Who Is Smearing Whom?





Mr. Wald, Professor of American Culture, University of Michigan, is the author of The New York Intellectuals: The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left (1987), and other books about radical culture in the United States.

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Last week HNN published Alan Wald's critique of an article written by Michael Lind for the New Statesman in which Mr. Lind argued that defense policy in the Bush administration is orchestrated by a group of people, many of whom are Jewish, who were allegedly shaped by Trotskyism. This week we publish an exchange between Mr. Lind and Mr. Wald. Below is Mr. Wald's statement. Click here for Mr. Lind's.

After four months, Michael Lind is still unable to produce even one piece of credible evidence to prove the exaggerated and unhelpful claims made in his widely-quoted New Statesman article of April 7th. So he issues a lengthy rant discussing a wide range of other matters. Some of his new arguments are too general to be controversial. Other statements, perplexingly, are attributed to me even though they are nowhere to be found in my critique of his original essay.

Let's be clear about the argument of Mr. Lind's "The Weird Men Behind George Bush" that garnered him so much publicity. He states that, instead of looking to socio-economic and reactionary cultural explanations for Bush's foreign policy, we must understand that "the world's only global power is being made by a small clique that is unrepresentative of either the US population or the mainstream foreign policy establishment." Moreover, the "core group now in charge" are "neoconservative defence intellectuals" of whom "many started off as anti-Stalinist leftists or liberals...." He says that "most neoconservative defence intellectuals...are products of the largely Jewish American Trotskyist movement of the 1930s and 1940s...." He also states that their political philosophy of "Wilsonianism" is "really Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution mingled with the far-right Likud strain of Zionism." This Jewish Trotskyist Wilsonianism contrasts with the "Genuine American Wilsonians," who "believe in self-determination for the Palestianians."

Mr. Lind presented us with a list of the "neoconservative defence intellectuals." Those "inside the government" are Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Lewis Libby, John R. Bolton, and Elliot Abrams. Those "outside" are James Woolsey and Richard Perle. Lind then moves to a discussion of a "metaphorical pentagon" surrounding these figures, one that includes the Israel lobby, the religious Right, and conservative think-tanks, foundations and media empires. In this last category he mention's Rupert Murdock's Fox Television Network, William Kristol's Weekly Standard, Conrad Black's National Interest, and the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times. Linking all of these is William Kristol's Project for the New American Century. Lind states of this group: "Using a PR technique pioneered by their Trotskyist predecessors, the neo-cons published a series of public letters, whose signatories often included Wolfowitz and other future members of the Bush foreign policy team." Moreover, these "neocon defence intellectuals" came to power because "they took advantage of Bush's ignorance and inexperience."

My objection to Mr. Lind's argument is first of all that he gave no evidence that "most" of this "small clique" that is "in charge" of U.S. foreign policy has any significant connection, personal or ideological, to what he calls the "largely Jewish-American Trotskyist movement." In his answer to my critique, Mr. Lind still refuses to provide documentation of such a sensational charge. Instead, he attributes to himself a different claim: "I stand by the observation that there is a distinct Trotskyist political culture, which shows residual influence on individuals who renounced Trotskyism or who were never Trotskyists but inherited this political culture from their parents or older mentors." But nowhere does he show us how a single member of the "small clique" either "renounced Trotskyism" or "inherited this political culture" from anyone.

I would be the last person to dispute that the political cultures of Trotskyism, Communism, anarchism, New Deal Liberalism, etc., can exist and be transmitted. For example, in regard to Trotskyism, it can be demonstrated that critiques of Stalinism from Marxist premises, a sympathy for the radical potential of literary modernism, and an internationalist view of Jewish identity together comprise a subcultural tradition that might be passed on. One might even write a whole book about the subject. (We might call it, "The New York Intellectuals: The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left.") Moreover, such a study would point out that the original group coalescing as "neoconservatives" in the 1970s included a few prominent intellectuals who had passed through a wing of the Trotskyist movement, especially an anti-Shachtmanite tendency known as the "Shermanites" (led by Philip Selznik, aka Sherman). But even in the 1970s, among the strands of ideological DNA that formed to create "Neoconservatism," Trotskyism was very much a receding one. Now, thirty years later, in regard to a group of mostly younger people that some are also calling "Neoconservatives," it is close to non-existent.

What about the claims of influence on foreign policy? In his second paragraph, Mr. Lind cites as his main example the phrase "global democratic revolution," which he attributes to "Schachmanites [sic] like Joshua Muravchik." Well, giving Trotskyism credit for a vague slogan like "global democratic revolution" is about as meaningful as the earlier claim that it was Trotskyists who "pioneered" the technique of sending out public letters. But at least Mr. Lind has now given us the name of an individual, albeit not one of the original "small clique" of "neocon defence intellectuals," to whom he affirms a Trotskyist connection. However, is Mr. Lind accurate in stating so unabashedly that Muravchik, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is currently, or ever was, a "Shachtmanite"? Here is what Muravchik wrote in in the Weekly Standard (Aug. 28, 2000) in his review of Maurice Isserman's biography of Michael Harrington: "Any number of those singled out in Isserman's book as 'Shachtmanites' had never been among them--including Penn Kemble, Bayard Rustin, and me.... To be sure, when in the mid-1960s I joined the Socialist party, I loved Shachtman's lectures, but what I learned from them had nothing to do with the Trotskyite arcana that had once been the substance of Shachtmanism. It had everything to do with the evil nature of communism." This statement is further proof that Mr. Lind is not to be trusted when he starts throwing around political labels, no matter how confident he sounds. Among Lind's "core" list of "neocon defence intellectuals," I doubt that any of them ever had as much personal exposure to Shachtman and his ideas as did Murachivik. Of course, an individual such as William Kristol may may well have learned about "the evil nature of communism" at the knee of father Irving, but this hardly makes the son a carrier of the Trotkyist virus. The point is that, unless we are to revert to the principle of "guilt by association," the connection between the individual and the political culture of Trotskyism must have some real substance to it.

Mr. Lind, fortunately, has now stopped referring to "Permanent Revolution," a theory that turns out to have nothing in common with the definition he originally ascribed to it. But he insists on a connection between a Trotskyist plan to "export 'revolution' " and the Bush foreign policy of invading Third World countries. True enough, following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Trotsky was reluctant to sign an unfavorable peace agreement with Germany because he favored promoting a socialist revolution there, a position that he later repudiated. But when Irving Kristol et al became Trotskyists in the late 1930s, there was no country in the world that that their tendency supported. What was meant by "revolution" was not the attack of one state on another, but bottom up social upheaval of the population. The documents of the Workers Party or the Shermanites make no reference to advocacy of intervention by any states to topple a regime and restructure society.

Utopian as their dreams might seem today, they believed the source of revolution to be a "Third Camp" of working people, not warring governments. Moreover, while I think that the Trotskyist movement in the United States has been for all practical purposes dead for decades, and is unlikely to play a part in any future radicalizations, the Trotskyist record of supporting "self-determination" of Palestinians and other oppressed populations is sterling in comparison to "Wilsonians "--including those who put the mantle of "genuine American" on themselves.

Much of Mr. Lind's polemic is directed at issues and arguments never mentioned by me, although he gives no other attributions and cites me frequently. For example, Mr. Lind states with glee that "Mr. Wald says not only that neoconservatives originated as a pejorative used by Michael Harrington...but there never really were any self-identified neoconservatives (false)." Mr. Lind then devotes a long paragraph to mocking me with anecdotes about his dinner parties with "Bill" Kristol, Jeane Kirkpatrick, et al. The problem is that nowhere in my short article do I mention the name of Harrington or claim that the neocons didn't identify themselves as such! Ditto for all the stuff about whether or not Mr. Lind is an anti-Semite (although his "proof" that he can't possibly be an anti-Semite simply because he is "partly Jewish in descent" is both amusing and unsettling), conspiracy theories, the southern religious Right, and so on.

Mr. Lind defends his unsubstantiated argument about the political history and outlook of the "core group now in charge" of U.S. foreign policy by affirming that "it is impossible...to write either history or political journalism without generalizations." True enough. But generalizations about "core groups" have to be derived from meticulous primary research into the biographies, ideas, and activities of the individuals about whom one is generalizing. For example, based on careful research, I believe that a generalization regarding "Shachtmanite" influences could be offered in regard to the "core group" that founded a publication such as Dissent magazine. But I do not believe such a generalization can apply to the core group that runs the Weekly Standard, let alone "the neocon defence intellectuals." I think it is questionable to even claim that this particular "core group" is truly "in charge"of foreign policy; and I think it is unconscionable to preach to the American public in potboiler articles the falsehood that there has been an ideological highjacking of their inexperienced president by a "weird" clique whose roots are "Jewish-American" and "Trotskyist."

Throughout his answer, Mr. Lind bombards me with with epithets such as "incompetent," "intellectually dishonest," "disingeneuous," "deliberately dishonest," displaying "profound ignorance," and being a "conspiracy theorist." (I can't quite tell if I am included among the "gutter professors.") Fittingly, Mr. Lind's article is titled, "I Was Smeared." Readers can judge for themselves who is smearing whom.


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Jan Cervenka - 1/13/2008

And of course, I should add that worldview, ideas and patterns of thought of old guard of neo-cons was inherited by newer generation of neo-conservatives (who never were Leftists, not even Liberals) and adopted by some (well, in fact by quite many) traditional conservatives who were turned into neo-cons by agile missionaries (or agitators) of this new secular religion.


Jan Cervenka - 1/13/2008

He misses the point that Lind has made and he is missing it deliberately. He is doing that by insisting that there must be established and documented any direct link between active Trotskyite past and neo-con present in someone's biography before it can be claimed that the person is influenced in some way by Trotskyism. But it is pure nonsense. Trotskyite strain in neo-conservative thinking is not manifested as much as in concrete ideas like in patterns of thought. It is (for a conservative) very abstract, idealistic, zealous and visionary. Every pragmatic politician and especially any politician of conservative persuasion (in traditional meaning of that term) would have thought that the real task of his is to forestall revolutions and would have been very suspicious and skeptical to radical ideas. The true conservative - as once Kissinger has put it - is not at home in social struggle. He will attempt to avoid unbridgeable schism, because he knows that a stable social structure thrives not on triumphs but on reconciliation. But neo-cons do it in exactly opposite way, very un-conservative I would say. They are for creative destruction (Ledeen) everywhere from Middle East to Putin’s Russia or China, they are for regime changes caused by meddling in internal affairs and if this is not working sufficiently, then by permanent bombing and invading foreign countries and all that not because these countries would be any threat for the U. S. (actually no country is and quite probably no country was even in time of Cold War) but because it is just doable as Wolfowitz put it just two days after 9/11 referring Iraq. It is exactly a way of thinking that was characteristic for Communist revolutionaries like Lenin, Trotsky or Zinoviev (but not for Stalin who was in specific way Communist reactionary conservative) and it was way of thinking that characterized many young American intellectuals in 1930s and early 1940s sympathetic to far Left, not necessarily Trotskyites by affiliation, but familiar with their revolutionary ideas and passionate zealotry, that were shaping their worldview then and that could still be influential for them in some ways even when they were far away from the far Left. The idea that neo-conservatism has some linkage to Trotskyism is not Lind’s invention, nor an invention from fever swamps of LaRouchies, nor Buchananites, nor any Liberal anti-Semite conspiracy theorists of recent date like neo-con smear gang likes to put it. The idea that neo-conservatism is in some way inverted Trotskyism is pretty old theory which is backed by some serious scholar works like Garry Dorrien’s book The Neoconservative Mind: Politics, Culture, and the War of Ideology. It is quite interesting that Wald doesn’t mention it.

Another (more condensed but still very useful) reading on this topic is Judis, J. B. "Trotskyism to Anachronism: The Neoconservative Revolution." Foreign Affairs: July/August 1995.

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19950701fareviewessay5058/john-b-judis/trotskyism-to-anachronism-the-neoconservative-revolution.html


DE Teodoru - 10/31/2003






An article in the Israeli press, written by an
Israeli officer, recommends that IDF officers study
the German destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto in order
to get pointers on how to deal with Jenin-like
operations. This brings to mind the epithet of two
leading Jewish intellectuals, Buber and Leibowitz:
ZIONAZI!

Now, are Jews Nazis?-- no way...are Zionists Nazis?--
no way...are Israelis Nazis?-- no way! However, some
Jews, Zionists and Israelis have become LIKE Nazis.
They give themselves away by speaking of THE
Palestinians and THE terrorists, interspersing one
with the other. Yet, they are ready to shout
"anti-Semite" to anyone who speaks of THE Jews, THE
Zionists or THE Israelis.

When I came to America I took quite a beating from
Irish gangs that surrounded me in the street and asked
if I am Jewish. I got so mad, like a bullheaded animal
I always said "yes."
And I came out swinging in a hopeless defiance.
Luckily, they never pulled down my pants in order to
see that I am not. But many sported bruises of their
own from the encounter. Gradually, ME became more
important than whether I am a Jew. So I got to see
what these guys were like an INDIVIDUALS-- quite
different from the uniform blob they were as a group.
Later, confused about America and constantly tormented
by nightmarish memories of my youth in Stalinist
Europe, I was taken in by the New York Jewish
Community. There I discovered that the old saying: put
six Jews in a room and you get seven opinions is a
GENETIC TRAIT. I never before met an ethnic group that
was so quarrelsome yet remained united for the common
good-- often the good of others. And, it was my Jewish
friends who admonished me never to think of THE blacks
or THE anything else. I'm speaking here of young high
school kids, not grad students!

AT UC Berkeley in the Free Speech Movement (FSM) I saw
the same people fighting for Communism-- BUT ALSO FOR
FREE SPEECH, academic relevance to social issues and
"meaningful dialogue." In sum, I discovered that the
America I had come to despise was abandoning
superficiality, which I despised, for soul searching
about race, poverty, politics and peace. The FSM was
embedded with left, right and center-- 25,000 out of
27,000 students laid aside their deferments and career
futures to, in the words of Mario Savio, grind the
gears of the university to a halt. As I moved my way
back East, I noted that this soul-searching
Americanism was spreading like measles. So what
happened to it?

I recall the term often thrown at liberals by the New
Left: "wishy-washy-liberal." Clearly LBJ and his
Democrats did not seem very wishy-washy, given the
amount of commitment they made to war. But the reason
why they were misperceived as wishy-washy is because
they come from a rich 19 Century tradition-- from
which came all the early leaders of Marxism--
believing that only they know what is best. And, while
the lumpen prols must be given a right to choose, they
cannot really grasp the complexity and abstract
character of issues as do liberals; and so, they must
be educated through "propaganda." What that really is,
is hinted by Strauss, the cynical political
philosopher who believed that the intellectually
superior must have absolute oligarchic rule so that it
can lead the masses for their own good. To do this, a
leader cannot always rely on his power of persuasion.
Rather, he must take a shortcut and be a deceiver.
That deception factor, making liberal politicians con
men, is the basic first principle of the "neocons." In
fact, there is nothing "neo" about these con men.
They've been around for a long time, secretly making
coalitions and dividing the spoils on the left;
whereas now they do it on the right.

I recall Podohoretz and Kristol from the mid-60s. I
was introduced to them by David Martin and Christopher
Emmett as a young man with boundless energy and
devotion to freedom from Communism. Emmet was an open
minded liberal who sought to promote dialog and
strongly supported my attempts to seek "meaningful
dialog and responsible debate" with the left. But
David Martin, a wise, honest personally, and heroic
figure was a totally devoted ACTIVIST, a one time
Trotskyite. I loved him and I love his memory. But I
must recognize that he was right when he accused me of
trying to give him a heart attack. I questioned LBJ's
war, even face to face with him, to the horror of
Cabinet guys, but he appreciated it. But for Martin
there can only be dilettantes or activists. And, the
activists are either unquestioningly with us or
against us. Personally, Martin was a scholar and an
intellectual giant whose CRITICAL JUDGMENT I adored.
But when it came to politics, you read out loud what
was put in front of you and did not hesitate or waste
precious time questioning it. After all, HE knew best!

I tell you this story, my friends, because David
Martin was the first neoconservative I ever met. And,
the more I met, the more I saw that them you can
really speak about as THE because the neocons all seem
to have come from the same Leninist youth background,
taking with them the style of DEMOCRATIC CENTRALISM
into their anti-communist cause. Another neocon that
most people would not judge that way was Ben Gurion.
He too believed in a plutocracy type of democracy
where you deceive and when deceiving can no longer
work, why you edict, applying power! It is ironic that
he and Begin were calling each other: "Hitler" and
"Nazi." That's because what they hated in each other--
rule by deception and discipline-- they found only
appropriate when done by themselves because each
thought that only he knew what was best for Israel.
Yet, in all other environments both were model
intellectuals of broad contemplation and deep critical
judgment, very much in contrast to Hitler where what
you see is what you get, so you either hate him or go
mad over him.

To teach to one's children to stand for principle and
disciplining one's self to be a model of what one
preaches is like pushing a boulder up a muddy hill.
But, to preach deceiving others into following you
because only you know what is best and therefore
disciplining anyone who hesitates, questions or
opposes as if an enemy, is like pushing a boulder down
a hill. So it is no surprise that the liberal parents
were able to teach their future neocon children the
tricks of power through deception without facing too
much rebellion. But once power or influence is
achieved through deception, the problem is that you
are always vulnerable to discovery. All it takes is
exposure on one point over a lifetime career of
leadership and you are through. That is why both
generations of neocons are marked by Type-A anxiety
driven personalities. They learn to wrap themselves in
radical positions and bravado because they never
achieve the kind of power their Bolshevik models
achieved, where they can destroy any deviant. And, to
be truthful, I think that guilt is the other factor
that gnaws at their egomania. They never fully cast
aside their moral precepts, just as they cannot cast
aside the Jewish tradition from which they emanate.
They are, therefore, utterly troubled and insecure
individuals. For, they are at risk of exposure both
from without, by others or from within, by their
Jewish souls.

Yet, compared to the mass of left-leaning academia,
they feel quite strong. That is because they know that
academia, while long-haired grad students in the 60s
fought for ideas and meaningful dialogue, as bald
headed profs, later on, they sold out to pride,
hedonia and sloth. Once they achieved tenure they
became martinets. They were getting even with society
for rejecting them-- while their hormones raged-- as
nerds (actually the term then was "dips"). The
neocons, for example restrained their appetites and
took out their orgasmic jubilations on ideological
politics. They stayed true to their "rule but rule
right through deception" principle. They lived
politics as their hedonia, unlike the academics who
for the most part lived their hedonia as their
politics and their egomania as their scholarship.

There is another element of psychology that seems to
apply to neocons almost across the board. Being Jews
in a non-Jewish world, they very often experienced
what I experienced. But, unlike me, they did not seek
to give as good as they got. They were afraid that
that would only prolong the agony. So, instead of
seeking out the thugs one by one to give them a dose
of their own medicine, ambushing them in disguise,
they sought to form isolated social orders of like
minded dips so that they could avoid, instead of
having to endure, this abuse. There is no question
that the "Kike" stereotype was at issue. Therefore,
they grew up disdaining themselves for not fighting
back. As a teen, you all know, it's hard to have
confidence in your superiority if you are so helpless
when attacked. And, it's much worse if the only way
you can get girls is imagination in the privacy of
your own bathroom on the toilet or in your bed in the
dark, totally as fantasy. Remember, associated with
hating others for attacking you is hating yourself for
being so timid; and, aggression so often was
associated with being a Jew; consequently, they came
to see the non-Jewish world as an intellectually
inferior and a world of jealous dummies, expressing
that jealousy as anti-Semitism.

So, from one generation of neocons to another several
traits were passed on:(1) assumed intellectual
superiority; (2) assumed rejection and alienation only
because the world is anti-Semitic;(3) being superior
by nature, must therefore be able to deceive these
"dumb goyim" into following;
(4) however, in light of the self deprecation and lack
of self-confidence, neocon "leadership" would best be
expressed indirectly, in the shadows as eminences
grises; (5) lastly, per their Leninist methodological
background, radicalism and intensity would be the
hallmarks of how they operate; consequently, an
ideological revolutionary overlay would characterize
all their political activations and mobilizations.

Taking this into consideration-- for which there is
much supporting evidence abundantly available-- one
cannot help but notice that, unlike the academics who
betrayed their youthful spark of revolution for the
hedonics and security of tenure, these "activists"
switched ideologic sides but not methods, nor
intensity. And, given the way America treated them as
"egg-headed dips" and as Jews, they carry a resentful
bitterness that reinforces their sense of superiority
to their new "dumb goyim" allies and their propensity
towards radicalism, operation from in the shadows.

But most important has been their salvation in June
1967, when the puny little Jew from Brooklyn could now
walk among his black, Irish and Puerto Rican
tormentors, head up, flashing his hereditary link to
the Israelis, who devastated several massive armies in
six days. This pride was rudely manifested by sending
Gen. Westmoreland eye patches, indicating that if he
had been as bold and as able as that "Jew boy" Dayan,
he would not be so helpless against the Viet Cong. It
is this de novo Israel nationalism that caused many a
New Left Jewish college students to leave the
internationalism of SDS and return to the ethnic
nationalism of Zionism. Now he could "be somebody"
without having to join with blacks in the South and
Reds in the North to prove himself...he is, after all,
related to the Israelis. Now neocons could return to
their own people in order to face threats from
without. meanwhile, their self-deprecating threats
from within were drowned in Zionist pride. As the
"left" turned more and more pro-Arab, the future
neocons moved more and more to the right.

Meanwhile, in Israel, Begin's movement advocating
lives for land was defeated by the left's land for
lives movement, culminating in Oslo. The neocons
despaired-- and you should hear them in private
ranting against post-Zionism and the crumbling of
their Israel-1967 image. When Rabin was assassinated,
many pitilessly said privately, "he asked for it."

Then, a million Russians came to Israel from the
former Soviet Union. Contrary to the deceptive
propaganda of Soviet Jewry Inc., which sought to get
Jews out of Russia so as to match the Palestinian
population growth, these immigrants were big shots in
Russia but in Israel were lucky if they worked close
to their own fields. And, only 1/3 of them legally
qualified as Jews (of Jewish mother). These Russians
were very anti-socialism and pro any "order" that
betters their lot at the expense of Palestinians--
which many would rank as "Fascism." They revitalized
the fortunes of a discredited general, Arik Sharon,
that Reagan's envoy to Lebanon, Philip Habib, called
"a murder and a liar."

Both left and right in Israel sought to attract
Diaspora Jews to match the growing Palestinian
population in Greater Israel (Israel and the
territories it conquered in 1967) by building very
nice homes and selling them for a song. The Hassedim,
who regarded Israel's existence as blasphemy, found
the deal an offer that they could not resist, so they
migrated in droves. Yet, to this day, some 70% of the
units are empty and it takes ten Israelis to defend
every settler.

Using the Russian Fascists and the Hasidim Crazies as
his base, Sharon has seized power, all at the expense
of the American taxpayers.
Meanwhile, in the US, Podhoretz and Kristol, who made
a career of calling others anti-Semites, finally
cemented a coalition with the anti-Semitic but
pro-Zionist (based on a warped twist of Scripture)
Yahoo Right Christians. Jewish money saved all the
right-wing think tanks and magazines that the WASP
rich financiers abandoned after the end of the Cold
War-- rendering them into strong Zionist advocates.

Since then the neocons have devoted all their Leninist
style of radicalism and Straussinan style of
leadership through deception to become a dominant
force in the American right and to place neocons in
out-of-the-way positions of authority in the US Govt..
Finally, they came upon a President who fits their
"dumb goyim" stereotype, George Bush Jr.. Allied with
end-stage testosterone surges in Cheney and Rumsfeld,
expressed as "preemption" instead of "deterrence,"
they created a formidable tsunami that stretches from
Washington to Jerusalem. They all fight together
towards one goal: maintain the Israel of their
fantasies of 1967 through the application of brute
American force on the Middle East while Israel focuses
on finishing the job that was its goal in 1967--
elimination of the Palestinians.

The lesson in all this, I feel, is that just as I
learned that amongst the totalitarian communists there
are many, many people who really want a world of
freedom and human dignity, among the right who
advocate individual freedom there are many who want,
not the individual freedom they avow, but Fascism. BY
nature, the neocons are not Fascists. They believe in
democracy, so long as their skill at deception can get
democracy to do that which they "know" is best. But
when they fail, they resort to "anti-Semitism" as a
charge that clouds the issues and makes Sharon’s
"Zionazism" hard to see for what it is. They thus
cover-up Zionzis with their "hasbara."

BUT NOT TO WORRY, for the neocons realize that no
matter how many people they fool, they are a very
tinny minority and the Zionazis they supports are a
minuscule minority of Jews, Zionists and Israelis.
Once their blinding inking of debate with the charge
of "anti-Semitism" clears and the issues are exposed
to light, it becomes very clear that the many Jewish
people endowed with the gene for six Jews in a room
coming up with seven opinions cannot possibly become
Zionazis.

Since my youth, I have always been able to counter the
many REAL anti-semites I knew, when they site a
Zionazis, with many more righteous Jews who stand up
to the cowardly deceptiveness of the neocons.
Therefore, it is incumbent on the Left to seek
"meaningful dialogue" now, as it did in the 60s. If
peace is what you want, only through dialogue, free
from the inking with ideological and pejorative terms,
can it finally be achieved-- exposing the neocons to
sunlight. Life has taught me to see the lovability in
all those I hate. That is why I do not lose hope, even
in Sharon. Another Jew, Jesus Christ, showed me that
man can become master of peace. If one Jew can do
that, you can image how much the very many righteous
Jews alive today can do, once they clear their eyes of
the neocons' "anti-Semite" con.





DE Teodoru - 10/31/2003






An article in the Israeli press, written by an
Israeli officer, recommends that IDF officers study
the German destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto in order
to get pointers on how to deal with Jenin-like
operations. This brings to mind the epithet of two
leading Jewish intellectuals, Buber and Leibowitz:
ZIONAZI!

Now, are Jews Nazis?-- no way...are Zionists Nazis?--
no way...are Israelis Nazis?-- no way! However, some
Jews, Zionists and Israelis have become LIKE Nazis.
They give themselves away by speaking of THE
Palestinians and THE terrorists, interspersing one
with the other. Yet, they are ready to shout
"anti-Semite" to anyone who speaks of THE Jews, THE
Zionists or THE Israelis.

When I came to America I took quite a beating from
Irish gangs that surrounded me in the street and asked
if I am Jewish. I got so mad, like a bullheaded animal
I always said "yes."
And I came out swinging in a hopeless defiance.
Luckily, they never pulled down my pants in order to
see that I am not. But many sported bruises of their
own from the encounter. Gradually, ME became more
important than whether I am a Jew. So I got to see
what these guys were like an INDIVIDUALS-- quite
different from the uniform blob they were as a group.
Later, confused about America and constantly tormented
by nightmarish memories of my youth in Stalinist
Europe, I was taken in by the New York Jewish
Community. There I discovered that the old saying: put
six Jews in a room and you get seven opinions is a
GENETIC TRAIT. I never before met an ethnic group that
was so quarrelsome yet remained united for the common
good-- often the good of others. And, it was my Jewish
friends who admonished me never to think of THE blacks
or THE anything else. I'm speaking here of young high
school kids, not grad students!

AT UC Berkeley in the Free Speech Movement (FSM) I saw
the same people fighting for Communism-- BUT ALSO FOR
FREE SPEECH, academic relevance to social issues and
"meaningful dialogue." In sum, I discovered that the
America I had come to despise was abandoning
superficiality, which I despised, for soul searching
about race, poverty, politics and peace. The FSM was
embedded with left, right and center-- 25,000 out of
27,000 students laid aside their deferments and career
futures to, in the words of Mario Savio, grind the
gears of the university to a halt. As I moved my way
back East, I noted that this soul-searching
Americanism was spreading like measles. So what
happened to it?

I recall the term often thrown at liberals by the New
Left: "wishy-washy-liberal." Clearly LBJ and his
Democrats did not seem very wishy-washy, given the
amount of commitment they made to war. But the reason
why they were misperceived as wishy-washy is because
they come from a rich 19 Century tradition-- from
which came all the early leaders of Marxism--
believing that only they know what is best. And, while
the lumpen prols must be given a right to choose, they
cannot really grasp the complexity and abstract
character of issues as do liberals; and so, they must
be educated through "propaganda." What that really is,
is hinted by Strauss, the cynical political
philosopher who believed that the intellectually
superior must have absolute oligarchic rule so that it
can lead the masses for their own good. To do this, a
leader cannot always rely on his power of persuasion.
Rather, he must take a shortcut and be a deceiver.
That deception factor, making liberal politicians con
men, is the basic first principle of the "neocons." In
fact, there is nothing "neo" about these con men.
They've been around for a long time, secretly making
coalitions and dividing the spoils on the left;
whereas now they do it on the right.

I recall Podohoretz and Kristol from the mid-60s. I
was introduced to them by David Martin and Christopher
Emmett as a young man with boundless energy and
devotion to freedom from Communism. Emmet was an open
minded liberal who sought to promote dialog and
strongly supported my attempts to seek "meaningful
dialog and responsible debate" with the left. But
David Martin, a wise, honest personally, and heroic
figure was a totally devoted ACTIVIST, a one time
Trotskyite. I loved him and I love his memory. But I
must recognize that he was right when he accused me of
trying to give him a heart attack. I questioned LBJ's
war, even face to face with him, to the horror of
Cabinet guys, but he appreciated it. But for Martin
there can only be dilettantes or activists. And, the
activists are either unquestioningly with us or
against us. Personally, Martin was a scholar and an
intellectual giant whose CRITICAL JUDGMENT I adored.
But when it came to politics, you read out loud what
was put in front of you and did not hesitate or waste
precious time questioning it. After all, HE knew best!

I tell you this story, my friends, because David
Martin was the first neoconservative I ever met. And,
the more I met, the more I saw that them you can
really speak about as THE because the neocons all seem
to have come from the same Leninist youth background,
taking with them the style of DEMOCRATIC CENTRALISM
into their anti-communist cause. Another neocon that
most people would not judge that way was Ben Gurion.
He too believed in a plutocracy type of democracy
where you deceive and when deceiving can no longer
work, why you edict, applying power! It is ironic that
he and Begin were calling each other: "Hitler" and
"Nazi." That's because what they hated in each other--
rule by deception and discipline-- they found only
appropriate when done by themselves because each
thought that only he knew what was best for Israel.
Yet, in all other environments both were model
intellectuals of broad contemplation and deep critical
judgment, very much in contrast to Hitler where what
you see is what you get, so you either hate him or go
mad over him.

To teach to one's children to stand for principle and
disciplining one's self to be a model of what one
preaches is like pushing a boulder up a muddy hill.
But, to preach deceiving others into following you
because only you know what is best and therefore
disciplining anyone who hesitates, questions or
opposes as if an enemy, is like pushing a boulder down
a hill. So it is no surprise that the liberal parents
were able to teach their future neocon children the
tricks of power through deception without facing too
much rebellion. But once power or influence is
achieved through deception, the problem is that you
are always vulnerable to discovery. All it takes is
exposure on one point over a lifetime career of
leadership and you are through. That is why both
generations of neocons are marked by Type-A anxiety
driven personalities. They learn to wrap themselves in
radical positions and bravado because they never
achieve the kind of power their Bolshevik models
achieved, where they can destroy any deviant. And, to
be truthful, I think that guilt is the other factor
that gnaws at their egomania. They never fully cast
aside their moral precepts, just as they cannot cast
aside the Jewish tradition from which they emanate.
They are, therefore, utterly troubled and insecure
individuals. For, they are at risk of exposure both
from without, by others or from within, by their
Jewish souls.

Yet, compared to the mass of left-leaning academia,
they feel quite strong. That is because they know that
academia, while long-haired grad students in the 60s
fought for ideas and meaningful dialogue, as bald
headed profs, later on, they sold out to pride,
hedonia and sloth. Once they achieved tenure they
became martinets. They were getting even with society
for rejecting them-- while their hormones raged-- as
nerds (actually the term then was "dips"). The
neocons, for example restrained their appetites and
took out their orgasmic jubilations on ideological
politics. They stayed true to their "rule but rule
right through deception" principle. They lived
politics as their hedonia, unlike the academics who
for the most part lived their hedonia as their
politics and their egomania as their scholarship.

There is another element of psychology that seems to
apply to neocons almost across the board. Being Jews
in a non-Jewish world, they very often experienced
what I experienced. But, unlike me, they did not seek
to give as good as they got. They were afraid that
that would only prolong the agony. So, instead of
seeking out the thugs one by one to give them a dose
of their own medicine, ambushing them in disguise,
they sought to form isolated social orders of like
minded dips so that they could avoid, instead of
having to endure, this abuse. There is no question
that the "Kike" stereotype was at issue. Therefore,
they grew up disdaining themselves for not fighting
back. As a teen, you all know, it's hard to have
confidence in your superiority if you are so helpless
when attacked. And, it's much worse if the only way
you can get girls is imagination in the privacy of
your own bathroom on the toilet or in your bed in the
dark, totally as fantasy. Remember, associated with
hating others for attacking you is hating yourself for
being so timid; and, aggression so often was
associated with being a Jew; consequently, they came
to see the non-Jewish world as an intellectually
inferior and a world of jealous dummies, expressing
that jealousy as anti-Semitism.

So, from one generation of neocons to another several
traits were passed on:(1) assumed intellectual
superiority; (2) assumed rejection and alienation only
because the world is anti-Semitic;(3) being superior
by nature, must therefore be able to deceive these
"dumb goyim" into following;
(4) however, in light of the self deprecation and lack
of self-confidence, neocon "leadership" would best be
expressed indirectly, in the shadows as eminences
grises; (5) lastly, per their Leninist methodological
background, radicalism and intensity would be the
hallmarks of how they operate; consequently, an
ideological revolutionary overlay would characterize
all their political activations and mobilizations.

Taking this into consideration-- for which there is
much supporting evidence abundantly available-- one
cannot help but notice that, unlike the academics who
betrayed their youthful spark of revolution for the
hedonics and security of tenure, these "activists"
switched ideologic sides but not methods, nor
intensity. And, given the way America treated them as
"egg-headed dips" and as Jews, they carry a resentful
bitterness that reinforces their sense of superiority
to their new "dumb goyim" allies and their propensity
towards radicalism, operation from in the shadows.

But most important has been their salvation in June
1967, when the puny little Jew from Brooklyn could now
walk among his black, Irish and Puerto Rican
tormentors, head up, flashing his hereditary link to
the Israelis, who devastated several massive armies in
six days. This pride was rudely manifested by sending
Gen. Westmoreland eye patches, indicating that if he
had been as bold and as able as that "Jew boy" Dayan,
he would not be so helpless against the Viet Cong. It
is this de novo Israel nationalism that caused many a
New Left Jewish college students to leave the
internationalism of SDS and return to the ethnic
nationalism of Zionism. Now he could "be somebody"
without having to join with blacks in the South and
Reds in the North to prove himself...he is, after all,
related to the Israelis. Now neocons could return to
their own people in order to face threats from
without. meanwhile, their self-deprecating threats
from within were drowned in Zionist pride. As the
"left" turned more and more pro-Arab, the future
neocons moved more and more to the right.

Meanwhile, in Israel, Begin's movement advocating
lives for land was defeated by the left's land for
lives movement, culminating in Oslo. The neocons
despaired-- and you should hear them in private
ranting against post-Zionism and the crumbling of
their Israel-1967 image. When Rabin was assassinated,
many pitilessly said privately, "he asked for it."

Then, a million Russians came to Israel from the
former Soviet Union. Contrary to the deceptive
propaganda of Soviet Jewry Inc., which sought to get
Jews out of Russia so as to match the Palestinian
population growth, these immigrants were big shots in
Russia but in Israel were lucky if they worked close
to their own fields. And, only 1/3 of them legally
qualified as Jews (of Jewish mother). These Russians
were very anti-socialism and pro any "order" that
betters their lot at the expense of Palestinians--
which many would rank as "Fascism." They revitalized
the fortunes of a discredited general, Arik Sharon,
that Reagan's envoy to Lebanon, Philip Habib, called
"a murder and a liar."

Both left and right in Israel sought to attract
Diaspora Jews to match the growing Palestinian
population in Greater Israel (Israel and the
territories it conquered in 1967) by building very
nice homes and selling them for a song. The Hassedim,
who regarded Israel's existence as blasphemy, found
the deal an offer that they could not resist, so they
migrated in droves. Yet, to this day, some 70% of the
units are empty and it takes ten Israelis to defend
every settler.

Using the Russian Fascists and the Hasidim Crazies as
his base, Sharon has seized power, all at the expense
of the American taxpayers.
Meanwhile, in the US, Podhoretz and Kristol, who made
a career of calling others anti-Semites, finally
cemented a coalition with the anti-Semitic but
pro-Zionist (based on a warped twist of Scripture)
Yahoo Right Christians. Jewish money saved all the
right-wing think tanks and magazines that the WASP
rich financiers abandoned after the end of the Cold
War-- rendering them into strong Zionist advocates.

Since then the neocons have devoted all their Leninist
style of radicalism and Straussinan style of
leadership through deception to become a dominant
force in the American right and to place neocons in
out-of-the-way positions of authority in the US Govt..
Finally, they came upon a President who fits their
"dumb goyim" stereotype, George Bush Jr.. Allied with
end-stage testosterone surges in Cheney and Rumsfeld,
expressed as "preemption" instead of "deterrence,"
they created a formidable tsunami that stretches from
Washington to Jerusalem. They all fight together
towards one goal: maintain the Israel of their
fantasies of 1967 through the application of brute
American force on the Middle East while Israel focuses
on finishing the job that was its goal in 1967--
elimination of the Palestinians.

The lesson in all this, I feel, is that just as I
learned that amongst the totalitarian communists there
are many, many people who really want a world of
freedom and human dignity, among the right who
advocate individual freedom there are many who want,
not the individual freedom they avow, but Fascism. BY
nature, the neocons are not Fascists. They believe in
democracy, so long as their skill at deception can get
democracy to do that which they "know" is best. But
when they fail, they resort to "anti-Semitism" as a
charge that clouds the issues and makes Sharon’s
"Zionazism" hard to see for what it is. They thus
cover-up Zionzis with their "hasbara."

BUT NOT TO WORRY, for the neocons realize that no
matter how many people they fool, they are a very
tinny minority and the Zionazis they supports are a
minuscule minority of Jews, Zionists and Israelis.
Once their blinding inking of debate with the charge
of "anti-Semitism" clears and the issues are exposed
to light, it becomes very clear that the many Jewish
people endowed with the gene for six Jews in a room
coming up with seven opinions cannot possibly become
Zionazis.

Since my youth, I have always been able to counter the
many REAL anti-semites I knew, when they site a
Zionazis, with many more righteous Jews who stand up
to the cowardly deceptiveness of the neocons.
Therefore, it is incumbent on the Left to seek
"meaningful dialogue" now, as it did in the 60s. If
peace is what you want, only through dialogue, free
from the inking with ideological and pejorative terms,
can it finally be achieved-- exposing the neocons to
sunlight. Life has taught me to see the lovability in
all those I hate. That is why I do not lose hope, even
in Sharon. Another Jew, Jesus Christ, showed me that
man can become master of peace. If one Jew can do
that, you can image how much the very many righteous
Jews alive today can do, once they clear their eyes of
the neocons' "anti-Semite" con.





Joshua Muravchik - 7/7/2003

I tip my hat to Professor Wald for the dignified restraint and scholarly care he has demonstrated in this exchange with Mr. Lind, whose method is quite the oppposite.
And I thank him for setting the record straight in response to Lind's false claim that I was once a "Schachtmannite." With Wald's "incompetent" critique, as Lind calls it, in front of him, it is a wonder that Lind could not manage to spell Shachtman.
I doubt it will make any difference to Lind, who apparently fancies himself too much a seer of the 'big picture' to tarry over mere facts, but it may be of interest to Wald or others who wish in earnest to trace such arcana that while several of my 1960s Young People's Socialist League comrades have made the same transition to neoconservatism that I have (e.g., Linda Chavez, Arch Puddington), none of the honest-to-goodness Shachtman disciples whom I knew back then have done so. Of the band who had followed Shachtman into the Socialist Party in the 1950s, where I later met them, all who are still living and whom I know about still place themselves somewhere on the moderate left. I don't know what this tells us about Mr. Lind's "ex-Trot political culture." But I'm afraid we may not be spared from finding out.


Tim Martin - 7/3/2003

First, Mr. Lind made no case at all. His reply was a well-written hack piece, but consisted (as most hack pieces do) of name-calling and little, if any, relevant information. Anyone can make vague accusations; it takes some work to back them up with facts. Mr. Lind failed miserabley at the latter.

Secondly, thanks are due to Professor Wald for clearly identifying the misinformation that Mr. Lind is spreading. Keep up the good work!


Mary E. Knadler - 7/2/2003

I agree completely with the previous poster.

Mr Lind made his case "hands down"!


tom edmondson - 7/2/2003

Mr Lind has successfully nailed Mr. Wald to the neocon wall.

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