Left Eye on Books

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Chris Patten's 'Chutzpah'

The New York Times is at its worst when it brings in a hack from the Hoover Institute to sniff out antisemitism among 'establishment' European opinion:

The prime target of Patten's rapier is American neoconservatives who "considered George H. W. Bush's policies, particularly his failure to topple Saddam Hussein, anemic and deficient in chutzpah." They "strongly supported" Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud Party and clamored for a rematch against Hussein. Why the Yiddish "chutzpah"? Why not "guts" or "resolve"? So that we would know who "they" are, those clever manipulators who had subverted the American national interest? Patten could not have meant Bush and Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld, who probably don't even know what chutzpah is. At any rate, their world was "dangerous to us all because, in Edmund Burke's famous phrase, 'a great empire and little minds go ill together.' "

Its amazing how the 'liberal establishment' in the US can't even tolerate a little criticism from those people in the world who constitute its most natural allies. Of course, the Times rarely even bothers to acknowledge that there is a world of opinion beyond the US and Europe quite a bit more critical than Chris Patten (please note: whatever its supposed ethno-religious significance, the use of the word 'chutzpah' in the Chris Patten quote above is entirely incorrect, since this is never a desirable characteristic in people).


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