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Not a mistake to respond

Reader comment on item: Learning from the Mearsheimer-Walt Fiasco

Submitted by James Eckert (United States), Sep 21, 2007 at 09:47

In his comment, Mr. Pipes contends that it was a mistake to highlight the original essay because it has thereby grown in stature. I believe that this is partly incorrect.

The essay put forth a belief which was and is widely held, that Jews in America exercise vast influence over American policy (the truth is that many Jews and like minded Christians exercise vast influence over American policy, because America is a democracy and we are the overwhelming majority). Had the essay been ignored, this belief would have existed in any event. The response to the essay is largely responsible for its notoriety, but this notoriety has made it easier to address the underlying problem.

Without Mearsheimer-Walt, reasonable people would have to contend with a feeling that the Mearsheimer-Walt theory was widely believed, while unreasonable people could pretend that they were seeing a truth being kept secret from the masses. By making Mearsheimer-Walt into an industry, opponents have enriched the villains, but also established a concrete, widely recognized target, where before they faced only an easily denied mirage.

In military terms, one must fix the enemy before he can be destroyed. The anti-Semitic crowd is now clustered around Mearsheimer-Walt. I say bring in all the artillery.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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