Winning the Battle, Losing the War?

by Brien Jackson

Sully makes a keen observation:

Dennis Blair has also been humiliated – publicly, by both the Israel lobby and by the White House. He may react to that humiliation by surrendering independent judgment, or by being even more skeptical of the forces that demanded Freeman’s smearing and removal from government. I suspect the latter. Be careful what you ask for …

I think this is probably right. Blair went to bat hard for Freeman, and is the most obvious loser in all of this. As such, he’s not likely to harbor much good will for the people who went after Freeman. And that could be very important down the road; whereas the chairman of the National Intelligence Council is well below cabinet rank and has no direct role in policy making, the Director of National Intelligence is a very high position in the administration.

It will also be interesting to see how this affair ultimately plays out in the diplomatic community. Chas Freeman was not a minor, unnoatabe figure, he was a long time player in the diplomatic community with a lot of friends therein. And people tend to respond unfavorably when their friends are attacked, particularly when they feel the attacks are wholly unfair. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this affair significantly damages the Israel lobby’s standing inside the diplomatsphere, much the same way their attacks on Walt, Mearshimer, and Joe Klein have eroded their credibility in the worlds of academia and jounralism.

In other words, the Israel lobby might have been successful in stopping Freeman from taking this position, but it’s very possible that they have incurred the most damage as a result.

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