Trying to make sense of a meshuga planet

NYT’s Roger Cohen cheers up for James “F*ck the Jews” Baker

NYT continues to publish Roger Cohen’s stream of nonsense. The guy simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This time he recommends:

I hope President Obama has been reading James Baker in preparation for his speech Thursday to the Muslim world. It was in the time of the former secretary of state, two decades ago, that the United States last had a balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Infamously, during a private conversation in 1992 James Baker remarked: “Fuck the Jews.”

Looking back, here Scott Johnson at PowerLine picked apart Roger Cohen’s case of malice towards Israel, while looking for excuses for and publicly expressing his infatuation with Iranian mullocracy:

In Roger Cohen’s world, Yasser Arafat was a true partner in “the peace of the brave” represented by the Oslo accords. It is a bit difficult to follow Cohen’s train of thought through the tears he sheds. Apparently only the murder of Rabin intruded to prevent the peace that was in the making at his death and apparently only the coming of another Rabin is what is called for now that Israel faces heightened existential threats partly created by Oslo itself. In addition to demonstrating the usual Times malice toward Israel, Cohen’s article showed Cohen himself to be an utter fool.

Most recently, Cohen has displayed his foolishness in a series of columns on Iran, beginning with “What Iran’s Jews say.” Cohen followed up with “Iran, Jews and Germany,” “Iran, Jews and pragmatism” and “From Tehran to Tel Aviv.”

Ronald Radosh reviewed Cohen’s columns and the response to them in “Memo to the New York Times: Fire Roger Cohen!” This week he returned to the subject in “Roger Cohen’s continuing nonsense.”

In his “Iran, Jews and pragmatism” column, Cohen holds himself out as providing “a cautionary warning against the misguided view of Iran as nothing but a society of mad mullah terrorists bent on nukes.” He has sought to examine the “distinctive characteristics of Persian society.” Cohen calls for us to see Iran in full.

Here Jeffrey Goldberg picks apart Roger Cohen’s idyllic “Iranian civility toward Jews”. Only someone who doesn’t have a clue how totalitarian societies work – invariably held on fear – can be so gravely naive.


June 4, 2009 - Posted by | Arab-Israeli Conflict, Iran | , , ,


  1. Re: your last comment, I want to propose an alternate hypothesis to your supposition that Cohen is ignorant of how “totalitarian societies work.” Maybe he can ground his claims about Iranians’ civility on his (a) being Jewish, (b) spending time in Iran, and (c) interacting with Iranian society (which, as we’ve seen, is a different beast from the regime that has now been unmasked of any pretense to representativeness).

    I’ve been to that part of the world, not Iran, but to the Iranian border in Eastern Turkey, traveling with two Jewish friends, and while there was certainly anti-Semitic conspiracy theories being bandied casually around (such as you’ll also find in the South Side of Chicago), there was right next to it not only civility but hospitality and warmth. All the travelers I spoke with who had been across the border, said that if anything, hospitality was even warmer there.

    Comment by discursor | July 7, 2009 | Reply

    • His being Jewish has nothing to do with this: you may find the full spectrum of opinions from Jewish individuals on practically any subject.

      The Greater Middle East is known for its traditional hospitality. Evidently, visiting Iran as a guest was not sufficient to deeply understand it, but enough to fall for deceptions and propaganda. From what I know, the Iranian society in many aspects resembles that of the late USSR. The Iranian Jews seem to be no less oppressed as the Soviet Jews, but just as those herded into (or volunteered for) the Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public, they have to follow the line of the ruling regime.

      Comment by politinfo | July 8, 2009 | Reply

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