme in the current accusations of anti-semitism about Jews to try to actually “debunk” the old carnads while that very carnad actually becomes more true and easily observed as Jewish orgs preach Jewish loyalty to Israel above all other loyalty? And he thinks no one says well.. er…”old carnad? vrs exact same behavior/accusations today? Same difference? Duh…that’s a great way to make a fool of self and lose your arguement.
    Like I said the whole Jewish-Israel loyalty phenomenon and the Foxman types that surround the subject are all so bizarre to your normal logical person that you can’t discuss or argue with it because they base their entire case/arguement on world exceptionalism for Jews.
    Stick to AIPAC, that’s one where they can’t escape the actual arguement of US vrs Israeli interest.

    Reply

  32. Carroll says:

    Kristol better pray he never runs into me on a New York street. I’ll be looking out for him.
    Posted by ManagedChaos at July 17, 2007 11:13 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Can I be your second for the fight or hold your coat?

    Reply

  33. ... says:

    US to Block Assets of Iraq Destabilizers, US Exempted<< funny when one realizes the US is the main dstabilizer in iraq…. it is hard to make this stuff up, but the admin with the helping hand of a lame ass congress manages to.. i know.. it is to put a squeeze on iran and they needed to word it the right way. the USA sure has devolved to a low point that many wouldn’t have imagined possible.

    Reply

  34. MP says:

    “Asked to respond to the statement “Jews are more loyal to Israel than their own country,” the survey found that 50 percent of U.K. respondents replied “probably true,” up from 39 percent two years ago. I would suggest that we remember that the next time the U.K. cracks down on Muslims.”
    Remember WHAT, Charles? Given that the article also says this–“The survey of six European countries showed a rise in anti-Semitic attitudes. But it also indicated that positive views of Israel were also on the rise”–I find your point impenetrable.

    Reply

  35. toshiko says:

    Kristol also likes the dishonest Neocon argument that the absence of a major 9/11-style attack on the US represents a major triumph for Bush and some sort of vindication of “staying on offense” in Iraq. In fact, all it represents is the Al Qaeda planning cycle; there has been no such major attack planned and broken up; if there had been, we would have heard about it ad nauseum.

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  36. WhatBillOfRights says:

    For what it’s worth,the Israeli paper Ha’aretz has a poll that claims that people in the U.K. think that U.K. Jews hold Israel above the U.K. Of course, this is an Anti-Defamation League Poll with Abe Foxman leading the charge.
    Poll: 50% in U.K. think Jews more loyal to Israel than home nation
    7/17/07
    Half of the British public believes that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their home country, an Anti-Defamation League poll released in Tuesday showed.
    The survey of six European countries showed a rise in anti-Semitic attitudes. But it also indicated that positive views of Israel were also on the rise.
    Asked to respond to the statement “Jews are more loyal to Israel than their own country,” the survey found that 50 percent of U.K. respondents replied “probably true,” up from 39 percent two years ago.
    Whole Ha’aretz article at this link:
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/882922.html
    I would suggest that we remember that the next time the U.K. cracks down on Muslims.

    Reply

  37. Sandy says:

    I’m afraid it already IS too late. There is no one doing anything constructive to stop it. Everybody talks. Nobody does anything. We (I include myself) watch…observe…comment.
    That’s about it.
    It’s pretty much over.
    Nice while it lasted, though.

    Reply

  38. Steve Wild says:

    I continue to read things like this and they scare the living hell out of me and I feel totally helpless, like watching the most horrific horror film ever made. A REAL LIFE horror film.
    I say November 2008 cannot come soon enough and yet remember Bush won in November 2004 after Abu Gharib and that Bush can start a new war with Iran before then and that even one suicide bomb in the US killing only a few people may be a pretext for martial law and the “indefinite” suspension of the Constitution and elections.
    8 years ago such talk would have put me in the looney bin. Now people who deny this possibility are out of touch with the dark reality we live in.
    Osama bin Ladin will go down in history as one of the greatest victors against American imperialism as his 9/11 actions helped justify the end of Constitutional democracy in the US.
    I cry.

    Reply

  39. WhatBillOfRights says:

    I love Podhoretz’s comment about September 11 and how it proved that we had to make Middle Eastern i.e., Arab states (or any enemy of Israel) into *democracies* in order to stop attacks of that nature.
    Amazing isn’t it, that almost exactly one year before September 11, 2001, the same neo-conservatives in their Project for the New American Century, wrote in a paper entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” that it would take an “attack on the scale of Pearl Harbor” to rally Americans around their Israeli agenda?
    Lest we forget, on Sept. 11, 2001, Bibi Netanyahu, he of “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” said that it was a good day for Israel.
    Wow, is Netanyahu some kind of psychic or what? Israel’s enemies are being taken down left and right in this so called “War on Terror” i.e., War on Islam, using U.S. blood and treasure.
    Oddly enough, Netanyahu as reported by the Israeli paper Ha’retz, had a weekly conversation with Larry Silverstein, who owned the World Trade Center and made a *killing* off of its destruction which he’d presciently insured for a *terrorist* attack.
    Connect the dots people, it is almost too late.

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  40. Kathleen says:

    Next thing you know, there’ll be a loyalty oath required to board the next NeoNutzi cruise.
    Anyone see an article on abcnews Political Radar yesterday, Reporting that Hillary said Bush could leave office early and let them get on with health care for kids? Why leave the departure date up to Dopey? She could speed that along. I vote for sooner, rather than later.
    It takes a village to impleach an idiot.

    Reply

  41. Kathleen says:

    Next thing you know, there’ll be a loyalty oath required to board the next NeoNutzi cruise.
    Anyone see an article on abcnews Political Radar yesterday, Reporting that Hillary said Bush could leave office early and let them get on with health care for kids? Why leave the departure date up to Dopey? She could speed that along. I vote for sooner, rather than later.
    It takes a village to impleach an idiot.

    Reply

  42. Carroll says:

    Orwell 1984….updated 2007
    Congressmembers rule: No calling Bush a liar Michael Roston
    Published: Monday July 16, 2007
    A Congressional Democrat has been reined in for calling President George W. Bush a ‘liar’ during a Thursday hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, according to the Monday edition of the newspaper Roll Call.
    “Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) offered a lengthy criticism of Bush’s record toward the end of Thursday’s hearing, which included a statement that Bush lied about the reasons for going to war with Iraq in 2003,” writes Susan Davis. “Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) offered an objection on the grounds that Watt’s words were ‘unparliamentary’ and violated House rules on debate and decorum that forbid personal attacks on Members, the president or vice president.”

    Reply

  43. Carroll says:

    ….”And for those who think that the neocons are out and gone — think again. They continue to embed most corners of America’s policy establishment.”
    I think I have said that about a thousand times. They are everywhere.
    And I have always understood the Hillary-Ann’s as exactly what they are and why I say you “do” have to be “like them” to get rid of them. People don’t want to hear that or admit it but that’s how it works because that’s how they work. There is no appeal to reason with these kind of people.
    But you can keep trying elections..right down to the last gasp.

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  44. Llyonnoc says:

    That the neocons have hijacked America’s national policy is clear. None of the serious candidates have said anything that shows his or her administration will not continue on the same policies as Bush in the Middle East. None has set forth any clear policy regarding the Middle East that could not easily be fit into the idea of continuing what we have been doing.
    AIPAC is a huge problem not only for us but especially for Israel. As much as we see its influence on American policy at least its members are Americans. The Israelis are having their foreign policy pretty much set by this foreign group. AIPAC was instrumental in bringing to us and Israel the Iraq war. Now is lifting the curtain on the Iranian war.
    Often overlooked is how the peace movement failed to respond to building Iraq war clouds. That was because many of the leaders of that movement were Jewish who truly believed the Administrations propaganda that war with Iraq would be good for Israel and to be opposed to it is to be opposed to Israel. Tragically, they sat back at the time believing what they were sold.
    We now have a president with nowhere to go. Staying the course in Iraq is out of the question as is leaving. He has one option left for greatness and that is to follow the Podhoretz prescription which is to save Israel from a second Holocaust by attacking Iran. He is being told this will make him a great man and may possibly alter the course in Iraq as well.
    The USS Enterprise has left for the Middle East which will give us what we need for an air attack on Iran, a third carrier strike force. The USS Truman. the only carrier carrying a Torah, is scheduled to go in a month or two. Deep inside I’m really wondering whether this man who believes he was called to the Presidency may somehow believe that he is doing the work of the God of the Old Testament when he sends a ship laden with planes and munitions and graced with a Torah into the Muslim lands to attack a Muslim nation.
    Bush has said that it is not the American people but the Almighty who will be the judge of his presidency. I just hope he is not depending on Podhoretz to tell him what the Almighty wants.

    Reply

  45. Donna Z says:

    I was listening to a recent meeting of HASC where Wes Clark, Dr. Muqtedar Kahn, and Max Boot testified. The entire session is worth the listen and can be found here:
    http://securingamerica.com/
    What struck me is no matter how many times Clark negated the idea of “precipitous withdrawal” the republican congressmen continued to use the phrase. It is as if they get their brain tattooed every morning.

    Reply

  46. David N says:

    What’s needed is this:
    1. A clear, reasoned, articulate statement of belief. For this, look to Beinhocker, among a few others. Abandon the classic, media-driven model of politics and policy as a left-right, winner-take-all, sports-metaphor shoutfest.
    2. Following on the above, invade the popular media. Stop wasting time, as I am now, nattering at each other on blogs and web sites. Write letter after letter after letter to the WaPo, NYT, broadcast networks, etc., objecting to their sloppy, fact-free, corporate-serving “reporting.” Find a way to make them understand that serving the corporate interests will not serve their interests. Given the money involved, that will not be easy to do.
    3. Along the way, start making clear statements that Bush/Cheney et al are fascist criminals, who need to be impeached, first. Then a fair trial. Then hanged. Just kidding. RICO confiscation would be far more threatening to them.
    4. Also make clear, neocon is a meaningless word. They used to be Scoop Jackson democrats. Then they say the Reagan train coming and jumped tracks. The only thing they worship is money and power, and they have no real principles. Certainly, calling these people who have violated every phrase of the Constitution “strict constructionists” is one of the sickest jokes of our times.
    5. Take them up on the challenge an Army sargeant issued on ABC Monday night. Put the Republican leadership in Humvies patrolling Baghdad. It will be the first time in combat for every one of them, inlike the Democrats. But then we get back to the media bullshit, and that’s enough of that for now . . . . . . . . .
    “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.”

    Reply

  47. tucker's bow tie says:

    Thanks for the heads-up on Hari’s piece! I think it first appeared behind the National Review’s silly firewall.. 🙂

    Reply

  48. ... says:

    send Bill Kristol to iraq and then he can talk about ‘Precipitous withdrawal’ and really mean it for himself… what a first rate bullshitter. is that mostly what it takes to be in the media these days?

    Reply

  49. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I mean, you’ve got to start somewhere. And as much as I like what Ron Paul brings to the debate, he won’t be in the oval office in 2009.”
    Then we have lost. If we don’t turn this around NOW, its over. The ONLY hope this nation has at this point is the imposed will of the people. And if we do not have the moxy to impose that will, this grand experiment has failed.

    Reply

  50. JohnH says:

    Depressing as the neo-cons views are, they are in character, though many Americans don’t yet realize how anti-democracy their views really are.
    What I find even more depressing are events like CAP’s conference yesterday on withdrawl from Iraq, which I caught on C-SPAN. Like the neo-cons, CAP people apparently only talk amongst themselves and have little clue about what is happening in Iraq, choosing instead to repeat the conventional stateside view of what is happening. For example, Larry Korb says, “Iraq’s leaders are fundamentally at odds over what Iraq should be, how power should be distributed and who should control the nation’s oil wealth.” Yes, they are odds with each other, but more importantly they are at odds with the United States over what is to become in Iraq. They are at odds with the Bush administration’s agenda. Benchmarks were not met because they were never part of the Iraqi agenda. They were imposed by Washington.
    How long will it take for people from CAP to realize that the American agenda plays a significant role in precluding progress in Iraq? When will they stop blaming Iraqis and start playing a constructive role, advocating that Iraq’s legitimate self interest play a dominant role in the negoatiations?
    They could start by advocating that the United States negotiate the hydrocarbon law in good faith and allow Iraq–not the oil companies–to be the major beneficiary of the country’s oil wealth.

    Reply

  51. Jerry Medium says:

    “They already have. Take a close look at Obama’s Iran comments.”
    I think that we’re going to have to accept a level of ethnic pandering for a while from every candidate that has a real shot. AIPAC’s not going anywhere.
    However, that doesn’t mean that Obama has to hire neocon apparatchiks for his NSC… I mean, you’ve got to start somewhere. And as much as I like what Ron Paul brings to the debate, he won’t be in the oval office in 2009.

    Reply

  52. ManagedChaos says:

    Steve, would you please ask one of these Israeli-firster, paranoid Zionist xenophobic traitors if they think that Israel’s and America’s interests always run parallel.
    Ask them what they think about the fact that American Jews, of which I am, are the group that is most opposed to the Iraq war. Am I a self-hater along with most American Jews?
    Ask them, if the threat is so great that it justifies our government taking away our civil rights, why aren’t we invading Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as a proactive and preventative measure? Are they waiting for the next attack to act against countries that are clearly harboring al queda?
    Kristol better pray he never runs into me on a New York street. I’ll be looking out for him.

    Reply

  53. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oops. Actually, I posted the Ron Paul speech on Iran on the “Wilson” thread. Its a “must read” for every American.

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The neoconservatives are chameleons, attracted to power. They jumped on the Republican train for years, and it was able to drive them to Baghdad. We can’t let them get onto the Democrat express.”
    They already have. Take a close look at Obama’s Iran comments.

    Reply

  55. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If any of you doubt what sick closeminded monsters the far right is, just check out the guest commentaries at Nathan Tabor’s cesspool, the ConservativeVoice. There is nothing “conservative” about these people. These people are dangerous, bigoted, and full of a pious hatred that is truly terrifying. If they have the reins of power,and they do, the entire world is in jeapordy, just like it was during Hitler’s era of hatred.
    Gads, why can’t more people see how dangerous this administration truly is?
    http://www.theconservativevoice.com/

    Reply

  56. Jerry Medium says:

    Steve,
    You make a very, very important point here, something that we need to keep a close eye on:
    “And for those who think that the neocons are out and gone — think again. They continue to embed most corners of America’s policy establishment.”
    While a lot of people these days yuk it up over how ridiculous neoconservatives appear, what they don’t understand is how tightly they are interwoven into the fabric of the policy-making elite in Washington on BOTH sides of the aisle.
    It’s conceivable (and I would argue PROBABLE) that a Democratic president would hire some very unfortunate foreign policy thinkers to advise him or her on Middle East policy. Forget the obvious tone-deafness of Giuliani’s Podhoretz hire… That’s a caricature. I’m talking about people on the “left” who were giddy cheerleaders for the Iraq War, people who got lots of credit for being “serious” about terrorism. The obvious example would be Michael O’Hanlon, but there are many others. (I think it was Matt Yglesias who said that he’d endorse the first Dem nominee who promised not to hire O’Hanlon… I agree.)
    The point is that someone with a sophisticated understanding of these foreign policy wonks (that would be you, Steve) should put a lot of pressure on the candidates to make hires that truly portend a new direction. I know that it’s not like the Bolton nomination, where a Senate confirmation is necessary. However, it’s just as precarious, as I fear that a Hillary presidency or an Obama presidency could end up being a Trojan horse for a stagnating ME policy.
    The neoconservatives are chameleons, attracted to power. They jumped on the Republican train for years, and it was able to drive them to Baghdad. We can’t let them get onto the Democrat express.
    -JM

    Reply

  57. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve. I posted Ron Paul’s ’06 speech on Iran on the Levy thread. In my not so humble opinion, its apparent that we already know what these crazy bastards on the far right are saying, and just how insane it is. We discuss it, ad nauseum, daily here. What we don’t discuss, and its a travesty, is what the true patriots, the true realists, such as Ron Paul, are saying. His speech on Iran deserves exposure. And Ron Paul’s opinions on the causitive factors behind terrorism, on foreign policy in general, and on interventionism need to be heard by all americans.
    I cannot for the life of me figure out why you ignore important alternative personalities and opinions, when it has become so glaringly obvious that the media marketed roster of candidates are so out of touch with the American people and ouyr founding father’s tenets and ideals.
    Wake up Steve, this country is in deep shit, and people like Reid, Pelosi, Clinton and Obama ARE NOT white knights riding to our rescue. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution. The question is, what side of that coin do YOU want to belong to?

    Reply

  58. selise says:

    “And for those who think that the neocons are out and gone — think again. They continue to embed most corners of America’s policy establishment.”
    steve – i believe you…. but the thing i can’t figure out is – why? how is that this is allowed to continue? would love to read your insights on this, steve.

    Reply

  59. hashashinne says:

    So they want to kill us, do they, put us into gas chambers, will they.
    Remember Robert, Martin, and John.
    Let’s not get shutout; time to even the score.
    Lone wolves arise and only regret that you have but one life to give for your country!

    Reply

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