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 Lobbywhich 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 errorslack of original scholarshipmono-causal social scienceunsubstantiated generalizations,  selective use of evidenceinsinuations 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.)

University of Michigan professor Juan Cole is a man of the far left whose animosity toward Israel shows up regularly at his blog Informed Comment. Gideon Levy is an Israeli journalist who seems to despise his own country, and is a frequent source of “information” and quotes for the VT and MCS crowd, including Wall, as well as the IPMN. Josh Ruebner…well, all you need to know about him is his job title–“national advocacy director” of an organization that seeks Israel’s destruction as a Jewish state. Once again, sources at least questionable, and undoubtedly one-sided.
For the most part, Iosso’s article is the same kind of claptrap that I looked at yesterday coming from Jim Winkler of the United Methodist Church. It is liberally sprinkled with nonsense such as this
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.
which really tells you all you need to know about the substance.
What’s interesting here, as I’ve indicated, is not the substance but the sources. Iosso–who cannot be seen as a marginal character in the PCUSA, but is clearly a leader of its political advocacy efforts–seems to draw from the same well as the IPMN. There are far more mainstream figures that one could cite if one wanted to make the case–and a strong one–that a military attack on Iran would be a failure, counter-productive, or even disastrous for the Middle East, the U.S., and even Israel. But these guys don’t qualify, and it makes me wonder just how much the thinking that dominates the IPMN has captured the highest levels of leadership in the PCUSA. That might even be a worthwhile question for commissioners to ask at this summer’s General Assembly.