Wolfowitz Against US Intelligence

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Terrorized by Bush

Dec 13, 2007, 9:15:11 AM12/13/07
"The CIA is enemy territory" Paul Wolfowitz Against US Intelligence

The quote in the title comes from a very informative document that you can
read here:


There is a good reason why Paul Wolfowitz has no use for the CIA or the US
Intelligence Community. It has to do with the word they share in common.
Intelligence , as in something that is gathered from a study of the facts.
Something that has some basis in reality. Facts just get in the way of
people like Wolfowitz, who make up their minds what they want to do, and
then make up excuses why they have to do it.

The document above is a handy resource with links to many sources about
things said and done by and about Paul Wolfowitz. I decided to put on my hip
boots and wade into Wolfowitz's career in political propaganda, because
something about the recent Iran NIE bashing maneuver coordinated by the New
York Times and Washington Post reminds me of the run up to the war with

Even before 9/11, Wolfowitz is ready to invade Iraq. While Tenet and others
worry about Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, Wolfowitz wants to get on with
the Project for the New American Century ---you know, liberating oil that
was under the control of brown people. When the CIA and FBI fails to get on
board his theories that Saddam blew up the WTC in 1993 "he said something
derisive about how I shouldn't believe the CIA and FBI, that they've been

After 9/11, Dept. Defense Sect. Wolfowitz is commissioned by Rumfeld to set
up the Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group, which picks and chooses which
intelligence it likes.

Critics claim that its members manipulate and distort intelligence,
"cherry-picking" bits of information that support their preconceived
conclusions. "There is a complete breakdown in the relationship between the
Defense Department and the intelligence community, to include its own
Defense Intelligence Agency," a defense official will tell the New York
Times. "Wolfowitz and company disbelieve any analysis that doesn't support
their own preconceived conclusions. The CIA is enemy territory, as far are
they're concerned."

This group leaked material from the US intelligence community, a pattern
which will become familiar.

According to unnamed Pentagon and US intelligence officials, the group is
also accused of providing sensitive CIA and Pentagon intercepts to the
US-funded Iraqi National Congress, which then pass them on to the government
of Iran.

In 2002, after the CIA launches a covert attack in Yemen, Wolfowitz blows
the cover of the operation on national television, jeopardizing the agencies
ability to conduct similar operations in the future.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz confirms that the assassination of
Qaed Senyan al-Harethi in Yemen two days earlier. was done with a US
Predator drone that struck the truck carrying al-Harethi and five others.
Initial reported suggested that the truck was destroyed by a car bomb, but
this cover story is blown when Wolfowitz brags about the success of the
operation on CNN, revealing US involvement. Newsweek reports that "The CIA,
which ran the operation, was furious with the Defense Department for blowing
its cover story." US procedures required that the Yemeni government had to
give approval of the strike in advance, and the revelation of such approval
is highly embarrassing to the Yemeni government.. The CIA view is, you dumb
bastards, this means no other country will cooperate with us!"

The next big leak, will be Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Richard Armitage's
outing of CIA operative Valeria Plame, six months later, in retaliation for
her husband, Joe Wilson's op-ed piece in the New York Times debunking claims
that Iraq tried to purchase uranium. No evidence that Wolfowitz was
involved, but Dick Cheney sure seems to have been.

The pattern here is clear. The NeoCons could care less about the operations
of the US intelligence community. They want the CIA and its partners to
produce the evidence which they need to support the operations which they
plan to launch. Leaks of classified intelligence information can and will be
made whenever Wolfowitz or the administration feels like it---and there is
nothing the US intelligence community can do about it.

During 2002, Wolfowitz grows increasingly angry at the CIA and other
intelligence agencies, as they fail (or refuse) to produce the evidence he
wants to back up the claims he is making to the press that an Iraqi diplomat
met a 9/11 hijacker in the Czech Republic.

September 23, 2002: Newsweek reports that the CIA is resisting Pentagon
demands to obtain pictures of the alleged meeting from Iraqi exiles. One
official says, "We do not shy away from evidence. But we also don't make it

Wolfowitz is also reported to have become enraged when the CIA failed to
find any useful material when he told them to dig up dirt that would
discredit Han Blix, chairman of the UN Weapons Inspection Team. By 2003, as
US intelligence is failing to provide the story that he wants to hear,
Wolfowitz and his NeoCon buddies, begin turning directly to Israeli

After several CIA reports downplay intelligence provided to Washington by
Israeli intelligence officials, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
and other neoconservatives working in the Pentagon begin meeting personally
with Israeli officials to hear their intelligence. The CIA's reports had
found that conclusions made by Israeli intelligence were often skewed by its
biases against the Arab world.

Note that the US intelligence community was correct when it said that Saddam
had nothing to do with 9/11, that an invasion of Iraq could lead to a
prolonged conflict and a civil war and the several hundred thousand US
troops could be involved. (If you add up the private contractors, there are
several hundred thousand over there now.). In contrast, Wolfowitz toured the
TV talk shows, declaring that we would be in and out, the war would pay for
itself with Iraqi oil, there would be no ethnic violence and the Iraqis
would greet us as liberators.

Paul Wolfowitz believes himself to be a genius. In fact, he is a Goebbels
style propaganda master.

Paul Wolfowitz is back at the White House, perhaps because time is running
out on their plans to force the US into another war for oil, this time in

Signs that Wolfowitz is working behind the scenes will include efforts to
undermine the ability of the US Intelligence Community to gather factual
information about Iran and present it to the public. Intimations that
Israel's intelligence agency is better than that of the US and accusations
that US intelligence agencies are too political are also part of the
Wolfowitz package. Most of all, since he is attempting to discredit the
validity of their intelligence, he will attempt to cast them as liars and
cheats. It is likely that the CIA decided to reveal its "Family Jewels" last
summer in order to prevent the White House from holding the document over
its head as blackmail to keep it from releasing the Iran NIE. Since "the CIA
is enemy territory", no tactics will be too extreme.

Consider the possibility that the more you distrust the CIA, the better job
Paul Wolfowitz and his NeoCon partners are doing.
Makes one wonder how the neocons brains are wired Not being of the same
mind-set, it's difficult for me to try and understand how they think
anything they do is on the correct path for the good of the nation.

Kristol, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Fox Noise, et al, we call them and their
ilk "batshit crazy", which they clearly are, but one would think that this
yellow belly draft-dodging coward crowd would be the quiet, lurk in the
shadows type. Not this in-your-face "I'm a Super Patriot" type of dipstick.

These clowns clearly have a mental health issue going on.

For neocons, America is enemy territory.


Dec 13, 2007, 2:04:57 PM12/13/07
Click on the pic of Gingrich at the following URL to see who fifth
columnist (Israel first) Wolfowitz has in his corner:



Obama caves to pressure from Israel firsters over Mearsheimer/Walt


December 3, 2007 Issue
Copyright (c) 2007 The American Conservative

The Lobby Strikes Back

A new book riles the AIPAC crowd, but makes it to the bestseller list


by Scott McConnell

One prism through which to gauge the impact of John Mearsheimer and
Stephen Walt's The Israel Lobby and American Foreign Policy is a
September incident involving Barack Obama. His campaign had placed
small ads in various spots around the Internet, designed to drive
readers to its website. One turned up on Amazon's page for the Walt
and Mearsheimer book. A vigilant watchdog at the New York Sun spotted
it and contacted the campaign: Did Obama support Walt and

The answer came within hours. The ad was withdrawn. Its placement was
"unintentional." The senator, his campaign made clear, understood that
key arguments of the book were "wrong," but had definitely not read
the work himself. In short, Walt and Mearsheimer had reached a
pinnacle of notoriety.

Though The Israel Lobby was on the way to best-sellerdom and has
become perhaps the most discussed policy book of the year, the
presidential candidate touted as the most fresh-thinking and
intellectually curious in the race hastened to make clear he had not
been corrupted by the toxic text.

The episode illustrates one of the book's central arguments: the
Israel lobby is powerful, and American politicians fear its wrath. Any
Democrat running for president--drawing on a donor stream that is
heavily Jewish, very interested in Israel, and perceived as hawkish--
would have reacted as Obama did.

In their book's introduction, Walt and Mearsheimer summarize the
consequences of this power. In an election year, American politicians
will differ radically on domestic issues, social issues, immigration,
China, Darfur, and virtually any other topic. But all will "go to
considerable lengths to express their deep personal commitment to one
foreign country--Israel--as well as their determination to maintain
unyielding support for the Jewish state." The authors find this
remarkable and deserving of analysis, which they provided first in a
paper, posted last year on Harvard's Kennedy School website and
published in the London Review of Books, and now expanded into a

This is not the first time a prominent American has taken on the
subject. George Ball, undersecretary of state in the Johnson and
Kennedy administrations and the government official most prescient
about Vietnam, a bona fide member of the Wall Street and Washington
establishments, called for the recalibration of America's Israel
policy in a much noted Foreign Affairs essay in 1977, and at the end
of his life co-authored a book on the subject with his son. Eleven-
term congressman Paul Findley, defeated after a former AIPAC president
called him "a dangerous enemy of Israel," wrote a book that became a
bestseller, and there are others.

But no one with the combined skills and eminence of Walt and
Mearsheimer has before addressed the subject systematically. These two
are mandarins of American academia, having reached the top of a field
that attracts smart people. They have tenure, job security, and
professional autonomy most journalists lack. They have the
institutional prestige of Harvard and the University of Chicago behind
them. Most importantly, they bring first-rate skills of research,
synthesis, and argument to their task.

One might wish that their book had been different in some ways--more
literary, more discursive, more precise in some of its definitions,
deeper in some areas, more (my favorite, from blogger Tony Karon)
"dialectical." But The Israel Lobby is an extraordinary
accomplishment, completed with great speed--a dense, factually based
brief of an argument that is often made but rarely made well.

In public appearances discussing their book, Walt and Mearsheimer are
tremendously effective: measured, facts at their fingertips, speaking
with the fluency of men accustomed to addressing demanding audiences.
Most of all, while treating a subject where hyperbole is common, they
are moderate. They are respectful of Israel, admiring of its
accomplishments, and extremely aware that criticism of Israel or the
Israel lobby can turn ugly and demagogic. As might be expected of top
scholars in America, they are fully conscious of what Jews have
suffered in the past and how much anti-Semitism has been a moral blot
on the West as a whole. So while they have none of the excessive
deference, guilt feelings, and reluctance to engage so typical of the
remaining WASP elite, they are very well-modulated. Their detractors
would have preferred loose-tongued adversaries, Palestinians whose
words are raw with loss and resentment, a left wing anti-Zionist like
Noam Chomsky, or genuine anti-Semites. Instead, with Walt and
Mearsheimer, they are encountering something like the American
establishment of a vanished era at its calm, patriotic best.

It is obvious that The Israel Lobby, both the article and the book,
would be extremely unwelcome to those pleased with the status quo.
Under the current arrangement, the United States gives Israel $3-4
billion in aid and grants a year--about $500 per Israeli and several
orders of magnitude more than aid to citizens of any other country.
Israel is the only American aid recipient not required to account for
how the money is spent. Washington uses its Security Council veto to
shield Israel from critical UN resolutions and periodically issues
bland statements lamenting the continued expansion of Israeli
settlements on the Palestinian land the Jewish state has occupied
since 1967. When Israel violates U.S. law, as it did in Lebanon by
using American-made cluster bombs against civilian targets, a low-
level official may issue a mild complaint. These fundamentals of the
relationship go unchallenged by 95 percent of American politicians
holding or running for national office.

Walt and Mearsheimer's goal was to ignite a conversation about the
lobby--which they define expansively as an amorphous array of
individuals, think tanks, and congressional lobbying groups that
advocate Israeli perspectives--and its consequences, which they believe
are damaging to America's core strategic interests in the Middle East.
They support Israel's existence as a Jewish state, and while they
readily summarize Israeli blemishes, drawing on Israeli sources and
the arguments of the country's revisionist "new historians," they are
fully aware that no modern state has been built without injustices.
They seek a more normal United States relationship with Israel, rather
like we have with France or Spain, and an Israeli-Palestinian peace
settlement that can start to drain the poison out of American
relations with the Arab world.

At least in a preliminary sense, they have started a discussion. The
initial working paper on the Kennedy School website was downloaded
275,000 times, throwing Israel's most ferocious partisans into a
panic. Deploying a McCarthyite tactic, the New York Sun quickly sought
to link the authors to white supremacist David Duke. The New Republic
published a basketful of hostile pieces. Several pro-Israel
congressmen initiated an embarrassing effort--ignored by the
institution's president--to get the Naval War College to cancel
scheduled lectures by the two. In a column about "the Mearsheimer-Walt
fiasco," neoconservative writer Daniel Pipes summed up his dilemma: it
would have been better, Pipes said, to have ignored the essay by "two
obscure academics" so that it disappeared "down the memory hole"
instead of becoming "the monument that it now is." Pipes was wrong
about this. Hostile reaction to the piece hadn't inspired a quarter of
a million downloads. With the United States mired in a quagmire in
Iraq, increasingly detested in the Muslim world, and wedded to an
Israel policy that, beyond America's borders, seems bizarre to friend
and foe alike, Walt and Mearsheimer had touched a topic that was
crying out for serious analysis.

And the book could do more than the article. Arguments could be filled
out, footnotes could be easily read. The 2006 Lebanon War--which saw
the American Congress endorse the Israeli bombardment by the kind of
margin that would satisfy Nicolae Ceausescu, while seeming genuinely
puzzled that moderate Arab leaders did not join their applause --was
analyzed as a test case. A book could continue the discussion and
deepen it. But the book's enemies (how odd that a book could have
enemies, but there is no better word for it) had time to prepare their
ideological trenches, and within a month or two of publication, one
could see the shape of the defense.

By the end of October, two months after The Israel Lobby appeared in
stores, there had not been a single positive review in the mass-market
media. For a long time it seemed that no editor dared trust the
subject to a gentile, causing blogger Philip Weiss to ask cheekily,
"Do the goyim get to register an Opinion Re Walt/Mearsheimer?" By
then, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the New York Sun, and
The New Republic between them must have printed 25 attacks on Walt and
Mearsheimer, virtually all of them designed to portray the authors as
beyond the pale of rational discourse.

Anti-Semitism was not a credible charge. The authors make clear that
the lobby isn't representative of the views of all or even most
American Jews, and they support an Israel within recognized
boundaries. Their recommendation that the United States treat Israel
like a normal country is hard to demonize. Ditto their repeated
assertions that lobbying is a perfectly normal part of the American
system and that conflicted or divided loyalties have become
commonplace in the modern world. But what many did was to discuss the
book in a context of anti-Semitism, to convey the impression that The
Israel Lobby was a deeply anti-Semitic book without explicitly saying
so. Thus Jeffrey Goldberg, in a 6,000-word New Republic piece,
introduced Walt and Mearsheimer after a detour through Osama bin
Laden, Father Coughlin, Charles Lindbergh, and, of course, David Duke.
He eventually called the book "the most sustained attack ... against the
political enfranchisement of American Jews since the era of Father

Samuel G. Freedman in the Washington Post opened his discussion of the
book by invoking the New Testament concept of original sin, whose
burden one can escape only through acceptance of Jesus Christ. A
passage from Romans, Freedman claims, framed the book's argument--"if
unintentionally." When was the last time the Washington Post
introduced a serious foreign affairs book with Bible talk that had no
bearing on the work in question?

One of several Wall Street Journal attacks on the work claimed, "it is
apparently the authors' position that ... [in the face of Arab
lobbying efforts] American Jews are obliged to stay silent." This
statement is more than a misrepresentation of Walt and Mearsheimer's
argument, it is a flat-out lie. Did the editors who assigned and
published the piece know this? Was discrediting the book so important
that normal American journalistic standards had to be waived?

Another track of the demonization campaign was the repeated effort to
cancel the authors' appearances or to demand that opposing speakers be
invited to "rebut" their noxious views, a format hardly typical for
authors on book tours. Unfortunately, these initiatives sometimes
succeeded, as when the Chicago Council for Global Affairs cancelled an
event at a venue where the two professors had spoken many times
before. Some efforts to marginalize the book were more like parody, as
when Congressman Elliot Engel complained that Professor Mearsheimer
had been invited to participate in a Columbia University forum on
academic freedom.

It would be naïve to think that the campaign waged against the authors
had no impact. It managed to muddy the debate about the book. Even on
some of the wonkier Washington blogs, where there was manifest
interest in contending with the book's arguments, the focus got
shifted to whether The Israel Lobby was anti-Semitic. As one
frustrated commenter on Ezra Klein's blog wrote, "[P]art of the theory
is that the power of the 'lobby' is to effectively remove certain
topics from the debate. And the closest we come to debating those
topics is a meta-discussion of whether debating those topics is
appropriate or some evidence of anti-semitism/self hating Jewry."
Klein rued that "marginalizing the authors as anti-semitic is more
effective than arguing back their viewpoint."

The barrage also had an intimidation effect, a sort of "shock and awe"
for the political journalism set. What humble book-review editor could
fail to be impressed by the sheer volume of rhetoric painting the book
as disreputable or avoid wondering what bombs might explode under his
own career if he asked former national security adviser Brent
Scowcroft or Palestinian-American professor Rashid Khalidi to review
the book. Television producers took note as well. While Mearsheimer
managed an amiable ten minutes on "The Colbert Report," the authors
got nowhere near the regular public-affairs discussion shows. Scholars
and writers got the message: if men as esteemed in their field as Walt
and Mearsheimer were subject to the Coughlin/Duke treatment and had
their appearances cancelled, surely those less cushioned by tenure and
eminence had good cause to keep silent. This probably explained the
sheer ferocity of the campaign against The Israel Lobby.

Not all the negative reviews were as egregious as those cited above.
But those that tried to address the substance of the book tended to
land weak blows. Les Gelb's critique in the New York Times was
representative. His central point was that if the Israel lobby--
actually, he incorrectly claimed that Walt and Mearsheimer called it a
"Jewish lobby" --was indeed so powerful, why has every American
president over the past 40 years "privately favored" the return of the
Palestinian territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state,
and why has Washington consistently "expressed displeasure" at
Israel's settlement expansion? This is precisely the question to which
Walt and Mearsheimer provide an answer. If, as is indeed the case,
most American presidents have "privately" sought Israeli withdrawal,
and since Israel is extraordinarily dependent on American largesse,
why has the United States never seriously put pressure on Israel to
stop the settlements and give back the land? How did Israel manage to
move 400,000 settlers into the West Bank in 40 years, often using
American funds, if this was contrary to the wishes of every president?
Gelb goes on to acknowledge that Walt and Mearsheimer were prescient
in their opposition to Bush's Iraq folly, but asserts that the Israel
lobby had nothing do with the decision to go to war. Bush and Cheney
needed no lobbying on this point, and they don't about Iran either.

This last area is easily the most disputed point between Walt and
Mearsheimer and those reviewers who sought to answer their book rather
than smear it. The Israel lobby, the two assert, helped drive the
United States into Baghdad. It couldn't have done it by itself--that
required 9/11 and Bush and Cheney. But, argue Mearsheimer and Walt,
"absent the lobby's influence, there almost certainly would not have
been a war. The lobby was a necessary but not sufficient condition for
a war that is a strategic disaster for the United States."

This is a powerful polemical charge, if only because tens of millions
of Americans who could care less who has sovereignty over the West
Bank recognize that the Iraq War has been a painful failure on every
level. But is it true? The Economist says the argument about Iraq
"doesn't quite stand up," but might make sense if "neoconservatives
and the Israel lobby were the same thing." Leonard Fein, who writes on
the dovish Americans for Peace Now website, called the charge
"monstrous" and accused the authors of treating the lobby and
neoconservatives "as if the two are interchangeable." Are they?

On one aspect of the argument, the historical record is clear. The two
authors do valuable service by documenting the near hysterical "attack
Iraq now" recommendations made by various Israeli politicians to
American audiences during the run-up to the war. Benjamin Netanyahu,
whom the U.S. Congress customarily treats with the kind of deference
it might reserve for a Lincoln returned from the dead, warned senators
and congressmen that Saddam was developing nukes that could be
delivered in suitcases and satchels, and Shimon Peres told Americans
that Saddam was as dangerous as bin Laden. The lobbying was so blatant
that some political consultants warned Israel to cool it, lest
Americans come to believe that the war in Iraq was waged "to protect
Israel rather than to protect America." AIPAC, too, pushed for the
invasion. It is clear that the Israel lobby, as everyone understands
it, was part of the rush-to-war atmosphere that swept the capital in

But the critics do have a point: AIPAC and similar groups played a
comparatively minor part in the frenzy. But what of the
neoconservatives, who had openly pushed for war against Saddam since
the late 1990s and who held several key posts in the Bush

For Walt and Mearsheimer, neoconservatives are an integral part of the
lobby, and indeed, for their argument to make sense, the lobby has to
be defined broadly. Of course there is AIPAC, which exists to
influence Congress, and its myriad associated groups that raise money
for candidates. The recent emergence of Christian Zionism as an
electoral force is an important addition, adding ethnic and social
diversity and increased political weight to the lobby. This is a
sociologically and psychologically rich area, which the authors don't
explore as deeply as they might. What currents in American
Protestantism suddenly made Israel so compelling? It is interesting to
learn, for example, that in 1979, Menachem Begin gave Jerry Falwell a
private jet as a gift and soon after bestowed upon him the Jabotinsky
Medal for "outstanding achievement." (Other recipients include Elie
Wiesel and Leon Uris.) But such facts, intriguing as they are, don't
entirely speak for themselves. And whatever enhanced political clout
Christian Zionism brought to the lobby, it did not include access and
influence to inner decision-making sanctums of the Pentagon and White
House or the ability to start a war.

That required the neoconservatives. The path that took the United
States from 9/11 to Iraq has yet to be precisely documented, but it is
generally accepted that Bush, Cheney, and other key policymakers
became converts to neoconservative views after the attack, if they
weren't already sympathetic. This is important because neoconservatism
has a broad gravitational pull that more focused lobbying groups, no
matter how effective, can never match.

It is one thing to motivate a senator or congressman to vote for "pro-
Israel" legislation--and AIPAC does that well. The recent Kyl-Lieberman
bill labeling Iran's military "terrorist" was reportedly first drafted
by AIPAC, and an AIPAC aide's boast that he could have the signatures
of 70 senators on a napkin within 24 hours was altogether believable.

But that kind of lobbying has obvious limitations. How many of those
70 senators would vote the lobby's way while discretely rolling their
eyes, disliking the pressure they are subjected to but willing to go
along because it is the course of least resistance? People don't start
wars for such reasons.

Neoconservatism is something far more than advocacy of the interests
of a foreign country. It is a full-blown ideological system, which
shapes the way people interpret events and view their own society and
its relation to the world. Yes, its foreign-policy views are strongly
pro-Israel. The main shapers of neoconservatism would readily argue
that their foreign-policy positions were good for Israel, while those
they opposed imperiled the Jewish state. No one who has spent time
with major neocons would doubt the centrality of Israel to their
worldview or their attachment to the no-compromise-with-Arabs parts of
the Israeli political spectrum. But such attitudes come embedded in a
larger set of viewpoints, which are now fairly disseminated among the
American elite. While it is one thing for a lawmaker to accommodate
the Israel lobby over something like the Kyl-Lieberman bill, it is
quite another for an executive-branch policymaker to see the world
through a neocon perspective, to have fully internalized slogans like
"moral clarity" and "Islamofascism" and "the lessons of appeasement"
and elevated them as lodestars.

Neoconservatives did play a crucial role in preparing the Iraq War--in
the press, in generating dubious intelligence conclusions and piping
them into the executive branch, and in framing an argument that George
Bush would be "surrendering" to terror if he didn't attack Iraq. It
was a performance that more conventional lobbying organizations like
AIPAC or the Zionist Organization of America couldn't match in their
wildest dreams. Walt and Mearsheimer don't go into this history
deeply. (In The Assassin's Gate, New Yorker writer and author George
Packer gives one of the most nuanced portraits of the attitudes of the
Bush administration's intellectuals, exploring the difficult to pin
down matter of how intellectuals' attitudes seep into policy choices.)
But in view of their convictions and pivotal positions inside the
executive branch and ability to shape policy at the very top, to say
that neoconservatives "overlap" with the Israel lobby hardly does them
justice: the faction might more properly be described as, to borrow
the well-known phrase, the highest stage of the Israel lobby.

Moreover, as an ideological movement, neoconservatism has a reach that
more focused pro-Israel advocacy could never duplicate. Does one call
Donald Rumsfeld a neoconservative? Few do. While obviously quite
capable, he isn't known as an intellectual, isn't Jewish (though of
course not all neocons are Jewish), isn't an ex-liberal or leftist. He
is usually described as a Republican "nationalist," though he pretty
much delegated Iraq policy to men--Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and
others--who fit most classical definitions of "neoconservative." But
there are connections: in the 1980s Rumsfeld was enlisted by Midge
Decter to chair the neoconservative Committee for the Free World, so
certainly the neocon cast of mind was not unfamiliar to him. In short,
just as the boundaries of the Israel lobby are blurry, so are those of
neoconservatism. The revival of terms like "fellow traveler" would
probably be helpful.

The most striking aspect of the reception of The Israel Lobby was the
distance between the reviews in the U.S. and those abroad. In England,
reviewers for the major papers (including the Murdoch-owned Times)
treated the book's argument as self-evidently true. Geoffrey
Wheatcroft, author of a prize-winning book on Zionism, noted in The
Guardian that it must be obvious to a 12 year old that the Israel
alliance, "far from advancing American interests, gravely damages them
and has hindered every American endeavour in Arab countries or the
whole Muslim world." Israel's most influential paper, Ha'aretz, ran a
review by Daniel Levy, who was involved in the last serious round of
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. He told his readers that Walt and
Mearsheimer's most shrill detractors either had "not read the book,
are emotionally incapable of dealing with harsh criticism of something
they hold so close, or are intentionally avoiding substantive debate
on the issue." Like others, Levy draws a line between the neocons and
the Israel lobby proper and explains the Iraq War as a sort of perfect
storm: Bush and Cheney, 9/11, many neoconservatives in the executive
branch, and for the first time a Republican administration with
Christian Zionists as a substantial part of its electoral base. He
regrets that mainstream parts of the lobby have been co-opted by the
neocons and closes with a plea for moderate Israelis to take American
politics seriously and devote as much attention to forming American
alliances as the Israeli Right does. This is very welcome advice, for
Americans as well, because, as Walt and Mearsheimer stress (and Levy
helpfully repeats), it is not Israel per se but Israel as an occupier
that constitutes a major strategic liability for the United States.

But it should be noted that casual newspaper readers in Israel, in
Britain, and soon in the rest of Europe, where the book is being
translated into seven languages, are being treated to far more nuanced
and serious discussion of The Israel Lobby than Americans have been.

At least there has been the blogosphere. One wouldn't know it from the
major American newspapers or magazine reviews, but a fresh breeze is
beginning to blow. The Israel Lobby did receive more attention on the
serious blogs than any other book this year. M.J. Rosenberg, the
director of policy analysis for Israel Policy Forum and a prominent
"two-state solution" advocate, describes the influence of the book as
enormous: "Capitol Hill staffers are talking about the book, everybody
is arguing about it, people are intrigued. ... it has opened up

Despite, or perhaps because of, ferocious attacks in The New Republic
and the Wall Street Journal, The Israel Lobby made it onto the New
York Times bestseller list. It remained there only a couple of weeks,
soon displaced by Alan Greenspan's memoir and Laura Ingraham's latest.
But the book's influence is still early in its trajectory.
International sales will be large, there will be paperback editions,
and the book will be assigned in course readings. The Israel Lobby
will be around a long time, perhaps longer than AIPAC itself. Israeli
peace activist Uri Avnery has already compared the work to Uncle Tom's
Cabin, Philip Weiss to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. To build upon
Tony Karon's analogy that glasnost is breaking out in the American
Jewish community, and that younger Jews are questioning Israel like
never before, The Gulag Archipelago didn't receive good reviews in
Russia when it came out either.

Walt and Mearsheimer haven't written the last word on American-Israeli
relations. Other books, more psychologically probing and more
discursive, are in the works or waiting to be written. But in clearing
the first path since the pivotal date of 9/11, these two authors have
done their country a great service.


Keohane of Princeton on Walt and Mearsheimer (see the comments section
of the following blog entry by Philip Weiss):


The Israel Lobby and the War Party
Or do I repeat myself? (mentions event with Mearsheimer and Walt at



Additional on Mearsheimer/Walt:




On Dec 13, 6:15 am, "Terrorized by Bush"

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Dec 14, 2007, 10:15:18 AM12/14/07
On Dec 13, 9:15 am, "Terrorized by Bush"

<drippingbl...@whitehouse.net> wrote:
> "The CIA is enemy territory" Paul Wolfowitz Against US Intelligence

What the hell does any of this madness have to do with "oil". What are
they going to do, drink Iranian oil from a plane with a straw?

It wasn't oil company executives partying in Liberty Park with the
burning WTC complex in the background, it was Jew supremacists.

Wolfowitz is a typical Jew supremacist, i.e., a delusional,
bloodthirsty pervert, not an "oil man".

This is about imposing Jewish supremacist designs on the Mideast;
i.e., creating an Israeli expansionist-hegemonist friendly verion of
the Mideast, where Israel never has to sit down and negotiate in good
faith for a just peace with its neighbors.

This is purely about Jew supremacists sacrificing the American beast
they control on the altar of Zionism.

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