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

Archive for June 2006

Cynics in Hamas

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Any cynic looking at the current Israeli incursion into Gaza might wonder was this pre-planned by elements of the Hamas leadership or was it chance?

If the leaders of Hamas and their proxy PRC, planned to kidnap an IDF soldier knowing full well that Israel would be compelled to respond, and the weakness of the Israeli Prime Minister would drive him to wave a big stick.

Prior to this immediate conflict Hamas was faced with a number of political problems:

• The conflict with Fatah and Abbas;
Financial pressure;
• Relations with the EU;
• Relations with Israel;

So provoking Israel is a quick way of sidestepping these issues, when the smoke clears the world will not remember the original problems, and Hamas will be off the hook.

But was it all pre-planned, and if so, for how long?

Evidence for this view is in the tunnel.

The tunnel was some 600 (six hundred) metres long.

Now I don’t know how long it would take a group of people to secretly dig a 600 metre long tunnel but they would need to be expert at it and it was not done overnight. More likely it took 4-8 weeks to build.

So this provocation and kidnap was pre-planned in my view, but why?

To let Hamas off the hook and make Israel look like the aggressor.

Afterwards Hamas can then play the victim card to full effect, procuring more weapons and money from neighbouring oil rich Arab states, whilst people in the West wring their hands and bemoan “Israeli aggression”

Of course, only a cynic would view it like that, but we shall see.

Written by modernityblog

30/06/2006 at 14:54

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Watching the Filth

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Keeping track of neo-Nazis and their pals: Holocaust deniers is a valuable pursuit, if a tad nauseating.

The advent of the Internet and news groups led to an explosion of ideas but also bile and political extremism.

Hitherto isolated neo-Nazi nutcases, antisemites or sympathisers have been brought together via the medium of the Internet.

So the job of scrutinizing their activities is both necessary and maddening, but the people at Holocaust Controversies blog are doing a fine job and well worth a visit.

The Holocaust History Project is also very informative.

Written by modernityblog

28/06/2006 at 12:35

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Calling the Enlightenment

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Far be it for me to criticise anyone else’s beliefs, but the mumbo-jumbo from Abu Bakar Bashir is disgraceful:

“Abu Bakar Bashir has blamed Indonesians’ “damaged morals” for the devastating earthquake that hit Java last month and urged the government to implement Islamic law.”

The Times reports it as:

“Abu Bakar Bashir, left, who this month was released from prison after serving 26 months for conspiracy over the bombings, which killed 202 people, said: “A series of disasters recently happened because Indonesia’s people have damaged morals.” Addressing 1,000 people outside the headquarters of the Indonesian Mujahidin Council, which he heads, in the central Javanese city of Yogyakarta, he said that if the country implemented Sharia, God would “give Indonesia glory, not disasters”.

No doubt someone on Comment is Free will say that Abu Bakar Bashir has been misrepresented?

Written by modernityblog

26/06/2006 at 21:31

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Calling Norman!

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Jeff Weintraub’s piece on A Petition to Reinstate Professor Thomas Klocek to DePaul University With No Prejudice or Penalty reminded me of DePaul’s infamous ‘scholar’, Norman Finkelstein.

I hope that Norman Finkelstein can bring himself to sign the petition; after all he is well known for supporting David Irving’s school of ‘history’ and freedom of speech ?

Of course, nowadays not many half way sensible people support Irving after his abortive libel case, even if they were fooled by Irving before then.

Irving’s libel action against Professor Lipstadt, demonstrated clearly that Irving falsified evidence, lied, misconstrue documents and filled his books with half truths or pro-Hitler propaganda. So after the case, few if any academics now doubt that Irving is a pro-Hitlerite apologist for the mass murderer.

Still, I hope that Norman Finkelstein manages to read Richard Evans’ book: Lying About Hitler, which deals with Irving’s shabby methods or read Nizkor’s site, just in case he missed the Irving Vs. Lipsadt libel trial.

With any luck Norman Finkelstein might sign the petition, then again Irving might denounce Hitler, equally as unlikely to occur, oh look, there’s a flying pig.

Written by modernityblog

25/06/2006 at 11:41

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Campaign for Nuclear Proliferation

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CND’s latest pronouncements on the British nuclear deterrent do nothing to illuminate the problem of nuclear technology and much to highlight CND’s dual standards. Leaving aside for the minute, the issue of nuclear weapons and looking at CND’s policies we find a strange duality.

CND are happy to host representatives of would-be nuclear powers (Iran) and concede that Iran is entitled to nuclear technology(1), irrespective of where it could lead.

Yet CND vigorously opposes nuclear technology and weapons in Britain.

So we see CND’s astonishing dual standards:

1) It is wrong for Western powers to have nuclear technology

2) It is acceptable for oil rich fundamentalist theocracies to waste precious resources on nuclear ambitions, which could lead to nuclear weaponry, or worst

How can these two contradictory points be reconciled? They can not be, as an example will demonstrate.

CND’s approach begs the question, if it is acceptable for Iran to have nuclear technology, then why not Mali?

Or what if Nicaragua chose to waste precious resources on nuclear technology (paralleling Iran) how could CND oppose it?

To be consistent with its position on Iran, then CND could not oppose the mass proliferation of nuclear technologies in dirt poor countries around the world.

If CND will not oppose the proliferation of nuclear technology in Iran, then why does it even exist??

If the proliferation of nuclear technology is wrong then it is wrong in all countries, not just western ones.

The way to reduce nuclear technology is to oppose its increase, wherever it occurs.


1: “CND therefore respects Iran’s right to a peaceful civilian nuclear programme”, see

Mali is one of the poorest countries in Africa, 174 out of 177.

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, 112 out of 177.

(Hat tip: David T in CiF)

Written by modernityblog

22/06/2006 at 13:41

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Copyright Chomsky?

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Strangely, Chomsky’s work on the Guardian seems to be under some special arrangement.

After complaining about the ‘faulty’ link I received this reply from the Guardian:

“Further to your inquiry, this particular article was only available for 24 hours for copyright reasons.”

Possibly, it is related to Chomsky’s tax situation and the need to control copyright. Or maybe he received such a ‘Bunting’ that he withdrew the article, who knows?

Written by modernityblog

21/06/2006 at 13:48

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Chomsky Vanished

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I had hoped to look at Noam Chomsky’s latest article on CiF, but it appears to be inaccessible.

I scanned the top bit yesterday, hoping today to read it at my leisure and consider his points but I can probably guess his arguments (he uses them so often):

“1) America is to blame 2) America is to blame 3) What hypocrisy, to deny nuclear technology to a country controlled by Ayatollahes 4) Whatever happens America is to blame, because ultimately people have no free will 5) Oh, my latest book covers this in more detail”

I am sure that the “commissars” have got to Cif, or it could be a technical hitch, you decide!

Written by modernityblog

20/06/2006 at 12:57

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