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J’Accuse!

The weekend before last on Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol recommended what he took to be a terrifying campaign strategy for Hillary Clinton. "Run ads featuring an Ohio voter," he urged, "who says, 'I attended an Obama rally and was … Read More

By / March 3, 2008

The weekend before last on Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol recommended what he took to be a terrifying campaign strategy for Hillary Clinton. "Run ads featuring an Ohio voter," he urged, "who says, 'I attended an Obama rally and was impressed. But then I did some research, and it turns out he's being advised by [cue sinister music] Zbigniew Brzezinski.'"*

Come again? Kristol called this "the politics of fear," but who is going to be cowed into a terrified stupor at the mention of the name of a relatively obscure Carter administration official? Certainly not undecided Democratic primary voters in Ohio.

Kristol had confused the Ohio primary with the New York Sun editorial board primary. In so doing, he offered a fascinating glimpse into the double- and triple-encrypted language he and his ideological comrades use to poison the public discourse over foreign policy generally, and policy towards Israel specifically.

The targets and objectives of this witch-smelling campaign are so various, widespread, and susceptible to instantaneous Eurasia-Eastasia revisionism, that trying to pin down just what the expected Pavlovian response to (say) the name "Brzezinski" is supposed to be — and what mission is served and what enemy defeated by eliciting that response — is the political equivalent of trying simultaneously to measure the position and trajectory of an electron.

And yet over the past several months, a discernible pattern of attack has emerged within the white noise. As Barack Obama's presidential ambitions have picked up steam, numerous American supporters of the most aggressive, militantly irredentist factions of Israeli society have engaged in a campaign of plausibly-deniable innuendo aimed at creating and propagating the meme that Obama has an animus against the Jewish state, and in turn, an animus against the Jewish people.

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