January 27, 2007
But Are The Jews Good For It?
When the topics turns to Jews and their usury horns foreign policy clout,conversations become truly bizarre. Jonah:
one point that occurred to me afterwards is that Yglesias' position is very reminiscent of Charles Lindbergh's. Now, while no fan of Lindbergh's myself, I've nonetheless criticized the cartoonish demonization of the guy as well (see here and here for two recent examples). So, Yglesias shouldn't take too much offense, at least when I make the comparison. Regardless, Lindbergh believed Jews were pushing American foreign policy in an unhealthy direction, and so does Yglesias and, more significantly, so does Wes Clark. The merits and motives of the arguments surely differ in important respects, but they are similar in important respects too.
Jonah sort of tosses off that final aside about "the merits" differing, but isn't that rather important? Look, there are two claims here, either one of which can be argued with.
1) That Jews exert an outsized influence on American foreign policy. From AIPAC to The Weekly Standard to Karl Rove's admitted intent to siphon off donations from the Jewish community through unblinking support of Israel (which may also have been ideologically congruent for the administration), I tend to think this is a fairly obvious, even non-controversial point. Jews, after all, are rather overrepresented in the upper echelons of American politics. Take this conversation between such writers as Jon Chait, Matthew Yglesias, Jonah Goldberg, Ezra Klein, and Spencer Ackerman. Not a goy among them. In most contexts, this heavy representation in influential positions is something Jews are very proud of. Talk to my grandfather. Suggest that an effect of this political success is influence over foreign policy questions, however, and everyone blanches and calls for Abe Foxman.
2) That their influence is negative. This one's slightly more complicated. Depending on where you fall on the question of, say, invading Iran, you may think AIPAC's influence is just peachy. Or you may not. Or you may think it's unclear. Or you may think the Jewish community's influence lacks direction. But the merits are actually the point here, they're not just an interesting aside to be mentioned amid a lot of hand-wringing over the claim that Jews have a lot of foreign policy influence, hand-wringing being conducted largely by prominent Jews with outsized impact on the foreign policy debate.
On a somewhat related note, folks may be interested in this article I wrote on AIPAC's thuggish press control strategies and the outsized fear many in the journalistic community have of their reprisal powers.
January 27, 2007 | Permalink
What do you think would happen if we abandoned Israel?
Israel would be "wiped off the map".
I am sure that would please the Iranians, other Islamo-fascists, and most of the left, especially Jimma.
Did you all hear he supports terrorism against Israel until the Muslims get what they want? He only supports terrorism against Israel as a means for terrorists to get what they want from Israel, tho. He said so in his book.
Oh, and when he was president, Jimma Carter thought there were too many Jews on the Holocaust Memorial Commitee.
What happened to liberals? You used to support Jews. Now you don't care if Israel is obliterated. And as evident by your protest marches, liberals are firmly allied with those who want to kill Jews. Doesn't that bother you?
Posted by: Captain Toke | Jan 27, 2007 10:41:21 AM
So, Yglesias shouldn't take too much offense, at least when I make the comparison
A point that occurs to me now is that you have to be a blockhead to say something you know is offensive, then insist that noone take offense.
Posted by: Sandals | Jan 27, 2007 10:43:00 AM
Much to say, much to say. I'll say only some of it.
Point 1 concerns Jews. Point 2 concerns the Israel lobby. It's hard to gauge the net influence of the first since Jews are among the biggest critics of Israel.
I had a problem with what Clark said, and Ygelsias's defense of him, because Clark exagerrated the influence of the Israel lobby and their supporters. The problem is not that Clark pointed out that the Israel lobby was pushing for war with Iran, it's that he overstated their ability to succeed--a point that Yglesias acknowledges in the same breath that he defends him. Weird. If we shouldn't throw charges of antisemitism around, nor should we pretend that there's not a long dark history of imputing malign powers to Jews. Also, Clark called the Israel lobby the New York money people. Liberals, including me, are inclined to give Clark the benefit of the doubt because we think he's an enlightened guy, but I don't know that Yglesias would've had Pat Buchanan's back if he'd come under attack for talking about the New York Money's push for war with Iran.
AIPAC might be or might not be pushing for war with Iran, but it's silly and dangerous to think they are a force on par with the United States's perceived economic and strategic interests. Or even Bush's perceived political interests. People have an outsized interest in the influence of Jews, as opposed to, say, the influence of arms manufacturers. More than a few smart people think we went to war with Iraq to serve Israel, and such thinking denies the way the country works. The United States is an empire that serves itself, not a small country in the Middle East, which more than anything else is a strategic outpost.
Why it is that when a pol tries to rhetorically take on AIPAC he does it clumsily, in such a way that allows its defenders to accuse him of antisemitism. There's Clark, and before him Moran. Allah knows the AIPAC has a real and harmful influence; it's managed though money and PR to stifle debate to the point where not even a bold pol like Russ Feingold is willing to speak the truth about Israel's barbaric treatment of the Palestinians. There's a much more lively and honest discussion of Israel's occupation in Israel. It's maddening. But we shouldn't mistake the capacity to influence debate for the capacity to control policy.
Posted by: david mizner | Jan 27, 2007 11:04:50 AM
I'm sure someone else has said this, but the general objection to saying things like "Jews are X or Jews are doing Y" is not to pointing that Jews are in fact overrepresented in certain areas of politics, law, etc. As you say, that's an indisputable fact. People are unhappy with such terminology because it suggests that people doing Y because of their Jewishness, not that they happen to support Y and also happen to be Jews. If you say, "Jews are running the government," "Jews are influencing foreign policy," it suggests a nefarious conspiracy based on identity/religion, whereas if you say "Neoconservative thought is overrepresented in this government, and many neoconservatives are Jewish" it's pointing out the facts of the situation. "Jews are influencing foreign policy" is not accurate either- some are. Goldberg and Chait are, Klein, Yglesias, and Spackerman are sadly not, even though they're all Jewish.
Now, in the case of Israel-American relations, this is more complicated, because this is an instance where being Jewish may reasonably affect your point of view- you may be more likely to worry about guys who say they want to kill Jews just for being Jewish when you are yourself Jewish. Again, however, this causes some people (Goldberg) to lose their minds and talk about pre-emptive nukes, and some people (Yglesias) to suggest reasonable things that may actually improve the situation.
Posted by: SP | Jan 27, 2007 11:15:39 AM
With all do respect Ezra, I think you are being somewhat obtuse to the implications & ramifications of this discussion.
The question is rarely just whether Jews have an "outsized" influence on American foreign policy or any other policy aspect. "Outsized" can easily be reframed as "disproportionate" or "undue influence" and is generally cast as a tiny group of people who "control" policy. To plead ignorance at the potential anti-semitic implications of this is willful obtusion.
What does it mean to talk about the "Jewish" influence? To establish this, you've listed such names as Jonah Goldberg, Ezra Klein, Jon Chait & Matt Yglesias. Certainly the primary factors driving these people's diverse positions on policy, foreign & domestic alike is something more than their "Jewishness." So why the handwringing?
In identifying the "Jewish" influence you named the publication the Weekly Standard. Does the Weekly Standard have any goy editors or goy writers, or do they have to sign the pact before their published? Does the Weekly Standard, as a Jewish publication differ markedly from say, National Review via it's editorial stances on Foreign & Domestic affairs, or has NR been penetrated as well. What is the baseline of Jewry by which something is identified as "Jewish" or "Jewish controlled" and where along grid does say "The media" or "Hollywood" fall?
With such a disturbing over representation of Jews among the movers & shakers of the world, are you at all disturbed by the outsized influence they exert over our country? Isn't the ridiculously outsized influence of a tiny, politically homogeneous minority in proportion to other groups, including the white goy majority de facto a negative? Should we perhaps put a cap on the number of Jews we permit to make foreign & domestic policy decisions, lest risk such a tiny elite to drive our country off a cliff?
Posted by: potter | Jan 27, 2007 11:29:14 AM
I don't know that Yglesias would've had Pat Buchanan's back if he'd come under attack for talking about the New York Money's push for war with Iran.
I'm actually pretty sure he would. Remember Matt Y.'s defense of Bill Bennett's "abort every black baby" line as non-racist. I imagine Matt would say that yes, Pat Buchanan is an unpalatable character with a long history of anti-semitism, but that doesn't make this particular observation (that is, that wealthy Israel hawks, largely Jewish and many in NYC, are pushing for a military confrontation with Iran) untrue.
More than a few smart people think we went to war with Iraq to serve Israel, and such thinking denies the way the country works. The United States is an empire that serves itself, not a small country in the Middle East, which more than anything else is a strategic outpost.
But if US foreign policy was entirely directed by (perceived) self-interest and the logic of the military-industrial complex, we'd have something akin to brute Kissingerian realism, which wouldn't have landed us in a massive nation-building/region-resculpting project in Iraq. Indeed, recent US policy in the Mideast has been wildly at odds with American interests in the region. There were obviously other interests and influences at work, and it's natural for people to look for them - and while it's certainly simplistic to just point the finger at Israel, it's also certainly naive to pretend that the influence of prominent Israel hawks has had nothing or little to do with recent US policy.
Posted by: Christmas | Jan 27, 2007 11:47:25 AM
"it's also certainly naive to pretend that the influence of prominent Israel hawks has had nothing or little to do with recent US policy."
Of course. As I said, it's one factor among many. It's a matter of emphasis. And I said *perceived* US interests--that is, the imperatives of Empire. Wes Clark has condmemned the influence of Jewish American hawks--fair enough--but has he EVER condemned the notion of Empire? Has Yglesias, for that matter? Have they ever argued that it would better for us and the world if the United States was less powerful, not more? Can't we all agree that the War in Iraq had much less to do with protecting and expanding Israel power than protecting and expanding American power?
The war in Iraq and a potential war in Iran are the product of a bipartisan, Jew-Gentile consenus, to which Wes Clark belongs, that believes that American military might should be projected around the world. If you don't tell the whole story and focus on Jews, well..."
Posted by: david mizner | Jan 27, 2007 12:06:08 PM
What's really going on here is the sort of "identity politics" people like Goldberg are very critical of in other contexts. It's not disturbing that Jews are disproportionately represented in foreign policy debates. But it is disturbing that some very potent members of this debate view everything through the prism of the question's Ezra's title was playing with: Is it good for the Jews? You wrote, "Certainly the primary factors driving these people's diverse positions on policy, foreign & domestic alike is something more than their 'Jewishness.'" But this is precisely what's at issue here. By their own admission, the most hawkish Jewish foreign policy pundits feel a stronger bond with Israel than, say, Irish American foreign policy pundits feel with Ireland. What Matt and Ezra are saying is that the manifestations of this bond may not always be what's best for America, and "the potential anti-Semitic implications" you refer to only make sense if you regard this concern as motivated by a suspicion of Jews in general as opposed to a suspicion of an expansionary tribalism that Matt and Ezra would probably be just as likely to harbor toward the larger America-Fuck-Yeah crowd.
So to review, here is the rough argument being made:
1. Making one's ethnic identity the primary basis for one's foreign policy views can easily lead one astray.
2. Some Jewish hawks form their foreign policy views primarily on the basis of their ethnic identity.
3. The mechanism by which some Jewish hawks form their foreign policy views can easily lead them astray.
4. These same Jewish hawks have a voice in the foreign policy debate that is much more prominent than it would be if it were proportioned to the percentage of the country who share their identification with Israel.
5. A prominent voice in the foreign policy debate offers judgments formed via a mechanism that can easily lead one astray.
Posted by: Ashish George | Jan 27, 2007 12:12:02 PM
Talking about Jews or anti-Semitism really misses the point.
The underlying problem here is that the American political system allows small, unrepresentative pressure groups to have outsized influence on our nation's foreign policy. During the Cold War, our Latin American policies were to a large extent dictated by large agricultural corporations. For half a century, our policy towards Cuba has been in the hands of the exile maniacs. And our policy towards Israel and the Arab world is so lopsided because of the influence of extremist Zionist groups (not all of which are even Jewish).
I don't know how to fix this. Ultimately, it would probably require both eliminating the electoral college and geographical representation in favor of a system of proportional representation, and full public financing of campaigns with a complete ban on private contributions. Of course, both of these provisions are politically impossible because they would require Constitutional amendments. This means that, for the forseeable future, our foreign policy is doomed to be an incoherent mess, run for the benefit of whatever groups can provide the biggest bribes to politicians or the most significant electoral contributions.
I suspect if the nation's largest Islamic community was located in Ohio or Florida instead of Michigan, our policy towards the Islamic world would be more even-handed. Call me cynical.
Posted by: Josh G. | Jan 27, 2007 12:12:29 PM
People have an outsized interest in the influence of Jews, as opposed to, say, the influence of arms manufacturers.
Not at all. In US policy regarding Israel and the Palestinians, Jews, as a group, have had a greater impact than any other group. And Jews are obviously disproportionately influential in more diffuse ways in many other areas, something that I don't see any downside to; on the contrary, it seems to me that's been a very good thing for all concerned. But in regard to Israel, the influence has been decidedly negative, on the whole, distorting policy and discouraging sufficient checks on Israeli policy for the decades since 1948 in a way that have made the entire region far more dangerous than it would probably be otherwise. And it isn't getting any safer. In indirect ways, our policies toward Israel have probably been as destructive to our interests and the Middle East as any other policies over the last 50 years. The only reason to doubt how terrible the effects are in comparison to the alternatives is that we might well have managed to screw things up almost as badly in some other way. But the actual effects of our actual policies have been terrible.
There is indeed a lively discussion among Jews, and within Israel, over Israeli policies, and many of Israel's harshest critics are Jews. However, the mainstream in Israel and among the hard core of US Israel supporters is still one based in the bad faith of willful blindness from the start, with a distorted mythology that passes for history, and an unwillingness to face the moral contradictions and hypocrisy inherent in Israel from the beginning to this moment. Sure there are Jews and Israelis who point these things out, but they're not calling the shots, literally or figuratively.
Just saying this, or far less, brings out the charges of anti-Semitism, something as useful to its makers as it is paranoid and in bad faith. In this thread it's already out, in subtle but still inexcusable forms.
Where does this lead? Younger Jews, it appears to me, are more and more aware of the things I'm talking about (whether they would ever see them quite as I do or not), and are, I hope, going to more and more argue for sane policies towards Israel and within Israel. Unfortunately, things have gotten so bad as a result of past policies, I'm not sure there is anything in the short term that can be done to greatly improve things. Any hope for stability surrounding Israel must be for the long term. But this is an area in which Jews who identify with Israel or with Jewish concerns more generally have taken and must bear a special responsibility. It's good to see increasing stirrings of that.
Posted by: Sanpete | Jan 27, 2007 12:46:15 PM
What do you think would happen if we abandoned Israel?
Israel would be "wiped off the map".
Riiiiiight. So there's absolutely no middle ground between supporting a client state to run roughshod over its neighbours and destabalise the whole region and abandoning it to be overrun by the screaming Berber hordes.
Posted by: Phoenician in a time of Romans | Jan 27, 2007 1:07:27 PM
M. J. Rosenberg at TPM Cafe had an interesting post yesterday on these same issues.
He reports on conversations he had with a group of friends that drifted from a discussion about the Carter book to the more general question of who can feel comfortable criticizing Israel. He says: If this sample of Americans is at all representative, non-Jewish Americans feel very inhibited about talking about Israel out of fear that any criticism will be labeled "anti-Semitism.
I think this is correct and that supporters of Israel are far, far too prone to brandish the anti-semitism charge. That will backfire when the more silent Americans who are more willing to be even-handed between the Israelis and Palestinians finally overcome their hesitations because they feel the US is being led astray in the mideast - likely after a big blowup that harms the US overtly. Iran could be that spark.
As to the present discussion here, I think too much is being made of a youngish group of writers (like Ezra and Matt Y) and too little of long-time entrenched policy activitists deeply embedded in both government institutions and media. Guys like Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, etc. Sometimes it is hard for me to distinguish AIPAC from PNAC because of seemingly overlapping people and policy.
For myself, I'm supportive of the US guaranteeing the existence of Israel from being attacked and subjugated, but unwilling to continue US support of the Israeli government pursuing land policy versus the Palestinians that is just naked aggression masked as security settlements.
Only when we distinguish general support for the country and people of Israel from support for particular policies of the Israeli government will I feel we are on the right course. The UN voted Israel into existence in 1948 (after they had de-facto established their country), but that did not include the right of Israel to dominate the entire land area of former colonial Palestine.
The US has lost its credibility (in my mind) to act as an honest broker of a settlement between the parties. Will any other power-group replace this role of mediator?
I see no solution to the land issues forthcoming in the next couple of decades. For now, I'm more concerned that some kind of Israeli-American collaboration will lead us into yet another mideast war with Iran. That's where my concern about Israeli influence in the media and government is focused. Guys like Marty Peretz make me very nervous solely because of that concern - otherwise I could easily ignore his racist ranting.
Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jan 27, 2007 2:04:52 PM
I find most of this argument very distasteful and offensive. Somehow I don't remember Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon as controlled by the Jewish lobby in establishing ME policy. I remember factors like oil and Soviet influence being important. I doubt that the shifting positions we took in the Iran/Iraq war or Afghanistan were dictated by AIPAC. Israel as Democracy and Israel as Christian Holy Site seem at least as politically important as Zionism.
This is the kind of discussion that said the Pan-Arabism of Nasser and the Baathists was a direct result and wholly determined of our support for Israel. It not only reeks of anti-Semitism, it also likely contains a some prejudice toward Arabs and Muslims as autonomous actors.
There are no easy or simple answers in the ME, and the solution oof the I/P territorial disputes will not instantly resolve Sunni/Shia disputes in Iraq or cause Mubarek to become a Democrat.
"Irish American foreign policy pundits feel with Ireland."
Too long have the Celtic peoples been separated from their brothers in Wales and Scotland and Normandy. Just sayin'
Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jan 27, 2007 2:19:57 PM
To plead ignorance at the potential anti-semitic implications of this is willful obtusion.
My concern is with the nonchalance over Clark's choice of words: "rich Jews." Those are words that, within living memory, incited and preceded pogroms. Even if you agree with the "substance" of what Clark was supposed to have said, his choice of words should elicit more condemnation than it has here.
Imagine that a religious conservative said that "'secular Jews' are trying to drive religion from American public life." I suspect that Clark twenty-something apologists would (rightly) take offense and (rightly) dismiss the kind of parsing Ezra did here. No one would care about the composition of the ACLU (which is headed by a Puerto Rican) or Americans United (which is led by a Protestant minister) because the bigotry and potential harm in that statement is the kind of thing that isn't concerned with or counteracted by the facts. The same goes for throwing "rich Jews" around.
Posted by: Roberto | Jan 27, 2007 2:24:00 PM
"That's where my concern about Israeli influence in the media and government is focused. Guys like Marty Peretz make me very nervous solely because of that concern - otherwise I could easily ignore his racist ranting" JPO
Geez. I suppose I am to be accused of calling people anti-Semites, but there is no shortage of Americans who are Islamophobic, prejudiced against Arabs, and hawkish toward Iran. Why exactly do we find it so useful to ascribe these positions to Peretz's ethnicity in his case?
Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jan 27, 2007 2:27:56 PM
Bob sez:Why exactly do we find it so useful to ascribe these positions to Peretz's ethnicity in his case?
Mostly because he has said it is so, and not just a few times.
Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jan 27, 2007 2:34:05 PM
last night, i rewatched "platoon"....
thinking of the "surge",the catastrophe in iraq, the escalation now with iran...the tragic situation between the israelis and palestinians...
bombs exploding in anciant universities, pet markets filled with people and animals...the trading of verbal and veiled insults that ignite ancient hatreds and strife......
what is the matter with us.....
why is peace so unattainable in light of the catastrophic suffering of war and hatred.
why do human beings sacrifice their humanity and walk down that path of horrors.
blessed are the peacemakers.
if only there were more of them/any of them, now.
the events of the day grow more and more upsetting.
Posted by: jacqueline | Jan 27, 2007 2:48:54 PM
"Mostly because he has said it is so, and not just a few times."
That Peretz and Charles Johnson (or Cheney) are both wrong on the Middle East for different, similar, or related reasons is not all that interesting to me. Nor honestly is the fact that Jonah Goldberg and Ezra Klein are both Jewish, in some sense, maybe the same way I am Irish-Catholic, which means not very.
For fifty years I have been hearing that everything between Morocco and the Hindu-Kush is determined by I/P; from fervent supporters of Israel, opponents, and everyone in between.
I am so frigging tired of it. It's bullshit.
Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jan 27, 2007 2:51:35 PM
Somehow I don't remember Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon as controlled by the Jewish lobby in establishing ME policy.
Bob, you just don't remember. Truman was moved by what he saw as humanitarian reasons, very much affected by influential Jewish arguments for a homeland, fueled with Holocaust-related guilt that distorted perceptions of how harebrained an idea it really was in the form it took. By the time of Nixon the Jewish lobby was already legendary in its influence over policy towards Israel. You try to make what is said in this thread seem unreasonable by associating it with exaggerated views, rather than by addressing the views actually expressed. I'm sorry it makes you uncomfortable, but the effects of the policies involved are cause for far greater discomfort. These things need airing.
My concern is with the nonchalance over Clark's choice of words: "rich Jews." Those are words that, within living memory, incited and preceded pogroms.
So are you worried about pogroms, Roberto, or is there some other reason not to refer to rich Jews by those words? If I thought there was a danger to Jews from these words I might join you in your concern, but I don't.
Imagine that a religious conservative said that "'secular Jews' are trying to drive religion from American public life."
If it's true, then I wouldn't criticize it.
Posted by: Sanpete | Jan 27, 2007 2:58:49 PM
regardless of the opinion one holds,i think the term "rich jews" carries a connotation that makes jewish people very nervous...and rightfully so.
there is an insidiousness that lies beneath using a phrase like that, and i think it is not responsible for people in position of leadership to use that kind of language.
phrases with those kinds of undertones are inciteful.
they do not further the discussion in a way that is helpful....it is the kind of phrase that re-opens old wounds and prejudices.
.....it is troubling.
Posted by: jacqueline | Jan 27, 2007 3:09:02 PM
For fifty years I have been hearing that everything between Morocco and the Hindu-Kush is determined by I/P; from fervent supporters of Israel, opponents, and everyone in between.
If that's true, that's obviously wrong. But I rarely hear people making that argument. Usually it's as someone has said above: (a) on most things, most people just don't care, (b) that leaves politicians available to suasion, of sorts good and bad, by small groups that actually have pretty limited agendas, (c) Israel policy, for a long time, was one of the things most people didn't really care about (and for all I know, that remains true). This isn't a critique that depends on someone being Jewish, except insofar as being Jewish makes someone more likely to care about Israel policy. As I think others have said, we did look the other way on IRA support for a long time--as far as I know, no one claims AIPAC wasn't behind that.
I agree that the tenor of these conversations can get creepy very quickly. It occasionally does sound like people are arguing about the existence of Seekrit Magic Jews who control the world. Some--I just saw someone at MY's place--are. Those people are complete loons, and pretty much every sane person recognizes that.
Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Jan 27, 2007 3:28:09 PM
Even in light of Sanpete's two contributions, it's interesting to see how much more fundamentally decent the discussion over here is compared to Matt's, which over the last few days, seems to be a magnet for every reject off of David Duke's mailing list combing the internet.
Posted by: DRR | Jan 27, 2007 3:30:42 PM
the term "rich jews" carries a connotation that makes jewish people very nervous
It can, jacqueline, I'll grant you that. I don't see any reason to suspect such connotations from Clark. But you may be right that those in positions of leadership shouldn't speak quite that way, just to be safe. I'm not sure Clark qualifies for that, and will accept more casual speech from him in his current position.
DRR, I'm glad to see that I've passed to the left of David Duke. Matt gets a lot more exposure, so he attracts more of everything. But that's part of what I like about Ezra's discussions. Despite me, they tend to be more decent than many.
Posted by: Sanpete | Jan 27, 2007 3:51:38 PM
An example:George Bush, in IIRC his only overseas excursion before becoming President, has visited Israel and in his very limited way I suspect was aware of some of the I/P issues. But Bush was completely unaware of the Sunni/Shia division in Iraq.
The continued focus on the "Jewish Lobby" is counterproductive and dangerous, besides overstating their influence. I honestly worry more about Saudi/Carlyle influence than Jewish influence.
Was/is the Saud/Wahhabist takeover of Mecca/Medina, after centuries of traditional and religious sanctioned Hashemite responsibility a reason Heshemite Jordan is friendlier to the West than other Islamic Nations?
That Egypt has been the intellectual center of Islamic scholarship, both moderate and extremist, have to do with a political structure or being the most popular form of Sunni jurisprudence? By me.
How does the Old Ottoman Empire still manifest itself in Arabic geography? What does Osama's desire for a renewed Caliphate really mean?
We are so completely distracted, and I think the distraction is intentional, and not by Jews and Israelis. Abdullah of Saudi Arabia arabic title is Caliph, mistranslated for us as "King" and so is the title of the ruler of Jordan. But there can only be one Caliph at a time, being both political and religious leader of Arabic Islam. That the Caliphate was centered in Baghdad (Damascus?) probably has relevance for Saudi/Iraqi/Iranian relations.
All of the above might be completely wrong, I only dabble. But all the focus on I/P, AIPAC and the Jews means very few are even dabbling.
Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jan 27, 2007 4:07:41 PM
People who had a problem with what Clark said are the same people who always have a problem with this sort of thing. It's remarkable how unhinged the supporters of Israel are. Attacking anyone who criticizes them or their American lobby. they shriek and howl so often it's hard to take them seriously anymore.
Nothing makes you all special. You're not above criticism and you're not perfect. We can't be forced to see your favorite (or second favorite) nation as some bastion of civilization among the subhuman, barbarian hordes. And that's how you always sound when you describe it, so save your accusations of bigotry.
You're as bad as mac cultists. Only, you know, With them they just call stupid instead of racist. And Mac cultists can't get you fired or prevent people from being able to work in newsrooms. So I guess you're all a lot worse.
Posted by: soullite | Jan 27, 2007 4:16:10 PM
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