In Osama bin Laden’s most recent message, he made reference to Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer’s book The Israel Lobby and American Foreign Policy, and asserted that most of the U.S.’s problems in the Middle East could be traced back to the influence of Israel in Washington. Just as Marc Lynch predicted, some of Walt and Mearsheimer’s enemies — Jeffrey Goldberg and Gabriel Schoenfeld, and others — have seized upon this as supportive of their previous smears of Walt and Mearsheimer as anti-Semites. Needless to say, these critics aren’t really interested in whether bin Laden might be misrepresenting Walt and Mearsheimer’s arguments — because they all do the same thing.
While I agree that it’s not particularly encouraging to have one’s writings woven into enemy propaganda, I’m curious what Walt and Mearsheimer’s critics had to say back in 2007, when bin Laden quoted approvingly from a different set of authors, David Frum and Richard Perle. Here’s what Osama said:
Among the most important items contained in Bush’s speeches since the events of the 11th is that the Americans have no option but to continue the war. This tone is in fact an echoing of the words of the words of neoconservatives like Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Richard Perle, that latter having said previously that the Americans have no choice in front of them than to continue the war or face a holocaust.
The highlighted quote is a reference to Frum and Perle’s classic of neoconservative warmongering, An End To Evil, in which the authors asserted that, in the war on terror, “there is no middle way for Americans: It is victory or holocaust.” I must have missed Goldberg, Schoenfeld, et al’s attacks on Frum and Perle at the time for feeding Al Qaeda propaganda with their apocalyptic (and now-completely discredited and discarded) analysis of the threat. I would appreciate it if someone could forward them to me.