Reflecting the perverse logic that has guided the State Department for decades, 60 former diplomats have written an open letter to President Bush denouncing the current administration's "unabashed support" for the sole democracy in the Middle East: Israel.
The hyperbolic screed, released this week, is chock-full of gross overstatements and pure myth.
Yet far more important - and what the media will almost surely overlook - is the stench of bias emanating from almost all of the signers, particularly from the man who organized the effort, former Ambassador Andrew Killgore, who served in Qatar from 1977 to 1980.
The two-page letter follows the same basic script that has been used by the U.S. Foreign Service more or less since Israel achieved its independence in 1948: "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the core of the problems in the Middle East."
Blame for the trouble in the entire region of which Israel holds less than 1 percent of the territory and less than 2 percent of the population is pinned on "Ariel Sharon's extra-judicial assassinations, Israel's Berlin Wall-like barrier (and) its harsh military measures in occupied territories."
Never mind that the "extra-judicial assassinations" are of terrorist masterminds responsible for the mass slaughter of both innocent Israelis and brainwashed young Palestinians. Or that Israel's security fence is the furthest thing from a "Berlin Wall-like barrier."
The letter also dabbles in fiction, stating, "By closing the door to negotiations with Palestinians and the possibility of a Palestinian state, you have proved that the U.S. is not an evenhanded peace partner."
George W. Bush was the first U.S. president to endorse formally the goal of a Palestinian state, albeit one with leaders free of terrorist ties. Standing firm with Sharon's plan to combat terrorist leaders in no way conflicts with his explicit desire for a Palestinian state.
Israel is obviously imperfect and hardly beyond reproach, but the moral compass of these statesmen is seriously skewed.
Almost none has ever given more than lip service to the idea of condemning suicide bombings, and many of them have made their golden years truly "golden" indeed, courtesy of the deep pockets of the Arab nations in which they formerly were stationed.
As noxious as the track records of many of the former diplomats may be, perhaps none is as toxic as that of the man who spearheaded the whole effort, former Ambassador Andrew Killgore. A quick inspection of his history shows that he should be the last person giving lessons on "evenhandedness."
Killgore may or may not be an anti-Semite, but he certainly could be mistaken for one. That is a strong statement, to be sure, but it seems a fair assessment after spending some time at the Web site for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.com), of which he is the co-founder and publisher.
The site's front page keeps a counter only of foreign aid money given to Israel. It calls for ending all military aid to Israel, though there is no similar call for ending the exact same level of aid given each year to Egypt for the same purpose, an arrangement that has existed since the Camp David Accords in 1978.
Killgore's Web site also has a "Neocon Corner," where he and others castigate one Jew or another for their sinister loyalties to Israel. (One exception was a hit piece on Dick Cheney.) Typical is a recent column on Richard Perle, former head of the Defense Policy Board. In the course of 800 words, Killgore refers to Perle as: a "fervent Zionist," a "dyed-in-the-wool Israel-Firster," part of the "Zionist lobby," "always active in Zionist organizations," the "Prince of Darkness" and a "Zionist ideologue."
On its Web page listing 27 "charitable organizations" are several with which no reasonable group would affiliate. Many are well-known for their radical Islamist agendas, and two in particular should have raised red flags: the United Palestinian Appeal and the Kinder USA, both "charitable" organizations that share leadership with the Holy Land Foundation, which was closed in December 2001, allegedly for funneling money to Hamas.
When Killgore slams Bush for not being "evenhanded," the old line about the kettle and the pot comes to mind. More apt, however, would be the analogy, "Said the desert to the grain of sand."