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The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Even the Despicable Have Their Uses

Charles Krauthammer, bless his black heart, has said straight out what others do not dare to confess. The game-changing negotiations with Iran, because they have been successful, are making it impossible for Israel to launch a war against Iran and then suck America into it. This is undermining Netanyahu 's bellicose policy. AIPAC has succeeded in getting a large number of Democratic senators to attempt to sabotage Obama's foreign policy initiative, thus demonstrating once more the extraordinary power of the Israel lobby.

Krauthammer 's open acknowledgement of this forbidden truth is a welcome bit of honesty from the War Party in America. Iran has refused to cooperate with Netanyahu and his American lapdogs by cooperating both with negotiations and with the implementation of the agreements.  I leave it to Israel to judge what is in its national interest but as an American I feel justified in calling out these Senators (including my own) as craven chicken hawks happy to send others to their death rather than offend AIPAC.

2 comments:

C Rossi said...

Professor Wolff:

I have been off the Web for a few weeks, and I wish you much belated good wishes for your 80th birthday and a pleasant 2014. May your life cycle continue accidentally to coincide with an increasingly long segment of history in the 21st Century. Best wishes.

The legislation (S 1881) cosponsored by your democratic senator (Kay Hagen) and mine (Robert Casey) imposing addition sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran is daylight madness. The bill would require the President to certify that Iran has met certain requirements of the bill, many of which the President could not determine much less certify. It would require Iran to forswear control over any of its nuclear activities, peaceful or otherwise. Worst of all, the Congress, which has cowardly given up its war powers to the Executive, would by this bill further cede these powers to Binyamin Netanyahu by requiring the US to provide “economic, military, and diplomatic” support to Israel if it choose to wage war against Iran’s nuclear facilities. There is a good technical analysis of the bill by Edward Levine of The Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation (http://armscontrolcenter.org/issues/iran/articles/analysis_of_faults_in_the_menendez-kirk_iran_sanctions_bill_s_1881/). Also, a trenchant criticism in the NY Review of Books (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/feb/20/iran-good-deal-now-danger/).

The bill is a priority of AIPAC, and the democratic cosponsors tend to be clustered in the Northeast (NY, CT, PA, NJ, DE, and MD), that is, areas where AIPAC can still exert some direct effect on wayward legislators through donations and support of rivals more in line with Israeli goals. These democrats include the loathsome Charles Schumer whose main concerns are Wall Street and Jerusalem; the bright, energetic NY senator Kirsten Gillebrand, who seems to have broader national ambitions and cannot cross the Israeli lobby. I’ve asked my senator Casey about his support but no response yet. Richard Blumenthal from CT seems, to his credit, to have backed off his support. The dems outside the Northeast are mostly from republican-dominated states in which foreign policy is mainly a matter of the US showing "toughness,": NC, Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Such senators have to insulate themselves from the R's hairy-chested response to the rest of the world and in some cases to the addled apocalypticism of the fundamentalist right. Senator Hagen has said that she is the primary prize of the Republican National Committee, and she will likely have a hard time defended her seat against the "blood-dimmed tide" of NC republicanism, including the Christian fundamentalists who maintain a bizarre and fragile relationship with likudism.

The republican support for the bill is a fortunate (for them) marriage of two of the party’s leading lunatic factions: the war-of-the-month club and those whose primary political tropism is contra-OBAMA, that is the opposite of whatever the President favors or opposes.

This bill is a triumph of stupidity, mendacity, and small-mindedness, a march of folly toward war. May enough of the 16 dems show wisdom and courage to kill the bill and encourage the attempt to engage Iran.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Thank you for this trenchant analysis, which adds much needed detail to my cri de coeur