Scott Horton Interviews David Bromwich

Scott Horton, May 21, 2009

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David Bromwich, professor of literature at Yale University, discusses Edmund Burke’s warnings on excessive concentrations of power, misleading coverage of the Obama/Netanyahu conference in which the New York Times exaggerated Obama’s hawkishness on Iran and the administration’s position on a Palestinian state.

MP3 here. (29:20)

David Bromwich teaches literature at Yale. He has written on politics and culture for The New Republic, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, and other magazines. He is editor of Edmund Burke’s selected writings On Empire, Liberty, and Reform and co-editor of the Yale University Press edition of On Liberty.

21 Responses to “David Bromwich”

  1. Re drones. Obama said during his campaign that he would do more of that, so I can’t imagine why anyone would think he’d stop. It’s one of the few campaign promises he’s kept.

    Re interventions. How about the Spanish-American war? What was the U.S. dog in that fight? And the torture used during the Philippine counterinsurgency would make Cheney proud.

    Maybe I missed it, but did Bromwich say what was the NYT interest in slanting the Netanyahu story?

  2. We knew Obama would be a problem for any real transformative change just because of the kind of “between the line” reading that Mr. Bromwhich has made the centerpiece of this interview. It was boring, but more than that it is the same Obamaite star gazing (and I realize Bromwhich is not an Obama supporter, though I suspect he “voted for Obama”?!?)

    Let’s see “we” hold out “hope” as children die in AfPak, but since the NYT emphasize part of a talk over another, Obama may actually be a “good” guy regarding the careful wording of his encounters with Israel on Iran, etc.? This is the same bull that Clinton tossed around for 8 bloody years, and all that we got was global military intervention. And that’s what we got with the Obama administration and no one needs the NYT to make this state of affairs better or worse.

  3. @eCAHNomics, “Maybe I missed it, but did Bromwich say what was the NYT interest in slanting the Netanyahu story?”

    Might have something to do with the fact that the owners, almost every editor and major writer of this vile “All The News That’s Shit To Print” newspaper is a dyed in the wool Zionist and Jewish?

  4. “Duncan_Idaho Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. ”

    Great. Antiwar: oficially now *ionist controlled. Congratulations.

  5. I’ve tested it out several times now: us the word (Z) ionist and you’re comment won’t appear.

    Truly fucking Pathetic.

  6. [...] Scott Horton interviews  David Bromwich. [...]

  7. Duncan: I have noticed similar results for certain related words. It is indeed discouraging. If you mention Z’ism, they have to screen your post to make sure you haven’t taken the wrong tone. For example, have you conveyed in your post any of the skeptical disgust which Z’ists have proven themselves so richly to deserve?

    Really, I’m surprised that antiwar.com still allows Justin Raimondo and Ray McGovern to post. The way things are going, we may not see them here much longer.

  8. Is Zionism still a taboo word?

  9. Good interview with Bromwich. (I enjoyed the spirited banter between Bromwich and Horton regarding Edmund Burke’s writings. Power is dangerous, no matter who exercises it.)

  10. Can you really not say Zionism?

  11. Maybe I’m a lucky one. ZIONISM, ZIONISTS, ZIONISTAS!

  12. Is Zionism still a taboo word? It is unfortunate the Zionist didn’t just pay the Palestinians to leave as was done for Israeli settler in the Sinai and Gaza. The total cost of this perpetual war by now must be well over 1 million per Palestinians and still climbing and will continue to for many years. War for territory is not a low budget solution. An Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank is not going to happen until after the collapse of the US economy, which may come sooner than what we expect. Any day now China might just offer America the same ultimatum that America gave to Britain and France during the Suez war.

  13. if antiwar.com starts to censor such words as zionism, this cycle will be the last time i contirubute.

  14. If a comment is temporarily moderated and awaiting approval, that isn’t censorship.

    The only comments that don’t get through eventually are truly bigoted statements and the usual incitements to violence against random people that tend to accompany them.

    All things being equal 99 degrees of political incorrectness is fine with me, but this is my work and is not a bulletin board for every nazi wannabe to graffiti all over.

    -the mgmt.

  15. Zionism means different things to different people, one has to define it. While one is not in favor of censuring, I think some with antiwar may be afraid that the comments of a few may lead some to post anti-Jewish comments for instance, which could reflect bad and actually weakens the case against war. The influence of AIPAC is without a doubt very significant. Lawrence Wilkerson, the same one that appears now frequently regarding the torture issue etc, also appeared in a Dutch TV program to be viewed on youtube about the (negative) influence of AIPAC. I think by all criticism one should take into account that historically and currently Jews can be found ALL over the political spectrum, often in leading positions, like Karl Marx, Ludwig von Mises, Irving Kristol etc. etc.
    Zionism could refer to apolitical ideology, often through militant means as securing as large a portion for the state of Israel and for the status quo. That should be critisized. Then it could also refer to simply the right of self-determination for Jews, the right to exist in a country, Israel, of which the borders has NOT been finalized. This would defendable, but not on the basis of the 1967 acquired parts. There is also the complex issue of orthodox Jews vs secular Jews, who may agree on certain things, while disagreeing on others, also the history and the current day Palestinians. It is clear that the US policy is geared towards one-sided Israel. One has to see whether there will be a move away from that. As long as the US does not have a true neutral policy, it cannot really act as a broker of peace IMHO.

    Scott is doing a good job the interviews and should be commended. I am sure he himself has nothing to do with the execution of policy what should be allowed online and what not. I suppose antiwar can also have its lawful reasons and its property rights should be respected. The problem is the comments of a few can be wrongly construed as the policy of antiwar, whereas antiwar.com is more about a discussion forum between all sides on shared non-interventionist policy. The magazine takimag also had an issue with many different comments, so they redesigned it to Takimag 2 where no comments are allowed.

  16. Fine Scott, it’s your site and you can run it any way you please. But why choose THESE specific words to kvetch over? There are far more nasty expressions one could introduce into the site code, like, say, ‘Islamofascist’ for starters?

    Why is it okay to defend against defamation of the “chosen ones” but not our Muslim brothers.

    Be consistent or don’t BE.

    via con dios

  17. BTW, Not to put too fine a point on it but it IS censorship Scott,

    “Censorship is strictly the review by an authority of any material before publication or dissemination”

    Whether the comments are ultimately published or not is Irrelevant; the very Act of Determining whether comments Should be published is, in fact, the legal Definition of censorship.

    The argument that Antiwar.com will be invaded by neo-Nazi’s and other brain dead groups spouting gibberish, but for site moderation, has no demonstrable merit seeing as how this site has been around for several years without having been occupied by the “Nazi’s”.

    I also notice that many pieces appearing on this site originate from informationclearinghouse.info, presstv.ir, and several other sites i visit on a daily basis…most of these sites don’t have this Codified policy of censorship, and to my knowledge they have not been infiltrated by “undesirables” or Nazi’s.

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the work done here and I’m not trying to pick a fight or quibble over semantics…I’m just stating the facts as I understand them, and I am not comfortable with what is happening.

    We are better than they are, and we should act like it.

  18. Duncan: I think you have to understand that given antiwar’s non-interventionist policies, certain let us say Jewish related individuals and institutions look here for everything they can use to blow out of context and (mis)use as a stick to question antiwar’s sentiments. There are not so many comments here, I have noticed, e.g. not hundreds and they scan everything. You just know how Mearsheimer and Walt’s book has been criticized and many Jews agreeing with them are labeled self-hating Jews, not only by the “extreme right wing”
    Jews, but also by the “leftwing” ACLU type like Alan Derschowitz, who is a spokesman for AIPAC practically. Derschowitz has already described Pat Buchanan and James Baker unjustified as being “anti-semitic” and rightwing extreme, and they also see “leftwing extreme groups” as anti-jewish. Now I think Scott’s thinking is that if he does not screen these comments, only a few comments by neonazi’s (who constitute only say 0,5 %) can be so overblown and it can hurt antiwar’s just cause via guilt by association strawman. Think of it, only one bad comment out of say 20 already represent 5%, whereas the Neonazi’s are only 0,5%. Antiwar does have property rights as well.
    When you refer to Zionism, you should qualify it: do you refer to the political ideology which tend to consider Palestinians and Arabs as “two legged animals” and as subordinate, who can be dominated and the Zionism that does pre-emptive war, or do you refer to the justified cause of Jews to a piece of land in the Middle East. You see there is a difference. In Israel there are very different parties. Meretz on the left tends to be very pro-peace. Maybe there are also rightwing pro-peace parties or individuals like in the US with Ron Paul? Paul by the way did had a meetup group in Israel as well. One has to win the moral argument. I read on a related site like Takimag that they had a comment section and a problem with a few comments by neonazi’s, like in response to an article by a conservative Jewish-American professor Gottfried about Origins of Semitism, a prof who is vehemently against the neocons.

    I wonder whether some pieces really originate form say press tv, it could be that it is issued simultaneously. In any case, antiwar is in a different position as Press TV, that is considered a mouthpiece of the Iranian govt. , so one can cite things you agree with and ignore things you do not agree with. Truth is not all black and white always.

  19. Duncan: moderation is not censorship. It is simply organization according to rules. Censorship would be if you would be absolutely barred from writing anything. Look, all your words about Zionism and Jews came through. If some did not get published, there might either be a technical reason or content-reason for it not published online. Just think what extra work this means for Scott and his team: they have to look through everything.

  20. Maybe we could have a warning lable on entries you find offensive.

  21. Regarding “censorship”-
    Of course, the owners of the site can do what they choose. There are other sites out there where we can use the Z-word with impunity.
    It’s interesting, though, because on Antiwar’s sister site LRC there seems to be sort of a blackout on articles related to events that happened between 9/10 and 9/12 of the first year of the century.
    For example, you’ll see lots of articles by Paul Craig Roberts, but nothing he’s written about that Infamous Date.
    Regardless, Antiwar and LRC are still my favorite sites out there.

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