Juan Cole Channels Charles Lindbergh

As I noted yesterday, Juan Cole has a typically conspiratorial theory for explaining why congressmen ignore pro-Palestinian activists: in short, rich pro-Israel lobbyists wickedly buy them off. His solution? Establish an alternative lobbying group, which would have the following purpose:

It would direct sympathetic PACs to donate money in close races to anti-war candidates, and to defend representatives and senators who dared buck the Israel lobbies from reprisals. It would also try to unseat hawks like Joe Lieberman and Saxby Chambliss.

Never shy about wrapping himself in the flag, Cole gives this lobbying group a typically patriotic name: the “For America Political Action Committee.” But oddly, Cole tucks a somewhat different name for this group into the following URL for his blog post:

http://www.juancole.com/2009/01/only-america-first-pac-can-stop-madness.html

The “America First” PAC? Perhaps subconsciously, Cole has invoked Charles Lindbergh, who prominently protested fighting the Nazis under an organization with the exact same name. And, much like Cole has done for years on his blog, Lindbergh used the America First Committee to accuse Jewish groups of pushing the United States into World War II for exclusively Jewish interests. Here’s an excerpt from a speech that Lindbergh delivered in September 1941:

No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the persecution of the Jewish race in Germany. But no person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy both for us and for them. Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way for they will be among the first to feel its consequences.

And here’s a standard post from Cole over sixty years later, similarly blaming Jews – whom he calls “Likudniks” – for sparking international rifts to benefit tribal interests:

There are lots of reasons for which the Likudniks would like to make bad blood between the US and France and Russia in particular. France is no longer a knee-jerk supporter of Israeli militarism and expansionism. … Likewise, Russia has a more balanced view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. So, it may be that the powerful Likudniks inside the US government are deliberately engineering a diplomatic rift in NATO, so as to ensure that Paris and Moscow cannot position themselves to influence Washington’s position (usually supine) toward Sharon’s excesses.

Normally, I would avoid comparing contemporary critics of Israel and pro-Nazi Americans of the 1940s. But, in this case, Cole has made the comparison unavoidable. Remember: Cole is a professor of history at the University of Michigan, and surely knows the details of Charles Lindbergh’s political interests. In turn, by referring to his anti-Israel lobby as the “America First PAC,” Cole has let loose one mighty Freudian slip.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

Juan Cole Channels Charles Lindbergh

Must-Reads from Magazine

Republicans Need to Prepare for the Worst

Expect the impossible.

If the 2016 presidential election cycle demonstrated anything, it was that Republicans suffer from a crippling lack of imagination. That ordeal should have established that the unprecedented is not impossible. Even now, Republicans seem as though they are trying to convince themselves that their eyes are lying to them, but they are not. The tempo of the investigation into President Trump is accelerating, and a nightmare scenario is eminently imaginable. Only congressional Republicans can avert disaster, and only then by being clear about the actions they are prepared to take if Trump instigates a crisis of constitutional legitimacy.

49
Shares
Google+ Print

Can Turkey be Trusted with F-35s?

Are the warplane's secrets safe?

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the newest generation air platform for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Lockheed-Martin, which builds the F-35, describes it as “a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.” For both diplomatic reasons and to encourage sales, Lockheed-Martin subcontracted the production of many F-35 components to factories abroad. Many program partners—Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, for example—are consistent U.S. allies.

33
Shares
Google+ Print

The Trump Right’s Martyrdom of Kim Guadagno

Too many martyrs make a movement.

If the GOP is to be converted into a vehicle for politicians who evince Donald Trump’s brand of pragmatic center-right populism, Trump will have to demonstrate his brand of politics can deliver victories for people other than himself. Presidential pen strokes help to achieve that, as do judicial appointments. Nothing is so permanent, though, as sweeping legislative change. On that score, the newly Trumpian Republican Party is coming up short. If the passive process of transformational legislative success fails to compel anti-Trump holdouts in the GOP to give up the ghost, there is always arm-twisting. It seems the Republican National Committee is happy to play enforcer.

14
Shares
Google+ Print

The Conservative Crack-Up, 2017 Edition

Podcast: Conservatism in shackles while O.J. goes free?

On the second of this week’s podcasts, I ask Abe Greenwald and Noah Rothman whether the health-care debacle this week is simply a reflection of the same pressures on the conservative coalition Donald Trump saw and conquered by running for president last year—and what it will mean for him and them that he has provided no rallying point for Republican politicians. And then we discuss OJ Simpson. Give a listen.

4
Shares
Google+ Print

Macron’s Terrorism Idiocy

Hyperbole yields cynicism, not the other way around.

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron surprised almost everyone when he invited President Donald Trump to celebrate Bastille Day with him in Paris, especially after the two leaders’ awkward first meeting in Brussels in May. After all, between now and then, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and Macron has become perhaps the most vocal critic of Trump among European leaders.

16
Shares
Google+ Print