Saturday, November 18, 2006

Top Democrats to Voters: Enough Already, Now Shut Up!

"We've Got a War to Run!"


"On the other side is the massed legions of cold war liberalism, of whom the notorious neo-cons ­ now denouncing Bush and Rumsfeld -- are but one battalion. Remember the origins of the neocons, as shock troops of the Israel lobby. Back in the mid-70s Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol , Albert Wohlstetter and the others saw the US facing impending defeat in Vietnam, and feared that the McGovernite peaceniks would rot the resolve of the Democratic Party to stand behind Israel. So they fanned out into the Committee on the Present Danger, the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal and stoked up the furnaces of the new cold war and greased the wheels of the Reagan campaign.

The apex neocons are a pretty discredited lot these days but there are legions like them spread across the nation's think tanks and policy institutes, all imbued with exactly the same fears that reverberated across the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Commentary, and the New Republic a generation ago: that America's "resolve" will soften; that there will be accommodation with Iran; that Israel will be abandoned. And in fact such fears are now more vivid. Thirty years ago the weight of the Israel lobby wasn't being excoriated by mainstream professors from Harvard and Chicago. Thirty years ago respectable professors like Tony Judt weren't publicly pillorying the Anti Defamation League. Thirty years the name of Israel, blowing apart children in Beit Hanoun and Gaza didn't stink in as many nostrils as it does today.

So the stakes are very high, and the party of permanent war ­ represented at its purest distillation in the form of senators like Joe Biden and congressmen like Rahm Emanuel are regrouping for a counter-attack, their numbers refreshed by a phalanx of incoming blue dogs, ranged against the 60-80 "out now" Democrats. You think pro-war Tom Lantos ­ one of the most rabid Zionists in Congress -- will be an improvement on antiwar Jim Leach as chair of the House International Relations Committee? The Democratic foreign policy establishment cannot and will not tolerate the notion of Cut and Run in Iraq. Expect the Israel lobby to say, post November 7, "We're back, stronger than ever!" Expect reassertions of the essential nobility of the attack that ousted Saddam Hussein, a deprecation of the destruction of Iraq as a society, a minimization of the outrages committed by US forces. "

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