Showing posts from March, 2006

Daniel Pipes: An Israel Basher?

You're joking? Right? That flaming neocon/Likudnik? An Israel basher? Well, that's at least the way Bradley Burston describes Pipes in a column in Israel's Haaretz Online titled,"Daniel Pipes, a new kind of Israel-basher." Burston, an American who settled in Israel is responding to a commentary that Pipes published in the New York Sun titled, "Israel Avoids Victory." Like most of the neocons, Pipes is veteran chicken-hawk. The only wars he had taken part were the war of ideas (writing op-eds and appearing on television shows). But he is always ready to send American and Israeli soldiers to fight and die on the battle-field while advancing his grand geopolitical and ideals. Those who can't do, like to watch. The war in Iraq hasn't turned exactly as Pipes had expected. Never mind. It's time to move on. And what bothers Pipes now is that the Israelis aren't really manly enough to his taste. They're kind of wimps. Unlike General Pipes, t…

On Stephen Walt's... whatever

I started my day reading Justin Raimondo's report that Porfessor Stephen Walt was "kicked out" of his job as Harvard's Kennedy School dean in retaliation for co-authoring the controversial Israel Lobby paper on which I've written earlier. And the day ended with Steve Clemons reporting that the Dean of the Kennedy School has stated that there was no connection between Walt's stepping down as academic dean "at the natural end" of his term and the Israel Lobby paper (although Steve seems not to be entirely convinced and is waiting for direct communication from Walt). In between I received an email from someone "close" to the controversy who insisted that Walt wasn't fired. Well... whatever really happaned it seems to me that the assault on Walt and his co-author Mearsheimer are bound to produce a "chilling effect" on anyone who wants to conduct a serious and honest debate on U.S. policy in the Middle East. While I had some reser…

More on the Jacksonian insurgency

The old foreign policy axis?

The new foreign policy axis?

Daniel McCarthy, one of the original young thinkers in the conservative movement has an interesting analysis of the Jacksonian insurgency, that is, the populist-nationalist backlash against Bush's foreign policy agenda over Iraq and other issues. I've discussed this pheonomenon, most recently here and here. Daniel is placing the Jacksonian sentiments, that have become quite obvious during the Dubai/ports debate, including among many Republicans, in the a larger historical context. He argues the what we are seeing now is the breakup of the political axis between the Jacksonians and the Wilsonians that evolved after 9/11. He seems to think that the pro-business Hamiltonians are now history and sees some signs of an emergence of a new axis between the Jacksonians and the Jeffersonians (left- and right-libertarians). All this discussion is based on Walter Russell Mead’sdivision of American foreign-policy thought into four &qu…

GREAT STUFF! and good stuff

GREAT STUFF: Check out (hear) released NSA intercepts on Leo Strauss Stiftung: Hear NSA defeat PNAC security and intercept an Emergency PNAC Board Meeting. Listen in as PNAC and its agents discuss Kadima. Learn about Bibi's Fighting Retreat, hear the debate over Krauthammer's demand for SMERSH assassins against Fukuyama and Mearsheimer.And discover PNAC's secret weapon to turn the tide when all seems lost! Forcing through ferocious PNAC electronic security defenses amid the chaos of political warfare, hear the NSA peer into the inner most workings of the Cabal. And the following is a NSA Intercept Transcript (Partial)




BEGIN TRANSCRIPT (signal distortion from target):

Weekly Standard Phone In: (inaudible, explosions) Kadima has smashed through our lines everwhere. The electoral casualities are complete. We are facing total electoral wipeout. Bibi is retrea…

On Reason's "Hit and Run"

Jesse Walker posted my "More on Israeli Elections" on Reason Online's very lively Hit and Run blog. As I suggested in an earlier post (on Mearsheimer/Walt Israel Lobby "thing") debates over Israeli policies (or elections for that matter) turn very quickly into shouting matches between "pro-Israelis" (so-called) and "anti-Israelis" (so-called). In general, American-Jews who are engaged in Israeli issues (most American Jews aren't) tend to be be more hawkish that the Israeli voters (which includes of course Arab voters). Indeed, Haaretz reported that:Likud won the mock elections held among Jewish voters abroad Tuesday, with 44 seats.
Kadima came in second in the Jewish Agency-run election, with 33 seats. National Union-National Religious Party won 15 seats, and the Labor Party got 14.
Some 8,500 Jews abroad, primarily young people and students, voted in the mock elections held at community centers and on college campuses in 85 countries.

The War on terrorism ended....and China won!

Indeed, that would your geo-strategic forecast after reading Martin Jacques who contends that Imperial overreach is accelerating the global decline of America
Interestingly enough, Jacques' main source for these gloomy predictions is no other than Republican Congressman Henry Hyde who seems to be a bit bearish when it comes to U.S. role in spreading democracy in the Middle East. This is from a very conservative guy who has been a leading supporter of W. on Iraq. Has he been reading The American Conservative instead of The Weekly Standard and The National Review...? Highlight:Hyde alludes to a new "unformed" world and "a phalanx of aspiring competitors". On this he is absolutely right. The world is in the midst of a monumental process of change that, within the next 10 years or so, could leave the US as only the second largest economy in the world after China and commanding, with the rise of China and India, a steadily contracting share of global output. It will…


Re my previous post (more on Israeli elections). It happens when you work on your blog at 2:00 am (that's early in the morning..) and you don't have an editor: Lieberma's part is "Israel BEITENU" and not "Israel SHELANU." "Beitenu" is "our home" in Hebrew. "Shelanu" is "ours." So... blame my mind for misprocessing info... SORRY!

More on the Israeli elections

The results of the elections haven't led me the change any of my earlier observations/predictions . But here three ideas to chew on:

1. All of Israel's PMs were part of the country's national security establishment. They were either ex-military generals, like Rabin or Barak or were involved in one way or another in defense issues, like Peres, Begin or Meir. Olmert is the first "civilian," a lawyer-businessman by profession to become a PM. This I think is going to have a major impact on the way Israel's national security/foreign policy is going to be managed. In a way, this will be the first Israeli PM who whose view of the Arabs hasn't been shaped by looking through the barrel of gun.

2. The elections have revived an ethnic split in Israeli politics which will now formalized along party lines. Hence the Labor party has now become the political home of Israel's low-middle class and poor "Mizrahim" (Middle Eastern Jews)who reside in Israel's…

More at the movies

I also saw over the weekend Joyeux Noel very moving anti-war French movie, directed by Christian Carion, which was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. It depicts a true incident from Christmas, 1914, in which three armies -- British (Scots), French and Germans -- declared an unofficial armistice for a few days over the holiday season. They drank, shared food, buried their dead, talked, sang and exchanged addresses (Their governments later declared it an act of treason). In a way, it's more than just an anti-war movie. It's also a eulogy for the European civilization that was destroyed in the Great War and which never came back to life. It was the tragic opening of the violent and tragic twentieth century.

Making the case for "To Hell with Afganistan" hawks


In the new issue of the National Review Richard Lowry addresses "The ‘To Hell with Them’ Hawks" who he describes as "conservatives who are comfortable using force abroad, but have little patience for a deep entanglement with the Muslim world, which they consider unredeemable, or at least not worth the strenuous effort of trying to redeem" and wh "want to detach Bush’s Jacksonianism from his Wilsonianism." According to Lowry, this "tendency is problematic and, in its own way, as naïve and unrealistic as Bush at his dreamiest." In another conservative magazine, I've discussed the rising anger among conservatives over the Global Democracy project here and suggested why the plans to "democratize" the Middle East are unrealistic and are not advancing U.S. interests here. I think that the recent I-cannot-believe-this reaction in the U.S. and the West to the news
about the Afghan man who had been facing the death penalty for converting to…

At the movies

I saw Spike Lee's Inside Man over the weekend and was thinking of writing something about it, but then I read Steve Sailer's review:

Good movie. It's a heist flick with Clive Owen playing the genius bankrobber who takes 50 hostages, Denzel Washington as the NYPD negotiator who slowly figures out the bankrobber has memorized the police manual that he's been working from, and Jodie Foster in a supporting role as a shady fix-it lady for the rich powerful who is hired by the owner of the bank (Christopher Plummer) to prevent the bankrobbers from getting incriminating documents in the vault. Meanwhile, every ethnicity in New York is barking amusing insults at each other. My wife says, "It's 'Crash' with a plot." More
Since Steve raised the comparison between Spike Lee and Woody Allen, let me just add that critics of the first have accused the black New Yorker of highlighting negative streotypes of Jews in some of his movies (notably the Jewish characters…

Israel elections: Not boring at all

Remind me why the current parliamentary elections taking place in a small country in the Middle East with about six million citizens is probably receiving MORE coverage in the American media than a race for the Governorship of, say, New York or California? There was a time when the results of an election in Israel could have determined whether the U.S. would have been able to pursue the "peace process." Well, no peace processing is going to take place any time soon. If you want to know why read my recent analysis "How to Handle Hamas. The Holy Land needs a more modest peace plan. Think Cyprus," in The American Conservative which was posted earlier on this blog, in which I argued that the peace process is for all practical purposes dead. I suggest in my piece that all we can hope for under the current conditions is some sort of a separation between the two communities. I agree with what The Economist suggested in recent leader, "The remarkable survival of Kadim…

More on Mearsheimer and Walt

Karl Lueger: Anti-Semite

John Mearsheimer: Critic of Israel Lobby

I've received a few emails from online pals who were wondering based on my earlier posts whether I "support" or "approve" of the paper/article that John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (M/W) had written about the Israel Lobby. Interestingly enough, I’ve never been asked whether I “support” or “approve” of articles by, say, Paul Krugman or Tom Friedman but whether I “agree” with this or that stuff published by this or that “public intellectual.” My usual response is that I agree or disagree with some or most of what these guys have to say (believe it or not, I actually agree sometimes with what Krugman and Friedman have to say). And, hey, I sometimes find myself disagreeing with some of the things I had written a day or two ago… That’s the nature of intellectual discourse. You approve of or support the platform of a political party, a policy proposal or a diplomatic agreement. Yet when it comes to dis…

More on Iraq Mess and more

A Image from 2009?

I've been trying to caution the war critics that when it comes to Iraq The End is Not Near and that they are departing the Reality-based community when they imagine that political pressure at home would force President Bush to start withdrawing troops from Iraq any time soon. I assume that after Bush told a news conference Tuesday that future U.S. presidents and Iraqi governments probably will have to decide when to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq, everyone is finally facing the reality, that American troops will remain at war in Iraq at least through 2008 and beyond. If you still have any illusions, please read Tony Karon excellent Iraq is the 51st State posted on his Rootless Cosmopolitan blog. Here is a highlight:The U.S. isn’t about to walk away and leave the borders of the country with the world’s second largest known oil reserves prey to the whim of Tehran or Ankara or Damascus or anyone else. That may be why when Kerry challenged Bush on the campaign trail to…

For an extremely cool geopolitical analysis...

This U.S. guy wants to be the Global Boss...

So he hopes to get the Indian guy....

...And Australia and Japan on the U.S. side...

 help him to contain the China guy...

...who then gets together with the Russia Guy to counter-balance the U.S....

 it tries to counter-balance the Iran Guy...

Yes, boys and girls, it looks like a lot of fun as we seem to be returning to the balance-of-power games 19th century-style, with one Great Power trying to win the support of another Great Power to counter-balance that other Great Power which then... In short, as this enlightening and entertaining analysis Springtime in Beijing makes it clear the neocon-driven strategy of replacing the bipolar system of the Cold War with a Unipolar system led by Boss Bush is facing major challenges. And the Iran nuclear crisis could turn out to be a major diplomatic battleground in which American push towards hegemony would be tested. Happy Multipolarism!

Bush's foreign policy: Muddling Through

My article,"Muddling Through:The Bush administration has no idea what it's doing," which was published originally in the Business Times of Singapore
was posted today on and
American officials, lawmakers, and pundits have been analyzing – over-analyzing is probably the right term – U.S. President George W. Bush's new National Security Strategy (NSS), leading one to conclude that the document that was issued last week has major significance in terms of gaining insights into what kind of approach to world affairs the Bush administration will be pursuing in the last three years of its term.
In a way, it is not surprising that the pundits have been trying to deconstruct the 2006 NSS in order to gain possible insights into the Bushies' foreign policy. Have President Bush and his national security team adopted a more "realistic" orientation? Will the United States attack Iran's nuclear facilities? Will there be more of an effort…

Bashing Mearsheimer and Walt

Stephen Walt

John Mearsheimer

In an earlier post I discussed an article authored by two of my favorite political scientists, John Mearsheimer (the Wendell Harrison Professor of Political Science at Chicago) and Stephen Walt (the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard) on the Israel Lobby which was published in the new issue of the London Review of Books. I'd assumed that the article (which was based on a research paper that I haven't read yet) would iginte a heated debate and some controversy. And it should. After all, the the Israeli Lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is not only the most powerful foreign policy looby in Washington but has exerted an enormous (and that's an understatment!) influence on U.S. policy in the Middle East, a region in which American intervention has resulted in major costs for the American people(terrorism, wars, a lot of $$$). I've been at the receivi…

More "Vendetta"

Dr. Strauss provides comments on this celebration of anarchy on Stop The Spirit Of Zossen:The original's anarchist view (the V and the 1980s “A” for anarchy not accidentally similar) is and was self indulgently childish — especially when the reality Moore railed against is now so much more immediate than his overcooked imaginings just twenty years ago.
Apropos "A" for Anarchy check out the "A" is for Anarchy in the Wall Street Journal. It's an interesting review/history of the anarchist movement by Todd Seavey. What Seavey and others fail to point out is that "V" is not fighting against a middle class liberal democratic regime but against a Fascist dictatorhsip. Would he label the partisans fighting against the Vichy regime in France as "anarchists?"
And it's not surprising that the Tory Anarchist aka Daniel McCarthy gave it "V for … Very Good, Actually:"Glamourized sadism is an apt description of the Wachowkis’ last few fl…

My piece on the Dubai controversy in The American Conservative

My article on the Dubai controversy which has been published in The American Conservative is now available online: March 27, 2006 Issue
Copyright © 2006 The American Conservative
Six Ports and a Storm
The Dubai debacle shows Americans looking inward.
By Leon Hadar
It’s not every news cycle that the columnists for the anti-interventionist and for the internationalist op-ed page of the New York Times find themselves echoing the same line-of-the-day spun by the media masters of George W. Bush’s White House. Those lawmakers who have criticized the Bush administration’s decision to allow a company owned by the government of Dubai —which is part of the United Arab Emirates—to purchase a British company, Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation—which now has the contract to operate six major U.S. ports—were “Kicking Arabs in Their Teeth,” screamed the headline of a column by the Times’ in-house neoconservative David Brooks, a staunch supporter of the war in Iraq. Meanwhile, Justin …

Iraq: Civil War? Insurgency? Sectarian Violence?

Civil War

Not A Civil War

The Washington Note is providing us with an overview of the propaganda campaign led by The Cheney-led Civil War-Deniers to try to convince us that indeed what's going on in Iraq is not a civil war but just examples of honest disagreements between a few alpha males taking place in Liberated/Free/Democratic/New Iraq. The most pathetic example of these efforts that don't seem to affect the majority of the American people has been the series of dispatches from Iraq by Ralph Peters that seem to suggest that, well, forget Provence and Tuscany; choose Iraq as your next vacation destination. Well, if it looks like a civil war, and if it sounds like a civil war, it's a Civil War. That at least is the conclusions of two former U.S. intelligence guys. Larry Johnson in Smells Like Civil War? explains and illustrates:Is there a civil war in Iraq? Let's imagine that the events, which happened on Sunday, March 12, 2006 in and around Baghdad, occur tomorrow in …

How to Handle Hamas? Think Cyrpus in The American Conservative

My analysis, "How to Handle Hamas. The Holy Land needs a more modest peace plan. Think Cyprus," was published in the new issue of The American Conservative (April 10, 2006). Online access is not yet available. But if you click on the following images you'll be able to read the article:

More on Iran's nuclear program

Olivia Ward from the Toronto Star interviewed several experts including yours truly on the topic:Leon Hadar, author of Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East and a research fellow at the Washington-based Cato Institute, says the fear of an Iranian bomb is overblown.

And, he adds, looking at the question historically, there may be points in its favour.

"If you go back to when China exploded its first bomb, the reactions in the American press looked like the end of the world had come.

"China was ruled at that time by ideological fanatics who were every day reiterating their plans to destroy the West. But in the end it created a triangle of relationships that contained the Soviet Union, which was already armed with nuclear weapons."

When Pakistan set off five nuclear tests in 1998, it was also greeted with horror.

However, Pakistan's relations with its nuclear rival, India, thawed in the aftermath of the blast, and there was new agreement over the territorial issue o…

Vendetta: L for Libertarianism?

Reading all the nasty reviews of V for Vendetta you would think that it's a movie about Osama bin Ladin produced by the communist propagandist
Willi Münzenberg
and directed by Hitler's favorite film-makerLeni Riefenstahl (if she only had left for Hollywood in the early 1930's, she would have been the recipient of several Oscars). Normonson (John Podhoretz)bashes it in the Weekly Standard "an Atlas Shrugged for leftist lunatics." The more intelligent Stephen Hunter complains in the
Washington Postthat it's not as good as George Orwell's "1984" in terms of "evoking dyspotia" but then expresses his revulsion over the movie's "tasteless celebration of explosive devices taking down famous London landmarks, which invites us to cheer as another step" against the fascistic regime depicted in "Vendetta." And then there is David Denby in the New Yorker whose reviews I usually find very instructive who really hates the movi…