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Robert Dreyfuss, Lyndon Larouche, And The Nation

Robert Dreyfuss, a contributing editor to The Nation, has written a piece this week entitled "Hothead McCain." I wonder if Dreyfuss would use a similar descriptor for his longtime former employer, the convicted felon and political cult-leader Lyndon LaRouche. Though Dreyfuss officially left the employ of LaRouche (in the sense that he does not currently write for LaRouche's publications, at least not under his own byline), his politics clearly haven't changed much from the tinfoil hat variety characteristic of the 8-time fringe presidential candidate and conspiracy theorist. Dreyfuss still spends his days feverishly slumped over his keyboard warning of neocon conspiracies and shilling for authoritarian regimes--hallmarks of any good LaRouchite. Now, he just gets published in ostensibly respectable magazines like The Nation

Dreyfuss's attacks on McCain for "drawing up plans for a new set of global institutions" are right out of the LaRouche playbook, which views international institutions as part of a grand, "satanic" conspiracy involving international banks, the Trilateral Commission, and the drug-running Queen Elizabeth II. Sound familiar? LaRouche, and his disciplies like Robert Dreyfuss, make Ron Paul seem sane. As such, Dreyfuss's fearmongering about McCain's plans for an "expanded NATO that will bump up against Russian interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus" is in line with LaRouche's own pro-Putin sympathies. That Russia is a wounded power, righteously lashing out at an expansionist and imperialist West has long been a rallying cry for the American far-right, which finds many things to admire in the ethno-nationalistic chauvinism of Vladimir Putin and, before him, Slobodan Milosevic. So why is this bunk appearing in The Nation? Which of Russia's "interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus" does Dreyfuss seek to defend? Its punishing violence in Chechnya? Its bullying of Georgia? Strange that a left-wing publication would shill for the quasi-fascist authoritarians now running Russia. Perhaps The Nation is reliving its enthusiasm for the Hitler-Stalin pact.

Dreyfuss mimics Pravda when he writes that McCain's proposal to expel Russia from the Group of Eight for its rigging elections, murdering journalists, poisoning dissenters and other myriad human rights abuses is a "flagrant and dangerous insult." He then rakes McCain over the coals for supporting Kosovo's declaration of independence and for backing American intervention to avert genocide in the Balkans. Again, that this man is given space in The Nation and The American Prospect (where he is a "Senior Correspondent") to spew apologetics for Vladimir Putin is perplexing. But perhaps it is expecting too much that a publicaion featuring a regular column by Eric "Let's make fun of Andrew Sullivan for being HIV-positive" Alterman would care about things like propriety or editorial integrity.

--James Kirchick