Saturday, March 12, 2022

Mearsheimer and Ukraine

 He is one of the academics blaming the U.S. for the Ukrainian war because Great Powers reasonably expect puppets or neutrals on their borders.  I agree that is preferable, but Soviet history with Eastern Europe makes that impossible.

I thought his name was familiar, so I looked it up to see why:

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.


In this paper, John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago's Department of Political Science and Stephen M.Walt of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government contend that the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy is its intimate relationship with Israel. The authors argue that although often justified as reflecting shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, the U.S. commitment to Israel is due primarily to the activities of the “Israel Lobby." This paper goes on to describe the various activities that pro-Israel groups have undertaken in order to shift U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction.

To be blunt many American Jews are definitely pro-Israel; American foreign policy has always leaned that way in part because of domestic politics, but there are a lot of American Jews whose primary sympathies are with the Palestinians (to be cool and "woke"); U.S. policy towards Israel has significant aspects of similarity to a fellow liberal democracy with a shared culture.  Attempts by the U.S. to take a middle ground starting in the 1950s were sunk by Islamic nations allying with the Soviet Union, which shared many values with Islam.

Mearsheimer's credibility with me is zero because of this misreading of U.S. policy.

1 comment:

  1. The most loyal Soviet and now Russian ally in the Middle East was and is Syria, which is NOT an Islamist regime. Syria is, domestically, violently at odds with jihadists. It has been one of the more accommodating regimes toward its Christian minority, which is allied with the regime for protection from jihadists.

    Also, the first great success of Soviet diplomacy in the Middle East was the alliance established with Egypt under Nasser, which was definitely not Islamist. Like Syria, Nasser's regime violently suppressed jihadism, cracking down on the Moslem Brotherhood and executing jihadist leaders like Sayyid Qutb.

    On the other hand, the most "Islamic" nation in the Middle East was and is Saudi Arabia, which has never been allied with the USSR or Russia.