Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The B’nai B’rith and . . . John Howard?

This morning I began drafting a blog entry on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), based on my personal knowledge, but when I Googled “B’nai B’rith”, the ADL’s parent organization, one path branched to another, and now I’m posting a piece which doesn’t even get to the ADL.

What I plan to do in the near future is publish a series of articles on activist pro-Israel organizations, their methods and their activities. The B’nai B’rith is a good place to begin because it is the oldest establishment I’ll mention and because it spawned the notorious and more publicized ADL in 1913.

The B’nai B’rith (Hebrew: בני ברית, "Sons of the Covenant") could probably have been accurately described as a Jewish service organization when it was founded in New York City in 1843.

Since the passing of the years when Jews were banned from most hotels and country clubs in the United States, had limited ability to enter many universities, and were subject to outspoken hostility, the situation has essentially reversed, and the B’nai B’rith no longer has any significant “antisemitism” to work on. Its most conspicuous role today is as a vociferous supporter of Israel, and “antisemitism” has come to mean primarily “criticism of Israel”.

Among other Zionist activities, together with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) the B’nai B’rith created in 2002 an initiative called “BBYO 4 Israel” (“B’nai B’rith Youth Organization for Israel”) to encourage support for Zionism among high school students.

(AIPAC is Israel’s main lobbying weapon used on the U.S. Congress.)

From a B’nai B’rith website (including the flag):

“B'nai B'rith International Opposes Further Unilateral Withdrawals in Israel

“The B'nai B'rith International Executive Committee adopted a resolution which rejects further Israeli territorial withdrawals in the absence of good faith bilateral negotiations. The resolution was adopted after careful consideration at a meeting in Boca Raton, Florida on February 18.”

“The B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem is the hub of B'nai B'rith International's activities in Israel, serving as the key link between the organization's members in over 50 countries around the world and the State of Israel.”

So far this post has focused on evidence of the B’nai B’rith’s major role in supporting Israel. Now we’ll look at one of its propaganda methods.

B’nai B’rith shares certain tools with other organizations I’ll be writing about. The tool I happened upon today is the presentation of awards to individuals who give good service to the Jewish organizations – awards unvaryingly described as “prestigious”. Most Americans would be astonished by the number of Jewish awards in circulation, as well as by the names of some of the recipients.

In its own words, “B'nai B'rith International bestows various recognitions and awards, including its Presidential Gold Medal awarded every few years to honor the recipient's commitment to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Recipients have included David Ben Gurion, John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush, and Golda Meir. In November 2005, the Gold Medal was given to former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky, and in May 2006, it was awarded to Australian Prime Minister John Howard.”

The award to John Howard, being the most recent, is the one most actively mentioned on the Internet, which is timely for me because I was just discussing Howard’s devotion to Middle East wars (i.e. wars which support Israel’s aims) with some Australian friends.

From (“Australian Jewish News”) May 2006:

‘PRIME Minister John Howard will be presented the prestigious B'nai B'rith international Presidential Gold Medal for his "outstanding" support of Israel and the Jewish people at a ceremony in Washington on Tuesday, May 16.

‘A spokesperson for the prime minister told the AJN that Howard was "deeply honoured" by the award, and that "Australia's consistent support for the State of Israel is based on principle and a profound respect for the courage and achievements of the Jewish people".

‘The PM stated: "The international Jewish community and the state of Israel have no closer friends than Australia and the United States."

‘Howard, who last visited Israel in 2000, is tipped to return to the Jewish State as early as July, following an invitation from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

‘Last year, Howard completed a rare trifecta by receiving awards from three organisations in recognition of his support for Jewish causes: Sydney's Jewish Communal Appeal, the AJC and the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.’

Even the “Australian Jewish News” thought all that was a bit much, but went on to explain Howard’s services:

‘ONE can forgive a wee bit of cynicism concerning the Presidential Gold Medal that Prime Minister John Howard is due to receive . . . from B’nai B’rith. After all, this will mark the fourth such citation that Howard has received from the Jews in a little over a year.

‘Indeed, the frequency with which Howard is exalted by the Jewish community could give rise to one of two possible conclusions: either the stock of Jew-loving, Israel-supporting potential honourees on the world stage is stretched very thin, or Howard has truly stood out among world leaders as a champion of the Jews.

‘In fact, both conclusions are probably true. Sadly, there are indeed very few world figures, especially national leaders, one can count as truly understanding and steadfast supporters of Israel.

‘One should not underestimate the value of Howard’s international support, especially as it has manifested itself in Australia’s voting patterns at the United Nations. The addition of Australia to the isolated voting bloc – hitherto consisting of the United States and a few small Pacific nations – was a demoralising blow for enemies of Israel.’

I’ll conclude by quoting this source which takes a very different view from the AJN's.

This is excellent. It’s important. Please read it.

‘What did Howard do to deserve B'nai B'rith honour? And why isn't the “Sydney Morning Herald” telling its readers about it?

‘by: socialdemocracynow

‘John Howard is off to Washington, reported the Sydney Morning Herald last night. According to this story, the purpose of the trip was to further cultivate relations with U.S. President George Bush

'What the Herald didn't tell Australian readers, but what the Australian Jewish News had no problem informing Australian Jews, is that between his appointments with Bush, Howard will receive 'the prestigious B'nai B'rith international Presidential Gold Medal for his "outstanding" support of Israel and the Jewish people at a ceremony' in Washington.

‘I can't imagine why the Herald is ignoring this aspect of Howard's Washington trip. It's hardly a secret, given that it's already been reported by an Australian Jewish newspaper. Actually, I'm lying - I can imagine it only too well. Thanks to selective media reporting, it would come as a great surprise to most Australians to discover that Prime Minister Howard has performed 'outstanding' services to Israel. Presumably, what the Herald doesn't want the Australian public to realize - but what Australian Jews are allowed to know - is who Howard, along with Bush and Blair and the other most fervent supporters of the Iraq war - is really working for. As it's increasingly obvious that the Iraq war was essentially a war to advance Israeli interests, it's also increasingly obvious that Howard's support for that war - over and against the wishes of the Australian people - issues from Howard's Zionism. (Cynics would probably point out here that Jewish donors give something like twenty million dollars to Howard's Liberal party each year.) Howard has been notoriously inflexible on Iraq, despite the overwhelming opposition to the war from ordinary Australians, precisely because he's not working for Australians - he's working for Israel.’

Monday, February 26, 2007

Jewish Antisemites? A Study of a Jewish Attack on Jewish Critics of Israel.

Not long ago I discussed semantics in relation to charges of “antisemitism” . I compared using the word “Jews” to walking in a verbal minefield.

An article in the “New York Times” entitled “Essay Linking Liberal Jews and Anti-Semitism Sparks a Furor” is timely because it shows that even Jews are being accused of antisemitism. The essay itself, which I’ll discuss below, reveals that the accused “antisemitic Jews” make my attacks on Israel and Zionism seem almost bland in comparison.

From the NYT:

‘The American Jewish Committee, an ardent defender of Israel. . . features on its Web site,, [an essay] titled “‘Progressive’ Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism,” which says a number of Jews, through their speaking and writing, are feeding a rise in virulent anti-Semitism by questioning whether Israel should even exist.

‘The essay comes at a time of high anxiety among many Jews, who are seeing not only a surge in attacks from familiar antagonists, but also gloves-off condemnations of Israel from onetime allies and respected figures, like former President Jimmy Carter, who titled his new book on the Mideast “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.” By spotlighting the touchy issue of whether Jews are contributing to anti-Semitism, both admirers and detractors of the essay agree that it aggravates an already heated dispute over where legitimate criticism of Israel and its defenders ends and anti-Semitic statements begin.’

Because you can read the NYT article yourself, there is no point in my quoting more from it before I turn to the essay which is discussed in the NYT article. (This is a long post, but it can remain a valuable resource in the future; please click on the title of this post and save the resulting web page as a Favorite.)

We can tell right away that the essay “‘Progressive’ Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism” is going to be a propaganda piece because it compares medieval accusations that Jews poisoned wells with the obvious fact that Jews are “manipulators of American foreign policy.”

The author of the essay, Alvin Rosenfeld, defines antisemitism as “Hostility to Jews—because of their religious beliefs, their social or ethnic distinctiveness, or their imputed ‘racial’ differences.” He also presents the more extreme antisemitic belief “that Jews are today, as they always have been, a treacherous, conniving, untrustworthy, sinister, all-powerful, and implacably hostile people, the eternal enemy of both God and mankind.”

Claiming that a “new antisemitism” is on the rise around the world, he asks: “What does all this anti-Jewish hostility tell us? Despite the huge scandal of the Holocaust, which most Jews probably thought would prevent public manifestations of anti-Semitism from ever appearing again, the genie is once more out of the bottle.”

He indicates that the growing wave of criticism of Zionism and Israel is the major manifestation of this “antisemitism”.

His theme of particular interest to me is that some Jews, in particular “leftist” and “progressive” Jews, are joining in this socalled antisemitism. From the Forward to the essay: “Perhaps the most surprising—and distressing—feature of this new trend is the very public participation of some Jews in the verbal onslaught against Zionism and the Jewish state.” Rosenfeld calls those who deny the legitimacy of Israel’s existence “proud to be ashamed to be Jews”.

The essay states: “Apart from the United States, to which it is almost always linked by its enemies, no country on earth is as vilified as the Jewish state. Moreover, those who denounce it as an outlaw or pariah nation are found on both the left and the right, among the educated elites as well as the uneducated classes, and among Christians as well as Muslims.”

The Jewish critics of Israel whom Rosenfeld labels “antisemites” are identified one by one:

Jacqueline Rose, author of The Question of Zion (Princeton University Press,

‘As if it were foreordained from the start, “violence,” she writes,
“would be the destiny of the Jewish state” (p. 124). Moreover, the
“cruel powers” of this state have not only brought “injustice” to the
Palestinians, but have subverted “the moral mission of Israel”(p.
133), put at risk the Jewish nation’s own “safety and sanity” (p. 85),
and right now are even “endangering the safety of Diaspora Jewry”
by helping to provoke a new anti-Semitism (p. xviii). In sum, Israel
on its present course “is bad for the Jewish people” (p. 154) and also
bad for just about everyone else.’

Rosenfeld bitterly complains that Jacqueline Rose wrote, “I believe the creation of Israel in 1948 led to a historic injustice against the Palestinians” (p. xvi),” and that ‘her lexicon of descriptive terms for Zionism and its errant ways is overwhelmingly negative: “agony,” “anguished,” “belligerent,” “bloody,” “brutal,” “cataclysmic,” “corrupt,” “cruel,” “dangerous,” “deadly,” and “militaristic” alternate with “apocalyptic,” “blind,” “crazy,” “delusional,” “defiled,” “demonic,” “fanatical,” “insane,” and “mad.”’

As bad as Rosenfeld thinks Jacqueline Rose is, her evil pales in the hellish glow of his next candidate:

‘Rose’s unease is mild, though, compared to the pathological fury one finds among some other anti-Zionist Jews. As a telling example, let us review the reflections on Israel and present-day anti-Semitism of Michael Neumann, a professor of philosophy at Trent University in Canada and author of "What’s Left: Radical Politics and the Radical Psyche". Neumann accuses Israel of committing “Zionist atrocities” and of waging “a race war against the Palestinians,” a war whose purpose is nothing less than “the extinction of a people.” Toward this end, Israel has embarked on “genocide” against the Palestinians—“ a kinder, gentler genocide that portrays its perpetrators as victims.” The Palestinians “are being shot because Israel thinks all Palestinians should vanish or die.... This is not the bloody mistake of a blundering super-power but an emerging evil.” Moreover, the guilt belongs not only to Israelis, but to Jews in general, “most of whom support a state that commits war crimes.” Such support implicates all Jews, Neumann contends—so much so that “the case for Jewish complicity seems much stronger than the case for German complicity” in the crimes committed against the Jews during the Holocaust.’

Next in Rosenfeld’s line of fire is Tony Judt, described as a Jew on the left:

‘The historian Tony Judt, for instance, has published a series of
increasingly bitter articles over the past three years in the Nation, the
New York Review of Books, and Ha’aretz, in which he has called Israel
everything from arrogant, aggressive, anachronistic, and infantile to
dysfunctional, immoral, and a primary cause of present-day anti-
Semitism. “Israel today,” Judt avers, “is bad for the Jews,” and it
would do them and everyone else a service by going out of business.
“The time has come to think the unthinkable,” he writes, and that
is to replace the Jewish state with “a single, integrated, binational
state of Jews and Arabs.”’

Rosenfeld goes on to assault other Jewish critics of Israel:

‘Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, edited by Tony Kushner and Alisa Solomon (New York: Grove Press, 2003) and Radicals, Rabbis and Peacemakers: Conversations with Jewish Critics of Israel, edited by Seth Farber (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2005). Liberally sprinkled through the pages of the first of these books are references to Israeli “apartheid,” “racism,” “colonialism,” and “ethnic cleansing”.’

‘Joel Kovel, a professor at Bard College, who is writing a book on post-Zionist Israel, suggests that Zionism “is equivalent to a form of racism” and is unforgiving
that it brought about “the Jewish homeland at the expense of another people”.’

‘The prominent poet Adrienne Rich proposes that the very word “Zionism” is “so incendiary, so drenched in idealism, dissension, ideas of blood and soil, in memories of victimization and pursuant claims of the right to victimize” that it “needs to dissolve before twenty-first century realities.”’

‘Sara Roy, who identifies herself as the daughter of Holocaust survivors, notes that “within the Jewish community it has always been considered a form of heresy to compare Israeli actions or policies with those of the Nazis” (p. 176). Then she
proceeds to draw just such a comparison by accusing Israel of replicating
Nazi occupation policies.’

‘Journalist Esther Kaplan, commenting on the charge by a young Rutgers University
activist that “Israel is a racist state, an imperialist state—it is and should be a pariah state,” remarks: “[I]f that’s what it takes to bring down the occupation..., Israel should absolutely become a pariah state.... The time has come when Israel must be totally isolated by world opinion and forced, simply forced, to concede”’

‘Steve Quester wonders if Israelis are “going to build gas chambers and kill them all” but then backs off from that idea and imagines that the Israeli plan for the
Palestinians is merely to “terrorize” and “starve” them out. Seth Farber himself holds to the harsher view and insists on conflating Israeli “racism” with “Nazi anti-Semitism”. And Rabbi David Weiss goes him one better by claiming that the Zionists have actually
been “worse than Hitler.”’

Essay author Rosenfeld expects us to believe his conclusory rebuttal that, “No serious scholar of history would argue that Israel’s actions warrant legitimate comparison with the systematic cruelties of apartheid South Africa or the genocidal barbarism of Nazi Germany.” Although he has just lambasted a number of serious scholars of history, Rosenfeld apparently considers himself the only “serious scholar of history” qualified to characterize the actions of Israel.

He writes: “To the dismay of many [well, to the dismay of Rosenfeld, at least], Israel
itself has provided a disturbingly large number of writers, scholars, journalists, and others to feed this poisonous stream. One such was the philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz, who felt no reservations in talking about the “Nazification” of Israeli society and was fond of using the epithet “Judeo-Nazi” in referring to the Israeli army. And
Leibowitz was hardly alone in employing such corrosive language. It is a sad but familiar fact that some of Israel’s most passionate defamers live within the borders of the state and have judged it guilty of “racism,” “fascism,” “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide”— vilification drawn from the same devil’s thesaurus of anti-
Zionist derisions and ex coriations that the Jewish state’s harshest enemies regularly dip into when leveling their own attacks.’

Near the end of Rosenfeld’s essay he quotes from a book by Ahron Cohen and Joel Kovel, more Jewish “antisemites”. That quotation is a fitting way to end this post:

‘Zionism ... is built on an impossibility, and to live in it and
be of it is to live a lie.... Zionism can only repeat its crimes
and degenerate further. Only a people that aspires to be so
high [above others] can fall so low.
Zionism and its deeds are the biggest threat to Judaism....
The Zionist State known as “Israel” is a regime that has no
right to exist.’

Friday, February 23, 2007

Iran Update (Expanded on February 25)

This is scary. It seems unbelievable that the United States would try the same moronic tricks that were exposed as fraud in Iraq, but it is clear that once more the Bush administration is supplying false “information” about Iran and ignoring what inspectors on the ground in Iran actually find or don’t find.

Remember how American “intelligence” sent inspectors racing around Iraq on wild goose chases for months? The U.S. said that the inspectors couldn’t find evidence of weapons of mass destruction because the bumbling inspectors weren’t thorough or aggressive enough, and because Iraq was shifting the WMDs around and hiding them in such places as private homes or palace bathrooms. Of course that was all American lies. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and yet Iraq’s fictitious “non-cooperation” with the inspectors became one of the excuses for a war to destroy the nonexistent WMDs.

The fact that we are going through the same farce with Iran is testimony not only to the mendacity of the American government but also its contempt for the brainpower of those to whom it tells its lies.

From the "Los Angeles Times", Feb 25:

'Tips about supposed secret weapons sites and documents with missile designs haven't panned out, diplomats say.

'The officials said the CIA and other Western spy services had provided sensitive information to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency at least since 2002,
Since 2002, "pretty much all the intelligence that's come to us has proved to be wrong," a senior diplomat at the IAEA said. Another official here described the agency's intelligence stream as "very cold now" because "so little panned out."

'American officials privately acknowledge that much of their evidence on Iran's nuclear plans and programs remains ambiguous, fragmented and difficult to prove.'

There is no factual excuse, then, for Vice President Cheney's reiteration in Australia yesterday that "all options are on the table" (i.e., military action is contemplated) if Iran does not end its nuclear program. In any case, as Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's Bin Laden Unit, said recently: "The Iranians are no threat to the United States unless we provoke them. They may be a threat to the Israelis. They‘re not a threat to the United States." Are the American people so conditioned to think irrationally of their country as the guardian of an oppressive Jewish religious state on the other side of the world that they will once more accept an American attack on an innocent country as a matter of course? Will they even recognize, when American corpses begin to come home, that those Americans died for Israel and not for their own country? Do they recognize it now, as the corpses are shipped home from Iraq?

The following are exerpts from a report in ”The Age” (Australia).

Julian Borger, Vienna
February 24, 2007
"MUCH of the intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities provided to UN inspectors by American spy agencies has turned out to be unfounded, according to diplomatic sources in Vienna.

"The [claims] are reminiscent of the intelligence fiasco surrounding the Iraq war. At the heart of the debate are accusations by the US that Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons. But most of the tip-offs about supposed secret weapons sites provided by the CIA and other US intelligence agencies have led to dead ends when investigated by atomic energy agency inspectors, according to informed sources in Vienna.

"'Most of it has turned out to be incorrect,' said a diplomat at the agency with detailed knowledge of the investigations. 'They gave us a paper with a list of sites. The inspectors did some follow-up, they went to some military sites, but there was no sign of (banned nuclear) activities. Now the inspectors don't go in blindly, only if it passes a credibility test.'

"One particularly contentious issue concerned records of plans to build a nuclear warhead, which the CIA said it found on a computer supplied by an informant inside Iran. In July 2005, US intelligence officials showed printed versions of the material to atomic energy agency officials, who judged it to be sufficiently specific to confront Iran. Tehran rejected the material as forged and there remain reservations about its authenticity, according to officials with knowledge of the internal debate inside the agency.

"'First of all, if you have a clandestine program, you don't put it on laptops which can walk away,' one official said. 'The data is all in English, which may be reasonable for some of the technical matters, but at some point you'd have thought there would be at least some notes in Farsi.'"

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Iran: Are We on the Edge of the Cliff?

It has occurred to me that there may be a second reason (in addition to political grandstanding) for the Bush “surge” of U.S. troops in Iraq. What if the U.S. administration anticipates attacking Iran in the near term? Wouldn’t it make sense to bolster U.S. forces in Iraq, whose border with Iran was the site of fierce warfare in the past?

Perhaps the American government anticipates nothing beyond an air attack on Iran, but in war the unexpected always happens. I can picture Iranian ground forces rolling into Iraq if the U.S. attacks Iran. American troops and helicopters already mired down in their struggle against the Iraqi resistance would face all-out war on an eastern front. Let us hope that sanity prevails, and that neither the U.S. nor Israel attacks Iran, but in addition to building up its naval forces in the area, the U.S. government is also building up its troop strength in Iraq.

This post is going to be choppy, but I want to include several recent reports concerning Iran, all relevant but presented without any particular continuity.

The following report may or may not be accurate – or its release may have been psychological warfare -- but the facts have been published in several places. :

“American military operations for a major conventional war with Iran could be implemented any day. They extend far beyond targeting suspect WMD facilities and will enable President Bush to destroy Iran's military, political and economic infrastructure overnight using conventional weapons.

“British military sources told the New Statesman, on condition of anonymity, that "the US military switched its whole focus to Iran" as soon as Saddam Hussein was kicked out of Baghdad. It continued this strategy, even though it had American infantry bogged down in fighting the insurgency in Iraq.

“The US army, navy, air force and marines have all prepared battle plans and spent four years building bases and training for "Operation Iranian Freedom". Admiral Fallon, the new head of US Central Command, has inherited computerised plans under the name TIRANNT (Theatre Iran Near Term).”

From another report: The BBC said that Bush has ordered plans for air strikes to disable Iran’s entire military structure. Senior officials in Washington have pinpointed targets including missile bases, command and control centres and air defences. Action would also be triggered if Tehran is close to developing nuclear weapons. Four nuclear sites would also be hit. US military strategists claimed the air attacks could be carried out without affecting ongoing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some 30 US warships are already in the Gulf.

A presidential candidate makes the mistake of implying Israel could cause a problem -- from Peter Bart's column on Senator John Edwards' comments in Hollywood:

“The aggressively photogenic Senator John Edwards was cruising along, detailing his litany of liberal causes [to a Hollywood gathering] last week until, during question time, he invoked the "I" word — Israel. Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, Edwards remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. As a chill descended on the gathering, the Edwards event was brought to a polite close.”

There went Hollywood, Candidate Edwards.

Meanwhile, a delegation of more savvy American senators arrived in Israel this week. The senators are members of a joint Senate-Knesset committee (can you imagine such a thing in America?) headed by Senator Jon Kyl, who is close to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The cozy get-together is described in the “Jerusalem Post” (Feb. 20). Note especially the reference to Iran.

“Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) said Monday as he led a bicameral delegation from the United States to discuss security issues with Knesset members. ‘In all of the years that I have been coming to Israel, one thing stands out to me above all others as crucial to the security of this country - and that is the need to deal with Iran,’ Kyl told The Jerusalem Post. The senator, who has a close relationship with Bush, serves as head of the US-Israel Joint Parliamentary Committee on National Security with MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud)."

Senator Kyl Prays

Though Iran is years away from creating a destructive nuclear device, even assuming it intends to work toward creating one, Israel constantly uses as an excuse for a threatened "preemptive" nuclear strike on Iran a statement attributed to its president that “Israel should be wiped off the map.” Here is some very instructive information from the author of the blog “Not the Country Club” (see my Links), who has published lengthy translations of the Iranian president’s statements:

“One of the weapons that Ahmadinejad's enemies have resorted to has been to mistranslate his statements. Incredible as it may seem, he never said "Israel should be wiped off the map." For one thing, the phrase "wipe off the map" does not exist in Farsi. What he in fact said was this: "The regime that occupies Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time." This was a quotation from the Ayatollah Khomeini. As Ahmadinejad himself explained, what he meant was that he hopes some day there will be a new system of government in Israel/Palestine, the same way that a new system replaced the old Soviet government.”

I’m going to conclude with quotations from “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” (Feb. 19). MICHAEL SCHEUER, FORMER HEAD, CIA BIN LADEN UNIT, was speaking of the lack of justification for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and of the pointlessness of antagonizing Iran:

“Well, this administration, sir, seems to be afraid of almost anything that moves. And certainly Iraq was a containable country. The Iranians are no threat to the United States unless we provoke them. They may be a threat to the Israelis. They‘re not a threat to the United States.

“The threat to the United States, inside the United States, comes from al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If you want to address the threat to America, that‘s where it is.”

If every American would heed and remember these words, thousands of Americans and Iranians will be living normal lives in the years to come rather than perishing in another Bush/Israel-built meat grinder:

“Iranians are no threat to the United States unless we provoke them. They may be a threat to the Israelis. They‘re not a threat to the United States.”

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Persistence of Dishonesty

The advertisement below sounds pretty impressive, doesn’t it? But read on. The ad is an astonishing piece of misrepresentation:


“Jan 27, 2006


"Author of 'FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL' to address myths of Mideast

“WASHINGTON – Joan Peters, author of the best-selling, critically acclaimed history of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine, 'From Time Immemorial,' is confirmed as a presenter at News Expo 2007 – the Washington, D.C., conference like no other ever produced.
Peters joins WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein, columnist Ann Coulter, WND founder and Editor Joseph Farah and managing editor David Kupelian, author of the best-seller, 'The Marketing of Evil.'
Peters' book struck the world like an earthquake when it was first published in 1984 – shattering many of the myths and misconceptions involving the origins of the Mideast debate. Based on seven years of meticulous research and fearless reporting, Peters documented the complex history of the region and in so doing deftly and authoritatively contradicted common misperceptions about the role and strategy of each side of the struggle.”

No wonder it’s a “rare” appearance. Her book is a fraud.

I wrote about Joan Peters on VIEW FROM THE MOON on January 18, and some of what I’m publishing today is lifted from that earlier post. The point is that her book, “From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine”, published in 1984, has been widely acknowledged for years to be inaccurate, even fraudulent.

Her book tries to justify Zionism (the takeover of Palestine by Jews from other countries) by proving the constant presence of Jews in Palestine, contrary to the truth. As one critic put it:

“The thesis of this book is that when the state of Israel came into existence Palestine was largely unpopulated, except for a few Jews who had been there for many centuries; just a desert really, made to bloom by the ingenuity and hard work of Jews who subsequently arrived. Consequently the Palestinians we find there today must have arrived recently, freeloaders, no doubt attracted by the modern state built by the efforts of said hard-working Jews. And consequently Israel has a right to send them back where they came from.

“In fact, the book is rubbish. It was exposed as a fraud by several critics, including Norman Finkelstein (whose exposé is included in Blaming the Victims, edited by Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens, also available via Amazon) and later Oxford University's Albert Hourani.”

A less forthright reviewer explained: “Much of Mrs. Peters's book argues that at the same time that Jewish immigration to Palestine was rising, Arab immigration to the parts of Palestine where Jews had settled also increased. Therefore, in her view, the Arab claim that an indigenous Arab population was displaced by Jewish immigrants must be false, since many Arabs only arrived with the Jews." Peters concludes, therefore, that many of the refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli war were not native Palestinians. She has repeatedly been proven wrong.

Professor Norman Finkelstein (see “Links” on this blog) calls Ms. Peters’ book a “monumental hoax,” and “the most notorious source of historical bias on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ever published in the English language . . . “

Not one critic now accepts her thesis as valid.

“The New York Review of Books”: “Everyone familiar with the writing of the extreme [Zionist\ nationalists of Zeev Jabotinsky's Revisionist party would immediately recognize the tired and discredited arguments in Mrs. Peters's book. I had mistakenly thought them long forgotten. It is a pity that they have been given new life."

Even a friendly reviewer, Daniel Pipes, wrote: “‘From Time Immemorial’ quotes carelessly, uses statistics sloppily, and ignores inconvenient facts. Much of the book is irrelevant to Miss Peters's central thesis. The author's linguistic and scholarly abilities are open to question.”

For a lengthy discussion of the criticisms of Joan Peters' book, see Paul Blair's six-part article published in 2002 beginning at

Blair writes in his Conclusion:

“From Time Immemorial is work of propaganda, with all the bad connotations that term carries. Peters' case rests upon distortion and fabrication. Time and again, she misconstrues sources in a tendentious manner. She cribs uncritically from partisan works. She conceals crucial calculations, and draws hard conclusions from tenuous evidence. She speculates wildly and without ground. She exaggerates figures and selects numbers to suit her thesis. She adduces evidence that in no way supports her claims, sometimes even omitting "inconvenient" portions of the citation. She invents contradictions in sources she wishes to discredit by quoting them out of context. She "forgets" undesirable numbers in her calculations. She ignores sources that cast doubt on her conclusions, even when she herself uses those sources for other purposes. She makes baseless insinuations and misleading claims.”

Noam Chomsky wrote in his 2002 book, “Understanding Power”:

“From Time Immemorial ... was a big scholarly-looking book with lots of footnotes, which purported to show that the Palestinians were all recent immigrants ... And it was very popular — it got literally hundreds of rave reviews, and no negative reviews: the Washington Post, the New York Times, everybody was just raving about it. Here was this book which proved that there were really no Palestinians! Of course, the implicit message was, if Israel kicks them all out there's no moral issue, because they're just recent immigrants who came in because the Jews had built up the country. ... That was the big intellectual hit for that year: Saul Bellow, Barbara Tuchman, everybody was talking about it as the greatest thing since chocolate cake. Well, one graduate student at Princeton, a guy named Norman Finkelstein, started reading through the book. He was interested in the history of Zionism, and as he read the book he was kind of surprised by some of the things it said. He's a very careful student, and he started checking the references — and it turned out that the whole thing was a hoax, it was completely faked: probably it had been put together by some intelligence agency ... [The Mossad?]

“Every major journal, the Times Literary Supplement, the London Review, the Observer, everybody had a review saying, this doesn't even reach the level of nonsense, of idiocy.”

How strange, then, that on January 22, 2007, Joan Peters’ discredited propaganda hoax should be trumpeted as “critically acclaimed” and “based on seven years of meticulous research”.

Joseph Farah, director of “News Expo 2007” and co-founder of the website which published the advertisement, WorldNetDaily, says:

“We're very excited about the appearance of Joan Peters. This presentation alone will make News Expo a spectacular, one-of-a-kind, can't-miss event.”

Sunday, February 18, 2007


"Israel's prime minister said Sunday that Israel and the United States have 'completely identical' positions on a new Palestinian government.", February 18.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

NOW We Have the Proof!

“Bush Says Iran Is Source of Deadly Bombs”

On February 12, ”Not Paying Attention” I (and a few million other people) expressed doubts about the “evidence” exhibited by anonymous American officials that Iran is supplying the Iraq resistance with weapons.

Must we now reconsider our reaction? The Highest Source has spoken on this very day. I am emphasizing his proofs with capital letters.

“WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 -- President Bush said today HE IS CERTAIN that elements of the Iranian government are supplying deadly roadside bombs that kill American troops in Iraq, even if the innermost circle of the government is not involved.

“Mr. Bush said IT HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED BEYOND A DOUBT that a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps known as the Quds Force is supplying Shiite groups inside Iraq

“WE KNOW THAT,” Mr. Bush said at a White House news conference.

“Mr. Bush rejected the idea that the intelligence about the Quds Forces might be no more reliable than that about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, which turned out not to exist. “I CAN SAY WITH CERTAINTY. . . blah, blah, blah.”

Yes, the Highest Source has spoken, but without an iota of evidence. Unfortunately, he is the Highest Source of Lies, not the highest source of truth. I wish some historian would tell me if Bush is not the most prolific and persistent liar in the history of the American presidency.

His administration is a fountain of lies, and yet his lies are so easily seen through and so easily shown to be false that most eight year olds can get away with their clumsy falsehoods better than Bush can . . . and yet he’s still doing it!

He is one of the great practitioners of the Big Lie, which I discussed on my other blog, FLIGHTS OF PEGASUS, January 12. (Sources are given there.)

The “Big Lie” technique consists in telling a lie so colossal that no one would believe anybody would have the nerve to try to pass off such a monstrous fabrication as the truth. The lie is so big that it must be true. The masses of people more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed and afraid to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even when the facts which prove a Big Lie to be a lie are brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. “For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world.”

Add to the Big Lie analysis what I wrote in “Not Paying Attention”: The main reason that Bush is able to float his lies on the sea of American public opinion is that most Americans don’t pay attention. They parrot the slogans they are told are respectable, and they believe in a few simple “facts” which are usually falsehoods.

So, while those of us who pay attention marvel that a man who has been repeatedly exposed as a liar can have the effrontery to stand up and lie again, and even to expect us to take him at his word as he has done in previous lies, there are plenty of Americans who even now are nodding their heads and parroting what he says.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Hypersensitive "One Issue" Mentality Strikes Again

The attack on Mitt Romney by the executive director of a Jewish organization struck me as not only laughable but also an excellent example of what I call the “one issue mentality” of many Jews. The “one issue mentality” measures and judges everything according to how it could affect Jews. The “effect on Jews” is the one issue. When Romney chose to announce his candidacy at a place supremely symbolic of American enterprise, The Ford Museum, which also happens to be in Romney’s home state, a Jewish organization applied the “one issue” test and decided that for Jews it was undesirable that Romney should make his announcement in a place honoring Henry Ford. Had Romney sought expert advice, he might be announcing his candidacy at a “Holocaust museum” or the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The Jewish group’s criticism is not only silly; it will backfire. Now many people who never knew that Ford published a newspaper and a book critical of Jewish influences will read those very publications online! I’ve supplied a link below.

Here’s the news report.

From, Feb 12
The National Jewish Democratic Council "is deeply troubled by Governor Romney's choice of locations to announce his presidential campaign," executive director Ira Forman said in a statement.
"Romney has been traveling the country talking about inclusiveness and understanding of people from all walks of life," Forman said. "Yet he chooses to kick (off) his presidential campaign on the former estate of a well-known and outspoken anti-Semite and xenophobe."
Forman said Romney's "embrace of Henry Ford and association of Ford's legacy with his presidential campaign raises serious questions about either the sincerity of Romney's words or his understanding of basic American history."

Eric Fehrnstrom, a spokesman for Romney, said the candidate will go ahead with his announcement as planned.
"Governor Romney believes our country needs to put innovation at the forefront if we are to ensure a stronger, safer and more prosperous America," Fehrnstrom said. "The Ford Museum embodies that bold, innovative spirit."

Here you can read the actual articles from Henry Ford’s newspaper, “The Dearborn Independent”, which were collected into a book: The International Jew
— The World’s Foremost Problem

I suggested above that Ira Forman’s complaint would backfire by awakening a new generation to Henry Ford’s anti-Jewish ideas, and that’s true, but I question that “backfire” is the correct word. It is common knowledge (and I have seen private documents revealed in lawsuits which verify the fact) that some major Jewish organizations deliberately instill fear of antisemitism into the minds of Jews generally so that they will contribute money to the organizations which promise to protect them.

Here is more wailing, from Israel, on the same tune:

”Ha’aretz” It is worth reading because of its other complaints.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Not Paying Attention

The main reason that Bush & Co., including supporting operatives like Fox News, are able to float their lies on the sea of American public opinion is that most Americans don’t pay attention.

First, the majority of Americans simply aren’t very interested in what their country does internationally. They have the vaguest idea where countries like Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Afghanistan are. A woman once said to me with a dismissive gesture, “Africa is down that way somewhere.” These are the people whose interests don't go beyond their own families, romances, jobs, health, homes, clothes, vehicles, television entertainment, and favorite sports teams.

The result: Most Americans are abysmally ignorant about everything which is important to their political leaders, to the powerful lobbyists such those which make up the Israel Lobby, and to the heads of international corporations such as armaments manufacturers and Big Oil.

But wait, it gets worse. Our rulers are happier with an indifferent population than with an informed one, but a population which accepts the beliefs it is told to accept makes the rulers even happier. After all there are elections to consider, and the need for acquiescence to taxation – especially the vast thefts from the workers needed to finance wars – and the hunger for people to join the military. And, ultimately, it is crucial to persuade people that they are better off with what they have than they would be if they rebelled.

In order to create opinions, people are bombarded every day with propaganda posing as “news” and “opinion". It follows, unfortunately, that even the terminally ignorant and uninterested have opinions. They parrot the slogans they are told are respectable, and they believe in a few simple “facts” which are usually falsehoods.

Here's the main point I want to make: If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, very little knowledge is even more dangerous. Because they are not interested and aren't paying enough attention, the mass of people believe that they have been presented with proof of facts when they have been presented with no such thing. Witness the lies which led much of the populace to enthusiastically support an invasion of Iraq. Even though reality has dampened that enthusiasm, I’ve heard that there are still Fox News followers who believe that Iraq was behind 9/11, that Sadaam Hussein was friendly with Al Qaeda, and even that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” and was on the fast track to making a nuclear bomb. It is amazing how a Big Lie can outlive all proof to the contrary!

The root of the trouble is that people don’t question and don’t distinguish between proof and mere assertion. Like a microorganism that can distinguish only between light and dark, they cannot sort out the gray areas where the truth lies. They listen to a burst of double-talk and obediently come away with a “fact” and an opinion.

Here is the example which triggered my diatribe. On Sunday, an anonymous group of US officials showed journalists what they said was proof that Iranian agents had smuggled weapons to Iraq, including "explosively formed penetrators". The officials refused to allow reporters to name them or to record their briefing, but instead just released pictures of weapons.

“BAGHDAD, Feb. 11 — Senior United States military officials on Sunday literally put on the table their first public evidence of the contentious assertion that Iran supplies Shiite extremist groups in Iraq with some of the most lethal weapons in the war.”

Comment: Persons who pay attention are immediately on guard because they remember the completely fabricated “evidence” that has us mired in Iraq. To the dodos, however, the message is already clear: Iran is supplying America’s enemies in Iraq with lethal weapons! Iran is killing our boys!

“Never before displayed in public, the weapons included squat canisters designed to explode and spit out molten balls of copper that cut through armor. The canisters, called explosively formed penetrators or E.F.P.s, are perhaps the most feared weapon faced by American and Iraqi troops here.”

Comment: Wow! Canisters! Never before displayed in public! Even though they could have been made in Cincinnati, here they are, on display. That must prove something.

Watch for the weasel words and innuendo, some of which I’ve put in caps:

“Officials spread out on two small tables an E.F.P. and an array of mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades with visible serial numbers that the OFFICIALS SAID link the weapons directly to Iranian arms factories. The officials also ASSERTED, WITHOUT PROVIDING DIRECT EVIDENCE, that Iranian leaders had authorized smuggling those weapons into Iraq for use against the Americans. The officials said such an assertion was AN INFERENCE BASED ON GENERAL intelligence assessments.”

Skepticism came naturally to the New York Times reporter, but by now the dodos have stopped reading.

“That inference, and the anonymity of the officials who made it, seemed likely to generate skepticism among those suspicious that the Bush administration is trying to find a scapegoat for its problems in Iraq, and perhaps even trying to lay the groundwork for war with Iran.”

If the dodos had read this far, they would be attacking the reporter as an unpatriotic swine.


“The officials were repeatedly pressed on why they insisted on anonymity in such an important matter affecting the security of American and Iraqi troops.

“The officials also WERE DEFENSIVE ABOUT THE TIMING of disclosing such incriminating evidence, since they had known about it as early as 2004.

“The officials asserted WITHOUT SPECIFIC EVIDENCE that the Iranian security apparatus, called the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - Quds Force controlled delivery of the materials to Iraq. And in A FURTHER INFERENCE, the officials asserted that the Quds Force, sometimes called the I.R.G.C. - Quds, could be involved only with Iranian government complicity.”

So, we have “proof” presented by persons who kept their identities secret who made various “assertions” which were “not based on direct evidence” but instead were based on “inferences ” which were based on “general assessments”. The anonymous “officials” “left many questions unanswered,” including questions about proof “that the Iranian government was directing the delivery of weapons.” They made other assertions “without specific evidence” -- sometimes based on inferences based upon inferences, one of the least trustworthy attempts at “evidence”.

The officials were also “defensive about the timing” of the disclosure of their so-called evidence, which has been around for three years. It appears that the “evidence” was dusted off to support the recent crescendo of anti-Iran war drums heard in Washington and Israel. The display on the tables was flimsy innuendo in the service of propaganda, not evidence that could support action.

So, the dodos now know for a fact that Iran is supplying weapons which are being used to kill our troops.

The final dangerous addition to this mix is patriotism. A former acquaintance of mine thought I was insane for not believing, before the Iraq invasion, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He has admitted I was right but he has not lost his “patriotism”, and he still feeds on the same kind of Bush/neocon lies that poisoned his brain before his country invaded Iraq.

If I asked him today, “If the US were Iran and Canada was Iraq, and the Chinese had invaded Canada, wouldn’t you think the US would be interested in 'interfering' and supplying weapons to the Canadians?”, he would say, “Sure.”

I once asked him these things:

If Israel had been created in California instead of Palestine, based on a 3000 year old book, with the backing of Chinese military force, do you believe that America should fight to take California back? He said, “Of course.”

Would you object if Russia attacked us because we have weapons of mass destruction? He answered, “Of course I'd object!”

If Cuba had nuclear weapons and the US didn't, do you think the US would be justified in creating nuclear weapons? He replied, "Absolutely!"

My punch line is that when I asked him, “How can you apply a different set of standards to what the US does than to what other countries do?” his hesitant but loud reply was,

“Because we’re Americans, dammit!"

You can't argue with that kind of logic.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Defending Against a Supertyrant

As I’ve written before, one of the predictable effects of U.S. foreign policy under George II is the drawing together of other nations in defensive alliances against the Americans – and the heightening of military defenses by individual countries. Russian President Vladimir V. Putin spoke on the latter point in Munich yesterday, blaming U.S. policy for inciting other countries to seek nuclear weapons to defend themselves from an "almost uncontained use of military force.”

"Unilateral, illegitimate actions have not solved a single problem; they have become a hotbed of further conflicts," Putin said at a security forum attracting senior officials from around the world. "One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way."

“It is the almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations" that is forcing countries opposed to Washington to seek to build up nuclear arsenals. "It is a world of one master, one sovereign. ... It has nothing to do with democracy," he said. "This is nourishing the wish of countries to get nuclear weapons. This is very dangerous; nobody feels secure anymore, because nobody can hide behind international law."

"What is a unipolar world? No matter how we beautify this term it means one single centre of power, one single centre of force and one single master. It has nothing in common with democracy because that is the opinion of the majority taking into account the minority opinion. People are always teaching us democracy but the people who teach us democracy don't want to learn it themselves."

So true. Putin spoke bluntly, but even diplomatic words can’t disguise the natural law that nations threatened by a strong potential aggressor (“You are either with us or against us, and you’ve seen what we do to countries that are against us”) seek to increase their strength in order to defend themselves.

One way to increase defensive strength in today’s world, as Putin said, is acquire or increase nuclear arsenals. North Korea reacted to fear of a U.S. attack by taking that route, and it may have been effective. Iran is threatened overtly by nuclear-armed Israel as well as by Bush. Iran knows that Israel has never shown the slightest respect for international law and has aggressively bombed not just neighbors like Lebanon but also countries as far away as Iraq. Just as Putin knows that the Bush United States wants to be the uncontested bully of the world, Iran knows that Israel wants to be the uncontested bully of the Middle East. We see the “Putin Principle” in action as Iran builds up its military power and seeks at least civilian uses of atomic energy. Iranian officials are saying on this day that Iran has no aggressive designs against Israel, and that is no doubt true, but Israel does not respond with similar reassurances to Iran.

The Bush/Israeli way is to use deadly force unrestrainedly against any challenger or even potential challenger, without regard to how many people are killed. World politics have sunk to the lowest possible level: The strongest country openly declares that it, and its dwarfish Iago astride Palestine, will dominate all the other countries of the world, attacking them with nuclear weapons if necessary.

Faced with that situation, nations which feel threatened will increase their strength not only by adding muscle to their own military, but also by forming alliances. The main area of alliances which I see in the making is that part of the Earth which includes Russia, China, and Iran. Afghanistan and Pakistan are in the same geographical area, which includes the potential power of the “Heartland” of Geopolitical theory. Those countries don’t have to love one another to draw together for mutual defense. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Another area for natural alliances for defense against U.S. abuse of power is Latin America. The seeds are visibly sprouting now.

This is going to be a long-term process. We shall see.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Who Gets to Start Wars? (And End Them?)

From the Constitution of the United States:

Article II

“The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”

“The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”

Article I, Section 8

The Congress shall have the power “To declare War”.

I’ve looked at the U.S. Constitution (again) to see if I can find anything which gives a president the right to start a war, and I can find nothing.

By the way, I have not studied the Supreme Court constructions of those portions of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has left the original Constitution unrecognizable in many respects (the present construed Constitution would certainly come as a shock to the people who wrote the original, probably cause for another revolution), and I wanted to see what the original intention was.

If Bush and other presidents have argued that as Commander in Chief of the military they have the right to order the military to invade other countries without a declaration of war by Congress, they are being illogical. What if the writers of the Constitution had not made the President the commander of the military, so that the highest generals and admirals were the commanders in chief? Would that empower the generals and admirals to invade other countries without a congressional declaration of war?

A civilian commander in chief should have no greater power to start a war than a military commander in chief. By the same reasoning, neither does the commander in chief of the military have the power to continue or end a war without congressional approval.

Let’s not forget that it is the “executive” power which is vested in the president. He comes second to the legislative branch in the Constitution, and his job is to execute – that is, to carry out and put into action – the enactments of Congress. There is nothing at all in the Constitution that says the president is “the decider”. Congress is the decider and provider; the president is the lackey who carries out what Congress tells him to carry out.

I hope, without optimism, that the Democrats of today will wrest back some of the power of a president who mistakenly considers himself top dog. Maybe one reason Congress has been so weak-kneed about retaining its constitutional powers is that it's easier to let somebody else get the blame for decisions. "Who cares, as long as I get re-elected."

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Comments of Note

An extremely interesting series of comments has been published in connection with my post of December 17, “Gas Chamber Lies: Dachau”. Please don’t miss them.

As in George Orwell’s “1984”, where a major public truth can become a lie overnight and be replaced by a contradictory truth, “established truths” about gas chambers have a history of magical and incompatible transformations. This article by Masanori Nishioka from the Japanese magazine “Marco Polo” includes the following indisputable account of such a stage magician’s trick:

“On Aug. 26, 1960. Dr. Martin Broszat, a historian who was in a position to be a Second World War and ‘Holocaust’ spokesman for the West German (Federal Republic) government, made a statement to the effect that the Nazis built ‘gas chambers’ only in occupied Poland and that there were no "gas chambers" in Germany proper (Die Zeit, Aug. 26, 1960).

“Dr. Broszat was head of the West German government's Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, which until that time had announced a great many ‘proofs’ of the existence of ‘gas chambers,’ and was recognized as the organization that reflected the German government point of view on historical matters. It was Dr. Broszat himself, head of the Institute for Contemporary History, who suddenly denied the existence of what had been ‘fact’ until the day before: ‘gas chambers’ in Germany proper, in such places as Dachau and Buchenwald.

“From that day forward, the ‘truth’ of the ‘Holocaust’ was ‘revised,’ and the ‘Dachau gas chamber’ and the ‘Buchenwald gas chamber,’ which had ‘existed’ until the day before, suddenly ceased to exist.

“However, in his declaration, Dr. Broszat did not offer a single reason to explain this ‘revision of the truth.’

"After Broszat's declaration the ‘accepted fact’ was established throughout the world that Nazi ‘gas chambers’ were built only in Poland, and in 1975 even the famous Jewish activist and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal made a declaration confirming that there were no ‘gas chambers’ in Germany proper.”

Simon Wiesenthal, the leading "Nazi hunter" whose name is given to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, admitted in a letter to the British periodical, “Books and Bookmen” (April 1975, p5) that "there were no extermination camps on German soil..."

The conscientious Japanese article cited above was carefully researched over a long period by its author and the publisher’s staff and was published in a widely read high-end men’s magazine comparable to “Esquire” is in the U.S. Although the facts in the article are correct, the publication gave rise to a shocking attack by groups dedicated to preserving “Holocaust” myths on the “Marco Polo” magazine. Among the axe wielders were the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the government of Israel. I would have thought that a Japanese magazine would be immune to such threats and slanders because there is little Jewish presence in Japan, but as often happens the attacking groups got to the publisher primarily through advertisers. . . and the magazine was closed down!

The web page linked above summarizes that disgraceful episode:

“This special report provides background to the campaign by international Holocaust pressure groups to punish a major Japanese publisher for allowing an article questioning the Nazi gas chambers to appear in one of its magazines. The article, by physician Masanori Nishioka, appeared in the February 1995 issue of Marco Polo, a 250,000-circulation monthly aimed at Japanese males. Jewish-Zionist groups such as the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, instigated a boycott of Bungei Shunju advertisers, including Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, and Cartier. Within days, Bungei Shunju shut down Marco Polo. Soon thereafter, Marco Polo's successful and respected editor, Kazuyoshi Hanada, quit, as did the president of Bungei Shunju, Kengo Tanaka. (A full report can be found in an article in the March/April 1995 Journal of Historical Review, available from the IHR.)”

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

More on: Cowardice, or Business as Usual?

Yesterday I criticized the Democrats for taking more interest in their job security than in carrying out the American people’s mandate to end the Iraq war. This "New York Times" headline sums up the mess:

"Many Voices, No Debate, as Senate Is Stifled on War"

I’ve heard only one politician, Democrat or Republican, speak convincingly about the need for direct, immediate action to end the war. He shares my diagnosis of Democrats – weak knees and absence of vertebrae.

Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) said on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann”:

Well, I think part of the problem is that obviously a majority of the Senate voted for this war, and a lot of them have a real concern about how they‘re going to come off if they just have to admit that this thing was a mistake and we need to get out.
And so you have, in the Warner resolution, some nice language, but it talks about not withdrawing any of the troops in the near future. It talks about increasing the war in al Anbar Province, which was really another form of escalation. It talks about saying we can‘t consider cutting off the funding.

So it essentially cuts us off at the knees in terms of our ability to get out of this war. And I guess it has to do with the continuing feeling that some members of the Senate want to have it both ways. They want to sort of say they‘re against the war, but they don‘t want to take the steps to end the war.

The fact is, the president and the Republican leadership are so out of touch with reality of the American people is, they don‘t understand that this war is a disaster, and the American people want us out of there.

Now, the problem is, it‘s a little easier for them to pull a stunt like this, because the Democrats are being too weak as well. We‘re talking about primarily just whether or not we‘re going to have a weak resolution about the escalation. But the election in November, we hadn‘t even heard about the escalation. The issue here is, how can we, as Democrats, working with some Republicans, find a way to end this war, to have a timetable to end it, and to get tough on this thing?

And that‘s my concern on the Democratic side is, we‘re being too timid. We‘ve got to take on this war directly.

The way to enforce it in my bill is to simply say the funding is no longer there at the end. But this idea that somehow we‘re going to take away something from the troops that are there already, that‘s just not true. Our proposal is that the troops will be out of there. That‘s the safest thing for the troops is to not be there.
And that‘s what our proposal would do. It wouldn‘t take away their equipment. That‘s just one of the red herrings or phony arguments that the Republicans use, and usually effectively scare the Democrats into not standing up for what is right.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Cowardice, or Business as Usual?

I don’t consider myself naïve, but I confess that I thought the Democrats would make a big difference in Washington after the November elections. Visions of bold Democrats wiping Congressional corridors with Republicans must now go the way of the Tooth Fairy. What we see instead is an exhibition of spineless cowardice.

But wait. . . “Cowardice” implies that because of fear one avoids something he knows he should do. Simply running out of a burning house isn’t cowardice because no duty is being neglected. What do you call a situation in which a political candidate insincerely promises to do certain brave things which he or she has no intention of doing? What of the Democratic candidates who knew throughout their campaign bravado that they were just mouthing words, with no intention of acting?

I say that “cowardice” is an appropriate word, but I think it should be classified as worse than simply running away at the last minute because one is scared. The Democrats’ cowardice is aggravated by untruthfulness, by fraudulent promises about things they had no intention of doing.

They were elected basically for one reason, and they know it: To get the United States out of Iraq. Yet ever since the election they have backed away from that duty.
Their behavior confirms what I have written here before: The federal government is first and foremost a giant, ongoing job fair, and each election is a job-grabbing greased pig chase. The only thing that matters to politicians is getting elected and staying elected. And their dementia worsens once they taste the glory of life in Washington.

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) said last night on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” that his fellow Democrats know they were elected to stop the war and yet are doing nothing because they are frightened of being accused of “not supporting the troops” and because they voted for the war in the first place. Ironically, the reason they voted for the war in the first place was fear of being called “wimps” and . . . guess what? . . . being accused later of “not supporting our troops”.

If Democrats automatically sink to the lowest level of brainless Joe Six Pack WWF Patriotism for fear of losing votes, that means that the U.S. is in effect being run by the lowest forms of intelligence in the land. (Hooray for democracy!) If Democrats are more concerned about losing their jobs because Grandma might falsely accuse them of not financing armor for her grandson than they are about ruining their country with a lunatic war, they are proving the truth of every criticism I’ve made.

A “New York Times” article of February 5 prompted me to write this post. Excerpts:

“But while Democratic critics may wish to challenge the administration’s blueprint, political and fiscal constraints will make it hard for them to assert their own priorities.
“In theory, the budget presents the Democrats their first real opportunity to rewrite the administration’s policies, especially on tax cuts, that they have been attacking for six years. But in practice, Democrats know that the only way they can find the revenue to restore the administration’s proposed spending cuts would be to cut back on military spending, delay their stated intentions to balance the budget or rescind the Bush tax cuts in future years. They are not especially eager to do any of these.
“’The long-term budget crisis appears so distant that it’s going to be very hard to get politicians excited about it this year,’ said Robert D. Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute. ‘No one wants to risk popular support by doing something courageous.’”

Sunday, February 4, 2007

More Benefits of U.S. Policies and Propaganda

***Improved Life for Iraqis . . .

Washington Post Feb 4
“AMMAN, Jordan - Inside his cold, crumbling apartment, Saad Ali teeters on the fringes of life. Once a popular singer in his native Baghdad, he is now unemployed. To pay his $45 monthly rent, he borrows from friends. To bathe, he boils water on a tiny heater. He sleeps on a frayed mattress, under a tattered blanket. Outside, Ali, 35, avoids police officers and disguises his Arabic with a Jordanian dialect. He returns home before 10 p.m. to stay clear of government checkpoints. Like hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees here, he fears being deported to Iraq.”

***Better Understanding of Palestinians and Islam. . .

The Christian Science Monitor Jan 29
“The police say a group of football players from Guilford College — estimates range from 5 to 15 — beat up three Palestinian students, two of whom are among those who come to Guilford from a Quaker high school in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The third was a friend who attends North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The Palestinian men said they were taunted with racial slurs and called 'terrorists' as they were beaten and kicked.

“National hate crime experts contend the fact that such an alleged attack could take place at a school like Guilford – voted by Newsweek as the 'hottest for social conscience' in 2006 – is a reflection of how deeply distrust of Islam now permeates the United States. For data, they point to polls, such as one done by CBS last April. It found that 45 percent of Americans now have a negative view of Islam – more than 9 percentage points higher than in the tense months following the 9/11 attacks. And a Washington Post poll found that the number of Americans who believe Islam stokes violence has more than doubled – from 14 percent in January 2002 to 33 percent in March 2006.
‘What we have here is a climate where Islamaphobia is not only considered mainstream, it's considered patriotic by some, and that's something that makes these kinds of attacks even more despicable.’”

Comment: The mass of people do not change their attitudes based on their own observations, research, and thinking. If they are interested enough to pay any attention at all to issues, most of them blindly follow the Pied Piper of television, movies, newspapers, magazines, and political statements. If Americans have a more negative view of Islam and Muslims than they did in the months after 9/11, it is because they have been taught and persuaded to have that view.

***Greater Hope for the Future. . .

NEWSWEEK Jan 22 issue
“Hassan Ali, a sociologist at the Iraq Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, estimates that at least 1 million Iraqi kids have seen their lives damaged by the war—they've lost parents and homes, watched as their communities have been torn apart by sectarian furies. ‘These children will come to believe in the principles of force and violence,’ says Ali. ‘There's no question that society as a whole is going to feel the effects in the future’—and not only Iraqi society. From the Middle East to Europe to America, violence may well beget violence around the world for years to come.”


I highly recommend a film I recently rented from Netflix: THE INNER TOUR. It follows a group -- mostly Palestinians -- on a bus tour of Israel. It is the only way they can enter and see what is for some of them their former native home. Their unguarded conversations with one another eliminate any need for documentary commentary. This DVD is truly eye-opening.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

From the Lower Depths

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce a brilliant new commentator, “Anonymous”, from whom I received two Comments on older posts after I had published the last post.

I am calling your attention to his comments on “Which Authoritarian Governments”
and “Behind U.S. Foreign Policy, Part 2" because they are priceless examples of the kind of vicious non-argument I’m always complaining about. (His second comment might appear at first glance to come from me: Because of technical difficulties I had to quote his comment within a comment of my own instead of publishing it separately.)

Let Anonymous speak for himself. I think you’ll see why he hides behind the name “Anonymous”.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Words as Mines in a Minefield

VIEW FROM THE MOON frequently criticizes Israel, Zionists, the Israel Lobby, and certain activist Jewish organizations such as The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the American Jewish Committee (described by the “New York Times” as “an ardent supporter of Israel”).

Most of the people within those categories are Jews. Therefore when I criticize those categories I am criticizing Jews . . . but -- and this is the important point -- not all Jews.

My difficulty as a writer comes from the sensitivity that surrounds the words “Jew” and “Jewish”. It is almost impossible for a non-Jew to use those words in the context of criticism without attracting a charge of antisemitism – an emotionally loaded smear word which is supposed automatically to defeat any opponent and any argument.

It is very convenient -- instead of pitting facts against facts -- to use the illogical “reasoning”: (a) The ADL is composed of Jews. (b) You have lambasted the ADL. (c) Therefore you are an antisemite (one who hates all Jews).

Or: (a) Israel is a Jewish state run by Jews. (b) You have severely criticized Israel. (c) You are therefore antisemitic (i.e. evincing hatred of all Jews).

“Antisemitism” is a misleading word anyway because it includes “a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia, including Hebrews and Arabs”. (Webster) As misused today, it refers solely to Jews. In that specialized sense its dictionary meaning is “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or ethnic group.” It is more commonly intended by its wielders to mean “hatred of Jews as a group.” That was the meaning advocated by an ADL official I encountered at a deposition. Incidentally, he had difficulty choosing a word to describe Jews as a group. He rightly declined the word “race” and settled on both “a people” and “a nation”. It is interesting that he did not include “a religion” because, he said, not all Jews are “religious Jews”.

My problem is to write as smoothly as I can while at the same time making clear that I am using the word “Jews” in a particular restricted sense, depending on the context. Writing can become very awkward if words have to be qualified every time they are used. In most circumstances readers apply their common sense, but not the wielders of the battleaxe “antisemitism”.

Marlon Brando called Jewish fire and brimstone down upon his head when he said, "Hollywood is run by Jews; it is owned by Jews.” That seems a simple statement of fact, right or wrong (in that case right) as in “the Mormons are the most powerful group in Salt Lake City”, and yet Brando was declared antisemitic. Would he have been spared the charge of antisemitism if he had said, using less of a generalization, “Hollywood is run PRIMARILY by Jews; it is owned primarily by Jews”? I don’t think it would have saved him any more than the broader statement “Hollywood is run by THE Jews; it is owned by the Jews” would have put him in deeper muck. The tactic is for any criticism of any Jews to be branded with the scare word, “antisemitism”. There is no logic involved, and therefore argument over the niceties of language is pointless.

Nowhere in this blog -- when I criticize groups that are Jewish or primarily Jewish -- am I referring to all the people who consider themselves Jews. If I refer to “the Jews” wreaking havoc in Palestine or Lebanon, I am talking about those Zionist/Israeli Jews who are involved in those activities, and not to every Jew in the world.

I’m very much aware from personal experience that all Jews are not Zionists and do not support Israel, and that there are Jews who question the conventional “Holocaust” story and its use for political ends, and that there are even Jews who do not like Jews. In Washington, D.C. I worked with and was good friends with attorney Mark Lane (“Rush to Judgment”), who was Jewish and strongly anti-Zionist. He became emotional as he described his observations in Israel -- for example, Palestinian crops and orchards dying for lack of water because Arab water had been diverted to the swimming pools of the conquering Jews.

Having said clearly that I do not include Jews as a group in my criticisms of particular Jews and Jewish organizations, I am now going to write an extension of this post based on an article in today’s “New York Times” entitled, “Essay Linking Liberal Jews and Anti-Semitism Sparks a Furor”.