Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Had They Known

Had the public (and specifically Jewish voters, who voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama) known that Obama would appoint the Saudi-funded, Israel-bashing, analytically-disabled Chas Freeman to a key national security position, I wonder if he would have cleared the bar of acceptability for commander-in-chief. But the appointment has indeed occurred. (And would human rights activists have thought twice about electing a president who picked some who declared that the Chinese’s biggest mistake with regard to the Tienanmen Square massacre  was “the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud”?)

And as for those friends of Israel on the left who looked Obama in the eye and got a sense of his soul, do they join in on Marty Pertez’s mea culpa? Well, it does appear that Obama appointed someone ”who is quintessentially an insult to the patriotism of some [sic] many of his supporters.” Moreover, we have placed someone in a key national security role whose analysis was purchased by the House of Saud and whose contribution to Middle East discourse includes such gems as: “For its part, Israel no longer even pretends to seek peace with the Palestinians; it strives instead to pacify them. Palestinian retaliation against this policy is as likely to be directed against Israel’s American backers as against Israel itself.” (Remarks to the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, May 24, 2007)

Some enterprising White House reporter might start asking whether the president had any qualms about Freeman’s views and why his financial relationship with a foreign power shouldn’t  raise grave concerns about Freeman’s independence and, in turn, the president’s judgment in selecting him.