187031 Letter to Noam Chomsky re 9-11------------- Alterman on Chomsky (long thread at lbo; all the rest of this file via lbo-talk) ---------------- 186967 Israel's Other Dirty Secret: The White Slave ---------------- power and sexuality in the middle east (merip.org article by bruce dunne) ----- ------------- US war crimes (-------------- ACTIVIST LAWYER MICHAEL TIGAR (ditto including a monthly review review of Law and the Rise of Capitalism) --------- rangercat67 (new to me) ----- xxx ------------ 187031 Letter to Noam Chomsky re 9-11 (english) keith Lampe, reposted 9:15pm Tue Jun 18 '02 (Modified on 11:39pm Tue Jun 18 '02) article#187031 from GOVERNMENT OF THE USA IN EXILE " Coping with the Fourth Reich " Occupation of North America . Via uspdm_exile@hotmail.com June 14, 2002 Dear Noam Chomsky, Hey, mon! I 'm puzzled. During the past several years you've on balance responded much more promptly and consistently to my emails than any of my other correspondents. What" happening? Aren't we Pen Pals any more? Do you consider yourself above reproach? If so, it" quite understandable: I certainly wouldn't want to have to cope with as much money/flattery/ adulation as you have to. We should consider you an innocent victim of such. (I had to go through periods of massive flattery/adulation--especially between '67 and '72-- and I always found it helpful to change my name or grow my hair long or become a barefoot person or change my location, etc.-like a broken-field runner shaking off would-be tacklers. And it has worked rather well. Almost always, I'm able these days to move about as a Complete Unknown.) In fact, I've always considered you to be innocent and earnest. That" why I've always instantly forgiven you for not knowing that this planet is frequently visited by folks from other solar systems, not knowing the value of hippies, not knowing that this planet is quite swiftly losing its ability to grow food outdoors, not knowing the value of psychedelics, not knowing the evil significance of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, not knowing the value of yogas, etc. After all, you've been busy indexing phonemes, right? I'll defend to the death your right to live in an Ivory Tower. Somebody has written me to suggest that your life is so cloistered these days you may not even know who Michel Chossudovsky and John McMurtry are. If so, please signal and I'll send you a sample of their work. Both have enormous integrity and insight. They provide much-needed support for my assertion that being an academic is an inadequate excuse for not understanding what" happening. I remember a couple years ago you wrote me proudly that you never watch television. Great!!!! But then why were you so willing to spread your legs for the S.S./CNN that way? Where" the consistency, baby? But I hasten to add that television is my medium of choice. It" just that I'm convinced we should no longer be willing to appear on any of their TV networks. We've tried it for decades now (in '68 an NYC cop threatened my life because he'd seen me too many times on the CBS evening "news”) and we know it doesn't work. As an organizer, I learned a long time ago that if I want folks to come together in a huge civil-disobedience action, I've got to give them a substantial reason to trust me. If I relate to them only with print media, they have little basis for such trust because they know they can easily be manipulated by trick word-sequences. Radio gives them a broader basis because it allows them to make an intuitive judgment of the voice behind the word sequences. Television allows them to judge not only on the basis of word sequences and voice quality but in fact on the basis of the entire body language of the organizer urging them to unite. Remember back in the Sixties we used socalled telephone trees to get lots of people out on the streets fast? I think these days we should do Guerrilla Video Trees as a way of circulating antidotes to all the ABC/CBS/CNN/FOX/NBC/PBS propaganda stuff. Everybody receiving a guerrilla cassette or disk copies it within forty-eight hours and carries a copy to at least two neighboring households. So if you're still willing to go before cameras, why not co-anchor a guerrilla evening-news show? The other anchor-maybe Maria Gilardin or Helen Caldicott?-can cover the stuff you're not hip enough to cover. Are you up for it? I hope so. Of course, we'd want another pair of anchors covering all the news relevant to other species so nobody can accuse us of being human-chauvinist pigs. Guerrilla Video (GV) can be part of a larger strategy of returning to the oral tradition as a way of forcing the Fourth Reich to play us one-on-one so we can become too expensive for them. We make it too easy for them when we communicate so much on telephones and computers. Our disks and cassettes become high-tech adjuncts of the oral tradition when we carry them rather than posting or uploading them. I hope it" now abundantly clear to folks in both our circles that becoming too expensive for them is our only hope. Moral appeals have been rendered quaint. One disadvantage of not watching commercial TV is you're far less likely to understand the degree to which the Fourth Reich instigates and manipulates Sports Fetishism in order to distract from its various illicit activities (e.g., massive trafficking of cocaine and heroin) and also to encourage competition as a way of getting away with its ongoing pitiless capitalism. This from Bangkok Post of June 9: "In 1978, when Argentina won the World Cup, the ruling generals fanned a nationalist euphoria, which distracted the public from the torture and ‘disappearances' of thousands of ‘subversives.'. Since you've put so much energy into writing books and so little energy into gallant street actions, we can say that so far you've been more expensive to the North American forest than to our oppressors. But it is never too late, Noam. Have you ever determined how many trees have been slaughtered for your books? My friend Peter Warshall can do that for you. As I recall, you take the total weight in pounds of all the copies of all your books, then divide by sixty. Spending a fine summer day strolling about in a clear-cut area approximately the size of what you've removed thus far might be a good way to decide your next move on the chessboard of resistance. Back in '70 I refused to allow Herder & Herder to publish my eco-newsservice Earth Read-Out because they were unable or unwilling to tell me how many noble sentient trees would be wasted for the first printing. I wanted to include that figure in my preface. Are you aware that Gandhi once was asked by an underground activist whether blowing up a freight train was an act of violence? He said-and published it in his periodical Harijan-that blowing up a passenger train would be an act of violence. I mention this because it implies that the most effective act of Gandhianism in recent decades was last year when the Tamils destroyed half Sri Lanka" airliners and part of its air force. Though much of the press is fond of seeing this as a "suicide mission,.my information (probably from BBC) is that nobody was hurt on either side. It made the Tamils so expensive for Colombo that they've received major benefits. Most U.S. Sector Gandhians prefer a much more fashionable definition of Gandhianism than this-so they can keep publishing in The New Yorker or whatever. But the true definition not the coy one is our best hope of overcoming the Fourth Reich" occupation of North America. Yet in judging the rightness of Property Capers we must be strict with anyone who'd even slightly risk injury to sentient creatures of any species. Meanwhile, it is extremely naïve of Ralph Nader and his supporters to believe that if he wins a U.S. presidential election, he won't suffer the same fate as Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters. (Fortunately, there are a few signs in Burma that by discouraging tourism and aid and investment there, Aung San Suu Kyi is becoming so expensive for the junta that eventually they'll have to make major concessions to her.) The realities of the most recent U.S. presidential election have made that insight easily available even to high-school dropouts. In closing, I'd like to suggest an answer to my earlier question about why you were willing to spread your legs for the S.S./CNN that way. Is it because you grew up within an Immigrant Psychology? Grew up as an outsider-looking-in? So that the S.S./CNN would seem Big Time to you, seem Inside? I wouldn't be surprised. I hope you understand that I'm not being even slightly judgmental. I love outsiders! One of my favorite books as a young man was Wilson" THE OUTSIDER-especially his chapter on Lawrence of Arabia, who was hip enough to kick fame and adulation. I note with interest that Ralph Nader also grew up within an Immigrant Psychology-whereas Gore Vidal and I grew up within the polar opposite of that. Do you suppose it would be interesting for the four of us to do a socalled conference phone conversation in order to take a look at some of the more relevant differences between these polarly-opposed psychologies? I certainly do. Gore and I could pass along a brief summary of what we learned by being insiders-sons of Big Shots-and getting glimpses of what goes down behind the scenes. It'd help you understand why it was so easy for me to believe that the Fourth Reich would sacrifice more than 3000 people in its U.S. Sector last 9/11 in order to help Unocal with its desire for trans-Afghan pipelines and in order to help the Carlyle Group with its desire for greater profits from all the "defense.contractors it owns. (By the way, did you ever receive that IHT piece on the Carlyle Group which I posted you from India a year ago? I'm curious how reliable their post is.) How do you feel about this? I suggest we do it by phone because as your only duly elected U.S. Prez, I'm unwilling to do another fact-finding tour of the widely loathed U.S. Sector till you folks take concrete steps towards the establishment of an independent judiciary. Okay? Yours for an overwhelming resurgence of hippies, Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine Interim President add your own comments Divide the weight of his brain by 60 (english) Brenda 11:39pm Tue Jun 18 '02 comment#187050 Anyone wonder how many sentient marijuana plants, peyote, and psychedelic mushrooms were slaughtered in the process of turning this guys brain to jello? ----------------- As for Noam, well, it is unfair to compare him to Bill Bennett, because a) he does appear to be decent person with very good manners, and b) he has a day job as perhaps the most important linguistic philosopher since Wittgenstein. But politically, I¹m sorry. I defended the guy for years, even through the Faurrison affair. And I think he did a lot of good work on East Timor. But look at the man¹s political judgment. He defended Faurrison. He championed the Khmer Rouge. His condemnations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are one hundred percent one-sided, based on the (obviously) false notion that the Arab nations and the Palestinian people have been trying to arrange a peace with Israel for decades. He viewed the rescue mission undertaken in Kosovo as nothing more than the extension of imperial power. He accuses the United States of perpetrating a holocaust in Afghanistan and thinks that the mistaken attack on the pharmaceutical factory in Somalia was as bad if not worse than the attack on the Twin Towers. One could go on, but it all adds up to, I fear, the mirror image of the ignorant jingoism of Bennett, Krauthammer, Kelly, Will, etc. And I find it amazing that intelligent people take it seriously. But anyway, here are just a few of the many letters I received on these two topics. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Thanks to most of you. ------------------------- Sudan not Somalia. However, Alterman is correct here except for the "one could go on" bit and I don't think Chomsky ever said "holocaust." He might have said genocide. One can see why people think Alterman is the secret mover behind Media Whores Online. Peter ---------------------- The problem on Chomsky's side is systematic, in my view. According to his Grand Theory of the supremacy of US foreign policy analysis over all other elements, the enemy of the US establishment is by default Chomsky's friend. We can go back to the wellknown Khmer Rouge and Faurisson examples but that's not necessary. Look at Kosovo and the way how he actively supported the corrupt nationalists around Milosevic. There is plenty of evidence for this. This googled URL is just a random one: http://www.newsandletters.org/ Issues/1999/Dec/12.99_chomsky.htm The next casus is already in the making: Chomsky's support for Saddam Houssein. Geert ------------------- Comments like this are so far from what Chomsky actually wrote on these topics that it's difficult to ascribe them to simple ignorance and unwillingness to read, rather than to a settled animus towards his politics. --CGE ---------------------- They are the most effort-free ways to garner "legitimacy" by trashing the wacky Noam (who of course isnt smart enough to realize how foolish such statements would have been). Alterman even confuses free speech with support for the speaker in his rush to pundit legitamcy. Perhaps it's a mix of willful whoring and idiocy? Dave ----------------------- Ahem... Chomsky's statement that the U.S. government in the 1990s chose the Bosnian Muslims as its proxy force for geostrategic reasons was really stupid. And I ran across a quote from page 291 of _After the Cataclysm_: "If a serious studyŠis someday undertaken, it may well be discoveredŠthat the Khmer Rouge programs elicited a positive responseŠbecause they dealt with fundamental problems rooted in the feudal past and exacerbated by the imperial system.Š Such a study, however, has yet to be undertaken..." To claim in 1979 that the character of the Khmer Rouge regime is still open to debate seems to me to be beyond the stupid, and into the malevolent. Brad DeLong -------------------- And it's not, ah, stupid to assume that US interest in the former Yugoslavia was innocent of geostrategic considerations? And we should insist that it is "malevolent" in 1979 to analyze and debate what happened in Cambodia? That is of course just what the toadies to the US regime were doing then, too, as Chomsky mentions in the continuation of the paragraph you cite: "Such a study [i.e., of the impact of Western imperialism on Cambodian peasant life], however, has yet to be undertaken. The West is much more concerned to excise from history the imperial role and to pretend that the history of contemporary Cambodia begins in April 1975 in a manner that is disconnected from the imperial legacy and must be explained by the lunacy of 'nine men at the center' who were systematically massacring and starving the population in a form of 'autogenocide' that surpasses the horrors of Nazism." ---------------- http://www.msnbc.com/news/752664.asp Nope, the Noamster and Ed Herman (along with Cambodia scholars on the Left like David Chandler, Serge Thion [cf. his role in the Faurrison affair] and Ben Kiernan, were agnostic on the Khmer Rouge.. Kiernan and Chandler have long ago recanted. Michael Pugliese http://www.jim.com/canon.htm CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION How many of those who say they are unreservedly in support of the Khmer revolution would consent to endure one hundredth part of the present sufferings of the Cambodian people? --François Ponchaud, 1977[1] So concludes François Ponchaud's Cambodia: Year Zero, the first book to detail the "assassination of a people" being perpetrated in the name of socialist revolution in Cambodia. Hundreds of other books and articles on Cambodia have been published since 1977. Many have focused on the period during which the Red Cambodians or "Khmer Rouge" controlled the country which they renamed "Democratic Kampuchea" between 1975 and 1978. Under the Khmer Rouge, hundreds of thousands of Cambodians died from execution, forced labor, disease and starvation. Since it will never be possible to ascertain the exact number of deaths, estimates fall on a range. Michael Vickery estimates 750,000 deaths,[2] while Ben Kiernan adds to that another 800,000. Karl Jackson puts the figure near 1.3 million,[3] while the Campaign to Oppose the Return of the Khmer Rouge (CORKR) claims at least 1.5 million deaths. The Khmer revolution was perhaps the most pernicious in history; reversing class order, destroying all markets, banning private property and money. It is one worth studying for the ages, not for what it accomplished, but for what it destroyed. The idea for this thesis grew from research into Cambodia's economic development and history for a simultaneous economics honors thesis.[4] In particular, a 1979 book entitled Kampuchea: Rationale for a Rural Policy by Malcolm Caldwell, was my first glimpse into a community of academics, I had no idea existed. To be sure, this community was not some extreme "fringe" faction of Cambodian scholars, but virtually all of them.[5] In other words, their view of the Khmer revolution ergo the Khmer Rouge, became the Standard Total Academic View on Cambodia or the STAV.[6] These scholars, many of whom worked for the Berkeley-based antiwar Indochina Resource Center, became the Khmer Rouge's most effective apologists in the West.[7] While they expressed unreserved support for the Khmer revolution, fully twenty percent of the Cambodian population may have perished due to execution, forced labor, illness, and malnutrition during the period 1975-1979.[8] From periodicals such as the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars and Current History to books like Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution and Kampuchea: Rationale for a Rural Policy, an unequivocal record of complicity existed between a generation of academics who studied Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge. Reading Karl Jackson's Cambodia: 1975- 1978 (1989), a footnote revealed that debate among scholars of contemporary Cambodia in the West, during the late 1970s, included "sympathetic treatment" of the Pol Pot-Ieng Sary regime, namely the Khmer Rouge. The unassuming footnote, reprinted here, came from Timothy Carney's essay entitled, "Unexpected Victory." Some representative points of view on the Pol Pot regime would include, on the critical side, Shawcross 1976a and 1978a and Lacouture 1977a, 1977b, and 1978. Sympathetic treatment is in Porter and Hildebrand 1976 and Summers 1975 and 1976. Also of interest is Chomsky and Herman 1977. Works by authors with greater background or better judgment in Cambodian affairs include Ponchaud 1976 and 1978 and Chandler 1977. Since 1979, in any case, few have remained sympathetic to the Democratic Kampuchea regime, as incontrovertible evidence has detailed its brutality, dwarfing even Stalin's excesses. [Emphasis added.] [9] The list took on a life of its own, as the pieces to the puzzle of "Who, in academia, supported the Khmer Rouge?" came together. Here was, in effect, the origin of the "Khmer Rouge Canon". When Jean Lacouture published a book review of Ponchaud's Cambodia: Year Zero in 1977, he touched off an intense debate with American academic cum activist Noam Chomsky. Chomsky, who is a distinguished linguist, found erratas in both Lacouture's review and Ponchaud's book. In a series of polemical exchanges that were sometimes public, other times private, Chomsky referred to these mistakes as examples of deception and fraud that fueled anti-revolutionary propaganda against the Khmer Rouge by the media. Together with Edward S. Herman, Chomsky published an article in mid-1977 in the Nation, entitled "Distortions at Fourth Hand" that became the centerpiece of his argument against the media's frenzy over Pol Pot.[10] Two years later, after the Pol Pot-Ieng Sary regime was toppled by Vietnam, the Nation article was followed by a book that continued to express doubt about the truthfulness of "alleged" Khmer Rouge crimes. Between 1975 and 1979, "the movement of solidarity with the peoples of Kampuchea and Indochina as a whole"[11] as described by of one of its members, Gavin McCormick, vociferously defended the Kampuchean revolution and its perpetrators. To be sure, there have been very few articles or books on this topic, since it is so unpleasant for those Ponchaud bluntly characterized as "unreservedly in support of the Khmer revolution," to be reminded of their responsibility in what Jean Lacouture has called "the murder of a people." The study of this movement is considered by some, especially those who continue to support Chomsky, to be wholly outside Cambodian studies. They suggest that it is more in line with American studies since Chomsky attacked the Western media's propaganda machine as it gravitated around the "evils of communism." This thesis seeks to dispel this mitigating advance in favor of a wider Canon for pro-Khmer Rouge literature published between 1975 and 1979. "The Khmer Rouge Canon 1975-1979," unlike other canons, is not an official list of works in this case, since no one has ever agreed to one (Carney's list is a small exception). For a work to be listed and reviewed in the "Khmer Rouge Canon" requires that it have been written in the period 1975 to 1979 and, of course, have supported, whether explicitly or implicitly, the policies of the Khmer Rouge (hence the inclusion of Chomsky's and Herman's work). A second criterion involves the nature of the publication, namely print; the work must have been published in a reasonably well-known English-language periodical (Current History, the Nation, etc.), a monograph (Malcolm Cadwell's South-East Asia by Cook University), or a book (Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution and After the Cataclysm). Beyond this requirement is the obvious need for the author of this thesis to have read that particular work in order to be able to review it. Of course, there are countless dissertations, newsletter articles (such as those in News from Kampuchea and News from Democratic Kampuchea), and other journal articles (from the Journal of Contemporary Asia) that will not be covered because they were unavailable or would have required extensive treatment or for lack of time. The Khmer Rouge Canon is by no means exhaustive, far too many other Indochina scholars deserve to be canonized, yet because of circumstances will have to wait. This partial Canon offers a glimpse into the assumptions and logic, evidence and arguments that a generation of Western scholars used to defend the Khmer Rouge or rationalize their policies during the mid-to-late 1970s. Together, they created the standard total academic view. This glimpse, whether representative or not, is in and of itself a testament to Khmer Rouge's charm over academia. This thesis seeks to answer the following questions on the STAV: First, in what military-political context did it develop? Second, what are examples of STAV scholarship, who made them, what arguments did they make, and why? Third, how does the Chomsky-Herman thesis fit in, differ from or was similar to the standard total academic view? Fourth, beyond the STAV, what were the counter- arguments, and for the members of the STAV scholars, Summers, Caldwell, Hildebrand, Porter, Chomsky, and Herman, what was the continuity and change in their political thinking (using Vickery's STV typology)? In sum, this thesis deconstructs the standard total academic view on Cambodia and constructs the foundation for the Khmer Rouge Canon 1975-1979. ----------- http://nuance.dhs.org/lbo-talk/0206/1386.html Continuation of chap.1 of Sophal Ear tesis --------------- ---------- So explain why William Shawcross, who wrote a great book, "Sideshow, " on Kissinger, Nixon and the savage, "secret, " bombing of cambodia in the early 70's, in the yrs. previous to the Khmer Rouge seizing power, is so critical of Noam on the KR??? See the Sophal Ear thesis I posted the first chapter and URL of. Another chapter (#3, I think) goes into depth on the excahnged between Noam and Shawcross in the NYRB. Another cite: Michael Kazin in Socialist Review, late 70's (think it was in the special double issue on U.S. politics that contained other pieces by such as Barbara Ehrenreich, David Plotke and some Cineaste editors on Vietnam War films) critiqued the, "Propaganda Model, " of Noam C. and Ed Herman. Michael Pugliese ----------------------- Noam isn't perfect. Gosh, what a revelation. But the main reason people dredge up his imperfections is to discredit him (meaning his critique of U.S. imperialism). There's no other good reason to harp on what he did or said about Faurisson or the Khmer Rouge. As Christopher Hitchens himself once argued (and quite well). Doug -------------------- And what he said in the mid-1990s about the pivotal geostrategic position held by the Bosnian Muslims? And the claim in the fall of 2001 "'Western Civilization' was basing its plans on the assumption that they might lead to the death of several million innocent civilians"? And the claim that the Taliban forces displayed "astonishing endurance" in their fight against the U.S., its allies, and the Northern Alliance? Brad DeLong ------------- etc etc. It seems to me that people who are uncomfortable with talk about U.S. imperialism like to seize on these things so they don't have to talk about imperialism - or better still, find comfort in discovering the errors of a leading critic of imperialism. So I'm wondering, Brad. You're clearly somewhere between intrigued by and reluctantly sympathetic with a discourse further left than you. ----- Brad: right than me ------------ Do you think that the reason U.S. per capita income is four tiems Mexico's, eight times the Philippines, and 22 times Haiti's has anything to do with imperialism (or empire or Empire), some political hierarchy of domination? Or is there no such thing as imperialism? Doug ------------------------- Mexico? No. Mexico has made its own history (albeit not under circumstances entirely of its own choosing). Haiti and the Philippines? I think the U.S. helped entrench both Marcos and Papa Doc, and that they were worse-than-usual kleptocrats, and did substantial damage. But I take your question to be, "Is the U.S. rich because it buys the products of Haiti,the Philippines, and Mexico for less than their labor values?" And I can't see any way to get that number up above 2% of the current U.S. standard of living at most... Brad DeLong ------------------ Let me try a different tack. Does servicing foreign debt, by draining surplus that could be re-invested at home; or does the IMF, by enforcing the collection of that debt; or does the world intellectual property regime, by protecting patent monopolies contribute anything to maintaining the 5, 10, or 20 to 1 income gap between the U.S. and the "South"? After all, patent theft and debt default were crucial strategies for U.S. development in the 19th and early 20th centuries (as was protectionism, also now largely illegal). Does the repeated willingess of the U.S. to overthrow any regime that dares attempt a non-orthodox approach to property and international economic relations contribute anything either? Three million dead in Indochina is a rather potent example, no? Doug ------------------------ How about, "Don't want people to stuff their heads further up their asses--and in the process become apologists for Milosevic and Osama bin Laden--by thinking that the *real* *issue* is the U.S. government acquiring control of the strategic Sarajevo airfield, or the U.S. government hoping to halve the population of Afghanistan through famine? Brad DeLong ---------------- Just an aside. The website, AARGH, that reprinted the Hitchens article from Grand Street on Noam C. is far right Holocaust Revisionist. Along w/other websites like the Radio Islam of A. Rami, they are well worth perusing for twisted reasons ;-) Michael Pugliese ------------ Serge Thion, of the La Vielle Taupe circle, notorious in the Faurrison affair (see, Pierre Vidal-Naquet's book on Holocaust denial. Might still be available in the web at the http://www.anti-rev.org webite, also see there the work of Alain Finkielkraut and Italian Trotskyist, Enzo Traverso) has an article on Chomsky and the KR. http://www.abbc.com/aaargh/engl/thion/msif1-2.html And, another aside. E.P. Thompson, in, "The Poverty of Theory, " his brilliant and funny polemic against Althusserianism mentions that Pol Pot studied marxism in Paris in the 50's. I've always wondered if he attended lectures by Samir Amin. I was an avid reader of Amin in the pgs. of Monthly Review in the 70's and 80's. Recently skimmed his MR Press book recounting his intellectual and political itinery. Michael Pugliese P.S. If Estabrook wants a sympathetic political economy of the KR, read a book I read in college by Malcolm Caldwell from Zed Press. Cite is in the biblio in the Sophal Esar thesis. Thought then that de-linking in the manner in which it was attempted in Democratic Kampuchea was nuts. P.P.S. Have the long pamphlet elsewhere in storage, so can't give the ful cite. (But, it is a footnote somewhere in, "Revolution in the Air, " by Max Elbaum) by Max Elbaum. Published by the small press that published Frontline and other Line of March pubs. On the reaction on the new communist movement left of the 70's to the slaughter of the KR and the Vietnamese invasion that kicked out those real social-fascists. -------------------------------- Max Sawicky wrote: >Didn't Hitchens put together a detailed debunking of the >Khmer Rouge rap on Chomsky? Or was it the Faurisson >affair, or both? Would appreciate links to references. There's abbc.com. Doug How about supporting Khmer Rouge from 1980? ***** ...By January, 1980, the United States had begun secretly funding Pol Pot. The extent of this support - Dollars 85 million from 1980 to 1986 - was revealed six years later in correspondence between congressional lawyer Jonathan Winer, counsel to a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Vietnam Veterans of America. When copies of Winer's letter were circulated the Reagan Administration was furious. Then, without adequately explaining why, Winer repudiated the statistics, while not disputing that they had come from the Congressional Research Service. However, in a second letter to Professor Noam Chomsky, Winer made the same point which, he told me, was 'absolutely correct.' Here was clear evidence that Pol Pot's secret backer was Washington. As a cover for its secret war against Cambodia, Washington set up the Kampuchean Emergency Group, known at KEG, in the American embassy in Bangkok and on the border. KEG's job was to 'monitor' the distribution of Western humanitarian supplies sent to the refugee camps in Thailand and to ensure that they were delivered direct to Khmer Rouge bases. Two senior American relief workers, Linda Mason and Roger Brown, later wrote, 'The US Government insisted that the Khmer Rouge be fed .. the US preferred that the Khmer Rouge operation benefit from the credibility of an internationally known relief operation.' Under US pressure, the World Food Programme handed over Dollars 12 million worth of food to the Thai Army to pass on to the Khmer Rouge. '20,000 to 40,000 Pol Pot guerrillas benefited,' according to former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Describing itself as a 'humanitarian organisation,' KEG was run by Colonel Michael Eiland, the Special Forces operation officer responsible for the illegal bombing of Cambodia in 1969. Eiland's new 'humanitarian' duties led directly to his appointment as Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) Chief in charge of the South-East Asia region, one of the most important jobs in American espionage. In November, 1980 Dr Ray Cline, a former deputy director of the CIA and a close adviser of President Reagan, made a secret visit to a Khmer Rouge base camp inside Cambodia. Within a year, acccording to reliable Washington sources, 50 CIA agents were running America's Cambodia operation from Thailand. However, a number of governments were becoming decidedly uneasy about the charade of the continued United Nation as recognition of Pol Pot. This was dramatically demonstrated when a colleague of mine, Nicholas Claxton, entered a bar at the UN in New York with Thaoun Prasith, Pol Pot's representative and himself complicit in mass murder. Within minutes the bar had emptied.... ***** Have you concluded that the US government is malevolent? ------------------------------- Michael Pugliese posts: Chapter 5: The Intellectual as Commissar ... of trivializing the moral potency of Chomsky's thesis, of ... In Herman's opinion, the Cambodia and Faurisson disputes imposed a serious personal cost on Chomsky. ... http://www.mitpress2.mit.edu/ e-books/chomsky/5/6.html - 13k - Cached - Similar pages ...About Noam Chomsky - Links ... more readable discussion of Cambodia and who supported whom, from alt.fan.noam- chomsky. Read this first, and then you can plow through the Sophal Ear thesis ... http://www.talene.net/php/sslinks/links.php?cat=40 - 9k - Cached - Similar pages My Allergic Reaction to Noam Chomsky ... trying to alert the outside world to the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia) ... and it seems to me that you have missed the point of Chomsky's main thesis ..http://. www.j-bradford-delong.net/Politics/chomsky.html - 24k - Cached - Similar pages XevP8KMrnxEC:www.tiac.net/users/hcunn/e- asia/ch-kh-chron.html+chomsky+cambodia&hl=en&ie=utf-8 Cambodia and the Media: On Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman ... His response to Chomsky, quoted in Sophal's thesis: "...it is not only because I once argued for the victory of this regime, and feel myself partially guilty ... mekong.net/cambodia/media3.htm - csua.berkeley.edu/~sophal/krcanon.html Khmer Conscience Vol. IX, No. 1, WINTER 1995 THE KHMER ROUGE CANON by Sophal EAR* "How many of those who say they are un reservedly in support of the Khmer revolution would consent to endure one hundredth part of the present sufferings of the Cambodian people?" -- François Ponchaud, Cambodia: Year Zero (1977) Between 1975 and 1979, "the movement of solidarity with the peoples of Kampuchea and Indochina as a whole" as described by of one of its members, Gavin McCormick, vociferously defended the Kampuchean revolution and its revolutionaries. To be sure, ther e have been very few articles or books o n this topic, since it is so unpleasant for those Fr. Ponchaud characterized as "unreservedly in support of the Khmer revolution," to be reminded of their responsibility in what Jean Lacouture has called "the murde r of a people." The study of this movement is considered by some to be wholly outside "Cambodian studies"--more in line perhaps with the history of American academia, for instance. However classified this chapter in American studies surely had to do with Cambodia and the fate of her people. The Khmer Rouge Canon, if there were one, would be composed of, among numerous other works, Laura Summers' "Consolidating the Revolution" (Dec. 1975) and "Defining the Revolutionary State in Cambodia" (Dec. 1976) in Current History, Georg e C. Hildebrand and Gareth Porter's biblical Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution (1976), Torben Retboll's "Kampuchea and the Reader's Digest" in the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars (Jul.-Sept. 1979) and Malcolm Caldwell's long essay "Ca mbodia: Rationale for a Rural Policy" in Malcolm Cadwell's South-East Asia (1979). Perhaps one should add to this list Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman's masterful "Distortions at Fourth Hand" in The Nation (June 25, 1977) and After the Cat aclysm (1979), but in the latter case, Chomsky and Herman are mindful to state that they are by no means defending the Khmer Rouge nor "pretend to know where the truth lies"-- though most of what they do is to rehash the Hildebrand and Porter line in a more voluminously footnoted and palatable design. Together, these works and many others ranging from the Australian homegrown News from Kampuchea (later renamed News of Democratic Kampuchea) to the British Journal of Contemporary Asia forme d the Khmer Rouge Canon. Three works come to mind with respect to how that Canon has been explored previously, William Shawcross' essay "Cambodia: Some Perceptions of a Disaster," in Revolution and its Aftermath in Kampuchea (1983), Stephen J. Morris' article "Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, and Cornell" in the National Interest (Summer 1989), and Geoffrey C. Gunn and Jefferson Lee's Cambodia Watching Down Under (1991). Shawcross and Morris, two individuals one would not expect to find in similar corners essentially agree with the notio n that a number of individuals on the Left failed, for one reason or another, to realize even after it became rather obvious, that atrocities were taking place in post- revolutionary or, alternatively, "liberated" Cambodia in unprecedented proportions. Sha wcross focuses in on the antiwar elements, specifically radical academic Noam Chomsky, whereas Morris tackles Cornell University's pro- Khmer Rouge elements in its South-East Asia Program (SEAP). Gunn and Lee offer a nearly exhaustive though curiously uncr itical view of the Australian connection to Democratic Kampuchea. The context within which Khmer Rouge support incubated was the antiwar movement. To understand how someone in a wealthy Western democracy could have found solidarity with the revolution taking place in Kampuchea and elsewhere, one must first bear in mi nd the political atmosphere and conditioning from which grew the yoke of radical revolutionary support. It would be facile to strip the words of these Western academics from the context of history, a practice not unlike that being undertaken by current hi storical revisionists. But at the same time, these same activists cum academics must bear responsibility for what they used to reach their conclusions--namely the validity and credibility of the evidence they unceremoniously attacked when at the same time they hypocritically took at face value Ieng Sary or Khieu Samphan's utterances as words to live by. Notwithstanding the pro-revolutionary ideological framework from which they were taught to think, namely the revolutionary conditioning in Cornell's SEAP during the strife-ridden 1960s and 1970s, one must still wonder how those who studied Cambodia and ostensibly loved her most in the West, became supporters of her worst enemy? *Sophal Ear, who left Cambodia in 1976 when he was one year old, is graduating with double honors from the University of California, Berkeley in double major Political Science and Economics. He is finishing up his thesis on the Khmer Rouge Canon . He got a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation to continue his graduate studies at Princeton this fall. He plans to return to Cambodia some day. --------------------------------- --------------- On Mon, 17 Jun 2002, Brad DeLong wrote: > To think of Faurisson as an "apolitical liberal of some sort" shows an > extraordinary failure of insight. I don't think Chomsky's writing the > preface for Faurisson's book reveals that Chomsky wants to see Jews > bbqed on a large scale. I do think it shows evidence of a high degree > of nut-boyness. --------------- > > I've concluded that Chomsky goes down on the Khmer Rouge rap, > however... ----------------------- To say that Chomsky wrote a preface for Faurisson's book shows at best only a scant relationship to the facts. But I am of course fascinated to know what you've concluded. --CGE ------------ a good number of posts later Gar Lipow answers Brad too: As far as I know Noam did not write an introduction. He defended Faurissons's right to publish and stay in the University system on free speech grounds. Some of Noam's writing was included in the Faurisson book without Noam's permission, as an "introduction". And I seriously doubt he ever referred to Faurisson as an "apolitical liberal" - unless he did it ironically. (Noam does have a rather heavy-handed sense of irony.) So on this one you will need to drop the nut-boyness accusation. ------- >I've concluded that Chomsky goes down on the Khmer Rouge rap, however... --------- Don't think so; but we probably don't want to spend the time to go round the mulberry bush on this one again. -------------- Brad: How does one have one's work included in a book "without permission"? Aren't there people in black robes whose job it is to make sure that your copyrighted work shows up where and when you want it to? ----------------- By being a consistent freedom of speech absolutist who refuses to sue for libel, slander or copyright violation. Most of us our not that absolute in our commitment to free speech. Noam is. --------------------- It wasn't copyrighted. ---------- > > > No such thing, unless it was explicitly placed in the public domain. ------------ OK - badly phrase. Noam does not ENFORCE his copyrights. Which in practice is the same as not having a copyright. ----------- > > In which case, who is bitching about it? ------------- A speech or some work of Noam's was used without his permission by a holocaust denier. We are bitching about the claim that Noam purposely wrote an introducition for the book. What happened was that , as I said it was used without permission. Noam had no way of knowing until afterwords - because it was in France and a fairly obscure book. He chose not to sue because he is a free speech absoluteist. I note that he also does not sue for libel or slander , something that is taken advantage of a great deal. --------------------------- dave dorkin wrote: Which last paragraph are we talking about? Noam as a anti-Semite? Please...Brad has consistantly opted for distortions of Noam's statements in favor of implausible secret motives whereas where Larry Summers was concerned, he did back flips to reconstrue the "inappropriate" comments. Why should Noam spend any more time on this BS? Faurisson had a right to publish. Period. Noam said this and has been on record about anti-Semitism since before most on the list were able to read and write. The rest is simple propaganda. Wiesel is a real falsifier as a look at his denial of the Armenian holocaust will attest with no need for ambiguous mind reading. ---------------------- Noam is wrong when he says that holocaust denial does not equal anti-semitism. It does. There is no other reason for someone to deny it AFTER investigating. That is not the same thing (as Noam tries to argue) as someone denying it, a priori, because it is too preposterous. Nowhere am I saying that Noam is an anti-semite. I said Noam was too proud to admit that he should have distanced himelf from Faurisson. I too think he has the right to publish, but I can assure you that if he ever attached my comments to his book without my permission, then I would sue is sorry racist ass and then give the moeny to a charity of my choice. Noam should spend more time because his answer is insufficient because he knows better. He is a brilliant man with a command over recent history like no other person I have ever read. For him to plead ignorance of Faurisson's anti-semitism is disingenous at best or a lie at worst. ----------------------- I do change my mind, when the argument and evidence are overwhelmingly and incontrovertibly against me. Why, in the past six months alone, I have changed my mind on whether Yasser Arafat is a possible partner for peace, and on whether Harry Dexter White was a Soviet agent. I really would welcome an opportunity to change my mind in a leftward direction on *something*. But that ain't the way things are working. Right now, for example, I feel my mind changing on Chomsky. I used to take Hitchens's account at face value (yes, often a mistake): I used to think (mendacious as I find Chomsky's history of the Cold War, his running interference for Milosevic, et cetera) that on Faurisson Chomsky had been smeared by Dershowitz and company--that Chomsky had set out just to defend free speech, had fallen into a trap jointly laid by American Likudniks like Alan Dershowitz (who wanted to paint Chomsky as an anti-semitic nutboy to neutralize his critique of Israeli policy) and French holocaust deniers (who wanted to paint Chomsky as one of them to add his authority to their cause). But now I don't think Hitchens's account can be sustained. Chomsky's claims to have been concerned only with freedom of speech seem to be impeached by his own writings, which show a desire to defend Faurisson that seems to me quite extraordinary when coupled with his attacks on historians like, say, Lucy Dawidowitz as "Stalinist-Fascists". There's something else going on here... Brad DeLong ----- Gar Lipow: You know you are really excercising bad faith. Suppose some Randite wrote a book arguing the the poor and unemployed should be enslaved in a revival of bond slavery , as a solution to our social problems. Suppose you had put some work of yours into the public domain - because you thought it should be widely circulated; suppose the Randite used this as introduction to her book. By your logic, I could then say "Brad De Long, notorious for the introduction he wrote to June Galt's pro-slavery 'Work makes Free'". It is up to you of course; I have always thought of you as a reaonable man with whom I have severe disagreements. You have a lot of other basis's for criticizing Noam - ones I disagree with, but which are not simply weasely distortion. I suspect you have always thought of yourself as a reasonable man also; if you insist on maintaining this particular argument you are not being reasonable. ------------------------- Well, I certainly wouldn't write--in the last paragraph of that work: "...is it true that X is an advocate of slavery? As noted earlier, I do not know his work very well. But from what I have read -- largely as a result of the nature of the attacks on him -- I find no evidence to support such a conclusion. Nor do I find credible evidence in the material that I have read concerning him, either in the public record or in private correspondence. As far as I can determine, he is a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort. In support of the charge of slavery advocacy, I have been informed that X is remembered by some schoolmates as having expressed pro-slavery sentiments in the 1940s, and as having written a letter that some interpret as having pro-slavery implications at the time of the Algerian war. I am a little surprised that serious people should put such charges forth -- even in private -- as a sufficient basis. I am aware of nothing in the public record to support such charges..." But Chomsky did. -------------------- From the UK fascist friends of Oswald Mosley. http://www.oswaldmosley.com/people/chomsky.html >... a response to a claim that Faurisson is anti-Semitic by dint of his questioning of the Holocaust, Chomsky said, "I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers or even denial of the Holocaust. Nor would there be anti-Semitic implications, per se, in the claim that the Holocaust (whether one believes it took place or not) is being exploited, viciously so, by apologists for Israeli repression and violence. I see no hint of anti- Semitic implications in Faurisson's work"). Noam Chomsky's relentless pursuit of the truth in history and politics began from the standpoint of the Left but that did not deter him from moving closer to The Journal of Historical Review, based in California. For those who believe that all Jews work towards common Jewish goals, Chomsky is not alone as a Jew attacking Israel and defending the revisionists' right to free speech. --------------- Chomsky said, "I see no hint of anti- Semitic implications in >Faurisson's work". ----------- Brad: Jesus H. Christ! ------------ much much later: >From a strictly logical point of view, this is correct. It is something a failing of Chomsky's syle of analysis and pesronal temperment that he insists on strict logic at the expense of context and nuance. Of course "There was no Holocaust" doe not imply, "The Jews are wicked," but only people who believe the latter say the former. jks ------------ we'll pick the ensuing/remainder of the thread up down here: *** MP: Two books I read when I was 14 (the Michael Parenti was in my high school library!) that, besides listening to Pacifica Radio station KPFK in L.A. esp. Dorothy Healey and being mentored by Blase Bonpane the radical Jesuit) that had a major effect in moving me from left-liberalism to marxism and socialism were, "American Power and the New Mandarins, " by the Noamster and, "Democracy for the Few, " by Michael Parenti, his left gov't./civics textbook. That over the yrs, both have made some bad judgements in terms of political alignments and sourcing in their books(Parenti, much, much more, see his Verso vol, "To Kill A Nation, " that cites Thatcher advisor Sir Alfred Sherman's Lord Byron Institute and has a chapter (#10) on Blagovesta Doncheva, a Bulgarian follower of Russian neo-fascist metaphysician, Alexander Dugin [see, "The Black Hundreds, " by Walter Laqueur] has led to folks like me being much more skeptical of Chomsky. Not in toto. At least not yet. What the Chomskyites have yet to do or Noam, is to just cut their losses, admit he was wrong to call Faurisson a relatively apolitical French liberal and say that he knee jerked in assuming that since the NYT, TNR and the Reader's Digest plus the USG was saying that the KR were genocidalists that they must be engaged, in imperial whiterwash apologetics. Now that centrists and rightists at TNR and the Reader's Digest had that motive, is UNDENIABLE. But, those sectors of the left, that back then (see, "Camodia: The Revolution Rescued, " by Irwin Silber, Oakland, Ca. 1986) that just like in the period of the Purge Trials in '36-'38, supported the Stalinist line that the Old Bolsheviks had morphed into Fascists (in the coffe table book, "The Commissar Vanishes, " from Penguin there is a Pravda cartoon of Two Dogs, one Trotsky , the other Hitler) and that only the bourgeois press said they were innocent.(Though, the notorious, Walter Duranty of the NYT said they must be guilty.) Sad but true, (the bit abot the Reader's Digest! Communism was NOT fascism, Sontag isn't a political scientist!  I've always thought the the New Class theories of Djilas, Shasctman, Rizzi, made the most sense.See, "Marxism and the USSR, " by Paul Bellis.) http://www.policyreview.org/ spring89/meyerson.html >...February 6. Sontag Says Conservatives Right about Communism. Literary critic Susan Sontag berates New York intellectual world for failure to understand that Communism is "the most successful variant of Fascism." Argues that subscribers to Reader's Digest learn more about realities of Communism than readers of The Nation. "Could it be that our enemies were right?" Michael Pugliese ----------------- http://nuance.dhs.org/lbo-talk/0206/1597.html chip berlet on the 'case' Chomsky was scammed, and will not take responsibility for what happened and how his name is still abused. His argument is that since he did not initiate the scam, nor has he ever denied the Holocaust (all true) that he need not directly respond. My argument is that this represents a type of aloof academic arrogance that does not recognize the separate reality of how is name is misused. Noe of this should be used to suggest Chomsky's other work is not worthy of great respect. ----------------- 1667.html yoshie's contribution --------- *** Chomsky: "... wouldn't [one] at least suspect the motives of someone who denies genocide (the Holocaust, in particular). Of course. Thus, I do suspect the motives of Wiesel, Bernard Lewis, the anthropological profession, the American Jewish Congress and ASI, Faurisson, Western intellectuals who systematically and almost universally downplay the atrocities of their own states, and people who deny genocide and atrocities generally. But I do not automatically conclude that they are racists; nor do you. Rather, we ask what leads them to these horrendous conclusions. There are many different answers, as we all agree. Since the points are again obvious, a rational person will proceed also to question the motives of those who pretend to deny them, when it suits their particular political purposes." I would e.g. be suspicious of the motives of soi-disant leftists who use a ridiculous "soft on naziism" charge against people like Chomsky (or Cockburn) to rule them outside the limits of allowable debate -- as rightists once used "soft of communism"... --CGE ------------ I've never seen Chomsky display any sympathies for the bestiary Cockburn has praised - Larry Pratt, Ron Paul. Can't imagine it either. Doug --------- ---- --------------- 186967 Israel's Other Dirty Secret: The White Slave Trade (english) Khalid Amayreh 3:58pm Tue Jun 18 '02 (Modified on 9:15pm Tue Jun 18 '02) article#186967 On Sunday, the Israeli Hebrew paper Ma'ariv reported that Israel's new white-slave traders "import" and "smuggle" thousands of young girls from the countries of the former Soviet Union, especially the Baltic republics Moldavia, Estonian and Latvia, to work as prostitutes in Israel. Report: Israel has the world's largest white-girl slavery market By Khalid Amayreh Occupied Jerusalem: 17, 2002 (IAP News): The world's biggest market for trade in white women is located in Israel, according to Israel press sources. On Sunday, the Israeli Hebrew paper Ma'ariv reported that Israel's new white-slave traders "import" and "smuggle" thousands of young girls from the countries of the former Soviet Union, especially the Baltic republics Moldavia, Estonian and Latvia, to work as prostitutes in Israel. The paper described how the "imported girls" are treated like animals in a livestock market. "After the girl is undressed completely, the prospective buyer examines every bit of her body, including the size of her breasts and genitals." "Initially some girls hesitate to undress, but eventually they do as ordered because they have no other choice." "It is the first order of business that the boss has sex with the would-be prostitute before she is officially instated in her job, that is in order to ascertain her ability to work and make the customers feel good." "When she undresses, she is asked to move around as beauty models do, and then the prospective buyer would examine her tongue, teeth and genitals to make sure that she is physically sound. According the paper, the girl-owner keeps the girl's passport and bars her from leaving the premises where she "works." He often threatens to report to the police, warning her that she would be jailed for 20 years if she was caught. The paper said an average beautiful slave-girl works 16 hours a day, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. during which she "entertains" 20 customers. The average monthly wage of a young and beautiful girl, say from Latvia, reaches a thousand US dollars, that is if her boss is a human being. If the girl doesn't behave as "she should," the boss slashes 200 dollars from her salary. Usually the less-beautiful girls shut up, but the more beautiful ones, the ones who attract customers, are quarrelsome. www.iap.org http://www.iap.org/newsjune17.htm ======== ========= Great Source (english) Woodward 4:29pm Tue Jun 18 '02 comment#186973 Real unbiased source the ISLAMIC ASSOCIATION FOR PALESTINE. ========== Yo Woody (english) I dare you to look 7:17pm Tue Jun 18 '02 comment#187005 This story was also covered (surprisingly well, I might add) on one of the major network infotainment shows like '60 Minutes' or '20/20'. That was at least 3 years ago. I'm very sad to say that this is a factual, true story. The jewish mob is huge, and it's connected to the contractors who develop settlements on land stolen from palestinians. They're also importing drugs like Exstacy into the USA, and they control that particular market. They also have connections to the Russian mob. So if we ever experience a case of nuclear terrorism, Israel should be the first suspect, IMO. ========== I believe this is a problem in many countries (english) g 7:35pm Tue Jun 18 '02 comment#187011 Not just Isreal. You report it as being done by the Isreali government when it is a criminal organization behind it being fought by the Isreali government and anyone caught facing a long jail term. I do not see what this has to do with Jews or the Isreali-Palistinian conflict one bit. I personally think their needs to be a lot more to be done internationally to stop this growing problem. It also needs to be stopped in Muslim nations like the Sudan which encourages slavery unlike the Isreali government. =========== Please look at the Saudis (english) US citizen 9:15pm Tue Jun 18 '02 comment#187032 Where the real "white slavery" is going down. But, as usual, it's easier to blame the Jews than look at your own fucked up countries. ------------------------------------- Power and Sexuality in the Middle East Bruce Dunne Sexual relations in Middle Eastern societies have historically articulated social hierarchies, that is, dominant and subordinate social positions: adult men on top; women, boys and slaves below. The distinction made by modern Western "sexuality" between sexual and gender identity, that is, between kinds of sexual predilections [and] degrees of masculinity and femininity, has, until recently, had little resonance in the Middle East. Both dominant/subordinate and heterosexual/homosexual categorizations are structures of power. They position social actors as powerful or powerless, "normal" or "deviant." The contemporary concept of "queerness" resists all such categorizing in favor of recognizing more complex realities of multiple and shifting positions of sexuality, identity and power. In early 1993, news of President Clinton's proposal to end the US military's ban on service by homosexuals prompted a young Egyptian man in Cairo, eager to practice his English, to ask me why the president wanted "to ruin the American army" by admitting "those who are not men or women." When asked if "those" would include a married man who also liked to have sex with adolescent boys, he unhesitatingly answered "no." For this Egyptian, a Western "homosexual" was not readily comprehensible as a man or a woman, while a man who had sex with both women and boys was simply doing what men do. It is not the existence of same-sex sexual relations that is new but their association with essentialist sexual identities rather than hierarchies of age, class or status. A recent study of family and urban politics in Cairo suggests that social taboos and silences relating to sexual behavior provide a space of negotiability.1 They accommodate discreet incidents of otherwise publicly condemned illicit sexual behavior-adultery, homosexuality, premarital sex-provided that paramount values of family maintenance and reproduction and supporting social networks are not threatened. Such silences, however, leave normative constructions of licit and illicit sexual behavior unchallenged, sustain patriarchal family values, and legitimize patterns of sexual violence such as honor crimes, female circumcision and gay bashing.2 Also in 1993, an Egyptian physician affiliated with Cairo's Qasr al-'Aini Hospital informed me that AIDS and venereal diseases were not problems in Egypt because neither prostitution nor homosexuality exist in an Islamic country. While this statement may express conventions deemed appropriate for conversations with foreigners, it is profoundly ahistorical. Over the centuries, Islamic societies have accorded prostitution much the same levels of intermittent toleration, regulation and repression as their Christian counterparts and, until recently, have been more tolerant of same-sex sexual practices.3 Denying the existence of transgressive sexual practices helps obscure the ideological nature of "transgression," making it difficult, for example, to see prostitutes as workers who support themselves or their families by performing services for which there is a social demand. Such denials also legitimize failures to respond effectively to public health concerns such as AIDS.4 Representations of Power and Sexuality Western notions of sexual identity offer little insight into our contemporary young Egyptian's apparent understanding that sexual behavior conforms to a particular concept of gender. His view, informed by a sexual ethos with antecedents in Greek and late Roman antiquity, is characterized by the "general importance of male dominance, the centrality of penetration to conceptions of sex [and] the radical disjunction of active and passive roles in male homosexuality."5 Everett Rowson has found this sexual ethos "broadly representative of Middle Eastern societies from the 9th century to the present." This is not to suggest that there has been an unchanging or homogeneous historical experience for the Arabo-Muslim world but rather to acknowledge both the remarkable continuity reflected in the sources and the need for research that would further map historical variations.6 Islam recognizes both men and women as having sexual drives and rights to sexual fulfillment and affirms heterosexual relations within marriage and lawful concubinage. All other sexual behavior is illicit. Whether the 7th century message of the Qur'an undermined or improved the position of women is much debated. There is more agreement that in subsequent centuries Muslim male elites, adopting the cultural practices of conquered Byzantine and Sasanian lands, construed that message to promote the segregation and seclusion of women and to reserve public and political life for men. Social segregation was legitimized in part by constructing "male" and "female" as opposites: men as rational and capable of self-control; women as emotional and lacking self-control, particularly of sexual drives. Female sexuality, if unsatisfied or uncontrolled, could result in social chaos (fitna) and social order thus required male control of women's bodies.7 The domain of licit sexuality was placed in service to the patriarchal order. The patriarchal family served as paramount social institution and the proper locus of sex, thus ensuring legitimate filiation. Its honor required supervision of women by male family members, while marital alliances among families of equal rank maintained social hierarchies. Where men rule, sexes are segregated, male and family honor is linked to premarital female virginity and sex is licit only within marriage or concubinage. Those denied access to licit sexuality for whatever reasons-youth, poverty, occupation (e.g. soldiers), demographic sexual imbalances-require other sexual outlets. Such contradictions between normative morality and social realities supported both male and female prostitution and same-sex practices in Middle Eastern societies from the medieval to the modern period. Ruling authorities saw prostitution as a socially useful alternative to potential male sexual violence (e.g. against respectable women) and a welcome source of tax revenues, even as some religious scholars vigorously objected. According to Abdelwahab Bouhdiba, "institutional prostitution forms part of the secret equilibrium of Arabo-Muslim societies," necessary to their social reproduction.8 In medieval Islamic societies, understood through their (male-authored) literature of morals, manners, medicine and dream interpretation, sexual relations were organized in conformity to principles of social and political hierarchy. "[S]exuality was defined according to the domination by or reception of the penis in the sex act; moreover, one's position in the social hierarchy also localized her or him in a predetermined sexual role."9 Sex, that is, penetration, took place between dominant, free adult men and subordinate social inferiors: wives, concubines, boys, prostitutes (male and female) and slaves (male and female). What was at stake was not mutuality between partners but the adult male's achievement of pleasure through domination. Women were viewed as naturally submissive; male prostitutes were understood to submit to penetration for gain rather than pleasure; and boys, "being not yet men, could be penetrated without losing their potential manliness." That an adult male might take pleasure in a subordinate sexual role, in submitting to penetration, was deemed "inexplicable, and could only be attributed to pathology."10 Rowson explains the relation between gender roles and sexual roles in medieval Muslim societies by locating them in, respectively, distinct public and private realms. Adult men, who dominated their wives and slaves in private, controlled the public realm. Sex with boys or male prostitutes made men "sinners," but did not undermine their public position as men or threaten the important social values of female virginity or family honor. Women, who could not penetrate and were confined to the private realm, were largely irrelevant to conceptions of gender; female homoeroticism received little attention. Effeminate men who voluntarily and publicly behaved as women (mukhannaths) gave up their claims to membership in the dominant male order. They "lost their respectability [as men] but could be tolerated and even valued as entertainers"-poets, musicians, dancers, singers. Men who maintained a dominant public persona but were privately submissive threatened presumptions of male dominance and were vulnerable to challenge.11 The articulation of sexual relations in conformity to social hierarchies represents an ideological framework within which individuals negotiated varied lives under changing historical conditions. Adult male egalitarian homosexual relations may have been publicly unacceptable, but there is evidence that, in the medieval period, men of equal rank could negotiate such relations by alternating active and passive sexual roles.12 In Mamluk Egypt, lower-class women could not afford to observe ideals of seclusion and secluded upper-class women found ways to participate in social and economic life and even used the threat of withholding sex to negotiate concessions from their husbands. Women in the Ottoman period went to court to assert their rights to sexual fulfillment (e.g., to divorce an absent or impotent husband).13 State efforts to repress illicit sexual conduct or promote social-sexual norms (e.g., by closing brothels or ordering women indoors) were sporadic, short-lived and typically occasioned by political circumstances and the need to bolster regime legitimacy.14 Ideological Reproduction Reproduction of ideological Islamic sexual roles in the modern period has accompanied dramatic transformations, including the rise of modern state systems, Western colonial intervention, and various reform and nationalist movements. These complex processes have not significantly challenged the patriarchal values that undergird the sexual order or impaired the capacity of states, elites and political groups to deploy both secular and Islamic discourses in their support. Colonial authorities left existing gender relations largely intact, as did middle-class reform and nationalist movements. While secular legal codes have been adopted in many countries, they have generally deferred to religious authority in matters of family or personal status laws. Both nationalist and Islamist discourses have invoked ideals of Islamic morality and cultural authenticity to control and channel change.15 Increased economic and educational opportunities for women and the rise of nuclear family residential patterns have eroded patriarchal family structures, with, for example, older forms of arranged marriages giving way to elements of romantic attachment. Nonetheless, as Walter Armbrust and Garay Menicucci suggest in their film discussions in this issue, the popular media constantly reaffirm that family interests and normative sexual behavior take precedence over individual romantic aspirations. Moreover, because regimes link their legitimacy to the defense of morality and the licit sexual order, opposition groups and ordinary people draw attention to the existence of sexually transgressive behavior to criticize a range of government policies.16 Thus, premarital and homosexual relations among Moroccan youth, in the context of AIDS prevention debates discussed in this issue by Abdessamad Dialmy, are attributed to the government's failure to provide employment and, hence, access to marriage and licit sexual relations. Both official and oppositional discourses affirm sexual norms. Sexual relations, whether heterosexual or homosexual, continue to be understood as relations of power linked to rigid gender roles. In Turkey, Egypt and the Maghrib, men who are "active" in sexual relations with other men are not considered homosexual; the sexual domination of other men may even confer a status of hyper-masculinity.17 The anthropologist Malek Chebel, describing the Maghrib as marked by an "exaggerated machismo," claims that most men who engage in homosexual acts are functional bisexuals; they use other men as substitutes for women-and have great contempt for them. He adds that most Maghribis would consider far worse than participation in homosexual acts the presence of love, affection or equality among participants.18 Equality in sexual relations, whether heterosexual or homosexual, threatens the "hyper-masculine" order. Gender norms are deeply internalized. A recent study of sexual attitudes among rural Egyptian women found that they viewed female circumcision as a form not of violence but of beautification, a means of enhancing their physical differentiation from men and thus female identity.19 An informal study of men in Egypt found that aspirations to "hegemonic notions of masculinity" informed a continuous process of negotiating the nature of masculinity-the ability to provide for families or exercise control over women-in response to declining economic conditions.20 The persistent notion that women lack sexual control affords broad scope and social sanction to aggressive male sexuality. Women alone bear the blame-and the often brutal consequences evidenced by honor crimes-for even the suggestion of their involvement in illicit sexual activities. Suzanne Ruggi notes in this issue that honor crimes may account for 70 percent of murder cases involving Palestinian women. Honor crimes are also common in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco. Violence directed against male homosexuals appears to be on the rise. Effeminate male dancers known as khawals were popular public performers in 19th-century Egypt; today that term is an insult, equivalent to "faggot."21 The 19th-century khawals may not have enjoyed respect as "men," but there is little evidence that they were subjected to violence. Hostility to homosexual practices has been part of the political and cultural legacy of European colonialism. Today, global culture's images of diverse sexualities and human sexual rights have encouraged the formation of small "gay" subcultures in large cosmopolitan cities such as Cairo, Beirut and Istanbul and a degree of political activism, particularly in Turkey. Although homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, Turkish gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals have been harassed and assaulted by police and sometimes "outed" to families and employers. Turkish gay activists have specifically been targeted. Effeminate male prostitutes in contemporary Morocco are described as a marginal group, ostracized and rejected by their families, living in fear of police and gay-bashers (casseurs de p&eacuted&eacutes). For some, as for Turkish transsexuals, prostitution serves as one of the few ways in which they can live their sexuality.22 Many homosexuals in Middle Eastern countries have sought asylum in the West as refugees from official persecution.23 "Queering" the Middle East In noting the threat posed to the dominant sexual order by egalitarian sexual relationships, Malek Chebel acknowledges the great silence that surrounds the fact that widespread active male homosexual relations in Middle Eastern societies presuppose the widespread availability of passive partners.24 Demet Demir, a political activist and spokesperson for Turkish transsexuals, touches upon the same contradiction when she states, with reference to the popularity as prostitutes of Istanbul's transsexuals: "These people who curse us during the day give money to lie with us at night."25 Is this the "functional"-and misogynist-"bisexuality" described by Chebel above the mere substitution by men of other, available men for unavailable women? That view, which hardly explains the choice of a male or transsexual over a female prostitute, is entirely consistent with and sustains the ideology that positions public or visible or audible men as sexually dominant. Little attention has been given to the nature of these expressions of male sexual desire which, as Deniz Kandiyoti has noted, seem to "combine a whole range of masculinities and femininities."26 There are, she suggests, generational and institutional dimensions to the production of masculine identities. Thus, men who are expected to be "dominant" in one context may experience subordination, powerlessness and humiliation in others, for example in relation to their fathers and to superiors at school or during military service. How does "masculinity" change meaning in these different domains? The complexity of questions of sexuality, identity and power are explored in this issue by Yael Ben-zvi who finds herself, in Israel, simultaneously privileged as an Ashkenazi Jew and marginalized as a lesbian. The aim of "queerness," therefore, is to recognize identity as "permanently open as to its meaning and political use [and to] encourage the public surfacing of differences or a culture where multiple voices and interests are heard."27 Bruce Dunne, an editor of Middle East Report teaches Middle East history at Georgetown University. -------------------- This one's going to hit the Shrub club like Lennox Lewis. The US put those Taliban prisoners in the containers and it's all on news video. That's another thing that Bush knew - when he unsigned the ICC treaty. I posted on this in December. Thousands of prisoners in sealed containers right there on the TV screen - anyone could see they were going to die horribly. -------------------------------------------- New film accuses US of war crimes Kate Connolly in Berlin and Rory McCarthy in Islamabad Thursday June 13, 2002 The Guardian A former chairman of Amnesty International yesterday called for an independent investigation into claims that US troops tortured Taliban prisoners and assisted in the disappearance of thousands of others in the war in Afghanistan. Andrew McEntee said that "very credible evidence" in a British documentary film needed to be investigated. He was speaking after the first showing in Berlin of the film, Massacre at Mazar. "This film raises questions that will not go away," said Mr McEntee, who led Amnesty International UK in the 1990s and is now an international human rights lawyer. The documentary describes how thousands of Taliban troops were rounded up after the battle of Kunduz in late November and transported in sealed shipping containers to Sheberghan prison, a jail then under US control in northwestern Afghanistan. The film alleges that large numbers of the prisoners died during the journey. US troops suggested the drivers take the bodies out into the desert at Dasht-i-Leili for burial. Two men said they were forced to drive hundreds of Taliban, many of whom were still alive, into the desert, and said that the living were shot. Footage showed large areas of compact red sand dotted with the traces of bones, including jaw bones, and pieces of clothing. (...) My post: I saw a news report right after the Kala-I Janghi massacre that showed a line of trucks hauling containers that the reporter said were filled with prisoners. She left it at that, not seeing anything odd about transporting people in almost airtight containers. This was the same birdbrain Turkish reporter who covered the fort massacre while Mujahedeen were getting shot practically right next to her. All the papers are carrying the same story, from apparently a single source, about "dozens" of Taliban killed. The prisoners themselves say more than 140 died, when you add it up. I heard there was another TV news report saying the containers had travelled for 4 days, which suggests a much higher death toll, especially if there were no air holes. Hakki -------------------------------- Captured Taliban suffocated on trip to jail http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4317992,00.html Prison visit uncovers tragic events in wake of revolt at fort Carlotta Gall in Shibarghan Wednesday December 12, 2001 The Guardian Dozens of Taliban prisoners died after surrendering to Northern Alliance forces, asphyxiated in the shipping containers used to transport them to prison, witnesses say. (...) --------------------- If possible, this is even worse than it appears. Kunduz is where (according to a Seymour Hersh article in the New Yorker some months ago), ISI was given 24 hours to get its officers out before the final assault. ISI took advantage of the window to airlift out the main Taliban and al-Qaeda cadre in Kunduz as well. So the poor fucks who suffocated in our sealed containers were the ones who were not important enought for ISI to rescue. Another glorious victory.... MM ---------------- Whie all this was going on I happened to catch an interview O'Really did with some Brit journalist who had been there. He said the Northern Alliance people were basically shooting anyone they captured who was not Afghani. There was also the report, about which little has been said since, that in the run-up to the prison rebellion where CIA guy Mike Span was killed, prisoners were being taken out and shot, thereby providing an obvious explanation for an otherwise suicidal act -- the same one for which 'Jihad Johnny' is on trial. Speaking of the late and lamented Hakki, I'd like to remind people he ripped me for predicting a U.S. invasion of Iraq this year. The way things are going, I might have been off by only a month or so. mbs -------------- Now, now Maxie, can't we all get along. I realize that Hakki somehow, mistakenly, got you in his mind as Berletish and went reactionary on you. I haven't talked to him about it or anything but I noticed around when it happened. Silly mistake. And then they flourish. Total bummer. You both bring so much to my screen. ----- http://writ.news.findlaw.com/ books/reviews/ 20020524_cassel.html ACTIVIST LAWYER MICHAEL TIGAR LOOKS BACK ON HIS CONTROVERSIAL LIFE IN THE LAW: A Review of His New Memoir, Fighting Injustice By ELAINE CASSEL ---- Friday, May 24, 2002 Michael E. Tigar, Fighting Injustice (American Bar Association 2002) Ask America's top litigators to name their best and brightest, and attorney Michael Tigar will be at the top of the list. Known for his mesmerizing courtroom presence and peerless trial preparation, Tigar has represented many controversial clients, among them Terry Nichols, whose life he convinced a jury to spare in the Oklahoma City bombing trial, John Demjanjuk, Angela Davis, John Connally, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and members of The Chicago Seven. Yet in the course of his career, Tigar also has stood beside scores of other lesser-known individuals who, according to Tigar, were victims of various types of governmental overreaching or illegality. Tigar's new book, Fighting Injustice, is part memoir, part legal treatise, part litigation how-to, and part social manifesto. It recounts the highlights of a brilliant career in the law and the personal and political forces that shaped it. A Sense of Injustice Rooted in Childhood and Developed At Berkeley Afraid of becoming a "well-to-do and skilled, but irrelevant, lawyer," Tigar has taken on issues he could embrace with "passion"--among them civil rights, the draft, free speech, government surveillance, the death penalty, and international human rights. His career has been marked by a sense of the injustice perpetrated by governments against citizens, a desire to "look at what needs correcting," and a mission to change the law and the administration of justice. Tigar grew up in Glendale, California, where his father was active in the machinists' union and his mother, at her young son's request, volunteered as a community political canvasser. When he announced at the age of 11 or 12 that he wanted to be a lawyer, his father gave him Irving Stone's biography of Clarence Darrow, Clarence Darrow for the Defense, and encouraged him to be "that kind of lawyer." There can be little question that Tigar met that challenge. In 1958, Tigar entered the University of California at Berkeley. There, his world view began to take shape; it was defined by the civil rights movement, and by opposition to McCarthyism, capital punishment, and American military policy in Vietnam. Tigar was active in free speech and anti-war movements. During a two-year stint as a radio reporter, Tigar recalls, he was "radicalized" by what he learned about domestic and foreign politics. As a result, he set his sights on the law, compelled by a single-minded purpose: to influence events. He entered Boalt Hall, Berkeley's law school, in 1963. At the time, first year law students were asked to sign a state bar form which, among other things, questioned whether the applicant had been affiliated with any organization that advocated the overthrow of the government. Tigar was offended by this thinly veiled attempt to extract a loyalty oath. After he obtained signatures from a third of the first year students that they would not sign the form, Tigar asked civil procedure professor Geoffrey Hazard whether he agreed that the question was unconstitutional under a 1961 Supreme Court decision. Hazard not only agreed, but called the general counsel of the California Bar. The question was deleted. Meanwhile, a friend challenged Tigar by noting that, given his penchant for radicalism, the only way he would be taken seriously as a law student was to be first in his class. Tigar did just that--all three years of law school - and became editor-in-chief of the law review besides. Tigar too modestly credits these accomplishments not to intellectual brilliance, but to extremely hard work. Too Much for the Supreme Court, But Not For Edward Bennett Williams Tigar's law school reputation landed him an offer to clerk for then-Supreme Court Justice William Brennan. But literally while en route from California to Washington, D.C., with his wife and two children in tow, Tigar got word that the offer had been retracted - as a result of pressure from Chief Justice Earl Warren and others, who had gotten wind of Tigar's anti-government activism. Tigar's response tells much about his character. Rather than blasting Brennan, he understood the pressures Brennan was under, refused to take it personally, and maintained a cordial relationship with Brennan until Brennan's death. Rebuffed by the Supreme Court, Tigar was hired by Edward Bennett Williams, a partner in DC's highly regarded firm of Williams & Connolly. There Tigar got a glimpse of the glamorous side of practicing law while on the defense team for Bobby Baker. Though appreciating the "best possible practical legal education" he was getting, the high life of Williams and his coterie left Tigar cold. His first case on his own, outside the Williams firm but with Williams's approval, was the pro bono defense of a young black man charged with carrying a dangerous weapon. The prosecutor was Robert Bennett - who later became President Clinton's counsel in the Paula Jones matter and, of late, counsel to Enron. Tigar won the case, and thereafter developed a practice focusing on civil rights, the Fourth Amendment, and selective service law. The radical law student had morphed into a radical lawyer - and Tigar's memoir of his radical youth similarly segues into a fascinating melange of stories and guidance for current and would-be trial lawyers. Not Just War Stories, But Practical Tips For Trying Cases Tigar's legendary courtroom narrative skills are in evidence here, and readers who enjoy war stories from the front lines of litigation won't be disappointed. But there is more here than tales and anecdotes. While the first three chapters of the book provide a chronological framework for Tigar's life and work, the remaining text is organized thematically, according to broadly defined issues like free speech, the death penalty, and government surveillance. Tigar offers valuable mini-treatises on topics such as the constitutional separation of powers as it relates to waging war (the subject of his law school valedictory address), selective service law, wiretapping legislation, and habeas corpus. The book is also generous with tips for trying cases: Given a choice, advance a theory of your case that is the least contradictory to that of your opponent, Tigar advises. Make objections in a way that minimizes disruption to the trial process. Be judicious in the use of rhetorical and argumentative techniques. Tigar also offers tips for dealing with the media - don't try your case to them - and dealing with clients - maintain a healthy skepticism about their versions of events. This advice from an attorney whose litigation skills and power of persuasion are praised even by his adversaries is, by itself, reason enough to read the book. Tigar's advice on trial preparation is also extremely useful. Tigar explains that he reads every relevant case and its annotations in search of analogies that might be useful in creating a theory of a case or crafting a persuasive argument. The Tigar method includes placing cases in their historical and political frameworks, and enlivening the legal analogies drawn from close case study with examples from his encyclopedic knowledge of history, literature, music, and religion. The Terry Nichols Trial and Beyond Especially interesting is Tigar's insight into his representation of Terry Nichols for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing. At least one of the reasons for Tigar's welcoming Judge Richard Matsch's appointment to defend Nichols is his personal opposition to the death penalty. "I have thought that in a well-tried capital case jurors might turn towards life when they saw the human side of capital punishment up close," he remarks in the book. "And if we can begin convincing jurors to vote for life, may be we can influence prosecutors not to seek death. At least, I thought, this would be so in a publicized case." Indeed, there was substantial publicity - and, in some quarters, outrage - over the jury's deadlock on whether Nichols had the intent to cause death, which under the law was a prerequisite to recommending a death sentence. The result of the impasse was that Judge Matsch had no option but to sentence Nichols to life in prison - a significant victory for Tigar and his client. Fighting Injustice includes portions of Tigar's summation to the jury, in which he reminded jurors that every world religion teaches forgiveness and redemption. He urged them to transcend vengeance and look toward the future - not to denigrate the suffering of the victims' families, but to get beyond it. After the Nichols case, Tigar is said to have wondered if there was another major trial left in him. Yet one can't imagine that Michael Tigar will be leaving the courtroom anytime soon. Currently, Tigar is a professor at American University's Washington College of Law, where he leads seminars in human rights impact litigation, and mentors students to aspire to a life in the law that consists of more than six figure incomes and the obligation to generate thousands of billable hours yearly. He also travels across the country teaching capital defense and other litigation skills, and tries cases here and abroad. Fighting Injustice tells stories and teaches. But it also preaches. "There is a world to be understood, and more important, to be changed," Tigar admonishes. He challenges lawyers to move beyond the "search for precedent and rules" and to commit themselves to bringing justice to a world where injustice abounds. -------------------------- http://www.monthlyreview.org/lawrise.htm “A thought-provoking interpretation of the role of legal ideology in the bourgeoisie’s ascendance to state power.” — HARVARD LAW REVIEW “Provides a realistic basis for understanding our history and the role of the law in the United States.” — UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW “This pioneering book asks brave questions. . . . Tigar has performed a valuable service in opening up for discussion this area of social and intellectual history.” — CHRISTOPHER HILL, THE NEW STATESMAN Against a backdrop of seven hundred years of bourgeois struggle, eminent lawyer and educator, Michael E. Tigar, develops a Marxist theory of law and jurisprudence based upon the Western experience. This well-researched and documented study traces the role of law and lawyers in the European bourgeoisie's conquest of power-the first such history in the English language-and in the process, contradicts the analyses of such major figures as R.H. Tawney and Max Weber. Using a wide range of primary sources, Tigar demonstrates that the legal theory of the insurgent bourgeoisie predated the Protestant Reformation and was a major ideological ingredient of the bourgeois revolution. Originally published in 1977, Law and the Rise of Capitalism has been translated into several languages to international acclaim. Tigarµs new introduction and extended Afterword discuss the struggle for human rights over the past two decades and shed light on the challenges facing today's social movements. Tigar draws on his own experiences as a fighter for democratic rights in the United States, Europe and South Africa, while adding new historical insights to human rights issues in the United States including the plight of political prisoners and the death penalty. ---------------------------- He was already a legend before he got to Berkeley. Tigar was either student body president or some thing like that in first my high school the year or so before I got there. My best friend's older brother Ken C. ran for student office attempting to carry on a just dawning tradition of vaguely defined progressivism in a younger generation in the late fifties. Among other issues (like civil rights, and HUAC), the Carol Chessman execution took place about this time and had been a focal point of high school discussions and UCB campus activism against the death penalty. Any way my friend's older brother went to UCB and linked up with Tigar and others in Slate, a progressive student political party on campus in (`59-63?) to push left or progressive student politics at Cal. After rankling for two or three years over every minor dip-shit rule put in place specifically to stop student activism, the Slate crew and others on campus got fed up and planned a direct assault, the famous Sept `64 fall campaign against the administration's policies on free speech---that ended up with the Sproul Hall sit-in, known as FSM. Ken followed Tigar into Boalt as Tigar was graduating. I can't remember now if Tigar had tried to apply to Douglas for a clerkship or that was just part of a dinner table discussion with Ken and Bill and their folks. Perhaps Douglas didn't have a position open at the time. But at any rate Tigar ended up applying to Brennan, was accepted, and then was rejected by Warren or some committee of other justices. In a way I hate thinking about and remembering those times, because they are so far away, and increasingly unbelievable, unimaginable. Nobody wants to hear it. The entire sweep of those events and people have been erased from the public mind, if not the public record, and there is some strange form of mass denial intimately linked with the whole era--to the effect that all that happened on another planet to another people. The established political institutions and their technocrats have systematically defended their own mediocrity against that whole progressive generation. Hence they (we?) have had no impact on the basic foundations of the society and the traditional conceptualization of public thought, conduct, and action. People like Tigar and others should be sitting on the Supreme Court, or working their way through senior positions in the federal and state systems, or part of the elected political establishment. Instead we have an ocean of utterly despicable mediocrities---obvious ideological beneficiaries of the much touted merit system of an open, free, and competitive society, blah, blah, blah.. Chuck Grimes ------------------ Even the smartest people make dumb calls. Judge Posner wrote a book about Bush v. Gore, offering the best possible defense of it, you could read it. ANd you don't have to take my word that he's smarter than both of us put together. Everyone of every political persuasion agrees. Hell, if you thought you had an interesting take on the case, he'd talk to you about it for as long as you could keep his attention. Justice Scalia's brilliant too. A total creep, but brilliant.... jks ---------- I am not sure that being smarter than a wheelchair mechanic with an art degree adds much to a claim of brilliance. But, here is a question. It seems to meander along an interesting boundary between the rational and the ethical. How smart can you be, if in decisions and actions you take that effect other people's lives, you knowingly do them a greater rather than a lesser harm? I think much misery follows exactly this proposition---the belief that a few lives can always be tossed for the greater good, thus the corpses of the world follow like water flowing over falls. Judging from the number of such corpses, there seems to be a unlimited supply of greater goods. Descending to Bush v Gore. Since the outcome was in effect a choice between two meritless mediocrities, then why choose the one the people did not choose? If there is any single maxim of democratic government, it is trust the people. Not because they are right or smart, but because it is their decision to make---and theirs to suffer. What has flowed from that decision has been terrible. If Bush had the majority popular vote, the court could rest its conscience that for better or worse, it only affirmed the people. But they didn't. They can not rest, because they have done a profound harm and the consequences have continued to follow breathlessly from one disaster to another, reeling us into a nightmare. In any event, the written decision might be rational, it might be interesting, it might be a lot of other things, but it certainly isn't inspired by ideals of democratic governance. In fact it is much worse, because it mocks all of those principles through its transparently fallacious mask. Take your choice. They were foolish and petty and unwittingly damaged a core belief of democratic governance or they were smart and therefore did evil. At least I gave them the benefit of the doubt. ``...We took from him Rome and the sword of Caesar, and proclaimed ourselves sole rulers of the earth, through hitherto we have not been able to complete our work. But whose fault is that? Oh, the work is only beginning, but it has begun. It has long to await completion and the earth has yet much to suffer, but we shall triumph and shall be Caesars, and then we shall plan the universal happiness of man...'' (Ivan Karamazov, from the Grand Inquisitor, BK 305p.) The `him' in the above refers to Satan and `we' refers to the Church, were the Grand Inquisitor is the chief local official. The Grand Inquisitor has arrested Jesus Christ and jailed him for performing a miracle on the first day of his second coming. The quote is from a conversation between the Inquisitor and Jesus in the dungeon. In the novel's narrative context it is Ivan Karamazov telling his little brother Alyosha an allegory, in an attempt to destroy his innocence. Chuck Grimes -------------------- >>My own feeling, not developed in any detail, is that all judgements in >>terms of intellectual capacity (low or high as the case might be) belong >>in the same order if not the same genus as conspiracy theories. They >>turn the focus away from social relations and history to focus on an "x" >>that is neither measurable nor even very definable. > -------------->I've got to say I agree with you on this. Justin, you admire this abstract >quality of intelligence outside of what it does too much for me. So what if >these fucks are smart? That makes them worse. > >Doug ----------- Marx said that class rule becomes more stable and dangerous as the class that is ruling is able to assimilate the best minds from the opposing class. Isn't this what universities and academics do? I saw some figures that showed that 4/5 of college graduates go into professional or managerial positions in large corporations. The cream of high school graduates from working class backgrounds tend to be shunted into managing the corporations owned in part by their class opponents. In the same vein, the working class needs to assimilate critical/utopian opponents of capitalism (such as Chomsky) to strengthen its opposition and make it more dangerous. The problem is that just as managers from working class backgrounds may turn against the owners of the means of production, the critical/utopians may turn against the working-class at crucial junctures. For example, refusing to accept Marx and Lenin's arguments for a dictatorship of the proletariat. grs ---------------------------- This isn't another mealy-mouthed request for answers to right-wing arguments, but the following passages are interesting (and maybe the next big thing in Sullivania). Along with pleas that our big-hearted immigration policy is the main contributor to inequality in America, we now have the insistence that, since Bill Gates is no more powerful today than Andrew Carnegie was during the Gilded Age, Paul Krugman is mostly wrong to fret over the growing con centration of wealth in the hands of a lucky few. This comes from http://janegalt.net, one of the homes of KrugmanWatch on the web. Actually, I do have one question: How is this "negative income tax" thing supposed to work? Wouldn't it simply depress wages, just like the repeal of the minimum wage that's supposed to go along with it? [Krugman] " But the Gilded Age looked positively egalitarian compared with the concentration of wealth now emerging in America. Pretty soon denial will no longer be possible. What will the apologists say next? " [Galt] On the contrary, we live in the most egalitarian age in history. Think about it: how much better is Bill Gates' life than Andrew Carnegie's? He's healthier and will probably live longer. But is his house more comfy? His art better? His life more convenient? His clothing better quality? His food tastier and better prepared? Nope. Healthcare and Gadgets aside, Bill Gates and Andrew Carnegie have little between them. Now compare the worst paid guy in Carnegie's empire to the worst paid guy in Bill's. The worst paid guy in Carnegie's empire lives in a couple of rooms with his wife, several children, and extended family. He eats meat once or twice a week. He owns one or two sets of work clothing and a good suit, probably the one he was married in. He has an ordinary hat, a good hat, and some seasonal apparel. He works twelve hours a day. He has no personal transportation; he walks or takes a horsecar. He does not vacation. He cannot afford books, plays, or other entertainment. His entertainment is church, conversation, and possibly music. He probably cannot read. In human terms, it may be a rich life. In material terms, it wouldn't do a modern welfare mother for a camping weekend. I don't think I need to itemize the fate of Bill Gates' mail boy for you to see the difference. The rich were comfortable then and are comfortable now; the improvements are strictly marginal. The poor, on the other hand, have improved their lot immensely. Plutocracy, my Aunt Fanny. Now, in fact, I am under the impression that inequality is increasing broadly. The problem is that Krugman knows as well as I do why that is: technology puts a higher premium on skilled than unskilled labor. If all you're good for is your muscle power, a machine will work cheaper and quicker and won't unionize. Bye bye human draft horses. Neither the estate tax nor any other law man can make will remedy this. Only three things might: a subsidy to employers to hired unskilled labor, which is massively unproductive and distortionary, and would involve rolling back productivity increases in some industries; training, which has a dismal record last time I looked; or a negative income tax combined with a repeal of the minimum wage, enabling workers to labor with dignity at a price they are worth. As you can see from the spin, that last is my prescription. 
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