Monday, November 06, 2006

"The Usual Undertow"

Readers know by now that I look forward to calling out reflexive, unjustified claims of anti-Semitism. Andrew Sullivan's been a great read recently. But here's a post of his in which he links to this piece in The American Conservative, of which Pat Buchanan was a founder:
Virtually the entire conservative movement is now disowning this administration and this Congress. I welcome every single one. Here's the latest bunch of right-wingers urging a vote for the Democrats:
Faced on Sept. 11, 2001 with a great challenge, President Bush made little effort to understand who had attacked us and why—thus ignoring the prerequisite for crafting an effective response. He seemingly did not want to find out, and he had staffed his national-security team with people who either did not want to know or were committed to a prefabricated answer.

As a consequence, he rushed America into a war against Iraq, a war we are now losing and cannot win, one that has done far more to strengthen Islamist terrorists than anything they could possibly have done for themselves. Bush's decision to seize Iraq will almost surely leave behind a broken state divided into warring ethnic enclaves, with hundreds of thousands killed and maimed and thousands more thirsting for revenge against the country that crossed the ocean to attack them. The invasion failed at every level: if securing Israel was part of the administration's calculation—as the record suggests it was for several of his top aides—the result is also clear: the strengthening of Iran’s hand in the Persian Gulf, with a reach up to Israel’s northern border, and the elimination of the most powerful Arab state that might stem Iranian regional hegemony.

The war will continue as long as Bush is in office, for no other reason than the feckless president can't face the embarrassment of admitting defeat. The chain of events is not complete: Bush, having learned little from his mistakes, may yet seek to embroil America in new wars against Iran and Syria.

Meanwhile, America's image in the world, its capacity to persuade others that its interests are common interests, is lower than it has been in memory.
Yes, there's the usual anti-Semitic undertow here. It's Buchanan's posse. At the same time, on the simple facts on the ground, is any of this even debatable at this point? Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, we have to repudiate this administration's disastrous incompetence, or face even greater perils than we have been exposed to already. Tomorrow's the day. Do not be silent.
"The usual anti-Semitic undertow" evidently refers to this: "if securing Israel was part of the administration's calculation..." Now, here's President Bush in a radio interview last week:
I am deeply concerned about a country, the United States, leaving the Middle East. I am worried that rival forms of extremists will battle for power, obviously creating incredible damage if they do so; that they will topple modern governments, that they will be in a position to use oil as a tool to blackmail the West. People say, "What do you mean by that?" I say, "If they control oil resources, then they pull oil off the market in order to run the price up, and they will do so unless we abandon Israel, for example, or unless we abandon allies.
From the president's own words, we know that our troops fight in Iraq at least partially to defend Israel's interests. Say what you will about Buchanan's history here (and it's not clear who wrote the piece). But on this specific issue, either Andrew got caught in an undertow of his own or he's simply uninformed.

36 Comments:

Blogger Ahistoricality said...

You're a realist, you say. Why wouldn't Israel -- whatever else you think of it, our best ally in that region and the only one even close to a rights-respecting republic -- be a part of our calculations, either before beginning or -- since this administration sucks at foresight -- in considering the implications of our actions.

Speaking of reflexive, you've got a reflex yourself: you refuse to admit that there's any way in which Israeli interests might be coincident with US interests, a solipsistic foreign policy view.

11/07/2006 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of reflexive, you've got a reflex yourself: you refuse to admit that there's any way in which Israeli interests might be coincident with US interests, a solipsistic foreign policy view.

Though I suppose it'll always escape the terminally obtuse, critics of our policies toward Israel don't say that Tel Aviv's interests are never identical to American ones. Rather, they point out that we put ourselves (and, very likely, Israel as well) at risk by the more common error of assuming the two countries' interests are identical.

Got it now? It's really not very hard to grasp. Try drawing a Venn diagram before you.... Well, you know.
-- sglover

11/07/2006 1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are all wrong.

Bush and the Neocons want the Middle East in chaos. They intentionally divide everything and everybody directly in half. Then they pit both sides against each other and deny the rift exists.

They will bring the Middle East to such a fever pitch that the US will have no choice but to NUKE IT.

Jesus wept.

11/07/2006 1:47 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Though I suppose it'll always escape the terminally obtuse, critics of our policies toward Israel don't say that Tel Aviv's interests are never identical to American ones.

SGlover-

Before you decide to get pissy and hurl overheated expressions like "terminally obtuse," maybe you should know which city is Israel's capital.

11/07/2006 5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilarious, Mikey! But I'm pretty sure that Jerusalem's status has been a focus of disagreement, UN resolutions, etc., for decades. Let's consult the notoriously anti-Semitic CIA World Fact Book, shall we?

"Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but the US, like nearly all other countries, maintains its Embassy in Tel Aviv"

So don't talk to me about getting pissy, Mikey, until you get your own facts straight.
-- sglover

11/07/2006 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

I ready Andrew Sullivan pretty much every day (along with this blog) and I, too, felt that he was reading a bit too much into the "Israeli interests".

Despite that, I think it's pretty minor, given his prolific output.

11/07/2006 10:08 AM  
Blogger Tlaloc said...

"I ready Andrew Sullivan pretty much every day (along with this blog) and I, too, felt that he was reading a bit too much into the "Israeli interests". "

Ditto

11/07/2006 10:48 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

SGlover-

Gee. Now why am I not surprised you come back with that one. I don't care where the embassies are located (ever consider the fact that Jerusalem's just a tad more dangerous than Tel Aviv?). The capital is Jerusalem, and the only reason to say otherwise is to be provocative.

Which was precisely your point. And thanks for making mine in the process.

11/07/2006 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's not uninformed. Quite the opposite. John Derbyshire, at http://www.amconmag.com/03_10_03/review.html, explains what going on:

One evening early on in my career as an opinion journalist in the USA, I found myself in a roomful of mainstream conservative types standing around in groups and gossiping. Because I was new to the scene, many of the names they were tossing about were unknown to me, so I could not take much part in the conversation. Then I caught one name that I recognized. I had just recently read and admired a piece published in Chronicles under that name. I gathered from the conversation that the owner of the name had once been a regular contributor to much more widely read conservative publications, the kind that have salaried congressional correspondents and full-service LexisNexis accounts, but that he was welcome at those august portals no longer. In all innocence, I asked why this was so. “Oh,” explained one of my companions, “he got the Jew thing.” The others in our group all nodded their understanding. Apparently no further explanation was required. The Jew thing. It was said in the kind of tone you might use of an automobile with a cracked engine block, or a house with subsiding foundations. Nothing to be done with him, poor fellow. No use to anybody now. Got the Jew thing. They shoot horses, don’t they?

Plainly, getting the Jew thing was a sort of occupational hazard of conservative journalism in the United States, an exceptionally lethal one, which the career-wise writer should strive to avoid. I resolved that I would do my best, so far as personal integrity allowed, not to get the Jew thing.

11/07/2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous George said...

Israel -- whatever else you think of it, our best ally in that region...

Ally? Wouln't that mean a country that does things to help us? In all seriousness, what in the hell does Israel do for us? (Aside from consuming untold billions of our dollars, making enemies for us the world over, and spying on us?)

Someone help me out here- I'd really like to understand why it's in my interest to support Israel. I sat in gas lines in the 70's, so I understand the cost side of the equation. It's the benefit side I don't get. Mike?

11/07/2006 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee. Now why am I not surprised you come back with that one. I don't care where the embassies are located (ever consider the fact that Jerusalem's just a tad more dangerous than Tel Aviv?). The capital is Jerusalem, and the only reason to say otherwise is to be provocative.

Golly, Mikey, lookie here:

United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared that the 1980 Knesset law (the "Jerusalem Law") declaring Jerusalem as Israel's "eternal and indivisible" capital was "null and void and must be rescinded forthwith". This resolution, not taken under chapter VII of the charter (the binding chapter [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] ), advised member states to withdraw their diplomatic representation from the city as a punitive measure.

It looks like most countries don't consider Jerusalem the legitimate capital of Israel! It looks like they planted their embassies in Tel Aviv as a statement to that effect. And it also looks like the "Tel Aviv isn't as dangerous" hypothesis is something you just yanked out of your ass -- sideways! Why am I not surprised, Mikey?
-- sglover

11/08/2006 1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drunk Russian tour guides to P.J. O'Rourke, before he sold his soul to the Cato Institute: "With all of Middle East, how do you pick only country without oil?"

Equally drunk P.J.: "With all of Europe, how do you pick Poland?"

Russians: "You wish to make trade?"

Funny as two dogs stuck screwing, but not nearly as funny as Turkey invoking Article V against Kurdistan while the lame-duck signatories to the PNAC are cheering them on like Charlie Brown is really, really going to kick hell out of the football this time, and not get massacred from two directions at once. Last time it was just "Long Neck" Hussein, infamous browbeater and dissident punisher, kicking their living ass after we encouraged them to "partition for freedom" and then stood around jingling our pocket change while they got their balls stomped. Explain to me how Germany and Belgium aren't required to bomb U.S. positions and sink our boats if we back the Kurds on their CentCom Aztlan scheme. Turkey used to be one of those sub-continents like Poland or Persia that got whittled away to jack squat, and they don't have any particular reason not to pimp-slap Kurds with U.S. weapons if Shirty, Stink-Raising, Indigenous Ethnicity #3491 start clowning around the oil patch again.

11/08/2006 2:36 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

George-

How should I know which countries you should support and why? Isn't that your decision? All American Jews are spokesmen for Israel? Got news for you, I don't support much of what Israel does, nor do I want America to.

Why is folks like you that insist on oversimplifying?

SGlover-

I have no idea why you're so angry. Israel considers Jerusalem the capital, and only folks interested in provoking the "shrill charge of 'anti-semitism'" ever say otherwise.

I don't know about you, but I'm too happy this morning about the election results in my country to engage in debate with someone as rude as you.

Cheers.

11/08/2006 8:03 AM  
Anonymous George said...

How should I know which countries you should support and why? Isn't that your decision? All American Jews are spokesmen for Israel? Got news for you, I don't support much of what Israel does, nor do I want America to.

Why is folks like you that insist on oversimplifying?


Uh huh. So the answer to the question "what does Israel do for us?" is "Not much." Now really Mike, are you saying that you do not want America to send billions of dollars to Israel every year? You want America to stop vetoing everything that comes up in the UN that is remotely unfavorable to Israel? That you think that AIPAC is maybe not the greatest thing for America? BTW, I know that many American Jews are good, moral people who do not support Likud's bloody policies. I also know that "folks like you" insist on jumping down the throat of anyone who criticizes those very policies.

11/08/2006 10:24 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

George, I'll take the time to answer your questions, but I fear this is going nowhere. Anyhow . . .

are you saying that you do not want America to send billions of dollars to Israel every year? You want America to stop vetoing everything that comes up in

I don't want the US sending billions to any country. And that includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Israel. If Israel gets cut off, we should cut off its nominal enemies, no?

You want America to stop vetoing everything that comes up in the UN that is remotely unfavorable to Israel?

No. I want America to continue vetoing all the politicized BS the UN peddles. The UN, with human rights luminaries like China on the security council is not to be taken seriously. Do you take those pan-Islamic, anti-Israel resolutions seriously?

That you think that AIPAC is maybe not the greatest thing for America?

Don't be glib & smug, George. I won't even stoop to answering this one.

BTW, I know that many American Jews are good, moral people who do not support Likud's bloody policies. I also know that "folks like you" insist on jumping down the throat of anyone who criticizes those very policies.

No. I jump down the throats of those who reflexively criticize only two countries: the US and Israel. Both deserve plenty of it. But I can name about 100 others deserving of censure who never receive any from "folks like you."

I've never seen CR or any of the regulars here say anything negative about any of Israel's enemies. Never.

And I promise you, I'll continue to "jump down the throat" of you, CR, or anyone else who plays that game.

11/08/2006 12:03 PM  
Blogger DED said...

I don't want the US sending billions to any country. And that includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Israel. If Israel gets cut off, we should cut off its nominal enemies, no?

and

I want America to continue vetoing all the politicized BS the UN peddles. The UN, with human rights luminaries like China on the security council is not to be taken seriously. Do you take those pan-Islamic, anti-Israel resolutions seriously?

I'll second these points.

And missed in all the election news was this:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6128438.stm

11/08/2006 12:31 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Wow, that's real news.

11/08/2006 1:34 PM  
Anonymous George said...

Regarding AIPAC, Mike says: Don't be glib & smug, George. I won't even stoop to answering this one.

I'm not trying to be glib or smug, Mike. I'd like to know your opinion on AIPAC. You said that you don't support much of what Israel does, and that you don't want America to either. If that's true, then presumably you don't support AIPAC, right?

I don't want the US sending billions to any country. And that includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Israel. If Israel gets cut off, we should cut off its nominal enemies, no?

The billions we send to egypt are essentially in Israel's behalf; "protection" that we've been paying since the Yom Kippur war, I think. I have no problem with humanitarian aid to countries that need it, and I have no problem with nation building that benefits our country. I would not be in favor of arming Israel's enemies or anyone else's.

No. I jump down the throats of those who reflexively criticize only two countries: the US and Israel. Both deserve plenty of it. But I can name about 100 others deserving of censure who never receive any from "folks like you."

I reserve the right to criticize any nation that is using my tax dollars to do things that are wrong. That would be the US and Israel. Whether I do or do not criticize any other country (for the record, I don't limit myself to these two) has absolutely no bearing on my right to criticize US/Israel.

I've never seen CR or any of the regulars here say anything negative about any of Israel's enemies. Never.

And I promise you, I'll continue to "jump down the throat" of you, CR, or anyone else who plays that game.


You are not paying attention to CR, Mike. For a guy who "doesn't support much of what Israel does", your statement above is a bit bizarre. The cognitive dissonance must be terrible.

11/08/2006 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N11409814.htm

http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=47885

11/12/2006 2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSAqNuf55k0&mode=related&search=

11/12/2006 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/11/10/arts/idbriefs11E.php

11/12/2006 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://cnnexposed.com/story.php?story=24

11/13/2006 1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jihadists infiltrate govt...neocons to the rescue!

http://www.therant.us/guest/w_phares/11042006.htm

11/13/2006 5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://kennedy.byu.edu/papers/NolanWS.pdf

11/17/2006 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://kurtnimmo.com/?p=657

11/17/2006 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.calcuttanews.net/story/36d16451ee35273f

11/18/2006 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://sonic.net/~doretk/ArchiveARCHIVE/MARK%20EVANS/HolocaustRevisionism.html

11/25/2006 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1162378505591&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

11/30/2006 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://albawaba.com/en/news/207111

12/07/2006 12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pauly should givem a good rate...theyve been busted up preety bad...

http://www.iraqupdates.com/p_articles.php/article/12354

12/09/2006 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0%2C7340%2CL-3342999%2C00.html

12/23/2006 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.consortiumnews.com/Print/2006/122706.html

12/29/2006 2:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=118517

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20061126&articleId=3975

1/02/2007 11:43 PM  
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