Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Greenstein on Littlejohn

Mr. Eugenides reminds us why we don't need Comment is Free Watch. A brilliant response to the one actual fact in Greenstein's piece, his argument that levels of anti-semitic violence are overstated in Littlejohn's documentary. Mr. Eugenides shows that argument to be false.

The rest of Greenstein's article is even worse. An unappealing mess of pointless ad hominems, suspect assertions and half-arguments:

He seems to suggest one should oppose Israel's existence because 75% of Israelis are ill-disposed towards Arabs. Why exactly do most Israelis feel hatred and fear when they hear Arabic? I'd suggest repeated attempts to wipe out their state has something to do with it. Even if it is pure racism is that a reason to oppose Israel's existence? My guess is that most Saudis would be displeased with the arrival of Jewish neighbours.

Why does America's support for Afghan fighters against the Soviet Union make them responsible for what a small portion of that movement later became? Osama bin Laden is an exception, there were more old Mujahideen in the Northern Alliance than the Taleban. Those morally responsible for the actions of Al Qaeda and the Taleban are Al Qaeda and the Taleban but in terms of outside support for those movements look to the Pakistanis, the Saudis and other Muslim states.

This paragraph is a stunning non-sequitur:

"Muslims are seen as backward and reactionary, rather than as people whose lands have been colonised."

Isn't there a difference between Muslims being colonised and Muslims losing their land thanks to trying to wipe out an immigrant population and then being defeated?

Why have territorial changes following the second world war created all the problems of the Muslim world while similar changes at a similar time in, for example, the Poland and Germany have not had the same effects?

Besides, most states are created by colonisation. How does Mr. Greenstein imagine the Turks wound up in Anatolia? Does his admirable desire to right historical wrongs extending to restoring Greek dominion over that territory?

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