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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The debate about the Mearsheimer/Walt book continues. 60 Minutes declines to do a segment

The debate about the Mearsheimer/Walt book continues. See below. Their book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy will appear next month.

----- Original Message -----
From: James Morris
To: justicequest2000@yahoo.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 7:57 AM
Subject: '60 Minutes' refusing to do a segment on the soon to be released Mearsheimer/Walt book

Subject: Re: '60 Minutes' refusing to do a segment on the soon to be released Mearsheimer/Walt book
To: patcohen@nytimes.com
CC: "Kuzmarov, Sara" , mbouton@thechicagocouncil.org, crose@bloomberg.net, yvega@bloomberg.net, charles.gibson@abc.com, brian.williams@nbc.com, mike_kirk@wgbh.org, newshour@pbs.org, jlehrer@newshour.org, jwoodruff@newshour.org, rsuarez@newshour.org, gifill@newshour.org, nightly@nbc.com, mfugo@thechicagocouncil.org, tbowman@npr.org, jnortham@npr.org, vohara@npr.org, Send an Instant Message seelyek@yahoo.com, mkelly@npr.org
Dear Ms. Cohen,

Thank you for your article which appeared in the New York Times today. You might be interested in the recent email exchange (included after your article below) that I had with Sara Kuzmarov (an associate producer in the office of Jeff Fager who is the executive producer for '60 Minutes') as '60 Minutes' is also refusing to cover the Mearsheimer/Walt book after it is released next month.

With kindest regards,

James Morris

August 16, 2007
Backlash Over Book on Policy for Israel
By PATRICIA COHEN
http://www.nytimes.com

“The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” is not even in bookstores, but already anxieties have surfaced about the backlash it is stirring, with several institutions backing away from holding events with the authors.

John J. Mearsheimer, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, and Stephen M. Walt, a professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, were not totally surprised by the reaction to their work. An article last spring in the London Review of Books outlining their argument — that a powerful pro-Israel lobby has a pernicious influence on American policy — set off a firestorm as charges of anti-Semitism, shoddy scholarship and censorship ricocheted among prominent academics, writers, policymakers and advocates. In the book, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and embargoed until Sept. 4, they elaborate on and update their case.

“Now that the cold war is over, Israel has become a strategic liability for the United States,” they write. “Yet no aspiring politician is going to say so in public or even raise the possibility” because the pro-Israel lobby is so powerful. They credit the lobby with shutting down talks with Syria and with moderates in Iran, preventing the United States from condemning Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon and with not pushing the Israelis hard enough to come to an agreement with the Palestinians. They also discuss Christian Zionists and the issue of dual loyalty.

Opponents are prepared. Also being released on Sept. 4 is “The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control” (Palgrave Macmillan) by Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League. The notion that pro-Israel groups “have anything like a uniform agenda, and that U.S. policy on Israel and the Middle East is the result of their influence, is simply wrong,” George P. Shultz, a former secretary of state, says in the foreword. “This is a conspiracy theory pure and simple, and scholars at great universities should be ashamed to promulgate it.”

The subject will certainly prompt furious debate, though not at the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a Jewish cultural center in Washington and three organizations in Chicago. They have all turned down or canceled events with the authors, mentioning unease with the controversy or the format.

The authors were particularly disturbed by the Chicago council’s decision, since plans for that event were complete and both authors have frequently spoken there before. The two sent a four-page letter to 94 members of the council’s board detailing what happened. “On July 24, Council President Marshall Bouton phoned one of us (Mearsheimer) and informed him that he was canceling the event,” and that his decision “was based on the need ‘to protect the institution.’ He said that he had a serious ‘political problem,’ because there were individuals who would be angry if he gave us a venue to speak, and that this would have serious negative consequences for the council. ‘This one is so hot,’ Marshall maintained.”

Mr. Mearsheimer later said of Mr. Bouton, “I had the sense that this phone call pained him deeply.”

Mr. Bouton was out of town, but Rachel Bronson, vice president for programs and studies at the council, said, “Whenever we have topics that are particularly controversial or sensitive, we try to make sure someone from another point of view is there.” In this case, she said, there was not sufficient time to set up that sort of panel before the council calendar went out. There are no plans to have the authors speak at a later date, however.

“One of the points we make in the book is that this is a subject that’s very hard to talk about,” Mr. Walt said in an interview from his office in Cambridge. “Organizations, no matter how strong their commitment to free speech, don’t want to schedule something that’s likely to cause controversy.”

After the cancellation Roberta Rubin, owner of the Book Stall, a store in Winnetka, Ill., offered to help find a site for the authors. She said she tried a Jewish community center and two large downtown clubs but they all told her “they can’t afford to bring in somebody ‘too controversial.’ ” She added that even she was concerned about inviting authors who might offend customers.

Some of the planned sites, like the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, a cultural center in Washington, would have been host of an event if Mr. Mearsheimer and Mr. Walt appeared with opponents, said Esther Foer, the executive director.

Mr. Walt said, “Part of the game is to portray us as so extreme that we have to be balanced by someone from the ‘other side.’ ” Besides, he added, when you’re promoting a book, you want to present your ideas without appearing with someone who is trying to discredit you.

As for City University, Aoibheann Sweeney, director of the Center for the Humanities, said, “I looked at the introduction, and I didn’t feel that the book was saying things differently enough” from the original article. Ms. Sweeney, who said she had consulted with others at City University, acknowledged that they had begun planning for an event in September moderated by J. J. Goldberg, the editor of The Forward, a leading American Jewish weekly, but once he chose not to participate, she decided to pass. Mr. Goldberg, who was traveling in Israel, said in a telephone interview that “there should be more of an open debate.” But appearing alone with the authors would have given the impression that The Forward was presenting the event and thereby endorsing the book, he said, and he did not want to do that. A discussion with other speakers of differing views would have been different, he added.

“I don’t think the book is very good,” said Mr. Goldberg, who said he read a copy of the manuscript about six weeks ago. “They haven’t really done original research. They haven’t talked to the people who are being lobbied or those doing the lobbying.”

Overall Mr. Mearsheimer said he thinks the response to their views will be “less ferocious than last time, because it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make the argument in a convincing way that anyone who criticizes the lobby or Israel is an anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew.” Both Mr. Mearsheimer and Mr. Walt pointed to the growing dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq, criticism of Israel’s war in Lebanon and the publication of former President Jimmy Carter’s book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” as making it somewhat easier to criticize Israel openly.

“This isn’t a cabal; this isn’t anything secretive,” Mr. Walt said.

American Jews who lobby on Israel’s behalf are not all that different from the National Rifle Association, the anti-tax movement, AARP or the American Petroleum Institute, he said, “They just happen to be really good at it.”

“It’s the way American politics work,” he continued. “Sometimes powerful interest groups get what they want, and it’s not good for the country as a whole. I would say that about the farm lobby and about the Cuba lobby.”

To the authors, dual loyalty is as American as Presidents’ Day sales and “Law & Order” reruns. As Mr. Mearsheimer explained: “People are allowed to have multiple loyalties. They have religious loyalties, loyalty to family, to an organization and you can have loyalty to other countries. Someone who is Irish can have a loyalty to Ireland.”

“The problem,” he said “is when you raise the subject of dual loyalty, many people tend to think of it in the context of the old anti-Semitic canard and making the argument that Jews are disloyal to the U.S.”

In print and in interviews both authors have stressed that they hold no animus towards Israel or Jews. “We think Israeli policy is fundamentally flawed,” Mr. Mearsheimer said, “just as we think American policy is fundamentally flawed.”



James Morris wrote:

Dear. Ms.Kuzmarov,

Thank you for your reply. Mr. Fager's decision was a predictable one. Especially with the pro-Israel bias in the 'American' press/media for the most part. There is no valid reason for '60 Minutes' not to cover such (other than putting the interests of Israel ahead of America's).

Sincerely,

James Morris

"Kuzmarov, Sara" wrote:

Dear Mr. Morris,

Thank you for your interest in "60 Minutes".
We have considered your segment idea, but have decided not to pursue it at this time.

Sincerely,

Sara Kuzmarov

Sara Kuzmarov | Associate Producer | 60 Minutes | 212-975-8018 | cell 917-509-3037 | kuzmarovs@cbsnews.com

From: James Morris [mailto:justicequest2000@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 4:27 PM
To: Kuzmarov, Sara
Subject: Re: Please forward to Jeff Fager

Dear Ms. Kuzmarov,

Thank you for letting me know on the telephone yesterday that you had received my email (included below as well) on behalf of Mr. Fager. Could you let me know (at your convenience) if he has received it yet?

It is going to be interesting to see whether '60 Minutes' does a segment (to include an interview with Dr. Mearsheimer and Dr. Walt) about the soon to be released Mearsheimer/Walt book. Professors Mearsheimer and Walt had a scheduled upcoming appearance about their book cancelled because of the pressure put forth by the same pro-Israel lobby that they address in their paper and in their soon to be released book (see the following URLs for additional info related to such):

Speechless in Chicago:

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2007/08/07/s...ess-in-chicago/

Scroll down to the August 10th, 2007 blog entry at the following URL if interested further:

Walt and Mearsheimer Banned in Chicago:

http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/



With kindest regards,

James Morris

James Morris wrote:

Dear Ms. Kuzmarov,

Thank you for your time on the telephone this now.


Please forward to Jeff Fager:


Email to Jeff Fager (executive producer of CBS '60 Minutes'):

Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007 03:04:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: For Jeff Fager


Dear Mr. Fager,

I would like to know if '60 Minutes' has a segment in the works to interview respected political science professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt about their soon to be released book (it will be available on September 4th, 2007) which was expanded from their paper ( http://tinyurl.com/obe2j ) on the pro-Israel lobby and how it pushed US to attack Iraq and is doing similar to get US to attack Iran. If '60 Minutes' does not plan to do a segment about the Mearsheimer/Walt book, I would like to know why (I have a pretty good idea already though). The following currently can be found at www.amazon.com after doing an author search there for 'Mearsheimer':

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
The Israel Lobby,” by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory. Originally published in the London Review of Books in March 2006, it provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy.

Now in a work of major importance, Mearsheimer and Walt deepen and expand their argument and confront recent developments in Lebanon and Iran. They describe the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the United States provides to Israel and argues that this support cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds. This exceptional relationship is due largely to the political influence of a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction. Mearsheimer and Walt provocatively contend that the lobby has a far-reaching impact on America’s posture throughout the Middle East—in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and the policies it has encouraged are in neither America’s national interest nor Israel’s long-term interest. The lobby’s influence also affects America’s relationship with important allies and increases dangers that all states face from global jihadist terror.

Writing in The New York Review of Books, Michael Massing declared, “Not since Foreign Affairs magazine published Samuel Huntington’s ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ in 1993 has an academic essay detonated with such force.” The publication of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is certain to widen the debate and to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.
About the Author
John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago. He has published several books, including The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.
Stephen M. Walt is the Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and was academic dean of the Kennedy School from 2002 to 2006. He is the author of Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy, among other books.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Product Details
Hardcover
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (September 4, 2007)
Language: English


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THE HIGH COST OF SUBSERVIENCE TO ISRAEL (by Paul Findley):

http://www.itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=75908


See the following URL for more about the 'A Clean Break' as discussed by Bamford on pages 261-269/318-321 of 'A Pretext for War' (the paperback version of 'A Pretext for War' includes an additional chapter about the AIPAC espionage case which the pro-Israel biased US media is not covering either for the most part - neither is the BBC!):

http://www.warwithoutend.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=28769

Bamford also had the following 'Iran: The Next War' article for Rolling Stone magazine which mentions the AIPAC espionage case as well:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story...an_the_next_war

Brit MP and Father of Commons Tam Dalyell exposed the 'JINSA crowd' initially in 'Vanity Fair' and via the articles linked at the bottom of the following URL:

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/05/13/179248


Even Colin Powell conveyed for Washington Post editor Karen DeYoung's new bio book about him that the 'JINSA crowd' was in control of the Pentagon - one can look up 'Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs'/JINSA in the index:


A War for Israel? Colin Powell seems to think so:

http://www.warwithoutend.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=61128

Prominent Mideast analyst associated with AIPAC espionage case:

http://www.itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=40990

BBC: The War Party (if only Americans could see such a program!)



http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4...he+War+Party%22


PS: Please take a look at the exchange with 9/11 Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton via the 'What Motivated the 9/11 Hijackers?' link at the upper left of the following URL which includes a transcript of the exchange with Hamilton:

The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel:

http://representativepress.blogspot.com/20...upport-for.html

SCANDAL: 9/11 Commissioners Bowed to Pressure to Suppress Main Motive for the 9/11 Attacks:

http://representativepress.blogspot.com/20...ent-inside.html


You might also be interested in viewing the following youtube video short which has the moderator of the terrorism 'expert' panel trying to cut off the 'Q & A' at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA this past April before the main motivation for 9/11 was conveyed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7EB1FxENxQ

Additional at the following URL:

http://www.warwithoutend.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=39590


Israeli Interrogators in Iraq:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3863235.stm

Impeachment: The Conversation Continues (be sure to scroll through all the comments at the bottom of the following URL):

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/200...sation_c_1.html

Here is a tinyURL for the above one:

http://tinyurl.com/yo6u63

With kindest regards,

James Morris

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