up with Putin?
up with Putin? The Russians feel U.S. encroachment into the former Soviet Union
is starting to represent an existential threat to the Russian Federation. It's
evident American elites are in the dark, and they ought to be aware the neocon
empire has tweaked the Russian bear's nose a little too much – the Russians,
rightly, feel very threatened, and are acting accordingly. This isn't about
empire for them; this is about preserving the long-term future of the Russian
Federation. I suggest Mr. Bock go to Moscow and discuss with them how they feel
about U.S. incursions into the Baltic Republics, Ukraine, and Serbia.
live a narrative quite unlike that lived by the rest of humanity – it's a self-reinforcing
narrative. A lot of it is based on false premises, misperceptions, and an American
view of the world, which, frankly, can border on the bizarre.
~ Fernando Leza
was inherently intentional as all military attacks are. It was simply a case
of mistaken identity. Do some more research, Justin, and then apologize."
Karpov's comments about the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty are
misleading at best. Earlier this year, I wrote to the secretary of the Army
– the department charged with investigating the Israeli attack on the Liberty
– and sent the same letter to the Department of the Navy.
Here's part of
the reply I received from Richard Jackson, special assistant to the judge advocate
general for law of war matters:
S. McCain, commander-in-chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe, was authorized by
his superiors to convene a Court of Inquiry into the Israeli attack on the USS
findings? 'The USS
suffered an unprovoked attack by the Israeli air and naval forces in international
waters off the coast of the UAR. The U.S. secretary of state communicated to
the government of Israel that the "attack must be condemned
for its reckless
disregard of human life."' And this: 'In fact, the U.S. government concluded
that the Israeli government was culpable for the attack; the government of Israel
apologized for the attack and paid U.S. claims for the 34 deaths and the injuries
and damages caused by Israel attacking the Liberty
in international waters.'"
A case of mistaken
identity? Hogwash. The savage and brutal attack lasted nearly three hours. Israel
continued to attack even though the U.S. flag was clearly visible.
Israel used machine
guns to strafe survivors trying to escape in lifeboats.
But hey, don't
believe me: go to the USS Liberty
Web page and see for yourself.
their torpedo attack, the torpedo boats moved up and down the length of the
ship (both the port and starboard sides), continuing their attack, raking the
ship with cannon and machine-gun fire. In Malta, crewmen were later assigned
the task of counting all of the holes in the ship that were the size of a man’s
hand or larger. They found a total of 861 such holes, in addition to 'thousands'
of .50 caliber machine-gun holes.
report that the torpedo-boat crews swept the decks of USS
with continuous machine-gun fire, targeting communications equipment and any
crew members who ventured above decks.
firefighters, who had already risked their lives merely by appearing on deck,
had to abandon their efforts because their fire hoses had been shredded by machine
~ Greg Bacon
sometimes wonder at the logic behind decisions such as this. What were Bush
and his advisers thinking of when they came up with this mad scheme? Is this
so different from the Soviet Union attempting to site missiles on Cuba? The
excuse that it is to counter some imaginary threat from Iran would be laughable
if only it were not an indication of how paranoid and insane the current administration
is. Imagine if Russia were able to use Canada and Mexico as bases for missiles
and early warning systems: how would the U.S. react?
This is just another
example of the Bush regime attempting destabilize the world.
~ Andy Cheshire,
Misstates Military Oath
it be any clearer – the fact that the vice president of the United States, to
forward his personal un-American agenda, intentionally misstated, as David Henderson
so clearly indicates, the military oath? Can anyone still have any doubts about
what the vice president thinks about the Constitution and the rule of law?
Does anyone still
not understand what place lawlessness plays in this administration's policies?
Does anyone still not understand the immense danger this administration poses
to the United States and the sacred principles it was founded on?
~ Carl Mattioli
Mythologizing a 20th-Century Accident
Kolko gets several of his basic facts wrong. First, it is not true the Jews
in Europe had "little in common." As he points out, the bulk of them were in
czarist Russia (mainly in the areas that are now Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus)
and adjoining parts of Austria-Hungary, 5 million were in Russia alone, and
another 2 million had recently emigrated to the Americas. They shared a common
language (Yiddish, the native language of 97 percent of Russian Jews, according
to the czarist census of 1897) and culture, as well as religious heritage, although
they did not constitute the majority in a large, contiguous area (being concentrated
in mostly Jewish towns and cities), unlike, say, their Polish or Ukrainian neighbors,
whose national sentiments were more favored by geography.
From Russia, Kolko
takes a jump to the Jews of the Arab world and observes that they were very
different. If he had taken an intermediate step, from the czarist empire to
the Ottoman Empire, he might have perceived a more gradual transition. He would
have seen the Jews of the Balkans and Anatolia (a community about one-tenth
the size of the Polish-Russian Jews) sharing a common life employing the Ladino
or Judeo-Spanish language, culturally distinctive Aramaic speakers in the Kurdish
areas, and then, in the great cities and towns of the Arabic-speaking world,
finally communities roughly conforming to his model of being distinctive from
their non-Jewish neighbors by religion primarily (although their Arabic dialects
were often quite distinctive and always written in Hebrew script).
Kolko also curiously
underestimates the sympathy for Zionism among Eastern European Jews in the early
20th century (a sympathy I don't happen to share, but it makes me wonder where
Kolko gets his information from). The stories told in Walter Lacquer's book
on the history of Zionism of Herzl being welcomed like a quasi-messianic liberator
on his visit to Russia to negotiate with czarist officials spring to mind. The
prominence of Zionist parties in the Polish parliament after Poland achieved
independence would seem to be another indication of widespread support of some
degree (Kolko's point about the support not being of such degree as to want
to emigrate to Palestine oneself is well taken – an old joke says that a Zionist
is a Jew who wants to get another Jew to give money so that a third Jew can
go to Palestine). This also jibes with my impressions from Eastern European
Jewish relatives and acquaintances who lived through that epoch and with the
opinions expressed by Jewish writers in Yiddish and other languages.
is wrong (like many commentators on the Arab-Israeli conflict) on the role of
Hitler: the Jewish population in Nazi Germany and Austria was a drop in the
bucket, demographically. Neither they nor the much more numerous Eastern European
Jewish refugees in the DP (displaced person) camps after World War II decisively
tipped the ethnic balance in Palestine. The Zionist leadership in Palestine
was determined to achieve a Jewish state (despite their official statements
that they were willing to share Palestine), come what may. If Hitler and the
war and the Nazi genocide played a role in creating the Jewish state, it was
a facilitating role, by shaping a climate of opinion that saw the Jews as victims
and making Jews distrustful of assurances from others.
~ Lee Goldberg
writer should read Yuri
Slezkine. He should read Ha'aretz
daily. Or Shlomo
Ben-Ami's new book.
do not speak Yiddish; German Jews speak German and perhaps understand Yiddish.
Yiddish is not spoken in Israel save by ultra-orthodox. There are zoning laws
in some Israel suburbs. The place is a mess; migration out is now enormous.
I am completely
literate in Yiddish and know a fair amount of Hebrew, and if the writer wishes
to continue in either language, fine; otherwise the exchange is ended. I also
worked on an immigrant ship from Marseilles to Haifa, 1949, and have experience
in Israel 1949-50. The writer knows a bit but is very confused.