The PSUSA’s IPMN (Israel Palestine Mission Network) helpfully offers up a link on its Twitter site to an article from the Rev. Chris Iosso, the coordinator of the PCUSA’s ACSWP (Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy), one of the many alphabet groups within the PCUSA that seem to have nothing but political advocacy as their mission. The article, found at Unbound: An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice, claims that the way to war with Iran is being greased, and finds his evidence from some interesting sources:
The first thing one encounters in discussing the war drumbeat targeting Iran is the one-sidedness of the debate. Glenn Greenwald of Salon gives a quick summary on this point, and James Wall, former Christian Century editor,describes the same reality. This suggests that the talk of war with Iran, though helpfully called, “loose talk,” by President Obama in his Sunday, March 4, speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is actually quite deliberate and orchestrated talk designed to create a mindset favoring war.
James Wall, as all readers of this blog know, is an anti-Semite who would rather see Israel destroyed than defend itself, and who has repeatedly made the charge that the foreign policy of the American government is controlled by the Israelis, their lobby AIPAC in the U.S., and a cabal of Jewish “neo-cons.” He gets much of his information from a coterie of anti-Semitic news site and bloggers, some of whom he is associated with at Veterans Today (which today includes a positive review of a book entitled Confessions of an Anti-Semite) and My Catbird Seat (headline today: “Mossad Has Long Given Marching Orders to AIPAC”). If Iosso regularly reads Wall’s blog, then he should know the kind of swill he’s relying on.
Steven Walt, a political science “Realist,” analyzes Iran’s possible desire to have the capacity to build a bomb; having “capacity” has not merited being bombed in the past.
I don’t know whether Walt is a “realist” or not, but I do know that he and his fellow academic John Mersheimer literally wrote the book on The Israel Lobby, which is basically a work of conspiracy theory in which the Joooooooos are in control of our destiny as a nation, are loyal only to Israel, and have imperial designs on pretty much everything. It is a mishmash, in the words of Jonah Cohen of American Thinker, of “circular logic, factual errors, lack of original scholarship, mono-causal social science, unsubstantiated generalizations, selective use of evidence, insinuations of dual loyalty, [and] strawman counterarguments.” For a lengthy list of critiques of Walt and Mersheimer, see here. Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies wrote this about the paper that the book is based on:
Inept, even kooky academic work, then, but is it anti-Semitic? If by anti-Semitism one means obsessive and irrationally hostile beliefs about Jews; if one accuses them of disloyalty, subversion or treachery, of having occult powers and of participating in secret combinations that manipulate institutions and governments; if one systematically selects everything unfair, ugly or wrong about Jews as individuals or a group and equally systematically suppresses any exculpatory information — why, yes, this paper is anti-Semitic.
Once again, interesting source Iosso leans on. He goes on:
Professor Juan Cole, a Middle East historian at the University of Michigan, analyzes the political and humanitarian impact of the sanctions on Iran….(Gideon Levy of Haaretz writes with surprise at Israel’s ability to set the terms for the debate in the United States, warning that the U.S. may eventually consider its own priorities. For the amount of U.S. military support to Israel, see the report by Josh Ruebner of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.)
For Walt and Mearsheimer, the primary threat to Israel’s existence is not Iran but the continuing occupation of Palestine, which is changing the nature of Israel into a more warlike and exclusivist state.