The Mearsheimer-Walt thesis: our readers write
Our September issue featured the story "The Israel Lobby & Global Hegemony: Revisited" by WW4R editor Bill Weinberg, arguing that "Israel replicates the historical cycles of Jewish scapegoating by serving as imperialism's proxy." Refuting the thesis of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their new book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Weinberg contends that the Iraq adventure is fundamentally a war for control of oil. "Yet even the anti-war left increasingly chases after shadows like the supposed Zionist conspiracy, abandoning principles of anti-imperialism," Weinberg writes. He accuses Mearsheimer and Walt of belonging to a tradition of "nativist xenophobia," and warns that the eventual backlash against Israel could come in "an orgy of anti-Jewish hatred which will only play into the hands of Israel's advocates of 'transfer,' finishing off the work of ethnic cleansing that began in 1948." Our September Exit Poll was: "Mearsheimer and Walt: Heroic truth-tellers or right-wing conspiracy theorists?" We received the following responses:
From Bert Golding in Houston, Texas:
Your very thoughtful deconstruction seems to me to assume a greater capacity for deception and long-range planning than is actually possessed by our national leadership. Even though I appreciate the accuracy of much of your insight, I believe the more direct interpretation by MW, which also contains accurate perceptions, has more influence than you ascribe to it.
Bill Weinberg replies: Actually, it is the MW thesis which assumes an improbable degree of deception and long-range planning. The Iraq adventure was a reckless gamble, not a studied and methodical effort. But the Pentagon has actually been quite explicit that (in its own words) "our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the [Persian Gulf] region and preserve US and Western access to the region's oil."
From Kim Alphandary in Eugene, Oregon:
Neither. Unfortunately these two Professors exemplify the type of academic that populates US universities.
Bill Weinberg replies: Unfortunately, we fail to see how being right-wing conspiracy theorists necessarily contradicts this...