Matthew Yglesias writes:
"Retired General Wesley Clark is, like me, concerned that the Bush administration is going to launch a war with Iran. Arianna Huffington spoke to him in early January and asked why he was so worried the administration was headed in this direction. According to Huffington's January 4 recounting of Clark's thoughts, he said this: "You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers."
"This, of course, is true. I'm Jewish and I don't think the United States should bomb Iran, but Thursday night I was talking to a Jewish friend and she does think the United States should bomb Iran. The Jewish community, in short, is divided on the issue. It's also true that most major American Jewish organizations cater to the views of extremely wealthy major donors whose political views are well to the right of the bulk of American Jews, one of the most liberal ethnic groups in the country. Furthermore, it's true that major Jewish organizations are trying to push the country into war. …
"Everything Clark said, in short, is true. What's more, everybody knows it's true. The worst that can truthfully be said about Clark is that he expressed himself in a slightly odd way. This, it seems clear, he did because it's a sensitive issue and he worried that if he spoke plainly he'd be accused of trafficking in anti-Semitism. So he spoke unclearly and, for his trouble, got … accused of trafficking in anti-Semitism.
"James Taranto, who writes the hack "Best of the Web" column for the online version of The Wall Street Journal's hack editorial page, likened Clark's views on this to the notorious anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. …
"And, indeed, it is interesting, for demonstrating the bizarre rules of the road in discussing America's Israel policy. If you're offering commentary that's supportive of America's soi-disant "pro-Israel" forces, as [Michael] Barone was, it's considered perfectly acceptable to note, albeit elliptically, that said forces are influential in the Democratic Party in part because they contribute large sums of money to Democratic politicians who are willing to toe the line. If, by contrast, one observes this fact by way of criticizing the influence of "pro-Israel" forces, you're denounced as an anti-Semite."
In Oklahoma, the real estate developers and other wheeler-dealers express their natural male tribal competitiveness by buying the best college football coaches and players so their beloved U. of Oklahoma Sooners can beat the U. of Texas Longhorns and U. of Nebraska Cornhuskers. In New York City, the big money boys are just as competitive, but they don't have a local college football team to obsess over. So, they instead get all worked up over their beloved Israel, and buy up the top American politicians and pundits to get America to beat up Israel's rivals.
So, what America desperately needs is for New York City to have a BCS-quality college football team. The best candidate would be New York University, which is located just north of Wall Street. NYU was kind of an afterthought for a long time, but there is so much money in Manhattan that it has come up considerably in the world, and would now be as appealing a standard-bearer for New York City's alpha males as USC is for Los Angeles's.