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Dec. 2023 | Anatol Lieven: Biden says Ukraine has already won. He’s right. The inklings of a new narrative?

‘ In his press conference with President Zelensky on Tuesday evening, President Biden made one statement that was both entirely true, and is the potential basis for a new U.S. approach to the conflict in Ukraine. He said that Ukraine has already won a great victory in the war — by defeating the initial Russian plan to subjugate the whole of Ukraine.

If the Biden administration and Washington establishment could recognize the implications of this, they could craft a new narrative that would allow them, and the Ukrainian government, to present a compromise peace as a Ukrainian victory (albeit a qualified one) and a Russian defeat — though not a complete one. ‘


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Citaat uit Anatol Lieven (2005,  p. 198) America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism. ISBN: 978-0-19-530005-5.

% citaat %  The position of the pro-Israeli liberal intelligentsia in the United States toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict came somewhat to resemble the position of many enlightened mid-nineteenth-century Americans toward the clash between slavery and the American Creed, as described one hundred years ago by Herbert Croly: “The thing to do was to shut your eyes to the inconsistency, denounce anyone who insisted on it as unpatriotic, and then hold on tight to both horns of the dilemma.
Men of high intelligence, who really loved their country, persisted in this attitude.”
One result of this uneasy moral situation has been a tendency to launch especially vituperative attacks on anyone who draws attention to the radical inconsistencies between the stances of many American liberals on the Israel-Palestine conflict and the attitudes of the same people to other such conflicts. Backed by the tremendous institutional power of the Israeli lobby, this has had the effect of severely limiting discussion of the conflict in the United States. Reporting of the conflict is generally fair enough, but unlike the U.S. coverage of the Chechen wars, for example, it tends to lack all historical context, thereby allowing Palestinians to be portrayed simply as terrorists with no explanation of why they are fighting.

Much more serious however is the general bias of the editorial pages toward partisans of Israel. Unconditional, hard-line partisans of Israel such as William Safire are given regular space even in the New York Times (which emerged as a moderate critic of Likud policies and Bush administration support for them.) By contrast, hard-line critics of Israel never appear. Such criticism as is permitted is usually by moderates and is highly qualified and restrained.  % einde citaat %



Given the reception John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt received for their London Review of Books essay last year on what they called the Israel Lobby, it would have been understandable had they crawled away to a dark corner of their respective academic institutions to lick their wounds. Their argument that US foreign policy has been distorted by the stultifying power of pro-Israeli groups and individuals was met with a firestorm of protest that has smouldered ever since.

The authors were assailed with headlines such as the Washington Post’s: “Yes, it’s anti-semitic.” The neocon pundit William Kristol accused them in the Wall Street Journal of “anti-Judaism” while the New York Sun linked them with the white supremacist David Duke.









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