Is Chas Freeman, who has withdrawn his nomination to chair the National Intelligence Council, a victim of “the Israel Lobby”?
Freeman himself certainly thinks so. Andrew Sullivan concurs.
I find Freeman’s views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as summed up in the “money quote” in this post from Andrew, to be quite lacking in the “balance” that many argue the U.S. needs in its approach. This isn’t balance so much as one-sided Israel-blaming, for everything including the failure to “gain [the] admiration and affection” of any of its neighbors. (How many of them were prepared to extend it?) That aside, though, there really are other reasons to not want Freeman in a high-level foreign policy position. Jonathan Chait gives examples of people who have nothing to do with the Israeli lobby who have opposed the appointment because of Freeman’s very cavalier attitude toward human rights, particularly his record as an apologist for the Chinese regime. For more analysis, see this great post by Ron Radosh. No, Freeman’s comments were not taken out of context, and Ron demonstrates that in his defense of the Tiananmen Square crackdown (or rather, his criticism of that crackdown for not being resolute enough), Freeman also defends brutal actions against peaceful protesters right here in the U.S. in 1932. Continue reading