Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

Afternoon Newsea

February 10, 2009
Like nausea, but from the news.

NYT Op-Ed in favor of repealing DODT; hard to argue with his larger point:

…six years of war have clarified priorities. The battlefield has its own values, starting with courage. Sexual orientation falls somewhere below musical taste. What a person chooses to do back stateside, off-duty, in his own apartment is irrelevant in a fight.

Guide to what’s hot on South Beach!  (you may now exhale)

The Catholic Church brings back plenary indulgences:

Its revival has been viewed as part of a conservative resurgence that has brought some quiet changes and some highly controversial ones, like Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision to lift the excommunications of four schismatic bishops who reject the council’s reforms. (HatTip: Creedo)

Sullivan unpacks Neoconservatism a little:

…perhaps the case against this strain in neoconservatism is best expressed by the the worry that passionate support for Israel can become, if internalized too completely, a blinding and knee-jerk response, and a barrier to thinking more coolly about America’s regional options.

Philip Weiss waxes philosophic on Jews in neoconservatism and credits Sullivan for his clarity

A pipe-dream from ForeignPolicy.com: Bibi the Secret Dove

A-Rod admits to the doping:

“I am guilty of being negligent, naïve, not asking all the right questions,” he said. (among other things)

It’s worth your click

The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy

January 23, 2009

Stephen Walt, co-author of the landmark essay and later book: The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, responds to some of the criticism resurfacing among the commentariat.  He essentially asks (and has cause to ask) whether those criticizing the book (McArdle, Douthat, Goldberg, et. al) ever even read it (I did).

Here is a brief segment:

The problem with relying on other people’s opinions is that virtually all of the mainstream critics here in the US misrepresented our arguments badly, frequently accusing us of saying the exact opposite of what we actually wrote. At the risk of boring you, let me offer a few examples:

Oh, he offers examples alright.  He gives a general run-down of the main ideas of the book and some of the most common misrepresentations about it.  I recommend his post and his book.

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Foxman and others on the Israeli Right don’t want fairness.

January 22, 2009

I’m not even joking.  That’s essentially their criticism. From Walt at ForeignPolicy:

The New York Times reports that President Obama will appoint former Senator George Mitchell as his chief envoy on Israel-Palestine. According to Jewish Week, ADL national director Abraham Foxman thinks Mitchell is an inappropriate choice because he is “fair,” and has been “meticulously even-handed.” As Matt Yglesias points out, fairness is a quality that we normally prize in an envoy.

But because the US hasn’t been fair in the past, Foxman is “concerned.  I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.”

WOW.  Do most Americans think we shouldn’t use envoys and negotiators who are fair?  Does anyone else think that our one-sided support of Israel isn’t helping the situation (and possibly isn’t helping the US end extremism in the region)?  The last paragraph from JW about sums it up:

Major pro-Israel groups “tend to favor the kind of mediator with the least prospects of success,” said MJ Rosenberg, a longtime pro-Israel activist and policy director for the Israel Policy Forum (IPF). “George Mitchell worries them because he was so successful in Northern Ireland, a success that was built on his persistence and his utterly impartiality … and a deal means Israeli concessions which they have never favored.  The stronger the candidate for envoy or mediator — the more of an honest broker he or she would be — the more uncomfortable they are.”

Yglesias adds another point that I agree with:

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