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‘Neocon’ is suddenly a bad career move (and Rachel Abrams ain’t helping the Elliott Abrams brand)

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Media Matters has blasted Rachel Abrams for her xenophobic racist rant against Palestinians. Yesterday all my friends were saying, Can you imagine a Muslim uttering such invective, what would happen to her and her politically-connected husband? They’d be finished. Well maybe Rachel Abrams has hurt Elliott Abrams badly, after all. As they say in Israel and Palestine, Inshallah.

I’d note that today Iraq war supporter Leslie Gelb attacks the neocons as warmongerers, at the Daily Beast.

The other night on Chris Matthews, Dana Milbank was attacking them. So this is now the conventional wisdom (from folks who I’m guessing supported the neocon central project, the Iraq war). There was a time when people ran away from the word liberal. Now it’s a pox on neoconservatism. I welcome it.

Oh here is Leslie Gelb supporting the Iraq war for his career:

My initial support for the war [in Iraq] was symptomatic of unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility. We ‘experts’ have a lot to fix about ourselves, even as we ‘perfect’ the media. We must redouble our commitment to independent thought, and embrace, rather than cast aside, opinions and facts that blow the common—often wrong—wisdom apart. Our democracy requires nothing less.

Being a neoconservative is suddenly what they used to call a CLM at Goldman, Sachs. (Career Limiting Move).

Update. Justin Logan at the National Interest on neoconservative career-making in Washington, titled, The Neocons Never Left

The irony here is that it was with the help of people like Leslie Gelb that the neocons took over the GOP establishment. When he was at the helm of the Council on Foreign Relations, Gelb brought in a real neocon’s neocon, Max Boot, to be a senior fellow, giving perhaps the most fervid neocon around the CFR stamp of approval—the imprimatur of the foreign-policy establishment. (It should also be acknowledged that Gelb himself supported the neocons’ Iraq project, shrugging afterward in the passive voice that his “initial support for the war was symptomatic of unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility.”)

As Scott McConnell has pointed out, neoconservatism is a career. Or as Bill Kristol remarked in 2005, the neoconservatives have done such an excellent job building institutions and infrastructure for developing the next generation of neocons that “soon there are going to be more neoconservative magazines than there are neoconservatives.” There are dozens of twenty-something, thirty-something, forty-something and older neocons throughout Washington, working at think tanks, editorial pages, in government and elsewhere. I could probably count on two hands the number of youngish national-security types I know in town who I could strain to call realists. This imbalance among foreign-policy elites helps create the mistaken impression that there are lots of neoconservatives in America generally, which there aren’t. Neoconservatism really is a head without a body.

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116 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    October 21, 2011, 11:07 am

    I think the most important thing to come from all of this is: Jews Can Be Racists.

    For a long time racism among Jews was seen as defensive and non threatening – horrible things had happened to Jews especially in the 20th century, so who could blame them for being racist, clannish and suspicious of the goyim.

    But the jews have long since “arrived” in America; and so, like any other “group” that has left the “protected class” people are beginning to demand of “the jews” what is demanded of, say, other white americans. No one wants to hear any justification of racism coming from a Scots-Irish guy from Boston, that his great grand parents were oppressed by the English is of no consequence to the present day. That dynamic is now unfolding for the American Jewish community – people dont really want to hear about oppression that took place generations ago, especially from the most wildly successful ethnic immigrant group in the history of the country.

    In a way, being “able” to be labeled a racist is really the greatest acheivement in America, as “groups” are concerned – it means you have power and are totally enmeshed in society.

    • J. Otto Pohl
      J. Otto Pohl
      October 21, 2011, 11:28 am

      Except I still read a lot of blog posts from leftist academics in the US (thankfully we don’t have any such people here in Ghana) that Israel can not be racist because Jews are not White and most Israeli Jews are not Ashkenazi. I have no idea what the logic behind this claim is. But, it makes no sense to me.

      On a more rational note I read somewhere back in the 1980s an interesting insight. It was a short fictional story about a ethnic Vietnamese refugee from Cambodia. She noted that Americans believed that only White Americans, White South Africans, and Nazis could be racists. But, Asian people knew better. They knew that the Cambodians hated the Vietnamese and the Vietnamese hated the Chinese. Hence the complete expulsion and later killing of the Vietnamese minority under Lon Nol and Pol Pot and the expulsion of much of Vietnam’s Chinese minority in 1979. The concept of Asian on Asian racism just does not exist for most Americans.

      I think this perception that only White Christians such as those enforcing Jim Crow, South African apartheid, or the Nuremberg Laws can be racist still dominates America. It does so because it is in the interest of the intellectual establishment to perpetrate this myth. Under this scheme racist governments disappear with the election of Mandela. It allows the US government a free hand in supporting racist regimes not just in Israel, but also in other “non-White” states.

      • Mooser
        October 21, 2011, 1:07 pm

        You are so right, J Otto Pohl. The only reason the Palestinians dislike the Israelis is racism. That’s exactly where you’re going.

        “Except I still read a lot of blog posts from leftist academics in the US…”
        Well, if you have been reading them, and are “still” reading them, why don’t you link a few? I mean, just to add what little verisimilitude is needed when you support your contention with a “short fictional story”.

      • Donald
        October 21, 2011, 2:51 pm

        Mooser, I’m not sure what you’re reading into Pohl’s post. I don’t know what blogs Pohl reads, but I know from Zionists here that they think it’s below the belt to accuse Israelis and American Jewish supporters of Israel of racism. Comparing their behavior to that of white southerners (“my people”, as it happens) is apparently an outrage.

        People in the American mainstream talk about Arab anti-semitism all the time. There’s much less talk of Israeli racism. And when was the last time you ever saw a discussion in the MSM about whether the attempt to establish a Jewish state in a land already occupied by Arabs might be racist? I’ve never seen it.

      • patm
        October 22, 2011, 10:50 am

        Racism is built right into Talmudic laws, according to Israel Shahak:

        “… my political activities as an Israeli Jew……began in 1965-6 with a protest which caused a considerable scandal at the time: I had personally witnessed an ultra-religious Jew refuse to allow his phone to be used on the Sabbath in order to call an ambulance for a non-Jew who happened to have collapsed in his Jerusalem neighbourhood. Instead of simply publishing the incident in the press, I asked for a meeting with the members of the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem, which is composed of rabbis nominated by the State of Israel. I asked them whether such behavior was consistent with their interpretation of the Jewish religion. They answered that the Jew in question had behaved correctly, indeed piously, and backed their statement by referring me to a passage in an authoritative compendium of Talmudic laws, written in this century. I reported the incident to the main Hebrew daily, Ha’aretz, whose publication of the story caused a media scandal….The results of the scandal were, for me, rather negative. Neither the Israeli, nor the diaspora, rabbinical authorities ever reversed their ruling that a Jew should not violate the Sabbath in order to save the life of a Gentile.”

        [1994] Jewish History, Jewish Religion, the Weight of 3000 Years By Israel Shahak

      • Mooser
        October 22, 2011, 11:23 am

        Don’t worry, Donald. I Googled him, read a bunch of his stuff, and I have no doubt he will reveal himself for exactly what he is. Won’t be long until he is telling us how “affirmative action” is ruining African-Americans. And if you hadn’t noticed, assumes all the left in the US hailed Stalin, Mao and Castro.

      • Mooser
        October 22, 2011, 11:34 am

        Here you go: Take a look at J.Otto Pohl’s comments on this blog. Scroll down a bit to find them. The guy came straight out of the John Birch Society.
        And with any luck, he will enlighten us with his views on the extent and results of “affirmative action”.
        And all without a single supporting fact, just the assumption you share his prejudices and misinformation.

      • Mooser
        October 22, 2011, 11:40 am

        And in today’s episode of “Thine Alabaster Titiies Gleam” we have J Otto Pohl’s deep musings on Multiculturalism and other cultures:

      • Mooser
        October 22, 2011, 11:42 am

        Oh yes, J Otto Pohl does condemn the Zionists, because he thinks their ethnic cleasing of Palestine arose from their “left-wing” ideology.

      • Citizen
        October 22, 2011, 11:52 am

        Jesuz, Mooser, what the fu%* are you drinking? Get your antlers out of your tukas and reread Pohl’s comment, please.

      • yourstruly
        October 22, 2011, 10:02 am

        growing up in a liberal jewish environment it never occurred to me that a jew could be a racist until i met a jewish college student from the deep south 50 + years ago. Someone who in defending jim crow claimed that being from the south he understood negroes better than me, inferring that if i were from the south i’d be for jim crow too. perhaps (although not all southern jews turned out to be racists), but what i got out of this encounter (and life’s subsequent lessons) was that colonialism has a tendency to make racists of us all, and that no ethnic, religious, national group is inherently immune from this abominable mental disease.

      • Cliff
        October 22, 2011, 11:25 am

        As I recall, Mark Twain was extremely racist against Native Americans.

        His comments about them sounded just like what Bibi Yahoo’s dad said about Arabs.

      • Citizen
        October 22, 2011, 11:58 am

        yourstruly, I don’t doubt what you say at all; you must have really grown up in a cultural bubble. My own experiences made me take what liberal Jews pontificated about with a huge bag of salt.

      • Les
        October 22, 2011, 10:38 am

        It seems a truism that for many American Jews, emmigrating to Israel is a way to act out white racist fantasies.

  2. annie
    October 21, 2011, 11:12 am

    gelb:They’re back! The neoconservatives who gave America clueless, unpaid-for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus a near doubling of military expenditures, during the Bush years have risen from their political graves. Someone, maybe a media tiring of President Obama’s interminable plight, pulled the stake from their heart.

    problem is nobody ever drove a stake thru the heart of the neocons, they are still feasting off us.

    • Citizen
      October 22, 2011, 12:00 pm

      You’re right annie. One of the must disgusting is Bill Kristol. He’s like a smug pedophile running wild in the sandlot.

  3. marc b.
    marc b.
    October 21, 2011, 11:32 am

    i’d say the neocons are more like a body without a head, the proverbial bulls in the china shop, smashing things to bits because they can. f*ckin’ psychotics who never matured beyond the narcissism of adolescence..

  4. Krauss
    October 21, 2011, 11:59 am

    Neoconvervatism, like Zionism, is a project to mainly benefit (right-wing, Likudnid) Jewish interests, but with the help of Gentiles as surrogates at times(like Bolton, a figurehead).

    How do you protect Israel without alarmism about constant threats to the general population in a far-away land like America? Gelb is the last person to whine about something he has carefully and intentionally nurtured – without any real regrets other than a dutiful shrug.

    Neoconveratism is actually neoliberalism, which is hawkish on foreign policy because that’s what good for Israel(who cares about America?)
    These people are a small minority, but they’re giving Jews a bad name. It’s also interesting to note that Gelb is sensitive to this topic. He used Henry Jackson as the springboard on the topic, and then added John Bolton as a more recent example. Both non-Jews. I don’t think that unintentional; he surely knows what people think of when they hear neocon and he doesn’t want to remind them.

    And I can’t blame him, if I was in his shoes. Nontheless, looking at his Wiki this is what I find:

    National Security Network, on the board of directors of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, member of the board of directors of the Truman Scholarship program, board of directors of the Nixon Center and the advisory board of United Against Nuclear Iran.

    Nixon Center is the only realist outlet, and I think he’s there not to burn any bridges. And do note the last group he is in.
    He’s rooting for the neocons, but he wants to make sure to watch his back this time around. He surely understands what it looks like from the outside.

    Nonetheless, check out Romney’s foreign affairs advisers; over half of them neocons, and in the most important working groups, more than 75 % in some instances. This is a man who wants to portray himself as ‘moderate’ but takes an extreme neocon angle to get elected. Why? Watch his donors.

  5. kapok
    October 21, 2011, 12:07 pm

    This is some kind of theater. For every fire breathing Adams another so-called moderate makes his way beneath the proscenium to reassure us that every thing is going to be alright and we can return to our apathy.

  6. pabelmont
    October 21, 2011, 12:14 pm

    Gelb: “My initial support for the war [in Iraq] was symptomatic of unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility. We ‘experts’ have a lot to fix about ourselves, even as we ‘perfect’ the media. We must redouble our commitment to independent thought, and embrace, rather than cast aside, opinions and facts that blow the common—often wrong—wisdom apart. Our democracy requires nothing less.”

    Unfortunate tendency? Huh? “[D]isposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility. ” Oh, yes. Got it. CORRUPTION. Don’t go with your professional judgment, go with your professional advancement. same with politicians, (Hey! These guys are, in a way, politicians. They are runners on the professional rat-race. And they are hand-maidens to actual politicians. Like economists, BTW. So, when are these political scientists lying? When their lips are moving? that it?

    But he’s saying he’s sorry. Oh, good. Tell the facts rather than hiding them behind propaganda. Good to hear. Let’s start with the Israeli occupation, shall we?

    Mr. Gelb? Are you there? Hello? Hello? Are we going to have your facts-hiding neocons around us years after the humanities departments have got rid of the career-taint of post-modernism, deconstructurism, and other isms? (Probably)

  7. justsayin
    October 21, 2011, 12:15 pm

    The coments about Senetor T. Kennedy is what really was unexpected, but bad taste, and no class is the “norm”, I only find phil and crew will have to hide out and stop making physical contact with items that may be tainted with the same cancers they give out freely to “righteous one” whom expose them for whom and what they are. be careful !

    • kapok
      October 21, 2011, 2:04 pm

      Choose your words with care,
      scribblers, and consider well
      what shoulders may bear
      or what must let fall.
      — Horatius Flaccus

  8. seafoid
    October 21, 2011, 12:29 pm

    Shulman has 2 good posts up at NYbooks

    I liked this in particular :

    An American veto in the Security Council, if it comes to that, is no trivial matter this time; it will mark yet another critical milestone in the decline of American power and influence in the entire Islamic world. The spectacle of the Americans vetoing what is, in effect, their own policy on Palestine—for narrow electoral reasons in the United States—will itself constitute a major Palestinian victory.

    Of course it is intimately linked to US political autism.

    In any case, it is clear that settlers like those who attacked at Anatot, and the many who sympathize with them, are increasingly a threat to the sovereignty of the state and to what’s left of its democratic character.
    It is one of the singularities of human history that the mob usually requires at least the semblance of a rationale, religious, racist, or ideological, for its hate; and there are those who are always only too happy to supply it. They are not absent in today’s Israel, either, in high public office. I think this is the real meaning of what happened at Anatot. I wish I could say it was a passing aberration.

    and this is also worth reading

    How much are we spending on counterterrorism efforts? According to Admiral (Ret.) Dennis Blair, who served as director of national intelligence under both Bush and Obama, the United States today spends about $80 billion a year, not including expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan (which of course dwarf that sum).1 Generous estimates of the strength of al-Qaeda and its affiliates, Blair reports, put them at between three thousand and five thousand men. That means we are spending between $16 million and $27 million per year on each potential terrorist.

    and this

    This is what is new in Republican politics. Party establishments typically mitigate the more extreme impulses of the activist bases. But this isn’t happening in today’s GOP. As recently as a few years ago, establishment Republicans would never have demanded extensive budget cuts in return for a vote to raise the debt limit, a vote many of them have routinely cast dozens of times. A few years ago, moreover, it would have been an extreme step indeed for an establishment GOP senator like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to subject approval of the debt agreement to the cloture process, requiring sixty votes to avoid a filibuster.2 The new political use of the debt limit was a demand of the Tea Party, very deliberately plotted by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and others from the moment the new Republican majority was sworn in.3 The use of cloture was a strategic adjustment necessitated by the fact that had McConnell not called for cloture, one of the Senate’s Tea Party Republicans—Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, Mike Lee—would likely have blocked a vote single-handedly, or maybe all of them together. Both maneuvers, then, were embraced by a party establishment deeply fearful of the movement’s wrath.

    The US is such a mess

    • kapok
      October 21, 2011, 1:09 pm

      More theatre if you ask me. It doesn’t matter if the US goes broke; they need only “point their cannons at you” in John Fogerty’s immortal verse. As for the Republicans, they remind me of our own Liberals up here in the Great White Afterthought: Fools bickering amongst themselves over their own dwindling resources while the Conservative juggernaut rolls over them.

      • Keith
        October 21, 2011, 8:35 pm

        KAPOK- “It doesn’t matter if the US goes broke; they need only “point their cannons at you” in John Fogerty’s immortal verse.”

        While not completely true, it is more true than a lot of Mondoweissers seem to think, having been brought up on economic mythology. Fact is, the Federal Reserve is the de facto central bank for the global financial system, and the dollar the world’s reserve currency. In an integrated global financial system, Uncle Sam isn’t quite as destitute as folks think. And the recent explosion of military spending, wars and public debt is a means to force structural adjustment on the American people. The American empire may be less in decline than undergoing a metamorphosis. All hail Lord Blankfein!

      • Citizen
        October 22, 2011, 12:18 pm

        Yes, indeed, Keith, that is the macro. Both the early Tea Party & now, the early OWS fingered the Fed Reserve System. Tea Party seems to have forgotten this, and more has not connected the dots to War Business–time will tell if OWS succumbs to Democrats as Tea Party did to GOP. Both parties are part of the single party system, switching hats every 4 to 8 years, the one given to each by the oligarchy

    • Keith
      October 21, 2011, 8:46 pm

      SEAFOID- “That means we are spending between $16 million and $27 million per year on each potential terrorist.”

      I believe that is known as terror Keynesianism.

  9. atime forpeace
    atime forpeace
    October 21, 2011, 1:09 pm

    How do the victims become the victimizers in such a short span of time…one maybe two generations.

    • Potsherd2
      October 21, 2011, 1:24 pm

      Because they are incapable of seeing themselves as anything but victims. In their own minds, they’re defending themselves. The Israeli national psychosis has them convinced that, any day now, they’re going to be slaughtered.

      • Citizen
        October 22, 2011, 12:21 pm

        And the US Right is convinced tomorrow we may have Sharia Law in the USA. They have bought the Big Lie of Clash of Civilizations created by Israel & partners in USA. Frum’s cheap analogy remains God in America, as it does in Israel.

      • Potsherd2
        October 22, 2011, 4:25 pm

        While ignoring the creeping halacha beneath their noses.

        Although I notice that the city of NY, now that the fact has been shoved into its face, is now claiming it will crack down on the segregated bus line in Brooklyn. About which, we will have to see if it actually does.

  10. Potsherd2
    October 21, 2011, 1:13 pm

    Follow the money. These think tanks, fellowships, institutes and other neocon cesspools don’t grow up out of the swamp on their own. People like Abrams, Bolton and other neocons presently off the public teat know that they don’t have to worry for money when they get out of prison, a place is always waiting for them, a comfy seat and generous stipend.

    And who funds these places?

    • Eva Smagacz
      Eva Smagacz
      October 22, 2011, 3:36 am


      Think tanks, Institutes, Fellowships that promote very right wing worldview started to sprout before Ronald Regan became president and in less than a decade created a new paradigm by providing endless stream of articles and talking heads in Mass Media (where they were welcome and given a welcoming platform) that are responsible for the current right wing bent of electorate.

      This was not accidental – the need to un-do the social justice paradigm from post war USA was deliberate and – as we can see – incredibly successful.

      Finding news on Internet is wrought with pitfalls: not the least the Google gadgetry that remembers your preferences and supplies you with context that you like – creating a bubble of data that reinforces ( and gives you illusion that the “world” thinks like you) rather than challenges your preconceptions of the world – you have to deliberately opt out of that to see news as they are.

      • Citizen
        October 22, 2011, 12:23 pm

        EVA, what search engine do you use? Or do you use a number of them?

      • MRW
        October 22, 2011, 7:28 pm

        Very smart, Eva, and apt. Google is even worse since it changed its algorithm last February. It is an appalling search engine, now, in my view. Totally controlled.
        Citizen, if you use a Mac, DEVONagent is a phenomenal search agent program and absolutely does not track your movements. You need to watch the vids of how to use it, but it scours news sources and academic journals worldwide.

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz
        October 23, 2011, 11:28 am

        Hi guys,

        I have opted out from Google remembering my preferences, and once a week check Google news through the Anonymiser. I also look at English, Canadian, Australian, UK, USA, Israel English, France, Poland Google News, and their coverage of Israel/Palestine is different in each.
        Choosing “Israel” in search box and choosing go by date, allows you to access Asian and Arabic media, which are never otherwise highlighted.

        Then I glance at Russia Today, Al-Jazeera, Democracy Now, and BBC. Finally, you type Israel, or Gaza, or Palestine in Arabic in Google. If you use Google Chrome, it translates automatically. Many sources, especially non-pc blogs, though, are scrubbed from Google News – like Mondoweiss.

  11. Avi_G.
    October 21, 2011, 1:18 pm

    The wife’s abhorrent rant was a lucid portrayal of what lies at the heart of neoconservatives. It’s a candid moment that doesn’t hide behind the euphemisms or the hypocritical language of the last 10 years. This is the true face of neoconservatism, racist, prejudiced, fascist, xenophobic, hateful, and blood thirsty.

    • philweiss
      October 21, 2011, 1:21 pm

      thank you Avi, wish id said that myself. a great gift, her post, in candor

      • pookieross
        October 22, 2011, 9:09 am

        What is Rachel Abrams education background? Did she get beaten up on her way home from school? From where comes this venom?

      • Citizen
        October 22, 2011, 12:26 pm

        I notice on Twitter many around the world and in USA are asking why does Rachel Abrams gets to say the racist stuff she does in US MSM?

      • MRW
        October 23, 2011, 3:28 am

        Say it. Rachel Abrams is a pig.

      • annie
        October 23, 2011, 3:34 am

        Rachel Abrams is a pig.

    • jewishgoyim
      October 21, 2011, 1:49 pm

      That is very true. You should add “expansionist” to the list though. And then you’re one inch closer to what I’ve been taught as a kid was the worst political regime in history.

    • kapok
      October 21, 2011, 2:46 pm

      You think the neo-libs with their multicultural airs are any better? They are Reptilians(gawd, I wish this meme would take off) all. Their benevolent luster masks a lust for human flesh.

      Bill Clinton, perfect example; he’d crawl over your dismembered corpse without dropping that pretty moue on his face.

      • Avi_G.
        October 21, 2011, 6:35 pm


        I don’t think the neo-liberals are any better. In fact, I see little difference between killing a million children through a decades-long policy of sanctions (As Clinton and Albright did in the 90s) and bombing to smithereens several countries (As Bush and co. did in 2001).

        The two are merely different sides of the same coin.

      • MRW
        October 22, 2011, 7:41 pm

        I could not agree with you more, Avi. What transpired during the Clinton years absolutely set up everyone to accept what Bush did. The neo-libs, Democrats of the 90s have a lot to answer for…moreover: start facing.

      • American
        October 21, 2011, 11:37 pm

        I think neo liberalism is somewhat less dangerous than the neocons, but the neo liberals are hypocritical about their choice of interventions.

        The problem with some neo liberals like Ann Marie Slaughter and her ilk is it’s just a cover for their own similar to the neocons ideas about American imperialism.

        I think the US should, with other nations or even alone if necessary intervene in some instances such as Rwanda….where we did nothing and 800,000 people were slaughtered. I would be entirely for the US
        intervening in I/P just as I was for intervention in Bosnia.
        Intervening in some cases is morally called for—-it’s the ‘motivations” however of some calling the shots or involved that make it tricky or produce less than honorable results.

      • Citizen
        October 22, 2011, 12:29 pm

        American, relate what you said to Wilson’s involvement in WW1. Thanks!

      • American
        October 22, 2011, 3:49 pm

        I’m not an expert on WWI but I will try to go by my memory of long ago world history classes.
        To best of memory WWI had it origins mainly in the different alliances some countries had formed with pacts to defend each other.
        I don’t remember right now the first initial act of aggression in that war and who it was by. I remember the assassination of the Arch Duke and sinking of the Lusitania but my impression still is that WWI was a piling on allies defending allies in what was at core nationalist land battles until almost everyone was ‘drawn into’ that war. A sort of gangs against gangs in a fight that was not the US’s.
        This might sound too simple but I think that was the gist of it.
        IMO…this was not a war the US actually had any real ‘security” interest at stake in and one in which no one could identify any “moral” position so had I lived during that era I would have been against US involvement.
        I don’t believe WWII was a threat to the US or that anyone intelligent believes it was….even if Germany had won their threat to the US would have been minuscule..but on the basis of “allies” and a “free” Europe we entered it….so we can look at it as right in most ways but realistically not necessary to the US except in living up to our prior alliance with GB and others to defend Europe.

        When I say I would favor some interventions by the US that doesn’t include ‘huge wars’ between ‘huge forces’ for their own reasons or gains that don’t threaten or have anything to do with the US. Wars of that scale require a lot more con thinking than pro thinking.
        But conflicts where less than full US force could prevent genocides or in unequal fights where one side, due to no or lesser resources, is being slaughtered in massive numbers, or even abnormally repressed in human rights, I think it can be justified on the basis of moral responsibility for nations that have means to prevent it. However, that doesn’t mean either that it is always done the best or right way and the what ifs are hard to know most of the time. So you either act using the best judgement you can and take the chances or don’t act…. that’s what it comes down to.

      • MRW
        October 22, 2011, 7:50 pm

        When I say I would favor some interventions by the US

        I favor none. (For the record, we got the bad guys in Rwanda exactly backward, which goes to show you than our ignoramus selves are uninformed and uneducated about the world.)

      • Robert Werdine
        Robert Werdine
        October 23, 2011, 7:00 pm


        Said you: “To best of memory WWI had it origins mainly in the different alliances some countries had formed with pacts to defend each other. I don’t remember right now the first initial act of aggression in that war and who it was by…”

        The immediate cause of the war was the determination of the Germans to exploit the crisis engendered by the assassination of the Austrian Archduke in June 1914 to wage aggressive war against Russia and France.

        France had been smarting ever since her loss to Germany (then Prussia) in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. Germany’s Chancellor, Otto von Bismark, had made friendship with Russia always a high priority, lest she be driven into an alliance with revenge-seeking France, and thus putting Germany between two hostile powers. In 1889, Bismark was dismissed by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who scrapped the German-Russian treaty of friendship, and, within several years, the Franco-Russian rapprochement that Bismark had feared had come to be.

        There were many aggravating factors that led to the increase in continental tensions that led to the war, but the most decisive was the militant, belligerent nature of German diplomacy. Germany was arguably the most militarized nation on the planet at the time, and the Kaiser gave this his unrestrained support for the political power of the military with his dozens of uniforms, his parades and his obsession with other military pageantry. By the end of the 1890’s Germany now began to build a navy to contest Britian’s rule of the waves, thus foolishly driving Britian into the Franco-Russian camp. By 1914 the military, at the behest of the Kaiser, had almost wholly supplanted the authority of the politicians and the Kaiser’s cabinet ministers.

        The military were obsessed with “encirclement” by Russia and France. In 1905 Count von Schleiffen, chief of the German general staff, devised a plan for a preventive war to meet this “threat”: A preemptive invasion of France through Belgium to bypass the string of fortifications on the French-German border. The campaign would last about six weeks, and it envisaged a massive turning movement of six German armies slicing westward through Belgium into France through Flanders and Picardy, southwest and hooking round Paris, thus encircling the capitol, and trapping the bulk of the French armies therein. With France out of the way, the Germans would then turn on Russia and defeat her. That was the Schleiffen Plan.

        Nobody at the time dreamed that the assassination would lead to war. Everyone knew it was the work of the Serbian terrorist group the Black Hand. But even Franz Joseph, the Austro-Hungarian emperor (who hated the Archduke anyway), did not believe that this was any cause for alarm. So a few Serbian thugs tossed a few bombs and fired a couple of shots. Big deal. He felt Austria should not overreact, and he certainly did not consider this to be a casus belli.

        When the Archduke was assassinated in June 1914, the German war chiefs saw their chance to put the plan into action, and the German generals had told the German Chancellor Bethman Hollweg that “there must be a war before it is too late,” and a pro-German minister in the Austrian foreign office called the assassination “a gift from Mars.” War with Serbia was looked upon enthusiastically by Austrian militarists: it would punish the recalcitrant, terrorist-supporting Serbs, and make Austria great again. However, war with Serbia would also mean war with Russia, Serbia’s ally and protector, and nobody wanted that.

        Except the Germans, that is. The Germans had long feared the rise of Russia’s power and her alliance with France, and, seeing an opportunity to provoke a war with her on favorable terms, now brought the full force of their brutal persuasion to bear on their Austrian allies to maximize their outraged response to this Serbian-contrived assassination. Prodded by the Germans, the Austrians now handed the Serbs a ten-pointed ultimatum demanding full compliance for an investigation of the assassination, several of which infringed directly upon Serbian sovereignty. The Austrians, with German coaching, had designed the ultimatum to be so insultingly unreasonable in its demands as to ensure its rejection. When the Serbs accepted all but two of the demands in the ultimatum, the Austrians were shocked; expecting a wholesale rejection from the reliably haughty Serbs, they did not know quite what to do. The Germans, who did know what to do, then told the Austrians what to do: Declare war on Serbia. Following much banging of the table from Berlin, the Austrians finally did so on July 28, 1914.

        When Lord Grey, the British foreign minister, suggested a regional conference consisting of France Britian, Russia, and Germany to mediate the Austrian-Serbian dispute, German Chancellor Bethman-Hollweg, who had lately been busy engineering the present conflict and was loath to see his handiwork wrecked by a peace conference of all things, replied that he would not interfere with Austria’s sovereign self-defense, and that Britian and the others should do the same.

        The Germans had already planned a full mobilization of their forces but they were now handed a priceless gift by the Russians on July 31 when the Czar announced that Russia would then mobilize, though he emphasized that this was only a partial mobilization and did not mean war. The French also mobilized. The Germans could hardly believe their luck. They could now present their own mobilization as a defensive response to that of Russia and France. When the Russians predictably refused Germany’s demand that they demobilize, Germany declared war on August 1.

        Since the German war plan also included an attack on France, a pretext would now have to be found to provoke war with that country. It was found: the Germans issued an ultimatum to the French demanding they surrender to the Germans three of their border fortresses to ease German concern that the French would not attack them while they were at war with Russia. The Germans, in effect, were demanding France forfeit her border defenses for German peace of mind while Germany waged aggressive war on Russia, her ally. This ultimatum, which excelled the Austrian ultimatum in the brutality of its intransigent unreasonableness, was rejected out of hand, and Germany now declared war on France on August 3. On August 4, the Germans invaded Belgium, a neutral country that Britian was bound by treaty to protect. Faced with the cynical brutality of the German aggression against a neutral country, Britian now declared war on Germany. World War One had begun.

        The truth is that the Germans waged war for nakedly expansionist and even annexationist reasons. They coveted Belgian coal, French iron ore, and sought the colonization and enslavement of western Russia and its resources. They envisioned a mittleuropa where Germany would occupy the low countries, most of northern and eastern France, and all of European Russia and Russian Poland. And they were serious. Much is made of the supposed harshness of the Versailles Treaty after the war, but it was tinker toys compared to what the Germans would have done to the Allies and Russia had they been victorious.

        German unrestricted submarine warfare and the Zimmerman Telegram, in which the Germans, incredibly, promised the Mexicans the return of territories lost in the Mexican-American War in return for entering the war on Germany’s side, provoked America into the war. An outraged America declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917.

        Long term, it was not in America’s interest to have Germany exploiting and enslaving the continent. It was also just plain wrong. By the time America declared war, Russia was out of the war, and the British and the French were exhausted and demoralized. Without American intervention, the Allies would have lost the war. Our intervention was therefore right as well as critical.

        In World War Two, Germany and Japan declared war on America, not the other way around. The consequences for a victory by an expansionist Japan and a genocidal Hitler for America would hardly have been “miniscule.”

        The world is, as always, a dangerous place, and I believe in the primacy and beneficence of American power in this dangerous world, and would shudder to contemplate its absence. The UN ultimately fails in its stead because nations do not sacrifice their core interests for a collective foreign policy, and do not sacrifice for others’ interests. That is why American leadership is more important than ever, and sometimes that involves intervention.

      • Citizen
        October 24, 2011, 7:36 am

        Kaiser Wilhelm II, who had been fairly close with Ferdinand (making his actions appear all the more legitimate), gave Austria a blank check—pledging Berlin’s unconditional support for whatever Austria-Hungary’s actions against Serbia would be—even if Russia intervened. By doing so, Germany was essentially spoiling for a fight with Russia. The analogy today is obvious. The US is spoiling for its next fight–with Iran, beating the drums loudly–this in behalf Israel & our war machine business. Every POTUS & wannabe (except Ron Paul) & US Congress person (again, except Ron Paul) & wannabe pledge his or her’s “unconditional support” for Israel–gives Israel a blank check (both figuratively in not restraining Israel & via the biggest chunk of foreign aid–even now when US is bankrupt, though still also underwriting Israel’s debt so much its credit rating is superior to the USA’s). And it’s not in the greater world’s long term interest to have US-Israel exploiting and enslaving so many lands.

      • MHughes976
        October 25, 2011, 11:39 am

        I don’t think that Austria had to be pushed very hard into making full use of the blank cheque from Germany. The crucial decision was the decision not to accept the reasonable-seeming Serbian reply to the ultimatum and I think that the Austrians have to take responsibility for that. Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador to the UK, thought that the Austrians also had to take responsibility for the provocative royal visit to Sarajevo, which he saw as an irresponsible challenge to the Black Hand to do its worst.
        Two main attempts were made to stop the course of events, one by the Tsar in decreeing only partial mobilisation and one by the Kaiser who did think the Serbian reply reasonable and at the eleventh hour asked the Austrians to go for a military demonstration (‘halt in Belgrade’; the Serbs were not planning to defend Belgrade) rather than a real war. Neither worked. Both were improvised ideas without proper contingency planning behind them. The moral might be ‘if you want to avoid war, plan for every event you can think of, and then some’.
        The underlying moral question, which we would still find difficult now, is how far it is right to go in restraining or punishing a state that uses terrorist methods. Are ‘wars on terror’ what the Tsar in his last rather tragic letter to the Kaiser said they were, ie ‘ignominious wars against small nations’?
        I think it’s still hard to beat Luigi Albertini’s 1942 collection of documents, interviews and reflections on the 39-day crisis.

      • lysias
        October 25, 2011, 2:15 pm

        Franz Ferdinand was an unpleasant sort who had lots of enemies in ruling circles in Austria and Hungary, like Chief of the General Staff Conrad von Hötzendorf. By pushing him to go ahead with that ceremonial visit to Sarajevo, in which his morganatic wife would be treated as a royal personage, those enemies would be killing two birds with one stone, if the assassination of Franz Ferdinand succeeded: (1) the threat of him succeeding to the throne would be eliminated; and (2) Austria would have a chance to eliminate the Serbian threat once and for all, humiliating Russia in the process.

        Militarists in the German government, who feared growing Russian power, would have welcomed this as well. In July 1914, before the assassination in Sarajevo, the Quartermaster General of the German Army gave instructions to the Prussian military representatives in Bavaria and Saxony that indicated he was aware of the imminent possiblity of war.

  12. chet
    October 21, 2011, 1:52 pm

    Because of the media’s perceived need to engage in “on the other hand” journalism, neocons and their ilk will always have their (crazed) views publicized.

    If the neocon “on the other hand” is to be given an ear, responsible journalists should always provide a caveat that these are the people who so misled us in the past.

  13. October 21, 2011, 2:37 pm

    The she-witch’s comments should be rewritten, using care to make sure that it is clear that Jews are the object of her rant. An author with an obvious and well known Muslim name could be fictiously given credit for the rant. Then, the rewritten racist diatribe should be emailed to global media outlets, television news networks, and radio talk show hosts.

    When the inevitable outcry of “anti-semitism” is blaring across airwaves and headlines, it could then be revealed that this racist rant was actually composed with the Muslims as its target, and the true author could be exposed.

  14. radii
    October 21, 2011, 3:49 pm

    If Abrams had been Egyptian, or *gasp* Palestinian when he was busted for Iran-Contra and made into a felon he’d still be in prison … and if his awful racist wife were Arab she too would be at least out of a job

  15. piotr
    October 21, 2011, 5:02 pm

    I do not see how a normal Jew can be racist.

    Unless we succumb to meaningless political correctness, disparaging of classes of people is racists only if inaccurate. And it is not a fault of normal Jews that they are Chosen People and their adversaries are so benighted.

    Now, self-hating Jews, usually “Leftist” are indeed racists because they make assorted ill-informed and prejudiced statement about the normal Jews (for starters, they deny that Jews are chosen and their adversaries, behighted, in spite of voluminous scholarship to the contrary).

    OTOH, Mrs. Abrams opens herself to criticism by making no-so-informed statements. E.g. IDF already claimed to kill all the people involved in the idnapping of Gilad Schalit. Does she doubt it? Whom he wants to throw to the fish? And what would be the logistics of that endeavor? You cannot use drones and helicopters to snatch bodies for fish feeding. And what about her selections of fish? Stargazers? Really? (Diminitive and shy bottom dwellers, Mediterranean species under 16 in long). And what was it about “women” that are “unmanned”?

    • Citizen
      October 22, 2011, 12:33 pm

      piotr, how normal is it to believe you were chosen by God, the real estate agent?

      • piotr
        October 22, 2011, 7:47 pm

        In case of Rachel Abrams, I think the question should be how normal it is to believe you were chosen by God if you do not even believe in God. The answer, I guess, belongs to neuroscientists. Or evolutionary psychologists: does a particular method of acquiring beliefs increase or decrease the reproductive fitness of individuals?

        It still puzzles me how Rachel stumbled upon “stargazers”. How normal it is to believe that sharks and stargazers were created by God to eat terrorists in an unlikely event that they would be thrown to the sea on Rachel’s recommendation? Or any other predatory fish, for that matter?

  16. Keith
    October 21, 2011, 8:39 pm

    “We must redouble our commitment to independent thought….”

    Has Leslie Gelb gone into stand-up comedy?

  17. Keith
    October 21, 2011, 8:59 pm

    To your list of neocons, surely you need to include Barack Obama, whose foreign policy so closely resembles the Project for a New American Century action plan. Speaking of our war monger in chief, I have included a link to his comments concerning Gaddafi’s death, which is the greatest concentration of falsehoods I have ever heard. I swear, he makes slick Willie seem almost respectable. Link to Obama on Gaddafi-

    • Citizen
      October 22, 2011, 12:36 pm

      Obama is the guy wearing the stupid uniform with a flashlight, ushering you down the 1950s movie theatre aisle in your little hick town, climbing the marquee sign to change the Now Playing letters, uncomfortable if forced to shine his flash light on snuggling or giggling couples–afraid they would recognize him in the near dark.

  18. jewishgoyim
    October 22, 2011, 5:19 am

    Strange. I just checked the wikipedia entry for Abrams: it reads like something the guy could have written himself. Very little info about neocons circles. No word of the fact he is a radical and that he thinks that Jews should “stand apart” and all this business. I would love to have other opinions on this. I find it quite amazing.

    Wikipedia says “the neutrality of this article is disputed” since 2009. It may well be but meanwhile, Abrams clearly has the upper hand. He does not seem at all the bloodthirsty neocon that he is. For one thing, A SEARCH FOR “IRAQ” ON THE ENTIRE PAGE RETURNS NOTHING! (I did not get into the specifics of Iran contra stuff but he does not seem very much attacked either).
    It looks like the neocons can have a very good handle on their wikipedia entry if they decide to. This is not helping.

    Is wikipedia corrupt when it comes to neoconism and/or Israel/Palestine?

    • Potsherd2
      October 22, 2011, 8:50 am

      Wikipedia is infiltrated.

      • jewishgoyim
        October 22, 2011, 9:12 am

        Really? To what extent? I mean I guess the modus operandi is quite clear: identify new powers and corrupt them. Your comment makes me want to go check the discussion about the article.

        I wonder if “net-net”, the Israel Lobby is worried of happy about the internet. On the one hand it is harder to control what everyone is saying but on the other hand, people who declare themselves as enemies make themselves very vulnerable and networks very easily identifiable. More generally, could the internet become more a tool of control than it is a tool of freedom? Will one day the internet be as much controlled as the MSM are? If you’re right on Wikipedia, then I’d say the jury is still out.

      • AhVee
        October 22, 2011, 11:36 am

        The spin on some articles change daily, some get continually worse and some get slightly better. Double-check the source material, especially on controversial topics. I’d also recommend bookmarking any worthwhile source material you find, some of it’s been known to disappear in later revisions.

        Some interesting articles on the issue.

      • annie
        October 22, 2011, 11:49 am

        JG it has been documented in the press yeshivas give seminars on becoming wiki editors under the radar. i’ve posted the link here before but i’m too lazy to find it. anything relating to i/p on wiki should be scrutinized. i’ve found them using quote marks and comas to change authors meaning. one time they quoted benny morris saying palestinians said they were going to “push jews into the sea” (this is probably still there) so i found the page and book online and he never said that. it was morris who used the term “push jews into the sea” to describe the sentiments of palestinians, not quoting an actual palestinian.

        stuff like that is rife @ wiki. twisted crap and lies . the historical record of the jewish population of jerusalem was completely turned around after dershowitz wrote about it. it’s one of the latest new myths pushed by wiki editors.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        October 22, 2011, 12:34 pm

        You are amazing Annie.

        Here you object to the generalized term “push jews into the sea” to describe the sentiments of palestinians, not quoting an actual palestinian”, and then yourself use the term “yeshivas give seminars on becoming wiki editors under the radar”

        You have balls Annie, or should I say “principles”.

      • annie
        October 22, 2011, 12:48 pm

        richard, yeshivas giving seminars on becoming wiki editors under the radar is not a term. it is my own wording therefore i don’t need to put quotes around it, and besides it’s true. putting quotes around something and attributing it to the wrong source is lying. they are 2 entirely different concepts.

        i’m heading out the door to go meet pam olsen at her book reading in berkeley (very excited) so i won’t be around to school you on the ins and outs of common sense for a few hrs. sorry.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        October 22, 2011, 12:57 pm

        Who cares about quotes.

        I care that you generalize in one sentence “yeshivas” rather than specific, in the effort to condemn generalizations that you don’t like “Palestinians” rather than specific.

      • Chaos4700
        October 22, 2011, 2:07 pm

        Who cares about quotes.

        Or truth? Or justice? Or talking about Arabs as anything other than sub-human? Not Witty. Is your son still in France, by the way? Or was he recruited?

      • MRW
        October 22, 2011, 8:34 pm

        jewishgoyim, then you need to watch it for yourself. Don’t ignore the video description.

        “Israel is paying internet workers to manipulate online content”

        There’s another youtube showing the Israeli Foreign Ministry teaching people in class how to alter Wikipedia, but I couldn’t find it.

      • MRW
        October 22, 2011, 9:04 pm

        AhVee, bookmarking is useless. Everything gets wiped. You have to save it with the link. So…either PDF it, or .webarchive (Command-S) on a Mac. Luckily, Save to PDF on a Mac (located via the drop-down menu button at the bottom left on a Print dialogue screen on a Mac) saves a PDF copy without having to buy Adobe Acrobat.

        You hearin’ me, annie? ;-)

      • Mooser
        October 24, 2011, 12:49 pm

        “Who cares about quotes.”

        Or question marks, for that matter. “Veracity? We don’t need no stinkin’ veracity!”

      • DBG
        October 24, 2011, 3:03 pm

        C’mon Chaos is anything off limits?

      • Chaos4700
        October 24, 2011, 9:22 pm

        Ask me that after you disown your relatives who are part of the IDF.

      • lysias
        October 25, 2011, 2:04 pm

        Even Wikipedia admits the infiltration:

        Also in 2001, the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry,[6] the diplomatic arm of the Government of Israel, was an original co-sponsor of the Hasbara Fellowships activities of Aish HaTorah. The Jewish Agency for Israel, Department for Jewish Zionist Education, operates a campaign, “Hasbara, Israeli Advocacy, Your Guide to the Middle East Conflict”.[5] In May 2007, the Hasbara Fellowships opined that, “Wikipedia is not an objective resource but rather an online encyclopedia that any one can edit. The result is a website that is in large part is controlled by ‘intellectuals’ who seek re-write the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. These authors have systematically yet subtly rewritten key passages of thousands of Wikipedia entries to portray Israel in a negative light. You have the opportunity to stop this dangerous trend! If you are interested in joining a team of Wikipedians to make sure Israel is presented fairly and accurately, please contact [our] director”.[22] A similar advocacy campaign on Wikipedia was later launched by the CAMERA in May 2008; it resulted in administrative action by the encyclopedia, and several editors were banned.

    • annie
      October 22, 2011, 11:50 am

      JG, for bios on the neocons check rightweb site:

      • jewishgoyim
        October 25, 2011, 5:06 am

        Thank you Annie. I bookmarked it. And everybody else for the info. The youtube on the seminar for “giving a zionist tilt to wikipedia” is an eye-opener. I mean I kind of suspected such things were at play but seeing a meeting and the resources allocated to it is impressive.

  19. pookieross
    October 22, 2011, 9:06 am

    Where does Bad Rachel get her hatred? It’s so irrational. I know many Jewish people who would be so ashamed to read her piece about Palestinians…. Wonder why the Emergency Committee keeps her on their board? Maybe they are feeling like RATS in a corner?n

  20. October 22, 2011, 12:25 pm

    Gee, the Mondozios are scared shitless by this Abrams flap, aren’t they? Its rare one of them doesn’t crawl out from under their rock to offer up some worthless crap hasbara on any given thread. But not this one.

    They’re all whispering under their breath….

    “Shut up, Rachel, you’ll expose us”.

    • Watcher465
      October 23, 2011, 10:28 am

      You are wrong POA, “piotr” and “Dick Witty” are both repeat offenders when it comes to hasbara. “Deny, deflect, delay, deride.” These are the four pillars of hasbara. Hasbarats always come in at the start or end of a topic so they can turn it to their advantage when it is fresh or when it has wound down. They all live in a state of denial and can be counted on to be irrational at all times. “piotr” in his comments seems like a total madman. Get help son. Go to a Jewish shrink. I hear they are very good. You might even find one who was specially “chosen” just to help you.

      • piotr
        October 25, 2011, 9:57 am

        What have I done? My snark about Chosen People not being racist when they are merely correct about their superior status could seem “mad” because I tried to mimic the reasoning of the self-styled Chosen.

      • Watcher465
        October 25, 2011, 8:11 pm

        You sounded serious. Because I can’t confine myself to this site on Israel it’s difficult to get a handle on everyone’s personality. I have to check as many sites as I can. Sorry if I got you wrong piotr.And now the the effluent spouting hasbarar “hophmi” jumps in with the crap of the last minute garbage merchant. As usual.

  21. October 23, 2011, 8:53 am

    I bet, Mrs Adams studies Himmler’s, Goebbels speeches in her abundant free time. She gets her “inspirations ” from there.
    A Student worth her masters.

  22. hophmi
    October 24, 2011, 2:00 pm

    Wow, because no one ever criticized the neocons before, right?

    What planet are you living on Phil? The neocons have been criticized for years and years now. There.

    As usual, there are people here who really read neocon as Jew, and make the routine antisemitic comments.

    PatM, the great talmudic scholar, says the talmud is racist, citing an old hearsay story from an Israel Shahak book that nobody can seem to actually verify. (Shahak’s account is not consistent with any Jewish practice I know of, PatM.)

    or this, from Krauss:

    “Neoconvervatism, like Zionism, is a project to mainly benefit (right-wing, Likudnid) Jewish interests, but with the help of Gentiles as surrogates at times(like Bolton, a figurehead).”

    or this from Potsherd:

    “While ignoring the creeping halacha beneath their noses.”

    Once again, Weiss, you and your moderator have provided a forum for the antisemitic whackjobs of the world.

    • annie
      October 24, 2011, 2:41 pm

      “While ignoring the creeping halacha beneath their noses.”

      under their noses is a well know idiom hops, is that what you object to?

      or do you simply deny all the news stories lately that pressure for biblical law is escalating in israel?

      Neoconvervatism, like Zionism, is a project to mainly benefit (right-wing, Likudnid) Jewish interests

      i think it is fair to say people associate neoconservatism with pnac and it’s policies which sprung from an extension of the policy paper rebuilding america’s defenses which was an offshoot of a policy paper originally designed for israel. and our (US) policy for israel is largely a reflection of right-wing, Likudnid policies (by policy i mean what we do, not what we say). so i think this criticism is reasonable myself.

      but with the help of Gentiles as surrogates at times

      so why do you think israeli rightwingers are cozying up to the hagee crowd? because they agree w/them ideologically? i didn’t think so. yes of course they align themselves w/gentile surrogates.what the hoot to you think the lobby is all about? isn’t that what lobbying is? getting others to be your surrogate?

      i don’t know who PatM is so i can’t comment on that.

  23. hophmi
    October 24, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Needless to say, the idea that you people define this rant as a call for genocide is more than ridiculous given your own crazy ranting. It’s crystal clear she’s referring to the terrorists, not the entire Palestinian population, by her use of the word “captors.”

    You people are a giant joke.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      October 24, 2011, 2:41 pm

      Wow, one useless racist excusing another useless racist. You never let us down, do you hoppy?

    • Chaos4700
      October 24, 2011, 9:23 pm

      Why are you defending her? You agree with her, then?

    • October 25, 2011, 8:41 am

      Show me WHERE and HOW is it “crystal clear” that she is referring only to the “terrorists”, not the enire Paletinian population.
      Proof it to us.

      • hophmi
        October 25, 2011, 9:12 am

        By the word “captors.” And in case that wasn’t clear enough, by the references to suicide bombers.

        I think you guys are trained to react a certain way whenever you see certain words, regardless of what’s there on the page. In this case, the word “savage” was used, and therefore, it must be genocidal. Unfortunately, in the English language, not every use of the word “savage” is actually genocidal.

        Is it racist? Well, maybe. People who use the word “savage” are often racist. And one could well imagine someone who rants like this to be filled with hate, as many as you people are when you rant against Jews and Israelis in similarly colorful language. Except that it’s pretty clear from the text that the savages are the people who send their children to blow themselves up and kill innocent civilians.

        Unless you are going to argue that the entire Palestinian population are the captors of Gilad Shalit, this is not genocide talk. This is garden-variety let’s be tough on terrorism talk with a few harsh words about savages thrown in. It holds no candle to much more sweeping statements like, “We will go after the terrorists and those who harbor them” said by a guy who commands the world’s strongest army or “Zionism will disappear from the annals of time” said by a guy with chemical stockpile who is working on nukes.

        Again, if you’re going to call every let’s-get-tough-on-terrorism statement, regardless of how emotional the expression, genocidal, you’re going to cheapen the term.

      • philweiss
        October 25, 2011, 9:55 am

        ah distinctions… i share your feeling that ti’s not genocidal, but racist? please. what about the tone and feel of the rant, hop; can you imagine for one moment a public official getting away with this kind of grotesque sloppy language? a columnist would be gone.

      • hophmi
        October 25, 2011, 10:15 am

        “what about the tone and feel of the rant, hop; can you imagine for one moment a public official getting away with this kind of grotesque sloppy language? a columnist would be gone.”

        No, Phil. I can’t imagine a public official getting away with saying something similar. I can’t imagine a public official getting away with some of things you say either. But Rachel Abrams is not a public official. She’s a right-wing blogger. And her language is in no way different from the stuff you here on talk radio every day, day-in and day-out.

        The Media Matters post is simply way over the top – nothing in her statement “advocates for the extermination of Palestinians, including children.”

        I simply have a hard time understanding why you seem to think that attacking neo-cons is a new thing. It has been going on for a long time now, pretty much since the Iraq War turned into a quagmire. That was the event that discredited the neo-cons in the foreign policy world, and it happened in 2006.

        You’ve tried very hard since then to make hay out of the support of some neo-cons for Israel, and to put that support at the center of everything they did and believed. It still doesn’t work, to this day, no matter how many right-wing blogger posts you amplify.

        I know one thing. I was at the 2002 pro-Israel rally in Washington. And I heard a lot of speakers. And it was a pretty right-wing crowd. There was one speaker who asked the crowd to remember that the Palestinians were suffering and that the conflict needed to end. And that was Paul Wolfowitz. So not everybody and everything fits into the little box you’d like to jam them into.

      • American
        October 25, 2011, 10:20 am

        “Again, if you’re going to call every let’s-get-tough-on-terrorism statement, regardless of how emotional the expression, genocidal, you’re going to cheapen the term”

        While Rachel’s rant may be just racist… doubt in my mind that she would be o.k. with genocide of the Palestines.
        After all what Israel is doing is genocide “as defined” by international law and the Genocide Conventions.

        There is no ‘cheapening’ of the term genocide in applying it to what Israel is doing…’s instead making people aware, educating them about the various actions that legally constitute committing genocide.

        You don’t have to use gas chambers and firing squads to commit genocide.

      • philweiss
        October 25, 2011, 10:34 am

        wolfie got booed.
        what does it mean to say that palestinians are suffering? really? what does it add up to? did he say what obama said in cairo, and then ate, the settlements must end?
        to vanity fair, wolfow. said that WMD was basically a lie for other reasons for the iraq war. and in his case what that meant, i believe, was this grand strategy to start democracy by force, and do nothing about the israeli occupation.
        they have never cared about that occupation and so 47 partition becomes the 78/22 partition, becomes the maale adumim partition. and it’s just not fair. anyone can see that. except an israel advocate

      • October 25, 2011, 11:32 am

        So…according to her twisted logic ,all Palestinian “captors” are terrorists, murderers, savages etc.
        If the word “captured”/prisoned in her psycho- mind means THAT ,
        then she should use the same logic/language towards captured Israeli “soldier” Shalit. Of course, she ain’t gonna do it.
        Do you follow me??
        Probably not, because I suspect that your non-existing logic can not comprehend this.

      • Citizen
        October 25, 2011, 1:31 pm

        Keep her words except directly exchange the actors and victims named or implied & what do you get, hophmi? Res ispa loquitor (sic), “the thing speaks for itself.”

      • hophmi
        October 25, 2011, 2:53 pm

        “So…according to her twisted logic ,all Palestinian “captors” are terrorists, murderers, savages etc.”

        No, you can actually blame me for reading that into her statement. But I think that’s the clear implication of her statement, given its emphasis on suicide bombing. The captors come from the same terrorist organization as the suicide bombers do. In her mind, and in the minds of many who don’t bother to explore the nuances of many international legal definitions of terrorism, they’re all part of the same project.

        “If the word “captured”/prisoned in her psycho- mind means THAT ,
        then she should use the same logic/language towards captured Israeli “soldier” Shalit.”

        Why? Do you know anyone else who applies the same language to terrorists and those they take hostage?

        “Do you follow me??”

        Sure, I get it. You believe Hamas is more moral than Israel is. And you think Hamas has the right to take hostages and mistreat POWs. And you’re looking to draw an equivalency between a terrorist organization that takes a soldier hostage and Israelis who imprison perpetrators of suicide bombings.

        You’re entitled to your viewpoint.

      • Robert Werdine
        Robert Werdine
        October 25, 2011, 6:42 pm


        Said you:

        “to vanity fair, wolfow. said that WMD was basically a lie for other reasons for the iraq war. and in his case what that meant, i believe, was this grand strategy to start democracy by force, and do nothing about the israeli occupation.”

        I dispute that construction on Wolfowitz’ remarks. Here is the unedited transcript of Wolfowitz’s interview with Sam Tannenhaus:

        “Q: Was that one of the arguments that was raised early on by you and others that Iraq actually does connect, not to connect the dots too much, but the relationship between Saudi Arabia, our troops being there, and bin Laden’s rage about that, which he’s built on so many years, also connects the World Trade Center attacks, that there’s a logic of motive or something like that? Or does that read too much into —

        Wolfowitz: No, I think it happens to be correct. The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but…there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there’s a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two. The third one by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it’s not a reason to put American kids’ lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it. That second issue about links to terrorism is the one about which there’s the most disagreement within the bureaucracy, even though I think everyone agrees that we killed 100 or so of an al Qaeda group in northern Iraq in this recent go-around, that we’ve arrested that al Qaeda guy in Baghdad who was connected to this guy Zarqawi whom Powell spoke about in his UN presentation.”

        On the I/P issue he said:

        “Q: And then the last question, you’ve been very patient and generous. That is what’s next? Where do we stand now in the campaign that you talked about right after September 11th?

        Wolfowitz: I think the two most important things next are the two most obvious. One is getting post-Saddam Iraq right. Getting it right may take years, but setting the conditions for getting it right in the next six months. The next six months are going to be very important.
        The other thing is trying to get some progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. I do think we have a better atmosphere for working on it now than we did before in all kinds of ways. Whether that’s enough to make a difference is not certain, but I will be happy to go back and dig up the things I said a long time ago which is, while it undoubtedly was true that if we could make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue we would provide a better set of circumstances to deal with Saddam Hussein, but that it was equally true the other way around that if we could deal with Saddam Hussein it would provide a better set of circumstances for dealing with the Arab-Israeli issue. That you had to move on both of them as best you could when you could, but —

        There are a lot of things that are different now, and one that has gone by almost unnoticed–but it’s huge–is that by complete mutual agreement between the U.S. and the Saudi government we can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia. Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government. It’s been a huge recruiting device for al Qaeda. In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle grievances was the presence of so-called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina. I think just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going to open the door to other positive things.

        I don’t want to speak in messianic terms. It’s not going to change things overnight, but it’s a huge improvement.”

        As i have argued elsewhere,

        People can, I think, agree to disagree on whether we were right or wrong to take the action that we did. In any event, there is no question that Wolfowitz and others genuinely believed the weight of intelligence that they were presented with on Saddam’s arsenal. He simply said wmd was not the only consideration in removing Saddam, for the simple reason that there was a wealth of other reasons to do so. He certainly did not say that wmd was “basically a lie.”

        And while it is for certain that Wolfowitz’s views of an equitable solution to the I/P conflict is unlikely to match your own, it does not follow that just because he and other neo-conservatives do not share your advocacy of a 1ss means that they are indifferent to the plight and sufferings of the Palestinians, or are, or have been, thwarting their sovereign aspirations. Certainly the Arab states in the 1947-1967 period, and, afterward, Arafat, Abbas, and Hamas have done far more to do that than the most hawkish neo-con could ever do.

      • Watcher465
        October 25, 2011, 8:28 pm

        Sorry but I disagree with both of you. Public officials talk crap all the time and “hophmi” you proved it by using Paul Wolfowitz as an example. What a stinking lying Zionist jerk. 2002? He was a liar long before that. Thank God your stupidity keeps the rest of us sane.

      • Citizen
        October 26, 2011, 7:51 am

        Wolfie didn’t say WMD was a lie, or not a lie. He said it was the only reason he and his cohorts could agree on to sell their agenda, which was attacking Iraq. Nobody would ever directly say the reason they gave for doing something with huge consequences was a lie. Every good salesman sells himself or herself first before the pitch. The ends justify the means.

        The actual intelligence findings & sources the neocons chose to believe in was disputed at the time, and has since been found to be unreliable and comparatively paltry. Anyone here can google it. The neocons had their “concerns” as Wolfie said. They sought to rid themselves of them.

      • Chaos4700
        October 25, 2011, 9:28 am

        Hophmi’s a neocon, he has no concept of proof. See also: support for the Iraq war, nukes in Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s collaboration with Osama bin-Laden, nukes in Iran, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s collaboration with Osama bin-Laden, etc.

      • hophmi
        October 25, 2011, 3:03 pm

        “Hophmi’s a neocon, he has no concept of proof.”

        Chaos is a broken record, who sees anyone right of radical left as a “neocon.” He’s yet to point out where I supported any theory of Saddam’s collaboration with Osama bin-Laden or Ahmadinejad’s for that matter. Belief that Iran is developing nukes is not limited to the “neocons.” The belief that Saddam had nukes in 2005 was not limited to the neocons either.

        And though I did support the Iraq War on humanitarian grounds just as Paul Berman and a small number of liberals did, Chaos has never provided a basis for his claim that I did support it, and regardless, support for the Iraq War is not the definition of “neocon.” Chaos does not, apparently, see any difference between liberal interventionists and neocons. But that’s OK. Chaos is entitled to his own opinions. He’s just not entitled to his own set of facts.

        It’s Chaos who has no concept of proof. He has a concept of big lie theory, which is that if you keep repeating the same lie over and over again, it will become true. Unfortunately, the moderator here keeps allowing it.

      • patm
        October 25, 2011, 8:11 pm

        “And though I did support the Iraq War on humanitarian grounds just as Paul Berman and a small number of liberals did, Chaos has never provided a basis for his claim that I did support it..”

        Long day at Hasbara Central, Hop?

      • October 25, 2011, 9:53 pm

        “And though I did support the Iraq War on humanitarian grounds…..”

        Yeah, over a million dead Iraqi non-combatants due to two wars and the sanctions. (The sanctions alone killed over 500,000 infants.)

        Humane, eh?

    • Ellen
      October 25, 2011, 9:43 am

      hopi, you are spewing the canned talking points and defense of the vitriolic and hate-filled indefensible:

      The pathetic talking point will next be “it was only a joke!”

      Here we have your very point — intended to make all who read appear incapable of comprehension, i.e the stupid ones — also on Washington Jewish Weekly:

      “While the sentence is a bit unruly and in need of punctuation, it seems to me that Abrams is referring to Shalit’s captors. J Street, however, read it differently.”

      This is not the first hateful diatribe by Abrams. She should keep on talking.

      • hophmi
        October 25, 2011, 9:59 am

        “hopi, you are spewing the canned talking points and defense of the vitriolic and hate-filled indefensible:”

        No, Ellen, I’m only saying that calling her statement “genocidal” is way over the top, and I’m telling you that I’m not into people who use words like genocide at the drop of a hat, particularly when they work hard to excuse vitriol by people who support their political program.

        It’s not surprising that, despite my explanation, you and others here have repeatedly asked me whether I “endorse” what she says, because all you guys are interested in is what defamatory label you can attach to those you disagree with. It shows just how tiny-minded most of you are, and why you will never make a real impact in solving the conflict.

      • tree
        October 27, 2011, 3:15 pm

        No, Ellen, I’m only saying that calling her statement “genocidal” is way over the top, and I’m telling you that I’m not into people who use words like genocide at the drop of a hat

        Actualy, you are either spectacularly clueless about your own commenting history here, or you are just a bold faced liar. Have you forgotten your sustained defense of Ben Cohen’s statement?

        Here’s a bit of your defense:

        There’s nothing hateful about interpreting the one-state solution as code for genocide.

        Just so we understand, a call for killing en masse Palestinian “captors” and their “offspring”, fine and dandy, not genocidal in your book. On the other hand, calling for a one state solution, with equal rights of all, can be termed “genocidal”, and you have no problem whatsoever with that. You obviously have nary a problem with SOME people throwing around the word “genocidal”. Israel supporters can do it at will and you defend them. But if any defender of Israel calls for the killing of children, you jump on your trusty steed to defend them with your usual specious arguments . Rather pathetic.

    • piotr
      October 25, 2011, 10:04 am

      IDF claimed to kill all actual captors already. A person at the exalted position of Rachel could not be ignorant of that fact. Morever, her description of the “captors” as loading their loathsome wives with explosives to explode in buses etc. is totally non-specific. I mean, as specific as identity of the people whom you discover when you press upon any boil on the flesh of the German people and squeeze out together with the pus. Perhaps Hitler meant to kill only those. Well, he did not urge to kill anybody else, didn’t he? So as long as you were not feeding on the necrotizing flesh of the nation, you would be fine.

  24. MHughes976
    October 25, 2011, 12:39 pm

    Strictly, piotr, it’s not men loading loathsome wives with bombs but loathsome women loading demonic offspring.
    It’s not that easy to follow the grammar of the Rachel Abrams diatribe. But I think the main clause runs (with a lot of abbreviation) ‘Round up the captors and throw them into the sea’.
    On the way there are lots of parenthetic terms. The captors are further described as slaughterers of innocents – etc.. I think these terms take us beyond the narrow circle of those who had any direct dealings with the Shalit capture.
    The captors are further said to ‘use’ women and their offspring. There is an implicit distinction between those women and children who are loathsome and demonic and those who are merely used. Though this distinction is there, it is de-emphasised almost to vanishing point by the huge emphasis on the loathsome femmes and their little demons. It is this emphasis which gives the long sentence most of its emotional force. The more the distinction recedes the more the angry rhetoric embraces the whole of the group. And it is not just angry, it is calling, as the J Streeters have perceived, for the deaths of individuals and for the extermination of a group. The fact that the group is a little ill-defined (‘Jew’ was not a well-defined term for anti-Semites) is not very reassuring, rather the reverse.

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