Wonkette Jumps the Shark; John Edwards, Empty Suit

It’s encouraging to read the kind of thoughtful, intelligent discussion of foreign affairs, I discovered on Wonkette today. Over the years, I have found that Wonkette has done an admirable job of dishing up a tasty mix of political gossip and Washington-based insight. Today, I visit the site to see what it has to say on John Edwards jaw-droppingly appalling remarks labeling Israel, in effect, the greatest threat to world peace. (In case you missed it, Peter Bart of Variety wrote the initial story here.)

Wonkette suggests, in response to critiques on NRO and elsewhere, that Edwards’ act of “stating the obvious” is impossible in today’s world and “requires taking your lips off Israel’s ass for a few seconds, and that’s fatal for any American politician with presidential ambitions. This isn’t because Jews get upset or Israel’s feelings will get hurt or anything. It’s because of batshit insane evangelical American Jesus Freaks who have to love and protect Israel so Jesus will come back and destroy it.”

Wonkette is incorrect here on a couple of things. First, it is a canard to suggest as Wonkette and others that supporters of Israel block debate on Israeli policy. The very smart and up-and-coming writer James Kirchick offered a devastating rebuttal to this notion in a Washington Examiner piece. Here is Kirchick’s point in relevant part:

“When prodded to identify an instance in which legitimate criticism of Israel has been labeled “anti-Semitic,” the promoters of this meme come up with nothing. Indeed, the debate in the United States could not be more fair and vigorous, especially compared to how the subject is discussed in the rest of the world. In Europe, Israel is always to blame for whatever trouble boils in the Middle East; in Arab and Muslim nations, there is little deviation from the viewpoint that Israel itself is illegitimate and should be destroyed. The United States is the only place where Israel gets a fair hearing. To claim that critics of Israel are unfairly maligned and silenced is a pathetic means of avoiding debate on the actual issues that matter.”

Second, the appalling thing about Edwards comment is that it is just another way of blaming the victim. Here we have Iran, a nation whose leader has sponsored a hateful Holocaust denial conference and has vowed to wipe out Israel on the brink of developing a weapon to destroy Israel, and, for Edwards and Wonkette, the nation that seeks to protect itself is the “threat”. What would Edwards and Wonkette have Israel do? Vote itself out of existence perhaps? (At least, Israel’s citizens, including Arabs can vote, which they aren’t allowed to do in other parts of the Middle East.)

Regarding Edwards, the former senator’s comments are just the latest sign that this guy is an absolute empty suit who has been in search of a political identity since 2000. I first encountered this guy at a Democratic breakast at the Beverly Hilton during the 2000 DNC in Los Angeles. The room filled with Massachusetts’s seasoned politicos didn’t give him a second look. Everybody at the level of City Councillor and above saw him for what he was — a shallow neophyte. In 2002, I went up to New Hampshire to see him again and came away only marginally more impressed.

“When he got to the subject of income disparity between the rich and poor, Edwards seemed ready to discuss a substantive problem in depth — as if he were going to deliver some innovative solution that would restore the vital center of American politics. He started out promisingly: ‘I think you could ask the American people tomorrow — and I’m talking about people who live in rural North Carolina, who sometimes vote Democratic and sometimes vote Republican, I think we can convince them tomorrow — that every child in America ought to get a first-class education.’ And then … nothing. While packaged as a unique statement delivered by a Democrat who managed to win an election in Jesse Helms’s own state, Edwards’s comment scaled the pinnacle of banality, if such a thing is possible. Who among serious Americans — including the Republicans — doesn’t think students ought to receive the best possible education? Policy fights involve how best to achieve this — not the general principle, which was all Edwards had to offer.”

In the beginning, he was a DLCer in the mold of Bill Clinton. Then, he was an economic populist. Now, he is going after the NetRoots.

In search of a political identity, he hired David Bonior, a longtime critic of Israel, as his campaign manager. Ben Smith of Politico has already reported on the striking similarity between a 1996 Bonior speech and Edwards’ address to the DNC last month. Now, Edwards is taking on Bonior’s anti-Israel portfolio as well.

To Wonkette, my suggestion is to tread on familiar territory. In other words, keep it light.

I fear, however, that Edwards is too light to be considered a serious candidate for the presidency.

CLARIFICATION: The phrasing “labeling Israel the greatest threat to world peace” is my own. Peter Bart direct quote is as follows ““Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, Edwards remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities.” For more on Edwards statement today see above.

37 Responses to “Wonkette Jumps the Shark; John Edwards, Empty Suit”

  1. Frank Says:

    Edwards was considered “too light” in ’04 when he was sporting roughly the same resume as Hillary is today. Perhaps someone could explain the difference?

  2. Ned R. Says:

    But what about the Jesus freaks part?

  3. Hot Air » Blog Archive » Silky Pony, Israel and the minds at Wonkette Says:

    […] Well, he met a buzzsaw of criticism from the sane people of the world, but the folks at Wonkette decided to defend him. Yes, defend him. In their usual reasoned, rigorous way of course. […]

  4. CB Says:

    The reason Edwards and others keep labeling Israel as the greatest threat to peace is simply because the state exists. Like similar memes about crime that blame social ills for the poor moral judgement of criminals, the batshit insane violence (to turn Wonkette’s phrase) in the Middle East always must be directed back at Israel as the cause, regardless of Israeli action or even involvement. Indeed, more or less the same group regularly equates any U.S. involvement in the Middle East as an extension of Isreali machinations in the region.

    Never mind that the regular export of terror, authoritarianism, and radicalism are not products of Israel and would continue, even if the nation vanished overnight.

    Of course, we could be misreading Edwards. Maybe he’s simply gauged the changing demographics of the U.S. and is preparing for the day when Muslim Americans out-number Jewish ones. At least that cynicism would be more in line with Edwards’ approach to politics.

  5. Right Voices » Blog Archive » John Edwards Is Out Of The Race Says:

    […] Think  I’m   Kidding?  Think  again! Bookmark to: Tags: edwards, , election, 08, , democrats, hypocricy, , , liberals, , bigots, , Jews, , hate, speech […]

  6. Scott Keys Says:

    Random stuff

    Baghdad update from Mohammed Fadhil of Iraqthemodel blog.I’m afraid Britney Spears is on a path to do irreparable harm to herself in some way. Her hair will grow back but she seems to be determined to take a dirt nap. One day in rehab? Here she is…

  7. politicalpartypoop.com » Blog Archive » Edwards: Israelgate part 2… Says:

    […] the sane people of the world, but the folks at Wonkette decided to defend him. Yes, defend him. In their usual reasoned, rigorous way of course. (Link fixed–Wonkette’s defense is in the 2nd pa… (SILLY LIBERAL […]

  8. Political Mavens » Wonkette Jumps the Shark; John Edwards, Empty Suit Says:

    […] [–] Wonkette Jumps the Shark; John Edwards, Empty Suit February 21st, 2007 by […]

  9. meh Says:

    Wow, intolerance at it’s finest!

  10. Ed Driscoll.com Says:

    Imaginative Hateful Stuff: Wonkette On Israel’s Supporters

    Seth Gitell catches Wonkette in mid shark-jump:Its encouraging to read the kind of thoughtful, intelligent discussion of foreign affairs, I discovered on Wonkette today. Over the years, I have found that Wonkette has done an admirable job of dishing u…

  11. Kevin Hayden Says:

    It is also nothing new that Iranian and Arab governments voice anti-Israel remarks. But if Israel uses Rafsanjani’s words – which drew the rebuke of Iran’s clerics – as a casus belli to launch a missile attack, it begs the question: which is ‘more dangerous?’

    Also, if the ongoing marginalization and physical division of the Palestinians by the Israelis continues, that also continues to provoke the anti-Israel fervor among its neighbors.

    Carter, who helped negotiate precedent-setting peace accords between Israel and Egypt, maintained a neutral tone for many years, and only recently decided he could no longer bite his tongue at Israel’s rising aggressiveness. His authority on the matter warrants giving his words real weight. That Edwards echoes that hardly is proof that his thoughts are ‘lightweight.’ He certainly is aware that such a statement will draw criticism, yet he did not let that deter him.

    Further, he’s also been extremely critical of Iran’s government, so his comments should be viewed in their fullness. Promoting the idea that he’s an ’empty suit’ is a convenient bit of rhetoric, but cherrypicking a couple of examples from campaign speeches while ignoring the rest that he’s said and forwarded about US foreign policy undercuts your assertion and suggests the problem of emptiness exists only in your objectivity.

  12. David Says:

    Why does a one term ex-senator who lost his re-election campaign even think that he has a chance at becoming president?

  13. dave™© Says:

    Excuse me, but as your “clarification” shows, the “quote” that got you in such a tizzy NEVER EXISTED. So instead of a “clarification,” don’t you think you should be issuing a “Litella” – as in “I got the whole thing completely wrong, so never mind”?

  14. dave™© Says:

    BTW, just for the hell of it, let me point out that the Edwards’ campaign is already dead to me due to its complete and utter capitulation to rightwing nutjob Bill Donohue.

  15. gitell Says:

    Per Dave’s point, I have already stated that my shorthand version was not the direct quote, but I didn’t put it into quotes. My overall points still stand: 1) Wonkette’s reaction to the fracas was outrageous; 2) Bart’s version of Edwards’ quote is still to me tantamount to blaming the victim here, Israel, and not the aggressor, Iran.

  16. Barry in CO Says:

    Edwards is a total lightweight. He should stay put in his giant country mansion and concentrate on the slip n fall cases that made him rich.

  17. Pazitya Says:

    Thank you for turning my attention to it. I don’t have the ability to comment there, but I couldn’t go on with ccommenting, (I’m an Israeli), so I’ve written this comment to Wonkette editor’s mail. and I’m adding it here so frankly I can go on with my work day without steam coming out of my ears. Sorry for the length of it, promiss not to do it again.

    I have a comment to your piece:
    “John Adwards Expresses Concern Over Israel-Iran War, Loses Nomination”
    But I’m not one of your logged in users, I’m actually an Israeli who stumbled across this piece, and frankly just can’t let it go without commenting. For some reason I couldn’t subscribe to have the ability to comment, so I’m writing my comment to Ken Layne (? For some reason no one is signed at this piece), even if you might be too much of ass holes to post it among the comments.

    Because frankly, I’m really getting tired of this smelly wind from the likes of you, who seem to think Washington has its tongue up Israel’s ass. What is it that these allegations are based on? I would really like to know. Because from here in Israel it doesn’t really feel that way, you know? I ain’t kidding you. Frankly, it looks exactly the opposite. That we are the ally of the USA who has to pay the highest price for its support than any other ally ever has or is right now paying. We have gladly went through the Oslo accords with Clinton’s Administration, believing that it would start a two state solution, only to be introduced for the first time during those accords to suicide bombings. We went through hell. Yours truly, writing these words, used to go out on protests in favor of keeping on to the track of Oslo, when it looked like something was terribly wrong with it, since instead of peace and trust it introduced us to the greatest terror wave we, and any country, have ever known. I volunteered in “Dor Shalom”, which means “Peace Generation” more hours than I spent doing my homework. But it turned out the “fruits of peace” never made it to the kids on the other side because the prosperity was held up in Arafat’s bank account, and the education for trust and the building of a new future we all were waiting to sink in while literally dying, was really an education to revive some old Islamic dream of wiping off the Jews all together. We have paid for this “experiment”, which we have held on to in spite of everything until Arafat decided he was ready for another round and couldn’t pretend anymore to be building peace, over 2000 lives ( I think it is more approaching 3000 these days). We are a population of 7M, you are of what? 300M? that’s like the USA loosing 80,000 lives in a terror attack. You would think that our ally, that has its tongue up our ass, no less, would not ask us to play with such experiments again, but rather would insist on the other side sobering up from the deadly dream they can “play pretend” making peace until the next round (that is deadly for them no less than it is for us, by the way). But instead, we are asked over and over again to shut our eyes and “provide the goods” of some conventions with Abu Mazen, who had adopted Arafat’s double language, and said for example that he doesn’t ask Hamas to REALLY recognize Israel, just to say it for political reasons so he can play “good cop” like Arafat did, only to balance the objection to your Irack deal in Europe and in the Arab world. If we had Washington up our asses, I don’t think my parents would be living under Qassams the last freaking year and a half. Which ally of the USA is asked to risk its citizens’ lives so often? Which ally is asked to frankly ethnic cleanse its population from territories? I supported the pullout of Gaza, but that doesn’t change the fact that we have to accept that the USA isn’t going to have any problem with a Palestinian state that can’t swallow Jews in it. Just can’t have it. Not even one. We have Arabs as full citizens, but it’s another standard for the Arab states, isn’t it? You’re sure it’s our ass Washington’s tongue is in? ’cause I could’ve sworn it’s that dictator to our north that assassinates Lebanese leaders by the dozens and Lebanese citizens by the thousands, hosts all kind of terror groups in his capitol along with Saddam’s WMD, and sends aid and combatants to Irack that has Washington’s tongue up his ass. It’s one thing to ethnic cleanse Gaza from its last (living and buried) Jew, but Washington seems to think we should ethnic cleans the Golan Heights as well, for the sake of this lovely dictator senators go on a pilgrimage to. No one is occupied in the Golan, everybody is a full citizen there. There are Jewish farmers and residents there for over thirty years and it is striving like it never has been under Syria, which only used it time and again to attack innocent Israelis under it between wars and to attack Israel in wars. So we are asked by our great ally to evacuate those Jews from there, and turn in to Assad the miserable Arabs who are loyal citizens who serve in IDF, study in Israeli Universities and really got used to you know… democracy, because of what reason? Maybe because we’ve given the Golan back to Syria before after the 49 war and they used it again to attack us? What the hell, its just ethnic cleansing of some Jews, to give land to a dictator who has like twenty times the size of Israel but his heart is really set out on this particular piece of land from which it’s easy to attack Israel. So what’s the risk? So you’ll loose some thousands of more lives in the next time he uses its advantage to launch attacks against you, so what? It’s not like you’re not used to it. So Saudis fund the Sunnis fighting in Irack, Iran funds both sides, they both assassinate Lebanese leaders, and sent men to Irack, and yet when USA studies the situation it comes to the conclusion that Israel should give back the Golan to Syria and play “pretend” with the Palestinians as if we are in a peace process instead of insisting they don’t use our weapons against us this time. And we run business in Washington. If it wasn’t to freaking cynical it would be hilarious. You “AIPAC Control” people make me sick. Life is tough. There are wars. You seem to be in pain over Irack and I’m sorry for you, but this explanation that you came up with for all your ME trouble, that AIPAC has Washington up Israel’s ass is one of the most shameful examples of scary little ass holes the world has to offer. All the evidence is there that not only is Washington critic of Israel, but it demands of Israel what no other ally ever was asked. And yet you keep this allegation with no feel of need to provide any sort of evidence for it. I’m sorry, but the Iranian threat isn’t all about Israeli “paranoia” and Washington’s considerations how to deal with it, I know this may come as a shock to you, are not all about Israel. You got your self a clean break out of recognizing some scary facts, in convincing your self that it is all about the Jewish Lobby. So you don’t even attend to those facts, such as Iran’s building 200 nuclear war heads, when it only takes one to annihilate Israel, and more will only annihilate neighboring Muslims. Such as there’s no deterrence against it since it already is educating its school kids that it’s for their own good to die for the sake of the cause, so the minute they have the bomb any demand of theirs would be an ultimatum. There’s no “I hope the Russians love their children too” here. They love their children so much they wish martyrdom for them. The minute the acquire the bomb their isn’t going to be any stopping of their strive for domination of the Middle East and if you believe what they themselves are saying-the world. Such as their hunt for the bomb is making all the ME Sunni states go after it as well. When the whole ME is nuclear, what mathematician is going to give an estimation of more than 0% to the US citizens’ chances of dodging it for more than ten years, either directly or from terror groups which will get a hold on it? But all of those are really shitty facts of life, so why handling it when you can blame it all on the Israeli lobby? Hell, if Washington ever attends to those threats, it’s not because they might be actually considering their effect on American lives, but because all of the politicians have to kiss Israel’s ass. That is who you are, Ken Layne, or what ever idiot wrote this piece. I hope for your parents they haven’t spent much on your education. Don’t be impressed by the “cheer leaders” choir this allegation gets these days, for “your courage to finally say it”. It’s just like five years old admiring the one with the courage to say “poop”. At some stage it becomes just poop. And that is how the likes of you will be remembered two decades from now, when reality won’t have any consideration for the lovely amiable pattern you try to cast it into for hating cowards.

    Oh, I’m sorry, am I being an AIPAC troll? I can’t help it, my nice American AIPAC uncle always taught us to lobby in blogs for the talking point of the monthly Elderly Of Zion convention. I sure hope I’m not embracing your pet Jew here, after he got you to express your “love for the tribe”, and expose our “with friends like these who needs enemies” American friends. I am really moved by your patronizing concern.

    Try not to hold it against us Israelis that we are a bit more concerned about the next round being prepared for us under the kind supervision of UNIFIL in Lebanon which seems to have another interpretation for its mission, since it doesn’t appear to include the stopping of Hizb-Allah from rearming again and building his missile storages under schools and homes again and building missile launchers’ spots inside residential zones and homes. Or about the next experiment in “playing peace” that allows the Palestinians to hold on to the belief they can have it both ways, stage a peace process that is about a two state solution and educate their children to never satisfy with anything less than the annihilation of the whole state of Israel and all of the Jews. Or about the atomic bomb that is being built this minute and the next one and the next one, with our name and address on it, to stop in a single freaking bomb everything. Somehow we Israelis are more concerned about those threats than that of the second coming of Jesus, and as much as your concern for us in that case moves me, let’s agree to this agree on the threat scale. Don’t take it personally, I’m very moved by your “love for the tribe”, please, as a favor to those you love, can you try and love someone else next time?

  18. opit Says:

    Ha’aretz posted an article last August – I can’t cite it; it’s in pay-per-view archival – outlining initiatives in April which resulted in a splinter Israeli political group gaining support because they had the inside track to the White House. This meant more “aggressive” reprisal policies which caused the escalations in attacks on unruly neighbours where popular resistance groups : a.k.a. terrorists : base operations for attacks on Israeli civilians.
    The fascist bullshit from Washington has convinced Israelis they are in serious danger from the relatively impotent Iranians : they have never been on the receiving end of MAD like the U.S./U.S.S.R. citizens and have constantly been recipients of actual attacks.
    The Golan is another bone of contention because of strategic importance. From its high ground Israel is exposed to shelling because of the physical advantages of altitude for both visibility and range. Giving it up is a radical concession which only escalates the difficulty of keeping a lid on hostilities.
    Given that the White House thrives on lying and subterfuge, the idea that Israel might be pressured secretly by the U.S. to attack Iran in the fashion of the Entebbe mission or the Iraqi mission against Saddam’s nuclear program seems more of a valid fear of the acts of an American madman than what might come from a valid Israeli evaluation of what might be in its best interests.

  19. Abu Daboo Doo al Bedrocki Says:

    “the nation that seeks to protect itself is the “threat”.” This all comes back to the idea of a ‘cycle of violence’. There is only one way that this cycle can ever be ended: it is with the victim agreeing to die (or in the rare case, the agressor changing his stripes, which almost never happens). Think about it, why in the world would anyone be against a lawful person having a concealed carry permit? It could result in the death or injury of a predator who is from a protected class (poor, uneducated, minority, bagpipe player, etc.).

    The idea that the victim of the attack can help to ward off attack by surrendering is illogical and dangerous. Surrender incourages further attacks by the aggressor, as they know there is no negative consequences to their attacks on the victim.

  20. Mark Says:

    Your framing of Edward’s comments is little more than bad spin. An attack by Israel on Iran is a threat to whatever small bit of piece there is left in the region and in the world. A strike against Iran is apparently being discussed in concrete terms by the White House AND Israel. Iran’s leadership is just spouting off at the mouth so as appear to be well endowed. The domino effect of an Israeli strike would be catastrophic (as of course would such an attack by Iran on Israel, however unlikely), and would draw the US into the conflict (I really can’t see the Bush Administration sitting on their hands in that case).

    Even if you see Edwards comments as blaming the victim (only one who follows Glen Reynolds’ and Bush’s preemptive strike mantra could), the practical matter would be to see the possibility of the strike as a threat to peace.

  21. Hi-Lo Tone Says:

    You wrote: “I first encountered this guy at a Democratic breakast at the Beverly Hilton during the 2000 DNC in Los Angeles. The room filled with Massachusetts’s seasoned politicos didn’t give him a second look. Everybody at the level of City Councillor and above saw him for what he was — a shallow neophyte.”

    Hmm, could it be that these Mass politicos gave Edwards the brush off because they are ethereal Yankee bluebloods/Kerry supporters? How many Southern politicians get a rousing welcome from Yankee audiences, and vice versa? Does that make Edwards a shallow neophyte, or is that your personal bias? I don’t see the logical connection.

    I met some of those Mass politicos at a Kerry rally at the Seattle Sheraton in 2000. I asked one of them about Kerry’s views on certain issues, and she dithered until finally admitting that she had no idea about his platform. Her father had hooked her up with a job, and she was just going along for the ride. So let’s be careful about judging Edwards based of the opinion of Massachusetts insiders. The opinions of Massachusetts insiders and $3.00 leaves you $5.00 short of a macchiato.

  22. melque Says:

    oi meu nome e melque sede qui dos santos silva
    eu que lia svc mada ned para meu msn obrigado

  23. julycanute Says:

    Now I know who I’m going to vote for!!!! Go John Edwards. Buddy you get my vote!!! I’ve been waiting for you!

    Jews are attempting to do what Hitler attempted, create a “pure” sick state and kill everyone who is not like them. The sad thing is that these losers must depend upon the hated Christians in the USA to do the job for them. They should have no say in our government no matter how much money they have to throw around.

  24. pauaprincess Says:

    I agree that labeling any criticism of Israel as anti semitic prevents meaningingful debate but with the fundy Christians who appear to be in control of the administration, you’ll never get meaningful debate on any issue.

  25. Igor Volsky Says:

    In response to: “When prodded to identify an instance in which legitimate criticism of Israel has been labeled “anti-Semitic,” the promoters of this meme come up with nothing. Indeed, the debate in the United States could not be more fair and vigorous, especially compared to how the subject is discussed in the rest of the world.” I suggest that you read Norman Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History; his book chronicles many instances of legitimate criticism of Israel being labeled anti-Semitic. It would help, of course, if James Kirchick opened his eyes and ears to American press coverage of Israel or Congressional debate on the topic.

  26. Ansel Says:

    Which nation is it again that is responsible for the deaths of 141 children in neighboring territory last year, while the number of attacks on it fell and killed a total of 23 people in the same period?


    Oh right – it’s Israel. Not to mention the indiscriminate (cluster-)bombing of Lebanon, which killed upwards of 1000 civilians.

  27. Ansel Says:

    By the way, the Kirchick article that you refer to cites no figure and no facts. It’s purely rhetoric. On the other side there’s Norman Finkelstein’s well-documented book on the subject of stifling anti-Israel criticism, and there’s the study by Harvard profs Mearshimer and Walt. There’s the ridiculous backlash against former Pres. Carter for his book. You’re living in a bubble if you actually believe what you’re writing.

  28. Pazitya Says:

    Oh, Shalom! I see US has the same propaganda talk backs Hizb-Allah keeps on the job in the ME. You’ve come a long way, baby. Really Ansel? Israel is the one who killed those kids, or Hizb-Allah? I’ll let a Shiite doctor from one of the villages of south Lebanon answer.

    On 2.8.06 the Israeli news paper “Yedioth Ahronot” quoted a letter to the editor, which had been published at the German newspaper “Der Spiegel”. It writes:

    Dr. Mounir Herzallah, a Shiite doctor, wrote to “Der Spiegel in Berlin. He described how the Hezb’Allah entered the village a short while after the Israeli pullout of Lebanon in 2000, and took over it, just like it took over the rest of the villages and towns in southern Lebanon.

    Herzallah: “The Hezb’Allah men were greeted as victorious resistance warriors and a short while after that started building bunkers and other missile launching and storage facilities in the village.

    “They dug a huge hole in the ground and set an ammunition and Katyushas storage in it. Right above the storage they built the school and a residence. I had turned to the local Sheik, and asked him: why are they allowed to do that? He laughed and said:

    “This way the Jews will loose any way: either because of the missiles launched at them by Hezb-Allah, or because of the citizens who will get killed when the missile launching and storing spot is attacked, in which case global public opinion will condemn them harshly for the killing of innocent civilians.””

    Dr. Herzallah added and wrote that Hezb’Allah uses the population as human shields, and once the citizens get killed it uses them for propaganda: “The Hezb’Allah doesn’t care at all they die. As long as the Hezb’Allah is there, we won’t have any peace and quiet”.

    Dr. Herzallah was left with no choice. It was either that or leaving. He therefore left his village at 2002.

  29. Eileen Helms Says:

    I don’t understand whose comments Seth is more upset about, John Edwards’ or Wonkette’s?

    If it’s Wonkette, then the solution is simple – quit reading her blog.

    If it’s Edwards, then let’s look at what Peter Bart said Edwards said: “Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, Edwards remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

    What’s the problem with that statement? Is it that Seth feels that perhaps there is another, greater short-term threat to world peace right now? Say, Iran or North Korea? (we’ll leave out the US) But how can that be, when neither of those states has nuclear weapons here and now today while Israel does? That unbalance reverses Seth’s dynamic of who is the potential victim here, the country with nuclear weapons (and who has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty agreeing not to use them against a non-nuclear country) or the one who is still attempting to acquire nuclear weapons? Blow off the rhetoric and see which threats are empty and which have substance.

    Keep in mind that Edwards used the phrase “short-term” threat. Seth, the US and Israel disagree on how long it will be until Iran could develop a nuclear weapon, but even Israel’s worst-case scenario is 3-5 years – hardly “on the brink”. Whereas Israel has the weapons now, as well as the plans drawn up to use them according to press reports.

    Be honest now. I think you could argue Edwards’ claim has merit, unless you intentionally distort it as Seth did to make it sound like Edwards was just generally calling Israel a threat to world peace.

    What’s disturbing to me is that, if Edwards really made that statement, then why is he now retreating from it? Variety says it stands by Peter Bart’s quote. I just wish Edwards would too. Speaking of being honest.

  30. PS Says:

    Regarding Edwards, he initially misspoke. That’s why he clarified himself. And rightfully so. Iran is the threat. Not Israel. Anybody who disagrees has been either ill-informed or coerced.
    Regarding Israeli policy; it does have flaws, and they are given proper attention in the US. However, when her neighbors consist of autocracies and monarchies, which have launched or funded successive wars of aggression, and whom host serial-killer club/Terrorist groups, which avow, and act, to destroy or emaciate her, you can bet that people may be reluctant to criticize her. And rightfully so. Ya’ll need to check your heads. The only folks stifling anti-Israel criticism are those trying to murder her citizenry.

  31. David Says:

    Iran is the threat.

    Iran is only a threat because the United States has created the threat. If the US government would mind its own damn business we wouldn’t have to worry about countries on the other side of the planet.

  32. mioilman Says:

    The frustration Pazitya communicates with the media coverage and the politics that relate to the Middle East touch upon the seeds that will manifest themselves in the world’s destruction. When someone parrots the positions that spew from an anti-semetic well spring they are ignorant or bigoted. Not nuanced. The victimology stance presented by the true aggressors is a practiced mode of opinion shaping. Weak minded people who yearn to blame some boogyman for their own lot in life serve as easy converts. I am always taken aback when people who claim prejudice suggest unleashing greater evils to rectify the injustices they perceive. People who instinctively spring to the defense of the enemies of Zionist state should read carefully from the late 1800’s to present time history not propoganda. Study what the true condition of Trans-Jordan was before the U.N. attempts to establish truly independent governments that represented the inhabitants. Why did the surrounding powerful Arab entities not finance and help create the first true Palistinian state? Why is there no discussion from the “victims” for a right of return for the hundreds of thousands arab Jewish citizens who fell victim to the ethnic cleansing sanctions by Arab countries? People of Edward’s ilk give legitimacy to ideas that should laughed from the room. A section of the world that states it’s intolerance while scapgoating outsiders for the people’s plight should be given no quarter. That the vice presidential candidate from the last U.S. election can state such jibberish without media or public retribution proves their is a problem. These are the seeds of our doom.

  33. Al Says:

    I will copy this page for my memories. This is amazing. In WW2, before US went into war, there was a movie Hollywood produced which mocked Hitler’s Germany. Hitler warned that when the war is over and he dominates the world, he will remember exactly who were involved in the producing of the film. Just like Islamists whine today. Gables called the studios’ manager and complained about the mockery of Hitler and the Third Reich. Josef Kennedy, the secretary of state, was furious. He flew in to Hollywood straight from Europe, and warned the Jewish producers of Hollywood: “Don’t inflame US’s relationship with Hitler to get us into war over the Jews, or it will be your war you got us into, not the American people’s”. Of course not all were Jewish in Hollywood, but the Jewish ones were so terrified to be blamed of stirring up for war with Hitler, they didn’t let anymore critic of Hitler movies come out, it became a taboo, much like voting Democrat seems to be now days among Jews.

    Only Chaplin’s film: “The Great Dictator” was made outside of Hollywood, and it was a huge success. The American people had a chance to see how dangerous the dictator from Europe, their government was trying to appease in order not to get involve, was. People mistakenly believed Chaplin to be Jewish, and Washington established a committee to investigate whether Hollywood is dragging America into war. Much like Baker apparently viewed his job in the ISG. A Texas Senator had a radio speech during that committee’s work, in which he directly said that, the “Jews of Hollywood” were dragging the USA into the Europe war.

    It is amazing how similar it is today. In the mean while Hitler was gaining more and more world domination, just like Iran’s gaining right now, and you can see Hizbullah in Lebanon and in Mexico, and its attempt to dominate Iraq and inflame the whole Middle Eastern population to stand behind it because it is the power they’ve been waiting for, strong enough to wipe Israel out and they promises to accomplish that. But the American public has people saying to it: “It’s all a Jewish war. Or a war for the Jews we have no business in”. In WW2, it cost 60 million lives, which would have been spared had the world not seen it as a “Jewish war” they had no business in, before they were dragged by Hitler in to it one by one. It’s just like slicing the payment of a car for the costumer. “Don’t take it all at once; let us slice it for you, so you can take it a piece at the time”. That’s what the world told Hitler, only he paid for world domination, and that’s what the world tells radical Islam now. Then, instead of a few thousands or maybe even not that, the world would have lost by facing him united before he gained domination; the world lost millions to take him down.

    Even after US was dragged by the Japanese into war, Washington was so obsessed with not serving Jewish interests, it refused to let the Allies’ planes, which were flying above Auschwitz on their way all the time, drop one bomb over the railroad to it, to stop the extermination. It is a historical fact that such one bomb could have saved the lives of at least the whole Hungarian Jewish community of 400,000 who were deported for extermination at the last minute before the war was won. But it was “a Jewish interest”, or a “Jewish problem”. They have been exterminated for 6 years, they can wait a while until the Allies don’t have anything better to do than to listen to their requests. Just like the western world today does his best not to worry right now about Jews being lied to in agreements, being lied to by UN forces, being in danger by Iranian proxies all around it in Lebanon and Gaza and the West Bank, and directly from Iran. That’s their problem. These are hard times, and Europe is busy trying to appease the demon, while the US is busy fighting it with one hand tied back. When we are done with fighting it we’ll draw our attention to their claims and what is being done to them. Only what is being done to them will be done to us before we know it, and then we’ll have to fight a much greater and stronger force, when Israel’s too weaken to even take a part.

  34. Stroke of Good Fortune for Edwards « Dispatches from Seth Gitell Says:

    […] an operative like Bonior, a former congressman whom I’m no big fan of, comments like this is a gift from heaven. They motivate the NetRoot and help raise […]

  35. glutalgia Says:

    My response is to the following statement: “When prodded to identify an instance in which legitimate criticism of Israel has been labeled “anti-Semitic,” the promoters of this meme come up with nothing.” The following link is to an article entitled, “Yes, It’s Anti-Semitic” , by Eliot Cohen writing in the Washington Post. This article criticizes Mearsheimer and Walt, who wrote about the lobbying influence of AIPAC and states the following:
    “Inept, even kooky academic work, then, but is it anti-Semitic? If by anti-Semitism one means obsessive and irrationally hostile beliefs about Jews; if one accuses them of disloyalty, subversion or treachery, of having occult powers and of participating in secret combinations that manipulate institutions and governments; if one systematically selects everything unfair, ugly or wrong about Jews as individuals or a group and equally systematically suppresses any exculpatory information — why, yes, this paper is anti-Semitic.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/04/AR2006040401282.html
    I beleive this quote undermines your thesis quoted above.

  36. Political Mavens » Edwards in Cambridge Says:

    […] On Monday, I was at the Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics. Members of Edwards’ campaign Nick Baldick, Jonathan Prince, Jennifer Palmieri were on hand for conference hosted by Mark Halperin of ABC News. While the formal discussions were strictly off-the-record, I can say that this team of youngish professionals impressed me. They were smart, sometimes irreverant, refreshing and willing to let the Hillary people go at it with Barack Obama’s as evidenced by Prince’s pushing his seat away from the fray in the public debate between the other two campaigns over the war. I came away from the event thinking more highly of the Edwards, of whom I have been critical. […]

  37. slxdf Says:

    Good site!!!

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