Thursday, April 20, 2006

Scotty's favorite word

Scotty Johnson’s – a/k/a Tinkerbelle or the Large Nasal Passage – favorite word is “execrable.” Spotty thinks Scotty likes it because it makes him feel naughty and he thinks he’s swearing. (A sprinkling of Scottys and Spottys could be confusing here, boys and girls, so pay close attention.) Scotty used “execrable” again (for the second or third time) to describe an article, published in the London Review of Books and on the Kennedy School of Government website that criticizes US foreign policy in the Middle East, and its unquestioning support of Israel in particular:
I wrote at length about the execrable Mearsheimer/Walt "Israel Lobby" paper published by the London Review of Books and the Kennedy School of Government a month ago in "They too dare to speak out!"

Of course he wrote at length. That’s the only way our prolix Scotty can write. (Spot does admit that he shares a propensity to be self-referential with Scotty, but he hopes not the affection for leaden prose!) Anyway, here’s Harvard’s abstract of the paper:

In this paper, John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago's Department of Political Science and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government contend that the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy is its intimate relationship with Israel. The authors argue that although often justified as reflecting shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, the U.S. commitment to Israel is due primarily to the activities of the “Israel Lobby." This paper goes on to describe the various activities that pro-Israel groups have undertaken in order to shift U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.

This is, of course, heresy to Scotty & Co., which has an Israeli flag on its website. (For extra credit, compare and contrast with the Mexican flags displayed in the recent immigration protests.) You see, if Israel cannot reclaim all its Biblical lands, the rapture will never come! And then Scotty won’t get to see Jesus. So naturally he’s upset. Who could blame him?

Mearsheimer and Walt have attracted the chorus of criticism they predicted (what clairvoyance!), but they have also picked up some impressive supporters, including Juan Cole, the University of Michigan professor who is the proprietor of the expert blog Informed Comment. By the way, Professor Cole recently won the first every blogger award in the 2005 James Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism:
Blogging at its Best: Juan Cole, Informed Comment.

' Blogging represents a significant new form of communication--sometimes merely scurrilous, sometimes a vital extension of public debate--and of journalism. "Informed Comment," Cole's Iraq War web log, shows the form reaching its highest social value. Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, brings his scholarly expertise to the analysis of daily events. He speaks Arabic, Persian and Urdu and has lived for long periods in various places in the Middle East. As a blogger, he becomes a sort of hybrid scholar/journalist as he gathers links to US and international news, then draws from his professorial expertise to provide running commentary on the insurgency, the American military response, and nuances of Middle Eastern politics and religion. His easy, humorous style recalls I. F. Stone's Vietnam-era newsletters and makes his dispatches an indispensable tool for understanding the social justice implications of this complex conflict.'

Juan or Scotty? Juan or Scotty? Juan or Scotty? Spot puts his check mark in the box next to ‘Juan Cole.’ And he thinks you should too, boys and girls.

Spotty says that until we are even-handed with the Israelis and the Palestinians, we won’t know peace.

Tags: spanks

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