Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category


Sunday items

March 22, 2009

Two things on Israel and Gaza: First from The New York Times, a soldier’s account of the military’s attitude toward killing civilians, and, from The Guardian, a follow-up piece on a group that’s interviewed a number of Israeli soldiers.

A piece on The Democratic Republic of Congo and a photography exhibit on the women of Congo.

For those of you who missed it, here’s AP on Iran’s response to Obama’s holiday message.

And finally a Wall Street JournalĀ piece on the man who could take Karzai’s place in Afghanistan.


Chas Freeman bows out

March 11, 2009

As Glenn Greenwald noted yesterday in this post, Chas Freeman, who Obama nominated to head up the National Intelligence Council, was a difficult man to find if you were only scanning mainstream media sources. Now that Freeman has withdrawn his nomination, a conversation is brewing about exactly how orthodox one has to be to serve the government when dealing with issues vis-a-vis Israel.

It’s clear that most of the pressure against Freeman’s nomination came from the Israel lobby, specifically Steve Rosen, a former AIPAC official who is currently under indictment on espionage charges. Rosen led the charge as a number of politicians and pundits piled on: Representative Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), The New Republic’s Marty Peretz, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer.

Freeman was ardently defended in a number of quarters, and most such accounts tell of a nuanced, feisty, and fearless thinker. David J. Rothkopf at Foreign Policy has a good post on why Freeman’s withdrawal is a foreign-policy establishment loss. To get an idea of the tenor of these arguments, look no further than the comments on Rothkopf’s post.

Also, Max Blumenthal has a more thourough rundown in his piece over at The Daily Beast.