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Reason Writers Around Town: Matt Welch Writes Blowback to an L.A. Times Editorial on Chas Freeman

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On Thursday, the L.A. Times editorial board asserted that "vehement objections" to Chas Freeman's ultimately scuppered nomination as chair of the National Intelligence Council "came from several of Israel's most loyal supporters in Congress, from some journalists and lobbyists known for their strong support of the Jewish state, and from other members of what some would no doubt call, well, the Israel lobby." In a "Blowback" to the editorial, former L.A. Times assistant editorial page editor Matt Welch counters, "That description leaves out a few people."

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. One of the main reasons the Bush administration was such a disaster was that congress never properly questioned what was going on. The reason Israeli policy is such a mess is because Israel’s chief patron, the US, never properly questions what is going on.

  2. Which is more libertarian? Welch’s knee-jerk defense of the Israel lobby, or Moynhian’s knee-jerk denial of Cheney’s death squads? Maybe commenters can rate each on a scale of 1 to 10.

  3. Freeman and his supporters are such scumbags. They blame his withdrawl on the “neocons”. I wonder if Reason, one of the first places to break Freeman’s comments about China, has gotten their Neocon conspiracy membership cards yet. I hope to see you guys at the next cabal meeting.

  4. I love how neocon doesn’t really mean anything anymore. Too bad, it was a useful term while it lasted.

  5. Warty, it definitely means something. About the person using the term, at least.

  6. Welch’s knee-jerk defense of the Israel lobby

    Wow, I almost wonder if this was randomly generated, it’s so stupid.

  7. Wow, I almost wonder if this was randomly generated, it’s so stupid.

    Nah. It’s just another in a class of people who enjoy making negative comments without the burden of actually having to read the article they’re responding to.

  8. Which is more libertarian? Welch’s knee-jerk defense of the Israel lobby, or Moynhian’s knee-jerk denial of Cheney’s death squads?

    Ooh, ooh, what about keepingscore’s knee-jerk defense of the US Army attacking US civilians with bayonets and vomit gas on the National Mall?

    Given what Freeman said about the Douglas MacArthur and the Bonus Army, I can’t understand any libertarians or civil libertarians or black helicopter Posse Comitatus Act concerned patriots supporting him. Unless they just hate Jews so much.

  9. The whole Freeman thing proves the old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” adage wrong.

  10. Matt Welch Writes Blowback to an L.A. Times Editorial on Chas Freeman

    Good on ya Mate Matt.

  11. It’s just another in a class of people who enjoy making negative comments without the burden of actually having to read the article they’re responding to.

    I’m going to not read the article and make a negative comment as well:

    Dollhouse is stupid. Yes, it is.

  12. Epi, Dollhouse is going to turn around. Joss would never put a shit show together. You have to have faith in that, at least. He has a vision. Plus, Eliza made that comment in that interview about the man having the freedom he wanted starting with Episode 6. Just… keep your fingers crossed and wait. I know it’s going to get better. It has to.

    Also, keeping score, you’re kind of a fucking moron. Read the article.

  13. I was just about to cancel my Tivo season pass to Dollhouse until I read your post, Solana. Thanks for that; I’ll stick with it a little longer. Looks like they’re repeating the exact fucking mistake they made with Firefly. Yo, fuck Fox.

  14. It’s a fundamentally flawed concept, Solana. I respect Whedon a lot, but how do you have a show where the main character changes every episode? Are we supposed to emotionally invest in the character through Langton? Maybe he has a plan, but I’ll be surprised if he can pull it off.

  15. “One of the main reasons the Bush administration was such a disaster was that congress never properly questioned what was going on. The reason Israeli policy is such a mess is because Israel’s chief patron, the US, never properly questions what is going on.”

    What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

  16. I will keep watching, but I consider the show flawed at it’s very core.

    I’m going to indulge in the obscenely luxury of quoting myself:

    DH has two fatal flaws: 1) Dushku is not a good enough actress to pull it off. 2) The entire concept is nihilistic. What is the character working toward? They’ve already nuked her memory. She’s already dead. Even if they load her with a new memory and set her free, it’s still a hollow and false existence.

    Also, since the “clients” know what they are getting, that’s an awful lot of people knowing about a high-tech human slavery ring. Someone isn’t horrified by this concept enough to go to the cops? Are we heading for another “rich people are soulless monsters” Hostel storyline? They know that they are purchasing the services of memory-wiped people. None of them have any qualms about this? Even if they are just having a nice weekend, it’s still rape and slavery.

    I know she will recover stuff, that’s part of the pitch. I still think that the basic premises is ultimately too dark for network television. Once people work it through and realize what’s happening, the original “consent” of Echo to let this be done to her will mean nothing, and really all you are watching is the “Echo back at home” child-like girl being raped over and over again. It will be repulsive. (Never mind that the original consent was obliviously under some duress.) I’m fine with exploring all that, but the average non-Whedon fan is going to gag on it. Especially when the first 6 episodes are all shot to be “pilots” and therefore won’t really advance much plot.

    I didn’t hate the show and I can see a lot of ways that Whedon could be taking it that I would enjoy, but is it going to stay on the air? No way.

    Anyway, I’m leaving. I have Japanese food to eat. Hate to bail on a good convo.

  17. They’ve already nuked her memory. She’s already dead.

    Actually, I thought they said that her real memories had been boxed and would be returned to her at the end of the 5 year contract.

  18. I have a feeling the Whedon fanboiz are gonna be ragging on Fox longer than Ron Paul dead-enders have been ragging on Reason.

    No, the man’s flatulence does not smell like perfume. Yes, Dollhouse does suck.

  19. I thought it was a really good article by Matt. I think this issue is really perplexing. I certainly was against Chas after reading some of his articles on China and his history with Saudi Arabia. I was quite surprised when people started saying I was with the Israel lobby…I have rarely been accused of that.

  20. Obama likes nuts so much we should name him President Squirrel and give him a tree to ruin, instead of America.

  21. It wasn’t so long ago that the other end of the spectrum was accusing anyone who opposed warrantless wiretapping of being in league with al-Qaeda.

    Partisans of all stripes are nasty little creatures, ain’t they?

  22. Partisans of all stripes are nasty little creatures, ain’t they?

    Principles be damned. GO TEAM GO!

  23. Thank you Matt for writing a response to the LA Times.

    There is no way to spin unFreeman’s remarks about the democracy protest at Tienanmen. Any real libertarian would feel nothing but disgust for someone who writes what he wrote.

    His ties to Saudi Arabia are troubling as well. Congressman Ron Paul has stated that the Saudi lobby is more dangerous than the Israel lobby in DC, and Craig Unger’s books on the Bush family ties to Saudi Arabia back this up.

    You don’t have to be an interventionist to be concerned with human rights in other countries. In fact a strong case for non-intervention includes criticism of US government ties to other countries that suppress human rights – Red China and Saudi Arabia among them.

    If you have annoyed the “Hate Israel First” crowdlet led by Justin Raimondo, all the better.

    Good show, Matt.

  24. That’s “Dennis Raimondo” actually, and I usually refer to him as “Dim Nuts Ripped Moron” on my internet filter. That whole “Justin” name was something he developed a bit later in his career as an anti-semitic lunatic.

  25. I count Raimondo as a friend; make of that what you will. I do not understand why unveiling the Dennis-Justin switcheroo is considered a slam-dunk insult. Did Dennises Thatcher and Kucinich not demonstrate their he-man brio? Has Quaid or Rodman brought some shame to Dennishood? And what of the menace? What is the terrible secret of the Dennis-Justin succession?

  26. Matt Welch is a liar. His hatred of the Saudis — ALL Saudis, everywhere — and of ex-ambassadors to the Kingdom is motivated by this:

    “Still, it is jarring to observe how closely the ex-ambassadorial rap about Crown Prince Abdullah resembles a slightly more dignified and coherent version of Dennis Hopper’s sycophantic character in Apocalypse Now, describing the great and terrible Colonel Kurtz to Martin Sheen’s Willard. “[Prince Abdullah’s] unhappiness with Israeli treatment of the Palestinians, and now his real anguish over the humanitarian crisis they face, is very clear every time I speak with him,” Richard Murphy, ambassador from 1981-1983, told the Christian Science Monitor on April 29.”

    Not that Welch would be caught dead feeling any sympathy for the Palestinians. And I particularly like this little quote, which appeared in the National Post long before anyone (including Welch himself) ever considered himself a libertarian (another lie, but never mind …):

    “Like Walker, Cutler and Murphy, former Saudi ambassadors Wyche Fowler (1996-2001) and Charles “Chas” Freeman (1989-1992) can be counted on to deliver quotes consistent with Saudi foreign policy — opposed to invading Iraq, unequivocally impressed by the “Saudi Peace Plan,” hostile toward Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the “Israeli lobby” in Washington, more sympathetic toward Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians than the Bush administration, and insistent that the Israel/Palestine conflict is the root cause of much of the Arab world’s unrest. What is more surprising is how they cross the line into defending the indefensible.”

    Oh, you mean they don’t like Ariel Sharon? And they actually opposed the Iraq war? Jeez! Quick, somebody call AIPAC!

    Welch, you are a fraud — and a fool. Anybody who cares to can google your many screeds and come up with the goods. The problem — your problem, and mine — is that no one really cares.

    I see your friend Jamie “Ron Paul is a Nazi” Kirchick is on the job ssmearing Freeman, too. Both of you, I trust, will be duly rewarded in time…..

    P.S. Thanks, Tim, but lowering yourself to the level of the typical Reason commenter is beyond the call of duty.

  27. Mr. Raimondo,
    I’d tend to side with you over Welch on most any day (I dug up that Welch OMG we need a GWOT!! quote a year ago showing his true feelings on the Iraq war) so I do find this a interesting issue.

    My question is this, do you agree that the US backing of the House of Saud is troubling? (The multi-billion dollar weapons contracts/Kissinger Associates relationships/Bush Bin Laden Carlye group kiss fests). This is a regime that is pretty theocratic-police-state oriented, they fund millions of dollars worth of islamist radicalization programs throughout the mid-east and they are loyally supported by the US taxpayer.

    I grant you every problem you see with israel and agree the gaza thing is inhumane etc…but isn’t the saudi stuff a problem too?

    In my mind they are both big problems with our current foreign policy.

  28. it seems to me that Israel vs Saudi Arabia or Likud vs Wahabist are the same as democrat vs Republican. As long as the american taxpayer is forced to support one corrupt group over the other the we will be supporting one crucial goal…the continued expansion of the US defense budget and increased needs for global coordination to stop terrorist= more police state socialism in the USSA!

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