Philip Giraldi, Conor Friedersdorf, Andrew Sullivan, Anti-Semitism, and the Further Decline of the Atlantic

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on February 5, 2011

The first time I happened across the name “Philip Giraldi,” it was because of a letter that he had sent to my alumni magazine, co-written with another alum named John Taylor. The letter, in full, is as follows:

Holocaust as political industry

Peter Novick asserts that the Holocaust has desensitized us to other genocides, but stops short of asking who invented the Holocaust in the first place. Who decided to capitalize the noun “holocaust” and transform genocide into a political weapon and fund-raising tool?

In America, which had little to do with the event itself, there is an ever-growing Holocaust industry in academia. There is a Holocaust publishing industry and a Holocaust Hollywood. There are Holocaust museums and memorials trying to make concrete what might otherwise become dated and ephemeral. And there is the Holocaust-promoting chorus of wealthy and influential American Jews who make sure we never forget.

“Never forgetting” is the best way to intensify the collective guilt on the part of America’s Christian majority and boost the Holocaust industry’s favorite political cause—the state of Israel. Guilt, laced with liberally dispensed charges of anti-Semitism for opponents and sweetened with a heavy sprinkling of PAC money, has made the Israel-firsters masters of the executive and legislative branches. Easy and often exclusive access to the media shapes public opinion. And at the end there is a pot of gold: unlimited political and military support plus $6 billion in U.S. taxpayer–provided annual aid to a country that is one of the richest on earth.

Nazis killing Jews has become the paradigm for modern-day genocide, but the Holocaust is hardly unique in the 20th century, which affords numerous examples of mass killing. The politics of mass murder nowadays, as practiced by dictators and democrats alike, is all about killing people with words before you actually shoot them. Perversely, the Holocaust is used to justify killing yet more people; i.e., to “prevent another Holocaust.”

As Novick notes, George Bush didn’t really cite the Holocaust to “disabuse us of Enlightenment illusions about man.” He wanted to suggest that men can be evil to justify the bloodshed in the war against Iraq. Nor was George Will debunking the Renaissance illusion that “…man becomes better as he becomes more clever.”

George is a realist who appreciates the use of force majeure, as long as it is not used against him or his friends. And then there’s Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate high priest of the Holocaust. Never once has Wiesel spoken out against Israel’s deplorable treatment of the Palestinians. It’s okay to kick an Arab, but never a Jew, and if we keep on reminding the world that the Nazis killed a lot of Jews, we can continue to kick Arabs and no one will say anything.

Rwandans, Biafrans, and Somalis are even lower on the scale than Arabs, and there are fewer journalists standing around watching how you treat them. Why intervene to save them? The Third World is descending into chaos, and they’ll only be fighting again before the week is out.

In short, can anyone deny that most invocations of the Holocaust are cynical and bogus? The Holocaust promoters understand that if you keep saying the same thing over and over again everyone will eventually believe it; i.e., that the Holocaust is the greatest evil in history and justifies special breaks not only for its survivors, but also for their descendants and co-religionists.

Perhaps what is truly unique about the Holocaust is the ability of its exploiters to preemptively silence their critics. Surely within the University of Chicago community there must be many who recognize that the Holocaust industry has gone too far, that the Holocaust is far from being the central event of the century, and that its message of an exclusivity in suffering—serving to promote a Zionist agenda—is dubious at best. But the open expression of such views might be unwise. It is safer to remain silent.

Philip M. Giraldi, AB’68
Purcellville, Virginia
John K. Taylor, AB’69
Fort Worth, Texas

Needless to say, this is repulsive. It attracted strong rebukes like this one, and this one. I wrote in protest as well. I didn’t give any more thought to the likes of Philip Giraldi, until I realized that he is something of a celebrity, and that the subject matter of his letter to my alumni magazine has served to obsess him for quite some time.

The scope and nature of Giraldi’s obsession is spelled out quite cogently by Noah Pollak, who wrote on the subject over two years ago. As Pollak writes, Giraldi believed–he still believes this, by the way–that Israel would try to instigate a war between the United States and Iran, that an effort is being made to frame Iran for American military casualties in the Middle East, that supporters of Israel (or more generally, people with whom Giraldi disagrees) are dual loyalists, and that Jews and Israelis control the media. In addition, Giraldi keeps track of how many Jews are surveyed in news stories(!). Pollak also reproduces the same letter that I reproduced above.

Lest anyone think that Giraldi’s lunatic ravings are restricted only to discussions of Jews and Israel (they mainly touch on discussions of Jews and Israel, of course), let me point them to this article, in which he graces us with the following observation: “Can it be that Obama is a tyrant on the order of the kings and princes of the nineteenth century? He is in fact worse, far worse, because he has the technology and means to monitor and punish every citizen through an acquiescent judiciary and congress, national security letters, military commissions, and Patriot Acts.” I recognize that there is a legitimate debate to be had regarding civil liberties, but this “thought” is about as insane as the “Bush is Hitler!” nonsense we heard not too long ago from various unhinged segments of society. I would ask whether Giraldi is ashamed to put forth such claptrap, but neither shame, nor an understanding of history or current events appears to be part of his DNA.

I bring all of this up because this past week, Conor Friedersdorf–in his capacity as replacement blogger for Andrew Sullivan–favorably linked to a Giraldi post which had Giraldi approvingly cite and support Rand Paul’s recent call to end foreign aid in general, and to end foreign aid to Israel in particular. Giraldi argues that an end to aid is justified, because “Israel is one of the wealthiest countries in the world (with a per capita income at the same level as Great Britain) and is alleged to be going through an economic boom.” Of Paul’s exhortations to end foreign aid, Giraldi writes that “[t]here has been curiously little coverage” in the media.

It’s tough to pack a lot of error into that analysis, but somehow, Giraldi managed. This comment to Giraldi’s post pointed out that there had been “350+ news article results” regarding Paul’s statement. And this commenter notes that “the UK ranks #9 in the world with per capita GNP of $24,486; Israel ranks #23 with $17,046, between Italy and Spain. A wealthy country by comparison to most countries, but I wouldn’t say it was one of the wealthiest.”

Of course, Giraldi’s post attracted some nasty and disgusting comments by way of support for his themes. If you can stomach it, read this, this, this, this, and this (in which “the standard Shoah” is questioned). In shocking news, we learn anew that some bloggers can’t write about Israel and Jews without bringing the anti-Semites out of the woodwork, and they don’t even try to do anything to disassociate themselves from those anti-Semites.

Given Giraldi’s plain and simple derangement, and the derangement that he excites in others, the question arises: Why did Conor Friedersdorf deem it necessary to throw Giraldi a favorable link, and to cite him as some kind of potential authority on the issue of foreign aid? Oh, to be sure, Friedersdorf cites Giraldi on foreign aid while at the same time assuring us that his decision to link to Giraldi’s post “isn’t to say that I want to eliminate all” foreign aid. But why is Giraldi allowed anywhere near the realm of polite conversation when it comes to this, or any other issue, given his insane views? Why is he given any semblance of respectability by a magazine like the Atlantic, which continues to maintain some respectability despite the determined efforts of the people associated with the Daily Dish to annihilate that respectability beyond salvaging?

Lest anyone think that this citation was a one-off, Noah Pollak informs us in the post referenced above that Andrew Sullivan decided to use Giraldi to beat up on Doug Feith back in 2008. No surprise, I guess; Sullivan is almost as obsessed with attacking “neocons” as he is in determining that Trig Palin’s matrilineal line does not flow to Sarah Palin. But in doing so, Sullivan linked to a Giraldi post that did nothing more than issue allegations against Feith with no source for the allegations named to question or cross-examine by way of checking to see whether Giraldi’s claims were true. Most news commentators would shy away from publicizing the kinds of serious charges that Giraldi issued against Feith without having had some way of checking whether Giraldi’s accusations passed the laugh test, but as we have learned long ago, Andrew Sullivan is not like most news commentators. Not content to have linked to Giraldi once in trying to trash a neoconservative–and by extension, neoconservatism itself–Sullivan was perfectly willing to link with a wink and a nod to another Giraldi piece in which Giraldi argues that neoconservatism is more of a threat to Israel than is the Khamene’i/Ahmadinejad regime. The argument is as predictable as it is appalling.

I guess this is the part where we point out–yet again–that Andrew Sullivan and his band of merry bloggers are out to destroy the Atlantic. Once upon a time (I keep writing this), the magazine featured the writing of Mark Twain. Now, it features the rantings of Philip Giraldi, rantings which are indulged by tools like Andrew Sullivan and Conor Friedersdorf. It is almost as though the people in charge of the Atlantic actually want it to crash and burn. Determined enemies of the magazine would act no differently than those currently tasked with leading it.

UPDATE: The comments to this post are being closed, since readers from Friedersdorf’s utterly disingenuous post either insist on writing in bad faith, or cannot cogitate. For those interested in what I wrote, why I wrote it, and why Conor Friedersdorf is all wet, go here. Want to comment on that? Go ahead, and feel free to take issue, but either be respectful, or be banned.

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  • http://www.redstateeclectic.typepad.com AngelaTC

    So, your approach to attacking Giraldi’s assertions is to attack Giraldi? Aren’t you kind of making his point?

    And I also think that neglecting to include the information that Giraldi is ex-CIA, heavily specialized in the Middle East, probably somehow serves to imply that he’s just “a guy” when in fact, he’s more of an expert on foreign policy as it pertains to the Middle East than just about all other writers and self-defined policy wonks combined.

    IIRC – you’re a lawyer in the Midwest….

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for that information about Giraldi. It explains much of the behavior by the CIA analyst corps the past decade.

    • Anonymous

      Having worked in the ‘intel community,’ and seeing the evidence in the headlines today and knowing that a complete incompetent such as one V. Plame worked there, I can confidently say that the CIA specializes in nothing more than making sure there’s lots of money provided to the CIA. Being ex-CIA means Giraldi was a typical DC desk-jockey with lots of credentials and little to no real capability to do anything.

      And anyone who questions the amount of money provided to the CIA or where the money goes, gets nasty little half-truths leaked about them to the press and via other means.

      • Anonymous

        “…a typical DC desk-jockey with lots of credentials and little to no real capability to do anything…”

        Once more demonstrating the corruption of modern life by those who are “credentialed, but not educated”.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      I actually attacked his assertions as well. You would have noticed if you read carefully. His “expertise” appears to be Jew-bashing more than anything else.

      • Steve Mynack

        No, his expertise is years of analyzing the middle east. I fail to see how this proves Giraldi is an anti-semite – but then again, neo-cons see anti-semites under every rock.

        • Pejman Yousefzadeh

          I am not a neo-con, though the fact that I am Jewish probably led you to believe that. Giraldi’s anti-Semitism is plain for anyone who has eyes to see.

          • Marajames

            Sorry PJ, buddy and fellow tribesman but most American Jews have been leading the charge on Israel’s human rights violations. You are officially a right wing dinosaur.

          • Marajames

            Sorry PJ, buddy and fellow tribesman but most American Jews have been leading the charge on Israel’s human rights violations. You are officially a right wing dinosaur.

          • Mark

            No, there’s no possible way you’re a neocon, you just favorably link to the analysis of 3rd-rate neocons like Noah Pollak and shout yourself hoarse attacking (and castigating as vile anti-Semites) neocon boogie-men like Andrew Sullivan, Stephen Walt, John Mearshiemer, and Phillip Giraldi.

            Something tells me you’re not a very effective lawyer.

          • Mark

            No, there’s no possible way you’re a neocon, you just favorably link to the analysis of 3rd-rate neocons like Noah Pollak and shout yourself hoarse attacking (and castigating as vile anti-Semites) neocon boogie-men like Andrew Sullivan, Stephen Walt, John Mearshiemer, and Phillip Giraldi.

            Something tells me you’re not a very effective lawyer.

        • Anonymous

          People who’ve worked for the CIA and spent years analyzing the Middle East can still be wrong and/or nuts.

  • Anonymous

    Sullivan is on record of thinking favorably of a US invasion of Israel –

    “My own view is moving toward supporting a direct American military imposition of a two-state solution, with NATO troops on the borders of the new states of Palestine and Israel.”

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/pollak/212346

  • Anonymous

    The same mentality afflicts many of the major newspapers in the US. They have chosen to address a niche audience on the left, which is increasingly anti-Semetic, as well as anti-Israel. They have now lost the right and much of the middle in this country and wonder why.

  • JadedbyPolitics

    Paul like his Dad is anti-Israel anyone who thought otherwise was deluding themselves because of desperation of getting Democrats out. His defunding calls will go nowhere as we always support our friends but this Conor idiot should never be linked to as stupidity should never be rewarded and as to the Atlantic well quite like libertarians, liberals swim in the same cesspool of ideology as anarchists and the Atlantic swims with all three.

    • Joshua

      I am not convinced that Rand Paul is anti-Israel. As seen in the video at http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/rand-paul-im-not-singling-israel-12842024 he is at least trying to portray himself as a friend of Israel, and his desire to eliminate aid to Israel is at least consistent with his desire to eliminate all foreign aid and other government programs as well. But while I would give Rand Paul the benefit of the doubt on this question, Giraldi appears to be anti-Israel at best and anti-Semitic at worst. Quoting him favorably is a bad idea.

  • Grumpy Old Man

    Giraldi and Rand Paul are both right.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for that witty, learned, thorough, and very detailed response.

      • Anonymous

        I think what he meant was “I quake in my boots”

  • Anonymous

    “As Pollak writes, Giraldi believed–he still believes this, by the way–that Israel would try to instigate a war between the United States and Iran…”

    Excuse me, but why is that so far fetched? Have we forgotten the Lavon Affair? USS Liberty? Jonathon Pollard? It is quite reasonable to believe Israel would do anything… yes, even to its most stalwart ally, if it thought it necessary.

    • http://twitter.com/5ftflirt 5ftflirt

      For one thing, the Israelis aren’t so stupid as to think that would help them.

  • http://twitter.com/5ftflirt 5ftflirt

    It’s uncomfortable to defend about 5% of the writings of someone whose entire thrust is to delegitimize Israel and target Jews for attack. However, as a Jew whose parents were refugees from the Shoah (if not interned themselves), and a fairly right wing supporter of Israel, if it comes to that, I was agreeing a bit with his exasperation with the multitude of Holocaust museums, until I saw where he was going with it.

    I see most Holocaust museums as a cheap attempt to show you care about injustice. Israel and several primary locations of Nazi power surely should have them, the one in DC is the most excellent of its kind – beyond that, it’s a redundancy which lets the builders off the hook for researching and looking unflinchingly at the other genocides of the 20th century.

    (By which I do NOT mean Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians or any activities at that level, even the ones that are unjust, because they simply have nothing, and i repeat nothing, in common with genocide, or even mass murder.)

    But we have seen monstrous genocides in the pure sense of the word, and massacres on a similar scale, and attempts at same, in Russia, Cambodia, the Congo, Iraq, and many other places, which should be much more widely commemorated than they are. I think they get short shrift for the same reason Hollywood doesn’t make movies about Communism but churns out at least one Nazi movie a year: The film industry is Left and all that implies, EVERYONE hates the Nazis, they’ve got the costumes and the locations, everyone knows the tropes, no mental work or artistic risk involved. If there were even one movie about another genocide for every 10 Nazi movies, there would already be a lot more of these other films, instead of one each (if that).

    Now, some of these Holocaust museums claim to be for all these conflicts, but they don’t work very hard at that. If they really want to signal that’s what they are about, they should call themselves Genocide Museums.

  • http://scottlocklin.wordpress.com/ Scott Locklin

    OK, so what you’re saying is, the Atlantic sucks because you don’t agree with Andrew Sullivan’s politics. I don’t like his politics either, but I also don’t have a political correctness meter by which I judge literary merit. Sounds pretty totalitarian to me.

    Out of curiosity, is there any legitimate reason to not be in favor of aid to Israel in your world, or is the US on the hook in perpetuum? I mean, if there isn’t, I don’t see why anyone should take you seriously.

    • Anonymous

      I certainly don’t think that we ought to determine policy regarding Israel on the word of an anti-Semite like Giraldi. As for Sullivan, his politics may annoy me, but we are talking here about what he thinks about anti-Semites like Giraldi, and whether it is a good idea to use them as authorities.

      • Diverik

        “I certainly don’t think that we ought to determine policy regarding Israel on the word of an anti-Semite like Giraldi.”

        But the next question is, do you think we ought to determine policy regarding Israel on the word of a sitting US senator like Rand Paul?

        • Anonymous

          Not solely, though at least Paul does not appear to be (to the best of my knowledge) encumbered by ulterior motives.

      • http://scottlocklin.wordpress.com/ Scott Locklin

        You didn’t answer the question. Can anyone legitimately have a beef with our present Israel policy? It seems to me a subject which reasonable minds can disagree on.
        There is the larger problem of … where is legitimate criticism of Israel supposed to come from? Of course some critics (and supporters) of Israel policy will be anti-Semites. So what? The question is, are their policy prescriptions in the National interest? The sobriquet of “anti-Semite” as a cudgel to shut down discussion of these matters has become a farce.

        • Anonymous

          I answered the question multiple times in this thread. I see no reason to repeat the answer merely because some “readers” are anything but.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TC7XAYSMNBK7EJXYWRBBTQTELY Tamarron

        I liked this by accident. Sullivan is a notable and good blogger to a large degree in part because he goes beyond expertise and examines arguments and ideas for their own value. You seem to favor the opposite, which would apparently lead to ignoring every word written by a thinker because of flaws in some area of their work. It should be obvious as to which method is preferable.

        • Anonymous

          You seem to favor the opposite, which would apparently lead to ignoring every word written by a thinker . . .

          Pot, meet kettle. Fear not, I won’t like your comments either by accident, or on purpose.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Marquez/547729417 Greg Marquez

    Just one little point. Shouldn’t Israel’s wealth be gauged via GDP not per capita income. A country of 10 people who earned $100,000 would be the wealthiest country in the world by the per capita measure but still couldn’t afford a single tank. According to Wikipedia Israel is 43rd in GDP, not a bad position until you notice that Saudi Arabia is 23rd, Iran is 29th, UAE is is 35th, and even Egypt is 40th.

    • Jkuper

      No. Per capita income is much more indicative of a nation’s wealth than their GDP.

      Seriously, compare Israel’s GDP and per capita income to Egypt’s and what conclusions do you draw? If you draw the conclusion that Egypt is wealthier I would beg you to re-think your conclusion.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RQMNP7SMNBJAZEIRUOWR3TV7D4 Continental Op

    Israel would try to instigate a war between the United States and Iran

    I didn’t know that there was any controversy over the fact that Israel wants a US attack on Iran.

  • Diverik

    I haven’t read the comments, so I appologize if someone else made note of this. What I find curious is that Conor Friedersdorf linking to this post by Giraldi is presented as proof of the anti-Semitism at the Atlantic but absolutely no mention is made of The American Conservative where Mr. Giraldi’s post appeared originally. If linking to the post and giving Giraldi a “semblance of respectability” is some unpardonable sin, isn’t The American Conservative guilty of an even worse sin by allowing him to post in the first place? Why not direct your wrath at them instead?

  • TRC
    • Anonymous

      I quake in my boots.

      • interested observer

        since you delete comments with which you disagree, you actually must be quaking in your boots. or, perhaps, deleting opposing arguments is a tactic adopted by self-confident people fully convinced in the accuracy of their own stance

        • Anonymous

          I delete abusive, offensive comments. I leave up comments that disagree with
          me without being abusive and offensive; thus, your comment remains. Have you
          complained to the Daily Dish for having no comments at all?

  • Russian Jew

    Mr. Pejman_Yousefzadeh,

    I do not think you really know what anti-semitism is. I do not think you lived through it. Being an emmigrant from Russia, it has nothing to do with what is said about Israel. It is such a simplistic view of the world that I think you need to read a whole lot more books to understand the meaning of this word and write anything about it. Being in disagreement with Israeli government is not Jew-bashing. For you information, Israel does not vote with 100% approval for their leaders.

    • Anonymous

      It can have plenty to do with what is said about Israel, and being Jewish,I know quite well what anti-Semitism is.

    • http://twitter.com/desaforadoWeb Desaforado de la Web

      I agree with Russian Jew, love and hate can be selective, like I could love Mr. Baranboim music, and hate current Israel government, even more I could love what Mr. Daniel Hershkowitz does and hate what Mr. Ariel Atias is done. Perhaps we could try to be less totalitarian and make an effort to understand shades.
      Love Desa

  • Anonymous

    Giraldi merely raised the question of why the topic of ending aid to Israel is getting so little press attention. I don’t care how noxious his politics are (or aren’t) — it’s a worthwhile question and I applaud Sen. Paul for raising it. Israel, and a whole host of other rich countries, are not deserving of foreign aid.

    • Anonymous

      While you may not care about the presence of anti-Semites on the Web, others certainly do.

      • Diverik

        That again leads to the question of why all of your criticism was directed at The Atlantic but none toward The American Conservative, where the post originally appears.

        What if the situation were reversed? Say that the original post by Mr. Giraldi appeared on The Atlantic’s website but was then favorably linked to by Daniel Larison at The American Conservative. In that case would your ire be directed at The American Conservative, or would it still be an issue with The Atlantic?

        • Anonymous

          TAC is a paleoconservative site with a fondness for the likes of Giraldi,
          Pat Buchanan, and Joe Sobran, and their views on Israel and Jews. I wish
          that they would expunge that fondness, but there you have it; not every site
          on the planet is to my liking. I am disgusted by many of their writings, but
          since there is a clear editorial slant, I am not surprised. I am also not
          surprised that David Duke has a website where noxious material doubtless
          appears (I haven’t checked, but I have a hunch that I am right on this), but
          when one finds that the writings fit in with the editorial slant of a site
          like TAC, one discounts the site altogether. Thus, my lack of mention
          regarding TAC; it certainly does not constitute approbation of their
          material. The Atlantic, of course, is different, with a different editorial
          slant, and I expect better of it than to use Giraldi as some kind of
          authority. As for your hypothetical, I would continue to have an issue with
          the Atlantic for hosting a post by Giraldi, but I imagine Larison would be
          in for criticism as well, seeing as how he does not appear to possess
          Giraldiesque obsessions with Israel (I hope no one proves me wrong on
          this).

      • Diverik

        That again leads to the question of why all of your criticism was directed at The Atlantic but none toward The American Conservative, where the post originally appears.

        What if the situation were reversed? Say that the original post by Mr. Giraldi appeared on The Atlantic’s website but was then favorably linked to by Daniel Larison at The American Conservative. In that case would your ire be directed at The American Conservative, or would it still be an issue with The Atlantic?

  • Anonymous

    There’s no question that Giraldi is a bit of a crank (though I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who’s sick of Holocaust movies). I suspect the real motive here is cutting off debate on American aid to Israel, and tarring anyone who says otherwise as anti-Semitic.

    • Anonymous

      Find us a non-crank on the issue, and I’ll be glad to have a debate. Until
      then . . .

      • Jbraunstein914

        Isn’t anyone who raises the issue automatically a Crank by definition, according to you? Or not?

        BTW, I hope you have the sense to contemplate Friedersdorf’s admonishment of your cheap guilt-by-association smear tactics. Like him, I don’t think you’re stupid, so you’re fully aware of how much this cynical, disingenuous practice degrades intelligent discourse (as does your knee-jerk reaction to impugn the sanity of anyone whose opinions you find repulsive).

        A reaction of such kind carries the whiff of censorship…that some ideas are so harmful they deserve to be repressed through intimidation…do you sincerely believe this?

        Think it over.

        • Anonymous

          No, actually, not everyone who raises the issue a crank. As mentioned
          before, to the best of my knowledge, Rand Paul does not have Giraldiesque
          obsessions with Jews. As for Friedersdorf, he can’t read properly. I didn’t
          smear him as an anti-Semite, though I have plenty of issues with his
          apparent inability to Google the likes of Giraldi to see whether he is a
          non-crank without ulterior motives before giving Giraldi a spotlight. As for
          the rest of your scolding, save it for someone who deserves it. You miss
          your target here.

      • Anonymous

        You think anyone who wants to reconsider American aid to Israel is a crank?

        • Anonymous

          Again, no–and I have written as much in the comments here. Feel free to
          read them. I do consider Giraldi a crank.

          • Anonymous

            There are lots of non-cranks out there who support ending American aid to Israel. It’s telling that your first step, rather than debating them, is lobbing casual accusations of anti-Semitism.

          • Anonymous

            When I encounter a non-crank, I’ll stop. I don’t know how to make my
            attitude clearer, though I suspect you aren’t interested in clarity.

          • Anonymous

            Ah, I see. So all of us here who disagree with you are cranks! I’m a crank too! No wonder this doesn’t make any sense.

            By the way, this does seem to support what I originally hypothesized: anyone who disagrees with you on this issue = crank.

          • Anonymous

            Please point out where I wrote that you are a crank. All I have suspected
            you of thus far is a non-interest in clarity. Well, that, and a non-interest
            in careful reading.

  • Betterthantiger

    Please advise, wise one.

    If I am against foreign aid to Israel, am I anti-Semitic?

    If I read the Daily Dish, does this make me anti-Semitic? Because, God help me, I like to read Andrew’s stuff about Sarah Palin. I had no idea that he and Conor linked to this Giraldi dude twice in three years.

    Finally, I have subscribed to the Atlantic for a long time. Usually I read stuff about modern-day piracy, about the “death of the male,” etc., but there was that one article by Jeffrey Goldberg about an impending attack on Iran. Is the Atlantic anti-Semitic, and should I stop reading it?

    Finally, one more question: do you know what blinkers are?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous

      1. Not necessarily. 2. No. 3. No. 4. Yes, and you are wearing them.

  • DougS

    By throwing baseless claims of antisemitism at anyone who even mildly criticises Israel, you’re using antisemitism in precisely the way that Giraldi claims has been the Holocaust has been used: exploiting tragedy for political advantage.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t “throw baseless claims of antisemitism at anyone who even mildly
      criticises Israel.” I throw it at Philip Giraldi. The shoe fits too.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t “throw baseless claims of antisemitism at anyone who even mildly
      criticises Israel.” I throw it at Philip Giraldi. The shoe fits too.

      • Jkuper

        NO! YOU throw it at PG, CF, AS AND the Atlantic.

        I don’t know PG and so perhaps he is an AS but it is impossible to expect that everyone knows the political, ethnic or religious bias of such a minor figure as PG.

        It takes a big person to admit when they screw up and you clearly paint many people with a broad brush of AS. Instead of admitting you FU’d you both double down and deny double downing and that’s pathetic.

        Either you “refudiate” your OWN headline or you don’t. Either PG, CF, AS and the Atlantic is AS (Anti-Semitic) or they aren’t.

        And just a helpful pointer, linking to a relatively unknown (possibly AS) person is not proof that the linker is AS. Maybe people don’t read teh intertubes like I do but I’m much more interested in the logos of what they are saying instead of the ethos. I’ll clarify upon request but the point isn’t difficult to understand.

        • Anonymous

          I’m sorry, but I don’t have to accept a lie merely because you refuse to read beyond a headline.

          • Frank Holloway

            You know what’s funny? You try to hide behind the “It was just a headline” defense, as if it’s somehow unfair for a reader to take offense at an inflammatory headline. Yet a few posts later, you do exactly the same thing in your attempted “takedown” of Matt Yglesias.

            For example, you insinuate that Yglesias is anti-Semitic for calling Joe Lieberman a “dumb Jewish politician, because apparently, Lieberman’s religion is pertinent in discussing his intelligence.” Yet the post you link to is Yglesias’ discussion of a Jonathan Chait post that explains quite clearly why he used the headling “Dumb Jewish Politician” (Chait was arguing that Lieberman benefits from a stereotype of Jews being smart). In other words, if you’re unclear on why he mentioned Lieberman’s religion, it’s pretty clear that you “refused to read beyond a headline”.

            I must say, I’ve encountered plenty of bloggers whom I disagree with, and plenty who parrot political talking points, but you’re the first I’ve encountered who approaches the act of blogging itself through the prism of spin. Rather than engaging with the ideas of those with whom you disagree, you approach their writings like an oppo researcher, determined to put the most negative, uncharitable spin on their words, regardless of whether your accusations have any basis in reality. It’s kind of disorienting, like imagining if Karl Rove used his weekly WSJ columns to engage in spin not against Obama or Pelosi but rather against Thomas Friedman and Michael Kinsley.

          • Anonymous

            I didn’t hide behind the “it was just a headline” defense. I wrote that there was more to my post than a headline. Learn to read. As for Lieberman’s religion, it had no place in discussing his stance on issues, which was the point of my critique. I am sorry you missed the point, but that’s not my problem.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_45NPZCELJHNEKSVFIXNX3D6IE4 Jeffrey E

    While there is plenty of ammo to attack Giraldi as an individual, using a scatter gun approach to blast away at Friedersdorf, Sullivan and The Atlantic deserves immediate dismissal. Rather than referencing the quoted Giraldi blog, PY addresses a relatively obscure letter written to a college alumni publication 12 years ago. As a Zionist I have strong disagreements with much that Sullivan has written about Israel, but I would never characterize him as an anti-Semite, or a hater of Israel. The real issue, which PY barely addresses, is the issue of U.S. foreign aid to Israel. It might be better for both Israel and the U.S. to scale down or severe this co-dependent relationship, and that is something PY should address, rather than a snarky guilt-by-quotation broadside attack. The American Conservative has published blogs and article by hundreds of individuals, some more upstanding than others. One can mildly criticize Friedersdorf for not fully vetting Giraldi’s background to provide context. But that skirts addressing the real issue at hand — and will only briefly postpone it, at that.

    • Anonymous

      I cited a great deal more than an alumni letter to point out Giraldi’s
      anti-Semitism, didn’t call either Sullivan or Friedersdorf an anti-Semite,
      didn’t engage in any “guilt-by-quotation broadside attack” against the
      Atlantic, and Friedersdorf’s–and the Atlantic’s–inability to engage in
      even so much as a cursory check into whether Giraldi is a credible source is
      very much a central issue here.

      • Jkuper

        Good lord! You didn’t engage in any guilt by quotation broadside attacks and you didn’t call AS, CF and the ENTIRE Atlantic leadership Anti-Semantic, eh? Wake up and look at your freaking own headline!

        I’ll quote it here for the readership’s own sense of sanity: “Philip Giraldi, Conor Friedersdorf, Andrew Sullivan, Anti-Semitism, and the further decline of the Atlantic.”

        C’mon, I dare you to clarify that you didn’t mean to smear PG, CF, AF and the Atlantic with the charge of anti-semitism when, YOU, yourself put it in the headline of your post.

        As far as the merits of the argument goes (especially in relationship to PG) I will not hazard a guess because it appears if I find any merit in the argument I might be an AS. The point of this post is that PY’s own headline and analysis screams what he later denies.

        Do better, with haste.

        PS I dare you to delete this comment.

        • Anonymous

          If you failed to read beyond the headline–and it appears that you did–therein lies your problem.

  • Guest

    Test comment.

  • GeoffP

    What exactly is the cause of the current liberal blindness on the retardoscope? In any sane world, Giraldi would rank with Giraldo; but not in the mindlessness of partisan politics.

    GeoffP

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