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May 21, 2004

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I dunno, Moe: what penalty do you think Hollings should suffer for talking plain common sense:

With President Bush's domino policy in the Mideast gone awry, he keeps shouting, "Terrorism War." Terrorism is a method, not a war. We don't call the Crimean War with the Charge of the Light Brigade the Cavalry War. Or World War II the Blitzkrieg War. There is terrorism in Northern Ireland against the Brits. There is terrorism in India and in Pakistan. In the Mideast, terrorism is a separate problem to be defeated by diplomacy and negotiation, not militarily. Here, might does not make right -- right makes might. Acting militarily, we have created more terrorism than we have eliminated.

Wise man.

I think the theory, Jes, was that to destroy a hornet's nest, you shove a stick in there and stir it around and then wait for the hornets to racing out to sting you. Then you can smash each one individually as they land on your arms, head, face, etc.

That's all I can figure, from where I sit.

How can Hollings has even suggest that Bush plays politics to secure and expand his base of support? Why the sheer nerve...!

oops on the 'has'. time for Preview.

Also, I'm trying to figure out how Moe gets "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" from "for years there has been a domino school of thought that the way to guarantee Israel's security is to spread democracy in the area". Is it naming Wolfowitz, Perle and Krauthammer? Is it claiming that Mossad quite likely knew that there were no stockpiled WMD in Iraq? Honestly, I clicked on the link expecting an anti-Israel diatribe, and found that Moe (and, from the quote he used, Lileks) was guilty of false advertizing. No such.

To suggest that right wing ideologues considered Israel's security a priority when deciding on this war, and that Bush, and perhaps his political advisors (I shall not mantion the R word!) took this as an opportunity to energize the base - why, it is unthinkable, Moe.

I'm not so naive as to think that Fritz Hollings is going to be penalized, as he should, for making use of elementary reasoning skills. But sheesh.

Seriously, Moe, this seems to imply you're taking the "can't criticize Likudites or neocons without being anti-Semitic" line of reasoning. Aside from being alarmist and silly (and degrading our response to real anti-Semites), it's just a cheap response. Because these guys are Jewish, we can't be responding to their policies, we have to be responding to their Jewishness. Because Israel is Jewish, we can't legitimately criticize its policies without being latter-day Nazis or "self-hating Jews." It's diversionary BS.

Given that the overwhelming majority of those identified with the neoconservative philosophy of Mideast transformation are also die hard Israel partisans, what's wrong with connecting these obviously-related policy strands? Given that George Bush has taken all his foreign policy cues from the neocons and the pro-Israel lobby, what's wrong with pointing out that it strokes the Christian Zionists in his base?

Wait, wait, wait. But when the shoe is on the other foot, of course, it is perfectly justifiable to cry "bigotry," right?

To adapt Iron Lungfish's formulation: Because these guys are homosexual, we can't be responding to their policies, we have to be responding to their homosexuality. Because gay marriage is a goal of homosexualists, we can't legitimately criticize their policies without being latter-day Nazis or "gay-hating Christians."

I for one think personal invective is altogether too prominent in our public dialogue. But please, let us acknowledge that the Left developed and perfected this method (though of course the Right has taken to it rather smoothly).

I for one think personal invective is altogether too prominent in our public dialogue. But please, let us acknowledge that the Left developed and perfected this method (though of course the Right has taken to it rather smoothly).

Cite?

Well, I certainly wouldn't suggest that a criticism of Barney Frank's positions on environmental policy necessarily stem from homophobia or anti-semitism. I think your analogy might have some holes in it, Paul.

Now, if those criticisms come from a guy holding a "Homo Sex is Sin" or a "Jews Killed Jesus" sign, I might reconsider.

I'm of two minds about this. Given what we know about some prominent neoconservatives' (Perle, for one) well-documented views about Israel's security needs, Hollings is correct to assert that Israel's survival was a motivating factor.

Bush has said as much, on the record, as have many neoconservatives. Remember Saddam's payments to families of suicide bombers? And hey, that's been US policy for decades.

And, at the same time, Bush is courting Jewish voters, as evidenced by various Rovian boasts to that effect as well as foreign policy speeches at AIPAC and so forth.

Where Hollings gets into hot water, though, is in asserting that courting Jewish voters drove Iraq policy. And I think this is the offending sentence right here:

"Bush felt tax cuts would hold his crowd together and spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats."

Its factual correctness might be debatable, but is it in any way anti-semitic? Do politicians not court the Jewish vote just as they court the votes of other minority groups? And doesn't Israel policy factor heavily into such political calculus? And a Secure Israel policy does double-duty by also pleasing those who expect to be raptured before anyone has to pay off the national debt, see the effects of global climate change, or fight in the coming war of Good vs. Evil that Bush is actively fomenting. Do I misunderstand the context here?

Gromit:

But Hollings is not criticizing Jewish neoconservatives for their views on crime or welfare reform; he is criticizing them with respect to American policy toward the Jewish State in the Middle East. So my analogy, though limited and polemical in nature, still holds.

Paul Cella: But Hollings is not criticizing Jewish neoconservatives for their views on crime or welfare reform; he is criticizing them with respect to American policy toward the Jewish State in the Middle East. So my analogy, though limited and polemical in nature, still holds.

After posting it did occur to me that you were talking specifically about group aims, so my criticism does fall short on that account.

However, it is still the case that homosexuality is central to the issue of gay marriage. Were it up for question as to whether our state would recognize Jewish marriages, would anti-semitism charges be out of bounds?

Conversely, suppose a large group of homosexuals decided to flee discrimination and found a state with a distinctly homosexual character (i.e. the state is intentionally kept majority gay), and they became embroiled in a contentious, decades-long land dispute with their neighbors that involved heavy civilian casualties on both sides. Would the question of their security be inextricably tied to one's acceptance of homosexuality, or would the question be far more complicated than one of whether you are okay with gays?

Jeez Moe, quoting that Lileks, um, um, analysis isn't quite up to your usual standards, I would say.

There's an unfortunate quality to some of the more extreme shock-bloggers to make sock puppets of arguments they don't care for, and make mockery of the caricature they've created. Hollings' article isn't even close to Lileks' distortion of it. If he (or you, for that matter) discussed the flaws in his reasoning, or the accuracy of his assertions, well, that would be a different thing.

And minus one hundred points for gratuitous mention of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

"I for one think personal invective is altogether too prominent in our public dialogue. But please, let us acknowledge that the Left developed and perfected this method (though of course the Right has taken to it rather smoothly)."

To be sure. Have you ever heard of Father Charles Coughlin, Paul? George Wallace? Lester Maddox? Patrick Buchanan? Benito Mussolini? Joseph McCarthy? David Duke? Charles Lindbergh? The John Birch Society? KKK? Fritz Kuhn? Strom Thurmond in 1948?

Or should we go back to, I don't know, Oliver Cromwell?

No one "invented" this sort of thing; it's as old as humankind.

...he is criticizing them with respect to American policy toward the Jewish State in the Middle East.

That depends on what, precisely, "the Jewish State in the Middle East" means. It's a state comprised of Jews, yes, but -- contrary to certain popular beliefs -- it's not the sine qua non of Jewishness. One can be anti-Israel without being anti-Jew, and I think your analogy above elides this point expertly.

Well, it seems my comrades have flogged this one to death, but I will chime in for the sake of the chorus. I find nothing offensive in Fritz's analysis. Of course it's simplistic and you're welcome to think he's naive and incorrect. But to wink wink about the bigotry of it all is ridiculous and to suggest that there should be any penalty, formal or not, is perverse. Ridiculous and perverse I say!

Look, another thread about gay marriage. This Moe guy is obsessed. Oh wait. . it isn't. .

Hey, I say it's all true. The Mossad does have secret Jew-powers to ensure that they see all and know all (cue omnious music here). The CIA can fluff up, or MI5. The Mossad? Man, it's the Jews! They don't make mistakes.

And the way 80% of the Jews voted against Bush, but as still considered his "his base of support"? Again, it's super sneaky Jew-powers that elect a guy by NOT voting for him!

You know, if Jews were 1/10 as powerful as you'all give us credit for, we would not be having this conversation.

angua: And the way 80% of the Jews voted against Bush, but as still considered his "his base of support"? Again, it's super sneaky Jew-powers that elect a guy by NOT voting for him!

Who said jews were "his base of support"? Christian Zionists are the base being secured in Sen. Hollings' scenario.

c'mon people... there is plenty of truth to Fritz's comments. It is common knowledge the neocons wanted to remake the middle east in order to make Israel safe and stabalize the area. This isn't even disputed is it??? Seriously. Why else push for war in Iraq? To make Saddam comply with the UN Resolutions? Puh-leeze. I'm not even sure this "grand vision" tactic is bad. Done correctly and with finesse, it could work. Is it worthwhile? Who knows? not me. Look, this blather about Jew-hating and savage brown people is purposefully distracting. Note the comments from the right tut-tutting lefties for being racists. Questioning intent is not racist just because the people under investigation are not white. I thought the right championed this idea.

angua: I dunno about "Jew-powers", but it's been the received wisdom amongst everything I've read that Mossad is the best (i.e. most effective) intelligence agency in the world bar none. [This, incidentally, in general tones of approval from everyone regardless of political affiliation.] Are you arguing that that's not the case?

No one "invented" this sort of thing; it's as old as humankind.

Well spoken, Mr. Farber. I wrote too hastily.

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