It’s a slow news day so I have to pretend I’m linking this because I care what Chris Matthews thinks, not because of the cheap thrill in hearing a semi-obscure media personality use profanity on live radio.
It’s true that he opposed the war from the start. This Salon interview from the month before the invasion has him comparing Bush to Bernhard Goetz and rocking away on his favorite hobbyhorse, the alleged cooptation of U.S. foreign policy by Israeli influences. Quote:
[T]he administration tied it in to the regional dispute between Israel and its enemies, as if that’s about international terrorism. No, it’s not. That’s a particular regional issue involving people who don’t want Israel to have whatever it has, and Israel wanting to play tough with them. But now we’re against that too — as if we’re going after the Basques, and the Provisional IRA too. We’re not. We supported the contras. We’re not against all opposition to government, or all paramilitary operations.
But we started to sit on Sharon’s lap, and say, “Oh we have the exact same foreign policy as Israel.” Well, not necessarily. We support a two-state solution — that’s been our policy. Sharon’s not adopting that. I understand why — he’s under pressure. But the U.S. has married a down-the-line, right-wing policy toward Israel with an anti-Arab, anti-Muslim policy toward the region. And that’s too bad. We’ve always had a dual role in the region — friend of Israel, and honest broker. We’ve given up the honest broker role completely.
Of course, Sharon did eventually adopt a two-state solution. And he also withdrew from Gaza, another complaint leveled by Matthews in the interview. It would seem our foreign policy isn’t so much like the Likud’s as the Likud’s is like ours.
Here’s a revealing piece in the New York Observer from a few months ago urging Matthews to embrace his beliefs about Zionist influence fully and freely by inviting notorious “anti-Israeli” academics John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt on Hardball. The title of the post: “Chris Matthews Should Talk About the Israel Lobby Because It’s All He Thinks About.” Indeed.
On the plus side, the HuffPo crowd might start showing him some respect now.
Update: After Hardball gets cancelled, Matthews can run for Parliament.