December 04, 2006

Why Is This Hawk Worse Than All Other Hawks?

I don't get why so many of my friends are so down on Michael Ledeen. The guy has some blind spots, of course; he tends to discount the difficulty of fomenting revolution a bit too much, but that only makes him functionally more dovish than other neocons (to the extent that that word means anything). And he was quite precient about the difficulties that Syrian and Iranian meddling would pose in post-invasion Iraq.

I mean, I understand that MBD and Jim and Jeremy and Dave are dovish on Iran, but why does Ledeen seem to raise more hackles than those like Reuel Marc Gerecht or Bill Kristol, who actually want to bomb Iran ASAP (which Ledeen doesn't)? Is it the "realists and antisemites" comment? What am I missing here?

UPDATE: Jim Antle emails:

I find Ledeen more melodramatic than Kristol. Also, while I disagree with Kristol, I generally (though not always) think that he debates his opponents like a gentleman---again, not so Ledeen. But yeah, I think it was the realists as antisemites line that got me in the post you reference.
It's certainly true that Ledeen is a bit prickly, as anyone who's seen him in a panel discussion knows. I'm not so sure that the "realists and antisemites" line is so out of bounds (remember James Baker's infamous potty-mouthed imperative?), though I can see why it might feel like an unfair broad-brush smear. (I was tickled, incidentally, by the delicacy with which Jim recently phrased his dissent from the American Conservative line on Israel: He's "somewhat less optimistic about Palestinian intentions" than his old bosses.)

Posted by John Tabin at December 4, 2006 03:06 PM

>I'm not so sure that the "realists and antisemites" >line is so out of bounds

I am.

Posted by: Jeremy Lott at December 5, 2006 08:21 AM