LobeLog on Facebook   LobeLog on Facebook

Poll: Three Quarters of Americans Support the Iran Deal

by Derek Davison If Donald Trump succeeds in pulling the U.S. out of the Iran...

Message no image

Published on January 16th, 2008 | by Jim Lobe


Living in a Dream World

If you need an example of just how sophomoric both Bill Kristol’s ‘Weekly Standard’ and AEI’s Michael Rubin can be, don’t miss Rubin’s latest article in the Standard, entitled “Living in a Dream World: The Political Fantasies of Foreign Service Officers”. Rubin’s target is the contents of a regular column in the State Department’s in-house monthly magazine, “State,” in which diplomats overseas offer brief descriptions of life in their host countries. It’s very difficult to figure out why Rubin, a talented polemicist and Rudi Giuliani’s “Senior Iran and Turkey advisor”, would spend much time going over old issues of the magazine to prove what he calls the “sheer inanity of Foreign Service thinking.” Perhaps he had an intern with a lot of time on his or her hands, and the Standard needed some filler. On the other hand, most neo-conservatives, especially proteges of Richard Perle, believe there’s never a bad time to bash the “realists” in the State Department. (Indeed, in his new book, They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons, Jacob Heilbrunn quotes Douglas Feith, Rubin’s boss during Bush’s first term, as saying that his family’s history as Holocaust victims made him understand the true nature of foreign policy, “unlike the ‘WASPs in the State Department.'” With an attitude like that, it’s no wonder the Feith and the Pentagon civilians tried so hard to keep the State Department out of the loop.)
Of course, it was Rubin more than any other neo-con who repeatedly assailed Gen. David Petraeus for trying to “appease” Baathists in his efforts in 2004 and 2005 to pacify Mosul and al-Anbar provinces, as I pointed out in a post last October on the Likudist cast to Giuliani’s foreign-policy team. As late as 14 months ago, Rubin, a de-Baathification hawk and Chalabi acolyte from the get-go, was still complaining bitterly about Petraeus’ early efforts to co-opt the Sunni insurgency. That those efforts are now given credit — even by Rubin’s fellow-neo-cons and most especially Kristol, who named Petraeus the Standard’s “Man of the Year” just last month — for what progress has been made in reducing the violence in Iraq over the past year is ironic to say the least. Indeed, the relative success of Petraeus’ tactics also suggests that it’s not just foreign service officers who inhabit dream worlds.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.

About the Author


Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.

Back to Top ↑
  • Named after veteran journalist Jim Lobe, LobeLog provides daily expert perspectives on US foreign policy toward the Middle East through investigative reports and analyses from Washington to Tehran and beyond. It became the first weblog to receive the Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs from the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2015.

  • Categories

  • Subscribe

    Enter your email address to subscribe to our site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Popular Posts

  • Comments Policy

    We value your opinion and encourage you to comment on our postings. To ensure a safe environment we will not publish comments that involve ad hominem attacks, racist, sexist or otherwise discriminatory language, or anything that is written solely for the purpose of slandering a person or subject.

    Excessively long comments may not be published due to their length. All comments are moderated. LobeLog does not publish comments with links.

    Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you!