Sunday, March 01, 2009

Chait on Charles Freeman

There's more than a few nits to pick with this Jonathan Chait piece.

Setting aside his cartoonish portrayal of the 'neoconservatives', he cedes the “ realist” label to a group of folks that are anything but realists. .

However, his portrayal of Charles Freeman is more than a little chilling. I would agree that it's possible to view Walt and Mearsheimer's work as not anti-semitic. However, when one praises that work to the Saudis – a group of very committed anti-Semites, one has to wonder. Israel may be imperfect – what country isn't? But compared to the rest of the middle east – Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Iran, etc. it's a beacon of civilization. Excepting Iraq*, and for the time being Turkey (busy sliding into the abyss of sharia), there are no other countries in the region where there are actual elections where power changes hands peacefully.

Further, the bit about Tienanmen Square is also pretty telling. I guess that it will be OK with Freeman when the government calls out the tanks to supress the next Right To Life march in DC, or on the other side of the fence, the Million Man March. Once it's ok to opress the one, it's ok to repress the other.

There are potentially a lot of ways to describe Freeman's ideology, but “ realist” isn't one of them. “Reactionary” is probably closer to the truth – the interests of the current government is paramount.

* You know, that Iraq. The democracy produced by the work of the Evil Bush Neocons. . There were certainly plenty of “realists” more than content to let Saddam invade other countries, gas the Kurds, keep the rape rooms going 24/7, etc.