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30656Steve Walt becomes a blogger at... 'Foreign Policy'!

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  • Sean McBride
    Jan 5, 2009


      Sent to you by Sean McBride via Google Reader:


      via Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss on 1/5/09

      Stephen Walt, the co-author of The Israel Lobby, today personally demonstrates that the third rail of American politics is on the blink. A year after the Washington Post's Dana Milbank sought to smear him as a crypto-Nazi, he's in business as a blogger for the Washington Post company, at Foreign Policy magazine. Today he has a brilliant post on What-if-it-were-the-Jews who were stateless in Palestine and hurling rockets towards Palestinian settlements--which side would we be on? The answer, of course, is that the U.S. would never have allowed the Jews of Israel/Palestine to suffer 60 years without the right of self-determination.

      And here is part of his realist credo:

      Realists are ... wary of grandiose plans for social engineering in other countries and believe that force should be used only when vital interests are at stake. Realists recognize that global institutions can be useful tools of statecraft, but they also believe that institutions require great power support to work effectively and are not a default solution for all global problems.

      Finally, realists are skeptical of the propaganda that states invariably deploy to justify self-interested policies, and they know that fear, greed or stupidity sometimes lead even well-intentioned democracies to do foolish or cruel things (see under "Iraq"). Realists aren’t moral relativists and don’t think all great powers are morally equivalent, but they know better than to take any country's idealistic rhetoric at face value. 

      Readers here know that I'm an old lefty contaminated by Walt's realism. That credo and Walt's post linked above, about stateless Jews, is why. Walt has shown greater concern about Palestinian human rights than just about anyone in the establishment. That he's done so with an effortless charm is now demonstrated by the fact that he's a blogger at Foreign Policy. We're coming in.

      As to my contamination--despite the credo of this blog, I'm not an idea-person, I'm a writer of passion who tries to be analytical. I've felt comfortable in the company of realists because along with the left they tried to save America from the Iraq disaster. The cruel Iraq disaster. I've been drawn to their cool sense of an American interest as an antidote to the hidden-agenda culturalism of the neocons. I've been drawn to W&M personally because they're smart philosemites. And I like to think that the human-rights, anti-imperialist left is rubbing off on those guys too. Right now we need each other.


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