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Burke and Lincoln would have hated the special relationship

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In the last few days three stories have broken that make the “special relationship” between the U.S. and Israel appear more insidious and threatening than ever.

First was the report that Edward Snowden had flown the coop in some measure because of the special relationship between the countries, the fact that “the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization.” Some of this private data was apparently used to blackmail Palestinians to collaborate with Israel; though Scott Horton suggested when he was interviewing reporter James Bamford that Israel could also use the information against American politicians. We can only guess.

Second was the disclosure that the son of David Brooks, the neoconservative New York Times columnist who pushed the Iraq war, is serving in the Israeli army; and in an interview with the Jewish Journal, Brooks speaks of himself as an Israeli: “every Israeli parent understands this is what the circumstances require.” As I reported, Brooks is now the third writer at the NYT to have a son in the Israeli army.

Third is Glenn Greenwald’s revelation about a neoconservative U.S. lobbying firm “composed of former high-ranking Treasury officials from both parties… working hand in hand with neocon journalists to publicly trash a new enemy of Israel,” Qatar. “This is the bizarre neocon/Israel/Gulf-dictator coalition now driving not only U.S. policy but, increasingly, U.S. discourse as well.” Greenwald uses the word neoconservative, not Zionist, but this is a story about Zionist ideology: it would appear that three principals of the lobbying firm who worked at Treasury are Jewish Zionists, and two of them formerly worked with Steve Emerson, the Muslim-bashing Zionist.

What these stories all say is that American and Israeli political cultures are commingled in a way that Walt and Mearsheimer only scratched the surface of when they wrote their book on the Israel lobby seven years ago. For some officials, there is a thorough confusion of national interests. The boundary between the U.S. and Israel has been erased by our own officials– the same erasure that allowed Israel to restock its ammunition from American suppliers during the Gaza massacre without the approval of the White House.

In the Brooks case, we have one of the most thoughtful columnists in the U.S., who styles himself a Burkean conservative, but who has made such a thorough migration to Israeli consciousness that he speaks of himself as an Israeli parent. This is precisely the self-definition asked of Jews everywhere by Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

David Brooks is actually interested in the question of how to lead a meaningful life. He really owes it to his readers to explain why he has made this personal migration, and what it says about Jewish life in America and the dual loyalty charge against Zionism that his son is fighting for a foreign country and not in the wars that Brooks has prescribed for his own country.

The larger crisis these stories suggest is that we have reached a pass where some segment of the American power structure truly cannot distinguish between our country’s concerns and Israel’s, and as a result is incapable of sorting out Israel’s war with its neighbors from U.S. interests. Our politicians routinely go over there on the Israel lobby’s dime and come back praising murderers. A bloc at Treasury merged the two countries’ pathways, surely with a religious nationalist understanding, just as a bloc of neocon ideologues that had served Netanyahu showed up at the Pentagon to push the Iraq war. Just as Stuart Levey, who extolled the “Zionist dream,” pursued Israel’s enemies at Treasury under Bush and was reappointed by Obama.

Rep Steve Israel: "Inspecting an Israeli M48 tank with [Nassau County executive Ed Mangano] @ Museum For American Armor in Old Bethpage."

Rep Steve Israel: “Inspecting an Israeli M48 tank with [Nassau County executive Ed Mangano] @ Museum For American Armor in Old Bethpage.”

Burke and Lincoln would hate the special relationship. Lately I’ve been reading David Bromwich’s book of essays, Moral Imagination. Bromwich is a Yale scholar of Lincoln and Burke and he quotes two passages from those writers that are about the corruption brought about in a society when people become too familiar with a debased foreign institution.

Lincoln spoke of the way that slavery ruins good people, in a speech at Kalamazoo, August 27, 1856:

We will suppose that there are ten men who go into Kansas to settle. Nine of these are opposed to slavery. One has ten slaves. The slaveholder is a good man in other respects; he is a good neighbor and being a wealthy man, he is enabled to do the others many neighborly kindnesses. They like the man, though they don’t like the system by which he holds his fellow-men in bondage. And here let me say, that in intellectual and physical structure, our Southern brethren do not differ from us. They are, like us, subject to passions, and it is only their odious institution of slavery, that makes the breach between us. These ten men of whom I was speaking, live together three or four years; they intermarry; their family ties are strengthened. And who wonders that in time, the people learn to look upon slavery with complacency? This is the way in which slavery is planted, and gains so firm a foothold.

The same is true of the U.S. relationship with Israel, an occupier and persecutor (which enslaves another people). When your schools are filled with Israel Studies Departments, when your progressive mayor and governor are kissing the behinds of Israelis, when an Israeli university and an American one are building a new campus together in NYC, when your leading newspaper has three of its reporters’ sons fighting for that country, when a leading senator is bellowing at a leading capitalist to support Israel — the U.S. learns to look upon Palestinian slavery with complacency.

The second passage is even more to the point. In the 1780s it was understood that the government of India was corrupt due to the operations of the British East India Company. A member of Parliament, Burke first opposed interfering in the company’s business as an “intrusion on a corporate charter,” but changed his mind and took the “radical step” of seeking to place the company under government control because it was corrupting England, Bromwich writes.

Burke gave a famous speech on the matter in 1783 in which he lamented the many ways that England was socially welcoming men who were persecuting people in India:

Arrived in England, the destroyers of the nobility and gentry of a whole kingdom will find the best company in this nation, at a board of elegance and hospitality. Here the manufacturer and husbandman will bless the just and punctual hand that in India has torn the cloth from the loom, or wrested the scanty portion of rice and salt from the peasant of Bengal, or wrung from him the very opium in which he forgot his oppressions and his oppressor. They marry into your families; they enter into your senate; they ease your estates by loans; they raise their value by demand; they cherish and protect your relations which lie heavy on your patronage; and there is scarcely a house in the kingdom that does not feel some concern and interest, that makes all reform of our eastern government appear officious and disgusting; and, on the whole, a most discouraging attempt. In such an attempt you hurt those who are able to return kindness, or to resent injury. If you succeed, you save those who cannot so much as give you thanks. All these things show the difficulty of the work we have on hand; but they show its necessity too. Our Indian government is in its best state a grievance. It is necessary that the corrective should be uncommonly vigorous; and the work of men, sanguine, warm, and even impassioned in the cause. But it is an arduous thing to plead against abuses of a power which originates from your own country, and affects those whom we are used to consider as strangers.

Israeli government is at best a “grievance” for Palestinians. But Israel has thoroughly penetrated the American public sphere; and all attempts at reform seem disgusting, because they would involve hurting those we know and helping the strangers over there.

These passages both leave me dispirited. We’ve come further than the non-slave-owners of Kansas or the hosts of the Indian despots in England. Those of us in Palestinian solidarity know that it’s an arduous thing to plead against abuses of power originating from our own country. But what choice do we have?



About Philip Weiss

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37 Responses

  1. just
    September 27, 2014, 12:46 pm

    I’ve come to the pitiful and sad conclusion that our ‘ leaders’ ‘ (corporations included) interests and Israel’s interests are one and the same. Conquest with impunity.

    “Those of us in Palestinian solidarity know that it’s an arduous thing to plead against abuses of power originating from our own country. But what choice do we have?”

    We have no other choice than to continue to fight for those that have been oppressed and against those who would have the horrific status quo remain in situ and plunge ever deeper into the abyss. If our Declaration of Independence means anything, if our Constitution means anything, if any religion means anything– we have no other choice.

    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

    • Mooser
      September 27, 2014, 4:48 pm

      “I’ve come to the pitiful and sad conclusion that our ‘ leaders’ ‘ (corporations included) interests and Israel’s interests are one and the same. Conquest with impunity.”

      And that is a very discouraging thing to think one is, even inadvertently or unwillingly part of, giving rise to a host of ethical difficulties. There is almost no right path to be espied anywhere.
      That’s when a person should be able to turn to the comfort of and possibly find some guidance in religion.

      • just
        September 27, 2014, 8:23 pm


      • bilal a
        bilal a
        September 29, 2014, 3:41 pm

        MW and others here neglect the domestic consequences of the special relationship between the West and a hostile transnational cosmopolitan elite (No, very few Jewish ethnics in this group ) :

        Bill Black: The New York Times Claims Opposing EU Austerity Leads to Anti-Semitism

        I once wrote a long piece about Yasser Arafat. One of his favorite sayings was, “We are not the red Indians.”

        I think the reason that the Palestinians weren’t the red Indians was that the Israelis weren’t the North Americans. Had they pursued a comprehensive campaign of extermination like the Americans and Australians did before them, then no one would be around to complain.

        You know, there’s an old joke: Three elderly Jewish Communists in the Bronx are talking. They’re in their eighties. One is in a wheelchair. So they say, “Abie Cohen, have you heard from him lately?” “Abie, he’s had some health problems but he’s living in Los Angeles in a nursing home, still working for socialism.” “All right, what about Mike Abramowitz, have you heard from him?” “Well, you know Mike is in rehab, he fell, he broke his hip, a lot of problems. But even in the nursing home he’s fighting for socialism!” So someone says, “What about Moe Goldberg?” “Oh, Moe, he moved to Israel, didn’t you know that?” “Well, is he fighting for socialism?” The guy answers, “In his own country? What kind of man do you think he is?!”

        So I think as Jewish humor often does, that captures the point that you made. I’ve actually had students say exactly this. They say, “How come in my high school we couldn’t sing Christmas carols; however, in Israel they can establish a religion?” And they believe that it was the Jews who brought this about in the United States. And are they wrong? No.

      • Mooser
        September 29, 2014, 4:54 pm

        “; ((”

        Thanks, “just”! Maybe it wasn’t a two weeks Comfort-and-Guidance retreat at a Jewish Swingers resort for the High Holy Days, but it helped! It’s just about as explicable as most prophetic stuff, and also possesses a divinely cheerful brevity!

      • just
        September 29, 2014, 6:51 pm

        You do my heart good, Mooser.

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2014, 12:25 pm

        “You do my heart good, Mooser.”

        Some people say I’m better than a pinch of digitalis.

  2. Walker
    September 27, 2014, 1:18 pm

    the U.S. learns to look upon Palestinian slavery with complacency.

    The US media and political class conditioned the public to view not just Palestinians but all Arabs and even Muslims as savages by publicizing the crimes of just one side of the conflict.

    I’ve boldfaced the moments that apply to Israel’s influence in the U.S

    Boldface all you like, Phil – with this interface we won’t be able to tell :)

    • Boomer
      September 28, 2014, 7:59 am

      re: “we won’t be able to tell” . . . so it’s not just me . . . good to know.

      Koan: if a font is boldfaced but no one can see it, is it bold?

      Regarding the complacency, which is your real point, yes, that is tragic. Yet I think the complacency may be fragile, in a sense. It depends on careful control of the narrative. So far, Israel and its allies here have managed that. But during the most recent slaughter in Gaza, a window on a different reality was briefly opened even in the MSM. I think most Americans who peeked through that window were repulsed. Still, it’s hard to see how the normal narrative will change, absent some leadership more moral and courageous than we have now, or are likely to have soon.

      • Horizontal
        September 28, 2014, 5:45 pm

        Let’s see if this works? BOLD

    • Horizontal
      September 28, 2014, 5:47 pm

      Walker, et. al ~

      Use STRONG for BOLD. It works.

      • Walker
        September 29, 2014, 1:31 pm

        Thank, H.

    • Marco
      September 29, 2014, 12:01 am

      “The US media and political class conditioned the public to view not just Palestinians but all Arabs and even Muslims as savages by publicizing the crimes of just one side of the conflict.”

      How much has anti-Arab and anti-Muslim propaganda merely been a vehicle for legitimizing anti-Palestinian prejudice?

  3. Boomer
    September 27, 2014, 1:25 pm

    Well said.

  4. Horizontal
    September 27, 2014, 2:02 pm

    Philip, nice story framing the complexities of today in a historical context. I would also agree with just above that there is a definite co-mingling of America’s & Israel’s interests, given the large amounts of self-righteous, war-mongering BS that both nations remain mired in. (All that, beside the influences of latent racism, campaign cash and war-profiteering.) It seems to me that overall Israel represents the worst impulses of our society; the same impulses that lead us into Iraq, the loss of civil liberties and now legally questionable bombing campaigns in Syria.

    Can you imagine the US welcoming an inquiry by the ICC into our military strikes? I can’t either.

    How can you be a decent man and not, at times, feel dispirited? Personally, at this juncture, I get some degree of hope from the marriage equality movement. Look how much — and how suddenly — that trope has changed. Or when the Berlin Wall came down. Things change slowly and then, Bam, the toothpaste is all over the floor.

    • just
      September 27, 2014, 2:10 pm

      Well said, Horizontal.

      I love this:

      ” Things change slowly and then, Bam, the toothpaste is all over the floor.”

  5. surewin
    September 27, 2014, 3:09 pm

    This is a most excellent Shabbos, thanks to mondoweiss, and right during the High Holy Days! A barrage of important pieces.

    This piece alone is worth volumes of responsive commentary, mostly of a kind that amplifies what Phil is saying. I could spend all day on it.

    For now I will just underscore, not for the first time, that if we are “only guessing” about whether the NSA information is or is not being used to blackmail American politicians, not to mention other Americans in positions of power and influence, we are being naive. The feed that is being given to the Israelis is not limited to metadata, according to the reports. It is everything. The metadata would be bad enough, but they are getting all the content.

    Why would they not blackmail anyone and everyone who is worth the effort? “They wouldn’t do THAT!” is not an answer to the question. It’s just a wish.

    • Boomer
      September 28, 2014, 7:45 am

      Regarding the flow of raw surveillance data on Americans from NSA to Israel, as revealed by Snowden, I have been amazed at the lack of discussion and follow up about it from our leaders and the MSM. Who authorized it? Who thought this was a good idea? I don’t recall any outcry from Congress, or even questions to the President at a press conference. It isn’t only a matter of blackmail, though that is certainly part of it. Think of the “business opportunities” such inside information could facilitate, for example.

      • American
        September 28, 2014, 11:34 am

        ”Who authorized it?’…Boomer

        yep, I’ve been asking the same question –havent found an answer yet.

      • Horizontal
        September 28, 2014, 1:17 pm

        @ Boomer ~

        “. . . I have been amazed at the lack of discussion and follow up about it from our leaders and the MSM.”

        I, sad to say, have not been. The days of independent news organizations existing within larger networks is long gone, and congress, well, they truly deserve the low rankings that they’re getting these days . . .

        Washington Post Poll

      • Horizontal
        September 29, 2014, 12:46 pm

        @ Boomer ~

        “Who authorized it?”

        I missed your question the first time, and I believe it deserves an answer. My illustrious senator chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee. Her name is Dianne Feinstein and this sounds like something she would approve without batting an eye.

        I’d start my search there.

  6. Donald
    September 27, 2014, 3:25 pm

    Good post except for this–

    “In the Brooks case, we have one of the most thoughtful columnists in the U.S., who styles himself a Burkean conservative”

    Brooks is a pundit playing at being thoughtful. He’s an idiot who is mostly concerned that the elite stay in the saddle and the common folk keep their place. Come to think of it, according to Corey Robin that’s what conservatism has mostly been about all along, going all the way back to Burke. I wouldn’t know, but it’s certainly true of Brooks.

    I won’t look it up, but in late 2003 (before Abu Ghraib broke), Brooks wrote a piece for the NYT essentially saying that US troops might have to commit war crimes to win the war in Iraq.

    • Donald
      September 27, 2014, 3:31 pm

      I looked it up after all. Here’s the Brooks column from November 2003-

      a burden too heavy to put down

      Notable for one of the early appearances of the Friedman unit (the next six months will be crucial in determining what happens in Iraq), it also contains Brooks advising Americans not to retreat into the paradise of our own innocence just because our troops have to take brutal measures and might commit some atrocities. Yeah, that’s our thoughtful David.

      • Donald
        September 27, 2014, 3:36 pm

        And for those who can’t read the NYT online, I’ve included a few paragraphs from this bit of classic Brooks, flattering the West, pretending that nice guys like himself and his readers can’t fully comprehend evil, and then recommending that we commit evil. Plus the Friedman unit appearance.

        My point is that Brooks has always been like this and a great many Americans in the pundit/politician category think like this. And we weren’t corrupted by Israel–rather, Israeli corruption fits rather seamlessly with the sort of self-worship and BS that Brooks shows here. What sort of freaking lunatic could seriously type that claptrap about Americans given our own history? Well, the sort of lunatic that regularly gets a job as a pundit or goes into politics.

        “The fact is, we Americans do not like staring into the face of evil. It is in our progressive and optimistic nature to believe that human beings are basically good, or at least rational. When we stare into a cave of horrors, whether it is in Somalia, Beirut or Tikrit, we see a tangled morass we don’t understand. Our instinct is to get out as quickly as possible.

        It’s not that we can’t accept casualties. History shows that Americans are willing to make sacrifices. The real doubts come when we see ourselves inflicting them. What will happen to the national mood when the news programs start broadcasting images of the brutal measures our own troops will have to adopt? Inevitably, there will be atrocities that will cause many good-hearted people to defect from the cause. They will be tempted to have us retreat into the paradise of our own innocence.

        Somehow, over the next six months, until the Iraqis are capable of their own defense, the Bush administration is going to have to remind us again and again that Iraq is the Battle of Midway in the war on terror, the crucial turning point where either we will crush the terrorists’ spirit or they will crush ours.”

    • Boomer
      September 28, 2014, 7:48 am

      Dersh et al. were cheering for torture too. “Legal scholars,” “wise men,” “elites.”

    • Horizontal
      September 28, 2014, 2:21 pm

      @ Donald ~

      “Brooks is a pundit playing at being thoughtful.”

      Yup. Only in a world filled with Hannities could a windbag like Brooks seem reasonable. Poster boy for our current crop of Inside the Beltway “Deep Thinkers.”

  7. just
    September 27, 2014, 5:30 pm

    “Somehow, over the next six months, until the Iraqis are capable of their own defense, the Bush administration is going to have to remind us again and again that Iraq is the Battle of Midway in the war on terror, the crucial turning point where either we will crush the terrorists’ spirit or they will crush ours.””

    Such trash mixed with the supercilious uber- ugly American. I have to agree with you Donald. He was trumpeted for being a ‘moderate’ voice. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11– yet he calls them ‘terrorists’!!!!!!! WHY? Because they didn’t like being shock and awed and tortured by the US military?

    ‘Battle of Midway’ my eye! What we did do with that entire miserable massacre in Iraq was to give rise to ISIS/ISIL. Another fine kettle of fish…..

    • Mooser
      September 29, 2014, 5:03 pm

      “Such trash mixed with the supercilious uber- ugly American.”

      Strictly as a tangent “The Ugly American” was the hero of the book of the same name. That “ugly American” expression gets it wrong! Curious.

  8. Kay24
    September 27, 2014, 7:51 pm

    It is not only an insidious relationship, it is also a frightening situation, to think your own government is in cahoots with a disliked pariah nation, that has been accused of so many human rights violations. How can we trust our own government? So this is the company we like to keep. They do say you can judge a person by the company he/she keeps, so it must be for nations too. We have shown consistent and unwavering support to Israel, even when it keeps blowing up little babies, we hand over more weapons, and protect it from world condemnation.
    It makes me wonder why many Americans still cannot understand why we are hated so much around the world.

  9. American
    September 28, 2014, 11:04 am

    Good essay on the problem.
    But I think Washington ‘s brilliant and far sighted warning to the nation that ……” cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”……is the one that goes to the crux of the Israel problem.
    This is exactly what has happened in the US and we are being destroyed.
    Every year Washington’s address to the nation is read on the floor of the house but obviously no politician really pays any attention to it.
    Every time I hear some politician talk about ‘our founders” I throw up a bit because they usually invoke ‘our founders’ when they want to promote something the founders would have opposed.
    In I/P the Palestines aren’t really the strangers, they are like the freedom fighters our ancestors here were, the real strangers are the Zionist foreign loyalist and their bought helpers. They aren’t like us, they are not part of ‘us’, Israel is the exact opposite of ‘us.
    That is the actual truth we have to get across to the public. I think its getting across bit by bit because no matter how bad the US is currently people still basically subscribe to the ‘ideals’ of it and cant help but see the difference between Israel’s Jewish rule and supremacy ideal and the old US ‘common good’ ideal.

    Washington’s Farewell Address 1796

    ”All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

    However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

    The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

    Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

    It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

    ”In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

    So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

    As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

    ”Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

    • American
      September 28, 2014, 11:19 am

      ” Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests. ”

      Which is why they use anti semite and/or self hating Jew on everyone.
      As MW said civility is for dancing classes….

  10. Blownaway
    September 28, 2014, 12:12 pm

    Some years ago I traded emails with Phil where I told him that i had given up on the two state solution. I still have the email where Phil was still optimistic. Now its increasingly clear to all but those using the two state solution as an excuse to prolong the occupation. There is now only one state solution and these “entrenched elites” will find it impossible to hide from equal rights argument once it is in the forefront by talking about two states. Like the state dept they wont be able to hide behind the fantasy of two states. As long as Abbas flails about two states he gives them cover. If indeed there is a slim chance for two states it will be the realization of one state that makes it happen

  11. Patrick
    September 28, 2014, 2:11 pm

    “As I reported, Brooks is now the third writer at the NYT to have a son in the Israeli army.”

    Have you included Andrew Revkin who writes the Dot Earth blog on climate change? (I think he mentioned this in one of his blog posts.)

  12. lysias
    September 28, 2014, 5:48 pm

    The Bengal famine of 1769-73, which killed some 10 million Bengalis, about a quarter of the populations, was largely due to the policies of the British East India Company, which had recently established what amounted to sovereignty over Bengal, and which caused the famine by obliging Bengali farmers to switch their land from cultivation of rice to that of indigo and of opium poppies, which opium could then be exported to China.

    The Bengal famine of 1942=43, which killed some 3 million Bengalis, about 5% of the population, was largely due to Winston Churchill’s stubborn refusal to allow grain stocks to be diverted to Bengal from places like Australia because he wanted the grain shipped to Britain, to maintain the standard of living on the home front. See Madhusree Mukerjee’s Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II. Shocking book.

    • Horizontal
      September 28, 2014, 8:45 pm

      @lysias ~

      While shocking and sad, I’m not seeing Britain’s actions in 1770 dovetailing with the tie-in to David Brooks. Maybe you could help me out.

      • lysias
        September 29, 2014, 10:28 am

        One of Burke’s most notable public actions was his attack on the abuses of British East India Company rule in India, which figures prominently in Philip Weiss’s piece.

  13. RockyMissouri
    January 30, 2015, 11:02 am

    This is WRONG. Brooks should move to Israel.

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