Philip Weiss reacted to my HuffPo piece (see previous post) on the neocons with a little essay entitled Fleshler Exonerates the Neocons of Dual Loyalties. Why He’s Wrong.
Take a look at it. Take a look at the comments. There are a number of people, including Richard Witty, who disagree with Phil and make some cogent points. But the fact that Phil’s post and the entire, subsequent thread are focused ONLY on whether or not Feith –or American Jews as a whole– are dually loyal proves the point I was trying to make. This, and the war-for-Israel theory, are now the issues that suck up energy in much of the blogosphere. Even my buddy MJ Rosenberg weighs in with a comment, criticizing me for somehow taking the trouble to be on the same side of the fence as the neocons, which he knows very well is the last thing I would ever do.
A very dangerous ideology –a set of ideas about democracy, tyranny, military power, the glories of free enterprise and the horrors of the “welfare state”– is no longer of concern to anyone in certain segments of the American left. Phil Weiss doesn’t even deal with it. Instead, he dismisses my discussion of the preemptive war fetish as a collection of “pat answers” that are used to “exonerate” neocon officials.
And so, Paul Wolfowitz’ elaborate theories of preemptive warfare to protect American interests, which he began to develop when he was a young naval staffer in the Carter Administration, are never mentioned (oh, that’s right, he’s a Jew and he’s been honored by Jewish groups, so therefore the rest of his VERY complicated intellectual history must be ignored).
And the obsession of Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol with the Red Menace (an obsession so pronounced that the worst day of their lives occured when the Berlin Wall was torn down, leaving them, for awhile at least, with no mortal enemy to rant about) is never mentioned.
And the whole Star Wars fantasy, which Richard Perle threw his energies into in the 1980s, which the neocons and Cheney wanted to revive in the early days of the GW Bush Administration, and which the Administration is now trotting out again, is never mentioned.
And what they did to the socialist experiment in Nicaragua is never mentioned. And the way some of them publicly REJOICED when Allende was overthrown by the CIA, is never mentioned.
All that matters, apparently, is blaming officials who thought American and Israeli interests were identical, and tossing out accusations –again, with no proof- that their sentiments about Israel are what motivated them to get us into the mess we are in. That wonderful phrase, “anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools,” is not precisely applicable here. Phil Weiss is no anti-Semite and he is no fool, and I believe the same thing can be said about at least some of the people who regularly comment on his blog. But the spirit of that phrase, the notion of political energies being misdirected and utterly wasted, resonates with me tonight.