And I remember the old days. You had many antagonists trying to squeeze your rather interesting life and complex thinking into a sardine tin; 10 out of 10 cases you would mop the floor with them and they would leave the room rubbing their backsides and muttering their favorite cliches. But I understand the Stoic change, somewhat. I've been reading you all along; I'm not trying to wrest a manifesto from you, but I think there enough parallels to the horrors of the holocaust museum to what's happening today. We might be getting into the obvious, but it is a shocking obvious; I guess I just wanted to see the old gladiatorial/mortal combat Cobb blazing away. I sort of understand not wanting to get into yelling matches with morons-- but isn't the title of you piece , somewhat, kind of, just a teensy bit provocative? In the old way? Ok, one final and slightly personal note. We don't know each other that well but one thing I can say about you from reading you: you've led an exemplary adult life - emphasis on adult - work responsibility, family work travel and I know your work is complex. What do you make of the extreme childishness of the hate-mobs, the childish blather coming from the universities - I've come to see them as giant day-care facilities. These are children mouthing the most awful things. They know nothing of the Mid-East, nothing of Israel, and nothing of battlefields or war zones. And the hate pours out. Doesn't 10/7 feel like hidden things coming to light?
You're more disciplined than me. After a month of trying to helicopter above it all, with humility - not just detachment - I've collapsed into taking a side. Which I'm committing to my stack imminently. I do so with a mixture of relief and disappointment, particularly since I agree with your sentiments here.
Everything you said is true and you capture it with Cobb-like subtlety and precision (which I - as you - know - have appreciated over the years - decades!); I'm still a bit fuzzy on why the barking class might give you pause about weighing in on the whole mess. You're smarter than those guys by a mile so ...I just think we've been caught standing next to one of these non-state or, if you will, tribal blasts, and it's Ok to say, " No more." And do our best to wipe it out, dummy leaders and wobbly generals, notwithstanding.
Books on US Israel relationship:
The most recent and best:
"The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People" by Walter Russell Mead (October 3, 2023)
Mead is an academic who also writes a regular column on foreign relations for the Wall Street Journal:
I would describe him as center right. I also think he is the best thinker on the subject of international relations currently active. His column is worth reading.
Another book (a little older) is:
"Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present" by Michael B. Oren
Oren is a US born Israeli journalist and diplomat. He was Israel's Ambasador to the US a few years ago. He has a substack: claritywithmichaeloren.substack.com which is not paywalled.
I'm not so sure this is a war that we (Americans) do not have. Some questions: Are there maniacs who would designate an enemy based on religio-politcal notions in their head and go about attacking the innocent of their imagined enemies? 9/11 for a big example? Did we not try to fight these maniacs in Afghanistan? Issis in Mosul? Presently in Syria? Don't co-religio-political maniacs attack Israel, a confirmed ally of the US? In the most gruesome celebratory way? Are we not seeing an astonishing outpouring of mob anti-Semitism throughout the west? I can't really follow your technical perspective (lack of training), but isn't the core of the 10/7 attack pretty basic? Civilization vs barbarism? Yes, human life, mental and physical, is shot through with complexity but is not humanity (or the dread word, morality) sometimes called for in the face of inhumanity? What am I missing?