Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1124 (since 2009-07-31 16:25:09)

LanceThruster

I grew up with the conventional wisdom believing that the Israelis were the "white hats" and that the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims were the "black hats." After 9/11, I wanted to know more about the conflict in the ME. I came to the realization that the narrative was totally one-sided. I largely credit many outstanding Jewish voices (my close friend Bernie the Attorney for one) for opening my eyes. I see on a daily basis the efforts by Zionists and their stooges to dismiss truth-tellers in the most reprehensible manner, up to and including threats of violence. Truth needs no army of thugs to establish it; only lies need enforcers.

Website: http://lancethruster.blogspot.com

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  • Bigot or colorful activist? Washington Post is neutral on Islamophobes
    • I know personally that Geller has used shill accounts. I got banned for challenging the contentions of hers in one article and wrote her directly to try to finish my rebuttal. One of the commenter accounts referenced points of mine never posted publically but rather emailed to Ms. Geller directly.

      She never replied when I pointed this out and if I remember correctly, immediately blocked any further emails. I have however, achieved web immortality of sorts as later on some of my comments were cited as proof of Huffington Post's anti-Semitic bias. As far as I was concerned, I could have defended every point or assertion (if only Ms. Geller had the integrity to allow serious rebuttal).

      I've never watched more than a few minutes of her Vidcasts (or whatever she calls them), but no offense to "Dethklok" of "Metalocalypse" fame, but her video pieces are the most brutal, deepest, blackest production ever imagined, thought of or existed in all history in any part of this universe or any alternate universes that may or may not exist.

  • Eden Abergil responds to critics: 'I can’t afford Arab-lovers to ruin the perfect life I live! I’ve got no remorse and no regrets.'
  • Israeli soldier mocks Palestinian prisoners in Facebook photos
    • Olive drab is not a good color for her.

      Just sayin'.

    • I just rewatched Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" and this reminds a bit me of the guy getting evicted from his home of 5 generations. He said something to the effect of, "I know why people go off the deep end and start wasting people. I'm not advocating it or saying I'd do it. But I understand it. If bad things happen to these people (the bank crooks in his case), they deserve it."

  • Israel cuts off water to Jordan Valley village
    • Israel cuts off water to Jordan Valley village

      I guess that makes sense, if I was being fair, as it is only a few degrees difference between a terrorist water balloon and an ice bomb.

  • 'Miami Herald' breaks US taboo on describing Palestinians' second-class citizenship
  • Kafka's siege (or why it makes sense to invest in a warehouse)
    • I imagine if aid supplies were delivered in a timely manner, it would put to rest the lie that this is being done to prevent terrorist materials from entering Palestinian territory; it is clearly being done to harass - just further collective punishment of Palestinians by the Israelis. I'd like to even identify which Israelis as I'm pretty certain Israeli-Arabs (Arab-Israelis?) have no choice but to go along with this oppression, but maybe I'm wrong. If I cannot post something I think is true, but may not be true, how will my misperception have a chance to get corrected?

  • privilege changes Jewish identity
  • While tax exempt money flows to the settlements, a humanitarian sits in prison for aiding Palestinians
  • Michigan mosque backs away from Finkelstein speech under political pressure
    • I've seen Dr. Finkelstein's Gaza presentation. The one I was attended at USC was superb. A few people tried to rattle him but he has the facts on his side and will have none of it. Sorry this one did not go as well. The truth hurts so some folks feel the need to bury it.

      Not sure if these will play for you: Go here: link to wn.com

  • Updated comments policy
    • Kind of surprised by my two comments that didn't make the cut. Flippant, but not offensive as far as I was concerned. I love Mondoweiss and tend to trust their sensibilities but am still surprised when I think I am in compliance and turn out not to be.

    • I thought I did all the right things to be allowed to post at Magnes Zionist but can't get on.

      I like that Richard Silverstein's blog allows a freestyle approach but comes to clean house on occasion if need be (and doing others the courtesy of explaining why the offending posts went bye-bye).

      One person claims he was scrubbed because he bested/embarrassed Richard but I didn't see any "there" there.

  • The borders of the Palestinian 'state' come into focus
  • All my life I have been waiting for an Arab to say this
    • I remember reading very carefully Dr. Norman Finkelstein's defense of Hezbollah , despite the rhetoric saying he was in league with terrorists, and I found it persuasive.

      I don’t care about Hizbullah as a political organization. I don’t know much about their politics, and anyhow, it’s irrelevant. I don’t live in Lebanon. It’s a choice that the Lebanese have to make: Who they want to be their leaders, who they want to represent them. But there is a fundamental principle. People have the right to defend their country from foreign occupiers, and people have the right to defend their country from invaders who are destroying their country. That to me is a very basic, elementary and uncomplicated question.

      from: link to normanfinkelstein.com

  • A Pennsylvania woman bound for Gaza turns to Congress
    • I think "disposable funds" (or lack of) is in play as well as apathy.

      Maybe now that corporations have personhood status, they can choose to halt the Zionist juggernaut (yeah, right). What possible repurcussions could that entail (lots, actually)?

    • Yup. Upholding the Constitution is pretty much at the top of the list and the one they most often seem to treat as inconsequential.

    • As in def #2 and #3 -

      from: link to merriam-webster.com

      Main Entry: for·get
      Pronunciation: \fər-ˈget, fȯr-\
      Function: verb
      Inflected Form(s): for·got \-ˈgät\; for·got·ten \-ˈgä-tən\ or for·got; for·get·ting
      Etymology: Middle English, from Old English forgietan, from for- + -gietan (akin to Old Norse geta to get)
      Date: before 12th century

      transitive verb 1 a : to lose the remembrance of : be unable to think of or recall b obsolete : to cease from doing
      2 : to treat with inattention or disregard
      3 a : to disregard intentionally : overlook —usually used in the imperative
      b : to give up hope for or expectation of —usually used in the imperative

    • Also, rather than the literal definition of "forgotten," I think "ignored" or "disregarded" is the context being used here. In that sense, it still holds up as entirely accurate.

    • It's almost equivalent to the game of "Risk" where as you amass your territories controlled, it increases your ability to exercise control. Furthermore, alliances (in Risk - various players, in life - political, business, media, finance, academic, etc.) help solidify this control.

      When so many of the key players have a particular agenda (or shared allegiances), is it any wonder the extent that control is so consolidated?

    • Excellent point. That simple fact is what is being entirely ignored here.

  • Quoting Thoreau on the need of the honest to rebel against military occupation, Israeli women take 16 more Palestinians to the beach
    • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

      “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

      “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” ~ MLK

      and...

      "An Injury to One is an Injury to All" labor slogan

    • WE DO NOT OBEY.

      Thank you.

      Again, and again, thank you.

  • Career move
    • Never hurts to “show the colors” to help jump start a Hollywood career. He is actually supposedly a fairly bright guy as he was discovered while pursuing an engineering career, if I recall correctly.

      No sympathy from me though, if he takes any heat for this because any entertainer that voices concern for justice for Palestinians gets hammered.

  • Do we have to divide Cinderella's castle?
    • The neocon will be certain that they blew up stuff (or were planning to).

    • “Hoping to one day work on the peace settlement…”

      "I weep for you," the Walrus said:
      "I deeply sympathize."
      With sobs and tears he sorted out
      Those of the largest size,
      Holding his pocket-handkerchief
      Before his streaming eyes.

      "O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
      "You've had a pleasant run!
      Shall we be trotting home again?'
      But answer came there none--
      And this was scarcely odd, because
      They'd eaten every one.

  • What did Obama know about flotilla raid and when did he know it?
    • I think it's because they regularly get their @sses handed to them. They'll populate sites such as DKos or HuffPo in large numbers but the more astute ones realize that here they'll be called out on their misrepresentations. The less astute ones continue in their attempt to command the waves to halt.

    • I think because it denotes "accountable to no one" giving the impression of cutting through bureaucratic red tape to get things done. The first US "czar" was energy czar William Simon appointed by Nixon. Ronald Reagan appointed the first drug czar.

  • Tony Judt rose to the occasion
    • Thank you. Those were points worth making. While all support is certainly welcome, it is important to recognize those on board early on and not buy into the "loonie left" characterization.

      Occasionally I take issue with either Chomsky's or Finkelstein's interpretation of facts but they always present them reliably in a manner virtually irrefutable. We need more "loons" such as these.

  • Slater: rightwing Jewish support for Israel risks anti-Semitic backlash when U.S. wakes up
    • Interesting material. Haven't finished it as there is quite a bit of it. Some of the other links within the site are eye-openers as well.

    • In the entire history of the Jews there has never been a state such as America of the last fifty years or so: certainly not anti-Semitic, and not even merely “tolerant,” but perhaps even philo-Semitic. Where else have we ever been more secure—certainly not in Israel—and, beyond elemental safety, more integrated, respected, prosperous, honored—and, yes, powerful?

      That passage reminded me of something Fredy Perlman wrote in "Anti-Semitism and the Beirut Pogrom" - link to libcom.org :

      "The State of Israel was not interesting to me during that decade, although I heard talk of it. My relatives spoke with a certain pride of the existence of a State with Jewish policemen, a Jewish army, Jewish judges and factory managers, in short a State totally unlike Nazi Germany and just like America, My relatives, whatever their personal situations, identified with the Jewish policemen and not with the policed, with the factory owners and not the Jewish workers, with the Jewish hustlers and not the suckers, an identification which was understandable among people who wanted to forget their close encounter with labor camps. But none of them wanted to go there; they were already in America.

      My relatives gave grudgingly to the Zionist cause and were baffled - all except my racist relative - by the unqualified enthusiasm of second to nth generation Americans for a distant State with Jewish policemen and teachers and managers, since these people were already policemen and teachers and managers in America. My racist relative understood what the enthusiasm was based on: racial solidarity. But I wasn't aware of this at the time. I was not an overbright American high-schooler and I thought racial solidarity was something confined to Nazis, Afri­kaaners and American Southerners."

    • My secular Jewish attorney friend once asked hypothetically, why does it seem that every couple of hundred years there's an outbreak of unrestrained violence against Jews. Is it fear, distrust, and resentment of an insular society? Is it jealousy of the success a culture dedicated to newtworking and looking out for its own? Is it aspects of the culture that seem alien, or put forth an air of superiority? Are Jews just a convenient target the way that most racists seek someone to denigrate in order to feel better about themselves?

      But couldn't any ethnic, religious, or cultural group fit these descriptions to one extent or another? Are there examples where other sub-groups are historically so regularly vilified to the point of semi-condoned brutalization?

      Many groups seem to be a target of convenience for a time (in some circles in the US, it seems to be OK to openly scapegoat Muslims and Mexicans for any number of ills), but are Jews (the Jews?) unique in their recurring status as an object of ire at times for an alarmingly substantial portion of the population?

  • Shalala is doubly humiliated
    • Several decades ago my Xian Zionist sister traveled to the "Holy Land" for the walk in Jesus' footsteps tour. She was detained by airport security for close to 3 hours for intense questioning as she fit a certain profile (young single white female traveling alone). They seemed convinced she was knowingly or unwittingly carrying some contraband for a nonexistent Arab boyfriend. She was rather unnerved by the whole experience but it did nothing to alter her views in the least of Israel.

  • Tony Judt passes
  • In NY harbor, Palestinian-Americans take leadership role in US campaign for Gaza
  • Israel says video of crying Palestinian boy was staged 'to make cheap anti-Israel propaganda'
    • In regards to the so-called AL-Dura hoax, it ignores the many verified instances of IDF gunfire, including sniper fire, that kill innocent Palestinian children. Secondly, Israelis use this as a rationale to dismiss any other claims made against Israeli forces, based on what they claim is a tendency to lie to score propaganda points. Yet this same attitude does not apply when Israelis are caught time and again in lie after lie after lie.

    • Instead of the family acting responsibly toward a child and removing him from the situation, they chose to make cheap anti-Israel propaganda, whose sole purpose is to present us in a negative light around the world. As is seen in the pictures, and in order to remove any doubt, the authorities on site acted lawfully against the unacceptable phenomenon of water theft.

      Cue "The 180 Rule"

      ---

      The family acted responsibly toward a child and allowed him to drink, causing Israel to present itself in a negative light around the world despite its propagnda push. As is seen in the pictures, and in order to remove any doubt, the side whose authorities continue to act unlawfully in the unacceptable phenomenon of land and water theft, once again try to blame the victims of this theft.

      FIXED!

  • Zionist org says that all people care about their children except one group
  • My daughter begs me not to go to Gaza
    • What a wonderfully enlightened view. I truly like this woman and her words brought a broad smile to my face. I do not know how to reconcile the secret hatred I am supposed to have for all Jews in my criticisms of Israel/Zionism and the fact that she is undeniably marvelous.

  • Israel's PR war
    • Big brain stuff: see - link to thehypertexts.com

      Einstein lamented the failure of the Jews to reach a just understanding with the Arabs, and criticized their reliance on their influence with powerful Englishmen like Winston Churchill. (Churchill sympathized strongly with Zionism and had much to do with the transfer of political power to the Jewish minority in the early 1920's.) In a letter to a friend, Einstein said: "I also think that during these last years an understanding between us and the Arabs which could have led to a bi-national administration was no longer possible. Earlier, however—actually, since 1918—we neglected the Arabs and trusted in the Englishmen over and over again." But to be fair to the Englishmen, they often did much—though never all—of what the more ardent Zionists demanded, to the anguish of the Palestinian majority, who were denied the right to self-determination. It would have been impossible for Englishmen to make one side happy without bitterly disappointing the other. But if true democracy had been enacted, the Arab majority could have prevented what eventually happened in 1948: the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian farmers and their families, the majority of whom were not combatants and had every right to return to their land once the fighting was over. For someone like Einstein, who believed in the equality of human beings, and for everyone who abhors racism and believes in equal human rights, a Jewish state in Palestine presents a real dilemma. The Palestinians are, and have always been, the majority. Only by keeping millions of Palestinians in refugee camps can the Jews claim to constitute the "majority."

      Einstein denied any superior rights for Jews, calling for "complete equality" for Palestinian Arabs as the "most important aspect" of Jewish policy: "The most important aspect of our policy must be our ever-present, manifest desire to institute complete equality for the Arab citizens living in our midst ... The attitude we adopt toward the Arab minority will provide the real test of our moral standards as a people."Only cooperation with Arabs, led by "educated, spiritually alert" Jewish workers, he wrote, "can create a dignified and safe life." What saddens me is less the fact that the Jews are not smart enough to understand this, but rather, that they are not just smart enough to want it."

      Einstein said, "I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State. Apart from practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish State, with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain ... "

  • Lo, another Israel apologist on the NYT op-ed page!
  • Rockets
    • I remember seeing somewhere pictures of a supposed militant rocket team taken from an IDF border watch tower. The blogger asked the question of why a rocket team against a border fence in sight of IDF border troops was not violently dispatched in minutes (via any method you could think of - sniper, mortar, tank, armored bulldozer, artillery, helicopter gunship, airstrike, submarine launched cruise missile, etc). If it was not a staged situation, the IDF would have also supplied pictures of the bloody corpses from swift IDF action in defense of the realm.

    • See? We are so very much alike!

      I guess that's part of those "shared interests" that is always talked about. Get attacked, counterattack against someone other than the actual attackers while turning up the rhetoric against those we want to antagonize in the first place.

      Looks like win-win any way you slice it (or bomb it, or starve it, or shoot it, or imprison it, or bulldoze it, or torpedo it, or...)

  • State Department once warned against a tactic the NYT now blesses in Afghanistan
  • Israeli high school students assisted in state's destruction of Bedouin village
  • The back-of-the-envelope history of the Anti-Defamation League
    • I had often wondered about the rationale for Israeli support of South Africa and its apartheid policies. In a sense, much like many of our conventional wars, they were a proving ground for the tactics and technology of oppression. Wasn't South Africa the largest purchaser of weaponry from Israel, particularly due to sales restrictions imposed by other countries? There is also much written about cooperative efforts in chemical, genetic, and bio-warfare.

      Great piece, Jeffrey. Thank you for your continued efforts in providing accurate background and uncovering the truth.

  • 'ADL' statement rationalizing bigotry draws wide scorn
    • The emergence of the ADL in the first place seems rather shaky as it tried to lend support for a murderer who it claimed was railroaded for his ethnicity. The lynching was a response by locals convinced the murderer largely skated justice because of his ethnicity.

      Today seems beset as well by factions with and without power using means legal and extralegal to try to get their way.

      "Catch-22 means people have the right to do to you anything which you cannot prevent them from doing to you." ~ Joseph Heller in interview with the "Great Books" series

  • 'TNR' calls for more civilian casualties
    • Part of the supposed rationale for indiscriminant IDF attacks is that the militants hide amongst the civilian population, the Palestinians voted for terrorists, all Palestinians (women and children included) seek the destruction of Israel, and Palestinians seek to kill/injure Jewish/Israeli citizens. Pain compliance is necessary to teach the Palestinians a lesson.

      Though Israel claims that its civilian population should not be combatants, the line is fairly well blurred. Israelis support Zionist policies in substantial numbers. A good percentage of Israelis are connected to the military as reserves or in direct or indirect support of the military. They are certainly funding Israel's militarism (as is the US). Israel has used public transportation to mobilize forces arguably making it legitimate target. Settlers are clearly invaders making repelling them by force justified, even though they hide among/behind their families who they've placed directly in a combat zone.

      Israel makes use of Jews and others outside of Israel to carry on the war effort in everything from funding, propaganda, the enlistment of outside entities through deception or blackmail, military aid, political pressure brought to bear on its behalf, the rejection of peace initiatives while blaming the other side, the elevation of Zionist terrorists, murderers, and dual-loyalty traitors to hero status, the perpetuation of institutions furthering the official narrative and forever stifling the emergence of an accurate accounting of the conflict that would allow for credible negotiation and compromise, and on and on.

      Seeing the Zionist/Israeli threat as such, I can't imagine any tactic by the Palestinians other than total war that might keep their own total destruction at bay. They certainly have a stronger argument for applying sufficient defensive action to hold back the relentless Israeli tide. They seem to hold out hope that Israel might eventually be a partner for peace, but the endless delaying actions work in Israel's favor as they encroach on more and more territory. Outside peace efforts in solidarity with the Palestinians are met with the same brutality that they suffer under, and with the same disregard by Israelis and much of the world community in the face of condemnation of their aggression.

      After the murderous carnage of Operation Cast Lead, to declare "Never Again!" and expend maximum effort in the prevention of future occurrences would certainly be called for, though unfortunately, the Palestinians face this existential threat largely on their own.

  • Notice the pattern in the Israeli stories?
    • And yet in these accounts they make it seem as if the IDF bullets go where they intend them to go.

      IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement - link to ifamericansknew.org

      Shooting and Hitting -http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/shooting.html

      I don't imagine that their presence in crowd control situations should be expected to stray from the pattern of doing whatever the hell they want when they want. I'm thinking maybe "The World's Most Moral Army" moniker might be a bit undeserved. Or perhaps they mean it ironically (note: I am impressed with the ethical decisions of those IDF who have chosen to come forth, or refuse or protest - there needs to be many more like them).

  • Hearts and minds, and tumors
    • Don't know why the transcript provided hasn't been cleaned up a bit but the message is crystal clear. The whistleblowers really lay out just how cruel and indiscrimate DU weapons are, and the horrific nature of their lasting effects. Note that the whistleblowers themselves are sick and are being hounded.

      see: link to mindfully.org

  • Revising Moshe Dayan
  • Olympia Food Co-op removes Israeli products from shelves
    • A small item that I notice that I add to my boycott list is many of the plastic items sold at dollar stores. If my memory serves me, the brand is Starplast, but it clearly has "Made in Israel" on the bottom. Too bad too, because they tend to be a quality product. I wonder if they send their waste products over the the Palestinian side.

  • Hebron settler on motorbike rams 11-year-old Palestinian boy and soldiers kill Gaza mom who goes into 'buffer zone' to fetch her two-year-old
    • If Steve McQueen was shot crossing the warning wire to retreive his baseball in the movie "The Great Escape", Americans would howl with rage, but let a mother step across to retreive her toddler, and those blind or half awake will nod in dazed approval of another successful counter to the existential threat of Palestinian breeders. The right geometrical line up for the bullet trajectory would foster a popular, "One shot, two kills" T-shirt.

  • 60 years ago, first Defense Sec'y said 'Zionist pressure' endangered US security, all the way to Afghanistan
    • I'm fascinated that this Amazon review of a James Loftus book points out that the book essentially confirms what had been denied for so long about Forrestal's being spied on by Zionists.

      from: link to amazon.com

      Worth reading with a close eye, March 21, 2005
      By Patrick Mcnally - See all my reviews

      This review is from: The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed The Jewish People (Paperback)

      The Loftus/Aarons book is intriguing for the reason that an alternate title for it might be A LAWYER'S BRIEF FOR ZIONISM. If someone reads it closely they can find many old myths quietly exposed. For example, they tell us that James Forrestal really was spied upon by the Zionists. All these years we were told that this was anti-Semitic paranoia by Forrestal, and now the truth is out. Likewise, the story about Reinhard Gehlen turns out to be that he was a puppet of the MOSSAD. After all the yarns spun by Mae Brussell about a secret Nazi government set up by Gehlen, we found out who really ran the secret government. It deserves a careful reading, more for Loftus & Aarons tendency to admit interesting points in a passing way than for the rhetoric. The style of the book is designed so that anyone who is not an enthusiastic Zionist cheerleader will likely be bored by it. But this was a deliberate tactic which the authors followed in making damaging admissions to the Zionist cause, i.e., quietly reveal the relevant facts but bury them in so much oozing over 'anti-Semitic bigotry' that no one will wish to actually take the time to read such a tedious book. Don't be guided by that, just read it closely.

  • Hillary Clinton says we need more intermarriage
    • Rob Eshman over at LA Jewish Journal speaks of the possibility of Chelsea converting, but doesn't even entertain the notion that the husband would consider it. Seems rather one-sided.

  • Schumer heckled for 'strangulation' comments at Brooklyn concert
    • So brave Schumer the "guardian" cannot even defend his twisted position.

      Bravely bold Sir Chuckie
      Rode forth from Camelot.
      He was not afraid to die,
      Oh brave Sir Chuckie .
      He was not at all afraid
      To be killed in nasty ways.
      Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Chuckie .

      He was not in the least bit scared
      To be mashed into a pulp.
      Or to have his eyes gouged out,
      And his elbows broken.
      To have his kneecaps split
      And his body burned away,
      And his limbs all hacked and mangled
      Brave Sir Chuckie .

      His head smashed in
      And his heart cut out
      And his liver removed
      And his bowls unplugged
      And his nostrils raped
      And his bottom burnt off
      And his pen--

      That's... that's enough music for now lads,
      *** there's dirty work afoot*** ???."

      Brave Sir Chuckie ran away.
      ("No!")
      Bravely ran away away.
      ("I didn't!")
      When danger reared it's ugly head,
      He bravely turned his tail and fled.
      ("no!")
      Yes, brave Sir Chuckie turned about
      ("I didn't!")
      And gallantly he chickened out.

      ****Bravely**** taking ("I never did!") to his feet,
      He beat a very brave retreat.
      ("all lies!")
      Bravest of the braaaave, Sir Chuckie !
      ("I never!")

  • Good flotilla, bad flotilla: The Libyan ship approaches... or does it?
    • Found it. I'm almost sure I saw it linked here but the rest of it is over at DesertPeace

      ( link to desertpeace.wordpress.com )

      Hakenkreuz and Davidstern
      The Swastika and the Star of David
      A public response to New York Times columnist Roger Cohen
      By Alvin Alexsi Currier

      ----

      Worth your while if you haven't seen it.

    • -OT- My sincere apologies for not being able to find the piece on my own. I'm looking for that post (or comment?) that had the German national who had lived through the war and watched the ascension of Hitler offiering advice to the Israelis about being on the wrong side of history. It was a moving piece and I'd like to share it. Anyone know where to look or the link? It was in here, no?

  • An American writer sees the Occupation for the first time
    • When I was about 20 (sometime in '77), I remember asking my friend's older brother if he killed any people while he was stationed in Vietnam. He replied rather flippantly, "We didn't kill 'people', we killed 'gooks'"

      Now I've written about this elsewhere where I had to defend the Army infantryman, because that's not how he felt. He was the type of guy who'd throw a curve at you to get you to think. He explained that's how his training was geared towards dehumanizing the enemy, supposedly making them easier to kill (though he was instantly aware of bonding with those same 'gooks' who were friendlies).

      His words have stuck with me to this day. Time and again I see instances where the very terminology is meant to erase whatever common humanity one might share with the supposed foreign and dangerous 'other'. I think to give into that mindset does more to dehumanize the person who can so callously discount another human being's worth and personhood.

      I know some Israelis have come to that conclusion and are to be lauded for going against teir own indoctrination. Many of my chickenhawk acquaintances still speak the language of the expendable subhuman threat, because they wear permanent blinders as far as the good guy/bad guy dichotomy goes.

      An Egyptian Xian co-worker could not be made to care that Palestinian children were being horrifically burned with white phosphorus because he felt that was all on the shoulders of Hamas who brought it on themselves. His Xian-Zionist blinders could excuse any brutality because Israel was forced to act in such a manner. My dad and sister have virtually drank the right wing Zionist kool aid. In my experience, those who do see the truth tend to keep their mouths shut for the most part. My Lebanese co-worker is grateful to be able to talk to someone who sees past the official narrative, but still gets dejected. My Iranian co-worker knows of the abuses of the Iranian leadership, and distrusts many of the statements coming from Iranian authorities, but he also sees the extent of Zionist lying.

      I am glad to be able to openly and honestly discuss all issues with my friends, because I tell them that doing so is a sign of respect. I respect their ability to take my view for what it's worth, as one gained from my own background and preconceived notions. Furthermore, it allows them to make counter-arguments, sometimes very effectively. If I 'pretended' to have a particular view, I might not get the chance to update my thinking.

      I hope more people willing to dismiss Palestinian suffering as deserved take a good hard look at what they're justifying. They pretend that Israel has done no wrong, and that the Palestinians just compound the problem with their stubborness (I guess in their mind they need to pretend it is ALL the fault of Palestinians).

      The arc of the moral universe is long,
      But it bends toward justice.
      -Abolitionist Theodore Parker, c. 1850's

  • Viral IDF dancing video unwittingly reveals reality in Hebron
    • You know who else says the official version is made up of lies? The 9/11 Commission itself.

      from: link to salem-news.com

      The 9/11 Commission now tells us that the official version of 9/11 was based on false testimony and documents and is almost entirely untrue. The details of this massive cover-up are carefully outlined in a book by John Farmer, who was the Senior Counsel for the 9/11 Commission.

    • Those language memes reveal the depth of the dehumanization. Afterall, if you're dealing with "untermenschen", standard rules governing behavior need not apply.

    • It's such a common ploy. Insert hostile minority residents who are granted special rights, create a "buffer zone", expand the buffer zone, and eventually the buffer zone will get its own buffer zone, allowing the previous buffer zone to be co-opted outright.

      It's almost as if they planned it that way, but I'm told it's hateful to think so, worse to express it, and the ultimate outrage to actually establish that such is the case.

  • New Yorkers protest Tzipi Livni despite hidden location
    • I do not mean to be so flippant but the picture "makes my heart soar like an eagle" and is the cause for a big ear to ear grin as well.

      My admiration and gratitude to "Jews Say No!" and all who participated in the protest. I sometimes forget the impact of visuals.

      "A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead

  • Dithering is the last refuge of the apologist
    • Clever but not too clever allows for the occasional (im)plausible deniability.

      Gilad Atzmon has a good take on the whole generalization thing.

      From: link to gilad.co.uk

      "In multicultural reality we tend to believe that this contradictory mode of behavior is something to do with the usage and misusage of stereotypes.

      A stereotype is commonly defined as a public or common belief about specific social groups, or types of individuals. It is often a product of an essentialist generalization by the means of induction: it involves a nonscientific assumption about the properties of a class of subjects based on an accumulation of observations or anecdotal encounters which become reinforced with time and repetition.

      The concept of ‘stereotype’ is often confused with the notion of ‘prejudice’. Rather often we notice that a stereotype attached to ethnicity, class or any group are a means of performing an opinion, usually an unfavorable one, based on insufficient knowledge and irrational feelings.

      On the face of it, it would seem as if Jews are over sensitive to the ‘racial’ discriminatory implication of the ‘J’ word. However most Jews are not that concerned when being associated collectively with some great minds, adorable violin players or conductors. In short to safely apply the ‘Jew’ category, you just have to make sure you say the right things. No one will ever cause you any trouble for mentioning Albert Einstein in reference to Jewish intelligence or even bringing up Anne Frank as an exemplary motif of Jewish innocence but you may get into some serious trouble once you mention the following list of real and fictional characters: Bernie Madoff, Fagin, Wolfowitz, Lord Levy, Shylock, Alan Greenspan, Netanyahu and Nathan Rothschild without even identifying them as Jews.

      All of the above depicts a very obscure, yet far from surprising picture. As it seems, Jews, largely do not mind stereotypes or collective categories. They do not mind racial generalizations and essentialist stigmas as long as they are positive."

  • Schumer on Gazans: 'Strangle them economically'
  • The moral failure of American liberals: A defence of Helen Thomas
    • In interpreting the various reasons for a particular group's success, one must not leave out the effects of nepotism, either direct or indirect. I've heard many argue that they don't get the benefits of tribal membership, but it would have to be compared to the days when white privilege didn't guarantee you success, but it would be one of the first barriers you'd encounter.

      I think tribal nepotism operates in a slightly different fashion. The entry points aren't necessarily quite as rigid (though in Tom Hayden's piece on political support, having the right position on Israel is a make or break deal on campaign contributions), but saying the right things, and better yet, saying the right things coupled with the loyalty one expects from those of the tribe is a good way to fast track your career.

      And much in the way Carl Sagan explained in "Cosmos" how the Samurai crab wound up with the distinctive pattern on its shell, this same winnowing helps facilitate the representational numbers we find today.

      My friend Bernie the Attorney (totally secular humanist atheist with a Jewish mother) said the tribal representation in law school was substantial, but there was no overrepresentation of talent. When I look at how pitiful the arguments Alan Dershowitz often puts forth to defend a particular position, I tend to agree.

  • Flotilla was successful: NBC Nightly News airs searing report on Gaza 'prison'
    • Excellent observation. The weasel words are in regular use with established meanings. You rarely see anyone of the MSM go outside of the accepted usage.

    • "Also bear in mind: we would not have had this report but for the people who were killed on the Mavi Marmara. (Thanks to Seham.)"

      Sad to say but I think that's probably true. Their lives are all the more precious to me now.

      One thing I notice though, is that many news items seem to serve as nothing but pressure relief valves. When the lies can be contained no further, little snippets make it into the MSM echo chamber, but not to begin examination, but to delay/diffuse any critical mass that might have built up from the outrage.

      I feel it's equivalent to lancing a boil.

  • Kucinich cong'l letter says Israeli raid on flotilla endangers 'lives of American soldiers'
    • F*ck yeah, Israel thinks telling the truth is "reckless."

      Hell, In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

      Viva la Revolucion!

  • Rep. Sherman: prosecute U.S. citizens involved with Gaza flotilla
  • Remembering the dead and the Rachel Corrie’s mission
    • I was hoping to see something along these lines. Had the situation been reversed, the personal stories of the dead would have been in heavy rotation. My condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones...and my gratitude to those individuals and organizations that risked their safety and very lives, and continue to do so, in the service of those the world has largely abandoned.

      I feel I would have been proud and honored to personally know any them. I am sure it is particularly painful for their activist mates.

  • 'Terror' smear against IHH springs from a familiar source
  • Blinding the witnesses
    • "The blind bleeding us blind."

      Seriously, that is troubling to look at but cleary more troubling to have been on the receiving end. It's as if every protest and protester warrants a death sentence, and Israel pretends to have taken the high moral ground each time someone, through the randomness of chance, doesn't die.

      They have set the bar ridiculously low as far as ethical self assessment goes.

  • 'Huffpo' stakes out new frontier in the liberal discourse (Welcome home, Barney!!!!!!!)
  • Facing armed attack in international waters
    • Just as with Dr. Finkelstein's book on Operation Cast Lead where he pointed out that there were NO "battles," there was no "skirmish" either as IKF (Israeli Killing Forces) murdered peace activists. The activists most likely reacted as anyone who's about to be executed reacts. With desparation.

      Imagine how different the media coverage would be if it was one of the countries that seem to get regularly demonized by the press. The condemnation would be 24/7 building to a fever pitch. That it is not tells you quite a bit about whose agenda is being served.

  • American Jewish Committee rushes to justify attack
    • Joseph Heller once remarked, "Catch-22 means people have the right to do to you anything that you cannot prevent them from doing to you."

      That's some catch.

  • Republican Party aligns itself with settler movement-- game on!
  • Finkelstein on Morris, on the root cause of the conflict
    • When discussing the "root of the conflict", the statement, "The Arabs didn't want the Jews to be here... didn't want to share the land with them" could also be expressed as, "The Jews felt entitled to take the land, and that resistance to such a notion constituted 'aggression' on the part of the Palestinians which further justified using any and all force necessary by the Jews (later, the "Usurpers of Palestine"...I mean, the "Israelis") including forced relocation."

      BTW, aren't "wanting the Jews here" [which they already were and living peaceably] and "wanting the Jews in control" two different things?

      I would add that "poisoning the wells" is still argued as a blood libel and yet documentation exists, including that of Israeli sources, that establishes that. It is quite clear that the Israelis are far more effective than Churchill at shoveling enough "stuff" to obliterate certain inconveneient truths from view.

  • The Wiesel industry
    • The mention of Wiesel's veracity brings some interesting questions to mind. I attended a talk by the administrator in charge of our campus library system, and she told about how she in a previous post had been scolded by patrons for putting books on paranormal, or the occult in te fiction section or the Holocaust in the non-fiction section. She said she placed them according to whatever consensus had been reached regarding any particular title. If I remember correctly, Wiesel's "Night" was originally released as a memoir of sorts, but when translations made passages such as "geysers of blood" coming from the mass graves more widely known, it was "repackaged" as a novel. Had his book publishers maintain that the account was history, would he have run afoul of the laws about Holocaust denial (for either rejecting or maintaining the claim of geysers of blood), or would others be liable for Holocaust denial charges for either rejecting or agreeing with that same assertion depending on how the book was classified??

  • Kafka on truth and success
    • When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do. ~ William Blake

  • Dershowitz expects to teach another professor's class
    • This is true.

      Except in those instances where Witty is allowed to hijack and monopolize the discussion, it shows exactly how the same tired old assertions can be countered head on. Clearly there are times when engagement is counterproductive in that it tends to lend, however small, an undeserved credibility. In my history of being on the intertubes, I have always appreciated seeing strong rebuttals to claims I had no idea were as false and unsupported as they turned out to be.

      It's why I enjoy reading Dr. Finkelstein's writings in regards to Dershowitz.

    • This Mearsheimer and Walt attack is so nastily slanted against Israel that their paper ought to be called "The New Protocols of the Elders of Zion".

      Thank you for the Storm-FrontPage link as it is a typical example of the smear tactics used to attack anyone presenting information that makes Zionists uncomfortable. When I would first read pieces on the Walt and Mearsheimer paper, it would always have a reference to David Duke within the first paragraph. The Lowell Ponte hit piece has at least 8 paragraphs focusing on Duke. Sites presenting a negative view of some of Israel's actions are dismissed as "left-wing" as if doing so relieves one of actually addressing any of their assertions (apparently half of the sources cited were other than left-wing).

      If that's all it takes to be tarred with the same brush, let's compare the some of the hateful racist things Zionists have said about Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians with other hate mongers who are also fervently prejudiced towards these groups.

      While you're at it, could you please point out specifically those statements by the authors that make them "liars" rather than just link an article and say this "shows what liars [they] are"?

      In summary, I would say that this attack on Mearsheimer and Walt is so nastily slanted that the article essentially fits the model presented in "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion".

    • I think it might have some value to invite Dershowitz as a classroom exercise in countering propaganda. Analyze his words and tactics with him present. Examine his misrepresentations, fallacious logic, hypocrisy, contradictory statements, hateful rhetoric, bullying, and repetition of discredited claims. Highlight his efforts to impede academic discourse and vilify critics of Israel. Detail his constant justifications of abhorrent behaviors, human rights violations, collective punishment, flouting of international law, murderous actions, and torture. Point out his inability to acknowledge that others may condemn his positions and not be anti-Semites. Have Dr. Norman Finkelstein share his real world example of how Dershowitz is able to intimidate others including academic institutions with his false accusations in order to punish those with whom he disagrees.

  • '60 Minutes' piece hints that Palestinian conditions endanger Americans
    • That is troubling news as I've long felt that it seemed as if we would model our homeland defense after Israel (particularly in extra-judicial matters).

      This also puts them closer to monitoring and manipulating events in order to serve their own agenda.

  • Sheldon tries to monopolize the conversation
    • Thanks to all who replied. It was interesting to me tat others came ttheir own views via a similar route. My statements about "hateful primitive barbarian neighbors" was not an expression any personal convictions, but rather a common media depiction that I had no cause at the time to disagree with or question.

      I would also be interested in learning more about Mr. Bradley's Middle East assignment. Are you the same James Bradley of "Flags of our Fathers" and the one contributing articles for Huffington Post? Regardless, I would like know where to read more of your work.

      Not sure any will see this with the comment subscription currently unavailable but wanted to add my follow up.

    • The "depth" comes from a deeper examination. There are any number of things I am uninformed or ill-informed on. Can you claim any differently for yourself? We all have to rely on others to help piece together our world view. At times we need to gauge the veracity of things we accepted at face value. The official narrative benefits from the status quo as there are only so many hours in the day. That is why so much effort is put into delaying actions.

      "One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      "Washing ones hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." - Paulo Freire

    • In all the years I've attended debates and lectures and various other presentations intended to provide the type of information on the ongoing conflict in Palestine that regularly gets omitted, there has always been at least one representative of the opposition present in a highly visible adversarial role.

      I welcome open discussion at all times and feel that solid arguments can stand the scrutiny and even get sharpened as a result. This however, is not what is happening. It seems that actual engagement over facts is specifically to be avoided as much as possible. Instead, the opposition takes an attitude that the level of their anger is directly proportional to validity of their viewpoint, and that that expression should be enough in itself to dissuade anyone else from holding a contrary view. When that turns out not to be the case, this seems to increase their level of certainty of the malevolent intent of those with pro justice for Palestine leanings. They are clearly convinced any claims of weighing the issues in a fair and objective manner is just pretense (further evidenced by denial of same).

      There are a host of standard attack strategies, and a common thread is that they are based on a mountain of presumptions that ignore facts and history. Logical fallacies are consistently put forth, with a particular blind spot towards any sort of critical examination of their own claims. Any successful rebuttal of a weaker argument, even when not representative of consensus opinion, is seen as a validation for their entire position.

      Q&A degenerates into long-winded statements, or loaded questions based on a mountain of falsehoods by opposition representatives, with the patience of those wanting to move along being sorely tested.

      And yet on almost every ocassion, I have seen "my side" try to treat those with a differing view with courtesy and a willingness to consider differences in subjective interpretations. They also deal well with those seeking only to disrupt or hijack the proceedings in they they are given much leeway knowing how emotional and contentious these issues can be.

      And with all that...everything that I've seen for myself...the official MSM narrative is largely that our side is the refuge of the haters. We are making progress at times, but it will not take much in terms of an occurrence that fits the evil Muslim/Arab stereotype, for the other side to feel even more validated. This is one of the reasons that false flag attacks concern me so.

      On a final note, a bit of background; prior to 9/11, my default position on the I/P conflict was the official narrative of good guy Israel besieged by hateful primitive barbarian neighbors. Not in any manner a blanket condemnation of Arabs or Muslims (though indeed unfamiliar and exotic to me), but the presumption from my entirely cursory understanding of the conflict that rational and modern Israeli Jews were being forthright in their presentation of the facts of the conflict, and that the Arab/Muslim/Palestinian position was meant only to excuse their violent actions.

      If 9/11 can be seen to have any positive affect, it is that it prompted me to look closer at the particulars of the conflict in the region, as I felt it would be the basis for US military action for some time to come. What surprised me was that it didn't take a whole lot of examination to discover that the narrative was shamelessly one-sided. Once I saw the extent of the lying by the pro-Zionist side over things large and small, the virtually complete control of the narrative whether through official sources, or the default positions the gatekeepers elsewhere utilized, I had a newfound respect and admiration for the daunting uphill climb that the Palestinians have gone through since the beginning. How discouraging it must be to try to get the truth out when the lies are so thoroughly believed and zealously defended.

      I am inspired by the courageous truth-tellers of my side and have always felt confident that my "champions" can beat their "champions."

      Why? Because I have seen it time and again.

  • Look into the terrifying face of the enemy
    • Good piece MRW. I remember seeing some photo links early on from Afghanistan (could have been from the Robert Fisk site) and Northern Alliance members were abusing a captured Taliban, including what appeared to e genital mutilation as a deep red bloodstain was spreading from his crotch of his garment and he was desperately pleading as the others looked on and laughed. I thought the captions must be backwards because if the"good guys" are doing horrible things such as this, they're no longer the good guys.

    • This neverending conflict has screwed my head up so much that I look at that picture of people I would love to have as my neighbors and I start to tear up because I'm afraid some band of ruthless indoctrinated a-holes will harm them with high explosives, or sniper rounds, or armored bulldozers, or pummeling with fists, or poisoning their environment, or starving their neighborhoods, or just by their G_ddamned callous sense of entitlement and superiority by way of birth (heritage, not location).

      These are the people that the ethically stunted Chuck Schumer says would deserve whatever they get (guilt by association) and with every bone in his body would be willing to break every bone in their bodies to teach them a lesson they won't forget (or remember either as they would be no more).

  • Imagine Jimmy Carter doing this
  • Berman doth project too much
    • The magnifying glass is always selective. When I watched Bill Maher's "Religulous", he chose to mock the Orthodox Jews whose belief is that Israel should not even be a nation until that time it keeps all the rules of the covenant. Whereas he let everyone else at least explain their positions, this group he cut short. I don't think he addressed the mainstream Jewish belief that G_d (capital gee-underscore-dee always makes me chuckle) gave the land to the Jews.

  • Chomsky says Israel is pillaging Gaza's natural gas reserves
    • At a recent Southern California lecture by Dr. Norman Finkelstein on his book, "This Time We Went Too Far", I asked if he thought the desire to deprive the Palestinians of any sort of economic viability through the offshore gas reserves was part of the motivation for the wholesale destruction in Operation Cast Lead. He said that though he had heard such accusations, he didn't think they were connected.

      This Chomsky piece reinforces my view of Israel's manuevering to help themselves to this bounty at the expense of the Palestinians.

  • Orientalism and Double Standards
    • Though western religions have had their periods of enlightenment, introspection, and evolution, there are still those elements that would gladly turn back the clock should they be able to regain control on a level they had previously. Again, the desire for theocratic control is there, it's just not conceivable at this point. William Donahue of the Catholic League once spoke about some affront to Xianity (it might have been South Park's bleeding virgin episode, but it was a post-"Piss Christ" era offense) and said the offender was lucky that Xians didn't respond in the manner that Muslims have done in the past as the offender definitely deserved the most severe sanctions. You could tell he wanted to be able to wield that power, just that contemporary society would not allow it.

      That being said, as an atheist, I am used to being demonized by believers (both individuals, and their faith groups). As I feel that blasphemy is a victimless crime, adherents to a particular god-view should have convictions confident enough to leave any retribution to their god or gods and not rely on human proxies to carry out any punishment whatsoever (I would allow them to express their disapproval and the ways that their god/s might be upset, but only in the "you'll be sorry when you die" manner and not doing anything to hasten such an end).

      I feel *all* claims of revealed knowledge are unsupportable, and claims of one set of such as being superior or more provable than another is just so much nonsense.

      However, no one group should be demonized above other (condemning actual actions notwithstanding). My take on the way it works is similar to the "comedy" of Borat. Everyone else's sacred cows are fair game and open for mockery. However, that same satirical lens will not focus too close to home if at all, though equally worthy of ridicule.

  • Earth Day in Israel: Apartheid Showing Through the Greenwash
    • I always hate to say that "I really enjoyed this article" when it is about such a troubling set of circumstances because it sometimes seems to me that I am saying that I take some sort of pleasure from these troubling circumstances...but I really enjoyed this article.

      The only thing missing from the irony of the hour of darkness would be if they used white phosphorus for illumination and then disposed of it in an ecologically responsible manner.

  • Clemons suggests that Schumer is representing Israel, not U.S.
    • "Luckily in terms of Jewish people we have good representation in terms of the Supreme Court. That will continue. "

      Does "Schumer the Guardian" mean that Jewish judges are good in terms of diversity or that they can be expected to make rulings for the benefit of Jewish/Israeli interests?

      Does he worry about the rights or interests of those group underrepresented (women) or unrepresented (atheists)?

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