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May 15, 2007


The one thing scarier than the idea the world is controlled by evil supergeniuses is that the world is barely controlled by anyone. And the people who do have some influence are not master manipulators. In fact, they're pretty dim--and, incredibly enough, actually believe all the crap they say. For instance, here's Haim Saban:

"I used to be a real leftist. I remember Arik Sharon coming here, to my house, a few months before Camp David, when he was still leader of the opposition. He told me there would be no deal because Arafat would not sign. I told myself that there was nothing to be done -- these right-wingers were simply insane. I had no doubt that there would be a deal and the problems would be resolved. History proved that Sharon was right and I was wrong. In matters relating to security, that moved me to the right. Very far to the right."

Haim Saban is a billionaire. (He made his money from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.) Now he has enormous political influence. As he mentions in this interview, he's good buddies with the Clintons. And he's the guy who paid for the Saban Center for Mideast Policy at the Brookings Institution. Kenneth "Has Made a Few Minor Errors" Pollack is its Research Director.

In any case, Saban demonstrates so much confusion and ignorance here you hardly know what to say. Maybe the place to start would be to ask how many "real leftists" are billionaires who hang out with Ariel Sharon.

AND: Be sure to read his description of his interactions with the Clintons. One thing I've never understood is why more politicians don't support campaign finance reform. You'd think they'd care most about the boot-licking their jobs currently entail.

Posted at May 15, 2007 10:01 PM | TrackBack

The world is controlled by evil supergeniuses. People like Dumbya, Rove, the Blairites and the likudniks are certainly evil. They're also geniuses at manipulation.

Geniuses at sound policymaking? Not so much...

Posted by: anon at May 15, 2007 11:02 PM


Forgive me for being impertinent, but could you outline what you mean by "confusion and ignorance". After reading the interview, he seemed very connected to the power structure, and pretty straight forward about what he wants, and why he wants it. I have to say the interview painted a very human portrait of the man, as was it's purpose.

Posted by: patience at May 16, 2007 01:02 AM

Well, the confusion and ignorance is that no one connected to reality would ever have thought the Palestinians would ever have gone for the deal(s) on least the ones before January, 2001. However, there might well have been a deal if the Clinton administration had had another year to push Barak. Unfortunately they didn't, because Clinton and Ross spent so much time dicking around with other things. So they made up this story about Arafat being unwilling to sign to cover up the way they screwed up.

And of course that's the story Bill Clinton has surely told Saban, even as he asks him to organize another fundraiser for the Hillary for President campaign. It seems clear Saban actually believes it. It never occurs to him that Clinton might not be completely honest with him. (Of course, if Clinton WERE honest with him, he'd stop giving his money to the Clinton network -- because he clearly doesn't have much interest in the truth.)

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at May 16, 2007 01:40 AM

Really, as you said, Jon, this makes me long for BLOFELD and SPECTRE...

But anyway, I think his "real leftist" period was likely anywhere from 18 to 24...many people are especially liberal, progressive, or even radical at that age...before so called "worldliness" seeps in and you just giving in to accepting the way the world is run etc..

Posted by: En Ming Hee at May 16, 2007 01:58 AM

One more thing...I don't like the "virtuous poor" angle you put up here...surely the way for progressives has to be in the money...if you don't change the way money works, you change nothing.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at May 16, 2007 02:04 AM

It totally makes sense that the impossible perpetuation of Ken Pollack's career in public policy was made possible by the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Posted by: buermann at May 16, 2007 02:57 AM

This is pretty common, actually. I know a few Israelis who moved from the moderate left to far right because of the Camp David 2000-2001 events.

Well, I think that's exactly what you would expect from nationalist left. Eventually the contradiction has to be resolved, and, obviously, the nationalist identity is more intrinsic than the left-right thing.

That's just how it is, there are millions of examples.

Posted by: abb1 at May 16, 2007 03:45 AM

Ever try the KIWI BLACK? Smells wonderful, tastes great, you'd love it.
En Ming Hee: ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, until you control the MONEY-----

Posted by: Mike Meyer at May 16, 2007 12:45 PM

En Ming Hee: Now substitute the word TAXPAYER for Progressive and you're on to something.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at May 16, 2007 01:23 PM

EMH, I don't know if it has anything to do with giving in. Bob Altemeyer (pdfs) reports that having children tends to increase what he calls Right Wing Authoritarianism. Education has a stronger effect in the opposite direction, and Altemyer attributes this to meeting different people who don't eat you. The RWA supposedly has a lot to do with fear of a dangerous world. I think parents mainly have more to fear.

Posted by: hf at May 16, 2007 01:55 PM

And that should read "the RWA scale". I feel ill today.

Posted by: hf at May 16, 2007 01:57 PM

once you know Clinton tried to have Pollard off the hook, you know a lot about Clinton and his wifey.
What about this do you not understand?

Posted by: at May 17, 2007 06:39 PM


1) Kenneth Pollack shall forevermore be referred to with knicknames that portray him as one of the Power Rangers.

2) There shall be an anti-war protest in front of the Brookings building, with protesters dressed as Power Rangers.

Posted by: Jon H at May 20, 2007 10:04 AM