Tuesday, December 23, 2003

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Whither Wolfowitz?

Today's Washington Post has a pretty sympathetic profile of Paul Wolfowitz.

Two minor quibbles, however. First, it contains this statement:

No deputy secretary of defense has ever held the prominence that Wolfowitz has had over the last two years. He is widely seen inside the Pentagon as the most likely replacement if Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld steps down.

That ignores a hell of a lot of chatter saying the opposite. Mickey Kaus collects some press clippings arguing that Wolfowitz is actually on the outs with the administration. For example, Time says:

The Rummy and Wolfie show may soon go off the air. It is widely believed in national-security circles that Wolfowitz may leave the Administration sometime in 2004. He has become too controversial for Bush to promote to Defense Secretary; Wolfowitz believed that U.S. troops in Iraq would be greeted with rose petals.

UPDATE: Kaus now has chatter that contradicts his previously collected chatter:

Kf has received an email from a trusted oracular Bush source suggesting not: "The guy spreading it is free-lancing." ... You mean a distinguished journalist like Robert Novak--who wrote that Wolfowitz had fallen from favor--would be carrrying water for a source? I don't believe it! ... (emphases in original)

Second quibble -- the story has the following criticism:

Some see Wolfowitz's views on the Middle East as dangerously naive. "Wolfowitz doesn't know much about the business he's in," says retired Marine Gen. Joseph Hoar, a former chief of the Central Command, the U.S. military headquarters for the region. "He knows very little about war fighting. And he knows very little about the Middle East, aside from maybe Israel."

Shouldn't the Post have mentioned that Hoar is now on Howard Dean's list of foreign policy advisors?

And what, exactly, does Hoar mean by that last clause?

UPDATE: TNR's &c. has more Wolfowitz.

posted by Dan on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM


“And he knows very little about the Middle East, aside from maybe Israel."

This sentence should indeed not be ignored. Is Pat Buchanan also a supporter of Howard Dean? I’ve recently learned that Dean’s Church is rabidly anti-Israel. I think we are getting the picture. As I said previously, I doubt very seriously if Senator Joseph Lieberman and other more moderate Democrats will be supporting their party’s presidential nominee in 2004.

posted by: David Thomson on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Its an awful faint wisp of the anti-semite theme of the "neo-con" myth ... but its a wisp.

posted by: Robin Roberts on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

It ought also to be said (which is why I'm saying it) that the most vocal reports of the supposed anti-Wolfowitz feelings have been from Robert Novak, a "paleocon" who is vigorously against Wolfowitz.

posted by: Charlie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

“It ought also to be said (which is why I'm saying it) that the most vocal reports of the supposed anti-Wolfowitz feelings have been from Robert Novak, a "paleocon" who is vigorously against Wolfowitz.”

Robert Novak has become the exception rather than the rule within the Republican community. The opposite is true for the followers of Howard Dean. I’m utterly convinced that the majority of them are anti-Israel. It would stun me to no end if the polling data contradicts my suspicions.

Is being anti-Israel virtually the same thing as anti-Semitism? Yup, without a doubt. There is admittedly nothing wrong in taking certain Israeli government decisions to task. No country is above valid criticism. I personally have some concerns about some of the settlements. Still, there is something very strange when it is implied, if not even explicitly stated, that Israel is an unjust and malevolent national entity.

posted by: David Thomson on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Dean and his supporters anti-Israel?

Are there no depths to which you will not fall?

posted by: GT on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

GT: No, there isn't. Remember, these are the same people who accused *Paul Krugman* of anti-Semitism.

The RW attitude towards Jews is just as bizarre as the LF. As the Left can't stand Jews because we no longer make ideologically correct victims, the Right only approves of Jews that buy into neo-con Armageddonism. Any Jews who are still what Jews traditionally have always been - i.e., liberal -- are dismissed as not really Jewish, in favor of the tiny slice of Jewish fundies who, for whatever reason, are allied with the fundies on the right.

The RW gets a genuine heavy jelly at the thrill of calling Jews (and, in this case, people married to Jews) anti-semites. They get to simultaneously co-opt and denigrate a group of people they really can't stand.

posted by: Ciel on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Complete nonsense, Ciel.

posted by: Robin Roberts on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]


My college roomie used to write stuff like yours when he was stoned to the bejeesus, too.

Beyond that, I'll just echo Robin.

posted by: Rick on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

"The Right only approves of Jews that buy into neo-con Armageddonism."

That's original, I must say. Good luck with that thought down at the Patent Office.


posted by: SteveMG on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Echoing is what y'all do best: whatever the neocon party line is. Emptily, without the slightest recognition it's self-contradictory bullshit.

posted by: Ciel on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Project much, Ciel?

posted by: Robert Crawford on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Since you are such an expert Ciel, why don't you explain for us exactly what defines a "neo-con"?

posted by: Clay Ranck on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

I beg to differ with you Steve, but its not original. Its just an echo of the Counterpunch / Chomskyite "Likud Jews and evangelical Christians want to rule the world" line.

posted by: Robin Roberts on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

"Neo" - pretty on the outside but vapid in affect; superficially impressive, but does not stand up well to logical analysis; sorry, boys, but there is indeed a spoon.

"Con" - a scam, a shell game; a fear of inadequacy masked by a hearty appetite for standing with one's boot on someone's neck.

posted by: Ciel on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Gee, like many American Jews, I spent some time in my youth living in Israel. Two trips, about a year altogether. My brother did the same. We both did the requisite brief tour of Egypt. It would be true to say of both of us that we know very little about the Middle East, aside from maybe Israel.

As Israel's defenders repeatedly point out, it is just one small island of a country in a vast sea of Araby, and for many reasons it is the only part with which many Americans are familiar.

But don't let me get in the way of your persecution complex.

posted by: Bruce on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

I always thought neo- was a Greek rooting meaning "new". Glad I got that corrected!

posted by: Clay Ranck on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Wow. They're right when they say conservatives have about as much of a sense of humor as the average lichen.

posted by: Ciel on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

“As Israel's defenders repeatedly point out..”

Don’t you consider yourself a defender of Israel? Please explain this peculiar remark? As for the alleged “persecution complex”---isn’t Israel the pariah of the international community? Aren’t you concerned about Israel being compared to to the most evil countries on this planet? Wow, this is certainly getting interesting.

posted by: David Thomson on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

"Neo" - pretty on the outside but vapid in affect; superficially impressive, but does not stand up well to logical analysis; sorry, boys, but there is indeed a spoon.

Can we apply this to other things? How about Neo-Keynesians...say that would help explain Krugman.

Uh-oh Neo-Classical economics...darn it that one applies to me.

How about we all just conclude Ciel is a complete doorknob?

posted by: Steve on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

TNR's &c. is funny.

"Just like some experts failed to predict that Iraq would invade Kuwait, experts like him and Dick Cheney failed to accurately predict the response of the Iraqi people to Saddam's ouster."

Are they really unaware that Wolfowitz predicted Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in the late 70s?

posted by: anderson on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

My, we've turned up a bit of a froth! I'm not precisely sure who all that sarcastic stuff about "persecution complex" and "Israel's defenders" is addressed to -- or, more properly, who y'all think you're addressing that stuff to.

And, good lord, don't ever try to have fun with words with *this* crowd.

It's been a fascinating (and, trust me, completely inadvertent) empirical confirmation of the theory that you neocons can only understand things within a predetermined context. No sudden changes of subject or style, no scribbling outside the lines.

Did like the doorknob bit, though.

posted by: Ciel on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Ceil --

"Sense of Humor":

Sense: the ability to perceive.

Humor: something that's funny.

In other words, a sense of humor is the ability to tell when something is funny.

That wasn't it.

posted by: Charlie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

“Dean and his supporters anti-Israel?

Are there no depths to which you will not fall?”

First of all, Howard Dean attends a church that is rabidly pro-Palestinian. This is not something I made up. I’m sure that the majority of Dean supporters deny that they are anti-Semitic. However, when pushed a little further---they unhesitatingly argue that the majority of Palestinians are essentially victims and not racist scum bags who wish to push the Jews into the sea. Moral equivalency underpins their thinking. The late Edward Said is truly their guide in these matters.

I would like to know if there are any polls that have researched the position of Howard Dean’s supporters on Israel? If they do not presently exist, doesn't everyone agree that some polling organization should soon make the effort?

posted by: David Thomson on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

you know what's really tragic? hardline Americans sitting in the comfort of their living rooms, a zillion miles from the nearest dune, yapping on and on about the fate of a country whose OWN patriotic citizens (elite commandos, fighter pilots, speaker of the knesset, former heads of the security service) understand better than anyone else its sense of moral and existential peril as a result of its policies.

the friggin' presumption of the right-wingers and the evangelicals in America is quite breathtaking. "bomb the towelheads!", "no compromise with terrorists!", "Palestinians = child killers!", blah-blah-blabbity-blah-blah.

you know, it's true that the Israelis depend on American tanks and gunships and an annual $6 bn worth of shekels that the Yanks send them from across the sea. but I'll bet even they know that the yappers at WSJ, Weekly Standard and Commentary and their "pals" like Wolfie, Perlie and our very own DT (that's an abbrevn for a condition, isn't it?) won't be able to save them when the Palestinian demographic phenomenon finally explodes.

good luck, folks. see ya at the voting booth of a unitary state in about, let's see, 10 yrs' time.

posted by: Pal. on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

It seems to me that to say, as "Ciel" does, that "the Right only approves [interesting word!] of Jews that [sic] buy into neo-con Armageddonism," is to ignore the extent to which much of the intellectual leadership of "neo-conservatism" is Jewish. Ciel's statement, indeed, seems to equate "the Right" with "neo-conservatism," since conformity with the latter is the basis for approval by the former. Why does Ciel believe that to be true?

Also, I would be interested to know the basis for the view that liberal Jews are "dismissed as not really Jewish." To the extent that "Ciel" believes -- as I suspect she does -- that most Jews continue to be liberals, and to the extent that even most liberal Jews remain strong defenders of Israel -- e.g. Sen. Lieberman -- who is "dismissing" these people? Certainly not neo-cons who find common ground on the issue of Israel and its place in the Middle East.

posted by: Franco on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Well, I read two things into the remark, neither of which are anti-Semitic. First, by the standards of the Administration and especially by the standards of the neocon movement, Wolfowitz on Israel is a dove.

No, I'm not joking. He got booed at one of the big Jewish conclaves. He seems quite sincere that the Palestinians need their own polity, and that Israel can be the dominant power in the region more on the strength of the economy than the strength of arms. His views are unquestionably to the left of the Likud's mainstream.

As a result, people who follow this issue closely might be tempted to compliment Wolfowitz on their one area of agreement.

The second statement is already upthread: American Jews at least think they know a lot about Israel. (As an American Jew who has lived in Israel, I am not so sure.) Most Americans know very little about the other countries in the region. Wolfowitz's track record, having been taken in by Chalabi's claims of a grand underground resistance in Iraq, suggest he is not one of the exceptions to this.

[Aside to David Thomson: with the settlement expansion supported by much less than half of the Israeli public, is Israel now anti-Israel?]

posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

“[Aside to David Thomson: with the settlement expansion supported by much less than half of the Israeli public, is Israel now anti-Israel?]”

Huh? You obviously are not paying attention. Please note that I earlier remarked, “There is admittedly nothing wrong in taking certain Israeli government decisions to task. No country is above valid criticism. I personally have some concerns about some of the settlements. “

posted by: David Thomson on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Thank you, Andrew Lazarus, for making that last crucial point.

It would be interesting to learn how our resident armchair "experts" resolve this seeming conundrum. I'll bet that, with the help of that classic detachment from reality that distinguishes the true neocon, they will answer as a chorus: "bomb the towelheads!", "no compromise with terrorists!" ad infinitum. Or as DT's formulation has it: "racist scumbags".

In your eyes, they might be racist scumbags, towelheads, sand ni@@ers, or dune coons - but at this very moment, a whole lot of sand ni@@ers are busy with their wives in bed, working hard to bring in their 5th, 6th or 7th child into the world. Importing all the Ethopian or Russian Jews in the world will not be enough to stop Arabs acquiring numerical superiority.

So unless the Israelis find a way to play ball and pretty sharpish, they WILL find themselves in the sea one of these days, whether they like it or not. And they finally know it.

posted by: Pal. on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]


The Arabs have had numerical superiority for millennia. So what? With two states, why would there be a demographic problem? The Israeli Arabs? There are more religious Jews in Israel than Arabs and the last time I looked, orthodox Jews can crank out the babies too. My friend Eli and his wife have at least ten kids.

Will a majority of Muslims ever tolerate a polity where dhimmis are sovereign on land declared as wakf? That's doubtful, but Jewish survival has beaten long odds for a long time.

There are about 200 million Muslims who are probably willing to make peace with the Jews. Unfortunately there are about a billion Muslims.

posted by: gregor samsa on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

At least in recent times, there were no Jews en masse in that land prior to the 1890s. The statement "The Arabs have had numerical superiority for millennia." is therefore misleading. There was no one else to have numerical superiority over.

But leaving that aside. "With two states, why would there be a demographic problem?" Precisely. Unless the Israelis can come up with a relatively just two-state solution (ignoring suicide-bomber provocation, uprooted-settler discontent and right-wing American bloodlust) - and just as important, unless it's a solution they are actually willing to implement as opposed to just pontificate about, and the onus for fairness and justice DOES lie with the Israelis since it has had its boot on the Palestinians' neck for six decades now - unless all this comes together for a proper two-state solution in the next few years, the Palestinians will cease to argue for a two-state solution entirely and shift to a one-state solution.

After that, short of committing mass-scale expulsions that will make the Naqba look like a picnic in the park, or ethnic cleansing a la Bosnia, or anti-Arab apartheid a la South Africa, Israel will cease to remain a Jewish state.

You mention Orthodox figures which are admittedly high. But, in the overall population, the fertility rate is far lower - about 2.5 children per woman (CIA Factbook 2003). The fertility rate in the occupied territories is about 6 (UNDP). Merger = demographic disaster.

Israel needs that (remember: fair and just) two-state solution for its survival. And it needs it soon.

posted by: Pal. on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

"And what, exactly, does Hoar mean by that last clause?"

Well, according to a profile by Bill Keller in the NYTimes, Wolfowitz did live there for a while as a teen, and his sister is married to an Israeli. I've seen no information suggesting that Wolfowitz has lived in an Arab nation for an extended period, or that he has an in-law from an Arab country.

I'd guess also that he'd have more contact with Israeli officials, seeing as how Israel is pretty friendly with the US. And, I dunno, maybe I'm being silly, but the Saudis and Egyptians might prefer to deal with someone who isn't, you know, Jewish, seeing as how they're kinda anti-Semitic in those countries.

During the Clinton administration, when he was at Johns Hopkins, I'm guessing he probably had more contact with Israelis than with Arabs, given that he'd probably run into Israelis at synogogue, where Arabs are pretty scarce.

It seems entirely reasonable to say that Wolfowitz knows more about Israel.

It also seems likely that Hoar is underestimating how much Wolfowitz knows about other Arab nations.

I don't see any reason to assume there's some anti-semitic intent here.

posted by: Jon H on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

I'm sure it just warms Pal.'s heart to discuss the joys of Arab population explosions (not to be confused with explosions set off by the Arab population), but at the risk of being cold-hearted, allow me to point out that an advantage in population is easy countered by an advantage in firepower.

In fact, Pal.'s very argument can easily be turned in favor of "Likudniks" -- with the rates of Arab population growth, no amount of territorial concessions will hold the Palestinians off for long, and the only permanent settlement to the problem is their expulsion and dissolution in the rest of Araby. I'm not actually advocating this, mind you, but it does make for quite the compelling argument.

As to what Israel "needs" in terms of solutions, "just and fair" are subjective terms, and Israel certainly will not go seeking Pal.'s approval on whatever solution they reach (with the Arabs, or in spite of them). The only question is whether Israel ever reaches a solution that they are willing to put into practice.

posted by: E. Nough on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Sadly, there are those who conflate rejection of the genocidal and fascistic claims and methods of the PA and their terror offshoots with racism.

If the Israelis dealt with the Palestinians and Islamic terrorists like the Syrians or Egyptians there would be no need for any road map or other fiction toward peace.

Simply put, it is the genocidal fantasies of Arafat and his murderous minions that will ultimately seal the fate of the Palestinians. No amount of largess or understanding on the part of enablers like Pal (see above) will make any difference.

The proposed disengagement is just and likely inevitable. Then it will be up to the Palestinians themselves to determine their own future. The duplicity, treachery, and murderous fascist regime that is the PA will finally have a constituency to answer to.

The EU is finally awakening to this fact. The US and Israel already have. It's the Palestinians who will be the last to know what hit them.

posted by: dogsbythesea on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

I don't mean to interfere with the entertainment of watching the usual suspects froth at the mouth in response to something a Democratic candidate's supporter said, but Hoar is generally right about Wolfowitz. His views are not untypical of senior uniformed officers, either.

Wolfowitz has been very influential in the making of foreign policy in this administration, providing an intellectual framework to a group of people who didn't have one after 9/11 and enabling the Pentagon to extend its reach well beyond strictly military issues. But this is still Donald Rumsfeld's department. Most of the Defense Secretary's job relates to war fighting and force structure, not foreign policy. Rumsfeld, able to get into the first up to the elbows himself, could use Wolfowitz to extend his reach into the second; Wolfowitz would be out of his depth in Rumsfeld's position, though one could make a case for him in Colin Powell's.

What Hoar says about Wolfowitz's relative familiarity with Israel and other Mideast countries is true of most senior American officials. His comment doesn't appear to bear so much on the Israeli-Palestinian situation (in regard to which Wolfowitz has clearly not been driving American policy) as it does on issues like planning for postwar Iraq. Here Wolfowitz clearly was the driving influence; he brought vision to administration policy, but his limited knowledge of Arab culture and politics and eagerness to complete his bureaucratic victories over other administration officials who knew more but were less committed to his vision contributed to the difficulties the occupation has faced so far.

That, I think, was what Hoar meant. I would not go so far as to ascribe to him the view that Wolfowitz and other neoconservatives are too much influenced in their thinking about the Arab future by excessive Israeli optimism about the potential for Arab democratization to transform Arab attitudes toward Israel and toward us. Though that is not inconsistent with what he said it does not necessarily follow, and is only my own opinion.

posted by: Zathras on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

The only problem with that last clause is the word "except". Wolfowitz does know a lot about Israel, and has actually written some pretty intelligent thigns about Israel. But there are, fairly obviously, a lot of problems in the Middle East which don't have all that much to do with Israel, and Wolfowitz doesn't act as if he knows a hell of a lot about them (although I'd presume he knows more than me since it's his job to know, he certainly doesn't appear to understand the political dynamics of Iran all that well, for example).

posted by: dsquared on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Obviously, for the above comment to make sense, the word in quotation marks has to be "maybe" rather than "except". ach.

posted by: dsquared on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Most encouraging is Pal.'s deep-seated concern for Israel's future existence, along with the firm conviction that the Palestinians have a most healthy respect for democratic values!

posted by: Barry Meislin on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

“...and the onus for fairness and justice DOES lie with the Israelis since it has had its boot on the Palestinians' neck for six decades now...”

This slanderous assertion by "Pal" who is apparently from India is not at all unusual. He may very well represent the majority of those living in his part of the world. Please note that recently we were visited by a gentleman from Bangladesh. Z argued that even Ariel Sharon agreed “Israel is screwing over the Palestinians over and over again...” This is also the unofficial consensus viewpoint of the United Nations. Edward Said’s pernicious influence will likely be with us for some time to come.

Are we being perhaps viciously unfair toward Joseph Hoar? Are some of us taking him out of context? OK, in that case---someone in the Howard Dean campaign should demand that the former Marine general explain himself further. We should expect nothing less.

posted by: David Thomson on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Having just finished the chilling but essential book by Efraim Karsh "Arafat's War: The Man and His Battle for Israeli Conquest" I am convinced that nothing short of suicide of the Jews would satisfy this monster. Israel will fight to the death and take the entire Arab world down with it. There is going to be no one state solution since the West Bankers and Gazans are not Israeli citizens. The Pali rejection of Camp David and Taba proves beyond a doubt that their ultimate goal is genocide/politicide.

posted by: Joel on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

For the love of God, you lousy, stinking apologists.

Hoar said it , SAID IT. S- to the A, I D it.

No implication. No "I think he meant".

So the question is *why* he said it. Your boy said it; you clever, freaking, word-play apologists. So why did he say it? Why say it at all? Why not end at "Middle East"?

Maybe Easterbrook can weigh in here and let me know, eh Dan?

This is your problem, lefties. And you'd better fix it if you ever expect to get back into the WH ever again. You don't like the war? Fine. Oppose the war on merits.

posted by: TommyG on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

If you want to be loved by France and the UN then you cannot support Israel.
If you want to criticize the Israeli govt., then by all means but have a look how the Israelis themselves do it. Use facts and supply the context for the argument, and not snide innuendo. And please don't resort to the half truths and lies,spin "translation" and filtering used by the "holier than thou" crowd of BBC, NYT etc., fame.

posted by: Barry on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]


Your mindless bloodlust and constant reference to Edward Said addresses nothing and solves nothing - just like that wall of Sharon's.

Not everyone who disagrees with your anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-French, anti-Europe, anti-UN, anti-WORLD bigotry needs to have read Said for inspiration. Some people manage quite well without him. After all who needs Said when we have Israelis we can rely on for history and current news - Benny Morris, Amira Hass, Tom Segev? Or are they all brainwashed by Said too?

Repeat after me - "Americans don't know what's best for Israel. Israelis do."

For your part, just pray that they'll do the right thing.

posted by: Pal. on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

>>>>So why did he say it? Why say it at all?

Maybe he said it because it's completely obvious. Wolfie is certainly most interested in Israel's strategic interest even at the expense of the US interest. That's obvious from Iraq.

posted by: wellbasically on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Thaaank, you, Wellbasikally. One. One apologists (Boom) ah-hah-hah.

posted by: The Count on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

. . .anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-French, anti-Europe, anti-UN, anti-WORLD bigotry. . .

Yes, we can't possibly simply acknowledge that much of the Arab and Islamic world -- the West Bank and Gaza especially -- are nothing more than dictatorial kleptocratic hellholes, whose lack of education is filled in with imbecilic conspiracy theories straight out of old-school anti-Semitic tracts, and whose lack of concern for the life of a 4-year-old "settler" sleeping in her bed is only matched by their indifference to the life of a woman whose supposed rape "dishonors" the family. We can never acknowledge that terrorism is widely supported, or that humiliation in defeat causes more distress than the presence and widespread support of organizations whose raison-d'etre is to send teenagers to explode amongst pizza parlor patrons.

And we can never, ever call out the fact that France, the UN, and much of this precious WORLD of ours care more about having their turn at the trough of Arab oil, and keeping the terrorists looking the other way for a while, than they ever could about the fate of some five million Jews who have managed to build the only sane country in the middle of this sea of idiocy. When the keynote speaker at a conference of the "rulers" of these fine societies talks about Jews "inventing" human rights to make it seem wrong to kill them -- and gets a standing ovation -- we must draw no conclusions. For to say the obvious would be "bigotry."

Repeat after me - "Americans don't know what's best for Israel. Israelis do."

Israelis disagree. Of course, that's what happens when you don't have "martyr's brigades" running around killing dissenters for "collaboration."

For your part, just pray that [Israelis will] do the right thing.

Well, I certainly hope they do, whatever that is. More importantly, I hope they have the resolve to carry it through, even if (when) the precious WORLD disagrees. When the WORLD manages to act with 1/10th the decency of Israel under even remotely similar circumstances, perhaps the WORLD's opinion will matter to me a tad more than what Kofi Annan ate for lunch today. Until then, the WORLD can continue its useless air-spewing, and Israel, the U.S., and those who stand with us will do what we feel necessary, without consulting whatever windbags-in-ties represent the WORLD this week.

posted by: E. Nough on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Being anti-Israel makes you anti-Semitic? Lighten up! Given the vast and destructive history of anti-Semitism, I can see how people of the Jewish faith are suspicous of the motives of any one who is "anti-Israel." But it is possible to hold anti-Israeli views and not be anti-Semitic. And contrary to the beliefs of most contributors to this site, holding anti-Israeli views is not the same as believing Israel doesn't have a right to exist. I am no fan of the current Israeli government, but I absolutely believe in Israel's right to exist and would advocate American military intervention to preserve Israel's right to exist.
An unfortunate mind-set has taken over the neo-con movement that subscribes to the belief that all critism of Israel or even individual neo-cons, (like Wolfowitz,) is anti-Semitic. Neo-cons of today sound like the Al Sharptons of yesterday -- "if you're against my point of view, you're racist"....Or like the Joe McCarthys of yesterday --"if you're against me, you're a communist."

posted by: Roger Anderson on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Get real! Wolfowitz is dangerously partisan when it comes to Israel. Do you think he is a Jehova Whitness?

It is not only fair, but it would be plain stupid not to examine Wolfowitz's ties to Israel. This is US policy after all. He is one of the most powerful forces shaping our policy over there. Anti-Semetic? How about just being rational. Hoar knew what he was talking about. It is fair and right to ask what influence his ideas about Israel have on his thinking about AMERICAN policies in that region. To think otherwise is dangerously naive.

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]


Your last post is demonstrably wrong. Also disgusting.

posted by: JPS on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Fact is, Wolfowitz, Pearle, Ledeen, Libby, etc., etc., etc., etc., are all Jews who support not just Israel, but Greater Iseal. Fact is, they all are very influential in this administration. Fact is, we are at war with Iraq, Israel's main threat for years. Fact is, American Jews have deposited on the steps of the Capital Building, metaphorically speaking, the bodies of many Congresspersons and Senators who hinted at re-examining our Mid-east policy (Earel Hilliard and Cynthia McKinney most recently). Fact is, most American Jewish lobby groups (the most powerful lobby group in Washingtoin, according to Fortune Mag.) act in conjunction with Israeli policy. Fact is, the Legislative Branch of the US Governement is in the controll (as Sharon has pointed out on several occasions) of Israel when it comes to the issue of Israel/Palestine. Fact is, our foriegn policy in the Mid-east has been hijacked by Insraeli interests to the detriment of OUR interests in that part of the world. Fact is, no politician will go near that issue, not even the President. It took Leiberman all of thrity seconds to pounce on Dean for the mere mention of a more balanced policy in the Mid-east. Pilosi followed the next day telling Dean to stay away from Israeli issues. The Jewish lobbies are handling that one. Fact is, we had no enemies in the Arab world prior to the State of Israel. Fact is, it is almost inconcievable that a client state that couldn't exist for six months without US support is using the US to carry out ITS policies, a staggering reversal of the usual historic process. Fact is, Israel is the single most incindiary issue that fires the hatred of the US in the Arab world. Fact is, ALL THAT is what Hoar really meant, but couldn't say, when he made the Wolfowitz comment. And those are the FACTS!

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

(Roger, Blackie)

Two, no, three! THREE vonderful monn-bats (Crash,Boom) Ah-hah-hah-ha...

Yes, Yes, my chill-dren...be patient...there vill be more..

posted by: The Count on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Cripes. Doesn't take you guys long to out yourselves - huh, blackie? You better unplug that TV next November.

posted by: TommyG on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Before you dismiss Blackie's point, consider this: Just for the sake of discussion, what if Bobby Kennedy Jr. was a deputy sec. of state and a shooting war broke out in Northern Ireland? If he were the chief architect of U.S. policy during this conflict, wouldn't more than a few people question his motives? Wouldn't some wonder if his family's sympathies for a united Ireland were shaping his judgement? Wouldn't some say his pro-Ireland bias is damaging the Anglo-American alliance and therefore he is putting what's good for his ethnic homeland in front of what's good for America?
Given this scenario, I think the above questions would be 100 percent legitimate -- and I am an Irish-American. Additionally, I don't think anyone in the media would find this line of questioning to be taboo or anti-Catholic.
Having said that, the history and devestation of anti-Semitism runs much deeper than that of anti-Catholism. So I can see why Jews and Wolfowitz defenders are sensitive about this topic.

posted by: Paul Ryan on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]


For the sake if argument, Can I safely assume that you weren't referring to the blackie post at 1:41pm. Got to be careful when taking up for the moon-bats.


posted by: TommyG on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Fact is, most Americans do not have a clue about what is happening in the Mid-east, thanks in large part to a media absolutely frieghtned to death to examine the facts. Jewish groups threatened NPR with withdrawal of their support if NPR insisted on examining all the facts of the Israeli/Palestinian issue. Ditto with Jews in LA when the LA Times had the termidity to try to balance its coverage. Fact is, the current US policy in the Mid-esat is the culmination the the Zionist's wet dream for the region, American money and blood neutering the Arab nations that will then come under the hegemony of Israel. Fact is, this policy has nothing to do wirth US interests. We lived with the Arab regimes since the end of WWII. It was the relentless lobbying power of the Israeli lobbies that helped to shapo this disastrous policy where we now find ourselves ensnared. Fact is, it is no coincedence that the TV images coming out of Iraq are identical to the TV images we are used to seeing of Israeli storm troopers terrorizing Palestinians in their homes. The Zionist cannot believe that they have the US thinking that its interests are identicall with Israeli interests. THEY ARE NOT. Fact is, we need to break this fear of questioning policy when it comes to talking about Israel, Zionism and the influence of American Jewish lobby groups on OUR government. Fact is, AMERICANS need to get control of OUR foreign policy intersts in the Mid-east .

Repeat after me; US INTERESTS ARE NOT THE SAME AS ISRAELI INTERESTS. We are a multi-ethnic, secular, open, democratic society. They are a theocratic, closed, single ethno-racial society with Arab citizens who do not enjoy all the benefits of Israeli citizenship.

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]


Your right. I was not referring to the second Blackie post. His 1:41 post is way, way over the top.

posted by: paul ryan on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Blackie is out of his mind. I'm sorry I drew attention to him - let's all ignore him. But what do the rational people out there think of my Kennedy analogy?

posted by: paul ryan on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Argue to the points boyz. Or are you gonna act like the Zionists apologists who refuse to discuss the occupation but only want to talk about the reaction to the ocupation. History is cause and effect. Cause and effect. You occupy someone's land, you will create resistance. To then complain about the resistance is kindda lame and disengenuous. Only people who control the parameters of the debate can get away with that. Argue the facts.

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Too late, blackie. You're already outed.

What’s America’s fascination with Israel? Why the preoccupation with the security of the Jewish state, at the apparent ‘expense’ of American relations with the rest of the region, you ask?

Oh, I don’t know. You think maybe, just *maybe* that it’s got something to do with that Jewish kid, whazzhizname, that’s having that birthday party tomorrow? You know the one I’m talking about, right? The one the whole country celebrates? You following me here, genius? Because I don’t why I, or anyone else here, should even waist there time on second-order business when you can’t even get why Israel matters to Americans.

Be sure and get back to us when you can construct an argument.

Now, Paul, you raise a great point. Need time to craft that answer. But not today - Leaving for dinner. Merry Christmas

Hey, that's it. now I remember that kids name....

posted by: tommyg on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Wow, what an argument that Tommyg had. Pretty smart guy. But what if I am not Christain TommyG? Do I still have to support the Zionist facists? Besides jerk, what does Christ have to do with Israel? He didn't like the way they were acting then, and he probably would like it less now.

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Hey, Tom, let me.

1. Sounds smart to me.
2. So what, that doesn't change reality.
3. What does your support matter?
4. Lots of people think god came to earth there.
5. You'd have to take that up with today's Italians - after, of course, you read a book , or something.

P.s You're easy.

posted by: Burt Henson on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Sorry. I missed Tommyg's bigger point. He wants America to be a Christain nation, just like Israel is a Jewish nation. That's why we should all support Israel, because we are a Christain nation. And you know as well as I do, all you good Christians, how Jeezus would be in his flak jacked with the Israelis bulldozing houses, tearing up olive trees and killing innocent civilians. I just can't remeber that we are a CHRISTIAN nation. and that's why we should support a Jewish state. Just like the founding fathers wanted, a Christian state standing beside a Jewsih state to foil all the dark peoples who want to be left alone. but Christ put OUR oil in THEIR land, just like he put Arabs in Jewish Lands. now what are we gonna do about that? Hey, you gotta be tough, just like Jeeezuss was, when you come across a situation like that. knwo what i mean.. all you Christian soldiers??

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

David Thomson said:
"First of all, Howard Dean attends a church that is rabidly pro-Palestinian. This is not something I made up."

I say:

Prove it, jackass.

I would also like for you to explain how this little fact fits in with your retarded "Dean is anti-Semitic" theory:

Howard Dean has been married to a JEWISH woman (Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean) for 20 years and is raising both of his children as JEWISH. And he sings Hannukah songs, too.

Oh, and here's a link explaining that Dean's Congregationalist faith has it's origins with the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock.



posted by: Sandra on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]


You still don't get it. NO ONE is allowed to say anything about Israel except to praise it.

If Dean said that the US should be more balanced in its policies vi-a-vis Israel and palestine, why, by God, that qualifies him as an Anti-Semite. Een if he is married to a Jew. Jews who don't toe the line are "self-hating Jews".

Amerians, unlike Europeans and most other peoples in the world, have simply been brainwashed when it comes to israel. One simply cannot question Israeli policies. Period.

This has come about because we have been fed a steady stream of myths about the israelis. The Israelis and American Jewish groups have set the parameters about how we are to talk about Israel, set the limits of what could be discussed, and then dominated that discussion to the detriment of the truth.. By the way, most Jews here and in Israel are also victims of these myhs and half-truths. What makes these myths so pernicious is that they cost American $Billion of dollars, have led to a war, and have prevented real peace efforts to be tried in the areas.

It is incumbent on Americans and israelis to break thru these lies and to expand the parameters of the debate. Otherwise, the Zionist will stay in power to the detriment of the US, Israel, and the poor Palestinians

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Tommy G writes: "Because I don’t why I, or anyone else here, should even waist there time on second-order business when you can’t even get why Israel matters to Americans."

Funny, America didn't particularly care much about Israel or the Jews for most of its existence.

posted by: Jon H on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

“David Thomson said:
"First of all, Howard Dean attends a church that is rabidly pro-Palestinian. This is not something I made up."

I say:

Prove it, jackass.”

Franklin Foer wrote the following in The New Republic:

“Sermons sometimes make the case for lefty causes, especially the plight of the Palestinians. (Last June, a sermon at (Howard) Dean's own Congregationalist church blared, "The real violence is the violence of the occupation of Israel to over three million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.")”


PS: I am a subscriber to The New Republic. Unfortunately, non-subscribers may be unable to read the whole article.

posted by: David Thomson on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]


You are so full of the most one-sided cliches, it's pathetic. If a gang of thugs, armed to the hilt by some ganglord, came and grabbed you by the scruff of your neck and threw you and your kids out of your house and into a slum for the next 50 years, it'd probably serve you right.


posted by: Pal. on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

The endorsement of a Jewish homeland is a result of British bumbling around in their late-empire stupidity.

Benny Morris, the Israeli historian, mentions in "Righteous Victims" that the other alternative to the Middle East in the earliest days of Zionism was - believe it or not - East Africa, more specifically Uganda.

So, if that had gone thru, D(elirium) T(remens) and E.Nough and all the people here would now be screaming about the RIGHT of Israel to exist in African soil, and how they were bringing Western civilization and democracy and all that bollox to the backward Africans.

Here's a theory. It was Western civilization (not the Arabs nor the Muslims) that caused history's most gruesome act of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust.

The Germans did it, the Poles and the Italians and the French all did their bit, the Catholic Church winked all the way thru it, and the Americans knew about it too, but had to wait until Pearl Harbour before bestirring their majestic selves.

Did America care so much about the jews back then? No. Supporting Israel is at least partly about massaging that awful feeling of post-Holocaust guilt that just won't go away.

The creation of Israel in 1948 and the way the West has been supporting it at the expense of a people who actually had their homes there, all in the name of some bullshit notion of apartheid democracy, is ALL connected to that guilt.

But then again, America itself was created thru the extermination of an entire indigenous race, the Native Americans. It is not surprising that you should scream loudest in your support of Israel in Arabia, and its "civilizing, democratizing" mission.

Ni**er blood is cheap, isn't it? Always has been.

posted by: Pal. on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

As for you, E.Nough, I still hope someone will kick you out of your suburban house and throw you into a slum for 50 years. Teach you right.


posted by: Pal. on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Lemme help clear things up. I am on the outs with them guys. Their too political for me and i guess I'm just too wonkish for them. It's been fun, though.

posted by: wolfie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

It is rather curious that a post on Wolfowitz, who, together with others in the Bush administration, forged a policy that has taken the first critical steps to defend America from terror organizations and regimes, and in so doing enabled millions of Iraqis (and Afghanis) to have some hope of living more decent lives, has evolved (degenerated?) into bashing Israel.

Or perhaps not so curious.

Certainly there are those for whom any American success must be fought and denigrated--or at the very least ignored--at all costs and on all fronts, especially if it is perceived (rightly or wrongly) that Israel benefits, even if such success turns out to be for the benefit of Arabs, Moslems, and others, and may ultimately free Palestinians themselves from the terror apparatus that currently controls their lives.

Just as there are those whose vision of America (and possibly their political future) hinges on the success, or lack thereof, of America's current anti-terror policy.

And what better way of combating and undermining American successes in the Iraqi and Afghan campaigns than by deflecting the focus on to Israel, by using Israel as a prime distraction?

posted by: Barry Meislin on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

200, 000 Christians have fled the West Bank since the recent onslaught of the facist Zionist stormtroopers.

This is not just about Muslims. The Zionist will destry anyone who gets in the way of their wet dream to control Judea and Sumeria. And it must be remember that for the crazed Zionists, we are all goyim; Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus. And all goyim are outside the "Law", which means you can do to them as you please....as long as you can get away with it!

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

The orthodox control Israeli politics to the dismay of most israelis and most Americ an Jews. It was the orthodox who said many American reformed Jews were NOT jews. This caused such an uproar that the crazed orthodox had to retreat...temproarily, to be sure.

In Israel the orthodox DO NOT WORK. They do not serve in the military. Yet, they get monthly stipends from the state. Actually, it comes from American taxpayer since israel, as it exists today, could not last a year without the aid of us beleagured Americans.

Most settlers are crazed American orthodox Jews from Brooklyn. American tax payers subsidise the building of the settlements. Then the israeli government gives these crazed American Jews a free home in a settlelment. it does not require them to work. The recieve monthly stipends. They do not have to serve in the Army, yet the Army has to protect them. These Brooklynits build the settlements on the Palestinian's water wells. They displace Palestinians who have lived there for centureis, rob them of there water, then call them terrorists when they resist.

This is all done in the name of Judaism, and increasingly in the name of America. And it IS done wirth OUR money.

Wan'na solve the Israeli/Palestinian problem tomorrow? Tell the israelis they have six months to abandon the settlements (not destroy them since OUR money build them) or ALL US MONEY STOPS.

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.


posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

The biggest lie of Zionism is that they are desperate for peace; if only they had a peace partner.

Peace is the last thing the Zionist want. Peace would deny them Judea and Sumaria. And that is their ultimate goal; a Greater Isreal, Ersetz israel, stretching from the Jordan River to the Meditereanean.

Yet their control over the debate is such that they have most Americans and Israelis beliveing that Arafat, this old man holed up in the rubble of his former building is threatening Israel and denying paestinians and Israelis peace.

Think about that for a moment. Most Palestinians don't have water, live in isolated ghettos (compliments of the Zionist State) and can't even get to a hospital.

Then there is Israel. A nation so powerful that it could probably defeat England and/or Germany. And they are threatened by these miserable souls.

the Zionist do not want peace for peace would deny them what they want most; Judea and Sumaria, aka the West Bank. Read the early Zionist writings from 100 years ago and they state this gola openly and clearly.

The Zionist grip on the American Legislative branch of our government, thanks to American jewish lobbies, has allowed Isael carte blanch freedom to carry out its criminal policy of ethnic cleansing on a scale unknown since WWII. And all of this right in front of the whole world community. Everytime the UN cries foul, the US vetos the UN resolution condemming Israel.

We Americans have become complicant in this crime that is being perpetrated by the Zionists to the lasting shame of Americnas and Jews worldwide.

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

What is it about the name 'Wolfowitz' that brings out the "Zionist conspiracy" loons?

posted by: Trent Telenko on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Regarding Zionist conspiracies, maybe some of us remember that for the last 15 years Wolfowitz has been scheming to get America to involved in "cleaning-up" Israel's enemies in the Mid-east.

I also have no doubt that Wolfowitz, consciensely or uncosciensley advocaters for policies that will benefit Israel. I guess one could argue against that premise, but certainly it must be admitted that one can also argue for that premise. The guy has been and still is a comitted Zionist of the most right-wing brand. he, along with the Sharonites want to ethnically cleanse the West bank and gaza of Palestinians. Does anyone doubt that? What more does Israel have to do to convince anyone of that?

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Of course there is NO Zionist conspiracy.

Israelis and American Jews acting in concert to promote policies benefitial to Israel? What a fantasy. Never would happen.

American Jewish lobbies (most powerful lobbies in DC, according to a recent Forbes mag. article), only exist to promote Judaism among goyim, and to spead and keep alive yiddish culture in teh American theatre. That's all. Oh, and to promote kosher food. Nothing whatever to do with Israel.

And anyone who suggests anything else is not only anti-Semetic, but also a consiracy nut.

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

The candor here is much appreciated. Identities are noted for action at an appropriate time.

FYI, Mr. Drezner was once on Ms. Rice's staff.

posted by: The Dark Forces on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

Abe Foxman, head of the Jewish Anti-Defamation league, has an op-ed piece in today's Washington Post.

He is whinning about how everyone is hitting on poor Israel, calling Sharon a Nazi and all. He says people are trying to "deligitimitize" israel.

What a joke. Everyone is at fault. Everyone except Israel. Nothing about the occupation. Nothing about the 18 resolutions against Israel in the UN. Nothing about the "wall". Nothing about the illegal settlements. Nothing. Just the same paranoid stuff about "everyone hates israel and the Jews".

Note; everyone is at fault ECXEPT Israel. Does this sound familiar? Nothing about what they are doing. Keep the focus on the effect. Cover up the cause. Nothing about the occupation or the killings, only about the reactionn to the occuppation and the killings.

But then again, everyone hates Jews. That explains everything. Everyone is anti-semetic and believes in a Zionist conspiracy. Israel is a total innocent.

Talk, talk, talk, talk and all the while keep stealing land and building the settlements. Create "facts' on the ground.

posted by: blackie on 12.23.03 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

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