Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ditch Israel Watch - I

It's not your father's isolationism. Such a consummate failure was Bush, it's hard to identify one nefarious group that didn't get a bumper crop out of his Iraq War. Anarchists dug up their balaclavas, half-dead hippies became Vietnam-era historical actors, street scholars and professors chattered on cue, Buchananites, Chomskyites, Islamists, Stalinists, red and green and Code Pink -- even Park Slope moms prowled the overstocked aisles of Mesopotamia for amazing glitter and value. It was a market with a fluidity and savoriness somewhere between a Blue Light Special and the fireworks-and-blow-jobs bazaar of Times Square, circa 1989. Even the Baathists did OK.

Readers of this blog know the post-Cold War convergence of right and left-wing isolationism -- actually, non-interventionism -- has accelerated and amplified since the neocon nakba. The mainstream US Left calls its attraction to this current "reality-based liberalism", implying that reason now prevails over ideals and ideology. And with it has come a wave of Cartesian doubt in the realm of foreign policy.

One of the big questions now is, "What has Israel done for us lately?" Why ally with that "shitty little country" if the alliance makes Muslims so mad? An affinity in liberal democracy? Matthew Yglesias would rather see planes blow up than "[poison] relations with 1.5 billion Muslims." Israel actually kills some of them! Exit Paul Wolfowitz, enter Stephen Walt.

It's a question we're beginning to hear more lately, and while it's still mostly voiced in right-wing and libertarian quarters, it's beginning to be asked outside of, Glenn Greenwald's blog and the nativist cesspool of The American Conservative. I think it might be worthwhile to start tracking it, to see how much momentum it gains among liberals and centrists shocked by Israel's military overreactions and a renascent Likud.

Ex-neocon penitents ask the question with a special fervency. So it's sad but fitting that my blogfather, former warmonger Andrew Sullivan, having progressed from the hair shirt years of his fascination with Ron Paul to rhythmic denunciations of Israel, should lead us off.
And if Rahm Emanuel is sick of them all, one can imagine how the average American feels. My own view is moving toward supporting a direct American military imposition of a two-state solution, with NATO troops on the borders of the new states of Palestine and Israel. I'm sick of having a great power like the US being dictated to in the conduct of its own foreign policy by an ally that provides almost no real benefit to the US, and more and more costs.

Emphasis mine.

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