It has been another tumultuous week here at "the Lobby" – or would that be in the lobby - so we will be brief.
The Lobby business refuses to go away. One of the latest developments is that Robert Belfer, who gave the dough for the chair in which Stephan Walt sits at Harvard, isn't especially pleased about being associated with he who sits in the chair. Obviously one could make all sorts of jokes and asides here about chairs and who, or what, sits in them.
Meanwhile, over at Columbia Muammar Qaddafi appeared at a conference on democracy in the 21st century, wherein he stated "There is no state with a democracy except Libya on the whole planet." The planet is a pretty big place, but as one of the conference organizers put it:
"One of the hard things when you haven't talked to somebody for more than 30 years is we don't really understand how we sound to them and they don't understand how they sound to us," he (Jon Alterman) said. "We obviously have a way to go until we're speaking the same language."
How true. Where is the universal translator or alternatively, translator microbes, when we need them? On the other hand, perhaps Qaddafi wasn't actually talking about this planet.
Finally, it has been a little while since we've dipped into the big bag of CW hate mail. Some recent samples:
how does it feel to be a fascist?????
A weak entry, the subject line only. But an extra half-point for all those question marks, which seem to be all that our correspondent could muster. Buck up lad.
Then there is:
In the preamble to Campus Watch , "Why Middle East Studies Matters", one of the first phrases used is "war on terror".
Tell me, is this some kind of joke? Are you so naive?
Not all the West is fooled by your cowardly posturing, rewriting of history, craven whinning and lavatorial attitudes.
Have some dignity and act like adults...
And I thought we were bravely posturing. And as to our lavatorial attitudes…
And finally there is:
Keep you informed? I just read Alex Joffe, writing about his dip in the "junk folder" to find a very cogent email from some one who made excellent sense, and hit all the bulls eyes - so you don't need to be "informed" - you need to open a vein in the bath.
Sickening Zionist meddling. Hate filled, over-educated scrofula..... You don't need informing, you, Alex Joffe, need a swift kick in the rattlers.
High marks, very high marks, for, no, I shall refrain from naming this dear correspondent, who urges us to suicide and levels threats against our rattlers. Sorry Henry, no vein opening or rattler kicking today. These rattlers are not for kicking. But rest assured Henry that if my rattlers need kicking I shall have them kicked by a far better rattler kicker than you.