Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Watch Out! It's The Lobby!

I noted here that Chas Freeman, Obama's nominee to chair the National Intelligence Counsel, had a decidedy friendly attitude towards nations that are hostile to the US and a similarly hostile attitude towards some of our allies, especially Israel.

The W$J article I linked to started kicked up quite a hornets nest in the world of foreign affairs professionals, along with a few members of Congress, including Chuck Schumer, Peter Hoesktra, and Joe Lieberman. No one could believe that an apologist for the Saudis and Communist Chinese was being tasked with directing the preparation of the hopelessly politicized National Intelligence Estimate. Nonetheless, Freeman's proponents insisted on pushing his nomination until yesterday when Freeman withdrew.

As Captain Ed notes, this entire controversy has flamed up in professional journals, blogs, and some of the more intellectually rigorous editorial pages. Most of the Mainstream Media has been way behind on this. The NY Times, among many others, did not write an article about Freeman until they wrote articles about his withdrawal!

Freeman himself was charming and gracious in defeat:
I have concluded that the barrage of libelous distortions of my record would not cease upon my entry into office. The effort to smear me and to destroy my credibility would instead continue. I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country. I agreed to chair the NIC to strengthen it and protect it against politicization, not to introduce it to efforts by a special interest group to assert control over it through a protracted political campaign.

(Excuse me while I light a cigar with a $100 bill I got from The Israel Lobby)

Americans dodged a bullet here, even if they don't know it. But more are on the way. There is a left wing approach to foreign affairs that goes beyond anti-war protests. Freeman was more willing than most to baldly state his beliefs and loyalties. But there are many in the foreign service and intelligence communities who harbor similar views, but are more circumspect in expressing them.

We have already seen the Administration make friendly overtures toward China while giving Britain the back of its hand. We have seem hundreds of millions in aid go to Gaza, while the Administration publicly holds its nose at the prospect of an Israeli government with the Dread Bibi at its head. We have seen them pave the way for the discrediting and removal of Hamid Karzai. We have seen them betray Poland and the Czech Republic for the sake of placating Russia's fears of an effective missile defense system. This isn't the work of "overwhelmed" newbies. These are carefully thought out expressions of the Left's preferred foreign policy prescriptions.

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