Friday, August 24, 2007

Syrian writer weighs in on the Kristol-TNR smackdown

Syrian writer Subhi al-Hadidi asks which is the more amusing: The recent highlighting of human rights abuses in Syria coming from the official press in Saudi Arabia; or the expressions of disappointment by US officials including Bush in the performance of their puppet Maliki. Actually, says Hadidi, if you want interesting disputes of this type, what about the recent smackdown between The New Republic and the Weekly Standard over a story about abuses by US soldiers in Iraq. He describes The New Republic as neo-Democrat of the Clinton persuasion, laced with hard Zionism; and the Weekly Standard as the home-base for the neo-con authors of the New American Century. Anyway, he says Kristol accused TNR of stabbing in the back the honor of our boys fighting for freedom in Iraq! (His exclamation point). This launches him on a survey of other intra-neocon disputes, like the Weekly Standard attack on Rumsfeld, an AEI op-ed by Michael Rubin and Danielle Pletka (name now correct), and the Fukuyama recantation, all of which, he says, would seem to be very important signposts in terms of American policy. However, he writes:

These America-America disputes do not really portend any important change in top-level decision-making by the American ummah at the hour of the paroxysm of its rage, when decisions are drenched in the emotional-religious coloration...and when any contrary decision resonates with the echoes of the nightmare [or Vietnam]...So in this climate it isn't surprising if The New Republic and the Weekly Standard speak with the same voice, so that each and every one of these "differences" is like distinguishing between the black cows in the black night.
He quotes Senator Fulbright four decades ago on the two Americas, one liberal and reasonable, and the other emotional and reliant on brute force, adding:
But if a person tries to understand the Kristol-TNR differences--in spite of their agreement on things like absolute support for Israel, destruction of Lebanon, and encirclement and starvation of the Palestinians--differences about whether to publish facts about the loathsome agression in Iraq or to keep silent about them, or if a person tries to follow the differences between Maliki and the US forces that are occupying his country, with slogans like "disappointment" and so on--in spite of the fact that Maliki will submit, at the end of the day, to each and every decision of the US forces--if a person tries to follow all of that, surely a person should be able to conjure up the fact that here is a single, unified America behind all these pseudo-divisions, and it should be possible to distinguish between the tragedy of the occupation itself, and the comedy of the arguments between the puppets. ...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Badger, first just like to offer my thanks for your efforts on this excellent blog - imo required reading for anyone with an interest in middle eastern affairs...

Second just a thought - Daniel Bleetka - Danielle Pletka..? always did prefer bebsi ;-)


11:59 PM  
Blogger badger said...

I've corrected that, thanks, and also for the kind remarks.

4:21 AM  

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