By Donald Meissner
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 25, 2007
The establishment media’s favorite terrorism expert in recent years has been Michael Scheuer — and Scheuer’s favorite scapegoats of late have been shadowy, Jewish “Israel-firsters who dominate the American governing elite.”
In part, Scheuer’s status in the media is owed to his status as former director of the CIA unit responsible to apprehend Osama bin Laden. In part, this is due to the fact that Scheuer appears to enjoy disparaging his former employer.
He recently echoed the Left’s criticism, telling ABC News, “We’ve tried to do Afghanistan on the cheap, and it’s going to cost us domestically in terms of the next attack on the United States.”
However, Scheuer’s 2004 critique of U.S. foreign policy Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, indicts more than President Bush. He blames Jewish “neo-conservatives” and implicates Israel in America’s victimization.
“Surely there can be no other historical example of a faraway, theocracy-in-all-but-name of only six million people that ultimately controls the extent and even the occurrence of an important portion of political discourse and national security debate in a country of 270-plus million people that prides itself on religious toleration, separation of church and state, and freedom of speech.”
Scheuer’s characterization of Israel as a theocracy is ludicrous — Israel is the only secular democracy in the Middle East, with citizens free to practice any religion, or none at all. At least Scheuer’s predilection is clear: he does not hide his antipathy for the secular Jewish state.
On April 9th of this year, in a speech to the Center for Naval Analysis, Scheuer said:
“By defining bin Laden and his ilk as would-be Islamist Hitlers, the U.S. citizen Israel-firsters who dominate the American governing elite ensure that those who question the nature and benefit of current U.S.-Israel ties are slandered as pro-Nazi, anti-Semites.”
In this case Scheuer, citing no specific evidence, invents a Jewish conspiracy theory. In his world the U.S. political, economic, and military alliance with Israel is a reverse proof that U.S. policy is “dominated” by that interest group. Who are these shadowy dominators, and what is the source of their awesome power? Scheuer has no answers, only insinuation and circular logic.
Scheuer publicly defended the innuendo-ridden Walt-Mearsheimer report, which he said “critiqued at length the prolonged, deranging, and clearly negative impact the Israeli lobby has had on the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy.” Not everyone would stand by the ludicrous report. The imprimatur of Harvard University was rescinded from Walt-Mearsheimer. Numerous scholars, including Alan Dershowitz, have documented the report’s errors of fact, omission, inaccurate citations, and lack of adherence to basic scholarly standards regarding sources and interpretation.
Also troubling, in 2005, Scheuer remarked to the Council on Foreign Relations that Israel operates in America “probably the most successful covert-action program in the history of man.” His lone example was the Holocaust Museum in Washington — as though Israel arranged the Holocaust for the purposes of manipulating U.S. foreign policy.
Now that you know the consipatorial musings of Scheuer’s imaginative mind, several questions arise: How does a top CIA official develop and espouse views diametrically opposed to U.S. foreign policy since 1948? Is he correct in his assertions?
Like other analysts who consider the U.S.-Israel relationship a root cause of Muslim fury — august minds like Jimmy Carter, Pat Buchanan, Mel Gibson, Norman Finkelstein, and David Duke — Scheuer is primed and ready to be called an anti-Semite, so don’t go there. A greater rhetorical faux pas would be to mention the Holocaust, or to reference Munich.
There is one sure way former staffers like Scheuer, a self-described “life-long Republican,” enter the limelight and lecture circuit: vehemently criticize the Bush administration, and blame the entire morass on Israel and anonymous, perfidious Jews. That is truly what Scheuer and his ilk intend when they conjure and decry an imaginary pro-Israel hegemony within the United States.
Is it possible that a mere six-million beleaguered Jews in Israel, many recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Africa and elsewhere, could manipulate the world’s only superpower? How many “Elders of Zion” live among us here in the United States? To paraphrase Natan Sharansky, from his book The Case for Democracy: to demonize, delegitimize, and hold Israel to a double-standard is modern anti-Semitism. To anyone who studies world history and the Hebrew Bible, this prepossession and prejudice remains as old as the Judean hills.
The Jews, slaughtered and repeatedly exiled from nations of the Diaspora, are now forced to entertain the mortifying question of their “right to exist” in their sliver of a homeland. The conspiratorial anti-Israelis profoundly misunderstand the meaning of their one correct conclusion: Israel represents the essence of the struggle. The Jews were participants in the Genesis of Western civilization, contribute fully to the blossoming of our advanced culture, and will still exist when the walls come tumbling down. For Scheuer and his cohorts, Jews are hastening its demise.
If that’s his best analysis of world history, his analysis of bin Laden may also be suspect.