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Ron Paul’s antiwar position is simpleminded

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Ron Paul
Ron Paul

Katha Pollitt of The Nation has the best anti-Ron Paul commentary I’ve yet seen: “Ron Paul’s strange bedfellows.”  Here are a couple of other points that Pollitt didn’t address:

There’s a fundamental problem with Paul’s foreign policy positions.  Yes, he opposed the war in Iraq, Israel’s wars against the Palestinians, and any attack on Iran–excellent.  Most liberals also did so. You didn’t have to be a rightwing nut to do so. But it is not the case that an indiscriminate “antiwar” position is always the wisest and most moral posture.  Other than fascists, everyone is “antiwar”–until, that is, they get down to cases.  Here’s a few:

WWII.  Everyone thinks WWII was a just war.  But since Paul, as Pollitt puts it, is against everything the U.S. government does, domestically or internationally, there is every reason to think he would have opposed FDR’s decision that we had to join in the fight both for moral and strategic reasons.

Afghanistan after 9/11.  Not quite as unanimous as in the case of WWII, an overwhelming majority of Americans (including me) thought that 9/11 made it was necessary to go after both the Taliban and, in particular, Osama bin Laden.  Indeed, when you remember what the Taliban did to Afghanistan, there was also a moral case for doing so–though obviously we would not have gone to war in the absence of 9/11.  Here I distinguish between the initial intervention and the endless war we are still mired in, the latter being both morally and strategically unwise and unnecessary.  We should have gotten out within months of the initial attack.

Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s: a closer case, and strategically irrelevant.  Still, I’m hardly alone in believing that it was a moral imperative–not to mention a general success–in saving the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo–yes, the Muslims, often overlooked–and getting rid of another monster, Milosevic.

The Gulf War against Saddam Hussein in the early 1990s, after he attacked Kuwait and there was every reason to believe Saudi Arabia, at the least, was next.  The first George Bush did exactly the right thing: stopped the aggression, and ended the war when that had been accomplished.  As a matter of fact, he stopped too soon,  not because he didn’t send troops into Baghdad and overthrow Saddam–that was the right decision–but by allowing Saddam to use his helicopters and his thugs to brutally crush the Iraqi resistance in the south that we had actively encouraged.

Libya: Still more controversial, but looking reasonably good.  This one split both liberals and conservatives, I leaned towards thinking that Obama did the right thing for the right reasons.

Final comment: all wars cause civilian casualties, which by themselves is not enough to condemn them; it is ridiculous to argue that they must invariably be unjustified if you “ask the family of the victims what they think.”  No doubt the families of the Nazis or even just ordinary German soldiers killed in the war were despondent; where does that take you?  Or, how about France in WWII?  The noncombatant French casualties that were a consequence of the war to liberate them were orders of magnitude greater than all recent wars. Does anyone believe that the overwhelming majority of the people of France would have preferred a thousand year Reich?

There are two thousand years of serious religious and philosophical thought on the problem of war, when it is just and when it is unjust.  Other than true pacifists– of whom there are hardly any, and most of whom changed their minds when faced with Hitler–no one really believes that all wars are unjust.  I can’t go into all these issues here, but to examine this question fuly you need to ask if the overall war is justified, if every effort is made to minimize civilian casualties, if the people in the country suffering the casualties are nonetheless willing to accept them, and if there is every reason to believe the war saves far many more people than it kills.  And there are many more criteria for thinking about this terribly serious issue than I’ve mentioned here.

Libya is an interesting case in point.  Obama–together with France, Italy, Britain, and some others–calculated that far many more Libyans would have been killed by Quaddafi than were lost in the war to free them–and not only free them from death, but also from continued tyranny, no small matter.  I’ve seen no evidence at all that this calculation of where the moral balance lay has been proven wrong. The overwhelming bulk of the evidence is that a vast majority of the Libyan people enthusiastically welcomed the military intervention–even as they, probably unavoidably or nearly so, suffered civilian casualties.

In short, Ron Paul is a simpleminded fool on 90% (at least) of the issues, domestic and foreign.  There have been no good consequences or byproducts of his candidacy, he has worsened the already abysmal US political discourse, he has not forced any candidate of any party to move to the left, even on the handful of issues on which he is correct. Re Phil Weiss’s argument that Paul could force the other Republican candidates, and maybe even Obama, to the left and adopt his anti-war agenda, this overlooks a much more likely consequence of Paul’s views: they will force the other Republican candidates to move further to the RIGHT, adopting his domestic agenda while ignoring his foreign “policies,” if they can be so described.  In fact, this is precisely what is happening now: cf. Romney and even Huntsman.

If his appeal continues among Republican voters, it is more likely that Romney, by far the most likely Republican nominee, will move even further to the right.  And that could even force Obama to move to the “center,” which has already moved way to the right.  Of course, that won’t bother those who think that Obama is already a rightwinger, but it sure as hell bothers me and other liberals, who recognize Obama’s disappointing first term but also understand that he has to deal with an increasingly rightwing Congress and, more broadly, rightwing country.

Jerome Slater
About Jerome Slater

Jerome Slater is a professor (emeritus) of political science and now a University Research Scholar at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has taught and written about U.S. foreign policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for nearly 50 years, both for professional journals (such as International Security, Security Studies, and Political Science Quarterly) and for many general periodicals. He writes foreign policy columns for the Sunday Viewpoints section of the Buffalo News. And his website it www.jeromeslater.com.

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  1. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger
    January 6, 2012, 9:49 am

    So, Professor Slater, did you ever serve at the front lines of the wars you advocate as Dr. Paul has? How about your children? Has any of your family ever been “collateral damage” in a war that gives you the moral authority to proclaim that killing millions is somehow justified?

    I am sure that you also agreed with Madeleine Albright when she said killing half a million Iraqi children was well worth it. Would you be so cavalier if they were your children?

    Must be nice to sit behind the shield of academia and make pronouncements on the lives of others.

    There is only one kind of war that is justified – and that is a war of defense. All other wars are rackets for profit, as General Smedley Butler famously said – or maybe he was a fool too?

    People like you are the most despicable arm-chair warriors on this planet. You want to attack Iran? Here’s a gun and a parachute. We’ll let them know you are coming.

    • Scott
      Scott
      January 6, 2012, 9:54 am

      Jerry and Dr. Paul served during roughly the same time.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        January 6, 2012, 10:12 am

        Thank you Scott!

      • JewishAnarchist
        JewishAnarchist
        January 6, 2012, 7:07 pm

        This may be the first neo[liberal/conservative] post I have ever seen on this website. To describe the belief that killing innocent people is never justified as “ridiculous” is… well… slightly to the right of John McCain.

        I know the blogosphere is already mocking the weakness of this piece but are any mondoweiss bloggers going to add their 2 cents? If someone links to this piece, a first-time visitor following that link would probably assume this is a right-wing website.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        January 6, 2012, 11:45 pm

        Jewish Anarchist,

        Oh so you are also one of those “fools” happen to oppose conquering other countries and dropping depleted uranium on them too to teach them Democracy?

        Oh wait I forgot. When Bush invades countries for Democracy it’s bad, but when Democrats blow up Belgrade for human rights then it’s good.

        And if you are antiwar because you have a strong across-the-board “principle” against invading other countries then you are “foolish” because you don’t realize how moral war can be, and of course that means you must be against WWII too, even though I never heard you say that.

        But basically the moral of the story is that if you are going to base your ideas on across the board noninterventionism no one will take you seriously because Democracy Conquest can be oh so good, so you need to support foreign invasions if you want to people to be against war.

        Sorry, but I feel I need to express some humor on such a sad subject. War is Hell, after all, as Sherman said.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 4:11 pm

        “assume this is a right-wing website.”

        Okay, I might be wrong about this, but for as long as I’ve been reading Mondoweiss (at least seven minutes now) I have seen not the slightest indication that it is a “right-wing” or “left-wing” website. I could be mistaken (like the guy in ZZ Top who sings “La Grange”) but I think that “right” and “left” is a distinction which doesn’t have a lot of relevance to Mondoweiss.
        Oh, it might, in the future, but up til now, it hasn’t

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 6, 2012, 4:55 pm

      Well, here’s Romney’s foreign policy consultant staff: http://isteve.blogspot.com/2011/10/mitt-romneys-foreign-policy-advisers.html
      Feel safer?

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        January 6, 2012, 9:08 pm

        Feel safer?

        pee-u. what a list. where’s john bolton, though.

    • thankgodimatheist
      thankgodimatheist
      January 7, 2012, 4:59 am

      “People like you are the most despicable arm-chair warriors on this planet. You want to attack Iran? Here’s a gun and a parachute. We’ll let them know you are coming.”

      Reasonable words considering the outrageous gist of this piece. Well said.

  2. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    January 6, 2012, 9:53 am

    If anyone needed any further proof of the irrelevance of the american liberal class, look no further than this essay

    Leaving aside the fallacious arguments about Afghanistan ( the war actually started years before with the Clinton Sanctions) and Bosnia/Kosovo (amazing that slater even tries to make the “humanitarian”argument in light of what has happened there since, and the documentary record that says the radical opposite about Clinton and NATO’s intentions) – lets focus on what I think is the most disgusting part of this essay: This guy has never in his life been anywhere near a US military uniform. Arm Chair Warrior if there ever was one. Lets improve humanitarian conditions by bombing people. Great.

    So, people need to ask themselves a very important question: What is worse, simple minded fools who are anti-war, or smart liberals who intellectualize death and destruction on behalf of the state that serves their interests so well? To ask the question is to answer it.

    • Dan Crowther
      Dan Crowther
      January 6, 2012, 10:13 am

      Heres Greenwald responding katha pollitt’s “commentary”:
      http://www.salon.com/2012/01/05/democratic_party_priorities/singleton/

      (1) In The Nation, Katha Pollitt writes about Paul and says: “I, too, would love to see the end of the ‘war on drugs’ and our other wars. I, too, am shocked by the curtailment of civil liberties in pursuit of the ‘war on terror,’ most recently the provision in the NDAA permitting the indefinite detention, without charge, of US citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism.” But she then claims: ”Salon’s Glenn Greenwald is so outraged that progressives haven’t abandoned the warmongering, drone-sending, indefinite-detention-supporting Obama for Paul that he accuses them of supporting the murder of Muslim children.” Seriously: if there’s any way at all within the confines of the English language to make even clearer that I’m arguing no such thing, please let me know.

      • Rusty Pipes
        Rusty Pipes
        January 6, 2012, 2:50 pm

        Thanks for the link to the excellent, and extensive, article by Greenwald. His columns are not a regular read for me, but those I do catch are always clear and insightful.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 6, 2012, 7:08 pm

        DAN CROWTHER- “If anyone needed any further proof of the irrelevance of the american liberal class, look no further than this essay”

        Sad, but true. Liberals are noted for a propensity to piss and moan about systemic injustice, while simultaneously defending the very system which inevitably results in these injustices. Liberals are, after all, an essential part of the system.

        I am, however, somewhat surprised by Slater’s actual defense of some of empire’s wars of aggression. The very notion of a “humanitarian” intervention is preposterous. Didn’t Hitler occupy the Sudetenland for the “humanitarian” purpose of protecting the German Volk who lived there? Countries and empires go to war to achieve strategic objectives. Period. World War II is a bit more complicated, however, let us not forget the extent of US business cooperation with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, and the extent to which both Hitler and Mussolini were admired by the West right up to the start of the war. In sum, Slater’s post was both shameful and embarrassing.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 7, 2012, 12:27 am

        Based upon some additional comments which have been posted, I think it appropriate to add that in this post Professor Slater demonstrates his contempt for international law. Legally (for what that is worth nowadays), countries are prohibited from attacking another country for “humanitarian” reasons, military actions restricted to bona fide defense against attack. All US military interventions after World War II have been illegal, coerced UN acquiescence notwithstanding. To even for a moment attempt to justify imperial assaults on relatively defenseless countries and peoples is morally repugnant. And to see Professor Slater lower himself to the role of apologist for imperial warmongering saddens me.

    • Dan Crowther
      Dan Crowther
      January 6, 2012, 10:15 am

      I would like to say, I didnt see anything about his military service in his Bio, even on his own site. I apologize. I have been looking and don’t see where it says he served….Can anyone help with this?

      Oh, OK – a naval officer on a destroyer from 57-60. As a fmr Marine, I have my own opinions about naval officers, but will leave them aside – he did serve – but his arguments are still ridiculous

    • CloakAndDagger
      CloakAndDagger
      January 6, 2012, 10:22 am

      Very well put, Dan! This article has so incensed me that I can’t even think clearly!

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 6, 2012, 10:33 am

        Me too C&D – I am really stewing on this, the more I think about it – I take back my apology about saying he didnt put his butt on the line. A naval officer on a destroyer during “peace” time is about one step up from being a drone pilot, I don’t have much respect for either, truth be told – not in the “I defended my country” context anyway.

        Remote controlled fighting is not what I think of when I think of “combat”
        But Im sure Slater got his education for free! Gotta love the Navy for that!

        Semper Fidelis,

        Dan

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 6, 2012, 11:53 am

        I too have deep reservations about Paul, but this non-stop derision from liberals tells us a lot more about them than it does Paul.

        (1) it tells us is that the “Liberal Class” absolutely LOVES state power. They have their own view of what the state “should do” – but lets admit that this is arbitrary, and of course, serves their interests. Where “libertarians” like Paul pray at the altar of the “market” – the “liberal class” prays at the altar of the state. It really is a “belief” in both instances.

        (2) It tells us, or rather illustrates, why the “liberal class” hasn’t got a serious anti-war, anti-imperialism, pro-civil liberties candidate – They support the same policies as the Right, but want to mask aggression with nonsensical terms like “humanitarian interventions” (where we bomb the shit out of people)

        (3) It tells us that the “liberal class” really is removed from the rest of society, and should no longer be looked to by anyone wishing to improve their condition. Slater talks of an “increasingly right wing country” and yet doesn’t take any responsibility for this fact (if its true) ; If I were a 50 year “liberal” writer/activist looking around at the country, I would say, “wow, I suck – I/We have effected very little, and in a lot of cases, have helped make things worse” — But Slater doesn’t want to go there, he doesnt want to talk about the Liberal Class that supported Civil Rights, but went silent when King and others started agitating on class lines, Slater doesn’t want to talk about the AFL-CIO and their record of selling out working people time and again, he doesnt want to talk about how the democratic party became another chapter of the “Chicago Boys” fraternity, he doesnt want to talk about the left’s obsession with identity politics and “representation” rather than class issues and he doesnt want to talk about publicly subsidized college professors and their distinct role in “educating” the future neo-liberals of the world in a pure “fee for service” environment where if the kid pays, he graduates.

        There is a tremendous amount wrong in this country, and I agree that Paul would not solve many of the problems, and in some instances make them worse, but whatever else is true, it is clear that the “liberal class” no longer has anything to offer working class americans

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 6, 2012, 12:49 pm

        “A naval officer on a destroyer during ‘peace’ time is about one step up from being a drone pilot, I don’t have much respect for either, truth be told – not in the ‘I defended my country’ context anyway.”

        Oh, come on, Dan. If the context is “I defended my country,” then arguably no military member since 1945 would merit respect. Indeed, a good argument could be made that the last American military people who were actually “defending their country” served in the War of 1812.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 6, 2012, 2:22 pm

        good point woody – i should have said, and meant to say “I defended my country (whatever one thinks of that) …..So, take my advocacy for war as coming from experience”

        The point I am trying to make, is there doesn’t seem to be many war veterans out there running around talking about how “good” some wars are. Making the “moral” case for war seems to be the job for the “liberal class” who almost by definition have not been in or near war.

        I think anyone and everyone should be welcome to make anti-war arguments, but when it comes to Pro-War arguments, those are best left to the people who (1) would do the actual fighting (2) would be directly effected by the fighting (3) are responsible for the war’s aftermath. Slater doesn’t fit into any of these categories, and in my opinion, should stop making declarative statements about the “morality” of war(s)

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 6, 2012, 2:52 pm

        Okay, Dan. I understand your position and you did clarify a few things. I might disagree with some (I can think of some very good reasons to be pro-war — in the abstract — and don’t have any problem with someone making that argument. I think a good counterargument or counter consideration should be to consider 1) who and how will do the actual fighting 2) who will be affected by the action and 3) what are the plans for the aftermath. Whether that comes from vets or from someone else, it should be examined, for sure.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        January 6, 2012, 4:22 pm

        Hi Dan,

        Al Gore is a Nam vet… He walked around with a camera…, for 6 months. Please hand me that barf-bag. Thank–

        “Mothers, oh mothers, send you children unto me for the sins of the unworthy have to be baptized in blood and fear.” – The Elders Scrolls V

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        January 6, 2012, 4:27 pm

        Hi Dan,

        When you talk to combat veterans [the ones who did the actual killing and fighting at their own hands] the veneer of all ‘war veterans’ comes off rather quickly. Of all the combat veterans I’ve talked to and interviewed over the years, not one of them wanted or desired a ‘second serving.’

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 5:00 pm

        Woody, I think Dan’s comment went more towards serving in actual combat units, especially on the ground.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 6, 2012, 6:06 pm

        exactly. and that is why there are very few, if any combat veterans among the cheerleaders for war in the public sphere.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 6:24 pm

        The non-brass military guys and gals support Ron Paul by a wide margin.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        January 6, 2012, 11:57 pm

        Dan,

        I think you should talk with ToivoS, another poster on this forum, if you paint leftist people as a “liberal class”. I am sorry, but I don’t understand what this means. Societal “classes” are societal positions, like the “ruling class”, not political flavors like liberals vs conservatives. But maybe here you mean liberals as in “liberal economics” or something, or “Economic Liberalism.”

        ToivoS contrasts what he sees as an establishment view among some “liberals” that would include prowar views, and contrasts this with the views of many others like himself.

        Peace.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 7, 2012, 9:33 am

        wjones–

        My definition of the “liberal class” is the non working class element of the left. As Ive said before, its the members of the left not there because of economic necessity.
        We used to have real working class organizations and parties in this country, but after woodrow wilson, the second world war and the continued red scares, the real working class element got rolled up into a monolithic “left” lead by the “liberal class” – professional advocates, as it were.

        The “liberal class” serves a few functions – (1) it presents a “serious” face for the “left” in the establishment (2) it sets the boundaries for “seriousness” on the left – go any further left than us, your a wacko etc (3) it works to keep the democratic party “the only game in town” for working class people, and thus perpetuates the two party system that serves them so so well.

        It is part of the “specialized class” that helps with the “manufacture of consent” as the great “liberal” Walter Lippman put it…..

      • homingpigeon
        homingpigeon
        January 7, 2012, 9:44 am

        I think the people of the world have had to try to defend themselves from the occupiers of the North American continent since 1492.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 7, 2012, 11:14 am

        Let me say, I think that popular depictions of liberals support my argument that there is sort of a “tweed/hipster” vanguard that sits atop “the left.”
        The left’s advocates are almost uniformly nerdy academics and the urban credentialed class, the new cool kids. And I think that the result from this is that some of the economic component that should be inherent to the left, is obscured – a good example of this would be the huge uproar about the oil pipeline, but the very limited discussion of card-check from the public liberals.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 4:25 pm

        Ron Paul has been receiving the bulk of support of our rank and file military active and veterans.

      • anonymouscomments
        anonymouscomments
        January 6, 2012, 2:44 pm

        i second C&D…. good posts dan

        i barely skimmed the article, then went straight the bottom to scream at this nonsense; i was in a state of shock it seems. to have someone shamelessly, and counter-factually, support so many historic conflicts is sickening, and something i would never expect on MW.

        shame on jerome slater, and i hope he gets some facts and repositions himself on much of this….

        …and i am not even touching his unsupported and broad assertions about ron paul and the effect of his campaign. talk about a simpleminded fool (with an agenda).

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      January 6, 2012, 11:29 am

      “lets focus on what I think is the most disgusting part of this essay: This guy has never in his life been anywhere near a US military uniform.”

      Sorrty, Dan, but I completely disagree with this position. Simply because one did or did not serve says nothing about the merits of one’s arguments. One could equally say (note: I am not saying this, merely recognizing that it is an argument) that anyone foolish enough to fall for the jingoism/money-for-college-bribe and volunteered to fighting the imperial wars for the plutocrats has demonstrated an inability to think rationally and, therefore, his opinion should be discounted.

      I think the better process is to examine the opinion on its merits and let it rise or fall as a result.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 6, 2012, 12:20 pm

        woody,

        So, I do realize now that Slater was a naval officer.

        Im sure this doesnt surprise you, but I disagree, rather emphatically.

        If a person who has never been near war or combat finds him or herself constantly defending or promoting war, as is the case with many people, it is right and proper for others to point this out.

        There is no intellectual argument for war. full stop. I put war advocacy in a different category, one that has to take into account someone’s biography. Advocating war is not the same as advocating, for example, the merits of a high speed rail system in america. I don’t think you have to be a engineer or a former railway worker to make a case for high speed rail; BUT, when it comes to arguing for others to fight and kill others, it is, in my opinion essential to take into account the personal life of those making the argument for war. It’s the same point someone like Larry Wilkerson makes all the time.

        And it’s the same point I made the other day about Matt Kroenig, and you actually thanked me for my comment. So, which one is it?

        As for the guy who enlisted etc. – if that person is advocating FOR war, I would say, it’s a person who enjoys violence – finds its both necessary and worthwhile. If the guy who enlisted etc later on makes a case AGAINST war, one would have to say, “gee, this guy’s opinions are formed through experience” – in either case, the vet knows what they are talking about.
        Arguments on a topic as important as war shouldn’t be made in a vaccuum – and just as I can’t head over to MIT and give a lecture on physics with no real life experience, someone who advocates for war should, at the very least, be obliged to point out their own lack of real world experience with the topic they are discussing.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 6, 2012, 12:40 pm

        Dan,
        What I’m saying is that I think that taking the personal life of someone advocating any position is valid, if what you are seeking to do is to probe the validity of the reasoning, that is one thing. But to assume that because the person has a certain status as a veteran that they, as a necessary result, have an opinion that is better, more well informed, or whatever, than that is a fallacy in my opinion. Because just because someone is a veteran does not mean that they’re opinions are BETTER because of their experience. It seemed to me that the argument you were making is that because Jerry Slater is not a veteran that the merits of his argument would be, necessarily, diminished. That’s nonsense, in my opinion.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 6, 2012, 1:12 pm

        woody,

        I never made a qualitative judgement about a veterans opinions – I know a lot of veterans whose opinions on war are to the right of Atilla the Hun, I certainly don’t think their views are “better” or anymore worth listening to.

        “probing the validity of reasoning” is a good way of putting it. especially when someone is making declarative statements like “I think this (war) was worth it” ( while also providing no supporting data to back up his assertions)

        when someone is making statements about the “good wars” American has engaged in, and why it might be necessary in the future to fight them again – which is implied in Slaters essay- it is, in my opinion a moral imperative to point out that said wars won’t impact the author personally.

        And Im sorry, but statements like this:
        Final comment: all wars cause civilian casualties, which by themselves is not enough to condemn them…..

        coming from a peace time naval officer? No way man. His bio doesn’t allow for a statement like this, no one’s does.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 5:06 pm

        Is it nonsense? Let’s compare the old arguments for and against forced busing. Does that involve just pushing pawns around a board or something more for those directly engaged in the “process?”

        Isn’t war killing? Does it make no sense to perceive that it might be harder to justify it if you or your kid were slated to do it in person?

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 6, 2012, 8:47 pm

        Crowther: “I never made a qualitative judgement about a veterans opinions – I know a lot of veterans whose opinions on war are to the right of Atilla the Hun.”

        Really? Would those be the very same war veterans about whom you earlier said–at least twice–“The point I am trying to make, is there doesn’t seem to be many war veterans out there running around talking about how “good” some wars are.”

        These same war veterans, I take it, are those who are to the right of Atilla the Hun, but still to the left of me? I claim that as a proud liberal I’m definitely to the left of Atilla the Hun. Incidentally, despite your quotes, I never said, and would never under any circumstances say, that some wars are “good.” What I said was that some wars are justified. Oh well–somehow I’ve gotten the impression that meaningful distinctions, let alone subtleties and nuance, perish the thought, are not your strongest suit.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 6, 2012, 10:16 pm

        Slater — finish my sentence that you quoted – “in the public sphere”

        Yes, I do know *many* veterans that have right wing views — that is still not a qualitative statement–….but most keep those views semi-private, because they know it aint cool to go running around about how “just” (better?) wars are…..

        ‘Rome, there is a mountain of evidence that says the wars you support (Iraq1, the balkans, libya) were not initiated for “humanitarian” reasons – so, I would say, instead of playing grand arbiter of wisdom and justice here, you go read about it. Aside from WWII none of those other wars even begins to rise to the level of “justified” – but what is troubling, at least to me, is that implicit in your essay is the assumption that America has the RIGHT to intervene where we want to so long as our “reasons” are justified, as you define justified. All very arbitrary.

        I definitely have my shortcomings, to be sure – but one that I don’t have is a open willingness to be lied to….repeatedly. But your a modern american liberal, which means that you LOVE getting lied to.

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 6, 2012, 12:36 pm

        Thanks Woody, you’ve saved me from having to make what one would think is the obvious argument, namely that whether or not I served in the military, or went to war, was utterly irrelevant to my argument.

        Even so, let me set the record straight: I voluntarily joined the Navy (the draft had ended) in 1957, in part because of my quaint notion that one should serve in one’s country, and in part because I was outraged at the Soviet crushing of the Hungarian revolution in 1956.

        Still, I must apologize to Crowther that there were no wars in my three years of service. I did my best, but I wasn’t successful in starting one. Still, I claim that it was a little harder bouncing around in a tin can in the North Atlantic for three years than serving as a drone “pilot” today.

        Incidentally, Ron Paul served as a flight surgeon in the air force, which almost certainly meant that his medical schooling was paid for by the air force. I served as a deck officer on a destroyer, and didn’t get a penny for college or graduate school.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 6, 2012, 12:50 pm

        Well, maybe if the Israeli’s had accepted your invitation to join the Israeli military, you could have fought that war….. I would say by supporting Zionism you were/are successful in starting wars, you should give yourself more credit!

        your sentiments about service are commendable. and i should say that any kind of service, not just military is important.

        But I cant help but noticing that what you seem to be against are American ground troop deployments (vietnam, Iraq etc) – although you did support it for afghanistan, but only wanted them there briefly.

        So, death from the sky is OK (balkans, libya etc) but boots on the ground is not…. a truly moral position. But again, this fits in well with a zionist’s vision: got to protect “us” – but to hell with “them”

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 6, 2012, 1:01 pm

        “whether or not I served in the military, or went to war, was utterly irrelevant to my argument.”

        I agree. It’s an unnecessary diversion.

        If everyone had to prove their bonafides with experience in the topic discussed, everyone would be too exhausted to write articles. ;-)

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        Jeffrey Blankfort
        January 6, 2012, 1:43 pm

        Slater, in your last posting on Mondowweiss, you labeled a comment of mine on Zionist-Nazi collaboration in the 30s as both “incoherent” and
        “antisemitic” and when I asked you elaborate on what you didn’t understand but nevertheless considered to be antisemitic you did the “duck and cover” trick and left poor old Woody out there to defend you. As I pointed out he was about as successful as was Casey at the Bat. (And he’s out here doing it again.)

        Now, you are back with a continuation of what could be classified as a classic liberal screed. I am not going through the entirety of what you have posted here but will simply note that you seem to be more threatened by the only Republican candidate to not only oppose a war on Iran–enough, at least, to write again about it– but you disingenuously (a nice word to describe a foul act) transformed Paul’s unequivocal opposition to US aid to Israel into “Israel’s wars against the Palestinians” which is not nearly the same thing and you know it. Do you agree with him on that issue? Yes or no?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 6, 2012, 2:10 pm

        “As I pointed out he was about as successful as was Casey at the Bat. (And he’s out here doing it again.)”

        Yawn. I simply pointed out that your ideas weren’t convincing.

        It appear that you are like the batter, called out on strikes, who goes back to the dugout thinking he hit a grand slam.

      • kapok
        kapok
        January 6, 2012, 2:45 pm

        Quaint notion? The Weather Underground, the Black Panthers, the Wobblies fought for their country. You lot fought for Raytheon, Monsanto, Lockheed ad nauseam. And now you pretend to be brave.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 6, 2012, 3:08 pm

        Woody,

        You missed the link to an April 22, 1984 Channel 5 NYC nightly news show with Deborah Norville that proved Blankfort was right about the Zionist-Nazi collaboration. Here it is again for your edification, complete with a picture of the coin Blankfort wrote about.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 6, 2012, 3:13 pm

        very well said kapok

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 6, 2012, 3:55 pm

        That link reports on a book about the Zionist agreement with Hitler in 1933, the Transfer Agreement, under which Hitler allowed German Jews to go to Palestine–I guess the Holocaust had not occurred to him as an even better way to make Germany Judenfrei. The Zionists, in other words, were trying to save the Jews from Hitler.

        Now, if anyone thinks that is remotely like what Blankfort keeps saying, no matter how much he denies it, that Hitler, having read Herzl and being annoyed at the German Zionists for trying to convince their brethren to get out of Germany and go to Palestine, decided to kill them all. Therefore, the wholly unmistakable implication of Blankfort, no matter how incoherently he writes, is that Jewish behavior -or, if you prefer, Zionist behavior–was to blame for the Holocaust. If that isn’t anti-Semitic, nothing is. And he’s said it more than once, so it can’t be written off as an aberration.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 6, 2012, 4:10 pm

        is that Jewish behavior -or, if you prefer, Zionist behavior–was to blame for the Holocaust.

        But Blankfort didn’t say that, Jerry. This is what he wrote:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/the-ron-paul-moment-reconsidered-the-bad-and-the-ugly-first-installment.html/comment-page-1#comment-408484

        And you should read this, which further buttressed Blankfort’s argument:
        PROTEST TO WILSON AGAINST ZIONIST STATE
        Representative Jews Ask Him to Present It to the Peace Conference.
        Special to The New York Times.

        http://home2.btconnect.com/tipiglen/statement.html

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 5:09 pm

        Gee, I thought the military draft ended in the 1970s, not in the 1950s. Why were those guys burning draft cards in the 1960s?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 6:30 pm

        I think Blankfort makes good points. Await a response to his latest comment.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 6, 2012, 6:35 pm

        MRW,

        That is an interesting 25-year old report, but it does nothing to address the issues in Blackford’s statement that I found unpersuasive.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 6, 2012, 9:36 pm

        Thanks for confirming once again Jerome, that the Zionist mind, not matter how progressive it tries to be, it fundamentaly riddled with too many contrdictions and flaws to ever be compatible witgh peace.

        In spite of all the sugar coating you have applied to your arguments, at the end of the day, you support the ideology of Jewish supremacy and war – even based on lies of necessary.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        Jeffrey Blankfort
        January 6, 2012, 10:44 pm

        That’s right, Slater. Hitler was on the record supporting the continuation of the Haavara agreement even after the Nazi Foreign Office urged him to end it because it was stirring up anti-German sentiments among the region’s Arab populations during the 1936 revolt and not just in Palestine.

        The Zionists were not “trying to save the Jews from Hitler,”– since their open proselytizing and “outing” of their fellow Jews, who were overwhelmingly non-Zionist, began before Hitler assumed power.

        As Hannah Arendt wrote in “Eichmann in Jerusalem,”:regarding the latter’s negotiations with the Kimche brothers, Jon and David (who went on to become the head of Mossad):

        “…[T]hese Jews from Palestine spoke a language not totally different from that of Eichmann…they had been sent to Europe by the communal settlements in Palestine, and they were not interested in rescue operations–that was not their job. They wanted to select ‘suitable material’ and their chief enemies… were not those who made life impossible for Jews in the old countries, Germany and Austria, but those who barred access to the new homeland; that enemy was definitely Britain, not Germany…. they were probably among the first Jews to talk openly about their mutual interests…” (pp.55-56)

        .The title of her book, of course, had a double meaning, because Eichmann had gone there earlier, in 1937, as a guest of the Haganah, but was blocked from entering by the British because of the ongoing Arab revolt, so he and Uberschrafuhrer Herbert Hagen met with Feivel Polkes, a Haganah commander in a Cairo cafe, where Polkes, according to the Germans’ record of the meeting, offered to collaborate with the German regime telling Eichmann that he was interested above all in “accelerating Jewish immigration to Palestine, so that the Jews would attain a majority over the Arabs in his country. For this purpose, he worked together with the secret services of England and France and he also wanted to cooperate with Hitler’s Germany…as long as that did not conflict with his personal objectives.”

        This led to instructions to the SS, put forth by a Nazi professor, Franz Six, who had previously met with Polkes in Berlin to “compel Jews emigrating from Germany to head only to Palestine and not to any other country….Such a measure lies entirely in the German interest and is already being put into effect by the Gestapo.”

        This, of course, explains why the Zionist organizations and publications were allowed to continue under the Nazis while every other activity in the Jewish community was shut down. The Betar were even allowed to wear their uniforms, just like the Hitler Youth whose philosophy of blut und bloden they shared.

        If you are still not convinced that the Zionists cared more about building a Jewish state than rescuing their fellow Jews, I must remind you, Prof. Slater, of the statement by David Ben-Gurion to a meeting of Labor Zionists in Great Britain in 1938: “If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative.”

        Then we have Chaim Weissmann, the first president of Israel, who made this policy very explicit when reporting to the Zionist Congress in 1937 on his testimony before the Peel Commission in London, July of that year:

        “The hopes of Europe’s six million Jews are centered on emigration. I was asked: ‘Can you bring six million Jews to Palestine?’ I replied, ‘No.’… From the depths of the tragedy I want to save … young people [for Palestine]. The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They are dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world … Only the branch of the young shall survive. They have to accept it.”

        If you want more proof of the indifference of the Zionists to the fate of their fellow Jews in Europe, the majority of whom did not accept Zionism or their vision of Jews as a nation, I suggest you get yourself a copy of Ben Hecht’s “Perfidy,” now available on the internet after being suppressed for years, and take a few hours to find out how little you and the world knows about that period of history.

        And perhaps, after having done that, you will offer an apology for having accused me of being anti-Semitic, unless, of course, you consider the truth to be anti-Semitic which, thus far, it seems you do.

      • yourstruly
        yourstruly
        January 6, 2012, 10:45 pm

        and not a word about why hitler went for the transfer agreement? wasn’t it to break a growing international boycott of germany?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        January 7, 2012, 12:15 am

        “I voluntarily joined the Navy (the draft had ended) in 1957, in part… because I was outraged at the Soviet crushing of the Hungarian revolution in 1956.”

        The Hungarian Revolt was not actually 100% a democratic revolution as the media portrays. A significant part was by people who sympathized with fascism, which Hungary had alittle more than 10 years earlier. And what motivated the Soviet response was actually- as Soviet memoirs show- the brutality of the revolt. Still, admittedly another significant part of the revolt was democratic.

        Perhaps in your thinking, you saw the USSR as acting aggressively, and you felt defensive? That seems like a positive motive. But if the USSR suppressing a revolt motivates you to join the army, then what should be people’s response when they see the US or a close US ally suppressing a revolt or democratic government like Allende’s Chile?

        My point is that if Hungary became democratized nonviolently through reforms, perhaps- and I am sorry if this is too personal- your mindset seeks military solutions to problems where they need not be solved this way? And if that is the case, perhaps you may be misjudging Ron Paul’s peacefulness and nonintervenionism too harshly? Admittedly, these are tough questions.

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 7, 2012, 9:16 am

        Blankfort here changes the subject. The issue is not whether the Zionist leadership gave a higher priority to bringing endangered German and other European Jews to Palestine than to saving their lives in other ways–though it is hard to see how they could have done that, in light of their impotence against German military might and the unwillingness of most of the world’s countries to allow massive Jewish immigration. This history is well known, the world doesn’t need Blankfort to tell us about it.

        Once again, however, distinctions need to be made, and in Blankfort’s case the distinctions are not difficult: Arguing that the Zionists should have done more to save the victims of the Holocaust is not the same as saying they were responsible for bringing it on. That is the clear, unmistakable implication of your earlier post, as well as others you have submitted: Hitler was angry at the Zionists for their activism, you pointedly note that Mein Kampf was written after he had read Herzl, and the like.
        Any sensible person immediately understands the innuendo here, and it is not in the slightest mitigated by saying “Of course, I don’t mean that the Jews brought anti-Semitism or the Holocaust on themselves,” when that is precisely the implication. Especially when you keep saying the same thing.
        Just to check my own reading, I sent your comment that set off this discussion to ten colleagues and friends, eight of them non-Jewish, and one of whom is regularly celebrated on this site by Phil Weiss and others. I didn’t tell them what I thought of it, so as not to prejudice their responses.
        The essence of their unanimous responses was that while the writing was a mess, the unmistakable implication was that the Zionists were to blame for German anti-Semitism. Several were even a little annoyed at me for asking, considering it so obvious that why was I wasting their time.
        One of classic tropes of genuine anti-Semitism, throughout history, is to blame it on the behavior of the Jews. That said, it can hardly be denied that Muslim anti-Semitism today is at least partly a consequence of Israeli behavior. But Nazi Germany is an entirely different matter.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        January 7, 2012, 11:10 am

        Jerome, you keep bringing up this anti-semitism nonsense, and just the way you do it – high handedly, without evincing the slightest doubt that Jews deserve a special class of anti-bigotry label, and slinging that for the merest deviation from the gospel on the Holocaust, makes me understand why some people may not like some Jewish people all that much. With emphasis on “some” though I am sure “some” will choose to ignore that.

        Once again, there is every reason in the world to examine every group’s actions and inactions in the world at any time. that’s History, no?. And Hitler’s Germany should be no exception. And I’d make the same argument about Pol Pot’s Cambodia – which of course hardly ever gets examined – as if those 1 Million were inconsequential to merit revisiting their tragedy.. Those victims never even got the post cambodian Holocaust consolation of having thousands of people wail at the world’s inaction (just a few 10’s, that’s all I saw complaining about that).

        I think that it should be unacceptable for anyone to fling accusations of anti-semitism around unless they have solid reason, such as being outright persecuted. And you Jerry, are not persecuted. You are a member of a highly privileged class which shuts down any criticism of its actions or pronouncements by hiding behind imaginary victimhood. No one is less of a victim in America right now than the Jewish American citizens. And for a member of the group that is eagerly calling for the bombardment into oblivion of Iran, and moving heaven and earth to do just that, even if you yourself don’t ‘support” it, is really a conflict of interest to even bring up the concept of “Just war”. It is a premise full of pitfalls, because, last I saw, to everyone whoever instigated a war, it was “Just”. To the israelis the war of conquest in 1967 was Just. To the Republican jewish people destroying Iraq was “Just”. To you, bombing Serbia was “Just”. And maybe 10,000-30,000 victims in Libya is “Just” OK because it’s minimal compared to what could have been.

        To me, the hurling willy-nilly – outright or by innuendo, the “anti-semitic” label should be a banning offense. Or at least well deserving of a warning. A great many people on these boards agree with much, if not all, of what Jeffrey says, and indeed most of us look up to him for the tireless actions he took in his life – especially those against the undemocratic, unaccountable wielding of power by those who have come to know near absolute power (thus being absolutely corrupted by it) . As one of those people I feel tarred by your implied, utterly groundless accusation, and I don’t like it one bit.

        Enough already with the persecution complex.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        Jeffrey Blankfort
        January 7, 2012, 12:55 pm

        No, yourstruly, it was not. The original plan of Hitler’s was to make Germany Judenrein, that is “clean of Jews,”which well predated the anti-Nazi boycott. That fitted the Zionists plans perfectly because they were trying to get the Jews out of German and into Palestine themselves.

        How significant that boycott was given the financial ties between major US firms such as Standard Oil with their German counterparts, such as IG Farben is a matter of debate but while important for both the Nazis and their Zionist partners, it was not significant enough to turn around the German economy

      • dahoit
        dahoit
        January 7, 2012, 1:22 pm

        Ooh,those bad Commies,killing the people of Hungary,sheesh,man,add up the dead,prior to Hungary,and post,and we have killed multiples of any foreigners the Commies did, and we reveled in it.
        I guess when Israel invaded Sinai that was OK,right?And all those dead Muslims,that was cool too huh?Dead Koreans make a racists mouth water,and all those Japanese civilians huh?
        Hungary,sheesh.That’s the best you can do,an event that most likely all the info about comes from capitalisms mouthpieces of serial liars and rewriters of history?
        Methinks that maybe a correct reading of events would have made you enlist in the Viet Cong,instead of the US Navy.
        But then your job opportunities wouldn’t be the same right,though Christopher Hitchens transformation into the Ziowhore retard from Marxist retard didn’t hurt too much.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        Jeffrey Blankfort
        January 7, 2012, 1:23 pm

        Jerome, you and your friends are simply incapable of accepting the truth and you keep putting words in my mouth as I suspect you might have done in theirs given what you have displayed in your comments.

        You write: “Arguing that the Zionists should have done more to save the victims of the Holocaust is not the same as saying they were responsible for bringing it on. That is the clear, unmistakable implication of your earlier post, as well as others you have submitted: Hitler was angry at the Zionists for their activism, you pointedly note that Mein Kampf was written after he had read Herzl, and the like.”

        First of all Hitler was not angry at the Zionist for their activism, quite the opposite. He not only agreed with Herzl and the Zionists that Jews needed to live by themselves, that antisemitism was an understandable reaction on the part of the goyim–yes, Herzl did write that– Hitler encouraged their activism with the Haavara agreement. That is a fact that your deep encapsulation into Jewish tribalism will not wash away. Hitler’s antagonism toward Jews was based on his seeing them as contaminating German society, as he did Slavs, homosexuals, and Roma, but Jews, given their significant position in German economic life topped his list. He wanted them gone in order to purify German society. Zionism and its program for resettling Jews in Palestine fit into his own master plan.

        Since Mein Kampf was published three decades after Herzl’s Der Judenstaat (which I am sure you have never read) is it not likely, if not logical, that what Hitler had to say about Jews was influenced by Herzl’s writings?

        It was only when Hitler realized that international Jewry was against him and that the Haavara agreement was no solution to the Jewish problem as he saw it, that the holocaust swung into full gear.

        But yes, I will say it, as Arendt said it, it is an irrefutable fact that the Zionists provided fodder, and provided it eagerly for Hitler’s antisemitic policies and actions because, short-sighted as they were, they believed it helped their cause. The proof is out there albeit suppressed by the likes of you and if you think the facts are antisemitic, that’s your problem, not mine. And you do have a serious one.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        January 7, 2012, 1:51 pm

        Jerome Slater wrote:
        “The issue is not whether the Zionist leadership gave a higher priority to bringing endangered German and other European Jews to Palestine than to saving their lives in other ways”
        That seems like an issue worth considering if the “other ways” weren’t very good and they could have helped alot more in bringing them to Palestine.

        As for the other compliments Slater gives Blankfort, like calling him anti-semitic, Slater is basically living in a glass house.
        He paints Blankfort as antisemitic for saying that dislike with Zionists’ writings may have unintentionally affected Hitler’s antisemitism, but it is a “completely different matter” when the state those Zionists created unintentionally cause antisemitism among Muslims.

      • anonymouscomments
        anonymouscomments
        January 7, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Jerome Slater,

        Perhaps due to your own apparent lack of nuance (seen in this article and your many declarative comments) you do not understand what Jeffrey Blankfort has been repeatedly communicating. You state-

        JS:“Therefore, the wholly unmistakable implication of Blankfort, no matter how incoherently he writes, is that Jewish behavior -or, if you prefer, Zionist behavior–was to blame for the Holocaust. If that isn’t anti-Semitic, nothing is. And he’s said it more than once, so it can’t be written off as an aberration.”

        Apparently you have an inability to read his clear words, most relevant to this topic-

        JB:Whether there would have been a Jewish holocaust without the existence of political Zionism which openly postulated that Jews were not like other human beings and that antisemitism was an understandable reaction on the part of gentiles who were forced to live with them, is a question that we can never answer but there is no question but that dangerous piece of nonsense was what the Zionists were peddling in pre-Hitler Germany in their efforts to “out” the largely assimilated German Jews who would have no truck with them. In other words, the Zionists were feeding whatever antisemitic sentiments their fellow Germans already harbored. No, I am not blaming the Zionists for the holocaust–they couldn’t have imagined it– but that they helped to poison the atmosphere which allowed it to happen is indisputable.

        He has given various pieces of historical evidence which support the comment he made, which in itself was quite nuanced. He naturally blames the crimes of the holocaust on the Nazis; what we are probing is how Zionist ideology and various actions played a *contributing* role wrt the level and nature of anti-semitism in post WWI Germany.

        You scream “anti-semitism” and offer little else. In this last comment you state-
        “One of classic tropes of genuine anti-Semitism, throughout history, is to blame it on the behavior of the Jews.”

        Let’s be factually and intellectually CLEAR here. JB indicated that “…the Zionists were feeding whatever antisemitic sentiments their fellow Germans already harbored”, and that it is unknown and impossible to ascertain how critical this was in the grand scheme. And he was *never* blaming them, let alone the “Jews” writ large. That is your incorrect assumption, and perhaps evidence of an emotional, reactionary, biased reading of his words.

        He also referenced the worldwide Jewish boycott of Germany, which I consider a more pivotal event. The event was framed, by the Jewish leaders who organized it, as a war on Germany. When you offer a totalitarian regime no easy way out, their extremism is often only increased. Considering Germany had so many Jews (who protested this boycot at a time when Jewish-German tensions were high/rising), we see the shortsightedness of the boycott, especially in retrospective analysis. But yet again, nobody is blaming Jewish organizations that supported the boycott for the *future events* or *actions of the Nazis*, but we would be dense to not realize they were a contributing factor to the atmosphere, and could even have been causative [like a tipping point, a key event] (just by noting that the German Jews protested against such a boycott we can ascertain that they felt it would have a negative impact on their situation; but then again, pure logic would also tell you that).

        Also, there is an important linguistic and logical thing I need to stress… Jewish actions (by which I mean the actions of some Jews and some Zionists) may have played a contributing role (I think obviously they did), and could even be directly causative, without those Jewish actions shouldering any “blame”.

        Complexity arises when we note that Germany had many Jews living there. If Jews are all one “nation” and should be viewed as a distinct dispersed nation (false, but Zionist theory is built upon this), how could this boycott not contribute to negative German perceptions of those Jews in their midst, who were now part of a “war” on Germany? Further, with Hitler’s regime in power with popular support, and unlikely to loose power easily, we should note how fatalistic and aggressive this boycott was, and how this could have serious consequences-

        From Untermyer’s Address, The New York Times, Monday, August 7, 1933 (sorry I am unable to verify this at the moment; as it is difficult to find hosted on any reputable website, and the NYT does not seem to offer it for purchase; my assumption is it is buried history, much like this Einstein NYT editorial regarding Menachem Begin-
        http://www.physics.harvard.edu/~wilson/NYTimes1948.pdf
        my sincere apologies if the quote is not valid, and please inform me)
        “What we are proposing and have already gone far toward doing, is to prosecute a purely defensive economic boycott that will undermine the Hitler regime and bring the German people to their senses by destroying their export trade on which their very existence depends.[bold emphasis mine]

        Much as the US interred the Japanese, it is understandable that this “Jewish war” would have some implications for any Jews living under the 3rd Reich, or those that years later came under German occupation. This does not excuse our internment of the Japanese, or any of the German actions towards Jews (which were in another league altogether; never seen in modern history). I do not “blame” Japan for the fact that we interred the Japanese in the least. But the Japanese attack on the United States was the direct cause for said internment. However, another more enlightened American administration would not have laid a finger on the Japanese (though domestic anti-Japanese sentiment would have risen; that is a given sociological phenomenon, despite it being inexcusable). Likewise, if Hitler had different inclinations, he might have responded to the worldwide Jewish boycott in a different manner; for example, he might have rolled back anti-Jewish laws, which is likely the intent of most Jews who supported the said boycott. In another instance, the boycott might have caused stress on the 3rd Reich, and prompted a coup which ousted the prevailing Nazi regime, including its top-down anti-semitic ideology (which seems to be the stated intent of some organizers of the Jewish boycott). But such did not occur, and we cannot ignore the fact that actions of Zionists and some Jewish leaders may have had played a role, and had unintended consequences. And we cannot ignore the protests of the largely assimilationist Jews who were living in Germany.

        Do you not see how the words and actions of people who *portend* to speak for an ethnic, national, or religious group, CLEARLY contribute to how many react to this group (as unfair as that is)? Do you not see how this can have causative negative effects, yet in no way puts blame on the collective itself (said ethnic group, nation, or religious group).
        ————-
        In fact this has direct relevance to the present, in three areas I want to point out (another time). I can understand your inability to rationally talk about this topic, as it relates to the actions of Jews and the holocaust, which is “beyond the pale” for many, despite the validity of such a discussion. You have generally made dismissive assertions which contradict/ignore the full history of events, and seem preoccupied with making charges of anti-semitism, even “supporting” the charge with a poll of friends through email. Perhaps you are just unable to discuss this, but I’ll hold out hope.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 7, 2012, 6:12 pm

        “Since Mein Kampf was published three decades after Herzl’s Der Judenstaat (which I am sure you have never read) is it not likely, if not logical, that what Hitler had to say about Jews was influenced by Herzl’s writings?”

        LMAO. It must be really easy to do “scholarship” in this manner — simply assume as “likely” the very point you are charged with establishing, especially given the absolute unlikelihood of someone as ill-educated, intellectually incurious and poorly read as Adolf Hitler being so influenced.

        Fail.

      • straightline
        straightline
        January 7, 2012, 7:32 pm

        No – as is well documented – the Zionists were not trying to save Jews from Hitler. They were trying to get Jews to emigrate to Palestine. They actively tried to prevent them emigrating anywhere else.

      • January 7, 2012, 10:06 pm

        MRW — there’s a stunningly obvious reality about who fights in wars a la boots on the ground and who writes about wars — Many of the people who do the real fighting in wars end up too dead to write about them.

        War is a means of culling the herd, most profitably deployed by those clever enough to avoid actually getting their hands/boots dirty or bloody, or their brains and souls damaged.

      • yourstruly
        yourstruly
        January 8, 2012, 10:37 am

        not at that time because it was just beginning, but how can you say that without interference from the transfer agreement, it wouldn’t have become more significant? lenni brenner, in his “51 documents: Zionist collaberation with the Nazis”, presents evidence supporting such a conclusion.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 8, 2012, 11:56 am

        teta mother me,

        No kidding. I once heard a friend of mine say that war was a way for the older men to get rid of the younger men who threatened their bedding of the females in the group. ;-)

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 8, 2012, 12:06 pm

        Which, straightline, Edwin Black detailed in spades in his footnotes.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 8, 2012, 12:36 pm

        Slater,

        Vis-a-vis what Blankfort wrote at January 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm, my sister-in-law’s mother was orphaned at 11 years of age. She went to the Zionist/Jewish charities for help in her Eastern European country. They told her, basically, to phuck off BECAUSE she was not acceptable for Palestine, too young. They left her to die. Eleven years old, Slater, 11 years old. She was Jewish. The nuns found her in a barn, and transformed her identity, and she survived. My sister-in-law, Jewish with a highly recognizable Jewish last name, is the most antisemitic person I know. The stories she tells me that her mother told her from WWII are horrific. My sister-in-law tells me repeatedly that “I cannot say what I know because no one would believe me.”

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        Jeffrey Blankfort
        January 8, 2012, 11:52 pm

        Thanks for excellent comment, anonymouscomments. What we see in Slater is the personification of the problem that liberal Zionists have created for the struggle for Palestinian rights in the US where, speaking with “fork in tongue,” they have proven to be far more damaging to that struggle than have the main institutions of the Jewish establishment or the loudmouths like Alan Dershowitz with whom Slater clearly has much in common.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 4:31 pm

        Most of those volunteer fools grew up in a small town/rural white cultural environments where parents had no money for their kids college and lots of their parents were cannon fodder families themselves; it takes a while for a kid to grow out of the limits of his own working class, or lower to middle class petri dish. Now that the internet is available to many of them, they are waking up much faster, which is why most young troopers support Ron Paul. Next time they call a war I hope none of them volunteer. A Military draft would bring out all the reality our leaders hope to avoid by fighting hi-tek wars with ever lesser troops–Obama’s on it.

    • thankgodimatheist
      thankgodimatheist
      January 7, 2012, 5:04 am

      “If anyone needed any further proof of the irrelevance of the american liberal class, look no further than this essay”

      If only it was a matter of irrelevance. It’s much much worse!
      Chris Hedges on Death of the Liberal Class: Ouch!

      • January 7, 2012, 10:07 pm

        thanks for that. Chris Hedges is the Jeremiah of our age.

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      January 7, 2012, 11:14 am

      “If anyone needed any further proof of the irrelevance of the american liberal class, look no further than this essay”

      Worthy of repeating.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        January 7, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Why, don’t you think this group of “war doves” as I think Nixon called them have an impact on generating a self-confident sense of violence and callousness?

        Bush resorted to saying the invasion of Iraq was about spreading democracy and stopping a bad dictator. Should we really single out Bush and the neocons when this kind of thinking is echoed, if not promoted, by many war doves?

        Their biggest complaint seems to be that Bush’s bloody conquest of Iraq wasn’t motivated mainly by the desire to get rid of a dictator and impose a pro-western parliament.

        For these guys, the one-continent Monro Doctrine doesn’t apply, as they feel they are strong enough to conquer the rest of the planet.

        Is a difference between the neoliberals and neoconservatives that the neoliberals are war doves?

      • January 7, 2012, 10:16 pm

        This morning BBC news reported that a China daily newspaper that is an organ of the Chinese government published an article by a Chinese naval commander stating that the US should cease meddling in South Asia in the the affairs of China and Iran.
        Can’t find a link; I heard it between 4:00 am and 6:00 am Jan 7 2012, BBC overnight news.

        European Union Times: US deploys troops to Israel for Iran War

  3. January 6, 2012, 9:57 am

    AN amazing video that EVERYBODY, everybody should watch.
    It is a speech that Ron Paul made in Congress in 04.2002.
    Whatever he predicted , it did happen.
    THIS man has so much an incredible political/economical wisdom, insight , care and courage that Americans should not even think twice about who should become their president.

    • MRW
      MRW
      January 6, 2012, 3:38 pm

      dumvitaestspesest,

      This is an important video to watch. He is 100% correct so far.

      But I need you to understand that pegging our dollar to gold or silver or any other convertible metal is what caused the American Revolution. (We have a non-convertible currency now, and we should understand what that means; Benjamin Franklin did.) Forget the Tea Party story everyone learned from the movies and from poor history learning, and even worse from the writings by the only two historians (har-dee-har) in the 19th C who caught public attention,: Hawthorne and Longfellow, novelist and poet. (Don’t forget that Americans were only 10% educated by the start of the 20th C.) The Boston Tea Party was a consequence.

      Let me quote from an article by Alain Pilote from “A brief History of Banking
      Control in the United States.”

      The happiest population
      Benjamin Franklin

      We are in 1750. The United States of America does not yet exist; it is the 13 Colonies of the American continent, forming “New England”, a possession of the motherland, England. Benjamin Franklin wrote about the population of that time: “Impossible to find a happier and more prosperous population on all the surface of the globe.”

      Going over to England to represent the interests of the Colonies, Franklin was asked how he accounted for the prosperous conditions prevailing in the Colonies, while poverty was rife in the motherland:
      “That is simple,” Franklin replied. “In the Colonies we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Scrip. We issue it in proper proportion to make the products pass easily from the producers to the consumers. In this manner, creating ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power, and we have no interest to pay to no one.”

      The English bankers, being informed of that, had a law passed by the British Parliament prohibiting the Colonies from issuing their own money, and ordering them to use only the gold or silver debt-money that was provided in insufficient quantity by the English bankers. The circulating medium of exchange was thus reduced by half.

      “In one year,” Franklin stated, “the conditions were so reversed that the era of prosperity ended, and a depression set in, to such an extent that the streets of the Colonies were filled with unemployed.”

      Then the Revolutionary War was launched against England, and was followed by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. History textbooks erroneously teach that it was the tax on tea that triggered the American Revolution. But Franklin clearly stated:
      “The Colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters, had it not been the poverty caused by the bad influence of the English bankers on the Parliament: which has caused in the Colonies hatred of England, and the Revolutionary War.”

      The Founding Fathers of the United States, bearing all these facts in mind, and to protect themselves against the exploitation of the International Bankers, took good care to expressly declare, in the American Constitution, signed at Philadelphia in 1787, Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 5:
      “Congress shall have the power to coin money and to regulate the value thereof.”

      He who has the gold has the control. Paul is wrong that money should be gold. Money is an exchange for things of value. Paul does not understand the concept of sovereign currencies. Value of legal tender in the US, which has a sovereign currency as does Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and the European Union (but not the individual countries of the EU), is what the people produce. Money is not gold, nor should it be pegged to gold or any other metal one person or group or organization can control.

      Read Franklin here:
      http://www.historycarper.com/resources/

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 6, 2012, 3:57 pm

        Here’s some more from Pilote’s article:

        The bank of the bankers

        Alexander Hamilton

        But the bankers did not give up. Their agent, Alexander Hamilton, was named Secretary of Treasury in George Washington’s cabinet, and advocated the establishment of a federal bank to be owned by private interests, and the creation of debt-money with false arguments like: “A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing… The wisdom of the Government will be shown in never trusting itself with the use of so seducing and dangerous an expedient as issuing its own money.” Hamilton also made them believe that only the debt-money issued by private banks would be accepted in dealing abroad.

        Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State, was strongly opposed to that project, but President Washington was finally won over by Hamilton’s arguments. A federal bank was thus created in 1791, the “Bank of the United States”, with a 20 years’ charter. Although it was termed “Bank of the United States”, it was actually the “bank of the bankers”, since it was not owned by the nation, but by individuals holding the bank’s stocks, the private bankers. This name of “Bank of the United States” was purposely chosen to deceive the American population and to make them believe that they were the owners of the bank, which was not the case. The charter for the Bank of the United States ran out in 1811, and Congress voted against its renewal, thanks to the influence of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson:
        “If Congress,” Jackson said, “has a right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to use by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.”

        Thus ended the history of the first Bank of the United States. But the bankers did not play their last card.

        They (the Brits) launched the War of 1812, we lost, and the U.S. Congress was forced to grant the renewal of the Charter in 1816 as a result.

        Lincoln was assassinated because he refused the bankers of New York, who agreed to lend him money at interest rates varying from 24 to 36 percent to pay for the North’s war, and issued Greenbacks as legal tender to pay his soldiers instead.

        Lincoln called these Greenbacks “the greatest blessing the American people have ever had.” But they got him in the end and put a stop to them.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 5:14 pm

        “Excessive” is an interesting qualifying adjective, eh? Did they mean like, wheel barrels full of bills to buy a loaf of bread?

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 7, 2012, 1:52 am

        If we were on the gold standard, probably, Citizen. But we’re not. Different rules.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 4:41 pm

        Sovereign currency does not need to be carried around like a block of gold–in fact it doesn’t need anything but some computer keys punching in digits here and there. Your wager on it is ultimately a wager on a house of cards. Next up, the dollar will be replaced by a basket of different sovereign currency; this in turn will not last; generations of indentured debt serfs will bring something else–thankfully, after I am dead.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 6, 2012, 6:38 pm

        MRW- “Value of legal tender in the US….is what the people produce. Money is not gold, nor should it be pegged to gold….”

        Bless you for this comment!

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        NorthOfFortyNine
        January 7, 2012, 12:11 am

        @MRW: Yikes!!!! Very misguided. Too late to go into this tonight, and will indulge maybe tomorrow, but for now tuck away the fact that all fiat currencies ever issued always end at zero. -N49.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 7, 2012, 11:26 am

        Canada has a fiat currency, N49. Yours is plastic now, isn’t it? ;-) And btw, I’m not offering a theory to be guided or misguided by. I am only recounting the earlier history of this country.

        Did you know that gold is fiat money for a cow? 350 (maybe it was 315) grains equal one coin, one cow. Your wealth used to be measured in cows, for all the obvious reasons (food, transportation, clothing), but you couldn’t haul 1,000 cows over a mountain to trade, so they devised gold as a fiat.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        NorthOfFortyNine
        January 7, 2012, 12:14 pm

        @ MRW: By fiat I mean “money” that can be created at will.

        The purpose of money is two fold: a) as a medium of exchange and b) as a store of value. As to the former purpose, “paper money”, (if you prefer this term to “fiat money”), works fine. And yes, it is less effort to send bits of paper over the mountains as compared to sending cows or even gold for that matter. And these days it is less effort yet to make a change in a centralized computer ledger.

        As to the latter purpose — store of value — paper money sucks. This is because it is easier to make bits of paper than it is to make cows and therefore, after a while, the ratio of paper bits to cows will grow. People begin to thjink they are richer than they are because they have all these paper bits stuffed into their money chest and they start to behave accordingly, investing in acts of folly, like pets.com and 2nd mortgages on rental property 30km outside of Vegas.

        But of course, you are only as rich as your cows. Western economies — fiat junkies — are now learning this lesson the hard way. More bad to come. -N49.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 7, 2012, 1:55 pm

        N49, the store of value is what the money has bought, or can buy.

        Let’s say that you and I and 5,000 others have $1,000,000 each in the bank. If it remains there and we don’t spend or invest it, the economy falters. It’s like dollars in a dryer. If they sit there, nothing moves. Turn the dryer on and you have the velocity of money moving the economy, determined by sectors. Too fast (meaning the economy is too hot), and prices will rise, and you get inflation. So you tax to slow it down. Too slow (meaning the economy is too cool) and you get recession. So you reduce taxes and increase government (that’s federal govt only) spending to get the dollars moving.

        This was the problem China had in 1999. The Chinese are massive savers (all that money sat in banks doing nothing). But the economy was in the toilet as a result. So China went on a campaign of huge government spending in infrastructure and other resource/civic projects to get their economy going and raise the standard of living of their population. They have experienced 10% annual growth ever since.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 7, 2012, 2:27 pm

        NORTHOFFORTYNINE- Lordy, lordy, where to begin? Perhaps by noting that you obviously are a gold bug, perhaps a loyal follower of Ron Paul.

        At one time, gold served a useful function as a medium of exchange between strangers in primitive economies. Being valuable in it own right, it facilitated exchanges between disparate autonomous participants in fledgling markets. Nowadays, however, modern economies are complex, integrated and highly monetized. As such, money has become indispensable for the functioning of the economy, all of us dependent upon money to secure the stuff of life. Our entire economy is effectively controlled by directing the flow of money at the macro level. The store of value of money is that which it can purchase in the real economy. The amount of money in circulation should be a policy decision based upon the desired economic objectives, which, in turn, is informed by the desired social objectives. The real economy has no relationship to the quantity of gold available, gold being a commodity nothing more, and one which is subject to considerable speculation. To tie the control of the real economy to some fixed quantity of a particular metal is irrational. Unless, of course, you possess gold and hope to profit.

        In regards to inflation and other problems usually cited by gold bugs, the problem lies not with modern money backed by the real economy, rather it lies with our PRIVATE banking system in which private individuals control the supply of money to generate profit for themselves. It should be obvious that private financiers seeking profit will try to game the system at the expense of the real economy, which they have. Both speculative bubbles and recessions/depressions are largely a consequence of private financiers increasing or decreasing the money supply to achieve their personal objectives. Currently, we are in a contraction leading to a depression which is intentional, a means to implement structural adjustment and secure the rule of finance capital. In my view, a sound financial system absolutely requires a government run financial system, one which relies upon sovereign money as opposed to debt money, and which utilizes taxation both to ameliorate excess concentrations of economic power and to deal with the compounding of interest at the macro level. I leave you with a couple of quotes.

        “Whosever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce….” (Pres. James Garfield)

        “The powers of financial capitalism have another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.” (Prof. Carroll Quigley)

        “We are ruled not by governments anymore but by financial powers that use interest-bearing debt to exert control over governments, corporations, and people. Almost all other political issues with which we concern ourselves are secondary symptoms of or purposeful distractions from this larger narrative that is never reported by the Wall-Street-funded media.” (Damon Vrabel)

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 7, 2012, 5:55 pm

        The real economy has no relationship to the quantity of gold available, gold being a commodity nothing more, and one which is subject to considerable speculation.

        Lordy, lordy, where to begin? If gold simpluy a commodity becsue it is subject to considerable speculation, then what does that make floated currencies, who’s value fluctuates every day?

        To tie the control of the real economy to some fixed quantity of a particular metal is irrational. Unless, of course, you possess gold and hope to profit.

        No, it’s not irrational, it’s perfectly logical. Without tying the vale of a currency to a fixed metric, then the value of money is decided by those who control how much of it they chose to print. That’s precisely why Bauer Mayer Rothschild, said 1838:

        “Let me issue and control a Nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws”

        And tell me Keith, isn’t it true that those who invest in cash do so becasue they hope to profit?

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        NorthOfFortyNine
        January 7, 2012, 6:48 pm

        @ MRW re “the store of value is what the money has bought, or can buy [and not money itself.]

        Then please send me the contents of your bank account. Wire details to follow. -N49.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        NorthOfFortyNine
        January 7, 2012, 6:54 pm

        >> “At one time, gold served a useful function as a medium of exchange between strangers in primitive economies.”

        Gold backed the USD up until forty years ago. Even today gold serves as a useful medium of exchange in a variety of financing arrangements. And as for a store of value, all you have to do here is note the growth of the gold ETFs. You don’t know what you are talking about. -N49.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 8, 2012, 1:25 pm

        Not true, N49. (Your January 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm) Only during certain periods of US history.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 4:47 pm

        I think we can all agree money is just a means to an end, and that paper money is unlimited, produced by a few key strokes, while gold is a useful, precious metal in and of itself, a substitute for a cow, chicken or egg at least–fiat paper money is worth whatever service or product or land it can be traded for; as well, it makes bad toilet paper.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 7, 2012, 4:53 am

        This is an important video to watch. He is 100% correct so far.

        Only in the mainstream, which as Slater has demonstrated, is inhabbited both by progressives and right wing war crazies, does being 100% right make you simple minded and dangerous.

  4. FreddyV
    FreddyV
    January 6, 2012, 10:15 am

    ‘Yes, he opposed the war in Iraq, Israel’s wars against the Palestinians, and any attack on Iran–‘

    Really?

    Did Israel really have ‘wars’ (multiple) with a largely unarmed occupied Palestinian population? Did they have a chance of losing these wars? I thought in order to have a war you need to face an opponent who has a chance of winning.

    That’s a bit like calling the protests in Tahir Square the Egyptian Civil War.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 6, 2012, 6:31 pm

      Ron Paul was one of the few congress folks who supported Israel’s past bombing of that nuclear site, remember?

  5. January 6, 2012, 10:22 am

    “In short, Ron Paul is a simpleminded fool on 90% (at least) of the issues, domestic and foreign. ”
    No siree, you are a simpleminded fool, and who want to listen to YOUr blabbering??

  6. Richard Witty
    Richard Witty
    January 6, 2012, 10:23 am

    Give him a break. Even if you disagree with him, he’s honestly stating what he thinks is best, with reasonable support.

    I initially opposed the war in Afghanistan. My first reaction after hearing of the attack, was I hope the US doesn’t over-react, from my perch in Western Massachusetts. After speaking with my cousins, one who worked a mile from the World Trade Center, my first impression was modified.

    I still thought it was a quagmire, though the limited objective of finding bin Laden seemed reasonable.

    I thought that the objectives of humanitarian support in Kosovo and Somalia made sense, but I wasn’t close enough to determine if that was possible to do, or if it was executed optimally.

    As I’ve said before, that I don’t believe that Ron Paul would make a non-interventionist president, as Congress would be empowered to declare war, and the President would be responsible to execute Congressional legislation. As Ron Paul would seek for lobbying and campaign ads, even lying ones, to be unhindered constitutional free speech, anything goes in that Congress.

    He’s a good as a campaigner and as an irritating Congressman. That’s all he’ll be though.

    • Bandolero
      Bandolero
      January 6, 2012, 12:32 pm

      “I initially opposed the war in Afghanistan. My first reaction after hearing of the attack, was I hope the US doesn’t over-react, from my perch in Western Massachusetts. After speaking with my cousins, one who worked a mile from the World Trade Center, my first impression was modified.”
      That sounds pretty much like what Ron Paul did. Ron Paul was reportedly hesitant to authorize usage of military power to attack Afghanistan becuase he feared, the US would make a never ending story of occupying a foreign country from that authorization. In the end Ron Paul reportedly voted to allow the pursuit of the 9/11-attackers in Afghanistan and elsewhere through the US military. And later he was angry that this authorization was indeed misused of make a never ending story of occupying a foreign country.

      Btw: Jerome Slater writes:

      Not quite as unanimous as in the case of WWII, an overwhelming majority of Americans (including me) thought that 9/11 made it was necessary to go after both the Taliban and, in particular, Osama bin Laden. … Here I distinguish between the initial intervention and the endless war we are still mired in, the latter being both morally and strategically unwise and unnecessary. We should have gotten out within months of the initial attack.

      Jerome Slater is factually incorrect if he wants to suggest that Ron Paul voted against going after the attackers. Ron Paul voted Yeah, but he said he wanted to get the US out of Afghanistan immediately after that instead of nation building and building US bases there. So Ron Paul had almost the same opinion as Jerome Slater in that matter.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        January 6, 2012, 4:10 pm

        Tora Bora….and the Bush administratin ignored all of couterterroism expert Richard Clarke’s warnings. Hell Stephen Hadley and Rice would not give him the time of day. Think they had their first meeting four days before 9/11.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 5:18 pm

        Yes, Ron Paul stated during the last GOP debate he voted for a small special task force to go after Bin Laden and get right out.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 6:32 pm

        By Bin Laden I mean also Al Quaeda.

      • dahoit
        dahoit
        January 7, 2012, 1:32 pm

        Ron Pauls statement about Israel and the Osirik? reactor are fully in line with his non interventionist line of sovereignty,as Israel should have the right to make decisions that concern it(and to bear its consequences),and we should have that same sovereignty as our right,unlike the most obvious Zionist infiltration of our informational system and MSM.
        How many non Jews or American non Jews are employed as newspeople in Israel?
        And how many dual citizens pontificate on our airwaves, and in our media?Sheesh.

    • lysias
      lysias
      January 6, 2012, 2:56 pm

      On June 5, 1942, Congress declared war on Bulgaria. Did that fact compel FDR’s administration to conduct any military operations against Bulgaria?

  7. ahhiyawa
    ahhiyawa
    January 6, 2012, 10:31 am

    Pollitt and Slater ‘doth protest too much.’

    Should a miracle happen and bequeath the US a Paul presidency, such a president would be constrained by the separation of powers from implementing domestic and foreign policies the Politt’s and Slater’s of the world do not approve or fear.

    What Ron Paul would have is the bully pulpit from which to proselytize to the American public his views on constitutionalism, anti-imperialism, liberty and limited governance. A conversation the American public have not heard since the beginning of the 20th century and establishment elites dread.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      January 6, 2012, 11:06 am

      “Should a miracle happen and bequeath the US a Paul presidency, such a president would be constrained by the separation of powers from implementing domestic and foreign policies the Politt’s and Slater’s of the world do not approve or fear.”

      Such a person could, with the powers of the presidency, cause great harm, even with the separation of powers.

      “What Ron Paul would have is the bully pulpit from which to proselytize to the American public his views on constitutionalism, anti-imperialism, liberty and limited governance”

      Giving him the bully pulpit to talk about his views on “constitutionalism… liberty and limited governance” as he would define them, is enough reason to oppose him, in my opinion.

      • stevieb
        stevieb
        January 6, 2012, 11:54 am

        “Giving him the bully pulpit to talk about his views on “constitutionalism… liberty and limited governance” as he would define them, is enough reason to oppose him, in my opinion.”

        Well there’s a quite un-American(if I may be so bold) opinion if I ever did hear one, with freedom of speech hacked down in one fell swoop…

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 6, 2012, 2:34 pm

        “Well there’s a quite un-American(if I may be so bold) opinion if I ever did hear one, with freedom of speech hacked down in one fell swoop…”

        How so, exactly? I’ve no problem with Paul advocating whatever he wants. All I’m saying is that I don’t want him doing so from the office of the Presidency. Nothing implicating free speech rights, there.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 5:22 pm

        How about Ron Paul’s anti-imperialism bent, Woody? You didn’t say, and is that not one giant war machine he’s against oiling and building over and over again, and impacting our country internally and the world quite a bit?

  8. Koshiro
    Koshiro
    January 6, 2012, 10:38 am

    But since Paul, as Pollitt puts it, is against everything the U.S. government does, domestically or internationally, there is every reason to think he would have opposed FDR’s decision that we had to join in the fight both for moral and strategic reasons.

    Errr… no.
    America did not “join the fight for moral and strategic reasons”. Japan and Germany formally and openly declared war to America. I have never seen Ron Paul suggest that America should not defend itself when it is attacked. Questioned about WW2, Paul has said that US involvement could not have been avoided – but he did add that part of the reason was the unnecessary participation in WW1 which led to the Versailles Treaty system and a host of other problems.

    • Jerome Slater
      Jerome Slater
      January 6, 2012, 1:45 pm

      “America did not “join the fight for moral and strategic reasons”. Japan and Germany formally and openly declared war to America.”

      Not good history. The only reason that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor was because Roosevelt decided, at least for strategic reasons, that the U.S. would have to oppose Japanese expansionism in Asia, even if it meant war. Consequently, the US imposed increasingly stringent economic sanctions against Japan, culminating with an oil embargo imposed in July 1941, which he knew would probably lead to war. That led the Japanese to conclude that if they wanted a free hand in Asia, they would have to attack Pearl Harbor, in a foolish attempt to persuade the U.S. to back off.

      In other words, there would have been no Japanese attack on the US if Roosevelt had decided that Japanese expansionism in Asia was not a matter that was worth a war to stop. That doesn’t mean Roosevelt was wrong to have acted as he did, but it does make the history a lot more complex than the simplistic view that it was purely a defensive war.

      Germany. Well before Germany declared war on the U.S. following Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt set about deliberately provoking Germany to attack us first, so he could claim we reacted only in self-defense. Roosevelt had reached the absolutely correct decision that for both moral and strategic reasons, we could not allow German expansionism to continue and, in particular, allow the downfall of Britain. However, he was stymied by an isolationist Congress–the Ron Pauls of their day–which prohibited, by law, the U.S. from helping Britain with American warships. Roosevelt broke that law, began using US destroyers to convoy British ships and attack German submarines. US destroyers on at least two occasions then attacked German subs, and only then were they targeted by those subs.

      When an American destroyer was sunk, Roosevelt lied and said it was an unprovoked attack. And this was months before Germany declared war.
      Was Roosevelt’s clearly illegal and I would say unconstitutional usurpation of Congress’s warmaking powers wrong? Absolutely not, it was imperative to stop Hitler, and the only way it could be done was to provoke Germany to attack first. Tragically, Roosevelt’s actions set terrible precedents which have been repeated by many US presidents since then, to get us into wars which were NOT necessary or just–the most notable example being Johnson’s lies about the Tonkin Gulf incident in 1964, in which he deliberately provoked a North Vietnam attack–and maybe not even an attack–in order to give him an excuse to send US ground forces into South Vietnam.

      So, though in the largest sense certainly WWII was defensive, why we ended up in wars against Japan and Germany is a lot more complicated then saying “We had no choice, they attacked us first.”

      Whatever Ron Paul now says about WWII in retrospect, do you think that if he had been in Congress in the 1930s he would have voted AGAINST the isolationist majority who sought to tie Roosevelt’s hands?

      Finally–not addressed to Koshiro–unless you know how to distinguish between clearly just wars (WWII) and clearly unjust ones (Vietnam), you are not part of the intelligent debate–as opposed to hateful and ignorant screaming–about the appropriate and inappropriate uses of force in an anarchic world.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        NorthOfFortyNine
        January 6, 2012, 2:20 pm

        Slater’s right here on WWII. It can even be argued Roosevelt had let Pearl Harbour happen. But he still contends without substantiation and against the record that Paul would have sat on his ass.

        Mind experiment: If a progressive had rolled out Ron Paul’s foreign policy platform, would the Left have their knickers in a twist as they do now? I think not. Greenwald had it right: Ron Paul puts up a mirror to the Left that reflects its own failings. A lifetime’s work, irredeemably buggered. -N49.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        January 6, 2012, 4:18 pm

        The things that were said about 9/11 – letting it happen and even making it happen on purpose, so that a pretended defensive element can be brought into the situation – have also been said about Pearl. I don’t say whether the claims about Pearl are right. But ‘false defence’ is a wicked act by the standards of traditional Just War theory. So if it can be right in some cases we need to argue for different standards of justice. What might these be?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 6:09 pm

        Ron Paul is the only anti-war candidate, and we’ve been fighting wars for a long time now, usually against brown Muslims (whom we wished to set free, presumably as in Egypt for 30 years, which freedom led to the Arab Spring there . Slater’s right on the facts wrt FDR getting us into WW2, & Johnson, into Vietnam. FDR’s goal all along was arguably to fight Hitler, who happened to have a mutual defense treaty with Imperial Japan. WW2 is a direct result of the Versailles Treaty terms. WW1 was not fought in the interest of the American people, nor in the interest of justice. Ron Paul would have declared war on Japan, and he’d have done it before Japan literally sent their bombers across the open sky towards Pearl Harbor, but on his other hand, he would not have goaded Japan to attack us in the first place.

        I don’t doubt that voting in anybody but Ron Paul will result in a war with Iran, spread of it regionally, and possibly here, and our regimes will continue to take more safety net away to feed the war machine–Obama’s recent decision to cut back on troops and their benefits, but increase military spending on hardware works to benefit our war machine, which even Obama admitted in public we spend more on then the next 8 top military spenders; at very least also, the machinations under cover of threat of Muslim terrorists will continue to erode our basic civil rights, turning us increasingly into a police state. The rest of Paul’s agenda is comparatively trivial, especially when combined with a net good for the world. Iran, even with nukes, is no threat at all to the USA; we could pulverize any nation or combo of nations tomorrow–in an instant. And we could do so if our military budget was cut in half tomorrow too.

      • dahoit
        dahoit
        January 7, 2012, 1:39 pm

        Yes,the exposure of these sad sacks as sad sacks,is what bothers them most.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        January 6, 2012, 4:42 pm

        Wow!

        Q: …we could not allow German expansionism to continue…

        R: What country stopped Germany in its tracks after 1871 and why?

        What countries had colonies or occupied countries all around Japan way before WWII?

        Is commodore Perry a fig leave in your family tree?

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 6, 2012, 5:29 pm

        Slater, our start in WWII was a little more complicated than that. True, FDR couldn’t join the war because of isolationism, but Canada already had for two years since it was a Britain colony. Canada joined in September 1939. The Canadians lost 10% of their population in that terrible war.

        Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King begged FDR for help, as did Churchill, but FDR’s hands were tied. The Germans were coming down the East Coast of Canada–read all about it in Mackenzie King’s letters and Canadian history books, which Americans blithely backhand off any history table as unimportant in their own history of exceptionalism–and Mackenzie used the argument that they would be inundating the NE US coast soon.

        FDR let Pearl Harbor happen, which he knew about ahead of time, the telegrams are there, because Japan and Germany were aligned. Declaring war against Japan meant that we were also at war with Germany.

        But it was Canada and the German invasion that was the deciding factor loosening FDR from the isolationist position because of the threat he could see looming for the NE corridor, and he couldn’t speak of it without alerting the Germans or breaking Canada’s cover. Don’t forget that many of Europe’s royals were hiding out in Ottawa, and the Britain’s MI6 was created in Southern Ontario at a secret location to fight the war.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 6, 2012, 5:43 pm

        You can read about it here, and listen to a 2008 CBC Radio documentary about Camp X. This history Americans don’t know of our involvement starting in 1939! Camp X and the real spies.
        http://www.cbc.ca/maritimemagazine/2011/05/17/a-man-most-ordinary-the-story-of-clifton-stewart/

        Young Mr. N49, listen to your history! ;-)

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 8, 2012, 9:35 am

        For history buffs: this 2008 CBC recording is of the man, aged 91, who intercepted the telegram eight days before Pearl harbor detailing that the Japanese were going to bomb Pearl Harbor. As he said, the US just let “nature take its course.” Camp X was so secret that not even the Canadian Prime Minister knew about it. Ian Fleming, the James Bond book writer, was an attendee. The 50-year embargo on speaking about this place was up in 1995. The British embargo is still in place, and because this man signed agreements with Britain, he says there were things he still can’t talk about. He has since died.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        January 8, 2012, 10:02 am

        “The Canadians lost 10% of their population in that terrible war.”

        Why do you keep repeating this nonsense, MRW? As I told you in Sept 2011, that would be more than a million people and is absurd. The total population of Canada in 1939 was about 11 million, the military casualties (there were no civilian casualties) were about 45 000, or, 0.4%. About a million Canadians, or 10% of the total population, participated in WW II, many of them women (non-combatants). Most of them survived.

      • jayn0t
        jayn0t
        January 8, 2012, 11:36 am

        I’m all for undermining the official story of WWII, but we have to do better than subscribe to conspiracy theories which select – or invent – their evidence.

        ‘MRW’ claims “FDR let Pearl Harbor happen, which he knew about ahead of time, the telegrams are there, because Japan and Germany were aligned. Declaring war against Japan meant that we were also at war with Germany.”

        No it didn’t. The alliance with Japan did not require Hitler to declare war on America. ‘The telegrams’ show FDR suspected something, not that he ‘knew’ it.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 8, 2012, 11:47 am

        I was wrong in the characterization. It was 10% of the male population. There were NOT 45,000 killed. It was a massive loss to Canada. Robert Beattie, an economist working for The Bank of Canada, introduced a bill or something similar that paid Canadian families a monthly stipend as a result for every child to help pay the way after the war. This is absolutely confirmed in Bank of Canada documents. I saw and read them. I don’t remember how long it lasted. Talk to any older Canadian and they will tell you about it. I don’t care what you say about the figures. Talk to the people involved. The Canadians were involved in WWII way before the Americans and they paid a massive price for it.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        January 8, 2012, 11:52 am

        Canadian population pre-war:
        11,267,000
        Canadian losses during war:
        45,400
        % pre-war population:
        0.4
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#Total_deaths

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        NorthOfFortyNine
        January 8, 2012, 12:54 pm

        @ BB re Canadian population pre-war:
        11,267,000
        Canadian losses during war:
        45,400
        % pre-war population:
        0.4

        I am not sure what your drift is here, but 0.4% is a pretty big number. Think about it. Only 20% of the population is of the right age to fight and only 50% of the population is of the right sex to fight. So that’s a little less than one in twenty who could have died, did die. Put this way, just about every classroom in the country would have been effected. -N49.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        January 8, 2012, 1:12 pm

        “Put this way, just about every classroom in the country would have been effected. -N49.”

        Sure, 0.4% is a “big number”. 10% is an even bigger number. As I noted in a previous reply to MRW’s inflated claim re Canadian WW II casualties, 10% is the casualty rate frequently cited for German WW II losses, but nowhere near Canadian losses. The main Canadian contribution to WW II/Europe was to kill German civilians. How many classrooms do you think were effected in Germany?

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 8, 2012, 1:21 pm

        jaynot, listen to the CBC radio link I provided on this thread. I also lived down the hall in Manhattan from the historian who wrote the book that said FDR knew. He found his proof in the National Archives.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        January 8, 2012, 5:14 pm

        “Talk to any older Canadian and they will tell you about it. I don’t care what you say about the figures. Talk to the people involved.”

        MRW, I’ve lived in Canada for the past 25 yrs. I do talk to Canadians all the time, older and younger. Where do you live? I have no idea what you are talking about – Robert Beattie, Bank of Canada documents? I didn’t make up any numbers. Check any source from Wikipedia to the Canadian Archives. Nowhere have I ever seen Canadian casualty figures anywhere close to 10% of the Canadian total population, male or female.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 9, 2012, 4:06 pm

        Antidote,

        The older vets told me at an emotional November 11 wreath-laying I attended. Don’t forget that Newfoundland and Labrador were not considered part of Canada then (British govt). They were included in the British stats. Also, the majority of Canadians–as I was told by these vets–signed up in Britain in September 1939, so that they could see action right away, and are included in the British stats as well. Since Canada was part of the Commonwealth, it stands to reason they fought for the King/Queen under British colors. The original QE ocean liner was used to haul troops to Europe because it sailed faster.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        January 6, 2012, 6:26 pm

        “However, he was stymied by an isolationist Congress–the Ron Pauls of their day–which prohibited, by law, the U.S. from helping Britain with American warships. Roosevelt broke that law, began using US destroyers to convoy British ships and attack German submarines. US destroyers on at least two occasions then attacked German subs, and only then were they targeted by those subs.”

        “When an American destroyer was sunk, Roosevelt lied and said it was an unprovoked attack. And this was months before Germany declared war.
        Was Roosevelt’s clearly illegal and I would say unconstitutional usurpation of Congress’s warmaking powers wrong?”

        Jerry, I’m going to question your history here. What, exactly, do you think that FDR did illegally? At the time of the convoys were started, the harsher of the Neutrality Acts were no longer operative, and cash-and-carry under the 1939 Act was the policy. While that required the beligerant nation to provide its own shipping, it did not, to my knowledge, preclude the convoy system.

        By the time the Reuben James was sunk (I assume that the Reuben James is the ship to which you are referring), Lend-Lease had passed and was in effect, so even the restriction under cash-and-carry were no longer in effect.

        Nor do I see where characterizing the sinking of the Reuben James as an “unprovoked attack” is a lie. What was the provocation? Just being an escort?

        What, exactly, am I missing here?

      • Bandolero
        Bandolero
        January 6, 2012, 7:24 pm

        “Was Roosevelt’s clearly illegal and I would say unconstitutional usurpation of Congress’s warmaking powers wrong? Absolutely not, it was imperative to stop Hitler, and the only way it could be done was to provoke Germany to attack first.”

        I’ld like to dispute that notion of history. The USA did arguably the decisive blow to Nazi Germany with the Lend-Lease signed March 1941 helping the Soviet Union (& Britain) against Germany.

        Hoowever, the US entry into the war on European soil in 1944 was long after Germany lost any chance to win the war. From what I understand history the strategic reason for D-Day was not so much about stopping Hitler, but much more about stopping the Soviet Union from conquering the parts of Europe held by Germany back then.

        British head of state Winston Churchill even made a secret plan – dubbed Operation Unthinkable – to continue WWII after the defeat of Germany against the Soviet Union.

        There is another libertarian key argument against the war entry: it’s always easy to build up a big government with a big military, but it has proofed very hard to scale the military – and the government – down again after war, be it the US civil war, WWI or WWII.

        I did not dive into the Pacific front of WWII deep enough to find out the big historic lies there – I’m almost sure there are some -, but to say the least: the build-up of big US military during WWII had unintended consequences. So, for example, the deadly war against Korea would probably not have happened without that large US military posture there resulting from WWII, and arguably, the war against Vietnam neither.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        January 9, 2012, 1:24 pm

        “I did not dive into the Pacific front of WWII deep enough to find out the big historic lies there – I’m almost sure there are some -”

        you may want to have a look at this short review written by Libertarian historian R.Raico.

        http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_06_4_raico.pdf

        I also recommend Raico’s further writings on WW I and II, and his debunking of the so-called ‘Great Leaders and Great Wars’

        http://www.scribd.com/doc/51852308/Raico-Great-Wars-Great-Leaders-A-Libertarian-Rebuttal

        http://mises.org/resources/6046

      • Koshiro
        Koshiro
        January 7, 2012, 6:53 am

        These statements rest on several assumptions I cannot support:
        a) That Japan had no choice but to go to war against the US. I disagree. If Japan had not directly attacked the US, but instead just continued grabbing undefended colonies of European nations, there would have been no immediate consequences. The decision to directly attack America was not a necessary one, and in hindsight from the Japanese perspective, it was a disastrous idea.
        b) That US military action was a decisive factor in the defeat of Germany. Again, I disagree. By the time the US made it felt militarily, the Soviets already had the upper hand.
        c) That Germany was not interested in war with the US. We know that Hitler assumed war against the US to be inevitable, and we also know that he enthusiastically and unnecessarily declared war against the US – even though the terms of the alliance with Japan did not require him to.

        Finally, it’s impossible to tell if the US provoking Japan into war did any good as far as the bigger picture is concerned. Yes, Japan’s colonial rule was horrible. Even more horrible was its democidal war in China. But Ron Paul would probably say that the US did not opt to negotiate with Japan in good faith in order to reach its goals diplomatically without simultaneously pushing Japan into a corner by means of an embargo.

        In any case: As I mentioned, Paul has said that US involvement in WW2 could not have been avoided at the time. But he has also said, IIRC, “Iraq is hardly Germany”.

      • jayn0t
        jayn0t
        January 8, 2012, 12:11 pm

        “Ron Paul would probably say that the US did not opt to negotiate with Japan in good faith”. Pat Buchanan’s book ‘Churchill, Hitler, and “the unnecessary war”‘ provides evidence for that argument about Japan, and Germany too.

      • Koshiro
        Koshiro
        January 8, 2012, 3:48 pm

        “Pat Buchanan’s book ‘Churchill, Hitler, and “the unnecessary war”‘ provides evidence for that argument about Japan, and Germany too.”
        Well, I’m skeptical about that. (And I don’t know Buchanan or his writings beyond what I can quickly look up on Wikipedia.) Hitler was a different league. The argument that the West should have just ‘let’ Hitler conquer Eastern Europe fails to take into account just how different a league. Stalin’s rule over Eastern Europe was horrible but there can be little doubt, from all the German plans we actually know about, that Hitler’s rule (part genocide, part enslavement) would have been far worse.
        (I am not going to fault him for effectively arguing that the Allies should have let the Holocaust happen, since the Allies did in fact let the Holocaust happen.)

  9. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    January 6, 2012, 10:40 am

    JS: “Indeed, when you remember what the Taliban did to Afghanistan, there was also a moral case for doing so [going to war for 10 years] –though obviously we would not have gone to war in the absence of 9/11. ”

    Obviously? Then why were we in Iraq? The plan to attack Iraq was made before 9-11.

    And now we (moral superheroes?) support the most brutal, worse-than-Stalinist Uzbekistan in order to have its help fighting the (IMO) less-bad-than-Stalinist Afghan-opposition. And Uzbekistan is a transit place for the heroin from Afghanistan. As our government must know. (But our “war on drugs” like our “war on terror” is a sham, but not without dreadful ill-effects including inside USA.)

    READ “Dirty Diplomacy” by Craig Murray to learn about Uzbekistan.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      January 6, 2012, 5:41 pm

      When you read what counterterroism expert Richard Clarke has written and said it sure sounds like it. No one in the Bush administration would meet with him. Hadley, Rice,..no one. Then Hadley putting those words back in Bush’s cinci speech.

      Former Secretary of the Treasure Paul O’Neil basically said that in the first Bush cabinet meetings all Wolfowitz and Cheney would talk about is Iraq, Iraq, Iraz

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      Jeffrey Blankfort
      January 9, 2012, 12:23 am

      There was a plan in the works to attack Afghanistan, as well, before 9-11, and it has nothing to do with the evils of the Taliban or of Al Qaeda but with the prospect of establishing an oil pipeline through Afghanistan and this has been well documented. The US has never launched a war for humanitarian reasons; no country has ever done that and anyone who believes otherwise is a bloody fool.

      After defeating the US, the victorious Vietnamese launched a war against the Khmer Rouge which resulted in the liberation of Cambodia from the murderous Pol Pot regime but that was not their reason for doing so. They attacked the Khmer Rouge in response to a series of attacks across their border initiated by the Khmer Rouge at the instigation of the Chinese who had launched their own attacks on the Vietnamese in 1978 which the Vietnamese had repulsed.

      Yugoslavia was attacked and dismembered, not because of the actions of the Serbs against the Bosnians, as bloody as they may have been, but because the government in Belgrade was pursuing policies independent of the US and NATO and that was not to be tolerated.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 9, 2012, 4:19 pm

        “The US has never launched a war for humanitarian reasons; no country has ever done that and anyone who believes otherwise is a bloody fool.”

        I completely agree. Benjamin Schwarz, literary editor of the Atlantic Monthly, wrote a great op-ed in the LA Times on June 22, 2000. It was fee-based to read it for years, but now it’s available:
        http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jun/22/local/me-43656

        A Serious Case of Mistaken Identity

        The U.S. is not the ‘indispensable nation,’ as a growing WWII mythology would suggest.

        Each June, Americans rightfully honor the bravery and sacrifice of the men who invaded Normandy in 1944. Recently, however, this celebration has too often lapsed into a solipsistic and deeply flawed revision of the U.S. role in World War II, which leads to equally self-congratulatory but far more dangerous conclusions about America’s purpose in the world today. If Americans are to get a more balanced view of their history and their global role, we should remember another June anniversary: today, the 59th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Russia.

        A national mythology has emerged that in 1941 the United States, appalled by the horrific policies of the Nazis, deliberately embarked on a crusade to rid the world of Hitler and to stop the Holocaust. D-Day was, according to this version of events, the decisive point in the “Good War,” when American troops, piously aware of the noble cause for which they fought, began the military operations that defeated Nazi Germany. Having beat Hitler and made possible a better world, the United States remains to this day what Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declares “the indispensable nation.”

        Some reminders are in order.

        First, of course, such a view slights the anti-Japanese dimension of the U.S. war, which was the real reason the United States had gone to war in the first place. Nazi Germany declared war on the United States in accord with its treaty with Japan; only then did the U.S. declare that Germany was its enemy too. For most Americans, the purpose of the war remained to exact revenge on the Japanese.

        Second, stopping the mass murder of the Jews didn’t figure in any way in either American war aims or conduct. As for American soldiers and sailors, they fought the war, as historian and critic Paul Fussell declares, “in an ideological vacuum.” The war was “about your military unit and your loyalty to it.” Plainly put, they fought the war to end it so that they could go home, a point of view entirely reasonable and even courageous, but hardly high-minded.

        As far as the U.S. contribution to defeating the Nazis goes, even though Time magazine anointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower as “The Man Who Defeated Hitler,” if any one man deserves that label, it’s Soviet Army Marshal G.K. Zhukov, or possibly Josef Stalin. The main scene of the Nazis’ defeat wasn’t Normandy or anywhere else Americans fought, but rather the Eastern Front, where the conflict was the most terrible war fought in history. It claimed 50 million Soviet civilian deaths and 29 million Soviet military casualties. But more to the point, Americans should recall that about 88% of all German casualties fell in the war with Russia.

        Until the Normandy invasion–from June 1941 to June 1944–almost the whole of the Nazi war machine was concentrated in the East; and even two months after D-Day, well over half the German army was still fighting the Soviets. Military historians date the war’s turning point two years before D-Day when, at Stalingrad, the Soviets eradicated 50 divisions from the Axis order of battle, or nearly one year before when, at the Battle of Kursk, the Red Army smashed the Wehrmacht’s strategic tank force, breaking the Nazis’ capacity for large-scale attack. And it was the Red Army that liberated Auschwitz and bore down on Hitler’s bunker.

        The moral narcissism that characterizes recent American discussion of our role in World War II breeds within too many of our statesmen a smug and reckless pride. After all, the thinking goes, if history has shown the United States to be so virtuous, then any that oppose us must be evil.

        Today, Americans need not honor the Russian dead as we do our own, but we should give credit where credit is due, and we must not make exaggerated claims for ourselves. In contemplating how our WWII role influences our conduct in the contemporary world, Americans should remember that self-righteousness is bad enough, but when it springs largely from a self-serving mythology, it is insufferable.

  10. Rusty Pipes
    Rusty Pipes
    January 6, 2012, 10:53 am

    I too have concerns about Paul’s candidacy, some of which were highlighted in Pollitt’s article:

    Ron Paul has an advantage over most of his fellow Republicans in having an actual worldview, instead of merely a set of interests—he opposes almost every power the federal government has and almost everything it does. Given Washington’s enormous reach, it stands to reason that progressives would find targets to like in Paul’s wholesale assault. I, too, would love to see the end of the “war on drugs” and our other wars. I, too, am shocked by the curtailment of civil liberties in pursuit of the “war on terror,” most recently the provision in the NDAA permitting the indefinite detention, without charge, of US citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism. But these are a handful of cherries on a blighted tree. In a Ron Paul America, there would be no environmental protection, no Social Security, no Medicaid or Medicare, no help for the poor, no public education, no civil rights laws, no anti-discrimination law, no Americans With Disabilities Act, no laws ensuring the safety of food or drugs or consumer products, no workers’ rights. How far does Paul take his war against Washington? He wants to abolish the Federal Aviation Authority and its pesky air traffic controllers. He has one magic answer to every problem—including how to land an airplane safely: let the market handle it.

    It’s a little strange to see people who inveigh against Obama’s healthcare compromises wave away, as a detail, Paul’s opposition to any government involvement in healthcare. In Ron Paul’s America, if you weren’t prudent enough or wealthy enough to buy private insurance—and the exact policy that covers what’s ailing you now—you find a charity or die. And if civil liberties are so important, how can Paul’s progressive fans overlook his opposition to abortion and his signing of the personhood pledge, which could ban many birth control methods? Last time I checked, women were half the population (the less important half, apparently). Technically, Paul would overturn Roe and let states make their own laws regulating women’s bodies, up to and including prosecuting abortion as murder. Add in his opposition to basic civil rights law—he maintains his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and opposes restrictions on the “freedom” of business owners to refuse service to blacks—and his hostility to the federal government starts looking more and more like old-fashioned Southern-style states’ rights. …

    Paul doesn’t get re-elected in his Texas district because of boutique positions like thinking Osama bin Laden should have been arrested, not assassinated.

    Supporting Ralph Nader in 2000 was at least a vote for one’s actual politics. Supporting Ron Paul is just a gesture of frivolity—or despair.

    I did not support Nader in 2000, but I wish we had a candidate like Kucinich giving voice to the range of Progressive concerns in this election cycle. Instead, we are left to try to find some motivation to turn out to support a constitutional law professor who has further eroded our civil liberties and a community organizer, who rather than fighting for us or getting everyone to yes, not only caves at the first pushback, but continually gave away progressive chips as a starting negotiating position and got no concessions in return. But he gives a good speech.

    So, progressives supporting Paul might be a measure of despair over the alternatives. Given the actual power of the Executive branch, I do not know what further damage to the social safety net of the New Deal and Great Society that a Paul presidency could inflict if he were serving with a Democratic House and Senate. I fear what parts of his libertarian domestic agenda would be enacted by a Republican controlled House or Senate. But I doubt that his libertarian rhetoric during the primary is going to drive further to the Right a Republican Party that was more than willing to defund government agencies to make them small enough to drown New Orleans in a bathtub.

    Unfortunately, these progressive concerns are not the ones in Pollitt’s article that attract Slater. Instead, he invokes Just War theory and derides pacifists as fools.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 6, 2012, 6:47 pm

      Pipes, there is no anti-imperialist candidate except Ron Paul, say whatever you want about his other stances; btw, he favors civil rights in that he is totally against the growing police state. Aren’t those two things important? Dennis Kucinich supports Ron Paul at least in those respects, which are HUGE with many streams down and around our nation’s basic fabric and its role in the world at large. AS Commander In Chief he would directly inform the American people in a way long past due regarding our foreign policy, and he could do something about it, despite congress. The things you dread about his domestic stances he would have much less power to affect. Isn’t it time to stop the sole superpower run amuck with military power and at the cost of $15 T in debt?

  11. mraine
    mraine
    January 6, 2012, 11:15 am

    “In short, Ron Paul is a simpleminded fool on 90% (at least) of the issues, domestic and foreign. There have been no good consequences or byproducts of his candidacy, he has worsened the already abysmal US political discourse…”
    I completely disagree! I am not a Ron Paul fan, but I applaud his attempts to bring a greater depth of understanding to our world engagements. For example, Yes – Saddam became a great threat to his own people and peace in the region. But most of the American public is not aware that the United States in our infinite wisdom, brought and set up Saddam in power in the first place! Another example, think Iran hates us? They used to love us – until we joined the British in taking down their democratic government (that wouldn’t play by OUR rules) in order to suck oil from their country. Now Paul takes this and seems to move toward a more isolationist policy which I believe is the wrong tactic. However, I wish the news media would pay more attention to the issues he brings up and help force the dialogue among the candidates to go deeper than the mini sound-bytes we are force fed.

    • john h
      john h
      January 6, 2012, 6:38 pm

      So, mraine, you’ve joined the fray here, welcome!

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 6, 2012, 7:04 pm

      mraine, I’m sure you’ve noticed nobody, e.g. on MSNBC-CNBC-FOX, or PBS or the Network TC is discussing Ron Paul’s foreign policy stance except to say it is “not mainstream.” Or, in the case of FOX, “wacky.” Interesting when such a stance as Ron Paul’s has been assigned by both sides of the fence as extremist isolationism, rather than anti-interventionist, eh? In fact the Pentagon Papers guy, the one who blew the lid off the Vietnam War, says he supports Ron Paul’s stance as a wise one.

  12. Bandolero
    Bandolero
    January 6, 2012, 11:29 am

    Dear Jerome Slater,

    Obamas record (freehand from memory – without googling)
    Surge in Afghanistan: ~10.000 killed
    Continued US-sponsored terror in Iraq: ~1000 killed
    Drone war against Pakistan: ~1200 killed
    Support of coup in Honduras: ~1000 killed
    Drone, missile terror against Yemen: ~100+ killed
    Drone, missile terror against Somalia: ~500 killed
    Misused UN mandate for war of agression against Libya: ~30.000 killed
    US-led-from-behind regime change attempt in Syria: ~3000 killed
    US-led-from-behind regime change attempts in Iran, Bahrain, Yemen: ~500 killed
    US-led-from-behind regime changes in Egypt, Tunisia: ~1000 killed
    Obama support for Operation Cast Lead: ~1200 killed

    I’m simpleminded. I would never ever vote for a warmongering mass murderer like Barack Obama is one. I think Obama should be tried in The Hague, next to Bush, Blair, Sarkozy, Cameron, Schröder, Merkel and the like, and the keys thrown away. Obama should be kept far away from any office, just like all the other warmongers and zionist stooges who run this year on Republican ticket. There is only one candidate seeking nomination from the major parties this year who is not a warmonger: Ron Paul.

    Maybe you don’t care. But I do.

    Best regards
    (Disclaimer: I’m German, but I never ever would vote for a warmonger, mass murderer or zionist stooge.)

    PS: By the way: Ron Paul’s policy makes fiscally a lot of sense, too. The war machine is quite expensive. I’ld take him in Germany any time and exchange him against our corrupt warmongers here. Believe me, I’m not advocating for Ron Paul because I think he’s bad for the US. From that point of view, I would support Barack O’Romney and the like. They will just bancrupt the US with endless wars, and the world is then rid of the serious problem of US imperialism and US backed zionism after the US is defeated in a protracted war – like the one looming against Iran. I would feel better not needing to witness the next one big war bringing the US down to it’s knees costing milions of lives.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 6, 2012, 7:08 pm

      Bandolero, I am an American but I agree with your comment completely. I imagine you are quite isolated in Germany with such a considered opinion–is that correct? God knows, I feel isolated here in the USA….

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 7:15 pm

        Ron Paul has been on CSPAN for the last 7 hours live; will be on until 8PM EST. A RP Town Meeting in Durham, NH. He’s way more knowledgeable than the RP haters here on MW having been saying, about a ton of things.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 7:22 pm

        RP on “corporate personhood:” Insurance should never have been connected to the job; should have been portable; not tax-disadvantage as to private health insurance. Big Corporations (drugs, insurance, etc) don’t care how big government is, they just want a piece of that pie. Corporations are not people who have responsibilities going along with rights. Corporations are not persons, only individuals are.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 6, 2012, 7:45 pm

        RP: “I have a modest position on cutting spending; you can’t not fulfill promises re social security or medicare; social security recipients paid their way. If we had a free market economy, there would be more burn centers such as the great one in my home town. Cutting the safety network is not a top priority of mine, I just would like to see us get back to self-reliance eventually. Medicare is in worse shape than Social Security. The dollars are not there. I won’t even touch medicaid if in office. ”

        Re how to handle Iran: “All nuclear bombs scare me, and we have had way too many of them. During USSR we were about to have a nuclear exchange at one point, when I was drafted. Compare Iran which has not even one bomb, the head of Mossad said if Iran gets nukes it won’t pose an existential threat to Israel; this supported by three US heads of commands, Generals. Goes into the deaths suffered by US soldiers. JFK at least had the wisdom to talk it out with Kruchev. More can be achieved without immediately resorting to violence. Sanctions are the first step to war, e.g. we had them on Iraq for ten years. What If China lined up as our navy does in ME–in Gulf Of Mexico? Iran has not forgotten 1953, where we overthrew democratic regime for Shah who ruled despotically for 23 yrs until Mullahs took over in 1979. This is blowback, which our CIA knows about. The French fought the Vietnamese for ages; we got involved to stop spread of reds; lost 60,000 troops, and now Vietnamese are our trading partners–point is war should be the very last thing you do. Also, just war of St Augustine are universal and I follow those; my goal is peace, not occupation.

        Re current health care system recently established: Anything we do could make it better; if we can’t repeal it, always give the people the option of getting out of the deal if it turns out to be a bad deal, same as Education system. Education and medicine–need ability to opt out. There will be rationing under Obamacare. Feds pump money in, but this does not give us quality, it pushes prices up. Govt says solution is give poor more money.

        Re being “unelectable” & media pushing same: Its wishful thinking on their part. I take on all the special interests. They are afraid they will lose their comfortable niche.

        We shouldn’t print money.

        Individual liberty is very much threatened in this country. Re 9/11, lots of overreaction; they passed the Patriot Act in a week; it should be repealed. Don’t go by name of bills in Washington DC. It’s gotten worse. Now POTUS has power to murder American citizens without trial. Even Eichmann got a trial, so how can we allow this without any charges or trial? The military can now enforce it–only 7 congress folks voted against it! You cannot even ask for a lawyer–we must protect our civil liberties! If we lose it, worrying about paying bills will not be of concern as life will have no meaning.

        In last 4 months, surge in interest in my campaign; look at what we were given and don’t let it vanish so easily. We may be headed for violence in the streets if our economy continues as is… Government is not for running your life. Our obligation is protection of individual liberty.

        Newt Gingrich is up next on CSPAN.

      • Bandolero
        Bandolero
        January 6, 2012, 8:20 pm

        “I imagine you are quite isolated in Germany with such a considered opinion–is that correct?”
        Well, I’m a bit isolated when it comes to be that consequent. However, the anti-war position grew very strong in Germany in the aftermath of WWII. After WWII it as a moral imperative for many Germans to say to war “Never again!” Many old people remember how they were fooled by the Nazis on liberating Poland, the Soviet Union and so on, and lot’s of those old people had developed very strong anti-war positions then.

        It was just sightly more than a decade ago that Germany took part in wars again. Before that the Western German politicians on the international stage told always that Germany can’t take part in wars “due to the burden of histoy.” Eastern Germany was even more categorically against war.

        But many old people died in the meantime, the US-led propaganda machine did it work and in the aftermath of the Soviet Unon break down, “a little bit” of war seemed to become “manageable” for many Germans again. However there is still a deep split between the population and the US-led propaganda machine reigning over Germany. Despite support from the US-led war propaganda machine, any war with German participation is still deeply unpopular in Germany, and supporting war is a political burden for all German politicians.

        As about 90% of German media in Germany are still somehow managed by the US and it’s stooges Germany is still something like a US colony. German politicians who speak out against the US and US-led wars will be shot down by the US-led propaganda machine, usually sniping somehow into the private sphere using some kind of kompromat shelved a long time ago. So German politicians usually try somehow to compromise between the US demand for war support and the people’s opposition to wars, by taking somehow a minor support role, if at all.

        However, the position of Germany as an informal US colony is today quite fluent. It pretty much looks like as if Germany is currently freeing itself from being an informal US colony and developing closer economic relations to Russia and China than it has with the US.

        So my hope, and that of a lot of ordinary and influential people in Germany, is, that the partnership with our eastern friends Russia and China will free Germany from the burden of being pressed by the US into wars and hostile behaviour against other nations which the Germans wouldn’t do if the were on their own. When Obama was here in Berlin on his 2008 election campaign, more than hundred thousand people came out, listened and cheered him, because they were fooled to think, he would end the war machine. I’m very sure: would Obama come on his 2012 tour again to Berlin, he woulld onlly draw few people and receive a welcome shows, rotten tomatoes and old eggs.

        Just see it in the UN security council vote on the war against Libya how Germany tries to break out from US war policies: instead of voting with the US, France and Britain for war, Germany abstained, together with Russia, China, Brazil and India. Of course, the German foreign minister Westerwelle is paying now a high price for it with continious smear campaigns by the US-led propaganda machine against him and his liberal business party, but he did it, just like Schröder opposed the Iraq war.

        There are powerful forces in Germany – on the left, in the center and on the right – who are really fed up with thinly veiled US-led wars of aggression and US coercion to support them. Germany is just in the process of disintegrating from the US empire and it’s war mongers. The largest non European trade partner of Germany is China.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 7, 2012, 6:16 am

        Thanks for sharing, Bandalero–good to know. You can tell your fellow citizens in Germany that some of us everyday Americans are also fed up with our government’s war mongering & the bent on turning us into a police state–the Messiah, Obama, signed our new Indefinite Detention Law on New Year’s Eve, the sneaky prick. This law effectively does away with due process of law protection for any American some unknown people in government decide is aiding or abetting a terrorist link. STASI anyone? Obama attached an invalid signing statement saying he personally wouldn’t arrest & detain any American on his watch. This of course is no consolation at all and an insult to the American people. The same law also allows the government to censor internet access and usage–all this in the official pretense we are engaged in a war and our homeland itself is a battlefield. I am reminded of what Goering said at Nuremberg–that people are sheeple and can be easily swayed to do anything simply by instilling Fear in them & this is true of democracies too. The average American is not fazed because he or she thinks it does not matter since they don’t consider themselves a terrorist, so they think it won’t affect them, just the bad guys. No slippery slope angst at all. Ron Paul is the only candidate for POTUS that would protect us from ourselves as well as protect the world from us. Many consider him a senile wacko.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 7, 2012, 11:46 am

        US-based Haim Saban bought your largest network, Bandalero, in the last five years or so.

      • jayn0t
        jayn0t
        January 8, 2012, 6:28 pm

        Germany is not quite ‘anti-war’. Every February, Germans hold up banners in Dresden saying Alles Gut Kommt Von Oben! Merkel sent a shipment of missiles to Israel, explicitly calling them reparations. She’s selling them from which they could launch nuclear missiles. This is not a good basis from which to oppose a US attack on Iran. Ron Paul wouldn’t stand a chance.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 3:25 pm

        “So my hope, and that of a lot of ordinary and influential people in Germany, is, that the partnership with our eastern friends Russia and China will free Germany from the burden of being pressed by the US into wars and hostile behaviour against other nations which the Germans wouldn’t do if the were on their own.”

        Wonderful! A good direction to move in. Now that Imperial Wars fought on the say-so of a President have become standard policy for the US, Germany would do well to think and act independently.

  13. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    January 6, 2012, 11:34 am

    “Re Phil Weiss’s argument that Paul could force the other Republican candidates, and maybe even Obama, to the left and adopt his anti-war agenda, this overlooks a much more likely consequence of Paul’s views: they will force the other Republican candidates to move further to the RIGHT, adopting his domestic agenda while ignoring his foreign ‘policies,’ if they can be so described.”

    I think this is about right. While many of Paul’s fans here are fans because of his foreign policy approach, don’t lose site of the fact that many of his fans in the larger world actually favor his Ayn-Rand-style, war-of-all-against-all economic ideas and his neo-Confederate views on the role of the federal government.

    It is more likely that that net result of the Paul candidacy will be for the eventual nominee adopting THOSE ideas, and not the foreign policy ones.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 7, 2012, 6:23 am

      Woody, there’s plenty of blocks that will prevent Paul from the extremes domestically you are so worried about–but there’s nobody but Paul standing against war on Iran and forever, and the partner, new STASI state blooming.

  14. January 6, 2012, 11:37 am

    Here is the latest news from a British version of Ron Paul, Nigel Farage the Great:)
    This man also says as it is.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG-o12EYOpw
    The politics of Western Europe has been hijacked by not so small group of international parasites, who desire money and power, on the expense of a common person. They made themselves very warm, prosperous seats in Brusselss ,while debating how to further destroy economy of Europe using law and tax money.
    Now they are still smiling ,but soon the smiles will be gone, when people of Europe start to realise, more and more, ( finally) that they are being robbed in a broad daylight, and spit out in the corner.
    Once they start losing the Power , they will resort to terror and violence and possibly war.
    That’s how it ends, when the “political experiment” done on societies fail.
    Look how French revolution ended , how Russian/chinese/ revolution started and ended, how nazi got to power and what happended after that.

  15. Mooser
    Mooser
    January 6, 2012, 11:42 am

    Ron Paul isn’t anti-war, he just favors private enterprise. He would (and you can look it up) favor letters-of-marque, and private armies doing the same things the government armies do now.

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      January 7, 2012, 1:28 pm

      He would (and you can look it up) favor letters-of-marque, and private armies doing the same things the government armies do now.

      Thanks, letters-of-marque wonderful perspective on aspects of 2000 years of men at sea, men that must have beards according to a German folksong.

      Bottom line we agree, but have our hesitations of the many war’s lined up next to WWII; in my mind there would be interest in a careful analysis of media hysterics in Clinton’s Operation Allied Force and Bush junior’s Operation Iraqi freedom.

  16. Mooser
    Mooser
    January 6, 2012, 11:44 am

    I agree with you, Jerome. The problem isn’t war, the problem is not enough war! You are too mediocre to realise it, but that was the point of your article.

    • Jerome Slater
      Jerome Slater
      January 6, 2012, 12:21 pm

      For the very first time, anonymous little Mouser, you have squeaked something useful. Here I had thought the point of my article was that distinctions had to be made when thinking about war, something that is clearly beyond the intellectual capacity of Ron Paul, you, and a number of other commentators here.

      Just to clarify the record, though I realize there is hardly any point to clarify anything with you or your ilk, here are the facts of my own antiwar position:

      1. I opposed the Vietnam war from its very start, essentially in 1963. I argued against the war in my Ohio State foreign policy classes, I marched with the Veterans Against the Vietnam War, and I participated in the national anti-war “teach ins” in April 1965, when Johnson escalated.
      My argument, unlike so many who came late to oppose the war, was not that we couldn’t win the war, but that we had no business being there, whether or not we could win it.

      2. I opposed the Iraq war, and wrote articles making the argument.

      3. I have been strongly against Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, not just the military attacks, but all aspects of that policy and behavior, and have written widely about it since the 1980s.

      4. I strongly oppose any attack on Iran, and in effect said so in my 2nd paragraph, despite the illiteracy of someone who thinks I said I was in favor of it.

      However, now that you have clarified my real point for me, I now realize that I was wrong to oppose these wars, and from now on I will be in favor all wars.

      • Bandolero
        Bandolero
        January 6, 2012, 12:48 pm

        @Jerome Slater
        I don’t want to disturb you prejudices on persons you describe as “thinking about war, something that is clearly beyond the intellectual capacity of Ron Paul.”

        But my impression from your article is that you don’t realize that Ron Paul actually voted with “Yes” to the “Authorization for Use of Military Force” after 9/11 (14.09.2001). See the vote here:

        http://web.archive.org/web/20071104024813/http://www.vote-smart.org/issue_keyvote_member.php?cs_id=V3064

        Am I correct, that you just did not realize Ron Pauls actual position, yet?

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 6, 2012, 5:53 pm

        Bandolero, and others who have pointed out that Paul says he would have voted to go to war against Germany and Japan after they declared war on us, and supported the authorization to attack Afghanistan after 9/11.

        Paul is a politician, running for office. Would you expect him to say he would have voted against a declaration of war on Germany and Japan, after they declared war on us? In fact, I believe him when he says he would have. But that isn’t the point. The point is that an isolationist Congress, then having a majority, tried to stop Roosevelt from aiding the victims of Nazi aggression, even if it meant, as it certainly appeared at the time, that Germany would have conquered all of Western Europe, including England. On the basis of Ron Paul’s philosophy, it is a reasonable inference that he would have supported that Congress.

        9/11. Same point. Would you expect a politician to vote against the use of force against Afghanistan after 9/11? The test is not how you vote after we’ve been attacked, but what the consequences are of an indiscriminately isolationist position, before such attacks.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        January 6, 2012, 7:56 pm

        “Would you expect a politician to vote against the use of force against Afghanistan after 9/11?”

        I would expect any turpitude of a politician.

        An honest, reasonable, man, however, would first have wanted to know what Afghanistan had to do with 9/11. If (very big “if”) he had been satisfied that there was good reason to suspect Osama bin Laden of being a guilty party, such a man would then have insisted that the arrangements for extradition of OBL be followed.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1539468.stm

        The Taliban wanted to see evidence against OBL before handing him over. This is standard practice in extradition cases. The US refused to provide it.

        An honest, reasonable, man would not have agreed to the destruction of a country just to try to capture one criminal.

      • Bandolero
        Bandolero
        January 6, 2012, 11:31 pm

        Dear Jerome Slater,

        ou wrote:

        “Bandolero, and others who have pointed out that Paul says he would have voted to go to war against Germany and Japan after they declared war on us, and supported the authorization to attack Afghanistan after 9/11.”

        I pointed out that Ron Paul in fact has supported to attack terrorists in Afghanistan thought to be responsible after 9/11. That’s not much different, but a bit something different as “attacking Afghanistan”. I also pointed out that Ron Paul was allegedly hesitant to support this because he feared misuse for the purpose of a continuing occupation, and that this misuse of authortity became reality.

        I did not speculate how Ron Paul would have voted regarding to war with Germany back in WWII, given he would have been in the same situation. I just pointed out, that i’m off the opinion that Germay was defeated by lease lend approved by congress in March 1941, not by American troops coming to Europe 1944. I argued that the main purpose of sending US troops to Germany in 1944 was different from defeating Germany – it was all about containing the Soviet Union and it’s communist ideology.

        Having said that and made clear my general stance by this let me now comment the points of your comment one by one.

        Paul is a politician, running for office. Would you expect him to say he would have voted against a declaration of war on Germany and Japan, after they declared war on us? In fact, I believe him when he says he would have.

        I’m off the opinion that Ron Paul has no special record of being afraid to speak out and vote against a general consensus. Ron Paul allegedly said even more controversial things about WWII than just that. His former employee Eric Dondero said “Ron Paul Claimed ‘Saving The Jews’ Was Absolutely None Of Our Business”

        Source:

        http://www.mediaite.com/online/former-aide-ron-paul-claimed-saving-the-jews-was-absolutely-none-of-our-business/

        I’m not sure if Eric Dondero is telling the truth but it fits into Ron Pauls pattern of speaking up against very powerful lobbies, even when he can’t gain anything from that. Besides of this history of WWII is a wicked thing. Powerful US people were among the main financial and ideologiacal backers of the rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Germany. Just remember Ford, GM and IBM as some prominent examples. When WWII was started the US argued whether to back or to fight Hitler. Finding in such a debate a compromise in doing nothing is something different than isolationism In reality the US initially found a compromise in supporting both sides of WWII – the British and the Germans, and profit from business with both sides. If you like I may further go into the details of that part of history.

        But that isn’t the point. The point is that an isolationist Congress, then having a majority, tried to stop Roosevelt from aiding the victims of Nazi aggression, even if it meant, as it certainly appeared at the time, that Germany would have conquered all of Western Europe, including England.

        That’s clearly not what the US congress did in 1941. The US congress voted for lease lendin March 1941 – before the declaration of war. That was not isolationism and it was very different from allowing Nazis to conquer the whole of Europe, including Britain – and the Soviet Union. However, the congress opposed to use US troops for reaching these goals. It made sense, because US troops were not needed to defeat Nazi Germany. US troops were only needed to prevent the Soviet Union to defeat Nazi Germany.

        On the basis of Ron Paul’s philosophy, it is a reasonable inference that he would have supported that Congress.

        I can’t see this point besides that Ron Paul is labeled a “isolationist” and that congress was labeled “isolationist.” Besides the common deprecatory label I can’t see any common substance. Neither the congress at the time was really “isolationist” nor Ron Paul is – as seen by his Afghanistan vote.

        But even given the congress at the time would have got it’s way against FDR, what would have changed? Truman would not have build a US-led military empire then, so what? Probably there would have been no Korea war, no vietnam war, no militar industrial complex and the US would have led the world by example instead of by gunpoint. I would not see it as a that bad development of history.

        9/11. Same point. Would you expect a politician to vote against the use of force against Afghanistan after 9/11? The test is not how you vote after we’ve been attacked, but what the consequences are of an indiscriminately isolationist position, before such attacks.

        I would suspect a more humble foreign policy as Ron Paul suggests it would not lead to attacks as 9/11. I think it’s true that the 9/11 attacks occured because the US is too aggressive in the world. I don’t think it’s accidential that the attackers – whoever backed them – took aim at the US as target, and not China. In a text said to be of Bin laden it was said, that the attacks reached exactly what they should have reached.

        It was said Al Qaeda reached it’s goal: the US overstreched due to an irresponsable reponse and is collapsing of bancruptcy. If that was the goal of the terrorists, the attacks of 9/11 were extremely successful reaching it aims, just because US policy makers are notorious war mongers. But for the populations of the collateral damage, people Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, Somalia … the US-led wars in response of 9/11 were really horrific. Only settlers in occupied Palestine gain from the deflection of attention.

        “I know what America is,” Netanyahu said. “America is a thing you can move very
        easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in the way.”

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        January 7, 2012, 12:42 am

        “Would you expect him to say he would have voted against a declaration of war on Germany and Japan, after they declared war on us? In fact, I believe him when he says he would have. But that isn’t the point.”

        LOLZ

        “The test is not how you vote after we’ve been attacked, but what the consequences are of an indiscriminately isolationist position, before such attacks.”
        Oh my. So if I say that I am a person who doesn’t get into fights with other people, that’s “the test” for me- not whether I will fight back after I’ve been attacked?

        Well, that’s actually a principle I like in a person- someone who does not get into fights. Admittedly maybe sometimes they could indirectly end up in a fight trying to help someone. But anyway, as a general principle I agree with this “pacifism”.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        January 7, 2012, 6:52 am

        “Journalist Jeffrey Shapiro posted a 2009 interview he held with the GPO’s leading candidate, in which Paul clearly states that if it were up to him at the time, saving the Jews from annihilation in Europe would not have been a “moral imperative.”

        “I asked Congressman Paul: If he were president of the United States during World War II would he have sent American troops to Nazi Germany to save the Jews? And the Congressman answered: No, I wouldn’t.””

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/27/1049297/-Ron-Paul-to-Jews-in-WWII:-Good-Luck-you-are-on-your-own

        For the record.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 7, 2012, 6:05 pm

        The test is not how you vote after we’ve been attacked, but what the consequences are of an indiscriminately isolationist position, before such attacks.

        What on earth is that supposed to mean? That Afgahnistan should have been attacked before 911?

      • Rusty Pipes
        Rusty Pipes
        January 7, 2012, 7:47 pm

        Are you a Kossack (or Kog)? Knowing how you like to use the same handle at other sites, like Tikun Olam, I searched your username at the Garish Orange Site and came up empty. It is amazing how a person who runs his own blog, posts thousands of comments on this blog, following it so closely that many of your comments arrive as “firsts” (even though some of them do get delayed by moderators), and would post even more comments at Tikun Olam if RS would only let you — how such a busy person as yourself has the time to follow obscure diaries (by an average user, not on the rec list and with only 45 comments) on Daily Kos.

      • Koshiro
        Koshiro
        January 8, 2012, 7:25 am

        Since the actual President at the time did not send troops to Nazi Germany to save the Jews, why would it have been a reasonable assumption that whoever else would have been President at the time would have done differently?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 3:33 pm

        “Journalist Jeffrey Shapiro posted a 2009 interview he held with the GPO’s leading candidate, in which Paul clearly states that if it were up to him at the time, saving the Jews from annihilation in Europe would not have been a “moral imperative.”

        “I asked Congressman Paul: If he were president of the United States during World War II would he have sent American troops to Nazi Germany to save the Jews? And the Congressman answered: No, I wouldn’t.””

        For the record.”

        Cause if there is anything we trust Richard Witty on, it’s quotes, and his use of them. And I’m betting this one is no exception Okay, click the link, let’s go see!
        Well what do you know, this is a diary on DK written by “volleyboy1” for “Team Shalom”.
        Good one, Richard, your record on the use of quotes remains intact.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 4:05 pm

        OTOH, here, instead of Team Shalom’s fake version of Ron Paul, that very same Slater version of a goy simpleton who is so obtuse he cannot see that American Jews determine US foreign policy, and not the 98% of America that is non-Jewish, and will do so forever, yes, indeedy, here he is in person, back in that innocent cliff year of 2002 in all his simple peasantdom, telling us what is likely to happen if we Americans continue status quo US foreign policy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ifJG_oFFDK0#!

        It’s pretty obvious Ron Paul is not ivy-league bred, eh?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 5:26 pm

        And what is the test for determining manufactured pretext for war? The test for goading someone into war? What should we make of US unwillingness to talk to Iran or Hamas? Not enough diplomats?

      • irena
        irena
        January 6, 2012, 1:16 pm

        Slater, I do not think any commentators here (or Ron Paul) are against ALL wars. Congressional and executive approval go into contemplating about military intervention, is that so bad?
        Also, I wanted to ask you, Bosnia and Kosovo might look very similar but thee were distinctions. While Bosnian Muslims were at a great disadvantage, the KLA was involved in ethnic cleansing of Kosovar Serbs as well, we chose to side with them because of Serbian alignment with Russia. The fact that we lobbied for recognition of Kosovar independence even though Kosovo has a much weaker case compared to Palestinians who we lobby against, only reinforces why we step in for “humanitarian” purposes. Correct me if I am wrong but more often than not, our foreign adventures have been imperialistic in nature.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 6, 2012, 1:34 pm

        I was on the side of the Serbs in that war. The KLA (Albanian) were left over SS troops, same insignia, same organization. Albright was screwing the head of the KLA, Thaci, known as The Snake.

      • Rusty Pipes
        Rusty Pipes
        January 6, 2012, 2:45 pm

        When one of the site’s owners is a former employee of the American Friends Service Committee, it is safe to assume that among the friends of this site, readers and commenters, are people who oppose all wars — whether because they are opposed to killing people for ethical reasons or because they believe that, no matter how justified any war looks on paper, in practice it is impossible to fulfill the requirements for a Just War.

      • irena
        irena
        January 6, 2012, 3:05 pm

        Hmm did not know that, can you link me to that? Although Albanians were being persecuted under Milosevic, there should’ve been a better way than to side with an organization which adopted ethnic cleansing as well.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        January 6, 2012, 4:07 pm

        Ron Paul voted for the Afghanistan response

      • Bandolero
        Bandolero
        January 7, 2012, 3:46 am

        @irena
        The war against Yugoslawia was very much a US-German war. On signs of SS and so on I didn’t hear anything important and credible, yet. However on the policy leading to that war I know a bit.

        Back in 1991 Germany – and the US – backed all kind of separatists in Yugoslavia. The policy was named self-determination of the people – in opposition of non-itervention into the internal affairs of another state. Russia and China ere tooo weak to efficiantly oppose. It ultimately led to multiple mass murderers of a large scale.

        The 1999 war was the last stage of that policy. Yugoslavia was already broken, and then it was the geostrategical target to break Serbia into pieces as well to get rid of Russian influence in Europe. Germany took the lead. UCK people (“Kosovo Liberation Army” backed by CIA) were controlling lot’s of organized crime in Germany back then, and there are rumors that they blackmailed German politicians to fight the war against Serbia for them, but I have no reliable source for that allegation – free speach is a concept not realized in Germany, especially when it comes to affairs of a powerful mafia. Let me say so much: I know them, they know me.

        But what I can say is that the war was – surprise, surprise – based on lies. See here for example, German TV: It started with a Lie – Nato Aggression against Serbia 1999:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI4kz8CSYmA

        Now, more than ten years later the results of the war against Serbia are:

        1. The US has big bases in Kosovo/Albania, supposedly mainly used as distribution center for Afghan heroine into Europe
        2. There are still thousands of foreign – mostly German – troops in Kosovo, which are needed to separate Serbians and Kosovo-Albanians not to spark the war again
        3. Kosovo is a core of organized crime in Europe (weapons, body-parts, women, drugs, etc), with the main mafia bosses an the CIA reigning the newly independent country “Kosovo”.

        So whatever good intentions there may have been, if there were any good intentions at all, the results are not really good.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 8, 2012, 9:55 am

        Yes, Bandolero, that is the info most Americans know nothing about. I lost so many friends during that war because I complained so vociferously about what we were doing there. I was proven right after it was over and after no one cared, least of all the friends I alienated. Taught me a lot about the danger and susceptibility of groupthink on a national scale, which shocked me, but I then understood first hand how correct Goebbels was: make the lie big enough and no one is going to doubt you.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 4:11 pm

        Ron Paul voted for a small SEAL-like entry into Afghanistan for the purpose of killing key Al Quaida operatives there, and getting ASAP out. His fellow congress folks turned this into “nation building.” He was well aware of Afghanistan as an historical grave for foreign big powers.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 1:47 pm

        “For the very first time, anonymous little Mouser”

        Okay, Slater, you will regret that remark. It isn’t enough for you that I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars of my parent’s money (and my wife’s) on psychiatrists to try and answer the question “Am I a man or a Moose?” And now, you introduce the proposition that I may be a cat (“Mouser”) or even a rodent? (mouse)
        Well, let me tell you something “Slater” (as if that is indeed your real name)!! The alienst’s bills will start arriving at both your residence and the college at which you “teach”. If I were you (a proposition I refuse to consider) I would pay them promptly, unless you want this entire thing made public, and dragged through the courts!

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 5:30 pm

        Are you talking to Christian Slater? Is he here?

  17. stevieb
    stevieb
    January 6, 2012, 11:47 am

    “Afghanistan after 9/11. Not quite as unanimous as in the case of WWII, an overwhelming majority of Americans (including me) thought that 9/11 made it was necessary to go after both the Taliban and, in particular, Osama bin Laden”,

    I don’t believe that an overwhelming majority supported the attack on Afghanistan.

    I believe a majority would have liked to see a proper trial and conviction of the perpetrators of 9/11 – whoever they are, and with proper evidence and in a criminal court. Call me crazy, but that’s what I believe.

  18. NorthOfFortyNine
    NorthOfFortyNine
    January 6, 2012, 12:07 pm

    Commenters have already covered most points here. Let me pile on. WWII was a defensive war that Paul would have enjoined. As for the Taliban, two things: 1) The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11 and 2) Even as “bad” as the Taliban is, is Slater seriously suggesting the US invade and occupy every bad regoime in the world? Gulf War #1 was all about Kuwait using directional drilling to steal Iraqi oil — does Slater think the only way to have solved that was by invading? As Paul says — the US has thousands and thousands of diplomats — why not use some of them?

    Somewhat off topic, others have been asking as to why Ron Paul attracts the youth interest he does. Some have derisively cited his opposition to the drug laws — yeah, dope smokin” deadbeats like Paul. I think a better explanation that cuts across party lines relates to how the older generation has bagged the younger generation with a mountain of debt and a thin slit of opportunities. The right has done this with war & wall street; the left has done this with unsustainable entitlements and corrupt unions.

    Speaking to the left — how is a kid supposed to feel when he can’t get a job at the fire department because the local council has to support a coterie of firefighters who retired at 52 with full benefits?

    The boomer generation f-cked us. It would be nice to be able to afford Slater’s & Ratner’s & Pollitt’s high ideals. But we can’t. They and their ilk bled us dry. So f-ck them right back. -N49.

    • MRW
      MRW
      January 6, 2012, 1:27 pm

      N49,

      You wrote exactly how I feel–although the retiring with full benefits thing I will address below–when you wrote this and I am a baby boomer:

      The boomer generation f-cked us. It would be nice to be able to afford Slater’s & Ratner’s & Pollitt’s high ideals. But we can’t. They and their ilk bled us dry. So f-ck them right back

      I mean, I sincerely do feel that way. We (baby boomers) never wanted for anything, not in this country. And we never experienced the utter horror of war, not in this country. But what did we do? We visited these things on other peoples, preemptively, through some misbegotten idea of values that we didn’t get from reading real history, but that we got from watching movies.We’re the bestest, the richest, the most powerful, the most entitled, and we know what’s best for everyone else on the planet. So some group goes hungry because we’re polluting their water, bring ’em over here and they can work as maids/fill in the blanks.

      And my generation is still stupid. I’ve spent nine months asking, casually, people I strike up a conversation with, who are mostly baby boomers, if they understand how the Treasury and Fed work–not in theory, not philosophically, not historically, but right now, operationally–and how both of those fed-level agencies operate vis-a-vis banks. In other words, how does the United States (or Canada, for that matter) create money. No one has the slightest clue, but they presume to have an opinion on what’s wrong with the economy and how to fix it.
      ————

      About those firefighter retiree benefits. One of the reasons people who take government jobs take lower pay throughout their careers (they can’t earn the soaring sums of Finance or industry when they get to the top) is the promise of greater benefits to make up for it. In addition, N49, those firefighters paid into their retirement accounts–it was their money–and it was the city council’s job (or whatever agency) to manage them properly. Instead, during the roaring late 90s and early 00s, the pension funds succumbed to the stock market and derivatives fever and put those funds at risk. Adam Curtis did a great bit on this in one of his BBC documentaries. Think it was “The Trap.” And financiers, in the US, Canada, Great Britain, went after the pension funds for investment. It’s what Michael Milken did with his junk bonds in the late 80s and 90s, and why he was so successful.

      But that comes around to my baby boomer argument: no one sat down and thought through the consequences.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        NorthOfFortyNine
        January 6, 2012, 1:51 pm

        @ MRW: In addition, N49, those firefighters paid into their retirement accounts–it was their money

        Well, yes & no. Before it was their money it was first the taxpayer’s money. Deals were made. And, net-net, here we are. A kid of 23 cannot imagine a life like that of his dad.

        I recommend Michael Lewis’ latest article on the municipal bust in Californaii-ay. Snippet:

        Over the past dec­ade the city of San Jose had repeatedly caved to the demands of its public-safety unions. In practice this meant that when the police or fire department of any neighboring city struck a better deal for itself, it became a fresh argument for improving the pay of San Jose police and fire. The effect was to make the sweetest deal cut by public-safety workers with any city in Northern California the starting point for the next round of negotiations for every other city. The departments also used each other to score debating points. For instance, back in 2002, the San Jose police union cut a three-year deal that raised police officers’ pay by 18 percent over the contract. Soon afterward, the San Jose firefighters cut a better deal for themselves, including a pay raise of more than 23 percent. The police felt robbed and complained mightily until the city council crafted a deal that handed them 5 percent more premium pay in exchange for training to fight terrorists. “We got famous for our anti-terrorist-training pay,” explains one city official. Eventually the anti-terrorist-training premium pay stopped; the police just kept the extra pay, with benefits. “Our police and firefighters will earn more in retirement than they did when they were working,” says Reed. “There used to be an argument that you have to give us money or we can’t afford to live in the city. Now the more you pay them the less likely they are to live in the city, because they can afford to leave. It’s staggering. When did we go from giving people sick leave to letting them accumulate it and cash it in for hundreds of thousands of dollars when they are done working? There’s a corruption here. It’s not just a financial corruption. It’s a corruption of the attitude of public service.”

        Great read: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/11/michael-lewis-201111

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 4:19 pm

        Lots of government entities and quasi government entities have invested all along in Israel bonds too–the union rank and file never has had a clue about that, and that it’s never been “such a deal” for their nest egg. I agree with both entailed comments.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      January 6, 2012, 4:06 pm

      Read about that slant drilling back stealing Iraqi oil. And the US gave the nod to Saddam

  19. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    January 6, 2012, 12:58 pm

    It’s not that easy either to identify or to evaluate the set of consequences resulting from a decision for war or for peace. Did WW1 more or less cause the Russian Revolution? If WW2 hastened the end of the British Empire, was that a bad thing? There’s no black box into which we can look and see the world as it would have been if the southern states had been allowed to secede or had there been a French intervention in the Spanish Civil War or…or…or. But the most obvious consequence, the loss of life and the loss of ‘treasure’ – economic resources – surely deserve some sort of place in the forefront of minds. WW2 had absolutely enormous costs of both sorts.
    I must admit that I don’t look back on all decisions for war with total regret. I even think that the decisions for war in 1914 are more understandable than many people think. Still, I want to know a bit more about what makes wars ‘just’. Concentration on a few agreed examples may be a bit misleading if we never ask on what points our agreement rests.
    The standard theory is that self-defence is acceptable and just, aggression not. How then can we interpret humanitarian war, in defence of others not of ourselves, as just?
    The standard theory is that non-combatants must be reasonably immune. Slater is right, I suppose, that this could not mean total immunity or even rule out some quite serious acts of destruction: perhaps the British bombing of Dresden was, though I grieve over it, somewhere within the moral limits. But it must mean at very least that there is some limit to the non-combatant casualties that we can accept. In respect of humanitarian war we should, I’d think, oppose a war that we predict will fill the growing years of a person being born near the beginning of the conflict with far more death and danger than the continuation of peace, even under a tyrant, would have done – otherwise I think there is paradox. I don’t see anything in Slater’s apparatus that would enable to set limits at all and therefore there is something that points, as Mooser indicates, to the perpetual war syndrome, where there is never enough war until the human race is purified – another paradox.

    • Jerome Slater
      Jerome Slater
      January 6, 2012, 5:15 pm

      M. Hughes: “I don’t see anything in Slater’s apparatus that would enable to set limits at all and therefore there is something that points, as Mooser indicates, to the perpetual war syndrome, where there is never enough war until the human race is purified – another paradox.”

      No, that’s not right. We’re not talking about “Slater’s apparatus” here, or at least we shouldn’t be, as my “apparatus” is based on two thousand years of moral and religious philosophy that has seriously examined the problem of war. That apparatus is known as “Just war philosophy,” and I can assure you that it doesn’t lead to a perpetual war syndrome. On the contrary, the purpose is to make war as rare as possible, given (a) the impossibility of eliminating war altogether and (b) the problem that while all war is evil in some sense, it sometimes is less evil than the consequences of refusing to go to war.

      Just war theory starts from the premise that no war can be considered just unless it meets all the following criteria (and some others that are too complicated to go into here):

      1. The cause must be just. Primarily, but not exclusively, self-defense. Sometimes humanitarian intervention–saving not yourselves, but others–is justified. Sometimes, I said. Libya may end up being a good example, but it is much too soon to tell.
      2. War can only be chosen as a last resort, when all other methods of reaching a peaceful solution or a just goal have been tried, but failed.
      3. The war must be authorized by legitimate authority. In the context of the U.S. govt, that means that Congress has to authorize it. This criterion was not met in WWII, Vietnam, or Libya. Still, we judge these wars to be different. In WWII there was no sensible or moral choice but to ignore Congress, that is, the law of the land. In Vietnam, NONE of the criteria were met, so it was an overwhelmingly unjust war. In Libya, a harder case. So far, the end may have justified the means–meaning that despite the fact that Obama followed in the paths of nearly all his predecessors since Roosevelt in ignoring the constitutional separation of powers and the War Powers Act,so far the evidence is that two morally legitimate and just goals may have been attained: (1) saving far more innocent lives than were lost (2) ridding a people of a bizarre tyranny. So far, I said: the balance might shift, and it might not.

      4. The methods by which wars are fought–even just wars–must also be just. This means several things. First, it means that damage caused by war cannot be disproportionate to the purpose of the war, no matter how just that purpose might be. Second, every effort must be made to distinguish between legitimate military targets and noncombatants. Third, and most sweepingly, it means that noncombatants can never be intentionally attacked.

      Most wars throughout history cannot meet these demanding criteria–but some can–so far, cross your fingers, Libya. And Afghanistan also would have, if the goals had been limited, as they should have been, to destroying the al-Qaeda bases and getting Osama bin Laden.

      Incidentally, the bombing of Dresden–and also of other German and Japanese cities at the end of WWII,
      do NOT meet the moral criteria of just war philosophy–they were deliberately intended to kill civilians and, worse yet, they could not be justified as necessary to win the war, since there was no longer any doubt about the war’s outcome.

      Finally, if you want a very brief but good introduction to just war theory, put that into Google and read the Wikipedia article.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        January 6, 2012, 5:51 pm

        This is the perfect illustration of modern American Liberalism. No matter what the state does, I will always love the state. It doesn’t matter how many times the state and it’s human actors lie the country into war, I will always love the state. It doesn’t matter how many times president’s routinely break the law in taking the country to war, I will always love the state. Just say the word “humanitarian” and I am there.

        The jury is still out on Libya, according to Slater, but he’s got a good feeling. Not just about the potential outcome, but about the reasons for military action. Wesley Clark says it was long in the making, along with Syria. Funny how Syria now is also in the midst of a “humanitarian” crisis.. There seem to be a lot of humanitarian crises in resource rich parts of the world, eh?

        Let’s be honest with ourselves. “Humanitarian” is the Left’s “Communism” – All you have to do is say, “humanitarian” and its bombs away.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        January 6, 2012, 6:31 pm

        You patronise me a bit. Perhaps I deserve it. Philosophers have indeed debated the topic though without, I think, reaching consensus supported by good reasons on all important matters.
        You seem to limit non-combatant casualties not by their scale exactly but by their relationship to the purposes of the war and by the intention of the attacker. I think that there are difficulties in this approach.
        If the purpose is to eliminate a terrible evil the limits on the suffering I can inflict – the evil is so bad; victory is so imperative – are reduced, perhaps to a disturbing degree.
        The purpose not just of winning the war but of hastening its end seems to become highly legitimate, so that ‘the war is already won’ becomes correspondingly less important.
        If I know that the only available way to attack an urgently menacing military target is a way which will kill thousands of non-combatants and I go ahead and press the button then my action was not what I wished, but it was what I willed. Intention becomes an ambiguous and therefore not a decisive concept here, I’d suggest.
        Your treatment of the Legitimate Authority criterion and of how it can be set aside is quite original, as far as I know – to my mind too subjective. On your showing the United States participated in WW2 unjustly by most traditional standards.
        The whole relationship between idealistic and legalistic speech and violent action is a very difficult one, as was demonstrated long ago. ‘Law is the ruler of all things and it drives on, justifying with its high hand whatever is more violent’. You probably know who wrote that and what great wars he knew. I guess it can also be googled.

      • Donald
        Donald
        January 6, 2012, 6:34 pm

        That’s a good summary of just war theory, but in my opinion it’s fair to say that the American government, both Democrats and Republicans (with some honorable exceptions) do not subscribe to it. They claim they do, but they don’t.

        So again, that’s where Ron Paul comes in. I agree with most of the criticisms made of him by you and Woody Tanaka and others, and wouldn’t vote for him or even give him money, but I keep coming back to what seems to me a crucial point–he’s raising the issue of war and peace in a way that progressives should applaud. We don’t have to applaud most of the rest of his platform. But why is it so damn difficult for some liberals to admit that Paul is voicing the kind of skepticism about US military intervention that we would like to see in the public arena? Glenn Greenwald and Corey Robin and several other writers have made this point repeatedly at various blogs. Most people should be reading Glenn already (if not, they don’t know what they are missing.) Here is Corey Robin, who you will note is not a Paul supporter–

        Ron Paul has two problems–one is his the other is ours

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 6, 2012, 7:14 pm

        Donald: A legitimate question. Off the top of my head, I have two responses. The first is the one I’ve already given to Phil Weiss’s making of the same point that you, Greenwald, and others are also making: I have a different prediction than you folks on the consequences of his campaign: I think it is more likely that no one running for president, especially on the Republican side, will move towards Paul positions on war, even when they are legitimate (I also oppose an attack on Iran, aid to Israel, and others)–rather, it is more likely, in my view, that his foreign policy positions will be ignored, but that his domestic imbelicities will force Republican candidates who probably know better–Romney, and certainly Huntsman–to move to the right. Indeed, I shouldn’t call it a “prediction,” it has already happened.

        The second point, and I haven’t articulated this even to myself until your question required me to do so, is that I don’t share the underlying premise of a lot of those in this discussion, including Greenwald, who I almost always admire: namely that the “prowar” disposition is so strong in this country that we need Ron Paul to make the counterarguments. Obama inherited the Afghan War and the Iraq War, and the bottom line is that he’s getting out, even though we will probably, in some sense, end up losing those wars– and I don’t detect vociferous opposition to that from any quarter–not even from most of the Republican candidates. And why not? Because the mood of the country is hardly prowar. You no longer get elected in this country by promising imperial ventures overseas.

        Any good liberal can–and has–made the legitimate antiwar arguments, for example, against an attack on Iran, we don’t need an extremist and a crackpot to make them. In this connection, I will not resist adding that the steaming, vociferous, howling hatred of liberals of a lot of people on this site is just awful. Ironically, it is just like the Bolsheviks in Russia, and communist parties in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s: it wasn’t the rightwingers that they hated the most, it was the democratic socialists.

      • Donald
        Donald
        January 6, 2012, 8:15 pm

        I don’t think Ron Paul will move the other Republican candidates–I hadn’t really thought of that. I do think it’s good to have someone, anyone, making the antiwar case.

        Right now I don’t think the country is in the mood for another land war in Asia, but I’m not so sure about air strikes against Iran. The other Republican candidates seem to favor this sometimes and even the Democrats seem willing to posture–so does the media, which often takes for granted that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon and has to be stopped at all costs. So we could blunder into a war with our own rhetoric and actions. Plus we or Israel or both seem to be engaged in assassinations and sabotage (what we’d call terrorism) against Iran already. So the current policy could bring us a full scale war whether anyone quite intends it or not.

        Some of the criticisms of liberals here is the standard complaint people on the left have against mainstream liberals, particularly those who are seen as pro-military intervention. You’ll remember this better than most–Hubert Humphrey was very liberal domestically, but because of his association with LBJ and support for Vietnam the antiwar left hated him. (I was a child then, but have read about it.) For that matter LBJ was a liberal domestically.

        I myself am not always sure what people mean by the word “liberal”. I call myself that sometimes and at other times rail against “liberals”, meaning those who say they are liberal but often take rightwing positions. It’s a word that takes in a wide range of people (sorta the way the term “liberal Zionist” would include you on the one hand and Tom Friedman on the other end.)

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        January 7, 2012, 7:05 am

        Jerome is correct that the republican field is partially forced to the right on economic, small government, lobbying regulation issues by Ron Paul’s candidacy.

        He gets the tea partiers energized. His foreign policy proposals aren’t based on the concept of restraint, as in voluntary restraint, but in isolation as in taking all options off the table.

        He encourages the urge to eliminate the EPA or the SEC. Those are the role of governance, and not effective at all at a state level, or even voluntary consortium of state.

      • kalithea
        kalithea
        January 7, 2012, 11:23 am

        “His foreign policy proposals aren’t based on the concept of restraint, as in voluntary restraint, but in isolation as in taking all options off the table.”

        FALSE. His foreign policy is based on NON-INTERVENTION which still engages other countries as opposed to ISOLATION.

        STOP PERPETRATING THIS LIE.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 3:38 pm

        “foreign policy is based on NON-INTERVENTION which still engages other countries as opposed to ISOLATION.”

        And I would hope that Ron Paul also favors returning to the Constitutionally mandated requirement for Congress to declare war, before we go and fight one. At least then I might be able to tell who it is, exactly Americans are dying for, or because of, or something.

      • irena
        irena
        January 9, 2012, 5:06 pm

        He actually does advocate that

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 5:47 pm

        Witty, you’re view of Ron Paul’s views are childishly simple. Put a little effort into understanding and reading and listening to what he has been saying and doing for 3o years–pretend he is Israel.

      • Koshiro
        Koshiro
        January 9, 2012, 5:08 am

        The theory of just war as you present it (and your interpretations make it very much your own) has not exactly had a good record of success in preventing wars, including patently unjust wars.

        You would give a government, or even just a branch of a particular government, the right to decide whether it meets the wobbly criteria you’d apply to “just war” or not. The results are not difficult to discern:

        Cast Lead was a just war.
        Gulf War II was a just war.
        The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a just war.

        Everybody fights only just wars. Nobody will ever say “We’re going to fight an unjust war”. And since you’re willing to place the decision whether a war is just or unjust in the hands of whoever starts the war, there objectively is no unjust war – so the term has no meaning.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        January 9, 2012, 9:23 am

        Just War Theory is a branch of war propaganda and psychological operations. It specializes in pushing the masses into wars on behalf of financial elites while providing the masses with rationales to feel good about themselves. Feeling self-righteous about one’s cause improves morale and performance in the battlefield. In other words, Just War Theory is basically a con and a tool of social control.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 3:54 pm

        “In other words, Just War Theory is basically a con and a tool of social control.”

        And nobody ever discusses the legality of America’s intervention, or the Constitutionality of them, or even the financing of them. No, we discuss whether they are “justified” or not. What a great way of avoiding the real questions. Cause it makes you feel so special and god-like. I, of course, exempt Prof. Emeritus Jerome Slater from this delusion, he’s already a god.
        Me, I’m just a man (well, sort of, anyway) and the only thing I ever think about war is that they will force me to fight and die in it, and that it is wrong to do that to anybody. But then again, I do not have Slater’s god-like perspective of “supporting” (yeah, Jerry, they were all just waiting up nights to hear what you thought. I can just hear Bush: “But Prof. Slater, what does he think. I can’t make a move til I know!”) war.
        And, of course, it’s not for Prof. Slater to worry about war’s effect on the civil rights of Americans, the amount of money spent on it, who the military is manned. Nah, that’s all for the little people. No, Prof. Emeritus Slater, from his god-like perch (hmmm, what else is pictured on a perch) weighs wars, empires, good, evil in the balance and delivers his judgement.
        I mean, you know, being reflexively terrified of war, and feeling it can only harm you or kill you, and that “supporting” or “opposing” a war is simply an excersise in absurdity is so, well, so Jewish in that awful, pre-Zionist weak-Jew kind of way. Can’t have that!

      • Koshiro
        Koshiro
        January 9, 2012, 5:18 am

        In a related matter: Didn’t you say earlier that WW2 was a just war? But now you have admitted that it was fought in an unjust manner (by intentionally incinerating German and Japanese children, among other things.) So it wasn’t a just war after all?
        I’m also uncertain how WW2 – accepting your reasoning that Roosevelt “intervened” – meets your other criteria. How exactly did Roosevelt exhaust all other options before going to war? You may or may not know that Konoe proposed a direct meeting with Roosevelt to solve the issues by negotiation and that the American side refused.
        And how was the cause just? Is defending one colonial power’s possessions against another one really a just cause? What do you identify as the cause of America in the Pacific War?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 5:51 pm

        Great questions, Koshiro. We await the response.

  20. irena
    irena
    January 6, 2012, 1:04 pm

    Like Arundhati Roy said, we were told that we were to stay in Afghanistan because of what the Taliban rule had done to the people, particularly women as if the war in Afghanistan was a feminist movement.
    “But it is not the case that an indiscriminate “antiwar” position is always the wisest and most moral posture. ”
    Ron Paul never advocated for an indiscriminate anti-war position, he said that a war should be declared by the Constitution if deemed necessary.

  21. Donald
    Donald
    January 6, 2012, 1:41 pm

    There are too many issues raised in this post to argue about them all. I’m not a pacifist either and might disagree with Paul about some of our wars–I don’t know enough about his positions on WWII, for instance, but I think we did the right thing there.

    But on the other hand we’re not facing Hitler and it’s a good idea to stay away from Hitler invocations in most political arguments, IMO, because that was a special case. For the most part American violence in the past several decades has been unjustifiable. We’ve got bases all over the planet and we have supported thuggish individuals all over the planet and we’ve used violence against civilians in many cases. And in America it is simply taken for granted that we have the right to do this–if you pay attention to the public discussion on wars 98 percent of it is about the potential cost of the war TO US, almost never about the cost to civilians. I’m surprised you’d bring up Afghanistan in 2001–my own feelings have flipflopped on that war a couple of times, but what struck me in the aftermath of 2001 was how utterly self-righteous and insane this country became in those months. People who raised questions about US foreign policy were vilified as saying that the victims of 9/11 had it coming. Even Susan Sontag’s essentially banal remarks in the New Yorker, asking that we not be stupid in our reaction, were treated as near treason. It was not a period when people were calmly considering options and making the best judgment and as for going in for several months and then getting out, given the history of Afghanistan and our own country how could anyone have thought that was a likely outcome?

    And of course to some extent 9/11 was not the opening blow in some war between the US and “Islamofascism” (and I think Christopher Hitchens and his idiotic propaganda term pretty well exemplies the kind of “reasoning” most Americans engaged in right after 9/11). I don’t think Osama really gave a damn about innocent Palestinians or Iraqi civilians, but when he invoked the Iraqi sanctions and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians as part of his excuse for 9/11, he was tapping into some widespread feelings in the Middle East about what the US has been doing overseas. For them 9/11 was retaliation. Again, I’m not one who thinks attacks on civilians are morally justified, but Americans are largely clueless or indifferent about how our policies effect people overseas.

    Which brings me to Ron Paul. I couldn’t vote for him and think his domestic policies would be horrific. And I suspect a President Paul would probably find that the powers in Washington would be much more helpful in achieving his domestic goals than they would be in achieving his foreign policy goals. But he’s not going to be President. The chances are zero. What he does do, and he is the only one in the Presidential race who is doing it, is raise some very basic points. For instance, shouldn’t we sometimes ask ourselves how our actions are perceived by other people? A smart nine year old kid could think of that, but it’s a forbidden question in mainstream American politics and when Ron Paul has raised it he’s been treated as a pariah for doing so.

    What disgusts me about the reaction of some progressives is the utter lack of willingness to acknowledge this point. Why don’t progressives all say “We are appalled by most of Paul’s positions, but he is right to ask whether our policies incite terrorism and hatred aimed against us”. It’s as Glenn Greenwald says–partisan politics trumps everything with some people, and issues of war and peace and excessive military interventionism and torture are all-important when Bush or the evil Republicans can be blamed, but they are to be shelved while a Democrat is in office. I think such progressives either have a bad conscience (that’s the charitable interpretation) or else, in some cases, they actually support the American Empire with all their heart and only objected to Bush because he was a little too crude in how he went about things.

  22. anonymouscomments
    anonymouscomments
    January 6, 2012, 2:13 pm

    there are more of these wars that i take exception to, but let me note 2. BTW you seem like a neo-liberal hack, who gets misled into selective wars that have NOTHING to do with the stated reasons. if there were consistency in these “humanitarian” wars, then your support might be a little more excusable, but they still should not be cheered…

    you’re this bleeding heart liberal when some gov/news outlets tells you some people may die, so you turn around support shrapnel actually going into thousands of actual hearts. come on, you think war is about people? the US and powerful countries could not care less about brown civilians, or their freedoms, and if they state that is their rationale, you know they are lying.

    1) the gulf war
    are you kidding me?!?!?!? saddam had been our friend, after we armed him and cheered his aggressive war against iran where over a million died. and we also gave him that mustard gas then. oh, and the iran-contra thing which shows how much we love oil producing ME countries to kill each-other, by arming both sides (when we are not killing them ourselves).

    so saddam, who though he had freedom in “his own backyard” granted from the US, went into kuwait. it was a small sovereign nation, but the lines in the sand from imperial powers were rather arbitrary, and he was smarting from the debt from the iran-iraq war years and kuwait was hitting him up for $$, and driving down oil costs (double whammy). no excuse for what was an aggressive war, but i’m giving some context.

    so saddam goes in… apparently we wanted him out (too much power and oil for one ME nation to have; i understand the geo-strategy). but then you have to realize he simply misunderstood what the US position was, and was ready to leave kuwait in a negotiated deal, and there were various offers
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War#Iraqi-American_diplomacy

    there were few casualties in kuwait <2000, and the incubator baby thing was a LIE to get congress to approve a war resolution. so tell me again why you supported this war, when it is obvious negotiation could have avoided a war, and tens of thousands of iraqi conscripts murdered (often retreating on the “road of death”), and forget the aftermath to the “war”…

    the point was to destroy iraq, and that is the way the US and israel like things to operate in the ME if anyone acts independently (or too independently). can’t believe you supported that utter BS, which included a massive amount of unnecessary death.

    2)libya
    i actually will not get into this as it might be too complex to get down here, but if you think an aggressive war, based on propaganda, to install a rag tag group of islamists who will help loot the country makes sense, get some alternative news sources and go visit libya. you fall for anything, huh? the humanitarian “crisis” was largely manufactured, as we have seen historically, and we already had MI6 and CIA on the ground, turning it into a partially armed conflict.

    * on a final note, considering some of the wars you supported, and the reasoning you have given, i hope you understand that you should easily support the invasion of the UNITED STATES. our actions exceed the transgressions of these other countries, often by an order of magnitude.

    i am no pacifist, and neither is ron paul. however, i do agree with keeping forces in different areas to maintain a balance of power, and help “keep the peace”. so i disagree with parts of ron paul’s foreign military plans. but to think these wars of choice, that had ZERO to do with your stated reasons, are good?….

    i prefer the middle ground, but when given the choice between the status quo, and ron paul for four years, i’ll take ron paul. there are other nations in the world, and they can hold down the fort.

  23. MRW
    MRW
    January 6, 2012, 2:28 pm

    Jerry, we did this on purpose, according to General Wesley Clark:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha1rEhovONU

    “As a matter of fact, he stopped too soon, not because he didn’t send troops into Baghdad and overthrow Saddam–that was the right decision–but by allowing Saddam to use his helicopters and his thugs to brutally crush the Iraqi resistance in the south that we had actively encouraged.”

    • Dan Crowther
      Dan Crowther
      January 6, 2012, 2:39 pm

      Exactly, we preferred a brutal tyrant who “instilled order” rather than what could have taken place if he was ousted…democracy

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        January 6, 2012, 4:04 pm

        Yeah and the US supported Saddam in the Iraq/Iran war.

  24. MRW
    MRW
    January 6, 2012, 2:29 pm

    Philip Giraldi has just posted a cogent antidote to Slater’s article by writing as someone intimately involved with the issues from the inside in his past career:

    We Are All Humanitarian Interventionists
    http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org/news/opinion-a-analysis/item/1302-we-are-all-humanitarian-interventionists

    • NorthOfFortyNine
      NorthOfFortyNine
      January 6, 2012, 2:47 pm

      @ MRW: Great catch. Complete schooling. Worth quoting:

      Washington’s stewardship of much of the world after the Second World War as a continuation of the Pax Britannica has been an abysmal failure, largely because of the inability of the U.S. government to rein in and control the military-industrial complex. As a result of 9/11, latent militarism has evolved into a full-blown national security state that has global pretensions but cannot pay its utility bills. That people who call themselves progressives see America’s overseas role as a wonderful success is quite frightening, particularly as one has to suspect that it is also the type of thinking that drives the White House. Those who support an aggressive policy to give the world stability, prosperity, and liberalism should pause and consider what they are advocating. The assumption that the United States is a force for good and must promote its values worldwide is fallacious. It will inevitably lead to bankruptcy, civil disorder, and a loss of fundamental liberties at home as well as creating resentment and devastation overseas.

  25. kapok
    kapok
    January 6, 2012, 2:33 pm

    You know, Slater, not every country is blessed with huge resources, massive armies, oceans to east and west and compliant neighbours of slim account north and south. Nor are their citizens free to slurp barbecue and budweisers while the Nice Man on TV gives sermons on Freedom. Sometimes “brutal dictators” are the best fit.

  26. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    January 6, 2012, 2:34 pm

    If I said that Jerome Slater’s foreign policy views were “simpleminded,” would that be simpleminded and offensive? There is a telling emotional undercurrent and subtext in this essay.

  27. Chu
    Chu
    January 6, 2012, 2:48 pm

    Paul has risen to gain support from the left, because the
    incumbent has not lived up to the expectation of change.

    It crystallizes the idea that a two-party system will never
    offer real change.

    *Bosnia and Kosovo? that was a good one.

  28. kalithea
    kalithea
    January 6, 2012, 3:38 pm

    I don’t know where to begin, because like some people here have expressed I’m so incensed by the ignorance being expressed lately against Ron Paul that the emotions it creates in me deprive me of expressing myself well, because I’m impatient to fight back the ignorance and misconceptions used to discredit Ron Paul, and my expression suffers, but I aim for the truth and clarity and believe me, I’m more passionate about the truth than ANYTHING even Ron Paul. I also want to add before I begin, how disappointed I’m becoming with this site, that on the issue of Ron Paul is starting to resemble more and more Huffpo with National Enquirer-type headlines meant to stir up comments and hits. Luckily, for Paul this site has not yet resorted to digging for the most undesirable pictures they can find on Ron Paul, maybe that’s yet to come, judging from the hit-pieces I’m starting to see here on the man.

    So let me try and control myself, even if I’m bursting to pound the articles written by Slater and Pollitt, although in the case of Pollitt, I must admit that I only read the excerpts provided on this thread, because frankly I’m too disgusted to want to subject myself to more of that trash.

    I’d like to believe that Slater and Pollitt are just ignorant, but their credentials prove that it’s not ignorance that drives them to discredit Paul this way. I’m sure they’ve done their research on Paul so then it’s mostly BIAS and PARANOIA pushing their LIES.

    First of all, if there’s one thing I agree with Ron Paul on it’s that MOST WARS CAN BE AVOIDED and were provoked by stupidity and ignorance, (such as the ignorance displayed against Ron Paul.

    LIE NUMBER ONE: Ron Paul would vote against entering WWII

    Ron Paul, stated in an interview he did for 20/20 that he would vote for defending the nation against the attack on Pearl Harbour. I’ll list all links separately.

    Now here’s my thought and I believe Ron Paul thinks this way. Germany was decimated and humiliated after WWI. The post WWI period represented an OPPORTUNITY to avoid WWII, an opportunity that no one seized and led to tragic escalation and circumstances, but that can be seized in the present, because if we learn from the mistakes of the past wars CAN BE avoided.

    After WWI Germany was forced to give up territory and severe restrictions and financial reparations were imposed that led to hardship for the German people who were already in dire straits after the war, great resentment and thus the rise of Hitler.

    Since the late 1800s, Japan’s economy was becoming more industrialized, and its industry depended on imports of raw materials. FDR imposed crippling sanctions on imports into Japan because of Japan’s expansion into Manchuria to establish a buffer zone against Russian expansion in the area. Later, FDR created an oil embargo against Japan that further crippled its industry and which became the last straw.

    So you see, misguided policy leads to war.

    Lie No. 2 – Ron Paul was against War in Afghanistan.

    Ron Paul VOTED for the Resolution to invade Afghanistan, BUT was against the protracted war and empire building still going on. I have heard him state time and time again that U.S. misguided policy i.e. blind support for Israel to the detriment of Palestinians and U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia and an expanding U.S. presence on Muslim soil led to 9/11 AND I AGREE 200%! The aftermath of 9/11 could have been handled differently but became a launching pad for 2 Wars and the diminishment of Constitutional freedoms as well as WAR CRIMES.

    And regarding the invasion of Serbia, that war would have been moot and avoided had it not been for the grand appeasement of a WAR CRIMINAL, Slobodan Milosevic, with the Dayton Accords leaving Muslims high and dry under the Law!!! The image of Christopher and Holbrooke shaking hands with a WAR CRIMINAL makes my stomach churn. Milosevic had already committed genocide and ethnic cleansing! There is such a thing as INTERNATIONAL LAW and an International Criminal Court! Ooops! but the U.S. doesn’t recognize its authority! The U.S. needs to stop INTERFEREING with International LAW.

    This is why also Palestinians are being subjected to repetitive war crimes and crimes against humanity and no one is enforcing INTERNATIONAL LAW and eventually there will be WAR over this and everyone will whine, rant and regret!

    If the U.S. cannot be a wise, impartial arbitrator, or world police, THEN STAY THE HELL OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S BUSINESS. Stop meddling and interfering, and stop vetoing the enforcement of International Law!

    Other lies in Pollitt’s article relate to the fear that Ron Paul will end Social Security and Medicare. Ron Paul is on video stating that he will cut bureaucracy and overseas funding first and will cut defense spending significantly before tampering with Social Security and Medicare. He always stated that there will be responsible phasing out of certain programs for FUTURE generations that will COINCIDE with the phasing out of INCOME TAX and significant tax reform.

    The issue of Ron Paul deconstructing or reversing the Civil Rights Act is PURE HYSTERIA-DRIVEN BULLSHIT.

    Also Ron Paul’s personal views on abortion are not always reflected in his voting record. People forget that he wants this issue to be left up to each state as with gay marriage and NOT be matters under Federal jurisdiction.

    So there’s a lot of SPIN and bullshit going on here, but most of it is inspired by BIAS and ulterior motives which I KNOW for a fact we will have the opportunity to discuss, and let me tell you that destroying a man’s career and opportunity to fulfill his aspirations over UNFOUNDED SUSPICIONS and conspiracy theories is malicious to the 9th degree and should be considered SLANDER.

    There are ULTERIOR motives behind Slater’s and Pollit’s articles and eventually they’ll glare through the landfill bullshit trying to bury Ron Paul! Hint: Let’s just say they’re making the Lobby’s and ADL’s life a whole lot easier these days, because these two have NOTHING on Ron Paul, merely suspicion, so publicly they can’t denounce him, but Slater and Pollit and others are soldiering on with these common suspicions clearly inspiring them to a whole lot of vindictive penmanship and incitement of mass hysteria against Ron Paul. And mass hysteria against him is exactly what the Lobby and ADL dream of.

    And so my support of him is yet more reinforced.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      January 6, 2012, 5:02 pm

      And while YOU may THINK you know what everyone’s REAL motivation IS in opposing RON Paul…

      some of us just think that some of his ideas are kooky.

    • Richard Witty
      Richard Witty
      January 7, 2012, 7:07 am

      Kalithea,
      If you like his voting in Congress, vote for him in Congress.

  29. piotr
    piotr
    January 6, 2012, 3:44 pm

    I do not agree with the comprehensive package of libertarianism, but it is not simpleminded. On economy, mercantilist rulers of China do much better then the West.

    On foreign policy, even in the days of USSR the military budget was bloated. Now it is absurd, and we fit our policy to our self-perceived capabilities. But the policies and immense expenditures are absurd. The king is naked and only “simpletons” say so. So we need more simpletons as opposed to sophisticates like Santorum, Gingrich and Romney.

  30. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 6, 2012, 3:54 pm

    Send money to the Paul campaign keep his anti invasion of Iran, fair and balanced foreign policy in the debates. Send him some money. Call radio and Tv shows over the weekend and on Monday, Tuesday. Draw the “sharp distinction” between him and the other Republican candidates on foreign policy. Let them know that anti war (especially based on false claims) Dems, Republicans and Independents support his stance. At least the man is consistent on some of his pro life stances. keep children alive in Iraq and Iran and in the US. FAr more consitent than the warmongers
    http://www.ronpaul2012.com/

    Some MSM outlets to call would be local radio tv in New Hamshire, Diane Rehm show, Totn, Christian radio stations, Ed show, Washington Journal….

  31. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 6, 2012, 4:02 pm

    “most liberals did so” No they did not. Many so called liberals support an attack on Iran and supported Israel’s illegal invasion into the Gaza.

    Paul voted for the response in Afghanistan.

    Many of us did not agree with the invasion of Iraq in the early 90’s. Hundreds of thouands of Iraqi’s killed…not reported in the US press The first made for TV war

  32. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    January 6, 2012, 4:14 pm

    Q: …we had to join in the fight both for moral and strategic reasons.

    R: One of the few ‘simpleton emeritus’ I’ve come across during my lifetime. Know your history inside out [as far as we’ve access to anything decided behind closed doors – BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fky8h/episodes/guide for starters] to be well-informed enough to build a better future.

  33. mhuizenga
    mhuizenga
    January 6, 2012, 4:40 pm

    Actually the title of the article is perfect. I appreciate the honesty of someone who calls Paul’s ideas, and by implication, his supporters “simpleminded” over the patronizing expert/media lecturing. The thesis is the same though: The electorate is too unstudied and child like to reasonably assess candidates. So we need the info experts to guide us. Except for one thing, the “experts” are corrupted and part of the problems we face (author of this article excluded. I think he is truly sincere). And these problems include war, the subject of this article, and much much more. No thanks. I’m going to try the Emersonian thing this time around and be self reliant in my campaigning and voting in this election.

  34. doug
    doug
    January 6, 2012, 4:41 pm

    “WWII. Everyone thinks WWII was a just war. But since Paul, as Pollitt puts it, is against everything the U.S. government does, domestically or internationally, there is every reason to think he would have opposed FDR’s decision that we had to join in the fight both for moral and strategic reasons.”

    Has Slater forgotten that FDR didn’t “join in the fight for moral and strategic reasons?” The United States entered the war against Japan after Japan declared War on us. The same was true some days later. We went to war with Germany after Germany declared war on us.

    Perhaps Slater believes, like Herbert Hoover, that FDR did everything he could to get us into WWII and finagled Japan into attacking us by cutting off most of their oil. While that may be the case FDR didn’t make that case. In fact FDR had the US join WWII by the now rather quaint mechanism of having Congress declare a state of war. Something subsequent presidents have avoided. Something Ron Paul says should be the only way the US enters wars of choice, let alone wars where we are overwhelmingly attacked first.

    That said, FDR, like very few including even his VP, Truman, was aware of the potential power of nuclear weapons being actively developed and that Germany’s nuclear science was perhaps as advanced as ours by 1940.

    So maybe Herbert Hoover was right that FDR finagled us into WWII. If so he certainly had reasons that H. Hoover was not privy to. Herbert was of the opinion (back prior to France and England declaring war in support of Poland) that we should have just let the bastards (USSR and Germany) destroy each other.

    My own belief is that Germany did us and the rest of the world a great favor by declaring war on us and if FDR finagled us into WWII through Japan it was appropriate.

    • john h
      john h
      January 6, 2012, 7:24 pm

      the now rather quaint mechanism of having Congress declare a state of war. Something subsequent presidents have avoided. Something Ron Paul says should be the only way the US enters wars of choice

      That’s so scary. We know where Congress stands on Israel and Iran, and how fickle those upstanding people are…

      Mind you, no one bothers to declare a state of war any more, do they? They just go ahead and fight it, with drones if possible, “in defence of this great country of ours”, of course.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        January 7, 2012, 7:08 am

        They do pass “war resolutions”, which is the legal bar.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      January 7, 2012, 9:48 pm

      “Herbert was of the opinion (back prior to France and England declaring war in support of Poland) that we should have just let the bastards (USSR and Germany) destroy each other.”

      1. England did not declare war in support of Poland. (Britain did, however.)
      2. At the time that Britain and France supported Poland, the USSR and Germany were allies. Under a secret protocal of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, they co-operated in invading Poland. Hoover’s opinion must have preceded that pact.

  35. libra
    libra
    January 6, 2012, 6:03 pm

    JS: “There’s a fundamental problem with Paul’s foreign policy positions.  Yes, he opposed the war in Iraq, Israel’s wars against the Palestinians, and any attack on Iran–excellent.  Most liberals also did so. You didn’t have to be a rightwing nut to do so.”

    Professor Slater, given the above statement and with the benefit of all your experience and knowledge, particularly on foreign policy, which candidate are you recommending from either the other remaining Republican candidates or Obama? And why, again particularly from a foreign policy perspective?

    • Jerome Slater
      Jerome Slater
      January 6, 2012, 8:05 pm

      Libra: Oh, Obama for sure. And not just particularly from a foreign policy perspective,–not even mainly so–but because every one of his domestic policies is orders of magnitude better, both morally and consequentially, than those of the benighted neanderthals of the Republican party.

      That is not to say that he is my ideal candidate, far from it, nor to deny that he has been awful on Israel (though he would risk losing a close election if he said and did the right things), nor that he has been unaccountably weak vis-a-vis the Republicans until now. It’s just that there is no other practical choice but Obama. Anyway, it looks like he’s decided to come out swinging, and about damned time.

      • libra
        libra
        January 6, 2012, 8:22 pm

        JS: “Oh, Obama for sure.”

        Are you saying Obama is better than Paul on foreign policy here? Is he “excellent” on Iran?

        Also, for the benefit of die-hard Republicans, how would you rate Paul’s foreign policy with respect to either Romney’s or Santorums? I’m interested to know why you singled out Paul for your attack on foreign policy grounds.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        January 8, 2012, 4:21 pm

        Hi libra,

        Q: I’m interested to know why you singled out Paul for your attack on foreign policy grounds.

        R: Which candidate expressed an end to the financial and military ‘I.V.’ to what country?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 6:29 pm

        Bingo!

      • irena
        irena
        January 6, 2012, 11:50 pm

        How easily you choose Obama ‘because every one of his domestic policies is orders of magnitude better’ without even a mere consideration of foreign civilian lives being ended by our foreign policy. It says a lot Slater.

  36. kalithea
    kalithea
    January 6, 2012, 6:07 pm

    I’m going to start posting the links to support my post above, but let me begin by detoxing the ambiance with a reality check here, because Slater’s article is indeed toxic material against Ron Paul because it tries to tear down the singular issue that everyone finds redeeming about him including rabid, Ron Paul-hating Progressives, so as to diminish and arrest his growing popularity with the Left and in essence DIVIDE us EVEN on THIS aspect of Ron Paul’s platform.

    So let me attempt to pull everyone back to the “honorable” conviction that united us in regards to Ron Paul before Slater injected his poison pen. Please start by watching the gut-wrenching video that follows to regain perspective on the issue of War.

    By the way, I agree with Ron Paul on the fact that it’s hard to make a moral justification for war even when war becomes the only necessary option, because in history as I explained above regarding WWII, there’s always a window of opportunity to avoid escalating factors that lead to war and unfortunate justifications for war by using wisdom while applying justice on others and exposing injustices as they occur and applying the Law before it’s too late. War is the consequence of sins of commission and omission.

    War should be the last resort after exhausting every option…in the UNIVERSE!!! So here goes: WAR, what is it good for? NOTHING! Because we need to start with a good dose of reality, i.e. the antidote .: (Please keep in mind that the Obama we see at the beginning of the video was “candidate” Obama not to be confused with the stranger who is President today.)

  37. Jerome Slater
    Jerome Slater
    January 6, 2012, 6:08 pm

    A general comment. A good deal of the commentary here, especially the most poorly reasoned and vituperative, essentially consists of this argument: all wars kill innocent people, therefore no war can be justified. The first part is factually correct–all wars do kill innocent peoples. The conclusion, however, does not follow, because many other matters must be considered, and many distinctions made. This is not “Slater’s position,” it is the outcome (as I have said) of two thousand years of moral thought by the world’s greatest religious and secular thinkers, to which I have made no additional contributions.

    The beginning, the sine qua non, of intelligent thought is the ability to make relevant distinctions. Many of you don’t make the cut.

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      January 6, 2012, 6:32 pm

      But the fact is that you’re using the very few, perhaps, one justified war in history to DISCREDIT Ron Paul’s policy on war, and you’re even dishonest by stating that Ron Paul wouldn’t send the country into WWII after Pearl Harbor or you’re making it appear that way, when he states he would do so on tape (see link). It’s one thing to argue the “morality” of any war as Ron Paul has every right to do and quite another to fudge the truth and imply that one who engages in this argument would not act if his country were attacked. Here is where I really object and question your motives.

      (1.16 Ron Paul states entering WWII justified)

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        January 7, 2012, 7:18 am

        Kalithea,
        In that interview, Ron Paul declared that opposing genocide is NOT a valid reason to use force.

        He has stated that he would oppose American use of force to prevent the holocaust, but that US’ entry in WW2 was justified by the use of force against us.

        I believe that he has stated that the support of the British by the lend-lease actions before WW2 was unjustified, provocative.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        January 8, 2012, 4:25 pm

        Hi kalithea,

        Perhaps the author should study why mankind despises fallacies @ http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

    • flyod
      flyod
      January 6, 2012, 10:10 pm

      only 2,000 years of moral thought? so whom might these be, the world’s greatest religious and secular “thinkers”? perhaps by your just war principle, or that of the world’s great thinkers, it is time for the law abiding nations of the world to begin a military campaign against israel. even if there be some innocent victims along the way?or are israel’s crimes not quite the same as japan or german

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 7, 2012, 8:41 am

        Flyod says…etc

        A perfect example of the quality and monomania of most comments on this site:
        1. Apparently Flyod has never heard of just war theory, just like so many others, which he/she thinks does not disqualify him/her from joining in a discussion of it.
        2. The subject of this discussion is not Israel–it’s just that the level of hatred of Israel on Mondoweiss is so strong and so extreme that everything seems to come back to it.
        3. One of the last people writing about Israel that needs to be lectured about Israeli crimes is me. Yet, it happens over and over. It just shows how preposterous such lecturers are.
        4. And that said, the answer to your last query is a definite, unqualified Yes: Israel’s crimes (and as I said, crimes they are) are”not quite the same” as those of Japan or Germany.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        January 7, 2012, 12:50 pm

        approving this comment in faith that one religion is not being singled out for criticism here

      • john h
        john h
        January 7, 2012, 1:32 pm

        What comment and what religion, Philip?

  38. kalithea
    kalithea
    January 6, 2012, 6:18 pm

    If you would please post my comments with more reasonable timeliness I could post the remaining links to support my post above. Thank you. I hope it’s not to much to ask.

  39. kalithea
    kalithea
    January 6, 2012, 6:35 pm

    First, thank you for promptly posting my other comment. Onto the next link.

    Why DOES the military support Ron Paul more than all other candidates in the R-race and Obama put together??

    It’s his FOREIGN POLICY, STUPID!

    More on “blowback” here in this insightful video.

  40. kalithea
    kalithea
    January 6, 2012, 6:41 pm

    Ron Paul will act responsibly vis a vis Social Security and Medicare:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoC7KmYzIjQ

    Keep in mind one word always when trying to interpret Ron Paul and his Libertarianism: “Responsibility”

    As in behaving responsibly and as in “personal” responsibility which underlines his belief system.

  41. AJM
    AJM
    January 6, 2012, 6:50 pm

    Most liberals are anti-war too? Not the ones with political power they aint

  42. Midwesterner
    Midwesterner
    January 6, 2012, 7:34 pm

    “nation-building”

    “finish the job”

    What, specifically, do those two terms actually mean? They get bandied about all the time. I don’t understand what they mean. Would appreciate it if someone would explain how, specifically, the United States, or any other country for that matter, “nation-builds”. How does it happen? How do you know it’s happened? Or is happening? When do you know it’s happened?

    Ditto for “finish the job”? What do you have to do to “finish the job”? When is it “finished”? Indeed, what is “the job”? How do you know when it’s “finished”? Is it ever “finished”?

    Just wondering.

    • yourstruly
      yourstruly
      January 8, 2012, 8:42 pm

      “finish the job” refers to wiping out every occupation resister

  43. john h
    john h
    January 6, 2012, 7:43 pm

    Simpleminded huh? That’s just what I like to be, thanks.

    This is the constant complaint and defense of RW when he’s painted himself into a corner, which is most of the time.

    Here’s the four word answer, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      January 7, 2012, 1:26 am

      Lol!

      • john h
        john h
        January 7, 2012, 4:42 am

        Here’s some apt stories that might tickle your fancy.

        a cat and a fox discuss how many tricks and dodges they have. The fox boasts that he has many; the cat confesses to having only one. When hunters arrive with their dogs, the cat quickly climbs a tree, but the fox is caught by the hounds.

        [This] story contrasts someone who knows many things with someone who can do the one thing necessary to escape danger. While working as a ferryman, he has as passenger a scholar who wants to discuss the details of grammar and linguistics with him. When Nasreddin confesses he has no use for these tools, the scholar informs him he has wasted half his life. “Have you ever learned to swim?” asks Nasrudin. “No!” the scholar scoffs, “I have immersed myself in thinking.” “In that case,” Nasreddin replies, “you’ve wasted all your life. The boat is sinking!”[8]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fox_and_the_Cat_%28fable%29

        Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.
        http://37signals.com/svn/posts/2881-any-intelligent-fool-can-make-things-bigger

  44. kalithea
    kalithea
    January 6, 2012, 8:40 pm

    Finally, regarding the Civil Rights Act dust-up rather “manufactured hysteria”:
    Ron Paul defends Muslims against Islamophobia, REPEATEDLY, so why not attack him as being racist against blacks, right?

    Here is a heated exchange between Blitzer and Paul defending himself against racism, and pay particular attention to 2:15 to 2:25 which makes PERFECT SENSE, repeat it over, if necessary and LISTEN! as it is being misinterpreted and used as a CLUB to beat him over the head with on this civil rights issue!

    In minute 6:16, he REPUDIATES, yes, REPUDIATES what he never wrote or would ever think of saying! Put it to rest already, RON PAUL IS NOT A RACIST!!!! I don’t blame HIM for being angry at this accusation; I’M REALLY PISSED AND FED UP WITH THIS BOGUS ISSUE BEING USED TO DESTROY HIM MYSELF.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSarIVksNW4&feature=watch_response

    Another interesting comment he makes on this clip: “Racism is a collectivist idea, you see people IN GROUPS, a civil Libertarian like myself sees everybody as an IMPORTANT INDIVIDUAL it’s not the color of their skin that is important, as Martin Luther King said, what is import is the CHARACTER OF THE INDIVIDUAL.” Keep in mind his “reason for being” when you reread his comment: Individual responsibility and responsible behavior

    This comment is amazing really because it can also be applied to ZIONISM! Zionism is a racist collectivist idea that excludes and discriminates against others not IN THAT GROUP. And puhleeez don’t attribute this to RON PAUL…this is my own opinion!

    But it makes sense that people should be ONE, equal as individuals under the Law and not separated into special groups (i.e. tribes, or whatever) who can use their collective status to exert MORE INFLUENCE, use it as an excuse to behave IRRESPONSIBILY or acquire special protection under the law not afforded to others not in special groups, or demand other privileges not normally offered other individuals, or manipulate policymakers continuously using “historical justification” and GUILT as a tool for getting their way. This no doubt creates resentment and sometimes/oftentimes flies in the face of the Law, the Constitution and good judgment. And ironically, Ron Paul, didn’t have to mention the evils of collectivism for me to know how true this is as we have ample proof with The Lobby. Tribal thinking and tribal loyalty over loyalty to humanity is backward and counter-evolutionary as Zionism is proving to be.

    I said it before; I’ll say it again: Ron Paul is being maligned for ulterior motives, and condemned based on SUSPICION and not fact. This is wrong, and I’ve always defended the underdog and will continue to do so, passionately.

    You know, unfortunately, I never really listened to Ron Paul in the past, conditioned not to do so by the media and by the fact perhaps that he was a Republican and I too sadly was mesmerized by the “rising Democratic star”. But thanks to Obama and the impossible position he’s put everyone in of having to choose between Bad and Worse (the rest of the Republican field) which essentially amounts to nothing, NIL, the chatter of every other voice has been muffled and only one voice stands out with clarity and conviction for me and that’s Ron Paul. This man makes perfect sense….common sense and there’s a good reason he’s suddenly being heard and becoming relevant. Things have gotten worse and WAR is again looming.

    Obama was either a fraud or a great speaker and weak leader, but it wasn’t time, his time. The “fierce urgency of now” was not then, and he’s more than amply proven that to us since then. His actions as President made the “fierce urgency of now” even more relevant TODAY. So will Ron Paul awaken the real Obama again? Oh how people still cling to the illusion of Obama even while he tries to convince us of his good intentions with his catchy phrases and BLOOD all over his hands.

    Was he ever REAL to begin with?

    Seems to me we have to put a blindfold on, to settle this, like JUSTICE, and hear both men speak side by side, ignoring the façade Obama projects. Stripped down to the mere words: WHO SOUNDS MORE REAL TO YOU? You see this image is what Democrats/Progressives who still support Obama fear most: Ron Paul side by side with Obama in debate. Unfortunately, many won’t look beyond the facade, alas too many, and will fall in love with Obama all over again, and just ignore “the FIERCE urgency of now!

    Stop misrepresenting Ron Paul and manufacturing lies and hysteria.

    Stop maligning Ron Paul and allow him to move on in this race. Obama deserves a REAL OPPONENT.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 9, 2012, 6:43 pm

      Thanks for your efforts at trying to make people here more objective about Ron Paul and his philosophy and views. He deserves much more consideration than some here think. The last thing he is, is glib. And, yes, he is the only one grounded in respect for the individual human being–the last thing from a cavalier group thinker of any stripe.

  45. Stogumber
    Stogumber
    January 6, 2012, 9:17 pm

    I’m not much impressed by Slater’s just war theory. First, it’s an invitation to abuse. Just war theorists may name some necessary presuppositions for making war, but that’s only an invitation for unscrupulous politicians (like FDR) to create or feign facts which cover those presuppositions.
    Then, just war theory treats the problem as a categorical decision between peace and war, whereas it would be much better to treat it as a directional decision between escalation and deescalation. For example, if Britain and France hadn’t declared war on Germany in 1939, the German expansion would have stopped in the middle of Poland – not nice for the Polish people, but a German occupation in peace time wouldn’t have been harder than the occupation of Poland by Stalin or the occupation of the Westbank by Israel (which we all can put up with without declaring war to Israel). Escalation did make things worse, not better.
    At last, just war theory neglects that mutual trust is the most important presupposition for peace. And a world in which every state reserves himself the right to make war whenever he deems that morally justified is by necessity a world in which no state can trust any other state.

    • Jerome Slater
      Jerome Slater
      January 6, 2012, 9:59 pm

      “Slater’s” just war theory? What an honor! Hilarious. Poor Thomas Aquinas, he must be spinning in his grave.

      • libra
        libra
        January 7, 2012, 3:26 pm

        JS: “Poor Thomas Aquinas, he must be spinning in his grave.”

        None of the other presidential candidates, Republican or Democrat, are supporting “just war theory”. Instead they’re offering just more war.

        So what would poor Thomas Aquinas make of someone who used his theory to attack the one candidate who stood for the constitutional use of armed force, requiring the hurdle of Congress declaring war? Indeed, I fear he must be spinning in his grave.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 1:33 pm

        “Poor Thomas Aquinas, he must be spinning in his grave.”

        “Thomas Aquinas”? Are you sure you don’t mean “Aquinastein”? or maybe “Aquinawitz”? I’m sorry, but “Thomas Aquinas” does not sound like any Jewish name I ever heard. Of course, if you want to follow the dictates of the non-Jewish (I will not call it “goyische”, thank you) philosopy and ethics which has persecuted us for two-thousand years, that’s your business, buddy. I guess some people will do anything to get in good with the Gentiles.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      January 7, 2012, 12:36 am

      Sorry, but the idea that germany would not have advanced further than the middle of poland without britain and france declaring war is pure idiocy.

  46. Midwesterner
    Midwesterner
    January 6, 2012, 9:30 pm

    “Everyone thinks WWII was a just war.”

    Is that true? Does everyone think that? Maybe so. But is there another way – are there other ways – of “assessing” that “event”? 46 million people killed is a lot of dead human beings. Was there a better way of getting from A to B?

    What exactly does it mean to “go after” the Taliban? McDonalds used to “tally” the hamburgers it had sold. 13 million sold. 15 million sold. That sort of thing. Does “going after” the Taliban mean killing a certain number of them? If so, how many? Or wounding them? Or disarming them? Or putting them on the payroll? Or what?

    What is the cost? What is the benefit? How do you measure these things? How do you know?

    Does Jeremy Slater know the answer to any of these questions?* If so, could he please shed some light on them? And if he can’t, well, maybe he should think it through a bit more. We deserve better than sophomoric from distinguished university professors, “advisers”, think tank types, etc. etc.

    *Does anyone?

    • jayn0t
      jayn0t
      January 7, 2012, 12:39 am

      Jerome Slater complacently claims “Everyone thinks WWII was a just war. But since Paul, as Pollitt puts it, is against everything the U.S. government does, domestically or internationally, there is every reason to think he would have opposed FDR’s decision that we had to join in the fight both for moral and strategic reasons.”. That’s not true.

      Japan attacked the USA and Germany declared war, so Paul would have supported Roosevelt. But it’s not quite as simple as that. The British Empire and the USA treated both Germany and Japan unfairly in the years leading up to WWII, in effect saying “it’s alright for us to have empires, but not you”. Why did Britain and France declare war on Germany in 1939? Because Germany attacked Poland! But Russia attacked Poland too. Did Britain declare war on Russia? No. So attacking Poland was not the criterion.

      Well, er, how about – Germany was a threat to the British and all good people? No – there is no evidence that Nazi Germany had intentions against the British Empire. It made enormous efforts to make peace, from start to finish. In Britain in 1939, there were two parties opposed to war, the Communist Party and the British Union of Fascists. Of course, each had their own bad reasons to oppose the beginning of the greatest massacre in history. Anyway, the Communists changed their minds in 1941.

      Kudos to Mondoweiss for publishing Slater’s attempt to defend the most barbaric period in the history of humanity. In effect, he’s asking us to agree that Chamberlain’s declaration of war on Germany was necessary, because otherwise things would have been worse. WWII killed 50,000,000 people. Without the heroic efforts of the Allies, it would have killed 50,000,001 or more people. That’s what Slater wants us to believe.

      The clarity and stupidity of his argument is welcome, giving us an easy opportunity to make another step forward in the struggle against the myth of WWII, and its greatest beneficiaries today, supporters of the state of Israel. Thanks again, Mondoweiss.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 9, 2012, 1:35 pm

      “Does Jeremy Slater know the answer to any of these questions?”

      Sure he does! “Everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds! After all, I’m still here, alive and a Professer Emeritus! What could be wrong?”

      Move over Pangloss, here comes Slater.

  47. Midwesterner
    Midwesterner
    January 6, 2012, 9:38 pm

    Correction: Jerome Slater.

  48. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    January 6, 2012, 11:13 pm

    I strongly disagree with Jerome Slater’s main idea: that Ron Paul’s antiwar position is “fool”-ish because it is against all modern wars, and this keeps it from encouraging politicians to be more pro-peace. While I agree with Jerome S’s idea that R.Paul moves people to the right on domestic issues? that is only partly true, because he still emphasizes people’s constitutional rights , which goes to what Democracy is supposed to be about.

    Of the modern US wars, the US’s role in WWII is the only one I seriously sympathize with. However, an antiwar position on even such a “good” war as WWII is not so incredibly foolish. It was Hajo Meyer or Israel Shahak, both Holocaust survivors, who said that it was only during the war that the Nazi death machine really went strong. WWII was a strong result of the injustice of the Versaillaise Treaty, and many leftists and socialists during WWII took a strong antiwar position, considering the war on the western front to be a clash of imperialisms. Hajo also felt that the allies didn’t try enough to stop the Holocaust, instead putting their efforts into fighting the war. Howard Zinn took a very critical view of the US role in WWII in his People’s History.

    My point is that while I sympathize alot with the US role in WWII, I do not consider either an anti-imperialist nor a pacifist position to be so foolish as Slater describes. And on a sidenote, I think if Ron Paul was president when Pearl Harbor was attacked, he actually would have gone to war, so it seems likely to me Slater is misportraying Ron Paul’s position on WWII, but I don’t know this for sure.

    I personally dislike war, and thus feel conflicted about the US role in Afghanistan. As for the other two examples- Serbia and Libya- I consider them to be primarily imperialist attacks where civilians paid a high price, even the attacks did have some positive motivation too.

    One of Ron Paul’s main reasons for his antiwar views seems to be that he is a noninterventionist. For him it seems even human rights issues are not strong enough a reason to engage in the mutual mass bloodletting called “War”. And this pacifism has an element of conscience and reason, so I do not find even find this pacifist way of thinking completely “foolish”, even though I myself can see the “logic” in war, to my own sadness.

    But even if Paul’s “absoluteist noninterventionist” reasons for an antiwar position are foolish they still affect politicians to be more critical toward war. Slater may be right that the other politicians will not consciiously pay attention to or credit Ron Paul’s views. But I believe they still have a meaningful effect. Even the smallest nation can affect the world. If 1/4 of Republicans take Ron Paul’s stance, this is still something for politicians to think about. The war hysteria and feverishness for massive bloodletting is especially reduced when people of many political persuasions take a strong antiwar stance. The fact that a significant number of people, represented by Ron Paul and by Obama’s rhetoric, oppose big wars makes them less likely. It seems to me that Ron Paul and his dissenting supporters create an obstacle in public opinion, however small, to an incursion into Iran, which is far more cruel than what Slater portrays as the “foolishness” of nonintervention.

    It is like if you see someone hurting someone else- of course you should intervene. But even worse is if you begin by hurting someone yourself!

    Peace – Shalom is a good greeting.

    Better too much peace than too much war!

    • jayn0t
      jayn0t
      January 7, 2012, 6:24 pm

      Several commenters above, including Slater himself, seem to think its irrefutably true that starting the biggest war in history was ‘necessary’, and that without it, things would have been worse.

      Slater also uses democratic arguments when they suit him. He speculates about what the ‘overwhelming majority’ of Frenchmen wanted in WWII. Does he know how popular collaborator Marshal Petain was? In parts of Eastern Europe, the majority had no problem with the Holocaust. But his main drift not about what people want, but about how many of them will die if we, looking down from the viewpoint of Western utilitarian philosophy, urge our rulers to act, versus how many will die if we don’t.

      Slater calculates that more Libyans would have died if NATO hadn’t bombed it. It would have been worse if Saddam had been allowed to keep Kuwait, or the Serbs Sarajevo.

      Slater and other commentators not only try to calculate which wars to support, they want to influence how they are waged. They criticize Roosevelt for not trying to stop the Holocaust – murdering German civilians was a waste of good bombs. They complain that support for the first Iraq war was betrayed – the US government ‘allowed’ Saddam to suppress the uprising.

      When Madeleine Albright said ‘it was worth it’ to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, Slater replies, in effect, “no, Madeleine – you’ve got the math wrong!”

      One commentator offers hopefully “Howard Zinn took a very critical view of the US role in WWII”. But when you sign up, they don’t ask for your opinions. You are either for or against the war. “Many socialists during WWII took a strong antiwar position, considering the war on the western front to be a clash of imperialisms”. What was the eastern front, then – a war of liberation? No, most of the left said the ‘anti-imperialist’ argument didn’t apply, because of the unique evil of fascism.

      Again, thanks for publishing this naive, revealing article, which illustrates why the myth of the good war still has consequences today.

  49. Midwesterner
    Midwesterner
    January 7, 2012, 8:36 am

    The Vietnam war.

    A million or so dead Vietnamese. 56,000 dead GIs.

    We went there to “go after” them.

    Then they “got after” us.

    Then we went home.

    What was that all about? Dominoes?

    Does anyone know?

    Does Jerome Slater? He’s spent 40 years studying this stuff. He must have some idea.

  50. Jerome Slater
    Jerome Slater
    January 7, 2012, 8:57 am

    Not quite:

    1. I was strongly and unqualifiedly and actively against the Vietnam War. I opposed the Gulf War. I thought we should have withdrawn from Afghanistan shortly after the initial attack in response to 9/11. I am overwhelmingly against an attack on Iran. Except in these quarters, I am known for my unqualified disapproval–fury, would be more accurate–at Israel’s behavior in the I-P conflict. Pretty tame hawk, I would think.
    2. It’s true that I sound very much like Walzer when discussing just war theory, since Walzer has written the most authoritative and widely cited work on modern just war theory, and like just about every other scholar of just war theory, I have been strongly influenced by it.
    On the other hand, we don’t sound a bit alike when it comes to Israel.
    3. It is true that I don’t think that most American military interventions are motivated by bad-intentioned imperialism. Bush, yes; Obama, no way.

    • Donald
      Donald
      January 7, 2012, 12:38 pm

      ” It is true that I don’t think that most American military interventions are motivated by bad-intentioned imperialism. Bush, yes; Obama, no way.”

      I disagree on this. I think that there is a bipartisan consensus on American imperialism and Obama is part of it. The people outside the consensus are derided as crackpots and isolationists, like Kucinich and Ron Paul. (And again, I strongly disagree with Paul on most things.) I don’t think it’s simply political calculations that led Obama to refuse to prosecute or even investigate war crimes under Bush, or which led Susan Rice to say that the US saw no evidence of Israeli war crimes in Gaza. It’s not politics that has led Obama to expand a drone assassination program without any real accountability to anyone. The unspoken rule is this–the US and its allies have the right to use violence whenever they wish and only crazy people think this is unfair.

      Any American politician who truly believed in just war theory and also believed that American officials should be held accountable for war crimes when appropriate would be ridiculed and derided and mocked by all the Serious People and would, in the current political climate, stand no chance of making it to the White House.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        January 7, 2012, 12:47 pm

        excellent statement, thanks Donald

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 7, 2012, 1:50 pm

        While worded moderately, Donald’s statement is far from “excellent,” for it entirely ignores the case for measures that in normal circumstances can, should, and would be prohibited: drone attacks, indefinite detentions, unaccountable and secret presidential orders for military action, and others. OF COURSE these are troublesome matters, but a real dilemma exists: there are in fact, real-life terrorists, they had safe havens in Afghanistan, are seeking them elsewhere, make no bones about their intentions to attack the U.S. and other western allies whenever they can.

        9/11 wasn’t a myth, in happened. A future attack means the definite possibility–and if they aren’t stopped, the probability–of eventual attacks by nuclear weapons. Osama bin-Laden frequently explicitly said he was seeking nuclear weapons, and so have other similar groups.

        Stopping the spread of nuclear and possible biological weapons to fanatics who are very hard to deter is, by far, the most serious challenge to US and international security–in our history. In those circumstances, it is perfectly plausible that extraordinary measures to prevent the worst catastrophes in human history may be justified.
        To consider such measures as evidence of U.S. “imperialism” is off the charts.

        You might also ask yourself this question. Bush took measures in the war on terrorism–and I have no serious problem with that name– that were widely deplored, especially by us liberals. Yet, when Obama continued most of them, he was derided for “selling out,” etc. Try turning the question around: When Obama, and his highest appointees, most of whom are far more liberal, thoughtful, and intelligent than Bush and his bunch, continued much the same policies, shouldn’t one possible explanation be that once in office, faced with the realities, they concluded that they had no other choice? Defined, as Peter Viereck once memorably said: “Reality is that which, when you don’t believe in it, doesn’t go away.”

        Donald’s and similar statements would be far more acceptable if they at least acknowledged the realities, for example by arguing that Yes, the issues and dangers are real; nonetheless, on balance I prefer running the risks of massive terrorist attacks to the measures the U.S. government has adopted to prevent them. While I would vigorously disagree with that conclusion, at least it would be within the realm of serious discourse.

        But not to recognize and address the obvious counterarguments is to remove yourself from the realm of serious debate.

      • kapok
        kapok
        January 7, 2012, 2:01 pm

        I understand the US “spread” quite a lot of nuclear material all over Fallujah.

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        January 7, 2012, 2:43 pm

        Jerome says: Stopping the spread of nuclear and possible biological weapons to fanatics who are very hard to deter is, by far, the most serious challenge to US and international security–in our history.

        Now this is downright foolish. Most serious challenge in our history? More exaggeration to justify perpetual war machine. America’s Islamic enemies are nothing in comparison to say say Germany in WWII, China in Korea, the Vietnamese or the Soviet Union to name the biggest. Now the Cuban missile crisis was a major challenge. We came very close to a war that would have resulted in 10 of millions of American deaths and the loss of many of our major cities.

        It is difficult hearing such nonsense coming from someone I have respected so highly in the past. This is just the cheapest fear mongering that has been used to terrify the American people to justify the totally unnecessary Bush-Obama wars of that have gone on for 10 years. Paul very sensibly points out that our enemies are attacking us because we are attacking them. Withdrawal of US troops from the ME would go a long way towards ending those wars.

      • American
        American
        January 7, 2012, 3:14 pm

        “But not to recognize and address the obvious counterarguments is to remove yourself from the realm of serious debate.” ….. Jerry

        Jerry, you remove yourself from the realm of serious debate by calling anyone who doesn’t agree with you a anti semite or stupid. You have a real problem with underestimating others intelligence and insulting them.

        While I see Paul’s foreign policy as simple minded in most aspects, I also recognize your arguments against him and your comments above on terrorism and ‘dangerous world’ as driven by the typical Jewish/Zionist/Israeli meme of enemies.
        Doesn’t matter if you say you ‘prefer’ to chance terrorist attacks, what you promote is the same old fear. And you justify the invasion of a entire country to get a small band of terrorist. And justify preemptive war on Iran who doesn’t have nukes, instead of on Israel who does have nukes because stopping the spread of nukes is so important….LOL
        Liberal interventionism for Israel…is really what is at the heart of all FP positions.
        You’re transparent Jerry. ..a hasbara liberal.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        NorthOfFortyNine
        January 7, 2012, 3:50 pm

        @Slater Osama bin-Laden frequently explicitly said he was seeking nuclear weapons, and so have other similar groups.

        Is this your source, Professor?

        “This is an evil man that we’re dealing with. And I wouldn’t put it past him to develop evil weapons to try to harm civilization as we know it,” Bush said.

        http://articles.latimes.com/2001/nov/07/news/mn-1137

        From the same article:

        Given the means, our enemies would be a threat to every nation and, eventually, to civilization itself,” the president told the European leaders. “We will not wait for the authors of mass murder to gain the weapons of mass destruction. We act now because we must lift this dark threat from our age and save generations to come.”

      • Donald
        Donald
        January 7, 2012, 8:34 pm

        “Donald’s and similar statements would be far more acceptable if they at least acknowledged the realities, for example by arguing that Yes, the issues and dangers are real; nonetheless, on balance I prefer running the risks of massive terrorist attacks to the measures the U.S. government has adopted to prevent them.”

        I don’t know how real the dangers are. I doubt that indefinite detentions can be justified. I don’t think the treatment of Bradley Manning is justified. I think that drone strikes might be justified if one knew for certain that one was hitting someone who might otherwise use nuclear weapons against American cities, but it wasn’t too long ago that we were hearing EXACTLY that justification for torture. The ticking time bomb scenario, as it is called.
        Everything you said in justification of Obama is exactly what was said by Republicans who use his policies as retroactive justification for what Bush and Cheney did. And they’re right–they stand and fall together.

        If the threat of terrorists who might someday acquire nuclear weapons is a good reason for giving up basic civil liberties then we can kiss those goodbye, because the threat will never go away.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 8, 2012, 9:05 am

        Slater writes:

        “OF COURSE these are troublesome matters, but a real dilemma exists: there are in fact, real-life terrorists, they had safe havens in Afghanistan, are seeking them elsewhere, make no bones about their intentions to attack the U.S. and other western allies whenever they can.

        9/11 wasn’t a myth, in happened. A future attack means the definite possibility–and if they aren’t stopped, the probability–of eventual attacks by nuclear weapons. Osama bin-Laden frequently explicitly said he was seeking nuclear weapons, and so have other similar groups.”

        Jerry, did you ever watch this BBC series on YouTube? It is banned in the US, no local public station is allowed to show it because it makes a mockery of the kind of belief you state above with facts and evidence our media failed to inform us of.

        Part 3 is salient to this discussion:
        “The Power of Nightmares – Part III – The Shadows In The Cave'”
        http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2081592330319789254

        Transcript:
        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/video1040.htm

        —————————–

        Further, Brian Michael Jenkins has been considered the top terrorism and transportation security expert in the country for 40 years (google his bio). He said in Testimony presented before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on November 19, 2009 after the Fort Hood Slayings:

        Terrorist violence is not a new phenomenon. Al Qaeda and its jihadist followers did not bring terrorism to the United States. Along with its immigrant communities, the United States has imported numerous terrorist campaigns. Cuban, Puerto Rican, Croatian, Serb, Palestinian, Armenian, Taiwanese, and Jewish extremists have all carried out attacks on U.S. soil, in addition to the homegrown terrorist campaigns of the far left and far right. In fact, the level of terrorist violence was greater in the United States in the 1970s than it is today.

        http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/testimonies/2009/RAND_CT336.pdf

        In the blurb for Jenkins book, Unconquerable Nation — Knowing Our Enemy, Strengthening Ourselves it says,

        Jenkins believes that homeland security should move beyond gates and guards and become the impetus for rebuilding America’s decaying infrastructure. Americans need to adopt a realistic approach to risk and get a lot smarter about security. We need to build upon the nation’s traditions of determination and self-reliance. Above all, we need to preserve our commitment to American values. Preserving these values is no mere matter of morality, he argues; it is a strategic imperative.

        Jenkins has no patience for the rise, and scaremongering statements, of so-called security experts that have arisen since 9/11 detailing nuclear and jihadi threats. He now refuses to give interviews in which he is asked to respond to them, and will only appear before the House and Senate. The list of his congressional testimony is here:
        http://www.rand.org/congress/testimony.html

    • yourstruly
      yourstruly
      January 7, 2012, 6:44 pm

      don’t think that most American military interventions are motivated by bad-intentional imperialism? just to mention a few & mostly only some of the most recent –

      not bad-intentional imperialism in the case of u.s. wars against –

      native americans?
      cuba and the phillipines in 1898?
      haiti – multiple times since the initial occupation (1915-34)?
      ww i ?
      vietnam?
      panama?
      grenada?
      iraq?
      afghanistan?
      not to mention the wars in which the u.s. deployed mercenaries to overthrow democratically elected governments, for example, in guatamala iran?

      there even was the brief and supposedly entirely humanitarian ’92 military intervention of somalia, but, alas, subsequent u.s. involvement there proved that there’s no such thing as a purely humanitarian american military intervention

      which is to say that so far as u.s. military interventions go, no such thing as a just war*

      *except for ww ii, although as discussed in this thread, take away the armistice terms imposed upon germany & it might never have occurred

  51. eljay
    eljay
    January 7, 2012, 9:18 am

    Not sure if this point has been raised, but: Do “they” get to wage “just war” against “us”, or are Western nations the only ones entitled to wreak noble-sounding destruction and carnage?

    If “they” are not, why not? Is it because only “we” get to decide what makes a “just war” just? That would be rather subjective for such a presumably objective bit of ideology.

    • Donald
      Donald
      January 7, 2012, 1:26 pm

      “Do “they” get to wage “just war” against “us”, or are Western nations the only ones entitled to wreak noble-sounding destruction and carnage? If “they” are not, why not? Is it because only “we” get to decide what makes a “just war” just? That would be rather subjective for such a presumably objective bit of ideology.”

      That’s a good point. It’s why I said that American politicians pretend to believe in just war theory, but in practice they just use it as an excuse for our violence and no mainstream politician would ever say that someone has the right to take up arms against us or one of our allies. Again, this is what is different about Ron Paul–to even mention that other countries might have a legitimate POV is anathema to the Serious People of America.

      Though I disagree that the problem is just war theory. From what little I know about it, just war theory is an elaboration of common sense ideas–under certain very limited circumstances war is morally justified, just as violence in everyday life can be justified under extremely limited circumstances. You have the right to self-defense, but you don’t have the right to use excessive violence or keep using violence once your attacker is subdued. You have the right to help someone who is being mugged, but it’s not a blank check to commit whatever sort of mayhem you want. Of course what American and Israeli and many other politicians do is rather like some bully in real life who always claims that he is just defending himself–the hypocrisy involved doesn’t mean there isn’t a right to self-defense.

      • eljay
        eljay
        January 7, 2012, 2:02 pm

        >> Donald @ January 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

        Nicely put.

  52. crone
    crone
    January 7, 2012, 10:58 am

    This may be off-topic, but it is about Ron Paul… from Counterpunch:

    from John Walsh’s letter to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now:

    “I have a bone to pick about your coverage of Ron Paul and the five comments that appeared in his newsletter a generation ago.

    “First, contrary to what you say, the rest of the MSM does publish the exact words of the statements – in fact they appear ad nauseam in semi-official publications like the NYT.

    “Second, as you surely know, Paul has said he did not write those statements, did not read them or know of them at the time and DISAVOWS them. You did not mention that.

    “Third Ron Paul is against the death penalty and mandatory minimum sentences in part because they are racist – and he has said so. You did not mention that.

    “Fourth, the head of the NAACP in Austin who has known Ron Paul for 20 years says that the man can in no way be considered a racist. You did not mention that.

    “Fifth, in an interview with Bill Moyers Ron Paul specifically says that Libertarianism is incompatible with racism. You do not mention that.

    “I think you have a duty to tell the whole truth on the matter because a half truth is a full lie – as the saying goes.

    “Finally I might ask which is more racist- bombing people of color all around the world as Obama has done, for example in the war on Libya for which your constant guest CIA ‘consultant’ Juan Cole was a cheerleader – or five statements written by someone else a generation ago which have now been repudiated by Paul?

    “Have you forgotten that your program is subtitled the War and Peace Report? My friends in NYC have taken to calling it HypocrisyNow! I hope that soon it can reclaim its older tradition of principled and consistent anti-interventionism and report the full truth on antiwar candidates like Ron Paul, the only anti-imperialist and peace candidate in the race.

    John V. Walsh, MD
    Professor of Microbiology and Physiological Systems
    University of Massachusetts Medical School.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/06/into-the-tumbrils-with-them/

    • jayn0t
      jayn0t
      January 7, 2012, 11:06 pm

      I saw John Walsh’s letter on Counterpunch. It’s even more naive than some of the comments on this page. He tells Amy Goodman “you have a duty to tell the whole truth” (about Ron Paul). No – her job is to pretend the Democrats are less warmongering and less anti-working class than the Republicans. And to ensure criticism of Israel is kept within bounds.

  53. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger
    January 7, 2012, 11:11 am

    What if…?

  54. kalithea
    kalithea
    January 7, 2012, 11:42 am

    This whole discussion was a red-herring intended to discredit Ron Paul on the main issue that attracts Progressives to Ron Paul to in fact try to SUBRACT or diminish that support.

    Now, when can we discuss the much more important topic of how many Jews and especially Zionists feel threatened by Ron Paul because he doesn’t think collectivism or groups are a good thing because he believes they generate racism when they continuously rely on and use past events, historical justification or guilt to obtain privileges under the law that others are denied and use historical justification and guilt to influence legislation. Because he believes in the rights of the individual and all people being equal under the Law and the state, with no one having influence or power over the other.

    Because in my opinion, we are here for one specific reason: to free Palestinians from the racist, segregationist, apartheid ideology that is ZIONISM. But unfortunately, Palestinians are not the only ones being subjected to the injustice that Zionism represents, Zionism has also occupied the halls of Congress and wields influence contrary to the Constitution and subverts the influence that the American people should have on their government in matters of foreign policy and taking the country to war. Hopefully, tribalism will not get in the way of equality for all.

  55. homingpigeon
    homingpigeon
    January 7, 2012, 1:18 pm

    I see the foundations of something very troubling in the essay. No, not “everyone” thinks World War II was a just war. With the right amount of time I can make a very articulate case. But that is not the point. Where do you get off saying “everyone”? There’s a body of literature and argument against it. I even know a holocaust survivor who lost a mother in Auschwitz and suffered through Dresden who makes a convincing case against it being a just war. Whether you like it or not, we do exist.

    And as for just war theories, I am not impressed. The just wars will require that certain conditions be met. Those wishing to make a war have the power to convince us that those conditions have been met – a la Kuwaiti babies being thrown out of their incubators. By the time we discover that we have been misled, the war is long over.

  56. homingpigeon
    homingpigeon
    January 7, 2012, 1:29 pm

    Now as far as Ron Paul goes, may we remind ourselves that we are not trying to elect a Pope on the basis of infallibility. It is foreign intervention and war waged by the American death machine. The quibbling about anything else in Ron Paul’s program shows how little people really know about the realities of war. To even list it on the same balance sheet as domestic social programs is absolutely ghastly. I’m thinking that if there were Roman Senators who were speaking against massacring villages in Gaul and nailing dissidents to crosses there where a bunch of liberal Romans whining about possible cutbacks in subsidies for the bread and circuses for the mobs, renovations to the stadium, maintenance of the public baths and so on.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      January 7, 2012, 2:08 pm

      lolz

    • libra
      libra
      January 7, 2012, 2:51 pm

      Bull’s-eye!

  57. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    January 7, 2012, 1:56 pm

    Even when Jerome Slater manages to say many agreeable and reasonable things, he always manages to rub me the wrong way. Why? A shrill and hysterical vibe keeps leaking out at the edges of his comments.

    I think I know the source of his problem: at his core, he is an impassioned ethnic nationalist. Most ethnic nationalists are ethnic xenophobes to one degree or another — they’ve got quite a few tribal enemies and they’re mad as hell at them. Apparently Slater considers most Mondoweiss commenters to be the enemies of him and his ethnic nationalist cause.

    At some point one has to make a decision: am I mainly an Enlightenment guy or an ethnic or religious nationalist? You really do have to make a choice — you can’t straddle both worldviews.

    Many ethnic and religious nationalists expend a great deal of energy manipulating Enlightenment rhetoric to rationalize beliefs and policies that are fundamentally incompatible with Enlightenment values. This is why “liberal Zionist” is an oxymoron. It’s an indefensible position that produces great stress and confusion in those who cling to it. One notices that stress and confusion in Slater.

    • American
      American
      January 7, 2012, 3:28 pm

      That’s a accurate reading of Slater to me sean, he is confused and confusing.
      After reading many of his post and then his comments to various readers it does seem he comes here to strike out and insult non zionist.
      In other words he’s not here to present a case or argument in any serious way, he’s here vent his spleen on those he considers enemies of Jews and Israel in the name of liberal zionism.
      It’s pointless to even try and communicate.

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 7, 2012, 6:16 pm

        Warning! You are about to enter another brain-free zone. Proceed at your own risk: it seems to be contagious.

      • john h
        john h
        January 7, 2012, 6:32 pm

        No warning required, except to those who failed to see the brain-free zone headlight in the headline; they found it was contagious.

        Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.

        Albert Einstein

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 7, 2012, 6:44 pm

        If there is any contageon here Jerome, then that makes you patient Zero.

        Feel free to sulk all you like that your views have been dismissed as irrational and essentially, indescipherable from mainstream Republicans.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        January 7, 2012, 7:13 pm

        Jerome Slater,

        Would it be fair to describe this comment of yours as brain-free? It’s certainly content-free. It’s insulting. And it is an example of that shrill and hysterical vibe I mentioned that keeps oozing out around the edges of your labored efforts to sound reasonable.

        Something I’ve noticed about ethnic nationalism: one can no more be a little bit ethnic nationalist than one can be a little bit pregnant. If one is an ethnic nationalist, you’re in whole hog, no matter how much you try to dance around your condition. You’ve probably got tribal enemies heavily on the brain and are likely experiencing significant social friction with those who aren’t on board with your narrow ideology.

        Most members of modern Western democratic societies have abandoned ethnic nationalism as an organizing political framework — it’s a real liability overall.

        Regarding just war theory: Michael Walzer pretty much killed that off for me when he found a convoluted and intellectually dishonest way to rationalize the continued conduct of the Iraq War. Farcical, really — one can bend just war theory any old way with lawyerly tricks.

      • tree
        tree
        January 8, 2012, 12:37 am

        Warning! You are about to enter another brain-free zone.

        I’ll try this again, without the bad word. Slater, your comment I quoted above is “brain-free”. You simply added support to the criticisms lodged about your argumentation style by resorting to insults about people’s intelligence, which is exactly what American was pointing out. Nice way to conform the criticism, although I doubt that was your intent. You don’t listen to those who disagree with you. You make assumptions and insult those who criticize your arguments. It’s counterproductive, unless your point is merely to dodge criticism while stroking your own ego. It’s certainly not the way to make an intelligent, persuasive argument.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        January 8, 2012, 10:02 am

        Regarding Jerome Slater: the lyrics are liberal/progressive, but the music is hardcore neoconservative, occasionally approaching Kahanist (especially the crude personal attacks and harsh xenophobic tone). The overall effect is disturbing. I don’t believe the lyrics at all. The music is very believable — that is what I’m listening to.

        I thank my lucky stars I am not an ethnic nationalist and am not trying to defend ethnic nationalism — it’s an obvious losing proposition. Increasingly, thoughtful Jews are beginning to understand that ethnic nationalism is an intellectual trap — one to avoid.

        Oh: Ron Paul has a more nuanced mind than Jerome Slater, and his lyrics match his music — he’s a straight shooter. His message is coherent.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 7, 2012, 7:08 pm

        In other words he’s not here to present a case or argument in any serious way, he’s here vent his spleen on those he considers enemies of Jews and Israel in the name of liberal zionism.

        Nicely put American. And as we have seen from time to time, the closer one gets to releaving this truth, the more vitriolic his reponse.

        You goota love his logic. Paul is the only candicate (both Republican and Democrat), who seems to know about the Iran coup of 1953, read the 911 Report, the IAEA Reports, the CIA intelligence reports on terrorism etc., but in Slater’s mind, that makes him “simple minded”.

        Wecome to the Twilite Zone or the liberal Zionist.

  58. Mooser
    Mooser
    January 7, 2012, 2:22 pm

    You know, I read Jerome Slater’s articles, and I can’t help asking myself “This guy is a Professor Emeritus? In what?” Well I finally figured it out after reading this post.

    Prof. Slater has a PhD. in Conventional Wisdom.

    And could there be any more useful and remunerative field of knowledge?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 7, 2012, 2:24 pm

      With a minor in Panglossism, of course.

    • libra
      libra
      January 7, 2012, 2:44 pm

      Mooser: “Prof. Slater has a PhD. in Conventional Wisdom.”

      A discipline clearly not to be confused with Common Sense.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 7, 2012, 7:09 pm

        I cannot tell Slater’s POV apart from Chaney’s, Bush Jr’s, Rummy’s, or Rove’s, nor from the POV of any current candidate for POTUS except Ron Paul’s. Imagine everyone walking around with preemption in mind and a big gun. When’s the last time Iran started a war? Ron Paul asked that question during at least one of the GOP debates, but nobody answered. Paltry detail. The former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit just came out in support of Ron Paul. Think I will go with him, rather than Slater. Blowback is real, even if only eventual.

    • Frankie P
      Frankie P
      January 8, 2012, 7:58 am

      Mooser,

      I disagree with you on many things, especially on Gilad Atzmon. That said, I have to commend you for this laser-accurate comment. Jerome Slater has a Phd. in Conventional Wisdom. Unfortunatly, the conventional wisdom in the west, especially the bizarre world of the US, is becoming less and less coherent and applicable to the world as a whole.

      FPM

  59. Keith
    Keith
    January 7, 2012, 4:07 pm

    PARTING SHOT- Something is bothering me and I have to get it off my chest. The more I read Jerome Slater pontificating about just war theory, the more pissed off I get. What bullshit! Who the hell comes up with a just war theory? The intelligentsia of the war mongering states, that’s who. Some hifalutin phraseology designed to justify wars of aggression. What does international law say? It outlaws war except in self defense. Period. You can defend yourself against attack from another country. 911 was a terrorist atrocity, not an attack on the US by Afghanistan, a weak and defenseless country which has suffered enormously, partly as a result of CIA machinations. Did any Afghan intellectuals contribute to just war theory? Any Vietnamese? Any South American victims of US financed and directed death squad terror? For the victims of imperial aggression, self defense is a necessity, no need to construct any bullshit theory to rationalize war mongering. The very construction of the theory indicates that the authors anticipate the luxury of choice, the ability to debate whether or not to start a war. The victims, of course, have no choice.

    • CloakAndDagger
      CloakAndDagger
      January 7, 2012, 4:38 pm

      @Keith

      You are exactly right! I have been fuming about this since yesterday – and keep having to walk away to cool off so that I don’t spam this blog with invectives. A war on Afghanistan was never justified – a limited action to go get Osama Bin Laden would have been justified given the belief that he perpetrated a criminal act. Afghanistan did not attack the US, so no war could be justified there under any circumstances.

      Ditto for Iraq.

      To Prof. Slater:


      Cautious be of hubris thine,
      As I must be of contempt mine,
      Lest on crow we both must dine.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        January 7, 2012, 6:00 pm

        OBL supposedly turned out to be in Pakistan, protected by the Pakistanis (America’s supposed allies against the USSR and the War on Terror), rather than hiding in a cave in Afghanistan. And yet I have some doubt that the Pakistanis really liked 911 and the loss of civilian lives involved. Perhaps there is alot more to the story than meets the eye.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      January 7, 2012, 9:33 pm

      “Who the hell comes up with a just war theory?”

      Lots of people. The idea that there should be rules to determine both when a war may be fought (jus ad bellum) and how to fight it (jus in bello) is older than the Latin tags I use.

      I should point out that Just War theory is about the moral justification for war, not the question of whether such a war is legal under international law. Mind you, a war which is illegal under international law is likely to be immoral under Just War theory as well, since Just War theory lies behind the formulations of international law.

      Admittedly, nearly all the Just War theory that we philosophers discuss in the safety of our ivory towers scruffy offices comes from imperial traditions. Al-Shaybani, for example, wrote in the context of the Islamic empire, and the Chinese Just War theorists in the context of Chinese imperialism. In the West, Aristotle (Alexander’s tutor) and Cicero (supporter of Roman Imperialism) laid a lot of the foundations.

      However, when examined carefully, the Western version as discussed by Aquinas, Suarez, Grotius, Pufendorf, etc., does not automatically justify wars of aggression. The requirements of “just cause” and “last resort” impose limits. Of course, the really big question is that of what constitutes a just cause*. We are no longer likely to consider an insult to royalty to be a just cause, but we do consider resistance to invasion to be a just cause.

      And yet in the case of the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia to destroy the Pol Pot regime, the invasion seems to have served a moral purpose.

      David Luban
      http://home.sandiego.edu/~baber/globalethics/luban.pdf
      suggests that a just war is either in defence of basic human rights or defence against and unjust war. An unjust war is one that is subversive of human rights and not in defence of human rights.

      This would allow agression against an oppressive regime, and make it immoral for that regime to resist. It seems to make moral sense to me, but in practice it is exceedingly dangerous. One cannot always be certain that such a war would do more good than harm, and the claim of “restoring human rights” is too easy to make.

      Of course, that is theory.

      Actual governments do not pay a lot of attention to the theory, and the lies they tell us are designed to get our support for their wars rather than encourage debate about the morality.

      (*For Michael Walzer, “Israel wants it” always counts as a just cause.)

  60. January 7, 2012, 5:19 pm

    Keith,
    You nailed it.
    War is a destruction, death,hunger, cold, blood, tears, injustice, humility.
    In a way war is never justified,but sometimes it is necessary ,when the country is directly attacked, for no apparent reason, and there is nothing left but to fight, to defend, to protect itself. WWII did not start as a just war.
    Hitler and Stalin attacked Poland, and the country justly protected itself from the aggressors. France and Great Britain, for whatever damn reasons, did not help Poland, ( even those they signed treaties that obliged to help).
    Hitler felt free to attack further and further, then he attacked Russia and war escalated even more. The fact that USA eventually got in this mess was for many different reasons ( maybe they wanted profits from it??).

    • dahoit
      dahoit
      January 8, 2012, 1:01 pm

      Britain and France declared war on Germany when Hitler refused to evacuate Poland after his invasion.
      The war went on for almost 6 years. you have heard of it, WW2?
      Did the British and French send troops to Poland for its defense?Well,as C47s and their ancestors were not available,and the Germans blitzkrieg ate up the antiquated Polish military,suicide missions were not in vogue among the Allied leadership at the time.

      • January 8, 2012, 9:34 pm

        Dahoit,
        Your ignorance is astounding. You know NOTHING about WWII, and you dare to make some comments about it.
        “When Hitler refused to evacuate Poland”?? What a statement. Wow.
        Do you think Hitler attacked Poland ,so he could “evacuate” right after that?? Very interesting “theory”.
        Great Britain and France signed Treaties with Poland ,which promised that in case of attack on Poland, they would IMMEDIATELY
        (within 1-3 days) attack Germans from the sea, land and air.
        Go and do some research on it before you write anything ignorant again. Those “Treaties” were good for nothing, the same way UN resolutions concerning Palestine, are just paper resolutions.
        They don’t change the sitatuation of Palestinians at all, since they are not being enforced.
        “The Allied leadership” was a bunch of liers, traitors and cowards.
        That’as the Truth.
        And Polish army fought VERY bravely, my ignorant fool.
        They were attacked from BOTH sides ,which you probalby do not even know.
        They did not have strong military equipment since the independent Poland existed only a little more that 20 years. But of course you know nothing about it.
        Here is a good vidoe. Watch it and learn something.

  61. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    January 7, 2012, 5:20 pm

    I don’t think that underdogs and victims are necessarily against war or have no formulated ideas about the rights and wrongs of war. Afghan Muslims and Vietnamese Marxists have complex theories to call on. And I agree with Slater that it’s very difficult to be against all war in all circumstances. Yet almost all human beings have a horror of mere slaughter. Let’s have some ideas, theories even, to resolve this tension.
    The ingredients of the theory were first, I think, an emphasis on law and procedure which was developed in the Roman Republic and stated by Cicero. As a matter of common sense you can see the point of this. Slater simply abandons this whole tradition (and substitutes no alternative from his own apparatus of ideas) when he applauds the allegedly ‘unconstitutional’ entry of the US into WW2. In other words he insists on an example and on a theory where the theory does not support the example.
    The second main ingredient turned out to be an emphasis – characteristic of, though not found only in, Catholic theology – on purity of intention. Slater has many sources for his own considerable emphasis on intentions. For what it’s worth I think that this emphasis is misleading. It permits massive, indeed unlimited casualties so long as all of them can be represented as regrettable side-effects – ‘I didn’t really intend this; I wouldn’t have killed them if it wasn’t the only way to destroy a military target’. Furthermore the emphasis on the inwardly pure fighting the inwardly impure does seem to imply that the wars will continue until pure morality and religion prevail everywhere – ie we have a theory which easily lapses into one of perpetual war, as Mooser mentioned long since.
    I don’t know if Ron Paul takes part in philosophical discussions. Perhaps he is simple in his mentality. But on the other hand things are not as simple and obvious as Pollitt and Slater would have it.

  62. January 7, 2012, 5:25 pm

    Those ,who have not seen or heard this , they should.
    In a way it is shocking.
    A MUST see for everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I06GZpoEC4s&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

    • dahoit
      dahoit
      January 8, 2012, 12:53 pm

      Anybody see the you tube presentation by Susan Lindauer?The CIA person who told of our pre knowledge of 9-11,and put in prison and harassed for it?Very explosive.Unsure of site,but I’m sure some finger walking can cure that problem.
      And the fact that she was the first cousin of Andrew Card,The shrubs chief of staff,invites credibility as to her position,and their attacks on her sanity invite more.Check it out.I saw it at the Guardian site about Syria a few days ago.the first responder in fact,but the criminals have probably removed the link.Maybe not.

      • annie
        annie
        January 8, 2012, 1:05 pm

        dahoit, check your computer’s history. if you watched a youtube video it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

  63. Citizen
    Citizen
    January 7, 2012, 7:01 pm

    Jess Evans: Why get in a frazzle over Chisum? You turn me loose on him… there’ll be a sudden funeral right here in Lincoln.
    Lawrence Murphy: Uh-huh. Yours.
    Jess Evans: How’s that?
    Lawrence Murphy: Do you play chess?
    Jess Evans: Chess? What the hell has that got to do with Chisum?
    Lawrence Murphy: Everything. You just leave him alone. I’ll take care of Mr. Chisum.
    Sheriff Brady: That ain’t gonna be easy.
    Lawrence Murphy: You’re right. But see, there’s a fundamental difference between Mr. Chisum and me.
    Sheriff Brady: Yeah, what’s that?
    Lawrence Murphy: Mr. Chisum is a man who respects the law.
    [Chuckles]
    Lawrence Murphy: Around here, I’m the man who owns it.

  64. Citizen
    Citizen
    January 8, 2012, 6:11 am

    Ron Paul has repeatedly come out against preemptive and preventive wars–no other candidate has. He is the only one who has expressed historical knowledge on the subject, especially as to our invasion of Iraq and looming bombing of Iran in partnership with Israel. Only a blind man would cast Paul as the simple-minded candidate.

    Slater needs to do a tad of homework on the subject if he does not want to continue to look like a neocon’s stool–some suggestions:

    Lost in the “logic of war.”
    http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/ethicalperspectives/logic.html

    Preemptive war is “extremely rare historically. Only three cases since 1816: World War I, Chinese intervention in Korea 1950, and the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.” Reiter, Dan. “Exploding the Powder Keg Myth: Preemptive Wars Almost Never Happen.” International Security 20 (Fall 1995): 5–34.

    “The preventive motivation for war can be found as early as Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta in the 5th century bce, it was a key feature in the origins of World War I and the Japanese attack on the United States in 1941, and it features prominently in the argument over America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. The preventive motivation is also central to the ongoing concern about Iran’s nuclear program…”
    http://www.oxfordbibliographiesonline.com/view/document/obo-9780199743292/obo-9780199743292-0053.xml;jsessionid=AA87421550E0F03C71EC795130EA700C

    • dahoit
      dahoit
      January 8, 2012, 12:45 pm

      Uh,uh,you left out Iraq03,Poland 39,among others,and how the hell did China preempt our preemption in Korea?The war expanded when we crossed the Yalu,or threatened to,Chinese territory.
      How much you wanna bet the Oxford dictionary is controlled today by Prince Rupert or some other Zionist?Busy forging the the pages of history,making alleged historical fascists seem like amateurs.
      It’s wonderful to control discourse neh?

  65. Citizen
    Citizen
    January 8, 2012, 6:27 am

    CNN conveniently had sudden “technical difficulty” while Bash (nee Schwartz) was interviewing a two-tour US Army corporal (about to go on his third tour of duty overseas) who had just voted for Ron Paul–while he was explaining in detail to Bash why we should not be “nit-picking” for war overseas, citing Iran and Israel, which latter state, he said, “could take care of itself.” Wolf Blitzer, former AIPAC man, quickly appeared and turned to another subject:

    http://thepassionateattachment.com/2012/01/07/cnns-technical-difficulty-or-censorship/

  66. Jerome Slater
    Jerome Slater
    January 8, 2012, 12:21 pm

    With this final remark, I am departing not only this thread, but Mondoweiss itself. Over the last few years Phil Weiss has published a number of my commentaries, and the pattern is invariable: when I write some very severe criticism of Israel, I am applauded, but whenever I write something that departs from the radical left, knee-jerk consensus on Mondoweiss, I am subject to a torrent of abuse, junior high school sarcasm, sputtering hatred, and so on. Not to mention the most ludicrous charge of them all–that I’m an apologist for Israel, or that I think that anyone who criticizes Israel, or me personally, is an anti-Semite.

    Now, it is true that sometimes I have lost my temper, and responded with some acerbity. I plead guilty, but offer in mitigation the fact that I’m only human, that when I’m subject to attacks that reveal that little or nothing of my argument has been understood, and that this lack of comprehension is accompanied by insults, sometimes my combative instincts take over and I can’t resist striking back.

    Because I’ve finally had it, and knew that this would be my last appearance, in this instance I decided to go out with a bang, not only knowing full well what the response would be, but actually anticipating with some perverse glee watching the wolf pack go into a frenzy. Here I am referring particularly to my warning against entering the approaching brain-free zone, which I deliberately inserted between comments by some of the worst offenders, American, Mooser, and Keith.

    My final criticism of Mondoweiss in the one I regard as by far the most important. For a number of years Phil Weiss has performed an invaluable service, providing information about Israel’s policies and a platform for serious criticism of them. Even after other blogs along the same lines began to appear, Mondoweiss remained the most important, the most often quoted and, I believe, the most widely read.

    However, in the last year the flaws in Mondoweiss have become more intrusive. I refer partly to the excessively one-sided and sometimes analytically unsophisticated nature of some of its postings. The more important problem, though, is the disastrous quality of most of the regular commenters–with honorable exceptions, of course, including several on this particular thread.

    Why “disastrous?” There is no serious prospect of any change in Israeli policies, or of US support of them, unless the American Jewish community can finally grasp that those policies are irrational, self-defeating, dangerous, and immoral. Without the support of the Jewish community, there is no chance that any US government will adopt the strong measures that are the only chance of reversing Israel’s course: BDS, and making US aid conditional on such reversals.

    Therefore, the most important audience for Mondoweiss and other blogs, including mine, is the American Jewish community. How many American Jews who might be open to reasoned criticism of Israel are likely to be convinced by the hysterical, hate-filled, ignorant, and imbalanced denunciations that now characterize far too many of the regular Mondoweiss participants, especially in their total rejections of any form of Zionism, no matter how self-critical and moderate, and the numerous–yes, numerous–attacks that verge on, or unmistakably go over, the red line of anti-Semitism.

    • Richard Witty
      Richard Witty
      January 8, 2012, 12:33 pm

      Jerome,
      I suggest that you stay and dialog with me, which you haven’t for who knows what reason, calling me somehow not liberal, in some contrast to those that don’t respectfully disagree.

      There are some positions that you’ve taken that I’ve found appalling, specifically the math that since Israel made very questionable judgments/”diplomacy” relative to the blockade of Gaza and incidents in Gaza, that all aspects of Cast Lead were illegal per international law, with no qualification to that thesis accepted.

      You, in effect declared, that Israel had no right or responsibility to defend its civilians against rocket attacks from Hamas and other factions in December and January of 2008.

      It came up when Phil, Adam and Lizzy were promoting their book, when Goldstone partially recanted, and periodically since.

      As I believe that you have been misinterpreted here (or not, there are fanatic ideologs that you describe), I wish that you would consider that you might have misinterpreted my posts.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 12:32 pm

        “I suggest that you stay and dialog with me, which you haven’t for who knows what reason…”

        ROTFLMSJAO!!! Notice that Witty dioesn’t invite Slater to “dialog with me” on his own blog. No, he figures it’s only good manners, (and a significant bandwidth saving) to beckon the Prof. Emiticus to “dialog” on Phil’s blog.
        Oh well, I guess you could call it internet Zionism, huh?

    • dahoit
      dahoit
      January 8, 2012, 12:38 pm

      Well so long sucker!It’s liars like you that create all the hate,but hey,you don’t care an iota.Pull up your blue and white sheet and sing hosannas to yourself while you slip into your Zioworld of blissful unreality.

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      January 8, 2012, 1:05 pm

      Jerry, I would urge you to stick around because you do offer a thoughtful and morally-based justification for your belief in the need for a Jewish state. I agree with you that some of the commentary on this site can be intemperate. We’ve struggled with that, and I have tried to encourage diversity, and I’ve reflected that as James North says, the internet is tribal, and the tribe here is anti-Zionist. Politics is very polarized on this issue. It reflects the polarization in the actual conflict. Losing your voice here will only further polarize the matter…
      You should know I supported the Afghan war in 2001; I think I was wrong to do so now, given the way it was carried out (yes, the first refuge of all the Iraq war regretters). I supported the Libyan intervention last year and feel that it was the right thing.
      Phil

      • Egbert
        Egbert
        January 8, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Professor Slater,

        I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this from 972mag.com, specifically in relation to the future of Israel.

        “The veteran settler leader, Benni Katzover, was caught (Hebrew) telling some meshigene Chabad paper, “Beit Mashiach”, that “I would say that today, Israeli democracy has one central mission, and that is to disappear. Israeli democracy has finished its historical role, and it must be dismantled and bow before Judaism.”

        With a comment:
        “And I suppose he’s is being honest. It’s a while since anyone has used the ‘a vote for me will be the last time you need to vote’ argument, but sh*t! it’s got some ugly precedents.”

        The report (url below) also notes that he has been reported to be a leader of the ‘price tag’ campaign.

        http://972mag.com/settler-leader-democracy-must-be-dismantled/32401/

    • annie
      annie
      January 8, 2012, 1:36 pm

      There is no serious prospect of any change in Israeli policies, or of US support of them, unless the American Jewish community can finally grasp that those policies are irrational, self-defeating, dangerous, and immoral. Without the support of the Jewish community, there is no chance that any US government will adopt the strong measures that are the only chance of reversing Israel’s course: BDS, and making US aid conditional on such reversals.

      well that’s interesting. iow the other 98% of us mean diddlysquat.

      you may have noticed i didn’t engage much in this thread, if at all (i can’t bother checking but i don’t recall engaging). i made the effort to discuss zionism, and ethnic nationalism, with you on an earlier thread. i was rudely dismissed and cut off by you. you burn bridges and then blame others when you’re isolated.

      the policies of the israeli government are a reflection of the American Jewish community.( that does not mean they represent every individual in that community, but they are a reflection of the community) so getting the American Jewish community..finally grasp that those policies are irrational, self-defeating, dangerous, and immoral is really no different that getting the American Jewish community to finally grasp that those policies are a reflection of themselves and those amongst them… irrational, self-defeating, dangerous, and immoral. waiting for the jewish community to do something about that is not on everyones the agenda. if we want to change the US policy towards israel it’s going to take many many more voices than the 2% and lots of other people are listening and engaging. many of us we are not kowtowed by inside tribal pressures.

      anyway, since you have decided to leave the site i will bid you adieu. but please do not leave here complaining about the responses you get when you alienated many people (like myself) from engaging with you in the past. why should i even bother responding to your articles if, when backed into a corner by a reasonable argument you cannot counter logically, you throw a hissy fit and cut people off? you got the audience you deserved.

      • libra
        libra
        January 8, 2012, 3:57 pm

        Annie, I completely agree except for a semantic quibble on your very last point. Slater got the response he deserved but as an audience we deserve better than his condescension.

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 8, 2012, 6:14 pm

        One helluva smart answer, annie, even with the typos. :-)

      • annie
        annie
        January 8, 2012, 11:11 pm

        MRW, slater responded to me by email:

        I said I wouldn’t respond to any further comments on Mondoweiss, and I meant it–but that doesn’t preclude a private response. You are an ignorant vulgarian, with no intellectual record or standing. You are also not very bright, as your response to my substantive argument once again proves. I didn’t say that non-Jews have no right to criticize Israel and U.S. policy, I said that as a matter of fact the attitudes of the Jewish community are what are decisive. That shouldn’t be too difficult a distinction, even for you.

        As for the tone issue, I did not respond to you in the manner you describe, until well AFTER you had made a number of stupid, potty-mouthed, and junior high-school sarcastic comments on things that I wrote. Moreover, I didn’t respond until after it had happened several times. Those are the facts of the matter, go reread them. The same is the case when I’ve responded with some annoyance to the usual insults from your pals on Mondoweiss–I never start the process, I make substantive arguments, and respond ad hominum only when I’ve had enough. You are at the very heart of all that is wrong with the Mondowess commentariat mob. Stick with your Moosers, Americans, Keiths, etc.–you’ve found your level.

        we have archives here. maybe you should stop digging and try listening. like i said before:

        you burn bridges and then blame others when you’re isolated.

      • annie
        annie
        January 8, 2012, 11:20 pm

        also, re jerry’s logic:

        I didn’t say that non-Jews have no right to criticize Israel and U.S. policy, I said that as a matter of fact the attitudes of the Jewish community are what are decisive. That shouldn’t be too difficult a distinction, even for you.

        hey jerry, (because i know you are listening) i never accused you of saying non-Jews have no right to criticize Israel..i was addressing your feeble attempt to convince all of us the attitudes of the Jewish community are what are decisive. that was what my snark was about too. here, i will repeat it for you:

        well that’s interesting. iow the other 98% of us mean diddlysquat.

        wake up jerry, between now and forever …it is not always the Jewish community who determine what’s decisive. you can think that til the cows come home, and while it may be like that right now..that’s not really a sustainable ptv, iow i wouldn’t count on it.

        see ya round. i plan on digging up that other conversation becasue my recollection is i called you on your bs before. and la ti da..you didn’t respond. now that you have my email i’ll be looking out for more of your responses, and i will post all of them here. mark my words, you don’t scar or scare me.

        ciao

      • annie
        annie
        January 8, 2012, 11:48 pm

        speaking of archives..it didn’t take me long at all

        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/more-on-the-debate-over-zionism-and-the-jewish-state.html/comment-page-1#comment-301686

        that was a warm up. here’s more:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/more-on-the-debate-over-zionism-and-the-jewish-state.html/comment-page-1#comment-301711

        remember you admitted you ‘over reacted’ and then continued to assert i ‘fail to understand a complex argument‘. your defense against my arguments seems to be that i am just not smart enough to comprehend yours.

        so i rephrased and you still would not address my arguments, at all. you didn’t answer. so now anyone who is interested can understand why i don’t bother with you anymore. you only fight the fights that interest you, me too. for all to see..here is what you won’t address:(the blockquotes do not afford italics so i am using quotemarks instead)

        annie says:
        March 27, 2011 at 8:37 am

        “you haven’t earned the right to be sarcastic”

        i’m going to have to do some research on sarcasm rights, this is the first i’ve heard of them.

        “perhaps I overreacted a bit”

        no biggie. just pointing out the “barrage of insults” started w/you. i reduced part of your argument to a caricature to demonstrate how absurd that segment sounded to me. the casualness with which you utilized certain common trumps belies a blinding lack of sensitivity you don’t even recognize because it is so ingrained in your thinking. i exaggerated it so you could see it, but i don’t think it’s something you are willing (or perhaps able) to see. you think “the most vulnerable part of my argument concerns my claim that with some imagination decent Zionists might have come up with ways to increase the Jewish majority without resorting to mass murder and ethnic cleansing” but i disagree. i think the most vulnerable part of your argument is that it builds on foundations and assumptions you take for granted and you expect others to take them for granted too.

        you think your argument (about decent zionists) sounds reasonable. so if that idea is so decent then what’s so crazy about asking you what price jews would take to leave israel? why is one idea considered a valid part of a complex argument and the other so absurd as to be deemed highly insulting? if the suggestion seems insulting to you then why can’t you comprehend the insult of your argument? what’s the reasoning behind not understanding the absurdity of paying people off for their homeland?

        and my other objection is your insistence about the locale. the reality is if zionism is merely what you say it is then it didn’t have to materialize in palestine. you take that as a given and accept we should take it as a given too. feasibly the only reason zionism had to manifest inside palestine is because the definition of it is more aligned w/WJ’s description (irredentism). but for some reason you can’t seem to accept that, claiming israel had to be in palestine for practical reasons. it wasn’t practical then anymore than it is practical now. it could only be construed as practical if you discount the needs and aspirations of 1/2 the people. when zionists talk of practicality in palestine they are almost always talking about what’s practical for jews.

        there’s something inherently dishonest about building an argument around ideas you require others to accept. they’re non negotiable to you the same way zionist claims about what the future will hold are non negotiable. this is where your vulnerability lies, in the segments of your argument that are rigid.

        imho if you really want to be practical you have to start with looking at the goi’s unwillingness and ability to tackle this settler issue. there’s thousands of criminals there, some hardcore. this is a huge problem for the future of the region and i am not seeing any will on the part of the government to reel them in. nothing. i think practical thinking requires we acknowledge the unwillingness of the jewish community to deal with this issue leaves the future of israel completely up in the air with no guarantees whatsoever. even if you make two states, the fanatics are not slowing their pace. who’s going to stop them?

        you didn’t answer jerome. your excuse? You are an ignorant vulgarian, with no intellectual record or standing. You are also not very bright

        uh huh. iow, you have no answer so you are calling me ignorant.

      • annie
        annie
        January 9, 2012, 12:03 am

        and this was what he was so upset about. ..not bothering with the blockquotes:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/more-on-the-debate-over-zionism-and-the-jewish-state.html/comment-page-1#comment-301844

        “pabelmont, i wouldn’t describe it as delicious. it just seems insulting to me to presume palestine is more important to jews than it is to palestinians. it implies jews feel more. the idea one might get all tweeked about even the idea of buying off jews while lecturing, berating, insulting us for not comprehending the “complex argument” that contains exactly his own logic, flipped over. but i don’t find the idea delicious. hey, they offer awesome deals and money to go there it just makes sense the financial incentive could work in the opposite direction. (for some maybe but not for all). the idea is no more absurd than paying palestinians off, in fact one could argue it is less absurd.

        after all, palestinians have a fairly awesome track record of millions of them not leaving under radically dire circumstances. if jews in israel had to live under a brutal occupation for 60 years (their kids hauled off in the middle of the night, their most virile men jailed, their best and brightest targetted for extinction) while having the option to leave i wonder how many of them would stick around for their land?”

        this is simple stuff to conceptualize. and he calls me stupid. i might not have ivy league smarts but i have an abundance of common sense. jerome thinks palestinians could be paid off to leave but throws a fit when i asked what price jews would accept to abandon israel. what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander in jerome’s world.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 12:19 am

        Slater: “I didn’t say that non-Jews have no right to criticize Israel and U.S. policy, I said that as a matter of fact the attitudes of the Jewish community are what are decisive. That shouldn’t be too difficult a distinction, even for you.”

        What does this observational Slater fact say about 98% Gentile America? Is it something to be proud of? Who should be proud? Shouldn’t
        American foreign policy be somewhat important to all Americans? Oddly, Ron Paul thinks so. If he was not in the race the subject would hardly even be mentioned by our political leaders on either side of the mainstream. Yet we’ve been waging wars for a long time now with no end in sight, so much so Obama just signed into law the platform for a legal police state on the premise the war has now entered our back yards. All these wars benefit whom? Will our kids be snitching on us like they once did in Germany? Again, for whom?

      • MRW
        MRW
        January 9, 2012, 12:46 am

        I hope his former students read this. He deserves the ultimate opprobrium. I am gobsmacked by this private email. Shame on him. Shame.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        NorthOfFortyNine
        January 9, 2012, 3:10 am

        JSlater said: “[T]hat as a matter of fact the attitudes of the Jewish community are what are decisive.”

        Hubris Watch? Or something more sinister?

        :-) N49.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        January 9, 2012, 7:06 am

        Annie,
        I disagree with some of Jerome’s comments, and he disagrees with me to the point that he won’t respond to anything that I write.

        But, you are wrong about your participation with Jerome, and here in general.

        I know that you are trying to turn blame onto Jerome, but you should be very much aware that your participation here is a significant influence on the thinness of discussion here, the turn to the even more malevolently biased even in the editorial content, and the resulting considerable decline in the reputation of the site.

        It is already outside of the accepted, but so long as discussion remains substantative it is in the range of the potentially accepted (and is then read by more than just crackpots). To the extent that discussion is led (by you) to be polemic rather than substantive, this site will only be the realm of the prejudiced, and therefore utterly irrelevant in the larger world.

        In order for this site to rise in stature, you’d (all the editors) have to make the better argument, not the better argument for censorship of whom you don’t like.

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 9, 2012, 10:12 am

        “I am gobsmacked by this private email.”

        Correct–PRIVATE email. Silly me–I just assumed that when you send a private email to someone, they won’t publish it without your consent. Under that assumption, I decided to say exactly what I believed; obviously, if I intended to go public, I wouldn’t have said EXACTLY what I meant. Lesson learned.

        However, now that Annie has gone public, I will reiterate that she embodies all that is wrong with Mondoweiss–which is not to say that there aren’t many things that are right with Mondoweiss.

        A lot of people here are “shocked” by all sorts of things. Well, what I am most shocked about is Phil’s actually promoting Annie to a regular staff member: is this the face he wishes to present to the world? It’s a bad error on his part–and I have communicated my opinion to him.

        Aside from Annie’s sophomoric and vulgar rhetoric and her often incoherent writing–take a look at her earlier attempt to rebut my argument about the crucial importance of the American Jewish community if US policy is to change–she has no qualifications to be taken seriously as an analyst of important issues. Strong opinions, typically accompanied by venom, sarcasm and profanities–presumably designed to show that you are one tough broad, a woman of the people, as opposed to some ivory-tower elitist professor–are not a substitute for knowledge, balance, and experience in serious analysis of vitally important matters.

        Finally, Annie is the embodiment of so many others on this site, who seem incapable of either honesty or comprehension in stating fairly the argument you wish to oppose. That alone disqualifies her from being taken seriously by serious people.

        A closing word. I know that I have said, more than once, that I’ve had enough, and won’t respond any further to comments. Yet I can’t keep my mouth shut; I’m laughing at me as well. Nobody is perfect, not even me. However, after this string is played out, I’m pretty sure I mean what I say.

      • annie
        annie
        January 9, 2012, 11:11 am

        take a look at her earlier attempt to rebut my argument about the crucial importance of the American Jewish community if US policy is to change

        actually, i did not offer a rebuttal on the crucial importance of the american jewish community if US policy is to change. i challenged your assertion they were decisive. (webster: having the power or quality of deciding )

        this is a democracy jerome. what’s decisive isn’t determined solely by american jewish community. yours is a strawman argument and you are still not addressing my points, again. it seems you’re more comfortable in the arena of strawman and ad homimen attacks.

        ciao

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        January 9, 2012, 11:11 am

        Jerome Slater,

        An interesting glimpse into the operations of the Israel lobby at work in microcosm — thanks for sharing:

        “Well, what I am most shocked about is Phil’s actually promoting Annie to a regular staff member: is this the face he wishes to present to the world? It’s a bad error on his part–and I have communicated my opinion to him.”

        So you basically went behind Annie’s back to try to pressure Phil Weiss to remove her from Mondoweiss as a regular staff member? Nice.

        Regarding this:

        “Finally, Annie is the embodiment of so many others on this site, who seem incapable of either honesty or comprehension in stating fairly the argument you wish to oppose.”

        It is my impression that you resoundingly lose nearly every argument you enter here because you are an intellectually dishonest person with less than impressive reasoning skills and a shallow knowledge of history. What am I missing, professor?

        I wish you would try to address a key point I have tried to raise with you: aren’t ethnic nationalist movements and ideologies pretty much a non-starter in modern Western democracies, especially the United States and Europe?

        Once any ethnic group begins to play the ethnic nationalist game any ethnic group can play. This is why we have begun to see the development of friendly relations between some Zionists and white nationalists in Europe. (Anders Breivik, the Oslo terrorist who massacred dozens of his fellow Norwegians in the name of white nationalism, is, for instance, an ardent Zionist and pro-Israel militant.)

        Liberal Zionists are fooling themselves if they think they can escape being sucked into a self-destructive ideological vortex that is now being largely controlled by the most extreme religious Zionists in Israeli society (especially those leading the settlements movement and the drive to build Greater Israel). In fact, “liberal Zionists” (again, an absurd oxymoron) under Labor have built more settlements in the occupied territories than right-wing Zionists under Likud.

        Btw, do you know who John Clive is?

      • annie
        annie
        January 9, 2012, 12:03 pm

        I wish you would try to address a key point I have tried to raise with you: aren’t ethnic nationalist movements and ideologies pretty much a non-starter in modern Western democracies, especially the United States and Europe?

        good luck sean. btw, from the original thread where the argument started, Slater seeks to reconcile Zionism with justice for Palestinians a precursor to “More on the debate over Zionism and the Jewish state” which was the thread my recent comments were linked to. but it started earlier and the conversation is fascinating.

        again, mr slater uses insult instead of argument. even when he is attempting to be rational and reasonable he let’s slip attitudes that belie an overall sense of persecution/superiority which he combats with a liberal use of ad hominem. (that particular link is to a comment where, w/timestamp, i demonstrate he was the one who began with the insults, this was after giving him the benefit of the doubt wrt his intentions. but he just doesn’t let up. it’s a shame, the whole thing is so sad and he seems hardwired to perceive himself as being persecuted while somehow blind to the underhanded methods he employs to evade tackling the others points in the depth with which they deserve..

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 9, 2012, 12:06 pm

        Annie:

        Ok, continuing to play out this string. Since your statement was so badly written, it is hard to know exactly what you objected to, but I think the underlying message–and its confusion–was decipherable. I was stating that as a matter of FACT, the views of the American Jewish community were decisive in determining US policy towards Israel–just as Mearsheimer and Walt have argued. I most certainly was not saying that I APPROVED of the fact–again, just as M/W didn’t approve of the fact–so what you said there, and yet again here (“what’s decisive isn’t determined solely by the American Jewish community”) is a non-sequitur.

        Now, I agree that I ASSERTED, as opposed to demonstrated, that the influence of American Jews on this issue was decisive. I wasn’t writing a book, I was making a statement that I assumed would not be challenged on the facts, in support of my argument that if you wished to change this fact, you would have to proceed in an entirely different manner.

        Of course, you may disagree that I have stated a fact. In that case, what you must do is say something like this: “I think it is factually incorrect that American Jews are decisive, and here is the evidence that shows they aren’t: etc.”

        To restate what should be obvious, from everything that I’ve written: I deplore, not approve, the decisive influence of my community on Israeli issues, because I think they are wrong, with terrible moral and security consequences for all concerned, first and foremost the oppressed Palestinians, but also Israel and the United States itself.

        Your inability to understand this elementary distinction–or perhaps, if you prefer, your dishonesty in characterizing my argument, is precisely what disqualifies you from being taken seriously–no matter how much you are adored by others on this site.

      • richb
        richb
        January 9, 2012, 12:08 pm

        In 2008 I was a caucus chairman for the Republican party. In our caucus there was quite a bit of enthusiasm for Ron Paul mostly because of his anti-war stance. (I was supporting McCain because of his views on the environment.) In fact, our delegate to the state convention was pledged to Paul. Even amongst Republicans who show up for caucuses there was war fatigue. Perhaps it was because I was running the caucus but there was zero controversy concerning supporting Ron Paul. One of my friends at church who attended this caucus was a Ron Paul supporter then. (More on this below.)

        I suspect such a description would be shocking here since the current Republican party has no such diversity where there aren’t any moderate Republicans left. I’m now neither a Republican nor a moderate but I was then. My take is the Republican party was more reasonable three years ago because Obama had not yet been elected and Obama derangement syndrome hadn’t set in. Since no progress was made in the so-called peace process in the Bush Administration the I/P issue was deemed “unimportant” amongst Republican activists and thus Iraq was the only context for Paul’s views. Not one peep about Israel.

        Glenn Beck, a Mormon BTW, has changed the game for the Republicans moving from Israel not being discussed to being the center of the Universe. My friend above when she found out that I agreed with many of Paul’s foreign policy views retorted that she took the Bible literally. If you did take it literally, though, the nation-state of Israel cannot be part of Biblical prophesy. Jesus was supposed to return within one generation from when the Jews return. Given forty years from 1948 or 1967 gives 1988 or 2007 respectively.

        Getting to Jerome Slater’s complaint vis-a-vis tone I contend that Zionism itself has contributed to the continued decay in civility in both major political parties. I decided to put my hip waders on this weekend and take another look at DK. The discussion vis-a-vis Ron Paul’s FP and what it said about the left makes what’s happening here appear to be pattycake. I, for one, think it’s important to discuss this and contra Slater it increases my respect for this site and doesn’t lessen it. It takes intellectual courage to listen to someone you consider 90-95% wrong to see where you’re wrong. Academia should be the bastion of intellectual courage but this also shows the destructiveness of Zionism on that part of the culture. If you look down on the plebes you ossify and don’t learn. Because of this his parting will be more harmful to him than us.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        January 9, 2012, 12:17 pm

        From the great Witty:

        “I know that you are trying to turn blame onto Jerome, but you should be very much aware that your participation here is a significant influence on the thinness of discussion here, the turn to the even more malevolently biased even in the editorial content, and the resulting considerable decline in the reputation of the site”

        That said by the person absolutely no one – again – NO ONE respects for any reason. That distinction – of the least respected commenter on Mondoweiss – is his for incoherent, convolute postings, barely veiled hypocricy peeking from behind every crack, the substance-free content of his posts, and blissfully aspergery lack of self-awareness.

        As for the ‘decline” in the site’s reputation, why – we’ve all witnessed the very opposite. The swap at the “thinness” of the discussion is a pot-shot by one who knows thinness intimately but not what what transference is.

        Witty serves a role here as a year-long, lone Christmas decoration, a round glass ball with little distinction, a bit musty around the edges, that for some reason keeps popping up in the less dusted corners of the house.

        One Annie is basically worth about 1000 Witties (understatement day) to the site.

      • CloakAndDagger
        CloakAndDagger
        January 9, 2012, 12:37 pm

        One Annie is basically worth about 1000 Witties (understatement day) to the site.

        A gross understatement. Worth her weight in gold, and more. Mr. Witty, not so much.

      • annie
        annie
        January 9, 2012, 12:39 pm

        well jerome, since you have taken it upon yourself to school me in ways i should be responding to something you asserted (as opposed to demonstrated) i would like to inform you once again, that lavishing your instruction with ad hominems (i have an inability, i am dishonest etc etc) won’t score you any points here. i’m going to skip your instruction since you are skipping mine and *act as you do, not as you say.

        I was stating that as a matter of FACT, the views of the American Jewish community were decisive in determining US policy towards Israel–just as Mearsheimer and Walt have argued.

        right, and in the very same paragraph you also stated:

        Without the support of the Jewish community, there is no chance that any US government will adopt the strong measures that are the only chance of reversing Israel’s course

        pardon me for taking your assertions seriously. to me, any US government implies this one or the one after that or the one after that etc etc now into infinitum. and there is no chance means never (never ever , it would be impossibility ever change this circumstance). perhaps you missed this part of my argument:

        while it may be like that right now..that’s not really a sustainable ptv, iow i wouldn’t count on it.

        iow, i do agree with you here: I was stating that as a matter of FACT, the views of the American Jewish community were decisive in determining US policy towards Israel–just as Mearsheimer and Walt have argued

        what i am disagreeing with is that the views of the American Jewish community ARE decisive, in perpetuity, in determining US policy towards Israel. also, i do not think your assertions , taken together are an argument Mearsheimer and Walt ever made. nor do i think they would agree with you. if you have any evidence to the contrary..produce it.

        *Your inability to understand this elementary distinction–or perhaps, if you prefer, your dishonesty in characterizing my argument, is precisely what disqualifies you from being taken seriously–no matter how much you may be adored by the proprietors of this site.

        * jerome, do you recognize your own words in the last paragraph? switching ‘proprietors’ with your term ‘others’. as i mentioned in the first paragraph i was going to act as you do, not as you say.

      • annie
        annie
        January 9, 2012, 12:57 pm

        I most certainly was not saying that I APPROVED of the fact

        i get that, really. this argument is not about whether you do or do not approve of this circumstance and i completely get that you do not.

        while you continually harp on my ability to communicate and comprehend i am merely working off your direct quotes and what slips out in your own language. language when, flipped back on yourself (our initial argument where i asked how much money jews would take to abandon the zionist project as an example) you slither away from.

        there is a particular supremacy in mindthought (whether you approve of it or not and i believe you when you say you don’t) to make a statement regarding ANY US government and our foreign policy in terms of the DECISIVENESS of one tiny ethnicity. you said it jerry, so don’t blame me for being incapable of comprehension. a simple ‘i misspoke’ will do. instead you go on another tirade of accusations and insults about my presumed dishonesty and inability to comprehend.

        ciao

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        January 9, 2012, 12:57 pm

        I want to reiterate and reiterate the significance of Ron Paul’s declaration that ‘Money in politics is constitutionally protected free speech’.

        There certainly is a point to that, and at the same time money at the scale of elections and of lobbying, exert a corrupting influence on Congress and all governance.

        The significance in the case of Ron Paul’s prospective presidency, is that if elected, he will do little, even in the areas that he claims to assertively advocate for. He will be forced to defer to Congress, for appropriations, for war declarations, for protection of civil liberties, for reduction of spending on entitlements, on defense.

        He will do less than Obama, as he will not have the support of really any party in Congress.

        So, on the one hand he is not a danger, and on the other, the hopes of his advocates are vain.

        I don’t know if his anti-war position is simple-minded or not. I don’t think that he rules out US participation in all wars (via bully pulpit) as he voted for the initial Afghanistan war resolution (a functional declaration, substance over form). So, if he doesn’t rule out US participation universally, then he applies so methodology to his determination of what are desirable and justified wars, from what are undesirable and unjustified.

        He stated that he doesn’t regard protecting others from persecution to be a valid reason to enter a war, thereby eliminating all humanitarian driven military efforts.

        Its not just math, of assessment of financial and other costs vs benefits, but an application of a constitutional principle (a tradition moreso than an actual directly derived constitutional conclusion, as if the constitution does not change itself via amendment, and that the gradual waves of judicial precedent is irrelevant.)

        He also condemns US subordination to the UN, and by extension to UN determined international law, though does support honoring specific multi-lateral protocols that the US has signed and Congressionally ratified.

        No unilateral policeman. No internationally authorized policeman.

        My wife was in London recently during the riots. She described that the British police basically did nothing to confront the rioters. They did not round up the rioters with masses of police, did not use tear gas, water cannon, anything. They just watched as building was deliberately set afire, cars, storefronts destroyed, hundreds left homeless.

        Why have laws then if there is no functional enforcement?

        No possibility of enforcement of international law under a Ron Paul regime, or logic.

        Peter Beinart described Ron Paul as ideologically closest to Calvin Coolidge, except that he is unlikely to parallel “silent Cal”.

        Calvin Coolidge’s policies (reflecting the US isolationist orientation at the time), is largest cause of the great depression (Hoover inherited the Coolidge mess). The period saw the prohibition, the establishment of grossly prejudicial ethnic immigration quotas (a large cause of the choice of European Jewish surviving refugees to migrate to Israel rather than the US), repudiation of dozens of progressive era regulations on commerce, health and safety, financial regulation, tax law, truth in advertising.

        All of those mirror Paul’s proposals.

        The theme of declaring ‘rational deliberation should guide US foreign policy and declaration of war’ makes a great deal of sense. The problem is that how will US foreign policy be deliberative in an environment of unrestricted and undisclosed election and lobbying of Congress, administration depts, etc.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 1:15 pm

        “My wife was in London recently during the riots. She described that the British police basically did nothing to confront the rioters. They did not round up the rioters with masses of police, did not use tear gas, water cannon, anything.”

        Richard, we all know how much you miss Bull Connor, and we all know how you cheered at the Kent State killings. People just don’t have that good old law’n order and “white is right” feelings they used to, and we are a poorer world for it.
        You should write a post on your blog telling the world what you, the bravest man in the world, would have done.

      • American
        American
        January 9, 2012, 2:38 pm

        “You are an ignorant vulgarian, with no intellectual record or standing. You are also not very bright, as your response to my substantive argument once again proves”…Slater

        Wow…..
        What’s not bright Jerry is to keep digging when you find yourself in a hole.

      • libra
        libra
        January 9, 2012, 3:05 pm

        CD (on Annie): “A gross understatement. Worth her weight in gold, and more. Mr. Witty, not so much.”

        But that doesn’t stop Richard creating great value as the grit in the Mondoweiss oyster.

        And surely one thing that can be admired about Richard is his resilience under fire. He doesn’t fold his tent and storm off when the first whiff of sarcasm hits his post, unlike more highly-qualified colleagues in the “liberal Zionist” camp. No, he just hunkers down in his hole and keeps on digging. He deserves a medal.

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 9, 2012, 5:14 pm

        “what’s decisive isn’t determined solely by american jewish community.”

        Annie STILL doesn’t get it. I didn’t say that US policy SHOULD be determined solely by the American Jews, or that in a democracy that’s the way it should be. I said it was a fact–a very sad fact, I obviously implied–that there was little chance of a change of US policy so long as Congress and the executive branch were unwilling to risk offending the majority of American Jews. Why is that the case: in part because of the power and influence of the Israel Lobby, as described by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, and in part for other reasons, too complicated to go into here.

        Annie then reminds me that this is a democracy. The obvious implication is a nonsequitur; it would only make sense if I was arguing that it was right and proper for the Jewish community to have so much power over U.S. policy in Israel.

        As I have already responded to Annie, if she thinks I am factually wrong when I describe the power of the Jews, or if you prefer, the Israel lobby, then by all means discuss the evidence which disproves it.

        Let me remind you of what my argument was: if you want to change U.S. policy towards Israel, you need to change the attitudes of the American Jewish community, and to that end what so often appears on Mondoweiss is surely likely to have the opposite result.
        But no, she goes right on being unable to make the distinction between an argument about the facts and an opinion of whether the facts are desirable.

        One more time: if you (generic you) want to be taken seriously, you must have the ability to understand the argument, the willingness to answer it rather than strawmen, and the intellectual ability to understand quite elementary distinctions.

      • richb
        richb
        January 9, 2012, 5:26 pm

        You don’t get it:

        Let me remind you of what my argument was: if you want to change U.S. policy towards Israel, you need to change the attitudes of the American Jewish community, and to that end what so often appears on Mondoweiss is surely likely to have the opposite result.

        The way you change the U.S. policy towards Israel is to change the attitudes of the American evangelical community of which I am a part. Coming here I saw — not from what Annie said — but by the behavior of (mostly liberal) Zionists the moral bankruptcy of Zionism, both conservative and liberal. Ron Paul reflects the historic evangelical attitude towards foreign policy in general and Israel in particular. It’s the current Religious Right that is a johnny-come-lately.

        Maybe I’m just weird but maybe, just maybe, I’m the canary in the coal mine and reflect the coming disaffection of evangelicals towards thoughtless support of Israel. If you lose us, you’ve lost completely. Ron Paul won’t be a strange anomaly but the new normal. Good luck.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        January 9, 2012, 5:43 pm

        I agree with Jerry that the Jewish community is the most powerful community in the U.S. in determining policy here, partly because it cares more than any other community, and that I want to change that community. And in Jerry we have a liberal Zionist who has been more critical of ISrael than just about anyone in that community, who has done the best writing on the Gaza conflict from a human rights, legal, standpoint, and he’s getting beaten up on this site. I wish Jerry had not attacked other posters, but we are developing a poisonous atmosphere here that if a newcomer comes walking in, trying to learn about the conflict, they’re going to be really put off. And if the effect of this is that we lose Slater as a participant in this conversation, I just don’t know where that leaves us. Norman Finkelstein has accused the Palestinian solidarity community of being a cult. In my own travels in this community, I sometimes meet people who need to be more Catholic than the pope, who need to outdo one another in the strenuousness of their expressions of support, here in the U.S. When the political sphere here is enormously conservative, largely blind to this cause, and the Jewish community, which I regard as so significant to the political outcomes here, is likely to dismiss this community entirely inasmuch as it can’t tolerate a liberal Zionist, but must tear him to shreds. I apologize for not having stepped in here sooner, but we’ve got to turn down the volume on this conversation. I’ve already gotten one complaint from a guy who is highly sympathetic to the p-o-v of this site but says he can’t even recommend posts to others lest they see the contumely on the comment thread.
        I had hoped to engage Jerry on what I think is the fundamental difference between us. This is the dialogue I promised last week. He believes in the endurance of anti-semitism, he lived through a period of real discrimination against Jews in the U.S.; I don’t see anti-semitism as a very important factor in American Jewish life today. I believe this is a period of philo-semitism. And it’s on that basis that I wanted to have a Ron Paul discussion. It looks like Jerry won’t stick around for that, and it’s my loss. Phil

      • richb
        richb
        January 9, 2012, 6:06 pm

        I had hoped to engage Jerry on what I think is the fundamental difference between us. This is the dialogue I promised last week. He believes in the endurance of anti-semitism, he lived through a period of real discrimination against Jews in the U.S.; I don’t see anti-semitism as a very important factor in American Jewish life today. I believe this is a period of philo-semitism. And it’s on that basis that I wanted to have a Ron Paul discussion. It looks like Jerry won’t stick around for that, and it’s my loss. Phil

        I share Jerome’s concern vis-a-vis anti-semitism and I’m concerned that this period of philo-semitism may be short-lived. I am also more on the empire side of the empire vs. lobby debate. I believe our disagreements are due to the fact we are most familiar with the warts of our own respective communities and having these apparently conflicting concerns is healthy.

        Knowing evangelicals like I do I don’t think either of you are right. Namely, there is a real threat of anti-semitism and the belligerent behavior amongst Zionists will be the proximate cause of the next wave. (I am not blaming people here and am following Paul’s argumentation that this is just blowback or unintended consequences.)

        The good news is if you succeed in your endeavors I believe this worst case scenario would be avoided. The philo-semitism amongst evangelicals is honestly felt and will only reverse by a jolting disillusionment. By having you and others like you to show that a Jew and a Zionist are not coterminous will make all the difference in the World.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 6:36 pm

        Phil, I know how hard it is for you to conceive of people who think they have nothing to gain from war or militarism, and get a little irritated when people like Prof. Slater propose war as a policy option. But do try and stretch your mind. Sure, not very many of those people who feel they have nothing to gain from war are Jewish, or equal to you in their station in life, but do try to have some empathy for them.
        And gee, I don’t see much you get from Slater you couldn’t get from Tom Friedman. Just run his columns instead.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        January 9, 2012, 7:02 pm

        I dont share Slater’s view of war/interventionism, etc. But this piece originated in the fact that he’s been a member of this community, a community critical of human rights violations in Israel, and the Ron Paul business has caused a lot of debate inside this community, and he got engaged. Using his real name, as he points out.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 7:11 pm

        I say Slater’s article and comments demonstrate he seems incapable of either honesty or comprehension in stating fairly the arguments he wishes to oppose, the first one here being Ron Paul’s foreign policy. That alone disqualifies him from being taken seriously by serious people.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        January 9, 2012, 7:32 pm

        Hi Annie,

        Q: You are an ignorant vulgarian, with no intellectual record or standing.

        R: Does any person who makes statements like this, elevate him/herself to a level far above the lands of Vulgarstan? I’m sure not everybody agrees with you, but intellectual discourse is not served on a platter with a platitude of inept fallacies.

    • NorthOfFortyNine
      NorthOfFortyNine
      January 8, 2012, 1:53 pm

      @ J Slater re How many American Jews who might be open to reasoned criticism of Israel are likely to be convinced by the hysterical, hate-filled, ignorant, and imbalanced denunciations that now characterize far too many of the regular Mondoweiss participants

      I can only speak for myself, but what what inspired my more intemperate remarks was / is Slater’s uncritical acceptence of so much that has harmed the countries over the last 10 years. For example, Slater says, up-thread:

      “Osama bin-Laden frequently explicitly said he was seeking nuclear weapons, and so have other similar groups.”

      This is just warmed over prattle. There is not even an attempt to source this or otherwise substantiate this. The Professor may like to know that the comment board suffer from the assertions in certain quarters (ahem Witrty, ahem eee) whose authors, when challenged, fade to black. Slater contended right up front that Paul would have sat on his hands during WW2. He was challenged on this. Never even made the effort (that I saw, certainly to my posts) to back this up.

      Yes, I would say that this board has a short attention span for this kind of thing. There are some smart people here (much smarter than me) and people who know their shit.

      I don’t want to see Slater go because he is right — this place needs to be — and needs to be seen to be — a non-threatening place for those with an open mind to come and discuss matters at hand. But if the price for this is leaving our critical thinking at the door, I guess we’ll have to go without. -N49.

    • Donald
      Donald
      January 8, 2012, 2:17 pm

      I’m sorry you’re leaving, though I strongly disagree with the position you took upthread. One of the things some of your critics are missing is that your position here can’t be attributed to “liberal Zionism”. You are much harder on Israel than you are on Obama when it comes to the use of violence and other forms of state coercion.

      As for the attacks, I’ve occasionally been in your shoes, where I’ve gone into some part of the internet and been subjected to criticisms from all sides, some fair and some not. I don’t do well under those conditions. Nowadays I usually try to avoid being in such a situation in the first place, so I can’t really disagree with your decision not to participate here.

      We can just read your posts at your blog. I’ll be doing that. I think, though, that it is good for people here to read posts by an intelligent liberal Zionist who doesn’t cover up Israeli crimes in any way, so maybe Phil will at least continue to link to your posts as they are written.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 8, 2012, 5:01 pm

        I think, though, that it is good for people here to read posts by an intelligent liberal Zionist who doesn’t cover up Israeli crimes in any way, so maybe Phil will at least continue to link to your posts as they are written.

        That’s very generous of you Donald, but while Jerry migh be a intelligent liberal Zionist, his arguments are bereft of intellect when he puts on his Liberal Zionist hat. There was a point when I thought that maybe, just maybe, Slater would be the person to make an intellectually powerful case for Israel, becasue God knows, no one has come clome even close.

        I soon woek up the fact that if any one could do it, it wasn’t going to be Jerry.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 1:17 pm

        I’m sorry you’re leaving, though I strongly disagree with the position you took upthread.”

        Slater, “leaving”? Say, you wouldn’t want to make a bet on that, would you? I’ll give you great odds if I can bet on the ‘won’t leave, couldn’t if he wanted to’ position.

    • Danaa
      Danaa
      January 8, 2012, 3:11 pm

      For me, this is one of the things that rankles me most about some of Slater’s less-than-temperate commentary:

      “and the numerous–yes, numerous–attacks that verge on, or unmistakably go over, the red line of anti-Semitism.”

      He puts himself up on a pedestal only he – and Foxman – can can see as arbiters of ‘anti-semitism”. That despite the fact that he has, presumably, little in common with the ADL types. Or doesn’t he?

      I’ve said above and I’ll say it again (as many times as I have to until it sinks in where it needs to): the accusations of ‘anti-semitism’ have morphed into a toxic mix of platitudes and tools of coersion – which is perfectly obvious to all, by now. Anyone who uses them totally out of place as Jerry has done here, should not be surprised when he gets the expected push-back from anyone offended by wantonly libelious dispensation of labels.

      Personally, I feel that anyone who waves around this particular label without any objective justification (ie, just because they whiff this or snif that) should get a warning. And that includes professors, thinkers, opinionators, lawyers, raconteurs, accountants, counter -dominionists and any assortment of the rif-raff of the day (myself not excluded).

      And i also very much agree with annie that Jerry’s tendency to make light of those who’d dare challenge his thesis and/or dissembly thereof, along with no small measure of high-mindedness in selectively taking on his interlocutors, have contributed to making his appearances on this blog ground zero for acrimony. The sarcasm doesn’t help either. I realize that we, commoners that we all must be (feel free to dissent, you hidden aristocrats), should be so lucky to have great professorial royalty descend to engage us in good old fashioned hand-to-hand combat. And rabble-rousers that some of us are could we possibly resist the opportunity for a good joust? but if it seems to get a bit too bloody-minded for some, well, there are always other games (shuffle-board, Curling and Badmington come to mind).

      Slater has chosen to self-ban himself – actually the second time around, if I recall. But since no banishing – self or otherwise – seems to last very long for addicted Mondoweissers, I predict he will return, with yet another set of needles to prod the faithful and the righteous and the rakes, all of whom, in combination, make too lively a gang to resist for long.

      Be well and god-speed Jerry – till next time…..

    • CloakAndDagger
      CloakAndDagger
      January 8, 2012, 3:26 pm

      If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. But, I suggest an alternative.

      You came here with an article with a title containing “simple minded” in it while describing someone with growing popularity across both liberals and conservatives, and who is anti-war. Not only is that an insult to him, but it is an insult to all of us who are very excited with his being the only politician with that position. It is condescending to dismiss us because you don’t agree with us. Then you dismissed others as being “brain-free”. To be quite honest, I had the urge to call you “a fool”, and much worse (I actually did in one post, which Phil, thankfully, censored). I am human, with human passions, and weaknesses, and the topic of killing hundreds of thousands as being justified cannot be discussed without some emotion. I tried to compensate by limiting my posts on this topic and taking long walks away from this blog to cool off – but kept coming back as a moth drawn to a flame.

      I apologize for my tone, although not for my views.

      I am a strong advocate of freedom of speech, and will defend your right to voice your opinions no matter how much I disagree with them, and how much they inflame my most basic disdain.

      In a sense, you embody the prevalent thought in FP circles, that American citizens have no understanding of FP, and their opinions should be rejected. It is, thus, no surprise that the majority of FP decisions (like going to war) are made counter to the opinions of the majority of Americans. Sometimes, consensus is obtained by manipulating the American public with lies (as with Iraq 1 & 2), or by fanning irrational nationalistic passions (also with lies and exaggerations, as with Afghanistan).

      In the age on the Internet, it is naive of you to assume that we would not be better informed than in the past. With being informed, comes the resentment against the FP elite who are so convinced of the rightness of their convictions.

      You come on this site and validate our view and justify our resentment as you strut around with your arrogance and pride, while dismissing the rest of us as ignorant and brain-free, and even anti-semitic.

      Despite all that, I do hope that you stay here and engage in civilized debate with us. My advice would be to change the tone of your discourse into one that provokes serious discussion rather than flame wars and ad hominem attacks. There are some very knowledgeable commenters on this site – unequaled, in fact. It might be instructive for you to give them the respect they deserve, if you are to receive the same back from them. Surely, with all your experience, you are conversant with techniques for constructive debate that don’t disintegrate into a food fight.

      I am not naive enough to believe that you will change our views, nor that we will change yours. However, in the course of such a debate, some bystanders who may not have such strongly formed views as ours will be afforded both perspectives, allowing them to make better choices for themselves. For this reason, your participation here is valuable.

      It is ironic that Ron Paul is generating exactly this kind of a debate on the national stage. Whether he ends up as president or not, removing the taboo from such a discourse is of immense value to the nation, and for that reason alone, requires every patriotic American to rally to continue to make that debate possible.

      Ultimately, what is more American than that?

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        January 8, 2012, 3:36 pm

        Some critics of Jerry’s piece have battened on to the headline, and the word simpleminded. That was my headline, drawn from a line in the piece Jerry wrote. But I wrote the headline….

      • CloakAndDagger
        CloakAndDagger
        January 8, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Perhaps that didn’t help frame the debate…

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 8, 2012, 4:22 pm

        I doubt it made any difference.

        Jerry’s subsequent posts allowed him to qualify the argument he was trying to present, and it only served to help him dig a deeper hole for himself.

      • libra
        libra
        January 8, 2012, 4:33 pm

        PW: “But I wrote the headline….”

        Phil, is that a claim for credit or a mea culpa?

        If the first, then fair enough. It was a great piece of sub-editing. Attention grabbing but completely true to the article.

        If the second then as a penance I suggest you come up with another that could have saved the article from it’s second paragraph. And if you succeed then your not a great sub-editor you’re one of genius.

        Here’s my best effort to be balanced: “Rightwing nut right on Iran”

      • john h
        john h
        January 8, 2012, 5:11 pm

        The headline was exactly right. It was from what Slater specifically wrote, which/and summed up his whole position on Paul and therefore on all who support him or more than 10% of his positions:

        In short, Ron Paul is a simpleminded fool on 90% (at least) of the issues, domestic and foreign.

        Hence my Einstein quote.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        January 8, 2012, 7:28 pm

        Phil,

        I could have lived with “simpleminded” in the title. But after the fourth or fifth nasty scattershot attack by Jerome Slater, my patience ran out entirely.

        Why many Americans and Europeans have a short fuse when it comes to responding to verbal abuse and personal attacks by pro-Israel activists (including “liberal Zionists”): they have seen much too much of it.

        Think about it: ethnic nationalists (especially overexcited ethnic nationalists) are in a weak position to attack people who don’t share their beliefs, interests and agenda. I think Israel and Zionism may well self-destruct because of this kind of bad behavior. Communications and social relations between pro-Israel activists and the rest of the world are breaking down. Has that breakdown already achieved critical mass? Is the situation irreparable? Maybe.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 8, 2012, 8:37 pm

        I think Israel and Zionism may well self-destruct because of this kind of bad behavior.

        This is certainly a common trend on blogs about Israel. There was a time, only a few years ago, when the Zionist activists would bite their tongues and simply wield the anti Semitic card like hundred dollar bills, but those don’t carry the value they used to and the accusation is has been dilyted to the point of irrelevance. As a result, the gloves have come off and these trash talk and verbal insults pouring forth from them is limitless.

        One need only venture to Walt’s blog and read the filth that these cretins are using to polute the discussion to realize that they are being rational or being reasoned with.

      • jayn0t
        jayn0t
        January 8, 2012, 9:01 pm

        “Jerry, I would urge you to stick around”… “I supported the Libyan intervention”… “That was my headline”…

        Phil, why are you kissing ass?

      • john h
        john h
        January 8, 2012, 5:30 pm

        Loved this post (at 3.26 pm), CloakAndDagger, so very well said.

    • American
      American
      January 8, 2012, 3:48 pm

      Jerry……let’s review your swan song here for the sake of honesty

      You say you are subject to a torrent of abuse, junior high school sarcasm, sputtering hatred, and so on. When in reality every comment you make to some rebuttal is that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is stupid and/or anti semites.

      And while you admit to enjoying deliberately insulting and baiting commenters here, you whine about being attacked back, while excusing your own attacks as “being just human”.
      How you think this is going to get you any respectful hearing here is beyond me.

      Then you attempt to censor Mondo and try to intimidate Phil by implying the site is full anti semites. If I had a nickle for every time I’ve seen a zionist try that trick with some successful and well regarded Israel/I/P site I could make Phil rich and Mondo would never have to fund raise again.
      And the sending of a comment to 10 of your friends who all agreed with you?…seen that ploy before too…it was tried at TWN, at WarinContext, at Col. Lang’s, at Walts, and quite a few others. It doesn’t work .

      Then you resort to the old threat of don’t piss off the Jews on liberal zionism or policy on Israel will never change cause ‘only’ the Jews can change it..same argument you made on not pressuring the Dems on Israel or Repubs will win and poor Americans will starve. Wish I had a nickle for every time I’ve seen that one too.

      Then you take some theory like Just War and try to use it to attack something or someone, Paul in this case. You’ve done this with other theories….tried to fit them to your personal views and objectives under some pseudo intellectual guise.

      Finally as always, you settle on anti semitism as the reason you get called out on “liberal’ zionism. The real reason you get called on your zionism is because you are dishonest and because your zionism is one of superiority and entitlement….your liberal zionisim is the typical “cry and shoot” kind.
      Evidently you are incapable of understanding or admitting the original wrongs of zionism in establishing Israel in Palestine on another’s land. You continue to justify it by Jewish victimhood entitlement and have even said the Jews welfare in taking Palestine for Israel was “the Greater Good” of the choice.

      I am really curious what you think you accomplish by crying over what Israel does to Palestine without stepping up and saying…’it was wrong to begin with’ and Jews weren’t entitled by the holocaust or anything else to take another land and homes.

      The fact that you don’t believe that, that you do really believe the Jews were and are entitled to usurp another people rights, people who had done nothing to them, is why no one respects your liberal zionist claim or whine to be given credit for crying over the Palestines. And this attitude combined with your belief that you (and Jews) are disliked because of being Jewish instead of being disliked for what you or they might be doing, or your attitudes towards others–as you show so well here– makes it impossible to have a honest conversation with you.

      Instead of (pretending) to worry about the likes of us chasing off Jews who could be turned to “liberal zionism” you should be worrying about the view you give us and the rest of the world about “all’ of zionism…which is that there is no difference in the ‘basic’ belief of zionist and liberal zionist that Jews and Israel come ahead of everyone and everything else. How you think anyone can respect or cozy up to a belief like that, or to a person who holds it,or see any credibility in it or them is again, beyond me.

      The day you can say that No, the Jews and zionism did not have a right to take the land and homes of people for themselves…that there was no ‘Great Good’ in one poeple stealing from and denying the rights of other people who had never done anything to the Jews..then I will listen to you….. but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 8, 2012, 4:57 pm

        Superb argument American,

        I am frankly astonished, but not surprised at the juvenile response from Jerry. Like a child who can’t get his way, so he kicks he sand castles of every other kid on the beach and storms of with a tantrum.

        Every time Jerry posts one of these unhinged pieces and fails to win approval, he insists that it’s due to the inability of us readers at Mondoweiss to read or comprehend what he has written.

        It simply never occurs to him that his arguments are crystal clear and repugnant and being rejected for those reasons. In Jerry’s mind, our objection to his views proves we don’t get it, for surely we’d agree with him if we did.

        Approval is obviously something this guy desperately needs. He complains that he only receives praise when he writes a piece critical of Israel, which he insists is a reflection of our flaws rather than his own. In many way, Jerry shares many similarities with Hitchens post 911. Like Jerry, Hitchens made powerful arguments when he steered clear of the Iraq war, because it was only then than he exercised his intellect. It was when he turned to the Iraq war, that his brain turned to much and he resorting to simplistic and simple minded nonsense, if not outright lies.

        Jerry’s justifications for supporting the first Iraq war and the Lybian intervention demonstrate a surprisingly superficial understanding of either conflict. The man has had 2 decades to get up to speed about the lies surrounding Desert Storm and the doctored evidence of Iraqi tank battalions amassed on the Saudi Border, but he demonstrates a supreme laziness and refusal to get up to speed with subsequent revelations.

        Like Hitches, when Jerry turns his attention to his support for Israel, he puts his intellect and morality to one side, which is why his arguments become so primitive and limited. He then embraces his inner PEP.

        Jerry has made it clear that in spite of all her flaws and crimes against humanity, there is nothing Israel could do that would sever his support for Zionism and Jewish privilege. On that matter, he is in the same page as Witty, Jonah, eee and Hophmi, which explains why he becomes as intellectually dishonest and vacuous as they are.

        Proof yet again, that Zionism is anti intellectualism.

      • john h
        john h
        January 8, 2012, 4:59 pm

        Spot on, American, I fully agree.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        January 8, 2012, 5:12 pm

        BTW.

        It’s worth mentioning that while Jerry insists he’s being misunderstood and that the rejection of his thesis is a flaw on the part of Mondoweiss readers, Katha Pollitt’s column over at The Nation is being similarly rejected if the comments section is any indication.

      • yourstruly
        yourstruly
        January 8, 2012, 9:31 pm

        to break the u.s.-israel special relationship it won’t require every jewish-american to cease supporting the settler entity, only a critical mass, and this site is documenting movement in this direction. what’s taking place is that the presence of more and more jews in the justice for palestine movement is allowing both jews and non-jews, who, up to now, for fear of being called antisemetic, have kept silent about their position re: the i/p conflict to come out of the closet with their opinions. except now, when zionists accuse them of being antisemites/self-hating jews, they’ll respond with “how can i be an antisemite/self-hating jew, when so many who stand with me in support of justice for palestine are jewish?”

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        January 9, 2012, 2:19 am

        Agreed, American and Shingo, and well said to the both of you. There is something about jerome, that is almost archetypal about the perrenially arrogant Jewish intellectual liberal. They want to be one of the good, and they do want to engage – they really do – but just can’t see others as their equals, and it shows. So I liked American’s vivid description of a temper tantrum kicking the sand castles others have painstakingly built..

        I know a Jewish kid, growing in a well-educated and priviledged family. He is praised non-stop for his brilliance, at the tender age of 10. He is also diagnosed (supposedly) with ADHD (a very useful label to put over any assortment of plain selfish behavior). I found him to be well-reasoning but remarkably non-curious. At 10 he was already delivering lectures – to adults – in their area of specialty. With seemingly little ability to process input from those around, and apparently not much desire for any. His parents do a bang-up job of covering up for his emotional deficiencies, excusing every burst, brushing aside the curious estrangement from his peers (he is a natural leader , they said, in unison). That just before launching into yet another litany of praise for all his incomparable precocious accomplishments. They asked me what I thought of such a brilliant child. I would have said he was too much of a spolied brat for me to take notice of the specs of brilliance, but said nothing (the dinner was good, and I never cook – and besides, who am I to find fault with a brat-du-jour?). With the dessert so very excellent, and 2 glasses of wine later I did manage to imply he was reasonably smart, and will surely do well on his PSAT’s when the time comes (by which time much better brands of Ritalin will surely arrive on the market). A little later in the evening the charming kid threw an ugly fit because one of his chocolate pieces was missing, or so he thought. The parents looked embarrassed. I asked if he’d care to share one with me anyways. He did, then calmed down some, and we had a little conversation. Just not about science but about sports.

        What’s the point of this long winded story? well, Jerome reminds me of that kid – hyper-intellectual, hyper-engaged, wrapped in the grandness of his thoughts but deaf – to the world, which in return, withholds adulation.

        Come to think of it, this kid would have been – perhaps – 200-400 years ago, a Talmudic scholar. Would have no doubt been considered an eluy (sp?).

      • libra
        libra
        January 9, 2012, 4:39 pm

        Danaa: “There is something about jerome, that is almost archetypal about the perrenially arrogant Jewish intellectual liberal.”

        Didn’t Ehud Barak recently say something relevant here? If my memory doesn’t fail me:

        “It’s not enough to be Jewish – you’ve got to be smart too.”

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 9, 2012, 12:22 pm

      “With this final remark, I am departing not only this thread, but Mondoweiss itself.”

      And now, Emeritus Prof. Slater will favor Mondoweiss commenters with a falsetto rendition of “I Only Came to Say I Must be Going!”

      And we, of course, will respond with a little Gilbert and Sullivan: “But, dammit, you don’t go!

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 9, 2012, 2:28 pm

        Have your adolescent fun, little Mouser. For saying that I would never again respond to your repulsive little sallies, I guess I asked for it. For those interested, I have provided a longer reply to the same stuff from Mouser and others on my more recent Jan. 8 statement:

        Phil, and others, urged me not to leave Mondoweiss. And he was kind enough to suggest that I first publish my general reply on my own blog, which he would then pick up, so as to spare me the obvious jokes about my saying I quit, then not quitting. However, I didn’t think that would be appropriate–or fool anyone–so I decided to grit my teeth and take my lumps.
        So yes, I’ve been inconsistent; then again, as they say, “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Moreover, I did say, several times, that I will stick around to play out this string, and that’s what I’m doing, both here and in the January 6th post. But to exchange insults with the Moosers et al of this world is a total waste of time and energy, so once this thread has disappeared into its black hole, I will distinguish between letting Phil post those of my blogs that he wishes to–which I may or may not do–and responding to the stupid or nasty comments.

        Hear Me, Oh Lord! Give me the strength to resist temptation, or strike me down if I fail!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 3:12 pm

        “so once this thread has disappeared into its black hole”

        “Once this thread has disappeared into its black hole”? You wish, chump! The thread will be preserved in the Mondoweiss archives, with it’s comments, and your personal comments will be preserved in a comment archive under your name. Preserved, and easily accessible. That should, by everything that’s fine, decent, straight, sacred and manly, keep you up nights, but I doubt it will have effect on you whatsoever. Ha! And I mean that to sting, Slater.

      • Jerome Slater
        Jerome Slater
        January 9, 2012, 5:25 pm

        “And I mean that to sting, Slater.”

        No! Say it isn’t so. You meant that to sting? How very uncharacteristic.

        Anyway, as you suggested earlier, how can you be sure my name is really Slater. You’re right to be skeptical. After all, I could be a coward who hides behind a pseudonym as he slings his mud.

      • CloakAndDagger
        CloakAndDagger
        January 9, 2012, 5:29 pm

        Now, that was actually quite funny! :)

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 9, 2012, 7:24 pm

        Slater, such a drama queen you are. It’s not cute. BTW, the adage is “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” From Emerson’s Self-Reliance:
        “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

        The little ones usually do leave out the word “foolish” when they use this famous quote.
        Emerson’s theme of self-reliance is very much right up Ron Paul’s alley. Your ordinary misuse of the quote in your context is, well, at minimum, unsophisticated.

  67. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    January 8, 2012, 1:15 pm

    Jerome Slater,

    1. The ethnocentrism index: the number of times one mentions one’s ethnic identity, issues, problems, conflicts, enemies, etc.

    2. The ethnic nationalism index: the number of times one mentions one’s ethnic nationalist issues.

    3. The ethnic xenophobia index: the number of times one mentions one’s ethnic enemies.

    4. The ethnic aggression index: the number of times one attacks others over one’s ethnic issues.

    Have you thought about this? These issues keep coming to mind quite often lately. I think it’s important to become fully conscious of these behavioral patterns — and especially fully self-aware when one’s personal indices for these patterns are high.

    It seems obvious to me that high levels of ethnocentrism, ethnic nationalism, ethnic xenophobia and ethnic aggression correlate closely with high levels of ethnic conflict.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride
      January 8, 2012, 1:39 pm

      Aggressive ethnic nationalists provoke aggressive pushback from everyone who isn’t an emotional member of their movement — virtually the entire human race except themselves.

      So: how does one break out of this ugly cycle of conflict with most of the human race? Ditch the ethnic nationalism. If you are too addicted to ethnic nationalism to give it up, too reliant on it as a crutch to support your sense of identity and self-worth, then don’t complain about all the social friction you stir up — it comes with the territory.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      January 8, 2012, 5:03 pm

      Add to that the ethnosupremacy index

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        January 8, 2012, 9:01 pm

        The ethnic supremacism index: the number of times one mentions the superiority of one’s ethnic group over other ethnic groups.

    • jayn0t
      jayn0t
      January 8, 2012, 11:50 pm

      Sean McBride – “the number of times one mentions one’s ethnic identity, issues, problems, conflicts, enemies, etc.” is not a useful criterion, because if fails to take deception, including self-deception, into account. Smart Zionists don’t mention their ethnic identity. Up to the late sixties, they claimed to be for humanity, socialism, etc.. Since then, they’ve claimed to be The Project For The New American Century and so on.

  68. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    January 8, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Jerome Slater,

    Why Ron Paul continues to be an essential voice in the presidential campaign: Rick Perry is now arguing the crazy notion that Americans need to reinvade and reoccupy Iraq. Rick Santorum is agitating for a war against Iran.

    Ron Paul is the only leading Republican who is pushing back against them. Not even leading Democrats, who are as much under the thumb of neoconservative oligarchs as Republicans, are challenging this dangerous warmongering forcefully.

    Ron Paul’s views on these issues are anything but “simpleminded” — they are based on deep historical understanding, careful strategic thinking and a consistent system of ethics and morals.

    Everything in this thread began to go downhill for you from the moment you chose to include the inflammatory word “simpleminded” in the title of your article — it had nothing to do with “anti-Semitism.” Many of us are gravely worried about the dire consequences for Americans if the Israeli government and the Israel lobby succeed in driving the United States into more self-destructive wars in the Mideast on behalf of mythical Greater Israel.

  69. Polly
    Polly
    January 8, 2012, 1:53 pm

    Jerome, it’s an outright cop out to dismiss the commenters here when they accumulate completely organically. This is a blog, its not an organization.
    I assume ANYONE who runs a site like Phil’s will attract roughly the same breakdown of serious commenters, opinionated laypeople and prejudiced trolls and hangers-on.
    You are also dismissing the only candidate to openly opposes pre-emptive war and the total non-accountability of Wall Street at the precise moment that candidate is gaining serious traction.
    I’m not sure what you expected.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 9, 2012, 12:27 pm

      “I’m not sure what you expected”

      What he expects? Darn it, Prof. Emeritus Jerome Slater expects as to remember he can damn well flunk us if he wants to!

      Well. Jerry, if you leave, try to avoid the telltale raised-panel marks on your gluteus maximus.

  70. Frankie P
    Frankie P
    January 8, 2012, 6:11 pm

    @jerome slater

    “There is no serious prospect of any change in Israeli policies, or of US support of them, unless the American Jewish community can finally grasp that those policies are irrational, self-defeating, dangerous, and immoral. Without the support of the Jewish community, there is no chance that any US government will adopt the strong measures that are the only chance of reversing Israel’s course: BDS, and making US aid conditional on such reversals. Therefore, the most important audience for Mondoweiss and other blogs, including mine, is the American Jewish community.”

    Please update us with reports of your activism towards convincing your community. How many shuls have you visited lately, trying to convince your people of the insanity of their support for Israel. If you want to see a “wolf pack”, try that one out!

    FPM

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      January 8, 2012, 8:40 pm

      How many shuls have you visited lately, trying to convince your people of the insanity of their support for Israel.

      But Frankie, Jerry doesn’t consdier support for Israel to be insane, just the policies. That’s the cognitive dissonance that we witness time and time against with so called “liberal Zionists” and it’s why the term is an oxymoron. Israeli policies have always been irrational, self-defeating, dangerous, and immoral, as has the very ideology of Zionism, but Slater refuses to accept that.

      • john h
        john h
        January 9, 2012, 1:43 am

        Darn right, Shingo. Every “liberal Zionist” has cognitive dissonance because it is an oxymoron.

        Neither Slater nor Witty see themselves as being a simpleminded fool and would reserve that for those who disagree with them.

        That leaves them with the title of any intelligent fool, the name one of the most intelligent of all, Einstein, gives to those who prefer to make things bigger, more complex, and more violent, as opposed to those who want to move in the opposite direction.

      • Richard Witty
        Richard Witty
        January 9, 2012, 11:08 am

        Its a tension, like ALL democratic nationalism. It can turn, to more democratic or to more nationalistic, and it is the responsibility of dissent to encourage it to turn to more democratic.

        The path of isolation and delegitimization though turns it to more nationalistic.

        Criticism of policies and practices, is different than delegitimization.

        Slightly less than half of the world’s Jews live in Israel. That that many would put up with the near constant wars, internal conflicts, moral ambiguity of policies and practices, conveys to me that that association is extremely important to those 6 million and should be respected.

      • eljay
        eljay
        January 9, 2012, 11:42 am

        >> Its a tension, like ALL democratic nationalism. It can turn, to more democratic or to more nationalistic, and it is the responsibility of dissent to encourage it to turn to more democratic.

        But not TOO democratic:
        >> RW: I personally don’t see a conflict with intentionally adjusting boundaries if the demographics change considerably to create a smaller Israel that is Jewish majority.

        While “dissent” is handling that task, perhaps Israel could encourage itself to:
        – turn away from religion-supremacism;
        – halt its 60+ years, ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder; and
        – enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 1:25 pm

        Eljay, you should go over to (what a surprise) the new post from the long-absent (almost one whole day) self-exiled Prof. Emiticus Slater and see Richard Witty’s remark on the demonstrations in London. Richard is calling for water cannon and tear gas, in the best classic ‘who will defend our Southern way of life’ fashion. He’s nostaligic for the days of Bull Connor, George Wallace, and ‘law-and-order’.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 9, 2012, 3:17 pm

        “Slightly less than half of the world’s Jews live in Israel. That that many would put up with the near constant wars, internal conflicts, moral ambiguity of policies and practices, conveys to me that that association is extremely important to those 6 million and should be respected.”

        I don’t know about you, john h, but after reading something like that I find myself back at “simpleminded fool” with no feeling of restlessness.

      • john h
        john h
        January 9, 2012, 5:39 pm

        Same. “An intelligent fool” may be too kind a description of the writer you quoted.

        How about tomfoolery (read the reviews), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0145638/

        Amongst the regular items was ‘Brainy Lecture’, where quite useless facts would be presented in a deadly serious manner.

  71. anonymouscomments
    anonymouscomments
    January 9, 2012, 4:53 am

    I am all for a diversity of opinions here. I like the full spectrum, but I hope MW seeks to retain only columnists who are informed, factual, respectful, and open to sincere debate.

    I have found that Israeli-apologists (Zionists) are often hypocritical, overly emotional, condescending, dismissive, prone to generalizations, and far to quick to scream anti-semitism (generally to shut down debate). I think it comes from defending the indefensible, and there are only so many tricks in the intellectual hack’s bag. But I do know a number of Zionists who are very mature, and do *not* exhibit these juvenile and anti-intellectual traits. But Jerome Slater, though a “liberal Zionist” and a sincere critic of Israeli policies, seems to model these traits.

    I apologize for beating a damn dead horse, but I just wanted to point out the level of hypocrisy that ceases to astound me, and inspect some of his parting words.

    …whenever I write something that departs from the radical left…
    This column did not simply “depart from the radical left”, it is clearly center right, and that is in the context of American political discourse, which is fatally skewed to the right. Supporting the Afghanistan war is very questionable IMO, but the irony is that Ron Paul supported the use of force against Afghanistan. Ignoring this fact, given the thrust of the column, is either the height of intellectual dishonesty and lying through omission, or it shows a stark lack of integrity (the oversight itself would be passable, but he should have edited the article once he realized this very significant error).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_for_Use_of_Military_Force_Against_Terrorists#Congressional_votes

    Apparently, he seems impervious to facts, and after his utterly inexcusable “lie of ommision” was pointed out, he went on to state-
    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/ron-pauls-antiwar-position-is-simpleminded.html/comment-page-1#comment-411841
    “Would you expect a politician to vote against the use of force against Afghanistan after 9/11? The test is not how you vote after we’ve been attacked, but what the consequences are of an indiscriminately isolationist position, before such attacks.”
    Then we have his unqualified support for the first Gulf War, including an obviously flawed analysis of the events leading up to the conflict.
    1) Negotiations were 100% possible and Saddam had reasonable terms on the table, so if we want to talk about “Just War Theory”, that means the war was both illegal, and unjust under most all paradigms.
    2) He states with certitude that “there was every reason to believe Saudi Arabia, at the least, was next”. At least?!??! This is a hyperbolic lie, but perhaps he is unimaginably gullible when it comes to war propaganda, which does seem to be the case (else he is a lying propagandist of the worst type, in which case he should not be teaching, let alone writing columns that thousands will read). I was young and I knew Saddam was not going anywhere else, but maybe he still remembers the doctored satellite photos we parroted to Saudi Arabia to get troops there, and to demonize our wayward former friend to the world.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0906/p01s02-wosc.html
    The point is that his column is not a departure from the “radical left”, but is largely carrying water for the radical right! Most informed Democrats, and some Republicans would disagree with his faulty uninformed reasoning on the Gulf War, forget the other questionable wars he fell in love with.

    …I am subject to a torrent of abuse…
    Many of us were shocked, so we spoke our mind. Some people got out of line, but he crossed the line first, in the column, and then very clearly in his commentary.

    …junior high school sarcasm, sputtering hatred, and so on….
    -“For the very first time, anonymous little Mouser, you have squeaked something useful.”
    -“A general comment. A good deal of the commentary here, especially the most poorly reasoned and vituperative, essentially consists of this argument: all wars kill innocent people, therefore no war can be justified.” [He is outright lying, as we are not pacifists here, and any arguments that were directed at one of his pet wars usually contained logic and facts he seemed oblivious to. Further he gets right into his generalized condescension directed at ‘a good deal of the commentary’, yet the words might be somewhat appropriate for his commentary and his column.]
    -“A perfect example of the quality and monomania of most comments on this site” [Most comments? I find most of the commenters here are of unparalleled quality, compared to any other website… why is he wasting his time playing in the comments section anyways, when he has such disdain for us?]
    -“But not to recognize and address the obvious counterarguments is to remove yourself from the realm of serious debate.” [Absurd coming from him, utterly absurd. He does not address the obvious counterarguments in his column, let alone when they are made directly to him.]
    -“Warning! You are about to enter another brain-free zone. Proceed at your own risk: it seems to be contagious.” [Really no excuse; many of us get worked up when discussing politics, and some of the commenters did. But this is inexcusable in general, and especially coming from a columnist.]

    Not to mention the most ludicrous charge of them all–that I’m an apologist for Israel, or that I think that anyone who criticizes Israel, or me personally, is an anti-Semite.
    This coming from a man who throws around false and unsupported charges of anti-semitism. Further, out of hundreds of comments, he seems to pick singular comments and pretend they are commonplace or prevalent. Me addressing his attack on JB, pointing out his lack of nuance and intellectual dishonesty-
    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/ron-pauls-antiwar-position-is-simpleminded.html#comment-412140

    Now, it is true that sometimes I have lost my temper, and responded with some acerbity. I plead guilty, but offer in mitigation the fact that I’m only human, that when I’m subject to attacks that reveal that little or nothing of my argument has been understood, and that this lack of comprehension is accompanied by insults, sometimes my combative instincts take over and I can’t resist striking back.
    Even his disingenuous apology, throws a jab and asserts that all his attacks were only directed at people with no comprehension. And he did not “strike back”, but frequently made *generalized* attacks on “most” commenters, even making transparently false statements about what most commenters were even stating/doing.

    Because I’ve finally had it, and knew that this would be my last appearance, in this instance I decided to go out with a bang, not only knowing full well what the response would be, but actually anticipating with some perverse glee watching the wolf pack go into a frenzy.
    Perhaps he was knowingly making gross, unsupported claims, complete with transparently false historical analysis, while supporting * highly* questionable wars and mischaracterizing Ron Paul’s positions? That would explain why he “knew” he would get such a strong response. But I assume he did not expect such a strong response, and the reason he left is that there were many arguments he was unable to counter. Couple that with his insults and childishness, and I can understand why he does not want to remain here. It really was pretty bad, and we will never forget.

    …I refer partly to the excessively one-sided and sometimes analytically unsophisticated nature of some of its postings. The more important problem, though, is the disastrous quality of most of the regular commenters–with honorable exceptions, of course, including several on this particular thread.
    Really professor? Every criticism he lays out here *clearly* applies to this column, and many of his comments. I do not deny that his criticism can apply to *some* comments/commenters, and some of my comments, but then again, I’m honest with myself. Does he have any sense of his hypocrisy? Does he have any pinch of self-reflection, except for his backhanded half-apology?

    the most important audience for Mondoweiss and other blogs, including mine, is the American Jewish community.
    I firmly believe and often state that one of the most important audiences is the American Jewish community. MW has columnists and commenters of every creed, and the only demand is objectivity, and a sincere goal of justice (or the most justice we can get). We are above ethnic divides, but that also means we are above biased self-interested framing of the issues. Zionists are welcome here if they are interested in human rights and productive discussion. And we even have those who are hopelessly biased Zionists, who are brazen apologists for Israel, but still remain.

    How many American Jews who might be open to reasoned criticism of Israel are likely to be convinced by the hysterical, hate-filled, ignorant, and imbalanced denunciations that now characterize far too many of the regular Mondoweiss participants, especially in their total rejections of any form of Zionism, no matter how self-critical and moderate, and the numerous–yes, numerous–attacks that verge on, or unmistakably go over, the red line of anti-Semitism.
    I think we actually are secular and largely past the Zionism thing. And the consensus is somewhat anti-Zionist, I will admit. But I think we would be very accepting of self-proclaimed Zionists, if they were constructive, and aware of the inherent injustice of their position (and upfront about it, not excusing it). I myself am a 2-stater for pragmatic realpolitik reasons. I can make my case here, and get counterarguments, but it is not hate-filled.

    Regarding the anti-Semitism thing… I have not noticed you except for two comment threads. The exchanges with Jeffrey Blankfort shocked me, and you have shown a real lack of intellectual honesty. Further to insinuate/make such a serious charge multiple times, then avoid discussion is unacceptable (making it in the first place with no substance was already out of bounds, but correctable if you had a sincere discussion and things were then clarified). I really think you often have trouble with nuance, and noting how complex things actually are. This surprised me greatly, and academics are usually not so reductionist, simplistic and prone to making generalized sweeping assertions, and declarative statements. For example in your article you stated “There have been no good consequences or byproducts of his candidacy…”. Call me a stickler for logical fallacy…. but this is *almost* inherently false. You could propose that his candidacy, on the whole, is a net negative, but there are at least some positives (e.g. engaging the youth, causing people to consider radical changes to the status quo in a generalized sense, the causes of terrorism are actually noted [one of the ONLY times on MSM the actual motivations for islamic terrorism are noted….. which is effing ABSURD], antiwar positions are truly staked out and he opens up the possibility of antiwar candidates coming from the “right” and not just the “left” [in the future], our overstretched EMPIRE is questioned and he is the only one to do such, Iran is talked about in a realistic manner which is not propagandistic [also, he might represent just about the only time such an honest accounting of Iran reached the general public]…)

    I guess all i can say is…. I’m shocked. Not going to say you didn’t get some disrespect, but you dished out more than enough, and in an unwarranted generalized manner. And hell, it is a comments section, there is always some rough treatment. If you got thicker skin, respect for principled disagreement, and a better ability to engage in substantive debate? Welcome back… but otherwise, I’m happy if you stay away, and just email Annie Robbins when you want to spray insults at the collective people at MW.

  72. flyod
    flyod
    January 9, 2012, 7:36 am

    Mr. Slater, In the context of a “war of ideas” your contribution to this site is most valuable and appreciated. Please reconsider.

  73. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    January 9, 2012, 9:35 am

    The main lesson from this contretemps: arguing about one’s ethnic nationalist interests is a losing proposition from the start. How can one possibly win such an argument? The mere act of arguing about one’s ethnic nationalist interests with ethnic outsiders (and even with members of one’s own ethnic group who don’t share one’s ethnic nationalist preoccupations) creates social friction and turns off and alienates the audience for one’s propagandizing tirades.

    This stuff isn’t difficult to figure out. Certainly most Jews can figure it out — this is why they prefer to live in modern pluralistic Western democratic societies rather than in Israel.

    No one in the world is obligated to make sacrifices for, respect or even pay attention to the ethnic nationalist programs of other groups. Why should they? Most people are not ethnic nationalists for their own ethnic groups. They are living in the 21st century. We’ve got to all get along.

  74. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    January 9, 2012, 9:44 am

    There is a disturbing undercurrent in Jerome Slater’s attacks on Annie Robbins that remind one of some of the hateful misogynist remarks that have been directed at Rachel Corrie by pro-Israel militants (particularly religious pro-Israel militants). A tone of malevolent contempt. It’s unmistakable. No wonder Slater has stirred up Annie’s anger.

    Sometimes in the overexcited rhetoric of some “liberal Zionists” one picks up faint notes of Ovadia Yosef. It’s really ugly.

    Does Slater really imagine that he is doing good work for Israel, polishing its public image and improving its good relations with the rest of the world? Are these personal attacks good for Israel?

    • Danaa
      Danaa
      January 9, 2012, 12:39 pm

      seanmcbride, I think you got it. Jerome is indeed a piece of work (see also my post above with the kid story).

      The kind of hubris in action we are witnessing is a rare treat. Unfortunately, behind the scenes, the condescending willfullness Jerome displays in his outbursts, is all too common. Phil fights this tooth and nail. But they will fight back, tooth and claw. This, I’m afraid is just an opening shot

      We all took Jerome to task on this thread (just about everyone, no?) because he seemed to evince so little concern for the victims of “Just war”. A certain callousness showed through showed and we called him to task on it. But it is what’s behind this indifference-pretending-to-be-concern that’s troublesome. And I think you said it as it is.

      As if someone pulled away the veil and we suddenly get to see the Wizard of Oz.

      • Donald
        Donald
        January 9, 2012, 2:05 pm

        For me this has been painful because I respect and like Jerome and don’t think this pile-on has been a good way for people on either side to see each other at their best. I disagree with the substance of his views on foreign policy as he has expressed them here–ToivoS and David Samel have in various comments and posts said what I think on that. Or one could read Glenn Greenwald. But anyway, when a person is hugely outnumbered and subjected to criticism both fair and unfair (sometimes from the same person) it’s really hard to respond. You get mad at the unfair comments and it’s hard to listen to the reasonable parts. I’ve been there in various internet forums over the years. My response in the past has been to shoot wildly in all directions, and then run. I heartily recommend the running. Not too many people can act like an intellectual John Wayne cowboy hero and carefully pick off the bad arguments and leave the good ones standing. Certainly not me.

        One issue that got raised, though in this shootout it’s probably impossible to discuss it fairly, is that of anti-semitism. Most of us here, including me, have become really cynical about that charge because it is used to shut down criticism of Israel and Zionism. All the same, there are occasional comments at MW that strike me as borderline anti-semitic. They’re a small minority, but they are there. And more significant, we often get into discussions about the Holocaust, WWII, the history of Jews and other things. I’ve participated and I don’t think those are necessarily wrong, (I can’t always judge the accuracy), but here’s my problem. It’s sort of like having a blog devoted to fighting anti-semitism which goes off on related tangents regarding the history of Christianity, the history of Islam, or, worst of all, the history of Palestine. Actually, scratch that last one–it would be an obvious train wreck. Just assume Christianity was the topic. You’d expect under those circumstances that you’d get a rather slanted discussion of Christian history. The facts presented might even all be correct (though that would be a miracle) and yet because of the context (people who’ve gathered together to condemn anti-semitism) there would probably be a distinct slant. I think that happens here and it doesn’t require anyone to be an anti-semite for that to happen. Though again, we do have the occasional anti-semite who posts in the comment section and it would be surprising if there weren’t a few. There are comments that sound anti-semitic to me from time to time. When it gets really blatant commenters of this sort tend to vanish–banned, I assume. (I can think of a couple of examples, people who posted a great deal, one whose name I remember and one whose name I’ve forgotten.) But my main point is that because of the nature of this blog, which is about Israeli injustice, when we do discuss Jewish history or culture there’s apt to be a tendency to accentuate the negative.

      • American
        American
        January 9, 2012, 3:14 pm

        Donald,

        This thread and the responses haven’t been about anti semitism. Slater was the one who inserted anti semitism by calling some people anti semites.

        The argument was about Just War theory and military intervention for humanitarian purposes that Slater put forth to condemn Paul’s candidacy and his anti war position.
        I can’t say for everyone but for myself I though he was being dishonest and mixing his personal interest in part, Israel-US power sharing, as he has in other arguments he has made for the same kind of political and policy status quo.

        The question of Just War will never be settled no matter how many so called intellectuals or theologians study it. Because every Just War is just an opinion and opinions differ.

        We could however settle the question of whether Slater is making a honest moral and intellectual argument against Paul –or whether he is using a theory against Paul because Paul threatens the political status quo Slater values in part because it protects Israel and the Jews or zionism.

        He could answer one question to settle this.

        Slater said:…..’Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s: a closer case, and strategically irrelevant. Still, I’m hardly alone in believing that it was a moral imperative–not to mention a general success–in saving the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo.”

        He also said:..The Gulf War against Saddam Hussein in the early 1990s, after he attacked Kuwait and there was every reason to believe Saudi Arabia, at the least, was next. The first George Bush did exactly the right thing: stopped the aggression, and ended the war when that had been accomplished”.

        He cited these examples to uphold his Just War and military intervention theory that is based on humanitarian grounds and the ‘rightfulness’ of stopping destructive ” aggression” by a state, ruler or group.

        Now..We all watched the Israeli Gaza assault, condemned by every country and all governments in the universe except the US congress.
        We all watched the attack on Lebanon, the pointless collective punishment destruction of civilian infrastructure, the deliberate environmental damage, the dropping of over a million cluster bombs to later kill and maim unsuspecting civilians, mostly children…while every country called for a halt except the US congress.

        Slater just has to answer this question….Does he believe the US should have ‘militarily intervened’ to stop Israel in these cases of clear collective punishment and unproportional warfare?

        Answer Yes…and he’s not a liar and zionist hypocrite twisting theories and ideas to suit or protect, again in part, a more narrow agenda of his own.

        Answer No…and he is.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        January 9, 2012, 3:32 pm

        Donald: as you say:

        “Though again, we do have the occasional anti-semite who posts in the comment section and it would be surprising if there weren’t a few.”

        But, what’s the big deal if someone who is a bit “anti-semitic” posts something that smells funny? don’t people post things about Asians that “smell funny” or, worse yet, Arabs or muslims? call them on it, if it’s wrong, or just ban them if it verges on actual hate speech.

        I basically believe that the charges of anti-semitism should be either ignored or forcefully rejected, and whoever flings them with no cause should be warned, or even banned. At least for a while till they cool off. There is, IMO, nothing unique to anti-semitism than plain old-fashioned bigotry, coupled with class envy and some hunky-punky about history and religious strife (historically). yes there was the Holocaust, which has now been deeply and irrevocably politicized. But the Holocaust 60 odd years ago does not excuse present bad behavior, and most commenters – and blog owners here feel the same, I believe. . If someone posts was comment where they lump All Jews for time immemorial into one big pot, that’d be beyond the pale just as if they said the same about Chinese. Unfortunately, bigotry against people of jewish descent has been singled out by PR hacks as a way of keeping the goys in check. No one denies that. We should never let that pass.

        Personally, when i saw Slater fling mud at Blanckfort I lost interest in any argument the former can make about the justness of wars. He took himself out of the argument through clear and present conflict of interest. I say that even knowing that Jeffrey enjoys pulling Jerome’s tail a bit. It is indeed an irressistable temptation, he being so thin-skinned.

        Unfortunately, at this time I believe that slater has become more toxic than Atzmon for this blog. I’ve never seen a comment as mean-spirited and disgusting as the one he directed Annie’s way. Not even at the height of the brawls over Gilad, or Finkelstein, or Chomsky, or the empire-vs-lobby debates. Only 9/11 conspiracy threads got close (which is why I stay away from them). And that against Annie who spent far more time battling the bad guys than Jerome has in twice as many years, and infinitely more effectively. I think it is appalling and frankly, I’d have kicked him out for that score alone. When people are that condescending and mean, who’d want to engage in an argument with them on anything?

        Does my impatience show? yes, I am indeed a bit jaundiced when it comes to certain Jewish “intellectuals’ (Bernard Strauss Levy comes to mind). Too many of them committed grievous crimes against logic and common sense, both, not to mention the cause of justice. That’s what living with blinders can do to the smartest. We’ve all seen it. I think we are witnessing now the collapse of the intellectual class with regard to the consensus acceptance of out-size role jewish people played and play in American foreign policy. For obvious reasons – they have a big bad dog in the fight, that is becoming badder by the day. I expect far worse to come.

      • Donald
        Donald
        January 9, 2012, 3:46 pm

        Well, you could ask him. It’s an interesting question. Practically, no, military intervention by the US against Israel isn’t going to happen. We’ve had a lot of allies who’ve done terrible things to civilians and frequently we’ve given them the weapons to do it. Chomsky made exactly the point you made in one of his books written around 2000, except that he used the example of Turkey and the Kurds. Turkey destroyed hundreds of Kurdish villages and tens of thousands of Kurds were killed in an internal civil war back in the 90’s and the US gave Turkey weapons during that period, while similar things were going on in Yugoslavia. We intervened in the Balkans and armed the Turks.

        My feeling on that is that if we were truly interested in humanitarian intervention against bullies we’d start at home and after ensuring our own moral consistency, then we could talk about whether we were justified in other places. Instead, though, the mainstream agonizes endlessly about whether we have a duty to intervene in this or that atrocity, but only when it’s some group of people who are either our enemies or at least not our close allies (or in some cases, former allies who’ve lost their usefulness)., while our own war criminals get off free. So yes, the US government is extremely hypocritical and doesn’t seem likely to change in the near future.

        For myself, I wouldn’t bomb Israel–for one thing, even if it were politically feasible and it’s not, and even if it were the best option in some ways, and I don’t think it is, they’re a bunch of self-righteous people with 200 nukes. Imagine how they’d react if the US bombed them. I can’t. What I would like to see is the US cutting off aid and denouncing them the way we would some other country if they were our enemies or at least not our allies. I’d also like a pony, as we internet wits like to say.

        The anti-semitism issue was raised by Jerome, I think, and others have talked about it, so I also jumped in. It is an issue I think we should talk about at MW, though it’s not the main one in this thread.

      • G. Seauton
        G. Seauton
        January 9, 2012, 4:44 pm

        “I am indeed a bit jaundiced when it comes to certain Jewish “intellectuals’ (Bernard Strauss Levy comes to mind). ”

        I think you mean Bernard-Henri Levy, don’t you?

      • American
        American
        January 9, 2012, 4:44 pm

        Donald,

        Why do you want to talk about anti semitism? How is that relevant to Israel or to the Jews today? Except in the fact that Israel’s actions do foster negative anti opinions about the”Jewish state and therefore is semi linked to the Jews.
        Ideally Israel should be discussed and/ or criticized for what it is doing today without any regard for whether it is a Jewish state or not.
        Discussion of anti semitism, going into Jewish history and examining this and that, explaining, justifying, ferreting out legitimate reasons or illegitimate excuses for Israel or zionist or Jews is a self perpetuating never ending boondoggle in which Jews and Gentiles, zionist and anti zionist will never all agree.
        Let it die the natural death it deserves.
        There are enough zionist obsessed with keeping anti semitism as a hot issue, we don’t need to help them.

      • tree
        tree
        January 9, 2012, 4:55 pm

        Slater just has to answer this question….Does he believe the US should have ‘militarily intervened’ to stop Israel in these cases of clear collective punishment and unproportional warfare?

        Good question and similar to one that another poster posed without a direct response from Slater. I doubt you will get an answer to that question from him.

        I do think that you are missing two important earlier examples. Should the US have militarily intervened in the 1948 War to prevent the ethnic cleansing of over 750,000 Palestinians, as well as scores of massacres of civilians? And should the US have militarily intervened in 1967 in response to Israel’s attack on Egypt and Syria, their seizing of the West Bank and Gaza, and the ethnic cleansing of over 200.000 Palestinians? Both of those Israeli attacks equate to what was done in either Bosnia/Kosovo or Kuwait.

      • Donald
        Donald
        January 9, 2012, 5:13 pm

        “don’t people post things about Asians that “smell funny” or, worse yet, Arabs or muslims? call them on it, if it’s wrong, or just ban them if it verges on actual hate speech.”

        That’s fine with me. The point is that any sort of hate speech should be treated the same way. I spend most of my time blasting the anti-Arab racists around here, as do most of us.

        As for the behavior of Jerome, I don’t think he should have said those things to Annie, she shouldn’t have published his email, various people shouldn’t all be piling on, and no, I don’t want to rate the various degrees of sin here. I just wish it would stop.

        “Bernard Strauss Levy ”

        I thought it was BHL, but forget exactly what the letters stand for. If that’s the pseudo-intellectual who was conned into believing in an imaginary philosopher and goes around with his shirt open, yes, he’s a clown.

    • annie
      annie
      January 9, 2012, 5:38 pm

      sean, i just wanted to clarify something. i am not feeling angry. that wasn’t how i was feeling nor the voice i was attempting to use. this display of vitriol directed at me i find very curious indeed, but i am not mad. it may be misogynist, and it may be partly because i am not jewish.

      also, please call me annie anytime.

  75. Mooser
    Mooser
    January 9, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Shorter, longer, and medium length Jerome Slater: ‘Everything happens for the best in this best of all possible worlds’

  76. Chu
    Chu
    January 9, 2012, 4:22 pm

    I am surprised to see this meltdown in progress, but it revealed a lot when Slater said in the post above how he basically waited with ‘perverse glee’ for people to make comments against him. I could see this coming as well, when he referenced Finkelstein being criticized on Mondoweiss recently.

    Because I’ve finally had it, and knew that this would be my last appearance, in this instance I decided to go out with a bang, not only knowing full well what the response would be, but actually anticipating with some perverse glee watching the wolf pack go into a frenzy.

  77. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    January 9, 2012, 4:24 pm

    accidental post

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      January 9, 2012, 4:58 pm

      ^ I meant I accidentally made a two word post at 4:24. Please delete that one.

  78. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    January 9, 2012, 4:30 pm

    Where Slater is Apparently Coming From

    This post denouncing R.Paul and noninterventionists as fools appears to come out of the blue- the only prior post by J.S. I notice on the topic of foreign intervention in general was the post “Will Libya Victry Feed Hubris?” (http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/will-libya-victory-feed-western-hubris.html). There, he speaks cordially of arguments opposing the invasion of Libya, saying while they are not persuasive, opponents have an “extremely important argument.”

    Instead of really being upset over noninterventionism, in J.S’s comment above at 12:21 PM, he explains:

    My final criticism of Mondoweiss in the one I regard as by far the most important… The… important problem… is the disastrous quality of most of the regular commenters…
    Why “disastrous?” There is no serious prospect of any change in Israeli policies, or of US support of them, unless the American Jewish community can finally grasp that those policies are irrational, self-defeating, dangerous, and immoral.

    How many American Jews who might be open to reasoned criticism of Israel are likely to be convinced by the hysterical, hate-filled, ignorant, and imbalanced denunciations that now characterize far too many of the regular Mondoweiss participants, especially in their total rejections of any form of Zionism, no matter how self-critical and moderate, and the numerous–yes, numerous–attacks that verge on, or unmistakably go over, the red line of anti-Semitism.

    The only thing J.S. specifically called antisemitic in the comments here was Blankfort’s discussion about the relationship to or with the Nazis.

    The last time J.S. talked about leaving M.W. was about the issue he lists here first, in his post “More on the debate over Zionism and the Jewish state” (http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/more-on-the-debate-over-zionism-and-the-jewish-state.html), where he writes that intemperate comments are not really what pushes him away:

    This may be my swan song to Mondoweiss. Samel considers me to be too sensitive to criticism, but far too much of what passes for “criticism” among the Mondoweiss regulars is some combination of incoherence, inability or unwillingness to read what I actually say and characterize it correctly, and just pure venom. However, in the final analysis what drives me to the reluctant conclusion that this is probably not the place for me is not so much the calumny, hatred, and insults of so many, but that Samel, who knows far better, has written such a disingenuous caricature of my argument.

    My argument is that Zionism and the establishment of a Jewish state could have been done with far less injustice to the Palestinians—notice, I don’t claim no injustice… as to be outweighed by the historical need for security—and often life—for Jews endangered by murderous anti-Semitism…

    What I am arguing is that the demand for a two state solution has a far greater chance of being eventually realized than one state, and moreover if somehow a one state solution were forced on the Israelis, it would be far more likely to be a disaster for both peoples than a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

    Samel… does dissociate himself from some of the more intemperate comments, but… in some ways, what he has done here is worse, precisely because Samel is intelligent, writes well, and likes to appear as moderate. Consequently, his clever demagoguery is more destructive of serious debate than the incoherent rants of others.”

    Samel was responding to Slater’s article “The Jewish State Controversy,” (http://www.jeromeslater.com/2011/03/jewish-state-controversy-can-zionism-be.html), which partly began:

    Zionism… at its core is the belief that the Jewish people have both the right and the need of a state of their own. Some… argue that because of the inherent conflict between Zionism and the rights of the Palestinian people, the creation of a Jewish state in part of Palestine was never justified. Tellingly, though, almost all who so argue are Jewish, for few Western gentiles of good will… are prepared to go that far…”

    The Holocaust made the case for the creation of a Jewish state and a haven for the victims of antisemitism not only irrefutable but urgent… there have been many other periods in history–most of them far longer than the sixty-five years since the Holocaust led to a revulsion against antisemitism–in which Jews have seemed to flourish but which culminated in revived antisemitic persecution, forced conversion, expulsion, or mass murder…

    Still closer in time, even after the end of WWII, for several decades significant antisemitism continued in parts of Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and during the 1980s and 1990s antisemitism in Russia, while not becoming murderous, was serious enough to convince hundreds of thousands of Jews that it would be wise to emigrate to Israel.

    Finally, during the 1980s and 1990s, some 80,000 Ethiopian Jews were rescued from civil war and famine, many in covert Israeli military operations that brought them to the Jewish state. To be sure, for the most part they were not fleeing from antisemitism, but their need for escape and refuge–and their right to migrate to Israel under the Law of Return–was no less urgent.

    …in light of 2000 years of antisemitism it cannot be said that there is no longer a need for a Jewish state, principally but not solely to serve as a refuge for Jews who may find themselves in desperate straits into the future.

    So Slater comes from a strong belief that the Jewish people need a state because of antisemitism. Consequently he views disagreement with the idea of the nation-state as often coming from a lack of good will for the people, while the disagreement of those who do have good will he still considers disastrous. And if Slater believes an armed state is important to protect the people from discrimination, this could naturally inform his support for armed US foreign intervention taken ostensibly to protect oppressed people, as in the attacks on Serbia and Libya.

    I sympathize with the claim that people’s security justifies a state , since the Jewish people, along with others, have been severely persecuted. Isaac Deutscher felt sad that he hadn’t encouraged more people to emigrate to Palestine before WWII. On the other hand when persecution and danger exist, a people can actually be more protected when they are spread among many nations than when they are collected into one spot.

    Considering that Slater’s outlook and offense at many M.W. posters comes from the strong belief in the necessity of a nation-state, I suggest that Slater and people who seek to discuss the IP Conflict with him focus on whether the people need an armed nation state for protection, while showing their good will towards him or the people and vice-verse.

  79. Jerome Slater
    Jerome Slater
    January 9, 2012, 5:53 pm

    W. Jones.

    A very reasonable comment. A minor point first: I have already conceded, several times, that I have been inconsistent about leaving Mondoweiss. I’ll try to be more consistent in the future, though clearly, at one level, I can’t seem to resist combat. In any case, I did grant myself a temporary injunction against silence, until this thread has closed.

    Now to your important point, in your last sentence. Here, in a nutshell is my position: I accept the description–which on this site is considered a grievous moral crime–that I tend to be a liberal Zionist. What that means, certainly in my case and I believe in most others who accept that description, is that I (or we) reject all the traditional Zionist arguments for the right of the Jews to have a state in Palestine, save one: existential necessity. So it seems to me to have been overwhelmingly obvious that the Holocaust demonstrated the need of the Jews to have an armed nation state for protection. Yet, at the same time, the only good argument for that need to be fulfilled in Palestine was that there was no other practical place to put it.

    It is perfectly possible to accept the argument that tragic necessity required the creation of Israel, but to say that the Jews no longer need an armed state in which they are a large majority. In fact, that is exactly the position of most “post-Zionists.” However, I can’t agree: the history of murderous anti-Semitism does not allow us to conclude that it is wholly a thing of the past, and that therefore there is no longer any need for a Jewish state.

    Having said that, it is absolutely also the case that much of the hostility towards Israel in the Middle East is not a consequence of some purely ideological anti-Semitism, but of Israel’s behavior–much, I said, not all. Anyway, even if the dangers, or potential dangers, to Israeli security were ENTIRELY a consequence of its own misbehavior, if I were an Israeli, believing what I do, I would be very worried about abandoning an armed Jewish state, at least at this point in history.

    That’s a paradox, to be sure. Israel has created what is largely–but not entirely–a self-fulfilling prophecy. Its stupidity and its crimes against the Palestinians–not to mention, on all too many occasions in the past, against Lebanese, Egyptian, and Jordanian citizens as well–need to end, and just about everything I’ve ever written has that as its main focus.

    Meanwhile, however, the Israelis, like every other people–and possibly other Jews elsewhere in the world whose security if not existence might be endangered in the future–have the right to live. At this point in history, I am not prepared to say that they (Israelis, and possibly other Jews) have neither the right nor the need to maintain, as you say, “an armed nation for protection.”

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 9, 2012, 6:26 pm

      “I’ll try to be more consistent in the future, though clearly, at one level, I can’t seem to resist combat.”

      ROTFLMSJAO!!! Looks like you’ve done a pretty good job. Here you are, hale and hearty, and ready to “support” wars so that others can die in combat.
      Either you have a talent for avoiding combat, or you’re bulletproof.