The Spine

Martin Indyk, of whom you may or may not know, has been in the "peace process" business for almost three decades. People so involved are usually very self-important, and Indyk is no exception. This is the case even though he has also regularly gotten himself into difficulties, including security clearance troubles while serving as U.S. ambassador to Israel. He is not exactly trusted.

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Richard Nixon was a psychopath for whom Henry Kissinger worked, first as national security adviser and then concurrently in that position and also as secretary of state. Nixon's psychopathology included his hatred of Jews, their intellectual character, their State, and them broadly as a nation and people.

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Scott Brown, whose election this past January to the the U.S. Senate seat of Ted Kennedy, began the Democratic tsunami in American politics. It continued during the November balloting in local and congressional elections and in gubernatorial and legislative races. Sorry to say, everything bode ill for the Democrats.

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I couldn't believe my eyes as I read Alan Cowell's New York Times report this morning that (as of now) 19 countries would not attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo for the imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

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The more Hillary Clinton assures us that the deluge of WikiLeaks dossiers and minutes of conversations are no problem, the more we know she is lying. She does that well, of course, and also with a certain confidence. It's home territory to her. Robert Gibbs has, more or less, confirmed this, although with a hokey statement that confirms the job of the president's spokesperson to be the work for someone confident in dishing out deceit. See Devonia Smith's comments at Examiner.com. But here's what Gibbs himself said: I don't think it will dominate the issues.

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The courting was actually of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the personification of the new Turkey. And it wasn't as if Erdogan was an unknown quantity. In this morning's Financial Times, Daniel Dombey and Delphine Strauss report (through the horrible graces of WikiLeaks) that Eric Edelman, former U.S. ambassador in Ankara, had "described Mr.

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Yes, I know: Max Boot is a neo-con journalist. After all, he writes—amongst others—for Commentary. Commentary used to be edited by Norman Podhoretz. Right now, in fact, it is edited by John Podhoretz who is Norman P. and Midge Dector's son. I have my differences with them. Moreover, they have their differences with me. But they are more sensible than the editors of The Nation who, after all, don't like our country very much. And they certainly don't love it. Nor do many of its readers. Alright, that is another question. Anyway, Boot is a very good journalist, a provocative journalist.

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Just about every principle of President Obama's foreign policy has been exposed as, at best, stupid and, at worst, treacherous. As of this writing, there have been no statements from the president. But it takes time to construct an appropriate apologia for such a wholesale disaster for such a haughty man. So, in the meantime, Hillary Clinton (why is she almost always called Hillary Rodham Clinton? is there another Hillary Clinton out there somewhere?) has been sent out to stem the damage. If the damage can be stemmed, that is.

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This is with regard to my two previous posts on "orientalism" and the "modern" Arabs. An old friend reminded me that "it was a Gérôme that was the cover of Said's expiring "classic," Orientalism.  But, as for Said being buried in Lebanon, it actually speaks to his cosmopolitan rootlessness. On the other hand, he did once, in a pathetic display of the fighting spirit, throw stones at the Israeli frontier from the Leabanese side...and in front of a ghoulish Hezbollah poster, no less.    

It’s not a particularly big thing. But it is ironic that it is Arabs who are undermining Professor Said’s thesis. I commented on this in ABRACADABRA, a Saturday SPINE. And then I had follow-up thoughts. Who has been driving up the prices of 19th century Orientalist paintings at the auction houses?

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