LBO-talk on various threads (Hitchens, Lacan) ---------- Louis Proyect, "Chomsky and His Critics" ------------Crisis for American Jews by Edward Said --------------- 200145 Chief Rabbi: "Israel Set on Tragic Path" + comments from this item repeated at: 200225 -------------- 6420 twincities.indy who are the antisemites -------------------- native american sorrows ------- aboriginal conception of soul --------------- preexistence amongst the amerindians --------------- Wilfried ( Hou Je Bek writes: Generative Psychogeography as a tool in the construction of a hive mind. -------------
I was referring very broadly to a psychoanalytic understanding of a patient's development, taking into account the way their "real" relations within their family interwork with fantasy and constitutional factors, and giving emphasis to processes of projection and internalization. Kohlberg and Piaget intersect with this, in some ways easily, in some ways not so. My *impression* (it's been some time since I've thought about Lacan, and I fear I'm resorting to slogans) is that Lacan was pretty tone deaf regarding the tremendously nuanced ways that the idiosyncracies of development manifest themselves in the transference. This flowed out of his emphasis on the symbolic priority of the phallus; this prioritization was, in turn, fortified by the spare theoretical options left open by his recourse to Saussurian linguistics, which he took to require a sort of Uber signifier, a central source of meaning. In practice, this brought him down very heavily on the side of construing the analytic relationship in terms of the paternal transference. During this time English analysts such as Winnicott were reaffirming the importance of the mother's developmental role, and I think Lacan intended to challenge them, though his main critical target was ego psychology. Randy --------------- In for a penny, in for a pound. Here's something on Lacan that is hopefully more helpful than my gloss. It's from a Mitchell Wilson's review of "Jacques Lacan and Co, A History of Psychoanalysis in France," by Elisabeth Roudinesco; the review appeared in the Psychoanalytic Quarterly in 1993. I'd preface it by saying that I've always been puzzled as to why Lacan, with all his theoretical overhead and clinical eccentricities, had so much appeal for radicals, as though psychoanalysis generally had little to offer. In reading the review selection, I'd stress - by avoiding working with resistances, Lacan misses a way of collaborating with the analysand. Resistance analysis doesn't have to imply declarations by the analyst that the analysand is "in a state of resistance to an interpretation." Rather, it can start from looking closely at how the analysand shifts about in their presentation (the resistance appears as a counterpressure, an inhibition, to their own expression of desire), drawing this to their attention, and being able to *show* them that these deflections have meaning. E.g., the analysand talks about their pride in something they've done, starts to trail off, and you move to pick up what was going on at the shift. These days some of the most interesting work in psychoanalysis, by writers such as Paul Gray, Marianne Goldthorpe, and Fred Busch, places emphasis on this "close process analysis." It's not a complete model of analysis, but it's a good way of setting up part of the working relationship with the analysand, you don't do a lot of razzle dazzle depth interpretation, leaving them in awe of you and broadly doubtful of their own abilities. - The idea of avoiding "triumphs of self-awareness" in favor of an appreciation of the decentered nature of subjectivity glides over major optional understandings of what self-awareness can involve. Leaving aside the question of whether accurate recovery of repressed memories is possible (it is, but it's hard to know when), "triumphs" can also include recovery of key organizing fantasies that involve reifications of the analysand. E.g. a patient suddenly recalls a fantasy played out with toy cars in which his younger brother was popping out in a James Bond ejector seat. The brother died shortly afterwards, and the patient thinks of himself as responsible, and the fantasy, in which he throws the brother out of the car, is a key organizer. It one-sidedly captures, "proves," that the patient is cruel. By bringing out this horrible "truth" about analysand in the session, its reifying potential lessens. I've never understood how talking about sliding signifiers adds much liberatory power to this conception of the therapeutic process. Attuning a subject to "the essential drift of language" seems disembodied, abstract, hyperexistentialist. Randy -------- review "Lacan based his ideas about the nature of the ego on Wallon's work with primates and their experience of confronting their image in a mirror. Lacan insisted that the ego in its essence is a paranoid structure based upon alienating identifications. The notion of autonomous ego functions, so precious to ego psychology, represents a denial of the narcissistic foundation of all perception and self-assessment. This is why Lacan distrusted academic psychology, ego psychology, and all other appeals to consciousness and cognition. The analyst must not engage the analysand at the Imaginary level, addressing his or her observing ego in the analysis of resistances. Nor should one rigidly interpret unconscious content. The analyst takes advantage of the polyvalent nature of important signifiers by highlighting them, thereby furthering the free associative process. The nonsensical aspect of signifiers (as purely formal sounds or letters) leads, through free association, to further sense. These signifiers have personal meaning to the analysand because they embody important memories and/or fantasies that have been repressed. Thus, the analyst never imposes content; the analysand discovers a kind of shifting content that is always conditioned by the essential drift of language. Analysis does not, Roudinesco concludes, "provoke any triumph of self awareness, any recovery of the unconscious by consciousness, or of the id by the ego. It uncovers, on the contrary, a process of decentering, in which the subject delves, through speech, into the loss of his mastery, that is, into his Oedipal state" (p. 255). Roudinesco's statement concerning the analytic process seems both true (the oedipal situation is, by definition, a losing battle) and unsatisfying (as, no doubt, it is intended to be). Lacanian theory is radically formalist, and radically dismissive of content. One is left believing that within the psychoanalytic process all the analyst can do is punctuate signifiers. Lacanians claim this is the only convincing epistemological (and ethical) position the analyst can take. By intervening at the level of the analysand's speech, the analyst is said to be addressing the subject's unconscious but not appealing to, or influencing, the subject's conscious assent (i.e., the analyst addresses the "subject," not the "ego"). The analyst never puts the patient in the alienating position of having to agree or disagree with an interpretation. However epistemologically pure this vision of analysis may be, we immediately encounter a number of logical impossibilities. What does it mean for the subject to elaborate his or her unconscious desire, if, 1) that desire is born of lack and insatiability (again, desire takes on a formal, nearly Imaginary, character), and 2) if the subject's ego is to be wholly mistrusted? What is the perceiving instrument of the analysand's unconscious desire if not some aspect of the analysand's consciousness? Further, why is the analyst's perception of important signifiers exempt from narcissistic influence [i.e. are we going overboard with the Phallus??] (and therefore epistemologically pure), while his or her interpretations of resistance or unconscious fantasy are unavoidably self-affirming and therefore alienating for the analysand? It is clear from the extended comments Roudinesco elicited from several of Lacan's analysands that they felt helped by him. Many felt understood, free to speak in a way they never had before. What is the nature of this help if the ego can only misuse it? Roudinesco attempts some answers to these questions, but she resorts, as most Lacanians do, to issues of ontology. Dialogue stops at this point, and one is left, like the alienated analysand, to agree or to disagree." --------------------- The suspicion about psychoanalysts that is currently fashionable creates an interesting dilemma for their biographers. The biographer of a great analyst is always tempted to prove something, to second-guess the dubious reader. Since psychoanalysis as a treatment is itself about the possibility and, indeed, the value of biographical truth--psychoanalysis as the biography that is supposed to improve the biography--we are likely to want something specific from this callow new genre. We want to know whether these people should have been trusted, and why and if we should go on trusting their so-called followers. In other words, biographies of psychoanalysts make us wonder what it is that makes a person trustworthy to us, and what, if anything, this has to do with the significance we give to their lives. By the conventional standards of psychoanalytic orthodoxy, Jacques Lacan (1900-1981) was a heretic. His notoriety was based on his shortening of the psychoanalytic session--sometimes to five minutes. His fame was based on his radical revisions of Freud and his insistence on the ways in which language and sexuality disrupt a life. Toward the end of his life, historian of psychoanalysis Elisabeth Roudinesco tells us, Lacan "usually saw his tailor, his pedicurist, and his barber while conducting his analyses." So what? There is a tension in any biography between what the subject wanted to be--who he or she was always wanting to become--and what the biographer wants the subject to be. In this sober, incisive, and riveting book, a well-documented history rather than a novelistic evocation of the man himself, Roudinesco cannot conceal her dismay that Lacan was not better behaved, more temperate in his appetites, less baroque in his provocations. She wants him to be more poignant and less boastful. How Those New College Savings Plans Rip You Off The Taco Bell Chihuahua Rises Again It's Time To Take That Kashmiri Vacation It was, of course, about excesses--of desire, of meaning, of emptiness--that Lacan wrote so eloquently. For Lacan, a person was by definition in excess of himself. He believed there was something fundamentally unintelligible about the vagaries of a life. But Roudinesco neither takes pleasure in nor makes intriguing sense of the fact that Lacan's theories "denounced the omnipotence of the ego in general, though he himself asserted the supremacy of his own." Lacan's writings are clearly, among other things, the confessions of a self-justifying megalomaniac--unusual in itself, because such people don't tend to explain themselves. But by the same token these are also the most inexhaustibly interesting and stylish psychoanalytic writings since Freud's. The Lacan characterized in this book as flamboyantly voracious for the Freudian triumvirate of women, money, and power is, as Roudinesco suggests, a Balzacian hero: a triumph of appetite over class. This is a story of a man with an amazing talent for finding what and whom he needed to make himself what he wanted to be, the greatest analyst since Freud. As always, from the evidence available, there is no obvious reason why this particular family should have produced that particular psychoanalyst. Lacan's father owned a very successful vinegar distillery; the family were respectable bourgeois Roman Catholics. Lacan's adored youngest brother became a priest, and his sister spent most of her married life in Indochina--so clearly some distance was needed from what was otherwise a typical French family of a certain type. Very early, as one might have expected, Lacan wanted to be top of the class, though in fact he wasn't an especially talented boy. He had a precocious intellectual curiosity. He tended to read, as Roudinesco remarks, rather than play Cowboys and Indians with the other boys. Of course, Lacan's life here is being read retrospectively, partly through the prism of his writings, whereas he was living it prospectively (we have to remember, given that Lacan's work was the theorizing of life stories, that he himself never knew what was going to happen next). If one of the dominant motifs of Lacan's early life is his contempt for his father, as it is in this account, then it can seem virtually inevitable that his early work was about the terrible cultural consequences of the "weakening of the father imago" (there were no strong fathers anymore), and that much of his later work should be obsessed by what he called "the-name-of-the-father" and the symbolic significance of the phallus. But psychoanalysis--and Lacan was particularly shrewd about this--has always been essentially a critique of straightforwardly casual accounts of how people become who they are. Indeed, what distinguishes psychoanalysis is that it can show us the ways in which a life is not merely the effect of its causes (biology, parents, etc.). As Lacan progresses through psychiatry, World War II (as a doctor in France), surrealism, psychoanalysis, structuralism--Lacan's life was apparently a magnet for everything intellectually interesting happening in France: He was, for example, Picasso's personal doctor--he seems to have had a knack for finding useful fathers. His friendships with the likes of writer and critic Georges Bataille, philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, and linguist Roman Jakobson were formative in ways that he either fails to note or misleadingly acknowledges. Here Roudinesco is rather limitingly censorious, wanting Lacan to pay his debts rather than being amazed by what he could make of what he found in the work of these remarkable people. Lacan was apparently always dismayed by how little his mentors were influenced by him. In this book, it is Lacan's craving for recognition--his almost demonic hunger to be unforgettable--that drives him; and that, every so often, is gently pathologized by Roudinesco. Roudinesco alludes to many mistresses, though always discreetly, in the abstract. Lacan's private life, however, was really a tale of two families. A first marriage, in his 20s, to Malou, the sister of a close friend, with whom he has three children; and then a second marriage to Sylvie, Bataille's ex-wife, with whom he has his adored daughter and acolyte Judith. The children of the first marriage are told nothing of the second marriage until they are young adults. So Lacan leads a bizarre double life. One of the most chilling scenes in the book is when Lacan, Sylvie, and Judith stop at a traffic light in Paris and see two of Lacan's other children. They approach the car, and Lacan drives off. Confronted with some of the most callous follies of this extraordinary life, the "so what?" question becomes more and more pressing. "An act always misunderstands itself," Lacan wrote. Indeed, all Lacan's writing is an elaborate meditation on the ways in which--and the structures by which--we can never be transparent to ourselves. Lacan's life was a struggle against the institutionalization of knowledge, and he flourished by creating havoc, both publicly (in a famous break with the International Psychoanalytic Institute) and privately (among some of his colleagues). He wanted psychoanalysis to be a science of self-deception, a proof against the old pieties. It would be strange to wish that he were more lovable, or honest, or familiar. His life is exemplary in the modern sense, not as a picture of virtue, or even as a struggle to live out some kind of personal truth, but rather as a question: How complicated can we allow people to be before we stop trusting them? Related on the Web The first chapter of Jacques Lacan is available courtesy of the New York Times Book Review. (Note: You must register with the New York Times Web site before you can get access to this page.) ----------------- [This Counterpunch version looks pretty much identical to AC's column in this week's Nation. This is looking like a record low for Ace, with the idiotic defense of McGaa, the use of the rather repulsive phrase "outside Jewish money," the equally repulsive comments on abortion and Malthusianism, and the patronizing remark addressed to Katha Pollitt. To conclude a column this awful with a swipe at Paul Krugman is pretty rich, since Krugman is doing far better work than Cockburn is these days.] Counterpunch - August 20, 2002 Splenetic Thoughts for Dog Days From Cynthia McKinney to Katha Pollitt, to the ILWU to Paul Krugman by Alexander Cockburn Let's start with Cynthia McKinney, who at time of writing is fighting for political survival in a too-close-to-call Democratic primary in Georgia. Don't you think that if Arab-American groups or African-American groups targeted an incumbent white liberal, maybe Jewish, congressperson, and shipped in money by the truckload to oust the incumbent, the rafters would shake with bellows of outrage. Yet when a torrent of money from out of state American Jewish organizations smashed Earl Hilliard, first elected black congressperson in Alabama since Reconstruction, you could have heard a mouse cough. Hilliard had made the fatal error of calling for some measure of even-handedness in the Middle East. So he was targeted by AIPAC and the others. Down he went, defeated in the Democratic primary by Artur Davis, a black lawyer who obediently sang for his supper of the topic of Israel. At that particular moment the liberal watchdogs were barking furiously in an entirely different direction. Ed McGaa, a Green candidate, has had the effrontery to run in Minnesota for Wellstone's senate seat. Such an uproar! Howls of fury from Mark Cooper and Harold Meyerson, lashing McGaa for his presumption. Even a pompous open letter from progressive organizer Steve Cobble hassling the Minnesota Greens for endangering St Paul. Any of these guys think of writing to Artur Davis, or to Majette, telling them to back off, or to denounce them as catspaws of groups backing Sharon's terror against Palestinians? Only Cobble. Then it was McKinney's turn. A terrific liberal black congresswoman. Like Hilliard she wasn't cowed by the Israel right-or-wrong lobby and called for real debate on the Middle East. And she called for a real examination of the lead-up to 9/11. So the sky has fallen in on her. Torrents of American Jewish money shower her opponent, a black woman judge called Majette. Buckets of sewage are poured over McKinney's head in the Washington Post and the Atlanta Constitution. Here's how it worked. McKinney sees what happened to Hilliard, and that American Jewish money is pumping up Majette's challenge. So she goes to Arab-American groups to try to raise money to fight back. This allows Tom Edsall to attack her in the Post as being in receipt of money from pro-terror Muslims. Lots of nasty looking Arab/Muslim names suddenly fill Edsall's stories. Now just suppose someone started looking at names in the pro-Israel groups funding Majette who by mid-August had raised twice as much money as McKinney. Aren't they aren't supporting and helping fund terror that has US-made F-16s machine-gunning kids in Gaza? What's the game here? It's the reiteration of the same message delivered to politicians down the years, as when Senator Charles Percy went down. Put your head over the parapet on the topic of Israel and the Palestinians and we'll blow it off. Oh, and when furious blacks start denouncing the role of outside Jewish money in the onslaughts on Hilliard and McKinney, what then? There'll be intricate articles with intricate exit poll calculations promoting the conclusion that the money from the Jewish groups "wasn't a factor". Then there'll be an avalanche of hysterical columns about the ever-present menace of black anti-Semitism. Just you wait. It's a closed system. Footnote: Organizer Steve Cobble, did the right thing, fundraising and writing pro-McKinney material for telephone campaigns to get out McKinney voters, and urging the Jacksons, father and son, to campaign for the beleaguered Congresswoman. Next splenetic thought Yes, Katha Pollitt, you did raise a little stink in The Nation re McKinney, in overly decorous but still commendable terms, which reminds me, here's what I wrote to a fellow angered over a piece by Ellen Johnson we'd run in CounterPunch, criticizing you for saying Dennis Kucinich's position against abortion rendered him ineligible as the progressives' 2002-champion. "Hi Matt, I'm forwarding your note to Ellen, and she may drop you a line, but allow me to say that I think your reaction is too hasty. Ellen raised some very serious points about the monoptic way NOW and leading feminists address the abortion issue. I think it is right to emphasize that we should battle for social conditions where abortion ceases to be regarded by many progressives as a prime indicator of freedom and liberation for women. "Surely you cannot regard the killing of fetuses as somehow, an intrinsically "good thing". The real friends of abortion are the Malthusians who want to rid the world as much as possible of the "over-breeding" and disruptive poor, particularly minorities. Just the other day in New York I listened with some astonishment as two progressive lesbians who had just had an unsuccessful effort with a turkey baster to get one partner pregnant, cheering the news that Mayor Blumberg has instructed that New York doctors (I guess somehow those attached to the city payroll, I'm not sure of the details) b e trained in aborting fetuses. Would you see anything sinister or out of whack about that? "More generally, I think the liberal women's groups gave Clinton the pass on savage assaults on the poor because the Clintons unrelentingly preached commitment to abortion. In sum, we ran the piece because we think it is high time to get beyond bunker liberalism, where progressives huddle in the foxhole, holding onto "choice" as their bottom-line issue, with a sideline in telling black teen moms that they are socially irresponsible. Best Alex Cockburn" More spleen The ILWU? That's the West Coast Longshoremen. Their contract expired at the end of June. The contract is being renewed on a daily basis . The employers are playing very tough, well aware that the Bush high command has told the ILWU leaders that Bush would invoke Taft Hartley, bring in troops if necessary, destroy the ILWU as a bargaining agent for the whole West Coat. Separately Tom Ridge, calling in his capacity as chief of Homeland Security has done some heavy breathing in the ear of ILWU leaders about the inadvisability of a strike at this time. The ILWU's coastwide contract was won in the 1934 strike, along with the hiring hall, which replaced the old shape-up system where the boss could keep out organizers and anyone liable to cause trouble. These are bedrock issues for which strikers fought and died in 1934, in San Francisco and in Seattle. The west coast Longshoremen stand as a beacon of what union organizing can do. Of course the Bush White House yearns to destroy it, maybe using the War on Terror as half a pretext. If ever there was time for solidarity, this is it. Final splenetic thought on Paul Krugman Krugman? He has just conceded that maybe neo-liberal policies haven't worked too well in Latin America. Look it up. It's in his column for August 9, "The Lost Continent". He spent 184 words on the matter. "Why hasn't reform worked as promised? That's a difficult and disturbing question." Well, gee Paul, since you constitute the entirety of the Democratic Party's opposition to the Bush administration I know you're as busy as hell. But since you and your crowd supervised a good deal of the economic destruction of Latin America, and your economic faction offered all the basic rationales for that devastation, I sure hope you return to the problem. Maybe you won't be so snooty about the opponents of "free trade" and all that jazz. Maybe even have a quiet word with Friedman. -------------------- >What would be a better phrase? Name the contributors and institutions instead of using a phrase rich with racist associations that invokes images of a vast Jewish conspiracy, outsiderhood, great riches, etc. Doug ------------------ On this one, I think you are being a little to hypersensitive....however, this the way the zionist lobby plays ball -- hard! It is not a "conspiracy," it is the standard mode of operations. Look, "outside right-wing interests" find their way to switchboards and email addresses all over the country when whipped into a frenzy by Rush and the 700 Club. In truth, it is the very best AND the very worst of democracy. Participation is the life blood of a vibrant democracy -- whether it comes from an active "jewish lobby" an active "christian lobby" or or any other active lobby. By the same token, one should not get too stressed when those people or constituencies are called out. As for the "worst," all too often, the pure of heart have no scrupples because they are fighting the "good fight." This is true of the jewish lobby, the far-right christian lobby, the far lefters out there, etc. What worries you Doug, as I see it, is the pattern that seems to be emerging from AC on this and other issues. In this instance and in isolation, however, I do not think your point is well-taken. I remain agnostic as to your broader criticism of AC. ----------------- Remember, this came from the typing fingers of the same guy who complained recently that you can't point out that the New York Times is owned by Jews without being take for Goebbels. Indeed. But, whatever AC's faults, insentitivity to language isn't one of them. He wrote the phrase "outside Jewish money" knowing exactly what its connotations were and how they would be taken by lots of Nation readers. In fact, I'm pretty certain that annoying Nation readers was one of his main intentions with that column. Which isn't always a bad thing, but in this case he's writing just the critique that the pro-Israel lobby would want - one that evokes anti-Semitism. That sort of approach won't win any converts. What's the point of writing political columns? To convince readers, or at least make them think, or amuse yourself and alienate large numbers of people? Targeting McKinney was awful. But you can make that point without sounding like you're rewriting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. And, as is always the case when the Jewish thing is foregrounded, U.S. strategic interests get effaced. Another piece just up at makes that argument explicitly - that Israel doesn't serve U.S. strategic interests, and that the U.S. is serving instead as a patsy for the Zionists. This is by the same guy, Michael Neumann - who is related to the author of Behemoth, by the way - who announced recently that he wanted to have some fun with anti-Semitism. And what about a phrase like "killing fetuses"? No doubt that was chosen to annoy Nation readers as well, but it also suggests a creepy affinity with pro-lifers. Why is it ok to compromise on a fundamental principle, the right to abortion, to make friends among the populist masses? Don't working class women need abortions too? Doug ------------ Two things: (1) the "money" was from "outside" the state and from "jewish" sources. Your repsonse to AC is muted compared to the crap McKinney took for her "outside Arab money." So, one point AC could be making, aside from just stirring the bees, is that there is a menacing double standard in American treatment of Israeli-jewish issues and Arab-Islamic issues. Look at Billy Grahams son....shit if you substituted jewish for islamic, the New York press would have destroyed him.....(we can discuss NYC as the epicenter for this hyper-senstitivity to antisemitism later). (2) as for why use the language, for the reason we are not talking about your writing or Max's or even Brad's (lord knows his views piss off a lot of people here): sex sells...or least "sexy" writing sells. ----------------- So? "They did it too" isn't much of a defense, unless you're about 5 years old and dealing with your kindergarten teacher. And the crap she took was vile poisonous crap and I hate it. Doug ----------- I dont understand why you get quite so worked up about this. I am of Jewish origin and really dont see why every statement about the Jews must be examined in this way when almost no effort is ever expended on anti-Arab or Muslim sentiment which isnt even debatable but rather plainly stated. I certainly didnt take the phrase to be racist. I dont think the question is whether "they did it too" but where you spend your resources. Jews in America get a free pass as compared to other minorities. Many of the people doing the funding and scare mongering were Jews or Jewish (does that phrase make a difference?) -why cant one say that? Why cant one note the way that Tom Friedman, Bob Scheer and Richard Cohen just might be granted opportunities that Arab Americans are not (without even comparing the ADC to AIPAC etc)? It is not of course simple a issue of being Jewish which results in American policy in the gov. and the NYT but to deny it a role seems starnge. -------- No effort expended by whom? Not me, not most members of this list, and certainly not AC. Why get worked up? For the thirteenth time: 1) the phrasing itself is ugly and redolent of a long tradition of bigotry, 2) it alienates potential supporters, 3) it could attract some of the wrong people, 4) it stokes black-Jewish tensions, 5) it promotes the notion that the U.S. is manipulated by Israel, thereby obscuring U.S. imperial interests (which might appeal to some reactionary American nationalists, who like to believe in our superior virtue). But there were several things I objected to besides this particular phrase - like the odious use of "killing fetuses." Taken all together, along with routine praise for Ron Paul and suchlike, and it suggests a rightward march by the guy who used to be the best left polemicist in the U.S. Doug ---------------------- I agree the phrasing has an odor about it. I've smelled worse (including from Ace). We seem to be ignoring that on the purely analytical side, Cynthia was not merely attacked by some Jews. She was targeted by the DLC, from whose innards her opponent sprang, and by the Right, which orchestrated a huge crossover vote. The diversity of opposition ought to discount somewhat further, though not erase, the 'jewish' role. mbs --------------------- dave dorkin: Are you saying that jews in the US are aggrieved? If arabs, moslims and blacks received one thousandth of the attention jews' grievances receive and the attention paid to them in the media i think i would faint. --------------- Is there some law, like the conservation of hatred, that says you can't object to slurs against both Arabs and Jews? That you have to pick one or the other? Doug ----what is the slur exactly? I am saying that perhaps anything is a potential slur for many where some jews are concerned and almost nothing seems to be for other groups, not that one must fight fire with fire. Arabs would be very lucky if they were "insulted" by phrases such as those in AC's article when they must deal with far worse with no comment from most. This doesnt mean I like slurs or engage in them-but where was the slur? To spend so much of one's time on the "jewish question" with a microscope given this seems a bit much. As it happens, I only have so much time and I generally spend it on the underdog. I am Jewish and was not offended and wonder why you were. --- budge: that was my point. jesse jackson took a HUGE amount of shit (and people like rush limbaugh are still flogging that horse today) for his unfortunate comment in, what 1988? but i basically agree with doug, though, AC choses his language very carefully and he intends to inflame. personally, i don't think he gives a shit about persuading anybody about anything -- he just likes to stir things up. -- ----- Maybe AC does do this quite a bit but as another writer who just had her book reviewed in the Nation explained the use of "cripple" instead of "disabled" to me -- the reviewer used cripple for shock value. This is for Nation readers, a kind of way to make the story more controversial, to draw in a reader. So what does that say about what the media demands from people who write for them? Marta ------ I can speak from experience that the Nation editors don't encourage the use of shocking language. Columnists are allowed lots of freedom, but elsewhere, rude speech is not welcomed. Doug ---------------- Who writes the headlines? The review I'm on about is "Handicapping the Crippled." (Aug. 19) So if the Nation editors don't write the headlines and the reviewer does, the Nation has chosen a reviewer who wants to shock. What is the difference? Nevermind about the rest of the review which by stating that "crippled" is preferred over "disabled" invites the world to call us cripples! While we may call ourselves crips, cripples, gimps or people who are all buggered up (PABU), whatever, within our own circles these words are not words for the nondisabled population to use. These words can help build our community but it is still pejorative for others to call us cripples. The writer knows this. Therefore he and the Nation have used a shock approach. There are other problems too with this review but I'll spare you the details.. This is not so much about PC language though as it is about concepts. Negative or positive doesn't really matter. What is important is to say what disability is. Disability is a social experience which arises from the specific ways in which society organizes its fundamental activities. Work, transportation, leisure, education, domestic life disable persons when they are not accessible. We are "disabled" or not by the way a society is organized. To revert to using "cripples" would be to individualize the experience and to base it on function rather than social relations. That is my quibble with the Nation. It has never gotten it. The Nation is a publication which has ignored disability in its pages for the most part. In this regard the Congress is way ahead of the "vanguard" intellectuals of the Nation. The Congress said in the preamble to the ADA -disabled persons are an insular minority which has suffered egregious discrimination at the hands of the majority way back in 1990. Please correct me if I am wrong but I've not seen any radical political work written in the pages of the Nation on disablement. Race? plenty. Gender? plenty. Disablement? Next to nothing and badly done when done. marta --------- mipu: ----------- This issue is tied to our discussion a few days back about the percentages of participation necessary for effective activism. Look that the power wielded by jews generally, and the Orthodox jewish community in paricular in New York. They reliably vote. They vote. And they give money. Thus, despite the fact that they are less than 50% of the electorate, they can control the news cycle on a given issue and cause headaches for poitential candidates. The NYT is sensitive to tghis because ..... it is a business. Thus, not unlike CNN saying it self censored to not offend the American populace, the NYT (and the other papers as well, if not even more so) goes out of its way not toffend this paper reading clique. Now, given that everyone admits that NYC is the center of the universe (sarcasm and hyperbole alert), this "sensitivity" makes its way into the reast of the media stream. Note: I have never used the word conspiracy; never used the word abal or any such thing. This is not part of some Zionist plot. rather, it is evidence of how one group effectively turns its electoral reliabiltiy into political and cultural power. Gay and lesbian have learned this lesson as and money make the world go round. Cultural acceptance comes later. ---------- Yoshie: The gap between "pro-Israel" contributions and "pro-Arab" ones is indeed large: ***** PRESS CLIPS A look at the money-in-politics angle of some of this week's top news stories. By Vikki Kratz August 15, 2002 ...With only a week left until Georgia's Democratic primary, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports that challenger Denise Majette has raised more money than incumbent Rep. Cynthia McKinney. Majette now has more than $1 million, while McKinney has raised about $600,000. Most of Majette's financial support is coming from out-of-state donors, however. The Friends of Israel PAC gave Majette a $5,000 contribution earlier this month, and Majette recently attended a fundraiser in New York City. Many of Majette's Jewish supporters say they are turned off by McKinney's unwavering support for Palestine. The Washington Post reports that McKinney has received contributions from at least 18 donors who are under investigation by the FBI for their ties to Muslim foundations. McKinney has said that all the donations she's received were legal. Earlier this year, the Center released a report on pro-Israel and pro-Arab giving that found pro-Israel donors gave substantially more. Since 1989, pro-Israel interests have given $41.3 million in individual, PAC and soft money contributions. Two-thirds of the money went to Democrats. Pro-Arab groups have given just under $300,000 since 1989, 68 percent to Democrats. ***** "Pro-Israel" voters and donors aren't necessarily Jewish, though. At the national level, the majority of them must be non-Jewish (though I have yet to dig up empirical evidence for my claim here). At 12:20 PM -0400 8/21/02, Doug Henwood wrote: >Cian wrote: > >>Doug Henwood said >> >...the use of the rather repulsive phrase "outside Jewish money," >> >>What would be a better phrase? > >Name the contributors and institutions instead of using a phrase >rich with racist associations that invokes images of a vast Jewish >conspiracy, outsiderhood, great riches, etc. > >Doug According to the Federal Election Commission, Denise L. Majette received $774,907 from 1083 individuals, (the contributors' names are available at x), and $64,400 from "Non-Party (e.g. PACs) or Other Committees": ***** Presented by the Federal Election Commission Committees Who Gave To This Candidate MAJETTE, DENISE L THE CANDIDATE MAJETTE FOR CONGRESS INC PRINCIPAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE OF THE CANDIDATE Contributor's Name Amount American Dental PAC 3000.00 Americans for Good Government Inc 1000.00 Citizens Organized PAC 06/04/2002 750.00 Citizens Organized PAC 07/16/2002 4000.00 Equifax PAC 1000.00 Grand Canyon Caucus 1000.00 Hudson Valley PAC 5000.00 Independent Insurance Agents of America PAC (INSURPAC) 1000.00 International Paper PAC 1000.00 Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs 500.00 The Loose Group 06/28/2002 5000.00 The Loose Group 07/09/2002 -5000.00 The Loose Group 07/10/2002 5000.00 Zell Bryan Miller via Zell Miller for Senate Inc 1000.00 MOPAC 2000.00 Southern Company Employees PAC 1000.00 Suntrust Bank Good Government Group-Georgia 1000.00 Wachovia Corporation Employees Good Government Federal Fund I 200.00 x* You can't very well list the names of all 1083 individuals, and, with the exception of some, the PAC names aren't descriptive of their political objectives and/or the social bases of their respective contributors. While I very much agree with Doug on his criticism of Cockburn, especially on the abortion issue, I'm not sure how you can get around mentioning ethnic identities if what you want to analyze sociologically is whether there is any ethnic pattern in campaign contribution and what it may mean if there is any. -- --------- I've gone around on this a few times. We only get tempted to look at Majette's donors because somebody else did it to CMK. I started to do this and realized, hey, what am I looking for? Goldsteins? This is b.s. We are becoming what we're criticizing. "Moe Sad"? Anything incriminating is going to be concealed. Let's not go all Al Gore and blame outside forces. CM should have disavowed her Daddy's odious statements; she should have asked Louis F. to go home. She should not have fudged her endorsements. She should have returned the contributions from Alamoudi (the Hamas 'moderate') and, as a practical matter, Sami 'Death to Israel' Arian. This is just ABC politics. No compromise of principle is involved. Most important, she should not have succumbed to conspiracism, even for a second. If you are progressive, in politics a second can kill you. max ------------------ Very true. I found myself ethnic-profiling the names of the contributors to Majette (for I thought that her backers might be mainly out-of-state and indeed "pro-Israel" but might not be predominantly Jewish as alleged), which I wouldn't have done but for the controversy. To be fair to Cockburn, the same thought would have occurred to me without his article posted here, for others -- corporate media as well as what's circulated on the Net -- had already made an issue of it (with a less flamboyantly inflammatory language, to be sure), beginning with Earl Hilliard's campaign. Is there any way we can discuss this sensibly, without stirring ethnic hatred? Because all Americans who read newspapers -- Jews, Arabs, and blacks included -- must be by now thinking similar thoughts, whether or not they mention them in public.... ------- At 9:48 PM -0400 8/21/02, Max B. Sawicky wrote: >Let's not go all Al Gore and blame outside forces. >CM should have disavowed her Daddy's odious >statements; she should have asked Louis F. to go home. >She should not have fudged her endorsements. She should >have returned the contributions from Alamoudi (the Hamas >'moderate') and, as a practical matter, Sami 'Death to >Israel' Arian. This is just ABC politics. No compromise >of principle is involved. Most important, she should not >have succumbed to conspiracism, even for a second. >If you are progressive, in politics a second can kill you. ---------- I agree with you on all scores, and Cockburn should have discussed them, too, if he wanted to really analyze McKinney's demise. Progressive candidates can't expect to win by out-fundraising the opposition anyway besides. On the other hand, unreasonable demands that go way beyond the ABC of electoral politics could be placed on progressive candidates, pressuring them to reject all Arab-American contributions for instance: ***** James J. Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute in Washington, said he feared a return to the 1980's, when Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988, rejected his group's endorsement, and Mayor David Dinkins of New York refused to meet with him, concerned about angering Jewish constituents. "This painting of Arab-American donors and political participants as being terrorists in disguise is a garish and grotesque caricature," Mr. Zogby said. "This is not about three or four donors, this is about widely targeted politics of exclusion that could end up in the disenfranchising of the entire Arab and Muslim American community."nyt** Comparable flaks would never materialize if candidates met and received support from right-wingers who supported settlements and wished to see all Arabs expelled from the occupied territories, even if they flat out said so in public. Actually, some politicians are already saying that -- "I happen to believe the Palestinians should leave" (Dick Armey) -- without anything untoward happening to them. ----------- And Rummy recently defended Israel's taking of the occupied territories - and no outside Jewish money was involved at all. Nothing untoward is happening to him either, because, Michael Neumann to the contrary, the Bush gang thinks that Israel is a fine ally. Doug ------------- Doug, Rummy's point was even more untoward than that - he said they were not occupied territories because Israel won them fair and square. SO, here is an instance when the U.S. is not simply unilateralists vis-a-vis the rest of the world, but when the U.S. rejects 30 years of its own diplomacy.... Ultimately, what does this mean to you fair reader? It means that when we "conquer" Iraq, it will be U.S. property ripe for settlement. ------------- As I have already argued here some time ago, I think that the US government would have taken the same policy toward Israel and the Middle East even if there had not been a single Jew in the USA, for the policy was mainly dictated first by the rising American empire's competition with the declining European empires and later by Cold-War anticommunism. Besides, foreign policy had become a domain reserved for the executive branch, not the legislature, a long time ago. However, the message that Americans -- be they voters or career politicians, Jews, Arabs, or blacks -- are sure to get out of the Hilliard/Davis & McKinney/Majette races is a different one, concerning domestic political behaviors: those who speak out against Israel will get punished, and a number of Jews, among other supporters of Israel, will make individual and collective contributions -- the contributions that may be decisive -- to that end. That will be the message spread in public, whether or not we like it, even if Cockburn had not written his piece (his audience is limited anyway). Why? Because electoral politics is set up in such a way that the critical margin of victory may be provided by well-funded and well-organized minority interest groups, whether they are pro-Israel PACs, anti-abortion Christian fundamentalist lobbies, or whatever. -- --------------- I think we could all agree that it would have been politically expedient for CM to do so. A point to be made however is that it is odd to jump all over her for not doing so when you look at who gets what money from whom and does what in general, apart from CM and odder still to say that AC wrote an anti-semitic tract. The fact that this is one of the only things that will stir up supposedly liberal Jewish voters means that it is long past time to play softball with people whose own errors are rarely questioned. I imagine that there isnt enough time in the day for most people to work on the palestinian side of things and I for one am far more easily convinced and bothered by Richard Cohen or Tom Friedman's anti-arab bias (and they are considered liberals for sure) and it is certainly far more unquestioned without mentioning Armey's plan for "removing" Palestinians en masse. Why is attacking AC then any different from AC attacking Wellstone etc? ----------------- Hey Doug, don't go soft! I have very little problem with this column. I disagree with him about the McGaa fiasco, but a hard-ass third party commitment reflected in running against Wellstone is not disreputable. If you don't like the expression "outside Jewish money," how better would one characterize the line-up of donors in that race? The weakness in the AC column is the failure to acknowledge CM's errors, thereby understating the political impact of outside criticism, over and above mere money. She gave them a sword, and now it's sticking in her ass. I also agree with him about my pal Kucinich. If AC is going to be a populist, switching from the survivalists out in the woods to DK is a distinct improvement. mbs --------------- I agree with Max but think that the Greens in Minnesota are following a defensible course. But then I may be prejudiced. === C. G. Estabrook Green Party Candidate for US House of Representatives 15th Illinois Congressional District --------- Your former presidential and vice presidential candidates, Nader and LaDuke, don't agree. So why are you supporting a pro-military guy? Doug ---------- Ralph said he'd appear at a news conference with Wellstone, to promote corporate reforms. That would be good thing for Wellstone (who supported Gore, as did McGaa) to do. I said that I thought the Greens in Minnesota were following a defensible course: I meant (a) they ran an open nominating process, and (b) Wellstone (supporter of, e.g., the Patriot Act) is surely open to criticism. Here's Cockburn on (a): "...liberals are now screaming about "the spoiler," who takes the form of Ed McGaa, a Sioux born on the Pine Ridge Reservation, a Marine Corps vet of the wars in both Korea and Vietnam, an attorney and author of numerous books on Native American religion. The Minnesota Green Party picked him as its candidate on May 18 at a convention of some 600, a lively affair in which real politics actually took place in the form of debates, resolutions, nomination fights and the kindred impedimenta of democracy." And on (b): "...Steve Perry, a journalist with a truly Minnesotan regard for gentility and good manners, wrote in Mother Jones last year the following bleak assessment: '10 years after he took his Senate seat, Wellstone has disappeared from the national consciousness. He never emerged as the left's national spokesman for reforms in health care, campaign finance, or anything else.' "Early on, Wellstone took a dive on the biggest organizing issue for reformers in 1993. He abandoned his support for single-payer health insurance in the face of blandishments from Hillary Clinton. No need to go overboard here. As with all liberal senators, Wellstone has had some lousy votes (yes to an early crime bill, no on recognition of Vietnam) and some honorable ones. He denounced the Gulf War in 1991 but in 2001 endorsed Ashcroft's war on terror, when Russell Feingold was the only senator to vote no. Wellstone has been good on Colombia but, in common with ninety-eight other senators, craven on Israel. (McGaa has spoken up for justice for Palestinians and is now being denounced as an anti-Semite for his pains. Imagine, a Sioux having the nerve to find something in common with Palestinians!) "So one can dig and delve in Wellstone's senatorial career across twelve years and find grounds for reproach and applause, but one thing is plain enough; he's not shifted the political idiom one centimeter to the left, even within his own party, let alone on the overall national stage. In the Clinton years, when he could have tried to build a national coalition against the policies of the Democratic Leadership Council, he mostly opted for a compliant insider role... "The suggestion that progressive politics will now stand or fall in sync with Wellstone's future is offensive. Suppose he were to lose of his own accord, without a Green Party third candidate? Would it then be appropriate to sound the death knell of progressive politics in America? Of course not. Even the most ardent Wellstone supporters acknowledge that Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party is moribund. Hence Ventura's triumph. The Greens have every right to hold Wellstone accountable, and if they have the capacity to send him into retirement, then it will be a verdict on Wellstone's failures rather than some supposed Green irresponsibility." --------------- You mean the guy that in a recent Nation column referred to Ron Paul as "the great Texas libertarian"? That AC? You think is giving up the rightwing nutballs? Don't count on it. ----------------- Ron Paul is "great" (and he'd no doubt endorse calling abortion "killing fetuses"). Wellstone is bad, though probably not as bad as Sanders. That clarifies things, right? Doug --------------- Frankly, much as I usually disagree with Cockburn these days, I agree with Max that this column is mostly on the money. Outside Jewish money DID target two black incumbents and unseat them, something liberals normally concerned about money influence should be beating the outrage drum over. And as a lefty pissed off by stupid divisive Green attacks on Wellstone from the left, I'm equally pissed off at stupid divisive attacks on McKinney and Hilliard by the Jewish pro-Israel right. So Cockburn's equivalency argument is on the money (even if he doesn't practice it himself in reverse). And frankly on the abortion issue, I spent too much time fundraising from Planned Parenthood members on the phone not to recognize that the euthanasia strain of pro-choice politics and funding is very real. I don't agree with the "seamless garment" leftwing Catholicism of David Bonior and Dennis Kusinich, but it serves more respect on its own terms than many folks on the left give it. -- Nathan Newman -------------- > "In the era between the Great Depression and Roe v Wade a significant number of activists, intellectuals, academics, and professionals viewed eugenics, euthanasia, and birth control as kindred causes." Ian Dowbiggen, "A Rational Coalition": Eugenics, Euthanasia, and Birth Control in America, 1930-1970. Dowbiggin teaches history at the University of Prince Edward Island. These intellectuals, says Dowbiggen, were concerned with the "responsible care of human life" and disabled persons as well as elderly persons were targets of this "care." I am certain not one damn one of them actually considered the oppression of their subjects. Marta -- From: Michael Pugliese ( Date: Thu Aug 22 2002 - 18:20:45 EDT Next message: Doug Henwood: "abortion and eugenics" Previous message: Chip Berlet: "RE: McQuinn responds to smears - Q1" Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ] ------------ ########### FEATURE: HOFFMAN ANSWERS HITCHENS THE HOFFMAN WIRE Dedicated to Freedom of the Press, Investigative Reporting and Revisionist History Michael A. Hoffman II, Editor ********** August 20, 2002 Michael A. Hoffman II Answers Christopher Hitchens: Punks of ZOG: 2002 The preceding is a link to a reply to a Hitchens column about Hoffman titled, "Jewish Power, Jewish Peril," published in the current, September, 2002 issue of "Vanity Fair" magazine ( # ## FEATURE: HITCHENS ON HIS ETHNICITY The Part-Jewish Question: Double the Pleasure or Twice the Pain? Of 'Semi-Semites' and Those Who Fear Them Suddenly Jewish: Jews Raised as Gentiles Discover Their Jewish Roots By Barbara Kessel Brandeis University, 127 pages, $19.95. By CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS ---------------- The Part-Jewish Question: Double the Pleasure or Twice the Pain? Of 'Semi-Semites' and Those Who Fear Them ------------ Suddenly Jewish: Jews Raised as Gentiles Discover Their Jewish Roots By Barbara Kessel Brandeis University, 127 pages, $19.95. -------- By CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS According to the laws of Moses, the Law of Return, Israel's civil code and the Nuremburg Laws, I am a Jew. This definition, however, is both too exhaustive and not exhaustive enough. I have many friends who, unlike me, were raised in Jewish homes, but who only derive the Mosaic from the paternal side; this would exclude them from the tribe of Moses according to Israel's civil code (absent the conversion of the mother) but would not exempt them from the vengeance of the Nuremburg code. I'm fairly globalized: My father was Anglo-Celtic; my first wife is Greek; my second wife's family came from Odessa or thereabouts, and I have a godchild in Zimbabwe. In practical terms, you are reading a guide for the perplexed, written by an anti-Zionist atheist of whose progeny one is wholly Jewish while two are Anglo-Cypriot. I had no say in the making of these rules and know of no rational way to observe them. Recent advances in DNA testing have either simplified or complicated the claims of holy books and founding texts. A riveting recent essay in Commentary described the results of a match-up between the genetic database of the Kohanim — those whose Jewish ancestry is supposedly the strongest and best-attested — and that of a "lost tribe" in Namibia that has long claimed Jewish descent. The fit was amazingly close. So it is with other groups in the Asian diaspora, many of whose folk stories had been thought to be merely legendary. It also turns out that there is a close DNA affinity between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs; a finding that, if it does not confirm Freud's weird speculations in "Moses and Monotheism," at least reinforces his theory of the narcissism of the small difference. How long before we can codify Khazar DNA and find out if Koestler was right or if the Ashkenazim have any genetic claim to Gaza? (The learned author of the Commentary article, eventually concluded that enough was enough already, and that better uses could be found for the research money than the infinite theoretical expansion of the prolific seed of Abraham.) My maternal grandmother was the same way. Born of a Blumenthal-Levin union that originated in a departure from Breslau (now Wroclaw) to Liverpool in the late 19th century, she wanted her first grandson to be an assimilated English gentleman. (You may judge for yourself how well this aspiration succeeded). But she didn't want the story to end with her, either, and when my mother had died and my brother had chosen a Jewish bride and my father was dying, she came right out with it. "I was so happy," said this old lady of no great education or, I regret to say, intuitive intelligence, "so happy to see you boys both had the Jewish brains." And now I have a pile of old German- and Polish-Jewish birth and marriage certificates in a drawer (plus my own marriage certificate from the great Rabbi Bob Goldburg, who had also officiated at Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe's wedding) and, if I'm traveling in some near-"Judenrein" spot such as Istanbul or Asmara or Sarajevo or Salonika or Damascus, I do what I never normally do and pay a visit to the temple. What am I looking for? That is the question which both these books attempt to answer. "The Half-Jewish Book" is in one way relentlessly joking and upbeat and show-business-minded — the perfect Chanukah stocking-stuffer. Maybe you knew, but I thought "Who Knew?" as the parade of semi-Semitic celebrities went by. Gwyneth Paltrow? (I know one should always mentally replace the "w" with the "v" in this culture, but still.) Winona LaDuke? (She "went with" her Native American paternal side.) Between all the lines, however, is a serious argument that partial or quasi-Jewishness is both inevitable and beneficial, and that those who fret about dilution or "marrying out" are either too pessimistic or too tribal, or both. Interest declared: The authors cite with approbation my essay "On Not Knowing the Half of It," adding that my book title "Prepared for the Worst" is "distinctly Jewish-sounding," a compliment I think it would be churlish to decline. Here's what we would all like to know about the Lemba — which is the name of that lost tribe in Namibia — but are slightly reluctant to ask. Did members of the Lemba minority furnish the majority of Southwest Africa's political revolutionaries, freelance intellectuals, doctors, comedians, union-organizers and lawyers? (Also, how did they fare when the region was under the control of German colonialists and ethnologists?) Or did the Lemba keep within their ghetto walls, muttering about the Second Temple and the tendency of their mutinous young people to marry Ovambo or Herero shvartzes?  I ask a serious question in a flippant way; the Jews of Europe did not really come into their own until the French Revolution began to emancipate them both from Christian persecution and from their own theocracy. The fate of the Jewish genius was often that of Spinoza, whose name we are lucky to know given the attempt by his "own" people to silence him. This difference of emphasis can be seen in Barbara Kessel's book, which is really a series of first-person narratives and discoveries, strongly inflected by the Shoah and tending to the idea of a recovered identity. This is a necessary task in one way; many among the Nazi-created Diaspora were of the especially hated "mixed race" variety; many were too fearful to mention their origins ever again; many were raised as "gentiles" by the non-Jews who "saved" them. But is it a vital task? Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, speaks in these pages of the Jewish "souls" lost in Poland by the erasure, not just of people, but of family history and awareness. For these, and for their heirs, there should obviously be an ingathering. And it will be endlessly fascinating; I was able to tell Michael Dobbs of The Washington Post that the Czech embassy had informed Madeleine Albright of the true situation of her family several months before the date she gave as the date of her "discovery": In other words, I know for a certainty that she was lying, but I still have no idea why. From Ms. Kessel I learned that there is a Society for Crypto-Judaic studies, tracing the arcane world of the Sephardic converso, and realized that it would be more extraordinary if there were not such a body. Ms. Kessel's own view, which she puts in the mouth of one interviewee, is that America needs a more exact and principled idea of "identity," not a vague and mushy denial of the particularism with which it is only human to be preoccupied. But this principle would have to be just as true for Latvians and Iroquois, and one has to ask whether Jews who think it kosher to "think with the blood" are happy when other groups do the same. The fact, of course, is that they (we) are not easy with this thought. But then the fact also is that Jews are matrilineal for a reason; they know that ethnic purity is a fantasy, and they must also suspect that inbreeding can be unwholesome. (One English friend of mine only discovered his "roots" when his firstborn had Tay-Sachs disease.) So this is what I'm vaguely seeking when I visit the far-flung "shul" or obscure half-obliterated Jewish quarter: the leaven in the dough. Societies that have expelled or ostracized the Jews have historically been condemned to all the consequences of their own stupidity and cruelty. But one element in the litany of accusations against Jews — that they are rootless cosmopolitans — deserves not to be repudiated. The worst anti-Semites did not so much hate the observant and docile shtetl types; they didn't really even hate the moneychangers they couldn't do without: They hated and feared the skeptical, scientific, artistic, secular, intellectual and discontented Jews whose names we all know. Of this virus, even if one can doubt that it's really in the genes, one could be proud to be a carrier. And a half-bottle of the right stuff, carefully deployed, can be as potent as a Magnum. Mr. Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and The Nation. His latest book is "Unacknowledged Legislation: Writers in the Public Sphere" (Verso Books). ----------------- Independent History & Research Box 849, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816 -------- Hoffman Answers Hitchens Punks of ZOG: 2002 by Michael A. Hoffman II The following is a response to "Jewish Power, Jewish Peril," an article about Hoffman by Christopher Hitchens, published in the September, 2002 issue of "Vanity Fair" magazine, pp. 196 and 198 SINCE THE SEPT. 11 ATTACKS, Christopher Hitchens has exhibited a bizarre jingoist malady, in addition to his congenital afflictions, seeming more like Victor Davis Hanson with each passing day. In "Jewish Power, Jewish Peril," (Vanity Fair, September 2002), Hitchens has penned a farrago about the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" and fiendish journalists in the Arab and Muslim world who publicize it in their campaign against the Holy People. Vanity Fair illustrates Hitchens' glossolalia with centerpiece photos of two pages from a vintage issue of this writer's revisionist history newsletter, the "One Honest Man vs. the Punks of ZOG" issue from 1989. Here is what I wrote and what Hitchens cannot forget, even thirteen years later: The tempest over the Ayatollah Khomeni's assassination order against anti-Islamic author Salman Rushdie displays the corruption and depravity of the West's intellectual elite. Gas bags like Christopher Hitchens and Pete Hamill pontificate at the top of their lungs about their absolute fidelity to freedom of the press. ..Hitchens told a meeting of consciences-on-their-sleeves NY intelligentsia that "Where books are burned, men will be burned." Writing in the NY Times, Hitchens declared himself for "the absolute right of free expression and inquiry..." Norman Podhoretz, chief apologist for Zionist zealots who have bombed and censored "holocaust" revisionists, wrote, "It is horrible that Rushdie's life should be in danger." The worst incident of dissident books deliberately burned by religious fanatics occurred on July 4, 1984 in Torrance, California at the offices of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR). Over $400,000 worth of revisionist history books--many of them questioning the atrocity propaganda of the "Nazi Holocaust"--were torched by professional arsonists using a highly sophisticated accelerant. The FBI barely investigated this incredible assault on free thought and press. The media have not publicized it and the Hitchens's of the world have not breathed one word against it in print. In the fall of 1984, journalist Bradley Smith and this writer confronted the National Writer's Union in New York City, with a demand that they pass a resolution condemning one of the greatest book-burnings in Western history. Not a single one of the yuppie snobs in attendance, including Hitchens' (then) pal and fellow Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn, uttered a word of protest. Jonathan Kwitny, another professional conscience-of-America, dismissed the burning of the a "local matter" of interest to people in Southern California only. Where are these blowhards when Ernst Zundel's home is bombed because he published the pamphlet "Did Six Million Really Die?" Where are they when he is put through two heresy trials for the sole crime of publishing a book?...Where are they when researcher Ditlieb Felderer is imprisoned for six months in Sweden for publishing satires of Judaism...when Francois Duprat, a "holocaust" revisionist school teacher is killed in a car bombing in France...when the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police enter an Alberta College library and remove two copies of a book questioning Nazi gas chambers? We know where they are: they are on the side of the Jewish fanatics and mystagogues like Wiesel, Podhoretz and Cotler. They have condoned the burning, bombing and jailing of revisionist authors and their publishers...when Leon Weiseltier of the New Republic cited book-burning in perspective, his reference was to the German past, content to pass over the burning of thousands of books just five years ago in California...Though Hitchens and the others throw a pose as passionately committed avatars of human inquiry and rights, they are in fact callow functionaries in the propaganda apparatus of the Establishment, which can tolerate every heresy but the one that dares to blaspheme against the holy people... Only rank hypocrites who insult Shelley and Voltaire by citing them in this one-dimensional rights campaign, would proclaim their free press absolutism from the housetops and then slink away into their hipster enclaves when the spectre of "holocaust" revisionist writers censored, attacked, prosecuted and murdered is raised. Hitchens, Podhoretz, Kwitny, Mailer, Hamill, Sontag, Cockburn and the rest of the poseur elite are not fit to kiss the feet of the Ayatollah Khomeni. At least the leader of Iran is an honest man who makes no secret of his hatreds and fears and does not scruple to project an image at variance with his convictions. Not so Hitchens and Kwitny and Co. They quote the West's great anti-Zionist freedom-fighters (Voltaire loathed Judaism and labeled its adherents as history's most "impertinent liars"), the better to strut their tousle-haired "Romantic-poet-revolutionary" masquerade across the polished stages of college auditoriums and Manhattan symposia. ...And this is why Khomeni was correct to call Rushdie a mercenary. Write a book mocking Islam, make a movie lying about a Christ and you get your mug in the papers, your name in the pantheon...Write a book or make a film--as I have learned--telling the truth about Judaism or mocking its lampshades and bars of soap holohoax hallucinations, and news of the homicide threats against you won't even make it into the local town gazette. You'll lose your job and the only establishment paper your name will appear in will be the blotter at the jail or the morgue. The preceding is an excerpt from "One Honest Man vs. The Punks of ZOG," by Michael A. Hoffman II, the "pamphlet" Hitchens purports to describe in the September, 2002 edition of Vanity Fair magazine: "..on my shelf is an American Nazi pamphlet, denouncing the 'Zionist Occupation Government' (or 'ZOG') that covertly rules these United States. This illiterate screed isn't just a joke: it comes from the same swamp as those who murdered the Jewish radio host Alan Berg in Denver in 1984, and ultimately from the same mind-set that produced the atrocity in Oklahoma City. In these hate-clotted pages, I am -- for the first and only time in my life -- listed with both Henry Kissinger and Norman Podhoretz as a member of the Jewish/Zionist conspiracy." Alas for Hitchens, the factor that causes him to be lumped with other Brahmins of the kosher Overclass like Podhoretz (I never mentioned Kissinger in this connection, Hitchens is lying about that), is the fact that he shares their delusional taxonomy. Anyone who defends the rights of society's authentic outlaws becomes, through the Zionist-in-Wonderland looking glass: a illiterate...a murderer of Jewish radio hosts...hate-clotted... This is the stuff of Podhoretz and Franklin Graham and Limbaugh and a legion of other Israel-first dregs, about whom the snooty Hitchens imagines himself superior. But in fact, they all share a mindset in one fundamental area. They all spout the same, formulaic phantasmagoria about those who refuse to march to the beat of the Judaic war drum. I wrote an essay decrying the inquisition against revisionist writers and publishers and Vanity Fair and Hitchens turn it into an "American Nazi" pamphlet. This is the sort of lethal falsification that is so infuritating, and which leads to so vast a credibility gap between what the liberal caste supposedly advocates (intellectual honesty and reason), and what they actually represent: a fanatically occluding partisanship that cannot concede an iota of intelligence or humanity to their opposition. But Hitchens has smeared and fascist-baited the wrong pigeon this time. I don't fit so neatly into the handy little media stereotype he has fabricated for the benefit of the new breed of imperialist cognoscenti who require an anti-semite-of-the-week to sneer at. I haven't shot at any radio hosts, Jewish or otherwise, but twenty years ago this autumn, Noam Chomsky and Alfred Lilienthal spoke and wrote on behalf of this radio host when I was fired for broadcasting the program "Zionism, Racism and the Beirut Massacre" on a New York radio station. Then there was the riot which peaceful and saintly Jewish persons staged at the cable channel in New York where my interviews with revisionist historians were televised. One of my books, "The Great Holocaust Trial," is banned by the government of Canada and seized at the border and from the mails. Just recently the noble terrorists at the Jewish "Defense" League placed me on their hit list. Shucks, I can't even be blamed for the Oklahoma City bombing. I have written extensively on the use of neo-Nazis by U.S. intelligence services in staging the Oklahoma bombing for the benefit of the further growth of the Federal Leviathan: "Is it any wonder that many neo-Nazis, Klansmen and militia are, in all but name, employees, dupes and agents of a Federal government which stage manages their 'extremist movement' as a shadow phenomena absolutely necessary to the establishment of a Soviet America? The government should name a Federal building after Timothy McVeigh and his network of accomplices, in honor of the massive expansion of the police state which their actions helped Big Brother obtain." (Hoffman, "Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare," p. 193). In a photo spread on p. 198, the editors of Vanity Fair repeat Hitchens' libel that I am the author of an "American Nazi" pamphlet. In fact I am on record as a committed anti-Nazi. In "The Great Holocaust Trial" I wrote: "To endorse the fight for truth and justice is not tantamount to an endorsement of the criminal Hitler or his totalitarian movement...The Nazi system was suited to an ant-hill comprised of servants, lackeys and toadys automatically obeying 'supreme leaders' whose vision was corrupted by the mindless adulation they commanded" ("The Great Holocaust Trial," pp. 135 & 136). The marginal, the unpopular and the truly radical can be stigmatized with the Nazi libel without the least concern for fact-checking or verification of any kind. Hitchens and his reckless accomplices on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair are apparently "evidence proof." My libel attorney, however, wonders if they are damage proof as well. Hitchens distracts his readers with tales of troglodyte Arabs peddling Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion forgeries in backward Middle Eastern media. Hitchens has a convenient memory, though. He "forgot" to mention that the Muslims of Iran have offered sanctuary to persecuted revisionist intellectuals such as Jurgen Graf and Frederick Toben, who are facing imprisonment in Germany and Switzerland due to their having published studies casting doubt on certain official accounts of WWII. Furthermore, Hitchens fails to credit the superb reporting by Al-Jazeera television of Israeli war crimes, which both the United Nations and the journalists of the West investigate and report at their peril. From Hitchens' vantage, it is preferable to frame the complex issue of Jihad vs. McWorld in terms of the Protocols of Zion, that quaint old Model T of classical "anti-semitism," which helps to cast the contemporary dramatis personae in simplistic and familiar roles, which the herd at Starbucks can recognize and hiss mindlessly on cue. He writes: "Nativist and Christian though that 1989 pamphlet is, it was written partly in praise of the Ayatollah Khomeini. And the most horrifying recent development on the international scene is the emergence, in the Arab and Muslim world, of the debauched myths and falsifications of medieval Christianity. Saudi Arabian and Egyptian and Palestinian sources, some of them official, have been circulating The Protocols of the Elders of Zion...updated for the modern world via the reactionary secret police of the Russian czars and the publishers of Mein Kampf..Here again we find a version of the same sick joke..." As in 1989, so in 2002. Hitchens serves up haughty invective against rebels worldwide, whose principled protest against Israeli mass murder and the racist Talmudic ideology that sustains it, is alleged to be "the same sick joke" which polluted the Czar and the pages of Mein Kampf. That this virtual Hitchens cartoon can find acceptance as meaningful analysis in the pages of Vanity Fair, is one more testimony to the depth of delusion gripping America's intelligentsia as they prepare to march on Baghdad with fire and sword. Here is a challenge for His Eminence: let Hitchens share the stage with this "illiterate" at some western venue of his choosing --Berkeley, Boulder, Portland, Eugene, Missoula-- and we'll debate the issue of "Jewish Power, Jewish Peril." Surely a wordsmith of Hitchens' august stature would make quick work of someone of my diminished capacity. Might Sir Christopher deign to engage in an encounter so unscripted, without benefit of the protections afforded his reputation by his media bully pulpit? Or will he choose to remain a rank hypocrite and a punk of ZOG? -------- Judaism's Strange Gods by Hoffman; softcover, 144 pages ----------- HOFFMAN WIRE Dec. 27, 2001 Conservative Columnist George Will Urges Extermination of Muslims with Tactics Sherman used in the American South An "Analogy between Confederate and al Qaeda elites" Editor's Note: I try to avoid joining the chorus of those always-scandalized ones who are too often dismayed by the latest choc du moi from some neo-conservative lapdog of Ariel Sharon. Neo-conservatives are just rabbis without yarmulkes, so it is not very shocking when they utter some odious Likudism. What does warrant attention and outrage however, is when "Holocaust" pieties on the "Never Again" bandwagon are turned inside out. George Will, conservatism's number one gentile homilist of the "Holocaust," is here advocating the extermination of both the yeomanry of the American South and of Muslims in Afghanistan. Will's posturing tends to prove that incessant "Nazi Holocaust" badgering has absolutely nothing to do with its stated intent, i.e. to sensitize us to the horror of war and genocide, so as to ensure that such crimes never befall any people ever again. By observing the behavior of the most enthusiastic violin-pluckers in the Six Million symphony, we see that in other times these professional mourners become raging hounds of bloodthirst and --dare we say it?-- extermination. Really now, Hoffman, you go too far. George Will may be a Zionist sympathizer, but we have not yet reached the point in our body politic where a leading American conservative philosopher of his stature, advocates extermination as a weapon of war. On the contrary, we have indeed reached the point where irony, decency and self-examination have been extinguished in the fires of Israeli absolutism and war madness, so that a poster-boy for Holocaustianity -- like Will -- can hold forth on the necessity of exterminating demonic classes, creeds and ethnicities, and his call becomes part of our polite discourse, rather than grounds for his dismissal and disgrace. It would be comical if the consequences of Will's hate speech were not so lethal and astonishing, in that Will not only upholds the mass murder of Muslims, but the fratricide practiced by Union General William Sherman, who, until recently, was nearly universally execrated for being the first prominent American military leader to initiate attacks on Christian civilians and to seek the genocide of the white Southern male. Here now is venom born from a snakepit, disguised as our nation's guiding light. Will's intended target is not only Southern secessionists and Muslim separatists. He takes aim at all who stand for chivalry and truth without compromise; "the best and noblest" can count on being burned, bombed or perhaps even gassed, to the applause of those who pass for patrician conservatives in this Year One of childhood's end. Michael A. Hoffman II --------- Gen. Sherman's Advice By George F. Will Washington Post, December 27, 2001; Page A23 "I fear the world will jump to the wrong conclusion that because I am in Atlanta the work is done. Far from it. We must kill three hundred thousand I have told you of so often, and the further they run the harder for us to get them." -- Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, 1864 America's Civil War provides many analogies by which we measure -- and sometimes misunderstand -- today's military developments, and American ways of waging war. Because facets of the Afghanistan operations -- real-time intelligence, stealthy aircraft, precision munitions -- are so modern, we miss the fact that the war requires an American tradition of warmaking that has a 19th-century pedigree. And the bloody uprisings by fanatical Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners underscore the pertinence of Sherman's understanding of how to define victory over an intensely motivated enemy. When military operations in Afghanistan began, just four weeks after Sept. 11 and three weeks after Gen. Tommy Franks was told to begin planning attacks, some critics were quick to say the operations did not begin quickly enough. Then they said the tempo of operations was too torpid. Critics compared Franks -- and Colin Powell, ever mindful of allies' sensibilities -- to Gen. George McClellan. Those were fighting words, because McClellan was a reluctant fighter. One of President Lincoln's commanders, McClellan was notoriously reluctant to close with Confederate forces, the strength of which he consistently overestimated. This drove Lincoln to distraction, and to sarcasm about hoping to "borrow" the Army if McClellan was not using it. Sherman, an energetic user of the Army, believed its principal use against the Confederacy was not to occupy territory but to destroy enemy personnel. His reason for believing this has contemporary resonance during a war against fanatics, many of whom come from the privileged strata of corrupt and exploitative societies. Long before secession, Sherman despised the South for its caste and class systems. In 1843, when stationed in South Carolina, he wrote: "This state, their aristocracy . . . their patriarchal chivalry and glory -- all trash. No people in America are so poor in reality, no people so poorly provided with the comforts of life." So why did the Confederate army, composed mostly of poor whites, fight for a social system beneficial only to a tiny landed minority? Partly because of the elan of its martial elite, those whom Sherman called "young bloods" who were "brave, fine riders, bold to rashness and dangerous in every sense." Sherman, writes professor Victor Davis Hanson in his book "The Soul of Battle," considered the Confederacy "a motley conglomeration of distrustful factions." Sherman thought the really dangerous faction -- dangerous during the war, and potentially afterward -- consisted of what Hanson calls "young zealots, men between 18 and 40 who often formed the cavalry of the South and were led by rabid knights like Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joseph Wheeler and Jeb Stuart. These fanatics . . . were the children of the wealthy, excellent horsemen, full of youthful vigor and insolence." The South, although militarily weak, "fielded," Hanson says, "individual warriors who were among the most gallant and deadly in the entire history of warfare." Hence what Sherman called "the awful fact": Victory required "that the present class of men who rule the South must be killed outright." Donald Rumsfeld says his preference is for al Qaeda fighters to surrender rather than fight to the death: "It ends it faster. It's less expensive." Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, says: "This is not a war of extermination." Such statements are perhaps obligatory and even sincere. However, is surrender really less expensive in the long run? It is a reasonable surmise that a reformed terrorist is a very rare terrorist, and that the rate of recidivism will be high among terrorists who are forced to surrender but continue to believe they are doing God's will when they commit mass murder of infidels. So, as far as is consistent with the rules of war and the husbanding of the lives of U.S. military personnel, U.S. strategy should maximize fatalities among the enemy, rather than expedite the quickest possible cessation of hostilities. Many Americans will vehemently reject any analogy between Confederate and al Qaeda elites. But Sherman might have felt vindicated by a postwar letter from one former Confederate general to another, D. H. Hill to Jubal Early: "Why has the South become so toadyish & sycophantic? I think it is because the best and noblest were killed off during the war." ------------------ Christopher Hitchens Sunday August 25, 2002 The Observer It's important to beware of arguments that depend upon the mantra 'the enemy of my enemy', and it's likewise important to be immune to charges of keeping bad company. In the days of Vorster and Botha I didn't mind in the least working with Stalinists in the anti-apartheid movement (anyway, it's better to have them where you can see them), and when it came to helping imprisoned dissenters in Czechoslovakia I couldn't care less that Roger Scruton thought it was a good cause as well. If you pay too much attention to the shortcomings of your allies, or if you worry about being lumped together with dubious or unpopular types, you are in effect having your thinking done for you. I must say, however, that Henry Kissinger has never let me down, as a person to consult before making up my own mind. Stepping lightly over his one-man rolling war-crime wave, extending from Bangladesh through Indochina to Chile and East Timor, I pause to notice that he was the man who persuaded President Ford not to invite Alexander Solzhenitsyn to the White House. He was the chief defender in the West of the right of the Chinese Communists to massacre their own students in the centre of Beijing. He made himself conspicuous on the American Right by being one of the few to argue that Slobodan Milosevic should be left alone. A week or so ago I wondered when he was going to pronounce on the impending confrontation with Iraq. And I bet right. He is against it. So is his former colleague, and partner in the dread firm of Kissinger Associates, General Brent Scowcroft. The general is known to be a ventriloquist, or rather dummy, for George Bush Senior, who is now widely reported as being in the dove-camp, or dovecote. (This incidentally demolishes one facile argument, or taunt, about George W. picking a fight with Saddam Hussein as part of some Corsican conception of family honour.) Those who don't want a 'regime change' in Iraq now include the Saudi royal family, the Turkish army, the more prominent conservative spokesmen in Congress and the Kissinger hawks. General Sharon, at least in his public pronouncements, appears to be against it as well. And somebody with a good contact among the Joint Chiefs of Staff seems to be leaking pessimistic or pacifistic material at a furious rate. Those who like to think of themselves as anti-war or anti-imperialist might wonder what there is left for them to say: all the war-loving imperialist hyenas are barking for peace at the top of their leathery old lungs. It would be knee-jerkish to conclude merely on this evidence that there might be a respectable radical case for eliminating Saddam Hussein. But it's certainly worth examining the motives of the anti-war establishment. The Saudis do not want an Americanised Iraq because it might favour the Shia Muslim majority, which in turn might favour Iran, and they also know that with Iraqi oil back on stream their own near-monopoly position - the profits of which have been used to finance bin Ladenism worldwide - would be much diminished. The Turks are hostile to the idea because it would almost inevitably extend the area of Iraqi Kurdistan that is currently ruled by its own inhabitants, who abut the restive Kurdish zone of Turkey. A sizeable chunk of the American military and business elite is peacenik as well, either because it fears damage to its polished and expensive arsenal or because it fears the disruption of Opec and the corresponding loss of business and revenue. Jordan's operetta monarchy thinks that it might fall if Iraq is attacked and - even though this collapse might give an opportunity for cleansing the West Bank in the confusion - the Israeli hard-liners are sceptical also. Shall we just say that the anti-war position is the respectable status quo one? That's interesting in itself. Who would be the beneficiaries of an intervention, always supposing it went well and Saddam's vaunted army fought no better than it did the last time? Only the Iraqi and Kurdish peoples. Well, from the Kissinger-Saudi-Turkish viewpoint, and from the vantage of the Dallas boardroom, where is the fun in that? The consequences might be - if we employ the revealing word of choice among the conservatives - 'destabilising'. I have spent a good deal of time over the past year in conversation with the Iraqi opposition factions and the Kurdish forces, who have misgivings of their own about the Bush strategy. They have been used as cannon-fodder in the past, sometimes for operations that were called off at the last minute. They are well aware that from the empire's point of view, the ideal government in Iraq is a centralised Sunni Muslim military regime, though one preferably not run by a homicidal megalomaniac. They know that the United States is perfectly capable of intervening in Iraq's internal affairs, as it did when it supported Saddam's invasion of Iran, or when it provided him with weapons and diplomatic cover during his genocide in Kurdistan in the 1980s. I have been in Halabja, the town that was annihilated with Iraqi chemical weapons, and I have read the Pentagon report that with a straight face blamed the attack on the Iranians. (Those Washington interventions did not arouse the moral ire of the usual anti-war forces.) What the Iraqi and Kurdish democrats would like is American aid for and endorsement of their own efforts to replace the regime. And what they fear is what I also fear - a heavy-handed US attack which results in an Iraqi puppet government that is designed to placate the Saudis and the Turks. That, it seems to me, is where a principled critique of the war-planning might begin. But it's depressing to see the status quo Left preferring to parrot the arguments of pacifist realpolitik. · Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair ------------------ > See, fiction in action..............Just how does Hitch know the prerogatives of the Iraqi and > Kurdish democrats? Do they number more than a 1,000 or 100 or 100,000? Where are his figures, > connections etc.? Well the issue of "democrats" is an open one-- not that Hitchens said it that way in the quote above-- but the issue of the strength of the potential opposition is clear from history, both in the 1970s with the Kurds and post-Gulf War with serious uprisings among the Shia muslims in the South. The denial that there is widespread opposition to Hussein is exactly the "realpolitick pacificism" that Hitchens is rightly condemning. This was the dividing issue in the Gulf War and a fracture during the Kosovo intervention on whether the Left will condemn authoritarian regimes forthrightly while making their analyses. Some will still come out on the antiinterventionist side with that, but at least the basis of discussion is one of moral realism, not realpolitick. There is far too much moral agnosticism on oppression by dictators like Hussein, for fear that acknowledging that brutality will just empower hawks in the US. But as should be clear at this point, the hawks are able to mobilize when they have consensus, while the lack of forthright moral analysis by the Left just undermines its one key asset, its moral authority. There is indisputable evidence that most Kurds and Shia Iraqis would prefer the removal of Hussein and good evidence that many or most other Iraqis also resent his tyrranny. Whether they would all be better off in the chaos that would follow on his removal is worth debating, but whether they want his removal is not an open question. On the Kurds part, they've wanted different arrangements since the beginning of the century when they lost out on an independent Kurdistan. -- Nathan Newman ---------------- Additionally, it would also be good to be given the evidence that, if they want his removal, (i) they want it done under American auspices; (ii) they want it regardless of the probable cost and consequences Furthermore, I thought and think the basic issue at hand is American foreign policy and the right of Washington to decide when "regime change" is or is not needed, or desirable and when, or if, action will be taken to effect it; if so, then realpolitik does come into it. Of course it does. The character of Saddam's regime is not a new discovery. Just the other day, the NYT reported US intelligence assistance to Saddam 1980-88, including the use of gas. By what criteria would someone choose to support or not support such "regime change"? Presumably, many, if not most, were and are opposed to that "regime change" effected 29 years ago come this September. If the criteria is "many or most" resent the regime in question, then such opposition would be misguided. On the other hand, if the criteria is the character of the regime, then we perhaps should all be supporting Washington-inspired "regime change" across the world based upon our political and ideological sympathies. In which case, it really does come down to might and influence. I can decide that I think "regime change" in the US is most desirable. I may even be right, politically and morally. Does that make me right? Does that confer on me the right to take action to effect it? And if I so happen to have the might to so effect it? ---------- Additionally, it would also be good to be given the evidence that, if they want his removal, (i) they want it done under American auspices; (ii) they want it regardless of the probable cost and consequences Furthermore, I thought and think the basic issue at hand is American foreign policy and the right of Washington to decide when "regime change" is or is not needed, or desirable and when, or if, action will be taken to effect it; if so, then realpolitik does come into it. Of course it does. The character of Saddam's regime is not a new discovery. Just the other day, the NYT reported US intelligence assistance to Saddam 1980-88, including the use of gas. By what criteria would someone choose to support or not support such "regime change"? Presumably, many, if not most, were and are opposed to that "regime change" effected 29 years ago come this September. If the criteria is "many or most" resent the regime in question, then such opposition would be misguided. On the other hand, if the criteria is the character of the regime, then we perhaps should all be supporting Washington-inspired "regime change" across the world based upon our political and ideological sympathies. In which case, it really does come down to might and influence. I can decide that I think "regime change" in the US is most desirable. I may even be right, politically and morally. Does that make me right? Does that confer on me the right to take action to effect it? And if I so happen to have the might to so effect it? ------------- First of all, I am not American. And if I were, given what I've been seeing and reading, looking in as through a glass darkly, I'm not sure I'd want to be of the American Left -- which of course does not at all mean I'd want to be of the American Right. I guess I'd just want to be free of both the American Left and Right. Secondly, what is this about a case-by-case approach? Indeed, what is this about "the US blocks intervention...". Specifically, in the case of Iraq, and particularly in the context of the Iraq-Iran war/massacre, the US was an active partner -- on Iraq and Saddam Hussein's side. Hardly a case of blocking intervention. The US intervenes precisely when it thinks its self-interest is involved, and then cloaks it in some just intervention argument. How often has it been when the US blocks attempted, even ham-fisted UN intervention, and then commandeers the UN to cloak its own desired interventions? But really, a case-by-case approach might just be the surest path to hell at this juncture of history. I think -- and do prove me wrong -- that by now there are sufficient grounds to view the matter in a context, and to refuse the context in the name of case-by-case is to refuse to see the forest for the trees. One could write a history of British imperialism using a case-by-case approach and argument for and against British intervention, even show how in such-and-such a case British intervention even did some good -- and in the process make British imperialism disappear. Incidentally, I have no problem with intervention, but I do have a serious problem with intervention when the US desires it, and no intervention when it doesn't, even when many, perhaps most, of the rest of the world does: which further adds to the context in which I'd assess matters. Living where I do, I guess East Timor, uncontroversially, comes to mind, and, more controversially, Cambodia. kj khoo ----------------- yoshie: ***** Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 10:49:43 -0700 From: Institute for Public Accuracy Subject: Iraq's Use of Chemical Weapons Institute for Public Accuracy 915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045 (202) 347-0020 * * _____ Monday, August 19, 2002 Interviews Available Iraq's Use of Chemical Weapons: A Reason for Invasion? Bush administration officials have cited the Iraqi government's use of chemical weapons as a key reason for launching an overwhelming attack on Iraq. Condoleezza Rice said last week: "He [Saddam Hussein] has used chemical weapons against his own people and against his neighbors..." On Sunday, a front-page New York Times article reported: "A covert American program during the Reagan administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program." The following analysts are available for interviews: KANI XULAM,, Director of the American Kurdish Information Network, Xulam said today: "The Iraqi government's gassing of Kurds in the 1980s should not be used as a ploy for war now. We need to develop ways of bringing war criminals to justice across the board. A major U.S. attack on Iraq will likely unleash the use of much-talked-about weapons of mass destruction on the Kurds because northern Iraq is being used as a staging ground to topple the regime in Baghdad."... ***** ***** Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 10:14:32 -0700 From: Institute for Public Accuracy Subject: Critical Voices on Iraq Institute for Public Accuracy 915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045 (202) 347-0020 * * ____ Thursday, August 22, 2002 Interviews Available: Critical Voices on Iraq * Al Qaeda Link? * Views of Iraqis * Policy Options... ANAS SHALLAL, A "Partner for Peace" with the Seeds of Peace program, one of the founders of the Mesopotamia Cultural Society and an independent Iraqi-American business owner in Washington, D.C., Shallal said today: "There's a lot of misunderstanding about how most Iraqis feel about the situation. I currently have relatives from Iraq visiting me. They definitely want to see some change, but they don't want it to come from outside. They want to be able to make that change themselves. The Iraqi National Congress is an unsavory group of people. They are tainted by all the CIA money they have taken and are not very well respected by the Iraqi mainstream. For any change to be credible, it has to come from within the society. Iraqis are under sanctions and this has taken a real toll, and they blame most of that on the West. The sanctions have also isolated Iraqis in terms of information and freedom of movement and that makes Saddam more powerful."... **** --------- Pugliese posts a response to a Zinn piece from someplace --------- Michael, why do you forward badly formatted things from people unkonwn to most of us, devoid of any context? Why not say what you think for a change? Doug ------------------ The Global Gamble: Washington's Faustian Bid for World Dominance", by Peter Gowan (Verso, 1999). Esp. chapter on the Gulf War and Western Liberalism. Critiques the book by ex-Trotskyist, Samir Al Khalil, on the Baathist regime, "Republic of Fear." “Extremely provocative and informative, this book should quickly become the center of political debate among liberal and left scholars and activists. The book deftly lays out the paradox of a discourse on human rights and international obligations that under certain political conditions undermines the very principles at stake”— Judith Butler, author of The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection In Powerless by Design Michel Feher addresses Western officials’ responses to post–Cold War conflicts and analyzes the reactions of the Left to their governments’ positions. Sometime in the early 1990s, Feher argues, U.S. and European leaders began portraying themselves as the representatives of a new international community. In that capacity, they developed a doctrine that was not only at odds with the rhetoric of the Cold War but also a far cry from the “new world order” announced at the outset of the decade. Whereas their predecessors had invested every regional conflict with an ideological stake, explains Feher, the representatives of this international community claimed that the crises they confronted did not call for partisan involvement. Exemplary of this new approach were Western responses to ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and genocide in Rwanda. In order to avoid costly interventions, U.S. and European leaders traced these crimes to ancient tribal enmities and professed that the role of the international community should be limited to a humanitarian, impartial, and conciliatory engagement with all the warring parties. They thus managed to appear righteous but powerless, at least until NATO’s intervention in Kosovo. Faced with this doctrine, both the liberal and radical wings of the Western Left found themselves in an uneasy position. Liberals, while lured by their leaders’ humanitarianism were nonetheless disturbed by the dismal results of the policies carried out in the name of the international community. Conversely, anti- imperialist militants were quick to mock the hypocrisy of their governments’ helpless indignation, yet certainly not prepared to demand that Western powers resort to force. Are we still in this “age of the international community”? Feher shows that with NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, both liberal and radical activists suddenly found their mark: the former welcomed the newfound resolve of their governments, while the latter condemned it as the return of the imperialist “new world order.” For Western leaders, however, the war against Serbia proved an accident rather than a turning point. Indeed, less than a year later, their indifference to the destruction of Chechnya by Russian troops suggested that the discursive strategy exposed in Powerless by Design might remain with us for quite some time. >From the Inside Flap “Powerless by Design is necessary reading for anyone concerned with the contemporary politics of human rights. Feher offers a lucid and incisive indictment of the humanitarian pretensions of the international community.”—Robert Post, University of California, Berkeley ---------------------- He's sounding more like Michael Walzer every day. Wouldn't it be lovely if there were a good U.S. that would intervene on the side of the angels? Of course the actually existing U.S. intervenes mainly on the side of devils, but it's a nice thought anyway, isn't it? Who the fuck is going to be the agent of this humanitarian intervention? Hitch himself? Doug ----------------- Why not say what you think for a change? Doug ------- This war would be a senseless, useless slaughter of a country devastated by two wars that killed hundreds of thousands. The Kurds, divided into two autonomus zones ruled by the PUK ("left") and KDP (center-right), don't want their relative prosperity and political freedom threatened by a war likely to lead to Sadaamism w/o Saddaam after lengthy occupation. Michael Pugliese -------------- From: Chuck Grimes ( Date: Sun Aug 25 2002 -- `` should be clear at this point, the hawks are able to mobilize when they have consensus, while the lack of forthright moral analysis by the Left just undermines its one key asset, its moral authority...'' Nathan Newman --------- If there were ever a laundry list of issues where moral indignation and analysis should have achieved mass recognition and lead to threatening levels of public discontent with government---it has been in the last two years. I keep asking myself what is wrong with people? Can't they see what insane shit is going on? Here's a list: 1) a completely fraudulent election for President in which the loser was install by a politically corrupt Supreme Court, 2) an entirely fraudulent natural gas and electricity crisis in which energy suppliers bulked billions out of state budgets and the public's utility bills---with the full complicity of the White House and federal agencies charged with regulation, 3) complete failure of national security and policing agencies to routinely handle obvious terrorist threats prior to 9/11, 4) despicable cowardice of elected federal officials in the face of the 9/11 attacks (in case you forgot, Congress ran out the doors, the President flew to Nebraska, the Vice President hid in the WH basement, effectively leaving the mayor of New York City in charge), 5) meanwhile, completely inadequate and laughable compensation schemes for families and victims of 9/11 crafted specifically to limit corporate and government liability, while handing out massive cash supports for corporations, particularly the airlines which are now going bankrupt anyway, 6) gross over-reaction of the White House and Congress to punish the US public with the Patriot Act and other police state measures that effective abolish the Bill of Rights and routine legal protections, 7) manufacturing a hoax war in Afghanistan to slaughter the innocent, while ignoring obvious supporting regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan, 8) un-ending support for an Israeli regime run by militaristic thugs who routinely commit war atrocities with US weapons and money, 9) the unravelling of massive corporate frauds and failures in energy utilities, telecommunications, stocks, banking, and accounting, with no government regulatory response and wrist slapping criminal investigations, 10) yet another proposed bogus war on Iraq which has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism, since it is a thoroughly secular and militaristic dictatorship, 11) and just three days ago, the announced WH policy for catastrophic forest fires in the western states was logging. No trees, no fires, get it? 12) And of course all of the above sits on top of the racist thugs and para military fanatics running police departments all over the country, the continuing collapse of public education, the murderous health care system, the on-going development of commercial real estate while millions go homeless or eke out life in grossly substandard housing for shit wages, toxic food, sick and twisted children, amid the usual crumbling urban squalor, and where all else ends up in the prison industrial complex, etc, etc. ``Turn up the tv honey, some asshole is outside with a loudspeaker..'' It seems the only public officials who have noticed that something is wrong with the US government are to be found among the judges in the secret court in the basement of the Justice Department--and their technical qualms are under appeal to another secret court in the same basement---so I guess we'll never know how that turned out. Chuck Grimes ------------->...It's almost a joke to discuss "regime change" in Iraq for reason of the Kurds when the Western world for the most part ignores what happens and has been happening in Turkey, etc. story/0,1271,-1924607,00.html Turkey Approves Greater Rights For Kurds Ananova Saturday August 3, 2002 11:52 AM Kurd News ... Sat 3 Aug 2002. Turkey's Parliament abolishes death penalty, grants rights to Kurds in EU-bid Canada Dot Com (AP/Burhan Ozbilici) Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit ... -- shows/saddam/index.html shows/saddam/resources.html Are Iraq's chemical and biological weapons attacks on Kurdistan part of a larger agenda of terror? Excellent documentary, marred, to say the least by the post-documentary interview by husband of Christianer Amanpour of CNN, ex-Sec. of State spokesperson, James Rubin, with the Prince of Darkness, Mr. Perle. Kanan Makiya, Cruelty and silence: war, tyranny, uprising, and the Arab world. Extensive material on Anfal and the uprising in '91. 2000/04.20/iraqiproject.html Kanan Makiya, "The Anfal: Uncovering an Iraqi Campaign to Exterminate the Kurds," Harper's Magazine, May 1992; Raymond Bonner, "Always Remember," The New Yorker, September 28, 1992 Human Rights Watch, Middle East: Iraq's crime of genocide: the anfal campaign against the Kurds, New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1995. Genocide in Kurdistan A dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the Diploma in Legal Studies at the University of Auckland By Heval Hylan ongman, Albert J. (Hg.): Contemporary Genocides. Causes, Cases, Consequences, Leiden: PIOOM, 1996; darin: Bloom, Mia: "The Case of Iraq: The Glorious Anfal Campaign to Eradicate and Eliminate the Kurds". >...Anfal campaign against the Kurds 1987-88 carried out by Ali Hassan Al Majeed documented by Human Rights Watch Report which estimates the total dead between 50,000 to 100,000 constituting the crime of Genocide Killing between 30,000 to 60,000 Iraqis following the March 1991 uprising following the end of the Gulf War. Execution of 10,000 shia clergy A total of 281 separate chemical attacks on a population of 4.0 M Iraqi Kurds during the 2 year Anfal campaign. htdocs/his/Khaledtext.html Anfal: The Kurdish Genocide in Iraq by Khaled Salih Gvteborgs Universitet >...Anfal meant co-ordination of many measures starting with destruction of thousands of villages; gathering rural population after multiple chemical attacks; transporting them to the camps; processing the captives through isolating them and determine who should be sent to death; transporting different groups to different destinies - women and children to particular camps, elderly people to southern Iraq and the men aged between 15 and 50 to gravesites- under extreme secrecy; using fire squads to kill large groups of men near pre-dugged mass graves and then covering the mass graves as well as denying to know anything about their fates. Iraqi authorities did nothing to hide the Anfal campaign from public view. 'On the contrary, as each phase of the operation triumphed, its successes were trumpeted with the same propaganda fanfare that attended the victorious battles in the Iran-Iraq War.' As such, Anfal was a logical extension of nearly two decades of government Arabization of the Kurdish areas. For all its horror, Anfal was not entirely unprecedented, because terrible atrocities had been visited on the Kurds by the Ba'th Party on many occasions particuraly since 1968. In the wake of an official autonomy granted to the Kurds in the firs half of the 70's, the Ba'th Party embarked on the Arabization of the oil-producing areas in Kurdistan, evicting Kurdish farmers and replacing them with poor Arab tribesmen from the south, guarded by government troops. After the the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) fled into Iran after the collapse of the Kurdish revolt in March 1975, tens of thousands of villagers from the Barzani tribes forcibly removed from their homes and relocated to barren sites in the desert south of Iraq, where they had to rebuild their lives by themselves, without any form of assistance. Evacuation, Punishment, and Waste In the mid- and late 1970s, the regime again moved against the Kurds, forcibly evacuating at least a quarter of a million people from Iraq's borders with Iraq and Turkey, destroying their villages to create a cordon sanitaire along these sensitive frontiers. Most of the displaced Kurds were relocated into mujamma'at, crude new settlements located on the main highways in army-controlled areas of Iraqi Kurdistan. KDP revived its alliance with Tehran after the Iranian revolution of 1978; in 1983 they had a joint action to capture a border town, an event that led immediately to retribution by the regime in Baghdad: in an operation against the complexes where the Barzanis Kurds were relocated, Iraqi troops abducted five to eight thousand males aged twelve or over. None of them have ever been seen again. In September 1983, Saddam Hussein gave the clearest indication regarding the fate of the Barzanis: 'They betrayed the country and they betrayed the convenant,' he said, 'and we meted out a stern punishment to them and they went to hell.' In many respects, the 1983 Barzani operation anticipated the techniques that would be used on a much larger scale during the Anfal campaign. No doubt, the absence of any international outcry encouraged Baghdad to believe that it could get away with an even larger operation without any hostile reaction. In this respect the Ba'th Party seems to have been correct in its calculations and judgement of the international inaction. Since 1975, over 4,000 Kurdish villages had been destroyed; by a conservative estimate more than 100,000 rural Kurds had died in Anfal alone; half of Iraq's productive farmland is believed to have been laid waste. The destruction campaigns of April 1987 - April 1989, which MEW rightly calls the Kurdish genocide, had the Anfal campaign as its centrepiece. The Anfal campaign should by no means be regarded as a function or by-product of the Iraq-Iran war, since it was a rational, pre-planned enterprise in which modern techniques of management and expertise were effectively co-ordinated. The Iran-Iraq war provided the crucial element with which Baghdad could cover- up its opportunity to bring to a climax its long- standing efforts to bring the Kurds to heel. The Iraqi regime's anti-Kurdish drive dates back to more than fifteen years, well before the outbreak of that war. Michael Pugliese ------------- "Isabel Paterson, an acerbic libertarian writer of the 1940s, had Hitchens' sort pegged in her classic 1943 book, The God of the Machine. In the chapter entitled "The Humanitarian with the Guillotine," she wrote: "Certainly the slaughter committed from time to time by barbarians invading settled regions, or the capricious cruelties of avowed tyrants would not add up to one-tenth the horrors perpetrated by rulers with good intentions." Pointing to the Western Stalinists, whose hosannas to the Soviet Union dominated the intellectual world when Paterson's book was published, she averred: "We have the peculiar spectacle of the man who condemned millions of his own people to starvation, admired by philanthropists whose declared aim is to see to it that everyone in the world has a quart of milk." The implication being that Stalin had good intentions? -------------- As Hitch once said, in response to the standard Stalin = Hitler equivalence, "At least with Stalin, he was betraying something." Doug ---------------- Raimondo: >Pointing to the Western Stalinists, whose hosannas to the Soviet Union >dominated the intellectual world when Paterson's book was published, she >averred: > >"We have the peculiar spectacle of the man who condemned millions of his own >people to starvation, admired by philanthropists whose declared aim is to see >to it that everyone in the world has a quart of milk." RangerCat67: >The implication being that Stalin had good intentions? Raimondo goes on: "The spectacle, in all its peculiarity, rolls on. Hitchens has his own softness for Stalin & Co., as chronicled in a new book by Martin Amis, Koba the Dread, in which Amis takes Hitchens to task for calling Lenin "a great man, and, toward the end, addresses his old friend directly: "So it is still obscure to me why you wouldn't want to put more distance between yourself and these events than you do, with your reverence for Lenin and your unregretted discipleship of Trotsky ... Why? An admiration for Lenin and Trotsky is meaningless without an admiration for terror. They would not want your admiration if it failed to include an admiration for terror. Do you admire terror? I know you admire freedom" Ah, the humanitarian with a guillotine would reply, but there is no freedom without the terror. Whether "left" or "right," neo-Leninist or neocon, our war-birds are uniformly shrikes." ----- This Raimondo is strange bird. Seems a somewhat propagandistic and reactionary position to take in regards to the Soviet Union and humanitarians and idealists who use force. And I don't completely buy the line that the Soviet Union forced the West to grant concessions to its workers. In the Observer article Raimondo attacks, Hitchens actually wrote: "It's important to beware of arguments that depend upon the mantra 'the enemy of my enemy', and it's likewise important to be immune to charges of keeping bad company. In the days of Vorster and Botha I didn't mind in the least working with Stalinists in the anti-apartheid movement (anyway, it's better to have them where you can see them), and when it came to helping imprisoned dissenters in Czechoslovakia I couldn't care less that Roger Scruton thought it was a good cause as well." So Raimondo would have sided with Botha and Vorster against the Stalinists, the ANC, and other anti-apartheid forces? He equates Lenin with humanitarian interventionists? Here's Hitch's response to Amis and therefore also a critique of Raimondo's view of the left, intellectuals and Stalinism: basically it's an insult to the left-wing opponents of Stalin to erase them from 09/hitchens.htm Peter Louis Proyect, "Chomsky and His Critics" posted by jim on Thursday August 15, @03:37PM Printer-friendly layout | email this story from the anarchism-and-its-discontents dept. In the aftermath of September 11th, certain sectors of the US left buckled under ruling class pressure and turned against Noam Chomsky. His uncompromising anti-imperialism might have been acceptable during the 1980s when the Sandinistas were under Washington's gun, but in today's repressive atmosphere no quarter is given to the dissident intellectual. Of course, no quarter is asked from Chomsky, who remains fearless and principled as ever. To the chagrin of ruling class pundits and weak-kneed leftists, a collection of interviews with Chomsky, which has been published under the title "9/11," has become a best seller. According to a May 5th Washington Post article, the book had already sold 160,000 copies and been translated into a dozen languages, from Korean to Japanese to two varieties of Portuguese. In an attempt to warn people away from the book, the Post cites Brian Morton, supposedly "a novelist and essayist of the left," who regards Chomsky as an important intellectual whose arguments have suffered a sclerotic hardening. He says, "Chomsky sees the world in a very stark way and gets at certain truths in that way, but ultimately his view is so simplistic that it's not useful. He's become a phase that people on the left should go through when they are young." It should come as no surprise that the Washington Post failed to identify the segment of the left Morton is associated with. As it turns out, he is an editor of Dissent Magazine, a publication that might be described as social democracy in a state of advanced rigor mortis. Irving Howe, the founder of the magazine, was a staunch supporter of the Vietnam War. The current editor, Michael Walzer, stumped for Bush's war against terrorism in the Fall 2001 issue, stating: "We have to defend our lives; we are also defending our way of life. Everyone says this, but it is true. The terrorists oppose and hate our way of life--and would still oppose and hate it even if we lived our lives far better than we do." Eric Alterman and Christopher Hitchens, contributors to The Nation Magazine, a left liberal weekly that has published continuously since the Civil War, have jumped on the anti-Chomsky bandwagon with a vengeance. Although the magazine has had a reputation for principled anti-imperialism in the past, it has shifted noticeably to the right in recent years. Most would explain this as a function of tail-ending the Clinton administration. Alterman, admits on his 'blog' that Chomsky "did a lot of good work on East Timor." But when he accused the United States of "perpetrating a holocaust in Afghanistan" and compared the attack on the pharmaceutical factory in Somalia with that on the Twin Towers, he went out of bounds and became "the mirror image of the ignorant jingoism of Bennett, Krauthammer, Kelly, Will, etc." Christopher Hitchens has been the author of the most visible and controversial attacks against Chomsky. In flag-waving attack on the peace movement in the September 24, 2001 Nation titled "Of Sin, the Left & Islamic Fascism." Hitchens describes Chomsky as "soft on crime and soft on fascism." With such people, he adds, "No political coalition is possible." ( ?i=special&s=hitchens20010924) For some on the postmodernist left, Chomsky has also become objectionable. Michael Berube, a commentator on the arts and society, feels that "the Chomskian left has consigned itself to the dustbin of history." In accounting for the split between the "Chomskian left" and "the Hitchens left," Berube surmises that "the simple fact that bombs were dropping" might have something to do with it. He writes: >>For U.S. leftists schooled in the lessons of Cambodia, Libya, and the School of the Americas, all U.S. bombing actions are suspect: they are announced by cadaverous white guys with bad hair, they are covered by seven cable channels competing with one another for the catchiest "New War" slogan and Emmy awards for creative flag display, and they invariably kill civilians, the poor, the wretched, the disabled. Surely, there is much to hate about any bombing campaign.<< (  context/no10/berube.html) Dispensing with the relativism and playful irony that characterizes the postmodernist left, Berube reminds his readers that war is a serious business: >>Yet who would deny that a nation, once attacked, has the right to respond with military force, and who seriously believes that anyone could undertake any "nation-building" enterprise in Afghanistan without driving the Taliban from power first?<< Bad Subjects, another postmodernist outlet, has joined the anti-Chomsky crusade as well. In the latest online edition (  2002-3-11-4.49PM.html), Joe Lockard complains: >>The excursion begins with a simple postulate from which flows all manner of derivatives: the United States is the leading terrorist state. Mr. Smith isn't going to Washington; Mr. Smith is going to Terrorism Central. Why ever do Chomsky-quoters wonder why their hero isn't invited to address a special joint session of Congress?<< My only wonder is how a member of the Bad Subjects collective would deem a trip to Congress worth the trouble. One supposes that despite all the transgressive gestures of our postmodernist friends that bourgeois respectability remains their underlying desire. It is simple to understand why Chomsky has been targeted. As the most visible and respected figure in the radical movement, he is a tempting target. When one is involved in a street fight, it is good psychology to knock out your biggest and most powerful opponent and thus demoralize the ranks of the enemy. This article will consider how Chomsky became such a preeminent figure. In the course of this discussion, we will examine some of his limitations that, needless to say, are of a totally different sort than those alleged by his foes. We understand that it is exactly his ability to stand up to wartime pressures that distinguishes him from the run-of-the-mill intellectual. From Robert Barsky's first-rate biography and intellectual portrait of Noam Chomsky (Noam Chomsky: a life of dissent, MIT Press 1998), we learn that he was born on December 7, 1928 to Dr. William (Zev) Chomsky and Elsie Simonofsky, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chomsky's father was the principal of a Hebrew school and raised his son according to traditional Jewish beliefs. Although his parents identified with the New Deal, various cousins, aunts and uncles were further to the left. Within the extended Chomsky household, various opinions clashed with each other. Against this political backdrop, it was inevitable that he would come to identify with the left, especially since the radical opinions he heard all about him were reinforced by "seeing people coming to the door and trying to sell rags or apples" and " travelling in a trolley car past a textile factory where women were on strike, and watching riot police beat the strikers". The bulk of the young people who became radicalized during the 1930s joined the Communist Party, while a smaller number became anti-Stalinists. And within this minority most joined the Trotskyist movement or the left wing of the Socialist Party, which tended to overlap. There were, however, a smaller number that identified with anarchism or the left communism (sometimes called council communism) that constituted a reaction to the compromises with world capitalism forced on the USSR. Noam Chomsky became part of this current. Chomsky created an eclectic blend of council communism, anarchism and a left-Zionism that was natural to a Jewish household that retained many traditional beliefs side-by-side with progressive politics. All three influences reinforced each other and produce what appears to be a life-long affinity for small-scale cooperatives against "state socialism." While most of his writings focus on US crimes, his ideas about locally based alternatives to capitalism and state socialism form a consistent thread throughout his career. For example, while his 1967 "American Power and the New Mandarins" is mostly devoted to a withering attack on the 'trahison des clercs' that made the Vietnam War possible, there is also a chapter that includes a lengthy discussion of the Spanish Civil War. Although framed as a reply to liberal interpretations that justified repression of the anarchists, it is also a defense of anarchism itself, especially as expressed in the Aragon collectives. Chomsky puts the blame on "authoritarian centralization" rather than on a class-collaborationist Soviet foreign policy. The Marxist view, contrary to Chomsky's, is that centralization cannot be a meaningful term when detached from political economy and such key class criteria as ownership of the means of production. Chomsky leaned at early date toward the Israel kibbutz as some kind of "socialist experiment", long after the colonization intentions of the settlers had become obvious. He did turn against the particular kibbutz he worked on, but not because of any economic shortcomings. Instead, the racism of the settlers was the key factor. To this day, Chomsky still speaks positively about the Zionist outposts without really addressing concerns about the class nature of the Israeli state. (Guardian, May 14, 2001) Chomsky has never written systematically about how his brand of small-scale socialism will be achieved. This would require a discussion of matters such as human agency and economic policy that seem to matter little to him. For despite his affiliation with a movement that wrote a vast literature on such questions, Chomsky himself often seems content to proclaim its superiority to state socialism on face value. Understandably, this attitude often veers off into a kind of moralizing that is symptomatic of the mood of the intelligentsia at the beginning of the Cold War, when both "camps" seemed equally evil--the very time indeed that Noam Chomsky was maturing politically and intellectually. Barsky comments: >>Among those figures he was drawn to, George Orwell is especially fascinating, both because of the impact that he had on a broad spectrum of society and the numerous contacts and acquaintances he had in the libertarian left. Chomsky refers to Orwell frequently in his political writings, and when one reads Orwell's works, the reasons for his attraction to someone interested in the Spanish Civil War from an anarchist perspective become clear.<< Armed with Orwell's sometimes troubling "pox on both your houses" outlook, Chomsky has often tended to evoke the beleaguered hero of "1984" who faced a world divided into equally evil totalitarian powers. This mindset shapes his discourse on the double-speak of an entire generation of US administrations. Unfortunately, this stance cannot do justice to the underlying dynamic of the clash between the superpowers, which is much more of a function of divergent class interests than blind worship of the State. In all fairness to Chomsky, as we shall see momentarily, this perspective has not led him to blur over the dominant and aggressive character of the Anglo-American imperialism, as it did Orwell who eventually collaborated with the British secret police against the "enemies" of freedom. Indeed, much of the wrath directed against Chomsky seems tied up with his refusal to bend an inch toward the kind of free world triumphalism Francis Fukuyama upheld. If anything, Chomsky's antagonism toward American imperialism has only deepened since the end of the cold war. For Chomsky, the cold war was essentially a confrontation along North-South lines rather than East-West. In this 500-year war of conquest against colonized peoples, anarchism or left communism rarely played a prominent role. But this does not prevent Chomsky from identifying with those in struggle, whatever their ideology. Turning to "World Orders Old and New,"(based on lectures given at the American University in Cairo in 1993), we find a remarkable analysis of the cold war that, despite Chomsky's hostility to the Kremlin, elucidates the one-sided nature of the conflict. Citing Guatemalan journalist Julio Godoy, Chomsky concurs that Eastern Europeans were "luckier than Central Americans." While Prague was degrading and humiliating reformers, the US backed government in Guatemala was organizing a virtual genocide that ultimately cost the lives of 150,000 indigenous people. Indeed, the fearlessness of the Czech students' "Velvet Revolution" might just be explained by the refusal of the Czech army to shoot to kill. Despite his animosity toward the USSR, he is even-handed about its place in history. In contrast to European and American imperialism, the Soviet Union appeared to operate on principles other than profit. During the period of Soviet "exploitation" of Eastern Europe, the satellite countries actually had a higher standard of living than the mother country. This was the result of a huge subsidy, amounting to $80 billion in the 1970s. For Chomsky, the collapse of the Soviet Union did not usher in the emancipation of humanity. Instead, without the USSR as a counter-balance, imperialism has been able to step up the level of exploitation in the third world, including Nicaragua where the Sandinista revolution had been toppled: >>It is only fair to add that the wonders of the free market have opened alternatives, not only for rich landowners, speculators, corporations and other privileged sectors, but even for the starving children who press their faces against car windows at street corners at night, pleading for a few cents to survive. Describing the miserable plight of Managua's street children David Werner, the author of "Where There is No Doctor" and other books on health and society, writes that "marketing shoe cement to children has become a lucrative business," and imports from multinational suppliers are rising nicely as "shopkeepers in depressed communities do a thriving business with weekly refills of the children's little bottles" for glue-sniffing said to "take away hunger." The miracle of the market is again at work, though Nicaraguans still have much to learn.<< Although Chomsky has not written much in the way of a theoretical appreciation of the short-lived Sandinista revolution, there is little doubt that this country engaged his sympathies in a way that other countries with Marxist leaderships did not. Chomsky spoke out tirelessly to defend Nicaragua during the late 1980s. In a debate with John Silber, the Reaganite President of Boston University, Chomsky said: >>Now, to return to Nicaragua and to return to the real world, I never described the Sandinistas as perfect democrats or whatever your phrase was. What I did was quote the World Bank, OXFAM, the Jesuit Order and others who recognize that what they were doing was to use the meager resources of that country for the benefit of the poor majority. That's why health standards shot up. That's why literacy shot up. That's why agrarian reform proceeded, the only place in the region. That's why subsistence agriculture improved and consumption of food increased and that's why we attacked them. It had nothing to do with democracy.<< /interviews/86-silber.html Chomsky did not allow his ideological predispositions to interfere with his perception of reality. Anybody who visited Nicaragua during this period, including Chomsky, came away with a deep appreciation for the dedication and honesty of the FSLN. (Chomsky's own daughter Avi was a volunteer with Tecnica, an organization that involved hundreds of others, included the author of this article.) After the downfall of the Central American revolution, the enemies of US imperialism have been much easier to demonize. While tens of thousands of US citizens participated in Sister Cities projects for Nicaragua or raised money for the FMLN in El Salvador, solidarity on behalf of Iraq or Yugoslavia has been much more difficult to organize for obvious reasons. Many intellectuals, who found it relatively easy to call for an end to the contra war, capitulated during the war against Iraq and Yugoslavia. Chomsky's stubborn refusal to go along with the "humanitarian intervention" mood in these circles led to his isolation from their ranks, but growing popularity among youthful radicals who questioned not only the motives of the USA but the effectiveness of replacing one dictator with another. No matter how repugnant Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic appeared to rightward moving American progressives, September 11th constituted a profound challenge to the anti-interventionist left. There was and still is enormous pressure to conform to the ruling class consensus on the war, on the basis--to use Michael Berube's less than felicitous language--that "who would deny that a nation, once attacked, has the right to respond with military force." Surely, it is a different matter when Reagan supported the contras in Nicaragua. The Sandinistas never attacked a single American citizen. But when three airplanes came crashing into the Pentagon and the Twin Towers, many journalists and intellectuals appeared ready to enlist in the Marines to wreak vengeance, if they hadn't been of such advanced years. Mark Naison, a historian favorable to the CPUSA, told the New York Observer "if anyone said anything about America‚s imperialist activities making it the moral equivalent of the Taliban and Al Qaeda I would beat them up. I‚m six feet tall and 200 pounds." pages/story.asp?ID=4975 Against this rising tide of bellicosity and xenophobia, Chomsky's voice has been a beacon of calmness and reason. In its rush to organize a "war against terrorism," the USA conveniently ignores the fact that it is one of most dangerous terrorist states in the world. "9-11" is a short anthology of interviews with Noam Chomsky that has become a best seller. It is one of the few places, outside of the Internet and the ghettoized socialist press, that ordinary citizens can get a counter-analysis. Drawing from a wealth of previous research, Chomsky reminds his readers of US culpability without excusing the attack on the WTC and the Pentagon, which he characterizes as "horrifying atrocities." The pamphlet contains Chomsky's comparison of Clinton's attack on a medicinal factory in Khartoum with the September 11th attacks, which enraged Christopher Hitchens to no end: >>According to credible analyses readily available to us, then, proportional to population, the destruction of Al-Shifa is as if the bin Laden network, in a single attack on the U.S., caused "hundreds of thousands of people-many of them children-to suffer and die from easily treatable diseases," though the analogy, as noted, is unfair. Sudan is "one of the least developed areas in the world. Its harsh climate, scattered populations, health hazards and crumbling infrastructure combine to make life for many Sudanese a struggle for survival", a country with endemic malaria, tuberculosis, and many other diseases, where "periodic outbreaks of meningitis or cholera are not uncommon," so affordable medicines are a dire necessity (Jonathan Belke and Kamal ElFaki, technical reports from the field for the Near East Foundation). It is, furthermore, a country with limited arable land, a chronic shortage of potable water, a huge death rate, little industry, an unserviceable debt, wracked with AIDS, devastated by a vicious and destructive internal war, and under severe sanctions. What is happening within is largely speculation, including Belke's (quite plausible) estimate that within a year tens of thousands had already "suffered and died" as the result of the destruction of the major facilities for producing affordable drugs and veterinary medicines.<< Concrete examinations of US criminality such as these are Chomsky's strong point, rather than socialist ideology. Over the decades, he has invested countless hours into removing the tarnished halo from the head of US foreign policy. As US politics becomes increasingly polarized, his books will continue to be an extremely valuable resource for the left, no matter his views on Kibbutzim or the Spanish Civil War. This article will conclude with an examination of some controversies attached to Chomsky's political career that were used in a demagogic fashion against him during the struggle over support for the "war on terror." I speak of the Faurisson and Khmer Rouge affairs that have dogged Chomsky over the years no matter how often and how lucidly he has tried to defend his reputation against ideological lynch gangs. For an example of how these issues were used against Chomsky, we turn to Alterman's MSNBC blog cited earlier. He writes: >>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, I'm sorry. I defended the guy for years, even through the Faurisson affair. And I think he did a lot of good work on East Timor. But look at the man's political judgment. He defended Faurisson. He championed the Khmer Rouge.<< To put Chomsky's defense of Faurisson's right to teach in perspective, it is necessary to understand that he has been a free speech absolutist from early on. In Chapter Four of Barsky's study, we learn that Chomsky views the university as some kind of refuge from politics and the class struggle. As Chomsky put it in 1996, "Nothing should be done to impede people from teaching and doing their research even if at that very moment it was being used to massacre and destroy." During the time Chomsky was involved with protests against the war in Vietnam, he was always hostile--like Theodor Adorno--to on-campus protests that got in the way of pursuing the Truth. It was one thing to march against the war; it was another thing entirely to occupy a building that was dedicated to counter-insurgency research. According to Barsky, Chomsky admired "the challenge to the universities" but thought their rebellions were "largely misguided," and he "criticized [them] as they were in progress at Berkeley (1966) and Columbia (1968) particularly. This is corroborated by Norman Mailer, who spent time with Chomsky in a jail cell after being arrested at the Pentagon protest in 1969: "He had, in fact, great reservations about the form that the 1968 student uprisings ultimately took." When Robert Faurisson, a holocaust denier, was relieved of his duties at the University of Lyon, Chomsky signed a petition on his behalf. Certainly, if scientists at MIT could conduct research even if it was used to "massacre and destroy", why would deny the right of a professor to earn a living even if he was guilty of nothing except of defending such practices in his spare time. While this act might have been understood on its own terms, Chomsky's 'obiter dictum' that "I have nothing to say here about the work of Robert Faurisson or his critics, of which I know very little, or about the topics they address, concerning which I have no special knowledge" raised hackles, as did his characterization of Faurisson as "a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort". This led French Marxist antiquities scholar Pierre Vidal-Naquet to write a pointed reply to Chomsky. Even on free speech grounds, he found the petition dubious. It stated that Faurisson had been prevented from conducting research in public libraries and archives, an allegation that is certainly false according to Vidal-Naquet. Furthermore, Faurisson's books on the holocaust have been published without interference and he has given interviews on two occasions to Le Monde. Addressing Chomsky in sorrow just as much as anger, Vidal-Naquet writes in Assassins of Memory: >>The simple truth, Noam Chomsky, is that you were unable to abide by the ethical maxim that you had imposed. You had the right to say: my worst enemy has the right to be free, on condition that he not ask for my death or that of my brothers. You did not have the right to say: my worst enemy is a comrade, or a "relatively apolitical sort of liberal." You did not have the right to take a falsifier of history and to recast him in the colors of truth.<< When Chomsky and his writing partner Edward Herman were charged with apologetics on behalf of the Khmer Rouge, whose assault on the people of Cambodia attained near-genocidal proportions, the attack had as much merit as it did in the Faurisson case. While poor judgment may explain the error in the first instance, Chomsky and Herman's scholarship on the events in Cambodia were simply not acceptable to established wisdom in left-liberal circles. Their sin was to compare the relative indifference to the slaughter in East Timor to that in Cambodia, just as it was more recently in comparing the September 11th attacks to the Khartoum bombing. A statement such as this, contained in "The Political Economy of Human Rights," was unacceptable: >>In the case of Cambodia reported atrocities have not only been eagerly seized upon by the Western media but also embellished by substantial fabrications--which, interestingly, persist even long after they are exposed. The case of Timor is radically different. The media have shown no interest in examining the atrocities of the Indonesian invaders, though even in absolute numbers these are on the same scale as those reported by sources of comparable credibility concerning Cambodia, and relative to population, are many times as great.<< Furthermore, Chomsky and Herman had the temerity to question the casualty statistics in Francois Ponchaud's "Année Zéro," a book that had a major impact on the Western intelligentsia in the mid-1970s, particularly through a review of it by Jean Lacouture that appeared in the New York Review of Books, a journal that has been responsible for demonizing one enemy of US imperialism after another for over three decades. While not questioning the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge, Chomsky observed that Lacouture had inflated Ponchaud's estimates of civilian casualties to the tune of two million. In a correction published subsequently in the NY Review, Lacouture withdrew his claim and confessed that he "should have checked more accurately the figures on victims, figures deriving from sources that are, moreover, questionable." In "Chomsky's Politics," Milan Rai observes that the two million figure--despite the correction--became part of official history. From the standpoint of Marxism, Chomsky's preeminent place in American politics represents something of a challenge. In contrast to the legions of Marxist scholars who jet set from conference to conference delivering obscure papers on how to re-interpret the Grundrisse or understand Marx from the perspective of French poststructuralism, Chomsky has always preferred speaking to community groups or activists: What are called "conferences"gatherings of intellectualsI almost never attend. I do give endless talks and take part in many forums, but not the kind that would be called conferences. I almost always turn down invitations to these. Thus I almost never go to the Socialist Scholars Conference (though I have a lot of personal friends there), or to academic and professional conferences, etc. Virtually all of my talks are for popular and activist groups, though typically, they are combined with talks at universities, sometimes seminars, but more often for mass audiences interested in the general area. If Chomsky can be infuriatingly superficial on the major questions of our epoch, including the nature of the USSR, he more than compensates through his passionate devotion to the underdog. His works have been geared to people new to radical politics, who are trying to make sense of the discrepancy between bourgeois democracy's lofty professed ideals and the actual record of blood, plunder and rape. The Marxist movement can learn much from Chomsky, most of all how to speak to the ordinary citizen. As late capitalism's contradictions continue to mount, there will be a tremendous imperative to speak with clarity and with authority. To do this successfully, we must pay careful attention to Chomsky's writings. Indeed, for all of Chomsky's frequent disparaging of Marxian socialism, his uniquely prophetic voice reminds us of none other than Karl Marx's own. Louis Proyect --------------------- Hierarchies And Networks posted Friday August 02, @11:17AM Government Executive April 2002 By Brian Friel For years, we've been telling the government to run itself like a business. Maybe we should be telling it to operate like a terrorist organization, too. He decentralized decision-making authority and created a flat management structure to quickly respond to changes in his operating environment. He overcame turf battles by creating an overarching sense of mission and doctrine. He used the Internet, the globalization of news and the revolution in telecommunications to advance his organization's goals worldwide. He developed a complex organizational network in which information gets only to the right people at the right times. In his network, connections between individuals and groups are activated at key times to get work done and severed when they are no longer necessary. To terrorize America, Osama bin Laden adopted many of the management and leadership strategies that U.S. corporate leaders have embraced over the past decade-strategies that are gaining ground among U.S. military reformers and among leaders in the government's civilian bureaucracies. The strategies stem from a theory-being validated by American corporations, social activist groups and international terrorists-that in the information age, successful organizations behave more like computer networks than assembly lines and look more like Chinese Checkers boards than pyramids. In the fight against Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network-as well as in struggles to deal with domestic problems-some military and government leaders have decided that hierarchies developed in the 19th century are no match for the networks of the 21st century. Federal, state and local responders to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks learned that their hierarchical, turf-based organizations had widely different ways of handling operations, communications and logistics, compounding the chaos of rescue and recovery efforts. Agencies charged with securing the homeland, ranging from the FBI to the Treasury Department to the Coast Guard, are learning that information trapped in one bureaucracy needs to find its way to other bureaucracies; otherwise, criminals and terrorists will slip by. On the battlefield, the military is finding that gathering data about the enemy and issuing orders from a central command isn't effective when dealing with stealthy and speedy targets such as al Qaeda bands moving through the Afghan mountains. To thinkers in fields ranging from national security to sociology, from computing to human resources, the world has become a network of networks, filled with actors who behave in increasingly interconnected ways and with wide-reaching and rapid consequences. Federal officials accustomed to passing paper up and down chains of command must now learn to quickly disseminate information across organizational boundaries. That means letting low-level working groups move swiftly without higher-level approval to create strong relationships among offices within agencies, between agencies and with other governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals with key skills and knowledge. In other words, federal agencies and managers must break out of their bureaucratic cocoons and become social butterflies. And they have to think like Osama bin Laden. New World Order The federal government engages in scores of activities that seem unsuited for any organizational structure but a hierarchical bureaucracy. Citizens and groups who want to use public lands submit permit requests to Interior Department bureaucrats according to written rules. If they are unhappy with the decisions of front-line bureaucrats, the applicants can appeal up the chain of command. Similarly, the hierarchical structure gives competing interests some bargaining power. If a logging company wants to haul away trees from a national forest, environmental groups can protest the action up the chain of command. The collection of taxes, distribution of government benefits, and creation and enforcement of regulations all lend themselves to bureaucratic structures. Susan Hovecar, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., says bureaucracies can ensure that opposing voices are heard and considered in fair, consistent ways. She points out that bureaucracies are charged with making sure their employees are technically qualified to carry out their duties. "Bureaucracy is not necessarily a bad word," she says. At the same time, Hovecar and other experts on organizational structure say bureaucracies have their share of drawbacks. One disadvantage is their inability to respond swiftly to change. Just look at how long it took the Internal Revenue Service (and its congressional overseers) to figure out how to deal with divorcees. It wasn't until 1998-long after divorce became common in America-that legislation was passed to help innocent spouses avoid paying for their ex-spouses' tax liabilities. Another problem is lack of coordination-segments of bureaucracies rarely work well together because of tensions built into their competing organizational or functional goals. Lastly, bureaucracy deals well with problems on a macro level, but on an individual level it can steamroll over people, both inside and outside the organization. Bureaucracies work in stable, clearly segmented, homogenous environments. But none of those adjectives seems true of the environment that is developing in the 21st century. The speed of communications around the world has led to instability. Globalization and the increasing complexity of the modern world have blurred the boundaries between foreign and domestic jurisdictions, private and public, local and national. Increases in personal freedom, a bucking of societal norms and the massive movement of people around the world in the past few decades have made America's citizenry more heterogeneous than ever. Advances in communications and technology have given rise to network organizations, according to John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, analysts at the RAND think tank. In their recent book for the Defense Department, Networks and Netwars (RAND, 2001), the authors argue that conflicts will increasingly be "netwars," or clashes involving networks rather than traditional, hierarchical adversaries. The definition of network organizations is not well-developed-some analysts even question whether networks can be described as a type of organization. Arquilla and Ronfeldt argue that they are. Structurally, a pure network organization-what Arquilla and Ronfeldt call an "all-channel network"-moves all the boxes on a hierarchical organizational chart to one level and then connects each box to every other box. "Pictorially, an all-channel network actor resembles a geodesic 'Bucky ball' [named for scientist and philosopher Buckminster Fuller]; it does not look like a pyramid," the authors write. "The network as a whole has little to no hierarchy; there may be multiple leaders. Decision-making and operations are decentralized, allowing for local initiative and autonomy. Thus the design may sometimes appear acephalous (headless) and at other times polycephalous (Hydra-headed)." Because a network is not as formally structured as a hierarchy, it needs a compelling story that explains to its members why the network exists. The members also need doctrine-principles or practices that guide their actions-since all-channel networks don't rely on top-down directives or strict written procedures. Rather, they tend to rely on strong personal ties among their members. They use technology to enhance communication and rapidly exchange information. Arquilla and Ronfeldt have found network organizations among social activists, as well as criminals and terrorists. The International Committee to Ban Landmines is one network organization that has had some success in advancing its mission around the world. Osama bin Laden's is another. "Governments that want to defend against netwar may have to adopt organizational designs and strategies like those of their adversaries," the authors say. "This does not mean mirroring the adversary, but rather learning to draw on the same design principles that [they have] already learned about the rise of network forms in the information age. These principles depend to some extent on technological innovation, but mainly on a willingness to innovate organizationally and doctrinally, perhaps especially by building new mechanisms for interagency and multijurisdictional cooperation." Military Transformation When he was president of the Naval War College in the late 1990s, Vice Adm. Arthur Cebrowski began pushing a new concept of warfare. In line with the observations of Arquilla and Ronfeldt, Cebrowski contended that the military should change its warfighting model from platform-centric to network-centric. To understand what that means, think of the changes in personal technology over the past decade. Suppose, in 1990, you wanted to read an electronic document from a friend who used WordPerfect for DOS. He would have had to give the file to you on a disk, and if you had only Microsoft Word, you wouldn't have been able to read it. In 2002, you and your friend would presumably have access to the Internet. He could simply e-mail the WordPerfect document to you. You'd be able to open it in Word. Over the past 12 years, you and your friend experienced the shift from platform-centric computing to network-centric computing, from the days when you had to be using the same software on the same operating system to work together to the days when anyone on the Internet can exchange information with others regardless of the kind of software they use. The computing industry made the transition to networks over several decades, with a rapid shift during the 1990s. Military strategists like Cebrowski covet the computing industry's transformation. They see a parallel in the way U.S. forces fight battles today and the way computing worked in the 1980s. Just as you and your friend worked on incompatible operating systems and software, the military operates on independent weapons platforms. Carrier groups are platforms, as are M1A2 tanks and F-18 aircraft, each operating with their own standards. And just as you and your friend wasted time trying to coordinate your different platforms, military experiments have found that platform-centric warfare takes twice as long to destroy 50 percent fewer targets than does network-centric warfare. One major component of network-centric warfare is speed. Using sensors to gather data about the battlefield-including satellites, drones, cameras and ground troops-along with fast networks, forces can quickly disrupt enemy activity. For example, a speedy, coordinated attack against an enemy's surface-to-air missile sites, destroying half of the sites, could prevent the enemy from continuing a war. "The payoff is in the initial very high rate of change," Cebrowski and co-author John Garstka, a technical adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in the January 1998 issue of the Naval Institute's Proceedings journal. "When 50 percent of something important to the enemy is destroyed at the outset, so is his strategy. That stops wars-which is what network-centric warfare is all about." Another key concept is self-synchronization. Military actions are now coordinated out of central commands, with information flowing up and orders flowing back down. Under self-synchronization, military units would be given overarching goals and rules of engagement by central commands, and then would carry out the mission by coordinating battlefield information in real time with other units. That kind of self-synchronization has happened to some extent in Afghanistan. In one case, a Northern Alliance commander suggested bombing Taliban positions near an on-the-ground Air Force air control specialist. Nineteen minutes later, the Taliban positions were bombed. Retired Marine Corps Col. Gary Anderson, executive director of the National Center for Unconventional Thought, says deciding whether to shoot at a target from a central command has been an unfortunate trend of improved communications. "A lot of people, me included, would say that's not a very efficient approach to shoot at a fleeting target," Anderson says. "We should give the decision to the sensor operator." That view is gaining ground in the military. Cebrowski, now retired from the Navy, has become Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's director of force transformation. The Defense Department's Command and Control Research Program is taking the concepts of network-centric warfare and exploring practical strategies to make them real. Rumsfeld endorsed network-centric warfare principles in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington on Jan. 31. "We need rapidly deployable, fully integrated joint forces, capable of reaching distant theaters quickly and working with our air and sea forces to strike adversaries swiftly, successfully and with devastating effect," Rumsfeld said. Checking Your Ego In order to swiftly and successfully respond to the disasters at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, local, state and federal leaders kicked out all of the representatives of the numerous agencies that were gathered at the sites to establish tighter control. A few days after the attack on the World Trade Center, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani ordered all personnel to clear the site and then set up color-coded zones around the center to control the flow of personnel and keep out people who weren't authorized to be there. After a bomb threat at the Pentagon on Sept. 13, the FBI, the Defense Department, the Arlington County Fire Department and other agencies cleared their workers out of the wreckage left by the Sept. 11 attack. As in New York, response coordinators used the evacuation as an opportunity to issue color-coded access badges to all personnel and to start controlling more closely the actions they were taking. Emergency personnel often say disaster response is an exercise in controlled chaos. To leaders at the Pentagon and World Trade Center sites, the chaos was uncontrolled until everyone was cleared out and then allowed to return in a methodical fashion. The main causes of the uncontrolled chaos were the lack of standard procedures and the dearth of strong relationships among response agencies. Had emergency agencies been more networked and less stovepiped prior to Sept. 11, the response might have gone more smoothly. Networks are all about connections. Sociologists who chart the connections among people in communities say the most powerful people are the ones with the most social capital-the strongest connections to most of the other people. In computing, networks grow exponentially more valuable as more people connect to them, says Bob Metcalfe, founder of computer networking firm 3Com. Metcalfe invented Ethernet, one of the most widely used computer networking technologies. If no one else was on the Internet, why would you use it? If you can connect to everyone you know, and they can each connect to you, then you will use it. Similar theories could be applied to organizations-the more connected people are within an organization, the more productive they can be. The more organizations connect to each other, the more they can work together to address problems that cross jurisdictional lines. Arquilla and Ronfeldt say criminal and terrorist networks "operate in the seams" of jurisdictional boundaries, making it difficult for leaders to put any one agency in charge of efforts to combat them. The Sept. 11 terrorists operated in the seams in part by taking advantage of the poor communication among foreign, federal, state and local law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Some of them had been identified by agencies as terrorist suspects, but those agencies didn't share the information with others that the terrorists later came into contact with. The agencies that responded to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks are taking the lessons of Sept. 11 to heart, working on standard operating procedures and establishing closer ties with one another. The neighboring Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria, Va., fire departments are coming up with common operating principles, so any one of them could respond to a fire in any jurisdiction. Lt. Col. Robert Domenici, who commands a National Guard civil support team that responded to the World Trade Center attack, has been traveling throughout New York state to establish formal and informal relationships with local government officials. Act Like A Network In addition to increased connectivity, self-synchronization and speed of command, several other networking concepts hold promise for government and military organizations. One concept is swarming. If you've ever seen the defense of the National Football League's St. Louis Rams in action, you've seen swarming. The defensive players start each play by performing their expected functions, from rushing the quarterback to covering wide receivers. But as soon as any member of the other team starts running with the ball, they all descend upon the runner. Soon you have a pile of Rams on top of the runner, with more Rams down the field in case the runner escapes the mob. Rams coaches review game films and grade players on how well they execute this strategy. In the world of warfare, "swarming is a seemingly amorphous, but deliberately structured, coordinated, strategic way to strike from all directions at a particular point or points, by means of a sustainable pulsing of force and/or fire, close-in as well as from stand-off positions," Arquilla and Ronfeldt say. Anti-World Trade Organization protesters shut down the organization's November 1999 meeting in Seattle by swarming from all directions at the meeting site and overwhelming the police. Osama bin Laden's terrorist network swarms by declaring American interests as targets and then focusing his forces on them. The federal government is now engaged in a form of swarming against the terrorist network by striking militarily, financially and by using law enforcement and intelligence networks in the United States and abroad. It has declared war against terrorist sanctuaries. "One strength of an organization like al Qaeda is the ability to decentralize and be secretive, but a weakness is that if you break up their linkages, you keep them on the run," Anderson says. "America has served notice to the whole world that there are not going to be any sanctuaries. . . . My feeling is the world has changed for these people." The swarming technique requires a key feature of networks-adaptability. In a hierarchy, people are defined by the boxes they fill on the organizational chart. In a network, people change their roles depending on the situation. One way of bringing adaptability into federal hierarchies is the use of matrix teams. The Office of Personnel Management, an agency with a reputation for rigidity, is developing matrix teams under the leadership of its new director, Kay Coles James. Under a reorganization designed to make OPM more responsive, James will periodically pull experts on various aspects of human resources management together on teams with short-term goals. One such team was assembled to help the new Transportation Security Administration build its workforce from the ground up. When the work is finished, the specialists will move on to another team or return to their home base. Another network theory that has promise for government is redundancy. In a networked computing environment, "you don't want to rely on a central source for all of your information security," says Jeff Babcock, vice president of sales for Cary, N.C.-based technology firm SAS. Agencies that had off-site backups of information housed in the World Trade Center complex found their recovery job much easier than those that stored all of their information on site. A Hybrid Organization Experts say agencies don't necessarily have to choose between hierarchies and networks. The advantages of hierarchies-clear chains of authority and accountability-can be combined with the advantages of networks-interconnectivity, speed, adaptability, redundancy and the ability to swarm. Erik Jansen, an organizational theory expert at the Naval Postgraduate School, says decisions about organizational design are based on factors such as mission, an organization's relationship to the environment, technology and the talent available to leaders. "One of the jokes we have in organizational theory is that when people ask us a question, the answer is always, 'It all depends,' " Jansen says. One way to combine the power of networks and hierarchies is to view existing functional or specialist offices as centers of excellence, where engineers or investigators or policy experts can hone their skills. Specialists can be pulled frequently from those centers of excellence to work on interagency or interdisciplinary teams without losing their focus or their sense of belonging. "Everybody just can't be muddling about without any kind of division of labor," Jansen says. The key to making that kind of system work, says RAND's Ronfeldt, is to instill an overarching sense of mission and doctrine among the participants. "You can't go in the network direction simply by putting everyone on speedy computers that are highly networked. That's not going to do it," Ronfeldt says. "The driver is getting people to think in new organizational and doctrinal ways."  ------------- ----- ----------- May 19, 2002 Crisis for American Jews by Edward Said ( A Palestinian perspective) A few weeks ago, a vociferous pro-Israel demonstration was held in Washington at roughly the same moment that the siege of Jenin was taking place. All of the speakers were prominent public figures, including several senators, leaders of major Jewish organisations, and other celebrities, each of whom expressed unfailing solidarity with everything Israel was doing. The administration was represented by Paul Wolfowitz, number two at the Department of Defence, an extreme right-wing hawk who has been speaking about "ending" countries like Iraq ever since last September. Also known as a rigorous hard- line supporter of Israel, in his speech he did what everyone else did -- celebrated Israel and expressed total unconditional support for it -- but unexpectedly referred in passing to "the sufferings of the Palestinians." Because of that phrase, he was booed so loudly and so long that he was unable to continue his speech, leaving the platform in a kind of disgrace. The moral of this incident is that public American Jewish support for Israel today simply does not tolerate any allowance for the existence of an actual Palestinian people, except in the context of terrorism, violence, evil and fanaticism. Moreover, this refusal to see, much less hear anything about, the existence of "another side" far exceeds the fanaticism of anti-Arab sentiment among Israelis, who are of course on the front line of the struggle in Palestine. To judge by the recent antiwar demonstration of 60,000 people in Tel Aviv, the increasing number of military reservists who refuse service in the occupied territories, the sustained protest of (admitted only a few) intellectuals and groups, and some of the polls that show a majority of Israelis willing to withdraw in return for peace with the Palestinians, there is at least a dynamic of political activity among Israeli Jews. But not so in the United States. Two weeks ago the weekly magazine New York, which has a circulation of about a million copies, ran a dossier entitled "Crisis for American Jews," the theme being that "in New York, as in Israel, [it is] an issue of survival." I won't try to summarise the main points of this extraordinary claim except to say that it painted such a picture of anguish about "what is most precious in my life, the state of Israel," according to one of the prominent New Yorkers quoted in the magazine, that you would think that the existence of this most prosperous and powerful of all minorities in the United States was actually being threatened. One of the other people quoted even went as far as to suggest that American Jews are on the brink of a second holocaust. Certainly, as the author of one of the articles said, most American Jews support what Israel did on the West Bank, enthusiastically; one American Jew said, for instance, that his son is now in the Israeli army and that he is "armed, dangerous and killing as many Palestinians as possible." Guilt at being well-off in America plays a role in this kind of delusional thinking, but mostly it is the result of an extraordinary self-isolation in fantasy and myth that comes from education and unreflective nationalism of a kind unique in the world. Ever since the Intifada broke out almost two years ago, the American media and the major Jewish organisations have been running all kinds of attacks on Islamic education in the Arab world, Pakistan and even in the US. These have accused Islamic authorities, as well as Arafat's Palestinian Authority, of teaching youngsters hatred of America and Israel, the virtues of suicide bombing, unlimited praise for jihad. Little has been said, however, of the results of what American Jews have been taught about the conflict in Palestine: that it was given to Jews by God, that it was empty, that it was liberated from Britain, that the natives ran away because their leaders told them to, that in effect the Palestinians don't exist except recently as terrorists, that all Arabs are anti-Semitic and want to kill Jews. Nowhere in all this incitement to hatred does the reality of a Palestinian people exist, and more to the point, there is no connection made between Palestinian animosity and enmity towards Israel and what Israel has been doing to Palestinians since 1948. It's as if an entire history of dispossession, the destruction of a society, the 35 year old occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, to say nothing of massacres, bombardments, expulsions, land expropriations, killings, sieges, humiliations, years of collective punishment and assassinations that have gone on for decades were as nothing, since Israel has been victimised by Palestinian rage, hostility and gratuitous anti-semitism. It simply does not occur to most American supporters of Israel to see Israel as the actual author of specific actions done in the name of the Jewish people by the Jewish state, and to connect in consequence those actions to Palestinian feelings of anger and revenge. The problem at bottom is that as human beings the Palestinians do not exist, that is, as human beings with history, traditions, society, sufferings and ambitions like all other people. Why this should be so for most but by no means all American Jewish supporters of Israel is something worth looking into. It goes back to the knowledge that there was an indigenous people in Palestine -- all the Zionist leaders knew it and spoke about it -- but the fact as a fact that might prevent colonisation could never be admitted. Hence the collective Zionist practice of either denying the fact or, more specially in the US where the realities are not so available for actual verification, lying about it by producing a counter-reality. For decades it has been decreed to schoolchildren there were no Palestinians when the Zionist pioneers arrived and so those miscellaneous people who throw stones and fight occupation are simply a collection of terrorists who deserve killing. Palestinians, in short, do not deserve anything like a narrative or collective actuality, and so they must be transmuted and dissolved into essentially negative images. This is entirely the result of a distorted education, doled out to millions of youngsters who grow up without any awareness at all that the Palestinian people have been totally dehumanised to serve a political- ideological end, namely to keep support high for Israel. What is so astonishing is that notions of co- existence between peoples play no part in this kind of distortion. Whereas American Jews want to be recognised as Jews and Americans in America, they are unwilling to accord a similar status as Arabs and Palestinians to another people that has been oppressed by Israel since the beginning. Only if one were to live in the US for years would one be aware of the depth of the problem which far transcends ordinary politics. The intellectual suppression of the Palestinians that has occurred because of Zionist education has produced an unreflecting, dangerously skewed sense of reality in which whatever Israel does it does as a victim: according to the various articles I have mentioned above, American Jews in crisis by extension therefore feel the same thing as the most right-wing of Israeli Jews, that they are at risk and their survival is at stake. This has nothing to do with reality obviously enough, but rather with a kind of hallucinatory state that overrides history and facts with a supremely unthinking narcissism. A recent defence of what Wolfowitz said in his speech didn't even refer to the Palestinians he was referring to, but defended President Bush's Middle East policy. This is de-humanisation on a vast scale, and it is made even worse, one has to say, by the suicide bombings that have so disfigured and debased the Palestinian struggle. All liberation movements in history have affirmed that their struggle is about life, not about death. Why should ours be an exception? The sooner we educate our Zionist enemies and show that our resistance offers co-existence and peace, the less likely will they be able to kill us at will, and never refer to us except as terrorists. I am not saying that Sharon and Netanyahu can be changed. I am saying that there is a Palestinian, yes a Palestinian constituency, as well as an Israeli and American one that needs to be reminded by strategy and tactics that force of arms and tanks and human bombs and bulldozers are not a solution, but only create more delusion and distortion, on both sides. Edward Said writes a weekly column for the Cairo-based al-Ahram. --------------------- 200145 Chief Rabbi: "Israel Set on Tragic Path" (english) Jonathan Freedland 7:58pm Mon Aug 26 '02 address: Guardian UK Britain's chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, today delivers an unprecedentedly strong warning to Israel, arguing that the country is adopting a stance "incompatible" with the deepest ideals of Judaism, and that the current conflict with the Palestinians is "corrupting" Israeli culture. Israel set on tragic path, says chief rabbi Guardian interview will shock Jewish community Story/0,2763,781113,00.html Jonathan Freedland Tuesday August 27, 2002 The Guardian Britain's chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, today delivers an unprecedentedly strong warning to Israel, arguing that the country is adopting a stance "incompatible" with the deepest ideals of Judaism, and that the current conflict with the Palestinians is "corrupting" Israeli culture. In a move that will send shockwaves through Israel and the world Jewish community, Professor Sacks departs from his usual policy of offering only public endorsement of Israel, and broad support for moves toward peace, by giving an explicit verdict on the effect that 35 years of military occupation and decades of conflict are having on Israel and the Jewish people. "I regard the current situation as nothing less than tragic," he tells the Guardian in an exclusive interview. "It is forcing Israel into postures that are incompatible in the long run with our deepest ideals." He goes on to speak of being "profoundly shocked" at the recent reports of smiling Israeli servicemen posing for a photograph with the corpse of a slain Palestinian. "There is no question that this kind of prolonged conflict, together with the absence of hope, generates hatreds and insensitivities that in the long run are corrupting to a culture." He also admits that in 1967 he was "convinced that Israel had to give back all the [newly-gained] land for the sake of peace" - and he does not renounce that view now. Prof Sacks is at pains to underline his continuing, avowed support for the Jewish state - citing repeated efforts by Israel to make peace, and the Palestinians' failure to take the same "cognitive leap" towards compromise. Nevertheless, and despite the careful phrasing of his remarks, referring twice to dangers "in the long run", many in rightwing Jewish and Israeli circles will be angered by his comments. "The nature of these comments are quite unlike anything he has ever said before," one senior Jewish community figure said yesterday. "The right will be surprised and angry." Liberal and dovish Jews are bound to welcome his statements. Since becoming chief rabbi in 1991 of Britain's Orthodox Jews, and the de facto leader of the country's 280,000-strong Jewish community, Prof Sacks has successfully avoided any overtly political pronouncements on Israel. He has preferred to be a public defender of the country and to offer broad support for the pursuit of peace as a divinely-sanctioned endeavour. At the time of the Oslo peace process, he was in regular correspondence with the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin. But he has steered clear of opining on the moral status of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, in sharp contrast with his predecessor, Immanuel Jakobovits, who sparked outrage more than a decade ago when he condemned Israel for "lording it over" the Palestinians. Community insiders predicted that Prof Sacks' latest comments could prompt a similar wave of fury. Much of Anglo-Jewish opinion has followed the Israeli shift to the right since the outbreak of the current intifada two years ago. The chief rabbi is bound to cause further controversy by calling for dialogue with the most extremist representatives of radical Islam. In today's interview, timed for the publication of his new book, The Dignity of Difference, which is serialised in the Guardian this week, Prof Sacks says he would even sit down with Sheikh Abu Hamza - the fundamentalist north London cleric who admits to sharing the views of Osama bin Laden and who describes himself as a Taliban sympathiser. Yesterday the sheikh was quoted saying it was "OK" to kill non-Muslims, and equating Jews with Satan. Nevertheless, Prof Sacks says a meeting between the two is "a thought worth pursuing. I absolutely don't rule it out." The chief rabbi, 54, also reveals that he has already met one of Iran's highest-ranking clerics, Ayatollah Abdullah Javadi-Amoli. At a meeting brokered by the Foreign Office and never disclosed until now, the two met for secret talks during a UN conference of religious leaders in New York in 2000. "We established within minutes a common language", says Prof Sacks, the "particular language believers share." The chief rabbi's new book is subtitled "How to avoid the clash of civilisations", and aims to offer the world a roadmap away from disaster. He calls on orthodox faiths in particular to realise that difference is not a problem to be managed, but an "essential" part of creation itself. -------------------------- comments from this item repeated at: 200225 Who are the anti Semites? by Kirk 9:08pm Wed Aug 21 '02 (Modified on 5:39pm Tue Aug 27 '02) Religious fanatical Chutzpah knows no bounds. But, when you are, God's Chosen people, normal rules don't apply to you. It is perfectly acceptable to criticize any nation on the earth for its errors and wrongs, but lo and behold, don't you dare criticize Israel; for if you do that, you will be accused by the programed masses of the most abominable sin in the modern world, the unforgivable sin of anti-Semitism and Censored! So, now we know that criticizing Israel is quote "anti-Semitism" and thus is morally equivalent mass murder, Jews and Israel must never ever be criticized, no matter what crime is committed, no matter how one might feel the need to speak out. We learn that to criticize the campaign of terror and ethnic cleansing that drove 1,400,000 Palestinians from their homes, businesses, and farms during the creation of Israel is "anti-Semitism." That to criticize hundreds of Israeli massacres of unarmed men, women and children, such as at Dier Yassin and the Sabre and Chatila massacre in Lebanon, is "anti-Semitism." That to criticize the fifty odd-years, brutal military occupation of the West Bank and its 2.5 million people is anti-Semitism. That to criticize the Israeli torture of over 500,000 Palestinians in their prisons is "anti-Semitism." That to criticize Israel for firing thousands of missiles over the last few years into crowded cities and refugee camps killing women and children in their beds mostly, is anti-Semitic." That to criticize the repeated Israeli spying against and damaging of the governments of the world as in the Jonathan Pollard case, is just anti-Semitism. That to criticize the Israeli terrorism against the United States in the Lavon Affair and the murderous attack on the USS Liberty is "anti-Semitism." Jewish supremacists think that they are the new Gods, and that any criticism of them and the fanatical religious state of Israel is equivalent to blasphemy and heresy! Such an attitude exposes these religious fanatics that threatens not only Palestinian life and freedom, but also our own, for these religious fanatics are attempting to make legitimate criticism of Israel considered the moral equivalent to a criminal act and thus beyond consideration by thinking people. It is really disheartening to consider the current state of the world media and culture. These religious fanatics thoroughly dominate our major media. They can blackmail any politician or public figure into silence. But this control is not enough for them, now they seek to make any criticism of Israel the equivalent to blasphemy. When will the world’s people wake up? When will we break these religious fanatics stranglehold on the world media and on the global populations mind? But, unless we men and women of honor begin to speak out, far more people than the Palestinians will suffer from these religious fanatics human lives and interests will continue to fall to religious terrorism such as occurred on 9-11, a terrorism born from treasonous American officials who have put supporting Israel's criminal actions and theier own personal profit above the true interests of the American people. The obvious anti Semitism and most disturbing is that of the slaughter of the Palestinian civilians who ARE Semites at the hands of the religious fanatics that rule occupied Palestine. We should beware of the ones who cry anti-Semitism, especially while they are slaughtering Semites by the thousands. ---------------------- You by Bill 9:03am Thu Aug 22 '02 Kirk- Your comments reveal that you are indeed an anti-Semite. You could have lifted this entire diatribe directly from David Duke's website. See for yourself at Cool, I get to agree with Bill on something by phaedrus 3:11pm Thu Aug 22 '02 This has been a real problem, and it especially tends to rear its head in the Palestine/Israel conflict. If Kirk was not the original author of this piece, it could be that he did not catch the turn that it takes. A key phrase to indicate the nature of the source would be "Jewish supremacists" which implies a broader issue than Zionism. I think part of the problem is that people may not be aware of who Duke is or the tactics that he and people like him have used in the past. This came up on November 27th, 2001 in the post: /front.php3?article_id=3533 If you read the entire post, be very aware that it is propaganda designed to use an initial presentation of facts to manipulate your perspective. This post does not go nearly as far, but it does appear to begin to lay a similar ground work. At that time, I had not yet begun to consitently sign my posts as "phaedrus", so my response and further detail on who Duke is and what he stands for is under the title "uh. oh." and is by "a little freaked". This issue is not the only one in the progressive domain where the fascists are trying to manipulate us, but it is one of the easiest for them to work with. One thing to be aware of is that the KKK and other white supremicist groups have often found common ground with muslim isolationist groups because both claim to want a "pure" state and they general sentiment seems to be "ok, they'll all go back to the middle east and america can be all white". They've also sided with black isolationist groups in the past. I'm not sure what they would do with the native americans (as well as anyone who didn't want to leave) in a "all white america", but I can make a guess and I don't like it. This doesn't make the actual facts that are quoted incorrect, but by mixing the facts with propaganda, it becomes a dangerous piece. It's definitely worth being aware of the quotes that David Duke has made in regards to the Jewish people. Here's one: "They're trying to exterminate our race. I think, probably in a moral sense, the Jewish people have been a blight. I mean as a whole, not every Jew. And they probably deserve to go into the ashbin of history. But saying that and actually shooting or killing people in masses, are two different things. I'm not advocating extermination. I think the best thing is to resettle them in someplace where they can't exploit others. And I don't think they can live among themselves, I really don't." (1986) I can't believe this man ran for president in 1992. Even more appalling, people voted for him. /front.php3?article_id=3533 ---------------------- more by Bill 3:39pm Thu Aug 22 '02 Phaedrus- I appreciate your attempts to set the record straight, and in my heart of hearts I don't believe you are an anti-Semite. At least, I don't WANT to believe you are. Still, I saw this on one of your previous posts: The Israeli government has done many bad things, but this can not be extended to say that every Jewish person is evil. The American government has done many bad things as well - are all Americans evil? I don't do as much as I should perhaps, but I don't feel evil. My Jewish friends don't seem very evil either - although one of them _does_ have a pretty twisted sense of humor [sarcasm]. Well, gee, thanks for stating that not every Jewish person is evil. Being Jewish, I was a little worried for a second there, but you set me straight. C'mon know what you sound like here? You sound like a good old-fashioned bigot! You take pains to explain that you don't think "all" Jews are bad. You even invoke the old reference to your "Jewish friends" to reassure us that you don't hate Jews. Have you ever heard the tired cliched expression "some of my best friends are black"? I think the central problem with this whole issue is that I and many other Jews feel that Israel is not above criticism, but that many on the Far Right AND the Far Left have conveniently turned criticism of Israel into a more convenient and politically correct forum for Jew-bashing. I'm sorry, but I have been to many anti-Israel rallies in the last year (as a counterprotester) and have seen this phenomenon up close. The Far Right is less averse to just admitting that it is anti-Semitic. They're used to being bigots, and they're good at it. Bigotry fits right in with their greater all-white Christian world free of "mud people"...i.e. blacks, Jews, etc. But the Far Left is supposedly so against bigotry. So they can't be as open about their hatred. But in essence, the Far Left has focused its vitriol in recent years on "international banking", "globalization", and the the US and Israel. The US is indeed heavily influenced by Jews. Thank G-d! It's part of what makes this such a great country. The openness and individuality of the Jewish people has left a profoundly positive impact on the USA. Jews do tend to have some money, yes, because the Jewish culture emphasizes education and education inevitably leads to higher income levels. The Far Left hates money, hates the US, hates Israel, and consequently hates Jews. But it can't admit it. So it says "no, we're just anti-Israel, we're not anti-Jewish". Bullshit. You can be CRITICAL of Israel and not be an anti-Semite, yes, but the type of criticism of Israel that calls Israelis "Nazis" and such is LADEN with anti-Semitism. You should go to sid=30&mode=nested&order=0 and read what Pulse Sales Director David Goldstein has to say about all of this "comparing Israelis to Nazis" crap. It's just obscene. You may disagree with me, and I'm sure you will, but I genuinely feel that much of the Far Left harbors anti-Semitic feelings but can't bring themselves to openly declare their bigotry, so they focus all this anger and hatred at Israel, and then howl that Jews are too sensitive about criticism of Israel and that Jews always proclaim that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism...when in fact, many Jews are just very perceptive and are able to hear the latent anti-Semitism encoded in some of the Far Left's vitriolic criticism of Israel. I mean, there are PLENTY of injustices around the world, many of which have been perpetrated with the aid of US money, but the Far Left just CONSTANTLY harps on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Why? Why? I hate to say it, but I know why. The Far Left needs to come to terms with the anti-Semitism in its ranks. It is VERY disturbing and to this Jew, it comes through in the fanatical anti-Israel rantings of many of their ilk. ---------- Getting it straight by phaedrus 2:06am Fri Aug 23 '02 > C'mon know what you sound like > here? You sound like a good old-fashioned bigot! > You take pains to explain that you don't think > "all" Jews are bad. You even invoke the old > reference to your "Jewish friends" to reassure us > that you don't hate Jews. Have you ever heard the > tired cliched expression "some of my best friends > are black"? Fair enough. Based on the quote you read, it would be difficult to determine if I was or was not that type of person. To be more clear on where I stand: Whether or not a person were Jewish would not effect my decision to date or marry them (although I would be unlikely to want to convert as I have no desire to belong to any organized religion). Whether or not a person was Jewish would have no impact on how I felt about my child dating or marrying them. It has no bearing on who I would work for or who I would hire, nor does it have a bearing on who I would vote for. That cliche also tends to go with the fact that the bigots feel that whatever group they are bigoted about has a tendency towards whatever problem the bigot is focusing on and that their friends are the "good exceptions". I do not believe that people are any more or less disposed to antisocial behavior (or positive behavior) because they are or are not Jewish. (Although, in the latter case, I'd sometimes like the positive assumptions to be true. Can you imagine if all Christians actually lived up to "love thy brother"?) Really though, when you look at someone who grew up with, dated, works with, and plays with people who happen to be Jewish and you call them an anti-semite, don't you think it's natural to for them of all their friends and say "WHAT?!?" Why do you think the term bothers me so much? I state unpopular opinions all the time. I've defended police to anarchists, critical mass to cops, drug dealers to republicans, and pro-lifers to feminists. I've been called many things. I don't mind being confronted for what I believe, and sometimes that confrontation leads to personal growth. However, when I'm labeled something I'm not, especially when that label implies something that I consider monstrous, it bugs the shit out of me. Frankly, that's why you get the same knee-jerk gut reaction from so many people like me. We truly find the concept offensive. Kind of like you would react if I called you a Nazi. (That is an illustrative example, I am not calling you one.) As far as the Jew bashing at anti-Israel rallies, I have seen it too and I have confronted people on it. It is unacceptable and it is a definitely indicative that the problem we're talking about here exists. It does not mean that there should not be rallies to demand that we stop supporting Israel in their actions against the Palestinian people and it does not mean that we should cease our support for Palestinian victims or Israeli victims. It does mean that we need to be aware that not everyone at those rallies is necessarily there for altruistic reasons. I'm not a big fan of money, and I'm deeply disappointed with the actions of the US and Israel. What has that got to do with Jews? There very well may be people in the far left that have anti-Semitic feelings. I'll admit to having caught them creeping up in myself from time to time (propaganda IS effective which is another reason to be as aware of it as possible). I was 25 before I considered the connotations of the word "gypped". Similarly I've caught racist, sexist, and classist sentiments creeping in from time to time. The important thing is not to be in denial and to be vigilant enough to catch, analyze, and counteract those sentiments when they do appear. I am self aware enough to be sure that anti-Semitism has no part in my motivations to demanding a stop to what is going on in the middle east. I believe that the majority of people who I have worked are similarly not anti-Semitic. One of my frustrations is how hard the current situation is on the Jewish people. When Sharon chose to drop that bomb a few weeks back, he KNEW it was going to result in more suicide bombings and yet somehow, he thought killing one man was worth all those innocent lives - Palestinian, Israeli, and International. I grieve the same for all of them. Why the focus on the Israeli-Palestinian issue? It really wasn't much of a focus until things started to heat up in 2000. However, at this point, it is one of the harsher things going on and it is pretty clear what is happening. The progressive movements were pretty quiet on it for the previous 50 years or so. It bugs me that I'm pretty sure the current administration and media have put this in the light to raise support for an attack on Iraq, but that doesn't change the fact that it IS a problem that needs to be solved. Of course there are other issues. Iraq, civil rights, local racial issues, etc. These are getting attention as well. And yes, there are things that are not getting as much attention as they should. I pay attention to as much as I can. The things that are more in my face get more attention. > The Far Left needs to come to terms with the anti-Semitism in its ranks. I will not deny that there are anti-semites within the far-left. There are certainly racists, sexists, and homophobes as well. That doesn't change the fact that if I see an injustice I have to say something about it and if I see an injustice that I am partially responsible for I have to do something about it. So let's make a deal. I won't pretend that no one in the anti-israel/pro-palestinian camp is anti-Semitic and you stop assuming that we all are. Let's take a further step and assume that most people are trying to do what's for the best. Maybe some of them are taking a bad approach or being misled, but their intentions are not evil. And with that out of the way, let's look at the problems that are going on, acknowledge them, and look at how to fix them. This is not you against me, this is both of us against the increasing count of innocent victims of this struggle. And please, while I welcome you to draw my awareness to any time I am treading into dangerous waters with a line of reasoning and I welcome you to disagree with my assessment of things, stop with the implications that I am anti-Semitic. An example: I recognize the irony that the Palestinians are a Semitic people, and I also recognize that the bigots try to use that recognition to imply that they are not anti-Semitic. They would have people think that the problem is the Jewish people, thereby attempting to sidestep the label while promoting their bigotry. It's a mind game used to try and distort perceptions. - phaedrus ------------------- OK by Bill 8:28am Mon Aug 26 '02 Phaedrus- you are a reasonable person and I don't think you are an anti-Semite. I don't agree with many of your points, but you seem to be a good soul and I generally accept your "deal". Thanks for your insights, and thanks for being an independent thinker. Bill -------------- Cool by phaedrus 5:39pm Tue Aug 27 '02 I'm glad we were able to reach an understanding on this. Thank you for your efforts in making sure that more than one perspective is seen and for raising warnings when hate rears it's head. Now we just need to figure out the best way to support ending the violence in the middle east. Getting to a point where we are able to discuss it is a strong step. -------------------------------200236 Oneidas struggle against dictator (english) Danielle Schenandoah Patterson 11:24am Tue Aug 27 '02 (Modified on 12:30pm Tue Aug 27 '02) article#200236 In central new york there is a struggle between traditional oneida people against the unrecognized leader ray halbritter. he is going through a process of eviction and demoltion of traditional people's homes so that he can develop the land for profit. as we speak danielle's home is threatened to be destroyed. >Urgent! For Immediate Release August 22, 2002 > >NOTICE: > >My name is Danielle Schenandoah Patterson, I reside on the >Onyota'a:ka Oneida Indian Territory all native community with my >three small Oneida children. My children and I are Oneida citizens >of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy in upstate New York. I am >requesting for immediate supporters and legal observers to come to >the Oneida Indian Territory. Although private home owners, residents >of this long-standing community are facing eviction and the >destruction of their houses at the order of the illegitimate >government of Arthur Ray Halbritter. Halbritter's 'leadership' was >imposed upon the Oneida people, against their will, by the BIA, the >federal Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs. He >has since created a dictatorship and established the "Oneida Indian >Nation of New York", an INCORPORATION diguised as a nation. > >Halbritter wields power only though this federal recognition. The >Iroquois Six Nations Confederacy (Oneida, Onondoga, Mohawk, Seneca, >Tuscorora, Cayuga) has continously notified the BIA that Halbritter >does not represent the Onieda people, as he does not follow elective >nor traditional forms and there is NO PROCESS THROUGH WHICH THE >PEOPLE CAN REMOVE HIM FROM THIS APPOINTED FEDERAL POSITION. A men's >council government (unheard of amongst the Iroquois) was established >by Halbritter, on his payroll to validate all his decisions. >Halbritter created an all non-native Paramilitant squad (AKA ONEIDA >NATION POLICE) under his direct command to harass, intimidate, >physically abuse, and install fear in the people, forcing them to >submit to the Halbitter regime. It has also been publicly exposed >that "The Oneida Nation Bureau of Investigation Spy Network" exists >to perform covert operations against natives and non-natives who do >not go along with his plans. > >In May 1995, a peaceful March for Democracy was held on Oneida >homelands. The participants in the March were exercising their >rights to choose their own leadership and government, opposing the >federal imposition of Halbritter and BIA treaty violations. In >retaliation, Halbritter took tribal membership away from over 200 >Oneida participants, stripping them of their tribal benefits, >including employment and education benefits, and right to >participate in tribal affairs. He also closed down our food bank >that serviced 280 native people. Halbritter then locked our >longhouse (traditional religious building and center of the >community) and banned all traditional activity and ceremonies. He >threated that any Onieda found entering any tribally owned buildings >would be arrested. > >None of the Halbritter establishments, newly built Nation court, >casino, or government buildings are located on the Oneida Indigenous >terrority, and none of his paramilitants or administration officials >reside on the Oneida Indian Territory. The Territory residents >learned from the local media that the Halbritter administration had >announced a "Beautification Project, 2001" where our homes would now >be inspected, condemned, and demolished under the guise of health >and safety. The territory families homes were destroyed although >some of those homes were 1990 models or newer. In one year, eleven >Iroquois families were evicted and their homes demolished against >their will. The only option these homeless, displaced families were >given was to pay rent to the Halbritter administration for homes >outside of this community. The remaining residents rejected the >Halbritter-sanctioned inspections because they only lead to >eviction. The local media was present when this announcement was >made by the territory residents. > >I was called on the telephone yesterday by media and asked for a >statement on the August 8th decision of an appeal of the eviction of >my family and destruction of our home. Halbritter's tribal court >ordered the demolition of my home to be executed by no later than >September 15th, 2002. I was shocked as I was unaware of this >decision. I immediately went to Halbritter's legal office to obtain >my paperwork on this order. I was denied the demolition order, even >though it's publicly accessible. > >My three children's & my inherited birthrights of this country are >being violated. Although my home meets and exceeds all New York >State safety and housing codes, we are going to be made homeless >with no financial means as we have to seek all future accomodations >at our own expense. I have been a prisoner, unable to leave my home >unattended in fear of when the demolition & eviction will occur. >There is no justice in this tribal court since Halbritter has final >decision over any and all apeals. Because I do not recognise this >illegal dictatorship under Ray Halbritter, "whatever it takes" >measures are being used against me and the remaining families to >remove us from our inherited birthrights to live as Haudenosaunee >free people upon our indigenous land. > >I ask for anyone who opposes violators of civil, constitutional, >religious, and human rights to please aid us in our stand to >exercise our right to fight with the truth and save my home as well >as the homes of the other remaining residents who all face the same >fate. We are in need of financial assistance and legal observers to >come to the Oneida Territory. Help us to record inhumane and cruel >treatment and actions forced upon Indian people by the hired >non-native paramilitants -right here in central New York. > >Rules: NO WEAPONS, NO DRUGS, NO ALCOHOL We are maintaining our >peaceful presence, our community rejects any violence to be used as >the excuse for Halbritter to execute every last one of us here >fighting for our rights. > >All statments are true and have been documented by video, legal >documents, audio, pictures, affidavits. We extend an open invitation >for all to come and see the truth for yourselves. > >Ny;Wah ~thanks to all who are willing to aid us as we face these >illegal actions taken against an all traditional native community >close to destruction. > >Directions: Off New York State Thruway exit 33, make left onto Rt. >365 follow to end to Rt. 5, make right and at the intersection of >Friendly's restaurant make left onto RT. 46 s, 3 1/2 miles make left >at intersection of blinking light, check-in point is last home on >the left side at end of road. Please bring tents, any and all >recording devices, walkie- talkies, supplies, and food. At any given >moment the paramillitants are going to be here to evict and >demolish. Please notify all media and human, civil, religious, >womens, and contstitutional rights activists and organisations. > >For more information: > > quietwolfe/progressive/policeharrassment.rm > > quietwolfe/progressive/Danielle.rm > > > > found at Oneida Backgrounder > > > > Oneida Action News > >Contact or to send donations: > >Onyota'a:ka Oneidas for Democracy, a non-profit organization > >PO Box 450 > >Oneida, New York 13421 > >or send emergency housing & legal defense funding to: > >Danielle Schenandoah Patterson > >Box 48 Oneida Indian Territory > >Oneida, New York 13421 > >email:, ,, >, > >, > ----------------------- finally...the canadian approach to 1st nation (english) luther blissett 12:30pm Tue Aug 27 '02 comment#200238 we have that shit here in canada its called the band council system it mean that one person on each reservation lives in a really big house. its his job to "lead" the indians in relation with the government however, they (the chiefs) just happen to all be members of the ruling liberal party. so when the prime minister comes to winnipeg, theres this "protest". all the band council heads and their supporters bused in for a round of public ancestor worship followed by a "march" for aboriginal rights while the leader of the poarty taht they all belong to is in town. so basically, thats the first nations chance to protest. the band chiefs get richer. more and more first nations people are passed out all over winnipegs north side every night. comatose, two sheets to the wind on gas or alcohol or fuck knows what because any monies and treaties that are signed to "help" first nations only enrich their chiefs, who dont seem to be in much of a mood for sharing. so all the white folks see this and theyre all about "those damned indians, theyre all slobs, hopeless, welfare" this only further disinclines native populations to do something about their sittuation. they make up very close to 50% of the inhabitants of winnipeg area yet they are not able to run candidates for ANYTHING! those who do run are also intrisically tied to the forementioned band chief system. check out ward churchill ----------------------- AN AUSTRALIAN CONCEPTION OF THE SOUL IN LIFE AND DEATH (Murngin) Each Murngin man and woman has two souls. One is looked upon as fundamental and real, and is felt to be the true soul, the soul from the heart, while the other is considered a trickster, of little value, and only in a vague way associated with the 'true man.'. . . . The first is the birimbir or warro, and the second is the mokoi or shadow soul. The warro is the totemic well spirit. it can be seen reflected in the water when one looks in it. It comes to one during good dreams. The waffo, when a man dies, becomes 'all the same as a fish.' It lives with and in the totemic emblems. . . . The trickster soul is called shadow soul before death and mokoi when it leaves the body and goes into the jungle and bush country. 'Our old people reckon that the shadow soul is all the same as a bad spirit. It's that thing that makes me bad. My shadow always comes with me. The shadows of other things and creatures [besides man] are not souls but only shadows.' The mokoi soul is supposed to live more or less all over the body. It is a kind of vague duplicate of it. Sometimes one is told that only the head of a man is made into a mokoi at his death and that mokoi has no body. In the pictures drawn of it and the representations made in the dances, the mokoi is always possessed Of a body, but it is distorted and made to appear ugly and unpleasant. The warro is constantly undergoing change of status. It originates in the totem well, comes to its human father in a dream under miraculous circumstances where it is directed to its mother's womb, lodges there, is born in a normal number of months, and then lives in the heart of the new human organism during the period of the organism's life of the flesh unless it is stolen by a black sorcerer. After death there is a period of some indecision between the land of the living and the land of the dead, but it finally returns to the totemic well whence it came. It is in the symbol of the soul and its relations to the sacred and profane elements in Murngin civilization that we find mirrored the structure and values of the society. The soul supplies the eternal element to the cultural life of an individual Murngin. It lifts man from the simple profane animal level and allows him to participate fully in the sacred eternal values of the civilization that was, is, and will be. It finally and eternally ties the man whose heart it occupies to his totem, the symbol of all clan unity in Murngin culture, since the soul at death is one of the prominent elements in the configuration of associated items found in the clan's totemic water, the water which is the essence of life. Here live the great totemic ancestors who existed in the time of the Wawilak creator sisters when the Wongar totems walked the earth, and whose sacred names are used by the profane living only when these living have been purified by the great rituals, when they are part of the sacred and eternal elements in the culture when man and his totems participate as one in the totemic rituals. Here, too, in the well, lie the totemic ancestors who died at the beginning of time, and the more recently dead whose emotional bonds with the living are still strong. The more recent ancestors who have gone through the long purifying mortuary ritual which removed au the profane elements of the personality (whose mokoi spirit has gone into the bush with his other evil comrades) are, in their nature, of such sacredness that they can be absorbed into the body of the totem itself. And when the totemic essence of the totem animals is induced into the emblem, they also enter and participate in the spiritual life of the Murngin during the great rituals and then return to the sacred water hole. After the ritual, the emblem is buried beneath the mud of the totem well and allowed to rot, and the ancestor spirits and the totemic spirit return to the subterranean depths. Man goes through exactly the same cycle of existence as the totemic spirit. The totemic spirit enters into the sacred water hole, goes through the ordinary water at the top of the well into the subterranean depths, and finally into the totem water beneath, where the Wongar ancestors live, becoming a part of the sacred configuration. The soul exactly the same thing. The soul, the totemic spirit, the Wongar or totemic ancestors, are all expressions of the fundamental sacred essence, the ultimate symbol of which is the totemic well, which is the repository of all the individual items which have been or will be incarnate in man or his religious objects. W. Lloyd Warner, A Black Civilization (New York: Harper Torchbook, 1964), PP. 435-7 ------------------------------ PRE-EXISTENCE AND INCARNATION AMONG NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS It is in several places common for the breath of life to be conceived as proceeding from the Creator and returning to Him after death. Even without the connection with the breath being specified, the origin of the soul is ascribed to the Creator or the culture hero. The Bella Coola and Wind River Shoshoni thus consider that the Supreme Being is the giver of life and the life-soul. The Sauk Indian refers to his Creator as 'he that gave us life.' Also the kinsmen of the Sauk, the Fox, believe that the life-soul is a gift of the Great Spirit. In the majority of our sources speak of the creation of the life soul -or rather of life-but we also have data concerning the origin of the free-soul. The Supreme Being of the Bella Coola 'made a soul for each of those about to be born; one of the minor gods fashioned its face; and a goddess rocked it, and sent it below to be born.' The dreamsoul of the Sinkaietk is conceived to have come from God-in contradistinction to the supernatural power, which is acquired from the animals. The Fox believe that just as the Supreme Being has given the life-soul, so the culture hero has given the free-soul. . . . The sky god Skan of the Oglala has given man the whole of his psychic equipment, including the life-soul and free-soul. The Wind River Shoshoni describes the free-soul as the gift of the supreme god. . . . Where the direct statements fail us we with advantage have recourse to the remarks in the mythological tradition concerning the creation of the first human beings: the events of the primeval cosmic era are in many points repeated in the occurrences of later epochs, and the souls of the first man and modern man are of course conceived as having the same origin. Thus we are told in the Navajo myth concerning the first human beings: 'It was the wind that gave them life. It is the wind that comes out of our mouths now that gives us life.'. . . if, however, a high divinity is conceived as the creator of the world, it is natural to expect that he will also be believed to have given man his soul(s) even if this is not directly stated. But we must remember the danger of reconstructing from logical premises a belief concerning whose existence nothing has been said. The origin of the soul is, it is true, often referred to the god who is also the creator of the earth. But even subordinate divinities may collaborate in the creative act to which the soul is due (the Navajo). In a couple of cases, however, it seems justified-in certain circumstances-to deduce from the characteristics of the Supreme Being his significance for the origin of the soul. He is often referred to as the Breathmaker or Master of Life. The first of these terms, which has been used by some Muskhogean peoples (the Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole), of course speaks for itself. The second term, the Master of Life, which has for the most part been given to the Creator of the Algonquin Indians (and which in the literature is most frequently found as the designation for the supreme god of the Lenape Indians), presumably refers to the god's capacity as the giver and guardian of the soul. In some cases the supreme deity is called 'the Master of Life and Death.' This indicates, inter alia, that he is also the lord of the realm of the dead-a function which he fills even when he is only referred to as 'the Master of Life.' . . . Thus, as a rule, the Indians of North America believe that man's spirit has its ultimate origin in the deity himself, either through creation or partial emanation. In a couple of cases, it is true, the father of the child has been stated to beget the soul as well as the physical embryo. But these exceptions are few, and are probably the products of a speculation that has tried to fill a gap in the existing knowledge of the soul or souls. A soul that is commonly considered to derive from the gods is ipso facto not an ordinary profane creation. Whether it is conceived to be a gift of the deity or an emanation of his being, it belongs through its origin to the supernatural world. In its effect, on the other hand, it need not be supernatural in the same way as the mystical power. The supernatural origin of the human soul finds particularly clear expression in the idea of pre-existence. Here we are not referring to the pre-existence that a reincarnated individual has had in a previous earthly life as man or animal: we are referring to the pre-incarnative existence, man's life before he is incarnated on earth. 'Man' stands here for the individual reality, which from the psychological viewpoint is the extra-physical soul, the free-soul, and which consequently represents man's ego in the pre-incarnative state. . . . Where the belief in pre-existence in the form referred to here occurs (and it is reported from practically all parts of North America), the most widely varying places are conceived for the pre-incarnate existence. Among the Pueblo peoples of the Southwest the realm of the dead in the underworld is the place where the unborn dwell. One may naturally suspect that the new-born are consequently reincarnated deceased persons. But this is not always the case, for according to the agrarian Pueblo ideology the underworld is also the place for the renewal of life and is the original home of humanity. Also outside the Pueblo area we find the underworld regarded as man's constant place of generation. This is the case among, for instance, the Hidatsa, who possibly distinguished between this place and the realm of the dead. . . . Where the prenatal original home does not coincide with the realm of the dead it is nevertheless localized to places that remind one of the abode of the dead. The Ingalik believe that 'there is a place filled with the spirits of little children, all impatient to be "called," i.e., born into this life.' In the depths of the forest there is according to Kwakiutl belief a mysterious house. 'Since one of the performances held in this house was that of giving birth, it was probably believed that from this house all generation of men, animals, and plants, took place.' The Indians in the north-westernmost U.S.A. have a 'babyland' where the unborn children live and play before they come to the earth. The Chinook children lived 'a quite definite existence' before birth, in the sun, the daylight. The Montagnais tradition to the effect that children come from the clouds, on the other hand, is evidently only a pedagogical fiction. According to the Eastern Shawnee, unborn children live on the little stars of the Milky Way. But we also find the belief that they live together with the creator, 'Our Grandmother.'. . . Narratives of medicine-men who before their human incarnation had been spirit-beings are known from many parts of North America. Le Mercier tells of a Huron medicine-man who declared that he had lived as an oki (spirit) under the earth together with a female spirit. Both, possessed by the desire to become human beings, had finally concealed themselves near a path and taken up their abode in a passing woman. She gave birth to them too early; the medicine-man lived, but his female partner, with whom he had fought in the womb, came to the world still-born. The Central Algonquin and the adjacent Sioux believe that their medicine-men were thunder-beings in a previous life. Thus the Menomini think that-'some babies are actually manitous in human shape, as in the case of thunder boys, who are nothing less than these powerful god beings come to earth for a while; or girls who personify one of the sacred sisters of the eastern sky.' In such circumstances also the name of the person in question is pre-existent, and no other name must be substituted for it during his earthly existence. The reserved character and meditative behaviour of a child is a decisive criterion of its supernatural birth. . . . . Nowhere is the speculation concerning human pre-existence so subtle and sublime as in the notions of the pre-existence of medicine-men entertained by the Dakota tribes. Pond's splendid account of their ideas on this subject deserves to be quoted. He writes: 'The original essence of these men and women, for they appear under both sexes, first wakes into existence floating in ether. As the winged seed of the thistle or of the cottonwood floats on the air, so they are gently wafted by the 'four-winds'-'Taku-skan-skan'-through the regions of space, until, in due time, they find themselves in the abode of some one of the families of the superior gods by whom they are received into intimate fellow-ship. There the embryonic medicine-man remains till he becomes familiar with the characters, abilities, desires, caprices, and employment of the gods. He becomes essentially assimilated to then', imbibing their spirit and becoming acquainted with all the chants, feasts, fasts, dances and sacrificial rites which it is deemed necessary to impose on men.'. . . . . . We find an echo of similar trains of thought in the belief of the Mohave shamans that 'they were present in spirit form at the beginning of the world, at the time when all power, shamanistic and other, was established and allotted.,. . . The future human being is often given the opportunity in his pre-existent life to choose the people he wishes to live among on earth and the woman of whom he wants to be born. An Iowa shaman 'inspected many tribes before he decided to be born an Iowa. He declined the Winnebago because they smelled fishy, and so he circled around until he discovered the Iowa. They suited him because they were clean, kept their camps swept up, and sent their women a long way off to menstruate. He came down and entered a dark lodge with a bearskin door, and after quite a stay he came out' (i.e. was born). The ethnocentric viewpoint also decides the future Dakota shaman's choice of parents: he does not want to be born of a white mother, partly because he wishes to have 'Dakota customs and dress,' and partly because his kinsmen the thunderers would kill him if he became white and thereby ignored their instructions. . . . Concerning the soul's entry into the embryo and its role during the development of the embryo opinion is divided among North American Indians. . . . The following collection of data shows how various are the conceptions of the soul's (or souls') incarnation. Some Eskimo imagine that children, like eggs, live in the snow and creep into the womb. The Mackenzie Eskimo have many mutually incompatible notions concerning incarnation. One believes that the soul (nappan) comes with the water when the mother drinks, or from the ground when she urinates. Another believes that the child gets a soul at the same time as it is born. And a third believes that the soul comes at some time during the pregnancy, 'how or when she does not know.' The breath of a child to be enters a Tanaina woman like a cold puff of wind. The (free-) soul of a Tlingit Indian is not reincarnated until the body with which it is to be united has been born. The soul of the Hisla Indian is often the spirit of an uncle, which takes possession of his body even before the birth of the individual. The unitary soul among the Sanpoil appears already in the embryo. Among the Plains Cree the free-soul takes up its abode in the body at birth. The Naskapi Indian receives his 'Great Man' during the embryonic stage. According to the Shawnee, 'a soul goes to earth and jumps through the mother's vagina and into the body of the child through the fontanelle just before birth.' Jones writes that according to the belief of the Ojibway 'the manitou on the other side of the world' delivers their souls to people before their birth. The Fox imagine that the life-soul is with the human embryo during the embryonic development, while the free-soul remains outside the mother during this period, and does not enter the child's body until its birth. . . . Evidence that the child is believed to have soul-activity during the embryonic stage is afforded in the Indian notion of the foetal consciousness: the child feels and thinks during the time it spends in the mother's body. Sometimes this consciousness is intensified to the point of precognition, prophetic clairvoyance. A Bella Coola child that cries in the womb is believed to have an excellent intellect. A shaman from the Great Bear Lake district declared that before his birth he had seen a star, which revealed to him all the medicines that have power over man. The Chipewyan embryo warns its mother if she is approached by an evil spirit. The unborn Lummi Indian hears what his future relatives are saying and knows what they are thinking; if they have evil thought in their mind he leaves them before his birth. A sagacious Lenape declared that he had acquired supernatural knowledge even before his birth. . . . The Saulteaux relate that in former times the Indians had consciousness during the ,embryonic stage, and in this connection also certainty concerning the content of earthly life, a prophetic capacity that was one of the signs of magic power. Such things are now rare. A Saulteaux did, however, tell Hallowell the following: 'Four nights before I was born I knew that I would be born. My mind was as dear when I was born as it is now. I saw my father and my mother, and I knew who they were. I knew the things an Indian uses, their names and what they were good for. . . .' Such certainty is said to be, founded on the fact that the person in question had earlier lived a life among human beings. The unborn Fox child understands what its mother is saying, and abandons her if she proves to be quarrelsome. The Winnebago medicine-man, who is sent down to a woman's womb from his pre-existence, retains his consciousness both at the conception and during the entire embryonic period. The Wahpeton shamans know everything about their future existence before their birth. . . . The events after the incarnation, and especially at the actual moment of birth, have been dramatically described by a reincarnated Winnebago shaman: 'Then I was brought down to earth. I did not enter a woman's womb, but I was taken into a room. There I remained conscious at all times. One day I heard the noise of little children outside and some other sounds, so I thought I would go outside. Then it seemed to me that I went through a door, but I was really being born again from a woman's womb. As I walked out I was struck with the sudden rush of cold air and I began to cry.' Ake Hultkrantz, Conceptions of the Soul among North American Indians (Stockbolm, 1954), PP. 412-26 ----------------------------------- Wilfried ( Hou Je Bek writes: Generative Psychogeography as a tool in the construction of a hive mind. 1 When an ant colony moves into new territory, the autonomous operating ants set out to locate food. For this task they use tactics which are psychogeographical, even Zen-like; their organization is so that they find it by not looking for it: they actively stumble on it by randomly exploring the surrounding. When an ant has located food, it maps the route from the source back to the colony with pheromones. If there where just a hundred ants, this tactic wouldn't be very powerful, as it will take a very long time to explore the entire territory in this fashion: important food supplies might easily be missed. What makes the psychogeographical foraging of the ants worthwhile is the sheer amount of psycho-navigating ants that ensure that every single micro-fraction of land will be visited. This tactic therefore succeeds by the brute force by which the ant colony is able to use statistics for it's own benefit. When a psychogeographer-ant detects a pheromone trail it starts to follow it, expecting to find food at the end. Pheromone evaporates after time so a trail has to be visited regularly to remain active. The most profitable routes will be used more often, this will cause the increased density of pheromones on this route & therefore more ants will pass trough it, etc. This positive feedback system gains in precision if there is a large amount of agents/ant to run the 'calculations'; to filter the available routes for the shortest one. The collective intelligence of the ants-colony thus emerges from the bottom up. This somewhat rude description on the forage mechanism of an ant colony (or termites or the open source software movement) has attracted lots of attention over the time. In pop-science these distribute intelligence network without a central processing unit are called 'swarm brains', 'hive minds' or (think Star Strek) 'borganisms'. The comparison of patterns created by ant-colonies & groups of generative psychogeographers is so remarkably similar, that it is logical to think that it should be possible to use generative psychogeography for the construction of a hive mind. 2 The 'urban art' phenomena which is currently appearing in the streets of every large Dutch city might give a clue on how this could be made to work in practise. Their stickers, the default medium for most urban artists, tend to appear in the city in the slipstream of the daily patterns of the artist. So when the hype had reached impressive momentum & people unknown to each other started making stickers as well, the stickers stopped to be isolated, visual noise & become signal, traces. If one took the density of the stickers as the rule for a psychogeographical experiment & began from the Utrecht central train-station one might end up at the Tivoli, an alternative concert venue, at which entrance-door the trace ends abruptly. If one picked up on another trace one could easily end up at the front door of an urban artist. A visitor easily finds the most interesting shops by following the route with is covered thickest with stickers. In Amsterdam one can detect a trail which goes from the Dam into the American Bookstore at the Kalverstraat where it runs dead on the shelve with the graffiti magazines; no kidding. Just like ants do, urban artists tend to follow each other, so increasingly reinforcing already strong signals while other less targeted streets will increasingly turn obsolete, (as far as the presence of urban art concerned). So it turns out that the urban art movement has unwittingly created an external cognitive map, a hive mind for shopping & partying, in which every tourist, (who shares certain interests) can plug into. Echoing this 'urban swarm art' we will organise an experiment in which the construction of a hive mind. We will use stickers as the communicational interface for the group. 3 Like in every psychogeographical session the participants gather at a certain place & time. Everyone is handed a different algorithm to follow. The participants agree on a time to end the experiment & off they go. Generative psychogeography at it's most basic is no more than this, now we will have to add some extra features to enable the group to share the collected information with each other trough an external system. For this we will use colour coded stickers; green = good, yellow = alright & red = bad. The task for the GPHM (Generative Psychogeographical Hive Mind) we want to create with this experiment is a system that is able to locate a bar where we can discuss the results afterwards. Of course we don't want any bar but a nice one, with good music & a wide variety of beers to choose from. When the participants pass a bar (restaurants, bistro's & hotels are excluded) during a stroll the added rules of the GPHM experiment come into play. The participant checks the quality of the bar & decides if it's worth with a green, a yellow or a red sticker. The participants resume their algorithm where interrupted by the bar with the difference that from then on s/he will apply the decided colour of sticker in public space. When the participant encounters another bar s/he the coding changes with regular intervals as necessary. In this fashion the participants walk on. When the participant encounters 2 bars opposite of each other the bar at the right hand will be evaluated. However, when they run into a red sticker from somebody else they must follow this trail. This brings the participant in front to the positively appreciated bar. If s/he agrees that it is a nice bar s/he continues her algorithm applying the red sticker as well. (Until s/he runs into a bad bar & the colour changes once again). But these trails don't carry a direction so you might easily be walking away from it, ending up at a dead end or at a rotten bar where the red trail turns into green one. Ants encounter this problem as well but they don't seem to matter, so why should we? When you followed the red trail to it's most logical conclusion & can go no further than restart your algorithm. You stop following your algorithm at the designated time. It's time to meet the groups again, to do this you will immediately control the quality of the fresh cognitive map laid out by the GPHM experiment. By now the city will be covered with different stickers all connected in a multitude of trails. Trails which will have doubled, tripled, quadrupled - intersected; this will produce new routes & perhaps somewhere you will pick up on a clear green trail to a nice bar. In this bar you will meet the group again: if the cognitive map works! Do never think for yourself: when you follow a green trail & end up at a bad bar which you know to be not the source of the green one but the end point from a green trail than that's bad luck: for you this bar will be the end point of the tour. Here you will wait for any other psychogeographers to show up. There are several options to determine the hierarchy of the coding but we chose for this one: green is always higher than yellow, yellow always higher than red. So a trail which is coded with one green is stronger than a route which is marked with 6 times yellow. When the rout splits, chose the strongest one. If one direction is coded with one green & the other with one green + one red, than follow the latter. If you are an unlucky sod who happened to not encounter a single bar during your whole trip you must proceed to start & there try to pick up on a signal. If your algorithm runs dead during the time you should be following it, head back to the point of departure & start the algorithm in another direction. Do not apply the stickers on your way back. In this case a GPHM might be called intelligent if everybody ends up at the same bar. --- notes Dutch Urban Art Site: For a more detailed description on hive minds & bottom-up intelligence see Steven Johnon's "Emergence, the connected lives of ants, cities and software" Also an important source for the ideas behind the GPHM have been the work of Leonel Moura ( & Vitorino ramos ( /~cvrm/staff/vramos) Java applets simulating random walks & ant psychogeography, --------------