Friday, August 30, 2002
Wrongwaygoback.com put Little Green Footballs under the microscope and conclude:
LGF has become a propaganda machine of hatred towards Muslims and Arabs. Like a KKK discussion board or Neo-Nazi site it tars a group with the same brush - always attacking, always negative, always making general accusations and encouraging hatred; but because it is anti-Islam, LGF is growing in support. Will the weblog community treat LGF the same way it treated as Clearguidance.com? Is it brave enough?
Nearly one week on, and I still can't figure out what was meant by this:
I told the foot doctor there was a mosque in town
I told the foot doctor to burn the whole mosque down
And then the foot doctor, he told me what to do
He said that ....
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Allah Allah, bang bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Allah Allah, bang bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Allah Allah, bang bang
Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang
Allah Allah, bang bang
Sigh. Unrelated though firing from the same corner of La La Land, UCLA student Ben Shapiro, a fan of civilian deaths, continues to furiously furnish evidence that public education is, as the conservatives say, a failure. Today the young idiot urges the targeting of Colin Powell as a supporter of terror, saying of the State Department: "State hasn't done anything useful. Ever." The deep thinkers are already linking with glee. UCLA's own web site indicates the university continues to operate a Department of History. Perhaps Mr. Shapiro should enroll in one of its classes.
Thursday, August 29, 2002
Internet commentator Andrew Sullivan is back from his vacation. He seems to have acquired a measure of depth from his month of recumbency in the hammock, as he's no longer saying that American "seriousness" is dependent on an American war on Iraq. No, now he's of the belief that the continuation of "Western civilization" is dependent on that same war. I was sure he'd recapture some of his flagging energy with his month of general inactivity, but I'd never have guessed he would have recaptured enough to fuel what appears to be a crusade.
Wednesday, August 28, 2002
According to BartCop, this happened recently in America because the woman was holding an anti-Bush sign.
I don't know about you folks, but those allegations make this American absolutely furious.
Tuesday, August 27, 2002
Deliberating war as a test for democracy
The "relative passivity with which most Americans now experience the mobilization for war" is one of the "troubling sources of moral levity in the public war deliberations of the world's dominant military power," writes Talbot Brewer, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Virginia in his article "We the People, We the Warriors".
This process has become highly undemocratic. Large groups of ''we the people" now are insulated not only from the physical risks of injury or death in war but also from the moral risks that attend any active role in the initiation of war.
What are the moral risks of war? Consider, to begin with, that one cannot responsibly choose to start a war without supposing oneself to have the capacity to discern those rare historical moments when war has a realistic chance of doing more good than harm. Overestimating one's capacity to shape the course of history raises the risk of becoming responsible for the creation of a damnable mess.
Consider, too, that one cannot responsibly choose the path of war without being certain that one's enthusiasm for fighting is not rooted at least partly in such dark psychological sources as an overgeneralized thirst for revenge or intoxication with the capacity to humble one's enemies. To overestimate the purity of one's war motives is to risk becoming responsible for evil, entered into -- as evil ordinarily is -- with every belief in one's good intentions.
Today both sorts of moral risks are in play.
About the "insulation" from the "moral risks that attend any active role in the initiation of war" Brewer writes:
If war policy is chosen behind closed doors and then conveyed to the people in conjunction with a skillful caricature of the predetermined enemy (supported, perhaps, by intelligence whose precise nature cannot be revealed), the public can be made to prefer an array of unsavory wars that it would never choose in the light of open deliberation.
Monday, August 26, 2002
"I'd take a knife and cut everyone of your shit-swallowing throats with my own hand"
Ordinarily, I wouldn't post something like this. However, since I was invited by Bruce of War Now! and since this individual is clearly so deranged and deluded, I will post this in the hope that someone does something about it (or are they too busy focusing on real threats). I am referring to a particularly garish looking site called Alleywriter.
Alleywriter is neither funny nor intelligent. He is, however, extremely deranged, and an obviously unhealthy influence on the mind of his young daughter:
My daughter is told that Muslim's practice Islam and that Islam is a religion of hate. That Muslims hate her and would kill her and that they don't care what kind of a person she is or if they know her. She knows that they hate and would kill her only because she is not a Muslim, and because she is an American. She knows that a Muslim group called al Qaeda used 19 Muslim men to steal 4 airplanes and then used those planes to kill over 3,000 Americans.
Yet, for a lesson in irrational hatred, his "selflessly giving and forgiving" daughter might look no further than her father.
When it comes to Goldstein, the foot doctor terrorist, Alleywriter howls:
As I said, that's all been in Israel. But now it's come to America. Now we have Dr. Robert J. Goldstein, a thwarted hero who could no longer allow Jews to be murdered unavenged.
Goldstein was found to have stockpiled weapons, a massive amount of explosives, and had boobytrapped his house. He was preparing to launch a series of attacks on Islamic schools and places of worship. Killing Muslim children is, according to Alleywriter, a heroic act. Here's a lesson in morality, Alleywriter: Killing children can never be a heroic act. I don't care if they are Muslims, Jews or Christians, attacking children is an act of utter cowardice and can never be elevated to the level of heroism.
Robert intended a rampage of destruction that would have shown the Islamic community of Tampa what it is they support and cheer for when they encourage, finance and rejoice for the killing of Jews and Americans. He would have given them just the smallest taste of what real terror is, and he would have been on higher moral ground than those who knowing allow their own to be killed so that they can avoid criticism of being too harsh on their enemies.
It boggles the mind to see Alleywriter rationalise the killing of innocent people like this. What have the Muslims of Tampa got to do with killing Jews and Americans? If Goldstein was to have murdered these people, he would have been murdering people every bit as innocent as the people who died in the World Trade Center on September 11.
Of course, there is still hope. What are the chances that Robert is the only Jew to finally have had enough of seeing his people slaughtered like pigs and nothing more than token actions taken to either avenge them or to see that it doesn't happen again? I think there are more like Robert out there, and eventually, one of them will succeed. And then another, and another, until there is an organized movement matching Islams insanity death for death.
Sadly, not very many, though. Because for every Robert J. Goldstein out there, there are at least hundreds of Jews like his mother who place ethics, no matter how twisted, above revenge.
However, until the Robert J. Goldsteins are allowed to succeed, Jews and Americans will continue to be massacred by Muslims. They won't stop until we make them, and the only way to make them is to make them pay for their crimes with their blood and the blood of their families.
Alleywriter is unambiguously arguing for the murder of American Muslims and encouraging other Jews to try and complete what Goldstein started. In fact, this maniac is probably up to the "heroic task" himself if his past threats are anything to go by.
I'll tell you right now that if you're Muslim, I hate your effin guts. I disliked you already even before 9/11, but I'd cheerfully see you dead, now. And if you're thinking of being cute and putting me on the spot by saying something like, "What about me? What about my kids? My wife? What did we ever do to you? How did we ever harm you?"
Let me ease your mind. Yes you. Yes your wife, your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and your kids. And I wouldn't do it with a bomb, not like you chickenshit scum. If the government said, "Ok, AW, you want these people dead, then you have to do the killing yourself.", I'd take a knife and cut everyone of your shit-swallowing throats with my own hand.
Really? Well, Mr Wannabe Muslim Killer, it is always easy to make threats against "parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and kids" when hiding behind a curtain of anonymity. At the very least, it prevents the subjects of one's threats from ever catching up with them. However, given that Alleywriter is himself fond of "outing" deviants on his site, and given the obvious threat he poses to American society, I'm going to call him out.
Mr Alleywriter is Mr Thomas Schaller of 1552 Oswego Road, Naperville IL 60540, UNITED STATES. Now, his identity is known - including to the Muslim community in his own area - hopefully Mr Thomas Schaller will take the time to reflect on his statements and realise that its perhaps in his best interests to back-peddle as fast as possible.
If not, then maybe it is time for someone to give Dave Dial a call.
The Pej Puppet, who gets unprecedented mileage from his Bartlett's, quotes Blaise Pascal: "Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical." We encourage him to pursue the many implications of Pascal's words, each of which he seems largely oblivious to. He may want to start here, next asking himself if force is justifiable without having first exhausted all other available options, as Hans Blix does. Perhaps he'd reconcile himself to the growing numbers who want no part of Mr. Bush's nifty war effort. Unlikely though, as numskulls often enjoy having a solo go.
PICTURE AND QUOTE: EUGENE DEBS
And here let me emphasize the fact--and it cannot be repeated too often--that the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace. Yours not to reason why; Yours but to do and die. That is their motto and we object on the part of the awakening workers of this nation. If war is right let it be declared by the people. You who have your lives to lose, you certainly above all others have the right to decide the momentous issue of war or peace....
They are continually talking about your patriotic duty. It is not theirs but your patriotic duty that they are concerned about.
There is a decided difference. Their patriotic duty never takes them to the firing line or chucks them into the trenches.....
And that sort of settles that. I was going to cook up some rhetorical whoop ass for our infinite foes Pejman "I'm Still A Whore for the RNC" Yousefzadeh and our favorite Neo-Eugenicist Godless Capitalist. It wasn't going to be a long counter. The argument is simple: If you believe that this is a just war and you're young and able, then enlist Dr. Weevil, Pejman, Mike the Dog, and/or Godless. I might note, by the way, that Eugene Debs got sentenced for 10 years for making that speech during WWI. (You would think that all the leftists, union organizers and activists that have been killed, wounded or harassed would show that the left does have courage.) But I checked out both Pej's and Godless' commentary section and found out war veterans had already beaten me there. Here are the highlights and keep in mind that Debs quote, from www.thememoryhole.org (great new site and Orwell rulz!).
Take it away veteran Jo Fish:
GC, once again you miss the point of the Chickehawk discussion. Just let the ones who beat their chest the hardest and yell the loudest for war, look me in the eye and tell me why they could not have even done as much as Dan Quayle for goodness sake (at least he showed up for drills and finished his service without incident). John McCain said that "any service is Honorable Service" when he was asked about GWB's "lost years" in the TANG; he did not want to get into the same mud they were smearing on him in South Carolina. You are going to tell me that men like John McCain, Bob Kerry, Dan Inouye and others should just shut up and go along with the administration when the debate starts and not question the wisdom of the administration?
Is the position of the far-right that all of us, right-left-center who want a maningful dialog before bullets fly are somehow wrong or deluded?
Also, I understand your feeling of being a "contributor" as a researcher, and I'm sure that you do important and vital DoD work...but, you have to go there and live the life for a tour or more to appreciate what it means to be in the service. Spend 11 months off Iran on a ship during the Hostage Crisis or go 135 days without hitting dry land during the Cold War and then come and talk to me...watch a couple of your friends buy the farm during carrier landings during peacetime...and then come tell me how easy it all is. You know I'd go back tomorrow, as would almost everyone I served with if this is righteous thing, but not if we have to do the "McNamara's War" scenario again ( a war run of the Beltway, it already happened in Afghanistan to some extent) and I'm afraid that's what worries folks who want to this whole thing to slow down just a wee bit.
As for the police/firefighter anologies, they are faulty in one very important way: either one of those groups has the power to just walk away from their job. Just stop, quit, say "I'm outta here". They can also strike, have far greater legal rights than those afforded service members under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and generally get to go home to their wives and kids almost every night at the end of their shift. Does not work that way in the service...sorry.
Then Doubting Thomas, who has a site here: http://www.geocities.com/rangerhiq/TheDailyPage.html. Check out that great line about his parents SPRINTING to the recruiting station during WWII. Contrast and compare that to Pejman's math experiments and Godless proud pronouncement that "I just build the bomb, not explode it." (Let's not ask Godless if he would do work on genetic pathnogens aimed at specific minority groups. Let's just not ask...remember David Morse in the "Twelve Monkeys"?)
The point I'm making is that the people taking the risk chose [sic] to take the risk. They volunteered.
Yes, that's right, we volunteered. Many of us WAY before 9/11 (I did in 1982).
So, good for you, you choose not to be a soldier. Want me to clap for you? Should I look at you with pride in my eyes?
Someone above said the Army isn't looking for volunteers--eh? My brother is an Army recruiter and he's always looking for a few good men and women.
I don't believe I have ever said everyone who is pro-war should serve. Also, I didn't say that only currently serving military members or veterans are the only ones allowed to have an opinion.
But, if someone who is pro-war, capable of serving, and doesn't choose to serve and then is so smug, self-actualized, and unapologetic like you are about it, Godlesscapitalist, then excuse me here for the ad hominem, but you don't sound like much of a patriot to me. You're a "pick and choose" patriot." You like the rhetoric of patriotism, but don't particularly care to actually join in the long and distinguished line of American men and women who put their money where their mouths are.
Chickenhawk...I like that word. It is so appropo. Please forgive me for holding you in contempt, sir. I do.
In WW II my dad and his peers SPRINTED to the recruiting stations to join up after Pearl Harbor. My Dad sacrificed playing football at Notre Dame to serve in the war. To his generation it was UNTHINKABLE to put their own personal goals above the needs of their country at war.
Of course this is a different war and and we don't need 10 million men (or women now) to serve as we did then. But it sure is funny to see how attitudes have changed.
(Portrait of the "Shropshire Slasher", who I resemble physically...)
Well, I see they've done gone and gotten a professional after my big fat American ass. I have been attacked by none other than James Lileks, who I think is a very good stylist, but who is generally very very wrong. He refers to me as the "Shropshire Slasher". And, I must say, that totally rocks with me as a nickname. You can call me "Biggus Dickus" or "Morpheus" or "Hyper Masculine Lefty Writer" because, ouch, it kinda hurts. Keep it coming.
Here is my graph by graph rebut. I have occasionally crossed out what I thought were errors and inserted what I thought were needed corrections.
On another blog I discovered today, the Rottweiler - who Fisks down to the molecular level - was regaling us all with an exchange he had with the Shropshire Slasher. Mr. SS believes that America is - wait for it - A NAZI STATE! and one of is proofs was “the complete sellout to corporate interests ( a definition of fascism by the way
a.)Actually, what I said, and this was buried in our oft disappearing comments section (apologies, although it's getting better)is that while it didn't look like Nazi Germany in 1940, it sure has that fiery burning Kristallnacht smell of the early 1930s or thereabouts. The main idea here, of course, is that you don't wait until 1940 because by 1940 it's way way too late. So, you look out for the early signs of fascism (all borrowed from Introducing Fascism and Nazism, or what I call the Mike the Dog Story): a strong state with a powerful executive which did not require democratic consultation before acting, combined with a hatred of bourgeois democracy (let's define that as civil liberties and the 2000 election and so far, so good), Hatred of communism and socialism as political movements based on the idea of class differences and class antagonisms...Against this idea, Fascism aimed to substitute a corporative state that denied a divergence of class interests between capital and labour (Mike the Fascist Nazi Dog, this story really is about you, although you might add "terrorism" to the list..), Fascism was frequently subsidized by big industrialists and landowners (please read the story associated with the link: "Death Squads Go Better With Coke" over at Three River and below), admiration of power and the deed which expression in the cult of violence. Training for war and violence gave free rein to sadistic and pathological characteristics (Sound familiar? Just check out our comments sections...), aversion to intellectuals whom fascism accused of undermining the old certainties and traditional values (Please see the copious warblogger Hate Minute files regarding Chomsky, Rall, Mike Moore, Fisk, Shropshire Slasher, whatever....)and my favorite: Fascism needed scapegoat enemies--"The Other" on whom to focus society's aggressions and hates (Does this really need explanation? We know who this is right, James?)
So, if you're in kind of a Clive Barker mode whenever you read your daughter to sleep, try this: First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.T hen they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics,and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.
Hmm. I hear this a lot. “The main difference between Fascism and Communism was the role of private business in the former.” It’s been a few years since I read “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” but I recall quite clearly how Hitler used the private companies as his own bank, expropriating what he needed, nationalizing when convenient. Had the Reich stayed around for another ten years there wouldn’t have been a single private business of consequence in the country. In any case, it’s ridiculous to think the bankers and industrialists could say no to that uni-testical'd cacadaemon.
(b)Well, two quick points: I'm referring to Henry Ford's open admiration for the Nazis and the very well documented ties of American business to not only the fascist regimes in Germany, but also Italy. In fact, George Seldes wrote about the American corporate community's open admiration for Mussolini. And of course the corporate press fired him for that, which happens a lot. But, and this is the second point, American industrialists supported fascist movements in Italy and Germany. You could argue that we still do if you've read that story about Coke orchestrating death squad activity in Colombia. American companies love fascist dictators...It keeps wages down and union activity low, especially when you can kill the union organizers. I mean, the fantasy of the see/hear/tell/blog no American Evil warbloggers is that we're really nice guys, but so misunderstood. People need to read that Dinesh book and so forth. The truth is that our foreign policy is often quite evil, trends toward fascists and dolts and, worst of all, is absolutely conscious and not at all "accidental" or "misunderstood". What's covering the fat, self-satisfied American smirk? Darth Vader's mask.
Here's a link to a story about how IBM helped the Nazis. http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,41753,00.html
And here's a link to Henry Ford's ties to the Nazis
http://www.thememoryhole.org/fordnazi.htm And here's that laff a minute story about Coke which answers "Why They Hate Us" http://www.colombiareport.org/colombia73.htm
1. Rearrangement of the entire national purpose along racial lines. E Pluribus Unum vs. Ein Reich, Ein Volk. I know, I know - just because it’s on the money doesn’t mean it’s so, but if you think this nation is trending towards some sort of government-enforced ethic purity, you really need to get out of your suburb more, and visit me in the city. Black people! Brown people! Yellow people! Mingling and living with impunity!
1.) Don't you read the enlightening work of everyone's favorite neo-eugenicist "Godless Capitalist". He's creating, I think, a very plausible blueprint for a kind of science-based fascism. You tell Godless boy you sure do sound like a racist and he says "No, it just seems like I hate the blacks...It's all just science old boy..." I also, again, recommend that you read a book called Bertram Gross' "Friendly Fascism". Every country develops it's own kind of fascism. Like I said before in the comments section, american fascism will have a black guy, a woman, and maybe even a gay guy (Sully it sounds like you...!), but it will still be fascism. You're also ignoring that we pretty much live in a segregated, racist society, especially in living patterns and certainly socially. That's not good by the way. You also might want to read up on a book called "The Power Elite" by C. Wright Mills.
If you wanted to find ein volk in this nation, where would you start? To paraphrase Clara Peller in the Wendy's commercial, where's the volk?
See point one and substitute patriotic symbols: The American flags, rousing kickass country tunes and glorious war movies...Who needs Leni Riefenstahl when you've got American PR and Hollywood?
2. Pagan spirituality The Corporate Theocracy. Hitler cobbled together his batshit mythos from ancient German myths. The idea that his regime was a Christian outfit is another odd belief trundled out by those who think Ashcroft likes to close the door, put on his hip-high black leather boots and strut around to Wagner arias.(Slasher here: Uh...how do you know?) There’s a difference between a President who regards himself as a humble servant of a Merciful God, and a runty sociopath who prongs a chubster over warby songs about leather-clad thundergods.
2. Well, we don't need what you affectionately call "batshit mythos" to do evil when you've got good old-fashioned equally "batshit" Christianity to draw from. It's all made up James. Religion is an illusion. Any silly one will do. You haven't gotten this whole Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Christian Right supports the Republican Fascist thing down have ya'?
3.Top-down state control of the arts. Denying Karen Finley a government grant because she wants to smear Spam on her hooties is not the same thing.
3. Well you don't really need top-down state control of the arts when the same people who control art and the media have the same views as the worst elements of our government. Riddle me this: what's the difference between a state run information structure that pedals the memes of the fascist state and a privatized information structure that pedals the memes of the fascist state? Answer: Not much, said in my best Frank Gorshin cackle. I mean, when Rupert Murdoch gets Oliver Stone to do that 10 hour mini-series on the life of Noam Chomsky well, hey, maybe then I'll be wrong. But you can help disprove the theory yourself as an alleged feisty corporate media newspaper columnist and write these stories for you corporate media paper: Do a long column on that Coca Cola Death Squad deal in Colombia or if you're in a union at that paper of your'n write a funny yet incisive column about how the union is getting screwed, and last but not least, pick your biggest advertiser (I recommend grocery ads myself)and say something legitimately negative about them. I'll hold my breath you gutsy, at the edge, Spider Jerusalem-like, allegedly feisty corporate media newspaper columnist you...!
4. Elaborate bureaucracies and nationwide infrastructure devoted to Jew killing. For some curious reason, Nazimerica has chosen to leave this to the PLO.
4. Well, have you taken a look at our incarceration rates? Why kill the undesirables when you can make money off them in for profit prisons? I mean, when Glenn "I worry about civil liberties, but I still like Bush" Reynolds starts talking about the country as a possible police state things are trendin' badly. I also define our national military, with its microwave death rays, fuel air bombs and mines mines mines as a "nationwide infrastructure." Call me naive. I also think the hatred is directed externally, at any nation that doesn't give us the natural resources that we want, which I will address in you next point.
5. Territorial conquest of
neighbor external nations to redress manufactured grievances. Canada and MexicoIraq, Iran, Pakistan and 60 other countriesremain sovereign nations - for the moment, of course. It might suit America’s purpose to invade Mexico some day, if Bumblebee Man flies a jetliner into the Alamo, but our leadership realizes that imposing EPA clean-air regs on Mexico City would bankrupt the hemisphere’s economy.Had to make a few changes there. I mean, you're a reporter who's used to city desk editing. So you know what rape is all about.
5.You have heard about this whole NAFTA thing haven't you? That's where tribunals, held in secret and accountable to no one (Oh that sounds real democratic...)override national decision-making? That law that lowers our standard of living and doesn't really raise Mexico's either? And how long did you have to think about the clever insertion of the word "neighbor"? Hey that threw us off the track. Sure, mention two of the 60 countries that we're not invading, yet. Thanks pal...You finished that hard-hitting expose on the city's groceries yet cause I can't hold my breath a long time...
6. Elevation of the dead to National Martyr Status. When children start the day with the Todd Beamer Song, sung to the tune of “Horst Wessel,” you’ll have a point. Note to the dim: “Horst Wessel” is not Lt. Chekhov’s way of describing a spaceship owned by a famous Minneapolis hairstylist.
6. Oh man. Now that's frellin' funny. I swear that was so funny I heard the faint whisper of the "Brady Bunch" laff track. No wonder you write for an American daily, well known as the cutting edge of real funny-like humor. I mean, Joe Sobran, Scaife, the horrible mediocrity of the corporate media, it's all a laff riot. Trust me.
7. There’s more, but it’s late and I’m tired. You know why I really wrote the preceding? Because now it’s the weekend, and I will gambol in the sun, play with my wife and child, toss the squeak toy the pup, grill steaks, consume oooiiiillll, and enjoy the waning days of summer - and meanwhile, a half-dozen bitter nutrolls will spend that time attempting to prove that America is actually the same as Nazi Germany. Have fun, lads! Don’t leave out the part about shredding the Constitution, or repealing civil liberties. That would be like the Stones dropping “Satisfaction” from the concert playlist. Always remember the fans. They want the hits; give 'em the hits.
What, that shredding the constitution thing got you all bored? Figures. I'm going to call it a night too. By the way, here are some more right-thinking, uplifting, rally round the flag boys stories for your daughter: "Our pal Somoza", "Archbishop Romero and the death squads" and, my favorite, "Daddy was stupid enough to do that Coke involvement in death squads piece and now I'm unemployed and so now we have to do more walking and can't consume as much oooiiiillll ..." Just a suggestion...
Sunday, August 25, 2002
G. Harlan Reynolds proves that there is nothing to fear but thought itself, stubbornly refusing to engage in the practice. When fuming over Robert Fisk’s avowal not to join the prosecution, GHR overlooks the obvious: to wit, an interested journalist brings the enterprise into disrepute and endangers fellow tradesmen and women, though Reynolds and his customers have shown time and again that they prefer to have their news spoonfed directly by State Department officials without journalistic mediation. Comparable episodes are obvious, but The Professor chooses not to explore any, linking instead to Brad DeLong, a smart and decent man who is at times liable to simplify things a bit, as if that settles matters conclusively. In The Professor’s mind, I suppose it does.
Pity the President:
We know that the unelected president's pea-sized brain is likely taxed to near failure by the innumerable demands of the office he holds. We already pitied the poor cranial Lilliput, though the following tale of woe sent us directly to the Kleenex:
"I try to go for longer runs, but it’s tough around here at the White House on the outdoor track. When I’m at my ranch in Crawford, I can do longer runs. It’s sad that I can’t run longer. It’s one of the saddest things about the Presidency." [more]
The poor guy. Elsewhere in the interview, he provides a possible reason behind his baffling bellicosity: "It’s interesting that my times have become faster right after the war began." Interesting indeed, though the unlucky shepherds of Afghanistan won't be enough to put 'ole forty-three up in Hicham El Guerrouj's ranks. Best add Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Guerrouj's native Morocco to the Axis of Evil.
Saturday, August 24, 2002
Martin Peretz & Co. Connect With Gay Palestinians
Martin Peretz and the rest of the thoroughly predictable gang at the increasingly tired New Republic have suddenly discovered a very small section of the Palestinian populace with whom they are willing to display the slightest degree of sympathy, even publicly: gay Palestinians.
The focus of TNR’s compassion, naturally, doesn’t extent to the Palestinian people as a whole, though of course we applaud TNR, unlike many of its ideological allies, for not putting scare quotes around the word Palestinians. Yet we emphasize that TNR’s sudden interest in the residents of the West Bank and Gaza extends only to a small group that happens to coincide with a vocal minority here in the U.S.
TNR’s venom regarding the plight of homosexuals in the region is directed solely at cases of mistreatment of gay men (lesbians go unmentioned, of course) by Palestinian authorities, all of which are presented anectodally.
What TNR fails to mention is the not-so-different treatment of gay men in, among many other countries, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, China, South Korea, India, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Cuba, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Pakistan, most of Africa and the Middle East, as well as parts of Russia, the Ukraine, the Republic of China, Mexico, Turkey, Colombia, Peru, and the Bahamas.
And of course TNR leaves unmentioned the rabidly deranged and disturbed remarks of the leaders of the major Orthodox Jewish parties in Israel, many of whom participate in the current government or have been coalition members in the past, who do not share the magazine’s limited concern with the well-being of gays, whether Jewish or Palestianian. Nor does Peretz’s most useful wedding gift make note of similar hateful anti-gay comments made by Orthodox and Conservative Jewish leaders -- and editors of, and writers in, “mainstream” Jewish publications -- here in the U.S.
Somehow the whole thing smells sleazy and opportunistic to us.
Do Hamdi and Padilla need company? Anita Ramasatry discusses Ashcroft's plan to create internment camps for Americans.
Friday, August 23, 2002
Whereas some just talk and dream about killing Muslims, here's one guy who had the chutzpah to actually give it a go. The police have arrested a foot doctor stockpiling weapons and planning a massive attack on Islamic schools and mosques. According to Meryl Yourish though, he's not a terrorist - he's just a sick guy. By that logic, the September 11 hijackers must have just been a group of some "very sick guys".
UPDATE: This incident has really struck a chord with the lunatics at Littlegreenfootballs.com. Here are a few examples of their comments.
Claudia: "I agree with Aaron # 12. Let's whine about how Goldstein was pushed to it by the stress of Arab terror and its consequences on all of our lives."
David: If we don't take down Saddam now, history will blame us as we now blame ourselves for not reacting in time to Hilter, Stalin, Pol Pot and their ilk... Dr. Goldstein and Baruch Goldstein didn't want to wait for us to wake up.
Yasmin: No, Goldstein is not crazy. The rest of us are for letting the Arabs onto this soil.....Goldstein is right. In fact his got balls. He basicly was going to do what the majority of Americans are thinking.
"These raghead 12th century savages bought their hell on earth to our soil."
Kathryn: Aaron has it right; Dr. Goldstein must have had no hope and has suffered so much that it led him to this desperate act.
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
The "No, there's no proof of Iraqi involvement in September 11...yet" crowd is likely salivating over this Washington Post report saying that Al Qaeda is active in Iraq. And Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz isn't denying it, only specifying the location of their operations : "in a location governed by an ally of Mr. Rumsfeld. Which is under the control of Jallal Yallabani [sic] who attended the meeting in Washington and met with Mr. Rumsfeld."
Pursuant to that alienating bit of bellicose idiocy known as the Bush Doctrine, Bush is in the complicated spot of requiring a campaign against himself.
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
The keyboards are smokin' on the comment board over at Little Green Footballs, about the NEA suggestions on what to teach schoolkids this Sept. 11th. Perhaps you have a few opinions to add?
The Guardian's Brian Whitaker reports on the bizarre but cleverly-constructed network of Middle East "experts". Media Transparency then pick up where Whitaker left off and follow the money trail to groups such as the American Enterprise Institute, Hudson Institute, Daniel 'Psychic Network' Pipes' Middle East Forum, and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (via Cursor).
Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.
A CNN senior executive has admitted that US news organisations "censored" their coverage of the US invasion of Afghanistan. The executive said:
“Anyone who claims the US media didn’t censor itself is kidding you. It wasn’t a matter of government pressure but a reluctance to criticise anything in a war that was obviously supported by the vast majority of the people.
"The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban." - George Orwell
Monday, August 19, 2002
"By the time the conversation on Vietnam got to this level, it was way too late. The boys were already coming home in boxes, and the villages were already being burned to the ground in the name of saving the inhabitants from Uncle Ho. Let us never again be done in by that level of misinformation and unquestioned assumptions. Let us never again get to that point before the debate begins."
"Bad News is Framework for Peace" - Newsday
"These are bad news days. Even to suggest grounds for optimism seems crazy. Yet, the headlines about bloodshed tell only part of what's happening. Alongside the violence, there are hints of weariness and rethinking that could open the way to peacemaking. The crucial question is how many more lives will be lost before that opportunity is seized - by Israelis and Palestinians, and by the one outside force capable of forceful diplomacy, the U.S. Administration."
Returning home after 20 years of war on Sri Lanka's A9 Highway
From the Belated Recognition Dept. -
Israeli Arab probably helped avert suicide bombing
Sunday, August 18, 2002
Welp, I was about to go for a vigorous five mile run--I have to stay in shape in case I'm ever attacked by 10 frothy mouthed warbloggers and/or Mike the Dog (today is a good day to die)—when I noticed this over at Metafilter. It appeared in a Baltimore weekly and apparently was censored from the Washington Post letters pages (Big shock there.). But out here on the net we are free. Just for the record, I don’t agree with everything that Mr. McDougall says. For example: I’m only dead emotionally and spiritually, not intellectually. Afterall, I do blog don’t you know. I also do not like the show "Cops" Mr. Haughty Canadian. I prefer the MTV reality shows, especially the early ones in the second season wrestling show where they hinted at the lesbian relationship...Anyway, I speak for myself and my fat American ass. And, oh yeah, just to anticipate the very articulate readers in our comments section: "Go Back to Canada You...Canadian! Yeh! Just Fisked Your Pussy Liberal Ass!" and so on.
Anyway, it’s titled “Open Letter to America”. Talk amongst yourselves as Mike Myers might say in drag.
by W.R. McDougall
And so it has come to this. Your once-great nation has fallen into madness, an affliction of mass denial that brings shivers up the spines of millions outside your borders. Yours is a sick nation. But most of you carry on as though nothing at all is the matter.
Dark, evil operations run rampant in the secret corners of your government institutions. A dubiously constituted government pursues war at will anywhere on earth, discussing nuclear options that become points for cheerful chatter over lunch. Your military and intelligence agencies employ terrorist tactics around the globe even as they insist that such tactics are necessary in the fight against terrorism.
You have become a nation of monsters, America. Hypocrites. Murderers. Fools.
Your constitution is a shambles thanks to "national security" measures resulting from what might well be U.S.-government-sanctioned terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., covert provocations designed to justify a malevolent, poisonous, oil-based military economy.
Never mind that earth-friendly technology already exists to once and for all end dependence on oil, coal and nuclear energy from huge, out-of-control utilities and corporations. You would rather pay through the nose for your insecure comforts, wouldn't you America, and make others pay with their blood.
At the same time, you stand by as the Israelis' secular Zionists--whom you support through the supply of arms and money--slaughter untold numbers of innocents in the West Bank, then blame the Palestinians for bringing the terror upon themselves. (True, there are abominable Arab suicide bombers in Israel's midst. But are they not driven to madness and desperation by your infernal support of international terrorist politics?)
As I write these words, you support a nation run by a convicted murderer by the name of Ariel Sharon who with impunity is carrying out war crimes as cruel and horrendous as those of other sadistic tyrants in history. And you say, in your utter cynicism, 'When will these Palestinians bring this war to an end?'
You recklessly wage combat on other fronts, too. At home, your War on Drugs is a disastrous 30-year folly--a gigantic con game designed to benefit lethal cartels, corrupt politicians and menacing intelligence agencies across the planet....
With your government's support, crooked multinationals like Monsanto buy up the world's water supplies, and take possession of the world's vegetation through Frankenstein technology already known to cause illness.
Does the FDA care about any of this? It does not. It has long been on the bandwagon to foist genetically altered food on the Guinea Pigs of the country--including every man, woman and child on America's increasingly toxic soil.
You are a nation of suckers, America, to be bled dry of your hard-earned pay through outrageous bank schemes, Wall Street rip-offs and fake government budget grabs. Your Pentagon cannot account for trillions in lost dollars.
Does this bother you? Not in the least.
Your whole economy is controlled by what is for the most part ravenous, international private banking interests in the form of The Federal Reserve, which with your government's consent leads you down the garden path to certain financial ruin thanks to a national debt you will never be able to repay.
How is it that private banks are responsible for issuing your currency? How is it that they are allowed to charge ridiculous interest rates on what they issue? By decree, this was supposed to be the responsibility of your government, which could create its own currency without charging interest.
Do you realize your congress could dismiss these banks in an instant if it so wished? But don't ever count on it. More important matters are pressing. The upcoming election needs investment.
These very same money men are the ones who, through unmonitored and unrepresentative world committees, are driving countries like Argentina into hopeless debt and social upheaval. These greedy overlords are creating strife and suffering on a scale too tragic for words in nation after nation. Just look at Africa.
They've got their sights on America, now, too; disrupting economic stability through so-called free trade initiatives and provisions for special favors and the endless flow of cash to corporate monstrosities like Enron.
Amid all this, where are those who are supposed to represent your interests, America? For the most part, your congressional representatives are nothing but swine gathering at the corporate troughs. Your president is a white-collar thug, a hypocrite who through his actions celebrates war, repression and greed even as he gives lip service to peace, freedom and justice.
George W. Bush deceives you daily, the war monger hiding behind a phony patriotism. He is an Enron buddy boy, a spoiled child lying in his teeth about his past and current dirty deeds.
Does he care about you America? Hardly. This is altogether obvious to those outside your borders who are politically aware and awake to the world around them.
You were never concerned about the disgraceful practices of George's ruthless father, either, a Bin-Laden cohort and friend to criminals and killers in global drug, oil and terrorist enterprises. Iran. Vietnam. El Salvador. Chile. Guatemala. Iraq. And on and on. The never-ending bully-boy story of blood, guns, drugs and money.
Does any of this matter? No, it's simply time to eat.
Go get your ten-billionth burger, America. Fatten your already fat asses with bacteria-and-hormone-ridden meat and do nothing as you sit stupefied before your mind-numbing television sets awaiting the next episode of sad families being humiliated on "Cops."
Few among you are the least bit concerned that no real investigation of 911 has taken place, that no serious investigation of the anthrax attacks is moving forward, that no authentic investigation of Enron, or the murder of one of its top executives, is underway.
How many of you give the slightest damn about the totalitarian measures your government is taking to keep its secret meetings, grubby files and treasonous activities from your eyes?....
When did you stop caring, America? Was it after your own FBI and intelligence agencies plotted the murder of President John F. Kennedy? Or is this just the raving lunacy of the conspiracy nut? What does your gut tell you, America? Is something a little amiss here?
Forget about it. Have some Pepto-Bismol.
Today, in futility, your own government goes to court against itself for information you are entitled to by law. But this is hardly deemed vital news in the community. It is a fleeting reference in an electronic sea of meaningless banter. For proof, just look to all the spineless wimps who constitute your mainstream news media.
Today, you excoriate, ridicule and ostracize the brave and true among you. Your best investigative journalists are fired from their jobs and ignored. Congress's few courageous souls are laughed at and dismissed out of hand as crackpots. The most honest and conscientious political leader in the country, Ralph Nader, is a powerless, near-invisible curiosity easily side-lined by hired goons.
America, you are a goddamn shame.
What law matters now in your despicable state? What justice? What truth?
When will you wake up?
If you had your druthers, you would right now gather your courage, take to the streets and march on Washington D.C in the millions. But I know you will do no such thing. The vast majority of you are spiritually, emotionally and intellectually dead.
As I write these words, I can only imagine what additional horrors your shadow government might be planning in what will surely be an attempt to justify militarism and totalitarianism on a universal scale. A nuclear explosion in one of your cities, perhaps? A massive bio-chemical attack?
Or perhaps it will be some Arab terrorist who finally commits the terrible deed, his last thought before death being the promises you made to him before you killed his family.
Saturday, August 17, 2002
Add one to the Axis of Evil. Let's just hope most of those nifty smart bombs stay on target and that all folks of good disposition steer well clear of this profoundly evil man, though I think most have studiously done so the length of his debased life.
Friday, August 16, 2002
Plenty of Blame to Go Around: More and More Starving Palestinians
Believe it nor not, particularly those readers who continually cast the most malevolent of aspersions upon The Rittenhouse Review, especially when the subject at hand is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we present the information below without blaming any particular party for the serious problem addressed.
Instead, we blame virtually everyone involved. Moreover, we hope, but doubt, that everyone involved will be ashamed by the tragic issue we bring to your attention.
“Malnutrition and poverty are rising in Palestinian areas, affecting hundreds of children as overall access to health and medical facilities diminishes in the West Bank and Gaza. A seven-week Israeli clampdown in Palestinian areas -- combined with a spike in Palestinian suicide bombings and economic mismanagement -- is driving up unemployment and causing shortages of high-protein foods and infant formula,” that according to a piece by Sudarsan Raghavan in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.
Who’s to blame? Everyone, at least by our reading of Raghavan’s account (“Malnutrition Rising Among Palestinians”).
“Most Palestinians view the crackdown [that began in June] as a collective punishment that will breed more hatred and violence. Yet some believe corruption within Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority is contributing to the crisis. And others . . . are starting to blame Palestinian militants who provoke Israeli crackdowns, expressing a view rarely heard publicly here,” write Raghavan.
“I blame them, I blame them, I blame them,” says Shihada Ashish, a resident of Gaza. “The whole world will be better off without them.”
Raghavan quotes Emad Sha’at, the Palestinian Authority’s director of international aid coordination, as saying, “Palestinians are partially to blame for the change of tactics that started the intifadah, that it was changed to a military intifadah. We maybe should have continued with a peaceful intifadah.”
The situation is, by all accounts, dire. “Last week, two surveys funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Atlanta-based CARE International found 22.5 percent of Palestinian children were malnourished -- on the same level as those in such poverty-ridden nations as Nigeria and Chad. Acute malnutrition is three times higher -- just above 13 percent -- in Gaza than in the West Bank.”
Israeli cooperation in meeting the needs of the local population is scattershot. According to the Inquirer, “Yitzhak Sever, head of the Israeli Health Ministry's International Affairs Department, told reporters last week that Israel had offered to help improve the diet of Palestinian children. ‘We were rejected,’ he said. ‘The Palestinians didn't want any cooperation.’”
Yet the Israeli government has done everything in its power to prevent overseas aid from reaching the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. No surprise, the Israelis blame the entire situation on the Palestinians, the Sharon regime’s constant creation of obstacles preventing access to Palestinian population centers apparently are regarded as inconsequential factors in the persistently increasing Palestinian rates of poverty, unemployment, hunger, starvation, and death.
Finally, the apparent lack of assistance from wealthy Arab states -- at least according to what we know from the Western media -- is heinously deplorable.
In the larger scheme of things, worldwide, the Palestinians truly have been made the lowest of the low.
Why so few Americans care is a question for the ages.
Arrrrrrhhhh frellin' malfunctioning comments section under Opera...I'll just rebut here. I haven't posted in a while anyway...This is addressed to Mike the Dog...
I wouldn't ask you to provide me with an example if it wasn't because I really like to see you suffer, so here it goes: Care to give me a few specific examples?
Well apart from ignoring the war against civil liberties, the demonization of Muslims in general and the Palestinians in specific or that your commander in chief can’t pronounce or the complete sellout to corporate interests ( a definition of fascism by the way) or ignoring the Harken scandals or seriously considering war against a country that hasn’t attacked us and that even Republicans don’t favor and that could bring about nuclear exchanges that would not only wipe out the Palestianians but the Israelies as well and about several thousand posts on this board I guess we’re just all grasping at straws here…! You punk!
Why on Earth would I be dismayed at locking up enemy combatants? Are you on drugs? Considering the very nature of these murderous genocidal maniacs, I'd not only like to lock 'em up, I much favor putting them in front of a firing squad, tout suite.
Really? You must be in the loop there Mike because we don’t what they’re charged with! We don’t even know who they are. I mean, if you can prove that they’re genocidal maniacs, hey, perhaps some punishment would be warranted. The government has yet to make a case that any of them are involved with terrorists. This isn’t good police work to me. Call me naïve. You want to shoot them without trial, without evidence and without proof? And you have the fuckin’ nerve to call us Nazis, jeez Louise
Anybody who, with a straight face, will tell you that blowing up a kindergarten is no more repugnant than targeting the hideouts of those who do
I look at the Palestinians as an oppressed people who are using whatever means necessary to win the war. Frankly, I wish they would give nonviolent tactics a shot. But nonviolence didn’t work everywhere. Please remember that South Africa threw Gandhi out of their country. South Africa , of course, helped the Israelis become a nuclear power…And yes when the Israelis kill twice as many Palestianians I find them to be at least morally equivalent and you could probably make the case, especially under Sharon, that they’re the more ruthless party…But I want to make this clear: neither side represents sainthood. And the reason why you should recognize that as a reality is that you can’t get peace until you look at both sides with an objective eye.
anybody who'll insist that the best response to an attack is to have a meeting and discuss root causes and then go ask everybody if it's OK for us to strike back..
The reason you discuss root causes, you frothy mouthed moron, is that you want them to stop attacking us in the future. And the reason you don’t strike back, at least not without thinking through the consequences, is that you escalate the violence and everybody dies. I know you’re a fascist and you’re all prepared to blog away the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians but some of us aren’t as deluded as you are…
anybody who believes that if you raise taxes, the economy thrives..
Actually, partisan republicans believe that Bush the elder’s responsible tax hike brought on the Long Boom. Also, I think the argument is that we don’t want a tax giveaway to the richest Americans who don’t need it and plus, we can spend the money here, say for PDAs for every kid or even the war effort. We are in a war, right? Shouldn’t everyone be asked to sacriface? Even rich people Mike the dog?
anybody who believes that dissenting is good and brave in itself, no matter how idiotic the dissent, anybody who will make statements that are in clear defiance of any logic and argue that his point is as valid as yours nevertheless...
Look, you’re the fucking idiots not us, always pointing a gun at your problems. Not only are we not the Nazis, but I personally think that we’re in Nazi Germany and we’re the dissenters. Your policies will kill millions and you’ll just rationalize it away, pretend it never happened and oh my they blew up a building where did that come from….Fuckin morons.
Thursday, August 15, 2002
Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Cartographic conspiracy theorist, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs just can't stomach the treatise, "How can we coexist". He stopped reading when he got to:
It is unreasonable to assume that those who attacked the United States on September 11 did not feel in some way justified for what they did because of the decisions made by the United States in numerous places throughout the world.
By that time, he would have read the 150+ Saudi intellectuals invite the West to peaceful dialogue, that human lives are inherently sacred, that it is forbidden to take a life unjustly, that it is forbidden to impose a religious faith on others, that human relations must be established on the highest moral standards, that all of the resources on earth were created for humanity to use within the limits of justice, that responsibility for a crime lies only with the perpetrator, that justice for all people is an inalienable right regardless of colour, creed, or ethnicity, and that dialogue must take place between Muslims and non-Muslims in the best manner.
No wonder he couldn't take it.
Tuesday, August 13, 2002
US suspected of hiding motives for mass destruction
The United Nations has urged president Bush to allow UN motives inspectors into the United States. The US is suspected of developing secret motives for mass destruction.
In the past few months, the US has repeatedly stated that it will attack Iraq, justifying the attack plans with allegations that Iraq is assisting Al-Qaeda and that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction. However, the promised evidence to back up those allegations has failed to materialize. The US is now widely suspected of secretly developing forbidden motives for attacking Iraq.
Experts are worried that the US is hiding its motives because the motives violate the Geneva Conventions. The strong opposition of the US against the International Criminal Court only strengthens this suspicion, one expert said.
But the head of the UN motives inspections team said that the US "probably doesn't have any good motives for attacking Iraq yet. That's why we should not push this inspections issue too hard. If we go in now, and establish that there are no real motives, the Americans will look ridiculous in front of the complete international community. We have to give them some time to save face."
Seymour Woodstein, a journalist who has been successfully investigating hidden motives for over 30 years, disagrees. "According to my sources, the Pentagon has clear motives for attacking Iraq. Most people in the government don't care if those motives violate Geneva Conventions, and they don't care whether rest of the world knows about those motives or not. The one person they are hiding the real motives from is president Bush. Bush appears to be a very righteous guy, and his aides are afraid that when he would find out about the real motives for attacking Iraq, he might order a massive attack on Washington for the same reasons."
President Bush, asked whether he knew the real motives for attacking Iraq, reacted impatiently. "I know exactly what I am doing," he said. "We have to attack Iraq because Saddam Hussein has to go. Why? Because Saddam is a bad guy. Isn't that a good reason? You have to do something about the bad guys. That's how the world works."
Israel's selective memri
Anyone who has spent any length of time reading the war blogs will most certainly have come across an outfit calling itself MEMRI. It doesn't take too much googling to see that much of the anti-Muslim, anti-Arab bigotry in the war blogs is fueled by MEMRI "news releases".
The Weekly Standard summed up the depth of gratitude that the War Party feels to MEMRI in a gushing article published back in July:
IF THERE WERE JUSTICE in the universe, the Middle East Media Research Institute would already have been awarded some kind of special-achievement Pulitzer Prize. MEMRI has pioneered the careful translation, and dissemination to European and American audiences, of print and broadcast news sources in the Arab world. The group's work now pops up everywhere; here in the States, hardly a week goes by when some major daily or cable news show doesn't make use (generally without attribution) of a MEMRI translation.
Absolutely. Where is the justice?
And the cumulative effect of such translations is--or ought to be, at least--roughly analogous to the body blow struck against European philo-communism by the first Western publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's novels in the 1960s. Here, really for the first time, non-Arabic speaking Westerners are being given a direct, first-person look into a previously unseen gulag. Only this time there is no barbed wire, the prisoners all serve by choice, and the anti-Semitism is no longer ancillary but central, basic, and paramount. It turns out that the Islamic Middle East, just as the Israelis have been begging us for years to figure out, has got itself trapped in a deep, deep swamp of near-psychotic Jew hatred.
As a side note, coining a similitude between an organisation such as MEMRI and with Solzhenitsyn is bizarre. Solzhenitsyn's prescription for humanity - making spirituality supreme over modernisation and development - is about as far removed from the warblogger ethos as one can get. Solzhenitsyn rejects the idea that the judge of a society is its level of modernisation, instead believing that "the strength or weakness of a society depends more on the level of its spiritual life". It's a long way from the warblogger's simple formula of measuring the Islamic world by its level of westernisation and acceptance of western materialism.
Anyway, back to MEMRI. The first point to know about them is that they are a tax-exempt organisation - in other words they are subsidised by American taxpayers. Money well spent - if you consider, as the Online Journalism Review described MEMRI, spreading "hate speech, baseless conspiracy theories, and vicious calumny in a blatant effort to discredit Arabs and stir up malice towards Muslims" to be a good way to spend money.
That would be sinister enough - yet, there is a more. A lot more. Brian Whitaker explores who is really behind MEMRI, and the results are, well, not really surprising.
MEMRI is run by members or former members of Israeli intelligence services.
The reason for Memri's air of secrecy becomes clearer when we look at the people behind it. The co-founder and president of Memri, and the registered owner of its website, is an Israeli called Yigal Carmon.
Mr - or rather, Colonel - Carmon spent 22 years in Israeli military intelligence and later served as counter-terrorism adviser to two Israeli prime ministers, Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin.
This is the very same Colonel Yigal Carmon who went from being interviewed as an expert on "terror" in 1996 to testifying to US House of Representatives on state of the Arab media. Quite the transformation.
Retrieving another now-deleted page from the archives of Memri's website also throws up a list of its staff. Of the six people named, three - including Col Carmon - are described as having worked for Israeli intelligence.
Monday, August 12, 2002
WHY WE MUST INVADE IRAQ RIGHT NOW!
Sunday, August 11, 2002
Sullivan’s Sophomoric Simplicity
Andrew Sullivan continues to “lay off” the New York Times this week, though in today’s set of particularly uninteresting posts, Sullivan reveals an embarrassing lack of understanding of journalism, specifically, how to write a newspaper article.
Sullivan’s complaint is that the Times is using news stories as part of an orchestrated campaign to prevent the U.S. from launching an attack on Iraq, the prospect of which sends the pundit into orgasmic ecstasy.
Sullivan: “Here’s the classic editorial paragraph stuffed into a news non-story: ‘Already, the federal budget deficit is expanding, meaning that the bill for a war would lead either to more red ink or to cutbacks in domestic programs. If consumer and investor confidence remains fragile, military action could have substantial psychological effects on the financial markets, retail spending, business investment, travel and other key elements of the economy, officials and experts said.’ Could it get any more obvious?”
This is an obvious example of bias at the Times? The reporter speaks to government officials and they say a war could aggravate -- not solve -- the economic and budgetary problems we are already dealing with thanks to the reckless policies and tax cuts of Sullivan’s beloved President George W. Bush.
I suppose Sullivan wants the reporter to offset these remarks with a quote from an economist who will agree with the notion that all this economy needs is a nice war to get things back to normal. The problem is, it would be difficult to find a reputable economist who believes that.
Sullivan appears to be harkening back to the good old days -- when a perpetual war economy kept the U.S. growing quite reliable into the 1970s, when it was abandoned, only to resume its growth after a wrenching recession and return to a war-based economy under former President Ronald Reagan.
Having watched the economy expand under Democratic leadership, leadership that was marked by unprecedented fiscal restraint and again abandoning the war-economy strategy, Sullivan no doubt was confused. What to do next? Well, sporting Republican fella’ that he is, Sullivan opts for tax cuts for the rich and a return to Cold War-era military budgets. College sophomores make more nuanced arguments than this.
Friday, August 09, 2002
Martin Peretz: Anti-War Fifth-Columnist?
The Israel army’s recent assassination of Salah Shehadeh by means of a one-ton bomb dropped in a crowded residential neighborhood in Gaza City, an action that produced substantial collateral damage, including the deaths of at least 15 innocent civilians, has proved difficult to defend even by the most ardent supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the use of excessive force by the country’s military.
Let it not be said, however, that Martin Peretz couldn’t rise to the challenge, taking to the end page of the August 5 edition of his prized wedding gift, the New Republic, in an effort not only to justify the Israelis’ assault but to contend that the U.S. would have acted similarly, an argument he extends to the point of asserting Israel’s moral superiority over the U.S.
Noting the Bush administration’s half-hearted criticism of the attack, delivered by spokesman Ari Flesicher, (“this heavy-handed action does not contribute to peace”), Peretz writes: “It is true that Fleischer tried to draw a distinction between civilian casualties in the American-led war in Afghanistan and Israel’s bombing in Gaza. But, alas, this comparison does not redound in favor of the United States.”
Peretz cites a July 21 report in the New York Times in which it is asserted that the “American air campaign in Afghanistan, based on a high-tech, out-of-harm’s-way strategy, has produced a pattern of mistakes that have killed hundreds of Afghan civilians.”
The Times cites the U.S. bombing of a mosque last November during which 65 noncombatants were killed. Quoting the Times, Peretz adds: “[T]he evidence suggests that many civilians have been killed by air strikes hitting precisely the target they were aimed at . . . or because . . . Americans did not carefully differentiate between civilians and military targets.”
“If true, this is more than carelessness,” Peretz argues. “But let me pose a question,” the polemicist continues. “If we knew Mullah Omar and his men were riding in a convoy with women and children, would we refrain from bombing, even though noncombatants might be killed? I doubt it.” [Emphasis added.]
Is this how Peretz writes about his own country? Is he suggesting that the U.S. military’s operation in Afghanistan is being conducted in manner that lacks 100-percent moral rectitude? Is he accusing the U.S. military of acting with reckless disregard for innocent human lives? Is he suggesting the U.S. has committed war crimes? Is he seeking to undermine public support for the war on terrorism?
As usual, Peretz has much to answer for.
Thursday, August 08, 2002
The warbloggers seem to admire the theories advanced by Richard Dawkins, or at least the implicit barbarity in some of them, and they are among the most enthusiastic users of the word "meme." I wonder if their endorsement of the man is consistent, and if they agree with his appraisal of G.W. Bush:
Richard Dawkins, an Oxford science don, suggested Mr Bush was just as much of a danger to world peace as Saddam Hussein, adding: "It would be a tragedy if Tony Blair were to be brought down through playing poodle to this unelected and deeply stupid little oil-spiv." [more]
From The Guardian, of course.
Wednesday, August 07, 2002
"As well, in order for us to have the security we all want, America must get rid of the hangover that we now have as a result of the binge, the economic binge we just went through. We were in a land of -- there was endless profit, there was no tomorrow when it came to, you know, the stock markets and corporate profits. And now we're suffering a hangover for that binge. ..."
-- President George W. Bush, July 15.
"The lingering economic slowdown, combined with the crash on Wall Street, is sending Washington's books back into deficit. Good. Maybe this will provide an excuse to hold down spending for a while, allowing more communities to rediscover the virtues of self-sufficiency."
-- Tom Bray, OpinionJournal, August 6.
Slowly, a conservative economic policy begins to emerge.
Madeleine Kane links to Ken Layne, who writes, "lefties generally can't write." Agreed. On a wholly unrelated note, Kathryn Jean Lopez does some thinking:
Does anyone actually think him [Bill O'Reilly] a serious thinker? Does he? I don't think so. I think Phil Donahue and Geraldo Rivera think themselves serious thinkers.
Emphasis added, except in the case of "anyone."
The woman who used to brag about originating the lovely neologism "the Paleostinians" asked earlier today:
Also, exactly which Muslim organization forcefully denounced 9/11 without reservation, and without mitigating references to "US crimes in the Middle East, US support for Israel's crimes..."? Really, I'd love to know.
Atrios reprints a State Department press release that lists several. That list is, alas, incomplete, as it fails to list a certain someone.
Tuesday, August 06, 2002
Micah Holmquist over on his page provides a thoughtful summation to controversy surrounding the below words linked to approvingly by G. Harlan Reynolds yesterday. Reynolds and the author of the words responded, though my puzzlement remains at how someone who has studied Arab history in even the most perfunctory manner can conclude they have been insufficiently humiliated.
Thank you, Micah.
US Tries to Halt Rights Suit Against Exxon
The US is trying to quash a human rights lawsuit launched by Indonesian villagers against Exxon Mobil, claiming it could undermine the war on terrorism.Another example that the "war on terrorism" is nothing but a ruse under which the Bush cartel can further it's own agenda--specifically the oil business agenda. What does the pursuance of justice for the hideous crimes of murder, torture and rape in Indonesia by Exxon Mobil in the 1990s have to do with September 11th?
The State Department warned that the action alleging complicity in human rights abuses by the oil group could have a "potentially serious adverse impact" on US interests and the struggle against terrorism.
The lawsuit was filed last year by the International Labour Rights Fund on behalf of 11 villagers in the Indonesian province of Aceh. They claim Exxon Mobil, which operates a natural gas field in the province, paid and directed Indonesian security forces that carried out murder, torture and rape in the course of protecting the company's operations in the 1990s. [more]
Judging from an initial inspection of the warbloggergarten, it seems none of the melonheads have noted the events of August 6, 1945. I’d have thought I would have found at least a dozen reduced to orgiastic glee-finding, or at least a few huddled for a pro-war prayer session. I didn’t even find a single National Review Onliner registering sincere appreciation of the bomb’s innumerable boons, something that seems to happen there daily. Actually, no one seems to have mentioned it at all.
Monday, August 05, 2002
The most estimable Vaara announces his (I believe) indefinite leave from the battlefield. He will be missed.
Elsewhere, where sanity is in far less evidence, the Dungeonmaster says he “would never hope to claim that [his] experience with wargaming actually qualified [him] to lead men into battle. I would never be so presumptuous.” That is of course a preface for launching into a lengthy discourse on the massive storehouse of military know-how he accumulated in his years of wargaming. Cap’n, your commission from the Command & General Staff College awaits.
"I know I shouldn't even be surprised by this anymore, but ... every time I look at certain warblogs, I simply marvel at how venemous, bigoted, and out-and-out racist many warbloggers really are ..."
- Groupthink Central offers some particularly astringent examples on 8/3/02.
Internet commentator Andrew Sullivan allows today that he's overtaxed by his G.W. Bush-like work schedule, and is taking the rest of the month off accordingly. Let’s see who picks up the slack and continues Sullivan’s pro bono work for Hill & Knowlton in his absence. Smart money's saying the replacement will claw itself up from this sludge pit.
As a sad corollary, we imagine the good folks at Sullywatch will be on enforced hiatus, thus depriving us of one of the best reads on the web for the next month.
The warbloggers are following a bold new line of geopolitical analysis. It is incumbent upon America, it seems, to pursue the following two-part strategy: locate failed states (failed worldviews are even better) then bomb them to humiliation. I almost couldn’t believe G. Harlan Reynolds linked to the following with gusto:
The Islamic world -- mainly the Arab Islamic world -- needs to realize that it has failed… But the US needs to destroy Saddam Hussein's regime mainly because the West needs to humiliate the Arab world, and dispel the Islamic millenial [sic, Nick Denton] fantasy.
“He's right of course,” Reynolds writes, though I wonder how thorough old Tennessee Tuxedo and the warbloggers will be in prosecuting this nifty new idea. I mean, failures of all sorts abound, many outside the Arab world.
Sunday, August 04, 2002
It's really not much of a democracy anymore, is it? Shouldn't we own up to the fact that the US is governed by an oligarchy? Such an admission would at least begin the process of clearing our political language of cant. The poet James Wright wrote, in "Ars Poetica: Some Recent Criticism," Reader, we had a lovely language / We would not listen. Wright concludes the poem with a turn toward the oligarchy (though he is too subtle to call it that): Ah, you bastards / How I hate you.
- Joseph Duemer, of Reading & Writing
. . . via Wood's Lot, one of the many weblogs which are, in and of themselves, better than all warblogs put together . . .
Saturday, August 03, 2002
WRECK IN PROGRESS: Clearly annunciating administration policy, Donald Rumsfled is reported by the Associated Press on April 16 as doubting "that sending new U.N. weapons inspectors to Iraq would be worth the effort." The piece stated the State Department was in disagreement with Rumsfeld and Defense, an assertion made continuously by the warbloggers.
Yet on May 16 State Department spokesman Richard Boucher seemed to be essentially in accord with Rumsfled: "what I would say is Iraq has talked about fulfilling its obligations, rather than actually fulfilling them," noting that "the fact is Iraq hasn't done it yet. They've come and gone several times without coming and saying, 'Yes, we accept the obligations without conditions.'"
June 4-5 talks between UN weapons inspectors and the Iraqi regime were convened in Vienna. Just prior to the talks, the AP noted that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan "reported progress but no breakthrough" at earlier talks, and hoped to achieve that breakthrough this time 'round.
Predictably, given the demonstrated hostility of Bush and company to the concept of an invigorated inspection regime, those talks failed. Agence France Presse quoted Iraqi foreign minister Naji Sabri thusly: "The United Nations constantly abandons its obligations due to U.S. pressure on the Security Council," over which the U.S. has veto power.
The warbloggers favorite bogey man Scott Ritter called the legion "leaks" of covert plans permitted by Bush et al a device for further undermining inspections and a peaceful resolution to the Iraqi mess in a June 19 Los Angeles Times opinion piece, saying they killed "any chance of inspectors returning to Iraq, and it closes the door on the last opportunity for shedding light on the true state of affairs regarding any threat in the form of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction."
The Iraqis, meanwhile, were accused of "stalling" when, as reported by the AP on July 11, they petitioned the UN for a "guarantee the upcoming inspection would not be a prelude for an aggression on Iraq as in 1998" as well as asking "what guarantees the United Nations could provide that inspectors 'would not abuse their authority' or 'violate Iraq's sovereign rights.'"
Rear Admiral [again, insert Pejman-Lileks joke here] Stephen H. Baker, again in the Los Angeles Times, affirmed his belief that the U.S. may have poisoned the well with "pervasive U.S. rhetoric on invasion plans, preemptive attack policies and authorization for the CIA to use all means at its disposal to eliminate Hussein."
Was it not a foregone conclusion when "United Nations Secretary-General, taking care not to fall foul of the United States, rejected an Iraqi offer yesterday to invite the chief UN weapons inspector to Baghdad"? Russia called the Iraqi initiative an "important step towards resolving the crisis through political and diplomatic means," though that wasn't enough for those insisting on an idiot decimation of opposite numbers and adhering to the you-will-accept-my-unilateral-imposition-unconditionally style of negotiation.
USS Liberty Attack By Israel On The History Channel August 11th
From the USS LIBERTY Memorial site: "During the Six Day War between Israel and the Arab States, the American intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked for 75 minutes in international waters by Israeli aircraft and motor torpedo boats. Thirty-four men died and 172 were wounded . . . The attack has been a matter of controversy ever since."
Man Criticizes Government, Story at Eleven: Of course, if we lived in the America that existed before we all became a bunch of pathetic bleating sheep, some "red blooded Americans" might actually show some concern that Americans are being hauled off as "material witnesses" and then upgraded to "enemy combatants" and locked up for the duration of the "war" (or the Apocalypse, whichever comes first).
And vocal sheep, at that. See comments section.
Friday, August 02, 2002
Camworld: "I just realized that one of the reasons 'the plan' to oust Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq is public knowledge is that the Bush administration needs it to be public knowledge. The Bush administration plans to spend $396.1 billion on military operations and national defense in the 2003 fiscal year. The best way to spend this much money is to launch a large, senseless military campaign against another country. Instead of sending in a few small groups of highly-trained infiltrators and assassins to get the job done quickly (and in comparison, cheaply), Bush is rewarding the defense and military industries, which are also considered Big Business. It makes me ill to think that there might be such an hidden agenda and that the American public are being told that such a 'war' in Iraq is needed. By going public with the whole Iraq thing, the Bush administration gains enough of the support they need from the American public to spend so much money, even though not a single country has come out and said they will support the U.S. if they go through with the plan. [links via The One to Go]"
"The long term strategy of Israel and how it affects the U.S."
Often times, while reading the headlines or watching the news, one has to ask, "What could the Israelis be thinking?" What could possibly be the point of the seemingly indiscriminate carnage and destruction? Rooting out the terrorists or revenge is often the official explanation. But tiny babies are not terrorists yet they are killed by the dozens. Olive trees are not terrorists yet they are uprooted by the hundreds. Homes are not terrorists but they are destroyed by the thousands. Buildings and factories are labeled bomb factories and are shelled into oblivion. One need only examine these actions to discern the overall strategy of the country that is behind them.Of course, this is the root of the entire modern day Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the Israelis keep stealing Palestinian land. Everything gets worse from there.
The Israelis have always lusted for land acquisition. [more]
Invasion on autopilot
The Bush wars and public dissent -- then and now
This week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding hearings of George Junior's intent to invade Iraq again. Just like Daddy. Unlike 12 years ago, there is no compelling invasion of Kuwait (or fake incubator deaths) to spur global outrage (and alarm over oil supply). There is, in fact, no compelling reason of any sort to go to war against Iraq. The only recent development cited by the Bush Administration is the claim that Iraq is developing new "weapons of mass destruction." That claim that has consistently been considered patently absurd by the rest of the world, including a succession of United Nations officials charged with looking into such things. Several of the ones who've headed the "Food for Oil" program, or who've served as weapons inspectors in Iraq, have quit their jobs (and careers) and become full-time activists trying to counter White House propaganda (under both Clinton and Bush) and the steady, inexorable war drums of the past two years. [more]
More of that well-reasoned, non-hyperbolic writing that the web adjunct of National Review is so famous for. John Derbyshire, in the mode of a drunken vigilante, proposes a few responses to Wednesday's bombing at Hebrew University, which killed seven:
These savages are laughing at us. We should put the fear of Almighty God into them. Then, we should kill them all, along with everyone known to have shaken hands with them or given them a light for a cigarette. If we don't have the guts to do this--to avenge our own slaughtered citizens--let's engage proxies to do it for us. Yes, I am mad. Are we ever going to deal with these scum, these murderers of Americans? Do we actually have any plan to do so?
Of course we do! You fellas have yourselves hatched a few. There are always over-the-top plans to match the above over-the-top rhetoric at The Corner, where dunces have been made to sit since the emergence of the ur-school mistress from the Great Rift Valley.
IRAQ BUILDS MASSIVE LOVE BOMB
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a briefing at the Pentagon today, head skeletor Donald Rumsfeld announced new U.S. intelligence sources reporting that Iraq is in the process of building a "massive love bomb," capable of instilling the entire North American continent with overwhelming feelings of unconditional love.
"And it just wouldn't know any bounds," explained Rumsfeld. "Christians loving Buddhists, Americans loving Canadians, rich people loving the homeless--it would destroy the American Way of Life as we know it."
"Love, love, love, all you need is love."
-- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
Thursday, August 01, 2002
Andrew Sullivan, master statistician and social scientist, is citing Newsweek polls from October 2001 to show that Americans decisively (81 per cent!) support a war on Iraq. Additional Newsweek polls conducted in October 2001 found that 63 per cent of respondents believed bin Laden was behind the anthrax mailings, suggesting that people were then responding on nothing beyond emotion.
Question for Sullivan: if Americans had “decided” so overwhelmingly back in October to support a “war,” why did a Gallup poll concluded in late June find that just 59 per cent supported such an event. Why did 34 per cent oppose it, up from 20 per cent in November? A "decision" implies finality, though despite your disgusting and ceaseless propagandizing on behalf of the war for the past 11 months, public support for it has dwindled. That shows both that you and your keyboard-bound jingoes are piss-poor propagandists, and that the American public isn't as foolish as Newsweek's October polls depicted it.
The Christian Science Monitor reported on July 17, 2002 that that 59 per cent majority “shrinks to a minority, however, in a scenario where the United States would go it alone - an option administration officials have not ruled out.” Hey, don't let the disappearance of your majority get in the way, not that you're at all interested in facts.
Addendum: Caught the above Sullivanian nonsense via Matt Welch, who I promise to be nicer to in the future.