Young: Chas Freeman and the Old Realism

by Benjamin Domenech on 9:30 am March 19, 2009

When the former American ambassador Charles “Chas” Freeman last week decided not to accept his appointment as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, many people, particularly in the Middle East, put this down to the workings of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. Mr Freeman, in a departing salvo, substantiated that interpretation. However, his Arab defenders paid little attention to the ambassador’s observations of how the Chinese authorities dealt with the Tiananmen “incident” (Mr Freeman’s words) in 1989, and what this said about how political “realists” like him approach American policy in the Arab world.

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