Formerly Israel's Ambassador to the United States, twice.. I've had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Shoval & hearing him speak on a number of occasions. He's a qualified expert on international relations, a key negotiator and mediator during the Madrid sponsored Peace Talks.
It was thus a pleasant surprise to see Mr. Shoval weigh in on the realities currently facing American politics, specifically the unhinged attacks by a core group of utlra left wing bloggers on one distinguished gentleman, Senator Joe Lieberman. This cabal under the auspices of being 'grass roots' is intent on pushing Democrats over the cliff and into the abyss of narrow minded, utlra intolerant liberalism of the worst kind. Shoval labels it extremism and rightly so. It is a push to take a minority 10-15% view and smother the democratic party majority.
The will of the People, Kossack style
Shielded under the cover of the historically dangerous pseudonym of 'the people's will', KOS and his self termed Kossacks rape & pillage the moderates, smear and tarnish Democratic leaders, all in the hopes of mainstreaming their extremist ideals and ramrodding their narrow views on those that cherish Democratic party ideals. Lieberman has been one of the most viciously targeted Democratic leaders in this campaign. He's gone from Vice Presidential candidate in 2000, to some fictitious pariah in the minds of this extreme minority.
Their true antithesis is President Bush, and their hatred for him & his policies knows no borders or tact, no civility or critical thought. Anyone who dares to stand on their own views, speak what they know or believe to be truth is attacked in an organized fashion, relentlessly like a savage mob.
Shoval eloquently looks at the realities of this form of politics, its roots and perhaps the dangerous path it is paving for America.
Lieberman's "sin" was to support President Bush with regard to the war in Iraq. In contrast to several of his Senate colleagues, he felt the free world needed to get rid of Saddam Hussein.
And like his party colleague, New York Sen. Hilary Clinton, he also thought a quick retreat from Iraq would not only fail to bring an end to American attempts to bring about some degree of normalization in that country, but would also endanger peace in other places, particular in the Middle East.
The campaign against Lieberman is being conducted by the party's left wing that has turned Iraq and its hatred for President Bush its one and only political flag. In a classic Orwellian twist, they call Lieberman a "traitor" for collaborating with Bush's "deception" leading up to the war.
The head of this campaign is Marcus Moulitsas Zuniga. Zuniga is waging his war on the internet, with a fair amount of success amongst party activists who want to rid the party not only of Lieberman, but also of Clintonism, and want to steer the party towards the radical left.
One of the most outrageous expressions of this phenomenon was Moulitsas statement that he didn't care about the brutal murder of American workers in Iraq. "Screw 'em," he wrote.
Isolationism is not new in American politics. Sometimes it appears on the radical right, sometimes on the radical left. Sometimes right and left join forces to fight a common "enemy." One of the most famous examples was the union of Nazi-supporting pilot Charles Lindburgh with Labor leader Johann L. Louis to fight President Roosevelt, who understood that great disaster was on the horizon for the free world if the United States refused to lead the struggle against Hitler.
Their joint slogan was "America should not allow itself to get dragged into a war for the English and the Jews."
Not coincidentally, that slogan is reminiscent of some of the things we hear today, such as the "study" by two professors, one from Harvard and one from the University of Chicago, who claim "Zionists" and "pro-Israel elements" had an undue role in encouraging President Bush to go to war to bring down Saddam Hussein.
Everything is still up in the air in Connecticut, but the results of that state's election could have far-reaching implications, not only for America, but also for the war on terror around the world. Particularly in our region.
Will Lieberman in fact lose his primary in CT? If so, he may opt to run as an independent. But the greater and more poignant question needs to be will the Democratic party lose if Lieberman is marginalized in this fashion? The answer to this questions is an unqualified Yes.
Will the War on Terror suffer in such a defeat as Shoval states? Most certainly yes again, and with such a loss an important buffer, a serious breach in the wall of security for the United States of America. The concept of rational decision making and policy forming by responsible leaders, tossed aside like garbage to placate partisan extremists. A terrible blow if I have ever seen one.
It is one thing to mount a rational challenge, this is par for the course in politics, but even the most casual glance at Markos Moulitsas and his Kossacking minority hordes reveals something much much uglier. A marginalized extreme with high power ambitions of subjugating its majority, while riding under a banner cynically raised but whose values are clearly not its own.