Standing by Joe Klein

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joe klein twn 1.jpg
Count me among those that think that this piece by Joe Klein is gutsy and right on target.
I’m in New York tonight — met Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the opening benefit for “Mostly Mozart” at the Lincoln Center and sat next to one of the really intriguing co-founders of C-Span.
More on all this soon — but I just wanted to give a shout out to Joe Klein for standing his ground while under attack. Some readers expect journalists (and bloggers) to be cheerleaders for one thing or another — and engage occasionally in vile attacks on their character or motivation if they don’t go with the desired flow. I found this even among Dem circles when I’d raise questions about Hillary Clinton — or Obama, even before I got to McCain. Some of the hate mail I (and we) get can be pretty intense.
So good for Joe for sticking with his views and what is right.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

34 comments on “Standing by Joe Klein

  1. JON says:

    Joe Klein a memeber of CFR. And believes in zionest will rule the world. Lets not be fooled into another war for zion.

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “If I call Obama a “black presidential candidate”, I must be anti-
    negro,right?”
    Yes, could be. What’s odd here, of course, is that Obama is JUST
    AS MUCH white as he is black, isn’t he? So why isn’t he being
    called the “white presidential candidate”?
    “If I criticize Wright, and call him “Obama’s Christian pastor”, I
    must be anti-Christian, right?”
    Yes, could be.
    ————————————–
    Sorry Steve, but this person “Sweetness” is an asshole. I apologize for the lack of civility, but “jackass” just doesn’t sufficiently get my point across.

    Reply

  3. Sweetness says:

    “Show me ONE single post where I refer to “Jewish neocons”.
    And the use of the word “always” is a bald faced lie. Tell me, do
    you need to lie to support your bullshit? If so, is your “point”
    truly worth arguing?”
    Ah, my post was not, and is not, about you. You came and
    talked to me about my post which, again, was not about you.
    As to this…
    “If I call Obama a “black presidential candidate”, I must be anti-
    negro,right?”
    Yes, could be. What’s odd here, of course, is that Obama is JUST
    AS MUCH white as he is black, isn’t he? So why isn’t he being
    called the “white presidential candidate”?
    “If I criticize Wright, and call him “Obama’s Christian pastor”, I
    must be anti-Christian, right?”
    Yes, could be.
    I think it was MLK who once said that the truth in the mouth of
    a liar is a lie. The point is, it’s not so much the words, but the
    intention behind the words. If your intention is racist when you
    say and repeat ad nauseum “black presidential candidate,” then
    the answer to your question is yes.

    Reply

  4. questions says:

    Near as I can tell, POA, when a candidate doesn’t deviate from a range of norms, the characteristics are left out. We don’t talk about “male” presidential candidates, we hardly ever mention “Protestant-ness” and so on. But if there’s a novel trait, it gets mentioned a lot. So HRC’s gender came up and Obama’s race comes up. Now, is it sexist/racist to mention these? It’s not so easy to answer. SHOULD these traits really matter? Does eye color matter? My sense is that in general, a lot of traits don’t matter and are brought up anyway. Why are they brought up? Well, probably to establish a distinction the motivation for which is, maybe, unkind.
    So again, the “Jewishness” of the neocons comes up alarmingly frequently. Perhaps your posts and some others are being conflated and you don’t actually use “Jewish”. But you do bring up te “dual loyalties” issue which is pretty suspect I have to admit.
    On to the issue of dual loyalties. Sorry to be long on long 2500 year old texts, but let’s face it, Plato knew a lot of stuff long before we ever figured it out.
    One of the central issues in Plato’s Republic is the issue of: DUAL LOYALTIES. Not Jewish people’s loving Israel, but people’s loving their families, rulers’ and soldiers’ loving money, doctors’ loving money and so on. Plato had a sense that EVERYone has dual loyalties and the only loyalty anyone SHOULD have is to the polity. So children are, for Plato, to be raised collectively so there is no family loyalty. Soldiers are to have no part of the money economy so there is no money loyalty. As soon as there is private life, there is a dual loyalty and privacy wins out over the public realm. End of the polity.
    So yes, Plato takes the dual loyalty issue seriously. So seriously, in fact, that even you POA and Carroll, would fail the test.
    When you take your concepts to their logical conclusion, you often don’t get what you want, and maybe you need to start over. Maybe it’s not dual loyalty that’s the problem. Maybe, just maybe,it’s warmongering, or a sense that the military is always the answer, or a sense that the US can do what it wants when it wants. Maybe the prior, more necessary, more fundamental concept is the war thing, not the dual loyalty thing. We all have multiple loyalties to entities other than our government. And it’s probably good that the nation is not the only concern that there is.

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So lets just apply the Sweetness logic here…
    If I call Obama a “black presidential candidate”, I must be anti-negro,right?
    If I criticize Wright, and call him “Obama’s Christian pastor”, I must be anti-Christian, right?
    Obviously, in Sweetness’ tunnel visioned world of perpetual victimhood, recognizing the “jewishness” of many in the neo-con upper echelon is “anti-semitic”.
    What deflective crap.

    Reply

  6. Paul Norheim says:

    Well POA, looks like those “low voltage synapses” in my brain
    actually were connected… At the moment, my main challenge is
    to find proper ways to connect the cables of my voltage controlled
    Moog synthesizer.
    Not sure if my synapses are up to the task. And I`ll have to
    watch out and take occational breaks, due to some high voltage
    lightning and thunder in the air here in Bergen today.
    Accepted.

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I have just found that the comment I attributed to Kathleen; “”I don’t think a war with Iran is coming, thank God” was actually a direct quote of Klein, taken from his piece written for “Swampland”. I apologize to Norheim for the misunderstanding, and respectfully ask Kathleen if she can kindly try to remember to insert the appropriate quotation marks when directly quoting someone.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Here’s a parallel: One day Ron Paul may come to power. He will try to dismantle the IRS and the stream of money that pays for our social programs. If he succeeds, it will be a grievous day, IMO. But I’m not going to blame the Austrian school economists for turning our country to rubble. No; I will blame Ron Paul. Right now, Austrian economic ideas are sitting on the shelf; if Ron Paul comes to power, however, he will try to put them into practice. This should be easy for you to get.”
    Why would I “get” that? There is no parallel. Its just more deflective horseshit on your part.

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “But did we have an “Israeli-enabled 9/11″ (your not so subtle insinuation)?”
    Really? Care to show me where I insinuated that in my comments?

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Then why, pray tell, are these folks always called JEWISH neocons?”
    Show me ONE single post where I refer to “Jewish neocons”. And the use of the word “always” is a bald faced lie. Tell me, do you need to lie to support your bullshit? If so, is your “point” truly worth arguing?
    I’m waiting. Show me a quote calling them “jewish neocons”.

    Reply

  11. Sweetness says:

    “Your query; “For example, does it make any sense to say
    Protestant neocon Dick Cheney?” is equally as asinine. There is
    no parrallel to be drawn that is germaine to this debate, as
    ISRAEL, and its policies, (and our support of its policies), is the
    topic of debate, NOT the predominate religion of Israel, or the
    religion of its lackeys like Perle, Wolfowitz, etc..”
    But it is worth noting, however, that Bush, Cheney are the ones
    holding the real reins of power…are the ones making the
    decisions…are the ones sending troops to Iraq, etc…and yet it is
    the Jewish neocons who are primarily blamed–and called
    traitors –for their behind the scenes machinations. For their
    ties to Israel…for putting Israel first, etc., etc.
    It isn’t AIPAC who sent us to war…it was Bush. And yet, to read
    the comments here on these threads over time, one would think
    that it was AIPAC who sent us to war. But manifestly, it was not.
    And it doesn’t matter how many Web pages you produce…or
    how many comments from Sharon you produce…or how many
    PNAC Clean Break papers you produce…Bush, Cheney,
    Rumsefeld, Rice, Powell and the military establishment were the
    ones in charge.
    Clean Break was written in 1996 in the middle of Clinton’s
    presidency. But did we have an “Israeli-enabled 9/11” (your not
    so subtle insinuation)? Did we have two wars in the Middle East?
    And yet one would think that if they wielded THAT much power,
    they could have pulled this off at a time of their choosing. No;
    none of this occurred until there were like-minded people IN
    POWER.
    And guess what? The people IN POWER aren’t Jewish. They
    aren’t even Zionists (in any meaningful sense of the term). They
    clearly don’t hold dual citizenship in Israel. But they do hold to
    the neocon point of view. THAT was the point of my comment.
    Joe Klein, the point of this post, himself makes this point: “There
    is a small group of Jewish neoconservatives who unsuccessfully
    tried to get Benjamin Netanyahu to attack Saddam Hussein in
    the 1990s, and then successfully helped provide the intellectual
    rationale for George Bush to do it in 2003.”
    Wow. These Jewish folks–note that Joe brings the word into
    the discussion–and Joe and his bravery are the point of this
    post–unsuccessfully tried to get Israel to attack Saddam. These
    guys have so much power that they can’t even get Israel, the
    country that is supposed to be guiding all their actions– to do
    what they want or what Israel wants…or whatever.
    No; it’s not until GWB wanders onto the scene that they “HELPED
    provide the intellectual RATIONALE for George Bus to DO it in
    2003.” Read that bad boy again…helped provide the rationale
    for someone else who DID it. Get it? These jokers had rationale
    out the wazoo for decades. But it wasn’t until they found some
    other guys–non-Jews, non-Zionists, maybe even non-neocons
    who agreed with him in principle or for opportunistic reasons–
    that their ideas came to fruition.
    Here’s a parallel: One day Ron Paul may come to power. He will
    try to dismantle the IRS and the stream of money that pays for
    our social programs. If he succeeds, it will be a grievous day,
    IMO. But I’m not going to blame the Austrian school economists
    for turning our country to rubble. No; I will blame Ron Paul.
    Right now, Austrian economic ideas are sitting on the shelf; if
    Ron Paul comes to power, however, he will try to put them into
    practice. This should be easy for you to get.
    BTW, while you’re re-reading, you might re-read what I said
    about Klein: That he should be APPLAUDED for standing up to
    the Jewish establishment and breaking the equation that says
    criticism of Israel = anti-Semitism.
    As for all the expletives and names you throw around…just keep
    at it. I couldn’t care less.

    Reply

  12. Sweetness says:

    “The issue is not the “jewishness” of Perle, nor has it been
    presented to you in that manner. It is Perle’s close ties to Israel
    that is the issue. It is his willingness to develop United States’
    policy based on Israel’s needs that is the issue.”
    LOL. Then why, pray tell, are these folks always called JEWISH
    neocons? THAT was the subject of the post.

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    One last thing, Norhiem. You said…”I can`t see where Kathleen express any “optimism that these
    wackjobs will not attack Iran” in her comment above”
    Kathleen, “in her post above”, said….
    “I don’t think a war with Iran is coming, thank God, (continues)…”
    Now, perhaps you can get over your self important lecturing self long enough to jolt a couple of low voltage synapses loose, and use them to figure out why I said…. “I wish I shared your optimism that these wackjobs will not attack Iran”.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    By the way, Norheim, that should read “DO NOT NEED”.
    But of course, you have probably figured that out. But then again, judging by the tone of your post, maybe not.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Okay, but let’s look at WHAT is being done and who’s DOING it. It is claimed that the Jewish neocons pushed for war because they felt it was in Israel’s interests to do away with Saddam. Yes; but, in fact, it was Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, etc., and an entire military establishment that went to war to do away with Saddam. And they are NOT Jewish. Nor are they, in any meaningful sense of the term, Zionists. So is it Perle’s Jewishness (such as it is) that’s important; or is it his neocon beliefs? And if you say, “Well look at how MANY neocons are Jewish,” I will say, yes, that’s an interesting (and from my point of view, unfortunate) truth, but what does it add to your thought to say that a neocon is Jewish? Does it make the person worse, better, the same as a neocon who is NOT Jewish?
    That whole paragraph is pure unadulterated bullshit. Its the same straw argument that has been countered here too many times. You must think we are all idiots, that you can keep trying to foist this Hasbara scripted crap off on us. The issue is not the “jewishness” of Perle, nor has it been presented to you in that manner. It is Perle’s close ties to Israel that is the issue. It is his willingness to develop United States’ policy based on Israel’s needs that is the issue.
    It is amazing how you slimey little trolls try to sneak in this canard of “anti-semitism”, even knowing the direct accusation isn’t applicable to the argument, so hence this slimey sleazy tactic of trying to slide it in the back door
    Your query; “For example, does it make any sense to say Protestant neocon Dick Cheney?” is equally as asinine. There is no parrallel to be drawn that is germaine to this debate, as ISRAEL, and its policies, (and our support of its policies), is the topic of debate, NOT the predominate religion of Israel, or the religion of its lackeys like Perle, Wolfowitz, etc..
    It is YOU and your troll friends that have slimed in this issue of “jewishness”, and constantly tried to make it an issue of religious and ethnic bigotry, instead of one of policy and dual national loyalties. Same-o same-o. You ain’t the first, and you won’t be the last. We’ve heard your crap argument before, ad nauseum.

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Norheim, save your dime store psychoanalysis for another blog, will you? I wasn’t attacking Kathleen, nor have I ever doubted the existence of “real” anti-semitism. Fact is, I respect Kathleen’s opinion far and above your own, and certainly above that of most that post here.
    And by the way, Norheim, I was unaware of any “conflict”. So do us both a favor, and not only leave Kathleen out of it, but leave me out of it too. Frankly, I think you’ve placed your opinions too high on my “relevant list”.
    And ya know what? I just reread your post, and three quarters of it is just simply bullshit, with you incorrectly “diagnosing” both my motives and my message. Keep that self serving crap to yourself, will you?
    When I have seen true “anti-semitism” here, I have spoken out against it. And will continue to do so. And I certainly do need your validation or approval, nor would it carry any wieght with me should you offer it.
    Have I made myself clear? Or do I need to get more POA specific as to where you can put your self-serving and condescending bullshit?

    Reply

  17. Sweetness says:

    Yes, I saw that and am getting the book. Thanks!
    I wonder if all the Jews in America raised their voices about what’s
    going on there it would make a difference. I like to think so.

    Reply

  18. questions says:

    Hey Sweetness,
    I must have been sleep-typing. I don’t remember writing that clear, cogent passage above. Not sure why I’m just writing to myself anyway…. (insert smiley emoticon!)
    Also, a second recommendation from me to check out Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation by Saree Makdisi. I’m further along and all the more distressed at conditions in the occupied territories, especially regarding the transportation/checkpoint issues:
    “An investigation published by the World Health Organization published in 2005 found that sixty-one Palestinian women gave birth at Israeli army checkpoints between September 2000 and December 2004. Thirty-six of those babies died shortly after birth due to complications that could not be attended to in the mud and dirt on the sides of roads” (p.50)

    Reply

  19. Sweetness says:

    Interesting comments, including from me -:)
    Much to ponder…
    All minorities have to face a similar problem: Anything about
    them individually is often considered to be true of the group as a
    whole. And anything that you might be able to say of the group
    with some validity gets pinned on every individual member of
    the group.
    So, if some Jews are misers, they are all, or often all, misers. If
    some blacks are lazy, well, they are all lazy (except for the “good
    ones” who are always the exception that proves the rule). If
    some Italians are members of the Mob, well don’t most Italians
    have some “connections”? Similarly, if Jews as a group HAVE
    done well in business, every Jew you run into must be good with
    money. If blacks as a group are into music and dancing, then it’s
    a surprise when your black friend can’t dance. And just because
    the Italians dominate the Mob, it’s easy to think that your Italian
    friend must have something in his background.
    This is the way it goes, unfortunately. And some groups,
    notably blacks and Jews, have paid a particularly heavy price for
    this sort of intellectual sleight of hand. We see this now in the
    way that Obama has to “dance around” (see there I go) the race
    issue in this campaign. I mean, DOES it matter that he’s half
    white? Sort of yes and sort of no. But the fact that this drama is
    played out against 400 years of slavery, the civil war, 100 years
    of Jim Crow and lynchings, and ongoing everyday discrimination
    MAKES the color question matter.
    When you’ve paid a terrible price JUST for being black, the issue
    is important, even as you struggle to make it unimportant. Same
    for the Jews. This is a question that members of the dominant
    culture can understand, but can never quite “get.” They see
    themselves as “just folks,” and don’t quite get why all these
    whiny minorities can’t see it that way too. In fact, they start to
    feel that the minorities should be GRATEFUL to them just for
    letting them in the game and being as tolerant as they are.
    Anyway, when Joe Klein talks about Jewish neo-conservatives,
    it’s natural for Jews to ask: What’s being Jewish got to do with it?
    Well, you see, being Jews, and being Zionists more importantly,
    they are looking out for Israel instead of looking out for the US.
    Okay, but let’s look at WHAT is being done and who’s DOING it.
    It is claimed that the Jewish neocons pushed for war because
    they felt it was in Israel’s interests to do away with Saddam. Yes;
    but, in fact, it was Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, etc.,
    and an entire military establishment that went to war to do away
    with Saddam. And they are NOT Jewish. Nor are they, in any
    meaningful sense of the term, Zionists. So is it Perle’s
    Jewishness (such as it is) that’s important; or is it his neocon
    beliefs? And if you say, “Well look at how MANY neocons are
    Jewish,” I will say, yes, that’s an interesting (and from my point
    of view, unfortunate) truth, but what does it add to your thought
    to say that a neocon is Jewish? Does it make the person worse,
    better, the same as a neocon who is NOT Jewish?
    For example, does it make any sense to say Protestant neocon
    Dick Cheney? Does his religion add or subtract anything from
    the statement? And if it doesn’t, what does it add to say Jewish
    neocon, Richard Perle? Are we interested that Richard is Jewish
    or that Richard is a neocon? I would say, the latter. Does
    Richard’s being Jewish make him an even WORSE neocon than,
    say, Fukayama? Or Cheney, who was only a Protestant neocon,
    never mind that he had his finger on the button?
    All of this is complicated by the fact that, overwhelmingly, the
    folks who had their fingers on the button–who were
    responsible for making the decisions to go to war–were NOT
    Jewish neocons.
    I tend to agree with questions–being one and the same person,
    I would–that Joe isn’t showing a huge amount of bravery at this
    point. That he was happy to go along when some dissent might
    have mattered in the run up to the war. But I do think it’s
    important for Jews to speak up on the “every criticism of Israel is
    anti-semitic” front, and, in fact, on the criticism of Israel front,
    and he is showing some bravery on this point. Whether brave or
    not, it is the right thing to do and he should be applauded for it.
    Just one last word on Rosen’s book. As might be expected, it’s
    by far not the only view on the subject. Many mainstream
    historians take different views on FDR and his actions during
    this period. I tend to think that the truth is probably VERY
    complicated, and I’m not fussed about whether FDR abandoned
    the Jews or not. History matters, but I can’t get too worked up
    about this one way or another. IOW, I can’t get angry at FDR.
    However, what strikes me about the passages Carroll quotes is
    how filled with understanding and compassion they are toward
    the dominant American culture for actions of dubious morality.
    The SS Louis was turned away–hey, no worries, those people
    lived anyway and thanked the US. Why weren’t more Jews
    allowed to immigrate? Well, the US already had a bunch of them
    and they were socialist and anarchistic and a few of them were
    throwing bombs. Saving the Jews in the concentration camps?
    Well, we didn’t enter the war until later and besides Russia and
    Poland were so far away.
    IOW, the list reads like an apologia for what the US and FDR did.
    For why the US couldn’t, shouldn’t have, but wanted to and
    would have if only things had been different. I have some real
    sympathy for this point of view, actually. I think a lot of it is
    probably accurate, though I don’t know for sure.
    But the compassion shown here in these passages is strangely at
    odds with the lack of compassion shown American Jews who
    often have pretty strong feelings about what happens to Israel,
    etc. I mean, if you’re a Zionist, you’re pretty much a traitor.
    Isn’t the moniker Jewish-neo-zio? A Moroccan can care deeply
    about his fellow Muslims 1000 miles away in Palestine without
    fear of being called a traitor. But an American Jew…you’re either
    an American or an Israeli. Shut up or swim home.
    Anyway, one last thing, one of the ironies in Rosen’s books is
    the antipathy Americans felt toward the socialist and labor
    movements brought by the immigrants. At least within the
    Jewish community–and probably among all the immigrants
    who adhered to leftist politics–being socialist, communist, or
    unionist was an expression of their deep commitment to liberty
    and justice for all people, regardless of religion or ethnicity.
    They were universalists at their core and were committed to
    fighting prejudice and injustice and an injust system, however
    imperfectly. When Emma’s boyfriend shot the Carnegie man, he
    was simply trying to burn down the oppressive capitalist system
    and start over. And, interestingly, he and other socialists and
    communists were the most virulently ANTI Zionistic of all the
    Jewish groups that came to these shores.

    Reply

  20. Paul Norheim says:

    POA,
    I can`t see where Kathleen express any “optimism that these
    wackjobs will not attack Iran” in her comment above. Personally,
    I have no illusions regarding your claim that Israel may “do
    EXACTLY that, and whatever President is in the Oval Office will
    justify and rationalize it , and quite probably involve us
    militarily.”
    Israel, as well as USA is capable of that, and I see this as the
    most important issue in the coming months.
    I also agree with Kathleen when she says in her comment to
    Carroll that: “while I don’t approve of Israel’s treatment of
    Palestinians or our unfair policy towards Israel-Palestine, I do
    recognize that antisemitism is alive and well. so I acknowledged
    that many non Jews had reasons of their own for pushing for
    war in the ME , especially the Country Club set and the
    Evangelicals.”
    I am not trying to defend Kathleen here (she is capable of doing
    that on her own), and I don`t even regard your comment as an
    attack on her. But if I should speculate, I would say that it is her
    recognition “that antisemitism is alive and well”, that is
    triggering your rather nervous effort to convince her of
    something I would guess she already agrees with: “Do not
    underestimate what these lyin’ zionist fanatics can accomplish
    with such propaganda, nor the power that these ignorant
    sputtering buffoons like Barks can lend to these fanatics over
    our airwaves”. Do you really think that she is underestimating
    them?
    Speaking for myself, I would simply say that it makes sense
    BOTH to be aware of what “these lyin’ zionist fanatics can
    accomplish with such propaganda” AND to “recognize that
    antisemitism is alive and well”.
    Are these statements contradictions?
    Kathleen also quotes a link with reference to certain Jewish neo-
    cons who have misused anti-semitism to signify almost
    anything that does not fit into their own agenda:
    “the growing canard that liberalism is antisemetism, peace is
    antisemetism, coexistence between Israel and Palestine is
    antisemetism, true security for Israel and America is
    antisemitism.”
    I have a feeling that you are risking to lose the elementary
    distinction between serious anti-semitism, and the political
    propaganda from Jewish-American neocon players and other
    defenders of Israel, who claim that any criticism against Israel is
    anti-semitism.
    When you see anti-semitism, plain and simple, because
    someone shows you it, you think that there must be be some
    neo-con/zionist plot behind it.
    And some times the one showing it perhaps also happens to
    be a zionist. Or perhaps not.
    In any case, you attack the one who shows you an example of
    real anti-semitism, instead of taking that example seriously.
    You did that this spring/summer, and you did that last year as
    well. The same players: the anti-semite, the commentator who
    don`t respect the distinction between anti-semitism and
    critique of Israel, and then you, aggressively and routinely
    attacking the one that said this.
    At that time (last autumn) it was someone who called himself
    PM. I don`t know him – perhaps he was a neocon, a zionist.
    Perhaps not.
    But he said more or less exactly the same as I said some
    weeks ago. With the same reference to a.d. as a supporter of
    the the anti-semitic views of Kevin MacDonald as this year. So
    this revelation was old news to you this year, right? It was just
    an annualy repeated plot from neocon-zionists?
    You`ve accused me, as well as others here, of destroying the
    comments at TWN, because we`ve claimed that some
    commentators have expressed an anti-semitic ideology or
    something on a borderline between criticism and anti-semitism.
    These claims will come and go. And you should realize that one
    of the roots of this problem is a phenomenon beyond zionist or
    neocon propaganda: real anti-semitism. As long as you attack
    those who address this problem in an aggressive manner, not
    willing to even see the problem, you`re only delaying the
    solution.
    I can`t see how recognizing “that antisemitism is alive and well”
    contradicts your basic criticism of Israel and the fact that the US
    support of Israeli hawks is not serving the interests of your
    country.
    And again: I`m not trying to speak on behalf of Kathleen here;
    these are my positions, and I have no wish to drag her into this
    conflict.

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Kathleen….
    Today on one of our local RW mouthpiece talk radio stations, the local wannabe Ann Coulter, some script pimping idiot by the name of “Inga Barks” had a “Carol” on who is a journalist for the Jerusalem Post. She strongly advocates an IMMEDIATE strike, targeting Iran’s “nuclear facilities”. Further, she claims that “time is of the essence” because Israeli security forces believe Iran will have nuclear weapons “in a matter of months”. Now mind you, this Inga Barks is the same talk show host that claimed, on the air, that “the Red Cross hates Jews”, but denied saying it the following day when a listener called her on it. (Its takes a real genius to say something on a radio station, then deny it the following day, eh? “Gee, I think I’ll tell a few thousand people I’m a liar today”.)
    Anyway, point being, this Barks creature took no comments following this so called “journalist’s” commentary. So, how many people do you think, out there in radio listener land, now believe that Iran will have nuclear weapons “in a matter of months”, despite the fact there is NO EVIDENCE to support such a statement?? Do not underestimate what these lyin’ zionist fanatics can accomplish with such propaganda, nor the power that these ignorant sputtering buffoons like Barks can lend to these fanatics over our airwaves. I wish I shared your optimism that these wackjobs will not attack Iran. Truth is, I think Israel will do EXACTLY that, and whatever President is in the Oval Office will justify and rationalize it , and quite probably involve us militarily.

    Reply

  22. Kathleen says:

    Carroll… I don’t hate anyone or any group…and describing my criticism of white anglo saxon protestants as ‘”hate'” is the same as describing your citicism of Jews as antisemetic….for somone who pulls no punches in the criticism department, you’re pretty thin skinned. ..while I don’t approve of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians or our unfair policy towards Israel-Palestine, I do recognize that antisemtism is alive and well. so I acknowledged that many non Jews had reasons of their own for pushing for war in the ME , especially the Country Club set and the Evangelicals.
    I do aknowledge that it was gravely wrong for Italy to be Germany’s ally in WW2, In Italy’s defense, they did recongize early in the war, that they were wrong and deposed Mussolini.. but he was re-installed by the Nazis and had to deposed a second time… at least Italians knew they were wrong and didn;t shirk their duty to get rid of their despot, unlike Americna s who don’t have the right stuff to depose the grandson of Nazi sympathzer, Prescott Bush.
    Berlusconi back in power is cause for concern, espeically with him trying martial law, supposedly to cut down on crime by undocumented workers.. scarey, dangerous.. but I trust in the unruliness of Italians to put that right before too long.
    In short, all God’s children have clay feet.
    Now more on Joe Klein…
    The Liberal Jewish Majority Must Beat Back the Neocon Jewish Minority
    Posted by Spencer Ackerman, Attackerman at 2:03 PM on July 30, 2008.
    “[It would be] good for the Jews, good for America, good for Israel, good for the Arabs, good for peace, good for the world.”
    Joe Klein is taking a stand.
    Last month I wrote about how the right-wing fake-friends of Israel in American Jewry were coming after Joe Klein — a member of the Tribe — for saying something that all of us DC Jews acknowledge to be true, which is that a bunch of our neocon co-religionists, out of ignorance or mendacity, seek to steer American policy in the direction of a misguided belief of what’s good for Israel. That direction is a warlike one, and often a racist one. And for years, out of a bizarre fear that America is a more antisemitic nation than it is, they’ve believed that such a proposition can’t be uttered in mixed company, and so have succeeded in intimidating the rest of us, Jew and Gentile alike, by intimating that even breathing in that direction is antisemitic. Indeed, they will not stop until they define all of liberalism as antisemitic.
    The result of the euphemistic and fearful dialogue that they have cultivated and enforced has been, among other things, an intellectual climate that enabled a war disastrous to both American and Israeli security. Good going, fellas!
    So now they’ve stepped up their attacks on Joe. But Joe, to his great credit, isn’t backing down. Instead, he’s pushing the bullies back in their flabby chests.
    I am not going to make the same mistake twice. I don’t think a war with Iran is coming, thank God, but this time I am not going to pull any punches. My voice isn’t very important in the grand scheme of things, but I’m going to do my job — and that means letting you know exactly where I stand and what I believe. I believe there are a small group of Jewish neoconservatives who are pushing for war with Iran because they believe it is in America’s long-term interests and because they believe Israel’s existence is at stake. They are wrong and recent history tells us they are dangerous. They are also bullies and I’m not going to be intimidated by them.
    Nor should the rest of us. These people are liars, fools and stooges. They do not actually have any idea how to protect either America or Israel. Everything they believe has been decisively disproven over the last eight years. Not only do we never need to fear them, we never need to listen to them ever again, except for the purpose of merciless ridicule.
    But here’s how it stops. I am challenging my fellow liberal American Jews — the vast majority of us in this country — to walk point here. Our Gentile friends look to us, as is appropriate, for pushing back on the growing canard that liberalism is antisemetism, peace is antisemetism, coexistence between Israel and Palestine is antisemetism, true security for Israel and America is antisemetism. So we have to be the ones who take the initiative in beating back the rightwing Jewish minority– something good for the Jews, good for America, good for Israel, good for the Arabs, good for peace, good for the world. Remember, they’d be the ones in the camps collaborating. Let’s show them what we do to collaborators.

    Reply

  23. questions says:

    POA writes,
    And now “Questions” wants us to “cite actual evidence of Iran’s not being a clear and present danger”? Geezus, does he really think this kind of asinine request boosts his credibility? He oughta give Rove a call and see if he can’t land a job.
    Huh? I think you missed the boat entirely. My point was that the papers should be filled with this kind of evidence because we clearly should not be going to war with Iran. I can’t at all see how Karl Rove plays into this. Of course, I also can’t see how a distinction between accidental and essential properties could be unclear. But at least you, POA, are back with “horseshit”.
    Also, you’ve provided a nice bit of comic relief for at least WigWag and me. We both know we’re two different people who don’t know each other and every time your paranoid insistence that we’re the same comes up, I smile. Is it possible that there is really more than one person who has issues with some of the posts here? Hmmmm. I assume that Sweetness is a yet a third person, but I have no proof either way. Maybe there are others out there too…..

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    Posted by Kathleen Jul 30, 5:16PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Wow…the anti gentiles and WASP haters are out tonight aren’t they?
    I see you still have that ethnic chip on your shoulder. I though you had gotten over that. But I will give you this history lesson once again about how the WASP let the Jews die. Then we can have a discusison on how your ethnic ancestors, the Italians did in comparision to the WASP during WWII. LOL
    http://www.savingthejews.com/html/carterlibraryspeech.htm
    Saving the Jews
    Robert Rosen 2006
    This book was inspired by a visit to the Boston Holocaust Memorial near Quincy Market. My daughter, Ali, then a student at Phillips Academy, and I visited that Holocaust Memorial, and we read these words:
    “By late 1942, the United States and its Allies were aware of the death camps, but did nothing to destroy them.”
    I told Ali that this statement could not possibly be true. The United States was not even a belligerent in World War II until December 7, 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. How could we have saved the Jews of Europe in 1942?
    But, “Dad,” she said, “I don’t think they put lies on Holocaust Memorials.” I told Ali I thought the statement – while literally true – was not correct, and I set out to find what this was all about. It turns out that the statement implies, incorrectly, that we Americans were morally culpable for failing to destroy death camps we were unable to destroy in 1942,or in 1943 for that matter.
    What I found was quite remarkable: One of the biggest mistaken interpretations of American history ever, and it involved one of our most important presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A large group of historians, writers, journalists, filmmakers, activists, rabbis, and others, have created a body of work which paints FDR, his Administration and the American people as not caring at all about the plight of European Jewry, and even complicit in the Holocaust. In the words of one prominent historian, David Wyman, the Roosevelt Administration and the American people were, the “ all too passive accomplices,” of the Nazis.
    Many of you are familiar with these books, The Abandonment of the Jews by Wyman, While Six Million Died by Arthur D. Morse – among many others, and with this version of history. Millions of Americans have been influenced by them because general American histories rely on these books and authors.
    THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT IN MY OPINION – AFTER SIX YEARS OF RESEARCH – THEY ARE WRONG.
    These are the main charges made against Franklin Roosevelt: His failure to save the passengers on the S.S. St. Louis in 1939, his failure to change the immigration laws and to speak out against the Holocaust; and his refusal to bomb Auschwitz.
    1. The S.S. St. Louis
    The critics say that Roosevelt refused to let Jewish refugees come to America. The voyage of the S.S. St. Louis, the “Voyage of the Damned,” is the chief incident trumpeted against him. Let the facts speak for themselves. The St. Louis sailed from Hamburg in May of 1939 before either World War II or The Final Solution had begun. It arrived in Cuba. The Jewish passengers had purchased visas which were illegal under Cuban law and the Cuban president would not honor them. The State Department and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee-known as the “Joint”- worked day and night to convince the Cubans to take in the passengers. The Joint sent a lawyer to Havana with a suitcase full of money to bribe the Cuban government. Henry Morganthau Jr., Roosevelt’s Jewish Secretary of the Treasury, the person in charge of the Coast Guard, was person ally involved. Sadly, all of their efforts failed. 29 of the 936 passengers got off in Cuba. Even though the Roosevelt Administration urged the Cuban government to allow the remaining 907 passengers to land, the S.S. St. Louis began its return to Europe.
    With the active intervention of the State Department and the “Joint”, the St. Louis went to England (not Germany), where 288 of the 907 passengers disembarked and survived the Holocaust. The remaining 619 disembarked at Antwerp and went to France, Belgium, and Holland. The leading authorities on the St. Louis estimate that 392 of the 619 who disembarked at Antwerp survived the war. Thus more than 2/3 of the passengers on the St. Louis survived the Holocaust.
    The passengers knew that Americans had saved them. “Our gratitude is as immense as the ocean on which we are now floating,” they wired Morris Troper of the Joint. Three years later, after Hitler conquered the Netherlands, France, and Belgium, and initiated the Final Solution, 227 of the St. Louis’s 936 passengers became victims of the Holocaust. Of course in June 1939 no one could have foreseen this. The death camps did not even exist in 1939. The Roosevelt Administration had done all it could.
    2. Immigration Laws
    But why did we not allow the St. Louis passengers in? America had taken in millions of Jews, Poles, Italians, Greeks, Slavs, and others in the late 19 th and early 20 th century. The ancestors of most Jews in America today emigrated between 1880 and 1920. But by the 19 teens, the great majority of Americans feared the new wave of immigrants. By the 1920s, after the Haymarket bombing by anarchists in Chicago in 1886, the rise of violent, radical, and even revolutionary labor movements, the assassination of President McKinley in 1901 by a Polish anarchist, the Bolshevik Revolution of November, 1917, the rise of the Communist party in the United States, the dramatic increase in the number of Polish and Italian Catholics, Slavs, Jews and others whose politics, culture, religion, dress, language, and behavior were very foreign to the majority of white Anglo Saxon, Protestants, Americans demanded that Congress dramatic ally curtail immigration. Congress did so in draconian laws enacted in 1921 and 1924.
    Antisemitism certainly played in this legislation, although only a part. Clearly Jewish radicals, such as Emma Goldman whose boyfriend, Alexander Berkman who shot Carnegie Steel executive, Henry Clay Frick, did not win any friends. And the large number of Jews who were active in left-wing Socialist, anarchist and Communist causes, did not endear themselves to the American people.
    Thus, when Hitler came to power in 1933 and began persecuting the Jews, America was no longer an asylum for those seeking freedom. A strict quota system had been put in place in 1924, 15 years before the voyage of the St. Louis and 17 years before the “Final Solution” began. Every historian agrees that it was a political impossibility to change these laws.
    We must also keep in mind that when Roosevelt came into office in 1933, the Great Depression overshadowed everything else. Tens of millions of Americans were unemployed. Life in the United States presented a dismal picture: “In the long-blighted countryside,” David M. Kennedy wrote, “unmarketable crops rotted in fields and unsalable livestock died on the hoof….in towns and cities across the country haggard men in shaggy overcoats, collars turned up against the chill wind, newspapers plugging the holes in their shoes, lined up glumly for handouts at soup kitchens.” (42)
    There was no possibility of the United States opening its doors to any more immigrants, regardless of their religion, race, or tragic situation. The passengers on the St. Louis were among many European refugees—anti-Nazis, anti-Fascists, Socialists, labor leaders, refugees from the Spanish Civil War—all seeking entrance to the United States.
    3. Crystal Night
    Despite all that, Franklin Roosevelt was outraged by the Nazis’ treatment of German Jews. He thought Hitler was insane. After the Crystal Night pogrom of November 1938, Roosevelt recalled the American ambassador to Germany. He was shocked by the actions of the Nazis. “I myself could scarcely believe that such things could occur in a twentieth century civilization,” he said at a press conference. No U.S. Ambassador returned to Germany until the Nazis were overthrown. And Roosevelt was the only important world leader to criticize Germany about Crystal Night. (76)
    4. Immigration in 1940-1941
    Contrary to popular belief, and in the face of strict immigration quotas, both the leadership of the American Jewish community and the Roosevelt Administration were actively involved in trying to save as many Jews as they reasonably could prior to the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 and the fall of France in June, 1940. 25% of all German Jews had fled from Germany between 1933 and 1937. In September 1939 the German Jewish population was 185,000 meaning 340,000 German Jews (65%) had fled prior to World War II. Of the 185,000 Jews in Austria in 1938, 126,000 had emigrated by 1940. (441) Between 1933 and 1942, 161,000 Jews came to the U.S. Between 1938-1940 half of all immigrants to the U.S. were Jews. [ I repeat, half of all immigrants…] The United States accepted about twice as many refugees as the rest of the world combined, 200,000 of 300,000. (442)
    After the fall of France in 1940, the United States and Great Britain were stunned. France’s army had been larger than the German army. People could not believe that Germany could so swiftly conquer, not only France, but Norway, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
    In this atmosphere, Roosevelt was not about to admit any European refugees to the United States given the nature of the threat, the adamant opposition of the American people and Congress, the possibility of terrorists bombing American military targets (which the Germans actually did during World War I), and the desperate need for consensus in the conduct of American foreign policy.
    Meanwhile, Hitler’s chief victims, were the Jews of Poland and Russia, who could not be saved. Of the nearly six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, 4,565,000 were Polish and Russian and 125,000 were German. We have to keep in mind that the German Army and the S.S. controlled all aspects of life in Europe and that Poland was a very long way from Great Britain. We barely saved Great Britain and the Soviet Union. The Jews of Europe could only be saved by the defeat of the massive German war machine.
    We must also remember that, after Pearl Harbor, our nation’s mission was the defeat of not one but two genocidal tyrannies, the Nazis and the Japanese militarists who had attacked us and killed over 2,000 Americans at Pearl Harbor. During World War II, the Japanese committed genocide on a massive scale. They murdered 20 million Asian civilians. (493) The United States was in a vicious war with the Japanese, whom the American people detested far more than the Germans. Roosevelt, however understood that the Germans must be defeated first.
    View Historical Map Of Europe
    The Final Solution began with the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Roosevelt had been re-elected by promising to keep a reluctant America out of the war. Massive massacres of Jews, such as the murder of 33,000 at Babi-Yar occurred in September 1941 before the United States was even in the war.
    By the end of 1942, Hitler was the master of Europe, from Norway to North Africa, from the Atlantic Ocean to the gates of Moscow. He was able to annihilate six million Jews in Poland, the Soviet Union and Europe, as he had absolute control of the killing fields.
    5. Silence
    View Presidents Warning On Atrocities
    Those who say that Roosevelt and the American people were silent about the Holocaust are wrong again. Roosevelt denounced the massacre of the Jews in the strongest possible terms beginning in August 1942. War criminals, he said, would face “fearful retribution.” The State Department made “the most vigorous representations possible,” to the French Vichy government, protesting the deportation of the Jews. View US Rebukes Vichy On Deporting Jews
    As early as October 7, 1942, Roosevelt warned the Nazi leaders that the Allies were aware of their war crimes and that “it was the intention of this government that the successful close of the war shall include provisions for the surrender to the United Nations of War Criminals; and that the criminals would receive a certain punishment.” This was the origin of the Nuremberg trials.
    View Nazi Punishment Seen By Roosevelt
    View President Predicts Murder Orgy by Nazis to Wipe Out Minorities
    Rabbi Stephen Wise and other Jewish leaders meet with Roosevelt on December 8, 1942 to request that the president issue a declaration condemning the massacre of Jews specific ally. The United Nations Declaration on Jewish Massacres was issued on December 17, 1942, nine days after Rabbi Wise and his delegation requested it. Signed by the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and eight occupied countries, it denounced, “in the strongest possible terms, this bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination.” It condemned the German governments’ “intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe….” The Declaration received wide publicity in the American press. It was on the front page of the New York Times. In the eyes of the world, it committed the Allies to prosecute war crimes against the Jewish people. It simply would not have happened without FDR’s strong concern about the Jews of Europe.
    View 11 Allies Condemn Nazi War On Jews
    Why this declaration is barely quoted by legions of Roosevelt critics I do not know. Michael Beschloss in his best seller, The Conquerors, entitles his chapter on the subject, “The Terrible Silence,” and claims there was a “conspiracy of silence.” But there was no conspiracy and Roosevelt was certainly not silent.
    The Jews of Europe had been Hitler’s prisoners since 1940. 3.5 million Jews were dead by December 1942, one year after Pearl Harbor. Not until the Normandy invasion could we begin the process of liberating Hitler’s Jewish prisoners, held, beyond Germany, in faraway Poland.
    Until May 1943 we were losing the Battle of the Atlantic. We could not invade Western Europe, let alone rescue the Jews in Poland. Roosevelt’s critics do not seem to know that until May 1943 more American ships were sunk by German U-boats than succeeded in arriving in Great Britain. Thousands of merchant mariners died in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. Churchill later admitted that the U-boat was “the only thing that really frightened me during the war.” “The Germans never came so near to disrupting communication between the New World and the Old World as in the first 20 days of March 1943,” the Admiralty Staff concluded. “From the Allied point of view,” historian Samuel Elliot Morison observed, “Victory was not even in sight.”
    6. War Refugee Board
    Even in the face of this difficult military situation, Henry Morganthau, Jr. and others, convinced FDR to establish an American agency to try to save the Jews of Europe, FDR created the War Refugee Board in 1944 by executive order. He warned the Hungarians in March 1944 to not participate in what he called, “one of the blackest crimes of all history, begun by the Nazis in the days of peace and multiplied by them a hundred times in time of war. The wholesale systematic murder of the Jews of Europe goes on unabated every hour.” He promised swift punishment to the Nazis. “The United Nations has made it clear,” he said, “that they will pursue the guilty and deliver them up in order that justice be done.”
    The accomplishments of the War Refugee Board are disputed by historians. But whatever it did accomplish (and some historians argue that it saved up to 200,000 Jews) was accomplished with funds from the American Jewish community, the Joint, and the Roosevelt Administration. For example, the savior of many Jews, Raoul Wallenberg, is revered by Roosevelt’s critics as, “a Swedish diplomat.” But, in fact, he was an agent of the War Refugee Board, the Roosevelt Administration and the Joint. He would never have gone to Hungary had it not been for the War Refugee Board, the Joint and the donations of American Jews.
    7. Auschwitz
    Finally we come to the explosive issue of the failure to bomb of Auschwitz. Arial View Of Auschwitz
    We first have to accept the fact that the power and precision of World War II aerial bombardment was mythical and the American military knew it. Only one in five bombers got within 5 miles of its designated target. Successfully bombing Auschwitz meant killing the Jews in the camps. This included killing Anne Frank and her entire family. Bombing the railroad tracks from Hungry to Auschwitz would have been useless. First, it was a difficult task limiting air power needed for Normandy invasion in the Summer of 1944; second, trains could divert to other routes; and third, the railway lines could be repaired in a matter of hours. As Georgians are well aware, even the Confederate Army could quickly repair railway lines during the Civil War. That is why General William Tecumseh Sherman tied them in knots (474).
    View Railroads and Auschwitz
    There is no question that American bombers could have bombed Auschwitz between May and November 1944. Indeed the U.S. Air force bombed the complex where Auschwitz was situated. But no one wanted to bomb Auschwitz, especially Jews. The overwhelming majority of the Jewish leadership worldwide – including David Ben-Gurion (later the first Prime Minister of Israel), Jewish Agency Executive of Palestine, and the World Jewish Congress – adamantly opposed the bombing, “We do not know the truth concerning the entire situation in Poland,” Ben-Gurion said, “and it seems we will be unable to propose anything concerning this matter.” Another member of the JAE said, “it is forbidden for us to take responsibility for a bombing that could very well cause the death of even one Jew.”
    A. Leon Kubowitzki, himself a refugee from Nazi-occupied Europe and head of the rescue department of the World Jewish Congress, wrote the director of the War Refugee Board, John Pehle, and underlined it for emphasis: “ View Letter The destruction of the death installations cannot be done by bombing from the air, as the first victims would be the Jews who are gathered in these camps, and such a bombing would be a welcome pretext for the Germans to assert that their Jewish victims have been massacred not by their killers, but by the allied bombings.”
    Despite erroneous assertions by many historians and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Jewish leaders overwhelmingly opposed the bombing of Auschwitz. Kubowitzki wrote to one Jewish leader, “I think you know that we are not in favor of the bombing of the extermination installations….Because we believe in hayei shaa [literally, “life of the hour,” meaning saving those currently living] and we are afraid for the Jewish victims of such bombings and giving the Germans an alibi.” View Letter
    The Holocaust Museum takes one of Kubowitzki’s numerous letters to John McCloy, assistant Secretary of War and enlarged it to make it appear that he was requesting the bombing of Auschwitz. Not True. This letter, the centerpiece of the Museum’s display on the bombing of Auschwitz, merely passed on a message from the Czechoslovakian government in exile and McCloy was well aware that Kubowitzki and the World Jewish Congress adamantly opposed the bombing of Auschwitz. View First Letter View Second Letter (I have written the Holocaust Museum about this blatant error, but have yet to hear back from their Chief Historian.)
    Representatives of all major Jewish organizations meet with Pehle, the Director of the War Refugee Board, on August 16, 1944 and none were in favor of the bombing of Auschwitz. It is a controversy created by historians, not by the actual participants in history.”
    >>>>>>>>>

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hmmm. Here we go again with this horseshit. And it seems Questions is a bit confused as to which one of Wigwag’s monicker’s I called a jackass. I hope Sweetness can avoid making the same mistake, but I realize its a real challenge juggling three different personnas, and a person is bound to get confused.
    And now “Questions” wants us to “cite actual evidence of Iran’s not being a clear and present danger”? Geezus, does he really think this kind of asinine request boosts his credibility? He oughta give Rove a call and see if he can’t land a job.

    Reply

  26. Kathleen says:

    Note to Joe; Call J Street.

    Reply

  27. WigWag says:

    Carroll, as usual is so blinded by her hatred of Jews that she can’t read straight (let alone, think straight).
    She says, “But as for the missed point…Klein isn’t talking about ‘all’ the people who supported the war, he is talking about a specific group, namely the jewish zionist.”
    A little later on she goes on to say “I say Bravo for Joe.”
    But of course, Joe Klein is a “jewish zionist.” He proudly proclaims it himself in his article.
    “I remain proud of my Jewish heritage, a strong supporter of Israel and a realist about the slim chance of finding some common ground with the Iranians.”
    She’s so mixed up that she inadvertently praised a prominent supporter of Israel.
    LOL!

    Reply

  28. Kathleen says:

    Carroll… I see what questions means with the baseballs and seams… the push to war was not exactly kosher in more ways than one.. there were plenty of Wasp NeoNutzis in that chicken soup using helping Jews as their excuse for attacking Arabs. We refused entry to a boat load of Jewish refugess, during the war, so I’m hard pressed to swallow the riff about helping Jews as our noble cause.
    That said, it does not discount what Joe was pointing to. On the subject of Omerta, Skull and Bones, the Masons, the KKK are right up there in the Gentlemens’ Agreement department.
    So, in conclusion, I would say those who pushed for war are screwballs, coming apart at the seams, not baseballs.

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    Well questions you have once again missed the point and wandered off into a tour of baseballs so I doubt anyone is going to put up a structured arguement to a unstructured comment.
    But as for the missed point…Klein isn’t talking about ‘all’ the people who supported the war, he is talking about a specific group, namely the jewish zionist.
    His point is that the US jewish zionist and their lobby orgs do what they do and hold the hawk views they hold because of their devotion to Israel,a foreign country, not their devotion to America or spreading democracy or any of the other cover stories.
    Hence he calls them dual or non loyalist becuase their motivations are for a foreign country’s interest , not ours, which is accurate.
    Whatever his reasons for doing it, it was still a brave thing to do since he is going against the jewish Omertà and knew the usual suspects would be out to slur and defame him.
    There has already been much public discussion about the many reasons of others who supported the war. Joe just owed up to and nailed his jewish peers reason.
    I say Bravo for Joe.
    And as for Iran, it is only a threat to Israel and America’s desire to control the region. No halfway intelligent or informed person believes that Iran is a military threat to the US or Israel.

    Reply

  30. Kathleen says:

    questions… you are right… the critical issue is whether or not Iran poses an imminent threat to the US … just as it should have been the question on invading Iraq…. and, for that matter, Afghanistan, a country which did not attack us either…

    Reply

  31. questions says:

    “Gutsy” is a little strong for this. In fact, I get the feeling he’s following the fashion which takes no courage at all. Bill Kristol’s refusal ever to change his mind EVER, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, would seem to be farther along the courage continuum (all the way to stupid, ignorant foolhardiness–an extreme of courage that becomes a flaw).
    Before I get to the details, I want to offer a useful distinction between “accidental properties” and “necessary properties” of objects. What makes a baseball what it is is not its color or temperature, but rather its shape and the pattern of stitches and its size. Baseballs COULD be red or orange and they’d still be baseballs. They could be 75 degrees or 85 degrees, and they’d still be baseballs. Thus, the color of the ball and its temperature are accidental properties, while its shape and stitch pattern are necessary properties. For some objects, color is a necessary property, sometimes, accidental. Now with this distinction in mind, let’s go to Joe Klein’s piece. He writes:
    There is a small group of Jewish neoconservatives who unsuccessfully tried to get Benjamin Netanyahu to attack Saddam Hussein in the 1990s, and then successfully helped provide the intellectual rationale for George Bush to do it in 2003. Their motivations involve a confused conflation of what they think are Israel’s best interests with those of the United States. They are now leading the charge for war with Iran.
    What we have to ask here is what are the necessary and accidental properties of these war hawks he is so “gutsy” for pointing out? They are “small”, in a “group”, they are “Jewish”, they are “neoconservatives”, they tried something in the 90s, they helped Bush, they are after Iran.
    “Small” and “groupness” seem to be helpful characteristics for this project because small numbers of likeminded and grouped people tend to validate and radicalize one another’s viewpoints (see Cass Sunstein, Why Societies Need Dissent). “Neoconservative” is a descriptive term for those who hold a constellation of views that these people seem to hold, and so the term is redundant. That they have had a project for heading on to 2 decades is interesting, but is not a causal mechanism so much as a description. The only other term that Brave Joe Klein uses is “Jewish”. And the question here is, “Is Jewishness a necessary characteristic or an accidental one?”
    Well, I know a whole lot of Jewish people. Some of them have converted to Judaism, some light Shabbat candles, some go to shul, some have their kids bar/bat mitzvahed, some are atheists, some are bleeding heart liberals and some are conservatives, some critique Israel, some live in New York, some are very assimilationist, some speak Yiddish, some are Lubuvichers, some keep kosher, some are vegetarians, some are tall, some are short…… What are the accidental and necessary properties of Jewish people such that it’s worth pointing out that a small group of Jewish people supports Bush’s wars? I’m not sure we can even say what “being Jewish” means, and so I’m not so sure we can use this category to structure an argument.
    What I think is happening here is that too few people who put out their opinions for the world to read actually know anything about structuring an argument, about valid premises and logical conclusions, about defining terms and arguing based on the right categories. Bad argumentation leads to bad conclusions and then horrific consequences. Remember the correlation/causation issue in the social sciences, and even the theory/hypothesis distinction in the sciences. When we conflate terms, we get really really stupid in our thinking.
    Brave Joe Klein, in his previous pro-war persona, might have accepted all of the Bushwar arguments because he foolishly thought that somehow being Jewish meant that he had to agree with the war. Being Jewish is not a necessary characteristic for supporting the war, and so the mistake he made previously he now compounds by pointing out that there are Jewish people still supporting the war. It’s not the Jewishness! It’s the hawkishness. It’s a set of beliefs held by large numbers of people at various times that US military power can solve a lot of supposed problems in the world. And remember that something like 90% of the country supported the war and most of them could not be considered Jewish or neconservative. They could however be accused of not understanding logical argumentation and refusing to read widely enough to find that there were voices against the war, voices that used evidence and reason.
    Klein would be so much better off pointing out the basic ignorance of the prowar position, the sheer foolishness of anyone’s thinking that decapitating a government from the outside leads to peace, the stupidity of confusing war and stability, the endless idiocy of the US’s constantly supporting thugocracies. These characteristics are the necessary ones for figuring out US policy. Jewishness is not.
    So when Brave Joe Klein bravely braves the criticism 5 years into this current mess, I think he’s really disingenuous and we would be better off looking for actual arguments based on actual evidence that rests on necessary traits, rather than on constructing policy based on accidents.
    I am willing to read and consider alternate viewpoints if they are structured arguments. Please refrain from “jackass”, “horseshit”, and “if your lover touched you…” (I am quoting, not making this up!) Arguments that cite evidence work a whole lot better at convincing people than do ad hominems, curses, rumors, innuendo and the like.
    And if Brave Joe Klein, Steve Clemons, or anyone who posts here really wants to battle the idea that a war on Iran is the best thing since sliced toast, they may all do better to cite actual evidence of Iran’s not being a clear and present danger, rather than saying, see, it’s that small group of Jewish neoconservatives again. Argue based on necessity, not based on accident. Please.

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  32. serge says:

    I agree that Mr Klein has in this instance demonstrated some real spine. This hasn’t often been the case, and I hope he keeps up this kind of resolve.
    Why it still takes balls to utter anything close to the truth about American support of the Likud party…the question itself makes me wince. Hell, even John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have to go to Israel recently (for Christ’s sake) in order to be reasonably accepted, though not necessarily feted*. In America…not so much. How is that?
    *http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/06/18/walt_mearsheimers_friendly_rec/

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  33. Mr.Murder says:

    Karadzic got extradited today.
    Maybe some more of the media will begin to push back, motivated by a sense of personal freedom as opposed to war crimes hearings.
    Think the fact that an average Joe flip flopped might make a pattern indicator example?
    This is a bell cow moment, or just one that gets pout to pasture?

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  34. Mr.Murder says:

    Jokeline?
    He’s had such a fan club that Time occasionally shuts it blog down to give the balding opinion writer cover.
    You’re lowering the bar to new levels. In the red. A negative. Maybe it would sound like more if he was described in terms of absolute value.

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