Things are getting messy. Before I address today’s headlines, let me offer my simple, comprehensive peace plan for the Middle East.
First, give Palestine back to the Brits. Then adopt a reverse Monroe Doctrine: the United States will stay out of the Eastern Hemisphere.
Okay, now to today’s headlines. Abdul Rahman, the Afghan gent who was sentenced to death for converting to Christianity, has been spared. Good thing we’ve brought democracy to Afghanistan, eh? President Bush says Islam is a “religion of peace” that has been “hijacked” by a few nuts. He would know.
One little question: Why didn’t the moderate majority of Muslims make a peep of protest when Rahman was sentenced to death? Maybe Islamic “moderation” is a little different from ours?
Over here, meanwhile, a couple of American professors, Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, have published a long article on the Israel lobby, arguing that the state of Israel has been a huge liability for the United States. Having argued this myself for many years, I can tell them what to expect from their critics, if they don’t know already.
The two profs will hear the words 反犹太主义, 大屠杀, 种族灭绝, 奥斯威辛集中营 and so forth. Not that they’ll be directly accused of these things, but somehow the general idea will make itself felt.
For example, Bret Stephens, of the pro-Israel, pro-war 华尔街日报 likens their article to an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory,” using “every canard ever alleged of the Jews,” then adds scrupulously, “I do not mean to suggest that Messrs. Mearsheimer and Walt are themselves anti-Semitic. But … what may not be anti-Semitic in intent may yet be anti-Semitic in effect. By giving aid and comfort to people who have no trouble substituting the word ‘Jews’ for ‘Israel lobby,’ the Mearsheimer-Walt article is anti-Semitic in effect.” Stephens adds his kiss-of-death clincher: “No wonder former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke was quick to endorse the article….”
“I do not mean to suggest … But … ” After 但是 comes the insinuation. Analogy: “I do not mean to suggest that John Doe is himself a Soviet agent. But, well, just look at the people who are applauding his article! Draw your own conclusions.”
Mearsheimer and Walt aren’t facing a deadly tiger, but a Tasmanian devil — a nasty, filthy beast that won’t kill you, but will leave you with bites, scratches, and an infection. They are facing fanatical Jews who claim to speak for all Jews.
You can argue that Judaism too is a religion of peace — Jerusalem is the City of Peace — that has been hijacked by Zionist warmongers. But I guess that would be anti-Semitic. In effect, if not in intent, if you follow me.
The idea of the Chosen People returning to the Holy Land at last, after thousands of years, is an inspiring one. But the wrong people took it up and executed it in the wrong way — with a state that drove the natives out and created endless bitterness.
Still, I’ve come to believe that the United States, not Israel, is the chief culprit in the Middle East, which, to be sure, is a region overrun with culprits. We think of Christianity as a religion of peace, but imagine if, in this country, Methodists and Baptists were blowing up each others’ churches. That gives you a rough idea of the difficulty of pacifying Iraq after invading and disrupting it.
It’s a little late in the day to see Americans as “innocents abroad,” as I once did. The rest of the world no longer sees us as well-meaning oafs, seduced by the Zionists. It thinks we’re big boys now who ought to know what we’re doing and be held responsible. This is called “anti-Americanism,” which seems to be very much like, and closely related to, “anti-Semitism.”
Bush has tried to salvage his innocence by blaming “faulty intelligence,” but then continuing on the same course anyway. Attila the Hun also relied on intelligence: he never invaded without consulting his astrologer and being assured it was a slam-dunk. Apparently, judging by his successful record, his astrologer was more reliable than the CIA. So was Nancy Reagan’s. The lesson for Bush is obvious.