Monday, June 28, 2010

The neocon project, now in focus

I thought that the whole thing about how when neocons say pro-America they mean pro-Israel was something of a cliche, but then Matt Yglesias goes ahead and finds a WaPo columnist unconsciously arguing just that about a Malaysian politician. Malaysia, of course, has unparalleled influence in the Knesset and the Palestinian Authority, so the Leader of the Opposition in that nation clearly deserves scrutiny for its stance on Israel.

Now, look, I'd say that I'm extremely pro-Israel, in terms of its right to exist. I'm also extremely pro-Palestinian, in terms of its right to actually have a state. These positions are not in tension because there is an excellent win-win idea out there, which goes by the name of the two-state solution. As someone who generally falls on the left on political issues, I'm well aware that my views on Israel, while common, are not universal. There are many on the left (and on the right as well) who would not be very sad at all if Israel were to just disappear. This sentiment bothers me, but I usually don't think about it because these people are irrelevant to the situation. Much like Malaysia is to the broader Arab-Israeli conflict. I could spend all my time agonizing over the extremist positions of nonentities, but trying to get everyone to agree with you on an issue such as Israel (as Jackson Diehl seems to value) instead of just getting the important stakeholders on board is absolutely insane and almost certainly bound to fail. The absolute certainty of the failure of the neocon project is heartening, I suppose, though there's the nagging problem that they seem happy to keep trying until they take us all out.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.