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The Disloyalty of James Fallows Revisited

James Fallows is “amazed” by my post of yesterday, in which I pointed out that he himself is a member of a faction even as he attempts to delegitimize the workings of another faction, composed “mainly of one religion (Jewish).”

Fallows now charges me, along with a number of vociferous critics, with neglecting to note that, in addition to writing about the lobbying efforts of Jews, he referred to the lobbying efforts of two other ethnic groups, Armenian-Americans and Cuban-Americans. My sin of omission, he says, makes him “nostalgic for the comparative ‘honesty’ of the
Chinese state media I’ve been dealing with recently.”

Fallows’s original post began with the words: “A way to think about the Walt-Mearsheimer book and related controversies.” This led me to conclude that the lobbying efforts of American Jews were its “primary target.” In the interests of honesty in media, I will cheerfully acknowledge that my conclusion was hasty and that American Jews were not the primary target, just the one that happened to interest me the most and also the group that, thanks to Mearsheimer and Walt, is most in the crosshairs these days. In any case, I did give a link to Fallows’s original piece for all to read, so my omission was not exactly a Nixonian or Clintonian or Chinese Communist cover-up.

I will also cheerfully accept Fallows’s partially gracious conclusion about my post:

Obviously there is a point in here, about the inevitability that a big, plural democracy will–and should–involve a contest among many partial, “factional” views. But it’s not a point I care to address when set up this way!

But I am still wondering: why does he arrogate to himself and to his faction the right to determine what American interests are? And why does he cast aspersions of disloyalty on those with whom he disagrees about what constitutes those interests, saying of an American Jewish organization, for instance, that in pressing for a “military showdown” with Iran, “it is advancing its own causes at the expense of larger American interests”?

Such words make me nostalgic for a famous speech by Charles Lindbergh in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941 in which he said that the “the three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt administration.”



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