A month after he did so, I learn that Vice President Cheney gave a long toast to the neoconservative scholar Bernard Lewis at a lunch in Philadelphia. As usual, Cheney’s speech is significant for what it doesn’t tell us: anything specific about the ideas that Lewis brought to the White House. Though Cheney notes that he first met Lewis 15 years ago, and that Lewis has been coming to the White House to talk to the President in the last four-and-a-half years. I.e., after September 11.
Lewis’s message to the White House is summarized in The Assassins’ Gate, by George Packer:
I believe Edward Said named this, orientalism.
Note that in Michael Massing’s superb dissection of the power of AIPAC in the latest New York Review of Books, he states that Lewis’s son Michael is an editor of the pro-Israel lobbyist’s “Activities Update””a compilation of dozens of press clips, speech transcripts, and minutes of meetings… periodically e-mailed to a select list of AIPAC supporters. This research provides the raw material for AIPAC’s efforts to intimidate and silence opponents. “
Note, too, that the VP’s comments in Philly included this nice turn: