Gleanings, 28.02.11

Charles Moore: What happens after we stop watching these revolutions (MUST READ)

It is often said that anti-Israeli feeling is growing in the West because Israel does not, despite its claims, live by Western values. I sometimes wonder if the opposite is the case: Israel, because of the constant threat to its existence, reminds us of the high cost of defending our freedoms. And that, to Western wishful thinkers, is intensely irritating.

Caroline Glick: The West’s proxy war against the Jews (MUST READ)

But the situation is different today. By waging its war against Israel through Palestinian proxies, the West threatens itself. The Nazi propaganda recycled by the Soviets which has enslaved the peoples of Europe and much of America’s intellectual elite has not only turned them into willing participants in the new war against the Jews. It has turned them into instruments for their own destruction.

Peter Wehner: Barack Obama’s Moral Concession to Evil

On a more fundamental level, what the Obama administration did was create quite a dangerous precedent. It has now signaled to the most malevolent regimes in the world that the way to delay (or perhaps even avoid) American condemnation, let alone American action, is to threaten the lives of American citizens. The message sent to, and surely the message received by, despots around the world is this: If you want to neuter America, threaten to harm its citizens. Mr. Obama will bend like red-hot steel pulled from a furnace.

Todd Gitlin: Perils of Public Intellectualizing

“In theory,” this prominent scholar continued, “Libya has self-government without a state.  Gaddafi’s economic theory holds that everyone should receive the fruits of their labour.” He got “the strong sense that” Qaddafi’s reform impulse was “authentic and that there is a lot of motive power behind it.” …

It’s just as well that I spark my first Brainstorm with this cautionary tale about smart people spouting appalling nonsense.  In a chaotic world, we lunge around for wisdom, and take credentials seriously. Big-thinking theoretical brains can be the most treacherous. One reason why brains have gotten a bad rap is that smart people can be so fatuous, idiotic, and clueless.

James Kirchik: Rumor Debunked

But the events in Egypt have laid bare a stark divide between neoconservatives and the Israeli elite: While the former are ecstatic about the fall of Mubarak and the prospect of a democratic Egypt, the latter are waryat best. “Supporting democracy is part of the genetic code of Americans,” says Martin Kramer, a senior fellow at Jerusalem’s Shalem Center. “Israelis,” on the other hand, “like the status quo.”

Boaz Ganor: The revolutions and US euphoria

It’s possible that Talhami’s right and social scientists can’t identify changes in political processes, but once these changes have taken place, we may not simply ignore historic precedents. Ayatollah Khomeini’s democratic precedent in Iran, Hezbollah’s democracy in Lebanon and Hamas’s democracy in Gaza leave very little room for doubt.

History repeats itself.

Martin Kramer: Dumbest things written by Western intellectuals who did junkets to Libya (close competition):

• 3d place: The shores of Tripoli by Stephen Walt http://goo.gl/pkzZu: “Libya doesn’t feel like other police states that I have visited.”

• 2d place: My chat with the colonel by Anthony Giddens http://goo.gl/VCEo4: “As one-party states go, Liby…a is not especially repressive. Gadafy seems genuinely popular.”

• 1st place: No Democratic Dominoes in the Middle East by Benjamin Barber

“Libya has a tradition of participatory local governance because of Qadaffi’s long interest in participatory democracy and peoples’ committees. Moreover, he is not detested in the way that Mubarak has been detested and rules by means other than fear.”

One Response to Gleanings, 28.02.11

  1. JD says:

    “The Nazi propaganda recycled by the Soviets which has enslaved the peoples of Europe and much of America’s intellectual elite”

    Nope. Wrong. Should drop the Nazi mindset.

    Part of Zionology is recycling old “Protocols” type stuff and general jew hate, but the Soviet outburst at Israel is Marxist, not Nazi, and anti-Nationalist. If anything, they created the “Israel as Nazis” meme. Zionology plays on anti-Nationalism and fueled by Soviet insecurities about nationalism as a threat to its empire. Which turned out to be true. Western Marxists (not Eastern) are troubled by nations and the existence of national feelings, and there failure to abate, challenges the assumptions inside the faith of Marxism. Therefore it is dangerous. In the West, not East or Eastern Europe, Zionology is recycled as intellectual discourse, the perpetrators generally believe they are not racists, although their discourse is rife with traditional anti-Semitic reasonings, like the deployment of collective guilt, Chomsky’s specialty IMO.

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