Mo Dowd is catching flak from some quarters, including some quasi-progressive quarters, for writing an “antisemitic” column. Let’s take a look.
La Dowd wrote of some recent hawkish statements from Paul Ryan,
Ryan was moving his mouth, but the voice was the neocon puppet master Dan Senor. The hawkish Romney adviser has been secunded to manage the running mate and graft a Manichaean worldview onto the foreign affairs neophyte.
A moral, muscular foreign policy; a disdain for weakness and diplomacy; a duty to invade and bomb Israel’s neighbors; a divine right to pre-emption — it’s all ominously familiar.
You can draw a direct line from the hyperpower manifesto of the Project for the New American Century, which the neocons, abetted by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, used to prod an insecure and uninformed president into invading Iraq — a wildly misguided attempt to intimidate Arabs through the shock of overwhelming force. How’s that going for us?
After 9/11, the neocons captured one Republican president who was naïve about the world. Now, amid contagious Arab rage sparked on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, they have captured another would-be Republican president and vice president, both jejeune about the world.
That’s pretty much how it looks from where I sit, too. But Jeffrey Goldberg wrote,
Maureen may not know this, but she is peddling an old stereotype, that gentile leaders are dolts unable to resist the machinations and manipulations of clever and snake-like Jews. (Later, Hounshell wrote, “(A)mazing that apparently nobody sat her down and said, this is not OK.”)
So we can’t tell the truth about the necons because many of them are Jewish? Who writes these rules, anyway? Oh, right. Never mind.
I’m not sure I was consciously aware that Dan Senor was Jewish, but I looked him up, and it appears he is. I do remember that Jeffrey Goldberg was a major cheerleader for invading Iraq, however. He was beating the “Saddam is uniquely evil” drum for all he was worth in 2002. Bought the neocon lies hook, line, and sinker.
Goldberg may be consoling himself with the convenient lie that people who disagreed with him then and now are just antisemitic. Mr. Goldberg — stop being a schmendrik.
However, it does seem Dowd’s comments inadvertently struck a nerve. Ben Jacobs at Washington Monthly echoed some of Goldberg’s sentiments — “Dowd, in assailing neo-conservative influence in GOP foreign policy, veered dangerously close to anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish puppet masters.”
I’m sorry, but when somebody says “puppet masters” the first “trope” that pops into my head is an old Robert Heinlein novel about slugs from outer space that invade earth. I realize the metaphor has been used in anti-semitic speech, but it’s been used in lots of other speech as well and is too good a metaphor to retire because Some People want us to forget they helped get the United States into arguably the biggest foreign policy blunder of its history. Race, creed or ethnic heritage are irrelevant.