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Saturday, January 09, 2010

More on Scheuer and his opinions

I have been getting a lot of hits from my post about Michael Scheuer on C-SPAN (linked from Adam Holland's blog) and the video clip that I posted.

Some of the links are coming from places like David Duke's site, or like this comment from Canadian Spectator site that says
Note that elderofziyon.blogspot makes no effort to deny Israeli influence over American foreign policy, indicating that it is criticism of such control that must be deemed anti-Semitic.
This is a pretty good indication of the intelligence of the critics, as I did not call Scheuer an anti-semite, rather the caller that said that the US was "jewed" into Iraq and that Jews were spilling American blood for their interests.

However, it seems to be an appropriate time to talk a little about what Scheuer himself said, especially since some commenters are of the opinion that Scheuer's arguments have not been refuted. On C-SPAN, he had no problem with the caller's Jew-hatred, but the essence of his response was
Ultimately Israel is a country that is of no particular worth the United States....They have no resources we need. Their manpower is minimal. Their association with us is a negative for the United States. Now that's a fact.
Scheuer has stated similar opinions before. In other arguments, he often using the same terminology of proof by assertion, insisting that his opinions are facts. For example,
[O]ne of the reasons America is attacked by Islamists is because of Washington's unlimited and unqaulified [sic] support for Israel. This is a staemnt [sic] of fact, not opinion or analysis.
Scheuer's penchant for backing up his statements by simple assertion indicates that he knows himself that his arguments are tendentious.

As for his statement that it is a "fact" that Israel has no particular worth to the US, that is absurd. Israel has provided the US with peerless intelligence (most obviously during the Cold War, when Israeli analysis of downed MiG fighters and Soviet military capabilities helped the US tremendously.) Israel's bombing of the Osirak reactor helped ensure that the US did not face a nuclear adversary during the Gulf War. Israeli inventions and innovations save US army lives, for example unmanned drones, active defense systems for military vehicles and medical inventions. Israeli use of US weapons in the field also help the US make their own weapons better.

Outside the military field, there is a good reason why Microsoft, Intel, Motorola, IBM and other high-tech superstars have R&D labs in Israel - because they see the value that Israel provides. The entire current generation of Intel microprocessors were designed in Israel. Doesn't that help the US?

To the other assertion of "fact" cited above, it is fantasy. Islamists don't hate America because of Israel - they hate Israel because it is a manifestation of America that is on their doorstep. The things they hate about Israel are exactly the same things they hate about America. If Israel didn't exist their hatred for the US would not decrease at all. There is a good reason why Israel is only considered the "little Satan."

Now, I didn't call Scheuer an anti-semite, because I had not researched other things he had said in the past. However, his hate of Israel and American Jews who support Israel indicates that this characterization would not be far off. At a debate with Alan Dershowitz, Scheuer said explicitly that American Jews led the US into war with Iraq (after Dershowitz said, accurately, that Jews on the whole opposed that war.)

Similarly, as Jeffrey Goldberg notes,
Scheuer is the man who once told an appropriately-shocked gathering at the Council on Foreign Relations that the Holocaust Museum is part of a clandestine Jewish operation to control American foreign policy: "Well, the clandestine aspect is that, clearly, the ability to influence the Congress--that's a clandestine activity, a covert activity.
There are a lot more examples of how Scheuer chooses only Jews who support Israel as worthy of his hate, not to mention other interesting opinions he has.

In his defense, Scheuer did come up with this gem, that could prove his hatred for the Jewish State is more ecumenical:
I forthrightly damn, and pray that God damns, any American –– Jew, Catholic, Evangelical, Irish, German, Hindu, hermaphrodite, thespian, or otherwise – who flogs the insane idea that American and Israeli interests are one and the same.
Well, I'll be damned!