The transcribed table talk of Leslie Gelb: Episode XLII – A New Democrat and the maturing Arab Spring by Political Cynic

Mr. Gelb's usual chatter seems better organized and more succinct in this essay. Conjecture: one of Tina Brown's subordinates has assigned a new editor with the chore of revising his essays before publication. Or perhaps a cassette tape arrives at the Daily Beast office in a small padded envelope, that after the editing process takes place, will be returned to it's sender, for his next essay. It is a tantalizing thought.  Mr. Gelb takes on the foreign policy conundrum of whether the America should lend military aid and support to various rebels fighting dictators in the Arab World.  Mr. Gelb takes his usual rhetorical stance of that of the outsider, which can only be described as purest fiction. Anyone curious enough to do an internet search will find his CV very impressive but not at all confirming his pose as outsider, in the foreign policy realm. Although it does provide a cover of sorts. Mr. Gelb and his fellow experts in 'Foreign Policy' have spent the better part of their active political careers defending the ad hoc and carelessly cobbled together policy toward the 'Middle East'. Which meant that support for usable tyrants, who could keep their restive but quiescent populations under control, as long as US interests were duly recognized, has come to an abrupt and surprising end. Now, that wobbly structure is crumbling with a heavy loss of life, and a very real threat to Israel our unmanageable and increasingly reactionary client state. Mr. Gelb and his fellow 'Foreign Policy' experts are now in an uncomfortable moral quandary. Should we be at all surprised about the confusion and seeming disarray of one of the elite thinkers on this pressing issue? How does one act in the face of a failed policy constructed over two or more generations? Certainly not with a painful honesty, or a belated plain-speaking. Mr. Gelb and his intellectual partners squandered America's moral and political capital on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the revamped War on Terror. The new policy is based upon remotely controlled devices for murder at a distance. But with all it's virtues in terms of killing the 'guilty', it also kills the innocents, who are declared guilty as a matter of policy. All of this outside any notion or practice of checks and balances, but under the rubric of presidential power exercised in a time of war. No actual moral concern but a demonstration of it's exploitable politicized twin.
Political Cynic     

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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