Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Watching the weasels 08/30/2006

The nominations are in. Here is a rundown of this week's Council posts ...

In Cutting the Biased Some Slack, Sundries Shack notes that all journalists appear to be on the same team. It just may not be the team of freeedom and democracy.

Done with Mirrors applies the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to media watching in Read it and Weep.

Gates of Vienna examines why Europe is more susceptible to being co-opted by Islamism and what it portends for the future in an Asimov sounding Empire and Apocalypse.

Education Wonks examine a case of a teacher's insubordination to a poorly thought out request from the principal in Flag Flapped In Colorado. (BTW, read the comments.)

Right Wing Nuthouse wants to Save the Electoral College!

JoshuaPundit observes that the same Arab world that considers peacekeepers in Lebanon so essential don't give two hoots about protecting real victims in Meanwhile, in Darfur.... Of course that would mean acting against Islamists and we wouldn't want any of that.

Unlike Done with Mirrors who uses science to analyze politics, Socratic Rhythm Method uses politics to understand science in Pluto Struck Down As Unconstitutional.

In Valid Pedagogical Purpose -– Poor Pedagogical Methodology, Rhymes with Right considers the Colorado flag flap, but the details seem rather different from the Educational Wonks.

Shrinkwrapped analyzes and dismisses new shoplifting laws in England in "Root Causes" and Other Nonsense.

In Say Anything, AbbaGav demonstrates how the media act as shills, but doesn't demonstrate kickboxing. Not disimilar Done with Mirrors' thesis.

The Glittering Eye considers and rejects the charge that the House Intelligence Committee's report on Iran was "cooked" to sound more alarmist in Fearmongering? Or Oversight?

Milbank vs. mearsheimer

Dana Milbank turns his scornful style on John Mearsheimer to good effect in Pronouncing Blame on the Israel Lobby
Whatever motivated the performance, the result wasn't exactly scholarly.

Walt singled out two Jews who worked at the Pentagon for their pro-Israel views. "People like Paul Wolfowitz or Doug Feith . . . advocate policies they think are good for Israel and the United States alike," he said. "We don't think there's anything wrong with that, but we also don't think there's anything wrong for others to point out that these individuals do have attachments that shape how they think about the Middle East."

"Attachments" sounds much better than "dual loyalties." But why single out Wolfowitz and Feith and not their non-Jewish boss, Donald Rumsfeld?

"I could have mentioned non-Jewish people like John Bolton," Walt allowed when the question was put to him.

And that is the problem. Walt and Mearsheimer promote themselves as academics and their paper as scholarly, but the paper is just as sloppy (or selective if you prefer) as Milbank describes the charge against Wolfowitz and Feith.

Milbank's mockery continues
This line of argument could be considered a precarious one for two blue-eyed men with Germanic surnames. And, indeed, Walt seemed defensive about the charges of anti-Semitism. He cautioned that the Israel lobby "is not a cabal," that it is "not synonymous with American Jews" and that "there is nothing improper or illegitimate about its activities."

But Mearsheimer made no such distinctions as he used "Jewish activists," "major Jewish organizations" and the "Israel lobby" interchangeably. Clenching the lectern so tightly his knuckles whitened, Mearsheimer accused Israel of using the kidnapping of its soldiers by Hezbollah as a convenient excuse to attack Lebanon.

You think that "The Israel Lobby" was better in the original German maybe?

"Israel had been planning to strike at Hezbollah for months," he asserted. "Key Israelis had briefed the administration about their intentions."

A questioner asked if he had any "hard evidence" for this accusation. Mearsheimer cited the "public record" and "Israeli civilian strategists," then repeated the allegation that Israel was seeking "a cover for launching this offensive."

Actually the argument against this charge is that Israeli military planners would be neglectful if they didn't have contigency plans in effect for responding to each nearby enemy. Being prepared for conflict is essential, it doesn't mean that Israel was looking for a pretext to attack. (And of course Mearsheimer ignores six years of Hezbollah violations.)

Milbank brought up one more instance of Mearsheimer's sloppiness
As evidence that the American public does not agree with the Israel lobby, the political scientist cited a USA Today-Gallup poll showing that 38 percent of Americans disapproved of Israel's military campaign. He neglected to mention that 50 percent approved, and that Americans blamed Hezbollah, Iran, Syria and Lebanon far more than Israel for the conflict.

As noted above, this kind of selective quoting was typical of the "Israel Lobby" paper.

And who was Prof Mearsheimer addressing? Why it was the Islamic "civil rights" organization CAIR! The end of the article gives a sense of openmindedness and understanding that permeated the talk.
When the two professors finished, they were besieged by autograph- and photo-seekers and Arab television correspondents. Walt could be heard telling one that if an American criticizes Israel, "it might have some economic consequences for your business."

Before leaving for an interview with al-Jazeera, Mearsheimer accepted a button proclaiming "Walt & Mearsheimer Rock. Fight the Israel Lobby."

"I like it," he said, beaming.

I'm no fan of Milbank, but here his scorn was well placed and used to excellent effect.

Earlier this summer the Post's ombudsman Deborah Howell defended the paper's Middle East coverage. She wasn't at all bothered that a whitewash of Walt and Mearsheimer appeared at a time that Israel was fighting terorists in its north and south
Some readers didn't like The Post Magazine piece by Glenn Frankel examining the Israel lobby and felt it was poorly timed. I liked it. Production on the magazine closed June 30, before the war began. One could also say that piece couldn't have been more aptly timed.
Howell wrote. In ohter words Howell's implicitly arguing that it was pro-Israel groups (aka the Israel lobby) that led the United States to support Israel in its fight against anti-Western terrorist organizations. One would hope that it wouldn't require a lobby for the United States to see that its interstests and Israel's coincide.

Power Line and LGF have their takes.

UPDATE: Meryl Yourish observes that Mel Gibson and Jimmy Carter apparently missed the fun.

Boker Tov Boulder sees something biblical in the motivations of Walt and Mearsheimer.

Rhymes with right concludes

The association between these professors and the terrorist-supporting CAIR should be enough to discredit these pseudo-academics -- and to discredit the organizatation, which sponsored them despite their having been is creditted as
dressing up old anti-Semitism in new garments.

Mere Rhetoric points out additional inconsistencies in the original Israel Lobby paper
He might also have mentioned their intellectual dishonesty in complaining about US aid to Israel (aid that Israel was promised so that Jimmy Carter could get a Noble Prize by getting Israel to give up critical land - and security - to Egypt, which the realists supported because it moved Egypt out of the Soviet orbit) and in leaving out the part where Bush Sr. almost cut off aid to Shamir because of Israeli settlements.

and points to Jewish Current Issues critique
Neither of them mentioned the fact that George W. Bush formally endorsed a Palestinian state (assuming the Palestinians built a “practicing democracy” with leaders “not compromised by terror”), nor the fact that the U.S. -- while waiting in vain for Abbas to meet his initial Road Map obligation of “sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure” -- nevertheless (a) pressured Israel into releasing 900 prisoners to help Abbas (a step not required in the Road Map); (b) supported Sharon’s plan to simply give Abbas all of Gaza (under the mistaken assumption it would generate popular support for Abbas); (c) supported Abbas financially with tens of millions of dollars in handouts, and with pledges of billions more; (d) watched without protest as Abbas took the money and padded the public payroll with “security forces,” instead of building schools or hospitals or houses for refugees; and nevertheless (e) continually supported Abbas as a “man of peace.” ...
But Walt & Mearsheimer blame the “Israel Lobby” for giving Abbas “nothing.”

Elder of Ziyon demonstrates how Walt and Mearsheimer have cause and effect backwards.

Maryland Conservatarian confuses Walt with Nasrallah.

Walt and Mearsheimer remind Extreme Mortman of a classic SNL skit. And they remind Capatain's Quarters of a Family Circus cartoon.

Liberty and Justice emphasizes one of Milbank's points
Mearsheimer constantly singled out Jewish individuals while conveniently ignoring the fact that some of this US administration's most fervent pro-Israel members aren't Jews, but Christians.

Am Echad writes that W & M produce a worse result than anti-semitism - they produce shoddy scholarship. Instapundit has similar thoughts.

The sixth column notes that it isn't just important what Walt and Mearsheimer said but who they said it to.

The Volokh Conspiracy.David Bernstein writes that he's finding it harder to give W & M the benefit of the doubt as to whether they've crossed the line into antisemitism. Hit and Run wonders the same thing.

Other commenting include Solomonia, Blog-o-fascists.

More at Buzztracker.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Haveil Havalim #82

Check out the whole thing here.

No Feminists on a sinking ship thinks that Google is making people lazy.

Daled Amos writes that Israel must take back the narrative.

Confederate Yankee condemns the complicit MSM as the ghost in the media machine.

Elder of Ziyon expands on Confererate Yankee's thesis and gives a specific example that the AP is writing Hezbollah's press releases.

Ace of Spades HQ wonders how those stringers get all those poignant photographs.

Perspectives of a Nomad argues, Hezbollah lies, wins sympathy.

Here's a comprehensive list of all the types of photographic fraud are committed by the media.

Israelly Cool! observes that not all Arabs are listening to Nasrallah's warning to leave Haifa.

West Bank Mama sees that the Israeli Left is speaking up again.

Jewish Current Issues recounts a press conference that he and other prominent pro-Israel bloggers had with Natan Sharansky.

IRIS blog exerpts an op-ed by Gen. Doron Almog.

Ocean Guy excerpts from Jewish Current Issues and Michael Behe's article in the New Republic showing that the widespread destruction in Lebanon is, well, exagerated.

Israel Matzav explains the Geneva Conventions and why they don't protect Lebanon.

A view from a Height tells us that Israel was winning.

Deja Vu compares PM Olmert's wartime performance with that of Levi Eshkol.

Solomonia has testimony from a photographer that the practice of "directing shots" is widespread.

Crossing the Rubicon2 quotes from an op-ed by a non-Jew who would rather Jews be alive and angry rather than meek and dead.

Atlas Shrugs carries a Nidra Poller essay "Don't Apologize."

Media Backspin links to a commentary that tells us that "... editors everywhere can no longer trust the pictures from Lebanon."

The Volokh Conspiracy asks what year an offensive cartoon was published.

IN how many ways does the ceasefire screw Israel? Let Mere Rhetoric count the many many ways.

Meryl Yourish dons her teacher's cap and gives the ceasefire a D.

The Hashmonean grades Olmert and Peretz, and he doesn't grade them on a curve.

Israeli Matzav explains what went wrong and wonders if Israel can still win.

The Bush Administration's complicity in the ceasefire has Powerline wondering who won the 2004 election.

Greetings from French Hill explains why the ceasefire is a Hezbollah victory.

Cozy Corner guesses at what lies in Israel's future.

Back in 2000 Dry Bones was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Cozy Corner considers applying game theory to the war against Hezbollah.

The Ignoble Experiment defends the rights of those she disagrees with to disagree - unharrassed.

Treppenwitz considers an obscure episode of history to draw a lesson about never being complacent about the loss of life.

Critical Mastiff writes that being kind to the cruel is never the right measure.

Daled Amos wonders how Ariel Sharon would have handled this war and looks for hints.

Simply Jews fisks a moonbat named Monbiat.

Joshuapundit comments on the Israeli government's decision to push forward with an expanded offensive.

The Ministry of Offence explains why Israel can neither win nor lose the war with Hezbollah.

Life in Israel tells us two stories about life at the front in Lebanon.

Life in Israel wants the government to let the army win the war and forget about convergence.

Greetings from French Hill wonders if the government wants to win the war.

The Partisan Times says that Israel must win.

Raanana Ramblings tells us what to put in care packages for the Israeli soldiers. (There are some interesting comments too.)

Say hello to the Israeli Tikkun Blog.

Me-Ander reflects on her new neighbors from the North.

Shiloh Musings reproduces the Hula Hoop describes what it's like to experience Katyushas, in Kiryat Shmona.


A Simple Jew has an interview with Psychotoddler about the state of Jewish music.

The Ignoble Experiment goes to two concerts in support of Israel.

This reminds me that a few weeks ago Crossing the Rubicon2 mentioned the Voices for Israel CD that includes, among other things, Shir Lismoach. This cheerful and optimistic song was written by Malki Roth, whose Yahrzeit (Hebrew annivesary of her death) is tomorrow. Her life (and those of many others) and music were cut short that day 5 years ago when a young man walked into Sbarro's carrying a guitar case hiding his deadly device.

Israel at Level ground announces that Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull) is returning to Israel.

Kesher Talk has a teremdous linkfest about the war.

The Board Game blog considers Hebrew music and gets a surprising comment from a Jordanian and takes a trip through a war torn country.

Orthodox Anarchist has pictures of some "street art" that shows the anxiety of Israelis.

No feminists on a sinking ship tells Mel Gibson that antisemitism is bad for business.

Jewish Baltimore

Crablaw writes about the Jewish constituency that makes up the a significant portion of Maryland's 3rd Congressional District.

Cross Currents looks at Baltimore's Orthodox Jewish community.

Presence reports on vandalism at his Shul (synagogue.)


The ignoble experiment continues her quest to internationalize Haveil Havalim.

Here's a Russian entry on encountering an antisemite.

More Kyshara on what Israel A Simple Jew interviews Psychotoddler on the topic of the current state of Jewish music.

Faux news

Esser Agoroth explains why the Enterpise couldn't have been in the Reuters photo.

Simply Jews discovers the secret behind those Reuters photos.

The Fireant Gazette found a similar original photo.

Pillage Idiot has also reasearched and found an original Reuters photo. (Or maybe the Peoples Cube found them?)

Israel Matzav asks what would happen if the current editors of the NY Times were around in 1943. (h/t Life of Rubin, original image plus details at the People's Cube.)

More related at Kesher Talk.


R' Chaim HaQoton discusses Judaism before Sinai.

R' Chaim HaQoton also discusses the holiday last week of Tu B'Av.

(You may need Firefox to view these posts. They did not display in IE.)

Elie's Expositions also discussed Tu B'Av. (Who compares Tu B'Av to Valentine's Day, I thought it was the Jewish Sadie Hawkins day.)

Torah Thoughts applies the lessons from this week's Torah reading to the war against Hezbollah.

Velveteen Rabbi discusses her observance of Yom Kippur Katan.


Shiloh Musings argues that the cost of fighting a "moral" war are too high.

House of Joy shares her non-joyous thoughts about war.

Biur Chametz attended two military funerals and reflects on them.

Two bloggers remembered Michael Levin.

Saba Yeshayah knows many people who knew him from Philadelphia.

Am Echad knew people who knew him from Nativ.

Consecutive headlines in ha'aretz

Annan: Both Lebanese, Israeli PMs have agreed to cease-fire
UN envoy: Int'l force to deploy in S. Lebanon in 7-10 days; Olmert to address security cabinet. 06:21
Syria still transferring supply of rockets, missiles to Hezbollah
IDF source: Senior Syrian officials involved in arms transfer; says Iranian fighters sent to Lebanon. 03:53