Monday, February 19, 2007
I've been arguing for a very long time that the neoconservative agenda pursued by the Bush Administration, including the war in Iraq and against the backdrop of the Israeli-Hizabollah war, are hurting and not advacing long term Israeli national interests. See for example, my two commentaries in The American Conseravtive, Bad For You Too? How the Iraq War disappointed Israel and Special Relationship: A one-sided U.S. policy toward Israel endangers both countries’ interests. Now comes Gregory Levey in Israel's surge of despair: Top Israeli officials admit last summer's war against Hezbollah was a failure -- and denounce President Bush's actions in the Middle East on Salon.com(via Dr. Strauss)and makes the same point. Interesting and depressing read.
I'm movie buff and a political junkie who is a fan of spy literature (fiction and non-fiction). So it's not surprising that went to see and enjoyed Breach in which Chris Cooper does a fantastic job playing the Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent who was convicted of selling secrets to the Soviet Union. To say that Hanssen was (is) a complex character is an understatement. A self-proclaimed patriot and anti-communist ideologue who betrayed his country spying for Moscow and a devout Catholic who engaged in kinky sex. Cooper captures all of that in a way that explains (to some extent) why he was able to deceive everyone and for so long. Director Billy Ray gets our attention without exploiting the material: no kinky sex or car chase scenes and very little violence. But yet everything hits you straight in the face. Bottom Line: Why did Hanssen do it? Certainly not for ideology. While money probably played a role, the main reason had to do with boredom and ego. The guy felt suffocated by not-very-brilliant superiors and wanted to prove to himself that he was smarter than everyone else.