Author Archives: David Bromwich

About David Bromwich

David Bromwich teaches literature at Yale. He is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and has written on politics and culture for The New Republic, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, and other magazines. He is editor of Edmund Burke's selected writings On Empire, Liberty, and Reform and co-editor of the Yale University Press edition of On Liberty.

Dateline, Ukraine: How the State Department ‘midwives’ democracy

Back in 2007 Vladimir Putin said that the U.S. was destabilizing the Ukraine, driving a wedge between pro-Russian and pro-western elements, to serve its imperial power objectives. The Nuland-Pyatt call seems to bear out his analysis

Posted in US Politics | 92 Comments

Thought experiment. Dateline Ukraine

The New York Times accuses Russia of playing a role in the tumult in Crimea as part of a global power game. But can’t the same claim be made about the US role in the Ukraine tumult?

Posted in Israel/Palestine | Comments Off

Tribalism in the Jerusalem speech

By embracing “the idea that people deserve to be free in a land of their own,” President Obama dispensed with the idea of political rights of citizens, no matter where they live, and committed himself to the blood-and-soil ideology of the right-wing Zionist movement– and its belief that cultural identity is the basis of national integrity.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged | 65 Comments

Hillary Clinton showed more spine with Netanyahu than Obama has

So long as Obama wanted to take on the Israeli intransigence in the West Bank, Hillary Clinton was the strength and stamina of the effort

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 35 Comments

The liberal publicity line on ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

In response to critics who say ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ justifies torture, the film’s makers say the movie is a feminist argument for women in the military

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 29 Comments

War and the two Bible belts

Israel’s acceptance of Jim Crow and America’s acceptance of permanent war are each fostered by intolerant segments in the respective societies

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 17 Comments

Is there no Plan B on Iran?

We are at a moment when a president with an ounce of invention could move the consensus in this country, and legitimate a stance of containment rather than imminent war.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 22 Comments

The Israeli case for war in ‘The New York Times’

Israel’s hawks have a faucet at the New York Times they can turn on at pleasure

Posted in Iran, Israel Lobby, Media, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 55 Comments

Thomas Friedman finds Al-Qaeda in Iraq

Times columnist says US fought Al Qaeda in Iraq. But the terrorist group didn’t get there till after we invaded

Posted in Iraq, Media, US Policy in the Middle East | 36 Comments

‘The Social Network’ and the Acceptance World

People in their 50s find Mark Zuckerberg’s values in The Social Network detestable. But for the young, they’re awesome

Posted in US Politics | Tagged | 11 Comments

Netanyahu’s visit and its precedents

Haaretz has reported that Benjamin Netanyahu in 2007 offered to join a coalition government with Ehud Olmert on the condition that Olmert launch an attack against Iran. Recall: just three months before Netanyahu made that offer, in March-April 2007, Iran … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 72 Comments

New York Times vs. direct negotiations

The New York Times published two articles yesterday about the resumption of direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Both address a reader who already knows what happened, yet neither opens with a sentence carrying the basic information: “Secretary … Continue reading

Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 7 Comments

The moral authority of non-violence

A response to the debate on this site over the question of non-violent protest, following from the Gaza flotilla raid. For Gandhi and for King non-violence was a principle. Tactics such as the refusal to budge from a position where … Continue reading

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 14 Comments

A thought from Jean Amery

The thought is this: that the judgment against the torturer that persists in the mind of the tortured has a moral authority unequaled by any verdict of official justice. Thus Amery offers a clue to the metaphysical lie underneath the … Continue reading

Posted in US Politics | 4 Comments

The Cooper Union question: Was Arab anti-Semitism the same as Nazi anti-Semitism?

Last night at Cooper Union, George Packer sought to expose some possibly embarrassing sources of Tariq Ramadan’s political commitments by reading a quotation from Ramadan’s grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Packer asked Ramadan why he had … Continue reading

Posted in American Jewish Community, Middle East, US Politics | 96 Comments

Translating Obama, and Netanyahu

President Obama, having dared an unusual show of strength, declined yesterday to reproach Israel for any fault beyond a local violation of decorum. Instead, in his customary manner, he took one step back, one deep breath, and declared: "Israel’s security … Continue reading

Posted in Iran, Israeli Government, US Politics | 20 Comments

On the Lack of Interest in the Goldstone Report

Many American Jews who are liberals, supporters of Israel, and generally well informed about events of the day suppress their knowledge of Israel-Palestine to a second-rate level of almost innocence. An inadequacy which (out of pride) they wouldn’t allow themselves … Continue reading

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 103 Comments

Chomsky: the ‘unipolar moment’ is working out fine for ‘the satisfied nations’

Last night, Noam Chomsky delivered the Edward Said Memorial Lecture at Columbia on "The Unipolar Moment and the Culture of Imperialism." Some notes from David Bromwich who was there: Chomsky took up a major theme of Said’s writings. In the … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 30 Comments

Bromwich on Bronner’s shocking euphemism

We’ve made a lot of Ethan Bronner’s implicit endorsement of the Israeli battle-orders for West Bank nighttime raids: "cutting the grass." David Bromwich’s analysis: Love of order may present itself as a principle without exceptions so long as the order … Continue reading

Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel/Palestine | 8 Comments

Bromwich: Where did Cheneys get the idea that ‘dominance’ is the goal of foreign policy?

Here is something curious: evidence, via Liz Cheney, that the very idea of the U.S. as merely a major nation in the world of nations is considered by the Cheneys to be craven, weak, indeed pusillanimous to the point of … Continue reading

Posted in Neocons, US Politics | 30 Comments

William Safire: Wars Made out of Words

“There were no thrills while he reigned, but neither were there any headaches. He had no ideas, and he was not a nuisance.” What Mencken said of Coolidge can be reversed in the case of Safire. There were plenty of … Continue reading

Posted in Beyondoweiss, US Politics | 19 Comments

Force, provocation, disaster…. more force

Notice the page 1 story in today’s New York Times on the internal White House debate about Afghanistan. Holbrooke and Clinton want more troops, Gates mostly agrees, Biden is opposed to the idea. The Times doesn’t say, but we know: … Continue reading

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 7 Comments

Obama vs Gelb=democracy vs covert war

In a piece in the forthcoming New York Review of Books, David Bromwich creatively opposes the post-colonial credo of Obama in his Cairo speech to a book by Leslie Gelb of the Council of Foreign Relations, which mingles the best-and-the-brightest…
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Posted in Iraq, Israel Lobby, Middle East, US Politics | 6 Comments

Bromwich on ‘moral equivalence’ and Obama’s Cairo speech

David Bromwich writes: President Obama in his Cairo speech mentioned and named the “unprecedented Holocaust” suffered by European Jews in the years 1933-1945. He also mentioned the sufferings of Palestinians, from the dispossession of 1948 to the life under occupation…
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Posted in Nakba, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 131 Comments

Iran and nothing but Iran

David Bromwich writes: One inference is plain from the contrary emphases of Netanyahu and Obama at their news conference. The coming six months will see a continued aggressive insistence by Israel’s most uncritical American supporters, tuned to a single theme:…
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Posted in Iran, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, US Politics | 6 Comments