Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Radosh Rule: It is only McCarthyism when Diana West does it

This post is mind-boggling in its hysteria and its dishonest arguments.

The New Apologists for Vladimir Putin on the Right and the Left
To Radosh, not only does Russia have no legitimate national interests in Ukraine or Crimea, but there is no legitimate position for Americans except all out denunciations of Putin and aggressive saber-rattling.

To take just one example, here is Radosh attacking Steven Cohen:

As for the suppression of gays in Russia, Cohen points out they were suppressed in America when he grew up. Moreover, he says that 85 percent of Russians believe homosexuality is a disease or a choice. And there is no popular support in the country for gay rights. In other words, we may not like it, but one has to respect the feelings of the Russian public, and not inflict our values and decisions on them. He goes on to say “it’s not our concern,” and sarcastically remarks: “Are we supposed to form a brigade and go there and liberate Russian gays?” That is, my friend the historian of Russia Louis Menashe puts it, “reminiscent of turning back criticisms of the USSR with: “What about the Negroes lynched in the South!”

Once again, leftists like Stephen Cohen join with paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan in opposing a stand for democracy,
I have rarely seen so dishonest an argument. First note how Radosh pretends to like “democracy” but is unwilling to accept Cohen’s point that Putin’s policies have democratic support inside of Russia. Moreover, Cohen’s key point, “Are we supposed to form a brigade and go there and liberate Russian gays?” remains, perfectly valid. Since we lack the power to change Russia’s internal policies, what is the point of the constant moral preening and unceasing expressions of outrage?

And why stop at Russia? More counties in the world fall short of American standards of freedom. Are we to have no positive relations with any of them? Carried to its logical conclusion, Radosh’s preferred policies lead only to diplomatic isolation and military impotence.

Such nuance escapes Radosh. He had divided the world into two categories. Black and white. Putin apologists and Forces of Light.

That’s an odd position for Radosh to take given his harsh criticism of Diana West and her book American Betrayal.

Back then, he was the champion of a nuanced understanding of history and opposed to simple minded dichotomies.

As seen here and here, I leaned toward Radosh’s side about American Betrayal. I was struck even then however, with the harsh, even hysterical tone of his critique.

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