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Blank check

By Michael J. Smith on Sunday May 3, 2009 04:03 AM

I note with delight that Mr Obama's administration has decided to drop charges of espionage brought against two Israel lobby functionaries by the Bush administration.

So far, the pattern still holds -- Democrats have historically been even more supine and servile to the Israel lobby than Republicans, and though the Republicans of late have narrowed the gap, the donks still enjoy a comfortable lead.

Anything connected with the spook works, of course, tends to get the hypothesis engine revved up pretty high, without much traction in known or knowable fact, entailing the risk of some damage to the machinery. Caution and modesty are called for. Nobody can see through a brick wall.

Gotta say, though, it seems rather striking that this move follows so soon after the revelation of Jane Harman's involvement with this Israel-lobby spy ring. Coincidences do occur, of course. But it's impossible to repress speculation entirely.

If the the case had been pursued, might other notables besides Jane have been pulled into it?

Did Jane know where a body or two was buried?

* * * * *

I seem to be saying a good many nice things lately about professors, not my usual style. It gets worse: there's a very entertaining piece at... the Huffington Post (grr) by a professor (double grr) at Yale (skull explodes), nicely deconstructing the very peculiar New York Times report on this development. The Huffpost piece is a minor masterpiece of close reading, and though every instinct in my body rebels, I gotta recommend it as an object lesson in how newspaper items should be received.

Comments (6)


i can't make the link work


My error. Try it now.

Peter Ward:

I feel people get excessively worked up about AIPAC and Israeli spies and so on. The central issue is US imperialism and this fact is what should be harped on, if anything. It is true each party places emphasis on different things as well as capitalizes on different constituencies. And furthermore, pointing out the obvious, that the Democrats too are an imperial party, is important. But these facts are incidental. And the scope of AIPAC is limited. They help a bit, but reporting and academic discourse on Israel is of the same character as any other relevant topic -- the NATO/Kosovo war provides an example or of some of the most flagrant media and academic dishonest in my lifetime yet one could hardly identify a Kosovar lobby. We could destroy the lobby and still have the Newspaper of Record telling us Israeli's an angelic county surrounded by sadistic and powerful neighbors as long as there is a US objective to conquer the Middle East and as long as Israel remains a loyal partner.

Well said, Pete, and an excellent, apt, much-missed analogy!

Israel's loyalty is quite sealed, too, alas, don't you think? Seems like they're trying to outdo the Holocaust, in both directions. Let's hope they ("we") fail.


"the NATO/Kosovo war provides an example of some of the most flagrant media and academic dishonesty in my lifetime yet one could hardly identify a Kosovar lobby. "

i agree with md this is very pointed and accurate

this might be a bit too broad however:
".. US objective to conquer the Middle East"

the corporate free range privateers
behind uncle hegemonic's ever on going long view expansion plans
would be content
with easy wide open access to arab world wage labor resources
and restrict actual "conquest "
and trans nat corporate control
to the arab world's external credit sector

wall street and its junior affiliates
are content to hold the commanding heights

internal arab nations just need to run neoliberal national market regimes
of course with borderless
commodity and finance sectors


"people get
excessively worked up about AIPAC.. "

is that possible ??

i mean
isn't that like saying
i owen thadeus stevens paine
get excessively worked up
about ......
the international trot menace ???

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