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October 30, 2007

Zakaria v. Podhoretz

If I were Fareed Zakaria, would I debate Norman Pohoretz? I can't figure it out. On the plus side, I coud hopefully attack, and delegitimize, his views On the minus side, simply appearing in the same froum as him might add credibility that he, like me, is a foreign policy expert. It's sort of a tough call. In any case, Zakaria did take on the Papa Pod, and crushed him.

October 30, 2007 | Permalink


Maybe he bets on the chance that Podhoretz will have a heart attack...

Posted by: Gray | Oct 30, 2007 12:32:54 PM

1) When did it become okay to suggest every single enemy or potential enemy of the country is Hitler-in-waiting?

2) When did it become okay for the news media not to even acknowledge Ahmadinejad's relative powerlessness on issues of foreign policy?

Posted by: jhupp | Oct 30, 2007 12:37:42 PM

(Zakaria does mention my 2nd point; but the moderator doesn't touch it, which is irresponsible as hell.)

Posted by: jhupp | Oct 30, 2007 12:41:34 PM

I don't think he really had a choice. The media will legitimise him anyway, because they always legitimise hawkish foreign policy opinions, and he is foreign policy advisor to the leading Republican candidate.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Oct 30, 2007 12:57:00 PM

I heard a Holocaust survivor a while back (I believe it was on BBC, but I'm not sure) suggest that living unfree under Saddam was the equivalent of living in a Nazi concentration camp. Seriously, that was the argument. Would we free Jews from concentration camps today? We owed the same to the people under Saddam.

Posted by: Binky | Oct 30, 2007 12:59:55 PM

We could have freed the Jews (and all the others) from the concentration camps a lot earlier than we did. But we didn't.

Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 30, 2007 1:13:10 PM

"We owed the same to the people under Saddam."
Exactly, the SAME. Not keeping them in the same old concentration camp, only under new command.

Posted by: Gray | Oct 30, 2007 1:16:54 PM

When did it become okay to suggest every single enemy or potential enemy of the country is Hitler-in-waiting?
It's not. There are all sorts of potential enemies out there. It's only okay to use the Hitler comparison if you're talking about the Enemy of the Month, whose identity you can determine from the latest RNC talking points. It was Saddam Hussein. Now it's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It's possible that in the future it could be Kim Jong Il, Hugo Chavez, Pervez Musharraf, or Gordon Brown. You have to keep up.

Posted by: KCinDC | Oct 30, 2007 1:29:25 PM

I watched this for the same reason one might stop to watch a fire or other natural disaster. I don't understand what makes a person an "expert" these days. I understand Podhoretz has opinions, as we all do, and can actually express them in complete declarative sentences, as only some can. But is that enough to make him an "expert"? This is, after all, the same criteria that makes the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, etc. experts. Too bad we can't put "making sense" or "doing real research" in there somewhere.

Posted by: Judy P | Oct 30, 2007 1:40:03 PM

"I heard a Holocaust survivor a while back (I believe it was on BBC, but I'm not sure) suggest that living unfree under Saddam was the equivalent of living in a Nazi concentration camp."
Well, that Holocaust survivor was wrong, and the comparison is absurd - unless living unfree meant going to one of Saddam's prisons. Otherwise, a middle class family in Basra - until the sanctions - was much better off than that middle class family is today - doubtless fled from Basra, as so many have fled. Ask the majority of people in Baghdad - if you can find where they went - to compare the Baghdad of today with their Auschwitz years under Saddam.

It may not be the holocaust survivor's fault. He might have been cherrypicked to make a propaganda point. But of course the point is whacky.

Posted by: roger | Oct 30, 2007 2:48:42 PM

KC: Thanks for clarifying. I've gotten waaaaay behind on my RNC talking points reading. This explains the embarrassed looks I got when I showed up at my latest Stop the World's Hitlers meeting and started saying something about maybe Ahmadinejad's failure to successfully start killing or deporting the Jews in his own country should disqualify him. Then the looks were even weirder when I said something about the Ayatollah specifically decreeing that Iranian Jews are to be protected.

A follow-up: do the RNC talking points tell me which public comments from evil people are to be believed and which are lies devoted to their own public image? Because while I recognize Hitler would also be pretty happy to destroy Israel, I'm like 98% sure he also didn't like having Jews in his own country. But if Iran's president is the next Hitler, why would this Ayatollah guy, who is legitimately evil but who doesn't want to kill all the Jews, let him be President?

Life is so confusing sometimes for those of us who haven't read the right memos.

Posted by: jhupp | Oct 30, 2007 2:52:03 PM

Podhoretz compares Ahmadinejad with Hitler, but disallows the comparison to Kim Jong Il because Ahmadinejad is a religious nutcase. He can't reconcile these two talking points.

Posted by: Barringer | Oct 30, 2007 5:09:34 PM

I thought Podohoretz had his head handed to him, as well, but regretted that time was so sort Fareed only had time to argue the deterrence case. No time to get into diplomacy, etc.

Posted by: bob h | Oct 30, 2007 5:39:51 PM

This may or may not be old news, but I post it here in the hopes that the very informed commenters and you, Ezra, might be energized to see if it is, given your clear interest in all things Iran.

On Amy Goodman's show this morning I heard about a report in the Herald of Scotland about setting up stealth bombers on Diego Garcia for possible bombing raids on Iran. (The D-now link is http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/30/1340252, and the herald link is here: http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/foreign/display.var.1792035.0.0.php)

At present you cannot use Google maps to zoom in on Diego Garcia. A quick search on Google for past views of Diego Garcia yielded this link


at the federation of American Scientists - scroll down the comments on a search for Diego Garcia, where the commenter notes that next to some B52s are four ``climate shelters'' for stealth bombers, and a link to this Google earth image from last summer:


The poster claims later on down that the B2 news is old news. I do find it interesting that Google is shutting down zooming here but did not earlier in the summer. Did some request come from the DOD in this regard?

Here is a link focusing on `Google Earth' censorship with an alleged picture of a B2 hangar at Diego Garcia: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/alan-turnbull/secret3.htm

So is the google map silence and the Edinburgh article evidence that moves are afoot on Diego Garcia towards Iran?

Posted by: calscientist | Oct 30, 2007 7:40:33 PM

The Pod is an expert? Since when?

Posted by: merlallen | Oct 31, 2007 7:41:53 AM

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