Blogs > Liberty and Power > Two Quickies

Mar 20, 2004 9:23 am

Two Quickies

Two quick things this morning:

1. William Marina's link to the anti-Israel screed on reminds me why I always go to that site with great trepidation. One can be opposed, even strongly opposed, to the war in Iraq and the US presence in the Middle-East more generally (not to mention critical of some/many Israeli policies) without turning Israel into the Great Satan, and without imagining the Jewish-Republican-neoconservative conspirators lurking around every corner and under every bed. Pieces like Pilger's are a good example of giving a good cause a bad name.

2. With a hat tip to Hit & Run, here's an interesting piece from Slate on the domestic economic policy views of the victorious Socialists in Spain. All I can say is "where's a platform like that in the US?!" Viva la revolution!!!

Of course it only goes to show that, at the end of the day, Mises and Hayek were indeed right.

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Steven Horwitz - 3/21/2004

For the record: if the minimalist definition of a Zionist is that one thinks the state of Israel should exist roughly where it is today, count me in. If it means more, such as endorsing socialism or other specific Israeli policies, then that's another matter.

David Bernstein - 3/21/2004

Explain yourself. As I said, there are many forms of Zionism, but the common denominator is that there should be a Jewish homeland. There is such a homeland, Israel. What does being an anti-Zionist mean other than Israel should be destroyed? You could have been an anti-Revolutionary/Patriot in America in 1775. But what would it mean to be such in 1825, other than you think the US should be destroyed and returned to British sovereignty?

Matt Barganier - 3/21/2004

This is my last word on the topic, because it's been done to death.

Given that you don't consider yourself a Zionist, perhaps you have some thoughts on David Bernstein's assertion that non-Zionists obviously wish to see Israel destroyed.

I, of course, never said there's anything wrong with being a Zionist, or that Zionists are a monolithic group. (Early Zionists were split, for instance, over where the Jewish homeland should be.) I simply wished to respond to the oversimplifications and distortions in your original post which, like Mr. Bernstein's assertion, militate against intelligent debate.

David Bernstein - 3/21/2004

Zionism basically just means you believe there should be a Jewish homeland in approximately where Israel is today. It's already there. To say you're not a Zionist means you believe Israel should be destroyed. Sure, you could say that Israel should be a state, but not a Jewish homeland, but that would itself be suicidal (or homocidal), since the Palestinians living in the area would simply liquidate there Jewish neighors--the PA Constitution has Islam as the official religion, and bans Jews from owning land. Any guesses how Jews would fare in a binational state?

Pilger's article was quite obviously anti-Semitic, though, as Steve noted, it's possible to write an anti-Semitic article without being an anti-Semite. As for the idea that Iran wouldn't be an enemy of the U.S. but for Israel, did you ever hear of the hostage crisis of 1979? Which had its roots in a U.S. backed coup in the 1950s? Which had nothing to do with Israel? Nasser was an enemy of the US, too, well before the US ever supported Israel. One could go on.

And speaking of anti-Semitism, what did you mean when you wrote that "that link, which Americans were not really allowed to make in any way after 9/11?" Who was stopping them? Couldn't be the Jews with their control of the media, could it? Look into your soul, man, you won't like what you see.

Steven Horwitz - 3/21/2004

I am NOT a Zionist. (And I wish people in this thread would spell my last name properly - it's just a matter of courtesy.)

As I said in my first comment in this thread, I would cut Israel off from US aid immediately. I also think they need to get out of the settlement business and withdraw to the earlier borders. I have no problem with a two-state solution, at least as an interim step. As a libertarian, I find Israeli socialism to be a tremendous mistake, and one that has made them less able to deal peacefully and justly with the Palestinians. I'm encouraged by Netanyahu's recent economic policy proposals, which might start to undo some of that socialism.

All that having been said, I am completely sympathetic to any reasonable attempts by the Israeli government to defend the Israeli people against terrorism. The Palestinians have some legitimate claims and concerns about the Israeli government, and no libertarian should deny that. But to see those actions as the moral equivalent of terrorism that deliberately targets innocent people is in my mind EQUALLY repugnant to libertarianism. Whatever its failures, Israel is still the best game in town in that region.

Moreover, pieces like Pilger's that use rhetoric that recalls the glory days of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to explain ever wrong thing done by the US government should equally have no place in a reasonable libertarianism. One can certainly criticize much that the US and Israel does without using rhetoric and language that the David Dukes and other anti-Semites of the world can easily nod and wink at, whatever the intent and personal views of the author.

To deny that Pilger's piece can be read as anti-Semitic (and one can write something anti-Semitic without *being* an anti-Semite) is either incredibly naive or totally disingenuous. I don't think I'm over-sesitive to anti-Semitism, but to confirm my reaction, I had a non-Jewish, anti-war friend read it and she read it the same way.

First rule of a text is that it can be interpreted in ways other than what the author meant. Whatever Pilger meant or thinks, I don't know. I can only tell you how I, and someone else sympathetic to his concerns about the war and the mid-east, reacted up on reading it.

Lastly, I just don't get why it should be the case that a libertarian who thinks Israel is the best game in town over there is all of a sudden presumed to be a Zionist (with all the scary things that seems to imply) and/or has his libertarianism questioned. Are libertarians not able to distinguish among degrees of evil when it comes to government?

Daniel B. Larison - 3/21/2004

Mr. Marina's observation about the role of the state in Israel is a good one. Of course, the socialism inherent in 20th century Zionism (which is considerably different from the original idea as fashioned by Herzl) was not the issue in Mr. Pilger's article or Mr. Horowitz's post, but it is an issue that has long puzzled me about Israel and the sort of support Israel receives in this country.

In spite of Israel's collectivism and statism, many ostensibly free-market 'conservatives' and even some libertarians are great advocates for this state (though often because of a perceived strategic alliance or for perceived common cultural and religious values). It is, of course, absolutely the business of the Israeli people to determine their own system, and I do not believe they are required to adhere themselves to some other economic or political model if they would rather not. But it is the case that the sclerotic socialism of this school of Zionism is strangling what might otherwise be a tremendously successful economy (one can imagine 'the Levantine Tiger' booming very easily if the shackles were taken off of it), and it is this strangling of growth that makes subsidies to Israel so vital for that state's continued economic viability so long as the state drives out most enterprise and much potential investment. What international investment is not choked by socialism is often scared off by the blowback from occupation. So there are perfectly rational, even possibly pro-Israel reasons to be sharply critical of what the Israeli government does, both to the Palestinians by force and to the Israelis by socialist coercion. Mr. Pilger would probably be less inclined to attack the Israeli government on account of its socialism, and there is no question that Mr. Pilger was not writing from a pro-Israel perspective, but I imagine it would be entirely possible for an Israeli patriot to agree with much of his commentary.

I wonder whether Zionists will let go of their socialism before it ruins their desire to create a successful country of their own. Probably not--ruling classes in socialist states rarely let go before the system has already broken down.

On account of the centrality of socialism to modern Zionism, the juxtaposition of the comment about Mises and Hayek next to his note about Mr. Pilger does seem a bit amusing.

William Marina - 3/21/2004

Dear Steve,
Are you a Zionist?
When I was in Israel a few years ago -- 4 visits -- setting up the Florida Israel Institute for educational, cultural and economic exchanges, what struck me most was the Corporatist/Socialist structure of the economy. As the Hoover Inst. economist Alvin Rabushka has detailed over the years, in his yearly "Report Cards from Israel," about 90% of the land is controlled by the gov't.
How can you claim to be a Randian, Hayekian, Misesian, etc., and not critisize such a state of affairs.
All of that is quite apart from the treatment of the Palestinians.
That the US underwrites such a State makes us just about everything Pilger describes.
Bill Marina

Daniel B. Larison - 3/21/2004

Mr. Horowitz writes: "One can be opposed, even strongly opposed, to the war in Iraq and the US presence in the Middle-East more generally (not to mention critical of some/many Israeli policies) without turning Israel into the Great Satan, and without imagining the Jewish-Republican-neoconservative conspirators lurking around every corner and under every bed."

Mr. Horowitz is quite right that one can take all of the positions he lists without fitting the caricature he lays out, but readers should recognise that it is a stereotypical caricature of the antiwar critics of neoconservatives that such critics imagine that Israel is "the Great Satan" (a term to which Mr. Barganier and Mr. McRae appropriately take offense elsewhere on this blog) or that there are conspirators of any kind under every bed. Mr. Horowitz can, of course, be antiwar while still reciting cliches about other antiwar critics. For what it's worth, as I read the article Mr. Pilger did not claim or hint at either of these things. Mr. Pilger made a number of statements, none of which Mr. Horowitz really bothered to address on their merits. Mr. Horowitz did not really elaborate on why Mr. Pilger gives the "good cause" a "bad name", except to impose some pre-existing complaint about the attitudes of critics of the war on Mr. Pilger's article and then go from there.

Mr. Horowitz writes in one of his responses: "Although I'm not so sure the Israeli people living in fear everytime they get on a bus or go to a nightclub are too comforted by the assertion that their government are the real terrorists." I think this misses Mr. Pilger's point. I do not see where his article denies that Islamic terrorists, for example, are "the real terrorists," but his article does express frustration that acts committed by the Israeli government that would be called terrorism if committed by someone else are ignored or justified by a pliant Western media and political class. What it seems Mr. Pilger was trying to do was to indicate that abusive policies against the Palestinians (or, by extension, Iraqis or Afghans) ought to generate the exact same kind of outrage that something such as the train bombings in Madrid caused, and to argue that the historical origin of broader anti-Western terrorism emanating from the Near East had its roots in the establishment of Israel. That link, which Americans were not really allowed to make in any way after 9/11, is one that Spaniards have recently had no trouble making when the obvious source of their woes is reckless and unjust American policy in Iraq.

I suppose, depending on the level of one's libertarianism, that at some point all governments can be classified as terrorist organisations. That is, they use violence against innocents to achieve political ends. Modern war inevitably does just that, but it is somehow considered different because governments possess the 'authority' to commit such acts. Mr. Pilger certainly does not pull his punches, but I would have thought that libertarians would be the most inclined to entertain the idea of the state as a terrorist organisation.

It is fair to say that Mr. Pilger's article was decidedly anti-Israel (if this means opposing the Israeli government), but then I don't think he would deny that himself (and why, if his claims are correct, should he or anyone else deny it?). As to whether something is a "screed" or not depends to a very large degree on the extent to which a reader agrees with the argument of the author. An article can be both sober and polemical, but it will always appear as a screed to those who reject the conclusions it makes.

Fortunately, men such as Messrs. Wolfowitz, Feith and Cheney are not under my bed, but they are in the executive branch of our government, where they have done considerable damage. Their machinations to get their war are well-documented, and not just by their critics, as are their links to Likud and 'Jewish' lobbies such as JINSA and AIPAC in Washington. These links never look particularly salubrious in the full light of day, so those who point them out must always be guilty of some viciousness, or at least this is how it often plays out in commentaries. The connections between OSP and a special office of Israeli intelligence outside of the normal Mossad channels set up by Mr. Sharon are matters of fact that Mr. Pilger appropriately noted, albeit somewhat vaguely.

All in all, Mr. Pilger's article is a harsh condemnation of the Israeli government, not much worse than any you might read in most any paper in the world (that is, any paper outside the United States), but then it seems to me that it was designed to be that. I believe that he finds it outrageous, as many others do, that some governments can flout norms of justice with impunity while posing as defenders of Western civilisation. He might also be annoyed, though I cannot speak for him, that if an article very much like his had been written by the editors of Ha'aretz, it would have been considered an unexceptionable and respectable critique of broken Israeli and American policies and the American government's indifference to the injustices that its policies allow and encourage. The reinforcement of the worst elements of Israeli policies through American imitation of some elements in Iraq only deepens the problem. Mr. Pilger's article has only become a 'screed', I submit, because he dared to say those certain things that non-Israeli Westerners ought to know better than to say in public. Isn't that it?

If Mr. Pilger erred in his language, I believe it was in his unfortunate leftist penchant to somehow tie the current godless enterprise in the Near East with the Crusades by calling those responsible for it 'crusaders', as if Mr. Wolfowitz and Gen. Abizaid were doing penance and reclaiming holy land, even in theory. If Mr. Pilger does exaggerate a little, he does so when he writes this: "Israel can also claim responsibility for the law passed by Congress that imposes sanctions on Syria and in effect threatens it with the same fate as Iraq unless it agrees to the demands of Tel Aviv. Israel is the guiding hand behind Bush's bellicose campaign against the "nuclear threat" posed by Iran." These statements assume that Israel needs to take a particularly active role in pressing for the passage or adoption of such policies, when it has become an article of faith among the GOP (thanks in no small part to neoconservative pundits and policymakers) that Syria and Iran are somehow adversaries of the United States. The neoconservatives and JINSA know perfectly well what the score is, and the GOP members of Congress know it as well, so there is no need to attribute some direct responsibility for these policies to Israel, even though one can acknowledge just as well that these policies would never have the centrality or importance for American policy if pro-Israel factions did not push for them to be included. Indeed, one could go so far as to say that if a policy in the Near East were considered by these factions to be detrimental to Israel, such a policy would wither on the vine. I would have thought this was a fairly open secret, so Mr. Pilger is hardly guilty of paranoia or lunacy if he states it. Because there has never been, least of all now that Americans are in Iraq, any American interest in antagonising Syria and Iran, the beneficiary of this antagonism has traditionally been kept just out of sight, but always kept in mind.

Another Pilger error was when he lumped together all 'Zionists' with neoconservatives and to use the terms entirely interchangeably. All neoconservatives are Zionists to some degree, and many are rather fanatical and extreme ones at that, but not all Zionists are neoconservatives or in favor of the same policies. Peter Hitchens, for instance, who is profoundly opposed to the Iraq war, has written a defense of Zionism from a conservative perspective and sees neoconservative policy in the Near East as a serious threat to Israel's long-term security and interests. It is, of course, a ridiculous myth that Mr. Hitchens or his counterparts at The American Conservative oppose modern Near Eastern policy because they have some particular hang-up about Zionism or Jews; what they do not much like is the policy, the influence of pro-Israel lobbies that encourage the policy and the unquestioning perpetuation of the policy in Washington to the detriment of the national interest.

It is fair to say that only militaristic and expansionist Zionists could ever love neoconservative ideas about the Near East, while it is my impression that most people in Israel who would call themselves Zionists (rather than, say, post-Zionists) do not subscribe to this bankrupt vision of welfare through perpetual conflict. Goodness knows it would have made Herzl sick if he had seen it. Nonetheless, when Mr. Pilger refers to neoconservatives as Zionists, he is basically correct on the facts. If Mr. Horowitz does not like those facts, then that is not Mr. Pilger's fault.

Daniel B. Larison - 3/21/2004

How can a term, such as neoconservative, really be abused to the point of being meaningless (as Mr. Horowitz has suggested is the case with neoconservative), if the thing to which it refers does not exist? If there is a proper use for the term neoconservative (which would be the norm that the abuse distorts), then there must be some genuine article out there somewhere to whom it applies. Mr. Horowitz seems to want to say that opponents of neoconservatives (the people who don't exist) have incorrectly used the label such that the label is bereft of significance, while also saying that the neoconservatives whom these opponents have so labeled have never really existed. One of these ideas will have to go if the other is to remain.

It may be that some opponents have confusingly labeled neoconservatives as 'right-wing', which misses much of what they stand for and serves the partisan purpose of attributing their lunatic positions to one political party rather than acknowledging the presence of such people or those who think very much like them in both parties. It may be that some have attributed more influence to the neoconservatives alone than evidence allows, but this has generally been the result, in the mainstream press at least, of the desire to exonerate a complicit foreign policy establishment in the misdeeds of those theorists and policymakers. Others have tried to emphasise neoconservative skullduggery (some of which certainly did and does exist) to argue for the radical nature of their break with foreign policy precedent, but the truth is that they differed from their predecessors only in terms of degree in applying similar principles. One of the main things that articles about neoconservatives tend to miss is the reality that they could never have gained as much influence as they genuinely did without the tacit or wholehearted agreement of the 'realists' in the political establishment. What is perhaps most troubling about neoconservatives is not that some small clique gained undue influence (though there really is some evidence of this as well), but that the foreign policy establishment's 'consensus' about American power was so misguided that it was open to the dangerous and absurd notions that these ideologues advanced in government. That their fanaticism could have ever seemed like prudence to anyone in government is a measure of how unhealthy policy had become.

It is true that all supporters of the war were not self-described neoconservatives--obviously, this must be true, since neoconservatives are a relatively small, self-conscious group of academics, pundits and quasi-intellectuals. But one must insist that there were self-described neoconservatives, who only very recently discovered their own nonexistence, and that these individuals adhere to a particular set of identifiable ideas (e.g., pro-Likud in Near Eastern affairs, in favor of the export of "democratic revolution", rabidly interventionist with an eye for Machtpolitik and military force, critical of inefficiency in the welfare state but generally supportive of the managerial state as a whole, secularist, anti-religious, anti-tradition), and that it is principally this set of what I would consider militant and fantastic ideas that sets them apart. Properly speaking, these self-described types would have to be limited to those belonging to the original collaborators of Irving Kristol and those who now work or have directly collaborated with The Weekly Standard, which consciously set itself up as the standard of neoconservatism (and used the term) when it was first published, though their fellow travellers at AEI, The Washington Times, WSJ, FoxNews and elsewhere are indeed numerous. For instance, those at WSJ have made it a point of distancing themselves from 'national greatness' rhetoric, but they agree in principle with so much of neoconservatism that their own 'radical' position can scarcely be distinguished from it.

Some war supporters were allied with self-described neoconservatives, but did not necessarily use the term to define their views, even though they basically shared the foreign policy views of those people. In fairness, there are pro-Israel Christians who share common interests with neoconservatives, but cannot otherwise be considered to be a part of this avowedly secularist and anti-Christian (see Krauthammer for starters) ideological group. Outside of Republican circles, some war supporters were 'New Democrats' or 'New Labour', all of whom share many of the same erroneous assumptions about eroding state sovereignty, advancing globalism and American or Western 'responsibility' in the world--these differ chiefly in the means, not the basic principles involved.

Others behind the war were those either so irrationally fearful of attack or outraged at violated human rights that they swallowed all serious criticisms and doubts, only to find that they had been gulled in the process. Many supporters were unfortunately otherwise ordinary and sensible people whose faith in a government during wartime overwhelmed their common sense. The only critical thing one can say of them is that they too willingly repeat the same hackneyed excuses and preposterous theories of the avowedly neoconservative pundits and policymakers whose lead they have followed.

All of this is really secondary, and it has been said before in other places, but it seems that might have needed repeating once again, if only to refute the convenient attempt to exonerate those responsible for criminal and immoral acts. The main issue about the war, the whole theory of so-called 'pre-emption' and the broader conception of American hegemony or 'full spectrum dominance' is not whether a few people or many people authored these things, but that these things are abominations and betrayals of all traditional American foreign policy worthy of the name. No amount of sophistry or wordsmithing can hide that. Neoconservatives may or may not convince the world that they do not exist, but one may hope that the country will soon wake up to the extent of the perversity of their ideas.

Tex MacRae - 3/20/2004

Mentioning JINSA in the same breath as "neocon" is supposedly proof that Pilger is being coy about Jew=neocon? Maybe you need to check out JINSA a little more closely. Here's JINSA on Dick Cheney (who last I heard was not a Jew):

Cheney,currently on leave from JINSA’s Board of Advisors, is widely credited for persuading Saudi Arabia to allow American ground troops and war planes in their country, vital elements to the U.S. victory. He also lobbied within the Bush administration for a large military operation. At the 1992 JINSA Jackson Award dinner which included Maj. Gen. David Ivry, then Israel’s Director General of the Defense Ministry, Cheney publicly thanked the Jewish state for its 1981 bombing of the Osirak Reactor. Due to Israel’s foresighted action, Cheney said, American forces did not face a nuclear-armed Iraq in the war. It was the first time Israel received public credit for the bombing.
How about Jay Garner, the first proconsul of The New Iraq:
JINSA Report #321

March 26, 2003

Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, USA (ret.)

JINSA's Flag & General Officers Trip to Israel has, for 20 years, taken recently retired American officers to Israel (and, more recently, Jordan) for an opportunity to learn more about a critical area of American national security interest. More than 250 officers have participated, and although we ask nothing of them upon their return, many have chosen to remain associated with JINSA in some way.

I hope these two examples help clear up any misconception about JINSA. Clearly, to tie some neocons to JINSA does not imply that they are Jews. There are plenty of neocons who aren't Jews.

Sorry about the bad formatting, but I don't know what HTML can be used in these posts. I can supply links if someone wants to clue me in as to how to imbed them.

Matt Barganier - 3/20/2004

Right. There are no neoconservatives. What were we thinking?

Matt Barganier - 3/20/2004

I'm at fault if I see nothing funny in your saying that we deem Israel the "Great Satan"? Talk about loaded words: Great Satan is obviously an allusion to the language of anti-Semitic Muslim extremists, and you're putting it in our mouths. Your implication would strike a child as blatant.

Steven Horwitz - 3/20/2004

Frankly, I think the left (and right) have totally misused the term "neoconservative" so I'm not going to get into a pissing match over who is and isn't and whether or not it's the same as "Jew." I don't believe such a creature really exists, nor do I think that everyone who supports the War in Iraq fits that category, nor do I think that all so-called "neo-cons" are Jews. So I'm not gonna blast anyone about anything having to do with that word because I think (like neo-liberal) it's been blasted already by its opponents, and thus means nothing. Call 'em blindly pro-Israel, nation-building, hawks if you want. I could not care less.

Steven Horwitz - 3/20/2004

Let's be clear - I didn't call you an anti-Semite, nor is criticism of Israel necessarily anti-Semitic. I have plenty of problems of my own with Israeli policy, but that hardly means I think there's some grand conspiracy where Jews and their fundamentalist Christian friends, and the oil merchants who bankroll them, are out to remake the world.

I do think the original article by Pilger is in the "grey area." Some of that language could have been lifted right out of 1950s (or later!) white supremecist rants. If people don't want to risk their legitimate anti-Israel complaints being taken as anti-Semitism, then they ought to avoid code and language that makes it sound like the latter. Pilger and others on the anti-war Right and Left are, at the very least, guilty of being either really naive or really disingenuous when they use that language and then throw their hands up in protest when called on it.

Of course there are non-Jewish Zionists, but again this is about word choice and history/context. I asked a non-Jewish, anti-war, non-libertarian friend to read Pilger's column and she read it precisely the way I did. Sorry if I don't have sympathy for folks who make the rhetorical choices he did and then play the victim when people call them on it. I don't think I'm the hypersensitive one.

And the real point is pieces like Pilger's have bad consequences for good causes. There's plenty of legitimate critism of US and Israeli policy that one can bring up without invoking language and tone that could legitimately be read as anti-Semitic.

Finally, you need to lighten up. If you can't see sarcasm in "Great Satan" and playfulness in "undies in a wad," step away from the computer and go get some fresh air. :)

Matt Barganier - 3/20/2004

By the way, when are you going to blast Sheldon Richman for calling David Brooks a "neocon"?

Matt Barganier - 3/20/2004

Undies in a wad? Come now, Professor, that's so playground. I can't imagine such language coming from your beloved Ayn Rand or Neil Peart.

But yeah, being called an "anti-Semite" does tend to get my dander up. And it's not splitting hairs to differentiate "Zionist" from "Jew." This is basic literacy we're talking about here. Is Pat Robertson Jewish? What about those "Left Behind" guys?

Steven Horwitz - 3/20/2004

No argument that Sharon and Israel should do what they please on their own dime. I have no problem cutting them off of aid, same as I would for other countries. And, as I said, I do frequent from time to time and have found things there I agree with quite a bit, including its criticisms of the US government, so you need to say a few "serenity nows" and take a few deep breaths. Furthermore, I never suggested you were criticizing anyone in Israel but the Israeli government. Although I'm not so sure the Israeli people living in fear everytime they get on a bus or go to a nightclub are too comforted by the assertion that their government are the real terrorists.

My complaints are that they aren't as guilty as you make them seem, and that the conspiracy theory tone of why the US gov't has done what it's done (it's those Zionists pulling all the puppet strings) leaves a bad taste in my mouth, recalling, as it does, the ghost of the old "Jews control everything" nonsense of the past.

As for the neocon=Jew formulation, that ain't mine:

***The "neoconservatives" who run the Bush regime all have close ties with the Likud government in Tel Aviv and the Zionist lobby groups in Washington. In 1997, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa) declared: "Jinsa has been working closely with Iraqi National Council leader Dr Ahmad Chalabi to promote Saddam Hussein's removal from office..." Chalabi is the CIA-backed stooge and convicted embezzler at present organising the next "democratic" government in Baghdad.***

Yeah, you can split hairs on neocon=Jew vs. neocon=Zionist, but it's a hairsplit.

I sure did get your undies in a wad, didn't I? Sorry if you can't handle criticism from a libertarian who's anti-war but not so anti-Israel.

Matt Barganier - 3/20/2004

Who's calling Israel the "Great Satan"? Ariel Sharon can do whatever he damn well pleases, so long as he does it on his own dime and without U.S. intervention. Anyway, we are far more critical of the U.S. government than we are of Israel's (yes, it's the Israeli state, not the Israeli people, we criticize)--does that mean we consider Americans to be demons? And enough with the "neocon means Jew" routine. It's trite.