Let's All Go to the Israel Lobby

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Dana Milbank (via Glenn) offers up the most brutal take on John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt that I've yet seen, and the hook is their choice of partners to promote their work: CAIR.

Yesterday, at the invitation of the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR), they held a forum at the National Press Club to
expand on their allegations about the Israel lobby. Blurring the line
between academics and activism, they accepted a button proclaiming
"Fight the Israel Lobby" and won cheers from the Muslim group for their
denunciation of Israel and its friends in the United States.

The button read: "Walt & Mearsheimer Rock. Fight the Israel Lobby." And this is embarrassing:

As evidence that the American public does not agree with the Israel
lobby, the political scientist cited a USA Today-Gallup poll showing
that 38 percent of Americans disapproved of Israel's military campaign.
He neglected to mention that 50 percent approved, and that Americans
blamed Hezbollah, Iran, Syria and Lebanon far more than Israel for the
conflict.

Feel free to kick me off the Serious Person Roll Call, but I had initially thought there was merit in the discussion Mearsheimer and Walt were trying to kickstart. They faced a serious hurdle in that discussion of Israel, like immigration, is dominanted by fringe voices, and they were going to be lumped in with that fringe immediately whether or not they liked it. If, as Milbank finds, they do like it, that's too bad.

NEXT: Dada Comes to the Inuit

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  1. Weigel, you’re still on the SP roll call, unfortunately it is Mearsheimer and Walt who have now excused themselves.

  2. “Serious Person Roll Call”. You’re flattering yourself to think you were ever on it.

  3. A questionable choice of polite company do not a thesis discredit. Had Milbank actually tried the notion that the pro-Israeli lobby wields disproportionate influence detrimental to America’s interests, we’d a had us something to work with.

  4. my sentence should say “tried to refute”

  5. A questionable choice of polite company do not a thesis discredit.

    Perhaps, but if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

  6. if this supposedly powerful israeli lobby formed with the truly powerful AARP, I predict that our nation’s capital would be in Broward County by the end of the week.

  7. They faced a serious hurdle in that discussion of Israel, like immigration, is dominanted by fringe voices

    I’m confused. Does their continued existence “on the fringe” mean most people ignore their points of view in the conversation (a “national dialogue”, as an ex-president once said)? In that case, wouldn’t people in the national dialogue on Israel already be talking about what Huffensteimer and Volt, or whatever their names are, are trying to “kickstart”?

    Frankly I think there’s a bigger reason Wankelhosen and DeWalt’s points aren’t a big part of the discussion, for the same reason most people laugh at the notion of a “powerful lobby” directing US policy at home and abroad: because it tends to be an awfully silly idea.

  8. Had Milbank actually tried the notion that the pro-Israeli lobby wields disproportionate influence detrimental to America’s interests

    The fact that every aspiring politician has to go to AIPAC, praise them, kneel before them, and ask for their support at the time when its two top executives are being indicted for spying on the US is a testament to the power of AIPAC. Not a single person can refute that fact.

  9. Liberals who defended these guys after their article can now have the same experience that conservatives who defended Mel Gibson after the Passion had after his DUI arrest. The difference of course is Mel Gibson is an actor, not two tenured professors at two of the most presigous universities in the world and The Passion was a movie not a academic paper claiming to present serious analysis.

  10. Yup, real silly idea…….

    EXCERPT: In his writings in Commentary, the neoconservative magazine of the American Jewish Committee, [Elliot] Abrams expressed his support for right-wing Likud positions, including those of prime ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon. Abrams has consistently rejected any “land for peace” formula for Israel-Palestinian negotiations, calling the Oslo Accords an “illusion” and criticizing the “policy of concessions” of the Israeli government. What is more, Abrams, who has family members living in Israel, has repeatedly called for the United States to publicly back Israel’s sovereignty claims over Jerusalem by moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Peace in the Middle East, according to Abrams, will be the product of Israeli and U.S. military strength.

    August 25, 2006????www.counterpunch.org
    From an interesting piece about a long time murderous loon…….Son in law of Dechter & The Podster, religeous separatist, crackpot fanatic, major policy player. One of scores like him.
    Its a bi partisan crew, too, hardly limited to the crowd around Decider, Cheneys flying monkey. Up to now, the ghastly Clintinoids were these wackjobs most useful tools.

  11. Do you have an photos links anything there Anon? I recall you shooting your mouth off the other day about how I “never site anything”. Well I am waiting. Just to give you a headstart, I am sure the Nation of Islam or the KKK have some good information on the nefarious influence of those evil Jews.

  12. Mutt,

    Can you tell me where I can get on the payroll? I have been trying to join the evil Jewish conspiracy for years and I haven’t even gotten so much as an application. I know I am not an important guy or anything, but guys like you and Anon seem to think the Jews run everything. Surely there is a spot for me in there somewhere? It takes a lot of grunts to rule most of the known world and control the foreign policy of the world’s most powerful country.

  13. I don’t think the immigration debate is dominated by the fringes. Most Americans want strict, enforceable immigration controls in place and those of us who actually are on the fringes have little or no input into the debate. And when we do, we are scolded, chided, laughed at, cursed, and called deranged.

  14. “And when we do, we are scolded, chided, laughed at, cursed, and called deranged.”

    Don’t Wine, since our politicians and elites consistently igore popular opinion on the matter, you get what you want anyway.

  15. Eliot Abrams talks to me through my showerhead every morning.

  16. I am not an important guy or anything, but guys like you and Anon seem to think the Jews run everything.

    The Lizard Men control everything through their Freemason surrogates. The Jews are just the patsies, needed only to take the blame should the “plan” become known.

    Oops, gotta go, Man in Black at the front door…

  17. Does working for an evil conspiracy pay well? I might need another job soon.

  18. Lizard Men and Condoleeza’s shower head (Dude, he said shower head) are the funniest things I’ve seen this week.

  19. “Does working for an evil conspiracy pay well? I might need another job soon”

    I always figured it would. Mersheimer and Walt seem to think it does. But, like anything else, I am sure all of the higherups get the big bucks.

  20. John, unlike you, facts support my claims. Here you go:

    The indictment of Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman.

  21. Bush’s speech at AIPAC.

    Hillary Clinton Speech at AIPAC

    I’m sure you can easily find speeches by Chaney, Hastret, etc.

    Now how about you link to anything that supports the many BS claims you make here everyday ?

  22. So Anon, two guys get indicted for leaking classified information and Mearsheimer and Walt are somehow vindicated in their claim that the Jews run American foreighn policy? Okay.

  23. I saw Walt’s presentation on CSPAN. It seemed very sober, coherent, and sensible. He bent over backwards trying to clarify that the Israel lobby is in no way a cabal and said explicitly that the activities of the Israel lobby are not conspiratorial but instead are “legitimate” in that they are within the laws of the land.

    He also said that the Israel lobby isn’t necessarily synonymous with Jews in America since there are many American Jews who aren’t particularly focused on Israel, and many who lobby on Israel’s behalf are actually Evangelical Fundamentalist Christians. On neoconservatives, he expressed that they obviously believe they are acting in America’s best interests and the fact that they also may act in Israel’s interests also is not necessarily a conflict, since we all have many loyalties such as family, ethnicity, culture, etc. He simply explained that why he believes their activities are in fact bad for America?s (and Israel?s for that matter) long term interests. He reiterated these clarifications a couple of times.

    He quoted Senator Fritz Hollings as saying that a Senator’s Israel policy will be whatever AIPAC gives to them, and Bill Clinton saying that AIPAC does their job better than any other lobbying organization.

    I didn’t watch Mearsheimer’s discussion as closely, I listened to it from another room. It seemed a little more bombastic/emotional, but I can’t say that I could comment on the content.

  24. anon, if that’s what you call evidence, I can present an equally good case that a secret conspiracy of black people runs America.

    Proof: Lots of politicians give speeches to the NAACP.

    Further proof: Every now and then a black politican gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

  25. that’s right anon, it’s best to take politicians at their word, especially at fundraising speeches.

    bwa ha ha.

  26. that’s right anon, it’s best to take politicians at their word, especially at fundraising speeches.

    bwa ha ha.

  27. Hey RC Dean, who do you think is the strongest lobby in America?

  28. So Anon, two guys get indicted for leaking classified information and Mearsheimer and Walt are somehow vindicated in their claim that the Jews run American foreighn policy? Okay.

    It was not two cleaning guys. They were top executives. And it isn’t the Jews, it is AIPAC influence that we are talking about. Nice try though.

    When the top executives of an organization are mired in a spying scandal and yet the politician see no problem attending the conference and giving speech there in the middle of the scanda. That tells you something. Didn’t Bush dumb Kenny Boy faster than saying Enron?

    Now, how about some links John? or are you exempt because you are faith-based?

  29. that’s right anon, it’s best to take politicians at their word, especially at fundraising speeches.

    bwa ha ha.

  30. who do you think is the strongest lobby in America?

    AARP, of course.

  31. Who do you think is the strongest lobby in America?

    Fools! Tremble and bow down before the greatest lobbying force of them all! The Society for Creative Anachronism. Not powerful? Well, you may have heard that Scotland recently banned swords. But sword control in the United States? No way. You don’t even hear about sword control, even though people get killed by swords all the time.

    The SCA has made it clear–there can be only one [lobbying organization in this country].

  32. Proof: Lots of politicians give speeches to the NAACP.

    How many executives at the NAACP are indicted for spying?

  33. Well I am waiting. Just to give you a headstart, I am sure the Nation of Islam or the KKK have some good information on the nefarious influence of those evil Jews.

    And at 01:06 PM, John’s the first to put the Race Card in play! His deck may be small, folks, but he plays everything he’s dealt. If you move fast, RC, you could still be the first to mention Hitler!

  34. Hey RC Dean, who do you think is the strongest lobby in America?

    Probably AARP.

    How many executives at the NAACP are indicted for spying?

    If AIPAC is really so powerful, how come it didn’t squash those investigations before they turned into indictments?

    C’mon, we all know Jesse Jackson is a tax cheat, but the IRS is afraid to even audit him. Now THAT’S power, baby!

  35. Hey Matt, I’m not RC, but I think the most powerful politcal lobby in the US is the teacher’s union(s).

  36. Yup, real silly idea…….

    EXCERPT:….

    Yes, the fact that a single individual supports, and weants the US to support, radical pro-Israeli policies is evidence of a massive lobby that controls American politics…..

    as much as the existence of a magazine like counter-punch proves the existence of a radical, subversive, communist conspiracy.

    That is to say, not at all.

  37. Every year the ISraelis ask for Pollard

    and every year the American Government tells them “You can have after he has died in a cage like traitors deserve”.

    But I’ll bet its all just an act. We all know ou know how clever and Devious the “Israel Lobby” can be. :p.

  38. I think the entire undo influence idea exist to divert attention away from some very unpleasant fact in the case against Israel. Unable to sell their ideas on the facts, they must use Lenin’s old trick of attacking motive

    (1) Israel is a western liberal-democracy with as much or perhaps more political diversity as any other western country. Its enemies, without exception, are autocracies of varying degrees of ruthlessness. Americans will support a democracy against an autocracy every time. No need to evoke undue influence.

    (2) Israel has been a staunch American ally for decades and its opponents have been either fair weather allies or actively allied with our enemies. Starting in the late 50’s, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan became Soviet client states even though US support for Israel at the time was decidedly lukewarm. The PLO was a creation of Soviet intelligence who trained, equipped and supported them up until the late 80’s. The Soviets backed all the anti-Israeli sub-national groups up until the Iranian revolution. It was actually the shift of Arabs towards the Soviets that prompted America to turn firmly towards Israel. Until then, the US viewed the conflict like the conflict between the NATO countries of Turkey and Greece.

    (3) Arabs/Islamist have embraced war crimes as a standard tool of war. They plan and train to commit war-crimes. They make heros out those who carry them out. The same people who call Israeli normal military operations war crimes also accuse Americans of war crimes in the same circumstances. Americans are viscerally repelled by the tactics of Israel’s enemies and increasingly see ourselves as being in the same boat as Israel.

    In the end, there are many good reasons for Americans to support Israel. Many would prefer to ignore that fact. Many would try to sell the idea that the a liberal-democracy has for decades been the malicious, irrational entity in the conflict whereas the mass-murdering autocracies have been the kind kind, rational entities sincerely desiring peace. That doesn’t pass the sniff test.

    A wink-wink undue influence argument is an easier sell.

  39. Aint that interesting. Im able to flush a “you-say-Jews-run-everything” strawman by simply pointing to a wackjob Zionist.
    yup. And another nitwit then says, well, Abrahms is just one guy.
    Well, yeah, one of many. “Jews” dont run everything. Thats just dust thrown by happy dupes. An element of Israeli expansionist thought- “Bibis Boys” in reference to such hacks as Hannity, Liddy, & Limbaugh, the “Black Avenger”, Mike Reagan……..who proudly claimed thier membership when Netanyahu was PM- along with a major strain of the Likud Party has has big sway in senior US policy circles for quite some time.
    No? Really? C’mon……you actually believe Israel does not have a hold on US Mideast policy?
    And Libertarians brag they are skeptics??

  40. same old sorry assed crap:

    “(3) Arabs/Islamist have embraced war crimes as a standard tool of war. They plan and train to commit war-crimes. ”

    And if you use airpower, or heavy artillery, or rocket barrages (in uniform, of course)or Naval guns, or cluster bombs, or napalm, or claymores, or “search & destroy” or “free fire zones” , or sow massive minefields, or defoliation, or defend at the UN the use of poison gas, or gin up mercenary armies, or fund and train thugs, its not a crime. Because you are “modern” And wear uniforms. And wear lapel flags. And go to church. (ostentatiously, of course) And the order givers are thousands of miles from the trigger pullers.
    Yeah. Thats it.
    Mutt, RA, RVN 3/68-3/69.

  41. If money is the mother’s milk of politics, AIPAC and Israel are pretty flat-chested.

    Money by group

    Money by issue

  42. MUTT,

    I get it. You’re a hate filled little person who believes that being irrationally critical of your own society indicates moral and intellectual superiority.

    *Yawn*

    I’ve heard it all before.

    It must be nice to live in your little dream world. You never have to fight. Never have kill innocent bystanders. Never have to make deals with one evil to fight another. Never have to lay awake at night wondering if you did the right things. All you have to do win a foreign policy debate is to trout out the idea that some point in the past America did not live up to your impossible standards and you have won.

    You know, you really, really know with a faith that burns from deep down that all the major ills of the world could have been prevented if only everyone was a wise as you. You know that at every turning point in history there was one decision that could have been made which would have made the world a bed of roses. You know, without doubt, that everyone who doesn’t share your world view is evil, stupid and venal.

    Must be nice. I have to live with uncertainty all my days. I have to send people off to kill and die and gamble that doing so will make the world a better place. I have to live in a world of law and precedent. I can’t label soldiers war-criminals at my own whim.

    Go away child.

  43. The Wine C: “Most Americans want strict, enforceable immigration controls in place and those of us who actually are on the fringes have little or no input into the debate.”

    That’s the joy of all this. It’s harmless. It’s like virtual free minds. Like a kid, alone, at his backyard basketball goal shooting his 126th shot that, if he makes it, will win the championship and save the world.

    Joe is on his 125,987th shot and he has hit a few but, life goes on.

  44. Um…..Viet combat vet, 68-9 (volunteer) Damn near got killed Chief Engineer, carribean smuggler, 81. Damn near got killed
    Lived in Nicaragua (the boonies) a year- 84-5. Damn near got killed
    Ran military equipment to Nicaragua. Raised $ for guns for the FMLN. Poll watched, (and muzzle watched) back of beyond, El Salvador, 1991. Damn near got killed. Faced down the Feds runnin school supplies to Cuber, 92 (that was 10 years Federal time they tried to cow me with) Stuck up for prisoners rights, etc…..child.

  45. Perhaps I need to be shown where the gentleman who wrote this book “The Israel Lobby” actually said Israel influences all of American foreign policy. Once again I saw the presentation on CSPAN and Walt made it very clear that they are not claiming that there is any conspiracy going on and that AIPAC’s activities are about as legally legitimate as other special interest groups and that they probably feel that they are acting in not only Israel’s best interests, but also America’s.

    Walt actually said that though AIPAC has a huge influence over America’s Israeli (and Middle Eastern) policy, he acknowledged that there are other factors. He didn’t say that AIPAC runs the world; he didn’t say that AIPAC even runs all of US Foreign Policy. He said AIPAC has a very disproportionate influence over American policy in the Middle East and in particular on the Israel-Palestine issue. He also, once again, said that AIPAC is not necessarily synonymous with American Jews since many Jews in America are not particularly involved with or devoted to Israel, and many who lobby on Israel’s behalf are actually conservative Christians.

    Someone enlighten me…

  46. And while serving as a “combat” vet, I’m sure you hated it when your ass needed the close air support or fire for effect to save your ass or preped the battlefield before you went in? Like you said, you volunteered and should have know the CINC lives, and the Pentagon is, in DC.

  47. Mutt, my last post was for you. Mutt, RA, RVN 3/68-3/69.

  48. Yup, as a young kid, I volunteered. Took an oath to defend the US Constitution from enemies foriegn & domestic. Which had what, exactly, to do with Viet Nam, Don? It was one of a line of public wars for private profit. Maj Gen Smedley Butler wrote of others like it, in the teens, 20’s, & 30’s. Go smear him, why doncha.
    I didnt join the military to become a Redcoat in some half assed scheme to suppress long running, very justified rebellion.
    Yup: close air support. The F4- Angel of death, angel of succor: depends on where the nape is gettin dropped.
    What the hell that has to do with it, other than giving me a ringside seat on what lard assed ideologues back in DC can do beats me.

  49. Jay J: Someone enlighten me…

    It won’t be me.

    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld are all wealthy. I doubt they are easily influenced by anyone. What would be their interest? They hold the biggest slice of power in the world. I do not know Rice’s financial situation but also very independent.

    I can’t see a link in this chain that can be or has a need to be influenced.

    Funding, Congress? Now that is a different animal.

  50. Mutt:

    “I didnt join the military to become a Redcoat in some half assed scheme to suppress long running, very justified rebellion.

    But you did.

    And you failed to mention the rest of the oath:
    “…that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

    The purpose or justification of Vietnam was not yours to define.

  51. Blowing your self up in the middle of a village? War crime.

    Dropping cluster bombs on a village? Collateral damage.

    Everyone should have figured out by now that when the indians raided a settlement, it was always a “massacre,” but when the army destroyed an indian village, it was always a “battle.” Somethings never change.

  52. Shannon Love-

    Yes, the US will always back a democracy over
    an autocracy, except of course, for the times
    we don’t.

    Let’s see..we were definitely on the side of the
    USSR against Finland in World War II, although
    we were also on the side of the Brits, so I guess
    you can call that one inconclusive.

    How about the years we spent backing Pakistan
    under military rule instead of India?
    (Of course, there were times there where India
    and Pakistan were both autocracies, but we
    clearly showed a preference for Pakistan.

  53. I’ve known John Mearsheimer for about 12 years
    now. He’s sometimes, shall we say, a bit
    over the top. (Though he isn’t in his writings.
    Just in person.) I think some of the claims
    and methods used to attack him have ticked him
    off. (My bet is the way people dragged out
    David Duke to get his viewpoint, a classic
    example of guilt by association and argumentum
    ad hominem, made John’s blood pressure go up
    quite a bit.)

    Stephen Walt is a lot calmer and less irritable.
    It takes quite a bit to make Walt lose it, but
    not that much to get John fulminating.

    Maybe debate on this subject should go back to
    whether or not Israel does, in fact, have a
    lobby in the US, with a few Sabra wannabes
    being notable for their influence.

    I think that’s certainly true.

    For what it’s worth, I think there is a China
    lobby, a Taiwan lobby, a Turkey lobby,
    a Saudi lobby and a Russia lobby. That’s
    without getting into the issue of how many
    foreign agents of influence are running around
    DC.

    Part of the problem here is that there are
    centuries of vile lies about Jewish
    conspiracies, all of which were utterly false.

    Now that we have a Jewish state (which does not,
    by any means, control all Jews), which has
    intelligence services (which engage in
    conspiracies, like the intelligence services of
    all nations), the false stories of the past are
    conflated with the real ones, which makes it
    rather hard to discuss them rationally.

    I’ll happily talk about Israeli agents of
    influence in DC, but the number of people who
    will listen to me who aren’t also firm
    believers in the truthfulness of the Protocols
    of the Elders of Zion is pretty small. (Note:
    the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are fakes.)

    It’s a shame that Walt and Mearsheimer have to
    go to CAIR to be heard out. (I wonder how they’d
    fare if they talked about the Saudi lobby….)

  54. It’s an indication as to extent of the intellectual bankruptcy of the supporters of the Israeli government that they have made so little attempt at refuting the analysis of Professor Mearsheimer and Professor Walt and rather, at first, shamefully brandished charges of anti-Semitism and now these, guilt by association with activists, smears.

    Here’s the piece that started it:

    The Israel Lobby
    John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html

  55. Israel is a western liberal-democracy with as much or perhaps more political diversity as any other western country.

    What?? Arab Israelis are literally legally 2nd class citizens. Sharon actually supported racist “Jews Only” housing laws on government land in open discrimination against Israel’s own Arab citizens.

    http://www.eto.home.att.net/jewsonly.html

    http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1779

    (I’ve cited these links before in previous posts. Now they are both broken. Any one know how to fix em, or something?)

    The Israeli government has murdered thousands of innocent civilians in its prosecution of a thieving (increasingly so with the wall) occupation.

    This thug government certainly should not be getting our tax money. (Not that any government should)

  56. Editor?s Note:

    Today we have an essay from Justin Raimondo who has written extensively on the Middle East for AntiWar.com. Today he examines a recent law proposed in Israel that has been called the “Jews Only” law because it would forbid Arabs living in certain neighborhoods, even though they are citizens and pay taxes. It is reminiscent of the racial segregation laws of Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa.

    http://www.quotes2u.com/archives/071802.htm

  57. If we want to wash our hands of this nightmare, we should ask congress to quit giving our money to the Israeli government:

    http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

    Our government also gives half a billion a year to the thug Jordanian regime as a pay off to the Israeli government for non-aggression. The regime’s many transgressions against decency include laws which discriminate against Jews.

  58. Shannon,

    not that it matters, but Jordan never was “a Soviet client state” — au contraire. The Hashemite kingdom has been a client of the Brits since Winston Churchill put it on the map in 1922, and the USA have agreed to be the country’s paymasters in the late 1960s when the KGB tried to topple King Hussein.


  59. “I didnt join the military to become a Redcoat in some half assed scheme to suppress long running, very justified rebellion.

    But you did.

    And you failed to mention the rest of the oath:
    “…that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

    The purpose or justification of Vietnam was not yours to define.
    WRONGO, Sport. “When I put on the uniform of my Country, I did not lay aside my duties as a Citizen”- Geo. Washington.
    “I was just following orders” may be your standards , they are most emphatically not mine.
    A contract is a two way street. I repeat: I did not enlist to be a Redcoat. My (much younger) brothers did not enlist for a very public war for private profit.
    You cant understand that, I feel sorry for you.
    But Im not at all surprised by the attitude.

  60. What is a domestic enemy of the Constitution and how do you defend the Constitution from one?

  61. I didnt write it, I just took it. However, Id say either elected officials who circumvent the clear intent of the Con.- like the notion only Congress shall declare War, or things of value be given for testimony at trial, or use high office to funnel cash to cronies would be a domestic enemy, after a open, transparent trial finds them so.
    Then there are, in TR’s famous terms, “malfactors of great wealth” who use thier power for unconstitutional ends. For example, in the early 30’s a combination was formed between the DuPonts, the gun making Wessons, and several other of the eras Captains of Industry to overthrow Roosevelt (Franklin) & put what they thought would be a puppet in the White House.
    The “puppet”, a great American hero/imperialist spearpoint Marine Maj. Gen Smedely Butler, who sank the enterprize, quite far along, by revealing it, chapter & verse. This buried bit of American history can be found in Jules Archer’s “Smedley Butler & the Plot to Sieze the White House”.
    I would say funding & arming a army of unemployed war veterens (its the origins of the American Legion) not to redress the Gvt, but overthrow it, to eliminate Constitutional government & replace it with an oligarchy consitutes a threat, but thats just me.
    If we shot these swine, instead of worshipping & reelecting them, it will be a happy day.
    PS- thats why, last I looked, to join the Legion now requires an oath of fealty to the President, not the Founding Documents. Bad idea, in my mind, but clearly Im in a minority opinion here.

  62. it seems much easier judging from comments i’ve read, to smear these two (that’s Mearsheimer and Walt) than to hear them out. it’s much more difficult to talk about complex issues when someone is arbitrarily deciding that they are anti-semitic.

    do you see how the debate is being controlled here? if a reputable newspaper raises the anti semite canard, there is subsequently NO MEANINGFUL DISCUSSION ensuing. ostensibly because the labeling indicates that those two have nothing meaningful to say. that’s certainly what the OP-Ed in the Post, or the War Street Journal say. why shouldn’t we believe them?

    because you need to make decisions yourself, not accept someone else’s opinion like mindless sheep. read the original article. watch the CSPAN video.(my .02 on it is similar to Nemo’s experience – Walt is a bit more circumspect, while Mearsheimer is more passionate).

    these two scholars are not by any means conspiracy theorists. all they want is a frank, open discussion on the extent of Israel’s influence on the direction of foreign policy in America.

    the fact that we invaded a country that truly posed no threat whatsoever to us in the US for non-existent WMDs and are prepared to bomb innocents in Iran three years later to eliminate a dubious nuclear weapons program based on practically zero credible intel other than what Abram Shulsky stovepipes to Cheney (similar to what the OSP did w/ iraq intel) should give you at least a little pause.

    then read the PNAC Clean Break document (written for Bibi Netanyahu) and ask yourself who really stands to benefit in the region, and whose relations with its Arab allies will be jeopardized in the process of fulfilling this path. we are following the textbook of the Clean Break document, and if we don’t watch it, we will open ourselves to terrorist actions that’ll make the current crop look like a cakewalk.

    incedentally MUTT is right. i haven’t seen the world from a barrel of a gun as he has, but i know enough about how states operate to understand how a state couches its political and profit oriented aims in patriotic terms. and Smedley Butler is The Man for how governments and the industries manipulate the people for their own selfish aims.

    as for the oath of allegiance and all that. think very carefully back to the founding of our country. we thumbed our collective nose at the British Empire and made absolutely sure with the constitution that we would never, ever allow a king to sit in the president’s chair. over the years, politicians, lobbyists and opportunists have exploited 20th century gaps in that 18th century framework, and responsibility has been so abdicated that we are a hair’s breadth away from a dictatorship, i.e an empire. the neoconservatives want this empire. i, as a loyal american to the ideals of washington and jefferson, do not.

    at the very least we need a new constitutional convention (to tighten the existing language so no loopholes can be found) , reelect every member of congress, with no incumbents allowed, and outlaw privately funded elections. that’d be a start.

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