Nationalism and the Problems of the Middle East

One of the books I’ve been reading off and on over the last year has been Avi Shlaim’s The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. Shlaim is a one of the Israeli New Historians, which is essentially a “post-Zionist” revisionist school of Israeli history, who criticize the “old historians” of Israel of being too personally involved in the 1948 war and its aftermath, and thus writing history which is essentially apologetics for Israel.

There are places where I get the feeling Shlaim is leaning too hard in the other direction (for instance he spends a good deal of time on the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel in 1948, but glosses over the expulsion of Jews from surrounding Arab countries.) However, given that you know where his leanings are, it’s a fascinating read because it’s closely based on documented sources, and it focuses on the very real problem of Israel’s relationship with the Arab world. Among the things it made me realize, however, was how alien the modern sense of nationalism is to citizens of the US.

This may seem a strange conclusion at first,

as it’s become a commonplace of a certain kind of rhetoric to accuse the US of being highly nationalistic. This determination is generally made through the simple equation which many modern commentators (especially, it often seems, of a progressive variety) that “patriotic” = “nationalist”. So if you think well of your country for any reason at all, you’re a nationalist. However nationalism has a definition other than “being fond of your country”, and knowing that definition is important because nationalism has played such an important role in the last 150 years of world history.

Nationalism might be defined as that way of thinking according to which regional, cultural, racial or religious groups have a right to political self determination and/or statehood based upon that shared sense of identity. Nationalism seemed a particularly attractive way of thinking to freedom advocates and reformers in the late 19th and early 20ths centuries, confronted as they were with a number of gradually weakening empires with extensive colonial holdings. Italy and Germany had unified in the middle of the 19th century, movements which were given force by a nationalistic sense that there was “One Italy” and “One Germany” in some powerful cultural sense. The Austro-Hungarian and Turkish empires, old rivals which each held dominion over many disparate cultures and regions most of which had at various points in the past been independant countries, were faced with numerous regional independence movements, many of them fuelled by a nationalistic sense that each regional people (Greeks, Bosnians, Serbs, Coatians, etc) should rule itself. In the more robust colonial empires of France and Britain, local populations were also increasingly demanding independence based on a sense of national identity and desire for self determination.

As people placed an ever greater emphasis on those cultural elements which were seen as providing a unifying nationality, it is hardly surprising that Jewish intellectuals, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, began to feel that the Jewish people would be perpetually out of place. Significant Jewish minorities were present throughout Europe, yet nowhere did they form a majority, and they had no homeland to congregate in. As the countries in which they lived placed ever greater emphasis on national identity, they naturally felt ever more the outsiders.

In 1896 Theodor Herzl, a secular Jewish intellectual living in Vienna, published a book titled The Jewish State (Der Judenstaat) in which he argued for the creation of a Jewish homeland and made two suggestions as to where it could be done: either in Palestine, because of its historic associations with the Jewish people, or in a vacant area of Argentina. Herzl went on to organize the First Zionist Congress which met in Basil, Switzerland in 1897 and produced the resolution: “The aim of Zionism is to create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by law.”

With this aim set, Herzl embarked on a flurry of diplomatic activity, meeting with the Ottoman Sultan, the German Emperor and representatives of the Russian and British governments in an attempt to achieve state sponsorship for creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine, which was then a loosely controlled province of the Ottoman Empire. The looming difficulty with the Zionist project, however, was expressed by a group of rabbis from Vienna who went on an exploratory trip to Palestine and cabled back, “The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man.”

Seeing as by 1900 most attractively habitable (to European culture) parts of the world were already occupied by one people or another, this was the great difficulty for a people in search of a homeland. (The British in 1903 made the Zionist Congress an offer referred to as The Uganda Programme, suggesting that they take a 5,000sq/mi region of modern-day Kenya as a Jewish homeland, but among other difficulties, that region too was populated by other people who had no desire for an influx of outsiders.)

Thus, while encouraging both piecemeal Jewish immigration into Palestine and diplomatic attempts to secure sponsorship of a Jewish homeland in Palestine from one of the great powers, the early Zionists mostly attempted to assure themselves that the sparse Arab population in the area would be glad to see them. Herzl published a speculative novel entitled The Old New Land in 1903 charting out the way in which the founding of a Jewish state might go, and in it presented a local Arab character who said of the new state, “The Jews have made us prosperous, why should we be angry with them? They live with us as brothers, why should we not love them?” In the novel, political rights of Jews and non-Jews were the same, and local Arabs gladly adopted the hybrid Jewish-European culture of the new country.

Of course, as increasing numbers of Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine and started making concrete moves towards achieving their own state, things did not work out like this — to a great extent because the local Arab population was undergoing its own birth of national identity, vastly accellerated by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the Great War, and aided by the thought of European Orientalists such as T. E. Lawrence. There was a Syrian-Palestinian Congress in 1921 which issued a demand for national self-determination by Arabs in the region.

Here we find the source of the intractibility in the conflicts of the Middle East: Arab nationalists want the region of Palestine to be ruled by a country that is specifically Arabic in culture and population. Jewish nationalists want a homeland for Jews in Palestine which is of a politically viable size. And arguably, the 1947 UN-proposed boarders of Israel and the Arab-Palestinian state did not provide either with a viable territory. The map as originally proposed bears a certain resemblance to two squid locked in mortal struggle.

The 1949 armistice map does, arguably, provide Israel with a viable territory, but does not really do so for the Palestinians — at least, not as Palestinians qua Palestinians. Here we run into nationalism yet again. According to the 1949 armistace, what are now the “occupied territories” in the West Bank were made part of Jordan (itself a new country resulting from the partitioning of former Ottoman lands by the British in 1946).

Jordan was among the countries that attacked Isreal in the 1967 War, and after the war Isreal kept the West Bank, which was strategically positioned and contained both water resources and important historical sites in the history of ancient Isreal. Thus, a large population of Arab-Palestinians (some of them in turn people who had been expelled from Isreali territory back in 1948) found themselves under Israeli control for forty years — providing plenty of time for fostering a sense of nationality and grievance.

As I said, I think modern Americans are often peculiarly ill-suited to understand these long-simmering (and at times outright flaming) conflicts fed by nationalism, because we are ourselves quite explicitly a large country made up of many diverse ethnic and cultural groups. Certainly, there is a unifying American culture, and attachment to that is one of the characteristics that it at times labeled as American nationalism. But we clearly lack any sense in our national experience that it is necessary for one to live in a country which is defined both by one’s cultural and regional identity.

To me, with my American background, it seems obvious that the Palestinians should either seek to re-unify with Jordan and simply be happy as Jordanians, or else seek full integration into Israel and enjoy being Israeli-Arab citizens. And if those in that part of the world could somehow be cleansed of nationalism, those would seem to be the two options that would most lend themselves to peace. (A two state solution could potentially work as well — but given the small size and strategic importance of the West Bank, not to mention its recent history, it seems hard to imagine a stable, prosperous and friendly government coming into being there.) But short of that there is an intractible situation with no obvious solution. The Israelis (not surprisingly given what the Jewish people has suffered in the last century) want to have a state they can call home in Palestine, and the Palestinian Arabs want to have a state which is a Palestinian Arab state in precisely the same place. There is not a way to reconcile those two desires.

16 Responses to Nationalism and the Problems of the Middle East

  • Excellent post Darwin and much thanks for the background history.

    (Coincidentally I’m (re)reading Benny Morris’ Righteous Victims: History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict and covering similar territory).

  • Benny Morris is well worth reading. His 1948 is first rate.

    http://www.amazon.com/1948-History-First-Arab-Israeli-War/dp/0300126964/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231384700&sr=8-1

    Starting out as a historian of the Left, Morris has developed into a very objective historian. Here is his take on Gaza:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/30/opinion/30morris.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=opinion&adxnnlx=1230648024-PpvQR0cg9ySWyd4MjvUvcg

  • Darwin. I’m afraid I might agree with you.

    Donald,

    I’m just being nit-picky and jokingly so. But if a person starts out on the Right, but doesn’t remain there, can they too qualify to be a “a very objective historian?”

  • Eric,

    since objective truth is a principle of the right, and anathema to the left, the answer is “by definition” he would no longer be objective.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Thanks for the informative post Darwin.

  • Actually Eric yes! In past times I can think of historians who started on the right in their analysis and then adopted what I lovingly refer to as the “Jack Webb, “Just the facts, Ma’am”” school of history. Interpretation will always be influenced by a historian’s world view, but the best historians work against their own biases. However most historians, in this country and abroad, start out firmly on the Left at the beginning of their careers, due to the strong Leftist sympathies of most academics post World War II.

    We also now have a large divide in this country between academic historians, often writing in a deconstructionist\post-modernist gibberish who are usually unread, and popular historians, like Victor Davis Hanson, often academically trained themselves, but who produce histories that eschew both the fashionable Leftism, the jargon, and the subject matter, “Patriarchy, Feminism and Peruvian garbage collection 1765-1767″ would be a typical title for an academic historian of today, and whose books are often very widely read, at least in comparison to the histories of academia which tend to “fall still-born from the press”.

  • Eric,

    With some of the Israeli “New Historians” in particular, I think the change that has taken place in their writing over the last 15 years is pretty much a “mugged by reality” one. One of the main tenets they started with was that if only Israel would make some effort to engage with the Arab community peacefully, the Arabs would be glad of it and be eager to work with them. (Though I’m probably simplifying unfairly here.) Following the progress in the peace process under Clinton, and the loss of nearly all of that progress afterwards, I think they’ve mostly backed off to a more realistic view — retaining their understanding of how things came to this pass, but with less of a political sense that it could all be fixed easily.

    Generally, I’d say that any time you have people starting with a narrative and applying that to events in order to understand them, you often end up with poor history. Because so many of the academic trends in the last 50 years have been of the left in some sense, most of these can be pinned on “leftist” history, but I can think of right-leaning historians who have fallen into the same traps with their own narratives.

    At the risk of kicking off controversy, I think Paul Johnson falls into this a bit when he writes about communism in his histories, and I’ve been a bit concerned at some of Victor Davis Hanson’s more recent writing (although I really, really like some of his earlier stuff) in that I think he’s slipping into a bit of a “titanic struggle between East and West” narratives which does not do full justice to either the past or the present.

  • Matt,

    I think over reaching generalizations like that are really unfair and unfounded. People hardly fit into the rigid ideologies of “left” and “right” and what some say certainly don’t speak for the whole, and perhaps, not even the majority.

    I’m not sure relativism isn’t a problem on the right. It simply wears a different mask, namely as consequentialism and utilitarianism — not the natural law.

    I surely would not voluntarily place myself on the “right.” I would and do place myself on the “left” and I am very much interested in objective truth.

    Moreover, I think the nit-picky classification of things as either “left” or “right” is really unrealistic seeing as to how these two schemes really don’t exhaust the fullness of reality and are both majorly lacking.

    Here’s a fact, the objective truth is the principle of the Catholic Church and people of good will who can be found on both the left and the right. Thank you. God bless.

  • A great leftist historian: Eugene Genovese. Genovese’s “Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made” is an excellent account of slave life in the antebellum South which relies heavily on interviews conducted in the 1930’s with elderly ex-slaves. Genovese was a Marxist in the late ’60’s when “Roll, Jordan, Roll ” was published, but he was quite balanced in his treatment of Southern slaveowners. “Roll, Jordan, Roll” recognizes the evil of slavery, but recognizes the complexities of the humans, black and white, who were emeshed in “the peculiar institution.”

    BTW, Genovese did not remain a Marxist. Several years ago, both he and his wife, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, converted to Catholicism.

  • Eric,

    I’m making generalizations precisely because I know that not everyone on the right is objective, but that objectivity is a “principle” of the right. Subjectivity is a principle of the left (that doesn’t mean nobody on the left is incapable of objective reasoning), would you not agree?

    Utilitarianism and consequentialsm are much more asso
    ciated with the left. These philosophies are not typical of the right at all. What might be confusing you is the distinction between what government must do, and what we as Christians must do for others and what people must do for themselves. Christianity opposes socialism, it demands charity.

  • Matt,

    I don’t think that it is necessarily a principle of the right, just as I don’t think that subjectivity is a principle of the left. I don’t think it’s so clear-cut. Though, I would agree that liberalism more manifestly embraces modernism.

    I think utilitarianism and consequentialism more describe the moral ethics of many conservatives I’ve ever encountered and debated. Even among evangelical conservatives, it is not as common as we’d like to think — at least from my experience — to find natural law thinking. But by and large, I’ve heard arguments more from the right in justification of evils such as torture on the basis that the ends justify the means or as I believe, cloaking preemptive war behind the “just war” doctrine and the natural law when it really is consequentialism, imperialism, militarism, nationalism, and many other “-isms” of modernity. Does the left make such errors? Sure. You’ll find hyper-liberal environmentalists supporting abortion as a means of human population control to protect nature’s resources as if population growth is really the issue.

    In all charity, I think the politicization of the Christian faith into a ready political view that is largely and predominantly conservative is profoundly mistaken. For one matter, I don’t believe that liberalism and socialism are synonymous nor do I believe that the alleged alternative — conservatism — is the only solution.

    I’ll agree with you on one point: Christianity demands charity, so in good charity, I respectfully disagree. Thank you for your dialogue.

  • Eric,

    I don’t think that it is necessarily a principle of the right, just as I don’t think that subjectivity is a principle of the left. I don’t think it’s so clear-cut.

    Ok then, what are the principles of the left?

    I would use this list as the principles of the right as described by Edmond Burke.


    1. “Belief in a transcendent order, or body of natural law, which rules society as well as conscience.”
    2. “Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of human existence, as opposed to the narrowing uniformity, egalitarianism, and utilitarian aims of most radical systems;”
    3. “Persuasion that freedom and property are closely linked: separate property from private possession, and the Leviathan becomes master of all.”
    4. “Faith in prescription and distrust of ‘sophisters, calculators, and economists’ who would reconstruct society upon abstract designs.”
    5. “Recognition that change may not be salutary reform: hasty innovation may be a devouring conflagration, rather than a torch of progress.”

    What are the principles of the left? I can’t seem to find a good reference, perhaps you could provide one.

    Though, I would agree that liberalism more manifestly embraces modernism.

    like a hand in a glove.

    I think utilitarianism and consequentialism more describe the moral ethics of many conservatives I’ve ever encountered and debated. Even among evangelical conservatives, it is not as common as we’d like to think — at least from my experience — to find natural law thinking. But by and large, I’ve heard arguments more from the right in justification of evils such as torture on the basis that the ends justify the means or as I believe, cloaking preemptive war behind the “just war” doctrine and the natural law when it really is consequentialism, imperialism, militarism, nationalism, and many other “-isms” of modernity.

    So, based on your unfounded belief that splashing water on a person’s face is torture, or your belief that enforcing a truce agreement designed to protect the neighbors of a past aggressor is a “pre-emptive” war violating just war doctrine you impute these errors to conservatism?

    You can mischaracterize any argument you want, but it doesn’t make it reality.

    Does the left make such errors? Sure. You’ll find hyper-liberal environmentalists supporting abortion as a means of human population control to protect nature’s resources as if population growth is really the issue.

    abortion is the sacrament of the left, it’s not just found on it’s fringes… surely you’re aware of this?

    In all charity, I think the politicization of the Christian faith into a ready political view that is largely and predominantly conservative is profoundly mistaken.

    So opposing moral evils such as abortion is politicizing the Christian faith? What really happened is the Christian faith re-asserted itself in the political spectrum. Remember how this happened when the left completely abandoned it’s own Christian roots, and attempted to shift the nation deeply to the left, first in economic policy, then later in morality.

    For one matter, I don’t believe that liberalism and socialism are synonymous nor do I believe that the alleged alternative — conservatism — is the only solution.

    They aren’t synonymous, but they are inter-related. What is your solution? I never said conservatism is the “only” solution, just that (as a principle for government) it most complies with the teaching of the Church on the role of government.

    It may be that what you oppose is not conservatism at all but a lefty-mischaracterization of conservatism?

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Matt,

    While I myself would be interested to hear Eric’s formulation of liberal principles (not because I don’t think liberalism has principles, but because “liberalism” has meant a number of different things over the last 200 years and I’d be curious to hear how Eric approaches the matter) I’d like to encourage you to maintain a less aggressive tone.

    Though it’s sadly rare to see a liberal/progressive approach to economics and politics paired with traditional Christian morality these days, that doesn’t necessarily mean that such a pairing is impossible — and I think if you’ll look back at Eric’s post during the election you’ll see that he takes the moral issues very seriously. Indeed he came out strongly against Obama despite agreeing with him on many economic issues.

    There are many aspects of modern progressivism that I do not agree with, but one should disagree with them on their own, not dismiss them by tying them to false moral beliefs and practices which in this case Eric doesn’t hold with anyway.

  • Matt,

    The virtue of charity would be appreciated. I can understand that debate can easily impact emotions, but the condescending nature of your arguing really isn’t appreciated.

    Admittedly, I profoundly disagree with many points you made particularly in regard to torture. I wouldn’t call my belief unfounded nor that of many Catholics, who call themselves conservative, who oppose it just as ardently as I do.

    I don’t think the Christian faith is exhaustively conservative. These stringent labels hardly have any meaning given their constant evolution.

    Nevertheless, at this time, I don’t see it best to continue trying to present my point because it seems to be taken, from my perspective, as an absurd attempt to argue to frame the so-called inherently evil “liberalism” as consonant with Catholic beliefs. I think your view is misguided just as you surely think the same of me.

    I’m not going to answer you point by point because this is my last response on the matter. But it seems self-evident that the loud minority on both sides of the political spectrum do not even speak for the majority on that side because people tend not to be as monolithic as political idealogues make us out to be. There are probably as many “conservatisms” as there are “liberalisms.” Many aspects of both side speak to our Christian belief and many tendencies are incompatible with Christian belief; this is hardly surprising. In regard to one comment you made, being Christian does not mean only opposing abortion nor does opposition of abortion indicate a Christian political party. I think the Christian faith cannot be exhaustively be politically translated nor is it confined to express itself on one side of the political spectrum.

    I am a believing Catholic and I also frequently refer to myself as a “liberal” or “progressive” because I politically identify with Democrats moreso than Republicans; my subjective convictions in regard to such matters makes no statement on what other believing Catholics should do aside from abide by Catholic moral teaching.

    I believe as a “liberal” that society has a committment to protecting the weakest and most vulnerable among us. In the past election, my assessment was that the Democratic Party continued to ignore its historical committment to this fundamental principle in regard to the poorest of the poor — unborn children — and I voted against Barack Obama. My vote for John McCain was really a vote against Barack Obama because Sen. McCain and I had very few agreements on both policy and political philosophy.

    I fervently believe — rightly or wrongly — that the Republican Party under the label of ‘conservatism’ employs Christian moral themes in its rhetoric and panders to Christians as a whole because we are an active, powerful voting bloc. This is not to say that there are no sincere and authentic Christian conservatives. But I do believe much of the talk about traditional moral values and building a “Culture of Life” occurs during an election cycle and not as much in governance. This comment won’t be popular, but Ronald Reagan loved dearly by the religious right never went to church nor did he help the pro-life cause by appointing Kennedy and O’Connor to the Court. Seven of the sitting nine Justices post-Roe have been appointed by conservatives yet only four of them are pro-life. It does not take an appointment of a whole court to get a 5-4 majority. It s makes suspicious of whether the GOP really takes its rhetoric seriously. It’s one reason I’m not a “conservative.” If we’re going to end abortion, I think we would be better positioned to get principled Christians on all sides of the political spectrum. That’s my two cents.

  • Darwin and Eric,

    I meant no offense, I’m just trying to get resolution on Eric’s retort to my original statement “objective truth is a principle of the right, and anathema to the left”.

    Eric suggested that objective truth is not a principle of the right I responded with my best understanding of conservative values. Eric introduced a number of attempts to divert the conversation by alluding vaguely to some anecdotal arguments about torture without making distinctions on what torture is.

    In charity here are 4 expressions from Eric’s first response:
    “over reaching generalizations”
    “really unfair and unfounded”
    “nit-picky classification”
    “unrealistic”

    I don’t think it’s fair to accuse me of being overly aggressive in light of this.

    Matt said: unfounded belief that splashing water on a person’s face is torture

    Eric said:
    I profoundly disagree with many points you made particularly in regard to torture.

    Well support your point then. There is no basis in Catholic teaching for declaring the practice of “water-boarding” for the purpose of extracting intelligence from a known terrorist to be torture. Prove me wrong.

    Here’s a handy reference from the Catechism:
    Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity.

    Gathering intelligence does not fall under any of these categories. And by intelligence we mean information which can lead to the prevention of future attacks that have been planned or participated in by the subject, or to locate the names and whereabouts of his accomplices who are likely to be preparing such attacks.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Matt,

    I’m sure you didn’t intend to cause offense, but I saw a danger of things going down hill fast when hitting a committed Catholic who is politically progressive on some issues with statements like “abortion is the sacrament of the left”. Certainly, a lot of people who are leftist treat abortion in that way, but I don’t think that one could turn around and say that political leftism must necessarily do so. (To my knowledge the various Christian Democrat parties in Europe do not make this pairing, though they trend at least as far left on economic issues as the Democratic Party in America does.) It strikes me that making that statement in this particular context could be just as antagonistic as when someone like Mark Shea starts shouting at us conservatives that torture is a sacrament of the GOP.

    I’m just trying to get resolution on Eric’s retort to my original statement “objective truth is a principle of the right, and anathema to the left”.

    Eric suggested that objective truth is not a principle of the right I responded with my best understanding of conservative values.

    Well, I’m not a progressive, but I’ll give it a shot in the interests of intellectual fairness. It seems to me that one of the most basic principles of progressivism is that communal action should be taken to change existing political and social norms in order to right injustices and improve the overall lot of society. As such, progressives are often quick to see the evils of the existing social and political order, and demand change immediately in order to right perceived wrongs.

    This can be a source for good in society, when progressives have a proper understanding of what “the good” is. The abolitionist movement, which I tend to think of positively for obvious reasons, was a highly progressive movement in its outlook and rhetoric. Early campaigns for better working conditions and an end to child labor, universal education, etc. were also progressive movements.

    The danger, of course, is that since progressives are eager to boldly go in new directions in order to improve society, they are often in danger of causing new problems because they aren’t aware of all the possible side effects of their actions. And if their ideas of what “the good” is, we get all sorts of trouble. So especially in a time in which much of society is highly confused in its ideas of what is good, I think conservatism is a much safer philosophy.

    However, since progressivism is directional (trying to improve society) I’d tend to argue that it at least implies in its overall model some sort of objective good — though as Christopher Dawson argues, in modern secular versions of progressivism this direction is really a vestige of a religious sense now continuing without justification.

    Well support your point then. There is no basis in Catholic teaching for declaring the practice of “water-boarding” for the purpose of extracting intelligence from a known terrorist to be torture. Prove me wrong.

    Here’s a handy reference from the Catechism:
    Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity.

    Gathering intelligence does not fall under any of these categories. And by intelligence we mean information which can lead to the prevention of future attacks that have been planned or participated in by the subject, or to locate the names and whereabouts of his accomplices who are likely to be preparing such attacks.

    I’m not sure what moral difference you’re positing between “gather intelligence” and “extract confessions”. I’d tend to see the two as interchangeable. But if it’s the fact that we’re gathering intelligence rather than “to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred” that makes waterboarding acceptable, then by the same argument wouldn’t it be okay to “gather intelligence” by ripping out fingernails or branding with hot irons or cutting off thumbs or what have you?

    And if the reason why gathering intelligence by any of those means would be wrong is that they inflict severe pain, damage and humiliation contrary to human dignity on the person being interrogated, then I think that if someone concluded that waterboarding did they would be justified in saying that waterboarding was torture.

    Myself, I’m not one of those who freaks out that we’ve become a “torture state” or some such. I don’t think it’s necessarily surprising in our history of the history of nations that we did what we did to a dozen or so people in Guantanamo in an effort to protect our nation. But while it doesn’t necessarily strike me as shocking or surprising, it does seem to me at this point that it caused us more harm than good. And while I think the administration acted in good faith, I’d prefer others to be more hesitant in the future.

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