Blogs > Cliopatria > Noted Here and There ...

Feb 25, 2004 2:40 am

Noted Here and There ...

Juan Cole has launched an Americana in Arabic translation project. It aims to produce inexpensive paperback editions of classical American texts for distribution throughout the Middle East, beginning with a selection of Thomas Jefferson's work. He gives updates on its progress at Informed Comment. The Project deserves your financial support.

Adbusters magazine embarrasses itself by identifying the Jews. It is, at the least, in bad taste. Among others, Michael Totten, Tim Blair, Oxblog and the Volokhs are calling them out on it. Does it deserve contempt, disdain, or mockery? How about this?

These persons are suspected of conspiring on history's behalf. We have identified the male historians among them. The others are suspect of being fellow travelers.
Ophelia Benson
*Timothy Burke
*Oscar Chamberlain
*Jonathan Dresner
*Kenneth Heineman
*Robert"KC" Johnson
*Ralph E. Luker
*Wilson J. Moses
*Thomas G. Palaima
This has been a public service announcement by the AdCouncil.
I found Adbusters' pigeonholing annoying, in part, because I belong to the same denomination and ethnicity as both Bush and Cheney. They might also find that coincidence annoying.

If you thought Clayton Cramer doesn't love his guns, you haven't seen his mailbox. From such places, dispassionate scholarship is fired off to [ed: perhaps I should say"at"] publishers.

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Jonathan Dresner - 2/25/2004

Here's the response which I posted on the AdBuster's discussion page:

"I'm very disappointed. I'm used to AdBusters being a source of incisive connection-forming, discourse analysis that reveals hidden structures. Mostly, I'm used to finding that AdBuster analysis is at least as good as my own and usually significantly better. Not this time.

"Jews have an interest in Israel, and tend to support it more than average even when, like myself, they are critical of its policies and leadership. That's a connection that is easy to explain and not going to go away anytime soon. Israel is in a strategic location and is the target of a great deal of negative attention by its near neighbors. That's also easy and continuing. The question, which would have made this whole discussion more interesting is: why does the US continue to support Israel and consistently fail to make progress towards peace? Is the situation really that intractable that a hyperpower which is a major customer and patron of every state in the region can't solve it? No.

"The Neocons, wittingly or no, are perpetuating the use of Israel by the US as a (de)stabilizing distraction. Without Israel to build Arab unity-through-opposition, religious tensions and post-colonial monarchical and ethnic divisions would probably have erupted in drastic and traumatic cataclysms. But Israel also provides a powerful pacifying service for the US as well, clarifying the relative power of Arab states: when their oil can't even buy enough hardware to seriously threaten Israel, then surely Israel's patron must be kowtowed to.

"The Neocons are NOT friends to Israel specifically or to the Jews generally. They are using Israel to maintain the Middle East as a metastable periphery.

"That's the kind of analysis I expected from AdBusters."