Sent to you by Sean McBride via Google Reader: Richard Cohen Runs
Around the Elephant in the Room While Righteously Attacking Eric Holder
via Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss on 12/2/08
Richard Cohen is about as good as we get for a mainstream columnist
these days, and he has a righteous column attacking the Eric Holder nod
for Attorney General. All because Holder approved the Marc Rich pardon.
The big issue, as I say again, is Why would a man disfigure his career
for Marc Rich? Cohen can't explain it:
It suggests that Holder, whatever his other qualifications, could not
say no to power. The Rich pardon request had power written all over it
-- the patronage of important Democratic fundraisers, for instance.
Holder also said he was "really struck" by the backing of Rich by
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the possibility of "foreign
policy benefits that would be reaped by granting the pardon." This is
an odd standard for American justice, but more than that, what was
Holder thinking? That U.S.-Israeli relations would suffer? Holder does
not sound naive. He sounds disingenuous.

I think Cohen is being disingenuous. He knows the hypocrisy at work
here as well as anyone. The real issue here is, Why is Israel so
important to our politicians? Why was Holder swept up in Israel stuff
against his better judgment? What is the "power," to use Cohen's
coinage, of the Israel lobby? Why did Ehud Barak have open access to
Bill Clinton all thru 2000, in ways that Aaron David Miller say
crippled Camp David? Cohen joined the tiresome attacks on Walt and
Mearsheimer a year back. That wasn't helpful to his readers; for they
actually explain things.

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