Of Israel, Harvard and David Duke

“International relations scholars John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard University ignited a furious debate last week with their lengthy essay ‘The Israel Lobby,’ appearing in the London Review of Books. Their argument — that the influence of a powerful pro-Israel lobby in the United States threatens U.S. national security — has reverberated through academic and policy circles, the media and the blogosphere. A sampling of their article and the ongoing controversy…” (Washington Post)

Walt and Mearsheimer singled out Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz as an apologist for the ‘Israel Lobby.’ Dershowitz’s response, in part, was to smear them for using quotes he says were drawn from Neo-Nazi hate sites (New York Sun). Dershowitz is not saying they originate with neo-Nazis, just that they are ‘commonly found’ there. I don’t know how he knows it, but he insists that “…[the authors] cite them to the original sources, in order to disguise the fact that they’ve gotten them from hate sites.” The fact that David Duke lauds the paper, as the Sun delights in publicizing, tars with the same brush. Of course, the London Review of Books, which published Walt and Mearsheimer’s article, has to defend itself against accusations of anti-Semitism (Guardian.UK )as well.

America’s Blinders

“Now that most Americans no longer believe in the war, now that they no longer trust Bush and his Administration, now that the evidence of deception has become overwhelming (so overwhelming that even the major media, always late, have begun to register indignation), we might ask: How come so many people were so easily fooled?” — Howard Zinn (The Progressive)

As FmH readers will discern, I have become unbearably bored by coverage of what is wrong with American foreign policy. Enough already; it does no good, even if the damnable public opinion polls establish to their heart’s content that the public have finally turned against the Iraqi debacle (and, BTW, there is far less evidence that the public are seriously questioning the broader premise of the War onTerror® as a whole…), there seems to be no way that translates into stopping the killing.

I normally derive a great deal of satisfaction from saying ‘I told you so’ [hint: FmH’s archives go back to November, 1999] but am suffused with impotent rage that no one was listening even to far more cogent voices than mine who were horrified from the moment it was clear what a central role imperious bullshitting bullying adventurism would play in the Bush administration’s gameplan.

What’s wrong with the psyche of the American people for swallowing all the pig swill for so long is an immensely more relevant question, especially because they are about to do it again.

Fool Me Twice

Sound familiar? “…For months, I have told interviewers that no senior political or military official was seriously considering a military attack on Iran. In the last few weeks, I have changed my view. In part, this shift was triggered by colleagues with close ties to the Pentagon and the executive branch who have convinced me that some senior officials have already made up their minds: They want to hit Iran.” — Joseph Cirincione, director for non-proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Foreign Policy)

Be careful What You Wish For…

Prayer does not heal the sick, study finds: “Praying for the health of strangers who have undergone heart surgery has no effect, according to the largest scientific study ever commissioned to calculate the healing power of prayer.

In fact, patients who know they are being prayed for suffer a noticeably higher rate of complications, according to the study, which monitored the recovery of 1,800 patients after heart bypass surgery in the US.” (Times of London)