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Sunday, March 20, 2011

J'accuse The "Libya Lobby" and "Libya Firsters"

Among the ironies of the intervention in Libya is that those who most bitterly complain about the Israel Lobby were in fact part of a Libya Lobby, as pointed out by David Bernstein earlier this month:
As regular readers know, I’ve been highly critical of Professor Stephen Walt for his shoddy coauthored “Israel Lobby” book.

One response of my critics has been along the lines of “how dare an ignoramus like you criticize a great foreign policy expert like Stephen Walt.”

Call me an ignoramus if you will, but at least I didn’t accept funding– assumedly, directly or indirectly, from the Libyan government–for a trip to speak to Libya’s Economic Development Board, and then write a puff piece about my visit. (It’s not clear whether Walt simply accepted travel funding, which is in itself not objectionable if you, like Michael Moynihan, then refrain from writing a puff piece, or if Walt, like some prominent academic invitees to Libya, accepted a large “consulting fee”.)

One fun irony: Walt, after fulminating about the American domestic “Israel Lobby”, becoming, perhaps unwittingly, a part of the “Libya Lobby” sponsored by the Libyan government.

Added irony bonus: Walt, a leading critic of the friendship between the U.S. and Israel, concludes his piece with the hope “that the United States and Libya continue to nurture and build a constructive relationship.” Because, you know, Israel is so much nastier than Qaddafi’s Libya.
Yeah, all those Libya Firsters created this entire problem, by holding back pressure for reform in Libya and thereby putting U.S. policy second to the interests of a foreign country.

But I will not go the extra yard and accuse the Libya Lobby and Libya Firsters of pledging allegiance to Libya.

That would be too much.  For me.

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  1. Churchill: Mr. Walt, would you sleep with a wonderfully fashionable, yet ruthless dictator and enemy of America for five million dollars?

    Mr. Walt: My goodness, Mr. Churchill ... Well, I suppose ... we would have to discuss terms, of course ...

    Churchill: Would you sleep with him for an all-expenses paid, thirty-six hour mini-vacation in Tripoli, Libya?

    Mr. Walt: Mr. Churchill, of course!! Absolutely!! What kind of enemy to Israel and its world-dominating lobby do you think I am?!

    Churchill: Sir, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling ... What? ... What did you say??

  2. How is this going to turn out well?

    "The West Point analysts’ statistical study of the al-Qaeda (who fought in Iraq) personnel records comes to the conclusion that one country provided “far more” foreign fighters in (Irag in) per capita terms than any other: namely, Libya. Furthermore, the records show that the “vast majority of Libyan fighters that included their hometown in the Sinjar Records resided in the country’s Northeast.”

    "The contributions of two cities in particular stand out. One of these has in the last month become a household name: Benghazi. The second is precisely Darnah: the city in which, according to Libyan government sources, an Islamic emirate was declared when the unrest started in February"

    John Rosenthal, PJ Media

    Abu Muqawama, CNAS

  3. R2P - Aimed at Israel?

    "U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also said on Thursday that the justification for the use of force was based on humanitarian grounds, and referred to the principle known as Responsibility to Protect (R2P), "a new international security and human rights norm to address the international community's failure to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity."

    "Resolution 1973 affirms, clearly and unequivocally, the international community's determination to fulfill its responsibility to protect civilians from violence perpetrated upon them by their own government," he said.

    Inside the NSC, Power, Smith, and McFaul have been trying to figure out how the administration could implement R2P and what doing so would require of the White House going forward. Donilon and McDonough are charged with keeping America's core national interests more in mind. Obama ultimately sided with Clinton and those pushing R2P -- over the objections of Donilon and Gates."

    FP, The Cable

    "The always astute Omri Ceren has more regarding the R2P concept over at Commentary Contentions. He notes that there is a bit of history regarding the concept's application to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. There was a group created in 2009, the International Coalition For The Responsibility To Protect, that has spoken out against Israel, notably during Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. The Coalition released this statement:

    The recent escalation of violence in Gaza has raised serious questions about the use of the Responsibility to Protect to urge international action to protect civilians in the conflict. The Responsibility to Protect has been referred to, notably by Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, but also others who claim that crimes committed in Gaza by Israeli forces have reached the threshold of R2P crimes."

    American Thinker, Ed Lasky