Posts from the ‘war and peace’ Category

The Washington Post and Israel

Today’s lead Washington Post editorial rejoices over the withdrawl of the putatively pro-Arab Charles Freeman as appointed head of Obama’s National Intelligence council. As the post now has online “debates” with the editorial board, I jumped in to say “shame on you” to the Post:

First read Post editorials every day, noticing the even tone and careful writing, even on positions you oppose. Then notice the patronizing slop that begins with “latest failed nominee peddles a conspiracy theory” in this editorial

Why? Because all debates start with assumptions of what is reasonable and respectable. And the best “spin” is that which reinforces a desired environment of assumptions.

It is only in the past few years that challenging what the Israeli Government and AIPAC et al. say is good for Israel has become even half-respectable. That is why the editorial can smugly equate the Israel Lobby (supporting muscular democracy — for Israeli Jews) and “Americans who support Israel” (I am one), going on to call Freeman’s statement “grotesque libel”.

And so the usually impeccably dressed editorial board drops its pants on this issue. It’s a good sign that consummate professionals and old-timers like Pincus and Broder can keep their heads — and belts — when the topic is Israel/Palestine.

The real story is a vicious tragedy in which the leaders on both sides embrace arrogance, hatred, and violence. American cheerleading for “Israel” a la the Post editorial makes things worse — but American political support and money have almost always sustained the catastrophe.

Perhaps Freeman meant “change” on this fundamental level. Then perhaps he was unseated by the combination of fear, influence and self-righteousness that can reasonably be called “the Israel Lobby.”

A Mordent Christmas to You


A Mordent Christmas, 2002

That was the year the warfugue was huge
and I felt like Scrooge. Bach to the Future!
Peace, peace, peace, whispered the preludes.
the children, the buddhas, the lowly trinity
inhabiting lonely infinity – and only two newspapers
listened. To be direct: What did you expect?
It was a turn of notes and current events
no one dared predict. The President would prevent,
pre-empt, interdict – godnose why and what next.

They’re dreaming of a whiteboy Christmas,
Bingle bells, jingo bells, gracenotes wasted
on an Open Fire. Terrorists wasted… tourists wasted…
Tra la la… Deck Saddam… blows of folly…
Tra la… Sleighbells glisten, Blackhawks hasten…
We wish you a mordant Christmas
and that you listen
with a happy new ear.


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