Singled Out?


Gator90 makes an argument here that’s worth responding to:

For every word written or spoken about the influence of Cuban-Americans or Armenian-Americans on U.S. politics & policy, (insert gigantic number) are written & spoken about the influence of Jewish Americans. […] Which is not to say that Jews shouldn’t be singled out in this respect. Perhaps they should. (There are certainly valid reasons to think that U.S. policy in the Middle East is more important than the Cuba Embargo or silly resolutions about century-old stuff.) But let’s not pretend that they are not singled out. Of course they are, which is why “The Cuba Lobby” and “The Armenia Lobby” are not exactly rocketing up the best-seller lists.

I think this is wrong. The reason The Cuba Lobby and US Foreign Policy isn’t flying off the shelves is that it would be so ridiculously banal to write a book with the thesis that the Cuban exile community centered in South Florida is the dominant influence on America’s Cuba policy. People say this all the time, in mainstream publications, and nobody bats an eye because it’s obviously true. Similarly, all accounts of US policy toward Azerbaijan in the 1990s or congressional attitudes toward the genocide resolution highlight the dominant role played by Armenian-American political pressure in these initiatives. You might write a book or an article about the issue (the Caucuses, Cuba, etc.) but you wouldn’t write something with the thesis “there’s an influential Cuba Lobby” because that’s dull and obvious.