Rick Klein and Mike Chesney of ABC's The Note report that a New York Times Magazine story is coming on Barack Obama's foreign policy. I wonder if the format will be one foreign policy view on the left side page and the page opposite will have his other foreign policy view that contradicts the previous one?
James Traub has a deep and interesting look at Obama's brand of foreign policy in the forthcoming New York Times Magazine. Traub sees Obama as the choice of members of the Democratic foreign-policy establishment who share a vision of a forward-looking foreign policy to replace the Bush administration's. "Obama offers himself as the representative of a new generation, free of the dogmas that still burden the Democratic Party," Traub writes.
As for why he appears not to be catching on more broadly among Democrats, Traub writes, "perhaps anger over Iraq is less salient politically than fear about terrorism. And if that's so, voters may be more inclined to take refuge in Clinton's tough-mindedness than in Obama's multipronged Swiss Army knife."
And the experience question clearly annoys Obama. ''Hillary gets a unique pass on this issue,'' Obama said, "not by virtue of her service in the Senate but by virtue of the idea that through osmosis she gets it from Bill. And they've been actively pushing that story. . . . Ask [Joseph] Nye why Hillary's paint-by-the-numbers foreign policy makes her more qualified to handle a crisis when for most of our history our crises have come from using force when we shouldn't, not by failing to use force."
Traub worships at the altar of the United Nations (he wrote a book lauding the UN and Kofi Annan) and castigated Abe Foxman of the ADL for being too sensitive about anti-Semitism. Blogger Soccer Dad on Traub's previous treatment of Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League:
Assuming a mocking and dismmissive tone toward his subject, Traub paints Foxman as a petty autocrat who's looking for antisemites under every bed. If one sentence sums up Traub's opinion of Foxman it's:
The A.D.L., for all its myriad activities, is a one-man Sanhedrin doling out opprobrium or absolution for those who speak ill of Israel or the Jews.
In contrast, Foxman's critics and opponents are described in complimentary terms. Tony Judt is "highly regarded"; J. J. Goldberg, is the editor of a "leading" American Jewish weekly; Mearsheimer and Walt are "distinguished figures."
Aside from the snide tone pervading the article, it's filled with mistakes and omissions.
Traub's conclusion: Foxman is an anachronism. Apparently, anti-Semitism is going to up and die any day now, and we won't have to guard against it ever again. And that's when there will be fairies on bluebells, and lions lying down with lambs, and Jews will return to their homes in Arab and European countries, and everyone will welcome them with open arms!
Be forewarned - James Traub's daylight mugging of Abe Foxman (pictured below) is permeated with the arrogance and amateurism that we've come to expect from the mainstream press in recent decades. Nevertheless, its publication in The New York Times Magazine signals a watershed moment in the war of ideas currently being waged between advocates of a broader American engagement in the Middle East and those who would have the US withdraw. Traub's virtual assasination of Foxman makes it all but official that the Democratic withdrawal camp is flirting with the argument that has long passed for common wisdom among European intellectuals - that American militarism in the Middle East is rooted in this nation's ugly and overly influential Jewish lobby.
The only thing this article does for me is remind me why so many people boycotted the NY Times a few years back.