JINSA is the hard-line, Likudnik Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. They boast a pretty powerful line-up of present and former advisors including Dick Cheney, John Bolton, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle. If you’re looking for groups to blame for helping to get us into the endless war and now occupation of Iraq, JINSA is certainly a great place to start.
The new edition of their house organ includes this remarkable gem, Wishful Thinking and Indecisive Wars, from retired US army officer Ralph Peters who says openly what we all suspect to be true every time an Al Jazeera office accidentally gets blown up in a war with the US, or the Israeli Defense Forces accidentally shoot a reporter. Revealing both constitutional contempt and the creepy linkages between right-wing Jews and fundamentalist Christian Zionists, Peters actually calls the media godless “neo-pagans” and advocates not only censorship but military strikes. The media, he insists, are a “hostile third party” in war, and must be treated as such.
Of course, the media have shaped the outcome of conflicts for centuries, from the European wars of religion through Vietnam. More recently, though, the media have determined the outcomes of conflicts. While journalists and editors ultimately failed to defeat the U.S. government in Iraq, video cameras and biased reporting guaranteed that Hezbollah would survive the 2006 war with Israel and, as of this writing, they appear to have saved Hamas from destruction in Gaza.
What????? It gets worse…
Pretending to be impartial, the self-segregating personalities drawn to media careers overwhelmingly take a side, and that side is rarely ours. [Ed. emphasis] Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media. Perceiving themselves as superior beings, journalists have positioned themselves as protected-species combatants. But freedom of the press stops when its abuse kills our soldiers and strengthens our enemies. Such a view arouses disdain today, but a media establishment that has forgotten any sense of sober patriotism may find that it has become tomorrow’s conventional wisdom.
As I pointed out, this already looks to, to varying degrees, like today’s conventional wisdom in Israel and the United States, two countries who never miss an opportunity to boast that they’re special precisely because they don‘t do such things. This all makes sense within Peters’ larger frame of understanding the role of the media, not as seekers of the truth but rather as a self-hating army all unto itself:
Today, the United States and its allies will never face a lone enemy on the battlefield. There will always be a hostile third party in the fight, but one which we not only refrain from attacking but are hesitant to annoy: the media.
While this brief essay cannot undertake to analyze the psychological dysfunctions that lead many among the most privileged Westerners to attack their own civilization and those who defend it, we can acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that, to most media practitioners, our troops are always guilty (even if proven innocent), while our barbaric enemies are innocent (even if proven guilty). The phenomenon of Western and world journalists championing the “rights” and causes of blood-drenched butchers who, given the opportunity, would torture and slaughter them, disproves the notion—were any additional proof required—that human beings are rational creatures. Indeed, the passionate belief of so much of the intelligentsia that our civilization is evil and only the savage is noble looks rather like an anemic version of the self-delusions of the terrorists themselves. And, of course, there is a penalty for the intellectual’s dismissal of religion: humans need to believe in something greater than themselves, even if they have a degree from Harvard. Rejecting the god of their fathers, the neo-pagans who dominate the media serve as lackeys at the terrorists’ bloody altar.
Apostates! All of them!
Back in 2002, the Nation’s Jason Vest wrote of JINSA and their friends, the Center for Security Policy(CSP):
On no issue is the JINSA/CSP hard line more evident than in its relentless campaign for war–not just with Iraq, but “total war,” as Michael Ledeen, one of the most influential JINSAns in Washington, put it last year. For this crew, “regime change” by any means necessary in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority is an urgent imperative. Anyone who dissents–be it Colin Powell’s State Department, the CIA or career military officers–is committing heresy against articles of faith that effectively hold there is no difference between US and Israeli national security interests, and that the only way to assure continued safety and prosperity for both countries is through hegemony in the Middle East–a hegemony achieved with the traditional cold war recipe of feints, force, clientism and covert action.
Just switch out the q with an n, and here we are all over again. Iran.