John le Carré’s Political Cowardice

Surveying the work of the spy novelist, Nick Cohen notes the corrosive politics found in both his work and his public statements. The latter, writes Cohen, reflect all of the worst tendencies of Britain’s old right and new left—including their “Jew obsession”:

Connoisseurs of [le Carré’s] public statements can tick every space on the bingo card. Le Carré believes that corporations brainwash the bovine masses (check) on behalf of the imperial American hegemon (check), which is itself controlled by a conspiracy of right-wingers (check), who are pulling our puppet strings at the behest of—guess who?—the Jews (full house!). Or as le Carré explained, the [Jewish] neoconservatives are “appointing the state of Israel as the purpose of all Middle Eastern and practically all global policy.”

Then there is the self-pity, that most deplorable affectation of Western intellectuals who have never once faced the smallest threat of persecution or punishment for their writing. At one point during the last decade, le Carré compared himself with the German-Jewish diarist Victor Klemperer, who miraculously survived life under the Nazis. Liberals of a certain age remember that when the Ayatollah Khomeini’s assassins imitated the Nazis and threatened Salman Rushdie’s life, the Klemperer-of-our-time opined that Rushdie had brought death on himself by insulting the great religion of Islam.

Read more at Standpoint

More about: anti-Americanism, Anti-Semitism, Arts & Culture, Ayatollah Khomeini, Victor Klemperer

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy