Woolsey Watch: Oil and Anti-Semitism


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Former CIA Director James Woolsey is speaking at Yale University next Thursday afternoon. If you are nearby, you should go.
Woolsey will be speaking for he Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism on Thursday, 29 March, at 4:15 pm in Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Room 101, 63 High Street in New Haven.
His topic: “Energy, Security and the Long War of the 21st Century.”
I think Jim Woolsey’s work to support greater energy independence in the U.S. is laudable — while I have strong disagreements with him on how he has positioned himself as a financial winner in this war on terror while so many American men and women are paying with their lives, family emotional and financial security, and careers for a war he has helped flame as a pundit. I also strongly disagree with the former CIA Director’s advocacy of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard’s release.
That said, it would be interesting to hear Woolsey talk about the “long war.”
Ask him where the best opportunities are for profiteers in this long war we face. Where is putting his money? He’ll probably say “Toyota stock” — but press him.
Seriously though, I think anti-semitism as a trend is important and worthy of study. Years ago, I helped the Pacific Rim Institute of the American Jewish Committee get access to high-level Japanese political and cultural leaders for discussions to help stem what was a rising tide of anti-semitic literature in Japan. The material that some Japanese cults were producing was really disgusting and needed a response.
I just don’t know what Jim Woolsey’s energy concerns have to do with anti-semitism studies — unless in his remarks (that I hope someone reports on) he is going to paint a broad brush stroke alleging anti-semitism against all the Middle East regimes that sit on oil — even those regimes that are trying to propose a final peace solution with Israel. That would be a sad outcome of Woolsey’s appearance at Yale. Let’s hope he proves my suspicions unfounded.
Charles Small, the Yale program director, is an accomplished academic and may just be bringing in someone like Woolsey because of the cachet of having a former CIA Director. It wouldn’t matter to Small perhaps what Woolsey was speaking about — even if it was something like Eastern shore birdwatching.
But I suspect that Woolsey has been invited in part because of his overdrive activities advocating Jonathan Pollard’s release or as a tireless advocate of another war in the Middle East.
Perhaps I’m just being cynical, but it would be useful to hear from any Yale attendees on how much hyperbole Woolsey engages in next Thursday.
— Steve Clemons


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