Paul Berman’s hidden agenda

Israel/PalestineMiddle East
on 36 Comments

Paul Berman thinks he is smarter than other people, or braver, or both. His latest book, The Flight of the Intellectuals, indicts a number of Western writers for being too dumb, or too cowardly, to confront what he considers the great and growing threat of “Islamic fascism.” His targets are Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born, modernizing Muslim philosopher, and Westerners like Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash, who cannot see that Ramadan’s reasonable public stances conceal sinister truths that he, Berman, will courageously spend 299 pages unveiling.

Berman’s pursuit of Ramadan, and his contempt for those in the West he says Ramadan is duping, is pathological. But he nowhere answers what should be his most important question: what actually is Tariq Ramadan’s hidden aim? Is Ramadan simply biding his time, pretending to be moderate until he amasses more Muslim followers, fools even more fellow travelers, and then pops out like a jack-in-the-box to reveal his true views and help establish the Muslim Caliphate across vast stretches of Europe and even America?

It is a commonplace in psychology that people often scrutinize others for the very flaws or weaknesses they fear in themselves. Berman’s curious animus toward Ramadan may actually be motivated by his own agenda, which he quite possibly hides from even himself: his passion, in this and previous works, to defend the state of Israel at any cost. 

Berman has a problem with Ramadan, because, as he admits, most of what the man says and writes is calm and rational. So Berman is boxed into an unpleasant line of argument: Guilt by Genealogy. Tariq Ramadan’s grandfather was the Egyptian Hassan al-Banna, who back in 1928 founded the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the leading nonviolent Islamic movement in Egypt today and almost certainly that country’s strongest single political force. Berman searches Al-Banna’s own writings, but he cannot come up with quite enough incendiary material. So he turns to that old standby, Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem. He discovers that in the 1930s Al-Banna spoke sympathetically of the Mufti, who did go on to ally with the Nazis, including making anti-Semitic broadcasts over Radio Berlin.

So here is the biggest strand of Berman’s argument: Ignore nearly everything that Tariq Ramadan says and does today. Instead, note that his grandfather, 75 years ago, praised another Arab nationalist who was similarly resisting British colonialism. Ergo, Tariq Ramadan has inherited anti-Semitism in his bloodstream, which he conceals so he can seduce the Muslims of Europe and trick Western intellectuals. Further proof of Ramadan’s secret guilt is that when he is asked to criticize his own grandfather, he waffles.

(The Mufti was not the only anti-colonial figure to promote German or Japanese fascism during World War 2 to strike back at the British or Dutch; nationalists with genuine followings in India [Chandra Bose] and Indonesia [Sukarno] made the same mistake. But Berman could have found an another example even closer at hand. Anwar Sadat was jailed for 2 years by the British in Egypt in 1942 for actually plotting with German spies, but his sins were conveniently forgotten after he signed the 1978 peace treaty with Israel.)

Genuine experts like Professor Marc Lynch have already shown that Berman’s view of Tariq Ramadan is warped, “based on a narrow selection of sources read in translation and only a sliver of the vast scholarship on the subject,” and that Ramadan is a genuine reformer. But Ramadan, for Berman, is in fact more of a useful distraction than a real target.

There are two vital subjects missing from a book that purports to be about Islamism and violence. The American war in Iraq, in which at least 100,000 and possibly 600,000 people have already died, is scarcely mentioned. And Israel also barely appears – and only as a victim, of the Palestinian suicide bombings of the early 2000s (which Tariq Ramadan and other moderate Islamists are blamed for not denouncing).

Berman snickers at the antiwar demonstrations in the West in early 2003 against the impending invasion of Iraq. But he nowhere admits that he supported the war. He is quick to suggest that certain other writers are cowards. But he does not have enough intellectual courage to either admit he was wrong, or to try and argue that the human and material cost of the war – now in its eighth year – has been worth it. And because he tiptoes around the Iraq war, he makes the absurd implication that Muslims are turning against the West partly because Tariq Ramadan was indirectly influenced by the Grand Mufti’s anti-Semitism, instead of because Muslims know about Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and many, many tens of thousands of dead Muslims.

Berman’s silence on Israel is just as glaring. His “Index of Names” (there are no footnotes or references in what purports to be a scholarly work) finds room for Plato and Plotinus, but there is no mention of Ariel Sharon, Avigdor Lieberman, or Dr. Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli “settler” who in February 1994 entered a mosque in Hebron carrying his assault rifle and murdered 29 Palestinians as they prayed, before he was overpowered and beaten to death.  Goldstein’s “suicide assault” prompted some Palestinians to start retaliating with their own first suicide bombings the next month.

Other reviewers, like David Rieff and Pankaj Mishra, have already quite deftly dismantled Berman’s simplistic views of Islamism. But no one so far has paid close attention to his evasions over Israel. In one place, Berman does recognize that the Irgun, the Israeli group that took part in the 1948 massacre of Palestinian civilians at Deir Yassin, “were in fact terrorists” – but the Irgun is safely 65 years in the past.

Surely Israel today is a fruitful place to study the connection between extreme socio-religious ideas and political violence? What kind of feverish intellectual atmosphere produced Dr. Baruch Goldstein? What were the influences on Yigal Amir, the fanatic who murdered the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin (an act that some people, like the great Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery, say actually changed history)? Is it true that the Israeli military is so infected with extremist settler ideology that it cannot be relied on to evacuate the settlements?

And what of the Settler/Likud fellow travelers in the United States and elsewhere? Have their apologies for Israel’s extremists, their labeling of all criticism as “anti-Semitism,” made a 2-state solution impossible and put off a 1-state solution for many years and many more thousands of deaths?

Paul Berman most probably did not set out to distract attention from the U.S. disaster in Iraq and from Israel’s fanatic expansionism. He most likely has a strong attraction to Israel as he thinks it was in 1948 or 1967, and he simply is afraid to examine his views and consider changing his mind. So instead of stalking the leading Israeli right-wingers of today, along with their intellectual apologists in Israel and in AIPAC, he wasted nearly 300 pages on Tariq Ramadan.

36 Responses

  1. Avi
    July 21, 2010, 3:41 pm

    Paul Berman thinks he is smarter than other people, or braver, or both. His latest book, The Flight of the Intellectuals, indicts a number of Western writers for being too dumb, or too cowardly, to confront what he considers the great and growing threat of “Islamic fascism.” His targets are Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born, modernizing Muslim philosopher, and Westerners like Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash, who cannot see that Ramadan’s reasonable public stances conceal sinister truths that he, Berman, will courageously spend 299 pages unveiling.

    Of course. How else is a bigoted man supposed to make the case against Muslims if such reformists (if you will) are making Islam all the more palpable to the Western masses?

    The guy’s gotta make a living, so why not spread hate? It’s the easiest form of money-making these days. No need for facts, the groundwork has already been done and the minds are ready to be brainwashed with lies; just ask the Homopho…errr the Islamophobes of Staten Island.

    By the way, is Berman going on a book-signing tour with David Horowitz anytime soon? I bet Daniel Pipe will be there.

  2. Avi
    July 21, 2010, 3:48 pm

    There are two vital subjects missing from a book that purports to be about Islamism and violence. The American war in Iraq, in which at least 100,000 and possibly 600,000 people have already died, is scarcely mentioned. And Israel also barely appears – and only as a victim, of the Palestinian suicide bombings of the early 2000s, (which Tariq Ramadan and other moderate Islamists are blamed for not denouncing).

    But, if they DID denounce such acts, how does Berman know if the denunciations are genuine or not? Afterall, his entire book rests on the notion that Ramadan can’t be trusted, that he has a secret agenda.

    So which is it?

    Why can’t hacks like Berman make up their minds?

    • sherbrsi
      July 21, 2010, 4:00 pm

      Why can’t hacks like Berman make up their minds?

      Berman’s book is made for a very specific audience: Neo-cons and Likudniks. They tend to use the same terminology — “Islamofascism,” “soft jihad,” etc. with some being more extreme and inventive language than others, but nevertheless scrutinizing Islam and Muslims on a microscopic level, while giving Israel and its followers, and its Western backers, a free pass.

  3. sherbrsi
    July 21, 2010, 3:55 pm

    Berman is a one-man Zionist lobby with a personal vendetta against Tariq Ramadan. He operates in the same fashion: dig up the personal history of the person to slander, find a bit of controversial information and use it in an attempt to hammer down him down into disrepute.

    What a petty, demagogic man.

  4. Avi
    July 21, 2010, 3:56 pm

    So here is the biggest strand of Berman’s argument: Ignore nearly everything that Tariq Ramadan says and does today. Instead, note that his grandfather, 75 years ago, praised another Arab nationalist who was similarly resisting British colonialism. Ergo, Tariq Ramadan has inherited anti-Semitism in his bloodstream.

    So, based on that rationale, should the citation below ALSO prove (according to Berman) that Irgun leaders like Ya’kov Meridor and Menachem Begin and their descendants are terrorists?

    Berman does recognize that the Irgun, the Israeli group that took part in the 1948 massacre of Palestinian civilians at Deir Yassin, “were in fact terrorists” – but the Irgun is safely 65 years in the past.

    • sherbrsi
      July 21, 2010, 4:15 pm

      then pops out like a jack-in-the-box to reveal his true views and help establish the Muslim Caliphate across vast stretches of Europe and even America?

      I’ve always found it exceptionally hypocritical, this theory of “Islamofascists” planning the establishment of a global Muslim caliphate through continental and even (according to some neo-con and neo-Zionists in Berman’s stead) – world domination. Apparently, it is thoroughly racist to claim that the Jews run America (was it classical anti-semitism or post-modern anti-semitism where this falls?). Yet, blaring that a religious group plans on dominating entire continents and even the world is just fine and dandy, and its those sheeple who don’t see through this plan who are to be ridiculed.

      • Avi
        July 21, 2010, 4:32 pm

        Apparently, it is thoroughly racist to claim that the Jews run America (was it classical anti-semitism or post-modern anti-semitism where this falls?).

        That’s a good point, sherbrsi. I hadn’t thought of that parallel.

        I believe it falls into the post-modern category of anti-Semitism.

      • Berthe
        July 21, 2010, 6:25 pm

        Thats such a good point. Its what we’ve been told is the “Karl Rove” political strategy of identifying your own candidate’s weakness and attacking the opponent in that very area. Remember how George W. Bush’s privileged National Guard slot became braver than John Kerry’s Purple Hearts because of the Swift Boat attacks?

        I would imagine that a lot of Muslims are very wary of these “moderate” thinkers who get attention every once in a while and occupy space that could have been occupied by more aggressive spokespeople. Not the only time but it stands out like a sore thumb, in my opinion, that moderate Muslim spokespeople have gone along with the “19 Muslim hijacker” theory of 9/11 rather than demand proof, of which we have seen none in almost 9 years. Where would we be if aggressive Muslim spokespeople had demanded proof back in 2001 rather than being so quick to kow-tow to power? The moderate Muslim spokespeople, so eager to be moderate, only showed they were weak and the neocons and neolibs have kept their boots on the necks of the moderate Muslim spokespeople.

        With no proof, no evidence, the government and media started in at about 10:30 on 9/11 saying it was Osama bin Laden’s doing because of religion and no one stood up to say it was just racism to blame Muslims with no proof, even Muslim leaders, and so it stuck. And we still haven’t seen any evidence. And so much fell apart – bin Laden’s fabulous caves, the people locked up after 9/11 for weeks because they were identified as accomplices and have been absolutely cleared and the reasons for locking them up were ridiculous, and the Iraq War and Israel’s attacks on Lebanon and Gaza and grabbing more of the West Bank — but the moderate Muslim spokespeople who get to go on our TVs are afraid to make an argument.

        • hayate
          July 21, 2010, 8:36 pm

          “Apparently, it is thoroughly racist to claim that the Jews run America”

          Well then, I’m an antisemite. I was once called an antisemite for using the term banksters. Naturally that happened on the guardian’s talkboard. :D

        • syvanen
          July 21, 2010, 9:20 pm

          Is this the same Berthe who claims high rise buildings are made out of cast iron? That steel is a purified form of iron? If so, why should we listen to you.

        • hayate
          July 21, 2010, 10:09 pm

          syvanen July 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm

          “Is this the same Berthe who claims high rise buildings are made out of cast iron? That steel is a purified form of iron? If so, why should we listen to you.”

          Hello sayanim sylvia. The fact you find it so threatening that someone doesn’t accept your massa’s cover story for 9/11 and you deem it necessary to childishly stalk them from thread to thread gives your game away. Your obfuscations efforts would be a lot more effective if you tried being more subtle and mature.

        • syvanen
          July 21, 2010, 11:04 pm

          Nope Hayate I am not stalking this fool from thread to thread. What I am pointing out is that Berthe (whoever that may be) is a total ignoramous. It is someone who is spreading misinformation. I simply pointed out that this is someone without serious credibility. If you disagree please provide us with us some supporting facts that modern buildings are made out of cast iron and that steel is a purified form of iron.

          Of course you cannot do that nor can Berthe. In this world of anonymous commentators we accept or reject these various handles on the basis of their credibility. Unfortunately for you and Berthe is that she/he is no longer credible, of course if you are willing to defend these crazed statements then go ahead.

        • Berthe
          July 21, 2010, 11:25 pm

          syvanen,
          I never said that and you know damned well I never said that. What is it with you?

          You’re the one that thinks 90,000 tons of steel weakens from a jet fire that lasted at most a few minutes followed by office furniture and rugs burning for an hour. According to you, thats an “intense hydrocarbon fire” that weakened 90,000 tons of steel.

          I said the architectural principal of floors suspended off a central structure to the frame was an innovation of cast iron architecture and you know I said it to you over and over but you play at being dense.

        • syvanen
          July 22, 2010, 2:46 am

          We know what you said. Best to give this up Berthe.

  5. potsherd
    July 21, 2010, 4:02 pm

    If we’re going for grandfathers, the Zionists are in trouble. Netanyahu’s terrorist grampa for starters.

  6. Avi
    July 21, 2010, 4:03 pm

    What were the influences on Yigal Amir, the fanatic who murdered the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, (an act that some people, like the great Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery, say actually changed history)?

    And Uri Avnery would know since he had a close relationship with Rabin. In fact, Uri Avnery was the one who organized the very first meeting between Arafat and Rabin in the late 1980s.

    • hayate
      July 21, 2010, 8:30 pm

      Wasn’t the disease called rabies named after rabin (from rabid)? Or did rabin get his name from the disease?

  7. rmokhtar
    July 21, 2010, 4:34 pm

    Just noticed,

    Nixon Center talk transcripts are up.

  8. David Samel
    July 21, 2010, 4:42 pm

    James North, you talk mockingly of Berman’s courage in unveiling sinister truths over 299 pages, but I must talk most sincerely about your courage, if that’s the right word, in reading this opus. Are you hoping for a Masochist of the Year Award? Still, I’m glad you did, because your article is full of interesting analysis. Berman has been a pseudo-intellectual schmuck for a very long time, and it’s nice to see him skewered so expertly.

    I would add two things. In addition to your reference to Sadat’s WWII history being forgiven, John Vorster’s pro-Nazi activities, which surely rivalled if not exceeded the Mufti’s, were forgiven as well. When Vorster visited Israel in 1976, they rolled out the red carpet for him, caring not a whit about his leadership of apartheid South Africa or his imprisonment for helping the Nazis. Surely they felt some kinship for Vorster’s battle to bring white civilizing influences to the darker skinned natives.

    Also, by chance, I was in the Second Circuit courtroom when Tariq Ramadan’s appeal was heard. He was challenging the revocation of his US visa. He had a terrific young attorney argue his case, but what I remember most of all was the judges questioning the US Attorney about whether the government’s position had changed with the new Administration. Of course, the original decision had been made by Bush, but the judges were wondering if the attorney on the case was just blindly pursuing it, or if he had checked with his superiors to see if the government’s position had changed. The lawyer confirmed that there was no change at all with the arrival of Obama. It was one of my earliest lessons about Obama’s continuation of Bush policy.

  9. Bandolero
    July 21, 2010, 5:19 pm

    It’s worth noting that the publishing house of Paul Bermans junk is called “Melville House”. As there are so many persons involved in the lobby I think it may be easier for many people to remember the publishing houses.

  10. Sin Nombre
    July 21, 2010, 5:37 pm

    Ah yes, Paul Berman, an exemplar of the species: A 60′s radical; down with folks like the German terrorists Daniel (“The Red”) Cohn-Bendit and Joshka Fisher in his youth, with Fisher for instance then being a member of a German ’60′s group known as the “Proletarian Union for Terror and Destruction” and an organizer of an attempt to organize Opel car manufacturer workers to be ready for a communist revolution. (And at least the owner of a car used to ferry weapons clearly intended for use by radical Left terrorists, one of which was used to kill a German gov’t official.)

    Somehow … just not a problem for Berman and his ilk seeking even the violent overthrow of Western (read “Christian”) states, and indeed its entire civilization. A lark it was! Cool! “Call them infected with the remains of Nazism and, except when such states go to war or do something militarily to help Israel, condemn their militarism as fascist! And above all because their own ideals had been violated by their racial realities (no matter that every other state and civilization had their racist problems too) and because that contradiction formed an obvious weak point for those states, foment racial hatreds and divisions and attack them as irretrievably evil! And essentially continue same by, say, talking about how unutterably evil it is for the U.S. not to essentially have open borders, for instance!….”

    But then … gee, suddenly when it comes to Israel, no matter its racial/ethnic/tribal exclusiveness; no matter how its ethnic cleansing and ghetto-izing can so seem to resemble Naziism; no matter that now, if an arab has consensual sex with a jewish girl there and doesn’t tell her he’s arab, he’s a rapist; no matter the white phosphorus and the chronic killing of Palestinian civilians …it’s just effective silence! Somehow muteness suddenly afflicts these allegedly passionate paladins of truth, justice, equality and above all racial and ethnic inclusiveness!

    … Indeed , even the fact that 75 years ago one’s grandfather had bad politics is enough to make a critic of Israel an anti-semite and reason enough to read him out of the human conversation. (Conveniently forgetting that Rahm Immanuel’s *father* was a member of the Irgun—which, as anyone must, Berman admits was a terrorist organization), as was Tzipi Livni’s I think, as were two recent Israeli Prime Ministers even.)

    Geez, anyone see any pattern here?

    • hayate
      July 21, 2010, 8:24 pm

      Fischer profited from the murder of Petra Kelly (it raised his standing considerably in the German Green party leadership) and is now a zionist quisling. He probably has always been a zionist agent. The ziofascists/fascists running israeloamerica used fake “left” fronts throughout Europe who then carried out acts designed to defame the real left in Europe. This has been documented extensively.

    • thankgodimatheist
      July 22, 2010, 1:32 am

      “But then … gee, suddenly when it comes to Israel, no matter its racial/ethnic/tribal exclusiveness; no matter how its ethnic cleansing and ghetto-izing can so seem to resemble Naziism; no matter that now, if an arab has consensual sex with a jewish girl there and doesn’t tell her he’s arab, he’s a rapist; no matter the white phosphorus and the chronic killing of Palestinian civilians …it’s just effective silence! Somehow muteness suddenly afflicts these allegedly passionate paladins of truth, justice, equality and above all racial and ethnic inclusiveness!”

      Are there 2 Sin Nombre posting here?!!! Or did I make the grave mistake thinking he was an unapologetic zionist. I’m afraid I did and I humbly apologise for my error.

      BTW, Sin
      Daniel “Le Rouge” Cohen was many MANY cheeky things but he was never a terrorist..Unless I’m missing something he was your typical 60 agitator, part time student, part time “revolutionary”. loud-mouthed, yes, arrogant, yes but extremely clever and resourceful . Terrorist?! Anything I missed on by chance?

      • Sin Nombre
        July 22, 2010, 5:22 am

        thankgodimatheist wrote:

        “Are there 2 Sin Nombre posting here?!!! Or did I make the grave mistake thinking he was an unapologetic zionist. I’m afraid I did and I humbly apologise for my error.”

        Well I guess I am a somewhat apologetic zionist, to the extent of believing (in part for moral reasons but also to a great extent for pragmatic ones) that Israel ought to be allowed to exist, even as an exclusionary pure jewish state if it wants, but strictly within the bounds set out by the U.N. originally. (It wasn’t birthed without great sin for sure, but few states have been, but it wasn’t birthed without some great moral impetus too.) However, I very much believe that Israel attempting to colonize more land than what was originally agreed upon is a terrible crime, and I also stupidly get off on a pet hobbyhorse now and then when I think people on either side of any of the various sub-issues go too far. So anyway I know that, as with you apparently, people will read what I say as to one aspect of the Israeli situation and take me for a raving Israeli fanatic, and others will read what I say as to other aspects and take me 180-degrees differently. (Although I don’t think I’ve ever been called an anti-semite, which is odd given its promiscuous use.) Whether any or all of this puts me on the side of the angels or otherwise with you thenI dunno, so perhaps you might want to rethink your apology. (Which in any event was a gracious thing to extend.)

        As for Danny the Red, I concede you’ve got somewhat of a point: Unlike Fisher he never seems to have openly joined any group that openly advocated terror. But of course he was more than just a friend to Red Army Faction leader (and associate of Carlos the Jackal) Hans Klein, at the very least assisting in hiding Klein for years for instance. Moreover you might not know, this assistance seems to have been to such an extent that Germany even in 2000 or so sought to waive Danny’s (Member of European Parliament) immunity so it could prosecute him for aiding Klein back in those old days, but it failed. Nevertheless I guess one can say that, even colloquially speaking, the terrorist case against Danny has not been fully proved and so I either should not have lumped him in with Fisher as I did, or made it more clear it was opinion speaking.

        In any event these guys and their movements in the ’60′s and ’70′s in Europe form a very interesting little story to me at least that others might be interested in. As with the radical Left in the U.S., and perhaps even moreso, the radical movements in Europe had very significant jewish leadership elements. (Indeed so much so that some have said they were in essence jewish movements, which seems to me questionable, but….) The stories for both the Euro movements and those in the U.S. also shared another similarity too in that both started to fragment (the Euro one maybe most spectacularly) over the issue of Israel. I think it was Klein himself who says that his break with terrorism really came only after seeing it applied by Carlos against Israelis.

        Just to be fair and for those who might not have any idea about these things, these stories relate way back to the ’60′s and ’70′s and Cohn-Bendit and Fisher and even Klein have all clearly renounced terrorism and can easily be seen as now having mainstream sentiments about same. Fisher particularly can be viewed in a very positive and respectable light being a big Green, not to mention a very smart and effective German politician and official. Of course some may say their renunciations and moderations are only because same helps Israel today, but that’s another issue.

  11. Nevada Ned
    July 21, 2010, 6:20 pm

    Paul Berman makes a big deal about the Mufti, who was a Nazi collaborator.

    Somehow Berman forgets about another person: Yitzhak Shamir, who was #2 in the Stern Gang, a terrorist group like the Irgun althought not so famous. (Shamir became #1 after Stern himself was killed in a shootout with the British.) The Stern gang proposed to Berlin to ally themselves with Germany against Britain. The initiative came from the Stern gang, whose proposal was considered at the highest level in the German government: they talked to von Ribbentrop, the German foreign minister. The proposal didn’t get considered by Hitler himself (too busy?), but von Ribbentrop after all was the next highest powerful person, high enough that von Ribbertrop was hanged at Nuremberg.

    These facts are quite embarrassing to the Israelis these days, but nobody seriously disputes them.

    Berman condemns Moslem clergy because of Nazi collaboration during WWII. What about attempted Nazi collaboration by future leader Yitzhak Shamir? An important point to ponder when charges of “Islamic Fascism” get thrown around promiscuously.

  12. hayate
    July 21, 2010, 8:16 pm

    Hmmmm…the freak’s name is paul berman, eh? That sounds like the name of a nazi.

    Oh, wait a sec….

    • hayate
      July 21, 2010, 9:18 pm

      Yup, I thought berman had an ominous nazi ring to it:

      Joseph Berman inspects French police and a French General addresses the soldiers at a Nazi party meeting in France.
      2 of 5 Stars
      A Nazi Party meeting in France during World War II. Joseph Berman inspects French police and places the guidon. French officers at the Nazi party meeting. Army troops parade. Stadium covered with people giving Nazi salute. The crowd gives the Nazi salute. A band of musicians march towards the stadium. Soldiers seated in the stadium. A French General addresses the crowd of Nazi soldiers and sympathizers. A French Mayor addresses the crowd. People stand up and give the Nazi salute as an officer walks. Location: France. Date: 1940. US Government Archive number for this historic video is: 111 ADC 9959 (DBVT)

      link to videowired.com

      So is pauly one of his grandsons?

      • hayate
        July 21, 2010, 9:32 pm

        Hmmmmm….maybe he is. A quick check at pauly’s wikipoo entry has no bio info. That’s odd, usually the zionists writing those adverts pad their bs with info about mama and papa, their first red wagon and other assorted family/personal background info, but pauly’s bio starts with him all a growed up and in college already, and mentions zippo about his family. That’s interesting, maybe there really is something diabolical about his family past he doesn’t want exposed. Well, given how the goatsod turned out, there was probably many diabolical things about his family past he prefers remain hidden. :D

        Like nazi war criminals, for example…..

  13. DICKERSON3870
    July 21, 2010, 11:07 pm

    RE: “It is a commonplace in psychology that people often scrutinize others for the very flaws or weaknesses they fear in themselves.” – James North
    FROM WIKIPEDIA: Psychological projection

    Psychological projection or projection bias (including Freudian Projection) is the unconscious act of denial of a person’s own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to the weather, a tool, or to other people. Thus, it involves imagining or projecting that others have those feelings.
    Projection is considered one of the most profound and subtle of human psychological processes, and extremely difficult to work with, because by its nature it is hidden. It is the fundamental mechanism by which we keep ourselves uninformed about ourselves…
    …Paleo-anthropologically speaking, this faculty probably had survival value as a self-defense mechanism when homo sapiens’ intellectual capacity to detect deception in others improved to the point that the only sure hope to deceive was for deceivers to be self-deceived and therefore behave as if they were being truthful.
    One modern, radical view of projections is that they are prerequisites for normal social functioning. Persons incapable of ascribing their own feelings to themselves have great difficulties in understanding them. Unfortunately, human beings have done great harm laboring under the delusions of projection. This is especially true for historical cases of projection between ethnic or cultural groups, for example in Apartheid or Nazism.[citation needed]
    In classical psychology, projection is always seen as a defense mechanism that occurs when a person’s own unacceptable or threatening feelings are repressed and then attributed to someone else.[1]…
    …Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted unconscious impulses or desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them.
    The theory was developed by Sigmund Freud and further refined by his daughter Anna Freud; for this reason, it is sometimes referred to as Freudian Projection.[2][3]…

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to en.wikipedia.org

  14. VR
    July 21, 2010, 11:50 pm

    It is amazing how closely Berman follows this patently racist narrative and the conspiratorial thrust. Essentially he distills the essence of why we should trust no Muslims while at the same time using the “time honored” reasons why we should not trust their veracity at all (especially the educated and their works – making way for the “real” experts). What he does is read back all of the imperial reasoning for not trusting the Other into one person.

    “There are two vital subjects missing from a book that purports to be about Islamism and violence. The American war in Iraq, in which at least 100,000 and possibly 600,000 people have already died, is scarcely mentioned. And Israel also barely appears – and only as a victim, of the Palestinian suicide bombings of the early 2000s (which Tariq Ramadan and other moderate Islamists are blamed for not denouncing).”

    Actually that is a generous recital, we need to go back further than this to cite Western animosity stoked by elite ideas of “the enemy.” There is a long history for this “violence” which is actually self-defense, and note that it is never acted out on Western soil – but the “violence” always seems to crop up with invasions of the people accused of being violent, or by proxy agitation of foreign agents or domestic puppets. In regard to the “violence” I like what Abbie Hoffman says when describing the invasion of Vietnam in Steal This Book –

    “A modern, highly mechanized army travels 9,000 miles to commit genocide against a small nation of great vision and then accuses its people of aggression.”

  15. thankgodimatheist
    July 22, 2010, 1:21 am

    First things first, people! Let’s bring down murderous zionism first and we promise, “Islamofascism” (whatever that is) will be next!

  16. annie
    July 22, 2010, 12:31 pm

    thanks for the heads up james. i agree something really screwy is going on here. this is a hit job for the sake of taking down islam by one of our generations most prominent respected muslims, nothing else imho.

    not so oddly i found an interview w/berman on (beware disgusting site) michael totten’s site. anyone who blogged during the initial iraq war years intercepted this guys posts. he’s a plant if there ever was one. he introduces the neocon war narrative in a ‘unobtrusive’ ‘ordinary man’ way but is always directly on top of the ‘new’ focus/talking pt. he’s the everywhere everyman who’s image is some mountain climber from oregon or some such. TOTALLY reliable for dishing out ‘reasonable; ‘homespun’ ‘honest’ complete bullshit in technicolor. anyway…what’s berman’s motive?? … “I stumbled onto him by accident……….And then I became ever more fascinated by the contrast. Also a little indignant about it. And the more I poked at the contrast, the more central it seemed to me to some of our debates and dilemmas regarding the Muslim religious world and how we should look at our own journalism.

    hmmm. so it’s not just ramadan but how his message is digested and portrayed by journalists (iow not evil enough). it appears mr berman was so fascinated he just thought he’d dedicate a whole book about him. he claims ramadan’s first 15 minutes is everything we want to hear (“Paul Berman: He’s against bigotry, he’s against anti-Semitism, he’s against terrorism, he’s for the rights of women, he’s in favor of democratic liberties, he’s for a tolerant and multi-religious society ruled ultimately by secular values. He’s for science, learning, and enlightenment. He’s in favor of every possible good thing. There isn’t a single objectionable point in the first fifteen minutes of his presentation.”..but at the ’16th minute’ everything goes haywire and here is the key to berman’s message:

    Paul Berman: Unfortunately, the sixteenth minute arrives, and, if you are still paying attention, you learn that he wants us to revere the most vicious and reactionary of Islamist sheikhs — the people who promote violence, bigotry, totalitarianism, and terror. The sixteenth minute is not good. The liberal quality of his thinking falls apart entirely.

    However, his liberal admirers in the Western press stop paying attention in the fifteenth minute, and they rush to acclaim him. They do it by mistake. That’s one reason.

    But they are motivated also by something else. I think a lot of people without Muslim backgrounds have a hard time imagining how vast and complex and huge and finally ordinary the Muslim world is. There are a billion and a half Muslims, and they do have more than one opinion. But I think a lot of journalists and intellectuals whose experiences are mostly European or Western somehow end up imagining that the whole of Islam constitutes a single thing. They imagine that some single terrible error has occurred within Islam. And they imagine that the single terrible error is going to be undone and corrected by a single messianic figure. So they go about surveying the horizon looking for the grand good guy, the single person who is going to rescue us from the single terrible error.

    On this basis, we have ended up with a lot of liberal-minded journalists who proclaim themselves to be the enemies of racism and bigotry, and who engage, even so, in the worst sort of stereotyping of a vast portion of mankind, in their enthusiastic quest for the great Muslim hope.

    iow, “the worst sort of stereotyping” is imagining islam is not evil. that for ‘liberal’ admirers (journalists) to imagine“some single terrible error has occurred within Islam” that has produced some bad guys when in fact it is islam itself that is evil and people like ramadan that appear normal are actually the anomaly and berman is going to prove to us even ramadam is evil, because that is islam’s true face. (he doesn’t actually say that part he just dances around it). interestingly is is these ‘liberal-minded journalists’ he claims are ‘motivated’ to find something positive in islam, and that is our flaw. when in fact it is berman who is ‘motivated’ to prove just the opposite by setting the record straight..

    and of course totten agrees w/everything he says for he himself has fallen victim to this same delusion of rationality from on occasion (“Some of them are my friends” !!!) totten even claims it is “a little ridiculous, especially after hearing you describe it that way” and then goes on to set up berman’s objective by asking if ramadan is actually MORE dangerous (presumably a wolf in sheeps clothing so to speak)

    berman explains it is partly due to our ‘sloppiness, but mostly it’s fear of discovering what they’re going to hear’….which of course is the big reveal…
    that Ramadan is his grandfather’s grandson

    all too weird. but what i didn’t expect is the end of the interview and how it segues into praise for russian dissidents (and we all know who they are).

    Remember, a lot of people despised the Soviet dissidents, too.
    …… In regard to the Soviet dissidents of the past, at least nowadays there is a consensus of opinion that, yes, the dissidents were correct and we should have listened to them.

    then he goes on to blather about this psychological talking pt we’ve all heard before and how we do it because of our own insecurity

    is based not on our own feeling of superiority, but on our own inferiority. We look at ourselves in the Western countries and we say that, if we are rich, relatively speaking, as a society, it is because we have plundered our wealth from other people. Our wealth is a sign of our guilt. If we are powerful, compared with the rest of the world, it is because we treat people in other parts of the world in oppressive and morally objectionable ways. Our privileged position in the world is actually a sign of how racist we are and how imperialistic and exploitative we are. All the wonderful successes of our society are actually the signs of how morally inferior we are, and we have much to regret and feel guilty about.

    and totten chimes in the punchline of This all sounds right to me. You just described two very different, even opposite tendencies, one which you’ve described as conservative, the other which could only be described as leftist. Lately, though, it seems what you describe as the conservative view of the Slavic world is now, in some ways, a left-wing view of the Arab world.

    both of them have no problem labeling the arab world but naturally they don’t mention who exactly these russian dissidents are. they don’t say or mention jews, they call them russian dissidents.

    sorry for going on so long but this propaganda was just too choice to pass up. and i am in completel confidence totten’s site is a propaganda plant site. no doubt in my mind if there ever was one.

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