Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The delusional totalitarianism of Obama’s “Global Marshall Plan”

By Bernie Quigley

- At The Hill on 3/30/10

In the first Gulf War the popular Colin Powell was at the helm, but people were scared. We hadn’t been at war in a long time and John Kenneth Galbriath called the age a “culture of contentment.” At the college I worked at there were somber prayer meetings in the chapel and an astonishing number showed up. Many reflexively blamed Israel for Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. One professor stopped by my house as I was watching the news. Iraq was lobbing bombs into Israel, quite possibly loaded with the famed WMDs. The Israelis were distributing gas masks. The professor, shaking a finger at the TV, said, “See, the Israelis are inciting violence by passing out gas masks.”

This would not be so much a case of anti-Semitism as one of simple ignorance and arrested development. But it is in its kernel the same complaint that General David Petraeus has brought against the Israelis creating Arab-Israeli tensions by their positions on Jerusalem and the settlements. Pat Buchanon makes the point that “ . . . each new seizure of Palestinian property, each new West Bank clash between Palestinians and Israeli troops inflames the Arab street.” As the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens points out, so does Lady Gaga.

I was surprised by the comments coming from Petraeus. Can you imagine the Russians saying such a thing? Possibly he is posturing for a VP matchup with Hillary in 2012. She gets her foreign policy advice from Tikkun, a magazine which hopes “ . . to heal, repair and transform the world. “ In 1996 Obama approached Tikkun and asked to speak at their national conference in Chicago “ . . . and he gave a rip-roaring pro-peace, pro-environment, pro-labor speech,” reports Michael Lerner in the magazine. Obama met with the author and assured him that “he felt fully aligned” with “ . . . our vision of a Global Marshall Plan” although he warned the author that “ . . . he thought it would be a hard sell ‘inside the Beltway.’” Let the healing begin.

We are today experiencing institutionalized denial regarding Israel. Ideas which fix in a generation and are thus expected to be “true” by the next generation. They almost never are. Netanyahu’s problems these past weeks in Washington are being caused by internal politics in Israel. Although it has gone fully unreported in the press, Netanyahu’s leadership is being challenged by folksy new elements that could take control away from him later in April. Netanyahu must look tough on the Americans to survive through to May. What is happening is that the benign center of equilibrium between right and left is changing in Israel. Israel is rising, virtually alone, to a new generation which could have enormous influence in the first decades of the new century. And the institutionalized denial of the American policy makers and publicists are trying to push it back to the past.

The constant reinforcement of outmoded paradigms, including these purely delusional, totalitarian visions of Obama and Hillary (and the State Department? And the Army?) have made the MSM’spolitical discourse a polite but absurd garden party conversation between David Brooks and Gail Collins, gleefully parroting and reinforcing generational irrelevancies. They create a conditioned reflex in the public, which brings shock and awe when history, time and original life force awakens again - the Tea Parties and the state sovereignty movement, Sarah Palin – even Twilight and Ron Paul - and now Israel.