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Foreign Policy Mag's 'Top 100 Global Thinkers': A Rogue's Gallery of Imperialists, Billionaires and Cheerleaders of Capitalist Domination

If Dick Cheney is a top global thinker, we're in deep trouble.

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Condoleezza Rice is meanwhile hailed as an "optimist" with an "unwavering belief in American indispensability" in the world. This indispensability was previously asserted via such events as the 2006 Israeli  destruction of Lebanon and 1,200 persons (primarily civilians) therein, assisted by  rush shipments of US weapons to Israel and hailed by Rice as the " birth pangs of a new Middle East". 

The presence in the annals of Global Thought of  Iraq war profiteer Dick Cheney - described by FP as Rice's "dark-side-minded rival" who is to thank for "keeping the neocon flame alive" - is cast as a mere diplomatic reflection on the man's influence: "Cheneyism is alive and well in today's Republican Party". 

After decreeing that "If scaring us silly were a religion, Dick Cheney would be its high priest", FP goes on to observe that the former VP "is still waging a campaign… to convince us that the dark side of terrorists and rogue states is out there and must be defended against at all costs". 

Israel's global musings

Despite apparently mocking Cheneyesque propaganda concerning alleged "dark sides" and "rogue states",FP  devotes slot 13 on its Global Thinkers list to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak "[f]or forcing the world to confront Iran's nuclear programme" and for "[a]lmost single-handedly… wrench[ing] the world's attention toward the apocalyptic potential of a nuclear Iran". 

That Netanyahu and Barak's alleged feat is not as single-handed as FP implies is made quite clear in a recent essay for the  Journal of Palestine Studies by Edward S Herman, professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, and journalist David Peterson. 

Entitled “The Iran ‘Threat’ In a Kafkaesque World”, the essay presents such findings as that, from July 2002 to June 2012, “the volume of media attention devoted to Iran’s nuclear program [in English-language wire services and newspapers]… was 88 times greater than that devoted exclusively to Israel’s (and 105 times greater in the New York Timesalone)”.

Never mind that the International Atomic Energy Agency has not, in the course of obsessive inspections, stumbled upon the Iranian "nuclear programme" that FP passes off as unquestionable reality. 

As Herman and Peterson note, "[t]he last major US National Intelligence Assessment of Iran's 'Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities' in November 2007 concluded with 'high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons programme'" - something that cannot be said for the bellicose  homeland of Global Thinkers no. 13, a country that is nonetheless exempt from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as well as from weapons inspections.  

That non-Iranian entities may enjoy a monopoly on "apocalyptic potential" is furthermore suggested by the authors' contention that the hype over Iran "allows the United States to divert attention from the real threats that it poses itself, including its own contribution to the spread of nuclear weapons by its refusal to live up to its own disarmament obligations [as stipulated in Article VI of the NPT] and its acquiescence in the nuclear weapons programmes of Israel, India and Pakistan outside the NPT". 

As for FP's assessment of Netanyahu and Barak's global influence - "Pretty impressive for a country the size of New Jersey" - impressive is not the first word that ought to come to mind when faced with the possibility of regional destruction. 

Perhaps in an effort to appear less blatantly warmongering, FP assigns slot 14 on the Global Thinkers list to another pair of Israelis: ex-Mossad director Meir Dagan and former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, for "mak[ing] a convincing, hard-nosed case that a strike [on Iran] would only make the Iranian threat greater". 

 
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