Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Blurb from Walt and Mearsheimer

Philip Weiss gives us another blurb from the Walt Mearsheimer book, and it is a good one.

Halfway through the 2006 Lebanon War, Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen--having heroically knocked off a Republican in 2004 over the incumbent's Iraq War vote--wrote a sharp letter to Condoleezza Rice urging the U.S. to pressure Israel to cease fire. Israel had caused “large loss of civilian life, and produced over 750,000 refugees.” It had weakened the Lebanese government and strengthened Hezbollah. “We have squandered an opportunity to isolate Hezbollah…” Etc.

The bravery of Van Hollen’s letter was that an antiwar congressman was speaking the truth at a moment it needed to be spoken. If America could have served any purpose in that war, it should have been to hold Israel back, or say, This is not good. Van Hollen was stomped on. Right after the letter, Schmuel Rosner clucked in Haaretz that Van Hollen was to meet with AIPAC and “he will hear that this was an unacceptable move.” An unacceptable move for a U.S. Congressman to open his mouth against an Israeli war, having gained his seat by opposing the Iraq War. Then Van Hollen issued an apology. This wasn’t enough. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Washington said he had to reach out to the Jewish community to undo the damage. The ADL said the apology wasn’t convincing in light of the anti-Israel character of the letter. After the war, Van Hollen duly went to Israel on a special AIPAC-affiliated junket, to learn the error of his ways.



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