Saturday, June 20, 2009

Anti-neocon is not anti-semitic 

It is sad to see the Washington Post as neoconservative shills but that is what they have become. Glenn Greenwald writes about the Froomkin firing, the descent of the Post into political hackery, and the increasingly stupid tactic of trying to shut up neocon critics by flinging around the "anti-semitic" label:
Along those lines, Andrew Sullivan -- who has been criticizing neoconservative dogma and the Post's allegiance to it for the role it played in Froomkin's firing -- is predictably being smeared as an "anti-semite" by the usual manipulators of that term. Andrew rightly notes that "these vile smears are designed to police the discourse some more," but it's so striking how nobody cares anymore about these smears because they've been so overused and are so transparently dumb (Andrew himself dismisses them as "tedious," and that's all they are).
Everyone knows what neocons are. Everyone knows that "neocons" are not tantamount to "Jews." Most Jews reject neoconservative ideology. Some of the leading and most scathing critics of neoconservatism are Jews. Many leading neocons -- Dick Cheney -- are not Jewish. Depicting criticisms of "neocons" as "anti-Semitism" is every bit as manipulative as applying that term to those who criticize Israel. Neoconservatism is a radical, deceitful and destructive ideology and nobody is going to be deterred from aggressively pointing that out because Weekly Standard, National Review, Commentary and The Washington Post Editorial Page casually toss around the word "anti-Semite" in order to intimidate people out of that criticism. Those people and that tactic are far too discredited for that to work with anyone. It doesn't inspire fear -- only pity and contempt. That The Post is a leading house organ for neoconservative opinion is an important fact and screeching "anti-Semitism" at anyone who points it out will achieve nothing.
However, I think Greenwald has misinterpeted the basis of the "anti-Semitic" charge -- regardless of their personal religion, it is the core belief of neocons that Israel's continued existence can be ensured only by the belligerent warmongering and anti-Muslim bluster that typifies neoconservativism. Therefore, ipso facto, they believe that anyone who opposes this approach is endangering Israel.
Ridiculous. I certainly don't have a formula or answer or solution to the issues of the Middle East, but starting more wars over there cannot possibly be an improvement.

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