Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mearsheimer and Walt

Tonight I was working a presentation by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, who created a storm a while ago by writing a paper about the Israeli lobby's influence. Their thesis is that American support for Israel is chiefly the result of organizations such as AIPAC and occasionally the Anti-Defamation League. I think the best rebuttal came from one of the students tonight, who pointed out that while the lobby's influence might be part of the reason our foreign policy is how it is, it's more likely that we're suffering from incompetence on our end. Well, yeah, probably.

An event like this attracts a certain sort of person.

I can no longer summon the ardour required to enjoy a good drag-out debate on the Middle East. After this summer's Lebanon/Israel war, I just feel like I've been cheated on by the whole region. Not a little bit of indiscretion on its part, no, nor just a simple mistake in the heat of the moment, the Middle East has cheated on me in that cold, twisted way that someone who is just looking to see how you will react does it.

After Lebanon, I realized that the side I'm supposed to be "rooting" for because it doesn't tell people their village will be destroyed, then bombs them as they're fleeing, and then bombs their funeral processions -the side of the glorious Party of God- still kidnapped two soldiers while killing 8 others while launching rockets against local civilians to divert attention.

So I'm sitting through this talk tonight and plenty of idiots from both sides are flinging their own myopic but allegedly legitimate perspectives around and all I can think about is that I don't have the energy for this right now. The Middle East is gorgeous and has a lot of interesting things to say, but it's got a sloppy pussy and a fickle dick.


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