Monday, April 17, 2006

Eric Alterman on Walt-Mearsheimer

Eric Alterman has some excellent comments on the Walt-Mearsheimer paper and the response thereto. His opening paragraph is excellent:

The University of Chicago's John Mearsheimer is among America's most admired political scientists. Stephen Walt is the academic dean and a chaired professor at Harvard's Kennedy School. Neither man has ever made any remotely racist or anti-Semitic utterance in the public sphere. And yet because they recently published an essay in The London Review of Books and (with full scholarly apparatus) on the Kennedy School website that critically and--this is key--unsentimentally examines the role of the "Israel lobby" in the making of US foreign policy, these two scholars have been subjected to a relentless barrage of vituperative insults in which the accusation "anti-Semite" is merely the beginning.

Unfortunately, Alterman concludes with some unwarranted criticism of the paper. First, he complains that Israel is singled out, without discussion of the influence of other lobbies. Second, he finds too little discussion of oil interests.

I just don't see a lot of evidence that big oil was involved in getting us into Iraq. If Alterman has such information he should provide it.

I also don't see any Middle Eastern country exerting any influence whatsoever in Middle Eastern affairs, as strange as that sounds. For example, the US has wasted no time pulling funding for the occupied terratories. I did not see any Arab nation effectively lobby to continue this funding, or even slow down the decision process.

It is hard to take Alterman's claims seriously without any examples of the influence of the other "lobbies" in action

The Nation


Blogger Eleanor said...

Israeli-Lobby-deniers are fond of saying we invaded Iraq because we need the oil, but they fail to point out that other countries, such as China, for instance, who need oil, do not find it necessary to keep troops in Muslim lands. If we did it for oil, where's the oil? If it were not for the anti-American hatred due to our support of the Israeli occupation, America could easily obtain not only oil but oil contracts from Muslim countries. Certainly other war-profiteering lobbies may push for war but the importance of the Israeli Lobby is that there are no checks and balances. It dominates all political parties plus the media. This is why it's so successful in pushing for war on behalf of Israel.

4/18/2006 07:05:00 PM  

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