Saturday, June 5, 2004

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What do Tony Blankley, George Soros, and Mahathir Mohammed have in common?

They all excel at saying unbelievably stupid things.

Let's start with Mohammed and Blankley -- both of them blame Soros for the Asian Financial Crisis. About Mahathir's anti-Semitism, click here and here.

Blankley's statement is the new one. He said the following on the June 3rd Hannity & Colmes:

BLANKLEY: This a man who blamed the Jews for anti-Semitism, getting Abe Fluxman (ph) -- excuse me -- head of the Anti-Defamation League to call it an obscene statement.

This is a man who, when he was plundering the world's currencies in England in '92, he caused a Southeastern Asian financial crises in '97.

RICHARD ABORN: Please, come on. Wait a second. You're so far beyond the facts. Hold on.

BLANKLEY: He said that he has no moral responsibility for the consequences of his financial actions. He is a self-admitted atheist. He was a Jew who figured out a way to survive the holocaust. (emphasis added)

Mark Kleiman says this demonstrates "how much of the [Republican] campaign [against Soros] was based on simple anti-Semitism." Indeed, Vincent Morris of the New York Post reports that in a Republican National Comittee memo e-mailed to congressional staffers, "Republican lawmakers are encouraged to use 'floor speeches' and other opportunities to blast Soros, who has given millions of dollars to various groups to help defeat President Bush." (link via the Poor Man).

OK, let's try to referee this:

1) Blankley is clearly an ass. As a Jew, I find that last bolded sentence repugnant. So I'll just nod my head at what Eugene Volokh said:

[W]hen a person just trots out someone's Jewishness (or whiteness or blackness) in a context where it seems to make very little sense (the first Blankley reference to his Jewishness does make sense, but the second does not), it does at least suggest that the person is more focused than he should be on who's a Jew and less on the merits on the debate -- and it certainly hints at broader hostility to Jews.

2) Kleiman's larger assertion rests on extremely shaky foundations -- it would be like blaming the entire Democratic party for anything idiotic Michael Moore said about the Bush administration. Furthermore, as Stephen Bainbridge points out, there's some evidence to support Blankley's claim that Soros accused the Jews of fomenting anti-Semitism.

I have very mixed feelings on Soros. The man is and was a first-rate philanthropist. That, said, having read The Bubble of American Diplomacy, I've concluded that Soros is a political loon of the first order. It is ridiculously easy to attack George Soros without ever discussing his religion.

3) Finally, while Blankely was, to repeat, clearly way out of bounds, the Republican decision to go on the offensive against Soros is perfectly legit. He's dedicated large sums of money to attacking the Bush administration. According to the Post story, "Soros has said in interviews that he has concluded that ousting Bush is the most important thing he can do with his life." The trigger for the Hannity & Colmes discussion was Soros' statement comparing the Abu Ghraib prison scandal to the 9/11 attacks. In Bubble of American Diplomacy, Soros admits that he's become "quite rabid" in his political views. He's entered the political arena -- which means he's opened himself to political attacks.

posted by Dan on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM


Just to make it clear: I think everyone agrees that Republicans have every right to vigorously attack Soros. He is rich and he is fighting them, and they are allowed to fight back. They are also allowed to attack his financial shenanigans without being accused of anti-Semitism. (Hypocrisy, maybe, since Republicans normally celebrate financial shenanigans, but not anti-Semitism.)

But: Blankley was way out of line and very clearly was trying to stir up anti-Semitic imagery. The more people who make this point the better.

posted by: Kevin Drum on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

Dan, I think you might have jumped the gun on this one. Blankley isn't attacking Soros for being a Jew - he's referring to an incident when Soros blamed Ariel Sharon for recent European anti-Semitism. The ADL denounced Soros's statement as "obscene."

Blankley's comment about Soros escaping the Holocaust is a little twisted, but his point is that Soros, according to some, has sold out on his own people by abandoning the Jewish faith and then turning around and 'blaming anti-Semitism on Jews.'

If anything, Blankley is responding too strongly to perceived anti-Semitism.

Maybe I misunderstand your objections to what he said.

posted by: Nate on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

Hmm while it does tend to reflect badly on ones character when one takes a 'blame the victim' stance, one should also note that certain members of a discriminated group can undertake actions that would encourage ill feeling towards all members of that group (ie. Al-Qaida, and muslims), in an unfortionately large minority of the population not of that group.

This the case with the Iraeli-palestinian conflict, it is a factor for discrimination against Jews, although not the sole factor.

I'm also quite critical of those who imply that to be Jewish, one must also be religiously Jewish, while the Jewish enthnicity is almost monolithically Jewish religiously, it doesn't mean that one is selling out ones own ppl because one does not practice the same religion.

posted by: Factory on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

George Soros has uttered some very peculiar things concerning Israel. I have read enough to believe it is very rational to wonder if the man is something of a self hating Jew. It’s indeed a fair question and needs to be addressed. After all, ultraliberals are almost guaranteeably anti-Semitic. Too many Jews are willing to suck up to the liberal establishment so that they will be loved and accepted. Let the debate begin.

posted by: David Thomson on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

What about the opinion of Abraham Foxman?:

“Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, called it “absolutely obscene” that Soros blames Israel and Jews for anti-Semitism and used the rhetoric of anti-Semites in doing so.
Said Foxman: “He buys into the stereotype…It’s blaming the victim for all of Israel’s and the Jewish people’s ills.””

There are a lot of articles on dealing with George Soros. Lastly, does anyone really doubt that isn’t at least subtly anti-Semitic? If this is the case, why in hell is George Soros funding them?

posted by: David Thomson on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

I don't like Soros, but calling him a self-hating Jew is a bit overboard without knowing more about the man. He is taking positions against the mainstream of Jewish opinion, but I don t think that makes him self-hating any more than African-American conservatives are self-hating because they oppose affirmative action and other liberal policies largely supported by the African-American community. I hate it when people do that. Bobby Fischer is a self-hating Jew--he literally loathes Jews. I suppose one could consider Paul Krugman a self-hating Jew for defending Mahathir Mohammed's comments. I don't think apostasy is the same thing as being self-hating.

As far as Jews "sucking up" to the liberal establishment to be loved and accepted, let's make it clear that most Jews are liberals because when they came over here, conservative Republicans wanted nothing to do with them. I don't think this is the case now, but its sort of silly to say that the way to win acceptance is to be a liberal. That's sort of like saying the way to win acceptance in Boston is to wear a Yankee hat. If it was just a matter of seeking acceptance, we would be much better off being conservatives (which is what some leftist academics claim is happening with respect to Jewish neoconservatives.)

I am extremely angered by the spectacle of blaming anti-semitism on Israel, as if all Jews in the world are responsible for Israel's actions. But, let's face it, it is clearly a factor. Many on the far left and right conflate Jews and Israel. It's wrong, but it is happening.

posted by: MWS on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

The fact that Soros is an atheist makes him more sane than the theists on either side of the aisle. Soros has said many stupid things in the past, one of the topics was anti-Semitism, but he is no Norman Finkelstein.

posted by: Marc on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

I am so sick of people calling any Jew who disagrees with the policies of Israel a "self-hating Jew".

I grew up going to Hebrew School and getting the lessons of the Holocaust drilled into my head through traumatic assemblies. Like the one where we spent 2 hours standing in a far too small hallway while being asked to imagine that we were in a rail car and that we were never going to see our parents again. This to a 10 year old!

I learned the lesson of the Holocaust and the importance of the Jewish state to always be there to insure the survival of the Jewish people. A people need a state, because that is the only way of legitimate expression of interests in world politics.

But I feel that the current policies of Israel are moving counter to that goal. I think that they are being too aggressive and overstating their claim to the land between the river and the sea. I think that the policies on both sides are being driven too much by fanatics. For a great study of the personal root of the problem read the New Yorker article on the Settlers from a couple of weeks ago.

I am not absolving Palestinians and Arafat from blame, I am not saying that all the actions of the Israeli Army are un-justified, and I am definitely not saying that the tactics of the Palestians and Israelis are morally equivalent. But I do believe that the policies of the state of Israel run counter to the interests of the Jewish people.

And I don't think any of this makes me a self-hating Jew. I also don't think that the label should be stuck on Soros either. He has his views, and they are probably strongly driven by his own, far more traumatic, experiences. I am sure that he honestly believes that the policies he is advocating are in the best interests of preventing another Holocaust. You can disagree with him, but I don't think that a Gentile from the USA has any right to call him a "self-hating Jew".

posted by: Rich on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

Dan finds Blankley's comment that Soros "was a Jew who figured out a way to survive the holocaust" repugnant, but endorses Eugene Volokh's view that this reference to his Jewishness does not make sense. But it is worse than that; it makes repugnant sense. The implication, it seems to me, is that Soros is not just self-hating, but somehow collaborated with the Nazis to survive. This is, I think, a more accurate interpretation than Nate's in the comments above when he says that Blankley's "point is that Soros, according to some, has sold out on his own people by abandoning the Jewish faith and then turning around and 'blaming anti-Semitism on Jews.'" Blankley's point, first of all, is in his own name, and Nate's "according to some" is an evasion. Second, the claim is that Soros is self-hating, an atheist -- themselves part of the anti-semitic stock of stereotypes -- and blames the victims, so therefore his survival of the holocaust is itself suspect. Blankley's claim is that he probably survived at the expense of his own people. This makes sense, and is utterly repugnant.

Also, a question: Leaving aside David Thomson's predictable nonsense, he cites an article citing Abraham Foxman to the effect that Soros blamed Israel and Jews for anti-Semitism (though the article does not quote Foxman on this point exactly). Yet Nate suggests that Soros criticized Ariel Sharon. Surely it is worthwhile being as precise as we can with our facts. What did Soros say actually? Along similar lines, it is worth being more precise about what Soros actually said with regard to Abu Ghraib and 9/11.

posted by: Jeff L. on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

The Soros quotes:
"There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that. It’s not specifically anti-Semitism, but it does manifest itself in anti-Semitism as well. I’m critical of those policies. If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish. I can’t see how one could confront it directly."
“I’m also very concerned about my own role because the new anti-Semitism holds that the Jews rule the world. As an unintended consequence of my actions,” he said, “I also contribute to that image."

posted by: Factory on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

This all seems very confusing. I heard the comments by Blankley and assumed at the time that he meant it literally, Soros had survived the Holocaust, and he never got a chance to explain it further because he was constantly being interrupted. I wonder if everyone is jumping the gun making assumptions. Maybe someone should ask Blankley what he meant.

posted by: Free Eagle on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

I think Republicans have the right to attack George Soros, who is attacking them.

But is it too much to ask that an attack be competently executed? The Republican objective needs to be to draw attention to an extraordinarily wealthy man who profited handsomely from the policies of the last administration pouring vast sums into Democratic campaigns, evading campaign finance laws that most Democrats supported, while comparing a sitting President of the United States to the Nazis. The point here is to hurt the Democrats for accepting support from this character, put them on the defensive, make their candidate spend time answering awkward questions.

It has nothing to do with putting Soros on the defensive, reviewing his role in the Holocaust or whether he goes to temple. Soros isn't on any ballot, and 99 out of 100 voters have no idea who he is. Which is why he needs to be introduced, in a suitably negative way, by Republican spokesmen. Tony Blankley would not have been my first choice to make this introduction, and a cable shoutfest like Hannity and Colmes isn't the ideal forum either.

One of several reasons I have such a low opinion of the Bush crowd is their Clintonized list of priorities, which always has the needs of the permanent campaign at the top and the business of government near the bottom. The thing that kills me about episodes like this, though, is what they say about many of these people who focus so intently on campaign politics. They're just not that good at it. The first President Bush had Mary Matalin as a campaign spokesman; the current President Bush has a whole army of Mary Matalins. This is not progress, and does not bode well for the success of his campaign.

posted by: Zathras on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

“I am so sick of people calling any Jew who disagrees with the policies of Israel a ‘self-hating Jew’.”

Israel has its faults. Any human organization inherently has some imperfections. But what in hell is the justification for Jews standing by, if not even encouraging attacks, on this most just and moral nation? I may be pushing the envelope since I’m not Jewish, but the only rational conclusion that can be reached is that such Jews are self haters---and desire to suck up to the liberal establishment. Many of you sound like comrades of David Duke and Patrick Buchanan. Am I exaggerating? Well, see for yourself. Here is a link to David Duke’s website:

This is one of the very first articles by Duke which caught my eye:

“Now contrast the media treatment of this incident with the official policy of the Israeli government. The Israeli government and military have occupied a land of over 2 million people against their will for over 35 years. They have incarcerated hundreds of thousands with no probable cause, they have tortured tens of thousands, they have bulldozed thousands of homes, they have killed and maimed thousands of men, women and children in one of the most brutal military occupations the world has ever seen. What is Israel's justification for this slaughter, that the Palestinians have resisted this illegal and brutal military occupation? Just the other day, an independent cameraman journalist caught Israeli tank gunners firing at and killing children on their bicycles. Where is the outrage?”

posted by: David Thomson on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]


Can you please identify exactly what part of Soro's recent speech regarding 9/11 and Abu Ghraib disturbed you? Please, I'm curious. Most of the wingnuts have completed taken the speech out of context, sliced together quotes, and gotten something ridiculous out. But what exactly is shocking about wondering how we went from having the worlds empathy to having the world despise us for Abu Ghraib?

So go ahead, let's see it. I have yet to see a wingnut produce reasonable commentary on the speech. Also, exactly what does "rabid" political views really mean? *YOU* compared Bush to Nixon *several* times. Krugman was doing that for years and people considered him shrill. So are you shrill now?

posted by: Jor on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

I also must question why a big deal is being made concerning the silly Tony Blankley? The man is something of a jerk. But so what? Is this an attempt to point to a rather easy strawman and therefore avoid the more rational critics of George Soros’ behavior? Is it also possible that we might hear some precise criticisms of Israel? Aren’t most of you tired of these vague accusations of that nation’s alleged misdeeds? Yes indeed, let’s have some specifics.

posted by: David Thomson on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

DT, cause the republican echo chamber is running with the Soros 9/11 = Abu Ghraib story, Blankley is just an example of the guy who ran with it especially poorly. Media Matters, links to a bunch of echo-chamber stories on it here .

Read the titles of the article, then read the content of the articles. Its almost classic. They are all completely detached fromr eality. Of course, people whor ead the National Review or the Weekly Standard usually are in their own imaginary world.

Dan, still waiting on your insightful commentary on why what Soros said was so awful...

BTW, Gilipsie claims Soros said there was a "moral quivalence". Which again, is a completele lie, Soros never said that at all.

DT, you can step in here too and let us know what Soros said regarding 9/11 and Abu Ghraib that was despicable. (Soros' comments regarding Israel are another matter).

posted by: Jor on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

“DT, you can step in here too and let us know what Soros said regarding 9/11 and Abu Ghraib that was despicable.”

Are you joking? If so, you obviously have never been trained to think and follow a logical argument. These are George Soros’ exact words:

"The picture of torture in Saddam's prison was a moment of truth for us,"

"I think that those pictures hit us the same way as the terrorist attack itself,"

"not quite with the same force, because in the terrorist attack, we were the victims. In the pictures, we were the perpetrators and others were the victims."

Let’s get something straight. “We,” the American people, were never the perpetrators of the abuses at Abu Ghraib. This incident was nothing more than a few rogues violating our moral codes and laws. They were not following official policy. In regards to 9/11, the terrorists were acting under the direct orders of Al Quaeda. This is was not an outlaw group. They were carrying out the violent acts demanded of them by their leader, Osama bin Ladin.

posted by: David Thomson on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

DT, you aren't following the news. IT seems pretty obvious now that the Bush admin put in place policy that specifically allowed Abu Ghraib to happen. Go back and read the Wash Post or the NY Times for the past month (I'm not going to argue this point, so you're gonna waste your breath).

Also, I'm not sure what you are saying by "We the American people" were never the perpetrators. I think you're missing the point. In 9/11 a small group of wackos ignored any sense of morality to attempt to accomplish their political goals. In Abu Ghraib, we have the same thing, but to a much lesser extent. A small group of officials at the pentagon created policy that ignored morality to facilitate their political goals. There was a complete role reversals in position. The shock is that a group of officials we elected (and or appointed) created policies that permitted this type of action. Individual Americans aren't responsible, but the civilian leaders at the pentagon seem more and more culpable every day.

posted by: Jor on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

“A small group of officials at the pentagon created policy that ignored morality to facilitate their political goals.”

This is a vicious slander. There is no proof whatsoever to justify it. The liberal media made a big deal of a relatively minor situation. They have have been hinting at further revelations for over a month. Instead, the evidence indicates the exact opposite.

The problem is that too many of our major media elite think exactly like you. You despise President Bush with an intense passion---and they share your goal in removing him from office. Thus, exaggeration and hyperbole underpin their news stories.

posted by: David Thomson on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

Soros is a Jew by birth only. His anti-Jewishness is pronounced. Out of the hundreds of millions of dollars he has given away, has he given even a penny to Jewish charities? To even one hospital or school? Alas, what he doesn't realize (the self-hating Jews never do) is that the anti-Semites don't care - they don't care if he has abandoned Judaism, sympathizes with the Palestinians, hates Israel, contributes generously to gentile charities - what matters to them is that he was born a Jew. What a fool.

posted by: A country lawyer on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

A Country Lawyer might consider me a self-hating Jew, but it seems to me that Soros has every right to define himself as he wishes. It's the anti-semites that say a Jew is a Jew is a Jew. If Judiasm is not a significant part of Soros' life, that's his business. And the fact that he doesn't contribute to Jewish charities is utterly irrelevant to anything. Maybe he simply isn't interested in Judiasm; that's not the same thing as being self-hating. In a liberal society, there is no reason that we have to be bound by identities that we don't choose. To say that a person who is born Jewish is therefore bound to identify with Judaism is simply affirming the position of the anti-semites.

I agree with Rich that it's silly to call anyone who doesn't endorse the mainstream position on Israel a self-hating Jew. (I find it equally obnoxious when those on the left try to equate their political positions with Jewish tradition and history.) What disturbs me more generally is the conflation of Jews and Israel to the point where it seems that many people see Judaism as synonymous with Zionism. I support Israel's existance, but that doesn't mean that my Jewish identity is entirely subsumed with Israel's. Judaism and Jewish identiy has an existance separate from Israel.

posted by: MWS on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

I want to engage in this conversation, but the question of the Jew who is a practicing Jew and the Jew who is merely an ethnic Jew has me thoroughly confused.

I've always considered Jews to be people practicing Judaism. However, that changes significantly on occasion where my involuntary ignorance made me the target of an anti-semitic label.

Jewishness aside, isn't there plenty in Soros to critique without drawing upon his Jewish roots? The man is a self proclaimed Entreprenuer whose product is Democracy, though a carefully molded one. Soros is a well known philanthropist. But don't ask me to condone the activities conducted with Soros' millions going to family planning clinics throughout Africa and the Eastern European Republics. I'd love to believe that is a rich endeavor for a man of great wealth to undertake, but when those same family planning groups tell me that a half born baby isn't really born, so don't even think about stopping them from dismembering the baby's body and removing its brains, I think I'll error on the side of caution and guess they're not all that philanthropy is cracked up to be.

Secondly, Soros has referred to the Bush Administration on repeated occasions as "a regime". Words matter and the use of "regime" implies the dark rhetoric that the Bush Administration is somehow an American anomaly. Ok, President Bush didn't win the popular vote, but did President Clinton lead a 'regime' that only won with ~44% of the popular vote in 1992? Did that 44% affect Soros' lobbying for the United States to intervene in the Balkans?

Soros is Jewish? So What? He's rich. How does he stay rich? One way is by having a 'friend' in the White House willing to bail out thriving economies where Soros stands to lose millions in currency investments. What's his business again? Like most people; make money.

posted by: Brennan Stout on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

"This is a vicious slander. There is no proof whatsoever to justify it."

DT, do you read the papers? Its all there, the linkns are going from circumstantial to concrete. By the Way, I never knew that the Wall Street Journal was considered a part of the liberal conspiracy to destroy the president (see their front page from today).

posted by: Jor on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

In another life, David T was a Clintonista who actually believed Bill was a generous mentor to Monica Lewinsky (Paula Jones, Elizabeth Mondale, etc.), and never, ever had intimate relations with them.

Having had the rug pulled out from under him, now he's forced to deny the plain evidence of Administration-authorized torture, and today's WSJ shoots that one down, too.

While I agree the GOP can, indeed should, take on Soros, as we would take on Ken Lay and Richard M. Scaife, Blankney was saying something disgusting. Both the atheism and the insinuation that a Jew who survived the Holocaust must have done something bad (every other description is pejorative, so that must be, too) are Klan-worthy.

As far as Soros as a "self-hating Jew", that's starting to sound like "race polluter", "kaffirboetie", [sp?] and "n-----lover" to me. (The dashes are only because I've heard filtering software can flag my intention.)

posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

“Having had the rug pulled out from under him, now he's forced to deny the plain evidence of Administration-authorized torture, and today's WSJ shoots that one down, too.”

The Wall Street Journal article merely describes the discussions in the Bush administration regarding the legality of torture. It doesn’t even begin to deal specifically with the aberrations outrages at Abu Ghraib. However, the other participators in this discussion should open up your provided link. What do we find? My goodness, could it be the viscously hateful These scoundrels intensely despise Israel and slander this just nation every chance they gets. And yes, I have no hesitation in describing Andrew J. Lazarus as a probable self hating Jew. Only recently on this very blog Lazarus accused Israel of apartheid.

posted by: David Thomson on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

How disgusting is Here are the articles on this website blasting Israel posted in just the last 30 days:

Do I really need to add anything else?

posted by: David Thomson on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

DT: I wouldn't throw anything past Andrew Lazarus. When you want someone to win a political race you'll do whatever it takes. In the case of Andrew Lazarus you will even write a letter using lies to decry President Bush's alleged lies as a means for building support for Howard Dean[guess he didn't send enough letters]. Contemporay circumstances leave an anti-Bush position as the only honorable one left for the Deaniacs.

Andrew's Letter to Iowa voters to support Dean

The hard right supporters of Gary Bauer eventually supported George Bush and the hard left supporters of Howard Dean will eventually find their roles with Kerry.

But it's late, I need to sleep and in case you didn't know, the Unabomber was a Conservative because he didn't fit with the Bezerkeley Orthodoxy. So according to Andrew Lazarus.

posted by: Brennan Stout on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

DT, no comment. You really have no idea what you are talking about. The article I mentioned was in the *WALL STREET JOURNAL*. Infoshop just copied and pasted the article. Go buy an online subscription to WSJ and you can read teh article yourself. The NYT also has an article covering the story in teh WSJ (no subscription required).

Keep making excuses for the president. Everything is a viscious liberal lie. Plame, Chalabi, Torture. All lies. Dan, Still waiting to get a response from you. Considering how at first you were outright offensive and dismissive of torture at Abu Ghriab, I'm curious to see what recent turn of events leads you to think?

posted by: Jor on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

“DT, no comment. You really have no idea what you are talking about. The article I mentioned was in the *WALL STREET JOURNAL*. Infoshop just copied and pasted the article.”

“I mentioned?” Are you and Andrew J. Lazarus one and the same person? Why are you apparently using two different identities? I am very well aware of the WSJ article for I am a subscriber and had seen it earlier in the day. Nonetheless, why are you referring in a positive manner, to a website which intensely despises the state of Israel? Since when is it acceptable to describe Ariel Sharon as a war criminal? Why are the articles and comments on Infoshop so similar to those on David Duke’s website?

posted by: David Thomson on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

DT: Infoshop has a reputation for participation in the dissemination of information that suggests that Democracies are not really free societies and that they're really just under the control of banking interests. Although, I was shocked to see an article rebuke International ANSWER on Infoshop, that didn't seem to stop the anarchists from signing on to ANSWER petitions against the war.

I have a friend that is into anarchist news and he sent me an image from one of those "Bush House of Cards" decks. It was a 6 of spades with Douglas Feith. I traced the source of the cards to White Supremecists. When I informed him of the leads he merely relied on the "it was on Infoshop" defense. Infoshop, like Indymedia, talks about a truly equal system for information but reality is both are used by anti-semites, anti-americans and anti-anything to broadcast their message.

posted by: Brennan Stout on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

I think I'm flattered to have Brennan as my clipping service.

Anyway: the Unabomber was a supporter of the Vietnam War and was disgusted by the left-wing atmosphere he found at Berkeley. Now, I don't think it makes much sense to put a literal lunatic on the conventional political spectrum, but there isn't anything "liberal" or "left" anywhere in his history.

You're welcome, of course, to disagree or dispute this, but why don't you try some LINKS or other SOURCES. Or is research taking the fun out of blogging?

As far as David T, the torture program that the Administration claimed it could lawfully implement took place. We actually learned of the events in reverse order: first the program, then the authorization. Bush has adopted the divine right of kings, and claims he can overturn all laws at his own will. (I understand that the last English monarch to claim this was James II, who was forced to flee in 1688.)

Anytime you want to debate about social conditions in Israel proper or within the occupied territories, feel free. I hope you won't think it's cheating that I've lived there, which will give me a large supply of data points. Perhaps as an opening exercise: Do Jews and non-Jews have equal rights to own homes? Discuss both theory and practice. Do not omit discussion of whether the Katzir decision has been implemented.

Oh, and last, if you're criticizing someone for linking to where the WSJ article has been accurately copied, instead of dealing with the horrific contents of the article, I'd say you're pretty desperate.

PS Yes, I would have preferred Dean, but I'd vote for Satan over Bush. At least Satan doesn't smirk.

posted by: Andrew J. Lazarus on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

I would think that any political party like the Republican Party which has among its main financiers the likes of Richard Mellon Schaife, the Rev. Moon, and Rupert Murdock would not want to call attention to them by criticizing self-made billionaires who spend millions around the world to promote democracy.

posted by: Mike on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

Jor, Andrew Lazarus,

The WSJ is only conservative on its editorial page. The paper itself is not.
I guess no one wants to actually look at what originally came out about Abu Ghraib instead of the "myth" now being created by the media.
See or read Sivitis Statement before he was convicted by court martial last month. He says his commanders, if they knew what Graner, et al were doing, they would have nailed them. Graner himself has a violent past as a prison guard stateside and refused to obey orders of his own commanders and in fact told them to kiss his ass. Disciplined soldiers would never do that. He should have been kicked out of the Guard. Most of the abuses at Abu Ghraib happened on one night, over the night shift when they weren't supervised by a higher command officer and Graner was in charge. And many of the pictures/video tapes that weren't released are of England having an orgy with other soldiers. I guess that was official Bush Aministration policy too, right? Read the Taguba report. He concludes there was NO evidence that those soldiers were ever given orders to do what they did. It also nailed Karpinski, the general in charge because she was inept at running the prison. The soldiers didn't even were their proper military uniform, they were so undisciplined.

Guess what? That memo that came out this week was about detentions of Al-Qaeda terrorists at Guantanamo, not POWs at Abu Ghraib. It was a DRAFT of a legal study, not an official policy document. Comparing Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib are apples and oranges, unless you are will to concede that there are Iraq-Al-Qaeda links.
There should have been a legal debate within the administration about how to treat terrorists at GUANTANAMO like Kaliek Sheik Mohammod (9/11 mastermind) who might have information about imminent attacks. What would people say if we caught a terrorist who knew about another 9/11 type attack and we didn't try to get the info beforehand to save lives? I guess damned if you do and damned if you don't if your Bush, right?
The Geneva Conventions do NOT apply to terrorists. They are NOT in uniform and do NOT fight in an easily recognizable army. How about a deal: when the terrorists stop cutting off people's heads for a change like Nick Berg or those poor people in Khobar Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago, we'll start treating them like human beings. By the way have you seen the inside of Guantanamo? It's quite nice, now. I don't think they have TVs yet, though.
We are using 20th century rules to fight a 21st century war. We should talk about how to do this but to leap to the conclusion that the official Bush Administartion policy was torture from selectively leaked documents is ridiculous. Ashcroft, Bush, Rumsfeld and all have said repeatedly, under oath, that torture wasn't policy. I guess we should start the prosecutions then since they must be guilty of perjury.
It's amazing that people would basically use a Draft of a study to accuse the Administration and US military as a whole of war crimes while dismissing thousands of mass graves in Iraq which WAS official policy under Saddam.

posted by: Karen on 06.05.04 at 09:58 PM [permalink]

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