Monday, November 29, 2010

Middle East Mountebanks Exposed

I mentioned that something good might come of the latest WikiLeaks document dump, but I wasn't expecting it so soon.

The headline at this morning's Los Angeles Times hardcopy reads: "
Hidden Diplomacy Exposed: Among the WikiLeaks disclosures are pleas by Arab nations to the U.S. to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities." I'm a little flabbergasted that evidence repudiating the shibboleths of Middle East "experts" is getting such prominent play, considering that New York Times is tweaking every angle from the cables to pump up how allegedly brilliant the Obama administration's been in supporting "tougher measures" against Iran.

Well, not.

Mere Rhetoric has a blog entry featuring the kind of commentary rarely found in the legacy press: "
Wikileaks – Anti-Israel Foreign Policy Experts Got Saudi Arabia, Other Arab Countries 100% Backward On Iran Attack." Folks'll want to read it over carefully, savoring the not-too-subtle schadenfreude that animates the commentary. I can't help myself, though. So here's a bit of the payoff from the conclusion:

Mearsheimer and Walt

Either Walt, Mearsheimer, Lynch, Chas Freeman, and their ilk don’t know much about the Middle East, or they’re ignoring what they do know in order to push their own foreign policy wishful thinking as objective analysis. Which is fine – everyone gets to have an agenda – but now can we at least dispense with the aggravating hagiographies to their vaunted neutrality and expertise? Because apparently their wrongheaded assumptions are influencing policymakers, and – predictably – that’s not going well.
Go back and read the whole thing for the background context. I just love how we've got all these "expert" Israel bashers who've been shown the door with the release of these diplomatic cables. In the years following the Iraq deployment, radical leftists routinely decried the continued prominence of war hawks such as William Kristol, et al., who they demonized as clowns or a killers alternatively. Of course these same antiwar/anti-Jew critics will be working overtime to rewrite one of the key findings of this latest doc dump. This time, though, even some of the dead tree press corps are getting the story right.

PICTURED: Israel-bashing Professor Stephen Walt, at right, signs a book, while Professor John Mearsheimer mugs for the camera.