March 23, 2006


In Dark Times, Blame the Jews (The Forward, March 24, 2006)

On the face of it, there's little that's new in the provocative research paper "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," published online last week by two leading political scientists, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Their underlying thesis, that Israel's advocates have pressured America into an unjustified and damaging alliance with Israel, has been around for decades, flogged with little success by generations of Israel's detractors. Their more immediate argument, that Israel and its allies manipulated America into war with Iraq, has been simmering at the edges of the debate since before the invasion. By now it's part of our national background noise.

What is new and startling is the document's provenance. Its authors are not fringe gadflies but two of America's most respected foreign-affairs theorists. One, Mearsheimer, is a distinguished professor at the University of Chicago. The other, Walt, is academic dean of the nation's most prestigious center of political studies, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Though it's tempting, they can't be dismissed as cranks outside the mainstream. They are the mainstream.

Even more startling, given who they are, is the flimsiness of their work.

Why? Is there anyplace you're more likely to find anti-Western cranks than elite academic institutions?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 23, 2006 4:55 PM

If only Harvard had a president who was willing to stand up to the crazies on the faculty and openly defend Israel against such trash...

Posted by: b at March 23, 2006 5:07 PM

It wasn't Israel that led the US into Iraq. It was Ahmed Chalabi. Leaving little pieces of cheese in a trail for George to find. ( Mmm. This IS good. There's another one!)

Posted by: exclab at March 23, 2006 6:07 PM


No, it was God.

Posted by: oj at March 23, 2006 6:14 PM

Well that would explain it. Certainly there was no earthly reason. Ahmed Chalabi was the agent of God. Mysterious ways and all that.

Posted by: exclab at March 23, 2006 6:22 PM

Ask a Shi'ite if there was no earthly reason.

Posted by: oj at March 23, 2006 6:38 PM

exclab: W went from 90% sure he was going to take Saddam out to 100% on 9/11. Chalabi just helped to provide the cover story that Tony Blair wanted to join in on the fun. Sheesh, try to keep up.

Posted by: b at March 23, 2006 6:48 PM

Yeah, it must've all been Chalabi.

Couldn't have been the 10 years of ignoring the cease-fire of 91, the attempted assassination of a U.S. President, etc.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 23, 2006 6:51 PM

What has a Shi'te got to do with how my tax dollar is spent? This war is the act of a consumate flake. Someone, in some column said one of the good things about GW is that he's a man as describe in some fantastical screed about lost manhood. GW is a leader, hunter blah blah.

On 9/11 two planes crashed into the world trade center. Have we caught the guy yet? No. He is alive and well. And happy to cause us further pain. Where is this man? He is in Afganistan. Where is our army? In Iraq getting democracy for people who clearly did not have the cahones to get it themselves!

GW a man? He is a child in a man's job.

And this war is pointless.

And while my ire is up. What is it with you conservatives telling people they can not critisize the war? In democracies from Aristophanies and Euripides to last week, critisizing a war in play is a cherished tradition. What the hell are you guys talking about? Loopy! But everyone believes you. To the detriment of the democracy we love.

Another thing: Have guys got a gun the democratic party's puppy? It would appear you can do as you please and the democrats say "Yes dear." This president is what you get when you have a useless opposition.

They should disband in shame.

Posted by: exclab at March 23, 2006 6:53 PM


Sadly for you, you live in a country where the oppression of other peoples matter. Ifd you want to not have to pay to liberate people you need to move to Europe.

that's why Democrats are so ashamed of their oppoosition--it's unAmerican.

Posted by: oj at March 23, 2006 6:59 PM


After Nov. 4, they may have to.

By the way, I wonder if Jesse Jackson has any comment on the Mearsheimer/Walt mess? Or Al Sharpton? Or Abe Foxman?

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 23, 2006 7:02 PM

exclab: You're totally right, dude! Thanks to our oppressive Christian theocracy, not a single anti-war play has been performed in these United States during the past five years! Not one! Bwahahahahahaha!

Posted by: b at March 23, 2006 7:02 PM

Sorry B,

but I did say up to last week. The right to critisize this war is alive and well in the USA. It is roundly called traitorous by many important conservatives, but dispite that absurdity it survives. Thank god it does rely on the Democrats who apparently agree with the above conservatives. Well I haven't liked them since the Clinton inaugeration.

As for you OJ. For shame. We help oppressed people when we feel like it. And when they have oil. Lets take Cuba for example. Those people have Fidel and the embargo to endure. Take away the US embargo and presto we have capitalism over night and Fidel disappears to North Korea.

Why don't we do this? Because american politicians of both parties

1 don't actually believe in capitalism
2 don't actually like poor people

Now can we please go back to Afganistan and get the (*&^$%^&*er!

( this president is so embarrasing)

Posted by: exclab at March 23, 2006 7:19 PM


It's obviously true that we've failed in our moral obligation to get rid of Fidel. We've been literally unAmerican. We aren't perfect.

Posted by: oj at March 23, 2006 7:23 PM

It is not that ". . .America's ties to Israel were the main casue of America's troubles with the Muslim world, as Mearsheimer and Walt argue[.]"

Rather, the Muslim world is the main cause of America's troubles with the Muslim world.

Israel is America's guarantor, a hostage, if you will, for our fulfillment of Imperial responsibilities, in the Middle East, and elsewhere. Without Israel, the Israel lobby, and the pro-Israel Evangelical movement, a rational foreign policy would have been unattainable.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 23, 2006 7:29 PM

Rather the Imperial powers are the main cause of America's problems with the Muslim world and Wilson's failure to insist on democratic legitimacy rather than the League in the wake of WWI.

Our policy is irrational, but what use is Reason to the faithful?

Posted by: oj at March 23, 2006 7:36 PM

Now that Rhodesia and South Africa are no longer issues, the Left needs another convenient target to feel morally outraged about.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at March 23, 2006 7:37 PM

People who hate America hate Israel, and vice versa.

Posted by: David Cohen at March 23, 2006 8:09 PM

David Cohen:

This is a bit off-topic, but I once read a stirring quote by Einstein in which he spoke of how all those who would deny morality and the rights of man are right to regard Jews as their mortal enemies. Einstein said it was this traditional love of justice that made him so feel so immensely proud to be Jewish. I have similar feelings about being an American.

Anyway, it occurs to me that people like you who belong to both groups are very fortunate.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 23, 2006 8:44 PM

The Forward is one of a number of outlets that at times seems to be in denial about the changes in where the most powerful anti-Semites reside in the U.S. Even as they report stories like this (and have done others since 9/11) in the back of their minds they still see Father Coughlin as the main threat to American Jews and FDR and the New Deal as their prime benfactors.

Posted by: John at March 23, 2006 9:01 PM

Gots, I don't think I will ever agree with you but your tendency to think through with your own terms and vocabulary is really a splendid read.

Wilson is really so important. In high school students are taught that some how america failed the grand peace plan. And thats not quite right. He made fundamental decisiions that changed the way americans thought about foriegn policy. And yes I agree. I think the material and the appearance of his judgements were wrong. And even though he failed, the effect was so lasting. But how complex it is even in hind sight. How difficult it must have been for him to hit it right. And how american an effort it was.

Yes and the left is finished. BTW, this is not necessarily good news for the right. Since they are bound together. This will change the republican party in ways I can not imagine.

Matt Murphy
Einstien was a physisist! He was not a moral philosopher. Sorry. I deeply admire the jews but justice? I don't think so. Other things - family ritual - education - running a military and a secret service. The irish are the only ones who beat em on poetry. They put us all to shame but on Justice? I can't.

Einstien was the one who said " You can not simultaniously prevent and prepare for war" Oh yes you can Albert. Its the only way. Einstien was a really good physisist but even that he didn't get right all the time. People always quote him for other stuff. I say thats not a good idea. Let him play his violin and tell us things that stop us cold about atoms and time. But Political philosophy? Why thats like a asking Noam Chomsky, a clear genius in language theory to talk about foreign policy. Oops. we already do that.

Posted by: exclab at March 23, 2006 10:59 PM

Harvard has already removed its logo from a web version of the 'article', and added a disclaimer.

I suppose the only other question is whether Ward Churchill will be lecturing at the Kennedy School this fall. Without the Harvard logo on the backdrop, of course. And when will Chicago be inviting David Duke or Cynthia McKinney to speak?

I forgot to ask if David Gergen has offered any comment. Or John Kerry.

I saw (on Powerline) that these guys said the "Lobby's" influence was so powerful that they had difficulty finding a publisher. Now they just sound like Sid Blumenthal, whining because nobody in America is listening.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 23, 2006 11:50 PM


Yes, and Einstein also denigrated America (after moving here!) while apparently admiring Joseph Stalin. The fact that this political pronouncements were so often nonsense doesn't mean he was wrong about the Jews.

Justice goes hand-in-hand with morality, of which the Jews are the progenitors (or, more properly, the transmitters).

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 23, 2006 11:52 PM


It's not complex at all. He gave lip service to self-determination, but was too racist to genuinely care. He wanted a League as a monument to himself and a club for white Europeans. He was a disaster who bequeathed us WWII, the Cold War and the WoT.

Posted by: oj at March 24, 2006 12:01 AM

Can't invade Cuba - JKF signed a document promising the USSR we wouldn't.

And we know how "the world" wants US to follow our agreements......

Critising the war and hoping we'd lose are 2 different things.

Those who want US to pull out want US to lose - and Peanut's a traitor.

Posted by: Sandy P at March 24, 2006 1:37 AM

exclab. re: Cuba. We didn't depose Castro for two reasons, 1. There's no oil in Cuba (that we know about) and, 2. The Jews who run the world are all commies and thus didn't let any of the presidents since Kennedy to move on him. In fact, even though Eisenhower had a plan all set up to liberate Cuba. Kennedy got the word to renege on our promises and leave the Cubans at the Bay of Pigs to their fate without any help from us. Castro's people thank us though because they have free health care and high literacy rates.

I hope this clears it up for you.

Posted by: erp at March 24, 2006 11:19 AM

Sandy P

we don't have to invade Cuba. Just put it on the market thats all. But we don't. The ussual republican anxiety with capitalism. Don't know who peanut is but everyone gets called traitor these days. Soon it will mean one is in good company and will shortly be getting big no-bid government contract. If theres any money left.

Matt Murphy
I would recomend the first books of the Bible. I would not call jewish behavior in those books anything to emulate. If morality is whatever God tells you it is, then the Jews are in on it from the first. But then again, there is no point in having a discussion about it either. But if morality has anything to do with social reality, they are just as good or bad as anyone else.

Oj: Wilson
I can't defend him. I know him by his actions and I am not familiar with his more personal impulses. Also I don't think he was so hot a president. So I am not inclined to defend him.

Posted by: exclab at March 24, 2006 12:48 PM