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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

3.24.2008

Merrill McPeak, Jerk and Bigot

I served in the Air Force under Obama's idiot co-chair, whose legacy consisted of two dubious accomplishments:

1. An airline captain's uniform which his successors quickly got rid of;

2. The silly notion that fighter pilots made the best commanders, especially of non-flying Air Force units. This also got junked by Ron Fogelman and the other chairmen who had to clean up McPeak's mess.

Now, his anti-Semitism is on ample display:

Well, it is likely that Obama will soon be having to retract Merrill McPeak. McPeak, who was arrested last year for driving under the influence, apparently has a problem controlling more than his thirst for fermented beverages. He also has a penchant for bashing Israel or, more particularly, Jews who oppose negotiating with terrorists.

McPeak has a long history of criticizing Israel for not going back to the 1967 borders as part of any peace agreement with Arab states. In 1976 McPeak wrote an article for Foreign Affairs magazine questioning Israel's insistence on holding on to the Golan Heights and parts of the West Bank.

In recent years McPeak has echoed the Mearsheimer-Walt view that American Middle East policy is being controlled by Jews at the expense of America's interests in the region. In a 2003 interview with the Oregonian, McPeak complained of that the "lack of playbook for getting Israelis and Palestinians together at...something other than a peace process....We need to get it fixed and only we have the authority with both sides to move them towards that. Everybody knows that."

The interviewer asked McPeak: "So where's the problem? State? White House?"

McPeak replied: "New York City. Miami. We have a large vote -- vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it."

Translation (as if it's needed): Jews -- who put Israel over every American interest -- control America's policy on the Middle East. And McPeak has the audacity to accuse Bill Clinton of McCarthyism.

McPeak also claims that a combination of Jews and Christian Zionists are manipulating U.S. policy in Iraq in dangerous and radical ways: "Let's say that one of your abiding concerns is the security of Israel as opposed to a purely American self-interest, then it would make sense to build a dozen or so bases in Iraq. Let's say you are a born-again Christian and you think that Armageddon and the rapture are about to happen any minute and what you want to do is retrace steps you think are laid out in Revelations, then it makes sense. So there are a number of scenarios here that could lead you in this direction. This is radical...."

McPeak also noted: "The secret of the neoconservative movement is that it's not conservative, it's radical. Guys like me, who are conservatives, are upset about these neocons calling themselves conservative when they're so radical."

Guys like McPeak are upset because they think Jews have too much influence.

McPeak (in his Oregonian interview) also equated terrorist organizations with neoconservative supporters for Israel:

Interviewer: "Do you think...there's an element within Hamas, Hezbollah, that doesn't want Israel to exist at all and always will be there?"

McPeak: "Absolutely."

Interviewer: "So this is -- this is multilateral."

Instead of discussing Hamas and Hezbollah, McPeak returns to his primary target: Christian and Jews who support Israel:

McPeak: "There's an element in Oregon [sic], you know, that's always going to be radical in some pernicious way, and likely to clothe it in religious garments, so it makes it harder to attack. So there's craziness all over the place. I think there is enough good will on the Israeli side -- I've spent a lot of time in Israel, worked at one time very closely with the Israeli air force as a junior officer, and so -- but that's maybe the more cosmopolitan, liberal version of the Israeli population."

In other words, American policy is the product of "religious Jews and neocons" who in McPeak's mind are just as much to blame for a lack of peace in the Middle East as are Hamas and Hezbollah.

It will be interesting to see how the Obama campaign formulates what should be its latest disavowal and dismissal of yet another anti-Israel and anti-Jewish "adviser."

McPeak's comments are worse than McCarthyism. They reflect the views of Reverend Wright and other Obama advisers who believe that Israel is just a problem to be solved, not an ally to support.

McPeak is not the only member of the Obama campaign who holds such twisted views. Others such as Robert Malley or Zbigniew Brzezinski have found themselves downgraded to "informal" advisers as their anti-Israel views are made public. Samantha Powers was dismissed for calling Hillary a monster, not for sharing McPeak's belief in the malign omnipotence of the "Israel lobby."

Obama has a Jewish problem and McPeak's bigoted views are emblematic of what they are. Obama can issue all the boilerplate statements supporting Israel's right to defend itself he wants. But until he accepts responsibility for allowing people like McPeak so close to his quest for the presidency, Obama's sincerity and judgment will remain open questions.


I attribute his bigotry to the fact that the Israeli Air Force was the best Air Force in the world at the time McPeak's tenure began.* McPeak's ego was legendary, and made him almost universally despised in the early 90s among the rank in file, including a sizeable majority of my fellow Air Force cadets.

McPeak was particularly reviled for lying to the Cadet Wing about pilot training slots in 1991. He was asked point blank whether pilot slots would be cut for the Class of 1992, and assured the Wing that everyone who wanted to go to pilot training would go. At the time, as recounted by a very highly-placed source, McPeak had flown to the Academy not to speak to the cadets (always a low priority for the man), but to seal the deal on the reduction in pilot training slots for cadets. Honor being important at the Academy (and certainly in the Air Force as a whole), this source was said to have flown to Washington to confront McPeak on his lying. He was left cooling his heels in his office waiting area without meeting the man.

One year later, McPeak came to speak to cadets again. This time, a member of the Class of 1993 asked him why cadets had to follow the Honor Code if he didn't follow it himself. He stammered something about the Honor Code ("We will not lie, steal, nor cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does") being a good thing. There was uproar at the time about whether or not the cadet who asked the question should be punished; this was quashed by a highly-placed person in the Academy chain-of-command.**


* It wasn't until Chuck Horner turned Desert Storm into the most impressive aerial campaign in history that the U.S. Air Force was restored to its rightful place in the world as the finest air arm, and it took a lot more than fighter pilots to pull it off.

** I am circumspect here not because any of the above is a secret---it was common knowledge at the Academy during my time there and is one of those legendary events recounted with some glee by former cadets---but because the persons involved may not welcome the attention. I can only say I have the utmost respect for all those who had the brass balls to stand up to the top ranking general in the Air Force when he failed to live up to the standards of the profession regarding integrity. As for McPeak, I think he's a worm. He was a politician in uniform then; he's a politician with a uniform in his closet now. I doubt his integrity has improved in the process.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

McPeak was also arrested for drinking and driving in Austin, TX while he was 12th AF commander. I think you're right about the "politician in uniform" aspect of his career.

1:38 PM  

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