ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘9/11

The Respect Chair, Carole Swords And Racism.

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The CST takes the Respect Chair, Carole Swords to task for her racist “slip”.

Seismic Shock reminded us that she previously promoted a pro-Crusader article from Stuart Littlewood.

Why she would have wanted to associate with an obsessive racist like Littlewood I can’t say, but she could have at least looked him up on Google and taken the hint.

Littlewood writes for Veterans Today, a nasty conspiratorial and antisemitic on-line rag run by the crank and friend of the Far Right, Gordon Duff.

Who can forget Duff’s kind words about Ernst Zundel:

“The best known scholoar of holocaust theories is Dr. Thomas Dalton, author of
Debating the Holocaust; A New Look at Both Sides. Dalton discusses the history of
the “denialist” movement and efforts made to criminalize, not only politically
motivated efforts to change majority perceptions of the holocaust but also stifle
legitimate research into, not only the holocaust but a more accurate history of Europe
in the mid 20th Century. Most recently, Ernst Zundel, a German born researcher
who has questioned issues related to the holocaust was extradited from Canada and
imprisoned for years in Germany for “crimes” that, in America would be considered
not just “freedom of speech” but relatively modest historical enquiry. Zundel
questioned the number “six million” and, in doing so, was arrested and convicted of
an obscure law that creates a special class of truth when Jewish perception is
involved.

Zundel, and significant numbers of historians of varying credibility believe the
number of Jewish dead is being vastly over stated along with the methods of killing.
It is their contention that since there is no scientific evidence that gassing or
cremation facilities existed designed for masskilling, a major area of their research,
that numbers of dead should be reassessed. They insist that since camps such as
Auschwitz and Dachau are no longer considered “death camps” and that many other
camps listed disappeared “without any trace” according to their research, that the
number dead should be lowered by up to 80%. “

Is it merely coincidental that “anti-Zionists”, like Carole Swords, end up espousing racist ideas?

I suspect it is more a case of lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas!

The Political Benefits Of Conspiracy Theories.

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There is a good article in Budapest Times by Péter Krekó, Jobbik needs Jews to run the world.

Krekó draws out themes which are not just confined to the Far Right in Hungary, but find resonance in Britain and elsewhere across the political spectrum:

Psychological & political ‘benefit’ of conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories enjoy immense popularity. Virtually all communities (in Western and Eastern societies alike) have their own well-established ones. In the United States, for example, 75-80 per cent of the population believes that the official version of the Kennedy murder, the “lone killer” theory, does not fit the truth. Sixty-two per cent of Americans believe that the Bush government had prior knowledge of the September 11 terrorist attacks but deliberately kept quiet about it. A third of Brits are convinced the accident that killed Princess Diana was in fact an assassination. Almost 80 per cent of the populations of certain Muslim countries think that the governments of Israel and the United States carried out the September 11 attacks rather than a group of Arabs.

Research here in Hungary also indicates the widespread popularity of conspiracy theories. According to a representative survey carried out together with Medián at the end of 2009 based on our questions, more than two-thirds of those canvassed agreed with the statement that “we never find out the truth from the media and the news, and everything important happens behind the scenes”, and half agreed that “during the crisis powerful financial circles joined forces to destroy Hungary’s economy in an effort to colonise the country”. Eighty-eight per cent of the respondents agreed with at least one of five conspiracy theories, while 23 per cent agreed with all. Some research suggests that conspiracy theories have a strong subconscious effect on our way of thinking: although they exert a powerful influence on us, we delude ourselves that we ourselves are immune.

Conspiracy theories comfort

What explains the extraordinary appeal of conspiracy theories? Their chief psychological benefit is that they provide psychologically comforting explanations for unexpected and shocking events that are otherwise difficult to explain. It is not coincidental that such theories thrive following crises, natural disasters and assassinations. Conspiracy theories are capable of explaining an incredibly broad sphere of phenomena based on very little and can be applied to many new events. Psychologically they are comforting because they help to distinguish between good and evil and project responsibility onto a named enemy, as well as providing an outlet for hostile feelings.

Conspiracy theories allow us to continue to believe that the world is essentially just. If people living in Arab countries take the view that the governments of Israel and the United States carried out the September 11 attacks, then they can avoid facing up to the problem of Islamic fundamentalism burdening their own communities. If a group of conspirators (MI6, Mosad etc.) was behind Diana’s death, then we can escape the upsetting thought that the death of a wonderful person can be caused by something as banal as a drunk driver.
The social psychological benefit of conspiracy theories extends even beyond that: they help to explain adverse social events, reconstruct the past and predict future events, call attention to threats to our own group, spur the members of our own group to collective defence, and provide ostensible moral justification for cruelty and violence towards external groups.

The Jews, of course!

The villains in modern world conspiracy theories typically realise their plots with the cool rationality of “homo economicus”, taking advantage of modern institutions and the latest technology. However, conspiracy stereotypes connected to Jews can be regarded partly as an archaic, collective legacy of the historic past. Conspiracy theories about Jews sprang up in the Middle Ages, in a different form to those of today and embedded in a different, magical-transcendent world view.

They were blamed, for example, for the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 1009 and the Rome earthquake of 1020. Jews were also held responsible for the famine that struck Europe in the 14th century, leading to repeated pogroms on French soil. Some people even ascribed the plague that claimed the lives of almost a third of the population of Europe to a Jewish conspiracy designed to wipe out Christian communities despite the fact that the Jews were also among its victims.

Social fears and emotional unrest are fertile ground for the manufacturing of conspiracy theories, with Jews frequently becoming the targets of collective scapegoating.

I think that, in the 21st century, we tend to underestimate the extent and nature of scapegoating. How it has mutated and evolved, taken on new plots (for example, the supposed five dancing Israelis or the organ libel), yet the primary target for that scapegoating hasn’t changed much, it is Jews, and that is where Péter Krekó came in.

Hitchen’s And Chomsky.

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I couldn’t have done better:

“As far as I know, only leading British “Truther” David Shayler, a former intelligence agent who also announced his own divinity, has denied that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, took place at all. (It was apparently by means of a hologram that the widespread delusion was created on television.) In his recent article for Guernica magazine, however, professor Noam Chomsky decides to leave that central question open. We have no more reason to credit Osama Bin Laden’s claim of responsibility, he states, than we would have to believe Chomsky’s own claim to have won the Boston Marathon.

I can’t immediately decide whether or not this is an improvement on what Chomsky wrote at the time. Ten years ago, apparently sharing the consensus that 9/11 was indeed the work of al-Qaida, he wrote that it was no worse an atrocity than President Clinton’s earlier use of cruise missiles against Sudan in retaliation for the bomb attacks on the centers of Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. (I haven’t been back to check on whether he conceded that those embassy bombings were also al-Qaida’s work to begin with.) He is still arguing loudly for moral equivalence, maintaining that the Abbottabad, Pakistan, strike would justify a contingency whereby “Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.” (Indeed, equivalence might be a weak word here, since he maintains that, “uncontroversially, [Bush's] crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s.”) So the main new element is the one of intriguing mystery. The Twin Towers came down, but it’s still anyone’s guess who did it. Since “April 2002, [when] the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, informed the press that after the most intensive investigation in history, the FBI could say no more than that it ‘believed’ that the plot was hatched in Afghanistan,” no evidence has been adduced. “Nothing serious,” as Chomsky puts it, “has been provided since.”

Chomsky still enjoys some reputation both as a scholar and a public intellectual. And in the face of bombardments of official propaganda, he prides himself in a signature phrase on his stern insistence on “turning to the facts.” So is one to assume that he has pored through the completed findings of the 9/11 Commission? Viewed any of the videos in which the 9/11 hijackers are seen in the company of Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri? Read the transcripts of the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “20th hijacker”? Followed the journalistic investigations of Lawrence Wright, Peter Bergen, or John Burns, to name only some of the more salient? Acquainted himself with the proceedings of associated and ancillary investigations into the bombing of the USS Cole or indeed the first attempt to bring down the Twin Towers in the 1990s? ” [My emphasis.]

(H/T: John-Paul Pagano)

Written by modernityblog

10/05/2011 at 00:40

Noam Chomsky, 9/11 And Wiggle Room?

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Pundits and commentators throughout the world are giving their opinions on the demise of Osama bin Laden.

Now one of the world’s leading intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, has seen fit to do the same.

Noam Chomsky: My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death:

“It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress “suspects.” In April 2002, the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, informed the press that after the most intensive investigation in history, the FBI could say no more than that it “believed” that the plot was hatched in Afghanistan, though implemented in the UAE and Germany. What they only believed in April 2002, they obviously didn’t know 8 months earlier, when Washington dismissed tentative offers by the Taliban (how serious, we do not know, because they were instantly dismissed) to extradite bin Laden if they were presented with evidence—which, as we soon learned, Washington didn’t have. Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.”

Nothing serious has been provided since. There is much talk of bin Laden’s “confession,” but that is rather like my confession that I won the Boston Marathon. He boasted of what he regarded as a great achievement.”

I feely admit that I find Chomsky’s writings less than clear. His use of compounded clauses in sentences is annoying and for a linguist he doesn’t communicate terribly well, often you are left trying to work out what he was actually getting at.

A cynic would suggest that Chomsky leaves himself wiggle room, lest he completely puts his foot in mouth.

Reading the above you are left wondering if Chomsky thinks that Al Qaeda committed 9/11? Or perhaps something else, when he says:

Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.” “

Does anyone really know what Chomsky is on about concerning 9/11?

Who knows? Frankly, who cares? We know from what he said that Chomsky is not a fan of Obama.

I suspect Chomsky’s tortured prose will end up in the dustbin of history, along with the remnants of his more peculiar views.

Written by modernityblog

07/05/2011 at 15:31

Osama Bin Laden, An Antifascist’s Approach.

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I had previously wrote a longer draft on the similarities between Osama bin Laden and other rich sociopaths that indulge their hatreds, but on reflection I am not so sure that is the best description for him.

For all I know bin Laden might just have been a misanthrope with a love for AK-47s?

Still, with his views and participation in the death of others he strikes me, at the very least, as a quasi-fascist, someone who revels in the use of violence and mass murder as a means to an end.

Directly or indirectly, he murdered hundreds of civilians in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

So in the same way I didn’t mourn over the deaths of António Salazar, Francisco Franco or Augusto Pinochet I don’t worry about bin Laden’s demise either.

Neither should anyone else, particularly those who consider themselves to be anti-fascists.

Update 1: Norm look at this way:

“As a subordinate matter here, those of us who recognize the above difference can’t help but notice the contrasting reaction of others ‘not mourning’ Bin Laden but seemingly capable only of biliousness in speaking about his death. Poor lost socialist, liberal and democratic souls (for that is what they mostly are). In the demise of a reactionary murdering theocrat they are unable to see and plainly articulate the sense of anything good. That, in its way, also gives grounds for satisfaction: many people bothered who ought to be.”

Written by modernityblog

05/05/2011 at 23:58

A Grumpy Stop the War Coalition And Bin Laden.

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StWC Tweets

StWC Tweets on bin Laden

I am not the only one to notice that the Stop the War Coalition were not too happy at bin Laden’s death.

StWC’s latest tweet suggests they are decidedly grumpy on this issue.

Carl Packman, at Though Cowards Flinch, ably analyses the problem with the StWC’s approach:

“However many of us are quietly pleased that Bin Laden is history.

That is, of course, with the exception of the Stop the War Coalition, who today put out a statement which had the following to say (authored by Lindsey German):

The US and Britain should remind themselves of the grievances which bin Laden claimed in 2001: the presence of US troops in the Middle East; the treatment of the Palestinians; and the continued sanctions against Iraq. All of these grievances have worsened in the last ten years. There are now western troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, US bases all over the region, and an intervention including troops and airstrikes in Libya. The Palestinians suffer even more, and have been subject to aerial attack by Israel. Iraq suffers full scale occupation as a result of the war in 2003.

Why have they chosen to dignify the grievances of Bin Laden? Granted these include worthy grievances, but to put Bin Laden’s name next them, on this day of all days, comes dangerously close to saying “Bin Laden was right” – in the same way the National Front would say Enoch Powell was right.

The way they’ve juxtaposed the name of an evil terrorist with legitimate concerns is tasteless – and should be retracted, and reworded. “

Read more.

Update 1: Ken Livinstone doesn’t seem too pleased at bin Laden’s demise either:

““I just looked at [the scenes of jubilation in the US] and realised that it would increase the likelihood of a terror attack on London… That’s very much the American style but I don’t think I’ve ever felt pleased at the death of anybody.

“The real problem for London is that after America we’re a big target so it’s a very dangerous time at the moment…

“We should have captured him and put him on trial. It’s a simple point – are we gangsters or a Western democracy based on the rule of law? This undermines any commitment to democracy and trial by jury and makes Obama look like some sort of mobster.

Update 2: Eamonn Mcdonagh has a funny take on it.

Rounding Up The End of Bin Laden’s Death.

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Written by modernityblog

03/05/2011 at 14:53

Nearly A Bin Laden Obituary.

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I was part way through writing my own short obituary of Osama bin Laden when I changed my mind on what I wrote, a common predicament for bloggers, realising that my words didn’t convey what I wanted to say, so I will leave it for another day.

In the interim here is a partial round up of other people’s views on this event.

David Wood at HuffPost talks about National Counterterrorism Center: How A Little-Known Spy Agency Helped Track Down Osama Bin Laden.

Adam Holland says He died a coward.

AP on 9/11 kin praise bin Laden death while nursing pain.

Washington Post’s David Ignatius on How the U.S. found and finished Bin Laden.

Whilst most people welcomed bin Laden’s demise, not everyone did, Hamas Leader mourns Bin Laden’s death:

Time’s Bin Laden: Wives Can Say The Darndest Things.

Stop the War Coalition didn’t seem to happy about it, as their tweets suggest and with their link to that crank, Justin Raimondo.

Channel 4 News, The man who tweeted the US raid on Osama bin Laden without knowing.

Jeffrey Goldberg on The Warp-Speed Rise of ‘Deatherism’.

Elsewhere Twitter when mad at the news, nice graph.

The Economist doesn’t miss the political angle, what this means for 2012.

Foreign Policy on After truthers and birthers, deathers?

Jonathan Kay is good on The Immortal Terrorist.

The New Yorker ponders killing Osama: Was it legal.

Over at NPR, How Do They Know He Was Bin Laden?

The Beeb video is informative, Osama Bin Laden killed in top secret operation.

Finally, Trump Demands Bin Laden’s Long-Form Death Certificate: Hawaiian Investigators Sent to Pakistan.

Written by modernityblog

03/05/2011 at 01:14

Entertainment News: Charlie Sheen’s Racism And 9/11.

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Is Charlie Sheen turning into another Mel Gibson?

Has the mountains of cocaine ingested by Charlie Sheen finally taken hold?

Are Sheen’s latest rantings really news?

Not really, but they do show how weird views on 9/11 and racism are frequently tied together.

Sheen had held irrational views on 9/11 for years and these were shown in his interview with the arch-conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones.

The video clip below from 2006 describes it better:

What Sheen said recently is further confirmation of how wacked-out 9/11 conspiracy theories and anti-Jewish racism often go hand in hand, Time has more:

“The 45-year old Sheen, who seems to be doing his best impression of how to spectacularly end a career in showbiz, gave a bizarre and incoherent radio interview with Alex Jones in which he tore into his executive producer Chuck Lorre and other targets such as Alcoholics Anonymous, calling it a “bootleg cult” with a 5% success rate, compared to his own “100%” success rate.

Going down the same path that some would say was already taken by Mel Gibson, Sheen’s spleen seemed to carry elements of anti-semitism. “There’s something this side of deplorable that a certain Chaim Levine — yeah, that’s Chuck’s real name — mistook this rock star for his own selfish exit strategy, bro. Check it, Alex: I embarrassed him in front of his children and the world by healing at a pace that his unevolved mind cannot process.”

But Sheen wasn’t done. “Last I checked, Chaim, I spent close to the last decade effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold. And the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write,” he said.

While Lorre had no comment on either Sheen’s remarks or the production shutting down, the increasingly erratic Sheen would not go quietly. In what the website TMZ dubbed an “open letter,” Sheen called Lorre a “contaminated little maggot” and wished the producer “nothing but pain.” He also wants his fans to start a protest movement for him, which may be difficult considering that he could be down to single figures on that front. “I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong,” he wrote. “

Jeffrey Goldberg gets to the nub of the issue:

“This expression, ‘for no apparent reason,” is very endearing and sweet. For no apparent reason? Anti-Semitism isn’t an apparent reason?

In any case, maybe Charlie Sheen is simply being misunderstood. Maybe what he’s doing, by deploying the word “Haim” here, is trying to help Chuck Lorre return to his roots. Maybe he’s saying, “Chuck Lorre, embrace your identity, embrace who you are, be a proud Jew! And anyway, not much harm will come to you in this particular community if you do!” Maybe that’s what he’s saying. I always try to look on the bright side of life in these matters. “

I suppose it is just a matter of time before Sheen starts talking about Dancing Israelis and blames 9/11 on Mossad or “The Zionists”? Mel Gibson all over again!

Update 1: The Torygraph has a clip of Sheen’s latest rant.

Update 2: Thanks to Max Dunbar, Slate has more on Sheen:

“This isn’t the first time that Men production has been affected by Sheen’s misdeeds. Last year, Sheen took a month-long hiatus from the show after his wife Brooke Mueller lodged domestic violence charges against him. Reports say she told cops that Sheen held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. He was back at work just a few weeks after this first hiatus began, and at the time one of Two and a Half Men’s producers said that Charlie was “looking forward to clearing his name, putting all of this behind him and spending time with his kids.”

So why are they halting production for the rest of the season after this radio interview, when the domestic violence charges only merited a brief hiatus? I would speculate that it’s two things. One, the public could not see the evidence of Sheen’s alleged domestic abuse, while we all heard him call Chuck Lorre “Haim Levine” in a seemingly anti-Semitic slur. At the time of the alleged assault, People Magazine noted that, “Mueller did not suffer serious physical injury.” Sheen eventually accepted a plea bargain in which the most serious charges were dismissed, so it was an issue that could be more easily swept under the rug by the Two and a Half Men brass. Two, Sheen’s behavior is just so unremittingly bad at this point—this radio interview is the third or fourth public relations disaster in just the past few months—that producers could no longer ignore the Sheen problem, even though it will really cost them. When a screaming hooker in a closet isn’t even the worst of your marquee star’s issues, it’s tough to keep going with production. “

Update 1: I would like to remind those bigots, conspiracy freaks and racists cluttering up my moderation queue, that is where you will stay.

Please read my comment policy, think about it, then go away.

Who’d Defend Mahathir Mohamad’s Racism? Lauren Booth !

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Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is an interesting case, plenty of form. The ex-Malaysian Prime Minister is unambiguous about his racism.

Mahathir thinks that the “Jews run the world by proxy”, and anyone with access to the Internet could quickly verify the racist nature of his statements in about a minute, as the YouTube clip shows:

On politics, he says:

“They [Jews] invented socialism, communism, human rights, and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others. With these, they have now gained control of the most powerful countries, and they, this tiny community, have become a world power.” ”

Earlier in 1997 in a similar vein, he made this remark:

“”We do not want to say that this is a plot by the Jews, but in reality it is a Jew who triggered the currency plunge, and coincidentally Soros is a Jew. It is also a coincidence that the Malaysians are mostly Muslim.”

Back in 1970, he wrote:

“The Jews for example are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively. “

Even last year, he ranted again:

“Jews “had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom”

But without any sense of irony he defends himself by saying:

“I have friends who are Jews”

Not unsurprisingly Mahathir holds weird views on 9/11:

“There is strong evidence that the attacks were staged. If they can make Avatar, they can make anything”

Mahathir think that the US President is controlled by others:

“The former premier also blamed Jews for hindering progress in US foreign policy. Voicing his disappointment that Barack Obama had not yet ended the war in Afghanistan or closed the US terror detention center at Guantanamo, he explained that “there are forces in the United States which prevent the president from doing some things. One of the forces is the Jewish lobby.” “

So why would anyone want to defend him? Mahathir is clearly an anti-Jewish racist with long term serious hangups about Jews.

Well, one person would, Lauren Booth, sister in law to Tony Blair.

Booth recently gave an interview where she tried to whitewash Mahathir’s record:

“Q: You’re here for the launch of Viva Palestina Malaysia where you met our former prime minister Tun Dr Mohamad. What do you think of him?

[Lauren Booth] A: I very much liked Tun Dr Mahathir and his wife, Tun Siti Hasmah. It’s refreshing to see a former world leader who is dedicated not to making millions from oil, banks or occupations but to setting up foundations for righteous behaviour.

Q: He’s been labeled an anti-Semitic in the Western press due to his views on Israel. Do you agree?

A: If you speak to Dr. Mahathir, it is clear he has neither the personality nor the inclination to be an anti-Semite. He is a thoughtful, pious and philosophical man. I want to tell the people of Malaysia not to be scared of being labeled anti-Semitic when criticising the unjust, disgraceful behaviour of the Israel regime.

The label ‘anti-Semite’ is applied deliberately to quash debate on the Israeli government and its army and we must not be afraid to speak out (on it). “

Well, if you can’t call someone, who argues that “Jews rule the world by proxy” an antisemite, then who can you?

Incredible, imagine the next stop, will Lauren Booth be defending the ex-KKKer, David Duke?

Seems only a matter of time. What a terrible decline?

Update 1: Tom Gross covered Mahathir before:

“Officials of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s party gave out translated copies of US industrialist Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic book The International Jew to delegates at the annual United Malays National Organization (UMNO) conference in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.”

Update 2:The CST has a piece on Mahathir’s racism.

Update 3: Judeosphere on Mahathir’s “clarification”.

Update 4: Jeff Weintraub ably explains the thinking behind Mahathir’s views:

“The 2003 meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a world-wide organization of 57 Muslim states, took place in Malaysia. The long-time Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad opened the conference with a speech in which he asserted, among other things, that “today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.” To help put this analysis in historical context, he added that the Jews “invented and successfully promoted Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others.” (I think we can feel proud of three out of four of these, which isn’t a bad average.) “We are up against a people who think. [....] We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains also.”

This kind of stuff is, of course, lifted directly from the classic discourse of late-19th and early 20th-century political anti-semitism (Mahathir also distributes copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is a best-seller in the Muslim world). The main difference is that, back in Hitler’s youth, the Jews were accused of having invented both capitalism and communism (along with the other disruptive phenomena of modernity). Mahathir left out capitalism here, since he’s actually rather fond of it. On the other hand, like a lot of other people, he does hold us responsible for many of the ills of “globalization,” and anti-globalization rhetoric is often the latest version of populist anti-capitalism. (For instance, at the time of the East Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, Mahathir suggested that it was a plot spearheaded by Jewish financiers like Soros.) “

Update 5: The Guardian covered it in 2003, but without any particular bite.

Update 6: Fixed some typos, note to self: less posting at 3 am.

Written by modernityblog

03/02/2011 at 04:33

Press TV Digging Deeper.

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I have covered Press TV before, but a new blog Jhate does a much better job than me.

An extract from the Press TV uses US anti-Semites as commentators post:

“After noticing that the Iran’s English-language news agency Press TV has been promulgating a modern version of the blood libel by alleging that Jews kill children to harvest their organs, I started digging a bit deeper into Press TV’s articles and broadcasts. I have found some more very disturbing things. This will be the first in a series of posts describing Press TV’s practice of using American anti-Semitic ideologues as expert commentators. Today let’s focus on Mark Dankof, a Texas-based anti-Semitic podcaster and Lutheran pastor, who was interviewed by Press TV’s Waqar Rizvi on September 11, 2010.

The interview is about the 9/11 Truth Movement and why so many people believe the “official” version of the events when, at least in the eyes of the interviewer, the truthers seem to have a good case. Press TV posted a transcript, but the video is also available online. (In the video version of the interview you get to watch clips of the September 11 WTC attacks — including plane strikes, fleeing people, and the collapses — in a continual loop throughout the interview. That’s not anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism; that’s just nauseating.) The interview is about 8.5 minutes long. ”

Written by modernityblog

05/10/2010 at 14:41

The Draw Of Power.

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According to Henry Kissinger, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

I am not sure if that is true but I am trying to work out why anyone would want to meet President Ahmadinejad?

Unless it is to be close to his power, to be able to say they have actually met a President, even if his election win was fiddled and anti-Ahmadinejad protesters killed as a result.

Why would supposed radicals in North America wish to meet Ahmadinejad after he’s just given a conspiratorial speech on 9/11?

Why would anyone, with any sense, want to meet this certifiable racist?

Apparently, over a hundred people, including some radical political leaders met him recently, Fightback News covers it:

“New York, NY – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met here, September 21, with 100 leaders and representatives of anti-war, labor, alternative media and Iranian and Palestinian solidarity organizations. Among the participants were Sarah Martin, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Margaret Sarfehjooy, board member of the Minneapolis-based Women Against Military Madness, former attorney general Ramsey Clark, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Sara Flounders from the International Action Center, Brian Becker of the ANSWER coalition, Ramona Africa of the Free Mumia Coalition and Amiri Baraka, poet and activist.

The meeting was called by the president of Iran with the hope that a frank and honest exchange of views will help activists further the cause of peace between the people of Iran and the U.S.

Specific demands raised include to oppose war, occupation and hostility worldwide; oppose interference in the internal affairs of other countries; support the right to nuclear energy for all, but nuclear weapons for none; and to support dialogue, justice and equality among all countries in the UN.

After listening intently to the statements of 22 of the participants, President Ahmadinejad said, “We have a treasure chest full of views. I agree with everything you have said and therefore you have spoken from my heart also. Now I will speak in my own way.”

He said that the source of war, capitalism, must be identified and pointed out. “Violent capitalism is based on superiority, hegemony and violation of rights.” He went on to say that one reason capitalists start wars is to fill up their pockets. They must empty their arsenals so they can build more weapons. As he said at a U.N. meeting earlier in the day, “Capitalism has come to an end. It has reached a deadlock. Its historical moment has ended and efforts to restore it won’t go very far.”

Ahmadinejad spoke of the U.S. wars in Iraq and deaths of over 1 million people for oil . He pointed out that in an Afghan village over 100 innocent people were killed just to get a few terrorists. He expressed anger that even with the floods in Pakistan, the U.S continues to bomb Pakistani villages. He said it is hard to sleep at night after hearing the heart-wrenching stories of the Palestinians living under siege in Gaza with no medicines, no clean water and not enough food. He expressed solidarity with the activists’ goals of struggling for peace and justice at home and abroad and he pledged that Iran will stand strong to the end.

“Speaking with Mrs. Ahmadinejad and hearing the president reinforced the importance of struggling against the U.S. campaign to isolate and demonize Iran,” said Sarah Martin. Margaret Sarfehjooy reported, “I think the meeting was important because we had the opportunity to meet with so many dedicated grassroots activists from all over the country and share our hopes for peace and justice with the Iranian people through their president and his wife.” “

Unbelievable.

I wonder if President Ahmadinejad’s old friend, David Duke, will be joining them at the next meeting?

(H/T: Contested Terrain)

Eustace Mullins and Glenn Beck.

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Glenn Beck’s shift from being on the hard right to the almost barking mad right continues apace, as Mediamatters demonstrates:

“On Fox News, Glenn Beck promoted Eustace Mullins’ book Secrets of the Federal Reserve. Mullins was a 9/11 truther who has been described as an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist” and a “nationally known white supremacist”; the Anti-Defamation League called the book Beck promoted “a re-hash of Mullins’ anti-Semitic theories about the origins of the Federal Reserve.”

On-screen text identified Mullins book as source for quote Beck read. On the September 22 edition of his Fox News program, Beck attacked early 20th century diplomat Edward House for saying of the Federal Reserve, “I am suggesting that the Central Board be increased from four members to five and their terms lengthened from eight to ten years. This would give stability and would take away the power of a President to change the personnel of the board during a single term of office.” While Beck spoke, on-screen text indicated that the House comment was “Quoted In ‘Secrets of the Federal Reserve,’ ” which was authored by Eustace Mullins: “

Here’s a snippet from nizkor on Mullins:

“In a 1952 book, Mullins wrote a book blaming Paul Warburg, Bernard Baruch, and other U. S. Jews for drowning Americans in debt. According to Mullins, The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 put the nation’s banking reserves in the hands of the “Jewish International Bankers” for the purpose of carrying out a plan for world dictatorship.

In a 1955 article entitled, “Jews mass poison American children”, Mullins claimed that the polio vaccine, invented by Jonas Salk, was a poison because it contains live polio germs. Other books depict Jews as parasites, living off their gentile hosts. In what has to be one of the most bizarre of Mullins’ beliefs, it has been reported by L. J. Davis that Mullins has claimed that the phrase “Have a nice day” is a code for Jews to begin killing Christians.”

(H/T: Adam Holland)

Written by modernityblog

23/09/2010 at 15:16

Veterans Today Update.

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In a previous post I had highlighted racism and conspiracy theories found that Veterans Today.

Mistakenly, I had assumed that it was a legitimate organisation populated by sincere, if slightly misguided, individuals, but now I find out that it is a one-man band, run by Gordon Duff.

Duff is apparently a conspiracy crank and holds some very weird views on 9/11.

I apologise to readers for giving the impression that Veterans Today might have been a legitimate organisation concerned with the welfare of veterans. In reality, the web site is just the product of a fevered mind with a chip on its shoulder against Israelis, best ignored.

Arnaud de Borchgrave’s piece explains it all:

“WASHINGTON, July 26 (UPI) — The “Veterans Today” Network, a one-man show on the Internet created and run by Gordon Duff, a 100 percent disabled Marine Vietnam veteran, states flatly that 9/11 was a CIA/Mossad conspiracy and that Osama bin Laden wasn’t involved and died in 2001.

Duff does commentary on his conspiracy theories for radio and TV news programs; his provocative articles are carried the world over and his Web site gets 22 million page hits a month. Some of his recent “Top 10 Stories of the Week”: “The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should Be Terminated”; “Does Event Honoring Israeli Spy Suggest Another Israeli Operation?”; “Wikipedia Revisionism to Israeli Pressure Groups.” “

PS: Any supporters of Veterans Today should read my comments policy.

Written by modernityblog

15/09/2010 at 02:16

Poor Taste.

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The antics by the hodgepodge of opponents to Cordoba House in New York made the news.

Capitalising on the 9/11 anniversary is in extremely poor taste.

But then again I would suspect that those so keen to stir up anxiety and anger over this issue are not the least bit concerned by the feelings of others, and in particular the 9/11 families. They are merely using it as political capital for their own ends.

Haaretz has an interesting piece:

“Donna Marsh O’Connor, the national spokesperson for the September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, lost her pregnant daughter in the terror attack on September 11, 2001 in one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City.

The September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is a nationwide group founded by family members of the victims of the 2001 attacks. The group advocates non-violent options and actions in pursuit of justice, hoping to break the cycle of violence.

O’Connor spoke to Haaretz on the recent controversy surrounding a plan to build an Islamic center close to the site of the World Trade Center attack. The specific location has offended many Americans, and many around the world, who contend the proximity to the site of the attack, perpetrated by Islamist terrorists, disrespects the victims. The imam behind the initiative, however, insists that the Islamic center’s goals are to inspire peace.

This remembrance day seems like no other, with the controversy surrounding the Islamic center meant to be built in Lower Manhattan. Why do you support this project?

“I am an American citizen, and I know that my family and many American families have the same story – families that came here to escape religious persecution. It doesn’t make sense in America that we say no to the Muslim people – to the very people who denounced this horrible tragedy. This is, in our opinion, an act of peace and understanding and reconciliation. That’s what 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows stands for.”

“I have been teaching writing and rhetoric for 26 years, and I have been teaching students what rhetoric and racism are and what mechanisms are at work here – how no one thinks they are racist or bigoted, and still we are a nation that has a very bad history regarding racist tendencies and religious intolerance. These Muslim people didn’t perpetrate the crime on 9/11. 19 hijackers backed by the horrible criminal group al-Qaida did it, and also the Taliban supported that work, but not Muslim American people.”

Did the Islamic center backers contact you asking to intervene on their behalf?

“No. We reached out to Daisy Khan (Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement , wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who stands behind the Park 51 initiative), though not right away. But when it was clear that they were being ripped on by a lot of people who we thought were using 9/11 families as a monolithic voice against Daisy Khan – we as an organization reached out to her to say: ‘Look, we don’t think you are these horrible conquerors, we don’t think that this Islamic cultural center is more than just an attempt to build the facility, to support residents of Lower Manhattan with a swimming pool, with a gym, with a prayer center, with a memorial to 9/11, with all the other things this center was going to be for the use of people in Lower Manhattan.’”

“So we reached out to her to say: ‘We are sorry you are going through this.’ When it got huge and reached a crescendo, Daisy actually tried to call me one day, and I couldn’t talk to her – I was inundated with people from the press calling and asking why we were 9/11 family members and we didn’t agree with other 9/11 family members who basically took the position that if we are going to do this, Allah is going to kill all the Americans.”

“It was so hyper inflated on the part of other people that should know better that to use the inflated inflammatory diction. I am happy they have the right to do it, just as I am happy that Imam Rauf and Daisy Kahn have the right to build this Islamic cultural center. So frankly, I never had an opportunity to have a conversation with Daisy after things got to a crescendo. But I look forward to having this conversation at some point. I don’t know what necessarily we would say, except for how stunned we are at all of this.”

“But as for the question – are we collaborators and in coalition with the imam and Daisy Khan – no, we are not. We don’t have to be. But we support the Muslim American efforts to build this facility. And we think it will be really shameful if they’ll be forced to move it elsewhere. I think it says to Muslim American people, who are peace-loving people and raising children in this nation, that they are another group in this nation that is not valued. I know what pain can be inflicted on groups of people when they have rhetoric shout at them in negative way.”

Update 1: 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows are here.

Written by modernityblog

12/09/2010 at 02:42

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