February 26, 2010
Say what you want about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but “he knows how to work a room.” So claims Flynt Leverett, the contrarian Iran analyst who, with his wife Hillary Mann Leverett, paid a visit to the Iranian president in New York City last fall. During the sit-down at Manhattan’s InterContinental Barclay hotel with a group of invited academics, foreign policy professionals, and other Iranophiles, the Leveretts marveled at Ahmadinejad’s attention to detail as the Iranian took copious notes and strove to pronounce their unfamiliar names correctly. “He addresses every person by name.
“A War Is A War. A War Is Not A Crime, And You Don’t Bring Your Enemies To A Courthouse.”
February 23, 2010
It is so simple. And elegant. What’s more, it is also true. Why are so many liberal Democrats reluctant to concede that there is an intricate international network of ideological gangsters who recognize each other as ikhwan? These brothers do not define themselves by nation. They define themselves by religion, although there are many hundreds of millions of Muslims who are defined out--and define themselves out--of the bloody fraternity of the faithful. Sometimes, they too are stigmatized as enemies, which means they are also targets.
Goldfarb Vs. J Street
February 17, 2010
P.R. flack Michael Goldfarb, writing in the Weekly Standard, has an item entitled "Israel to J Street: We Know You're Not Pro-Israel." The basis for this turns out to be a comment from Danny Ayalon, to wit: "The thing that troubles me is that they don't present themselves as to what they really are. They should not call themselves pro-Israeli." Who is Danny Ayalon? He's the deputy to the disgraceful racist Avigdor Lieberman. Ayalon himself took it upon himself to bizarrely humiliate the Turkish ambassador on Israeli television. In short, he's a total buffoon.
The One Way In Which Israel And Palestine Are Equal
February 14, 2010
Well, actually it's the governments of Israel and Palestine that are equal in this way. And it's in the propensity of high public officials to engage in sexual aggression against women. In fact, Israel wins the prize on this count. Former president Moshe Katzav resigned from office in order to ward off (unsuccessfully, it appears) an eight-count indictment on serious charges. The trial is now in process.
Rinse, Wash, Repeat
February 14, 2010
I don’t think anyone would mistake me for a big fan of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the main (as they put it) “pro-Israel” lobby in Washington. The only organization of that kind that I’ve ever given money to is Americans for Peace Now. And I have defended critics of AIPAC, including Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, the authors of The Israel Lobby, from charges of anti-Semitism. But I think Walt and Mearsheimer have been dead wrong in trying to blame the Israel lobby or the Israeli government for America’s invasion of Iraq.
Yes, We Have To Save Yemen, Too
February 13, 2010
No, I am not deserting the president on this one either. Any country that is under siege by Al Qaeda is likely to have strategic and/or ideological interest to us. But it’s a big stretch to argue that we have a democratic interest in Yemen’s future. It will not be before hell freezes over that we may have such an interest in Yemen. That time is neither now nor tomorrow. And since history in the Arabian Peninsula moves in geological time, let’s stop deluding ourselves about another democratic ally. Our interest in Yemen is strategic.
Let Europe Mind Its Own Business. It Brings Nothing To The Table Save For Mischief.
February 12, 2010
Europe is a mess. Greece is the country on the continent closest to utter wreck. (And, if not for statements yesterday by Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy, there would literally be no hope for a life raft anywhere near Athens soon. This morning's FT smothers even those wan hopes.) Spain, Portugal and Ireland are not far behind ... or under. Each of these countries has views on how Israel deals with the Palestinians, and they don't like it at all. Neither do the past and present "foreign ministers"—so to speak, but not exactly—of the European Union.
Rinse, Wash, Repeat
February 12, 2010
I don’t think anyone would mistake me for a big fan of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the main (as they put it) “pro-Israel” lobby in Washington. The only organization of that kind that I’ve ever given money to is Americans for Peace Now in Israel. And I have defended critics of AIPAC, including Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, the authors of The Israel Lobby, from charges of anti-Semitism. But I think Walt and Mearsheimer have been dead wrong in trying to blame the Israel lobby or the Israeli government for America’s invasion of Iraq.
Clarifying My Take On Andrew Sullivan
February 11, 2010
A little more on Andrew and the charge of anti-Semitism. In my response to Leon, I wrote: I don't think that Andrew's transformation from overwrought hawk to overwrought dove is driven by, or has brought about, a different view of Jews. It seems instead to be the shattering of a brittle worldview and its replacement by a new worldview, equally brittle. Andrew replies: I have no different view of "Jews" than I have ever had. Having any view of "Jews" is silly. I guess I didn't write that as precisely as I wanted to.
Free Speech On Campus
February 10, 2010
One of my fond memories from being an undergraduate in the early 1990s was the fervent conviction of the campus left that their opponents were not entitled to express their beliefs. Some of the more erudite among them, like Catherine MacKinnon, would formulate elaborate theories explaining why freedom of speech was a pernicious myth. But mostly the opinion took the form of slogans. Racism is not free speech. Sexism is not free speech.