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  • Amid fierce debate, members of German think tank take a stand on Gaza
  • Reading Salaita in Illinois (part 2) - Cary Nelson, academic freedom's agent provocateur
    • @X Patriot

      Comedy?

      Humorous scenes from the "Good War":

      "Representative Francis Walter of Pennsylvania presented the President with an odd gift during the visit--a letter opener made from the forearmofa Jap soldier killed in the Pacific.
      "This is the sort of gift I like to get," the President said, as it was placed on his desk.
      Representative Walter apologized f o r presenting such a small tart of the Jap's anatomy. But the President interrupted him.
      There'll be plenty more such gifts", he said.
      The President did not touch the letter opener with his fin- gers, however. He probed it with a metal letter opener of his own, and called Assistant President Jimmy Byrnes and White Rouse Assistant, Jim Barnes to look at it."

      link to dspace.wrlc.org

      link to blogs.reuters.com

  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
    • "Americans have never been the victims of “genocide”

      Native Americans = colonists who came over on the Mayflower.

      America: a land without a people for a people without land. There were no "Indians"

  • Horrifying details continue to emerge of massacre in Khuza'a
    • "I have never been this angry or disgusted or ashamed of my country and most of my fellow citizens as I am now."

      And why is that, "just"? Because it's actually another country doing this?

      Ok, I feel your pain. You poor Americans are having a bit of an identity crisis. You are idealistic, honest, good-natured people and you don't understand why your country, the best in the world, gets involved in one war after another, and whitewashes evil , mass murdering and genocidal regimes as democratic , from Stalin to Netanyahu. Is there any comparison in sheer scope between the crimes of Stalin, who killed millions before Hitler even came to power, and the crimes of Netanyahu who is determined to never have another Shoah?

      You just don't know what's left and right anymore, or good and evil.

  • Berkeley rabbi mounts a soapbox in my living room
    • That would complete the "Six Grandfathers" and makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, there is only room for one more face.

      Perhaps the face of the most evil dictator in all of human history, past, present and future, the one FDR got ready to defeat while Mount Rushmore was under construction, would do? According to the gospel of MW, Zionism = Racism = Nazism anyway.

      Or maybe not. At least Hitler didn't sink as low as marketing his scheme as a struggle for freedom, equality and democracy for all peoples

      The Zionists are not that hypocritical either. That's probably why you can't stand them

      link to tsalagimahariel.deviantart.com

      link to abagond.wordpress.com

  • US plays decisive role in Israel's attack on Gaza
    • sorry, can't resist to add another one.

      Loyalty issues getting complicated when commies join fascists and the US (among others) changes sides during and after a war. A tragicomedy of errors

      From Wiki: Abraham Lincoln Brigade:

      "During and after the Spanish Civil War, members of the brigade were generally viewed as supporters of the Soviet Union. After returning to the United States, many joined the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB). However, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact caused a division among the Lincoln Brigade veterans. Some of them, adopting the official Communist line that regarded the war in Europe as "an imperialist war", joined with the American Peace Mobilization in protesting U.S. support for Britain against Nazi Germany. Others, however, persisted with the anti-Fascist line which they had followed to Spain. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the VALB changed its stance and fully backed the war. Former Lincoln-Washington commander Milton Wolff volunteered in 1940 for the British Special Operations Executive, and arranged the provision of arms for the European resistance organizations.

      During World War II the U.S. government considered former members of the brigade to be security risks. In fact, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover requested that President Roosevelt ensure that former ALB members fighting in U.S. Forces in World War II not be considered for commissioning as officers, or to have any type of positive distinction conferred upon them.[citation needed] In 1947, the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade were placed on the Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations.[10] The Veterans would be one of only five groups that would stay intact, to at least 1970, after receiving this designation."

      Many commenters here keep insisting that the "special relationship" between Israel and the US marks a departure from the old principle not to get involved in foreign wars via allegiance to a foreign country.

      Are ya nuts? Have you forgotten the Great War? That would be WW I as the war that truly changed the world . WW II was really just the fall out and aftermath to the first war, or two wars, that destroyed Europe and shifted the center of global power to the US (and the Soviet Union).

      The foreign power to which the US pledged allegiance in both wars, against substantial opposition of US citizens was the old enemy and dissolving empire : Great Britain.

      By the end of WW I Britain was little more than a client state of the US. By then end of WW II, the empire was finished.

      With friends like this, who needs enemies?

    • "Prior to 1967, an American who served in a foreign military was considered to have forfeited his citizenship. "

      ??? : O

      "The U.S. government certainly doesn't encourage citizens to go off and fight in foreign wars, but there's a long history of it -- from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade that fought against Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War to the many Jewish Americans who have served in the Israel Defense Forces."

      link to foreignpolicy.com

    • Citizen, that's a brick shy off a load. The "German regime" has been trying to put a leash on the banksters long before the German OWSs had a clue what's going on - but not accomplishing more than a lick and a promise. It's not like anybody is a sovereign country or economic and military superpower in the EU -- which itself is a collection of US client states spearheaded by the "guilt-ridden", eternally ransacked and thus over-performing Germans as the "paymasters" of Europe. Or did you think it's just Israel that benefits from German payments and subs and diplomatic support?

      And no, the problem is not just the Federal reserve and US banks either.

      From last year's news

      link to theguardian.com

  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
    • "And German leadership has never met any Nazis they didnt support."

      Sure, and nobody would call her a Nazi if she would not support Israel? But insist on Israel seriously negotiating with Hamas and lifting the Gaza blockade? Seriously, no matter what she does some moron will call her a Nazi

      Here's some reading material on your intellectual level

      link to thecontroversialfiles.net

      And no, it's not a "guilt trip" either.

      Did you notice there's a bit of a crisis going on right now in Europe as well? Ukraine? "Fuck the EU" Victoria Nuland? Merkel just threw out the Head of the NSA in Germany. So she toes the party line here to avoid further diplomatic complications. From the US perspective, Putin, not Netanyahu, is the new Hitler (Clinton etc). 50 % of Germans favour a continued transatlantic alliance, 50 % are fed up want a German-Russian alliance. Reactions?

      Basically, everybody is a Nazi

      link to dailymail.co.uk

  • Gaza hospital struck by missiles; int'l volunteers gather to protect it
  • Relentless bombing on Gaza continues: Israel kills media worker, 9 people watching World Cup on beach
    • "I’d have no problem with reformed Islam that removed any taint of 7th century theology from governance or custom."

      how do you feel about reformed (or unreformed) Judaism. From an interview in Tablet:

      "This came to me in an inspiration one day. I was sitting bored to tears at the bar mitzvah of a son of a friend of mine, and the Haftorah for that day, I forget what the portion is but it’s the complete rules of how to treat Amorites that you might have captured. I was thinking it’s been a long time since we captured any Amorites. But then I realized, what happened here was that the entire middle-upper stratum of the Jewish kingdom is transported to ancient Babylon and they stick them in a suburb and say, “OK, do whatever.” So, you had a leadership with no coercive institutions—no army, no police force—and they made a religious symbol of the law, they ensorcelled the law. And all the Jews would sit and listen to a recitation of the laws of a kingdom that didn’t exist. And that’s still what we do today. We’ve still got to remember how to treat the Amorites. It’s as though somebody took the local zoning ordinances and recited them as a central communal ritual.

      My bar mitzvah parsha was the single longest possible combination of texts—Vayakhel Pekudei, Parshat Ha-Chodesh. It was, like, 250 psukim long, and what made it even more entrancing was the fact that it was the complete set of building instructions from the mishkan. I was literally reading lists of construction materials for a portable sanctuary in the desert aloud to an assembly of American Jewish suburbanites in New Jersey, 3,000 years later.

      That is the ensorcellment of the building code, which has the purpose of creating communal identity and continuity in the absence of a state, which would normally do those things. The Jewish religion has been a terrific religion for a people in exile.

      Israel, in a peculiar way, represents a challenge to that. After the creation of Israel there was a big struggle between the American Jewish leadership and the Israeli leadership, which led Ben Gurion to say, “I’m tired of people from Cleveland telling me what to do!” So, an accommodation was reached. The American Jewish leadership wouldn’t tell Israel what to do. Instead, they would raise money for them and Israel would serve as a symbol, a good symbol, for fundraising. Everybody goes there once a year to check their heritage. But that’s become problematic because the politics of Israel and the politics of America have diverged so sharply. When Israel was a nice little Socialist state that grew oranges and people worked on the kibbutz, there was no problem."

      Really? It would not occur to me to describe the post-war US as a "nice little Socialist state that grew oranges and people worked on a kibbutz". Nor would I say that the "Great Satan" today is all that different from the "Little Satan". Just as post-war Americans could view early Israel as a reflection of their own 'manifest destiny' agricultural and colonial past - ignoring racism, ethnic cleansing and genocide - so can Americans today identify with Israelis in either horror, sympathy or admiration, or any mixture thereof. So what is the problem? Why the resentment?

      Here is the interview cited above, in full:

      link to tabletmag.com

  • Terrifying tweets of pre-Army Israeli teens
    • "Antisemitism is a German term invented by Wilhelm Marr. It has nothing to do with Arabs.

      Actually it had quite a lot to do with Arabs. Marr used the term to refer to Jews as Semites, of Middle Eastern origin like Arabs, and therefore part of an “inferior” race. A race that included Arabs. He was disparaging Arabs just as much as Jews when he invented the term “anti-semitic”."

      hophmi IS correct here: Marr was talking about Jews, not Arabs when he coined the term anti-semitism. The Mufti suggested to Hitler that he should outlaw the term anti-semitism because it would be misunderstood by Arabs and cause resentment. Neither Marr nor Hitler considered Jews an "inferior race". How can a small minority of "inferior people" dominate and ruin the majority? Wiki on Marr:

      "In his pamphlet Der Weg zum Siege des Germanenthums über das Judenthum (The Way to Victory of Germanicism over Judaism, 1879) he introduced the idea that Germans and Jews were locked in a longstanding conflict, the origins of which he attributed to race—and that the Jews were winning. He argued that Jewish emancipation resulting from German liberalism had allowed the Jews to control German finance and industry. Furthermore, since this conflict was based on the different qualities of the Jewish and German races, it could not be resolved even by the total assimilation of the Jewish population. According to him, the struggle between Jews and Germans would only be resolved by the victory of one and the ultimate death of the other. A Jewish victory, he concluded, would result in finis Germaniae (the end of the German people). To prevent this from happening, in 1879 Marr founded the League of Antisemites (Antisemiten-Liga), the first German organization committed specifically to combating the alleged threat to Germany posed by the Jews and advocating their forced removal from the country."

  • 10 Years after the Advisory Opinion on the Wall in Occupied Palestine: Time for Concrete Action
    • The graphics are priceless. Not that I expect much wisdom from legal experts, but this is ridiculous and self-defeating.

      I assume the black figures are supposed to be righteous lawyers tearing down the "illegal" wall? I can guarantee that the Israelis will see nothing but Mullahs and Jihadists breaking down the "security" fence to get their revenge, and finally destroy the Jewish state.

  • Beating Palestinian boys 'to a pulp' is a tradition among Israeli forces
  • Chomsky and BDS
    • "Strong nations, including the US, have a long history of wielding power over smaller ones. The US model is not necessarily MLK in foreign affairs as you may be implying'

      Remind me: how long did it take until the US, despite it's famous declaration of self-evident truths, went MLK in its DOMESTIC affairs?

      I have a book tip for you and everyone else:

      Meeting the Enemy: American Exceptionalism and International Law

      Nov 3rd, 2011 | By msimpson | Category: 23-2: Climate Commitment, Book/Media Reviews
      By Natsu Taylor Saito
      New York University Press (2010)

      Review by Michael W. Simpson

      The cover for this book shows that it is slated for the law section of the bookstore. But it should also be stocked in the American Indian/ Indigenous Studies and History sections, as well as in the Serious Stuff We Need to Confront for Human Survival section.

      Earlier this year, the United States was confronted with an embarrassment when it was revealed that Osama bin Laden’s secret code name was Geronimo. This book explains why we should not be surprised that such was the case. The alleged newness of U.S. policy toward global terrorism isn’t anything new. Rather, the choice to annihilate the perceived Other is deeply ingrained in U.S. policy and practice.

      This book explains the connections to and the continuations from American colonists to the “war on terror” and how the United States both claims international law and excepts itself from it. Further, the book explains how the United States has claimed itself the greatest beacon of freedom, liberty, and democracy while justifying the denial of such to a substantial number of persons and groups over time. Finally, we get a glimpse at how American exceptionalism can be confronted and why it is important for us all to do so.

  • How Israel is exploiting the reported kidnapping to weaken Palestinian reconciliation
    • "Because unlike in your Zionist hellhole, here in the civilized world, we frown upon the process of prejudicially blaming a minority for a crime without clear evidence that they committed it. But this disappearance lets the Judeofascists stomp on a few Palestinian heads, so that’s cool with you, eh?"

      Oh please. It's one thing to criticize Netanyahu who apparently is - once again - not wasting a crisis. It's quite another to claim moral and cultural superiority from your neck of the woods. Is that not rather the original sin of the "judeofascist" as the target of your rant?

      How long did it take in your "civilized world" for your president, and much of the country, to lay the blame for 9/11 on AQ and Muslims, and embark on a crusade and two major wars in the ME?

      "what happened at President Bush's very first National Security Council meeting is one of O'Neill's most startling revelations. "From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," says O'Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.
      "From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime," says Suskind. "Day one, these things were laid and sealed." As treasury secretary, O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked. "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" says O'Neill. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap." [...]
      He got briefing materials under this cover sheet. "There are memos. One of them marked, secret, says, 'Plan for post-Saddam Iraq,'" adds Suskind, who says that they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001. Based on his interviews with O'Neill and several other officials at the meetings, Suskind writes that the planning envisioned peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals, and even divvying up Iraq's oil wealth.
      He obtained one Pentagon document, dated March 5, 2001, and entitled "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts," which includes a map of potential areas for exploration. "It talks about contractors around the world from, you know, 30-40 countries. And which ones have what intentions," says Suskind. "On oil in Iraq." During the campaign, candidate Bush had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist: "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that."

      "The thing that's most surprising, I think, is how emphatically, from the very first, the administration had said 'X' during the campaign, but from the first day was often doing 'Y,'" says Suskind. "Not just saying 'Y,' but actively moving toward the opposite of what they had said during the election."

      link to cbsnews.com

      There were no terrorists in Iraq in 2003. But they are there now.

      “Many philosophers often fuse together drone warfare and the war on terror and ponder whether either qualifies as a just war. In reference to Kosovo where Serbs still actually fired air defenses, Michael Ignatieff observed that “a war ceases to be just when it becomes a turkey shoot.” The ethical disconnect of the American kill list in non-combat zones within countries with which the US is not at war troubles many, particularly with the permissive aspect of drone use in such asymmetric settings. Christian Enemark wonders whether just war is obsolete when risk is transferred from combatants to non-combatants in non-combat territories that lead to more terrorism [...].

      James DeShaw Rae. Analyzing the Drone Debates (2014)

      seafoid asks:

      “Hamas murdered hundreds of israelis. How many palestinian kids has the IDF murdered? And why are goys expected to understand that jewish fingernails are more valuable? I don’t.
      And women and children as human shields. That is the hebrew for neighbour procedure. Who actually does the turkey shooting?”

      I don’t understand why American lives are more valuable than other peoples’ lives either. Do you, or seafoid?

      Turkey shoots are, in fact, an old American custom. 3 out of 4 prominent military examples, targeting humans rather than turkeys, listed on the Wikipedia article on TS were conducted by the US army, 1 by Israel. There are many more examples in military history but I don’t think a more complete list would seriously challenge that ratio.

      So much for your superior civilization.

  • Ohio State Hillel member calls Desmond Tutu a 'neo Nazi' for criticizing Israel
  • A movement grows in a Georgia church basement
    • "Zionism is just not decent. I think the next few years are going to be very exciting and I agree that things are going to unravel very quickly for Israel after the right amount of pressure"

      I see no particular historical evidence for the claim that decency predicts longevity in national and international affairs.

  • Columbia debate on Israeli policies features 3 Zionists, no Palestinians
    • "Hitler's plan to deport Jews to Madagascar"

      The Madagascar plan was given serious consideration in Poland, Japan, France, Britain and the US before the Nazis considered it. So did some Zionists. Neither Hitler nor anyone else executed the plan (reasons differ). At any rate, to call the Madagascar Plan "Hitler's plan" is a misrepresentation (even though he did seriously consider it, as did many others)

  • Iymen Chehade fights Chicago school's cancellation of his class
    • "invasion of Manchuria in 1937"

      correction - Manchuria was invaded in 1931. The Japanese invaded China proper in 1937 (Nanking)

    • "Good thing the Chinese are not Jewish. Or they would have to answer for their actions in Tibet."

      If the Chinese were Jewish, China would hardly be, to quote a recent book title, the "forgotten ally" of WW II. It would be generally accepted that WW II started with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1937, not the German invasion of Poland in 1939. The greatest and fiercest battle would be Shanghai (1937), not Stalingrad (1942/43). The prime victims of the war would not be the Jews, much less the Soviets or Poles but ethnic Chinese (and a few million other victims of the Japanese, such as Filipinos). Their actions in Tibet would be understood as legitimate self-defense (as in understandably rejecting "Auschwitz borders", or ending up as another Czechoslovakia etc etc)

      "And it was good that Saddam Hussein was Molem because you are allowedto gas people as long as you are not a Jew."

      Or a German (WW I or II)

  • 'NYT Book Review' owes readers an apology for printing blatant racism about Palestinians
    • "only a hater of dogs would resent my statement"

      Plain rubbish. Actually, I just got myself a perfectly cute dog, and I adore her (even though her mother is rather ugly, and God knows what she's going to look like as a adult). But granted: I can think of one particularly notorious dog lover who would NOT resent your statement. Alas, he's just as notorious for a murderous and irrational hatred of Jews (despite plenty of denials on his part that there was anything irrational about such sentiments: all rational reactions to the actual destructive behavior of Jews as the enemy of Germany in particular, and of humanity in general)

      "either produce your 'cut and paste' or stfu"

      you'll have to be patient. With some 6000 comments full of garbage, I have my hands full. What's the maximum length of comments on MW, before I take the trouble?

      "and, ehm… israelis are NOT A RACE!!!!!!!"

      True. Neither are Palestinians. Do “Arab Israelis” count in your definition of Israelis, Taxi? Also not to be compared to "cute canines"?

    • "Give us an example of “racism printed here about Israelis”, or, stfu."

      Taxi April 30, 2013 at 4:37 am
      "As a lover of dogs, I really resent you equating cute canines with israelis."

      Lots more where this came from. Would you like me to cut and paste it all?

    • "Religious instruction (as distinct from Church services) was done in the local vernacular."

      I had Church services in mind (Latin). Religious instruction in the local vernacular had very little to do with scripture. Both literacy and Bible translations were the result of the Protestant reformation. Luther and his fellow reformers were shocked to find that most local priests were neither interested in nor capable of (lack of Latin skills) reading the Vulgate.

    • re blood libel origins: antoher contributing factor may have been the fact that medieval Christians were illiterate, and instructed about the contents of the Bible either in Latin (which they generally didn't understand) or in pictures and icons. One of the most prominent motifs of Christian art pertaining to the OT is the Akedah, or Binding of Isaac. The narrative is lost, and all you ever see is Abraham wielding a knife, about to slaughter/sacrifice his son. Hardly surprising then that the bloodthirsty, child-murdering Jew became entrenched in the mind of the average medieval Christian.

  • Tony Benn, who said there is no moral difference between a stealth bomber and a suicide bomber
    • "National treasure"? "Integrity"? "Righteous, intelligent..."?

      "Quintessential Englishman"???

      Whitewashing hogwash, imo.

      For starters, read Sean Thomas:

      "Tony Benn 'admired' Chairman Mao, responsible for the deaths of millions. Why is this ignored?"

      There was a strange political coincidence last week, which went unnoticed. First, Britain’s favourite tea drinker, Tony Benn, died at the venerable age of 88. The passing of this “political giant” invoked sobbing eulogies, from papers and politicians alike.
      Perhaps the most ridiculous memorial came from the normally-sensible Louise Mensch, ex Tory MP. I advise you not to read the entire essay, unless you enjoy nausea, but here’s a taster: “There was that rumpled, brilliant look about the man that is so endearing to our clever, messy nation. Like JRR Tolkien, whom he resembled, he loved to smoke a pipe; a particularly English vice. He drank tea, and was well-read.”
      There it is again, the tea drinking. And of course the pipe smoking. And the rumpled cardigans. It’s as if these people (and Mensch was far from alone in her gushing prose) are describing a beloved old uncle, who could barely bring himself to whack a bluebottle.
      The trouble is, Tony Benn wasn’t quite like that, was he? Not in his politics. The second part of my political coincidence underscores this: last week saw developments in the Khmer Rouge trials, now ongoing in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
      A few years ago I personally attended one of these trials, when the defendant was Comrade Duch: the diligent, unassuming mass murderer who oversaw the violent deaths of 15,000 people, in the Khmer Rouge torture garden of Tuol Sleng. I will never forget the moment when Duch leaned near to the courtroom microphone, and murmured this: “I am particularly sorry for the many children we smashed against trees."
      After Duch said these appalling words, there was a strange humming in the vast and crowded auditorium; for a moment I thought the air con was malfunctioning, then I realised I was listening to the sound of hundreds of elderly people quietly sobbing. These were the parents of all those babies that the Khmer Rouge casually “smashed against trees”.
      What has this got to do with Tony Benn? A lot. Because Tony Benn was a fervent admirer of Chairman Mao, the ultimate leader of East Asian communists like the Khmer Rouge. In 1976, Britain’s best-loved pipe smoker wrote this in one of his hundreds of self-obsessed diaries: “In my opinion, [Chairman Mao] will undoubtedly be regarded as one of the greatest – if not the greatest – figures of the 20th century.”
      Check that date again, because it’s important. Benn wrote this in 1976. That’s years after Chairman Mao, Tony Benn’s great hero, procured the deaths of 1.5 million Chinese citizens in the Cultural Revolution. That’s many years after Mao engineered 45 million deaths in the Great Famine. That’s four decades after Chairman Mao envisaged that 50 million Chinese peasants “would have to be destroyed” to facilitate agrarian reform.
      More painfully still, 1976 is a year after those fervent Maoists, the Khmer Rouge, seized power in Phnom Penh (an advent greeted with words of celebration from Mao himself). By the year 1976, Cambodia was 12 months into a communist campaign of death, which would eventually annihilate 20-30 per cent of the entire Cambodian population.
      And by 1976 we knew this: The Guardian, surely Tony Benn’s favourite newspaper, had already published many articles about the new Cambodia, describing “a systematic process of mass elimination”, of “executions used as a tool of social control”. That is to say, in 1976, when Tony Benn happily praised Chairman Mao as the greatest man of the 20th century, he knew Mao’s acolytes were “exterminating class enemies”.
      But that’s alright, because we all make mistakes – at least according to rumpled, brilliant Tony Benn and his adorable mugs of tea. Twenty years later, an even wiser Benn – perhaps reflecting on the Maoist baby-killing – said this to the Chinese ambassador: “I am a great admirer of Mao. He made mistakes, because everybody does, but it seems to me that the development of the countryside and so on was very sensible.”
      And it’s true, Benn was right: we all make mistakes. And I’d say one of the biggest mistakes is our easy forgiveness of far left, quasi-Marxist, Chairman-Mao-loving politicians like Tony Benn, when, in contrast, we would revile and abhor a politician who expressed similar “admiration” for Hitler, 40 years after the Holocaust.
      So let’s correct that mistake. Let’s be clear. Tony Benn was a fine husband and a passionate feminist and a great speaker who wore rumpled woollens. But he also admired evil men who slaughtered tens of millions. And I’m not sure all the tea drinking in the world can quite make up for that.

      link to blogs.telegraph.co.uk

      It certainly can't. Mao, of course, was not the only mass murderer Benn admired. He was also an apologist for Stalin and, needless to say, enthralled by Churchill whom he called a "Liberal Imperialist" (an oxymoron). As Benn recalls in a 2004 publication (Winston Churchill in the Twenty First Centuy, ed. David Canndine et al):

      "I think I am right that Churchill described [Gandhi] as 'the naked fakir loping up the steps of the viceregal lodge to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor'. And I have a video of Winston from the 1930s, in which he talks about 600 million poor benighted Indians, who depended on the empire to preserve their society. That was his position and although it is wasy now to dismiss imperialism, it was part of the whole philosophy that illuminated the thinking not just of Conservatives but of many Liberals as well."

      Then comes the "I was in the Blitz" passage, and the usual decontextualized nonsense one also hears from American Conservatives and Liberals re 9/11 or its WW II precedent, Pearl Harbor.

      There are, to be sure, different views of British Imperialism in general, and Churchill in particular. Gideon Polya, in his review of "Churchill's Secret War", may be cited as the strongest indictment:

      "Madhusree Mukerjee's book commences with a key quotation from Churchill that addresses “from the horse's mouth” the fundamental holocaust commission, holocaust ignoring and holocaust denial behaviour of this mass murdering, racist imperialist. Thus Churchill makes no reference in the text of his 6-volume “The Second World War” (for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature) to the Bengal Famine (holocaust ignoring, holocaust denial) in which he deliberately murdered 6-7 million Indians (holocaust commission). Instead Churchill offers in his fraudulent history the following appalling holocaust lie: “No great portion of the world population was so effectively protected from the horrors and perils of the World War as were the peoples of Hindustan . They were carried through the struggle on the shoulders of our small Island” (“The Second World War”, volume 4, p181, Cassell, London, 1954; “Churchill's Secret War”, Prologue: our title to India, pix; “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History”, Chapter 14, The Bengal Famine of 1943-1944, p133).

      Madhusree Mukerjee systematically successively analyzes the background to the Bengali Holocaust in a prologue that deals with British India and the massive recurrent man-made famines, commencing with the 1769-1770 Bengal Famine in which 10 million people died due to British greed. Not quoted is Amaresh Misra's book “War of Civilizations: India AD 1857” that estimates that 10 million people died in British reprisals for the 1857 Indian rebellion. While the appalling famine history of British India is outlined the genocidal aspect is downplayed. Thus it can be estimated from British census and comparative mortality data that 1.8 billion Indians died prematurely under 2 centuries of British rule. While Mukerjee makes clear the British economic exploitation of India , she downplays the reality that endemic poverty and hunger in India made it possible for a distant island of scores of millions to rule hundreds of millions of disempowered Indian subjects with the help of well-fed sepoys and other collaborators.. "

      Much like Benn, Tony Judd uncritically cites Churchill's view in his History of Europe, according to which Britain used its own resources to fight WW II whereas Germany shamelessly plundered and starved the occupied territories. Germany, of course, had lost its few colonies after WW I, and had no India to plunder and starve. Both Liberals and Conservatives insist on remaining ignorant on what effect Allied policies (in both WWs), such as the economic and food blockade, had on the actual course of the war, and the extent of German atrocities in occupied territories (which were entirely predictable and no doubt in the strategic interest of claiming Allied moral superiority)

      Could Benn have known better about Churchill and British Imperialism? Orwell certainly did.

      link to old.himalmag.com

      So while I would fully agree that there is no moral difference between stealth and suicide bombers, there is also no moral difference between Liberal, Conservative, Socialist or Racist Imperialists and mass murderers. Unless you insist on doublethinking murder

  • Thought experiment. Dateline Ukraine
    • Thanks for bringing up Brz for clarification of the geopolitcal strategies at play here. Culturally (including religion) and historically, Ukraine quite clearly belongs to Russia, and that's a thorn in the side of geostrategists like B who, next to advancing US imperialism, does have another ax to grind: Promoting Poland as the next European leader (displacing Germany). As is the case with Germany and Russia, Poland has a long history of conflict with Ukraine. WW I, Versailles, and WW II are just particularly 'hot phases' of that age-old conflict, fueled by hyper-nationalism on all sides, not just the German one. In fact, Polish nationalism has been as fierce as any other in Eastern and Central Europe, and those who call Ukrainian nationalists "Nazis" conveniently forget that Roman Dmowski, often dubbed "Poland's Hitler" is revered in Poland, statue and all, as the founding father of the resurrected nation at Versailles. As wrt Germany and Russia, Polish historical memory is severely influenced by myth rather than historical realities. Here's a recent Ukrainian perspective that also addresses the plain economic and national interest of Poland in getting Ukraine into the Western (EU) camp:

      link to ukrainianweek.com

      Anne Applebaum, btw, cited above as a "neocon" is married to Poland's foreign minister (who is playing a prominent role in the present Ukraine-EU scenario/agreement)

      One should also keep in mind that Poland has a history of falling prey to foreign imperial designs while pursuing its own national interests - from Napoleon to Versailles and WW II. The more recent "special relationship" with the US is no exception. The tragedy of Poland (and its neighbors) has always been to seek support from foreign superpowers rather than get along and compromise with its direct neighbors. That's also true for Israel.

      As to commenters here expressing bewilderment about Israel collaborating with (Ukrainian) "Nazis": What else is new? And I don't just mean Israel. The Americans collaborated with the Nazis before and after WW II, as did Stalin (does anyone remember the Hitler-Stalin Pact?). Stalin also collaborated with any Eastern European (and Chinese) nationalists (=Nazis, according to MW commenters) , despite ideological differences. How do you explain his major ethnic cleansing campaigns, and reorganization of Eastern Europe along national lines? Divide and conquer is an old (Western) imperial strategy, and Stalin used it as consistently as did Hitler, and any American president under the flag of 'self-determination' and 'democratic peace'

  • Conviction rate for Israeli interrogators who use torture: 0%
    • "Shared values…"

      Exactly.

      And not just, as Sullivan suggests, since Cheney and Rumsfeld:

      "On July 4, 1902 (as if on cue from John Philip Sousa), Roosevelt declared victory in the Philippines. Remaining insurgents would be politically downgraded to “brigands.” Although the United States ruled over the Philippines for the next four decades, the violence was now, in some sense, a problem in someone else’s country. Activists in the United States continued to pursue witnesses and urge renewed Senate investigation, but with little success; in February, 1903, Lodge’s Republican-controlled committee voted to end its inquiry into the allegations of torture. The public became inured to what had, only months earlier, been alarming revelations. As early as April 16, 1902, the New York World described the “American Public” sitting down to eat its breakfast with a newspaper full of Philippine atrocities:

      It sips its coffee and reads of its soldiers administering the “water cure” to rebels; of how water with handfuls of salt thrown in to make it more efficacious, is forced down the throats of the patients until their bodies become distended to the point of bursting; of how our soldiers then jump on the distended bodies to force the water out quickly so that the “treatment” can begin all over again. The American Public takes another sip of its coffee and remarks, “How very unpleasant!”

      “But where is that vast national outburst of astounded horror which an old-fashioned America would have predicted at the reading of such news?” the World asked. “Is it lost somewhere in the 8,000 miles that divide us from the scenes of these abominations? Is it led astray by the darker skins of the alien race among which these abominations are perpetrated? Or is it rotted away by that inevitable demoralization which the wrong-doing of a great nation must inflict on the consciences of the least of its citizens?”

      Responding to the verdict in the Glenn court-martial, Judge Advocate General Davis had suggested that the question it implicitly posed—how much was global power worth in other people’s pain?—was one no moral nation could legitimately ask. As the investigation of the water cure ended and the memory of faraway torture faded, Americans answered it with their silence. "

      link to newyorker.com

      Such collective amnesia is also a "shared value". Torture, censorship and mass murder is un-Jewish and unique to Zionism?

      Alexander Solzhenitsyn "200 Years Together", chapter 24: Breaking away from the Bolshevism

      link to 200yearstogether.wordpress.com

      Sever Plocker on "Stalin's Jews"

      link to ynetnews.com

  • Netanyahu & Merkel are short on freundschaftsbezeigungen
    • @puppies:

      "Bezeigung as in demonstration. Tsk Tsk. I hope you are not about to diss Mark Twain, one of the greatest German authors?"

      Twain wrote, rather arrogantly:

      ""Freundschaftsbezeigungen" seems to be "Friendship demonstrations," which is only a foolish and clumsy way of saying "demonstrations of friendship."

      The prepostional phrase "demonstrations of friendship" may seem "foolish and clumsy" from the German perspective. At any rate, my guess is that Twain found this particular compound noun in a novel that would still have been required reading for an educated American of Twain's generation: (in the original German, of course). Goethe's 1774 international bestseller "Die Leiden des jungen Werther" (The Sorrows of Young Werther). In Werther's letter of May 17 (1771), we read:

      "Sonst sind mir einige verzerrte Originale in den Weg gelaufen, an denen alles unausstehlich ist, an unerträglichesten ihre FREUNDSCHAFTSBEZEIGUNGEN."

      Surely, Goethe would qualify as "one of the greatest German authors"? Just as surely as Twain was influenced by the Nativists, and their increasing discomfort with anything German. Too much competition for the Anglo-American superiority complex.

      Goethe happened to be enthusiastic about Shakespeare at the time he wrote his first and most successful novel (and ever after) . Shakespeare made up a lot of English words, too. Many seem strange and obsolete today. C'est la vie.

      link to books.google.bs

    • I agree That "Freundschaftsbezeigungen" is awkward and obsolete. Nevertheless, it's a German word. Mark Twain mentioned it in his diatribe re the "awful German language":

      "Some German words are so long that they have a perspective. Observe these examples:

      Freundschaftsbezeigungen.
      Dilettantenaufdringlichkeiten.
      Stadtverordnetenversammlungen."

      You would probably find "Dilettantenaufdringlichkeiten" pretty weird as well.

      The fact that you don't use it does not mean it's not a German word.

      It should, however, be capitalized. Mark Twain again:

      "I capitalize the nouns, in the German (and ancient English) fashion."

  • Stirring debate on BDS, 'NYT' allows readers to speak out about inequality
    • "The Times’ has said that the single biggest miss in the 20th century was its coverage of the Holocaust. Well, the treatment of Palestinians can’t equate to genocide"

      The treatment of the Ukrainians (Holodomor) during the early 1930s surely can.

      "In 1933, the recently elected administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt granted official U.S. recognition to the Soviet Union for the first time. Especially repugnant was that this recognition was granted even though Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had just concluded a campaign of genocide against Ukraine that left over 10 million dead. This atrocity was known to the Roosevelt administration, but not to the American people at large, thanks to suppression of the story by the Western press [...]. How did a holocaust of these dimensions remain unknown in the West? First, the Soviets suppressed all information regarding the famine. Russia's state-controlled press was prohibited from discussing it, and for ordinary citizens, just mentioning the famine carried a penalty of three to five years' imprisonment.

      Although some Western observers did report the magnitude of the Ukrainians' plight, such comments were extremely rare. During the famine, the Soviets prohibited foreign journalists from visiting Ukraine. But just as significant was the cooperation of influential Western writers sympathetic to communism. The Fabian Socialist George Bernard Shaw, after receiving a tour carefully orchestrated by the Soviets, proclaimed in 1932: "I did not see a single under-nourished person in Russia, young or old."

      But by far the worst offender was Walter Duranty, New York Times' Moscow bureau chief from 1922 to 1936. Duranty enjoyed personal access to Stalin, called him "the greatest living statesman," and even praised the dictator's notorious show trials. To call Duranty a Soviet sympathizer greatly understates his role. Journalist Joseph Alsop termed Duranty a "KGB agent," and Malcolm Muggeridge called him "the greatest liar of any journalist I have met in 50 years of journalism."

      Duranty's published denials of Ukraine's Holodomor were perhaps the vilest acts of his career. In November 1932, he brazenly told his New York Times readers, "There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be." He denounced as "liars" the few brave writers who reported the famine, which he called "malignant propaganda." When accumulating reports made the massive deaths hard to dispute, Duranty switched tactics from outright denial to downplay. He wrote in the Times in March 1933: "There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from deaths due to malnutrition."

      Incredibly, Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for "dispassionate, interpretive reporting of the news from Russia."

      link to thenewamerican.com

      "S. J. Taylor, author of the critical Duranty biography, "Stalin's Apologist", argues that Duranty's reporting was a key factor in U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 decision to grant official recognition to the Soviet Union.

      The concern over Duranty's reporting on the famine in Soviet Ukraine led to a move to posthumously and symbolically strip him of his Pulitzer award he garnered in 1932, the year the famine started, although Pulitzer in question did not involve the famine. In response to Taylor's book, the Times assigned a member of its editorial board, Karl Meyer, to write a signed editorial regarding Duranty's work. In a scathing piece, Meyer said that Duranty's articles were "some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper."

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      see also

      link to nytco.com

      link to garethjones.org

  • Hey Mayor De Blasio-- it's 'New York, New York,' not 'Israel, Israel'
    • Sorry to rain on your "great signs" parade.

      I personally fail to see how "New York, New York" is any better than "Israel, Israel".

      And I simply can't believe that the irony is lost on the many commenters here who have on numerous occasions expressed their strong disapproval of the Iraq war and occupation.

      Surely you remember what role "New York, New York" played in launching and sustaining that war?

      Glenn Greenwald on the "quaint and obsolete Nuremberg principles"

      link to salon.com

  • American Jewish leader calls Iranians manipulative 'bazaaris'
    • "I think a curse should rest on me — because I love this war. I know it's smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment — and yet — I can't help it — I enjoy every second of it." - Winston Churchill (1916)

      What kind of moron would enjoy WW I?

      Read more at link to notable-quotes.com

  • Hail hail hasbara!
    • "I dont think the word ‘zionist’ has made it to the general public yet..."

      Good point. One reason why "anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism" works for a lot of people

  • 'Through fire and water, Canada will stand with you' -- Premier's biblical promise in Jerusalem
    • Numbers 31:23

      Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.

      "The extremely rare individual, says Maimonides, who had God always in his thoughts, can walk unharmed through fire and water. "

      link to louisjacobs.org

    • ‘Through fire and water, Canada will stand with you’ clearly does not fit the baptism scenario.

    • from the comments section of a Globe & Mail article on Harper's 200+ delegation:

      "Frickin' unbelievable. Would a delegation from the Vatican have more religious figures? I totally get it that Mr. Harper is religiously-driven, but was there no one in the PMO or Conservative party that couldn't see the negative optics in this pilgrimage?"

      link to theglobeandmail.com

      lots of real estate developers, too.

      Who's more embarrassing for Canada: Harper or Ford?

  • An open letter to Stephen Harper, agent of colonialism, injustice and hypocrisy
    • "on land stolen outright, to drink and bathe from its stolen waters and to enjoy the other fruits of the land"

      "No tribe has the right to sell [land], even to each other, much less to strangers.... Sell a country!? Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Didn't the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children?" Tecumseh

      article on different conceptions re land ownership between Native Americans and European colonists:

      link to learnnc.org

      Theodore Roosevelt's apologia:

      link to britannica.com

  • Former 'NYT' reporter says Times should assign non-Jews to cover Israel/Palestine
    • Got it, thanks Roha. Even though my native language is German, I will now be able to impersonate Ms Irishmoses and lecture my American spouse on his grammar ;)

    • "The Italos & Gerries all use the present perfect instead of the
      simple past! The Gerries get along with simple present, present
      perfect & even use simple present with an adverb to express the
      future."

      Your grasp of German grammar may get you through a conversation but you obviously never read or wrote German.

      "All english speakers can easily learn Euro languages because
      we are so aware of nuances due to our many tenses."

      ROFL

    • "Don’t they teach basic grammar in schools?"

      looks like basic grammar to me. What's wrong with it? Just curious: Would you prefer: "Had I gotten one..."?

    • " when casually talking to the average American, they are clearly unaware of many major components of the conflict."

      But how is that different from talking to the "average American" (and not just Americans) about any other conflict, past or present?

  • What Irish hero Michael Davitt tells us about Jewish history
  • The (Jewish) N-Word
    • "I think there is an unfortunate tendency on Mondoweiss to gloss over a lot of shameful US history, and of our allies as well. In some ways, Hitler broke new ground, in many ways he did not."

      Agreed. Hitler certainly broke no new ground re racism, eugenics, ethnic cleansing / genocide , or forced/slave labor. The conquest of the American West was Hitler's model for his own plan of conquest and colonization of Eastern Europe. On race and eugenics, he preferred Madison Grant's 'scientific' treatises to the more mystical musings of fellow Nazi Rosenberg.

      link to en.wikipedia.org
      link to personal.uncc.edu
      link to sfgate.com
      link to global.oup.com;

      Slave labor was abolished in the US after the Civil War, right?

      link to slaverybyanothername.com
      link to en.wikipedia.org
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      “…up to a certain point, the Nazi war crimes consisted largely of inflicting on white Europeans levels of brutality that had previously been reserved only for Asians, Africans, and the native populations of North, Central, and South America.” (Bertram Gross)

      Not sure this holds up to historical scrutiny. Surely, the horrific religious wars in Europe affected Europeans. Here's one of many gruesome examples:

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      The Boers in Kitchener's concentration camps were Europeans, including the descendants of some Huguenots who had fled to South Africa from French persecution. In BNA, Huguenots partially replaced some of the perfectly white and and Catholic Acadians who were expelled during the Seven Years War (often called the real First World War). Longfellow doesn't tell the whole story, though.

      link to histori.ca

      Armenians?

  • Thug
  • Chomsky: Israel and US enjoying the spectacle as Syria descends into suicide
  • Latest 'generous offer' leaked: Israel wants to control Jordan River and 40% of West Bank while Palestinians get 'temporary borders'
    • "The second original sin was the refusal of the United States to allow Jews to immigrate in the 1930s and early 1940s, which forced them to go to Palestine to escape the monstrous, mass-murdering Nazis."

      Cole fails to mention what in this line of argument would certainly qualify as the third original sin: The Transfer Agreement by which German Jews were settled in Palestine by the Nazis during the 1930s

      What made the Nazis "monstrous, mass-murdering"?

      The preferred view is, of course, that they were inherently so and just waited for the right time to strike - when everyone was distracted by the war (which was allegedly fought to save the Jews)

      It's a convenient and transparent nonsense which only serves to justify subsequent military inventions (from Kosovo to Syria) serving no other purpose but empire as alleged humanitarian interventions.

      More plausibly (esp. in view of Hitler's 'Prophesy-Speech') it was both the British/French and, especially, the US entry into war against Germany that doomed the Jews of Europe. Just as the Kosovo intervention intensified the inter-ethnic violence it was supposed to alleviate.

      See also Libya and, perhaps soon to come, Syria.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      link to holocaust-history.org

      link to upf.edu

    • "Israel is settler colonialism par excellence. Why is the r in hebrew pronounced as german?"

      Is it?

      "The reish makes the sound of an ‘R’. You can pronounce it with an American burr, or roll it at the tip of your tongue as in Spanish or Arabic, or “gargle” it way in the back of your throat, somewhat like the ‘R’ in French."

      link to natashanataniela.wordpress.com

      "resh (r)
      pronounced as the French r (IPA: [ʁ]). Some pronounce it rolled as in Spanish burro (IPA: [r])"

      link to wikitravel.org

      "R as in the Spanish rolled R"
      link to jewishmag.com

      "How to avoid sounding like an Amurrrrican when you pronounce the letter "R."

      I've been conducting the Triangle Jewish Chorale for fourteen years and still struggle with "American R" in our Hebrew and Yiddish songs. The basic problem: our native language, English, has no guttural or rolled consonants, so they are difficult for some people to hear, much less pronounce.

      I tell my singers I'll accept either
      The "German" or "French" guttural R, or
      The "Spanish" flipped/rolled R.
      The former sounds marginally more authentic in both Hebrew and Yiddish, but the latter is easier to sing.

      By the way, here is an interesting explanation )link to Wikipedia] of the way the R prononunciation of modern Hebrew came about:
      The Zionist Eliezer ben Yehuda - though an Ashkenazi Jew in Czarist Russia - based his Standard Hebrew on the Sephardic dialect originally spoken in Spain, and therefore recommended an alveolar [forward, rolled] R.

      But as the first waves of Jews to resettle in the Holy Land were northern Ashkenazi, they came to speak Standard Hebrew with their preferred uvular articulation [guttural, gargled] as found in Yiddish or modern standard German, and it gradually became the most prestigious pronunciation for the language.

      The modern State of Israel has Jews whose ancestors came from all over the world, but nearly all of them today speak Hebrew with a uvular R because of its modern prestige and historical elite status."

      link to pratie.blogspot.ca

      The 'German Jews' who settled in Palestine during the early aliya waves came predominantly from Eastern Europe (Russia and Poland). In Germany and the rest of Western Europe, as well as in the US, they were considered undesirable, uncivilized and unassimilable 'Ostjuden' . The term 'kike' , for instance, was coined by German/Western European American Jews for Jewish immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe.

      As for your suggestion that there is something distinctly German or Jewish in settler colonialism: you must be French, British or American? Or Russian, Polish, Czech?

      hasbarafail

  • Groundswell on Syria: The people versus AIPAC
    • Elliott

      "My non sequitir for the day is to comment on the use of hyphens as substitutes for vowels....I wonder about other cultures. Do they drop the vowels of the sacred, as in traditional Judiasm, or the profanities, as in general American culture?"

      This strikes me as a classic non sequitur. Strictly speaking, there are no vowels in WRITTEN Hebrew and therefore there is nothing to hyphenate, be it sacred or profane

      link to hebrew4christians.com

    • L-L, Roha, hilari-us c-mment.

      The graphic symb-l f-r the eternal feminine is, -f c-urse, b-th sacred and pr-fane.

  • Kerry's rationale to attack Syria could have also justified attack on Israel over Gaza
    • "As Goering would’ve put it, might makes right. We can bet our lives that subject analogy will never be debated on America’s main media news."

      Unless one's grasp of history is limited to msm, be it American or European, Goering is hardly the first name that comes to mind wrt to the concept of 'might makes right'. At least there's Wikipedia

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Wiki also provides a link to the text of a book published under that title in the US in 1890. As with many other American precedents, you'll find many echoes in Hitler's Mein Kampf

      link to en.wikipedia.org

  • No one knows what Obama stands for
  • Illegal. Immoral. Dangerous. Why Congress needs to say No!
    • "You really should watch this Glenn Beck clip."

      And his updated version of Aryanism (actually not that different from older versions that contributed to the Balfour declaration)

      link to wnd.com

  • Exclusive: Al Jazeera English’s online US broadcast to end with the launch of Al Jazeera America
  • Chomsky says 'Snowden should be honored' for 'telling Americans what the government was doing'
    • Wyden's speech is a typical example of confusing historical myth with reality in American political culture. Excerpt:

      "We find ourselves at a truly unique time in our Constitutional history. The
      growth of digital technology, dramatic changes in the nature of warfare and
      the definition of a battlefield, and novel courts that run counter to
      everything the Founding Fathers imagined, make for a combustible mix.
      At this point in the speech I would usually conclude with the quote from
      Ben Franklin about giving up liberty for security and not deserving either,
      but I thought a different founding father might be more fitting today.
      James Madison, the father of our constitution, said that the the
      accumulation of executive, judicial and legislative powers into the hands
      of any faction is the very definition of tyranny.  He then went on to assure
      the nation that the Constitution protected us from that fate."

      Compare with Chomsky on Madison:

      QUESTION: Do you see much evidence of a revolutionary spirit in the America of the 1990s?

      CHOMSKY: You didn't find evidence of it in the America of the 1790s. The Revolutionary War was an important event. But it was in the first place, to a significant extent, a civil war, as most revolutionary wars are. And it was a war of independence, as opposed to a revolution against the social structure. The social structure didn't really change significantly. There were problems right after the war was done. For example, Shay's Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion and so on were challenging the social structure, and there were efforts on the part of radical farmers to take seriously the meaning of the words in the revolutionary pamphlets, but that was pretty well quieted down.

      If you go back to the record of the Constitutional Convention, which took place in 1787, almost immediately after the end of the war, you see that they are already moving in another direction. James Madison -- who was the main framer, and one of the founding fathers who was most libertarian -- makes it very clear that the new constitutional system must be designed so as to insure that the government will, in his words "protect the minority of the opulent against the majority" and bar the way to anything like agrarian reform. The determination was made that America could not allow functioning democracy, since people would use their political power to attack the wealth of the minority of the opulent. Therefore, Madison argues, the country should be placed in the hands of the wealthier set of men, as he put it.

      QUESTION: Isn't that erection of barriers to democracy woven through the entire history of the United States?

      CHOMSKY: It goes back to the writing of the Constitution. They were pretty explicit. Madison saw a "danger" in democracy that was quite real and he responded to it. In fact, the "problem" was noticed a long time earlier. It's clear in Aristotle's Politics, the sort of founding book of political theory -- which is a very careful and thoughtful analysis of the notion of democracy. Aristotle recognizes that, for him, that democracy had to be a welfare state; it had to use public revenues to insure lasting prosperity for all and to insure equality. That goes right through the Enlightenment. Madison recognized that, if the overwhelming majority is poor, and if the democracy is a functioning one, then they'll use their electoral power to serve their own interest rather than the common good of all. Aristotle's solution was, "OK, eliminate poverty." Madison faced the same problem but his solution was the opposite: "Eliminate democracy."

      QUESTION: Madison actually expected more of the rich, didn't he?

      CHOMSKY: Madison was sort of pre-capitalist. He was a person of the Enlightenment, kind of like Adam Smith. And his picture of what the wealthy would do with their power was very different from what they did do. He thought they would be enlightened gentlemen, benevolent philosophers and so on. By the early 1790s, he was already very upset, and he was deploring the depravity of the times. He saw people becoming the tools and tyrants of government, as he put it. They were using state power for their own ends. That's not the way it was supposed to work. But the opposition had already been pushed back by then. Although there were radical democratic elements, they were pretty much marginalized pretty fast.

      QUESTION: We really see that happening across history, don't we?

      CHOMSKY: It's a battle right through history. It's not just the United States, of course. It was the same struggle in the English Revolution, which came before the revolution in the United States, and in every popular struggle since. And it's going on right in front of our eyes today. It's a never-ending struggle.

      link to chomsky.info

    • "Soon, the USA will be as corrupt and untrustworthy as Israel, which is the leader in lack of trust and corruption."

      you got that backwards. again

    • "The U.S. cannot now, without hypocrisy, criticize others for torture, arrest without trial, assassination even of its own citizens, violations of the most basic human rights due to its material support for Israeli opprsssion...."

      Not "now"? At what point in history could the US make any claims to moral superiority without hypocrisy? In fact, is it the height of hypocrisy to claim that "support for Israeli oppression" marks some sort of watershed deviation from American virtue. Some American 8 graders are more enlightened than most MW commenters about their country's history

      Or have a look at the "Making the world safe for hypocrisy" blog, for starters

      link to mtw.blogspot.ca

  • What’s in a tweet? Islamophobe Emerson brings frivolous lawsuit over a joke
  • Margaret Atwood signs on to Canadian letter opposing Palestinian evictions
    • "The notion that an occupying power can evict the inhabitants in order to create a firing range for its artillery units doesn’t even pass the giggle test of the 19th century laws and customs of war that were codified in the Hague regulations. "

      Quite a few of the ethnically cleansed German villages from Czechoslovakia to East Prussia (Königsberg/Kaliningrad) became "firing ranges" for the Warsaw Pact after 1945. How did this pass the "giggle test of the 19th c laws and customs of war"? At this point, Stalin was still a "most special strategic ally" for the Anglo-American alliance, sitting in judgment at Nuremberg where Nazi/German leaders and generals were sentenced to death for the very same violations.

      "Our government needs to start talking about putting these Zionist troglodytes behind bars, not about adopting legislation that makes them our most special strategic ally."

      Poland is a "most special strategic ally" of the US, too. The ethnically homogenous Polish state after 45 never existed in history but was the result of ethnic cleansing. Compared with the some 30 million Europeans, about half of them Germans, who, with full Allied consent, were subjected to ethnic cleansing during the post-war period, the Nakba, foul as it was, is little more than a footnote. To deny this is to deny historical facts for the purpose of incorrectly presenting the ethnic cleansing of Palestine as a uniquely unique crime against humanity, somewhat in analogy to the uniquely unique Holocaust. For decades, the Zionists have posed the question, and with perfectly good reason: If it could be done to Germans (and plenty of other Europeans) during and after the Nuremberg Trials 45, why could/can it not be done to the Palestinians? All you have to do is collectively declare them Nazis or terrorists, hostile to the expelling state. it's the same method, btw, the Nazis applied to the Jews.

      Something obviously went wrong at Nuremberg, and during the aftermath of the great battle between the forces of "good" and "evil". It is obvious that Stalin and his Eastern European 'allies' succeeded where Hitler failed, i.e a massive ethnographic reorganization of Europe on an unprecedented scale in history.

      I don't remember anyone being put behind bars for this. Put a Zionist behind bars for what at any rate would be a lesser crime, and everybody will scream: Anti-Semitism! Not without reason either, considering the plain historical facts

  • In electric atmosphere, Medea Benjamin takes over the president's speech
    • "Kathleen, you are not being quite fair. For one, it’s better late than never. For another, some things take time – especially in the face of the barrage from the MSM we have all been subjected to."

      I spent a few weeks in the Caribbean recently, and the only radio station I could get in my humble beach hut was Fox. A lot of Rush Limbaugh. The basic message, repeated ad nauseam, was this: America is the greatest country in the history of the world. It's all been about freedom, and defending and spreading the idea of freedom and democracy, peace and justice around the globe.

      It was unreal.

      Limbaugh may be an extreme case, but pray tell me: what excuses Obama - liberal, highly educated, and presumably familiar with the darker side of his country's history - from spreading the same tale?

      He said:

      “So America is at a crossroads. We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us. We have to be mindful of James Madison’s warning that ‘No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.’ Neither I, nor any president, can promise the total defeat of terror. We will never erase the evil that lies in the hearts of some human beings, nor stamp out every danger to our open society.”

      Or:

      "I'm willing to cut the young lady who interrupted me some slack because it's worth being passionate about. Is this who we are? Is that something our Founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave our children?”

      You'd think being at war for more than 10 years, or detaining people for many years without charge is anything new in US history. But it isn't. In fact, there has hardly been a decade in US history when the country was NOT at war against internal and external enemies (all haters of freedom and democracy, of course)

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      And Kathleen is complaining about the splinter in Medea Benjamin's eye?

  • The etymology of anti-Semitism
    • "It is well known who created the term anti semitism and to what purpose"

      Effective and misleading. How cartoonish!

  • 'NYT' landmark: Jewish philosophy prof says we 'really ought to question' Israel's right to exist
    • "would revive the Westphalia ‘cuius regio eius religio’ principle. I would not like to see this"

      the 'crer' principle dates back to the Peace of Augsburg (1555), I think, not the Peace of Westphalia (1648). And yes, there was not much peace in Europe during the century between.

      That principle also seems to be the model for the equally disastrous idea of the homogenous ethnic nation state of the 19th/20th c, and a disastrous 30yrs+ war (WW i and II)

  • Anatomy of a Falsehood: Roger Cohen recycles pro-Israel attack against Omar Barghouti
    • Speaking of falsehoods: The Nuremberg race laws of 1935 did NOT strip Jews of German citizenship (a common but nevertheless false claim):

      "The centerpiece of the anti-Jewish legislation was enacted in September 1935 as the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, together known as the Nuremberg racial laws. [...] The Reich Citizenship Law ... did not alter the status of Jews as citizens (Staatsangehörige), conceding citizenship (Staatsangehörigkeit) to all German nationals, including Jews, and thus retaining for Jews the rights and protections traditional citizenship conferred. Instead, the law stigmatized Jews as citizens of lesser worth by creating the elevated position of Reich citizen (Reichsbürger), which only those with German or related blood could hold. Reich citizens were to be the sole bearers of political rights, but those rights were not defined and, considering the centralization of dictatorial political power, were basically meaningless. In fact, the Reich citizenship warrants were never issued."

      Henry Friedländer: The Origins of Nazi Genocide (1997), p24

      Artile 2 of the Reich citizenship law:

      1. A citizen of the Reich is that subject only who is of German or kindred blood and who, through his conduct, shows that he is both desirous and fit to serve the German people and Reich faithfully.
      2. The right to citizenship is acquired by the granting of Reich citizenship papers.
      3. Only the citizen of the Reich enjoys full political rights in accordance with the provision of the laws.

      So yes, Jews (as well as Roma, Sinti and African Germans, but not Danes, Poles, Greeks etc) were excluded from full citizenship and political rights (including voting rights). But so were all German citizens/subjects who did not exhibit the right "conduct". This is why article 116 of the Basic Law of the FRG reads, as you quote:

      "The above mentioned group of people mainly includes German Jews and members of the Communist or Social Democratic Parties."

      Obviously, most members of the German Communist or Social Democratic Parties weren't Jews.

      As far as I can tell, Israel does not link full citizenship to "conduct", or no more so than do other democracies, including the US

  • Faux-libuster is Republicans' latest stratagem to block Hagel for Defense (Update: And it worked)
  • US Congress seeks to thwart Palestinian reconciliation -- hearing WINEP testimony based on Israeli army blog
    • "What’s so hard about that to understand?"

      It's not complicated. One of the prerequisites for recognition of statehood is effective government. So obviously Palestinian unity is a threat to peace as defined and mapped by the Israelis. It's the old divide and conquer trick

      ------

      These criteria were enumerated in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States:

      The State as a person of international law should possess the following
      qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c)
      government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other States (Article 1).

      It is generally agreed that these conditions represent customary international law. More or less the same criteria were adopted in 1992 by the Arbitration Commission (the Badinter Commission) established by the European Conference on Yugoslavia.

      [...]

      The third condition for statehood is the existence of an effective government with control over the population and the territory. No particular system of government is required, and what counts is the effectiveness of the governing body. When the state is established as a consequence of decolonization, sometimes the requirement of effectiveness is less stringent (e.g., the Congo in 1960). If the new state has been recognized by many other states, the effectiveness requirement may become less stringent.

      link to israelcfr.com

  • 'Jewish Press' piece sees 'Gatekeepers' as evidence of rising Jewish anti-Zionism
    • I agree, sardelpasti. I would also say that the aversion 0f the secularized and Americanized 'Tel Aviv Jews" against the Haredim in Israel - apparently a major factor in the recent Israel elections - is strongly reminiscent of Polish (as well as Russian/Soviet and Western European plus American) anti-semitism in the early 1900s

    • "Eastern Jews would be Ostjuden in German, and only in German it makes sense"

      100 yrs ago this distinction made perfect sense in the US as well. You can read about 'Germans' and 'Russians' (Ostjuden) in Cohen's excellent book on Jacob Schiff

      review article here

      link to h-net.org

      or Birmingham's "Our Crowd" (search for "Russians")

      As Birmingham notes, because the surnames of the Russian and Polish Jews (who arrived in great numbers in the late 19th and early 20th c in NYC) often ended in -ki, they were called 'kikes' by the established and assimilated German-American Jews who were greatly concerned about the new arrivals increasing anti-semitism among gentile Americans

      link to books.google.ca

  • They Can't Hide the Sun: An interview with Omar Barghouti
    • "If he thinks Morsi’s a good leader, does he at least concede that others might disagree?"

      If you think Bush or Obama, or Netanyahu, are good leaders, do you at least concede that others might disagree?

      Why not just abolish democracy? That would solve the problem of people electing the wrong leaders

  • Samer Issawi is like an olive tree; his head reaches the sky and nobody can uproot him
    • "read the rest of the comment for context, pleease!"

      read the book I posted below for context, please

      " people held without charge"

      hardly a specific Palestinian problem

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