March 24, 2006

by Reb Yudel
McCarthyism 101: Anatomy of a Smear

Guilt by association. It's a classic technique used by propagandists. And Seth Lipsky is nothing if not a propagandist -- look at the hand he gave alleged-Iranian agent Achmed Chalbi during the 1990s. (Was that last bit guilt-by-association? You be the judge!)

So when a report comes out from some Harvard Prof. that the "Jewish lobby" has too much influence, why bother reading the report and criticizing it, if you can find some unsavory characters who share the conclusion. Here's the headline and lead from Eli Lake's article in Lipsky's Sun:

David Duke Claims to Be Vindicated By a Harvard Dean

A paper recently co-authored by the academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government about the allegedly far-reaching influence of an "Israel lobby" is winning praise from white supremacist David Duke.

The Palestine Liberation Organization mission to Washington is distributing the paper, which also is being hailed by a senior member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization.

But let's look further:
"I have read about the report and read one summary already, and I am surprised how excellent it is," he said in an e-mail. "It is quite satisfying to see a body in the premier American University essentially come out and validate every major point I have been making since even before the war even started." Duke added that "the task before us is to wrest control of America's foreign policy and critical junctures of media from the Jewish extremist Neocons that seek to lead us into what they expectantly call World War IV."

Mr. Walt said last night, "I have always found Mr. Duke's views reprehensible, and I am sorry he sees this article as consistent with his view of the world."


The real problem that Lipsky is dealing with is the kernel of truth in the paper: There is no good publically stated reason for why we are in Iraq, and the clues certainly lead back to the Neoconservatives from whom Lipsky was an ideological arm.

Combine Bush's "we were in Iraq because of our bad intelligence" with the ample evidence that the intelligence was baldly cooked by Cheney, Rumsfeld, and AIPAC hatchet-man Doug Feith and what do you have?

Personally, I think it's more complicated than that. But in the absence of truth, conspiracy theories flourish. That's why anti-Semitic conspiracies are the stuff of Czarist Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Cheney America.

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Comments
#1

I think you are missing the point. The paper directly accuses a vast "pro-Israel lobby" of undermining the national interest; manipulating the media and "silencing" debate. These are actually positions we associate with not only Duke, but McCarthy himself. In part the reason why Duke is so noxious a character is because he advocates a view that Jews are Israeli agents, a fifth column in America. Walt and Mearsheimer have just provided academic sheen to this ancient libel and argued that American supporters of Israel are traitors. Mind you, they are not even repeating the liberal line on neoconservatives. Jewish Americans who helped negotiate the Camp David II peace process; editors of the new york times; Christian evangelicals; Aipac; Campus Watch etc...--all of them Israeli agents undermining American national security. If academics want to play that game, then they are inviting comment from the racist xenophobes whom they are legitimating.

Posted by: scion of zion at March 24, 2006 10:07 PM
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