What will happen next? Will Palestinian kids be duped to play music to Israeli pilots who exterminated Gaza children with White Phosphorus?
It is really hard to write on this subject without getting angry. We all know the extent to which Israel can be evil and satanic. After all, we Palestinians have been on the receiving end of Israeli savagery for decades.
In fact, being thoroughly tormented and killed by the children, grand-children and great grandchildren of the holocaust has always been and continues to be Palestinians way of life.
However, for some Palestinians to allow themselves to be duped to sing and play music to their oppressors and child-killers is simply beyond the pale of human dignity. It is at least as insulting and humiliating as some Jews were forced or duped to play music to SS, Gestapo and Wehrmacht soldiers during the Second World War. In both cases, the act was meant to humiliate the victims and rob them of the last visages of human dignity. And now, Jews in Israel are doing the same thing to Palestinians, Nazismâ€™s vicarious victims.
Last week, a few innocent kids from the Jenin refugee camp were surreptiously taken to Tel Aviv to â€œcheer up and take part in peace-promoting activities.â€ However, once there the kids were unceremoniously driven to a reception where they were made to play music and sing to â€œholocaust survivors,â€ some of them are former members of the Hagana and Irgun terrorist gangswho had taken part in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and expulsion of Palestinians form their homeland.
God knows how much Palestinian blood did these so-called â€œholocaust survivorsâ€ shed in 1948 and subsequent years. Certainly, Dir Yasin, Tantura, Dawaymeh, and the numerous other massacres were not committed by UFOs. They were committed in cold blood by these very people our children are now cheering up. Shame on us a thousand times!
Some of the innocent kids were instructed to utter words that should never be uttered by the victims of Zionism. But the kids apparently felt they had to say anything they were asked to say in order to show gratitude for the Jewish â€œpeace contractorâ€ who got them out of the ghetto, otherwise known as Jenin refugee camp, even for a six-our outing in Tel Aviv.
I am not against showing genuine sympathy with the victims of the holocaust. However, a sympathy that is manipulated to justify, rationalize or even extenuate the crime against humanity that is Israel is worse than a crime if only because it serves to promote and perpetuate oppression.
As human beings, we Palestinians do sympathize with all victims of Nazism, Stalinism and imperialism, the wept, the over-wept, and especially the unwept who constitute the vast majority of victims. Having said that, however, I strongly believe that no honest person under the sun has the slightest right to demand that we pay the price for what the Nazis did or may have done to European Jews nearly 70 years ago. We didnâ€™t send Jews to the ovens. The German did. We didnâ€™t starve Jews to death as Jews are doing to ustoday in the Gaza Strip.
We didnâ€™t incinerate Jews in Gas chambers as Jews have recently incinerated Palestinian children with White Phosphorus. Hence, of all people in this world, Palestinians must never be made to feel guilty for what the Nazis and other Europeans did to Jews. I say so because a feeling of guilt, even a modicum of guilt, on our part, would be construed or misconstrued as avindication of Zionism, the Nazism of our time. There are additional reasons that make the latest insensitive manipulation of Palestinian suffering especially ugly and dishonorable. First, nearly all the young musicianswho were taken to Tel Aviv came from the Jenin Refugee camp. For those who have forgotten, this is the very same refugee camp that Israeli tanks pulverized in 2002.
According to eyewitnesses, Israeli tanks and bulldozers destroyed homes right on top of innocent civilians, including the physically handicapped, while dozens of innocent civilians were systematically massacred, very much like Jews were at Ghetto Warsaw. The massacre at the camp was so hideous that Israel refused to allow UN officials to access the camp to inspect what happened.
Well, again the Nazi analogy is inescapable. Just imagine surviving Jewish children from Treblinka or Bergen Belsen made to sing to SS soldiers.!! Second, the disgraceful concert in Tel Aviv comes on the heel of Israelâ€™s genocidal assault in Gaza where Israeli warplanes showered the children, women and men of coastal enclave with White Phosphorus and other missiles and bombs of death while Israeli Jews were gleefully celebrating the â€œvictory on Hamasâ€ and Israeli rabbis preoccupied with classifying gentiles into â€œchildren of lightâ€ and â€œchildren of darkness.â€
In Gaza, the Zionist Jews exposed their shame to all the people of the world by acting like primitive barbarians and murderous savages. Hence, the utter shamefulness ofsending Palestinian children to Tel Aviv to help Israelâ€™s hasbara effortswhitewash Israelâ€™s pornographic barbarianism in Gaza. Finally, it is obvious that the PA bears much of the blame for this disgraceful event. The PA should never allow so called â€œcultural exchangesâ€ and â€œcultural normalizationâ€ with the murderers of our children, the very state whose leaders and military commanders view us as â€œscum, vermin and animalsâ€ that ought to be exterminated. Unfortunately, the PA itself encourages some demoralized Palestinians to endear themselves toIsrael, even in the cheapest of manners.
The often cordial meetings and exchanging of kisses between Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert, the butcher of Gaza, leave one and only impression, not only on the children of the refugee camp in Jenin, but also on TV viewers around the world. Perhaps the Israel artillery and war planes were showering Gaza with candy, not White Phosphorus.!!!
This is probably the main message the organizers of the Jenin-Tel Aviv tour wanted to communicate to these miserable kids who are obviously having a hard time recognizing their fathersâ€™ killers.
I have been under fire of late from two diametrically opposite quarters. First, the fanatical, self-worshiping Zionists who think that non-Jewish suffering should never ever be compared with Jewish suffering. Needless to say, this psychotic attitude stems from deep-seated convictions that a Jew is a special creature whose life is worth more than the rest of humanity. Havenâ€™t we noticed, for example, how Israel has made â€œGilaâ€™ad Shalitâ€, the Israeli soldier imprisoned by Hamas, a household name all over the world, while next to nothing is mentioned about the estimated 10,000 Palestinian political and resistance prisoners languishing in Israeli dungeons and concentration camps?
And, Second, some pro-Palestinian activists who believe that I should avoid invoking the holocaust in my writings lest this help legitimize the Zionist narrative and inadvertently justify Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people. To our pro-Palestinian activists, I, with all due respect,would like to say the following. I sincerely believe that wewould be walking in the path of immorality if we denied or belittled other peopleâ€™s suffering. Indeed, it is imperative that we retain our humanity and moral fabric in the course of this legitimate struggle against the evil state. We must never imitate or emulate their ways and tactics. This would be self-defeating, self-destructive and immensely demoralizing. Moreover, we must refrain from saying or doing things that would make others portray us as inherent enemies of Jews, because we are not.
We also need to be constantly vigilant and cautious about what we say and how we say it, lest we inadvertently besmirch the legitimacy of our just cause. Israel is so manifestly criminal and ugly that we donâ€™t need to deny anyoneâ€™s suffering to prove this plain fact. In short, we donâ€™t have to shoot ourselves in the foot. It is wrong and it hurts us a lot. Obviously, the Zionistsâ€™ â€œargumentsâ€ are motivated, as always, by ill-will and a malicious desire to silence critics of Israeli criminality whose phantasmagoric expressions we all witnessed recently in the Gaza Strip.
The subject of contention this time has been an article I published a few days ago, entitled â€œShame on us,â€ in which I strongly criticized efforts by some dubious â€œpeace activistsâ€ to bamboozle some innocent Palestinian children from some impoverished localities into playing music before â€œholocaust survivors.â€
This is what happened last week when a dozen young musicians from the Jenin Refugee Camp, in the northern West Bank, were taken surreptitiously to Tel Aviv where they were made to play a serenade before some elderly Zionists , some of whom veterans from the many criminal wars Israel had waged on our people. And as I said in the article, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was not carried out by UFOs but by the very people our children are now being asked to cheer up.
Understandably, the not-so-innocent event left many Palestinians infuriated by the cheap exploitation of these kids for Israeli hasbara purposes. As one who lost three uncles in one day to Zionist murderers in 1954, I felt deeply wounded and humiliated by that event.
I am actually not against reconciliation between Palestinians and Jews. I donâ€™t and never will view Jews as our inherent enemies. Some Jews are actually among the most effective supporters of our national cause. Those we salute for their honesty and morality.
However, it is obvious that true reconciliation in this part of the world requires that the slate be made thoroughly clean. Usurped rights must be returned to rightful owners, and wrongs must be rectified. This I say to honest and conscientious Jews who are genuinely interested in justice and peace.
But to the Zionists I would like to say that the following: the latest point of contention is not about music or even peace. This is first and foremost about human dignity of which the children of the holocaust and their children and grand children and great grandchildren have been trying to rob us.
And whether you like it or not, for us, at least, you represent the real Wehrmacht, the real SS and real Gestapo. You are the Nazis of our time. This is what we see from our vantage point. This is what much of the world sees. This is what many honest and conscientious Jews see.
You stole our country, you murdered our people, you destroyed our homes, and you expelled and dispersed the bulk of our people to the four corners of the world. And after all of this, you have audacity to dupe our children to sing and play music to you? This is simply beyond, far beyond, Chutzpah.
Some of you habitually babble the word â€œhatredâ€ whenever a Palestinian asserts his peopleâ€™s humanity and dignity. Well, you are really sick to the bone if you think Palestinians must sacrifice their dignity in order to become a hate-free people according to the Zionist lexicon. We will not pay tribute to the killers of our children, we will show respect to our grave-diggers. Besides, who do you think you are anyway to lecture us on hatred? After all, you represent and embody hatred in its ugliest form. The extirpation of a people from its ancestral homeland from time immemorial is a satanic act par excellence. The destruction and obliteration of hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages to fulfill Jewish nationalism is diabolical act of the highest order.
Your recent blitzkrieg in Gaza during which your Nazi-like army ganged up on a helpless, unprotected civilian population, exterminating them with bombs and missiles and incinerating their children with White Phosphorus proved once again that you are no better than the hateful Nazis you curse day and night for what they did to you sixty years ago.
Well, try to get yourselves out of this cocoon of self-denial. The Palestinian people donâ€™t hate music nor do they teach their kids to hate Jews or non-Jews, it is your evil and murderous actions that generate hatred against you not only among Palestinians and Muslims but among many other people around the world. Just look at your ugly faces in the mirror.
Any person watching the theatrics of the Middle East peace process is bound to wonder: How much is the world closer to seeing a real genuine peace in the Holy Land? In fact, all the signs are showing that for all intents and purposes, peace is simply not anywhere near being â€œaround the cornerâ€.
The problem does not so much lie in the weakness of the efforts or the insincerity of the proponents of a peaceful resolve to one of the most complex and intertwining conflict of modern times. The essence of the problem lies in the approach and the missing understanding of how the problem came into being. Furthermore a genuine and sincere conviction by all the parties concerned is inescapable that there are fundamental issues that underlie the arrival to a durable and just peace. For any objective and long time observer of the Middle East to overlook that peace without redress to the victims of a this Zionist nightmare planted in the midst of a region that taught the world the essences of human rights, tolerance and morality is at best impossible, but certainly unforgivable.
Moreover, one is inclined to believe that continued peace talks are utterly impossible, while one of the wrongs that initially created the problem is allowed to proceed at full pace, energy and resolve. Such presumption really borders on the ridiculous and absurd, on top of awarding the culprit a reward for a continued insistence that might makes right. The total neglect of the internationally recognized legitimate rights of the Palestinians even now when, at the same time, the Palestinians are being almost goaded to an obviously predictable staged effort to achieve â€œmeaningful peaceâ€, cannot be viewed as sound groundwork for Palestinian â€" Israeli talks. On the contrary, the insistence that Israel could be allowed to proceed with its Zionist agenda in the occupied West Bank cannot be expected to raise any hope amongst even the most optimistic observers that indeed the tracks are paved for a peaceful conclusion of this conflict that is now going into its second century. Never mind that this agenda in all its manifestations is clearly still being unabashedly pursued although there are daily evidence that portrays this phenomenon as of one of the most dreadful cases of manâ€™s inhumanity to man.
The recent behavior of the Israelis in Washington is a clear suggestion that the latter have simply decided to make their Zionist agenda the only acceptable grounds for any â€œpeaceful settlementâ€. This is not simply attested to by open declarations of the Israeli Foreign Minister at the General Assembly. The ongoing onslaught of Israeli bulldozers knocking down whole Palestinian villages and towns in the West Bank and whole blocks in the Holy City of Jerusalem are mercilessly, rapidly and aggressively being evicted of their indigenous Arab inhabitants and wrecked and erased off the maps. Almost simultaneously, and coming behind an exaggerated and probably almost unnecessary display of military might and mob rule against helpless and unarmed uprooted men, women, children and members of Palestinian families, cement mixers and ready-made raised steelwork work to replace centuries of history and legitimacy, with sumptuous dwellings for heavily subsidized illegitimate trespassers arriving from distant lands. This is the ethnic cleansing that has been the theme of the internationally declared illegitimate occupation of the West Bank and formerly the tiny pocket of densely populated Gaza â€" which is still unquestionably, the largest prison in the world, despite the Israeli withdrawal. The prisoners in Gaza are not the normal criminal elements one finds in many institutions of penal reforms and penitentiaries. The people of Gaza are already the largest agglomeration of hopelessness, despair, misery and wanton suffering. Comprising hundreds of thousands of evicted Palestinians from as far back as 1948, living in the most humanely unbearable habitat for three generations, the inhabitants of Gaza have multiplied to become 1.5 million cases of systematic and slow extermination. The very same machine responsible for this relentless program of mass agony in Gaza is the very same machine that insists on producing illegitimate demographic â€œfacts on the groundâ€ in the West Bank of Palestine, while making a mockery of a seemingly sincere endeavor at peace â€" making pursued by the current US Administration headed by President Barack Obama. It is inescapable to note the diplomatic arrogance that has characterized the behavior of the Israelis in Washington and over the well organized pro â€" Zionist leaning mainstream US media (by choice, crossed interests or by sheer arm â€" twisting). The Israelis have neither a desire or intent to â€œcompromiseâ€ on any issues at stake in any peace talks with their expected cohabitants of the Holy Land, who are now undergoing a process of elimination. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ultra â€" right wing Administration in Israel are obviously not in a hurry for peace. US President Obama is already on the toughest credibility tightrope, as he has yet to show how genuine and sincere is his Administrationâ€™s quest for peace in the Middle East. The US Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clintonâ€™s â€œunderstandingâ€ of Netanyahuâ€™s position on the refusal to halt illegitimate settlement construction surely does not help reinforce this genuineness and seriousness, nor does it obviate any sincerity to reach a peaceful and just settlement.
Michael Bloomberg, bona fide Mayor of New York City and deservedly so! This observer could not help but recognize that Mayor Mike Bloomberg, now on his third term as the sagacious Mayor of the fabulous City of New York, has candidly and unabashedly expressed his deep understanding and respect for religious tolerance. Mayor Bloomberg openly stated without hesitation that he sees no comprehensible reason to oppose the construction of the Islamic Cultural Center on Park Place, Manhattan, or anywhere else in NYC. He recently stated this in an appearance on CBS David Lettermanâ€™s, The Late Show. It is this kind of independence that should be displayed by the Mayor of the Greatest City in the World, without competition. New York should be honored with His Honorâ€™s full â€" time devotion to keeping New York humming, truly sophisticated and cosmopolitan.
Neve Gordon describes how Israelâ€™s Bar Ilan University denied tenure to a brilliant, world-class philosophy professor, Ariella Azoulay â€" in effect sacking her â€" because â€œa significant part of her work offers a critique of Israeli rights-abuse policy and of Zionismâ€.
â€œEverything is political,â€ cultural theorists often claim. Recently, Bar Ilan University in Israel decided to prove them right.
Located on the outskirts of Tel-Aviv, Bar Ilan likes to boast that it is the largest university in Israel. Its official goal is to cultivate and combine â€œJewish identity and tradition with modern technologies and researchâ€.
Ariella Azoulay â€œis one of those rare academics who can produce exceptionally high quality research, and do so as if she is working on a conveyor belt. She is precisely the kind of scholar top rate universities recruit and attempt to retain.â€
Fifteen years ago, however, the university became infamous after one of its students assassinated former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin in what turned out to be a successful attempt to arrest the Oslo peace process. The administration was appalled by the criminal act and consequently appears to have adopted a strategic decision to temper its conservative and right-wing proclivities. On the one hand, Bar Ilan continued to provide accreditation for two colleges located in illegal West Bank settlements, yet, on the other, it also developed an excellent gender programme and hired a number of faculty members with well known left-wing credentials. It aspired to become a liberal institution guided by ostensibly neutral professional processes and regulations, like all major universities around the world.
It was during this period that philosophy professor Avi Sagi of Bar Ilan hired Ariella Azoulay. From an academic standpoint, he made a wise decision, since over the past decade Azoulay has become one of Israelâ€™s foremost cultural theorists, specializing in visual culture. In addition to publishing scores of journal articles and book chapters, editing journals, translating classic texts,and serving as the curator of numerous art shows, during her 10-year career she has managed to write nine academic books, four of which came out with prestigious presses like MIT, Zone Books, Verso and Stanford University Press (forthcoming). On top of all of this, she is also the supervisor of more than 10 PhD students.
Azoulay is one of those rare academics who can produce exceptionally high quality research, and do so as if she is working on a conveyor belt. She is precisely the kind of scholar top rate universities recruit and attempt to retain. â€œBar Ilan, it seems, could not stomach tenuring a vocal Zionist apostate.â€ Last month, Bar Ilan decided to deny Azoulayâ€™s bid for tenure, effectively firing her. While the protocols of the university committees that reached this pitiful decision have not been made public, Azoulayâ€™s curriculum vitae and academic accomplishments are on the web, and anyone who is familiar with academic promotion procedures can readily see that the universityâ€™s verdict is illogical. But, then again, maybe matters are more complicated; maybe there is a method to the madness.
One important fact that does not appear on Azoulayâ€™s written curriculum vitae, or resume, is her political activism and public visibility. She was, for instance, the curator of a photography exhibition â€œAct of State - 1967-2007â€, which included hundreds of pictures that for the first time visually exposed four decades of occupation. The show was held in a gallery at the heart of Tel-Aviv. To be sure, a significant part of her work offers a critique of Israeli rights-abuse policy and of Zionism. This is the real reason â€" no other plausible one exists â€" that most of the people on the university committees decided to vote against her bid for tenure. Bar Ilan, it seems, could not stomach tenuring a vocal Zionist apostate. It therefore abandoned the liberal maxim of a neutral professional process, and demonstrated that cultural theorists are right: everything is indeed political.
On a clear day you can see Akka, Palestine from my favorite Lebanese village, Maron al Ras, where more than a few analysts here conjecture that the next and 6th aggression by Israel against Lebanon will begin. On any day, but particularly since 9/21/10, you can also see beefed up Zionist military patrols, assorted electronic listening posts, sundry spy devices, new Raytheon-produced surveillance equipment, two new supposedly camouflaged cinder block one room shacks with Zionist soldiers peering out menacingly while talking on their (Hezbollah-monitored) cell phones to girlfriends, mothers, pals and their HQâ€™s. They frequently glare from windows heavily-screened to keep out stones that tourists on the Lebanon side of the â€˜blue lineâ€™ regularly throw at them when UNIFIL guys arenâ€™t paying attention or shoo them away. You can also see land mine fields, wide soft sand swatches along the wire fences to detect trespassing neighbors footprints, a couple of orchards, and the edges of three colonial settlements. And if one were to squint, like really squint, or better yet, risk getting shot between the eyes by a Zionist sniper with an American 7.62 mm, Sniper Weapon System, M24 (called a â€œsystemâ€ because it can be used with various detachable telescopic sights and other accessories) and were to use some Barska Cosmos 25X100 binoculars, one might see, well, vent holes.
These air ducts, according to imaginative and joking village kids, are guarded by specially trained scorpions, the holes bringing in fresh air for scores of 130 feet plus bunkers that some miscreants are rumored to have
gone and built all over northern Palestine as far south as Safad.
The increase in activity along the Blue line, especially near Fatimaâ€™s Gate is only partially in preparation for the rumored visit of Iranâ€™s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in mid- October. An Israeli invasion could be launched at any time and locals explain that, for their part, they have selected their targets, completed their surveillance, so far eluded capture and are ready to attack deep into Palestine when commanded.
President Ahmadinejad is also expected to appear and speak at Maron al Ras, presumably without binoculars and resisting the temptation to cast a few stones in solidarity with the Palestinian intifadas. UNIFIL personnel at the scene reveal that several Israeli military leaders have been visiting the area this past month, including Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.
It is here in this ancient verdant, war scared hillside village of Maron al Ras where tradition instructs that Jesus (Issa) from Nazareth, less than a dayâ€™s walk to the South, accompanying his sainted mother Mary (Miriam), paused to rest on their trek to a wedding feast at Qana, some 30 km west.
At Qana, the site of unspeakable massacres in 1996 and 2006, two of the more than 60 committed by Zionist forces over the past six decades, the bearded Palestinian â€œterroristâ€, so-listed by the Sanhedrin judges, performed at his motherâ€™s request his first miracle. Qana residents are quick to point out that it was this same Sanhedrin that would later pay Judas Iscariot 30 pieces of silver to deliver up Jesus for trial on false death penalty charges of Blasphemy and would sentence his brother James to death by stoning.* According to a local priest who conducts tours of the Grotto of the Virgin Mary in Qana, where Mary and her son visited with the family of the soon to be newlyweds, â€œBy turning water into wine, Jesus dutifully fulfilled his mother Maryâ€™s request to provide additional refreshment for the larger than expected gathering of nearby villagers.â€ The priest explains to visitors that the parents of the bride and groom wanted to avoid the acute social embarrassment of running out of refreshments and were concerned for the comfort of last minute uninvited guests, who they anticipated would arrive for their childrenâ€™s wedding as word quickly spread that Jesus and his mother would be attending.
One guest who is receiving invitations even from March 14 pro-Saudi political parties for frank discussions this month and who has already been invited to Qana, but who probably wonâ€™t imbibe the local â€œmiracle wineâ€ sold by local entrepreneurs, (from under the tent so to speak) will be the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is said to be a devotee of Prophet Issa and Miriam, both venerated in the Holy Qurâ€™an.
In Lebanon, it sometimes appears even to the â€œparticularly obtuseâ€ â€" to borrow a phrase from my favorite constitutional law professor and scholar, Henry Paul Monaghan, who sometimes called us first year law students â€œparticularly obtuseâ€ â€" that everything is viewed thru the smoky prism of local politics and sects. Two lovely and politically passionate Qana villagers (one giggling and claiming to be a â€œShia-Christianâ€ and her friend interjecting â€œIâ€™m a Christian-Shia!â€), both Muslims who follow the teachings of â€œProphet Issaâ€, explained to this foreigner that many Rabbis disparage Jesusâ€™ miracle in Qana by claiming that it was the Hebrew Moses who was first able to turn water into another substance. They then gleefully counter that â€œMoses may well have done it, but Moses turned water into blood as a message of harsh judgment and violence, whereas â€œourâ€ Palestinian Issa turned water into wine as a message of love, generosity and hospitality.â€ The discussion ended when an American Yeshiva student from Brooklyn appeared and entered the discussion announcing to the villagers that both Bible stories â€œsuckâ€ and that when the next war comes Qana may witness itself being miraculously turned into depleted uranium dust.
In both Maron al Ras and Qana, villagers believe itâ€™s just a matter of time before Israel will invade Lebanon and itâ€™s a subject of rare unanimous sectarian consensus in all of Lebanon. For example, in the course of no more than two hours the other day, while running errands around Beirut, this observer was informed, without even bringing up the subject, by (1) my Shia Muslim Hezbollah motorcycle mechanic patching up my bike after a slight mishap (again!) (2) Miss Idriss, the Maronite Christian lady who works at the corner bank and who truly adores â€œal Hakimâ€ Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces (since 2006, Geagea and the LF has been siphoning off alienated cadres and youth from the ranks of Geageaâ€™s rivals including the Gemayalsâ€™ Phalange and Michel Aounâ€™s Christian pro-Hezbollah Free Patriotic Movement, and (3) my Sunni Muslim greengrocer lady who has absolutely no use for any of the above, that a major war is coming and probably sooner rather than later.
Purveyors of Israeli Hasbara are also keeping busy with predictions of a World War I type inevitability of major war in Lebanon given the claimed rapid arming of the national Lebanese resistance led by Hezbollah, and the Israeli touted collection of yet more new â€˜ultra-tech super weaponsâ€™ including robotic insects, new stealth drones, Iron Domes, David Sling I and II missile shields, yet even more improvements to the â€œimpenetrableâ€ Merkava Mark IV tank that took such a beating in 2006 that three countries, including Belgium, cancelled Merkava purchase orders. Israel and its â€œacademic agentsâ€ tout more than 20 other spectacular â€œgame changingâ€ technological breakthroughs â€˜just since the 2006 war which, according to Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic & International Studies and Janeâ€™s Defense Weekly, likely will not function in real war conditions â€" despite the largess of the unknowing American taxpayers who pick up the tab for their R & D.
Virtually the whole waterfall of Hasbara studies, many handsomely paid for by various Israel lobby funders, conclude that the next Hezbollah Israel war will be nothing like the 2006 July War. In addition, pro-Israel authors routinely skew their research to reassure their paymasters that Hezbollah will lose to the spruced up, better-equipped and trained Israeli soldiers and that their defeat will not only shatter Hezbollah, but destroy Syria and Iranâ€™s political power base and fundamentally change the political scene in Beirut.
This they confidently predict will lead to a pro-American and Israel-tolerant realignment of political parties and even achieve the long sought Lebanon-Israel â€œpeace treaty.â€ Some â€œLobby papersâ€ conclude that the next battle will deliver changes as far away as Iran, and destroy Hamas.
Designed to bolster the increasingly dubious Israeli public opinion, some Israeli think tanks claim that the massive US taxpayer funded therapy program for returning 2006 Israeli troops has succeeded in lowering the rates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has lowered the percentage of â€œshell shockâ€ disability cases in Israel. No mention of the skyrocketing rates of PTSD among US troops returning from various deployments in the Middle East which are skyrocketing, and American family complaints that needed medical help is being denied due to Pentagon budget â€œpriorities.â€ A Rand study in 2008 estimated the total number of American service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan
who returned with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or â€œhad their bell rungâ€ to use the terminology employed by some staff in Ward E7 at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, is more than 320,000. Today the figure is thought to be near 350,000. Only a small percentage are being properly treated according to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Bethesda medical staff, both of which admit they are not equipped to handle themâ€"most severely maimed for life. Increasingly, some family members are becoming bitter and complaining about budget cuts. One mother recently complained to Congressman Steny Hoyer (veteran not of the US military but of more than a dozen US taxpayer paid trips to Israel) that â€œIsrael always comes first and we pay for treatment and therapy for their soldiers and we sent our boys and girls to Iraq and Afghanistan because they told us to.â€
As reported by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern writing in Counterpunch recently, â€œJust this past week at Fort Hood, Texas, four decorated veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan took their own lives, adding to the 14 other suicides this year at Fort Hood alone.â€
Timur Goskel, former advisor to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), is dismissive of many of these â€œResearch Papersâ€ and their (almost without exception) Zionist authors: â€œThey donâ€™t know the other side of the story. They donâ€™t know what is happening here in Lebanon or what is Hezbollah doing or what Hezbollah is capable of. They will likely be shocked when they find out. They guess from newspapers and whatever and Hezbollah is not the organization you can read about in newspapers accurately. They donâ€™t talk too much.â€ Goskel added.
Some of the Israeli Lobby think tank predictions may indeed materialize but the history of Hezbollah and Israel on the battlefield and other factors, ignored by pro-Israel â€œscholarsâ€ who either arenâ€™t aware of them, or donâ€™t want to risk their sinecures by mentioning unpleasant facts to their employers, suggest that Israel will lose its next aggression against Lebanon.
It is clear that Hezbollah has been studying its enemy. Scorecard: Four Hezbollah conflicts with Israeli forces
The June 1982 Israeli invasion is not included in this brief consideration because Hezbollah was not fully organized and in fact its birth was partially the result of the 1982 â€œPeace for Galileeâ€ aggression that slaughtered nearly 20,000 Lebanese civilians and Palestinian refugees as well as setting the stage for the Sabra-Shatila Massacre. On August 30, 1982, Israel did achieve its goal of expelling most of its PLO nemesis but catastrophically failed in its main objective of ending Lebanese resistance activity, as a PLO replacement Hezbollah quickly became a far stronger and more sophisticated adversary.
Many fighters who eventually joined Hezbollah but who fought in 1982 with the PLO or with a variety of affiliated militia inflicted much damage on Israeli forces during numerous mountain battles and at Khaldeh on the coast south of Beirut.
1985: Hezbollah pushes their Zionist enemy out of the mountain areas
Between 1978 to 1985, Zionist forces occupied approximately 1/3 of Lebanon including 801 towns and villages. The newly forming Hezbollah never stopped its resistance attacks. An important Hezbollah political victory against Israel was achieved on March 5, 1984 when its work to achieve the Lebanese Council of Ministers cancellation of the U.S.-Israel created May 17, 1983 agreement that would have yielded significant Lebanese sovereignty and territory to Israel. Another was the expulsion of foreign â€œpeacekeeping forcesâ€ that increasingly attacked the civilian population of Lebanon on behalf of Israel and its local allies.
During this period Hezbollah and its allies surprised and hit Israeli forces hard all over the mountains and valleys and on January 14, 1985 Israel began withdrawing from 168 villages, being 55% of South Lebanon or 11% of Lebanon including Sidon, Tyre, Nabatieh and parts of the Western Bekaa.
The July 1993 Aggressionâ€"so called â€œOperation Accountabilityâ€
Israeli Chief of Staff Ehud Barak, told the Lebanese government on 7/31/93, â€œDisarm Hezbollah or watch Israeli do it.â€ He said about the same thing to the Obama administration on 9/30/10 at the Pentagon.
Despite, 1,224 bombing attacks, according to UNIFIL data, and firing of more than 30,000 artillery shells and rockets, Hezbollah retaliated with what AFP on 7/25/93 called, â€œA hell of a shelling last[ing] 10 hours without a pause.â€ For seven days resistance forces conducted at least 30 operations along the Blue line targeting Zionist forces and their Lebanese surrogates. The US and Israel, shocked that the CIA-Mossad intelligence estimates that Hezbollah had only 500 rockets and this supply would be depleted in three days, decided to call for a cease-fire. The â€œJuly Accordâ€ took effect at 6 p.m. on 7/31/93 and Israel withdrew and stood down, failing to achieve any of its objectives which frankly are always the sameâ€" Disarm the Resistance, break Hezbollahâ€™s relationships with the Lebanese public, and force the Lebanese government to dismantle the Resistance. On 8/19/93 Israelâ€™s PM Rabin told his cabinet: â€œ I regret saying this, but Hezbollah has defeated us.â€
The April 1996 Aggression:â€"the so-called â€œGrapes of Wrathâ€
This aggression started on April 11, 1996 with bombing attacks in Baalbeck and down south in Tyre at the Lebanese army base and for the first time since 1982, attacks on Dahiyeh in South Beirut. Israel bombed a wider area than in 1993 over a period of 16 days.
This invasion became known among some in South Lebanon as the â€œFour Massacres aggressionâ€: Suhmor on 4/12/96; the bombing of the Al-Mansouri ambulance on 4/13/96; Nabatieh on Day 7; and the Qana massacre on the same day when 118 civilians were slaughtered and 127 injured. Hundreds of thousands were displaced with 7,000 homes completely or partially destroyed. Total civilian casualties exceeded 250.
Having studied each preceding war with its enemy, Hezbollah succeeded in anticipating Israeli tactics, paths of entrance into Lebanon and targeting actions. Israel, not being able to find any, failed to target a single resistance fighter or to prevent any rocket pads from launching at will. Until the moment the US-Israel requested ceasefire took hold, having been arranged by US Sec. of State Warren Christopher, Hezbollahâ€™s retaliation with Katuysha rockets continued unabated. Israelâ€™s goals were again those noted
above. There was one addition and that was to present Shimon Peres with a military victory to help his election campaign which was backed by President Clinton and staffed with some key Clinton campaign staff. On May 29, 1996 Peres lost the election and Hezbollah emerged from â€œGrapes of Wrathâ€ victorious and widely perceived in Washington and Tel Aviv as having exposed Israeli battle field errors, or what the Resistance called â€œimpotenceâ€.
The May 24, 2000 withdrawal of Israeli forces and the complete collapse of their surrogate collaborationist Lahdist forces. Israelâ€™s notorious prison at Khiam was liberated by villagers and their loved ones freed. This resistance victory was perhaps its sweetest to date. No cheap political deals to help the Zionists save faced. Total defeat as Israeli faces snuck out during one night without even telling their collaborators. A half century after Israel started its inroads into Lebanon, except for some border enclaves like Shebaa, Kfar Kouba and Ghajar that Hezbollah and the Lebanese army aims to recover during the coming war, it was out.
This victory was especially valuable to the Resistance and Lebanon as it demonstrated qualities that will determine the outcome of the next war. It blended a deep belief in God, magnanimous in victory, human treatment of the vanquished, care for the families of martyrs, insistence on dialogue with internal adversaries, confidence in the victory of good over evil, and thorough preparation for future aggressions and acceptance of sacrifice.
The July 2006 War, the mis-named â€œ Second Lebanon Warâ€
The results of the 2006 33-day Israeli aggression are well known and documented, with none of Israelâ€™s stated goalsâ€"namely destroying Hezbollah, acquiring a treaty with Lebanon, breaking popular Lebanese support for the National Lebanese Resistanceâ€"being achieved. Hezbollahâ€™s victory resulted in a deep sea change in Lebanese sectarian attitude towards Israel partly because during the war all of Lebanon saw through the Hasbara articles produced for cash at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP was set up by AIPAC in 1985), the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies , and the Foreign Policy Initiative, among several others.
Preparing for the coming war- knowing the enemy
Sometimes Hezbollah members complain to this observer, as one did recently, that
â€œWe spend so much time studying every imaginable aspect of the Zionist forces and their corrupt society, from their psychology, strengths and weaknesses on the battle field, every battle and every little encounter over the past 28 years, favorite foods, drugs, and video games. Really, I donâ€™t find them all that interesting I just want to expel them from the rest of Lebanon and all of Palestine. The sooner the better!â€
Among past wars involving Israel that Hezbollah is said to microscopically
study (in addition to all its own battles during Israeli wars and invasions) are those of 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1978. As well as the serial aggressions inside occupied Palestine including Gaza.
Hezbollah believes Israel will indeed attack Lebanon and that the Zionist battle plan will include the use of the following Israeli units which Hezbollah has been carefully studying and preparing to confront. Among these are the 91st â€œGalilee Divisionâ€ which Hezbollah believes will be backed by multiple regular and reserve brigades trying to seal Lebanonâ€™s southern border to stop Resistance/Lebanese Army units from moving deep inside occupied Palestine.
Additionally, Hezbollah is preparing to seek out and cripple the 162nd Armored Division which it damaged regularly during the 2006 war as well as confronting the 36th Armored Division normally assigned to the Golan Heights, (unless Syria fights this time) and at least three reserve armored divisions (Hezbollah sources believe probably the 366th and 319th).
Hezbollah has prepared meticulous plans to destroy the 98th Paratroop Division, the much touted â€œSpecial Forces Qualityâ€ Golani Infantry Brigade (which Hezbollah reserve forces mauled badly in 2006), the 35thParatroop
Brigade, the 551st â€œSpearheadâ€ Brigade, the Givati Infantry Brigade, the Alexandroni Reserve Infantry Brigade, the Kfir Infantry Brigade specializing in â€œUrban Warfareâ€, the Carmeli Infantry Reserve Brigade, the Sayeret Matkal Reconnaissance Unit, the Sayeret Egoz reconnaissance unit attached to the Golani Brigade, the Shayetet 13 Naval Commando Reconnaissance and Raiding Unit, the Sayeret Yael Engineering Unit, plus a variety of units specializing in combat intelligence, supply, transport and communications.
Both Hezbollah and Israel have declined comment on current rumors coming from concerned Pentagon staff in Washington that Hezbollah intelligence agents inside Israel have provided the Lebanese Resistance with the names, addresses, mobile phone numbers and email addresses of each personnel assigned to every one of the above units to be in its crosshairs when the battle begins.
Is Hezbollah prepared to fight Israeli collaborators on additional fronts?
Lebanese national resistance allies in and around Parliament are claiming that the US is frantically trying to organize a â€œnorthern second frontâ€ to help Israel in the coming war by enticing right wing Christian militias, Al Qaeda mixed-bag â€œSalafists for leaseâ€, and anyone else willing to fight a back door war against the Resistance while Israel kicks in the front door north of Safad and Nahariyah down south. The White House has reportedly vetoed one scheme to bring in Blackwater type private contractors.
Former MP Nasr Kandil who is close to Hezbollah stated on 9/30/10: â€œEgypt is also training hundreds of young gunmen in military camps in northern Lebanon that were set up under the guise of mobile hospitals while Jordan is training more than 700 Sunni militia membersâ€ at the behest of the US Embassy in Beirut and Jordan as part of â€œsubversive initiatives against Lebanon for Israelâ€™s benefitâ€.
These militia are claimed by Kandil and other politicians in Lebanon (including Senior Arab Democratic Party member Rifat Ali Eid) to be Salafi
groups with links to Al Qaeda organized by the CIA and Saudi Intelligence Services similar to the Fatah al Islam group that fought a summer long battle from the Palestinian camp of Nahr al Bared in 2007, and whose ranks are being replenished in Lebanon.
This week the Lebanese Forces were accused by Hezbollahâ€™s Sheik Naim Qassim, Deputy to SG Hassan Nasrallah, of running new LF militia training
camps with speculation that they are being trained on Russian-made BKC machine guns and the American MAG and small mortars. If so, they are not the only ones participating in an arms acquisition frenzy. A weapons run ignited during the May 8, 2008 violence, cooled down over the past two years but flared up again last month with virtually all political parties and many private citizens buying up available stocks of M4â€™s (with a launcher $12,000) M16â€™s ($1,500) and AK47 Kalashnikovâ€™s rifles (ranging between $750-$1,000) out of the back of cars or on road sides and alleys. Truck loads have been reported arriving from Iraq hauling US military supplies â€˜shrinkageâ€™.
Some analysts believe that once the Israeli attack date is imminent, northern Sunni militia being clustered around Tripoli and Akkar and other locations will attack Shia targets diverting Hezbollah units and weakening its southern and eastern (Bekaa) resistance.
They expect beefed up Saudi financed â€œSecurity-Plus Inc.â€ type units that were attempted in May of 2008. It may be recalled that effort soon fizzled and was ridiculed in Lebanese media as â€œSecurity-Minus Inc.â€ because when the green recruits got off their buses down in Hamra they quickly defected en masse deciding they did not want to fight Hezbollah â€œsecond teamâ€ forces after all.
For the past three years, Israel has been instructing the White House and Congress, as Ehud Barak told Bill Clinton on 9/21/10 at the opening of the Clinton Global Initiative in NYC: â€œThis time Hezbollah must be totally eradicated from Lebanon. We donâ€™t even want to find their residue after the next operation!â€
Despite Barakâ€™s instructions, the Pentagonâ€™s J-8 Directorate for Force Structure Resources and Assessment, which among other duties conducts analysis, assessments, and evaluates strategies for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and some special American friends, agrees with Israeli military planners and Hezbollah on at least one subjectâ€"The next Hezbollah-Israel war will not see Israel using many ground forces outside of armored personnel carriers once they enter Lebanon. The reason is that all three agree with the Pentagonâ€™s J-8 Directoratesâ€™ opinion that based on previous battlefield performance, it will likely require 5 Israeli soldiers to offset one Hezbollah defenderâ€™s battlefield acumen.
Mandated declaration of war by congress while it is quite possible to be detained by the authorities and locked up without any prospect of trial or opportunity to defend oneself. The government even believes it can kill American citizens based only on suspicion. I prefer to think of this transformation as the National Security State because it rests on a popular consensus that liberties must be sacrificed in exchange for greater public safety from various threats, international terrorism being the most prominent. It might just as well be called the National Warfare State as it also requires constant conflict to justify its existence.
Three elements are necessary for the creation of a National Security State. First, there must be a narrative that can be sold to the public justifying the transformation. Second, a system of laws and regulations must be created that enable the state to act with impunity and also to protect the government from challenges to its authority. Third, technology must be harnessed to enable the state to surreptitiously monitor and control the activities of its citizens. All of these elements have fallen into place over the past decade.
A recent example of abuse of authority by the government demonstrates how several of the key elements can come together. On September 24th, the Obama Administration <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/25/AR2010092503089.html?hpid=topnews> declared that it would ask a federal court to block a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in opposition to the government's contention that it has the authority to assassinate American citizens overseas if they are suspected of involvement with a terrorist group. The White House has invoked the state secrets privilege, contending that vital national interests would be betrayed if the case were to proceed and further that the president has the authority to target anyone for death in time of war. The state secrets privilege is the ultimate weapon to avoid exposure of government wrongdoing. It has been used frequently by the Obama administration in spite of Obama-the-candidate's pledge that he would run an open and accountable government.
The ACLU case focused on the one US citizen known to be on the administration's assassination list, Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Now, by all accounts al-Awlaki is an unsavory character, involved with at least one extremist group in Yemen, but the evidence that he is an actual terrorist or that he has been closely involved with plotting terrorist attacks has not been made public. At this point, he appears to have been condemned to death without any due process and without any opportunity to defend himself. The Obama Administration abuse of the state secrets privilege in this case is little more than justifying the practice of extrajudicial murder at the whim of a government bureaucrat. It also assumes that the whole world is a battlefield without any declaration of war by congress. If all of that is so, al-Awlaki can be killed and so can any other American for any reason or no reason.
State secrets is only one weapon in the arsenal employed by the government to create a framework of regulation that permits the government to act with impunity. The Military Commission Act, which candidate Obama vowed to let expire, was <http://www.defense.gov/news/commissionsacts.html> renewed in 2009 with virtually no changes. Under the MCA, someone can be imprisoned indefinitely on suspicion that he or she has provided material support to terrorism. Material support is not defined and can be interpreted to mean nearly anything. If accused, right to a trial by peers does not apply as the detainee is subject to a military tribunal and habeas corpus is null and void. And how does the government determine if someone is a "terrorism supporter?" Through evidence derived from Patriot Act authorized National Security Letters, which the FBI can obtain without any judicial process whatsoever to look into the private lives of each and every citizen. Nearly 25,000 National Security Letters were <http://epic.org/privacy/nsl/> issued in 2008 alone. When someone receives a letter demanding that information be provided to the authorities it is a felony to reveal to the subject of the investigation that he or she is being looked at.
The second key element in the National Security State is the media depiction of a threat that makes the public fearful and willing to sacrifice rights in exchange for security. This effort is aided and abetted by the government, which is the principal cheerleader for the fear mongering. In the al-Awlaki case the media obediently depicts the man as a terrorist, never challenging the established narrative so it makes it easier for the public to accept that he should be killed for reasons of public safety. Another recent initiative of the same sort is the narrative that there are numerous American Muslims who have been radicalized and might carry out terrorist acts. One might reasonably note that as there are possibly ten million Muslims in the US if that were true there would be hundreds of incidents occurring annually, possibly one or two a day. Where are they? Yet the government <http://articles.latimes.com/2009/dec/07/nation/la-na-us-radicalization7-2009dec07> suggests that there is an "emerging" threat and the media buys into it hook line and sinker. The public is again scared into supporting the National Security State.
Finally, there is the technical ability to look into the private lives of each and every citizen, which is increasing exponentially as the technology is refined. The federal government is currently <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/27/AR2010092700719.html?hpid=topnews> seeking legislation to enable it to monitor internet, blackberries, and social networking sites. The centers of most American citizens are criss-crossed by surveillance cameras, while "traffic control" cameras record automobile information, and <http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2019239,00.html> cell phone and internet providers maintain complete records on calls and emails for up to a year. These are records that the government can access through the National Security Letters, without any judicial review. Cell phone system monitors are able to locate anyone with a phone turned on within a distance of three feet and whenever a call is made the location is recorded. This means if you attend an anti-war rally your participation might wind up in a security file. Much of this and other information is collected into data bases, together with public record material like driving license information, credit reports, and details of criminal and civil litigation. How much of the information is actually retained is anyone's guess, but it is safe to assume that it is all kept for some time and that government computers can retrieve it at will.
Having lived in Europe, I know that most of these intrusive technologies first appeared on that continent, where people accept a high level of state control, only to be picked up subsequently in the US. The British government is currently introducing <http://www.cnbc.com/id/39265847/UK_Proposes_All_Paychecks_Go_to_the_State_First> legislation proposing that all wage and salary earners have their paychecks sent directly to the tax agencies for processing. The government's stated intention is to make sure that taxes are being collected, but Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs service computers would also be alert to possible money laundering and terrorist connections, raising the fear level to justify the action. After processing, the British government would then pass whatever money remains on to the person who actually earned it. Scary, but it is perhaps something that will also be proposed in the US by a Joe Lieberman, John McCain or Lindsey Graham, all of whom have used fear of terrorism to justify curtailment of civil liberties and intrusion into areas once regarded as private. Or even by Barack Obama, who appears to believe that a benign big government provides a solution to whatever ails you and is already moving towards <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/26/AR2010092603941.html?hpid=topnews> monitoring all financial transactions.
The only answer to the National Security State a demand on the part of US citizens to return to constitutionalism and a rule of law. The government should not be empowered to kill citizens extrajudicially, start wars of choice, detain suspects indefinitely and without charges, use state secrets claims to avoid scrutiny, and obtain private information without a warrant. It is difficult to imagine a return to normalcy under the best of circumstances, but congress is complicit in the process and will do nothing. Genuine change will only come about when we the people insist on it.
It's taken three trips to Kentucky, but I'm finally getting my Tea Party epiphany exactly where you'd expect: at a Sarah Palin rally. The red-hot mama of American exceptionalism has flown in to speak at something called the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, a gospel-music hoedown in a giant convention center filled with thousands of elderly white Southerners. Palin â€" who earlier this morning held a closed-door fundraiser for Rand Paul, the Tea Party champion running for the U.S. Senate â€" is railing against a GOP establishment that has just seen Tea Partiers oust entrenched Republican hacks in Delaware and New York. The dingbat revolution, it seems, is nigh.
"We're shaking up the good ol' boys," Palin chortles, to the best applause her aging crowd can muster. She then issues an oft-repeated warning (her speeches are usually a tired succession of half-coherent one-liners dumped on ravenous audiences like chum to sharks) to Republican insiders who underestimated the power of the Tea Party Death Star. "Buck up," she says, "or stay in the truck."
Stay in what truck? I wonder. What the hell does that even mean?
Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn't a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression â€" "Government's not the solution! Government's the problem!" â€" the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.
Related <http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/209395> Obama in Command: The Rolling Stone Interview â€" In an Oval Office interview, the president discusses the Tea Party, the war, the economy and whatâ€™s at stake this November.
"The scooters are because of Medicare," he whispers helpfully. "They have these commercials down here: 'You won't even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!' Practically everyone in Kentucky has one."
A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can't imagine it.
After Palin wraps up, I race to the parking lot in search of departing Medicare-motor-scooter conservatives. I come upon an elderly couple, Janice and David Wheelock, who are fairly itching to share their views.
Related <http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/matt-taibbi/blogs/Taibbi_2008/212282/83512> Matt Taibbi on the response to this article: "Rand's Medical Group: Obama Hypnotized Voters"
"I'm anti-spending and anti-government," crows David, as scooter-bound Janice looks on. "The welfare state is out of control."
"OK," I say. "And what do you do for a living?"
"Me?" he says proudly. "Oh, I'm a property appraiser. Have been my whole life."
I frown. "Are either of you on Medicare?"
Silence: Then Janice, a nice enough woman, it seems, slowly raises her hand, offering a faint smile, as if to say, You got me!
"Let me get this straight," I say to David. "You've been picking up a check from the government for decades, as a tax assessor, and your wife is on Medicare. How can you complain about the welfare state?"
"Well," he says, "there's a lot of people on welfare who don't deserve it. Too many people are living off the government."
"But," I protest, "you live off the government. And have been your whole life!"
"Yeah," he says, "but I don't make very much." Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it's going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I've concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They're full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending â€" only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry's medals and Barack Obama's Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending â€" with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about â€" and nowhere do we see that dynamic as clearly as here in Kentucky, where Rand Paul is barreling toward the Senate with the aid of conservative icons like Palin.
Related <http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/photos/25224/208609> Gallery: Forty Years of Rolling Stone's Political Covers
Early in his campaign, Dr. Paul, the son of the uncompromising libertarian hero Ron Paul, denounced Medicare as "socialized medicine." But this spring, when confronted with the idea of reducing Medicare payments to doctors like himself â€" half of his patients are on Medicare â€" he balked. This candidate, a man ostensibly so against government power in all its forms that he wants to gut the Americans With Disabilities Act and abolish the departments of Education and Energy, was unwilling to reduce his own government compensation, for a very logical reason. "Physicians," he said, "should be allowed to make a comfortable living."
Those of us who might have expected Paul's purist followers to abandon him in droves have been disappointed; Paul is now the clear favorite to win in November. Ha, ha, you thought we actually gave a shit about spending, joke's on you. That's because the Tea Party doesn't really care about issues â€" it's about something deep down and psychological, something that can't be answered by political compromise or fundamental changes in policy. At root, the Tea Party is nothing more than a them-versus-us thing. They know who they are, and they know who we are ("radical leftists" is the term they prefer), and they're coming for us on Election Day, no matter what we do â€" and, it would seem, no matter what their own leaders like Rand Paul do.
In the Tea Party narrative, victory at the polls means a new American revolution, one that will "take our country back" from everyone they disapprove of. But what they don't realize is, there's a catch: This is America, and we have an entrenched oligarchical system in place that insulates us all from any meaningful political change. The Tea Party today is being pitched in the media as this great threat to the GOP; in reality, the Tea Party is the GOP. What few elements of the movement aren't yet under the control of the Republican Party soon will be, and even if a few genuine Tea Party candidates sneak through, it's only a matter of time before the uprising as a whole gets castrated, just like every grass-roots movement does in this country. Its leaders will be bought off and sucked into the two-party bureaucracy, where its platform will be whittled down until the only things left are those that the GOP's campaign contributors want anyway: top-bracket tax breaks, free trade and financial deregulation.
The rest of it â€" the sweeping cuts to federal spending, the clampdown on bailouts, the rollback ofRoe v. Wade â€" will die on the vine as one Tea Party leader after another gets seduced by the Republican Party and retrained for the revolutionary cause of voting down taxes for Goldman Sachs executives. It's all on display here in Kentucky, the unofficial capital of the Tea Party movement, where, ha, ha, the joke turns out to be on them: Rand Paul, their hero, is a fake.
The original Tea Party was launched by a real opponent of the political establishment â€" Rand Paul's father, Ron, whose grass-roots rallies for his 2008 presidential run were called by that name. The elder Paul will object to this characterization, but what he represents is something of a sacred role in American culture: the principled crackpot. He's a libertarian, but he means it. Sure, he takes typical, if exaggerated, Republican stances against taxes and regulation, but he also opposes federal drug laws ("The War on Drugs is totally out of control" and "All drugs should be decriminalized"), Bush's interventionist wars in the Middle East ("We cannot spread our greatness and our goodness through the barrel of a gun") and the Patriot Act; he even called for legalized prostitution and online gambling.
Paul had a surprisingly good showing as a fringe candidate in 2008, and he may run again, but he'll never get any further than the million primary votes he got last time for one simple reason, which happens to be the same reason many campaign-trail reporters like me liked him: He's honest. An anti- war, pro-legalization Republican won't ever play in Peoria, which is why in 2008 Paul's supporters were literally outside the tent at most GOP events, their candidate pissed on by a party hierarchy that preferred Wall Street-friendly phonies like Mitt Romney and John McCain. Paul returned the favor, blasting both parties as indistinguishable "Republicrats" in his presciently titled book, The Revolution. The pre-Obama "Tea Parties" were therefore peopled by young anti-war types and libertarian intellectuals who were as turned off by George W. Bush and Karl Rove as they were by liberals and Democrats.
The failure of the Republican Party to invite the elder Paul into the tent of power did not mean, however, that it didn't see the utility of borrowing his insurgent rhetoric and parts of his platform for Tea Party 2.0. This second-generation Tea Party came into being a month after Barack Obama moved into the Oval Office, when CNBC windbag Rick Santelli went on the air to denounce one of Obama's bailout programs and called for "tea parties" to protest. The impetus for Santelli's rant wasn't the billions in taxpayer money being spent to prop up the bad mortgage debts and unsecured derivatives losses of irresponsible investors like Goldman Sachs and AIG â€" massive government bailouts supported, incidentally, by Sarah Palin and many other prominent Republicans. No, what had Santelli all worked up was Obama's "Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan," a $75 billion program less than a hundredth the size of all the bank bailouts. This was one of the few bailout programs designed to directly benefit individual victims of the financial crisis; the money went to homeowners, many of whom were minorities, who were close to foreclosure. While the big bank bailouts may have been incomprehensible to ordinary voters, here was something that Middle America had no problem grasping: The financial crisis was caused by those lazy minorities next door who bought houses they couldn't afford â€" and now the government was going to bail them out.
"How many of you people want to pay your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills? Raise your hand!" Santelli roared in a broadcast from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. Why, he later asked, doesn't America reward people who "carry the water instead of drink the water?"
Suddenly, tens of thousands of Republicans who had been conspicuously silent during George Bush's gargantuan spending on behalf of defense contractors and hedge-fund gazillionaires showed up at Tea Party rallies across the nation, declaring themselves fed up with wasteful government spending. From the outset, the events were organized and financed by the conservative wing of the Republican Party, which was quietly working to co-opt the new movement and deploy it to the GOP's advantage. Taking the lead was former House majority leader Dick Armey, who as chair of a group called FreedomWorks helped coordinate Tea Party rallies across the country. A succession of Republican Party insiders and money guys make up the guts of FreedomWorks: Its key members include billionaire turd Steve Forbes and former Republican National Committee senior economist Matt Kibbe.
Prior to the Tea Party phenomenon, FreedomWorks was basically just an AstroTurfing-lobbying outfit whose earlier work included taking money from Verizon to oppose telecommunications regulation. Now the organization's sights were set much higher: In the wake of a monstrous economic crash caused by grotesque abuses in unregulated areas of the financial-services industry, FreedomWorks â€" which took money from companies like mortgage lender MetLife â€" had the opportunity to persuade millions of ordinary Americans to take up arms against, among other things, Wall Street reform.
Joining them in the fight was another group, Americans for Prosperity, which was funded in part by the billionaire David Koch, whose Koch Industries is the second-largest privately held company in America. In addition to dealing in plastics, chemicals and petroleum, Koch has direct interests in commodities trading and financial services. He also has a major stake in pushing for deregulation, as his companies have been fined multiple times by the government, including a 1999 case in which Koch Industries was held to have stolen oil from federal lands, lying about oil purchases some 24,000 times.
So how does a group of billionaire businessmen and corporations get a bunch of broke Middle American white people to lobby for lower taxes for the rich and deregulation of Wall Street? That turns out to be easy. Beneath the surface, the Tea Party is little more than a weird and disorderly mob, a federation of distinct and often competing strains of conservatism that have been unable to coalesce around a leader of their own choosing. Its rallies include not only hardcore libertarians left over from the original Ron Paul "Tea Parties," but gun-rights advocates, fundamentalist Christians, pseudomilitia types like the Oath Keepers (a group of law- enforcement and military professionals who have vowed to disobey "unconstitutional" orders) and mainstream Republicans who have simply lost faith in their party. It's a mistake to cast the Tea Party as anything like a unified, cohesive movement â€" which makes them easy prey for the very people they should be aiming their pitchforks at. A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the handful of banks and investment firms who advertise on Fox and CNBC.
The individuals in the Tea Party may come from very different walks of life, but most of them have a few things in common. After nearly a year of talking with Tea Party members from Nevada to New Jersey, I can count on one hand the key elements I expect to hear in nearly every interview. One: Every single one of them was that exceptional Republican who did protest the spending in the Bush years, and not one of them is the hypocrite who only took to the streets when a black Democratic president launched an emergency stimulus program. ("Not me â€" I was protesting!" is a common exclamation.) Two: Each and every one of them is the only person in America who has ever read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock. (Here they have guidance from Armey, who explains that the problem with "people who do not cherish America the way we do" is that "they did not read the Federalist Papers.") Three: They are all furious at the implication that race is a factor in their political views â€" despite the fact that they blame the financial crisis on poor black homeowners, spend months on end engrossed by reports about how the New Black Panthers want to kill "cracker babies," support politicians who think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach of government power, tried to enact South African-style immigration laws in Arizona and obsess over Charlie Rangel, ACORN and Barack Obama's birth certificate. Four: In fact, some of their best friends are black! (Reporters in Kentucky invented a game called "White Male Liberty Patriot Bingo," checking off a box every time a Tea Partier mentions a black friend.) And five: Everyone who disagrees with them is a radical leftist who hates America.
It would be inaccurate to say the Tea Partiers are racists. What they are, in truth, are narcissists. They're completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country. I'm an ordinary middle-aged guy who pays taxes and lives in the suburbs with his wife and dog â€" and I'm a radical communist? I don't love my country? I'm a redcoat? Fuck you! These are the kinds of thoughts that go through your head as you listen to Tea Partiers expound at awesome length upon their cultural victimhood, surrounded as they are by America-haters like you and me or, in the case of foreign-born president Barack Obama, people who are literally not Americans in the way they are.
It's not like the Tea Partiers hate black people. It's just that they're shockingly willing to believe the appalling horseshit fantasy about how white people in the age of Obama are some kind of oppressed minority. That may not be racism, but it is incredibly, earth-shatteringly stupid. I hear this theme over and over â€" as I do on a recent trip to northern Kentucky, where I decide to stick on a Rand Paul button and sit in on a Tea Party event at a local amusement park. Before long, a group of about a half-dozen Tea Partiers begin speculating about how Obamacare will force emergency-room doctors to consult "death panels" that will evaluate your worth as a human being before deciding to treat you.
"They're going to look at your age, your vocation in life, your health, your income.â€‰.â€‰.â€‰." says a guy active in the Northern Kentucky Tea Party.
"Your race?" I ask.
"Probably," he says.
"White males need not apply," says another Tea Partier.
"Like everything else, the best thing you can do is be an illegal alien," says a third. "Then they won't ask you any questions."
An amazing number of Tea Partiers actually believe this stuff, and in the past year or so a host of little-known politicians have scored electoral upsets riding this kind of yahoo paranoia. Some are career Republican politicians like Sharron Angle, the former Nevada assemblywoman who seized on the Tea Party to win the GOP nomination to challenge Harry Reid this fall. Others are opportunistic incumbents like Jan Brewer, the Arizona governor who reversed a dip in the polls by greenlighting laws to allow police to stop anyone in a Cypress Hill T-shirt. And a few are newcomers like Joe Miller, the Alaska lawyer and Sarah Palin favorite who whipped Republican lifer Lisa Murkowski in the state's Senate primary. But the champion of champions has always been Rand Paul, who as the son of the movement's would-be ideological founder was poised to become the George W. Bush figure in the Tea Party narrative, the inheritor of the divine calling.
Since Paul won the GOP Primary in Kentucky, the Tea Party has entered a whole new phase of self-deception. Now that a few of these so-called "outsider" politicians have ridden voter anger to victories over entrenched incumbents, they are being courted and turned by the very party insiders they once campaigned against. It hasn't happened everywhere yet, and in some states it may not happen at all; a few rogue politicians, like Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, might still squeak into office over the protests of the Republican establishment. But in Kentucky, home of the Chosen One, the sellout came fast and hard.
Paul was transformed from insurgent outsider to establishment stooge in the space of almost exactly one year, making a journey that with eerie cinematic precision began and ended in the same place: The Rachel Maddow Show. When he first appeared on the air with the MSNBC leading lady and noted Bible Belt Antichrist to announce his Senate candidacy in May 2009, Paul came out blazing with an inclusive narrative that seemingly offered a realistic alternative for political malcontents on both sides of the aisle. He talked with pride about how his father's anti-war stance attracted young voters (mentioning one Paul supporter in New Hampshire who had "long hair and a lip ring"). Even the choice of Maddow as a forum was clearly intended to signal that his campaign was an anti-establishment, crossover effort. "Bringing our message to those who do not yet align themselves as Republicans is precisely how we grow as a party," Paul said, explaining the choice.
In the early days of his campaign, by virtually all accounts, Paul was the real thing â€" expansive, willing to talk openly to anyone and everyone, and totally unapologetic about his political views, which ranged from bold and nuanced to flat-out batshit crazy. But he wasn't going to change for anyone: For young Dr. Paul, as for his father, this was more about message than victory; actually winning wasn't even on his radar. "He used to talk about how he'd be lucky if he got 10 percent," recalls Josh Koch, a former campaign volunteer for Paul who has broken with the candidate.
Before he entered the campaign, Paul had an extensive record of loony comments, often made at his father's rallies, which, to put it generously, were a haven for people gifted at the art of mining the Internet for alternate theories of reality. In a faint echo of the racially charged anti-immigrant paranoia that has become a trademark of the Tea Party, both Paul and his father preached about the apocalyptic arrival of a "10-lane colossus" NAFTA superhighway between the U.S. and Mexico, which the elder Paul said would be the width of several football fields and come complete with fiber-optic cable, railroads, and oil and gas pipelines, all with the goal of forging a single American-Mexican state. Young Paul stood with Dad on that one â€" after all, he had seen Mexico's former president on YouTube talking about the Amero, a proposed North American currency. "I guarantee you," he warned, "it's one of their long-term goals to have one sort of borderless, mass continent." And Paul's anti-interventionist, anti-war stance was so far out, it made MoveOn look like a detachment of the Third Marines. "Our national security," he declared in 2007, "is not threatened by Iran having one nuclear weapon."
With views like these, Paul spent the early days of his campaign looking for publicity anywhere he could get it. One of his early appearances was on the online talk show of noted 9/11 Truth buffoon and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The two men spent the broadcast exchanging lunatic fantasies about shadowy government forces, with Paul at one point insisting that should Obama's climate bill pass, "we will have an army of armed EPA agents â€" thousands of them" who would raid private homes to enforce energy-efficiency standards. Paul presented himself as an ally to Jones in the fringe crusade against establishment forces at the top of society, saying the leaders of the two parties "don't believe in anything" and "get pushed around by the New World Order types."
Unsurprisingly, the GOP froze Paul out, attempting to exclude him from key party gatherings in Kentucky like the Fayette County Republican Party Picnic and the Boone County Republican Party Christmas Gala. "We had the entire Republican establishment of the state and the nation against us," says David Adams, who mobilized the first Tea Party meetings in Kentucky before serving as Paul's campaign manager during the primaries.
The state's Republican establishment, it must be said, is among the most odious in the nation. Its two senators â€" party kingmaker and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and mentally disappearing ex-jock Jim Bunning â€" collectively represent everything that most sane people despise about the modern GOP. McConnell is the ultimate D.C. insider, the kind of Republican even Republicans should wonder about, a man who ranks among the top 10 senators when it comes to loading up on pork spending. With his needle nose, pursed lips and prim reading glasses, he's a proud wearer of the "I'm an intellectual, but I'm also a narrow-minded prick" look made famous by George Will; politically his great passion is whoring for Wall Street, his most recent triumph coming when he convinced Republican voters that a proposed $50 billion fund to be collected from big banks was actually a bailout of those same banks. Bunning, meanwhile, goes with the "dumb and unashamed" style; in more than a decade of service, his sole newsworthy accomplishment came when he said his Italian-American opponent looked like one of Saddam's sons.
Paul's animus toward the state's Republican overlords never seemed greater than in August 2009, when McConnell decided to throw a fancy fundraiser in Washington for the national GOP's preferred candidate, Trey Grayson. Attended by 17 Republican senators who voted for the TARP bailout, the event was dubbed the "Bailout Ball" by Paul's people. Paul went a step further, pledging not to accept contributions from any senator who voted to hand taxpayer money over to Wall Street. "A primary focus of my campaign is that we need Republicans in office who will have the courage to say no to federal bailouts of big business," he declared.
The anti-establishment rhetoric was a big hit. Excluded from local campaign events by the GOP, Paul took his act to the airwaves, doing national TV appearances that sent his campaign soaring with Tea Party voters. "We were being shut out of a lot of opportunities in the state, so you go with what is available to you," says Adams. "And what was available was television."
In the primary almost a year later, Paul stomped Grayson, sending shock waves through the national party. The Republican candidate backed by the party's Senate minority leader had just received an ass-whipping by a Tea Party kook, a man who tried to excuse BP's greed-crazed fuck-up in the Gulf on the grounds that "sometimes accidents happen." Paul celebrated his big win by going back to where he'd begun his campaign, The Rachel Maddow Show, where he made a big show of joyously tearing off his pseudolibertarian underpants for the whole world to see â€" and that's where everything changed for him.
In their first interview, Maddow had softballed Paul and played nice, treating him like what he was at the time â€" an interesting fringe candidate with the potential to put a burr in Mitch McConnell's ass. But now, Paul was a real threat to seize a seat in the U.S. Senate, so Maddow took the gloves off and forced him to explain some of his nuttier positions. Most memorably, she hounded him about his belief that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach of government power. The money exchange:
Maddow: Do you think that a private business has the right to say we don't serve black people?
Paul: Yeah. I'm not in favor of any discrimination of any form. But what about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent? Should we limit racists from speaking?
Paul was pilloried as a racist in the national press. Within a day he was completely reversing himself, telling CNN, "I think that there was an overriding problem in the South so big that it did require federal intervention in the Sixties." Meanwhile, he was sticking his foot in his mouth on other issues, blasting the Americans With Disabilities Act and denouncing Barack Obama's criticism of British disaster merchant BP as "un-American."
Paul's libertarian coming-out party was such a catastrophe â€" the three gaffes came within days of each other â€" that he immediately jumped into the protective arms of Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party. "I think he's said quite enough for the time being in terms of national press coverage," McConnell said, explaining why Paul had been prevailed upon by the party to cancel an appearance on Meet the Press. Some news outlets reported that Paul canceled the appearance after a call from Karl Rove to Adams, who concedes that he did speak with Rove around that time.
Soon after, McConnell threw yet another "Bailout Ball" fundraiser in Washington â€" only this time it was for Rand Paul. The candidate who just a year before had pledged not to accept money from TARP supporters was now romping in bed with those same politicians. When pressed for an explanation of Paul's about-face on the bailouts, Adams offers an incredibly frank admission. "When he said he would not take money from people who voted for the bank bailout, he also said, in the same breath, that our first phone call after the primary would be to Senator Mitch McConnell," says Adams. "Making fun of the Bailout Ball was just for the primary."
With all the "just for the primary" stuff out of the way, Paul's platform began to rapidly "evolve." Previously opposed to erecting a fence on the Mexican border, Paul suddenly came out in favor of one. He had been flatly opposed to all farm subsidies; faced with having to win a general election in a state that receives more than $265 million a year in subsidies, Paul reversed himself and explained that he was only against subsidies to "dead farmers" and those earning more than $2 million. Paul also went on the air with Fox News reptile Sean Hannity and insisted that he differed significantly from the Libertarian Party, now speaking more favorably about, among other things, judicious troop deployments overseas.
Beyond that, Paul just flat-out stopped talking about his views â€" particularly the ones that don't jibe with right-wing and Christian crowds, like curtailing the federal prohibition on drugs. Who knows if that had anything to do with hawkish Christian icon Sarah Palin agreeing to headline fundraisers for Paul, but a huge chunk of the candidate's libertarian ideals have taken a long vacation.
"When he was pulling no punches, when he was reciting his best stuff, I felt like I knew him," says Koch, the former campaign volunteer who now works with the Libertarian Party in Kentucky. "But now, with Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove calling the shots, I feel like I don't know him anymore."
Hardcore young libertarians like Koch â€" the kind of people who were outside the tent during the elder Paul's presidential run in 2008 â€" cared enough about the issues to jump off the younger Paul's bandwagon when he cozied up to the Republican Party establishment. But it isn't young intellectuals like Koch who will usher Paul into the U.S. Senate in the general election; it's those huge crowds of pissed-off old people who dig Sarah Palin and Fox News and call themselves Tea Partiers. And those people really don't pay attention to specifics too much. Like dogs, they listen to tone of voice and emotional attitude.
Outside the Palin rally in September, I ask an elderly Rand supporter named Blanche Phelps if she's concerned that her candidate is now sucking up to the same Republican Party hacks he once campaigned against. Is she bothered that he has changed his mind on bailouts and abortion and American interventionism and a host of other issues?
Blanche shrugs. "Maybe," she suggests helpfully, "he got saved."
Buried deep in the anus of the Bible Belt, in a little place called Petersburg, Kentucky, is one of the world's most extraordinary tourist attractions: the Creation Museum, a kind of natural-history museum for people who believe the Earth is 6,000 years old. When you visit this impressively massive monument to fundamentalist Christian thought, you get a mind-blowing glimpse into the modern conservative worldview. One exhibit depicts a half-naked Adam and Eve sitting in the bush, cheerfully keeping house next to dinosaurs â€" which, according to creationist myth, not only lived alongside humans but were peaceful vegetarians until Adam partook of the forbidden fruit. It's hard to imagine a more telling demonstration of this particular demographic's unmatched ability to believe just about anything.
Even more disturbing is an exhibit designed to show how the world has changed since the Scopes trial eradicated religion from popular culture. Visitors to the museum enter a darkened urban scene full of graffiti and garbage, and through a series of windows view video scenes of families in a state of collapse. A teenager, rolling a giant doobie as his God-fearing little brother looks on in horror, surfs porn on the Web instead of reading the Bible. ("A Wide World of Women!" the older brother chuckles.) A girl stares at her home pregnancy test and says into the telephone, "My parents are not going to know!" As you go farther into the exhibit, you find a wooden door, into which an eerie inscription has been carved: "The World's Not Safe Anymore."
Staff members tell me Rand Paul recently visited the museum after-hours. This means nothing in itself, of course, but it serves as an interesting metaphor to explain Paul's success in Kentucky. The Tea Party is many things at once, but one way or another, it almost always comes back to a campaign against that unsafe urban hellscape of godless liberalism we call our modern world. Paul's platform is ultimately about turning back the clock, returning America to the moment of her constitutional creation, when the federal bureaucracy was nonexistent and men were free to roam the Midwestern plains strip-mining coal and erecting office buildings without wheelchair access. Some people pick on Paul for his humorously extreme back-to-Hobbesian-nature platform (a Louisville teachers' union worker named Bill Allison follows Paul around in a "NeanderPaul" cave-man costume shouting things like "Abolish all laws!" and "BP just made mistakes!"), but it's clear when you talk to Paul supporters that what they dig most is his implicit promise to turn back time, an idea that in Kentucky has some fairly obvious implications.
At a Paul fundraiser in northern Kentucky, I strike up a conversation with one Lloyd Rogers, a retired judge in his 70s who is introducing the candidate at the event. The old man is dressed in a baseball cap and shirtsleeves. Personalitywise, he's what you might call a pistol; one of the first things he says to me is that people are always telling him to keep his mouth shut, but he just can't. I ask him what he thinks about Paul's position on the Civil Rights Act.
"Well, hell, if it's your restaurant, you're putting up the money, you should be able to do what you want," says Rogers. "I tell you, every time he says something like that, in Kentucky he goes up 20 points in the polls. With Kentucky voters, it's not a problem."
In Lexington, I pose the same question to Mica Sims, a local Tea Party organizer. "You as a private-property owner have the right to refuse service for whatever reason you feel will better your business," she says, comparing the Civil Rights Act to onerous anti-smoking laws. "If you're for small government, you're for small government."
You look into the eyes of these people when you talk to them and they genuinely don't see what the problem is. It's no use explaining that while nobody likes the idea of having to get the government to tell restaurant owners how to act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the tool Americans were forced to use to end a monstrous system of apartheid that for 100 years was the shame of the entire Western world. But all that history is not real to Tea Partiers; what's real to them is the implication in your question that they're racists, and to them that is the outrage, and it's an outrage that binds them together. They want desperately to believe in the one-size-fits-all, no-government theology of Rand Paul because it's so easy to understand. At times, their desire to withdraw from the brutally complex global economic system that is an irrevocable fact of our modern life and get back to a simpler world that no longer exists is so intense, it breaks your heart.
At a restaurant in Lexington, I sit down with a Tea Party activist named Frank Harris, with the aim of asking him what he thinks of Wall Street reform. Harris is a bit of an unusual Tea Partier; he's a pro-hemp, anti-war activist who supported Dennis Kucinich. Though he admits he doesn't know very much about the causes of the crash, he insists that financial reform isn't necessary because people like him can always choose not to use banks, take out mortgages, have pensions or even consume everyday products like gas and oil, whose prices are set by the market.
"Really?" I ask. "You can choose not to use gas and oil?" My awesomely fattening cheese-and-turkey dish called a "Hot Brown" is beginning to congeal.
"You can if you want to," Harris says. "And you don't have to take out loans. You can save money and pay for things in cash."
"So instead of regulating banks," I ask, "your solution is saving money in cash?"
He shrugs. "I'm trying to avoid banks at every turn."
My head is starting to hurt. Arguments with Tea Partiers always end up like football games in the year 1900 â€" everything on the ground, one yard at a time.
My problem, Frank explains, is that I think I can prevent crime by making things illegal. "You want a policeman standing over here so someone doesn't come in here and mug you?" he says. "Because you're going to have to pay for that policeman!"
"But," I say, confused, "we do pay for police."
"You're trying to make every situation 100 percent safe!" he shouts.
This, then, is the future of the Republican Party: Angry white voters hovering over their cash-stuffed mattresses with their kerosene lanterns, peering through the blinds at the oncoming hordes of suburban soccer moms they've mistaken for death-panel bureaucrats bent on exterminating anyone who isn't an illegal alien or a Kenyan anti-colonialist.
The world is changing all around the Tea Party. The country is becoming more black and more Hispanic by the day. The economy is becoming more and more complex, access to capital for ordinary individuals more and more remote, the ability to live simply and own a business without worrying about Chinese labor or the depreciating dollar vanished more or less for good. They want to pick up their ball and go home, but they can't; thus, the difficulties and the rancor with those of us who are resigned to life on this planet.
Of course, the fact that we're even sitting here two years after Bush talking about a GOP comeback is a profound testament to two things: One, the American voter's unmatched ability to forget what happened to him 10 seconds ago, and two, the Republican Party's incredible recuperative skill and bureaucratic ingenuity. This is a party that in 2008 was not just beaten but obliterated, with nearly every one of its recognizable leaders reduced to historical-footnote status and pinned with blame for some ghastly political catastrophe. There were literally no healthy bodies left on the bench, but the Republicans managed to get back in the game anyway by plucking an assortment of nativist freaks, village idiots and Internet Hitlers out of thin air and training them into a giant ball of incoherent resentment just in time for the 2010 midterms. They returned to prominence by outdoing Barack Obama at his own game: turning out masses of energized and disciplined supporters on the streets and overwhelming the ballot box with sheer enthusiasm.
The bad news is that the Tea Party's political outrage is being appropriated, with thanks, by the Goldmans and the BPs of the world. The good news, if you want to look at it that way, is that those interests mostly have us by the balls anyway, no matter who wins on Election Day. That's the reality; the rest of this is just noise. It's just that it's a lot of noise, and there's no telling when it's ever going to end.
Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams hot on its trail, al-Qaeda has, in recent weeks, according to the AP report, put out three messages, including the one featuring bin Laden, concerning the massive floods that affected around 20 million people in Pakistan, â€œsignaling a concentrated campaign by the terror group to tap into anger over the flooding to rally support.â€
APâ€™s sole source for the 11-minute tape, with the oddly contemplative title â€œReflections on the Method of Relief Work,â€ is SITE Intelligence Group. The U.S.-based group, which purportedly â€œmonitors jihadi forums,â€ provided AP with a copy of the message that it claims was posted on unnamed â€œIslamic militant websites.â€
Christopher King detects a whiff of corruption linking the death of Iraq war whistleblower Dr David Kelly, the relationship between the former director of the now-bankrupt company Polly Peck and the takeover of the UKâ€™s Midland Bank by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC.
Youâ€™ve heard of the â€œbroken tail-light effectâ€? The police pull a driver over to tell him his tail-light isnâ€™t working and find that heâ€™s top of their wanted list with his car stuffed full of drugs, guns and blank credit cards. I understand that it often happens.
There is widespread doubt that the death of weapons inspector Dr David Kelly was suicide as officially claimed. It was <http://tinyurl.com/2g4sd3s> announced on 24 September that the government is allowing independent investigators to see the medical evidence relating to his death. This is very welcome and a step toward clearing up this long-running controversy but there is still delay, the government citing legalities.
â€œIn searching for the latest developments in this case I came across a wildly improbable conspiracy theory on Dr David Kellyâ€™s death which to my amazement led to two real conspiracies.â€
In searching for the latest developments in this case I came across a wildly improbable conspiracy theory on Dr David Kellyâ€™s death which to my amazement led to two real conspiracies. With two out of three apparently true, what is one to think about the unproven but improbable one? I honestly donâ€™t know but it surely makes it worth investigating. Here are the three highly topical stories:
Dr David Kelly
Under the Thatcher government Dr Kelly was (the <http://tinyurl.com/37jduyo> story goes) the scientific representative accompanying young David Cameron on an excursion to South Africa at the end of the Botha apartheid regime around 1994. The South Africans had nine nuclear bombs that they had developed with Israelâ€™s help and no-one wanted black Africans to get their hands on them. The Americans bought six; the British bought three. The Americans took theirs but the British bombs went to Oman from where they vanished.
As a substitute for the bombs appearing in the UK, GBP 17.8 million appeared as Conservative Party donations. Rich Conservative supporters are said to have financed a scam for buying the weapons and recovering their money from taxpayer funds. Dr Kelly knew of this and when he fell foul of the government it was feared that he would talk or his book would contain details of this conspiracy, so he was murdered by or on the instigation of British intelligence agencies.
This seemed to be one of the most absurd stories ever concocted but it had a reference to Hansard (the official record of proceedings in the British Parliament). I looked it up and there were, indeed, parliamentary discussions about a mysterious donation of GBP 17.8 million to the Conservatives on this <http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199293/cmhansrd/1993-06-22/Debate-4.html> web page, from Column 198:
No further information on the GBP 17.8 million was given, so of course it could have come from anywhere. We must therefore leave it aside for a moment. A little further down, however there were references to two other stories.
It appears, therefore, that HSBC took over the Midland Bank by corrupt means. At the present time, HSBC is threatening to withdraw its headquarters from London and return to China. It dislikes the present proposals for legislation to keep depositorsâ€™ money safe, prevent banks gambling with depositorsâ€™ money and to enforce stricter reserve asset ratios, all to prevent another banking crash.
Let them go. Let China have HSBC. Let all their directors and top executives go too. Like Mr Nadir they do not deserve to enjoy living in London and the UK. Let them extort their obscene bonuses from the Chinese â€" or attempt to. I suspect that if they had behaved in Shanghai as they have in London they would have been shot rather than being cosseted by the Brown government â€" and so far by this present government. I cannot find the thought disagreeable.
A more civilized approach would be to strip this disgraceful bank of its corrupt gains â€" the Midland Bank assets or their equivalent. An inquiry certainly needs to be held about the means by which the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank became HSBC and acquired the Midland. This was, incidentally, my own bank and no-one asked me if I wanted my account to be taken over by a foreign corporation. In the event I have found HSBC to be not merely unhelpful but a coven of liars and its directors totally without honour.
A year ago I wrote in complaint about the management of my account to the chairman of the HSBC Board at that time, Stephen K. Green, as well as all the senior directors and the chief executive, having gone up the management hierarchy. I received no reply from Green or the directors who allowed the lies and deceptions of their senior managers to stand. These people want the publicâ€™s money and they do not care how they get it. The banks in their present form are a curse upon the country.
It was therefore with dismay and alarm that I saw that Stephen K. Green has resigned from HSBC to take up the post of minister for trade and investment. What a coup for the bankers! One of their own a minister in the heart of government! For all the talk of change, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are Obamaâ€™s and Americaâ€™s running dogs in the footsteps of Anthony Blair and Gordon Brown. They are continuing to order British soldiers to die in Afghanistan in course of murdering Afghans in their own country. They will doubtless emulate their master in banking change as well. American progressives are still patiently waiting for Obamaâ€™s change and they will wait their lives out.
The facts are that the Conservative Party has been taking secret bribes as donations from foreign nationals as well as from UK nationals. A good list is provided in the Hansard record referred to. This is not all, however. The police inquiry into the Blair government â€œcash for honoursâ€ allegations revealed that all three main political parties had been taking secret bribes, now in the guise of â€œloansâ€. The origins of all these loans was not revealed at that time and Blair was found to be blameless. None of the political parties could afford to let the public know the origins of these funds.
â€œ...Dr David Kelly, a man of impeccable character, is dead through the machinations of the bought-and-paid-for Blair government and the vicious, useless government bureaucracy.â€
In the cases of the HSBC takeover of the Midland Bank and Asil Nadirâ€™s return to the UK we see the subversion of law, the costs to UK investors and the UK economy as a result of political corruption
Another fact is that Dr David Kelly, a man of impeccable character, is dead through the machinations of the bought-and-paid-for Blair government and the vicious, useless government bureaucracy.
It is curious that in following up Dr Kellyâ€™s case one should find oneself reading of profound political corruption on the same page as events in which he was allegedly involved. The cases of HSBC and Asil Nadir from 17 years ago are current with the pressures to investigate Dr Kellyâ€™s death. One has the sense of movement beneath our direct observation. Government delay and obfuscation indicates that Dr Kellyâ€™s death is much more than a simple suicide.
We know our politicians. We saw into their hearts in the Iraq war debate and vote. We saw their personal motivations in the inquiry into their expenses. What moves our politicians is not the best interests of the country. It is money and their own interests. The political parties are bereft of members through public disgust and disillusionment. The result is that the nation is being moved by secret donors. It is bad enough if these donors are UK citizens using bribery in their own interests. When they are foreign nationals using bribery to take over major institutions such as the Midland Bank, the economic security of the state is involved.
One immediately wonders whether the takeover of Cadburys by Kraft, a US company without capital, a 5 billion dollar hole in its pension fund and failing profits, on 100 per cent borrowed money was based on similar bribery. Even from what we know, that was predatory capitalism at its worst. The HSBC case is nothing less than corrupt collusion with a foreign company and government.
Just as MPsâ€™ expenses were investigated, we need to know from whom all large past political loans and donations have come. We need to know, in this time of economic crisis, exactly who our politicians and political parties are. It is obvious that the present secrecy in these matters is unacceptable. It seems unlikely that the GBP 17.8 million donation came from the sale of nuclear weapons but from whom did it come? If such allegations about bribery, missing nuclear weapons and murder were made against an individual both the police and security services would investigate immediately and forcefully, guns drawn. Who are political parties to be above the law and investigation?
The corruptly acquired Midland Bank assets or their equivalent should be stripped from HSBC and converted to mutuals (owned by customers), together with those banks or proportions of banks in which taxpayers hold controlling or substantial shareholdings. There should be no possibility of demutualization. We will recall that the demutualization of many UK building societies was an orgy of greed by their executives, merchant banks, the City of London and a public that has been corrupted by money-for-nothing. It reduced competition and reinforced the banking bubble.
The banks and some building societies too have until now treated their customers and taxpayers with contempt. All the evidence is that this will continue. When Barack Obama appointed Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state it was obvious what his foreign policy would be. Similarly, David Cameronâ€™s appointment of the unelected minister Stephen K. Green from HSBC tells us what the governmentâ€™s policy toward the banks will be. If UK taxpayers and citizens want their banks to be safe and honest they will have to force it on this government.
Tragically, we also have Dr Kelly to consider. The government has something to hide and is talking but still not acting in releasing the Kelly papers, much less taking up the inquest that it cut short. There is no reason why the doctors who have requested sight of the Kelly postmortem papers should not see them immediately. The government cries legal difficulties on this simple matter. No legalities prevented Anthony Blair when he smelled the money and our politicians from voting for the Iraq war, from killing hundreds of our soldiers and untold numbers of Iraqis. Nor do the niceties of legality prevent our soldiersâ€™ deaths in the war of aggression in Afghanistan.
The answer to my original question about HSBC, Asil Nadir and Dr David Kelly should now be clear. The link is political corruption and allegations about them appear on the same page of Hansard. Political corruption is destroying the nation.
Paul J. Balles reviews the uproar created among American Zionists following an article in Time magazine analysing the results of a poll which showed that most Israelis donâ€™t care about peace. He argues that Israelâ€™s apologists and stooges have been lying and brainwashing others for so long they believe in their own propaganda.
When Time magazine carried an article on " <http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2015602,00.html> Why Israel doesnâ€™t care about peace", a whole coterie of American Zionist supporters reacted as if Time had become anti-Semitic.
For any writer to cast the slightest aspersion on Israel's claim to wish for peace is tantamount to alleging that there never was a Sermon on the Mount.
Author of the Time article, Karl Vick, writes: "Asked in a March poll to name the â€˜most urgent problemâ€™ facing Israel, just 8 per cent of Israeli Jews cited the conflict with Palestinians, putting it fifth behind education, crime, national security and poverty."
"Asked ... to name the â€˜most urgent problemâ€™ facing Israel, just 8 per cent of Israeli Jews cited the conflict with Palestinians... Israeli Arabs placed peace first, but among Jews here, the issue that President Obama calls â€˜critical for the worldâ€™ just doesn't seem â€" critical."
Karl Vick, Time magazine
Referring to the same poll, Vick adds: "Israeli Arabs placed peace first, but among Jews here, the issue that President Obama calls "critical for the world" just doesn't seem â€" critical."
Time's cover and story on life in Israel prompted more than 1,000 letters, mostly in protest. Several of those letters allege the usual canard that the article is anti-Semitic.
They berated Vick for lacking reliable support for his claim. However, they ignored a journalist with impeccable credentials who writes for the influential daily journal Haâ€™aretz.
"The good life in Israel is real, while all the rest is somehow blurred,â€ says Ari Shavit who writes a regular column for Haâ€™aretz.
Here are some of the ludicrous, though typical, comments made by readers:
"So Time magazine is really sucking up to their Arab bosses. Without those petro dollars, Timewould have folded years ago. We Jews have a long memory and will get even in the future."
A typical anti-Arab writer says: "'Never Again' only applies to the Jews. Not the goy [gentile] vermin. How much are you getting paid to post here, Arab?"
The type of comment by those who believe that Israel can do no wrong goes like this:
"This story and the cover graphic are worthy of a supermarket tabloid. Time has lowered its standards by using provocative and misleading graphics on its cover, and stooped even further by publishing an article better suited to a blog than a news magazine."
If they find nothing else wrong, they complain about the timing: â€œThis is disgusting! On one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar Rosh Hashanah, I am greeted by an inexcusable cover story byTime magazine."
One commentator simply said, without support: "What an unfounded article !!!!"
If a publication doesn't say what you want it to say, cancel your subscription. You may have to explain how you happened to read the offending article. This one doesn't:
"Hurrah for all of those who were nauseated by this latest piece of crass and untrue journalism byTime magazine. I cancelled my subscription long ago and can only recommend that, if you are interested in what is going on in the Middle East, Time is not the place to find out."
Here's the gold-medal winner. "Wow! What's next? An update to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?"
Calling â€œthe article and its arguments wrong, inappropriate and offensiveâ€, Anti-Defamation League Director Abe Foxman repeated the age-old propaganda line about Israel's desire for peace:
"Ignored is the decades-long yearning of Israelis for peace and the tremendous efforts successive Israeli governments have made in pursuit of reconciliation."
Both the Israelis and the American Zionists have been lying and brainwashing others for so long they believe the propaganda themselves.
If there's any sincerity in the minds of those who say that Israel wants peace, they need to stop believing that Israel can do no wrong.
Israel needs to stop being a propaganda machine refusing to accept criticism and failing to indulge in self-criticism.
Jonathan Cook considers the forces ranged against a just peace for the Palestinians, arguing that these forces include not just the squatters that inhabit the ever-expanding colonies in the West bank, but also many Israeli Jews living within Israel's recognized borders and retired senior army officers who profit from the burgeoning â€œhomeland securityâ€ and â€œdefenceâ€ industries.
With the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank on 27 September, Israelâ€™s powerful settler movement hopes that it has scuttled peace talks with the Palestinians.
It would be misleading, however, to assume that the only major obstacle to the success of the negotiations is the right-wing political ideology the settler movement represents. Equally important are deeply entrenched economic interests shared across Israeli society.
These interests took root more than six decades ago with Israelâ€™s establishment and have flourished at an ever-accelerating pace since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the 1967 war.
â€œâ€¦many Israeli Jews living within the recognized borders of Israel privately acknowledge that they are the beneficiaries of the seizure of another peopleâ€™s lands, homes, businesses and bank accounts in 1948. Most Israelis profit directly from the continuing dispossession of millions of Palestinian refugees.â€
Even many Israeli Jews living within the recognized borders of Israel privately acknowledge that they are the beneficiaries of the seizure of another peopleâ€™s lands, homes, businesses and bank accounts in 1948. Most Israelis profit directly from the continuing dispossession of millions of Palestinian refugees.
Israeli officials assume that the international community will bear the burden of restitution for the refugees. The problem for Israelâ€™s Jewish population is that the refugees now living in exile were not the only ones dispossessed.
The fifth of Israelâ€™s citizens who are Palestinian but survived the expulsions of 1948 found themselves either transformed into internally displaced people or the victims of a later land-nationalization programme that stripped them of their ancestral property.
Even if Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, signed away the rights of the refugees, he would have no power to do the same for Israelâ€™s Palestinian citizens, the so-called Israeli Arabs. Peace, as many Israelis understand, would open a Pandoraâ€™s box of historic land claims from Palestinian citizens at the expense of Israelâ€™s Jewish citizens.
But the threat to the economic privileges of Israeli Jews would not end with a reckoning over the injustices caused by the stateâ€™s creation. The occupation of the Palestinian territories after 1967 spawned many other powerful economic interests opposed to peace
Anyone familiar with the â€œspecialâ€ if not strange relationship between the US and Israel would be shocked with this title, but it is true. Israel and its Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and his foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman could not have better friends these days than Mahmud Abbas, Saeb Erekat, Yasser Abed Rabbo, Nabil Abu-Rudeina and the Palestinian negotiating team. Forget about Washington, it is Ramallah that counts these days and for good reasons.
Recently Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiating team made the issue of â€œsettlementsâ€ and Israeli Squatters a big issue, a make or break issue for starting and continued direct negotiations when in fact the Ramallah leadership negotiated with Ehud Olmert for years when he was doing the same thing Bibi Netanyahu is doing now, building and expanding settlements.
The continued construction and expansions of settlements did not stop the ongoing negotiations involving Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat, Yasser Abed Rabbo, Ahmed Qurai and Nabil Abu-Rudeina. In fact, even the Israel vicious criminal war on Gaza and the destruction of some 35,000 homes, schools and hospitals and the cold-blooded murder of 1,500 did not stop Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiating team from continued negotiations with the Israeli criminal team.
President Barack Obama, desperate to have a breakthrough and at the suggestion of his American Jewish Middle East policy team, is doing all he can to keep the direct negotiations going and is putting himself and America at the mercy of a blackmailing Bibi Netanyahu who knows well how to squeeze and fleece the US out of money, weapons, political and legal leverage. Thanks to Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiation team Bibi Netanyahu is getting what he wants for simply agreeing to extend for two months the â€œfreezeâ€ which in actuality and reality was never a true freeze but a slow down. Knowing Bibi, he will redouble the efforts to make up for lost time and the process of blackmailing America will start all over again.
In exchange for this two-month freeze, Israel is getting a couple of billion dollars of military aid package and other security guarantees. It is getting the US support for Israel to place permanently its troops on the border with Jordan and in the Jordan Valley, it is getting the US guarantees for the use its â€œVetoâ€ power to make sure the Palestinians will not go the UN or the Security Council and seek redress or bring the issue of settlements, declaration of a state, issue of borders, refugees, Jerusalem or any of the major issues that Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiating team declare so often as the â€œFinal Status Issuesâ€.
We know Israel is getting all of this from the US for simply agreeing to a two-month freeze. The question that must be raised what Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians are getting in return? Nothing absolutely nothing, other than having the honor and privilege of meeting face to face with Bibi Netanyahu.
Mahmoud Abbas is not getting one single security checkpoint removed, is not getting one single kidnapped and imprisoned Palestinian released and out of jail, is not getting any guarantees to get Israel to stop house demolition â€" even one single house â€" or the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, not getting any guarantees that the Palestinians of Sheik Jarrah will not be evicted and exiled from their homes.
I am sure the Palestinian people would like to hear from Mahmoud Abbas and his top and lead negotiator Saeb Erekat what the Palestinians are getting in return for going back to the table. If the answer is a promise from the US for a two state solution we heard that before. If there is a promise to end the Occupation, we know the US is not in a position to stop Israel from building houses, how can the US have the power of the authority to get mighty Israel to abandon the West Bank, promises the US is incapable of keeping and could never keep. Even if Barack Obama gives such a promise be sure the US Congress will make sure that such a promise from the US is not worth the paper it is written on.
So here we are, after 18 years of â€œlife is a negotiationâ€ we find that Mahmoud Abbas and his team is doing for Israel and Bibi Netanyahu what the US could not on its own do. For making the issue of settlements and its freeze as a precondition for continued direct negotiations, Mr. Abbas and Dr. Saeb unknowingly for sure are handing Bib Netanyhu a windfall, a bonanza and the chance to squeeze the US, Europe and the Arabs and get what he wants. I wonder what will Bibi Netanyahu ask from and will get from the US for another 3 or 4 months extensions. Perhaps a demand from all the Arab countries to open embassies not in Tel-Aviv but in Jerusalem. Thanks to Ramallah all this is made possible, but only for a â€œfreezeâ€. I wonder what Ramallah will get for Bibi and Israel for removal of one "caravanâ€.
June 11, 2001 NA (Network America)
More on the McVeigh / Oklahoma Cover-up
Eichmann spoke Yiddish, visited Palestine numerous times during the 1930s, called himself a Zionist according toã€€several participants in that era, and was instrumental in setting up training camps in various parts of Europe for the Israeli commandos and â€œfreedom fightersâ€ who would be used in the brutal invasion and takeover of Palestineã€€in 1948. Hennecke Kardel, author of â€œAdolph Hitler: Founder of Modern Israelâ€, himself said to be an Austrian Jew by at least some authors, insists that Eichmann was himself Jewish.
BECAUSE OF HITLER, BIBICAL PROPHECY IN AMOS WAS FULFILLED. WITHOUT HITLER, NATION OF ISRAEL NEVER EXISTS.
â–²The ruins of Israel would be rebuiltã€€Bible passage: Amos 9:11, 13
Prophet: Amosã€€Written: about 750 BCã€€Fulfilled: late 1900s
Amos 9:11, 13, the prophet said that God would restore the land of David. King David ruled Israel from about 1010 BC to about 970 BC. During that time, Israel was a united and sovereign nation. Afterwards, the land was divided into two kingdoms and later conquered by a succession of world powers.
During the past two centuries, however, many Jews have returned from exile and have rebuilt and reconditioned much of the land of Israel. The soil is again productive, producing food exports for many countries. And the nation is again sovereign and united.
WAS THERE REALLY A HOLOCAUST ?
By Dr. Edward.R. Fields
"Since the Second World War, Jews have been treated with silk gloves. Without Auschwitz, there would be no Israel."
- by Nathan Goldmann, the Founder of Israel as quoted from Paris Match, December 29, 1979
The "Holocaust" has given Israel a tremendous psychological advantage over the Gentile world, particularly America and Germany. By exploiting the guilt complex instilled in non-Jews, they have obtained:
Over $65 billion in aid from Germany.
Over $55 billion in aid from America. Israel, a prosperous country, receives $3.2 billion, (or $8 million a day) in foreign aid - more than any other country.
The 45,000 Jewish immigrants from Russia have the highest annual quota after Mexico. They enter as "refugees" without having to prove persecution! As "refugees" they are automatically entitled to full welfare benefits not subject to welfare reform cuts.
Nonstop holocaust brainwashing in schools, TV, movies and books has placed Israel and organized Jewry above criticism! How Many Jews Actually Died?
The World Almanac for 1947, in quoting figures supplies by the American Jewish Committee states that the world Jewish population in 1939 was 15,688,259. The New York Times of February 22, 1948, stated that the world Jewish population ranged from 15,600,000 to 18,700,000, excluding some 600,000 to 700,000 living in Palestine. How could the Jewish population have increased so rapidly after losing six million during World War II? Walter Sanning, the author of Dissolution of European Jewry, says that no less than 2,200,000 Jews had emigrated out of Europe leaving 2,847,000 Jews residing there at the height of the German occupation in June 1941. After the war, 3,375,000 Jews, according to the Red Cross, applied for holocaust reparations. This figure included many of the emigrants. Thus, the actual number of those who died at the camps from all causes ranges between 150,000 and 300,000.
World Famous French Professor Says From All His Research Nazi Homicidal Gas Chambers Did Not Exist
Dr. Robert Faurisson
Robert Faurisson is Europe's leading Holocaust revisionist scholar. He was educated at the Paris Sorbonne, and served as associate professor at the University of Lyon in France from 1974 until 1990. He is a recognized specialist of text and document analysis. After years of private research and study, Dr. Faurisson first made public his skeptical views about the Holocaust extermination story in articles published in 1978 in the French daily Le Monde. His writings on the Holocaust issue have appeared in two books and numerous scholarly articles, many of which have been published in the IHR's Journal of Historical Review.
From Dust Jacket Piece (May 2004)
Dr. Robert Faurisson has concluded from his research that the alleged Hitlerite gas chambers and the alleged genocide of the Jews form one and the same historical lie, which has made possible a gigantic political-financial swindle whose main beneficiaries are the State of Israel and international Zionism and whose main victims are the German people - but not their leaders - and the Palestinian people in their entirety.
He has demonstrated that, for physical and chemical reasons, the alleged Hitlerite gas chambers could not have existed. He has emphasised that the Germans had wanted not to exterminate the Jews but to expel them from Europe towards a Jewish national home elsewhere than in Palestine; that was what they called "the final solution to the Jewish question" (die territoriale EndlÃ¶sung der Judenfrage).
Many European Jews, civilians or soldiers, died as a result of wartime actions and notably in the typhus epidemics, but many Jews survived and, in their millions, dispersed throughout the world, going so far as to create and people a new State, that of Israel.
Recently R. Faurisson has written that Adolf Hitler's weapons of mass destruction (gas chambers and gas vans) existed no more at that time than do those of Saddam Hussein today. The first lie received official endorsement in November 1944 from an agency called the War Refugee Board, created by president Roosevelt at the instigation of Henry Morgenthau, Junior. The second lie was launched by another Washington agency, the Office of Special Plans, which president Bush Junior created in 2002 at the instigation of Paul Wolfowitz. The world is witness, at nearly sixty years' distance, to the same type of lie and the same type of liars.
Born in 1929 of a French father and a Scottish mother, R. Faurisson holds the agrÃ©gation des lettres (highest competitive examination) and a doctorate in "literature and the social sciences". He was professor at the University of Lyon-II where, in particular, he taught the "criticism of texts and documents (literature, history, media)". Divested of his chair by an unexplained ministerial ruling, he has suffered numerous physical assaults and incurred many convictions in the French courts for disputing the myth of the "Holocaust". He has published seven works: three of literary revisionism and four of historical revisionism. His four volumes of Ã‰crits rÃ©visionnistes (1974-1998) bring together in more than two thousand pages articles, studies and critical revisions of texts in which the upholders of an official history, increasingly religious and repressive in character, are seen to yield step by step, on the plane of reason, before the arguments and discoveries of historical revisionism initiated, in France, by Paul Rassinier, author of Le Mensonge d'Ulysse (1950).
**** Foreword (May 2004)
The first edition of the present work dates from March 1999. I was indebted for its production to Serge Thion and his lady friend, who had been willing to compile, with a view to publication, articles and studies which, in addition to some books or other revisionist writings, I had drafted between 1974 and 1998. The present edition reproduces the contents of the first but not without abundant corrections of detail. I owe this revised and corrected edition to Jean Plantin and, especially, to Yvonne Schleiter. The index of names has been reworked. In the absence of an index of subjects, there is a "reader's guide" which I owe to Jean-Marie Boisdefeu. This second edition was supposed to appear in 2001 but we have until now been constantly forced to postpone it. I had promised in addition to these four volumes a volume of illustrations; I regret not being able to keep that promise all the more as my work, essentially concrete, would have benefited from the accompaniment of documents and photographs of which, moreover, I possess a great number.
On 2 February of this year, I devoted an article to my "Sombre Appraisal of Historical Revisionism". Since that date, the situation has worsened. The conference that was to have assembled more than two hundred sympathisers of the revisionist cause on the 24th and 25th of April in Sacramento, the capital of California, was cancelled and, in Toronto, the worst is to be feared for Ernst ZÃ¼ndel, who has been kept languishing for fifteen months in solitary confinement without charge. His cruel detention has recently been endorsed by a superior court in its refusal to issue a writ of habeas corpus.
Today, those active in revisionist research or diffusion are very few. We may cite mainly Walter Mueller, Ingrid Rimland, Germar Rudolf (helped by his friend JÃ¼rgen Graf in Russia), Michael Santomauro and Bradley Smith in the United States, Heinz Koppe in Canada, Fredrick Toben in Australia, Carlo Mattogno in Italy, Jean Plantin in France, Vincent Reynouard in Belgium, Ahmed Rami and Serge Thion on the Internet.
On the scientific plane, revisionism has achieved total victory. It no longer has a single adversary. The Hilbergs, the Vidal-Naquets, the Klarsfelds, the Berenbaums, the Deborah Lipstadts and one van Pelt, happy with repeating as his own the flimsy arguments of one Jean-Claude Pressac, have been reduced to nothing. The revisionists find themselves opposed only by Spielberg-style films, Yad Vashem ceremonies, Disneyland-inspired museums, pilgrimages to Auschwitz, continuous media ballyhoo, brainwashing at school and at university and, finally, a State propaganda buttressed by legislative repression. Our foes have bowed to our strength in the field but practically no one knows it, for the losers, what with their power in the mass media and their virtuoso bluffing, go on blowing their trumpets or shofars as if they had won the battle.
Their historians claimed that Hitler had carried out a policy of extermination against the Jews, notably using weapons of mass destruction called execution gas chambers or gas vans. Besides, they assured us that, on the Eastern front, the Einsatzgruppen had indulged in gigantic massacres of Jews. In sum, they would have us believe that nearly the entire community of Jews in Europe had thus been exterminated.
Such a vast crime would have presupposed an order from on high, a project, a plan, overall directives, comprehensive instructions, financing, checks of operations and expenditures, a multitude of specific or general assessments, research into and development of weapons the like of which humanity had never known, along with the involvement of large numbers of military men, scientists, engineers, labourers and employees. An undertaking of the sort, especially if conducted in tightest secrecy, would also have called for an array of draconian measures. The whole project would have left numerous pieces of irrefutable evidence, both material and documentary.
At first, the official historians had the nerve to assert that such evidence indeed existed, and "in abundance". But to the challenge to produce "one bit of proof, just one" of their choosing, they beat a retreat and since then, following the example of J.-C. Pressac, have invoked only the existence of "criminal traces" or "beginnings of proof". Pursuing their withdrawal still further, they have invented an account telling that the great massacre happened without an order, without a directive, spontaneously (like "spontaneous generation", in a way). The most prestigious of them, Raul Hilberg, falling back from his original affirmation that there had been two orders from the FÃ¼hrer to kill the Jews, has been reduced to maintaining that in fact it all came about without an order, without a plan, and only thanks to "an incredible meeting of minds" within the vast German bureaucracy, and by "a consensus mind-reading" amongst Nazi bureaucrats!
No one has been able to find any premises that might have been a genuine execution gas chamber. Nor a single execution gas van. In respect to the greatest crime in the world the accusation cannot provide any forensic study of the crime weapon. Amongst the post-mortems there is not one that establishes gassing as the cause of death. Those alleged witnesses to "gassings" who have been put under precise cross-examination in public court proceedings have been unmasked. The "execution gas chambers" shown to tourists have revealed themselves to be Potemkin village contrivances. The massacres imputed to the Einsatzgruppen have left behind no common burial sites approaching the mass graves of the Katyn forest slaughter (4,255 corpses counted), an acknowledged crime whose perpetrators were our very own Soviet allies.
On the other hand, there is no lack of facts to prove that the 3rd Reich never had a policy of physical extermination of the Jews. Even on the Eastern front, the killing of an innocent Jewish civilian was punishable by heavy sanctions, including the death penalty. Those soldiers who engaged in any form of excess with regard to Jews were liable to sentence by a German court martial. There are countless examples of measures taken, even in the camps, for the protection of the Jews against the excesses inherent to all forms of detention, as well as against the ravages caused by the epidemics.
The Germans had an obsessive fear of disorder, of contagion, of the loss of manpower; even at Auschwitz there were training centres for young Jews to learn various manual trades.
Millions of Jews survived the war, in spite of the great carnage throughout Europe at the time, and in spite of the apocalypse of a Germany pulverised by the Allied bombardments. Calling themselves "survivors" or "miraculous escapees", many still today make up the membership of organisations craving financial reparations. Now, fifty-nine years after the war, the number of these "survivors" has recently been estimated at 687,900 (the figure given by New York based demographer Jacob Ukeles, cited in the article by Amiran Barkat "US Court to discuss question of who is a Holocaust survivor", Haaretz, 18 April 2004).
During the war, Jewish leaders uttered alarming words about an extermination of the Jews, but their conduct showed that they did not really believe in it. The Allied governments saw that they were dealing with "Jews trying to stoke us up". And then, the "brown Jews" of the "international Jewish collaboration" were not wanting. Zionists and National-Socialists shared, to a certain degree, a particular worldview; hence, in 1941, the Stern Group's offer of military collaboration with Germany against the British. As late as 21 April 1945 a member of the World Jewish Congress, Norbert Masur, was received by Himmler to discuss the matter of Jews to be delivered to the Allies.
The Germans sought to expel the Jews from Europe, if possible with the accord of the rest of the world. They had in mind a "territorial final solution of the Jewish question" ("eine territoriale EndlÃ¶sung der Judenfrage", as written in a foreign ministry memorandum of 21 August 1942 bearing the signature of an official called Martin Luther).
In France on 6 March 2004, during Thierry Ardisson's television discussion programme "Tout le monde en parle" ("Everyone's talking about it"), admiral Philippe de Gaulle was heard to state, regarding the Jews: "The Germans wanted, if not to exterminate them, at least to get them out [of Europe]". That reflection, hardly lacking in soundness, met only with silence in the media. Also h idden from the general public is the fact that neither Churchill, nor Eden, nor Roosevelt, nor Truman, nor Eisenhower, nor de Gaulle, nor Stalin ever cared to mention the "gas chambers" or the "gas vans".
Those amongst them who, years after the conflict had ended, wrote their wartime memoirs also persisted in keeping quiet on the subject, as did Pius XII, although he was yet more hostile to Hitler than to Stalin (see Robert Faurisson, Le RÃ©visionnisme de Pie XII, 2003, 120 p.). Adolf Hitler's "weapons of mass destruction", his alleged execution gas chambers and gas vans, existed no more than the "weapons of mass destruction" of Saddam Hussein. In the two instances the lie and the liars have been of identical origin: in 1944, under the aegis of Franklin Roosevelt, the War Refugee Board spawned by Henry Morgenthau Jr and, in 2002, under the aegis of George Bush Jr, the Office of Special Plans spawned by Paul Wolfowitz.
Unhappily, today, intoxicated by holocaustic propaganda, people are not of a mind to call their beliefs into question. The "Shoah" has become a religious superstition inspiring reverence or fear. Conscious both of its own fragility and of the precarious standing of the State of Israel, of which it is the sword and the shield, this religion has erected daunting walls of defence, and harshly suppresses any who seek to stand up to it. In the past, it took courage and sacrifices to be a truly active revisionist; to remain one in future will require the heroism of Antigone and an uncommon self-abnegation.
Professor F. Littell has said: "You can't discuss the truth of the holocaust. That is a distortion of the concept of free speech. The United States should emulate West Germany, which outlaws such exercises."
-- Mind-boggling! Don't you think?
34 - The OMEGA File - HITLER ESCAPED!
I remember hearing, in the 1950s, rumors that Hitler had escaped to a secret Nazi base at the South Pole. In 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower said: "We have been unable to unearth one bit of tangible evidence of Hitler's death. Many people believe that Hitler escaped from Berlin."
When President Truman asked Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam conference in 1945 whether or not Hitler was dead, Stalin replied bluntly, 'No.' Stalin's top army officer, Marshall Gregory Zhukov, whose troops were the ones to occupy Berlin, flatly stated after a long thorough investigation in 1945: "We have found no corpse that could be Hitler's."
The chief of the U.S. trial counsel at Nuremberg, Thomas J. Dodd, said: "No one can say he is dead." Major General Floyd Parks, who was commanding general of the U.S. sector in Berlin, stated for publication that he had been present when Marshall Zhukov described his entrance to Berlin, and Zhukov stated he believed Hitler might have escaped. Lt. Gen. Bedell Smith, Chief of Staff to Gen. Eisenhower in the European invasion and later Director of the CIA, stated publicly on Oct. 12, 1945, "No human being can say conclusively that Hitler is dead."
Col. W.J. Heimlich, former Chief, United States Intelligence, at Berlin, stated for publication that he was in charge of determining what had happened to Hitler and after a thorough investigation his report was: "There was no evidence beyond that of HEARSAY to support the THEORY of Hitler's suicide." He also stated, "On the basis of present evidence, no insurance company in America would pay a claim on Adolph Hitler."
Nuremberg judge Michael Mussmanno said in his book "Ten Days to Die," "Russia must accept much of the blame [to the extent that it still exists] that Hitler did not die in May 1945." However, Mussmanno STATED that he interviewed Hitler's personal waiter, his valet, his chauffeur, his two secretaries, pilots, top generals, etc., and they all 'agreed' perfectly that Hitler committed suicide. He said they could not have gotten together afterward and made up a story that agreed in perfect detail without one flaw anywhere, so they must be telling the truth and he was absolutely convinced that Hitler committed suicide. The story at first sounds convincing, until you realized that they could have memorized a story BEFOREHAND and these were all people who almost WORSHIPPED Hitler. Do witnesses EVER agree "perfectly" in detail in real life?
Former Secretary of State Jimmy Byrnes in his book "Frankly Speaking" [as quoted in the April 1948 "The Cross and The Flag"]: "While in Potsdam at the Conference of the Big Four, Stalin left his chair, came over and clinked his liquor glass with mine in a very friendly manner. I said to him: 'Marshal Stalin, what is your theory about the death of Hitler?' Stalin replied: "He is not dead. He escaped either to <http://www.think-aboutit.com/Omega/files/omega18.htm> Spain or Argentina.'"
I still have the September, 1948, issue of a magazine called "The Plain Truth" with the headline article: "IS HITLER ALIVE, OR DEAD?," subtitled: "Here is summarized the conclusions of an exhaustive three-year investigation -- together with reasons for believing Hitler may be alive and secretly planning the biggest hoax of all history."
Another article in November, 1949, says "The Nazis went underground, May 16, 1943!" and details a meeting at the residence of Krupp von Bohlen-Halbach, the head of I.G. FARBEN, etc., at which they planned "FOR WORLD WAR III."
Another article in August, 1952, entitled "HITLER DID NOT DIE," subtitled "Adolph Hitler's fake suicide in his Berlin Bunker now is exposed as History's greatest hoax! Positive evidence comes to light that Hitler did not die -- here's new evidence that Hitler is alive, directing [the] Nazi underground, today!"
The June, 1952, issue of "The Plain Truth" is headlined: "HITLER 'May Be Alive!'" The article states: "Now, NEW FACTS, or purported facts, leak out. It's reported now that in 1940 the Nazis started to amass tractors, planes, sledges, gliders, and all sorts of machinery and materials IN THE SOUTH POLAR REGIONS -- that for the next 4 years Nazi technicians built, on an almost unknown CONTINENT, Antarctica, the Fuhrer's SHANGRILA -- a new Berchtesgaden."
The report says they scooped out an entire mountain, built a new refuge completely camouflaged -- a magic mountain hide-a-way. The recently discovered continent is larger than Europe -- 5,600 miles from Africa, 1,900 miles from the southern tip of South America, 4,800 miles from Australia.
It is NOT a mere ice-covered surface, but a real continent, with plains, valleys, mountain peaks up to 15,000 feet. The temperature in the interior is around zero (?) in the summer, and never drops below 20 or 30 degrees below in the winter. In other words, it is not as cold as in parts of North Dakota or Canada." (especially underground, where the natural temperature would be in the 50's, even below snow and ice. - Branton)
"Bonjour" magazine, the "Police Gazette," and the Paris newspaper "Le Monde" all had articles about Hitler's South Pole hideaway. Admiral Doenitz, in 1943, stated, "The German submarine fleet has even now established an earthly paradise, an impregnable fortress, for the Fuhrer, in whatever part of the world." Although he did not specify where the exact location was, "Bonjour" pointed out that in 1940 Nazi engineers had begun construction of buildings that were to withstand temperatures to 60 degrees below zero.
There have been strong rumors, from the end of the War, that Hitler escaped to the South Pole. Yet, most people simply REFUSE to believe the evidence, the idea that Hitler survived the war is just unacceptable! It is too upsetting to too many people!
There is plenty of PROOF that the Americans and Russians LIED about what happened to Hitler, and there are strong rumors that he escaped to Antarctica. There is ample proof that a major group of Nazis escaped to Argentina. What do YOU think? Why did Admiral Byrd lead an "invasion to Antarctica," and why the extreme secrecy about the whole situation?
In 1981, Donald McKale wrote "Hitler: The Survival Myth" to try to lay to rest the questions about what happened to Hitler. The flyleaf says: "In this book a distinguished historian examines the postwar world's most absorbing and persistent mystery, revealing why it has endured and where the mystery leads" [emphasis mine]. The back flyleaf says "Absolute certainty about what happened still eludes us today."
Just recently on TV there are STILL programs telling "at last, the final, once and for all, this is the real story" about what happened to Hitler, yet they all do not really answer the question. A recent TV program, called "What Really Happened to Adolph Hitler," after investigating numerous stories, ends by saying that, in spite of Glasnost and the new freedom of access to Russian files, the files on Hitler are still some of the most highly classified items of the Soviets.
The "Diario Illustrado" of Santiago, Chile, January 18, 1948 issue, said: "On 30th of April, 1945, Berlin was in dissolution but little of that dissolution was evident at Templehof Airfield. At 4:15 p.m. a JU52 landed and S.S. troops directly from Rechlin for the defense of Berlin disembarked, all of them young, not older than 18 years.
"The gunner in the particular plane was an engineer by the name of B... whom I had known for a number of years and for whom I had endeavored to get exemption from military service. He sought to tank up and leave Berlin as quickly as possible. During this re-fueling interval Mr. B... was suddenly elbowed in the ribs by his radio operator with a nod to look in a certain direction.
"At about 100-120 meters he saw a sleek Messerschmitt Jet Model 332 [an editorial comment says this should be an ARADO 234]. Mr. B.. and the radio operator saw, and WITHOUT ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER, standing in front of the jet, their Commander in Chief, Adolf Hitler, dressed in field-grey uniform and gesticulating animatedly with some Party functionaries, who were obviously seeing him off.
"For about ten minutes whilst their plane was being refueled the two men observed this scene and around 4:30 p.m. they took to the air again. They were extremely astonished to hear during the midnight military news bulletin, some seven and a half hours later, that Hitler had committed suicide."
On a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program called "As It Happens," September 17th, 1974 at 7:15 p.m., a Prof. Dr. Ryder Saguenay, oral surgeon from the Dental Faculty of the University of California at Los Angeles, said that Hitler had ordered a special plane to leave from Berlin with all medical and dental records, especially X-rays, of all top Nazis for an unknown <http://www.think-aboutit.com/Omega/files/omega18.htm> destination. He said that the dental records used to identify Hitler's body were drawn from MEMORY by a dental assistant, WHO disappeared and was never found.
An editorial in "Zig Zag," Santiago, Chile, January 16, 1948, STATES that on April 30th, 1945, Flight Captain Peter Baumgart took Adolf Hitler, his wife Eva Braun, as well as a few loyal friends by plane from Tempelhof Airport to Tondern in Denmark [still German controlled]. From Tondern, they took another plane to Kristiansund in <http://www.think-aboutit.com/Omega/files/omega18.htm> Norway [also German controlled]. From there they joined a SUBMARINE convoy. ["U.F.O. Letzte Geheimwaffe des III Reiches," Mattern, pp. 50-51.]
The Jewish writer Michael Bar-Zohar in "The Avengers," p. 99, said: "In 1943 Admiral Doenitz had declared: 'The German U-boat fleet is proud to have made an earthly paradise, an impregnable fortress for the Fuhrer, somewhere in the world.' He did not say in what part of the world it existed, but fairly obviously it was in South America."
The German writer Mattern said that Admiral Doenitz told a graduating class of naval cadets in Kiel in 1944: "The German Navy has still a great role to play in the future. The German Navy knows all hiding places for the Navy to take the Fuhrer to, should the need arise. There he can prepare his last measures in complete quiet."
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