Sunday, September 03, 2006

Weapons of Mass Distraction Found in Iran

(I drafted this a few weeks ago, saving it for a time like now when I wouldn't have time to write anything new and/or interesting)


While Iran's role in the international community is ambiguous, the country has taken a huge step forward in the blogging community. Yes, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a blog. He's no Scott Feschuk, but I did browse through his archives and found some rather interesting posts of his, which I've transcribed below:


July 14, 2006: I spent the day touring a pistachio factory where we are not secretly developing nuclear weapons. I was very pleased to only see delicious pistachio nuts and NOT uranium in this factory.

July 17, 2006: Got in a fight with the wife tonight. I wanted to stay in and rent Lethal Weapon but she was adamant that we watch What Women Want. Eventually we decided on the wacky hijinx of Maverick.

July 25, 2006: I have been offered an interview with Liberal leadership hopeful Stephane Dion! I'm not really sure what country he's from or who he is, but I'm very excited about this as I imagine this is an honour reserved for a select few bloggers. Please e-mail me any questions you think I should ask him.

July 28, 2006: Well that sucks. With "The One" cancelled, how am I going to spend my Tuesday evenings?

August 1, 2006: Just a reminder that everyone has until Tuesday to vote in my "Greatest Satan" contest, with number 2 seed Israel, holding their own against top seeded USA.

August 5, 2006: Still trying to pick out a birthday present for Kim Jong-il. But what do you get for the fellow Axis of Evil member who has everything? Any ideas?

August 6, 2006: I have joined the "Bloggers for Ned Lamont" blogroll.

August 9, 2006: A lot of people have written in saying that my campaign motto from the last election of "Death to Israel" is too vague. As a result, I'll be running under a "results for people" slogan next campaign. Admittedly, this will be results for heterosexual, male, non-Jewish people but that kind of goes without saying.

August 14, 2006: As a blogger, I feel it is my duty to weigh in on the major issues of the day. To say things which might not be popular. So here's my take on the big issue: Yes, I'm not surprised Maurizio dropped out but I just don't understand why he's supporting Bob Rae.

20 Comments:

  • It's a very sad day today. Too many Canadians died today fighting the Taliban, who eliminated Afghanistan's poppy (opium) cultivation, so we can prop up a government that admits its involvement in the opium resurgence...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/afghan_opium_boom

    Ahmadinejad and Bush may yet start WWIII, but one came from far more humble roots. His blog reveals how the West supported a regime that gave rise to his Muslim extremism. Karzai lives well while the majority of Afghans live in poverty. It reminds me of the support Saddam received from the U.S. less than 20 years ago. Even Rumsfeld was there for Saddam back then...

    http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Margolis_Eric/2006/09/02/1797803.html

    Flags across Canada should be lowered everytime one of our brothers or sisters in the military fall. This should be the LEAST acknowledgement that the Canadian government makes to those who have sacrificed their lives.

    MississaugaPeter

    By Blogger Peter, at 3:58 PM  

  • Well Peter, I agree with you about how Canadian Soldiers are now paying in blood for the past stupidity of Foreign Policy from the West, particularly the United States.

    The headlines about Iran defying the United Nations is obscuring the basic facts that Iran faces a nuclear bully in its neigbourhood; Israel. Israel today is the third ranking member of the world's nuclear club, having a nuclear arsenal that exceeds that of France and Britain, and which is second only to the United States itself and Russia.

    Logically, Iran SHOULD in its own self interest avoid nuclear weapons much as Ukraine has done. But given its strategic posture, it really has been goaded into a nuclear weapons policy by the Americans and the Israelis.

    Everyone forgets, that when this thing really heats up, that another nuclear muslim state, Pakistan, is not very far away from a radical revolution in that country, and from there onto a nuclear exchange with Israel. All you would need is a single direct hit on say Tel Aviv, to set off World War III. It would spell the end of civilization on this planet, given the effects of nuclear fallout and a nuclear winter.

    These sorts of conflicts between nuclear powers can only be solved through negotiation and compromise, not by a decisive victory on the battle field.

    In fact, with the power of the media these days, its getting harder to even achieve a conventional victory on the battle field. To wit Lebanon. To wit Iraq.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 4:29 PM  

  • Please note:

    The Taliban are not Al-Qaida. See

    http://library.nps.navy.mil/home/tgp/qaida.htm

    The U.S. attacked Afghanistan because the Taliban Afghanistan government refused to give Osama bin Laden to them. They did not attack Afghanistan because they wanted to implement a democracy or to build schools or to end the discrimination of women.

    The Taliban Afghanistan government were no Good Samaritans, but they were not Al-Qaida. Almost all the 9/11 Al-Qaida terrorists were born in Saudi Arabia or from Saudi Arabia.

    The Taliban Afghanistan government was like the governments of many nations the past seven thousand years and was like the governments of many nations today.

    However, there is a slight difference. After being part of the Afghanistani resistance that defeated the Soviet army, arrogance and probably stupidity caused them to take on the American army when they decided to shield Osama bin Laden.

    MississaugaPeter

    By Blogger Peter, at 4:30 PM  

  • Peter, I think its important not to confuse matters. For starters, the Taliban allowed Al Quada to operate from its territory and organize an attack upon the United States. The US is a member country of NATO, and an attack upon any one NATO member, is an attack upon all members.

    That is the proper cause that we as Canadians have in Afghanistan. Furthermore, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and its withdrawl from Afghanistan, the country spun into a "failed state" status, whose only source of income was from the drug trade. Not withstanding the inept and incompetent leadership from the Bush Administration, the operations in Afghanistan by NATO forces, including American forces, are on firm ground.

    The same cannot be said of the American Invasion and Occupation of Iraq.

    The stupidity in Iraq by the US greatly complicates the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

    Furthermore, however fragile, its important to understand that President Karzai is an ELECTED president of Afghanistan, unlike the Taliban Sheik Omar.

    Now if NATO correctly takes down the Taliban as an "organized criminal gang" by separating them from any political agenda, they will succeed in drying up the new recruits for both the Taliban and Al Quada. There has never been an organized criminal gang that could ever stand up to a military force.

    Its the political component that gives organized criminals, thugs and killers an opportunity for an "insurgency".

    Therein lies the danger.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 5:05 PM  

  • The headlines about Iran defying the United Nations is obscuring the basic facts that Iran faces a nuclear bully in its neigbourhood; Israel.

    How long before someone figures out which Liberal leadership candidate Joe Green is working for? ;)

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 5:26 PM  

  • How did a humourous post turn into the predictable US/Israel bashing so quickly? How many people sit in front of their computers anxiously waiting for any chance to trot out their tired cliches and talking points?

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 5:32 PM  

  • Yes, clearly poor little Iran needs to defend itself from the massive shadow of Israel. That tiny fleaspeck of a country which somehow casts a shadow larger than that of the former USSR. Clearly their president's calls for genocide and ramped up nuclear programs make sense in that situation. Lord, some of you Liberals need to put down the Koolaid and the Noam Chomsky screeds and take a long walk back towards reality.

    Ahmadinejad is crazier than a barrel full of monkeys, the fellow actually wrote a letter to the Chancellor of Germany attempting to convince her that it was a "mythical" holocaust being used to keep Germany down.

    By Blogger Chris, at 6:28 PM  

  • Chris, if you wish to debate, then use facts.

    Here are the facts. After the US and Russia, the third rung of nuclear capability is held by Britain, France and Israel. Israel of course follows a deliberate policy of "ambiguity", but there is little doubt that Israel has a large nuclear capability, both for producing nuclear weapons, and also for delivering them.

    Those are the facts, and its really not all that much of a secret, given some of the dumb things that the Israeli Government has sanctioned, such as spying on the USA for example. That is also a fact where a Jewish American working for the CIA and passing on sensitive secrets to Israel, got a life sentence for spying for the Israelis (Goes by the name of Pollard)

    Now those are the facts. Iran knows about these facts. It knows about some of the Israeli nuclear capability and how they are targeted by Israel and Israel's allies in the US.

    Now, put yourself into the shoes of the Minister of National Defence for Iran, and you tell me what YOU would do to counter the nuclear threat that you face as a sovereign nation state.

    The fact of the matter is that Emperor George II has greatly set back the cause of freedom in Iran by strengthening the hand of the current president, who he covertly supports.

    Amerikan Republikans actually greatly fear a genuinely free and democratic Iran, just like they greatly feared a democratic and free Ukraine.

    Thems the facts. Now deal with it.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 7:52 PM  

  • chris,

    nice to see that good ol' myth being recycled here...The Iranian President never called for a "genocide" on Israel...that was infact a nice mis-quote cycled around the mainstream Western Media...

    Isn't Israel the country that just killed 1000 civilians in a neighbouring country? mmmmm.....

    By Blogger Sean, at 7:57 PM  

  • Chris wrote this.

    "Ahmadinejad is crazier than a barrel full of monkeys, the fellow actually wrote a letter to the Chancellor of Germany attempting to convince her that it was a "mythical" holocaust being used to keep Germany down."

    Cite your facts Chris. Most Middle East leaders that want to get rid of the State of Israel usually say that they were not responsible for the Holocaust, and therefore if the West wanted to create a homeland for the Jews, they should have done that using part of Germany or other European countries, and NOT Palistine.

    The facts are that Israel was created not by any one country, but by the United Nations and the facts are that Palestine was never a free and independent country, either before or after World War I.

    That France and Britain lied to the Arabs who fought the Turks during World War I, is overlooked by many because clearly both European powers were being driven by Imperial urges for the regions oil and mineral wealth. After WWII, the US replaced Britain and France in that role.

    The treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis is a disgrace, and continues to be a disgrace in the latest war in Lebanon.

    I say the time has come to disarm Israel, and the most rapid way to that result is with sanctions. And while we are at it, the time has come to force Iran to back off from its nuclear ambitions by objectively demonstrating that its enemy, Israel, will soon lack the means to attack it with nuclear and thermonuclear weapons.

    Now I support the United Nations, and the UN Resolution that created the state of Israel, which clearly is a "zionist act", so I suppose that makes me a "zionist". But I am also a realist, and I am tired of these "adventures" by Amerikans in the Middle East who are behind the Carlyle Group and the Bush Gang who always stir this pot for their own interests, rather like the Carpet Baggers after the American Civil War.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 8:06 PM  

  • Heh heh - Bart, keep on rocking, my man.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 9:04 PM  

  • heh you lefties and loving your murderous despots. I'm sure Joe Green someone just like you was claiming that Stalin and Mao were only being misunderstood and those starving ukrainians had it coming. As far as I can tell you just looking for statements to excuse terrorists and sundry crazies. Do I really need to do a google news search to drag up the fact the president of Iran has declared his desire to wipe Israel off the map. Its not like the fellow isn't on the public record saying so repeatedly. Considering he's building nuclear weapons I wonder what his plan of action is on that one.

    I mean really, does a sane politician suggest to Germany that the holocaust was all a clever scheme to undermine Germany's place in ther world. http://www.farsnews.com/English/newstext.php?nn=8506060558

    Really, anyone who pays any attention to the middle east knows at this point Israel just wants to be left alone. They went out of their way to try to make peace with the Palestinians and neighboring states but the assorted "death to the jews" types there refuse to play nice. Interesting how the only victems the left doesn't embrace are Jews.

    By Blogger Chris, at 8:29 AM  

  • Chris, grow up!

    The "left" in Canada condemns all the violence directed against civilians, women and children, and it does not exempt any group be they Arab or Jew, American or Afghan.

    But the Israeli are NOT going to get away with "crimes against humanity" with their indescriminate bombings in Lebanon, and the Hezbollah crowd are NOT going to get away with firing Katusha rockets into Israeli civilian populations.

    Israel is now discovering the full weight of International Public Opinion, and how vulnerable the country actually is if the world simply turns a cold shoulder to Israel.

    Iran is on exactly the same path as Israel in this regard. There are very serious consequences for Iran in defying world public opinion. THAT is why Iran is so willing to negotiate an end to what they call a "crisis".

    But the "demonization" of the other side is not going to work for Israel, and its not going to work for Iran. Both sides are going to have to accomodate themselves to the other side, SOMEHOW.

    That solution is NOT going to be found with a strategy of "nuclear supremacy", for either Israel, or for Iran.

    Logically, the best interests of both sides rest with disarmament and International inspection by the International Atomic Energy Commission.

    Nor do I accept your characterization of "tiny Israel", or "little weak" Israel. To accept that is to accept a false statement.

    For all its military strength, Israel cannot subdue its enemies by military power alone, which afterall is the same lesson of Viet Nam, and its also the same case in Iraq.

    Lunatics like Paul Wolfowitz tried to sell that shit to the Israelis, to the Americans, and now to the World Bank.

    The ONLY pathway to peace in the Middle East, is through negotiation, and I believe that it shall additionally require commitments from the International Community in terms of long term peacekeepers, finances, and land swaps with neighbouring states

    You cannot have "peace" with a million Lebanese left homeless, with thousands killed and thousands more injured, with heavily damaged infrastructure, and with a politically strengthened Hezbollah organization on the ground making itself an even more relevant organization in Lebanese political life.

    Everyone forgets that Hezbollah grew out of the 1980 attrocities committed against Palestinian Arab civilians by the Israel Army led by Ariel Sharon and Lebanese militias that murdered them in refugee camps long after the PLO fighters had departed Lebanon.

    Those are the facts. Live with them.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 11:26 AM  

  • chris wrote.

    "I mean really, does a sane politician suggest to Germany that the holocaust was all a clever scheme to undermine Germany's place in ther world. "

    No one denies the events of the Holocaust against the Jews. No one denies the Mass Starvation against the Ukrainians. No one denies the mass murder in Rwanda or in Cambodia. All these events are true, and underpinned by evidence.

    However that being said, the fact that Jews (and by extention Israel) somehow get a "blank cheque" to commit "crimes against humanity" does not wash. The State of Israel today has no more right to kill civilians, then did the Third Reich.

    Israel was created by the United Nations, and is a signatory to the United Nations Charter. It is going to have to live with the rules, in precisely the same fashion as every other sovereign nation state.

    The historical facts of the Holocaust is not a factor in the current behavior of the modern state of Israel. And while people after the Second World War and to this day are sympathetic to the Jewish people who were the victims of the Nazi, so too, we are sympathetic to the victims of the Israeli "Defence" Forces.

    With respect to Hezbollah, Israel is its own worst enemy.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 11:35 AM  

  • Wow you guys gotta get a life. A humourous post and everyone starts trotting out their Chomsky facts and soon enough the point of the thread is lost on all of you.

    By Blogger M. K. Braaten, at 12:54 PM  

  • Dear Liberals,

    For a devasting critique of Ignatieff's racism, narcissism and apologies for imperial violence, see the essay by York University professor David McNally in Colin Mooer, ed., "The New Imperialists: Ideologies of Empire" (2006).

    By Blogger twilingate fisherman, at 4:44 PM  

  • Faith-Based Analysis
    August 25, 2006
    By Edward S. Herman

    Michael Ignatieff, now a Canadian MP and contender for a top leadership position in the Liberal Party, was slow in responding to the Israeli war on Lebanon. He told the Canadian media on August 1st that “I’ve been following it minutely from the beginning and watching it unfold and figuring out when was the time when a statement would be important and relevant.” (Linda Diebel, “Rae criticizes liberal rival for delay,” Toronto Star, August 2, 2006). He considered it necessary to give Israel enough time “to send Hezbollah a very clear message” that kidnapping soldiers and firing rockets on Israel will not be tolerated. Of course, Israel was killing mainly civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure while sending this message, and there was the question of whether the world shouldn’t be sending Israel the message that aggression and the commission of war crimes under the pretense of “self defense” is not permissible, but like George Bush and Condoleezza Rice, for Ignatieff the Israeli message was crucial, not any Lebanese civilian casualties or Israeli law violations.

    Michael Ignatieff is a skilled trimmer, who has adjusted his principles and thoughts to the demands of the U.S. and Canadian power elite, and advanced accordingly—from academia to preferred commentator on human rights and other political issues in the U.S. mainstream media, and on to becoming a member of the Canadian parliament. He was for some years Carr Professor of Human Rights at Harvard University, and for several years was a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine. He has always found that what the United States has been doing in the international arena is good—well-intentioned, necessary for international well-being, and inevitable, though occasionally flawed in execution. He was a strong supporter of the U.S. wars in Yugoslavia, objecting mainly to the sluggishness in the application of force. He approved the invasion-occupation of Iraq and has supported the use of torture in the abstract as well as specifically in the Bush administration’s so-called “war on terror,” and as noted he has recently been very understanding of Israel’s need to defend itself against the threats of Hezbollah and its other enemies.

    One would have thought it might be problematical for a professor of human rights to vigorously support two wars (Kosovo, Iraq) carried out in violation of the UN Charter and hence “supreme crimes” in the view of the judges at Nuremberg. These two wars of aggression also resulted in serial war crimes, such as the regular bombing of civilian sites and the use of illegal weapons such as cluster bombs, napalm, phosphorus and depleted uranium, that should have been anathema to a devotee of human rights. But these matters didn’t bother Ignatieff, who was troubled only by the lag in initiation of NATO violence in the Balkans and the ineffectiveness and mismanagement of the occupation of Iraq. Similarly, Israel’s long-term ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the occupied territories, and massive human rights violations in the process, have not troubled him in the least, although he is bothered by the failure to bring “stability” and the absence of a quiet occupation and dispossession process.

    He gets away with this support for supreme crimes and systematic violations of human rights because he does this only as regards crimes and abuses carried out by the United States and its allies and clients. He is quite passionate about the crimes or alleged crimes of target states such as Yugoslavia and Saddam’s Iraq. As this bias parallels and therefore supports official positions, he is treated well by the Western elite and their instruments such as Harvard University and the New York Times. He can make egregious errors and unverifiable and dubious claims, accept official claims as unquestionably true, and apply double standards across the board, without cost. Treating him well means not only giving him support and access, it also means letting him get away with intellectual murder.

    Ignatieff came into prominence during the Balkan wars, where he joined forces with a number of other liberal intellectuals and journalists who took on the cause of Alija Izetbegovic--author of the Islamic Declaration and close ally of Osama bin Laden--and the Bosnian Muslims, and pressed strongly for military intervention on their behalf.1 Ignatieff’s position also aligned him with the Clinton administration, and he established “close relations” with Richard Holbrooke, General Wesley Clark and former Yugoslav Tribunal chief prosecutor Louise Arbour.2 These close links with officials with an axe to grind might be thought to compromise a journalist and human rights activist, but it doesn’t work that way in the United States—as with “embedded” journalists, such links enhance a reporter’s authority. It is only in enemy states that official connections and embedding compromise journalistic integrity, as by assumption our officials don’t lie and manipulate, and/or the linkages do not cause journalists to lose their critical capacity, whereas elsewhere governments lie and embedded journalists become propaganda agents of the state.3

    One revealing illustration of Ignatieff’s integration into the propaganda apparatus of the war-making establishment was his November 2, 1999 op-ed column in the New York Times on “Counting Bodies in Kosovo.” By the time Ignatieff wrote this piece, the wilder claims of the State Department that 100,000 or even 500,000 Kosovo Albanians had been killed by the Serbs had collapsed in the wake of the very modest results of the intense forensic searches that followed the NATO takeover of Kosovo after June 10, 1999. The new claim made by Carla Del Ponte, the Yugoslav Tribunal’s prosecutor (who had succeeded Louise Arbour), was that 11,334 Kosovo Albanians had been killed. According to Ignatieff, whether all the 11,334 bodies will be found “depends on whether the Serb military and police removed them.” Possible error or inflation by the Tribunal and its sources was ruled out for no reason but deep bias.

    Del Ponte had been vetted by Madeleine Albright before taking her position, the Tribunal had been organized and largely staffed and funded by the NATO powers, and it consistently served as a PR-judicial arm of NATO.4 The Tribunal’s investigator, who recommended dismissing any charges of war crimes against NATO without a formal investigation, stated that he had been satisfied with NATO press releases as an information source on the motivations and results of NATO actions.5 Del Ponte followed his recommendation, implicitly accepting this use of evidence, and expressing satisfation that there was “no deliberate targeting of civilians or unlawful military targets by NATO” (presumably the targeting of the Chinese Embassy and the Serb broadcasting facility, among hundreds of other non-military targets, was lawful). Only an unscholarly partisan would take her number as definitive (and only a partisan newspaper would invite Ignatieff to write on the subject and subsequently bring him on board as a regular). Eventually only some 4,000 bodies were recovered in Kosovo after the NATO takeover, by no means all or even a majority Bosnian Muslim civilians, and 2,398 remain listed by the Red Cross as missing, yielding a total—6,398—substantially below the 11,334, a difference never commented on by Ignatieff or the New York Times.6

    During the Kosovo conflict Ignatieff offered a stream of claims and interpretations that make an enlightening contrast with his apologetics for Israeli aggression, ethnic cleansing and structured racism. Commenting on an incident in which the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) murdered six Serb teenagers, Ignatieff wrote that this was “doubtless a KLA provocation, intended to goad the Serbs into overreaction and then to trigger international intervention. Yet it is worth asking why the KLA strategists could be absolutely certain the Serbs would react as they did he is referring to the “Racak massacre” of January 15, 1999. The reason is simple…only in Serbia is racial contempt an official ideology.”7

    We may note first that for Ignatieff the KLA killings were only a "provocation," not a murderous act to be severely condemned. Note also that although there is compelling evidence that the Racak incident was arranged into a "massacre" following a furious battle, and is therefore of extremely dubious authenticity, Ignatieff takes it as unquestionably valid.8 On the certainty of the Serb reaction, killings such as those carried out by the KLA produce similar responses in civil conflicts everywhere, so that Ignatieff's blaming it on Serb racism is nonsensical for that reason alone. But it also flies in the face of Serb tolerance of Albanians in Belgrade, along with Roma--in contrast with Kosovo Albanian intolerance of both in NATO-occupied Kosovo.

    The contrast with Ignatieff’s treatment of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon is also dramatic and revealing. With the June 25 capture of an Israeli soldier in Gaza and at least two other Israeli soldiers in still-disputed circumstances around the Israel-Lebanon border on July 12, minimal consistency with his treatment of the Serbs should cause him to regard these as “provocations” that induced an Israeli “overreaction,” and he should condemn this overreaction, which in Gaza and Lebanon has been far more deadly and murderous than the Serbs’ alleged overreaction at Racak. He might explain this overreaction and this willingness to kill large numbers of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians on the “simple” ground that “only in Israel is racial contempt an official ideology.” Of course he does not do this, although the case that can be made for racial contempt as an official ideology in Israel is vastly greater than the evidence for Serbian racism.9

    For Ignatieff, Israel’s legitimate “security needs” justify the Lebanon response (and he evades discussing the reinvasion and attack on civilians and humanitarian crisis in Gaza). Didn’t Yugoslavia’s legitimate security needs justify Racak and other actions of the Serbs, with NATO threatening an attack--that soon materialized--and working in coordination with the KLA? There is of course no hint at this in Ignatieff—his frame of reference is always that of his side (NATO), and the enemy is always wrong and has no right of self defense.

    Ignatieff was enraged at the Serb expulsions in Kosovo during the bombing war, claiming that “Milosevic decided to solve an ‘internal problem’ by exporting an entire nation to his impoverished neighbors,” and he also described it as a “most meticulous deportation of a civilian population” and “a final solution of the Kosovo problem.”10 One would hardly realize from these effusions that Yugoslavia was under military attack by NATO, forced to defend itself in a situation where the KLA and NATO were working in close coordination; that proportionately more ethnic Serbs fled the bombing war in Kosovo than ethnic Albanians; that there was nothing “meticulous” about the flight, induced by the KLA and bombing as well as Serb actions, and that there is no reason whatever to think that Milosevic viewed this as a “final solution,” another dishonest piece of rhetoric that conflates Nazi industrial murder with a war-induced flight of civilians.

    Again, the contrast with Ignatieff’s treatment of the forced exit of a million Lebanese by the Israelis is dramatic. Here Israel is justified in “sending a message” to Hezbollah reflecting Israel’s right to defend itself. Yugoslavia had no right to send a message to the KLA and NATO powers in the process of defending itself, although NATO’s war threatened its survival, whereas Israel had only suffered minor losses in a border skirmish with a force that did not threaten its existence. Ignatieff has not even expressed sympathy with the million Lebanese displaced to “send a message” to Hezbollah; and he will clearly not speak of this as a “meticulous” ethnic cleansing and “final solution” via an “export” of Lebanese civilians. Human Rights Watch and the Red Cross (among others) have repeatedly declared the Israeli attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure to be war crimes,11 but Ignatieff has not said a word about anything wrong with Israel’s attacks on civilians or the use of illegal and anti-civilian weaponry like cluster bombs and depleted uranium, and he has never hinted that these frequent and ruthless attacks on Arab civilians could be because of Israel’s racist ideology, although the evidence for such attitudes in Israel is massive (which it is not in Belgrade).

    In short, we are dealing here with gross political bias and gross apologetics for aggression, ethnic cleansing and war crimes. Add to this the fact that Ignatieff has swallowed Bush’s claim to be striving to “bring freedom everywhere,” an ideological premise that allows him to rationalize anything the Bush administration does externally because it is in a noble cause—based solely on the fact that Bush says that that is his aim (see his “Who Are Americans To Think That Freedom Is Theirs To Spread?,” New York Times Magazine, June 26, 2005; and my analysis of this apologetics landmark: Herman, “Michael Ignatieff’s Pseudo-Hegelian Apologetics for Imperialism,” October, 2005).

    Facts no longer matter for Ignatieff; they are trumped by proclaimed aims and values, but only for the side he favors and that produce benefits—to Ignatieff and some of the elites that underwrite his work. Clearly this is a man worthy of a human rights chair at Harvard, a special place in the Paper of Record, and a bright political future in our close and reliable ally Canada.

    Edward S. Herman is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and has written extensively on economics, political economy and the media. Among his books are The Real Terror Network, Triumph of the Market, and Manufacturing Consent (with Noam Chomsky).

    Endnotes:

    1. For a general account, Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, “Morality’s Avenging Angels: The New Humanitarian Crusaders,” in David Chandler, Ed., Rethinking Human Rights: Critical Approaches to International Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), pp. 196-216 (as posted to ZNet, August 30, 2005). The New Humanitarians have been members of a network of like-minded people, often friends, who have worked in coordination with government officials and government-linked thinktanks, bonding and hobnobbing among themselves in Sarajevo or at international conferences and being fed information by U.S. and, in the 1990s, Bosnian Muslim officials. Sometimes, they worked together in establishment operations such as the Independent International Commission on Kosovo (Richard Falk, Richard Goldstone, Michael Ignatieff, Mary Kaldor, Martha Minow), the International Crisis Group (William Shawcross), the American Academy in Berlin (Paul Hockenos), George Soros' Open Society Institute (Aryeh Neier), and offshoots of these and similar institutions. The first three groups have been heavily funded by NATO governments, and have had on their boards numerous NATO government officials, past and present.
    In a nice illustration of what C. Wright Mills might have called the "social composition of the higher circles" of New Humanitarianism, Timothy Garton Ash wrote back in 1999: "When I arrive in the late evening…at Hotel Tuzla,…I step into the lift, press the button for the second floor, and at once subside, powerless, into the cellar. The reception committee in the bar consists of Christopher Hitchens, Susan Sontag, and David Rieff. When I join them, Sontag is just saying to Michael Ignatieff, 'I can't believe that this is your first time here." And he adds that on the very next day, after arriving at an event hosted by the Bosnian Muslim leadership of Tuzla, Mary Kaldor welcomed the group, and the British actress Julie Christie read a poem in homage to Sarajevo, "glowing white…as a translucent china cup." Ash, History of the Present: Essays, Sketches, and Dispatches from Europe in the 1990s (New York: Random House, 1999), p.147.

    2. The quoted words were used by David Rieff to describe and laud his ally Ignatieff’s connections with the West’s political and military leadership, in “Virtual War: Kosovo and Beyond,” Los Angeles Times, Sept. 3, 2000.

    3. Back at the time of the controversy that followed the May 1981 shooting of Pope Paul II by a Turkish fascist, the mainstream U.S. media relied heavily on the expert Paul Henze, rarely pointing out--and never suggesting any problem based on--lhis 30-year employment as a CIA propaganda specialist and his having been head of the CIA station in Turkey.

    4. For a compelling analysis, see Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away With Murder (London: Pluto, 2004), pp. 132-46.

    5. Ibid., pp. 188-191.

    6. "Statement to the Press by Carla del Ponte" (FH/P.I.S./550-e), Carla del Ponte, ICTY, December 20, 2000, par. 16; "Kosovo: ICRC deplores slow progress of working group on missing persons," ICRC News, March 9, 2006.

    7. Michael Ignatieff, “Only in truth can Serbia find peace: There is racism everywhere in Europe, but only in Serbia is racial contempt an official ideology,” Calgary Herald, June 26, 1999.

    8. On questions about Racak, see Mandel, pp. 72-80, 170-73; see also the devastating testimonies of Judge Danica Marenkovic, forensic expert Professor Slavisa Dobricain, Col. Bogoljub Janicevic, and Col. Milan Kotur, during the Milosevic defense period, March 23-24, April 8, 13, and 26, and January 27, 2006. None of this testimony was reported on in the New York Times.

    9. Under the subheading “Root Causes,” Israeli analyst Reuven Kaminer says “It is impossible to oppress an entire people for 40 years and not to succumb to the ultimate rationalization for such action. Anti-Arab racism is endemic to Israeli society. This racism is so pervasive that it covers the political landscape like a cloud and infects all the thinking and the attitudes of the overwhelming majority of Israelis.” (“Who Won and Who Lost and Why,” Portside, August 17, 2006). See also Edward S. Herman, "Ethnic Cleansing: Constructive, Benign, and Nefarious," ZNet, August 9, 2006.

    10. Michael Ignatieff, Virtual War: Kosovo and Beyond (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2000), pp. 86-87, 78-79, 84.

    11. See, e.g., Peter Bouckaert and Nadim Houry, Fatal Strikes: Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon (Human Rights Watch, August 3, 2006; and Peter Bouckaert, “For Israel, innocent civilians are fair game,” International Herald Tribune, August 4, 2006.

    By Blogger twilingate fisherman, at 6:10 PM  

  • Joe Green to quote you... "grow up!"

    There is a quote to respond to your comments:

    "If every Arab soldier tomorrow laid down his arms, there'd be peace. If every Israeli soldier tomorrow laid down his harms, they'd be slaughtered"

    Disarming Israel will allow for their ultimate destruction. Iran will not give up their weapons program simply even after Israel is completely annhilated. Why? Because they see Israel as "little Satan" and the US as "great Satan". So do you propose disarming the US as well?

    How many times have the Arab states attempted to destroy Israel? Like it or not, Israel exists and has a right to exist. Its opponents are not focused on simply 'righting historical wrongs' but rather wish the destruction of every Jew in that nation. Hezbollah's leader even encouraged Jews to move to Israel to make it easier for them to kill them.

    Iran's President has called for the destruction of Israel many times and only the blind or willfully stupid could ignore the evidence and facts that are mounting. Consider only his recent statement that the destruction of Israel is the solution to the Mideast problems.

    Your comments about the 'third rung' of nuclear contries is absurd since no one even knows how many nukes Israel has. They might have one, they might have 100000000. Get your facts straight.

    Iran has existed for the last 30 years without an attack on its sovereignty by Israel. So tell me again how Israel 'threatens' Iran? It doesn't. Period.

    On the contrary, Iran has been supplying Hezbollah with weapons and money to continue a guerilla war against Israel for the last 20 years. DESPITE THE FACT THAT ISRAEL HAS WITHDRAWN FROM LEBANON COMPLETELY.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 7:32 PM  

  • Joe Green to quote you... "grow up!"

    There is a quote to respond to your comments:

    "If every Arab soldier tomorrow laid down his arms, there'd be peace. If every Israeli soldier tomorrow laid down his harms, they'd be slaughtered"

    Disarming Israel will allow for their ultimate destruction. Iran will not give up their weapons program simply even after Israel is completely annhilated. Why? Because they see Israel as "little Satan" and the US as "great Satan". So do you propose disarming the US as well?

    How many times have the Arab states attempted to destroy Israel? Like it or not, Israel exists and has a right to exist. Its opponents are not focused on simply 'righting historical wrongs' but rather wish the destruction of every Jew in that nation. Hezbollah's leader even encouraged Jews to move to Israel to make it easier for them to kill them.

    Iran's President has called for the destruction of Israel many times and only the blind or willfully stupid could ignore the evidence and facts that are mounting. Consider only his recent statement that the destruction of Israel is the solution to the Mideast problems.

    Your comments about the 'third rung' of nuclear contries is absurd since no one even knows how many nukes Israel has. They might have one, they might have 100000000. Get your facts straight.

    Iran has existed for the last 30 years without an attack on its sovereignty by Israel. So tell me again how Israel 'threatens' Iran? It doesn't. Period.

    On the contrary, Iran has been supplying Hezbollah with weapons and money to continue a guerilla war against Israel for the last 20 years. DESPITE THE FACT THAT ISRAEL HAS WITHDRAWN FROM LEBANON COMPLETELY.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 7:32 PM  

  • SouthernOntarioan said...

    "Your comments about the 'third rung' of nuclear contries is absurd since no one even knows how many nukes Israel has. They might have one, they might have 100000000. Get your facts straight."

    In fact, the war in Lebanon, is a war between Israel and Iran "by other means" where Hezbollah is merely a covert military force fielded by Iran and using Arab nationals.

    Make no mistake, this conflict is about regional dominance and nuclear "supremacy", which Iran seeks, and which Israel covets.

    All the rest is a smoke screen.

    As for your pooh pahs about "little Israel", my figures come from published western intelligence estimates that have estimated Israel's stockpile of nuclear weapons as rivaling those of Britain and France.

    If you go back in history a little, you can find evidence of the sale of nuclear technology by Israel to the Apartheid regime in South Africa, before it decommissioned its nuclear program under UN supervision.

    Your hysteria is not going to calm things down with me Im afraid. We obviously need to apply the same objective standards to BOTH Israel and Iran when we look at these issues and conflicts AS CANADIANS.

    And if you do that, and ask yourself, "what policy best suits Canada's interests in this conflict", it seems to me that the Harpercons are DEAD WRONG in picking sides. I believe our overriding interest in this conflict is to disarm the combatants, by their own agreement with a verifiable peace.

    And we as Canadians are in a pretty good position to put the sqeeze on BOTH Israel and Iran to "smell the coffee".

    When Israeli Prime Minister Began signed the Camp David Accords that resulted in a lasting peace with Egypt, his ringing words were "no more war!"

    I agree with that sentiment and with that approach which certainly has seen a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt and Jordan.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 8:09 PM  

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