It is an idiosyncratic feature of the U.S. that the discussion of the Israel-Palestine conflict has been so ideologically driven. In no other country, including Israel, has the discussion been so one-sided. Litterature on the topic that is considered mainstream abroad has traditionally been given the silence treatment. But, for perhaps the first time, it is not possible ignore an unwanted book on the topic. For this reason, "Palestine: Peace or Apartheid" is an important contribution to the discussion.
Bertrand Russell, a true defender of reason and a writer of the highest caliber. What a wonderful privilege to be able to consume his thoughts in this way. A sheer delight!
In this book, Perle and Frum argue that the US ought to act in self interest while all other nations ought to act unselfishly. The argument rests upon the idea that the US is a moral authority and hence not bound by the rule of law. This is in my opinion a highly controversial claim which needs to be backed up by some sort of evidence. The authors fail to provide any such evidence.
Interestingly and strangely, at times the authors argue that the US was justified in attacking Iraq in self defence, due to WMD and al-Queda, and that the UN and those countries opposing the war were wrong. Yet, at other times, the authors acknowledge that there was no treat of WMD or link to al-Queda, but claim that the countries of Europe should have supported the US anyway, out of good will. In the end, the authors seem to believe that the UN and those countries opposing the war in Iraq failed to identify the US as that moral authority of the world the authors claim that it is.
As I read this book, one question kept lingering in my mind: Do the authors believe their own words? I find it more credible to answer the question in the negative. In trying to justify a more selfish foreign policy, the authors have shown themselves prone to adopt Machiavellian ideals. I see no reason why these authors would not adopt the same Machiavellian ideals when trying to persuade their fellow countrymen of their point of view. As Leo Strauss (a respected thinker among neo-conservatives) they seem to think that that it is necessary and proper for leaders to lead the people by creating myths for them to live by. These myths do not have to correspond to any truths about the world, as long as they are convenient and comforting.
I take An End to Evil to be an interesting yet scary demonstration of clever neo-conservative propaganda.
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