I like what Ron Unz is doing to support the Dissident Right. Ron is very rich and very smart. He allegedly has an IQ over 200, but I have no way of knowing if that is true. Still, his business career supports the argument that he is an exceptionally bright man. Having super-smart people in your corner is almost always good. Having smart rich people in your corner is even better. Having smart, rich curious people is ideal.
That’s what strikes me about Unz. He is not doctrinaire, as far as I can tell. His site has all sorts of political and philosophical points of view. Steve Sailer is what we used to call the mainstream Right in the 1980’s. Noam Chomsky is a socialist circa 1968. It takes self-confidence and a high degree of curiosity to open the doors to such a wide range of opinion. It is something I try to cultivate in myself and therefore admire in others.
The thing you have to guard against, however, is falling for crackpot ideas with which you are unfamiliar. I’m a natural skeptic so this is much easier for me than most. My default assumption, when confronted by a new answer, is to assume that it must be wrong. I then set out to disprove it. I’m a natural puzzle solver so reverse engineering an idea or argument to see how it works is second nature. That wins me few friends, but it avoids stumbling into this sort of stuff I see on Ron’s site.
Philip Giraldi had a long career in the intelligence business as a CIA agent and later as a private dick for international clients. Therefore, his words carry an authority that most do not. He’s also a dedicated Israel hater. Here’s a quote from him:
“The Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military. Worse still, it has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away. “
Giraldi’s opinion of Israel is popular in Europe and, obviously, dominant in the Middle East. Arabs, fond of conspiracy, have created an elaborate mythology around Israel, international Jewry, the United States and their own plight. Westerners, who spend long periods in Arab lands, tend to pick up this habit of mind, along with a suspicion of Israel. They often return home sounding like retired Nazis to American ears. Giraldi has a bit of that to him and I would assume it comes from many years posted abroad.
Regardless, his obsession with Israel borders on the pathological. To suggest, as he does in that post, that the Israelis were behind the Paris shooting is simply nuts. All of the evidence points to two unstable young men who probably spent too much time on-line fantasizing about being the great Arab warrior. It’s not al-Quaeda or the Mosad. It was two disaffected Muslims. Instead of shooting an aging rock star to win the heart of a woman, they shot up a newspaper to win a place with Allah. But, the conspiratorial mind can never accept such banal explanations.
In his essay In Search of Anti-Semitism Bill Buckley laid out the turf that lies between criticism of Israel and/or commentary about Jews and anti-Semitism. This has remained an unresolved dispute between various factions of the Right since it boiled over in the 1980’s. The result, in my view, is that the folks chased out of the mainstream Right over the issue of Israel have never gotten over it. Their non-personhood haunts them even after all these years. The result is a deep paranoia about Israel and their neo-con supporters on the American Right.
I think Giraldi’s paranoia about Israel is simply weird. Israel is a country that does what it can to advance its interest. If it were located in the heart of Europe, it would be a Hebrew Lichtenstein, a commercial center with a big Temple. Instead it is surrounded by Arabs and it must adjust to deal with them. Americans have a romantic view of Israel so that is reflected in our foreign policy. Israel does not exist to undermine America. It acts in its own interests as it views them.