Ron Paul and the left

RonPaulStormfront

Ron Paul posing with Don Black, founder of white supremacist Stormfront.org

Dear Phil,

I am distressed, I am. You’re a smart man and a thoughtful one. But you went surprisingly light in your recent post titled “The Ron Paul Moment: bad and good,” minimizing the Ron Paul Newsletter scandal as a possible Neocon “smear” while letting the good doc off with scarcely a pinky waggle.

Don’t get me wrong: I applaud – no, thrill to – Ron Paul’s antiwar righteousness as much as you do. On occupation, military bases, civil liberties, and the useless, murderous immorality of war and interventionism he is saying all the right things, a breath of bracing, anti-imperial honesty. But to take Paul’s antiwar declarations without scorching, or at least seriously interrogating, some of the other parts of his platform is not just intellectually sloppy but morally lazy, a big, politically reckless spit glob in the face of African Americans, gay folks, women, poor people, and just about every other marginalized person in this country and beyond.

Let’s start (start, but not finish) with the contents of the Ron Paul newsletter, that lucrative experiment in conspiracy-laced wingnuttery that burns with such virulent bigotry that I practically singed my face just reading excerpts. I found these excerpts courtesy of the website “Et tu, Mr. Destructo,” which recently unearthed and released a 50-page cache of greatest Newsletter hits. It’s worth mentioning that Et tu, Mr. Destructo is a deliciously acid voice of lefty irreverence – proudly anti-war, pro-union, Israel critical – hardly part of the neoconservative cabal that Andrew Sullivan so quiveringly accuses of trying to smear Doc Paul. In fact, plenty of the media outlets that have been so gleefully sifting through the contents of the “Ron Paul Newsletter” colostomy bag are “respectably” mainstream operations (I know, there’s no such thing) if not staunchly progressive ones – which is appropriate given that the man is running for President of the United States. Getting frisked by the media is part of the job application.

In any case, since the newsletters are now effortlessly accessible – thanks again to aforementioned “Et tu, Mr. Destructo,” among others – I would hope that you would have taken a few minutes to examine them. However, just in case, I’ve selected a sample.

Let’s roll the fiche…

Ron Paul Newsletter—December 1990

[King] was also a Comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration. King, the FBI files show, was not only a world-class adulterer, he also seduced underage girls and boys…. And we are supposed to honor this ‘Christian minister’ and lying socialist satyr…?

Ron Paul Newsletter—February, 1990

Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for that pro-communist philanderer, Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day. Listen to a black radio talk show in any major city. The racial hatred makes a KKK rally look tame.

Ron Paul Newsletter—January, 1991

St. Martin was a world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours (‘non-violence’ didn’t apply in all spheres, I guess).

Ron Paul Newsletter—June, 1990

President Bush invited the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony. As Congressman Bill Dannemeyer (R-CA) noted, ‘It’s a tragic message that is being sent,’ that normality and deviance are equal. I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities. They could also not be as promiscuous. Is it any coincidence that the AIDS epidemic developed after they came ‘out of the closet’ and started hyper-promiscuous sodomy? I don’t believe so, medically or morally.

Ron Paul Newsletter—October, 1990

A mob of black protestors, led by the ‘Rev.’ Al Sharpton, occupied and closed the Statue of Liberty recently, demanding that New York be renamed Martin Luther King City ‘to reclaim it for our people.’ Hmmm. I hate to agree with the Rev. Al, but maybe a name change is in order. Welfaria? Zooville? Rapetown? Dirtburg? Lazyopolis? But Al, the Statue of Liberty? Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house.

Ron Paul Political Report—July 1992

Perot cannot fix the welfare state any more than Gorbachev could fix Soviet socialism. To achieve even a semblance of success, Perot may resort to authoritarian means. Maintaining order may be the number one priority, especially as the race riots grow…. Just after a basketball game ended on June 14, blacks poured into the streets of Chicago in celebration. How to celebrate? How else? They broke the windows of stores to loot, even breaking through protective steel shutters with crowbars to steal everything in sight…. (Is this why Hollywood tells us White Men Can’t Jump?).

Ron Paul Survival Report—January, 1994

They [gay men] enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick. Put it all together, and you’ve got another wave of AIDS infections, that you, dear taxpayer, will be asked to pay for.

Ron Paul Survival Report—November, 1994

If you belong to one of these groups [i.e., a right-wing militia], be careful not to let down your guard too easily if at all…. Big government is forever, says the Beltway elite. But don’t believe it. If people form their own communities of internal protection, the central state becomes an even more obvious parasite. It is an encouraging sign that the end of government as we know it may be near.

Had enough yet?

As you know, Paul’s response thus far has been about as flimsy as the paper his Newsletter was printed on. “I didn’t write them. I didn’t read them at the time and I disavow them,” he told CNN’s Gloria Borger in a near-parodic replay of James Murdoch’s hacking scandal defense.

Now it’s certainly possible that Paul didn’t write the newsletters, as he claims. In fact, despite draping his name across the top of all of them and John Hancocking the bottom of some of them, it’s pretty well-suggested that Lew Rockwell, Paul’s former right-hand, penned the missives. But the claim that he didn’t read them? Come on. The man spent 30 years publishing these tracts, raking in more than $1 million in the process — and he’s saying he had no clue about the contents? He certainly seemed pretty well briefed on the details in this 1995 video.

All of which reflects pretty poorly on Dr. Paul.

As Et tu, Mr. Destructo writes:

Paul supporters face three losing propositions:

• [Ron Paul] lacks the competency to control content published under his own name for over a decade, and is thus unfit to lead a country.

• He doesn’t believe these things but considers them a useful political tool to motivate racist whites, which makes him fit to be a GOP candidate, but too obvious about it to win.

• He’s actually a racist, which makes him unfit to be a human being.

In other words, no matter how you spin the Newsletter scandal, Ron Paul is either incompetent, cynical, or racist.

But here’s the other truth: troubling as the Newsletter is, it’s really only part of the Ron Paul problem, because the Ron Paul problem is ultimately bigger and murkier, the creepy-reckless result of an ultra-libertarianism which looks refreshingly righteous at first but, when followed to its natural conclusion, leads to some pretty slithery-slippery places.  Which is what I hope to discuss in my next installment…

About Lizzy Ratner

Lizzy Ratner is a journalist in New York City. She is a co-editor with Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss of The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict.
Posted in Media, US Politics | Tagged

{ 566 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. bangpound says:

    Reminder that you can type Barack Obama and the name of so many mass murdering war criminals into Google Image Search and find horrifying photos of them smiling and shaking hands.

    link to google.com

    link to google.com

    link to google.com

    link to google.com

    Racist, sexist, homophobic principles don’t greatly distinguish the presidential candidates, but style and culpability for murder do.

    I’m not interested in seeing Ron Paul be president. I’m interested in seeing him oppose Barack Obama. I want neither of them to be president.

    • kalithea says:

      Barack Obama doesn’t need to shake hands or do a photo-op with mass murderers; because in his four years in office he watched the slaughter of 417 Gazan children and was SILENT and he ordered hundreds of drones into Afghanistan and Pakistan to kills thousands of people.

  2. matt says:

    Lizzy, say we assume the worst case scenario, which is that he is all three of those things–negligent with his imprimatur, cynical about his political allies, and at least racist and homophobic enough not to contemporaneously denounce the writings he likely knew were issued under his name. Say we assume that.

    Does it matter? When we elect a President, we don’t elect a monarch or (contrary to popular belief among the Obama class) a moral philosopher. We elect an official with relatively limited powers, most of them in the realm of war and national security. It’s highly unlikely that RP could implement his radical domestic agenda over Congressional opposition, but he WOULD prevent the brutal, violent deaths of maybe hundreds of thousands of Middle Easterners and South Asians. And isn’t it a bit narcissistic of us to be obsessing over the (alleged) racism and the economic policy when so much is at stake in other parts of the world?

    • Rusty Pipes says:

      What this wall to wall coverage in both the conservative and progressive media says most clearly is that Ron Paul is being considered a serious political contender. For the longest time they ignored him, even when he was polling at #2 or #3, his campaign was unmentioned on the MSM. Then when Jon Stewart and others pointed out how obviously the MSM was ignoring Paul, they ridiculed him. Now that we are getting close to the Iowa caucuses and his profile hasn’t fallen as those of so many other GOP contenders have, they are finally bothering to fight him. Whether or not the allegations have merit, it is clear that other politicians are regarding Paul as a contender and they are prepared to fight him directly or indirectly.

      • it is clear that other politicians are regarding Paul as a contender

        and they should too. the politicians better wake up and realize the american people are sick of their bullshit.

      • quercus says:

        If Mr. Paul were brought into court to answer the charge of being racist and homophobic (that can’t happen yet, thank goodness) any halfway decent lawyer could shred the case to bits.

        While I am not a lawyer, I have so many questions about these newsletters. One of which is who was in possession of this cache and why? Is it credible that a man with a political position would write so openly and crudely about such matters? While we’re on the writing topic, the style of writing is nothing like Mr. Paul’s writing elsewhere (I’ve read two of his books). And that’s only the beginning.

        Case dismissed!

  3. GalenSword says:

    Is this newsletter really worse than the bigotry and prejudice that characterizes Zionism and support for Zionism? The ideas are bad, but hardly worse than the mentality with which Zionism has infected US politics, media, government, academics, and law.

    • seanmcbride says:

      The hate speech still being spewed by neoconservatives and Christian Zionists *now*, as we speak, far exceeds in unrepentant and self-righteous volume and virulence anything coming from the Ron Paul camp. Paul has emphatically renounced and denounced the obnoxious passages in those newsletters (which were instigated and penned by Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell) and has repeatedly condemned all forms of racism on sound and reasonable libertarian grounds.

      Lizzy Ratner should be focused on demanding that pro-Israel militants denounce and renounce the hate propaganda that they continue to circulate energetically even in the mainstream media. (Rupert Murdoch continues to provide a platform for Islamophobic extremists like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.)

      Everyone who knows him well (even current enemies like Eric Dondero Rittberg) has categorically denied that Ron Paul is an anti-Semite, a racist or a homophobe. Does Lizzy Ratner know something about Paul that they don’t?

    • American says:

      Is this newsletter really worse than the bigotry and prejudice that characterizes Zionism and support for Zionism?”…GalenSword

      I was going to ask the same thing.
      At this point I don’t care if Paul is a racist or not and if he’s pandering to the racist pockets it’s hardly worse than politicians pandering to the zionist nazis pockets.

      I am not going to base my vote/support on who likes or doesn’t like gays …we don’t a freaking nanny, we have a thousand nanny laws already, we need an Elliot Ness to clean up the mess in this government.
      Paul isn’t my choice but neither is anyone else in the race. Electing Paul would be sort of like burning the house down to get rid of the cockroaches…but since no one else is talking about anything DIFFERENT or any FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE…..elect him, strike the damn match and let’s see what happens.
      It wouldn’t be ‘Bizness as usual in DC”, that’s for sure.

  4. seanmcbride says:

    This article falls well below the quality of most Mondoweiss articles. Disappointing, to say the least. And, no, I am not a Ron Paul devotee or follower — I only started paying attention to Paul recently and strongly disagree with many of his ideas.

    But I am gravely concerned that the Israel lobby and the neocons are going to push Obama into a war against Iran that will be a catastrophe. The issues that Lizzy Ratner raises are trivial by comparison. This article really annoys me because of its lack of attention to the big picture in contemporary American politics. Ron Paul is the only major political voice who has the backbone to stand up to the lobby which is systematically destroying America with a succession of insane wars and radical assaults on fundamental civil liberties.

    One thing is for certain: Ron Paul is NOT anti-Israel, an anti-Semite, a homophobe, an isolationist, a racist, a religious fundamentalist, etc. All of these lies have been effectively debunked during the last week for anyone who has been paying close attention. I wonder if Lizzy Ratner has looked into the Eric Dondero Rittberg controversy.

    • The issues that Lizzy Ratner raises are trivial by comparison. This article really annoys me because of its lack of attention to the big picture in contemporary American politics. Ron Paul is the only major political voice who has the backbone to stand up to the lobby which is systematically destroying America with a succession of insane wars and radical assaults on fundamental civil liberties.

      sean, none of these issues are trivial. for the most part i do not engage in the RP discussions here although it goes without saying every single RP thread is laden with comments because clearly for many many americans what you have articulated here, is very much driving this discourse.

      lizzy’s thoughts are shared by millions. this is not, by any means, confined to a cabal of neoconservatives with nefarious israelfirst intentions.

      for me personally, this article is the first time i have ever actually read this stuff although of course i have heard about it. these quotes are disgusting and they will not be going away regardless of any or all reasonings or explanations. they just won’t. it doesn’t mean they will take down the man, it may mean there will be lots of people holding their noses and voting for him for all i know, because of the reasons you have articulated. but they won’t go away. these ideas. published under paul’s name, are anathema to the values of hundreds of millions of people. i’m a huge fan of martins, huge. and this is the first time i have read these passages, allegedly from paul, about martin, arguably the most beloved american to have ever lived especially if one considers international recognition and opinion.

      so, my point is not to say you are wrong when you reference “the big picture in contemporary American politics”. my point is that lizzy’s article is absolutely spot on wrt it’s target. what she writes here represents millions, definitely nothing trivial about it.

      again, there’s nothing that limits the origins of this discourse to a hasbara campaign. nothing. you can’t hide information like this, it is explosive and will continue to dominate the american conversation as long as paul is in the running and especially if he wins the gop primary.

      dismissing any of this as trivial is not a winning argument and as far as the quality is concerned, it’s up to the best standards of this site.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Annie,

        I try to use words carefully, with qualifications and nuance — please notice that I am arguing that the issues that Lizzy Ratner is raising are trivial *IN COMPARISON* with the entire neoconservative agenda that Ron Paul is challenging. The neocons are much more bigoted than Ron Paul, in an open and unapologetic way; they are responsible for inflicting death and destruction on hundreds of thousands of human beings in Iraq and Afghanistan; they are trying to drive Americans into a war against Iran and the entire Muslim world that would probably destroy the US economy; and they are trying to impose a Soviet-style police state on Americans with the Patriot Act, NDAA, assassinations, torture, warrantless wiretaps and similar legislation and policies.

        The neocons are destroying everything that is good about America and Ron Paul is the only major political voice who is standing up against them.

        I think the newsletter controversy is extremely important, not trivial at all. I think the racism in those publications needs to be strongly renounced and denounced by Ron Paul and all of his supporters. I also think that *IN COMPARISON* with the issues I mentioned in the above paragraph, the newsletters are not very important. And in any case we can count on the neocon-controlled mainstream media to beat this issue to death — they are on a desperate crusade to utterly destroy Ron Paul. Please excuse me if I don’t join that crusade but rather defend Ron Paul’s right and ability to push back against the neocons.

        • ok, i hear what you’re saying sean. i should not have used the term ‘dismissed’. i wasn’t intending to be critical of your assessment so much as reminding people the very things articulated here by lizzy are across the board issues wrt most americans. i know it is being mined by zionists, who support completely racist policies themselves…but that doesn’t lesson the reflexes of other people who will have the same response.

          and just as an aside, i don’t watch tv news, so i had no idea this was given as much recent play as this thread seem to indicate.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Annie,

          Things have become so crazy in American politics that mainstream neoconservatives and Christian Zionists now make some fringe white nationalists like David Duke and Don Black look relatively moderate and unthreatening. Much of the time I can’t believe what I am seeing going on around me.

          In any case, one gets the impression that many neoconservatives and Christian Zionists are driven by a psychotic urge to kill as many Muslims and Arabs as possible. I honestly believe that they are capable of committing Nazi- or Soviet-scale war crimes or worse and may succeed in doing so in the future.

          One doesn’t get the impression that Ron Paul is driven by an urge to kill blacks, Jews, gays or anyone. He is relatively sane, tolerant and peace-loving. I don’t think he’s a white nationalist — certainly he is not pushing a white nationalist agenda in his current public statements, speeches and writings. People who know him well and who have no interest in spinning the truth in his favor assert emphatically that he is not anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-black, anti-gay, etc.

          Keep in mind that Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert have all been accused of being anti-Israel, repeatedly, by many pro-Israel activists — that’s five presidents and three Israeli prime ministers there.

          The newsletters — disgusting and repugnant. Gutter hate speech. Lizzy has a right to be horrified by them — I share her anger and concern about them.

        • i absolutely get that. when push comes to shove i will be voting for the middle east this time around, that’s just where i’m at. we need to halt this invasive cancer of murdering arabs and muslims that has infected our foreign policy. i’m not an idiot.

          still, you know how elections are. remember how they swiftboated kerry (and i am not a kerry fan) if they can take a vietman veteran like kerry and take him to task for being a coward of all things..you get what i am saying. it becomes months and months and months of hammering. this will not go away. they have their ammunition and we know exactly what it is, and it’s ugly. but hey, these are ugly times and people will be choosing their medicine. but whatever happens i’m not going to be defending this stuff and i don’t have to. my reasons for my choice, there’s nothing wrong with them. we can’t afford another four year window of ethnic cleansing while obama kowtows to the lobby. at some point we have to end this relationship of servitude wrt our foreign policy. we have to and not just because it’s robbing us blind. it is deeply immoral. there’s sticks and stones and then there’s words. ugly words but still just words.

        • What is important about the Ron Paul campaign that hasn’t been addressed in this exchange is not Paul himself or his opinions, if indeed those were his opinions 20 years ago. What is important and what most concerns the Republican, Democrat and Zionist establishments is that Paul’s rising popularity within Republican ranks represents a rejection of US imperial policy and financial and military support for Israel by a growing segment of American voters.

          This “isolationism” of Paul’s at a time when the major forces in those three establishments are beating the drums for yet another war for Israel is far more significant than proving the authorship of the Ron Paul newsletters which in their debasement of blacks and gays, which as other have pointed out, has been more than matched by virtually the entire collection of ultra Orthodox Haredi Jewish cults (Neturi Karta being the exception) in Israel and the US not 20 years ago but at this very moment in time.

    • quercus says:

      I’ve just checked the website E tu, Mr. Destructo. Ratner’s got to be kidding! Look at the list of contributors, one calling himself Mobuto Sese Seko, another calling him or herself, Idi Amin, and the owner …. Marty Peretz!

      A poor choice of websites Ms. Ratner.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Wait — Martin Peretz is the publisher of Et tu, Mr. Destructo? Really? One of the most notorious Islamophobic leaders of the Israel lobby? An unrepentant and proud bigot?

        • Dan Crowther says:

          well they do explain themselves as saying they would rather take the online personality of mass murderers than reveal their own names….but yea, kind of F’d.

        • David Samel says:

          quercas, sean and Dan, I’m not sure who’s kidding and who’s serious here, but neither Marty Peretz nor Idi Amin nor Mobutu have anything to do with the web site. You can find this curious choice of pen names to be funny or not, but I don’t think there’s the slightest reason to question the accuracy of the newsletters as reported there. The blogger’s conclusions as to Paul’s unfitness are opinions subject to challenge, but whoever it is clearly has a progressive/leftist agenda, for whatever that’s worth.

  5. Woody Tanaka says:

    Good summary of this issue, Lizzy. I look forward to the next installments.

    • Citizen says:

      Woody, here’s some additional tidbits of information about Ron Paul straight from the email list of Newsmax, from the less-than-grass-roots guys who hijacked the original Tea Party Movement & are doing their best to sink Ron Paul because they think we need to repeat our invasion of Iraq by at least helping Israel bomb Iran:

      Home | Inside Cover
      Tags: Ron Paul | 2012 GOP Primary | paul | israel | aide | iran | republican
      Former Ron Paul Aide: He’s Anti-Israel
      Tuesday, 27 Dec 2011 05:58 PM
      Share: More . . . A A | Email Us | Print | Forward Article

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      WASHINGTON — A former aide to Ron Paul has labeled the Republican White House hopeful as “anti-Israel” after the rediscovery of racially charged newsletters published under the lawmaker’s name in the 1980s and 1990s.

      The staunchly libertarian candidate “wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all,” Eric Dondero wrote in a column for website RightWingNews.com published Monday. “He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations.”

      Dondero, a senior aide from 1997 to 2003 and earlier an assistant in various campaign roles beginning in the late 1980s, said the Texas lawmaker “sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs.”

      However, he insisted that Paul is not a racist, as some critics have charged after the newsletters released in recent weeks foretold a “coming race war” in U.S. urban centers.

      “Is Ron Paul an anti-Semite? Absolutely no. As a Jew [half on my mother's side], I can categorically say that I never heard anything out of his mouth, in hundreds of speeches I listened to over the years, or in my personal presence, that could be called, ‘anti-Semite.’ No slurs. No derogatory remarks,” Dondero said.

      “Is Ron Paul a ‘racist’[?] In short, no. I worked for the man for 12 years, pretty consistently. I never heard a racist word expressed towards blacks or Jews come out of his mouth. Not once,” Dondero added.

      In a statement to CBS, the Paul campaign on Tuesday dismissed Dondero as a “disgruntled former staffer who was fired for performance issues.”

      The former aide “has zero credibility and should not be taken seriously,” Paul spokesman Jesse Benton told CBS.

      The Paul campaign did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

      Paul already lacked key support from Republican Jewish leaders for his White House bid, largely over his consistent opposition to U.S. military aid to Israel, in synch with his views across the board against sending U.S. aid overseas, and scaling back U.S. military ambitions.

      Backing from influential Jewish leaders in the party is seen as key to gaining the Republican party nomination for president.

      Polls suggest that only around 2 percent of voters nationwide are Jewish, but they could wield decisive power in vital swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania.
      Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved

      Read more on Newsmax.com: Former Ron Paul Aide: He’s Anti-Israel
      Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama’s Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

      • Citizen says:

        Here’s a tad more, straight from Newsmax: link to newsmax.com

      • Citizen says:

        This Eric Dondero is one of the guys the media is using to smear Ron Paul…Here’s how he thinks, a few quotes–he wants to stick it to Paul because of Paul’s foreign policy because he’s Jewish and wants the US to sacrifice whatever it takes for Israel right or wrong:
        WOMEN VOTE ON LOOKS AND PERSONALITY AND CELEBRITY. They mostly don’t vote on issues as do we men.  My wife loves Perry, and Romney, can’t stand Ron Paul, all based on looks. They’re more than half the population dude. That’s an incredibly important voting block.
        I have a “hard-on” to fuck Ron Paul over on foreign policy, and foreign policy alone. Not only “fuck him over,” but defeat him, and destroy left-libertarianism that he represents in that regard.
        Ron Paul’s prescription for America is utterly frightening. He wants to surrender our whole Nation to the Islamists. What good is tax cuts, if we’re all having our throats slashed by Islamists?
        link to dailypaul.com

        • seanmcbride says:

          Eric Dondero Rittberg, the person charging that Ron Paul is
          “anti-Israel,” is a big fan of Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Geert Wilders and comes across as a less intellectually capable version of David Horowitz ranting about “Islamofascists” and “jihadists.” He is a pro-Israel militant and extreme Islamophobe of a type that is familiar to all of us. This is the guy who is attacking Ron Paul for being “anti-Israel.” One wonders if he was an Israeli/neocon plant inside the Paul organization all along. I suspect he was.

          But here is the good thing: Dondero/Rittberg has absolved Ron Paul of all charges of being anti-Semitic or racist. His denials carry a great deal of authority: if he could have hurt Paul with these attacks, he would have.

        • john h says:

          Thanks seanmcbride, your last paragraph confirms that key part of my earlier post below.

          His denials carry a great deal of authority: if he could have hurt Paul with these attacks, he would have.

          They also show that, however repugnant his views and intentions are, he has enough integrity to be honest and truthful rather than deliberately or knowingly lying to achieve that hurt.

      • MRW says:

        Got this right, Citizen: “email list of Newsmax, from the less-than-grass-roots guys who hijacked”

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        Citizen,

        I complimented Lizzy on her work. Give it a rest.

        And do you deny that the quotes in Lizzy’s article are accurate quotes that went out under Ron Paul’s name?

        If they are not, then say so and make your case.

        If they are accurate quotes, then trying to change the subject to someone else’s credibility, or that other person’s motivation, is a fool’s strategy. The only issue, in my mind, is: Did these quotes go out under Ron Paul’s name?

        • Woody, Ron Paul has absolutely no chance of even winning the candidacy of the Republican Party let alone reaching the White House. The party or some “nutcase, acting alone,” will see to that, so the issue is not whether or not Paul is responsible for what’s in the newsletters but what his rising popularity within the party’s ranks–not based on the content of those newsletters–means for the American body politic. Sure, there is a xenophobic aspect to it, but with the prospect of a war with Iran before November and conceivably with Pakistan under whoever gets elected, and what’s happening there can be blamed on Mr. Nobel Prize himself, stopping that war is what should be front and center on our agenda.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Jeffrey,

          There may be a larger point to the Ron Paul phenomenon. (I would agree with you there, and not all of it is good. Indeed, the rise of libertarianism is an awful development in my opinion.) But with regard to these documents, the only important question is whether these quotes are accurate.

          In my opinion, no political crisis is so important that it requires us to abjure our responsibility to examine things truthfully and soberly. We may decide to ignore them. We may decide that the crisis requires trusting someone we wouldn’t in non-crisis times. Hell, the British voted out Churchill at their first opportunity. Indeed, many great leaders were racist sons of bitches. But just because there are political challenges ahead is no reason to abandon our duties as citizens and people.

          Now, Paul is running for the presidency. It is, in my opinion, the duty of every voter to determine the character of every candidate and vote according to that conclusion, the candidates view of policy, etc. That makes an examination of these newsletters important, especially given the cagey answers that Paul has put out about them.

          Stopping any future war may be front and center, but I don’t see how paving over these problems helps that, especially when, as you say, he’s got no chance.

        • Woody, those Ron Paul newsletters are out there for everyone to read and speculate about, and while their contents are indefensible, they have become little more than a bone for a people to chew on–as was the intent of their release to the public at this time–while a far, far more important issue, stopping an attack on Iran seems to be meriting almost no discussion nationally.

          Quite frankly, having worked in my earlier years for the Democratic Party and having watched every candidate that I supported (and who were much further to the Left than anything in the party today) sell out almost instantaneously upon being elected, I stopped my involvement in the process and came to look upon it as more of a spectator sport. This year’s Republican primary has certainly lived up to that, making it almost indistinguishable from Saturday Night Live.

          I was suspicious of Barack Obama from the moment I saw him addressing the Democratic Convention in 2004 and have the same feelings about everyone who runs for office in both parties.

          As I have written before, Ron Paul has no chance of winning the Republican candidacy or even influencing its foreign policy. In these past days he has been attacked from every angle by the party stalwarts including toe-sucking Dick Morris who on Fox today said to Bill O’Reilly that he :is more liberal than Obama” and that story is Newsmax’s headline. link to newsmax.com

          Thus, other than to cause dissension in the Mondoweiss trenches, I don’t see this discussion, albeit it at times extremely entertaining, as being particularly productive. It’s not a question of paving over what shouldn’t be paved over but spending too much time running on that dead end road in the first place.

          I am much more concerned about a race between Obama and Romney and how far the former would do to please his well heeled Jewish supporters to get re-elected, and what the latter would do if he gets to the White House.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Jeffrey,

          Yes, they are out there for people to consider, and that appears to be exactly what people are considering here — what is the effect that these newsletters (and other issues, obviously) should have on people’s view of this man as a candidate, potential president and as a human being.

          I won’t speak for anybody else, but I am not convinced that Paul’s position, even if adopted by the US, will result in a decreased likelihood of war on Iran. I don’t know, obviously, but the fact remains that the US can act as a brake on the Israelis — whether it will or not is a different story. So the question isn’t “a vote for Paul or a vote for war” as some here have portrayed it.

          And, frankly, I am not a one-issue person. While I feel passionately about the Palestinian issue, it is only one of many issues I am concerned about. And even if Paul’s position on Palestine were great (it isn’t. Far from it.), his positions on other issues stink to high heaven. Here’s a man who would glory in the revocation of the Amereican social safety net (as piss-poor as it is), would eliminate workplace and environmental protections, would eviscerate key civil rights protections and basically put his absurdly absolutist view of the so-called property rights of the rich above all other consideration.

          His is a politics of the worst aspects of laissez-faire plutocracy and robber-baron capitalism coupled with pre-Civil-Rights-Era acceptance of invidious discrimination in the so-called private sector, and pre-Progressive-Era social Darwinism.

          If you want talk about opposition to war in Iran, then do that. Promoting this lunatic will only tar that opposition with the stink of libertarian extremism.

        • Ambiv says:

          Well said, Woody. Paul has asserted that the military option in Iran should not be on the table for America, and that America should rely on diplomacy. That is laudable. But everything he has said about non-interventionism strongly implies he would not stop Israel from attacking. Are Romney or Gingrich or the others likely to put the “brakes” on Israel? Of course not. But Paul won’t either. There is at least a chance that Obama will do so (for all we know, he might be doing that right now, in desparate private communications with Barak and Bibi). Those who are opposed to military interventionism in Iran should be focused on encouraging America to stop Israel IN ADDITION to stopping an American attack.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Ambiv,

          I agree that we should be addressing both points. My personal feeling is that Obama, Gingrich and Romney might work to put the brakes on Israel, depending on the situation. The ones who I would fear are the likes of Perry, Bachmann and Santorum. I think they would relish an attack on Iran on day 1, all for the greater glory of their god.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Woody Tanaka,

          What in the world are you smoking? Obama retreated with his tail between his legs in his every confrontation with Netanyahu — Netanyahu treats Obama like a whipped cur and Obama takes the abuse without lifting a finger to defend himself. Gingrich is a fanatical Islamophobe and Likudnik who is nearly in the same ideological territory as Pamela Geller. Mitt Romney has promised to hand control of US Mideast policy over to Israel (which is walking a line close to treason) and has been agitating for an Iran War. One also suspects that there are some crazy theological beliefs about Israel rattling around in Romney’s head — reportedly he is a religious fundamentalist and Mormon Zionist of some kind — the Mormon equivalent to Christian Zionists like Bachmann, Perry and Santorum.

          A bit fuzzy-headed are we? I am beginning to get a handle on you, Woody Tanaka. :) Your posts now are beginning to add up for me.

        • Sean, you took the words out of my mouth. Gingrich has already received at least $7 million from Sheldon Adelson, the 6th richest man in the country who also publishes a free ultra right wing paper in Israel–and its most widely read– that supports his good friend, Netanyahu, who also happens to be a good friend of Gingrich and Romney’s statement about turning US Middle East policy over to Israel has had no equal in all the history of US presidents or presidential wannabes groveling before whoever happens to be Israel’s PM

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          seanmcbride,

          Read my statement again, I said, “might work to put the brakes on Israel, depending on the situation.” In other words, none of them are fire-brands, itching to blow away the Iranians at their first opportunity. (Hell, Obama’s had 3 years of chances and hasn’t done it.) Does that mean they would never do anything? No, of course not. It just means that these three, in my opinion, are more pragmatic than the others and are more likely to manage the situation than to let Israel do whatever it wants, like Paul would.

          1) Obama had a number of opportunities where he could have permitted an attack to go forward agaisnt Iran, but chose other paths. The fact that he’s been bested by Netanyahoo in public is irreelvant to that point.

          2) Gingrich is an Islamophobe, but he’s primarily a Newt-ist. If he can get what he wants for himself without putting the country’s economy in the shitter — which would happen with a war on Iran and which would reflect badly on him — he’s going to do it.

          3) Mitt Romney is a politician who will literally say anything to anyone to get himself elected. He’s in the bag politically on Israel, but that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t govern in a more pragmatic fashion. You are simply naive if you are taking his statement on face value.

          A bit fuzzy-headed are we?

          You? Maybe. Me? No.

          “I am beginning to get a handle on you, Woody Tanaka. :) Your posts now are beginning to add up for me.”

          Oh, please. Do tell. I’ve always wanted to know what the Paulites think of my thinking…

        • seanmcbride says:

          Jeffrey,

          I’ve been hearing about Newt Gingrich’s stroking and grooming by Israel and the Israel lobby for years now, but recent revelations about the dollar amounts from Sheldon Adelson really take the cake — the corruption is so blatant, crude and right out there.

          The mainstream media should be all over Sheldon Adelson, but they barely say a word. They are his allies, protectors and enablers — fellow members of the cabal.

          Regarding Gingrich, Romney and current trends towards pro-Israel extremism in the Republican Party: this is why I am so gravely concerned about efforts to destroy Ron Paul. If Paul goes down, we are going to go sailing right over Niagara Falls — there will be no restraints whatever. You get it. You’re alarmed. Some Mondoweiss readers aren’t alarmed, and that I don’t get. Look at Woody Tanaka — so blase as he examines his fingernails in an aloof way while discussing these matters.

          I am beginning to resign myself to the likelihood that Armageddon is nigh. All my efforts to fix this mess have come to nothing. :) It’s just not fixable. Sometimes I wish I had never wasted a single second looking at any of these issues. Perhaps really smart people steer clear of Mideast politics altogether — it’s a shithole.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Some Mondoweiss readers aren’t alarmed, and that I don’t get. Look at Woody Tanaka — so blase as he examines his fingernails in an aloof way while discussing these matters.”

          “I am beginning to resign myself to the likelihood that Armageddon is nigh.”

          LMAO. Okay, if you’re convinced that we are facing Armageddon and are wondering why someone is, in your words, “blase as he examines his fingernails in an aloof way,” check your premise to be sure that we are, in fact, “facing Armageddon.”

        • Woody, why do you think it is that Ron Paul is scaring almost every other segment of the Republican and the Israel Lobby out of their minds? Do you think they don’t basically share what you call his “laissez-faire plutocracy and robber-baron capitalism coupled with pre-Civil-Rights-Era acceptance of invidious discrimination in the so-called private sector, and pre-Progressive-Era social Darwinism.?”

          Is that what has their balls in an uproar? No way. It is his opposition to an aggressive US imperial foreign policy and its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with Iran next on the agenda and he is the only candidate for president from either party that has taken a position anywhere near that. Imagine what would happen to the multibillion dollar arms industry if a president was elected to decided to being our troops home from the 140 countries where they are now stationed. What would that mean for our economy? So put aside that pornography (the Ron Paul newsletters of yesteryear) you’ve found so fascinating and pay attention to what’s really going on and why.

          As for destroying the social safety net, that despicable liar currently in the White House, aided and abetted by the despicable liars in his own party, have just taken the latest step to undermine Social Security by maintaining the Bush initiated cut in the payroll tax which is used to fund Social Security and pretending that to roll back the tax cut was an unfair tax increase.

          You may also recall that it was slick Willy Clinton who ended the welfare program and it was under his watch that Glass Steagal was repealed and the Telecommunications Act rewritten by the Democrats that has allowed the further conglomeration of the news media.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Woody,

          “Armageddon” — an American and global economic collapse caused by an Iran War and other military crusades engineered by neoconservatives and designed to facilitate the building of Greater Israel. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these messianic military crusades, backed by Christian Armageddonists, end up using nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

          But you’re such a cool dude — not to worry. Really bad things on the scale of World War I, World War II, the Great Depression or worse aren’t likely to happen. Keep on paring those fingernails.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Woody, why do you think it is that Ron Paul is scaring almost every other segment of the Republican and the Israel Lobby out of their minds?”

          I don’t. I think that they realize that he is a boutique candidate with little chance of winning and a questionable past. Any threat he poses is easily dealt with. He’s an annoyance. Little more.

          “Do you think they don’t basically share what you call his ‘laissez-faire plutocracy and robber-baron capitalism coupled with pre-Civil-Rights-Era acceptance of invidious discrimination in the so-called private sector, and pre-Progressive-Era social Darwinism.?’”

          No. Most of them do not. They have their own problems, but libertarianism isn’t one of them, for most.

          “Is that what has their balls in an uproar?”

          This is “their balls in an uproar?” The only uproar is the Paulites who apparently never considered the fact that other people don’t consider thier little vanity candidate to be a saviour, but kind of a kook and don’t really know how to handle it.

          Really, it seems like the entire approach that the Paul team has come up with to deal with the racist newsletters is to say “He didn’t write them and disavowed them” and when someone raises more questions about who did write them and how they went out under his name, the only response that you people come up with is to say “Don’t you get it: HE DISAVOWED THEM!!!” It’s like no one on his team have ever played politics before.

          “So put aside that pornography (the Ron Paul newsletters of yesteryear) you’ve found so fascinating and pay attention to what’s really going on and why.”

          This is what I’m talking about. Really? Racist newsletters is pornography?

          “As for destroying the social safety net, that despicable liar currently in the White House…”

          But your guy not only wants to eliminate Social Security, he wants to eliminate the entire concept of the federal government helping to look out for and protect the people of the US. If I am angry at Obama for not going far enough toward providing single-payer health care, how am I to react to Ron Paul, who doesn’t see any role for the federal government in ensuring people have access to insurance and health care???

          “You may also recall that it was slick Willy Clinton who ended the welfare program and it was under his watch that Glass Steagal was repealed and the Telecommunications Act rewritten by the Democrats that has allowed the further conglomeration of the news media.”

          Then I’ll be sure not to vote for Bill Clinton in 2012.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “ ‘Armageddon ‘ — an American and global economic collapse caused by…”

          Yes, I understand how you are defining it. My point was to question whether it was likely to happen.

          “But you’re such a cool dude — not to worry. Really bad things on the scale of World War I, World War II, the Great Depression or worse aren’t likely to happen. Keep on paring those fingernails.”

          Well, nothing on the scale of World War I, World War II, or the Great Depression has happened since 1945. So, I’ll take my chances if the alternative is to turn the US into a libertarian hellhole.

        • Woody, I don’t know what you are reading but virtually the entire political establishment, not just the Repubs across the board, and the mainstream media have come down on Paul and it has nothing to do with his libertarian policies or his position on Social Security which both parties seem intent on destroying. They deliberately ignored him as long as they could and when that didn’t work, they started pounding away at him. Even you don’t recognize that, you’re obviously not paying attention.

          Then you say the other Repubs don’t agree with what you call his ‘laissez-faire plutocracy and robber-baron capitalism coupled with pre-Civil-Rights-Era acceptance of invidious discrimination in the so-called private sector, and pre-Progressive-Era social Darwinism.?’” Have you actually paid attention to anything THEY have said or done or are you just obsessed with Paul? The answers to those two queries is obviously “no” and “yes.” Not concerned with Romney who would also privatize Social Security and turn his Middle East policy over to Israel? Not concerned with Gingrich who says the Palestinians were invented and who is in bed with uberZionist Sheldon Adelson and Netanyahu? Apparently not, yet one of them is odds on to be the Republican choice and that is why I used the term pornography to described your obsession with Paul.

          .

        • Sean, the fact that the prospect of a war on Iran has not aroused concern among the traditional centers of the progressive movement and seems beyond the concerns of Occupy Wall Street (has that, too,been occupied by liberal or crypto-Zionists?) is beyond me. I see the falls ahead and people who should be paying attention aren’t. Maybe, it’s because as even Phyllis Bennis, a stalwart Chomskyist had to admit a year ago, if there is a war on Iran it will be for Israel and that’s a taboo subject other than on Mondoweiss.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Woody, I don’t know what you are reading but virtually the entire political establishment, not just the Repubs across the board, and the mainstream media have come down on Paul and it has nothing to do with his libertarian policies or his position on Social Security which both parties seem intent on destroying. They deliberately ignored him as long as they could and when that didn’t work, they started pounding away at him.”

          Yes, because his polling has picked up a bit, so he is attracting attention. When Perry was popular, all the stories were about him and Paul was nowhere. Now, Perry can’t by a story for cash money. It has nothing to do with some paranoid conspiracy because of Paul’s ideas. This is the process. This is how it works. Who picks on or examines the candidate that polls in the low single digits?? Jesus, is this the first time you’ve every paid attention to American politics????

          “Have you actually paid attention to anything THEY have said or done or are you just obsessed with Paul?”

          LMAO… Obsessed with Paul??? I’m dismissive of him. He’s a libertarian kook, and therefore easily dismissed. As for the other Rep. candidates, the point I was making that they each have their own problems; libertarianism is Paul’s problem, and that’s one that is not generally shared by the others.

          I have plenty of issues with Gingrich and Romney, as everyone should. But just because they’re bad doesn’t make Paul great or even less of a kook, even in comparison. It just makes them all look bad. Further, listen to you Paul supporters and how you make him out to be something like the bastard child of Jesus Christ and Ayn Rand, and you don’t even understand how dopey that — or his policy prescriptions — are to the general population.

          Really, trying to burnish his appeal by putting him next to Gingrich and Romney is like trying to make an collapsing building look good by parking a rusting car in front of it. All you end up doing is emphasizing that it all looks like hell.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Woody Tanaka,

          Holy shit — you just used LMAO again and excited sequences of three and four question marks. Valley girl indeed.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Jeffrey,

          The mainstream media are largely owned and controlled by the neoconservative wing of the Israel lobby, the neocons are agitating for an American war against Iran on behalf of Israel, hence the mainstream media are making every effort to censor discussion about the possibly disastrous effects on Americans of an Iran War.

          The mainstream media are trying to drive Americans into a war against Iran on the basis of as little meaningful analysis as possible. What they are doing from the standpoint of the American interest is massively fraudulent and criminal, and I suspect that eventually they will be held to account for their bad behavior by an enraged populace.

        • sean, could you please share similar ideas in the todays kampeaus thread:

          link to mondoweiss.net

        • @ Sean

          The mainstream media are trying to drive Americans into a war against Iran on the basis of as little meaningful analysis as possible

          Sadly, they are succeeding. Having the ability to frame the debate and shape the conversation, it is an uphill battle for the rest of us.

          All it takes for them to do is smear any antiwar personality, and like lemmings, you hear the citizenry (even on this esteemed board) repeat the talking points.
          Priorities are shaped this way.

          Monica Lewinsky’s stained blue dress became the center piece of the conversation when Clinton started to take a tough stance against Israel. Now, Ron Paul’s newsletters, just when the nation is starting to rally to his anti-militaristic position.

          And if that doesn’t work, the long knives are standing by to JFK you.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Annie,

          I hope to get to that — Mondoweiss publishes so much rich and thoughtful material that it’s difficult to keep up with it all. :) And the discussions here are superior in quality to those on every other blog and publication around (including Salon.com).

          And let me thank you for all the thought-provoking and impassioned comments you have added to the discussions here — you are the real deal.

        • What should be astonishing but isn’t, given the role assigned to the media, is that there is no questioning of America’s right to bomb a country that has not attacked or threatened us or anyone else for that matter and cannot be accused of genocide, whether real or exaggerated.

          This is why, of course, the public is spoon fed cockamamie stories such as the Iranian-sponsored plan, thwarted by our ever on the spot law enforcement agents, to assassinate the virtually unknown Saudi ambassador and, moreover, to do it in a Washington restaurant where many people are guaranteed to be killed. Although some wiser minds in Washington questioned the story immediately, the neocons and their fellow political cons began treating it right away as a proven case and casus belli.

          Then we just had the State Dept. offer a reward for an important Al Qaeda figure who it says is based in Iran and facilitates the movement of fighters to Afghanistan and Pakistan which is as equally far fetched and which Iran, which has had its own problems with Al Qaeda and has imprisoned some of its members, denies. But who believes them when Washington is talking?

          Again, I can only blame the absence of protests against the prospect of a war on Iran to the effectiveness of the Zionist US operation within the ranks of the so-called Left and what is mistakenly referred to as the “anti-war” movement.
          Since there has been no lack of information about what it going on and what it is being planned I can come up with no other conclusion.

        • Woody, either you haven’t been paying attention or you just see what you want to see. Paul has been polling in high numbers from the beginning but the MSM’s refusal to even mention his name in the early going pushed Jon Stewart to satirize it on his Daily Show back on August 15. As of a moment ago, 1,134, 293 people have watched it.

          Maybe you should open your eyes and mind and take a look: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-15-2011/indecision-2012—corn-polled-edition—ron-paul—the-top-tier

          Then LYAO.

        • seanmcbride says:

          CloakAndDagger,

          Good of you to notice that Monicagate was an Israeli/Likud/Mossad/neocon op conducted with the full collusion of the neocon-controlled “liberal” (HA!) mainstream media, Christian Zionists and Southern crypto-Confederates. One wonders what Bill Clinton’s private feelings are about having been subjected to that vile abuse.

        • @ Sean

          I don’t think there is any love lost between Bill Clinton and the zionists. Hillary, of course, sees which side her bread is buttered, and is not about to make the same mistake as her honeypot-lured husband. Pity.

        • thanks so much sean..means a lot to me. i think the RP phenomena has really burst open the discussion of extricating the neocons from our foreign policy. the conversation is taking off and that thread is an indication of it..a conversation much needed so it’s kind of exciting.

          i wrote you a much longer response but somehow ‘lost’ it. i see it isn’t here. hmm. oh well.

        • kapok says:

          Not to forget the media’s deployment of the following terms: authoritarian, dictator, totalitarian, in stories involving such diverse figures as the Saudis, Lukashenko, the Castros, Kaddafi, Ahmadinejad etc, depending on who needs to take the place of Stalin in the lazy minds of hoi polloi.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Holy shit — you just used LMAO again and excited sequences of three and four question marks. Valley girl indeed.”

          Yeah, next time I’ll remember to use smileys instead.

  6. Chu says:

    This doesn’t look good for his campaign. No it doesn’t. But some of his theories about government are what lead people to support him, as Washington marinates inside its own corrupt bubble. All that we are left with is the ugly reality of the establishment people like Gingrich.

    If it came down to Romney, Gingrich or Paul in charge of foreign policy,
    I would still have to choose Ron Paul. I don’t trust the Republican
    establishment party with Iran. We just went through a decade of war,
    and they portray this threat of Iran as requiring immediate action.
    Thanks, but no thanks.

    And then there’s Obama. Mr. Candidate elusive. Talks a good game and does nothing about it. As Matt Damon just said, “You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better.”

  7. seanmcbride says:

    Let me take another crack at this:

    Ron Paul offers the last best hope to register even *mild* dissent against efforts by the Israel lobby to transform America into a Stalinist-style police state at permanent war with nearly the entire world in defense of the ethno-religious nationalist crackpots who are determined to build Greater Israel.

    I beg of you: get your priorities in order. This is not a time to be distracted by less important issues.

    • i agree. it is as if the MSM and the left-right establishment said “jump!”, and lizzy ratner said “how high and where?”

      this is the narrative they want people focused on, left or right. i find the letters repulsive and assume he may have seen them and let them go as he was simply getting paid for his name. but this does not alter his positions, his apparent sincerity, his reliability, nor the fact that all the other presidential options have *much* bigger issues (IMHO).

      of course, ron paul will not get the nomination, nor the presidency. so therefore, some of his “radical” ideas that i do subscribe to, i want HEARD. the benefit of ron paul is getting his IDEAS out there. if we do not hear his ideas, or his simple truths in the face of the false “consensus”, we are all worse for it.

      i cannot hear discussion of his sane foreign policy, if lizzy keeps posting about an issue we all will be utterly *saturated* with. this column seems to miss the big picture, and clearly ignores the life/death/war/peace/civil liberties/islamophobia/corporatism/warmongering/etc. issues with all the others…

      • Tristan says:

        i cannot hear discussion of his sane foreign policy, if lizzy keeps posting about an issue we all will be utterly *saturated* with.

        This is my problem with the article. The Corporate Press have covered this subject exhaustively. I come to MondoWeiss to read about things which are verboten by the New York Times, etc.

        • Chu says:

          Tristan, Charon says it well, below:
          ” I mean, the message here is no different than a biased MSM smear complete with stormfront founder photo”

      • Citizen says:

        Yes indeed, anonymouscomments, Liz in her article is doing nothing I didn’t hear all last evening from both MSNBC & Fox; they yakked on and on about Ron Paul’s racist, said nothing at all about his foreign policy view except, in passing, that it “was not mainstream.” The popular TV news media are certainly doing their bipartisan best to get rid of Ron Paul. I too don’t think he will be POTUS, but at least let’s do all we can to keep him rolling as long as possible so the media is forced to give the average American some of Ron’s views, especially on foreign policy–otherwise, they won’t hear anything from either main party side about why it’s so horrible.

        • And the irony is, and what the MSM tries to bury is that, IN POLL AFTER POLL, Ron Paul actually represents the foreign policy views of many/most Americans. He is being railroaded, and we should not ignore these issues, but they ALWAYS need to be noted in the larger context on MW. But that may be where comments come in handy.

          But I would like to see an article summarizing the nature of the MSM hit job, something like what you can see at counterpunch-
          link to counterpunch.org

        • Philip Weiss says:

          Lizzy Ratner applauded Paul’s foreign policy statements

        • I apologize, as she did take prominent note of his foreign policy statements. I think I blocked that out (but I guess that goes to show how much the charge of racism, or incompetence one cannot overcome, distracts the reader). I am not out to attack her, and I think she has the best of intentions with this article (and any subsequent ones).

          However, I think there is much more evidence out there, should we want to inspect this racism/incompetence issue. The facts and logic she presented essentially buttress a fatally negative view of Ron Paul, while there is actually more mitigating evidence. She should note that his ENTIRE record of speeches, and any material he clearly and openly endorses, lack racism as seen in the selected ghost-writings. She should note the many people who know Paul, including an NAACP president, vehemently deny he is the least bit racist. Nobody has testified to him making racist comments, and there *clearly* is no audio or video evidence of such. His entire demeanor and entire history stands in direct contradiction to these letters. That should be clearly noted.
          link to youtube.com
          link to youtube.com
          link to counterpunch.org
          etc.

          I do not mean to minimize the error Paul made. It likely indicates incompetence (on this particular front, in one area of his life, decades ago), or much worse, tolerating such vile things going under his name for some reason (political or monetary in nature). But to make it something more than that appears unfounded. To hang him for it or to assume this indicates he is incapable of serving well in the high office, is just not reasonable IMHO.

          Of course, I do think this issue is a major obstacle he will not be able to overcome. Ron Paul largely has himself to blame for that. But that does not mean that the media will not play the decisive role…

          I look forward to the additional Ron Paul columns, but hope there is nuance, opposing views are noted, and the bigger picture is considered (the Republican field is important, and Obama; Ron Paul does not exist in a vacuum).

          Also, I am not a Paulite, and much of his ideology, if *implemented*, is quite radical and I disagree with it. But we have to be honest about what powers he would have as president, before we get all worked up about his brand of libertarianism and what it would mean if *implemented*. Fear-mongering is not an honest discussion of the very complex political realities, and I hope Lizzy does not go down that path when/if she tackles his positions (which should be discussed).

        • @ Phil: Lizzy Ratner applauded Paul’s foreign policy statements

          Yeah, that got lost along the way. Was the photo your idea? -N49.

        • kalithea says:

          Oh yeah, and it got buried under the landfill of accusations she made against him.

    • Citizen says:

      seanmcbride, I think you nicely sum up my own view.

    • mhuizenga says:

      I have to agree here. The questions I had to ask and answer in order to justify my support for Paul include the following:

      Do I value the constitution? Yes, probably more so than most Americans. Paul is the strongest on this issue, no doubt. I almost expect to hear platforms in 2016 that go something like this: The constitution is a nice document and all, but we need to progress (Dems) or it doesn’t protect immorality and needs to be “loosely interpreted” in matters of national security (Repubs).

      Do I want the wars to stop? Yes. He is the only one who will do this.

      Do I want any more tarp bailouts? No. Paul won’t do this either.

      Do I want an end to crony capitalism? Yes. Again check on Paul.

      Would Paul sign an Indefinite Detention bill or support torture?. Not on your life.

      What about Social Security/Medicare? I have relatives on social security, so I worry about them. Paul has a transition plan that won’t leave them out.

      What about national healthcare? See above re: crony capitalism and Obama’s plan

      Is he a racist? 99.5% sure he is not. And yes, I find the statements in the newsletter abhorrent. Remember though, he is 76 years old and the thought did occur to me that his personal beliefs might contain some ahem, “prejudices” of an earlier time. Even so, as a Libertarian, he would not allow his personal bias to interfere with his conviction that every individual has the same rights in this country under law. (part of his stress on the constitution.) As a side note to this, Paul has the most support of African Americans among the Republicans. I once worked in the legal dept of a max security prison and know very well how unfair the system is to minorities. Paul’s views on drug laws resonate here. Ironically, it was the John Birch Society who provided the most assistance to the prisoners in ensuring their due process rights through appeals.(I know. I was shocked too) They are strong constitutionalists who (rightly in my opinion) view prisons much the same as the military industrial complex. Not an endorsement for this group, just a first hand observation.

      In the end, as you said, it will be a matter of voter priorities because, as others have said, no candidate is perfect. But it does seem like a lot of emphasis on 20 year old ugly words (that Paul probably didn’t write) rather than on his public record/actions with regard to racism and his current platform. The prisoners I personally knew who had been locked up on drug charges chuckled a lot at liberal platitudes on TV, but they were always eager to sign up for visits from the John Birch outreach. Again, not endorsing this group, just sayin, things are not always as simple as the memes we are fed make them appear, and the people who are in real trouble because of disregard for constitutional protections know this very well.

  8. Charon says:

    This is good for neutrality I guess. Ultimately, it’s a straw man. All of Paul’s opponents have far worse (and racist) dirt. The MSM just isn’t singling them.

    You can believe what you want to. I mean, the message here is no different than a biased MSM smear complete with stormfront founder photo (anybody can pose for a picture, would you know who that guy was?). No point in arguing or convincing. You either see it or you don’t. Not worth wasting words on arguing about this.

    Ultimately the president is one guy. Paul is the guy that most of America needs whether they know it or not. One last hope for this establishment. In all likelihood, he would (as hypothetical president) be stonewalled by Congress and unable to accomplish much. I still would rather have a rationalist like Paul than Obummer as the puppet in chief. Obummer had his shot and blew it. Why vote for him again? Why vote for any of the other GOP nutjobs? Because they are nutjobs.

  9. Dan Crowther says:

    So, we have all read the “newsletters” and their contents the last several days – or have seen the frantic coverage of them on the news. I have made my views on the racism involved in them clear, here and elsewhere. I share many of Lizzy’s views, especially regarding my main man Phil. Perhaps a lil too much promotion, not enough critique – perhaps. Worth the discussion anyway.

    BUT – maybe we should give Paul some credit for keeping it real. Even if he is a racist, he is letting people behind the curtain of our political class, expressing views that they don’t share publicly. David Lindorff breaks some of this down at counterpunch, I think its worth reading:
    link to counterpunch.org

    I myself am of the mind that the vast majority of elites hold deeply racist views. And where they are not explicitly racist, they are certainly “classist.” And, frankly, I think more can be done with out and out racists, than with the less overt, but even more insidious classists, because their real views are harder to pick up and can be masked in the “fight against racism.”

    Just look at present day realities: we have a political class that “abhors racism” yet black unemployment is almost twice as high as for whites, schools in predominately black neighborhoods are uniformly awful, and our prison system ( along with a big part of the justice system) is basically designed to “mark and tag” minority males (especially black males) in society, and house them periodically when it suits the state and its political class ( ‘war on drugs’ for example).

    Racism on its own, without the power of the state, is bad – but not nearly as bad as state sponsored racism, like in NY with its “stop and frisk” policies. So, who is more racist, Rudy G and Bloomberg, or Ron Paul? Again, one can go either way, but its worthy of discussion.

    I live in Boston, where the affects of institutional racism are right in your face on a daily basis. Black neighborhoods in the South End, Roxbury and elsewhere have been almost completely gentrified by the presumed “non racist” artisans, hipsters and other well to do whites who were able to buy extremely low, after those neighborhoods were ravaged by drugs in the eighties while the white establishment watched it burn. The subway and city trains don’t even reach most of Mattapan, Dorchester and parts of Hyde Park which are largely minority, yet there are multiple trains catering to the wealthy neighborhoods of Brookline, Newton and Wellesley – people who NEVER use the T. It just goes on and on and on.

    Again, I disagree strenuously with many of Pauls views( economically especially) – but, if he is not full of shit about his “libertarianism” that means he is by definition, open to people deciding for themselves what kind of economic system they want, and what type of society they want to live in. This can and should be empowering to communities- again, if he is consistent .Even if he thinks non whites are inferior, his objection to the police state that locks them up at an unbelievable clip, in my view, far outweighs his personal racism. There, I said it!

    • MRW says:

      You’re right, Dan.

      Just look at present day realities: we have a political class that “abhors racism” yet black unemployment is almost twice as high as for whites, schools in predominately black neighborhoods are uniformly awful, and our prison system ( along with a big part of the justice system) is basically designed to “mark and tag” minority males (especially black males) in society, and house them periodically when it suits the state and its political class ( ‘war on drugs’ for example).

      I’ve been watching how Blacks get draconian prison sentences for things Whites get a slap on the wrist for. Michael Vick comes to mind. Over dogs, which BTW I love.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        I have to say, again, as I have said it before, the most distressing thing about Paul is his followers. I don’t understand leader worship, never had. But there is something about this guy that generates a visceral, unshakeable reaction in people, to the point where they are totally uninterested in rational debate about his policies. As I have said, I dont “support” Paul at all, but at this point, would entertain the idea of voting for him – but I do so knowing that there is a good chance his election(which is highly improbable) would solidify and legitimize out and out fascism in the states.

        Just do the math – Hyper Capitalism, End of the Public Safety Net, Very Strict Immigration policies for non white europeans and reflexive leader worship…. Yeah, there is an undeniable fascist element there…..

        • As I have said, I dont “support” Paul at all, but at this point, would entertain the idea of voting for him – but I do so knowing that there is a good chance his election(which is highly improbable) would solidify and legitimize out and out fascism in the states.

          What frustrates me is that folks spout off from a starting point of utter ignorance. Paul? A fascist? Dan, you don’t know what you are talking about.

          If anything, it is the plain vanilla Republicans — the Newt Romney Republicans – that are steering us towards fascism. Large domestic security apparatus, erosion of civil liberty protections, collusion between large corporations and large government — sound familiar? This is precisely what Paul wants to stop.

          As I see it, the dangers of Paul presidency is that he would try to liquidate the debt. This is unwise and would cause a very deep depression over an extended period of time. Austrians get too doctrinaire and self-righteous about some things and debt liquidation is one of them.

          But fascism? C’mon, Dan — get your ideologies right. -N49.

          ps — I asked Phil whose idea it was to include the picture at the top. Was that Phil’s idea or Lizzy’s idea? Anyone know? Or is it none of my business?

        • Dan Crowther says:

          So, this seems to be the standard reply of the Zi-Ron-ists, “shut up , you don’t know what you are talking about.”

          Let me first say, being told I don’t know about domestic american politics by a FCKIN BRIT is about the funniest thing I will read all day. I really love hearing about american politics from the brits, there is just one problem with their analysis: they don’t know anything about american politics or, americans, frankly.

          Most of the ron ron supporters I talk to, and I talk to many, don’t really talk about civil liberties, and if they talk about wars being bad, its only because it costs so much money. If you are trying to paint the average ron ron supporter as a true civil libertarian pacifist – your a fool. Mostly, they just dont like other people, which helps to explain why he is so popular in rural areas, and among upper middle class white males. And, if you consider shrinking public institutions that regulate capitalism and its the pain it inflicts as “extending democracy” well, not only do YOU not know what you are talking about, your intentionally disguising your own hatred for democracy

          Most ron ron supporters are the same “anti-government ( well,the parts i dont like)” crowd that has always been on the right wing. And as for being anti-government spending, Ron Ron has gone to town on earmarks for his district, so the guy is hardly consistent there either.

          Part of the ron ron appeal is blatantly fundamentalist: we started off perfect, got fcked up along the way, need to get back to “original intent” – that is the DEFINITION of irrational, fundamentalism. you might be willing to overlook this, but Im not.

          Getting back to my original post – I didnt call him a fascist. But undoubtedly fascists support him. And for some of the reasons you mention:

          “As I see it, the dangers of Paul presidency is that he would try to
          liquidate the debt.This is unwise and would cause a very deep
          depression over an extended period of time. Austrians get too
          doctrinaire and self-righteous about some things and debt liquidation is one of them.”

          So, Paul comes in, shrinks the size of “government” – but lets call it “democracy” –as the government is the only democratic element in american society– so, paul shrinks democracy, and creates a situation where there is an even worse depression and now there aren’t democratic institutions to do anything about it. Hmm, if im a fascist, im drawing wood at just the idea of this situation. And that’s why the john birch society, the constitution party and the neo-confederates love the guy – they know, with him that their world view has a chance.

          I’ll leave it at that for now, but seriously, enough with the keyboard tough guy sht, and telling people what they do and do not know

        • Dan Crowther says:

          and let me say it takes a non american to be so naive as to think the average american holds “democratic values” – nothing could be further from the truth….
          we define ourselves, in large measure by what we hate – this is fundamentally authoritarian, and anti-democratic. To be sure, there are many paul supporters who do believe in tradtional enlightenment values, who have an intellectual curiosity and want good things for people – but stop with the bullshit about this being the prevailing view, its completely removed from reality

        • @ Dan: So, this seems to be the standard reply of the Zi-Ron-ists, “shut up , you don’t know what you are talking about.”

          Dan,

          This is what you said:

          but I do so knowing that there is a good chance [Ron Paul's] election(which is highly improbable) would solidify and legitimize out and out fascism in the states.

          Sorry, Dan, but this statement betrays an ignorance of either a) fascism or b) RP’s agenda. There is no other way to slice it.

          Fascists like big government. From Wiki:

          Fascism’s theory of economic corporatism involved management of sectors of the economy by government or privately controlled organizations (corporations). Each trade union or employer corporation would, theoretically, represent its professional concerns, especially by negotiation of labor contracts and the like. This method, it was theorized, could result in harmony amongst social classes.[30] Authors have noted, however, that de facto economic corporatism was also used to reduce opposition and reward political loyalty.[31]

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          Fascists also like a large security apparatus. And they also like to go to war in far away places. And you’re suggesting a Ron Paul election would take us down the road to fascism? There is no other way to put it: Dan, you don’t know what you are talking about. Again, I wish there were a nicer way of putting it. -N49.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Sir, N49 – defender of the faith,

          Lets break this down:

          Fascists like “big government” – well, in germany, they burned down the reichstag and dissolved it. And in fact, they used plebiscites to show they were merely “letting the people decide” – sound familiar? As mussolini said, “fascism is about giving the people what they really want.”

          Fascists like “war in far away places” – ever look at a fucking map? poland, and czechoslovakia are not “far off” from germany – to say nothing of the “anschluss” in austria – again, very close to home. in fact, most of pre-war hitlers germany was about an obsession with its borders…hmm, this sounds familiar. As for Paul’s war bit, when you have the express support of groups like “the minutemen” and other out-right fascist nativists who want to toss immigrants out and militarize the border (which paul favors) you are basically legitimizing that world view.

          This one, I have to admit is pretty funny, I can’t really believe you would try and make your point by highlighting this:
          Fascism’s theory of economic corporatism involved management of sectors of the economy by government OR!!! privately controlled organizations (corporations)

          In Ron Paul’s america, there is nothing but “corporate rule” because it’s all about “freedom”, right? — Unless your a cult follower, its hard to argue how “privately controlled organizations” DO NOT have de facto rule in society in a Paul scenario. But since you are a cult follower, you will argue this – by citing some austrian dude from the 30′s …hmm, austria….1930′s…..ummm…YIKES!

          “fascists also like a large security apparatus” — Hmm, sort of like everyone and their brother armed to the teeth in public? you seem to think that because there are no swastika’s there aren’t fascists. because paul doesnt support federal security state initiatives is a far cry from being against them in totality. He just “wants states to decide” – hmmm. So, if Texas wants to have its own cheka, they can have at it. Cool.

          And again, you have totally failed to acknowledge that fact that I didnt call him a fascist or the fact that alot of his followers, as is true for the right in general, hold deeply anti-democratic views. This is undeniable. UNDENIABLE.

          I never said “down the road to fascism” you thatcherite. I said that he would legitimize some fascist circles. Another point – who becomes his cabinet? Who works for the guy? He has racists, neo-confederates and “america is a christian nation” people all around him NOW – what if he gets elected? Maybe the guys from stormfront will help him out…..go sip your tea brother

        • Dan Crowther says:

          HERES A GERMAN JOURNAL ON ” RON PAUL AND THE NEO FASCISTS”

          link to dialoginternational.com

          Excerpt:

          The NYTimes piece points out that Ron Paul was heavily influenced by the Libertarian thinker Murray Rothbard, who tried to build a Libertarian political movement in the 1970s and 1980s. Rothbard’s most famous disciple is the German-born Libertarian anarcho-fascist thinker Hans Hermann Hoppe (also, incidentally, a contributor to Junge Freiheit) who, in his 2001 book Democracy: The God That Failed advocates a new feudalism centered on a cult of private property where enemies of the “natural order” – Gays, Lesbians, Democrats, etc. – would be forcibly expelled or detained:

          “There can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They-the advocates of alternative, non-family-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism-will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.” -Hans Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed

          The Web site Daily Paul has links to videos of Professor Hoppe endorsing the “Ron Paul Revolution”.

          ——-

          Yup, I should just shut the F up, I have NO idea what I am talking about

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Holy crap!!! I wouldn’t have guessed that there were any Germans around who would publish political manifestos which promised “no tolerance” towards those with different political ideas, (“parasitism”!!), especially promising to “physically remove[ them] from society” in order to “maintain [the political] order.”

        • Dan Crowther says:

          woody, what would you call someone expressing these views?

          And what would you say about this person’s self described “masters” (Von Mises and Rothbard) – if this is what he took from them?

          link to bavaria-for-ron-paul.blogspot.com

          Yup, thats a “Bavaria For Ron Paul” website

        • Dan Crowther says:

          And I should add:

          This guy is at UNLV. He’s mainstream american “libertarianism.”

          What baffles me is that libertarian the term was coined during the french revolution, by a dude who started an anarchist newspaper. But this fucking guy is what libertarian means in America.

        • @ Dan….

          Oh boy….. I get slammed by libertarians (and I do — trust me!) and I get slammed here.

          First, I concede your point that you never called him a fascist — my apologies.

          But then you spend the rest of your note trying to paint Ron Paul as having fascistic tendencies. Suck? Blow? Please pick and we can be done with it.

          But in turn:

          “fascists also like a large security apparatus” — Hmm, sort of like everyone and their brother armed to the teeth in public? you seem to think that because there are no swastika’s there aren’t fascists. because paul doesnt support federal security state initiatives is a far cry from being against them in totality. He just “wants states to decide” – hmmm. So, if Texas wants to have its own cheka, they can have at it. Cool.

          By “state security apparatus” I mean a security force sanctioned by law, that is to say, operating with impunity, to effectively act against American citizens (or not) at the whim of the Executive (or not.) Basically, all the shit that Greenwald talks about. Ron Paul would seek to strike that down forthwith. Against the perversions of the constitution seen through W, extended w/o blushing by Obama, the Wyoming militia doesn’t mean squat.

          Unless your a cult follower, its hard to argue how “privately controlled organizations” DO NOT have de facto rule in society in a Paul scenario.

          Really? Right now the US Federal Government is a multi-trillion dollar pin cushion. Take “Defense”: how many contracts get tendered each year? Dollar value? Shit — who wouldn’t go to war! Cut out the money, you cut out the corporate influence. One can make the same case for the corporate influence in federal drug plans and health insurance. Government and companies are joined at the hip everywhere you look in Washington. Kind of like Krupp and Berlin. Ron Paul would act to stop this.

          Fascists like “war in far away places” – ever look at a fucking map? poland, and czechoslovakia are not “far off” from germany – to say nothing of the “anschluss” in austria – again, very close to home. in fact, most of pre-war hitlers germany was about an obsession with its borders

          Actually, the example that came to mind when writing that was the Italian & German involvement in the Spanish Civil War. This seemed the best analog to the practice of “ideological intervention from a distance” that we see now. But hey, nice language.

          Now on to the purple section of your note:

          “thatcherite” … “But since you are a cult follower” … “defender of the faith” … “Paulbot”

          Wait, I don’t see where you called me a “Paulbot”, but I’d swear you did.

          Since you seem to want to engage in an exercise of political credentialism, here goes:

          - money should be private;
          - health care should be public;
          - power should be vested as locally as possible;
          - handguns should be banned.

          Pigeon-hole that. _n49.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          So, your FOR state intervention to ban handguns. good luck with the rest of the paul supporters on that one. Funny how the “state” keeps rearing its ugly head in a ron paul world…..

          In a ron paul society, everyone is in competition with one another, every is armed, and everyone is “responsible for themselves” – what do you think the sentiment of that society is going to be? — This is EXACTLY why ron’s supporters are not serious. How does this society NOT look like the old south, or the gated compounds of central and south america, africa etc? ( which by the way were the places your “free market” clowns had FREE REIGN – and look what they did – in chile, in argentina, indonesia etc to say nothing of post communism russia, where the “free market” took it from 2nd world to 3rd world almost overnight)…

          Lets take your points:

          “Money should be private”… OK, so will these “private” interests be paying back the money they took over the last 200+ years? Capitalism as its defined has never existed anywhere, ever in a developed society – it exists solely as a state subsidized system – you want money to be private, I want the PUBLIC to get a return on their investement(s) – but that aint in the cards, is it? No, you just think the “private” interests can take their ill begotten gains and run.

          “healthcare should be public”: Ahh, maybe you have actually read Hayek, Smith, Ricardo and others. But too bad the other ron supporters havent. This most definitely is not in the cards.

          “power should be vested as locally as possible” -
          OK, sounds good. But are you talking about communities controlling production of their local resources? No. Are you talking about local municipalities, regional institutions along with citizens democratically controlling the economy where they live? No.
          What you are advocating ( if your are being a consistent “free marketer”) is “power being vested to the private capitals in each locality” – what you proscribe is a system where small and medium sized businesses control production and economic life – this is key to the whole “states rights” nonsense as well. To shake down the feds, it takes a lot of money, and a huge company – to shake down a state, you don’t have to be that big. And if your town is a “company town” ( which is what would be created under “the free market”) the municipality would be merely doing the bidding of the private capitals within its jurisdiction. How is this any different from “crony capitalism”?

          The problem with “free market” guys, is there is just no evidence that it has ever existed in a developed society. Furthermore, when people point out what the logical next steps are in a true “free market” society, especially one with no taxes on inheritance, iron clad “property rights” etc. we’re told that the tyranny of the capitalists is only there because of the state. But the capitalists control the state. And they use it to subsidize themselves, as they have always done. And so, when I hear sht like “everyone just, you know, look after themselves, let the free market take care of it” my first question is:
          Do you think I am stupid? my second is, Are you? My third, is, please explain how “free market” has not replaced “god” here

          And as for paul and the fascists, hans hermann hoppe and others speak for themselves, and not only is he a big ron supporter, all over his website etc. hes also a prof at UNLV. Democracy is under serious attack brother, and many who want democracy gone, are hiding their true views behind nonsense like “limited goverment” or whatever. Because, after all, a kingdom is pretty limited government, right? Just the one guy…..

          Hey N49, my brother – sorry for the harsh language, but im only gonna read “you dont know what your talking about” so many times before I get pissed off

        • No worries, Dan. I am also sorry for getting chippy. Libertarianism is mostly an unknown entity in modern discourse; it is often lumped in as a “right wing” ideology. It is just not as simple as that. Libertarians cite fascism as often as they cite socialism (“one and the same”, they cry: “remember, it was the “National Socialist Party”) There are lot’s of reasons to criticize the movement. But if we are to have a productive conversation, it makes sense to get the target right.

          I appreciate your response to my “platform.” Let’s hope these points come up in the course of more dialogue, I regretfully have to get some work done today. Regards & respect –N49.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          N49, I know this is not you saying this, but I have to say that whenever I hear or read someone claim that the Nazis were a left wing party or reference the fact that they were called the “National Socialist Party” to try to paint them as socialists, I really want to suggest that person go to a tattoo shop and get “I am dumb” inked on their forehead.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          N49,

          I think one point should be made clear: “Libertarian” was originally meant to define non state socialism, or anarchism or libertarian socialism. The term was coined during the french revolution by an anarchist. That’s a fact. To be “libertarian” – if the word has any meaning- is to be a socialist.

          As for the “far away wars” that fascists fought, it’s interesting that you bring up the spanish revolution: It was largely an anarchist (libertarian socialist) revolution. It’s also worth noting that the “free market” West, along with stalinist russia and fascist germany all teamed up to destroy it. Why? Because the people (workers) were successful in taking over the means of production, without top down control from a ruling class. As Diego Abad Santillan wrote during the revolution:
          “Our federal council of economy is not a political power
          but an economic and administrative regulating power.
          It receives its orientation from below and operates in accordance
          with the resolutions of the regional and national assemblies.
          It is a liaison corps and nothing else.”

          THIS IS WHAT STRIKES FEAR IN THE RULING CLASSES

          People taking control of their own lives, and their labor is what is feared, not the “free market.”

          What I have noticed in the last few weeks, in reading alot of essay’s by american libertarians, and paul disciples, is classic german idealism. A kind of new Hegelianism. Austrian economics, we are told comes out of some kind of “rationalism” but I would argue that the “idea” trumps all. In fact, austrians base their “deductions” on a priori “ideas” – which is classic hegelianism. And also, “liberty” is the term used to define in “libertarianism” the current state of the “absolute idea” in society. So, I have to say, there are many many many similarities between what is called “libertarian” now in america, and the intellectual basis for the former “state” tyrannies in germany and russia.

          And one more thing – “state” socialism is a contradiction in terms.

        • Woody,

          whenever I hear or read someone claim that the Nazis were a left wing party … I really want to suggest that person go to a tattoo shop and get “I am dumb” inked on their forehead.

          You are trapped on a one-dimensional ideological spectrum. A libertarian would see facsism as a big government endeavor, not too too different than communism. There is an element of truth in this. Both communism and fascism are authoritarian, both like big government, both have collectivist tendencies. Yes, there are also a lot of differences. But if you want to involve libertarianism into a political debate, you’ve got to start thinking oin more than one dimension. Regards -N49.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “You are trapped on a one-dimensional ideological spectrum.”

          No, my statement is based on the fact that to attribute “socialism” to the National Socialists because their name contained the word “socialist” is ignorant idiocy. It was a 1930s PR move that is sometimes brough up by shallow thinkers trying to tar socialism with the stink of Nazism. It is akin to believing that “tidal waves” are caused by the moon because it contains the word “tidal” in it.

          “A libertarian would see facsism as a big government endeavor, not too too different than communism.”

          Which demonstrates merely one of the limitation to libertarian thinking.

          “Both communism and fascism are authoritarian, both like big government, both have collectivist tendencies.”

          LMAO. Wow. So communists and fascists are both kind of totalitarian systems. Really??? Wow. Thank god we have you liberarians around. Otherwise I never would have realized that fucking brilliant deduction. Why, I might have had to attend a poly-sci course for something like 3 full days to come up with that gem.

          “But if you want to involve libertarianism into a political debate, you’ve got to start thinking oin more than one dimension.”

          LMAO. No, I don’t want to involve libertarianism into a political debate.

        • @ Woody: So communists and fascists are both kind of totalitarian systems. Really??? Wow.

          Huh? You are arguing that … communism is not totalitarian in nature? Or that fascism isn’t totalitarian? Name an instance of either persuasion that was/is not totalitarian.

          Waiting…. -N49.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          ” You are arguing that … communism is not totalitarian in nature? Or that fascism isn’t totalitarian? Name an instance of either persuasion that was/is not totalitarian.”

          Oh my god. you’ve got to be kidding. Okay. I’ll be blunt.

          You said: “A libertarian would see facsism as a big government endeavor, not too too different than communism. There is an element of truth in this. Both communism and fascism are authoritarian, both like big government, both have collectivist tendencies.”

          This statement, while true, is trivially so. All you are saying is that both fascism and communism are totallitarian systems, which is an obvious, elementary-school level observation, which is true but so nearly devoid of interesting content, as to be an essentially empty observation.

        • @ Woody re All you are saying is that both fascism and communism are totallitarian systems, which is an obvious, elementary-school level observation, which is true but so nearly devoid of interesting content, as to be an essentially empty observation.

          You implied (or at least that’s the way I read it) that a libertarian would have no cause to associate fascism and communism. Well, they do, for the reasons I mention, namely: “Both communism and fascism are authoritarian, both like big government, both have collectivist tendencies.” Yet the former is seen as a “left wing” ideology while the latter a “right wing” ideology. You can’t fit libertarianism into that mindset. This isn’t a right vs. left discussion, or at least it shouldn’t be. -N49.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          n49 says:

          “By “state security apparatus” I mean a security force sanctioned by law, that is to say, operating with impunity, to effectively act against American citizens (or not) at the whim of the Executive (or not.) Basically, all the shit that Greenwald talks about. Ron Paul would seek to strike that down forthwith. Against the perversions of the constitution seen through W, extended w/o blushing by Obama, the Wyoming militia doesn’t mean squat.”

          ——

          What is so frustrating about having this conversation with “libertarians” is that when they explain what they think they are against – they explain the exact tyranny that would result from them getting their agenda across.

          “A security force sanctioned by law”….”operating with impunity”….”to effectively act against american citizens.”……..

          We live in a society where private citizen information aggregation has been capitalized. You realize this is a reality, right? Who needs the stasi when you have facebook? – funny how all the technologies that allow for spying get funded so well

          the “private sector” (capital) has created a parallel security apparatus, drastically expanded the definition of “private security” and really doesn’t “need” the state to enforce its will “on the street” – disregard for civil liberties is part of capitalist development. so is the development of private armies, police forces etc.

          Either Paul is for a free market – which, by definition allows for private(capitalized) police forces- or he acknowledges that “free markets” have inherent deficiencies and need to be corrected so capitalist development doesnt come at the expense of people

          it really just baffles me – with the libertarians and the right wingers, its always about “government tyranny”, but they never acknowledge that it’s the capitalist class that runs the government.

          But hey, lets give em a tax cut!

        • Mike Miller says:

          Dan,

          Can you help me understand the difference between your statements above about rural Americans and white males and the statements in Paul’s newsletter about blacks?

        • Dan Crowther says:

          i replied to you below……

        • yourstruly says:

          if the nazis were a left wing party what the hell were they doing practicing genocide?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “You implied (or at least that’s the way I read it) that a libertarian would have no cause to associate fascism and communism.”

          You wholly misread my statement. You appeared to have been primed to think that I was making a “left-right” statement, when I was not.

          “Well, they do, for the reasons I mention, namely: ‘Both communism and fascism are authoritarian, both like big government, both have collectivist tendencies.’”

          And the point that I made was that EVERYBODY, not just libertarians, sees that connection. That is why they are both considered totalitarian ideologies; the things you point to are diagnostic features of totalitarian systems. You make it sound like libertarians are able to discern subtle points when, in reality, you are merely asserting basic, well-established definitional points.

          “Yet the former is seen as a ‘left wing’ ideology while the latter a ‘right wing’ ideology. You can’t fit libertarianism into that mindset. This isn’t a right vs. left discussion, or at least it shouldn’t be.”

          The left-right spectrum is an almost wholly useless one; unless you are specifically talking about seating in the Estates General in 18th C. France. As a short-hand it is marginally useful, but I agree that even that marginal utility falls apart when dealing with syncretistic ideologies like libertarianism.

  10. Chu says:

    As an relevant association, let’s not forget about Pastor Wright
    during the Obama campaign. I agreed with many of the controversial
    things he said, but the public perception is what counts.
    And he was tarred by the NY papers as the Minister of Hate.

    But Obama still won the election, because he offered change from
    the continued wars and broken politics. Offering significant change
    is powerful in a failing system. Obama offered it and couldn’t deliver it, and now Paul offers an alternative.

    • seanmcbride says:

      Chu,

      If Barack Obama had followed through on his promises from 2008, and hadn’t turned out to be a neocon stooge, Ron Paul wouldn’t even be in play now. Much of Obama’s former base is now pushing Ron Paul forward. (I voted for Barack Obama in 2008.)

      • Chu says:

        I believe half of Ron Paul’s supporters in Iowa are Democrats and Independents.

        I didn’t vote for Obama but he has turned out to be all
        hat and no cattle. Obama may be better serving as a judge in government, weighing both sides of a political argument with keen insight.
        The image that was sold by his campaign and the media, that
        he will be a transformative president never manifested itself.
        And why would it during a second term? Yes, I’ve lost the hope…

        I would rather see a showdown with Paul and Obama,
        than Gingrich (or fill in blank) and Obama.
        Why doesn’t Lizzy see this?

    • Citizen says:

      Are Ron Paul’s associations with a 20 year old newsletter containing some slurs significant enough not to vote for him in view of what Paul brings to the table that no other candidate does, especially in terms of ending our endless (highly profitable for some) war machine that now wants to bomb the brown people of Iran as it has done so long in Iraq & Afghanistan? More PNAC?
      Obama had a 20-year relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright and his Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC). Wright said stuff like this to his congregation:
      “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Rev. Wright said in a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001.
      “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” link to pjmedia.com

      So how many people voted for Obama knowing his 20 year association with Wright, the guy who wasn’t merely some unknown on his newsletter staff, or one of his political flunkies, but the man who married Obama and his wife Michelle, baptized their two daughters and is credited by Obama for the title of his book, The Audacity of Hope? Enough to make him POTUS–because we thought he really would make change. He didn’t. Ron Paul will, and he won’t be bribed by AIPAC moneybags.

      • Chu says:

        Citizen,
        Jeremiah Wright is a good example, because he was tarred as someone who hates America, and that was big political news at the time of American nationalism. People didn’t buy that Obama secretly shared the same views, as they must be a secret cabal sent to deliver socialism en masse.
        But, we’ll see how this plays out. The status quo certainly isn’t working for most Americans, which is why some like Paul has made such a mark. The big question is for the public, are you satisfied with the progress and direction of the current president?

  11. HRK says:

    Lizzy,

    Thanks for the article. I was hoping that Ron Paul’s newsletters were published within a very short period of time–say one or two months–because in my mind it would be much more plausible for him to claim that he was unaware of the contents in that case. (I worked for a politician briefly, and though I was just a low-level employee even I could tell that higher level staffers, and not the pol himself, did almost all of his writing, despite the fact that the man was very bright.)

    I’m really, really hoping he can still pull out a plausible explanation, but I’m extremely skeptical that that can happen now.

    I understand the point that many of the commentators are making regarding how his saving us from war with Iran makes up for any of his shortcomings, but my own feeling is that if he can’t come up with a plausible explanation his presidency would too greatly divide our country along racial lines, and I couldn’t vote for him.

    Although I suppose if I knew for sure in advance that we would go to war if Obama or Romney or Gingrich won, then that might change things for me. Hundreds of thousands dead is much worse than past racist comments not written by a man who also has disavowed them.

    For me (I’m thinking as I’m writing, can’t you tell?), I’m going to have to try to determine the likelihood of any other person dragging us to war. If it’s really high, I guess I’ll vote for Paul. If it’s low, I won’t vote for Paul. If it’s in between, . . . ????

    (Knowing my luck, it’ll be in between!)

    • MRW says:

      As the resident former rabid right-wing Republican (whose life was changed by reading interviews with Jeffrey Blankfort a decade ago) and who admitted to the transformation before the archives on this board appeared in mid-2009, I can tell you this is false:

      I’m really, really hoping he can still pull out a plausible explanation, but I’m extremely skeptical that that can happen now.

      You are either young, or uninformed. I am not a Ron Paul supporter. I don’t care one way or the other about him. But Paul is being railroaded. Period.

      And I might point out that the level of current truly TRULY hideous anti-Muslim shit exists on the same level. So, lectures about this are inappropriate.

      • you were once a rabid right-wing Republican? i wouldn’t have guessed that. wow

        • MRW says:

          Yeah, annie, the worse kind, too. And a rabid Zio/neocon by the end as well. You couldn’t find anyone who hated Clinton as much as me during the 90s. My uncle kept a three-bedroom apartment at The Carlyle Hotel in NYC for decades and I saw Clinton walk into it in 1991. Took one look at him and that was it. Didn’t trust the bastard. It was completely visceral. So then, of course, I had to read everything that kept my opinion of him up, right? ;-) I think that’s how I got political because I certainly wasn’t before.

          Then one day I read these really long interviews with Jeffrey Blankfort; had no clue who he was, but I was fascinated by his insight into things, his turn of mind. The interviews went on for pages. I verified every detail of whatever the hell he was talking about–which I’ve forgotten, I’ve even tried to relocate those interviews and can’t–and started getting soaked in sources I knew nothing about. I had to admit to myself that I was a pompous sloganeer, a presumptuous asshole, and had far too great an opinion of my own learning. I don’t like lying to myself and have this congenital thing–really, since I was a baby–about getting at the truth of something, even if I’m slow about it. Anyway, I made a 180.

        • MRW, I don’t quite know what to say. I know I’ve changed a few people’s minds over the years but never, as far as I know, from that far across the political landscape. It helps to know that what I’ve been doing has been worth it. Thanks for letting me know how it affected you.

        • MRW says:

          Gee, Jeffrey, I thought you already knew. I wrote about it shortly after Phil moved here from the Observer (where I posted as Anonymous) and when I also discovered you contributed here. You would have rolled your eyes at me during the 90s. Someday I’ll regale you with the stories. ;-)

          And, oh, BTW, what I enjoyed about the interviews I read is that you were delightfully testy about bullshit. Whoever wrote them up transcribed every huff and puff.

        • wow that’s just fantastic mrw. i’m very grateful you’re on our side, that’s for sure.

        • No, if I read what you had written back then I had forgotten. I think the interview you were referring to was done by a guy whose name I can’t remember because the one he was using was a non de plume as they say. We spent about three hours speaking in his kitchen in SF and.at the end of it I thought, jeezez, that was far too long, I talked too much, and he’ll never get it transcribed, but he did and it’s still out there somewhere, warts and all.

        • We spent about three hours speaking in his kitchen in SF and.at the end of it I thought, jeezez, that was far too long, I talked too much

          jeffrey, that just goes to show you how even if you reach one person it can have unimaginable ripples. i’m really glad you had that too long interview because had you not mrw might not be here, with us, today.

        • jeffryb/MRW/?-

          does anyone have this JB interview, or could they locate it? or is there some jeffrey blankfort digital/softcover work of political history you might suggest? BTW, JB, your comment on the transfer agreement just blew my mind, and though i have a copy of “the tranfser agreement” on hand, i’ve never read it (but i will now).

          also, if you wonder how your comments move people, i just now am posting to a FB friend after your transfer agreement comment got me thinking how he needed some perspective. the FB friend is a south african jew i met in the OPT, who just yesterday met saeb erekat, but is stating he is a fan of BIBI! but he seems open to opinions and wavering. so now i am giving him my little political lineage rant…. about bibi’s present actions, likud platforms, likud creation, begin, pre/post-israel fascist roots, etc. and going back to the transfer agreement. but the fact that the present behavior of likud (or israel in general) is not enough, is oddly shocking. he must have been on the open minded tour of hebron tour only to test the “enemy” waters.

          this site is really just a treasure trove of information for people who want the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. dirty unspoken truths that are sometimes almost entirely buried, come to light.

          thanks phil, et al.

        • MRW says:

          anonymouscomments, be careful which version of The Transfer Agreement you read. The original is MacMillan 1984. The later versions have been re-edited and Black has developed settler-head.

        • “does anyone have this JB interview?”

          This may be it. I remember it also influenced me. (It was orignally published in SFIndymedia, but this blogger has put up a copy.)–
          “Jeffrey Blankfort: Jewish-American anti-Zionist journalist”
          SF-IMC, Nov. 20, 2006
          link to bleiersblog.blogspot.com

        • anonymouscomments, this is a link to the long interview I believe MRW was referring to and the one that I remembered: link to portland.indymedia.org

        • cool, thanks jeffrey

        • PeaceThroughJustice, Thanks for posting this. I put another link before seeing your post. An interesting point about Ron Bleier who posted the interview on his blog. He was one of a thousand Jewish children that Pres. Roosevelt allowed into the US–he came from Yugoslavia–at the start of WW2, thanks to the efforts of a Jewish journalist, Ruth Gruber, who was also a good friend of my parents.

          I have a book of hers inscribed to me many years ago, expressing the hope that one day I would visit Israel and enjoy its wonders. I only succeeded in the first part but I suspect that Gruber who traveled on the Exodus and who turned 1oo on September 30, is not happy with what Israel has become. As for Bleier, he has been a strong supporter of the Palestinians and an unequivocal anti-Zionist in the 15 years or so that I have known him.

        • Scott says:

          Thanks for posting this, it’s interesting and impressive. My background is very different, but I did have a “progressive” stepfather in the Bay Area in the sixties, and it brings back some of that feeling. The recalling of seeing for yourself– in Lebanon in ’69 or ’70 is pretty amazing.

        • MRW says:

          Jeffrey, et al,

          Nah, it was way earlier than 2006. Hell, I was on this blog then. (It was around 2000/2001…although since I voted for Bush in 2000, might have been later.)

          The ONES (plural) I am talking about had a picture of you in one, Jeffrey, sitting at a table. You were facing to the right and your right leg was crossed over your left leg (I think). Could be confusing that picture with some follow-up about your court case against the ADL.

        • MRW says:

          No, my transformation happened before we went to war in Iraq (late March, 2003).

        • MRW, I believe it was an interview on Flashpoint, a TV program hosted by Mark Green in Santa Barbara and evidently broadcast elsewhere that was done in late 2002 or 2oo3, portions of which were later uploaded and are available on You Tube. I suspect that everything I had to say then is true today only more so. The difference is that now, more people are talking about the subject and we have Mondoweiss.

      • MRW says:

        HRK, I want to apologize for the harshness of my comment. It appears to be leveled at you, and I didn’t intend that. Sorry.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          MRW, I want to applaud the tone of this comment. Just because everyone here is in virtual reality doesn’t mean that they aren’t real folks with real ideas and feelings and constituencies too… Happy new year, Phil

    • link to original.antiwar.com
      One man’s estimate on an Iran engagement…

    • yourstruly says:

      stopping an iran war has to be today’s most important issue, what with iran’s threat to close the strait of hormuz should the u.s. succeed in its effort to impose sanctions on iran’s oil, and the u.s. navy responding to this with a statement that closing the strait is unacceptable. for me preventing an iran war is so important that, despite forebodings about his position on domestic issues, i’d vote for him, figuring that if he’s elected, with subsequent demilitarization and wars terminated, there’d at least be a chance for us progressives to battle him over domestic concerns, whereas, america goes to war against iran, we’ll be stuck with a full-blown fascist america, and that’ll be it for anyone and everything progressive.

  12. Ron Paul is the ONLY sensible, reasonable, honest, educated guy among all current presidential candiates. Many people see it and support him.
    Those, who don’t ,I guess ,deserve another lying, corrupted, double -faced puppet who will be called their president. The choice is in people’s hand. I’m very sceptical if overall people make the right decision.
    Majority of people have been brainwashed so much ,that they are not able to recognise Truth from False.
    HE IS the right guy.
    Those who think otherwise, give me the choices??
    link to youtube.com
    link to infowars.com

  13. Stogumber says:

    “Ron Paul is either incompetent, cynical, or racist.”

    Indeed?

    The Ron Paul Newsletters were somewhat similar to a modern blog with commentaries. There are blog owners who are rather rigid about commentaries and other blog owners who are rather lax. A libertarian like Paul will tend to be lax.
    I don’t doubt that there were some speculative assertions which he deemed at least possible or even probable, in any case worth to be debated. And in other cases, where people simply ranted (often over facts which were basically true but weighed out of proportion) he simply thought “let them rant”.

    What’s about Phil Weiss? He has allowed people to quote Kevin MacDonald in a blog who bears his name. Does it make him either incompetent, or cynical or a racist?

    I’d say that Ron Paul’s relation to the right fringe is somewhat similar to the relation of Mondoweiss readers to Palestinians. Mondoweiss readers will make a difference between Jews and the dominant kind of Jewish activism; they don’t get sentimental over the dominant kind of Jewish activism, but see that it can be ugly if you are on the wrong side of the stick – and so they will in a way put up with the fact (not accept) that some or many Palestinians tend to transfer their antipathy from Jewish activism to “Jews” as a whole.
    But you have to see that all kinds of activism have their ugly aspects, above all if you are at the wrong side of the stick. It’s the same with black activism (and MLK was hated not simply as a black and not simply for his personal actions but as a symbol of black activism) and with gay activism (I’m a homosexual myself and there’s a lot of gay activism where I want to say “not in my name”).

  14. There is no way that Paul is being railroaded on the newsletters, on his loopy economic proposals, even on his foreign policy approaches.

    On his prospective presidency as a whole.

    Peter Beinart wrote a daily beast article on Paul this morning, well-written, even-handed with a biting conclusion.

    link to thedailybeast.com

    The odd thing about Ron Paul’s prospective presidency is that he holds a number of views that even his foreign policy supporters, here and elsewhere would find objectionable.

    Specifically, based on Paul’s application of constitutionalism:

    1. He regards money as speech. He rejects ANY limitation on funding of elections, lobbying, etc, and would prospectively veto any such legislation.

    2. He is a constitutionalist relative to the roles and powers of the president. That is to defer largely to Congressional legislation. His job as president would be to execute the law of the land, not to make the law of the land. If Congress declared war, even on Iran, he would have to execute that declaration.

    If you truly believe that Congress is bought by the Israel Lobby, then a Ron Paul presidency enhances their influence in Washington, not diminishes it.

    • Shingo says:

      You’re nothing but an ignirant troll who’s agenda is painfully obvious Witty.

      You’d have no problem with Paul of he was another pro Israeli sycophant.

      • G. Seauton says:

        I usually disagree with most of what Richard Witty writes, but your comments, Shingo, are ad hominem. Worse, your ad hominem attacks are typically ironic; for example, before you call someone ignorant, you should at least make sure to spell the word correctly.

        You automatically insult anyone who dares criticize Ron Paul. Unfortunately, many of the criticisms are only too apt. Granted, Paul’s positions against war, interventionism, and blind support for Israel are good. But why should we want a racist president of the U.S. all the while that we decry racist governments in Israel?

        Paul supporters trust the man implicitly, but he seems to be attempting to appear reasonable when addressing the mainstream media, while sending explicitly extremist and racist messages to core followers.

        I can’t dismiss the charges of racism so casually as many here do. Paul supporters’ criticisms of Obama, the Democrats, and the other Republicans are, mostly, valid points; they do not, however, legitimize Paul, whose many other objectionable positions — even if he is not actually racist — make him an unacceptable candidate, in my view: for example, his rejection of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, federal student loans, and so on.

        If he is not racist, however, it is hard to explain the vast quantity of racist commentary appearing in his newsletter, not to mention the mailing that bore his signature. And the newsletter was NOT like a blog; controlling commentary on a blog is difficult, whereas controlling a newsletter that bears your name is a matter of mere editorial oversight.

        And so what if the newsletter was published twenty years ago? The so-called disavowal comes a bit too late to make it believable. It seems merely an attempt to appear reasonable to the public.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          i agree with you seauton. i think he’s racist or certainly has a racist background.
          in a comment to me, lizzy ratner said that if you’re willing to make a deal with the devil, then you should say so. I’m making a deal with the devil. Not that I’ve made such a deal. But I would say that many communities are racist, that overcoming racism is one of the great challenges of history right now, that racism is inherent in a lot of the anti-Christian sentiment in Egypt and in Hamas’s charter as routinely quoted and all through the documents of Zionism and the neocons. So the issues arise of What empowers racism? Who is interrogating racism? Where is racism creating suffering? On that basis, I believe many lefties will swear off Ron Paul entirely, believing that his history of racism has a live cutting bleeding edge in the U.S. today.
          To inject a couple of other notes in here, on the Deal with the Devil front: Many on our side have as priorities an end to drones, an end to occupation, an end of the Patriot Act, an end of Guantanamo, and an end of the threats to Iran, and an end of aid to Israel. How much of a priority are these issues? I havent figured that out myself.
          Finally, on a Jewish note. I do wonder how much of the fear of Ron Paul arises from the Lindbergh fear expressed by Philip Roth in his book, which is echoed by Melvin Urofsky in his book on Amr JEwry and Israel: 50 percent of Americans would support an anti-semitic candidate in the wake of major dislocation (have to get the quote, sorry for now). this is primordial Jewish fear, and I certainly remember my motheer’s hatred of the John Birch Society for these reasons.
          In the end this is about building community. Can there be any community between these paleos for whom racism was not an important issue historically and leftwing Palestinian solidarity community. I continue to believe that there can be. It’s why I did a post about Regnery books in the 50s that were leaders on R of R and Palestinian humanity. Regnery a rightwing publisher, many Regnery books are surely in Ron Paul’s library…

        • Phil,
          Please take seriously the consequences of Ron Paul’s adherent constitutionalism.

          Specifically, that he regards money spent on campaigns and lobbying as constitutionally protected free speech. That combined with his similarly constitutionalist definition of the role of the presidency, to execute the legislated laws of the land (determined by Congress, affected by unregulated lobbies), lends the idea that he would neuter the Israel Lobby to be void.

          The only element of his influence is in the bully pulpit, what he says as a private citizen.

          If you regard his foreign policy perspective as important, the best place for him is in Congress, not in the presidency.

          Yesterday in haaretz, he again declared that the US should have no coercive influence on Israel’s policies, that they should be free (not encumbered) to pursue what they perceive is their interest. (I hope for more accountability than that.)

        • Nelson Linder, head of NAACP, Austin chapter, known Ron Paul for 20 years, says (paraphrasing): “Ron Paul is not a racist.” link to youtube.com

          Eric Dondero, aide to Ron Paul for 15 years, now apparently with chip on shoulder towards old boss, nonetheless says (paraphrasing): “Ron Paul is not a racist.” link to theatlantic.com

          Phil Weiss, who has never worked with Ron Paul, who presumably has never even met Ron Paul, says: “i think [Ron Paul is a] racist or certainly has a racist background.” (see Phil’s comment above.)

          Projection, innuendo, smear by association. It saddens me to see this great site stoop to this level. -N49.

        • Donald says:

          N-49

          Thanks for that Eric Dondero link, which I will repost here–

          link

          As far as I can tell this guy is telling it straight about Paul and he should know. He doesn’t think Paul is a racist or an anti-semite at all, though he is apparently a homophobe on the personal level. He thinks Israel was a mistake (Dondero thinks his foreign policy is crazy).

          I would never vote for Paul because of his views on economics and domestic issues in general and I don’t like his homophobia and there are aspects of his foreign policy which are too isolationist for me (regarding his supposed views on WWII), but at the moment I’m convinced by what Dondero says–that the mainstream pseudo-liberal press has got the story twisted up and inside-out. And I think some of this is deliberate–the confusion between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism, for instance, is deliberate. The rest is probably sheer stupidity–I’m convinced that the vast majority of people who work in the press do their jobs by repeating the conventional wisdom on whatever the topic of the day happens to be. It’s safer that way.

        • seanmcbride says:

          On what grounds does Phil dismiss the remarks by Nelson Linder and Eric Dondero, which state emphatically and categorically that Ron Paul is NOT a racist? I am really curious.

        • @ Donald: I would never vote for Paul because of his views on economics and domestic issues in general and I don’t like his homophobia and there are aspects of his foreign policy which are too isolationist for me …but at the moment I’m convinced by what Dondero says [that RP is not a racist] –that the mainstream pseudo-liberal press has got the story twisted up and inside-out. And I think some of this is deliberate

          Now this is fair criticism! I have my own criticisms of RP and libertarianism in general, parts of which I have detailed elsewhere. But calling RP a racist (or a fascist(!)) is beneath the belt and, given the opprobrium poured by this site on those who recklessly and falsely use “antisemitic” as a blunt instrument to stop debate, also hypocritical. In particular, the photo at the top amounts to the worst form of yellow journalism.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          If you are publishing a newsletter with that many racist statements in it and your name is on the top of it, I’m going to call you a racist until you give me a good explanation otherwise. He hasn’t.
          But: more generally:
          –When Walt and Mearsheimer published in 2006, how many on the left accepted the analysis? Very few. I got a piece in the Nation, but the objections were that they were national interest types and Mearsheimer had supported Gulf War, among other militarist statist policies. All true. I wonder where ambiv and jnslater were or my good friend Lizzy Ratner, too. And yet I would say notwithstanding these criticisms, the W&M analysis was more accurate and therefore effective than a Military Industrial complex analysis fostered by Chomsky. An ideological lobby was playing a huge role here; and their view has now been mainstreamed. I wonder whether Ron Paul’s analysis strictly on foreign policy grounds doesn’t represent the ultimate mainstreaming of this view in the face of the neocons. I believe it has a human rights component, as Walt and Mearsheimer’s book did…
          –W&M represented the point of the spear against the neocons. They were leaders. That spear is huge. Americans hate these wars and neocon theory, and they want a politician to express those views. And the neocons represent the ultimate expression of a force in our public life that expelled “Arabists” and realists from the State Dept. This is the natural pushback. Again, Paul is representing that constituency to some extent. Who knows whether he will not provide room to Obama to take on some of these positions in an Obama-Romney race? OR that by running as a third party, he could make that appeal…

        • seanmcbride says:

          Phil,

          Paragraphs 2 and 3: I am totally on the same page with you. And very smart and far-seeing analysis there.

          Regarding paragraph 1: the passages in the newsletters are flagrantly racist. At the very least, Paul showed a stupendous lack of judgment in permitting them to be published under his name.

          On the other hand: overall, he does not come across as a white nationalist in the David Duke mold. My subjective vibe is that he is not very much focused on racial issues at all. Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, vibewise, strike me as more likely to be racists than Paul. And it worries me that by getting sidetracked on this issue we are missing the big picture about what is going on here: Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, under pressure from the Israeli government and the Israel lobby, may be on the verge of getting Americans involved in a self-destructive war against Iran. This prospect terrifies me more than the possibility that Ron Paul might be a racist.

          This topic is an incredible minefield and could succeed in blowing up many useful political alliances. I apologize if I have stepped on the toes of a few people in discussing it — but what is one to do. We all have our views.

        • @ Phil re If you are publishing a newsletter with that many racist statements in it and your name is on the top of it, I’m going to call you a racist until you give me a good explanation otherwise. He hasn’t.

          You are calling someone a racist even though a) he has never said anything racist in nature; b) he has never written anything racist in nature and c) those who know him (and have nothing to gain by downplaying his defects) say he is not a racist.

          Does he have racist followers? Most certainly. But insofar as he did not write the objectionable passages (and I don’t think anyone argues he did – the style is clearly not his own), you have no grounds to fairly call him a racist.

          Was he guilty of allowing others to run his newsletter business? Obviously.

          But the incendiary accusations you lob in his direction run counter to the spirit of open debate and sober analysis. -N49.

        • What is also significant is that Paul, and those behind him, have made a serious effort to win this thing or, at least, bring to the national agenda the policies he currently stands for with the months of on the ground organizing they have done in Iowa and apparently elsewhere.

          I have seen no polls at this point that tells us what are the issues that have most attracted prospective voters to his candidacy. I would like to think that it is his classic isolationist policy that opposes both foreign wars and collaboration with and support of Israel. And I would add his opposition to the Federal Reserve, a subject that the Left has raced away from with as much speed and willful ignorance as it has from that of the Israel Lobby.

          By saying that Israel is free to do what ever it wants, but without US assistance, military or financial, he can be seen as simply applying the same philosophy to Israel as he does to the US, or it might be a clever way of calling for an end to US aid and arming of Israel which is the way the Zionists see it. I would have to look at his votes, for example, on the Congressional resolution supporting Cast Lead. As I recall, he is one of the five or six votes that have been cast against every AIPAC supported measure, including that one. If he also voted against support of Cast Lead he would then, it would seem, be placing limits on Israel’s right to act. For which we could say, “Good for him!”

        • PW:If you are publishing a newsletter with that many racist statements in it and your name is on the top of it, I’m going to call you a racist until you give me a good explanation otherwise. He hasn’t.

          Sadly, I fear you are waiting for something that may not come, in a manner that fits *your* standards, even if Ron Paul is *not* racist. This is troubling, as I think we all want the truth about people, and do not want to unjustly condemn someone.

          I think we have to realize that people have different demeanors, approaches to charges of racism, and even different ways of dealing with racists. On this site, most of us are hypersensitive, and it is almost a high crime. It should be, but at times we also might have to consider people innocent until *proven* guilty, especially as it is such a high crime [a quote in the article indicates a racist is someone "unfit to be a human being"].

          I am sure MANY of us have been called anti-Semites or self-hating Jews, and based on our *actual* words, straight from our mouths. I think most of us know we are not, and have tried different tactics in responding to such false claims, over time. Nothing seems to work particularly well against the charge, so the wise among us simply STATE we are not, and indicate people can look at our entire record. If they want to think we are racist, in spite of our record, they likely *want* to disregard us as racist, and there is not much we could do about it; usually they actually do not like the content of our message, and want to submerge it by labeling us racist (consciously or subconsciously). The issue with defending against charges of racism, is that it is often a loosing battle, especially for a politician.

          Ron Paul has dealt with this issue, and his response has been very consistent for ~20 years. Of course, this cannot 100% guarantee his “innocence” of the crime of racism, but it seems to be the defense he is offering, and could be the 100% truth. Obviously, we would respond differently if we were in his shoes, but that does not seal his fate as a racist, by any means.

          Then of course there are other questions about how he DEALT with the instances in question, which is another matter we must consider in itself. But this is somewhat *distinct* from determining if he is, or is not, a racist.

          Of course, like you, I do not consider his RESPONSE satisfactory; but that does not mean I consider him a racist until he does or says something more. Personally none of us would have allowed such things to go out under our name, and if it *did*, we would make heads roll. We would have zero tolerance. This apparently is not what Ron Paul did, and the reason is not entirely clear, and I wish there was more clarity. In my estimation, he was exceedingly lax on the content of the paper, and was fatally unresponsive to editors taking the newsletter in a very dark direction, in some parts, of some columns (if the newsletter was an abjectly racist rag, I would consider Ron Paul a racist, or at a minimum, a political opportunist who used racism as a political tool).

          He is very much a kindly man, who stresses individuality and sees the best in people. I assume this includes RACISTS (*gasp*). Just as he wants to talk to Iran or any actual foe, he may have been very forgiving to whoever penned those horrible words, or the editors who allowed such words to be printed at times. He may have been cynically letting some *sporadic* transgressions go, under the advice of Rockwell or others or due to friendly ties; not a minor offense by any means, but it does not a racist make.

          If you got this far, I would like to ask you- what do you want him to do, specifically, to prove his “innocence”? I want to know more about the specifics myself, but this is now politicized, and he has a right to make his own decisions about how to deal with it. Also, considering it is so politicized, how much will you even care about some strategic, politicized, response? Ron Paul does not want to be known as a racist, does not seem to be one, and would clearly do whatever he could to prevent this (very serious) issue from hurting his campaign…. do you want politicized dribble, heads to roll, fall guys, and “in depth” politically expedient explanations? Maybe the best response is to state that he is not a racist, he did not write them them, he disavows them, and to look at his long public record. Because in reality, any additional responses at this point are just bending to the much larger smear campaign, and perhaps, Ron Paul is just too principled to do that.

        • @ Jeff, Phil: And I would add his opposition to the Federal Reserve, a subject that the Left has raced away from with as much speed and willful ignorance as it has from that of the Israel Lobby.

          Hear , hear. If you want to cut off the wars, the most effective way to do it is to cut off the money. A bottomless cheque book will always be exploited for nefarious purposes. The Fed is that bottomless cheque book.

          I am just trying to be practical. -N49.

        • richb says:

          Too much has been made about Paul’s beliefs rather than his supporters. What Paul represents is the Religious Right absent Dispensational theology. I’m a non-Dispensational Evangelical. I readily admit it’s possible to be non-Zionist and not anti-Semitic. So, I can grant that this may be the case for Ron Paul personally and even be the case — though less likely — with respect to the racism charge.

          That being said, if Paul is the apostle of non-Zionism I predict it will be the occasion of full-orbed anti-Semitism like his namesake. There is simply too much paranoia in his overall message. I’ve witnessed a lot of latent support for Paul amongst my friends in the Religious Right and a win in Iowa and beyond is not out of the question given that Romney is a Mormon.

    • libra says:

      RW: “Peter Beinart wrote a daily beast article on Paul this morning, well-written, even-handed with a biting conclusion.”

      Richard, this was Beinart’s conclusion:

      “In truth, the modern Republican Party has always been a house divided, pulled between its desire to crusade against evil abroad and its fear that that crusade will empower the evil of big government at home. In 2012, I suspect, Ron Paul will expose that division in a way it has not been exposed in a long time. And Republicans will not soon paper it over again.”

      What did you think was “biting” about this? Given the general tenor of your above post, I would interpret “biting” as been harmful to Paul. And I don’t see that at all. Indeed, quite the opposite.

  15. ToivoS says:

    Ron Paul has an opportunity to put his antiwar and non-interventionist message out there for the whole country to hear over the next week. Opportunities for these types of discussions are very rare in this country. So how does Lizzy respond to this opportunity: why change the subject and join a mainstream smear campaign that was designed for the purpose to remove that topic from the national discourse. I have been perfectly aware of Paul’s other political stands over the years and would find it very difficult to ever support him. However this is a special moment that we all should relish but we have a bunch of fools in our own camp that prefer to raise the flag of political correctness.

    As to Paul’s racism he is opposed to the war on drugs and indeterminate sentencing (again alone on these issues) that are responsible for the huge disproportion of minorities in US prisons.

  16. “Paul’s response thus far has been about as flimsy as the paper his Newsletter was printed on. “I didn’t write them. I didn’t read them at the time and I disavow them.””

    Doesn’t sound all that flimsy to me, but I suppose it depends on where you’re coming from. I imagine a nose dedicated to a lifetime of sniffing out “antisemitism” can eventually grow hypersensitive from all the exercise.

    If Ron Paul is such a monster, why can’t Lizzy Rattner can’t find anthing to get indignant over which doesn’t date from the early nineties? What happened in the last twenty years?

    • If Ron Paul is such a monster, why can’t Lizzy Rattner can’t find anthing to get indignant over which doesn’t date from the early nineties? What happened in the last twenty years?

      In a 2007 interview, Ron Paul made fun of the racial/ethnic make-up up TSA screeners. link to salon.com

      He also voted against the 2006 Voting Rights Act.

      joshtk

    • john h says:

      So many different angles on this, we posters seem to have different priorities.

      Good question, what about the last 20 years?

      With regard to Paul’s supposed racism, consider these points. Paul didn’t write that stuff and has since disavowed it. His whole stand, and his personality, seems to be very relaxed and focused on what he considers really counts in the liberty areas. Obviously in this case, far too relaxed and remiss.

      Further, do dismiss Dondero’s position, but for me what he says on Paul’s views toward Jews and his claimed racism does have the ring of truth:

      “Is Ron Paul an anti-Semite? Absolutely no. As a Jew [half on my mother's side], I can categorically say that I never heard anything out of his mouth, in hundreds of speeches I listened to over the years, or in my personal presence, that could be called, ‘anti-Semite.’ No slurs. No derogatory remarks,” Dondero said.

      “Is Ron Paul a ‘racist’[?] In short, no. I worked for the man for 12 years, pretty consistently. I never heard a racist word expressed towards blacks or Jews come out of his mouth. Not once,” Dondero added.

      I agree with mhuizenga’s post. Paul’s strong and consistent antiwar position is, for me, what easily takes priority over other issues I disagree with him on.

      May as well not vote if you’re looking for someone you can agree with even on most things, or want to be lily-white. Politics is the art of the possible, the choosing of the lesser of two evils as it were, not of the ideal.

  17. kma says:

    Ratner has anointed herself arbiter over who is racist or not and who is fit to be a human being or not. does she revere people as perfect if they never say a word? is skin color the only factor? isn’t the idea of calling people “not fit to be a human being” kinda the same thing? how do you seriously judge people this way and compare it to torture, bombing, starving, blockading, incarcerating, and lying?

    the real alternatives that the American people have are whether to vote or not, whether to build community to take power back, and whether to shed fear.

    here’s another point: Obama will do away with social security, financial regulations, the environment, public education, public health care, and no one will say anything bad about him. Ron Paul will probably not be allowed to do half of what Obama gets away with before he gets it from the media. you guys will criticize Ron Paul for being too libertarian but you don’t criticize Obama for acting too libertarian.

  18. Hi,

    I won’t cover the practical political process limitations, as others can better do that, but instead a matter of political/thinking philosophy.

    ———-

    Steve Jobs was a shit boss, personally, before his getting Pancreatic cancer, almost a misanthrope, a useless first father with abhorrent behaviour in the first duties of parentage – accepting the kid is yours. It didn’t stop him being a visionary genius who patiently (and expensively) ploughed his own furrow ignored until the world caught up with him, and a great – most admired, in fact – CEO, where people cried for him on his death.

    The point is, you can’t get the type of thinking and skills that “we” consider good, if you think and act like everyone else.
    Unlike every other GOP candidate, Ron Paul, might have developed ideologies, but he’s still more curious about the world, than any other candidate, and he has developed that same willingness to stand out from the crowd with his “mad” ideas, than any other vehemently racist, ne bigoted supremacist zionist [ignorant] crowd-pleasing supporter.

    Even if he was labelled racist, I’m not sure it would really matter, in context. I’m young, but have seen enough people labelled as racist, just as the phrase “anti-semite” has been used to slur people, by people who already disliked the labeled person before being given such excuses to shut them down.
    As a libertarian, Paul would definitely not believe in not being able to mouth off anyone’s views, however inappropriate in “polite company”.
    There seems to be a desperation to mention how much these newsletters made – the $1m figure – but spanning the time, and the potential demand, it’s a relative pittance, let alone in comparison to all other politicians.
    Finally, these newsletters were written in the 80′s, early 90′s – does anyone remember what the world was like in that time, before everyone was told they had to believe a certain thing and we became far more “liberally” conformist (those who are), the racial environment, the political environment, the media environment, social mores, etc.

    The only thing that matters now, is the type of mind-set and the positions currently held; none of us will ever be perfect or have no regrets, we grow, we change, but those who are self-righteous, can always sleep easier.

    Yours kindly,

    MN

  19. Scott says:

    For a politician to get himself caught in a photo with an extremist means nothing, (fringe types work very hard to set up those photos, and can usually succeed). I know Lizzy’s argument isn’t based on that, but putting it in the headline gives a mistaken impression of the degree of Paul’s right-wing racialism. It’s kind of a smear. Would you be able to control every photo that might be taken in a bookstore selling the Goldstone book?
    It’s pretty clear that more than twenty years ago, Paul bought into the Rockwell-Rothbard “outreach to the paleocons” strategy, and let them pursue it for five years. I think it should be pointed out it was a different time–and everyone on the right, neocon and other, was more obsessed with racial issues. It was the period of the LA riots, soaring crime rates, crack, Farrakhan, black law professors trying to encourage jury nullification for street crime, etc. The Rothbard/Rockwell people never took things as far as David Duke, but they were responding to conditions, the same way American Stalinists (avid supporters of the 20th century’s biggest mass murderer, btw) were responding to the perception that capitalism was doomed.
    As others on this thread have pointed out, the relevant question is where Paul is on the racism scale now–relative to the other candidates. That includes especially comparison to the rabid anti-Muslim sentiments floating everywhere else in the GOP. The important thing in politics is which way a politician is trending, where is the vector leading. Paul has clearly moved away from this stuff for the past fifteen years–a long time in politics. Clearly his judgment 1989-2005 was bad, but I think it’s less horrid in it historical context than it now appears, and shouldn’t define his current campaign, or its meaning. Though obviously much more dangerous (and infinitely more powerful) racists–the neocons– are working hard to ensure that it does.

    • GalenSword says:

      What a difference a context makes!

      Just as 20 years was a different world on racial issues, 100 years ago was a different world on the issue of Jewish conspiracy.

      From Esau’s Tears by Lindemann, p. 195.

      The Famous Viennese journalist Karl Kraus saw in Benedikt’s Neue Freie Presse the embodiment of unprincipled commercialism, the unscrupulous efforts to manipulate popular opinion, that so troubled many public-spirited observers. It says much about the Austrian scene that Kraus, himself Jewish, was one of the most persistent critics of Jews in Austria. Revealingly, his own style — intransigent, mocking, sophisticated, and supremely witty — was precisely the kind of style that anti-Semites considered typically Jewish. He would at any rate have considered the charge that hostility to Jews was based entirely on Gentile fantasy either ludicrous or incomprehensible. As far as he was concerned, Viennese anti-Semitism was without a doubt the result of justified resentment by Gentiles concerning the outrageous antics of Jewish journalists.

      He was by no means alone in that opinion. Friedrich Austerlitz [Jewish socialist writer] further asserted that the Jewish-owned liberal press was concerned to serve Jewish interests, to cover up misdeeds by Jewish capitalists, and to shower with abuse anyone who criticized Jews. Jewish press supremacy, he later observed, “was a conspiracy in favor of the Jews; the legend of the solidarity of all members of the people of Israel was at that time a reality.” Austerlitz granted that in the earlier part of the century, when Jews had been oppressed, criticism of their “eccentricities” was inappropirate, but by the latter half of the nineteenth century, when they dominated so much of public life in Austria and when their activities were so often corrupt, criticism was not only appropriate but the duty of all honest observers, Jews and non-Jews.

  20. gazacalling says:

    The big two issues of our time are related: a counter-productive American Empire that can no longer be supported, and out-of-control government spending and printing money for the benefit of Wall Street. This blog is dedicated to an important portion of the first part, on which Ron Paul proudly and bravely represents the truth. True, if you like big government you will disagree with Paul on the second part.

    Ron Paul disavowed these letters. It seems pretty silly to withhold support for someone who represents so articulately your own views because of something the candidate himself disavows. It’s much more honest to say you don’t like him because you like big government and he doesn’t. Fair enough, just give him his propers for his bravery in putting himself out there to speak the truth on one important issue at least.

    But for the totalitarian logic of Political Correctness, there is no forgiveness for violating its Sacred Canons. But as readers of this site know, charges of racism and antisemitism are used to shut down inconvenient debate that challenges Establishment policy failures.

    If Ms. Ratner actually believes she is against Ron Paul because of these letters, this self-delusion of hers is worrisome to me. It means that Political Correctness is lodged deep within her brain and is affecting her judgment.

    Political Correctness is when the Establishment uses minor issues that don’t actually affect anybody in real life, in order to distract attention away from the real policies that matter, and smear anyone who challenges their bad decisions. Readers of this site know this all very well first hand.

    The way PC works is it gets fools like Ms. Ratner to automatically feel her face “singe” when she reads “a big, politically reckless spit glob in the face of … marginalized [people].”

    Ack! Someone is being mean! This is the worst offense against PC that there can be. PC is not about anything real — this is not about whether Ron Paul’s proposed policies benefit African Americans or not — but about feelings. It’s telling that Ratner calls it “politically reckless.” We all need to act and speak in a PC way; anything else is “politically reckless.”

    I’m certainly glad that Phil Weiss and Ron Paul are “politically reckless” on American foreign policy.

    Thinking clearly on issues that matter requires seeing through the enforced dogmas of political correctness. Everyone on this blog knows that. Participating in the unforgiving tearing down of someone who is clearly right (at least on foreign policy) and very courageous, on a matter of political correctness is foolish.

    Lizzy Ratner is being very foolish.

    • Gazacalling,
      Kudos for you. Wonderful comment!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I endorse it fully.
      Bravo for you for hitting right in the bull’s eye.

      a song for you.

    • Frankie P says:

      @gazacalling

      I find your comment extremely insightful and accurate. I strongly feel that it should appear as an article on mondoweiss, not as a direct reply to Lizzy Ratner exclusively, but to all left-leaners who attack Ron Paul under the guise of political correctness.

    • yourstruly says:

      sorry, but it’s not just about feelings. it’s about words and their consequences, and about the power of a president ron paul. for me all the reassurances in the world about his not being racist cannot erase my concern about those newsletters put out under his name. nevertheless, as expressed earlier on this thread, because of his anti-war/demilitarization position, i support his bid for the presidency. and that’s also despite what i sense to be a kind of cult of personality around him, something that is a bit disconcerting.

    • David Samel says:

      gazacalling, as someone who is leaning toward Paul, I must say I disagree strongly with your analysis. Lizzy Ratner is not being foolish and falling for “PC”. The statements made in Paul’s name are reprehensible. We may be accustomed to false accusations of anti-Semitism to smear Israeli critics, but this is of a different order. If a candidate had a past of calling Palestinians dogs (see Winston Churchill, btw), would you dismiss that as inconsequential? Would you be OK if the candidate disavows that sentiment or implausibly claims it was made in his name without his knowledge? What if Paul’s newsletters were a little bit worse and referred to MLK Day as Nigger Appreciation Day? Would that still be a PC issue? Your comparison of the statements in the Paul newsletters to Phil and R Paul’s positions on foreign policy is an example of foolishness, and I might add, uncharacteristic for you. There is real genuine racism in those newsletters and Lizzy’s concern for those appalling sentiments, and her empathy for those directly aggrieved by them, is neither naive nor game-playing, as Kris suggests.

      I think the situation calls for balance, and deciding to support Paul does not require one to defend him in every way and from every accusation.

      • gazacalling says:

        OK, points taken David. I agree with your search for balance completely, that’s exactly what we should be looking for.

        But what about my first point, about the disavowing of beliefs? If a candidate called Palestinians dogs, but later apologized and totally disavowed the sentiment, I’d be inclined to accept it, especially if their actions showed they were genuine. Heck, even religions preach forgiveness and conversion. But not the Holy Priests of PC Righteousness, who in my experience are as moralistic and dogmatic on their pet issues as any religious believer ever was.

        Why should we not believe someone’s words? When their actions don’t correspond. If Ron Paul’s actions and policies were trying to impoverish and oppress African Americans, then this is a really good reason not to vote for him. (I’m not saying this case couldn’t be made, only that Ms. Ratner and the Establishment media don’t make it here.)

        Of course, there’s a very good reason that the Establishment does not want to start talking about actions and their consequences: because once we make the actual consequences of decisions the standard, the Powers That Be come out very badly indeed.

        It’s much easier to just put any opposition on the defensive by demanding they prove their political correctness bona fides. This cows most people, who eagerly queue up to exercise their 2-minute hate, lest they be the next target put on the defensive.

        But when did 2-minute hate ever actually help marginalized peoples? It wasn’t designed to: it is a mechanism of control to ensure the status quo, not to change anything for the better.

        Anyone who really cares about justice and tries to do something about it should expect to be the target of attack on the grounds of political correctness.

        • David Samel says:

          gazacalling, I think you make some reasonable points, but the newletters themselves are a rather unsightly skeleton. Paul hasn’t dealt with them adequately – I don’t know if he can – but it’s not like he is disavowing racist remarks he made; he’s denying any knowledge of them, which if true is remarkably obtuse of him. In any event, if Paul had no such skeletons, I have no doubt that his detractors would be hard at work fabricating some. But this one is all too real.

          The problem I had with your comment was its tone. I have never seen an issue rupture the mondoweiss community as much as this one. I am willing to cut Paul much more slack than Lizzy Ratner does, but I don’t think she’s being disingenuous, and she certainly has earned immunity from the charge that she is callously indifferent about Palestinian rights. Your comment wasn’t the nastiest at all, but it happened to be the one I was reading when I moved to respond. Paul’s candidacy, and his present burst of popularity, does raise some fascinating issues about the intersection of the I/P issue and traditional concepts of left and right, liberal and conservative, but I have been disheartened to see rampant disrespect between people who generally are on the same side.

          To give you a brief example of the intersection I was referring to, we have very close non-Jewish friends with whom we rarely talk politics. On a rare occasion, the subject of Israel came up, and the more conservative husband was much closer to my views than his more liberal wife. I took note, but I wasn’t terribly surprised. I think the Paul issue has demonstrated that people who generally support freedom and equality for Palestinians can come from widely divergent political viewpoints, and some of us are paleo conservatives of the Justin Raimondo variety while others are leftist like Norman Finkelstein. It has taken until now for this split to come into sharp focus.

        • gazacalling says:

          Very interesting, thanks David!

        • Mike Miller says:

          @gazacalling

          Very interesting posts here. I agree with many points you have made. I posted something at the end of this thread relating to words, actions, and consequences before reading your post here about that. (I found these recent ones because one of yours was profiled as a “recent comment.) There might be some overlap that would interest you.

          @David Samel

          I also found your comments interesting. I wonder if my comments below about trying to identify our principles via argument might have some relevance to the theme of the intersection of I/P issues with left/right, etc that you raise above.

  21. ish says:

    This thread is embarrasing. So many people making excuses for the unexcusable. Several of you could enter the Twister olympics. This is textbook delusion.

    Ron Paul isn’t as racist as he could be? Really? He opposes civil rights laws. Opposes. Wake up.

    His opposition to war and to US Israel policy is absolutely irrelevant when you look at him as a whole. He is a far far right lunatic fringe candidate, and people who should know better are validating him.

    link to thecahokian.blogspot.com

    • Dan Crowther says:

      We currently have a US president who holds that he has the right to kill americans with no due process what so ever – they can be assassinated, you can’t know why, you just have to “trust him.” American citizens can also be arrested and imprisoned, by the military, indefinitely without formal charges if the president, by decree, says they are “terrorists.”

      We currently have a president that, in total secrecy, kills hundreds of people around the world, with robot death kites, claims the program doesn’t exist and has declared it illegal for “official” washington (members of congress etc) to discuss it.

      We currently have a president that locks away probably the greatest hero of the last ten years, Bradley Manning for non crimes, in the name of secrecy and intimidation.

      Now, you could probably count me among that “should know better” and I do disagree with paul on many things, and find his newsletters repugnant, but I guess I can just no longer overlook this other stuff.

      With Paul, you can “fight it out” with your countrymen over ideas; with the rest, you have to worry about domestic drones, a militarized police force in every city and near certain war with Iran…..

      I think there is a tremendous amount to worry about with a Paul administration, but if he was elected, his mandate to undo the perpetual war and surveillance state would be clear.

      • ish says:

        Are we so uncreative that that’s our only choice? Barack Obama or Ron Paul? Have we learned nothing from the past year? Anything is possible…. unless you follow Ron Paul down his rabbithole and then well, good luck with that.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Ive been one of Paul’s most *vocal* critics here, and as i said, i disagree with him on a great many things……

          I myself hold anarchist or libertarian socialist views – so, I am certainly not a Paul “follower” – BUT, if it were a choice between O and P – I would have to take P. Though, since I am a MA voter, my vote for president really doesn’t count.

          You didn’t address any of the realities I brought up. And what events of the last year are you talking about? “Anything” is NOT possible, which should be abundantly clear after this past years events. In order for “anything” to be possible, people must first be aware of what their reality IS – by deflecting away from the issues I brought up, you seem to be in the group that still wants to willfully ignore reality.

        • ish,
          So ,who is your choice?
          Gingrich, Perry, Buchman… or some other corrupted clown??

        • Frankie P says:

          ish,

          Yes, waiting for your reply. I’m afraid that Jesus isn’t among the Republican candidates, last that I checked.

        • ish says:

          dumvita are you effing serious? Are you asking me since I have denounced arsenic whether I would prefer hemlock, cyanide or strychnine? I would prefer not to be poisoned thank you.

          My choice is the people in power. Am I going to vote next year? I’ll get back to you in October.

        • ish says:

          Jesus, Frankie, Jesus?

          I believe in separation of church and state thank you very much. And you wouldn’t catch my cold dead corpse anywhere near a Republican primary.

          What is wrong with you people?

        • ish,
          I am afraid that you are living in a la la land of your delusions.
          Dream on.

        • Frankie P says:

          @ish,

          Get some new batteries for your sarcasm sensor! YOU were the one saying
          “Are we so uncreative that that’s our only choice? Barack Obama or Ron Paul?”. Please point out what other choices you see, because in my eyes, besides RP, the rest of the field is more of the same establishment bullshite.
          So, as I was trying to say in my sarcastic way, there don’t seem to be any other choices that qualify as saviors. “Separation of church and state” indeed. I believe in a drastically reduced state that keeps its nose out of the people’s business and lets them get on with their lives and prosper, and that’s
          why RP is the only one making sense to me.

        • yourstruly says:

          my hope is that there’ll be a left candidate running (rocky anderson, former mayor of salt lake city, for example) whose positions on war/militarization will be similar to paul’s, but who’ll also be progressive on domestic issues. anderson apparently is considering running for president as a justice party candidate.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          but how “left wing” can a former mayor of salt lake city be? ive been there, its a fifedom……

        • yourstruly says:

          “I believe in a drastically reduced stated that keeps its nose out of the people’s business and lets them get on with their lives and prosper?

          then how can you support someone who’s not pro-choice? as for the prosperity derived from the government letting the people get on with their lives and prosper, do you mean like the government did pre-progressive era in the 19th century?

      • Americans are very good in cutting a branch on which they are sitting. Maybe it is just a time for this country ,founded on the blood and tears of Native Indians and slaves to fall??
        Democracy starts to devour its own children.
        We are right at the cliff, slight , delicate push only is needed.

    • Donald says:

      “So many people making excuses for the unexcusable. ”

      I agree that Paul is inexcusable. If he didn’t know what was going out under his name he should have. I would never vote for him.

      But here’s the funny thing–why isn’t exactly the same true of every other mainstream Presidential candidate? I’m asking myself this too. The other Republican candidates take positions on Iran and Israel and the Palestinians which are every bit as nauseating as Paul’s newsletter, yet that’s acceptable to the mainstream. Obama himself is an utter hypocrite on Israeli war crimes and as Glenn Greenwald tirelessly points out he’s established the principle that an American President can kill people overseas with no serious oversight whatsoever. But hey, that’s fine. It’s just a bunch of Muslims being killed. No biggie.

      Now as it happens we did have a Presidential candidate in earlier cycles who was a harsh critic of US foreign policy–Ralph Nader. And we all know how he was treated by most Democrats, including some who really seem progressive on most issues. He was and is a pariah, and nobody can claim he put out a newsletter with racist views.

      The system is set up to destroy anyone who condemns US and Israeli war crimes. I don’t have to support Paul to see that. There is no chance anyone with our views on foreign policy will be treated with respect and notice what is happening with Paul. His racist views (assuming they are his) are being conflated with “anti-Zionism” on the front page and in the top editorial piece of the NYT today. How fortunate for the press that Paul is either a racist or has been inexcusably negligent in what he puts out under his name. But if that wasn’t the case they’d find some other way to tarnish what he says on US foreign policy and Israel.

    • He is a far far right lunatic fringe candidate, and people who should know better are validating him.

      Actually, I think the bigger problem is that Ron Paul’s candidacy will implode, his reputation will be tarnished, and so will the cause of Palestinian liberation / anti-Zionism.

      If people want anti-Zionism to be locked out of acceptable discourse, I see no better way than for anti-Zionists to throw their lot in with Ron Paul. Good job, guys. Too bad the noble cause of Palestinian liberation doesn’t have smarter supporters.

      • Donald says:

        “If people want anti-Zionism to be locked out of acceptable discourse, I see no better way than for anti-Zionists to throw their lot in with Ron Paul. Good job, guys.”

        Your sarcasm is misplaced. I agree that Palestinian supporters should not link too closely with people who have unsavory views on other topics. In fact, I’ll generalize–people with strong views on moral issue X should be wary of allying themselves with politicians who might agree on X but have unsavory views on Y. It happens all the frigging time, unfortunately.

        Anyway, yeah, Paul is tarnished. But it is the NYT and other so-called objective news sources which linking anti-Zionism with anti-semitism.
        They don’t have to do that. They choose to do that.

      • American says:

        Paul isn’t Pro Palestine. He’s hands off. Wants the US to have nothing to do with either side.
        I don’t think he has ever menitoned zionism.

        • john h says:

          He is not pro-Palestine or anti-Palestine, anti-Zionist or pro-Zionist.

          His whole ethos is to wipe his hands of all foreigners and let them sort out whatever; he doesn’t bother himself with any strong preference as to how or with what results.

          He is a libertarian wanting less government and wanting to spend less. Self-reliance is the name of his game, and let the chips fall where they may.

          He has made a few what some could call moral statements, but it seems to me justice and morality simply doesn’t figure with him. He just is not in that ballpark.

        • yourstruly says:

          self-reliance in a nation of three hundred million, half of whom live at or near poverty? good luck with that, especially when there are mass die-offs, on account of so many americans having made “bad” choices (like being born poor or in the wrong part of town). paul couldn’t have revealed his feelings for the underclass any clearer than in his answer to wolf blitzer’s hypothetical question (on one of those republican debates sponsored by cnn) as to what he’d do if elected president about a comatose young man brought to a hospital emergency room who previously had opted not to purchase health insurance. his answer, to paraphrase him, “nothing, since that was his choice. oh, there’s always charity.” to his credit, though, paul didn’t say “the man’s family could pray for him. still, right now on the verge of a doomsday war against iran, his antiwar/demilitarization positions render him the best of a bad lot of candidates.

  22. Ambiv says:

    “This thread is embarrasing. So many people making excuses for the unexcusable. Several of you could enter the Twister olympics. This is textbook delusion.

    “Ron Paul isn’t as racist as he could be? Really? He opposes civil rights laws. Opposes. Wake up.”

    Thanks for ray of sanity, Ish. And thanks to Lizzy for a very sensible article.

    A few days ago, in reacting to reactions to the NY Times story about Ron Paul’s support from white supremacists and other right wing nut jobs, I was castigated for noting: “it is wrong to deny that progressive..sometimes use the same rhetoric and logic as right wing extremists with whom they otherwise disagree.” I wrote a long comment trying to explicate why progressives need to go out of their way to disassociate themselves from the likes of David Duke and Stormfornt even it they do share antipathy to Zionism and Israel. But the moderator decided not to post it. So I will say now that the same logic applies to those who agree with Ron Paul on his foreign policy but find the rest of what he says to be abhorrent.

    Also, keep in mind that he is opposed to ALL foreign aid, including humanitarian aid to the global south. If that is the radical isolationist foreign policy y’all want, then you are essentially saying the U.S. has no moral obligations to anyone else in the world. The more I think about it, the harder it is to believe that so many MondoWeiss fans –who justifiably demonstrate outrage about Palestinian suffering– embrace Ron Paul.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      sorry ambiv, but earlier post contained a david duke link which we avoid.
      i will try and recover post and send it to you to remove that portion… phil

    • amblv, perhaps i can help you out on what appears to be some mystification wrt your comment not making it thru the nyt mods. as a new contributor here you may not be aware of our nifty commenter archives (just click on a posters user name). when you first channeled david duke a couple days ago i accessed yours. every single time you’ve mentioned him i notice. tho you have only made 8 comments on this site you have referenced him 5 times, once even linking to him (and how that passed the mods on this site is a mystery to me).

      So, tell me, is there anything that Duke says about the Zionists that you disagree with?

      classy/not. maybe you should head on over to dkos and read the slandering of phil mishmashing things he says with duke. or not. it goes without saying many of us, including you, probably share many ideas with duke. for example i bet he likes sunsets like you do. whatever.

      so i don’t know if this is your intention, to mention him 5 times over the last 2 days and that we can all expect so much more on this topic from you everyday (in which case you’d deserve a nickname like ‘mr duke’)…because i have nothing more to say about it really, it’s just baiting slanderous crap as far as i am concerned and accusations directed at commenters will probably be received as such. because it’s inflammatory rhetoric designed to ratchet up the discourse, that is probably why the nyt banned your comment. i’m just speaking for myself, these are my personal views.

      maybe others want to engage with you about your allegations.

      • Ambiv says:

        Annie, I am sorry if you found what I wrote to be slanderous. I was trying to identifiy what I believe to be a problem and the rhetoric of the person you don’t want me to mention was the easiest way to illustrate it. You’ll recall I was challenged to supply specifix examples of “rhetoric and logic” so that’s what I did. Anyway, I don’t see why I would need to mention him again unless he is part of a news story, which was the case in the NY Times story about Ron Paul. So maybe I’m now doomed to be considered to be part of the same “camp” as some of the hasbaraniks who lurk here, but I am not one of them. As I noted, I agree with many of the critiques that are voiced here about Israeli war crimes, treatment of Palestinians and others.

      • Ambiv says:

        Is what Ish said about Ron Paul also “baiting, slanderous crap?”

  23. Keith says:

    I continue to be amazed at the undue emphasized upon Presidential elections, as if electing a new person could conceivably make dramatic changes to entrenched systems of power. Presidential elections have devolved to the point of being expensive spectacles, mere diversions from the reality of real political economy.

    Over at Dissident Voice is an excellent article called “Differential Accumulation” dealing with capitalism as a system of power. Economics is mostly ideology disguised as objective “science,” most economists earning their living misrepresenting reality in service to power. It is refreshing to come upon an article which lends academic support to some of my views. There is an interesting chart showing that Middle East energy related wars were consistently preceded by sub-par oil profits, and followed by above average profits. I found it an interesting read and highly recommend it.
    link to dissidentvoice.org

  24. David Samel says:

    “Racism” comes in many forms, and the term has grown to encompass discrimination or bigotry against any people because of characteristics of birth. One of the more important variables is the destructive potential of the racist. A teenager in an Idaho basement who harbors homicidal or even genocidal thoughts against Blacks or Jews poses a problem, but probably not one that will harm any of his intended victims. On the other hand, a POTUS’s casual disregard, but not overt hatred or even dislike, of people who live in certain foreign countries, can result in the deaths of many thousands or a lot more.

    No one ever accuses Obama of “racism” but he has shown himself to be a far more destructive racist than Ron Paul would be. Obama may have inherited a couple of wars, but he has continued, widened, and expanded the War on Terror, killing God knows how many innocent people in at least six foreign countries. He made the judgment that his geopolitical world view and his domestic political considerations were worth their less valuable non-American lives. Ron Paul may or may not take his strong anti-war stance out of genuine anti-racist feelings – he probably does not – but a Paul presidency does promise to be least costly in terms of foreign lives lost. To me, that makes him by far the least racist, or the least dangerously racist, of all the candidates.

    This is not to say his newsletters are not troubling. They are obviously deplorable, inadequately explained, and indicative of moral failures of some sort on Paul’s part. And I haven’t even mentioned his views on abortion, the economy, the environment, evolution, etc. It pains me to consider these critical issues as somehow “less important,” but for my entire lifetime – I’m in my late 50’s – our country has embarked on a succession of murderous rampages in foreign countries. Noam Chomsky is perhaps the world’s foremost expert on these misadventures, and even he’s probably missed some; there are just too many to keep track. Other than a Paul Presidency, or at least a competitive candidacy that forces Obama to genuinely move toward him in some way, nothing else will break the never-ending series of wars which Americans, led by their Commanders-in-Chief, freely engage in, solely because the victims are deemed expendable. This level of violence, which dwarfs the events of 9/11 (we’ve surely killed hundreds of times the number of 9/11 victims over the past decade) and the concomitant assault on our civil liberties have been almost unanimously endorsed by prominent politicians of both parties. I can’t think of any other possibility of sanity entering the decision-making process on these issues.

    I’ve never voted Republican in my life, and have only rarely voted Democratic for President. The last four elections I went with Nader. Ron Paul is certainly no Nader but he’s much closer to him on foreign policy and civil liberties than anyone else in the race, including Obama. If he screws up domestically and causes more suffering among the vulnerable populations in the U.S. (more suffering than an alternative President, that is), it will be a high and unfortunate price to pay. But to paraphrase Panetta and Albright, who used this phrase in a truly “racist” manner, it really might be “worth it” if we can stop our addiction to killing people in other countries.

    No candidate is perfect, with the possible exception of Nader, and it all boils down to what each of us thinks is a disqualifier. Lizzy Ratner is appropriately nauseated by these newsletters, and that may trump any of Paul’s foreign policy virtues. I’m leaning in a different direction. A willingness to kill indiscriminately has long been a job requirement for POTUS and anyone who is genuinely likely to change that scores a lot of points with me. Obama’s been worse than I expected, and I had only moderate hopes to begin with. This dismal first term might very well constitute my personal disqualifier. I’m not committed to supporting Paul all the way, but I’ll certainly give it some thought. In the meantime, his success in this Republican field has been a rare positive development in a dismal political landscape.

    • Danaa says:

      Great retort and exposition, David. Agree with much of what you say, and understand where you are coming from, but for one little caveat – Nader is not perfect, either. For one, he has an ego. Fancy that! the guy is human –

    • David,
      Even on Paul’s foreign policy, I greatly wish that you would consider the math of:

      1. Ron Paul regards money as protected free speech for the purposes of campaign contributions and for lobbying.

      2. Ron Paul is a constitutionalist relative to the obligations of the presidency, that is to execute the laws that Congress enacts.

      He would have a veto, that would require two-thirds majority on legislation to override.

      If he vetoed legislation about funding Israel and then refused to execute a legislated override, or refused to execute a war authorization, he would be violating the constitution.

      • Les says:

        President Kennedy refused to spend funds allocated by Congress for specific weapons he opposed in violation of the Constitution according to your reasoning. I can’t imagine a single President who would not/has not ignored legislation he disagreed with.

      • American says:

        Says witty…

        “1. Ron Paul regards money as protected free speech for the purposes of campaign contributions and for lobbying.

        LOL….AIPAC and the Zios consider money free speech for the purposes of foreign control of the US government. So what’s your complaint?

    • Scott says:

      “Racism” comes in many forms, and the term has grown to encompass discrimination or bigotry against any people because of characteristics of birth. One of the more important variables is the destructive potential of the racist. A teenager in an Idaho basement who harbors homicidal or even genocidal thoughts against Blacks or Jews poses a problem, but probably not one that will harm any of his intended victims. On the other hand, a POTUS’s casual disregard, but not overt hatred or even dislike, of people who live in certain foreign countries, can result in the deaths of many thousands or a lot more.

      This is very smart, an order of magnitude better than anything one can read in an American newspaper column.

    • Ambiv says:

      David,
      If a candidate did manage to spark a debate about why America should not engage in destructive foreign wars, and based the argument in large part on the sufferings those wars have caused around the globe or the economic interests those wars have propped up, that would be very valuable. But Paul’s foreign policy agenda goes far beyond that.

      Look at what Paul’s web site actually says about his Israel policy. There are some aspect of it that might be attractive, but among other things, he does not favor ANY American pressure on Israel, which, to my mind, is still the only feasible hope for justice. He doesn’t even seem to favor the weak-kneed, sporadically proactive diplomacy of the sort that Obama has engaged in, or tried to engage in. And, as I noted above, he is against all foreign aid, including humitarian aid. I think the U.S. and the developed world has a great many moral obligations to the global south, but he doesn’t.

      Here is his official Israel policy. I assume you will find it troubling:

      “Israel’s Sovereignty: Ron Paul recognizes Israel’s right to make its own decisions in regards to national security and says that the US should not dictate what Israel can and cannot do: “Israel should be in charge of their sovereignty and we should never intrude on what they do, and if they want to attack Iran we shouldn’t tell them what to do or what not to do. . . . I think Israel has to do what is in their best interest, and they shouldn’t have to come ask us for permission. If they have border problems or if they have trouble with Iran — they didn’t ask us for permission to bomb the nuclear site in Iraq in the early 1980′s, and I think that was fine.” He also says: “Israel is our close friend. While President Obama’s demand that Israel make hard concessions in her border conflicts may very well be in her long-term interest, only Israel can make that determination on her own, without pressure from the United States or coercion by the United Nations.”

      “Congressional Resolution: Ron Paul was one of the only Congressmen who voted against condemning Israel for bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactors in 1981. “[A]lmost the entire US Congress voted to condemn the act, but Congressman Paul was one of the few Republicans who stood up and said Israel should not have to answer to America for how she defends herself. Remember, this was the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan that had condemned Israel, a coalition that included the most hawkish anti-Communists and the most fervent Christian conservatives.”

      “Cutting Foreign Aid to Countries Hostile to Israel: Ron Paul advocates eliminating all foreign aid because “the principle is wrong, and because it doesn’t achieve anything.” This position would help Israel because Israel would still have ample funds for defense while its enemies would be disproportionately affected. As Ron Paul said, “If we stopped all the foreign aid you say ‘oh, you’re going to hurt Israel,’ but you know, the Arab and the Muslim nations [collectively] get twice as much money.” Paul says he favors “discontinuing foreign aid to governments that are actual or potential enemies of Israel, which taken together receive much more American aid than Israel does. Giving aid to both sides has understandably made many Israelis and American Jews conclude that the American government is hypocritically hedging its bets.”

      • David Samel says:

        Ambiv, you’re right, I do find it troubling, but not as hopeless as Obama has been. With Obama, we can count on another four years of kowtowing to Israel’s demands and whims, with an occasional Sarkozy moment thrown in to show how Obama’s supposedly being compelled to take positions he would prefer not to. In these policy positions you quote, it seems to me that Paul is trying to assuage the fears of those who think he is “bad for Israel.” On the other hand, who do you think would make war with Iran more likely – Obama or Paul? As for American pressure, withdrawal of our annual stipend would constitute pressure. Indeed, there is no reason to believe that Paul would continue to give unquestioning support to Israel in the UN – even the prospect of a change of policy would constitute pressure. Besides, if it’s affirmative pressure you are seeking, start a write-in campaign for me, because neither Obama nor any of the other Republican candidates, or any conceivable candidate over the next decade or two, would likely apply that pressure.

        Ambiv, I am not very comfortable speaking on behalf of this guy. In fact, until quite recently, I never really considered it. But staying the course is not a very attractive option, and unless somebody shakes something up big time, the course is where we will stay for the foreseeable future.

  25. Scott says:

    I want to say more, and be not dismissive of Lizzy Ratner’s concerns. Politicians, like political intellectuals, move and shift their positions. Sometimes the shifts are dramatic–Whittaker Chambers and countless ex-communists, David Horowitz; sometimes less so–Christopher Hitchens, Ehud Barak — subtle enough that the personage doesn’t need to disavow the person he once was, what he once believed or allowed himself to be associated with. Still the most important thing is where the politician or writer is now, where he seems to be heading. Vis a vis Paul, I would urge the same standard as judgement as one might give to Hitchens, and the shifts in perspective are comparably dramatic (and not)–for in neither case has the shift been total, or required a disavowal of the past.
    Ron Paul is not going to be president. He is not going to be the nominee. If he were, I would probably vote for Obama. But there is zero chance of his being the nominee.
    The relevant question is, whether he will serve as an effective tribune for words that need to be said to an American mass audience about foreign affairs over the next few months, and whether in his campaign’s wake, he will leave behind a movement capable of shifting the GOP away from its knee jerk neoconservatism on foreign policy issues in the future. The chance of that ocurring seems to me considerable, if Paul does well, as the neocon ideas are so crazy that average Republicans do not support them. If the Paul campaign can manage that, it would be an historic accomplishment, well worth supporting. And well worth putting somewhat lower on the moral judgment registry his casual and opportunistic support for race-baiting that occured a political generation ago.

  26. HarryLaw says:

    I regard myself as on the left of centre in the UK which watching US politics is akin to being a rabid communist, but in the second world war who did not support Stalin in his eastern offensive against Hitler. We all knew uncle Joe was a mass murderer and Dictator, and yet he was deemed to be the lesser of two evils. And since Ron Paul is neither of the above and is unlightly to be able to implement his radical domestic economic agenda without the support of Congress, support for Paul could save hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars in perpetual wars, I think after studying Obama recently at the UN and AIPAC I think Ron Paul would be the lesser of two evils.

  27. Ron Paul tells Haaretz: I am not an anti-Semite

    U.S. presidential hopeful opposes foreign aid and believes that American support for Israel was a main cause of 9/11 terror attacks – but gives a ‘green light’ to an Israeli attack on Iran.

    link to haaretz.com

    “Responding to questions submitted before the most recent flap about anti-Semitic and racist content in his newsletters, Paul reiterated his controversial positions that American support for Israel was one of the reasons for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and stuck by his opposition to any and all foreign aid. But he said that he viewed Israel as “one of our most important friends in the world” and that he supports Israel right to attack Iran in self-defense.

    “I do not believe we should be Israel’s master but, rather, her friend. We should not be dictating her policies and announcing her negotiating positions before talks with her neighbors have even begun.” “

  28. Danaa says:

    So many good comments on this thread (and also on the previous ones that dealt with Ron Paul). And that’s one thing that’s really positive about his candidacy – it brings forth more honest – and open – discussion of issues that the village would do anything to hide and disguise. Personally, I was gratified to see that Rachel Maddow – and by extension, MSNBC, is finally forced to grapple with concerns about foreign policy issues – Iran, in particular – thanks to Paul’s surge in the polls. Of course, I have every expectation that the MSNBC hosts will do their bit in days to come to corral the issues “under discussion” into the accepted racist/not-racist, right/left veal pens. Kind of as Lizzy Ratner has done in her letter.

    There’s something that doesn’t quite smell right to me about the outrage re those newsletters. For some it may be real, for others feigned – having failed to find some other personal gaffe or mis-step to pin on Paul. Ratner, if I recall, has taken progressive discourse to task for not paying enough attention to the plight of inner city residents (if it was someone else, please correct me anyone – am speaking from memory now and it’s a known trickster). Just to use this example – the plight of inner-city black Americans is true enough, and a national disgrace, to be sure. But the Palestinians’ fate – which is what concerns us all here – is still far worse. And they are still persecuted by Jewish people – outright persecution – both by the ones in Israel and their supporters in this country. No amount of suffering by blacks can change the simple fact that what goes on in israel is heinous. And the atrocities to come will be worse still. By contrast, what is happening to blacks in the US falls in the category of deeply troubling, criminally negligent even. There’s still a world of difference between the two.

    So may be what didn’t quite feel right about this post is that it appears here, on Mondoweiss. As a response of sorts to the support Paul is getting from commenters – for many different reasons from what I read, none wholehearted either. In fact,
    I haven’t noticed anyone here adopting a full-throated approval of Ron Paul’s economic visions, or complete embrace of his libertarian approach to solving problems, or afull endorsement of the man himself as president. I did see that many consider the Austrian school economic principles naive, at best. A viewpoint I agree with. So let’s talk economics – why not? isn’t that the biggest issue of the day? for me, the mere fact that Paul puts those issues out there is a good thing, because a healthy debate can serve to educate people who are woefully ignorant of what the economic stakes are. So, by all means, let’s discuss the role of the federal reserve, let’s debate the gold standard, and the role of government in general. And most certainly, let’s debate the drums of war beating for big iran bash. Today, Romney already directed a few barbs Paul’s way on that issue. That’s good that he was forced to address the Iran bashing at all. Maybe WaPo will have to do something next. maybe NYTs will actually have to address the issue of outsize money flow to israel – for no reason anyone knows, other than the Jewish lobby wants it.

    If all anyone has to throw at paul are some 20 year old “newsletters’ that he has forcefully disavowed several times over – and a picture or two with some questionable supporters – then he must have kept himself pretty ‘clean” over the years. Which is plenty, he being no spring chicken. We should all hope that after 70 years all anyone will be able to hurl at us – after much search and digging – are a couple of untoward comments made on a few blogs, a post written in haste and/or an embarrassing photo or two.

    This little hoopla about the newsletters kind of reminds me about the anti-semitic accusations hurled at #occupy. As if the relationship between and with jews was the key concern with the movement. I thought then, as I think now, that the real concern about paul – and about occupy – is that they may not be controlled – as everything else has bee.

    Just some random thoughts here. Nothing to match the very well-argued and thoughtful points presented by other commenters, which were a joy to read. For bringing those out, kudos go to Lizzy.

    • American says:

      Astute comment Danaa.

    • stopaipac says:

      an alternative strategy Danaa is supporting the struggle for justice for all americans and supporting justice for Palestinians. Why support Paul and reject justice for all americans?

      Do you really think it a good idea to hitch the cause to someone who would undo decades of struggle for African-Americans and poor people? Who would dismantle environmental laws right and left? Should we really support the standard-bearer for the John Birch Society as a way forward? Do we really want to help make the cause of justice for Palestinians something associated with something most progressive people rightfully find disgusting?

      • American says:

        “Do you really think it a good idea to hitch the (Palestine) cause to someone who would undo decades of struggle for African-Americans and poor people?”

        This strikes me as ridiculous arguement. There is a snowballs chance in hell that civil rights would be rolled back in the US.
        As for hitching it to the Palestine cause…..let me know when gays are being slaughtered in the US and blacks are being bombed and thrown out of their homes and poor people have to go thru checkpoints to get to the emergency room.
        Do you understand how out of proportion and petty it sounds to compare the gays, black and poor in the US to Palestines who get their heads blown off by standing too near a window in their house?
        All these me,me,me petty issues are disgusting..maybe they and all Americans need to have some pure survival challenges to get them off their me,me,me’s. Do you see gays, blacks, the poor out in mass demanding anything except what they want for themselves? 1% orn 99% it’s the same….give us what we want.
        This me-ism attitude is the reason we can ‘t have a goverment that’s worth the power it would take to blow it to hell.
        Because neither the left or right will vote for anyone who simply promises to be honest and ‘fair”. Nope, you demand they promise you what ‘you’ want.
        And what you get is pandering and ‘self interested” politicians , just like their voters.

        • yourstruly says:

          demanding what “you” want? like health care for a child whose parents are too poor to afford prescribed medicines, let alone hospitalization? he fault for being born poor? these are not trivial matters to the approximately 1/2 of 300 million americans born near or below the poverty level. no, the problems of the underclass here nowhere approaches that of the palestinians in gaza, but why does it have to be one or the other?

        • American says:

          “but why does it have to be one or the other?”….yourstruly

          Why? For the reasons I laid out above. Who makes it” one way or another”?
          Let me give you an example.
          Prof. Jerome Slater posted here months back urging putting I/P on the back burner and not pressing the Dems on Israel or being anti Israel because it would hurt their election chances and ” be bad for the poor and other liberal social causes in America.”
          This what voters do ……. they make a bargin with the devil every election.
          I can’t tell you how many people I see who say…..well I don’t like so and so’s
          policy on Israel, it’s wrong , but he’s good on education and unions and I’m a teacher or whatever so I’m going to vote for him. Or a pro Israel liberal Jew who says Obama’s good on my liberal issues but he’s anti Israel so I’m gonna vote for the other guy.
          Don’t get me wrong, I am more liberal than not on social safety nets and support issues that I consider necessary to a civilized society, and I am more conserative on finanical issues and see no reason why the socially liberal and finanically conserative can’t cooperate to acheive both.
          BUT we cannot keep making these deals with the devil and selling our souls and then expect the politicians and government that we elect on that basis to be any better than we are.
          You want better government, be better people.
          I think there’s a lot of truth in people get the government they deserve.

    • Chu says:

      I thought you disappeared Danaa. I missed reading your insightful points!

  29. stopaipac says:

    What i find completely idiotic is that some believe the cause for justice in Palestine needs an individual savior, period. What we need is a mass movement for justice for all. that this particular individual is so full of extremist positions that most of us find vile makes it even worse. Connecting Ron Paul to the cause will do terrible harm to cause, as it will again help marginalize us. My god, Phil, do you really want people to associate “ending aid to Israel” with Ron Paul? Wouldn’t you want to associate it instead with a movement for justice in the US and around the world?

    • American says:

      stopaipac….

      Although I am sure you are sincere..the thing is no one wants to make a lifetime “hobby” out of supporting Palestine, we want it to end, and time is running out.
      The USA is the big fat hippo preventing Israel from being pressured into ending their occupation.
      If Paul would or could do that I’d be for him….his domestic policies would never get thru congress..neither side would support them because it would be an attack on their own bread and butter…that concern is bogus.
      It takes extreme to get rid of extreme.

    • yourstruly says:

      yes, reading through this thread is kind of a roller coaster ride, so many differing yet convincing comments. yours is the most down to earth. “wouldn’t you want to associate it instead with a movement for justice in the US and around the world?”
      not a question of wanting but of necessity, cause that’s the only answer, considering the fact that perpetual war &/or global warming = doomday & time’s running out.

  30. jnslater says:

    Ron Paul is so Godawful, on so many issues, for so long (including now), that his anti-war position makes me wonder if I’ve been wrong on this issue. If Paul is against war, maybe wars are actually good.

    • If you think that war is so good ,then go to the country that is currently at war and reside there. Gosh.

    • Shingo says:

      Mr Slater,

      Israel has been Godaweful for so long, that it makes me wonder if the fact that you still unreservedly support it (along with the supremacist status of Jews in Israel), that it makes me wonder that your criticism of occupation means occupation is good.

      • Intelligent rebuttal Shingo.

        You could have asked what Jerome objected to in Ron Paul’s proposals, to clarify even what you differed on.

      • jnslater says:

        Shingo:

        Well yes, I do unreservedly support Israel, for as I have consistently argued for about forty years, it is an absolutely wonderful place, a model democracy in all respects, a living example of enlightened Jewish and Western values, completely beyond any reasonable criticism.

        You have misunderstood me in only respect: contrary to your statement that I have criticized the occupation, so maybe (by my logic, you imply) the occupation is good, I have never done so, precisely because the occupation IS good. In fact, the Palestinians have never had it so good.

    • dahoit says:

      And maybe you are actually bad,contrary, I’m sure, to your own opinion of yourself.
      Repeat;How are we doing with these sane ,11th dimensional chess players running our world into premodern times?
      Holy,moly.

  31. libra says:

    LR: “Had enough yet”

    No I hadn’t so as Lizzy Ratner suggested, I took a few minutes to examine the newsletters on Mr. Destructo’s website. And I was astonished to find one of those odd connections from the past to the immediate present.

    I don’t want to spoil the surprise but any curious Mondoweiss reader who wants an intriguing diversion will be rewarded by a little detective work.

  32. Les says:

    We have a situation now in which Democrats in Congress support President Obama’s efforts to strangle Medicare and Medicaid. What would those same Democrats do if it were President Paul working to strangle Medicare and Medicaid?

  33. Why did you change the headline Phil?

    Your original headline described you as an independent thinker. This one describes you as something else.

  34. munro says:

    Ron Paul was one of five Republicans to vote for a House defense bill amendment that would begin the process of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell”. His reason?
    “I have received several calls and visits from constituents who, in spite of the heavy investment in their training, have been forced out of the military simply because they were discovered to be homosexual,” Paul told The Washington Post Friday.
    “To me, this seems like an awful waste. Personal behavior that is disruptive should be subject to military discipline regardless of whether the individual is heterosexual or homosexual. But to discharge an otherwise well-trained, professional, and highly skilled member of the military for these reasons is unfortunate and makes no financial sense,” Paul said.”
    link to advocate.com

  35. One final comment on Paul (who would never win the nomination let alone a general election; that aside)-

    This blog is all about struggling with the I/P issue, the stark absence of an evenhanded US role, and the realistic realization that we cannot swing it 100% in the right direction (about half of world Jewry lives in the US and the power players are Zionist, and will remain so, plus we have Christian Zionists and rampant simple islamophobia).

    Ron Paul would immediately internationalize the conflict, where it belongs. The international community is WAY ahead of the US. No more US vetoes. His presidency would advance the goal of I/P resolution, tangibly, instantaneously.

    We should love this fact.

    • American says:

      “Ron Paul would immediately internationalize the conflict, where it belongs”

      Exactly. With the US out of the way the internationals would exert their power.

  36. Krauss says:

    I agree with a lot of critical comments on this, in essence, hatchet job.

    In normal circumstances, in times of peace, Ron Paul would be gently dismissed.
    But in comparison with hundreds, if not millions(a lot of people went under in Iraq), of people falling victim to the neocons, an Arab world in much hostile territory and now Iran being aimed at, is the ranting of some newsletters 20 years ago, which he didn’t even write himself, more important?

    If you think so you are grossly incompetent.

    That being said, I wouldn’t wish Ron Paul to be president. His domestic agenda is the antithesis of everything I believe. But he is important because he is today the only antidote to the war agenda in America. He isn’t the answer, but he can be a bridge to better candidates. If he gets to become Goldstoned we will all be poorer because of it, and many, many people will die and millions will become unemployed because of the neocon agenda and the ME will be in flames again.

    Can anybody look in the mirror and say that they would allow this because of the horrible newsletters that were published in Pauls name(which, again, he did not write and former top aides have come forward lately and said he is personally not a rascist or a bigot, even if he was cynically allowing others to write bigoted stuff in his name for money)?

    If the worst Paul can be acused of is cynism, then compare that to the agenda of the neocons, which spell war and bloodshed on a massive scale, and then to freak out is the height of hypocrisy.

    • dahoit says:

      I guess you believe in bankruptcy then,huh?The antithesis is solvency.
      And the real bigots are killing,maiming,destroying people of color all over the world while you scream at ghostwritten words.Man,that’s piss poor.

  37. kma says:

    zionism is racism. Ratner’s argument doesn’t cite any votes or bill sponsorships.

  38. American says:

    I haven’t been thru this yet but you can view Paul’s profile by bills, votes, etc. during his terms and then check out his ratings by projectvotesmart.
    I did notice one thing, his largest contributor was the US military…meaning military members donations.

    link to govtrack.us

    • He has more from active military right now than all other republican candidates *combined*. The main pull for them is the antiwar, come home message. However, that is a paltry ~40k right now. Spare change. His millions in campaign donations come from everyday supporters, nationwide, often with “moneybombs”.

      Further, he is clearly consistent, and basically will take whoever’s money, without granting such any influence.

  39. joer says:

    A few years ago, I was walking my dog in my neighborhood and I happened to see the God Hates Fags church people protesting in front of a synagogue carrying signs that said “God hates Israel”. I guess if Phil did a post on that incident, there would have been a chorus of comments here saying it’s great news that evangelical churches are taking up the Palestinian cause and that maybe the church isn’t that crazy anyway and maybe God does hate fags. Personally, I would think that attitude, like these sudden accolades for Ron Paul on this site are examples of extreme myopia and knee jerk politics.

  40. The villanous Dr No wants to take away our rights, he is a known confidant to the joker and the penguin, and also believed to be in cahoots with the riddler in his many schemes to take down Gotham city.

    cruella deville and skeletor also are known accomplices of the evil Dr No.

  41. the dastardly Dr No at his evil best.
    This new video by Revolution PAC, relating an unknown story from Dr. Paul’s days as a physician, deserves a wide viewership. Sixty- and thirty-second versions for TV may be in the offing as well.

    link to lewrockwell.com

  42. Citizen says:

    Ron Paul supporters seek balanced news–this separates them from most Americans.

    link to examiner.com

  43. It has been said that when Ron Paul posed in that picture, he did not know with whom he was standing. At public events it is common for people to approach the speaker and ask if he or she may have a picture taken. It would be fair to note this point. If someone can show otherwise, I will be happy to acknowledge the error.

  44. jnslater says:

    Donald and Scott:

    No need for an investigation: Yes, it was me. I would not say “sarcastic,” though. By pointing out the reductio ad absurdem of Shingo, I was trying to highlight the utter inability of he and his like-minded Shingoists on Mondoweiss to comprehend plain English, to make elementary distinctions, and to be capable of even rudimentary balance.

    The fundamental premise of so many people on this site is that everything about Israel, without exception, is utterly hateful, perhaps the most hateful thing in the world, and there is no such thing as anti-Semitism, only anti-Zionism, which by definition is an unmitigated good. Even “liberal Zionists” (“Zios”), maybe ESPECIALLY liberal Zionists, are to be scorned and derided.

    Therefore, the touchstone of all assessments of politicians, writers, newspapers, etc. is whether they also hate every single thing about Israel, no matter what else they also hate. Although it is a trivial matter, of course, that explains why I am regarded on this site (but nowhere else) as uncritically “pro-Israel,” no matter how strongly critical I have been about Israel for some forty years, and no matter how self-evidently preposterous that charge is. Even more absurdly, even Normal Finkelstein (!!) has recently come under a similar attack here.

    But the really non-trivial matter, is the defense of Ron Paul here. Even before we have learned about his life-long anti-Semitism, racism, and various crackpot views, it was known he was ranked the single most right-wing Congressmen in the last 25 years! Can you imagine the implications of that fact? No matter, he’s against aid to Israel, so that trumps everything.

    • dahoit says:

      I can smell the smoke coming from your shorts over the internet.
      Crackpots are those who believe endless war,greed and tribalism are important human endeavors to be emulated worldwide instead of condemned.
      And he will end aid to your hated Muslim self made enemies,doesn’t that warm the cockles of your heart?
      Repeat,the current leaders of America,Britain and Israel(among others )are the real crackpots,witness their fruits,or have you just been reading the MSM?

    • Even being against aid to Israel in his historical statements if relevant to his role as a renegade House member.

      As prospective president though, he’s come out as regarding campaign and lobbying money as constitutionally protected free speech. He certainly wouldn’t propose, and likely would veto any legislation that regulated campaign or lobbying contributions.

      His only powers to confront the influence of the Israel lobby, including their support for settlement expansion, would be the bully pulpit, assertions of unconstitutionality or veto. But, a veto can be overridden by a 2/3 majority.

      If a war powers resolution overrode his veto, he’d be obliged to honor it.

    • GalenSword says:

      From a parochial American standpoint the alliance with Israel should trump everything else. I calculate the cost of the US alliance with Israel at about $10 trillion. It is hard to identity a greater threat to the USA than the Zionist economic sinkhole.

    • Danaa says:

      Jerry, this
      “Even before we have learned about his life-long anti-Semitism, racism, and various crackpot views, it was known he was ranked the single most right-wing Congressmen in the last 25 years!”

      is unbecoming of you. What “anti-semitic” views? has any been documented? what about “racist” views? can you provide any quotations from anything Ron paul actually said or wrote?

      As for the “most right-wing”, maybe you are forgetting a few. There’s Cantor for example – a right-wing boob-job par excellance, just to use a present-day example. Then there are the pretenders Lieberman and McCain who have never seen a war they didn’t like, and no amount of shed blood was enough for them. Which, BTW, included a disproportionate number of blacks and minorities among the military casualties, a military in which Jewish recruits and/or officers are a rarity. Oh – but Lieberman at least is “liberal” on minorities. Sure he is, as part of some mean-spirited political calculation. Just like so many other “liberals” and “progressives” – jewish and otherwise – who pick and choose which cause(s) are kosher and which are treif.

      What really worries you, I think, is that there are people on the left who feel they can work with someone like Ron Paul a heck of a lot better than with someone like Cantor or the rest of the crazy republicans currently in congress. Now, that remains to be proven, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this contention put to the test. I especially wouldn’t mind seeing paul engaged in a real debate on issues of substance that matter to us all – or should. Be they economic, governmental, defense or civil liberties related.

      Like everyone else here, I see Paul’s economic views and attitudes on government as not remotely practical. But then, he has hardly gotten any push-back on those from you – or anyone in the Republican field for that matter. Why? is it beneath you to comment on libertarianism as a political/economic viewpoints? are thee too “crack-pot’ to even consider? why the push-back on some age-old newsletter long disavowed? why is that more important than, say, Paul’s objection to the more egregious civil rights violations brought forth in the patriot act? he is on the right side on that issue, as far as you are concerned, ain’t he? what about his position on drug legalization? no comment there – or on disproportionate imprisonement of blacks either – from the great liberal bastions of individual right defenders.

      Most importantly, why won’t you take on Paul’s reputed “isolationism”? why is his anti-war, anti-empire views so incosequential to you? they are not, you know, for the 100′s of thousands who died countless horrible death thanks to America’s military projections. Or the atrocities inflicted daily upon Palestinians by a zealous, nut-case Israel which America supports, including all the fine liberals in Congress like Wasserman-Schultz – who just can’t have enough bills introduced to torture palestinians further into submission, and disappear them as well as only “true” liberal democrats can.. All this death and torture must surely be minor, as compared with the – oh, so vile – words from 20 year old newsletter, which are, apparently, the epitome of dread and horror.

      What I like about the surge in Paul’s candidacy is that it brings all kind of interesting conflicts and prejudices out of the wood-shed, where they have long lain hidden.

      BTW, if you want to see real-life anti-semitism (not the make-believe one you seem to fear), Israel is where you’ll find it in spades. Compared to the hatreds [some] jewish people there have against each other, why – Ron paul is mother Theresa (or, was she a hidden anti-semite too?). As for visceral contempt and prejudice against people not like themselves, again, ditto. And guess what – some of the more gut-wrenching spite from your fellow Judean travellers in that holly-la-la-land is, actually, directed at liberal, “black-loving” people such as yourself (yes, there’s a hebrew word – actually several – for that, and it ain’t pretty but is often used, that is, if one does not play deaf). If I were you, I’d take that much more personally than some pronouncements made by Paul’s long ago supporters, which seem to have riled you so.

    • Donald says:

      “The fundamental premise of so many people on this site is that everything about Israel, without exception, is utterly hateful, perhaps the most hateful thing in the world, and there is no such thing as anti-Semitism, only anti-Zionism, which by definition is an unmitigated good. Even “liberal Zionists” (“Zios”), maybe ESPECIALLY liberal Zionists, are to be scorned and derided.

      Therefore, the touchstone of all assessments of politicians, writers, newspapers, etc. is whether they also hate every single thing about Israel, no matter what else they also hate. Although it is a trivial matter, of course, that explains why I am regarded on this site (but nowhere else) as uncritically “pro-Israel,” no matter how strongly critical I have been about Israel for some forty years, and no matter how self-evidently preposterous that charge is. Even more absurdly, even Normal Finkelstein (!!) has recently come under a similar attack here.”

      I agree with some of what you say here, but I want to defend myself regarding how I also criticize “liberal Zionists”. I make sarcastic remarks about “liberal Zionists”, but I’ve also said that the category includes a very broad range of people. Or to keep it simple, two types. There are liberal Zionists like yourself, who think that the history of persecution of Jews proves the need for a Jewish state, without ever denying the injustices and atrocities committed to bring it about. I feel like I can disagree respectfully with someone like you and freely admit that in the first half of the 20th century there was a very strong case to be made for a Jewish state. Western society had been traditionally anti-semitic for centuries and this all culminated in the Holocaust. Where I disagree is that Israel is the solution to this. It seems to have just generated a new set of problems and a new set of hatreds and injustices to be rectified. Zionism as it was actually enacted looks more like the tail end of the era of Western colonialism. It seems to drive some Israel supporters crazy when people say this, but it remains true. A persecuted people (in this case, Jews) can easily switch roles and become the persecutors when they move elsewhere. American history shows that well enough.

      Then there are the other “liberal Zionists”, amply represented by a rather prolific commenter here. This group claims to be liberal, but when discussing the issues it soon becomes clear that they are incapable of being honest about Israeli crimes. Their liberalism is largely a farce. So when I make nasty comments about “liberal Zionists”, I mean members of this last group. I think this form of “liberal Zionism” bears much of the blame for the state of the conflict. By limiting the criticism allowed to be leveled at Israel, they’ve basically enabled Israel to continue down the path it has taken.

      As for this blog, yeah, people do have tunnel vision sometimes and it manifests itself in various ways. I like some of what Paul says on US foreign policy, but his domestic policy ideas are so extreme I couldn’t support him. If he got in office it would be taken as a sign that the American people had given him a mandate for drastic change on the domestic front, even if he couldn’t enact all of what he favored. This is leaving aside whether or not he is a racist or an anti-semite or merely dumb enough to let racists and anti-semites put out horrible articles under his name.

      As for Norman Finkelstein, his record speaks for itself. One doesn’t have to agree with every single stand he takes to notice that he has been one of the most effective and detailed critics of Israeli crimes around, and as for being a Zionist, one of his books (forgot the name) contains an essay detailing the similarities between Zionist rhetoric and the rhetoric of other Western colonizers. He even uses the Nazi comparison. A rather odd sort of Zionist.

      • Donald,
        On principle, I will not judge, unless compelled to, and then only with full evidence.

        So, by that criteria, I am inevitably one of the “category”.

        I’ve been on a jury, and very reluctantly convicted a young kid to a jail sentence, not because he deserved to be punished, but because the law was defined very clearly (and unfairly).

        From that experience, I realized that I did NOT want to judge others carelessly.

        My activist days are gone because of that unwillingness to judge without full evidence, and on all matters of state and secrecy, I cannot possibly have full evidence.

        Its a common dilemma. You should respect it more.

        If you would reframe your criteria as what do I propose, and what do I do to realize that, you might find more to respect.

        • Donald says:

          “On principle, I will not judge, unless compelled to, and then only with full evidence.”

          Richard, you’re the bigot who thinks he’s Gandhi. The fact is you have double standards and judge Palestinian and other Arab attacks on Israeli Jews without full evidence and have no problem condemning them, which would be fine, except that you hem and haw and adopt a completely different tune when it comes to Israeli Jewish attacks on Palestinians and other Arabs. You can fool yourself on this, and you’ve amply demonstrated it numerous times.

          “My activist days are gone because of that unwillingness to judge without full evidence, and on all matters of state and secrecy, I cannot possibly have full evidence.”

          Yeah, state and secrecy prevent you from having full evidence. Poor Richard. Israel prevents you from knowing all you need to know to ever condemn them.

          Jerome, in case you read this, Richard is, as he gathered, the prime example of who I was talking about at this blog. But he’s far from unique. Tom Friedman is like this, Obama is sometimes like this, and, well, since you wrote the long piece comparing Ha’aretz with NYT coverage of the conflict, you’re aware that among liberal Zionists, some take their liberalism seriously and some don’t.

        • Cliff says:

          Richard, you’re the bigot who thinks he’s Gandhi.

          EXACTLY.

          That is the most succinct description of this Richard Witty character to date. Perfect.

        • So don’t listen to my perceptions.

          I do think that I have insight into what constructs effective non-violent dissent.

          I have been activist, and reject it. I am still an activist in the sense of community organizing, but for objectives and efforts, really never against anything except perhaps commercialism and auto-centric society.

          I do demonstrate with the local “occupy” movement, but am wary of it. There are so many incoherent and poorly conceived statements that come from some of us. The theme of the 99% rings true to me, more than rings true.

          I do fear the anti-Zionist movement. I fear their often callousness towards Israelis. I fear the deference to Palestinian solidarity that also expresses callousness to Israelis, and PRETENDS to be an advocate for comprehensive social justice when they mean that they are advocates for their own community.

          So, that is what you see, that fear of activist excess. But, you don’t see it as that, you consistently express it as some complicit conspiracy with likud Zionism.

          It ain’t so. I wish that you would have respected that even for an official in organized Jewry (treasurer of my shul), I willingly advocated on my blog for support of the Abbas petition to the UN.

          I know you think that that is inconsequential, but it is the stand that an activist would encourage, that a person with some even insignificant official role, would make that statement and publicly.

          I’m 57 now, not 25. My livelihood rests on my public reputation. I’m as much as an activist as I intend to be.

          And, I honestly convey my sense of hypocrisy when activists ignore the Palestinians role in the circle, and instead describe it as only an oppression.

      • jnslater says:

        Donald:

        No need to defend yourself at all, as I certainly did not have you in mind when I referred to the Mondoweissers who hate liberal Zionists. Yes, we have some disagreements, but I always find your comments to be cogent and reasonable, whether or not I agree with them–and, in fact, I mostly do.

        Perhaps one of the problems here is simply a definitional one. You justly criticize those you characterize as liberal Zionists who can’t bring themselves to criticize Israeli policies, even criminal ones. But even if such people define themselves as liberal, they are no such thing in my view, and in my understanding of what liberal Zionism entails. If we want an understanding of what a true liberal Zionist stands for, we need look no further (as Scott has pointed out) than Uri Avnery, who has heroically opposed Israeli policies in the most unsparing and direct terms for over sixty years. Yet, he is certainly a Zionist, identifies himself as such, opposes binationalism as unworkable and undesirable, and wishes to live in a Jewish state.

        • Donald says:

          Jerome, thanks. I just wanted to clarify my position, since I do regularly take potshots at “liberal Zionists”. It is a definitional problem as you say. In fact it’s broader than just Zionism–in my opinion part of the problem with the word “liberal” is that it is often used about people or organizations (like the NYT) which often take positions which are far from liberal. The New Republic is a famous example, because they pulled this trick so often back in the 80′s it became a cliche–”Even the liberal New Republic supports Reagan on the contras” and so forth. But I suspect people like yourself and Uri Avnery and others are the kind who would be able to sit down with Palestinians and actually work something out (if you were Israeli, that is.)

          Cliff–Yeah, that phrase came to me yesterday as the perfect summary of RW’s positions and behavior here.

          Richard–I’ve not criticized your personal choices in life or your level of activism. In fact I recall praising your choices as admirable after something you said about your professional life at this blog maybe a year ago. (I don’t remember exactly when it was.) And I don’t doubt that working within some segments of the Jewish community you’re more liberal on this issue than many and try to shift people away from far right positions. Fine. Good for you. It doesn’t get you off the hook for the double standards you manifest here. You’ve been displaying those standards for as long as I’ve read this blog, which is a few years now.

        • I request that you dialog with me Jerome.

          Before throwing rocks.

        • Donald says:

          Richard, you’d probably do better to shut up and listen to what he has to say.

        • I learn by discussion, in which my perceptions are given some weight even if disagreed with. Very rarely by being called names.

          Most others are similar.

          Every time I “shut up and listen to what he has to say”, I ask why you conclude x.

          That that path is not open to me with his boycotting me, it makes my participation difficult here, limited to being called names.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘I have an odd understanding of the word “boycott.” Professor Jerry Slater is engaged in vigorous discussion on this thread with other Mondoweiss visitors. I insist that he also respond to my posts, even though I am characteristically barely coherent. When he doesn’t, for whatever reason, I arrogantly accuse him of “boycotting” me.
          ‘It’s no wonder I don’t understand the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement.’

        • Boycott is an accurate term. Ask him.

          There is no dialog between my “version” of liberal Zionism and his.

          There could be and there should be.

          Phil accuses the milque-toast liberal Zionists of not being willing to dialog. I am.

        • Hostage says:

          If we want an understanding of what a true liberal Zionist stands for, we need look no further (as Scott has pointed out) than Uri Avnery, who has heroically opposed Israeli policies in the most unsparing and direct terms for over sixty years.

          Adopting anti-Zionism doesn’t require anyone to hate Zionists any more than adopting the Democratic party platform requires a person to hate Republicans. Avnery certainly doesn’t advocate the persecution or occupation, but he is nonetheless an example of someone born in another country who is still something of a segregationist in his adopted homeland. He has granted himself different and better rights there than the indigenous Palestinian population. link to mediamonitors.net

          For example, even when Avnery writes in support of the Palestinian right of return and equality, those rights are only something that are subject to further negotiation, unlike the Jewish right of return and equality. He is still advocating for the return of the bulk of the refugees to the new Palestinian state, not to their former homes in Israel – although he says they should have the right to occasionally visit those places. So, he too still wishes to maintain some of the demographic advantages that the Jews obtained by driving these Palestinians into exile in 1948. He also argues, somewhat controversially, that the cost of compensating the refugees should be shared by Israel and the member-states of the United Nations because they supposedly voted for the partition and did not lift a finger to prevent the tragedy of the refugees.

          Uri Avnery, like Ron Paul, has been associated with Lew Rockwell (who supposedly ghost authored the offensive Ron Paul newsletters). Avnery is a contributing author at Rockwell’s news and opinion website:
          link to lewrockwell.com
          link to lewrockwell.com
          link to lewrockwell.com

        • Philip Weiss says:

          very helpful statement, Hostage

        • How is that a helpful statement?

          What did you find helpful about it?

          Do you support the implication that those that have lived in homes (almost entirely different ones than were vacated in 1948), should be dispossessed?

          And, have you asked Uri Avnery personally, or seen some confirming writing, to support Hostage’s spin that Uri is an enthusiastic beneficiary of ill-gotten privilege.

          You are a beneficiary of ill-gotten privilege. I’m sure Hostage is. Will you give your homes up to the “original” owners?

          Is that the way to right the wrong, to heal the pain?

        • Hostage says:

          And, have you asked Uri Avnery personally, or seen some confirming writing, to support Hostage’s spin that Uri is an enthusiastic beneficiary of ill-gotten privilege.

          Richard, I gave you a link to Avnery’s article on the Right of Return in which he described a Palestinian right of return completely unlike the Jewish right of return which is the subject of an unqualified statutory guarantee. He nonsensically admits that the right of return can’t be denied. Then he dissembles at length – diverting the bulk of the refugees from Israel to the new Palestinian State in the process – before admitting that his lame-assed proposal falls far short of the Palestinian demands or anything resembling a right that cannot be denied:

          The right of return is a basic human right and cannot be denied in our time.

          A short time ago, the international community fought a war against Serbia in order to implement the right of the Kossovars to return to their homes. . . .

          I propose that the State of Israel recognize the Right of Return in principle, pointing out that the implementation of the principle will come about by way of negotiation and agreement.

          It is clear that the return of millions of Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel would completely change the character of the state, contrary to the intentions of its founders and most of its citizens. It would abolish the principle of Two States for Two Peoples, on which the demand for a Palestinian state is based.

          All this leads to the conclusion that most of the refugees who opt for return will find their place in the State of Palestine. . . . . there is no way to avoid the return of an appropriate number of refugees to the State of Israel. The exact number must be decided upon by an negotiation between Israel and Palestine.

          This part of the plan will arouse the strongest opposition in Israel. As a matter of fact, not a single Israeli politician or thinker has dared to propose it. The extreme opposition exists both on the Right and the Left of the Israeli spectrum. . . . The decisive question is: How many can be brought back? Minimalists may speak about 100 thousand, maximalists about half a million. I myself have proposed an annual quota of 50 thousand for 10 years. . . . Even the historian Benny Morris, who played such an important role in exposing the expulsion of 1948, is ready only for “perhaps a trickle of refugees being allowed to return to Israel – a few thousand, no more.”

          I am aware that the offer far from satisfies the Palestinian demands. But I am convinced that the great majority of Palestinians know that it is the price that both sides have to pay in order to leave behind the painful past and prepare for the building of their future in the two states.

          You are a beneficiary of ill-gotten privilege. I’m sure Hostage is. Will you give your homes up to the “original” owners?

          Richard I’m not a segregationist and I’m not interested in maintaining the demographic benefits of ethnic cleansing. I’m not trying to deny anyone equal rights or prevent people of another ethnicity from living in the same neighborhood, city, county, or state.

          FYI, the title search on the deed to my house indicated that the land was part of a fee simple land grant, a private reservation, made to a “half breed” individual under the terms of the Kansa-Kaw Treaty of 1825. It was legally purchased in 1899. In 1925 the tribes brought a claim for compensation for lands alienated through acts of Congress, like the Kansas-Nebraska and Homestead Acts. See Public Law No. 577 (68th Congress 1925). link to ftp.resource.org

          A title search was conducted in connection with the case and a quit claim deed, signed by the Attorney representing the tribes in favor of the original purchaser, his heirs, and assignees was provided.

        • You think that a piece of paper is compensation for being forced from collective tribal lands?

          I say that with tongue-in-cheek.

          I’m surprised to hear you rationalize so.

          If it it weren’t the case that a tribe was a party to the transfer, would you have gone elsewhere on principle?

        • Hostage says:

          You think that a piece of paper is compensation for being forced from collective tribal lands?

          Since it was an uncontested bill of sale for the purchase at fair market price from the Indian who owned it in 1899, you bet. As I pointed out above, it was privately owned and wasn’t part of the collective tribal lands of the Kansa and Kaw tribes.

          I’m surprised to hear you rationalize so.

          I’m surprised to hear you say that a quit claim deed issued by the tribes to one of their own members for a private reservation was a rationalization. For example, the 31st Vice President of the United States, Charles Curtis, was a descendant of a “half-breed” who grew-up on one of the many private reservations in Kansas. He also spent time on one of tribal reservations in Council Grove. Curtis’ grandmother Julie Gonville Pappan received “Half-Breed Reservation No. Four,” directly across the river from the Kansas capital where Curtis practiced law and sold real estate. His father lost a lawsuit for his share of the reservation to his own siblings. link to californiaindianeducation.org

          If it it weren’t the case that a tribe was a party to the transfer, would you have gone elsewhere on principle?

          The members of the Tribes have long since pursued their own legal remedies and they have been given land settlements, compensation, royalties, and of course citizenship. Members can purchase properties on the open market like the rest of us and have the all the same rights as you or I do, but they also enjoy a treaty and statutory relationship with the federal government that we don’t. They also have on-going class action lawsuits against the federal government over unpaid land royalties and I think they’ll prevail.

  45. Amar says:

    RP will never be president no matter how popular he gets. Never underestimate the power and creativity of Zionists to destroy whomever becomes a threat to their enterprise. I would worry for his life if he ever got close to the presidency.

  46. Ambiv says:

    Phil, you wrote “Many on our side have as priorities an end to drones, an end to occupation, an end of the Patriot Act, an end of Guantanamo, and an end of the threats to Iran, and an end of aid to Israel. How much of a priority are these issues? I havent figured that out myself.”

    I appreciate the fact that you acknowledge that this is a tough call. But, judging from their comments, others here who are embracing Paul have clearly made a concious choice that his stance on Israel and the chance that he will oppose a war with Iran trump all of his stances on domestic issues, and they will support him. I find that alarming.

    One premise that your blog has helped to usher into the discourse is that Americans in the Israel lobby have put Israel’s interests first, and that aid to Israel should be directed to helping struggling Americans. But if the mentality of Israel Firsters is objectionable, the mentality of some of the Anti-Israel Firsters is only a little less objectionable.

    The comment by “American” is an admittedly extreme example: “…let me know when gays are being slaughtered in the US and blacks are being bombed and thrown out of their homes and poor people have to go thru checkpoints to get to the emergency room…Do you understand how out of proportion and petty it sounds to compare the gays, black and poor in the US to Palestines who get their heads blown off by standing too near a window in their house?”

    Huh? In the country that I live in, many of the so-called “near-poor” are now descending into abject poverty, the poor could soon lose the social safety net that can mean the difference between life and death, racist voting laws and racist gerrymandering are being embraced by Republican-dominated state legislatures, and on-and- on.. Paul would exacerbate these problems if he were in power. Of course the plight of the vast majority pf Americans is not nearly as dire and appalling as the plight of Palestinans under occupation, but that is no reason to embrace a candidate whose domestic policies are based on a radical libertarianism that would let our immediate neighbors and fellow citizens sink or swim and won’t throw them a lifeline.

    Moreover, Paul is against humanitarian aid to help people who are starving and plagued with AIDSs in the global south, and if one is forced to put people on a scale of victimization and suffering, I am afraid they are even worse off than the Palestinians. To me, embracing this guy is a Deal with the Devil that is nearly–although not quite– as objectionable as the deal made by the Israel Firsters.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      this site came about for me because of outrage at the iraq war.
      our country now seems to be following the same path toward war with iran.
      this is maybe the most important issue to me in this political discourse right now. i think that war could be disastrous in any number of ways.
      how many candidates are taking a strong stance for negotiation and diplomacy, not war?

      • Ambiv says:

        Understood. But the other ideas he is introducting into the discourse are very dangerous.If those ideas start to get taken seriously by many more Americans, is that a price worth paying? I think there is a very very slight chance that the U.S. will attack Iran. But when all is said and done, the chances of an all-out war against immigrants, the destruction of the social safety net, and completely unregulated capitalism are a bit higher. It’s a matter of weighing the odds…

      • MRW says:

        I’m with you on this war thing, Phil. It trumps all other concerns for me because if it happens, I am convinced that we will have bombs on our shores. For the first time ever. It won’t make a damn bit of difference who’s racist and who’s not; in fact, there will be instant anti-semitism among a large swath of the country because the push for war will be associated with Israel. The US is currently backing terrorist groups (like Jundullah) operating in Balochistan on it’s eastern border with Pakistan. That is the only way into Iran with a supply chain. The borders further north with Pakistan and Afghanistan were described by a NPR reporter over there as “steak knives,” impenetrable muontains. They can’t go in from the west: planes would have to fly over a 14,000 ft NW-SE mountain range a 1/3 of the way into Iran that is full of anti-missile and anti-aircraft sites, and the Russian fleet is parked north of Iran in the Caspian Sea. It’s a suicide mission for our guys because there’s no way of refueling, and if the US bombed, Russia would cut off the fuel lines to our troops in Afghanistan who would starve and be sitting ducks without tanks that run. Pakistan is turning Anti-American, especially among the youth, because of the senseless drone attacks on citizens, so they won’t let the US use its airspace to get the troops out of Afghanistan.

        And I worry, further, that there could even be an event, like a bomb, that goes off somewhere in the US that is blamed on the enemy of the hour to get Americans to go along with it. They’re trying to goad Iran into closing the Straits of Hormuz, which is a provocation that could ignite it. The fact that Israeli leaders went nutso when Panetta said a war with Iran “consume the Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret” is both appalling and terrifying. How anyone can stand for Israel doing this is beyond me.

        From The Daily Beast yesterday:

        U.S., Israel Discuss Triggers for Bombing Iran’s Nuclear Infrastructure

        Dec 28, 2011 4:45 AM EST

        The Obama administration is trying to assure Israel privately that it would strike Iran militarily if Tehran’s nuclear program crosses certain “red lines”—while attempting to dissuade the Israelis from acting unilaterally. Eli Lake reports exclusively.

        When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opined earlier this month that an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities could “consume the Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret,” the Israelis went ballistic behind the scenes. Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, lodged a formal diplomatic protest known as a demarche. And the White House was thrust into action, reassuring the Israelis that the administration had its own “red lines” that would trigger military action against Iran, and that there is no need for Jerusalem to act unilaterally.

        Panetta’s seemingly innocent remarks on Dec. 2 triggered the latest drama in the tinder-box relationship that the Obama administration is trying to navigate with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. With Republicans lining up to court Jewish donors and voters in America in 2012, Obama faces a tricky election-year task of ensuring Iran doesn’t acquire a nuclear bomb on his watch while keeping the Israelis from launching a preemptive strike that could inflame an already teetering Middle East.

        The stakes are immensely high, and the distrust that Israelis feel toward the president remains a complicating factor. Those sentiments were laid bare in a speech Netanyahu’s minister of strategic affairs, Moshe Ya’alon, gave on Christmas Eve in Jerusalem, in which he used Panetta’s remarks to cast doubt on the U.S.’s willingness to launch its own military strike.

        Read the whole thing. It’s terrifying.
        link to thedailybeast.com

        • MRW says:

          Netanyahu is batshit insane, and so are the Generals backing him in this. Israel deserves to be wiped off the map if it goes ahead with this. It is endangering the whole world.

      • Chu says:

        this site came about for me because of outrage at the iraq war.

        -Thanks for reminding me how I got here. The outrage of what
        was happening during that period and the decade that followed.

      • jnslater says:

        Flash: This just in. Bad news for Phil and others who would Deal with the Devil, especially because of Paul’s correct antiwar views, and in particular because of his opposition to an Israeli or US attack on Iran. Not to mention because Paul is supposedly supports ending the Israeli occupation and withdrawing the settlers.

        Dear me. Ron Paul has just given an interview with Haaretz, in which he says:

        “I am the one candidate who would respect Israel’s sovereignty and not try to dictate to her about how she should deal with her neighbors. I supported Israel’s right to attack the Iraqi nuclear reactor in the 1980s, and I opposed President Obama’s attempt to dictate Israel’s borders this year.”

        Q. In the Fox News presidential debate you expressed understanding and even sympathy for the Iran having nuclear weapons. But Israelis view an Iranian nuclear capability as an existential threat to their country. Do you disagree?

        A. Paul: “…there’s a key fact that it seems is being overlooked when my positions are discussed. I believe I’m the only candidate who would allow Israel to take immediate action to defend herself without having to get our approval. Israel should be free to take whatever steps she deems necessary to protect her national security and sovereignty.”

        Well, this may be a setback, but of course these startling positions can be explained: it’s not just that he is a mere politician after all, expediently changing his views so he can get the Republican nomination. Rather, he has grown over time, he is moving in the right direction, and it is only his current views that should be considered.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Slater,

          Every ball you swing at you miss. There is nothing objectionable in Ron Paul’s policy positions here — they are perfectly reasonable and certainly consistent with libertarian values.

          If Israel were free to pursue its interests, and Americans were free to pursue theirs, there is little chance that Israel would attack Iran. I am sure that Ron Paul understands the implications of his statements here.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “There is nothing objectionable in Ron Paul’s policy positions here — they are perfectly reasonable and certainly consistent with libertarian values.”

          That presumes that there is nothing objectionable in libertarian values.

        • MRW says:

          Jerry,

          Paul’s position on this was known, at least by me, the last time he ran for Prez in 2008. (He’s always had this position about letting countries do what they want.) I didn’t look up the article in Haaretz, but I wonder if he gave the other half of the story: He doesn’t think the US should be fighting Israel’s wars for it. So Israel is free, from his perspective, to go and bomb whoever it wants, but it cannot count on the US, from his perspective, to provide the planes, the men, and the materiel. In other words, Israel can go it alone.

        • I think Jerry is noting that Paul’s views are ideological, and will have NONE of the hoped for affect on foreign policy.

          As a Congressman, his anti-war voice is significant. As President, he has none.

        • Slater, you continue to expose yourself as the epitome of what I have had to deal with while doing Palestine support work for the past 40 years. It has not been AIPAC, the AJC, ADL, or the JCRC’s that have put up the roadblocks to doing something about Israel and its occupation of Palestine within the progressive movement, it has been Jews such as yourself, whether they were self proclaimed “liberal Zionists” or others who claimed to be “anti-Zionists” but whose tribal loyalties, consciously or unconsciously, trumped everything else and, repeatedly showed themselves ready to sacricice the Palestinians, the Lebanese, and what little is left of our democracy, on the altar of Jewish sensibilities.

          For the record, I am not only anti-Zionist, I am anti-Israel since it is Zionism revealed in all its ugliness, in three dimensions and living color. Given Israel and its American agents’ ever expanding influence over US foreign policy and our media, like a cancer out of control, plus the fact that it is has several hundred nuclear weapons at its disposal. including nuclear armed subs, makes it for me, and for others, the greatest danger to the future of the planet which is why I am for its complete dismantlement by the international community.

          It is not, of course, the only evil entity on our beleaguered planet, but is the only one besides those whose strings its pulls in Washington that threatens its existence.

          Believe me, it was with good reasons that in 2003, the last time Gallup dared to take such a poll, that 7500 people in 15 European countries voiced their opinion that Israel was the greatest threat to world peace, more so than Iran or North Korea.

        • jnslater says:

          So, Blankfort, it’s just little old me, disguised as merely an elderly retired prof at a little-known university, working from Buffalo, the very epicenter of global Zionist power (we chose this place precisely because we knew that no one would suspect that this is the real Center of Zionism) that has the real power (not the Israel lobby, meaning “AIPAC, the AJC, ADL, or the JCRC’s”) to “put up the roadblocks to doing something about Israel.” Who knew?

          And what powers of perception you have! How many others–well, plenty here on Mondoweiss, actually–have understood that embedded in my forty years of severe criticism of Israel was code for my marching orders to those front groups under my control, which was this: man the roadblocks and get “ready to sacricice [sic] the Palestinians, the Lebanese, and what little is left of our democracy, on the altar of Jewish sensibilities.”

        • Since you not surprisingly selectively quoted from what I said, professor, I will repeat en toto, with a spelling correction, the paragraph that you disparaged:

          “Slater, you continue to expose yourself as the epitome of what I have had to deal with while doing Palestine support work for the past 40 years. It has not been AIPAC, the AJC, ADL, or the JCRC’s that have put up the roadblocks to doing something about Israel and its occupation of Palestine within the progressive movement, it has been Jews such as yourself, whether they were self proclaimed “liberal Zionists” or others who claimed to be “anti-Zionists” but whose tribal loyalties, consciously or unconsciously, trumped everything else and, repeatedly showed themselves ready to sacrifice the Palestinians, the Lebanese, and what little is left of our democracy, on the altar of Jewish sensibilities.”

          Your response just validates my argument. When one examines why the Palestinian support movement has been, let’s face it, an utter failure to this point on the American political scene, it has been folks with the more or less the same position on Israel as yourself, that have played a major part, as, willy-nilly, everyone who has pushed for a “two-state” solution instead of demanding an end to US aid to Israel. Period.

          Before MW, I had never heard of you in all the years that I have been working on this issue, professor, but you can probably find yourself in this article I wrote some years back on the “Israel Lobby and the Left: Uneasy Questions”: link to leftcurve.org

        • jeffrey, that reminds me of what martin said in the Letter from a Birmingham Jail about the white moderate “Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

        • American says:

          “disguised as merely an elderly retired prof at a little-known university, working from Buffalo, the very epicenter of global Zionist power (we chose this place precisely because we knew that no one would suspect that this is the real Center of Zionism”…Slater

          For an elderly retired prof that sounds exactly like the juvenile snark of the rabid little zio kids over at Dkos. The ones that always do the JOOOS spelling thing and other childish crap.
          What do you think you accomplish with this ?

    • American says:

      “the mentality of some of the Anti-Israel Firsters is only a little less objectionable.
      The comment by “American” is an admittedly extreme example:”

      Well let me be even more extreme Ambiv.
      Whose fault is it that we can’t have both help for Americans ‘and’ an end to the Israeli corruption and US billions with which to kill Palestines?

      Huummmm…whose fault is that?
      Gee…could it be the menality you just expresed?
      You know the one that says gimme me my safety net and Israel can kill whoever they want.

      Has is ever OCCURED to you that the people could find candidates who would do both? YOU are the ones who make it either- or. Has it ever occured to you to tell a politician you DEMAND he do both? Or you won’t vote for him?

      As I also said if you want a better government be better f****** people.

      • Ambiv says:

        American,

        I think you are making progress, as you don’t seem willing to defend the remarks that prompted me to quote you, in which you asserted that the problems of blacks, gays and the poor in this country were not as grave as those of Palestinians, and therefore the Palestinians’ plight should get a higher priority (the clear implication being that Paul’s domestic agenda didn’t matter to you). I am glad that now you seem to believe that both sets of problems need attention, and I concur. However, you also wrote something that was actually even more absurd and objectionable, in which you openly blamed blacks, gays and poor people in this country for their selfish demands and “me me mes.” It’s very strange that someone who claims to be calling for justice for Palestinians also sounds very much like a cranky right wing talk show host when he turns his attention to this country. So come on, pal, will you move a little closer to basic decency by disowning the second part of your statement, as well as the first? Here is what you wrote:

        ” Do you understand how out of proportion and petty it sounds to compare the gays, black and poor in the US to Palestines who get their heads blown off by standing too near a window in their house?
        All these me,me,me petty issues are disgusting..maybe they and all Americans need to have some pure survival challenges to get them off their me,me,me’s. Do you see gays, blacks, the poor out in mass demanding anything except what they want for themselves? 1% orn 99% it’s the same….give us what we want.

        “This me-ism attitude is the reason we can ‘t have a goverment that’s worth the power it would take to blow it to hell.”

        • American says:

          Ambiv,

          I haven’t moved an inch off what I said, maybe it’s in your reading of it.
          And no, I do not think gay issues, black and other poverty in the US compares with living in conditions in Palestine and other places where you can get your head blown just for existing. If you do something is wrong with you.
          And if you don’t see the me-isms in both the left and the right then you aren’t very observant.
          I didn’t blame gays and poor and black for their plight and say they deserved no help—– I blamed them for being stupid and crass like most voters. For believing that a politician that would support the killing fields of Palestine for money, with US taxpayers money, is going to do anything more or bigger for them than throw them a bone at election time or every now and then when they grumble.
          If you were gay and wanted to get married, or poor and wanted an extension on some social benefit— and at the same time there was some Palestine civilian about to get killed or some Afghan peasant about to get hit with a drone and I could only choose to give you your wish or save their lives I would choose to save their lives. In that choice you would still be alive to demand all the things you want, you would still be alive to have hope and another chance. On the other hand if I had chosen to grant your wishes that Palestine or Afghan would be dead, no more chances, the end.

          You strike me as the typical liberal who turns me off as much as the rabid right wingers, you are all about yourselves, you never get the bigger picture.
          Maybe you need to be dropped in Gaza or Afghan or some other killing zone to get your priorities straight.

  47. Scott says:

    Jerry,
    I think the oft expressed contempt for liberal Zionism is really for its failure, not for its essence. I’m only speaking for myself, but I suspect I share the view of many others on this site. ’48 would not have become an issue for so many if Israel was not continuing to expand, continually threatening its neighbors, ignoring peace initiatives, etc. I can see wyt many would hate liberal Zionism, despite its reservoir of scientific, technological, and even socio-political accomplishments. But I would not be one of them–certainly not if liberal Zionism made an effort to reasonably accomodate Palestinian national aspirations, grasped the opportunities offered to make a peaceful place for Israel in the ME, etc. But if failed to do that, failed seriously even to try (Avi Shlaim’s work is revelatory in this regard) and thus appears as possibly sort of a sham, a kind of hasbara for an American audience. This is clearly not the case with committed liberal Zionists (the great Uri Avnery, for ex.) but it is for the Labor Party and its cohorts.

    • jnslater says:

      Scott:

      I disagree with your explanation of what mainly accounts for the “contempt for liberal Zionism,” at least on this site. Liberal Zionists (that would be me), practically by definition are just as opposed as you are to Israeli expansionism, the treatment of the Palestinians, the ignoring of peace initiatives, etc; however, it is not the liberal Zionists who have failed to “reasonably accommodate Palestinian national aspirations” etc, but mainstream and rightwing Zionists, who have dominated Israel from the outset.

      Nor do I know what you mean when you say that liberal Zionists have failed in their efforts and haven’t even seriously tried. Yes, we’ve failed–what else would you have them (us) do? You cite Uri Avnery as an exception–but he has also failed. You contrast Avnery with the Labor Party, which you evidently believe to be a liberal Zionist party, but I doubt there are many liberal Zionists–least of all Uri Avnery–who would agree that that the Labor Party (Ben-Gurion, Peres, Barak?) represents liberal Zionism. And I am complete agreement with you about the hasbara role that the Labor Party and its cohorts–especially the dreadful Barak and Peres– has played for American audiences. If they are liberal Zionists, then I am the Queen of Sheba.

      The main reason that many anti-Zionists, on this site and elsewhere, fairly drip contempt for liberal Zionism is not so much your explanation as that they think there is an inherent contradiction between “liberal” and “Zionist,” and unlike you (if I understand your position correctly), believe that there was never any justification for Zionism, and essentially deny any legitimacy for the establishment of a Jewish state, even in 1948, and not merely because of most of what has happened, and what Israel has become, since then.

      • Philip Weiss says:

        JN: Peace Now is on the board of the Conference of Presidents. It rationalizes staying on the board of an organization that has fervently supported settlements, something APN deplores, because it thinks that to gain access in D.C. and influence policy, Jews need to speak with one voice. That prohibition, against open debate within the Jewish community, is what has given the lobby incredible power for 60 years (and given cover to the neocons in war policy too). It suggests that liberal Zionists do not trust Americans to discuss this issue openly. And it has made the liberal Zionists, a minority inside that Jewish community, powerless thru the peace process, which has proved to be a sham. I have continually waffled on whether a Jewish state ought to exist, as the UN Partition said. But the real problem here is that fear of pogroms in the U.S. has caused liberal Zionists to bewail but essentially accept (by opposing boycott, by supporting aid to Israel) actual pogroms taking place right now, which it is vital to document. In that choice, I am with Isaac Babel and Hannah Arendt: against pogroms and for democracy… I understand the fears of my parents’ generation that gave legitimacy to the claim of a need for a JEwish state; but I’d rather Israel cease to exist as a Jewish state than that one more young man trying to defend his village’s right to its own drinking water is shot and killed by occupying troops. That is an easy choice for me.

        • jnslater says:

          Phil:

          I agree with you about Peace Now, where I was on the local board of Americans for Peace Now, and resigned years ago, explaining my reasons in terms similar to yours. In those days I would not have characterized its position as liberal Zionist, or at best on the very right edge. It does seem that it is becoming somewhat more critical–braver?–recently, perhaps because nearly everyone other than the rightwing (here and in Israel) is thoroughly fed up with Israel, and perhaps because, for that reason, APN now dares to move to the left.

      • Donald says:

        “there is an inherent contradiction between “liberal” and “Zionist,” and unlike you (if I understand your position correctly), believe that there was never any justification for Zionism, and essentially deny any legitimacy for the establishment of a Jewish state, even in 1948, and not merely because of most of what has happened, and what Israel has become, since then.”

        I think there was a justification for a Jewish state in 1948, given what had just happened in Europe, but there wasn’t a justification for committing fresh atrocities to establish that state. Now could things have somehow gone better back then? Maybe so. One would have to go back further and imagine a situation where the mainstream Zionist movement had not tried to lobby the imperial power to give them what they wanted, but had worked closely with the Palestinians from the very beginning, seeing them as neighbors only and not as demographic obstacles to a majority Jewish state. Or something like that.

        But the way history actually went, there was hatred and suspicion on both sides going way back (Tom Segev cites Ahad Ha’am writing about bigotry and contempt towards Arabs back in the 1890′s, so it didn’t start with Arab riots in the 1920′s) and things just got worse and worse as time goes by. Between actually existing Zionism and liberalism there were contradictions and you’d have needed a Gandhi on the Zionist side (with maybe one on the Palestinian side to work with him or her) to have made it come out right.

        As for “liberal Zionism”, as I said upthread there are a lot of people who label themselves that way who aren’t very liberal.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        Realistically, on this site, if one is criticizing “liberal Zionism,” it is usually criticism of Richard Witty, as he never tires of explaining that that is his position.

        As one who has taken the position that there is an inherent contradicition between “liberalism” and “Zionism,” and as one who often expresses himself more harshly than I should (my pathos often overrules my logos… I’m human; so sue me), I would take issue with the notion that this conclusion is based on theoretical considerations of the legitimacy of the enterprise. You cannot, in my opinion, divorce the intent from the execution. Surely you are not suggesting that there was any way, to establish a Zionist state in a land which was already occupied by people who would not, in any way, benefit from the creation of such a state and not expect those people to fight back. Such a situation REQUIRED either the forceful removal of the Palestinian people from the land, or the disenfranchisment of the Palestinians in favor of the Jews; neither are very liberal.

        That is the conflict between “liberal” and “Zionist” in my mind. If the state were set up such that everyone under its control was given equality, full human and civil rights, without regard to ethnicity, religion, etc., that would be a liberal state. But would it be Zionist? I don’t see how, because I don’t see how you can impliment Zionism without, by definition, favoring the Jewish people over the Palestinians — a situation which simply cannot be termed “liberal.”

        • “I understand the fears of my parents’ generation that gave legitimacy to the claim of a need for a JEwish state; but I’d rather Israel cease to exist as a Jewish state than that one more young man trying to defend his village’s right to its own drinking water is shot and killed by occupying troops. That is an easy choice for me.”

          You think the dissolution of Israel will be achieved without “breaking eggs”?

          If it is an easy choice for you, then you are not thinking as deeply as you propose.

        • jnslater says:

          Woody:

          Well put, and I agree that the greatest single challenge to liberal Zionism is to reconcile the justice of the establishment of Israel with the injustice to the Palestinians. I have tried to do that in a long post that appeared here, and in even longer form, a year or ago or so.

          There are two possible lines of argument for liberal Zionists:
          One is to say that no reconciliation is possible, but that the Nakba can’t be undone nor millions of Palestinians returned to Israel. Therefore, liberal Zionism demands that Israel not only acknowledge and apologize for the Nakba, but take a great number of steps to make up for it–beginning but not ending with an end to the occupation and the acceptance of a two-state settlement.

          The second line of argument–and actually the two can be melded–is to say that some injustice was inevitable for Israel to be established in part of Palestine, but it would have been feasible to stop a long way short of the expulsion and killing of the Palestinians that occurred in 1947-48. Had that not been done, in my view justice for the Jews (the imperative need for of a Jewish state, which in practice could only be created in part of Palestine) would have outweighed the admitted injustice to the Palestinians–especially if it had been followed by serious compensatory actions for the Palestinians.

          As I said, there’s a lot more that needs to be said about this morally ambiguous or complex issue, so this is my best stab at the short version.

        • Jerome,
          I would appreciate if you would not boycott me here.

          And instead dialog.

          For exactly the statement that you made above, I’ve been called a virulent racist.

          “Had that not been done, in my view justice for the Jews (the imperative need for of a Jewish state, which in practice could only be created in part of Palestine) would have outweighed the admitted injustice to the Palestinians–especially if it had been followed by serious compensatory actions for the Palestinians.”

        • Cliff says:

          Witty is lying.

          He has been called a virulent racist for his pro-Nakba rhetoric and his flimsy, lazy, equivocations regarding the removal of illegal Jewish colonists on Palestinian land.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Before I expect Professor Jerry Slater to respond, I should learn how to spell “dialogue,” and I should learn the difference between “its” and “it’s.” (I might also stop using “dialogue” as a transitive verb, although Professor Slater might be willing to overlook this, provided I at least spelled it correctly.) Otherwise, people like Professor Slater might regard me as a sloppy thinker who just posts the first thing that comes into his head.’

        • I’ll defend all of the positions that I’ve taken here. (If I’ve changed my views, I’ll acknowledge that.)

          And, why I regard them as liberal and democratic.

          The test of an individuals’ stand are on his own writings, independent, to a wider and different audience than this site.

          It is more than probable, that you collectively (including Jerome) have uncharitably misinterpreted some comment.

          Read my “newsletters”, written by myself.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Jerome,

          Thank you. I think that there are a number of different solutions here, but I think that the best first step for everyone involved would be to call a halt to all the thinking and talking about the past and say “here is the reality. All of these people are or want to be in this land. What is the way to ensure the political rights of all of them.”

        • Slater, if there really had been a need plus the desire by the majority of Jews for a Jewish state, one would have seen at least a significant number if not the majority of the world’s Jews flocking there or at least paying it a visit. That has not been the case and in recent years the majority of those flocking there have been proud Jewish chauvinists/racists whether they hailed from Teaneck, NJ, Newton, Mass, Beverly Hills, Riga or Moldova.

          The idea and creation of a Jewish state required the manipulation by the Zionists of a minority of world Jewry–since the majority did not support it–and, more importantly, the manipulation of the world’s leading powers at the time, Britain and the US. The issuing of the infamous Balfour Declaration was the ultimate testament to their success

          Whether there would have been a Jewish holocaust without the existence of political Zionism which openly postulated that Jews were not like other human beings and that antisemitism was an understandable reaction on the part of gentiles who were forced to live with them, is a question that we can never answer but there is no question but that dangerous piece of nonsense was what the Zionists were peddling in pre-Hitler Germany in their efforts to “out” the largely assimilated German Jews who would have no truck with them. In other words, the Zionists were feeding whatever antisemitic sentiments their fellow Germans already harbored. No, I am not blaming the Zionists for the holocaust–they couldn’t have imagined it– but that they helped to poison the atmosphere which allowed it to happen is indisputable.

          One “liberal Zionist” Rabbi Joachim Prinz, in Berlin, who survived to become the head of the American Jewish Congress, openly welcomed Hitler’s proclamation of the racist Nuremberg laws, declaring that “No longer would Jews be able to hide in the woodwork,” a statement for which he would later be forced to apologize.. It should also be noted that Herzl’s Der Judenstaat, well preceded Mein Kampf and that both Hitler and Eichmann said they had read it, something, I suspect, not many Zionists liberal or otherwise can claim.

        • Lots of mean-spirited prejudice in that one, Blankfort.

          You are cracking eggs as well.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Blankfort is such a much more honest soul and vigorous thinker than Slater. How bracing it is to cut away all the dithering and doddering bullshit.

          It was possible to hold a high opinion of liberal Zionists back when the Mideast peace process first got under way ages ago. Now one suspects that many of these self-proclaimed liberal Zionists were Likud moles all along who have played the Palestinians, the United States and Europe for fools. The Mideast peace process has been a scam from the start, a means to keep the world at bay while Greater Israelists in Likud AND Labor proceeded with their project of constructing more Jewish-only settlements in the illegally occupied territories.

          As of 2011 “liberal Zionists” should be ignored entirely by the world community as it tries to figure out how to dismantle a ticking time bomb that could wreck much of the planet.

        • jnslater says:

          Now, does anyone else here think that this incoherent Blankfort rant might be legitimately labeled as “anti-Semitic?” Just a little? Or is it just my paranoia, my well-known tendency to label any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic?

          You know, as in my long journal article (Security Studies, January-March 2009) evaluating the Israel lobby argument, in which I made a number of criticisms of the argument but said “the charge (direct or slightly disguised) that John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt are anti-Semites is outrageous.”

        • Incoherent, Slater? What part of my post did you not understand or believe to be inaccurate? Raising the “antisemitic” claim I could expect, but if you didn’t understand what I wrote, what, in particular could you find to be “antisemitic.” Quoting Hertzl?

          What relevance has your comment about Mearsheimer and Walt to what I wrote?

        • eljay says:

          >> RW: I’ll defend all of the positions that I’ve taken here. … And, why I regard them as liberal and democratic.

          Yup, nothing says “liberal and democratic” like defending Zionist terrorism, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, the establishment of a religion-supremacist state and the notion of excising non-Jewish Israelis from their own country – stripping them of their citizenship and rendering them stateless – if their “demographic” threatens the permanent-majority status of Jewish Israelis.

        • Henry Norr says:

          Professor Slater: Is your article about Mearsheimer and Walt available online anywhere for less than the $36 Security Studies’ publisher wants for it?

        • Whatever these “liberal zionists” who dominated the peace movement were when we couldn’t see them, they certainly were effective. For them, “ending the occupation” and pushing for a “two-state solution” was as far as they would go, stopping, even suspending aid to Israel, even talking about the subject, was verboten. Some of these groups would take groups over to the West Bank and not intentionally never mention the issue of US aid to Israel.

          I believe that you can throw “End the Occupation!” into the same bag with the two state nonsense. Not only do most Americans have no idea what that even means, but it too (apart from recognizing Israel’s legitimacy) also avoids the issue of US aid and involvement, something that was front and center, for example, not only when it came to the Vietnam War but also stopping the annual funding for the Contras which amounted to $15 million, almost as much as Israel was getting from the US every day! Why, even today, is not stopping US aid to Israel a major demand on the part of the Left, especially when $3 plus billion a year is considered sacrosanct whereas keeping schools, post offices, and local government offices open is not?

          In their own special way, the peace and and anti-war groups were doing to the Palestinians in the streets what AIPAC was doing to them in Congress.

        • There is no case in which I “defended” Zionist terrorism.

          If you are referring to my comments on the Nakba, I described the terror as repugnant, likely avoidable.

          If you are referring to my comments on Cast Lead, I described them as excessive and cruel.

          I just don’t throw around the name “war crime” and “war criminal” without sufficient proof that overcomes my doubts.

          To complete that persuasion, requires first to validate that the doubts are substantive and reasonable (as doubts, not necessarily as a final conclusion).

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Look at this!

          If you are referring to my comments on the Nakba, I described the terror as repugnant, likely avoidable.

          ‘Which must mean that I respect international law, and support the right of return for Palestinians and their descendants who were victims of this “repugnant terror.”‘

        • eljay says:

          >> There is no case in which I “defended” Zionist terrorism. If you are referring to my comments on the Nakba, I described the terror as repugnant, likely avoidable.

          Here is what not defending “repugnant, likely avoidable” Zionist terrorism looks like:
          >> RW: If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.
          >> RW: The nakba [sic] that occurred in 1948 was accompanied by the independence, the liberation, of the Jewish community. So, I primarily celebrate …

          ’nuff said.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Now, does anyone else here think that this incoherent Blankfort rant might be legitimately labeled as ‘anti-Semitic?’ Just a little? Or is it just my paranoia, my well-known tendency to label any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic?”

          I don’t know whether I can say that they are, but they certainly are statements which call for additional reflection to detemine if they are. Frankly, I would not have said them due to their gross historical inaccuracies. I’m not sure if it is, but it kind of feels like it might be.

        • kalithea says:

          There is no relevance. He just threw that in to reinforce his wobbly credibility in order to better support an unfounded accusation of anti-Semitism against you. It’s sneaky and smug, but Zionists are good that way.

        • Woody, I frankly don’t care if you, like the good professor, sense a whiff of antisemitism in my comment to him since such an allegation, with all due respect, seems to have replaced patriotism as “the first refuge of scoundrels” but I would appreciate you having the decency to tell me what are those “gross historical inaccuracies” that you have accused me of spreading. I await your response.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I would appreciate you having the decency to tell me what are those “gross historical inaccuracies” that you have accused me of spreading”

          I would say that this statement…

          Whether there would have been a Jewish holocaust without the existence of political Zionism which openly postulated that Jews were not like other human beings and that antisemitism was an understandable reaction on the part of gentiles who were forced to live with them, is a question that we can never answer but there is no question but that dangerous piece of nonsense was what the Zionists were peddling in pre-Hitler Germany in their efforts to “out” the largely assimilated German Jews who would have no truck with them. In other words, the Zionists were feeding whatever antisemitic sentiments their fellow Germans already harbored. No, I am not blaming the Zionists for the holocaust–they couldn’t have imagined it– but that they helped to poison the atmosphere which allowed it to happen is indisputable.

          …appears to assert a causal connection between pre-war Zionism and National Socialist antisemitism. That is grossly historically inaccurate. The latter was not in any way dependant on the former.

        • tree says:

          . Frankly, I would not have said them due to their gross historical inaccuracies.

          And what to you consider historically inaccurate about what Blankfort said? From my readings of the early Zionists, Blankfort’s statement seems spot on to me. The early Zionists disparaged European Jewry, issued numerous anti-semitic tropes, and urged a eugenic effort to cleanse the “race”, as it was referred to in the late 1800′s, early 1900′s, all well in advance of Hitler.

          If a small Palestinian movement had insisted that Palestinians didn’t belong in Palestine, were a defective culture in Palestine, and needed to move to their “native” Crete, say for example, to transform their culture and “race”into a positive one, it would be historically accurate to mention that such a movement would have been extremely counter=productive to the desires and hopes of Palestinians in their own lands, and would have given support and emotional sustenance to racist Jewish desires in Palestine. That’s a hypothetical, but it exactly mirrors what the Zionists did in Europe, and the actions and words of the early Zionists should be acknowledged and condemned for their small part in promoting anti-semitism in Europe. It by no means excuses the much larger part played by others, but censoring any discussion of Zionist actions that don’t fit the accepted stereotype that the Zionists were concerned about the welfare of all European Jews is simply wrong and leads to a total misunderstanding of what the early Zionists were all about.

          It isn’t just a case of Zionist intentions versus execution, as Donald mentions, but of a toxic intention towards both Palestinians AND the majority of European Jews.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Woody,

          That Blankfort passage was highly nuanced and historically accurate. I wonder if you were able to parse it with all the shadings intact — I doubt it.

          You’re an odd one.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “That Blankfort passage was highly nuanced and historically accurate.”

          No, it wasn’t.

          “I wonder if you were able to parse it with all the shadings intact — I doubt it.”

          LMAO. Yes, it written in fairly straight-forward language.

          “You’re an odd one.”

          LOL. I’ve been called worse by better.

        • Danaa says:

          jnslater: “Or is it just my paranoia…?”

          Easy answer – sure it is.

          There was absolutely nothing “anti-semitic” in Jeff Blankfort’s post**. There was a contention, one that, as he said, can never be proven – that the separatism advocated by zionists in pre-Hitler’s Germany – may have contributed to jews being regarded as, well, separate. From which it is but a short leap to accepting the fact that to be a Jew in Germany was, somehow, a problem. One to which there could be all sorts of solutions – zionism being one. Better and deeper assimilation is another. So the nazis had yet another solution to propose. Were they all on the same level? of course not. But if the environment at the time including much discussions about “the problem”, it is possible to postulate that this may have contributed to the perception – especially among the less informed and/or more xenophobic that there was indeed an issue there, one that [some] jews themselves recognized as one.

          Jeff disavowed outright any intention to imply that Jews “brought the Holocaust upon themselves”. No one could possibly say that, even stupid excuse making, because no sane entity – individual or collective – could wish such fate upon itself. In fact, humans – sane ones – by definition cannot wish for their own obliteration. That’s just not in anyone’s DNA. But they can sometimes wish for cataclisms. Don’t the fundamentalist Christians wish for “End of days”? despite the fact that it would mean, well, an end to many of those they hold dearest?. It is quite possible that many of the 20′s and 30′s zionists saw anti-semitism as an ally, and as a result failed to combat it.

          In any case, one CAN and SHOULD discuss things that can be seen as contributing factors – in hindsight. Sometimes they are very small factors, sometimes they loom large. Sometimes we can see how things that were long hidden played a part in what happened later – an insight available only to future generations. The problem I see when it comes to discussions about the actions, inactions and motivations of European zionists in the pre-WWII decades is not with hindsight itself, but with the hysterical reaction it generates among those who should know better. Such as historians. And political scientists. After all, history books are choke full of discussions about the many ways civilizations contributed to their own decline. Corruption and complacency were part of brought down Athens. Does saying so mean we are anti-Athenians, or worse – anti Greek?

          Enough already with the silly anti-semitism hurling.

          ___** not that there wasn’t a bit of a bait laid out (carefully threaded just right to catch what comes). But hey, it’s almost another new year and another potent fishing season is upon us.

        • Hostage says:

          …appears to assert a causal connection between pre-war Zionism and National Socialist antisemitism.

          Actually he said that was “a question that we can never answer”, but that there was no question the Zionists were feeding whatever antisemitic sentiments their fellow Germans already harbored.

          As the old saying goes, truer words were never spoken. I’ve cited racist passages from Herzl’s Der Judenstaat as some of the most ridiculous things that have ever been uttered. link to mondoweiss.net

          Herzl’s plan was not only embarrassingly racist, but it was the source of the notion that elimination of a country’s Jews could result in an economic windfall for the Anti-Semites who could assume positions in which the Jews had been employed or when the Jews liquidated their immovable assets. This scheme foreshadowed the Haavara Agreement between the Jewish Agency and the Nazis:

          For the emigration which I suggest will not create any economic crises. Such crises as would follow everywhere in consequence of Jew-baiting would rather be prevented by the carrying out of my plan. A great period of prosperity would commence in countries which are now Anti-Semitic. For there will be, as I have repeatedly said, an internal migration of Christian citizens into the positions slowly and systematically evacuated by the Jews. If we are not merely suffered, but actually assisted to do this, the movement will have a generally beneficial effect.

          See — Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State, “Benefits Of The Emigration Of The Jews” link to gutenberg.org

        • MRW says:

          Danaa, someone put up two or three paragraphs from a Jewish writer (historian?) in the last week or 10 days, and I can’t remember who did it, or the thread. Damn. I thought I put it aside to read later.

          I believe the writer wrote the book before WWII. ? It discussed, from the POV of a Jew (the writer?) who had witnessed it, Zionist Jewish journalists in the 20s and 30s who had become obstreperous and sneering about non-Zionists and non-Jews in Austria and Germany, and how they thought they were cocks of the walk and should be separated from the rest of society.

          Anyone remember that link, or who posted it?

        • tree,

          you assert that Zionists “urged a eugenic effort to cleanse the ‘race’”. Sounds like slander to me, but you must have a source. What is it, pray tell?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          No, the thing he said was “a question that we can never answer” was whether there would have been a holocaust without that form of Zionism. My point was specific to “a causal connection between pre-war Zionism and National Socialist antisemitism.” These are not the same thing.

        • Hostage says:

          tree, you assert that Zionists “urged a eugenic effort to cleanse the ‘race’”. Sounds like slander to me, but you must have a source. What is it, pray tell?

          See the discussion on eugenics and link here on Arthur Ruppin, the Father of Jewish Settlement in Palestine:
          * link to mondoweiss.net
          * link to tau.ac.il

          The discussion about the “New Jew” there also includes Jabotinsky’s disparaging remarks about Yids.

        • Blankfort IS saying that Zionists contributed to the holocaust.

          I’m not sure why he would want to waffle out of owning that conclusion.

          He’s angry, and he’s unleashing.

        • Hostage says:

          My point was specific to “a causal connection between pre-war Zionism and National Socialist antisemitism.” These are not the same thing.

          Yes but there was no historical inaccuracy in anything Blankfort had to say on the subject. You introduced a fallacy of sorts when you attempted to reframe what he actually said about the connection: a) There can be no doubt that in pre-Hitler Germany, Zionists, including Herzl himself, “postulated that Jews were not like other human beings and that antisemitism was an understandable reaction on the part of gentiles”; and b) those “Zionists were feeding whatever antisemitic sentiments their fellow Germans already harbored”.

          So he was talking about an aggravating factor in whatever antisemitic sentiments their fellow Germans already harbored, not a causal factor. We know that Herzl and a Zionist delegation greeted Kaiser Welhielm near Pitah Tikvah and pitched their racist theories to him during a sight seeing tour at Jaffa, because, true to Herzl’s plan, he published the details of the two hour presentation by Dr. M.I. Bodenheimer in Die Welt so that the faithful could enlist Anti-Semites to help apply pressure on the government to establish a German Protectorate in Palestine for the Jews. See Klaus Polkehn, Zionism and the Kaiser’s Germany: Zionist Diplomacy with the Empire of Kaiser Wilhelm, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 4, no. 2, p. 76

        • Woody, after I explain how the Zionists provided grist for the mill of the Germans already disposed to antisemitism, you write that this : “appears to assert a causal connection between pre-war Zionism and National Socialist antisemitism. That is grossly historically inaccurate. The latter was not in any way dependant on the former.”

          Sorry, Woody, but if you can not see how the Zionists’ own form of antisemitism fed into that of the Germans who were already suffering economically while watching the relatively small and wealthy German Jewish community prospering, you have no understanding of history nor of how propaganda works. Or you have been reading Martin Gilbert or Eli Wiesel.

          There were some other things that exacerbated the situation which maybe you don’t know about.

          In March, 1933, just after Hitler came into power and two years before the Nuremberg laws, Jewish groups in the US held a rally in Madison Square Garden, calling for a worldwide boycott of Germany. Only two organizations, the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith, which were founded by German Jewish immigrants refused to support it and tried to block it because they had been asked by the leaders of the German Jewish community not to hold the rally because it would further antagonize the German people against them.

          But the American Jews paid to attention to that request and the next day there were banner headlines in the US, Europe, and Germany, “Jews declare war on Germany!” Now, given the way the Germans had been treated at Versailles, at which the Zionist delegation had played an instrumental part, one might expect that such a headline would have intensified whatever hostile feelings that many Germans had against the largely assimilated German Jews.

          Fortunately, for most of them, the Zionists in Palestine were not paying attention to the boycott and established the Haavara or Transfer agreement in which German Jews could emigrate to Palestine and not empty-handed. Since no one was allowed to take money out of the country at the time, the German Jews would buy German goods which were then sent to Palestine on Nazi flagged ships where they would be unloaded and sold with the Zionists taking their cut. This way, approximately 600,000 of the 750,000 Jews in Germany escaped the holocaust. The deal worked so well that one of the Nazi officers upon returning to Germany had a coin minted with a swastika on one side and the star of David on the other, one of history’s great ironies.

        • Hostage says:

          Blankfort IS saying that Zionists contributed to the holocaust. . . . I’m not sure why he would want to waffle out of owning that conclusion.

          He didn’t, he said: No, I am not blaming the Zionists for the holocaust–they couldn’t have imagined it– but that they helped to poison the atmosphere which allowed it to happen is indisputable.

          He isn’t saying they caused the Holocaust, he said they helped feed the existing anti-semitism that their German brethren were already harboring. It’s a fact that the Zionists wanted the Evian Conference to decide to do nothing. According to Morris Ernst, the Zionists lobbied FDR in opposition to efforts to raise the immigration quotas here in the US to allow more refugees in. Ben Hecht wrote in his book Perfidy about how Judge Halevi had allowed the Gruenvald libel trial to be turned into a political trial on the behavior of the Labor Party during the War. He noted that Moshe Shertok had arranged for the arrest of Joel Brand. Judge Halevi concluded that Dr. Rudolph Kastner, a high MAPAI party official, “had sold his soul to the devil” and collaborated with the Nazis. When Ben Gurion’s political career as Prime Minister came to an end in 1963, he gave a speech in the Knesset excoriating and naming members of the political right and the Herut party for their support and admiration of Hitler. See Yechiam Weitz, Taking Leave of the ‘Founding Father’ Ben-Gurion’s Resignation as Prime Minister in 1963, Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), pp. 131-152, link to jstor.org Lenni Brenner edited 51 Documents outlining Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. So yes, it’s fairly indisputable that Zionists contributed to the events that eventually led to the Holocaust. I’m amazed that’s controversial, since even Ben Gurion made accusations of that nature quite publicly in the Knesset.

        • Yes, Witty, unwittingly and unintentionally they did. For another perspective, from a former supporter of the Irgun, playwright and screenwriter, Ben Hecht, it was far worse than what I wrote. His “Perfidy,” the record of betrayal of the Jews of Europe by the mainstream Zionists of Mapai which for reasons that are not hard to guess was impossible to find for years is once again available on Amazon.

          Much of the book is devoted to the trial in Israel in the early 50s that involved the head of the Zionist agency, Rezo Kastner, in Budapest during the war and of his collaboration with the Nazis and Adolph Eichmann. It was not Kastner who was technically on trial but an old fellow Hungarian survivor who circulated a mimeographed newsletter in Israel in which he wrote an article accusing Kastner of collaboration with the Nazis and, in particular, of testifying on behalf of SS General Kurt Bucher at Nuremberg as repayment for Bucher having helped Kastner, his family and 1200 Jewish “notables” escape to Switzerland.

          But that was not the worst thing that Kastner did. When Jews transported to Auschwitz arrived they were given post cards to send back to their family and friends in Hungary, telling them that they were fine and that Kastner, knowing what lay in wait for them, distributed the post cards without a word of warning,

          Given that the war was coming to an end in 1944 with the Russians advancing swiftly from the East and the Wehrmacht collapsing, had the remaining Jews in Hungary knew that Auschwitz meant death they could have made a break for the Russian lines and been saved. But Kastner didn’t tell them.

          The Ben-Gurion government was anxious to defend him and when the trial was going the old man’s way, he substituted the prosecutor with the attorney general of Israel who, in court, referred to those who died at the hands of the Nazis as so much “dust.” He lost the case, the old man was acquitted, but the government didn’t give up. They appealed to another court and other judges and they got a reversal of the decision, two days after Kastner had been assassinated.

          Perfidy is a great read and exposes the venality of the Zionists in a way that had not been seen before and that’s why the book dropped from sight while at the same time the Zionists launched a campaign to resurrect Kastner’s memory and declare his innocence while defaming Hecht. An ugly bunch they were and still are.

          Thanks, Witty, for giving me the opportunity to tell people about it.

        • “Now, does anyone else here think that this incoherent Blankfort rant might be legitimately labeled as “anti-Semitic?” Just a little?”

          Not me, not at all. Particularly since you don’t even attempt to point to anything “antisemitic” about it. Just bald assertion. That doesn’t work any more, Mr. Slater.

        • My recently deceased mother-in-law was a survivor of the death marches from Hungary to the death camps.

          Noone knew where they were going. MANY speculated, noone knew, even if the individual “Kastner” had told.

          In the death marches, it was not impossible to escape. My mother-in-law led an escape of around 8, arranged papers, shelter and food for the last 3 months of the war, and herself risked coming above ground to get food and do errands. A non-Jewish family sheltered them literally underground at risk to their lives.

          You do know the concepts of proportion and unintended consequences, and decisions under duress.

          “An ugly bunch they were and still are.”

          You go from the description of one person, and maybe have a dozen more in your pocket, and generalize to “ALL”. That process is prejudice, racism.

          The question of morality is always of what you do with what you’ve been handed. What you observe, what you’ve studied.

          If with that gift to you, you take that and express malevolence actively, and then seek to institutionalize that malevolence, then you are not acting morally, but doing something else.

          Zionists did bold things. Some were clearly for a strained political agenda almost exclusively. Ideologs. Most though were for help, and in the way that they perceived would be helpful.

          Proportion – MOST were helped to migrate from horrendous conditions following the war. The recipients all had mixed feelings. Its horrible to leave one’s former home, even where one is not welcomed.

          Unintended consequences – You mentioned that that was the case, but then used that to prove their cynicism, rather than their good intentions that went awry.

          Decisions under duress – EVERY decision made between 1933 and 1950 and after even, was made under duress, under threat, and threat of one’s life. I don’t make such perfect decisions after a good night’s sleep, a good breakfast, and kind words. I would be a bit forgiving.

          My mother-in-law died three weeks ago. I heard a half dozen holocaust survival stories during shiva calls, of people that knew her in Hungary prior to the war, immediately after the war in Budapest, en-route to Israel in 1949, and in Israel from 49-56.

          One at the funeral, her brother, earlier told me of his experience in the IDF in 1951. He referred to his officers as “naziis”. I asked him what he meant, that they were bastards, unfair? He said that they were racist, abusive, imhuman ideologs.

          “All Zionists”? “No, not at all. Just those bastards.”

        • tree says:

          WJ,

          Sounds like slander to me, but you must have a source. What is it, pray tell?

          If the sources that Hostage provided for you are not sufficient, or you question the accuracy of Etan Bloom’s doctoral thesis at Tel Aviv University, there are additional sources from Haaretz articles published in 2004 and 2009 describing the historical studies done by Ben Gurion University doctoral student, Sachar Stoler-Liss and Israeli historian Rakefet Zalashik on Zionist eugenics in early Mandate period Palestine.

          (Note: I can not and will not vouch for the type or tenor of the linked sites, but merely link to them because they have reprinted the original Haaretz articles, and Haaretz these days seems bent on making it nearly impossible to locate their archived articles directly.)

          “Do Not have Children if They Won’t Be Healthy” Tamara Taubman, Haaretz, 2004

          link to tbrnews.org

          “Eugenics in Israel: Did Jews Try to Improve the Human Race Too?” Yotam Feldman, 2009

          link to redicecreations.com

          From the first link:

          Judaism of muscle

          Dr. Meir was not the first Zionist leader who supported eugenics. According to studies by Dr. Rapahel Falk, a geneticist and historian of science and medicine at Hebrew University, other major Zionist thinkers – among them Dr. Max Nordau, Theodor Herzl’s colleague, a doctor and a publicist, and Dr. Arthur Ruppin, the head of the World Zionist Organization office in the Land of Israel presented the ideas of eugenics as one of the aims of the Jewish movement for national renewal and the settlement of the land.

          Prof. Meira Weiss, an anthropologist of medicine at Hebrew University, describes in her book “The Chosen Body” how the settlement of the land and work on the land were perceived by these Zionist thinkers as the “cure” that would restore the health of the Jewish body that had degenerated in the Diaspora. In Nordau’s terms, a “Judaism of muscle” would replace “the Jew of the coffee house: the pale, skinny, Diaspora Jew. “At a time when many Europeans are calling for a policy of eugenics, the Jews have never taken part in the `cleansing’ of their race but rather allowed every child, be it the sickest, to grow up and marry and have children like himself. Even the mentally retarded, the blind and the deaf were allowed to marry,” wrote Ruppin in his book “The Sociology of the Jews.” “In order to preserve the purity of our race, such Jews must refrain from having children.”

          Nordau coined the term “muscular Judaism” in 1898. Ruppin wrote “The Sociology of Jews” in 1930, after decades of teaching in Germany and Palestine, and after decades as the head of the Palestine Office of the WZO, where he implemented his sociological and eugenic ideas.

          And here is another link to an article by Dalia Karpel on Israeli Dr. Raphael Falk, professor emeritus of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who wrote
          “Zionism and the Biology of the Jews” in 2006.

          link to bechollashon.org

          “The Zionist movement also emphasized the need to preserve the essence of the Jewish people, and in that period, this took on a biological meaning,” Falk explains. “The Jews were persecuted because of their religion, their appearance and their sociology. On the one hand, they won emancipation in the 19th century and were no longer supposed to be persecuted because of their religion or occupation, but it was still convenient to say that they were different even though they didn’t look different. So it was said that they were different in their biology. Hatred of Jews thus became biological. The term ‘anti-Semitic’ was also coined at about the same time, around 1870, and was invented by German journalist Wilhelm Mahr, who claimed that the Jews were of a different and peculiar race, the Semitic race, and that this was imprinted on their biology.

          “The German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder spoke of the idea of the Volk, the ‘folk-nation’ that viewed a people as an organic unit. And not just in the cultural sense. In time, this also came to include race. From this movement of the concept of the Volk, you get Zionism developing on the one hand, and German nationalism, which later evolved into Nazism, on the other hand. This is an uncomfortable fact, but a fact nonetheless.”

          Falk maintains in his book that many of the prominent Zionists of the 1920s and ’30s saw their movement as having a eugenic aspect that was directed at saving the Jews’ “biological reservoir,” or gene pool, from the degeneration that resulted from life in exile, and he cites numerous examples. Moses Hess, who was one of the first to call for Jewish national renewal in Palestine, referred to the Jews as a race in his 1862 book “Rome and Jerusalem.” Falk says that Zionism adopted the Volkist outlook of a racially defined nation shaped by blood and soil – a concept that included the idea of the establishment of a people’s nationality in its own country. He quotes intellectuals and philosophers who considered their Judaism a race. Albert Einstein, for example, said in 1920: “It may be thanks to anti-Semitism that we are able to preserve our existence as a race.” And Haim Nahman Bialik proclaimed at a 1934 press conference at the Hebrew University: “I, too, like Hitler, believe in the power of the blood idea.”

          Blood and soil

          According to Falk, the question of the biological essence of Jewish existence was part and parcel of the realization of the Zionist idea from the beginning. Dr. Arthur Ruppin, head of the Palestine Office of the World Zionist Organization, which purchased lands and established various kinds of settlements, presented the eugenic idea as one of the goals of Zionism. He was convinced that the Jews possessed a biological uniqueness and that settling them in Palestine was vital in order to preserve this. Ruppin wrote in 1923: “Were it not for the Jews’ racial affinity with the peoples of the Near East, it would not be possible to justify Zionism.”

          Falk: “I don’t think that these people thought in terms of biology the way we do today. They weren’t biologists. When Herzl spoke openly about race he didn’t quite understand what he was talking about. Max Nordau, who was a doctor, used the term race, as did figures like Jabotinsky, who was a journalist and a writer, and by the early 20th century was speaking openly about a biological race. Religious Jews saw themselves as a biological entity, as the descendants of the patriarch Abraham, but also accepted converts into their midst. But from the late 19th century on, the Zionists defined Jews in a biological sense with no connection necessarily to religion or culture. This was for the sake of uniting the Jews and saying: Look, we’re a race that is also a nation, and like any other nation and race, we deserve our own piece of land. In his writings, Martin Buber, who was liberal and enlightened, defined a nation by means of what the Germans called Blut und Boden (blood and soil). The Zionists also had a concept of ‘blood and soil.’ Not in the way it developed with the Nazis, but Zionism was certainly a national movement that took people’s biology into account.”

          Dr. Max Nordau, Herzl’s associate and a physician and publicist, also adopted the eugenic theories. Nordau contended that for the Jews, life in exile as a separate ethnic group had led them to a state of degeneration in body and soul. He recommended that Jews live in nature and pursue a more physical culture – that Judaism build up some muscles. “He thought that the biology of the Jews needed to be changed via eugenics. That is, to improve the Jewish race by means of selection as is done with plants and animals to ward off degeneration,” says Falk.

          So that’s 4 sources from published Israeli academics about the centrality of eugenics in the thoughts and plans of early Zionist founders and thinkers. I would hope that would be enough for you to retract your allegation of “slander”.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Yes but there was no historical inaccuracy in anything Blankfort had to say on the subject.”

          I understand that is your position. I disagree with that position and explained why. What, then, is the purpose of continuing this discussion?

          “You introduced a fallacy of sorts when you attempted to reframe what he actually said about the connection…”

          No, the fallacy is to make the connection between pre-war Zionist activity and National Socialist antisemitism.

          “So he was talking about an aggravating factor in whatever antisemitic sentiments their fellow Germans already harbored, not a causal factor.”

          An aggravating factor is, by definition, a causal factor. But even using your apparently limited view of the definition of “aggravating” he is wrong. If the Zionists did not exist in pre-war Germany, that would not have made any appreciable difference to National Socialist antisemitism.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Sorry, Woody, but if you can not see how the Zionists’ own form of antisemitism fed into that of the Germans who were already suffering economically while watching the relatively small and wealthy German Jewish community prospering, you have no understanding of history nor of how propaganda works. ”

          Or, as is the actual case, you are wrong.

          “There were some other things that exacerbated the situation which maybe you don’t know about.”

          Yes, I did know about them. They simply don’t support your kooky notion.

        • Mike Miller says:

          Woody Tanaka wrote: That statement … appears to assert a causal connection between pre-war Zionism and National Socialist antisemitism. That is grossly historically inaccurate. The latter was not in any way dependant on the former.

          There is in fact evidence of a causal connection.

          1. Non-Zionist Jewish Germans (and, I believe, many Jewish Americans) opposed Zionism in part on the grounds that it could cause their countrymen to view them as aliens in their midst, not part of the body politic. These good people, who were a lot closer to contemporaneous events and people than we are, saw a causal connection between Zionism and hostility toward Jews. Zionists assert that WWII vindicates their argument for the necessity of a “Jewish State.” It coudl just as easily be said that, on the contrary, WWII in fact shows non-Zionists to have been prescient.

          2. Before he even came to power in Germany, Adolf Hitler cited Zionism in describing the evolution of his thinking toward an opinion that Jews were not really Germans.

          3. A number of Zionist organizations in Germany were in favor of the Nuremberg Laws. Without that support…?

          This is all evidence consistent with a causal connection. Is it definitive? No. But it is considerable.

          Also, 4. Is it possible that Zionism helped support, lend legitimacy to, and broadcast the notion that Jews in Germany could be resettled elsewhere?

          With all that in mind, and considering the information provided by other commenters, how can you state categorically that Zionism was not a causal factor?

        • Hostage,
          It seems we were of a similar mind as we posted information on the Kastner trial, but, ideally, not the same material, just a minute apart.

        • Woody, I guess you got that name from the material between your ears. You remind me of a late uncle of mind who had already made up his mind that he knew everything worth knowing so did not want to be confused by the facts. You are simply making a bigger fool out of yourself with every post.

          May you take a different, healthier and happier road in the new year.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Woody, I guess you got that name from the material between your ears. ”

          LMAO. I guess that’s an example of your vaunted intellectualism.

          “You remind me of a late uncle of mind who had already made up his mind that he knew everything worth knowing so did not want to be confused by the facts.”

          And you remind me of a child who isn’t mature enough to deal with the fact that not everyone in the world thinks they are as fantastic as they think themselves to be.

          “You are simply making a bigger fool out of yourself with every post.”

          … says the Ron Paul fan.

        • tree says:

          Woody,

          I understand that is your position. I disagree with that position and explained why.

          Actually, you haven’t explained why, yet. You have simply asserted that there was no causal relationship between the writings, speech and actions of the early Zionists and Nazi anti-semitism. I understand your position, but other than “because I said so”, you haven’t come up with any reasoning for your position.

          Blankfort, Hostage, Miller and I are not simply talking about Zionism in the late 1930′s. Since the late 1800′s Zionist thinkers and founders were insisting that Jews were parasitic in Europe, were a defective culture there and needed to apply eugenics to reform the “Jewish race” in their own country, away from Europe. To insist that these ideas had no purchase with the anti-semitism that grew in Germany with the rise of Naziism is counter intuitive. If the early Zionists had all been non-Jews and made these same statements, would you have likewise insisted that there was no causal relationship between their decades long history of disparaging European Jews and insisting Jews were foreigners to Europe who did not belong there, and the rise of anti-semitism in German? I think not, but I await your answer, as I respect your opinions here, though I sometimes disagree with them. So far, though, on this subject you haven’t made any arguments, simply assertions, which is, from my perspective, not like you.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Actually, you haven’t explained why, yet. You have simply asserted that there was no causal relationship between the writings, speech and actions of the early Zionists and Nazi anti-semitism. I understand your position, but other than ‘because I said so’, you haven’t come up with any reasoning for your position.”

          You make the mistake of believing that I have any interest in convincing you the my view of the evidence is correct and yours is not. I don’t. Please, believe what you’d like. I believe that the conclusions you draw from the evidence are not supported by that evidence. If you disagree, then you disagree.

          “I think not, but I await your answer, as I respect your opinions here, though I sometimes disagree with them. So far, though, on this subject you haven’t made any arguments, simply assertions, which is, from my perspective, not like you.”

          Because it was never my intention to make any arguments. I stated my opinion and content to leave it at that. It is simply enough to say that I am not convinced. The burden of proof is not mine, so I decline to make any showing.

        • Woody, by now you should know that facts and opinions are not the same thing. One bases one’s opinions on facts. I hate to have to tell you this since it is clear you are not a young man. All you have given presented here on the question of whether or not and to what degree the Zionists may have contributed to the holocaust in response to the facts that I and others have presented are your opinions, which you obviously came to according to what you previously accepted as facts.

          But opinions do not counter facts unless one is running for political offic and you have yet to present a single fact to counter anything that we have said. In other words you are responding like a typical Zionist troll.

          BTW, have you watched the Jon Stewart Daily Show clip on Paul? No? I did’t think so.

        • MRW says:

          Jeffrey, Hostage,

          “It seems we were of a similar mind as we posted information on the Kastner trial, but, ideally, not the same material, just a minute apart.”

          I am thankful that you two are publishing this material about the Kastner trial and what that ugly Hungarian did because you have far greater cachet than I do, and you both do it better than I with details I lack. I took a stab at it here over three years ago and the scimitar of an anti-semitism charge nearly sliced my head off. Not that I care about false assumptions.

          You know that stuff of yours I said I read, Jeffrey? Well, I got my hands on Perfidy and Brenner and that guy from Iraq and I scoured the net for background material about what happened in Hungary and why–which you could access until Google changed its algorithm in February 2011, the rat bastards–because I had friends who escaped Hungary as babies in 1956 with their parents and babushkas and little else.

          Hostage and Blankfort: you do all of us a great service here with your detailed answers–which takes an ENORMOUS amount of your time–and links and personal memories and experiences. We appreciate your marriage to the truth. I want you both to know that you are providing a profound link to knowledge that all of us must know. I save every goddam post you two write, off-site, and I make it a point to. I know I am absolutely not alone on this blog in expressing this appreciation for what you two give here. It’s just hard sometimes to stop and take the time to note it, to give you both your due. But you need to know it, and I am sure many here will agree with me.

          Woody: you know that ‘kooky notion’ charge you hurled at Blankfort? Well, locate The Transfer Agreement by Edwin Black, MacMillian Publishers, 1984 with the pictures, the actual photos that are not in later editions. The actual pictures of what you dismiss…which I think are in the Library of Congress and The Smithsonian…and then come back and try to call it ‘kooky’.

        • tree says:

          The burden of proof is not mine…..
          Actually, lt is since your original contention was that Blankfort’s statements were “historically inaccurate “. Then you claimed you had already “explained why” they were inaccurate. Now you are admitting that you never intended to back up your inaccuracy claim. It would have been more honest to simply state that you disagreed with the analysis, rather than pretend to a knowledge of historical inaccuracy you cannot factually support.

        • Hostage says:

          I am thankful that you two are publishing this material about the Kastner trial and what that ugly Hungarian did

          Well in fairness there are some who feel that the trial of Jesus Christ, Rudolf Israel Kastner, and the Commission of Inquiry into the murder of Chaim Arlosoroff, the author of the Ha’avara agreement, were all undertakings of very dubious value;-) See for example Asher Maoz, Historical Adjudication: Courts of Law, Commissions of Inquiry, and “Historical Truth” link to historycooperative.org

          In any event, there can be no doubt that Herzl promulgated the theory that antisemitism was the inevitable natural consequence of Gentiles being exposed to Jews living in their midst. He taught that when Jews tried to escape from persecution, they simply carried the seeds of antisemitism with them when they settled in other lands. He also claimed that once they were given a nation-state of their very own, a wondrous generation of Jews would miraculously spring into existence. His detailed plans for all of that, including the notion that antisemitism should be harnessed and used as the prime mover of the Zionist movement, were published far and wide in pamphlets, Die Welt, and the assemblies of the Zionist Congress. So the notion that Antisemites and Zionist had a common cause and should operate in league with one another was part of the weltanschauung of the pre-Hitler era Germany and Europe.

          Frankly I enjoy the exchange of views held by people like Blankfort, Slater, Finklestein, and Avnery much more than putting in my two cents worth.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Jeffrey,

          “by now you should know that facts and opinions are not the same thing.”

          I am obligated to bring nothing more than my opinion. We all know (or should know) what the accepted verdict of history is on this point. As with every revisionist, denialist, or challenger to the accepted historical wisdom, the burden of production and the burden of persuasion are wholly and completely yours. I am obligated to do no more than say that, in my opinion, you failed to meet your burden.

          For example, it is a completely acceptable to counter someone who is claiming that the truth is that there was no holocaust by simply opining that that person simply has not proved his claims.

          “BTW, have you watched the Jon Stewart Daily Show clip on Paul?”

          Yes. I was doing you the favor of ignoring it. It was about the Ames Straw Poll. To believe it is actually important or to base anything other than a snarky segment of a comedy show on the results of the Ames Straw Poll is really kind of naive/pathetic.

        • woody, the gist of video wasn’t about the poll, it was about the media blocking paul out. it’s funny.

        • MRW says:

          Blankfort, Woody, and anonymouscomments,

          This video is from April 22, 1984 (Channel 5 News, NYC) and discusses the book The Transfer Agreement by Edwin Black and shows the minted Nazi/Star of David coin, the rallies in Madison Square Garden, and the deals between the Nazis and Zionists before WWII.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “woody, the gist of video wasn’t about the poll, it was about the media blocking paul out. it’s funny.”

          Yes, I know. But the point is that showing the media’s discussion of the primary frontrunners and contrasting that with Paul’s finish in the Ames Straw Poll only makes sense if 1) is a comedian seeking to make a joke at the media’s expense or 2) has no idea what he is talking about regarding politics, because he doesn’t understand what the Ames Straw Poll is. Heck, depending on what the actual polling numbers suggest, a party could win the Ames Straw Poll and the media could, in good conscience, still find that candidate to not be a contender for the nomination.

          Maybe Jon Stewart was just making a joke; maybe he’s in the bag for Paul; maybe he, too, doesn’t get what the Ames Straw Poll is all about. Who cares. Just because Jon Stewart said it, doesn’t make it profound, or even true or valid.

      • MHughes976 says:

        Yes, you describe my view of Zionism, which I understand as the belief that Jewish people, and they only, have an inherent right (birthright) to a share of sovereignty in the HL, others having a share only by (quite readily available) grace and generosity. I don’t think – though I try not drip while saying so – that this belief is logically capable to taking a liberal form. I might say ’1905 Zionism’ rather than just ‘Zionism’ if someone insisted.

        • MHughes976 says:

          I meant this to be in reply to jnslater but I seem to have jumped up the page. Sorry!

        • Slater took a powder from this discussion when I challenged him to tell me what was wrong with what I had to say about the lack of support for a Jewish state among Jews before WW2 and a few other touchy related subjects that apparently made him uncomfortable. You can probably find him hunkering down in his ivory tower gazing at his diplomas. In his absence, Woody T stepped up to the plate and made like “Casey at the bat.”

        • MRW says:

          Jeffrey, jnslater, here is the NYT March 4, 1919 petition to Wilson by prominent US Jews asking him to reject the Zionist idea of a Jewish state.
          link to query.nytimes.com

          The text begins

          As a future form of government for Palestine will undoubtedly he considered by the approaching peace conference, we, the undersigned citizens of the United States, unite in this statement, setting forth our objections to the organization of a Jewish state in Palestine as proposed by the Zionist societies in this country and Europe and to the segregation of the Jews as a nationalistic unit in any country. We feel that in doing so we are voicing the opinion of the majority of American Jews born in this country and of those foreign-born who have lived here long enough to thoroughly assimilate American political and social conditions. The American Zionists represent, according to the most recent statistics available, only a small proportion of the Jews living in this country, about 150,000 out of 3 1/2 million, (American Jewish Yearbook, 1918, Philadelphia.)

          The link above shows the original article as an image. This link gives you the text:
          link to home2.btconnect.com

    • jnslater says:

      Scott:

      I disagree with your explanation of what mainly accounts for the “contempt for liberal Zionism,” at least on this site. Liberal Zionists (that would be me), practically by definition are just as opposed to Israeli expansionism, the treatment of the Palestinians, the ignoring of peace initiatives, etc. as you are; however, it is not the liberal Zionists who have failed to “reasonably accommodate Palestinian national aspirations” etc, but mainstream and rightwing Zionists, who have dominated Israel from the outset.

      Nor do I know what you mean when you say that liberal Zionists have failed in their efforts and haven’t even seriously tried. Yes, we’ve failed–what else would you have them (us) do? You cite Uri Avnery as an exception–but he has also failed, as I believe he would be the first to admit. You contrast Avnery with the Labor Party, which you evidently believe is a liberal Zionist party–but I doubt there are many liberal Zionists–least of all Uri Avnery–who would agree that that the Labor Party (Ben-Gurion, Peres, Barak?) represents liberal Zionism. And I am complete agreement with you about the hasbara function that the Labor party today plays for American audiences.

      The main reason that many anti-Zionists, on this site and elsewhere, fairly drip contempt for liberal Zionism is that they think there is an inherent contradiction between “liberal” and “Zionist,” believe that there was never any justification for Zionism, and essentially deny any legitimacy for the establishment of a Jewish state. In other words, not like you (if I read you rightly), who would be willing to come to grips with ’48 had it not been for almost everything that has happened since.

      • American says:

        “The main reason that many anti-Zionists, on this site and elsewhere, fairly drip contempt for liberal Zionism is that they think there is an inherent contradiction between “liberal” and “Zionist,” believe that there was never any justification for Zionism, and essentially deny any legitimacy for the establishment of a Jewish state.”…Slater

        Well, you are exaggerating Jerome, some of us only drip with contempt now and then, depending on how many people the IDF shot in the head on that day or how many homes they bulldozed.
        However, I have never seen anyone say there wasn’t any justification for zionism, at least in the minds of Jews.
        What I say and many others say is whatever justifications there might have been for zionism, it did not entitle you to take another’s land.
        You yourself have claim that the Jews taking Palestine was ‘necessary” for the greater good– of the Jews.
        If you use liberal in the sense that liberalism implies some sense of human rights and common good than you can’t classify any zionist who believes they had a right to take another’s land and homes as Liberal.

        For you to be a Liberal zionist this is what you would have to do:

        First – Admit to the Palestines that you were wrong to demand and take another’s land and displace the rightful inhabitants.
        Second – Ask them what you can possibility do to atone and compensate them for everything you have done, in a way that would make it possible for the Jews to remain as a peaceful self governing Jewish ‘colony’ within Palestine.

        But see, you will never do this…you will never own up to the original sin and even try to make it right or pay your dues or take responsibility for your actions and sins. You actually believe that Jews are the rarest of earth’s species, the totally innocent always unfairly victimized, and therefore entitled to come before all others.
        You will cry about how sad it is what is happening to the Palestines while at the same time you say taking their home and starting all this destruction really was necessary for the Jews protection and furthermore they must keep it.
        And then, with this narcissistic attitude that you justify by everyone disliking you for no good reason, it never occurs to you or at least you never admit, that your attitude is a legitimate reason for other’s negative opinion of you, you just call it anti semitism.
        Liberal zionist might be slightly better than the Ultra zionist but they are still throughly and deeply screwed up, self deluding and immoral at their core.

      • kalithea says:

        In my opinion, the failure of “liberal” Zionists is just further proof of the evil that is Zionism. If you were so well-intentioned, divine intervention, or good karma would have rescued your “cause”, but apparently, you’re on the WRONG SIDE, liberal notwithstanding. How can you mitigate or cover-up a crime? When the foundation is rotten to the core; you tear it down and stop pretending there’s something to salvage.

  48. Scott says:

    Oh, and one more thing. There is absolutely zero evidence of Ron Paul’s “life-long anti-semitism.” The paleo-libertarian faction which sustained him in the early nineties was, in considerable part, Jewish. . . (like so many interesting political small factions) _ and actually far more interesting than widely excerpted race baiting snippets would make it appear.

    • Scott says:

      It’s a very peculiar kind of “life-long” anti-semite that makes a totem out of a Jewish economist (von Mises).

      • MHughes976 says:

        Again, matters of definition at which I keep worrying, probably wearyingly.
        ‘Anti-Semitism’ to me is ‘suspicion of Jewish culture and its effects so strong as to lead to serious unfairness or worse’, not refusal to admire any achievement or quality by or in anyone Jewish. Even Wagner thought that the Jews had (though with ultimately malevolent intentions) played a positive part in preserving western culture from the absolute and crushing control of the Church – at least that’s how I’d interpret Mime’s role in relation to Siegfried. Even Celine had (for a few weeks only, as far as I know) a Jewish girlfriend – to a degree it is a theme of anti-Semitism that the Jews would not be so dangerous if they were not so attractive, even at times so constructive.
        Not that I’ve the slightest reason to attribute anti-Semitism in any form to RP.
        As to anti-Zionism my idea of it is ‘regarding the arguments for Zionism as consistently mistaken’. So to be an anti-Z is to think that Z neither ever did or ever could take or ever could have taken an acceptable form – so no form of Z is an expression of genuine liberalism. (Others may define the term differently, of course, but it might be a good idea to make anti-Xism for any value of X the rejection of X in all its forms.) This would be a rejection of Z in its essence and I would call myself an anti-Z in this sense.
        This def. doesn’t involve spitting blood at Zionists, just saying in season and out of season that they are mistaken in their arguments. It doesn’t, absolutely doesn’t, involve a steady stream of full-spectrum insults – ‘You’re ugly! You never made any desert bloom! You never made an interesting archaeological discovery! Your critiques of other cultures are all rubbish!’ Israel and Israelis – their scientists, their philosophers, even their soldiers, even their politicians – can have every credit where it’s due. It’s just that none of this and none of anything amounts to a good reason for Zionism in any form.
        I’m only saying what I mean by anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, not giving reasons for rejecting one and accepting the other. I recognise that Zionists would not accept any definition that distinguishes the two.

      • jnslater says:

        Scott and Danaa:

        Alright, I can’t prove that Ron Paul is anti-Semitic, so I’ll partly back away from that charge. However, enough of his anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist statements are so strong that there is reason to suspect that they come perilously close to anti-Semitism (just like so many similar statements from Mondoweissers –for example, how about Paul’s suggestion that the Mossad may have been behind 9/11?

        And as you well know, Scott, the fact that anti-Semites sometimes have a Jewish friend or two, let alone that they favor a Jewish economist, does not demonstrate that they are not anti-Semites.

        But never mind, I understand that the burden of proof is on me to demonstrate Paul is anti-Semitic, not on Paul to prove that he isn’t. I can’t meet that burden, so I withdraw the charge– though my suspicions remain. What is left, then, of the charge that Ron Paul, despite his sometimes (hardly always) correct views on foreign policies, is no man to admire or to have power over public policies: merely that he is a demonstrable–and I do mean demonstrable–racist and crackpot on most domestic issues of the highest significance. Won’t that suffice?

        • seanmcbride says:

          What kind of person unfairly smears someone else as an “anti-Semite” and “racist” and then goes all wobbly and stutters when he can’t back up the charges? Someone who deserves no further attention. Not a serious person.

        • I think its impossible to know whether someone is an anti-semite, or what definition of that.

          I’m not sure its relevant, so long as it doesn’t enter his policies and actions.

          Certainly many of his supporters are anti-semitic.

          Relative to the newsletters, he is demonstrably negligent.

          And, as I’ve said a number of times, with no serious response, his constitutionalist views result in a passive president relative to Congress, and as he regards money as protected free speech, any assertion that he would put a damper on the Israel lobby is a joke.

          I like that he prefers to discuss and persuade, and in the debates at least, framed all of his criticism of other candidates on principles. He presented the merits on the campaign as the merits of the principles that he articulates, and not on him personally.

          So, if one is voting for his principles or not, then that is what should be reviewed. Still, his personal ability to deliver those principles are a strong criteria of his fitness for office.

          Limited government is wonderful if there is a confidently robust and efficient charitable sector.

          As odd as it may seem, government is far more efficient at delivering social service and public welfare services, than ad hoc charities. There are very well run charitable organizations, and there are less than well-run charitable organizations. The amount of funding that they receive is NOT an indicator of their effectiveness and efficiency, so some of the largest charities are also the least efficient.

          A great many charities have very high proportion of fundraising and related expenses, that put a drag on their services. Few charities have metrics to determine the effectiveness of their success at their missions.

          Government has the prospect of universal and fair delivery of services, safety net and public assets.

          Government is horribly impersonal, as are many charities. MANY charities now are conduits for government awards anyway, an outsourced government obligation.

          Maybe another entity comprising compulsory participation than government should provide income insurance, health insurance, employment insurance, etc.

          Only government can build infrastructure though.

        • Donald says:

          “And, as I’ve said a number of times, with no serious response, his constitutionalist views result in a passive president relative to Congress, and as he regards money as protected free speech, any assertion that he would put a damper on the Israel lobby is a joke.”

          I actually agree with some of your points about Paul and you might be right about this one too. I haven’t responded because I think it’s largely irrelevant. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Paul gets the Republican nomination, let alone one where he becomes the President. But yeah, I’m a liberal and his domestic policies are very far from my own views and maybe his views on political speech would give the Lobby more power. But I don’t think this is a realistic concern because he’s not going to win. The interesting questions to me are whether he is or is not a bigot, whether the press is or is not being fair to him about this, and whether his views on foreign policy (some though not all of which I agree with) get a fair hearing.
          What the press has done so far is lump all of his out of the mainstream ideas into one basket called “crazy” and dismiss them. The NYT is doing this by linking his alleged “anti-Zionism” with his alleged “anti-semitism”.

          There never seems to be a time in American politics when one can have a serious discussion about American imperialism or our support for unsavory allies and the role this all plays in stirring up hatred against us. The Democrats and Republicans unite in pretending that we are noble and good and people hate us for our freedom. Ron Paul is the only person in either party to question this in a way that actually makes it into the news. This doesn’t make me close my eyes to his other positions. But one can’t help notice how hard the mainstream works to discredit someone like him. Would it kill you to acknowledge this? Well, maybe it would. I don’t think it’s some accident that when some person or organization criticizes Israel or America’s blind support for Israel you usually side with the critics of the critics.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Someone who deserves no further attention. Not a serious person.”

          Nonsense. It is someone who is willing to reconsider his position and review it objectively and fairly and own up to an error. That is to be commended.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Why would anyone wade into this discussion without first checking to see if Ron Paul was in fact an “anti-Semite” and “racist”? I did my homework and due diligence before commenting on that issue and I expect *serious* people to do likewise.

          Now, you may want to raise questions about Nelson Linder’s and Eric Dondero’s views on Ron Paul regarding these charges — if so, raise the questions and provide some solid evidence. Linder’s and Dondero’s credentials are impressive with regard to rendering a judgment on this issue.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          I think that the newsletters are prima facie evidence of assorted bigotries. Rebuttable, but sufficient to enter the fray, in my opinion.

          But, again, the issue isn’t Jerry’s initial assertion. It’s the fact that he came to conclude that his assertion exceeded what he believed he could support and admirably, in my opinion, candidly admitted as much and withdrew. That’s the only point I was making; not really on the merit’s of the asseriton, but, rather, on Jerry’s actions.

          “Linder’s and Dondero’s credentials are impressive with regard to rendering a judgment on this issue.”

          Not really, in my opinion. They are some evidence, but unless you know them, their opinion is intersting, but ultimately is nothing but their opinions.

        • I hope that you acknowledge that as a component of my reluctance to judge, I also have not judged Ron Paul.

          Its not my business whether he is a bigot or not. I can’t possibly know, and even if I did, everyone that I know harbors some prejudices. The literal best that we can counter that with is to humanize the other (as much as you hate my use of that phrase).

          I do get to choose what I work for, and who I vote for.

          I think people that imagine that Ron Paul is the “anti-war” candidate for President, don’t understand what the president’s responsibilities are, and are therefore wishful thinking.

          That even his “good points” are not confident, doesn’t add up to a promising dissenting candidate.

        • Frankie P says:

          @jnslater and seanmcbride,

          Professor Slater,

          As someone who is no doubt aware of the negative influences even baseless accusations of anti-semitism can have on one’s career and reputation, you should be ashamed of the way that you use that smear without burden of proof. Don’t you realize that empty accusations about anti-semitism have blurred the lines between “those who hate the Jews” and “those who the Jews hate”, marginalizing a serious form of racism? Keep your suspicions, research them and find conclusive evidence, and then and only then open your mouth. I have to agree with sean here; you are making yourself and your opinions unworthy of serious consideration.

          FPM

        • kalithea says:

          I’m sure your Lobby friends are digging around for whatever speck of anti-Semitic dirt they can find in RP’s closet and should their magnifying glass turn up something you’ll be the first to scream it from the rooftop here. In the meantime, those newsletters are SO CONVENIENT to try to shut him up and derail his campaign.

          Because keeping the Lobby alive is necessary for the survival of Zionism and “liberal” Zionists fear the day the Lobby is run out of town. “Liberal” Zionists put on a good show of criticizing the Lobby, but when the Lobby’s existence is threated by anyone, they’ll whip out their magnifying glasses and get into the dumpsters of smear with their right-wing counterparts to defend their common cause.

      • seanmcbride says:

        By the way — there are reports out there (from Reason Magazine mainly) that Murray Rothbard instigated those racist comments in the newsletter based on the premise that stirring up bigoted populist sentiments would be good for expanding the appeal and reach of the libertarian movement. Rothbard was Jewish, right? One presumes that Ron Paul had some kind of working relationship with Rothbard (not sure; haven’t Googled it yet).

        • MRW says:

          Boy, that would be a shockeroo. I better go check it.

        • MRW says:

          Here’s the link: link to historycommons.org
          Snip (The paragraph breaks aren’t in the original)

          January 16, 2008

          An article in the libertarian newsletter Reason discusses the controversy surrounding the racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic material printed in newsletters issued by US Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) from 1978 through at least 1996 (see 1978-1996).

          The controversy has erupted in recent weeks after an article by the New Republic publicized the newsletters and prompted Paul’s disassociation from those publications (see January 8-15, 2008). Paul, a self-described libertarian, has waffled on claiming authorship of the newsletters; he has gone from saying in 1996 that he wrote all the material in them (see May 22 – October 11, 1996) to more recently claiming that he wrote virtually none of their content and knew little of what was being published under his name for nearly 20 years. (In 2001 he told a reporter that in 1996 he did not admit that a ghostwriter wrote most of the material because to do so would have been “confusing” for voters (see October 1, 2001); this year, Paul is claiming to have virtually no knowledge of anything printed in the newsletters.)

          In mid-January, he told a CNN reporter that he had “no idea” who wrote some of the racially inflammatory rhetoric in his newsletters, and said he repudiated the flagrantly bigoted material printed therein. [...]

          Conservative Libertarian Said to Be Paul’s ‘Ghostwriter’ -
          According to Reason reporters Julian Sanchez and David Weigel, some libertarian activists, including some close to Paul, name Paul’s “ghostwriter” to be Llewellyn “Lew” Rockwell Jr. Rockwell is the founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a libertarian think tank in Alabama with which Paul has maintained close ties. Rockwell was Paul’s Congressional chief of staff from 1978 through 1982, and was vice president of Ron Paul & Associates, which published two of Paul’s newsletters before its dissolution in 2001. Sanchez and Weigel note, “During the period when the most incendiary items appeared—roughly 1989 to 1994—Rockwell and the prominent libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard championed an open strategy of exploiting racial and class resentment to build a coalition with populist ‘paleoconservatives,’ producing a flurry of articles and manifestos whose racially charged talking points and vocabulary mirrored the controversial Paul newsletters unearthed by the New Republic.” [...]

          Change in Strategy: ‘Outreach to the Rednecks’
          Sanchez and Weigel note: “The tenor of Paul’s newsletters changed over the years. The ones published between Paul’s return to private life after three full terms in Congress (1985) and his Libertarian presidential bid (1988) notably lack inflammatory racial or anti-gay comments.

          The letters published between Paul’s first run for president and his return to Congress in 1996 are another story—replete with claims that Martin Luther King ‘seduced underage girls and boys,’ that black protesters should gather ‘at a food stamp bureau or a crack house’ rather than the Statue of Liberty, and that AIDS sufferers ‘enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick.’”

          They also note that the newsletters were a significant source of funding for Paul’s campaigns. Former Paul campaign aide Eric Dondero, who after leaving the organization in 2004 has become one of Paul’s most notable critics, says that Paul’s staff learned between his stints in Congress that “the wilder they got, the more bombastic they got with it, the more the checks came in. You think the newsletters were bad? The fundraising letters were just insane from that period.”

        • mhuizenga says:

          See, I knew all this since I’ve been following Paul for 5 years, but since this is a forum for discussing the Israeli/Palestinian issue, I try to refrain from anything that might be considered campaigning for him. If a reasonable person does her homework on him (and mine has taken 5 years and is still going on), she can ably justify support for him, baggage and all. That’s not to say he doesn’t have “issues.” What candidate doesn’t? One of the comments here mentions campaign finance. That’s a biggie for me. But, Paul is nothing but consistent, and his Libertarianism just won’t bend on this. There are many die hard liberals who could never be converted to Paul ideologically. I can sympathize with this. My significant other is one who won’t bend. Still, with regard to the issue of this site, he is the only beacon right now. For anyone who is interested, there is a very lucid, somewhat sophisticated, article over at naked capitalism.com about liberalism and Paul. If nothing else the author argues, Paul requires liberals to do some self reflecting. That seems to be what is happening here.

        • kalithea says:

          “Murray Rothbard was born March 2, 1926 in New York City, the son and only child of David and Rae Rothbard, immigrant parents. His father, a chemist, came from Poland and his mother from Russia. They raised their JEWISH family in the Bronx, where he was exposed to the strong socialist thinking of many Jewish and immigrant families.”

          link to newworldencyclopedia.org

          So a Jew is behind Ron Paul’s newsletters?

          Forgive me: HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

          Karmic justice?

  49. This whole “article” is a classic example of a very low quality journalism.
    Pathetic, histerical to maximum, finger pointing, mud smearing, phony arguments and this histeria, those epithets, borderlining on paranoia?
    Pitiful.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      So you are claiming that the quotes which went out under Ron Paul’s name, in his own newsletters, are not accurately quoted?? Because that is really the key issue. If they are not accurate quotes, that’s one thing. If they are, then we all must determine our view of this person based on those expressed views.

      • Did you read Paul Ron’s response to it ???
        “I didn’t write them, I didn’t read them, I disavow them….”
        You conveniently doesn’t pay attention to it ,because it doesn’t fit your personal agenda.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “You conveniently doesn’t pay attention to it ,because it doesn’t fit your personal agenda.”

          Nonsense. Let’s look at this statement:

          “I didn’t write them,”

          Okay. Fine. Who did? Paul’s not saying. Why is he not saying?

          “…I didn’t read them, ”

          Okay. Fine. that merely raises the question: Why not? They were going out in his newsletters purportedly under his name — for years. He was making a lot of money off of them. Was he never even curious as to what his constituents were being told were his views? Was he never made aware that someone was spouting racist nonsense in his name? If he was told, why didn’t he do anything about it? If he was not told, why didn’t he have mechanisms in place to ensure that someone wasn’t making statements in his name that he didn’t agree with?

          So what is he — negligent? sympathetic to the views? a fool?

          “I disavow them….”

          Great. Now that he’s running for the big government job, and it behooves him to do so.

        • Charon says:

          IMO, the newsletter thing has run it’s course. It was worth discussion, because this man is running for a very important political position. It’s like the birth certificate, but far less important. Now it’s become a straw man.

          All of Paul’s opponents have far worse dirt to fixate on. Seems an awful lot of people are jumping on this as a way to dismiss the guy which I don’t really get considering his competition. If you weren’t a US citizen, weren’t of voting age, didn’t plan to vote, or planned to vote for a third party, it would make sense. But nobody could make a single rational case to pick one of the other GOP candidates over Paul. Call it an opinion, but I don’t see it that way. Anybody who believes in one of the other GOP candidates either profits from the status quo or is a useful idiot without knowledge of the truth. An enemy of the middle class so to speak. People live in hell and actually fell in love with it. It’s nice here they say. They protect their criminal overlords like a kidnap victim often does to a kidnapper.

          On the other end you got Obama. Obama might’ve meant well and tried but he failed. He doesn’t deserve another chance, let somebody else try. And if they fail (and they probably will because Congress will block anything ‘radical’) then it’s time to bring out the guillotine and start our own reign of terror 2.0, bring about some real change and destroy the establishment.

  50. jnslater says:

    Scott:

    Two comments. You ask why we don’t apply the same standards of judgment to Paul’s supposed changes as we do to Hitchens. The answer is that we have no reason to doubt that Hitchen’s changes in position–even if unwise–are genuine: he wasn’t running for office. On the other hand, since Paul is running for office, we have every reason in the world to suspect that his changes of position are phony, and that his real views are those he repeatedly expressed when he wasn’t running.

    Secondly, it is not only Paul’s racism that is deplorable, it’s his positions on so many other issues as well, as brought out in Lizzy’s assessment.

    Finally, though this wasn’t what you said, a number of his defenders here have praised Paul for his position on civil liberties, but forget about his position on civil rights–he opposed the civil rights law of 1964, which prohibited racial segregation and discrimination in all public places, and says he would continue to do so today. So much for his “changed” views.

    But he’s in favor of civil liberties. So people have the right to say anything they want, but African Americans have no right to oppose voter registration laws that are aimed at reducing the black vote, and no right to end racial segregation in schools, workplaces, and public facilities of all kinds. Of course, they can SAY anything about these practices as they want–it’s a free country–they just can’t DO anything about them.

  51. mhuizenga says:

    I’m a lifelong, although youngish, Democrat, and I started supporting Paul in late 2007 because of his antiwar stance and his defense of the Constitution. However, I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching with regard to these newsletters which I’ve known about since 2008. I’m still not completely comfortable with his defense of them. But, it’s interesting to see what bothers the “other republicans” about him. It ain’t the racism. This today from Phillip Klein at the Washington Examiner, in an article titled, “Why I’d back Obama over Ron Paul”:

    “So then we get to foreign policy. Obviously, if you agree with Paul’s non- interventionist views, it makes sense to back him. But if, like me, you find Paul’s ideas dangerous, then as bad as he is, Obama is preferable. Despite the many problems I have with Obama on foreign policy, he has continued many of President Bush’s counterterrorism policies and did prove willing to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the drone attack that killed Anwar al-Awlaki. At the end of the day, Obama wants to be politically popular and so there are some limits to how far off the reservation he’d veer on foreign policy.”

    Talk about Bizarro world. Maybe it is time for a third party.

    • David Samel says:

      mhuizenga, you’re absolutely right. Obama’s foreign policy has been a continuation of Bush’s, at best(!), and there is no reason to expect anything different in his second term. frontpagemagazine.com has another one of its patented hatchet jobs today. I don’t think it’s reasonable to support someone solely because his enemies are awful, but these articles are points in his favor. The neo-con hatred of Paul is genuine and understandable (in a perverse way), while neo-con criticism of Obama is neither. They have little complain about with him.

    • There is another concern with a non-interventionist principle.

      That is that it is different to say that the US will never intervene, than to say that for the US to intervene in this situation is wrong.

      He has said publicly, and recently, that he would not have initiated US involvement relative to nazi Germany, as the US was not a direct party to the war, a European imbroglio solely.

      • Donald says:

        Richard, I disagree with Ron Paul’s stance on US intervention in WWII. But I agree with his view that much of the hatred towards the US that one finds is generated not because “they hate our freedom”, but because of our policy of supporting pro-US dictators in Arab countries and our blind unwavering support of Israel.

        • I think the hatred of the US is hatred of intervention in others’ world.

          There are two sides to that.

          One side is that opportunists, often brutal, hate that there is any accountability on their designs.

          The other is that common people see the US acting insensitively and hypocritically when they state that they are there to empower democracy.

          We should have humility relative to intervention or occupation. And, we should have the courage to do what we note as important, as you determined to intervene in Israel/Palestine issues for some likely good motivation.

      • and if US had taken that stance, many millions of Jews might not have been killed. Ever look at it that way?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “and if US had taken that stance, many millions of Jews might not have been killed. Ever look at it that way?”

          How exactly did you reach that conclusion? The Holocaust was not, in any way, related to the US’s entry into the war.

          In fact, the US’s role in the ETO was, in the main, negligible. The Germans lost the war when they didn’t capture Moscow in winter 1941. The rest was just a question of how long it would take and whether the parties would see it through to the end. The Americans did prevent France and Eastern Europe from becoming Soviet satellite states, but they didn’t win the war.

          But the US’s involvment probably did affect the speed of the end and, consequently, the number of people killed in the death camps. It is conceivable that if Germany had not declared war on the US, the war would have lasted longer (perhaps the Soviets would not have advanced as quickly without US materiale or the Germans could have been more effective marshalling their resources), which would have led to more deaths in the camps.

        • The US, in most respects, did the best that it could to fight naziism, and to stop the holocaust.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          ETO stood for “European Theater of Operations.” I should have actually just wrote “European Theater,” as the ETO was a US Army military command, and I meant the geographic term.

          “OR, if Halifax, rather than the bellicose Churchill had parlayed with Germans and sought peace in 1940, the affair could have ended then and there.”

          If the Brits had made peace in 1940, that would not have stopped Hitler, even if the UK abandoned Poland. In fact, Hitler’s plan was to establish peace with Britain — in essence the two, as he saw it, Aryan powers joining together, with Germany running the Eurasian core and the UK running its peripheral empire. Had that occurred, it would have done nothing to stop Hitler’s plans to attack the USSR. If anything, it would convinced him he was on the right path, and that Providence was making come to fruition that which he foretold (he thought in those terms.) Consequently, he would have sought to fight the USSR, probably earlier in 1941, which might have actually lead to the Germans winning the battle of Moscow (and perhaps Leningrad, as well) as the winter of 1941 would not have acted as a force multiplier for the Soviets.

          If that happened, who knows what happens next. Does Stalin survive? His staying in Moscow during the Battle of Moscow was an enormous psychological boost to the USSR. Had he been killed during the battle, does the country’s defense fall apart with the fall of Moscow? If he lives, does he capitulate and tries to retain a Siberian empire?? Unlikely, in my opinion, but he was willing to give up Ukraine, so who knows.

          And if the Germans win in Moscow, would they have been able to capitalized on it to attack the trans-Ural factories which were the key, along with massive population and vast space, to the Red Army victory? (I have my doubts the Germans could have done that, given the lack of long-distance, high capacity bombing capabilities of the Luftwaffe)

          But the real possiblity is that they may have knocked the USSR out of the war. But either way, once the war with the USSR starts — and if the UK sued for peace in 1940, the war with the USSR would have come — the full horror of the Holocaust was unavoidable. (It would have occurred even if the war stopped with the conquest of Poland, if on a smaller scale.)

  52. seanmcbride says:

    I am wondering: is Ron Paul going to cause an emotional civil war within Mondoweiss’s readership? :) Actually, no joke. A certain weirdness factor is beginning to creep into this issue here.

    • American says:

      No, everyone is just kicking the can around pro, con, supporers, non supporters, questioners……just robust debate, no need to worry. I doubt there will be any Mondo divorces over this.

  53. seanmcbride says:

    You know, I just reviewed this entire thread, including the original article that kicked it off, and it is feeling crazy to me — completely out of sync with the culture of Mondoweiss. Mitt Romney has promised to hand over control of American Mideast policy to the most right-wing and racist regime in Israeli history and to wage a war against Iran on behalf of Israel that would destroy the American economy.

    Why are we not talking about Mitt Romney and the threat his beliefs and policies represent for Americans? It is much more likely that Romney will win the Republican nomination and the election than Ron Paul. And yet a few people here are fanatically focused on taking down Ron Paul. What the hell is going on?

    • ish says:

      Because those of us who learn from an early age the different between left and right can see that Ron Paul is to the extreme right of the Republican party and we find it disturbing that people with rational-enough minds to correctly identify the issues in the Middle East are engaged in this bizarre series of rationalizations around Ron Paul.

      Anyone not engaged in an emotional game of Twister built around the slim, and in my opinion deluded, hope that Ron Paul is for a rational foreign policy can see who Ron Paul really is. He is not a new archetype on the American scene.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Ish,

        Your comments fall well below the level of political sophistication one usually encounters on Mondoweiss. I’m not going to get into it with you. I don’t think you’ve understood a word that has been uttered here on this subject. Feel free to go back and read all my comments in this thread and see if you can puzzle them out.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Your comments fall well below the level of political sophistication one usually encounters on Mondoweiss.”

          Actually, ish’s comments were among the most lucid on this thread. Of course, he was anti-Paul, so he must be tarred as being “unsophisticated.”

          On a side note, did anyone ever notice that cults treat critics as enemies to be denounced and marginalized, rather than engaging their ideas.

          Anyway, back to Ron Paul. Just because ish has a different view of Paul does not mean you should denounce his opinions as being unsophisticated or claim that he doesn’t understand what you’ve said. This is nothing more than an attempt to marginalize his opinions by way of slur, rather than engaging the ideas themselves.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Woody,

          If you are trying to suggest that I am a Ron Paul cultist, be apprised that I only started paying attention to him a few months ago and disagree with the majority of his ideas.

          Re: Ish: color me not impressed and not interested in wasting any time on him (or her). Allocation of time and resources and all that. There are much better minds on Mondoweiss.

          Re: Paul’s libertarian views on Israel and foreign policy in general: are you suggesting that Israel should dictate American policy or that America should dictate Israeli policy? I agree with Ron Paul on this matter: emphatically, no. And I think it is highly unlikely that Israel would attack Iran if it lost its ability to control American foreign policy — a simple calculation, one which Ron Paul has no doubt also made.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “If you are trying to suggest that I am a Ron Paul cultist…”

          Just making an observation.

          “color me not impressed and not interested in wasting any time on him (or her).”

          Yet you had the option of simply not responding, but didn’t choose that route. Addressing the issues ish raised wouldn’t have taken more time (if any at all) as your denouncement of ish, personally. So clearly “wasting time” rings hollow to me.

          “Re: Paul’s libertarian views on Israel and foreign policy in general: are you suggesting…”

          I’m not suggesting anything regarding Ron Paul’s foreign policy. I agree with some portions of Paul’s foreign policy, and not with others.

        • Newclench says:

          Given the choice, some of the most active here definitely prefer to attack an individual than engage with uncomfortable ideas. It’s a hallmark of cultish extremism that exists on the pro-Israeli right wing as well.

      • left and right are meaningless to me.

        who cares what brand-name is on someone’s sleeve; I’m worried about homicidal tendencies in US policy makers. In that, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between right, left, Christian zionist, mainstream Christian, many Catholics, Jews, liberals, progressives (another pair of meaningless labels), socialists, libertarians. Most Americans are ignorant of every detail of policy choices by individuals and his/her advisors, relying instead on the vast wisdom conveyed by “right” “left” “liberal” “progressive.”
        In 1972, GM did not think it was worthwhile to worry about the reliability of an automobile because people bought them for status — name-brand recognition. The people who WERE paying attention to a well-engineered machine, the Japanese, ate GMs lunch.

        Dumb is not smart.

    • Donald says:

      “And yet a few people here are fanatically focused on taking down Ron Paul. What the hell is going on?”

      I think this is backwards. This blog is largely devoted to the I/P conflict and how the US has made it worse. 99 percent of everything that gets written here is about that. Now Ron Paul comes along and says some things that most of us agree with about foreign policy and it is natural for many of us to cheer him. But others point out that he has some other views that many of us don’t find so congenial and don’t think we should be supporting him because he is right about one (admittedly very important) issue. So it’s natural and healthy that there will be disagreement. I’ve seen a range of views expressed about Paul, some all for him, some against, and some in-between.

      What would be weird and disturbing would be some lockstep agreement between everyone here.

  54. MRW says:

    I wonder if Ron Paul has met RuPaul? Enquiring minds….

  55. Henry Norr says:

    I’m surprised folks participating in this discussion, aside from Richard Witty, don’t seem to be paying much attention to the electronic interview with Ron Paul in today’s Haaretz. It’s an odd one – he reiterates a lot of his commendable non-interventionist principles, opposition to foreign aid, etc., but also appears to be trying to reassure and even appeal to the Israelis (and of course their backers here at home). Some key passages:

    * “I do not believe we should be Israel’s master but, rather, her friend. We should not be dictating her policies and announcing her negotiating positions before talks with her neighbors have even begun. … I believe we have gone too far, to Israel’s detriment. Instead of being her friend, we have dominated her foreign policy.” (The U.S. dictates Israel’s policies?? That’s just the opposite of what’s happening!)

    * “I am the one candidate who would respect Israel’s sovereignty and not try to dictate to her about how she should deal with her neighbors. I supported Israel’s right to attack the Iraqi nuclear reactor in the 1980s, and I opposed President Obama’s attempt to dictate Israel’s borders this year.”

    * in response to a question about Iran: “I believe I’m the only candidate who would allow Israel to take immediate action to defend herself without having to get our approval. Israel should be free to take whatever steps she deems necessary to protect her national security and sovereignty.” (Not surprisingly, Haaretz’s headline writers call this statement “a ‘green light’ to an Israeli attack on Iran.”)

    • Donald says:

      Well, that makes him less and less interesting. It’s understandable–he’s a politician trying to get the nomination. But he’s only interesting when he says things that go flatly against the foreign policy consensus. Otherwise he’s just a far right Republican. Perhaps if he starts thinking he could really win this thing he’ll gradually morph into a mainstream far right Republican.

    • jnslater says:

      As Henry Norr and I have just pointed out, Paul’s latest amazing twists and turns have left–or should have left–his apologists high and dry. The basic line here (with variations on the theme) has been: Sure, his domestic policies and his racism are bad, but on balance he’s good because he is anti-war and no backer of Israel.

      So what’s left of the argument now: he’s antiwar (who isn’t?) but it’s ok by him if Israel starts a war with Iran. In fact, anything is ok by him if Israel says it is necessary: “Israel should be free to take whatever steps she deems necessary to protect her national security and sovereignty.” Like, for example, if Israel says its national security and sovereignty requires it to invade Gaza again, or even carry out another massive expulsion of the Palestinians?”

      Unlike some others, I do think this discussion has been instructive, even though no one thinks Paul is going very far. It’s been instructive, because it should reveal the perils of unsophisticated monomania: antiZionism trumps every other consideration, value, or crazy view. Especially when the leading antiZionist suddenly pulls the rug out, either (a)defecting or (b) goes whoring after the votes of the lunatic fringe.

      • David Samel says:

        Professor, I think your focus on I/P is too narrow-minded. In the first place, Paul promises to put an end to US policies of endless military engagement and slaughter of untold numbers of human beings in other countries. It is not simply his position on I/P that makes him attractive. The casualties caused by the US dwarf those of Israel. There’s also his position on protecting civil liberties from governmental assault.

        Even with respect to I/P, you are misinterpreting his position. He never promised to rein in Israel, but only to sever the cord that binds the two countries. He doesn’t think the US should dictate what Israel does and does not do, because if the US withdraws its enormous financial and military assistance, it would have little leverage to exert pressure. In effect, that is precisely what those calling for an end to our Israel annual subsidy have been calling for. Israel’s worst behavior has been committed with the knowledge that US support is rock solid. Removal of automatic support would hopefully make Israel think twice about going it alone. If Israel insists on going to war with Iran, which Prez or candidate would stop him? You want to count on Obama? I wouldn’t. Paul is the only one who would rule out a US attack on Iran, and if Israel does it, he would be the only Prez to remain neutral; all the others would be enthusiastic supporters who defend Israel’s aggression and barbarity.

        Does this mean Paul has no downside? Of course not. But Obama has exuberantly joined the ranks of Presidential mass murderers, and Paul is the only candidate who promises to remove “willingness to kill” from POTUS job requirements. btw, I think Paul’s demerits are obvious enough that it was quite reckless of you to accuse him of “life-long anti-Semitism” with no evidence at all, a charge you only partially withdrew when challenged, because of your lingering suspicions; and life-long racism, a charge you seem to continue to support primarily with his opposition to the Civil Rights Act on libertarian but not racist grounds. I have heard him argue against the necessity of the Civil War on the ground that many other countries abolished slavery without such enormous carnage, and the US surely could have done so as well; even if you disagree, would you interpret that opinion as a defense of slavery? A strong case could be made against Paul by sticking to facts without resorting to smears and hunches.

        • “Paul is the only candidate who promises to remove “willingness to kill” from POTUS job requirements.”

          That conflicts with his constitutionalism, that the declaration of war by Congress (including War resolutions) is the law of the land, that he is required constitutionally to execute.

          He is running for the wrong position.

        • jnslater says:

          Samel: I’m not going to get into your myriad errors and hysterical exaggerations here–Obama as an exuberant mass murderer, for example–but I will mention one thing. Suppose Paul got elected president and said that as soon as he could convince Congress to do so (almost surely never) he would end all aid to Israel, but repeated that he “would allow Israel to take immediate action to defend herself without having to get our approval. Israel should be free to take whatever steps she deems necessary to protect her national security and sovereignty.”

          What do you think Israel would do next?

        • American says:

          “What do you think Israel would do next?”

          Israel wouldn’t do a gd thing next Slater.
          If the US did say to Israel …go do your own thing without us they would s**** in their britches.
          Because that would also mean– start a war and you’re on your own, no US money, no US weapons, no US military back up — nothing, zilch, zero.
          Remove US from the equation and any country in the ME could fall on them, Egypt, Turkey, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the first time they overstepped. Israel would get either much, much humbler or be wiped out.
          And that is the exact position they should be put in.
          Israel can’t wipe it’s own ass without the US, they couldn’t even afford to keep stealing land and building settlements and killing Palestines without US money, US strong arming in their behalf and US UN vetoes.

        • David Samel says:

          Professor, perhaps you think of war as something other than mass murder, but I doubt if the victims and their families would agree with you. Or perhaps you think Obama “reluctantly” orders drone and other strikes that have taken countless innocent lives, and object to the word “exuberant.” Did you catch the NYTimes article about the stress experienced by drone operators when they view the carnage they have caused (link to nytimes.com)

          In one surprising finding that challenged some of the survey’s initial suppositions, the authors found limited stress related to a unique aspect of the operators’ jobs: watching hours of close-up video of people killed in drone strikes. After a strike, operators assess the damage, and unlike fighter pilots who fly thousands of feet above their targets, drone operators can see in vivid detail what they have destroyed.

          Maybe Obama’s filled with remorse and stress over the same footage, or maybe he doesn’t bother to look. Maybe I was exaggerating about his “exuberance” over his mass murder. What about Bush? What do you think his attitude was to his mass murder? Or do you think it unfair to call either or both a mass murderer?

          Paul’s platform is to let Israel go it alone instead of sucking in the US to do its bidding and provide it cover. Will that be enough to restrain Israel from attacking Iran? Who knows, but it’s more than anyone else will do. Any other Prez will offer unlimited support. You also deftly avoid acknowledging that support for Paul is based on more than the I/P conflict, and that he would end US wars and not start new ones. This is neither an insignificant consideration, nor one of my myriad errors and hysterical exaggerations.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          very helpful David, thanks for that.
          someone said recently that in praising Paul I was progressive only on Palestine.
          it’s not just Palestine. its drones over afghanistan and bases all over and threats against Iran.
          and yes, as you point out, if the US had a normal relationship with Israel, and had nothing to do with its attack on Iran, it would be a whole different issue– and in fact, Israel wouldn’t dare to attack Iran, and it would have had to come to terms with its neighbors a long time ago

        • eljay says:

          >> Suppose Paul got elected president and said … that he “would allow Israel to take immediate action to defend herself without having to get our approval. Israel should be free to take whatever steps she deems necessary to protect her national security and sovereignty.”
          >> What do you think Israel would do next?

          Seize more land and build more settlements? Because, well, that’s all Israel – a “beacon unto the nations”, colonialist and religion-supremacist “Jewish state” – seems to know how to do. Theft and colonization = protection of national security and sovereignty. And if it’s not enough, the only remedies appear to be more theft and colonization.

          No surprise, really, especially when you have “humanist” Zio-supremacists like RW telling you that Israel should be a Jewish-majority state which ought to be prepared to excise from their own country non-Jewish Israeli minority “demographics” which threaten the permanent-majority status of Jewish Israelis.

        • Donald says:

          ” I’m not going to get into your myriad errors and hysterical exaggerations here–Obama as an exuberant mass murderer, for example–”

          Sorry, but there weren’t “myriad errors and hysterical exaggerations” in David’s post. Even the “exuberant” can be defended. Obama jokes about drone strikes at public events, which is not something a liberal would have let Bush do without commenting on the crudity of a man making a joke about a tool of assassination that he wields. When questioned about his foreign policy toughness Obama adopted that tough guy pose that is distasteful in anyone, but especially distasteful in someone who has never been near combat (neither have I and I hope I would have enough sense not to posture that way). Drone strikes kill innocent civilians and the Obama Administration embraces the notion that it can use this tool without accountability. Read Glenn Greenwald on this subject sometime, if you haven’t already.

          The really nasty thing about American foreign policy is that the worst aspects of it are bipartisan. When Obama got into office he wasted little time saying that not only would there be no prosecutions of high ranking US officials for war crimes, but there wouldn’t even be an investigation. Obama apologists claim that this was because he picks and chooses his battles and couldn’t afford a fight on that when the economy was in such dire straits. But it’s obvious that there is something deeper at work here–no one who has made it to the White House ever wants to see US officials held to the same legal human rights standards that we wish to impose on our enemies. This applies to Israelis as well–one member of his Administration (I think it was Susan Rice) said that there was no evidence Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza. American officials, Democrat or Republican, simply don’t think that the rule of law should apply to them or their allies. Israeli officials are members of the club, and prosecuting them would set a precedent where a Western official could be treated by the same rules that govern someone like Milosevic. This is unacceptable to our foreign policy establishment and they regard anyone who thinks differently as a crackpot. So every generation we see these arrogant men (and women, since Hillary was also an Iraq War cheerleader) push the US into some foolish war and a war that isn’t justified is nothing more than terrorism on a gigantic scale. And there is no accountability for it. The notion that losing an election is accountability is beyond a joke, but that’s what is supposed to pass for accountability in America.

        • David Samel says:

          Donald, thanks for that defense and for that brilliant analysis. You more fully explicated what I previously described as “dangerous racism” – the notion that citizens of certain countries are more killable than Americans. The non-accountability aspect, and the immunity for mass murder that our version of “Dear Leader” enjoys, is an integral part of that. I’ve always thought that your comments are the ones I could have written myself. On Paul, we differ somewhat, with you saying you could never vote for him, and me, much to my own surprise and only after contemplating the issue to write comments on MW, thinking that maybe I could (in the still very unlikely event he wins the nomination). If you want to know why, re-read your own indictment of Obama. If Paul’s newsletters or even worse, his domestic agenda and slavish devotion to libertarian principles (reminiscent of unwavering adherence to Marxist principles) disqualify him in your eyes as a legitimate candidate (which I completely understand), Obama’s first term disqualifies him in mine. I could always vote for Nader a fifth consecutive time. He may not be running but I’ve always joked that I would vote for him until he was dead for 10 years.

        • Donald says:

          Thanks David. Nader is pretty close to my ideal candidate on the issues and I’ve voted for him twice. Otherwise it’s lesser of two evils voting and I’ve done that too. It’ll be lesser of two evils in 2012, I suppose, unless I just leave the Presidential slot blank, which I might do. It doesn’t matter at all where I live who I vote for.

          There is no ideal candidate this time around. I won’t defend Paul’s letters, because even if he didn’t write them it’s inexcusable that he’d let such things go out under his name. But I also won’t pretend his flaws are qualitatively worse than the other candidates. I think he’d be a total disaster on the domestic front if he got in, but he’s also the only candidate who takes a semi-reasonable position on foreign policy (even taking into account the Ha’aretz interview).

          So what I’m going to continue to do with Paul is what I’ve done up till now–defend his foreign policy positions where I agree with them, because he’s the only one who sometimes makes anti-imperialist statements. I won’t defend him otherwise. I won’t argue with people who support him if they’re doing it for anti-imperialist reasons–a vote for Obama is also a vote for a deeply flawed candidate and as for the other Republicans, they share most of Paul’s less than admirable positions and none of the ones that make him even slightly appealing.

        • Donald, I echo David’s sentiments. That otherwise intelligent people still believe that Obama is something other than what he has shown himself to be in his first term and that if given a second, without having to worry about re-election, the real Obama will emerge, is beyond me. A vote for Obama is a vote for a war criminal.

          Having investigated his background I knew what we were getting before election night and so I watched the returns with growing anger at the man because I knew he would betray the hundreds of black Chicagans gathered in Grant Park and across America who were weeping with joy at seeing a black man being elected as president of the US.

        • My hope is that you all will realize that Paul doesn’t in fact promise to deliver what you hope he will deliver.

          Specifically, the only change that he can deliver is in the UN, which he will propose withdrawing from and disempowering if he is true to his word.

          Aside from that, he will exert no moderating influence on Israel. For Israel, the question of “have we gone to far” relative to US support is a real consideration. If there is no involvement of the US, then Israel will do things as they internally deliberate, wise or unwise.

          If you regard Israel’s current or any administration as criminal, there will be NO accountability for that under a Paul administration. Maybe boycott, but I wonder what his positions are on boycotts.

          He can have some limited influence in Congress. And, he can have some influence in his running for president (the bully pulpit).

          He has no prospect of delivering what people hope for as President though.

          If he supported empowering the UN, and divesting somewhat of US sovereignty, then maybe there would still be some international oversight (hopefully that would evolve further than its current norms).

          But, that is grossly anathema to him and to his supporters.

          “A vote for Obama is a vote for a war criminal.”

          A Larouche supporter I met recently, in front of a table with a picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache, said the same thing.

          Why don’t you run Blankfort?

        • Donald says:

          “My hope is that you all will realize that Paul doesn’t in fact promise to deliver what you hope he will deliver.”

          Well, some of us only want him to get some antiwar arguments into the press before his campaign folds. I want that and don’t want him to win.

          “A Larouche supporter I met recently, in front of a table with a picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache, said the same thing.”

          You understand what is wrong with your logic, Richard? Do I have to explain it? There’s probably no point, but here goes. Obama can be a war criminal even if some crazy people think so. After all, that crazy person also thought Hitler was a war criminal. So do you. So do I. Does that make us Larouche supporters?

          Bonus points if you can figure out that calling Obama a war criminal doesn’t mean one thinks (as the Larouche supporter perhaps did) that he is as bad as Hitler. Hitler is pretty high up there on the criminal Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t mean others can’t be criminals on a much smaller scale.

        • Why don’t you run, Witty, the political waters in the US are always warm and welcoming for Zionists. And that should be no surprise because they are in control of the faucets.

          As for your LaRouchie friend, if on Sunday you asked him what day it was and he replied Sunday would you go to Prof. Slater (oh, I forgot he won’t respond to you) or Woody for a second opinion?

        • “Well, some of us only want him to get some antiwar arguments into the press before his campaign folds. I want that and don’t want him to win.”

          You could have said, thanks for pointing that out in your statement:

          “He can have some limited influence in Congress. And, he can have some influence in his running for president (the bully pulpit).”

          Blankfort called Obama a war criminal. Why would you defend making that term such a low bar, to the point that it has no meaning at all?

          You think he is a war criminal?

        • “Why don’t you run, Witty, the political waters in the US are always warm and welcoming for Zionists.”

          You think that if it were known that I supported the Abbas petition to the UN, that I’d have a chance even as a Zionist?

        • Donald says:

          “Blankfort called Obama a war criminal. Why would you defend making that term such a low bar, to the point that it has no meaning at all?”

          In other words, Richard, the fact that Obama is running an assassination program involving flying killer robots which sometimes kill innocent civilians, with no accountability at all, doesn’t trouble you in the slightest. To call Obama a war criminal “has no meaning at all” for you.

          Look at it this way Richard. Suppose Palestinians acquired some drones and started flying them around Israel, taking out high-ranking military and political figures associated with the slaughter in Gaza. Suppose in the process they also killed some Israeli children. You wouldn’t bat an eye. It would never cross your mind to wonder if these actions were criminal in some manner.

          Sure.

        • Witty, I didn’t know that you had recognized Palestinian statehood and wished that the UN had recognized it, but what you are implying is that the Lobby would crush you because of that. So now you are acknowledging the lobby’s power.

          Look, Ma, there’s blood from this turnip!

        • So, contest the use of drones.

          It makes sense.

          “War criminal”?

    • @ Henry:

      RP’s 60 second spiel on the subject in one of the debates: link to youtube.com.

      Note he says that Israel should “suffer the consequences” should the adventure not go well. That is key, for w/o US backing, Israeli threat projection shrivels.

      It is worth hearing his views on the subject here.

      That said, yes, Ron Paul would not be helpful if it ever came to pogroms in the West Bank. And yes, I find that distasteful. -N49.

    • Well, Henry, that is yet, as if we needed one, another demonstration of the power of Israel and its American agents over the US political process which goes far beyond the matter of our foreign policy.

      Paul’s votes, as I recall them, have not reflected what he said in this interview which may reflect a more common political phenomenon, that when you are at the margins, risk taking has no costs but when you are thrust into the limelight and a possible prize seems within reach, such as winning the nomination of your party for the presidency, you take in your sails and try not to get off course. Of course, it won’t work or change anyone’s minds.

  56. ToivoS says:

    I just went over to talkingpointsmemo to join in a Ron Paul thread — they have been leading the charge against him for over a week. Of the 4 articles featuring RP, comments are closed on all. It looks like the fix is in. Establishment liberals (fits Josh Marshall to a tee) for some reason just do not want the antiwar, non-interventionist discussion to go public. Hence, one big smear campaign and suppression of a national discussion on these so important issues. I would never likely vote for Paul (his other stands are important) but he was surging in the polls on his foreign policy views. Too bad all we will hear now before Iowa is the newsletter, newsletter all the time, without a broad public airing of his noninterventionism and criticism of aid to Israel.

    It is depressing to see so many here join in the hysteria. Thank-you for trying Phil, but I really question the political savvy of so many others. I have been involved in left politics for many years and this is not the first time some internal purification campaign has derailed political opportunities.

  57. Henry Norr says:

    This is off-topic with respect to Israel/Palestine, but since people are also talking about Ron Paul’s positions on some other issues, I think it’s worth noting one that hasn’t been mentioned here: global warming. On his page on the subject, he professes agnosticism about the science, calls for end to subsidies for oil companies, says “we should never, ever go to war to protect our perceived oil interests,” and winds up with this:

    “After additional consideration and analysis and shortly before the release of the Climategate emails in late 2009, Ron Paul identified the artificial panic around Global Warming as an elaborate hoax:

    “The greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on [...] global warming.” – Ron Paul on Fox Business, Nov. 4, 2009

    • Philip Weiss says:

      benighted. and my principal objection to ron paul

      • your concern for the environment is appreciated by these children — or would have been if they had not died within hours of birth from the effects of depleted uranium that pollutes Iraq.

        As well, the 55,000 Iranian soldiers and civilians who struggle every day to breathe as they live with the incurable aftereffects of chemical attacks by Saddam’s US-guided helicopters in 1980-1988, will appreciate that IF they could breathe, you would insist that their air be clean.

        oooops — no, maybe Iran’s air won’t be clean, it will be polluted with nuclear radiation as Israel and US race to see who will bomb Iran the mostest.

        But thanks for your concern.

      • libra says:

        Phil, are you looking for a US President with King Canute-like power to turn back global warming? If so, clearly Paul is a non-starter. On the other hand, if you’re looking for someone to prevent a little local warming in the Middle East, he may be just your man.

      • seanmcbride says:

        I am a hardcore environmentalist who thinks that climate change is a clear and present danger. Ron Paul’s views on the environment (and many other issues) give me the creeps. But an Iran War is a more immediate threat and even Barack Obama is making little headway in dealing with global warming and climate change issues. I am fairly confident about where Ron Paul stands on issues (especially on foreign policy and civil liberties). I am also fairly confident that Barack Obama is likely to betray every promise he makes and do the bidding of the very same neocons who ran the Bush/Cheney administration.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      This shouldn’t surprise anyone. He’s on record saying that he doesn’t accept the theory of evolution. Madness. This is perhaps the most well-established scientific theory known to man. Clearly, Paul is no thinker.

      • libra says:

        Well Woody, the theory of evolution is not going to be changed one iota by Paul being the US President. On the other hand, he would likely stop the march to further war in the Middle East. Thinking comes in many forms; the ability to decide rational priorities is one.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Well Woody, the theory of evolution is not going to be changed one iota by Paul being the US President.”

          Well, I can think of two ways that Paul being president will have an impact; not on the theory itself, but on related points. First, with Paul’s mindless libertarianism, he will likely ignore or approve local school board attempts to not teach the theory or to teach nonsensical religious theories (creationsim, intelligent-design creationsim, etc.), which will make children ill educated. Second, this will have the effect of having the US in a worse position in terms of scientific literacy to take advantage of the coming wave of biological science advancement. While other states around world are reaping the benefits of biological sciences, the US will have its finger up its nose pretending that Genesis is history.

          “On the other hand, he would likely stop the march to further war in the Middle East.”

          How so? Paul has already said that he wouldn’t take any steps to prevent Israel from attacking Iran if it wants to.

          “Thinking comes in many forms; the ability to decide rational priorities is one.”

          And I’ve seen nothing to indicate that Paul is even a second-rate thinker, as opposed to a libertarian ideologue.

    • now i am all for tackling global warming….

      tell me how much of the world’s hydrocarbons we have already burned.

      tell me how you expect us to tangibly alter the fact that we seem intent on burning the rest (even with “carbon taxes” or other BS schemes implemented).

      tell me how the president of the USA can have a significant effect on this major worldwide issue.

      also, let me know why you think a man who would not wage wars where oil/profits/the MIC are a motivating factor, is *worse* than standard Rs or Ds who are happy to wage such wars (and said wars increase the access, exploitation, and flow of the hydrocarbons).

      global warming is real, but i don’t care so much if the president does not wish to impotently “fight” it. and i do think the liberal left is more prone to implement BS schemes that the bankers and industry WANT, as they can make $$ off it. all the while, burning the shit up. this has already been tried in a number of places, and some schemes increased CO2 output, and had serious adverse unintended consequences.

      the only way we alter our apetite for hydrocarbons is with a massive, worldwide, grassroots change of lifestyle. but the biggest motivating factor for such will likely be when the market price jumps, as we burn the last drops and/or peak oil is pushed. ron paul would not try to pillage the resource at that point. standard Rs or Ds might try to “secure the realm” and outright steal the stuff in brutal resource wars, that could precipitate WORLD wars.

      i don’t even see how this is an issue with ron paul, and he might even be better than the other options in some ways. but if you are focused on global warming, i suggest you get your priorities straight.

      • MRW says:

        Good comment, anonymouscomments, because you’re considering consequences (intended and otherwise), and obviously don’t engage in the common genus/species fallacy. (Genus being Climate, species being Pollution, Feedbacks, Solar Radiation, etc etc)

        As an OT item, take a look at this paper prepared for the Canada Research Chair in Energy and the Environment and a poobah Univ. of Calgary environmentalist intended to fix the CO2 problem and AGW…and let me know how gobsmacked you are. I point this out because of the reference to $$ schemes in your post. Just check out the first few pages, skim ‘em. It’s called geoengineering, recently renamed Climate Remediation for obvious reasons, and the US and UK governments have decided to fund some of these solutions without public discussion.
        link to agriculturedefensecoalition.org

        Just let me point out that we took sulphur out of diesel fuel because of the danger to society and our lungs.

        The brillliant BBC filmmaker Adam Curtis in Pt. 3 of The Power of Nightmares has a fabulous part at the end about the The Precautionary Principle–which believe it or not has been enshrined in the law of the EU as a statutory requirement–that says (and I am so paraphrasing this) you can’t wait for the evidence, you must act on your worse fears now and imaginatively….wait, I’ll let Curtis say it:

        VOICE OVER: What Blair argued was that faced by the new threat of a global terror network, the politician’s role was now to look into the future and imagine the worst that might happen and then act ahead of time to prevent it. In doing this, Blair was embracing an idea that had actually been developed by the Green movement: it was called the “precautionary principle.” Back in the 1980s, thinkers within the ecology movement believed the world was being threatened by global warming, but at the time there was little scientific evidence to prove this. So they put forward the radical idea that governments had a higher duty: they couldn’t wait for the evidence, because by then it would be too late; they had to act imaginatively, on intuition, in order to save the world from a looming catastrophe.

        DURODIE [me: a British security expert at King's College]: In essence, the precautionary principle says that not having the evidence that something might be a problem is not a reason for not taking action as if it were a problem. That’s a very famous triple-negative phrase that effectively says that action without evidence is justified. It requires imagining what the worst might be and applying that imagination upon the worst evidence that currently exists.
        [...]
        VOICE OVER: But no one questions this because the very basis of the precautionary principle is to imagine the worst without supporting evidence, and, instead, those with the darkest imaginations become the most influential.

        [CUT, INTERIOR, RESTAURANT]

        DAVID JOHNSTON, INTELLIGENCE SPECIALIST, NEW YORK TIMES: You’ll hear about meetings where terrorist matters are discussed in the intelligence community, and always the person with the most dire assessment, the person with the—who has the, kind of, the strongest sense that something should be done will frequently carry the day at meetings. We thus believe the most dire estimate of what could happen here. The sense of disbelief has vanished.

        INTERVIEWER: So the person with the most vivid imagination becomes the most powerful.

        • interesting. i’m a biomedical engineer, so having enough experience with science yielding the unexpected, i’d be wary about these solutions as well. especially using SO2… maybe big coal funded that research; keep burning coal and use the poisonous waste to “offset” the global warming. “win win”.

          however, in theory, i could support some attempts at geoengineering, down the road. the science would have to be very sound, and it would have to be very gradual when implemented.

          BTW, i know adam curtis, and do like his work. and now that i just thought about acid rain, one of my favorite political hip-hop artists comes to mind.
          these are great (immortal technique)-
          first immortal technique song i ever heard, on pandora years ago. i was like… WTF did i just hear. it was like pure political genius, touching on the giant issues, in one short song. i was floored-
          link to youtube.com
          link to youtube.com
          link to youtube.com (he gets intense in some songs. that was an example of him taking some hyperbolic/conspiratorial liberties, but is the one referencing acid rain)

          FYI, good interview he gave on RT… guy is *very* nuanced in person

          —————————————————————
          and though this thread is already long and nutty enough, i have to include one particular link, if immortal technique is going to be mentioned:
          link to vimeo.com
          sadly, in the last year, i went very deep into the 9/11 evidence. my travels in the ME had made me even more open to the false-flag *possibility* (i had just left egypt when it seems likely mubarak hit the egypt-israel-jordan gas pipeline in a “terror attack” just as his regime was about to fall, and he may have had a hand in the attack on a coptic church, before i even went to egypt). yes, the sum of all evidence made me a “truther”, and i did not get there easily. that clip is one of the best i know of, and WTC7 was a pivotal piece of evidence as i walked that road. intelligent people can look at the evidence and come to either conclusion. i am not here to argue it.

          but also as this is a ron paul thread, i want to stress that ron paul is possibly a closet “truther”. i consider this an ASSET. it means he will not be easily pushed into war by a false-flag, and he most assuredly would not go along with one like others may (or may have).

          “i just have too many things on my plate” (he seems to be making a very smart political decision re the 9/11 issue in general)

          also, three very important links i consider relevant, not only to the past in an academic sense, but also future false-flag possibilities-
          1) sy hersh

          2) zbigniew brzezinski
          link to foreign.senate.gov
          3) wesley clark (no mention of false flags, but does mention all the regimes taken down, currently being taken down, and some which may be coming down…)

        • MRW says:

          anonymouscomments, I love what immortal technique does, been onto him for years.”Turn off the news, niggah, and read…read…read…read…read….” He’s well-spoken and deadly smart. His description of the effectiveness of activism was adroit, wasn’t it?

          I’m with you a thousand percent on the rest, known it for years. Hadn’t seen the Wesley Clark clip though. I’m watching the whole thing on Fora.tv right now. Jesus. (Although I’m not sold on Iran in Hamas.) I thought he was one of the perfumed princes my dead email buddy David Hackworth always went after. Clark makes important points.

          It wasn’t the coal biz paying for that geoengineering plan. You might be interested in this video at the top of the page–takes a bit to get into her–but bookmark the whole page.
          link to agriculturedefensecoalition.org

  58. This is downright frightening.

    THE TEN PRINCIPLES OF A FREE SOCIETY, by Ron Paul‏

    1. Rights belong to individuals, not groups; they derive from our nature and can neither be granted nor taken away by government.

    2. All peaceful, voluntary economic and social associations are permitted; consent is the basis of the social and economic order.

    3. Justly acquired property is privately owned by individuals and voluntary groups, and this ownership cannot be arbitrarily voided by governments.

    4. Government may not redistribute private wealth or grant special privileges to any individual or group.

    5. Individuals are responsible for their own actions; government cannot and should not protect us from ourselves.

    6. Government may not claim the monopoly over a people’s money and governments must never engage in official counterfeiting, even in the name of macroeconomic stability.

    7. Aggressive wars, even when called preventative, and even when they pertain only to trade relations, are forbidden.

    8. Jury nullification, that is, the right of jurors to judge the law as well as the facts, is a right of the people and the courtroom norm.

    9. All forms of involuntary servitude are prohibited, not only slavery but also conscription, forced association, and forced welfare distribution.

    10. Government must obey the law that it expects other people to obey and thereby must never use force to mold behavior, manipulate social outcomes, manage the economy, or tell other countries how to behave.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “This is downright frightening.”

      Yes, it is.

      “1. Rights belong to individuals, not groups; they derive from our nature and can neither be granted nor taken away by government.”

      So if your race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., is disproportionately affected by some legislation, you’re s.o.l. in Ron Paul world.

      “2. All peaceful, voluntary economic and social associations are permitted; consent is the basis of the social and economic order.”

      And guess who gets to define “peaceful” and “voluntary”??? It won’t be the guys in the local union hall…

      “3. Justly acquired property is privately owned by individuals and voluntary groups, and this ownership cannot be arbitrarily voided by governments.”

      So if your community wants to exercise eminent domain to improve its lot and some corporation owns the land, be prepared to be bankrupted by the profiteers.

      “4. Government may not redistribute private wealth or grant special privileges to any individual or group.”

      So, no taxes. And the rich get richer and the poor get screwed. Well, you could always get your teenage girl to walk the streets and send your boys into the mines.

      “5. Individuals are responsible for their own actions; government cannot and should not protect us from ourselves.”

      Which, of course, means that if you get injured in a workplace accident because your company decided that it was too “expensive” to provide for a safe workplace, it’s your own damned fault and you shouldn’t be looking to the government to help you out. That’s what charity hospitals and the poor houses are for.

      “6. Government may not claim the monopoly over a people’s money and governments must never engage in official counterfeiting, even in the name of macroeconomic stability.”

      Again, the rich get richer…

      “7. Aggressive wars, even when called preventative, and even when they pertain only to trade relations, are forbidden.”

      This one is actually pretty good. Again, depending on who gets to decide the terms.

      “8. Jury nullification, that is, the right of jurors to judge the law as well as the facts, is a right of the people and the courtroom norm.”

      In other words, the rule of law is meaningless.

      “9. All forms of involuntary servitude are prohibited, not only slavery but also conscription, forced association, and forced welfare distribution.”

      In other words, the rich and poor alike will be freed from the burden of paying taxes to pay for the social safety net. Oh, and let discrimination in the private sector reign from sea to shining sea.

      “10. Government must obey the law that it expects other people to obey and thereby must never use force to mold behavior, manipulate social outcomes, manage the economy, or tell other countries how to behave.”

      Except, of course, by virtue of #8, in Ron Paul world, it is not expected that other people obey the law – in fact, jurors are specifically expected not to obey a law if they don’t want to.

      And, again, rich and poor alike will be equally free to starve in the streets without bad ol’ government helping out. After all, can’t expect the plutocrats to pay a decent living wage, can we…

  59. Henry Norr says:

    BTW, five Occupy protesters were arrested today outside the Des Moines headquarters of Ron Paul’s Iowa campaign. You have to read down to the 12th paragraph of this AP story to discover that “The protest at the Paul headquarters was aimed at his proposal to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency if elected.”

    • Philip Weiss says:

      though henry the NYT today says that Ron Paul supporters are careful not to bash Occupy.
      which is actually one theme of this entire conversation:
      No one on this site would ever praise Romney Michele Newt Rick or any of the other dufuses.
      The reason that Ron Paul has any traction here is just what he says: he has appeal to independents and even Dems.
      Occupy folks also are going after Democratic Party gatherings… for conspiculous consumption, and other misdemeanors

  60. MRW says:

    It’s an interesting thing about that photo of Paul with the Stormfront guy (Don Black). Every site using it cuts out the guy with the hat. But look at it. Nothing in Paul’s or the hatted guy’s (in particular) body language shows that Mr. Stormfront was included in a conversation: they would have spread out to include him. Don Black could have just insinuated himself into the photo. He could have been talking to the bald guy at the left.

    • i think people have noted the fact that this picture is meaningless.

      i have a FB friend who has a profile pic of him standing with ron paul at an event; big deal.

      it’s funny because while we deal with the admitted complexity of “guilt by letting letters go out in your name”, we should REALLY be past insinuating “guilt by photographer”.

      • ish says:

        As an opponent of Israel and zionism I have been accused of being anti-Semitic many times, as I’m sure many of you have. To disprove my anti-Semitism I look for opportunities to root it out when I see it.

        If the head of Stormfront tried to get anywhere near me, much less in a photo with me, I would be screaming and yelling. Loudly.

        If somehow the head of an organization like that snuck in a photo with me I would be denouncing him and the photo all over the place.

        Left hand yellow. Right foot blue. Stop playing that game. The man is standing next to a Nazi. Have you ever stood next to a Nazi and not complained about it? This is not complicated.

        • your irrationality is absurd, but i am afraid i will dignify your comment with a response-

          1) ron paul has NO connection to this character, he simply stood next to ron paul during a picture; happens by the dozens, at any event he attends.

          2) even if he found out who the guy was, he would likely not be “screaming and yelling … loudly”. ron paul is pretty mild mannered, and though he would denounce this man’s VIEWS if asked, i assume he would care very little that the guy took a picture with him. only small minded people freak out about these things, yourself included. thanks for helping to make the political world as absurd as it is. but i do sense an agenda, and you might be biased about who you freak out about…. though perhaps subconsciously.

          3) i have never *knowingly* stood next to a nazi, but i would not start screaming. in fact i’m so rational, it wouldn’t bother me much at all (unless he was armed, looking crazy, and knew my dad was a jew!). i am sure we all have sat on a bus or a train next people who espouse nazi ideologies. we’ve all crossed paths with killers, pedophiles, rapists, and wife-beaters. i have had people say crazy anti-semitic or islamophobic things to me, and i am now very calm when i have to deal with such views. if i can help them out, intellectually, i do try. it is very likely that when standing next to the theoretical nazi, i would attempt to engage him on his whacked out fear/hate based view of the world; why not try? one of my jewish aunts hates arabs and/or muslims (seems interchangeable), in the most pervasive, rabid, neurotic and conspiratorial way. but i still like her, just that part of her persona i now avoid, having tried endlessly to change her utterly repulsive views. it really is not good for her health, and i consider her the real victim of it….

          in a bar in tel aviv i drank a beer with a kid who killed civilians in cast lead. my bartender in florentin BEAT random palestinian civilians after there was a terror attack, and he told me this story with no shame (this one did shock me, but i still TIPPED the guy).

          your stupidity on this issue almost astounds me, and i could go on to talk about the very REAL war crimes that bibi and obama have committed. i would still take MY picture with bibi, just to have it. and i surely do not freak out about people who are caught in a picture next to those murderous bastards, who play arithmetic with *actual* human life, weighing politics and what human cost is acceptable for their very unclear and dubious “ends”.

          so, if you were ron paul this picture would freak you out. to ron paul it means next to nothing, as it should. seems quite mature. and considering people are quite obviously out to attack him, and force him to denounce endless things, an ENDLESS number of times, no matter how absurd, it seems like the best approach…. and by the way, nazi ideology is not like cooties, so have no fear that he might have contracted nazism and we just do not know about it yet, with the symptoms yet to surface. oh wait, cooties don’t exit! well, you get the point.

          so to quote yourself-
          This is not complicated.

        • MRW says:

          ish,

          “If the head of Stormfront tried to get anywhere near me, much less in a photo with me, I would be screaming and yelling. Loudly.”

          ish, I wouldn’t know the head of Stormfront if he pissed on me. I don’t take bios of people in conference lobbies. There are entire websites devoted to laffies of people doing ridiculous things in the background of serious photos.

        • From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

          link to original.antiwar.com

          It’s funny how everyone is howling that Paul must actively denounce and cast out any support from some white supremacist no one has ever heard of, but not a peep about the odiousness of an endorsement from someone who advocated, at the height of the post-9/11 hysteria, the launching of a nuclear attack on Iraq. Oh well, each to their own moral priorities.

          and further down:

          Note the sheer breadth of the Anti-Paul Popular Front, extending all the way from the Beltway “libertarians” of the Weigel-Sanchez-“cosmotarian” school to the Union Leader, the War Street Journal, and the identity-politics lefties who think Rachel Maddow is a real “radical.” At the core of the smear campaign, you’ll note, are our old friends the neocons: the self-proclaimed “homosexual warrior” Jamie Kirchick, who effortlessly wafted from The New Republic to Radio Free Europe and thence to the extremist edges of the neocon movement inhabited by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The latest “rediscovery” of the infamous newsletters was prompted by a rehash published in Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard, who is still hoping that David Petraeus or some general on a white horse will come riding in to save the GOP from Paul.

          This is a classic neocon smear operation, and it has only just begun. Before long, we’ll be treated to endless elaborations of the New York Times-Weigel-Sanchez “analysis,” which will no doubt bring in all the familiar demons that haunt the nightmares of our elites: no smear campaign involving the alleged “evils” of right-wing populism is complete without invoking the specters of Father Coughlin, the German-American Bund, and the allegedly pro-Nazi sympathies of the old American First Committee, the biggest antiwar movement in American history and one that was mercilessly smeared by the left and actively persecuted the US government. And, of course, as Ms. Rabinowitz proved, the inevitable comparison to Hitler – because in Bizarro World, don’t you know, the peacemakers are Hitlerites and the war-makers are the Good Guys.

          This campaign will fail: indeed, it is already failing. Nobody is buying it. That’s because the people are tired of our arrogant, self-satisfied elites, who think they can determine the outcome of an election before a single ballot is counted. The more they say “but of course he can’t win,” the more the average person wonders: isn’t that our decision to make?

          Brilliant.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Brilliant.”

          Not really. He complains about a “smear campaign” by, in essence, engaging in a smear campaign. The neocons may have a reason to dislike Paul, but that doesn’t make anyone who dislikes Paul into a neocon or even a tool for neocons. It is possible for 9 people to think the 10th is an asshole without the 9 being in cahoots with each other.

        • @ Woody Tanaka

          Out of curiosity, and this is not at all intended to be disrespectful, so please forgive me if it comes out sounding that way, but who will you be pushing for presidency in 2012?

          1. Clearly, not Ron Paul as you have firmly declared many times
          2. One of the other Republican candidates?
          3. Obama?
          4. Soon to appear: Trump ?
          5. May appear: Palin ?
          6. Nobody – the world will sort itself out?

          I see no perfect candidates, never have. I see Ron Paul, with all his blemishes as the one that provides the most benefits to us in the next term with the least damages in other areas of concern – and has the potential for millions of lives to still be around that might not without his non-interventionist stance. I also see him as our best hope for breaking free of the AIPAC yoke – something that makes all sorts of other great things possible.

          At the very least, I want to see him debate these very critical issues of militarism, Israel, civil liberties, etc. on the national stage – irrespective of whether he wins. So, I am motivated to help propel him to that stage rather than diss him and thereby prevent his voice on these critical issues being heard.

          I maxed out on my donations to him in 2007 as well as 2011 – not because I am a cult-follower, but because I see this as our only possible path out from under the burden of the neocons.

          Is there a realistic alternative that I have missed?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          CloakandDagger,

          I don’t know if I am actually pulling for anyone. I reluctantly pushed for Obama in ’08, even though, as a squishy, center-right moderate, he was much too conservative for my tastes. Part of it was the history of having an African-American President, which I felt and feel is a very important milestone in US history, but part of it was a hope that he might be a bit more even handed on the Palestine issues. Fool me once…

          Frankly, none of the candidates are liberal enough for my tastes. They’re both the Capitalist party, just different wings of it.

        • seanmcbride says:

          CloakAndDagger,

          It’s really simple: a vote against Ron Paul is a vote for the entire neoconservative agenda: an Iran War, torture, the Global War on Terror, the Clash of Civilizations, NDAA, warrantless wiretaps, economic ruin, the whole package. Ron Paul is the only major politician in either party who is standing up to the neocons and the Israel lobby.

          So, indeed: who is Woody Tanaka supporting for 2012 and why?

        • seanmcbride says:

          Woody Tanaka,

          There is a radical difference between Ron Paul and all the other candidates on some very fateful issues — especially an Iran War. To stand passively on the sidelines contemplating your navel will help guarantee the absolute takeover of US foreign policy by the neocons and Likud for the next four years and the probable economic collapse of the US and global economy as the result of a war against Iran.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “It’s really simple: a vote against Ron Paul is a vote for the entire neoconservative agenda”

          And a vote for Ron Paul is a vote for the entire libertarian agenda. I don’t know which is worse. Or is it like one of those parlor games, where you have decide whether decapitation is worse than falling from a tall building?

          “So, indeed: who is Woody Tanaka supporting for 2012 and why?”

          I haven’t yet decided. The election is 11 months away. Frankly, I haven’t seen any candidate who is ready to enact the type of sweeping changes I think are necessary.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “There is a radical difference between Ron Paul and all the other candidates on some very fateful issues — especially an Iran War.”

          And if that were the total of what you would get with Ron Paul, that would be one thing. But I’m not going to ignore his other insane positions because he is marginally better on this (and that is assuming that his position would be better, but given his ideas of giving the ‘yahoo a free hand to attack Iran, I’m not sure that it would necessary be better.)

          “To stand passively on the sidelines contemplating your navel will help guarantee the absolute takeover of US foreign policy by the neocons and Likud for the next four years and the probable economic collapse of the US and global economy as the result of a war against Iran.”

          Not really. Given the politics of the state where I vote, I can guarantee you that my position will have absolutely no effect on who becames president.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Woody,

          Our words that we broadcast to the world at large can possibly have more effect than we realize.

          Regarding the importance of an Iran War: if it does indeed collapse the American and global economy, and produce negative effects worse than the 2008 financial crash or even the Great Depression, aren’t we looking at an issue of the utmost importance? One which will heavily impact every aspect of American society in horrifying ways?

          As for craziness: the neoconservatives and Christian Zionists who have dominated American politics for the last decade strike me as being *much* crazier than Ron Paul. Seriously: have you paid close attention to what they have said and to what they have done? To how much they have got wrong? To how many trillions of dollars they have dumped down the drain? To how many civil liberties they have destroyed? To how much religious hatred they have whipped up?

          A vote against Ron Paul will guarantee that this insane and monumentally incompetent gang will continue to hold power. I am surprised you are not more alarmed by that prospect.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Our words that we broadcast to the world at large can possibly have more effect than we realize.”

          Perhaps, but, again, as 1 person out of 300 million in a politically unimportant state, I am realistic enough to know what the real score is.

          “Regarding the importance of an Iran War: if it does indeed collapse the American and global economy, and produce negative effects worse than the 2008 financial crash or even the Great Depression, aren’t we looking at an issue of the utmost importance? One which will heavily impact every aspect of American society in horrifying ways?”

          And if that war does not come about, but we have elected Ron Paul, we’re stuck with his crazy ideas and evil nonsense. And even if we do elect Ron Paul, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t have that war anyway, and we’d still be stuck with his crazy ideas and evil nonsense.

          “As for craziness: the neoconservatives and Christian Zionists who have dominated American politics for the last decade strike me as being *much* crazier than Ron Paul.”

          And that is where we differ. I find him to be no more or less crazy then them, but for different reasons.

          “A vote against Ron Paul will guarantee that this insane and monumentally incompetent gang will continue to hold power.”

          And a vote for Ron Paul is a vote that a different set of insane and monumentally incompetents — the libertarians — hold power. So which is better, getting decapitated or falling off a tall buidling?

          “I am surprised you are not more alarmed by that prospect.”

          I’m alarmed at both prospects.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Woody,

          I strongly disagree with most of Ron Paul’s libertarian prescriptions for the domestic economy. I think he would have little chance of implementing those ideas in a practical way. He might have a chance at preventing the US from getting sucked into a war against Iran at the instigation of Israel. Certainly he would have a better chance at that than the other candidates, all of whom are in the pocket of the Israel lobby — grovelers and slaves supreme before their masters.

          The neocon campaign to pursue a bloody Clash of Civilizations against more than a billion Muslims worldwide (a policy that would bankrupt America and reduce it to second- or third-world status) and to impose a Soviet-style police state on Americans I find to be MUCH crazier and more dangerous than Ron Paul’s libertarian ideas. I don’t understand why you don’t see that. These are the kind of people who were behind the two chief totalitarian movements in the 20th century: communism and fascism. Those two movements managed to murder more than 100 million innocent civilians and wreak havoc on much of the world.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I strongly disagree with most of Ron Paul’s libertarian prescriptions for the domestic economy.”

          The economy is the least of his problems, in my opinion.

          “I think he would have little chance of implementing those ideas in a practical way. He might have a chance at preventing the US from getting sucked into a war against Iran at the instigation of Israel.”

          If you are so certain that he can flex his muscles on foreign affairs, what make you sure that he would be impotent domestically?

          “The neocon campaign to pursue a bloody Clash of Civilizations against more than a billion Muslims worldwide (a policy that would bankrupt America and reduce it to second- or third-world status) and to impose a Soviet-style police state on Americans I find to be MUCH crazier and more dangerous than Ron Paul’s libertarian ideas”

          Of course, because your own post demonstratest that your viewing Paul in the most benign light and his opposition in the harshest light.

          “I don’t understand why you don’t see that.”

          Because I believe that your fears about what the alternatives to Ron Paul will actually bring about are overblown to the point of being hyperbolic fantasy.

          “These are the kind of people who were behind the two chief totalitarian movements in the 20th century: communism and fascism.”

          Q.E.D.

        • kalithea says:

          So in other words: YOU’LL ENABLE THE STATUS QUO!

          The status quo that’ll lead to more war, lives lost and astronomical debt.

          So, if you have nothing to offer, no messiah to avert the coming disaster, quit with the self-righteous, smug obstructionism.

  61. seanmcbride says:

    A vote AGAINST Ron Paul will be a vote FOR Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.

    A vote AGAINST Ron Paul will be a vote FOR:

    1. an Iran War

    2. the American and global economic collapse which that war will probably cause (a collapse possibly much worse than the 2008 financial crash or the Great Depression)

    3. an escalation of the neocon Clash of Civilizations — a global holy war between the United States and more than a billion Muslims

    4. the continued control of both major political parties by AIPAC, neoconservatives and religious Zionists

    5. the continued expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories

    6. the creation of a Soviet-style police state in the United States

    7. imprisonment and assassinations of Americans without due process (and that may well include Mondoweiss readers)

    8. torture

    9. warrantless wiretaps and a total surveillance regime

    Will someone please explain to me why most Mondoweiss readers are not directing their full attention at the moment to working against the nomination of Mitt Romney, who has promised to turn over control of US Mideast policy to Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman?

    Ron Paul is the only candidate who has promised to oppose all the above policies, but some Mondoweiss readers are more concerned about stopping Paul than Romney. So where are you coming from really? Either your mental circuits are scrambled or something else is in play. What’s the game plan here? What outcomes do you have in mind? Are you thinking strategically at all?

    • MRW says:

      “Will someone please explain to me why most Mondoweiss readers are not directing their full attention at the moment to working against the nomination of Mitt Romney”

      Because he hasn’t been nominated, sean.

      • seanmcbride says:

        MRW said: “Because he [Mitt Romney] hasn’t been nominated.”

        I can’t tell if you are being ironic here or not.

        If Mitt Romney wins the first few primaries, he will almost certainly win the nomination and possibly the election as well. Often nominations are decided very early during the nominating process (including the primaries).

        Why do you think so much energy has been expended by the Israel lobby and other players to utterly destroy Ron Paul *now*? They are afraid that if he enjoys some major success in the early primaries that he might break from the pack and overturn everyone’s expectations. They are not taking any chances.

        Mitt Romney would be the most pro-Likud president in American history and give Netanyahu and Lieberman a free hand to run amok. And yet some Mondoweiss readers are focused on destroying the one candidate possibly capable of slowing down or stopping Romney and promoting a radical shift in US Mideast policy that might produce a viable peace settlement. They are helping to clear the path for Romney and the policies that they claim to abhor.

        So: what’s up? An inability to think strategically?

      • kalithea says:

        Oh, so we should all wait until it’s too late: Paul’s out, Romney’s in?? That’s real smart…..duuuuuuuuuh.

    • You are very correct, Sean.
      I’m afrad that many people are willing to sacrifice their house over the color of the walls. They don’t understand that if they don’t have a house , the colors of the walls won’t matter. Some prefer to be delusional, hoping ,I don’t know for what.
      The EU is a classic of example how effectivly and quickly economies of the countires can be destroyed if given a chance.
      Here is another example of the stupidity of EU “laws”.
      link to guardian.co.uk
      Why people in Europe tolerate this monster that is drinking all vital juices from them???

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “Here is another example of the stupidity of EU ‘laws’.”

        The only stupidity in the law that I see is that it doesn’t punish states like Poland and Portugal who are not in compliance and who are permitting this vicious practice.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      You forgot to add that a FOR Ron Paul would be a vote for the protection of our precious bodily fluids!!!

      • kalithea says:

        That’s a trollish response if I ever saw one.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “That’s a trollish response if I ever saw one.”

          LMAO. Nope, just some fun to match the general pro-Ron Paul kookiness around here of late.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Woody Tanaka,

          You think it’s “kooky” to be concerned that an Iran War might wreck the US and global economy or that the neocons may succeed in eradicating American civil liberties and imposing a Soviet-style police state on the United States?

          And a by the way: you are not nearly as smart as you think you are in general. Seriously. You really need to drop the self-satisfied arch attitude. You bring very little substance to your posts — certainly no scholarly depth (see Jeffrey Blankfort’s posts for that). You are probably the last person in this group I would turn to for original and far-seeing analysis about what is going on the world. Your natural instinct is to embrace whatever is the current conventional wisdom of the moment like a drunk hangs on to a lamppost.

          There you go — you just tested my patience with one too many inane comments. :) I think we can abandon any further efforts at civility — not worth the trouble.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Woody Tanaka,

          People who keep repeating the expressions LMAO, LOL, etc. to try to convey a sense of their intellectual superiority are invariably fools — I can’t think of a single exception in my experience. They are sophomoric. Jeffrey Blankfort, for instance, doesn’t boast about his intellectual superiority, he quietly demonstrates it with fact-filled and carefully researched posts. Know what I mean?

          Smarten up. Stop being a gum-chewing valley girl.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Sean says: It’s really simple: a vote against Ron Paul is a vote for the entire neoconservative agenda

          I say: Only a Sith deals in absolutes…..or was that Obi Wan?

        • seanmcbride says:

          Dan Crowther,

          My logic is unassailable: every other candidate (including Barack Obama) is totally under the thumb of the neocons. Ron Paul is the only leading politician in either party who has had the guts to stand up the neocons. If you oppose Ron Paul, you are going to end up with yet another presidency completely under the control of the neocons and their agenda of all war all the time on behalf of Greater Israel.

          How does your logic work? Spell it out.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Sean,

          I should say, I do agree that voting for O or the Republicans is a vote for the neo-con agenda, but there are other people running for president. Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson (some others?) – I dont know much about either, other than Stein is up here in mass and has run on the green party ticket for governor a couple of times.

          If Paul is your guy in the fight against the establishment, cool – Im down with the sentiment, but its not an absolute. Lets face it, hes got little to no chance.
          And for people who find themselves in a state where their vote for president doesn’t matter, I would say, go out and organize behind what your views really are.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          any particular reason why comments ive posted hours and hours ago are not being posted? W….T……

        • seanmcbride says:

          Dan Crowther,

          I am a fan of Jill Stein and Gary Johnson — in fact I am much more in sync with their politics overall than with Ron Paul’s — but at the moment Ron Paul presents the best opportunity to open up for discussion some important issues on the national stage that have long been censored. Therefore I think it is a good idea for progressives to give his presidential campaign the maximum push forward — give the political system a really hard shake — and see what breaks loose. This is a very rare opening — it shouldn’t be passed up.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Oh no doubt – I think you will find my comments echoing that sentiment.

          I think once “progressives” state their agreement with his foreign policy, stances on civil liberties etc. – its incumbent on them to highlight where they think he is wrong, and where his logic fails – if they think it does ( which i do).
          And I think thats an even more profound argument: I wholeheartedly oppose some of his policies and will work to keep them from being enacted, but I would support him over any mainstream candidate.

          I do have to say, and I think it’s kind of important to note – we are sitting here, taking the guy’s word for it, aren’t we? I mean, he’s had the luxury of his views in congress; he’s brought home the bacon for his district while being able to maintain his libertarian bona fides – do we really know hes the real deal? Is there anyway to know? Haven’t we seen this movie before?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “You think it’s ‘kooky’ to be concerned that an Iran War might wreck the US and global economy or that the neocons may succeed in eradicating American civil liberties and imposing a Soviet-style police state on the United States?”

          I think it is kooky to think that this worst-case scenario justifies handing over the reigns of power to a libertarian looney like Paul, given the unlikelihood of such a worst-case scenario occurring.

          “And a by the way: you are not nearly as smart as you think you are in general. Seriously.”

          LOL. On the contrary, based on extensive scientific testing, I know EXACTLY how smart I am.

          “You bring very little substance to your posts — certainly no scholarly depth (see Jeffrey Blankfort’s posts for that).”

          LMAO. Well, we all have our little crosses to bear.

          “You are probably the last person in this group I would turn to for original and far-seeing analysis …”

          Oh, you slayed my spirit. My entire goal in life is shattered as I considered nothing more in life more worthy than providing “original and far-seeing analysis” on the internet.

          “There you go — you just tested my patience with one too many inane comments. :)”

          Oh, I’m heart-broken.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “People who keep repeating the expressions LMAO, LOL, etc. to try to convey a sense of their intellectual superiority are invariably fools ”

          L:MAO. How about people who use them to express the fact that they are Laughing their asses off or Laughing Out Loud at people like you???

          “Smarten up. Stop being a gum-chewing valley girl.”

          … says the douche who uses smileys.

  62. john h says:

    So there you have it folks. This is what the present system has led to.

    The choice of two evils, as outlined just above by seanmcbride and Woody Tanaka.

    And then the choice between one of them and the incumbent, the man of beautiful words that seduced many, who caved in to the powers behind the throne with scarcely a whimper and broke so many promises.

    It’s between the devil and the deep blue sea, between the devil you know and the devil you think you know.

    • Charon says:

      john h, you have a point, but what is the alternative?

      Perceptions are part of the problem. They say we live in a democracy. A few of us know this isn’t a real democracy because un-elected Über-rich elites can dictate everything including who the public votes for via manipulating public opinion. The ignorant sheeple will tell us ‘the is a democracy, even if a group of people feel as you do you still have to weigh in the opinions of everybody else.’ Not really. Because a small group of people already control the entire establishment. They make the rules, they don’t play by them. We have to play by the rules and that involves a lot of money. They not only have a lot of money, they control the money supply.

      The sheeple are part of the problem too. It’s not just the ruling class at fault, it’s the zombies allowing the ruling class to get away with it and not doing anything to stop them. They’re in the way, their votes don’t count because they aren’t voting out of free will, just the illusion of free will. This isn’t an opinion, although some folks here claim it is. The system is rigged to create perceptions. These perceptions are wrong and difficult to change. Says my opinion? It’s not an opinion, it’s the zombie apocalypse. Kinda

      Ron Paul is not perfect. If all the candidates are evil, he is the lesser evil. How can I be so sure? I can’t be 100%, but considering the way the media has ignored him, smeared him, and attacked him and yet this has had little effect on him, I’m pretty sure. He’s a threat to the establishment. If he were president and accomplished even half of his policy, it would be of great harm to the establishment, the upper class, the media, Zionism, etc. That’s a good thing for the majority of Americans whether they know it or not. Of course he could wind up being shackled like Obama. A lame duck. A puppet. But you don’t know that

      You can sit it out and not vote because the present two-party system is terrible That’s not going to change the present two-party system. You can vote for some obscure person if you’d like, but you know that’s not going to do anything. Ron Paul is different. If he is president, these differences will change perception. Unless he’s just Obama 2.0, then you can say you told me so.

  63. mhuizenga says:

    Can’t we all just get along? Jesus Maria!! I guess I’ll be the a__hole. Israel should fight its own battles. Sorry. I think they can do it. They’re tough. The pauvre, pauvre, are actually very strong

    • john h says:

      Yeah, so tough they massacre the defenseless and threaten to do it again.

      Fidaa Abu Assi tells it like it is…

      You are fake. Your truth is fake. Your power is fake. Your hope is fake.

      I’m the angry Palestinian. I am the truth. The truth you fear.

      No matter what, I won’t give up my Palestine. Fear only my Palestinian-identity and Gazan-personality.

      Fear me. I’m, and will always be, the albatross around your neck.

      link to fidaaabuassi.com

      • mhuizenga says:

        John H, do I know you? Outside of my comments here, I’ve been a big promoter of getting the Pals out of there (much to the chagrin of others on this site) I’m a big time Catholic and I can’t stand the suffering , as much as the cross is our symbol. these refugees need a fresh start either in the U.S. or another Arab land.

        • getting the ‘pals’ out. dude.

        • Walid says:

          “these refugees need a fresh start either in the U.S. or another Arab land”

          To be preaching for the Christians to get out, you sound more like a small time Catholic. The fresh American start is there on standby whenever Palestinian Christians opt for it, but it’s there to help the Zionist cause much more than to help the Palestinian one. Christians belong on that land as much as any other group if not more. They don’t need a fresh start anywhere; they need help in getting the Zionists off their backs.

        • john h says:

          No, we don’t know each other.

          Zionists are not tough, and they are not strong; their apparent strength is their greatest weakness, and they will one day collapse like the pack of canards they are.

          I see from your second Mondo comment what you mean by “getting the Pals out of there”.

          What I quoted from Fidaa shows that such an idea completely misses the boat. It is not antiSemitic, but it is totally contrary to her “No matter what, I won’t give up my Palestine.”

          In this she speaks for almost all Palestinians, including the many refugees.

          You say “I can’t stand the suffering”. The point is, they can, as a check of my recent posts demonstrates. What they call “sumud (steadfastness), they have in such abundance.

          Please read and/or watch each of these links.

          link to iccj.org
          link to mondoweiss.net

          link to gazatimes.blogspot.com

          link to paltelegraph.com

          Christ’s people are those who “weep with those who weep”.

          That is, we stand with those who suffer and support them and their decisions. We do not make decisions for them, for we are not in their shoes, but we do walk with them.

          The solution is not to get them out of there, but to get their oppressors out of there and out of their lives.

          Your solution is the Zionist solution, and we must never allow it to happen.

        • kalithea says:

          “refugees need a fresh start either in the U.S. or another Arab land.”

          Before Palestinian refugees are forced to give up their homes, land and homeland, the thieves who came from Eastern bloc countries and New Jersey to dispossess them should get their own “fresh” start BACK WHERE THEY CAME FROM!

        • MHughes976 says:

          I’m a small-time Protestant – we in the Church of England seem to be trying to stabilise the Christian Palestinian population by setting up a fund for them. This may be too little and too late and rather half-hearted, but we’ll see. I wouldn’t want the Palestinians in general to give up on the battle that they seem to me to be winning a bit more day by day, ie the battle of demography. Minority rule cannot continue for ever.

  64. mhuizenga says:

    I completely understand if Phil Weiss doesn’t want to publish a post with the word “cross” in it. Sorry.

  65. Excellent article on marginalizing Ron Paul by Robert Scheer:

    link to truthdig.com

    Paul is being denigrated as a presidential contender even though on the vital issues of the economy, war and peace, and civil liberties, he has made the most sense of the Republican candidates. And by what standard of logic is it “claptrap” for Paul to attempt to hold the Fed accountable for its destructive policies? That’s the giveaway reference to the raw nerve that his favorable prospects in the Iowa caucuses have exposed. Too much anti-Wall Street populism in the heartland can be a truly scary thing to the intellectual parasites residing in the belly of the beast that controls American capitalism.

    It is hypocritical that Paul is now depicted as the archenemy of non-white minorities when it was his nemesis, the Federal Reserve, that enabled the banking swindle that wiped out 53 percent of the median wealth of African-Americans and 66 percent for Latinos, according to the Pew Research Center.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      …”on the vital issues of… civil liberties, he has made the most sense of the Republican candidates.”

      WTF? He would permit private businesses to engage in discriminate. How does that make sense? I think, at a minimum, support for the existing laws against discrimination in employement, housing, public accomodations, etc., etc., is required for any candidate for president to be considered as making sense.

      • I agree with your comment about discrimination – I am not comfortable with Ron’s position on that.

        In the article above, Scheer is referring to Ron’s stance against the Patriot Act, NDAA, the TSA, Gitmo, extra-jucial killing of American citizens, etc., which have eroded nearly all the protected civil liberties in the constitution – and Scheer is right in the assertion that RP is the only one defending those rights – and hence, has the most sensible position amongst all the Republican contenders (I would have added Obama to the list of Republican candidates).

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Scheer is referring to Ron’s stance against the Patriot Act, NDAA, the TSA, Gitmo, extra-jucial killing of American citizens, etc., which have eroded nearly all the protected civil liberties in the constitution”

          Cloak,

          This isn’t a criticism of you, but if this is what Scheer meant, then he has to specify these things. Because saying that Paul is good on “civil liberties” because he is opposed to Patriot Act, NDAA, etc., is a joke, given his stance on the issues of private-sector discrimination. (Which, let’s face it, are much more likely to affect the average Amercian than such things as Gitmo and the extra-judicial killings of Americans, as horrific as those things are.)

        • Woody re Because saying that Paul is good on “civil liberties” because he is opposed to Patriot Act, NDAA, etc., is a joke, given his stance on the issues of private-sector discrimination

          That’s feeble thinking, Woody. You imply here that RP is for private sector discrimination and that’s just incorrect. What he is for is private measures against such discrimination. So, if a shop owner refused to serve Slovaks because for some reason they rubbed him the wrong way, Paul would fully support a private effort to sanction that store. Think BDS.

          To be clear, before you start freaking out (see Dan up-thread) I disagree with Paul on this point. I think Paul’s faith in the efficacy of dispute resolution by reference to property rights is just not realistic. But it is another thing altogether to suggest that Paul supports such discrimination or otherwise sanctions it.

          The creeping police state (a la Greenwald) occludes all of this in importance. -N49.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “That’s feeble thinking, Woody.”

          LOL. No, it isn’t.

          “You imply here that RP is for private sector discrimination and that’s just incorrect.”

          I’m implying nothing; I’m saying it. If a public official is against the law outlawing discrimination, he is sanctioning that discrimination, regardless of whether he has a subjective intent or desire to discriminate.

          “What he is for is private measures against such discrimination.”

          Then he is an idiot. First, there is nothing which prevents these private measures in the law today, so he is adding nothing to go along with all he is taking away. Second, for the worst kinds of discrimination, such measures would be wholly ineffective because they count on third parties; because such discrimination is often not known to the wider community; and because often, as was the South in the Civil Rights Era, the community supports the party doing the discrimination.

          “So, if a shop owner refused to serve Slovaks because for some reason they rubbed him the wrong way…”

          Oh, please. Stop the bullshit games that white ethnics are even a minor consideration here. As reprehensible as any such occurrences are, I’m sure that discrimination against Slovaks is a rounding error when considering all the serious discrimination in our society, against blacks, gays, women, Muslims, Mexicans and other hispanics, Jews, etc.

          “…Paul would fully support a private effort to sanction that store. Think BDS.”

          And if this is all that Paul would have the government do, then he is only slightly less guilty than the one actually doing the discrimination. Paul’s faith in the “miracle of the market” to correct the problem is stupid. Such discrimination is wrong and should be abolished in all cases, not only those where it is economically disadvantageous, and the government has no business permitting a business to operate among the public with such discriminatory policies.

          “To be clear, before you start freaking out (see Dan up-thread)…”

          I don’t freak out. Nor did Dan. He was passionate.

          “…I disagree with Paul on this point.”

          That’s good.

          “I think Paul’s faith in the efficacy of dispute resolution by reference to property rights is just not realistic.”

          Here, I would make two points. 1) this isn’t an issue of “dispute resolution.” The person doing the discriminating has no legitimate position. The only question is whether the discrimination actually occurred and what punishment the discriminator should suffer.
          2) even if it were realistic, it woudl be, in my opinion, still objectionable because it is the abdication of the state’s greater duty and responsibility to uphold individual rights in favor of its lesser duty to uphold property rights.

          “But it is another thing altogether to suggest that Paul supports such discrimination or otherwise sanctions it.”

          There is no functional difference between a politician affirmatively supporting private discrimination and voluntarily shirking his duty to prevent it. There may be a moral difference, but it is a small and ultimately irrelevant one, at best.

          “The creeping police state (a la Greenwald) occludes all of this in importance.”

          I disagree.

        • @ Woody re If a public official is against the law outlawing discrimination, he is sanctioning that discrimination, regardless of whether he has a subjective intent or desire to discriminate.

          That is just logically incorrect. I am against a law outlawing bad manners. This does not mean I am sanctioning bad manners.

          “And if [Paul would only support BDS against a shop that discriminated] then he is only slightly less guilty than the one actually doing the discrimination. Paul’s faith in the “miracle of the market” to correct the problem is stupid. “

          Your faith in the “miracle of government” is no better. I mean, look at where government has got us re I/P? Happy yet?

          Such discrimination is wrong and should be abolished in all cases,

          You see, that is just plain scary. What, your government agents are going go around and impose tests on citizens for “mental purity”? And if they find someone suspect — then what? Jumper cables on moistened temples? It is my right be a racist old codger if I want to. I am neither old nor racist, but so long as I don’t impose my views on you, you or your government agents have no bloody right “abolishing” my thoughts or behaviour.

          it is the abdication of the state’s greater duty and responsibility to uphold individual rights in favor of its lesser duty to uphold property rights.

          So, as an individual, it is my right to let myself into your abode and fix myself a cup of coffee?

          Me: “The creeping police state (a la Greenwald) occludes all of this in importance.”

          Woody: I disagree.

          Yeah, that has become clear enough by now. It is your type that Greenwald warns us about. Man, you are scary. The difference between you & Dick Cheney relate to objectives, but not to means. -N49.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “That is just logically incorrect. I am against a law outlawing bad manners. This does not mean I am sanctioning bad manners.”

          Discrimination is not the same as bad manners.

          “Your faith in the “miracle of government” is no better.”

          Nonsense. Outlawing discrimination and making people who discriminate liable in court has had a great and profound affect on the lives of people who would otherwise would suffered under that discrimination.

          By your answer and your position I would venture to guess you are a white man, probably young and heterosexual. Am I correct?

          “You see, that is just plain scary. What, your government agents are going go around and impose tests on citizens for ‘mental purity’?”

          This is where you people go off the rails. I am not saying that you outlaw thoughts. I am saying that if you take an action with discriminatory intent and it can be established before a jury, that that action should have consequences. If you take no actions, feel free to be as hate-filled as you want.

          “It is my right be a racist old codger if I want to. I am neither old nor racist, but so long as I don’t impose my views on you, you or your government agents have no bloody right ‘abolishing’ my thoughts or behaviour.”

          And if we are talking about thoughts, then you are correct. But if you take discriminatory action against another person that causes then harm, then the law should step in.

          “So, as an individual, it is my right to let myself into your abode and fix myself a cup of coffee?”

          Is it that you can’t read or can’t think?? I specified a comparison between upholding individual rights and property rights. In your hypothetical, such as it is, there is no individual right being upheld.

          “It is your type that Greenwald warns us about. Man, you are scary. The difference between you & Dick Cheney relate to objectives, but not to means.”

          And people say that libertarians aren’t a cult…

  66. And from Leon Hadar:

    link to theamericanconservative.com

    There is nothing “anti-Israeli” in Paul’s resistance to providing aid to Israel. He has been a long-time opponent of providing American economic aid to all foreign countries, which, he believes, amounts to wasting U.S. tax-payer money on sustaining policies that do not necessarily align with American interests and values.Instead, he would encourage the promotion of trade and investment ties with Israel and other countries.

    Hence, that Paul regards Israel as “our close friend” is not inconsistent with his opposition to providing aid to Israel or resisting a war with Iran. Paul has stressed that when it comes to pursuing its own national interests vis-a-vis Iran or the Palestinians, Washington should not “dictate how Israel runs her affairs,” Paul stressed.

    From that perspective, if the Israeli government decides to attack Iran or for that matter to reject a deal with the Palestinians, a President Paul would respect these decisions. But it would be the Israelis who would have to pay the costs of such policies and not to expect that Washington would dig them out of a potential military or diplomatic mess.

  67. And lest we forget, the only candidate (including Obama) that is advocating diplomacy instead of sabre-rattling is Ron Paul.

    link to globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com

    Parsi: Without renewed diplomacy, war with Iran lies around the corner


    But all hope is not lost. Contrary to common perceptions, diplomacy has not been exhausted. In fact, it didn’t even fail – it was prematurely abandoned. As I describe in A Single Roll of the Dice – Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran, Barack Obama’s political maneuverability for diplomacy with Iran was limited – and whatever political space he had, it was quickly eaten up by pressure from Congress, Israel, Saudi Arabia and most importantly, by the actions of the Iranian government itself in the fraudulent 2009 elections.

    By the time diplomacy could be tried in October 2009, Obama’s political maneuverability had become so limited that its entire Iran policy – in the words of a senior Obama administration official – had become “a gamble on a single roll of the dice.” It either had to work right away, or not at all. And diplomacy rarely works instantaneously.

  68. kalithea says:

    “Which is what I hope to discuss in my next installment…”

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Puh-leeeeeeeeeeez! One installment of self-righteous CRAP a la Pam Geller IS ALL I CAN TAKE!!

    Meanwhile Obama’s slaughtering men, women and children with drones and provoking the next WAR WITH IRAN, with blighting sanctions in the works against Iran’s oil industry (AN ACT OF WAR), that not only will devastate the economies of Europe and the U.S., creating yet more poverty and hardship in the world, but will result in catastrophic destruction and death for thousands, hundreds of thousands perhaps more Iranians.

    And while this orgy of death and destruction will be unleashed by the sadistic forces of oil lusting countries at the bidding of the psycho-paranoiac Zionist state, the Palestinians will ONCE AGAIN be relegated to anonymity and blacked out while Zionist thieves plunder their land and ethnically cleanse them beating the shit out of them, mauling and murdering them into submission.

    “HAD ENOUGH YET?” The nerve! Robert Byrd belonged to the KKK but in his 80′s he tried to save hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives!!! But you would shut him up with your self-righteous splatter!

    Because you care more about newsletters written TWO DECADES AGO!! What part of “I disavow those statements” (writings) DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND??? What do you want? You want him to crawl on his hands and knees and beg forgiveness from you at you haughty perch??

    Shame on you!! Shame on you for having your priorities as a human being SCREWED UP!

    Please, please don’t subject us to any more or your holier-than-thou bullshit!

    “a big, politically reckless spit glob in the face of African Americans, gay folks…”

    And what of the vomit you projected that flies in the face of millions of Iranians whose lives are being threatened, thousands of dead Afghans and Pakistanis and millions of Palestinians whose human rights will be yet again denied because YOU and your ilk SILENCED the only politician who has the opportunity, by campaigning as long as possible, to CHANGE THE NARRATIVE AND WAKE UP AMERICANS along the way??? But noooooooooh, you want him out nowwww!! You just can’t hold your self-righteous crap in much longer, because your own “colostomy bag” might burst any second now! So Ron Paul and his message to disengage from Israel, get AIPAC out of Congress, defund Israel and stop persecuting Iran and provoking WWIII will be silenced with him because YOU are so bloated with self-righteous rage. THE LIVES AND RIGHTS OF MILLIONS BE DAMNED!

    The Palestinians and millions of Iranians whose lives are in peril must wait for your perfect messiah to rescue them at the last minute from the imminent fate that awaits them. SO THEN SHUT UP AND COUGH HIM UP INSTEAD, BECAUSE NO DOUBT YOU CAN’T SAVE THEM WITH YOUR SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS BLATHER!

  69. kma says:

    seanmcbride is right – what’s really going on here? it sounds like everyone assumes only someone on the “left” could possibly do the “right” thing. good luck finding that!

    Ron Paul is running as a republican in a practically-one-party system run by the same neocons. the biggest issue right now is who gets to pull the next trigger. and people who like to read Mondoweiss are saying they might prefer another Sarah Palin wannabe instead? really?
    and if you love the dems so much, why are you so afraid of who gets the republican nomination? you don’t want to see Paul debate our commander-in-speech?

    this boogey-man fear that our kids will never be taught evolution if Ron Paul wins is not what this is about. if Paul stands up to the neocons and actually saves us from Israel (and whatever wrath it unleashes against US which nobody seems scared of) he will be assassinated. but you guys prefer the status quo…

    we’re not even talking about who you vote for – just who runs and stands in debates! good die-hard democrats prefer Mitt Romney.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “what’s really going on here?”

      There are a bunch of people who are so far in the bag for Paul because of some of his political stances that they are unwilling to understand that others of us aren’t willing to overlook those other, reprehensible, stances.

      “this boogey-man fear that our kids will never be taught evolution if Ron Paul wins is not what this is about. ”

      And some people think that the overblown rhetoric of Paul being our last, best hope and that he is the only chance and that he’ll assuredly be assassinated is nothing but over-blown hot air.

  70. kalithea says:

    I want to add, that Ms Ratner used colostomy bag and spit first; I merely replaced her analogy of Phil’s piece, i.e. spit, for my own analogy of her piece, i.e. vomit. Because I can do analogies as well as the next guy! But forgive me for borrowing her “colostomy bag” and handing it right back at her filled with her stinky obsession that annihilates the bigger picture and keeps the masses as dumb or more dumb than they ever were! God spar