Just when I thought the dust was settling on the Octavia Nasr affair, Professor Stephen Walt weighed in at NPR:
More importantly, plenty of American journalists and politicians have shown "respect" (and in some cases, fawning admiration) for various world figures with hands far bloodier than Ayatollah Fadlallah — including Mao Zedong, Ariel Sharon, the Shah of Iran, or even Kim il Sung — but it didn't cost them their jobs. And let's not forget that plenty of American journalists treat our own leaders with plenty of deference and "respect," even after the latter have launched unnecessary wars in which tens of thousands have died or authorized the torture of detainees.
• An estimated 50-70 million Chinese died in as a result of Chairman Mao's Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution and other political purges between 1949-1976.
• Kim Il-Sung's North Korean personality cult remains strong even today, 16 years after the Great Leader's death. We'll never know how many people were killed by Kim's regime between 1948-1987. Estimates range anywhere between 710,000 and 3.5 million.
• As for the Shah of Iran, his security/intelligence agency, SAVAK, has blood on its hands. No more so than, say, the Iranian security forces who brutally repressed last year's anti-government demonstrations.
Unlike China, North Korea and Iran, Israel's democratic society is too transparent to allow for the kind of repression Walt snidely insinuates against Israel.
Which Western journalists fawned over Ariel Sharon anyway? Dave Brown?