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post #31 of 62 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 05:18 PM
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RE: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

The cost of America's unquestioning support of various Israeli regimes is typically understated. Never mind that the endless hypocrisies involved have totally undermined America's moral standing, there is indeed the money, tallied at $1.6 Trillion before the latest wars, which few people still pretend were about oil.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1209/p16s01-wmgn.html

The current morass is costing at least another half-trillion, so the total may now safely be placed over $2 Trillion. But the wars haven't ended, they're just beginning. This last gasp of European colonialism may end up being the most costly of all.

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post #32 of 62 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 05:18 PM
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RE: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Quote:
That Guy - 3/20/2006 6:06 PM

Quote:
chiphomme - 3/20/2006 1:01 PM

So you're an isolationist then?
If not, I don't consider "morally vacuous" name calling.
I'm a pragmatist. This doesn't mean I want to retreat from the world. It means I have no desire to achieve ideological ends that have no redeeming value to my state. It means that we should conduct foreign policy with a mind toward extracting value for US citizens, not Iraqis or Israelis.
I completely agree.
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post #33 of 62 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 05:20 PM
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RE: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Quote:
That Guy - 3/20/2006 12:29 PM

Quote:
chiphomme - 3/20/2006 11:27 AM

If you think supporting democracies against nasty Islamic states that swear to destroy it is a "big whoop" than you're morally vacuous.

Sorry Chip. I'm a self interested realist. Thanks for the name calling.
If you want to support your favorite democracy against those "nasty islamic states" by all means feel free to move there and take up arms. Just don't freakin ask me to support you or anyone else with my tax dollars. As far as I'm concerned, we have enough of our own problems without taking up Israel's battles.

I honestly can't see what difference it would make to the United States whether Israel's around or not. I'm not saying there isn't one, I just don't see it. Any ideas?
Better to support Israel than many other things we spend our tax dollars on. Personally I do not see it as a blunder to have given the land back.

I tell you what if I don't have to support all those lazy fucks on welfare, pay into medicaide, or medicare you don't have to pay to support Israel.
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post #34 of 62 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 05:23 PM
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RE: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Quote:
kvining - 3/20/2006 5:28 PM
We could call it "Jew York".
Ok, I have to say that is one of the best things I have heard you say. LMAO.
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post #35 of 62 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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RE: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Quote:
430 - 3/20/2006 7:20 PM

Quote:
That Guy - 3/20/2006 12:29 PM

Quote:
chiphomme - 3/20/2006 11:27 AM

If you think supporting democracies against nasty Islamic states that swear to destroy it is a "big whoop" than you're morally vacuous.

Sorry Chip. I'm a self interested realist. Thanks for the name calling.
If you want to support your favorite democracy against those "nasty islamic states" by all means feel free to move there and take up arms. Just don't freakin ask me to support you or anyone else with my tax dollars. As far as I'm concerned, we have enough of our own problems without taking up Israel's battles.

I honestly can't see what difference it would make to the United States whether Israel's around or not. I'm not saying there isn't one, I just don't see it. Any ideas?
Better to support Israel than many other things we spend our tax dollars on. Personally I do not see it as a blunder to have given the land back.

I tell you what if I don't have to support all those lazy fucks on welfare, pay into medicaide, or medicare you don't have to pay to support Israel.
You should have compassion towards your people and get them off welfare through education and access to it. You have a cultural problem in the US not a lazy ass attitude. The problem with countries full of yupies like you is that they tend to try to be blind to the people with lesser means because they percieve them as pests and hurdles for their own selfish agendas.
So next time 430 your country proposes to solve the ME problem maybe it should look down to it's populace that it neglected, take care of them first and prove that it can do that. I don't want the US's help, it has proven over and over that it is incompetent!
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post #36 of 62 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 05:30 PM
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RE: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Quote:
Shabah - 3/20/2006 7:10 PM

Quote:
That Guy - 3/20/2006 6:11 PM

Quote:
kvining - 3/20/2006 5:28 PM

I'm just saying that support for Israel is the kind of support we SHOULD be getting involved in - it benefits us both, and has wide popular support in both countries. Contrast that to Iraq. Israel has always been a massively strategic country, from the time of the Egyptians, the Romans, the British Empire and now - one can project power into Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It's a dagger at the throat of a lot of bad guys. Why not just make it a state? heck, it would be like downtown New York. We could call it "Jew York".
I'd be curious about the "wide popular support" in the US for Israel (I wonder how many Americans are knowledgeable enough to know whether they support Israel). Of course its popular in Israel, it gets them each $500/year.

If Israel is so damn strategic, how come we've been ineffectual and feckless in the region it resides in... the Middle East?!?!?!? Much less asia and africa.
Israel is not really strategic as far as being a portal to the Middle East in a peacful way (KV assesment is dead wrong because that's how the goods were sold). If the intent is to create leverage by fear then be it, but I would highly recommend Lebanon as the real deal.
So far Lebanon has proven that it is a survivor. It managed to get up from its civil war, get the Syrians out and most importantly IT IS A DEMOCRACY which means that the argument that Israel is the only one is highly flawed at best. Lebanon is looking for ways to create harmony between its factions unlike Israel that is looking at building barriers in every way to seperate itself while grabbing as much land as it can from the "undermenschen" Palestinians.
If the US wants a strategicly healthy leverage into the Middle East they should think about courting Lebanon, fortifying relations with Turkey (Which is another democratic country), start pulling out off Iraq and shift funds from Israel to Iraq for rebuilding. Not an easy plan nor is it going to be popular with the hawks because it does not involve blood shedding...
On a side note, I was watching the movie on LBJ and the problems he got himslef into with Vietnam, oh boy they did a real good job of showing how history repeats itself.
Back to the subject, when some of you mention the bad Arabs around Israel ready to pounce on her, who exactly did you mean? Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria? Those are the countries immediatly surrounding Israel and none of them are capable of attacking even if they wanted to. If you expand the circle now you have the rest of North Africa in the West, Saudi and the rest of GCC and Yemen to the south, Iraq and Iran to the East then Turkey to the north. I only see Iran as the possible real threat, correct me if I am wrong...
The bottom line if the US was serious about peace then it's actually very easy but not very appealing to Israel and arm manufacturers. This status quo was crafted for the rich, the religious zealots and the idiots that serve them whithout questioning...
You are exactly right concerning Lebanon and Turkey. I don't know about other folks, but the reason I forget to include Turkey in my thinking is that when I think of the ME, I think of Arabs, not the Turks or Kurds or Persians. That's just my own short-sightedness.

The Lebanese model is one possible form of democracy that might work in Iraq. It is a pragmatic solution to strongly tribal entities. Unfortunately, it reinforces tribalism and when crises arise each tribal faction seeks to strengthen itself and weaken the others. This is somewhat analogous to the party system that secular democracies have but being tribal, there is a level of loyalty involved that one would be hard-pressed to find among the constituencies of secular democracies. For example, I cannot imagine Democrats and Republicans maintaining private, standing armies or murdering each other because of party affiliation. That is the case in lebanon.

However, the factions in Lebanon have occasionally gone for a decade or so without armed conflict between parties. So that model or some modification of it, may work for Iraq.

Speaking of short-sighted, it still blows my mind that the USA is so adamantly anti-Hamas. It seems to me they are blowing a great opportunity to moderate Hamas by offering them unconditional support as a freely elected majority party in an emerging democracy.

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post #37 of 62 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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RE: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Quote:
Botnst - 3/20/2006 7:30 PM

Quote:
Shabah - 3/20/2006 7:10 PM

Quote:
That Guy - 3/20/2006 6:11 PM

Quote:
kvining - 3/20/2006 5:28 PM

I'm just saying that support for Israel is the kind of support we SHOULD be getting involved in - it benefits us both, and has wide popular support in both countries. Contrast that to Iraq. Israel has always been a massively strategic country, from the time of the Egyptians, the Romans, the British Empire and now - one can project power into Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It's a dagger at the throat of a lot of bad guys. Why not just make it a state? heck, it would be like downtown New York. We could call it "Jew York".
I'd be curious about the "wide popular support" in the US for Israel (I wonder how many Americans are knowledgeable enough to know whether they support Israel). Of course its popular in Israel, it gets them each $500/year.

If Israel is so damn strategic, how come we've been ineffectual and feckless in the region it resides in... the Middle East?!?!?!? Much less asia and africa.
Israel is not really strategic as far as being a portal to the Middle East in a peacful way (KV assesment is dead wrong because that's how the goods were sold). If the intent is to create leverage by fear then be it, but I would highly recommend Lebanon as the real deal.
So far Lebanon has proven that it is a survivor. It managed to get up from its civil war, get the Syrians out and most importantly IT IS A DEMOCRACY which means that the argument that Israel is the only one is highly flawed at best. Lebanon is looking for ways to create harmony between its factions unlike Israel that is looking at building barriers in every way to seperate itself while grabbing as much land as it can from the "undermenschen" Palestinians.
If the US wants a strategicly healthy leverage into the Middle East they should think about courting Lebanon, fortifying relations with Turkey (Which is another democratic country), start pulling out off Iraq and shift funds from Israel to Iraq for rebuilding. Not an easy plan nor is it going to be popular with the hawks because it does not involve blood shedding...
On a side note, I was watching the movie on LBJ and the problems he got himslef into with Vietnam, oh boy they did a real good job of showing how history repeats itself.
Back to the subject, when some of you mention the bad Arabs around Israel ready to pounce on her, who exactly did you mean? Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria? Those are the countries immediatly surrounding Israel and none of them are capable of attacking even if they wanted to. If you expand the circle now you have the rest of North Africa in the West, Saudi and the rest of GCC and Yemen to the south, Iraq and Iran to the East then Turkey to the north. I only see Iran as the possible real threat, correct me if I am wrong...
The bottom line if the US was serious about peace then it's actually very easy but not very appealing to Israel and arm manufacturers. This status quo was crafted for the rich, the religious zealots and the idiots that serve them whithout questioning...
You are exactly right concerning Lebanon and Turkey. I don't know about other folks, but the reason I forget to include Turkey in my thinking is that when I think of the ME, I think of Arabs, not the Turks or Kurds or Persians. That's just my own short-sightedness.

The Lebanese model is one possible form of democracy that might work in Iraq. It is a pragmatic solution to strongly tribal entities. Unfortunately, it reinforces tribalism and when crises arise each tribal faction seeks to strengthen itself and weaken the others. This is somewhat analogous to the party system that secular democracies have but being tribal, there is a level of loyalty involved that one would be hard-pressed to find among the constituencies of secular democracies. For example, I cannot imagine Democrats and Republicans maintaining private, standing armies or murdering each other because of party affiliation. That is the case in lebanon.

However, the factions in Lebanon have occasionally gone for a decade or so without armed conflict between parties. So that model or some modification of it, may work for Iraq.

Speaking of short-sighted, it still blows my mind that the USA is so adamantly anti-Hamas. It seems to me they are blowing a great opportunity to moderate Hamas by offering them unconditional support as a freely elected majority party in an emerging democracy.

Bot
It does not blow my mind that Hamas is being treated as such. I assure you that even if it was not Hamas at the helms the situation will be the same because it is up to Israel to decide for the Amrican what policy should apply in the ME. We have seen this trend over and over. The bottom line the Palistinians are going to figure this out eventually and then they will toss this "democracy" to the side and resort toa full arm conflict knowing full well that they have no other option.
When I was in the military I was trained that in a hand to hand or close range combat you never corner the foe into a corner because they will come back at you lashing out everything they got. What you do is kill them when you first get a chance but if you can't then you give them a way out so they can surrender feeling that it was still a noble move to do. I am no foreign policy expert but I think some of this can apply here since Israel actually failed at exterminating the Palestinians like it first wanted to but now has the world watching but luckily it does not answer to anyone anyway, not even it patron the US...
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post #38 of 62 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 06:02 PM
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RE: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Quote:
Shabah - 3/20/2006 7:41 PM

Quote:
Botnst - 3/20/2006 7:30 PM

Quote:
Shabah - 3/20/2006 7:10 PM

Quote:
That Guy - 3/20/2006 6:11 PM

Quote:
kvining - 3/20/2006 5:28 PM

I'm just saying that support for Israel is the kind of support we SHOULD be getting involved in - it benefits us both, and has wide popular support in both countries. Contrast that to Iraq. Israel has always been a massively strategic country, from the time of the Egyptians, the Romans, the British Empire and now - one can project power into Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It's a dagger at the throat of a lot of bad guys. Why not just make it a state? heck, it would be like downtown New York. We could call it "Jew York".
I'd be curious about the "wide popular support" in the US for Israel (I wonder how many Americans are knowledgeable enough to know whether they support Israel). Of course its popular in Israel, it gets them each $500/year.

If Israel is so damn strategic, how come we've been ineffectual and feckless in the region it resides in... the Middle East?!?!?!? Much less asia and africa.
Israel is not really strategic as far as being a portal to the Middle East in a peacful way (KV assesment is dead wrong because that's how the goods were sold). If the intent is to create leverage by fear then be it, but I would highly recommend Lebanon as the real deal.
So far Lebanon has proven that it is a survivor. It managed to get up from its civil war, get the Syrians out and most importantly IT IS A DEMOCRACY which means that the argument that Israel is the only one is highly flawed at best. Lebanon is looking for ways to create harmony between its factions unlike Israel that is looking at building barriers in every way to seperate itself while grabbing as much land as it can from the "undermenschen" Palestinians.
If the US wants a strategicly healthy leverage into the Middle East they should think about courting Lebanon, fortifying relations with Turkey (Which is another democratic country), start pulling out off Iraq and shift funds from Israel to Iraq for rebuilding. Not an easy plan nor is it going to be popular with the hawks because it does not involve blood shedding...
On a side note, I was watching the movie on LBJ and the problems he got himslef into with Vietnam, oh boy they did a real good job of showing how history repeats itself.
Back to the subject, when some of you mention the bad Arabs around Israel ready to pounce on her, who exactly did you mean? Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria? Those are the countries immediatly surrounding Israel and none of them are capable of attacking even if they wanted to. If you expand the circle now you have the rest of North Africa in the West, Saudi and the rest of GCC and Yemen to the south, Iraq and Iran to the East then Turkey to the north. I only see Iran as the possible real threat, correct me if I am wrong...
The bottom line if the US was serious about peace then it's actually very easy but not very appealing to Israel and arm manufacturers. This status quo was crafted for the rich, the religious zealots and the idiots that serve them whithout questioning...
You are exactly right concerning Lebanon and Turkey. I don't know about other folks, but the reason I forget to include Turkey in my thinking is that when I think of the ME, I think of Arabs, not the Turks or Kurds or Persians. That's just my own short-sightedness.

The Lebanese model is one possible form of democracy that might work in Iraq. It is a pragmatic solution to strongly tribal entities. Unfortunately, it reinforces tribalism and when crises arise each tribal faction seeks to strengthen itself and weaken the others. This is somewhat analogous to the party system that secular democracies have but being tribal, there is a level of loyalty involved that one would be hard-pressed to find among the constituencies of secular democracies. For example, I cannot imagine Democrats and Republicans maintaining private, standing armies or murdering each other because of party affiliation. That is the case in lebanon.

However, the factions in Lebanon have occasionally gone for a decade or so without armed conflict between parties. So that model or some modification of it, may work for Iraq.

Speaking of short-sighted, it still blows my mind that the USA is so adamantly anti-Hamas. It seems to me they are blowing a great opportunity to moderate Hamas by offering them unconditional support as a freely elected majority party in an emerging democracy.

Bot
It does not blow my mind that Hamas is being treated as such. I assure you that even if it was not Hamas at the helms the situation will be the same because it is up to Israel to decide for the Amrican what policy should apply in the ME. We have seen this trend over and over. The bottom line the Palistinians are going to figure this out eventually and then they will toss this "democracy" to the side and resort toa full arm conflict knowing full well that they have no other option.
When I was in the military I was trained that in a hand to hand or close range combat you never corner the foe into a corner because they will come back at you lashing out everything they got. What you do is kill them when you first get a chance but if you can't then you give them a way out so they can surrender feeling that it was still a noble move to do. I am no foreign policy expert but I think some of this can apply here since Israel actually failed at exterminating the Palestinians like it first wanted to but now has the world watching but luckily it does not answer to anyone anyway, not even it patron the US...
That strategy of always allowing the enemy a path of your choosing is straight from Tsun Tsu. It is a very wise and very deep concept. Evidently too deep for foreign policy "experts." I disagree with your belief that israel wags the dog. It simplifies American internal politics beyond intelligibility. There are a large number of Christian fundamentalists who are ardent Zionists, believing that when Israel finally restores the Temple in Jerusalem that jesus Christ will return (I think I have that right). So they don't especially love Jews and don't care about Israeli politics very much, they just think the USA should be on God's side, which is to restore the temple.

In the USA, church-going is one of the most important indicators of voting, though not necessarily of voter preference. What I mean is that there are lots of liberal church-goers as well as conservative and wacky the wacky ones I described above. Church-goers vote in higher frequency than almost any other predictor. So politicians pay attention to them because they either fear crossing them or seek to ingratiate themselves. During an election in the USA it will be difficult to find an atheist politician who is successful.

Because of the affinity for all Christians, regardless of politics, for Israel, politicians are predisposed toward supporting Israel. Thus, it has next to nothing to do with what Israel wants and has everything to do with superstition and sentimentality.

B
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post #39 of 62 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 06:05 PM
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RE: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

I thought ya'll might enjoy this.

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Arab and Islamic scholarship is dying in the west. Edward Said must share the blame
Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin's "For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and their Enemies" has just been published by Allen Lane

How do we know what we think we know about Islam and the Arabs? Movies and novels have long been a rich source of misinformation and eloquent prejudice. Novels like Eric Ambler's The Levanter, Frederick Forsyth's The Key to Rebecca and Daniel Easterman's The Last Assassin, as well as films like Cast a Giant Shadow, Jewel of the Nile and Operation Condor have fed on and refuelled such prejudice. Arabs and Muslims commonly feature as terrorists, religious fanatics, drug dealers, pimps and so on. In the course of the last 50 years or so they have replaced the Nazis as hand-me-down villains. Films in which Arab points of view are realistically and sympathetically presented, such as David O Russell's political action film Three Kings (1999), set in the immediate aftermath of the first Gulf war, are hard to find.

The presentation of Islam by Muslim apologists, on the other hand, has little appeal for non-believers. In the 19th century, a significant sector of the British public read sermons for pleasure. Today's readers have lost this taste. In any case, Muslim apologists tend to present current Islamic practice and past history as more perfect than would seem plausible to an outsider. Besides there are too many competing accounts of Islam in print—Wahhabi, Deobandi, Barelwi, Ahmadi, Sufi, liberal. As for journalism, its coverage of the middle east is crisis-driven, providing only a restricted context to the latest terrorist atrocity or rigged election. The longue durée of the middle east has been elided.

Orientalist writings, in the sense of books and articles written by academics specialising in Arab and Islamic studies, currently play a negligible part in informing and shaping public opinion. Orientalism is now a pejorative word and its practitioners have become losers in the politics of knowledge. Arabic studies has lost prestige and the resources devoted to it keep diminishing. In a debate in the House of Lords on 24th March 2004, several peers expressed disquiet at the way oriental studies and the teaching of difficult languages had declined in Britain. The closure of the east Asian studies department at Durham University was condemned, but the decline of Arabic teaching was also a matter of grave concern. James Craig, Arabist and former ambassador, tells me that in Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Soas, the professors of Arabic are Syrian, Palestinian, Dutch or German; and that of the entire membership of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies barely one-third are home-grown British scholars.

In the 20th century, the Thomas Adams professorship in Cambridge (endowed in the 17th century) was held by some of the most brilliant and famous Arabists in Europe, including Edward Granville Browne, Reynold Alleyne Nicholson and AJ Arberry. It is a scandal that there is no Thomas Adams professor and that there seems to be no plan to appoint one. In his memoir, Among Arabs and Jews: A Personal Experience 1936-90 (1991), PJ Vatikiotis, a former professor of middle eastern politics at Soas, registered his dismay at the decline of traditional oriental studies: "As new funding schemes for higher education were being brought in, we suddenly lost most of our star quality colleagues either through early or premature retirement, resignation or relocation across the Atlantic." The latest bulletin of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies notes that the government has belatedly announced that it is going to allocate more funds for posts concerned with the Arabic-speaking world. Obviously this is crisis-driven funding, aimed at alleviating the disastrous situation in Iraq, but it takes years to grow specialist experts. In the meantime the occupying forces have found that shouting loudly in English to the Iraqis is not always effective as a means of communication. It would have been useful to have had a larger pool of translators and even more useful to have had a corps of experts on the history of Iraq's tribal politics.

As far as large sections of the British intelligentsia are concerned, orientalism is thought of as an historical evil, something to be ashamed of and linked, however vaguely, to such wickednesses as crusading, racism, the slave trade, colonialism and Zionism. Orientalism, by the Palestinian literary critic Edward Said, published in 1978, pioneered this paranoid approach to an essentially benign academic discipline. In his immensely influential book, Said presented a somewhat confusing survey of the way Europeans and Americans have written and thought about the orient and, more precisely, about the Arab world. Said argued that orientalism was a sinister discourse that constrained the ways westerners could think and write about the orient. He suggested that there was a malign tradition of disparaging and stereotyping orientals in various ways that went back to Homer, a tradition that was continued by such grand writers as Aeschylus, Dante, Flaubert and Camus. However, Said argued, in recent centuries academics in Islamic and middle eastern studies had been instrumental in framing a mindset that facilitated and justified imperial dominance over the Arab lands. According to Said (who died in 2003), the west possesses a monopoly over how the orient may be represented. His thesis has subsequently found incongruous allies among Islamist polemicists. They too see western scholarship as a conspiracy. The Encyclopaedia of Islam, a multi-volume work of mostly western scholarship whose second edition was recently published, has attracted particular criticism from some Muslims, who argue that this sort of reference work should have been written mostly, if not entirely, by Muslims, and should have been subject to Muslim censorship.

Orientalism was a work of misdirected spleen, written in anger and in haste. Had Said restricted himself to attacking the way Islam and Arabs have been portrayed in novels, films and popular journalism, this would have been a worthwhile enterprise. Better yet, he might have attacked Israeli generals, Washington lobbyists, British arms dealers and right-wing newspaper columnists. Instead, he chose to concentrate his wrath on academics, serious novelists and a miscellaneous assortment of other writers. Most of the people he chose to vilify were actual enthusiasts for Arab culture and admirers of Islam. And although Said sought to present orientalism as something that was inherently bound up with imperialism and the colonisation of the middle east by Britain and France, the chronology does not bear him out. The first great heyday of orientalism, especially in Britain, was in the 17th century. Edward Pococke was perhaps the leading Arabist in Europe. (His peers were mostly Dutch.) But Pococke's century was one in which the Turks were occupying a large part of the Balkans and still threatened Vienna. It was a time when thousands of Europeans were taken captive every year by the Barbary corsairs and shipped off to slavery in north Africa. It was also an age when most serious scholars wrote in Latin. (Edward Said may have been unaware of this, as he omits discussion of the Latin works of such grand Arabists as Marracci or Golius.) The second great age of British orientalism extended from the 1940s to perhaps the 1970s, and therefore roughly coincided with the ending of what the political historian, Elizabeth Monroe has called "Britain's moment in the middle east." At a time when Britain was withdrawing its political advisers, troops and administrators from Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf and Aden, scholars with huge international reputations held senior teaching posts in Britain, among them Bernard Lewis, Ann Lambton, Vatikiotis, Robert Serjeant, Arberry, Albert Hourani and AFL Beeston.

The attack by Said and his allies on academics can be seen as a soothing displacement activity. In mounting such an onslaught, specialists in literary criticism and cultural studies could imagine themselves to be on the frontline of a global conflict and as "speaking truth to power." But their guns were pointing in the wrong direction. In general, stereotypes and patronising misrepresentations of Arabs and Muslims do not originate in university departments.

It would be absurd to pin all the blame for the decline of oriental studies on Said's polemic. Broader intellectual trends have had a role—a flight from difficulty, a suspicion of old-fashioned, fact-bound scholarship and a taste for deconstructive readings of classic works. And when funds are occasionally found for middle eastern topics, the designation of the new posts is dim-wittedly directed by yesterday's newspaper headlines and thus earmarked for such areas as terrorism studies or conflict resolution. In both the universities and the media there is a cult of immediacy and contemporary relevance. This cult would have seemed strange, profane and even frivolous to past intellectual generations.
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post #40 of 62 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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RE: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Quote:
Botnst - 3/20/2006 8:02 PM



That strategy of always allowing the enemy a path of your choosing is straight from Tsun Tsu. It is a very wise and very deep concept. Evidently too deep for foreign policy "experts." I disagree with your belief that israel wags the dog. It simplifies American internal politics beyond intelligibility. There are a large number of Christian fundamentalists who are ardent Zionists, believing that when Israel finally restores the Temple in Jerusalem that jesus Christ will return (I think I have that right). So they don't especially love Jews and don't care about Israeli politics very much, they just think the USA should be on God's side, which is to restore the temple.

In the USA, church-going is one of the most important indicators of voting, though not necessarily of voter preference. What I mean is that there are lots of liberal church-goers as well as conservative and wacky the wacky ones I described above. Church-goers vote in higher frequency than almost any other predictor. So politicians pay attention to them because they either fear crossing them or seek to ingratiate themselves. During an election in the USA it will be difficult to find an atheist politician who is successful.

Because of the affinity for all Christians, regardless of politics, for Israel, politicians are predisposed toward supporting Israel. Thus, it has next to nothing to do with what Israel wants and has everything to do with superstition and sentimentality.

B
Well Botnst, this again shows that the US cannot be trusted as a peace broker for the Middle East. We all need to agree to leave that to the French LOL but seriously I would trust the French on this matter before I trust the US administration. In reality they should all fuck off and let the Arabs and Israelis sort their problems on their own. Part of maturing is being able to deal with a problem withour calling daddy or mommy. So Israel should stop the lies that it is the little guy in the middle of a wolf den and the Arabs should shut they fucking holes and act resposibily by seeking a real and lasting peace. If they still want to fight let be on a soccer game, boxing or other sporting events to vent the shit. Personaly I want to see some business relations that would tie up every party where there will be no incentive to destroy each other.
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