Monday, August 27, 2007

A First Look at Mearsheimer/Walt

National Interest online has the first reactions to The Israel Lobby and U.S Foreign Policy by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, from Geoffrey Kemp and Ben Fishman.

Kemp feels that the argument, although flawed and presented in a one-dimensional fashion, deserves to be discussed; Fishman (a special assistant to former Ambassador Dennis Ross) takes a somewhat different tack, concluding that "their description of American foreign policy is often inaccurate or misleading, and their overall thesis is contradicted by central figures in their story." Both Kemp and Fishman, however, feel that the two academics also did not get to the heart of how policy is made in Washington--Kemp notes:

"I could find no references to any communication with key players in the U.S. government, the Israeli lobbies and Israel who might have had some interesting confidential comments on the matter in question. It seems that their research lacked extensive field work, including background interviews, especially among the Washington elite who make up both the lobby and its targets. This is not a trivial matter, and as a consequence the book has a sharp, somewhat strident and detached tone—devoid of the atmospheric frills and descriptions of the personality quirks and complicated motivations of key players that are to be found in the works of the best investigative journalists."

I am biased, of course--but I think that it is important that some of the first reviews of what is going to be a controversial book appeared in NI online--and that they were serious critiques and examinations, not based on ad homimen attacks--even when the reviewers had serious disagreements with Mearsheimer and Walt.

Nice, safe inside the beltway comments from Kemp and then someone from an institution part and parcel of the Israel lobby. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff here.
Anonymous 5:12, you don't realize what a Soviet town Washington is. I predict that Kemp's piece will mark the defining line of the "safe" review of Mearsheimer and Walt where an author wants to express some degree of agreement but wants to have enough cover to remain part of the DC establishment. You are only going to get positive reviews from outsiders and those who have nothing to gain by cultivating favor with the DC establishment.
I think credit should be given to Fishman for the review that he wrote. He took the book seriously and gave a sober evaluation of it.
So why can't there be a rational discussion of this book elsewhere, instead of having events canceled, which makes it look like the Mearsheimer/Walt thesis is proved? Although I second what anonymous 5:19 predicts, that no one is going to come out at this site with a strong defense or ringing endorsement of the book.
There cannot be a dispassionate discussion because Shoah has been insinuated into any disucssion of Jews, Judaism, Israel, Shoah itself.

A dispassionate discussion on these topics is no longer possible in US, Canada, and EU states.
Blogger Zombie beat me to creating a graphic of the Walt/Mearsheimer Jewish Lobby drek in the toilet, at Little Green Footballs. (Zombie: Walt and Mearsheimer, Right Where They Belong.)

After thinking this over carefully, I don't think these professors are really anti-Semitic. Read on.

Walt and Mearsheimer are utilizing the same anti-Semitic tactics as despots who wish to distract their subjects from the malignant social ills that they themselves foster, but unlike despots who espouse Jewish conspiracy theories out of a combination of opportunism and actual hate, these professors have written their essay and book based on the former motivation, opportunism. Like bank robbers, their motivation for this outrage is primarily because “the Jews are there” and have proven useful as punching bags to countless others in history.

Anti-Semitism is a distraction from the real issues here. Walt and Mearscheimer know full well there is no super-powerful "Jewish Lobby”, that the pro-Israel lobbyists have competing counterparts representing many other causes and countries, and that the pro-Israel lobby is not particularly remarkable in this environment. They know full well that the misrepresentations of fact, omissions, things taken out of context, logical errors, etc. in their prior paper and this book are indeed risible, the trash produced by dilettantes, not by serious researchers.

But they don't care.

What would make them produce such garbage?

Fear, and the standards of (mis)conduct that come right from the halls of academia with which they've lived their lives, notably amorality and betrayal of friends when some self-interest is served. (For professors, it's usually money and status.) They are clearly enthralled with university culture and attempting to export that pathologic "culture" to the rest of the world.

What is the "gain" here? In the main, I do think the reason d'atre of their book is one of appeasement and surrender to Islamofascism.

A few hundred million insane bloodthirsty Arabs and other followers of the death cult of Islam calling for Death to Israel and Death to America: what better way to appease them than writing a book that the authors hope will cause the U.S. to hang Israel out to dry in the face of genocidal maniacs, groups and countries like Hezbollah, Hamas, Ahmadinejad, Syria and Iran?

In fact, they are not anti-Semites. Rather, they are equal opportunity amoralists. If the Islamofascists were chanting “Death to Mexico! Death to America!”, Walt and Mearsheimer would undoubtedly craft conspiracy theories that might justify allowing Osama and his minions to relocate from Waziristan to Acapulco.

University professors are renowned for turning on their friends, students and colleagues at the drop of a hat, if they see a personal gain in doing so. They could care less about ruining careers and lives. See for example, “Academic Tyranny: The Tale and the Lessons”, Robert Weissberg, Review of Policy Research, Vol. 15 no. 4 P. 99-110, Dec. 1998, and especially "Authorship: The Coin of the Realm, The Source of Complaints" by Wilcox, Journal of the AMA, Vol. 280 No. 3, July 15, 1998 that describes how stealing of others’ work and career-ending professorial retaliation against those who complain is common at Walt's university, Harvard. Of course see as well.

So, Walt and Mearsheimer wrote this book in all its faux-academic glory in the cowardly and academic-culture-inspired hope of spearheading a U.S. betrayal of its friend, Israel, in their hope that this will satiate the Islamofascists' appetite for blood and "honor."

They are incredibly reckless in this regard. Their book is quite socially irresponsible (not a new thing for academia). Their whole theme, abandonment of friends for supposed secondary gain, i.e., the appeasement of a brutal terrorist killer culture, is explicitly amoral (and likely immoral as well for those of us not prone to moral relativism) as well as anti-American.

They are using this book and likely their educational pulpits with students as a weapon, with the desired collateral damage of weakening the U.S. (Does anyone even need to ask anymore why Ivy professors might be against a strong United States?)

Walt and Mearsheimer, through their arrogance, stupidity, and exportation of academia’s amoral tyranny, are tacitly working for our enemies.

These professors are out of control, like a runaway locomotive, thanks to the cheerful support of opportunistic anti-Semites and the MSM (I’m not sure those two are entirely separable). They need to be stopped – however, accusations of anti-Semitism are a distraction and they know it.

Walt and Mearsheimer have more in common with Arthur Neville Chamberlain than David Ernest Duke or Alfred Charles Sharpton.

That said, as Abraham Foxman and many others observed, Walt & Mearsheimer's faux-scholarship is "riddled with errors" that tend to slant it "in the exact same direction, thus we are dealing not with a little unfortunate carelessness but with a culpable degree of bias."

I submit again that their "carelessness and bias" is most likely knowing and deliberate, but not due to anti-Semitism. Its purpose is promoting appeasement and the weakening of America, at a cost to Israelis and Jews the professors are indifferent to and simply don't care about, typical of Ivy professors who want their way, period.

There is a term for deliberate and knowing falisification in academia for any secondary purpose:

Academic Fraud.

Walt and Mearshiemer have placed themselves in the same league as Finkelstein, Chomsky, and other academic fabricators.

Charges of anti-Semitism are a distraction from their motivations. Charges of academic incompetence are not highly credible considering the experience, resources and positions of these professors.

Charges of deliberate academic fraud are, I believe, closer to reality, and perhaps hold the key to successful challenging of this dangerous charade.


The expected level of fear and psychotic paranoia emanating from the Lobby that these fine, sober and ceaselessly thorough academics have the courage to analyze in the open ... is definitively illustrated with your rant above. Your content and tone serves their thesis infinitely more than it serves your goals.
"A few hundred million insane bloodthirsty Arabs and other followers of the death cult of Islam"

Hmmm. I thought Rabbi Kahane was dead and buried. Someone walked in out of the LGF asylum.
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