Another day, another round of accusations that Obama is surrounded by people with strong anti-Israel positions. In this case, the person extends his antipathy to American Jews who live in “New York” and “Miami.”
Obama’s national campaign co-chairman is Merrill “Tony” McPeak and he’s also his military advisor. The good general has just put himself in the media spotlight by attacking Bill Clinton, otherwise I wouldn’t know who he is. The Republican Jewish Coalition does know who he is, however. What did McPeak say in an interview to an Oregon newspaper in 2003? This:
[A]We don’t have a playbook for the Middle East. You know, for instance, obviously, a part of that long-term strategy would be getting the Israelis and the Palestinians together at . . . something other than a peace process. Process is not a substitute for achievement or settlement. And even so the process has gone off the tracks, but the process isn’t enough. . . . We eed to get it fixed and only we have the authority with both sides to move them towards that. Everybody knows that. [Q] So where’s the problem? State? White House? [A]New York City. Miami. We have a large vote – vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it.
Aah, he clearly loves New York!
Those who want to stick a knife in the Obama campaign are focusing on that statement and his later response:
. . There’s an element in Oregon, you know, that’s always going to be radical in some pernicious way, and likely to clothe it in religious garments, so it makes it harder to attack.
Is he talking about Jews again? Perhaps. But he does continue:
So there’s craziness all over the place. I think there is enough good will on the Israeli side – I’ve spent a lot of time in Israel, worked at one time very closely with the Israeli air force as a junior officer, and so – but that’s maybe the more cosmopolitan, liberal version of the Israeli population – I think there’s enough good will there – I don’t know if there is still on the Palestinian side, because they’ve been radicalized pretty well. But there’s enough good will, I would hope, on both sides that you can get the majority into some kind of a big tent, and make something better than what you’ve got now. If you do that, you’ll still have radicals on both sides doing stupid things, but that is basically a problem in internal security. Hopefully. You can handle it with police. But if you don’t do that, I don’t see any way to put together a strategy for the Middle East. I mean it’s just kind of a linchpin .
He also said,
“Let’s say that one of your abiding concerns is the security of Israel as opposed to a purely American self-interest, then it would make sense to build a dozen or so bases in Iraq. Let’s say you are a born-again Christian and you think that Armageddon and the rapture are about to happen any minute and what you want to do is retrace steps you think are laid out in Revelations, then it makes sense”.
Shades of Walt & Mearsheimer’s update on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, with a few Christian Zionists thrown in for good measure.
Well, Christian Zionists ain’t voting for Obama anyway so there’s little to lose there. But Jewish voters are voting for Obama and darn it, can’t he get just one adviser who actually has something positive to say about Israel or American Jewry?
Anyway, the Republicans are on this like flies to goat excrement:
Washington, D.C. (March 25, 2008) â€” The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) today called on Sen. Barack Obama to remove Gen. Merrill â€œTonyâ€ McPeak as his military advisor and national campaign co-chairman.
â€œBy choosing to have a military advisor and national campaign co-chairman like General McPeak, serious questions and doubts are once again being raised about Senator Obama’s positions and judgment on Middle East issues,â€ said RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks.
In a 2003 interview with the Oregonian, Gen. McPeak resorted to old stereotypes and unfortunate language by blaming the lack of progress with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process on the undue political influence of American Jewry. The problem, said McPeak is â€œNew York City. Miami. We have a large vote â€” vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it.â€
â€œRather than putting the blame where it belongs â€” on the Palestinian leadership and their continued reliance on terror, General McPeak finds it more convenient to blame American Jewry and their perceived influence,â€ said Brooks. â€œThis is the same dangerous and disturbing canard being promoted by the likes of Jimmy Carter and authors Mearsheimer and Walt in their book, The Israel Lobby.â€
In addition, Gen. McPeak has a long history of criticizing Israel for not returning to the 1967 borders or returning the Golan Heights to Syria, as he wrote in Foreign Affairs in April 1976.
â€œSenator Obama continues to surround himself with advisors holding troubling and disturbing anti-Israel bias. General McPeak’s views are alarming. We call on Senator Obama to immediately remove General McPeak from his campaign leadership role and as a key advisor,â€ said Brooks.
Not to worry, folks. Today the NY Times ran their 13,429th op-ed attacking Hillary Clinton viciously.
McCain must be laughing himself silly, as are all the Republicans who now know that you can go to a war under false premises, have thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians die without any exit in sight, accumulate debt hand over fist, destroy confidence in the justice system, undermine the relationship between the branches of government, appoint extreme right wing justices to the Supreme Court, let corporate America get away with whatever they want, watch gas prices double, watch the US Dollar melt down so that it is no longer the international rock-solid currency it was, take the country to the verge of a deep recession, AND THEN WATCH THE DEMOCRATS BLOW A GIMME CAMPAIGN FOR PRESIDENT OVER THE MOST IDIOTIC MISTAKES.