195295 More Gitlin (motherjones) -|-|- 193810 Corn is King (book by Pollan) -|-|- 194227 Nation attacked by VillVoice --The Nation has censored the US release of "Bin Laden: Forbidden Truth". -|-|- 194134 observer meets netureikarta folk They strictly follow the tenets of the Torah. They also burn Israeli flags.-|-|- 197768 Gitlin in the observer Bush falters but who dare oppose him? Scandalous news of corporate malpractice has given the Democrats a new lease of life, which they seem reluctant to exploit Observer Worldview Tod Gitlin -|-|- 193879 + bush alledgedly a nazi I try to shift the focus -|-|- 196411 + 196714 anti-islam botspam  ----- 196698 Robert Fisk  ---------- 195585  Questionable Use of Foucault by Indymedia ------- 193718 Michael Neumann on ME (july 6th) -|-|- 194585 Fredy Perlman on ME -|-|- ------------------------- 195295 Making The Most of Scandals (english) Todd Gitlin 10:07am Wed Jul 31 '02 address: Mother Jones article#195295 Bush has lost his veil of invulnerability. Should the left be satisfied? After decades of rampant deregulation, this is one of those moments when serious reform might be possible. Do we want to leave matters to the tender ministrations of Senate and House committees while ranting away against capitalism? Alan Greenspan and, yes, Dick Cheney are attacking the menace of corporate greed. That public battle is won. We must not be satisfied by the bad-guy hunt and the easy gestures. We must educate ourselves about proper corporate governance, and we must open up that debate. If the left doesn't, who will? Making the Most of a Scandal The ongoing corporate scandals represent a unique opportunity to pursue real reform -- an opportunity many on the left seem to be ignoring as they exult over President Bush's discomfort. <http://www.motherjones.com/ web_exclusives/  commentary/opinion/gitlin_august.html> Getting Real--Todd Gitlin July 29, 2002 Bush has lost his veil of invulnerability. Should the left be satisfied? With corporate scandals dominating the headlines, progressive pundits are watching with glee as President Bush tries vainly to distance himself from his longtime allies among the business elite. But those on the left who are busy exulting in the Bush administration's discomfort should take a lesson from history. Corruption can sink governments, but it doesn't necessarily float reform. For a real-world example, see America's own 1922 Teapot Dome debacle. That corporate scandal rocked the Harding administration and sent Interior Secretary Albert Fall to prison. But the political inheritors of that upheaval were the underwhelming Coolidge and Hoover administrations. For a more recent example, see Italy's "Tangentopoli" kickback scandal. Virtually every political party in Rome was implicated, and the government collapsed, but the chaos only led to the white-horse arrival of plutocrat Silvio Berlusconi, no gift to reform. Now, in Washington, what with the exposure of Enron, Global Crossing, Tyco, WorldCom and their attendant accountants, Republicans are being forced to restate their political earnings. These diehard defenders of deregulation at all costs find themselves challenged to justify the hilarious pretense that they are still "reformers with results." Surely, the age-old GOP mantra 'market good, bureaucracy bad' loses much of its allure when the 'market' turns out to be a euphemism for conglomerates and conglomerates turn out to be shell-games run for the enrichment of a stupendously greedy corporate aristocracy. The market's bubble has burst, and we'll soon see how much tensile strength the Bush bubble has left. In political terms, a sagging White House looks rather promising for the left's prospects. After months of sycophantic news coverage, during which the president's occasional delivery of whole sentences were treated as signs of Mature Leadership, we are treated to daily reminders that this president's pallid palliatives will not move the markets, except possibly downward. Moreover, we are provided daily revelations about Bush, his inner circle and their collective lack of business ethics. Each week, the nation's newspapers come forward with unremitting investigations of Bush's slick, slimy history of deal-making and favor-taking -- a record that is easily matched by that of Dick Cheney. This roaring of hitherto stifled sentiments is healthy and welcome, as overdue sanity always is, but it's not enough. It's not enough to beat up on George W. Bush, the whiny rich boy who, thanks to other people's money, oiled his way into power. It's not enough to have a few old-time left-wing religionists to flail away at capitalism's 'inherent flaws,' as if some more fruitful economic system were really on offer. What is worth considering is what kind of capitalism we are to have. We know now -- if we didn't know before -- what unbridled management looks like. We know the depths of corruption to which it can subject not only employees and stockholders but the citizenry and, often, much of the rest of the world. What we don't know, at least not yet, is what a more decent system would look like. Some in Congress have their own ideas on the subject -- ideas which are now almost certain to become law. Democrats and Republicans alike are holding forth as champions of reform, adopting hanging-judge rhetoric and promising that recently-approved corporate fraud measures will push corporate America to clean up its act. At the same time, several of Capitol Hill's stickiest-fingered tycoon-protectors, like Phil Gramm and Dick Armey, are galloping off toward the retirement sunset, hoping to get out of town before the scandal's stench catches up with them. Democrats, meanwhile, are treading lightly. Many, including the party's most recent Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Lieberman, have their own closets bursting with disreputable skeletons. Amid all the posturing and politicking, there is a very real danger that the Democratic leadership in Congress will (to paraphrase Abba Eban's great mot about the Palestinian leadership) miss no opportunity to miss an opportunity. Hastening to slather themselves with bipartisanship, and evidently fearing the political fallout of alienating the nation's wealthy (and, with them, the many middle class voters distressingly beholden to the rich), the Democratic leadership, has rushed the issue. Instead of peeling back the many layers of the accounting scandal, they have narrowed the focus to useful but minor rule changes, increased investigative scrutiny and gangbuster criminal sentences. They have wagged their fingers at a handful of stupendously greedy CEOs, but they have left untouched the deregulatory fever that unleashed them. Instead of seeking to untangle an interlocked system of bent regulations, easy taxation, and accounting hustles -- a system which allowed the ratio of CEO-to-employee income to grow from roughly 45-to-1 at the start of Reagan's reign to some 450-to-1 twenty years later -- the Democratic leadership has gone looking for crooks to lock up. What's more, the Democratic leadership has backed off the central question of social goals -- and how the warped market system can be straightened to better support the fundamental goal of equality. Now, it's quite true that Americans don't want a ceiling on income, let alone dollar-to-dollar equality. Even at the peak of the depression, when FDR actually called for a ceiling on salaries, huge majorities opposed it. In more or less prosperous times, the poor like the rich want to be able to pass on an inheritance untaxed -- never mind that most legacies are pittances. Still, the American version of equality is fairness, and the spectacle of top Enron executives making off with hundreds of millions in stock profits while most of their employees watched their retirement funds melt away should be truly revolting to any honest person, whether they consider themselves progressive, liberal, moderate or conservative. Corporate criminality will surely be trimmed as a result of the congressional action, but the debate about economic reform has been pathetically narrow. Corporations are sanctioned by governments, not the other way round. Governments have the right -- and, in the name of the public good, the responsibility -- to determine how corporations shall govern themselves. There is a growing, and welcome, call for a shareholders rights movement, the central pillars of which are greater financial transparency and greater director responsibility. But why should shareholders be considered the only stakeholders, when corporate power ramifies so widely? Why shouldn't unions have votes on corporate boards, as in Germany? Why shouldn't representatives of other involved parties -- such as neighbors, pensioners, and environmentalists? After decades of rampant deregulation, this is one of those moments when serious reform might be possible. Do we want to leave matters to the tender ministrations of Senate and House committees while ranting away against capitalism? Alan Greenspan and, yes, Dick Cheney are attacking the menace of corporate greed. That public battle is won. We must not be satisfied by the bad-guy hunt and the easy gestures. We must educate ourselves about proper corporate governance, and we must open up that debate. If the left doesn't, who will? What do you think? Todd Gitlin is a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University. His most recent book is .Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives. Next spring, Basic Books will publish his Letters to a Young Activist. --------------------- GREENS ANYONE? (english) RAGINHART 11:15am Wed Jul 31 '02 This is a cogent call to action, but on what political legs? Mr Gitlin is pretty clear that the Democrats are not likely to lead the kind of discussion and action required to get us on new footing. But he shies away from the obvious question: who then? Whatever hard feelings may be harbored by some progressives for Greens taking 3% of the 2000 presidential vote, is not the Green Party the precise vehicle on which the necessary push can be mounted? ----------------- Re: GREENS ANYONE? (english) pjd 1:24pm Wed Jul 31 '02 This is a cogent call to action, but on what political legs? Well, based on this essay, the liberal Gitlin seems to calling for some pretty lame actions. Your average democrat congressman in the 1970's was further the the left than him. There are a some good people running on the Green ticket, but many Greens local chapters (actually the old ASGP) are so dominated by white suburban libertarians that I don't see much hope of real reform ----------------- 193810 MICHAEL POLLAN: When Corn Becomes King, or How Manufacturers Wear Crowns of Corn, and make everyone else wear crowns of thorns (the externalities) When a Crop Becomes King [when a crop's orientation is appointed king by manufactuerer's social interests alone] By MICHAEL POLLAN CORNWALL BRIDGE, Conn.Here in southern New England the corn is already waist high and growing so avidly you can almost hear the creak of stalk and leaf as the plants stretch toward the sun. The ears of sweet corn are just starting to show up on local farm stands, inaugurating one of the ceremonies of an American summer. These days the nation's nearly 80 million-acre field of corn rolls across the countryside like a second great lawn, but this wholesome, all-American image obscures a decidedly more dubious reality. Like the tulip, the apple and the potato, zea mays (the botanical name for both sweet and feed corn) has evolved with humans over the past 10,000 years or so in the great dance of species we call domestication. The plant gratifies human needs, in exchange for which humans expand the plant's habitat, moving its genes all over the world and remaking the land (clearing trees, plowing the ground, protecting it from its enemies) so it might thrive. Corn, by making itself tasty and nutritious, got itself noticed by Christopher Columbus, who helped expand its range from the New World to Europe and beyond. Today corn is the world's most widely planted cereal crop. But nowhere have humans done quite as much to advance the interests of this plant as in North America, where zea mays has insinuated itself into our landscape, our food system â?? and our federal budget. ECONOMIC EXTERNALITIES: IMPOVERISH THE FARMER WHILE AIDING ONLY THE MANUFACTURER WITH A PRICE REGIME OF CHEAP OVERSUPPLIED COMMODITIES One need look no further than the $190 billion farm bill President Bush signed last month to wonder whose interests are really being served here. Under the 10-year program, taxpayers will pay farmers $4 billion a year to grow ever more corn, this despite the fact that we struggle to get rid of the surplus the plant already produces. The average bushel of corn (56 pounds) sells for about $2 today; it costs farmers more than $3 to grow it. But rather than design a program that would encourage farmers to plant less corn  ***which would have the benefit of lifting the price farmers receive for it***[from manufactuers]Congress has decided instead to subsidize corn by the bushel, thereby insuring that zea mays [and manufacturers INTERESTS ONLY] dominion over its 125,000-square mile American habitat will go unchallenged. At first blush this subsidy might look like a handout for farmers, but really it's a form of welfare for the plant itself â?? and for all those economic interests that profit from its overproduction: the processors, factory farms, and the soft drink and snack makers that rely on cheap corn. For zea mays has triumphed by making itself indispensable not to farmers (whom it is swiftly and surely bankrupting) but to the Archer Daniels Midlands, Tysons and Coca-Colas of the world. [Actually, it is Archer Daniels Midlands, Tysons and Coca-Colas that have triumphed, by setting up this particular type of corn raw materal regime that has a host of externalities on us all.] Our entire food supply has undergone a process of "cornification" in recent years, without our even noticing it. That's because, unlike in Mexico, where a corn-based diet has been the norm for centuries, in the United States most of the corn we consume is invisible, having been heavily processed or passed through food animals before it reaches us. Most of the animals we eat (chickens, pigs and cows) today subsist on a diet of corn, regardless of whether it is good for them. In the case of beef cattle, which evolved to eat grass, a corn diet wreaks havoc on their digestive system, making it necessary to feed them antibiotics to stave off illness and infection. Even farm-raised salmon are being bred to tolerate corn â?? not a food their evolution has prepared them for. Why feed fish corn? Because it's the cheapest thing you can feed any animal, thanks to federal subsidies. But even with more than half of the 10 billion bushels of corn produced annually being fed to animals, there is plenty left over. So companies like A.D.M., Cargill and ConAgra have figured ingenious new ways to dispose of it, turning it into everything from ethanol to Vitamin C and biodegradable plastics. HEALTH EXTERNALITIES By far the best strategy for keeping zea mays in business has been the development of high-fructose corn syrup, which has all but pushed sugar aside. Since the 1980's, most soft drink manufacturers have switched from sugar to corn sweeteners, as have most snack makers. Nearly 10 percent of the calories Americans consume now come from corn sweeteners; the figure is 20 percent for many children. Add to that all the corn-based animal protein (corn-fed beef, chicken and pork) and the corn qua corn (chips, muffins, sweet corn) and you have a plant that has become one of nature's greatest success stories, by turning us (along with several other equally unwitting species) into an expanding race of corn eaters. So why begrudge corn its phenomenal success? Isn't this the way domestication is supposed to work? The problem in corn's case is that we're sacrificing the health of both our bodies and the environment by [state-supported] growing [of it as monocrops] and eating so much of it. Though we're only beginning to understand what our cornified food system is doing to our health, there's cause for concern. It's probably no coincidence that the wholesale switch to corn sweeteners in the 1980's marks the beginning of the epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in this country. Sweetness became so cheap that soft drink makers, rather than lower their prices, super-sized their serving portions and marketing budgets. Thousands of new sweetened snack foods hit the market, and the amount of fructose in our diets soared. This would be bad enough for the American waistline, but there's also preliminary research suggesting that high-fructose corn syrup is metabolized differently than other sugars, making it potentially more harmful. A recent study at the University of Minnesota found that a diet high in fructose (as compared to glucose) elevates triglyceride levels in men shortly after eating, a phenomenon that has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and heart disease. Little is known about the health effects of eating animals that have themselves eaten so much corn, but in the case of cattle, researchers have found that corn-fed beef is higher in saturated fats than grass-fed beef. ENVIRONMENTAL EXTERNALITIES (HOW BIG OIL SOILS THE CROPS) We know a lot more about what 80 million acres of corn is doing to the health of our environment: serious and lasting damage. Modern corn hybrids are the greediest of plants, demanding more nitrogen fertilizer than any other crop. Corn requires more pesticide than any other food crop. Runoff from these chemicals finds its way into the groundwater and, in the Midwestern corn belt, into the Mississippi River, which carries it to the Gulf of Mexico, where it has already killed off marine life in a 12,000 square mile area. To produce the chemicals we apply to our cornfields takes vast amounts of oil and natural gas. (Nitrogen fertilizer is made from natural gas, pesticides from oil.) America's corn crop might look like a sustainable, solar-powered system for producing food, but it is actually a huge, inefficient, polluting machine that guzzles fossil fuel â?? ***a half a gallon of it for every bushel.*** So it seems corn has indeed become king. [Archer Daniels Midlands, Tyson and Coca-Cola ACTUALLY in this arrangement of oversupplied commodities are king, and this overlordship has its health, ecological, and economic externalities effects to support only manufactuers interests in this way, instead of people as a whole.] We have given corn [and Archer Daniels Midlands, Tyson and Coca-Cola] more of our land than any other plant [and set of corporations], an area more than twice the size of New York State. To keep it well fed and safe from predators we douse it with chemicals that poison our water and deepen our dependence on foreign oil [and foreign war]. And then in order to dispose of all the corn this cracked system has produced, we eat it as fast as we can in as many ways as we can â?? turning the fat of the land into, well, fat. One has to wonder whether corn [and Archer Daniels Midlands, Tyson and Coca-Cola] hasn't at last succeeded in domesticating us. Michael Pollan is the author, most recently, of "The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World." <http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/19/  opinion/19POLL.html?ex=1028384345&ei  =1&en=9b15361dd11277d  ------------------------- 194227 The Nation has censored the US release of "Bin Laden: Forbidden Truth". Regardless if we agree or disagree with the premise of the book, the fact that The Nation acquired the book (to control it) and deleted and changed crucial material is an absolute outrage. Read the article below. The Nation should be exposed and denounced. Larry Chin Contributing Editor Online Journal www.onlinejournal.com > villagevoice.com/issues/0230/cotts.php Press Clips > by Cynthia Cotts > Laundering the 'Truth' > 'The Nation' Defuses a French Bombshell > July 24 - 30, 2002 > > According to the back cover of Forbidden Truth, a > bestseller published in France last fall and released > in this country last week, a round of "secret > diplomacy between the Bush administration and the > Taliban" may have provoked Osama bin Laden into > launching the September 11 attacks. > As proof, authors Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume > DasquiÃ?© point to a July 2001 meeting of a UN > initiative known as Six Plus Two, formed to discuss > Afghanistan's future and to offer incentives for > building a Central Asian oil pipeline. The group that > met in July included two former U.S. ambassadors, > ostensibly chosen to float ideas that could not be > traced to the U.S. government. At the meeting, > according to one participant, one of the Americans > informed the group, "Either you accept our offer of a > carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of > bombs." And when news of this unusual military threat > reached bin Laden, the authors imply, he launched a > preemptive strike on the U.S. > > With an outrageous premise like that, it's no wonder > that chapter six of Forbidden Truth has been touted as > the smoking gun that proves Bush's indirect > responsibility for 9-11ââ?¬â?ťor that Nation Books, the > publishing arm of The Nation, has just published the > book in English. What's really interesting is that > after The Nation's hard-nosed Washington editor, David > Corn, denounced the authors as conspiracy theorists, > Nation Books neatly excised the smoking-gun > allegations from the text. > > The smoking-gun claim first appeared in the foreword > of the book's original edition, in which the authors > dubbed the 9-11 attacks "a foreseeable" and "tragic" > "outcome" of the UN initiative. But the foreword in > the Nation Books edition merely states that the 9-11 > attacks were "possibly the outcome" of the UN > initiative, and soberly calls for "further > investigation." A similar text massage was performed > at the end of chapter six. > > Toning down of this sort is standard practice for > conscientious editors, but in this case it's the > equivalent of buying a manuscript that states > unequivocally that the CIA killed John F. Kennedyââ?¬â?ťand > then publishing a book that speculates that the CIA > might have killed John Kennedy. > > Asked if he believes the central thesis of Forbidden > Truth, Nation publisher Victor Navasky said, "Based on > our reading of the book, the authors made some > adjustments, so what may have been a thesis is now a > speculation. I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I believe > Oswald killed Kennedy and probably did it by himself, > but I think it's important to raise questions." > > And no one raised louder questions than Corn. A few > months ago, after reading a preliminary translation of > the book, Corn wrote an internal memo critiquing it > and opposing its publication. In May, he wrote a piece > for The Nation that debunked what he calls the 9-11 > conspiracy theorists. Describing Forbidden Truth, Corn > later wrote, "I have rarely seen such shoddy and lazy > journalism," adding that the book is "almost entirely > unsourced" and that the authors gave "no sense that > they had interviewed any single player in their tale." > For The Nation to promote such a book is "just plain > exploitative," he told the Los Angeles Times, which > first reported the dispute. Among other things, Corn > is not convinced that the diplomats in question were > speaking for the Bush administration. > > Corn declined to comment on The Nation's internal > affairs. But when informed that Truth has turned to > speculation in the English edition, he said, "I don't > know whether to find it heartening or curious that an > essential point of the book seems to have been > changed. In the edition I read, the authors said the > 9-11 attacks were a direct result of these talks, but > now the book says they may have been the direct result > of these talks. I still have my doubts about any > reporting team that made the first highly provocative > statement without being able to come close to > supporting it." > > To be sure, one man's scandal is another man's > brilliant career. Nation Books editorial director Carl > Bromley says his goal is to be a "progressive popular > publisher," offering books with "political urgency." > Because the imprint is part of the nonprofit Nation > Institute, Bromley has the luxury of concentrating on > building an audience, which he describes as "the kind > of people who read the Guardian online." > > About Truth, Bromley said, "I worked very hard on the > book, and I have no problem publishing it. It's not a > conspiracy-theory book." Asked if he would have > published it if he did not believe it, Bromley said, > "I'm sure there are corporate publishers that do that, > but I won't publish something if I think it's a load > of bullshit. I was raised as a good Catholic boy and a > Communist, so I'm not allowed to lie." > > Bromley said he had been intrigued since he read about > the book in the Guardian and Le Monde Diplomatique. > "Those for me are the most credible news sources." > Then in November 2001, the Voice's James Ridgeway > wrote that the authors "are big in the French spook > world." Bromley recalled, "That alerted me that these > guys aren't kooks. These are writers telling a story > that really needed an American audience." > > By March, Bromley had snapped up the North American > rights to the book and begun canvassing people to > review it. "David represented one extreme, while > others were very enthusiastic," he said. "The clincher > was a very serious and tough critic who is not a > conspiracy theorist and hadn't been following the > story. We gave him the book cold. He had some > disagreements, but overall he felt the book was > important and had to be published." Bromley declined > to name the mystery vetter, but sources identify him > as Scott Sherman, a contributing editor at The > Columbia Journalism Review. Sherman responded, "I was > asked for my confidential opinion and I gave it. " Then there was the fact checker. "With a book of this > kind we have to be quite scrupulous," Bromley > explained. "Some of the charges in the Saudi Arabia > chapters are quite strong, so we employed a fact > checker. The poor guy spent two months living and > breathing this book. He must have been psychologically > damaged." > > Bromley praises co-author Jean-Charles Brisard, 32, > who worked with him on the edit. (Apparently it was > Guillaume DasquiÃ?© who wrote the "secret diplomacy" > chapters, while Brisard was responsible for the > confessions of former FBI official John P. O'Neill > that appear in the prologue and for the study of Saudi > Arabian financial networks that forms the second half > of the book.) > > Brisard appears to be spoiling for a fight. In a > letter posted on the Nation Web site last week, he > called Corn's Nation article "irrelevant" and dubbed > Corn a "nonprofessional on these issues." His own > credentials include running Vivendi's corporate > intelligence unit and writing a 1997 report on Al > Qaeda networks at the behest of the French government. > (Did I mention that Brisard often shows up on Salon?) > > "I like David and I don't want to get into a pissing > match with him," said Bromley. Navasky praised Corn's > "expertise in the intelligence area," adding, "There's > nothing unusual about the fact that two authors > disagree about something. You're talking about a > magazine that has published Cockburn and Hitchens for > 20 years." > Tell us what you think. editor@villagevoice.com ---------------------- 194134 They strictly follow the tenets of the Torah. They also burn Israeli flags. Alex Klaushofer meets the members of Neturei Karta in north London - the Jewish world's most outspoken critics of Zionism Sunday July 21, 2002 The Observer It's a sunny Saturday in May, and Trafalgar Square is rammed. Thousands of people have marched from Hyde Park Corner to show their support for the Palestinians. For months, the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza have been living a shrunken existence, confined to their homes by ever-tightening blockades and curfews imposed by the Israeli army. Ten days earlier, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 15 Israelis in a snooker club near Tel Aviv. But despite these signs that the Middle East conflict is worse than ever, the protestors are in festive mood, waving the demonstration's official placards which call for an end to the Israeli occupation. The wall in front of the National Gallery blazes with the red, green and black of a giant Palestinian flag. From the base of Nelson's Column, one speaker after another rallies the crowd. There's maverick MPs George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn, the Palestinian delegate Afif Safieh and Palestinian QC Michel Massih and Iqbal Sacranie from the Muslim Council of Great Britain. They call on Sharon, Bush and Blair to support the Palestinian cause, and urge the protestors to boycott Israeli goods. Beside them on the platform sit four Orthodox Jews in long black coats, wide-brimmed hats and ringlets. They strike a surreal note. The group is part of Neturei Karta, an anti-Zionist sect of the Orthodox Jewish community which is passionately opposed to the state of Israel and its government's treatment of the Palestinian population. Since they are forbidden to use transport on the Sabbath, a few of its younger, fitter members have made the two-hour journey from Stamford Hill on foot in their Saturday dress of prayer shawls and fur-rimmed hats. Despite their prominent position in full view of the thousands below, they seem perfectly composed, holding a Palestinian flag and a placard bearing the slogan 'End the occupation'. They don't want to speak, so one of the organisers reads a statement on their behalf. It condemns, in no uncertain terms, the 'atrocities committed by the Zionist regime', lamenting 'the plight of the Palestinian people'. Two teenage boys from the Young Muslim Organisation UK stare at the little group with curiosity, nodding and smiling at the explanation given by a nearby adult. As the speeches end, the Jewish group is engulfed by young Muslims wanting to know more about them. Not all the conversation is political. An Asian youth says he has come down from Yorkshire. 'Yes, I know replies one of the Neturei Karta, with polite interest. It is the largest event that 35-year-old Alter Hochhauser, one of the four, has ever attended. He breaks into a smile when he recalls afterwards, in slightly halting English, what making such a public statement meant to him. 'I was feeling very good. I always thought the Arab people have nothing against the Jews, only Zionism. The Zionist propaganda is so strong, that the Arabs would kill the Jewish people, but I knew it was not true. Now I saw it with my own eyes, how happy they were with us.' His friend Elhanan Beck is also heartened by the impact of their presence. 'I think many people changed their mind about Jewish people when they saw us,' he says. Coming out is a big step for the members of a self-sufficient, Yiddish-speaking and deeply religious community who normally have little contact with the outside world. But with the Middle East at boiling point, the Neturei Karta, whose position is well known within the Orthodox community, feel a new obligation to take their views to a wider public. Their open protest carries risks, since many Jews regard their condemnation of Israel as a betrayal. One member of the group, Abraham Grohman, was assaulted when he attended a counter-demonstration at Britain's largest ever pro-Israel rally in Trafalgar Square in May. Another, who cannot be named, is receiving police protection following a spate of death threats. Beck, 36, maintains that fear of the consequences will not prevent him from following the dictates of his religious education. But he adds, with less certainty: 'At the moment it's not so serious. I can't say what I will do, but I hope even if it's serious I will do what I need to do.' Rabbi Israel Domb ushers me into the dining room of his terraced house in Stamford Hill. With a lace-covered table that fills the room and glass-panelled sideboard, we could almost be in Eastern Europe in the 50s. Now 86, Domb shuffles slightly in the slippers that, with his long, black satin coat, make up his housewear. But he exudes the twin qualities of self-containedness and benevolence that mark those who believe they've arrived at a place of existential and spiritual certainty. Bizarrely, the entire proceedings are filmed by a young man neither of us was expecting. Wanting to capture the discourse of one of their elders, and aware of the increasing need for publicity material, Neturei Karta in New York have commissioned videos of most of my interviews. Domb's long life testifies to the experience of 20th-century Jewry. He came to England from Poland in 1939, and lost his mother and sisters in the Holocaust. But it has also been a life lived countercurrent: he visited the newly founded state of Israel in the 50s and started speaking and writing against Zionism, which made him unpopular with the Orthodox community. The publication of The Transformation , the definitive exposition of the Neturei Karta worldview, confirmed his status as one of the movement's main spiritual leaders. Bound in dark red leather, and the length of a short novel, its register is hard to place, with its blend of theological assertion and historical-political commentary written in a style dating from decades ago. He insists that the politicised turn of his life grew out of his upbringing in a deeply religious family. He tells me how, when the Nazis came, a Polish teacher offered to hide his two blonde sisters. 'My mother said, "I appreciate your kindness. But I would rather they should die as Jews than be brought up as non-Jews." I come from a family of very strong convictions. Neturei Karta is nothing new.' Domb claims that while most modern Jews have departed from true Judaism, the Neturei Karta - which means 'guardians of the holy city' in Aramaic - are the minority charged with keeping the faith. The movement was established in Jerusalem in the 30s. Its supporters, living in the Holy Land since the 18th century, had always opposed a Jewish state and were concerned about the growing pressure to establish a Jewish homeland. Domb insists that its tenets go back to the origins of Jewish identity. 'Neturei Karta is not an idea, it's not a new trend, it's not a party with a programme,' he tells me. 'It is the authentic Jewishness of the Jewish people.' At its theological heart lies the belief that the Jews have been exiled for their sins and are destined to suffer, a fate which will be redeemed only when divine intervention, with the coming of the Messiah, changes the world order. In the meantime, Jews must remain stateless, living under the rule of whichever country hosts them. Zionism, as the desire for a sovereign state, represents a blasphemous rejection of God's will. 'An earthly solution for the Jewish people is not possible, because we are not destined for any earthly happiness. The Jewish people should come to their senses and see that the Zionist state is one big misfortune,' says Domb. In conversation, Domb frequently distinguishes the religious level - the messianism that forbids the Jews political intervention - from what he calls the 'mundane' or worldly perspective. When he talks on this second level, his observations are sharpened with a campaigning edge. 'When the Zionists speak about peace, they want peace, but what it means is a peaceful occupation,' he says. But he also has a Middle-European, black sense of humour, chuckling grimly to himself as he invokes the worst excesses of human behaviour: 'Were they invited to the West Bank? Were they invited to Ramallah and Jenin? Were they invited to throw out from their homes around 600,000 Arabs?' The political solution Domb advocates is, ironically, more radical than the PLO's, which recognised Israel's right to exist in 1988. He has no hope that this will happen, but he thinks the Israelis should renounce their claims to land within the 1948 borders and make reparations to the Palestinians. With the state of Israel dismantled, Jews could remain in the Holy Land, but live under Palestinian rule. But ultimately, he stresses, Neturei Karta's objection to Israel rests on theological rather than political grounds. 'The very existence of the Jewish state is diametrically opposed to Judaism,' he says. 'But as it happens, the Arabs have suffered, and it is our duty to say to them: "It is morally wrong, it is illegal from the worldly point of view, and we are not part of it. So don't blame all the Jewish people for the sufferings which you have had."' The acknowledgement of this injustice, he says, imposes an obligation on the Neturei Karta to actively seek out Palestinians to make clear their position. Speaking slowly and with emphasis, he declares: 'It's an encouraging matter that young people come out, speak against Zionism. But they also have to guard against speaking nonsense and overdoing it.' Unsurprisingly, Neturei Karta's brand of overt protest finds them little favour with the leaders of Britain's Jewry. The Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, speaking at the Zionist Federation's Israel Independence Day rally at Wembley, where one of the Neturei Karta set alight an Israeli flag, condemned their stance as 'unforgivable'. Neville Nagler, director general of the Board of the Deputies of British Jews, dismisses them as 'a fringe organisation, off the wall'. He claims that their 'vicious hostility to Israel, their willingness to desecrate the Sabbath to show up at demonstrations' isolates them even from the Orthodox community among whom they live. Rabbi Tony Bayfield, head of Britain's Reform Synagogues, says that Neturei's religiously grounded anti-Zionism is untenable nowadays: 'The intellectual and theological battle was lost the best part of a century ago. It's no longer relevant or meaningful. For the vast majority of Jews, the existence of the state of Israel is not negotiable.' It's a paradoxical attitude - dismissing the group as irrelevant while evincing palpable hostility - which is perhaps a measure of how far the Neturei Karta touches on the central, raw nerve of the Middle East conflict: Israel's right to exist. The Neturei Karta in New York have long experience in handling public protest and controversy. Based in the city's Monsey area, the bigger, more established group has been organising anti-Zionist protests since 1948, some of which, they say, have attracted up to 30,000 Orthodox Jews. Their leader, Rabbi Moshe Beck, visiting his sons in London and speaking through a Yiddish interpreter, tells me that the heightened tension of the past year has caused some supporters to fall off and provoked threats against him and other activists. But many remain steadfast. 'Those that do it are prepared for whatever consequences,' he insists, adding: 'All our actions are no more or less than proclaiming the truth - it's not a political idea.' Beck, a frail-looking man of 68 who does not once make eye contact during our hour-long meeting, seems an unlikely character to be at the frontline of so much conflict. Born in Hungary, he emigrated to Israel soon after its establishment. What he saw there - the emergence of a modern, secular society, combined with the government's harsh treatment of the Palestinians - horrified him, clashing as it did with the inner religious life he was pur suing through study and reflection. Then he met Neturei Karta's most respected leader, Amram Blau, and became active in the Jerusalem-based movement. But in 1973, feeling it was no longer right to live in Israel, he and his family moved to New York. In Israel, Neturei Karta's position is very different. Part of the ultra-Orthodox community in the Mea Shearim quarter of Jerusalem, the group denies the legitimacy of the government, refusing to pay taxes and avoiding military conscription into the Israeli Defence Forces. In the 60s and 70s they fought an often violent campaign for observing the Sabbath, finally persuading the authorities to close some of Jerusalem's streets on the holy day. Its leader and self-styled foreign minister, Rabbi Moshe Hirsh, who considers himself a Palestinian Jew, ran a high-profile campaign in the 80s to be appointed as Neturei Karta's representative in the PLO. In 1994, Arafat endorsed his position as the Palestinian National Authority's Minister for Jewish Affairs but, as a non-Arabic speaker and unable to deal directly with Israeli representatives because of Neturei Karta's refusal to recognise the Israeli government, Hirsh has had a more advisory than ministerial role in the Palestinian adminis tration. He has used his position as a platform for campaigning, in 2000 urging Arafat to unilaterally declare an independent Palestinian state. But for the most part, Neturei Karta's activities are fairly low key. Hirsh, who claims 10,000 supporters in Jerusalem, says that the group is so well established that taking to the streets is felt to be unnecessary. 'We don't recognise the government; everyone knows that. We don't see the need,' he says. But Professor Menachem Friedman, an expert on the ultra Orthodox at Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv, says that recently tensions within the anti-Zionist Orthodox movement about making political alliances with the Palestinians have reduced Neturei Karta's numbers. 'Neturei Karta is a very small group in Israel,' he says. 'Because of the Palestinian terror, it is very difficult to find support. Even so, they are very tolerated, and that's part of the bizarre world of Jerusalem now.' The secular culture of British activism means that even Palestinian supporters here are cautious about the unlikely alliance. 'We couldn't agree with lots of what they say because it's all based on religious beliefs, but it's very useful to show that there is a breadth of support for the Palestinian people,' says Carole Regan, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which organised May's demonstration in Trafalgar Square. But the hundreds of emails recently sent to Neturei Karta from all over the world suggest that their stand resonates with a wider, less-aligned audience. 'May Allah bless you! I sat down and cried with happiness,' writes one correspondent after discovering them. 'Thank you, O people of the book,' says another. 'Are you for real?' asks a third. It's hard to marry the hostility that the Neturei Karta elicits from mainstream British Jewry with the gentle people I meet face to face. Some of them wear an expression of innocence seen so little these days that it's hard to place. It's a sign of how well the Orthodox Jewish community to which the Neturei Karta belong has managed to maintain a life apart. A life handed down from their ancestors in 18th-century Poland that centres on religious observance. A mesh of beliefs and practices governs every aspect of life for the 20,000-strong community in Stamford Hill, making for a strong identity and cohesive society. But fearing the dangers of anti-Semitism and the contaminating influence of modernity, it is also a community conscious of its own fragility and guards its privacy fiercely. Beyond the dealings with neighbours and business associates, there is no contact with the outside world. There are few women on the streets of Stamford Hill, but the men of the community, with their formal black coats and their hats covered neatly in white plastic against the rain, are everywhere. The high street has an old-fashioned look: apart from a Boots, it has escaped the chain-store invasion. Shops such an ironmongers provide obviously useful services. And while there are kosher food stores and bakeries, it is hard to find a cafe or restaurant. 'This is all unneeded,' explains Menachem Blum, a friend of the group who had joined the pro-Palestinian demonstration in Trafalgar Square. 'Suppose someone wants to relax: you just sit at home with a cup of tea or coffee, perhaps with a friend. But definitely not with a woman, unless it is his own family.' Sitting around the big table in one of their homes, the young men of Neturei Karta are at pains to assure me that they're not missing out on anything when their only entertainment is religious festivals and celebrations of life events such as marriage. 'The gentiles need something to lift their spirits, so they do a lot of these festivals,' says Beck. 'In the Jewish religion, because everything is so spiritual, even though you have celebrations, they are only a way of continuing this spiritual thing. Religion is our life force, our happiness. Everything else is secondary.' A lifelong commitment to religious learning governs the lives of all Orthodox men. Many opt to work part-time in order to devote part of the day to studying the body of religious laws that make up the Torah, often working in groups or pairs at the synagogue. Some, if they can afford it, study full-time, aiming for a rabbinical post. The community prizes the life of learning, offering financial support and rewarding advanced students with the honorary title of rabbi. Often, the learned repay the community by offering its boys religious tuition. It's a way of life that brings few material rewards, as witnessed by the high levels of deprivation in the Stamford Hill community. There is little pursuit of career: many jobs are administrative or in small businesses, requiring few professional qualifications. The spiritual life is not an option for women. 'All our wives are happy to be housewives and look after children,' says 30-year-old father of four Yakov Weisz quickly, with the faintest hint of disapproval at my question. Following an education that focuses on the practical skills they will need as wives and mothers, the women are devoted to raising children. Although television and non-religious books are generally banned, it can be a struggle to avoid the influence of mainstream society. When parents take their children to the West End to buy clothes and shoes, they instruct their girls to avoid looking at the exposed flesh and sexualised advertising. Many just leave their boys at home. 'It is very hard,' Weisz admits. 'There is so much immorality on the streets. I go on public transport as little as I can.' Esther Sterngold feels she's been lucky . Although she has eight children and is the main breadwinner, her husband Moshe is able to study full time. 'The ideal scenario, which everybody aims for, is to have a husband who sits and studies, to stay in the learning world. I chose that sort of life and, thank God, I've managed to help out,' she says. In a room lined with religious books in the family home, Moshe explains a worldview in which theology and politics are inextricably linked. 'Religious people cannot accept the Zionist idea. They do not want their children to learn Zionist culture or to serve in the Zionist military. All Jewish rabbis, before the creation of the Zionist state, fought against it.' As founder and director of the Interlink Foundation, which provides support for the Orthodox Jewish voluntary sector, Esther Sterngold is something of an expert in building the infrastructure to maintain the community's self-sufficiency. Outgoing and articulate, she is passionate about her work, which brings her into contact with many non-Jewish organisations. She shares her husband's anti-Zionist views and discusses the Middle East. But as a woman, she has no place in public life and so cannot be part of Neturei Karta. Our meeting only comes about, I suspect, because her husband wants her support when seeing a woman journalist. As Moshe expounds the finer points of Zionist history, his wife listens with admiration, bursting out: 'That's where I know nothing. That's years and years of work. When I hear my husband, I'm fascinated.' I wonder whether she, too, wouldn't like the opportunity to study. 'Yes. I'd like to see the logical picture. But,' she laughs rather ruefully, 'I'm so busy!' It's not easy being a messianic Jew catapulted into 21st-century activism. Yakov Konig, a father of 14 who was an electrician until health problems forced retirement, sighs when I first ring him. A small man with an earnest expression, he's torn between the desire for the quiet life befitting an Orthodox Jew and the need to speak out. But when he starts talking across his dining-room table, the words come tumbling out. 'We have to present to the world a case against the blackening of our name. The Zionists have stolen our name, the name of Israel, they have stolen our very character. We've been tarred by their acts of cruelty and murder and all they've done in the last 54 years. It's so frustrating.' The dangers of speaking out were recently brought home to the group when one of them received a series of telephone death threats which are currently being investigated by Hackney police. The recipient doesn't think they came from the Orthodox community, but from 'Zionist militants - the hotheads'. He brushes aside the suggestion that it's a sign that Neturei Karta's outspokenness will set them irrevocably apart from the rest of their community. 'In two or three weeks it'll be back to normal,' he says. 'We'll go to the same weddings and functions as the rest of the community.' Nonetheless, there are tensions. Until recently, the Middle East was a favourite topic of lunchtime conversation in Esther Sterngold's all-women office. 'The last one or two months, it's become a no-go area,' she says. 'We don't talk about it, at all.' While much of the disagreement may come from supporters of Israel, some of the community is more worried about alliances with other faith groups. 'There is a lot of pain in the fact that many of our people do not realise the importance of what we are doing, and therefore we get stick from both sides,' says Konig. 'Our religion is passed down from generation to generation and direct contact with other religions is considered dangerous.' The Neturei Karta are, as a minority within a minority, in the trickiest of positions. They have their own small canon of literature and history which tells of martyrs to the cause, such as Jacob de Haan, a Dutch journalist assassinated while organising talks against a planned Jewish state in Jerusalem in 1924 by the Zionist paramilitary force Haganah. Some even carry a mock-up, unofficial passport which, a statement inside explains, exists as 'a means of enabling a Jew to prove his identity lest he be included with the Zionists'. This alternative identity complicates their central, repeated claim that they are no different from their fellow religious Jews. 'All Orthodox Jewish people believe that Zionism is evil,' says Konig. 'But not many of them are willing to come out into the open to say so. Most are passive and the rest are too frightened; they're not fighters.' This fear is one explanation the Neturei Karta give for the vexed question of how many fellow Jews share their views. Numbers shift, they say, according to levels of courage and external pressure. Another explanation, yet more difficult to prove, is the assertion that pro-Israel religious Jewry is suffering from false consciousness - they are Neturei Karta but just don't realise. Beck the senior claims: 'If one asked the average Orthodox practising Jew, "Do we need a state?" most would say, "We don't." The problem is, since the state was founded, there are different ideas. On top of that, there are suicide bombs, innocent people are being killed - it does mix up the people so they can't think clearly.' It's a moot point whether the out-of-timeness of the Neturei Karta has left them dangerously out of touch, or whether it's precisely what gives them a clear-sightedness that others have lost in the ferment of emotions stirred up by the Middle East. Whatever the case, the little band in London is keenly aware that in the current climate, the stakes are higher than ever. 'The name Jew is getting worse by the day,' says Weisz. 'I feel an obligation to stick up for the Torah's name.' And for Hochhauser, recalling his big day out at the demo, it's worth it. 'Somebody came to me; he said for 39 years he had hated the Jews. And now, when he saw us, he felt he had to come and shake hands with us. There were tears in his eyes.' www.netureikartauk.org ----------------------- 197768 Bush falters but who dare oppose him? Scandalous news of corporate malpractice has given the Democrats a new lease of life, which they seem reluctant to exploit Observer Worldview Tod Gitlin Sunday August 11, 2002 The Observer The Democratic party is coming out of its coma, but the patient is still not walking so well. On 11 September, the Party leadership in Congress collapsed. Even before, the Republicans, losers of the popular vote in 2000, strutted around like winners, claiming a mandate as if to the White House born, while the actual ballot-box winners staggered around unnerved, and Al Gore vanished. Last summer, even some Democrats could not resist a vote for Bush's tax cuts, disproportionately wealth-friendly. Bush unilateralism aroused some vocal opposition on the environment, missile defense, and other fronts, but came 11 September and the Democrats enforced a gag rule on themselves. After a shaky start, George W. Bush walked away with the helmsmanship of a 'war on terror' whose rationale was as popular as its extent and precise goals were indistinct. In post-World War II America, Republicans in power first grab, then relish the use of a bludgeon whose name is bipartisanship, while Democrats fail to be accorded any equivalent magic when they accede to the White House. Democrats feel they must tiptoe around Republican power, as if the Republicans held natural title to the flag. So the Democrats were - and continue to be - fearful of making too much of the fact that Bush's team, directly upon coming to office, derailed Bill Clinton's anti-terror programmes. They clammed up on Attorney General John Ashcroft's anti-subversive measures - and the fact that he, too, as late as 10 September, preferred fighting pornography and other pet hates of the Christian Right to fighting terrorism. Nor were most Democrats heard from about the post-11 September round-up of aliens, not one of whom, by the way, has yet to be connected with terror attacks past or future. Democrats were acutely aware that while they polled strongly on economic and environmental issues, this did not erode Bush's personal popularity, though Bush's team were often inept when it came to converting fuzzy feelings toward the commander-in-chief into hard achievements. What summoned the Democrats back to life was economic distress - an inauspicious development for an administration proud of its all-business-all-the-time credentials. The Republican theme song, 'Market Good, Bureaucracy Bad', sounds more than a bit tinny when the 'market' turns out to harbour lots of crooked conglomerates, shell-games run for the enrichment of a stupendously greedy corporate aristocracy. Not only were crooks running some major companies, but giant brokerages, investment banks, and accountancy firms were so deeply enmeshed in the fraud as to take down the whole stock market with them. With more than half of Americans owning at least a few shares of stock, the corporate kleptocracy becomes the bête noire du jour. Trickle down was not supposed to trickle away. Democrats were slow to point fingers, but an administration heavy on corporate top-dogs - even the chief executive himself - was a target that targeted itself. Now, a scant three months before the mid-term elections, Democrats don't feel so feeble after all. At least they can graduate from life-support emergency measures to - well, what? They're not sure. As surpluses melted away and deficits returned after 11 September, Republican poll numbers tailed off, too. Smart party professionals, who had thought the Republicans shoo-ins to hold onto the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections this November, started doubting it. The Democrats now have a decent chance of holding onto the Senate, if by a narrow margin. Bush's personal popularity holds up, but this is hard to interpret, one of these polling mysteries whose consequences are imponderable. In any event, Democrats cheer themselves by recalling George Bush I's 89 per cent popularity at the end of the (first?) Gulf War, shrinking to a meagre 38 per cent in the 1992 presidential vote 20 months later. The American press remains reluctant to note Bush's less than impressive following abroad - anywhere - but they do enjoy scandal stories, and there is some real reporting going on, for a change. Major newspaper columnists have resurrected charges that Mr Bush had played fast and loose with his oil company holdings before ascending to the governorship of Texas. Although Democrats have been too deferential to dwell on the fact, Republicans remain (despite years of the Democrats playing catch-up) the party of Big Business - and, in particular, oil. After months of sycophantic coverage, during which the president's occasional delivery of whole sentences was treated as a sign of Mature Leadership, even inspiration, we have recently been treated to less-than-flattering revelations about Bush's inner circle. The thundering hoofbeats of public opinion have got the attention of Republican legislators, who flocked to the banner of corporate reform as if they hadn't been opposing such invasions of laissez faire most of their lives. In recent weeks, Republican Senators suddenly found it seemly to vote unanimously for a reform bill on accountancy practices - a bill they had just been opposing, and that Bush now signed with scarcely a sign of embarrassment. On its face, the scandalous news about corporate malfeasance was a tremendous gift to the Democrats. Al Gore seemed to think so, breaking a long political silence with a New York Times opinion piece last week in full-throated populist mode, taking issue with his recent vice-presidential running mate, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who had been heard to opine that Gore had run too far to the Left in 2000. Not all Democrats were pleased with Gore's return, and among the conspicuously displeased was Lieberman himself, a long-time defender of the accounting industry - a position harder to sustain than it used to be. Lieberman has been saying that too much reform was as bad as too little and that further reforms in the ways stock options are treated would hurt little guys. This Republican-style protectiveness loses some of its heart-rending appeal when you realise that stock options are almost exclusively benefits for the wealthiest. On foreign policy, the Democrats remain squeamish, as if they are not so troubled to be out of power. With the interesting exception of Senator John Kerry, who is running for the presidential nomination from Massachusetts, an unlikely launch spot these days, they do not thunder against oil dependency. They do not follow Bill Clinton's idealistic appeal for a sort of Marshall Plan to dry up the swamps of terrorism. They don't like Bush's unilateralism but they don't much feel like denouncing it either. On the shape of post-Taliban Afghanistan, they do not stick their necks out. On Israel-Palestine, ditto. As for Iraq, in the name of what principle can they oppose Bush's evident intention to go to war? The Democrat-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee held hearings on Iraq the week before last, but softly. Tactically obsessed, they did not deeply question the purposes of an Iraq war, did not hear from witnesses who either oppose war on principle or, for that matter, support it because they think it would revolutionise the Arab world in a revolutionary-democratic direction. In short, wishing the question of war would go away, they are hedging their bets. As New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg put it: 'In Washington, one side wants war; the other wants debate about war.' The opposition, if that is the right word for it in Washington, 'is not so much anti-war as maybe war'. Here wobbles America, then, plutocracy rampant, 11 months into shadowy war, economically troubled, suspicious of allies, suspected by allies, hated - and American politics remains becalmed and unready. A lot of weak wills wait for events to take the initiative they're not taking. · Todd Gitlin is Professor of Journalism and Sociology at Columbia University. His latest book is Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives ----------------------- 193879 THIRD REICH FOR THE THIRD WORLD? a more accurate world history, 1920-2002 (english) me 9:10am Tue Jul 23 '02 moving this from a comment to a story, to get some feedback: Is this an accurate assessment, in your opinion, that WWII was only a 'setback' or a 'draw' for these international Nazis, that the nation-states were already so eroded then, that the Third Reich only postponed its taking Europe/America, until it had consolidated the Third World first? Some Nazis punished. Other international corporate elites families, like THE BUSH FAMILY, escaped, and founded American CIA/OSS, to convert the world into a military camp. With Third World consoldated, they are coming back to Europe --------- Your article is good but (english) Mr E 9:42am Tue Jul 23 '02 ...you should document some of your sources. ------------- Wrong Subject Under Discussion (english) anti-spam 10:59am Tue Jul 23 '02 Nazism is just one peculiar variant on the broader theme of capitalism. If you premise that Nazism/fascism is capitalism, per se, that is incorrect. And capitalism expresses itself in many other forms than Nazism/fascism. So you are on the wrong track if you try to tie the excesses of capitalism strictly to Nazism/fascism. Of course, there are always many who will make excuses for the continuation of their favorite forms of capitalism, while claiming that the embarrassing forms are distinct from the forms they favor. The problem is that capitalism is an inherently corrupt system. Eliminating one particularly distasteful form is a distarction from the root of the problem -- capitalism is an exploitative system that tolerates democracy only to the extent that it serves corporate elites -------------- here is a mirror for ya pro pertinent! (english) profferista (youirs truly) 12:10pm Tue Jul 23 '02 eliminating one particularly distasteful form is a distraction from the root of the problem (which anti-spam says is 'capitalism') fructifying and fertilizing, coaxing, coming up with and raising taste forms of eco-operative kinds of capitalisms (feminine enough to avoid fights even if they have to stay small scale to do it, always any true woman's genius) is the active crowning of potential just ignore the rest here, just parking something here since it will most likely be censured: laterale ontvlechting voorvechter is Opdeh Oogte van Hechtheid = op de hoogte van hechtheid; hij houdt hechtheid hoog en daarvoor zijn inderdaad (zoals ik vanmiddag een 90 procent wit de rest zwart levende spotprent hoor beweren inclusiviteit) vergrote raakvlakken en in de zin van cappilariteit maximaal communiceren onontbeerlijk maar dat is op oersoep niveau ook helemaal niet zo moeilijk; aan de basis voegt men zich, maar hoger op de differen- en individualizatie ladder (ja inderdaad hyrarchische maar de kroon ((sluit- sleutel en vooral aansluitsteen)) moet zich precies aan die 'laagste' trede onderdaan en dienstbaar weten te maken)zijn er teveel en vooral te tere uitsteeksels dan dat men van een enterij op grote hoogte levensonderhoud zou mogen verwachten, dat werk word alleen dan noodzakelijk als er bijvoorbeeld maar een soort geschikte 'rootstock' (wortelstam) en veel bedreigde soorten ter beschikking zijn (gered moeten worden). Ik geloof wel degelijk, echter slechts mondjesmaat in wederzijds bevruchten van en vruchtbaarheid tussen culturen (in ruchtbaarheid des te meer helaas); in ieder geval niet op massale schaal; laat de reislustige overal rondsnuffelen en bevindingen vooral openbaar maken maar probeer geen identiteiten te vermenigvuldigen, lappendekens (hoe onontbeerlijk ook voor de volwaardige 'verwaarding'; gek dat ver- en gebruik zo'n connotatie ommekeer geleden hebben) tot leiddraad te verheffen. Tis godsonmogelijk. Zoek de wortel van het kwaad binnen jezelf om het universele te vinden en verdedigen. --------------- thanks for the detour, however. . . (english) me 12:23pm Tue Jul 23 '02 I was saying nothing about 'capitalism,' only about the historical continuity of the past 80 years: that the same networks of people wanting fascism then are alive and well wanting it presently for the whole world. Typically the history of the WWII is a grand break it is posed, where 'fascism was conquerored.' I was saying that it only went into the Third World to "re-group". The Cold War was this fascist regrouping, killing off communists and, in the reactionary policy environment, any semblances of actual democracy worldwide, including the United States. I was saying that First World and Third World histories are intimately related for the post WWII environment, and related to how the fascist/communist battle was exported worldwide under the propoganda that it was "free world" verses totalitarianism. Actually, it was a global fascism (and extension of eugenics and indirect proxy warfare) verses communist totaliarianism, with democracies being entirely surmounted worldwide when fascists wanted to brand them as 'communist.' Fascists won the Cold War (the United States), and thus WWII continues on--where the latest label of the day is 'environmentalism' instead of 'communism.' I will address your question, because it is something I think about when researching these issues: the question puts the term 'capitalism' on trial: "Is it useful for historical analysis to use the term capitalism?" Personally, I like Moussolini's definition of fascism as a linking of corporations and the state. At least that is researchable. Frankly, there is nothing polite about this: bland empty ideas like 'capitalism' are simply melodramatic theatrics and are going to get you nowhere unless all you want is a religious concept. It's useful for a while to generate anti-systemic movements, though it has little plan of what to do. I feel the term capitalism mistates the whole basis of 'modernism' as a proposition that power relations are economically reductionistic. Can you prove there is a capitalism? All we have are a world of states and interstate corporporations last time I checked--and the idea of corporations were inherited from European royalist states I should add so they are older than 'modernism' in concept. And I note that many of the families still in politics (Gore AND Bush, by the way in the United States) are mentioned in British blue books of royalty, and their families can be traced for more than 800 years involved in states and royalty! SO IS IT CAPITALISM? Or just a world play con game you are selling? OR IS IT SIMPLY STATE ARISTOCRATICS using facist tactics to protect their private castles and lands and oil reserves? You have misunderstand the question of how states are always there in any consumptive issue and how there's nothing 'new' in 'modernism' of the past 200 years--there's nothing you could ever find that shows 'strictly economic relations.' Everything links back to state preferential treatment of certain groups over others, or state hijacking by certain groups. Nation-states were (are?) all over the world small inroads into this global aristocracy, making it more representative. However, it has been more and more demoted, and the aristocracy, the families in the state, are more and more prevalant in their ability to even get away with high crimes that any 'peasant' would be punished for--look at Bush, for crying out loud. Look at the Rockefellers. Look at the Kennedys. If these aristocrats fail to live by the ideas of capitalism, when they get the state to fund their private fantasies or bail out their bankrupcies--why do you insist on keeping the outmoded concept? In conclusion, perhaps your belief in capitalism is the actual opiate of the masses, hmm? Keeping you from looking at actual reserachable topics? That the people who are rich have mostly inherited their wealth, or used the state to make it for them--from the Duponts onward. Wake up. Do you see the light? Or do the state aristocrats still have you in their power, in your abstract religious belief in capitalistic apocalyptics of the future? that keep you from looking into the relations of the past and the present? ---------------- Not Boosting Capitalism (english) anti-spam 2:16pm Tue Jul 23 '02 I certainly didn't mean to imply any "belief" in capitalism. But capitalism can't be ignored as a descriptive fact when describing the status of the modern, globalized political economy. And I think you are still missing my point about the limitations of using fascism as a primary descriptive of the nature of our modern system. Whether you believe it represents nothing new is not the point. Fascism is a subset of capitalism, not the other way around. Maybe you don't believe that's true, but you're going to have to be much more clear in describing what it is you're talking about to credibly advance your theory --------------- . (english) me 6:21am Wed Jul 24 '02 Actually, I meant your reliance on it as a concept is a crutch--because nowhere in the history of the world--particularly the past 200 years has there been anything like 'preordinant' economic power, preordinant 'private' power. That's the scam i'm talking about. Because the state is always wrapped up in consumptive relations. Because aggregate consumption patterns are wrapped up in it. I took it for granted you disliked "it." ;-) Well, you show me a couple of examples of 'pure economic' relations, and I bet I will always find the politics or consumer relations there as well. So, why 'believe in' (use it as a concept) 'capitalism.' you may be interested in this: THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO: A 150 YEAR TARDY RE-EXAMINATION OF THE HISTORICAL EVIDENCE THAT MARX SWEPT UNDER THE IDEOLOGICAL RUG by Andre Gunder Frank <http://csf.colorado.edu/mail/  wsn/2002/msg00260.html>----------- Why do you call him/her a liar ? (english) Zippo 7:53am Wed Jul 24 '02 Why do you call him/her a liar, anti-spam ? Why do you label theory what is well documented history ? Facism still exists. --------------- 196411 + 196714 anti-islam botspam DON'T POST RESPONSES TO ISLAM ARTICLE DODON'T POST RESPONSES TO ISLAM ARTICLE N'T POST RE------------SPONSES TO ISLAM ARTICLE THE INFIDEL HAS BEEN DEFICATED (english) Ali Bla Bla 11:25am Tue Aug 6 '02 The infidels vomit has been deficated on by my security camel. Ali!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BLA BLA! -------------- Thanks! (english) Captain America 12:16pm Tue Aug 6 '02 Islam is a filthy, vile, vicious, cancerous, political manifesto of terrorism masquerading as religion, with its tenets clearly written in the blood of its victims. It is political cancer metastasizing into an anti-western genocidal cult. Its adherents are the most simpleminded of nationals cheering the murder of innocent civilians. Islam, like its communist neighbor, is attempting to destroy all western thought in favor of intolerance, mass murder and mass conformity. Islam is a direct attack on the individualism and freedom of thought that helped create the western world. If Islam is permitted its cancerous spread, the world will enter another dark age of bigotry, intolerance, and the genocidal rage of madmen masquerading as religious leaders. If Israel is any test case, Islam has proven its political ideology is one of hate, intolerance and genocidal rage. Virtually every Islamic nation is ruled with an iron fist because their Islamic populations behave like rabid dogs. Islam has proven itself incompatible with civilized western values, and should be treated as a political manifesto of terrorism. Spare me the body count of other religions: I haven't seen Catholics, Protestants, Jews, or any other religion take such pleasure in murdering innocents in my lifetime. The past is the past, and islam's murderous ideology seems to currently command somewhat of a popular monopoly in the "Joy of Killing" westerners, and, being a westerner, I'm quite prepared to return the favor a thousand fold. For westerners, the destruction of islam is a matter of survival. Unfortunately, too many religious individuals have been fooled into granting islam that which it does not deserve: survival. I've seen images of the followers of islam jumping, clapping, and cheering in a euphoric murderous orgy of twisted joy when some of islam's storm troopers killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Since I'm personally unencumbered by any religious baggage, I clearly see islam for the political manifesto of terrorism that it is, and that its followers are as deserving of the fate that their terrorists so willingly bestow upon others. Islam has earned its place in history with the bombing of the world trade center; now, we just need to secure its final resting place in the trash bin of history. ------------ Today's Special on the Menu of Hate (english) John Liechty via anti-spam 1:08pm Tue Aug 6 '02 On September 15, 2001 The Guardian published "Religion's Misguided Missiles", a comment by Richard Dawkins that sought to explain the motivations behind what had happened four days before. Dawkins' conclusion is summed up in two memorable sentences: "To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used." Most of the people closest to me adhere to a religion of "the Abrahamic kind", and I can't say I agree with Dawkins' claim that their lives have been "devalued" by their faith or by their faiths' proposition that there is life after death - "dangerous nonsense" according to Dawkins, as evidenced in the dangerous nonsense of September 11. Personally, I am as disposed to listen to a rabbi, imam, priest, or poet telling me that death is not the end as I am to a scientist telling me that it is. "All goes onward and outward," Whitman wrote. "Nothing collapses, and to die is different from what anyone supposed, and luckier." The notion does not devalue my life. Not that I blame Dawkins for keeping a wary and skeptical eye on religion. As Mark Twain observed, man is "the only animal that has the True Religion - several of themâ?¦ the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight." Nevertheless, I think it is misguided to blame religion so unreservedly for atrocities of the 9/11 order. Should we write off the Christian faith because in 1864 an elder of the Methodist church in Denver decided it was his Christian duty to exterminate Indians, and led a band that murdered 200 people, most of them women and children? Should we write it off because Nat Turner, a devoutly religious slave, was directed by Christ in a vision to "slay your enemies with their own weapons," and in 1831 led a band that hacked 57 people to death, most of them women and children? It seems ludicrous to suppose that the atrocities of people like Chivington or Turner were inevitably and exclusively products of their religion. If we hesitate to blame Christianity for the Sand Creek Massacre or Nat Turner's Rebellion, then we might hesitate to lay the blame for the perversions of September 11 on Islam. Yet, as Nicholas D. Kristof's recent op/ed piece in the New York Times points out, Americans seem increasingly fond of ascribing blame to Islam and equating it with a canon of presumed defects. Islam is ____. The culture of bigots congregated in the lower bowel of the internet is happy to fill in the blank. But the bigots can be found in churches and political forums and academia as well. Kristof's article notes that Reverend Franklin Graham has declared Islam to be "a very evil and wicked religion," thus redirecting the venom his father (Reverend Billy) spat at the Jews. It seems that Islam has become Today's Special on the menu of intolerance and hate. Of course, defects exist in the Islamic world, (a statement no more astounding, upon reflection, than that houseflies exist there). There is anti-Jewish anti-Semitism, but we would do well to consider that the widespread contempt in Islam for the likes of Ariel Sharon may have more to do with the man's political style than with anti-Semitism. Otherwise, what should we call the widespread respect for Yitzhak Rabin that existed in the Muslim world - "pro-Semitism"? We would do well to recall that while Christian Spain was expelling its Muslims it was also expelling its Jews, and that both groups took refuge in Islamic North Africa. The most appalling eruptions of anti-Semitism in history have occurred in Christian Europe. Yes, Al Qaida's anti-Jewishness is dangerous and foul. So let's blame the attack on a synagogue in Tunisia on Al Qaida - not on Islam and its 1.3 billion adherents, the vast majority of whom were as disgusted by it as anyone else. We tend to court the notion that the Islamic world is somehow more violent or war-like than our kinder, gentler corner of Christendom where a murder is reported every 27 minutes and an assault every 31 seconds. Samuel Huntington's observation that there is a disposition toward conflict in the Islamic world is often cited. Less often cited is his observation that the alleged disposition is attributable to demographics, to populations containing unprecedentedly high proportions of young, unemployed males. Islam is reflexively associated with "jihad". We are less quick to consider our own versions - "just war" for instance, the Christian ideology that dextrously manages to sidestep the teachings and example of Christ. The horrors of Jewish "holy war" are amply illustrated in the vengeance on Midian, described in Numbers 31. The Old Testament God has more in common with Huitzilopochtli than we care to admit. And if someone cared to calculate the gallons of blood spilled in the name of religion, Islam would come away looking relatively clean. Islam represses women? Certainly some men and some institutions in the Islamic world do. I wonder if some men and some institutions elsewhere in the world could be said to repress women. Perish the thought. It is worth noting that the founder of Islam, Mohammed, was given his job by a wealthy, independent merchant named Khadija, who eventually married her employee. The proposition for marriage was made by Khadija, incidentally, not Mohammed. Veiling a woman's face and female circumcision are nowhere endorsed in the Koran, though they are widely thought to be "Islamic". They are no more Islamic than the Chinese practice of "beautifying" women by binding their feet from infancy was Buddhist or Taoist or Confucian. Such practices are less common and less widely endorsed in the Muslim world than we want to believe. efore it became politically expedient for Europeans or Americans to find the Taliban's dress code for women abhorrent, it was already abhorrent to most Muslims. Islam has its bigots, but the overwhelming majority of Muslims are not bigots - they are decent, respectful, tolerant people and their religion has made them moreso, not less. It is true that one's religion can sometimes nurture bigotry. So can one's culture. So can race, language, the side of the street one lives on, and just about every aspect of human existence. Bigotry is the fruit of untended arrogance, ignorance, hatred, and intolerance - a parasitic shoot that can graft itself to most anything. We'd best attend to pruning our trees, not cutting them down. Or cutting down the trees of others. More than our apologists, Islam deserves our apologies. John Liechty teaches in Muscat, Oman. commondreams.org ----- Ordinarily I heartily support not feeding the trolls. In this case, there actually was a perfectly shaped and rational response to the idiot that keeps posting it. And I, or someone else will keep posting it in reply as long as he keeps coming back. But you're right, let's ignore him other than that. He gets his jollies by upsetting people, so limiting the responses to a cool and logical dismissal of his hate-filled natterings will eventually discourage him when he finds out that people are ignoring him, except for a quick and complete refutation. anti-spam  ------------- pooh pooh (english) the real captain america & bucky too 5:05pm Tue Aug 6 '02Christianity is a filthy, vile, vicious, cancerous, political manifesto of terrorism masquerading as religion, with its tenets clearly written in the blood of its victims. It is political cancer metastasizing into an anti-terran genocidal cult. Its adherents are the most simpleminded of nationals cheering the murder of innocent civilians. Christianity, like its capitalist neighbor, is attempting to destroy all eastern thought in favor of intolerance, mass murder and mass conformity. Christianity is a direct attack on the individualism and freedom of thought that helped create the world. If Christianity is permitted its cancerous spread, the world will enter another dark age of bigotry, intolerance, and the genocidal rage of madmen masquerading as religious leaders. If Israel is any test case, Christianity has proven its political ideology is one of hate, intolerance and genocidal rage. Virtually every Christian nation is ruled with an iron fist because their Christian populations behave like rabid dogs. Christianity has proven itself incompatible with civilized values, and should be treated as a political manifesto of terrorism. Spare me the body count of other religions: I haven't seen buddhists, hindus, Jews, or any other religion take such pleasure in murdering innocents in my lifetime. The past is the past, and Christianities murderous ideology seems to currently command somewhat of a popular monopoly in the "Joy of Killing" humans, and, being a human, I'm quite prepared to return the favor a thousand fold. For humanity, the destruction of Christianity is a matter of survival. Unfortunately, too many religious individuals have been fooled into granting Christianity that which it does not deserve: survival. I've seen images of the followers of Christianity jumping, clapping, and cheering in a euphoric murderous orgy of twisted joy when some of Christianities storm troopers killed 3,000 Afghanis post 9/11. Since I'm personally unencumbered by any religious baggage, I clearly see Christianity for the political manifesto of terrorism that it is, and that its followers are as deserving of the fate that their terrorists so willingly bestow upon others. Christianity has earned its place in history with the bombing every continent of the world; now, we just need to secure its final resting place in the trash bin of history. -------------- The Stink of Zionism and Zionists (english) God didn't create Zionism 9:04pm Tue Aug 6 '02 Zionism is a filthy,  vile, vicious, cancerous, political manifesto of terrorism masquerading as religion, with its tenets clearly written in the blood of its victims.  It is political cancer metastasizing into an anti-terran genocidal cult. Its adherents are the most simpleminded of nationals cheering the murder of innocent civilians. Christianity, like its capitalist neighbor, is attempting to destroy all eastern thought in favor of intolerance, mass murder and mass conformity. Zionism is a direct attack on the individualism and freedom of thought that helped create the world. If Zionism is permitted its cancerous spread, the world will enter another dark age of bigotry, intolerance, and the genocidal rage of madmen masquerading as religious leaders. If Israel is any test case, Zionism has proven its political ideology is one of hate, intolerance and genocidal rage. Virtually every Zionist nation is ruled with an iron fist because their Zionist populations behave like rabid dogs. Zionism has proven itself incompatible with civilized values, and should be treated as a political manifesto of terrorism. Spare me the body count of other religions: I haven't seen buddhists, hindus, Torah Jews and Muslims, or any other religion take such pleasure in murdering innocents in my lifetime. The past is the past, and Zionism's murderous ideology seems to currently command somewhat of a popular monopoly in the "Joy of Killing" humans, and, being a human, I'm quite prepared to return the favor a thousand fold. For humanity, the destruction of Zionism is a matter of survival. Unfortunately, too many religious individuals have been fooled into granting Zionism that which it does not deserve: survival. I've seen images of the followers of Zionism jumping, clapping, and cheering in a euphoric murderous orgy of twisted joy when some of Zionism's storm troopers killed 3,000 Afghanis post 9/11. Since I'm personally unencumbered by any religious baggage, I clearly see Zionism for the political manifesto of terrorism that it is, and that its followers are as deserving of the fate that their terrorists so willingly bestow upon others. Zionism has earned its place in history with the bombing every continent of the world; now, we just need to secure its final resting place in the trash bin of history. h----------------------------------- 196698 Robert Fisk  Date: Tue Aug 06, 2002 03:39:01 US/Eastern To: Subject: Update & Commentary from ZNet Reply-To: znetupdates@zmag.org From: "Michael Albert" Date: Tue Aug 06, 2002 03:39:01 US/Eastern To: Subject: Update & Commentary from ZNet Reply-To: znetupdates@zmag.org Hello, I know it isn't long since the last ZNet update. But I felt the need to send the following article anyhow. It is by Robert Fisk -- certainly one of the world's best journalists. 9/11 is approaching. There will be celebrations and endless testimonies exhorting citizens fo the U.S. to rise above their immense grief. Fine. But consider this, as well -- an article by Fisk from the British paper the Independent and also to be found on the ZNet top page: -- One Year On In Afghanistan By Robert Fisk President George Bush's "war on terror" reached the desert village of Hajibirgit at midnight on 22 May. Haji Birgit Khan, the bearded, 85-year-old Pushtu village leader and head of 12,000 local tribal families, was lying on a patch of grass outside his home. Faqir Mohamed was sleeping among his sheep and goats in a patch of sand to the south when he heard "big planes moving in the sky". Even at night, it is so hot that many villagers spend the hours of darkness outside their homes, although Mohamedin and his family were in their mud-walled house. There were 105 families in Hajibirgit on 22 May, and all were woken by the thunder of helicopter engines and the thwack of rotor blades and the screaming voices of the Americans. Haji Birgit Khan was seen running stiffly from his little lawn towards the white-walled village mosque, a rectangular cement building with a single loudspeaker and a few threadbare carpets. Several armed men were seen running after him. Hakim, one of the animal herders, saw the men from the helicopters chase the old man into the mosque and heard a burst of gunfire. "When our people found him, he had been killed with a bullet, in the head," he says, pointing downwards. There is a single bullet hole in the concrete floor of the mosque and a dried bloodstain beside it. "We found bits of his brain on the wall." Across the village, sharp explosions were detonating in the courtyards and doorways of the little homes. "The Americans were throwing stun grenades at us and smoke grenades," Mohamedin recalls. "They were throwing dozens of them at us and they were shouting and screaming all the time. We didn't understand their language, but there were Afghan gunmen with them, too, Afghans with blackened faces. Several began to tie up our women ? our own women ? and the Americans were lifting their burqas, their covering, to look at their faces. That's when the little girl was seen running away." Abdul Satar says that she was three years old, that she ran shrieking in fear from her home, that her name was Zarguna, the daughter of a man called Abdul-Shakour ? many Afghans have only one name ? and that someone saw her topple into the village's 60ft well on the other side of the mosque. During the night, she was to drown there, alone, her back apparently broken by the fall. Other village children would find her body in the morning. The Americans paid no attention. From the description of their clothes given by the villagers, they appeared to include Special Forces and also units of Afghan Special Forces, the brutish and ill-disciplined units run from Kabul's former Khad secret police headquarters. There were also 150 soldiers from the US 101st Airborne, whose home base is at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. But Fort Campbell is a long way from Hajibirgit, which is 50 miles into the desert from the south-western city of Kandahar. And the Americans were obsessed with one idea: that the village contained leaders from the Taliban and Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida movement. A former member of a Special Forces unit from one of America's coalition partners supplied his own explanation for the American behaviour when I met him a few days later. "When we go into a village and see a farmer with a beard, we see an Afghan farmer with a beard," he said. "When the Americans go into a village and see a farmer with a beard, they see Osama bin Laden." All the women and children were ordered to gather at one end of Hajibirgit. "They were pushing us and shoving us out of our homes," Mohamedin says. "Some of the Afghan gunmen were shouting abuse at us. All the while, they were throwing grenades at our homes." The few villagers who managed to run away collected the stun grenades next day with the help of children. There are dozens of them, small cylindrical green pots with names and codes stamped on the side. One says "7 BANG Delay: 1.5 secs NIC-01/06-07", another "1 BANG, 170 dB Delay: 1.5s." Another cylinder is marked: "DELAY Verzagerung ca. 1,5s." These were the grenades that terrified Zarguna and ultimately caused her death. A regular part of US Special Forces equipment, they are manufactured in Germany by the Hamburg firm of Nico-Pyrotechnik ? hence the "NIC" on several of the cylinders. "dB" stands for decibels. Several date stamps show that the grenades were made as recently as last March. The German company refers to them officially as "40mm by 46mm sound and flash (stun) cartridges". But the Americans were also firing bullets. Several peppered a wrecked car in which another villager, a taxi driver called Abdullah, had been sleeping. He was badly wounded. So was Haji Birgit Khan's son. A US military spokesman would claim later that US soldiers had "come under fire" in the village and had killed one man and wounded two "suspected Taliban or al-Qa'ida members". The implication ? that 85-year-old Haji Birgit Khan was the gunman ? is clearly preposterous. The two wounded were presumably Khan's son and Abdullah, the taxi driver. The US claim that they were Taliban or al-Qa'ida members was a palpable lie ? since both of them were subsequently released. "Some of the Afghans whom the Americans brought with them were shouting 'Shut up!' to the children who were crying," Faqir Mohamed remembers. "They made us lie down and put cuffs on our wrists, sort of plastic cuffs. The more we pulled on them, the tighter they got and the more they hurt. Then they blindfolded us. Then they started pushing us towards the planes, punching us as we tried to walk." In all, the Americans herded 55 of the village men, blindfolded and with their hands tied, on to their helicopters. Mohamedin was among them. So was Abdul-Shakour, still unaware that his daughter was dying in the well. The 56th Afghan prisoner to be loaded on to a helicopter was already dead: the Americans had decided to take the body of 85-year-old Haji Birgit Khan with them. When the helicopters landed at Kandahar airport ? headquarters to the 101st Airborne ? the villagers were, by their own accounts, herded together into a container. Their legs were tied and then their handcuffs and the manacle of one leg of each prisoner were separately attached to stakes driven into the floor of the container. Thick sacks were put over their heads. Abdul Satar was among the first to be taken from this hot little prison. "Two Americans walked in and tore my clothes off," he said. "If the clothes would not tear, they cut them off with scissors. They took me out naked to have my beard shaved and to have my photograph taken. Why did they shave off my beard? I had my beard all my life." Mohamedin was led naked from his own beard-shaving into an interrogation tent, where his blindfold was removed. "There was an Afghan translator, a Pushtun man with a Kandahar accent in the room, along with American soldiers, both men and women soldiers," he says. "I was standing there naked in front of them with my hands tied. Some of them were standing, some were sitting at desks. They asked me: 'What do you do?' I told them: 'I am a shepherd ? why don't you ask your soldiers what I was doing?' They said: 'Tell us yourself.' Then they asked: 'What kind of weapons have you used?' I told them I hadn't used any weapon. "One of them asked: 'Did you use a weapon during the Russian [occupation] period, the civil war period or the Taliban period?' I told them that for a lot of the time I was a refugee." From the villagers' testimony, it is impossible to identify which American units were engaged in the interrogations. Some US soldiers were wearing berets with yellow or brown badges, others were in civilian clothes but apparently wearing bush hats. The Afghan interpreter was dressed in his traditional salwah khameez. Hakim underwent a slightly longer period of questioning; like Mohamedin, he says he was naked before his interrogators. "They wanted my age and my job. I said I was 60, that I was a farmer. They asked: 'Are there any Arabs or Talibans or Iranians or foreigners in your village?' I said 'No.' They asked: 'How many rooms are there in your house, and do you have a satellite phone?' I told them: 'I don't have a phone. I don't even have electricity.' They asked: 'Were the Taliban good or bad?' I replied that the Taliban never came to our village so I had no information about them. Then they asked: 'What about Americans? What kind of people are Americans?' I replied: 'We heard that they liberated us with [President Hamid] Karzai and helped us ? but we don't know our crime that we should be treated like this.' What was I supposed to say?" A few hours later, the villagers of Hajibirgit were issued with bright-yellow clothes and taken to a series of wire cages laid out over the sand of the airbase ? a miniature version of Guantanamo Bay ? where they were given bread, biscuits, rice, beans and bottled water. The younger boys were kept in separate cages from the older men. There was no more questioning, but they were held in the cages for another five days. All the while, the Americans were trying to discover the identity of the 85-year-old man. They did not ask their prisoners ? who could have identified him at once ? although the US interrogators may not have wished them to know that he was dead. In the end, the Americans gave a photograph of the face of the corpse to the International Red Cross. The organisation was immediately told by Kandahar officials that the elderly man was perhaps the most important tribal leader west of the city. "When we were eventually taken out of the cages, there were five American advisers waiting to talk to us," Mohamedin says. "They used an interpreter and told us they wanted us to accept their apologies for being mistreated. They said they were sorry. What could we say? We were prisoners. One of the advisers said: 'We will help you.' What does that mean?" A fleet of US helicopters flew the 55 men to the Kandahar football stadium ? once the scene of Taliban executions ? where all were freed, still dressed in prison clothes and each with a plastic ID bracelet round the wrist bearing a number. "Ident-A-Band Bracelet made by Hollister" was written on each one. Only then did the men learn that old Haji Birgit Khan had been killed during the raid a week earlier. And only then did Abdul-Shakour learn that his daughter Zarguna was dead. The Pentagon initially said that it found it "difficult to believe" that the village women had their hands tied. But given identical descriptions of the treatment of Afghan women after the US bombing of the Uruzgan wedding party, which followed the Hajibirgit raid, it seems that the Americans ? or their Afghan allies ? did just that. A US military spokesman claimed that American forces had found "items of intelligence value", weapons and a large amount of cash in the village. What the "items" were was never clarified. The guns were almost certainly for personal protection against robbers. The cash remains a sore point for the villagers. Abdul Satar said that he had 10,000 Pakistani rupees taken from him ? about $200 (£130). Hakim says he lost his savings of 150,000 rupees ? $3,000 (£1,900). "When they freed us, the Americans gave us 2,000 rupees each," Mohamedin says. "That's just $40 [£25]. We'd like the rest of our money." But there was a far greater tragedy to confront the men when they reached Hajibirgit. In their absence ? without guns to defend the homes, and with the village elder dead and many of the menfolk prisoners of the Americans ? thieves had descended on Hajibirgit. A group of men from Helmand province, whose leader is Abdul Rahman Khan ? once a brutal and rapacious "mujahid" fighter against the Russians, and now a Karzai government police commander ? raided the village once the Americans had taken away so many of the men. Ninety-five of the 105 families had fled into the hills, leaving their mud homes to be pillaged. The disturbing, frightful questions that creep into the mind of anyone driving across the desert to Hajibirgit today are obvious. Who told the US to raid the village? Who told them that the Taliban leadership and the al-Qa'ida leadership were there? Was it, perhaps, Abdul Rahman Khan, the cruel police chief whose men were so quick to pillage the mud-walled homes once the raid was over? For today, Hajibirgit is a virtual ghost town, its village leader dead, most of its houses abandoned. The US raid was worthless. There are scarcely 40 villagers left. They all gathered at the stone grave of Zarguna some days later, to pay their respects to the memory of the little girl. "We are poor people ? what can we do?" Mohamedin asked me. I had no reply. President Bush's "war on terror", his struggle of "good against evil" descended on the innocent village of Hajibirgit. And now Hajibirgit is dead. Michael Albert Z Magazine / ZNet sysop@zmag.org www.zmag.org ----------195585  Questionable Use of Foucault by Indimedia Dr. Jonathan Garb 2:56pm Thu Aug 1 '02 A critique of the enlistment of the image and theory of Foucualt by the indimedia site. Lately, the Indimedia site has enlisted the image or icon of Saint Michel Foucualt (See D. Halperin, Foucault - the Hagiography of a Gay Saint). I would like to briefly question this usage, and ask if Foucault's theories indeed tally with the views and forms of discourse prevalent in the site. Here is a qoute on the discourse of human rights as applied to political situations, directly addressing Sabra and Shatilla: "There you have a wonderfully 18th century perspective in which the recognition of a certain form of juridicial rationality would make it possible to define good and evil in every possible situation. It is certain... that in a situation as incredibly confused as the Lebanese affair, people did not perceive things in the same way... One must guard against reintroducing a hegemonic thought on the pretext of presenting a human rights theory or policy. After all, Leninism was presented as a human rights policy" (M. Foucault, Power (Vol.3 of the Essential Works, p. 471-2). Much more available and will be presented in a longer discussion. For the meantime, on the misuses of Foucault in current Israeli discourse, see the article in Haaretz 1.8.2 by Galit Hazan-Rokem on Adi Ophir, as well as the M.A by Orna Sasson-Levi on the "21st year" movement. I hope that this will provoke further discussion. ------------- Foucault as reactionary (english) Situationist 8:04pm Thu Aug 1 '02  have been sick for years of the uses of Foucault by the so-called left. Foucaults ideas are, arguably, quite retrograde, in the general context of leftist thought. The question is not one of MISUSE. The question is whether one should use Foucault at all. I find his thought relatively bankrupt, when compared with the much richer thought of Guy DeBord and other theorists who provided the foundation for the Revolution of May 68. Decide for yourself which texts have more revolutionary value. <http://www2.cddc.vt.edu/situationist/si/situ.html> ------- some of us find... (english) a3m 2:46am Fri Aug 2 '02 mindless idiotic intellectualistic masturbation to be an impediment to communicating useful ideas to other humans. Much less to having others give a damn. "If its hard to understand, it must be so brilliant" is more bankrupt that anybody you've mentioned, jerk No wonder others laugh at the west, where this tripe gets attended to -------- Who's Laughing? (english) ??? 6:00am Fri Aug 2 '02 Who are these "others" laughing? The elites (and even some of the middle class) from the global South are being educated in Western universities. ----------------------------------------- 193718 WHAT'S SO BAD ABOUT ISRAEL? (english) Michael Neumann 1:11pm Mon Jul 22 '02 (Modified on 10:41am Tue Jul 23 '02) Israel has pioneered the science of making life unlivable with as little violence as possible. The Palestinians are not merely provoked into reacting; they have no rational choice but to react. If they didn't, things would just get worse faster, with no hope of relief. Israel is an innovator in the search for a squeaky-clean sadism. What's So Bad About Israel? by Michael Neumann July 6, 2002 It's hard to say what's so bad about Israel, and its defenders--having nothing better to use--have seized on this. Some do so soberly, like Harpers publisher John R. MacArthur, who thinks Israel comes off no worse than the Russians in Chechnya, and much better than the Americans in Vietnam (Toronto Globe and Mail, May 13th, 2002). Others do so defiantly. True, Israel has taken the land of harmless people, killed innocent civilians, tortured prisoners, bulldozed houses, destroyed crops, yada yada yada. Who cares? What else is new? I completely sympathize with this point of view. The appetite for world-class atrocity may be adolescent, but it belongs to an adolescence that many of us never outgrow. The facts are disappointing. Even compared with post-Nazi monsters like Pol Pot or Saddam Hussein, the Israelis have killed very few people; their tortures and oppression are boring. How could these mediocre crimes compete for our attention with whatever else is on TV?. They couldn't; in fact they are designed not to do so. Yet Israel is a growing evil whose end is not in sight. Its outlines have become clearer as times have changed. Until sometime after the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel's sins were unspectacular, at least from a cynic's perspective. Israel was born from an understandable desire of a persecuted people for security. Jews immigrated to Palestine; acquired land by fair means or foul, provoked violent reactions. There ensued a cycle of violence in which the Jews distinguished themselves in at least one impeccably documented and truly disgusting massacre at Deir Yassin, and probably many more that Jewish forces succeeded in concealing. The new state accorded full rights only to its Jewish inhabitants, and defeated its Arab opponents both in battle and in a propaganda campaign that effectively concealed Israeli racism and aggression. It was said then, as now: what's so bad about that? The answer is, nothing. Of course the perpetrators of these crimes deserve no state, but only punishment: what else is new? Isn't this the normal way that states are born? Israel's pre-1967 crimes, then, are not a part of its special evil, though they did much to create it. The past was glorified, not exorcised. Both Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, indisputably responsible for the worst pre-1967 brutalities, went on to become prime minister: the poison of the early years is still working its way through Middle East politics. But the big change, post-1967, was Israel's choice of war over peace. Sometime after 1967, Israel's existence became secure. It didn't seem so during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, but soon it became clear that Israel would never again be caught with its guard down. Its vigilance has guaranteed, for the foreseeable future, that Arab nations pose no serious threat. As the years pass, Israel's military advantage only increases, to the point that no country in the world would care to confront it. At the same time, and to an increasing extent, Palestinians have abandoned any real hope of retaking pre-1967 Israeli territory, and are willing to settle for the return of the occupied territories. In this context, the Israeli settlement policy, quite apart from its terrible effect on Palestinians, is outrageous for what it represents: a careful, deliberate rejection of peace, and a declaration of the fixed intention to dispossess the Palestinians until they have nothing left. And something else has changed. Israel could claim, as a matter of self-interest if not of right, that it needed the pre-1967 territory as a homeland for the Jews. It cannot say this about the settlements, which exist not from any real need for anything, but for three reasons: to give some Israelis a cheap deal on housing, to conform to the messianic expectations of Jewish fundamentalists, and, not least, as a vengeful, relentless, sadistically gradual expression of hatred for the defeated Arab enemy. In short, by the mid-1970s, Israel's crimes were no longer the normal atrocities of nation-building nor an excessive sort of self-defense. They represented a cold-blooded, calculated, indeed an eagerly embraced choice of war over peace, and an elaborate plan to seek out those who had fled the misery of previous confrontations, to make certain that their suffering would continue. So Israel stands out among other unpleasant nations in the depth of its commitment to gratuitous violence and nastiness: this you expect to find among skinheads rather than nations. But wait! there's more! It is not just that times have changed. It also has to do with the position Israel occupies in these new times. Though we might wish otherwise, the political or historical 'location' of a crime can be a big contributor to its moral status. It is terrible that there are vestiges of slavery in Abidjan and Mauritania. We often reproach ourselves for not getting more upset about such goings-on, as if the lives of these far-off non-white people were unimportant. And maybe we should indeed be ashamed of ourselves, but this is not the whole story. There is a difference between the survival of evil in the world's backwaters and its emergence in the world's spotlight. If some smug new corporation, armed with political influence and snazzy lawyers, set up a slave market in Times Square, that would represent an even greater evil than the slave market in Abidjan. This is not because humans in New York are more important than humans in Abidjan, but because what happens in New York is more influential and more representative of the way the world is heading. American actions do much to set standards worldwide; the actions of slave-traders in Abidjan do not. (The same sort of contrast applies to the Nazi extermination camps: part of their specialness lies, not in the numbers killed or the bureaucracy that managed the killing, but in the fact that nothing like such killing has ever occurred in a nation so on the 'cutting edge' of human development.) Cultural domination has its responsibilities. What Israel does is at the very center of the world stage, not only as a focus of media attention, but also as representative of Western morality and culture. This could not be plainer from the constant patter about how Israel is a shining example of democracy, resourcefulness, discipline, courage, toughness, determination, and so on. And nothing could be more inappropriate than the complaints that Israel is being 'held to a higher standard'. It is not being held to one; it aggressively and insolently appropriates it. It plants its flag on some cultural and moral summit. Israel is the ultimate victim-state of the ultimate people--the noblest, the most long-suffering, the most persecuted, the most intelligent, the Chosen Ones. The reason Israel is judged by a higher standard is its blithe certainty, accepted by generations of fawning Westerners, that it exists at a higher standard. Other countries, of course, have put on similar airs, but at least their crimes could be represented as a surprising deviation from noble principles. When people try to understand how Germans could become Nazis, or the French, torturers in Algeria, or the Americans, murderers at My Lai, it is always possible to ask--what went wrong? How could these societies so betray their civilized roots and high ideals? And sometimes plausible attempts were made to associate this betrayal with some fringe elements of the society--disgruntled veterans, dispossessed younger sons, provincial reactionaries, trailer trash. If these societies had gone wrong, it was a matter of perverted values, suppressed forces, aberrant tendencies, deformed dreams. With Israel, there is no question of such explanations. Its atrocities belong to its mainstream, its traditions, its founding ideology. They are performed by its heroes, not its kooks and losers. Israel has not betrayed anything. On the contrary, its actions express a widely espoused, perhaps dominant version of its ideals. Israel is honored, often as not, for the very same tribal pride and nation-building ambitions that fire up its armies and its settlers. Its crimes are front and center, not only on the world stage, but also on its own stage. What matters here is not Israel's arrogance, but its stature. Israel stands right in the spotlight and crushes an entire people. It defies international protests and resolutions as no one else can. Only Israel, not, say, Indonesia or even the US, dares proclaim: "Who are you to preach morality to us? We are morality incarnate!" Indonesia, or Mauritania, or Iraq do not welcome delegations of happy North American schoolchildren, host prestigious academic conferences, go down in textbooks as a textbook miracle. Characters on TV sitcoms do not go off to find themselves in the Abidjan slave markets as they do on Israel's kibbutzim. Israel banks on this.Its tactics seem nicely tuned to inflict the most harm with the least damage to its image. They include deliberately messy surgical strikes, halting ambulances, uprooting orchards and olive groves, destroying urban sanitation, curfews, road closures, holding up food until it spoils, allocating five times the water to settlers as to the people whose land was confiscated, and attacks on educational or cultural facilities. Its most effective strategies are minimalist, as when Palestinians have to sit and wait at checkpoints for hours in sweltering cars, risking a bullet if they get out to stretch their legs, waiting to work, to get medical care, to do anything in life that requires movement from one place to another, as likely to be turned back as let through, and certain to suffer humiliation or worse. Israel has pioneered the science of making life unlivable with as little violence as possible. The Palestinians are not merely provoked into reacting; they have no rational choice but to react. If they didn't, things would just get worse faster, with no hope of relief. Israel is an innovator in the search for a squeaky-clean sadism. The worse things get for the Palestinians, the more violently they must defend themselves, and the more violently Israel can respond. Whenever possible, Israel sees to it that the Palestinians take each new step in the escalation. The hope is that, at some point, Israel will be able to kill many tens of thousands, all in the name of self-defense. And subtly but surely, things are changing still further. Israel is starting to let the mask drop, not from its already public intentions, but from its naked strength. It no longer deigns to conceal its sophisticated nuclear arsenal. It begins to supply the world with almost as much military technology as it consumes. And it no longer sees any need to be discreet about its defiance of the United States' request for moderation: Israel is happy to humiliate the 'stupid Americans' outright. As it plunders, starves and kills, Israel does not lurk in the world's back-alleys. It says, "Look at us. We're taking these people's land, not because we need it, but because we feel like it. We're putting religious nuts all over it because they help cleanse the area of these Arab lice who dare to defy us. We know you don't like it and we don't care, because we don't conform to other people's standards. We set the standards for others." And the standards it sets continue to decline. Israel Shahak and others have documented the rise of fundamentalist Jewish sects that speak of the greater value of Jewish blood, the specialness of Jewish DNA, the duty to kill even innocent civilians who pose a potential danger to Jews, and the need to 'redeem' lands lying far beyond the present frontiers of Israeli control. Much of this happens beneath the public surface of Israeli society, but these racial ideologies exert a strong influence on the mainstream. So far, they have easily prevailed over the small, courageous Jewish opposition to Israeli crimes. The Israeli government can afford to let the fanatical race warriors go unchecked, because it knows the world would not dare connect their outrages to any part of Judaism (or Zionism) itself. As for the dissenters, don't they just show what a wonderfully democratic society Israel has produced? As Israel sinks lower, it corrupts the world that persists in admiring it. Thus Amnesty International's military adviser, David Holley, with a sort of honest military bonhomie, tells the world that the Israelis have "a very valid point" when they refuse to allow a UN investigative team into Jenin: "You do need a soldier's perspective to say, well, this was a close quarter battle in an urban environment, unfortunately soldiers will make mistakes and will throw a hand grenade through the wrong window, will shoot at a twitching curtain, because that is the way war is."(*) We quite understand: Israel is a respectable country with respectable defense objectives, and mistakes will be made. Soldier to soldier, we see that destroying swarthy 'gunmen' who crouch in wretched buildings is a legitimate enterprise, because it serves the higher purpose of clearing away the vermin who resist the implantation of superior Jewish DNA throughout the occupied territories. It is this ability to command respect despite the most public outrages against humanity that makes Israel so exceptionally bad. Not that it needs to be any worse than 'the others': that would be more than bad enough. But Israel does not only commit its crimes; it also legitimates them. That is not a matter of abstract moral argument, but of political acceptance and respectability. As the world slowly tries to emerge from barbarism--for instance, through the human rights movements for which Israel has such contempt-- Israel mockingly drags it back by sanctifying the very doctrines of racial vengeance that more civilized forces condemn. Israel brings no new evils into the world. It merely rehabilitates old ones, as an example for others to emulate and admire. Michael Neumann is a professor of philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, Canada. He can be reached at: mneumann@trentu.ca counterpunch.org/neumann0706.html ------------------------- no point (english) coffeecat 3:09pm Mon Jul 22 '02 thought the radical left's support for palestine was support for peace and self-determination, not condemnation is the entire state of israel. what's the point of expounding on how israel allegedly exploits its jewishness to get away with its crimes except to put murder and oppression hand in hand with jewishness? this article is senselessly anti-jew. it does nothing to gain support or help the palestinian cause. it simply condemns one form of violence in order to justify another. and assumes that israel is out to kill every single arab the way that many pro-israeli military people assume that the palestinians won't rest until they've "pushed all the jews into the sea" we cannot foster this gotta-get-them-before-they-get-you attitude. it will never end in peace. i've heard too many comments equating zionism with racism, sharon with hitler, stars of davids with swastikas to believe that the immature radical movement isn't passively becoming anti-jew. how can you say everything about judaism is evil but claim to not be anti-jew? oh its not that the idea of being god's people is evil, its just that that's what leads to evil. great. good job, i'm sold. i hate jews. they think they're the best and we're jsut stupid american suckers. hell why should they have their own nation if i can't have my own? buncha prejudiced self riteous hypocrites, all of them! all of them except the ones i've met on indymedia and pro-palestine marches. those folks are on the right side, they're not really jewish they were just born that way and that's not their fault and i can still respect them because i'm no nazi i'm an antiracist activist! I didn't see... (english) Brian 3:50pm Mon Jul 22 '02 anything about Judaism being evil - Zionizm yes, but the mentions of Jewishness are mostly talking about the extremists - don't all good Christians hate Pat Robertson, John Ashcroft, Ian Paisley and their ilk? The problem isn't Jews, it's evil Zionist apartheid Nazis. They may not want to kill the Arabs, but they certainly want them off the territory that Israel stole in their carefully planned 1967 offensive. Fuck Israel, and fuck anyone who supports them. Israel-Palestine Crisis (english) Yawner 6:51pm Mon Jul 22 '02 Background to the Israel-Palestine Crisis by Stephen R. Shalom What are the modern origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? During World War I, Britain made three different promises regarding historic Palestine. Arab leaders were assured that the land would become independent; in the Balfour declaration, Britain indicated its support for a Jewish national home in Palestine; and secretly Britain arranged with its allies to divide up Ottoman territory, with Palestine becoming part of the British empire. Historians have engaged in detailed exegesis of the relevant texts and maps, but the fundamental point is that Britain had no moral right to assign Palestine to anyone: by right Palestine belonged to its inhabitants. In the late years of the 19th century, anti-Semitism became especially virulent in Russia and re-emerged in France. Some Jews concluded that only in a Jewish state would Jews be safe and thus founded Zionism. Most Jews at the time rejected Zionism, preferring instead to address the problem of anti-Semitism through revolutionary or reformist politics or assimilation. And for many orthodox Jews, especially the small Jewish community in Palestine, a Jewish state could only be established by God, not by humans. At first Zionists were willing to consider other sites for their Jewish state, but they eventually focused on Palestine for its biblical connections. The problem, however, was that although a Zionist slogan called Palestine "a land without people for a people without land," the land was not at all empty. Following World War I, Britain arranged for the League of Nations to make Palestine a British "mandate," which is to say a colony to be administered by Britain and prepared for independence. To help justify its rule over Arab land, Britain arranged that one of its duties as the mandatory power would be to promote a Jewish national home. Who were the Jews who came to Palestine? ---------- xxxxxx very long comment xxxxxx ------------ such fucking ignorance and bullshit (english) yer mom 7:00pm Mon Jul 22 '02 so i guess the way it goes is, "israel has been humane and moderate in their dealings with palestinian agression for so long that, in order to continue my jew-bashing, i'll redefine humanity and moderation as evil and sinister." this is like how the u.n. declared jenin a horrifying masacre before the fighting even started, and when the fighting was over, the u.n. inspection teams came in and found everything to be just as the idf said it was; less than 75 palestinian casualties, almost all combatants, and evidence of mines and booby traps. yet the inspection team still came home calling it a horrifying massacre. sharon somehow got the impression from this that the u.n. may be just a little bit biased, so he made some reasonable demands on the composition of the investigatory team which the u.n. rejected out of hand. they stalled for a week and declared that it was too late to conduct a "productive" investigation. i guess sharon called their bluff and was correct, the investigation was never intended to be impartial. still, in the hearts of "anti-zionists", israel comes out looking like they had obstructed justice. so who do you think the first people to hang will be if this new european/arab cabal in the u.n. install the icc? i would hope the sudanese, who still alow the practice of slavery to go on unabated by their undemocratic government, but somehow i doubt it. at least not with ignorant parrots like brian, who boldly asserts that israel "stole" the occupied territories in a "carefully planned 1967 offensive". you see, up is down, black is white, land taken while repelling an invading force with the declared intention of "pushing the jews into the sea" was "stolen" in an "offensive", the jews are the real nazis. i wonder if this flys for those who wear their support for anti-semetic genocide on their sleeves (despite the identical nature of their historical distortions regarding israel)? i.e., african americans are the real klan, women are the real patriarchs, anarchists and leftists are the real brownshirts. wait a minute, what was that last one? ------------------ Dear Coffeecat (english) Jordan Thornton 10:41am Tue Jul 23 '02 pilgrim112@hotmail.com  As I was the one who posted this, I will respond. "i thought the radical left's support for palestine was support for peace and self-determination, not condemnation is the entire state of israel." Just because this is on IndyMedia, doesn't mean it represents the views of the "radical left". I personally am left-leaning, but so much more. If Israel must kill to survive, and it cannot be the true Land of the Jews, built upon the foundation of religion, then why should we continue this failed experiment of transplanting a bunch of Euopeans into the Middle East? The second your "right to self-determination" infringes on the rights of others, it ceases to be your right. "what's the point of expounding on how israel allegedly exploits its jewishness to get away with its crimes except to put murder and oppression hand in hand with jewishness?" The authour is pointing out that the leaders use this tactic, and that it is effective and it works. He does not mean that being Jewish means to support murder. Blind support of Israel, however, is. "this article is senselessly anti-jew." No, it is anti-Zionist. Thoise are completely different things. "(...) and assumes that israel is out to kill every single arab the way that many pro-israeli military people assume that the palestinians won't rest until they've "pushed all the jews into the sea" Israel may not want this as a whole, but its leaders do, and have made no bones, on several occasions, about their intentions. "we cannot foster this gotta-get-them-before-they-get-you attitude. it will never end in peace." I agree. "i've heard too many comments equating zionism with racism, sharon with hitler, stars of davids with swastikas to believe that the immature radical movement isn't passively becoming anti-jew." Then you ahve misunderstood us, or you fail to see Sharon and his vision of Israel for what it is. "how can you say everything about judaism is evil but claim to not be anti-jew?" Look, Sharon is not a believeer in Judaism. He uses it as a smokescreen to justify his evil, and to manipulate the people of his country, to garner support for his cause, just as Hitler did with Christianity. Judaism and the current military state called Israel are completely different things. If Israel was the Land of the Jews, it would respect the basic tenents of the faith, and act in such a manner. These men are politicians, just like any others. They do not believe in God, or religion. Once you realize that, you will be leaps and bounds ahead in your understanding of this conflict. You have to see them all as people, and leave religion out of it, just as you would in any other situation. "oh its not that the idea of being god's people is evil, its just that that's what leads to evil. great. good job, i'm sold." That belief, which comes from a book written by Jewish men, supports racial superiority. There is no proof that what are now known as Jews are the original people of the biblical land called Israel. It's not fact, it's a belief of a minority of people. "hell why should they have their own nation if i can't have my own?" That is a very extreme and reactionary response. If Israel has to maintain its existence through oppression and war, then it should be dissolved. "buncha prejudiced self riteous hypocrites, all of them! all of them except the ones i've met on indymedia and pro-palestine marches. those folks are on the right side, they're not really jewish they were just born that way and that's not their fault and i can still respect them because i'm no nazi i'm an antiracist activist!" I hope the hatred and anger you feel inside will dissipate. Your arguments are not all that rational, and this has little to do with the Jewish people as a whole. ----------------------- 194585 The long exile is over but the naZionist returns as anti-Semite (english) Fredy Perlman 3:39am Sat Jul 27 '02 "The long exile is over; the persecuted refugee at long last returns to Zion, but so badly scarred he?s unrecognizable, he has completely lost his self; he returns as anti-Semite, as Pogromist, as mass murderer; the ages of exile and suffering are still included in his makeup, but only as self-justifications, and as a repertory of horrors to impose on Primitives and even on Earth herself. " Subject: (en) Fredy Perlman's Anti-Semitism & the Beirut Pogrom added Today, in memorium, I have put online a copy of Fredy Perlman's pamphlet "ANTI-SEMITISM & THE BEIRUT POGROM " (also soon to be reprinted by Black & Red Publishers in Detroit). This piece remains powerful, poignant & relevant. " I'm talking about modern Pogromists, and more narrowly about cheerleaders for Pogroms. I'm talking about people who haven't personally killed fifty or five or even one human being. "I'm talking about America, where the quest is to immerse oneself in Paradise while avoiding any contact with its dirty work, where only a minority is still involved in the personal doing of the dirty work, where the vast majority are full-time voyeurs, peepers, professors, call them what you will. "Among the voyeurs, I?m concentrating on the voyeurs of Holocausts and Pogroms. I have to keep referring to what?s on the screen because that?s what?s being watched. But my concern is with the watcher, with one who chooses himself a voyeur, specifically a voyeur of Holocausts, a cheerleader for death squads. [...] "The cynical laugh translated into words would say: We (they always say We) We conquered the Primitives, expropriated them and ousted them; the expropriated are still resisting, and in the meantime We have acquired two generations who have no other home but Zion; being Realists, we know we can end the resistance once and for all by exterminating the expropriated... "The long exile is over; the persecuted refugee at long last returns to Zion, but so badly scarred he?s unrecognizable, he has completely lost his self; he returns as anti-Semite, as Pogromist, as mass murderer; the ages of exile and suffering are still included in his makeup, but only as self-justifications, and as a repertory of horrors to impose on Primitives and even on Earth herself. " <http://recollectionbooks.com/ bleed/Encyclopedia/PerlmanFredy/ antisemitism.htm From today's Daily Bleed: July 26, 1985 -- Fredy Perlman (1934-1985) dies, Detroit, Michigan. Printer, dramatist, organizer, scholar, theorist, gardener, musician & anti-authoritarian activist. "This is the place to jump, the place to dance! This is the wilderness! Was there ever any other?" DAILY BLEED SAINT 20 AUGUST A great part of his theoretical & practical struggle was an investigation of this process of alienation & fragmentation by which human beings surrender their autonomy & participate in their own suppression. From: Biography & links, see the Anarchist Encyclopedia page for Fredy Perlman (which I expect to be updating in the near future), eskimo.com/~recall/bleed/ sinners/PerlmanFredy.htm> BleedMeister David Brown ANTI-SEMITISM & THE BEIRUT POGROM Fredy Perlman Escape from death in a gas chamber or a Pogrom, or incarceration in a concentration camp, may give a thoughtful and capable writer, Solzhenitsyn for example, profound insights into many of the central elements of contemporary existence, but such an experience does not, in itself, make Solzhenitsyn a thinker, a writer, or even a critic of concentration camps; it does not, in itself, confer any special powers. In another person the experience might lie dormant as a potentiality, or remain forever meaningless, or it might contribute to making the person an ogre. In short, the experience is an indelible part of the individual?s past but it does not determine his future; the individual is free to choose his future; he is even free to choose to abolish his freedom, in which case he chooses in bad faith and is a Salaud (J.P. Sartre?s precise philosophical term for a person who makes such a choice [The usual English translation is ?Bastard?]). My observations are borrowed from Sartre; I?d like to apply them, not to Solzhenitsyn, but to myself, as a specific individual, and to the American cheerleaders rooting for the State of Israel, as a specific choice. *** I was one of three small children removed by our elders from a Central European country a month before the Nazis invaded the country and began rounding up Jews. Only part of my extended family left; the rest remained and were all rounded up; of these, all my cousins, aunts, and grandparents died in Nazi concentration camps or gas chambers except two uncles, whom I?ll mention later. A month more and I, too, would have been one of those who actually underwent the rationally-planned scientific extermination of human beings, the central experience of so many people in an age of highly developed science and productive forces, but I wouldn?t have been able to write about it. I was one of those who escaped. I spent my childhood among Quechua-speaking people of the Andean highlands, but I didn?t learn to speak Quechua and I didn?t ask myself why; I spoke to a Quechua in a language foreign to both of us, the Conquistador?s language. I wasn?t aware of myself as a refugee nor of the Quechuas as refugees in their own land; I knew no more about the terrors - the expropriations, persecutions and pogroms, the annihilation of an ancient culture - experienced by their ancestors than I knew about the terrors experienced by mine. To me the Quechuas were generous hospitable, guileless, and I thought more of an aunt who respected and liked them than of a relative who cheated them and was contemptuous of them and called them dirty and primitive. My relative?s cheating was my first contact with the double standard, the fleecing of outsiders to enrich insiders, the moral adage that said: It?s all right if it?s We who do it. My relative?s contempt was my first experience with racism, which gave this relative an affinity with the Pogromists she had fled from; her narrow escape from them did not make her a critic of Pogromists; the experience probably contributed nothing to her personality, not even her identification with the Conquistador, since this was shared by Europeans who did not share my relative?s experience of narrowly escaping from a concentration camp. Oppressed European peasants had identified with Conquistadores who carried a more vicious oppression to non-Europeans already before my relative?s experience. My relative did make use of her experience years later, when she chose to be a rooter for the State of Israel, at which time she did not renounce her contempt toward the Quechuas; on the contrary, she then applied her contempt toward people in other parts of the world, people she had never met or been among. But I wasn?t concerned with the character of her choice at the time; I was more concerned with the chocolates she brought me. *** In my teens I was brought to America, which was a synonym for New York even to people already in America among the Quechuas; it was a synonym for much else, as I was very slowly to learn. Shortly after my arrival in America, the state power of the Central European country of my origin was seized by a well-organized gang of egalitarians who thought they could bring about universal emancipation by occupying State offices and becoming policemen, and the new State of Israel fought its first successful war and turned an indigenous population of Semites into internal refugees like the Quechuas and exiled refugees like the Central European Jews. I should have wondered why the Semitic refugees and the European refugees who claimed to be Semitic, two peoples with so much in common, did not make common cause against common oppressors, but I was far too occupied trying to find my way in America. >From an elementary school friend who was considered a hooligan by my parents, and also from my parents themselves, I slowly learned that America was the place where anyone would want to be, something like Paradise, but a Paradise that remained out of reach even after one entered America. America was a land of clerks and factory workers, but neither clerical nor factory work were America. My hooligan friend summarized it all very simply: there were suckers and hustlers, and you had to be dumb to become a sucker. My parents were less explicit; they said: Study hard. The implied motivation was: God forbid you should become a clerk or factory worker! Become something other: a professional or a manager. At that time I didn?t know these other callings were also America?s, that with every rung reached, Paradise remained as unreachable as before. I didn?t know that the professional?s or even the clerk?s or worker?s satisfaction came, not from the fullness of his own life, but from the rejection of his own life, from identification with the great process taking place outside him, the process of unfettered industrial destruction. The results of this process could be watched In movies or newspapers, though not yet on Television, which would soon bring the process into everyone home; the satisfaction was that of the voyeur, the peeper. At that time I didn?t know that this process was the most concrete synonym for America. Once in America, I had no use for my experience of narrowly escaping a Nazi concentration camp; the experience couldn?t help me climb the ladder toward Paradise and might even hinder me; my hurried climb might have been slowed consider­ably or even stopped altogether if I had tried to empathize with the condition of the labor camp inmate I might have become, for I would have realized what it was that trade the prospect of factory work so fearsome: it differed from the other condition in that there were no gas chambers and in that the factory worker spent only his weekdays inside. I wasn?t alone in having no use for my Central European experience. My relatives had no use for it either. During that decade I met one of my two uncles who had actually lived through a Nazi concentration camp. Once in America, even this uncle had no use for his experience; he wanted nothing more than to forget the Pogrom and everything associated with it; he wanted only to climb the rungs of America; he wanted to look and sound and act no differently from other Americans. My parents had exactly the same attitude. I was told that my other uncle had survived the camps and gone to Israel, only to be hit by a car soon after his arrival. The State of Israel was not interesting to me during that decade, although I heard talk of it. My relatives spoke with a certain pride of the existence of a State with Jewish policemen, a Jewish army, Jewish judges and factory managers, in short a State totally unlike Nazi Germany and just like America, My relatives, whatever their personal situations, identified with the Jewish policemen and not with the policed, with the factory owners and not the Jewish workers, with the Jewish hustlers and not the suckers, an identification which was understandable among people who wanted to forget their close encounter with labor camps. But none of them wanted to go there; they were already in America. My relatives gave grudgingly to the Zionist cause and were baffled - all except my racist relative - by the unqualified enthusiasm of second to nth generation Americans for a distant State with Jewish policemen and teachers and managers, since these people were already policemen and teachers and managers in America, My racist relative understood what the enthusiasm was based on: racial solidarity. But I wasn?t aware of this at the time. I was not an overbright American high-schooler and I thought racial solidarity was something confined to Nazis, Afri­kaaners and American Southerners. I was starting to be familiar with the traits of the Nazis who?d almost captured me: the racism that reduced human beings to their genealogical connections over five or six generations, the crusading nationalism that considered the rest of humanity an obstacle, the Gleichshaltung that cut off the individuals freedom to choose, the technological efficiency that made small hu­mans mere fodder for great machines, the bully militarism that pitted walls of tanks against a cavalry and exacted a hundred times the losses it sustained, the official paranoia that pictured the enemy, poorly armed townspeople and villagers, as a nearly omnipotent conspiracy of cosmic scope. But I didn?t see that these traits had anything to do with America or Israel. *** It was only during my next decade, as in American college student with a mild interest in history and philosophy, that I began to acquire a smattering of knowledge about Israel and Zionism, not because I was particularly interested in these subjects but because they were included in my readings. I was neither hostile nor friendly; I was indifferent; I still had no use for my experience as a refugee. But I didn?t remain indifferent to Israel or Zionism. This was the decade of Israel?s spectacular capture and trial of the Good German Eichmann, and of Israel?s spectacular invasion of large parts of Egypt, Syria and Jordan in a six-day Blitzkrieg, a decade when Israel was news for everyone, not just for refugees. I didn?t have any unconventional thoughts about the obedient Eichmann except the thought that he couldn?t be so exceptional since I had already met people like him in America. But some of my readings did make me start wondering about my Zionist relative?s racism. I learned that people like the ancient Hebrews, Akkadians, Arabs, Phoenicians and Ethiopians had all come from the land of Shem (the Arabian Peninsula) and had all spoken the language of Shem, which was what made them Shemites or Semites. I learned that the Jewish religion had originated among Semites in the ancient Levantine State Judah, the Christian religion among Semites in the ancient Levantine towns Nazareth and Jerusalem, the Mohammedan religion among Semites in the ancient Arabian towns Mecca and Medina, and that for the past 1300 years the region called Palestine had been a sacred place to the Islamic Semites who lived there and in surrounding regions. I also learned that the religions of European and American Jews, like the religions of European and American Christians, had been elaborated, during almost two millennia, by Europeans and more recently by Americans. If Europeans and American Jews were Semites in terms of their religion, then European and American Christians were also Semites, a notion that was generally considered absurd. If Jews were Semites in terms of the language of their Sacred Book, then all European and American Christians were Greeks or Italians, a notion almost as patently absurd. I started to suspect that my Zionist relative?s only connection to the Zion in the Levant was a genealogical connection traced, not over six, but over more than sixty generations. But I had come to consider such racial reckoning a peculiarity of Nazis, Afrikaaners and American Southerners. I was uneasy. I thought surely there was more to it than that; surely those who claimed to descend from the victims of all that racism were not carriers of a racism ten times more thorough. I knew little of the Zionist Movement, but enough to start being repelled. I knew the Movement had originally had two wings, one of which, the Socialist one, I could understand because I was starting to empathize with victims of oppression, not from insights I gained from my own experience but from books equally accessible to others; the other wing of Zionism was incomprehensible to me. The egalitarian or Left Zionists, as [then understood them, did not want to be assimilated into the European states that persecuted them, some because they didn?t think they ever could be, others because they were repelled by industrializing Europe and America. The Messiah, their Movement, would deliver Israel from exile and guide her to Zion, to something altogether different, to a Paradise without suckers or hustlers. Some of them, even more metaphorically, hoped the Messiah would deliver the oppressed from their oppressors, if not everywhere, then at least in a millennial egalitarian Utopia located in a province of the Ottoman Empire, and they were ready to join with the Islamic residents of Zion against Ottoman, Levantine and British oppressors. They shared this dream with Christian millenarians who had been trying for more than a millennium to found Zion in one or another province of Europe; both had the same roots, but I suspected the left Zionists had inherited their millenarianism from the Christians. The egalitarian Zionists were arrogant in thinking the Islamic residents of Zion would embrace European leftists as liberators, and they were as naive as the egalitarians who had seized state power in the country of my birth, thinking the millennium would begin as soon as they occupied State offices and became policemen. But as far as I could see, they weren?t racists. The other Zionists, the Right, who by the time I reached college had all but supplanted the Left, at least in America, were explicit racists arid assimilationists; they wanted a State dominated by a Race ever so thinly disguised as a religion, a State that would not be something altogether different, but exactly the same as America and the other states in the Family of Nations. I couldn?t understand this, for it seemed to me that these Zionists, who included statists, industrializers and technocrats, were not only racists but also Conversos. Earlier Conversos were Jews in fifteenth century Spain who, to avoid persecution, discovered that the long-awaited Jewish Messiah had already arrived, a millennium and a half earlier, in the person of Jewish prophet Jesse, the Crucified. Some of these Conversos then joined the Inquisition and persecuted Jews who had not made this discovery. The modern Conversos hadn?t become Catholics; Catholicism was not the dominant creed in the twentieth century; Science and Technology were. I thought Jesse had at least affirmed, if only as relics, some of the traits of the ancient human community, whereas Science and Technology affirmed nothing human; they destroyed culture as well as nature as well as human community. It seemed sad that the long-preserved and carefully-guarded specificities of a cultural minority that had refused to be absorbed were to shatter on the discovery that the technocratic State was the Messiah and the Industrial Process the long-awaited millennium. This made the whole trajectory meaningless. The dream of these racist Conversos was repulsive to me. *** It wasn?t until the following decade, when I was over thirty, that my nearness to the Nazi Pogrom began to be meaningful to me. This transvaluation of my early experience happened suddenly, and was caused by something like a chance encounter, an encounter which, also by chance, included an odd reference to the State of Israel. This was the decade when America waged its war of extermination against a people and an ancient culture of the Far East. It happened that I was visiting my Americanized relatives at the same time that my Andean aunt was with them for the first time since their separation. This was the aunt who had respected the Quechua-speaking people, although not enough to learn their language, and had stayed among them when the others left. The conversation among the relatives turned to pious reflections about the uncle who had gone to Israel and been killed by a car after having survived the Nazi concentration camps. My Andean aunt couldn?t believe what she heard. She asked her relatives if they had all gone crazy. The story about the car accident had been told to the children so often that the adults had come to believe it. That man wasn?t killed in an accident, she shouted. He committed suicide. He had survived the concentration camps because he had been a technician employed in applying chemical science to the operation of the gas chambers. He had then made the mistake of emigrating to Israel, where his collaboration had been made public knowledge. He probably couldn?t face the accusing eyes; maybe he feared retaliation. My first response to this revelation was revulsion against a human being who could be so morally degraded as to gas his own kin and fellow-captives. But the more I thought about him, the more I had to admit there had at least been a shred of moral integrity in his final self-destructive act; that act didn?t make him a moral paradigm, but it contrasted sharply with the acts of people who lacked even that shred of moral integrity, people who were returning from the Far East and affirming their deeds, actually boasting of the unnatural atrocities they had inflicted on their fellow human beings. And I asked myself who the others really were, the pure ones who had exposed and judged Eichmann the obedient German. I didn?t know anything about the people in Israel and had never met an Israeli, but I was increasingly aware of the loud American cheerleaders for the State of Israel, and not the Left Zionists among them but the others, my racist relative?s friends. The Leftists had all but vanished in a dark sectarian Limbo no outsider could penetrate, a Limbo that stank almost as strongly as the one that held Messiah Lenin?s and Stalin?s heirs, with sects twisted out of shape by the existence of the State of Israel, ranging from those who claimed their seizure of power was all that was needed to turn the State of Israel into an egalitarian community, to those who claimed the existing State of Israel was already the egalitarian community. But the Left Zionists shouted only at each other. It was the others who made all the din, who shouted at everyone else. And these were explicit about what they admired in the State of Israel; they affirmed it, they boasted of it, and it had nothing to do with the ailing wing?s egalitarianism. What they admired was: -the crusading nationalism that considered the humanity surrounding it as nothing but obstacles to its flowering; -the industrial potency of the Race that had succeeded in denaturing the desert and making it bloom; -the efficiency of the human beings remade into operators of big tanks and incredibly accurate jets; -the technological sophistication of the instruments of death themselves, infinitely superior to that of the Nazis; -the spectacularly enterprising secret police whose prowess was surely not inferior, for such a small State, to that of the CIA, KGB or Gestapo; - the bully militarism that pitted the latest inven­tions of life-killing Science against a motley collection of weapons, and exacted a hundred or a thousand times the losses it sustained. This last boast, which expressed the morality of exacting hundreds of eyes for an eye and thousands of teeth for a tooth, seemed particularly repulsive in the mouth of a cheerleader for a theocratic State where an ethical elite claimed to provide inspired guidance on moral questions; but this will surprise only those uninformed about history?s theocracies. During this decade, the racism, the anti-Semitism, to be more precise, Of these admirers of the State of Israel became virulent. Zion?s expropriated Semites were no longer considered human beings; they were Backward Arabs; only those among them who had been turned into good assimilated Israelis could be called human; the others were dirty Primitives. And Primitives, in the definition given a few centuries earlier by Conquistadores, not only had no right to resist humiliation, expropriation and desolation; Primitives had no right to exist; they only squandered nature s resources, they didn?t know what to do with God?s precious gifts! Only God?s chosen knew how to use the Great Father?s gifts, and they knew exactly what to do with them. Yet even while dwelling on the backwardness of the expropriated, the cheerleaders became paranoid and pictured the pathetic resistance of the expropriated as a vast conspiracy of untold power and nearly cosmic scope. Sartre?s expression mauvaise foi [The usual English translation is ?Bad faith.?] is too weak to characterize the posture chosen by these people, but it?s not my concern to coin another expression. *** I survived into my forties, thanks partly to the fact that America still hadn?t exterminated itself and the rest of humanity with the high-powered incinerants and poisons with which it was mining [Mining in the sense of setting explosive mines, making earth lethal], or rather undermining, its own as well as other people?s lands. This decade combined what I had earlier thought uncombinable; it combined a barrage of revelations about the Holocaust, in the form of movies, plays, books and articles, with the Pogrom, perpetrated on Levantine Semites in Beirut by the State of Israel. [Written in mid-August, this statement referred to Israel?s invasion and not yet to the Pogrom in the strict 19th century sense perpetrated in September. (Sept 16-18, 1982 ,to be exact)] The revelations touched the Holocaust in Vietnam only mar­ginally; maybe two generations have to pass before such filth is hung out to air. The revelations were almost all about the Holocaust I had narrowly escaped as a child. People who don?t understand human freedom might think the terrible revelations could have only one effect, they could only turn people against the perpetrators of such atrocities, they could only make people empathize with the victims, they could only contribute to a resolve to abolish the very possibility of a repeat of such dehumanizing persecution and cold-blooded murder. But, for better or worse, such experiences, whether personally lived or learned from revelations, are nothing but the field over which human freedom soars like a bird of prey. The revelations about the forty-year-old Pogrom have even been turning up as justifications for a present-day Pogrom. Pogrom is a Russian word that used to refer, in past years that now seem almost benign, to a riot of cudgel-armed men against poorly armed villagers with different cultural traits; the more heavily the State was involved in the riot, the more heinous was the Pogrom. The overwhelmingly stronger attackers projected their own character as bullies onto their weaker victims, convincing themselves that their victims were rich, powerful, well-armed and allied with the Devil. The attackers also projected their own violence onto their victims, construct­ing stories of the victims? brutality out of details taken from their own repertory of deeds. In nineteenth century Russia, a Pogrom was considered particularly violent if fifty people were killed. The statistics underwent a complete metamorphosis in the twentieth century, when the State became the main rioter. The statistics of modern German and Russian and Turkish state-run Pogroms are known; the statistics from Vietnam and Beirut are not public yet. Beirut and its inhabitants had already been made desolate by the presence of the violent resistance movement of the expropriated refugees ousted from Zion; if the casualties of those clashes were added to the number killed by the State of Israel?s direct involvement in the riot - but I?ll stop this; I don?t want to play numbers games. The trick of declaring war against the armed resistance and then attacking the resisters? unarmed kin as well as the sur­rounding population with the most gruesome products of Death-Science - this trick is not new. American Pioneers were pioneers in this too; they made it standard practice to declare war on indigenous warriors and then to murder and burn villages with only women and children in them. This is already modern war, what we know as war against civilian populations; it has also been called, more candidly, mass murder or genocide. Maybe I shouldn?t be surprised that the perpetrators of a Pogrom portray themselves as the victims, in the present case as victims of the Holocaust. Herman Melville noticed over a century ago, in his analysis of the metaphysics of Indian-hating, that those who made a full-time profession of hunting and murdering indigenous people of this continent always made themselves appear, even in their own eyes, as the victims of manhunts. The use the Nazis made of the International Jewish Conspiracy is better known: during all the years of atrocities defying belief, the Nazis considered themselves the victimized. It?s as if the experience of being a victim gave exemption from human solidarity, as if it gave special powers, as if it gave a license to kill. Maybe I shouldn?t be surprised, but I can?t keep myself from being angry, because such a posture is the posture of a Salaud, the posture of one who denies human freedom, who denies that he chooses himself as killer. The experience, whether personally lived or learned from revelations, explains and determines nothing; it is nothing but a phony alibi. Melville analyzed the moral integrity of the Indian-hater. I?m talking about modern Pogromists, and more narrowly about cheerleaders for Pogroms. I?m talking about people who haven?t personally killed fifty or five or even one human being. I?m talking about America, where the quest is to immerse oneself in Paradise while avoiding any contact with its dirty work, where only a minority is still involved in the personal doing of the dirty work, where the vast majority are full-time voyeurs, peepers, professors, call them what you will. Among the voyeurs, I?m concentrating on the voyeurs of Holocausts and Pogroms. I have to keep referring to what?s on the screen because that?s what?s being watched. But my concern is with the watcher, with one who chooses himself a voyeur, specifically a voyeur of Holocausts, a cheerleader for death squads. Mention the words Beirut and Pogrom in the same sentence to such a one, and he?ll vomit all the morality inside him: he won?t vomit much. The likeliest response you?ll get is a moronic chuckle and a cynical laugh. I?m reminded of my uncle, the one who wasn?t hit by a car, who at least had the shred of moral integrity to see what others saw and reject it, and I contrast my uncle with this person who either sees nothing at all, or who cynically affirms what he sees, cynically accepts himself. If he?s an intellectual, a professor, he?ll respond with the exact equivalent of the moronic grin or the cynical laugh but with words; he?ll bombard you with sophistries, half truths and outright lies which are perfectly transparent to him even as he utters them. This is not an airy, wide-eyed idealist but a gross, down-to-earth property-oriented materialist with no illusions about what constitutes expropriation of what he calls Real Estate. Yet this real estate man will start telling you that the Levantine Zion is a Jewish Land and he?ll point to a two-thousand year old Title. He calls Hitler a madman for having claimed the Sudetenland was a German land because he totally rejects the rules that would have made it a German land, international peace treaties are included in his rules, violent expropriations are not. Yet suddenly he pulls out a set of rules which, if he really accepted them, would pulverize the entire edifice of Real Property. If he really accepted such rules, he would be selling plots in Gdansk to Kashubians returning from exile, tracts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota to Ojibwas reappropriating their homeland, estates in Iran, Iraq and much of Turkey to homeward bound Indian Parsees, and he would even have to lease parts of Zion itself to Chinese descendants of Nestorian Christians, and to many others besides. Such arguments have more affinity with the moronic chuckle than with the cynical laugh. The cynical laugh translated into words would say: We (they always say We) We conquered the Primitives, expropriated them and ousted them; the expropriated are still resisting, and in the meantime We have acquired two generations who have no other home but Zion; being Realists, we know we can end the resistance once and for all by exterminating the expropriated, Such cynicism without a shred of moral integrity might be realistic, but it might also turn out to be what C.W. Mills called Crackpot Realism, because the resistance might survive and spread and it might go on as long as the Irish. There?s yet another response, the response of the cudgel-armed Defense League bully who thinks the absence of a brown shirt makes him unrecognizable. He clenches his fist or tightens his grip on his club and shouts: Traitor! This response is the most ominous, for it claims that We are a club to which all are welcome, but the membership of some is mandatory. In this usage, Traitor does not mean anti-Semite, since it is aimed at people who empathize with the plight of the current Semites. Traitor does not mean Pogromist, since it is aimed at people who still empathize with the victims of the Pogrom. This term is one of the few components of the vocabulary of a racist through the ages; it means: Traitor to the Race. And here I reach the single element which the new anti-Semite had not yet shared with the old anti-Semite: Gleichschaltung, the totalitarian ?synchronization" of all political activity and expression. The entire Race must march in step, to the same drumbeat; all are to obey. The uniqueness of the condemned Eichmann becomes reduced to a difference in holiday ritual. It seems to me that such goons are not preservers of the traditions of a persecuted culture. They?re Conversos, but not to the Catholicism of Fernando y Isabela; they?re Conversos to the political practice of the Fuehrer. The long exile is over; the persecuted refugee at long last returns to Zion, but so badly scarred he?s unrecognizable, he has completely lost his self; he returns as anti-Semite, as Pogromist, as mass murderer; the ages of exile and suffering are still included in his makeup, but only as self-justifications, and as a repertory of horrors to impose on Primitives and even on Earth herself. I think I?ve now shown that the experience of the Holocaust, whether lived or peeped, does not in itself make an individual a critic of Pogroms, and also that it does not confer special powers or give anyone a license to kill or make someone a mass murderer. But I haven?t even touched the large question that is raised by all this: Can I begin to explain why someone chooses himself a mass murderer? I think I can begin to answer. At the risk of plagiarizing Sartre?s portrait of the old anti-Semite, I can at least try to point to one or two of the elements in the field of choice of the new anti-Semite. I could start by noticing that the new anti-Semite is not really so different from any other TV-watcher, and that TV-watching is somewhere near the core of the choice (I include newspapers and movies under the abbreviation for ?tell-a-vision?). What the watcher sees on the screen are some of the "interesting? deeds, sifted and censored, of the monstrous ensemble in which he plays a trivial but daily role. The central but not often televised activity of this vast ensemble is industrial and clerical labor, forced labor, or just simply labor, the Arbeit which macht frei. [?Work Liberates?: a slogan posted at the entrance to Nazi slave labor camps.] Solzhenitsyn, in his multi-volumed Gulag Archipelago, gave a profound analysis of what such Arbeit does to a human individual?s outer and inner life; a comparably profound analysis has yet to be made of the administration that ?synchronizes? the activity, the training institutions that produce the Eichmanns and Chemists who apply rational means to the perpetration of the irrational ends of their superiors. I can?t summarize Solzhenitsyn?s findings; his books have to be read. In a brief space I can only say that the part of life spent in Arbeit, the triviality of existence in a commodity market as seller or customer, worker or client, leaves an individual without kinship or community or meaning; it dehumanizes him, evacuates him; it leaves nothing inside but the trivia that make up his outside. He no longer has the centrality, the significance, the self-powers given to all their members by ancient communities that no longer exist. He doesn?t even have the phony centrality given by religions which preserved a memory of the ancient qualities while reconciling people to worlds where those qualities were absent. Even the religions have been evacuated, pared down to empty rituals whose meaning has long been lost. The gap is always there; it?s like hunger: it hurts. Yet nothing seems to fill it. Ah, but there?s something that does fill it or at least seems to; it may be sawdust and not grated cheese, but it gives the stomach the illusion that it?s been fed; it may be a total abdication of self-powers, a self-annihilation, but it creates the illusion of self-fulfillment, of reappropriation of the lost self-powers. This something is the Told Vision which can be watched on off hours, and preferably all the time. By choosing himself a Voyeur, the individual can watch everything he no longer is. All the self-powers he no longer has, It has, And It has even more powers; It has powers no individual ever had; It has the power to turn deserts into forests and forests into deserts; It has the power to annihilate peoples and cultures who have survived since the beginning of time and to leave no trace that they ever existed; It even has the power to resuscitate the vanished peoples and cultures and endow them with eternal life in the conditioned air of museums. In case the reader hasn?t already guessed, It is the technological ensemble, the industrial process, the Messiah called Progress. It is America. The individual deprived of meaning chooses to take the final leap into meaninglessness by identifying with the very process that deprives him. He becomes We the exploited identifying with the exploiter. Henceforth his powers are Our powers, the powers of the ensemble, the powers of the alliance of workers with their own bosses known as the Developed Nation. The powerless individual becomes an essential switch in the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing God, the central computer; he becomes one with the machine. His immersion becomes an orgy during the crusades against those who are still outside the machine: untouched trees, wolves, Primitives. During such crusades he becomes one of the last Pioneers; he joins hands across the centuries with the Conquistadores of the southern part and the Pioneers of the northern part of this double continent; he joins hands with Indian-haters and Discoverers and Crusaders; he feels America running in his veins at last, the America that was already brewing in the cauldrons of European Alchemists long before Colon (the Converso) reached the Caribs, Raleigh the Algonquians or Cartier the Iroquoians; he gives the coup de grace to his remaining humanity by identifying with the process exterminating culture, nature and humanity. If I went on I would probably come to results already found by W. Reich in his study of the mass psychology of Fascism. It galls me that a new Fascism should choose to use the experience of the victims of the earlier Fascism among its justifications. ___ anti-copyright 1983 Left Bank Books, 92 Pike St., Seattle. WA 98101 Aided & abetted by Terminal Words, c/o Anti-Authoritarian Studies, UC Berkeley, ASUC, 300 Eshleman Hall, Berkeley. CA. 94720. Printed by David Brown on small basement press Reprinted from Fifth Estate, issue number 310 (Vol. 17 No. 3). 4403 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201. www.ainfos.ca/02/jul/ainfos00511.html --