Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Profiles in dishonesty

Or, why I try not to write about the Middle East.

James Fallows writes, in about as balanced and fair a tone you can imagine, that in recent months we've witnessed Israelis, Armenians, and Cubans have a negative effect on American foreign policy. To point this out, Fallows writes,
is not to be anti-Armenian, anti-Orthodox, anti-Cuban, anti-Catholic, or anti-Semitic. Nor is it to deny that members of each lobby claim, and probably believe, that what they're recommending is best for America too. But in these cases they're wrong. And noting these groups' power and potential to distort policy mainly means recognizing that James Madison's warnings about the invidious effects of "faction" apply beyond the 18th century in which he wrote.
He is then gratuitously, egregiously, dishonestly accused of singling out the Jews for criticism. He could have just as easily added the long-term influence of the Taiwan lobby -- keeping the US from recognizing the People's Republic for thirty years! -- but it doesn't matter. No matter how balanced, how fair, how "sensible" you try to be, there are people who have no interest in fairness, balance, or sensibility. And they'll lie about you to keep tempers high.


battlepanda said...


battlepanda said...

Doh! lost my comment.

The gist was, this kind of dishonesty is exactly why we all need to speak up about the mid-east situation. They can't call us all anti-semites without looking stupid, now could they.