Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Be like Noam

Good stuff on the Lobby from:

The pathetic anti-Lobby arguments fall into a small number of categories:

  1. Name calling (‘Nazi’, anti-Semitic’), the main thrust of big brains – for a five-year-old – like Dershowitz
  2. ‘Company you keep arguments’, the idea that the thesis must be wrong as people like David Duke have written favorably about it (this is all the way up to the rhetorical sophistication of a ten-year-old)
  3. Arguments that the thesis must be wrong, as prominent Israelis wrote against the attack on Iraq.  Of course they did, as the attack didn’t benefit Israel, and the Lobby doesn’t work for the real interests of Israel or the Israeli people.  It operates for the Likudniks and the Settler Movement, and the Christian Zionists who are looking for an apocalypse in the Middle East.
  4. All manner of what we could call ‘neo-Chomskean’ arguments, that the American Empire, by definition, only operates for the benefit of the American Empire, or Capitalism, or some such vague idea, following on the Chomsky/Marx/Hegel thesis that the real operators in the world are not human beings but ideas.  Thus, by definition, and no matter how much it looks like the Lobby thesis is correct, or how much evidence we pile up to support it, or how obvious it is that recent actions by the Americans in the Middle East have gravely – probably mortally – wounded the American Empire, the Lobby thesis must be wrong, because, by definition, only the interests of the Empire inform the actions of the Empire.  Chomsky’s intellectual suicide note to hide the crimes of the Lobby was sad, but the fact that neocons who six months ago would have had Chomsky hung for treason are now spouting his ideas in a vain effort to refute the Lobby thesis is hilarious.
  5. Arguments that there were other reasons for the attack on Iraq:  oil, geopolitics, bases, dollar hegemony, etc.  Of course there were other reasons.  The Lobby thesis doesn’t require that the Lobby be the only reason for the war.  Does anyone seriously believe that the United States would have attacked Iraq without the full-court press of the Lobby, efforts by the entire Lobby-controlled media, most notably Miller and the NYT (and the aluminum tubes, Curveball, etc.); Wolfowitz; Wurmser; Feith and the OSP, and the complete disruption of the usual process of relating intelligence to politics; the Christian Zionists who give Bush his backbone and got him elected; etc, etc, etc?  The attack on Iraq took months of preparation and bullying and lying, and would simply not have happened without the efforts of the Lobby. Nevertheless, the Lobby thesis is still correct even if the Lobby only played a substantial role, rather than a definitive role, in the enormously ill-advised decision to attack Iraq.

The biggest joke is that the efforts of the Lobby continue unabated, to the extent that Israelis are complaining that Israel will be blamed for any upcoming attack on Iran as the connections between the call for war and Jewish lobbying is so blindingly obvious.  Israel and its defenders can’t continue to have it both ways:  rely on the Lobby to advance the craziest of Zionist ideas, all the while pretending that the Lobby doesn’t exist.