The Second Coming of Walt & Mearsheimer...

Sunday, April 21, 2024 7:53 PM

It’s not a conspiracy. It’s a coincidence.--Gore Vidal

Dear Friends + Interlocutors,

Returning ab ovo, a joint interview with Professors Steve Walt and John Mearsheimer has just appeared concerning their blockbuster 2006 paper/article/book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. foreign Policy. It was most relevant back then because of the seemingly pointless and indeed possibly fraudulent U.S. invasion of Iraq. What could have been behind such an escapade? It is even more relevant now due to the genocide in Gaza.

I’ve written several entries about the controversy when it first erupted. For example, Mum’s The Word of April 3rd 2006. Then Robert Fisk + Stephen Walt of April 28th, 2006. And then, Reemergence of Mearsheimer and Walt of September 4th, 2007. These should give you a pretty good idea of the hysteria set loose at the time. 

The cheerleaders for Tel Aviv in America, the Israel Lobby, which I regard as a kind of Fifth Column, went berserk. At first, after giving the Harvard research paper the silent treatment, the incensed cheerleaders then decided that they had no choice but to confront the challenge head on. They pulled out all the stops. 

The authors were denounced as “anti-Semitic” for starters, as if that should be sufficient to banish them to the outer void. It didn’t. The point of the relentless, defamatory campaign was not just to silence these two intrepid professors who dared to point out, matter-of-factly, the ten-ton elephant in the room. The real goal was to ruin and destroy them as a warning to others.

The most hysterical thing was that the ADL suggested that Mearsheimer and Walt were just too dangerous, too heretical, to be out there on their own, unsupervised, spouting an alternative narrative. They required minders. From “Reemergence”: early March of 2006, the Israel First crowd adopted a backup strategy to deal with the controversy. It boils down to this: Professors John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt are so benighted, and their views so erroneous, that they should not be allowed to discuss the contents of the book on their own in polite society. They must be assisted/accompanied/counterbalanced by the likes of Abe Foxman and Allan Dershowitz to keep the American public from being misled. If not, all appearances publicizing the book will be taken as an affront to Jews everywhere.

I must say, I got the impression at the time that Mearsheimer and Walt were somewhat taken aback by the attacks, especially the mild-mannered Walt. As brilliant as they were, the professors did not foresee the firestorm. They may not have fully appreciated the far-reaching extent of their own conclusions. If anything, they had underrated the power and reach of The Lobby.

And this is proven by subsequent events. Their book has opened discussion on the taboo topic for sure, but in no material way has it affected official U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East one bit. Gaza is proof positive. The Lobby is still riding high. 

Washington is in lock-step, bipartisan support of whatever Israel does, and expresses more money and ammo to enable Tel Aviv to do whatever it pleases. The mainstream media concurs. Nothing Israel does is objected to, except in the most perfunctory, superficial way. This is bizarre and odious.