Thank Goodness Neocons And AIPAC Are Just Memories

Funny how the Israeli press is so much more free and open than our timorous American off shoot:

Every appointee to the [Obama] American government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community. In the case of Obama’s government in particular, every criticism against Israel made by a potential government appointee has become a catalyst for debate about whether appointing “another leftist” offers proof that Obama does not truly support Israel.

Hat tip TPMCafe. TPMCafe cites Professor Walt who elaborates by raising a concrete example:

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Member Of The Rationality Based Community? Even more bizarrely, the Zionist Organization of America and other rightwing Jewish groups are complaining about the appointment of Hannah Rosenthal to direct the Office to Combat and Monitor Anti-Semitism. Why? Apparently she’s been involved with J Street and other “leftwing” organizations that ZOA et al deem insufficiently ardent in their support for the Jewish state, and has suggested that progressive forces need to be more vocal in advancing the peace process.

One has to feel a certain sympathy for Ms. Rosenthal, who is forced to defend her own appointment by telling an interviewer:

I love Israel. I have lived in Israel. I go back and visit every chance I can. I consider it part of my heart. And because I love it so much, I want to see it safe and secure and free and democratic and living safely.”

These are fine sentiments, but isn’t it odd that she has to defend her qualifications for a position in the U.S. government by saying how much she “loves” a foreign country? For an American official in her position, what matters is that she loves America, and that she believes anti-semitism is a hateful philosophy that should be opposed vigorously. Whether she loves Israel or France or Thailand or Namibia, etc., is irrelevant. (And yes, it’s entirely possible to loathe anti-Semitism and not love Israel) . . .


  1. Comment says

    We said half jokingly that DC was so upset at the Salhis for social usurpation – more than security = Since then we see Dowd has done two columns on this and obviously obsessed with the social implications. So we may have stumbled on the truth.

  2. Comment says

    IMO TS Elliot was sort of a problematic character and some of that is reflected in his poems – Though erudite, he seem stilted. He was a bit of poseur with his Yorkist rose and giving up his US citizenship. Who does that? Anyway we were amused when we read La Noonan’s book about Reagan was she expressed surprised that Pat Buchanan often quoted and liked TS Elliot. La Noonan just saw Ellots as someone artsy so presumablu liberal. Ha.

    We suspect that McNamamare was more of a quote book/dinner speaker user of poetry. He is just unconvincing as RFK going thru his supposed Camus phase or develping a love for Aeschylus. Just doesn’t add up.

    OT – we hope Rick Santorum runs for Prez. That guy just does not add up personality wise. It would be fun to see him compete with Sarah

  3. Comment says

    No doubt about Ted Sorenson – His bio of JFK was hagiography, but was incredibly well written. He is fantastic speaker.

  4. Comment says

    McNamama’s book in 1995 could have been titled “oh, never mind.” He is pretty much on the record in the LBJ tapes as saying he thought Vietnam was a no winner, but he invents a Damascene moment in his official bio to scrub that fact.

    Yeah – Cliffford has him beat on style points – But he got al mired in a banking scandal that made him loook like an amiable dunce.

    The cigar chomping Lemay – quite a character.

    • Dr Leo Strauss says

      A silly post. The kind of stuff that had people tripping over Speer after Spandau.

      We did see ‘Fog of War’ with someone who was in the State Department with area responsibilities for the unpleasantness. Our companion was non-plussed to say the least.

      Recognizing, no, one should say the correct word –admitting — a series of mistakes long after all 58,209 KIA, 308,000 WIA, and 1,948 MIA plus millions of Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodians are dead merits not applause but icy contempt. Who cares if he cites poety?

      The video excerpt avoids the blood on McNamara’s hands as Mr. Operations Research during WW II. Instead such a triviality as poetry is used to bestow the adjective elegant – but only in comparison to Rumsefld? McNamara deserves softer recollection because he is a MacIntosh computer and Rummy is a Dell Windows ’95 junker? Surely when Mr. Operations Research helped Curtis LeMay firebomb the ‘Japs’ he was ‘elegant’ in comparison, too. But what about compared to the Vietnamese dissenters *at the time*? Was he more ‘elegant’ compared to Clark Clifford? Or was Clifford just a Linux statistical blip?

      The whole post is silly. How does one rank the elegance of rushing to Hyannis Port to help oversee the Chappaquiddick cover up? (Of the assembled Old Timers, we freely cop to the elegance and grace of Ted Sorensen but then the man has a preturnatural penumbra ‘good form’ in the best sense of the word).

      This post is the perfect example of how American insularity from World History makes us such a blind and dangerous custodian of Power – because there is no ability to see us as part of the ebb and flow of history with all the privileges -and cautions – thereto. It’s the ultimate thought crime, but the world may in the medium and long term be better off without such an ignorant metropole lurching about — however elegantly.

      One does wonder how Colin Powell schemes to restore his legacy for Posterity. Wilkerson is now background noise except for the fawning, emotionally retarded Rachel Maddow (did you see Maddow’s supremely awkward little disco schtick opening her show the other night? Toddlers stop doing that when they turn 5).

      Perhaps Powell will follow McNamara and used poetry to finagle ‘elegance’ accolades during his future admission/not-admission documentary for Lifetime Channel. But Powell is also insecure beyond McNamara’s shame (and that’s what it is). Powell knows the Neocons found his two weak spots – vanity and fragile manhood. So Powell will need something special — particularly for Liftetime Channel with all the ads for laundry fabric softeners. His verse must convey ‘elegance’ but also project his lonely, manly vigil as a desk jockey.

      Who knows? HRC might feel sympathy and ghost write something off the cuff.

  5. Comment says

    Actually – contras Walt, we’d think it would be hilarious if the Franco American lobby were aggressive enforcers of francophilism among appointees.

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