Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Israeli Lobby

Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest might suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that U.S. interests and Israel's are essentially identical.

Owen Bennett-Jones of the BBC interviews John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of The Israel Lobby which was temporarily banned in the United States but ultimately published here as The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

My favorite feature of BBC broadcasts that I am fortunate enough to catch on my local AM station is The Interview. A BBC interview is different in quality from anything to be found on American media. No question is allowed to go unanswered because follow-ups are guaranteed. Owen Bennett-Jones has a habit of drilling down to get answers from his elusive guests, and Mearsheimer and Walt are not afforded any exception from this practice.

I recommend jumping in 38 seconds into this 27+ minute tape. Alternatively, those so inclined can peruse an
abridged transcript here.

What Is the Meaning of Jack Howard's Defeat in Australia?

Bush's "Deputy Sheriff" has lost his badge and his seat.

Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd is Australia's new prime minister after defeating John Howard's Liberal-National coalition in Saturday's parliamentary election.

How can this have happened?

Howard is dismissed after his 11-year reign (four straight elections from March 1996) leaving a booming economy and an iron grip on national security and illegal immigration?


  • Howard's reforming Australian employment laws, making it easier for employers to sack workers and promoting individual work contracts instead of union-based award conditions.
  • Disgruntled voters in Australia's biggest cities, with job security falling while house prices and home mortgage interest rates rise.
  • His decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change in the face of a record-setting Australian drought.
  • His close political and personal affiliation with Bush and Howard's decision to join the 2003 war on Iraq which led the media to describe Howard as Bush's "deputy sheriff" in the region.
Political analyst Nick Economou told Reuters:
Howard has had some successes in managing a prosperous economy. But then they made a major error by instilling insecurity in people at a time of prosperity.
Does this sound familiar?