Sunday, September 23, 2007

Stevie Joe Blows the Lid on the Wall Street Journal

This week, there was a column in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Jonah's Dilemma." Now, most folks know the story about how Jonah was swallowed by the whale. However, there is a bit more to it. If you find reading the Bible to be a bit tiresome, I recommend watching the Veggie Tales version starring Archibald the Asparagus as Jonah. Bible story, animated vegetables, and a bit of Gilbert & Sullivan-style whimsy - what's not to like?

Anyway, Jonah was the reluctant prophet. One day, God commands Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the folks there to wise up and repent or prepare for some smiting. Jonah sees this as a no-win situation for himself. If they repent and nothing happens, they'll think ol' Jonah was pulling their legs. If they don't repent and God goes medieval on them, then Jonah has failed in his mission.

So, the two WSJ geniuses who wrote the column, Michael B. Oren and Mark Gerson, compare the story of Jonah to the decisions that must be made by today's world leaders. For example, Churchill predicted the threat posed by Nazi Germany. Had he decided to strike first, he might have been accused of starting an unnecessary war rather than preventing an even larger conflict. Since he did not strike first, World War Two resulted.

Mikey and Marky then carry the analogy to President Numbnuts and the Iraq War. Damned if he attacks, damned if he doesn't. Poor ol' George. No matter what he does, the liberals are going to criticize him.

Now, here's where these two Bozos go wrong. They are offering a false choice. They present the dilemma of today's world leaders as a choice between launching a war or doing nothing. However, it does not take a genius like Stevie Joe to see that there are many more choices than that. In fact, any leader who chooses such a simplified view of crisis management is inherently unfit for the job!

So, what exactly is behind this poor attempt to justify the war in Iraq? To find out, we have to take a closer look at Mikey and Marky.

Mikey is a fellow at the Shalem Center. According to their website, they are "a Jerusalem-based research and educational institute dedicated to developing and transmitting ideas in the areas most crucial to the intellectual and public life of the Jewish people." Mikey himself lives in Jerusalem and served as an officer in the Israeli army. He fought in the first and second Lebanon Wars and was a liaison to the US during the first Gulf War. So, he's not exactly a disinterested party.

What about Marky? According to the WSJ, he is co-founder and chairman of the Gerson Lehman Group. What do they do, you ask? They provide access for their clients to over 150,000 "subject-matter experts." Sounds innocent enough although I'm not sure how that qualifies him to discuss either the Bible or foreign policy.

But wait, there's more! A little searching shows that Marky is part of the Project for a New American Century, the neoconservative think-tank that was the driving force behind President Numbnut's foreign policy. The PNAC was founded by a real group of sweethearts including Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, Don Rumsfeld, Scooter Libby, Dan Quayle, Elliot Abrams, Bill Bennett, and Steve Forbes.

So, why isn't the WSJ up front about this? Why hide the fact that this column was written by an Israeli army officer and a mouthpiece for the Bush administration? Is this your idea of editorial integrity? Shame on you, WSJ!

Oh, snap!
Stevie Joe Parker

1 comment:

beth h said...

Stevie -- It's also good to note that the timeliness of WSJ's examination of Jonah corresponds to the Jewish High Holidays.

We read the story of Jonah out loud in the synagogue, every year on Yom Kippur afternoon, but for a very different reason than the WSJ alluded to in its article.

To observant Jews, the story of Jonah is the story of how free will is an important part of the mix in the relationship between G-d and human beings. Choosing to do the right thing -- flying in the face of one's own immediate desires for short-term safety and security -- is exactly the point, a point that WSJ and mssrs. M & M seem to have missed.