Krugman watch

by Henry on October 22, 2003

Looks as though Dan’s “prediction”:https://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/000695.html has come to pass; Glenn Reynolds “claims grandly”:http://www.instapundit.com/archives/012127.php in Instabolded type that the “ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE is blasting Paul Krugman for anti-Semitism.” To put it as kindly as possible, this is a rather … overenthusiastic interpretation of the ADL’s “letter”:http://www.adl.org/media_watch/newspapers/20031021-NYTimes.htm to the New York Times, which merely suggests that Krugman “underestimates the significance of the anti-Semitic diatribe by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.” Of course, this isn’t the first time that Reynolds’ enthusiasm for a good slur has gotten in the way of the facts, but surely he can do better than this. Does he even read the stuff that he links to? I wonder.

{ 32 comments }

1

John 10.22.03 at 8:37 am

Surely, even so, Krugman, as a Jew, would have to say much worse things to be considered possibly guilty of anti-semitism…

The ADL letter immediately violates Godwin’s Law, by the way. They seem to fear that the large Jewish community of Malaysia may be in some sort of danger of genocide…

2

Dave F 10.22.03 at 8:48 am

Krugman’s guilty of either wilful ignorance or deliberate disingenuousness, and his apparent view that Mahathir’s anti-semitism, a lifelong obsession, is due to George Bush should be considered evidence of mania. People like Krugman are dangerous, because they cannot see hatefilled dictators (Mahathir is no democrat) for what they are, and their opinions are taken seriously by influtential people who also should know better.

I agree Reynolds got the wrong end of the stick. But reading Krugman’s outrageously obtuse piece left me with a nasty taste.
When is enough enough?

3

Conrad Barwa 10.22.03 at 11:46 am

Well, is this surprising? The anti-Semitism card gives the Right the only chance it really has of supporting its political objectives while posing as the Great Anti-Racist Saviours against “Left-wing racism/anti-Semitism” (whatever this is meant to be); given their general stance on race issues it is about the only time you will see large sections of them speaking up aggressively trying to claim the moral high ground, so it will be played for all it is worth.

4

Chris Bertram 10.22.03 at 11:52 am

Am I right in thinking that, as I’ve now been able to read the InstaLibel here in the UK, Krugman can pick Peter Carter-Ruck and Co to bring a lucrative action in the English courts?

5

Jason McCullough 10.22.03 at 11:56 am

“…..his apparent view that Mahathir’s anti-semitism, a lifelong obsession, is due to George Bush”

Can you point out where Krugman says this? Thanks.

6

raj 10.22.03 at 12:53 pm

I’m amazed at the number of people who apparently have problems understanding the thrust of Krugman’s column.

7

Data 10.22.03 at 1:38 pm

More precisely, Krugman’s spin on Mahathir’s diatribe makes it seem that Mahathir was somehow forced to pander to some anti-Semitic feeling amongst Malaysians or Muslims, when Mahathir has been anti-Semitic long before al-Qaeda was even formed. Here is where Krugman blames the Bush administration:

“…Not long ago Washington was talking about Malaysia as an important partner in the war on terror. Now Mr. Mahathir thinks that to cover his domestic flank, he must insert hateful words into a speech mainly about Muslim reform. That tells you, more accurately than any poll, just how strong the rising tide of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism among Muslims in Southeast Asia has become. Thanks to its war in Iraq and its unconditional support for Ariel Sharon, Washington has squandered post-9/11 sympathy and brought relations with the Muslim world to a new low.”

8

Thorley Winston 10.22.03 at 2:05 pm

I’m amazed at the number of people who apparently have problems understanding the thrust of Krugman’s column.

There should not be any problem with understanding them since they pretty much have the same theme – whatever the problem is, blame Bush.

9

Thorley Winston 10.22.03 at 2:18 pm

Not long ago Washington was talking about Malaysia as an important partner in the war on terror. Now Mr. Mahathir thinks that to cover his domestic flank, he must insert hateful words into a speech mainly about Muslim reform. That tells you, more accurately than any poll, just how strong the rising tide of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism among Muslims in Southeast Asia has become. Thanks to its war in Iraq and its unconditional support for Ariel Sharon, Washington has squandered post-9/11 sympathy and brought relations with the Muslim world to a new low.”

It’s insane commentary like this which convinces one that if a moon bat like Paul Krugman did not exist, the RNC would have to invent him just to discredit the President’s critics. Mahathir was forced to insert hateful words into speech not because he is (a) a hateful anti-Semitic piece of or (b) that’s what he thought his supporters (who are hateful anti-Semitic pieces of ) wanted to hear but really because (c) it’s all Bush’s fault (as is everything in Paul Krugman’s little fantasy world).

As much as I generally despise the ADL for promoting a destructive collectivist victim mentality (as well as doing smear jobs on other pundits with false charges of anti-Semitism), Krugman is truly despicable fellow and while his piece was more about his obsession with perpetual Bush-bashing than trying to excuse anti-Semitism, there is a nice sense of poetic justice in his being the victim of a smear job after launching so many of his own.

10

Atrios 10.22.03 at 2:21 pm

I’ll write this very slowly so people can understand.

Krugman wasn’t blaming the guy’s anti-Semitism on George Bush, he was blaming george bush for a foreign policy which has created a situation in which Our Good Friend Mahathir, a buddy in our War On Terra, considers it more prudent to make anti-Semitic remarks for domestic consumption on the eve of a presidential visit than to not do so.

You may or may not agree with this assessment, but Krugman is just explaining that these are not the ravings of a lunatic, but of a crafty politician. A completely bigoted anti-semitic politician, perhaps, but nonetheless the comments were *calculated.*

11

Barry 10.22.03 at 2:32 pm

Atrios, Thorley’s a – well, not a troll, really, just a hard-core Bush apologist.

Of course, you probably figured that out already, but I just had to ay it :)

12

hans ze beeman 10.22.03 at 2:33 pm

data:

More precisely, Krugman’s spin on Mahathir’s diatribe makes it seem that Mahathir was somehow forced to pander to some anti-Semitic feeling amongst Malaysians or Muslims, when Mahathir has been anti-Semitic long before al-Qaeda was even formed.

Which not only places the “guilt” of “causing” anti-Semitism on Bush, but at the same time justifies it as a kind of “natural” reaction. Krugman on the one hand criticises the words Mahathir used:

Indeed, those remarks were inexcusable

At the same time, anti-Semitism is an OK measure to “ward off tensions” between Malaysia’s ethnic groups:

What became clear watching Mr. Mahathir back then was that his strident rhetoric was actually part of a delicate balancing act aimed at domestic politics. Malaysia has a Muslim, ethnically Malay, majority, but its business drive comes mainly from an ethnic Chinese minority. To keep the economy growing, Mr. Mahathir must allow the Chinese minority to prosper, but to ward off ethnic tensions he must throw favors, real and rhetorical, to the Malays

This is what must be harshly criticised; anti-Semitism is not an OK measure of politics, though of course it is a convenient one. And this is where Krugman must be criticised: he perceives anti-Semitism in Malaysia as an actually good measure of policy. The additional fact that Krugman implicitly attributes the rise of anti-Semitism as a result of “squandered sympathy” in the Muslim world to Bush is ahistoric and purely partisan. And, again, it eerily justifies this irrational hate as a reaction, which is ridiculous.

13

Tim Lambert 10.22.03 at 2:54 pm

In Reynolds’ previous posting on Krugman, he approvingly links to Luskin’s demand that Krugman apologize for calling him a stalker. And yet, here’s Reynolds writing in May: “Donald Luskin is stalking Paul Krugman”.

14

Thorley Winston 10.22.03 at 3:25 pm

Atrios wrote:

I’ll write this very slowly so people can understand.

No, no. To get the full effect of that bit of sarcasm you have to s-p-e-l-l-o-u-t-e-a-c-h-w-o-r-d. ;)

Krugman wasn’t blaming the guy’s anti-Semitism on George Bush, he was blaming george bush for a foreign policy which has created a situation in which Our Good Friend Mahathir, a buddy in our War On Terra, considers it more prudent to make anti-Semitic remarks for domestic consumption on the eve of a presidential visit than to not do so.

Which is pretty much just restating what I wrote in my last post:

Mahathir was forced to insert hateful words into speech not because he is (a) a hateful anti-Semitic piece of or (b) that’s what he thought his supporters (who are hateful anti-Semitic pieces of ) wanted to hear but really because © it’s all Bush’s fault (as is everything in Paul Krugman’s little fantasy world).

And Krugman’s opinion that this, much like everything else Krugman does not like, is somehow the fault of Bush (or his policies) is utter nonsense. The whole “we squandered post-9/11 sympathy” line is utter nonsense. Fouad Ajami wrote a great peace for Foreign Policy (click on my name to go the link):

The introduction of the Pew report sets the tone for the entire study. The war in Iraq, it argues,”has widened the rift between Americans and Western Europeans” and “further inflamed the Muslim world.” The implications are clear: The United States was better off before Bush’s “unilateralism.” The United States, in its hubris, summoned up this anti-Americanism. Those are the political usages of this new survey.

But these sentiments have long prevailed in Jordan, Egypt, and France. During the 1990s, no one said good things about the United States in Egypt. It was then that the Islamist children of Egypt took to the road, to Hamburg and Kandahar, to hatch a horrific conspiracy against the United States. And it was in the 1990s, during the fabled stock market run, when the prophets of globalization preached the triumph of the U.S. economic model over the protected versions of the market in places such as France, when anti-Americanism became the uncontested ideology of French public life. Americans were barbarous, a threat to French cuisine and their beloved language. U.S. pension funds were acquiring their assets and Wall Street speculators were raiding their savings. The United States incarcerated far too many people and executed too many criminals. All these views thrived during a decade when Americans are now told they were loved and uncontested on foreign shores.

Much has been made of the sympathy that the French expressed for the United States immediately after the September 11 attacks, as embodied by the famous editorial of Le Monde’s publisher Jean-Marie Colombani, “Nous Sommes Tous Américains” (“We are all Americans”). And much has been made of the speed with which the United States presumably squandered that sympathy in the months that followed. But even Colombani’s column, written on so searing a day, was not the unalloyed message of sympathy suggested by the title. Even on that very day, Colombani wrote of the United States reaping the whirlwind of its “cynicism”; he recycled the hackneyed charge that Osama bin Laden had been created and nurtured by U.S. intelligence agencies.

As the Godfather of Blogs says “read the whole thing.” The idea that we somehow “squandered sympathy” is utter nonsense and unless Krugman is more the fool than he is a demagogue, he knows it too. The people who hate the United States and/or engage in anti-American/anti-Western rhetoric pretty much were doing it before 9/11 (although it may have subsided temporarily somewhat in the first few days when Chirac and company were crying crocodile tears). Governments which cooperate with us or do not cooperate with us in the War on Terror aren’t going to do so because they felt “sympathy” or “anger” at the United States – they’re doing it or not because they think it is in their own self-interest. Likewise with Mahathir, Shroeder, Anan, Chirac, and all of the other disagreeable dirt balls we have to work with to deal with a larger and more immediate threat. They may hem and haw about the strawman of “American unilateralism” but at the end of the day, their cooperation or lack of it is driven solely by what they think is in their own self-interest.

15

raj 10.22.03 at 4:31 pm

“And this is where Krugman must be criticised: he perceives anti-Semitism in Malaysia as an actually good measure of policy.”

No. Krugman perceives the expression of anti-semitism by Mahatir in this instance to be a good measure of US policy in the middle east.

For the reasons that Krugman stated.

16

atrios 10.22.03 at 4:37 pm

I would point out that it is possible to believe both (1) that the administration’s policy vis-a-vis the Middle East has been, on balance, the best practicable policy, and (2) that at the same time, that policy has had the unfortunate consequence of inflaming anti-American feeling in Muslim countries. While Krugman has criticized the administration’s foreign policy more generally in the past, I’m sure he would agree that the single asserted consequence of that policy discussed in his column, standing alone, does not invalidate the administration’s approach.

17

wcw 10.22.03 at 5:16 pm

Fouad Ajami is not the first name I’d pick out of a hat for my political analysis of the Middle East. if he had actually wanted to dispute those surveys, he would have come bearing his own numbers. he didn’t; I submit that the simple explanation is that there is no objective refutation. Ajami’s extremely good at inserting his name into the right-wing discourse, though, I’ll say that for him.

as for Krugman’s column, a quick scan indicates that Mahatir’s name appears a dozen times, versus precisely zero mentions of Bush’s name. again, the rational reader would not possibly take away the conclusion that the writer’s main point was “it’s Bush’s fault.”

full disclosure: Mahatir’s an authoritarian, racist jingo, but he managed his country through a severe economic crisis. the one running our country is busy creating a rather different fiscal legacy.

18

Ross Judson 10.22.03 at 5:33 pm

Donald Luskin’s criticism of Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman has always struck me as plain old insult-based attacking. Luskin seems like a musician who, too cool for words, says that he _could_ produce a hit record whenever he wants, but he has serious things to do.

Or maybe he really can’t.

If Luskin is a primary critic of Krugman, I wouldn’t mind seeing an edited, fact-based debate between the two of them. Or such a debate between Krugman and any other economist supporting Bush policies, for that matter. Let’s see the numbers and the reasoning.

Somehow I don’t think we’ll see such a debate.

I offer this insight into Luskin’s thinking, from an exchange I had with a while back:

————————-
—–Original Message—–
From: Judson, Ross Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 9:32 AM
To: Donald Luskin
Subject: numbers, numbers

You might want to subtract this particular one from your argument. With everyone on every side paraphrasing like crazy, and then calling the paraphrases lies, we all need to be very careful.

K: The Bushies are different. They just plain lie. They just plain say, “Here’s our tax cut; it goes mostly to the working class.” And then you actually take a look at the numbers and it’s not subjective. You just say, “Oh, 42 percent of it goes to the top 1 percent of the population.”

KTS: Let’s just accept that 42% figure, whether or not it’s right. What’s important is that Krugman is lying when he claims that the Bush administration ever said anything to indicate that its tax cuts would go “mostly to the working class.” Yes, the administration said that “every American who pays income taxes will get tax relief.” Yes, the administration said that “the percentage reduction in income taxes is greatest for families with incomes under $50,000,” and therefore higher-income taxpayers “will pay a larger share of the total income tax burden.” And those statements are absolutely factual – as Krugman would say, “it’s not subjective.”

Bottom line is, the Administration stated that “92 million taxpayers will get an average tax cut of $1003”. While mathematically true, you and I both know that is absolutely intended to convey that it will go mostly to the working class. Yes, people have to be smart enough to know the difference between a median and an average. Most people aren’t. Most people are going to hear that and think their taxes are going to be $1000 lower. You also disparage the 42% figure. Come up with a better one and source it.

You’ll find plenty of open-minded middle-grounders out there like me. Show up with the good stuff, and you’ll convince us. If your entire column can be condensed to “he lies, and lies again” without anything backing it up….well, you’ll find yourself with a loyal, diminishing constituency of yes-men.

RJ

Donald Luskin’s reply:

I guess we just differ in our assessment of that particular example.

If you think those statement by Bush are “just plain lies” then I don’t know what I can do to convince you otherwise.

-=-=-=-=-
Donald L. Luskin
Chief Investment Officer
Trend Macrolytics

19

Yuval Rubinstein 10.22.03 at 6:04 pm

Am I right in thinking that, as I’ve now been able to read the InstaLibel here in the UK, Krugman can pick Peter Carter-Ruck and Co to bring a lucrative action in the English courts?
Funny you should mention that, Chris. The landmark case of Gutnick v. Dow Jones, in which an Australian businessman was allowed to sue the Wall Street Journal in an Australian Court for an article written on the Barron’s Online website, is about to go to trial. Also, check out the case of Harrods v. Dow Jones for more supporting precedent. I hope Prof. Instalibel knows some good English defence lawyers (personally, I would recommend Geoffrey Robertson, but he’s probably busy at the moment).

20

marc 10.22.03 at 6:35 pm

Henry,
I don’t know if you have seen it, but Reynolds has since corrected his statement to the ADL is “blasting Paul Krugman for being soft on anti-Semitism” which is a more fair description of the ADL letter. Reynolds posts litterally thousand of words a day with no editor, I don’t think it’s asking too much to judge him on his corrected statements.

As for Krugman, I think that raj correctly shows that he does have make an arguement to connect Bush (or “Washington”) to Mahathir’s speach. However I think it is very weak. Mahathir has been making anti-Semitic remarks for years, the Islamic leaders’ meeting has been full of anti-Semitism for years. The anti-Semitism in his recent speach is quite easily explained as perfectly expected (I certainly wan’t surprised.) No change, and thus no need to identify any recent causes for change.

Without this paragraph, Krugman would have had an interesting, insightful, and well reasoned column, albeit with little domestic policital implications. Instead, he has a weak attack on the current administration. The choice was his (and his editors’) and I think it is telling.

21

roger 10.22.03 at 6:42 pm

Actually, Krugman points out that Mahathir has played the anti-semitic card before.
The weird thing about the wavering attention paid to Malaysia because of that remark is that no attention, really, is paid to Malaysia’s place in the conditions that lead up to Al Qaeda’s attack on 9/11. In all the attention that was paid to whether there was even one link that connected Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden, nobody was asking: why did Al Qaeda move East, rather than West, after 2000? The planning of the hijacking derived from a meeting in Malaysia. We know that the prototype for the operation was created in the Phillippines. Unfortunately, because the war on Iraq has been mislabeled a War on Terrorism, it obscures what should be clear — there is a considerable network of sympathizers in Malaysia,Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Phillipines who helped make the first attack possible, and will probably make the second attack — when it comes — possible, too. Oddly enough, I think the problem with Krugman’s column is that he unconsciously accedes to the Bush claim that shifts the “War on Terror” to the West – to Iraq. It should be clear by now: the war on Iraq is a separate war. The success of Bush’s rhetoric is in inverse relation to the reality it describes. Thus the comments about squandering post 9/11 sympathy — really, more than sympathy was needed. Real pressure to root out Al Q. sympathizers was needed. Will it happen after another attack? Not given the current level of incompetency in power in the U.S.

22

churchill 10.22.03 at 7:06 pm

ADL is a joke. Recently they gave some award to italian PM (berolusci or something). A few weeks before the award this guy apparently had said some nice things about mussolini. Can somebody explain why we should take ADL seriously?

23

flutier 10.22.03 at 7:43 pm

I have just read Fouad Ajami’s piece in Foreign Policy recommended in a previous post. He describes the content of a book I happen to have read (by J.M. Colombani), but sometimes I wonder if we have read the same book. Ajami is obviously prepared to distort the facts a lot in order to prove its case.

24

Ratherworried 10.22.03 at 9:33 pm

Not that it should excuse him but Dr. Paul Krugman is an economist not a foreign policy expert. Lately he appears to believe that the world is coming to an end (not the first time he has predicted that either). If I were his friend I’d arrange an intervention for him. The more articles he writes the less and less coherant his opinions become. He exhibits Bush hatred the same way Lindbaugh exhibits Clinton hatred.

Read his book. If you still think he is an objective source of opinion and not Michael Moore with an economics degree you have past the point where you can be saved. He belongs in the same category as Moore, Coulter and Limbaugh. He writes entertainment not substance. Just like Moore.

His latest ‘mistake’ is very typical of his columns. I’m surprised that anyone is surprised. If you are reading Krugman for substance you have issues.

25

Jack 10.23.03 at 12:28 am

ratherworried, what ‘mistake’?

Limbaugh (I assume you mean) rarely makes a point as subtle as Prof. Krugman’s and here he did not mention Bush so what’s your point?

In any case I can see nothing wrong with Michael Moore getting himself an economics degree (or two).

26

Gregg 10.23.03 at 12:50 am

A number of people have said that Krugman is wrong to suggest that Bush is somehow ultimately responsible for the content of the speech (for making Malaysia a close ally, and forcing its leaders to make nice things towards religious extremists in the country), because the Malay PM has been making anti-Semitic speeches for years.

So… Bush has been building an alliance with a well-known anti-Semite? And it’s Krugamn everyone is having a pop at? Jeez.

27

john c. halasz 10.23.03 at 11:06 am

Let us suppose that back in the good old days, a prominent Soviet leader had begun his speech by denouncing the threat of “Western capitalist-imperialist revanchist anti-proletarian forces” and then proceeded to launch a systematic criticism “in our sphere of fraternal socialist solidarity” of poor productive performance and the deficiency in the educational system of tying academic promotion to ideological correctness. Would the Kremlinologists all conclude that the Soviet leader had advocated renewed and intensified confrontation with the West?

Yes, Mahathir is an authoritarian and a bigot; this is not news. Nor should it be news that the world at large has a density and texture of its own and is not always tractable to our preferred categories and standards of judgment. Poor old dumb Paul Krugman stuck his foot into the deep doo-doo on this one, since, having some actual experience in dealings with Malaysia as an economist, he thought he could communicate something of the benefit of his experience in 750 words or less. (Yes, strictly speaking, foreign policy, as opposed to international economics, is not his forte; but would you rather rely on the sycophantic commentary of, e.g., Jim Hoagland who supposedly specializes in the foreign policy beat?) But the Bushies have much bigger feet and have stuck them into much deeper doo-doo.

28

Jim Miller 10.24.03 at 1:17 pm

Which goes the farthest off the edge, Limbaugh or Krugman? An interesting question. I can’t think of anything that Limbaugh said about Clinton that matches Krugman’s comparison of Bush to the mad Roman emperor Caligula, but Limbaugh has certainly gone beyond fair comment on other subjects. On the other hand, Limbaugh presents himself as an entertainer and a satirist, and Krugman poses as a serious thinker.

I have to say this latest Krugman column makes me think that my joking suggestion, that the Krugman columns were written by a graduate student trying to destroy Krugman’s reputation, may have to be taken seriously.

29

Zizka 10.24.03 at 5:24 pm

Thorley: Krugman is not merely a moonbat, but also a fucktard, idiotarian, and an asshat. You’re really too easy on the guy. But at least the grievance-collectors at the ADL had a chance to be right for once, after embarrassing themselves so terribly when they went after that wonderful Christian gentleman Kirk Gibson.

30

Hari 10.24.03 at 8:23 pm

I have a few general comments having read everyone’s inputs. My primary cause for concern is that so much attention was put at blasting Mahathir and Krugman for their antisemitism without one mention of General Boykin and his “my god is bigger than yours comments”. My point in bringing this up is not to berate Boykin for publicizing his ignorance, but rather that racial, antisemite, bigot, enter your choice of word here, sentiments exist everywhere and should all be be considered deplorable. However, just as the thrust of Mahathir’s speech was lost because of his ignorant comments (btw, check out the blog on theories of why the Jewish ethnicity/religion has been able to produce so many prominent intellectuals), the thrust of Krugman’s editorial was lost because of his biased views on our current administration and apparent charges of anti-semitism.

What is important and should be primarily noted from the Malaysian leader’s speech is that he is blasting the Muslim world for failing to advance as a civilization. Further, he is blasting clerics and tellling them that it is ludicrous to think that development, industrialization, and progressive thought are not “western” ideals, but perfectly compatible with Islamic ideals. I think the main point of Krugman’s column (while decorated in anti-Bush rhetoric) was that all attention should not be placed on Mahathir the Bad Guy, but rather the challenge he was posing to fellow Muslim nations and the example Malaysia has set as the most developed Muslim nation in the world. Mahathir may be a despicable human being, but he has embraced a pseudo affirmative action program to promote the wealth and education of the native Malays (to which he identifies with despite having an Indian father); he correctly, and opposed to most economists, placed K controls on outflows of capital from Malaysia in the wake of the crisis and allowed Malaysia to escape massive crisis in 97. Relative comparison is what is important here and when compared to other Muslim developing nations, in particular, those where ethnic and religious strife is rampant and where a VERY small foreign minority has MOST of the wealth, Malaysia has done fairly well despite having an authoritarian bigot as a ruler. Some credit must be given for that and not all the focus should be on his personal views. In the same vein, Boykin is some sort of archconservative Christian asshole, but we do not hear rulers around the world reprimanding Bush or the Pentagon for those comments.

On a final note to the Krugman bashing, Krugman is a BRILLIANT economist, and while he might be too large for his own shoes nowadays, read his economics work and he is right on. He correctly pointed out that the ASEAN Tigers’ “miracle growth” was mostly due to the increase in factor accumulation and not superior TFP growth (though it varies across the East Asian nations). Perhaps he should use his Times columns to focus more on his expertise and not sweeping foreign policy arguments, but all his critics out there owe him more respect than calling him a “fucktard, idiotarian, and an asshat”.

31

Gregg 10.27.03 at 1:59 am

My primary cause for concern is that so much attention was put at blasting Mahathir and Krugman for their antisemitism without one mention of General Boykin and his “my god is bigger than yours comments”.

That’s because Mahatir is an important policitian who has some influence on world events, and Krugman an informed commentator whose opinions are taken seriously, whilst Boykin is an anonymous twat with a mickey-mouse job. Nobody cares what Boykin says because he’s totally irrelevant – in comparrison, and independently, Mahatir and Krugman matter (well, Krugman does at least).

32

apirinG 10.31.03 at 5:01 pm

The fact that there were public calls for non-Muslim bashing after September 11th, and, at least among the public, they were generally upheld, should speak to Krugman’s correctness on this issue.

How on earth did this become about anti-Semitism? Why is Anti-Semitism ok now? I mean, yeah, Israel has basically gone nuts and turned the American left against it, that helps, but shouldn’t Matahir be more interested in raising Muslims from THEIR negative stereotypes then throwing around others?

In a lot of ways, he’s really advocating emulation of the Jews, not extermination. He does use the language of “we must beat them” and all that, but he brings them up as a role model, the same way America talked about Japanese business in the 80’s. Thing is- where’s Japan now?! Jews worldwide should be worried about this undercurrent- what Sharon or Wolfowitz and Perle do is not their decision, but people will use it against them. This is big big trouble.

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