American Samizdat

Thursday, July 03, 2008. *
His work on FISA has been outstanding as well. Here he takes on the thing that can't be named in most corporate media outlets.

What Greenwald Said Over At Salon

Anti-semitism" accusations have been cynically exploited for so long by right-wing advocates as a bludgeon to silence debates over Middle East policy and for cheap political gain that the accusation has become trivialized to the point of irrelevance. Most ironically of all, the ADL -- whose ostensible central mission is to battle the trivialization of anti-Semitism and Nazism -- has played a leading role in this degradation, constantly exploiting its once-credible imprimatur in highly politicized ways which have nothing to do with real anti-semitism (such as Klein's perfectly legitimate commentary) and everything to do with promoting a hard-line policy in the Middle East and against Iran which is now one of the ADL's top priorities.

Smearing people as anti-Semites for cheap political gain is repellent in its own right and merits a response. But this tactic is particularly dangerous now, as the pressure is obviously being ratcheted up in numerous circles to pursue a far more bellicose policy towards Iran. Responding to the types of disgusting smears that are in Rubin's column and many other places, Obama not only appeared before AIPAC last month and vowed that "the danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat"; that Iran's "Quds force has rightly been labeled a terrorist organization"; and "I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," but also, when asked last week by a Fox News host to play a "word association game" whereby he should say the first word that comes into his mind, Obama -- when the word was "Iran" -- responded as follows: "threat."

Whether Iran is really a threat to the U.S. (as opposed to Israel) is an absolutely critical matter to examine. It's just not tolerable to allow polemicists from Commentary and Weekly Standard to run around using the "dual loyalty" argument and "anti-semitism" smear to try to manipulate American Jews into voting for McCain and supporting hard-line policies toward Iran, while simultaneously screaming "anti-Semite" at those who argue that an attack on Iran would serve (and is motivated by) Israeli interests, not America's interests. That is a perfectly legitimate issue -- a central issue -- to be freely discussed.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:36 PM
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