James Taranto refers to Wesley Clark’s recent statement as “the protocols of ‘the New York money people.'” Here is what Clark said as recounted by Arianna Huffington:
Clark was really angry about what he’d read in this column by UPI Editor at Large Arnaud de Borchgrave. In the piece, which Clark quickly forwarded to my BlackBerry from his Trio [sic], de Borchgrave details Bibi Netanyahu leading the charge to lobby the Bush administration to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities, and paints U.S. air strikes against Iran in 2007/08 as all-but-a-done deal.
“How can you talk about bombing a country when you won’t even talk to them?” said Clark. “It’s outrageous. We’re the United States of America; we don’t do that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the military option is off the table–but diplomacy is not what Jim Baker says it is. It’s not, What will it take for you boys to support us on Iraq? It’s sitting down for a couple of days and talking about our families and our hopes, and building relationships.”
When we asked him what made him so sure the Bush administration was headed in this direction, he replied: “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.”
Even Clark acknowledges that “the military option” for preventing Iranian nuclear proliferation should not be “off the table,” but if the Bush administration does not share his faith that the fundamentalists who run Iran can be brought around by “sitting down for a couple of days and talking about our families and our hopes”–a concept of diplomacy that strikes us as even more naive than Jim Baker’s–it must be because the White House is under the influence of “the New York money people”–i.e., rich Jews.
Michael Barone dryly notes Clark’s comment:
It’s interesting to see a Democratic presidential hopeful denounce “the New York money people,” people whom Clark spent some time with in 2003-04. It’s a sign that pro-Israel sentiment is not as strong in Democratic politics as it used to be. As I’ve pointed out, rank-and-file Republicans are now more pro-Israel than rank-and-file Democrats.
It seems to me that something more is called for. Clark’s comments are not simply “anti-Israel.” Is it a only a matter only of parochial concern to American Jews that they are now to be stigmatized without consequence in the traditional disgusting terms — terms that used to result in eviction from the precincts of polite society — by a major figure in the Democratic Party? Is there no one in the major media interested in what Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Howard Dean and others think of Clark’s comment? Do the major media share Clark’s sentiment or are they uninterested in learning whether its stupidity isn’t more widely shared among the field of Democratic Party presidential candidates?
To comment on this post, go here.